Libertarian History/Philosophy

Google Celebrates Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House Today. So Should You, Esp. If You're Libertarian.



Today's squiggle (or whatever) celebrates Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the Little House books.

The series has a really interesting provenance and runs directly through Wilder's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who was responsible for editing the material and bringing it to the attention of publishers in its final form.

Rose Wilder Lane was a best-selling author of her own back in the day and is one of the founding mothers of the modern libertarian movement. Read Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism, the essential history of the movement. And read this blog post by him from a few years back. It's a recent example of what happens when admirers of the Little House books try to explain Rose's role. How could someone who believes in free minds and free markets help create something so great? That sort of epistemic closure must be a tough world to live in.

Back in 2003, Reason named Rose Wilder Lane as one of our "35 Heroes of Freedom," in part because of her work on "that great alternative history of American settlement, the Little House books, which place the family, community, and commerce—rather than male adventure, escape, and violence—at the heart of our national experience."

More Reason on Laura Ingalls Widler and Rose Wilder Lane here.

NEXT: Nick Gillespie Interviews Andrew W.K. About His Life's Work and His Unabashed Libertinism

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  1. This seems legit and I’m absolutely certain a “civilian” would get the same courtesy.…..ed-assault

    Convicted of beating someone with a flashlight ON VIDEO and a judge overturns the jury verdict on his own.

    1. “All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”

      Like pigs.

  2. There’s only one important question worth bringing up about Litte house on the prarie.

    Would you have rather done Caroline, Mary, Nellie Olsen, or Miss Beadle?

    1. I don’t know who any of them are, but when I was just hitting puberty I was watching TV and a Little House rerun came on. I was going to change the channel, because I hated that show, but then two girls got into a fight and suddenly I found myself mesmerized and feeling weirdly excited. Ah, puberty.

    2. Blind Mary or sighted Mary?

      1. Wait, she was like 15 or 16 when she went blind. I withdraw my question.

        1. Adult and blind. I have no illusions about my physical appearance.

    3. why is it most of Gen X seems to have a Little House Fetish? Apparently everyone got their first boner over ‘Scout’

      (who, naturally, like all Gen X first-crushes, always turned out to become Lesbians. Wait, did Punky Brewster go lesbo? or did she just get a breast reduction? this is a serious question.)

      1. I thought Scout was in To Kill A Mockingbird?

        1. Oh.

          What was Landon’s nickname for laura ingall wilder?

          1. oh, ‘Half-pint’

      2. It was “Half Pint” and she grew up to be Captain Sheridan’s first wife.

        1. He was Mooslim!? SHARIA LAW!?

          1. No. She died, then was resurrected by the Shadows.

      3. I don’t know. I don’t think I ever watched it.

      4. Punky Brewster just had a breast reduction.

    4. Nellie.

      Read an interview with her recently. Said that role was a blast.

    5. Mary was the hot one.

        1. -100 internets

        2. Hot mess?

    6. Every time somebody complains about children and sex, I think of Laura Ingalls, and how she would have heard the bumping and grinding between Charles and Caroline that produced the three younger siblings.

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    1. You math weird.

  4. True fact =

    The French Love ‘Little House’

    and Its Because They Resonate With Bitchy Nellie Olson

    “The French really love ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ and they love Nellie Oleson,” she says. “I go to France at least twice a year for a month and perform my one-woman show in French. The show really resonated with the French for some reason, and [I learned the language because] I realized I could go back and cash in. They don’t think Nellie’s mean, they think she’s French.

    It makes no sense to me. The French also love McDonalds.

    1. +1 Royale w/ Cheese

    2. If you don’t love McDonald’s (on multiple levels) there is something wrong with you.

      1. I’m Down With The King

        – tho, in truth, Wendy’s seemed to make burgers with actual ‘meat’ in them, in contrast to both the leading chains

        I have not eaten a fast-food/drive-thru burger in something like… i’ll guess 2007 was the last time. I don’t remember the food so much as the epic shit i took.

        1. Do you not have Carls Jr nearby? Because King is like a crappier version of Carls.

          1. Do you not have Carls Jr nearby? Because King is like a crappier version of Carls.

            You mean Hardees?

          2. I ate at a Carl’s Jr. for the first time ever last weekend while on the road to the San Juan Islands. I had hoped their burgers were as tasty as the models in their commercials are hot.

            They weren’t. And their fried zucchini was terrible. I had to get stoned to finish them.

            1. Their new “all natural” burger is shit. I couldn’t finish it, and this is after I added my own bacon. The beef was like a charred and crispy cow turd.

              Anything from their deep fryer also sucks. Fries, onion rings, and zucchini included.

              But their western bacon and avocado burgers? I’ll take one of those any day.

              1. Yeah, no. My burger was really substandard. It’s basically impossible for a chain to make a truly good burger. Part of that, for me at least, is that I despise fully cooked patties, especially “cooked more than well done to ensure no lawsuits”.

                I won’t be eating there again.

                1. That’s why mayo is required. They’re so damn dry that you need lube to swallow them.

                2. Apparently they’ve gone downhill since I was in Los Angeles in 1999. Though for burgers I preferred In and Out, but Carl’s was closer to the office.

                  I could have done without their “white men can’t cook” ad campaign, though.

            2. The best burger I’ve ever had was (somewhat surprisingly) a bacon cheeseburger from a Turkish Kebab place in Cambridge, England.

              1. Mrs Lee Burger at 2AM in the streets of Songtan ROK.

                Some sort of soy “meat” topped with a fried egg and cabbage and a side order of yakimandu.

                THAT’S a good drunk-burger!

            3. Uh…getting fried zucchini at a fast food joint with the expectation that it would be good?

              Maybe there is hope for my Sushi fast food concept.

          3. I have been to the West Coast, and I have eaten In-N-Out burgers, and I have seen that it is good. “The Best” even.

            (though my personal all-time favorite ‘cheap burger joint – not fast food, however – is the Corner Bistro… now $9.50 for a burger… but used to be ~$4.50-$5.50 in the 1990s-early 2000s, with $2 pints; a bargain you can’t believe)

            The rest of much-lauded West Coast foodness, ranging from the ‘authentic mexican’ people kept trying to promote in San Diego and LA, to the ‘Haute Faggy-Cuisine’ of San Franciso (aka ‘its Vegan Macrobiotic Asian-Fusion with a Danish/Peruvian twist!’)…. underwhelmed in general. Though of course there were tons of VG+ things as well.

            I had one of the best breakfasts in the world @ the Ritz Carlton Laguna Seca. However, if i’d actually *paid* for it? I’d consider it a crime. A glass of ‘fresh squeezed’ juice was $12. I had 4, naturally.

            1. I’m recalling the top 5 breakfasts I’ve ever had, and they all seem to have been when I was really hung over.

              I’d like to think it was just a coincidence, and my judgment wasn’t affected at all.

            2. If I didn’t want a burger, El Pollo Loco.

        2. I eat at the Arches once every month or so. I like their food and I respect the hell out of them as a company. Pure genius, where they came from and how they innovate.

          1. It looks like they got rid of their jalape?o cheeseburger. I’m not too happy about that.

          2. “I respect the hell out of them as a company. Pure genius, where they came from and how they innovate.”

            Clearly you don’t own their stock

            After 2011 they really started to mismanage the strong-dollar/slow global-growth environment, and have been dead money while the rest of the market jumped 60-80%

            Normally the whole ‘managing/hedging currency-mix’ and dealing with variable economic conditions around the world was, like KO, one of their real strengths. not so much, lately.

            Though i still love how they make Progs froth… EVUL!!CORPORASHUN!!!PROFITS!!! HUGSS??!

            1. No I don’t, nor have I followed them recently. Their story is epic, however. I used them as examples, for several papers, when getting my Master’s many years ago.

              Some of my other favorites:

              Wal Mart’s supply chain and growth strategy.
              SouthWest Airlines for their niche market business model.

              1. “I used them as examples, for several papers, when getting my Master’s many years ago.”

                I did some consulting work for them in their “Global Protein” division (basically, what they call their ‘Meat Purchasing/Logistics’ department)… about a decade ago. @ their Chicago HQ.

                Basically, NORAD is run like a coney-island penny arcade compared to Mission Control @ Mickey D’s. They were at the time i think the single largest purchaser of “protein” (beef, poultry, pork) on the planet, and could move it from point A to point Z cheaper, faster, and more-hygenically than any organization on the planet. The military had nothing on them.

            2. The comments are a treasure trove of derp.

              So vomit-inducing. The entire campaign is rooted in such normative understandings of what a “family” is, not matter how outdated that vision is. What if a person has two dads? What if their mother is dead, or they are estranged? Don’t make assumptions about how people perceive “family.”


        3. Once they introduced chicken nuggets, that what I started getting.

        4. It’s all about the In-N-Out Burger. Nothing like a little of the ole in n out to leave a man feeling satisfied.

      2. I like them even more after Old Man with Candy told me they put beef flavor in the french fries.

      3. McDonalds is horrible. Once they stopped using tallow to fry their fries with there was no reason to go. Wendys is way better. Although soft serve ice cream is not a milkshake.

          1. No accounting for taste. People think Applebees is fine dining.

            1. No accounting for taste. People think Applebees is fine dining.

              As a libertarian, I respect your individualism and thus your opinion (wrong as it may be).

              But market share is about appealing to the collective. (I wonder why proggies hate the Arches?)

              Give em what they ask for!

              1. Fits a niche which is great. Kiddie meals with toys. Playground equipment. More power to them.

            2. Nobody thinks McDonalds is fine dining. I don’t even think of them as hamburgers. It’s its own thing and it is good in its way.

            3. Food snob!

              Applebees, Ruby Tuesday, all those places, steaks are at least pretty good for the dollar.

              If a place has anything with goat cheese though, that is where it is at. I love me some goat cheese.

              1. I’ a pretty decent cook which ruins eating out for me at most places. The Thai ghost chili wings and sampling of Southern Tier stouts I had for lunch at the local pub yesterday was a nice treat though.

          2. I’m happy there is a McDonalds. Goid place for all the rugrats to be.

            1. Yep. When I want my kids to use up their energy, I let them run wild on the play equipment while I take work calls. Works every time.

        1. It was the beef tallow that made the fries so unbelievably awesome.

          %$@@!! WHY MUST THEY RUIN EVERYTHING?!?!? %$@@!!

      4. I grew up overseas when McDonalds made their first appearance in those countries.

        NOTHING has saved more people from food poisoning than McDonalds. Easily the biggest influence they had overseas was forcing all restaurants (via competition) to improve their food handling, kitchen hygiene, etc – regardless of their ‘price point’.

        Hard for most Americans to really understand this impact.

        1. Jack in the Box still manages to kill people with food poisoning every so often.

          1. Not a problem. Box products using sour-dough and/or bacon are worth a little risk.

        2. Wal-Mart has provided the exact same service–food that is safe to eat–in poorer countries. It’s something so elementary in America that the people here who piss and moan about them take it for granted.

        3. It’s not difficult to understand.

          1. Reading all the commentary here on fast food all I can say is….what the hell is wrong with you people?

            *dives back into short ribs grilled in red wine, brown sugar and honey*

    3. The French seem to have a big thing for depictions of “wholesome” pastoral life. I have noticed it in a couple of recent films , though I can’t recall the titles right now.

      There was one which was supposed to be set in the Alps, but everything about it looked like something from a 1950s American ‘Leave it to Beaver’ special. It convinced me that the French secretly love everything conventionally American. Not even urban sophisticated modern American, but yeah, like a Laura Ingles Wilder book. I bet they love ‘Archie’ comics too.

    4. I’ve been to France and it makes sense to me. They probably see her as a role model.

  5. I don’t hnserstand the headline. I don’t have ESP.

    1. Can’t type either, apparently. So much for that joke.

      1. I don’t hnserstand what you are saying.

  6. I don’t remember the show that well since the final episode aired before I was born, so I only saw reruns. But I loved the books. They’re basically documented proof that people don’t need government in everyday life.

    1. I’m actually on the other end from you. I loved the books as a kid, but was well into my teens once they made it into a tv series, so never really watched it.

      I think it may have been in 1st grade when our teacher would read a chapter of “Little House in the Big Woods” every day to us, and I loved imagining being a pioneer kid, and from that point I was hooked and read all the books.

      I grew up in Northern Illinois so the Wisconsin setting of “Big Woods” was all the more intriguing to me.

      I really remember liking one that may have been called “Little House by the Big Lake”? I don’t remember for sure and I’m too lazy to google it right now. What I recall is that the dad built them a house out of mud, which seemed really cool.

      I also always liked the vivid descriptions of them making hardtack and jerky and storing food for winter.

      I’m glad my introduction to the series wasn’t through TV, I’m sure I would have always had a different take on everything.

      1. I only read the first book. It got boring after they moved out of the dugout.

  7. From one of the links to prog criticism:

    “Last June, Anita Clair Fellman, a professor emerita of history at Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia, published “Little House, Long Shadow,” a survey of the Wilders’ “core” beliefs, and of their influence on American political culture. Two streams of conservatism, she argues?not in themselves inherently compatible?converge in the series. One is Lane’s libertarianism, and the other is Wilder’s image of a poster family for Republican “value voters”: a devoted couple of Christian patriots and their unspoiled children; the father a heroic provider and benign disciplinarian, the mother a pious homemaker and an example of feminine self-sacrifice.”

    I’m not sure about the “heroic provider” part. As I recall, Pa was always poor and in debt, moving from one farm to another because he wasn’t making enough money. And far from being “unspoiled,” Laura was a teenage hellion acting up in school, publicly embarrassing her father (who by that time had managed to get on the school board).

    I think this professor regards a portrait of a more or less stable two-parent household as some kind of Republican fantasy.

    1. I mean, if the Ingallses are deemed by progs to be an unrealizable ideal, how low their standards must be!

    2. … Wilder’s image of a poster family for Republican “value voters”…

      And the good professor doesn’t vote her values? So just what criterion does guide her vote, pray tell.

      1. The professor doesn’t have values. He just sees the obvious truth.

    3. “Pa was always poor and in debt, moving from one farm to another because he wasn’t making enough money. And far from being “unspoiled,” Laura was a teenage hellion acting up in school, publicly embarrassing her father (who by that time had managed to get on the school board)”

      This is true.

      “I think this professor regards a portrait of a more or less stable two-parent household as some kind of Republican fantasy.”

      This is also true.

      I think Progs really own their own ideological fantasy-roots to “Different Strokes”, and a lesser degree to “Silver Spoons” and “Webster”

      = Where Rich White People adopt black kids and treat them as their personal housepets and moral-sounding boards.

      It rewards them with simultaneous feelings of superiority and benign charity.

      Regular old “families of white people” with regular old family-problems were not ‘socially conscious’ enough, therefore inferior.

      Greatest Television Show of All Time = THE WHITE SHADOW

      Where its all Race-Relations, all the time. *through the medium of Basketball*

      Where every black man can dunk, and will probably impregnate someone on a first date!
      Where every Irish is a violent Drunk!
      Where every Jew is rich! (*come on, Goldstein, pay the airfare!!)
      Where they have the audacity to name the Italian kid, “Salami”
      Dont get me started on Gonzales
      Also, the soundtrack is possibly the funkiest thing ever next to Barney Miller and Sanford and Son.

      1. You forgot the frugal Scotsman, but I guess Disney had that covered.

      2. Greatest Television Show of All Time = THE WHITE SHADOW

        I recall that was one of the few shows that Mad Magazine would praise during the 1970s.

        1. A lot of people have retrospectively realized that it was “groundbreaking” in that it was extremely honest about the reality of race-relations in a world where ‘race tv’ was still mostly doing cartoonish stereotypes of poverty (sanford and son, Good times) that hardly showed any white/black interaction, and hypothetical scenarios (the jeffersons, Different Strokes) which were completely theatrical-realities.

          In The White Shadow, the black kids are getting their girlfriends pregnant, their parents are dealing drugs, Gonzales steals a car, Salami has an affair with his teacher… the coach deals with blowback from his alcohol problem… basically, it was closer to ‘real life’ than most other TV had been at that time.

          The basketball, however, was not. The sequences where they play ball are more like comic relief.

          I think the same guy went on to make “St Elsewhere” which was also critically acclaimed for its relative ‘realism’

          Most of 3 seasons are free on Hulu

          It really is super-quality TV compared to the stuff of the time. “The Wire”-good.

    4. I like that he attacks Wilder for creating Republican ‘value voters’ approximately 70 years before the concept of the Republican value voter had been invented.

      Apparently she should be ashamed of herself for writing a story that dovetailed with a political philosophy that did not exist when she wrote it.

  8. – tho, in truth, Wendy’s seemed to make burgers with actual ‘meat’ in them, in contrast to both the leading chains

    I prefer Wendy’s, if truth be known, but for some reason (maybe the local franchisee doggedly seeks out the dumbest people possible as employees) the ordering process is a monumental pain in the ass, so I gave up on going there.

    Sometimes, I’m just fucking lazy and in a hurry, so I wind up at McDonalds’.

  9. Rose Lane was not a founder of modern libertarianism. She was one of the last of the classical liberals. And I have no doubt that it was because she came to her ideas from a reality-based anecdotal/historical perspective (her mother’s frontier experience) rather than overly theorized intellectual noodling that ultimately strives to be a totalitarian ‘ism’ (aka modern libertarianism).

    1. Yes, we are all totalitarians-in-waiting here.

      1. Damn. They’re on to us.

          1. Ha, I was going to link to Krieger’s wiki page before I checked your link.

          2. Who here *isn’t* a clone of Hitler?

    2. that ultimately strives to be a totalitarian ‘ism’


      [Citation required]

      1. Every self-admitted ‘ism’ is an attempt to be a comprehensive system of belief (not meant in religious terms). And every ‘ism’ ultimately sacrifices the messy inconsistent real-world individual to that ‘ism’.

        1. Ah, I see the problem. You don’t understand what words mean. Here, let me help you:

          1) Libertarianism (Latin: liber, “free”) is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgement.

          2)Totalitarianism is a political system in which the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever possible.

        2. ‘ism-ness’ and its discontents is a meaningless invention of your own

          There’s nothing ‘totalitarian’ about Libertarians simply wanting to strip powers away from State institutions and leave them in the hands of free people.

          Most actual-partisans think Libertarians are nuts because there isn’t really any widespread interest in ‘ruling’ at all, versus simply stripping un-needed powers away from the cunts who *do rule* (see = major parties)

          1. No, no – it all makes sense.

            Watch out for Libertarians – one day we’ll be in charge and the we’ll leave you alone!

        3. A. That’s not a citation.



          1. It is, however, amusing to see someone come on the HnR and un- ironically argue that freedom is slavery.

            1. We will ultimately sacrifice the real world individual to the horrors of liberty and responsibility.

          2. Well I can’t give you a single ‘citation’. But if you want to learn something, go back to:

            a)the original use/creation of the term ‘individualism’ (in writings by Pierre LeRoux, Henri St Simon, and Robert Owen). The term and the ism was created to be a pejorative/caricature/strawman by people who advocated a different ism – socialism – as the proper organizing belief for society.

            b)the original ACCEPTANCE of that term by proponents (writings by Max Stirner, Pierre Proudhon, William Greene). Most of whom had influence on future ism lovers – egoism, anarchism, Marx, Nietzsche, Herbert Spencer, Rand/Rothbard, etc. None of whom gave a rat’s ass about any actual flesh-and-blood individuals but merely individuals as abstract concepts/puppets to a belief system.

            c)the original ‘fatal compromise’ where an actual classical liberal felt they had to choose one term/idea from among those two – rather than reject both as irrelevant to ideas that had preceded both terms. Prob John Stuart Mill – who in making that decision tied up ‘liberalism’ with ‘utilitarianism’ – which ended up killing off the former.

            1. Namedrop, namedrop namedrop, namedrop! Namedrop namedrop, therefore, namedrop.

              Ergo, QED, beardstroke.

              1. And none of which, even if one were to accept everything he said as absolute truth, has anything to do with his statement that libertarianism seeks to become totalitarianism. Vapid.

              2. Or:
                “If you look here, you’ll find several people defending my views!”

            2. You’re an idiot and I can prove it by quoting you:

              Every self-admitted ‘ism’ is an attempt to be a comprehensive system of belief (not meant in religious terms). And every ‘ism’ ultimately sacrifices the messy inconsistent real-world individual to that ‘ism’.

              This means that you are advocating pragmatism, or utilitarianism. You are also expressing skepticism that ‘isms’ are a proper organizing tool for society.

              In other words, you are engaging in multiple isms even as you decry the entire concept of isms.

              It’s impossible to engage in any argument without returning to some sort of first principle. That first principle is bound to be an ism of some sort – egalitarianism, republicanism, utilitarianism, libertarianism, socialism, Catholicism, secularism, etc. You’re just too stupid to understand the meaning of the words you use, so you throw up an incoherent word salad hoping that your usage of names like Pierre Proudhon will cow us into submission before your supposedly giant (but in fact nonexistent) intellect.

              In some cases, it’s not actually possible to not be engaging in some ism. For example, if I believe society should be run by Christian teachings, I would be engaging in Christian fundamentalism. If I believe society shouldn’t be based on religion, I’m engaging in secularism.

              No matter what I belong to some ism when discussing the establishment of religion

        4. Every self-admitted ‘ism’ is an attempt to be a comprehensive system of belief (not meant in religious terms). And every ‘ism’ ultimately sacrifices the messy inconsistent real-world individual to that ‘ism’.

          This is amazing. You call Rose Wilder Lane a ‘classical liberal’ which means she was an adherent of classical liberalism.

          You then attack libertarianism for being an ‘ism’ even though classical liberalism was too.

          Words are your friend. Learn their meanings.

          1. Friend, looks like you may need to spend some time in room 101.

          2. No. The word ‘liberal’ long preceded it being turned into an ism. The first use of liberal as an ism AFAIK was in the immediate aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. Where one of the questions was what to impose on Europe in the vacuum created by the collapse of French Empire power. ‘Liberalism’ was deemed to be the imposition of then-mostly English/Scottish ideas. And it was viewed as the ‘compromise’ between dangerous Napoleonic ‘republicanism’ and the old-school Austria/Russia/Prussia absolute monarch stuff.

            None of which has a damn thing to do with what self-proclaimed ‘liberals’ actually advocated before then or after. But which in fact does have a lot to do with imposing a totalitarian ‘peace solution’ on Europe at the Congress of Vienna.

            1. How very nice.

              None of which even comes close to validating your ‘totalitarianism’ comment.



  10. overly theorized intellectual noodling that ultimately strives to be a totalitarian ‘ism’ (aka modern libertarianism).

    Shreeek, is that you?

    1. I fear it may be Mary.

      1. It *is* saturday

      2. I was thinking Michael Hihn, but I dno’t think he uses sock puppets.

        1. Sadly, this person is much more coherent than Hihn.

  11. “He’ll Rot For Pot: 55 Years For Weed

    “A father of two was sentenced to 55 years in jail for selling pot. The Koch brothers want to help set him free and make him the face of their new campaign for criminal justice reform….

    “The case is being highlighted by Koch-backed group Generation Opportunity, which targets millenials, in a broader campaign to press for criminal justice reforms this year.

    “They will kick off the campaign with a documentary highlighting [Weldon] Angelos’ predicament, premiering at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum next week….

    “The judge who was *forced* [emphasis added] to hand down the sentence, Paul Cassell, said the Angelos case is an example of “clear injustice marring the public perception” of the federal courts ? and victimizing taxpayers who have to pay to keep him locked up.”…..ce=twitter


    1. I believe that judges are required by law to impose the mandatory minimum sentences. Not kidding.

      1. He could have handed down a lighter sentence – worse that happens is a reprimand and the prosecution *may* try to appeal.

    2. He couldn’t have handed in a resignation letter?

      1. So, no, he wasn’t *forced,* because he wasn’t *forced* to stay in the job.

        1. And he could always go on to a law-professor position…

          Or to a higher-paying job at a big-shot law firm…after all, aren’t federal judges drawn from the very top of the profession?

          Uh, oh…

    3. Damn Kochtopus, trying to help people with their damn money again! They’re destroying Murika, only the government should be allowed to help people!

  12. There’s only one 70s TV show that every Libertarian should watch, and that’s Super Friends.

      1. Isn’t that the show with Katee Sackhoff?

          1. Let’s face it, dude, original BSG was great as a kid but if you go back and watch it now it’s pretty terrible. Also, the last season where they come to Earth and can jump super far? SO. TERRIBLE.

            The first 3.5 seasons of the remake were great, though.

            1. -1 Watchtower

            2. Also, the last season where they come to Earth and can jump super far? SO. TERRIBLE.

              GALACTICA 1980 WAS NOT BSG!

              And Starbuck was a man…and a cocky fighter pilot who smoked cigars and womanized. IOW, the perfect role model for a 13 yo boy.

            3. I’d say the first two seasons was some of the best programming on TV. The third was a turd, but it had a few really good episodes, including “Unfinished Business,” one of my all time favorites.

            4. You’re right about the original BSG – but man I loved it as a kid. There wasn’t much sci-fi on TV so we took what we could get.

              As for the reboot – I just finished season 4 and I don’t think it deserves all the hate it gets. It was kind of meandering for a while but some of the episodes were just amazing, like Gaeta’s story arc. And you can hate on the ending but at least it made some sort of sense within the scheme of things.

      2. How is Battlestar Galactica remotely libertarian, outside of its commentary on security and surveillance states?

        1. ‘Cause it shows that libertarianism won’t work in a lifeboat!

        2. How is Battlestar Galactica remotely libertarian..?

          It isn’t, it’s simply the ONLY show from the 70s worth watching at all.

            1. Meh.

              Maybe MASH or Happy Days. And I remember liking Emergency.

              But I will give you that even though 70s teeeveee sucked, it was head and shoulders above the recent reality crap.

            2. Rockford Files.

              Private Eye on a shoestring budget runs circles around the cops to bust bad guys.

          1. Here you go, Mr. Alzheimer:

            70’s TV

            1. See?

              Thank you for that trip down bad memory lane.

              1. Bearcats seems awesome. I’m going to add that to my Amazon wishlist.

      1. I’d prefer the Super Friends With Benefits or, failing that, the Super Fuck Buddies.

  13. Wow, I just found out that the Little House on the Prairie TV series was developed by Leo Penn (Sean’s father).

    1. …or merely directed by. But still a fun Hollywood connection.

  14. We’re all totalitarians, on this bus.

  15. OT: It’s Mardi Gras season and the Intergalatic Krewe of Chewbacchus parades today! Peter Mayhew himself will be in the throng.

  16. Men’s World Cup downhill from Beaver Creek (NBC) right now.

    These guys are the pinnacle of the Badass Pyramid.

  17. If you want a pretty damn individualist book not about the Prairie, I recommend King Rat. The titular character, ‘the King’ is an American corporal who runs the black market in a Japanese POW camp in the Second World War. He’s basically the ‘go between’ for various illegal trades in the camp.

    One of things the book tends to really stress is that the King’s activities are far more helpful to the inmates hoping to survive than the elite officers (effectively ‘the government’ in this scenario) who are actually managing the camp under Japanese supervision, who are almost universally shown to be corrupt and more focused on their own survival than their men’s.

    1. Cool, added it to my list of things to buy.

    2. +1 capitalist protagonists

      I recommend the entire Asian Saga series heartily. Except Sho-Gun, which blows, and the fact that others seem to kind of like it has my flabber surely ghasted.

    1. Hey, under socialize medicine, no one is getting better treatment because they’re rich!

    2. Single-payer for the win!

    3. Years ago, Venezuela was vigorously defended as a shining example of socialism and a bulwark against anti-American imperialism, never mind the execution of journalists and violent suppression of political opposition. I distinctly remember getting into arguments about this with people because I thought that it was such a starkly terrible thing that nobody in their right mind would defend it. E.g., Sean Penn.

      Now that the high oil money good times are over and the country produces nothing, and there’s no food, medicine, or toilet paper, with condoms going for $755 a box… now the argument is that it’s not real socialism.

      1. Watch for the same when the north sea oil money runs out for Norway.

  18. BTW, one of the ads showing up on my screen is the Grey teddy bear. Problem is, it looks like a rat.

  19. I like the new 12 Monkeys show even though it’s not that good (especially when compared to the movie, which I love). Anyone else watching it?

    1. I enjoy it quite a bit, but I wish it had more of the feel of the movie. The movie has a very bizarre, paranoid feeling that the show just hasn’t emulated well.

      They could have at least used the crazy theme song that gave the movie part of its unique feel.

      Also, this youtube comment exists on that video:

      In this movie, lies the answer to over population. Which will destroy all life since we are under free market capitalism. ?


      1. I would think it would be a lot to expect of some TV show to pull off the feeling of Terry Gilliam when he was still making good movies. Fargo basically completely failed to create the Coen Brothers feel too.

        In this movie, lies the answer to over population. Which will destroy all life since we are under free market capitalism.

        Having too much life will destroy all life! AIIGGHHHHHHH…wait that doesn’t make sense.

        1. “Fargo basically completely failed to create the Coen Brothers feel too.”

          The new series is certainly not the movie. It is far better.

          1. That movie sucked real bad.

            I have never quite gotten the fascination with their movies.

      2. Astor Piazolla. Bestest bandoneon tango player/composer ever.

    2. I am and I’m enjoying very much thus far. Never saw the movie, so that’s not an issue for me.

        1. Pitt’s performance in that changed my views on whether he could actually act or not when he felt like it. That and Se7en.

          1. Se7en was good because he ended up jailed at the end.

    3. “the movie, which I love”

      Have you seen La Jette?

      I assume you probably have. But most have not.

      1. I knew of its existence but haven’t watched it. Seeing that it’s a short I can fire up the PS3 (and something else to get in the proper mind set) and give it a peep. I didn’t even think to check youtube for it.

        1. Its good.

          It may ruin “12 Monkeys” for you. Gilliam lifted the entire plot from there. Its more cerebral, plodding…french.

          Best while stoned.

      2. lol

        double checking that now… the only versions on youtube seem to be spanish subtitles? har.

        Vimeo has the English-dubbed version

    4. I feel the same – the show is OK but if it had a different name I probably wouldn’t even have cared. I’ve watched the first two episodes but I may lose interest in it. Also, it has that kind of low-budget, Canadian feel that all those SyFy shows have. I don’t think it’s going to be the next BSG which they seem to be aiming for.

  20. Meanwhile in NYC.

    Louis Turco, president of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association, hand-delivered a note to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton Friday seeking his support for legislation to create an “aggravated resisting arrest” charge for people who resist arrest twice within a 10 year span.
    The proposal would increase the punishment for resisting arrest by pumping it up from a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail ? to a class E felony, punishable by up to four years in jail.
    “Such a program would have the potential dual benefit of enhancing the safety of the men and women of the Department and the general public,” Turco wrote.
    He also is asking that the NYPD, through CompStat, begin tracking all incidents involving resisting arrest and assault on a police officer.

    1. Sure, increase the potential cost of any interaction with the police. There’s probably no downside to that at all.

      1. Well, there’s all that hassle of keeping track of which people to hassle a second time.

    2. “Louis Turco, president of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association, hand-delivered a note to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton Friday seeking his support for legislation to create an “aggravated resisting arrest” charge”

      The PBA, like any union, is going to respond to ‘criticism of their power’ by pushing back and asking for even more power

      its part of the standard union playbook of how you, ‘never give an inch’. When threatened, you *attack* rather than defend. Defending results in gradual compromise. ‘Attacking’ brings the fight to the other side, and changes the subject away from the specific criticisms. The expect resolution is a stalemate where the status quo is unchanged. Which is really the point.

      1. RICO is the solution to police unions.

        Police are racketeers by definition, and unions are corrupt organizations.

  21. “Such a program would have the potential dual benefit of enhancing the safety of the men and women of the Department and the general public,” Turco wrote.

    What’s the second “benefit”?

    1. They are saying that making ‘resisting arrest’ a more-serious offense is a ‘benefit’. Because, uh, the implication is that if you’re going to go straight to jail…that therefore fewer people will do it.

      Nevermind the offsetting liability of lots of people going to jail for no real reason. Basically, ‘because cops say so’. I was jailed for resisting arrest once. It constituted me saying, “Why?” Lesson = Never Ask ‘Why’. Its like the worst word you can utter around a cop.

      Another possible reading is that he thinks benefits to “Men and Women” of the police department is, you know, dual and shit.

      1. The purpose is to permanently revoke the voting rights of anyone who voted for DeBlasio.

  22. Oh, wait, I get it. “Resistance is fatal.”


  23. Not helping the Free Range Kids movement:

    The family of a six-year-old US boy staged his mock kidnapping because they thought he was too nice to strangers, Missouri police say.

    1. Didn’t we already get this story?

      1. Not enough times!

      2. Sorry for the double post. I’ve been trying to cut back on reading politics these days.

    2. The way this story should have ended was a person with a gun permit capping the kidnapper.

  24. Star Wars stuff…..sculpture/

    More than 200 snow and ice sculptures have been erected for the Sapporo Snow Festival, which opens Feb. 5. Among the main attractions this year in the city that hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics is a gigantic Disney-sponsored tribute to the classic sci-fi movie Star Wars, a marketing spectacle in advance of the next installment in the series, set to be released this coming December.

    The design, approved by Lucasfilms, features the villainous Darth Vader wielding an icy lightsaber, flanked by a posse of three Stormtroopers.

    1. “Hoth enough for ya?”

      “Let’s kick some ice.” (sorry, Arnold)

      “Yeah, my lightsaber seems ice at first, but you’ll get used to it.”

      1. I just hope Lucas doesn’t pay for a snow Jar-Jar.

        1. But then you could actually destroy that Jar-Jar with fire!

  25. “Today’s squiggle (or whatever)”

    I almost laughed out loud. Best opening sentence I’ve read in a long time.

    1. You’re the ‘Fuck You-Man‘, right!? You’re the best!

  26. Comcast now calling customers who are canceling their service “Assholes” and “Bitches”…..tch-214945

    1. Companies that have regional monopolies do have a strange habit w/ customer service. they actually start to act like the Government itself, and give you the “FYTW” treatment.

      I tried cancelling my phone land-line after 10 years of paying for it and never using it. It literally took 3 hours and 6 people endlessly passing me on to some other department to ‘confirm for security purposes’… they basically knew that Land Lines were dying one after another and never coming back, so treated people trying to jump ship as so many communist defectors.

      A woman kept asking me to confirm billing amounts from bills 5 years earlier. I was like, “Lady = one, i don’t use the goddamn land line, and two, i’ve never seen the bills = they were charged automatically. My online records don’t even go back that far.”

      They offered to mail me copies of my old bills and then i could call back. whenever they got there. If they got there. I basically just screamed insults at them until they agreed to cancel my line.

      1. Companies that have regional monopolies do have a strange habit w/ customer service. they actually start to act like the Government itself, and give you the “FYTW” treatment.

        And most will never realize they were GIVEN their monopoly status through regulation rather than competing their way to it, which to my knowledge, has never happened.

        1. Town with small population in which a single provider is enough to handle demand for a specific service may be an example.

          1. Yeah, I can see how price fixing could maintain a monopoly in a small market, though you could also argue that is a form of fraud and should be disallowed by any justice system in the first place.

            Government turning a blind eye to force, fraud, and coercion is also a big factor, not just regulation.

            1. Sorry, predatory pricing is the correct term.

      2. Experienced a bit of this when canceling Comcast account. I imagine I was referred to as the raging cunt.

  27. OT: Hershey wants you eat their shitty chocolate instead of imports, and has the government on its side.

    1. I’m not gonna take sides here, except to say it’s a good thing I gotta go to a store to buy Hersey’s Kisses. If they were always around the house, I’d have troubles!
      But, from the link:
      “Hershey has said that the move was “to prevent consumers from being confused or misled” and told The Post: “It’s important for [the company] to protect its trademark rights.””
      A lot of people in the old car hobby got really pissed at Porsche for suing several small parts suppliers. Well, courtesy of IP laws, Porsche has no choice; give up control of your tm or logo once, you have given it up everywhere.
      Wonder why Ferrari labels some lame gold-chain chariot a Testa Rosa? Check the legal name protection rules.

      1. IANAL but this strikes me as wrong. Hell, I could make a case that Hershey has fooled me in the past by passing off their inferior Cadbury as a “premium” English product. (I did not actually know they own the Cadbury brand in the US until I read this article.)

        1. I remember being in England and thinking, “this Cadbury chocolate tastes better than the stuff I find in America.”

          Then I thought, “I must’ve had a stroke or something, thinking that English food is anything but deplorable.”

          Turns out I was ok after all.

          1. It really is better. The English are obsessed with it, because it is literally the only decent food they have to eat in the entire country.

            1. I only know English food via some of the horror-show pictures I’ve seen on Wikipedia.

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