A.M. Links: Rand Paul Doesn't Blame Obama For Unrest in Iraq, John Kerry Arrives in Baghdad, U.S. Ties Portugal in World Cup Group Play


  • looking forward

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says he doesn't blame President Obama for the situation in Iraq but that he does blame the unrest in the Middle East on the Iraq War. Former Vice President Dick Cheney dismissed Paul as an "isolationist" and said U.S. meddling in the region was "essential." Meanwhile, Israel has launched retaliatory strikes in Syria after a missile attack launched from that country killed an Israeli teenager and injured his father, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria continues to make territorial gains along Iraq's border with Syria and Jordan, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Baghdad to urge the Iraqi prime minister to form an "inclusive" government. 

  • Incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he believed the Export-Import Bank, the federal government's export credit agency, was an example of crony capitalism and that its charter should be allowed to expire in September. Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was one of its biggest supporters in Congress.
  • Several journalists in Egypt were sentenced to life in prison on terrorism charges a day after John Kerry came to the country to announce the resumption of U.S. military aid.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin says he wants "genuine dialogue" between the government of Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels in the east.
  • Portugal tied with the United States in World Cup play yesterday on the latest scored goal in the history of the tournament.
  • Researchers from the University of California-Davis suggest free will could be the result of background noise in the brain.

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  1. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says he doesn’t blame President Obama for the situation in Iraq but that he does blame the unrest in the Middle East on the Iraq War.

    Did Obama put out a YouTube video recently?

    1. What difference at this point does it make?

      1. The difference is that it might prompt someone to arrest him on an unrelated charge. Hmmm … I kind of hope he did make a YouTube video …..

    2. Hello.


      Some priceless quotes:

      “I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived,” Bill Clinton said”

      “Their (Jarrett and Michelle) favorite b?te noire was Hillary Clinton, whom they nicknamed “Hildebeest,” after the menacing and shaggy-maned gnu that roams the Serengeti.”

      That’s rich considering who is saying it.

      “He said, ‘You know, Michelle would make a great presidential candidate, too.'”

      Oh dear me.

      1. This is the kind of court intrigue that takes place amongst all ruling classes. What we need is no ruling class.

        1. So we’ll go from a completely unqualified president to what – and anti-qualified one?

          At least she’ll have the same lizard lady for a puppet master.

      2. ‘Hillary and I are gearing up for a run in 2016.’ He said Hillary would be ‘the most qualified, most experienced candidate, perhaps in history.’

        It doesn’t matter how many times you say it.

      3. Michelle is one of the few women on earth who makes Hillary seem attractive and feminine by comparison. Her Jerrett really are foul and awful people.

        1. Her Jerrett really are foul and awful people.

          Seeing Valerie Jarrett makes me think that David Icke might be on to something.

          1. Go on.

        2. I don’t know if I’d go that far. Michelle would be reasonably attractive for a woman her age with a different personality. The thing that turns me off about her is the expressions she wears on her face.

      4. And Bill Clinton is for all his faults two things; a des dictated Democrat and a smart politician who understands the country. Though he will never say so until Obama leaves office, I think Bill understands the long term damage Obama is doing to the Democratic Party and hates him for it.

    3. I guess Rand Paul has decided not to run for President after all.

      I say that as a purely tactical observation. Letting Obama off the hook and blaming Bush for the current Iraqi clusterhump is not going to sell well to a base already leery of his foreign policy bona fides.

      On a more substantive level, Rand is, of course, wrong. Obama has been President for nearly six years. He owns it now. All Presidents “inherit” problems. Their performance is judged on how they deal with them.

      1. Oddly enough, the very trait that makes Paul attractive by comparison to other politicians (truth-telling, as opposed to calculated, triangulated sound bite spewing), makes him a piss-poor politician.

        Like when his father, in the debates, said the US really DID have to own some responsibility for the troubles in the Middle East. I was STUNNED. How could a politician actually tell the truth when it went against his success as a politician?? It was something I’d never seen before. I’ve seen politicians say stupid things, things that damaged their election chances, but only because they were poorly-calculated or poorly expressed. Never because it was what they actually believed.

  2. Church Gave Away Two Semi-Automatic Rifles To Entice ‘More People To Follow Jesus’

    A church in Joplin, Missouri is facing criticism for raffling off two AR-15s during last week’s Father’s Day celebration in order to increase attendance and “get more people to follow Jesus.”

    “Want to win a Black Rain AR-15?” a Facebook posting on the Ignite Church Facebook page asked. “Dads, you earn an entry for yourself, each child you have and if you bring your dad to church. Those that registered last week get to register again!!! Don’t miss this.”

    1. I guess they’re bitter and clinging to their guns and religion, eh. đŸ˜‰

    2. America, despite her faults, still has moments of greatness.

    3. Techniacally, isn’t this encouraging people to follow the Zealots?

      1. “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword AR-15 is to sell his coat and buy one.”

  3. Researchers from the University of California-Davis suggest free will could be the result of background noise in the brain.

    Background noise in malls does help me decide not to buy anything and get out of there as fast as possible, so this adds up.

    1. The most shocking part of this sentence is that you still have malls where you live.

      1. There are still lots of malls in the vast mysterious region between NYC and LA, or “flyover country” as you probably call it.

        1. Indeed, that region has “The Mall of *America*”!

          *** pumps fist ***

        2. There’s plenty in LA too.

        3. Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL


        4. There are several malls in NYC too. Also one 5 minutes from me in Jersey City (across the river from NYC). Where is it that there are no malls?!

          1. The DC area’s malls have been decimated (which is fine with me). Around here, if a mall is still operating, it’s usually full of Dollar Stores. The one functional mall I can think of is Pentagon City. There are a couple in MD’s Dc burbs, but not sure how they’re doing. Last time I was at White Flint, it had a lot of space for rent.

            The DC favors the more outdoor “Town Center” approach. Maybe because our weather generally allows for it.

            1. Yeah, there are dead malls everywhere – I just assumed it was due to shitty economies, not changing taste. Where I’m from (upstate NY), all shopping is done in what malls haven’t died. I think for us NYCers, the mall “experience” is novelty enough to keep them open.

              1. shitty economies, not changing taste

                I think it’s probably a combination of both, but the town centers in the DC area seem to be doing OK, whereas the malls are on a noticeable downhill slide. There’s a shopping center (kind of a strip mall/town center hybrid) near me with EVERYTHING – grocery, clothing, home goods, movie theater, cafes, restaurants, gas stations, car washes, etc. and it’s always a zoo.

                1. BTW what do you mean by “town center”? Is that “downtown”, or some simulacrum thereof built from scratch?

                  1. A ‘town center’ is a mall without a roof. It’s basically a glorified strip mall.

              2. Yeah, there are dead malls everywhere – I just assumed it was due to shitty economies, not changing taste

                In the Denver area, it’s typically the latter–some new shopping pleasure palace opens up or expands and kills off business at the older institutions.

                For instance, when the Westiminster Mall expanded in 1986, it killed off three nearby malls (Lakeside, Northglenn, and North Valley) that were aging but still relatively viable. Westminster just got demolished in 2012 after dying a slow death after Flatirons in Broomfield opened.

    2. Are they really talking about free will or about decisions that people make which are seemingly random or “new”? I think that the latter is not really what free will is.

      I’ve always thought that the question of free will was a pointless and boring one. If you can do what you decide to do when you are not somehow constrained from doing so, you have free will.

      1. Ah, but there are LOTS of people who seem desperate to prove that all those decisions you make are predetermined by some mechanistic procedure.

        Not sure why it is so desirable to prove this, but I suspect the underlying reasons are bad.

        1. I don’t think there is any conflict between determinism and free will. You are still free to do as you will even if all of your decisions are determined by a mechanical process. Though given the unpredictable quantum oddness of things at small scales, it is unlikely that thoughts and decisions are completely mechanical and deterministic, even if you assume a completely materialistic universe. But is randomness like that free will? I think it is something different.

  4. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Baghdad…

    They’re doomed.

    1. Is he rampaging in the manner of Jenjiss Khan?

    2. There might be a fence there…quick, got get somebody’s medals so he can throw them over!

  5. Christopher Dickey reviews Michael Korda’s biography of Robert E. Lee

    Doesn’t say much about the book, but does say this:

    “Once Virginia reluctantly seceded, so, also reluctantly, did Lee.
    But after that decision was made, Lee’s nobility and charisma, and the carnage that he commanded, gave cover to all those incendiary Southern politicians who did not, in fact, feel ambivalent about slavery. These “fire-eaters,” as they were called, not only wanted to perpetuate their peculiar institution, they wanted to reopen the slave trade with Africa, which was recognized even at the time as a terrible holocaust banned for half a century, but rationalized by them because African slaves were just so cheap and profitable and could be so useful to those Southerners who wanted to spread their voracious cotton economy to the west and south.

    The fire-eaters were a minority then, as the Tea Partiers (their spiritual descendants) are today, but like today’s Tea Party they promoted extremist agendas and pounded down on wedge issues that sundered the nation and very nearly destroyed it.

    1. Sunder away.

    2. I read this. Somehow Lee was more a monster for continuing to fight a principled (from his stance) war over whether or not secession should be allowed than Lincoln or Grant was for doing the same. It seems like a poor argument to me.

      1. Given his attitude towards losses (Grant was “We have reserves” personified), I’d put Grant at more monstrous than the man who wept and appologized to the survivors for having blundered and sent them into a killing field.

        1. Lee pissed always thousands of men he couldn’t afford to lose winning tactically stunning but strategically irelevent victories. Grant was five times the leader and general Lee was.

          1. “Leadership”, “Generalship” and “Monstrosity” are three different metrics.

            1. Lee’s army suffered a much higher casualty rate than Grant’s. It was the nature of the war. I don’t see how Grant stoically doing what was necessary to end the war is more monstrerous than Lee extending the war and crying about how is blunders and even victories got thousands killed.

              1. He Feelllz the other was a cold hearted republican monster.

              2. Nor less, to be honest with you. The leadership in both sides made decisions to kill tens of thousands of men over the issue. That Lee would be more monstrous for pursuing his duty in war as vigorously as he pursued his duty in peace just seems a strange argument. I figured from the opening about how his opinion of Lee was so diminished, it would turn out that all of Lee’s post-war attempts to be a leader in reconciliation were now under question. But no. His failure to adapt to the changing Union strategy in which retreats were temporary respites to reorganize before rejoining the action is what made him a monster. Its strange to me because it isn’t new or unknown. Its like arguing that the Union general in charge of First Bull Run was suddenly a monster after you read a biography on him.

              3. 1% higher and there were a lot more mitigating factors than just blunders in strategy.

          2. Agreed. Just look at Gettysburg – a completely optional battle on the way to Harrisburg that broke the back of the Army of Northern Virginia. Gettysburg was as stupid as Stalingrad.

            1. Gettysburg was stupid…however, if the South had won it, they take DC with little opposition and the war is probably over.

              He rolled the dice on one battle to end it all.

              Strategically, the right thing to do was to listen to Longstreet and dig trenches across northern virginia and fight a pure defensive war.

        2. You’d think on a libertarian site the fact that one fought on the side primarily dedicated to preserving human chattel slavery might factor into a determination of how monstrous

          1. There is that.

          2. Here we go again.

            While the Proclamation had freed most slaves as a war measure, it had not made slavery illegal. Of the states that were exempted from the Proclamation, Maryland,[25] Missouri,[26] Tennessee,[27] and West Virginia[28] prohibited slavery before the war ended. However, in Delaware[32] and Kentucky,[33] slavery continued to be legal until December 18, 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment went into effect.

            Ain’t it funny how it was war first and emancipation second? Perhaps Gen. Lee might be excused for seeing it in 1861 as a question of whether states were sovereign enough to exit the US or not. Of all the war powers Lincoln claimed, its funny that he never freed the Union slaves by proclamation. Slavery is wrong, I’m certainly glad it was ended. Undoubtedly, one of the major issues that sparked the war was whether or not slavery would continue in America. However, to declare that they were “primarily dedicated to preserving human chattel slavery” is not true. They had a war over a legitimate and unresolved question of sovereignty. The state sovereignty side lost. One of the upsides was that outlawing slavery was seen as a way of punishing the losers economically.

            1. There is a “joke” that KY was the last state to secede, they did it after the war.

              KY was strongly pro-union (for a border state) and strongly pro-slavery (for a border state). The 13th amendment pissed a lot of KY people off, as that wasnt what they were fighting for.

              Not the proudest moment in my states history, but it puts a lot of bullshit to lie.

              I dont think they got anything right in that deal. Except being anti-Lincoln, they had that going for them.

              Ky election results, 1860:
              Bell 45.18%
              Breckinridge 36.35%
              Douglas 17.54%
              Lincoln 0.93%

              Suck it Abe!

            2. The reason the question of state sovereignty became big enough to have a war over was slavery. I think it is reasonable to say that the South was fighting to maintain slavery. The North wasn’t fighting primarily to end slavery, so the pure good/evil narrative is bullshit.

            3. The issue of state soverignty or the particulars of the Emancipation are irrelevant. Bo’s point is that there’s just no way a Libertarian can argue for the continued existence of a slave state, even if it’s for five minutes. The Confederacy was a slave state, and codified in it’s constitution protection for slavery. It deserved to be destroyed by fire and sword. The North did us and humanity a favor by defeating and disbanding it, and I say that as a Southerner.

          3. your right on that, but you should read up some of the founders opinions on the issue. The issue is slightly more nuanced, in the US. Not to justify how inhumane and disgusting slavery is/was, equality for all is quite a recent phenomena.

          4. Right, because intentions are all that matter. Never change, Bo.

            1. It’s not even intentions. Lincoln’s (and most of the leadership in the North’s) intentions weren’t to end slavery, merely to preserve the Union. Yes, the South seceded primarily over slavery, but the North did not fight primarily to end it.

          5. That is kind of a given, but a critique of a given commander’s conduct in the prosecution of a conflict, once entered, can be free of the cause for which the commander fights. For example, I can say Rommel was a hell of a commander (save for his over-optimism at Tobruk) while in the next breath condemning the cause for which he fought.

            1. +1.

              Indeed, demonizing everyone who fought on the “other” side, just for being on the other side is mere propaganda.

          6. Ya, if that ever happened, it would.

    3. I presume the paragraph you bolded is actually part of the review?

      1. Yes. I should have used quotes.

    4. Is this another desperate attempt to claim that the Tea Party is really the KKK in disguise?

      1. In disguise? Hah, it’s practically transparent!

      2. Yep.

    5. *nods knowingly*

      /right-thinking people

    6. Christopher Dickey (born August 31, 1951) is the Paris Bureau Chief and Middle East Regional Editor for Newsweek magazine. The author of six books, his most recent is Securing the City: Inside America’s Best Counterterror Force ? the NYPD

      The fucking NYPD? And this schmendrick has the balls to smear people he doesn’t like as racist slavemongers?

      I hope he dies from an agonizingly painful stomach cancer.

    7. This parallel makes so little sense to me. But if vilifying the grass-roots of the right will save this nation from the African slave trade then I guess that’s the price we must pay.

    8. they wanted to reopen the slave trade with Africa,

      Which is why it was subsequently banned in the Confederate Constitution…

      1. To be fair, that was probably at least in part to protect existing slave holders from having their property value diminished.

    9. We will fight the legacy and causes of the War between the States until the end of time. The one thing (IMO) that is not debatable but is very rarely discussed, is the fact that this war gave rise to the American statist concept of an all powerful central government. It really has been down the slopes of death since.

      1. Language even changed. Before the war, “The United States are…” ware common, after it changed to “The United States is….”

  6. Researchers from the University of California-Davis suggest free will could be the result of background noise in the brain.

    Legislators are funding scientific studies on brain filter development as we speak.

    1. False consciousness.

  7. Several journalists in Egypt were sentenced to life in prison on terrorism charges a day after John Kerry came to the country to announce the resumption of U.S. military aid.

    Charging journalists with terrorism. I’ll bet that got a wistful sigh from the Most Transparent Administration in history.

  8. Several journalists in Egypt were sentenced to life in prison on terrorism charges a day after John Kerry came to the country to announce the resumption of U.S. military aid.

    As they were from Al Jazeera English, this can be seen as
    sticking it to Qatar and free speech.

    Prosecution evidence included: videos of trotting horses from Sky News Arabia, a song by the Australian singer Gotye, and a BBC documentary from Somalia.

  9. Save the American economy. Have a baby. Make it three.
    Uncle Sam ought to provide some financial incentives for families to produce a booming new generation of workers, taxpayers, and entrepreneurs

    I know it sounds creepy to suggest that Uncle Sam ought to bribe women to have more babies. It has the whiff of something that chest-baring ultra-nationalist Vladimir Putin would do. More future patriots from Russian mothers for Mother Russia!

    Most Americans would probably say nosy technocrats have no business trying to engineer some socially desirable family size, either bigger or smaller. And they would be right.

    But what if Washington has already inadvertently instituted its own version of China’s awful one-child policy? After all, American families are having fewer children than they want. Surveys show a steady, four-decade preference for 2.6 kids. But today’s actual number is something more like 2.0.

    1. Know who else gave incentives for more babies?

      1. Australia?

      2. Octomom?

      3. Jonathan Swift?

      4. The Pope?

      5. The Austrian Corporal.

      6. Chairman Mao?

    2. So the problem with prostitution is that its participants are too safe?

    3. Don’y be already have a rather large refundable tax credit for children? Plus another exemption, plus if you are on them, larger welfare checks, food stamps, higher medicaid/chip, levels, section 8 income limits and so forth? The government already does a lot of “paying people to have children”.

      1. The problem is it’s paying irresponsible people to have children, not those who will raise future productive members of the economy. They can’t tax the farmed votes.

        1. Really? The taxes on cigarettes and booze are pretty high.

          Jus’ sayin’

          1. It’s still a net loss.

            1. Don’t forget the tax on stupidity.

                1. Yep. And state-run/licensed casinos, too.

                  1. Ah, yes, IL has plenty of taxes on the stupid… “sure, the casino industry is a multi-billion dollar one and based on taking people’s money with mathematical certainity, but I am gong to be different, I am going to win!!!!”

                    1. Or they don’t expect to win, but enjoy the game and consider the lost money an entertainment expense. I’ve never made money going to the movies either, yet it would be weird to suggest that means the studios are ripping me off.

      2. Yeah but only poor people.

        I have 4 kids and a household income north of $160,000 a year but can barely make ends meet. I’ve been over my budget a hundred times and the only slack left in it is I could dump cable and downgrade my cell phones to dumb phones. Combined that would save me about $300 a month, basically enough to stop buying my kids clothes at thrift stores and start replacing some of the broken down barely functional furniture we have (half of which was picked up off the roadside when someone else threw it out)

        1. I call bullshit.

          Plenty of much larger families make it by on much smaller incomes.

          1. It depends where you live.

            We went on a 5-day vacation last year to San Fran and that cost almost $6,000 for the four of us, and that was getting air fare and hotel as inexpensively as possible.

            I have similar income (but only 2 kids), a modest mortgage and if we stopped all savings: college and retirement, we could get by on one income. I’ve pretty much clawed back all of our monthly billing to the point of cancelling services outright is the only way to save more.

            I have no doubt that there is slack in there in terms of eating out and such, but kids, especially teenagers, are money vacuums. In the last week of school, alone, I doled out $120 in spending cash for school/camp related trips and activities.

            1. It depends where you live.

              I bet Greyhound has service where he lives.

              Of course, with 160k, he can afford to move in more style.

              Note: The Greyhound comment is my standard answer to single 20 somethings whining they cant survive in Manhattan on their incomes.

              1. Just to note, that was the first vacation, ever, where we went somewhere other than a local Atlantic beach. We still haven’t done Disney World and probably never will, at this point.

                And we all stayed in the same room. It was like Charlie Bucket’s house.

            2. It does and it doesn’t.

              Right now I live in Boston Ma, I moved here 2 years ago because this is where the IT jobs are. For the last decade I lived in the Midwest (Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville) and it wasn’t much different.

              Sure cost of living was about 2/3rds what it is here but so were the salaries. Working basically the same job I make $128k here, I was making $84k there. My wife makes $32k here and made $24k there

            3. We used to eat out too much, that ended 2 years ago when the oldest got too big to eat off the childrens menu and the youngest got to big to just share off our plates.

              Now our eating out is a couple of times a month we’ll get Little Ceasers pizza (which honestly is barely more expensive than cooking a meal at home), and there is a Little Bodega up the road in Lawrence that sells the BEST fried chickenfor $1 a piece so we’ll get 15 pieces and an order of Chichurrones and cook sides at home. Other than that, we don’t eat out as a family, just a date night or two a month with my wife and I.

        2. I am betting there is more slack then that unless you have some unidentified drain outside your control.

          1. Also, $300/month is a huge amount of money.

            1. $3600/year. I could do a lot with that.

              I cancelled Hulu, which will net me a stately $72 this year and my $.06/per gallon discount with Exxon will net me another 72 bucks. Changing the family plan on AT&T will net me ~$600 over the next year.

              You grab it wherever you can. But, now I also have a car payment and my auto insurance went up as a result.

          2. Take Home Pay ~$8000 a month

            Rent – $2800 a month
            Groceries – $1500 a month
            Gasoline – $350 a month
            Car Insurance – $200 a month
            Electricity – $300 a month
            Oil – $250 a month (yearly averaged cost on budget billing)
            Car Payments – $700 a month
            Credit Cards – $150 a month (total balance is under $6000)
            Student Loans – $400 a month
            School expenses (supplies, field trips, etc) – $50 per month
            Clothing/Shoes – $100 per month
            Out of pocket medical expenses – $200 per month (yes it really is that high)
            Excise taxes/registration fees – $75 per month
            Cable/Internet – $200
            Phones – $150

            That leaves $575 per month for vehicle maintenance, repairs, birthdays, savings, vacations (lol yeah right), entertainment, and any other expense which has not already been accounted for (which with 4 kids is quite a bit)

            1. $1500 a month groceries? Family of three and I do $400… we’re not talking just pasta & hotdogs here

              1. 3 people
                30 days
                3 meals per day
                270 meals

                $400/270 = $1.48 per meal with no money available for dish detergent, laundry soap, paper towels, toilet paper, surface cleaner, etc.

                In other words I call bullshit. You might be able to feed 3 on $400 in FOOD but even that is a pasta and hotdog budget, even school lunches cost more than $1.50 (they run around $1.80 per meal in food costs) per serving and they have the advantage of economies of scale and wholesale prices on food costs.

                Hell I spend well over $100 a month on Laundry supplies alone(family of 6 generates a shit ton of laundry, 2 – 3 loads a day, every day of the month)

        3. Holy crap, where do you live?

          1. Boxford Ma.

            That is the one thing I could do to cut expenses. I could move to a cheaper suburb of Boston like Danvers or Peabody and probably cut $800 a month out of my rent.

            The thing is, with a household income that puts me in the top 10 fucking percent of all households in the country I shouldn’t fucking have to.

            1. Well, probably about time to put some of those kids to work, then.

        4. Ah, there’s probably places where 160K is pretty tight for a family of 6.

          Now, we used to get by on $60k…but then, we also left the house unlocked in the hope that prospective burglars would see our furniture, take pity, and bring us better stuff.

    4. But what if Washington has already inadvertently instituted its own version of China’s awful one-child policy? After all, American families are having fewer children than they want. Surveys show a steady, four-decade preference for 2.6 kids. But today’s actual number is something more like 2.0.

      What the fuck? We already fucking pay people to have children, and then the childfree subsudize those kids for fucking years. Christ. Stop the madness. End the child tax credit now!

      1. Not giving is taking, Nicole. There’s no moral or practical difference between draconian repression on having children, and not paying people to have children.

        Your failure to understand such basic concepts is why you’re the worst.

      2. That is an argument the child-free will never win, because there are so few of them.

  10. Don’t know why we spend so much money researching free will. Geddy Lee has already given us the answer.

    1. I’d rather not decide whether to study free will, at least then I don’t have to make a choice, right?

      1. Nope!

      2. “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”


        1. Neal Pert!!

          *starts frantically (and arhythmically) drumming on every horizontal surface*

  11. Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was one of its biggest supporters in Congress.

    I like this game, its like the inverse-mandate.

  12. “The psychiatrist just laughed, he said ‘you’re kidding right’.

    A South Australian atheist who successfully had his gun licence printed with a photo of him wearing a colander on his head has been forced to undertake a psychological test to prove he is fit to own firearms.

    1. Are colander more effective at blocking the Illuminati’s mind control ray than, say, a tin foil hat?

      Asking for a friend. *cough*

      1. The big mistake most people make is making their tin foil hat out of aluminum foil. Or even worse, aluminium foil. Aluminum just concentrates the beams.

        Its a TIN foil hat. Use the proper material.

        1. If you’re not already taking residence in the homemade Faraday cage inside your concrete bunker, you’re one of them.

      2. I don’t think Pastafarians concern themselves too much with the Illuminati and such.

        1. Then they have already been turned.

          If we have lost those who bask in his noodled goodness, all hope is lost!

      3. I think it’s regalia for members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Which is, as you could probably guess, a made-up non-religion dedicated to ridiculing people of faith. *sigh*


        1. what is the difference between a made-up non-religion and a made-up religion? Aren’t they exactly the same to a non-believer?

    2. He’s probably more ‘normal’ than Obama and his wife.

  13. Connecticut Metro-North Delayed Over Box Painted Like Bender From Futurama

    Connecticut commuters were delayed for up to three hours on Friday morning thanks to a child’s abandoned school project. The scare started at around 5:30 a.m. this morning when, according to the Connecticut Post, a street-sweeper noticed a “box with a smiling face with clock hands” on an overpass near the Fairfield Metro-North station. He contacted the local police, who agreed that the item was “suspicious,” and a bomb squad was dispatched to investigate. But even the most casual Futurama fan could have told the authorities to worry less about the item exploding, and more about the possibility of it suddenly coming to life and bending the tracks in half.

    1. Boston Stromg!!!

  14. Mother’s response to her daughter’s drug death: end the war on drugs


    1. Wow. Good for her.

    2. Good article, except:

      On 17 July 1971 the US president, Richard Nixon, announced what has become known as the war on drugs, instigating an unrelenting campaign that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

      I’m wondering exactly what Richard Nixon has to do with Britain’s drug laws.

      The story sounded to me like it happened in Oxford, England but perhaps it was Oxford, Alabama or one of the other Oxford in the USA. More likely methinks it is the Gruniad gratuitously blaming the USA for all the world’s problems*.

      *I do think the US is responsible for much of the mischief in the world but seriously, aren’t England’s drug laws made in England by English people?

      1. For 40 years the US has pressured every other foreign government to go along with the stupid drug war.

        1. Yes, this is true, but England is still an independent country and supposedly capable of declaring a right and proper course.

          One is simply left with the conclusion that England feels the same way about “The War on Drugs” as the USA. If they did not, would not one expect them to enact different legislation?

    1. “It’s not that we don’t want to help,” said Gen. Robert Caslen. “It’s just that the proper criteria have not been met by Iraq and we have to abide by those strict rules.”

      No one can accuse *this* White House of not following the rules!

    2. So the White House policy is now to only use air strikes to kill US citizens? That is good to know.

      1. Ck your satire-meter. Duffelblog is the military Onion. …unless of course, your were popping sarc chafe and I’M the one that needs calibrating.

        1. I was being sarcastic

  15. Steve Stockman introduces bill so taxpayers can use ‘same lame excuses’ as IRS when filing returns

    ‘Taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to follow laws the Obama administration refuses to follow themselves,’ Stockman, a Republican, said in a statement announcing The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act.


    Unless the IRS produces the documents that were subpenaed, ‘taxpayers shall be given the benefit of the doubt when not producing critical documentation’ if their excuse is one of the following:

    1. The dog ate my tax receipts
    2. Convenient, unexplained, miscellaneous computer malfunction
    3. Traded documents for five terrorists
    4. Burned for warmth while lost in the Yukon
    5. Left on table in Hillary’s Book Room
    6. Received water damage in the trunk of Ted Kennedy’s car
    7. Forgot in gun case sold to Mexican drug lords
    8. Forced to recycle by municipal Green Czar
    9. Was short on toilet paper while camping
    10. At this point, what difference does it make?

    Masterful trolling.

    1. This is so last Friday.

      1. What difference at this point does it make?

    2. This article is why the IRS investigation is important. Did the White House direct them to punish political opponents – or did the IRS decide on their own? Has the federal bureaucracy become weaponized for their own interest?


      1. Come on already, FAKE SCANDAL.

      2. Did the White House direct them to punish political opponents – or did the IRS decide on their own? Has the federal bureaucracy become weaponized for their own interest?

        Based on the blatant destruction of evidence and lying and coverups, I think we already know the answers to those questions.

        1. Don’t leave us hanging…

  16. Incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he believed the Export-Import Bank, the federal government’s export credit agency, was an example of crony capitalism and that its charter should be allowed to expire in September.

    Did he say this before or after his ascension to majority leader?

    1. That is an important point…and one that will tell us what this guy will/won’t do.

      1. I’m pretty sure this is a new tune for him. Though he wasn’t as much of a cheerleader for it as cantor was.

  17. A police officer who fired pepper spray at a tethered dog during a raid will ride a desk until an investigation into the incident is complete.


    1. Hey, these brave heroes can’t be expected to lose thier job and not collect a taxpayer funded paycheck, you monster!

    2. Nothing else will happen.

    3. Fuck, how sad is it that I see this as a good story because the cop didn’t just shoot it.

    1. Principals, not principles.

    2. My favorite comment: “Being innocent is often the best legal defense, but given how often we execute innocent people in this country, that’s no guarantee either.”

      I’m against the death penalty, but who are these innocent people we are executing?

      Sacco and Vanzetti? Even if they were innocent, that’s not often.

      1. There are a good number of people sent to death row who are later exonerated (before being killed). I’d be very surprised if a good number of innocent people haven’t been executed.

      2. These are the lucky ones – the ones who had DNA evidence, the ones for whom orgs like The Innocence Project had time and resources.

        If you don’t think we’ve executed plenty fo innocent people in this country, you really have your head in the sand.

  18. Rampage!

    Naked stranger floods family’s kitchen and defecates on floor

    Coomes left the home, but not the property. And, as police arrived, the family found what police say Coomes had done before he came into their bedroom.

    “He took this sink sprayer out and this drawer was in there. He put it in the drawer, turned it on full blast hot water, it filled that entire drawer full. It flooded my entire kitchen,” said Tricia. “He craps on my floor, and he must have been playing in it because he streaked it down the side of my walls. The stain is gone finally, thank goodness.”

    1. Welcome back, but you’ve become the Cleveland Browns of H&R by reposting this.

      1. I am and shall forever be the Cleveland Browns of H&R.

        1. So you are available for pall bearer duty then?

          1. As long as I’m working your funeral.

            1. I’ll put that in my will…that way H&R can let me down one last time.

  19. Hundreds of thousands vote in Hong Kong democracy ‘poll’ in defiance of Beijing

    Nearly 600,000 votes have been cast in three days of an unofficial referendum on democratic reforms in Hong Kong, part of a civil campaign that has been branded illegal by the former British colony and by Communist Party authorities in Beijing.

    Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with wide-ranging autonomy under the formula of “one country, two systems”, along with an undated promise of universal suffrage.

    But social tensions have risen steadily, with many residents concerned that civil liberties are being eroded and with pro-democracy activists threatening to blockade part of the city’s financial district if China doesn’t stick to its promise.

    Just look at all those wreckers.

    1. Why the fuck did they give HK back to China? Hopefully the commies will have sense enough not to completely ruin it. At the moment, maintaining the (relatively good) economic and personal freedom is more important than democracy, I’d say.

  20. Student gets stuck in giant stone vagina


      1. Just use Warty’s penis?

        1. The Doomcock has an app for that.

    1. They didn’t try stimulating the clitoris, just straight to the jackhammering. Typical men.

    2. giant stone vagina

      Nice band name.

      1. Better than Jackhammer Episiotomy? I don’t think so.

        1. Actually, Jackhammer Episiotomy is a *great* band name.

    3. Just…wow.

    4. You know what disappoints me? I expected one of you to ask if they’d tried lube first by this point.

      1. At HyR, going in raw is almost expected.

        1. Well when you live under the threat of Warty, Episiarch, and Steve Smith, it becomes kind of a given.

  21. Giant toaster has brief rendezvous with Big Banana Car in Kalamazoo

    If you were near downtown Kalamazoo yesterday, you may have seen the now familiar Big Banana Car followed by — a giant toaster?

    You aren’t crazy.

    The toaster car, a boxy silver vehicle with two slices of “toast” on top, is a customized 2004 Scion XB belonging to D.B. Wilson of Los Angeles, according to the banana car’s driver and promoter, Tom Brown.

    1. You aren’t *may* not be crazy.


  22. U.S. scientist ejected after trying to crowd surf at Handel’s ‘Messiah’

    A leading American scientist was thrown out of a classical musical concert after he attempted to crowd-surf.

    Taking the artistic director’s instruction to the crowd to “clap and whoop” a little too far during a performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” Dr. David Glowacki “got very over-excited.”

    He became so overcome during the “Hallelujah Chorus” he began lurching from side-to-side with his hands raised before attempting to crowd surf.

    Other members of the audience at the Bristol Old Vic, England, were so annoyed by him they physically threw him out of the show.

    1. You’re supposed to clap and whoop during the Radetzky March, not the Messiah.

      1. Unless you’re an Italian or Hungarian.

    2. Dr. Glowacki teaches people about nanotechnology through, I shit you not, interpretive dance.

  23. I probably won’t be online when Tony shows up, so I would appreciate it if someone woulf post this article for his edification at the first opportunity.

    Strictly because I want to get his goat.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. It won’t get his goat. He is unmoved by fact and logic.

    2. Geesh. It is such a transparent scam it is hard for me to believe anyone bought it in the first place. Hell, they even admitted that it was a fake climate scare at the first climate conference when they were scheming and cooking it up

      1. AGW just proves what everyone already knows, which is that human industrial activity is destroying the planet. Everyone already knows that it is the case, but this proves it. I mean, how could industry not be destroying the planet? Prove that it’s not. See? You can’t. That’s proof that it is. So what if some of the data was fudged a little? We all knew it was true even before they had any data to fudge. Even if you could prove the climate scientists to be wrong, it doesn’t matter because industrial activity is destroying the planet because it is. It must be. There’s no way it couldn’t.

  24. ‘The Arrival Of Wang’ Is Something To Celebrate

    “The Arrival of Wang” opens with a phone call. An Italian interpreter is asked by a government agent to translate the interrogation of an enigmatic Chinese gentleman referred to only as Mr. Wang.

    The request is both urgent and bizarre. She’s told she must go immediately ? no questions asked ? and that she needs to remain blindfolded the entire time. As the interrogation unfolds she grows sympathetic towards the Chinese gentleman and suspicious of the man who hired her. And that’s all I’ll say because this is a case where the less you know, the better the story is.

    1. I thought Wang went bankrupt decades ago.

      1. My very first computer programming job – at the tender age of 16 – was working with Wang computers. I’ve been forever scarred.

  25. Ex-cop cuts deal with feds after alleged Mafia involvement

    “A retired state trooper busted for allegedly working as a mob enforcer while on the job has cut a sweetheart deal with prosecutors that will keep him out of jail ? and wipe his record clean…
    But under last-minute “deferred prosecution agreements” offered with the feds, they’ll avoid jail and future prosecution simply by remaining “law-abiding” citizens”

    1. Another US Attorney to impeach. Add it to the list.

    2. That’s only because cops are held to a higher standard. smooches hth

  26. So, who wants to bet that Ghana beats Portugal by more goals than the US lose to Germany by and put us out? I think the US team fucked themselves by losing focus a minute too early.

    1. Say it ain’t so. Yeah I don’t want to call anything lest I feel I jinxed myself. Every possibility is still open and I cautiously like it that way.

    2. I can have no coherent opinion until after Australia plays Spain at 2 am my time

      1. The match in which we get to find out which team is less bad.

    3. Also, ABC/ESPN need to replace Taylor Twellman. He sounded like he was trying to set up a threesome between Ronaldo, the ref and himself all night.

      1. My man has been complaining about “that ginger” for weeks.

        1. I think Alexi has been pretty good this time around as an analyst. He’s improved his skills since the last time.

    4. I think the US team fucked themselves

      Me too. And WTF is with Bradley? Can’t score a gimme and then gives Portugal the ball at midfield with a minute left.

      1. He played a fantastic match and switched off (which is bad) at a terrible time.

        It happens. But without him, at least one of those goals doesn’t happen and the team doesn’t look nearly as dangerous (because he combines so damn well with Dempsey).

        1. “He played a fantastic match and switched off (which is bad) at a terrible time.”

          I thought he was pretty terrible for about 50 minutes of that game. He refused to pick off passes 2 yards in front of him, or catch his own passes that were maybe a yard off his foot.
          Hell, even the goal he assisted on was a result of him trying to pound the ball past 4 pairs of legs. He can’t hold the ball for shit.

    5. Did we lose a kick-ball game?

        1. oh, it was flopping…errr…I mean soccer then? Nevermind. Let us know when kickball starts.

          1. Why so pissy?

  27. Been reading Bradley is taking some heat for giving up the ball that led to the tying goal. In fairness, he did play a solid game (much improved from the first) and ran 8 miles in the jungle. Still, you can’t let yourself be pushed off the ball like that. Take a foul if you have to. They weren’t keeping the ball well enough to kill time.

    1. I’m more pissed about the guy who took it down to the corner flag and didn’t look for a pass. He makes one pass to someone making a run, and the game ends as the keeper takes a goal kick.

      1. Wondolowski?

        1. Yeah. I know there’s two schools of thought, but mine is to keep kicking it at the goal. Prevent defenses only prevent you from winning, which nearly happened to the US against Ghana and absolutely did happen against Portugal. Make the midfield defend the goal. Which they don’t have to do if the guy is dribbling to the corner flag.

      2. Eh? That’s exactly how you get chances coming back at you. Do not give the ball away cheaply.

        Plus, when you’re getting hacked from behind by two or more players in the corner, it’s a bit hard to do much of anything with intent other than keep the fucking ball.

        1. Like I said, two schools of thought, but if you don’t press the attack, the midfield get to set up more and the defenders can double team without watching the box.

          1. Eh? If you DO press the attack, you stretch yourselves out when you can least afford it.

            1. And yet the counterattack still happened. Goal kicks take longer and give you time to set up. And who knows, you might get an insurance goal.

              1. The exact problem with the Ghana game was because Bradley stupidly tried to cut back inside at least once when it wasn’t warranted and was easily dispossessed. It started the counter. He could have killed 30 more seconds by heading to the flag and conceding a goal kick that way. Bradley is easily technical enough to shield the ball for a good while before losing out.

    2. Germany and the US should just pass the ball back and forth, chanting “Fuck you Sepp Blatter” for the entire 90 minutes.

      1. + $50,000 bribe

      2. Match fixing is uncool! FIFA ran a commercial and told me so.

        I gut laughed for a full minute.

        1. Match manipulation sucks, but manipulation who’s going to host the World Cup is just fine and dandy.

          1. Yeah. When I saw that the first time, I about fell over from the hubris of it.

      3. How would anyone tell the difference?

      4. Germany and the US should just pass the ball back and forth, chanting “Fuck you Sepp Blatter” for the entire 90 minutes.

        I’d pay to see that.

    3. He ran 8 fucking miles? Jesus…

      Yeah, I’m listening to SiriusXM FC, and the guys are saying “foul him!”.

      They also criticized Omar Gonzalez for not being aware enough to help out on Varela, though that was a wonder-cross and very hard to defend.

      1. Yeah, I don’t think you can be angry once Christiano Ronaldo has the ball. Magic touches are what he does.

      2. It may have been 8km – either way. Lotsa running in the jungle.

        1. I saw 7.9 miles for Bradley against Ghana, so it’s probably miles. That’s a lot of ground covered.

    4. Well, I mention it right about this comment, but he couldn’t hit the empty net either.

      1. The net was very specifically not empty.

        1. No goalie, just a defender with a knee.

          1. Yeah, and I’ve seen enough of this game to see that exact scenario play out that exact way at all levels of the sport because the defender was doing his damn job. When you make it even a bit more difficult (and if you look, the goal wasn’t exactly gaping, and hitting a first-time ball in traffic from 8 yards out doesn’t give you a ton of time to pick your corner), you drastically increase your chances of surviving when the keeper is pulled out. That was classic defending. No doubt, a top-class striker would more often than not score anyway. Bradley is a great finisher, but not a world-class striker.

            1. I do believe he played a great game, if you overlook those two plays, which are tough to do IMO.

    5. They weren’t keeping the ball well enough to kill time.

      This can be written about every US match in history.

  28. Kid demonstrates how to handle bullies; stabs one to death:

    Beaten, mocked and tormented by classmates, Noel Estevez begged to escape his middle-school nightmare ? but in the end, he felt the only way out was at the point of a knife.
    The abuse got so bad that the Bronx teen told his family, “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die. I can feel it,” and begged them to get him out of IS 117, sources told The Post.


    The next day, the family’s worst fears came true, when Noel was jumped in the schoolyard after class by Timothy, a bully who had been suspended for attacking another student at the school.
    Fearing for his life, Noel allegedly killed Timothy with a 6-inch kitchen knife, allegedly stabbing him three times.

    Good job, Noel. Taking out the trash.

    1. Yeah. I don’t feel great about this. Fourteen? That’s a bad situation all around. Still, I hope Noel found that homicide is better than suicide, as it says he had tried to hang himself previously over this.

      1. I know a kid whose younger brother hanged himself over being bullied. It probably would have been marginally better this way, but still a tragedy overall. The problem is this could get out of hand, if the kid being bullied snaps and kills people unrelated to the bullying.

      2. Meh. A 14 year old who beats the crap out of another kid – and apparently others as well – for at least the better part of a year is not going to grow up to be anything more than a criminal.

        Even if that weren’t the case, if you knee someone in the face and continue the assault, you deserve to get shanked.

        1. Meh. A 14 year old who beats the crap out of another kid – and apparently others as well – for at least the better part of a year is not going to grow up to be anything more than a criminal cop.

        2. Well, he may grow up to be a criminal, but if his family’s got the right connections, more likely a cop.

    2. Gotta love government schools.

    3. Notice how this story is getting buried? Had the stabbing taken place at a suburban middle-class school instead of in the ghetto, the usual media hand wringing about school violence and DO SOMETHING! would have fueled headlines for a while. But with typical Proggie racism, the story of an inner city Hispanic kid stabbing a Black kid is greeted with a yawn and shrug. “Dog bites man isn’t news” is basically what they are saying.

      1. Also there was no gun involved, so they can’t use it to beat that hobbyhorse either.

        1. Mayor Derp Blasio will probably propose a ban on sharp kitchen knives, though.

        2. True, but nowadays, they quickly point to the knife as the reason for a lower amount of causalities asking us to imagine how horrible the carnage would be if he had access to one of those scary firearms.

    4. It’s OK, the bullied kid was charged with murder.

      1. Why wasn’t the bully charged with murder? Didn’t his bullying directly lead to the death of a child in school?

    5. If he truly feared for his life, then he did what he had to do. But it’s hardly a situation to celebrate. Killing someone at 14, however justified, is probably not going to be great for you psychologically. I don’t think every fight should lead to an arrest, but if the bully was routinely assaulting people, he should have been a lot more than suspended.

  29. Karen Gillan smoulders as she poses topless in first look at her raunchy new social media sitcom, Selfie


    1. Am I supposed to be turned on by that?

      1. Why did they photoshop her head onto the body of prepubescent boy?


          1. Amy Pond is a goddess, but those photos aren’t very flattering to her. Her agent should have a word with whoever was in charge of that spread.

      2. I just watched the trailer, and she lost her accent for the show. Not. Happy.

    2. I’d bang it like a screen door in a hurricane.

    3. that’s a lot of duckface

  30. Anybody seen the trailer for Dear White People? If so, what do you think about it.

    I have no problem with satirical takes on racial stereotypes. But I’m not sure I would find this movie to be funny.

    1. Being married, I already have someone in my life to tell me everything is my fault. This film would just be redundant.

      1. The movie should be called “Dear Low Tastes of American Filmgoers.” I’m not sure White People are solely to blame.

        1. Geez, do you bitch about the Joy Luck Club not appealing to your demographic as well?

          1. I’m not complaining about the movie. I’m just wondering if this is a movie that would appeal to me.

            Honestly, white moviegoers are just a peeved by the lack of strong minority characters in movies. I’m not sure this is a racial issue or more about lazy screenwriters.

            1. I blame central casting.

            2. If the movie pokes fun at the “soft” bigotry of Proggie academia, it could be hilarious. If it’s just ham-fisted hectoring, it will appeal to no one. If it was written and directed by Tyler Perry, not only will it be not funny, but the theaters will establish a minimum weight limit of 250 lbs. for patrons.

        2. Many of the stereotypes the characters in the trailer complain about are created, cast and produced by…wait for it…African Americans. Tyler Perry, Edddie Murphy, Martin lawrence etc.

          I WILL NOT take any blame for Tyler Perry. No racial guilt or white privilege BS in the universe can make that happen!

      2. everything is my fault.

        Being married, I trust you’re sorry about it, too!

        1. Only sorry enough not to fight about it.

        2. I keed, I keed. It’s my mother who thinks it’s all my fault. My wife only thinks that like 70% of the time.

          1. The other 30% of the time you’re agreeing with her. Been there.

    2. I think it will bomb and it racism will be to blame. If white people were more tolerant, they’d pay any amount of money to see a movie condemning their entire race.

      1. You’ve seen the movie? Or is the origin of the “condemning” an entire race thing your ass?

    3. My boyfriend’s take was, “Looks kinda funny but also 25 years behind the times.” I thought, “Looks kinda funny but probably about 15 years behind the times.” I have a feeling it would be funny if I watched it.

    4. I’ll see your movie and raise you

      1. I liked that movie.

  31. Can’t take my eyes off of you! Kate Beckinsale’s husband Len Wiseman can’t help but admire his gorgeous wife during city stroll


  32. O’Malley tests 2016 waters with inspirational speech

    Martin O’Malley is truly skilled at talking at length without saying anything meaningful, so I suppose he *could* become President.

    1. They already had Kennedy and Reagan, haven’t the Irish given us enough trouble?

  33. I’ve been perusing through a book on ancient Rome. One of the chapters talks about the rise of Christianity from just another Oriental religion – and one that was suppressed – to becoming sponsored by the government. The Christian churches weren’t taxed – among many other things – unlike the “pagan” religions.

    I’ve also been watching the first season of Vikings – not a bad series – and the two different religions at odds with each other.

    One of the untold stories of history is – at least from a “pagan” viewpoint – is the decline of their religion. How must it have felt to see your beliefs challenged, and then eventually wither away with time? Who were the last hold outs? How were they ostracized?

    Of course many pagan holidays and beliefs were folded into the Christian faith.

    1. I suppose it’s untold because pagans never seemed to have the fervor of the monotheistic religions. That or their time and place dictates low chances of written history surviving.

    2. I don’t know, but it probably feels a bit like watching your country, founded upon individualism, liberty, and the rule of law be picked apart by socialist looters and authoritarians

      1. With priests professors, journalists, and free riders cheering it on.

    3. Christian persecution of pagan holdouts continues to this very day, amazingly. A large minority of the Mari people in Russia have never accepted Christianity, and doesn’t the Putin regime hate them for it


      1. Probably has more to do with the fact that the Russian Orthodox church is an arm of the Russian state.

        1. The RO Church is making up for lost time after being marginalized under the commies.

    4. “….see your beliefs challenged, and then eventually wither away with time? Who were the last hold outs?”

      They never really did. The holdouts are all the same people who used to be non-christian and who now are, but still hold the same beliefs but couch it in different terms.

    5. The Vikings weren’t nearly as ignorant as portrayed in the series. They wouldn’t have thought Denmark the western edge of the world. And they would have known about Christians and how they treat pagans.

      The violent conversion of northern pagans and the Massacre of Verden may have contributed to the Norsemen to go a Viking.

      1. The Vikings in the series didn’t think they were the western edge of the world – the first episodes had them going west for greater booty than what they could find in the east. So clearly they knew something was out there worth taking.

    6. As a side note, my initial atheism came from history, not science. eg, how can I criticize the Greeks or the Romans for their beliefs? Perhaps, as waffles suggest, pagans did not suffer from the same feverism as the Christians did, where religion was treated as a more personal belief.

      Perhaps the sheer diversity of available gods kept such zealotry in check.

  34. Researchers from the University of California-Davis suggest free will could be the result of background noise in the brain.

    Even so, I will choose free will.

    1. Many years ago researchers at UC-Davis studied lesbian sheep. Unfortunately, as ewes signal their readiness for sex by standing still, lesbian sheep are probably celibately waiting for each other to make the first move. Studying free will is rather drab by comparison

  35. School uses seduction to turn male teachers onto Common Core

    “How about tonight I show you some higher order skills of my own?”

    1. That poster is horribly sexist.

  36. Pilot jumps from his own damaged plane

    Although Shawn Kinmartin flies planes for a sky diving service, he hadn’t done any sky diving himself.
    But on Saturday he didn’t have a choice. The 21-year-old’s Cessna had been seriously damaged when a sky diver jumped out and hit a key piece of the aircraft, Kinmartin explained on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday morning.


    The decision to jump made, Kinmartin pointed the aircraft in the direction of Illinois farmland — the least populated area possible — and jumped, pulling the cord on the parachute pack he was already wearing.

  37. 92 year old man goes skydiving for charity

    (Warning: the comments to that article are from Canadians.)

    1. But did the pilot have to bail out?

  38. Sheriff’s Deputy fired for allowing his drunk friends to act like dumbasses in his patrol car.

    No real comment on it, except apparently this rates firing, while shooting dogs and people with no reason doesn’t. But anyways, there was one quote from this, from the union, which is really telling, isn’t it? On their disagreement with firing him:

    An arbitrator has not yet been selected to oversee Mello’s quest to regain his job, said Jeff Marano, president of the Police Benevolent Association.

    “It’s not a career-ender,” Marano said of the incident. “Did he do something silly? Yeah, but you don’t execute a person for that.”

    Firing = Execution, apparently.

    1. What’s the point of living if you can’t be a police anymore?

      1. Being a cop is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle. You get used to being able to do whatever you want, because what is someone going to do? Call the cops?

  39. “Did he do something silly? Yeah, but you don’t execute a person for that.”

    Not a cop, anyway.

    1. So, these actions could dog him….

    2. He can probably get a new job at the Ministry of Silly Walks.

  40. Associated Press Issues Correction Based on America Query

    In stories published June 3 and June 8 about young children buried in unmarked graves after dying at a former Irish orphanage for the children of unwed mothers, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that the children had not received Roman Catholic baptisms; documents show that many children at the orphanage were baptized. The AP also incorrectly reported that Catholic teaching at the time was to deny baptism and Christian burial to the children of unwed mothers; although that may have occurred in practice at times it was not church teaching. In addition, in the June 3 story, the AP quoted a researcher who said she believed that most of the remains of children who died there were interred in a disused septic tank; the researcher has since clarified that without excavation and forensic analysis it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any. The June 3 story also contained an incorrect reference to the year that the orphanage opened; it was 1925, not 1926.

    1. AP got the country right, so back off!

      1. AP got the country Narrative right, so back off!

  41. BATTLE CREEK (WKZO) –Bond has been set for a Christian Radio Broadcaster arrested for allegedly paying for sex with a young boy.

    35-year-old John Balyo is being held for first degree criminal sexual conduct but isn’t expected to be formally charged until Monday.

    Officers from Battle Creek, State Police and Homeland Security arrested Balyo Friday at the “Big Ticket Festival”,a Christian Music event held in Gaylord.


    Oh, Lawd!

    1. Officers from Battle Creek, State Police and Homeland Security

      This mission creep is quite tiresome.

      1. Tiresome, yes — but *creepy*!

        1. Christian Music event held in Gaylord. Heh.

          1. I remember – for whatever reason – someone writing on my college dorm bathroom wall “are people from Gaylord gay?”

            I always assumed that was one of the people who didn’t make it to graduation, but it could have been a Soc major.

    2. Don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

      1. You don’t understand! A Christian did something creepy! That means all Christians are creeps! And since social conservatives tend to be Christian, all social conservatives are creeps! And since conservatives and libertarians overlap on some issues, all conservatives and libertarians are creeps! This one guy proves it! Libertarians are all creepy kid-touchers, which makes all their ideas wrong! This proves it! Proof! Right here! Irrefutable! Libertarians are all wrong about everything because a Christian touched a kid!

        1. But a Democrat does something creepy like sexting his dick pics around or saying something racist and he’s just an anomaly who can be dismissed.

          1. Exactly! Principals trump principles!

          2. ^This, basically. (What Brian D wrote.)

            Also, despite sarc’s attempts to distract from the actual issue at hand the anti-gay christians have long leveled the charge of child abuse at all gay people. It’s the hypocrisy that makes this significant.

            1. No, it’s the fact that there’s criminal sexual conduct, regardless of who did it, that’s “significant”.

              The rest is just TEAM schadenfreude…which is fine, I don’t care, but it’s not “significant”.

              1. What Almanian said.

              2. The real story is (a) Homeland security, WTF? and (b) local AND state cops to arrest him, WTF?

            2. Okay, so he was busted for paying for sex with a young boy, and you think this reflects poorly on anti-gay christians who level the charge of child abuse at all gay people?

              A guy paying to have sex with a boy–and you don’t see anything gay in that?

              I know there’s this weird thing where people go ‘they’re not gay they go after children’–as if ‘children’ are some kind of sexless beings, but they’re not.

  42. Industrial, drug fueled mayhem.

    Ted, you won’t like this.

    1. You’re just jealous because I’ve got good taste in music.

      1. Yo Ma-Ma!

      2. Good music makes me ‘joy’-ful.

        Much as I like stuff like Ministry, Al J. will probably never make kids smile like Beethoven does. The kiddies in this vid even make a curmudgeon like me a little misty.

        And my local NPR/University radio station plays that particular Yo-Yo Ma version all the time.


  43. Portugal tied with the United States in World Cup play yesterday on the latest scored goal in the history of the tournament.

    Such a shame.

  44. Are any of you science fiction people familiar with the story of Marian Zimmer Bradly? Holy cow what a monster. But she is apparently okay in the community of authors but anyone who rejects gay marriage is beyond the pale.


    1. In the case of science and knowledge, I feel that the works stand on their own merit without regards to the originator. However, in the arts, it is more difficult to separate the two since the response to art is emotional in nature.

    2. I read one of her books and wasn’t all that impressed. I thought she was more fantasy than sci-fi.

      I won’t pay to see a Roman Polanski movie, but I’m not sure of the purpose of stripping awards from a dead woman.

      1. I would support stripping her of an award, I would say the same thing about the films of Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. Child abusers and / or rapists should be shunned from our culture.

    3. “Creative Anachronism, posthumous recipient of the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement”

      No, I am not familiar with her but it seems she was a FANTASY author, not a science fiction author.

      But I agree that anyone who abuses children is a monster. From what I have read of Woody Allen it appears he may also be a monster. Brilliant people are not necessarily ethical people.

      I personally support equal marriage rights for gay couples, and gay adoption as well. But I will also agree that in some of the “elite” art communities – Hollywood being an unfortunate example – talented artists are given a pass for crimes such as child abuse (Woody Allen) and rape (Roman Polanski).

    4. This is really about the self-appointed arbiters of the science fiction community being a load of proggie idiots, who relentlessly assault anyone who questions gay marriage, rape culture, or any of the other tenets of proggy thought . . .

      While giving a pass to people who actually no kidding support pedophilia (Samuel R. Delany, a vocal supporter of NAMBLA) and have committed actual child rape themselves (Marion Z B).

      Principals trump principles, everywhere and always, for these people.

      1. Yeah, this is the story to me. The SF/F community went principals over principles sometime after the death of the original grandmasters, no later than a decade ago.

    5. I’m pretty sure I read one of her books – the name sounds famliar.

      1. Ah, OK. I read The Forest House back when I was interested in Arthurian legend and all that. Not too bad. Not as good as EB White, better than Mary Stewart.

    6. The quality of the word in no way mitigates anything bad an artist does. But, for me anyway, the bad things they may have done don’t take away from the art either. I think art stands on it’s own once it is put out into the world.
      It’s a good thing Hitler was a lousy and uninspired painter.

  45. “BREAKING NEWS: Sudanese mother sentenced to death for ‘converting to Christianity’ freed after international outcry

    “Meriam Ibrahim’s case drew furious response from Britain, U.S. and EU

    “Charges came after she married Catholic U.S. citizen Daniel Wani
    She gave birth to a baby daughter just 12 days after she was jailed

    “Ms Ibrahim was also sentenced to 100 lashes for ‘adultery’ over her marriage…

    “‘The appeal court ordered the release of Mariam Yahya and the cancellation of the (previous) court ruling,’ Sudan’s SUNA news agency said….

    “‘She has never been a Muslim in her life,’ said the statement signed by Father Mussa Timothy Kacho, episcopal vicar for Khartoum. Miss Ibrahim joined the Catholic church shortly before she married the Mr Wani in December 2011, the vicar said.”



    Then-Sen. Barack Obama ran for president in 2008 campaigning against the conflict (though Obama was not forced to cast a vote one way or the other, having entered the Senate after the war began). The message resonated among a war-weary public, and Obama painstakingly strove to pull the U.S. out of Iraq, completing the task just before Christmas in 2011. And yet this president, who never wanted the war, has become the unhappy inheritor of a deeply troubled situation that early opponents of the invasion warned was bound to happen. Bush may have broken Iraq, but Obama now owns it.

    Poor, poor Obama; he tries so hard.

    I remember, a billion years ago, watching my ultra liberal aunt and her college professor husband rolling their eyes and tut-tutting about the copies of that reactionary U S News and World Report on my grandparents’ kitchen table.

    1. Was the U.S. News and World Report different back then? The last time I read it was when I was in undergrad and it seemed pretty far to the left then (mid to late 1990s).

      1. Really – I always found it kind of center-rightish. Of course, I was reading it in the 80’s, so maybe it changed. I did get tired of it after a while…

    2. So you are telling me Obama was t up to the job andanaged to make things worse. Good to hear liberals finally admitting the truth

    3. Obama painstakingly strove to pull the U.S. out of Iraq, completing the task just before Christmas in 2011.

      I’m not exactly sure how “managing” the withdrawal precisely on the schedule laid down by one’s predecessor is admirable.

      Now, if the day after he took office he had said “fuck you all” and accelerated the withdrawal, I might have had some respect.

      As it is, I think we possibly have here the most incompetent President since Harry Truman, and therefore the most incompetent President ever.

  47. Was the U.S. News and World Report different back then?

    In the ’70s it was; although it was hardly the John Birch Society newsletter some people made it out to be.

    1. I used to think the JBS was crazy – I still don’t agree with them on everything – but I no longer think they are crazy.

  48. Aerosmith. I think they’re zombies.

  49. Soccer appeals to the average and to the below average. Thus, it has an instant constituency for its popularity. Too weak or slow to play football? Participate in soccer. Too short or slow to play basketball? Participate in soccer. Lack the hand-eye coordination necessary to hit a baseball or the agility to stickhandle thru traffic? Participate in soccer. Lack basic motor skills? Participate in soccer.


    *slowly backs up towards the door*

    1. “Soccer: It’s for Losers?”


    2. What’s with this hysterical loathing of “soccer” (properly, football)? It’s just the contemporary version of the profoundly piss-weak late 70s “disco sucks” flap

      1. Americans don’t actually loathe soccer. We just don’t care.

        1. The score is Sunderland nil (zero), Leicester nil (zero), the temperature is nil (32 degrees) and the entertainment value is not much above nil (zero) – Sunderland v Leicester, Radio 5 Live

        2. I wasn’t asking about Americans, I was asking about the subset who produce soccersucks.net etc. They seem to care.

        3. As libertarians, we should know that indifference indicates people have much less respect for something than when they loathe it.

        4. 25.3 million people disagree.

          …a number which is rather understated, since it only includes ESPN and Univision combined and ignores WatchESPN and all the massive watch parties.

      2. I loathe the players waaaay more than I loathe the game. They’re all manbaby candy-asses.

        1. Ronaldo and Nani were flopping around like a dead fish. Props to the ref, though. He didn’t buy any of it.

      3. No idea, ifh, though if I were to hazard a guess or four, 1)soccer/football is not viewed as a ‘manly’ game, 2) the feigned injuries (i.e.-“flopping”) are viewed with distaste, 3) it seems to be popular with hipsters and posuers, especially among Europhile progtards that want to hate American football, and 4) is gradually becoming more popular overall, much to the chagrine and consternation of the conservative sports class.

      4. It’s the sports equivalent of hating on NYC.

    3. lol.

    4. lol.

    5. I guess that’s sort of true for the U.S. American professional soccer is not dominant on the world stage because America’s best athletes don’t play soccer – they play Football, Baseball and Basketball because that’s where the money is. I guess as more and more risk-averse mommies allow fewer kids to play football and push soccer as an alternative, soccer in the U.S. will eventually become better.

      1. I’m not sure about the numbers (and can’t be bothered to look them up) but, IIANM, America’s top soccer players go to Europe for their pro careers.

        Better pay and more opportunities.

    6. Too weak or slow to play football?

      Too short or slow to play basketball?

      I would bet that you have to be a lot faster and a lot fitter to play two 45 minute halves of soccer than you do to play the however many ten or fifteen second plays that it takes to make up a nominally one hour American football game. Given that it takes in excess of two hours to actually play out that nominal one hour, not to mention the frequent player changes, American football players get plenty of rest.

      As for:

      Lack the hand-eye coordination necessary to hit a baseball or the agility to stickhandle thru traffic?

      Lack basic motor skills?

      Any one writing that has not really watched soccer. A top level soccer player needs every bit as much hand-eye coordination and basic motor skills as a baseball or hockey player.

      The only thing this writer has shown, AFAIAC, is that baseball and hockey are pretty much on the same level as soccer in skill requirements.

      1. As a person who openly spouts the “soccer is for pussies” meme, I recognize that it is hyperbole to some extent. However, your defense of soccer is utter crap. To think that soccer requires a half the hand eye coordination needed to hit a 97mph fastball or Kerry Wood slurve much less throw a Tom Brady/Peyton manning thread the needle pass in between 2 defenders is ludicrous.

        Secondly, other than QB (who must possess godly talent) or kickers, the average football player goes through the equivalent of anywhere from 15-50 greco-roman wrestling matches against world class athletes every game. And basketball players are probably equal or more to soccer in fitness and requires far more strength and agility to boot.

        1. And when you add all that to the fact that soccer simply sucks and is for pussies…

        2. First of all, this:

          The “World” Cup is not the a World’s Cup, but a competition among 32 countries, disproportionately allotted to European countries.

          Leads me to suspect that http://www.soccersucks.net/soccer_sucks.html is a satirical site.

          Who her has never been in a pub where some Limey has not asked, “Wot’s this ‘World Series’ all abaht? ‘Ow can it be the ‘World Series’, if only American teams[*] ply for it?”

          *that is, until 1992 when a Canadian team actually won it.

          My point is that no other sport has ever claimed that a contest that is only open to teams from a single was “The World Championship”.

          Umm…to counter:

          97mph fastball

          How many batters ever successfully hit a “97mph fastball”. Given that precious few ever hit more than twenty five percent of the pitches they ever face I would give you the soccer forward who successfully dribbles a ball between several defensemen, then passes to a teammate who then does the same or scores.

          The rarity of either the soccer player to produce a goal or the baseball player to produce a run demonstrates to me roughly equal (but different) levels of skill.

          I could go on but since I am, in fact, an ex-Rugby player I am getting tired of defending the other football. đŸ™‚

        3. the average football player goes through the equivalent of anywhere from 15-50 greco-roman wrestling matches against world class athletes every game

          Sorry, but here you speak of a different skill set, not a superior one.

          1. That was used to contrast the notion that they jog for 15 seconds and then take a break. The actually wrestle on and off. And nobody would say GR wrestlers aren’t in magnificent shape.

            Also, nearly every MLB’er hits 97mph fastballs. Foul, fair, out or on base, they make contact and hit it – regularly. If you can’t hit ’em and you can;t throw them yourself (or get lefties out), you won’t even play in the minors.

            1. Top drawer soccer players also regularly dribble balls while avoiding multiple defenders trying to take possession. It does not just take hand/eye coordination, it takes

              What’s your point? It takes hand(whoa, no it doesn’t, because the dude can’t touch the ball with his hands)/body/eye(not only does he need to keep the ball under the control of his feet but he also needs to see all the attackers that are trying to take possession)/foot (because he can only use his feet to control the ball and keep possession)…

              Face it. all a batter has to do is face where the ball from the pitcher is coming from. A soccer attacker has to control a ball with his feet, no hands, plus several defenders plus try for goal or try to feed it to someone who can make goal.

              Again, all sports require skills. But different sports require different skills.

              1. And that’s fine. If you value some skills above others you will value sports that use those skills above others which don’t.

        4. It’s a completely different application of motor skills and hand-eye coordination. I know for a fact that approximately zero soccer players can hit a Kerry Wood slurve, unless they also played the game at some point.. I know for a fact that approximately zero baseball players can control the ball without also falling over themselves, unless they also played the game at some point.

          1. Got $20 right here says LeBron James, Richard Sherman, or Mike Trout could. I’m sorry, but the finest athletes in the world come here to play those three sports and when you combine that with the fact the the US also has a disproportionate share of the world’s best athletes and they (almost) exclusively play those three sports you can confidently say that the NBA, NFL and MLB players would be better athletes than those in the world cup.

            I’m busting soccer balls here, but am also 49.69696969% serious!

            1. I’d take that bet. I’ve seen elite athletes with no experience completely make asses of themselves playing games with which they are not familiar.

              Soccer, golf, volleyball…doesn’t matter. If they haven’t already played it at some point, they’re going to look like massive oafs.

              Athleticism can make up for a lot, and can help one to learn quicker, but it is not a substitute for learned skill.

    7. That site’s been around forever. Hardly anyone pays it any attention these days except people who haven’t yet been trolled by it.

      1. Am I correct in concluding that it is a satirical trolling site?

        1. Quite. It’s good if you like to laugh at pathetic, recycled, unoriginal arguments.

  50. As background noise goes, its pretty good:


    1. Nice alt-text.

  51. I watched about 10 minutes of the US-Portugal match. I did manage to learn that the US is just as trained in taking crybaby dives as every other country. “Ow, my instep!” (and granted, the incident I saw is nothing compared to some great ones on various Youtube compilations, but still. Rolling around and grasping your foot because it was grazed by another player while trying to get at the ball? Isn’t that what soccer is – trying to get at the ball?)

    1. Reason #21,342,343 why Soccer Sucks?

      1. It really does.

        1. I used to think it sucked too. Now I don’t. I changed my mind when, while visiting Italy, I watched a game on TV and there were no commercials, the play was continuous, it was over in two hours, and they are amazing athletes.

          Yes, the flopping/diving is silly and distasteful – but I’d venture to say most sports have something distateful about them that the fans overlook in favor of many other good qualities.

          1. For me, the flopping just ruins the game – it’s way more than distasteful. I agree that there’s bad behavior in other sports, and even flopping (seen it in the NFL). But soccer allows so little physical contact that the flops and dives are way more noticeable and ridiculous.

            1. I don’t disagree. I feel the same way about the NFL – the antics and posing the players engage in is making the sport more unwatchable to me, little by little, every year. The NHL isn’t immune either – the slightest brush with a high stick sends every player careening towards the ice crumpled in agony and checking for blood. I don’t watch basketball so I can’t say.

              1. ReasonThe NHL hasn’t been the same since real editorsplayers like Virginia PostrelGordie Howe were in chargeplaying.

    2. Seriously, have someone step on your instep with a cleat and then tell me that you can just run through it.

      1. It wasn’t that – it was a graze of one guy’s instep over another guy’s instep, as they were in motion. It was a stomp in any sense, at all.

        1. In super-slo-mo, lots of things look like a graze. Have someone stand on your instep while you have all your momentum heading forward. It sucks, rather intensely, but you usually get over it. That’s the thing no one understands – much of the contact that happens hurts a fucking lot, but for a short duration (and it’s usually on load-bearing joints).

          Diving needs to be eradicated from the game, no doubt. But it’s not all diving, and even if a player appears to make a miraculous recovery doesn’t mean the initial contact wasn’t highly painful at the moment.

  52. God Save the United States From This Anti-Democratic Court

    Should a self-respecting democracy have a Supreme Court like ours, with the power to overturn democratic legislation? More and more progressive observers are not so sure. But one thing is clear: we need a more mature relationship with the Court and, through it, a more open and democratic relation to the Constitution.

    Polls consistently find that the Court is the best-respected branch of government, well ahead of Congress and the presidency. A wave of critics, though, has been denouncing it as anti-democratic and regressive. Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the U.C. Irvine law school and a prominent constitutional lawyer and scholar, is about to publish a book called The Case Against the Supreme Court, arguing that the Men in Black (more recently, Persons in Black) have done more harm than good on key issues like race, economic fairness, and preventing abuse of government power. Ian Millhiser, a constitutional analyst at the liberal Center for American Progress, will publish a book by the same title next March. Further to the left, Jacobin has published a set of forceful attacks, summarized in Rob Hunter’s recent conclusion that “judicial interference with democracy” should become “unthinkable.”

    1. Mob rule!!!! Fuck yeah!!

    2. Wow, today I learned that there’s a magazine called *Jacobin.*

      If you’re going to name yourself after murderers, why not call yourself Ted Bundy?

    3. Should a self-respecting democracy

      Stop right there. Not a democracy. And thank god for that.

  53. I was just skimming through some articles about how De Blasio and his cohorts at the Mayors’ Conference (or whatever) are busily beating the gong about wealth inequality and the need for a higher minimum wage.

    It’s infuriating how these people claim the authority to decide how much other people* should pay their employees, and, by extension, how much those other people should rightfully be permitted to retain as earnings. And, of course they haven’t the faintest understanding of marginal return, because there is no effective feedback mechanism in the market (har-de-fucking-har) for government services which makes plain how much the consumer values any specific product or service provided by the government; if they run out of money, they just raise their prices. AT GUNPOINT.

    *You know, wealth creating business owners and investors in the private sector

    1. There’s also the fact that government does not produce anything of value. It simply consumes. So the notion that an employee must produce more value than he is paid in order for a business to remain in business is a foreign concept. Value? What’s that? The point of giving someone a job is to pay them, not for them to actually produce something. Jobs are a basic right. Work? What the fuck is that?

      1. That’s pretty much France in a nutshell.

      2. Value for value? What are you, some kind of whore?

  54. Should a self-respecting democracy have a Supreme Court like ours, with the power to overturn democratic legislation?

    What the fuck does that have to do with the American system of a Constitutional Republic?

    Haha, just kidding. That was a rhetorical question.

  55. 85% interest rate on a seatbelt ticket. Added bonus: private company doing the govt’s dirty work.

    1. At this point, it isn’t a far stretch to describe such companies quislings.

  56. Yeah…not getting it. We make over 6 figures but less than 160K with three kids, 16, 14 and 11. All swimmers that are champion eaters. Even paying for one private school, sports, 5 cells, etc.

    Though the older two have jobs of their own already, they still remain black holes of money suckage.

    So, yeah…not getting it.

  57. Wal-Mart crushes NYT op ed. With red pencil, no less.

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