Secret Service 'Starved for Leadership', Buzzfeed Gets Major Tax Credit, Court Strikes Gun Ban for Former Mental Patients: A.M. Links


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  1. An independent review panel reported yesterday that the U.S. Secret Service is "starved..."

    because the First Lady is in charge of their lunches.

    1. Hello.

      Cuba this. Cooba that.

      Can we talk about something else?

      1. I liked the move captain Ron. Oh wait, he went to Cuba in that flick. Never mind.

        1. Movie. Doh.

      2. How about the English pronunciation of non-English words? If someone from Oklahoma pronounces Cuba "Cooba", are they just showing respect for the native language of the country or are they being pretentious assholes?

        1. Unless it's mockery of how journalists pronounce the shit out of "trendy" foreign words (pronouncing "Qatar" as if you had just graduated with a degree in Classical Arabic from Al-Azhar University is all the rage now), I'm going with "pretentious asshole".

          1. Wasn't there an old SNL sketch about this? Some reporter pronouncing Nicaragua, Nee-Hah-RAH-Wah?

            1. I don't remember the SNL skit, but I do remember the In Living Color one.

            2. Could be that's what I'm thinking of. Will scrounge for link.

            3. I think it had Jimmy Smits in it. I also remember the reporters were crazy rolling their r's when saying burrito too.

              1. Yeah, here it is.

                Can't believe that stuck in my head all these years.

                1. Ah, I remember that now. I believe the In Living Color one was part of their ongoing "Things that make you go 'hmmmm'..." skits.

                  1. I thought that was arsenio hall. Things that make you go hmmm that is.

          2. Settle this here once and for all, HM.

            What's the correct pronunciation?

            I pronounce it KAH-tar and not 'cutter.'

            1. I've always pronounced it like "catarrh".

              1. Isn't that the same as the former?

                1. Catarrh

                  IPA: /k??t?r/

                  1. I'm just going to pronounce them "guitar" to avoid any confusion. Except for "guitar" itself, of course, which I shall pronounce as "Dubai"

            2. If you're speaking Arabic, it would start with that the "q" as a voiceless uvular stop. Anglophones can approximate it by saying a "c" but like one has a fishbone stuck in the throat. Then put a glottal stop before the second syllable. The second syllable should sound like you are saying the name of the letter "r" and not the suffix "-er".

          3. Don't get me started on the English-language journalist's pronunciation of Niger.

            1. As long as it doesn't use a hard G, no problems.

          4. I remember as a young child, as Voyager passed the seventh planet of our solar system, Dan Rather unilaterally changed the pronunciation of Uranus.

            1. Myanus?

        2. Don't Cubans pronounce it 'Cooba'?

          1. Indeed they do. And Germans pronounce Germany, Deutschland.

            1. *stands at attention*

              Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft
              Conf?d?ration Suisse
              Confederazione Svizzera
              Confederaziun Svizzer
              Confoederatio Helvetica

              Take your pick!

              1. Which one gets me the Nazi gold?

                1. *light sweat breaks out*

                  I have no idea of what you speak!

                  *tugs a t collar*

              2. OK, German, French, Italian and Romansch (?). What's the fifth?

              3. Helvetica is the worst type.

                1. Whatever font they use on this site begs to differ with you.

      1. Cuban food is great though,or,the kind I had in FL was

        1. It's good stuff, by and large.


    3. Fist wins the internets...again.

      1. Its that damned head start he gets...

  2. 14) Sad to say, but I can only think of one instance in my life when a government decision has meant an increase in freedom that I directly experienced. That was in 1994, when Congress eliminated the federally-set speed limit. Within a couple weeks, I started noticing that the limits on interstates in the state I lived in then, Tennessee, had gone up to 70 mph, and that Christmas break when I went to visit my girlfriend, there were highways in her state, Oklahoma, that were set at 75. I guess I've seen tax rates go down at times, and in theory I guess I have more freedoms in other areas I've never used (gay marriage? open-carry?). But the speed limit in 1994 is the only one I've ever personally felt. Home of the free!

    1. What about legalizing homebrewing? (I'm assuming you were around in '79)

      1. That's a good point, and I did do some homebrewing before my kids were born. But in 1979 I was four, so I could hardly have known then how much I would appreciate homebrewing freedom two decades later.

        1. We legalized marijuana here in Colorado.

    2. I don't know how old you are, but how about airline deregulation or the end of the fairness doctrine?

      1. Those are shockingly abstract, especially if you don't fly a lot and are not super-obsessive about politicking.

        1. Really? I think if you look at inflation adjusted airline ticket prices you might see an effect.

        2. "Those are shockingly abstract, especially if you don't fly a lot and are not super-obsessive about politicking."

          I don't think having a choice of airline and having prices set by the market participant rather than the government are abstract freedoms.

          Also, the end of the fairness doctrine is largely responsible for wide swaths of modern opinion journalism, particularly the rise of conservative talk radio.

          Both of those things have had major impacts on society, and certainly not in an abstract way.

            1. So you think the government no longer setting airfares hasn't seriously impacted the industry?

    3. I remember the feds "forcing" Louisiana to raise its drinking age from 18 to 21. We were the last holdout. Luckily I turned 21 right after they did it. But I do remember going to another state at 20 and ordering a drink and being asked for ID and asked if I was 21. I just wasn't thinking about it. At the time in LA you were rarely asked for ID unless you looked like a little kid.

  3. 'Secret Santa ruined my life': Former public servant says he can't shake the sadness at Christmas time after 'cruel' gift from colleague

    1. Aw man. I gotta get me one of those.

    2. That's horrible! And why didn't you provide a trigger warning?

    3. I don't understand. Was it dark chocolate? I would have totally lost my shit if someone gave me something that produced dark chocolate in any form. (Except maybe Peppermint Patties.)

      1. I think it was 'Pot of Gold'.

    4. The roast at his moving-on luncheon must have been epic.

    5. This Christmas I hope his Secret Santa gives him a crying doll.

    6. Sounds like they should have got him a sense of humor.

  4. Boy, 14, fatally shoots intruder at grandmother's N.C. home

    1. Am I a bad person for hoping the intruder was a cop?

      1. Sill Ted. To cops are given authority to enter any house they wish, and hence cannot, by definition, be intruders.

      2. You're clearly a bad reader. No way that would have been the headline if the intruder was a cop.

        1. Especially at the Washington Times. They're the most doctrinaire conservatives I've ever seen, particularly Emily 'I love guns but hope you rot in jail for weed' Miller.

          1. Looked her up.

            Definitely do her.

      3. If it was a cop he'd be prosecuted even if all the other facts were exactly the same.

        So, yes, you kind of are a bad person. But I know you didn't mean it that way.

    2. I have it on good authority that guns are for whatever reason ineffective against intruders.

    3. From a quick read of the WT article, this seems like a textbook example of proper use of a firearm for home defense. And a good thing the kid has a hispanic surname since the progs would have been all over a "white" person for doing this since the intruder was also latino (surnamed). Of course I predict the progs will whine because the intruder was unarmed.

  5. Congress once again insists on spending $120 MILLION on new tanks - despite the army insisting that it doesn't want them

    For the third year in a row, congress has disregarded the army's stated desire to suspend tank building and upgrades
    The new defense spending bill will include $120 million for Abrams tanks ? even though the army has repeatedly said it doesn't need them
    Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said that congress 'recognizes the necessity of the Abrams tank to our national security'
    His district includes the General Dynamics Land Systems plant in Lima, Ohio, the only U.S. manufacturer of the Abrams tanks

    1. That kind of shit fucking infuriates me.

      *looks for expendable object to destroy*

      1. *looks for expendable object to destroy*

        A sheet of bathroom Tissue?

        1. That is.... applicable.

          *hangs head, hoping for more satisfying thing to annihilate*

          1. Here you go.

            Do your bit to promote workplace-violence culture.

        2. See Lynchpin's comment below.

          A piece of TP or tissue is more valuable than a congressperson. You can at least wipe your a$$ with the former.

          1. Let me try with the latter.

      2. Your congressperson?

    2. For craps sake, can't the GOP come up with a plan to say, for instance, "Mike, we are voting this down but you can vote 'yes' and say you tried. And then you can vote 'no' on something in our district where we vote 'yes' and say we tried."

      1. Well, they know that when the plant shuts down in a year because no tanks are being built, "I tried" will be insufficient. Those people will be pissed that they are out of a job and hold him accountable for not trying ENOUGH.

        Sucks, but it's the truth.

    3. Well, we don't need more tanks for the conflicts we are currently involved in. Maybe this is a hint at Congress' long-term foreign policy strategy.

      1. No. It's pork. Plain and simple.

      2. I don't think we'll need tanks to conquer Canada.

        1. We just ask to bum on the couch for a few days and then never leave.

          1. Dammit UnCivil, that plan was classified!!!!

            *notifies old colleagues at Pentagon to redraw War Plan Red*

      3. Land war in Asia?
        ...wait, we already have couple of those.

        Land war in Antartica!
        Eat hot death penguin scum.

    4. We have to replace all those tanks we left in Iraq for ISIS to steal.

      1. Those were export model M1s...actually paid for (the Defense Minister rode around in one and sported wood for 36 hours thereafter). Cost 'em over a billion USD.

        1. But did the billion USD come from us in the first place? maybe a "loan?"

          1. Nope - oil money. Of course, the American taxpayer probably got to pony up for the training on how to use the things in the first place!

  6. BuzzFeed is getting $4 million in tax credits from the state of New York to "promote the creation and retention" of jobs.

    And maintain their fierce independence, no doubt.

    1. Are they going to write a listicle detailing the credits?

      1. 10 Subsidies Buzzfeed gets from Taxpayers!

        1. You'll never believe number 4!

  7. Do you MANSPREAD? Woman confronts male commuters on New York City's subway about the space they consume

    MTA will next year target 'manspreaders' asking them to be considerate
    Woman questions men spreading their legs on the subway
    They give very different answers about how many inches one can spread

    The investigation comes a month before New York City's MTA launches a campaign targeting 'manspreaders'.


    1. And just yesterday there was that article about how it was racist/sexist for a white man to expect the black female author to not take up an extra seat of space with her bag.

      1. Damn you for beating me to the nut-punch!

        Although to be fair I was looking for the link to that, since I think it was in a comment and not its own article. I couldn't find it with a google search. 🙁

        1. It was a comment in the Links yeah, but it went to a comment (at Salon, I think).

            1. Crap, I meant to say article the second time (hence the "but"). Ted got me all mixed up.

    2. Something tells that Man confronts fat female commuters on New York City's subway about the space they consume would get a little different response.

    3. This is not about all MEN in NYC. It is certain men who do this, but to describe any additional thing about them beyond their maleness would be to commit thoughtcrime.

      1. The ones with long legs?

    4. Didn't we just have a story in yesterday's Mourning Lynx about some lady womanspreading and then bitching that a man called her on it?


    5. Vagina privilege!

    6. "Bitch, get that fucking microphone out of my face."

      Can you imagine the apoplexy of rage that would result if men were lecturing women on how to sit on the subway?

      1. Yes I can. But these dickheads should still stop sprawling over the goddamn seats. It's just basic courtesy.

        1. But it's a controversy in search of a problem.

          Like the entire patriarchy conspiracy theory, they are trying to say that something done unconsciously by individuals is some sort of organized oppression movement.

          All all the women who smash into me with their giant backpacks they won't take off in on some sort of anti-male social offensive? or are they just rude little individual assholes?

        2. I don't know how things are in The Land Down Under, IFH, but here the subway seats are barely accommodating for average-size males, anyone with long legs or extra girth is really squoze.

          1. Down here I've seen tall guys / big guys sit properly on trains and buses. It's usually some average guy barely two inches taller than me who is just airing his balls near a chick (they never do it sitting next to a guy). But the vast majority of Australian men in my experience do the right thing.

    7. I'm not sure why you would live in NYC in the first place if you wanted basic courtesy.



    9. So, a proper gentlemen should cross his legs. Especially if he is wearing a dress.

      Got it.

  8. Former Reason editor Michael Moynihan bemoans the patronizing fetishization of an "authentic" poverty-stricken Cuba...

    Cuba will be the next Williamsburg!

      1. Ugh, you're probably right.

      2. Only if it's organic and fair trade.

          1. Rooftop garden tobacco!

        1. Actually, this is incorrect. Such things don't matter when commie chic is invoked.

      3. Is it possible to roll you own Cuban? I sense a business opportunity.

        1. As long as you're using the thighs of young cuban virgins, I'd be interested in ivesting.

  9. Speaking of nuts...

    Incendiary footage emerges of NYPD officer repeatedly punching a 12-year-old black boy during street arrest as onlookers cry foul

    Footage shows man believed to be a cop punching '12-year-old boy'
    He was being cuffed by 3 officers in Manhattan when man launched in
    Incident is being investigated by the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau

    1. It is interesting that of the 99.9% of the NYC cops believed to be good, how there are the bad 35 cops (out of 35,000) that keep turning up on these videos.

      1. Somehow those 35 keep getting all the overtime hours.

    2. I'm sure if he had only done what the nice officer had told him he wouldn't have suffered that.

    3. He was being cuffed by 3 officers in Manhattan when man launched in
      Incident is being investigated by the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau

      What the fuck language is that written in, anyway?

      1. Probably Geordie, since this is the Daily Mail.

      2. Bureacratese, which is a debased form of english and has only the passive voice.

  10. School orders parents to delete Facebook video of their four-year-old daughter performing as an innkeeper in nativity play

    1. What is that sarc likes to say? Freedom is asking permission and obeying orders?

    2. My kid was the donkey in his nativity play this year. He rocked his own mde up donkey dance.

    3. Well, it is the UK where they can ignore things like the Rotherham scandal for decades and strain over things like this.

      1. +1 swallowing a camel/staining at a gnat

    4. I hope she sues them into bankruptcy.

      1. I very much doubt that there is any basis for such a suit under Welsh law.

        There are very few places in the world outside of the USA where people sue over things like this.

    5. Orders? If I received an 'order' from a school about something like that I would either ignore it or tell them to go fuck themselves, depending on my mood at the time.

    6. When exactly did schools become cops with universal jurisdictions?

  11. "the U.S. Secret Service is "starved for leadership""

    So is the Presidency.

    1. Not true, they have Valerie Jarrett as their leader.

      1. During GWB's tenure, it was supposedly Cheney fulfilling the leadership role.

        1. What was Rumsfeld, chopped liver?

    2. Let's count this as another win for Homeland Security. We didn't have these problems when the Service was part of Treasury. We also didn't have a fucking regiment of military grade vehicles on the road everytime the President went anywhere.

  12. For the record, I have added Johnny Football to my roster for the championship in the You Didn't Build That league so a Cleveland Brown will earn a super bowl ring this year. You're welcome Cleveland.

    1. That sound like a different kind of bowl than 'super'?

    1. Ha, ha. Professors are defending that ethics whack job. Priceless.

      The there's this:

      "McAdams's position and Abbate's status imply a kind of sacred relationship between the two," Buck said via email. Yet "McAdams did nothing to help Abbate grow as a person, [and] instead he did everything to stomp her down as a person. He didn't just violate the trust implied in the special relationship, he made a public mockery of it."

      I hadn't realized that was his job. Here I thought a professor should already come in with a certain amount of wisdom above their students. Abbate sounds like she possesses none and likely never will.

    2. Marquette is a private university, and thus not bound by the First Amendment

      ExCUSE me?!

      1. Title IX requires them to suspend due process in sexual assault cases since they take federally subsidized student loans. But somehow, suggest that this requires them to recognize the First Amendment too, and you're treated as some sort of freak.

        Don't even suggest that it would require them to respect Second Amendment rights.

    3. Meh. I can't imagine many employers would react well to employee A publishing an op-ed on how much employee B sucks, regardless of the specific reasons employee A had for holding that opinion.

  13. A New York woman is suing the police for not arresting her son when they pulled him over for drunk driving...

    New York Woman. Spinoff of Florida Man.

    1. She says some officers were friendly with her son, Peter Fedden, because he owned a deli that they frequented.

      They'll do anything for free cold cuts, eh?

      1. Just imagine if it was a donut place - they would have driven him home.

    2. She will become Florida Woman when she retires there, yes?

      1. Yep. Nearly all of the Florida Woman/Florida Man stories in south Florida are transplants from up north.

    3. She came her and complain how it wasn't like home so I sent her bitch ass back.

      1. But not before she assimilated your culture, I see.

        1. Well meth is a helluva drug!

  14. the U.S. Secret Service is "starved for leadership"

    Hunger hurts more during the holidays. Give hope to the 1 in 5 secret service agents who go to bed hungry for leadership each day. Your gift of just $2 per day can help deliver holiday happiness to an agent in need. That's less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee. Won't you call today?

    1. I lol'd. . . .
      +1 hand written sign in front of a homeless secret service agent.

  15. Conor Friedersdorf finds growing alarm among law professors over law students objecting to parts of the curriculum they find too upsetting.

    College ain't for everyone.

      1. No, we use machine operators and heavy excavators to dig all the ditches we need at a fraction of the rate of unskilled labor with shovels.

    1. The unique precious snowflakes are now starting to melt in the heat of reality.

      1. But will these students make it to the judiciary in two generations? Because then we are in trouble.

        1. "I am dismissing this case, because hearing the arguments hurts MUH FEELZ."

        2. None of these snowflakes are getting good enough grades to make it into the judiciary. They'll end up in family law, harassing men who find their wife sleeping with the pool boy.

  16. "[W]hether Tyler may exercise his right to bear arms depends on whether his state of residence has chosen to accept the carrot of federal grant money and has implemented a relief program.? An individual's ability to exercise a fundamental right necessary to our system of ordered liberty cannot turn on such a distinction."

    Emphasis added. Obviously the judge is a "gun nut" and this ruling will be overturned.

  17. I posted this in the PM links yesterday, but it was late. I am curious as to what you guys think of this.

    It's a well reasoned answer to a question we've all been asking lately.

    I propose that the Michael Brown case went viral ? rather than the Eric Garner case or any of the hundreds of others ? because of the PETA Principle. It was controversial. A bunch of people said it was an outrage. A bunch of other people said Brown totally started it, and the officer involved was a victim of a liberal media that was hungry to paint his desperate self-defense as racist, and so the people calling it an outrage were themselves an outrage. Everyone got a great opportunity to signal allegiance to their own political tribe and discuss how the opposing political tribe were vile racists / evil race-hustlers. There was a steady stream of potentially triggering articles to share on Facebook to provoke your friends and enemies to counter-share articles that would trigger you.

    1. The idea of liberal strategists sitting down and choosing "a flagship case for the campaign against police brutality" is poppycock. Moloch ? the abstracted spirit of discoordination and flailing response to incentives ? will publicize whatever he feels like publicizing. And if they want viewers and ad money, the media will go along with him.

      Which means that it's not a coincidence that the worst possible flagship case for fighting police brutality and racism is the flagship case that we in fact got. It's not a coincidence that the worst possible flagship cases for believing rape victims are the ones that end up going viral. It's not a coincidence that the only time we ever hear about factory farming is when somebody's doing something that makes us almost sympathetic to it. It's not coincidence, it's not even happenstance, it's enemy action. Under Moloch, activists are irresistably incentivized to dig their own graves. And the media is irresistably incentivized to help them.

      Whole thing is well worth reading.

      1. Ah, Slate Star Codex! Everyone keeps telling me to read this blog

        1. It's good. Very through. Here's another recent one about the use of the word "debunked" by SJWs.

          Also, caught the comments on that rape article you did. John needs to learn how to read.

          1. There are many "questions" that are pretty much settled ? evolution, global warming, homeopathy.

            I'm not sure it's that good.

            1. The first and third are "settled" based on available evidence, one "yes" and one "no". the middle one, not so much.

            2. Nobody's perfect. I not sure I agree about factory farming either. But it's the discussion of the mechanisms of the culture war where that blog shines.

      2. While not everyone is a vegan, pretty much everybody who knows anything about factory farming is upset by it.

        Everybody except those factory farmers and farmworkers and price-conscious animal protein consumers.

        1. Yeah, except for those 100s of millions of people!

        2. I know all about factory farming. Far from being upset, I want to see more of it as it's an efficient method of producing food relative to the alternatives.

          1. Thanks for being honest that you are oblivious to the suffering of others.

            1. If I plan to kill and eat it, why should I care?

              1. A person might think that there's suffering than being killed and eaten.

              2. A human being with normal affect would; I can't tell you why you should.

            2. I'm not oblivious to the suffering of PETA members. I revel in their suffering!

      3. The test case you get is the test case you get. It's rarely the test case you want, but you take what you get when that critical moment arrives. People like Ernesto Miranda, Lenny Bruce, Larry Flynt and Michael Brown are not sympathetic, but then the sympathetic and well-connected often get a pass.

      4. Not really sure I'm buying that the selection of stories to cover about police brutality is poppycock. I'm sure it's a coincidence that within a week of the midterm shellacking the dems received, you had the immigration executive order for Hispanics filed shortly by the UVA rape hoax that Erdley was seriously on campus shopping for for single women and the Ferguson decision to rule up blacks. Funny how there w was nothing for Asians tho, I guess they're out of the CotA...

    2. I think we've pretty much argued or deduced some variation of this position.

      1. You mean that Warty is Moloch?

    3. They're overthinking it. The real reason the UVA story went viral is because it literally hit every left-wing bias. Every one.

      It was young white men from an upper-middle class background in a fraternity at a genteel Southern college started by Thomas Jefferson allegedly gang raping an intelligent, love-sick girl after abusing her trust.

      It's the same reason I saw conservatives believing the ridiculous story that half of all food stamp money goes to buy soda. The fact that this would mean food stamp recipients are spending like 300 a month on coke, which is an absolute absurd impossibility, didn't matter because it fit all of their preconceived notions about the universe.

      Real stories never fit all of your biases this perfectly. There is always something in a true story that contradicts your biases. As a result, stories that really strike a chord are more likely to be false because those false stories play into the biases of an audience better than true stories do.

      1. Half soda,and the rest on steak, lobster and candy

        1. And the steak, lobster and other luxury goods are mostly traded for cash which is then used to buy items which cannot be bought directly with food stamps.

      2. The Coke story is actually statistically possible because not every food stamp recipient gets the full benefit.

        People get a range of benefits up to the full amount, starting at a very low dollar amount. And if you compare a household's TOTAL (cash plus SNAP) purchases of a given commodity to their SNAP benefit, you can get these results.

        If I get $20 a month in food stamps, and I spend $2.50 a week on soda - voila: 50% spent on soda.

        And you know what? This is actually a valid way to look at the question. If people are getting a benefit, and some of their spending is going to "luxury" items, it is appropriate to conceptually assign the amount of the benefit to the purchase of those "luxury" items first, on the theory that the marginal "luxury" items are the ones that would be sacrificed from the budget first if the benefit were cut.

    4. I don't agree.

      The Brown story took off because the first reported version of the story was that Brown had his hands up and was shot in the back and that there were witnesses to that effect.

      The real principle in play here is the "no one on the internet (except Fluffy) can ever stand to admit when they're wrong" principle.

      People committed to outrage on Brown's behalf on the basis of the original reported version of events. After having so committed, they could not and would not back down when the initial version of the story was challenged or modified.

      1. But that goes along with what he's saying. The difference between the first story and further information is what makes it controversial. The echo chambers created online reinforce this divide of opinion.

      2. Did you ever admit being wrong on Trayvon?

      3. The other thing was the totally fucked up, ham-handedness by the local authorities in reacting to the story.

        None of their press releases or policies on the ground did anything but further inflame the issue.

  18. Former Reason editor Michael Moynihan bemoans the patronizing fetishization of an "authentic" poverty-stricken Cuba and the "the asinine fretting" about its imminent Americanization.

    Just yesterday, American Socialist (aka Commie Kid) was here lamenting that Cuba would lose its authentic poverty.

    1. Yeah, that was pretty delicious butt-hurt.

    2. Actually, to the extent poverty could be 'authentic' it would be under classical liberalism.

  19. The New Yorker has a snotty little parody of Ayn Rand "reviewing" childrens movies.

    1. Actually pretty funny. I'd like to see them do a Krugnuts or Michelle O review of same movies.

      1. I fear your desire will go unrequited.

    2. A cat is objectively valuable.

      They got that part right.

    3. I wonder if that was a pile-on to the elf on the shelf thing.

      I take this as a sign that they are nervous that libertarian ideas are gaining traction.

  20. Sony, 'The Interview' and the unspoken truth that all movies are political.

    In the middle of the swirl, the Daily Beast revealed communications between Sony Entertainment chief executive Michael Lynton and the State Department, which told him that "The Interview" had the potential of actually moving the needle in North Korea. Lynton had already run the project by a specialist at the Rand Corp. (where he sits on the board of trustees).

    In a June e-mail, Rand defense analyst Bruce Bennett wrote to Lynton: "I have been clear that the assassination of Kim Jong Un is the most likely path to a collapse of the North Korean government. Thus while toning down the ending may reduce the North Korean response, I believe that a story that talks about the removal of the Kim family regime and the creation of a new government by the North Korean people (well, at least the elites) will start some real thinking in South Korea and, I believe, in the North once the DVD leaks into the North (which it almost certainly will)."

    Huh. I'm pretty cynical, but I never would have thought that Hollywood actually vetted their movies with entities like the RAND corporation and the State Department. Fascinating.

    1. Presumably not all movies, just the ones with foreign policy implications.

      Also, don't discount that this movie could have been made at the behest of the US Government.

    2. I believe that a story that talks about the removal of the Kim family regime and the creation of a new government by the North Korean people (well, at least the elites) will start some real thinking in South Korea and, I believe, in the North once the DVD leaks into the North (which it almost certainly will)."

      How pretentious do you have to be to think that no one in the South or North already thought of this?

      1. External reinforcement, how does it work?

    3. It's all propaganda of one form or another.

    4. All movies are political only if you're one of those assholes who wants to inject politics into every aspect of life.

    5. So the movie was never intended to be released. The whole hacking thing was meant as a ploy to publicize the idea of killing Lil Kim. An elaborate propaganda scheme.

      /Tonkin Gulf Course

      1. /Tonkin Gulf Course

        What's the handicap on that one/

  21. teachers of criminal law at multiple institutions have told me that they are not including rape law in their courses, arguing that it's not worth the risk of complaints of discomfort by students.

    Hmm. Seems like there could be a new genre of lawsuits for *both* sides.

    1. Was she hot?

      1. Depends. Are you a furry?

    2. Jesus, she only wanted to get drunk and get laid by a 19 year old

      1. She should have slept with her son, then. This is Kentucky, after all.

    3. About a week before I passed through Mt. Mansfield on my thruhike they had the first confirmed sighting since the '80s.

    4. Man, that's some beautiful cat.

      Kennedy's irrational and idiotic hatred of cats makes me want to purr in her...

      1. My newest roommate has made me realize it's not cats that I hate. It's cat people. He treats our husky like a cat and it drives me insane.

        1. I discovered that, but with dogs. People who treat their dogs like toddlers drive me up a wall.

        2. Huskies are beautiful.

    5. Did the cops then flashbomb the cubs?

    6. Kentucky was pretty much neutral during the US Civil war. They didn't secede but there was a lot of confederate sympathy.

      1. But the state became overwhelmingly Confederate/Democrat after the war.

        Nothing Kentucky likes more than backing the losing horse after the race is over.

        1. I first learnt of this phenomenon in this fascinating book, but never really knew the reason. Until now. Kentuckians are idiots. Thanks Mr Free!

          1. I'm really more of the "duh-duh" sort of idiot.

    7. Lucky he's not a "civilian" if the DNA indicates an Eastern cat

      1. It really has been a shit week here.

        1. Cheer up! It's almost summertime!

          1. Thanks Rich, that's... indescribable. An Australian summer classic back at you

            1. Thanks for the link, ifh.

              Bombora came out the year I left Australia. I heard it once on a station in Canada after that but not since.

    1. "By valuing their questionable conception of freedom above things like gun control, *which we know saves lives*, Leyonhjelm and the LDP reveal themselves to be at odds with the common view of a moral and functioning society."

      I love when progressives just mindlessly claim something is true while providing not a single shred of evidence for their argument.

      1. which we know saves lives

        I can totally accept the truth of this phrase since (legally) gunless countries statistically do have fewer gun deaths, but frankly I don't give a shit. To me it's not a mathmatical risk management decision, its a matter of my personal right to protect myself. I hate the 'fewer deaths' angle that all these proggies use since to me it is irrelevant.

        1. Yes, rights shouldn't be part of a utilitarian calculus.

          1. I find it telling that nobody on either side of the "mainstream" makes this point. It's left to us "extremists"

            1. Interestingly with many other rights people say this sort of thing regularly. First Amendment case law is full of quotes about how the 'balancing' was already done when the Founders said 'make no law.' In fact, in the 'bad old days' before the First Amendment was really ever successfully invoked courts regularly squelched speech based on the 'dangers,' even quite indirect ones, that 'everyone' assumed would follow. Later the Warren Court 'saved the day' by arguing free speech was an inherent good that usually trumped competing 'balancing' attempts, and that view is essentially the standard one today. But guns=scary so different.

              1. I think that validates the point that you've made before... The founders were just as flawed as the next person, and blind idolatry of them is stupid.

                There were some good things to come out of the enlightenment era, but it certainly wasn't a panacea.

        2. Legally gunless countries don't have fewer gun deaths. Legally gunless countries have fewer gun deaths if you only count Europe, Australia, and Canada and compare them to the U.S.

          However, legally gunless countries like Mexico and legally gunless cities like Washington, D.C. have tremendous homicide rates.

          Progs ignore areas that aren't 90% white Europeans because the crime rates of such areas don't fit the narrative.

          1. They'd counter that you have to compare developed countries to other developed countries.

            1. It's not about Europeans since they almost always will point to Japan as a model.

              1. Yeah, but they can't too much, since suicide is the majority of gun deaths here. And guess who's suicide rate is higher.

                1. Iirc in 'legally gunless' Japan people just jump off buildings, right?

                  1. Iirc in 'legally gunless' Japan people just jump off buildings, right?

                    Apparently, it's mostly railroad tracks and mountains.

                2. "Yeah, but they can't too much, since suicide is the majority of gun deaths here. And guess who's suicide rate is higher."

                  Exactly. Behavior is caused by culture and social issues. Japan has a massive suicide rate but a low homicide rate because their culture results in people killing themselves rather than other people.

            2. "They'd counter that you have to compare developed countries to other developed countries."

              Right. Because lack of development and poverty excuse crime rates in Mexico but not crime rates in, say, Detroit.

              They cherry pick. When high crime areas have strict gun laws it's because of poverty. When high crime areas have lax gun laws it's because of the gun laws.

              And Japan had incredibly low homicide rates going back over 100 years. That's a common theme of gun control 'success stories.' They had low homicide rates before gun control and low homicide rates after gun control and progs claim that gun control caused something that pre-existed it.

              1. I'm not sure it's crazy to think comparing a country like Brazil to a country like Sweden would entail a lot of potentially confounding factors. Differences in development contain differences in culture too.

                1. at least one of us spelled confounding right...

                2. Well confounding factors exist between the descendants of African slaves and German hausfraus as well.

                  Ann Coulter pointed out, in a statement that got her in a bit of trouble, that the actual problem with America's homicide rate is entirely related to massive rates among African Americans. White Americans have a homicide rate comparable to those of Europe.

                  This is an important fact because it shows that the primary driving factor of violence and homicide is cultural rather than based on gun laws. White Americans live in areas with less strict gun laws than African Americans, yet their homicide rate is 1/5th that of African Americans.

                  No matter what you did with American gun laws, this disparity would remain because of cultural and economic reasons.

            3. They'd counter that you have to compare developed countries to other developed countries.

              But that counter renders their thesis invalid.

              If gun laws stop gun deaths, they should be effective regardless of where they're applied.

              It's like when progressives demand increased teacher salaries, but then declare that teachers can't be expected to overcome student poverty and improve student results.

              Well, when the second part of your argument negates the first part or makes it irrelevant, that's called "losing the argument" and not "countering".

          2. The massive influx of Muslim immigration in Europe is gonna end that tactic sooner rather than later.

          3. Yeah, sorry, ditto Bo on this. The US is more analogous to Europe/Aus/Can than Mexico. Too many counfounding factors when you start throwing Mexico, and other countries in as spoilers.

            1. And there are an equal number of confounding factors between inner city Detroit and Sweden.

              Why is it that they claim poverty in Mexico causes Mexican murders but poverty in inner city America doesn't cause American murders? No, in America it's the gun laws, whereas in Mexico it's not.

              Inner city Detroit has more in common with Mexico than with Sweden.

              1. There's more to the fact that one country is developed and another not than 'poverty.'

                1. Bo, stop with this contrarian nonsense.

                  The point is that confounding factors are relevant to explaining gun rates when it's Mexico and not when it's D.C. because that allows progressives to claim that the only difference is gun laws. They are lying and you're irritating me by consistently ignoring that impoverished areas of black America bear more in common with poor parts of Mexico than with Sydney, Australia.

                  Development and poverty only matter when it supports the leftist narrative. When it doesn't, it is ignored and everything gets blamed on gun laws.

                  That's the point, and this ridiculous needling of yours does not change the basic fact that they ignore confounding factors when it suits them.

                  I also think you should visit certain neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. Trust me, they're scarcely more developed than a Mexican slum.

        3. Let's try this thought experiment: If you made guns legal in Mexico or outlawed them in Detroit, would either of those places see an appreciable shift in homicide? No, because the primary reason for violence is cultural, not based on the availability of guns.

          This also ignores the existence of high gun ownership parts of Europe like Switzerland which have gun violence rates as low or lower than other parts of Europe with more restrictive gun laws.

          1. Your first part sounds right, in fact I don't think we even need a thought experiment: cities like DC and Chicago had the strictest gun laws with insanely high murder and crime rates.

            As to Switzerland, they have high gun ownership I recall, but don't they have more regulations concerning guns owned than we would find comfortable?

            1. Most Swiss gun laws have been passed since the early 90s due to pressure from other European countries. Just as NYC blames the rest of America for its gun "problem", the rest of Europe blames Switzerland for its gun "problem".

              As near as I can tell Swiss gun regulations would place it somewhere in the middle of US states in their severity.

              1. IIRC, before the early 90s, any Swiss citizen could buy just about any firearm simply by showing his Swiss identity card.

                The Swiss were even relatively late in adopting compulsory ID cards, again adopting them some time in the 1950s to facilitate travel with the rest of Europe.

                Armed preparedness is a big part of the Swiss mythology since their overthrow of their Austrian overlords.

          2. "high gun ownership parts of Europe like Switzerland"

            *nods approvingly*

    2. at odds with the common view of a moral and functioning society.

      A fair and accurate description of most who post here.

    3. I mentnioned that story yesterday. Your political class is really wetting its panties over somebody who won't repeat one of their received truths.

      1. Because anyone who publicly dissents damages the myth that they speak for "the people" and that anyone who disagrees is an evil special interest.

    4. gun control, which we know saves lives

      Assertion without evidence.

  22. Today's concept is "picturesque poverty."

  23. Has anyone else seen the newest Hobbit yet? I'm not positive weather it was that much shorter than the others, just felt that way because of the pacing, or just felt that way because I was so drunk.

    At least I'm sure that the alt-text length today is not due to my BAC.

    1. This is all you need to know about the newest Hobbit.

      1. Well, *that* was an unexpected journey.

      2. Kinda makes you wonder about the maturity level of the actors.

        1. I expect actors to fling their own poop, so no.

  24. IRS warns of possible shutdown

    The agency estimates each closed day would save $29 million.

    *** rising intonation ***

    I see a (partial) solution to our financial woes.

    1. SHUT IT DOWN!

    2. He said a shutdown would mean the IRS would "close the agency for a day, two days, whatever days it would take to close the gap that we can't otherwise close in a reasonable way.,

      The 'reasonable' way include a gun by chance?

      1. The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head.

        - H.L. Mencken

  25. Union foes are working to pass county "right to work" ordinances in places that don't have statewide laws allowing employees to opt out of paying union fees.

    This is inevitable. Unions f***ed taxpayers over for a long time, and their payback is coming.

    Scott Walker's Act 10 is not a one-off phenomenon. It's going to happen everywhere.

    1. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with government employees deciding to organize and bargain collectively with government agencies, but there's no justification for having these systems where the government agency takes dues out of all the employees checks for the union. Even an opt out system is not good enough, it should have to be an opt-in, or better yet you pay your dues yourself via check if you're interested.

      1. Yep.. Freedom of association even applies to government employees. The unholy marriage of Union and state as it is currently constituted is not a good thing.

    1. It is disturbing that people would overreact that much.

    2. Best comments


      The thought police will be next


      Hope you are referencing the thoughts of those who belong to this violence against women 'club'~ because those of us who denounce this type of violent though and gender attacking rot don't need our thoughts policed.

      First they came for...oh what's the point.

  26. "Conor Friedersdorf finds growing alarm among law professors over law students objecting to parts of the curriculum they find too upsetting."

    Well, I found the Rule Against Perpetuities upsetting, wish I could have gotten out of that.

    1. Con law was just one big trigger for me.

      1. No shit. It starts out all fun and games with Marbury and such. Then you get to the Slaughter House cases and you are like "what the fuck?". Then the New Deal comes and it is one kick in the nuts after another.

        Criminal Procedure was a big trigger for me, especially the vehicle search and seizure cases. What starts with "cops don't have to call the judge to search a car with probable cause" slowly morphs into "cops can effectively search any car and everyone in them whenever the fuck they want".

        1. I actually see it differently.

          Before the Warren Court you had a SCOTUS that would intervene to curb federal intervention and protect economic rights more, but they were a real horror show on the rights of those accused of crimes. With the Warren Court you lost the curbs on federal power and protection of economic rights, but you got some important protection in criminal law and you got the right to privacy, which has turned out rather well overall. It's not like some reverse Whig history, but a roller coaster with various ups and downs.

          1. The curbs on federal power ended in the 1930s. Other than the "sick chicken case" which is pretty much limited to its facts, after the famous "switch in time to save the nine", there wasn't anything the feds couldn't do that the court wouldn't uphold.

            The Warren court just continued that. And the Warren Court was good on defendant rights, they gave us Gideon and Maranda. But they didn't do much on search and seizure either way.

            It was the Burger Court that was the horror show and took the Carrol Doctrine and ran over the 4th Amendment with it.

            1. The 'Good Faith' exception was pretty bad as well.

              1. That is another appalling one. That doctrine would never apply in any other context. Can you imagine a court ruling that a judge's admitting evidence contrary to the rules of evidence was okay "as long as the judge acted in good faith admitting it"? Or ruling that an administrative body can act counter to the law as long as it meant well?

                That doctrine means we no longer are protected by the law. We are protected by the police' good faith effort to apply the law, whatever that is.

              2. Trigger warning: the phrase I am about to type may be triggering to any liberty lover.

                "rational basis"

                It's as close as you can get to a FYTW clause without literally writing "fuck you, that's why"

                1. No. Rational basis is fine. If you subjected every law to strict scrutiny, we would have rule by judges not elections.

                  If the people of Smallville want to pass a law that does X, they should be able to unless there is absolutely no rational basis for it to exist. It is not the court's jobs to overturn every bad decision or law. We, not the judges, own our Republic.

                  1. I was talking in the Commerce clause context... Congress merely needs to have a rational basis for believing that their law will affect interstate Commerce for it to fall under Commerce clause protection.

    2. If they ask about the Rule Against Perpetuities, just write, "the Rule Against Perpetuities is a very important rule. It involves perpetuities. Perpetuities are not allowed. Did you notice that the acronym is RAP?"

  27. A New York woman is suing the police for not arresting her son when they pulled him over for drunk driving; the 29-year-old died in a crash later that evening.

    This is one of the drivers behind cops being such assholes. I have a good friend who was a university cop at one time. The university was very clear they had to arrest anyone they thought was publicly intoxicated, no "hey just get home safely" exceptions, because of the legitimate fear of litigation if something happened to a drunk they didn't arrest. The threat of litigation forced them to be unreasonable assholes.

    This kind of shit and dram shop litigation is a scourge. If people refuse to be responsible for themselves, they can't then complain when others whom they wish to hold responsible rationally control their lives. You can't have freedom without responsibility. Every time someone tries to shirk responsibility for their actions by suing someone, they are attacking our freedoms just as much as any petty tyrant cop or legislature.

    1. I agree, but I think part of it is an inevitable side effect of the tragedy of the commons.
      I bet drunk driving would go way down if we privatized roads.

      1. Why do you say that? What would the road owners do? Give everyone a breathalyzer test? I don't see how living in a world where the corporate owners of roads violate my privacy as a condition of using their roads is any better than the government doing the same as a condition of using their roads. From my end it looks to be exactly the same.

        I don't think the commons have anything to do with it. We had government roads for centuries and people would never have dreamed of suing a tavern for the results of their own vice. The problem is the courts developed a mindset that every injury must somehow be compensated.

    2. IIRC one of the founders of MADD was a mom who's little kids were killed by a drunk driver immediately after he was kicked loose by cops and told to go home.

      1. That sucks. But, the price of holding the cop rather than the drunk responsible is that from no on no cop can every use his judgement. That sounds like a pretty big price to me. The person responsible for the death of those kids was the drunk and no one else. Even the cops don't have a duty to stop him such that their failure to do so makes them responsible.

  28. I looked at the paycheck that said $4961 , I accept neighbours mother woz like they say actually making money part-time on there computar. . there dads buddy haz done this for under twelve months and just cleared the loans on their house and purchased a brand new Nissan GT-R: .
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