Stockton

Confessions of a Stockton Slumlord

The northern California city of nearly 300,000 has become a key test case on whether cities can reduce their unaffordable public pensions when they head into bankruptcy court

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Aside from routinely making Forbes magazine's "miserable cities" list, Stockton rarely grabs headlines. But the northern California city of nearly 300,000 has become a key test case on whether cities can reduce their unaffordable public pensions when they head into bankruptcy court.

During my early reporting on the Stockton bankruptcy proceedings, I was chatting with a city official and mentioned, as an aside, that I own a couple of rental houses in the heart of town. It was my way of conveying that I know the city and am vested in its long-term financial health despite living in a town 40 minutes away. "Oh, you're one of those out-of-town landlords," she said, in a tone that suggested what she really meant was slumlord.

I wish I had thought of a pithy comeback: Oh yeah, I'm that slumlord who restored a decrepit 1930s bungalow (I bought light fixtures at Restoration Hardware, for heaven's sake!), and now rent it to a lovely family. The slumlords in this picture are not the private investors shoring up old properties, but the city officials and other public workers who have degraded the local infrastructure.

Stockton is a historic treasure—a Gold Rush–era city on the edge of the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta—that has been allowed to fall apart. The salaries and benefit packages of the city's work force are so generous that the city literally can't afford to pay its bills or do its job adequately.

Local officials are quick to blame the real estate crash. A 45-minute drive from the edge of the pricey, growth-controlled San Francisco Bay area, San Joaquin County drew many long-distance commuters in the boom times of the mid-2000s. Stockton and other nearby cities were left devastated when housing prices dropped by as much as 75 percent from the market's height.

But Stockton's bankruptcy revealed a more fundamental problem. Officials for years had spent money like drunken longshoremen who had wandered away from the city's impressive inland port. They sprung for grandiose downtown redevelopment projects (sports venues, a hotel, entertainment) and lavished public employees with pay packages clocking in at 125 percent of state averages, despite living in a comparatively low-priced town. City workers received what one City Council member called a Lamborghini-style health plan, and police and firefighters could take advantage of a "3 percent at 50" pension formula that allowed them to retire at age 50 with 90 percent or more of their final pay.

The high pay levels and health plan were not "vested" benefits, so they were cut during bankruptcy. But Stockton officials chose not to even attempt to give pensioners a haircut.

Downtown Stockton, California
Steven Greenhut

Even Californians rarely think about Stockton. The weather is blistering hot in the summer and chilly in the winter. It's in a flat agricultural valley known for its polluted air—a blue-collar town, far removed from tonier places like Sausalito and Newport Beach. But even Angelenos have been paying attention to its bankruptcy proceedings, and for good reason.

Since 1999, California cities have been ramping up their pension promises. Unfunded liabilities are soaring. But California's union-dominated legislature, union-friendly governor, and union-supporting state constitutional officers have resisted change. The one reform that passed in 2012 was laughably modest, slightly limiting pensions for new hires and quashing pension spiking. It has already partially been gutted by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), which recently approved 99 categories of pension-spiking for new hires.

The courts have not been open to reform, because of something called the "California Rule," which means that once a pension increase has been granted by a city council or legislature, it can never be reduced. The rule came from a 1955 state Supreme Court ruling in a Long Beach case where the city tried to increase pension contributions. Yet reducing future-earned pension benefits for current employees is the key to reducing current unfunded liabilities. Cities such as Stockton have few other options for paring back costs.

The last chance for a "day of reckoning" is generally bankruptcy court. The thinking is that if a city can at least ditch its pension promises when it goes belly-up, unions will have an incentive to enact reforms before it's too late.

A federal judge in the Detroit, Michigan, bankruptcy case gave that city the go-ahead to cut pensions, but the California Public Employees' Retirement System has argued that California is different, and that state law trumps federal bankruptcy court rulings. CalPERS' argument, effectively, is that pension benefits can never be cut.

Vallejo, California, emerged from bankruptcy in 2011 without cutting pensions and continues to be plagued by fiscal problems. Stockton followed the Vallejo model, balancing its books on the backs of a major creditor (giving it 12 cents on the dollar) while fully protecting pensions. One of the city's own analyses reveals the error of that strategy: Stockton will be in deep financial trouble again within four years. It's nearly impossible to imagine a sustainable path that does not involve at least a slight trimming of pensions.

In a verbal ruling, Judge Christopher Klein, the chief federal bankruptcy judge for eastern California, encouraged reformers by declaring that pensioners are like any other creditor: vulnerable to a payout that is less than the full amount they are owed. But the same judge later OKed Stockton's workout plan, which allows the city to exit bankruptcy without doing anything to fix its biggest problem.

At least one other bankrupt city got the message. San Bernardino, California, which for a time stopped making pension contributions to CalPERS, recently agreed to pay into the retirement system all the money it owes.

The good news is that Judge Klein's first decision allows cities that go bankrupt in the future to try to reduce their pension benefits. The bad news is that his second decision affirms the course that most cities are taking—not trying to do so lest they endure the wrath of local unions and the politically powerful and legally formidable CalPERS.

Now some Democratic officials are talking about limiting the ability of municipalities to file for bankruptcy at all—just in case they want to give pension-paring a try. What can residents do other than watch their cities crumble around them?

It's a sad thing to witness. I bought houses in Stockton not just because they were cheap, but because the city has such wonderful architecture and atmosphere. I'm just an "out-of-town" landlord, but at least I'm investing my retirement money in the city rather than grabbing retirement payouts that deplete its chances of survival.

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  1. In case you were wondering what former DHS secretaries do for a living….

    A report commissioned by the developer of a downtown Los Angeles football stadium warns that a rival project nearby could be a potential terrorist target because of its proximity to Los Angeles International Airport.

    […]

    The report by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge finds that constructing an 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood — as close as 2.5 miles from an airport runway — “materially increases the risk of a terrorist event.”

    Ridge concluded that in a world in which terrorism is a recognized threat, “the peril of placing a National Football League stadium in the direct flight path of (the airport)” … outweighs whatever benefits it would bring over its lifespan.

    1. Ridge is the schmuck (GOP too) who allowed the Republican-dominated legislature in Penna. to practically double the pension formula for state teachers and employees. Taxpayers now face huge increases to make good the pension promises, so I’d say being anywhere within 2 1/2 miles of Tom Ridge is a recognized threat to your wallet.

      1. HAHA we MADE you people make a promise to us in government!!! To give us more money!!! You don’t even have to consent to pledging your future earnings to us in government!!!!!

        Don’t worry, we can always print up the cash to pay ourselves – you people have PLENTY of savings from which the value of this newly printed $ will come from!!!

        http://youareproperty.blogspot…..ation.html

    2. Ridge concluded that in a world in which terrorism is a recognized threat, “the peril of placing a National Football League stadium in the direct flight path of (the airport)” … outweighs whatever benefits it would bring over its lifespan.

      Oh my GOD that’s funny.

      First, the peril. The peril?? I struggle to find a pearl-clutchinger word than that.

      Second, what logic! If we put the stadium somewhere else, NO AIRPLANE COULD EVER HIT IT.

      1. That tower in Manhattan? It was right next to the runway, right?

      2. Downtown LA is probably a no fly zone, so if a plane headed there, there would be more time to deploy the anti-aircraft batteries on top of city hall.

        1. You mean you don’t have a set of 20mm in the back of your truck like the rest of the civilized world?

          1. Real men go quad.

        2. Not a no fly zone. The base leg of LAX approach is directly over downtown.

          1. The one airline I always see flying low and close to the skyscrapers is Fly Emirates.

            I am always wondering if they’re just trolling the air traffic controllers with those moves.

            1. They do that with most of the A380s. They’re huge, so they come in slow and low.

              1. I thought they did that so they could take out radio towers broadcasting stations playing disco.

                1. The flashing red lights at the top are so they know where to aim.

        3. Kahlua Akbar|2.28.15 @ 12:39PM|#
          “Downtown LA is probably a no fly zone,

          Nope:
          http://skyvector.com/

          1. Maybe he meant Downtown Disney.

            1. He’s Tulpa.

              He just mashes his face on the keyboard, because of the straitjacket.

              Sometimes what comes out is intelligible, that’s all.

      3. Pearl-clutching is far too charitable. He’s lying. Period. I’m sure it would take all of five minutes to figure out who’s paying him to say this shit.

        The most common visual approach into LAX is called “STADIUM VISUAL”. As in planes fly directly over the LA coliseum. Not 2.5 miles from it. Directly over it. If we were to follow Tom Ridge’s logic, the new stadium would be safer.

        1. They really ought to re-orient the runways to prevent that.

          1. ???

            The runways are oriented based on prevailing wind patterns at the airport. Wind blows out of the west at LAX 330 days a year.

  2. What can residents do other than watch their cities crumble around them?

    Move. Is that a trick question?

    1. Move.

      And they already have and continue to do so. Isn’t everyone aware that the large cities have been bleeding working and middle class people for years? NYC is largely populated by 1) the very rich 2) the very poor 3) those dependent on government jobs (teacher, firefighters, cops) 4) the temporary (they stay during their 20’s and 30’s then move) 5) immigrants who work off the books.

      Cities are unlivable for middle income people. You either commute long distances or move permanently to some nice South Eastern or Western city like Charlotte, Phoenix, Austin or Tampa.

      This is already past tense – it’s already happened – and will continue to do so. Because of the Great Recession (here forward referred to as ‘GR’) the cities are only now facing the economic reality of it.

      Other than a real libertarian moment, an immediate re-sizing of local government – shrink it by half, and using a blow torch to get rid of those attached to the government teet there’s no hope – no hope at all.

      1. “and using a blow torch to get rid of those attached to the government teet”

        Do you have a news-letter to which I might subscribe?

        1. Teet sucking and how it affects you!

          Now in paperback, available at your local Wal-Mart.

          1. Actually, RPM, I was interested in the application of the blow torch pour encourager les autres.

          2. They even cut her teets off.

  3. “What can residents do other than watch their cities crumble around them?”

    Well one idea that doesn’t involve the messy moral and legal issue of when the government can renege on past promises might be to drastically cut costs going forward. Crazy, I know.

    1. No police, no fire dept, roads full of potholes… all so a janitor can retire with $100K a year in pension.

      Anybody who was “promised” a pension by a private company that went bankrupt is SOL, I don’t see why public employees should get special privileges for sucking at the teat of the taxpayers.

      1. Man oh man, I almost forgot that the police don’t get fat government pensions.

        Huh.

        1. They also perform a needful function in society.

          1. Mostly what they do nowadays is perform unneeded functions. Such as:

            -Beatings

            -Murders

            -Robbery

            -Terrorism

            -Etc.

      2. This is what democracy looks like.

    2. Aborted Somalian deep-dish roads.

    3. What is bankruptcy other than reneging on promises?

  4. Jezebel has another Anna Merlan on their hands:

    Jezebel claims Scott Walker wants colleges to stop reporting sexual assaults.

    That sounds terrible! Unfortunately, people noticed that the University of Wisconsin actually asked Walker to change reporting requirements because they already had requirements and the state requirements were redundant.

    So Walker wasn’t stopping them from reporting assaults, he was streamlining the process and decreasing the amount of bureaucracy.

    Jezebel had to update their post:

    UPDATE: After Jezebel ran this item yesterday, a spokesman for the University of Wisconsin came forward?over two weeks after the budget was released?to clarify: the University requested that Gov. Walker delete the requirements because efforts were redundant with their compliance of the Cleary Act. Scott Walker’s camp assures that he’s committed to protecting victims.

    Everything we said was wrong!

    The writer of the post then claimed that her fuck up was actually Walkers fault for not being clear enough.

    I’m not gonna apologize for reporting what was in the budget. Ask your gov. to apologize for bad optix

    At a time when there is HEAVY scrutiny on state/fed/colleges, a proposal to delete standing regulations, requires more tact.

    1. You know who else demanded more tact?…

      1. You know who else demanded less regulation?

        1. Corner backs.

          1. Pass interference and defensive holding regulations do disproportionately affect minorities….

            1. You mad bro?

            2. Wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the reason they made those rules.

        2. Eric Garner?

    2. I’m not gonna apologize for reporting what was in the budget.

      Perhaps you should apologize for lying about why it was in the budget, though. Just a thought.

      1. She should apologize for having the writing skills of a pre-teen.

        1. My younger siblings, in their pre-teens, were capable of writing far more intelligible and interesting stories than this bitch.

    3. Can we please retire the usage of “optics” as a synonym for “superficial appearance”?

      Bad optics is what you’d say about the Hubble telescope before the refit, not Obama meeting with Wall Street donors.

      1. You’re so fucking pathetic, Tulpa. It’s absolutely amazing. I kind of want to write a paper on you or something. I’ll have it published in the Journal of Mental Deficiency Research.

        1. Who’s more pathetic, the pathetic or the one who is awed by the pathetic.

          1. This might just be the most pathetic thing I’ve seen in weeks. Congratulations, Tulpy-poo, you just answered your own question.

        2. Tulpa may be pathetic (not in the sense of being deserving of pathos), but using “optics” when “appearances” or “perceptions” fits just fine is irritating.

          “Bathetic” would better describe Tulpa.

          1. Tupla doesn’t bathe?

            Or it bathes too often?

            Or. . .I dunno what you’re referring to.

              1. Well, color me impressed.

          2. If people don’t want to make rational arguments, who’s going to stop them?

            1. You. You believe in the police, and the police believe in silencing opposition.

      2. Can you please retire the usage of “retire” to mean stop using a phrase?

        Retire is what Stockton civil service employees do, not petulant grammar fascists.

        1. Oh snap. Hoisted by his own retard.

          1. +1 cake

            1. -1 replicant

          2. Mr. Repair may be a retard, but he’s not mine. Whatever damages he’s caused are the liability of his true owner.

            1. -1 day
              -1 dollar

      3. That would be optometrics.

    4. Why it’s almost as if Jezebel is committed to the total elimination of personal responsibility.

      It’s not her fault, you see, it’s clearly Walker’s fault for being so evil and so inconsiderate of people like her that caused her to make this error.

      Then again, was it really an error since it’s bringing attention to an important issue? Jezebel is just speaking truth to power!

      1. Wait, though. If you eliminate personal responsibility, then Walker isn’t responsible for her mistake either. Or is personal responsibility only for the other TEAM?

        1. Walker is a white male, so of course he’s responsible for all sorts of bad things.

          That Jezebel writer is a woman and a lesbian, so her lack of privilege means she can’t be responsible for sucking at her job as a reporter.

          Sheesh Epi, it’s like you’ve never taken a Critical Race and Gender Theory class or studied the finer points of intersectionality.

          1. I’ve taken Set Theory…that has intersections! Does that count?

            Though I did take it with your mom…

      2. So a win-win in their eyes, I guess.

        I wonder how they would have spun it if they published the Rolling Stone rape article?

        1. #BelieveUs

      3. It’s not her fault, you see, it’s clearly Walker’s fault for being so evil and so inconsiderate of people like her that caused her to make this error.

        Walker needed to mansplain it for her. Why is she expected to do research and find “facts”?

    5. It is amazing watching the left shit their pants over Walker.

      He is gonna kick their ass and they know it. It is like watching a drunk who can hardly stand throw punches.

      He didn’t finish college. He hates babies. He loves rape.

      Good God.

      1. At this point, President DumbassBabyRape would be preferable to our typical politicians.

        1. Which President DumbassBabyRape would that be?

  5. Right outta Atlas Shrugged.

    Thank god there are places like Texas and the Dakotas to move to when the CA localities tax their residents out of the state in attempts to keep the promises of the politicians of yore.

    The good news is, after it all turns to dust, there should be some cheap property available, for the RE-settlers, in a beautiful part of the world

    1. i know this comment is too late, nobody is going to read it but what if the responsible parties for Detroit enacted a Hong Kong style set of super loose economic, zoning, etc regs and/or reduction of regs. Set up a laissez faire paradise just for shits and giggles. I bet the city would turn around in less than 2 years.

      1. Problem with that is that there’s not much to draw people to Detroit. The industry has collapsed. The climate sucks. The city itself is dominated by identity politics.

        In the case of Hong Kong, prosperity was due in large part to the area having an excellent natural harbor in close proximity to a large number of Chinese people looking to buy the goods that the British Empire offered. And they offered zero political freedom to choose the government to its residents.

        It’s not like Hong Kong was just some random, desolate place that sprung up by magic because there were no rules…it had a number of economic factors going for it (something libertarians using Hong Kong as an example often forget), combined with a benevolent dictatorship that was wise enough to mostly leave social and economic interactions alone. I don’t think Detroit’s got any of that.

  6. OT: “City of Cleveland responds to Tamir Rice lawsuit by saying boy’s death was caused because of his own actions.”

    He was 12. You can’t make this shit up.

    http://www.cleveland.com/court…..ds_to.html

    1. I’m sure their going to talk a lot of shit while their lawyers are writing a giant fucking check

      1. ^This.

        This is the city trying to sound menacing so that they can attempt to negotiate down the settlement amount.

        1. Which is why my response to that would be to up the amount.

          What? Its not enough for you to murder him, now you have to malign him too? Fuck you. I want double.

    2. Imagine what they’d be saying if there wasn’t a video. By the way, I enjoy it much, much more when videos of these incidents come to light weeks or months after the cops have met and synchronized their stories.

      1. Who you going to believe, these fine upstanding public servants or your own lying eyes?

          1. Optometrics.

    3. The twelve year old MADE ME shoot him!

      Nuh-uh! YOU’RE the murderer!

    4. From the article:

      The city, in its response, wrote that Tamir’s death on Nov. 22 and all of the injuries his family claims in the suit “were directly and proximately caused by their own acts, not this Defendant.” It also says that the 12-year-old’s shooting death was caused “by the failure … to exercise due care to avoid injury.”

      It’s not our fault your pre-teen couldn’t dodge bullets!

  7. boy’s death was caused because of his own actions.”

    And here I thought he was shot by someone else. I didn’t realize he shot himself.

    With a toy gun.

    1. Well, I’m pretty sure that he is the only kid ever who has played with a toy gun. I mean, who has ever done that?!

      1. I own a rather large airsoft collection, and I keep in sight of a window in the basement.

        I very carefully informed all of my neighbors that the guns are not real, and invited them, should they choose, to see for themselves.

        I don’t feel like getting SWAT’d randomly because some pearl-clutching neighbor thought I was hoarding guns for nefarious purposes.

        1. I remember what it was like to live in suburbia…

  8. I think about doing a march madness style bracket for fucked up government behavior. What seed should public sector unions be?

    1. 1,2,3 & 4.

      1. I’ve already got asset forfeiture, sovereign immunity, property taxes, and unilateral presidential warmaking powers as one seeds, but I’m still open to some movement on the top spots.

        1. unilateral presidential warmaking powers

          Fixt. And in light of recent events, I’d say that’s your overall #1 seed.

        2. I think income taxes may be higher than property taxes. Commerce clause needs to be near the top.

  9. I’ve been hearing some interesting stuff from people working in Inglewood in: re the new stadium proposal.

    Apparently, the mayor met with one of the captains in the Inglewood Police Department, and told him “If we get this stadium, I’ll pay you as much as Beverly Hills”.

    1. And you could in theory get me placed within the IPD?

      1. Depends on how good you are at beating a polygraph

        1. To death.

    2. Well, to be fair, directing traffic in and out of the stadium parking lot does merit a giant raise.

  10. Crazy statistic of the day.

    According to the World Bank, a midsized Brazilian firm spends 2,600 hours filing taxes each year. In Mexico, it is 330 hours.

    1. In defense of the tax system in Brazil, they build in about 2000 hours for decorating their bodies for carnival. Those boobies don’t paint themselves.

      1. I’ll do it. For god and country.

    2. Taurus sucks.

      1. I pegged you as a Charter Arms/Kahr guy.

    3. Is that 2,600 regular hours or 2,600 Brazilian hours?

      “How much is a Brazillion?”

      1. Two jokes in one!

      2. More wax than you can handle.

    4. I have a Brazilian friend who tells me that goldbricking is basically the national pastime, so I wonder how much of that is actually legitimate. Of course, I’m also ready to believe that their tax code really is that onerous.

  11. Judging by political donations Fox News is not a right-wing organization, but, rather, the least left wing.

    The first chart displays what percentage of political donations by that company’s employees went to the Democratic Party. The second chart shows the amount donations made in total by their employees to both parties.

    My first takeaway is the shock at how much these companies really favour the Democratic Party. Forgetting the homogeneous results for institutions that everyone knows are liberal such as the New York Times, the New Yorker and the New Republic, even Fox News, the supposedly most bias media outlet and cheerleader for the Republican party still as an organization has higher support levels for the Democratic Party than Republicans.

    The second takeaway is how partisan some of these institutions are. The New Republic, New Yorker and New York Times are all significantly smaller than organizations such as the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and CNN, yet there are significantly more donations per employee to political causes. The amount of donors is important because it reveals how many employees are actively rooting for one specific political side to win, making it far harder to mitigate fears of bias.

    1. Amusing data point: the folks at Gawker give more to Republicans than the NY Times. Mind Blown.

      1. Amusing data point: the folks at Gawker give more to Republicans than the NY Times. Mind Blown.

        Holy shit that’s a truly staggering fact. I am not often shocked, but that shocks me.

        1. Folks at Gawker have less money?

      1. Yer mom, that’s what.

  12. CALPIRS the big winner in the Stockton Bankruptcy wp.me/p3tCLD-FR

  13. Hi Steven,

    A couple of questions…

    1. What is the percentage of tax money that goes toward paying California’s public sector pensions?
    2. You keep mentioning unfounded liabilities as debt that taxpayers will have to pay off. Are these debts due, like, next year or do we have to pay them off over 50 years? I’m not an economist, but I think there may be a difference in paying off my credit card and paying off my mortgage.
    3. Do the people receiving these benefits end up spending money and paying taxes? I know that every drop of money going to retires is a moral panic and it’s even worse when it goes to– gross!– people who belong to unions, but do you think it possible that people receiving a benefit package that they negotiated in good faith might end up contributing to economic growth. I know… Far-fetched, but I’m trying to think outside-the-box so I can start an internet company dedicated to sending dick pictures to my friends and rake in the money. The free market is awesome, you know.

    1. “that they negotiated in good faith”

      Yawn. Troll better.

      1. ??? If I start a government job and on my employment contract it says I’ll earn X dollars/month after I put in my 30 years I should be happy to receive less than X? Why?

        1. The “negotiation” you speak of was between union-elected Democrats and Democrat-voting employees. I fail to see the “good faith” when two parties collude to extract money from the rest of us who had no say in where it goes.

          1. Which is exactly why it should be illegal for public sector employees to have unions at all.

          2. Possibly the tightest loop in government corruption: The Dem Public Union/Dem elected official.

        2. Any contract that results in unfunded liabilities is not negotiated in good faith. Period. It’s a tacit admission that there isn’t enough money to pay what is “agreed” upon.

          It’s one of the reasons that unions have lobbied heavily to have pension protections codified into law. The contracts would get tossed out of court in a heartbeat otherwise. They know they aren’t negotiating in good faith, and the bills are coming due.

          1. Even if you believe that the elected cronies are authorized to negotiate on behalf of all taxpayers, that authority is invalidated as soon as the can gets kicked down the road. My kids are going to be paying for this shit, and they aren’t old enough to vote. They didn’t authorize anyone to negotiate on their behalf.

            If all of these moochers really cared about pension security, they should have lobbied to make sure their pensions were fully funded every single fucking fiscal year. Fuck them.

            1. Ponzi Scheme.

            2. My kids are going to have to pay for the consequences of failing to address global climate change because politicians continue to let oil companies and power plants spew co2 in the atmosphere. Welcome to democracy.

              1. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

              2. Murder-Suicide. Do it for your kids.

                1. Lolzzz

              3. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 6:23PM|#
                “My kids”…

                YOU have KIDS?! Some woman is stupid enough to let you close enough to have kids?
                Well, two fucking idiots in one place I guess. Please don’t infect the next generation, shit pile.

                1. God, libertarians are such assholes. Maybe this is what Bo cara is talking about when he talks about hysterical rhetoric. I’m here to give right-wingers the finger (a position I thought would have a lot of support amongst libertarians) so I just take comments from our Old fuckers who were dumb enough to enlist in Vietnam in stride

                  1. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 7:38PM|#
                    “God, libertarians are such assholes.”

                    Lefties are such slimy lying piles of shit.

                  2. You really don’t have much beyond just emoting do you?

                    Perhaps a call to CPS is required. After all, I don’t want your spawn to have to pay for the consequences of being raised by an overgrown child. I just can’t in good faith allow perfectly normal kids to be raised by such a broken human being. Welcome to democracy.

                  3. I’m here to give right-wingers the finger (a position I thought would have a lot of support amongst libertarians)

                    Pro-tip: we don’t like left-wingers either.

                    1. Pro-tip: we don’t like left-wingers either.

                      I’ve been told that anything less than ongoing, enthusiastic, affirmative consent of the platform constitutes rejection of the Party’s weltanschauung.

                  4. “I’m here to give right-wingers the finger (a position I thought would have a lot of support amongst libertarians)”

                    If you believe that giving right wingers the finger by emoting left wing delusion on a libertarian web site will make you popular you just might be stupid enough to actuslly believe left wind delusions?

                  5. Congratulations, AmSoc…you’re back to being the dumbest guy on the thread again.

                    I’m here to give right-wingers the finger (a position I thought would have a lot of support amongst libertarians)

                    So the entire reason you come back here has really been about seeking our approval?

                    Holy shit, man…that’s just plain sad if your life is that empty.

              4. My kids are going to have to pay for the consequences of failing to address global climate change because politicians continue to let oil companies and power plants spew co2 in the atmosphere. Welcome to democracy.

                Your kids are going to stop talking to you when they’re old enough to figure out you’re fucking retarded.

                1. If they’re 5 or older, the cat’s already out of the bag.

              5. You spew CO2 every time you open your mouth to breathe.

        3. But there was zero negotiation with the taxpayer. Therefore taxpayers should contribute exactly zero to the government employee pension.

          1. But they EARNED it! They faithfully performed vital services! What, you think form 3289-20028B-1.6A fills itself out? You some kinda anarchist?

            1. 27B-6 form?

        4. “Why?”

          Ask the former bond holders of GM after their Gov directed bankruptcy.

    2. By your logic, everyone should retire and be paid high incomes, because their taxes would more than cover the costs of the salaries.

      1. I’m just saying that perhaps it’s not all lose-lose like right-wingers would have us believe.

        1. I’m just saying that perhaps it’s not all lose-lose like right-wingers people who understand math would have us believe.

        2. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 4:33PM|#
          “I’m just saying that perhaps it’s not all lose-lose like right-wingers would have us believe.”

          IOWs, don’t let the facts get in the way of lefty fantasies, right?

    3. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 3:31PM|#
      “Hi Steven,”

      Hi, dipshit. Did you negotiate your mortgage in good faith, you lying pile of shit?

      1. But he had a lawyer. And the mortgage company was evil. But the state isn’t evil. And since you don’t have a signed contract like he did so technically a lawyer can’t really help.

        1. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 7:45PM|#
          “Did the banks?”

          They always have in my case, dipshit.
          Now, did you negotiate in good faith, yes or no?

          1. Oh, is this the guy who got foreclosed?!?

            I really need to keep up

            1. Pl?ya Manhattan.|2.28.15 @ 8:18PM|#
              “Oh, is this the guy who got foreclosed?!?”

              No, the slimeball bailed on his mortgage. You know; lefty crap: Swear you’ll do something and then when it’s not convenient, gin up some excuse or other to cover your lies..

          2. That’s your case– not mine.

            This seems to really stick in your craw. Why does my financial good fortune bother you so much? Let it go.

            1. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 8:22PM|#
              “That’s your case– not mine.”

              You’re a lying pile of shit, and you know it as well as anyone does.
              Just keep justifying your slime, asshole. You get to live with it; my word is worth something; yours is NWS.

            2. Financial good fortune is getting out of a mortgage but not keeping the house? That bar seems low. I think I would have just gotten a better mortgage.

              My wife and I paid off our custom built log home that sits on 90 acres before both us hit 40. Didn’t need a lawyer, union rep, or government advocate to accomplish this.

              1. Chumby|2.28.15 @ 9:14PM|#
                “Financial good fortune is getting out of a mortgage but not keeping the house? That bar seems low. I think I would have just gotten a better mortgage.”

                You’re ignoring the infantile pleasure of ‘sticking it to the MAN!’. The MAN being those of us who keep our word.

            3. You mea where everyone else pays for your ass? Fuck you traitor.

            4. If your idea of financial good fortune is bailing on an obligation and sticking someone else with the tab, then the commenters here at Reason have actually been too lenient with you.

              Shit, if the bar for your good fortune is set that low, I don’t know why you don’t just stick a gun in your mouth and end it now. It’s not like things are going to improve for you.

              But then that wouldn’t let you keep freeloading off of others’ work and capital, would it?

        2. They had a lawyer because someone was trying to break a contract.

    4. Boy, AS, there sure are a lot of comments on emoting, mortgages, advice to kill your kids ( remind me not to come to cult LP meetings) but no responses to the questions. Those pensions sure must be a huge problem.

      1. End all government pensions. Liquidate the pension assets and pay the contributors their portion of total liabilities times the actual money value of the assets. Problem solved.

        The mortgage comment is germane. You show little ability to wisely manage money so we don’t want you making decisions with our (tax) money. And we are proposing to do nearly exactly what you did with your mortgage with the notable exception that none of us ever signed a contract to fund the pensions whereas your wife signed the mortgage.

      2. Guess you really didn’t want to discuss it…

      3. Still waiting…

      4. No response?

  14. LA stadium building project pays a former Department of Homeland Security Official to release a report claiming that a rival stadium being built nearby will be attacked by terrorists because it’s near an airport.

    The report by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge finds that constructing an 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood — as close as 2.5 miles from an airport runway — “materially increases the risk of a terrorist event.”

    Ridge concluded that in a world in which terrorism is a recognized threat, “the peril of placing a National Football League stadium in the direct flight path of (the airport)” … outweighs whatever benefits it would bring over its lifespan.

    Sounds legit.

    1. Is this different than the one that starts at the very top of the comments?

      1. 🙁 That’s what I get for blocking Tulpa.

        1. Tulpa is like 8 of the 12 people I have blocked.

        2. I hope you’ve learnt your lesson.

    2. As long as another money-losing taxpayer-supported subsidy to a field of entertainment that rakes in a lot of bucks and should easily be able to earn its own keep is stopped, who cares why?

  15. “Now some Democratic officials are talking about limiting the ability of municipalities to file for bankruptcy at all?just in case they want to give pension-paring a try. What can residents do other than watch their cities crumble around them?”

    What can residents do?

    I’ve got a crazy idea that might just work!

    Has anybody tried voting against the Democrats?

    http://www.homefacts.com/polit…..ckton.html

    I mean, theoretically, if one party keeps screwing the voters, the voters could–theoretically–vote for another party.

    Like I said, it’s just a crazy idea. But maybe it’s something people in Stockton, San Bernardino, and elsewhere in California might think about.

    It seems to me that if treating the voters like shit doesn’t make the voters vote for some other party, then there’s no reason for that party to stop treating the voters like shit.

    …but what do I know? It’s not like I have a PhD in climate science.

    1. Mr. Ken Schultz
      PhD

      1. That’s *Dr.* Schultz to you!

        1. +1 Phantom Nobel Prize

    2. But maybe it’s something people in Stockton, San Bernardino, and elsewhere in California might think about.

      The Democrats have an unbreakable coalition of voters in such places – and when that fails they can just lean on the media to spin tales for them until the “right” result is achieved.

    3. I really don’t get this, either.

      Maybe I’m the strange one, but I got my Republicanism from my father, and learned Libertarianism from plain old simple ass LIVING MY LIFE.

      I just couldn’t put a name to it until I found Reason. What the living HELL compels people to just not get it? Fright? Bleeding hearts? Sheer idiocy?

      I dunno. I have friends like this. I cannot seem to plumb their depths either. I sometimes feel like I’m a freak, because most other people treat me like one when politics becomes a discussion topic.

      1. What the living HELL compels people to just not get it?

        The two main things that I have noted over the years are 1) A point at which fear sets in and they’ll submit to authority if it will assuage their feelings and 2) Feeling that their beliefs are what is good and noble and should be given the force of law.

      2. My family left me a blank slate politically. My mom voted for Carter, then Reagan – that’s about all I remember. I guess I picked up a weak liberalism from school and college but yeah, living life and more importantly paying attention – disabused me of most of those ideas.

        1. Don’t blame me. I voted for Ed Clark (but I voted for Carter, what does an eighteen-year-old know except how to party).

      3. I just couldn’t put a name to it until I found Reason. What the living HELL compels people to just not get it? Fright? Bleeding hearts? Sheer idiocy?

        Intellectual, moral, spiritual, and vital inertia. Libertarianism, whether with a big or little “L,” is counter-intuitive, requires sincere analysis and reflection, and forces you to question what you believe to be right. It demands effort. I think, for a lot of people, thinking about how humans should be governed (or not governed) is dull and uninspiring.

        History shows that it takes catastrophies, tragedies, oppression, and horrors before humans drastically alter the ruling class’s status quo.

      4. If it makes you feel any better, the older your friends get and the more money they save for their future, the more they start coming around to your way of thinking.

        Most of the family and friends who thought my libertarian views were crazy and insular two decades ago have now adopted most of my positions (because the consequences of other ideologies finally caught up with them).

    4. Sure, Ken. Throw your vote away!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAT_BuJAI70

      (Buying; lessons on how to format links and italicized text in these comments!)

      1. bracket goes here a href=”link goes here”bracket goes here desired text goes here closing bracket (slash a).

        No spaces.

        Enjoy this cool song!

        1. [ahref=”https:// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAT_BuJAI70“[Throw your vote away!]/a

          I tried a few permutations, none of which displayed properly using ‘preview’. The above is where I finally gave up. /dunce

          1. It should look like this:

            ?a href=”link goes here”?Text goes here?/a?

            Note: The left and right angle brackets aren’t the correct ones (don’t copy/paste them). Use the standard ones on your keyboard.

            1. Aww yiss!

              Now to figure out those wascally italics…

  16. “The bad news is that his second decision affirms the course that most cities are taking?not trying to do so lest they endure the wrath of local unions and the politically powerful and legally formidable CalPERS.”

    I was talking to a professor once about how the Romans used to build things. He was talking about aqueducts and roads built 2,000 years ago that are still usable today–how we just don’t build things like that anymore. I pointed out that the Romans had access to an abundance of slave labor. If we didn’t have to pay workers today, we could build things that would last 2,000 years–and we might build more monuments just for the sake of building them, too!

    Well, we don’t have slave labor anymore, but the next best thing to Roman slavery in the modern world is the California taxpayer. I’d like to thank the California taxpayer for building me so many ridiculously perfect motorcycle roads to enjoy–from nowhere to nowhere–but it’s not like the taxpayers had any say. So I think I’ll just give my fellow Californians the finger instead.

    Keep voting for the CalPERS party, you retards. Never mind the spending. It’s far more important to stick it to Michelle Bachman!

    LOL

    …and all those perfectly maintained backwoods, twisties I ride for a week at a time on your dime, every summer, aren’t going to pay for themselves. No, you need CalPERS, Caltrans, and a whole host of Democrat voting doormats to accomplish that. ‘scuse me while I scrape my feet?

    1. Yeah, that’s true. I lived in Socal a long time ago and it was hoggie heaven. Besides good roads, the cops weren’t as big of assholes either. Drunk driving, speeding, and loud pipes weren’t enforced much. Like I said, long ago. Hell, they even had leaded gas then.

  17. Speaking of costs, I think you’ll find this short interview of a Green amusing — especially if you enjoy schadenfreude.

    The interview with the Green Party leader was called “excruciating” and a “car crash” after she left long silences and stuttered when questioned by Nick Ferrari.

    Ms Bennett was on LBC to launch her party’s manifesto, focussing on six strands, including: “Ensuring everyone has a secure, affordable place to live.”

    She said she would achieve this by building 500,000 new social homes but when questioned on how she could afford this, she struggled for an answer.

    http://www.lbc.co.uk/incredibl…..ett-105384

  18. She said she would achieve this by building 500,000 new social homes but when questioned on how she could afford this, she struggled for an answer.

    The stated goal was to build the homes, not to pay for them.

    You nitpickers demand an answer for everything!

    1. I mean, it’s like those right-wing science deniers haven’t even *heard* about the magic fairy dust multiplier!

    2. Duh, you just extract the money from those of us who don’t win that lottery. That’s how it works in NYC.

  19. my neighbor’s half-sister makes USD61 /hour on the computer . She has been out of a job for 9 months but last month her pay check was USD17400 just working on the computer for a few hours.

    visit this ?http://moourl.com/pdex3

    …………….
    Have a Good Day

    1. To make $17,400 while earning $61 an hour you’d have to work 285 hours in a month, or over 70 hours a week. Interesting definition of ‘a few hours’. Apparently you took math class with Ms Bennett of the Green Party.

      1. She might be getting paid over the course of the month for what takes her only a few hours to do each month.

        For instance, maybe what she’s doing for a few hours each month involves a webcam and barnyard animals.

        But that money stream is coming in and compounding at a continuous rate. Divide it by the average number of hours in a month, and presto!

        She’s a barnyard zillionaire.

        1. People who do barnyard cam work usually get paid in opiates, not money.

          1. I figured the currency of choice would be meth. Expired Oxycontin seems a bit upscale.

        2. There actually IS a rather wealthy young lady who fucks puppets on air for cash.

          She’s quite hot, too. Even in her creepy-ass clown makeup.

          Mmmmm Mmmmmmmm. Puppet Sex.

          1. Guys do puppet sex all the time. The just don’t bother with the costumes.

          2. Is this felt? Now it is.

        3. I just figured she was getting fisted by ethnic midgets on webcam.

      2. “Apparently you took math class with Ms Bennett of the Green Party.”

        He TAUGHT it.

  20. Got a stupid story for you guys.

    Last night, I’m sitting in front of my television and sipping tea, when my (liberal) buddy comes down and decides to visit. We sit and talk for a bit, about upcoming video games and old video games and current video games. The conversation dies for a moment, and then he pops up with “Thank god the congress passed net neutrality, huh?”

    I honest to god started choking on my tea. Once I’d managed to successfully remove the fluid from my lungs, I found myself at a loss for words! What to say to such a stupid comment?

    All I could put together, at first, was “It wasn’t congress.”

    “Well, whoever it was.”

    “It was the FCC. They decided to regulate it as a utility.”

    “Well, good!”

    I stopped and stared. I hadn’t, until then moment, been aware that he even KNEW about the new neutrality situation. I decided to find out WHAT he knew.

    WHY is it good?”

    “Because they won’t be able to charge me extra for internet.”

    I shut my eyes, and covered them with my hands. He began to laugh, as he often does when I get frustrated with his politics.

    “They don’t do that NOW, Phil. They’ve never done that, in the entire history of the internet!”

    My temper began to flare as he laughed and replied with “But they could!”

    1. I felt myself begin to lose control of my temper, and as usually happens at this point I said something stupid.

      “In what fucking way could the fucking FCC make the fucking internet any fucking better?” I shouted.

      He chuckled, and in the most infuriating way said to me “Why do we always find ourselves on the opposite side of politics?”

      I deflated a bit, and tried to smile.

      “Because I know better than you do, Phil.” I replied. I immediately realized this was the wrong answer. He chuckled a bit more and excused himself, leaving me alone, to stew in my frustration.

      1. I’m more interested in the video game conversation.

        I picked up Homeworld Remastered and I’m having a blast. It aged really, really well. I never got a chance to play Homeworld 2, so I’m looking forward to that.

        1. Mass Effect 4. Mass Effect 3. How Mass Effect 2 was better than 3 and 1.

          How we both need to get Evolve because we fucking love playing online multiplayer together.

          Why he doesn’t have Battlefield 4 any longer. He’s going to go get it because we both fucking LOVE playing online multiplayer together.

          Then politics.

          1. Been thinking about getting Homeworld. Anyone have an opinion on Destiny yet?

            1. I have played the living shit out of Destiny. I’m The_Fufu_Force on PS4.

              It’s eh. You have to love playing online with friends to love Destiny.

          2. I tried Evolve, but I just couldn’t get into it. It would be more fun playing with people I knew IRL, I guess…but the time in my life when that was a possibility were the days of Doom 2 and serial modems.

            1. You know meeeeee!

              You could play with meeeeeee!

              Seriously though, if you’re on PS4, hit me up. We could go to town on a game or two.

            2. You were probably in the dorms just before me. Nothing like an entire floor playing Quake.

              1. Counterstrike. My roommate’s girlfriend actually built a level based on blowing up our RA’s stereo (which was constantly blasting Britney Spears) post 9/11 we decided it was probably a bad idea.

                She put a ton of work into it too, took pictures around the campus and in the dorms to get realistic textures and whatnot. It was great. The whole floor would prop their doors open and just scream at each other.

          3. Battlefield 4 eh? You can add me, wreckoncile. I don’t play often but when I do I’m fairly good at sacrificing my K:D Ratio for flag capturing.

        2. Heroic, I got the collector’s edition, and I’m loving replaying it (And hating my trash computer which can’t even approach max graphics options)

          You have impeccable taste. This is why I love reading these comments; you people SPEAK to me. /mancrush

        3. I’m about to play Outlast. I hope it’s actually scary.

      2. I dealt with the dumbest person on Earth last night at the Kings vs Ducks match last night. I would never sock a lady, but… This was only a lady because somewhere under all that fat she must have had a vagina.

        1. My wife is a fatass, you bastard!

          So am I, come to that.

          1. Apology accepted.

      3. Just say, “wow, that’s an interesting perspective! Might I ask about” – insert next topic.

        1. Your solution is better than my gut instinct, which is to disembowel him and eat his heart and liver.

          1. That wouldn’t be good, though, because I would get blood all over my really awesome mutton chops.

            1. He seems kind of mellow for a prog…seems nice enough…

              1. Most of them are mellow alone, because they know their positions never seem to withstand 1-on-1 scrutiny.

                They are pack animals, reliant on support from their cumulative ignorance to overwhelm pesky concepts like logic and rationality.

    2. “Because they won’t be able to charge me extra for internet.”

      Ummmmm…..I think that is exactly what they are going to do and the main motive for them doing it.

      Tell your idiot friend to go kill himself.

    3. My temper began to flare as he laughed and replied with “But they could!

      Same argument that is used against the idea of privately owned road networks. Even though there are numerous private “roads”, i.e. shopping malls, that are open to the public where this doesn’t happen.

      I’ve noticed these people do not see the “economy” as a web of interrelated actions guided by prices/costs but rather as a collection of single points where the person in charge of any given point can act however he wishes and get away with it forever.

      “Predatory” prices, poor product standards, treating employees like crap, unsafe working conditions and so on are givens that can only be ameliorated via government action.

      They don’t/can’t think three-dimensionally on this subject.

      1. “Same argument that is used against the idea of privately owned road networks”

        Same argument can be used in EVERYTHING. What’s to keep the grocery store from charging you “extra”? What’s to keep the gas station from charging you “extra”? With this kind of “thinking”, it’s no wonder that government seems to be the first resort rather than the last resort for “fairness.”

  21. Rand Paul wins straw poll at CPAC

    1. Libertarian moment?

      1. At least evidence that there’s a libertarian voice in the Republican party that’s not fading.

  22. The new New Republic does not appear to edit its own articles.

    Here’s the headline:

    Rick Perry Is an Unemployment-Rate Denier

    Well that doesn’t sound good.

    But Perry and Clifton aren’t arguing that the traditional unemployment rate, technically known as the U-3 measure, is fake. At least, I’ll give Perry the benefit of the doubt that he’s not arguing that. Instead, they believe that the unemployment rate does not offer a realistic representation of the labor market?and they’re not wrong.

    Headline: Rick Perry is an unemployment rate denier!

    Actual article: By and large, his points are accurate.

    1. I am confused. Are you trying to say that The New Republic, a left wing brain trust, is being intellectually dishonest? Not arguing in good faith?

      That is simply not possible.

    2. Like I was saying, “not wrong” is the same as “right,” but expressed in such a grudging way as to imply that there’s something else going on.

      1. “..to imply that there is something else going on.”

        Deception. Or, as I like to say, lying.

        1. I’m not sure these guys are really sophisticated enough to be using these concepts.

          Who am I kidding – I’m not sure *I’m* sophisticated enough, but I don’t feel like delving into it right now.

      2. You’re not wrong, Eddie.

    3. It’s my understanding that the headlines of pieces are frequently chosen by editors and totally out of the authors’ control, so the editor might not have read the article closely, or at all.

      1. Is that how we get these Taboola article headlines?

        1. You won’t believe what this commenter said in response to that question!

  23. Buttplug’s favorite: RECIPE TIME

    I’m making Ga Roti for the first time tonight. I picked up the foulest smelling fish sauce I could find at the Vietnamese market. This is going to be so damn good.

    1. Chicken breast in butter with olives, capers, and lemon. Garlic parmesan mashed potatoes. Iceberg salad with carrots, tomatoes, parsley, and red onion.

      Vodka sodas with a twist of lime for cocktails. Chardonnay with dinner.

      1. You’re far more daring than I. Chicken breast is easy to ruin. Legs, not so much.

        I’m doing it in 3 batches so I can learn as I go.

        Still on the beer kick. Stone Classic. 11.2%, so it’s basically a health food. Less calories, more ethanol.

        1. “Chicken breast is easy to ruin.”

          De-bone and pound. Ends up the same thickness and it cooks evenly.

          1. I tend to butterfly mine but also have had good results with pounding.

            1. Anything to even the thickness.
              Chicken do NOT serve well when the middle is runny.

              1. I like crushing corn flakes and “breading” the chicken with them.

          2. You’re supposed to choke your chicken, not pound it.

            Pounding sounds…painful ?

  24. Hi Steven,

    Let’s say for the sake of argument that the 4-5% of the total CA budget that you and I pay for pensions that were negotiated between an employer and employee are a big problem and that a pension fund that is 75% funded is on the verge of imminent collapse. Wouldn’t the fact that the state government could no longer spend money on educating kids, making sure I-5 isn’t full of potholes, state parks,etc. be the libertarian ideal? I mean, it’s the people’s money, right?

    One other thing… Both you and I live in California. I’ve lived all over the United States and I have to say that life here in California is pretty much better than anywhere else. If all these right-wingers want to take off to work in exploding factories in Texas or sweat it out in the swamps in Florida shouldn’t we just wish those assholes a not-to-fond farewell so that we can go on smoking the increasingly potent medical marijuana that is sold around here?

    1. +1 fiddling while Rome burns

    2. Weak.

    3. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 6:21PM|#
      “Hi Steven,”

      Hi, dipshit, Let’s say you make enough money to pay your mortgage…

    4. The lack of state sponsored education and pensions would be ideal. Roads are generally funded by a gasoline “tax.” It is more of a user fee. Kinda like free market. I’m not sure how Calif law allocates those user fees; my understanding is each state does it differently. But if the pension fund collapses it shouldn’t affect potholes being filled but you damned well know that the elected Democrats will make all feel the pain.

      1. The gas taxes are raided continually for bike paths, trolley lines, choo-choos and the like.
        So since the gas taxes can’t do that and cover the cost of the roads and the maintenance, asshole idjits like commie kid are forever claiming the roads are ‘subsidized’.

        1. LOL. In other words it all goes to the same place.

          1. You laughed out loud at that? The gas taxes that you allegedly pay that are supposed to to maintain roads the you drive on?

            Guess what? They go to me. I’m a millionaire, and I live in a nice neighborhood with bike paths. I can go for a nice ride along the beach thanks to the gas tax. Thanks, bud. It all goes to the same place, right? LOL

            1. Pl?ya Manhattan.|2.28.15 @ 8:26PM|#
              “You laughed out loud at that? The gas taxes that you allegedly pay that are supposed to to maintain roads the you drive on?”

              I warned you about commie kid, the lefty idjit.

              1. I don’t think this kid is a spoiled upper class idiot. Just an idiot.

            2. Hmmm, if you are on a libertarian website extolling the virtues of your publicly funded bicycle path maybe you are in the wrong place.

              Then again, it seems like a lot of libertarians are perfectly fine with getting money from the government (and I say good for them) it’s just when it goes to the wrong people that they seem to have a problem.

              1. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 9:50PM|#
                “Hmmm, if you are on a libertarian website extolling the virtues of your publicly funded bicycle path maybe you are in the wrong place.”‘

                Dipshit, if you had two brain-cells, you’d have recognized the sarc.
                Aside from that, I love getting as much back from the gov’t as it steals from me.

                1. I love getting as much back from the gov’t as it steals from me.

                  Where is this utopia of which you speak?

                  1. It comes from talented accountants. There are loopholes everywhere.

                    I wish one of those jerk CPAs would sign my return, but nope, they have “professional responsibilities”.

                  2. “Where is this utopia of which you speak?”

                    I never do, but I try!

          2. Oh, and hey, guy who lost his house, thanks for the bike path. We couldn’t have done it without you!!!.

            1. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh

              We’re not supposed to tell people form out of town about that stuff!

              Los Angeles is a terrible place–especially the South Bay! There’s no reason to go to the South Bay–there’s certainly no reason to park there.

              And you probably couldn’t find it from the freeway unless you were looking for it anyway.

              Besides, Venice is much cooler anyway. That’s where all the tourists go. So if you’re thinking about checking out the South Bay, why not go to Venice instead?

              There’s nothing to see or do or any reason to want to go to the South Bay. And people will slash your tires.

              It’s full of gangs. And it’s dangerous.

              Maybe go to Malibu!

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhdtcCyQ1TM

              1. And they arrest gays in the beach bathrooms

            2. Maybe Cali isn’t as bad a place as steven green hut says it is.

              1. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 10:52PM|#
                “Maybe Cali isn’t as bad a place as steven green hut says it is”

                Maybe your IQ doesn’t rise above room temperature.

          3. In a failed state like Calif, apparently so. Where I live the gas taxes do go to the general fund but the same amount comes out for road maintenance (minus a small amount for state police).

            Funny thing is that the only areas with tolls are in the liberal part of the state.

            1. Hey playa,

              Chumby thinks you live in a failed state shithole. Maybe you should invite him to L.A. I’d do it myself, but I live in the Bay Area. Eh, I guess GOlden Gate is pretty nice– except for the fact that it is run by the government.

              1. I am shocked that an idiotic leftist who thinks he’s a genius lives in the bay area.

                1. I didn’t know that all you had to do to be a libertarian was to brag about the public amenities in your neighborhood, your relative fortune, and the good luck that you have in being from California. I think its a bit of a low bar, but check, check and check. Can we all get along now? I think only idiots join the armed forces so I am, at least, kinda miniarchist.

                  1. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 11:18PM|#
                    “I didn’t know that all you had to do to be a libertarian was to brag about the public amenities in your neighborhood, your relative fortune, and the good luck that you have in being from California.”

                    One more rhetorical comment from the slime-ball commie kid!
                    Who gripes about not being taken seriously!
                    Stuff it up your ass.

              2. Do you think CA will recognize my CCW permit? I usually carry a firearm that holds greater than ten rounds; think that would be ok?

                I have spent enough time in urban environments that I’m not interested in voluntarily going to those places. NoCal might be neat. And I know Sevo wouldn’t mind shpwing me his favorite Alice Waters eatery!

                1. “And I know Sevo wouldn’t mind shpwing me his favorite Alice Waters eatery!”

                  I have not, nor will I ever, set foot in a place where the owner claims food should cost more.

                  1. I knew you’d like that.

                    1. “I knew you’d like that.”
                      I’d love to see that woman and Shrillery on fire in Alice’s restaurant.
                      I wouldn’t piss on them. I wouldn’t even spit on them.

              3. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 10:56PM|#
                …”I live in the Bay Area.”…

                Would you please move somewhere else? The rest of us in the bay area would thank you for improving the average intelligence.

              4. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 10:56PM|#
                …”Eh, I guess GOlden Gate is pretty nice– except for the fact that it is run by the government.”

                And dipshit fails AGAIN!
                No, the GG Transit Authority (or whatever they call themselves) is not a gov’t agency.
                It is the rotten remains of what should have been dismantled years ago after the bridge bonds were paid off from the tolls, but as an approximation of a government bureaucracy, invented new reasons to exist.
                It’s not surprising that lefty ignoramuses don’t know that, but you claim to live in the bay area.
                How stupid are you?

    5. Ooh, nice. A socialist that openly admits he doesn’t care about the struggling working class.

    6. Actually, you fags like to move up to where I live in WA State and duck things up here. If it’s so wonderful, why don’t you shitbags just stay there in your workers’s paradise?

    7. Stop wasting our time by staying on-topic.

  25. I have been working on a greasemonkey replacement for Reasonable. (https://github.com/sthgrau/greasonable)
    I think it is ready for use and feedback.
    It is based on a script for SSC..

    Features:
    Ability to go back to the last 5 refresh times in case you accidentally refresh before finishing.
    Thread hiding (or at least adapted for reason).
    Some basic filtering (whole message for now) which auto hides threads that match, not just individual messages.. (this is the main thing I wanted)
    Reformatting the date strings and added support for your local time.
    Youtube inline.
    Alt-text for story pictures..
    Plus whatever the source script did: highlighting new comments, adding floating bar to jump to new comments.

    Note, I am a long time occasional poster that no one would remember or miss, but I am using my main anonymous pseudonym, so I made this new login to keep that secret.
    If you don’t trust me, great, I don’t think I want to deal with that many bug reports anyway, but feel free to insult my coding.

    1. Forgot to mention that it works on both Firefox and Chrome (at least)

      1. Thanks

        how do you slap that bad boy on in Ffox?

        1. Note, there may be a better way of doing this, but I do it this way.

          Install greasemonkey using add-on manager.
          When installed, there should be a monkey icon drop box near the top right of the browser window, click the drop down and select new user script.
          Put in any name, it doesn’t matter, then click the OK button.
          Copy contents of this script into the dialog. This is the best time for now* to change the filters (pipe delimited patterns near the top, search for ‘gambol’).
          Click the file menu and save.
          That should be it, just reload

          * – trying to get an editor going for the filters right now

          1. Fwiw, latest version has a simple filter editor now.

    2. WHO ARE YOU????

        1. Ok, give us three clues.

          1. How about three steps, mister?

    3. “Note, I am a long time occasional poster that no one would remember or miss,”

      I remember you, and you’ve passed out patches before that people tend to like.

  26. Not that I care, but It’s pretty funny how honestly posed rhetorical questions engender such nasty hostility. Reason eds., is this what you are going for when you invite polite and on-topic comments ?

    1. “honestly posed rhetorical questions”

      The answer lies within

    2. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 7:51PM|#
      “Not that I care,”…

      Of course not, slime bag. Just like you really don’t care that your word isn’t worth shit.
      Smells like lefty lies; is lefty lies.

    3. If you didn’t care, why bother posting? I mean, you complained about not having a union limit the number of hours your enployer forces on you. One would think with the limited time you have it wouldn’t include wasting it by posting things that don’t matter.

      1. I don’t care about personal accusations since the people making them don ‘t know me or what I do. So, who cares what they think? They are just trolling because they don’t like my politics. I’m all for honest discussion because I think the idea that the government should be limited is a pretty good one. Once in a while I get it honest debate. Tonight? Maybe not. So it goes.

        1. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 10:17PM|#
          “I don’t care about personal accusations”…

          I’m sure, but pointing out your word is NWS has nothing to do with “accusations”, merely noting that your word really is not worth shit.
          Slimy free-loaders need to be identified, slime-ball.

        2. I’m just having a few beers and pumping up my tires to get ready for a beach ride tomorrow. I’m gonna cruise along the strand in one of the wealthiest communities in America. And you paid for the bike path!

          Isn’t socialism great?

          1. YOU are a libertarian? I ‘m not buying it.

            1. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 10:57PM|#
              “YOU are a libertarian? I ‘m not buying it.”

              Yeah, shitbag, you’re a real easy mark. And stupid, besides.

        3. Do you support a system of mandatory income, property, and sales taxes?

          1. Yes. Do you support the concept of private property!

            1. I support private property. I do not support taxes.

              1. Chumby,

                I’m curious then what you make of something like this.

                https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lMS-EfcWrSw

                1. “american socialist|3.1.15 @ 12:16AM|#
                  Chumby,
                  I’m curious then what you make of something like this.”

                  Dipshit,
                  Oh, oh! A youtube link. LOL LOL!
                  I’m curious what you make of this
                  http://www.youreanignoramus.com

                2. I own a small woodlot. My wife and I earned the money to pay for it. Not the government. Not you. Obama didn’t build it. There are hundreds of “Permisson only” signs posted around the perimeter. It is rare but I occasionally have to “escort” someone off the property. I haven’t called the state to assist my efforts. I once had two theives show up during the day when I was outside with the three shepherd dogs I had at the time. I think they saw the sidearm on my hip. Thing is ai have never taken anything from them and have never trespassed where they live.

            2. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 10:59PM|#
              “Yes”

              Yeah, commie kid stuck us all with his mortgage; he’s not at all interested in any sort of responsibility for his life. He’s pretty much admitted he shouldn’t be trusted with the change in your pocket.
              In short, he’s the infantile offspring of your woo brother-in-law; shitting on the floor instead of finding the bathroom, and bragging about it.
              And then whining when someone calls him on it; the very model of a modern shit-pile.

              1. He is the very model of a modern shit-pile,
                He has no information, no savvy and no style,
                He doesn’t know the kings of England, and he can’t quote the fights historical,
                From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
                He’s not very well acquainted too with matters mathematical,
                He doesn’t understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
                About binomial theorem he hasn’t any clues—
                With no cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

        4. “They are just trolling because they don’t like my politics”

          SAID THE SOCIALIST ON THE LIBERTARIAN WEBSITE

          1. A libertarian socialist– pretty much what libertarianism was before David Koch got ahold of it. For example, Want to see what Murray rothbard said about the Soviet Union? http://mises.org/library/soviet-bogeyman

            1. american socialist|2.28.15 @ 11:58PM|#
              “A libertarian socialist–”

              One real confused asshole.
              There is no such animal as you claim, in case you don’t know it. You cannot be a socialist and a libertarian, and it has nothing to do with a litmus test.
              Libertarianism has to do with liberties. Commie assholes like you deny my freedom to enjoy the fruits of my efforts.
              You are truly one fucked ignoramus; you are not, and never have been a libertarian. You don’t even know what the word means.
              Fuck off, slaver.

              1. So Marx didn’t say something about how the state should wither away? Does enjoying the fruits of your labors include getting paid veterans benefits for playing soldier in Vietnam?

                1. american socialist|3.1.15 @ 12:26AM|#
                  “So Marx didn’t say something about how the state should wither away?”
                  Uh, did the bible say something about that SOG rising from the dead? I’m sure you’re down with that.

                  “Does enjoying the fruits of your labors include getting paid veterans benefits for playing soldier in Vietnam?”
                  Sorry, suckass, I do not and never did get one penny for serving, other than the $800.00 in accumulated leave pay I got when I got off the plane at Travis.
                  Stuff it up your ass.

                2. You can’t have socialism without a coercive tax system. Libertarians don’t support mandatory taxes.

            2. BTW, dipshit, I clicked on your link. Did you have a point? I mean, here’s support for my POV:
              http://www.amazon.com/

            3. Your statement is so face-palmingly wrong that it is indistinguishable to the mad ravings of a bi-polar schizophrenic to anyone with even the slightest understanding of the history of libertarianism in the United States. And the non-sequitur of a Rothbard citation is just the bat-shit frosting to your insanity.

              1. “a Rothbard citation”
                WIH was the cite? I clicked on it and it was a pretty long article on something or other.
                Was there some random comment that Stalin wasn’t as bad as Mao?
                Shitbag threw it out as if someone should know were to look, but then shitbag ain’t the sharpest knife.

                1. It was an essay by Rothbard which criticized the hawkish stance of some Americans circa the early 70s toward the Cold War.

                  As far as its relation to the premises of american sociopath’s argument, it was a complete and utter non-sequitur.

              2. “istory of libertarianism in the United States.”

                Jesus Christ… Your own cite includes a section on left-libertarianism. Are you retarded?

                “And the non-sequitur of a Rothbard citation is just the bat-shit frosting to your insanity.”

                He said they weren’t a threat and that the real problem was U.S. Imperialism. I say he was right.

                1. Jesus Christ… Your own cite includes a section on left-libertarianism. Are you retarded?

                  Does it say that left-libertarian is the origin of American libertarianism, as you claim, you mendacious fuck?

                  Oh, by the way, I noticed you quietly attempted to dodge my initial query. Do you or do you not support the use of force against peaceable people?

                  1. You mean like free-fire zones in south Vietnam? No, I wouldn’t have supported those.

                    1. You mean like free-fire zones in south Vietnam? No, I wouldn’t have supported those.

                      Great! Me neither. So why do you support using the threat of deadly force by the state to seize resources from peaceful people for the purposes of wealth redistribution?

                    2. american socialist|3.1.15 @ 12:42AM|#
                      “You mean like free-fire zones in south Vietnam? No, I wouldn’t have supported those.”

                      But the millions starved to death? Sent to the gulag?
                      Of course you support those, right, you miserable piece of shit?

                    3. american socialist|3.1.15 @ 12:42AM|#
                      “You mean like free-fire zones in south Vietnam? No, I wouldn’t have supported those.”

                      But you’re all for the mass starvations and transfers to the gulag, ’cause, uh, ’cause, uh, you uh…
                      What, you slimy piece of shit?

                  2. “Does it say that left-libertarian is the origin of American libertarianism, as you claim, you mendacious fuck?”

                    No, it says libertarianism came out of the radical fringe of the French Revolution. So, yeah, the idea that government should be limited came before the publishing of “Atlas Shrugged” and it didn’t come from conservatives concerned about communism.

                    1. the origin of American libertarianism

                      it says libertarianism came out of the radical fringe of the French Revolution.

                      I realize you are a dullard. When you are not consciously misrepresenting the information you cite, you’re misunderstanding it as you have the reading comprehension of dyslexic Alzheimer’s patient with grievous brain trauma.

                      Now, stop trying to prevaricate and answer the question. Why do you support using aggression against peaceful people?

                    2. american socialist|3.1.15 @ 12:46AM|#
                      “No, it says libertarianism came out of the radical fringe of the French Revolution. So, yeah, the idea that government should be limited came before the publishing of “Atlas Shrugged” and it didn’t come from conservatives concerned about communism.”

                      Uh, did you have a coherent statement somewhere in there?
                      Are you griping that the failure of socialism was noted long before a book was written?

                    3. Notice Sevo how he shifted his argument from “libertarianism” to “limited government”. What do we call that fallacy again? Adjusting the bases? Moving the basketball hoop? Help me out here.

                    4. Uh, if we are nice we can call it ‘moving the goal posts’.
                      If we’re not, we just call it some slime lefty lies.
                      I don’t fell like being nice tonight. You?

                    5. Me? I’m suffering from a slight bout of insomnia tonight and feeling cantankerous as hell.

                    6. Dealing with dishonest lefties (is there any other?) tends to make me that way also, but I’m a sucker for a good clarinet and a shot of good whiskey:
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLVytcPtWwM
                      (working on a long winded-book regarding Euro history; you’ll get it, it’ll confuse commie kid)

                    7. Our own constitution is based on the ice of limited government. American Traitor doesn’t understand that.

                    8. american socialist – please answer the question of why you support the use of force against peaceful people? And please explain how that is congruent with libertarianism.

            4. A libertarian socialist

              …is an oxymoron. Without government, how would you loot the productive people so that you can do fuck-all?

              -jcr

              1. neocon hawk pacifist

  27. 11 USC 904 gives some exceptions to what otherwise would have been normally wiped out via the Supremacy clause in municipal bankruptcy hearings. (for Constitutionality reasons) However you can make a negative implication that while the Federal court can’t impede the political functions of the municipality, it can still suggest, contrary to state law, that pensions or any other creditor relationships can be dissolved as those relationships are rarely carried on in state only. Furthermore, it doesn’t say that the court must defer what are otherwise state laws regarding debtor creditor relationships.
    It’s difficult to see how CalPERS has any leg to stand on to try to stop this.

    1. Hahah well here ya go. Shoulda hired me (or another lawyer) to research this for you before you wrote the article. From 2/4/2015, CalPERS has no standing for essentially the reasons stated above:

      The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (“CalPERS”), which by contract administers the City-sponsored pensions, says that California law insulates its contract from rejection and that the pensions themselves may not be adjusted. Although, as will be seen, it is doubtful that CalPERS even has standing to defend the City pensions from modification, CalPERS has bullied its way about in this case with an iron fist insisting that it and the municipal pensions it services are inviolable. The bully may have an iron fist, but it also turns out to have a glass jaw.

      1. This decision determines that the obstacles interposed by CalPERS are not effective in bankruptcy. First, the California statute forbidding rejection of a contract with CalPERS in a chapter 9 case is constitutionally infirm in the face of the exclusive power of Congress to enact uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy under Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution ? the essence of which laws is the impairment of contracts ? and of the Supremacy Clause. U.S. Const, art. I, ? 8 & art. VI. Second, the $1.6 billion lien granted to CalPERS by state statute in the event of termination of a pension administration contract is vulnerable to avoidance in bankruptcy as a statutory lien. 11 U.S.C. ? 545. Third, the Contracts Clauses of the Federal and State Constitutions, as implemented by California’s judge-made “Vested Rights Doctrine,” do not preclude contract rejection or modification in bankruptcy. Finally, considerations of sovereignty and sovereign immunity do not dictate a different result.

        In re City of Stockton, California, 12-32118-C-9, 2015 WL 515602, at *1 (Bankr. E.D. Cal. Feb. 4, 2015)

      2. The bully may have an iron fist, but it also turns out to have a glass jaw.

        I saw that movie. Erol Flyn.

  28. american socialist|3.1.15 @ 12:32AM|#
    “Jesus Christ… Your own cite includes a section on left-libertarianism. Are you retarded?”

    Cite, shitbag, and copy/paste specifics.
    And what’s more is that it had better be pretty supportive of assholes like you to mean anything.
    You are one slimy piece of shit, and your posts are rarely honest in any manner; let’s see it. I’m tired of your cherry-picking.

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  30. If public employees benefit packages were made just a little richer they’d be so wealthy they could easily afford to bail out the cities that were robbed to lavish them with such outlandish benefits to begin with. It would be like breaking windows to create jobs, or a perpetual motion machine, or some other mysterious and marvelous thing that should sound awesome to “stupid Americans,” but possibly for certain can’t work.

  31. “Oh, you’re one of those out-of-town landlords,” she said, in a tone that suggested what she really meant was slumlord.

    “Yes, I’m one of the people you fucking parasites depend on, you insubordinate little twat.”

    -jcr

    1. I previously was peripherally involved with correcting infrastructure at mobile home parks and occasionally would get to interact with complaining residents. Many had various degrees of legitimate complaints. But those seemingly most affected would always turn it into a personal battle with the owner and never once did any of them ever consider moving to another park (a semi-common theme was other parks aren’t this bad) or perhaps buying an acre, putting in a pad, a well, a septic system and getting electrical service. While it was never communicated I detected a heavy dose of expectation that some govt entity would fully agree with them and somehow transfer ownership of the park to them.

      1. But of course. Whine long enough and people will give you things to make you stop being unhappy.

        Most of these people strike me as children whose parents either rarely told them no when they asked for candy at the supermarket or who shoplifted said candy when they couldn’t afford to pay for it.

  32. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do,
    http://www.wixjob.com

  33. “at least I’m investing my retirement money in the city rather than grabbing retirement payouts that deplete its chances of survival.”

    You’d be better off selling that house and running like hell. When the pension bomb finally hits Crapifornia and the whole state goes under, the riots and looting will make Ferguson look like a day at the country fair.

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