A.M. Links: Rodman Returns From North Korea, Protesters Shut Down Traffic in Bangkok, Mayor of Fort Lee Believes Christie

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Credit: Bob Jagendorf/wikimedia
  • According to Iranian state media, Iran has come to an agreement with the P5+1 countries on how to implement the nuclear deal agreed to in November last year. Implementation will reportedly begin on Jan. 20.
  • Protesters, some of whom are wearing "Shutdown Bangkok" T-shirts, are shutting down traffic in Thailand's capital as part of their campaign to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.  
  • Former NBA player Dennis Rodman has returned from North Korea and says that he "couldn't do anything" about an American missionary imprisoned there.
  • The mayor of the New Jersey town targeted in the lane closure scandal that has rocked Gov. Chris Christie's administration said that he believes Christie, who claims he knew nothing about the plan to close lanes ahead of the George Washington Bridge.
  • 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle won the top Golden Globes last night.
  • Two rockets were fired from Gaza ahead of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's funeral.

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  1. The mayor of the New Jersey town targeted in the lane closure scandal that has rocked Gov. Chris Christie’s administration said that he believes Christie…

    So Christie aides have something on the mayor, huh?

    1. Not big enough to force an endorsement but just enough to get this.

    2. Hello.

      1. I don’t know who you are anymore.

        1. We never knew who you were, so I don’t think it matters much.

          1. I’m the sockpuppet of a reason staffer. Or you’re all my sockpuppets. I forget which.

            1. I was falsely accused of being a sockpuppet.

              1. We’re all sockpuppets, exchanging information with other sockpuppets.

                1. It’s sockpuppets all the way down.

                  1. I thought P’s Buttplug was a cockpuppet. Now I’m confused.

                    1. there are different levels of sockpuppets – ranging from the standard to the obscene.

                  2. I used to have a sock puppet till I found it all wet and sticky. I was afraid Warty had found it so I left it alone

                    1. I was Warty’s sock puppet once. I have successfully repressed the memory, for the most part.

                    2. Jesus christ, that’s the most obscene I’ve ever read on H&R.

                2. Negative. I am a meat popsicle.

            2. “‘all my sockpuppets””

              Arthur Miller has an idea

      2. Hello, my name is Elder Whom, and I would like to share with you the most amazing book.

      3. Top of the morning to you R. J. Firefly.

    3. Christie is now under a new federal investigation of misappropriation of hurricane relief funds. Seems his campaign videos encouraging people to visit the Jersey Shore were not supposed to be funded from that pile of cash.

      1. OMG. Are you trying to give me a boner right now?

          1. …submitted a bid of $4.7 million. Another bid that was not selected would have cost $2.5 million, but the governor wouldn’t have appeared in the ads.

            So not only did he use the country’s tax dollars inappropriately, he used more of them just so he could be in the ads. During an election year.

            1. Now that is how you do politics.

              1. Now that is how you do politics.

                Agreed. This guy is obviously good at politics.

                1. He was all buddy-buddy with Obama, sharing their special secrets to electoral success.

            2. Included one of the ads here. Thanks for the money quote.

            3. So not only did he use the country’s tax dollars inappropriately, he used more of them just so he could be in the ads. During an election year.

              This has been common knowledge here in NJ for quite some time. I guess it’s only serious news now because it can be piggybacked onto the GWB scandal.

  2. Bigfoot Is Wandering Michigan Man’s Property And Eating Pizza, He Claims In Police Report

    Though the existence of the hairy beast known as Bigfoot, Yeti or Sasquatch has never been proven, many have tried. For years, Padilla has seen what he believes is evidence of Bigfoot, including his scat, dead animals, trees broken in specific ways, impressions in the snow and food boxes rolled into shapes or folded into triangles.

    In the incident report, Deputy Thomas Anderson said Padilla asked that the food boxes and scat be tested for DNA.

    “He was kindly told that DNA processing is only used for serious crimes and that bigfoot is not a suspect in any criminal activity,” Anderson wrote. “I explained that scat would not contain DNA, and he was reminded that MSP (Michigan State Police) won’t process it.”

    1. That was just the First Lady sleepwalking.

      Whoa!

      Couldn’t resist.

    2. Because I heard this on Penn Jillette’s podcast recently and thought it was funny:

      What do you call a 1-legged bigfoot?

      A hopsquatch

    3. Because I heard this on Penn Jillette’s podcast recently and thought it was funny:

      What do you call a 1-legged bigfoot?

      A hopsquatch

      1. THAT NOT STEVE SMITH’S LEG!

    4. Is Bigfoot’s scat as good as this?

    5. But does he come in and play Nintendo when the owner is gone?

  3. …are shutting down traffic in Thailand’s capital as part of their campaign to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

    Sounds like they wanted to Thai up traffic.

    1. Drivers should have used their bumpers to bang cocky protestors out of the way.

    2. I like Thai; you like shirt?

    3. Man who go through airport turnstile sideways going to Bangkok.

      1. Man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day.

    4. Didn’t Chris Christie just fire two folks who are experts in tying up traffic? Maybe the Thai protesters could hire them?

    5. Thai up traffic.

      I hate to admit it but this pun made me chuckle.

      1. Yes. Search your feelings. You know it to be true. Come over to the Dark Side.

    6. Gov. Christie has no comment for the press at this time.

  4. The battle to ‘free’ Mexican town from drug gangs: Huge firefight breaks out as vigilantes take on Knights Templar cartel
    Vigilante groups in the western Mexican state of Michoacan have joined forces to confront drug cartels
    The groups have sprung up all over Mexico over the past year, especially in Michoacan, which is plagued by the Knights Templar Cartel
    More than 100 vigilantes stormed the town of Paracuaro at the weekend in an attempt to reclaim the city
    Trucks, cars and shops were set on fire in the fight, as gun battles continued on Sunday

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..rtels.html
    This makes Chicago during Prohibition look tame.

    1. Where are Yul Brynner and his friends when you need them?

      1. It’s hard to round up seven magnificent people these days.

    2. If only Mexico had strict gun control laws, this wouldn’t happen!

      /progderp

      1. If only there was some way realistic way to cut off the money supply for the Cartels.. If only we could bring down the price of their primary export somehow…

        1. Fight the War on Drugs even harder? Supplement it with a War on Guns?

          1. I like your ideas, do you have a news letter I could subscribe to?

          2. Hey, we could call it a SURGE. Surges always work right?

            1. Only every other one.

              Choose wisely.

            2. I donno, those power surges killed my last computer.

    3. Knights Templar cartel? Just call in the Assassins!

  5. Southwest Airlines jet lands at the WRONG airport and almost plunges off a CLIFF
    The plane landed at Taney County airport instead of Branson airport, nine miles away
    An airline spokesman says he doesn’t know the plane landed in the wrong place
    The landing was uneventful and everyone on board is safe

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

    1. What is IT with British newspapers putting CERTAIN words in all-caps, seemingly at RANDOM?

    2. the plane landed in the wrong place
      The landing was uneventful

      It depends on what the meaning of “event” is.

      1. I was thinking the same thing.

    3. almost plunges off a CLIFF
      The landing was uneventful

      So, not almost?

  6. Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare

    obert Laszewski?a prominent consultant to health insurance companies?recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.” How can this be? Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses?at least not more than about a quarter of them. The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.

    For some reason, President Obama hasn’t talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation. Indeed, it’s bad enough that Obamacare is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to funnel $1,071,000,000,000.00 (that’s $1.071 trillion) over the next decade (2014 to 2023) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to health insurance companies. It’s even worse that Obamacare is trying to coerce Americans into buying those same insurers’ product (although there are escape routes). It’s almost unbelievable that it will also subsidize those same insurers’ losses.

    1. I am shocked! Shocked! To find that the insurance companies completely rolled the government.

    2. Other’s mentioned this and I’ve noticed it while trolling prog sites: The Obamacare Love Squad has a new rule – don’t talk about Obamacare.

      See TPM.
      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/
      90% is Bridge-gazi and absolutely no Obamacare mentions. Same on facebook and other social media. Must be orders from the imperial palace.

      But I’m sure it’s running fine.

  7. Next stop… St PANT-cras: Commuters ditch their trousers to celebrate the ‘No Pants Subway Ride’ on tubes and trains around the world
    Public transport in major cities were crammed with bare-legged travellers
    Participants are required to dress normally on their top halves
    Yearly event began in Sydney and was marked in places including Beijing
    London Undergound users also took part in the ‘celebration of silliness’
    Stunt began in New York in 2002, where only seven people attended
    Now thousands of people take part in the prank in 60 cities every year

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..world.html
    Most of those legs were better off unseen.

    1. Something to clean the eyes.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..reira.html

      I’ll be in my bunk.

    2. The Archduke will not be amused.

  8. Former NBA player Dennis Rodman has returned from North Korea and says that he “couldn’t do anything” about an American missionary imprisoned there.

    And who or what was standing in your way on that, Denny? Your BFF, maybe?

    1. What, you mean talking like a WWE wrestler wasn’t smooth diplomacy?

      Clown.

      1. We should send over Ric Flair….maybe he can bring along the 4 Horseman

    2. We are lucky that missionary is still alive with Dennis on the case.

  9. But New York City’s watchdog Department of Investigations has just provided the latest evidence of how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. DOI undercover agents showed up at 63 polling places last fall and pretended to be voters who should have been turned away by election officials; the agents assumed the names of individuals who had died or moved out of town, or who were sitting in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, the testers were allowed to vote. Those who did vote cast only a write-in vote for a “John Test” so as to not affect the outcome of any contest. DOI published its findings two weeks ago in a searing 70-page report accusing the city’s Board of Elections of incompetence, waste, nepotism, and lax procedures.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..-john-fund

    Election fraud is just a meme. Democrats win every single contested or close election because they are just so wonderful.

    1. Wait until John Test starts winning elections.

      1. Let’s test something different, lets test progress! Vote John Test for your representative this November! Life is a series of tests and this is one Test you don’t want to fail!

        1. Just don’t write it so that it can be interpreted as “John Tesh”

      2. I could get behind a politician like John Test.

        http://www.johnnytestanddukey.com/

        1. How about Johnny Quest instead?

      3. Screw John Test, I’m voting for Chuck Testa

    2. This is why voter ID is so very wrong and unnecessary.

    3. Democrats win every single contested or close election because they are just so wonderful.

      I would agree that voter fraud can be a problem, but you seem to be forgetting Bush beating Gore in Florida in 2000 when you write stuff like this, and would surely be used by every prog as Exhibit A on why you’re wrong.

      1. Or Gore beating Bush in Wisconsin in 2000.

        Im not sure what your point is.

        1. Read the quote and do the math.

    4. “a searing 70-page report accusing the city’s Board of Elections of incompetence, waste, nepotism, and lax procedures

      Welcome to NYC, idiots.

  10. The ‘Nutcracker Man’ Diet: Extinct Species Of Early Human Survived on ‘Tiger Nuts,’ Not Meat

    “Tiger nuts, still sold in health-food shops as well as being widely used for grinding down and baking in many countries, would be relatively easy to find,” study author Dr. Gabriele Macho, a paleoanthropologist from the School of Archaeology at Oxford University, said in a statement. “They also provided a good source of nourishment for a medium-sized hominin with a large brain. This is why these hominins were able to survive for around one million years because they could successfully forage – even through periods of climatic change.”

    well they are extinct…

    1. because they could successfully forage – even through periods of climatic change.

      Did the mastodons burn coal or something?

      1. No, we burned mastodons.

    2. well they are extinct…

      Yeah, the non-extinct versions of early humans survived by eating meat.

  11. ‘Swiss cheese pervert’ is harassing women in Philadelphia: reports

    The Mayfair Town Watch warned that a heavyset white man in his 40s or 50s has been terrorizing women in the area by showing them his privates and offering them money to perform sexual acts on him using a slice of cheese.

    ah…

    1. while the “Swiss cheese pervert” situation seem amusing at first, it is actually something that should be taken seriously.

      And if you see the guy’s photo and read his manifesto you’ll understand whey, uh, WHY.

    2. “I wear the cheese, the cheese does not wear me.”

    3. LEAVE SWISS CHEESE ALONE!

      Somebody stop that madman!!!!

      1. Is this why Kerry asked for Swiss cheese on his Philly Cheese steak?

  12. The mayor of the New Jersey town targeted in the lane closure scandal that has rocked Gov. Chris Christie’s administration said that he believes Christie, who claims he knew nothing about the plan to close lanes ahead of the George Washington Bridge.

    “We’ve always been allies with Eurasia.”

  13. Researching better fitting condoms: your tax dollars at work

    1. Do we really need to spend other people’s money to figure out that guys, if they have to wear condoms, would like them to fit?!?

      But then I found something in the story that genuinely surprised me. Apparently there are federal regulations that restrict the types of condoms that can be sold in the United States!

      “The NIH blames US “regulatory guidelines” for American men having to choose from a “narrow range of condom sizes.” The six-figure grant was awarded to TheyFit of Covington, Ga., which offers a wide variety of condoms that vary in length ? from a bit more than 3 inches to nearly 9 ?/? ? and in width.

      They’re available in European Union countries, but not in the United States, where they would have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.”

      Government must step in to solve the problem that government stepped in to create in the first place.

      1. The six-figure grant was awarded to TheyFit of Covington, Ga., which offers a wide variety of condoms that vary in length ? from a bit more than 3 inches to nearly 9 ?/? ? and in width.

        I’m reminded of the old joke about Soviet-American negotiations in which the Soviets pointed out that American condoms are more robust than Soviet condoms, so one of the points in the treaty would be that the Americans would provide condoms for the Soviet military. And they had to be 12 inches long to account for Soviet penis size.

        The Americans duly delivered the boxes of 12-inch condoms, labeled “Extra Small”.

        1. Customer at the bar comments on the lack of entertainment, so the bartender pulls a box out from under the bar to reveal a little dude about a foot tall who proceeds to play a little piano. The customer is amazed, and asks where he got it, so the bartender pulls out a lamp. The customer brushes off a smudge, and out comes a genie who booms “I SHALL GRANT YOU ONE WISH!” The customer says “I’ll have a million bucks.” The genie booms “YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND!” and down from the sky falls a million ducks. Customer says “You didn’t tell me your genie was hard of hearing!” to which the bartender replies “You really think I asked for a twelve inch pianist?”

      2. Government must step in to solve the problem that government stepped in to create in the first place.

        Fucking heroes, they are.

  14. Who would?

    Sen. McCaskill didn’t want to be in same elevator with Hillary Clinton

    The deep tension between Clinton and McCaskill first formed after McCaskill made remarks on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that struck raw nerves for both Hillary and President Clinton.

    In 2006, McCaskill was debating then-Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) on the Sunday morning political show. The two were in the midst of a campaign that McCaskill ultimately won, and the Clintons had given her strong backing.

    But when the subject of Bill Clinton came up, McCaskill said, “He’s been a great leader but I don’t want my daughter near him.”

    1. Funny, Hilary doesn’t want her daughters near Bill either.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..86018.html

      Seriously, why are they reporting on some eight year old remarks? Oh thats right. Because the Hilary for Prez machine is ramping up and looking for any opportunity to keep her name in the headlines.

      1. Oh thats right. Because the Hilary for Prez machine is ramping up and looking for any opportunity to keep her name in the headlines.

        I’ve had True Blue progs tell me the same thing McCaskill said. Just because you admire someone’s political skill doesn’t mean you have to like them as a person.

      2. I should add that I think you’re exactly right–outside of being Bill’s (willing) martyr, she’s not sympathetic in any way whatsoever.

    2. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but how do you reconcile “great leader” with “can’t be trusted around half the people who aren’t married to him”

  15. 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle won the top Golden Globes last night.

    The Golden Globes are the ones the people vote on? Does that make them more libertarian or less libertarian than other awards?

    1. No, they’re voted on by foreign journos. The People’s Choice awards are the ones the lumpenproles vote on

      1. Someone seems to know an awful lot about the Golden Globe Awards. It’s almost as though you’re foreign. AND A WOMAN.

        That’s right; you just fell into my trap.

        1. After the day-trip to Warty’s dungeon* your trap is a bit of a disappointment

          * even the exit through the gift shop is a scarring experience

    2. No, they are the ones that a small group of journalists who no one has ever heard of vote on.

      1. This was the correct answer, giving just enough information to relay disdain.

    3. My wife was watching as I roamed around the house aimlessly. At one point, I stopped in front of the TV and listened to U2 accept an award for something. I could have sworn (I don’t hear well out of one ear) one of them said, and I paraphrase “Mandela changed Catholic Ireland.”

      What?

      Thank God my wife changed the channel.

      1. I was listening to a worthless fucking NHL shootout.

        Fuck Gary Bettman with a rusty pole, and fuck the shootout and the Marty Brodeur Memorial Trapezoid.

        1. I enjoy the shootout more than the tie. And no one wants a regular season game to go on endlessly. Plus there are no commercials in OT. Something has to pay the bills.

          1. They never went on endlessly. They ended in ties.

            Personally, 10 OT and end it with a tie.

            SO is annoying.

            1. 10 min OT.

            2. Give each team in a tie one point? Or zero?

              1. One. Like the old timessss.

                1. I don’t think teams should get a point for.not.winning. zero points for.a tie gives teams a real incentive to win in OT.

                  1. It hasn’t really worked that way, though. Because the SO is worth the same as an OT win teams are just half assing it in OT to get there. If you want to stick with the traditional 1 win = 2 pts formula then you should bring back the tie to make it work right.

                    If you want to stick with the shootout then you need to change standings to a 3 point formula; OT and regulation wins is full 3, and a 2/1 split for shootouts. That way there’s some incentive to actually put the game away while actually playing it.

                    1. Maybe a 3/2/1? 3/0 for regulation win, 3/1 for OT win, 2/1 if it goes to a shootout.

                    2. That might br too ynbalanced butbit gives real iimincentive ti win un regulation.

        2. I still have no idea why Pete DeBoer doesn’t just pull the goalie in the final minute of OT. The Devils are something like 1-24 in SO attempts this year. It is an utter waste of time to even go to the skillz competition at this point.

      2. Maybe he did. I could see where the example of Mandela in the early 90s perhaps inspired some Catholics in Ireland to stop supporting IRA idiots and seek peace.

        It is a stretch. But, the Easter Agreements that brought peace to Ireland were after Mandela. I don’t know. But I could see it.

      3. My takeaway from my wife’s friends on FB is that Jennifer Lawrence has the 20-something everygirl market completely sewed up.

        1. She does. She is gorgeous without being too exotic or too perfect to be threatening to other women. Few women have that. It is the same thing Meg Ryan had back before she mutilated herself with plastic surgery.

          1. She is gorgeous without being too exotic or too perfect to be threatening to other women.

            This.

          2. She also looks different every time I see her. Which is weird.

            I mean, really different, so much that I have to be told its her each time.

            1. She’s also from Kentucky (Louisville) which makes her even hotter.

              1. But she went to Ballard, so fuck her.

                And not in the good way.

      4. as I roamed around the house aimlessly.

        How large is your manor? I can walk in a circle, but roaming is below my means.

        1. Smallish.

          About 2000 sq ft. living space on a 6000 sq ft. lot. Looking to move within two years.

          A little extra info provided.

  16. Federal Reserve Said to Probe Banks Over Forex Fixing

    The Fed, which supervises U.S. bank holding companies, is among authorities from London to Washington probing whether traders shared information that may have let them manipulate prices in the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market to maximize their profits, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter, asking not to be named because it’s confidential.

    “The Fed has discretion whether to and how much to fine the banks if deficient controls or lack of supervision resulted in traders at these banks manipulating currency rates,” said Jacob S. Frenkel, a former federal prosecutor and now a lawyer at Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker PA in Potomac, Maryland.

    1. When the governments do it at Bretton Woods, it’s virtuous. When private sector entities do it, it’s evil.

  17. Two rockets were fired from Gaza ahead of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s funeral.

    If they would only lift the embargo they would have enough rockets for a proper salute.

    1. It’s just those damn Israelis oppressing the peaceful Palestinians again.

  18. From Vice:

    A PIMP IS SUING NIKE BECAUSE HIS JORDANS GOT HIM 100 YEARS IN JAIL

    In that he used them to repeatedly stomp on someone’s head

    Sirgiorgiro Clardy, a pimp from Portland, is suing Nike after being sentenced to 100 years in jail for beating a man while wearing Air Jordans.

    Clardy was found guilty of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon ? his Jordans ? after attacking a john who had tried to leave a hotel without paying one of his prostitutes.

    The 26-year-old claims Nike should have put a label in his shoe warning him that they could be used as a dangerous weapon, and has asked a judge to order Nike to attach warning labels to all their “potentially dangerous Nike and Jordan merchandise”.

    Clardy filed his lawsuit last week. Without wanting to speculate too wildly, it’s pretty unlikely he’ll win.

    1. I bet that excuse would work for a cop.

      1. Well, cops have never been TRAINED that their jackboots can be considered weapons.

        And they can’t be EXPECTED to be experts in the law.

        Therefore it’s not FAIR to do anything to cops that kick people to death except send them to a “Your Jackboots and the Assault Law” training in Maui for two weeks at taxpayer expense. And the key lectures have to be scheduled on a holiday so everyone in attendance gets double time.

    2. “the court grants the motion to dismiss.”

    3. Don’t several VICE journalists/bloggers advocate allowing people to sue firearm manufactures for enabling madmen and criminals in their murders?

      1. Well, but guns are icky and stuff.

  19. A very quick bite: The terrifying predator fish that leaps from lakes to pluck unsuspecting birds from the air

    The phenomenon has never before been captured on film
    The swallow is flying low over the water when the predatory fish strikes
    Astonishing footage was taken at a lake in South Africa

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci…..w-air.html

    1. Just look at that punum; waiting to pounce, kill and chew.

      River Monsters?

  20. Chinese troops to seize Zhongye Island back from the Philippines in 2014

    Relying on US support, the Philippines is so arrogant as to announce in the New Year that it will increase its navy and air force deployment at Zhongye Island, a Chinese island that it has illegally occupied for years.

    It will be an intolerable insult to China

    According to experts, the Chinese navy has drawn a detailed combat plan to seize the island and the battle will be restricted within the South China Sea..

    1. That is not good. It takes a lot of expertise to run a competent navy. The Chinese are quite good at huge land forces and building missiles. But a competent navy is a whole other level of military expertise. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Philippines kicked their ass. Certainly a regional war involving Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan would give China a lot of problems

      1. I doubt they will try it. They have to know it’s not a great idea to get Japan all re-armed and nervous.

        1. I keep thinking that. But the Chinese are racist, have a complete false sense of superiority, and are eternally butt hurt. I think they are dumb enough and arrogant enough to do just that.

          My experience with mainland Chinese, as opposed to those from Taiwan, has been that they really believe they have been historically wronged and that they are a master race. They honestly seem to think all non-Chinese are incompetent idiots unable to war or in any way stand in the way of China.

          1. Didn’t japan march all over their country not too long ago?

            1. Yes. The Chinese have been on the ass end of every war they have fought for going on three hundred years. The best they have ever done is fight the UN/US to a draw in the Korean War. Hell, just 32 years ago, the Vietnamese kicked the living hell out of them when the Chinese decided to invade.

              1. To be fair, the vietnamese have a track record of driving out external invaders, especially the chinese (I think they’re up to four or five repulsed chinese invasions).

            2. But that was the corrupt Nationalist Regime, not the strong Communist Party!

              /mao prop.

      2. The Chinese are trying to provoke a response; to get a measure of how people will react.

        The Chinese are engaged in a decades long attempt to become a regional naval power. They aren’t there yet, but the U.S. getting weaker, and Barack Obama being so feckless and poll driven, they might be thinking that the winds are favorable to get some concessions now.

        Unfortunately for the Chinese, the USN hasn’t had a competent naval enemy challenge them in a long while and is full of officers who would like a taste of glory. So the USN is going to counsel standing up to the Chinese, and I doubt Obama is going to argue with them over it (it would play well with the political news types for him to support the assertive posture).

        1. Our Navy is vulnerable to missile attack. I am just about convinced that aircraft carriers are still wonderful power projection platforms against most countries but are too vulnerable to missile attack to be used in large force on force action in the 21st century.

          Submarines in contrast most likely will own any Naval engagement. I also wonder if maybe we are going to go back to some kind of missile driven ship to ship engagement reminiscent of the pre-aircraft era.

          1. I think it would work out like World War II; the Chinese could land an expeditionary force on the islands, but they would not be able to resupply them. Their surface ships would be under constant attack, either by U.S. aircraft far from the Chinese shore, and by subs close to the Chinese shore.

            The USN and USAF would rapidly assert air superiority over the islands, and that would be that.

            If the U.S. stays out of it, OTOH, the Chinese will be able to take the islands and hold on to them.

            I am a little surprised that the Chinese are going this route. I guess they are thinking nothing ventured, nothing gained.

            1. The Chinese have the same problem the Japanese had in World War II, they are dependent on sea lanes for raw materials. The Chinese can buy all of the oil wells in the Sudan and all of the mines in South America they want. But that won’t get those raw materials back to China.

              China has a single critical vulnerability the US or even Russia doesn’t have; they have no ability to obtain oil without the use of long lines of sea supply. There is no way they could build a navy big enough to ensure their oil supply. And without oil, they are screwed, I don’t care how big their military is.

              The US wouldn’t have to in a naval war. They would only have to fight China to a draw and that would be enough to disrupt China’s supply of oil and finish them.

              The other issue of course is that China is incredibly dependent on exports for its economy. In any regional war, it would not be able to export any products and hundreds of millions of Chinese would be out of work overnight.

              I don’t see a scenario where China wins any protracted war. Sure maybe the US might get weak enough that it would quit after getting a bloody nose, thought the opposite result of the US getting really pissed off is more likely. But Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines wouldn’t have the option of quitting and would fight to the end to avoid Chinese domination.

            2. “Greater East Asia Prosperity Sphere” probably sounds just as good in Mandarin as it did in Japanese.

          2. “Our Navy is vulnerable to missile attack. I am just about convinced that aircraft carriers are still wonderful power projection platforms against most countries but are too vulnerable to missile attack to be used in large force on force action in the 21st century.”

            I don’t know that this is necessarily the case. The real question is how effective is the Aegis defense system. It really never has been tested and there is a decidedly non 0 chance that it could swat down every inbound missle they lob at the aircraft carrier.

            That said I think the odds that the Chineese would actually attack a US Aircraft carrier right now are near 0. Ultimately their navy is 30 years off from being able to successfully engage with ours and even if somehow the diplomats managed to negotiate to stop the outbreak of World War 6 (WW4 was the Cold War, WW5 the GWOT) 3 Trillion of T-Bills being invalidated and the loss of a market to sell all of the junk products they manufacture would hurt them a hell of a lot more than it would hurt us.

            1. I think you are right. It would be suicide on the Chinese part. They don’t have the ability to project power. We wouldn’t even have to engage them. We could just shut off their oil and raw materials from a distance and they would quickly be unable to fight.

              1. I think you are right. It would be suicide on the Chinese part.

                That has not stopped them, or for that matter many others, from doing stupid shit anyway.

  21. The misuse of American might, and the price it pays

    The U.S. military is like the highly skilled, gadget-toting contractor who promises to give your kitchen a nifty makeover in no time whatsoever. Here’s the guy you can count on to get the job done. Just look at those references! Yet by the time he drives off months later, the kitchen’s a shambles and you’re stuck with a bill several times larger than the initial estimate. Turns out the job was more complicated than it seemed. But what say we take a crack at remodeling the master bath?

    That pretty much summarizes the American experience with war since the end of the Cold War. By common consent, when it comes to skills and gadgets, U.S. forces are in a league of their own. Yet when it comes to finishing the job on schedule and on budget, their performance has been woeful.

    1. Actually, the winning the war part goes quite quickly and smoothly, it’s the nation building bullshit that causes trouble.

      1. This.

        If you want to win a war the there has never been a military more powerful or successful that the US military.

        If you want to build a nation out of the wreckage? Well then that is a horse of a different color and while the US military has probably the best record of success of any military in history the fact is that military forces are really HORRIBLE at doing that task and as good as our forces are they still really suck at it.

        1. If you want to win a war the there has never been a military more powerful or successful that the US military.

          It would also help if we really fought to win, but the fear of bad PR because you leveled some shit hole has all but made it impossible to use military force as it should be to win. The Romans did it right when they razed Cartage and then salted the earth. All-out war is a thing of the past, and so are victories because of that.

    2. Is this why Canadians and Aussie’s keep claiming they win war games against the USA?

      1. True, but we have a great deal of experience in losing all of the battles and winning the war (The prime example – Union strategy in the Civil War).

        Though I admit, War Plan Red was a bit weak (and hilarious in hindsight when paired with the Canadian Plan – both sides would be charging right at each other)

        1. Interesting. Dunno much about it. I’ve met military people over the years but never got details. One of my clients engaged in one.

    3. The problem is what this guy considers “finishing the job”. If finishing the job means building a new society, yeah, that is pretty fucking expensive and hard. But it wasn’t the military that volunteered for that job or decided it was necessary.

      1. Exactly – the job of the military is to kill people and break shit, which they are incredibly good at. Building a new society should never be a part of their mission.

        1. This guy is basically just bitching that the military can’t magically solve all of the evils in the world this guy wants gone.

        2. Nothing pisses me more than the current bullshit where they paint the military as a disaster relief force. Sure, the PR from doing disaster relief can be a good thing, but fuck, what a waste of time and money it is to have a military that has been so pussified.

      2. Given how nasty China has become, it might be in our interests to have chats with India and Vietnam. Combined with Japan, Korea, and the Philippines, that coalition might be enough to scare the Chinese back to sanity.

        1. The Vietnamese have been buying Russian submarines. They’re well aware of their increasingly pugnacious neighbor to the north.

    4. The military wins BATTLES. That’s their whole job.

      Their civilian bosses (politicians)decide how and when wars are “won”.

      The American military has not lost a major battle in a very long time. Their political bosses have just been growing increasingly incompetent over that span of time.

  22. Portland pimp sues Nike for $100 million for lack of warning label after beating victim with Jordans

    A 26-year-old Portland pimp has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Nike, claiming the shoe manufacturer is partially responsible for a brutal beating that helped net him a 100-year prison sentence.

    Sirgiorgiro Clardy claims Nike should have placed a label in his Jordan shoes warning consumers that they could be used as a dangerous weapon. He was wearing a pair when he repeatedly stomped the face of a john who was trying to leave a Portland hotel without paying Clardy’s prostitute in June 2012.

    1. “It’s deja vu all over again”.

      So, fine sir, what is the proper shoe for kicking in deadbeats who won’t pay up?

    2. You lost to an Australian. I’m 93% certain that they use koalas to connect to the intertubes.

      1. I blame the hypnotic sound of the didgeridoo.

  23. Chin chin: Urine-drinking Hindu cult believes a warm cup before sunrise straight from a virgin cow heals cancer – and followers are queuing up to try it

    The Hindu believers regard the cow as a holy animal and say her urine has divine healing properties
    In the north Indian city of Agra, dozens gather at the cow shelter of DD Singhal to have a fresh glass of cow urine

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..ry-it.html

    1. Personally, I prefer milk. It’s not like this remedy is as harmful as chemotherapy, perhaps less effective though.

    2. Ah, just in time for Andy Kaufman’s triumphant return.

    3. I call, um, bullshit.

      A Hari Krishna told me that cow *excrement* is “the purest substance in the Universe”.

      1. One of the funniest parts in Paul Johnson’s “Modern Times” was his little blurb on Ghandi’s scat fetish.

  24. Latest crazy Japanese trend sees sexy lingerie released for men – and its a hit

    Wish Room representative Masayuki Tsuchiya, who wears the label’s products, told Reuters: “I like this tight feeling. It feels good.”

    Sellers told men that the lingerie, which is soon to be available in green and pink, will “make you feel more gentle”.

    Executive Director Akiko Okunomiya said she was surprised that so many men seemed interested in the new products.

    1. Declining birth and sexual activity rates in Japan…yep, they’re a mystery!!

  25. Wisconsin Political Speech Victory
    A judge blocks subpoenas against conservative allies of Scott Walker.

    The quashed subpoenas were sent to Friends of Scott Walker, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Inc., the Wisconsin Club for Growth, and Citizens for a Strong America, as well as their officers and directors. Judge Peterson’s order doesn’t apply to other subpoena targets, but they can presumably get the same result if they file a motion with the judge and have a similar factual basis.

    The order is all the more remarkable because it bluntly rejects the prosecutor’s theory of illegal coordination between the groups and the Walker campaign. Wisconsin’s campaign finance statutes ban coordination between independent groups and candidates for a “political purpose.” But a political purpose “requires express advocacy,” the judge wrote, and express advocacy means directly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate.

  26. Finnish woman publishes memoir describing hot and steamy* love affair with Finnish Prime Minister. She and her publisher are convicted of violating the PM’s privacy. Now the case is being heard by the European Court of Human Rights.

    *Sauna joke

    http://www.humanrightseurope.o…..-judgment/

    1. There’s supposed to be an “e” in “judgement” so I fouled up the link.

    1. I’ve noticed that cyclists like to pretend they’re pedestrians when it suits them, and pretend they’re traffic when it suits them. so blowing through red lights because it suits them doesn’t surprise me.

    2. How can they deny it? There is no “claim” to it. It is just the truth.

    3. Water is wet, the city’s transport authority has revealed.

    4. Deep Dish Pizza! Abortion!

      1. Deep dish abortion is not pizza!

        1. But if you add some onions and a little garlic you can definitely get a stew going.

        2. I knew a woman (step-mom of a friend in high school) who kept her new kid’s placenta in the fridge. That’s what I thought of when I read this phrase.

    5. How do people get money to study this shit? I’ll be happy to investigate whether water is in fact wet, for a small fee.

    6. I’m all for sharing the road with cyclists, but cyclists acting like they are pedestrians when it suits them is a bit of a pet peeve of mine.

      1. Pedestrians in Sacramento wouldn’t even cross the street with a red light or a don’t walk. They’d look at me aghast at my casual defiance as I’d cross an empty street. I’m glad to be back in the East where common sense rules the day for when to cross the street.

        Cyclists run into problems when they expect motor vehicles to behave predictably while being unpredictable. My own common sense on a bike is to be a pedestrian when it suits me, but always yield to the giant moving objects than can wreck me.

        1. If you want to run red lights, I don’t really care. What really bugs me is riding on sidewalks or on the wrong side of the road.

          1. I prefer cyclists on the wrong side of the road when I’m driving.

            Then I can be absolutely sure they can see me.

            For me the most nerve-wracking part of being around cyclists is that I’m convinced that they will swerve to the left just as I pass them. If they’re coming towards me, I can be pretty sure they won’t do that.

            All bicycle traffic should have to go against the flow of car traffic.

            1. But that makes accidents four times more energetic!

            2. I agree. The worst part about cyclists is when they fly by you as you are stopped. You don’t look for them or see them coming. I have nearly hit a couple while stopped taking a right turn. I am at a corner waiting for traffic to clear to take a right. Meanwhile, douche bag doing his Lance Armstrong imitation comes up to the right of traffic and cuts right in front of my path. Since I am looking left for oncoming traffic, I don’t see him. Since the pedestrians going across the oncoming traffic do not have a walk, I am unlikely to even look for them. But that doesn’t stop these assholes from chancing fate and running right by me.

              1. ouche bag doing his Lance Armstrong imitation

                I think this is the worst part about cyclists.

                1. Which Lance Armstrong? The cheating one or the average, over rated cyclist?

              2. The worst part about cyclists is when they fly by you as you are stopped. You don’t look for them or see them coming. I have nearly hit a couple while stopped taking a right turn.

                I’ve seen this phenomenon too. Speaking as a bicyclist, it baffles me. If you go full speed into the front end of a car, you are looking at pretty serious injuries. You’ll likely end up in the middle of an intersection, and if it’s a busy one can get run over by someone who doesn’t have enough time to stop.

                I just don’t understand how people who ride that way manage to roll the dice over and over again without getting smeared on the pavement. I figure that if I rode that way, I’d be killed within three months or so…

                1. I just don’t understand how people who ride that way manage to roll the dice over and over again without getting smeared on the pavement.

                  Sometimes their luck runs out:

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_bike

                  1. Apart from being a memorial, it is usually intended as a reminder to passing motorists to share the road.

                    But, not as a warning to cyclists to respect the laws of physics and not act like petulant cunts?

            3. All bicycle traffic should have to go against the flow of car traffic.

              That’s literally retarded.

              1) At night that means you guys are blinding the cyclists.

              2) It makes for more energetic collisions

              3) It actually impedes traffic more (when road work crews are working on the road the bikes and cars are sharing a lane).

              I could go on.

              The fact is, that if you are passing a cyclist, unless he’s fucking deaf, or wearing a walkman, he knows you’re there; you guys make a lot of noise. If he’s deaf, he should get a goddamn mirror. If he’s wearing a walkman, he deserves his fucking darwin award.

              1. Our culture of bicycles as a kid’s thing really fails to impress upon riders the extreme danger you can put yourself in on a bike. It’s not something that can or should be regulated or enforced so your always going to have your deathwish riders out there.

              2. ^This. Thanks, tarran.

                That might have made sense with primitive running lights, but with modern bright LED running lights and reflective gear it takes very little effort for a responsible cyclist to be easily visible from the rear.

    7. I’ve been cycling for nearly 30 years and while drivers for the most part are clueless motherfuckers, cyclists have the road etiquette of drunken whores.

      Especially courier cyclists. Both cyclist and pedestrians have a bad habit of walking on a no-walking signal.

      1. Bike messengers are the worst offenders, giving recreational cyclists and bicycle commuters a bad rep. Thanks, assholes.

    8. Yet when I on my bicycle was struck by a car that ran a red light, I was given a DUI and there was no mention of the running of the red light in the police report.

      1. Well that just plain sucks.

  27. This is really something else. From the NYT, links to Reason won’t accept so no link. sorry

    For over six years, Roger Shuler has hounded figures of the state legal and political establishment on his blog, Legal Schnauzer, a hothouse of furious but often fuzzily sourced allegations of deep corruption and wide-ranging conspiracy. Some of these allegations he has tested in court, having sued his neighbor, his neighbor’s lawyer, his former employer, the Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, the Alabama State Bar and two county circuit judges, among others. Mostly, he has lost.

    But even those who longed for his muzzling, and there are many, did not see it coming like this: with Mr. Shuler sitting in jail indefinitely, and now on the list of imprisoned journalists worldwide kept by the Committee to Protect Journalists. There, in the company of jailed reporters in China, Iran and Egypt, is Mr. Shuler, the only person on the list in the Western Hemisphere.

    So while the furor has all but dissipated, Mr. Shuler remains in jail, unwilling to take down his posts but also unwilling to hire a lawyer and contest his incarceration in the state courts.

    “This is flat-out court corruption, and it’s criminal,” he said in an interview from prison.

    1. Popehat has been covering this, and it’s a huge clusterfuck.

      The ACLU’s point is a good one: the fact that Shuler is saying nasty and potentially defamatory things is not an “extraordinary circumstance” justifying the Alabama court’s decision to disregard the imposing wall of precedent against prior restraint. It’s not an extraordinary circumstance, in part, because the marketplace of ideas provides pre-trial remedies in the form of response speech. Upon review of Shuler’s litigation history and his posts I am disinclined to believe anything he writes, and suspect he’s making up this story in particular. That doesn’t make it right for a court to ignore First Amendment precedent and impose prior restraint just because Shuler is crazy, creepy, or offending the local political elite.

      1. Look: be a martyr and refuse legal counsel to make a point if you want. But don’t confuse that with mounting an effective fight against injustice. Lawyering isn’t rocket science, but it does require training and experience. Every indication (see, for instance, the history in footnote 1 of my post about Shuler) indicates that Shuler does an awful job representing himself. The system is designed to chew up people who represent themselves. It’s not fair, it’s not right, but there it is ? a fact that won’t go away just because you’re in the right. Shuler’s rejection of a lawyer seems to be part of the pattern of misguided antics that has robbed him of the opportunity to litigate the First Amendment issues, like evading service and refusing to show up for hearings based on nutty vexatious litigant theories.

        1. Shuler seems to be a nut and an asshole. Last I looked, we paid judges to give nuts and assholes the same protection under the law loving grandmothers got.

          The judge needs to be removed from the bench for this.

  28. Two rockets were fired from Gaza ahead of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s funeral.

    how nice, a military salute!

    1. If I were Sharon, I would be pretty happy to know that I caused my enemies so much pain and misery they were firing rockets at my funeral.

  29. So, I got about 5 hours of HBO yesterday due to my wife controlling the TV. This included 4 hours of Girls and the new Woody Harrelson/Matthew McCoughnahay series.

    I guess I had never really paid attention to the Girls stuff going on here. But really, that show is about the people I knew in college who I no longer associate with. It is just a fucking trainwreck. Its like Seinfeld for losers.

    On the other hand, True Detectives should be pretty good. I like the premise, and the characters look like they’re going to be interesting.

    1. I never associated with the girls on ‘Girls’ in University. Too fucking nuts.

      1. Its not like the guys are any better. Apparently, the big goofy looking dude would rather be with a chick who is both homely and (literally) crazy than a smoking hot chick who is mentally healthy enough to have direct conversations about her likes, dislikes, and boundaries. What the fuck?

        Also, on the useless nudity front, there was a scene in one where she’s visiting her friend’s crazy family and drops trou in public to piss. There are literally 30 ways to shoot that scene that don’t include her naked ass. It would be just as senseless if it was one of the shapelier actresses or actors. It was like they were going to miss a quota or something.

        So my wife and I made a deal. She will DVR them and have her friends over to watch on Wednesdays and I will go to bar trivia at my local. So I guess I’m good with there being a new season of Girls, and hope Ms. Dunham continues to be renewed.

        1. Or…you could buy a new TV?

          Deals are meant to be broken. Just look at Venice and the Byzantine Empire.

          1. We tried having two TVs. The 2nd never got turned on. Neither of us care enough about seeing things first-run to turn on the 2nd TV. I gave it away to my roommate when I swapped roommate for pregnant gf last year.

            1. Ah.

              Good trade?

              1. So far. Although the newest roommate is loud, messy, and needy.

              2. I want to see the game theory chart on swapping a roommate and TV for a pregnant GF.

                1. Its not like he was putting out regularly. Plus, he always wanted to be the big spoon.

        2. Also, on the useless nudity front, there was a scene in one where she’s visiting her friend’s crazy family and drops trou in public to piss. There are literally 30 ways to shoot that scene that don’t include her naked ass.

          There’s a certain decadence about our current elites that makes them obsessed with subversion. It’s almost a mania with them, sort of like how an addict keeps looking for one more hit.

    2. You didn’t run out of the room screaming even once?

      1. I didn’t stay in the room much.

  30. So, fine sir, what is the proper shoe for kicking in deadbeats who won’t pay up?

    Doc Martens.

    1. wearing a pair of Docs right now.

      1. Still wearing my 8-holes which I bought in 1993. The old skool Docs really were quality

        1. The new Chinese ones have gotten better though. But still not up to the originals.

    2. Really? You don’t think a nice pointy-toed Justin (or Lucchese for the man with an eye towards quality) is the way to go?

    3. Be safe out there! Make sure your asskicking boots have a protective saftety toe. I prefer non-metallic toes myself.

    4. Georgia Boot Logger

      1. MY SHITKICKERS BEAT YOUR SHITKICKERS

        http://www.thefryecompany.com/…..927/logger

  31. Mr. Kalashnikov joined the Orthodox Church in his 90s, and just before his death wrote to the Patriarch about how the uses to which his gunnwere put troubled his conscience.

    http://www.bbb.co.uk/news-worl…..-25709371/

    1. Screw it

      1. How about

        http:/www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-257093

          1. Got it!

            1. Yay!

              1. Holy shit! You been training with SugarFree in a learning annex course or something?

  32. Speaking of rape, Downton Abbey anyone? I bet Bates finds out, volunteers to drive Lady Mary to London, and straight-up murders that motherfucker.

    1. That couple are worst star crossed lovers. I think the writers sit around brainstorming new ways to torture those characters. They must hate the pair.

      1. And that’s really saying something with all the damaged couples on that show.

    2. I stopped watching when Matthew died. *Sniff*

  33. Worst principal forced poor kids to pay for bizarre bash
    Kids at Queens’ notorious “School of No” have been forced to pay for a bizarre fifth-grade party at which their principal makes them dress up as little brides and grooms, The Post has learned ? as the DOE announce that it would probe conditions at the school.

    PS 106’s fur-clad principal, Marcella Sills ? who is known for frequently being absent ? has for at least the past three years orchestrated an annual prom at a posh rental hall.

    She has required parents to pay more than $110 per child for the shindig.

    1. Still better than a charter school!

      /President, NEA Local 467

  34. Another great Krugman op-ed at the NYT.

    Suddenly it’s O.K., even mandatory, for politicians with national ambitions to talk about helping the poor. This is easy for Democrats, who can go back to being the party of F.D.R. and L.B.J. It’s much more difficult for Republicans, who are having a hard time shaking their reputation for reverse Robin-Hoodism, for being the party that takes from the poor and gives to the rich.

    I got that far and stopped reading.

    1. Don’t you know that LBJ won the war on poverty?

    2. Taking less is giving! Giving less is taking!

    3. Did you read the comments?

      “Perhaps it is time to revisit the idea of a guaranteed annual income for every adult over a certain age, perhaps 18 or older, for example. This has been experimented with before, both in the United States and Canada, on a fairly large scale and with some degree of success.

      One of the key questions was if the implementation of such a plan would reduce the incentive to work and if it would encourage corporations to pay less. If such a plan is put in place then the minimum wage should be raised to a level where a full-time job would provide a higher annual income than any guaranteed annual income.

      Theoretically, it might work if the guaranteed annual income provided an income of $400 per week, or $20,800 per year, while the minimum wage was raised to $12.50 per hour ($500 per week), or $26,000 per year. The numbers could certainly be adjusted to create more of an incentive to work than to not work and collect the guaranteed annual income.”

      Canada doesn’t have ‘guaranteed income’ that I’m aware of – unless this person means ‘OAS’ or other pensions.

      1. And

        “The level of the economy that my business functions in is not high end retail. My business depends on the ability of people in my community to buy my services. They in turn are selling their goods and services to many others at many levels of my community. If unemployment benefits are removed from a portion of the unemployed in my community, I am made poorer. Therefore, I am one business owner who supports long term unemployment and food subsides during times of high unemployment. The tax cuts and subsides given to the wealthy and large corporations do not do much for me. I suspect there are other private business owners like myself who feel the same way.”

        1. Why don’t we just give everyone a million dollars a year? Then we can all go to these businesses and spend it and everyone will be richer!
          /sarc

          The level of thinking these people exhibit is child like. I remember when I was 10 thinking these sort of fantastical thoughts before I really began to appreciate incentives. These people never left that stage.

    4. how does one “take from the poor” exactly? They’re fucking poor. They don’t have anything to be taken.

      1. When the poor voluntarily exchange their money for the products or services of a big rich company, somehow, the rich are actually coercing the poor to give them this money and are in essence “taking from the poor”.

        It’s 3D chess wareagle, only high minded people like Krugman and Obama can really understand these grave injustices.

      2. Its like saying the rich are rich because they rob bathrooms, and expecting people to think that’s where the money really is at.

        Colelctivism isn’t about logic though, so this kind of stupid shit works.

    5. Thanks, I guess, for wading into that delusional mess so we don’t have to.

    6. At one time, when manufacturing workers lived lives that superficially appeared to be “poor”, it was reasonable to believe (if still false and economically illiterate) that the rich were “taking” from the poor.

      Now the poor are people who don’t work.

      No one is taking anything from people who don’t work. In fact, the entire problem is that they have no one to “exploit” them.

    7. But Robin Hood took from the government (Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham) and gave the money back to the people.

  35. Supporters favor idea that data collection could have prevented 9/11

    Critics of the massive monitoring systems conducted by the National Security Agency, along with some scholars of the attack, dispute the view that the data collection would necessarily have made a difference then or justifies the program now.

    The presidential task force that reviewed surveillance operations concluded last month the program “was not essential” to preventing terrorist attacks.

    On Friday, Obama will announce his proposals to change intelligence operations and oversight that most likely will modify, but not stop, the collection of billions of phone call logs. He is expected to propose actions aides said he hopes will make Americans more comfortable with the program but not rein in its scope as a counter-terrorism tool, the Times said.

    1. Just ignore the fact that the NSA was listening to Bin Ladin’s telephone calls and multiple federal agencies knew the identities of at least some of the hijackers and knew they were dangerous yet did nothing. If only they had had more data, the whole thing would have turned out differently.

      1. We have been, and always will be, one more government bureaucracy size increase from prog utopia.

      2. Also ignore the fact that US authorities had been specifically warned by the Russians about the Tsarnaev brothers, yet did nothing to prevent them from bombing the Boston Marathon.

        1. I seem to recall some administration mouthpiece claiming recently that there have been no terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11 so Ft. Hood and the Boston marathon bombing are obviously figments of your fevered imagination.

  36. So, I got about 5 hours of HBO yesterday due to my wife controlling the TV. This included 4 hours of Girls and the new Woody Harrelson/Matthew McCoughnahay series.

    DISH was having a free HBO weekend; I only knew because a friend mentioned it.

    No Girls. I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid.

    Watched Million Dollar Baby, which I had never seen. Excellent.
    Watched some other truly dopey shit, including Battleship, which desperately wants to be on the Ten Worst Movies Ever Made list, and some idiotic movie on a boat featuring Jamie Lee Curtis doing battle with self-replicating mechanical gizmos from outer space which reminded me of the stuff built by the crazy kid next door in Toy Story, which took the edge off the intended horror factor.

    1. Million Dollar Baby is a very good movie. You want to take a shotgun to your face after watching it. But it is a good movie. Eastwood really went on a roll in the 00s.

      1. Agreed – I was depressed after watching MDB. /no spoilers though.

    2. Shamefull admission of the day: I’ve seen Battleship three times.

  37. Non-sequitur moment.

    City snow removal trucks are out this morning.

    Problem is, we’ve been on the plus side the last few days and much of the massive amount of snow on the streets has melted. Yet, all I hear are the plows grinding against the cement thus making a horrific screeching sound as I try to read.

    As you were.

    1. We had the plows go by again – after the roads were cleared. As far as I can tell, the only reason was to push the snowbanks into people’s driveways.

      1. As far as I can tell, the only reason was to push the snowbanks into people’s driveways.

        They get paid by the hour, usually at least time and a half working extra shifts for snow removal. So milking the extra pay is a likely reason.

    2. I wish they had been out this morning. All of yesterday’s melt had frozen. The roads could have used some sand and salt.

  38. Another hijack moment. My wife argues it’s impossible for men and women to ever by ‘true’ friends in the most platonic way.

    Discuss.

    1. Only if the woman is really unattractive. If she is even remotely cute, the guy will use her great personality as a way to find her attractive.

      1. What John said. Might be different for women though.

        1. I think women like the idea of courtly, unrequited love more than men. There is an entire tradition going back to the middle ages of married people having these courtly affairs that are never consummated. In our modern therapy driven society, these are called “emotional affairs”. I think a lot, but not all, women, love that idea. Men in contrast judge themselves on actual conquest and find it unsatisfying.

          So from the female end, these sorts of friendships are more likely to get emotionally complicated.

      2. For me, honestly, this tends to be the case. Unless the girl is really unattractive, if they are cool enough to be friends with I will tend to become more attracted to them the more time we spend together.

        Maybe I am not the norm, maybe I’m weak willed, that is just how it has always been.

        1. I’m like that. Like starting work at a new office, at first most of the women are only mildly attractive but as the months go by and I become friends with some of them they move from “meh” to “I’d probably bang her”

    2. Bullshit. Two of my oldest, dearest friends are male. Never a flicker between me and them. Not a bit. And I’m very close to their partners.

      1. I see swingers party on the horizon.

      2. The woman in the situation can’t really answer the question.

        1. Why not?

          1. Because you can’t read the minds of your two manfriends.

            1. No, I wouldn’t know what’s going on with people I’ve known for over 25 years. Right.

              1. That is right, you wouldn’t.
                They’re men, trust me.

              2. Are you sure they wouldn’t want to sleep with you?

                I’ve always wanted to do a test and just ask out of the blue to a couple if they’d swing. I’m sure I’d be surprised by the answer. In fact, it came up a few years back and lemme tell ya, they didn’t seem against the idea. Nervously, of course, the subject got changed quickly.

                1. Pretty sure. I know the sort of women they fuck. Or as Redmanfms so sweetly suggests below, I must be really fucking ugly.

                2. FWIW, ifh, I have a couple female friends whom I’ve known for decades and whom I would schtup in a heartbeat, if the opportunity came up.

                  I’ve never mentioned that little factoid to them.

      3. According to you.

        Most girls think their “just friends” haven’t had a “flicker” of attraction. I’m willing to bet at least one of those two guys would leave his girlfriend in a heartbeat if he thought you were interested.

        Or they’re both gay.

        Or you’re really fucking ugly.

        1. With warts on the tits and shit.

        2. Ladder theory.

          Every time it comes up, women deny it and guys think its clearly true.

      4. as a male who has a few female friends who are attractive….I have come to accept the fact that i am dear friends with them and i am sure they do not feel anything towards me, and may be upset if i did. but if they came up to me tomorrow and said “lets fuck” i’d have my pants down in 3 seconds. It is a tight rope to walk.

        1. With all respect to IFH, these guys are correct. Dudes will consider banging almost anything and if you are friends with them they have thought about it way more than would be comfortable for you to know. This is nearly universal.

          As an aside, I posit that all men, even in some small infinitesimal way, at least once, picture practically every woman they see in a banging situation, however fleeting and revolting. It is autonomic, like breathing.

          1. I posit that all men, even in some small infinitesimal way, at least once, picture practically every woman they see in a banging situation, however fleeting and revolting.

            That is the basis for the male half of ladder theory. Every woman a man meets is placed on his bang ladder. The higher up, the more willing to have sex with her. EVERY woman gets ranked (and, of course, rankings are fluid).

            Women, on the other hand, have two ladders, a sex ladder and a friend ladder. And jumping from the friend ladder to the sex ladder is nigh impossible.

            1. I’m a woman who doesn’t identify with the two ladders thing. I never wanted to date a guy I wasn’t friends with first. Although I guess now that I’m married there is something like two ladders. The sex one for my husband and the other ladder for everyone else.

    3. It depends on the man/woman. Perhaps it is a matter (at least for me) if you’ve had sisters or not. But I’ve never been “just friends” with a woman – at least to the level of what I consider “real friends”.

      With women who I’ve just been “friends with”, they fall into two camps.

      1) acquaintances who I can hang out out the bar with but have minimal sexual interest. Nothing much beyond a “hey, how’s it going?”

      2) I’m secretly madly in love with them but I’m hiding it, hoping to get some sign that I can more forward.

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

      1. But yet, try and find a male librarian!!?

        1. Our own Sugarfree? May not count as he’s a Kentucky librarian.

        2. NutraSweet. Also, another friend of mine locally. They exist, but are carefully kept at colleges and universities, usually out of the public eye.

          1. True. They actually make me work in a utility closet most days.

    5. I had a few female friends who were strictly platonic, mainly because they were disease ridden sluts who I wouldn’t touch with John’s dick.

    6. I don’t know. I hung out a lot, with mostly guys, throughout lawschool. And for the most part, I was attracted on some level to them. But there are one or two that I would consider strictly platonic.

    7. I don’t think it’s a black and white question. Who wants to be friends with someone they don’t find attractive or at least appealing in some way? As long as you aren’t friends with them only because you are attracted to them–because that makes you pathetic.

      1. You mean it is not a coincidence that all of my close female friends are at least decently attractive? Don’t tell my wife this.

        1. Ya’ll are giving away way too much.

    8. My wife argues it’s impossible for men and women to ever by ‘true’ friends in the most platonic way

      It is difficult, but not impossible. I’ve had a very close platonic friendship with a gal from high school for the last 20 years. We don’t talk as much as we used to ever since she and her family moved to New York, but we’re still good friends.

      Back in college, we broached the subject of what it might have been like if we started dating, and both of us agreed that it would just be too wierd because the whole dynamic of our relationship was defined by the very fact that it was thoroughly platonic.

      1. This. Got a good friend going back to high school (when she had a crush on me). She’s very pretty, and she obviously considers me attractive, but our relationship is entirely platonic. We lived together for a year in our mid-20’s without any sexual tension whatsoever. Back to Lord Humongous’ point, I think my having an objectively pretty sister may be a deciding variable. I view this friend in much the same way, as a sister. Although I know she is pretty and many guys look at her and think “would bang,” I have no interest in her in that way because she is like a sister to me (may be helped by the fact that, like a sister, I can recall her when she was younger and less hot).

        1. Back in college, I actually had a few guys tell me that they didn’t ask my friend out because they initially thought she and I were a couple, as we were affectionate (just hugs) and always hanging out. The fact that there was no sexual attachment involved with the two of us just blew their minds.

          I think both of us got a kick out of the fact that we were so close without ever having to wonder about taking it to a more intimate level, and that it completely baffled most of our contemporaries.

  39. Chihuahua-driven car hits woman at red light:

    http://cbsloc.ala/JUWIdA

      1. SF’ed the link

        1. The 2d one works

          1. Cheers. Chihuahuas really are satanic little beasts. Many years ago there was a new story about the owner of a rottweiler suing the owner of a chihuahua as the chihuahua had knocked up the rottie.

            1. the chihuahua had knocked up the rottie.

              Wait, what the, oh my God..

              1. You’ve never seen the small, ugly, but incredibly persistent guy score before?

            2. I once saw a chihuahahua and a rottweiler fight. The chihuahahua just ducked under the big dog, grab his balls, and tore the sack open. The rotty cried like a bitch and ra all over the place. Don’t fuck with chihuahahuas….

  40. Someone introduced me to Duchesse de Bourgogne over the weekend. What a great fucking product.

    1. Yes, yes, a hundred times yes. I’ve had it on draft on two occasions and it is just amazing.

      1. I can no longer say I do not like beer. Because I fucking loved this beer.

        1. Wow, that’s a pretty advanced beer to change your mind about beer.

          Try a gose if you run across one. It’s also a lacto-bacilli beer.

          1. I do wine and mead. I particularly love deep, rich, earthy, tannic red wines from Europe. And I pretty much hate hops.

            So this beer is basically an oaked ale with almost no hops. It’s like a beer designed for wine geeks 😉

            1. I’m also fairly anti-hop. I can take them in small doses, but some of the recent IPAs & co are too much for me.

              I recently brewed an “American Stout” which was pretty much yer average dark beer – but with much more hops to make it, er, American – ?

            2. Sours and most wheat/wit/wiezen are low in hops. For more sours, try Rodenbach Grand Cru for a wine-y experience.

              1. I will certainly be trying more sours.

              2. This. Downstairs from my apartment is a great bar that always has 4-5 sours on tap, including Duchesse. Needless to say I spend a healthy chunk of change there each month on beer and their chicken & donuts dish.

            3. Belgian strongs are great too. Any Trappist and most Abby ales should fit your liking.

        2. Any time someone says they dont like beer, I tell them they havent tried enough then.

          Its possible there are people who really dont like ALL beers, but I havent met one yet.

    2. Ever tried a lambic?

      1. I love Lindemans lambics. I can’t say they taste like what most people would think of as beer, though.

        1. Lindemans isnt lambic. Okay, they have some that is, but not the sweet stuff.

          The owners of Cantillon refuse to join the Belgian lambic council because they let Lindemans join.

          1. Lindeman’s is the Chef Boyardee of lambics.

            I visited the Cantillon brewery back in May. One of the best decisions I ever made.

      2. What’s it taste like?

        1. What’s it taste like?

          The Framboise is like raspberry soda, minus the sugar, with an alcoholic kick.

          1. Ugh.

            A real lambic tastes like someone sucked all the liquid out of your body while you are licking a horse blanket that wet sheep have been rolling around on.

            Its fucking awesome.

            1. My wife prefers the gueuze. Me not so much. I’m not a fan of things with a metallic aftertaste.

              1. You get metallic from gueuze?

                I do from certain hops, but I dont get anything but barnyard and sour from gueuze.

                And the best fruit lambics provide the same flavor profile, only with added fruit.

                1. You get metallic from gueuze?

                  Granted I’ve only tried it a couple times, and that was many years ago, but yes. All I really remember was an aftertaste that reminded me of sucking on a penny.

                  1. Just started a pilsner on Saturday. I really need to get on the ball and fill up my kegs. Last I looked a six pack of anything decent was ten bucks. That’s just nuts when I can make ten times that for a little over twice the cost.

                  2. Copper or zinc?

                    1. Quite honestly I couldn’t tell you exactly what metal it tasted like. Like I said, it was over ten years ago. Guess I’ll have to go try one again, only this time try something other than Lindemans.

                    2. Go straight to the top and try Cantillon. Pricey, but worth it.

              2. Sarc, find yourself an Oude Beersel Gueuze… the best of the style easily available in the states (if you should ever stumble upon Cantillon’s Le Pepe Gueuze, buy every bottle and email me for my mailing address).

                Interesting fact: gueuze is the Farsi word for fart.

                1. should read Lou Pepe Gueuze

        2. They taste dry, cidery, kind of sour, with the combined taste of any fruit they may have been fermented with; for example Lindemans Kriek Lambic ids fermented with sour cherries, so it picks up sour cherry notes along with the other lambic flavors. It’s more like a fruity, slightly sour champagne than a beer.

    3. By the way…Tripel in the Primary as of last night, 1.072…two months from now WOOOHOOO!!!!

    4. One of my favorites. You should try Rodenbach on draft if you can find it.

  41. Speaking of movies which make you screech, “How in the fuck did THAT horrific excretion of idiocy get made?” while pounding your head on the floor:

    I watched some Billy Bob Thornton movie not long ago which was, without question, the result of giving Billy Bob and his buddies an eightball and locking them in a room with instructions to come up with the most idiotic and ridiculous shit they could think of. The single least unbelievable thing in the movie was when the guy backs his Chevy across Billy Bob’s vast expanse of back yard at top speed through a plate glass wall, and NOBODY SEES HIM COMING.

    1. Rented The Wolverine last night. Figured the Origins one was pretty good, so what the heck.

      It was terrible. One of the worst movies I’ve seen in a very long time.

      1. Have you seen the trailer for Noah yet? Is Russel Crowe going to bang his daughter Emma Watson like in the Bible?

        1. Apparently she’s got a new boyfriend.

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..anney.html

  42. It’s much more difficult for Republicans, who are having a hard time shaking their reputation for reverse Robin-Hoodism, for being the party that takes from the poor and gives to the rich.

    Somebody let Krugabe go down the stairs without his helmet, again.

    1. Not taking is giving and not giving is taking.

    2. To be technical, government takes from the poor to give to the rich all the time, in the form of crony capitalism. And both parties are guilty as hell of going that all the time.

      1. doing, not going. Not sure what’s wrong with me this morning.

    3. Not to mention the fact that the Robin Hood legend is all too commonly misinterpreted as “takes from the rich and gives to the poor”…

      1. In the original stories, he stole for the government and kept it for himself.

        He was a highwayman, plain and simple. A folk hero highwayman, but a thief none the less.

        1. He was the original anti-tax man…

  43. My wife argues it’s impossible for men and women to ever by ‘true’ friends in the most platonic way.

    IMPOSSIBLE? Probably not. HIGHLY UNLIKELY.

  44. the mysterious dancing epidemic of 1518

    “Some time in mid-July 1518 a lone woman stepped into one of its narrow streets and began a dancing vigil that was to last four or even 6 days in succession. Within a week another 34 had joined the dance. And by the end of August, one chronicler asserts, 400 people had experienced the madness, dancing wildly, uncontrollably around the city.” And this wasn’t a sedate affair; the dancers’ feet often ended up bruised and bloody. The authors were not able assign a biological cause to the epidemic (it seems unlikely that hallucinogenic compounds from the rye fungus ergot were involved), but they suggest that hunger and psychological stress were the likely culprit, with a healthy dose of religious belief thrown in: “In times of acute hardship, with physical and mental distress leaving people more than usually suggestible, a fear of St Vitus could rapidly take hold. All it then took was for one or a few emotionally frail people, believing themselves to have been cursed by St.Vitus, to slip into a trance.

    1. Sounds like “The Jigs” from Weapon Brown.

  45. Drones!

    For hunters, it’s nice to escape these technological distractions and head into the wilderness, admiring nature for all its wonder, and reaping the benefits of simply being outdoors.

    However, some think hunters should have Big Brother constantly watching our every move, and who else but PETA should take hunter harassment to a whole new level?

    Enter PETA’s new Air Angel drone, a remote-controlled, quadricopter drone being marketed to the general public as “the new hobby for animal protectionists.”

    That’s right, for just $324.99, “hobbyists” can bring home their very own drone?stickers included?that can send video and photos straight to the user’s phone, allowing them to track hunters from on high.

    “PETA’s drones will help protect wildlife by letting hunters know that someone may be watching?and recording?them, so they should think twice before illegally killing or maiming any living being,” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a news release. “Wildlife watchers outnumber wildlife killers five to one?and if even a fraction of these kind people use hobby drones, they’ll make a huge difference by exposing hunters’ dirty secrets.”

    If I’m out hunting deer (for instance) and I see a drone, I’m no longer hunting deer, but drone. I will blow that fucking thing to bits.

    1. I find deer hunting and sitting in a blind, be it duck or deer, to be incredibly boring. If hunting also involved playing London 1940 with my shotgun as AA and some PETA drone as the Luftwaffe, my opinion of hunting will change a bit.

      1. Just remember, though, and misses are going to come down somewhere.

        That’s why I recommend jamming their control radios… 😉

    2. “dirty secrets” wow, cause we’re all out there poaching… fucking retards. Got eat some tiger nuts

      1. I the eyes of anti-hunters, there is no difference between hunters and poachers.

    3. Couldn’t I use the drone to track deer? Also, shooting a deer rifle at an airborne object would send a projectile 2-4 miles. Seems dangerous. I recommend a shot gun with birdshot.

      1. That’s my thought, carry a little 45/410 pistol…loaded with shot

  46. I settled on my next read. It is going to take me a while to complete it but I figured I had to pick something and this book seems to be essential teaching. So I’ve gone with:

    HUMAN ACTION: A TREATISE ON ECONOMICS by Ludwig Von Mises

    All other suggestions have been wish listed on Amazon as to be read. Thank you all for your continued input.

      1. Added to my list of books to read at some point.

  47. “Perhaps it is time to revisit the idea of a guaranteed annual income for every adult over a certain age, perhaps 18 or older, for example. This has been experimented with before, both in the United States and Canada, on a fairly large scale and with some degree of success.

    No. It isn’t.

    It is time to completely rewrite the tax code so that a substantial base level of earned income is shielded from income taxes, in order to improve the returns from work for the “poor”. Also, if assistance is given, there must be a scaled reduction of benefits which minimizes any disincentives to attainment of additional earned income.

    Whatever other arguments you want to make against it, government paying people to NOT work is economically unsustainable.

    1. I’m sympathetic to the idea of a guaranteed national income, albeit one that is really, really low – like $500/month, or something like that.

      Some people just aren’t capable of earning enough money to live a lifestyle that I would consider good enough to somebody in this country. Somebody has to carry these people – I really have no problem with the government doing it.

      The problem is that it would end up being an entitlement, and then a “right”, and soon enough you’ll have people marching in the streets demanding it be raised to a “living guaranteed income” or some other bullshit.

  48. Also (of course), disincentives to private job creators must be swept aside.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I crack myself up.

  49. “PETA’s drones will help protect wildlife by letting hunters know that someone may be watching?and recording?them, so they should think twice before illegally killing or maiming any living being,” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a news release. “Wildlife watchers outnumber wildlife killers five to one?and if even a fraction of these kind people use hobby drones, they’ll make a huge difference by exposing hunters’ dirty secrets.”

    “Illegal” hunting? Yeah, right.

    This and a few other threads recently have reminded me of the recurring campaigns on the part of Bambi-loving retards to disrupt the deer hunts on the Air Force Academy Reserve. Every year, in the seventies and early eighties, when I lived in Colorado Springs, the Air Force would publish astronomical property damage numbers incurred from the vast deer infestation, and every time they tried to open part of the Academy land to hunters for a cull, fucking morons would swarm up and beat pots and pans in an attempt to disrupt the hunt and “save” poor little Bambi. It’s better for them to starve, or be hit by cars.

    I hardly ever went on Academy grounds without seeing at least one dead deer on the edge of the road, and those guys did not let them lie around; they scooped them up practically before they were cold.

  50. I am considering getting a Comcast business internet connection for home. We use DirecTV and don’t need cable. We will use it for:

    Telecommuting
    Remote access
    Gaming
    Streaming video (nudge nudge)
    Posting on Hit and Run (nudge nudge!)

    Any thoughts/comments/dire warnings?

    1. Definitely get the business one. My experience with Comcast internet for residential is that it went down 3 weekday afternoons out of five. Cable would work, internet wouldn’t. Given that I was already praying for their corporate headquarters to be hit by an asteroid, it was pretty much the last straw.

      1. Thanks, Brett. Even the lowest tier of their business service far outshines what we have at our old house (3G data card in a router) at about the same price. Plus no data caps and guarantees of bandwidth make sense especially when telecommuting.

  51. Money vs. Wealth, a primer. Perhaps one of you could forward to Krugabe so that he can understand in simple terms why income is not the be-all, end-all of the discussion.

    1. Ugh.

      I didnt get past his anti-deflation idiocy.

      Gold, despite the fluctuations he talks about, is a much more LOOOONG term stable holder of value than fiat currency.

      Over a 5 or even 50 year period, fiat might be more “stable”, in that the erosion of value is predictable. But fuck that shit.

      1. I didn’t say it was perfect. I agree he’s completely wrong about the value of fiat money, but that’s advanced. I had several of my more progressive friends on FB pipe up to say, in essence, that they had never thought about the fact that rich people probably didn’t just keep money bins full of cash that they swim in. Which is the biggest takeaway for the non-initiated.

        1. Anti-deflationism is a pet peeve of mine, I cant get past that.

          1. Its interesting how its never as big a problem that worker’s pay doesn’t increase as quickly as inflation as the idea that they might be compensated more than their value during deflation.

          2. The antideflationists seldom see any problem with the inherent theft from savers implied in inflation but they spend lots of effort complaining about the supposed ill effects of deflation.

    2. Add onto this that true wealth typically only has real value to those who know what to do with it. Also, certain physical assets may only have value to those who.can afford them.

      Sieze and redistribute land or shares in profitable.companies, and historically that land and those.companies become unproductive.

      Likewise, a yacht has value only as a luxury. It is of no.use to a commercial fisherman. A Ferrari has no more utility that a Ford, and often less. What gives them their value is the fact that concentrated wealth values them. Otherwise they may be scrap.

    3. Someone has been reading HN…and is behind.

  52. Hardcore chess:

    An Italian man allegedly cut open his Dublin landlord’s chest and tried to eat his heart following a fight over a chess match.

    1. Bellante, a native of Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily, had worked in Dublin for the past two years at a pharmaceutical company.

      Evidently he was (or wasn’t) availing himself of the appropriate wares.

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