A.M. Links: Blizzard Headed for NYC, Teenager Arrested for Facebook Emoji, Left-Wing Party Wins Big in Greece


  • Courtesy of Universal

    A blizzard is on its way to New York City.

  • A teenager in Brooklyn has been arrested for allegedly threatening the police after he posted a violent emoji on Facebook.
  • "Hillary Clinton is in the final stages of planning a presidential campaign that is likely to launch in early April, and has made decisions on most top posts, according to numerous Democrats in close contact with the Clintons and their aides."
  • At least 19 protesters were killed by security forces in Egypt over the weekend during demonstrations marking the fourth anniversary of the 2011 revolution.

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  1. A teenager in Brooklyn has been arrested for allegedly threatening the police after he posted a violent emoji on Facebook.

    Furtive emoticons! Stop retweeting! Stop retweeting!

    1. Hello.

      Crazy stuff in Greece.

      Losing the EU.


      1. The Brussels Class is going to double down. Just as the solution to every problem here is more government, the solution to every EU crisis is giving more power to Brussels.

      2. This will be fun to watch. I keep an eye on the Ukrainian conflict (because I want to know when to start digging fallout shelter), and expect Ukraine to collapse before Russia. It will be amusing if EU collapses before Russia as well. Fail continent for the win!

    2. Emoji are worse than emoticons.

      1. “He should be questioned, ‘Why you are doing this?'” said neighbor Marisol Ramirez.

        “At the end of the day, you’ve got to watch what you say,” said Tynitty Hunte.



    4. You laugh but he had MARIJUANA in his home. There’s no telling what a teen hopped up on the grass will do.

      1. That is probably why they set bail at $150,000. Yes… not to penalize some prole for copping an attitude online. But because he is a dangerous weapon-wielding pot smoker.

        At first I figured they were going to run the old “hassle the crap out of him and cost him a bunch of money and time and then drop the charges”, but this list of particulars looks like they are going for the “charge him up the ying-yang and get a plea deal that sends him to prison for a couple of years.”

  2. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is running for president.

    Well, waddling for president.

    1. Slogan: “I’m going to make William Howard Taft look like an anorexic!”

      1. I’d vote for a candidate with that slogan.

    2. I can totally see him trying to run on some kind of independent “unity” ticket once it’s clear he has zero shot of getting the GOP nomination.

      1. That’s about the size of it.

        1. Thanks for weighing in.

          1. That’s heavy, man.

            1. Makes a ton of sense

              1. It is fat[t]ed to be so.

                1. Glad you grasp the gravity of the situation.

                2. Guys be serious. This is a really big deal.

                  1. “Guys be serious. This is a really big deal.”

                    Lighten up, Tim.

            2. Your words carry gravitas

              1. Instead of governor of New Jersey, he should be governor of Mass.

                  1. No, no, you’re supposed to say something like “a fridge too far.”

                    1. You know Fist…always taking a big dump on everyone else’s weighty commentary.

                  2. He’s obese of shit.

                    1. Christie IS the fat of the land.

                    2. He is like the fattened calf sacrificed at the altar.

      2. I think he’s angling for a VP slot or a secretary position in a Bush or Romney administration.

        We’re one year away from primary season being in full swing and I’m already sure I’ll be voting LP again. Thanks for nothing, duopoly.

    3. Did he declare as a (D)? Because that better fits his politics.

    4. He should do like Cookie Monster each time he speaks.

      Mumm, mumm, mumm!

      1. I think he does… or at least, that’s how I see him.

      2. That would make me like him a lot more. What an excellent idea!

  3. The radical left Syriza party won big in yesterday’s national elections in Greece.

    When have leftists ever failed to fix an economy?

    1. Hey, Greece tried austerity and it didn’t work!


      1. This is quite literally what is being taught at my American local public high school.

        1. As well as at Krugman academy

      2. Greece has cut spending. What didn’t work was borrowing more than you can repay. It is why I care about deficits.

        Our two parties like to spend equally and that shit won’t last.

        1. Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy fucking walrus-looking piece of shit! Get the fuck off of my obstacle! Get the fuck down off of my obstacle! NOW! MOVE IT! Or I’m going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world! I will motivate you, IF IT SHORT-DICKS EVERY CANNIBAL ON THE CONGO!

  4. Put your money where your foot is: Bigfoot believer plans IPO to fund search

    Bigfoot enthusiast Tom Biscardi, who runs the website Searching for Bigfoot, is planning an initial public offering to pump cash into his quest for the (let’s face it) mythical beast, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    As stated in his filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Biscardi hopes that selling stock in Bigfoot Project Investments will raise $3 million, the Journal reported.

    He and his partners plan to spend the money making movies and DVDs and are budgeting close to $114,000 a year for Bigfoot-hunting trips, the paper said.

    1. I couldn’t get past the first 2 words without assuming this was some sort of foot fetish thing.

      1. *perks up and reaches for checkbook*

        /Rex Ryan

    2. Good on him. I respect people who believe something and then put their own time and money into trying to prove it.

    3. This I gotta see.

      The amount of capital he raises can be correlated to how much the public believes in Big Foot. No?

      1. Then he’ll probably be rich, given that there is (was?) some stupid show called “Finding Bigfoot.” (Spoiler: Bigfoot was never found.)

        1. Sort of like that clunker “Curse of Oak Island” where a couple of rubes try to find some treasure in a flooded pit for innumerable episodes.

      2. I think it will be proportional to the state of the economy. People don’t throw money at shit like this when they have to make ends meet.

        OtOH, probably most of the people who are his audience are the types who are still buying shit from SkyMall ThinkGeek and wearing “clever” T-shirts.

    4. He will never fins Steve Smith. He’s like a ghost. A ghost that rapes hikers.


      2. Enough of your fish fetish.

    5. How much cash do you need? He’s easy enough to find: http://bp2.blogger.com/_zoBCYM…..6_ORIG.jpg

  5. Terrifying article by Megan McArdle:


    Scariest quote from a supposedly rational woman?

    “What it also argues for is saving even more than you are. The government is going to come for its money one way or another, and the best way to deal with that is to have more than you need.”

    Talk about DEFEATIST!!!

    1. The best option is to hide it.

    2. Jesus Christ. Just send the stormtroopers out and hope your aunt and uncle aren’t incinerated while they drink blue milk.

      1. “Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise!”

        1. Yet they got their asses kicked by 3 foot teddy bears.

          1. What I quoted is the series’ most unintentionally funny line.

            1. Um’ no that would be every-word uttered by that thing that sat next to Lando in the millennium Falcon in Jedi.

              1. I must confess I don’t remember that.

                  1. Isn’t that the homonculus from *The Talons of Weng-Chiang?*


        2. He said precise, not accurate.

          Every one of them managed to hit the least vulnerable part

          1. God you sound like my chemistry teacher.

          2. 1″ grouping at 50 yards, but exactly 6′ from the target every time. The empire outsourced the blaster sights to a company on Alderaan.

    3. And what’s with the love for the VAT? It’s a goddamn nightmare of paperwork for business owners, the compliance costs are staggering.

      1. Progressives hate the regressivity, conservatives, the imposition of a large new tax that will squeeze a lot of money out of people.

        What love?

        1. Progressives don’t hate the VAT at all. Look at Europe.

          1. It may be that progressive are not all of one mind on every subject. American progressives are so fixated on “tax the rich” that they would have a hard time shifting to “tax the fuck out of everyone”, on the federal level, at least.

        2. Progressives ‘hate the regressivity’ until they realize, as they did in Europe, that it’s only through a large VAT that you can get enough money to pay for massive social programs.

          That’s the dirty little secret of Europe: They pay for their wonderful social welfare programs through massive taxes levied on the poor and middle classes.

          1. And everyone who is not poor cheats on their taxes at every opportunity. My aunt who lives in Spain and her husband are fairly well off and they save every receipt that could at all plausibly be written off as a business expense. That’s just how it works.

        3. Somebody’s gotta be pushing it, reference is made to it every time the subject of tax reform comes up.

          Economists love it for its efficiency, but that’s a severe case of academics being their typically impractical selves.

          1. I guess I should have added a – McArdle after “What love?” because her comment was silly.

            As Irish points out, progressives don’t really have a problem with regressive taxes, we see this now at the state level.

          2. I’d consider a lot of things, including a VAT, if the income tax were constitutionally re-banned. But unless and until that happens, any new major tax is very scary.

      2. The number one group that I’ve personally come across lauding it are European students that have never held a job, much less run a business, so…

      3. I think you answered your own question.

      4. Um, you answered your own question. Business owners are evil, doncha know.

        1. curses, foiled again.

      5. I take it over income tax which is a nightmare of paperwork for everyone and a massive invasion of privacy.

    4. Eh, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. We can fight this idiocy, but it is best to make sure that even if they win we won’t be screwed too badly.

      1. If they win that basically means the government announcing that they are entitled to all private property.

    5. The government is going to come for its money one way or another,

      Cosmotarian or progressive?

      1. *** clears throat ***

        Whose picture is on that coin?

        1. Another reason to replace the dead white guys on money with depictions of liberty.

          1. Somalian landscapes?

          2. That’s what coins used to have.

          3. Yes, I fucking hate how all our money has real people on it now. Let’s go back to allegorical representations of liberty. Fuck presidents.

            1. With real people you at least get some bizarre choices. For many years Australia had a convicted forger on its banknotes

              1. Celebrating convict heritage?

          4. Silver/Gold/Platinum Eagles have kept with this tradition at least.

        1. He sees five lights.

      2. That stood out to me as well. Some individuals actually do believe that it is the government’s money.

        1. But Megan McArdle isn’t one of them. It was pretty obviously shorthand.

        2. In a sense it is the government’s money. They create it and they have the power to destroy its value.
          Actual assets are a different story, but those dollars aren’t really yours. Sort of.

          1. The value is yours, but the currency itself is the property of Uncle Sam.

    6. “What it also argues for is saving even more than you are. The government is going to come for its money one way or another, and the best way to deal with that is to have more than you need.”

      When in fact the exact opposite is going to happen because savings will not be incentivized.

      What’s actually going to happen is that people are going to plow their money into non-saving assets like real estate and this is going to cause massive asset bubbles.

      1. this… and throwing money at hard assets – silver, gold, jewelry, and other high-end items. I call it “Russian Investing”

        1. Yes. This. ^

          The next step to get the economy moving will be a negative savings rate. Banks will charge you to hold your money. The incentive there is to get more people spending. But, of course, we’ll hoard it under our mattress and buy gold or hard assets instead.

      2. That’s what I don’t understand about McArdle. She is a good writer and seems so close to the dark side why can’t she just join us. She seems to see all the solutions we do, it just seems like something is holding her back. Maybe She’s interested in keeping her career prospects open?

        1. You think Bloomberg is gonna pay a hardcore libertarian for a weekly column?

        2. I can’t blame her for just doing a job. It’s nice that there is someone in mainstream journalism who is not a complete cheerleader for the usual bullshit.

    7. Best article I’ve read in a while. And by best I mean sombering as McArdle isn’t exactly a tinfoil wearing goldbug and she is saying things that were scoffed even 6 years ago.

      1. What happened 6 or 7 years ago…hmmm can’t seem to remember?

        1. Ummmm….

          well, this happened:
          Hillary Clinton told voters “I’m in,” becoming the highest polling woman in presidential primary history

  6. End Obamacare, and people could die. That’s okay.
    We make such trade-offs all the time.

    Columnist Jonathan Chait wrote recently that those who may die are victims of ideology ? “collateral damage” incurred in conservatives’ pursuit “of a larger goal.” If these are the stakes, many liberals argue, then ending Obamacare is immoral.

    Except, it’s not.

    In a world of scarce resources, a slightly higher mortality rate is an acceptable price to pay for certain goals ? including more cash for other programs, such as those that help the poor; less government coercion and more individual liberty; more health-care choice for consumers, allowing them to find plans that better fit their needs; more money for taxpayers to spend themselves; and less federal health-care spending. This opinion is not immoral. Such choices are inevitable. They are made all the time.

    1. a slightly higher mortality rate is an acceptable price to pay

      Anyone who says this should be the first in line to pay…with their mortality.

      1. Depends on what is causing it. Getting rid of the laws against suicide might increase the mortality rate. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
        Individual liberty is often worth the loss of safety.

        1. Blasphemy, Suicide should be a capital offense.

          1. Call the cops and it often turns into that…

    2. Don’t think that could ever be spun as a winning argument….

    3. That’s one evil progressive motherfucker.

      1. So… keep Obamacare to avoid potential early deaths?

        The “progressive” is from the AEI, and his point is correct. Saying, “But some people will lose their subsidized insurance and die earlier,” is not a knock-down argument to keep the ACA. Agree?

        1. Not one of my better comments.

          Meant for Chait. Like an idiot I commented before reading the article and discovered what you just said.

    4. ‘Columnist Jonathan Chait wrote recently that those who may die are victims of ideology ? “collateral damage” incurred in conservatives’ pursuit “of a larger goal.” If these are the stakes, many liberals argue, then ending Obamacare is immoral.’

      I like that leftist ideology never kills anyone. For example, in order to save ‘tribal identity,’ a huge portion of Native American land is held in trust by the tribes rather than being owned by the individual. This creates a nightmare if a Native American wants to sell his property, since he can’t do so without tribal acquiescence.

      Native Americans are, at present, sitting on trillions of dollars of natural resources, yet they are the poorest group in America and have the lowest life expectancy largely because they can’t gain any wealth from the use of their own land and a lot of them are living on reservations that are borderline Communist with all of the wonderful outcomes you can expect from such a thing.

      This is absolutely not the fault of progressive ideas though. Absolutely not.

      1. On the flip side of this, in Canada Tribal leaders are corrupt as sin siphoning billions from money they get from the government (ie taxpayers) as they’re people live in squalor.

        It’s a bit of a racket this game. They steal the money and they turn around and scream give us more ‘because look at all these people sniffing glue and white guilt!’

        It’s the Arab kleptocracy model.

        Reap all the wealth bestowed from oil upon the leaders without giving much to a impoverished and desperate people. When they inevitably explode in the streets in rebellion, you can blame the Americans and of course Jews (always the Jews) for the plight of their people.

        1. “On the flip side of this, in Canada Tribal leaders are corrupt as sin siphoning billions they get from the government (ie taxpayers) as their people live in squalor.

          Mangled that. Sorry.

        2. The same thing happens in the US. A relative of mine worked as a CPA for a reservation school district. Outright embezzlement was pointed out and ignored, and he eventually left because as he wasn’t a member of the tribe the reception he got for not looking the other way was somewhat less than warm.

  7. Hillary Clinton is in the final stages of planning a presidential campaign that is likely to launch in early April…

    Now this would be a different presidential campaign than she’s been running for the last fifteen years?

  8. The radical left …

    Silly Reason, the only “Radicals” in Europe are on the Right, right?

    1. If you want *really* radical, look at the radical *center*!

      1. Tell us a out it. Does that mean people who are centrist out of principle?

        1. Tell us a out it.

          You just did.

  9. The radical left Syriza party won big in yesterday’s national elections in Greece.

    YES! Watching a European country go full retard is going to be unbelievably satisfying.

  10. Giacalone is a law enforcement expert, and he said some people do not realize that Facebook posts are not without possible consequences.

    Hey, Giacalone, how about posting that on Facebook?

    1. He knows because he was one of the ones making sure the consequences got handed out.

  11. An Australian trade unionist has run away from home to fight against ISIS

    1. Allah willing, he will organize the Jihadi Local 34 and lead a strike for higher pay, suicide-bomber insurance, and free beard wax.

      1. 46 virgins is the minimum wage!

        1. Cute, but he’s fighting with the Pershmerga against ISIS. He’ll be prosecuted if he returns, but I think “good on him, ISIS is scum”. Which BTW, is slightly hard to say aloud

          1. Oops, I didn’t pay attention to the headline.

            1. I blame Notorious for leading me down the thread 😉

    2. I was listening to NPR or maybe it was the John Bachelor show, anyway they were interviewing this guy from Chicago who had gone and joined the kurds to fight against ISIS it was pretty interesting.

    3. ISIS’s biggest enemies appear to be logistics and over-reaching, which gets every bad army in the end.

  12. At least 19 protesters were killed by security forces in Egypt…

    Some animals are more secure than others?

    1. What about Max Power?

    2. “The word superhero is a term for a fictional/non-existent figure who performs heroic acts,” the authorities wrote in their rejection letter. “We don’t believe that ‘Superhero’ lives up to the criteria for being approved as a boy’s name.”

      “Oh, very well. ‘Thor’, then.”

      1. One of the Heinie brothers?

        ‘Big Red’ and ‘Thor’?

    3. We don’t need another hero.

    4. What about Batman? He’s not a superhero.

    5. Moxie Crimefighter?

      1. Penn Jillette FTW

    6. Good to see Danish taxes are being spent on the important things.

  13. Economic Freedom Does Not Necessarily Lead to Greater Tolerance

    There is a catch, though. This greater tolerance is strongly associated only with certain features of what has often been defined as economic freedom. For example, a smaller government, measured as a share of gross domestic product, is often included in so-called economic freedom indexes as an objective measure of freedom. But the data show that smaller government has a slight negative correlation with tolerance of gay people by heterosexuals. One implication is that many conservatives may be overly preoccupied with the size of government as a measure of how free societies actually are.

    On the other hand, the data shows that when a society has impressive scores on property rights security and low inflation ? two other components of economic freedom indexes ? these characteristics are strongly and positively correlated with tolerance of gays. It’s possible that low inflation, and the behavior of a central bank, are stand-ins for the general trustworthiness of a nation’s government and broader institutions, and such trustworthiness helps foster tolerance.

    1. Of course he fails to consider that a smaller government may be correlated with the two latter criteria.

      1. Maybe the existence of a strong government and central bank just gets the population a little more experienced with the anal sex?

        After a while, you think, “at least a gay guy’ll kiss you first”.

        That’s how tolerance works, right?

    2. Not sure I can read this whole thing, but I wonder if it ever discusses how governments that pit sectors of the populace against each other, in an effort to favor one part over others in a cynical and successful vote-grab, might be “inadvertently” contributing to alleged intolerance mostly attributed to “free” “market.”

      1. *the “free” “market”

        Failure at the finish line.

    3. But how does it affect millennials?

  14. As 2016 race begins, GOP faces its Palin problem

    As a chance to evaluate possible 2016 Republican presidential candidates, the Freedom Summit here in Des Moines was a solid success. Several potential candidates ? Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, and a few others ? left the 10-hour political marathon with their prospects undeniably enhanced.

    All that was good news for Republicans. But at the same time, more than a few GOP loyalists came away shaking their heads at the performance of a party star, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose long, rambling, and at times barely coherent speech left some wondering what role she should play in Republican politics as the 2016 race begins in earnest.

    1. Sista Sarah 2016! Count me in!

      1. I bet you’re the kind of guy who would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I’ll be watching you.

  15. A blizzard is on its way to New York City.

    Hey, fuck you buddy. I’m going to Boston to start my own Morning links. With alt-text and hookers. You know what? Forget the Links!

    1. I was surprised by this too. Even when I lived in NYC, I was a little baffled by the NYC-centric ness of the national press. But in Reason morning links??

    2. I Like your AM Links better, where can I subscribe to your newsletter (and how much are the hookers?)

      1. Who has time for a newsletter?

        1. I think that is where you look up the hookers?

  16. Cops told they can’t give breath tests to people who want to check if they’re too pissed to drive

    1. I like how there’s actually a open-air gap over the counter in that police station. The new one they built in Tempe is constructed like a fortress; absolutely no contact between badges and those without. I don’t particularly care for the militarized implications of such architecture.

      1. Have you ever seen a little film known as The Terminator?

        1. fuck! You even get the benefit of the draw down thread?

          1. The internet owed me a favor.

            1. “I’ll be back”

      2. You monster! How many of our heroes in blue have to die due to cybernetic killing machines crashing through the front door of the police station before you will pony up the cash to keep them safe?

      3. The new one they built in Tempe is constructed like a fortress

        See Terminator.

  17. A teenager in Brooklyn has been arrested for allegedly threatening the police after he posted a violent emoji on Facebook.

    A blatant first amendment violation. I guess that the police had a “reasonable belief” of… something, so the resulting search was totally legal (see also: the Mayor Jim Ardis affair last year)

  18. Man in watermelon mask scares passengers

    The man has been nicknamed the ‘Watermelon Brother’ by internet users who are trying to work out the mystery man’s identity.

    One commuter told the Beijing Morning Post he was freaked out by the man and his hollowed-out melon mask.

    “It was so scary last night when I was on the metro,” he said.

    “This guy was just hanging around on the train wearing a watermelon mask with a beer bottle – apparently he was totally drunk.”

    1. I had that in my daily fails last week. Do try to keep up.

        1. Yeah. Except for the people who comment on them with quotes from the articles.

          1. Sock-puppets!

      1. You post daily mail links? Why wasn’t I told?

      2. People pay attention to you?

        1. You can stop sucking my dick now.

  19. Abandoned lion cub who became best friends with man: First seen leaping onto him with ‘grateful hug’ lioness is now star of film about how he taught her to hunt

    Video of lion hugging her conservationist carer went viral last year
    Lioness Sirga was saved as a cub by 27-year-old Valentin Gruener
    New documentary follows pair as Mr Gruener teaches Sirga to hunt


    1. “taught her to hunt”

      (a) carrying coals to Newcastle?

      (b) they put her in the wild before she starts her hunting, right?

      1. My bloody housecat can figure out how to hunt. It’s so hardwired he does it even when so full he isn’t interested in the meat.

        1. The hunting part is hardwired, but the killing part is not. At least that’s what I think based upon having several cats, some of which were feral rescues. The feral rescues knew how to kill, and taught the ones that didn’t.

      2. A) Not really, you should see her take down caribou with a .30-06.

        B) only until the safari is over.

        /end sarcasm

    2. I remember watching a video about a polar bear being raised by scientists in Canada. Difference is, as they were feeding it milk with a bottle it attacked them.

      1. I looked super-cute as it ate the scientist’s liver

        1. I love when they get all ‘it’s so cute’ with a fucking POLAR BEAR. Probably the meanest, most ruthless sonovabitch animal on the planet.

          The thing smashes through three-foot thick (maybe more) ice for fuck sakes!

          1. And unlike pretty much every other terrestrial predator, they were born maneaters..

  20. A national treasure:

    THE EATBEAT: Greater Grand Forks McDonald’s restaurants offer fun fast food

    In the past couple weeks, I have visited all four McDonald’s restaurants in Greater Grand Forks.

    My first visit was to McDonald’s on S. Washington Street, where I ordered a senior coffee for 47 cents one morning. And with it I had a sausage egg McMuffin. That was $2.99 and a whopping 370 calories. You know you have eaten, and I like the combination. The coffee, which is McDonald’s brand, was strong and not too hot.

    This is one of the several places around the Forks where coffee drinkers gather to exchange the news of the day. They start clearing out mid-morning. Then people with small children trickle in to use the only McDonald’s playground left around here.

    1. Isn’t that the elderly lady who did the Olive Garden review?

    2. The Grand Forks Herald Hooterville World Guardian.

    3. Ah, North Dakota. The planet Hoth of ‘Murrica.

      1. ND, where people from Manitoba go south for the winter?

  21. ‘I’m not an eco-terrorist’: Woman arrested and told she will be jailed after freeing eagle stuck in horror trap

    Kathleen Adair freed an eagle from a trap and sprung 3 more in Alaska
    39-year-old was hauled into court charged with hindering lawful trapping
    The eagle was found and euthanized three days after she freed it
    Adair faced 30 days in prison and $500 fine, which has been dismissed


    1. Sounds like an honest mistake. I was fairly certain it was illegal to hunt eagles in the states.

      1. I thought their status as an endangered species had been changed in the last few years thanks to their population increasing. I see them flying around every month or so around here. Fucking things are fucking huge.

        1. Makes me wonder if there were a bunch of horror survival stories about people getting killed by them in 1700-1800s. Then again…if no one survived…

          1. “Last seen being carried off by an eagle…”

  22. Governor of Maine proposes tax reform that removes exemption from property tax for universities, hospitals and other non-profits.


    1. The other half of that is he wants to eliminate the income tax while raising the sales tax. I’m all for it. No income tax, and trips to sales-tax-free NH for groceries!

    2. Churches and government-owned properties to remain exempt.


      1. Baby steps.

        It’s about time the unis get the government they love, good and hard.

        1. Sure, but it’ll just raise the cost of an education, which will require more subsidies from the Benevolent Messiah. Meh.

  23. Could Google’s traffic software put police officers’ lives in danger? Tech giant under pressure to switch app off

    Waze helps drivers avoid congestion, accidents and traffic cameras
    App, owned by Google, also warns drivers when police are nearby
    Sheriffs Association says police tracking function puts lives at risk

    I really hope Google doesn’t cave.

    1. Waze helps drivers avoid congestion, accidents and traffic cameras
      App, owned by Google, also warns drivers when police are nearby
      Sheriffs Association says police tracking function puts lives ticket revenue at risk

      Fixed that for them.

      1. Yep. No better way to avoid speed traps in unfamiliar territory besides Waze. Occasionally you will get false reports because the police have moved on, but its better to be safe than sorry in those cases.

      2. Well, it might put their livelihoods at risk. Which might as well be their lives, since most of the pigs couldn’t/wouldn’t stock a Wal-Mart shelf if their lives depended on it.

    2. Could Google’s traffic software put police officers’ lives in danger?


    3. Yeah, “Don’t be evil” has been looking pretty tarnished nowadays, with killing off Reader to try and push people to +, disavowal of XMPP and a hilarious policy of “we won’t open up Hangouts until our competitors open up first”, and Gmail backdoors.

      Oh, I almost forgot helping out governments crack down on arms trade, as if the ownership of such were automatically bad.

      1. You have silly opinions.

        1. Are you on the Google Plus team?

          1. Nopes. I’m in no way associated with Google, other than using their products. It’s just silly of you to label Google as evil because they got rid of a product, disavowed a standard, and made a decision about what to do with their own product that maybe inconvenienced others.

            The only things you listed that could possibly be construed by any sane, rational human as evil are the backdoors and their “help” in cracking down on arms trades, and these are postscript to the rest of your examples.

            1. The Gmail backdoors I would consider the most notable, actually. Reader just came first because that personally stuck in my craw.

              Reader hadn’t seen any real updates or maintenance in years and was coasting along on autopilot, and it was so successful that other RSS amalgamation services had either gone kaput or just piggybacked on Reader itself. Google’s strategy so far with Plus has not been to make it actually appealing to switch to and use, but to gut other services (like Reader’s socialization features and then eventually Reader itself) and to make Plus participation mandatory for unrelated services, for which they have partially backtracked due to the backlash–forcing people to use real names in association with Youtube and Android reviews, for example.

              Yeah, it’s their product, but it’s a dick move.

            2. Insofar as XMPP, Google was historically in favor of open standards:

              At Google we believe that open systems win. They lead to more innovation, value, and freedom of choice for consumers, and a vibrant, profitable, and competitive ecosystem for businesses.

              … open standards, meaning we adhere to accepted standards and, if none exist, work to create standards that improve the entire Internet (and not just benefit Google).

              Now with Hangouts, they claim they’ll open up only if others do it first. It’s not just a disavowal of a single standard but an entire way of thinking.

              Again, yes, it’s their product, but they’re taking actions which actively make my user experience worse, and the rationale for this I find subpar.

    4. puts lives at risk

      Yeah, they’re gonna have to walk me through that logic.

      The fairfax county cops periodically put empty cars in the median outside my house or on the corner down the street. I’m presuming this is meant to remind folks to slow down, obey traffic laws, etc. How is waze showing us cop locations any different? Oh, that’s right, it’s only okay when they do it.

  24. Brazilian scientists find protein similar to morphine in coffee beans.


    How soon before top men demand it be banned?

    1. We’re going to go through 30 years of vacillating studies on whether it’s harmful or beneficial.

    2. Never, because twelve dollar coffee is a progressive vice.

  25. Middle Class Shrinks Further as More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up

    In the late 1960s, more than half of the households in the United States were squarely in the middle, earning, in today’s dollars, $35,000 to $100,000 a year. Few people noticed or cared as the size of that group began to fall, because the shift was primarily caused by more Americans climbing the economic ladder into upper-income brackets.

    But since 2000, the middle-class share of households has continued to narrow, the main reason being that more people have fallen to the bottom. At the same time, fewer of those in this group fit the traditional image of a married couple with children at home, a gap increasingly filled by the elderly.

    This social upheaval helps explain why the president focused on reviving the middle class, offering a raft of proposals squarely aimed at concerns like paying for a college education, taking parental leave, affording child care and buying a home.

    subsidizing our way to prosperity.

    1. “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

    2. the president focused on reviving the middle class, offering a raft of proposals squarely aimed at concerns like paying for a college education, taking parental leave, affording child care and buying a home.

      It’s trickle-down economics..where trickle is shorthand for gov redistribution.

      1. The trickle is Obama’s piss running down the backs of the middle class while he claims it is raining.

    3. Indeed, and the progressives are fine with it. Just kick that can down the road folks. Let the next generation deal with it. The next 25 years are going to be interesting to say the least, what with the baby boomers retiring, then dying off and the influx of immigrants will continue en mass. Our country will look dramatically different by 2040, for better or worse.

      1. Makes me wonder if the hilarious horror-show future of Idiocracy is 50 years in the future, and not 500.

        1. “Your shit’s all fucked up, and you talk like a fag.”

    4. I’m sure the massive costs imposed on the middle class to subsidize poor peoples’ health care has nothing to do with this.

      1. None of the ACA tax increases are paid by the middle or lower classes.

        You must mean Medicare – which is a payroll tax.

        1. Forcing middle class people into high-cost, high-deductible, doesn’t-cover-shit insurance is an indirect subsidy for the poor.

        2. “None of the ACA tax increases are paid by the middle or lower classes.”

          Except for the fact that deductibles and premiums increase for the people who already had insurance in order to pay for people who didn’t have insurance but now do.

          The government didn’t say ‘hey, we’re taxing the middle class to pay for the poor,’ but they didn’t have to. It’s much cleaner to force the insurance companies to enact that subsidy through their pricing.

          1. Premiums have decreased according to Price Waterhouse. Deductibles have increased. This reshapes insurance as more catastrophic.

            1. According to any working person with health insurance, premiums have increased. A lot.

              1. Don’t believe your lying eyes! It was called the “Affordable” Healthcare Act, so that means it made healthcare affordable. QED.

            2. My premium nearly doubled, but I willingly keep minimal insurance. I wonder if the savings is in the Platinum and Gold level plans?

              1. I suspect the savings is all based on people who get their insurance subsidized.

            3. The notion that premiums have decreased is just plain silly. Not only have our premiums gone up by more than double over the last 3 years (currently at $900 per month for two adults with high deductable… still waiting to clear waivers from the state so I can get a quote on the kids)…. but coverages have actually gone down.

              They didn’t go down because of the plans declining to cover things. They went down because doctors are dropping plans from the exchanges left and right. Even pharmacies are declining the coverage. I haven’t had a pharmacy decline coverage since the HMO days of the 90’s

            4. What Price Waterhouse says is utterly irrelevant to me.

              My premium went up 26% this year.

              ObamaCare is not working for self-employed people unless they are either both affluent and previously uninsurable or poor. This is the largest increase in premiums since I decided to be self-employed.

            5. “Premiums have decreased according to Price Waterhouse. Deductibles have increased. ”

              My premium has increased 41% over the past 2 years, but my coverage is also worse and a 3X deductible. Except that at 60 my wife has maternity coverage! We are so blessed.

          2. But you were still incorrect on your initial claim.

            1. Sometimes that Derptard, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a Derptard, he’s got… lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’.

        3. Well unless they like to go to a tanning salon or get an MRI

        4. Idiocy or disingenuousness — you make the call!

          1. It can’t tell the difference, it’s a sock.

  26. Greek leftists ally with right against bailout after huge election win

    Greek left-wing leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday agreed to team up with a right-wing party to form a new hardline, anti-bailout government determined to face down international lenders and end nearly five years of tough economic measures.

    The decisive victory by Tsipras’ Syriza in Sunday’s snap election reignites fears of new financial troubles in the country that set off the regional crisis in 2009. It is also the first time a member of the 19-nation euro zone will be led by parties rejecting German-backed austerity.

    1. It’s almost like left and right aren’t adequate labels to describe political ideologies…nah couldn’t be

    2. So a socialist-nationalist coalition for the fatherland.

      1. You know who else… oh nevermind.

        I had to make a pledge to my wife to stop Godwinning everything. It was driving her crazy.

        1. You know who else drove his wife crazy?

          1. Charles Boyer in Gaslight?

            1. The actor doesn’t count, unles he recreated the plot in real life. You should have gone for the character.

          2. I hear the mailman drives Humungus’s wife crazy but that is just a rumor

  27. The radical left Syriza party won big in yesterday’s national elections in Greece.

    When Greece and Europe go into full melt-down due to the party demanding an end to “austerity”, I wonder what Paulie Krugnuts is going to have to say? By his reasoning, Greece should be set to become a boom economy.

    1. You already know what he will say.

      1. Seriously, I don’t. I’ve never seen anything from him that would indicate that this turn of events should be anything other than good news for the Greek and European economy.

        1. He’ll say what he says in regards to Japan:


      2. Right idea, just not big enough.

  28. Evil I am… evil.

    I used to have foreskin anxiety: What it’s like to get circumcised as a grown man

    From my perspective, there could be no such thing as TMI about one’s decision to get circumcised as an adult male. None whatsoever. I wanted to know everything. Lucky for me (and for you, dear Salon readers!), Calloway was extraordinarily forthcoming, opening up to me about his life pre-circumcision, his decision to have the procedure at age 21 and the process of finding a surgeon. He also explained how being a young gay man in New York has influenced his perception of what it means to be “cut” or “uncut.”

    “I have been in a couple of social circles where people would be talking and say, ‘Ugh, yeah. He was uncut,’ and I, like, didn’t want that,'” Calloway told me, when we spoke a second time about his circumcision. “And I’m sitting there with an uncut penis. People don’t really assume you may not be [cut]. They just assume that you’re cut and if you’re not, it’s kind of like this abomination.”

    1. Damn you to hell…

      Having said that, this was just pathetic. But I think Americans are more hung up about this than the rest of us. It’s pretty uncommon in Australia

      1. “Americans are more hung up about this than the rest of us”

        Huh-huh, hung up, huh-huh huh.

    2. “I have been in a couple of social circles where people would be talking and say, ‘Ugh, yeah. He was uncut,’ and I, like, didn’t want that,'”

      “Well, enough of *that*. Let’s talk organic placentas.”

      1. As opposed to inorganic placentas?

        1. Don’t discriminate against the vat-grown.

          1. Shut up, tank.

            1. You went above and beyond there.

    3. calamari for lunch anyone?

      1. Just read the memoirs of Jackie Kennedy’s Secret Service agent. He claims that when she was on holidays in Italy he saw a servant prepare the First Lady’s squid by biting their heads off. For some reason this seemed pleasingly incongruous

    4. I get tickled in an unpleasant way when anyone brings up circumcision be it for Male or Female and would not be unhappy if it was never ever talked about.

      1. I like to bring circumcision into the conversation whenever an animal lover pisses and moans about my (or anyone’s) cropped ear Doberman…or great dane, or boxer, etc
        ‘So you take issue with unconsentual cosmetic surgery, do you? You have a son right? Well, lemme ask you…’

  29. Remember when our children were never going to see snow again due to “global warming”? Yeah, that was awesome.

  30. 8=====D

    1. Sounds great – holodeck, here I come!

      1. Just wiggle your finger, and there’s a motorcycle!

        1. With Danica Patrick riding it?

          1. I believe there’s a different gesture for that, but sure.

  31. Americans for Prosperity’s legislative agenda is just Koch Industries’ corporate wish list
    The advocacy group spent $125 million on the midterm elections. Now its founders are cashing in their chips

    At the National Press Club yesterday, AFP president Tim Phillips and several officers with the group laid out their agenda. The group is calling for legalizing crude oil exports, a repeal of the estate tax, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, blocking any hike in the gas tax, a tax holiday on corporate profits earned overseas, blocking the EPA’s new rules on carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants, and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, along with a specific focus on the medical device tax.

    The announcement was touted by NPR as a “conservative agenda for Congress.” But it’s also a near mirror image of Koch Industries’ lobbying agenda. Koch Industries ? the petrochemical, manufacturing and commodity speculating conglomerate owned by David and Charles ? is not only a financier of political campaigns, but leads one of the most active lobbying teams in Washington, a big part of why the company has been such a financial success.

    sounds good to me!

    1. “The announcement was touted by NPR as a “conservative agenda for Congress.” But it’s also a near mirror image of Koch Industries’ lobbying agenda. Koch Industries”

      NPR is too right wing to expose the sinister conservative agenda!

    2. sounds good to me!


    3. You know, even if this entire conspiracy theory about the Kochs were entirely true, they’d still be some of the most moral lobbiers out there. They’re pushing for wholesale changes in policy. Changes that would apply to everyone, their competitors as well as them. It would be a hell of a lot easier to simply lobby for exemptions for themselves. This would also have the massive benefit of leaving their competitors at a disadvantage. Lobbying for wholesale change is the most honest and respectable variant.

      Of course, I’d never expect Salon to realize as much.

    4. but leads one of the most active lobbying teams in Washington, a big part of why the company has been such a financial success.

      Or maybe they’re a financial success because they’re productive…and lobby because they have to defend their accomplishments

      1. Funny how the left is quick to say “If you don’t like policy, then work to change it!” and then goes batshit whenever anyone takes their advice.

        1. They think people will just give up at that point because it’s so expensive and difficult.

    5. So, what’s the downside of their policy change ideas? They all sound pretty good to me and will benefit millions of people and industries alike.

      1. what’s the downside of their policy change ideas

        Fewer Salon readers.

  32. Carnegie Mellon replicates conditions of AFC Championship game on footballs – and gets similar deflation as the Patriots are being investigated for. Bankrupt moron Mark Brunnell doesn’t believe it.


      1. That’s a woman writing about football – funny.

        I bet every one of those “ice bowl” games in Chicago and Green Bay featured significantly deflated balls due to the temperature differential from the locker room to the field – but logic doesn’t drive ESPN idiots.

      2. Isn’t she being racist?

        1. You actually read it? It was a woman writing about football!

    1. Neat. I’m a Patriots fan, but I wish they had done 12 other balls set to 13.5 psi and seen what happened to them, because none of the Colts balls were reported to have fallen out of the NFL’s accepted range.

      1. Were they measured? By whom and when?

        1. By the NFL, either at halftime or after the game.

          They rechecked all 24 balls and reported 11 of the pats 12 were underinflated by an average of 2 psi (so somewhere below 11 PSI) and all of the Colts balls were within the acceptable range

          1. What I found interesting is that the NFL press release on the issue didn’t say the officials measured the footballs prior to the game, just inspected them. Inspection could mean that they used a pressure gauge, recorded the PSI prior to kick-off and found at halftime the Patriot’s game balls had lost the reported pressure. But so far they have been very noncommittal about what, exactly, “inspection” entails. My personal theory is that the refs involved didn’t actually get a reading of the PSI prior to kick-off and the “deflated” balls weren’t deflated but never actually inflated to the proscribed pressure.

            I’m also going to go out on a limb here and guess the NFL has never actually studied the effect of various conditions for inflating and storing footballs, how much pressure they lose through game-time use, etc.

            Absent John’s wish about a Brady-deflating-the-football video being in TMZ’s possession I think every party involved can claim anything they want and the NFL will be in no position to prove or disprove anything because they lack the knowledge to actually prove the footballs were properly inflated to begin with.

            1. Actually the check is SOP and yes it involves a pressure gauge and the nfl has indicated that the ref did infact check all 48 of the balls used in the game and all were within the acceptable margins 2 hours before game time (as specified by the rules).

              Exactly what it was that caused the refs to doublecheck the pressure is what we don’t know however absent some video of someone actively deflating them on the sidelines I don’t think this goes anywhere because there just isn’t any evidence. All they can say is the pats balls were under inflated how they got that way remains a mystery but that sole fact is not sufficient proof to punish someone for wrongdoing.

          2. What was the pressure in the Colts’ balls before the game?

            Where the Colts’ balls measures outside or back in the locker room?

    2. It really doesn’t matter what happened and why. At this point nobody outside of New England will believe any evidence in the Pats’ favor because of their own conduct over the past 15 years.

      The NFL will use this total non-issue to punish the Patriots in order to protect the sanctity of the game (or some other PR bullshit), because in their industry the appearance of impropriety (which the Patriots have shown in spades) is more important than the existence of it.

      1. Now it’s being reported that the NFL may have been doing a sting on the Pats. Just to keep football in the news and to fuck over their most successful franchise.

        1. Just to keep football in the news

          Yeah, in the run-up to Super Bowl they really need help with that.

          and to fuck over their most successful franchise.

          Kraft is on very good terms with Goodell. I really doubt that there was any malice intended. I’m betting that the NFL had heard about some shenanigans in the past and chose the AFC championship to investigate because the timing was so horrific. Ham-fisted is their default mode.

        2. Serie A did that with Juventus.

          So it’s been alleged.

    3. Of course, a statistical analysis implies that this shit has been going on for a while:

      New England Patriots Fumble More Often When Playing for Other Teams

      1) Patriots players fumbled SIGNIFICANTLY more often when playing on other NFL teams than when playing for the Patriots:
      Individual players who played on New England during the 2007-14 span and on other teams fumbled 46% less often ON the Patriots as compared to on their other teams.
      2) The most utilized of the Patriots players fumbled even more frequently when paying for other NFL teams:
      The players who played the MOST often for the Patriots during this span fumbled the ball TWICE as frequently on other teams as they did on the Patriots.
      3) Learning ball possession skills in New England did NOT transfer to other NFL teams after players left:
      Individual players who played on the Patriots fumbled 88% more often after LEAVING the Patriots as they did when playing on the Patriots.
      4)In fact, the opposite was true ? players were MORE secure carrying the football before even playing for the Patriots than they were after leaving the Patriots:
      Individual players who played on the Patriots fumbled 25% less frequently before joining New England as they did after playing for New England and then leaving.

      The stats don’t lie. New England has been doing something to footballs.

      1. But what? It wasn’t deflating them since that would have been caught the first time the other team intercepted the ball. And as far as buffing them or messing with the surface, every team does that and doing so is perfectly legal.

        1. It wasn’t deflating them since that would have been caught the first time the other team intercepted the ball.

          I disagree. The story that a defensive player noticed that the ball was underinflated has been rebutted by the player himself. He told his equipment manager that he wanted to keep the football as a souvenir and handed it over to the manager. He said he didn’t notice anything amiss with the football – he rarely handles them and he was ecstatic to have made the interception.

          I think the Colts equipment managers had been smelling a rat and decided to do a quick test.

          1. That makes the story that the Ravens tipped off the Colts make sense then. I honestly don’t know how much of a difference in feel two lbs of air would make. Maybe not enough to tell.

            1. It is likely enough for someone who routinely grips one to notice (QB, RB, WR, TE, and Center) but for the average player who doesn’t handle them often and the average ref or fan it would be unlikely they would notice

            2. Its enough to tell. The local news channels ran a test with the college QB. Noticeable to him, and he said it was easier to throw and catch.

            3. It seems to be rate on the borderline, so that some people can tell but others aren’t quite sensitive enough. Of course, that’s if you have two to compare against each other, not if you pick one up for the first time that day.

        2. And there’s no indication that a few PSI would have any effect on fumble rates, so unless that’s shown to be the case, the fumble rate of the Patriots doesn’t matter.

          1. The whole idea is that a softer ball is easier to grip.

            Fumble rates would be a very good, objective measure of whether the balls were systematically being underinflated.

            And the statistical test – tracking the rates for players who started elsewhere, then played for the pats, and then left to play somewhere else is a perfect way to test whether balls supplied by the Patriots were easier to grip than balls supplied by other teams.

            1. First prove that underinflated footballs lead to fewer fumbles. Then I’ll start listening to your argument how the Patriots’ fumble rates show they were underinflatling all the time, as opposed to any other cause. As it is, your starting premise has no support.

              Of course, this is irrelevant anyway since the refs just don’t give a fuck about the ball PSI.

              1. You’re right. The stats don’t prove that the Pats were systematically underinflating balls since 2007.

                The stats merely say that they Pats were doing something.

                My guess is that the stupid rule will die this winter and the league will end up supplying all balls. And then if the fumble rates rise in response, then we will know that that’s what the pats were doing.

                It’s just a stupid game; I wouldn’t get so worked up about it.

                1. I’d say that there is absolutely zero chance that 2psi leads to cutting fumbles in half. Not a single chance of that being true. Very few NFL fumbles are of the “almost had it but lost my grip just barely” variety. They are mostly of the “257 lb linebacker met the RB in the hole at a delta-V of 28 mph and put his helmet right on the ball” variety.

                  I would believe a small effect, but cutting them in half? No chance that this is true.

      2. That’s a simpler explanation than air contracts when cold?

        I’ve seen Belichick bench and even cut players for a single fumble. Don’t fucking fumble if you want to play for the Patriots.

        1. I’ve seen Belichick bench and even cut players for a single fumble. Don’t fucking fumble if you want to play for the Patriots.

          If that were the case, the players would be better at ball handling after leaving the pats rather than abysmally worse.

          The likely reason was that with balls being made harder to fumble, the players got away with sloppier ball handling, and developed bad habits.

          1. The players who leave can relax and enjoy being above average on mediocre teams.

            1. Or more likely players who leave are a couple of years older and nearer the end of their careers.

              The Pats tend to find gems right at the peak of their careers and get the most out of them.

              1. Belichik is also runs the best skills coaching staff in the game. That exacting attention to detail makes players play above their normal range while playing for the Pats. Some of that edge is lost when they move. I remember a story about a defensive back who was traded to the Pats mid week. He went to a strategy session two days later and was asked to name the left side linemen and their strengths and weaknesses. The coach wouldn’t let him open his briefing book. Every player was expected to know the info cold.

      3. Most of the difference between the Patriots and the rest of the NFL is being driven by a handful of players (Ben Jarvis Green Ellis and Welker basically). Most every other player fumbled at similar rates on other teams. There was also an issue of separating out where the fumbles occured (rushing vs. receiving vs. return game). Blount fumbles much more frequently on receptions than when rushing, he’s fumbled less on the Patriots because they don’t use him as a receiver as frequently as TB and PIT did.

        Finally, you’re talking about NFL fumbles. An 88% increase means a player fumbles like 2 times in 200 touches as a Patriot, but 5 times in 400 touches for another team. It’s a ridicliously infrequent occurance

        1. “Finally, you’re talking about NFL fumbles. An 88% increase means a player fumbles like 2 times in 200 touches as a Patriot, but 5 times in 400 touches for another team. It’s a ridicliously infrequent occurance”

          Which is a fancy way of saying the sample size is nowhere near large enough to overcome the margins of error

        2. BJGE’s role switched a lot between playing for the Pats and playing for the Bengals. On the Pats he was just supposed to get the yards that were there and hold onto the ball. On the Bengals, without the benefit of a Brady-led passing attack they started asking him to really fight to stretch that 3 yard run into a 5 yard run.

  33. My nephew got his first taste of Facebook derp last night. He linked to an article about SJW’s essentially being fascistic douchebags and he was immediately mauled; including by his own friend.

    I instructed to A) stop doing that because FB attracts remedial asshole and B) even better, just get off it and start reading Reason.

    Which got me thinking. It would be hilarious if we could coordinate a FB page parodying the left.

    1. Doesn’t Salon have a page? You just point at that…

      1. Yeah but WE’D post and get to be our own progressives.

        It would be hilarious.

        1. Could we get all WEE WE’D up?

          1. Just who isn’t already?

    1. Then they’re setting themselves a very challenging task.

  34. Find out Mrs. SFC B is pregnant with our first child. The joy is quickly squashed by the thought of the SFC B Jr. being born into a world where the President could be Chris Christie or Hillary Clinton.

    Thanks H&R!

    1. Congrats! Before you know it, you’ll be shipping him/her off to the Koch Bros’ coal mines.

      1. I knew I should have donated more money during the Webathon! Maybe next year I’ll be able to upgrade to the “Not in the Coal Mines” package.

        1. Against child labor? I’m beginning to question your libertarian bonafides…

          1. Who said he’s against it. Maybe he has his own manual labor to offload on the rugrat.

            (and congrats)

          2. I’m new to this future-parenthood thing. I figured I could buy my kid out of the Kochtopus’ Coal Mines and upgrade them to Monacle Polishers. I didn’t realize it’s a position that requires a certain seniority.

    2. Congrats, sir. Unfortunately, they will be born into a world where Obama is still president. Ugh.

    3. Congrats! Before you know it, the kid will be grown and you will be old!

    4. Congratulations! Nine minutes of passion for you, nine months of work for her.

      1. “The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable” — Evelyn Waugh

        But congratulations nonetheless, SFC B

    5. Woohoo! Congrats! Children are a blessing and give you an amazing perspective of the world that you otherwise would never experience. Enjoy everyday of it, even the horrible ones.

    6. Congratulations!

  35. Finally saw American Sniper this weekend. That was an amazing movie. Disturbing at times, and gives a lot to think about.

    1. I need to go see it I guess. The Prog hive is on DEFCON 1 about it. They are in full, eat the furniture, froth at the mouth mode over it.

      It is puzzling to me how they see it as such a threat. But apparently they do.

    2. Honestly, it tackles issues like patriotism, the point of going to war, the nature of evil, and what war does to people (PTSD). Somehow it does this with a very straightforward plot. It could have been a gung-ho, shoot ’em up movie, or it could have been straight anti-war, but it doesn’t go down either of those paths. I have a hell of a lot more respect for guys who have been in Iraq now that I’ve seen it.

      1. Amen to all of this. It is definitely not “pro war” by any stretch.

        One safety tip – when the baby scene starts, look away. Just avert your gaze to the popcorn bucket. Or fiddle with your candy for a couple of minutes. The fake baby is so distracting that it takes you out of the movie. I went with a bunch of guys last week and we were unanimous about the baby thing. It was just weird.

  36. Litvinenko inquiry: the proof Russia was involved in dissident’s murder
    National Security Agency (NSA) obtained communications between key individuals in London and Moscow from the time that Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive material

  37. What, exactly, is Hillary Clinton’s strategy to get voters excited about her candidacy?

    First the big (non-)news: Hey, Hillary Clinton is going to run for president. Who knew? There are few likely presidential candidates with better pedigrees for the position than Clinton. She has White House experience (arguably more useful White House experience than Vice President Biden), she has been in the Senate, she has been secretary of state. It’s not as though this is a surprise, of course. Everyone knows all of this. Everyone knows everything about Hillary Clinton, from her favorite style of outfit (pantsuit) to her default posture on international issues (hawkish-ish) to her mannerisms, staffers and family members.

    Therein lies the risk. For a Republican to win in 2016, he or she needs to surmount one bar: be better than Hillary Clinton. And it’s not clear, from a political standpoint, that this is a very high bar.

    1. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that her strategy will be to put that “War on Women” rhetoric into overdrive and accuse everyone who doesn’t support her of misogyny. This will be even more amusing if Palin runs.

    2. It’s over Johnny, it’s over.

      Hillary is going to be the next president, so we’d better get ready for it.

      And you know what? She’ll feel like a godsend after this present jerk.

      1. She’ll feel like a godsend after this present jerk.

        I’m afraid you’re sorely under-estimating the petulance and sheer jerkiness that a Hillary presidency will be. I see no evidence that she possesses an iota of her husband’s political savvy.

        And he is such a narcissist, that he’ll just let her swing.

    3. Hillary’s best strategy for winning the White House….

      Campaign for Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum

  38. Enjoy some Bass

    1. Chilean Sea Bass? Don’t mind if I do.

  39. Woody Allen’s Progressive Legacy Is Worth Saving

    Woody Allen’s critics see his continued achievements as an affront. The chorus calling for his banishment from social influence has grown louder since last year, when Dylan Farrow wrote publicly about her sexual abuse allegations just as Allen received a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes. From the right, such criticism is to be expected as he has been mocking their mores and heroes on stage, page and screen for five decades. His well-intentioned critics on the left, however, are ignoring his decades of contributions to progressive thinking in the United States.

    In these pages, Amanda Marcotte explored the question of why Allen has flourished professionally while Bill Cosby’s career has taken a late-in-life shellacking. Jessica Goldstein at ThinkProgress asked the same, linking to a tweet by Jeet Heer that compares Allen to Roman Polanski. If you think Allen is a child molester, either the conversation ends or you invoke the difference between “the artist and the man” (the theme Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway). Very few who think he’s guilty are willing to do the latter.

    1. “His well-intentioned critics on the left, however, are ignoring his decades of contributions to progressive thinking in the United States.”

      Ha, ha.

      Yes, he molested people but he had the right ideas!

      Jesus Christ.

      1. I don’t believe he ever molested young girls. Maybe, but I don’t think that allegation is in any way credible enough to condemn him for it.

        What he of course did do was leave his wife for his adopted teenage step daughter. That is clearly not good. But it is not the same as molesting little girls and for whatever it is worth, they are still married. So clearly there was more going on than just perversions.

        1. I’m thinking she divorcing him would weirdly make it less perverse.

          1. If it was really just about his perverse attraction to teenagers and her being his step daughter, the marriage wouldn’t have lasted. She is in her 30s now and no longer a teenager. And whatever weird kink he got from her being his step daughter would have quickly worn off once they were married. So clearly, they must think something of each other and have some kind of a genuine romance or it wouldn’t have lasted.

            1. She’s actually in her mid-40s, as far as anyone can tell (her birthdate isn’t totally clear). So yeah, it’s a real relationship. I do get why Frank Sinatra’s bastard feels weird about it, but when Allen is also accused of molesting a 7 year old, this is really the least of his sins.

              1. I don’t buy that allegation. If he did it, they should have gone to the police then. If they didn’t, then I think Farrow must not have had much of a problem with it and thus isn’t much better than Allen.

                If it really happened and Farrow decided not to pursue it because she thought it would put her daughter through too much, fine. That is her decision as a mother and I can respect that. What I can’t respect is making that decision and then 20 years later dragging the entire thing out of the closet again. Either do something about it and go to the wall and put the entire story under oath for the start or shut up. If you don’t want to do that, then I don’t want to hear about it 20 years later. At this point it is too late to figure out the truth and no one should be able to just destroy someone’s reputation like that.

            2. It’s not the teenager thing. It’s the “she used to be my step daughter thing”. She will always be his once step daughter.

              John, come on now, marriage and genuine romance are dependent?

              1. Straffinrun,

                It is not marriage and romance. It is that any kink, no matter how taboo and how weird, eventually gets old. You can’t sustain a marriage forever on the kind of her once being his step daughter. It would have eventually gotten stale for one or both of them if there wasn’t some kind of genuine attraction going on.

                1. The key is not letting your kink get old before you do.

                  Getting hitched to your step daughter is just creepy to me. But WTF do I know about the situation.

                  1. I find it very creepy too. But I have never had a step daughter or been in love with her I guess.

        2. Mia Farrow is deranged.

          It does not mean that Allen couldn’t have molested his daughter. But it does mean that Mia could have worked her daughter over until her daughter believed it happened.

          And Woody getting involved with his adoptive step daughter isn’t surprising in such a situation, they could have bonded as a way with dealing with the crazy home life they were experiencing.

          I should point out that Dillon Farrow’s reaction is very untypical to that of an abuse victim – she is trying to destroy her dad publicly rather than trying to heal her hurt. It is, sadly, typical of a child who has been – through parental alienation – been primed to make false accusations about the other parent.

          Again, I am not saying with any certitude that she is lying about her dad. I am saying that it’s quite possible that she is. I am withholding judgement.

          1. I dated a woman in law school who went to prep school in New York with Sun Yi Previn. Was friends with her for a couple of years when they were each in middle school.

            She said Previn hated Farrow’s guts. She didn’t like Allen either but mostly just avoided him. There was a huge mother daughter conflict between the two. I think Farrow is pretty nuts. Her theory was that Previn and Allen had a common enemy in Farrow and that Previn as much as anything took up with Allen as a way of getting back at Farrow by stealing her husband. This woman used to go to Woody Allen’s home theater and watch movies with them. She said Farrow was very hard on her kids and emotionally an extremely domineering woman and Previn hated that an rebelled.

    2. My experience is that most people who loved Woody Allen and thought he was hysterical were either self-hating Jews or anti-Semites.

      1. Mel Brooks is a self-hating Jew?

        I would love to subscribe to your newsletter, Mike.

    1. The advent of the HMO?

  40. Lest I come off sounding like a conserva-nerd, what am I supposed to get out of ‘Orange is the New Black’? A lesbian chick goes off and commits a stupid crime and I supposed to…feel empathy…anything else?

    I’m trying to get into it but wondering if it’s worth it.


    1. It’s a good show. It’s not like she’s a murderer anyway. What she did shouldn’t even be illegal.

    2. The dialogue is painful and incredibly unnatural, heavy handed and irritating. I want to grab the writers, smack them and say “Yeah, I get it, you hate conservatives, believe in every leftist caricature of them and hold close to your heart every fucking modern day progressive belief without question, but can you at least please try to have the dialogue coming out of these people’s mouths sound like something they could actually say and not something you would say?”

      1. Boy, you really “sold” me with that review, haha. Thanks.

      2. Yeah, that’s the sense I’m getting after a couple of episodes. Just not working for me.

        It’s like the ‘Gilmore Girls’. Over…le mot juste…

    3. It’s a decent show. I don’t think you’re supposed to care about the main character. She’s a vacuous, self-absorbed moron who can be counted upon to make the wrong decision in just about every situation. Thankfully, they get further away from her as the show goes on.

    4. Wife and I binge watched it, but can’t say as I’m on the edge of my seat awaiting the next season dump on netflix. ..oh, and there’s Laura Prepon, but holy shit she’s racked up quite a few city miles; yikes

      1. Shit I know!

        Donna she ain’t anymore!

    5. I enjoyed the first season, though couldn’t understand the huge praise it got. Got a few episodes into the second season and realized I didn’t care.

      I’m not sure I know what Banjos is talking about, but my biggest problem with it is that it feels like it’s working off a checklist of diversity and story opportunities. And every one of those “different” characters is a painful cliche. I can see the writer’s hand in everything. The kitchen has a lot of power, and it’s run by this hardass Russian! The black girl is sassy and the sarcastic white girl is shamelessly horny! Etc. etc. Ask any student writer to populate a women’s prison for a TV show, and they’d come up with the same group of characters.

      Cliches can be fun, but then the show comes off as a bunch of wacky characters bouncing off one another, and not the “character study” that so many claim it is.

  41. This morning I was reading the Lincoln thread from Sunday and was a bit blown away. I remember back in ’09/’10 (it could have been later, having children has fucked with my sense of time), a Lincoln thread would consist of one or two people (mostly Old Mexican) making nuanced arguments against Lincoln while everyone else dog piled on those people throwing every adhom and strawman against them. Yesterday was a complete reversal.

    Sloopy took off from Reason for awhile to troll Huffpo (he thought it was becoming too much of a circle jerk around here), I told him that he would be fighting adhoms and strawmen nonstop, his comments would be deleted, and he would eventually be banned. As predicted, all three of these things happened. So the question is, is it worth the aggravation? I’m starting to believe that it might be.

    1. It’s definitely not worth it for me. That sort of shit will ruin my day.

    2. Heh, in what way did he think he was becoming too much of a circlejerk here? I have a hard time following that line of thinking when, as you mentioned, libertarian advocacy elsewhere gets banned as trolling, while here, for example, White Indian’s reign of terror lasted a thousand years. (OK, maybe it just felt like a thousand years.)

    3. It isn’t that nuanced of an issue. It really boils down to a few simple questions. Without doubt the civil war as a bad thing. Whether they intended it to at the beginning or not, it resulted in the end of slavery. We will never know when slavery would have ended had the war not happened, but it would have been sometime after 1865.

      The question is was the war for all its harms a price worth paying to end slavery right then and not allowing it to go on for however many years afterwards. If your answer is no, then I don’t see how you take the evil of slavery very seriously. To me three million people living even one more day in slavery, let alone years or decades more, is an incredible evil.

      I don’t see how you can not look at Lincoln as on balance having a positive effect on the world without grossly discounting the evils of slavery. I don’t care what he intended. The fact is that his actions intended or not ended it.

      Lastly, in addition to discounting the evils of slavery, the Lincoln haters blame Lincoln for the evils of Progressiveism. And that is just unfair and not true. The post Lincoln government of the 1860s and 70s is vastly smaller and superior to what we have today. I don’t see any way you can blame Lincoln for the actions of FDR and Johnson.

    4. Welcome back to the realm of the sane!

    5. Sloopy wants to see you all jerking off in a straight line.

      No homo.

      1. I personally prefer quatrefoils.

        1. You would, pervert.

    6. So the question is, is it worth the aggravation? I’m starting to believe that it might be.

      You can lead a proggy to knowledge, but you can’t make it learn.

      There is no cure for willful ignorance.

      No, definitely not worth it.

      1. I followed Balko over there. It was a painful experience. His community over at “the Agitator” was really a circle jerk – just libertarians talking amongst themselves… there never was even a troll population. Dragging that crew over to HuffPo was kinda bound to fail. We are all so far to the left of them on Civil Rights issues that they can’t even understand what we are talking about.

        Boy, HuffPo is a miserable place. The level of ignorance mixed with self-righteous hubris is breathtaking. And that’s the good part. I got censored for quoting someone and providing a thoughtful rebuttal. A couple of Reason/Agitator folks came to my defense. I think a couple of them got censored as well. What a thoroughly unpleasant place.

        But it is better than Jezebel….

  42. http://www.newgeography.com/co…..-not-nerds

    America needs hardhats not nerds. The consensus among economists is that education and mental ability is going to become more and more valuable as time goes on. I really wonder if the opposite isn’t going to be true.

    As AI gets better and better, the need for human brain power will decrease not increase. It is going to get easier and easier to get a computer to do do the mental work of humans and do it better. What is likely not going to get easier is to get a machine to interact with human beings as well as someone with a lot of emotional intelligence. It may be easy to build a single function robot to put spot welds on cars, but it is really hard to build a robot that can function with the kind of flexibility that human body can.

    1. Take for example the legal field. Lets say in ten years they develop cheap really effective AI such that I can get a computer to answer any legal question I have. If I am running a law firm, I am still going to need someone to interface with my clients. Someone is still going to have to figure out what their problem is and also people are always going to want a human face on things. If I have the AI system, I will have no need to hire a smart lawyer. I will just hire someone who is pleasant and gets along with my clients. They don’t need to be smart since I have the AI system to answer all of the legal issues.

      I think the same is going to be true across a lot of fields. As computers are able to do more and more of our mental heavy lifting, the value of smart people is going to decrease. The value of people who can do things that computers can’t, like do hard work and manage machines that do or deal with people is going to increase. In that world, being smart won’t mean as much. It is funny that various nerds are convinced that the future will belong to people like them due to automation. Really, I think AI is going to be the death of the nerd. What is the point of having a nerd if you have a computer that does the nerd’s job better?

      1. It’s just the natural progression. First machines replaced drought animals; then manual laborers; then assembly workers; then clerical workers; next they will replace knowledge workers. But there will always be a limited need for animals, laborers, etc.. And someone will have to fix the machines.

    2. Good luck creating a mechanical plumber or electrician!

      1. Exactly. To build a robot plumber you would have to build a Terminator level human robot. And that is not coming anytime soon.

        What is coming is AI that can handle a lot of things that smart people do now. It seems to me that it is the nerd jobs that in danger from computers not that hard hat jobs or the soft skill human interaction jobs.

        1. Software is only as smart as the people who program it. As far as AI goes, I think a lot of people don’t understand what it is.

          For example a chess program that iterates through millions possible combinations before choosing the best one is not an example of AI. It’s just brute force programming that appears to be AI. AI would be a program that iterates through those combinations, makes a move, and after losing the game chooses a different move the next time it’s in that situation. As in it learns.

          Sifting through data is not AI. Running combinations is not AI. Performing calculations that would take a human a century is not AI.

          True AI, like fusion power and the practical electric car, will forever remain just across the horizon.

          1. I agree with you about that. But whatever you want to call it, computing power will be able to do a lot of the mental nug work people do now.

            You are right, the software is only as good as the people who program it. That is a good example of how machines will replace the super smart guy. At some point writing code is something machines should get good at doing. But no machine is going to be able to figure what the program is supposed to do. It takes a human to do that.

            For example, one of my friends works for a software company that writes software for banks and investment houses. She is not a software person. Her job is to talk to be the interface between the technical people and the customer. She has the people skills and the knowledge of the industry to figure out what the customer wants and explain that to the technical people and also explain the limits of the software to the customer. In the future, I could see computers replacing the coders before I could see them replacing her.

            1. Her job is to talk to be the interface between the technical people and the customer

              Sooo, like this guy?


            2. At some point writing code is something machines should get good at doing.

              As someone who writes code for a living, I say that is highly doubtful. Computers write what you tell them to write. They have no imagination. The only problems they can solve are problems that they have been specifically programed to solve. They do exactly what they are told to do. Nothing more, nothing less, and without any judgement.

              “Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination.” ~Einstein

              True AI in the form of thinking machines will forever remain in the realm of fiction.

              1. True AI in the form of thinking machines will forever remain in the realm of fiction.

                With current technology, sure.

                With quantum computing technology, I dunno.

                1. With current technology, sure.

                  With quantum computing technology, I dunno.

                  With binary computing, yeah. It ain’t gonna happen. I don’t know enough about quantum computing to say anything either way.

              2. Read On Intelligence sometime. I think we have the basic ideas that will lead to true AI in place already. It will take time, but Moore’s law is still relentless.

                1. Moore’s law only refers to computing speed. That’s not the problem. The problem is that computers do exactly what you tell them to do. Nothing more, nothing less. You can’t just tell it to learn. You have to tell it how to learn. That’s much easier said than done. I know a guy who’s ten times smarter than me who won a prize for a program that could play Ms Pac Man, and improve its score. So it’s possible. But applying that in a general sense as opposed to something ridiculously specific? I don’t see it.

                  1. My sense is that AI will be essentially simulated human brain plus extras. Moore’s law will give us the ability to simulate 10 billion neurons in the not too distant future. Creating one from scratch is far, far away, if it happens at all.

                2. Yeah, real AI is like cold fusion, or home nuke reactors, or efficient solar… Right around the corner.

                  It’ll work in just X years (where x keeps decreasing, but never actually gets to zero).

              3. They have no imagination. The only problems they can solve are problems that they have been specifically programed to solve. They do exactly what they are told to do. Nothing more, nothing less, and without any judgement.

                Kind of like outsourcing.

            3. Her job is to talk to be the interface between the technical people and the customer.

              We have a couple of those. Shitty job. I wouldn’t want to do it.

              1. She seems to like it and does very well doing it.

            4. I agree with you about that. But whatever you want to call it, computing power will be able to do a lot of the mental nug work people do now.

              Technology in it’s current form is already there. Not in programs writing new software but the interconnectedness of the web has made universal access to information a reality.

            5. John, there already has been some of what you’re talking about. That’s what a compiler is. But when people stopped programming in assembly language, that didn’t eliminate people coder. You still need to tell the compiler what the program should do, so now people code in a higher level language.

              Maybe they’ll put out something that lets a computer write your Java code for you, but you still have to tell the computer what to do, and then you’ll have programmers working in some new, even higher level language.

              1. I guess that is my point AD. At some point why can’t my computer get smart enough and user friendly enough that anyone can code and make their own programs? I just have a virtual coder on my computer that takes my dreams and turns it into code?

                It just seems to me that it is no so much that computers will replace coders. It is that computers will make coding so easy that you won’t need much training or have to be particularly smart to do it.

                1. At some point why can’t my computer get smart enough and user friendly enough that anyone can code and make their own programs?

                  Because computers aren’t smart. They’re stupid. Incredibly so. You write a program that tells a computer to jump off a bridge to its doom, and it will jump off every single time.

                  About the closest thing to what you describe would be a computer that can piece together code that was already written by coders to implement what you want it to do, which is already the case with libraries (not buildings, but collections of pieces of code that can be strung together to make programs).

                  Can programming languages be dumbed down enough so that anyone can write software? The old-timers would say that Java already does that.

                  1. It kind of does sarcasmic. Think of it this way. When computers first started out they programed them in bionari. Literally putting in the ones and the zeros. Only someone who was Vulcan smart and had savant levels of concentration could do it. Then came basic and it got easier. Eventually you get to Java. At some point how easy does it get?

                    1. Only someone who was Vulcan smart and had savant levels of concentration could do it.

                      That’s not totally true. I did some assembler coding in college. It’s tedious, but not that difficult. You also have to remember that computers were not very powerful, so programs were much simpler. Basically they were loops that crunched a ton of information, like calculating artillery trajectories or some other rote arithmetic.

                    2. At some point how easy does it get?

                      When you’re piecing together code that other people wrote, you get a lot of extraneous details. Additionally, if you want the program to do something that some coder hasn’t already solved for you, you’re shit out of luck if you can’t do it yourself.

        2. To build a robot plumber you would have to build a Terminator level human robot. And that is not coming anytime soon.

          I don’t think so. One of the big things that happens when you automate processes is that you re-invent the process. For plumbing the big change would be in the materials used. Copper is already on the way out, but a whole skyscraper could be plumbed by robots spooling out flexible plastic pipe without human level understanding. The metal-stud framing of walls would be similarly amenable to automation.

          Not that I’m saying these are easy problems, or that there is enough in it for anyone to pursue such a thing today. But particularly for laying new construction in a big commercial property, these things wouldn’t be that tough to imagine.

          Plumbing already has lots of robots and sensors at the high end. Big pipelines are joined and inspected by purpose built robots. Leaks are detected by robotic sensors. …. yeah, not really that far-fetched at all.

      2. They’re already dead…

    3. +Mike Rowe

    4. Between this and the level of derpitude accelerating on college campuses, I’m seriously considering encouraging my 8 yr old to learn a trade when he ‘grows up’.

      1. I think that would be a pretty good idea.

    5. The consensus among economists is that education and mental ability is going to become more and more valuable as time goes on.

      Top men think that everyone should be more like them.


      1. Yeah. I think it is going to be the opposite. What is the value of being smart when computers can do the mental work for us?

        1. I agree.

          In fact, it’s already happening and will only accelerate as current technology use diffuses through society. Probably half, or more, of ‘knowledge’ jobs still exist only because of social inertia.

          It’s pretty shocking that top economists? don’t seem to grasp how marginal change will impact them.

          1. I think Tyler Cowen is one of the most overrated thinkers out there. He thinks that machines and technology are going to destroy all middle class jobs such that we will have a few people who are hugely productive and everyone else doing nothing.

            I think he is full of shit. He is a typical top man nerd who doesn’t understand how people actually think and what they value. People will always value status and have emotional attachment to things. So if the day comes that everything is cheap an easy to make, people will want the old stuff because owning that is what will give you status. See the mechanical watch industry for an example of this. It is bigger today than it ever has been when by Cowen’s logic it should have died with the invention of the cheap quartz watch.

        2. I don’t buy it. People still need to come up with new ideas and design new things. Being smart won’t become any less valuable. Most people are already smarter than necessary to perform their job functions. Most people value knowledge and intelligence for reasons that go far beyond economic utility.
          If anything, I think more work done by computers means that more thought and creativity is required in workers. Computers and automation replace the most mindless work first.

          1. Some forms of intelligence will continue to be valuable and in fact more so. Things that machines can’t recreate like creativity, people skills, mechanical skills and such. But some other forms of intelligence, memory, high end reasoning skills and such will not be as valuable because computers will make them obsolete.

            Look at the example of the law firm I gave above. I won’t need the super smart nerdy lawyers anymore. I will have AI to do that. What I will need are people who are good at human relationships to put a human face on my super smart AI lawyers.

            I think you will see a lot of industries go that way. People will add value in areas that machines can’t. And that is going to be physical things (being a plumber) and types of thinking like human relationships and creativity that computers don’t do well. I do not think the future is going to be as kind to the nerd as people think. And I think the value of having a really high IQ, versus an above average one but with really good emotional and people skills will be much less than now.

  43. So the question is, is it worth the aggravation?

    Is WHAT worth the aggravation?

  44. Good reason to avoid Schwab for financial advice:

    “Schwab-Pomerantz: Visionary wants financial security for all”
    “If Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz had her way, there would be a U.S. Department of Financial Security. Headed by a Cabinet-level appointee, the job would help Americans take better care of themselves in matters involving money.”

    You bet! The government is the first place I look for help with my financial decisions!

    1. That is terrifying.

      1. Mrs Schwab DID raise a dummy!

  45. Born in a rento-contolled SF residence? Why, lucky you! You have guaranteed cheap rent for life:

    “Rent limits protect child who was original tenant, court rules”
    “The child, who was 23 when his parents moved out of the San Francisco apartment they had rented almost 10 years earlier, can be considered an “original occupant,” the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said Wednesday.”

    Prediction: Young couples who might have kids will somehow find it harder to rent a unit.

    1. It’s like he’s a medieval peasant tied to the soil. Now for his lord to exercise his rights in return

    2. Sevo, you missed the lecture on being civil to progs yesterday by the honorable Bo lessquire. You may have enjoyed it.

      1. straffinrun|1.26.15 @ 10:39AM|#
        “Sevo, you missed the lecture on being civil to progs yesterday by the honorable Bo lessquire. You may have enjoyed it.”

        I refuse to engage the twit, but arguing generalities like that is typical.
        Put a face on proggies; does any sane person think being civil to Tony is going to change his mind?
        He’s a punching bag and deservedly so.

  46. We are all sociopaths.

    Politicians, for example, are apparently completely baffled by Poor People’s propensity to do harmful things, often expensively, to themselves. (That’s politicians of all stripes ? it’s just that the left wing wrings its hands and feels helplessly sorry for Them, while Tories are pretty sure They are just animals in need of better training.) The underclass eats fast food, drinks and smokes, and some of its more unruly members even take drugs. Why? Why? Listen, I always want to say, if you’re genuinely mystified, answer me this: have you never had a really bad day and really wanted ? nay, needed ? an extra glass of Montrachet on the roof terrace in the evening? Or such a chaotic, miserable week that you’ve ended up with a takeaway five nights out of seven instead of delving into Nigella’s latest? You have? Why, splendid. Now imagine if your whole life were not just like that one bad day, but even worse. All the time. No let-up. No end in sight. No, you can’t go on holiday. No, you can’t cash anything in and retire. No. How would you react? No, you’ve not got a marketable skills set. You don’t know anyone who can give you a job. No. No. And on we’d go.

    1. I’ve never understood the desire to drink out of stress. You aren’t going to forget your problems unless you get shitfaced, and they’ll still be there when you sober up anyway.

      1. Disclaimer:

        Speaking as an alcoholic, yes the effect is temporary, but it helps you have fun and pass out. The problems are still there, but at least you get through another day without pulling a Robin Williams.

      2. Sometimes your problems seem worse than they are. I find in those situations, some moderate drinking can help relieve anxiety and put things in perspective, sometimes.

    2. So, these are the questions I’d like to see pursued once the televised prime ministerial debates begin (if enough speakers agree to turn up, natch): have you ever had a bad day? Have you ever been really, really tired? Have you ever been alone, or frightened, or not had a choice about something? If yes, was your response unique among man? If no, are you a madman or a liar? Do tell. Do tell.

      Yet another proggie that has never spent time around the poor in her life.

      If a child goes to touch a hot stove, you tell them no or grab them away. The first dozen times an adult touches a hot stove, you do the same. It’s not sociopathy that makes you give up after the same idiot has burned himself a 100 times, just exhaustion and a little common sense.

      1. your a monster.

      2. Some people just have poor reasoning skills and impulse control. Even beyond that issue, you don’t live in someone else’ head. Some people don’t want the hassle of being respectable citizens. There are people out there who like being criminals. Others who would rather bed and do drugs every day than work. And some people just don’t want to do the work or accept the responsibility necessary to not be poor. They would rather be a bum and have nothing than work and have something. And who are you or I to say they are wrong? The only wrong part comes when people like this woman expects you and I to pay for those people’s choices or somehow try and convince them to be otherwise.

        1. Every leftist imagines that everyone on Earth secretly wants to be just like them and that any failure to be like them is society’s fault.

          In reality, people have vastly different desires and cultures from which they derive, many of which are actively hostile to bourgeoisie leftism.

          When a person drinks on a Wednesday afternoon rather than going to look for a job, it’s not because society crushed them. Usually it’s because they just really like drinking on a Wednesday afternoon and would rather do that than work.

          1. They are just the retarded grand children of the Puritans. They just can’t accept that maybe some people don’t want to eat their vegetables and drive a sensible car and recycle. If they don’t, its because they are oppressed or something.

            1. Not the Puritans – more like Methodists IIRC.

        2. This, if my hobbies weren’t so expensive I’d be perfectly happy to live off welfare for the rest of my life.

      3. This proggie is also assuming that rich people don’t have health damaging vices. There are plenty who eat food that is terrible for them, that smoke, that do drugs, that drink excessively, that eat excessively. It’s not just a problem with poor people. There are problems with people of all economic classes doing things that damage their health.

        1. Yes. The difference is that rich people because they have money have more of a margin for error. If you are poor, you have to be more responsible than you do if you are rich.

      4. A lot of progressives seem to alternately see the poor as living in constant misery and stress, or as being noble, salt of the earth, happy folk living without excess, depending on what suits the argument at hand.

    3. Yet another leftist who believes poor people exist in a state of constant, unending misery and only the leftist truly understands.

      I like that she flaggelates Tories for treating the poor ‘like animals’ but then the prog treats the poor like they’re just guaranteed to make bad decisions, as if they’re computers and the inputs are wrong.

      Here’s a hint, dipshit: All the people from wealthy families now have ancestors who were poor. Why did those poor ancestors stop being poor and allow their descendants to be rich?

      If it’s just a guarantee that poor people are going to fritter away their money on smokes and booze, then no one ever should have been able to become wealthy. Since this is not the case, this Guardianista is an idiot.

    4. What a load of BS. Poor people do harmful things because they don’t think they’re “harmful”. They want the high, the money, the sex, the food, the whatever more than they want the reward of self-control. That’s it.

      Self control is a disciple you learn from your environment. Those that exercise it get rewarded long term whether they begin life poor or rich.

      Poverty is about impulse control.

      1. And self control is something that you only learn from experience. If you never suffer the consequences of your actions or worse are told those consequences are not your fault, you will never learn self control. Progs have spent the last 70 years telling poor people that it is not their fault that they are poor and thus nothing they can do to change it. It is really cruel when you think about it.

        1. They’re only poor because those rich people who employ them and sell them goods and services are holding them down!

          Those rich people are terrible!

          Down with the rich!

        2. Well, heck. It doesn’t have to just be YOUR experience. You can learn from literally watching others screw up. Oh, you didn’t have tornado insurance and lost your house to a tornado while living in tornado alley? Hmmm, maybe I should get tornado insurance if I ever live in tornado alley.

          There is a benefit to tragedy if people are willing to look for it.

          1. Well, heck. It doesn’t have to just be YOUR experience. You can learn from literally watching others screw up.

            Someone once said to me that the wise man learns from the mistakes of others, the smart man learns from his own mistakes, and stupid people just don’t learn.

          2. Yes. It is why not every bad trend continues forever. People eventually figure out that they don’t want to do that.

            This is what conservatives refuse to understand when it comes to drugs. Drugs generally are not that great and being an addict sucks ass. Even if drugs were legal, most people have better things to do with their lives than get high and most people do not want to be addicts. Conservatives never get that. They honestly think that law is the only reason everyone does run out and turn into John Belushi on a weekend bender.

            1. People eventually figure out that they don’t want to do that.

              Some don’t. My neighbor has a grandson who has been in and out of jail his entire life. The kid just doesn’t learn. There really are people out there who are just fucking daft. And like Ron White says, you can’t fix stupid.

              1. That’s the distinction between people and person.

              2. Some don’t. But most do. And the ones who don’t, no law is going to deter them from fulfilling their duty of being a warning to others.

  47. A French court has barred a couple from naming their daughter Nutella after the popular hazelnut chocolate spread.


    1. Have they considered adding a D’ to the front?

      1. Only Americans do that.

    2. Je suis Nutella

    3. Imagine if they were black!

      Wait. They’re white, right?

  48. Je suis Charlie
    Boku wa Kenji
    I’m learning how to say, “I am…” in a lot of languages.

  49. I’m seriously considering encouraging my 8 yr old to learn a trade when he ‘grows up’.

    Buy him a welder for his 12th birthday. He’ll never go hungry.

    1. Also, teach him to scuba dive. Underwater welders make shit-loads of money (according to an underwater welder I met at the gym 150k+).

      1. Very high pay, but can be really dangerous work.

        Navy is the place most learn the skill.

  50. Cops have sad over app that tracks their location

    Wants Google to ban it, naturally.

    Basically, it allows users to post the location of speed traps and other locations of where police are to warn motorists and others. But police are crying because criminals might use it to attack police officers.

    But hey, they are a-okay with shit showing where non-violent sex offenders live (like some guy who pulled over to take a piss on the side of the road. Or some kid who had sex with a girl that was a few months younger than him, but she was under the AOC, etc).

    1. Yeah, because if I am a lunatic who has decided to go cop hunting, I am so going to need the WAZ app to do it. I couldn’t just drive down the road for oh five minutes until I found one. Or I couldn’t dial 911 and have the cops delivered to me.

      Fuck them. They are just pissed that the speed traps no longer collect as much revenue thanks to that app. We don’t have cops anymore. We have random revenue collectors. They should no longer be referred to as law enforcement. If they want that title, they should have to do something besides collect revenue.

      1. Or get a police radio scanner. People have been keeping track of where cops are as a hobby for ages.

    2. To Sergio Kopelev, a reserve deputy sheriff in Southern California, Waze is also a stalking app for law enforcement.

      There are no known connections between any attack on police and Waze, but law enforcers such as Kopelev are concerned it’s only a matter of time.

      Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Virginia, said the police-reporting feature, which he called the “police stalker,” presents a danger to law enforcement.

      Brown asked Kopelev to discuss Waze at the upcoming sheriffs’ association conference. Kopelev refers to his efforts as his “personal jihad.”

      The executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, Jim Pasco, said his organization has concerns, too.

      “I can think of 100 ways that it could present an officer-safety issue,” Pasco said. “There’s no control over who uses it. So, if you’re a criminal and you want to rob a bank, hypothetically, you use your Waze.”

      Hahaha officer safety ?ber alles! Based upon absurd hypotheticals that have yet to occur despite tens of millions of users.

      1. The precautionary principle is awesome because it switches the burden of proof.

      2. Cops do a very good job of continually reminding you that, as a rule, they are absolute fucking cowards.

    3. I don’t see how they could ever ban it consistent with the first amendment. Waze doesn’t just tell you where cops are. It also tells you where potholes are and traffic jams and accidents. You would have to pass a law making it illegal to communicate the position of a law enforcement officer. No way would that pass muster even with this SCOTUS. And you couldn’t enforce it anyway. The internet and the smart phone is going to end the speed trap. They might as well get used to it.

      1. Why bother to ban it when you can pressure the company to voluntarily drop the feature?

        1. Someone else will come up with another app that does. If Google drops it, the entire app will die and everyone will move onto a new app that shows cops.

          I doubt they will bow to the pressure. If they do, they might as well just write off the money they paid and shut down the app, since no one will use it.

      2. And there are legitimate, non-criminal reasons for wanting to know where cops are too. And if they aren’t under cover, that should be public information.

        1. Yeah, sometimes cops can be useful.

          This issue was dealt with when the states tried to start writing tickets for people flashing their lights warning of an upcoming speed trap. In every single instance the courts ruled that people had a 1st Amendment right to do that. They can’t make it illegal to communicate the location of a law enforcement officer.

    4. That’s okay, if they drop the feature from Waze, I’ll just switch over to using nav from their competitor, Google maps. oh wait…

      1. The radar detector manufacturers have their own social network app. The only reason it hasn’t taken off is because of Waze. Have Waze stop showing where cops are, and it will take off.

        There is no way to stop this.

        1. There is no way to stop this

          Challenge Accepted!!

  51. So, if you’re a criminal and you want to rob a bank, hypothetically, you use your Waze.

    Fuck Waze. I’m going to derail a coal train in the middle of town, and then go rob ALL THE BANKS while the cops are sucking their thumbs.

    1. NSA drones are moving into position over your house as we speak.

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