A.M. Links: Obama Talks 'Bone-Headed' Federal Workers, SWAT Teams Want Immunity, Germany Drops Verizon Over NSA Spying

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  • Credit: White House / Flickr.com

    Speaking at a town hall meeting in Minneapolis, President Barack Obama acknowledged that "some federal workers…do bone-headed things." As an example of that bone-headed behavior, he cited the unfolding Veterans Affairs scandal.

  • "It didn't seem like they really wanted to recover the data." The IRS missing emails scandal continues to grow.
  • SWAT teams in Massachusetts claim they are private corporations and therefore are entitled to immunity from the state's open records laws.
  • Germany has declined to renew a lucrative contract with Verizon over concerns that the company is turning over sensitive information to the NSA.
  • "Over the past two weeks, the specter that has haunted Iraq since its founding 93 years ago appears to have become a reality: the de facto partition of the country into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish cantons."

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  1. “It didn’t seem like they really wanted to recover the data.”

    No shit.

    1. Hello.

      No links for you!

      http://bit.ly/1rGSIxA

      “The Supreme Court of British Columbia has ordered Google to remove entire domains from its search results?a decision that could have enormous global implications on free expression. This is the latest of several instances of courts exercising dangerous jurisdictional overreach…”

      1. Good thing there are no other search engines people might use to find these domains.

    2. Maybe the IRS isn’t so untouchable afterall:

      http://americanthinker.com/blo…..ndals.html

    3. There’s no sugar-coating it…

  2. The latest trend in reality TV: nude shows.

    Lifetime’s Born in the Wild looks awesome.

    1. “Reality”, of course, should be in sneer quotes.

      1. It’s like the guy, what’s his name, Heisenburg, who said that you can’t predict the behavior of weirdos because if you turn a TV camera on them the very act of observing them changes their behavior.

    2. A coworker was talking to me yesterday about a couple of the TV shows he watches and mentioned Naked and Afraid. Which is some survival show where two strangers are put in the wild for 21 days with nothing including no clothes. I asked if the women are hot, and he responded that he can’t recall any that were ever hot. I said that show was definitely not worth my time then.

      1. Some of the people get messed up pretty badly on that show. They’ve had to airlift out more than 1 participant.

      2. Smokin hot? Not really.
        Some are reasonably attractive though…well in the beginning of the show.

        By the end of the show they tend to look filthier than your stereotypical hippie.

      3. A couple of the women were cute, but not “hot.” Most of them are not that attractive. But I don’t know anymore because I stopped watching after the first few episodes. It’s actually a pretty boring show.

    3. I suspect an ulterior motive here.

      Over time, I suspect the pixellations, the blurs and the strategically placed items will grow smaller.

      Until, hopefully, they are gone.

  3. 10 Facts About The SWATification Of America That Everyone Should Know

    #1 In 1980, there were approximately 3,000 SWAT raids in the United States. Now, there are more than 80,000 SWAT raids per year in this country.

    #2 79 percent of the time, SWAT teams are deployed to private homes.

    #3 50 percent of the victims of SWAT raids are either black or Latino.

    #4 In 65 percent of SWAT deployments, “a battering ram, boot, or some sort of explosive device” is used to gain forced entry to a home.

    #5 62 percent of all SWAT raids involve a search for drugs.

    1. #6 In at least 36 percent of all SWAT raids, “no contraband of any kind” is found by the police.

      #7 In cases where it is suspected that there is a weapon in the home, police only find a weapon 35 percent of the time.

      #8 More than 100 American families have their homes raided by SWAT teams every single day.

      #9 Only 7 percent of all SWAT deployments are for “hostage, barricade or active-shooter scenarios”.

      #10 Even small towns are getting SWAT teams now. 30 years ago, only 25.6 percent of communities with populations between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team. Now, that number has increased to 80 percent.

      1. Holy.

        Shit.

      2. And in cases where the person really is a credible threat or danger to officer safety, they don’t use SWAT teams. They wait for them to check the mail or lure them out under false pretenses like they did with Whitey Bulger.

        They conduct these raids because terrorizing and murdering innocent citizens is fun.

        1. 93% of the time, at least.

      3. communities with populations between 25,000 and 50,000

        Wow, I have a very different idea of what a small town is. I think of 5000 as a medium sized town.

        1. I find they use the word “town” differently outside of New England.

          1. Yeah, I suppose that’s what it is. New England local government is a lot more local than in other parts of the country.

          2. Nonsense. 25,000-50,000 people is a small city anywhere in America.

            1. Actually, its pretty big for KY.

              There are only a handful of cities that big in the whole state. 15 total. Only 4 over 50k, so that is 11 between 25 and 50.

              And when you start excluding ones that are suburbs of bigger cities, it gets even smaller. That knocks out Covington, Florence and Jeffersontown. And Richmond, Georgetown, Nicholasville, and Henderson are borderline.

              Im pretty sure the first 3 are in the Lexington metro area, and Henderson is probably in Evansville metro.

              Take those 7 out and that leaves 4 cities between 25-50k.

              1. robc is spot on. Richmond, Georgetown and Nicholasville are bedroom communities for Lexington and Henderson acts as much the same for Evansville.

                And Bowling Green has WKU, despite it being a suitcase college. Owensboro is the only Western KY city of any size that seems to spin along under its own power.

            2. Nonsense. 25,000-50,000 people is a small city anywhere in America.

              That’s a medium sized city in Ohio. There are both statutory definitions for villages, towns, and cities, as well as cultural definitions in different areas.

            3. Anything under 50,000 is a small town in my book. Chinese people will tell you they’re from a small town when it’s under 1 million.

    2. #5 62 percent of all SWAT raids involve a search for drugs

      I call BS. You know they search every time.

      1. They search for all contraband every time. I mean, why not? They have every incentive to do so.

  4. SWAT teams in Massachusetts claim they are private corporations and therefore are entitled to immunity from the state’s open records laws.

    Mitt Romney was right. AND THEY’RE ARMED.

    1. About what was he right?

      1. That Canadians should take off.

        1. Fine.

          /takes Crosby with him.

          1. My theory: Pens got a nobody coach as a placeholder until Babcock’s contract is done next year.

            1. Wait, did I miss some5hing? Is Disco Dan back.on the streets?

              1. Wow, am I out of touch. June 6 was like way long ago.

            1. Toews and Kane are asking for serious coin.

          2. You better leave Geddy Lee, and take Bieber with you!

    2. If they are private corporations, they lose qualified immunity, right?

      1. No, they get to have their cake and eat it too… for the children.

      2. At that point they switch back to government entities.

        1. I’m sure there’s some sort of quantum woo that explains it.

      3. I would think so, and also, if you cut one in half you can’t be charged with the killing of an LEO.

        1. I love how they make it extra-sooper-dooper illegal to kill a LEO, because you know, they are our betters, being wielders of state power and all…

    3. Don’t the dumbshits lose their immunity if they are private corporations?

      1. Not them. Because fuck you, that’s why.

  5. ‘Virtually Crime Free’ County in Florida Gets MRAP Armored Vehicle
    Residents express outrage at “intimidation tactic” used to “strike fear”

    http://www.infowars.com/virtua…..d-vehicle/

    Martino was speaking at a council meeting concerning a decision to purchase a BearCat armored vehicle. The purchase of the vehicle was mired in controversy after the city’s Police Chief wrote in an application filing to the DHS that the vehicle was needed to deal with the “threat” posed by libertarians, sovereign citizen adherents, and Occupy activists in the region.

    Yeah. Those libertarians are dangerous. I mean, if they had their way, then we’d be living under the tyranny of liberty.

    1. So the police chief agrees with my progressive acquaintances about libertarians.

      1. Well wouldn’t they? They’re all fucking statists aren’t they?

      2. Yeah those violent libertarians, always plotting to overthrow the government and leave you alone

    2. can’t say I’ve ever seen a level of derp that would conflate libertarians with Occutards.

      1. I’ve seen deeper levels of derp. Many people never reason past “I don’t like either of these two things, so they must be the same.”

      2. Doesn’t sound like he is conflating them. Just foolishly thinking they are both some sort of threat that requires large military vehicles to deal with.

        1. Foolishly thinking? Or mendaciously claiming?

      3. I don’t know. Occupy and libertarianism both generally seem to agree what the problem is, what we disagree on is what the solutions are

        1. Not really. Libertarians see the problem is government, while occutards blame teh corepourrayshuns.

          1. can’t we hate both?

    3. the city’s Police Chief wrote in an application filing to the DHS that the vehicle was needed to deal with the “threat” posed by libertarians, sovereign citizen adherents, and Occupy activists in the region.

      Wait. Isn’t that the same exact wording used by the police chief of Concord, NH when applying for his MRAP?

      1. So you are saying he is guilty of plagiarism too?

        1. Or, that Infowars isn’t the best source? Maybe?

          1. It’s accurate. And it worked for Concord, so why wouldn’t he use it?

            1. Actually, HM spotted it. the Inforwars article doesn’t give the “Libertarian threat” quote to the Florida cop, but to the NH cop. Florida Man doesn’t seem to have used that rationale. At least not in the article provided.

              Don’t get me wrong-both chiefs can go screw. It was just confusion about who said what, and the idea that there was some kind of boilerplate cause that seems to assure getting an MRAP for your agency.

          2. I think Infowars is actually pretty good for just seeing the facts that the statist quo media doesn’t think are worth our time to worry about.

            Just don’t everuncritically accept the analysis that comes with it.

    4. Yes, we must confront the dire threat posed by some people minding their own business, and some other people playing bongos and chanting about inequality in public.

      Fuck this dude, yo.

    5. Sounds like the police department’s budget needs to be cut.

  6. Welcome to New York! Meet the weasel-like creature spotted stalking the streets of the city… and the good news is it feeds on RATS
    People in the Bronx first spotted the odd creature in April
    A zoologist has identified it as a fisher, a member of the weasel family
    Fishers prey on rats and squirrels
    They were once prevalent in the New York City area but moved further upstate after they were excessively hunted for their fur
    The last one was seen sometime in the 1600s
    Zoologist Roland Kays thinks the Bronx fisher may have come down the river
    Fishers could help control the rat population – but may also have a taste for cats and small dogs

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..ified.html
    Fishers are bad-fucking-ass.

    1. If they reduce the local rat-dog population, I’d be happy.

    2. “Fishers prey on rats and squirrels

      QUICK, GET SOME FOR H&R!!!!!!

      1. LOLOLOLOL

    3. Do they give a shit?

    4. Even if they do eat cats I would imagine that would first target rats before turning to the larger more difficult-to-catch prey. And there’s a lot of rat in NYC.

      I would imagine that the preferred order of prey would be:

      Rats
      Small Dogs
      Squirrels (squirrels climb, fishers not so much)
      Cats

      1. They’ll attack anything. They don’t care. They’re bad ass and mean. They make Leroy Brown look like a pussy.

        1. Sure, but do they have a .32 gun in their pocket, for fun?????

        2. A zoologist has identified it as a fisher, a member of the weasel family

          Are they sure it wasn’t Chuck Schumer?

          1. He, too, is a member of the weasel family, but on the distaff side.

            1. +2 moobs

      2. Oh, they can climb. Perhaps not as fast and high as a squirrel.

        1. That’s what I meant.

    5. Fleas the size of rats sucked on rats the size of cats
      And ten thousand peoploids split into small tribes
      Coverting the highest of the sterile skyscrapers
      Like packs of dogs assaulting the glass fronts of Love-Me Avenue

      1. +1 Diamond Dogs.

        Love the guitars on that album..

    6. Badass indeed. A few years ago I encountered two of them in the woods and they didn’t give a shit. It was around dusk and once the noticed me, they started charging toward me, then turning and going really quickly up a tree and back down. They kept doing that sort of thing until it got too dark to see them and I got bored and walked away. The way they move is amazing.

      1. You mean that kind of hunchback running they do? Yeah, that’s cool. Most weasels, including domestic ferrets do that.

    7. For a sec there I thought it was an article on De Blah-sio.

    8. My game cam caught a fisher on my property. I had never seen or heard of them before. Apparently they’re one of the few things that feeds on porcupine.

      1. North American Honey Badger, eh?

    9. Up her we call them Fishercats and I get them running through my backyard all the time

  7. …the de facto partition of the country into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish cantons.

    Let them fight across borders, the way God intended.

    1. I think the UN should get to draw arbitrary borders for them to fight over.

      1. Nah. The UN would draw arbitrary borders, then begin unending “peace talks”.

        The model has worked sooooo well with Israelis and Palestinians.

        1. Well, you can’t have “peace ralks” if there’s no war going on. And the UN Wildcats to foster peace, so of course if perpetuates war.

    1. Hilarious. Now that’s satire and parody. Or something.

  8. America’s growing interest in soccer and the World Cup is a sign of the country’s ‘moral decay’, claims Ann Coulter
    Conservative pundit Ann Coulter has shared her nine point explanation for why soccer sums up everything that is wrong with modern America
    She doesn’t like it because ‘individual achievement is not a big factor’, it isn’t rough enough and ‘it’s foreign’
    Also argues that liberals only love soccer – and the metric system – because they’re both ‘European’
    Ratings for some World Cup games have surpassing those for the NBA Finals – driven by avid viewing among Latinos and young adults
    ‘One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time,’ she wrote

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

    ANN COULTER’S NINE POINT PLAN TO WHY SOCCER IS ‘UN-AMERICAN’
    Individual achievement is not a big factor
    Liberal moms like soccer
    No other sport ends in as many scoreless ties
    The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport
    You can’t use your hands in soccer
    I resent the force-fed aspect of soccer
    It’s foreign
    Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it’s European.
    Soccer is not ‘catching on’

    That’s just dumb. Soccer that is. It’s just dumb.

    1. That’s just dumb. SoccerAnn Coulter that is. It’sShe’s just dumb.

      Fixed

      1. She’s not dumb. She’s frighteningly intelligent. A frighteningly intelligent c*nt that is.

        1. She may be very intelligent generally. I don’t know her personally. But on this topic, she demonstrates stupidity in her obsession with trying to place a diverse sport into uniform political stereotypes.

          1. She’s a master-baiter. I don’t think she believes half of what she says. She’s just lawyering/trolling for the conservative cause while trying to push as many liberal buttons as she can.

            1. That makes the most sense I guess.

              1. That’s funny.

            2. Yeah, she’s a fucking cunt, but by no means stupid. She makes up a lot of ridiculous stuff, but she knows exactly what she’s doing.

            3. Shit, we have better trolls around here. And I don’t think anyone’s paying them.

              1. That just shows how smart she really is.

            4. The problem is that the trolling is based on views held in common back in the ’90s.

              Hardly anyone says shit like that anymore because it’s so pathetic. If she’s going to troll, she needs to do better.

            5. to pimp her books

      2. Both are actually true

    2. I told you yesterday.

      I’d fuck her.

      /peels orange.

      1. /peels orange

        How a comment goes from good to lol’able right there.

      2. Rufus J. Firefly|6.27.14 @ 9:17AM|#

        I told you yesterday.

        I’d fuck her.”

        I believe you. I’ve seen from other posts your cull factor approaches zero.

    3. Nah, sports are just dumb. Well, watching them is.

      1. I’ve never understood the fascination with watching grown men play children’s games.

        1. You mean like acting?

        2. Not one of those fuckers has ever paid me one cent to come watch me work.

  9. eBay refuses to list 1941 Mercedes Benz once owned by Hitler’s air force chief Hermann Goering
    Hermann Goering had Mercedes Benz 540K Cabriolet B custom built in 1940
    The car was seized by American authorities on the final day of World War II
    It sat in North Carolina until found by Florida classic car restoration group
    But eBay have asked owners to take down the auction after learning of it
    eBay says its policies prohibit listings that promote or glorify hatred, violence or racial, sexual or religious intolerance

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..ering.html
    That’s just dumb.

    1. A buddy of mine used to have a pretty extensive and impressive collection of nazi memorabilia, primarily their daggers which were some incredible pieces of work. He’s been divesting for the past several years no doubt because it’s becoming less and less fashionable to distinguish fine art/craftsmanship from the political/moral issues it’s tied to. Fucking PC shame is what it is.

      1. Saw someone bring in some Nazi memorabilia on Pawn Stars, and Rick wanted nothing to do with it.

      2. Wow. Interesting.

        Wouldn’t it be cool if he had Hitler’s mustache?

  10. Dems struggle to show anti-Koch amendment is ‘reasonable’

    To show how reasonable the measure is, Durbin proposed a new wording for the amendment. This is the heart of the revised version:

    To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.

    The big difference is the insertion of the word “reasonable,” which Democrats apparently believe will allay concerns about government overreach. Don’t worry — we’ll be reasonable!

    But who decides what is reasonable? “I tell you, I am not content to have your free speech rights protected by the reasonableness of members of Congress, Republicans or Democrats,” Sen. Ted Cruz said to Durbin. “I have more faith in the Bill of Rights than I do in any elected officials.” There was a time, Cruz noted, when the U.S. Congress thought the Alien and Sedition Acts were reasonable.

    1. But who decides what is reasonable?

      Why, the courts, of course. The legislators are deliberately using imprecise language so that they can cynically claim to have “done something”.

  11. Haven’t we seen you somewhere before? China to demolish full-size Sphinx of Giza replica following complaints from Egypt
    30-metre-high structure even has same broken nose as Egyptian Sphinx
    Egypt complained about the replica, made out of cement and steel
    China has said it will be temporary setting for shooting movies

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tra…..Egypt.html
    That’s just dumb.

    1. “That’s just dumb.”

      It came from the Daily Mail, so you’re just being redundant.

      1. That’s not true. Without the DM, many stories of police abuse would never see the light of day, since American news outlets won’t touch that shit.

        1. Good point. But when people read something in the daily mail they either assume its tabloid BS or they immediately get distracted by some celebrity’s new shocking pics.

    2. Dear Egypt,

      Fuck you.

      China

        1. Holy fuck. What an insufferable, spoiled, little fuckstain.

          I’m trying to think of a suitable punishment that doesn’t involve beating him into unconsciousness.

        2. This is very upsetting.

    3. Even dumber than usual. I think it’s dumb enough when they think they can demand that every ancient Egyptian artifact must be returned to Egypt. The current population and government of Egypt has little more direct connection to ancient Egypt than I do. What basis do they have to make this demand?

      1. Did the Egyptians go extinct?

        Did they all up and move somewhere else so that the ‘modern’ residents could move in?

        No.

        1. No but they did adopt Islam and have been stuck on stupid ever since.

  12. 2 gems from Iowa Hawk:

    “Protip: before telling me how you should manage healthcare, the economy and the weather, show me you can manage you own emails.”

    “Difference between the IRS and the East German Stasi? The Stasi weren’t unionized.”

    1. Gems indeed.

  13. Anti-Amnesty Group Asks Americans To Mail ‘Gently Used Underwear’ To Obama, Boehner

    http://washington.cbslocal.com…..a-boehner/
    That’s just dumb.

    1. Didn’t Clinton donate his “gently used” underwear and claim it as a tax deduction?

      1. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/04…..-line.html

        “In previous returns, when Mr. Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas and his wife was a partner in a Little Rock law firm, the Clintons had gone so far as to deduct $2 for underwear donated to charities.”

    2. Yeah, send the government genetic material.

      You know those won’t get anywhere near the intended recipients. All you’re doing is making the taxpayers pay more for mail-screening services for those people.

      1. And it saps and impurifies all of our precious bodily fluids.

          1. Peace on earth?

  14. How will Australia’s new libertarian senator roll back the state?

    I will bring argument, reason, pleading and occasionally, blackmail, to the fight.

  15. Speaking at a town hall meeting in Minneapolis, President Barack Obama acknowledged that “some federal workers…do bone-headed things.”

    Other federal workers, of course.

      1. Some == less than all.

        I’m sure we can find one who just got hired this morning.

    1. If only there were someone actually in-charge of those federal workers. Someone who could fire them when they violate the law.

      1. Actually I don’t believe that the President can fire them even if they violate the law

        1. The President can’t fire his own employees? Why fill the office at all then?

        2. It’s easier to drone somebody than fire a federal worker.

          Wait, maybe that’s the answer.

        3. Actually I don’t believe that the President can fire them even if they violate the law

          The President could fire every SES worker today if he wanted too. The GS workers do have a bit more protection than that, but if they break the law, they to can be fired.

    2. For this I had to sit in park on a freeway for 20 minutes.

    3. The key word there is “workers.” That rules out at least half the people on the federal payroll.

    4. Did he immediately follow that up with, “Now, that’s no reason for a government worker to lose their job. And, it certainly is reason to stop trusting your bett, uh…your Government.”?

  16. Recession and sluggish recovery has DOUBLED the gap between rich and poor in the US
    The top 5 percent of richest Americans were worth 16.5 times as much as the median household in 2007
    By 2013 the richest families are were worth more than 24 times the media household
    Disparity is because stocks and corporate profits have recovered, but home values have not
    Median household wealth declined 43 percent between 2007 and 2013 to $56,355
    Wealth in the richest 5 percent of families dropped by only 16 percent, $1.4million

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..h-gap.html
    Wealth is not money and money is not wealth.

    1. Yes and how much of that wealth held by the rich is a complete phantom created by inflated bubbles in financial instruments?

  17. Shia LaBeouf arrested in Broadway theater after throwing tantrum as he watched show, slapping actors, smoking inside and telling cops ‘I’ll f*** you up’
    The troubled actor was reportedly led away in tears from the Studio 54 theater after causing a disturbance during the whole first act of Cabaret
    A passerby snapped a blurry photograph of LaBeouf outside the venue as he was being taken into custody on Thursday at 9.30pm
    He was taken to a Midtown precinct where he told a cop: ‘I have millions and millions of dollars and attorneys… I’m going to ruin your career’
    LaBeouf forced to wear a face mask because he wouldn’t stop spitting

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..bance.html
    That guy needs to start smoking weed or something.

    1. He’s just dumb. Or maybe I am, you beat me to the link. 🙂

    2. Shia LaBeouf

      Wasn’t she on The Cosby Show?

      1. I thought he played the part of Dudley being touched by Mr. Carlson on Diff’rent Strokes.

    3. Not that I give a shit about this guy but wasn’t he fired from the cast for being, well, an asshole impossible to work with?

    4. Its not his fault, I heard that he watched the transformer movies. No one can remaine normal after that.

  18. Report: American Born Workers Struggle To Compete With Immigrants

    The Center for Immigration Studies points to a variety of factors for why immigrants have done better in the U.S. job market than native-born Americans, including government programs that incentivize the hiring of legal and illegal immigrants.

    The report references the Summer Work Travel Program, which allows employers to hire temporary workers without having to pay into Social Security and Medicare. The H1-B visa program also does not allow immigrants to change jobs easily, allowing employers to take advantage of the program.

    “Immigrants may also be more willing to work off the books, for lower pay, or endure worse working conditions than natives, causing employers to prefer them as workers,” the report said.

    1. You know, its funny I don’t see any American born folks at Home Depot loading up on materials on Sat morning at 0630. I do however, see a shit-ton of immigrants busting their ass though.

      1. What a stupid comment.

      2. Disclaimer:ImmigrantsEverybody should have the right to compete and better themselves in a free market.

        Having said that, you need to come to my Home Depot. Those ass-busting immigrants wouldn’t have anything to load if my Daughter wasn’t there unloading the delivery trailers. On the way down I’ll get you coffee at the Dunkin Donuts where a bunch of “shiftless and lazy”(/sarc) young blacks will be on the job at 6:00am serving you with a smile and remembering your name. Later, I’ll buy you lunch at the local coffee shop where a bunch of college hipsters are hustling food and drink orders. $12+ per hour with tips. On the way back, I’ll drive past the UPS hub where my boss’ son(VT engineering student) spends his summers loading delivery trucks on the night shift.

        Okay, rant over. All I am trying to say is people in America, regardless of birthplace, seem to still have a decent work ethic. Despite government efforts to srew with incentives.

        1. srew = screw

  19. The doctor will spy on your now: Hospitals and insurance companies are using credit card data to monitor how patients eat, whether they belong to a gym and when they smoke
    Two healthcare groups are beginning to use data from marketing companies to track their patients
    ObamaCare mandates that penalize hospitals if too make patients make routine visits are driving the track programs
    Companies are using data to call patients an intervene to stop bad habits
    Patients and privacy advocates are not happy and say the new programs are invasive

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

    The changes can be chalked up to ObamaCare, which has put pressure on hospitals to keep patients health and out of emergency rooms. Hospitals can be fined if patients are re-admitted within a short time of treatment.

    Who is fully honest with their doctor anymore? I’m not.

    1. I can’t be, I don’t have a GP.

      My plan doesn’t need a referral to see specialists.

    2. I haven’t been to a doctor in 12 years. I plan to continue that trend.

      1. the last two times I’ve been to a doctor, I ended up pissed enough that I’ve promised never to see them again – unless I’m coughing up blood or something obviously serious.

        I seem to get the pill peddler types with a strong sense of nannyism – like asking if I have a CO2 detector in my house.

        1. CO2?

          Not Carbon Monoxide?

          1. I’m a derp. you’re right.

        2. Hell 4 weeks ago wreaked on my bike. Broke 3 ribs and was coughing up blood for 3 days.

          Left side from rib cage to my toes was swollen up and deep purple from bruising and internal bleeding.

          Go to the Doc? Hell no. Except for the broken ribs every things all healed up now.

      2. My family history of high blood pressure has come to haunt me. I’ve got to go.

    3. Apparently the DM is using toddlers to write their capsules again.

  20. Schoolboy keeps his hair off the collar and out of the eyes, as per school rules, and still gets expelled. Happily, court tells the school to pull its head in

    1. The people in the comments don’t seem to be pleased with the kid and the family.

    2. Lucan Battison’s lawyer says the boy is following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King.

      “Turn left onto Lucan Battison Boulevard.”

    3. Is it a private school? I couldn’t tell from the article.

      1. According to Wikipedia “St John’s College is a State Integrated, Catholic, Day School for boys, located in Hastings, a provincial city in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.”.

        I’d say “public” but I would also say that a “State Integrated, Catholic School” is a foreign concept to most Americans but not apparently to New Zealanders.

        Also in spite of being called a “college” it is actually a secondary school but that is not that uncommon in the British Commonwealth.

        1. I thought it would be something like that. I’m reminded of Religion class in 10th grade in Germany….

    4. In the early 70s the high school I went to had a similar boys hair ppolicy. However the guys who wanted to go long hair simply bundled their hair up under a wig. Some guys even seemed to compete to see who could have the most stupid looking wig.

      Long hair on boys was deemed a distraction by the local school board but guys wearing a green haired wig that had never been washed wasn’t I suppose.

  21. Restoration experts solve art mystery after face of murdered Renaissance princess is revealed beneath layers of paint added centuries later to make her face conform to Victorian beauty ideals

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..deals.html
    There’s a face that only a father could love.

  22. Vegas showgirl Britney Spears is no support act as she leaves gym in figure-hugging sports top

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..s-top.html
    She could poke someone’s eye out with those nipples.

    1. She’s just happy to see you.

      1. She is not aging very well. You can take the trash out of the trailer…

    2. Most. Disappointing. Link. Evar.

  23. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws.

    It’s…Libertopia!!!

    ???

    1. Do they pay corporate income taxes I wonder?

      1. No. Believe it or not, they are 501(c)(3) charities.

        Which would mean, I believe, that their victims can deduct as charitable contributions anything they seize for asset forfeiture.

    2. It’s “Fuck you, that’s why”, of course.

    3. Who gave them permission to incorporate themselves? Srsly.

      And if the state is indeed doing business with a corporation then the employees of that corporation are no longer government employees. You can’t have it both ways.

      1. You can’t have it both ways.

        You can if you’ve got the monopoly on organized violence. Who’s going to stop you?

  24. SWAT teams in Massachusetts claim they are private corporations and therefore are entitled to immunity from the state’s open records laws.

    I wonder how that affects their sovereign immunity?

    1. Man, he did not take getting tossed from the Transformers franchise well.

    2. It’s weird but I think this makes me like him more. Not saying much, his only movie I enjoyed was Holes.

      1. Eagle Eye was fairly lame but I thought that first chase scene was outstanding.

      2. his only movie I enjoyed was Holes.

        This statement. There’s something about it…

  25. The Language of Despotism

    At the heart of the White House report is the oft-repeated 2007 statistic that 20 percent of female college students have been victims of “sexual assault,” which most people will understand to mean rape or sexual battery. Yet as many critics of the study have pointed out, that preposterous number??crime-ridden Detroit’s rape rate is 0.05 percent??was achieved by redefining “sexual assault” to include even consensual sexual contact when the woman was drunk, and behaviors like “forced kissing” and “rubbing up against [the woman] in a sexual way, even if it is over [her] clothes.”

    The vagueness and subjectivity of such a definition is an invitation to women to abandon personal responsibility and agency by redefining clumsy or boorish behavior as “sexual assault,” a phrase suggesting physical violence against the unwilling. As one analyst of the flawed study has reported, “three-quarters of the female students who were classified as victims of sexual assault by incapacitation did not believe they had been raped; even when only incidents involving penetration were counted, nearly two-thirds did not call it rape.”

    1. personal responsibility and agency

      MRA dog-whistle words! Everyone knows that wom?n can’t exercise personal responsibility and agency until patriarchy is completely eradicated.

  26. Exploding toilet rattles nerves in Stillwater County courthouse

    The toilet was a Flushmate III, a bran that is the subject of a voluntary recall issued two years ago by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission due to potential danger.

    Flushmate has received 304 reports of the product exploding, which has resulted in both property damage and 14 impact or laceration injuries.

    According to a press release issued in June, 2012, “The system can burst at or near the vessel weld seam releasing stored pressure. This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact or laceration hazards to consumers and property damage.”

    1. I guess that water wasn’t very still.

      1. *narrows gaze*

        At least you didn’t mention “The toilet was a Flushmate III, a bran that is…” as a reason for the explosion.

        1. Good luck against Argentina. 🙂

          1. I am hoping for the double upset – the US and CH get to play each other. I have been working on my trash talk, to direct at my Swiss masters.

            1. “Your backfield is more disorganized than a French accountant!”

          2. Speaking of Argentina, they can kiss my ass after that Falkland Islands propaganda stunt before a friendly a couple weeks ago. You lost – GET OVER IT.

  27. There’s a wonderfully funny article up on Wired about how some crackpot government scientist in the nineteenth century decided that “the rain would follow the plow”, IOW that the rain would magically come to any area in which man was practicing agriculture. Many delicious quotes which inadvertently undermine contemporary CAGW hysteria:

    “Hayden had rationalized,” writes Smith, “and had given
    pseudo-scientific status to what had originally been but a vague poetic
    expression of the massive optimism of the Western Movement,” that climate
    could be hijacked by man.

    One Cleveland Abbe of the U.S. Weather Bureau, for instance, reported
    receiving “letters from cranks on the question of man-caused drought or
    rain”
    into the 1930s.

    1. It was a very influential theory: it was a key factor in convincing people to settle and farm KS, NE, OK, etc.

      1. And by the standards of the time it was not all that crackpot.

        But the article was still unintentionally hilarious.

  28. “some federal workers…do bone-headed things.”

    Including defecating in the hallway.

  29. Three months into Obamacare, Paul Krugman declares “Mission Accomplished!”

    The last paragraph is the best.

    1. I’d suggest single-payer press, with the government deciding who can write about what, but Krugman would probably support the idea, thinking he hand others of his ilk would be doing the decision-making.

    2. How anyone can take this guy seriously is beyond me.

      1. this guy = Krugman

        1. I’m used to not being taken seriously too, though for different reasons.

    3. Krugman is clearly a machine. No human being could be so lacking in self awareness.

      1. Maybe he’s just the lefty version of Ann Coulter – he doesn’t believe 3/4 of the crap he writes but it pays the bills because NYT readers lap it up.

    4. Hey, that science is settled, the book is closed, the authorities have spoken, and there.is.no.need nor place for.further discussion.

  30. IT trade association question destruction of IRS e-mails

    “The notion that these emails just magically vanished makes no sense whatsoever. That is not how IT asset management at major businesses and government institutions works in this country. When the hard drive in question was destroyed, the IRS should have called in an accredited IT Asset Destruction (ITAD) professional or firm to complete that process, which requires extensive documentation, official signoffs, approvals, and signatures of completion. If this was done, there would be records. If this was not done, this is the smoking gun that proves the drive or drives were destroyed improperly ? or not at all.”

    1. If someone writes over or physically destroys a hard drive, it is possible the information could be lost. The days of seeing data that had previously been written over are gone from my understanding. If the hard drive just crashes, however, the information can always be recovered at least in large part.

      1. It can be recovered but only if the hard drive is not physically altered beyond repair. I cannot believe that those records were simply lost. It is one thing to work in the private sector where retention policies may preclude you from keeping e-mails more than a year old – depending on the industry; but government records are supposed to be kept forever.

        1. but government records are supposed to be kept forever.

          No, only certain government records are kept forever. There is even a law say what records are, how long they are kept, etc. That is the law the IRS broke, even if the Archivist didn’t want to say it.

      2. The days of seeing data that had previously been written over are gone from my understanding.

        Most data that is “deleted” doesn’t go away. It just doesn’t show up on your directories.

        Eventually, it may be overwritten (unless you are using a program specifically for the purpose of overwriting buffers and memory).

        Even then, the milspec standard for overwriting is, I believe, 9x.

        In the absence of a milspec overwriting program, that shit can still be got.

        1. I physically destroy old client drives. Electromagnetic tape eraser. Followed by violent dismanteling. Removal of magnets, platters. Screws go into the parts bin. Casings into recyclables. And the platters get deformed in vice then disposed of.

          Software rewrites? don’t trust it

    2. I still don’t understand this. Even at the shittiest jobs I’ve ever had my emails are all backed up on a server somewhere. We’re supposed to believe that IRS employees’ emails just sit on their hard drive and nowhere else? That’s crazy.

      1. Well, this is the government we’re talking about.

      2. We’re not supposed to believe it or disbelieve it. They don’t care what we believe because nothing else is going to happen.

  31. “Speaking at a town hall meeting in Minneapolis, President Barack Obama acknowledged that “some federal workers…do bone-headed things.””

    What a pathetic manager our president is.

    1. Ease up, there, Ken.

      Some presidents do bone-headed things.

    2. “Manager” isn’t the only adjective that fits.

      1. sorry, not adjective. Noun

    3. I’ve seen captains of high school hockey teams with better management skills than that.

      Time and time again, I see this president balk at the suggestion that he might be responsible for the behavior of the people below him–as if that’s a ludicrous suggestion. How can one person be responsible for the behavior of someone else?

      It doesn’t even occur to him that someone who’s responsible for other people’s behavior is exactly what a manager is–and shirking that responsibility is shirking the duties of management.

      Barack Obama is profoundly incompetent. It’s amazing how competent our federal bureaucracy is–that they can withstand such profound management incompetence from the top and continue to operate at the level they do! Goes to show you how much inertia bureaucracies have of their own.

      I wouldn’t hire Barack Obama to manage a single fast-food franchise.

      1. “I wouldn’t hire Barack Obama to manage a single fast-food franchise.”

        I wouldn’t trust the guy to pick the dog shit up in my yard.

        1. “The dog acted stupidly.”

      2. “I wouldn’t hire Barack Obama to manage a single fast-food franchise.”

        he’d have the staff unionized and on strike for $25 an hour and shitting in the dining room in about a day. you’d have to submit your tax returns with your order to determine the price of your Big Mac and they still wouldn’t be able to calculate it. any complaint would result in a targeted spitburger. food cost and labor cost would run about 160% of revenues.

      3. It’s the appeal of progressivism: everything good that happens on your watch is because of your genius and everything bad is someone else’s fault.

  32. New York City’s 500,000 undocumented immigrants will be able to open bank accounts, visit libraries and use medical clinics, thanks to an official municipal identification card

    “It sends a simple and clear message that we are a city that believes in including everyone.”

    Hey, then where the fuck is *my* card?

    1. I understand libertarians are generally pro-amnesty and immigration, but isn’t it one thing to be humane and open and quite another to provide privileges reserved for TAX PAYING CITIZENS.

      No?

      /ducks.

      1. “Work harder, someone else’s lifestyle depends on you.”

      2. I think nearly half of Americans are net tax beneficiaries. What’s 500,000 more?

      3. Bank Accounts: Nobody else is subsidizing those.

        Libraries: If the citizens of NY want to buy books for people who are we to stop them?

        Medical Clinics: Not sure what is actually meant here. If these are government-funded clinics then same answer as libraries. Do note that I oppose government-provided medical care for anyone.

      4. Re: Rufus J. Firefly,

        and quite another to provide privileges reserved for TAX PAYING CITIZENS.

        Like opening a bank account? Is opening a bank account a privilege reserved for tax-paying nationals? Or visit libraries? Who visits a library today, anyway?

        1. I used to frequent libraries while cycling around the city, either to duck out of a rainstorm or the summer heat. I’ll be damned if I’m sharing shelter with some undocumented immigrant who’s trying to brush up on his English American.

          Unless he has a municipal ID card! That’s another story entirely.

      5. Undocumented workers pay a lot of taxes, and often don’t file for a refund, even though they are legally entitled to do so.

        If you want to target parasites, undocumented workers, who tend to work hard for long hours, probably isn’t the best place to look.

        1. My understanding is that a lot of them are using social security numbers of dead people so yeah that refund would cause some problems.

          1. My understanding is that the 5th Amendment pretty solidly protects you from incriminating yourself when filing a truthful tax return. Undocumented workers can (and should!) file using an ITIN to claim any refund which is due to them.

    2. Wait, I thought getting a government photo id was a massive burden too difficult to overcome for most poor people?

      1. I imagine it would be a burden for illegals. I can’t imagine any of them being dumb enough to fall for this trap though. “Here’s that list of illegals you asked for, Mr. federal agent.”

    3. You can open a bank account in Texas with id from your consulate – this is not a big deal.

    4. Hey, I thought ID cards were a burden that couldn’t be borne, especially by minorities and folks without a lot of money.

  33. Germany has declined to renew a lucrative contract with Verizon over concerns that the company is turning over sensitive information to the NSA.

    This is how government protects American competitiveness.

  34. There was a time, Cruz noted, when the U.S. Congress thought the Alien and Sedition Acts were reasonable.

    If the Alien and Sedition Acts were brought to the floor today, it would pass in a bipartisan landslide. Obama would sign it, and the Roberts Court would uphold it as a gracious act of judicial deference.

    We’re fucked.

  35. SWAT teams in Massachusetts claim they are private corporations and therefore are entitled to immunity from the state’s open records laws.

    This actually brings up an.interesting question. In Libertopia, where all police, firefighting, EMS, etc. services were provided by private organizations, how would we get authority to audit their internal procedures and records? Would we have a fundamentally different understanding of corporate entities?

    1. In Libertopia, where all police, firefighting, EMS, etc. services were provided by private organizations, how would we get authority to audit their internal procedures and records?

      Include it in the contract they sign.

      1. When they have the last word in violence, they can just say “Fuck you, you’re not getting nuthin and you’re paying us anyway, because if you don’t we’ll lock you up in a cage. Who’s gonna stop us? Huh? Who? Yeah, that’s right. Now fuck the fuck off.”

        1. What a racket.

          1. Yup. Organized violence is a license to steal.

        2. Except in an anarchic state there would be no one with the last word in violence becasue no one police corporation would have a monopoly over a geographical area.

          So of the OCP police force refused to provide you their audit records you could cancel your contract with them and sign one with Ares or Knight Errant.

          If OCP tried to force you into keeping paying them when you weren’t their customer any more they’d basically be looking at a war with whoever your security provider was.

          1. If OCP tried to force you into keeping paying them when you weren’t their customer any more they’d basically be looking at a war with whoever your security provider was.

            Yep. And the winner can take all of the conquered provider’s customers and force them to pay up. That’s how governments are formed out of anarchy.

            It’s inevitable. Can’t escape death and taxes.

      2. Fair enough, but what if the police orgs collude to draw their contracts in ways so as to present a “blue wall” to their potential clients.

        Yea, yes, of course, others would be free to set up competing service organizations.

        1. Fair enough, but what if the police orgs collude to draw their contracts in ways so as to present a “blue wall” to their potential clients.

          It’s what Sarc said above. A private corp. with the same powers as gov. entities will end up just as bad. The idea that “well, there’s competition, and we’ll hire another company” isn’t the end all many think it is.

        2. Yea, yes, of course, others would be free to set up competing service organizations.

          You really think that established entities using organized violence would allow competing services? No. They’ll destroy the competition. Literally. Because organized violence is a license to steal.

      3. Sure, but why would they want to include that? And who is to say people signing the contracts would be smart enough or interested enough to insist on it?

        1. Even if the people got that into the contract, who would enforce it? They’ve got organized violence. Who’s going to compel them to do anything?

          1. Who’s going to compel them to do anything?

            The citizens who pay for the contract will enforce it. Or the new cop corp hired will enforce it.

            1. Sounds iffy, if the citizens have delegated force to the.police orgs and have not retained adequate equipment and knowledge to back up their decision to not pay.

              1. You are assuming the citizens would be disarmed. With no government citizens could own tanks if they wanted to.

            2. It doesn’t work that way. The people who use organized violence are the ones who do the enforcing. No one forces them to do anything. As far as a new cop corp goes, that would result in war. I mean, that’s what happens when organized violence goes into competition. They kill each other over the license to steal that comes with having the last word in violence. That’s what’s happening in Iraq right as we speak.

              1. That’s what’s happening in Iraq right as we speak.

                Are you saying Iraq is “Libertopia?” Somalia is gonna be upset.

                1. Are you saying Iraq is “Libertopia?”

                  Iraq is more like “Anartopia” right now.

                  That’s what it looks like when different security corporations compete over who will serve the people. They drive off the old police corp, round up dissenters, kill them, then go around doing whatever the fuck they want because no one will stop them. It’s “Anartopia!”

              2. Nah. We’ll just forbid standing police forces. Like England before the Peelers, we’ll just have ad hoc citizen committees to bring before a disinterested group any person who refuses to partake in direct civil action for compensation of damages or resolution of dispute.

                1. Nah. We’ll just forbid standing police forces.

                  You mean like the how the gov forbids pot, prostitution, gun ownership by felons, etc.? Forbid like that? It surprises me that some people who distrust government seem to think it would all great if it were private orgs instead, or no orgs. The culture of the people has to be such that they will accept libertarian ideas before they (ideas) will work. American culture might change to that if the government falls, but my guess is it would be something nastier.

                  1. To forbid a monopoly on violence, the people in a society must reserve it for themselves. Most people really don’t like doing violence. So they delegate it, and eventually fall under the boot of their own protectors. It is a sad loop.

                    1. To forbid a monopoly on violence, the people in a society must reserve it for themselves. Most people really don’t like doing violence. So they delegate it, and eventually fall under the boot of their own protectors. It is a sad loop.

                      You just summed up all of human history since civilization began.

                  2. You mean like the how the gov forbids pot, prostitution, gun ownership by felons, etc.? Forbid like that?

                    No. Forbid like the Bill of Rights forbids the government from doing certain things. Yeah, yeah, I know.

              3. Except war is unprofitable and a rapacious security corp like that would not only find itself fighting every other security corp near it but also a good chunk of a very well armed citizenry.

                Within a VERY short time the pirate corp will cease to exist becuase all of their officers and leaders would be dead.

                1. Hey Rasilio, tell that to ISIS. Apparently they didn’t get the memo.

                  1. You are presuming that the majority of the people in ISIS controlled areas object to their presence.

                    Problem is that as bad as ISIS may be right now they are far far better for the Suni populace in the areas they control than the official Shiite government so they get quite a bit of leeeway.

                    1. You are presuming that the majority of the people in ISIS controlled areas object to their presence.

                      No. Actually I’m not.

              4. It also happened here in Murica during the settling of the West.

                Wealthy ranchers hired armed “cowboys” to keep other’s cattle off of grazing range the wealthier ranchers didn’t own in the first place.

                Whomever hired the the most/best fighting cowboys controlled the land.

    2. Why do you think there’d be police in Libertopia?

  36. Pelosi to travel to border, meet detained minors

    “We must ensure our laws are fully enforced”

    Nah, just demand that U.S. citizens be similarly welcomed into other countries.

    1. Would that she would take an interest in enforcing certain other laws which she finds inconvenient.

  37. I’ve been watching the original Cosmos (1980) series. It is still pretty good – even the FX aren’t that terrible considering the age. I did notice an early plug for the fears of global warming with man’s increased CO2 emissions; likening it to Venus and its runaway greenhouse effect.

    Carl Sagan did have a big effect on me when I was ten years old – I read the book then and wanted to go into astronomy. It also pointed my (even then) cynical mind toward atheism.

      1. I love this.

    1. The original far outstrips the new version in both entertainment and science. Fuck NdT.

      1. Yes it does. It is depressing how dumbed down even PBS documentaries are these days.

      2. He doesn’t do a very good job at suppressing his smug disdain for the non-credentialed peons.

        1. Which is ironic considering NdT is nothing more than a pop scientist, at best. His popularity is entirely due to SWPLs status-signaling that they’re Not Racist and Love Black People (as long as they don’t have to live in the same neighborhoods).

    2. Yeah, I love that show. The environmental doom bits were a bit over the top, but Sagan was really good at communicating the wonder and enthusiasm he had for science and the natural world.

      1. + pretty much this. Having a bit of a midlife crisis, I’m trying to capture some of that wonder again.

    3. After I had become an atheist but was still pro-life, Sagan’s essay related to abortion changed my mind on that particular issue.

    4. Carl Sagan did have a big effect on me when I was ten years old – I read the book then and wanted to go into astronomy. It also pointed my (even then) cynical mind toward atheism.

      Same here, exactly. Except I was 11 🙂

    5. There is no way that the Earth will become like Venus in the next 2 billion years no matter what. The geology and chemistry are not similar enough. If Sagan said that it could he was very wrong.

    6. Carl Sagan did have a big effect on me when I was ten years old – I read the book then and wanted to go into astronomy. It also pointed my (even then) cynical mind toward atheism.”

      For some reason there seems to be an accepted view that a strong science background coupled with above average intelligence leads to a belief in atheism.

      Albert Einstein, who most would agree had a pretty strong understanding of sciency things said something along the lines of, “the more he learned of the cosmos the more he saw the hand of God”.

      1. Is that even true of Einstein? The Wikipedia page “Religious Views of Albert Einstein” indicates not (or at least not at all in the spirit that that quote is supposed to convey). Of course, there are plenty of scientists who believe in a god, but erroneous quotes often get attributed to famous people for obvious reasons.

  38. IT Trade Association Questions Whether Lerner’s Emails Were Destroyed

    “The notion that these emails just magically vanished makes no sense whatsoever. That is not how IT asset management at major businesses and government institutions works in this country. When the hard drive in question was destroyed, the IRS should have called in an accredited IT Asset Destruction (ITAD) professional or firm to complete that process, which requires extensive documentation, official signoffs, approvals, and signatures of completion. If this was done, there would be records. If this was not done, this is the smoking gun that proves the drive or drives were destroyed improperly ? or not at all.”

    In hearings this week before the House of Representatives, Koskinen testified that the IRS tried to reconstruct the information from the hard drives but didn’t outline the details of their destruction.

      1. I did it myself this morning 😉

        1. Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

          1. you’re just mad that we didn’t invite you.

      2. Yo, LH, you wrote “Malediction,” correct? (I think it has a different title now.) Anyway, I enjoyed it quite a bit and am wondering which of your other books I would be most likely to enjoy reading.

        1. yessir – Malediction became “The Cursed Sun”. I changed the title to try and gin up more interest in the book. Or not. It’s one of my personal favorites and I’ve been puzzled by the low response compared to some of my other books.

          Anyway – if you want post-apocalyptic, Nano Zombie is the obvious title. It’s my take on the zombie genre but with a sci-fi twist. Also the world is experiencing an environmental shift in the weather at the same time.

          My other personal fave is Horror America, a series of 7 intertwined short stories set in the 1870s. It is – at least in my mind – a sort of Sherlock Holmes / Lovecraft hybrid.

          I’ll also add that this summer via Barnes & Noble, Apple, Smashwords, and a few other outlets – but not Amazon, due to their pricing rules – most of my work for free. If you can sync your Kindle reader manually, you can download the file – for example – from Smashwords and not have to pay the 99c.

          1. Are these all under the “Paul Westwood” name? Because I need a couple this weekend. I enjoyed Nano-Zombie and… forgive me but I forgot the title of the new one. But it was a good yarn.

          2. Thanks — I’ll check both of those out.

  39. Speaking at a town hall meeting in Minneapolis, President Barack Obama acknowledged that “some federal workers…do bone-headed things.” As an example of that bone-headed behavior, he cited the unfolding Veterans Affairs scandal.

    “Hey did you hear about Bob?”

    “No, why?”

    “He put sick people on fake waiting lists to shore up his performance metrics, and some of them died.”

    “Classic Bob.”

    1. Nice.

  40. Just finished reading A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. Fucking wow.

      1. Autobiography

        1. Read the Amazon summary, sounds really interesting!

          I have a little hobby in that when I travel to a new place, I later try to find it on Google earth knowing only what it looks like from ground level. Sometimes I take a couple pictures or use my memory and then project in my head what everything should look like from above.

          I did this.once for a few industrial facilities I visited in widely separated places in China, knowing only the basic city I started out in. It’s a hell of a lot of fun.

          1. I look back at a couple of spots where I almost got blowed up real good. Only once in a great while, but it is kind of strange/cool seeing these places now.

    1. Wow, good? It seems like a pretty cool story only possible in modern times.

      1. It’s just amazing. A-fucking-mazing. And I’m kind of obsessed with looking at Google Earth images myself, so I found it thrilling. And of course I got on Google Earth while I was reading. Finished the book in a day.

  41. Heh. 13 unanimous supreme court decisions against Obumbles. Krauthammer terms his administration a “constitutional travesty”.

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

    So why is this POS still in the white house? Will someone please take his pen and phone and shove them up his ass?

    1. So, let me get this straight: a “Professor of Constitutional Law” and President of the Harvard Law Review has his pee-pee whacked by the Supreme Court unanimously a near record number of times for.exceeding his constitutional authority? Color me surprised!

      1. Color me surprised!

        RACIST!

      2. A liberal friend of mine posted the “explain how BO has so many fewer EOs than Bush” meme on facebook. I asked her, “how about we compare number of losing 9-0 Supreme Court decisions. Silence ensued.

        1. What? No “The Court just hates him because he’s Black” rebuttal?

          1. Please. The Court just hates him because he’s cool and a better constitutional scholar than the rest of them put together

            1. My thought is that they secretly despise him for his mostly unsubstantiated claims to be a constitutional scholar, about which they actually have some knowledge. Unfortunately, they defer to the legislative branch too much.

        2. I’m beginning to like this trend with the Supreme Court spanking the Executive Branch. They need to nut up and deliver some beatdowns to the.Legislature, however.

      3. I’m celebrating the shameful joy as well here.

    2. How long before some lefty argues that Obama is just ahead of the curve and at some point in the future, O’s interpretation will become law. To back up this, the lefty will point to historical SCOTUS decisions that were wrong, wrong, wrong.

  42. Under the text of this amendment, could Congress ban political movies?” Cruz asked Durbin. “Could Congress ban books? And would it be constitutionally permissible for Congress to prohibit the NAACP from speaking about politics?”

    “What we are talking about is reasonable, content-neutral regulation,” an exasperated Durbin responded. “What the senator has suggested in his parade of horribles, going back to your logic course ? reductio ad absurdum ? is not going to carry the day in this debate, nor with the American people.”

    “Are you willing to answer any of those questions yes or no?” asked Cruz.

    “If you are going to reduce this to the absurd, we will be here for another hour and a half,” said Durbin.

    “Should we be able to ban movies?” Cruz persisted. “Yes or no? What is absurd about asking that question?”

    “No,” Durbin said, “and there is nothing about banning movies in this amendment.” With that, Durbin pounded the gavel and declared, “The subcommittee stands adjourned.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/…..um=twitter

    Hitler is just a nationalist politician. Just because he has been given extraordinary emergency powers doesn’t mean he is going to use them badly. No one is talking about killing all of the Jews. SO just stop it with the reductio absurdum.

    Dick Durban 1933

    1. I wonder what Orwell would think of the USA right now? 1984 seems to be becoming a reality more and more, doesn’t it? All of those dipshits in the Capitol should be thrown out

      1. I smell a Bill and Ted sequel!

    2. That’s the thing I like about Cruz. He knows how to cross-examine, and isn’t afraid to beat somebody bloody if they don’t answer his questions.

  43. NYT editorial board loads the dice, and lets ’em roll.

    The court invalidated a series of appointments Mr. Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012, at a time when Republicans were blocking all nominations to the board, regardless of merit, to prevent pro-union decisions.

    Regardless of merit, as defined by willingness to do the bidding of the unions.

    The Constitution says Congress is obligated to rubber stamp any nominee excreted by the Oval Office. Because that’s what “advice and consent” means.

    1. How dare those Republicans assert their advise and consent power. Don’t they know that only Democrats have that?

    1. I liked him, but he seemed like a male Mary Sue.

      NO SPOILERS

    2. Is that one of the people hanging around the boring plot with lady dull of wyverns?

      1. Oh, no, it’s the assassin I couldn’t care less about. Sorry.

  44. Family and intimate relationships?the one area feminists often identify as a key battleground in the war on women?are also an area in which women are most likely to be violent, and not just in response to male aggression but toward children, elders, female relatives or partners, and non-violent men, according to a study published in the Journal of Family Violence.

    Cathy Young contributes to the rape culture.

    http://time.com/2921491/hope-solo-women-violence/

  45. And, in conclusion:

    The nature of lawmaking has changed. Many elected officials are now willing to allow government defaults, starve agencies and encourage government shutdowns. The court should have recognized that future presidents may need a legal backstop to make executive appointments just to keep the government running.

    Obviously it’s time to put the Living Constitution out of its misery, and establish a Presidential autocracy.

    Vive la banana republic!

    1. If keeping the government running is so important, why didn’t Obama just nominate someone the Republicans didn’t object to? That is quite a tawdry little piece of sophistry there. The Times apparently believes the President (a Democratic one at least) has no obligation to concede anything to the opposition party in the Senate and any objection to the President’s appointments is the same thing as intentionally shutting down the government.

    2. I don’t remember any of this outrage happening when Bush had like every one of his appointments blocked, back then this was smart politics. Since there is a black man the answer can’t be political and must be racist obstructionism.

    3. starve agencies

      The horror! I don’t suppose they actually mention which agencies are being “starved”. I wonder if that is because there isn’t a single.fucking.one?

  46. Unless there is currently and active shooter, the use of a SWAT team should be seen as an act of war against the U.S.

    It is one. They are conducting military style raids, often with military equipment, on U.S. soil.

  47. SWAT teams in Massachusetts claim they are private corporations and therefore are entitled to immunity from the state’s open records laws.

    Well, shit. Now they have given countless generations of clueless lefties and Proggies ammunition to argue against privatizing government services. Thanks for nuthin’, Massachusetts!

  48. SWAT teams in Massachusetts claim they are private corporations and therefore are entitled to immunity from the state’s open records laws.

    Well, shit. Now they have given countless generations of clueless lefties and Proggies ammunition to argue against privatizing government services. Thanks for nuthin’, Massachusetts!

    1. Whoa! I only pressed that button once! Talk about “bounce”. Time to change that mouse.

  49. OMFG don’t get me started on the god damned VA.

    They’ve already tried to kill my father twice (I’ve detailed one instance here before) now they are at it again.

    So my father is REALLY sick, much of it to do with agent orange exposure from his 2 tours in Vietnam and some more of it from self medicating to treat PTSD that went undiagnosed and untreated for more than 25 years. In the last 6 months 2 of his brothers have died (one of them less than a month ago), both from agent orange related illnesses. This weekend they are having a big family reunion in New York (my parents live in Florida). At first my parents were not going to go because my father was too sick, but at the last minute he decided he needed to be there because they were doing a family memorial to his 2 lost brothers so they quickly packed up and hit the road.

    They stopped off at my brothers place in Virginia on the way and when they got there realized they had forgotten some of his medications. Without those meds he’ll be dead inside of 72 hours. So they called the local VA in Richnond to get a replacement 5 day supply (long enough to get to New York and then back home) and they wouldn’t even write the god damned prescription, my brother even offered to pay the retail price for the drugs if they would just give him the perscription so he could get them but nope, they absolutely refused and just kept telling a very sick old man it was his fault for forgetting his drugs.

    1. At this point I think that entire institution needs to be just burned to the fucking ground

      1. Pretty much. And just imagine how bad single payer would be. As bad as the VA is, people at least care about and are willing to fund stuff for veterans. Single payer would be the VA only larger and even more uncaring and insane. And there would be no way to ever get out of it.

    2. Holy shit, you would think with all the.negative press on the VA right now, that they would be sensitive to this and bend.over.backwards to help.him. but no, they appear to believe that there are no consequences and so will continue to.stonewall.

      If the President were at all serious.about addressing veteran’s concerns about the VA, he would drop everything, set up a special commission to make rapid improvements and long term changes, and receive twice-weekly status updates on their progress. Instead, nothing.

      1. Well, playing golf and using up taxpayer money is much too important to BO to do something meaningful for this country. Pathetic.

      2. they appear to believe that there are no consequences

        So far, there haven’t been.

    3. they absolutely refused and just kept telling a very sick old man it was his fault for forgetting his drugs.

      Record that shit. Post to internet. Email to news outlets.

  50. The simple solution to demolishing your company’s value:

    “The simple solution to increasing diversity at tech giants”
    […]
    “but if these tech giants really care about employees’ gender and race (and by calling attention to their own shortcomings, I assume they do), then they should put real skin in the game by linking executive compensation to diversity goals.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art…..583170.php

    That’ll knock ’bout half off the cap value in a week or so.

    1. How about women and minorities put some skin in the game by becoming better coders? Does this clown really believe that tech companies, whose existence depends on being able to hire top talent, are turning down talented minorities and women because they just want a white boy club? If so, who are these people and why are there not start ups snapping them up and using the comparative advantage of cheap and available talent?

      1. Yes, you’d think there was a distinct first-mover advantage for a group. Also, “minorities”? I guess both East and West Asians are now part of the majority?

        1. “I guess both East and West Asians are now part of the majority?”

          Goddam orientals are always wrecking the curve on the ‘minority’ narrative!

      2. If so, who are these people and why are there not start ups snapping them up and using the comparative advantage of cheap and available talent?

        Umm..,they try to, but when they offer jobs to Mei Mei Ling and Ravi Balakrishnan; the usual suspects start screeching about outsourcing and the tyranny of H1-Bs.

        1. But the comparative advantage of hiring those two comes from being able to threaten them with being deported back to Bumfuckistan if they get fired or complain about anything.

          Fuck the tech companies and their love of HB1 VISAs. I would give them their VISAs alright. But I wouldn’t tie it to employment and end the days of hiring coolie labor you could threaten with deportation if they didn’t like the working conditions.

          1. the comparative advantage of hiring those two comes from being able to threaten them with being deported back to Bumfuckistan if they get fired or complain about anything.

            How often do you think that happens?

            1. Doesn’t have to happen often. That is the point of the threat, you don’t have to follow through with it very much since people know it is there.

            2. Fairly often. You only have 6(?) months to find a new sponsor if you lose your job. That gives the H1-B company a guarantee of at least a year of service before you can network enough to have a backup plan. I’m all for voluntary association and free movement of labor. H1-B isn’t that.

              1. Also, two of the three guys I worked with for five plus years who were originally on H1-B were making less than myself with more experience even after that time. The third got a PhD, and, as best I can tell, fled the country after his angry wife discovered his multiple affairs. I’m not sure where to categorize that one.

              2. You only have 6(?) months to find a new sponsor if you lose your job.

                Luxury! In Thailand, I had only 2 weeks to find a new sponsor.

                That gives the H1-B company a guarantee of at least a year of service before you can network enough to have a backup plan.

                Considering the payola the Feds extract from companies that want an H1-B worker, I can’t fault the companies for attempting to protect their investment.

                I’m all for voluntary association and free movement of labor. H1-B isn’t that.

                I agree the law needs reform. In my OP, I had those enraged that there isn’t a law forcing companies to hire natives first, in mind.

              3. Officially, it’s zero days. When the company fires a H1-B worker, his visa status is terminated immediately. Unofficially, it’s probably 2 weeks. Certainly not close to 6 months.

                1. Once again, government incompetence and inefficiency is what we have substituted for liberty in the US.

      3. Forget better coders. I think it is high timer we punish these slackers who refuse to learn to code.

        Lets take any geographic area, if a lower percentage of minorities studies computer science in that area than the percentage of whites do then we have a lottery of women and minorities. The winners are forced to study computer science, if they do not get passing grades they will be jailed and if they go for more than 6 months without actively working in the IT field then they will be jailed.

        We must do this in the name of equality

      4. No shit, go to any engineering college, the vast majority of the students are white males.

        How can the tech companies hire more women and minorities if they aren’t getting their degrees in computer science? Maybe there’s a problem here, but it’s not with the tech companies.

        1. I meant computer science students are white males.

          The majority of engineering students is Asian and Indian.

  51. Okay, props to reason IT for a morning without skwerls. May your comments be ever squirrel free.

  52. If the President were at all serious.about addressing veteran’s concerns about the VA, he would drop everything, set up a special commission to make rapid improvements and long term changes, and receive twice-weekly status updates on their progress. Instead, nothing.

    He’s a Big Idea kind of a guy. You cannot expect him to dirty his fingernails by dealing with details. That’s what “bosses” are for. Doesn’t the Veterans Administration already have a boss?

  53. The Obama administration seeks to provide $500 million in aid to the Syrian opposition.

    We pay to fight them when their on one side of a border and we pay them to fight on the other side of the border. Gotta love the logic of liberal interventionism.

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