Pension Crisis

California Public Pensions Put on Notice

Federal judge gives hope to busted cities.

|

Credit: 401(K) 2013 / photo on flickr

SACRAMENTO — Public-employee pensions are not protected when a city goes belly-up, according to a ruling Wednesday by the judge overseeing Stockton's much-watched federal bankruptcy case. Judge Christopher Klein's few words have re-energized the state's disheartened pension-reform movement – and left the nation's most-powerful pension fund reeling.

One can't go a day in Sacramento without hearing about a "historic" piece of legislation or a "groundbreaking" decision, but the Stockton case – held in a downtown Sacramento courthouse – could change everything on the pension front. Klein said in the verbal ruling that pensions are just another contract: "Impairing contractual obligations – that's what bankruptcy is all about."

Until now, there has been no way for California cities to get out from underneath the overly generous pension promises they have made to public employees over the past 15 years, the result in part of a pension-increasing bonanza spurred by 1999 legislation championed by the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

CalPERS has argued successfully in many courts that municipalities cannot reduce pensions for public employees, even on a go-forward basis. That has reduced fiscally sound cities' ability to shave costs. But CalPERS has taken that argument further by claiming cities must make their full pension payments – even when they no longer can pay their bills.

Stockton, a San Joaquin Valley city stung by an economic downturn and crashing housing market, two years ago filed for federal bankruptcy protection. The city had paid its employees 125 percent of the state average and even offered a lifetime medical benefit that one councilwoman referred to in court as a "Lamborghini-style" plan.

As officials there struggled to come up with a sustainable blueprint to exit bankruptcy, they were able to trim back salary and benefits, which are not "vested," or guaranteed, rights. But city officials refused to tackle vested pensions – arguing that cutting them back would make it too hard to retain public employees in the hard-pressed, crime-ridden city.

The city passed a sales tax. It came to terms with most Wall Street creditors. But Franklin Templeton Investments – steamed that it would be offered only $4 million out of $36 million owed, while CalPERS wouldn't lose a dime – challenged the bankruptcy by arguing that there was no reason pensions should be off the table.

In the Detroit bankruptcy case, a federal judge also ruled that pensions are not sacrosanct. But CalPERS has argued that California law is much different. As an arm of the state government sanctioned by the state Constitution, CalPERS says it is not subject to the "supremacy clause" that allows federal law to trump state law.

"The drafters of the bankruptcy code acknowledged that certain powers have been reserved to the states under the United States Constitution and therefore limit the power of the bankruptcy court to interfere with the state's control over municipalities and state agencies in a bankruptcy case," according to the CalPERS legal position.

Judge Klein, however, disagreed in what The Sacramento Bee referred to as CalPERS' "dreaded decision."

In response to the ruling, CalPERS retorted, "We disagree with the judge's opinion on the issue of pension impairment. This ruling is not legally binding on any of the parties in the Stockton case or as precedent in any other bankruptcy proceeding and is unnecessary to the decision on the confirmation of the city of Stockton's plan of adjustment."

Klein still needs to rule on whether to accept the city's workout plan. The judge has delayed that part of the decision and set the next hearing for Oct. 30, according to a report in the Stockton Record. The city is likely to stick to its "protect CalPERS at all costs" plan, regardless of Klein's words saying that it could give CalPERS the heave-ho.

Former Stockton Assemblyman Dean Andal said the judge first had to decide whether CalPERS can be impaired in the bankruptcy. Now he has to decide whether the city's plan will produce long-term solvency. I reported last October on an official bankruptcy document showing the city is likely to return to insolvency in four years under its current workout plan.

But even if Klein says the plan works, he must decide if it's fair to give Franklin Templeton a tiny percentage of what it is owed while giving CalPERS 100 percent of what it is owed, Andal said. The latter two points matter to Stockton residents, but the decision Wednesday – provided it holds up and is viewed as precedential – matters elsewhere.

Consider that San Bernardino, another bankrupt California city, had tried to treat CalPERS as any other creditor, but couldn't afford to fight the pension fund's insistence that it pay the full pension amounts. Keep an eye on that city going forward.

"It has never made any sense that government workers' pensions should be in a unique protected category," said Jack Dean, vice president of California Pension Reform and publisher of the Pension Tsunami web site. "In the private sector when a corporation goes bankrupt, pensioners take a cut along with all the other creditors."

With CalPERS untouched, it means everything else has to be cut. I go to Stockton frequently, and the city has become unkempt as city officials lack the funds to pave roads and trim trees, even as they pay $29 million annually to CalPERS.

Echoing the views of Stockton officials, Dave Low, chairman of the union-backed Californians for Retirement Security, warned that such a decision "will result in a mass exodus of police, firefighters and other public employees who will have no incentive to rebuild bankrupt cities."

But Dave Renison, president of the city's taxpayers' association, sees no evidence current employees will flee relatively high-paid city jobs if retirees have to trim some benefits. Modest reductions – reducing cost-of-living adjustments, rolling back unearned retroactive benefits, trimming benefits for future employees – could fix the budget problem without "dire circumstances," he argued in a letter to the judge.

"We can't balance budgets on the back of everything that remains," he said, portraying the judge's ruling as a win for all struggling California cities and not just Stockton. If the decision stands, it's a whole new pension-reform battleground. For the first time in years, the mighty CalPERS will be on defense – and will have some incentive to negotiate with cities.

NEXT: Biden to Harvard Students: My Job Is a 'Bitch'

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “Why would a Christian pastor help an atheist start a ‘godless congregation’?…

    “”So your pastor friend gave you advice on how to start a godless church?” Gabbatt said, laughing.

    “You can hear the surprise in Gabbatt’s voice as he takes in her response. But Nelson’s approach is a big part of why Sunday Assembly is growing, and it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d like to see more of….

    “Years ago, as an atheist studying in theological schools alongside religious classmates, I came to understand that some of the most important things I’ve learned have come from relationships with individuals and communities that do not share my views. As an interfaith activist, I’ve since met countless other people who say that working with and learning from people of other faiths and beliefs has enriched their work in their own communities. And sure enough, many of the strategies I use today as an atheist and Humanist community organizer came directly from my work with a Missionary Baptist church on the South Side of Chicago, the Somali Muslim community in Minneapolis, and other religious communities.”

    http://chrisstedman.religionne…..gregation/

    1. What? Unitarian Universalism wasn’t good enough?

      1. Presbyterian, brah. Like I always say – It’s almost like having no religion at all.

        1. I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

        2. John Calvin would be *so* disappoint.

        3. “The Church of England is the only church in the world that interferes neither with your politics nor your religion.” – Anthony Trollope

          1. “Welcome to the Church of England… you’re the only one today!”

      2. Unitarian Universalism isn’t atheism. Unitarian Universalism is the respectable branch of the New Age Religion of the Month Club. Which would seriously enrage its founders, who were fire and brimstone Christians.

        1. The origins of Unitarian Universalism were the Unitarians and the Universalists, both of whom did not believe any human ever goes to hell — so hardly “brimstone Christians.” The Unitarians get their name from the fact that they did not buy into the trinity — they believed Jesus was a son of God, but not actually God. The Universalists got their name from their belief that everyone goes to heaven.

          1. Yes, but in the 19th century they were separate movements. The Universalists were humble farmers and workers, the Unitarians were the movers and shakers, especially in Boston. It took some time to bridge that gap.

            1. True, and the Unitarians vastly outnumbered Universalists when the two merged in, I think it was the 1950’s, so the modern-day Unitarian-Universalist church is more similar to the original Unitarians.

              In the U.S. there were a lot of Calvinist congregations who converted to Unitarianism, so I guess maybe that’s where the “they used to be fire and brimstone Christians” idea came from.

              1. Actually, I was referring to Joseph Priestly. My father was a Priestly expert, though concentrating on the scientific side of things. He was once asked by a Unitarian Church to give them a talk on Priestly, and he gave them a Priestly sermon. He told me you could hear the eyeballs bouncing on the floor.

                1. Buddhism-clean, simple, pure.

  2. “Replica of Lincoln coffin engages community

    “NDIANAPOLIS ? Of all the attractions that come through town trying to grab attention, this one stands out for its stillness: It’s a coffin, a replica of Abraham Lincoln’s coffin, supposedly an exact copy….

    “The Lincoln coffin is one of four replicas that since the early 1990s have toured funeral homes across the country, drawing people who are not mourning and thus may be more approachable. The program is the brainchild of the Indiana casket maker, which loans out the Lincolns to funeral directors at no charge.

    “In recent years, casket sales have trended down as cremation has gained popularity. In 2011, 42 percent of the deceased were cremated, according to the National Funeral Directors Association, twice the rate 15 years ago….

    “The traveling Lincoln coffins, Batesville [Casket Company] spokeswoman Teresa Gyulafia said, are “public relations, not marketing.””

    http://www.courier-journal.com…../16659179/

    1. 42 percent of the deceased were cremated, according to the National Funeral Directors Association, twice the rate 15 years ago….

      Hmmm, perhaps thanks to the internet age we’re on to the scam that is the funeral industrial complex Teresa…

    2. In recent years, casket sales have trended down as cremation has gained popularity.

      Goddamned deniers releasing their carbon into the atmosphere!

  3. SCOTUS to hear case of religious discrimination involving clothing chain

    “Next term, the Supreme Court will hear a case that concerns the hiring habits of Abercrombie & Fitch.

    At issue is whether the store discriminated against a woman because she wore a head scarf.”
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetw…..ation-case

    So I’m curious, do all the commenters who show up during gay marriage threads who say that libertarians shouldn’t support gay marriage because it leads to non-discrimination laws aimed at private parties also now follow their logic to the conclusion that we should not support protections for the religious because that has also led to non-discrimination laws aimed at private parties?

    1. Let’s see, the 1st Amendment – with its freedom of religion – was ratified in 1791, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, let’s see, carry the 1, a hundred and seventy years.

      It took some time for the logical implications of the 1st Amendment to work themselves out!

      1. A hundred and seventy *three* years.

      2. And maybe it’s not logically necessary step for protection of religious liberty or equal treatment of gays to move to anti discrimination laws and one can comfortably be for both but not for the third?

        1. “not logically necessary”

          OK, then, share this news with the I-want-cake/SSM movement.

          1. (Incidentally, they may call you the moral equivalent of the late governor George Wallace, but don’t let that stop you)

          2. I do.

            For one thing I try to get them to see that getting struggling bakers to cook cakes for you just might not help with the what until now was a snowballing sympathy for gays.

            1. Wait, where are the insults, the accusations of dishonesty, the straw-manning, the religious bigotry?

              OMG, you killed Bo and you’re posting under his handle, you bastard!

              1. “where are the insults, the accusations of dishonesty, the straw-manning, the religious bigotry?”

                You’re still here.

                1. Oh, Bo, thank God, I was so worried! While you were away from your computer, some hacker started posting civil and responsive posts in your name. I recognized the imposture at once, of course, and I thought the hacker had done something horrible to you. Welcome back!

                  1. I for one am disappointed to see you actually making arguments (well, for a little while). Is Youtube down today?

                    1. “eew, you’re gross and your religion is gross” is not a proposition to be *argued,* but foolishness to be ridiculed and mercilessly mocked.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxAwkZsf8Gg

                    2. You’re dating yourself, Ed.

                      Not necessarily in a bad way. But I can’t believe that was almost 25 years old.

                    3. Ha ha, you’re such a kidder, as if I would actually believe this was nearly a quarter century since…

                      OH MY GOD!

    2. That final sentence scores an 8 out of 10 on the Marcotte Scale.

    3. We shouldn’t support this woman’s claim because her religion directly conflicts with the job duties of someone working at Abercrombie & Fitch. They sell a specific image, and any religion which causes someone to wear an article of clothing at conflict with A&F’s image should not be hired. Moreover, they aren’t actually discriminating against her religion. They’re not saying ‘you can’t work here because you are Muslim,’ they’re saying ‘you can’t work here because you won’t wear our work uniform.’

      If someone wearing a burqa wanted to work at strip club but said ‘I won’t remove my burqa’ should they be required to hire her? What if a protestant started working at a brothel and said ‘obviously I can’t actually sleep with the clients due to my religion?’ How about if a Hindu started working at a slaughterhouse and refused to kill the cows?

      When your religion conflicts with your work duties, you cannot expect to be hired.

      1. Also, if your religion is so important to you, then you should expect that there will be temporal consequences. If you really do care so much about your religious values, then when there are negative earthly consequences to your religion, you should shrug, acknowledge that sometimes your religious values will conflict with the reigning culture, and move on.

        It is ludicrous that people claim to be so pious and then act shocked when their religious beliefs result in some negative consequences. If you care so much about your religion, you ought to be expect that there will be some attendant suffering due to your strong beliefs and not sue when that suffering occurs.

        1. The religious-freedom movements of history (unlike some other movements) have until recently focused on stuff like “don’t imprison/fine us for our beliefs,” “don’s ship us off to war against our conscience,” and stuff like that. You know, human rights vis-a-vis the state.

          Today, there’s a religious equivalent of the “I want cake” movement which seeks to overrule the decisions of private employers, forgetting that private employers *also* have religious (or non-religious) freedom rights vis-a-vis the government (eg, wanting its employees to be bare-faced), so if the government picks sides it’s simply trying to suppress one religion (or non-religion) at the expense of another.

        2. Completely agree. Like Eddie said, though, this is really a fairly recent trend RE: religious liberty. Historically, those in favor of pluralism or religious liberty for their sect wanted freedom to not be jailed for publicizing their beliefs, proselytizing, government forcing actions against their conscience, elimination of things like the Test Act, etc. If I’m right in my chronology, the focus on these fake “rights” of employment and such are a follow-up to the claiming of such for ethnic groups claiming same. Doesn’t make it right (and obviously one can support gay marriage without supporting the other crap that gets thrown in with it), but religious liberty and “non-discrimination” employment preferences have not been historically linked in the same way that gay marriage and laws RE: non-nondiscrimination for sexual orientation have been.

          1. Religious liberty probably wasn’t involved in anti discrimination applied to private entities because it wasn’t around at all until the 1960s. As soon as that was available it was applied to anti discrimination laws immediately.

        3. “Also, if your religion is so important to you, then you should expect that there will be temporal consequences.”

          I mentioned this in another thread, but I suspect she knew this would happen and her whole goal was to take a stand against the company.

          Either that or she’s not that religiously minded and is simply wanting to win a lawsuit.

      2. The Civil Rights Act is an abomination.

        Every problem the government “fixes”, creates 100 more problems.

      3. If someone wearing a burqa wanted to work at strip club but said ‘I won’t remove my burqa’ should they be required to hire her?

        These days, it wouldn’t surprise me to find idiots who would argue that they should.

        -jcr

    4. So I’m curious, do all the commenters who show up during gay marriage threads who say that libertarians shouldn’t support gay marriage because

      If you don’t have anything substantive to contribute, why don’t you do us all a favor and STFU?

  4. Bo vs Eddie. Don’t come out until there’s a clear winner. Drinks are on me.

    1. BTW, did you hear something about a ruling in Stockton?

        1. Well, my goodness! There is is right there!
          Now if we could get the Dill Act repealed.

  5. Appellate Court reverses brazen contempt conviction

    ” Valerie Perez, was in traffic court waiting to appear on a speeding ticket. When the court took a recess, respondent exited the courtroom and was overheard by a bailiff saying, “I waited all fucking morning and now she takes a break.” After the bailiff relayed the comment to the court, the trial judge returned to the bench and instructed the State to prepare and file a petition for contempt?. After finding respondent guilty of indirect criminal contempt, the court sentenced respondent to serve right days in custody.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..long-wait/

    1. In this case, the trial judge found “the words that were used were very disrespectful to what I try to do here each and every day

      If only we had something that told the government that it could not punish someone for their words.

      1. And how the fuck does ‘contempt’, as a legal matter, not amount to a “thought crime”?

        1. The first amendment doesn’t protect thoughts.

        2. Contempt is meaniness; meaniness is sponsored by the Koch brothers; therefore, contempt is not a thought crime, but a real crime; QED.

      2. Your honor, $25 wouldn’t pay for half the contempt I got for this court.

  6. such a decision “will result in a mass exodus of police, firefighters and other public employees who will have no incentive to rebuild bankrupt cities.”

    What about the mass exodus of residents who are sick of being sucked dry by said public employees? It’s like they’re arguing for their own layoffs.

    1. Yes, its a shame that all the hard work public employees do in building cities and then all these . . . *citizens* come by and ruin shit.

  7. Prime Minister of Finland in a French interview focused on Russia, also stated

    As reported by Le Monde (and translated by Open Europe), here’s what Alexander Stubb said when asked whether European governments should try to “stimulate” their economies with more spending.

    We need to put an end to illusions: it’s not the public sector that creates jobs. To believe that injecting billions of euros [into the economy] is the key to growth is an idea of the past.

    1. Well, it doesn’t quite capture his entire sentiment. From Google translate:

      Q:
      There are increasingly critical of the austerity policies in Europe. Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, is concerned about the risk of deflation and calls on states to invest. Do you agree?

      A:
      Sometimes there is a tendency to see things in black and white – Keynes or Smith, socialism or capitalism. In Finland, we have a large social security system and an open market economy. It’s a good mixture.

      I particularly think we should do away with illusions: it is not the public sector that creates jobs. Believe that injecting billions of euros is key to the growth falls to me an idea of the past.

      1. I was about to comment that Finnish politics are weird in that there is a strong undercurrent for free-market policies and deregulation, but at the same time there is an equally strong pride for their public-private partnerships and welfare state. Indeed, Finnish Lessons was a big bowl of smug concerning that.

      2. That can’t possibly be from Google Translate – its actually coherent.

      3. Well, he has a point. If you want a strong social welfare system, you must have a much stronger private sector to support the burden. At least he acknowledges that the social welfare system is not some kind of perpetual motion machine or job creator.

        1. As a side note, from Wikipedia:

          Stubb is seen as a representative of the National Coalition Party’s liberal wing. He has defined himself as a liberal as well. In 2005, when he was serving as an MEP, Stubb described his world view in the following way:

          I am not a conservative. […] I am a liberal. All my views are liberal. […] Many people think that when you’re in a right-wing party, your values are then automatically [centred on] home, religion and fatherland. That is not the case.

          Following his election as the NCP chairman, Stubb described his societal views as “moderately liberal”. He is a supporter of same sex marriage and has been the patron of Helsinki’s Pride parade. He supports multiculturalism and believes that increasing immigration is necessary. A proponent of internationalism, Stubb believes that the most important political divide in modern politics is that between the supporters and opponents of globalisation.

          I didn’t realize Finland was temperate enough for cocktail parties. COSMOZZZZZ

          Kidding. Seems like he has a good head on his shoulders, for a Euro anyway.

        2. As a side note, from Wikipedia:

          Stubb is seen as a representative of the National Coalition Party’s liberal wing. He has defined himself as a liberal as well. In 2005, when he was serving as an MEP, Stubb described his world view in the following way:

          I am not a conservative. […] I am a liberal. All my views are liberal. […] Many people think that when you’re in a right-wing party, your values are then automatically [centred on] home, religion and fatherland. That is not the case.

          Following his election as the NCP chairman, Stubb described his societal views as “moderately liberal”. He is a supporter of same sex marriage and has been the patron of Helsinki’s Pride parade. He supports multiculturalism and believes that increasing immigration is necessary. A proponent of internationalism, Stubb believes that the most important political divide in modern politics is that between the supporters and opponents of globalisation.

          I didn’t realize Finland was temperate enough for cocktail parties. COSMOZZZZZ

          Kidding. Seems like he has a good head on his shoulders, for a Euro anyway.

        3. People have been pointing out that one of the major reasons the ‘Nordic Model’ redistributive state functions so well is that its pretty ruthlessly free-market in the private sector – this is so that their economy can support the ludicrously high tax-rate.

          The ‘European Model’ (to coin a phrase) is top-down management of as much of the economy as possible *on top* of a ludicrously high tax-rate.

          1. One of the other reasons is that they’re Nordics. They have a rather disciplined, hard-working culture. Nordic socialism (which barely works there) will not work in Greece or in giant multiethnic countries like the US.

            1. You’ve pretty clearly never been to Scandinavia.

              Work ethic is not one of the first things that came to mind to describe the Swedish when I was there.

    2. Unfortunately, it’s wrong. Public sector spending does create jobs, it simply does so less efficiently than private sector spending.

      Why does that matter? Because if public sector spending didn’t create jobs at all, politicians wouldn’t be doing it. But it’s popular precisely because it seems to work and because people don’t see the opportunity cost.

  8. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta blames Obama for ignoring his advice in Iraq.

    Man, there sure are a lot of disgruntled former Obama people coming out of the woodwork these days! I guess victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat and failure are truly orphans.

    1. President Obama’s former defense secretary, Leon Panetta, says if the White House had listened to his advice on U.S. troop levels in Iraq, the country’s security situation may not have unraveled.

      If Bush had listened to Ron Paul’s advice the country’s security situation would not have unraveled either.

      1. If Bush had listened to Ron Paul’s advice the country’s security situation would not have unraveled either.

        I know, right? If we would just ignore Islamic Jihad, they really will just leave us alone. Prior to us causing blowback, Islam has historically been a Religion of Peace. If only we hadn’t antagonized them!!!

        1. Other than the Barbary Pirates have we had similar issues with the Islamic Middle East before we started intervening in Mideast affairs?

          1. The Islamic Middle East has pretty much always had problems with any part of the world that wasn’t the Islamic Middle East. Oh, and there have also been plenty of problems between various parts of the Islamic Middle East.

            It’s pretty silly to blame US interventions for the snakepit.

            1. “The Islamic Middle East has pretty much always had problems with any part of the world that wasn’t the Islamic Middle East.”

              Considering that Europe went from bitter interncine fighting to colonizing most of the world I’m not sure we can say much about that kind of thing.

              But more specifically, I’m curious as to whether the US was a target of enmity for the Arabs before our meddling. I seem to recall that during WWI they were quite the fans of Wilson and his the US’ position that they should be granted their independence from European colonial powers.

              1. Much of the Middle East was pro-Nazi before and during World War II, due to a mixture of anti-British and French colonialism, and a mutual interest in Jew-hatred. Despite our alliance with the Saudis, much of that rubbed off on us. And then we went ahead and recognized Israel, and much of the region went somewhat pro-Soviet. In other words, I think the US got a lot of indirect, second-hand animosity.

              2. Europe didn’t “go from bitter internecine fighting to colonizing the world”; it colonized the world because of bitter internecine fighting: colonialism was little more than a globalization of European conflicts.

          2. The Barbary Pirates were in North Africa.

            The Middle East had ceased to be geopolitically important by the time the US began; they were no longer capable of producing issues for us. It had basically the same level of importance as sub-Saharan Africa has now, until oil was discovered there — at which point the US was already a superpower with its fingers in everybody’s pie.

        2. How’s those interventionist policies workin out for ya, fellas?

          Good?

          My country has been at war for 47% of my life (I’m 49). Keep up the good work.

          1. I had never thought of it in that way, I’m right there with you. Thx for that nut punch….sigh

        3. First of all, Islamic terrorism simply isn’t a big enough problem to worry about; even at current levels, it causes far too few American deaths to justify all that military and anti-terrorism spending.

          Second, historically, Islamic violence was directed against Europe, not Americans, because it was Europeans that messed in their affairs. So, for the US to disengage from the Middle East might not reduce Islamic violence, but it would likely cause them to prefer other targets.

    2. Hmm, I wonder who benefits from the idea that Obama was a stubborn peacenik who ignored the people in his Cabinet who knew what they were talking about when it came to foreign policy?

      One guess.

      1. Is it someone who is inevitable (again)?

        1. Yes.

          Which is why conservatives/libertarians are fools to spread Panetta’s foolishness just because it’s anti-Obama. You guys are fighting the previous battle.

      2. Spongebob Squarepants?

  9. Certain parties like to throw “sanctity of contract” in our faces when these stories come up, yet they resolutely ignore the inherently invalid nature of contracts in which two related parties collude against a third, who ultimately will foot the bill.

    Also, a contract based on economic assumptions which can only be described as fictitious will inevitably collapse under its own weight, and is ultimately unenforceable.

    1. …”they resolutely ignore the inherently invalid nature of contracts in which two related parties collude against a third, who ultimately will foot the bill.”

      A parasite was posting yesterday (‘retiredfire’, I think); yep, contracts all on the up-and-up!

      1. Here’s betting those same people don’t mind invoking exceptions to contract like Unconscionability doctrines in other cases.

    2. I don’t remember entering into any contracts.

      1. You entered into the contract when you voted. The elected politician signed the contract on your behalf.

        1. Gotcha! I don’t vote.

        2. You entered into the contract when you voted were born. The elected politician doctor signed the contract on your behalf.

          FIFY

      2. You did just that when you moved into a jurisdiction. An informal contract is still a contract.

        1. “God was here before the government. So you can give your hearts to Jesus but your ass belongs to the State!”

    3. The fact that CalPERS is making a Tenth Amendment argument is also hilarious.

      1. Likewise would be surprising to see so many of the federalists here so casually dismiss it.

        1. Being a federalist doesn’t mean you believe state governments should not be limited in its ability to rob Peter to pay Paul.

          1. No, but it probably means that many of those decisions should be made according to state, not federal law.

            1. I thought you said you are in law school ?

        2. The Tenth Amendment very plainly doesn’t apply in a case where the power is explicitly and unambiguously delegated to the Federal government by the Constitution. And Congress explicitly gets in the Constitution the power to enact “uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States”. A Tenth Amendment argument regarding bankruptcies is unambiguously full of shit. They might as well try to invoke the Third Amendment for all the salience it has.

        3. Bankruptcies are an enumerated power of the federal government (and for good reason). But even if they weren’t, the equal protection clause would likely also apply, since there is no obvious reason why one group of retirees should receive preferential treatment over another group.

    4. “Sanctity of Contract” is a red herring in these cases.

      By definition, a bankrupt business or person cannot fulfill their financial obligations and the contract is broken. A formal bankruptcy is nothing more than an attempt to rank and satisfy the claims of the various creditors as best as possible.

      The real issue is whether the claims of one group of creditors should be privileged at the expense of others.

      If you are going to say that the claims of employees should be privileged and exempt from any compromise, you must deal with two issues:

      The first is that it immediately raises the risk for any lender who, if they are acting prudently, will be less willing to provide capital for a borrower. Further, the lender is going to demand a higher risk premium in the interest rate which means greater costs for all.

      Second, if the claims of employees cannot be met despite the preferential treatment due to the inability of the bankrupt to carry on functioning in the post-bankruptcy period, the preference is moot. If there is nothing to eat, your meal ticket can’t be punched.

      1. Municipal bankruptcies are different though. As long as there are people left to tax within its jurisdiction, the city is not out of assets.

        1. If your taxation reaches the point where the people living in the city cannot maintain their income levels due to the amount of taxes, then you enter a downward spiral where each year’s taxes produces less income.

          You quickly reach the point where enough people either leave the city or cease to make taxable income. This happens even more quickly if the money required to maintain infrastructure is diverted to debt service. (In the Stockton case, ‘debt service’ includes payment of the pension liability.) If the infrastructure needed to produce income is cannibalized, the level of income must fall.

          There is a difference between assets and income. Municipal bankruptcies are no exception to this. If the taxation passes sustainable levels, the municipality (or any government) will see a decline in revenue and eventually be unable to pay its bills.

          1. US tax rates are nowhere near the peak of the Laughter Curve.

            There is a difference between assets and income.

            Yes, but expected income can be treated as an asset (e.g. rental properties).

            1. …expected income can be treated as an asset…

              But valued at a discounted number. Which is what governments do when they issue bonds for long term financing needs (infrastructure mostly). They are borrowing against projected cash flows (from taxation) to banks in return for cash now. But what happens when taxpayers leave? Projected tax revenues decline? They can’t pay the servicing of the bond, hence bankruptcy.

              So if a government needs to fund it’s pension, it should try to float a bond to cover the shortage? No bank is going to lend money to cover a pension fund. The bank may buy it, dissolve it for a cash fee and disburse whatever is left over to pensioners. Of course, being government pensions, they are protected by state laws, and often state constitutions that they cannot be dissolved. So banks can’t even buy the pension.

              It’s fucked. Or maybe I am. I’m three vodkas in.

            2. US tax rates are nowhere near the peak of the Laughter Curve.

              It’s the Laffer Curve. And when it comes to real estate taxes, yes, things already have spiraled out of control in several US cities, just look at Detroit.

              For corporate taxes and income taxes, we see widespread tax avoidance, but that’s not even the full story, because that doesn’t account for all the tax revenue lost due to the worse economic performance.

  10. Progressive film-flam woman Linda Tirado is insufferable:

    Linda Tirado knows what it’s like to work two jobs, raise a family and attempt to go to school. Days start at 6am and end well past midnight. Junk food is one of the only “luxuries” you feel you have.

    But there’s one thing she misses about being poor in America: camaraderie.

    “You have to entertain each other because you’re just too broke to do anything else,” Tirado, 32, said in an interview with CNNMoney. “You can have an awful lot of fun.”

    You know what is also an awful lot of fun, Linda? Financial security. Take your smug philippics of middle-class life, dripping with striver guilt, and shove them up your ass.

    1. “When I was pregnant the first time, I was living in a weekly motel for some time,” she wrote. “I was on WIC. I ate peanut butter from the jar and frozen burritos because they were 12/$2.”

      You are peanut butter from the jar and frozen burritos because you’re a fucking lazy idiot who’d rather whine from a deep sense of entitlement than learn how to cook a healthy fucking meal from fresh, unprocessed, staple ingredients. You know what else is 2 dollars? 5 pounds of russet potatoes or 2 pounds of red bell peppers or 2 pounds of apples or eggplants or 2 1/2 pounds of carrots or 1 lb of cold cuts or 1 store made fresh garden salad or 2 pounds of chicken legs, etc…

      You fucking piece of shit liar.

      The viral post also generated criticism from readers and journalists saying she was not entirely honest about her story. But Tirado did clarify early on that her essay was about her experience as well as her observations of others in poverty.

      “I am just telling what I have seen,” Tirado says. “I am indicative. I am not representative.”

      Again, I say, you fucking piece of shit liar.

      Despite her personal struggles, Tirado gained some skills from her experience: “It makes you a creative cook.”

      Of peanut butter coated burritos, obviously.

      1. I think we saw this last year – you may even have posted about her original article getting chewed up once she became famous enough for people to be interested in fact-checking it.

        1. Perhaps…but the same could have been said for the fantasy behind Nickled and Dimed, whose author didn’t even have the decency to have actually been poor, and decided it would be fun to write a book about her experiences “slumming”.

          So I don’t know. There are a lot of stupid morons writing books celebrating how much of a stupid moron they are.

          1. Yes but the movie version of Nickled and Dimed had Walter Williams. In the five or so minutes that he had, he refuted every claim the idiots making the movie made. I never really understood why they had him in it.

      2. Peanut butter is probably the best choice if she’s pregnant. Very nutritious.

        “The viral post also generated criticism from readers and journalists saying she was not entirely honest about her story.”

        Is that what we’re calling lying now? Not being entirely honest?

        1. Is that what we’re calling lying now? Not being entirely honest?

          Truth is dependent on whether or not your intentions were good.

          Don’t you know anything?

          1. I know about peanut butter.

      3. I think what the Tirado story taught me was two things:

        1. Progressives are generally such privileged idiots that they don’t know how cheap healthy food actually is. They therefore believe liars who claim that all you can afford on a low wage are T.V. dinners and McDonalds.

        2. Progressives don’t know what poverty actually looks like. Here’s a hint: A family with two wage earners working full time, which is what Tirado claimed she had, can never be legitimately impoverished. Even if both live in a state where the minimum wage is $7.25, 2 wage earners at $7.25/hr is $29,000. Furthermore, it’s highly unlikely that both of them were making $7.25 since the vast majority of workers even at places like Walmart and McDonalds make quite a bit more than that. If they both make an average of $8.50, their yearly income would be $35,360.

        Is that a lot? No, but it’s enough that they wouldn’t be living in a roach infested trailer like Tirado claimed, particularly given the existence of things like food pantries and subsidized housing to supplement their income.

        The only way you could think they’d be living the way she claimed they were living is if you’re an upper middle class progressive with no understanding of what poverty looks like or how to do math.

        1. I will say though that while subsidized housing exists there can be times where there are no openings in an area.

          1. So don’t move to San Francisco. Life is full of hard choices.

            1. So don’t move to San Francisco. Life is full of hard choices.

              This. A lot of poor people would be noticeably not poor if they lived in places with lower costs of living. Maybe if Democrats didn’t run cities with 8-10% sales taxes a poor person’s pay check would go a little farther.

              1. I’ve always said this. If the ‘living wage’ liberals really wanted to help the urban poor they’d work to cut the comparatively high tax burden in urban areas which falls heaviest on the poor there.

                1. My ex-wife collects welfare and Section 8 housing (now shooting for disability) on top of the crippling alimony and child support because she wants to live and be unemployed in a high-end beach community in California while not having to get off her lazy ass and work. Fast food three times a day out of choice (“Cooking is boring”).

                  Sounds right to me. The stereotype really is true.

                  1. Which beach community? Is she my neighbor?

                    1. Ventura. A county away. If you like redheads and cougars, I’ll set you up.

                    2. Mad Scientist is much closer. I’ll give him a heads up.

                    3. He knows where to find me. 😉

                    4. Which beach community? Is she my neighbor?

                      She’s your wife.

                    5. Gross.

              2. Revealed preferences. The “fake” poor like to live in blue urban areas, and then complaint about making ends meet.

                1. It could be that blue urban centers might have more generous benefits for such people though.

              3. Like, for example, Yuma, AZ – where the median income for a single man is around $22k. 1,800 ft2 houses sell for under $200k and there’s tons of 1,200 ft2ers in the sub $100k zone.

                Minimum wage goes a looooooong way here.

          2. Sure, but I’ve worked at food pantries and various charitable organizations and what I’ve generally found is that there are a shitload of people willing to help out in any community.

            In fact, when I worked at food pantries we had so much food that the people who worked there actually got annoyed when a local grocery store started donating because they already had too much food to give away and didn’t know where to store the new donations.

            Similarly, if you’re really hard up, churches frequently provide aid to the poor, particularly in the form of periodic meals. My parents’ church has a free meal for the poor that they do twice a month. Now obviously twice a month isn’t going to make a huge difference to a poor person, but these sorts of meals are more common in poor areas (which my parents neighborhood certainly isn’t) and many churches do it. That’s not even getting into soup kitchens, Habitat for Humanity, etc.

            There are a number of ways for the poor to save money and get help, and if you’re making base pay of $30,000-$35,000 a year, which Tirado would have been with two wage earners, there are enough options that no one should ever be living in the ludicrous way she claimed to be living.

            1. I’m not doubting the food pantry claim, just commenting on the housing options.

            2. $30,000-$35,000 a year, which Tirado

              Let’s not forget that Tirado is also married to a veteran, which opens up a whole new world of benefits that those outside the warrior caste aren’t entitled to.

              1. Wow, that is a highly important fact. The government teat for veterans is one of the most generous.

              2. Unless he’s a retired veteran, that world of benefits is a lot smaller than you think.

                1. He is a Marine who honorably left the service and was diagnosed with PTSD.

                  Not saying its easy street, but as his spouse, she qualifies for home loans, insurance, health care, and career counseling and training that others in her situation don’t get. So for her to cry that the social safety net wasn’t large enough to catch her is BS.

                  1. Especially given that her personal safety net included a wealthy family who gave her a great private school education and let her live on their property when she went through ‘tough times.’

                    That’s another thing people don’t mention. Her allegedly roach infested trailer was located on a family member’s property. I forget if it was parents or grandparents, but she was literally living on their property in a trailer.

                    Now, is there any way her wealthy family members wouldn’t have paid for roach fumigation if those roaches actually existed? Moreover, since she was getting her housing subsidized by family members, shouldn’t her $30,000 have gone pretty far given that she didn’t have to pay for housing?

                    There was also the hilarious instance where Tirado discussed cheating on her husband on an online forum because he had PTSD and wasn’t fucking her enough. There are no words for the contempt I have for this woman given that she was going to cuckold her husband because the poor SOB was suffering from war-related psychological trauma and was having trouble in bed.

                  2. She doesn’t qualify for home loans, he does, but close enough. The insurance/health care are also debatable since an honorable discharge doesn’t come w/ medical/dental/commissary/etc. Depends on the specifics of the PTSD diagnosis and whether that drove a med retirement, what kind of disability he’s pulling down, etc.
                    Bottom line, you’re right, she’s got moves to make that non-mil don’t have.

      4. Whoa, where are you getting a pound of cold cuts for just two bucks? I need to know this.

        1. Demoulas’ Market Basket, a New England chain known for ridiculously low prices.

          1. Live lobster, $4.99 a pound? Jesus.

            1. Sometimes I forget that when you live in New England, lobsters just walk into through your front door and hop in to the pot.

              1. Pretty much. Flying the beasties west gets pricy. But who wants to eat seabug anyway?

                1. I like west coast lobster. I guess you could say that I generally like tail.

                2. But who wants to eat seabug anyway?

                  Umm…me?

                  Nothing like lobster/crab meat just after the waters run cold, which makes the flesh taste nice and sweet.

                3. Seabug tail, butterflied, broiled, and rubbed with paprika, ancho, smoked salt, lemon, and peanut oil.

                  One of the best foods on earth.

            2. Live lobster, $4.99 a pound? Jesus.

              I remember it as a kid being closer to 3 bucks a pound…before the Japanese decided to buy all our lobsters.

        2. The deli at my local grovery store slices up the ends of the meats and cheeses and will often sell mixed packs at a steep discount. You can’t be sure what is in that pack, but it’s cheap and it’s meat.

          1. Just like a glory hole. If you’re needy enough, you don’t care what’s inside.

            1. Thanks for that, Mr. M… I got a larf outta that one.

      5. I think your comment needs some obscenity to spice it up.

      6. “When I was pregnant the first time, I was living in a weekly motel for some time,” she wrote. “I was on WIC. I ate peanut butter from the jar and frozen burritos because they were 12/$2.”

        This is without a doubt Matt Yglesias’ #1 top-rated sexual fantasy.

        Also, does pregnancy usually just happen to poor people? I must have gotten lucky when I was poor, not having the Pregnancy Gods saddle me with a child clear out of the blue sky like poor Linda.

      7. You fucking piece of shit liar.

        Come on HM, get off the fence here, will you? How do you really feel about her?

        😉

        -jcr

    2. Linda Tirado is one of the greatest stories of the last 5 years. She told a clearly false story that any intelligent person could have seen didn’t add up, tricked progressives into giving her money based on her lies, and then got those same progressives she’d conned to defend her because they couldn’t admit they’d been had.

      1. Wasn’t it you that posted a link to her last year?

        Anyway, somebody pointed out that she likely spent 8 hours a day on the internet while she was “working 2 jobs and raising a family”.

        1. And, of course, people always ignore the counter-evidence.

          Man bites dog is always more interesting than dog bites man.

          1. Dude’s a hero.

          2. He was probably backed by the Koch brothers just to discredit living wage advocates. Also he was white and therefore had white priviledge. Tony and I already refuted all your arguments about this guy so don’t be surprised if i don’t feel like doing it here again.

            Just another fake libertarian Kochsucker.

              1. Am dissapoint, the Youtube master is resting on his laurels.

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

            1. craiginass|10.4.14 @ 2:09PM|#
              “Just another fake libertarian Kochsucker.”

              Posted by a TRUE lefty ass-licker!

              1. craiginass

      2. She told a clearly false story that any intelligent person could have seen didn’t add up, tricked progressives into giving her money based on her lies, and then got those same progressives she’d conned to defend her because they couldn’t admit they’d been had.

        Isn’t that just the entire history of the movement, writ large?

        1. When she first hit the news I argued about Tirado with a lefty friend. His position was that she was telling “essential truths” about poverty, and so it didn’t matter if she was exaggerating or lying. I pointed out that we naturally react differently to the “truths” of non-fiction than to the “truths” of fiction, and that he’d been praising her in the former terms and not the latter.

          1. I pointed out that we naturally react differently to the “truths” of non-fiction than to the “truths” of fiction, and that he’d been praising her in the former terms and not the latter.

            I’m sure he responded in a calm and rational manner.

          2. This is just like Obama’s autobiography with his fake, “composite” gf

    3. Here’s an article from The Nation on why Tirado is not a hoax:
      http://www.thenation.com/blog/…..o-not-hoax

      FTA
      Much of this story is false, but it has legs.

      1. Like Oscar Pistorius?

        1. Too soon.

      2. The ‘fake but accurate’ claims were very numerous in those days. Progressives have a conception of themselves as being geniuses whose ideas are based wholly on truth and facts, therefore they cannot admit when they’ve been conned.

        Being conned means I might not be an omnipotent super-genius, so I reject the idea that it’s possible.

  11. OK, this is a start. Now we need a commons sense ruling that Public Employee unions are criminal enterprises, and their sets are seizable under the RICO statutes.

  12. With CalPERS untouched, it means everything else has to be cut. I go to Stockton frequently, and the city has become unkempt as city officials lack the funds to pave roads and trim trees, even as they pay $29 million annually to CalPERS.

    Maybe those city employees should be paid in full up front, with personal responsibility for their own retirement investments.

    1. personal responsibility

      Racist.

  13. We need to fast track the evidence…
    Oh good since nothing every bad happens when you rush something…

    1. *nothing bad ever happens…
      wow, proofreading, how does it work

      1. See what happens when you fast track your posting?

        1. well played

    2. That should give everyone pause. Actual scientists don’t say ‘we need to fact track the evidence’ they say ‘we need to find what the evidence says.’

      Modern climate science is so political that I find it very difficult to trust what these people say for the same reason I don’t trust arguments about gender that come from the woman’s studies department.

    3. Wow, they are planning on using as input for their model, a (different) model of ocean surface temperatures – since waiting for the *actual data* would give those damn skeptics a propaganda victory.

    4. That may be the most absurd thing I’ve ever read.

      They can’t even show AGW to exist, but now they can tell if a weather event was a result of it. They can’t tell me what the temperature will be tomorrow with any accuracy, and they can tell me what’s causing a drought in Australia?

  14. Is that a lot? No, but it’s enough that they wouldn’t be living in a roach infested trailer like Tirado claimed, particularly given the existence of things like food pantries and subsidized housing to supplement their income.

    You can’t expect her to live without an unlimited data plan for her iphone, you monster.

    1. Her husband is a lucky man, if you know what I mean…

  15. Bernanke can’t refi.

    The risk pendulum has clearly swung too far, from reckless to fraidy-cat, which is (not) the technical banking term. “I don’t blame this on Bernanke per se. I think it’s mostly Congress,” says Christopher Whalen, senior managing director at Kroll Bond Rating Agency in New York. Whalen says the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 went too far in tightening mortgage-lending standards in response to the abuses that led to the 2008-09 financial crisis. “These are the same people who [before the crisis] were talking money from Fannie [Mae] and Freddie [Mac] with both hands,” Whalen says. “Now they want to act like Calvinists and punish everybody. We need to find a middle ground. It will take time.”

    The heavy fines and settlements that banks have paid over past lending have contributed to banks’ reticence to lend. Plus, banks have been forced to buy back billions of dollars’ worth of loans they sold to Fannie and Freddie. Add it all up, says Whalen, and, Bernanke?along with plenty of other people?”is suffering here from a very broad, systemic shift.”

    Maybe it was just a personal “fuck you” to Helicopter Ben.

    1. He can and did re-fi. He just didn’t qualify for the government backed cheese because the size of the loan was over the limit.

      IIRC, he was close. Idiot. If he had put a few more grand down, he would have qualified and saved a lot of money.

    2. looks like he couldn’t prove his income. he’s not a w2 employee any longer and he doesn’t have a 2 year self employment history. to actually document his income as opposed to no-income-verification (which isn’t available any longer), he would have to show 2 years of self employment income after expenses as reported on his tax returns. most likely, that income is currently zero as far as Fannie/Freddie loan underwriting guidelines are concerned.

      1. Uhm, would you lend Bernanke a large sum of money?

    3. http://blogs.wsj.com/economics…..-mortgage/

      He bought his house in 2004, refinanced in 2009, 2011, and tried again this year. According to article, the rates are right where they were when he refied last time. WTF?

      1. The bank gets money from federal refinancing programs intended to help distressed homeowners, and they probably pass some of that on to him in the form of slightly lower interest rates.

  16. “These are the same people who [before the crisis] were talking money from Fannie [Mae] and Freddie [Mac] with both hands,” Whalen says. “Now they want to act like Calvinists and punish everybody. We need to find a middle ground. It will take time.”

    That’s not hypocrisy, it’s getting while the getting’s good.

  17. Ben Affleck calls Bill Maher and Sam Harris “racist” for their strong criticisms of Islam

    “Why are you so hostile about this?” Maher asked Affleck.

    “It’s gross, it’s racist,” Affleck replied.

    “It’s so not,” Maher insisted, though Affleck compared it to using the term, “Shifty Jew.”

    “You’re not listening to what we are saying,” Maher insisted.

    “You guys are saying, if you want to be liberal, believe in liberal principles,” Affleck said, referencing Maher’s monologue last week. “Like, we are endowed by our forefathers with inalienable rights, all men are created equal.”

    Harris, who had complained about criticism of the Muslim religion being dismissed as Islamophobic, countered that liberals should be allowed to criticize bad ideas.

    “Islam is the motherload of bad ideas,” Harris argued.

    “Jesus,” Affleck said in frustration.

    “That’s just a fact,” Maher said, backing Harris up.

    1. Dammit. This is twice that I’m forced to agree with Maher this weekend.

      Islam, as with any system of thought, can and should be evaluated based on what its founders espoused, as well as what current practitioners justify based on their interpretation of their founders’ actions and words. While I would not say that Islam is the worst system of thought ever compiled (the Europeans have that market cornered with the various branches of socialism and totalitarian radical centrist thought), it is a bad one as can be shown through the writings, beliefs, and actions of its earliest exponents. You can have an opposing view, but it’s certainly not racist to evaluate the claims of any system of thought, regardless of how sentimentally attached to it its adherents may be.

      1. One problem with Islam is that it’s graded on a curve so a lot of allegedly ‘moderate’ Muslims are nothing of the sort. There are Muslims who criticize terrorist activities and call themselves moderates despite the fact that they do things like talk about the evil of Jews and argue in favor of Sharia Law.

        In short, a lot of Muslims harbor beliefs that would get them pilloried as extremists if a Christian expressed the exact same ideas.

        1. The rhetorical tacks used to disguise this are quite simply appalling — for example, the argument that Christianity 1400 years after its inception was burning witches, so therefore we shouldn’t worry about Islam or condemn it. As if witch-burning were something integral to the religion and practiced regularly during the first 800 years of the Christian religion (amusingly enough, when Christianity became the Roman state religion the Christians actually *cut back* on the pagan Roman state’s witch hunts, which far exceeded the severity of the early modern witch hunts), or as if Western Christianity from 1400-1650 was just fine (rather than about to thrust Europe into one of its bloodiest conflict to that point).

          Of course, it doesn’t help that many western followers of Islam chosen as representative are about as Islamic as Talleyrand was a pious Catholic; very easy to confuse things when you are choosing subjects for whom piety and religion are trivial in the first place.

          1. Even supposedly devout Christians in the West are following an incredibly watered-down version of the original faith. Bring the apostles, let alone Jesus, into Christendom in 2014 and they would rip us a new one.

            1. This is far less true than is generally considered to be the case, and while I’m sure that the theologians of the 4th and 5th centuries would scold us for our impiety the church of the 2nd century was quite broad in its scope and wasn’t exactly the anarcho-socialism of the very early church. There is plenty that the apostles and Jesus would have to say about the church today, but speaking in terms of orthodoxy any of the main branches of Christianity preaches a doctrine of salvation well in line with what was considered acceptable orthodox thought from the 1st – 5th centuries of the church’s existence.

            2. Yeah, but that “watering down” is a pretty recent phenomenon.

          2. It’s very easy to just put everything awful Christianity did into a box labeled ‘non-integral to the faith’ and everything Islam did bad and label it integral to that faith.

            1. Given that Jesus was generally non-violent and Muhammad was a warlord who ordered dozens of murders, I’d argue that there’s a pretty compelling argument that the foundations of Islam are violent in a way the foundations of Christianity are not.

              Legitimately moderate and secular Muslims tend to actually be worse Muslims than the devout mass murderers. They’re better people precisely because they ignore the tenets of their own faith.

              Not all Muslims are bad, but the ideas contained within Islam are atrocious in a way few religions are.

              1. Example: Remember the time Muhammad ordered the murder of a poet for making fun of him?

                Where are the comparable stories in the life of Jesus Christ?

              2. But Christianity includes quite a few warriors because it embraces the Old Testament as well.

            2. That’s not what I’m doing.

              Not everything bad RE: Islam happened early in the faith. For example, suicide bombing seems to me decidedly unorthodox and there is nothing which says that Islamic states have to kill people of the book for no good reason.

              However, most of the bad was baked into the cake from the get-go in a way that is simply not true of Christianity. A global religiously-based empire, political and sacerdotal roles being combined, exercising political supremacy and religious chauvinism over ruled peoples, and several bloody conquests were a part of Islam at or very near its inception. The holy war has never been integral to Christianity; it was controversially adopted by about half of the Christian world 1000 years after Christ and wholesale rejected by the other half and by most sects to follow; it is fairly integral to explaining Islam’s rise to power and in its early history.

              I don’t like that fact. I don’t think it’s true of all non-Christian religions (Buddhism, for example does not have a developed concept of holy war, either). Unless you think of religions as essentially contentless, one must evaluate the pre-existing content in a religion’s system of thought before coming to a conclusion on what that religion does or does not support — and after having evaluated that content, cannot help but come to conclusions regarding that subject.

              1. As I said to Irish, one can get to that conclusion by conveniently ignoring that the Old Testament, with it’s blessings on mass murder, slavery, stoning if witches, gays, etc., is still an integral part of Christianity.

                1. the Old Testament, with it’s blessings on mass murder, slavery, stoning if witches, gays, etc., is still an integral part of Christianity

                  Are you a child, Bo? IIRC, you are a Christian: surely your level of knowledge cannot be this shallow? I won’t even get into the absurd notion that there is a Biblical blessing on slave-owning/selling, or on murder in Scripture or Levitical law — that is really more relevant to Judaism, but suffice it to say is completely wrong.

                  As I recall, most of the early church’s exegesis relied on either patristic-literal interpretations of scripture (broadly speaking, Western Christianity), allegorical-philosophical interpretations (Alexandrine school), or literal conventions focusing on New Covenant as superceding Old (Church of the East; later Protestant groups). Literally no patristic writer from the 1st – 3rd centuries can be found arguing anything close to any of the gibberish you wrong RE: blessing murderers and slave-owners. A tradition of “blessing” either slavery or stonings or murder is quite simply foreign to Christian tradition. (Hell, “blessings” on account of slave-holding are also foreign to Islam for that matter.) Literally no Abrahamic faith has ever seen slave-holding or murder as a holy act. One Abrahamic faith has seen war-making on infidels with the purpose of establishing political and social dominance as a holy act, and has developed doctrine to that effect. Would you like to guess which one?

                  1. So the Old Testament God does not condone (heck, even at times order) mass murder? Or are you arguing that Christians didn’t take that seriously?

                    I’m not theologian (I’m betting neither are you), but I can tell you from regular attendance at many Protestant churches that the Old Testament is invoked in them as authority as much as the New. Are you now saying that’s not ‘integral’ to the faith? Because it seems to me you’re doing exactly what I started by saying, just creating a system of placing the label ‘integral’ on what you want to defend in the Scriptures and a label ‘non-integral’ on the awful parts.

                    1. I can tell you from regular attendance at many Protestant churches that the Old Testament is invoked in them as authority as much as the New

                      Bullshit. The number of pulpits where following the 613 mitzvah is given equal weight as Jesus’ reformulation of the law in Mk 12:28, or Paul’s reformulation in Gal 5:14 could be counted on one hand. The fact that a pastor will quote a verse from the Old Testament (more often than not out of context) to affirm doctrine formulated out of New Testament scripture confirms rather than rebuts my point: interpretation of scripture in Christian circles emphasizes either non-literalistic interpretations or a hermeneutic which places greater weight on the New Testament in clarifying or interpreting the OT. Suffice it to say, if you are a pastor who preaches that your followers must burn witches, kill people, and participate in wars to earn God’s favor, you’re going to catch flak from virtually every other pastor or priest in the world.

                    2. You can shout expletives all you want, but Christian churches talk about the Old Testament as authority all the time. Stories about Moses, Gideon, Joshua, Samson, etc., abound.

                      Of course they don’t tell people to go forth and kill masses of people as Moses, Gideon, Joshua, Samson etc., did and were commanded to do, but they uphold the authority of the Old Testament not forswearing one jot or tittle.

                      To be honest, attempts to reconcile the ‘nice’ tone of the New Testament to the one in the Old are not usually dealt with a lot (one way I can tell you don’t attend a lot of Protestant churches is your idea that things like ‘non-literalistic interpretations or a hermeneutic which places greater weight on the New Testament in clarifying or interpreting the OT’ are regular fare there, rather stories from the OT are just told to illustrate various values and virtues). The most common way they square them is to say ‘those were God’s rules for a rougher time.’

                    3. Stories about Moses, Gideon, Joshua, Samson, etc., abound.

                      Yeah, and they’re interpreted patriotically, allegorically, or in keeping with New Testament values, depending on the church you go to. You really don’t grok the distinction wet interpretation, do you? If the common refrain at church is ‘those were God’s rules for a rougher time.’ (your words, not mine), then by implication we’re not living in those ‘rougher times’ and the OT is descriptive rather than authority — which is why your average Christian would run a pastor preaching on a return to their notion of Levitical Law would be run out on a rail.

                      I can tell you don’t attend a lot of Protestant churches

                      I try not to attend the ones populated by morons ignorant of their own faith. I can see how those who visit your church might have a different experience.

                    4. It’s interesting how quickly you slip into insults.

                      You’re not getting my or the point here. Your claim is that there is something integral to the actual Scriptures of Islam that is bad that is not the case for Christianity. Now look at how quick you slip into current interpretations and such. You can’t deny that Christianity includes the Old Testament, and that it includes a parade of horribles to match anything in the Quran, but you then move the goal posts and say ‘ah, but Christians don’t today understand it that way, or take it as a literal command.’

                      But of course my entire point is that how Christians and Muslims ‘take it’ is one thing, and what is actually ‘integral’ to the four corners of the Scriptures themselves, is another.

                    5. What I think it boils down to is this: most major world religions have pretty vast Scriptures, and within them you can find what you want to back what you want to do. It’s easy for you to sit back and say ‘ah, it’s true that Christians invoked the Old Testament to bless wiping out Native American enemies (or whoever the enemy is that Christian nations were very good at destroying, enslaving and/or colonizing throughout most of its history), but that wasn’t integral, it was peripheral!’ Likewise I’m sure there are comparable passages in Islamic Scripture, but I’m also sure there are passages about peace and such. But when the Muslims followed the former passages in their Scripture, you can just say, ‘well, that was integral!’

                    6. The essence of Christianity are the teachings of Jesus. Nowhere in any of the Gospels does Jesus advocate violence.

                      Mohammad violently subjugated and assimilated nomadic tribes in the Arabian peninusla with the goal of establishing a far-reaching caliphate.

                      So as you can see, there’s no moral equivalency between the teachings of Jesus and the example Mohammad set for his followers combined with the passages of the Koran that are still, in the 21st century, used to justify subjugation of women and oppression of other religions.

                    7. Again, Christians have a New and Old Testament. They do not disavow the Old Testament, it’s there and has been invoked many, many times by Christians in doing awful things throughout history. To declare it’s non-essential is to deny all this.

                    8. Likewise I’m sure there are comparable passages in Islamic Scripture, but I’m also sure there are passages about peace and such

                      Lemme get this straight, Bo: you haven’t actually read the Quran, but you somehow know that it and ‘most major world religions’ have equivalent scriptures and doctrines which let you ‘find what you want to back what you want to do’. I’ll leave aside the jibe that this weaselly approach to document parsing is a distinctly lawyerly preoccupation: you don’t actually KNOW what you’re talking about if you haven’t actually READ the damn document you’re arguing about!

                      Think about it: would you really expect to be taken seriously if you argued that The Great Gatsby and Huckleberry Finn are ‘basically the same thing’, if it turns out you have an extremely shallow understanding of the former and haven’t even read the latter?! Yet on a matter of greater significance, you have determined just such a thing wrt Islam and ‘most major world religions’ without having one goddamn clue what these people actually said and wrote! This tendency to pontificate on things you know absolutely nothing about is precisely why parents diligent to instill character in their children teach them to spit as they pass by a lawyer on the sidewalk.

                    9. I’ve read the Quran which is why I can say that I am sure there are such passages in it.

                      But I don’t think reading an English language translation of the Quran makes me able to opine on what is ‘essential’ or ‘integral’ to the faith of Islam. I try not to be arrogant and assume some library reading makes me an expert in something.

                      So that of course leads to the question what are your qualifications? Do you read Arabic? Have you read the Haddith? Etc?

                    10. If you had read the Quran, you might have tried a reference or a quote, instead of ‘I’m sure there’s something in there that supports my view’ — so I’m gonna call bullshit on that. Your embarrassment is more obvious by your calling my credentials into question; as I never asked for your credentials nor pretended to be anything other than an informed layman with an opinion, these credentials would of course be irrelevant for anything other than restoring your wounded pride.

                      Naturally, the discussion ends when only one person has anything informed to say; I have no more need of your opinion on Ilsam than of a Luddite’s expertise on transistors. Let me know when you’ve read an English translation of the Quran and we can resume this discussion on equal footing.

                    11. You’re being hilarious.

                      What good would it do, in the internet era, to quote a verse from the Quran about peace? Anyone with google can do such.

                      I admit I read the Quran once a few years ago. I’m not an expert on the subject, but I didn’t get an idea that is was an especially evil text, especially compared to the Old Testament. At least I acknowledge my limits: I’m pretty certain now that you have not read, say, the entire Haddith, do not read Arabic, etc., and so you as well really have only a slim knowledge of what you are talking about. Maybe you have more than me, but then again I’m not making such a broad claim as you.

                    12. Let me know when you’ve read an English translation of the Quran and we can resume this discussion on equal footing.

                      Of course, it should also be mentioned that Sharia, and the practice of Islam in and of itself, is not solely based on the Qu’ran, but on the Sunnah (which details the life of Mo and his gang) and the various ahadith, as well. Indeed, when commenting on the cultural norms of Islamic culture the Sunnah is much more important than Qu’ranic exegesis.

                    13. Exactly. Saying you’ve determined the essence of Islam by reading an English language translation of the Quran is like sayin you’ve determined the essence of Judaism from reading the Old Testament.

                    14. Sure, but it’s at least a start to knowledge RE: Islam’s pacifism or equivalence to Christian literature to have at least read a copy of the Quran, same way that one can read a gospel to get some understanding of Christianity (even without the epistles) or the Torah to get an idea of Judaism (even if it leaves out the changes to the religion after the 1st century that the Tanakh would make more clear).

                    15. Or the Talmud, rather. Damn autocorrect…

                    16. I was going to say that you were being a little redundant. At least, I would have if I were a pedant.

                    17. With all due respect, I don’t think ‘a start to knowledge’ is a firm basis for such a harsh generalization of faith of a billion people.

                      I especially think it is chutzpah for someone with only that foundation to insult someone else who questions such a generalization made.

                    18. Um, we’re both generalizing in this thread, Bo. Or did you not notice when you said this:

                      most major world religions have pretty vast Scriptures, and within them you can find what you want to back what you want to do

                      The bolded claim is a generalization — and one which the bodies charged with interpretation of fiqh would strongly disagree with you on. I’m generalizing based on what I’ve read — which granted is not enough to make me an expert on the topic, but I’d say that reading an English translation of the Quran and the main collection of the Sunni hadith is enough to make a fair evaluation, especially given the historical context with which I’m fairly familiar. This does not mean that every Muslim acts this way or whathaveyou, but just as it is not a difficult task to ascertain what Christianity has to say about homosexuality, neither is it difficult to ascertain what Islam has to say about the practice of Jihad, or its stance on religious government, or any of the issues which I specified above. I said nothing about FGM, or suicide bombing, or other current actions of Muslim communities, because I wanted to be specific: Islam has a noxious history of church-state relations which is integral to the faith, in a way that is not so for other major faiths. That point stands, and from what I have read on the subject most Muslim scholars would definitely accept that proper Islamic governance is integral to the faith.

                  2. Oh, stop making excuses. The Old Testament is quite clear in its meaning. The society it describes is “blessed” by God despite practicing slavery, mass murder, and wars of conquest. Whether God “blessed” the individual acts doesn’t matter, He tolerated them and did not smite the people committing them. In fact, God Himself lies and kills with abandon in the Old Testament. Those immoral and evil acts of God don’t disappear because someone later wrote an addendum. Whether Islam is slightly more evil hardly matters.

      2. Islam, as with any system of thought, can and should be evaluated based on what its founders espoused

        You realize that the writer of the Declaration of Independence was a slaveholder, as was the major framer of the Constitution (James Madison). If we’re going to forgive and forget our founders’ gigantic gaping blind spots on basic human rights because it was 220 years ago, we can’t really tar Islam with the activities of a guy 1500 years ago.

        1. Outside of Bioshock Infinite, Thomas Jefferson is not a religious figure. “Thomas Jefferson had some good ideas, but he was wrong about some things as well” is par for the course for modern-day Jefferson admirers; say the same thing about Muhammad in reference to his religious or political career (especially when the words of the Qu’ran are in play), and you’ll be charged with heresy by orthodox Muslim thinkers. Higher criticism and non-literalistic interpretations of Islam are essentially verboten; in contrast with Christianity (where most of its branches had no problem with allegory or higher criticism in evaluating Scripture), the holy book of Islam is considered to be directly, word-for-word transmitted by an angel in a form of Arabic which has been preserved. There is a rigidity RE: interpretation and tradition which doesn’t exist in Christianity, and a series of objectionable actions early in the religion which isn’t the case for Islam.

          This really has nothing to do with ‘tarring’ a religion or denigrating its adherents; we are all educated enough to be aware that not all who claim to follow the Prophet will sign onto every one of his doctrines. It has to do with taking the claims of the religion seriously, so that we can understand what a pious or zealous Muslim would look like from an objective standpoint.

        2. we can’t really tar Islam with the activities of a guy 1500 years ago.

          We can when many of the adherents of that “guy” engage in those very same activities yesterday.

          1. What were the adherents of Jesus doing 1500 years after his death?

          2. Then tar the adherents who engage in those activities.

            One shouldn’t have to urge libertarians, of all people, to refrain from assigning collective responsibility, but if that’s what it takes, that’s what I’ll do.

            1. Judging an individual for a voluntarily being a part of a group that espouses certain ideological beliefs by those beliefs is no “sin”.

              Don’t tell me you think Islam (or any religion or philosophy) is genetically determined now, do you?

              1. Of course groups that espouse certain ideological beliefs can be quite broad ones (maybe especially when their number is around a billion). For example, how silly would it be to condemn all Catholics as contraception hating Neanderthals when, in fact, most of them are OK with it?

                1. For example, how silly would it be to condemn all Catholics as contraception hating Neanderthals when, in fact, most of them are OK with it?

                  It would be very silly, but it would not be silly to say that these Catholics are doing so in defiance of their faith and of what their bishops have to say.

                  See, Bo, there’s a difference between the individual beliefs of congregants (who may or may not be invested in their faith), and that of the faith itself. It’s definitely not difficult to ascertain the Catholic Church’s position on contraceptives; they’re not shy about it.

            2. I don’t think this is about “assigning collective responsibility”. It’s about disputing erroneous claims of moral superiority by Christians. Christians come in all varieties, moral and immoral, good and bad. But when Christians are good people, they are good people despite their religion, not because of it.

    2. I read about this stupid slap-fight on HuffPo and thought it was hilarious. Apparently Lizard-breath Warren was on this panel too, did anyone see if she interjected at all or just sit there hoping not to say anything that might piss off her adoring SWPL hordes?

  18. “So commenced the unlikely friendship and intellectual partnership of the atheist and the [Christian] apologist….

    THE Christian: “I long to have Patrick converted to my perspective. So how can we have a friendship? I see it as toleration in the deepest meaning. We don’t just ‘put up’ with each other’s beliefs. We interrogate them.”

    THE ATHEIST: “The thing that really sticks out with me,” [] “is that in the culture wars, the rhetoric is acerbic on both sides. On the humanist side, there’s this tendency to view people of faith as not rational. And David is clearly rational. He’s just looked at the same evidence as me and come to a different conclusion.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10…..share&_r=0

  19. Culture war

    Last month, Julie Williams, a school board member in Jefferson County, just outside Denver, proposed instituting a curriculum review committee to ensure that the AP History classes (as well as elementary school health classes) would “promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights,” and wouldn’t “encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

    On Thursday night, the county school board’s conservative majority approved a compromise revamping the existing curriculum review process; the original, controversial language from Williams’ proposal was dropped. “I’m not saying, ‘Let’s not teach history accurately,'” Williams told Denver’s NBC affiliate. “What I’m saying is, let’s not encourage our children to disobey the law.”

    I’m sure the College Board curriculum guidelines suck donkey balls, but guess what, Julie baby; this country was founded by lawbreakers and fomenters of civil discord.

    1. You live in France?

    2. What I’m saying is, let’s not encourage our children to disobey the shitty law.

    1. Yet the public was being told that the problem was state workers’ benefits were simply too expensive.

      Because they fucking were. They were too expensive even *if* the cronyism didn’t exist. They were too fucking expensive *because* the cronies got together and bought off union votes by sucking the taxpayer dry – the one group who doesn’t get a seat at the negotiating table.

      All that *is* in the article.

      1. Because they fucking were.

        No, they really are not. Here is a good explanation why; while also rebuting the argument Mr. Greenhut is trying to support:

        The biggest hit involved retiree health benefits, which were negotiated in past years as an alternative to wage increases…

        The argument that employees and retirees are just like any unsecured creditors and should simply stand in line for a payout like Franklin’s clients, is pure Wall Street sophistry. Bondholders know when they make their investments that any return is contingent; that’s why bond interest rates vary according to the security and creditworthiness of the borrower.

        Employees make a different deal. Unlike an investment fund, which can diversity its portfolio to hedge against the risk that some bond issuers will fail, employees can’t diversify their employment portfolio by taking several jobs at once to guard against the chance that one employer might default on its obligations. In return for committing years to an employer, they receive some pay now, and some pay deferred via a pension.

        1. The retired union members did not negotiate increased retirement benefits in exchange for not having wage increases. If that were the case, then Stockton teachers wouldn’t be getting paid $21,000 more per year than the national average.

          Stockton union members got high pay and great retirement benefits and are now using easily manipulated fools at a leftist rag like Rolling Stone to defend the idiocy of themselves and their cronies in the Stockton government.

          Incidentally, these workers get straight pensions rather than having to engage in a 401K or similar retirement plan, which means that not only do they get paid quite well, they get retirement plans far more generous than the average American. Then they whine when the irresponsibility of the politicians they supported causes their pensions to no longer be sustainable.

        2. It’s also a blatant lie that they deferred money until later. If that were true, they wouldn’t get good pay and benefits now and good post-retirement benefits.

          It’s not deferment, they get great benefits and pay during their working lives and great pay post retirement. That’s not deferment of pay, it’s double dipping.

          Incidentally, the arguments made in that piece are not only provably inaccurate, they are advanced by a reporter known for his dishonesty. This guy ran sockpuppets in order to criticize people he didn’t like, largely conservatives.

          Also, here’s a piece regarding Stockton’s pay of firefighters and police officers if you’d actually like to see the salaries being paid to public workers who are now crying poverty. This piece actually includes salary comparisons, unlike the Rolling Stone piece or the one from the LA Times. Here:

          Stockton’s median household income was $50,011 in 2010. In contrast, the average total wage paid to a city police worker was $93,111. For employees of the fire department, it was $110,303. Admittedly, these are dangerous professions, but surely they are not so dangerous as to require pay of double the median household income of the entire community.

          Yeah, clearly overpaying gov. workers had nothing to do with it.

          1. I mean Jesus, think about that pay! If you had two earners in your family working as cops, you’d make a base wage of $186,000 a year.

            That’s not counting pensions. The poor darlings, I really don’t know how they coped.

          2. the average total wage paid to a city police worker was $93,111

            This is understanable considering:

            In 2012, the City of Stockton was the 10th[33] most dangerous city in America, reporting 1,417 violent crimes per 100,000 persons, well above the national average, and 22 murders per 100,000 (above the average of 4.7).

            I think if you ask most people they would say that first-responders, the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us, are underpaid. Given how dangerous their jobs are if they can survive to retirement they would have earned their modest pensions. They made good on their promise to protect and serve the least we can do is keep our promise by not taking away their retirement savings.

            1. Based on those shocking statistics, it doesn’t sound like the first-responders are doing a very good job, frankly.

              1. Based on those shocking statistics, it doesn’t sound like the first-responders are doing a very good job, frankly.

                Oh no they are earning their pay. It is safe to assume that the higher pay is attracting a higher-class of police officers. This is how incentives are suppose to work:

                But as of October 12, 2013, crime rates had fallen substantially since the same period in 2012: violent crime was down 19.2%, and homicide was down 54%

                1. Oh no they are earning their pay. It is safe to assume that the higher pay is attracting a higher-class of police officers. This is how incentives are suppose to work:

                  No, it isn’t safe to assume that because you have provided no evidence that the pay increased AT ALL between 2012 and 2013. Since the same cops were working for the same pay in 2012 as in 2013, it makes no fucking sense for you to claim that high pay resulted in crime going down. If that were the case, then why didn’t that high pay have an effect in 2005, when they were also getting paid very well?

                  Crime has fallen for reasons independent of police officer pay. The fact that you think lower crime in one single year somehow proves the efficacy of ludicrous officer pay shows that you don’t understand statistics (here’s a hint, a data point of one proves nothing) and have some difficulty understanding what ‘evidence’ is.

                2. bland|10.4.14 @ 7:17PM|#
                  “Oh no they are earning their pay.”…

                  Here’s a simple way to find out; determine the market-clearing price.
                  Cut the compensation (pay AND benes) 10%; see how many still apply for the job.
                  Whole bunches? Cut it another 10%. Continue until no one applies. Add 10%
                  See how easy that was?

            2. If there were no crime in Stockton you’d be assuring me that the cops deserve their pay because of the wonderful job they’re doing. When there’s massive crime in Stockton, you assure me that this is proof the cops deserve their pay because their job is dangerous.

              Incidentally, how many cops are killed in Stockton? What’s that? I can actually look this up and provide you with a number?

              Boom. Since 1993, there has been one cop killed on duty in Stockton, and he died in a car accident. There have been 11 cops killed since 1854 in the city of Stockton and three of them died from getting hit by a train, a heart attack, and a car accident – i.e. not from any danger associated with their job.

              Yeah, it’s so dangerous. Clearly they deserve 100 grand a year in case they’re the only cop to die on duty in the average decade.

              Come back when you’re capable of googling before coming up with the dipshit claim that these people deserve 100 grand because 11 of them have died on duty since the 1850’s.

              And that’s what an ass kicking looks like. Lick your wounds, peon, and crawl back to your hole.

              1. *rising applause*

                Too bad dunphy wasn’t here to see that one, heh.

              2. The death count is not the only metric for determining if something/somewhere is dangerous.

                Police officers are in many ways similar to military combatants, experiencing events in their work that involve treachery, violence, and death. It is argued here that police officers with long term exposure to trauma may, like the soldier, experience the after-effects of trauma long after separation from the war. For some, symptomatology may be full-blown, for others, a residual condition may exist.
                With return to civilian life, police officers take with them emotional baggage remaining from traumatic work experiences.

                It wouldn’t be much of stretch to call Stockton, circa 2012, a war zone. However, it looks like the “soldiers” on the front line have won the residents hearts and minds and are once again making Stockton a place where children can live without constant fear of violence.

                1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!

                  Sweet fucking Christ. You’re like 5 times as likely to get injured or killed working as a cabbie than a cop. Should we pay very bouncer six figures because of the violence they have to witness when they toss drunkards out of the club? Should every social worker get six figures because they have to look at sad stuff that parents do to their children?

                  Also, you fucked up the link so I can’t tell if the claims being made are legitimate or come from a cop propaganda website. Also, the phrase ‘IT IS ARGUED that police officers with long term exposure to trauma MAY, like the soldier, experience the after effects of trauma,’ is hardly a smoking gun. Who ‘argues?’ What is the evidence beyond some random asshole saying ‘it is possible?’ You have provided no evidence for your assertion because you are a mindless state worshiper who doesn’t care what the facts say.

                  Moreover, here’s what your original post said:

                  I think if you ask most people they would say that first-responders, the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us, are underpaid.

                  You explicitly claimed their high pay was because THEIR LIVES WERE IN DANGER then when it was pointed out that this is a total lie you pulled out of your ass, you moved the goal posts and said ‘well…there’s trauma and stuff.’

                    1. bland|10.4.14 @ 10:31PM|#
                      “Here it is.”
                      Yep, that’s the one that you pulled out of your ass after you were called on bullshit.

                  1. You explicitly claimed their high pay was because THEIR LIVES WERE IN DANGER then when it was pointed out that this is a total lie you pulled out of your ass, you moved the goal posts and said ‘well…there’s trauma and stuff.’

                    Come on. I think you are intentionally trying to bog this thread done in minutia. Quality of life means nothing to you? Look at the substantial lawsuits from former NFL players demanding and receiving compensation because of a diminished quality of life brought about by voluntarily engaging in a career where one person runs into another as fast as he can. If society considers that justice then there is absolutely no way I moved any goal posts.

                    1. bland|10.4.14 @ 10:50PM|#
                      …”Come on. I think you are intentionally trying to bog this thread done in minutia. Quality of life means nothing to you?”

                      Yeah, asking a lying twit to prove claims is certainly ‘minutia’!
                      Right, lying twit?

                    2. I think you are intentionally trying to bog this thread done in minutia.

                      The number of deaths in the line of duty isn’t an indication of how dangerous the job is?

                      Seriously, you have one serious case of chronic question-begging and deflection.

                    3. Your link provided exactly zero data, just anecdotes from some other papers. In order to prove your point–and the burden of proof is on you making the claim–you need to actually show some numbers.

              3. Wow Irish. I don’t come out of the weeds often to comment anymore (I got too tired of the constant whiny fighting and the equally constant “let’s guess at this poster’s secret identity” obsession as if it has anything to do with the quality of their arguments), but that was one hell of a rhetorical beat down. Good work.

            3. This line is just hilarious given the actual stats on Stockton cop deaths:

              Given how dangerous their jobs are if they can survive to retirement they would have earned their modest pensions.

              Yeah, if they survive. Clearly the one in 200,000 chance a cop will die in Stockton means that it’s really up in the air whether he’ll live to retirement.

        3. One can have these debates until the cows come home. The only way to ensure that people get what they deserve is to change to individual retirement accounts. That way, the money is safe from greedy banks and retirement funds, while at the same time people get what they paid in, plus reasonable returns.

    2. D+, would not read again

    3. And every step of the way the unions raised money and supported the very politicians engaging in those activities because the same politicians engaging these underhanded and corrupt activities were promising unions all sorts of goodies.

      When the unions support the very people whose negligence makes their pensions unsustainable, you’ll have to excuse me for not getting weepy eyed when the grotesque stupidity of public union members makes their pensions unsustainable.

      Also, if the problem were ‘wall street banksters’ then why do some states have such terrible unfounded pensions while others don’t? Notably, why do Illinois, California, and New Jersey have such terrible problems with their pensions while Wisconsin, run by evil wall street plutocrat Scott Walker, has a pension system which is completely funded?

      Because the Democrats are highly irresponsible, give unions whatever they want, and then use the votes of those unions to enrich their cronies. When the states with the worst unfounded pension problems are virtually all run by Democrats, maybe the common denominator should clue you in to the cause of such problems.

      1. I’m not sure the pattern you see holds.

        http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/…..sion-Funds

        1. That’s several years old.

          Here’s the current list.

          7 of the 10 best funded in 2013 were Republican, 6 of the 10 worst are Democrats.

          Is it a straight correlation? No, but I think you can draw some conclusions.

          Incidentally, the consistently best Democratic state is New York, which takes the incredibly responsible action of requiring by law that pensions be fully funded. Every state should follow suit, so it isn’t as if Democratic states are entirely bad, just that they tend to be worse.

          1. Also, the state that’s far and away the worst is Illinois. No one even comes close. It’s almost impressive how fucked my state is.

            1. Sorry for the triple post, but I also think there’s another thing that must be considered when discussing issues of unfunded pensions. The unfunded pensions of Republican states are frequently unfunded because they have very low taxes. If necessary, Kansas can simply raise taxes, which are currently among the lowest in the country, and make up a large portion of their unfunded liabilities.

              Where can Illinois go? Where can Connecticut go? Where can Rhode Island go? Their taxes are already high and they can’t just crank them up further. The Republican states on that list therefore have a pretty simple way to make up their liabilities without declaring bankruptcy, and I’m not sure the Democrat states have anywhere to go other than eventually becoming insolvent.

      2. When the unions support the very people whose negligence makes their pensions unsustainable, you’ll have to excuse me for not getting weepy eyed when the grotesque stupidity of public union members makes their pensions unsustainable.

        You just don’t get it:

        Today’s economic warfare is not the kind waged a century ago between labor and its industrial employers. Finance has moved to capture the economy at large, industry and mining, public infrastructure (via privatization) and now even the educational system. (At over $1 trillion, U.S. student loan debt came to exceed credit-card debt in 2012.) The weapon in this financial warfare is no larger military force. The tactic is to load economies (governments, companies and families) with debt, siphon off their income as debt service and then foreclose when debtors lack the means to pay. Indebting government gives creditors a lever to pry away land, public infrastructure and other property in the public domain.

        1. The unions have no say in the matter. The corporations have a stranglehold on local and state governments.

          The aim of financial warfare is not merely to acquire land, natural resources and key infrastructure rents as in military warfare; it is to centralize creditor control over society. In contrast to the promise of democratic reform nurturing a middle class a century ago, we are witnessing a regression to a world of special privilege in which one must inherit wealth in order to avoid debt and job dependency.

          1. bland|10.4.14 @ 8:02PM|#
            “The unions have no say in the matter. The corporations have a stranglehold on local and state governments.”

            Sarc? Stupidity?

            1. Yeah. Korporashunz have power. They can force you to do shit against your will, and if you don’t they come and either throw you in a rape cage or kill you.

              Fear teh korporashunz!

            2. You don’t understand, even though unions throw their weight behind politicians, and in some cases single handedly elect them, they somehow have no say in government. That’s why government workers certainly don’t get paid far more than private sector workers – because they have no political power!

            3. Sarc? Stupidity?

              Did you read the article I linked to and the comment I was responding to? Showing an almost complete ignorance of the real issues that are driving the entirety of Stockton’s bankruptcy, how they became bankrupt and how the bankruptcy is being adjudicated, The commentor Irish was trying to blame the workers and their unions. The link was an effort to inform, if not Irish then possibly others who would could have been mislead by this article and Irish’s comment. I am trying to shine a light in this vast darkness of lies and deceit. With that light hopefully some can find the truth. From the link:

              Workers have become so deeply indebted on their home mortgages, credit cards and other bank debt that they fear to strike or even to complain about working conditions. Losing work means missing payments on their monthly bills, enabling banks to jack up interest rates to levels that used to be deemed usurious. So debt peonage and unemployment loom on top of the wage slavery that was the main focus of class warfare a century ago. And to cap matters, credit-card bank lobbyists have rewritten the bankruptcy laws to curtail debtor rights, and the referees appointed to adjudicate disputes brought by debtors and consumers are subject to veto from the banks and businesses that are mainly responsible for inflicting injury.

              1. bland|10.4.14 @ 10:19PM|#
                Sarc? Stupidity?
                “Did you read the article I linked to and the comment I was responding to?”

                No, I didn’t bother and here’s why:
                “Workers have become so deeply indebted on their home mortgages, credit cards and other bank debt that they fear to strike or even to complain about working conditions.”
                Only a well-functioning ignoramus would presume workers somehow ‘became’ so indebted.
                I have a hint for you; anyone who wants to borrow money has to go and arrange to do so.
                Ignoramuses such as yourself make the bogus claim that indebtedness ‘happens’.
                No, it doesn’t.
                Now go away.

                1. Correction:
                  “Only a well-functioning ignoramus would presume workers somehow ‘became’ so indebted.”

                  Or a lefty ignoramus with an agenda.

              2. You don’t want “usurious interest rates”? Don’t take out loans. You don’t want to have trouble paying back your mortgage? Don’t buy more house than you can afford. See how simple that is?

                You don’t want your city to go bankrupt, your pensions to get ruined, and your mortgage to go under water? Don’t vote for policies that ruin your city, in particular if that’s where you work.

          2. The unions have no say in the matter.

            Dude, are you brain-dead?

            -jcr

        2. So this person presumably wants to stop raising the debt ceiling and start paying the debt down, right?

          Indebting government

          That is quite the turn of phrase. Government doesn’t borrow, financiers indebt it.

        3. There is a very easy way to counter this economic warfare: don’t spend money you don’t have.

        4. Hahahaha. Fucking alternet? Really? I notice that your alternet link, which is a highly suspect source to begin with, provides no evidence for any of your assertions. It’s just someone making wild claims while providing no evidence, which isn’t too surprising given that every claim you’ve made so far has been shredded. Example do you really think this paragraph:

          The aim of financial warfare is not merely to acquire land, natural resources and key infrastructure rents as in military warfare; it is to centralize creditor control over society. In contrast to the promise of democratic reform nurturing a middle class a century ago, we are witnessing a regression to a world of special privilege in which one must inherit wealth in order to avoid debt and job dependency.

          proves anything? It’s someone making wild claims without linking to any statistics or evidence to back up those claims. You realize that shrieking ‘PEOPLE WITH PRIVILEGE HAVE ROBBED US!’ is not an argument right? It’s an assertion. An argument is an assertion with evidence and the simpering moron who wrote that alternet piece notably failed to provide any evidence.

  20. Talking Points Memo: GOP Iowa senate candidate once checked ‘Yes’ on a Campaign for Liberty survey that asked if she supported nullifying Obamacare and arresting Feds who try to implement it

    State Sen. Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Iowa, once said she would support legislation that would allow “local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement” Obamacare.

    Ernst voiced her support for that, as well as supporting legislation that would “nullify” Obamacare in a Iowa State Legislative Candidates survey for Ron Paul’s libertarian-aligned Campaign for Liberty in 2012. It can be viewed here.

    The question was: “Will you support legislation to nullify ObamaCare and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care scheme known as ObamaCare?” Ernst answered that question as “yes.”

    Campaign for Liberty Communications Director Megan Stiles told TPM on Friday that the “yes” answer is what the group is looking for in candidates. Stiles, however, cautioned that the group does not endorse candidates.

    “States nullifying federal laws is one way of a check on the balance of federal power,” Stiles said. “So that’s an additional way to fight Obamacare. That’s what we’re looking for.”

    1. You know what – fuck her.

      I’m all for arresting feds (well, really – simply withdrawing support. No more drug task forces for example), but for this and not the drug war?

      She’s willing to arrest feds implementing Obamacare but will give a pass to the DEA? As shitty as Obamacare is, it isn’t going to do half the direct damage the drug war has done.

      1. As shitty as Obamacare is, it isn’t going to do half the direct damage the drug war has done.

        Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Sure, it hasn’t yet but give it a few decades to ramp up and I think it is likely to surpass the drug war in damage to Liberty.

      2. Eh; as long as Feds are being arrested, I’m happy.

  21. HuffPo: Why Capitalism and Competition Fails Education

    Fans of market forces for education simply don’t understand how market forces actually work.

    What they like to say is that free market competition breeds excellence. It does not, and it never has.

    Free market competition breeds excellent marketing. McDonald’s did not become successful by creating the most excellent food. Coke and Pepsi are not that outstandingly superior to RC or any store brand. Betamax was actually technically superior to VHS, but VHS had a better marketing plan.

    The market loves winners. It loves winners even if they aren’t winning — Amazon has yet to turn an actual profit, ever, but investors think that Bezos is a winner, so they keep shoveling money on top of him. And when we enter the area of crony capitalism, which likes to pretend it’s the free market, picking winners becomes even less related to success. Charter schools were once a great idea with some real promise, but the whole business has become so toxically polluted with crony capitalism that it has no hope of producing educational excellence in its present form.

    But then, the market has only one measure for winning, and that is the production of money. The heart of a business plan is not “Can I build a really excellent mousetrap?” The heart of a business plan is “Can I sell this mousetrap and make money doing it?”

    1. The heart of a business plan is “Can I sell this mousetrap and make money doing it?”

      Well, yeah. If you can’t make money doing it, its because people don’t actually need it that badly. If you can’t turn a profit, your business is ‘unsustainable’ (to use the parlance of the greens).

    2. Betamax was actually technically superior to VHS, but VHS had a better marketing plan.

      “Technical superiority” is an opinion. VHS recorders were cheaper to make and the cassettes had longer running times. Beta had higher picture quality, which didn’t matter for the purposes people used VCRs for in the 1980s.

      1. …which didn’t matter for the purposes people used VCRs for in the 1980s.

        Porn?

        1. I was thinking of home movies and recorded low-def TV shows, but that too.

    3. Double facepalm.

      When you get to the false premise:

      What they like to say is that free market competition breeds excellence. It does not, and it never has.

      You can simply stop reading as you can be sure anything that follows is nonsense.

        1. You were. I stopped reading your comments a long time ago.

          1. Sorry. I’m so mean after 2 beers.

  22. Fans of market forces for education simply don’t understand how market forces actually work.

    [citation needed]

  23. McDonald’s did not become successful by creating the most excellent food.

    McDonald’s became successful by offering CONSISTENTLY GOOD food, in a predictably clean and well run facility.

    1. So many people make this kind of mistake. The quality of the product sold is important, but there is also the quality of service, distribution, consistency, and more. Amazon did not beat out Borders because it invented a new, better book, it beat them out because it followed a delivery model that was better to more customers.

      1. Not having to deal with sales tax for the first 15 years also helped. Borders also made some incredibly foolish decisions in the 90s that could not be gotten away with any more in the poorer economy of later decades. Letting customers come in and read your books for free and soak up the wifi is not a good business model, but they couldn’t get away with cutting it off when that became clear.

        The day’s gonna come when we rue moving from traditional distribution methods to a somewhat more efficient but infinitely more fragile regime. And not just in the bookstore industry.

        1. I had the regional VP of Borders tell me in 1998 that Amazon would serve a niche market for rare or collectible book buyers, but that Amazon didn’t pose a threat to Borders’ brick and mortar operations. He was a smart guy, a lawyer turned businessman. But I walked away from that lunch thinking he was making a big mistake. I left the company about six months later.

          1. Yep, smart people often have blind spots.

            Borders and B&N probably could have held off Amazon to some extent had they reduced their store stock so they could slash prices, developed an online store earlier and taken advantage of their inherently lower shipping costs for delivery to the store, and maybe convinced publishers to allow them to let users look at digital previews of the books at terminals in the store. But that would have meant abandoning a BM that worked so well in the 90s.

            Just like Xerox refused to enter the digital document arena when they had every advantage in doing so, because they didn’t want to jeopardize their lucrative toner and ink ribbon sales.

    2. I take it you’ve never worked at, or possibly even been to, a McDonald’s.

      People eat there out of habit or desperation, nothing more.

      1. Are you being sarcastic? Because lots of people genuinely enjoy McDonalds food, and a greater number would say that for the price and speed it is delivered it is worth the price.

      2. They eat there because it’s convenient, cheap, consistent and they like the food.

        They give the customer exactly what the customer is asking for. McDonalds is a goddamned testament to capitalism.

        1. I don’t eat there often enough to speak to consistency.

          As for cheap…. Let’s put it this way: you would not buy the ingredients they use at the grocery store for half the price they charge for the final product. I don’t even think there are any supermarkets that sell meat of that low quality.

          They do give the customer what they ask for. The question is, is the customer stupid for asking for that.

          1. Somebody’s a food snob.

            You can go to the supermarket, buy all of the requisite ingredients, and make a double cheeseburger for $.99? You must be a fucking magician.

            1. Not a fair comparison. The lowest quality meat I’ve seen in supermarkets is 80% lean, which is filet mignon compared to the gray cooked matter found on a McDouble (which is $1.19 btw). I probably don’t have access to the terrible cheese they use either.

              1. McDonalds patties are 100% beef. Ground beef, BTW. The cut of beef doesn’t matter when it’s ground. The machine chews the meat so your teeth don’t have to. If you are grinding up prime filets, well, you are a retard.

                Fat content is a matter of preference. In N Out Burger is less than 66% lean, and it’s delicious. McDonalds is far more lean, and less caloric. Their cheese is no different than any other process cheese. If you eat Kraft singles, it’s the same shit.

                Like I said, food snob. FOOD SNOB.

                1. McDonalds patties are 100% beef. Ground beef, BTW. The cut of beef doesn’t matter when it’s ground.

                  You do realize that the entrails of a steer still count as “beef”, right? Along with other undesirable parts. Ground beef also has different levels of quality, it’s not all the same. They don’t just dump the steer whole into a machine that spits out ground beef — the best parts are removed before the McDouble fodder.

                  1. Like I said, FOOD SNOB. You’re eating a ground up cow corpse, and you’re picky about which parts?

                    Who gives a fuck if it it tastes good and has protein?

                    Do you have any comment on the millions of Mexicans that eat tripas, sesos, and cabeza?

                    1. Non hablat espaniola.

                    2. Uhhh Playa. You should be on the road to Chavez Ravine, hombre.

                    3. EDG reppin’ LBC|10.4.14 @ 7:35PM|#
                      “Uhhh Playa. You should be on the road to Chavez Ravine, hombre.”

                      Ah, LA fans only want to catch the middle innings…

                    4. Not me, bro. I’m there at first pitch, tip-off, kickoff, face-off, whatever. And I’m unique in that I will stay to the end of the sporting event. The wife and I stayed to the end of a 13 inning Dodgers game about 6 years ago. Left the stadium at 1:30 in the morning.

                    5. The Gynt’s game is on premium cable which I’m not gonna buy for one or two games a year.
                      So it’s been keeping track on the local rag web site.
                      Two teams willing to duke it out into the 16th inning says there are two teams that do NOT want to lose.
                      THAT’s baseball!

                    6. Like I said, FOOD SNOB. You’re eating a ground up cow corpse, and you’re picky about which parts?

                      Yeah, I’ve never understood the people who freak out about the part of the cow you eat. It’s prepared to avoid getting you sick anyway, so why the fuck does it matter what part got ground up to make the beef patty?

                2. I’d like to jump in say that I stopped going to McDonalds because the price vs quality ratio has really declined.

                  ie. a Big Mac meal at my local Mcdonalds $8 before taxes.
                  But for $7 dollars I can go to the pizzeria and get a good burger/fries.
                  For $10 I can go to a local diner and get a very good burger/fries
                  For $12 I can go to this spot that has amazing fresh burgers ground with different combos of meat.

              2. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 5:46PM|#
                …”the gray cooked matter found on a McDouble”

                I’m gonna go out on a very short limb and say you don’t know what in hell you’re talking about.
                Please tell us, *exactly* what you know about that ‘matter’.

          2. HOW DARE PEOPLE NOT CONSUME SOYLENT AS THEIR SOLE SOURCE OF NUTRITION!

            1. Now improved with less taste and less gas!

          3. They offer a better value than their competition.

            I don’t eat there often enough to speak to consistency.

            Their entire business plan was based upon consistency.

            As for cheap…. Let’s put it this way: you would not buy the ingredients they use at the grocery store for half the price they charge for the final product. I don’t even think there are any supermarkets that sell meat of that low quality.

            Really, that’s your argument? Should they sell their product at cost? What do you think the markup is in any restaurant? They are going to provide you with a place to eat, prepare the food for you, serve it to you and charge you what the ingredients cost?

            People eat at fast food restaurants because it’s more convenient than making it themselves. They want it fast. They want it to taste okay. and they want to know what they are getting.

            They do give the customer what they ask for. The question is, is the customer stupid for asking for that.

            Why would the customer be stupid for asking for what he wants? What business is it of anybody’s (except the customer and McDonald’s)?

            1. Methinks we is getting trolled.

            2. Why would the customer be stupid for asking for what he wants?

              He’s not, and nobody said he is. But is he stupid for wanting what he wants? That’s the question I’m asking.

              Should they sell their product at cost?

              You may have noticed that I said “half” in there. 100% markup is insane for the “service” you get at McDonalds, especially considering most of their customers aren’t even using the dining area. Comparing their markup to that of a restaurant that brings food to your table on a real plate with real silverware is unjustified.

              1. Which is why you don’t leave a tip at McDonalds.

                1. I didn’t realize my tips were used to pay for comfortable seats, dinnerware, and a decent variety in the menu.

                  1. I didn’t realize my tips were used to pay for comfortable seats, dinnerware, and a decent variety in the menu.

                    In that they reduce labor costs for the owner, yes, they do.

                    1. You’re either confused or confusing.

                      The tip pays most of the wage needed to provide a service that McDonald’s doesn’t provide at all. So the ordinary restaurant is spending more money than McDonald’s does on service, even with the customer paying the tip — and they still have to provide the stuff I mentioned in addition.

                    2. So the ordinary restaurant is spending more money than McDonald’s does on service, even with the customer paying the tip — and they still have to provide the stuff I mentioned in addition.

                      I don’t believe that’s true. McD’s provides its staff with free uniforms; most family-owned restaurants do not. Some McD’s franchises provide their staff with a health insurance plan (in addition to vacation, 401Ks, and educational assistance). Most family-owned restaurants are now dependent on the ACA.

                    3. ::blows whistle::

                      You seem to have slipped a “family owned” bit in, when we were talking about restaurants in general.

                    4. So you’re saying chain-restaurants are not like McD’s in your argument? That’s even more absurd.

                    5. We were talking about levels of service. There are plenty of chain restaurants offering more service than McDonalds… indeed it’s hard to think of one that offers less.

                    6. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 6:50PM|#
                      “We were talking about levels of service. There are plenty of chain restaurants offering more service than McDonalds… indeed it’s hard to think of one that offers less.”

                      Define “service”.

                    7. We were talking about levels of service

                      No, you were talking about nutritional quality before you zig and zaged.

                      And if you think the meat in a fucking Applebee’s is better than McD’s you are a poor deluded fool.

                    8. *I* zigged and zagged? No. You guys tried to excuse McDonalds’ markup by comparing it to sit-down restaurants with waiters and bus boys and silverware.

                    9. You guys tried to excuse McDonalds’ markup by comparing it to sit-down restaurants with waiters and bus boys and silverware.

                      Which is why you first brought up the costs of buying the ingredients at the grocery store.

                      Not at all because you saw your nutritional quality opening gambit fail miserably.

                    10. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 7:05PM|#
                      “*I* zigged and zagged? No”

                      Yes.
                      Still waiting for the education on that ‘gray matter’, how you know something ‘isn’t good for them’ and your definition of ‘service’.
                      You throw out claims of knowledge and quality based on nothing whatsoever AFAIK.
                      Now, do you have any evidence for your egomania, or are you just one more Bo?

                    11. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 6:19PM|#
                      “You’re either confused or confusing.”

                      No, you’re either stupid or lying.

              2. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 5:53PM|#
                …”He’s not, and nobody said he is. But is he stupid for wanting what he wants? That’s the question I’m asking.”

                Uh, so you know better than the customer what the customer *should* want?
                Did your momma say you were smart?

                1. Flip that and right back at you: so you think it’s impossible for someone to want something that is not good for them?

                  1. for someone to want something that is not good for them?

                    THE HORROR!

                  2. Flip that and right back at you: so you think it’s impossible for someone to want something that is not good for them?

                    None of your damn business.

                  3. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 6:06PM|#
                    “Flip that and right back at you: so you think it’s impossible for someone to want something that is not good for them?”

                    And YOU are the one to decide that? Tell us how ‘it is not good for them”.
                    Fuck off, slaver.

                    1. And YOU are the one to decide that? Tell us how ‘it is not good for them”.
                      Fuck off, slaver.

                      I’m inviting everyone to discuss and decide. This attitude that no one can ever question the wisdom of a freely made choice is noisome in the extreme, and a caricature of libertarianism.

                      I wouldn’t forcibly come between a sane adult and something he wants and can obtain without violating someone else’s rights. But I may try to persuade him not to want it.

                    2. I wouldn’t forcibly come between a sane adult and something he wants and can obtain without violating someone else’s rights.

                      Fair enough.

                      But I may try to persuade him not to want it.

                      Fair enough. Some people, though, might have a different opinion. Indeed, some people might view your persuasion as finding its origin in priggishness.

                    3. Indeed, some people might view your persuasion as finding its origin in priggishness.

                      That would be a shame for those people.

                    4. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 6:37PM|#
                      “That would be a shame for those people.”

                      Yeah, they could have easily told you to get lost.

                    5. This attitude that no one can ever question the wisdom of a freely made choice is noisome in the extreme, and a caricature of libertarianism.

                      The notion that because it’s not “wise” for you makes it not wise for everyone else is noisome in the extreme, and a caricature of collectivism.

                      But I may try to persuade him not to want it.

                      Why?

                      I don’t hold the same beliefs as Eddie. We discuss our differences, but I have no innate need to change his behavior to match my values, provided he’s not hurting anyone but himself.

                    6. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 6:25PM|#
                      “I’m inviting everyone to discuss and decide”

                      And I’m still waiting to read exactly what you know about that ‘gray matter’ and how you know ‘it isn’t good for them’.
                      It sounds to me like you have your life so perfectly arranged you now have time to run the lives of others.
                      Forgive me for calling bullshit.

                    7. I don’t see how persuading other people to join you in your preferences for filet mignon is relevant to the question of whether a mandatory, state-run educational system is a good idea.

              3. 100% markup is insane for the “service” you get at McDonalds, especially considering most of their customers aren’t even using the dining area.

                The service I get a Mickey D’s is phenomenal. I’m in and out in a couple minutes. THAT’s what I’m paying for.

                If I want a healthy meal, I’ll fix it myself.

                If I want a good meal, I’ll go to a fancy restaurant (or to Playa’s).

                If I’m shopping, dragging 4 kids, and I want to put food in their little gullets with as little hassle as possible I go to Mickey D’s.

                And they provide a better value than their competitors. If they didn’t, people would be eating elsewhere.

                Funny how everyone you talk to hates McDonalds, but they maintain market share.

            3. What do you think the markup is in any restaurant?

              If they know what they’re doing, it could be about 33 percent.

              1. Pizza places are quite a bit higher. Yet, the one I worked at in high school managed to go out of business.

              2. Markup is different for different items. A McDouble costs $1.19 but the actual input cost could well be $1.25. McDonalds loses money on McDoubles. The Coke you order with the McDouble is $1.79, but the input cost is only 12 cents. In fact, I’d venture to say that McD’s probably runs about break even for food sales, and makes all it’s profit from beverage sales.

                1. Some of us leave a little room in our Super Sized cokes for a topper of Jack.

                2. I seriously doubt the marginal cost of producing a McDouble is more than 60 cents. Don’t count overhead, that’s not something a person preparing their own food has to deal with.

                3. And anyone who buys a Coke to go or in the drive through is an idiot. You’re paying through the nose for something that is lower quality than what you buy off the shelf in a grocery store with no preparation necessary.

                  If you’re eating in the dining area, I can see it making sense, with the refills and all.

                  1. And anyone who buys a Coke to go or in the drive through is an idiot.

                    No, people are just predictably irrational. Can’t talk about behavioral economics without talking about behavioral economics.

                  2. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 6:16PM|#
                    “And anyone who buys a Coke to go or in the drive through is an idiot.”

                    Lear Dunham is a self-righteous ignoramus.

                  3. And anyone who buys a Coke to go or in the drive through is an idiot.

                    Okay, dad. I bet you turn the ketchup bottle upside down and set it in the corner on top of the new one to get that last half teaspoon.

                    How’s bouts you decide what has value for you and I’ll decide what has value for me.

                    1. Okay, dad. I bet you turn the ketchup bottle upside down and set it in the corner on top of the new one to get that last half teaspoon.

                      Hey! Ketchup costs money, you know!

                    2. How’s bouts you decide what has value for you and I’ll decide what has value for me.

                      Your right to decide does NOT contradict my right to attempt to persuade you to change your mind.

                    3. Why do you need me to change my mind?

                    4. Tulpa never changes his mind.

                    5. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 6:35PM|#
                      “Your right to decide does NOT contradict my right to attempt to persuade you to change your mind.”

                      Nor my right to tell you to fuck off, slaver.

                4. Fries are where it is at.

                  Yeah beverages are big money makers too, but potatoes are dirt cheap and take no skill to cook.

                  Their single biggest money maker are those fries.

      3. Really? Really?

        Shaking my head.

      4. People eat there out of habit or desperation, nothing more.

        Why would anyone eat at McDonalds out of desperation when they could buy food at a supermarket pretty easily? You don’t eat at McDonalds because you’re desperate, you do so because it’s fast, relatively cheap, and you know what you’re getting.

        1. Desperation as in, you’re in a situation where the options you have are limited. You’re stuck at a small airport waiting for a delayed flight, you just had a customer call and can’t spare more than a couple of minutes to get lunch, the power is out at your house and you can’t cook, etc. In those situations the quality of what you eat is a low priority.

          1. …”In those situations the quality of what you eat is a low priority.”…

            You know, I’m sure you can get better food at lower prices if you just drive to the farm and buy it off the truck.
            Of course, you’d have to drive to the wheat farm to get the wheat, and then have it ground. And then to the beef ranch to get a cow (and have it slaughtered)
            But you’d only object to getting quality food in this manner if you were “desperate”, right?

  24. The heart of a business plan is not “Can I build a really excellent mousetrap?” The heart of a business plan is “Can I sell this mousetrap and make money doing it?”

    This is just stupid. Even “artists” have to eat.

  25. In return for committing years to an employer, they receive some pay now, and some pay deferred via a pension.

    What a load of horse shit.

    1. I love that because it makes it sound like they get paid less now in exchange for money after retirement. In the case of public unions, that’s completely untrue. What they actually do is get paid more now, game the pension system so that you can cheat in order to inflate the amount you’re paid in retirement, and then make out like a bandit by getting more during their working life than they could otherwise and getting a bloated and unsustainable pension plan.

      They don’t ‘defer’ shit. They get their money now and get even more money later.

  26. Damn it’s hot. My Bird of Paradise has 22 flowers on it right now. In October.

    1. It’s hot as a motherfucker. Plus, I’m sober. Looks like it’s time for some Tom Collins.

      1. I’m on my second Lagunitas Maximus. I’m going to the Dodger game this afternoon, and they don’t even serve real beer there. I have to bring it with me in my stomach.

        1. Go Doyers!!! Have fun.

          1. I’ll be sitting next to my brother (the estranged one). It could go either way.

      2. Oops. No lemons. Looks like it’ll be a Madras instead.

  27. SJWs awaken and arise from the depths…

    “World Fantasy awards pressed to drop HP Lovecraft trophy in racism row

    “Authors say statuette of the notorious science fiction author is inappropriate to honour modern sci-fi and fantasy writers…

    “[Daniel Jos?] Older has almost 2,500 signatories to date, including [Nnedi] Okorafor and other authors; he writes that while Lovecraft “did leave a lasting mark on speculative fiction, he was also an avowed racist and a terrible wordsmith”, and “it’s time to stop co-signing his bigotry and move sci-fi/fantasy out of the past”.

    “The novelist told the Guardian that while he reads Lovecraft himself, and appreciates “aspects” of his work, “there’s no reason, in 2014, to have a man who enthusiastically advocated for genocide be the face of fantasy’s greatest honour”.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/boo…..-statuette

    1. he was also an avowed racist

      Yes, let’s ignore the fact that his racism was mostly confined to his early years and that it mellowed considerably over time. Had he lived past the ripe old age of 32, he might have even gotten around to apologizing for it.

      1. It’s worth asking, if a major sci-fi award were named for someone who was a diehard communist or some such other controversial stance here (like abortionist), would people here feel similarly blase about it?

        1. Being racist doesn’t affect anyone unless you wield a lot of power. Communism is all about… wait for it…. wielding power over others.

          I couldn’t give 2 fucks if some redneck in a trailer thinks Puerto Ricans smell bad. But communists? Thats why I own guns an am willing to use them.

          1. That’s a nice rationalization of a double standard.

            1. I wouldn’t accept a Walter Duranty Award for Excellence in Journalism but I don’t see how Lovecraft’s racism affected the quality of his writing or his impact on fiction.

              1. The thing is, it *helped* him. He wrote about what genuinely horrified him, and what genuinely horrified him included foreign-ness and miscegenation. So he was able to make it scary, even to readers who didn’t share his preoccupations.

                1. And Riefenstahl made Nazi propaganda, but her work was still groundbreaking and unquestionably a major contribution to art.

                  So if you wanted to name an award for documentary filmmaking after Riefenstahl that would be appropriate.

                  There are also awards named after Werner von Braun, who built rockets using Nazi slave labor that were fired at London, killing hundreds of people.

        2. It’s worth asking, if a major sci-fi award were named for someone who was a diehard communist or some such other controversial stance here (like abortionist), would people here feel similarly blase about it?

          Absolutely. I think Lovecraft’s racism was obvious, lifelong, and deserves criticism, but his bust is used because of his impact on the fantasy genre.

          There is a Richard Wright award for example, and he was a Communist for part of his life. Since the award is for his writing rather than his politics, I see no problem with this.

          1. Communists are Courageous, Persecuted Dissenters. Racists are vile scum whose contamination must be washed clean with OCD-style zeal. Didn’t you get the memo?

            1. In fairness, Wright explicitly disavowed his Communism in a way Lovecraft did not disavow his racism.

              Still, if someone wanted to make a Howard Fast Award I wouldn’t bitch. A literary award should not be based on the morality of the individual but on his literary importance. Lovecraft may be the most important fantasy writer of the twentieth century outside of possibly Tolkien, and using him for a fantasy award is therefore completely reasonable.

              1. I agree on that (though I’m not a fan of Lovecraft, too much Victorian era fainting in terror for me).

              2. I would actually say he managed to sublimate much of his racial fear into fantasies about alien monsters, to an extent that a sane non-racist person can legitimately be entertained.

                Of course, some of the stories use undisguised racism, so there’s that.

                But racism was the grain of sand, Lovecraft was the oyster, and the Cthulhu mythos was the pearl.

        3. There’s a difference in between an idiot and an evil person.

          An idiot impoverishes his own experience and self-sabotages by undertaking actions which are either countproductive or based on ideas which are untrue.

          An evil person causes harm to others, seeks to control, etc.

          A racist is just an idiot. The primary person harmed by his refusal to associate with a large part of the human race is himself; unless his racism comes with a modifier (e.g., “Jim Crow-supporting racist”), he’s not evil for his idiocy — and the evil comes from the modifier, rather than the racism (a Jim Crow-supporting non-racist would be just as evil as the racist, no?).

          A communist is evil, because he seeks and justifies harm towards those with wealth, and because he wants control over other people.

          That would be the difference, to me.

          Even so, I wouldn’t care if a Communist were attributed the title of some award so long as it were relevant (the Yuri Gagarin Prize for Excellence in Manned Spaceflight, for example, would not offend me in any way).

        4. Botardesque-

          How do you feel about people who are “Rhodes Scholars”?

      2. I sometimes think of writing a rom-com about Lovecraft and Sonia Greene. Her being Jewish would have made things interesting.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Greene

        1. Yes, but with the Crohn’s, HP would have to deliver half of his lines while sitting on the toilet.

          Something that hasn’t been done since All in the Family.

        2. “Sometimes, he would insist that they walk down the center of a street so that he wouldn’t have to share a sidewalk with “mongerels.” Greene told a biographer later that she kept reminding Lovecraft about her own background, but it didn’t seem to dissuade him from his fear of Jews and other immigrants.”

          http://archive.wired.com/table…..sterious_/

          1. His racial fears and anxieties, as expressed in his work, could keep a university English prof employed for years.

            1. His primary fears regarded people finding out that they had ‘bad blood’ in them and were going to revert to savagery due to the innate corruption of their bloodline.

              I mean, that hardly even counts as subtext.

              1. That was a key to several stories.

      3. Lovecraft lived to be 47.

        Also, Horror at Red Hook was published in 1927 and was blatantly anti-Asian. That’s only 10 years before his death and he would have been 37, hardly ‘his early years.’

        He also co-wrote a story called Medusa’s Coil which was published two years after his death and ends with the following paragraph:

        It would be too hideous if they knew that the one-time heiress of Riverside?the accursed gorgon or lamia whose hateful crinkly coil of serpent-hair must even now be brooding and twining vampirically around an artist’s skeleton in a lime-packed grave beneath a charred foundation?was faintly, subtly, yet to the eyes of genius unmistakably the scion of Zimbabwe’s most primal grovellers. No wonder she owned a link with that old witch-woman Sophonisba?for, though in deceitfully slight proportion, Marceline was a negress.

        Yeah, the twist that’s supposed to make you shudder is that she was a darky. I hardly think Lovecraft’s racism was confined to his early years.

        1. Speaking of Lovecraft’s racism, The Street is so xenophobic it’s actually hilarious. It’s all about scary Bolshevick revolutionaries who come to a town heretofore peopled with folk of noble Anglo Saxon stock.

        2. Lovecraft lived to be 47.

          So he did.

          My maternal grandfather died when he was 32, so in my mind that’s when all people die young.

        3. Yeah, the twist that’s supposed to make you shudder is that she was a darky. I hardly think Lovecraft’s racism was confined to his early years.

          I never said it was confined to his early years, I said it mellowed over time. And indeed that Penthouse Letter of “That Time I Almost Did a Quadroon” is positively mild compared to the shit in “Herbert West” or “The Rats in the Walls” or, as you mention “Horror at Red Hook”. Had he lived into the post-war era, would Lovecraft ever have changed his attitudes? I believe the trend shows a possibility for yes. In the end, who knows?

          1. I didn’t immediately remember what was racist in Herbert West, but then I recalled that Herbert West is the story where they reanimate a black boxer and spend like two paragraphs describing his lips.

            Yeah, that was pretty terrible.

          2. Here it is!

            The quote is even worse than I remembered:

            The match had been between Kid O’Brien?a lubberly and now quaking youth with a most un-Hibernian hooked nose?and Buck Robinson, “The Harlem Smoke”. The negro had been knocked out, and a moment’s examination shewed us that he would permanently remain so. He was a loathsome, gorilla-like thing, with abnormally long arms which I could not help calling fore legs, and a face that conjured up thoughts of unspeakable Congo secrets and tom-tom poundings under an eerie moon. The body must have looked even worse in life?but the world holds many ugly things. Fear was upon the whole pitiful crowd, for they did not know what the law would exact of them if the affair were not hushed up; and they were grateful when West, in spite of my involuntary shudders, offered to get rid of the thing quietly?for a purpose I knew too well.

            Good God, that’s ridiculously terrible.

    2. Authors say statuette of the notorious science fiction author is inappropriate to honour modern sci-fi and fantasy writers

      These authors are of course all pure of thought, and willing to submit to though-tests to prove it. Right?

    3. While I have no stake in the naming of a sci-fi award (although I love sci-fi as a genre), I would like to remind everyone of a saying a philosopher of sorts supposedly said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

      I am certain HP Lovecraft is an odious individual (for the record a lot of very well respected artists seem to be very vile people in their personal life). I am also certain Mr. Older holds odious ideas as well as supports and admire vile people and vile ideas. I wonder if he thinks he should be set aside because of that?

      I am of the opinion that nobody is perfect and one can admire the good qualities of a person and still recognize that person has a bad side as well.

    4. They should announce that they’ll rename the award when the Smithsonian Institution – funded by the US government – stops giving out awards named after Woodrow Wilson.

      1. I’m waiting for New York to change its name for being named after a racist, slavetrading aristocrat papist who tried to overthrow the Government.

    5. Lovecraft was no more racist than the typical progressive of that era: Roosevelt, Sanger, Keynes, etc.

  28. California deserves this as it is the greatest offender of entitlement and union based cradle to grave mentality. California teachers’ union believes a 24 year old teacher with two years experience should be tenured for life and work until maybe her fifties and then live the next forty years off the taxpayers. and what happened?

    As Thatcher once said they ran out of other peoples’ money. You can’t set up a system like this and expect it to survive. They tried in Europe as well. And the parasites have drained the well dry.

    Remember California how you loved the illegal alien. You spoke Spanish to appease. Well now they have drained your stream bed dry as well. Well done land of the Golden Sun–you’re on your way to becoming a third world country who lets the criminals out because they don’t have anywhere to put them and money to finance it.

    You’re getting the misery you bought.

    Charles Hurst. Author of THE SECOND FALL. An offbeat story of Armageddon. And creator of THE RUNNINGWOLF EZINE

    1. Pl?ya Manhattan, playboy. Author and creator of the turd that somehow got to the upper tank of the toilet.

      1. Ok, I laughed

  29. Has everyone seen the new J Lo booty video? 45 and better than ever.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxtIRArhVD4

    1. From the Youtube comments:

      SkittlezNicezKittyz
      4 hours ago

      Can someone show me a music video that doesn’t have to do with ass and sex please??

      1. Yeah, but why?

      2. And Mexicans and pot?

        1. J-Ho is Puerot Rican.

          1. I can vouch for the fact that J-Lo considered voting for Ross Puerot.

      3. I’m not sure this man understands the purpose of music videos, especially ones featuring J-Lo.

        1. If I remember her songs correctly, no one is going to watch the video for the display of talent or musicianship.

    2. I worked on a J Lo music video once. She broke the heel on a thigh high boot. Between takes, I had to remove the boot, attempt to fix the heel, and re-fit the boot onto J Lo.. I spent an afternoon manhandling her calf and thigh. Also, I was given explicit instruction by her handlers not to engage with her, or to look at her. Did I mention it was probably about 102 degrees during the shoot?

      On the other hand, I once spent two hours in a water tank gently floating Toni Braxton around under camera. She was wearing a nude suit. Yes, I had one hand just below her neck on her back, and the other firmly on her ass. For two hours.

      Then there was the time I covered a nude Pink! in rose petals…

      1. Go on….

          1. *kneels at your feet

            1. Get up, get up my child. I’m just an ordinary man who worked on a million music videos, son. My work with Toni Braxton, the overhead floating shot.

              And my work with J Lo fixing her fucking boot at that fucking gas station.

              As a bonus, during pre-production my Art Director almost got in a fist fight with J Lo’s husband at the time.

              1. Your job is/was better than any job I had in 52 years on this planet so far.

                Ima go look in the mirror and repeat, “U R doin’ it wrong!” for awhile now….

              2. 2000 Laface, truly a vintage.

          2. WE’RE NOT WORTHY!!

            1. *joins SusanM in a Wayne & Garth-esq bowing and arm waving*

    3. I like Iggy’s stuff before she got big. Recommend Pu$$Y
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htfwTyToeDI

      1. So, like…was that kid supposed to be her boyfriend?

        1. They were his teachers, he was about to have a foursome

  30. Speaqking of petulant thin skinned bitches

    First lady Michelle Obama believes that Democrats running for Congress eagerly desire her presence on the campaign trail during the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections. However, she has avoided helping some Senate Democrats because she’s mad at them for failing to show adequate support for her deeply unpopular attempt to change people’s diets.

    The Daily Caller is not making this up. The New York Times has reported it.

    The first lady has expressed frustration with Senate Democrats because they didn’t do enough to fight Republican attempts to weaken the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act,” explains the Times. The 2010 law is a complex body of meal regulations implemented by the Department of Agriculture that has long been her signature issue.

    Yeah, I bet those Democrats are on their knees, begging her to fly in with her entourage and remind the on-the-fence voters just how awesome the first family is.

    1. My god, is she going to be awful to be around when hubby leaves office and nobody gives a shit about her power trips any more. Well, more awful.

      1. I wonder how hard it will be to pry her out of the White House when it’s time for the new prez to move in.

        1. Easier than it will be to get rid of the smell.

          1. Of… arugula? Seriously, WTF?

  31. Award winning journalist Maureen Dowd, boys and girls:

    After 9/11, the government was revamped and departments and czars were created to make sure we would never fall asleep at the switch again. But it keeps happening, with everything from ISIS to the Secret Service. The Secret Service these days is performing about as well as the Iraqi security forces have been against ISIS. On both fronts, the White House is saying that this time it will work better. But nothing has really changed.

    She picks up a pure nugget of truth, peers suspiciously at it, sniffs it, bites it, then throws it over her shoulder and goes back to licking the windows.

    1. “the government was revamped”

      “But it keeps happening”

      It is incredible how many people fail to see the pattern.

      1. In Dowd’s case, she can’t distinguish argyle from Paisley

  32. Not enough money, that’s the problem!

    Meanwhile, experts and observers look for causes and needed remedies.

    “Sources inside and outside the administration say many problems such as low morale, a leadership crisis and a culture of covering up mistakes can be traced back 11 years to when the Secret Service was pulled out of the Treasury Department and absorbed into the sprawling new Department of Homeland Security, where it had to compete for turf and money,” Reuters reports. “Even as the agency’s workload has mushroomed, its manpower levels stagnated and its funding increases have failed to keep pace with growth in overall federal spending in the past decade…. “

    Money- it’s just like fairy dust; sprinkle liberally, and your problems magically disappear!

    1. They are partially right. You do probably have to pay higher salaries to make competent people willing to take a bullet for useless POS’s like Obama and Biden. You’re not going to get a patriotism discount.

      Sources inside and outside the administration say

      So, their “experts” are basically just random, possibly imaginary people. They’re not even bothering to pretend there’s a reason to keep a source anonymous anymore.

      1. “Ever wanted to haggle angrily with Colombian prostitutes? Or get kicked out of Amsterdam…for drunkenness? If so, you may have what it takes to be a proud member of the Secret Service. Call a recruiter today!”

        1. A real libertarian would support the right of a man to have some fun in his downtime, especially if by doing so he can reflect negatively on the Obama administration

          🙂

          Hth

  33. I’m gonna make the early gutsy call: Tulpa= Lena Dunham.

    You’re welcome.

    1. I’m thinking Bo.
      The egomaniacal claims of knowing ‘what’s right’, absent the least bit of evidence.

    2. Lear Dunham you moron. From Broken Saints.

      1. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 8:11PM|#
        “Lear Dunham you moron.”

        The same moronic Lear Dunham stating opinions as facts and providing no evidence?
        That egomaniacal ass?

        1. No, that’s you.

          1. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 8:49PM|#
            “No, that’s you.”

            Sorry, I made no claims.
            Now are you going to back your claims or admit you’re an ass?
            Which is it?

    3. Dunham comes closest to Tulpa than anyone else accused of the same.

      1. I’m beginning to lean that way; Bo usually whines about being ‘misunderstood’, while Tulpa just keeps sticking foot further into mouth.

  34. Cocksuckers!

    FOX Sports 2 just switched away from petit le mans for some cagefighting bullshit.

    1. Market failure!!

      1. Racing is cool, especially F1, but MMA is way better and more entertaining

        I do prefer the growing gas guzzling F1 cars of old versus the way latest incarnation

        They even have a new ELECTRIC CAR version of F1

  35. How bad is Europe regarding free expression? So bad, the NY Times has to defend free speech from them –

    “Times Articles Removed From Google Results in Europe…

    “One Times article that is being shielded from certain searches in Europe is a report from 2002 about a decision by a United States court to close three websites that the federal government accused of selling an estimated $1 million worth of unusable Web addresses. The complaint named three British companies, TLD Network, Quantum Management and TBS Industries, as well as two men who it said controlled the companies: Thomas Goolnik and Edward Harris Goolnik of London.

    “The case was later settled. Thomas Goolnik did not respond to messages left via social networking sites.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10…..urope.html

  36. A Nation of Bedwetters

    A Kennedy Airport terminal was locked down Saturday afternoon after an unidentified man walked past security screeners without being checked, authorities said.

    Police quickly found the unidentified man, and were questioning him, said Port Authority police sources.

    Around 5 p.m., the man walked with a carry on bag past Transportation Security Administration screeners, said the sources. Exactly how he got past the checkpoint was unclear.

    During the 30-minute lockdown, passengers were not allowed in or out of the terminal’s secure area. A number of flights were also delayed.

    All airport security personnel on duty at the time were fired, of course.

    1. Probably walked in through the exit. They usually only have one TSA person sitting there and they often appear not to be paying attention.

  37. Here is a copy and paste of a post I made to give an example of yet again where video of cops is a good thing. Definitely appears unjustified UOF AND criminal as well (under model penal code. I don’t know the criminal statutes in this state. Certainly under the determination made by the 9th circuit under McPherson regarding Tasers as an ‘intermediate’ force option, the tapering of this woman appears
    1) unjustified
    2) criminal
    3) able to supersede qualified immunity

    I’ve had 3 friends tried for assault based on on duty incidents that were clearly not criminal acts. THIS case is distinguishable (they were all acquitted, after relatively long, expensive investigations)

    2 out of 3 got their jobs back with a year of back pay

  38. I am not saying it is absolutely inconceivable that is not actually Unjustified and an assault based on some element of the fact pattern that is not apparent in the video. I am saying that based on my training and experience if I were to bet on this case I’d be very confident even iat two to one odds that it was a good bet to make that there will not be any revelations that vitiate the claim that this is an unjustified assault

    The above is there Just to speak precisely for the usual hoi polloi who either can’t understand what I am saying or consciously refuse to engage the reading comprehension element of their brain. Such that occurs most of the time, leading to the countless (as seen last couple of weeks) posts that incorrectly assert I will believe an incident to be justified and I come to the opposite conclusion ( eg the Walmart rifle dude shooting that appears to be a bad shoot)

    Smooches!

    http://thefreethoughtproject.c…..mvEoZqm.01

  39. Now THIS is a case where the force appears unjustified and very possibly criminal. Without more facts I’m certainly not drawing a concrete conclusion but based on what I know in this case and when I have seen in the video it is most likely unjustified and also very likely an assault.

    I will qualify this by saying I am applying the standards for use of the Taser that have been established in the ninth circuit and this case is not apparently the ninth circuit but at least if that occurred in the Ninth Circuit it would most likely be a crime

    The case I am referring to may have been adopted as a national standard in regards to use of force caselaw I just don’t know either way

  40. Biden speaks at Harvard

    Biden was answering questions from the audience when the university’s student body vice president stood up and introduced himself before asking a question of his own.

    “Isn’t it a bitch? Excuse me?the vice president thing,” Biden said.

    1. You could try reading instead of posting:
      https://reason.com/24-7/2014/10…..ob-is-a-bi

      But then, as an ass, that would be out of character.

  41. Glad to see Alabama PWND by Misssssssssssssssssssssippi. Watching Michigan State versus the Agricultural Workers. Good times

    1. I’m digging this UM v Rutgers game. See ya’ later, Brady Hoke!

    2. Freakin upset weekend.. Just wished it included FSU

      1. Yeah. Nice seeing ‘Bama go down. A&M lsing was nice. Lots of movement in the rankings.

  42. DODGERSSSSS!!!!!!!!

    Bye folks.

    1. Molina still talking shit to Puig.

      1. Itty bitty Yadi talking poopie potty.

  43. A victory for democracy

    http://www.businessinsider.com…..ts-2014-10

    “Sixteen Darth Vaders have made an imperial march onto the ballot in Ukraine’s upcoming parliamentary elections, the latest and most expansive appearance of the “Star Wars” villain’s name and likeness in the country’s political life.

    All have been registered by Ukraine’s Central Election Commission for the October 26 ballot,”

    1. What’s the tagline, “The Prime Minister is not as forgiving as I am”?

  44. Hey.. 420 comments. Get it? 420 comments?

    Never mind.

    1. Ya Mon.

      There probably would have been less if there were more articles but I guess the Reason staff had to put the day aside to beat their orphan laborers.

      1. Or maybe they’re all college ball fans.

      2. Who knew that calling into question the value of McDonald’s products could have such a macro effect.

        1. FUCK YOU TO DEATH YOU MCDONALDS HATER!!! DIE I NA FUCKING FIRE!!!!!!

        2. Lear Dunham|10.4.14 @ 10:21PM|#
          ‘Who knew that MAKING AN ASS OF YOURSELF could have such a macro effect.’

          Fixed it right up for you asshole. Next time try, oh, the hated Koch Bros(tm) so we can see the extent of your assholery in a whole new dimension.

  45. Athletic wimmins are beautiful Wimminz

    Those gifs are amazing. Beautiful Wimminz look good when moving

    http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/samantha-wright

    And of course the incredible beautiful badass Rowdy Ronda Rousey

    http://www.maxim.com/girls-of-…..ey-profile

    Strong Wimminz greater than weak Wimminz

    Athletic Wimminz greater than couch potato Wimminz

  46. Fuckety fuck fuck

    UFC fight night not broadcasting for over 1 1/2 hrs due to extra inning baseball game

    AND

    is locked out of my online UFC pay service broadcasting in my area (precisely because it’s on teevee theoreticall)

    I only watch a few things on TV and MMA is among them

    Fuck!!!!!!!!!!

    Latest season of TUF is all Strawweight wimmins and it’s the first time the winner will get a belt!

    By the way the first episode of South Park this season was just kind of okay but the latest episode was one of the greats – and introduced the concept of secondhand Gluten

    I love and respect my Crossfit amigos but they tend to be complete antigluten fanatics

    You cant make a good pizza without gluten. Enough said

  47. The artist known Dunphy|10.4.14 @ 10:46PM|#
    “Fuckety fuck fuck
    UFC fight night not broadcasting for over 1 1/2 hrs due to extra inning baseball game”

    You’re pissed because you can’t watch two guys beat the crap out of each other?
    Hey, there’s a vid on some asshole taking someone’s head off with a knife; does that satisfy you?

    1. It doesn’t surprise me that person displaying bigoted ignorance about police would be similarly uneducated about MMA. You remind me of John McCain, who referred to it as human cockfighting.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love baseball with every fibre of my soul, especially with the red Sox, but MMA is fucking awesome, too. For me, it trumps a baseball game unless it’s team(s) I’m into.

      I’m also a huge fan of the ground game and submissions, which Joe Rogan insightfully refers to as a form of physical chess. I challenge ANYBODY TO SPEND A LITTLE BIT OF TIME STUDYING JIU JITSU, AND AFTER DOING SO IF YOU CAN REFER HER TO MMA AS TWO GUYS BEATING THE CRAP OUT OF EACH OTHER MORE POWER TO YOU

      also as a matter of irrefutable statistics MMA has a better in other words a lower rate of serious injuries then most other sports, to include baseball, football etc.

      It has a far far far far lower death rate than boxing btw, which already has a low death rate.

      Minor ouchies are common of course and while a cut to the head resulting in a bloody mess during a fight may look brutal again when you are talking serious injuries it is actually a much safer sport then the other ones we tend to watch

      So whatever kind of crap people are getting beat out of them it’s not resulting in the kind of serious injuries or deaths one would expect

      Stats and studies available upon request

      Smooches

      1. Also, of course giving props to football for trying to do something about the prevailance of concussions etc, MMA has concussion rules, tap out rules and technical knockout rules that make the risk of long-term concussion injury after effects FAR lower than boxing, and likely football.

        Historically in football is not uncommon for somebody to suffer a concussion any game and go away on and keep playing

        In MMA there are strict rules about the amount of time they have to take until the next competition if they suffer a concussion and Unlike boxing there are a much lower percentage of strikes to the head and unlike boxing we don’t allow somebody be knocked out and then get back up after a standing count

        Since the sport was created so recently and had to pass so much legislative scrutiny there was a lot of input from the scientific and medical community in the creation of safety rules thus making it much safer than the average uninformed person would think

        Also a brilliant jujitsu or judo performance is truly astonishing and beautiful

        1. If you had a soul, you would understand the gravity of what you’re saying.

          Those of us who have actually taken human life, warranted or not, do not tread on this subject lightly. It’s not a fucking sport, it’s not a fucking hobby.

          1. Setting aside that you are assuming that I have not taken a life,

            What kind of idiocy are your spouting and how is it remotely relevant to the fact that MMA isn’t just about beating the crap out of each other?

            Smooches!

            1. You’re a cop so you’ve at least fantasized about blowing some “criminal” away.

              And all fighting sports, including any sport involving contact, is about beating the crap out of each other. The idea is too win and that involves hurting your opponent. Anything else is just trying to justify violence as something other than violence. And no, I have issue if 2 adults wanna voluntarily beat on each other. It’s the non voluntarily beatings I oppose. Kind of like how the boys in blue treat citizens when they don’t instantly obey.

              Tongue kisses slaver

              1. Playa Manhattan is making no sense

                His post is completely not responsive to what he is reportedly responding to and makes assumptions about my experience as to whether I’ve taken any life(s) of which he has no knowledge

                Playa does what one expects from a bigot – making unwarranted assumptions and stating them as fact, in addition to a complete non sequitur nature of what he is saying

                I respect your attempt to somehow defend his inanity as ineffective as you are in doing it

                As for your ridiculous analysis of MMA, a grand sport with some very talented athletes male and female alike, feel free to correspond with John McCain who has the same ridiculous viewpoint

                It’s just another example of the tendency of bigots to think they are experts on every topic because for them having knowledge of something before one forms an opinion is never something to be desired or achieved

                As for MMA I will trust what people who actually compete in the sport have told me , as well as people like Joe Rogan and Dana White , versus an anonymous bigot on the Internet thank you

                Whose opinion should I trust? Rogan and White who have a lifetime experience in martial arts and boxing respectively as well as interaction with hundreds of MMA athletes, in addition to what I can see with my own eyes and learn through martial arts training

                OR

                The opinion of a confessed bigot who chooses to side with John McCain?

                Hmmmm…

    2. That’s what he watches when he’s not spanking it to YouTube videos of the boys in blue beating down the citizens.

      1. Smooches, FUQ

        Aren’t the intert00bs wonderful?

        Who would have thought a device would be invented that would allow you to simultaneously enjoy the pleasurable sensation of having yout grandmother suck you off WHILE being able to instantaneously transmit anemic boring insults to some vastly more honorable and intelligent individual hundreds or more miles away

        Viva modern technology!!!!!!

        1. I congratulate you on that display of projection. At least you’re honest about that.

          As for your copsucking, you can’t spell “The artist known Dunphy” without “we shit on truth”.

          1. He’s just getting upset that people are calling him on his bullshit.

            Booya tongue kisses humpty dumphy

            **its a battle to force my iPad to spell things sometimes 🙂

            1. I have yet to see any ‘bullshit’. I see a singular lack of bigots calling me out on any fact, since u am correct on what I post so they devolve to petty insults and name calling.

              Since the Balko exodus I am the only person here, sadly who incorporates facts – case law, etc in discussions of alleged misconduct.

              Anything that I posted that is bullshit feel free to point it out

              I would never get upset if somebody shows me where I am wrong since that’s a positive and a learning experience

              If and when I am corrected on my ‘bullshit’ at volokh.com and scotusblog, THEN I will be concerned since these are accomplished legal scholars who have no tolerance for legal falsehoods.

              Consider that when accomplished legal scholars don’t find error in my legal analysis, but anonymous bigoted trolls at reason.com DO

              1. Who should I trust as to the veracity of my statements?

                Legal scholars criminal juries civil juries prosecutors and defence attorneys and even the occasional publication?

                Or self admitted anonymous troll anticop bigots?

                That’s a difficult question

                Well the only logical conclusion is that the former are probably just a wee bit better at identifying falsehoods in legal analysis of use of force than anonymous bigots who admit to hating police

                Hate is erosive to understanding and the search for truth. When you mature some you may recognise that working through it may help you work through your mental disorders and maybe even become a valuable member of society with something to contribute

                Why would anybody post here if posting made them upset?

                I enjoy speaking truth to power and exposing bigoted hatred for what is. If you were ignorant but innocently ignorant and not full of hate, then it would not be rewarding since it would be basically like just picking on the developmentally disabled

                With all thy getting, get understanding!

                Smooches

  48. Yeoman’s work by Irish on this thread*hat tip. Lear Dunham, my friend, reevaluate the choices you’ve made in life. Something’s broken.

    1. “Lear Dunham, my friend,”
      So you presume no sock?

      1. A sock by any other name. I don’t know if it’s Tulpa or not, but didn’t Tulpa get busted red handed once already?

        1. Tulpa is posting as his old self under “Lt Womack”, which doesn’t preclude him socking under someone else.

    2. I’ll defend my choice to eschew McDonald’s to my grave, a duration that will be longer thanks to that very choice.

  49. Omfg!!!

    Speaking of beauty and sport!!!!!!!

    http://tinyurl.com/o6bethl

    Smooches!!!!

    1. Who would have guessed? Our fearless hero in blue loves little hairy men with big muscles.

      1. Who would have guessed? A bigot thinks that implying homosexual tendencies is insulting and/or funny!

        Bigots tend to be multifaceted that way.

        I love my fellow Iron Game athletes regardless of gender. When you reach maturity you may be able to love your fellow men and compliment their grace, power and beauty because you are confident in your heterosexuality and do not think that suggestions of homosexuality are in insult in anyway.

        I would also expect you to be as wrong on the facts because that’s typically what biggest do to justify their full’s opinions

        What facts are you wrong on?

        Colin Burns. He is certainly not little. Yes, he currently sports a beard but is not particularly hairy. Like many strength athletes, he has a diverse and accomplished background. Olympic Style Weightlifting tends to attract elite, skilled athletes due the complex demands it places on athletes – power, timing, agility, flexibility, etc.

        As a former high-level judoko and standout college football star he certainly fits the mold

        1. The fact that you conclude Mr Burns is little demonstrates the looseness with facts and tendency to jump to erroneous conclusions that are the hallmark of a bigot. It’s a necessary quality – inability to grasp reality- that we see in bigots, not to mention truthers and phrenologists.

          Colin BurnsColin Burns is a 94kg Weightlifter based out of Louisville, Ky. Burns won the USA Weightlifting National Championship in the Snatch as well as the Bronze Medal at the Pan-American Championships in the same lift as an 85kg lifter in 2013. One year Prior in 2012 he placed 5th at USA Weightlifting Nationals in the total and 3rd in the Snatch. Before pursuing weightlifting, Burns was an All-Conference running back for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a top ranked Judo athlete. Burns trained in Judo at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for 3 years.
          Colin is a graduate of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs with his degree in Health Science, as well as being a USAW Sports Performance Coach and CSCS holder. Burns has served as a physical preparation coach for the US Olympic Training Center, University of Wisconsin Badgers football program and University of Michigan Olympic sports programs.:

          1. The fact that you conclude Mr Burns is little demonstrates the looseness with facts and tendency to jump to erroneous conclusions

            He looked short to me, and turns out I was right: he’s just 5’9″. Believe me, as a gay man and a guy with Taekwondo training, I have an eye for that sort of thing. And I also recognize when someone is insecure about their masculinity and trying to compensate.

        2. A bigot thinks that implying homosexual tendencies is insulting and/or funny!

          The comment wasn’t about homosexuality, it was about your taste in men. You’re drawn to hyper-masculine men, just like you are drawn to hyper-masculine jobs and hobbies.

          You seem to have some deep-seated insecurities about your masculinity, and in a cop, that’s a problem.

  50. Retired Queens College history professor Edgar J. McManus, 90, gets a city pension of $561,286 a year, newly released figures show.
    … His final salary was $116,364.
    … “They don’t pay you much when you’re working, but the pension is certainly good,” McManus told The Post. “Darn right I deserve it.”

    Poor thing.

    1. $116K a year is subsistence level in any decent neighborhood of NYC.

      1. Can’t tell if sarc… but that’s horseshit – unless perhaps you’re a college professor with entitlement issues.

        1. Or someone with a wife and kids, unable to live out his days in a studio apartment like a good yuppie.

          1. That’s what NJ is for.

            1. Said like an evolutionary dead end.

  51. I’m posting a non-sequiter comment here just to put this thread over 500 comments.

    From Chapel Hill, NC; ladies and gentlemen it’s Superchunk!

    1. You know who else adds filler to get their numbers above an arbitrary level?

      1. McDonald’s?

  52. You have to love a liberal group trying to use a 10th amendment argument to get by the supremacy clause. The hypocrisy is pouring out.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.