A.M. Links: Iraq Falls Apart, Obama Weighs Military Action, More Clashes in Ukraine


  • Credit: White House / Flickr.com

    The news from Iraq keeps getting worse. On the heels of the insurgent takeover of Mosul, military experts now say that Iraq's Al Qaeda offshoot appears to have "grown into a military organization that is no longer conducting terrorist activities exclusively but is conducting conventional military operations." Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is considering a new round of military action in Iraq.

  • Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the captured U.S. soldier recently swapped for five Taliban fighters held at Guantanamo, is back on American soil.
  • Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists are battling in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, currently out promoting her new memoir, had an ill-tempered exchange with National Public Radio over her "evolving" views on gay marriage, including the uncomfortable fact that her husband, President Bill Clinton, signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law. "I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons," Clinton complained to NPR host Terry Gross.

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  1. According to a new poll, Barack Obama’s approval ratings have hit a new low. He is now as unpopular as George W. Bush.

    Aimed for Reagan, got Bush. Ouch.

    1. Hello.

      1950S computer brochure:


      Didn’t Biden say Iraq was gonna be a success?


      What a bummer that opening game was. Croatia got hosed on two calls. Ho-hum Braaaaasssssil!

      1. Croatia got hosed on two calls. Ho-hum Braaaaasssssil!

        The only way they will keep the streets of Brazil quiet!

        1. If that’s the best Brazil has, then get ready for the fires.

          1. Nothing that a flop or two can’t solve.

      2. Meanwhile, Free Shit wins in Ontario. Get ready for another PM Trudeau….

        1. They reward a corrupt, incompetent Liberal party with a majority. Man, at least give them a minority to keep them honest. But noooo, free shit prevails.

          Trudeau. /face palm.

      3. I find it interesting that they had different definitions of on-line and off-line operations.

    2. Would somebody please show the president a newspaper so he can start working on the problem??!!


      1. http://twitchy.com/2014/06/11/…..f-failure/

        Blast from the past

  2. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the captured U.S. soldier recently swapped for five Taliban fighters held at Guantanamo, is back on American soil.

    And subject to the VA. Take that, deserter!

    1. Not yet. And if he’s convicted, he’ll skate out of it permanently.

      1. And have to go on Obamacare?

      2. And if he’s convicted

        Because he’ll certainly be tried. Yessiree.

  3. Last night during the Self-Publishing thread, I officially posted information about my latest book project. I am going to repost here. Partly because I’m not sure the same people will read these threads, but mostly because I have to shill the hell out of it to gain publicity.

    This book was born when I got fed up writing a ‘realistic’ take on the superhero genre, so I wrote a story that embraced it whole-heartedly. That went much better because I had the first draft done in a month. I’m almost done with the editing.

    There was some influence from the Commentariat, but I had to tone down the greavance industry representative and the libertarian, because their true to life dialogue was unrealistic. I’ve already got super powers, I don’t want to destroy the suspension of disbeief.

    There is a dust jacket blurb here.

    The release schedule will be: when I finish integrating the final edits, I’ll release the eBook. When my cover artist finally gets back to me with work product, I’ll release the print on demand hardcopy.

    Outside of any other promotional offers, I have a deal for the commentariat. After it’s gone live, anyone who posts an honest review of it on Amazon can get a free hardcopy from me. (Details on how it will work to be provided when there is an Amazon page for reviews to be posted on; substantive reviews only – say why you did or did not like it.)

    1. Wait until people start making fun of you the way they make fun of my for mentioning my low-traffic blog. 😉

      1. That would be different from now how?

      2. I bet you I have lower numbers.


        1. You’ve forgotten the conversion factor from Canadian.

      3. If you’re not being made fun of what is the point of being here?

    2. Good luck!

    3. Who would use Hit and Run to hawk their book? It’s unheard of.

      1. I figured I could try to innovate when it comes to marketing. Isn’t that what your guys are all about?

        /obliviousness to sarcasm.

      2. If you’re going to do that, at least include some alt-text!

        1. Actually – I did, just for you (and the others offended by its dearth)

          1. Okay, it may be broken. I’ll get it fixed.

            1. If you check the page source, I was being sincere:

              img src=”/media/HeaderLogo.png” id=”unix” alt=”Alt Text – Maybe the Commentariat will notice.”

              1. If the image is inside an anchor tag, do I have to apply the alt attribute to the anchor tag instead of the image proper?

                1. Found the problem. Auric, your text is alt.

                  1. You’re alright, UnCivil.

      3. You know who should write a book? Any of the reason editors.

        1. Yes. They could call it something snappy, like The Declaration of Indian Pants

          1. Nice, although probably racist.

            1. Naw, just have it be about the garment industry on the subcontinent.

    4. I’ll buy it. Good Luck!

    5. Excellent! Look forward to it

    6. Awesome, good luck!

    7. Good luck! Although knowing the old Port Arthur, what hellish cesspool must the New Port Arthur be??? Dare I read the book to find out?

    8. You know who else wrote a book….

        1. I like his Paul Westwood stuff.

    9. If you’d like a seasoned editor to run a final check/proofread, I’d be happy to do it for you.

      Every self-published book I’ve read–actually, most books I’ve read lately, regardless of publisher–has been riddled with proofing errors. Don’t let it happen to you!


      1. Shadowboy has already gone through an editor, but I’ve not finished Gruefield, so no editor has gone over it.

        1. Keep me in mind, then. I’d enjoy a change from the usual science editing.

      2. Question related to this, how does a novel like Dune go thru infinity printings and still have the same duplicated line error in every printing?

        I can see it sliding thru in the first edition, but after that?

        1. The editors don’t go back and re-read the book. They will only correct defects point out to them in the current run. If no one bothers to fix the master file, or if there’s a delay between print runs, the defect won’t be changed because there’s no active run.

          1. Its a 50 year old book. How can the master not have been fixed at any point in that time frame is my question?

            EVERY person who read the book has noticed the error. Surely someone has pointed it out?

            1. Did it hurt sales? (and not everyone, I don’t know what error you’re talking about, and I read that book)

              1. If I had my copy handy, I would point it out.

                There is a line that is printed twice. Its fairly early on, I think during the chapter where some of the Duke’s men are arriving on Arrakis.

                1. Hey, yeah! I remember that… caused a stutter in my brain. Didn’t I just read that? Why yes, yes I did.

                2. The internet has made this easier. Most authors and some publishers have a place for you to email print errors and typos.

    10. Stupid frelling server squirrels and threading…

      Try again…

      If you’d like a seasoned editor to perform a final proof of your book, I’d be happy to help.

      Every book I’ve read lately, regardless of publisher (self or major house), has been riddled with proofing errors. Makes me nuts!

      Don’t let it happen to you!

      1. Well, fuckadoodledoo.

  4. According to a new poll, Barack Obama’s approval ratings have hit a new low. He is now as unpopular as George W. Bush.

    That’s clearly Bush’s fault. If he wasn’t so unpopular, no one would have their popularity numbers compared to his.

    1. It’s market failure. If markets were self-regulating, the way you loonytarians keep saying they are, they would have boosted Obama’s approval ratings.

      1. They could buy Obama approval credits, to offset their negative polling footprints? I think they’ve tried that a couple of times..

        1. ^This. The Fed, through it’s member banks, has shorted Obama’s approval rating using derivative contracts. When O’s rating goes to low double digits, they will walk away with trillions! Then, they can reduce the size of their balance sheet, saving the economy again.

          1. My god! You have keen insight, We should pay Krugman a shit-ton of money to weigh in on this right away. Obama needs a hedge against the Koch brothers, and their wall street RethugliKKKan stooges!

          2. Crap. I was hoping to buy some put options on Obama’s approval before it bombed so badly.

  5. “I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons,” Clinton complained to NPR host Terry Gross.

    Excellent summation, Madame Secretary.

    1. HRC is an expert at not answering questions. As President, she could be her own press secretary.

      1. Yep. I keep waiting for some “journalist” to fly off the handle and scream “With all due respect, would you PLEASE JUST ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION?!”

        1. That would be Sam Donaldson, no?

          1. Sam Kinison.

    2. To which the reasonable and responsible journalistic response would be “And would that be incorrect?”
      Not that anyone would have the temerity to ask that out loud and directly to her holiness, the heir apparent.

    3. It’s so funny that people think this inept woman is the front-runner. She’s getting her ass handed to her all the time, and no one is running against her yet. And by reporters! Holy shit.

    4. I loved the “too many people think they have a direct line to the divine” line. Hillary knows who has her cell phone number and who doesn’t.

    5. Terry Gross is obviously a firmly left liberal/progressive and makes no attempt to be anything else, but I have to say I think she is a good interviewer.

    6. How epic would it be if his response was…

      “Yes that is exactly what I am doing and I was rather hoping you would answer the question either by affirming that this accusation was true or providing some at least remotely plausible explanation why it isn’t”

  6. “I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons,”

    Yeah, you’re a liberal NPR reporter, you’re supposed to promote me as an idealist who’s breaking the Last Glass Ceiling – as a woman journalist, surely you want to be on my team!

    Why are you insinuating that I have some kind of…*shudder*…political motivation for my actions?

    1. It’s starting to seem like Hillary might actually fuck up her chances. STOP GETTING MY HOPES UP!

    2. It read like a case of girl-on-girl rhetorical violence.

      1. I blame RAPE KULTURE

    3. Hillary sighs, and rolls her eyes..

      “Well of course I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons, and of course.. bringing that up is gauche, and reflects poorly on your sense of good taste and etiquette. There’s some things we just don’t talk about.. and, you are now on my list Terry, shit-heel!”

      /Hillary narrows gaze at Gross

      1. Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy!

        SHe also boasted of how she issued an order protecting trans State Department employees from discrimination…because she feels responsible for the welfare of those who work for the State Department.

        1. “because she feels responsible for the welfare of those who work for the State Department.”

          She’s..*cough*..such..*gag*.an altruist..*wretch*.. a true credit to the Democratic party..*choke*.. and hu(Wo)manity!.. if we could only elect her as ‘Empress’.. *cough* the world would be a better place.. *barf!*

    1. Albanian blood feuds are is seriously fucked up.


      1. *slap!*

    2. About Albanians. My great grandmother who lived in an Italian village on the Adriatic coast used to feed Albanian refugees who would come ashore. She’d feed them bread she made from her oven. She was known as ‘L’Albanese.’

    3. Albania, Albania, you border on the Adriatic.

      1. Albania, Albania, you border on the Adriatic….and the dramatic! But, citizenship is not automatic!

    4. I have not seen Almanian or Almanian’s Evil Twin fight it out. What blood feud are you talking about?

      1. We have never been at war with Almanian’s Evil Twin…

  7. Finally, a football club tells the anti-doping body where to stick it

    1. Damn you!

      (Of course, that page is such a severe memory hog that it prevented my post from going through for several minutes.)

  8. …military experts now say that Iraq’s Al Qaeda offshoot appears to have “grown into a military organization that is no longer conducting terrorist activities exclusively but is conducting conventional military operations.”

    I thought after Syria we were allied with Al Qaeda. They’re out of favor again already?

    1. They attacked our puppet in Iraq.

      1. They attacked our QOM’s puppet in Iraq.


    2. That’s in Syria. This is Iraq. Totally not the same.

  9. Black metal babysitting


    1. Sorry, but if you’re old enough to have a kid, you’re old enough to start dressing as an adult and not posting crap to Imgur. Do you think Don Draper would do this?

  10. (repost)

    Can’t vouch for the accuracy of this item, but it’s a cute little heartwarming story:

    “A Syrian bride-to-be has asked her fianc? for 15 decapitated heads of pro-Assad troops as her dowry and set up a marriage termination clause worth 50 more decapitated heads.”


    1. How is she going to verify their alliegences?

      1. Its tattooed on the back of their necks.

        1. “Dear, the cut made this one illegible, you’re going to have to get another head”

        2. +1 slice of strawberry tart without so much rat in it.

      2. “How is she going to verify their allegiances?”

        You think she’s actually going to question the veracity of her new potential owner, after he just brought her 15 severed heads?

    2. UNCLE WAZIR: “Well, I brought you this lovely blender…”

    3. Well, could have been worse.

    1. thanks for sharing that!

  11. The ancient Muslim hatreds tearing apart the Middle East: How 1,400-year-old feud between Shia and Sunni sects flared into life with the fall of dictators like Gaddafi and Saddam… and now threatens to swallow all of Iraq

    Sunni and Shia factions have been warring since 632AD disagreement over successor to prophet Muhammad
    ISIS militants – who are Sunni – have been stampeding through majority-Shia Iraq
    But the militants have stuck to Sunni heartlands, where residents are glad to be rid of Shia government forces
    Religious tensions are flaring again now that dictators such as Colonel Gadaffi and Saddam Hussein have fallen
    Rest of the world – and especially other Middle Eastern states – are watching nervously as the conflict intensifies

    But, but, but… Why do you hate the troops?

    1. If this causes the gloves to totally come off, I don’t think the Sunni are going to like the result….caught between the Kurds they used to crap all over and the large majority Shi’a (who can always turn to Iran). But, hey, go for it morons.

      I wonder what will happen if the 1st QRF and the 6th and 8th DIV (IA) are told, just go forward and kill everyone who looks at you crosseyed?

      1. “FOOD FIGHT!!”

      2. Wait, we like the Kurds, right? Though our friends the Turks don’t. And the Shia, those are Iranians, right? So we hate them, even though they are also the Gov in Iraq? And the Saudi’s those are Sunni, too, so we like them unless they are flying planes into our airspace, in which case don’t we like them? Do I have this straight?

        1. “No way we like the Kurds!”


          “No way!”


          “NO WAY!”

        2. This will all become much clearer to you once Obama makes it plainer what his intentions are. Then you can just read the usual suspects pre-written columns explaining why Obama is 100% wrong/right on whatever it is he decides to do.

          1. You’re looking at genius driven nuanced foreign policy at work, peasant. Not your Chimpy McHitler cowboy antics.

    2. My god, it’s as if the anti-war libertarians have been right along: the Middle East is a complicated place, and it’s none of our business.

      But we’ll have to sit and listen to the talking heads who were in favor of the Iraq war about how it was a good thing, except Obama “lost” Iraq. And we’ll also have to listen to the drone master excuse everything he’s done wrong, including bombing Libya and killing teenaged Americans overseas.

      Will someone please tell me what we libertarians did in a past life that was so horrible that we deserve this???

      1. It’s much easier to just blame Bush.

      2. I’m generally against intervention–especially over there–but it’s like we found the exact perfect way to not accomplish anything good. If you must intervene, either do it quickly, achieve a short-term goal, then leave, or occupy the place and run things yourself for a while (e.g., the U.S. occupation of Germany and Japan).

  12. This little piggy ain’t going to no market: Real-life Babe the pig leaps from a moving truck on his way to the slaughterhouse


      1. Yes, yes, I know … “Polish town urinates on statue of an erect Lenin”

  13. We need more nation-building. This time, it’s sure to work.

    1. We need more nation-building.

      Next time, we’ll remember to build fences!

  14. Chris Christie shows off his dance moves as he joins Jimmy Fallon for hilarious ‘dad dancing’ skit – and gets a ribbing over bridge closure scandal

    New Jersey governor Chris Christie appeared on The Tonight Show
    Joked about bridge scandal on first late night appearance since it broke
    Christie appeared in ‘history of dad dancing’ skit with Jimmy Fallon
    Republican joked he would beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 – in a dance off

    The fat man can move, I’ll give him that much credit.

    1. Janet Reno’s Dance Party writ…uh, large?

      1. Best fat man dancer: Jackie Gleason. And Rerun.

        1. I’ve spent the last 24 years trying to teach myself to do The Rerun. It’s time for a shower.

  15. Your favorite desert creature is making its way to the dairy case.

    Well, … OK, as long as our “favorite” forest creature stays TF away!

    1. But, my favorite desert creature is the Gila Monster.

      1. That’s not how reptiles work!

        1. Because you don’t want it bad enough, and lack conviction! Don’t other Gila Monsters… and check your privilege..


      1. The old bull’s milk, eh?

    3. “Milk comes from mammals. It doesn’t come from fruits or vegetables or nuts,”

      Nobel Prize In Biology.

  16. Those wacky Aussies and their doping

    That having been said, it’s nice to see somebody standing up to WADA and its subsidiaries.

      1. I already said “Damn you!” 😉

    1. Beat by the Antipodean, again.

      1. Only because the HyR threading runs backwards for them just like the toilet flushes.

        1. Well, when you post a reply, there’s no placeholder for the “reply to this” links, so you wind up several screens above where your reply is.

  17. “I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons,” Clinton complained to NPR host Terry Gross.

    See, this is why she’ll make such an excellent president. You can’t get one past her.

    1. “I’m not trying to say it, I just fucking said it.”

      1. SLAM!

    2. Would you prefer we stick to talking about your foreign policy success?

      1. Her record is so bad that she has to publish a book and run a massive PR campaign to try to convince everyone how good her record is.

        If she actually had a good record, of course, we’d fucking know it. Not like she has to overcome a hostile media, though maybe that’s coming, too, which would be quite the accomplishment.

    3. “I am not impugning your honor. I am denying its existence!”

  18. “I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons,” Clinton complained to NPR host Terry Gross.

    As opposed to every other decision she has made in the last forty years.
    None of which were based on political calculations.

  19. Quiet please! Woman arrested for offering $60 sex act to an undercover cop in a public library

    Massachusetts librarians called police who sent a plainclothes officer
    Brittany Macintyre, 20, of Nashua, N.H., gave him a pen and paper
    They communicated in writing until she allegedly made the offer
    Macintyre was already wanted on drugs charges
    She is due back in court at the end of July


    1. ‘I’m quite shocked because a lot of kids come here and I’m a teacher, so it’s pretty scary.’

      *rolls eyes*

      1. I’m sure that when Laura Ingalls was growing up in that little house on the prairie, she could hear the bumping and grinding of the sex that produced her three younger siblings.

      2. No student has ever through of banging a teacher in the library!

    2. As long as they didn’t make any noise, what’s the problem?

    3. If they just legalized prostitution, these transactions could all be handles via Craigslist. It’s similar to prohibition where drug dealers do their deals out on the streets.

      If only there were some sort of moral/political philosophy that could tie these things together in terms our government could understand.

    4. Huh. That library is nearby; I drive by it a lot. They should’ve put up a sign or something.

      1. Sweet, and they even published a picture so now everyone knows who to go look for when they want a quick cheap hook up.

        And hell she isn’t even half bad looking yet

  20. So I found this gem last night.

    I haven’t gone far enough down the rabbit hole to find out exactly what their thesis is, and whether they’re serious, crazy, or trolling. But it’s going to be a heckuva read.

    1. And HampersandR gets me put on another watchlist…

    2. Gold = Cursed prison of souls

      Please keep us informed, db.

    3. Gold = Cursed prison of souls
      Blood sacrifice to goddess
      Sacred cannibalism
      Burning human sacrifice
      Sacred calls to Demons
      Sacred celibacy of priests
      (Holy) Inquisition
      Papal Bulls (on human skin)
      Triple Crown of Pontiff

      That’s close to being an ideal Saturday night

      1. I read the Papal Bulls on Human Skin screed last night, and it sounds just.crazy enough to.imagine.e that these.people are.serious. of course, all “real” Papal Bulls are published originally on human skin and a second, “public” version is made on some.other.kind.of.parchment. of.course, the contents of the public.version are always slightly.different from the real original. They claim that only.the.ones written.on the skin of sacrificed humans have “supernatural power” (because of their nature) and the “public” ones are simply for show and public approval.

        There is a lot of crazy there.

        1. I had to check why Odessa was one of the special evil places:

          During 1941-1944 the city was under the control of the Catholic Fascist regime of Romanian King Carol II. While some citizens were shipped to the Vatican human sacrifice camps in Poland and Russia, the vast majority of Sephardic and native Jews in the city remained unharmed, including their property –one of the greatest historic anomalies of World War II.

          I’m going with ‘crazy’ with a heaping ‘too much free time’.

    4. Hey, economic rationalism makes the top 12 list of evils! So it looks like we will get caught up in the hellfire too. Neat.

    5. Illuminati!!!111!!

      I can’t wait to start reading this shit.
      Thanks, db.

  21. This party’s dead! Daughters throw bizarre ‘party funeral’ for mother including her own body propped up at a table under a disco ball with a cigarette and whiskey in hand

    Miriam Burbank died on June 1 at 53 years old
    Her daughters wanted her funeral to reflect how full of life she was
    The decided on propping their mother’s body up at a table stocked with cigarettes and booze
    This is the second New Orleans funeral this year that included the body of the deceased seated with booze and cigarettes


    1. Weekend at Bernadette’s?

      1. Don’t producers ideas, Ted.

        1. give.

    2. I can haz funeral like that? Pretty pretty please?

      1. I was thinking the same thing.

      2. I intend my headstone to have a solar powered “virtual conversation” with me based on recordings.of.my voice. “Hey, want a beer?” my monument will say as people walk by, followed.by the.sound of a bottle opening and a glass being.filled.

    3. So it was a wake? If they put the body on ice and wrapped the next bottle of liquor to be opened in her hand to keep it cold, it would be much like my father’s recollection of wakes in the NYC Irish community when he was a kid.

      1. Yeah, isn’t this an “Irish wake”?

    4. Lotsa fun at Miriam’s Wake!

      B-b-but cigarettes will be the death of her!

  22. But…but…Lindsey Graham!

    “Tuesday night’s election results show that South Carolina’s Republican primary voters overwhelmingly support the concept of personhood. The state party asked whether Article I, Section 3 of the South Carolina state Constitution should be amended to say that “no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law,” and that these “rights shall extend to both born and pre-born persons beginning at conception.” A whopping 79 percent of GOP voters responded yes. The vote was not open to all voters and was not seriously contested. “The sweeping success of this Personhood resolution means congressional Republicans in South Carolina just received a mandate for Personhood from the grassroots,” wrote Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, after the election. “And if any 2016 Republican Presidential candidate expects to do well in the crucial South Carolina primaries, that candidate cannot forget that 79 percent of the base believes preborn children deserve full Personhood protections!””


    1. A quixotic endeavor in light of Roe v Wade and federal preemption. Saying it wouldn’t get destroyed in a general anyway.

    2. An end to Ivf and iuds, eh?

      1. Depends on how you define “conception” – fertilization or implantation. The prior caveats still applying, of course.

        1. If the argument us that life begins once you’ve got unique DNA, a common prolife argument, I can’t see how implantation is relevant

          1. The official line from the Catholic church is fertilization, but it’s not a universal view. From a legal standpoint it’s certainly vague.

          2. You mean the common scientific understanding of when life begins.

        2. Won’t it have to be fertilization? Eventually we’ll be able to grow humans outside the womb and, presuming they count as people, won’t that be the moment of person-hood?

          1. Exactly

          2. You’d think. But wrt to birth control there’s currently dissension amongst pro lifers as to what constitutes an abortifacient on precisely those grounds. You can bet that any statute worded:

            “rights shall extend to both born and pre-born persons beginning at conception.”

            Is going to result in some splitting of hairs on the definitions.

            1. Imagine: a ‘natural’ born person does not begin person-hood until ‘birth’, but an ‘non-natural’ born person begins person-hood at conception.

              Heads will explode.

              1. Would that mean vat grown people are ineligable for presidentcy?

  23. Beat by the Antipodean, again.

    She posted that yesterday. Or tomorrow; I can never remember.

    1. At least she posted it in the right place. :-p

  24. Who’s up for another Boston area social event soon?

    1. This sounds vaguely terroristic.

    2. I just had one last week. At least, if you consder Sterling to be “Boston-area”.

      1. I think once you get outside of 495 it’s hard to call it Boston-area. Central MA more likely.

        Who were you meeting up with?

        1. Family. It was my parents’ 50th anniversary, and since my sister from Texas was flying in to Boston, we all met up at my other sister’s house in Sterling. Even if it would have been less stress on my parents who live here in NY not more than 15 minutes’ drive from me.

      2. Nope, Sorry that is Westawoostah which may as well be in Afghanistan as far as Bostonians are concerned

    3. Or for that matter, are they any NYC-area Reasonoids that might want to meet up?

      1. I’m up for it. I think Freedom Frog, too. We need a NYC roll-call. Isn’t Gilmore from NY?

        1. Sweet, who else is in?

          1. I’m out in The Rockaways and would be delighted to attend.

          2. I’ll consider it!

      2. I’m just about crazy enough to drive in for a beer.

        1. I’ll throw out a couple of dates – I’m assuming weekdays are ok: Wed. 7/2, or Thu. 7/10.

          If not a weekday, how about Sat. 7/12?

          1. Sat. the 19th? Someone got me Mets tix with Huey Lewis the 12th.

          2. We’ll circle back after the Fourth and set it up from there – does that work for you NYC-area Reasonoids?

            Is there a preference for weekday/weekend?

            Interested parties so far:
            Rufus J Firefly
            MJ Greene

            I’m thinking a place like this:

    4. I’m in. Though scheduling is tricky for the next little bit.

      1. Next couple of weeks are tricky for me as well but early July is wide open.

      2. We should probably jump to Whenisgood a bit quicker this time.

      3. Me too. I have some travel in the next few weeks, but will be mostly in Boston.

    5. I am if we keep it out of Boston/Cambridge.

      It cost me almost $30 to get there on the T.

      Based on where everyone is I’m thinking Burlington sounds good

    6. I missed this while scrolling through earlier. Timing will be tricky for me because of some upcoming trips, but I might be game.

  25. Texting ‘can boost children’s spelling and grammar’

    “And sexting can boost their self-esteem and social skills”

    1. Yeah, at the risk of sounding like every old prick ever, I’m highly skeptical.

    2. Sure, it can, if you’re willing to make an effort to spell things properly.

      (I generally try to spell properly and use proper grammar in my online stuff in part as a courtesy for any non-native English speakers reading.)

    3. To sub-John levels of competency.

  26. 911 dispatcher tells rape victim to ‘quit crying’ – but authorities say she WON’T be reprimanded

    Victim ‘awoke in Ohio State University off-campus house with a gun to her head and Michael Callaghan forcing her to commit a sex act’
    Afterwards the distraught woman called 911 and spoke with an abrasive dispatcher, a recording of the call shows
    The woman – who was visiting from out of town – did not know her exact location and was too upset to give specific details about the suspect
    Dispatcher becomes impatient and says they will not be able to find him
    Despite the dispatcher’s rude responses, she will not be reprimanded because the suspect was caught and charged, her manager said


    1. I don’t have a problem with this.

      Hand-holding and sensitivity is for the next day.

      If there’s a chance we can RESOLVE THE EMERGENCY if you just pull yourself together long enough to speak, someone needs to tell you to pull your shit together long enough to speak. And they have to say it to you in whatever communication mode will work.

      If you and I are caught in the sack of Rome and you’re blubbering about your trauma, I am going to tell you to shut the fuck up and concentrate.

    2. I agree with fluffy on this. He was just trying to calm her down. He wasn’t saying “you have no right to be upset”. He wasn’t even telling her not to be upset. He was just telling her to calm down so he could help her.

      1. Yelling at someone to pull themselves together has the fairly predictable and not all that ironic effect of doing precisely the opposite. Not judging the rightness or wrongness of it, it’s just not all that likely to work.

        1. That just means he is not a very good 911 operator. But it doesn’t mean he is a bad person or doesn’t care about rape victims. I think that story is unfair to the operator.

          1. But it doesn’t mean he is a bad person or doesn’t care about rape victims.

            That’s what I meant when I said I wasn’t judging the rightness or wrongness of it. I hate to go full chauvinist here, but there’s also distinct differences in the ways that men and women communicate, such that men generally tend to take a more pragmatic and less sympathetic approach.

          2. If the operator doesn’t have the temperament to be patient and professional with someone who has just been raped, then perhaps that person should find another line of work.

            1. Maybe he had a bad day. Or maybe he is the best they could find. It is not like being a 911 operator is a sought after job.

              1. Maybe he’s a dick who should find a different line of work.

                1. Yeah? Well maybe she should of just shut the fuck up, and made him a sammich. But nooo! It was just a bunch of blubbering and “me.me.me” coming out of her, she’s lucky he didn’t just hang up on her attention starved ass.

        2. Yes, effectiveness of technique should be open to criticism.

        3. Yelling at someone to pull themselves together has the fairly predictable and not all that ironic effect of doing precisely the opposite.

          Sometimes, sure. Other times, not so much.

  27. Consistency Demand Proponents of Free Markets to Support Immigration Rights

    “Immigration is an economic issue. Fundamentally, it is about the movement of workers, entrepreneurs and consumers to locations where they can maximize the value of their labor, businesses and purchasing power.
    But America’s current immigration system is highly protectionist and restrictive. In contrast to the first 131 years of American history, there is currently no green card for lower-skilled workers. Some highly skilled workers, families and refugees can get green cards, but there is no category for lower-skilled workers unless they are closely related to an American. That severe prohibition on the movement of lower-skilled workers is a deep and destructive intervention into the market economy.”

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundi…..z34WreQPHv

    1. but there is no category for lower-skilled workers unless they are closely related to an American

      Hmmm. I wonder who might be interested in keeping lower skilled workers out of the country?

      1. Libertarians who are happy with their orphan labor?

      2. Libertarians who are happy with their orphan labor?

        1. I gotta fire one of those orphan laborers for posting twice.

          1. Post it three times and Tony appears

            1. Please don’t bring up that name.

      3. One rule of thumb could be, if unions support it it ain’t pro free markets.

        1. The union line on immigration isn’t as universal as it once was. Partly because organizing grade school-educated non-english-speaking farm labor is one of their last cash cows.


    2. there is currently no green card for lower-skilled workers

      Not exactly true. There’s no green card *specifically* for low-skilled workers like there is for high-skill workers, and the entire immigration system is highly biased toward education, so they get to scrap it out for the extremely limited (something like 2k IIRC) number of open green cards or the visa lottery.

    3. Consitency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Just because you support free markets doesn’t mean that cannot advocate for policies that make the market less free in some areas. It is not all or nothing. You can think a free market is a great ideal to be work towards but also think that in some instances it is also good to have limits on it.

      By that logic, liberals must give up their support of any and all regulation or admit they are communists.

    4. Wait a minute, what made us care so much about immigration again? Does it have something to do with that 9 digit number on a cardboard card they gave me?

    5. When the market is free, I’ll have no problem opening some borders.

  28. Gold = Cursed prison of souls

    Maybe this is why Shreeek is obsessed with gold.

  29. One for the road: Truck load of beer spills across highway after driver falls asleep at the wheel

    It was only Budlight.

    1. “Foul-smelling Water spills on highway” not as reader catching.

    2. Not really a truckload of beer beer, then.

  30. Vacant Social Security Building In Baltimore Could Soon House Hundreds Of Illegal Immigrant Children

    Cool! I understand the future of Baltimore depends on the success of these children.

    1. *** scratches chin ***

      I think I see a way to resurrect Detroit ….

      1. Lord of the Flies in Spanish. Get those kids a conch shell.

      2. So, you found a deterrent to anyone wanting to come to the US then?

        1. “Land of very inexpensive housing”

    2. So we are going to have the federal government responsible for the care of thousands of unaccompanied minors. Yeah, that ought to work out well. Someone should just start showing people in Latin America stories about the VA and explain that these same people are now going to take care of their children if their children come across the border. This problem would be solved very quickly.

  31. Ousted NYT editor lands a job at Harvard.

    1. She will be a visiting lecturer in the Department of English, teaching undergraduates about narrative nonfiction, the university announced Thursday.

      She’d be teaching in the physics department, of course, if not for the patriarchy.

    2. Back in the day when a minister or noble fell out of favor but not far enough to get himself killed, sending them to a monastery or granting them a bishopric was a common fate. Today the elite left has universities and non profits in place of monasteries and the Church.

      1. That’s an interesting analogy. The Church(es) was a center of power in Europe and the very reason for the Establishment clause.

        If you could tweak the BoR would you try to keep government out of ‘education’ in order to weaken that center of power?

        1. I am not sure the problem is government involvement. Harvard is a private school. The problem is that the Left are like vampires. They take over and murder any institution they inhabit and turn it into a kind of undead warrior for the leftist cause. This is what they have done with universities. I am not sure banning government involvement in educations, whatever the virtues of doing that, would have prevented that.

        2. I’m pretty sure the federal government already lacks any constitutional authority to be involved in education. Enumerated powers, if it wasn’t simply negated by the FYTW clause.

          1. What about the money that is used to subsidize it – and be extension the ‘teaching’ and ‘administrative’ positions that end up as refuges? Not too mention the leverage the money gives the DoE?

  32. The Iraqis falling to crazyfuckistan is not a difficult military problem. Insurgencies are hard to fight. But if these assholes want to form small armies and take cities, that is easy. We took Afghanistan with Northern Alliance militias, air power, a few SF guys and some nice Arabian horses and a few camels. Just give the Iraqi government air support. Launch a coordinated air campaign and in a few weeks you will clean them right out. In some ways it is an opportunity. You have all of these crazy fucks that so need killing just lining up and yelling “bomb me!! bomb me!!. Once you start doing that, the Iraqi Army will feel which way the wind blows and decide it is okay to show up for work again. Long term will they come back? Probably. Long term is the Iraqi government a crooked mess such that many or most of those in power probably deserve to be beheaded? Probably. But you could easily solve this crisis today. I really can’t understand why President Drone strike can’t figure this out.

    1. But John, if they can assemble into a more conventional force from the pieces of a factional insurgency, they can do it in reverse too.

      If you start hitting them with conventional airpower in support of weak conventional forces they will just disassemble – only to reassemble as necessary.

      If we had the political will to stay for 25 years you might be able to pull it off. But we don’t. So let them tear themselves to pieces first and then we’ll deal with result.

      1. The single biggest mistake in Iraq was disbanding the military.

        1. May be true but unfortunately that is water under the bridge.

        2. Or the single biggest mistake in Iraq was the Babylonians didn’t finish the job 2500 years ago. Or the Greeks, the Romans, the Mongols, the Turks, or the British.

          Like Afghanistan, we have always been at war with Mesopotamia.

      2. Sure they can disassemble. When you hit them with air power, the ones you don’t kill will run back to Syria. But when they do that, they will no longer hold any territory and no longer be a threat to overthrow the Iraqi government.

        It would not solve the long term problems of the Iraqi government being a crooked mess run by morons. It would however solve the immediate crisis of Al Quada setting up the Caliphate of Crazyfuckistan in Northwest Iraq and Syria. That is the immediate problem. I don’t see how we can just stand around and let them do that. Whatever their dangers as an insurgency, they are a lot less dangerous as that then they are some rump government running a big chink of Iraq and Syria.

        1. Run back to Syria? No, they will just melt back into the population/countryside.

          We can do absolutely zero about the immediate problem/situation in that shithole without re-invading with an army twice the size of our original invasion and re-establishing the Ottoman Empire. Any other option is a slow, gangrenous waste of blood and treasure.

          Leave it alone. We can’t solve all, or even most of the worlds problems and we have plenty of stuff to deal with here that if we let continue will result in worse down the road.

          1. Let them melt back in. If they melt back in, they are no longer the government of the area. We cannot prevent them from running a terrorist campaign against Iraq without reinvading. We can prevent them from concentrating and taking over and becoming the government of large areas of the country. We spend so much time talking about the limits of conventional warfare, we forget that unconventional warfare has limits too, namely that you can’t concentrate and hold large areas of territory and operate a government with unconventional warfare. Once you do that, you are no longer melting into the population and are fighting a conventional war.

            1. So let them establish a state. And when that state attacks us, we can annihilate it with our conventional forces.

          2. I have to agree with you. The only outcome of a direct US re-involvement in Iraq is death and a loss of trillions of $$$. We saw that picture show once already and I sure as hell don’t want to see the trilogy completed. Attack on Iraq Part III: Ah fuck, this place again?

            1. TwB,

              I am sympathetic to the idea of let them kill each other such that God can sort them out. But, if we let Al Quada form a country in Iraq and Syria, it is just a matter of time before they use that to launch bit nasty attacks on Europe and the US. The place just becomes another Taliban ruled Afghanistan and a place for them to run terror campaigns against us. I would love to think they would spend their killing Iranians and beheading heretics. But they will do that and still have plenty of time and money to fight the big Satan in the west.

              I would love to believe that we could just step back and let the crazy Suni fucks fight to the death with the crazy Shia fucks from Iran over the ruins of the middle east. I won’t lose any sleep over it. But I don’t think we can. I don’t think they will contain their civil war just to there and both sides dream of coming and killing the rest of us once they have eliminated the heretics from Islam.

              1. Letting them establish a state, and use it as a base of operations to attack Europe/US (if they do, no guarantee they will) gives Europe/US a far better a) justification, and b) target to attack, in the event this new state does attack us.

                Any other option is not politically feasible at this point.

                1. That is an option Restoras and it might not be a bad one. I was thinking about just that possibility this morning. If that happens and there is another 911 or worse in the US, the US will go back into the middle east but it will do so for revenge and to end the threat to it not to nation build. The entire post World War II, make the world safe for democracy, winning of hearts and minds, western foreign policy may be ending here and would certainly end then. The US and Europe would go back to 19th Century ideas of colonialism and punitive expeditions. The people on the other end of that are going to like that a lot less than they liked being the subject of nation building.

                  People talk about Iraq being this disaster for the US. We could debate that issue forever. I am starting to think regardless of that, it will end up being an even bigger disaster for the Arab and Islamic world. It might well be the last time the West ever deals with them in any kind of a restrained and humanitarian way and they fucked it up. The next time the US goes into the middle east in response to an attack on its soil, it will be an entire different and much more brutal ball game.

                2. So, let them establish a state of crazyfuckistan. As long as they don’t mess with us, who cares? If they do mess with us, we destroy all their shit and kill all their leaders in an overwhelming punitive expedition, and then leave, with the warning that we will be back to do ten times worse if they or anyone else fucks with us again. And forget about the idiotic nation-building shit.

                  1. I don’t care WTF, except that you know they will fuck with us. I would love to believe they won’t but I can’t. As Restoras says, maybe letting them have a country and thus easy target for retribution after an attack is the best thing in the long term.

                    1. It isn’t necessarily the best option in the long-term, but perhaps/maybe/just the most politically expedient one at this time.

                    2. They may indeed fuck with us, because we have yet to deliver an appropriate lesson in retaliation. Hence the delivery of an over-the top punitive expedition, to serve as a lesson to them and anyone else who might be thinking of fucking with us. We won’t be able to undo all of our previous mistakes without cost at this point. One of the greatest evils was the concept of proportional response, which did nothing more than make it less risky for weak powers to attack strong powers, with the predictable result.

                    3. WTF,

                      I cannot argue with you. And indeed, what you are saying is exactly what pretty much everyone smart enough to have a self preservation instinct will be saying if they do another 911. Like I said above, the disaster of Iraq is not ours. We will make or print more money and have plenty of people to replace the ones we lost. The disaster is for the Arab middle east. One thing I think we can all agree on, that was the last time we will ever try to fix their countries or deal with them in anything but a punitive manner.

              2. I want you to be wrong. But what you’ve said has quite a bit of merit. The whole situation is just so fucked up and the worst part is, we had a big fucking hand in creating this mess in the first place.

                1. “…. we had a big fucking hand in creating this mess in the first place.”

                  No shit.

                  You can’t stir the shit without getting some of it on you.

                  1. we had a big fucking hand in creating this mess in the first place

                    Less, probably a lot less, than you think. Sunnis and Shiites have been killing each other for centuries. This is just more of the same. If we had never gone into Iraq, the details might be different, but the basics would all be the same.

    2. On whose intel are the airstrike targets based?

    3. OT, but you didn’t seem to show up in the PM Links. Did I see you say you’ll be in Boston for work? Hamilton and I are up for getting a beer.

  33. I would be interested in everyone’s predictions about what happens when we tell Maliki we won’t send in ground troops and…

    …he invites in Iranian armored units.

    1. He already has I think. And of course he will do that. What choice does he have? That to me is inevitable if we don’t step in and do something, though I don’t think we need to send in ground troops.

      The more interesting question is what happens after the Iranians intervene? The Iraqis hate the Iranians and the Sunis doubly hate them for being Persian and for being Shia. Even the Iraqi Sunis don’t have much love for the Iranians because they are Persians. And the Iranian Mullahs practice a from of Shia that is so fucked up even most Shias consider it heresy. So long term, the Iraqis are not going to willingly let the Iranians occupy their country. They are not keen on living under the Persian yoke. Does that drag Iran into an expensive and bloody civil war in Iraq? Would that be a bad thing? I am not sure.

      1. I meant more in terms of what WE would do.

        Do we then decide after the fact that we do want to send ground troops, and demand that Iran leave?

        Do we declare war on Iran if they don’t?

        1. Please no. If we start shit with Iran, they’ll bomb Israel and the whole Fertile Crescent will turn into a warzone (if it isn’t already).

        2. I would not send in ground troops. I would send in a few SF people and use air power to run a campaign similar to what we did in Afghanistan after 2001 and end this immediate threat. As far as Iran already being there, I would finesse that issue by providing support to the Iraq government and hopefully be able to ignore it. Unless the Iranians just invade, there won’t be enough Iranians there to make it impossible for us to ignore.

          Once you run Al Quada out, then you have to hope that this experience will scare some sense into the Iraqi government such that they get their act together a bit better. No one wants to live under Alquada or be forced to run to Iran to keep that from happening. Perhaps a near experience of that will sharpen their minds a bit.

          If it doesn’t? I don’t know. We can’t prop up Iraq forever and we can’t save the Iraqies if they don’t want to save themselves.

        3. “Do we then decide after the fact that we do want to send ground troops, and demand that Iran leave?

          Do we declare war on Iran if they don’t?”

          And who says that an Iran (IRGC with a ~50/50 success rare in Syria) waist deep in shit, in Iraq is a bad thing? It ought to keep them occupied for a while.

      2. Getting Iran tied down trying to stabilize a half dozen countries means they have significantly less money to fund international terrorism and nuclear weapons.

    2. That’s more or less a given whenever we finally decide to stop being Iraq’s security blanket. That was pretty obvious from the beginning. Toppling the old regime was the easy part.

      1. It’s inevitable that an Iraq not controlled by a Sunni dictator will eventually be an Iranian client state.

        But I can definitely see us doing some really dumb things as we try to fight against that inevitability.

        1. Precisely. There’s no elegant end game to be had there. It may seem gauche to “cut and run” after 11 years, but short of permanently occupying the country there’s not really any other option.

        2. It’s inevitable that an Iraq not controlled by a Sunni dictator will eventually be an Iranian client state.

          Not at all. You miss the differences between Iraqis and Persians. Moreover, even if it were, so what? A client state means Iran is responsible for propping up the government and trying to run things there. I don’t think they are going to like that very much.

    3. There’s no way there aren’t already Iranian units there.

    4. The Quds are already there. Not sure what they brought for heavy equipment, but the Shiite deal with Iran has already been cut.

  34. Anytime ISIS is mentioned, I immediately think of Archer rather than the Islamic militant group. Something must be wrong with me.

    1. I’m sure the Moro Islamic Liberation Front feels ISIS’s pain.

    2. Any idea when the next season starts?

      1. January 2015 I would presume.

  35. https://archive.org/details/al_saleel_4

    Here’s an hour-long highlight reel of ISIS drive-bys,executions and reprisals that’s been making the rounds on the internet for over a month now.

    Judging from the mass desertions and surrendering, it looks like their PR campaign has had its desired effect.

    NSFW obviously, unless your work is cool about horrific violence.

    1. unless your work is cool about horrific violence.

      IOW, any public employees are fine.

  36. “President Barack Obama is considering a new round of military action in Iraq.”

    That can’t be right. I heard Osama bin Laden was dead and GM was alive.

    1. Oh, and Arab Spring!

  37. I would be interested in everyone’s predictions about what happens when we tell Maliki we won’t send in ground troops and…

    …he invites in Iranian armored units.

    I’m rooting for an epidemic of apoplectic tongue-swallowing; starting with John McCain.

    As for the practical effect, I would like to pretend any attempt by Washington to send troops back to Iraq will result in a mass uprising by the American people.

    1. I want to agree with you, I really do but I don’t know what it would take for a mass uprising of the American people. I mean, we are already being spied on, Obamacare is a joke, illegal immigrants are flooding over our Southern border and now Iraq is tearing itself apart. And nobody has gotten stirred up enough about any of those issues, so I highly doubt if we were stupid enough to send in ground troops in Iraq that people would rise up and say Enough. It’s sad but probably true.

  38. FYI:
    The Reason web-guy didn’t know we were having comment-function difficulties when I contacted him last night; he’s been logging hit rates and they haven’t changed much.
    So if you are as frustrated as I am at losing a paragraph or two and having to retype it, you might go right to the bottom of the page to locate the contacts and let him know.
    My 2014 donation is a good bit smaller than the 2013 amount and shrinking every time another comment gets lost in the ozone.!

    1. You’re a student of the Dick Soloman school of tipping, I see.

      1. Not familiar with that, but I have a rule that hitting someone in the wallet tends to get their attention.
        We racked up another $10 off already this morning.

        1. About 2.5 minutes long. Context is that he’s an alien and new to the culture of earth.

          1. One of the more hilarious scenes.

    2. Well Reason web-guy should check his email cos I emailed him two days ago about it

  39. “Obama Administration Tells Local Police to Stay Quiet on Surveillance Technology”
    “The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned.
    Citing security reasons,…”

    Lying bastard gonna lie.

    1. Fake. Scandals.

      1. We won’t know what Obama thinks about this until he reads about it in The Washington Post.

  40. Jesus! The coverage of Iraq’s fall on the Daily Mail is fucking depressing. The.news.of executions (some publicly posted in videos by ISIS) IS.just disgusting. What a fucking mess.

    1. It is a total mess. But there is an upside. Maybe the rest of the Islamic world will see that and decide that cheering on the jihad against the west isn’t such a good idea and that maybe it is not the Great Satan America that is the enemy. The Muslim world is going to have to figure out for itself what it is going to be. If it wants to be a nightmare death cult that is a threat to threat of the world and civilization itself, then we can’t stop them. But eventually the rest of the world will be forced to put a stop to it and maybe Islam itself if it gets bad enough. I would think Muslims would see that as a bad idea and want to stop these people.

      1. We need to.stay the he’ll out.of this, maybe.let Russia throw themselves.into the middle east wood chipper.for.a.while.

        There is.l basically no upside here. The.only possible good that.could.come from ISIS establishing itself.as the government.of.Iraq would be that there would finally be a *state* associated.with international terror, and.it.could be.warred with on a real basis. You can’t fight “terrorism” as a method, but.you.can fight it’s incarnation as a state. Maybe we should just stay home and let the European countries get on this problem.for.a.change.

        Fuck, this.is.a.mess.

        1. It is a total mess. But when a huge number of people take leave of their senses and go insane, a mess is always the result.

          It was a total mess when the French decided that they were going to enforce the new Republican world order on Europe. It was a mess when the Germans decided that they were the master race and the solution to the world’s problems was eliminating and enslaving the other races so they could thrive.

          Shit like this happens occasionally. When it does, there is no fixing it. You just have to deal with it until it runs its course. Sadly, “dealing with it” often involves a lot of killing and dying.

          1. I’ll be honest, if it is a decision between years and years of conventional warfare resulting in uncountable economic destruction and the.loss of.millions.of lives, or a couple of “instructional” nuclear.detonation in strategic locations, I’d have to think on it a bit.

          2. Well said. Least worst options.

  41. I am starting to think that there being a Crazyfuckistan somewhere has some value. Every Crazy Fuck from Rabat to Jakarta can go there and complete for the title of Craziest Fuck in Crazyfuckistan.

    1. Grand prize: China nukes the whole fucking place into glass.

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