U.S. Writer Freed From Syria, 11 Percent Identify Libertarian, Cell Phone Spying Goes Global: A.M. Links


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NEXT: Poll: 11 Percent of Americans Identify as Libertarian

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  1. About 11 percent of Americans describe themselves as libertarian…

    However it was defined that day.

    1. Did they get more than 8% on the purity test?

    2. I know people who try to pass themselves off as libertarians who then voted for Obama because X. Except X ? anything to do with being libertarian no matter how you try to say it does. Maybe it’s an ironic thing since I live in Brooklyn and the joke is on me (?)

      1. VIRTUALLY ALL REASON CONTRIBUTORS VOTED FOR OBAMA IN 2008. (Give or take a few dozen.)

        1. Some of them TWICE!

      2. I also know people who try to pass themselves off as libertarians who then voted for McCain because X. Except X ? anything to do with being libertarian no matter how you try to say it does

        Clearly we Libertarians have a credibility issue if 11% of the country self identifies that way and only 10% of that number actually vote for the Libertarian party

        1. Labels are always cheap–people toss around libertarian the same way they do Christian, and how many Christians do you know who have a penetrating interest in the differences between Paul’s theology and that of the synoptic gospels? Most people who would identify as libertarian have a vague idea about what it might mean, but they wouldn’t know Mises from Minaj. All of us started from that point, but we at least didn’t linger in our ignorance.

          Also the main reason why the cosmotarian joke is half-serious, as having people like RTW-cheerleader Dalmia or certain Red Eye hosts running around calling themselves libertarians drives some of us crazy.

    3. Hello.

      “Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calls other Nevada politicians “cowards” for not wanting to re-criminalize prostitution.”

      As he promptly bit into an egg roll while wearing a thong on his head.

      1. Harry Reid is the coward and has no sense of priorities. Gambling-related crime and addiction are far larger problems in Nevada than anything related to prostitution. If he had any courage at all, he would promote the re-criminalization of gambling first. Obesity is a huge problem, too, so sugary drinks and fast food ban hold second place. Or maybe alcohol prohibition. Anyway, prostitution should be a pretty far down the list of priorities for Nevadan nanny-statists and fascists. Only a coward would try to ban it first.

    4. 11% of Americans describe themselves as libertarian.

      In the nation that was founded on the concept of liberty, only 11%. After all, it is right there in the Declaration of Independence:

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

      Yet only 11% identify as libertarian. Yikes.

      1. Well, there is that stuff about a “Creator.” Probably scared people off.

      2. Old, dead, eccentric white guys who had funny accents, flew kites, had slaves, fucked black women, were Europhiles, and possibly drunk and stoned out of their minds when they wrote what is obviously a piece of document that isn’t rooted in reality. Now we know better and live in the real world.

        1. I’ll bet they wrote it in cursive, just to mess with us.

  2. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calls other Nevada politicians “cowards” for not wanting to re-criminalize prostitution.

    And then went on to joke, “Two Wongs don’t make a right.”

    1. I think he may be entering Alzheimer’s territory. Which means the Donkey Caucus will stick with him until he is dead.

        1. Francisco d’Anconia|8.25.14 @ 9:27AM|#
          “Would anyone even notice?”

          Yeah. I think they got a stick up his butt now to keep him upright.
          When his mouth moves, can you see seams on either side?

      1. They will stick with him until November. When they lose the Senate, it will be an ideal time for Team Blue to call for a change in leadership.

    2. That’s Wright, to you! You may have invented the firecracker, but we were the first to make men fly!

    3. It’s like he was constructed by a team of super-smart scientists to never be on the correct side of an issue.

    4. I don’t understand why prostitution is illegal. Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn’t selling fucking legal? You know, why should it be illegal to sell something that’s perfectly legal to give away? I can’t follow the logic on that one at all! Of all the things you can do, giving someone an orgasm is hardly the worst thing in the world. In the army they give you a medal for spraying napalm on people! In civilian life you go to jail for giving someone an orgasm!

      1. ~narrows gaze~
        Not sure if italics=quote, or original CPA thought with flair!

        1. I think that is a Geo. Carlin quote.

          … Hobbit

          1. Carlin for the win.

        2. I am not that deep of a philosopher.

    5. And yet it’s religious conservatives we need to be worried about….

      1. One wonders how Reid keeps getting elected. (Until one looks at how elections happen in Nevada.)

      2. Well, Mr. Reid used to be known as a conservative Democrat for his rather strict Mormonism. Ergo, this is the SoConz’s seeking to oppress us (or the people of Nevada) once again.

      3. Hairy Reed is proof of how vast teh SoCon conspiracy is!!11!

        / Bo tard

  3. Libertarianism made me a fat-ass!

    “We don’t get it in the US, we have this libertarian streak? [sugar] is a substance of abuse. So you need two things, you need personal intervention and you need societal intervention. Rehab and laws, rehab and laws. Education would come in with rehab. But we need laws”

    1. Like all those clever laws limiting salt and healthy saturated fat for elementary school kids.

    2. You SF’d the link.

      1. Dammit. Soz


        1. “The Obamas hate him, he says, because they don’t want to fight the industry. “They’ve got a lot of enemies. I’m not mad at them. I actually kind of like them.” On paper, Lustig is absolutely livid. “In America we have this thing, it’s called the Declaration of Independence. We are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It doesn’t say a damned fucking thing about the pursuit of pleasure.”

          He’s mental.

          1. Quality of life for these people never includes the quality of being left alone by the nanny staters.

            1. I find it interesting how people look for things not explicitly written in the constitution to defend their positions.

          2. Maybe they hate him because he is an obnoxious, whiny piece of shit.

          3. The science is interesting. The commentary is not.

          4. Doesn’t a person usually have to, at the very least, participate in something they find pleasurable once in a while if they are going to be happy?

            1. There are differing opinions on the subject. The original Hedonists actually avoided highly pleasurable things because becoming used to such things creates greater opportunities for displeasure when you don’t have them.

        1. Its bad when you are correcting someones link.

          1. I know. It’s like getting parenting advice from Episiarch.

            1. I think you mean child rearing advice.

              1. No, I imagine he’s good at that.

                1. Imagine? Admit it, you have photos.

      2. You SF’d the link.

        About sugar no less. Ok, more than sugar, but still.

        1. since there was no link it was free of sugar…

    3. Libertarianism describes how men should be allowed to live. Objectivism describes how men should live.


      1. Which is why Im not an objectivist.

        1. I think it gets a bad rap, but I think the principles and overall message are pretty close to being Good.

          1. If someone wants to live their life according to Objectivism, good for them. But the preachy “one true path” stuff turns me off. Part of the appeal of libertarianism to me is the idea that people shouldn’t claim that they know what is best for other people to do.

            1. I think the appeal of libertarianism is the acknowledgement that people exist in different life situations and need to respond to those life situations differently.

              The appeal of objectivism is that it argues there are better answers and there are worse answers for people in those different situations.

    4. Gym memberships at the point of a gun.

      1. If it saves just one set of eyes from seeing this. Won’t it be worth it?

        1. Looks like your average Pennsylvanian.

          1. I forgot Fist lives in PA, do you think I offended him?

            1. I think the only way to offend Fist is to beat him in the comment section.

            2. References to the Stillers’ QB don’t offend me. I say he was set up.

              1. Like Marion Barry set up?

    5. Great more laws, now I can worry about the cops punching me in the head 20 times for buying a bag of sugar.

      1. Drop the Ho-Hos and step away from the vehicle!

        1. Shots were fired. Cream was spilled. It’s a tragedy it had to end this way.

    6. Carb-loading for the win!

    7. But we need laws

      Stop me! Stop me before I eat again!!!
      Since I can’t control myself, we need laws to control everyone!!

  4. Marijuana cold-brew is here.

    Maureen Dowd will need round the clock surveillance.

    1. I presume they are deadly, in some fashion.

    2. Whoever finally manages to insert those genes into grasses/trees is going to make millions.

      1. I thought someone was doing that already? I’ll google it.

        These guys. And this.

        1. Yep, no unintended consequences will result at all.

        2. Lots of groups are working on it. I’ve been in touch with some of them. That said, it’s much easier to insert some genes into bacteria. Your average undergrad could do that. The thing about luciferase (the firefly substance) is that is requires another “activator” for the protein to be cut up, which is what actually causes the glowing. That biochemical process is much harder to play around with, because it’s more than just a matter of sticking some genes in a plant. You have to actually be able to constitutitvely activate the entire pathway.

    3. Neon waves at the Manly Beach just doesn’t seem right…

    4. That stuff is actually really common the whole world over. We have them in the the North Atlantic here off the coast of Boston, just not in that quantity but if you go out into the water at night and agitate it or watch the surf hit the beach you can see some of them glowing blue

      1. Of course not, it only does pizza.

    1. The fact that Australia beat the US on this makes me sadder than learning that in Europe has beer vending machines. America won’t ever be truly free unless I can get a pizza and a beer at a vending machine on my way to solicit a legal Mexican prostitute to which I can make sweet ass sex with, while I’m smoking a jay.

      1. Will you be running in 2016?

      2. I can only imagine what Aussies think make suitable pizza toppings.

        1. Ostrich eggs and phytoplankton?

            1. No, it’s the Russians who put beets on pizza.

              I am dead serious, by the way.

              1. No worse than Californians putting pineapple on pizza.

                1. Or the Japanese putting corn and tuna on one

                2. Californians did that, huh.


        2. Marmite and hard-boiled eggs?


            1. I said, “Do you speak-a my language?”
              He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich

      3. America won’t ever be truly free unless I can get a pizza and a beer at a vending machine on my way to solicit a legal Mexican prostitute to which I can make sweet ass sex with, while I’m smoking a jay.

        Why not an all-in-one vending machine?

        1. I’m not sure that I want the ass-sex vending machine.

    2. The marghetita looks like the real deal.

    3. Australia? So, how does the machine kill people–by dispensing poisonous pizzas or delivering a venomous bite? Or both?

      1. A drop bear comes shooting out of the machine after a random number of purchases.

  5. Funny story: yesterday, I went out to breakfast with some friends to a little place that has seating for about 20-25. About 10 minutes in, a cop walks in, outfitted with pistol, Taser, pepper spray, a Batman belt full of restraints, some sort of earphone plugged.into his head, and body armor. He walked to a table in the corner and sat watching the whole room.

    Interestingly enough, as he walked in, and for the rest of of the time we were there, the conversation in the room, which had been lively, became muted and people seemed a bit nervous. It may be that people are beginning to see these guys differently.

    1. That joke is so old the last time I heard it i fell off my dinosaur.

    2. It may be that people are beginning to see these guys differently.

      What’s the over/under on police killings this week? 5? 10? August has been a busy month for the heroes in blue…52 so far and there are still 6 days left to run up the score!

      List of police killings, August 2014

      1. That list is incomplete. Cops killed someone here in Maine just last week. To be fair, the guy reportedly stole a truck and fired the first shots, before the cops turned the stolen truck into bloody Swiss cheese.

      2. I didn’t count but there seems to be a lot of ‘suspect shot first’ explanations.

        For instance:

        “Rodriguez was shot by Kern County deputies after she pointed a realistic-looking BB handgun at them…”

    3. It would have been a better story if everyone had got up and left.

      1. Leaving when the police walk in? That sort of suspicious behavior would have resulted in a SWAT team visit.

        1. That’s not too far off actually… My wife and I were eating at a local Chinese place when a couple of local cops (with full utility belts and wearing vests) walked in and happened to get seated in the next booth. Feeling extremely uncomfortable, we asked for our check and to get our food to go. About 30 seconds later one of the cops walked out to his squad and came back about the time we got our food. We had a 5 block drive home on a residential street and managed to get pulled over by another local officer who was waiting 3 blocks down for “Following too closely.”

      2. Everyone should have laughed at the guy for needing body armor just to go the cafe.

        Humor could be a great tool here. Maybe when cops start realizing that everyone sees them as a bunch of pussies instead of tacticool heroes, fewer of them will be attracted to the job.

        Make fun of them until their too ashamed to show themselves in public.

        1. Shunning is one thing, but open mockery is an invitation for them to use violence.

        2. Big sign on the front door:

          No body armor.

          1. Cops in body armor will look at the sign, shrug, and walk in anyway. What’s the restaurant going to do? Call the cops?

            1. Refuse service? That’d be interesting.

              1. Yeah. Within an hour someone would rob the place, and the cops would refuse to respond.

                1. Yeah. Within an hour someone would rob the place, and the cops would refuse to respond.

                  Not a problem, I’m well armed.

              2. Give them a check at the end of the meal. That’ll keep ’em away better than any sign.

              3. Request his warrant and ask him to remove himself from private property.

        3. yeah, that is likely to get you arrested for repeatedly assaulting the officers boot with your face

      3. yeah, I’ve always been a fan of just turning ones back too. But then you’d never see the 20 blows to the back of the head coming.

    4. Did he turn his head like Robocop?

    5. Would have been better if everyone stopped talking and eating and just stared at him until he left.

  6. Obamacare has opened the door for controversial coverage of gender reassignment surgery.

    Obamacare is the gift that keeps giving for Republicans in certain districts.

  7. Look how much better off those enlightened Euros are. Oh, wait nevermind.

    1. And yet they feel so damned superior. Just think, the left wants America to be more like Europe.

      1. If the Left wants the US to be more like Europe, they should push for legalized internet sports gambling and abolishing FCC language bans. Why you ask?

        Yesterday, I was streaming the NFL games on my laptop. The stream was from Danish TV (Viasat 3). Every commercial break, there were ads for bookmaking for NFL games. And during halftime, the station broadcast (I presume) Hard Knocks including the forbidden words, “shit”, “fuck”, and “Goddamn”. I agree with the Left, the US should be more like Euros.

        Gambling and Profanity in 2016!

        1. The ubiquity and quality of internet gambling advertisements since NJ legalized the practice has made me rethink my support of the policy. And let’s be honest, if you need to have a real-money roulette app on your smartphone to be able to pass the time spent waiting for your dirty water dog to be prepared, you probably have a gambling problem.

          1. I have a bitcoin poker app on my phone. I havent used it in 6 months, but I have it.

    2. From the comments:

      “The people may be poorer but they have infinitely better access to healthcare and I’ll bet that the education is measurably better as well.”

      This encapsulates perfectly the mindset that grips people. It’s okay to be poor as long as free shit.

      1. “Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.”

        ? John Derbyshire

    3. The comments get pretty racist pretty quick.

  8. Delaying the autopsy results for five months works perfectly!

    Victor White III, the New Iberia man who State Police said shot and killed himself in March while in custody in the backseat of a sheriff’s car, was shot in the chest, according to a report from the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office.

    The Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office has released only the first page of the autopsy report, which contradicts statements initially made by State Police who said White shot himself in the back while handcuffed in the back of a sheriff’s unit.

    According to the autopsy, the bullet entered White’s chest, then perforated his left lung and heart before exiting his armpit area and lacerating his upper arm.

    The report rules White’s death a suicide.

    1. Dude must have been quite limber!


      1. There seem to be a lot of contortions going on in Iberia.

        1. And one less contortionist (apparently).

    2. Do the decedent’s relatives get a copy of the report? Presumably it should be a part of his estate.

      1. The cops will probably send it to them printed on toilet paper.

    3. Five months? What does his report say, “Cause of death: spontaneous decomposition?”

  9. About 11 percent of Americans describe themselves as libertarian, according to the Pew Research Center.


  10. After two years in an Al Qaeda-affiliated prison in Syria, U.S. journalist Peter Theo Curtis was freed Sunday.

    So Al-Qaeda has a justice system that works better than the US DOJ at freeing unlawfully detained non-combatant prisoners? Maybe Al-Qaeda should review the systems in place at Guantanamo and offer some recommendations for improvement.

    1. The cynical part of me wonders what we quietly gave up in exchange.

      1. The cynical rational part of me wonders what we quietly gave up in exchange.


  11. Airbnb Hands Over Data About 124 Hosts To The NY Attorney General


    the peer-to-peer lodgings marketplace has agreed to hand over “unredacted, personal information” on 124 of its past and present hosts

    This is all about the city fellating the big hotel operators in Manhattan and the collection of taxes it believes it is ‘owed’.

    1. They do call it the “sharing economy”. They’re just sharing your info with the State.

    2. There shall be no temporary sleeping arrangements without a license.

  12. I have returned from the land of the kulaks and wreckers.

      1. No the literal land of kulaks. Siberia. Interestingly, I discovered my wife’s family history has ACTUAL Kulaks…and their son-in-law was a commie who died fighting kulaks in the revolution. Crazy stuff i learned. Awesome but crazy.

        Later I am going to make Epi’s head explode when I post a picture of Siberian Pizza.

        1. Did you see the Siberian Twerk Girls?

          (Thanks again, sarcasmic)

  13. Researchers find it’s terrifyingly easy to hack traffic lights

    Taking over a city’s intersections and making all the lights green to cause chaos is a pretty bog-standard Evil Techno Bad Guy tactic on TV and in movies, but according to a research team at the University of Michigan, doing it in real life is within the realm of anyone with a laptop and the right kind of radio. In a paper published this month, the researchers describe how they very simply and very quickly seized control of an entire system of almost 100 intersections in an unnamed Michigan city from a single ingress point.

    1. Another reason to get rid of them


    2. I used to listen to various international broadcasters on short-wave radio back in the days when they were still on short-wave. Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal from Belgium had a weekly “environment” program that was basically an anti-car screed every week. One particularly odious idea involved putting automatic governors on cars that would be radio controlled to prevent cars from going any faster than the speed limit.

      I responded that I looked forward to the day when computer hackers hacked the system so that cars going to the seaside resorts couldn’t go any faster than stalling speed, while the governors would force cars to do 150 km/h through school zones.

      1. “Belgium had a weekly “environment” program that was basically an anti-car screed every week”

        Well, they do produce outstanding pro cyclists!

    3. I know. I saw it in Die Hard: Live free or die.

    4. Maybe sometimes old and reliable technology is the best? Traffic lights worked fine for nearly a hundred years without being computerized. You can’t hack an analog switch.

      Beyond that, so what if they do get hacked. Traffic lights go out during power outages all of the time. Somehow people manage without them. I am pretty sure people won’t start plowing into each other just because everyone suddenly has a green light.

      1. I don’t need an internet connection on my fridge. I want to be able to service my vehicle without a Cray computer. For some reason, reliability and effectiveness have taken a back seat to whiz bang.

      2. I am pretty sure people won’t start plowing into each other just because everyone suddenly has a green light.

        You would be wrong. Lack of a light or the flashing reds is what makes people cautious. They will continue through a green without looking left or right.

        1. The first guy might but people will quickly realize that the light is broken.

          I am sorry but if your plan to create death and mayhem is by hacking the traffic lights, you are definitely getting a D- for your senior thesis in evil genius school.

          1. The first guy might but people will quickly realize that the light is broken.

            Gee, only one multi-car wreck per intersection. I’m sure that’ll only be a minor inconvenience. What country do you live in where metro drivers maintain a proper stopping distance between cars?

            1. People run lights by accidents all of the time. Not every single instance results in an accident. People do take action to avoid each other.

              1. I’m taking Coeus’s side on this one. Hell, fire trucks in my town can’t even handle it when both directions get greens at once. The bicyclist ended up dying, BTW, which is to be expected when a fire truck rolls over onto you. Despite the article’s claim, it later came out that both trucks had the green just before they entered the intersection and t-boned each other.

                One thing I never learned about the accident was what happened to the company that makes the switches that fire/police/ambulances use to command the light to go green for them. My suspicion was that the system didn’t have a feature that locked out subsequent attempts to change the light, which enabled both fire trucks to think the intersection would be clear.

                But anyway, I think there’d be massive chaos, especially if the hackers did it in inclement weather.

      3. I am pretty sure people won’t start plowing into each other just because everyone suddenly has a green light.

        I don’t know, if there are no lights, then people have a reason to proceed cautiously, but a green light is a signal to just proceed as usual. I think it would cause wrecks and pileups.

        1. Towns in Europe have been experimenting with getting rid of traffic signs and drastically cutting the number of lights. So far, it seems to have improved safety, presumably as drivers pay more attention and stop relying on the state to tell them what to do on the road


          1. How long before that is all quashed and a return to the previous state of ‘normalcy’ is ushered in?

    5. Some white hats should hack a city and make all the yellow the appropriate length.

      Preferably in a city that is funding its cops with red light cameras.

      1. Or maybe sync up all the greens in the rush hour directions for 30 min straight… And actually fix congestion.

  14. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calls other Nevada politicians “cowards” for not wanting to re-criminalize prostitution.


    1. That song was painful before, now it qualifies under the Geneva Convention

      1. I will embarrassingly admit that a lot of her songs are catchy.

        Shake it off is just terrible though, and her singing is pretty suspect.

    2. They isolated the vocals and removed them so we can listen to the rest of the song in peace, I hope.

    3. Nobody’s going to accuse her of lip-syncing.

  15. So that’s what privilege means. Stupidity.

    So I say to the blonde moppet, “Wave at the nice police officer, sweetie.”

    And it hits me ? the amazing, audacious privilege of being able to teach my child(ren) that police officers and authority generally are there to help and protect them. I can teach my kids to look for someone in uniform if they get separated from me out in public or if they otherwise need help because no one looks at those blonde heads with their pink cheeks and the golden glow of their skin and thinks “Those kids are up to something.”

    I can say, “Wave to the nice police officer” and not fear that in 10 years that same officer will point a gun at my son’s head and beat him near to death because the color of his skin makes him a suspect.

    “The Talk” I have with my son will be about safer sex and respecting other people’s boundaries, not how to survive a confrontation with public servants.

    1. I can say, “Wave to the nice police officer” and not fear that in 10 years that same officer will point a gun at my son’s head and beat him near to death because the color of his skin makes him a suspect.

      Then you are truly a deluded idiot.

      1. Yeah. Especially as a young male you still need to be real careful around cops.

        1. Especially as a young male you still need to be real careful around cops.

          This. It’s amazing how many fewer times I get stopped by the po-po now, as a 40 year old driving a sensible sedan, than I did as an 18 year old in a beater 4×4.

          That, and I suspect a lot fewer stuff gets swept under the rug these days if the cop thinks s/he can make a case with it, as opposed to when I was a yute. My ex-wife, used to tell me about when she was a pothead in high school, and how the police would usually be satisfied with breaking her friends’ paraphernalia, taking their weed, and turning them over to their parents. I think she’d have ended up with a record (which would have probably shit-canned her chances of being the successful Silicon Valley exec she is today) if the same things happened these days.

      2. This is one naive, dumbshit father.

        I know three lily-white, upper middle-class young men who have criminal misdemeanor or felony records because their statist fathers did not have “The Talk” about how to deal with agents of the state. The kids either unnecessarily talked to cops, or allowed cops to search their premises.

        Three felonies a day, and probably more with a normal young man.

    2. No, sweetie; even if you think you’re a member of a privileged group, the cops aren’t there to help you.

      1. Not necessarily.

        He might be another cop.

  16. When life gives you lemons, start an illegal business!: Neighbor, 61, tries to shut down a 12-year-old boy’s loved lemonade stand because it’s ‘illegal’

    12-year-old T.J. Guerrero is a young entrepreneur who runs a lemonade stand to add to the income he makes from mowing-lawns
    Neighbor Doug Wilkey has complained about the ‘illegal’ lemonade stand four times in two years
    ‘We are not out there trying to put lemonade stands out of business,’ said the city’s planning director


    1. Way to teach the kids that it’s virtuous to use the power of the state to bully people you don’t like.

  17. Bare-breasted women parade through New York for seventh annual Go Topless Day


    1. hippies.

    2. Not only should they get their bras back on, I think the gents should have to start wearing bowler hats again.

    1. That’s pretty good.

    2. Despite its constant use on here, I still have no clue what SJW means.

      Single Jewish Wombat?

        1. Good, that was the only thing that made any sense.

      1. Social Justice Warrior. I had to ask as well.

        1. Im sticking with Single Jewish Wombat.

          1. At this point what difference does it make???

  18. This is insane.

    Read the whole thing. It’s pretty quick. 3 pages of tweets. Like 6 per page.

    1. Samantha Allen and Jonathan Marvens are racist idiots.

      It’s amusing to watch them make racist arguments, oblivious to the fact that they are actually being racist while accusing other people of being racist.

  19. I return from France with tales of our European cousins!

    As an overture, I shall start with a stupid law:

    You can no longer smoke indoors in France in restaurants and bars, but it is OK to smoke when seated outdoors on a patio or a sidewalk. But it is illegal for the operator of an establishment to give you an ashtray or for you to make an ashtray out of a can or whatever (or bring one with you.) So you just ash right under the table and flick the butts in the street. Because ashtrays are unhygienic.

    1. Was there this summer as well. I still don’t understand how Paris can be so expensive yet have such a stale economy.

      And they really are as rude as the stereotype.

      1. I went to Lyon and the people were quite lovely. And the wine and food were dirt-cheap. I’m counting myself lucky for having gone there first.

        1. We were only in Paris. Not an ounce of friendliness. We had trouble finding a half decent restaurant that wasn’t 30 euro an entree.

          The only thing reasonably priced were cans of Maximator.

          Someday we’ll be back to do everything but Paris.

          1. I found Paris to be much like NYC. I was ok with the people because that’s how I am accustomed to being treated in a large city full of arrogant douchebags.

            Once I was outside of Paris the people could not have been nicer. I’d love to go back someday.

          2. WTH? The average 3 course meal in a Lyon bouchon is 15e.

      2. I found Parisians to be incredibly helpful and quite friendly. I think it helped that the city was basically empty due to the summer holiday and the merchants were fighting each other for business.

        Everything was incredibly expensive, though. 9 Euros for a pint of Kro? Horrifying.

      3. I haven’t been to Paris since 1999, but I just remember it being the filthiest city I’ve ever been in. I got off the train around 6:30AM and the entire floor of the station was covered with garbage, and there were workers in blue coveralls with shovels digging walking paths through the garbage. When I went back a week later to go home it was late at night and looked like all the garbage has been cleaned up, but when I sat on a bench I realized that the space between the bench and the wall was packed tight with garbage. Yuck.

    2. Is it still illegal to work more than 40 hours a week there?

      1. 35, actually. Because Jobz!

        1. Nothing leads to prosperity like limiting how much each person can produce.

    3. I haven’t been to Europe since they started having smoking bans. I just can’t imagine.

    4. I was in Paris two weeks ago, ashtrays were everywhere. Either Paris is granted additional privileges to keep the Chinese tourists happy, or the local cafe owners just don’t care because all the public health Nazis are on vacation.

      1. It was a wonderfully bizarre conversation to have with the owner. She was really sweet about it, but obviously thought it was stupid. She was like “Don’t worry about it, we just clean it up at the end of the day.”

  20. So you just ash right under the table and flick the butts in the street. Because ashtrays are unhygienic.

    I assume the approved method of extinguishing the cigarette is to urinate on it.

    1. There was quite a few scenes of street-peeing, but not at a higher rate than I saw in San Francisco or NYC after 10pm.

      1. Presumably with more savoir faire

  21. One for the cricket fans: Mitchell Johnson’s amazing six

    1. When soccer becomes more popular in the US does Cricket become the new sport to follow for hipsters everywhere?

      1. It’s certainly obscure and weird enough. And of course one of the greatest ever players, WG Grace, even looked like a hipster

      2. The thing about soccer is that it is extremely popular in the US, just not as a pro sport on TV. Every town has soccer fields and kid’s leagues at least.

        I think hurling should be the new hipster sport. Or maybe that Afghan dead goat thing.

          1. Yeah, that’s the one.

          2. Waaaay too dangerous. And needz lots of horses.

        1. It’s funny how Australian Rules & Gaelic football are so similar, yet Aussie Rules is promoted worldwide while Gaelic football is kept as “their thing”. After we get done with our games of children’s American football in the Bronx Warrior Football Club, there’s children’s Gaelic football.

  22. Lyon, France’s 2nd largest city: Despite a clean, well-run public transit system that must have cost billions–incorporating trains, trams, subways and buses–and a massive investment in bicycle-friendly infrastructure and a state-run bike rental program (5 euros per week) and punitively high gas taxes (about $9 a gallon), I’d estimate that at least 70% of people still own cars.

    So maybe we should stop trying to force people out of their cars in the US by wasting transit funds on making it harder to own a car.

    1. Nothing better encapsulates the stunning intellect of our forward thinking betters than their obsession with that bit of 19th century technology that has been rendered obsolete several times in the last century. I will never understand their child like obsession with trains.

      1. I don’t know. The city I live in built us a light rail system to get to ballgames and to the airport. It works great for those things!

    2. Apropos of nothing, I have a vague recollection that Claudius was born there.

  23. “Mike Trout” by virtual grind band Puig Destroyer

    Metalheads here should recognize the play on words from the great Pig Destroyer

  24. So maybe we should stop trying to force people out of their cars in the US by wasting transit funds on making it harder to own a car.

    Nonsense. If you hit the square peg hard enough, it will fit perfectly in the round hole.

  25. Active shooter at Ft. Lee, Virginia

    I was an intern there from 2009-10. I lived in Petersburg. Petersburg is awful.

    1. Yes. Yes it is.

    2. I did my officer basic there. Petersburg is a ghetto with a capital G. God I hated that place.

      1. I did QM BOLC there as a civilian. But I also lived there for a year and a half. I also lived in the really ghetto part of Petersburg, too. It was not uncommon to see people wacked out of their minds wandering the streets, or gun shots nearby at night. Very rarely did the police come around.

        1. Richmond isn’t bad. There is not much there but it is at least pleasant. Petersburg is terrible, though the battlefield is an interesting tour.

    3. But it’s an army base. Everyone there is armed! How could a shooting happen?


  26. OK lets roll with the punches then.


  27. French government dissolved. New one to be formed

    Gee, whoda thought that socialism would hurt their economy?

    1. When I was a kid and didn’t understand parliamentary and other related forms of government, I’d hear something like, “This is Italy’s fiftieth government since WWII” and think they were having revolutions every six months or so.

    2. Actually, judging by the article, President Hollande is dissolving the current government because it isn’t socialist enough.

      He’s basically told the same Prime Minister to form a new government with different ministers.

      Apparently the current Economy Minister has been making some unsocialistic statements.

      1. IOW, it’s more of a cabinet shuffle, than a dissolution.

    3. It was all those wreckers who done it. Once proper socialists like Hollande have good socialist theorists surrounding him, France can return to its traditionally low unemployment rates and really get the old economic ball rolling again.

      Maybe Sen. Warren can give him some tips on how to run an economy.

  28. Shift the blame, deny, deny deny. Then mock for good measure.

    Malik Gill, the former social chair of the Sigma Chi fraternity at Harvard University, told Bloomberg he has witnessed something similar happening among his friends. He recounted an anecdote in which he gave one of his guy friends a woman’s number after she had expressed interest. Gill’s friend never called her. “Even though she was interested, he didn’t want to pressure her,” he explained. “He was worried about making her feel uncomfortable.”

    Earlier in the piece, Gill said he no longer offered female classmates beer at parties because he doesn’t want to “look like a predator ? it’s a little bit of a blurred line.”

    This is what happens when we when we publish stupid piece after stupid piece blaming women’s behavior for sexual assault, when we don’t encourage young people to communicate openly and regularly during romantic and sexual encounters, when we don’t teach affirmative consent or really any kind of sex education.

    Sure. that’s why. Of course. It’s so obvious.

    1. An incoming freshman from North Carolina named Clark Coey told Bloomberg that he is aware of the schools that are under investigation for Title IX violations, and is “concerned how [consent] will be defined when other students, including women, may be using drugs and alcohol that affect their decision-making.” Coey is the only person interviewed in the piece who makes clear that more education is needed to address consent and healthy relationships in the brave new world of university life. “I haven’t learned anything about consent since I was a freshman in a health class,” he said. “They have to give you a better understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong.”

      More people should listen to Clark Coey. He is correct.

      He means clearly defined rules applicable to both sexes you disingenuous bitch. Not this ambigiuos “under the influence” and kangaroo courts. And yes, he’s correct.

      1. They have to give you a better understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong

        Jesus wept. How is an adult possibly supposed to make moral and ethical decisions for themselves without the benevolent guiding hand of the re-education camps?

        1. I don’t believe he meant morally. I think he meant “kick you out of college and ruin your career”. In fact, I already said as much. You gotta start reading the whole comment. It ain’t that long.

          You misread the young turks posting I made the other day also. Go back and check it if you want. You agreed with hannity.

    2. People respond to incentives. If you criminalize sex, people will have less of it. I found that article believable. Remember who they are talking to, hyper competitive ambitious kids who got into Harvard. I could totally see them saying “I am not risking my future and thus am not having sex with any women who does anything less than throw herself at me on film”.

      When I read that all I could think was “wow are there going to be a lot of horny frustrated college girls out there”.

      1. When I read that all I could think was “wow are there going to be a lot of horny frustrated college girls out there”.

        There are. And they are looking even more towards guys in their early thirties because of this even more than they used to.

        Damn my sense of justice.

        Oh well. At least we’re losing. Maybe I’ll get lucky and a common sense policy won’t set in til I’m 40.

        1. I have heard that. And women have generally always gone for older men. Older women have done everything they can to make that socially unacceptable since the last thing a women over 40 wants is to have to compete with a woman half her age. It is starting to look like things are changing a bit though.

  29. I saw these headlines on Google news earlier aboht “surprising” or “unexpected” methane vents releasing OMG TEH POIZZUNUS CLIMATE CHANGE FART GAS from the ocean floor.

    My initial response was “surprising to whom?” I thought it was quite.well known that the Atlantic seafloor, particularly in the area of the continental shelf, is always venting methane. In fact, it’s one of the prime hypotheses for the Bermuda Triangle: gas bubbles up, makes water less dense, ship sinks, or gas chokes the engines and/or crew of planes flying over, plane crashes.

  30. My sister has been in the hospital all weekend in Oklahoma City after a man fleeing from cops lost control of his vehicle and hit hers head on after her vehicle was pulled over because they saw and heard the cops ahead of them. She broke every bone in her leg, broke several bones in her arm and hand, and no telling what else.

    This was a high speed police chase on a 4 lane city street. Suspect was going up to 80 MPH. Police are not supposed to be engaged in those high speed chases on those streets, but they did anyway.

    The police even had the audacity to start accusing my sister’s boyfriend (I believe he was driving her car, which was pulled over, at the time) of doing something wrong. I don’t know what. He went to the hospital the next day and discovered he had fractured ribs and a fractured pelvis, and some other stuff.

    There is absolutely NOTHING in the news about this incident. A high speed police chase in Oklahoma City that ended in an accident that caused 3 serious injuries (the suspect was also injured) and the news is absolutely SILENT on the issue. I’m very suspicious.

    1. Best wishes to your sister and her boyfriend.

      If they’re agreeable, take some snaps of them in hospital and release them. That’s what worked for Kelly Thomas’ dad.

      1. Someone else would have to as I live 700 miles away.

    2. Jesus. I’m sorry for your family. Find a good lawyer.

    3. Best wishes for their complete and speedy recovery.

      That does sound odd, that there is no coverage. Do they have any video of the incident? Sounds like they should immediately get an attorney and have him file requests for any dash or body cam footage the police may have, as well as canvassing local businesses for security footage, especially before the cops get a crack at.it.

    4. Did the fugitive survive? Does your sister know who he is?

    5. That is terrible. I blame the asshole who ran from the cops more than I blame the cops. Running from the cops and engaging in a high speed run should be a class one felony. The pay back for that would be that cops should not, absent a kidnapping or something, ever pursue. Just let the person run and get them later and send them to jail for a very long time for running.

    6. I’m sorry to hear. I hope your sister and her boyfriend heal up quick.

      I also hope your family can find a good lawyer to help out.

  31. I blame the asshole who ran from the cops more than I blame the cops.

    Oh, I dunno. I blame them both. While the asshole started the chase, the cops prolonged it. In violation of sacred policy, it sounds like.

    1. Policies were retroactively changed so they can be said to have been followed.

  32. This was a high speed police chase on a 4 lane city street. Suspect was going up to 80 MPH. Police are not supposed to be engaged in those high speed chases on those streets, but they did anyway.


    There is absolutely NOTHING in the news about this incident.

    That sucks. I hope your sister and her boyfriend come out of it with no major long term health problems.

    As for the “no news” part- I watched, at the Walmart in Bozeman, Montana, what looked for all the world like some banana republic death squad in camo fatigues and SKI MASKS waving their commando assault weapons around while “taking down” two grungy looking guys in an old beat-up pickup truck.

    I scoured the papers for at least a week, looking for bank robberies, home invasions, hostage situations, whatever. Nothing.

    1. what looked for all the world like some banana republic death squad in camo fatigues and SKI MASKS waving their commando assault weapons around

      Maybe it was ISIS?!

  33. Maybe it was ISIS?!

    Too fat.

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