Fast Food Workers Planning Strikes, Supreme Court Declines To Hear Obamacare Challenge, French Increasing Military Presence in CAR: P.M. Links


Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon/wikimedia
  • The French are increasing their military presence in the Central African Republic ahead of an expected United Nations-backed intervention intended to restore order in the country that has been experiencing increasing unrest and disorder since rebels removed President Bozize from power in March.
  • The Supreme Court declined to hear Liberty University's challenge to Obamacare without comment.
  • Fast food workers in around 100 cities will hold a strikes this Thursday over wages.
  • Egypt's new draft constitution will free the military from civilian oversight.
  • A new study claims that a quarter of teens have been involved in sexting.
  • The trial of two former cops in California accused of beating a homeless man to death began today.

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  1. Fast food workers in around 100 cities will hold a strikes this Thursday over wages.

    Supersize our paychecks!

    1. They'll be sorry when I order McDonald's from my couch and a drone brings me a perfectly cooked and assembled McDouble from a McWarehouse.

      1. Things get really ugly when the drones go on strike.

        1. My 3d printer will scab them out of a jerb.

          1. You're just begging for a drone strike.

        2. They do call it "judgement day".

      2. First!*

        *First time I've been one of the first 50 comments.

        1. Links start at 4:30PM EST. Set your alarm.

          1. Don't toy with them FoE, we all know you colocate with the Reason servers and personally direct the squirrelz.

          2. Like you watch the clock. We all know you've re-routed the Reason servers through your garage, before they even get to the NSA.

            1. What would happen here if I wasn't around to challenge you? Lazy commenting, that's what. I make everyone better... stronger... faster.

          3. I don't mind never being first-- I have a family and a farm. There are usually hundreds of comments by the time I get to the links. Today just happened to be freakishly early for me.

      3. Why in the world would you ever put McDonald's in your mouth?

        1. Sometimes I am lazy.

          1. That was the moment before he realized it was the wrong sort of soft round food source.

        2. Say what you will about the health consequences, but damn me if McGriddles aren't delicious.

          1. Is that the sausage breakfast sandwich that's, like, soaked in corn syrup or something? yeesh

        3. Once in a while McDonald's is okay. It's just not as a good as the other fast-food choices in my area (eg, In N Out).

          1. I was in Chicago last week, and I went to a local joint called "Epic Burger". They fully deserve their name.


        4. Because it tastes good and you can have a meal for $3.

          1. The Dollar Menu is hard to beat. A Grilled Chicken lettuce only is one of the healthiest choices on their menu. But how can you beat a McChicken for a buck?

          2. Because it tastes good

            See, here's where you're wrong.

            1. Cause taste is objective?

              1. It's not? Biology is objective.

        5. I ask the same question about other men's cocks, but amazingly there are dudes out there who do that too, like some of our most preeminent trolls.

          1. some of our most preeminent trolls

            Confused. Tony and...? Or are you attempting a sly Palins-Buttplug-is-gay joke?

            1. Or maybe certain other regular commenters here who happen to be gay are also considered trolls and they don't even know it. J'accuse!

              1. How could I have been so blind. I should've realized when linking Never Gonna Give You Up became a compulsion instead of a pleasure.

              2. Where is Epi anyway?

                1. He was here this morning. Warty must have recaptured him.

                  1. I thought for sure this would help him escape from Warty this time.

                    Also while I'm on a troll: NEW PHOTO OF JOHN HAMM'S TROUSER SNAKE.

                    1. Gonna admit it - I looked. I LOOKED, OK?!

                    2. Are you John Hamm's Hamm Curious? Do we need to sprinkle some more letters at the end of the alphabet soup of sexuality and gender identity? I say we put you before the A for asexual because there's probably more of you and you're unfairly oppressed by heteronormative expectations to not stare at his third leg.

                    3. You've already tarnished my reputation as a valued member of the commentariat. I have nothing left to lose and might as well post pictures of Ben Cohen in a shower (above the waist you Puritans!).

                      And of course Rick Roll you mercilessly.

                    4. Is it really Rick Rolling when you tell someone you're linking to Rick Astley?

          2. I have at least 20 cocks, though only 13 are crowing so far. I didn't realize any of the other posters had cocks.

      4. They'll be sorry when I simply make a sandwich at home and fail to notice that they're not at work.

    2. I actually hope that McD's just cans the whole lot of them and hires a bunch of newbies.

      What they don't seem to understand is that their skill set is minimal and they can be replaced by a machine (in a perfect world) or another person with essentially no real skills.

      1. No shit. Working at McDonald's was never meant to be a fucking lifelong career that someone raised a family on. From day one it was always supposed to be a temporary job geared towards teenagers and young adults that they did to earn a few bucks while obtaining other skills.

      2. Yes, if you're scheduled to work and don't show up in a job where you can be easily replaced, I think you're very likely to get fired.

        My question is how many of these non-union, unskilled employees are dumb enough to do this? Bet it's not that many.

        1. Seems like the smart thing to do would be to double the normal staff for that day, and fire the half or less who fail to show up without a damn good reason, such as a verifiable death in the family.

  2. A new study claims that a quarter of teens have been involved in sexting.

    You know teenage girls may see their self-esteem boosted by sexting. So guys, if you see me receiving sexy pictures of your teenage daughters, I'm only trying to help!

    1. A new study claims that a quarter of teens have been involved in sexting.

      That means there's a lot of unregistered sex offenders out there. We need to put more resources into bringing these perverts to justice. I'm sure we can find a few cops who are willing to go undercover and set up some stings, if only we'll pay them overtime.

      1. Do they need any volunteers to review the potentially offensive messages to determine which ones require further investigation?

  3. A new study claims that a quarter of teens have been involved in sexting.

    The other 75% just wrote "boobs" on the study questionnaire.

    1. 58008!

      1. Technically, I don't think that one has to be done upside down.

  4. Vice magazine finds that many left-wing magazines offer opportunity to exploit unpaid interns while pushing for a "living wage".

    "During our first meeting with HR at Mother Jones, we were advised to sign up for food stamps."

    1. This is my shocked face. ( I made the same face when I found out that Bloomberg's bodyguards received special permission to carry firearms in Bermuda).

    2. Fast food workers in around 100 cities will hold a strikes this Thursday over wages.

      I walk to Chik-fil-a every Thursday. Can't imagine them striking. They have 2-3 times as many employees during lunch than any other fast food place I've been. Always courteous too.

      I should let them know they're being abused. After I get my sandwich of course.

      1. If they want to hasten the move to automated/self-serve ordering, I'm 100% on their side.

        1. That's slowly coming along. A few months ago, we went to a Jack-in-the-Box with a self-serve ordering terminal. I wouldn't be surprised to see this become more common.

    3. A left-leaning friend of mine referred to that article as bomb throwing. I responded with this delicious Daily Show clip from a few years back and reminded him that pointing out hypocrisy was grade A entertainment.

      1. Bomb throwing used to be good entertainment too. But now you'll get arrested for terrorism or something even if you are only blowing up rocks and dirt.

  5. The French are increasing their military presence in the Central African Republic ahead of an expected United Nations-backed intervention intended to restore order in the country...

    The French corps of engineers will be paving the road to CAR with those good intentions.

    1. "If you don't stop fighting right now, I'm going to turn this CAR around and drive home!"

      1. They're trying to pull the CAR out of a ditch. And the French are drinking a slurpee, not helping, even though they were driving. Or something like that.

        I can't remember how that dumbass metaphor went.

  6. The trial of two former cops in California accused of beating a homeless man to death began today.

    "Former" cops?! I didn't realize it was legal to fire a public employee in California.

    1. The gentlemen look like they've been so worried about the trial that they could barely eat a thing the whole year.

  7. The Supreme Court declined to hear Liberty University's challenge to Obamacare without comment.

    Not sure they can find a taxing angle in this one, so fuck it.

    1. There is always a tax angle.

      "Spiro came to make a speech about raisin' the Mars Tax"

      1. Is this the Mars Planet Tax or the Mars Bar tax? You gotta be more specific man, otherwise we won't know which tax to make fun of.

  8. "Fast food workers in around 100 cities will hold a strikes this Thursday over wages."

    Pretty sure this translates into:
    'SEIU stooges will carry picket signs in some areas'

    1. Yes, but will the SEIU pay them a living wage to do so?

      1. Dunno, but the SEIU will probably help 'em sign up for food stamps.

  9. American serfdom

    In democracies, employers do not have the right to tell free workers how they can or cannot use their compensation, whether that compensation be money, health care or vacation days. Workers whose freedoms are limited by their employers are serfs, not independent citizens. Allowing companies to limit their workers choices in this way undermines basic freedoms and indeed our democratic system.

    The Walmart food drive is essentially a case of a company that has treated workers poorly for so long that they barely notice irony of holding a food drive in a store for the employees of that store. Irony is less important that the reality that many workers at Walmart do not earn enough money to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner. This, libertarian and conservative rhetoric aside, is about as compelling an argument for dramatically increasing the minimum wage as one can find.

    ...ordinary workers must fight even harder for their economic and political rights; and where employers continue to push wages down while cutting benefits and seeking to assert more control over what workers due outside of the workplace. Millions of Americans will suffer directly from this, but millions more will suffer from living in a country where the social fabric is under attack from new angles and from where the societal foundations of democracy are being undermined.

    1. "seeking to assert more control over what workers due (sic) outside of the workplace."

    2. Raise the minimum wage?

      No, fuck you, find a better job.

    3. libertarian and conservative rhetoric arguments that might undermine my assertions aside


      1. Also, since when did Walmart start telling employees how they could spend their money? Last I checked, that was the realm of government.

        1. But the government is run by "democracy" so the government telling people how to spend their money is an unalloyed good.

        2. So those donate a dollar to fight breast cancer are out?

    4. Someone posted a link to this story in a Saturday thread, and one of the regulars (I think Irish) executed an absolutely beautiful takedown by using the awesome power of 5th grade arithmetic to show that if Walmart distributed all its profits and CEO pay equally among average workers, that they would receive a one time cash payment of only about $2000. One time, because Walmart would go out of business shortly thereafter, depriving those workers of continuing employment and the rest of us of inexpensive goods.

      But yeah, things will be totally awesome if we raise the minimum wage. I can feel it.

      1. It was less than that. It was like $200.

        1. Does someone have a link to this?

    5. Lemme get his straight.

      Having a job is serfdom?

      1. Yes. Never mind the fact that serfdom is a system where peasants are tied to the land from birth and is thus the exact opposite of a system where you can quit a job and find a new one as you please.

        1. Dude is from Columbia University.

          Scary. Very.

    6. You know, at this point I'm willing to make a deal with progressives.

      We'll let them pass any living wage law the want in return for a full repeal of ALL welfare programs.

      I mean afterall, if everyone is guaranteed a living wage then there is no further need for welfare right?

      1. I'll make a deal with progressives, and with conservatives too:

        You can pass any welfare and spending and taxing and regulating laws you like, but they only apply to people who voted for your candidates.

    7. "...employers do not have the right to tell free workers how they can or cannot use their compensation,..."

      Companies don't tell their employees how to use their compensation. The company buys a health insurance package that covers certain types of care or does not. What the compensation covers is known on the front end, the company has no control over how it is used on the back end.

    8. "Health insurance is not some kind of largesse bestowed upon workers by generous employers. It is something that employers over a certain size are required by law to provide, like social security payments of a minimum wage. In this regard it is part of the basic compensation package for employees."

      That the federal government has the authority to micromanage compensation packages is a novel concept, which is why it being challenged in court. Basically the author seems flabbergasted by the notion that the federal government may not have the power to do whatever it wants.

      1. The reason it was even tied to employers in the first place was because of wage and price controls. So in lieu of higher wages, businesses would attract good workers with health insurance as part of their compensation.

        1. Yes, which means it originally was largesse by employers wanting to be more generous than they could be by law, then it later became the norm and expected and only now is it mandatory.

  10. It's about time a major Western nation gets itself embroiled in a war in Central Africa again. I haven't seen enough pictures of thirteen-year-olds in second hand clothing wielding FALs laying a beatdown on a modern army recently.

  11. Fast food workers in around 100 cities will hold a strikes this Thursday over wages.

    "Do you know how I know I'm not paying you too little? When there aren't ten people lined up for every position that will suddenly be open the day after you don't show up to work."

    1. The proper response to these strikes would be to immediately fire and replace anyone who strikes. I wonder if the training overhead would even exceed the strike losses...

      1. Turnover at fast food places is already high. Firing any strikers would barely move the needle.

        1. And it's not like it takes months to train the new guy to push the button with the picture of what they ordered on it. Even the dimmest bulbs seem to get the hang of things as soon as they get over their stage fright.

          1. Hey! you don't get to work with people until you've done your time on the fryer.

  12. Abolish the Minimum Wage: a debate

    I doubt there will be anything new in the arguments, but I'd like to carve out some time to listen to the whole thing. There are also several other interesting topics in the site that will have to be added to my queue.

      1. Dammit! I swear this comment wasn't here when I was typing up my snarky reply!

      2. As always, the comments are where it's at:

        News flash Robert: Not only can you not raise a family of 4 on MW, you can't even take care of YOURSELF! I am so sick or hearing people who make significantly more than those who earn the MW offer their thoughts on why we should get rid of it. All of the arguments against it are academic. All of the arguments for it are based in REALITY, not in some economist's mind. I have an idea. With the gap between rich and poor bigger than any time since the 1920's, lets take more from those who can most afford it, not those who can least afford it!! That seems obvious to me.

        1. Yep, "fair" "living wage", etc. One piece of crap after the other.
          And the asshat you quoted doesn't seem to know that's been tried. And failed.

          1. How about this then?

            The argument made by the abolish advocates is that some employees are not worth 7.25 an hour. I find that offensive. The minimum wage is a statement, by a self respecting society, that no employee, no matter how 'unskilled' is worth a minimum amount. There are no jobs in this country worth say, $4.50 an hour. I cannot think of a job or task whatsoever in this country where a worker should make less than the current minimum, and even that is far too low.

            1. There are no jobs in this country worth say, $4.50 an hour. I cannot think of a job or task whatsoever in this country where a worker should make less than the current minimum

              "Congressman" comes to mind.

            2. The argument made by the abolish advocates is that some employees are not worth 7.25 an hour. I find that offensive.

              Shovelling off my back steps when it snows isn't worth $7.25 an hour, or even $4.50.

            3. a self respecting society

              What does this mean? I didn't realize that society had a mind of its own.

              1. And if our society had a mind of its own, it certainly would not have any self-respect.

            4. He finds it "offensive".

              I see people driving the street every day, about who I wonder how can anyone so stupid do anything at all that would produce $7.25 worth of goods or services in an hour.

        2. lets take more from those who can most afford it, not those who can least afford it!! That seems obvious to me.

          Why do we have to take anything from anyone?

          1. Why do we have to take anything from anyone?

            How else are we going to get to Progtopia?

          2. "Why do we have to take anything from anyone?"

            Isnt it obvious?

        3. Not only can you not raise a family of 4 on MW

          This is probably true and a good reason why you shouldn't have a family of 4 with only one MW earner.

          can't even take care of YOURSELF

          This is demonstrably false. I've done it.

          1. I lived off $900 a month in Washington DC for five months in 2009 before law school. It wasn't easy but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

              1. So is bean soup, gotta get your protein somewhere.

              2. A bag of beans, a bag of flour, a bag of rice, some chili powder and you have home made Burritos and rice for weeks. Cheaper than Ramen and easier to wrap in wax paper and take to class. In the early 80's my first wife and I found our baseline monthly food budget to be just under $50.

                1. I just bought 3 pounds of chicken breast meat for 6$, which is pricey compared to what I could've done if I'd stopped at Smart and Final instead of the local grocery. I'll cook up some of it now to turn into salads and sandwiches for today and tomorrow and freeze the rest to use over the next week.

                  It's hard to get a single meal, better than McDonalds, for less than $6 already prepared, and this will cover my protein for 6-10 meals.

          2. This is probably true and a good reason why you shouldn't have a family of 4 with only one MW earner.

            How dare you recommend that people based upon their own circumstances instead of what everyone else is doing!

            1. ^people MAKE DECISIONS

            2. Reproductive freedom means being able to have a family of any size regardless of your economic means!


              1. Reproductive freedom means being able to have a family of any size regardless of your economic means!


                The part that pisses me off, is they are outraged when you point this out. God forbid anyone is held accountable for their actions.

                You are a piece of shit if you choose to have kids before you can provide for them. PERIOD! Cry me a river!

                1. Problem is, less intelligent people do things, like have a child, hell, three or more children, and not have a clue how they are going to support them in the long run. They really don't think things through.
                  They also tend to spend a considerable portion of their income on alcohol and/or drugs, getting DUIs, again because they don't think things through.

          3. This is probably true and a good reason why you shouldn't have a family of 4 with only one MW earner.

            If you have a family of 4 and only earn minimum wage, there are a multitude of government handouts that are also available to bridge the gap. Between SNAP, Medicaid, SCHIP, EITC, section 8, and the 15k gross salary you're earning, you should be able to raise your kids just fine.

            It won't be the most comfortable or glamorous life in the world, but you won't have to dispatch your kids to collect bottles and cans so you can afford to make gizzard stone soup on your engine block either.

            1. Gizzard stone soup on a engine block?

              You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t' mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi' his belt.

            2. "If you have a family of 4 and only earn minimum wage, there are a multitude of government handouts that are also available to bridge the gap. Between SNAP, Medicaid, SCHIP, EITC, section 8, and the 15k gross salary you're earning, you should be able to raise your kids just fine."

              And when this happens, the left screams that Walmart, McDonald's, et al, are getting SUBSIDIES from the govenment.

          4. I lived on about $700 a month in Morgantown, WV during college. Not surprisingly, I am unsympathetic to the tales of woe from people claiming to be poor.

            1. But, Derp, times have changed since 2002!

              Life is more complex. Universal themes and principles no longer apply.

              Dumb white guy you are.

        4. Newsflash Robert: How is it you're an expert on economics who can counter all those academic arguments with REALITY, but you can't get a job that pays more than minimum wage?

        5. ..lets take more from those who can most afford it, not those who can least afford it!!

          How about let's check the dictionary for the definition of "take" first.

        1. On the bright side, at least I spotted the SF'ing before Sevo did. 😉

          1. Fast fingers!

    1. You might want to carve out some time not to SF the link. :-p

    2. Linky no workee. Prolly needs more pay.

    3. Two words:

      Ro. Bots.

  13. Egypt's new draft constitution will free the military from civilian oversight.

    In their defense, the military is the only thing that works with any consistency in Egypt.

    1. Consistency is not always a good thing. Just look at Obama.

      1. Uh....I think obama's consistent failure is good. Just think what a shit mess we would be in if he didnt fuck up everything he touches and step on his own dick every three steps.

    2. The military is always and everywhere free from civilian oversight, if they want to be.

  14. Egypt's new draft constitution will free the military from civilian oversight.

    POSSE COMITATUS BITCHEZ!!!, wait, do we still have that?

      1. Posse Comitatus was racist anyways.

  15. Student killed by car crashing into classroom had, moments before, switched seats

    Lacey Gruntorad's decision to change seats with another student during a break proved fatal. She was hoping the instructor would demonstrate massage-therapy techniques on her later in the class, according to a Gilbert police report.

    Gruntorad, 22, and everyone else in the session at Spa Pima on Sept. 27 could not have possibly envisioned that a woman in her mid-80s would lose control of her car that morning, confusing the gas pedal with the brake, and that her car would race into the classroom.

    Gruntorad, seated near the front of the classroom, suffered massive injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene after she was struck by the white 2002 Infiniti luxury sedan. Another student suffered back and leg injuries, while instructor Melinda Keeling suffered a broken arm. Keeling told police that her stomach turned when she realized that Gruntorad had been killed, according to the report.

    Life is unpredictable.

    1. Man, we ought to pass a law or something, making it illegal to drive cars into classrooms and kill people.

      1. No one needs a white 2002 Infiniti luxury sedan.

        1. If she can afford that, she can sell it and turn over the money to the workers at Micky D's!

          1. ^^THIS^^

          2. This tweaks one of my nerves: that some people are so economically clueless as to thing that wealth is liquid and fungible. The truth is that most wealth is unusable by anyone but the wealthy, or depends on the wealthy to exercise it. Yachts, for example, have value only to people who can afford yachts. If you confiscated all the yachts in the world you wouldn't be able to redistribute the wealth they represent because no on else has a use for a yacht, and no one but the wealthy can afford its upkeep. At worst you're left with a rusting hulk valued only for its scrap, and at best, you give it to a fisherman who is immediately crippled by its unsuitability for fishing without expensive modifications.

            A Ferrari has no.more.inherent utility than a Cruze, and its value cannot be recovered from anyone other than a person with enough money to pay for its apparent value.

            Even investments are worthless without the wealthy because they can't be cashed out en masse without a complete unwind of the entire in the world. And if that were accomplished, everyone would be poorer for the lack of businesses able to manufacture goods for or provide services to them.

            1. In a similar vein, the tremendous 'loss of equity' that happened in the RE market in '08 was nothing of the sort.
              The PRESUMED value of my home dropped; since I wasn't selling, the actual value remains unknown.
              The only losses were taken by those who had to sell, not the majority who had no intention of doing so.
              Oh, and the claim your home was now worth less than the mortgage? So?

    2. Insert Paul Walker joke here.

      1. I was thinking of South Park's "Country Kitchen" episode.

      2. Did you hear about Paul Walker?

        He's all over the radio... and the dash, and the glovebox...

    3. could not have possibly envisioned that a woman in her mid-80s would lose control of her car that morning, confusing the gas pedal with the brake

      I do. Every single, fucking time I see a head of blue hair, barely visible above the steering wheel of a Buick.

      I get through that crosswalk, briskly.

      1. Don't ever move to Florida, Jdub.

        1. SOUTH Florida, BP, South Florida.

      2. The fact that someone who confuses the gas with the brake is allowed to drive is one of the biggest problems with public driver licensing. Elderly drivers are fucking scary. But they vote so you got to let them drive into as many windows as they want

        1. I think they should be tested every year, after 80. My dad is 91 and still drives almost every day. Scares the absolute shit out of me.

        2. I think the limit is one, actually.

    4. Ban people from switching seats.

    5. "Life is unpredictable."

      About ten years ago, during a sleepless night, I was walking around my yard smoking a cigarette. It was dead silent. No wind, no crickets, nothing.

      I heard a crack and then a funny whooshing noise over my head. I sprinted about ten steps without looking up and just in time.

      The top had broken out of a huge pecan tree and 25 feet, weighing probably a ton, of tree top landed exactly where I had been standing. It was like a wierd scene out of a movie.

      1. Me and two buddies were drinking 40s in one of their apartments when I lived in AZ and on a whim decided to go out and get some chicken wings. So, we go out to the bar, and while we're out a giant storm hits.

        We hunkered down at the bar and drank until it was over, then left. When we got back to the apartment a giant fucking tree had crashed through the roof and crushed the table and chairs we were previously sitting at. It was a fucking mess and I think at least one of us would have been seriously injured had it not been for a random buffalo wing craving.

        1. Chicken wings saved your life.

          Write a book.

          Why not? Obama fake wrote one.

      2. Ban smoking. Oh, wait.

  16. Brewing waste makes bricks better!

    Research engineers found that bricks made with 5% spent brewing grains were nearly 30% better insulators, and just as strong as traditional bricks. The improved thermal performance comes from the tiny pockets of air trapped in the clay when the grains are mixed in. Polystyrene pellets achieve the same effect, and are used in some bricks currently. But synthetics cost money to produce, while spent grains are either fed to livestock or, more often, sent to a landfill. And beer's worldwide popularity means there's a nearly limitless supply of leftovers ripe for the taking.

    Didn't the Jews figure this out in Exodus or something?

    1. I throw my spent brewing grains out in the back yard. Deer love 'em.

        1. Nah, baitin' is illegal in PA.

          1. Why? Too few deer?
            How about rodent poison? They're rats with antlers anyhow.

            1. Certainly not too few deer. I have 11 bucks running around my property along witg a bunch of doe. No idea why PA bans baiting.

              1. I've only seen two bucks where I live, and I border 1000 acres of state forest.

                1. Yeah, but if you put that gun down, they'll come out of the woods.

      1. I tried that once and it was gross so now they go down the garbage disposal. It takes a little time, but eventually it all goes down.

      2. Spent grain bread is awesome.

        1. If someone local to me wants to provide me with spent grains, I will provide them with bread. I believe you people call this division of labor, no?

    2. Can't really use bricks for much in SoCal, though.

      1. Sidewalks? I presume other uses are not earthquake friendly.

    3. I don't want any children under 21 anywhere near a fireplace using these bricks. There has to be a law.

        1. Label alcohol bricks and BAN THEM.

          1. Wait, wait. Before we ban them, there's good money to be made conducting studies about the social costs of teenage brick lickers.

            1. Now you're talking.

    4. Didn't the Jews figure this out in Exodus or something?

      I am wondering if Muslims or Mormons can use these bricks...or live in a house built with them.

    5. Im planning on making cows very happy in the South-Central KY area.

    6. Isn't beer good for making just about anything better?

    7. The down side to this is how the BATFE will weasel their way into regulation of this somehow. It involves alcohol products tangentially and they aren't making any revenue from it - yet. I can hear them salivating over this already.

  17. Dear Prudence: Help! My wife's brothers play too rough with her

    My wife and I spent Thanksgiving weekend with her family for the first time last week. I was appalled by the rowdy behavior of her two elder brothers. They just run roughshod over her and frequently use verbal jabs and physical roughness while interacting with her. One day, one brother picked her up and tossed her, fully clothed, into the swimming pool while the other laughed his head off. They have been treating her like this her whole life, so she knows no better and just laughs it off. She refuses to tell them to stop, but I do think they should, especially as we have a 1-year-old son who I don't want to see his mother being manhandled in this fashion. How can I convince her and them to stop?

    I don't know, ask the wife if she's okay with it and if she's not talk to the brothers. In other words, be a man about it?

    1. This article would be better if there was a sexual component to it.

      1. Hmm, maybe that's what's so weird about it.

      2. This article would be better if there was a sexual component to it.

        There isn't one? These guys are handling their sister in a way that most brothers* don't, seems like.

        *Brothers as in siblings. I am not a racist.

    2. Out of all the Prudence questions you've sent I think I find this one the oddest.

      1. It needs more incestuous sex. Seriously, Prudence, why even publish this fucking normie?

    3. Hard to answer without knowing the normal interaction. If the wife takes it as good natured horseplay, fuck off, who are you to tell her what she should be offended by? If it pisses her off it's another matter entirely.

    4. What a fag.

    5. How did this woman end up with such a pearl clutcher for a husband? Was she not paying attention.

    6. Obviously, the man who wrote that needs to step up and protect his woman by beating her brothers senseless. What kind of a pussy would just whine about it to some advice columnist?


  18. It's the annual Iron Bowl-related murder.

    The victim's sister provided a different account of what led to the shooting. Neketa Shepherd said her sister was an Alabama fan, but even more than Alabama, she loved The Miami Heat. After the game ended, she and her sister were joking around, not about Alabama's loss, but about the Miami Heat. Briskey, Neketa Shepherd said, apparently took their joking the wrong way and became mad that they weren't more upset over Alabama's loss.

    1. Banjos and Liberty are just lucky that Michigan failed on the 2-point conversion.

    2. When I saw that Auburn kid running with that ball, all I could think was "my God they are going to poison every tree in Southeast Alabama after this."

      1. Dammit. Harvey. That's why you don't poison both trees. You leave one tree standing as a warning, you dumbass.

        1. That is the picture of Alabama football in the 21st Century, some retard poisoning trees.

          1. Yeah, well. I can't be too high and mighty about it. I was caught up in the Cam Newton scandal just like everybody else. I was mostly pissed off from the residual anger over our recent textbook scandal.

            That being said, people like Harvey Updike make pretty damn angry. I remember when ESPN did their 30 for 30 documentary about the Alabama-Auburn rivalry. It was one of the shittiest in the series. Not only did it avoid any substantive study of the rivalry (it mostly focused on events since 2008), but it gave a microphone to Updike and Finebaum, two of the scummiest people in the state.

            1. Auburn didnt have much room to complain, considering they celebrate terrorist attacks on trains.

            2. Finebaum is a real scumbag. He runs the worst radio show in the world that does nothing but promote the absolute worst aspects of sports and then acts like he is some kind of serious journalist. God I hate that guy.

  19. The fact that France has a military never stops surprising me.

    1. Not so much a military but more of death squad specifiably designed to kill the brown natives of their former African colonies.

      1. You sure? I thought they'd run out of people to surrender to in Europe and had to go to Africa to find new ones.

  20. Sorry to post this twice in one day, but thought this could use more rage: Off-Duty KC Cop Fatally Shoots KC Firefighter Just Hours After His Wedding

    His bride, still in her dress, witnessed her new husband being shot.

    1. Comments disabled for the story?


      looks like it may have been justified.

  21. A new study claims that a quarter of teens have been involved in sexting.

    The sex offender registry is about to get a lot bigger in a hurry.

    1. Somebody call CGI Federal to fix it!

      1. If you like your freedom of association you can keep it.

  22. "Fast food workers" in around 100 cities will hold a strikes this Thursday over wages.

    You forgot the quotes.

  23. It's really long-winded, but the part that caught my eye was this:

    Ally Fogg documents another example of deliberate misuse of statistics (regarding domestic abuse), which can all too easily play into liberal verification bias if you aren't mathematically literate and thus immediately led to check or question the claim by the unusually convenient nature of the claimed result, and lack of obvious causal model?two red flags anyone who thinks more mathematically will catch right away. I found similar mathematical chicanery in Michael Shermer's inept defense of libertarian theology (I say theology sarcastically, because the Market is their God, in the same absurd way the State is for Marxists).

    1. Not surprising.
      Paul Kurtz was always good for a lefty column and he was particularly amusing in rants about how EVIL KORPORASHUNS were taking over the news outlets, even as SI went from a mimeographed pulp rag to a four-color glossy.
      I guess he was built too low to the ground; the internal contradiction flew right over his head.

    2. That is like saying the law of gravity is the physicists' god. The market is nothing but a set of laws describing human behavior. It is what it is.

      1. John, that's silly. We can't outlaw gravity, but we can outlaw the market. I mean, it never forms organically in response to issues or anything!

    3. God, reading his post about Michael Schermer vs. Massimo Pigliucci is just hurting my head because it's so fucking stupid and pointless.

  24. Race-mongering professor writes article defending herself in Gawker

    What happened to me in 2008 did not happen because I am a young, Black female faculty member at school that has over 50 percent students of color; what happened to me occurred because I turned the world backwards on an angry White male student.
    Another white male student, angry that writers had not made deadline, had thought it prudent to make a noose of his sweatshirt drawstring the fall before, to step up on the table and hang it, along with a menacing note to writers about the seriousness of deadlines. The two Black students in the room at the time protested, and asked him to take the noose down, but he didn't listen.

    When they told the faculty newspaper adviser of the incident, he told them that he was not such a big deal, that the student had not meant the noose in a racist way. And when the students finally filed a formal legal complaint against their colleague, seeking some kind of institutional acknowledgment of this trauma, they were effectively gagged by the same academic powers that have been conducting the investigation. You see, once language enters the legal realm, it no longer belongs to us?it becomes the sole property of whatever individual or institution is under its employ.

    A noose is an inherently racist symbol?

    1. "trauma". That word does not mean what you think it means.

    2. I saw a guy on TV the other day waving a Pittsburgh Steeler voodoo doll hanging from a noose on national TV. Yes, it was in Baltimore.

      1. Did you seek some kind of institutional acknowledgment of this trauma?

        1. Well, the argument has been made that Hit and Run posters should be institutionalized...

    3. That shit has been HEAVILY promoted on the Gawker front page lately.

      Me thinks that they are starting to worry about their vaunted superiority, what with the wheels coming off Obama, and reminding people that anyone who disagrees with them is RACIST is a good way to herd folks back into line.

  25. If zombies hadn't jumped the shark already...

    "The zombies are coming! And they want your iPads!" The Los Angeles Police Department presents a parody of zombie movies and reality cop shows with an important message about car burglars: Lock it, Hide it, Keep it.

    1. How typical of you, othering the differently-procuring among us.

  26. Tin-based stanene could conduct electricity with 100% efficiency

    Stanene is an example of a topological insulator, a class of materials that conduct electricity only on their outside edges or surfaces. When topological insulators are just one atom thick, their edges conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency, forcing electrons to move in defined lanes, without resistance... What's more, according to the team, when fluorine atoms are added into the atomic structures, the material could conduct electricity with perfect efficiency at temperatures as high as 100? C (210? F).

    1. Tin-based stanene could conduct electricity with 100% efficiency

      Somehow I bet this violates the laws of physics.

      1. Laws are meant to be broken, Ted.

        1. In THIS blog we respect the laws of Thermodynamics, young man!

      2. Do you have any idea how much the government spend enforcing the laws of physics?

        1. Almost as much as it spends ignoring the laws of econ?

          1. There is no amount as large as the amount the government spends ignoring the laws of econ, because that is every cent they can spend.

        2. Not as much as they spend trying to defy the laws of physics?

      3. Not necessarily. Superconductors do this. There is a difference between transmitting electricity and converting it into useful work.

      4. Uhm, that's what it means to be a superconductor (and not anything to do with trains).

      5. I don't see how, since superconductivity is old hat by now.

        1. You know, in case nobody else said it.

    2. Tin-based stanene

      So it is a conflict mineral.

      Shrike will be very upset about this.

    3. Too bad it doesn't exist.


    Eminem's latest single is as angry as you'd expect from the rapper, but the music video is decidedly sci-fi. The six-minute-clip, created for the single "Rap God," features a range of visual influences ? Eminem raps while channeling Max Headroom, for instance, and even hops through portals as if he was playing a real-life version of Valve's video game series. And the lyrics are just as nerdy, with lines like "I just bought a new ray gun from the future just to shoot you." Check it out below.

    Max Headroom? Who's Marshall Mather's target demographic: Matt Welch?

    1. 40 year old white guys who find black rappers to be too scary.

  28. Video: 'Fit Mom' Maria Kang and 'Curvy Girl' lingerie saleswoman debate fat shaming and health

    Fitness guru Maria Kang, best known as "Fit Mom," generated controversy again this week when Facebook temporarily banned her for posting "hate speech" in the form of a rant aimed at a lingerie company asking plus-sized women to post photos of themselves in lingerie to demonstrate what "real women" look like. The owner of that company and Kang squared off Saturday morning on CNN.

    Kang, who became well-known after her controversial "What's Your Excuse?" photo went viral, explained to CNN that she was "peeved" about how Chrystal Bougon's Curvy Girl Lingerie was "encouraging" obesity by asking plus-sized women to post those photographs.

    Bougon, however, explained that she reported Kang's post to Facebook and got her temporarily banned because "we do not allow any kind of shaming" or "hate speech" on her page. The pair battled over whether plus-sized pride puts self-image ahead of health, and whether you can actually gauge someone's health based on their body weight.

    We are in a bizarre place where government efforts to get people to lose weight are not fat-shaming but a single blogger is a horrible person for doing encouraging the same thing.

    1. It's not bullying if it's the government doing it.

    2. Double standards are new?

    3. Well, if I have to explain it for you... it's because the government has the right to tell you how to live your life. /derp

  29. The search for male birth control

    Keeping sperm from being ejaculated may provide the key to creating a birth control drug for men, according to a new mouse study.

    The research is far from translating to a pill that human males could pop to keep from making babies; to reach that stage, any drug would have to undergo years of testing for safety and effectiveness. Nevertheless, the study offers hope for a new method of birth control for men, the researchers said.

    "The search for a viable male contraceptive target has been a medical challenge for many years," Sabatino Ventura of Monash University in Australia

    Compared with female birth control, the male version is a biological challenge. Instead of stopping one egg, male birth control would have to stop each of the 1,500 sperm cells men produce each second. Early tests have proven hormonal methods to be clumsy, causing too many side effects. Attempts at halting the rapid production of sperm is similarly difficult, in part because a natural barrier between the blood and the testis, the site of sperm production, keeps drugs out.

    To be popular, any anti-sperm birth control method would also need to be reversible, and could not cause long-term damage to sperm cells, lest it lead to birth defects when a man did decide to have children.

    Trying to imagine who would want that.

    1. Men who don't want to knock up women who are lying about being on the pill, and who don't want to be on the hook for child support payments?

      1. Um, condoms? I mean if you are going to be fornicating with a woman you met in a bar you should be wearing protection anyway.

        But I suppose that's one way to guard against potentially crazy girlfriends that want a baby.

    2. Shoot 'em in the nuts with ultrasound!

      Would it still be morally wrong if I ran around temporarily (but repeatedly) sterilizing those I deem too incompetent to parent?

      I've offered to pay out of pokcet for three vasectomies and two tubal ligations, but nobody will take me up on it. One of the would-be vasectomies has two kids with a woman who has two kids from other dads and all were taken away by the state because she can't stop playing the xbox his sister destroyed her credit to finance, long enough to care for the kids.

      1. Would it still be morally wrong if I ran around temporarily (but repeatedly) sterilizing those I deem too incompetent to parent?

        Yes. People recover from the soreness of getting punched in the nuts, but we still recognize that as battery.

        1. ...I was kidding, Ted.

          Mostly kidding.

          Not really kidding at all, but I do know it's wrong, and as long as I know it's wrong it's OK.

    3. Trying to imagine who would want that.

      The pill has been shown to lower women's sex drive.

      So men who want a horny wife but don't want her to get pregnant.

    4. "Keeping sperm from being ejaculated may provide the key to creating a birth control drug for men..."

      Hell, that is easy. Tape an 8x10 of either Rachel Maddow or the Hildebeast to the headboard.

  30. I so love that the Brits call sweaters "jumpers"!

    1. Or the link at the bottom:

      Something about lesbian sexual fluids.

      1. Something about lesbian sexual fluids.


  31. CEO of Archie comics refutes allegations she sexually harassed coworkers, claims white men can't sue for discrimination because they aren't a protected class

    The co-CEO of Archie Comics' says she couldn't have discriminated against her underlings - because they're white men.
    In papers filed in Westchester Supreme Court, Nancy Silberkleit's lawyer says a gender discrimination lawsuit filed against her earlier this year by a group of Archie Comics employees should be tossed in part because white guys aren't members of "a protected class."
    The embattled co-CEO's filing also mocked the five employees' claim that she'd used her "gender as a weapon" by yelling "Penis! Penis! Penis!" during a business meeting.
    "Plaintiffs fail to allege that any such comments were directed at any of the plaintiffs in particular, or they could cause extreme emotional distress even if they had been," her court filings say.
    The lawyers for the plaintiffs, who include Archie president Mike Pellerito and editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick, countered that Silberkleit used the anatomical term many, many times.
    "[T]he word 'penis' became somewhat of a campaign slogan and her preferred method of referring to employees in lieu of their names," their new filing says.

    I can't comment on the merits of the lawsuit, but what a bizarre legal rebuttal.

    1. The co-CEO of Archie Comics

      The implications here are amazing. Enough people read Archie comics to support employees, management, lawyers, and the whole enchilada. Frickin' Archie!?

      1. And TWO friggin' CEO's at that.

    2. couldn't have discriminated against her underlings - because they're white men.


      Also I guess this explains the gay-married soldier plotline?

    3. Isn't sexual harrasment like... the entire plot of Archie?

      What I don't understand is how a lame-ass like Archie has two girls fighting over him... when he seems to have no appealing qualities. And he's a fucking ginger.

      1. It's like Twilight, but for Gingers.

  32. Making out with your same sex partner is radical and shit, because "the personal is the political"

    "Kissing my girlfriend in Flatbush, Brooklyn could double as an act of love and as a political act of changing the culture," reflects Courtney Baxter in her piece "Queer in Public." She explains, "By living out the personal is political mantra, we transform from invisible to visible and provide hope for our queer sisters and brothers in less tolerant nooks of the world". When we are affectionate in public, we assert that our identities are, in fact, valid. We engage in a form of community uplift that demonstrates that our relationships are not shameful."


    For a while, I unconsciously had subscribed to the notion that queer PDA was acceptable as long as it was "respectable" and fit the standards of a hetero-patriarchal moral compass (i.e- between two people and in moderation). I really had to challenge the respectability politics I had unknowingly invested in by recognizing that my PDA and the PDA I observe should not quietly settle for tolerance from the rest of the world, but rather demand acceptance. PDA and PDP are the ways that we declare the streets a space to be reclaimed.

    1. PDP? Public displays of penis?

      1. Ha, I like that we both jumped to genitals we prefer not to have lolling about in public.

        1. Eh, I can appreciate the body of both genders, albeit with different motives. If there were fewer ugly people I wouldn't have a problem with more public nudity.

          I actually just had a total brain dead moment and couldn't think of a "p" word for vagina. I should probably lose internet privileges for a few weeks for that one. Or maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something...

    2. A) What is PDP? Public Displays or Pussy?

      B) Fuck off, respect the people around you hold hands if you want to hold hands and snog a bit on the stoop at the end of a date where appropriate. Otherwise do freaky things in your bedroom or the bushes of public parks as god intended.

      1. Social justice will not happen until the day a queer, gender fluid couple can engage in non-heteronormative sexual behavior in a public space without any complaints from privileged cisgender people.

        1. Can't we just scale back zoning restrictions on places where people can publicly have public sexytimes in private? Would that not be enough for Courtney Baxter? No, of course it wouldn't be. Fuck her (not literally, or in public though).

      2. I'm going to hazard it's Public Displays of Passion, when Affection just isn't enough to change the heteronormative views of the people around you.

        1. Promiscuity.

          By having gay sex in the streets, you're reclaiming them. Somehow.

    3. So, for those unclear with what PDP means... it means fucking in the streets.

      From the article:

      Rio Pride meant seeing many people not only kissing in the streets, but also having sex and being extremely intimate in public; and, in spite of my general reactions to PDA, I found myself repulsed by this openness of sexuality. Initially, I could not fathom the beauty of fucking in the street until a Brazilian friend explained to me that public displays of promiscuity (let's call it PDP), especially in the street, is not just a glorified form of "sluttishness" ? even though there is nothing wrong with being a slut if one chooses. She taught me that PDP, as well as PDA, is a form of militancy.

      1. One commenter thinks that's okay, though, because hetronormativity and big words:

        Of course it's disingenuous of the mainstream to claim that public space should be kept non-sexual. The distorted lens of heteronormative sexuality keeps most people from noticing it, but heterosex is thrust upon and within us all over the place, often gratuitously and explicitly, without anyone worrying about the consent issues at stake when thus interpellating us. "Think of the children" only comes up when the issue is what KIND of sex is displayed. So it's understandable that GLBT cultures often tend toward the radically frank exhibition as a way of claiming back some of that sexualized public space for ourselves.

        If we are to wring our hands about PDP, let us be honest in including a critique of the wanton sexuality paraded by straight people with as much stress. We should not be too quick to reject one of the few ways we resist accession to the wholesale capture of public human space by the hetero hegemony.


        [Something about how this okay at Carnival, and in "Saturnalia" moments]. In this light, excessive Pride PDP should worry us as a barometer for how repressed our actual quotidian lives are. When Pride becomes orgiastic, it potentially indicates that our quotidian public spaces are not permissive enough. It is an indictment of how much we still must fear indulging even the most chaste, casual, loving PDA when going about our days.

        1. I agree with his starting point and disagree vehemently with his end point. There is a tendency for people to assume that really mundane behavior by gay people is inherently more sexual than the same mundane behavior performed by straight people. It has faded quite a bit recently as people have become more familiar and comfortable with gay couples, but even this Thursday Austrian Anarchy referred to a gay couple showing up at a B&B and being married as "making a habit of advertising their sexual bond to all who may see" so it isn't quite dead yet.

          Straight folks can say "Here are my four children" which implies that they've fucked their wives at least four times without anyone batting an eyelash, but I can say "This is my boyfriend Will" and be told that I should "keep [my] sex life to [myself]."

          And yes, I've actually been told that on introducing a boyfriend to a family friend.

          1. So if - for the sake of argument - both my boys were conceived via in vitro should I make it clear that my wife and I did not fuck to produce them? Should I be required to explain that my wife only helped me ejaculate and in what way?

            I equally reject the idea that people have the right to be horrified when they mentally "go there" as I do the idea that people have the right to make "there" become anywhere.

            1. So if - for the sake of argument - both my boys were conceived via in vitro should I make it clear that my wife and I did not fuck to produce them? Should I be required to explain that my wife only helped me ejaculate and in what way?

              I'm sorry if it came across that I was advocating a ban of all discussion of sexually implicit speech in public, that was not my intent. My intent was to point out that straight folks encode their sex lives into common speech all the time without it being a big deal (rightly). I am in agreement that this goes on and nobody cares.

              I only care when someone responds to a gay couple showing up with matching wedding bands and it's described as "making a habit of advertising their sexual bond to all who may see" which is asinine if you think about that being used to describe a straight couple.

              If you have a problem with straight couples holding hands because that's the level of PDA that you feel is inappropriate then feel free to have a problem with gay couples holding hands, but claiming that gay couples are including you in their sex lives just because you know that they are a couple is hypocritical if you consider how frequently straight couples do the same thing without notice.

              1. Sorry - I forgot to add the context that my wife is obviously a different race from me (thought I'd been around here long enough for that to be known). So I somewhat expect some people have that internal reaction to seeing us because they can't resist imagining what our intamacy would look like. This is what I imagine the root of the problem those same people have with gay PDA.

                For the record I have a gay step-brother and have no issues hanging out with him and his partner - even in the (SF) bay area where people around us might not know which two of us are the couple.

              2. Encode their sex lives? By saying 'these are my kids'? Did you really just write that? Do you really believe that?

                If so, ask yourself if you can't seriously tell why straights think gay people are overfocussed on sex.

        2. "... heterosex is thrust upon and within us..."

          That sounds like a lot of thrusting.

          1. Not to Warty it isn't

      2. Because Rio Pride and your neighborhood on a Tuesday are the same thing... People go to Rio Pride, Mardis Gras*, Folsom Street Fair, Southern Decadence, or Sydney Mardis Gras KNOWING they're going to encounter people buggering each other on street corners. Those spaces are temporarily coded for it and then go back to being normal (well, maybe not Bourbon St.) after the event ends.

        *I included one for you heteronormative types, y'all need to get more active about organizing.

        1. Jesse, if I'm not allowed to go to work in a Gimp suit, I'm clearly being oppressed. And white, straight men are to blame!

          1. I thought you worked in a gimp suit?

    4. Couples who make out in public, be they straight, gay, ghost and horse, whatever, are just annoying. The reason they're annoying has a little to do with the making out, but mostly arises from their attention whoring. The groping and exaggerated kissing is not complete unless they believe someone nearby is watching. I don't want to be a part of your make out session, you creepy little dweebs. I won't stop you, but I will make loud commentary about your technique.

      1. for god's sake, get a room!

  33. Brutalism and Abudance: The Paradox of Known as Grad School

    There are many reasons for me to think and believe that I live in a time of severe scarcity?the lack of jobs at my school, my growing student loan debt, a ridiculously overpriced rental housing market, and the lack of queer spaces in Chicago. Oh yeah, and the scarcity of trans* people! This city is so damn sprawling. Even if there are lots of trans* people, I can rarely find them.

    On the other hand, I know that abundance is all around me. Queer spaces "pop up" regularly if only for one night a month or so, and I've found some amazing queer organizations with brilliant projects on which to work. Although I have yet to be paid for my summer job, I have a new source of funding at school. For now. Most importantly, I have so many friends, family, colleagues, and mentors that have loaned me money, shared their homes, their meals, their books, their ideas, and other assorted stuff. I am rich with friendship, love, and support.

    1. Continued...

      Trans* attempts, but always ultimately fails, to capture a wildly slippery and fluid set of meanings?gender-fabulous meanings--across various times and spaces that have very little to do with drugs and alcohol and HIV. Even at a single community event on "trans*" healthcare that I hosted with Rebecca Kling last March, various participants made it clear that "trans" is not a label that applies to all of us who are assumed to fall under the "trans" umbrella. Whether it's gender non-conforming, stud, mahu, genderqueer, Two Spirit, trans man, MTF, woman/man, andro, they/she/zie/ and so on, these words have meanings and cannot necessarily be reduced to "trans" or even "trans*" or "queer." This question of decolonizing trans* is one with no end point (though you should look out for an upcoming 2014 issue of Trans Studies Quarterly, entitled "Decolonizing Trans"). For me, I think of it as similar to "being" an ally; decolonizing trans* is a process and a project to strive for but that may never end.

      1. Decolonizing?

        Does that involve a colostomy bag?

    2. Maybe the trans* people are avoiding you because you always have your hand out.

      1. Or you keep calling them 'trans*'.

  34. Socialism

    Maduro's critics...say the country's soaring inflation results from currency controls imposed during Chavez's rule that pegged the Venezuelan bolivar at the unrealistic rate of 6.3 to the U.S. dollar. With the greenback now in high demand, but in chronically short supply, its value on the black market has shot to nine or 10 times the official rate, wreaking havoc with the economy.
    Forced to purchase imported goods at the lofty black-market rate, merchants say they have had no choice but to hike their prices, often by wide margins.

    Meanwhile, the gaping disparity between the official exchange rate and its black-market counterpart has spawned a massive wave of profiteering.
    According to a recent report in The Los Angeles Times, Venezuelans with the means to do so now simply hop a flight to Miami or Lima, where they can use their credit cards to acquire U.S. dollars at the official rate. They then fly home to sell those dollars on the thriving black market for a nine- or 10-fold profit.

    Just think: a purchase of $3,000 (U.S.) in Lima will cost a Venezuelan credit-card holder just 18,900 bolivares. Back in Caracas, those same U.S. dollars can be sold on the mercado negro for up to 180,000 bolivares.
    The profits are so enticing, and so easy, that air travel out of the Venezuelan capital is now all but impossible.

    1. The profits are so enticing, and so easy, that air travel out of the Venezuelan capital is now all but impossible.

      So the government has restricted air-travel to protect their control of the currency?

      Or are air travel flights not meeting the new demand created by this?

      1. Last time I flew there it was on Santa Barbara, a Venezuelan airline. Chavez refused to let any US airlines land there. The only other airline was Aerepostale, also Venezuelan.

        The black market rate for dollars has been much much higher than the official rate for a few years now. But things are really getting out of hand.

    2. So, how long until companies just start refusing to export products to Venezuela? Or demanding a straight "oil for stuff" system?

      Has to be soon, right?

      1. I'm amazed that banks/Visa/Mastercard outside Venezuela are accepting Bolivars.

  35. I find it amusing that Reason is writing articles mentioning libertarianism's "women problem" when Reason and its commenters are firmly in the "hedonist well-off Straight White Male" part of libertarianism.

        1. Djambi, the chocolate icing!

    1. Wrong. Some have monocles

    2. What the fuck is a hedonist well-off Straight White Male? And can jesse get a piece of it?

      1. If I'm getting a piece of it and it's identifying as "straight", it is going to bring along the trait "emotional train wreck" and "flaky" with it.

        1. I figured with the hedonist part, maybe he's not really straight-straight.

          1. I figured with the hedonist part, maybe he's not really straight-straight.

            Good call.

            Winston, break me off a piece of that. Pronto.

    3. Maybe I'm nitpicking but why is 'Straight White Male' capitalized?

      1. Because SWMs rule the world?

        1. Not in my family growing up they did. My mother and her wooden spoon did.

          1. Mother and her wooden spoon (or culture specific equivalent: la chancla et al) has ALWAYS ruled the world.

      2. Shh. You're supposed to ignore it when she lets the mask slip.

  36. You know I HATE to admit it when Epi is right, but damn are the Gawkerites animists

    They got pissy about Bloomberg not being at the MTA crash site, and when someone pointed out that his presence wouldn't do a lot of good, here was the response:

    It's just basic 'captain of the ship' of state stuff. When stuff goes down it's traditional for leaders to make a showing and look sufficiently somber and make a show of working the issue, whether it's to make sure it doesn't happen again or to simply led the community in the ritual of mourning. Him not being there send the signal that he could not care less or that he has more important things to do. At least that's how I've seen appropriate leadership.


    First, he chose to run for mayor and all its ensuing duties, which means being on duty 24/7/365 when an emergency happens. Second, at the very least, he could project an air of calm and remind people that we can pull through tragedies by coming together as a community. Third, neither you nor I know what the mayor does and does not know about such situations and how much help he could be in such situations but we do know that mayor decided he didn't need to help. Fourth, it's his damn job.

    If the Chief isn't there, how will the Thunder Gods know that we have properly atoned?!

    1. You Know Who Else led the Community?

      1. Besides Dan Harmon that is...

      2. Dean Pelton?

      3. The Governor?

      4. Rudy Giuliani? Don't think they'd approve of him either.

    2. Every time a politician gets on TV after a disaster or other tragedy, the absolute last thing I think is "leader." More like "opportunist," "grandstander," or "attention whore."

      There are people out there who honestly believe they need a leader to "lead the community" in "ritual[s]." I have never, and will never understand them, but I will continue to pity them.

  37. More fuel for the mommy wars (read - bleeding vaginas want to bitch about something): Caroline Berg Eriksen.

    "This is not a selfie. This is an act of war," writes one Australian blogger in response to the image

    Words fail me.

    1. One Australian blogger calls for Milkshake Surge in war on fat shaming. News at 11.

    2. I want her to murder my penis.

    3. Course it's an act of war. Pregnancy is one of the venerable fattie excuses for blimping out (along with: ye old hormone problems, I have bad genes,and I don't eat that much really). Every woman who shows that there's absolutely no need to pack on 80+ lbs per kid is letting the cat out of the bag.

    4. Oh, jesus, despite what "real" women say, gaining shit tons of weight, getting horrendous stretch marks and losing all muscle tone is not automatic with childbirth. You can actually eat properly and exercise throughout pregnancy and not use the baby as an excuse to let it all go to hell.

  38. Maybe there is some racial or metabolic component to differences in how some women gain weight during pregnancy but my wife actually lost a couple pounds (she was trim to begin with) in the period between conception and post-natal. Her swimming and Yoga routine must have also given her perfect abdominal musculature for childbirth - our firstborn took her about 20 minutes to push out after the water broke.

    I cannot accept that a woman has to blimp out just because they have added the title "mommy". Some Japanese women do it but it is definitely the exception.

    And to be fair, I don't accept that dudes need to almost double their body weight between the years of 15 and 50. Adding muscle is a good and useful thing but growing the gut one belt notch every couple years is just not healthy.

    1. I've had five babies and I still only weigh 125. Gaining (and keeping) weight solely because of pregnancy is unadulterated bullshit. 7-8 lb baby plus fluids and etc at term should be about 25 lbs and all that should go away within a month or so.

  39. OK so instead of making 20 Billion dollars, they only make 12 billion dollars, is that not enough? I am SICK of corporate Americas GREED!

    1. Clearly LimpoSimpo needs to beat your ass into line.

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