The Independents

'It's kind of like arresting someone for drinking and driving, but they're drinking O'Doul's'

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After last night's episode of The Independents, Fox News correspondent Lea Gabrielle and New York Times science writer John Tierney came on the unstructured, online-only aftershow, along with comedian Sherrod Small. As can happen with Tierney in the room, the conversation soon turned to vaping bans and recycling mandates:

Reason on vaping here, including the Tierney-tastic "Thank You for Vaping" account of our recent New York City Vape-in:

More Independents video, including the show's own reporting from the Vape-In, here.

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  1. Dana Gould said “The full flavor of water vapor, the cool look of blowing a flashlight.”

    1. When compared to sucking on burning tobacco leaves…?

      Criticizing ‘taste’ and ‘what it looks like’ is a pretty juvenile and superficial way of talking about something in the context of a variety of human behaviors, all of which could be described as ‘silly’ and ‘pointless’ were it not for the pleasures/satisfaction they produce for the user.

      Does this ‘Dana Gould’ think that these products should therefore be ‘banned’?

      1. No, he’s a comedian, and that was a tweet.

        He also did Maurice Evans as Dr. Zaius as Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVzOcuyN0JA

        However, I think you’ll find that the aggregate majority of human behaviors are dictated by taste and appearance. The vast artifice of culture at every level hinges on it.

        1. I think you’ll find that the aggregate majority of human behaviors are dictated by taste and appearance

          Oh, puhLEAZE.

          *adjusts Ray Ban? spectacles, Rolex wristwatch and scratches arm where tattoo of Celtic cross resides*

          1. I believe libertarians are required to carry a Patek Philippe Henry Graves Super Complication Pocket Watch in lieu of a wrist watch.

            1. Only on formal occasions. And, technically, the orphan carries the watch, not the libertarian.

              Geez. Lost your handbook again, Sudden?


        2. Jeff P.|5.13.14 @ 1:31PM|#

          No, he’s a comedian, and that was a tweet.”

          Oh.

          strangely, I still think its stupid and shallow. But then, ‘twitter’, right?

    2. That’s pretty dumb. Vape liquids have a vast variety of flavors, and they can be very strong if you get a high-nicotine-level one.

      I can’t possibly see any argument against vapers except for 1) animism (it looks like a cigarette and is therefore evil!) or 2) idiotic “that’s not authentic” snobbery, which is fucking retarded because it’s a purer nicotine delivery system, which is ostensibly the point.

      Dipshits gonna dipshit.

    1. W.O.W.

    2. State police told KOB they give citations on a case-by-case situation.

      Sounds like someone wasn’t sufficiently deferential in this particular case.

    3. State police said if they see you driving with an open bottle of O’Doul’s, beer or even hand sanitizer, they can give you a citation.

      What the fuckity fuck? I don’t even…

      1. DROP THE PURELL AND STEP AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE

  2. Today on Derpbook, a response to Sowell:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc3AokM_bpw

    Thomas Sowell statistics. ….

    As I have pointed out many times before, Thomas Sowell is the go to “black friend” of racists everywhere. They love to repeat the disparaging things he says about black people and proclaim “A black guy said it, so it must be true!” Which would kind of be like me saying “Hitler had a point, Jews are terrible!” And the same people repeating that and proclaiming it’s okay because a Jewish guy said it. That being said, he is an apologist for unregulated, out of control, oligarchic capitalism. Here he talks about how statistics are somehow skewed on the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer because of capital gains and investments being counted improperly. He states “If you invest $10,000 in …..”…..stop right there Thomas, if you can casually invest $10,000 in anything, gain or lose you are well ahead of the family of 4 that LIVES on $10,000 a year. Then he goes on to say that if inflation goes up and you do make money on your investment it somehow doesn’t count because the purchasing power of the money you made is the same as what you invested. Yet the poor have been living on minimum wage scraps that have failed to keep up with inflation at all. Conservatives live to point out that 47% of people are “takers” on some kind of government assistance, more than ever under Obama….

    1. The guy’s got a point. I mean Sowell is definitely a wealth apologist.

      Anyone who doesn’t support raising taxes on the rich until they are no longer rich is a wealth apologist.

      You see, accumulated wealth is in and of itself an evil, because that wealth could have been used to feed starving children.

      Sure one could argue that most of that wealth is in the form of capital that provides means of production that gives the poor jobs and consumer goods. That’s just more apologies for the rich.

      That’s why libertarians are bad people. They apologize for the rich.

    2. That’s a response to Sowell in the same sense that hitting Plato in the face with a pie is a response to The Republic.

    3. Yet the poor have been living on minimum wage scraps that have failed to keep up with inflation at all.

      If you read any bit of collectivist propaganda long enough, you always find the same wealth-falls-from-the-sky fallacy. Some are better at hiding it than others (neo-Keynesians can be especially slippery, whereas this poor soul is chum for the sharks), but the fixed-pie fallacy is always there.

    4. 1) “…..stop right there Thomas, if you can casually invest $10,000 in anything, gain or lose you are well ahead of the family of 4 that LIVES on $10,000 a year” – cause, yeah, there are SO many of those in the USofA

      2) Comparing Sowell to Hitler. THAT’S a new one for me…

      1. And what if you’re investing it conscientiously?

    5. Thomas Sowell is the go to “black friend” Uncle Tom of progressive racists everywhere. They love to repeat discount the disparaging things he says observations he makes about black people and proclaim “A black guy said it, so it must be true he must be a self hating tool of the Koch brothers!”

    6. He Godwinned himself in the third sentence , FFS.

  3. Cont’d

    However corporations and the very rich are making windfall profits more than ever at the same time. THAT is the very literal definition of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Any statistics you manipulate or try to explain away doesn’t change those very clear facts. He also said there are more people in the top 20% than the bottom 20%. Which is akin to saying a pound of lead weighs more than a pound of feathers.

    Sowell makes it clear his talking about households, not individuals, but why let that get in the way of a good straw man?

    1. A family of 4 living on 10k a year is a statistical anomaly in America.

      1. Given that is below the individual federal poverty line, a family of 4 on 10k is probably also on a crapload of means-tested public assistance, and penalised when they try to earn more honestly.

    2. Also, I love that his “literal definition” of the rich getting richer/poor getting poorer trope is the rich getting richer with no proof that the poor are actually getting poorer.

      You are a good man Derpetologist, I could never steel myself to study the Derp as you have.

      1. When you believe that there is a fixed amount of wealth out there, then by definition profits for the rich are taken from the poor.

        1. It’s just resentment and envy because they feel entitled to success. Just watch how defensive and bitchy they get when you accuse them of hating successful people and being envious that they can’t get that way without working really hard or learning useful skills.

          To them every rich person is either a liar, a cheat, or someone who got lucky with an inheritance. That it takes intelligence and discipline to simply maintain a fortune never occurs to them because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

          1. Well, it’s worse than that. They reason that they think every rich person is either a liar, a cheat, or someone who got lucky with an inheritance is because they’re not rich. If rich people got that way through hard work and skill and intelligence, and they’re not rich, it means they are lazy, stupid, and/or untalented. And they don’t want to face that. So they tell themselves the rich got that way through underhanded means as a salve to their own ego. The fact that sometimes people do get rich by underhanded means just reinforces it.

            1. What I like to do is ask them a simple question: if you gave a small fortune to a random person you find on the street, would you feel confident in predicting that in 5 years that person has increased the fortune he received?

              How about simply maintaining it and not squandering it? The fact that so many lottery winners end up broke demonstrates that it requires a lot of discipline to successfully manage money. That’s a skill a lot of people do no have.

              The fact that sometimes people do get rich by underhanded means just reinforces it.

              Of course. And if you try to explain how limited government would at the very least reduce cronyism and shady dealing with contracts and subsidies they plug their ears.

              1. The thing that I’ve seen the most in terms of why they don’t want to hear about reducing cronyism or any other solution is that, quite simply, they are deeply envious and hate those with more money. They want to see them brought down, brought low. That preempts any other concerns. Nothing else is as important, and even though they latch on to class warfare bullshit and failed philosophies and political ideologies as a way of “legitimizing” their envy, the fact is that at the end of the day all they care about is the envy. If your solutions or ideas don’t involve bring the rich down, they really just do not want to hear about it, because you’re not giving them what they really want.

                1. Actually, now that I think about it, the Net Neutrality people are a perfect, perfect example of this. They supposedly want an open and free internet, but they hate Comcast and the other ISPs so much that they’re willing to cut off their nose to spite their face by empowering the government to stick it to the ISPs. Nothing matters more to them than 1) fucking an entity that they hate, and 2) getting free/subsidized shit. That this might end up fucking the internet and even them (wait until the movie companies pressure the government to crack down on piracy even more, geniuses), but they don’t care. This level of envy and hate is utterly self-destructive; it prioritizes fucking the object of their hate over anything else, including their own liberty and prosperity. It’s a truly disgusting human emotion.

                  1. it prioritizes fucking the object of their hate over anything else, including their own liberty and prosperity. It’s a truly disgusting human emotion.

                    Watch what you complain about — people around here seem pretty into hatefucking.

              2. What I like to do is ask them a simple question: if you gave a small fortune to a random person you find on the street, would you feel confident in predicting that in 5 years that person has increased the fortune he received?

                *gasp*

                Personal responsibility? You monster!

                1. Personal responsibility? You monster!

                  You joke, but the response I got from a Salonista was to the effect of “Well of course you can’t expect everyone to manage money well, they didn’t have the privilege of a high quality education like the Koch Brothers!’

                  I also like using the example that the Brothers Koch may have started out with dad’s money but they didn’t squander it on idle living, they actually increased it by a substantial amount. That requires intelligence and hard work whether they’ll admit to it or not.

                  1. You should tell them all to go read some 19th century literature. English, Russian, whatever, it’s all full of people who had the privilege of the Kochs (and more!) and squandered their family fortunes. I mean aren’t Salonistas supposed to be all culturally sophisticated and shit? Tell them to go read the classics like Thomas Piketty thinks they should.

                    1. I mean aren’t Salonistas supposed to be all culturally sophisticated and shit?

                      Today “culturally sophisticated” means you get all your news from Comedy Central.

    3. Conservatives live to point out that 47% of people are “takers” on some kind of government assistance, more than ever under Obama….

      However corporations and the very rich are making windfall profits more than ever at the same time.

      So why isn’t he going all medieval on Obama’s ass for presiding over the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Isn’t that a better target for his wrath than some guy writing a column?

      Oh, that’s right. Principals, not principles.

    4. He also said there are more people in the top 20% than the bottom 20%. Which is akin to saying a pound of lead weighs more than a pound of feathers.

      No, it doesn’t. Don’t multivariable functions get taught in like 7th grade?

      1. doesn’t isn’t

      2. % based on what? What were the variables again?

        1. I haven’t read Sowell’s remarks on the matter, but I took it as structural poverty vs. structural wealth; add time into the equation and things change a bit.

          He was more likely talking about household poverty, which is a simpler concept and doesn’t fit into my rant (should have thought of it earlier). The bottom 20% of households collectively contain less people than the top 20%. Either way, saying the top 20% is larger than the bottom 20% is profoundly different than measuring equal weights of lead and feathers.

  4. I wonder who Alec Baldwin voted for in the last mayoral election. Either way, HA HA.

    1. You referring to his recent arrest?

      1. Yep.

    2. Baldwin – who once considered running for Mayor of New York – tweeted: ‘New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign’

      How’s it feel to be treated like one of the little people, Alec?

      1. “You see this watch, officer? This watch costs more than your fucking car.”

        1. Cop: “Looks like evidence to me.”

          1. EVIDENCE IS FOR CLOSERS

            1. who wins the steak knives?

    3. It seems like only yesterday….

      Bill de Blasio: The Right Man for the Job

      Bill de Blasio is the one candidate who understands what New York’s current priorities must be. Please visit http://www.billdeblasio.com and find out how Bill De Blasio’s plans for affordable housing and investing in early education in New York’s public schools may well be the rising tide that lifts middle class New Yorkers back to a place the City needs them to be. To benefit all New Yorkers.

      1. how did you get 3 links in one post?

  5. If e-cigs looked like asthma inhalers instead of teh dreaded poisonous gigareets, far fewer people would care.

    1. Brooks my boy, you’re a marketing genius.

  6. Anyone else seeing the ad here “Obama Lowers the Amount Homeowners Owe“?

    I disabled ad-block on reason.com so they could get some ad dollars but I don’t think I can take much of this crap.

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