Election 2014

The Democrats Got Crushed in the Midterms. But "the Republican Brand [Still] Sucks." Here's What's Next.

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It's always easy to confuse the most-recent election as they most important and a bellwether for the next big thing in politics. And there's no question the the GOP has a ton of momentum after winning a majority in the Senate and making gains in the House of Representatives and state houses and legislatures around the country.

But the long-term trends strongly suggest that this recent uptick in the GOP's favor is only a temporary reprieve in the long, slow decline of both parties. Voter identification with both Democrats and Republicans is way down from a few decades ago and political independents are on the rise. That's especially true among voters below the age of 30. What's going on?

The short version is that political, cultural, and even economic power has been decentralizing and unraveling for a long time. Whether you like it or not, The Libertarian Moment is here, a technologically driven individualization of experience and a breakdown of the large institutions—governments, corporations, churches, you name it—that used to govern and structure our lives. The result is that top-down systems, whether public or private, right wing or left wing, have less and less ability to organize our lives. That's true whether you're talking about the workplace, the bedroom, or the bar down the street (that may now be serving legal pot). This is mostly good, though it's also profoundly disruptive too. 

That's from my Daily Beast column. For all sorts of reasons, we'll always have two major parties in America, but what they stand for can and does change on a regular basis. Neither party enjoys anything close to majority (or even plurality) support from most Americans. They're going to have change their frameworks and fast if they want to flourish.

In a world where you can personalize and individualize your online experience, your clothing, your work situation, even your sexuality, why would anyone join up for ossified, rigid, centuries-old groups such as the Democrats or Republicans? "The Repulican brand sucks," Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said recently of his own party, which he compared to Domino's Pizza. If the Republicans are Domino's, then the Democrats are Pizza Hut. Neither is appealing in a world of easy-to-find gourmet fare.

And that's why the future of politics and policy doesn't belong to doctrinaire Democrats or Republicans who want to control large swaths of everyday life. It belongs ultimately to the libertarian decentralists such as Paul who not only understand what is happening to America but are growing comfortable with it. Americans are increasingly wary of government's power, and they don't want it to teach a single set of morals either. Everything is proliferating and people just want a government that will keep people from starving on the streets and get out of the way as they go to the corner pot shop to buy edibles to take to their friends' gay wedding celebrated by ministers who are not forced to do so.

Politicians and parties who champion policies that embrace economic and social decentralization will own the future, even as they wield less power by letting people discover how they actually want to live. Whoever wins tonight would do well to remember that. Because if they don't, they'll be losers again, and sooner than you think.

NEXT: VID: Ventura County Residents Blocked From Voting on Pension Reform

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  1. I’ve had it with Reason’s Domino’s bashing!! They fixed their pizza more than a year ago.

    It’s not as good as Round Table, but I’ll eat it.

    1. The Reason staff are all some variety of hipster doofus. They think New Haven style with peach chutney and prosciutto constitutes good pizza.

      1. What’s wrong with that John?

        1. Apart from “everything”?

          1. Hogwash. I’m a vegetarian now, but that would have been fine in the past. Certainly better than Domino’s.

            It’s possible that you and John aren’t refined enough to appreciate the complexity and boldness. Not everyone can be so lucky or gifted.

            1. “I am a vegetarian now…”

              I stopped reading right there.

              You have no say in this. Pizza requires MEAT. Piles of meat. Mountains of spicy meaty deliciousness.

              1. I was mostly joking, but I actually am a vegetarian haha.

                We’ll agree to disagree. Pizza shouldn’t require needless pain or death to taste good. Ideally, all the cheese we use would come from cows that are ethically treated. Most pizza places obviously don’t source their cheese this way, but I can’t resist sometimes. I do love good pizza.

                1. Pizza shouldn’t require needless pain or death to taste good.

                  I hadn’t made up my mind whether I liked you or not. But that did it.

                  1. I hope you’re joking. I was kidding a bit, but I do have ethical concerns with meat eating. It isn’t like I’m going to work to prevent you from eating it. See my below as well.

                  2. How do you know if someone is a vegetarian? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

                2. Pizza shouldn’t require needless pain or death to taste good.

                  Oh, you’re that kind of vegetarian…

                  1. Yes, it came down to ethics for me. I don’t see why this is an issue. It isn’t like I’m calling for a ban on meat. However, I would support legislation that mandated better treatment for livestock depending on how it was crafted.

                    1. I would support legislation that mandated better treatment for livestock

                      And hunting/fishing?

                    2. I do have major reservations if it is done purely for sport and/or does not contribute to controlling the size of an animal population that’s causing problems for humans.

                      I wouldn’t do it myself, but I would need to look into these issues in more depth before advocating for specific policies.

                    3. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

                      Fuck off!

                    4. Pardon?

                    5. I do have major reservations if it is done purely for sport

                      Did you not hear me?

                      FUCK OFF!

                    6. your approach seeks to dictate how others live. If I don’t like hunting, then I won’t do it. But I won’t demand everyone else do likewise.

                      I wouldn’t do it myself, but I would need to look into these issues in more depth before advocating for specific policies.

                      You, meanwhile, are content to force others to live as you would.

                    7. Where did I lay out an approach or say that I advocated a ban? In any case, this situation is complicated by the ethical/moral position you take in regard to the treatment of animals. Killing or inflicting unnecessary pain on an animal for sport or even cheap food (in the case of industrial livestock farming practices) does concern me.

                      There are some laws on the books that protect animals from certain kinds of abuse. Are all of them wrong because they “force others to live as they otherwise would not”? The question is always where we draw the line. In the past, there were those who thought it was ridiculous to question practices like slavery or unequal treatment on the basis of innate differences.

                    8. Where did I lay out an approach or say that I advocated a ban?

                      right here:
                      I would need to look into these issues in more depth before advocating for specific policies.

                      call it a ban, call it whatever you like, you’re open to the “govt knows best” methodology. The only conflict appears one of degree. And the slavery bit finishes the kill, so to speak.

                    9. My point is that everyone is open to this methodology (if we want to be simplistic) to a certain extent. If you’re an anarchist then I suppose you would not count, but otherwise you do believe government should have laws on the books that penalize certain actions/activities or behaviors.

                      Even an anarchist community would likely possess certain norms/rules that regulate the behavior of individual behavior.

                    10. *individual members*

                    11. People have rights. Animals do not. Domestic animals are property.

                      And you, are a nut.

                    12. Thank you sir may I have another!

                    13. More seriously, I’ll just leave you with a short quote from Bentham. I have my differences with him, but I do think he is pretty much spot on in this case:

                      The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but rather, “Can they suffer?”

                    14. Why are you getting duped by a troll calling himself “The_Millenial?”

                      What? Why? Is this real?

                    15. I’m not a troll. I didn’t realize that my concern for the suffering of animals would cause such a firestorm.

                      What makes you think I am trolling in this case?

                    16. Yes, it came down to ethics for me. I don’t see why this is an issue. It isn’t like I’m calling for a ban on meat. However, I would support legislation that mandated better treatment for livestock depending on how it was crafted.

                      This is incoherent. If you truly see something ethically wrong about violence done to animals such that it meets the standard of a categorical imperative/moral law, why *wouldn’t* you support legislation banning same? You are a libertarian — this means that you see government or some other agency as an appropriate means for limiting violence between humans; if (as I assume) your ethics suppose a level of equivalence between humans (particularly, humans in early development) and other animals based on physicalist assumptions, why would the duty to protect not also transfer over?

                      If I am wrong on this count, what would be the significant difference ethics which would establish a proviso for compassionate treatment of animals, but only if money is changing hands?

                    17. I’d classify myself as a preference utilitarian (I see issues with it and all the other major options like deontological ethics and virtue ethics) if I had to choose, so I don’t really subscribe to the notion of categorical imperatives.

                      Under ideal circumstances, I would advocate for laws to significantly reduce or even eliminate these practices, but I think we would have to change public opinion quite substantially before any laws would be viable, enforceable, and/or sustainable. It may never happen since there is obviously a natural bias (doesn’t necessarily matter when arguing about morality though) for meat eating.

                    18. I see. My mistake, then; most people on this board are very strongly deontological in their outlook so I assumed you were of that same view.

                      I have to say, “I would support laws against meat if more people were on my side” doesn’t really help your case; even if there are mildly negative utilitarian effects to negating a majority’s preference on this issue it surely cannot compare to the extreme preference of a creature to survive — a value which must necessarily be ranked quite high if one is to rank a non-sentient creature’s preferences in a utilitarian fashion at all.

                      Granted, preference utilitarians have always held out that sentient creatures’ preferences be ranked higher than that of others, but it hardly seems worth even calculating the value of non-sentient creatures’ immediate preferences if they will always be quashed by fairly mild preferences to the contrary on the part of the sentient.

                    19. I would contend that these preferences are not “fairly mild” in many cases. Look at the reaction from some of the people above. Hunting and certain animal farming practices are very important to some, so I do think these factors have to be considered before we get overly aggressive. I favor a gradualist approach.

                    20. *However, I would support legislation that mandated better treatment for livestock depending on how it was crafted.*

                      So you’re an insufferable vegetarian and a statist. Which means you’re trolling this site. Great, just what we all need here.

                3. I only ate fish for years for the same reason, but I think the market approach is working pretty well — more people are aware of the way animals are treated in slaughterhouses and as a result there are far more places to buy meat that was raised humanely than a decade ago.

              2. Yep, no broccoli or pineapple on pizza, that’s just fucking sick. Blech!

                1. Broccoli and chicken pizza is a mighty fine pie.

              3. Pizza requires MEAT.

                This is true.

      2. Uh, New Haven-style pizza is the best, sorry.

        Aside from that brilliant folding NY Pizza. Or that lovely deep dish stuff in Chicago.

        Okay, I’m just freaking fat.

        New Haven pizza is still pretty special stuff.

        1. I just want to say for the record, I’ve never ever in my life ever heard anyone use the word “Style” in reference to anything in Connecticut.

          New Haven? I went to a famous pizza joint there while visiting Yale in the 1990s (can’t remember what it was called), but it was just (#*$@ pizza-pizza. Not anything ‘special style’.

          1. Salty crust, part crispy, part chewy. You are parting ways with Zagat and general pizza knowledge here. Modern, Pepe’s, and Sally’s are all considered some of the best pizzerias in America. But that’s cool.

            1. “You are parting ways with Zagat and general pizza knowledge here.”

              Dude, i’ve lived in Brooklyn most of my life.

              Pizza as far as i’m concerned is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Most of it outside NYC is … well, sometimes its good. but ‘special’? not so much. i’d probably point you to Spumoni Gardens.

              1. Were they featured on Steve Scirripa’s Hungry?

            2. I think i went to Pepe’s, FWIW. I looked at a picture and recognized the place… and i do remember the crust being very good, thin, light

              1. Yeah, I remember you talking about BKNY ages ago. (I’m clearly a tourist using that abbreviation.) Pepe’s is awesome. Lived across the street from there. Had pizza almost every night and gained a neat thirty or so pounds in about two years.

          2. “I just want to say for the record, I’ve never ever in my life ever heard anyone use the word ‘Style’ in reference to anything in Connecticut.”

            I gave you way too little credit for this comment.

            Or you’re Pauline Kael. Harrumph.

            1. If Connecticut deserves praise for something the general public may not be aware of, i would probably pick the ‘mad thug’ vibe i got from parts of New Haven.

              It was like Baltimore, or Philly – surprisingly more violent than you’d expect for a small city. After dark, taking wrong turns, I noticed a distinct ‘eyeballing’ that i’d only ever seen in places like New Orleans and East New York. Which poses a question = where has the Connecticut Gangster Rap been hiding? Because with credits like, “most violent city on the East Coast”, New Haven probably deserves at least one good Rap Crew at least.

              1. “where has the Connecticut Gangster Rap been hiding?”

                It’s in the Stamford and Bridgeport ghettos, which according to R.A.K.I.M., is his second home. (I heard him shout out Stamford as his second home — yes, Stamford does have some horrendous areas — at a show in New Haven opening up for Ghostface.) Also, New Haven is sort of more famous more for white “eyeballing,” too, and not in a Yalie way. Think poor art rock and destitute punk more so than anything. Think Sonic Youth, Sylvain Sylvain from the New York Dolls, and other various artists and little-known but reasonably influential punk acts that will also hang in the area.

                Also, CTHC always sort of was downstate and New Britain more than anything

                I’m serious.

                But New Haven is violent. And has good restaurants.

    2. I’m sorry but Domino’s pizza still sucks.

  2. None dare call it treason. Huffpo bloger lets the mask slip during post election sobbiing temper fit. His tears and psychosis are yummy

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6120800

    1. We were talking about that in the Bay Area thread.

      If I ever become a professional political columnist, I’m going to write the most incendiary, juvenile bs imaginable and then watch as my name recognition goes through the roof.

      1. I would like to think that is it. But then I think maybe they are that crazy.

        1. “We need to treat this election as the first step in retaking the government… The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

          I get it now. The scales have fallen from my eyes and I see clearly now.

          For the Rs to want to win the White House is TREASON.

      2. “…I’m going to write the most incendiary, juvenile bs imaginable and then watch as my name recognition goes through the roof.”

        Jesse Myerson got his worthless ass invited to a number of television shows doing just that.

    2. Kind of like how you sobbed for weeks when the “sure thing” Romney lost to Obama in 2012.

      1. Why don’t you reply to me anymore? I thought we were friends!

      2. That’s because it meant 4 more years of one of the worst presidents we’ve ever had, demfag.

      3. Palin’s Buttplug|11.9.14 @ 2:44PM|#
        “Kind of like how you sobbed for weeks when the “sure thing” Romney lost to Obama in 2012″

        Kind of like how you swore O-care wasn’t going to have any effect on the voters, turd?

        1. That miserable cocksucker lies with every breath. Call him out on it and he just ignores you.

          Hey turdpolisher, tell us again how record high stock markets immediately after the election are ‘the stock market is flat’.

          Stupid fuckstain was proudly trumpeting how gold is down in an ‘I told you so’ tone until he realized it was an indicator of renewed confidence in the economy now that his hero has had his balls cut off in the midterms.

    3. The Dem meltdown over their loss has been delicious. It’s funnier than even I could have hoped.

      Thomas Frank’s tears are the best tears.

      1. The attacks on Mia Love have been awesome too. I think the Democrats are terrified of a black female immigrant who won in lily-white Utah for the Republicans.

        She must be destroyed. We’ll see how this all shakes out, but she quotes Bastiat from memory. She might be the rare Republican I’d actually be happy to vote for if she actually follows Bastiat’s principles rather than claiming she’s free market and then turning into a statist once she’s in congress.

        1. She was born in Brooklyn. Her patents are immigrants, but she isnt.

      2. The anger, the frustration, the bewilderment, the lashing out in every direction hoping to hit something or someone out of mad desperation, it’s more than I hoped for, more than I dreamed and yet totally predictable. Cancel Christmas this year, I’m overwhelmed by the never ending pile of gifts this election has given me.

      3. Newspaper of record.

        1. Was referring to previous NYT OpEd, not Salon.

      4. “Low turnout is one reason for these contradictory results. Big money is a second. But a third reason voters did these futile, clashing things is that this is our fourth hard-times election in a row. ”

        That’s right. The fourth “hard times” election in a row.

        And with no awareness that the voters wanted the party in control during the four years of “hard times” the fuck out of power.

        SMFH

      5. “For many Americans, the recession is still on.’

        Frank’s fave lying bastard has had 6 years to ‘fix’ things, including huge majorities in both houses and yet the GOP is somehow to blame?
        That’s insulting.

        1. Liberals in general have this weird mentality that they are always the outsiders. Even when they are in power, they still act like they are David fighting Goliath.

          This is not to say conservatives don’t have their own weirdness. They’re always convinced that their views are held by the majority, that their views are common sense and most Americans share them even when polls show otherwise.

          1. This is not to say conservatives don’t have their own weirdness. They’re always convinced that their views are held by the majority, that their views are common sense and most Americans share them even when polls show otherwise.

            I feel like this is more true of progressives.

            I feel like Conservatives have a victim complex where everyone is always against them and the very universe is conspiring against conservative principles.

            1. I definitely agree with the victim complex, but I don’t see the insistence of having more accepted common sense views from the left like I see it claimed from the right. The left don’t claim having the majority common sense opinion as much as they claim to hold the intellectually correct ones, the views that all highly educated qualified credentialed people hold.

              1. The left don’t claim having the majority common sense opinion as much as they claim to hold the intellectually correct ones, the views that all highly educated qualified credentialed people hold.

                Two days ago Tony claimed that there is no issue on which the majority of people agree with Republicans and the post-election leftist talking point has been ‘sure we lost all the elections, but random minimum wage referendums in Wyoming prove that our policies are super duper popular!’

                Oregon shot down a referendum to give illegal aliens drivers licenses by a 2-1 margin, but progressives believe all of their ideas are popular with everyone and that Americans just voted Republican because they don’t know any better.

                1. “…, but progressives believe all of their ideas are popular with everyone and that Americans just voted Republican because they don’t know any better.”

                  Don’t forget gerrymandering and voter suppression.

            2. Maybe they are right, entropy can be a bitch

    4. Gotta love that he is of course a Bay Area progtard – ignoring all the problems, particularly the growing income inequality right there at home.

      1. The highest income inequality I’ve ever seen anywhere, by a wide margin, is the City of Berkeley.

        It’s half mansions, half crack houses, with nothing in between.

        1. The fastest growing income inequality rate in the OECD is progressive paradise Sweden.

          That kind of serves as evidence of my opinion that the primary driving factor of income inequality is diversity. The more diverse a country, the more different cultural groups you have. As you have more cultural groups coexisting, some of those groups are going to outperform others, leading to income inequality.

          This is why the explosion in American income inequality just so happened to occur over the period of time in which 30 million Mexicans moved into this country and the percentage of the country that is white dropped precipitously. It’s also why the highest rates of income inequality are places like New York, Atlanta, and the Bay Area – those are the most diverse parts of the country. It would also help to explain why Sweden’s income inequality has skyrocketed just as several hundred thousand Iraqis and Somalis moved into the country.

          My argument seems to have more evidence on its behalf than the left-wing argument that ‘the Republicans magically made it happen.’

          1. A lot of it has to do with the welfare state. The bottom 20% is paid to not work. When you compare that to the top quintile, OMG inequality!!!!

          2. Diversity plays a fairly big role in determining inequality. However, I don’t think it can tell us the whole story. Those countries experiencing the fastest rise in inequality (after taxes and transfers are accounted for) tend to be diverse and/or have high rates of immigration. Sweden, New Zealand, Israel, and the United States lead the pack and fit this description. Finland has also seen a big increase in inequality, but does not fit this story. Norway, for instance, has seen a much higher rate of immigration.

            Conversely, countries like Switzerland, Canada, and Australia are even more diverse and/or have experienced higher rates of immigration and have not seen as large of an increase. In addition to this, the United States also has one of the highest market income inequality rates (before taxes and transfers) and the only “diverse” country higher is Israel.

            1. Conversely, countries like Switzerland, Canada, and Australia are even more diverse and/or have experienced higher rates of immigration and have not seen as large of an increase.

              Switzerland, Canada, and Australia are not more diverse than the United States. Canada is 77% white and Australia is like 90% whereas America is 63%. Moreover, America’s non-white population is itself more diverse than any of the countries listed since we are 12.9% African American, 16% Hispanic, and 5% Asian. That’s not even counting large areas of Indian immigrants or Arabic immigrants.

              I don’t know where you get the idea that Switzerland is more diverse than America. They’re almost entirely white Europeans, have relatively low immigration, and almost all of that immigration comes from Europe.

              As for your point about Norway, you have to take into account where those immigrants are from. If Norway has tons of immigration from Finland, Denmark, France and Germany, that isn’t going to change their income inequality much. If they have 400,000 people come in from Ethiopia it definitely would.

              1. Clearly, it depends on what measurement you are using.

                These indices are a bit dated now, but attempted to measure ethnic, cultural, and religious fractionalization/diversity in given countries:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..sity_level

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..sity_index

                I believe Switzerland recently restricted immigration earlier this year, but around 30% of their national population is foreign born. Most of them do come from Europe, but a large proportion come from countries like Albania, Turkey, Serbia, and Macedonia that aren’t particularly similar. Check out the last names of the players on the Swiss National Soccer Team and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

                I don’t deny the Swiss have a unique culture and institutional framework, but they have always been a fairly diverse lot (by European standards for sure) given their geographic position/size and the different national languages spoken there.

                Obviously, no country is going to perfectly align with the US given our unique history and large size, but I do think these countries are useful for comparison given that they score higher or around the same on some measures of diversity, have higher rates of immigration, and have similar economic policies (particularly the liberal market economies like Canada and Australia). Switzerland has also been known for liberal (traditional sense of the term) economic policies for much of its history.

            2. “Those countries experiencing the fastest rise in inequality (after taxes and transfers are accounted for) tend to be diverse and/or have high rates of immigration. Sweden, New Zealand, Israel, and the United States lead the pack and fit this description.”

              New Zealand?

              Immigration is *tiny* in new zealand. In fact, they experience net migration *away* from the country every few years (mostly to Australia)

              And @#*(&@ diversity?? Unless you’re counting the Maori, its 85%+ ‘locals’, with a small (15% or so) asian mix, which isn’t exactly booming or prominent.

              And immigration to israel has been in decline for over a decade. Its demography isn’t exactly “diverse” aside from ethnic jews and arabs.

              What the fuck are you talking about?

              Are you trying to prove that you’re Bo again? He routinely pontificated with his colon.

              1. New Zealand is a developed nation that has become more diverse over time and at the very least has been strongly impacted by immigration in recent decades. 25% of its national population is foreign born and it does have a positive net migration rate according to the latest data: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..tion_rate.

                Israel has a high linguistic diversity and it’s unique in the sense that the Jewish population was drawn for a diaspora spread across many countries.

                I should have been more precise, but that part of my post was supposed to lend credence to Irish’s point about diversity anyway. If you want to argue that increased diversity doesn’t contribute to rising inequality than by all means do so. I don’t have an axe to grind on this subject.

                1. So….

                  “high rate of immigration” has been moved to ‘net positive’ (barely), and ‘diversity’ is now ‘people speak different languages’… completely different from the definition of diversity being used elsewhere. Got it.

                  “I should have been more precise”

                  “less Very Wrong” is another way of putting it.

                  “If you want to argue that increased diversity doesn’t contribute to rising inequality than by all means do so.”

                  I pointed out that you were making an entirely fact-free statement. Pointing out that your statements are false by no means obligates me to have any position on an issue, FWIW. Just saying.

                  That said = re: ‘inequality’

                  Who says ‘inequality’ (rising or falling) is even a good or bad thing? You seem to assume that relative differences between rich and poor *matter* in some way, completely disregarding the overall standard of living. It seems economically ignorant and misleading.

                  e.g. There’s not much “inequality” in Haiti. Equal Shittyness is not exactly an idealized condition.

                  1. By more precise I should have said that they have had a relatively high rate of immigration in recent decades, which would explain why New Zealand’s foreign-born population is 25% of their total population (I’m sure emigration to Australia has contributed as well). It would also help account for some of their increased ethnic and racial diversity (higher percentage of Maori, Asian, and Pacific Islander).

                    Is linguistic diversity not valid? Is racial, cultural, religious, or ethnic diversity superior or the standard definition? Irish didn’t give a specific definition, but I see that he did reference cultural groups. You can choose to include language as an element in cultural diversity if you’d like. At least I think you could make a good case for that.

                    Furthermore, the indices I linked to above do indicate that some of the countries I listed are/were (some are dated) more diverse than the United States in some respects. I had no input in how they measured fractionalization or diversity. I was merely trying to engage with Irish and discuss his thesis.

                    When/where did I assume this? Also, I’ve only been trying to compare developed nations for precisely this purpose.

                    1. “Conversely, countries like Switzerland, Canada, and Australia are even more diverse”

                      What are you on drugs?

                      I’m from Canada.

                      You write a lot of stuff to defend the position but the bottom line is we’re ‘not more diverse.’

                      “Check out the last names of the players on the Swiss National Soccer Team and you’ll see what I’m talking”about.”

                      I’m a student of the game of soccer and while it’s true you can observe a nation’s cultural makeup through it’s players I fail to see how that makes Switzerland ‘more diverse.’

                      The USA is BUT MADE UP OF IMMIGRANTS. In fact, I’ve always felt the USA integrated cultures into their sports better than most. For example, Canada’s national soccer team still was made up of Anglo stock as recent as the 1990s thus not reflecting our ‘diverse’ make up.

                      Bah.

                    2. Nope, although I shouldn’t have been as careless. ‘Diversity’ can be ambiguous and has a multi-dimensional character. However, Canada scores as more diverse on Fearon’s Ethnic Fractionalization Index, Fearon’s Cultural Diversity Index, Alesina et al’s Ethnic Fractionalization Index, Alesina et al’s Linguistic Fractionalization Index, Greenberg’s Linguistic Diversity Index, and Goren’s cultural diversity index (haven’t linked to it yet: http://www.pewresearch.org/fac…..the-world/)

                      Canada does lose to the US on Alesina et al’s Religious Fractionalization Index, but still scores fairly high.

                      In addition, consider that Canada has a significantly higher net migration rate than the US (figure apparently includes unlawful/illegal migrants) and that around 21% of Canada’s population is foreign-born (a little over 14% for the United States).

                      Is it possible you are underestimating Canada’s overall diversity?

                      In any case, even if you maintain that the United States is the most diverse nation on Earth then it still doesn’t mean that countries like Canada or Australia are necessarily terrible comparisons when it comes to evaluating the relationship between diversity and inequality.

                      My point about the Swiss soccer team was merely meant to be illustrative. It shouldn’t be taken as definitive by any means.

                    3. I don’t assert one is more ‘diverse’ than the other.

                    4. One last thing. FWIW, there’s also this recent religious diversity index that puts Canada above the US:

                      http://www.pewforum.org/2014/0…..y-country/

          3. I think you are right Irish. Economic performance is largely cultural. Work ethics, discipline norms, etc. vary widely from culture to culture.

            To the left this is pure blasphemy.

            1. Really interesting read (and I mean the actual book, not just the wiki article) in this regard.

          4. It’s not often someone in the comments brings out facts that are new to me or that I never considered before and that I think are interesting. You’ve just done so, Irish.

    5. What a piece of partisan hackery. It’s laughable.

  3. But there’s some sort of momentum, or inertia, or something that these parties have that make them irresistible (as in forcefulness, not attractiveness). Jeb and Hillary are going to be the 2016 candidates FFS!!!! Who are these monsters in our midst who keep nominating these party mastadons?

    1. Mitt Romney has a better shot than Jeb, which is little. . And in fairness the Dems really don’t like Hillary. They just have no one else to run.

      1. Plenty of them seem to like her. She came close to winning the 2008 nomination, was selected as Secretary of State, and is the front-runner for 2016. I just don’t think you’re ready for her.

        1. She came close in 08 because she was a woman, not because she was Hillary Clinton.

          1. Is she still going to be a woman in ’16?

        2. She was popular enough with Democrats to win a contested nomination for US senator. Lynn Samuels liked her for that.

          But a decade and a half later and outside of NY, I doubt that popularity will hold up. The fact that Obama came seemingly out of nowhere to beat her for the presidential nomination is strong evidence, and I think she’s gone only downhill since. The only thing she has going for her now is name recognition.

      2. Mitt Romney has a better shot than Jeb

        In my world, yeah, but the baffling fact is, this mastodon wins polls. There are reportedly big donors and big machine operators who are salivating for Candidate Jeb.

        It’s true, the Dems are simply stuck with Hillary. I’m too lazy to think it through, but I bet there’s a case that this is also because of some physical law in big party politics that funnels resources towards mastodons.

  4. OT: the important thing is that I spied a Marling 336 WITH A SCOPE (I have one without) for a ridiculous price at Dunham’s.

    They had one left – it is now mine. Headed to the range right now.

    If it’s as good as my other one (which is about 45, 50 years old) my grandchildren will be shooting it.

    I’ll let you know how it is with Remington 170 grain (they seem to like 170 more than 150).

    1. Dunham’s?

      Shhh…she’ll probably sue for trademark infringement or something.

    2. Nice cowboy gun.

    3. I assume 30-30?

      The 170s are really the best bullets for that. At 30-30 ranges it is difficult to tell the difference in trajectory between the 150s and the 170s and you get an extra 20 grains of shallop.

      I am jealous.

      1. BTW if you reload try 30 grains of 3031 behind the 170. That is my pet load.

        1. Thanks for the tips, Suthen! I just picked up some 150 grain today cause it was on sale (Remington, which I find to be very good).

          And it shoots fine, but the Marlins and the Henry I have all seem to REALLY like 170 grain for whatever reason. So – that’s what I plan to reload.

          Right after I get through the 200 rounds of 150 grain I got for free from Hornady for buying a couple of their dies…:)

          1. That load (30 grains of IMR3031 behind the 170 grain bullet) spits out at around 2400 fps in my winchester. It creates just enough pressure to seal but doesn’t heat the brass at all. The brass comes out the same temp as it went in and the 3031 burns very clean. I have loaded casings as many as ten times with that load and had no splitting.
            I have also bagged a lot of game with those. A lot.

            Great stuff.

            I think the guns like the 170 gr bullets best because the bullet length and the rate of twist match up nicely.

      2. I still haven’t shot my latest toy. I never get any “me” time.

        1. Hey Pl?ya, how do you like Kentucky?

          1. I just googled my gun. Never been to Bud’s Gun Shop, but now I know where it is.

            I imagine I would like Kentucky very much.

        2. That is worth taking a vacation for. Buy bulk ammo and take a 4 day weekend…….

          1. I would likely have to make a jewelry purchase for my wife too.

      3. That was supposed to be ‘whallop’

        Fuckin’ autocorrect.

        1. I was going to ask you if “Shallop” was a technical term i was unfamiliar with

          I figured it was just maybe like “SHWACK!” meets “Wallop”

          Like a ‘batman-ism

    4. Reporting back from the range – I gave up after 20 rounds, cause any more would have been a gratuitous waste of ammo.

      Thing is perfect out of the box. I didn’t touch a thing, and it grouped good enough to put out a deer’s eye with 5 shots at 100 yards.

      So I just packed it up and came home. Deer season starts next Sat. Maybe I should get a license after all…

      1. I took my 32 winchester special for a test run last weekend. Yeah, I know….170 bullets at 2400 fps, identical to the 30-30, but I have it for collector’s purposes.

        My grandfather told me once “You have no idea how many arguments there were over campfires as to which was better, the 32 or the 30-30”.

        200 yards at a junked 80 gallon hot water heater. With iron sights I was able to make a 4 inch group (damned eyes aren’t what they used to be). They came out the backside making 1.5in holes.

  5. For all sorts of reasons, we’ll always have two major parties in America

    OK, I’ll bite. Why?

    Unless you mean “at least two”.

    1. First-past-the-post balloting leads to only two major parties, as each consolidates support from smaller political constituencies to get the win.

      If the system were more representative (meaning that the 3+% of the vote that Libertarian candidates often receive meant that the LP had a proportional number of reps), we wouldn’t have that political duopoly.

    2. We have one party, the political class, and they look after their own interests.

      1. At our expense.

  6. OT: Single adults banned from park in case they are paedophiles

    News that a tourist attraction has put a ban on single adult entries for fear of paedophiles has prompted reaction from a Scunthorpe Telegraph reader.

    A bird enthusiast had travelled 25 miles to see a falconry display at an all-age leisure park only to be told he was barred from entry on his own.

    Married father of three Matthew Richards, 54, was staggered by the rule at Puxton Park, near Weston-super-Mare, which applies to single men and women.

    Mr Richards, who also has three grandchildren, had previously visited the park with his family to admire the birds of prey.

    But when he returned hoping to watch another falconry display he was told he couldn’t be admitted as a single man, on child protection grounds.

    Puxton Park claimed the rule, which is explained in the small print on its website, was “in line with all other parks.”

    Guilty until proven otherwise.

    For the children.

    1. “I think if I did a survey of 100 of our customers they would agree that we are doing the right thing.”

      Alrighty, then.

    2. Stop pedophile shaming.

    3. Upcoming Knarf non-fiction: Moral Panics in the Age of Anxiety.

    4. SouthPark episodes are not supposed to be a how-to manual.

    5. something is wrong with that link

      1. I googled it.

        From the comments on one site:

        “You are sitting on a bench at a park watching kids play. Someone sits next to you and says, ‘Which is yours?’

        You reply ‘I haven’t decided yet.'”

        From same comments:

        What he’s referring to in case you missed it:
        “a problem with networks of Asian offenders both locally and nationally” which was “particularly stressed in Sheffield and even more so in Rotherham, where there appears to be a significant problem with networks of Asian males exploiting young white females”. It also referred to a document from the Rotherham Safeguarding Children Board that stated that the “crimes had ‘cultural characteristics…which are locally sensitive in terms of diversity'”

        Gangs of “Asian” men were raping young British girls, with an estimated 1400 victims in the city of Rotterham. Authorities did not intervene for fear of being called racist.
        By “Asian” they mean Pakistani, but they’re afraid to call them out as an individual group so they would rather spread the blame amongst other Asian ethnicities.

        1. Not to throw stones at the fucking Limey pussies…

          But perhaps…just perhaps, they shouldn’t have disarmed their citizenry.

          1. Their Boy Scouts don’t have knives.

            1. What do they do woodcraft with? Their teeth?

              (which would make sense)

              1. What do they do woodcraft with?

                Their sandy vaginas?

          2. Then the citizens might get pissed off and start defending themselves. That might be racist. The Brits are so fucked, they will never survive another 20 years as a country. Well, they’ll be a Caliphate if that counts.

          3. “Not to throw stones at the fucking Limey pussies…”

            Why not? They deserve it.

            Their political class looks after their own interests just like ours does. They disarmed the citizenry for that purpose. They don’t give a flying fuck about the welfare of the populace anymore than ours does.

            http://coldservings.livejourna…..read=29459

            My two favorites –

            “I don’t care about crime, I just want to get the guns.”
            Senator Howard Metzenbaum, 1994

            “”We must be able to arrest people before they commit crimes. By registering guns and knowing who has them we can do that. If they have guns they are pretty likely to commit a crime.”
            Vermont State Senator Mary Ann Carlson

            1. American politicians of the ilk of Barack Obama and company salivate at the possibility of doing what the Brits have done here. The only thing that keeps them from doing it is fear. And sometimes I wonder, at least about Democrats, if they would actually be bold enough to attempt seizing all guns if they got the chance. Sometimes, I wish this they would try it.

              1. No, they’re just going to keep talking about gun culture and using domesticated, polite society until they reduce gun owners to a lonely breed of paranoid and/or silent folk, who will then only serve to solidify the prophecy of the personality profile of the shaming, reductive progressive. (But these shamed, shunned, paranoid folk still won’t be a minority of voters, which is how these dang pesky Republican takeovers of Congress keep happening.)

                1. But don’t worry, it’s not because progressives are intolerant or anything that people just shut up about controversial issues in academia and polite company, it’s these weird people coming out of the hinterlands, suppressing votes and preying on the fear of Six-Pack Joe and his cohorts.

                  Progressive academics and journalists are among the most obtuse, isolated, thin-skinned fuckers I’ve ever met, and lots of them need a slap, punch, or drink thrown in their face on just the right occasion. Just to remind them of how visceral bullshit tyranny can wind up.

                  1. * and polite company and thus surprise liberals and pollsters during elections

                  2. No shit about being thin-skinned, I just had a FB un-friending because I didn’t bleat along with the herd. No skin off my ass.

                    1. According to Pew, Mostly and Consistently Liberal facebook users are more likely to block you or unfriend you due to your politics. No surprise.

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..e-and-off/

                      I recently had one over Israel and Palestine. Some dude came to this woman’s defense by actually posting The Youngbloods’s “Get Together.” I called the offender Lani Guinier. I mean, is it any wonder, given her position within the liberal/feminist movement that liberals and progressives can’t handle debate? I’ll answer that: It’s not surprising at all.

                    2. Yes, but notice the excuse given as to why they do it.

                      Basically, they’re very smart and they don’t want to associate with ignorant folk. Hence, they unfriend you. They don’t see it as being politically intolerant – which makes their position worse; not better despite what their pea-brains tell them.

    6. There are some high-priced indoor playgrounds where I live that include areas where the moms can relax while the kids frolic about. Unaccompanied males are not allowed in. It makes sense.

  7. “Politicians and parties who champion policies that embrace economic and social decentralization will own the future, even as they wield less power by letting people discover how they actually want to live.”

    Just as soon as they actually want to live without free stuff.

  8. people just want a government that will keep people from starving on the streets

    Then they will be disappointed, since all government can do about that is not interfere with the entrepreneurs who will market food if left free to do so.

    Government is the entity that throws people in jail for feeding the homeless — you know, people actually at risk for starving.

  9. people just want a government that will keep people from starving on the streets

    Isn’t that the problem in the first place?

    1. After all it was the English Liberals and American Democrats who in the early 20th Century thought that some mild welfare state reforms couldn’t possibly be that bad or lead to their parties being hijacked by the socialists. And now we see what they have wrought.

  10. Domino’s Pizza? Really? Appealing to the Teh Yutes eh, Gillespie?

  11. The Republicans stink as much as Patrick Duffy in Step by Step. Is that hipster enough for Reason?

    1. That is over my head by a mile, therefore has exceeded ‘hipster’ and ventures into the ‘creepy nerd’ territory

      If you said that the GOP “Sucks harder than Robert Downey Jr in Less than Zero“, that would probably be pretty damn hipster.

    2. or Patrick Duffy in the Man from Atlantis
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi…..e_card.jpg

  12. It’s always easy to confuse the most-recent election as they most important and a bellwether for the next big thing in politics.

    I always get a kick out of Gillespie’s errors. Does he post these from his smartphone?

  13. The next thing for the GOP is that Rand takes the Orange One and Turtle Head and cracks their head together like Moe, tells them how it’s going to be and we get on with beating the Hildebeast in 2016.

    Or, if the GOP insists on running Jeb and the Dems run Hillary, we might actually see a 3rd party POTUS. As hard as that is to believe, I think a Clinton/Bush race will complete the destruction of American faith in the 2 party system.

    1. Rand doesn’t need to crack The Turtle they seem to get along. Whether people here want to admit it or not cultivating that relationship was an excellent move by Rand. Not much was lost considering that the Bevin guy who challenged MM is a nutcase.

      1. Rand doesn’t need to crack The Turtle they seem to get along. Whether people here want to admit it or not cultivating that relationship was an excellent move by Rand.

        I’ve said the same thing here several times over the last week or so.

    2. I think a Clinton/Bush race will complete the destruction of American faith in the 2 party system.

      Well, you finally found the silver lining in that dark cloud.

  14. my co-worker’s mom makes $65 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired from work for 5 months but last month her pay check was $20126 just working on the laptop for a few hours. look at this site…

    ????? http://www.payinsider.com

  15. “For all sorts of reasons, we’ll always have two major parties in America,”

    Hmmm…..
    Looks like I’ll have to dig out Nikolas Gillespaal’s 1832 column from Garrison’s “The Liberator”, where he prophesied that “For all sorts of reasons, we’ll always have some form of human slavery in America”.

    C’mon Nick….get with the times….a two party system will never effectively capture what you rightly see as the decentralizing and unraveling of political, cultural, and economic power.

    Think about it.

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