Joe Cocker Feelin' Alright in a Better Place, Bill de Blasio Wants to Put Aside Political Debate, North Korea Knocked Offline: P.M. Links


Joe Cocker
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  1. Legendary musician Joe Cocker is dead at 70.

    He’s getting planted with a little help from his friends.

    1. Hello.

      “Legendary musician Joe Cocker is dead at 70.”

      At least we still have Lou Reed.

      1. Did he go out through the bathroom window?

      2. I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to Lou Reed…

    2. RIP Joe but your music was awful and boring.

      1. Go Fuck Your Self.

      2. And you have no taste. See – opinions are easy.

        1. Just like assholes, everyone has one and PB’s really stinks.

          1. Tom Waits is my fave. Go ahead and tell he how bad he is.

            1. Tom Waits is crap.

              1. People say I sound like him. It’s the whiskey and cigarettes. Guess I’ll sing Joe Cocker this evening, but it’s half-price-tab night at Biker Karaoke.

      3. I don’t know about boring, but his singing was definitely shit.

        1. You listen to ‘You are so Beautiful to Me’ twice and tell me it is not repetitious, devoid of music, and boring.

    3. Finally the desecration of The Beatles is avenged.

        1. I have nothing particular against JC’s music, apart from it simply being not to my taste. But doing a bluesy rendition, especially all those “Woahohohyeahlords”, of ALHFMF makes it one of the most grating songs out there. Only “Alice’s Restaurant” is worse.

          1. I have been a huge Beatles fan since I saw them live on the Ed Sullivan show. And that doesn’t change the brilliance of Cocker’s cover of ALHFMF.

            1. I’ve been a fan of The Beatles since I was practicing my reading skills on the “Sgt. Pepper” lyric sheet.

              I’m thinking this is one of those “agree to disagree” times.

              1. I can agree that you’re disagreeable 😉

                1. It’s the way I roll.

            2. WTF is brilliant about it? All he does is sing poorly with a raspy voice.

          2. Alice’s Restaurant is a Thanksgiving tradition in my house.

        2. Proof positive that the drugs were better in 1970 than they are today. Damn, I forgot about the Leon Russell/Joe Cocker collaboration.

          1. SIV, that was awesome; I had no idea they ever covered that song. Thanks for enlightening me.

    4. Joe Cocker Feelin’ Alright in a Better Place

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

    5. Should I know who he is?

      *I am 28 if that helps*

      1. No. Just some schmuck who covered a few Beatles tunes at Woodstock.

        1. He’s also semi-famous for showing up at concerts so drunk he could barely stand up let alone perform.

        2. I think he’s also pretty famous for being the only musician, ever, who sung worse than Bob Dylan.

      2. I’ll admit I’d probably have no idea who he is if not for all of those Wonder Years reruns I watched on Nick at Night as a child.

      3. I have no clue either (I’m 26)

    6. “I’m feelin’ alright..”

      You sure? ‘Cause you look like you’re having a seizure!

  2. Arizona plans to change the drug cocktail used in executions after the gruesome two-hour death of Joseph Rudolph Wood.

    Planning to get it back down to a gruesome fifteen minutes.

    1. How is it that I can put down a dog, with cheap, widely available drugs, in a handful of seconds, so humanely that anyone would say “Dang, that’s how I want to go”,

      and we can’t quite figure out how to do the same for a person?

      1. The same reason that we can’t build a skyscraper in 8 months anymore… Some misplaced sense of human dignity.

      2. Because vets have too much integrity to get involved with capital punishment?

        1. Because that would be stepping on the AMA’s turf. And risking boycotts from their customers. And more lawsuits against the DOC.

      3. Um, we can, but those companies refuse to sell to departments of corrections. The AMA forbids its members (effectively all physicians licensed to practice in the US) from participating in executions. So the DOC uses a special non-prescription process to purchase the drugs from a pharmacy, if they can find one that will sell to them since the pharmacies don’t want to get cutoff by their suppliers.

        1. Um, we can, but those companies refuse to sell to departments of corrections.

          I’m talking about drugs that you can buy in quart jars from a veterinary supplier. No need to go directly to the manufacturer.

          Hell, you could find plenty of vets who donate a jar, if need be.

        2. Less than 10% of docs in the USA belong to the American Medical Association. It’s sort of the equivalent of the AARP for doctors in terms of representation, and very few of us have anything to do with it. I’m constantly puzzled on this website when posters seem to believe it is some powerful regulatory goliath. It’s basically just an organization you can join so you can get discounts on insurance. Their only real impact is that they own the reimbursement coding system for medicine, and get royalties from insurers — but nothing really in terms of day-to-day for physicians in this country.

          1. Doesn’t the AMA sanction or deny sanction to Med Schools? It seems like a cartel to me.

            1. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the accrediting body for educational programs at schools of medicine in the United States and Canada. The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association.

              Therefore, to answer your question, the AMA plays a small role in the medical school system in the USA, but mostly regarding some indirect financial support for accreditation. The idea that they are actively “preventing” new medical schools to keep the profession as a scarcity is ludicrous.

              If you want to know the main reason there aren’t more medical schools, it is that they are prohibitively expensive money-losers that require enormous numbers of faculty and personnel, and can’t exist without nearby major medical centers who are willing to affiliate. If you have all these things, and are looking to lose millions of dollars each year, go ahead and start your medical school, I’m sure no ‘cartel’ will try to stop you.

              1. They clearly need to charge more.

          2. Less than 10% of docs in the USA belong to the American Medical Association.

            But all members of state medical boards must be members of the AMA in good standing.

            1. I’m fully licensed in California under the California Medical Board and I’m not a member of the AMA. Better not tell them!

              The AMA is a voluntary advocacy organization. Membership has absolutely zero, zilch to do with being able to practice medicine. Saying you have to be in the AMA in “good standing” (ha! good standing means you paid your dues this year) to be licensed in a state is like saying you have to be a member of the local Lions Club to vote for your city’s mayor.

              If the AMA is such a big deal, why do I get junk mail from them weekly begging me to join? It’s hard to know who sends more mail like this to me, the AARP or the AMA.

              1. I thought one objection was that the AMA had too much influence over politicians.

              2. I’m fully licensed in California under the California Medical Board and I’m not a member of the AMA. Better not tell them!

                The members of the board must be members of the AMA. I did not say all doctors must be to receive a license.

          3. I interviewed at the AMA once. Only interview I wanted to walk out on. I didn’t, but I should have. Best description I could give the place is “A combination of ignorance and arrogance.”

          4. Thanks, C, for setting me straight, as it were.

            And, fwiw, I had always thought guild or cartel. Regulatory, to me, always means govt.

      4. Because people aren’t animals.


      5. The drugs used to put down animals can lead to spasms, which might make the execution’s audience feel bad. Thus we go to ridiculously complicated lengths to make the execution process seem completely sterile so that they may sake their bloodlust without risk of being forced to face any philosophical dilemmas.

        1. “Slake,” even.

        2. Because decades of appeals and a, in your own words, “completely sterile” execution screams “bloodlust!!!”

          If you’re a PB-level moron.

      6. Also, why don’t we just stop this obsession with executions in light of the cases of actual innocence?

      7. How is it that I can put down a dog, with cheap, widely available drugs, in a handful of seconds, so humanely that anyone would say “Dang, that’s how I want to go”,

        and we can’t quite figure out how to do the same for a person?

        The same reason we can’t feed the bears in Yellowstone because it will make them dependent, but 47% of the population is getting govt cheese of one sort or another.

      8. I’ve only been involved with putting one animal down – it was at the vet’s office and my impression was that the dog was given something to knock him out. He was quickly taken away to actually (messily?) die. Am I incorrect?

        1. They give telazol first, which is a tranquilizer. That knocks them out quick. Then they give an overdose of pentobarbitol, which is a sedative, and that stops their heart. It’s all very quiet and that’s why they call it being put to sleep.

          1. OK, thanks.

  3. Just days after accusations that North Korea’s totalitarian government is responsible for hacking Sony’s networks, the country lost Internet access.

    They weren’t going to get their shipments in from Amazon before Christmas, anyway.

  4. Looking for the official worst pro-cop response to the assassinations? Nikki and Howard Safir have you covered.

    We have seen nothing but police bashing from some of the highest offices in the land.

    Sigh, if only…

    1. The entire premise of that is just horrible. “If you dare to criticize police officers, they won’t do their jobs, and you’ll suffer!”

      1. Whoever had the idea to unionize the Pinkertons was a genius.

        1. Fun fact: The Pinkertons still exist.

          I’d far rather they exist now in the way they existed in the 19th century though. At least nowadays there’d be a chance of some actual accountability, versus what we have now from the police.

          1. When I was in college (late 90s), the giant milk jugs in the university cafteria were all labeled “Protected by Pinkerton”, which always seemed a bit overkill to me. Especially since nothing else seemed so protected.

          2. I was one (briefly) in the mid-90’s.

            ‘Course that was their security guard operation – none of that ‘detective’ or ‘VIP security’ stuff.

        2. I used to be in the Pinkertons, after Wounded Knee. Then I ended up escorting some dame around a city in the clouds. It was a bloodbath!

      2. Let them resign en masse.

    2. When Popehat deemed cops to be ‘crybullies’ he did a great service by coining that phrase.


      “There are 18,000 police departments in the United States. They interact millions of times with the public, and make hundreds of thousands of arrests. Very few result in a suspect’s death or injury.”

      Alright, dipshit, how many of those result in the police officer’s death or injury? Or is the irrational paranoia of police officers more legitimate than the irrational paranoia of the general public?

      1. …”Very few result in a suspect’s death or injury.”…

        It’s not got much spam in it!
        How many are SUPPOSED to die or get injured?

      2. “I have given the eulogy at the funerals of too many police officers, most killed in the line of duty defending our citizens during the commission of a crime.”

        This is tremendously unlikely given that the vast majority of police officers who die in the line of duty are killed in traffic accidents.

        Or does he consider a cop speeding and wrapping his car around a telephone pole to be a death which occurred while ‘defending our citizens during the commission of a crime?’

        1. Also, I’m sorry, it’s tremendously sad and unfortunate that two innocent men were killed, but this is total bullshit:

          “He should send a clear message to all criminals that he appreciates the willingness of officers like Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu to sacrifice their lives, and that their lives have meaning. Perhaps their families should be present at the next State of the Union.”

          How exactly did they ‘sacrifice their lives?’ They didn’t run into a building to save orphans, they were randomly ambushed and murdered. They did quite literally nothing which can be considered a noble sacrifice.

          Again, I feel bad for their families and wish this had never happened, but the act of being a police officer does not magically make you a hero.

          1. The badge is a rune that bestows soul-cleansing perfection and superhuman courage.

            1. Wait, I thought it made you an irredeemable racist?

              1. No, that’s the asp

              2. Why can’t it be both?

          2. When heroes die it’s always a sacrifice.

        2. They make it sound like they literally take a bullet for people, eh?

        3. Or does he consider a cop speeding and wrapping his car around a telephone pole to be a death which occurred while ‘defending our citizens during the commission of a crime?’

          Yes. he didn’t say anything about the *cop* being the one committing the crime.

        4. Hell, he probably considers cops who die from a heart attack to have been “killed in the line of duty.” Because it was the stress, you see, not the fifty pounds of fat that did it.

          1. Hmmm… do you apply the same standard to Eric Garner?

  5. …New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged people to “put aside political debates, put aside protests.”

    Because suddenly coffins don’t make the best soapboxes?

    1. The police union seems to be doing just fine standing on those corpses to try to score political points.

      1. Somehow I think it’s working less than it ever has. I think hardly anyone is buying that the options are people like Garner getting killed for selling loosies, and open war on cops with accompanied dissolution of all social order.

    2. I think what he’s saying is Can’t we all just get along?

  6. Former Vice President Dick Cheney should be prosecuted for torture, says The New York Times.

    Only Fox News could go to China on this one.

  7. America’s troops increasingly identify as libertarians…

    Because they have the Corps of Engineers to build them roads.

  8. Why stop there?

    Hit him with lying us into a useless $1 trillion war too.

    1. ‘Hit Obo with lying us into a useless $1 trillion war too.”

      Good idea, turd.

    2. Right after we hit Obama for lying us into a useless $1 trillion dollar health-fraud scheme.

    1. Popehat’s twitter account (assuming it was Ken and not Patrick) has been all over the people who blamed right wing rhetoric after Gabby Giffords was shot (the bullseye map!) but say not to blame rhetoric here.

      (Of course, rhetoric shouldn’t be blamed in either place, the asshole doing the shooting should be blamed)

      1. Popehat’s twitter account (assuming it was Ken and not Patrick) has been all over the people who blamed right wing rhetoric after Gabby Giffords was shot (the bullseye map!) but say not to blame rhetoric here.

        The way you worded that, it seems like a consistent position against blaming rhetoric for violence.

        Did you mean something else?

        1. No, I think you read it wrong. He’s saying there were people blaming Palin for the Giffords shooting who are arguing that rhetoric in this instance ISN’T to blame.

          1. Yeah, I think I did. I can see your reading of it and it makes more sense.

            1. He’s right. Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough.

              1. To further underline the intellectual bankruptcy, the shooter in the Giffords case (Loughner) was a left-wing loon obsessed with her – not some right wing zombie.

      2. Palin’s rhetoric was not quite as direct as what was coming from those protestors. I’m not certain Sharpton was actually leading them – although some have reported that.

      3. Pet peeve: that map did not have “bulls eyes.” It did not have “crosshairs.” It had printer’s registration marks.

    2. If there’s a punk band out there called Dead Cops, now is their moment to rake in the free publicity.

  9. Good job by Obama and his Saudi friends, destabilizing Russia and her currency. Because leaders elected after a currency is destroyed are always so much more rational than those in power before.

    1. CE|12.22.14 @ 4:40PM|#
      “Good job by Obama…”

      You give Obo ‘way more credit than I do.

    2. You’re not playing the game right…

      “You know who else arose from the ashes of a country crushed by failed currency?”

      1. Emperor Claudius?

      2. Parker Brothers?

      3. Dark Phoenix?

      4. George Washington?

    3. You know who else was elected after…. ah, too easy.

    4. Eh, Chuan Leekpai was one of the best Prime Ministers Thailand has ever had.

  10. “You put sanctions on us ? but you won’t break us. We will buy buckwheat for 100 rubles if we have to,” she said defiantly. “Our government is doing a good job, Putin is doing a good job.”

    It’s comforting to know that Russians are just as delusional about their leaders as Americans.

  11. “America’s troops increasingly identify as libertarians”

    I predict a huge growth in people identifying as libertarians. Not because there are more libertarians, but because the term is becoming so watered down as to be meaningless.

    1. Says the man with the meaningless handle.

    2. Maybe people are just embarrassed to be associated with the donkeys and the elephants which is a good thing even if they aren’t pure libertarians according to the great and powerful oz.

    3. I’ll take watered down libertarianism over any variety of progressive and most varieties of conservative. It’s not even a difficult choice.

    4. Libertarians like to quickly exclude those that might agree with only 80% of their philosophy.

      It is done here daily.


      NO YOU AREN’T!

      YES I AM!

      1. So, are you being the pot or the kettle today?

        1. Racist!

      2. But I thought you were only 8% libertarian.

        1. There’s only an 8% chance this joke will get old any time soon.

        2. I only scored 94% on the LP Purity Test. It is a bitch.

          I like the US Dollar/FRN and don’t trust the shitty failed bank scrip of the free banking era. That cost me 3 points.

          1. Should have cost you more – having bank scrip *and* a ‘government scrip’ (its all scrip when you get right down to it) are not mutually exclusive.

            Except to socialists like you, who believe that if its allowed then it must be being endorsed by government.

            1. So everyone should lug gold/silver coins around to pay their debts?

              Idiotic. Paper money works just fine.

              1. Then fucking use paper money – don’t go around and deny me my scrip/cryptocurrency.

                And you know – gold and silver used to *bakc* paper money so there’s no need to go around with a sack full of gold.

                1. Shit like *that* is why you’re not a libertarian.

                2. I don’t care if you use bank scrip or pesos or any alternative paper money.

          2. don’t trust the shitty failed bank scrip of the free banking era.

            I know just enough about free banking to know that you don’t know anything about free banking.

          3. I like the US Dollar/FRN and don’t trust the shitty failed bank scrip of the free banking era.

            Yep – ‘government-backed’ currencies are so much better. I mean, look at how well the Ruble, Zimbabwean Dollar, Fuerte, Cuban Peso are doing.

            And the best part of using those sate-backed currencies? Its *mandatory*. Can’t ever switch on your own, just got to hope that your government becomes less corrupt and fixes the problem rather than shoveling value into the accounts of the well-connected.

  12. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) will plead guilty to one felony charge of tax evasion, the New York Daily News reported on Monday.

    Grimm is expected to plead guilty at a court hearing on Tuesday at the federal court in Brooklyn.

    The news comes after Grimm was charged in April with 20 felony counts for allegedly concealing more than $1 million in wages and sales at the restaurant he co-owned in Manhattan. He was also charged with hiring undocumented immigrants.…

    1. Uh, good for him? Apart from getting caught, that is.

    2. He’s just taking a page from Obama’s Treasury Secretary.

  13. I think we need a political tropes website similar to movietropes. Something where we can point to the handful of tired game plans that politicians use to game the public.

    1. Don’t you mean tvtropes?

      And you know Who Else wanted to get rid of the tired game plans of the politicians?

      1. Yes, that one… I always come across it in the context of movies, so it stuck in my head as movietropes.

        Also, Caesar?

      2. Marcus Antonius?

  14.…..socialflow – Hilarious. Salon claims that Mary getting impregnated immaculately is an example of rape.

    This is comical because, so far as I recall, no actual sex occurs. Mary was not fertilized with a God-Dong, so how this is rape I shall never know.

    And why do they not mention Lot being raped by his daughters? Does filthy incest rape carried out by women after their mother is turned into a pillar of salt somehow not count?

    1. How did she get knocked up then? She wouldn’t be alone in falsely claiming to be a virgin mother.

      1. I’d argue she never got knocked up because she didn’t exist.

        That’s irrelevant though because this is about what occurred in the story. And in the story she was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, which, not being a material being, certainly wouldn’t need to commit rape in order cause a woman to become pregnant.

        1. I’m pretty sure she existed.

          Maybe not as the Virgin Mother but she existed by most accounts I’ve read.

          1. She didn’t exist then.

            “She” is the person described in the Gospels.

            1. It is fairly well documented that Jesus existed – see Josephus, and many early inscriptions on monuments. He must have had a mother. Thus ‘Mary’ exists. Most of the stories in the gospels are just fairy tales, however, so we know almost nothing about her with any certainty.

        2. And in the story she was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, which, not being a material being, certainly wouldn’t need to commit rape in order cause a woman to become pregnant.

          Also, she gave affirmative consent:

          38 And Mary said, “Behold, the [ab]bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”

      2. If Neo can repair Trinity’s bullet-ridden heart, G-d can do anything.

        1. But did they do it in the Matrix. Because that is another version of dream rape.

    2. Behold, I am the handmaid of the LORD; let it be done to me according to your word.

      1. let it be done to me according to your word

        THIS is how to get consent.

      2. There’s a power imbalance there, between Mary and God, so here consent was coerced – by definition.

        1. Think of God as being like the President, and Mary his chubby but eager intern…

        2. So Bill Clinton raped…

          lots of people?

    3. Holy mendaciousness!

      The Buddha’s mother Maya finds herself pregnant after being entered from the side by a god in a dream.

      Tarico, of course, fails to mention that that image was purely a dream and that there is nothing in the Buddhist canon to suggest that Siddhartha’s father wasn’t King Suddhodhana. That’s why the King and Queen were depicted as attempting to interpret the dream…because it was a dream.

      Or is dream rape a thing now?

      1. My subconscious is sensitive. It always gives me a trigger warning before rape dreams.

        1. I can’t remember the last time I remembered a dream. I could be Attila the Hun in my dreams for all I know.

          1. Anybody trying to plant an Inception on you would be screwed in that case.

            1. If you’re the sort of person who looks for an ever expanding definition of ‘rape’, the yes – this is one of the, real, arguments used.

              That a power imbalance means that the person with less power can not truly consent.

              1. That was supposed to be for Mr. Extreme, above.

          2. I can’t remember the last time I remembered a dream

            Lay off the weed for a couple of days.

            1. Is that something that happens with weed? I’ve never used it, so I don’t know. I’ve just never remembered my dreams with any sort of regularity. I have a dream that I remember upon waking maybe once every five years or so.

    4. I am shocked, SHOCKED, to discover that people living over two thousand years ago had different social customs and mores from our own!

      I’m actually pretty impressed that the author managed to go on for that many words without once broaching an intelligent idea.

    5. The Lot thing doesn’t undermine the religion. But if they can discredit the immaculate conception, then all Christians will have no choice but to give up their God and join the progressive movement.

      1. ‘Course they seem to forget that a key part of Christian dogma is that we are God’s. God gets to set the rules because he’s God. We follow God’s rules because we belong to God.

        See ‘the sacrifice of Isaac’ and ‘Job’ as examples of this thinking.

        1. As such, even if you were to consider that Mary’s impregnation was rape – it wouldn’t really matter.

          1. Right, rape takes on a certain amount of contextual baggage that exists when it occurs between two equals, but may not exist between a human and a creator.

      2. “But if they can discredit the immaculate conception, then all Christians will have no choice but to give up their God and join the progressive *MOVEMENT*.”

        You misspelled religion.

        1. I was thinking it.

    6. Mary was asked by the angel and accepted, to the best of my recollection.

  15. So do think people think the Norks were behind the Sony hacks or not?

    1. Put me down as “or not”.

      Kim Jong-un threw Sony through a glass table, said “grab its motherfucking leg” and urged the reluctant hackers on to use a Hite bottle on Sony, “do you want to be a party memeber?”.

    2. I have no idea.

    3. I’d say “yes.” A disgruntled employee would have just dumped a bunch of embarrassing data. It’s just the sort of wacky shit that the Norks have always pulled.

  16. So where’s the article on how Cocker ended the Cold War?

    1. Cocker may have been good, but he was no Lou Reed.

      I’m just glad that the Reason editors did not have the temerity to honor the passing of music industry legend Kasey Kasum.

  17. I came here to ask Suderman and Loder to do a review of Ascension on SyFy…It is very subtly libertarian in so many ways… and not so subtle in others, hell one of the heros is named Gault.

    I enjoyed the shit out of it. And thinking on it the libertarian themes are nearly endless.

    1. What about the libertarian themes of Tetris? Or how it normalizes the surveillance state?

    2. I watched part one and vowed I would not subject myself to any further suckage.

    3. I tend to steer clear of SyFy. How would you compare the quality (acting, writing, set design) to BSG?

      1. Where’s my Sharkcano? It’s like ironic and shit.

  18. Anyone see the new Reese Witherspoon movie?

    (my #1 MILF candidate)

    1. No. That’s a good MILF choice to say when your girlfriend asks who your favorite MILF is, but what the real one?

      I’m Lisa Ann all the way. That internet add that shows her face as she gets the thumb is an all time classic.

    1. “That sort of thing is not my nut milk bag, baby.”

  19. World’s longest freight train journey completed.
    A container train has covered a distance of more than 8000 miles between Yiwu on China’s Eastern Seaboard and Madrid

    The first container block train between the Chinese city of Yiwu (about 100 miles SW of Shanghai) and Spain’s capital Madrid left on 18th November and arrived in Madrid (Abronigal railhead) without mishaps on 10th December – more than 8000 miles overland in 21 days, 10 days less than the shipping route via Suez and over Barcelona or Valencia.

    Earlier custom’s agreements between China, Poland, Germany, France and the Customs Union countries (Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus), made the trip possible in such a time. Clearance at the Kazakhstan/China border took only a few hours and no further inspections were needed until the arrival in Madrid. The transit time was achieved (despite) the three gauge breaks requiring transfer to different wagons at the Kazakhstan/China, Belarus/Poland and France/Spain (Le Boulou) borders.

    The new connection has attracted strong interest from the FMCG sector, as it is faster than shipping yet 90% cheaper than airfreight. Yiwu is the largest wholesale centre for small consumer goods in China, and Spain is the biggest importer.

    1. I saw that. Apparently 90% of goods move between nations on the sea and this is poised to revolutionize this for Eurasia. I think I read that they think they can pull this off with high speed trains soon too??

      1. I, for one, await the rise of rail pirates with bated breath.

      2. It wouldn’t surprise me, although it does surprise me that apparently Spain has different rail gauge than France. If you could get a common gauge across Europe, Asia and Africa (and keep governments greedy paws to a minimum) you could have an explosion in trade in the eastern hemisphere.

        Maersk’s giant Triple E container ships are meant primarily for Asia-Europe hauling.

        1. Spain and Portugal use Iberian Gauge.
          “A commonly cited reason for the adoption of this gauge, broader than that which became the international standard, is that it was intended to hinder any use of the railroad in any of the French invasion attempts. This is possible, but the 19 January 1845 governmental decree does not state any reason, simply the gauge itself.”

      3. If, *IF*, they can make it cost less than sea transport.

        Notice that in order for it to work they had to pre-arrange agreements between several nations. Any nation on that route can decide to up and fuck this up.

        Sea routes you only have to worry about your ports stops, not everytime you cross a border. And those border stops happen both ways – imagine being stopped for inspection entering a country, and then again leaving it, and then again upon crossing the line into the very next one.

        All sorts of opportunities for rent-seeking that could sink this real quick.

    2. . . . without mishaps on 10th December . . .

      . . . (despite) the three gauge breaks requiring transfer to different wagons at the Kazakhstan/China. . .

      Somebody doesn’t know what ‘mishap’ means.

      1. Well, those weren’t mishaps – the rails didn’t break, they had different gauges requiring the transfer of containers to different rail cars, essentially. If you have to change planes to get a connecting flight do you call it a mishap?

      2. That’s not a mishap. A guage break is a place where two rail lines with incompatible rail standards meet, meaning the cargo has to be transferred from one train to another because the same train won’t work on both sets of tracks.

      3. Gauge break (I think) means change in railroad gauge (ie distance between tracks).

        Follow from China to Spain on this map and you’ll count three changes.

        1. Yeah, that makes sense.

  20. I hate Cheney, but I don’t see how he can be charged.

    He was utterly outside the chain of command.

    His office holds no official power.

    If guys IN the GENUINE chain of command said, “Hey, let’s get this torture thing going – Cheney will like it!” that’s essentially the same as their acting on their own initiative, as far as actual operations go.

    1. Why don’t we charge every politician after they’re out of office with murder, kidnapping, and extortion?

      Or – is this just a load of political posturing that has zero legal validity, but helps make NYT readers feel good about themselves long after they stopped feeling scared about Al Qaeda?

  21. Joe Cocker was the Nickelback of classic rock. The instant I heard one of his songs, I immediately rushed to change the dial to anything else. Even static. Completely untalented hack.

    1. I mean, seriously, how do you ruin Beatles songs? He managed to find a way.

      1. He made Yoko Ono look like a genius in comparison.

      1. I posting the garbage supposed to convince someone that it’s not garbage?

        1. No, I’m not trying to change your opinion. You’re free to believe what ever you want.

    2. Yes, it’s intolerable. He can’t fucking sing. I think people see him jerking around, think he’s “working hard” or something, and assume that he’s doing a good job.

  22. Legendary musician Joe Cocker is dead at 70

    I hear he’s going to be buried with his hat on.

  23. Salon Style Guide =

    Always Uses “Vile” after ‘Right’ or ‘Conservative’

    – Gun nuts’ vile Muslim test: Why open carry activists don’t want to extend the right to everyone
    – Christian right’s vile PR sham: Why their bizarre films are backfiring …
    – The right’s vile Ferguson ploy: Why they really want to focus on “riots …
    – 7 vile and ridiculous moments from the right this week
    – “Big Brother” is back ? and so is its vile bigotry
    – Redskins propaganda takes vile turn: How team seeks to buy off opposition
    -ABC’s new right-wing hack: Why a network is paying for Laura Ingraham’s vile racism

    That’s just a sampling of 2014

    To be fair – it seems to be the left’s favorite word. Alternet is riddled with it, and it seems to bleed over everywhere else.

  24. wow I cant believe he is gone man.

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