Propaganda

When the U.S. Government Preyed on All Men's Fears of Obsolescence and Failure

|

To be honest, there are certainly many, many times the U.S. government has preyed on men's fears for various reasons. But I stumbled across an ad for U.S. savings bonds from 1948 that struck me as a particularly, colorfully egregious example.

Alas, it is on the inside back cover of a precious May 1948 issue of Startling Stories that would fall apart if I scanned it, and I cannot find the image online. But believe me, it's real. [UPDATE: While I am not image savvy enough to reproduce it here, you can see the ad I'm discussing by going to this pdf of the issue of Startling, and going to page 147. And man is the World Wide Web an amazing place.]

The image is a sort of proto-Don Draper-y office man with furrowed brow and a pencil held to his forehead.

The slogan:

"When does a man start slipping?"

The pitch:

The moment comes to every man.

The moment when he realizes he isn't the man he used to be….

That the days of his peak earning powers are over…

That some day not so very far away some younger man will step into his shoes.

When does this time come? It varies with many things.

But of one thing you can be sure: It will come to you as surely as green apples get ripe–and fall off the tree.

Is this something to worry about? Well….yes. But constructively.

And "constructively" means: "By buying U.S. savings bonds….automatically."

American man, you are going to become more and more of a loser. Don't deny it. But strive to protect yourself and your family against your inevitable, sad, humiliating decline. With U.S. savings bonds.

CORRECTION: The original posting of this shamefully misused "pray" and "prayed" for its homophone "prey."

NEXT: Dianne Feinstein Says Stoned Drivers Ruin Marijuana Legalization for Everyone

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. No, if he had meant “preyed” he wouldn’t have said “prayed” so many times.

      Once is a typo. More than once is, well, not a typo any more.

    2. You know, the reason why don’t harp on typos in H&R posts is that when they go back and fix the errors you end up looking crazy.

  1. When the U.S. Government Prayed on All Men’s Fears of Losing Their Ability to Provide for Their Family

    We need to reign in this praying on men’s fears, so that everyone will toe the lion!

    1. See, when you snark on a typo; always be sure to quote the typo so when it gets silently corrected, you don’t look insane.

      1. bzz bzz bzz That Stormy Dragon bzz bzz bzz nutty as a fruitcake bzz bzz bzz.

      2. Oh, don’t worry: it’s locked in the URL.

  2. Alas, it is on the inside back cover of a precious May 1948 issue of Startling Stories that would fall apart if I scanned it, and I cannot find the image online. But believe me, it’s real,

    Brian, there’s this newfangled gadget called a camera.

    1. Indeed. There’s even an app for that.

      1. $5 a month. Do you use it?

        1. Its free.

          There is probably a pay version too, but I use the free one.

  3. Why, prey tell, did you misspell a perfectly good word?

    1. Doherty is John?

  4. Imagine those benighted times when one could assume that a man would worry about being unable to support his family.

  5. Sorry guys, yes, the spelling error in the headline and first line has been corrected. However, please don’t let that stop you busting my chops about it for another 70 comments.

    1. How will you stop us – turning the squirrels loose again? Not that I want to give anyone ideas.

    2. We only roast the ones we love. 😉

    3. Brian,
      No commenter has ever mispelled a word!

      1. John included.

      2. Notice they get an edit button that they deny to us.

        1. FARE SHAREZ!!!!!111!!1

    4. Now you’re just being homophonic!

    5. Got you covered, Brian.

      Let Us Prey. Also, a song I actually like from the same band.

      1. Eat Prey Love is actually a documentary about Catholic priest pederasty

      2. You stole my post. Dick.

    6. Sorry guys, yes, the spelling error in the headline and first line has been corrected. However, please don’t let that stop you busting my chops about it for another 70 comments.

      And why, prey tell, would we do that?

      1. Its like a little prair

  6. Even opening the back cover enough to get a at-all clear photo of it would involve tearing it off. If you’ve handled old pulps, you’ll understand.

  7. Is The Mask of Circe any good?

    1. I haven’t read it; while I delight in collecting/accumulating SF pulps, I have to admit I’ll have to get to that nanotech world of eternal cell regeneration and 600 year lifespans to read many of them.

      1. Reviews and such

        I know I read some Kuttner and Moore stuff, probably around the time Ace issued the paperback edition. I would have passed on The Mask of Circe because it looked like fantasy.

    2. The Mask of Circe (pdf but in a reader frame)

      1. Fucking SugarFree the Librarian to the rescue!

        #WINNING

        1. Fucking SugarFree

          No thank you.

        2. That can’t be the real SugarFree. The link works.

          1. He’s fulfilled his annual quota.

  8. Why am I supposed to think this is especially egregious?

    Because unlike today, back then people faced the idea that one might be out-competed or just have to retire and live on something, as opposed to euphemism-ing it away in their advertising?

    1. Speaking of euphemisms, look at that text.

      Is it really preying on their fear of unemployment? Or is it actually preying on their fear of ED?

    2. Because it’s like a “pick-up artist” (blech) negging a girl so he can bed her. It is one thing to encourage others to confront the future rationally, accepting that decline and death are inevitable. It is quite another thing to use healthy fears and insecurities to emotionally manipulate and exploit others.

    1. A
      n
      Introductio
      n
      t
      o
      Huma
      n
      Heredit
      y
      an
      d
      Eugenics

    2. Wow does that guy look like James Remar. I thought it was fake at first because I was sure it was Remar.

      “I’ll shove that bat up your ass and turn you into a popsicle.”

      1. I thought Rimmer’s first name was Arnold.

        1. I thought it was Smeghead.

  9. For some context in 1948 few people thought stocks were a viable investment for one’s retirement.

    1. What was the transactional cost of trading stock in ’48?

      1. Good question that I don’t know the answer to.

      2. A harrowing Battle of the Bulge flashback.

      3. I hate to think what the long distance charges were just to call your broker outside a major city, much less the commission. Then the postage for mailing out the cool paper certificates.

      4. Also keep in mind that mutual funds were pretty rare at the time, so investing in stocks meant picking specific companies to invest in yourself.

        Also keep in mind that in 1948, the market was still a third below where it was in 1929. An investment that loses a third of its value over 20 years isn’t going to be attractive for retirement savers.

        1. As opposed to something solid, like the Greenspan-Bernanke-Yellen Dollar?

          1. That’s exactly what forces me into the market.

            1. Whenever I hear anti-market types bemoan investors having to gamble their savings on stocks, I chortle. Because, you know, paper backed by wishes and goodthink has been a safer investment than market-driven commodity-backed money.

              1. Not to mention promises by politicos that you’ll get all sorts of free shit!

          2. Of course the dollar wasn’t being diluted by the GBY triumvirate in 1948. But you knew that, didn’t you?

    2. Keep in mind that Friedman (IIRC) called saving bonds (in general) the biggest scam the US Government has pulled on its citizens.

      Or something like that.

      1. Hey, with S/S as competition, that’s high ‘praise’!
        Imagine where it would place now that we have O-care in the game.

      2. I’ll agree with that assessment.

        My mom bought the she-spawn some $500, 30-year savings bonds when the spawn was born.

        They have a whopping 1.19% annual rate of return. I’m cashing them in before I lose them.

  10. [Montage of middle-aged men playing sports]

    You’ve reached the age where you know what you’re made of. So why let financial dysfunction get in the way? Talk to your banker today about T-bills.

    T-bills- for long-lasting performance.

  11. Sadly, most people today are relying on T-Bills to fund their retirement. That is, the money the federales borrowed from the federales to fund federales stuff.

    1. Vanguard motherfuckers.

  12. “Four shiny dollars at maturity for every three invested.”

    Shiny? Won’t these deluded goldsilverbugs ever give up?

  13. American man, you are going to become more and more of a loser.

    Become?

  14. The original posting of this shamefully misused “pray” and “prayed” for its homophone “prey.”

    Do we have to bring gay issues into every thread?

    1. All its life, “prey” had felt like a different word, like its spelling and how it thought of itself to be were out of sync. Finally it embraced life as a transword and “prey” would prefer to be spelled “pray” from now on.

      1. “Eat, prey, love.”

    2. Damn cosmotarians always find a way to slip it in through the back end….

      1. Someone’s got a case of the ass…

  15. On the plus side, the government at least had the decency to pay interest back then.

  16. American journalists continue their long and storied history of being dense as fuck.

    The clock strikes 13: The longer @ggreenwald and Snowden remain silent on events in Ukraine, the more I suspect their previous motives.

    Literally the only reason Edward Snowden is not currently rotting in prison is because Russia gave him asylum. It strikes me that there might be a reason they aren’t talking shit about the guy who can remove that asylum.

    I also question whether any American journalists would be making an argument like this if an American citizen were hiding out in Russia during the Bush administration.

    1. Partisanship and TEAM mentality is the functional equivalent of having an extra chromosome.

      1. I just love that they try to play this off as being logical and principled when they’re clearly just trying to protect Barack Obama. They would have lionized Edward Snowden if he did this during the Bush Administration.

        1. Of course. They operate among a circle of people who only care about words, and don’t even look at actions. Does it surprise you that they think that everyone else is just as stupid?

      1. Tom Ricks is a diehard TEAM BLUE hack who’s pissed he’s not on the NYT editorial board despite screaming that Benghazi was all a lie and that Obamacare is the awesomes and being like, all chummy with the most establishment upper echelon of the pentagon totally makes him like a TEAM BLUE advocate for the troops and shit except all he whinges about is stuff like the Army War College and Sexual Harrassment and other you know, real *enlisted guy* concerns.

        he’s used his pentagon-post to dress himself in the flag as a REAL AMERICAN MILTARY GUY HURR DURR but is basically a suburban liberal hack with a chip on his shoulder.

        Seriously I have to find his October blog post where he says, ‘yeah, the website isn’t working but I think Obamacare is probably something everyone agrees is a fantastic success and we should all volunteer to promote it’, and then gets all fucking huffy when people accuse him of being ‘partisan’. How dare you!? ME!?

        He pretends to have some kind of ‘independent tough-guy journalist schtick’ but goes utterly overboard to suck TEAM BLUE cock whenever possible. see: the Benghazi outburst.

        1. He also looks like the blue-skinned libertarian guy had he not started his regime of colloidal silver.

    2. Meh, I kinda get where Ricks is coming from. He wasn’t trying to get Snowden to renounce Putin and come home, he was trying to get Greenwald to simply state disagreement with what Putin is doing. Now, Greenwald is probably refraining from that solely because of Snowden’s safety and Ricks should recognize that.

      But Ricks’ last statement there seems to forget that Snowden did seek asylum elsewhere (notably Brazil) and Russia appears to have been a sort of last resort for him.

      1. When did Snowden and/or Greenwald become experts on Russia-Ukrainian affairs?

        Why should they have ANY responsibility to comment?

        I havent publicly commented on it either, should I be in jail too?

        1. This is exactly how I feel. Why has it suddenly become Snowden’s job to comment on every governments tyranny? And really, his opinion doesn’t mean much to me. I respect what he did and think he is a sort of hero, but that does not mean I need to hear his opinion about anything else.

          1. but that does not mean I need to hear his opinion about anything else.

            In fact, his heroism is further enhanced by not commenting on anything else. He really should keep his other views private so as to not alienate potential would-be supporters of what he’s done. If he came out and revealed himself to be a die-hard AnCap, he would likely lose supporters from the progressive camp.

            His best bet is to focus strictly on the single issue for which he gained his notoriety: US Govt Surveillance.

    3. Holy shit. I just realized Talking Points Memo’s group blog is called ‘The Hive.’

      That’s even less self-aware than Jezebel calling their group blog Group Think.

      1. I don’t know, dude. I think they sort of get how they operate, even if they realize saying so explicitly is still considered gauche and pathetic. So they couch it in things like the titles of group blogs. They are committed collectivists. You’ve seen how they attack the ideas of individuality and self-sufficiency. They know what they’re doing.

        1. I read that as “couch it in things like the titties of group blogs” and I can’t stop laughing.

    4. “I also question whether any American journalists would be making an argument like this if an American citizen were hiding out in Russia during the Bush administration.”

      Of course they wouldn’t, it’s a red herring.
      Snowden never made any comment about the US imperialism, and there is no indication he feels strongly about Russian ditto.
      The innuendo here is ‘see, Putin’s worse than Obo!’. Well, yes, pretty damn low bar, and no one in a position to be harmed by saying so should bother.

      1. I also think everyone already knows about the bad shit Putin is doing.

        The value of Snowden blowing the whistle was that he informed people of a government program they didn’t previously know about. I’m a bit confused as to how Snowden randomly saying “Bad Putin! Stop invading the Ukraine!” is in any way comparable.

        1. This is classic passive attack technique. See, they’re not attacking Snowden (because he embarrassed Obama)! They’re just asking the hard questions and posting them on Youtube! It’s like asking why Rand Paul hasn’t reigned in the NSA yet if he thinks it’s so bad.

          It’s actually funny how similar these fucks are to LoneMoron and his particular type of passive aggressive attacks.

          1. Episiarch|3.20.14 @ 9:02PM|#
            “This is classic passive attack technique. See, they’re not attacking Snowden (because he embarrassed Obama)! They’re just asking the hard questions and posting them on Youtube!”

            “Can we be sure that Snowden hasn’t fucked sheep in Russia? How do we know unless he…!”

        2. Irish|3.20.14 @ 8:51PM|#
          “I also think everyone already knows about the bad shit Putin is doing.”

          Dunno who it really was (seemed to know the commenters, so I think it was a sock), but last week in a Snowden thread, some idjit was claiming unless he (Snowden) got his butt thrown in the slammer in Russia, he wasn’t ‘serious’, ’cause Putin!
          ‘Yeah, my aim is to correct the A4 violations in the US, so I should go to jail in Russia!’
          I spent two posts arguing and gave up.

          1. @Sevo-

            Probably “Lyle”…

  17. Dear Prudence: Help! My ex-girlfriend was transgender and didn’t tell me! Now I’m married and expecting a child with her sister

    Several years ago I dated a woman named “Rhonda” for three months. I broke up with her after her sister “Amy” revealed to me that Rhonda was born “Ron” and showed me ample evidence. When I confronted Rhonda about her being a transsexual woman, she broke down and confessed that she was going to tell me, but only after we had been intimate! (Luckily we hadn’t been yet.) It wasn’t her transsexuality that ended the relationship, but her deception; I am not a transphobic person. Rhonda took the breakup badly and stopped speaking to Amy, and on top of that their parents took Rhonda’s side.

    Later, Amy and I began dating and eventually married. Her parents refused to attend the wedding as a show of solidarity with Rhonda, despite Amy’s attempts to reconcile with all of them. Now we are expecting our first child and Amy’s parents have expressed tentative interest in being a part of their grandchild’s life. They are a toxic influence and their enabling of Rhonda’s deceptive behavior is appalling to me. My wife disagrees. How can I help her cut ties with these horrid people?

    I’m guessing he’s still insecure about his sexuality from playing the Crying Game.

    1. When I confronted Rhonda about her being a transsexual woman, she broke down and confessed that she was going to tell me, but only after we had been intimate! (Luckily we hadn’t been yet.) It wasn’t her transsexuality that ended the relationship, but her deception; I am not a transphobic person.

      See, this is bullshit. I have absolutely no problem with transgendered people, but I would not date one because the knowledge that you used to be a dude would be a massive turnoff to me.

      Not being attracted to transsexual people is not transphobic. What, are we all supposed to have sex with transgendereds now and refusing to do so is proof of your bigotry?

      1. What I think he might be saying was that he would have been down with dating Rhonda had she been upfront about having been born a man; however, since she chose not to trust him and inform him at the beginning of the relationship he decided to end the relationship as the trust necessary for it was broken.

        1. Don’t really know if he is BS’ing here, but that line just comes off as an easy excuse to end the relationship without having to admit, explicitly, that he ended it because she was actually a man.

          1. I can’t imagine why anyone would twist themselves into pretzel.

            1. The PC police?

        2. I don’t know. Consider:

          she was going to tell me, but only after we had been intimate! (Luckily we hadn’t been yet.)

          If she’s a fully functional transsexual with lady parts, would he have ever noticed?

          It sounds like he would have been horrified to find out he had just had sex with a trans girl.

          1. If she’s a fully functional transsexual with lady parts, would he have ever noticed?

            Yes. Which is why this story isn’t believable.

            1. That’s the unbelievable part to you? Hormones and surgery can do a lot.

            2. Really? Good surgery and hormone therapy can make the transition quite convincing.

              Plus it’s entirely possible this guy was a lonely, single dude that was so happy to find a girl he overlooked certain things.

    2. Several years ago I dated a woman named “Rhonda” for three months.

      Everyone is all up in arms because of a 3 month relationship? What the fuck? They apparently didn’t even become “intimate” so what is the big deal?

      1. Seriously? You make out with a dude for 3 months, and probably get handies and BJs too, and you wouldn’t be pissed?

        1. I assumed intimate meant anything past kissing, but I could be wrong. But I’m mainly talking about the family. Not talking to their daughter/sister over a 3 month relationship? That’s messed up.

    3. The transgendered stuff aside, you could see why people might get upset about dumping one sister for another.

      1. I would say that’s the lesser of the offenses.

        1. I would say all of them need to get over themselves.

          1. If any of them were real. But they exist only in the mind of Prudence.

      2. He didn’t start dating the sister until after the trans woman stopped speaking to her because she told him her birth gender.

        In other words, the transwoman chose to break off the relationship because her sister told her boyfriend she was a liar. As far as I’m concerned, that duplicitous liar can go fuck herself. Neither her sister or ex owe her anything.

        1. I agree, the lying was egregious and breakup-worthy. But I’m just saying I don’t buy his line that he’s revulsion wasn’t in part due to transphobia.

          It would be very unusual if it wasn’t because they had presumably been intimate in other ways like making out or fondling.

          1. “But I’m just saying I don’t buy his line that he’s revulsion wasn’t in part due to transphobia.”

            Not wanting to have sex with someone who was born the same sex as you should not characterized as a “phobia”.

    4. Poorly written fiction.

      1. DING DING DING

        Recall the author of Generation Kill who used to write Beaver Hunt for HUSTLER?

        Many major syndicated ‘gossip columns’ have a cadre of people who dream up this shit and crank them out for a couple hundred bucks a pop.

        1. “Recall the author of Generation Kill who used to write Beaver Hunt for HUSTLER?”

          No, I don’t but I’ll take your word for it!

        2. I also don’t, but got on….

  18. Serious question though. Is this going to be the Stossel thread?

  19. How did I miss this hysterical Amanda Marcotte shitfit?

    It’s the Marcottiest thing I’ve ever read. Basically, an atheist said there are reasonable reasons for an atheist to be pro-life. This resulted in Marcotte saying the following:

    If wasting time typing that shit out amuses you, knock yourself out. But don’t pretend that you’re advancing the cause of free thought while doing so. That’s because rational, free discourse is predicated on the understanding that everyone involved in the debate is arguing in good faith, and I can assure you, after years of dealing with this issue, that anti-choicers are not arguing in good faith.

    “I’m totally in favor of free thought, but you’d better not have any thought I think you shouldn’t have. Free thought means checking with me before you think things.”

    That is a Great Moment In Marcotte History.

    1. I’m an atheist. I’m pro-life because I’m not sure when life begins and I err on the side of caution.

      I guess I’m arguing in bad faith because I’m worried that babies might be getting killed.

      Boo Hoo Hoo.

      1. *Except that I don’t argue about it. It is a matter of personal conscience.

      2. I like my life how it is, with my ability to do what I want when I want without having to arrange for a babysitter. I like being able to watch True Detective right now and not wait until baby is in bed. I like sex in any room of the house I please. I don’t want a baby. I’ve heard your pro-baby arguments. Glad those work for you, but they are unconvincing to me. Nothing will make me want a baby.

        AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

        1. Well, then, we are in agreement that she shouldn’t reproduce. That wasn’t so hard, finding common ground.

          1. Ya but you’re missing the bigger point.

            She also wants to be able to be the warm fleshy recepticle for men’s seeds and she doesn’t want the 10 lbs of weight gain in her breasts and ass from birth control.

            So she needs to be able to “terminate” “balls of cells” that acquire a suspiciously deceptive homonid form in order to continue her warm slutty cum recepticle behavior without the potential consequence of a few vanity lbs.

            Anything less than permitting her that freedom is apparently arguing in bad faith.

            1. ^^^ This post got staggeringly sexist really quickly.

              Also:

              She also wants to be able to be the warm fleshy recepticle for men’s seeds and she doesn’t want the 10 lbs of weight gain in her breasts and ass from birth control.

              Goddamn man, this is Amanda Marcotte we’re talking about. I just threw up everything I ate today.

              1. I took it to far in my effort to show her what arguing in bad faith looks like. Rather, I should just let her proofread her whole column “a million billion times.”

            2. in order to continue her warm slutty cum recepticle behavior

              Umm…that’s why God gave her a mouth.

        2. For her “sex” means “eat a pint of Chocolate Chip Haagen-Dazs”.

          Jus’ sayin’

    2. Dear God…. a person cannot actually be this dumb, right? This is all just incendiary banter to sell copy, right?

      They’re still pooping out the same old crap argument they’ve been using for the past forty years?that an embryo or even fertilized egg that has no brain has more human rights than the woman who has been drafted into growing it against her will?that’s been debunked a million billion times.

      So atheist pro-lifers are “arguing in bad faith” but it is she who is suggesting that a woman who is pregnant is somehow drafted (connotation of a lottery system) instead of actuall gets pregnant through her own fucking life choices.

      Bonus points for the highly mature use of “a million billion times”. It really fucking is like reading the rantings of a five year old.

      1. This is especially amazing:

        hat an embryo or even fertilized egg that has no brain has more human rights than the woman who has been drafted into growing it against her will

        Pro-lifers aren’t arguing that the fetus has more rights than a woman, they’re arguing that, as a living person, it has equal rights to other living people.

        In order for them to believe a fetus has more rights than a woman, they’d have to think it should be legal to murder a woman. I don’t think there are many pro-lifers making this argument.

        I love Marcotte for this reason: I have absolutely no strong opinion on abortion either way, but she’s so idiotic that she actually makes me sympathetic to the arguments of her opponents.

        1. PREGNANCY: THE WORST DISEASE OF ALL!!!

          1. AGAINST HER WILL, MAN!

            That little bastard just magically appeared in her belly without any action on her part! How dare we FORCE her to give birth by not allowing her to terminate the pregnancy at any time?

            1. I think I should be allowed to murder my five year old son because not letting me kill him forces me to attend soccer games and pay for his education. Since I’d rather watch True Detective, I should be allowed to murder him rather than be made his slave.

              This is literally the same argument Amanda Marcotte made, just expanded a couple of years.

              1. The birth canal is a magical gateway that bestows personhood and rights on baby as it claws its way out.

                But any time before that it’s a parasitic non-entity that’s causing horrible inconvenience for a woman that doesn’t want it there because it’s all about her.

                And if you disagree, you are sexist so-con that probably wants to abolish the female orgasm.

                Now argue in good faith like me!

                1. So all pro-choicers are actually guilty of putting the p on a pedastal?

                2. So all pro-choicers are actually guilty of putting the p on a pedastal?

        2. I believe that fetuses should be free to kill other fetuses but that fully grown adults should not. So Marcotte is right on that point.

          If you kill your twin in the womb, you are a fucking bad ass.

          If you come out of your mother’s birth canal holding the decapitated head of your twin brother, I will bend my knee to you as the infant overlord.

          1. That is so fucking awesome. I probably shouldn’t think that. But I do…

            *bows to leader of the Infant Overlords*

    3. Gee, I certainly hope Amanda Marcotte hasn’t been arguing in good faith this whole time.

      That would make her a psychopath that wanted to railroad the entire Duke lacrosse team in the name of feminism, among many, many, many examples of batshit insane arguments and positions she’s taken.

    4. The question isn’t whether or not legal abortion is moral?outside a few kooks, nearly all non-believers are pro-choice?but whether or not those anti-abortion kooks should be indulged and given the privilege of having everyone treat their shit arguments like they have value in free-wheeling discourse, or if they should be shunned on the grounds of being shit arguments the same way anti-gay or overtly racist arguments are shunned.

      Yes, Mandy, the namecalling and epithets have done so much to advance the cause. The biggest foes of the pro-choice movement are pro-choicers themselves, for the same reason that feminists do their best to torpedo mass appeal for their movement: once a robust vanguard gets itself entrenched, the gamesmanship takes over and with it the drive to be the most hysterical reactionary of the bunch.

    5. everyone involved in the debate is arguing in good faith…

      The unborn baby is not arguing in good faith. He’s not arguing at all. That’s the point the pro-lifers are making.

      I’m pro-choice, but arguing in ‘good faith’ requires some sense of who is and is not capable of arguing.

    6. Some fun from the comments:

      Let’s assume that we legally recognize a fetus as a human being with its own rights, rights that are equal to all other human beings. The problem we now face is this – by necessity, a fetus REQUIRES a right given to no other human on earth – the right to utilize another, separate human body to sustain its life. In no other situation do we allow one human to use ANY part of another human without explicit consent to do so, even if denial to that use causes the loss of life.

      So nowhere else on Mother Gaia is there a single person who is being sustained through the body (read: labor) of another?

      Fancy that…. and all this time I thought they were taking 35% of my pay for the alleged benefit of teh poor/chilrunz/elderly/disabled.

      1. Holy shit.
        And you know that’s coming from someone who believes that I should be forced to pay for her birth control, student loan, abortion and health insurance.

      2. That statement would be the equivalent of John Galt demanding food stamps and a gov’t grant to make his motor.

      3. That’s hilarious. But on a more practical level, if that were true then no person is obligated to care for an infant incapable of caring for itself.

        I mean think about it, a mother should not be charged with child abuse and criminal negligence if she refuses to feed her baby nor is the state obligated to provide for orphaned babies.

    7. Re: Irish,

      That is a Great Moment In Marcotte History.

      Yes, the piece is so bad and disgusting that it even caught the eye of Newsbusters.

      I’m agnostic and have a very good argument for being pro-life: someone else’s life is not mine to take. I also have a great and unassailable argument for personhood: “I am a person, I am making that argument. I am human. Therefore, other humans are persons. I can’t say ‘that human is NOT a person’ because I would be committing a perfunctory contradiction: if that human is not a person, then I can’t argue that *I* am a person.”

      So, I don’t have the right to say who is a person and who is not because I would then have to accept someone ELSE has the right to say I am NOT a person. The logical conclusion is that just as I am a person, every human has to be a person as well, including humans that are still in utero.

    8. “Free Thought” was always a mere label, it does not actually preclude the concept of heresy.

  20. Ferfal (directly) takes on James Wesley Rawles’ “Golden Horde” argument and (indirectly) his rural redoubt concept.

    I don’t know if I’m completely sold, but what I like about Ferfal is that he always supports his arguments with many historical and recent examples. Similarly, one has to understand that anything Rawles argues is influenced by his deeply held beliefs concerning Christian eschatology. Nevertheless, I’m going to take the middle road between the two points of view for now.

    1. The Golden Horde scenario did play out in any country that had hyperinflation.

      1. Please clarify. Especially since Ferfal directly references his experiences during Argentina’s economic collapse as evidence against.

        1. I didn’t watch the video. There was looting in Argentina, but law and order did not completely break down.

          1. That’s true. What Ferfal claims is that in Argentina and other countries with similar situations, people didn’t feel from the cities en mass. Ferfal also claims that the rural areas suffered more as they were dependent on the urban areas for many things, such you had many villages in Argentina turn into ghost towns as the populations actually left for the cities, which is the complete opposite of what Rawles theorizes would happen in America. Ferfal notes that it was the cities that were stabilized before the rural villages in many cases. (For better or ill, in my opinion.)

            Personally, when SHTF I still plan on moving away from any metropolitan areas and to my land upstate. While I’m skeptical that a full-on Golden Horde scenario like Rawles suggests would happen, I know my personal skill-set and that of my wife are better suited toward rural survival than urban.

    1. Nicely done.

    2. Phelps was a nutcase who served up material for reporters and gave the shriekers something to shriek about. His influence on society was comparable to that of a rural county fair freakshow.

  21. Alternet writer attacks libertarians, comes out in favor of conscription.

    To counter the argument about supply and demand concerning national defense, you can simply point out that the draft has been necessary in every major war. You can sometimes find enough people to volunteer during peacetime, but people have a funny habit of not wanting to get themselves blown away during wartimes. That’s why in the U.S. Civil War, recruitment was total chaos, with rich people paying poor people to go fight in their place. In 1863, New York City exploded in a four-day long murderous riot because people opposed the Civil War draft law which allowed rich people like J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie to pay off a substitute. That riot was one of the bloodiest in U.S. history.

    Silly libertarians, they don’t even support the draft! Clearly the capacity to wage massive and nonstop war with an army of slaves is the type of progressive society alternet will lead us towards.

    1. It’s a good to day to die, when you know the reason why.

      Would you like to know more?

    2. Nevermind that J.P. Morgan was not exactly J.P. Morgan in 1863, as he was working for his father at the time.

      And Carnegie wasn’t exactly rich at the time either, and actually served a far more useful function to the Union army via his appointment as Superintendant of Rail repairing and restoring rail lines damaged by the rebels than he ever could have as mere cannon fodder.

      1. You silly billy! Only the guys that get shot at are worth a damn! Everyone else is just a rear area pussy or a chicken hawk!

        herp herp herpa derp!

        1. I’m less keen on defending the yeoman’s work of behind the lines planning and tactical orchestration than I am on simply pointing out how goddamned stupid one has to be to attribute Industrial Revolution excess to men in a time just before the American industrial explosion occurred.

    3. “Join the service! Join the fuckin’ service! How can you expect to be free if you won’t die? I’m dead! I died in WW2! I’m fuckin’ dead! C’mon! Join up and die!”

      -a recruiting message by George Carlin

      1. Speaking of Carlin and abortion, he once opened a set by saying, “You even notice that most of the women who are for abortion you wouldn’t want to fuck anyway?”

        1. Speaking of Carlin and his ascerbic style, I’ve long wanted to create a t-shirt that can piss off both sides sufficiently.

          The image is a vacuum cleaner emptying out the dismembered remains of a fetus. And the caption is “Abortion Sucks” followed by a thumbs up.

        2. He actually said “You ever notice that most of the women who are against abortion you wouldn’t want to fuck anyway?”

          1. Thx.
            That makes more sense, coming from Carlin.

  22. “What, are we all supposed to have sex with transgendereds now and refusing to do so is proof of your bigotry?”

    Please don’t give them any more ideas. Do you want a future where people say “I’m not transphobic- some of my best sexual experiences were with trans people.”

  23. Mountaineers install ladders on Mount Everest, proof that mankind is destroying the natural world

    Dominion is all; human ingenuity has encompassed the planet. Now pass me the phone: “I’m on the mountain.”

    What mystery is left when the roof of the world resembles your loft conversion? Or when the third person ever to have descended to the bottom of the world ? the Mariana Trench in the Pacific, which is 10km deep ? is a movie director, James Cameron? Even outer space, courtesy of Richard Branson, is already becoming a future tourist destination.

    Nature is no longer red in tooth and claw, but filmed and tagged. Leviathans of the deep must be tracked by electronic signals on their enigmatic missions, bleeping back news of their trysts. Migrating birds, which defy all our aviation technology by flying from one pole to another, are banded with little rings so that we know where they go, and when. In parts of sub-Saharan Africa, those same bands appeal to children who trap and kill the birds and use the rings to make necklaces.

    So apparently we should repent our ingenuity and cleverness that has allowed us to build a civilization that gives us an existence beyond subsistence farming or hunting and gathering.

    These left-wing environmentalist types truly hate humanity.

    1. I read that Mt. Everest is covered in frozen mountaineer turds.

      I guess it would be silly to write a passionate denunciation of that.

      1. Quite a few frozen mountaineers as well.

    2. Even outer space, courtesy of Richard Branson, is already becoming a future tourist destination.

      Alternative phrasing: Not content with raping the Earth Mother, humanity sets its sights on the fertile womb of space!

      Nature is no longer red in tooth and claw, but filmed and tagged. Leviathans of the deep must be tracked by electronic signals on their enigmatic missions, bleeping back news of their trysts.

      God! I am so pissed that being eaten by a lion is no longer a serious concern for most people. Why can’t we go back to a simpler time when the elderly were set adrift on ice floes in order to preserve food?

      1. Alternative phrasing: Not content with raping the Earth Mother, humanity sets its sights on the fertile womb of space!

        You jest, but it doesn’t surprise me. Anyone who’s ever piloted a small aircraft can tell you how much of this planet is vast untouched hinterlands where nature is free to chart her course as she deems fit. But the greenies don’t see that. The sheer vastness of space one would think would be so big and vast and unexplorable that the enviros wouldn’t get work up their rage boners over commercial trips to the moon, since we’ll never be able to leave our own solar system in any of our grandchildren’s lives, let alone our own galaxy (one of some 250 billion said galaxies). But no. Any encroachment on a previously untouched part of nature risks destroying the whole of it.

        Why can’t we go back to a simpler time when the elderly were set adrift on ice floes in order to preserve food?

        We can. I’m told that’s the Paul Ryan budget plan.

    3. It baffles me. Does this person not see how this logic would be the same as arguing against Copernicus’ discovery of the heliocentric model? That any effort to track or understand the natural world is somehow anti-nature demonstrates a profound lack of understanding.

      1. +1 Canticle for Leibowitz

      1. A better plan: Go in drag a call him a trans-phobe when spurns your advances.

        1. I’m not sure he would.

          1. He definitely wouldn’t. He’d see your shimmering mocha skin and your gender-bending androgyny, and he would swoon.

            1. What can I say? It’s a blessing and a curse.

  24. Stossel is interviwing Pat Kennedy on drugs. Pat sounds like someone using a stereotypical “dumb guy” voice. A bit like Chris Matthews.

    1. Which drugs is he doing.

      1. It sounds like all of them…probably a couple of hours ago.

        This is sort of a twin of the anti-gay politicians are usually gay. Anti-drug politicians are usually addicts.

    2. Re: Derpetologist,

      Stossel is intervi[e]wing Pat Kennedy on drugs.

      On drugs? I thought the guy was wasted on alcohol, as he was talking too much about alcohol, anyway. I almost felt I was watching an A.A. meeting.

  25. Rand Paul came to Berkeley yesterday and got a standing ovation. The SF Chron reported on it and of course the comments are beyond ridiculous. This one though really takes the cake:

    Flag
    LucasJackson Rank 70
    This guy has an agenda to starve millions of American children and the righties used to get all whooped up about Bill Ayers! Ideology is fine in its place – after thought. This is what happens when your ideology does all your thinking for you. It’s a sort of laissez-faire insanity.

    6 hours ago 14 Likes
    Like

    1. +14 even dumber people.

    2. I found that I became much more content when I stopped talking to progs about politics. It is amazing how infuriatingly stupid and dishonest they can be.

      1. Re: Derpetologist,

        It is amazing how infuriatingly stupid and dishonest they [the proggies] can be.

        Since ever, Derpetologist. Lies, prevarication, misdirection, equivocation, personal attacks are their staples. They will question your motives rather than address your arguments or your evidence. Proggies will rather give you snarky remarks like “yeah, free to starve!” so they don’t have to explain their own beliefs.

    3. D- for not accusing Rand of wanting to legalize slavery.

      I really don’t see how he has any chance with his comments about the CRA. The media will eat him alive.

      1. I’d like to think voters aren’t so stupid as to honestly think that in 2014 Rand Paul is going to bring back segregated lunch counters, but voters are fucking morons.

        That being said, that was way back in 2010 and wasn’t anywhere near as toxic as Ron Paul’s newsletters. So I think some well-prepared remarks to answer hostile questioning during interviews and debates could put the issue to rest with most voters.

      2. If the media were going to crucify Rand Paul for something he said in 2010, they’d be doing it already.

        1. They only have two things on Rand: the Rachel Maddow interview on the CRA and the plagiarism thing.

          Now granted, I was disappointed that he didn’t own up to copying other people’s writing for use in his articles and papers. He came off as really petty and defensive. But it’s something that won’t be remembered two years from now if bigger things are happening.

          And his CRA views are easily fixed by just saying that Jim Crow was utterly abhorrent and he would have voted for it despite some philosophical reservations about one section.

          Beyond that what else do they have? That Aqua Buddha thing that voters in Kentucky laughed about?

    4. Classic projection. Insanity is the one and only thing progs have a laissez-faire approach to.

    5. They use laissez faire like they think they know what it means. It’s almost cute, albeit a little cloying.

    6. “came to Berkeley”?
      Where are you?

  26. By the way, anybody watched “The 100” yesterday?

    I just have a question: How can one unsee something? I can think I can gouge my eyes out and still see the images in my head.

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

    http://www.Anon-Works.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.