A.M. Links: Both Parties To Strategize Around Obamacare in 2014, House Debates New Benghazi Report, Ted Cruz Working on Renouncing Canadian Citizenship

|

Credit: Gage Skidmore
  • Both parties intend to focus on Obamacare in 2014. Republicans want to keep the spotlight on its shortcomings. The White House, Democratic lawmakers and advocacy organizations, on the other hand, are launching a campaign this week to highlight real-life success stories under the law.
  • The Obama administration says December Obamacare customer sign-ups surged, pushing enrollment past the 1 million mark.
  • The House Intelligence Committee on Sunday debated a new report that concludes Al Qaeda played no role in the Benghazi terror attack.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has hired lawyers to help him get rid of his Canadian citizenship.
  • Syria will likely miss its agreed-upon year-end deadline for moving its most deadly chemical weapons from the country.
  • Michael Hayden, the former head of the NSA and the CIA, said in an interview that Edward Snowden is a pretty swell guy. Just kidding, he called him a traitor.

Get Reason.com and Reason 24/7 content widgets for your websites.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to sign up for Reason's daily updates for more content.

NEXT: Syria To Miss Chemical Weapons Deadline

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

    1. Hello.

      How ’bout that Pack-Bears game?

      1. After further review, the Bears still suck.

      2. I am not looking forward to seeing Kaepernick carve up the Packers’ awful defense next Sunday, but I am content to enjoy yesterday’s victory for now.

        That said, the Packers almost beat the 49ers on the road week 1; I think it’s going to be a good game.

        1. Amazing they did made it without Rodgers for most of the season. Trestman revamped the offense but needs to tinker with that defense. Yikes.

          The Eagles squeezed by but are in.

          1. As an Eagles fan used to crushing disappointment, I was totally expecting a loss. Thankfully Tony Romo went into the last drive wearing Orton’s jersey.

            1. As a Canadian Eagles fan, for the first time in a while, I was expecting a win. Orton was surprisingly decent.

  1. The Obama administration says December Obamacare customer sign-ups surged, pushing enrollment past the 1 million mark.

    Half as many fake Twitter followers Michelle was able to gather.

    1. I believe that is less than 1/3 of what they predicted by the end of the year.

      And that’s not even breaking it down by

      (a) who paid, and

      (b) who had health insurance in 2013, and so doesn’t count as someone who got insurance because of ObamaCare.

      What was the final tally on people who had their policies cancelled, anyway?

      1. What was the final tally on people who had their policies cancelled, anyway?

        What difference at this point does that make?

  2. Michael Hayden, the former head of the NSA and the CIA, said in an interview that Edward Snowden is a pretty swell guy. Just kidding, he called him a traitor.

    When a weakened NSA and a diminished Bill of Rights battle it out, who wins? Edward Snowden’s traitorous ego, that’s who!

  3. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has hired lawyers to help him get rid of his Canadian citizenship.

    His old man dares Obama to do the same with Kenya.

    1. Why can’t he just publicly renounce it?

      1. “to help him get rid of his Canadian citizenship.”

        Harsh.

        1. Canada’s #1 national sport is ice hockey. (Go Czech Republic, even if that was a brutal mowing down a referee.)

          Canada’s #2 national sport is America-bashing. πŸ™‚

          1. I motion to make ‘America bashing’ our official national sport alongside Lacrosse!

            Canada couldn’t beat the Czechs. Not good. Germany impressively beating the Czechs this morning. USA is cruising and will likely win the group.

            1. They got the pity point for losing the skills competition, though.

              (As a Devils fan, I fucking hate the shootout. And the Marty Brodeur Memorial Trapezoid.)

              1. The pity point would be fine if they just went to a 3 point system (3 for Reg and OT wins, 2 for SO win, 1 for SO loss).

                I wasn’t a huge fan of the shootout until the Devils became absurdly good at it for Kovalchuk’s only good season. Now I’m back to hating it. Hell, at this point the Devils should just pull the goalie when there’s less than 45 seconds left in OT.

          2. What about Curling, where does that fit in the pantheon of Canadian national sports?

      2. I tried to renounce my Turkish citizenship and failed.

        I failed to navigate the byzantine bureaucracy. *I* might consider myself not a citizen of Turkey, but the Turkish government has different ideas.

        1. Try getting rid of Polish citizenship – you have to petition the President. Who refuses. And Poland doesn’t recognise dual citizenship. Leading to this bullshit

          1. Man, getting rid of the stench of Poland, and Turkey sounds like it’s worse than BO. It’s BBO.

          2. “Because Polish citizenship is determined by the citizenship of a Polish parent – without any explicit limitation for the number of generations elapsed abroad for descendants of Polish emigrants – this may create problems for individuals of Polish descent born abroad who, in spite of having no ties to Poland, are nevertheless subject to all obligations of Polish citizenship,….”

            Wow. How many people of Polish descent are there in the US?

            1. how far does it go? My one of great-grandfathers was Polish.

            2. I think most of them came over pre-1918, so they didn’t have Polish citizenship to bequeath to their descendants like a less pleasant congenital syphilis.

            3. Meanwhile it’s damn impossible to get an Italian passport. The rules are seemingly arbitrary.

              1. If you get citizenship in any EU country, I think you can live and work pretty much anywhere else in EU.

              2. Meanwhile it’s damn impossible to get an Italian passport. The rules are seemingly arbitrary.

                This describes literally everything pertaining to the Italian government.

        2. A US Vice Consul in Toronto once told me that citizenship is not so much something you choose but something that a country imposes on you.

          1. citizenship is not so much something you choose but something that a country imposes on you.

            Which is how any government, even the bestest freest most libertarianest one in the world, should look at it, because the state necessarily imposes restrictions and authority on all its citizens.

            Of course most governments think you should consider yourself lucky to be abused at their hands; including the US – which is why if one wants to renounce their US citizenship – they need not explain why, as no one cares, but they must pay.

            1. It occurred to me at the time (late 70s) that this was something I was not likely to hear from a representative of any other government in the world. Now that i think about it I doubt I’d hear it from a US vice-Consul (pr any other US government employee) today.

      3. One does not simply quit Canada. Cruz is destined to bow down before the queen until he can cut the ties with the ceremonial puck drop and syrup purge.

        1. “Why do you wish to renounce your Canadian citizenship, sir, Cruz is it, eh?”

          “I want to be ‘Murican.”

          “What are you talkin’ boot, eh? We have universal health care and kick ass hockey!”

          “I want to be President of ‘Murica!”

          “We don’t think we can let that happen, eh. Because, you know, health care. Who’s gonna take care of ya down there, sir, eh?”

          “Just renounce my god damn citizenship you fucking yokel hosers! And stop trying to give me those ‘I heart universal health care’ tuques!”

          “That’s not polite, eh, sir? Here, have a beer and doughnut. From Timmie’s! Maybe you can win something with the ‘Roll up to win!” contest.”

          “No!”

          “Canadian Tire money?”

          “Fuck off.”

          “Very good, sir. Canada, well, is like Hotel California. You can check in anytime you like but you can never leave. Ha, ha. Now kiss the Queen.”

          1. LOL that was great. You just need to find a way to work bagged milk in there.

            1. Bagged milk. Hilarious. It’s true I never saw that in American grocery stores.

              1. Bagged milk does exist commercially all over the US though – for instance order a glass of milk in almost all fast food restaurants and many non-fast food ones, and it’s dispensed from a dispenser which holds 5 gallon bag of milk (and/or chocolate milk).

                Same is true with ice cream, though the machine freezes it and the bag is filled with cream, not milk, but it’s bagged and liquid before it comes out of the dispenser and is served.

            2. Bagged…milk…? Is this something I want to know about?

  4. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has hired lawyers to help him get rid of his Canadian citizenship.

    Now he just needs to find a doctor to reattach his flapping head.

  5. Shopping for Spy Gear: Catalog Advertises NSA Toolbox

    This, at least, is the impression gained from flipping through the 50-page document. The list reads like a mail-order catalog, one from which other NSA employees can order technologies from the ANT division for tapping their targets’ data. The catalog even lists the prices for these electronic break-in tools, with costs ranging from free to $250,000.

    In the case of Juniper, the name of this particular digital lock pick is “FEEDTROUGH.” This malware burrows into Juniper firewalls and makes it possible to smuggle other NSA programs into mainframe computers. Thanks to FEEDTROUGH, these implants can, by design, even survive “across reboots and software upgrades.” In this way, US government spies can secure themselves a permanent presence in computer networks. The catalog states that FEEDTROUGH “has been deployed on many target platforms.”

    1. Recall the DMCA travesty passed by Republicans and signed into law by Clinton outlawed any attempt at hacking and system unless you had academic reasons or job duty reasons (such as working in IT security).

      At the time I recall the loudest and most obvious complaint was reducing the number of people testing security systems will not increase security.

      Almost 20 years later and I think it’s likely this provision was put into this bill at the request of the intelligence community for the sole purpose of allowing them more monopolistic control over hacking in general.

      After all, many of us complained this wouldn’t increase security; but what if the goal was actually the opposite – to actively decrease security as a way to increase their chances at success in the future?

      At this point – it wouldn’t surprise me at all – leave it to the US government to take the best technological advancements in recent history, the internet and cell phones, both of which work to make the world “smaller”, and destroy everyone’s faith in using them.

      Their next goal – destroy everyone’s faith in using banks or hotels or anything which may keep that company to keep a record of the transaction so as to not lose one’s privacy based upon that stellar SCOTUS logic of “you mentioned it to someone else, therefore it’s not longer private”…

  6. Syria will likely miss its agreed-upon year-end deadline for moving its most deadly chemical weapons from the country.

    Obama to Pentagon: “Start your bomb run. Or don’t. Whichever. I’ll be on the links. Let me know how it all turns out.”

    1. No sarcasm. Didn’t I read they were all destroyed a few weeks ago?

      1. IIRC, it was the *unfilled* munitions that were destroyed.

        1. Why would they bother with unfilled munitions first? So dumb. I wonder if they make a good thermos?

            1. So you’re saying the actual weapons were not as apocalyptically dangerous as we were led to believe with the line in the sand and whatnot.

  7. The Obama administration says December Obamacare customer sign-ups surged, pushing enrollment past the 1 million mark.

    So are those:

    a). People who have added plans to their shopping cart
    b). People who have actually signed up, but not made a payment
    or
    c). People who have actually enrolled.

    I’m guessing not c).

    1. They probably confused it with the number of unique visitors

    2. And how many enrolled versus went on Medicaid?

      1. Steer as many into Medicaid as possible. Single payer, here we come!

    3. I suppose the administration will present the official numbers sometime next year.

      1. Yes, sometime after the mid-term elections.

        1. Exactly. The *revised* numbers, anyway.

          1. The ‘unexpectedly’ low revised numbers.

  8. Unintended Consequences: How NSA Revelations May Lead to Even More Surveillance
    …For example, just weeks ago, and shortly after a high level French ex-intelligence official was quoted as saying essentially that “we don’t resent NSA, we simply envy them!” France passed legislation legalizing a vast range of repressive domestic surveillance practices.

    News stories immediately proclaimed this to be an enormous expansion of French spying. But observers in the know noted that in reality this kind of surveillance had been going on by the French government for a very long time — the new legislation simply made it explicitly legal.

    And therein is the key. Counterintuitively perhaps, once these programs are made visible they become vastly easier to expand under one justification or another, because you no longer have to worry so much about the very existence of the programs being exposed….

  9. Woman stabs man with ceramic squirrel for failing to buy beer for Christmas Day

    Deputies say the man claimed that Williams was so angry when he returned without beer because shops were closed on Christmas Eve that she grabbed a ceramic squirrel, beat him in the head, then stabbed him in the shoulder and chest.

    1. Chicks get violent when they don’t get their bling.
      http://bustedlocals.com/ohio-w…..-for-xmas/

      1. This is why there are no female libertarians….

      2. He’s a moron and she’s a crazy bitch, they sound perfect for each other.

  10. The House Intelligence Committee on Sunday debated a new report that concludes Al Qaeda played no role in the Benghazi terror attack.

    Report? You mean the NYTimes kicking off the Hillary campaign early?

  11. …This then may be the ultimate irony in this surveillance saga. Despite the current flood of protests, recriminations, and embarrassments — and even a bit of legal jeopardy — intelligence services around the world (including especially NSA) may come to find that Edward Snowden’s actions, by pushing into the sunlight the programs whose very existence had long been dim, dark, or denied — may turn out over time to be the greatest boost to domestic surveillance since the invention of the transistor.

    By creating pressures for a publicly acknowledged, commercially operated, “privatized” but government mandated data collection and retention regime, the ease with which new categories of long-sought data could be added to this realm — especially in the wake of a terrorist attack that could be used as an ostensible justification — seems significant to say the least.

    Without having to worry so much about surreptitious programs being discovered, the government can concentrate on making its public case for the mandated retention of ever more forms of data — which is already typically being collected in the course of business — while vastly reducing or eliminating firms’ flexibility to delete and destroy such data on a more rapid and privacy-friendly schedule.

    This would be a true privacy tragedy….

    1. Sorry, that was meant to be a reply to the article above, extending the quote.

      1. Well, copy it up there. Otherwise it’s confusing.

        1. At least he apologizes for not threading properly. πŸ˜‰

  12. Slate manages to squeeze past the 900 lb gorilla in the phone booth…

    Cocaine Is Evil: The gruesomeness of the drug trade rivals any atrocities in history

    So yes, I say that paying for coke is equivalent to donating to the Nazi party. The unspoken thing here is that the reason Americans aren’t more outraged or guilt-ridden is that the people dying are poor brown people?many of them in a tragic irony are classified as narcos so governments can claim it’s just gang-on-gang violence.

    Not one single word about how prohibition makes the drug trade so lucrative and violent.

    1. Drug prohibition is not intended to make the trade lucrative and violent. How could that possibly be the result if it wasn’t the intent?

      1. Over 250,000 people were killed last year in the illicit insulin trade.

    2. I suppose you think that the only reason WW2 was so messy is because Europe wouldn’t stand aside to let Hitler through.

    3. Paging Masturbating Meth Guy:

      The 6 Most Bizarrely Offensive Comic Book Supervillains
      #3. Snowflame — Powers Up by Snorting Cocaine

      …Snowflame belongs to the latter category: He’s a Colombian drug lord/DC Comics supervillain, which would be a weird enough sentence if he didn’t also happen to get his superpowers from ingesting the same white powder he sells. Doing coke makes Snowflame stronger, impervious to pain, and susceptible to bouts of spontaneous disco dancing, apparently….

      1. Sounds like a high-functioning addict.

        1. Masturbating Meth Guy, not Snowflame.

    4. At least Slate’s commenters are taking him to task for his silly arguments:

      Jimcat 1 hour ago
      Most clueless line in a head-shaking article: “The Americans I know who indulge in cocaine are not bad people.”

      What the hell is wrong with you? If you do cocaine, you are a bad person. Period. End of story.

      1. And they have the standard issue ONDCP shill assigned to them as well:

        opus512 1 hour ago
        @Retired UN Helicopter Pilot So you think cocaine should be legal? And heroin as well? Maybe LSD and crack and ecstasy? You think that ALL drugs should be legal for any reason?

        1. this prompted me to see if an old favourite website is still running. It’s not, but this message appears offering the domain name for sale:

          Australia is a long way from Paris, but VirtualCrack.com is in the busiest and most upscale part of the internet.

      2. Cocaine automatically transforms you into Tony Montana.

        1. You say that like its a bad thing. I mean, he had terrible taste in women, but other than that, not bad.

        2. Loved the original ‘Scarface’ film from the 30s.

        3. 49ers Tony Montana, or sad KC Chiefs Tony Montana? Either way, I love him on Criminal Minds.

    5. I say that paying for coke is equivalent to donating to the Nazi party.

      All Godwin analogies are imperfect. Some analogies are useful to illustrate a point. Some are rhetorical sophistry intended to deceive. Most Godwin analogies are just stupid. One can’t know the whether this analogy is of the second or third category without knowing the background of the writer, and his motivation to write the article.

      1. RTFA as he takes more than a full paragraph to explain that he really, really, really means these people are equivalent to Nazi supporters.

        Therefore, no real need to inquire nor guess about his motivations, as he made clear in the article that he wasn’t using this as a rhetorical device.

    6. So Slate’s published position is Obama, at the very least, was just as a bad as any Nazi supporter?

  13. Americans on Wrong Side of Income Gap Run Out of Means to Cope

    Government policies also play a role. The Treasury Department, for instance, taxes capital gains racked up by the wealthy on the sale of shares, bonds and other assets at about half the rate of ordinary income. The top 1 percent captured 95 percent of the gains in incomes in the first three years of the recovery, based on analysis of tax returns by Saez.

    Those less well-off, meanwhile, are running out of ways to cope. The percentage of working-age women who are in the labor force steadily climbed from a post-World War II low of 32 percent to a peak of 60.3 percent in April 2000, fueling a jump in dual-income households and helping Americans deal with slow wage growth for a while. Since the recession ended, the workforce participation rate for women has been in decline, echoing a longer-running trend among men. November data showed 57 percent of women in the labor force and 69.4 percent of men.

  14. Fourteen years of fun
    That’s the choice that the average attractive young woman faces at 18. Fourteen years of fun or a family life…

    …I just wanted to make things clear I didn’t “sleep around.” Most of my relationships have been long term I have only been with 18 guys…

    1. I have only been with 18 guys….

      That can’t be very long-term then.

      1. For that generation anything longer than a one night stand is long term.

    2. This is tempting me again to lock my daughter in her bedroom from ages 12-30.

    3. I know a girl woman who is a serial monogamist. In the 14 years I’ve known here, she’s had … 10-11 boyfriends – that I know of. Doesn’t include one night stands. The last six years have been with the same one, so I suppose she’s “settled” down. And even then, she told me that considered herself damaged goods so she finally decided to live with this final chump because she can’t do any better.

        1. In the biblical sense?

          1. only minor league stuff – drunken kisses.

      1. Sounds like one lucky guy

    4. At my age getting an arranged marriage or finding another Indian man to marry me is out of the question.

      Seems like she should stop being a RACIST and shop around more.

      1. Oddly she complains some about the white guys she dated wanting a white wife just before saying that she wants an Indian husband.

        1. Sounds like a good fuckbuddy relationship: everyone is clear there’s no matrimonial expectation.

          1. I was just pointing out the hypocrisy about her complaining about it.

    5. When it comes to having a relationship I would like to marry an Indian guy, mainly because there are a lot of parts to my culture that I hold dear and don’t want to give up. I love Indian food, love the prayers the ceremonies, the weddings, the closeness of family.

      You have to give up Indian food if you marry a non-Indian?

      1. You don’t have to ‘give up anything’ when you marry outside your culture.

        If anything absorb and incorporate.

        1. Also, people who ‘give up’ their culture had a tenuous attachment to it to begin with.

      2. If you marry me, you do.

        1. You control what your wife eats?

          1. When it comes to Indian food, yes.

            No wife, yet, either, but the fiance (sp?) despises it too.

            1. Two e’s, unless you’re marrying a dude (NTTTAWWT).

              1. Nope. I cant remember which is one e and which is 2.

                1. It’s a French derivative; one e for male and two for female.

    6. From the comments

      8to12 said ….She isn’t picky. She would take “take anyone as long as they were kind respectful. Around my income level and were fit.”

      The last one is going to be a major problem for her. I can’t find the figure for individuals, but only about 11% of HOUSEHOLDS make over 100k a year (which I assume includes two income households). I believe the number for single men who make over 100k is around 5%.

      So she has eliminated 95% of men based on income. How many of the remaining 5% are as physically fit as she is? Let’s be generous and say half. So she has limited her options to 2.5% of all single men.

      And how many of that 2.5% of men (in great shape; make lots of money; essentially can get any woman they want) have “aging carousel riding spinster” at the top of their list? Or even on their list at all?

      1. I can’t find the figure for individuals, but only about 11% of HOUSEHOLDS make over 100k a year (which I assume includes two income households). I believe the number for single men who make over 100k is around 5%.

        Man, my current social circle has really warped my view of what is normal. I would not have guessed it was nearly that low.

        1. Same here.

          My circle of friends earn waaaayyyy above that. Way.

    7. Eh, I don’t want to hear it.

      She’s not going to get a Brad Pitt look alike but assuming she looked even remotely human she could walk into any Comic Book Store in America and have a Husband who would be completely devoted to her inside of 6 months.

      Sure, she’ll probably have to learn to COSplay and deal with some childish traits but if she chooses well she’ll land someone with a job in IT who earns good money and is terrified of girls so He’ll never look anywhere else

  15. Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward

    Do financial speculators and commodity index funds drive up prices of oil and other essentials, ultimately costing consumers? Since 2006, Mr. Pirrong has written a flurry of influential letters to federal agencies arguing that the answer to that question is an emphatic no. He has testified before Congress to that effect, hosted seminars with traders and government regulators, and given countless interviews for financial publications absolving Wall Street speculation of any appreciable role in the price spikes.

    What Mr. Pirrong has routinely left out of most of his public pronouncements in favor of speculation is that he has reaped financial benefits from speculators and some of the largest players in the commodities business, The New York Times has found.

    1. Headline: Academics who Defend Climate Change Reap Reward

      Headline: Journalists who Defend Government Expansion Reap Reward

      I could go on and on. But I’m just kidding. No way would you ever read those headlines.

      Also, does it matter whether Pirrong is correct or not?

      Nope. Not in bizarro world of the NYT.

      Final headline: People who Defend NYT as News Source Usually Misinformed

      1. Headline: Economists Who Defend Fed’s QE Reap Reward

    2. He’s wrong because he made profits! Who cares what he actually said. He made profits!

  16. Social workers take children from families who overfeed them

    Increasingly social workers find youngsters being fed a high-fat, sugary diet, … known as “killing with kindness” because the child craves the unhealthy food and a loving parent feels unable to say no.

    It seems there may be analogies to “government benefits” and “presidential assurances” and “mainstream media support”, but I can’t quite put my finger on them.

    1. From comments: “If they don’t also sterilize the parents, they are just going to procreate more, aren’t they? Society should require a LICENSE to procreate a child, and the license should only be issued to people who are mentally, emotionally and financially prepared to raise and support children.”

      Evil. David is just an evil, stupid, evil prick.

      The government: The destroyers of families.

      1. Freedom is asking permission.

        /statist

  17. stabby stabby.

    South Carolina woman stabs fianc? over wedding color scheme

    Richland County deputies say a 34-year-old woman stabbed her fianc? on Christmas Day after they argued over what colors should be used in their wedding.

    Investigators say the man was trying to leave a home near Blythewood after the argument when Krysta James attacked him around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

    Deputies say the man was stabbed in the upper body, but his injuries weren’t life threatening.

    1. “Red would be nice.”

    2. This is FSM’s way of telling him to GTFO of that relationship. That non-lethal wound was actually His noodly appendage. Will he be too stupid to listen? Almost certainly.

    3. I reserve judgment on this until I know the colours they were arguing over

      1. The easiest way to tell how high maintenance a bride is, is to evaluate how flattering the bridesmaids’ dresses are. The better the bridesmaids look, the easier-going the bride.

      2. In America, we don’t argue over “colours”.

        1. That’s just a rumour.

          1. Quite neighbourly of you.

  18. Ex-Stasi staff still work at archives of East Germany’s former secret police

    The Federal Commission for the Stasi Archives was established by the German government in 1991 and tasked with protecting the Stasi archives from former agents eager to destroy records of their deeds, as well as allowing access to anyone with a reasonable suspicion that they may have been watched over by the state.

    In 2007, a leaked German government report revealed that the archive had since its inception employed as many as 79 former Stasi members, some of them without the knowledge of parliament, fuelling suspicions that incriminating files could have been destroyed or been tempered with.

  19. Greece enjoys the fruits of profligate government:

    On January 1, Greece assumes the rotating presidency of the European Union in a state close to suffocation, not only via austerity adjustments since 2010, but also literally, by a toxic cloud fueled by wood fires that replace conventional heating.

    The beret dense smog that grips these days Athens or Thessaloniki is also a metaphor for the political gridlock: the government insists on not lowering the tax on heating oil…

    -A 27.4% unemployment (nearly 52% among those under 24 years)
    -3.8 million Greeks living in poverty or social exclusion in 2012 (400,000 more than the previous year)
    -350,000 households without electricity for non-payment bills
    -30% of the population have no access to public health care
    -Virtual paralysis of the universities, which since September run almost unattended by the dismissal of officials
    -Three killed by asphyxiation because of home fires for warmth
    -Four out of five blocks of flats facing the winter without heating due to inability to afford it
    -21 continuous quarters recession
    -34.6% of the Greek population at risk of poverty or social exclusion

    1. Social exclusion? So they don’t get invited to cocktail parties?

      1. I wondered that too – according to Wiki, it’s used mostly in Europe, specifically France, UK, & Germany, though France originated the idea:

        Social exclusion refers to processes in which individuals or entire communities of people are systematically blocked from rights, opportunities and resources (e.g. housing, employment, healthcare, civic engagement, democratic participation and due process) that are normally available to members of society and which are key to social integration.

        Which means Muslim immigrants are being socially excluded in France right now, yes?

  20. Ranking the Top 5 Senators Vulnerable in 2014 Primaries

    As we close out 2013, here’s a look at the senators at risk of losing their primaries. It’s worth noting that it’s a relatively rare event for senators to fall in a primary?in 2012, only former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., lost to a primary challenger, and the previous cycle just Sens. Robert Bennet, R-Utah, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, did?though Murkowski came back and won reelection as a write-in candidate. So, keeping in mind that we predicted in our final Hotline Spotlight of the year that no Senate incumbent will lose a primary next year, here are the candidates who should be most wary as we head into 2014.

    1. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss
    2. Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii
    3. Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo
    4. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C
    5. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

    1. Nothing could make me happier than if Lindsey Graham gets primaried.

      1. As long as ‘primaried’ is a euphemism for ‘dying whilst engaged in a bizarre, perverted, and illegal sexual activity involving a gorilla and a red-hot poker’.

    2. Im noticing lots of signs for McConnell’s opponent in South Central KY. Its not as big as the Paul signage in early 2010 but its earlier in the cycle too.

      Not saying Mitch will lose, but it will be closer than people think.

    3. Cochran is a back-stabbing, statist fiend. Wicker isn’t much better.

  21. The White House, Democratic lawmakers and advocacy organizations, on the other hand, are launching a campaign this week to highlight real-life success stories under the law.

    How hard can it be? They found Dillinger, didn’t they?

  22. Hospice firms draining billions from Medicare

    This vast growth took place as the hospice “movement,” once led by religious and community organizations, was evolving into a $17 billion industry dominated by for-profit companies. Much of that is paid for by the U.S. government ? roughly $15 billion of industry revenue came from Medicare last year.

    At AseraCare, for example, one of the nation’s largest for-profit chains, hospice patients kept on living. About 78 percent of patients who enrolled at the Mobile, Ala., branch left the hospice’s care alive, according to company figures. As many as 59 percent of patients left the AseraCare branch in nearby Foley, Ala., alive. And at the one in Monroeville, 48 percent were discharged from the hospice alive.

    1. Of course, the real problem is that we’ve got government funding this stuff.

    2. Well, Medicare only pays for so many days of hospice care, so any tough old bird has a chance.

    3. At AseraCare, for example, one of the nation’s largest for-profit chains, hospice patients kept on living. About 78 percent of patients who enrolled at the Mobile, Ala., branch left the hospice’s care alive, according to company figures. As many as 59 percent of patients left the AseraCare branch in nearby Foley, Ala., alive. And at the one in Monroeville, 48 percent were discharged from the hospice alive.

      Hence the need for death panels. Duh!

      Here in OH the state has reduced the time one can be in hospice at the state’s expense to 6 days. Can anyone really predict they will die within 6 days?

    1. The guy’s crowning achievement.

  23. The Obama administration says December Obamacare customer sign-ups surged, pushing enrollment past the 1 million mark.

    according to Enroll Maven
    http://www.enrollmaven.com/

    Qualified Health Plan (QHP) Enrollment
    1,849,280*

    Administration QHP Enrollment Goal by 03.31.14
    7,066,000

    Percent of QHP Enrollment Goal Achieved
    26.2%

    Percent of QHP Enrollment Period Elapsed
    48.9%

    Individuals Whose Policies Have Been Canceled
    4,000,000 – 5,000,000

    Success!

  24. “The Treasury Department, for instance, taxes capital gains racked up by the wealthy on the sale of shares, bonds and other assets at about half the rate of ordinary income.”

    This shit drives me crazy. It’s not just the “rich” who rack up capital gains. Millions of people do through their mutual funds and other investments. Middle-class families do invest in various products that pay dividends and end up in capital losses or gains.

    Tax that and you hurt them even more because any savvy investor will tell you dividends and compound interest helps create wealth.

    1. GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down.

      So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

      OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

      Libertarians are so unfair. Thank God we have a President who understands that the fairness principle trumps all others, including federal tax receipts and the economic well-being of rich and poor.

      1. Cuomo is instituting tax-free zones to attract business. Why can they understand this on the micro scale, but not on the macro scale?

  25. New laws in 2014

    In Colorado, 16-year-olds will be able to pre-register to vote, but must still wait until they’re 18 to vote.

    Aaaaand, the word for 2014 is … PRE-REGISTER!

    California students must be allowed to play school sports and use school bathrooms “consistent with their gender identity,” regardless of their birth identity.

    I predict a lot of “I identify with *all* genders!”.

    In Oregon, new mothers will now be able to take their placentas home from the hospital ? some experts say ingesting it has positive health benefits.

    Next up — Democratcare *requires* ingesting your placenta.

    1. Not like it makes it any less stupid, but IIRC, participating on a different-gender team in California requires an affidavit from a psychiatrist testifying to a history of gender identity issues, yadda yadda yadda.

      1. Serious question: Do TPTB ever factor in any effects on the, um, cis members of the team?

        1. You mean those heteronormative cisgendered individuals? They have so much privilege, they deserve to face consequences. Or something like that.

          1. Probably. Plus, “diversity is *good*!”

    2. A Supreme Court justice is on record as saying that a broccoli mandate would be stupid but constitutional. I suppose she could be persuaded that a placenta mandate was not only constitutional, but smart.

    3. Well, no reason you shouldn’t be allowed to take the placenta home, but having seen one recently, I gotta say, WTF?

  26. What Mr. Pirrong has routinely left out of most of his public pronouncements in favor of speculation is that he has reaped financial benefits from speculators and some of the largest players in the commodities business, The New York Times has found.

    Whatever you do, don’t mention Elizabeth Warren.

    1. I may have mentioned the Warren a little bit, but I don’t think anyone noticed.

      1. She started it, she invaded Massachussetts

        1. Massholes have a particular kind of STOOPID.

          http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..-proposal/

          1. & this:

            The Boston Police Department had been pushing for a limited number of officers to carry the high-powered rifles, in light of recent mass shootings as well as the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year.

            But none of those incidents has anything to do with AR-15s nor would any of those situations have been helped by Boston PD carrying AR15s.

            But this is just part of the transformation from LEOs to military and isn’t that surprising, though depressing as stuff like this is likely going to pass in all kinds of places and the last thing we need is for LEOs who cannot seem to handle/use handguns effectively (unless killing animals) to have more substantial firepower.

            This sucks.

    2. It’s as if they don’t realize that different speculators wind up on different sides – some believing prices will rise, others that prices will fall.

      In other words, total economic morons.

  27. There was a holiday sale, so I went ahead and bought Skyrim.

    Okay, I’m hooked. But I’m not super keen on the combat (or the inventory) system and I still haven’t figured out how to do spells/single-handed weapons at the same time.

    But what a big amazing world. Back when I used to play the ancient 8 or 16-bit roleplaying games, your imagination was needed to fill in the gaps. Fuck that!

    1. Being a sneaky archer is where it’s at. Fools never know what hit ’em, and you rarely need to engage in awkward melee combat.

      1. I’m only about four hours in – and how my wife already hates the game – but I’ll start concentrating more on the archery.

      2. The heck with archery, try being a sneaky summoner! Especially after you can summon two big nasties at once πŸ˜‰

        1. Fuck summoning. Just be a sneaky masturbator.

    2. TW: Rome II was half off on Steam yesterday. I couldn’t resist, even though I haven’t liked any of the reboots since they revamped the engine for Empire. Will I find time to finish it? Probably not.

    3. I had to mod the shit out of that game to feel it compared to Morrowind and Oblivion.

    4. I recommend if you have the time, building up your blacksmithing. You can quickly take out any enemy with dragon arrows and high archery skills.

    5. Combat is fine once you understand the mechanic. Two handed Axe wench here.

    6. Combat is fine once you understand the mechanic. Two handed Axe wench here.

    7. There’s mods out there to change the inventory system, you should probably check them out.

      You can assign spells and weapons to either hand in the menu, right click on the spell to assign it to your left hand, left click to assign it to the right, and those same mouse buttons will activate them in combat (this does not apply if you use a controller or play on a console; if either of these are the case then you are sad, and I have no desire to speak with you further).

      My first character was 1H / Block / Heavy Armor / Blacksmith. Blacksmithing allows you to essentially play at a higher level than gear drops would otherwise let you and makes the game very easy. You’re essentially unkillable by level 25 unless you do something very stupid.

      1. Skse plus skyui solves 95% of the menu iisues

  28. Noo. Hollywood to remake Starship Troopers. A nearly perfect movie. (No sarcasm. If you just accept that the Heinlein book and this movie have the same name and setting, but are totally different, it is awesome. )

    1. Will the remake still have the shower scene?

      1. Really, my main complaint with the movie is that Denise Richards wasn’t in the shower scene, too.

        1. I’ll bet you gushed over the movie Battleship too. πŸ˜‰

    2. I agree. But prepare to be struck down by the curmudgeon brigade.

    3. Hollywood to remake Starship Troopers. A nearly perfect movie. (No sarcasm…)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV-nDFpOJeU

      I’m sorry, but it had to be said.

    4. … no it’s not.

      The movie is unwatchably terrible. It’s puerile, predictable, boring. It’s as if Michael Bay’s loa made Verhoeven his horse and made a crappy Bay movie…. AND NOBODY NOTICED!

      1. Agreed – I despised the movie even before I read the book. It could have only been made by somebody who had only contempt with no knowledge of the military.

        I never made it to the end to see if anyone actually put their name on the credits as a military consultant.

        1. I watched the remake of Total Recall over the weekend, and I have to say, I don’t know why they bothered to get real actors (and why those actors showed up for this). For the “vision” the director had, he could have gotten Vin Diesel.

    5. Easily one of my favorite popcorn flicks. One of the few movies I ever saw twice in the theaters. I submit that it’s the goriest movie not from Peter Jackson ever made. Profligate gore, boobs, nukes, one liners.

      And Michael Ironside.

      Awesome.

      1. Nah. The top five goriest movies not by Peter Jackson are probably all by Quentin Tarantino.

        1. Oh c’mon. You seem to be a bit hypnotized by all the splashing in Django.

          Not that I don’t like me some Quentin mind you. Just wish he would stop putting his fat ass in his own movies. But I guess that’s the perk of being the boss.

          1. After the atrocity that was his Australian accent in Django, his previous fat ass appearances seem bearable

          2. I tried rewatching some Tarantino movies the other day. Let me tell you that watching them at 20 is a far better experience than watching them at 30. They don’t age well.

    6. Is the remake based on the book? Because that would be awesome.

      Even if you accept the separation, the lack of powered suits made the original teh suck.

      1. The Infantry running around in a mob with less firepower than a WWII company didn’t help either.

  29. A nearly perfect movie.

    Worst

    movie

    ever

    made.

    1. Uh-oh, this is like the deep dish pizza dispute times a thousand

      1. Because this dispute actually matters!

        (Kidding. But someone had to start the trolling on this subject.)

        1. Well there’s really no debate in either case. Starship Troopers is a joke. Deep dish pizza is a joke. I like jokes. I like pizza. No need for conflict.

      2. What if they added deep dish to the remake’s shower scene?

        1. But what is the libertarian angle on deep dish in shower scenes. Seems like more of a so-con thing.

          1. No, it would only be a so-con thing if the deep dish had either dead fetuses or foreskins as a topping.

          2. Doogie Howser and Tatum Channing in the shower scene.


  30. Mike Rowe on teh gayz

    Couldn’t figure out the embed to the direct post, but it’s up top that leads off w/ “DUCK”. Nice little shout out to ReasonTV too

    1. Mike Rowe is a libertarian??? Hummina hummina..

      1. Tonight’s conversation between KK & her guy:

        “Babe, why do you want me to wear this tool belt to bed?”
        “No reason.”

        1. HA! We had a discussion last night about a couple of the people on Prospectors

          He said: “would you be pissed if I left you for Amanda Atkins?”. I said “yes”

          He said: “would you be pissed if I brought her in as a third?” I said “not as much”

          He said: “what if I brought in her and her boyfriend and we lived as a foursome”. I said “OK”.

          We’re a couple of preeeverts. A tool belt would not even register.

          1. I was going to make a comment about her being a gold-digger, but I’ve already made too many crap jokes around here lately.

            And there’s nothing wrong with preeversion, so long as your partner(s) put the handcuffs on and gets in the Jello bath willingly.

  31. Plus Size Modeling conducted a poll on its Facebook page on Dec. 18 asking, “Should toy companies start making Plus Sized Barbie dolls?”

    more

  32. Man fined $146 for doing 1km/h over speed limit – police later apologise

    more

    1. “Sorry, we kept your money.”

  33. Democrat 2014 Strategy to Focus on Minimum Wage

    “Democratic Party leaders, bruised by months of attacks on the new health care program, have found an issue they believe can lift their fortunes both locally and nationally in 2014: an increase in the minimum wage.

    The effort to take advantage of growing populism among voters in both parties is being coordinated by officials from the White House, labor unions and liberal advocacy groups.

    In a series of strategy meetings and conference calls among them in recent weeks, they have focused on two levels: an effort to raise the federal minimum wage, which will be pushed by President Obama and congressional leaders, and a campaign to place state-level minimum wage proposals on the ballot in states with hotly contested congressional races.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12…..ml?hp&_r=0

    1. When in doubt, CLASS WARFARE.

      1. This is so spot on. The Democrats use of this as a simple class warfare issue is fairly obvious. Note they did not push this issue when they had control of the White House and Congress. This is something they trot out when some of their really valued plans, such as the ACA, blows up in their face.

        1. They’ve got to raise the minimum wage so workers can afford their mandatory insurance.

    2. My god! The Democrats are really interested in collective suicide aren’t they?

    3. Republicans should just run ads: “It doesn’t matter what the minimum wage is, if there are no jobs. Jobs first, higher wages later.”

      1. Obviously, if the minimum wage is raised, we should also raise welfare and unemployment payments. And make the rich and corporations pay their fair share!

        1. Well COLA is tied to inflation, and everybody knows that with the Fed creating a couple trillion bucks out of thin air, inflation has miraculously stayed at less than half of 1%. What harm could doubling the min wage cause?

    4. Nothing helps young and unskilled workers quite like prohibiting them from selling their labor for less than some arbitrary amount that is greater than the value they can produce for their employer.

    5. They should call it the War on Jobs. As a bonus, they can tell people who were laid off because their employer can’t afford to pay them the new minimum wage that they had a substandard job anyway.

      1. Call it “the making sure young people and those who have made a mistake can’t get a chance to do better act”. Or they could also call it the “if your parents are not wealthy enough to support you while you work an unpaid internship go fuck yourself and get on welfare act.”

        1. They’ll just call it the “You Didn’t Really Want That Job Anyway Act”.

          1. That job wasn’t a real job just like your health insurance you used to have wasn’t really insurance.

            I may be wrong, but I don’t think that will sell very well. If it did, communist countries would never have had to worry about fixing their elections.

        2. Didn’t they already outlaw unpaid internships?

          1. I don’t think outlaw, but I think a lawsuit involving the NLRB, causing many companies to simply remove all unpaid interns altogether, removing from many a valuable opportunity.

            But with goals of total control and subjugation, I suppose it makes sense to keep removing valuable opportunists from people, so they by necessity become more dependent upon the government.

      2. If you like your job, you can keep it?

        1. Heh. If I were fool enough to run for office, I guarantee I’d use that line.

        2. Precisely πŸ™‚

    6. Ah, I’ve seen this playbook already. There’s going to be a lot of “even conservative economists think ‘average is over'” and specious citations that it doesn’t even cost that much yadda yadda.

      1. I made the mistake of spending a few hours reading that Tyler Cowen book. My God is that man a half wit. His thesis is that this time, unlike every other economic revolution in history, displaced workers will somehow not figure out anything productive to do with themselves and thus we will forever have high unemployment and a stratified society of top men making all the money and everyone else on the dole. He has no real justification for thinking this beyond “well I can’t figure out what they will do and since I am a top man and can’t think of anything there must not be anything.”

        The most ironic part of the book is that if there is one class of workers whose positions are doomed thanks to the information revolution, it is well heeled college professors. They benefit from a medieval system that is totally unfit for the modern world and thanks to the internet is thankfully going to die in the next generation. But Cowen, who is a college prof, writes the entire book in the firm belief everyone but him is doomed.

        1. The stratification thing is going to be the fuel for this new Minimum Wage Class War Engine. There’s *juuust* enough anecdata out there along with a few one-off studies to justify it.

          1. Yes it will be, never mind that the first and most important step towards moving up the economic ladder is to get a job in the first place. You don’t magically go from unskilled poor kid to highly productive well paid worker. There are a lot of steps in between.

            I think some of it goes back to our political class’ magical faith in “education” and public schools. They honestly think that we can get everyone, including those who have never held a job before, to some insanely high level of productivity if we just stuff them in a classroom long enough.

            1. Oh yeah and don’t forget that the debt jubilee thing on student loans will be a big carrot for the Ds to throw out there.

              1. The student loan bubble is more than anything destroying the middle class. If you were rich, your parents just wrote a check. If you are poor, the school gave you aid. But the middle class could only go to college by borrowing money. Worse still, since the poor were going for free, the middle class had no other choice but to borrow the money to stay competitive with the poor.

                The result of this is now an entire generation of formerly middle class people facing poverty and debt and a much worse economic future than their parents. That is the first time that has ever happened in American history. And worse, all of that money went to support a small class of tenured college professors and administrators.

                And it didn’t even benefit lower end workers in higher ed. Adjuncts and admin people generally make crap money in higher ed. All of the money went to Deans, celebrity profs and their cronies. In every university in America public and private there are various friends of the President and Provost and Deans earning six figure jobs doing virtually nothing. The universities are more corrupt than the late medieval monasteries and unlike the monasteries actually create poverty.

                1. If you are poor, the school gave you aid.

                  Except that a massive percentage of poor people who go to college end up dropping out because they’ve been mismatched by horrible affirmative action policies. They’re then stuck with two years of college loans for a degree they didn’t even get.

                  It’s okay though. Clearly it’s better that poor black people drop out of Harvard than graduate from some hick school like University of Indiana or something. My betters have told me so.

                2. The result of this is now an entire generation of formerly middle class people facing poverty and debt and a much worse economic future than their parents.

                  Its worse than that. Many parents have signed guaranties for those non-dischargable loans. I’ve seen stories of SocSec checks being garnished to pay their kids delinquent student loans.

                3. Provost and Deans earning six figure jobs doing virtually nothing. The universities are more corrupt than the late medieval monasteries and unlike the monasteries actually create poverty.

                  Yep, if the republicans were smart they’de engage in class warfare against universities. Especially since they’ve become little more than madrassas for progressives.

            2. I think some of it goes back to our political class’ magical faith in “education” and public schools

              Yep. They also don’t realize that far more people are already going to college than should. It’s true that if you want to be an engineer, get involved in the hard sciences, or be any kind of professor you need to go to college, but realistically, a large number of people would have been better off not going.

              This is especially true for people who get advanced degrees. You see people with advanced law degrees or various masters degrees in the humanities who are absolutely fucked financially.

              1. Irish, I had a teacher that told me that this really accelerated when the Democrats under Clinton decided to accept the inevitable signaled by Clinton accepting NAFTA. They switched from the old ‘industrial’ trade union narrative and had to replace it with something that promised Americans they would be protected from competing with the rest of the world on the latter’s terms, so they latched onto this ‘everyone here will be supereducated’ pitch.

              2. While there are too many people getting degrees, and many degrees are worthless, it seems a poor investment in a lot of cases… however not going for many is not an option as it’s become a base requirement for many entry level jobs which could turn into well paid careers.

                Therefore, advising people not to go I think is wrong, as the alternative has been proven to be bad (and getting worse).

                & I know several, very intelligent individuals making 6 figures in IT, who never graduated high school much less college.

                So I’m well aware it’s possible even today to succeed without a degree, but it’s more difficult to prove value when you don’t possess then oft required ticket for entry – the college diploma.

                & I think all stats show on average – not going to college is going to hurt their long term earning prospects a great deal.

        2. Yeah, I don’t think they have grasped the significance of Khan Academy just yet.

          1. I have a wealthy friend with three sons. He is serioursly considering whether it makes sense to take the money he would spend on prep schools and ivy league degrees and instead, stake his sons to a business of their own. He figures half a million bucks will be better invested in his son’s future if they use it to grow a business than buy a piece of paper to hang on the wall.

            1. And he’s right. The current amount of money it costs is so absurd that if you invested it in a business you’d probably end up better off.

              1. Does anyone pay the full amount for college anymore? I think about 80-90% of my undergraduate cohort had some mishmash of grants from the states, federal government and the school itself.

                1. I don’t know about today but one of the reasons I dropped out of school was the economics of it.

                  I wanted to study Physics cause I just love the field, however I got a scholarship that mostly covered my first year and used my GI Bill benefits combined with a part time job (30 hours per week) as a security guard making $11 per hour plus living in my parents basement (unfinished and I still paid them room/board) to cover my living expenses. Then in my second year thanks to that job I “earned too much” and was only eligible for a $500 tuition waiver, the rest would have to come out in Loans.

                  It didn’t take me long to do the math and figure out that if I stayed in school by the time I had my doctorate (a physics degree less than that is worthless) I’d have more than $100k in debt and then have to get endure the battle for tenure or beg for grants to somehow cover my income.

                  Or at the time I could walk away from school to a job paying $45k a year

            2. I guess it depends on what they would have studied and whether or not the business succeeds. /Cap’n Obvious

              Seriously, though, I hope he asks them what they want to do before making a decision.

              1. It’s 50/50 – unless they go to school for a specific degree – medical, engineer etc.

            3. Oh, I missed “Ivy League”. Yeah, they’d be better off in business.

            4. It makes no sense. I have a friend whose father in law set up a huge trust fund for her daughter. She has visions of paying for her daughter to go to Harvard. She won’t listen but I think that is nuts. Her daughter is a smart kid and will probably get a scholarship to the local state school. Send her to the state school and give her a $250,000 graduation present. Take the cash fuck the “top men” degree.

              1. I am not sure I agree. Whatever their actual value is, Ivy League degrees seem to open a lot of key doors. Have you read Charles Murrays recent work on the wealthiest zip codes? Almost everyone in them have Ivy League degrees. Under current law you can not use general aptitude tests much for employment purposes, so for the most competitive jobs they use educational attainment, and the Ivy League degrees are the premium.

                1. You’re right, Bo. An Ivy League degree is always worthwhile because of the connections, if nothing else. Also, people see ‘Harvard’ on a resume and their eyes light up.

                  The issue isn’t the Ivy Leagues. It’s lower level schools that cost $40,000 a year without the benefits of connections that you get from Princeton.

                  1. Irish,

                    I have any number of friends who went Ivy. And the connections angle is totally overblown. People who go there tend to have connections to start with. You don’t go there without connections and then get them.

                    Yes, if you are Al Gore, you are going to graduate with a lot of connections. If you are Joe Schmo, you are not anymore than you would at any other school.

                2. The Ivy League degree would be necessary if the career plan was to climb the government rent-seeking ladder in DC.

                  Necessary, but not sufficient. One must also a Machiavellian personality devoid of scruples, morals, and natural human affection. If parents raise their children with DC values, an Ivy League degree is invaluable. Otherwise, it’s just good liberal arts degree. (I’ve taken a bunch of Yale Open University classes: Yale history and social science profs are really not the Marxist indoctrinators that conservatives blather about. At least, not in their online lectures.)

                3. Under current law you can not use general aptitude tests much for employment purposes…

                  May be legally true, but not true for any science based job that I know of – they test, IQ, pattern recognition, math at will and use it directly for hiring purposes.

                  How much any one group uses them is usually up to the hiring manager, but most of those companies have bare minimum standards that if not met, stall your application at HR to where the hiring manager never sees it.

                  But again – this is industry/job specific… but as more jobs deal with computers, I wouldn’t expect to see type of general testing for evaluating potential new hires to decrease.

                  Though I agree with your overall point, that Harvard and other names open doors not generally open to people without those degrees.

            5. It depends entirely on whether his kids are entrepeneur/CEO material, or are really more cut out to be staffers.

              If the latter, they will be in the employment market and will need the credentials.

              1. Indeed, alot depends on the boy’s talents. I think it is an indicator of how distorted the cost of higher education has become that he is even entertaining the thought. Not that long ago it would have been a forgone conclusion that someone of his means would send his kids to the Ivy’s. Then again, rich people don’t become rich by being stupid with their money.

              2. It depends entirely on whether his kids are entrepeneur/CEO material, or are really more cut out to be staffers.

                Agreed & while I agree with the father mostly that investing 500K in a business should produce better results than investing the same money in college, that is completely dependent upon whether those running/owning the business endeavor are up to the task.

                & that’s not easy thing to tell, but most likely (like 98% of the time), the father is in too close of a position to answer it himself to any degree of confidence he should trust.

                I’m not sure where he should go for advice, but I wouldn’t trust myself.

                & I would also warn him this – most businesses fail, because most people are not cut out to do what’s required to make them succeed. & most businesses are not owned and operated by kids just out of high school.

                My best quick guess is they would be doomed to fail from the start based upon age and overall difficulty of success.

                But it’s still not impossible – some people are born to run businesses long before they leave high school – though a great many of them went to college before starting their businesses…. but Kahn Academy and other resources, you can probably get a good deal of a business degree equivalent online for free.

                Assuming the kids are self learners of course, that would help. & if they’re really not self learners – then giving them 500K to run a business will fail without a great deal of outside help/pressure/consistent funding/etc.

    7. Democrat 2014 Strategy to Focus on Minimum Wage

      As someone pointed out earlier — The Republicans should simply propose that the minimum wage be $50 or $100/hour.

      1. “As someone pointed out earlier — The Republicans should simply propose that the minimum wage be $50 or $100/hour.”

        I did that and a pro-free-shit troll who was here said I was engaging in ‘fear mongering’.
        So $15/hour is just ducky but $50/hour is scary, but I didn’t get an explanation of why.

        1. So $15/hour is just ducky but $50/hour is scary, but I didn’t get an explanation of why.

          COMMON SENSE

          $15 an hour…that’s only double…and is still just 30K a year…not a big number.

          $50 an hour…well that’s just crazy. That’s what the edumacated Perfessionals make.

          COMMON SENSE

          Who needs to argue facts/statistics/economics when you have COMMON SENSE to guide you?

        2. What would be even better is to get in a “bidding” war with the Dems. Dems proposed $15/hr. Reps propose $15.50. And so on.

    8. The thing I most enjoy about the minimum wage argument is how it completely overlooks the pass-through costs that are incurred by the class it supposedly helps. So when McDonald’s goes from the $1 value menu to the $2 value menu to cover the increases labor costs, and thus the poor find their cheap fast food not as cheap, that’s the fault of GREEDY CORPORASHUNZ, right, RIGHT?

      1. …that’s the fault of GREEDY CORPORASHUNZ, right, RIGHT?

        Among that crowd, what isn’t?

        1. They are the crowd that thinks taxing health insurance lowers the cost of health insurance.

      2. “that’s the fault of GREEDY CORPORASHUNZ, right, RIGHT?”

        Naturally.

  34. Sherlock Holmes Is in the Public Domain, American Judge Rules

    “A federal judge has issued a declarative judgment stating that Holmes, Watson, 221B Baker Street, the dastardly Professor Moriarty and other elements included in the 50 Holmes works that Arthur Conan Doyle published before Jan. 1, 1923, are no longer covered by United States copyright law, and can therefore be freely used by others without paying any licensing fee to the writer’s estate.”

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes……/?src=recg

    1. A scant 90 years on.

      1. I am not one of those libertarians who rails against intellectual property in general, but it really has gotten ‘off the rails’ when it is even an argument that works that old and iconic might not be public domain. Who really thinks that the next Arthur Conan Doyle would not pursue their literary aims out of concern that a hundred years later their estate may not get to collect licensing fees on it?

        1. I’m actually not in the “no IP protection ever” camp either. But I think the life of the author should be the absolute longest term of protection. Doyle’s been dead since 1930.

        2. I am in the no-IP camp but it is literally last on my list of things to change.

          But, yeah, this is insane. As is Mickey Mouse not being public domain yet.

        3. There is a place for IP. But that place ends at the point that undying corporations use their political power to ensure nothing ever goes into the public domain. Basically, Disney is the reason IP has to be reigned in.

          1. I think they should go back to 23 initial years, renewable for another 23 years. However, to renew costs $1 million. Then, every 7 years, it costs double the previous renewal. Disney wants Mickey’s copyright renewed in 2015? Okay, that’ll be $256 million.

            Also, they are total hypocrites, since Steamboat Mickey was a ripoff of a Buster Keaton movie. Finally, I know this is old, but I like it. Because I did it.

            1. That is not a bad idea. And yes, Disney made its fortune using the public domain.

              Speaking of Disney, my wife, who has loved the book Mary Poppins tells me that Saving Mr. Banks is a total lie and Disney propaganda. The truth is Walt ripped PL Travers off and completely changed the point of her book. They were so awful to her, she had to buy a ticket to get into the premier and left in tears over what they had done to her book.

              1. “Saving Mr. Banks is a total lie and Disney propaganda”

                I actually did a double take when I saw from an advertisement for the film that it was a Disney production. I thought, surely they do not think that anyone will see that as anything other than propaganda? One might as well expect more honest portrayal of Obama in a video produced by the White House.

            2. I think just 23 (or 35) years sounds right. I just cannot see someone deciding not to write some great literary work because after 35 years others will be able to use it freely.

              1. I think just 23 (or 35) years sounds right. I just cannot see someone deciding not to write some great literary work because after 35 years others will be able to use it freely.

                I agree. Not only that, but you might not even be alive in 35 years. If I write a book when I’m 45, there’s a damn good chance I won’t even be around when the copyright runs out.

            3. You know what’s funny?

              I see the case for expiration of patents as much stronger than the case for expiration of creative IP.

              With a patent, the invented item has to actually work. That means that we can readily conclude that had the inventor not created the item, eventually someone else would have. Therefore limiting the life of the patent makes a rough kind of sense; reality makes the steam engine and electric light and intermittent windshield wiper blades and all the rest possible, and the inventor(s) just identified those parts of reality.

              But with creative works, the opposite is true. If Tolkien didn’t invent Frodo Baggins, nobody was going to do so, ever. We don’t actually have an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters to eventually create every possible character.

              1. That is a good point fluffy. And that argues for creative IP lasting the life of the author. I am willing to let Tolkien make all the money he wants from his creation. But I fail to see how his kids are entitled. Putting creative works in the public domain encourages creativity by allowing people to reinvent existing works. And that is a good thing.

                1. And that argues for creative IP lasting the life of the author.

                  What if the IP is owned by a corporation? What would you have done with Mickey Mouse?

                  1. No prob. No corporatio ever created IP. They bought it from a human being, either as a “work for hire” or as an outright purchase.

                    You always have a life you can tie it to.

                    Same reason, really, it makes no sense to say that you can deny a corporation First Amendment rights. Every single thing a “corporation” says was written/created/whatever by a human being. Those are an individual’s expressions, regardless of the logo at the top of the page.

                  2. I think this was a really good point John made above. Ironically the Left gets exercised about how the existence of undying corporations makes campaign speech and lobbying a ‘different ballgame,’ but it is in the IP arena where I think there is the strongest argument that corporations change the game, and it is in that area the Left is more likely to be on the side of the corporations!

                2. And that argues for creative IP lasting the life of the author.

                  Well, no. The important thing is establishing that it’s property. Once it’s property, of course his heirs are entitled.

                  My point was that I can argue to the heirs of the guy who invented power steering, “Someday someone else would have invented power steering, so it’s unfair to transform the act of invention into property in perpetuity!” but I can’t argue that about the invention of Frodo Baggins.

                  I see the notion that property is perpetual as the default state, and I need a reason to limit it. I’m saying that I see that reason in the case of patents, but not creative IP. “I want to write a story with Frodo Baggins in it!” doesn’t strike me as a good enough reason.

                  1. What Irish is saying fluffy. Under your system, there would never have been an LOR. Tolkien did nothing but reinvent various Norse and Celtic myths. Had those been the property of their original creators, Tolkien would have seen his book banned from publication and all of his royalties paid to them.

                    Since all creative works are in some way derivative, they cannot remain property forever. They can, but you will end up with pretty bleak art.

                    There is nothing to say that all property must outlive you. We have things in property like life estates and the rule against perpetuities and such. IP really is a creation of the state. It didn’t exist for most of civilization. And it only exists in any real terms because you can get a court to enforce it. It is not like you can move out and live on and possess your novel. For that reason, there is nothing wrong with saying you can only have a life estate on your novel.

                  2. I see the notion that property is perpetual as the default state, and I need a reason to limit it. I’m saying that I see that reason in the case of patents, but not creative IP.

                    Ideas are not property in any rational sense. If I take a T.V. that should go to your heirs, I have denied them a T.V. If I write a story about Frodo Baggins, I have denied them nothing.

                    Furthermore, by your logic, why should this only apply to fictional characters and worlds? Pretty much any idea is essentially creative.

                    Why shouldn’t any heirs of Adam Smith be allowed to collect royalties every time someone writes an article centering around the Invisible Hand?

                    Why shouldn’t any heirs to Bastiat be entitled to royalties for reprintings of The Law? That would result in far fewer copies of The Law being printed, you wouldn’t be able to access it online, and the cost of any printings would be higher. It would therefore have a stifling effect and would result in fewer people being exposed to the ideas.

                    1. Ideas are not property in any rational sense.

                      This is always tiresome.

                      Is labor property?

                      If it is, then ideas are property.

                    2. Is labor property?

                      How do I pass labor on to my heirs? How do I stop people 200 years from now from benefiting from my labor?

                      This argument has nothing to do with the question of perpetual IP.

                    3. Is labor property?

                      No, it’s an activity.

                    4. This is always tiresome.

                      I can see why it would be for you, as you get owned in these threads.

                      If an idea is property, then how is my idea not my property? Just because its the same as yours or uses Frodo in it, somehow my labor is different than your labor?

                      I actually agree that we all own our ideas and the results of our labor, which is why IP shouldnt exist. IP is a restriction on my thoughts and my labor.

                  3. I dont see IP as property, or, as it would be perpetual.

                    The constitutional writers understood this, as they specifically carved out an IP exception which wouldnt have been necessary if IP had been property.

                    IP isnt a part of natural law, they made a specific exception, which is also why its for limited time.

                    1. What Rob said. IP didn’t exist for most of history. I can’t see how it is in any sense “natural law”. To me natural laws are those laws which are essential to any just society. I fail see how 18th Century Europe was in any sense an “unjust society” because JS Bach couldn’t get royalties on his published music.

                      IP is a choice and doesn’t eve have to exist if we didn’t want it to. If I use Tolkien’s world to write a derivative story, I am not stealing anything from him in any kind of literal sense. He is no worse off for me doing it. In fact he might be better off because I create interest in his work. You can’t compare my doing that to my stealing his car or squatting on his land.

                  4. Once it’s property, of course his heirs are entitled.

                    Not necessarily. Essentially, what is being proposed is that IP be the equivalent of a life estate owned by the creator. That’s an olde type of real estate property interest that expires when the owner dies.

                    What the heirs are entitled to is the accumulated assets earned by the life estate.

                    Other kinds of intangible property extinguish at various times/events as well. Going way back, here, but as I recall, partnership interests traditionally were personal to the partner, and could not be inherited. Upon the death of a partner, the partnership automatically dissolved and had to be reformed by the surviving partners.

                  5. property is perpetual as the default state

                    Property — particularly intangible property like patents and copyrights — is inherently temporal. Even property rights in real estate can become null due to erosion, subsidence, or adverse possession. There’s no principle that dictates that IP intangibles must be perpetual. Their life is only established by legal convention, like property rights in options and futures are time-limited by contract.

              2. Sure, but ludicrously long term creative IP stops future creative works. If you want to write a Sherlock Holmes story, you would have had to pay. Now you can just write the damn thing. We’ve removed a barrier to future creative work.

                The same is true with any long term copyright. No one can make a Mickey Mouse cartoon, use a song in a movie, etc. without leaping over a barrier. The primary issue for me is the stifling of later creative works that would like to use characters or music that are not in the public domain.

            4. Good stuff, BP.

  35. Debate Over Whether Prostitution Should be Criminalized Splits European Feminists

    “Feminists across Western Europe are sounding the alarm. Prostitution, they claim, has become today’s “white slavery,” with ever more women from Bulgaria and Romania, Africa and Asia being forced, tricked or seduced into selling their bodies.

    But in doing so, these activists are creating a schism in the movement, between those who see prostitution as another form of male oppression and those who see it as a possible means of female empowerment.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12…..tards.html

    1. If it should be illegal for a man to pay a woman for sex, then really it ought to also be illegal for him to buy her dinner or get her drunk or promise to marry her for sex too.

      In places and times where things like adultery and unmarried sex are crimes, prostitution being illegal at least is logically consistent with the rest of the law. But once you declare that any form of consensual sex between adults is legal, picking out just the times when sex involves an exchange of money is completely irrational. If it is legal for some woman to sleep with a rich man in hopes of getting a free vacation, then justice and fairness demands that it is also be legal for her to just take a check and not bother with the vacation.

      1. It seems to me there are two strains of argument behind criminalizing prostitution. The first, more commonly found among socons, is that public policy should favor or foster sex within traditional marriage. The second, more commonly found among the left, is basically the same argument seen in the minimum wage or organ selling debates, an ‘exploitation of those with little means’ argument. To me the funny thing about the second strain is that it unconsciously has the same element of ‘sex is differently icky’ running through it. I mean, perhaps certain acts a prostitute does are demeaning, but is it any more demeaning than many other jobs which no one is arguing should be outlawed? You have to think that many sexual acts are somehow especially demeaning to get there.

        1. Walmart Greeter has to be the most demeaning job in the world.

    2. as a possible means of female empowerment

      And yet again, a Utilitarian argument rather than a Libertarian argument rises to the fore-front.

      I really don’t give a shit if women might feel “empowered” by owning their own bodies. What they shouldn’t feel is unsafe because they have to operate on the black market because their profession of choice, in which all actors operate voluntarily, is illegal.

    3. “tricked”? Mmmm, lets see, you could stay where you are and earn 20 euros a day or move to XYZ and earn 50 euros an hour. Some ‘trick’

      1. earn 50 euros an hour. Some ‘trick’

        What you did there was clearly visible.

  36. To be honest, Starship Troopers is only the second-worst movie ever made, having been knocked off its lofty perch by Martin Scorcese’s masturbatory epic of self-congratulation Gangs of New York.

    This matters because I just found out Wolf of Wall Street is a Scorcese movie; it should have been obvious, but it escaped my notice. I had no intention of seeing it anyway, but now that I know it is another two hours of thumbsucking ego gratification by that mentally unbalanced dipshit, I will shift from indifference to disdain.

    1. Gangs of New York should rank higher on the bad movie scale than Starship Troopers. Starship Troopers never pretended to be and was never thought to be anything but awful. Gangs of New York in contrast took itself seriously and claimed to be a good movie. That makes it much worse. It is the same reason why a band like Phish is much worse than Justin Bieber; no one ever seriously claimed the Biebs was any good.

      1. Once the Liam Neeson character died the movie went on to be a tedious, lumbering two hours.

        1. Yes. And civil war era gangsters just don’t work the way 20th century gangsters do. I am not sure why, but I found the whole idea of watching Victorian gangsters to be ridiculous. Not that such things didn’t actually exist, they did. But for whatever reason, they don’t make good subjects for the movies. I think it is the pervasive influence of Dickens. You watch that movie and you keep expecting for someone to break out with a tune from Oliver or something.

          1. I see what you are getting at there. I like Daniel Day Lewis, and I guess that he was doing a good job in that film, but I could not get past that mustache. I think Snidely Whiplash has just made it so no serious thing can come from someone with that particular facial hair arrangement.

            Having said that, I read the book Gangs of New York back in undergrad and liked it. It of course has very little relation to the film. Our press acts like we have some new ‘gang epidemic’, they really should read that book.

      2. Worst movie ever: Dune.

    2. Starship Troopers is nowhere near the worst movie of all time.

      While it pisses me off because it is the complete antithesis of the book it was actually a decent satire and completely self aware reveling in how campy it was rather than trying to cover it up and pretend to be a serious movie.

      Also, the Shower scene.

      Apparently it is in for a reboot too, with the new creative team claiming it will be truer to the book. Now sure how they would pull that off since about 60% of the book happens with Rico sitting in a classroom but it will be awesome if they make it happen

      1. Very little happens in the classroom, well, way less than 60%.

        But a huge amount happens as training.

        If it has powered suits, and true “army of one” type scenes, I will be happy.

        1. Are you forgetting that the entire middle of the book takes place when Rico is in Officer Training School?

          And you are right from an action standpoint, not much happens there but large parts of Rico’s character growth and development occur there and a good chunk of the intellectual heart of the book is there too.

  37. I don’t think they have grasped the significance of Khan Academy just yet.

    But you don’t get an ornately engraved piece of paper from the Khan Academy certifying your suitability as a playmate for the children of the .000000001%.

  38. Math is hard, eulogy edition: Simmons’ has given tens of millions to Texas organizations, including charities, medical groups, education groups and civic organizations. A UT Southwestern Medical Center said his donations to their institution alone approached $200 million.

    Perhaps it is a mistake of scale, they meant tens of billions and wrote tens of millions. Because what’s three orders of magnitude between friends?

    1. Or maybe he meant to write “hundreds of millions”.

  39. AP tells Free Shit Party to offer more Free Shit:
    “Democratic challengers may need to respond with a popular cause.
    A minimum wage increase could be the answer.”
    Yes, when you have nothing else, go out and BUY those damn votes!
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol…..099750.php

    1. Ooops.
      Prolly third in line with this. Sorry.

    2. Serious question: what is a good emotional rebuttal to the pols that want to raise the minimum wage ? People respond emotionally to the idea of helping the less fortunate, and no logical, fact based economic argument can stand in the face of “why do you hate the poor ?” So to fight and win on their ground, I struggle to come up with a good Emotional rejoinder.

      1. “I want to help as many of the poor as possible, not just a few. Now let me show you why your idea will mean only a few poor people will get more money if we do it your way”

      2. I have one to offer, it is what led me to libertarianism actually. My libertarian friend and I were discussing the issue and he said ‘look, you do not like to see the police come in and heavy handedly use force on someone for consensual activity do you?’ I replied in the negative. ‘So do you realize that the upshot of minimum wage laws is that ultimately the police come in and drag you away for the crime of…offering to employ some fellow.’

        It made me see all economic regulation in a totally new light.

      3. “Why do you want the trap poor in poverty?”

      4. The rejoinder is simply that just because something sounds good doesn’t mean that it actually is good. There’s plenty of evidence that raising the Minimum Wage has no poverty alleviating affects on the class which it is supposed to assisting, because of the pass through inflationary effects and the overall decrease in the job pool at that wage level.

        But of course, who cares about evidence when it sounds good.

        COMMON SENSE

        1. MP, I kind of like “just because it sounds good doesn’t mean it is good” approach. Still, from the responses to my question, it seems damn difficult to come up with a simple emotional answer that would fit on a bumper sticker.

          1. Maximize the Minimum Wage – End Big Government Now

      5. As soon as the person starts in on “raise the minimum wage” YOU ask them “Why do you want to harm poor and minorities?” The only way to then explain this to their satisfaction is to engage them in economic analysis – otherwise they can’t refute what you are saying.

        1. “engage them in economic analysis ”

          I think this is the least likely to persuade in general since it can just devolve into a study-citing match.

    3. How about:
      “Where does the money come from?”
      I mean the ‘logic’ of higher MW is the presumption it can be done at zero cost; the money just magically appears since people ‘ought to have it’.
      Well, challenge that.

      1. I can tell you from experience they will just say the money will come from the obscene profits of the employer. That is where the hit from everything from taxes to regulation to minimum wage laws always miraculously comes from for pro-government types.

        1. You’re prolly right. I’ve suggested to people that they ought to invest in those evil insurance companies, since they make such tremendous profits, but that simply ends in denial.

  40. Speaking of economic stagnation…

    The Bloombergers were talking about something called “taskrabbit” this morning. As usual, I wasn’t paying particularly close attention, but I believe it boils down to some sort of a social network “odd jobs” bulletin board.

    One more example of people trying to engage in entrepreneurship outside the bonds of the regulatory straitjacket. How long until some Congressman holds a hearing about licensing and regulating these activities?

  41. I have a wealthy friend with three sons. He is serioursly considering whether it makes sense to take the money he would spend on prep schools and ivy league degrees and instead, stake his sons to a business of their own. He figures half a million bucks will be better invested in his son’s future if they use it to grow a business than buy a piece of paper to hang on the wall.

    I told my brother he should buy his younger son a backhoe instead of sending him to college. He (by which I mean his wife) didn’t go for it.

    1. The problem with the backhoe gift is that ultimate your income is capped unless you can grow a business that includes employees. So if that’s OK then go for it. If you want to provide a road to expanded opportunities, then at least some additional education will likely help.

      Not that you need CC / University level education to run a business. But I believe it helps.

  42. Do you think anyone has ever pointed out to Dan Snyder that the one consistency in the Redskins’ being a pathetic losing team is Dan Snyder?

    1. Who else will be gone by the end of the week? The Buccaneers coach?

  43. Do you think anyone has ever pointed out to Dan Snyder that the one consistency in the Redskins’ being a pathetic losing team is Dan Snyder?

    It’s that accursed name!

  44. Serious question: what is a good emotional rebuttal to the pols that want to raise the minimum wage ?

    “Lots of widows and orphans own stocks. Why do you want to steal money from widows and orphans?”

    1. But the % of widows & orphans that own stocks is insignificant compared to those that don’t. Therefore, “GREATEST GOODZ!!!!”

    2. Why do you want unemployment to go up for minorities?

    1. Why, Brian, why?! It only takes a few lines of Krugabee and the urge to kill rises.

    2. “Gentlemen, to evil!”

      /clinks glass

    3. Let me guess:

      “Everything for the State, nothing against the State, nothing outside the State.” Or words to that effect.

      1. Pretty much.

        Bitcoin is evil because it is designed to undercut state controlled money.

    4. Can there be an higher endorsement? Bitcoin is evil, if evil means scaring the bejesus out of state worshiping assholes.

    5. So, Krugman quotes Stross to the effect:

      Bitcoin = libertarian agenda.

      Krugman agrees: “Stross doesn’t like that agenda, and neither do I.”

      He titles the article “Bitcoin is evil”.

      Therefore, we have Krugman on record: the libertarian agenda is evil.

      Not ignorant of his profound insight into economics. Not misguided.

      Evil.

    6. For Krugman’s own sake, I sincerely hope that he gave whoever reads the comments on his articles aloud to him the day off.

  45. If an idea is property, then how is my idea not my property? Just because its the same as yours or uses Frodo in it, somehow my labor is different than your labor?

    Because you wouldn’t have had your idea unless you stole it from me.

    That’s the whole point.

    If the idea you’re taking is the steam engine, or Einstein’s theory of relativity, you can argue that you would have independently thought of it without me eventually, and you might be right.

    You would not have thought of Frodo Baggins. The entire reason it has value to you in a derivative work is because someone else thought of it and created the value. Value you are now trying to appropriate, because that’s easier than inventing your own characters and getting people interested in them.

    I actually agree that we all own our ideas and the results of our labor, which is why IP shouldnt exist. IP is a restriction on my thoughts and my labor.

    You’re entirely free to use your own thoughts and your own labor. Just not the part that you yourself must acknowledge wasn’t yours – devising the character in the first place.

    1. “You’re entirely free to use your own thoughts and your own labor. Just not the part that you yourself must acknowledge wasn’t yours – devising the character in the first place.”

      Which brings us back to the fact that Tolkien could never have created Frodo in a world of strict perpetual copyright because while the character and location of middle earth were new and unique the story elements were all derivative of earlier works.

      In a world of strict and perpetual copyright and no creative commons you VERY quickly reach a point where no new art or technology could ever be created because even if it wasn’t intended anything you think of could be shown to be derivative of something that preexisted it.

  46. Property — particularly intangible property like patents and copyrights — is inherently temporal.

    Property has heretofore been temporal in the European post-Roman tradition, because of the principle that all property everywhere belonged to the king, and you were only being granted use of it as an enfoeffment. That notion is a cancer in the heart of traditional natural law theory.

    I find landed property arising from a contract grant from the king to be vastly more problematic and questionable than the simple fact that Tolkien invented Frodo Baggins and I didn’t, so he owns it and I don’t. That simple and direct basis for ownership is utterly morally beyond question to me, and all of the nonsense that gets spewed about how copying isn’t really theft is simple defiance of this really obvious fact.

    1. Where do you get that property must outlive you? You own it for sure. But there is nothing that says your rights to that property have to live on after you. You are not there anymore. So where is the harm to you of me taking it? Your kids might think it sucks, but they don’t own the property, you do. And you are not here.

      I can see where you can say that property naturally exists. But if it naturally exists, it can’t continue to exist in your ownership after you die. There is nothing natural about that at all. We choose to recognize that because it makes practical sense. But there is nothing inherent about your ownership of property that lasts past your death. We could easily take your property and give it to the first person who wants it or by lottery and it would in no way effect your ownership because you no longer exist to have such.

    2. Real property in the West does indeed trace its chain of title back to a grant from the sovereign.

      Its an interesting question how property rights “survive” and/or are transferred upon or after a person’s death.

      The idea, though, that property rights are perpetual by nature is one that needs some more thought. Your property rights are, well, yours, and are inherently time-limited because you are.

      We convert “our” property rights into other people’s property rights all the time, whether by gift, sale, or whatever. Generally, you can’t transfer something you don’t have, and so it may be a little odd that any property right you transfer would outlive you. But the transfer of a property right actually transforms that property right.

      Interesting. I can see this will call for a glass of scotch and a cigar to get to the bottom of it.

      1. Property rights can be perpetual but that doesn’t mean your ownership is perpetual. Just because someone always owns the property doesn’t mean that someone must be you. You as you rightly point out won’t always be here. And your ownership rights die with you.

        Even under our system your ownership rights die. You just have gift rights after you die via your will and even those rights are limited by the rule against perpetuities.

        The general principle is that your rights to your property end when you die. If they didn’t, we would not have a rule against perpetuities.

  47. Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with it.

    http://www.BeinAnon.tk

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.