Somalia

U.S. Makes Another Awful Decision to Harm Somalis

Continuing crackdown on U.S. remittances to the Somalia endangers innocent lives.

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The Guardian reported last week on some bad news for people in Somalia who rely on monetary remittances from America—and that's a lot of people:

geocam20000 / Foter / CC BY

On Friday, Merchants Bank of California is expected to close the accounts of all Somali-American money transfer companies on its books.

The bank sent out letters to customers at the end of January informing them of the decision. The bank has not responded to the Guardian's requests for comment. If it goes ahead with its decision, it would be the second time the bank has warned Somali remittance companies of pending account closures; in October 2014, the bank reversed a prior decision to close their accounts.

It's a big deal, if you are Somalian or have relatives or friends you are trying to help there:

Remittance payments to Somalia dwarf aid spending. Overseas development assistance to Somalia is $75 (£50) per capita, including both humanitarian and development aid, compared with an estimated $110 per capita in remittances entering the country, which amounts to 35% of GDP, the highest level in the world. Somalis in the US alone send more than $200m, according to Oxfam; the UK sends more than $162m, followed by Germany and the Netherlands.

But regulatory pressure is throttling the life-saving inflows. Money transfer operators, which work like Western Union, but reach remote locations at a fraction of the cost, have come under scrutiny in the past few years for potentially laundering money or funding terrorism. In response, banks have been closing their accounts.

Columnist George Monbiot, no stranger to complaining about the crimes of Western governments, has an impassioned rant on the topic in yesterday's Guardian, fingering U.S. financial regulators for a heartless crushing of a much-needed free flow of money in the name of maybe keeping some cash out of the "wrong hands":

Last Friday, after the OCC [U.S. Office of Comptroller of the Currency] had sent it a cease-and-desist order, the last bank in the United States still processing money transfers to Somalia closed its service. The agency, which reports to the US treasury, reasoned that some of this money might find its way into the hands of the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab. It's true that some of it might, just as some resources in any nation will find their way into the hands of criminals (ask HSBC). So why don't we shut down the phone networks to hamper terrorism? Why don't we ban agriculture in case fertiliser is used to make explosives? Why don't we stop all the clocks to prevent armed gangs from planning their next atrocity?

Ridiculous? In fact it's not far off. Remittances from the Somalian diaspora amount to $1.2bn-$1.6bn a year, which is roughly 50% of the country's gross national income, and on which 40% of the population relies for survival. Over the past 10 years the money known to have been transferred to suspected terrorists in Somalia amounts to a few thousand dollars. Cutting off remittances is likely to kill more people than terrorists will ever manage….

So you take a country suffering from terrorism, massive youth unemployment and the threat of famine, and seek to shut off half its earnings. You force money transfers underground where they are more likely to be captured by terrorists. You destroy hope, making young men more susceptible to recruitment by an organisation promising loot and status. Through an iniquitous mass punishment, you mobilise the anger and grievance on which terrorist organisations thrive. You help al-Shabaab to destroy Somalia's economic life.

Foreign Policy wrote with some good background on how and why U.S. financial regulators are out to smash the Somalian remittance industry last year.

Yet another reason why cryptocurrencies are not just for libertarians, but more importantly for the un- or poorly banked across the world with access to the informational ether via smartphones or computers.

A book review by me that is in part on the ways in which the West's decisions have bedeviled Somalia will appear in the forthcoming April issue of Reason, subscribe now.

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  1. Well? What do you say when the government does something this obviously dumb? Same shit different day I guess.

    1. Lol, the MUH ROADS one is brilliant.

      1. I read that in the voice of Hank Hill.

  2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Dena Takruri

    I wonder why I’m thinking about how American Sniper made executing Arab/Muslim “savages” a heroic act to celebrate #ChapeHillShooting

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    ?nuni?

    Don’t even TRY to tell me movies like #AmericanSniper dont spread Islamophobic propaganda when we have 3 innocent Muslim Americans dead

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s like a Master’s Course in stupidity.

    1. “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.”

      Then you don’t get out very much.

    2. Not at all, they are passing Partisanship 101 with flying colors.

      1) Politicize something so that each TEAM knows exactly what position they are supposed to take on it.
      2) Blame anything bad that happens, if at all possible, on something that is now attributed to the other TEAM because of the politicization. Hyperbole gives you bonus points, hysterical hyperbole gives you mucho bonus points.
      3) PROFIT

    3. dumber than this?

      1. What’s absurd about that story is that the conservative who jumped to ridiculous conclusions and decided it was probably an intra-Muslim honor killing ended up being right.

        There’s a lesson here: You can be right even if you use horrible methodology.

        1. What was so ridiculous or horrible about Schlussel’s reasoning? If you were a betting man in the cosmic casino what odds would you put your money on: the occurrence of an honor killing (or as they say in Pakistan, Tuesday) or the occurrence of a trigger-happy Atheist Avenger?

          1. She probably did something un-Islamic and “too American,” which pissed him off, like buying an evil infidel gangsta Captain and Tennille CD (Muskrat Love?NOT halal). Maybe the husband complained about some papercut-level grievance to the father, and he gave the okay. We’ll never know. But any of these scenarios is far more likely than the hate crime BS.

            Well, for one thing, even though she was right in the broad strokes in that it was an honor killing, her ‘this may have been music related’ theory didn’t exactly pan out.

            I do think that her reasoning regarding the note was sound. A person who beat a Muslim woman to death wouldn’t leave a note that says ‘You’re a terrorist, go back to your country!’ That definitely sounds like someone faking a hate crime.

            1. I doubt that she was seriously proposing that she was killed because she bought a CD. It just reads like a wry comment on the draconian moral posturing of Islamic fundamentalists to me.

              1. I will say that SIV has a long and storied history of calling convenient left-wing hoaxes immediately:

                SIV|3.29.12

                “Go back to your country, you terrorist.”

                The police shouldn’t have to look too far from home on this one.

          2. My first thought on reading that story was “that note is too perfectly aligned to the KULTUR WAR to be real”.

            When something like that is perfectly aligned with exactly the worst stereotypes about certain partisans, it’s going to make me suspicious. Non-partisan people aren’t stupid; they can also see the KULTUR WAR and TEAM bullshit, and they also will realize that they can push buttons to their advantage with incredible ease, because the partisans and KULTUR WARRIORS want confirmations of their biases. Looks like the husband in this case saw that and clearly tried to take advantage of it to cover up his murdering actions.

            1. Oh, and additionally, this can also be seen in the situations we’ve seen where someone fakes a hate crime on campus, for instance. They always fake it in a way which is just too damn perfect; it’s just right for stoking outrage in exactly the right way. And then so many of them turn out to be faked. I’d say “too perfect” is a significant warning sign.

              1. Rape hoaxes as well. The first sign that the UVA story was fake was when they said ‘Grab its motherfucking leg.’

                That’s perfectly in-line with feminist beliefs about dehumanization, but, like with many feminist beliefs about human behavior, this has no similarity to something that anyone would actually do.

                There was also the hilarious Meg Lanker-Simmons rape threat hoax which included incredibly realistic dialogue like:

                I want to hate f**k Meg Lanker-Simons so hard. That chick that runs her liberal mouth all the time and doesn’t care who knows it. I think its hot and it makes me angry. One night with me and shes gonna be a good Republican bitch.

                And:

                Actually, I want this to stay up. This is disgusting, misogynistic, and apparently something the admins of this page think is a perfectly acceptable sentiment.

                Even if it’s taken down, I’m left to wonder if there’s someone out there with a violent fantasy about me ? and likely other women.

                I’m impressed anyone caught on that this was fake. She really has a way with words.

                1. When hoaxers are just so on-the-nose with their attempts at misdirection, they remind me of poor voice actors making their British sound so authentic that no one would believe it.

                  “‘Ello, guvnuh! Wid ya loike uh spo ‘a tay, theyn?”

              1. Ha, both you guys used the same case, and it’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about. I mean, if that type of phrasing doesn’t immediately set off warning bells for someone, they need to reassess their biases. Like, seriously reassess.

            2. My first thought on reading that story was “that note is too perfectly aligned to the KULTUR WAR to be real”.

              I’m sorry, but what do conservative Christian aspirations to governing (“culture wars”) have to do with blaming atheism for some crazy man murdering some Muslims over a parking spot?

              1. I’m sorry, but what do conservative Christian aspirations to governing (“culture wars”) have to do with blaming atheism for some crazy man murdering some Muslims over a parking spot?

                Are you insane or retarded?

        2. Oh horseshit, like 90% of murders are by an immediate family member. The husband/father/uncle is always suspect #1.

    4. ?nuni?

      Don’t even TRY to tell me movies like #AmericanSniper dont spread Islamophobic propaganda when we have 3 innocent Muslim Americans dead

      *narrows gaze*

      Or what?

      1. Or she just won’t even.

    5. Anthony Gregory?

      1. Oh wait Sidd Finch already referred to to him, apparently.

      2. I remember Anthony Gregory also saying that Obama was too sensible following Bush’s spending spree to implement healthcare reform. That really panned out didn’t it.

    6. More worryingly than just stupidity, it’s projection. If you say that a crazy murderer was driven to the crime by watching a movie that you don’t even know they saw, you’re really saying that YOU would be driven to murder people after seeing said film. Also you’re pretty much admitting to being insane.

      1. It’s something like, “Well, naturally this psychopath killed people because the voices told him too. Those voices are so annoying so I try to drown out the ones in my head with music. And don’t try to tell me to ignore them! It doesn’t work.”

    7. hey marylin manson and doom are responsible for school shootings why not?

  3. Over the past 10 years the money known to have been transferred to suspected terrorists in Somalia amounts to a few thousand dollars.

    I consider $8,500 more than “a few thousand,” and that’s only what someone was convicted of. Since we know that dozens of Somali refugees have left the U.S. to fight with Muslim terror groups in Somalia or with ISIS, it’s reasonable to suspect there’s a lot more money heading that way, too.

    Not to defend this particular action, which does seem ham-handed, but let’s not minimize the reality behind the issue.

    1. Dunno, PSF. Sorta looks like killing the fly with the 10# mallet.

      1. Which is silly and immoral considering that we have drone strikes for that, and they have been highly successful.

        1. Cytotoxic|2.11.15 @ 9:15PM|#
          “Which is silly and immoral considering that we have drone strikes for that, and they have been highly successful.”

          Yeah, why use a 10# mallet when you have a 500-ton unit all ready?!
          Sorry, your war boner is tired.

          1. That’s an inversion of the correct metaphor. The drone is a lot more targetted that choking off money to the entire country.

            My war boner does not tire. It never sleeps.

            1. Your war boner needs to release its payload all over the brown people

    2. I consider $8,500 more than “a few thousand,” and that’s only what someone was convicted of. Since we know that dozens of Somali refugees have left the U.S. to fight with Muslim terror groups in Somalia or with ISIS, it’s reasonable to suspect there’s a lot more money heading that way, too.

      So what? That’s justification for wrecking the lives and limiting the freedoms of probably hundreds of thousands of Somali Americans?

      Why not adopt a much simpler solution: end any US involvement in Somalia, withdraw all troops and advisors from the region; then let any American who wants to go over there on his own dime and with his own weapons and fight for whatever cause he or she believes in.

      but let’s not minimize the reality behind the issue

      “The reality” being what?

      1. So what? That’s justification for wrecking the lives and limiting the freedoms of probably hundreds of thousands of Somali Americans?

        Well, considering his next comment, the only part of his comment you omit, is

        Not to defend this particular action, which does seem ham-handed,

        I’d say probably not wrecking the lives and limiting the freedoms of probably hundreds of thousands of Somali Americans.

        You know, just agreeing with an argument’s conclusion doesn’t mean you have to be blind to any irrationalities it includes.

  4. If turning off the flow of cash that keeps people fed and sheltered doesn’t put an end to terrorism, I don’t know what will.

    1. We should allow these places to stay in business, but require them to replace all cash remittances with little American flags. Hearts and minds, baby. USA! USA! USA!

      1. WE as in the reason commentariat should set up bitcoin transfers for the impoverished somalis and charge fractions of bitcoins per transfer and become insanely wealthy outside of the fed system, if a bank isnt responsible for a criminal who buys a gun and commits crime with it, how are they responsible for terrorism?

  5. Remember when Obama was supposedly going to transform our relationships with the world for the better? The last six years seems to be a non-stop effort to piss-off, offend, or embarrass ourselves before every nation on Earth. I’m struggling to think of one country in the world where the American brand has not taken a hit. The Bush years were bad enough, but the Obama administration has taken foreign policy disaster to a whole new level. In a sick way it’s kind of impressive.

    1. “The Bush years were bad enough, but the Obama administration has taken foreign policy disaster to a whole new level.”

      Are you kidding?

      Obama’s not much of a leader, but under Bush we invaded and occupied two large Muslim countries to remake them and the region. Total failures.

      They’re not comparable.

      1. Thanks for the contribution Tony.

        1. You don’t have to be Tony to think Bush’s foreign policy was worse than anything Obama has done. It was like Wilson on angel dust and steroids.

          1. Except without nearly as much death and destruction, so more like ultra-lite Wilsonism.

            Bush’s foreign policy was bad, but it wasn’t all bad. Obama’s has been all bad. Completely random too.

            1. I’m a non-interventionist, so I can’t see how the two can be comparable. One initiated two huge invasions and subsequent nation building exercises which were based on, at best, naive idealism. When progs do that domestically it gets called for what it is, conservatives doing it abroad deserve no less.

              Obama flat out reneged on his promises regarding ending those conflicts and has had his share of Carter-esque diplomatic head scrathcers, but at the end of his term he can say he has largely drawn down the interventions and started no comparable ones of his own.

              1. Afghanistan was an obviously necessary response to a terrorist attack. Bush did not start the Iraq war; his dad did. He should be criticized for turning it into a massive boondoggle granted. But at least other countries didn’t perceive America as being totally random in policy. With Obama-who bombed Libya btw -it is totally random.

                1. Obama’s foreign policy isn’t random. He just does whatever the Europeans ask him to.

                  The reason he fucked up Libya so badly was because all the enlightened Europeans wanted to go in there. Unlike cowboy ‘I’m going it alone’ Bush, Obama only unnecessarily ruins countries when the Europeans give the go ahead. That way, when innocent Middle Eastern Muslims are getting decapitated by extremists a few years later they can think ‘well, at least I’m dying because brilliant, cosmopolitan Europeans decided I should. It’s more chic than dying at the behest of stupid, hick Americans.’

              2. “Bo Cara Esq.|2.11.15 @ 9:29PM|#

                I’m a non-interventionist”

                You’re an idiot if you think Libya and Syria weren’t “interventions” by the Obama administration, particularly according to the standards of actual non-interventionists

                Giving your FP-ignorance a fancy name doesn’t improve it at all.

              3. OBAMA’S NON INTERVENTION
                Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen

                I guess I can skip the success-story of ‘liberated Libya’, because you’re totally on top of that.

                1. Basically Obama is non-interventionist in the same sense that lower spending increases are cuts.

                  1. “at the end of his term he can say he has largely drawn down the interventions and started no comparable ones of his own.’

                    When I call you “ignorant” …

                    …its really almost a compliment:

                    because it must require true effort to try and blind yourself to the fact that Obama sent 1,500 troops to Iraq in November, and just today enlarged the scale of his committment of ground troops in Iraq to something “bigger than a breadbasket, but not more than a division“…

                    The NYT really does break a sweat trying to put a shine on how ‘reluctant’ and ‘limited’ his approach is…

                    …completely papering over the fact that as late as last September, the idea of a “3 year war, allowing for as many as 20,000 ground troops” would have been tut-tutted by Obama as ridiculous.

                    No ‘comparable’ interventions… sure. Because in your goalpost-moving exercise you will apologize for everything he actually does as relatively preferrable. Because in your utter ignorance of history you would have similarly seen the early stages of Vietnam as nothing more than = ‘at least its better than Korea‘.

                2. Don’t forget arming and training Syrian rebels.

                  Serious question: How many ISIS militants do you think were given American weaponry and training? They’ll never admit it, but I guarantee you that a whole bunch of the original ISIS members (before they started recruiting locals/arming child soldiers/getting help from European extremists) were directly financed by the United States.

                  There’s just no way, given the constant incompetence of the CIA, that we could train that many Syrian rebels without accidentally giving aid to some pretty extreme characters.

                  1. Apparently the intellectual standard for our resident ‘principled Non-Interventionist’ is :

                    “BETTER THUN BOOSH = nonterventions YAY!”

                  2. The original ISIS rebels were former AQI and jailed Syrian Islamists released by the Syrian government to poison the rebellion. Those ones were not American trained. It is more plausible that American-trained and armed rebels joined ISIS later. It is known that Nusra overran and stole American-supplied anti-tank missiles recently from ‘pro-western’ Hazzm rebels north of Allepo. These rebels were incompetent. Nusra really did put those weapons to better use; they overran two Syrian army bases in a few weeks. The rebels had been trying to take those bases for years.

                3. “I guess I can skip the success-story of ‘liberated Libya’, because you’re totally on top of that.”

                  Yeah, well, he got us out of all those places BOOOOOSH invaded, stat, right? Right?
                  OK, at least he’s kept us out of Brazil!

                  1. Nuh uh. We had somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 people in Brazil just this summer!

              4. Lybia, syria, Afghanistan, Iraq 2 (the ISISing)(not yet released), annnnnnd Egypt

                yeah no obama disaster compares to the boosh wars
                .
                .
                .
                idiot

      2. You know, Bush was a failure in any number of respects, but at least the U.S. was respected–and feared–as a military power. And we had a pretty clear foreign policy, with allies who knew we would act if necessary.

        Whether I agree with that is one thing, but it beats the hell out of Obama’s total focus on domestic politics in foreign policy, coupled with seemingly random military decisions and totally pissing off a number of allies while simultaneously impressing them with our wimpiness and incompetence.

        1. You know, Bush was a failure in any number of respects, but at least the U.S. was respected–and feared–as a military power. And we had a pretty clear foreign policy, with allies who knew we would act if necessary.

          I’d say this has a lot of merit to it. As a realist, I’m skeptical of most international interventions. But, the one thing worse than an interventionist is a feckless interventionist. Making a lot of loud threats and demands and then showing up with your dick in your hand is pretty much the textbook way to not be paid a lot of attention to.

    2. Obama’s foreign policy seems to be to tick off our friends while fruitlessly asking our enemies to be nicer. I’ll admit the first part seems to working.

      1. I legitimately think Obama’s really poorly thought out minor interventions could have worse lasting effects than Bush’s major interventions.

        Look at Libya. Iraq may be in bad shape, but at least the part of Iraq away from the ISIS controlled north-west maintains a relatively stable government. Afghanistan is still a shithole, but it’s no worse than it ever was.

        Libya is in the midst of total anarchy and our arming and training of Syrian rebels directly contributed to the length of time this war has lasted. We never had any plan of action in Syria (and realistically we probably should have just stayed out of it) so we just armed some rebel groups, said ‘fuck it,’ and were shocked when the war dragging on year after year resulted in progressively more radical groups arising.

        Syria is actually a wonderful place where Bush’s and Obama’s foreign policy failures come together into a gleaming pile of shit. Our Iraq ‘misadventure’ directly led to ISIS gaining control of high-tech military hardware that immediately made them a vastly larger threat than they otherwise would have been.

        1. ” Our Iraq ‘misadventure’ directly led to ISIS gaining control of high-tech military hardware that immediately made them a vastly larger threat than they otherwise would have been.”

          ISIS didn’t emerge out of ‘AQ in Iraq’ until well after 20011

          the arms they seized were mostly supplied to the Iraqi army as part of the drawdown process of US troops, where we handed a lot of materiel over to the Iraqis rather than ship all the crap back home*

          (*this ‘throw stuff away and call it ‘aid’ is highly incentivised by Congress, who prefers the Pentagon to be perpetually having to Buy New Shit, because all that spending comes home to the districts)

          1. sorry = meant to say “2011”.

            probably more like 2010… when a lot of the AQI prisoners @ Camp Bucca were being released back into the wild

          2. “the arms they seized were mostly supplied to the Iraqi army as part of the drawdown process of US troops, where we handed a lot of materiel over to the Iraqis rather than ship all the crap back home*”

            Hey, at least we didn’t give ’em (BOOOOM!)
            Oh, well…

          3. ISIS didn’t emerge out of ‘AQ in Iraq’ until well after 20011

            I know that. I was talking about the weaponry they got when the various Iraqi troops we’d supplied decided to turn tail and run while dropping all their weaponry to be picked up by ISIS.

            If Saddam had still been there, there is no way that ISIS would have been able to seize the territory it seized in Iraq, and they certainly wouldn’t have gotten all those nifty American tanks.

            Thankfully, ISIS is run entirely by morons, so they wasted a lot of the weapons they got from us.

            Hey, guys! Let’s send this tank the end of the street with no cover and have it blindly fire around a corner while we run around waving our hands! What could go wrong! ALLAHU AKBAR!

            1. On this specific front =

              studies done in 2012-2013 showed that “new materiel” being supplied (per gratis by the American taxpayer) to Iraq was being sold in Syria to rebels by corrupt Iraqi officials.

              We still resigned a deal recently to give them another 1.5bn in weapons aid. Of which you can be confident 30% of which will probably be siphoned off and end up in the hands of people we’ll later be bombing.

              But seriously though, Obama is so awesome.

              1. *footnote = some of that stuff ostensibly for iraq that got ‘leaked’ to Syrians? may have actually been earmarked for such by CIA.

                Its a mixed bag. Who’s to call it ‘corruption’ when we were doing the same thing, buying weapons back from Libyan rebels and then shipping them to Turkey?

            2. “Thankfully, ISIS is run entirely by morons, so they wasted a lot of the weapons they got from us.”

              These are god-talkers, about one step removed from those idjits in sub-Saharan Africa who were taught they were immune to injury from bullets.
              They (the IS[X]) think some god is on their side, and that fantasy has cost many lives the world over.
              Unless you’re representing the truly popular front (Viet Cong, until after they actually took power), your sky-daddy loses to my airplane EVERY TIME.

            3. Arabs just suck at war.

              1. Tell it to King Xerxes

                1. [pedantry]Persians are not Arabs.[/pedantry]

            4. That video was beautiful. Sweet Jeebus! The Soviets learned the lesson about leading armor with an infantry screen 60 years ago. Have none of the silly Mohammedans cracked a book on strategy or tactics?

        2. I think Libya was going this way no matter what. America should have stayed out, but Khaddafi was doomed no matter what. Same with Syria; there’s no reason to believe it would be better off if Sadaam was around funding instability in that country. Some things are just…inevitable.

  6. And when thousands of newly unemployed Somali yutes decide to throw in with the terrorists, “we” can deny blowback and continue to denounce Sheldon Richman for criticizing U.S. foreign policy.

    1. continue to denounce Sheldon Richman for criticizing U.S. foreign policy.

      Oh? Is that what you would call what Richman does?

      How dr?le!

  7. The Guardian also wants governments to go after HSBC with a vengeance.

    Fucking hypocrites.

    1. When did the Guardian have anything against Governments going after banks? Much of their commenters want them all nationalized.

  8. Speaking of Sheldon Richman why doesn’t he write an article on Greece? I don’t think he is particularly fond of neoliberalism, the IMF, Greek Oligarchs and the form of “austerity” being practiced there. But then again the EU is internationalist and the Greek anti-austerity movement is rather nationalist which, as Richman said is a poison (except the Palestinian kind). However since Richman is such a terrible writer he’ll mostly rant about the Colonels and the Greek Civil War and then tie into Mossadegh, Pinochet and Iraq.

    1. Reason has been ignoring the Greek election and the resultant lefty sword-rattling, as have most outlets.
      Euro-fatigue? It’s all Greek to them?
      Dunno.

      1. I know. It seems like a perfect current events topic, but it seems oddly under-discussed.

        Come on, folks, the “Coalition of the Radical Left” won election in an old and storied European country. It’s a Great Experiment! Let’s see how those radical left ideas work! Hillary, what’s your opinion? What do you think are their good ideas and bad ideas? And why? Senator Warren, does the Coalition of the Radical Left have any ideas that you think would be good for America? Which ones? Left-wing media types: your predictions?

        I think all non-leftists have a great opportunity here.

        1. None of the staff give a shit about the EU, that’s why apparently. EU news dropped off after Feeney left.

          1. it’s interesting that despite all the blather about the MSM most of what the New Media do is post links to MSM websites.

  9. Can we get another Dalibor Rohac article on the EU? They have done such a great job preventing SYRIZA from coming to power and their handling of Greece has been excellent. I’m sure 1970s deregulation will be sweeping Greece and the EU in no time.

  10. The community of peoples living here tho. We havta protect against the creepy money that can affect the functionings of the fed gov and all its myriad employees. The good American gulagommunist is truly about the protection of the special society. No negro should rate about the progmurican.

    1. The hapless negro here can be used for stilted gulagommunist agitation. Those silly horrible shit blacks in lame countries don’t add taxes into the progressive tax system here in the Murican cabal… so why should the lackadaisical shit-sucking prog give a single turd about Barack hating Murican dollars sent overseas to the needy? He won’t cuz his iron fist isn’t sending confiscated dollars.

      Those endless families pillaged, raped, tortured, and killed over the past few decades in that horrible shitty land… No one here gives a shit about you…

      I, however, care deeply and I wish I had a nculear staff of hell to siphon the suns rays into tiny lasers that could be directed into vaporizing your horrible enemies…

      I apologize for my drunken rant… i do NOT apologize for my empathy and deep desire for fairness…

        1. +1. I met Peter Bergman in 1976. His wife noticed I was wearing a “Papoon for President” button. Although I think mine said “He’s not insane.”

  11. Taking regulatory capture to a whole new level.

    It’s fairly stunning that the chief regulator at the state’s Division of Private Occupational Schools is a part-time instructor for a chain of yoga studios at the time she is advocating for more regulation of yoga teacher-training studios that are essentially the chain’s competitors.

    Equally relevant is the fact that the CorePower Yoga chain’s studios in Colorado already appear on the official list of teacher-training schools regulated by the state.

    But division director Lorna Candler nonetheless has been publicly justifying an aggressive attempt by her agency to crack down on 82 yoga studios that are not state certified.

    1. “It’s fairly stunning that the chief regulator at the state’s Division of Private Occupational Schools is a part-time instructor for a chain of yoga studios at the time she is advocating for more regulation of yoga teacher-training studios that are essentially the chain’s competitors.”

      D-w-T, you’re just not focusing on the real issue here: She’s looking out for the chillunz!
      Why do you hate the chillunz?

      1. Again, just the sort of libertarian-conservative issue the GOP should run on. Take the side of individual yoga instructors, for heaven’s sake. Force the Democrats to choose (or not): side with liberty and common sense and most voters and on a topic that hits a key Democrat voter block. Or not. The GOP could win many of the Whole Foods/Portlandia types. (Though they might not confess voting GOP to their friends.)

        A perfect freedom-oriented wedge issue.

  12. I would like to remind everyone that you don’t have to interact with Bo. You don’t need to do that to yourself.

    1. I guess some people are just masochists. Or they really, really like wasting their time.

    2. Warty|2.11.15 @ 10:52PM|#
      “I would like to remind everyone that you don’t have to interact with Bo.”

      This is true. And, similarly, do not bet on the Cubs to win the Series.
      You *can* do both; this is a libertarian site and it is your choice. But those with healthy minds understand that some activities are not conducive to that health.
      Just don’t do it; you will be much better off.

  13. OT: There’s a libertarian issue here, and an example of a reform that can help kill Obamacare in a way acceptable to libertarians and conservatives, and which challenges the Democrats to argue against personal choice.

    In late spring of 2013, the FDA announced it was classifying fecal matter as both an Investigational New Drug (IND) and a Biologic, and that only physicians currently in possession of an approved IND application would be allowed to continue performing fecal transplant.

    This resulted in less than 20 physicians in the U.S. being allowed to perform fecal transplant. There was a groundswell of opposition from physicians and patients, and on June 17th, 2013, the FDA reversed their position, and announced that qualified physicians could continue to perform FMT for recurrent C. diff. only, with signed consents from patients and tested donor stool.

    This has resulted in more and more physicians beginning to perform fecal transplant, but there are still only limited numbers serving the large population needing the treatment. There are also many patients who do not have a donor to assist them.

    […] the success rate for treatment of recurrent C. diff. is estimated to be well over 90%.

    In all documentation, dating back to 4th century China, there has never been a single , serious side effect reported from fecal transplant.

    1. But what does Jenny McCarthy think?

      I am not a doctor. I asked my Uncle Frank why he stayed so thin. Uncle Frank ate bacon and eggs every morning for breakfast and had extra helpings around the dinner table whenever it was available. He was 5’11 and about 160 lbs. I do not come from a family where such a personal question is ever asked, but I just blurted it out one day. I was overwhelmed by curiosity. He was always frank though. He said he took a crap shortly every meal. On the downside, he noted he often suffered from a stomach aches shortly before.

      1. Excellent post.

        This is just the sort of libertarian approach that the GOP could embrace and win with. Force Democrats to defend bureaucracy and attack “personal decisions.”

        Oh, and I want every candidate to have all the figures on what bureaucracies and regulations and laws really cost. How much do we pay second or day or month for FDA salaries? What’s the cost of regulations per person per day? Defensible, arguably understated numbers for everything. Everything 100% fact-checked.

        Counter Democrat spending plans with: “We already spend $XXX per day per American on the bureaucracy and red tape that you want more of. Well, I think Americans are smart and resourceful when you let them try to solve problems on their own. I don’t want Washington giving one-size-fits-all orders. Let’s let states and counties and cities and above all, free individuals have the freedom they deserve.”

        “Are there risks? Of course. But people are suffering and dying right now because we’re too afraid that someone might make a mistake. That’s not the spirit of America. That’s not spirit of the great inventors and innovators.”

        It’s a libertarian reboot of the Gingrich/Contract With America/Jack Kemp strategy.

    2. “In all documentation, dating back to 4th century China, there has never been a single , serious side effect reported from fecal transplant.”

      Sniff, sniff….
      Need I say more?

  14. In a recent case a woman got a fecal transplant from her obese daughter, and then proceeded to gain a large amount of weight in a year, despite her best efforts.

    So… let’s try the opposite, immediately. Transplant from a thin person into some obese volunteers. What if we have a simple cure for obesity?

    1) Knock out your native gut bacteria with an antibiotic.

    2) An enema.

    3) There is no step three.

    Cheap and easy.

    it’s an odd and indelicate topic for politics, much less a campaign platform. There would be jokes. But it’s such a chance for an experiment, low-cost, little risk, with potentially huge benefits.

    First off, we need a better name than “fecal matter transplant.” It sounds gross and dangerous. (Medical “transplants” are generally risky.) Just call it “bacteriotherapy.” Only some is done with feces, anyway.

    Now, can anyone else imagine Rand Paul or Scott Walker coming out in favor of allowing doctors more freedom to practice medicine, such as bacteriotherapy, as they see fit and if the patient agrees? Tie it in with a whole liberty-oriented deregulation agenda. Unleash technology! Aim high! Take some risks, America! We can do it!

    It’s also a good chance to put Democrats on the defensive. It’s bureaucrats and trial lawyers versus science and doctors and personal choice, and I think I know which side is more popular with voters.

    Maybe this is brilliant, or maybe this is precisely why I am not a political consultant….

    1. “a fecal transplant from her obese daughter”

      fatty shit on her mom?

    2. “There is no step 3”

      There had better be, and it had better involve replacing the native flora of the gut or else she is going to be unable to digest food/stuffed with C. difficile.

      1. I thought that was the purpose of the shit enema.

      2. That’s what’s in the enema. New and better bacteria.

  15. OT: Fuck Keith Olbermann and his stupid fucking face.

    1. OK.
      Was this referring to something?

      1. I said OT! I’m one of the very few viewers of ESPN FC (by DVR so it probably doesn’t help ratings but I do watch daily), ESPN’s daily soccer show and that stupid fuck’s show comes on immediately afterwards. I’d rather he was still on MSNBC where I would never see him instead of an obscure channel like ESPN News. I only see 30 secs or so when I’m not quick with my remote but it’s the most painful part of the show, his smug ass opening monologue.

        1. Missed it entirely, and will continue to miss any vid that includes Olbermann.
          I was hoping he’d managed to bloviate himself off of that gig.

        2. I always keep forgetting about ESPN FC, so I don’t have to deal with Olbermann.

          Of course, I wish I wouldn’t keep forgetting about ESPN FC.

  16. The Guardian on deficits:
    http://www.theguardian.com/com…..to-realise

    Joe Hockey, the treasurer, now concedes he may not be able to deliver his promised budget surplus any time in the foreseeable future. This news is good for private savings because, when the government runs a surplus, the non-government sector must run a deficit.

    This is a simple reality of macro-economic accounting. There are only so many Australian dollars. If the government taxes more than it spends (a surplus), it is taking more dollars out of the private sector than it is putting in. Assuming exports equal imports those dollars can come from only one place ? private domestic savings. Everyone’s surplus is somebody else’s deficit.

    1. “Everyone’s surplus is somebody else’s deficit.”

      Not sure if it is a Gaurdian quote or the Guardian is quoting someone else, but this requires a stupidity far beyond claiming the earth is five thousand years old; there is no evidence to dispute that claim until you examine facts removed from your every-day existence.
      No, the Guardian’s claim is far, far more stupid than that. The Guardian’s claim would mean that all 7Bn of us are still living on the lichen Ug scraped off the rocks and the fish Gu clubbed to death in the creek. That economy has now been sliced into pieces small enough that even NorK peasants would find lacking.
      Truly amazing stupidity!

  17. So did Tspiras appoint some free-marketers like HazelMeade thought he was going to do? Along with Anthony Gregory’s prediction that Obama wouldn’t go through with Obamacare and Kerry Howley and Radley Balko declaring that they hoped Obama was lying there seems to a be limit on “all politicians are liars” logic when you are assuming that leftists secretly plan to implement libertarianish reforms.

    1. 1. You support revisionist history.
      2. You cite Jesus as your reasoning for rejecting marriage equality.
      3. You use Biblical scriptute to excuse yourself from feeding the hungry.
      4. You lie when you say you value “freedom of religion.”
      5. You claim God speaks to you and tells you to do things.
      6. You question my faith.
      7. You care more about your guns than you do about children.
      8. You get excited about people dying.
      9. You assume that everyone who needs help are losers and parasites who refuse to work.
      10. You weren’t concerned about uninsured people? including me.
      11. The Creation Museum ? that is all.
      12. You’re liberal in youth, yet grow conservative in age.
      13. You don’t want people who disagree with you to vote.
      14. Some of your best friends are black. Or Mexican.

    2. 15. You scream about undocumented immigrant children at the border, but you hire Mexicans to do your dirty work.
      17. You don’t mind using force against “lesser” groups to get what you want.
      18. You love war, death, and destruction.
      19. Speaking of war, you think draft dodging is OK and military service is for the little people.
      20. You claim to care about the Constitution, but in reality you don’t.
      21. It’s impossible for you to see your privilege.
      22. You don’t care about children.
      24. You think our religion is the only one.
      25. You are lazy and you refuse to read.
      26. Your misfortune is God’s blessing.
      27. “Everyone has their lot in life.”
      28. You think you’re the only one working and paying taxes.

    3. Oops, the title:
      28 Reasons I’m DONE Talking To Most Of My Conservative Friends And Family Members

      anyway, lol

      1. Well, I’m not sure who that is in my circle of ‘friends’, but I’ll be more than happy to miss the discussion.

  18. Remittances from the Somalian diaspora amount to $1.2bn-$1.6bn a year,

    So, a generation from now, what level of guilt will the Western beard-scratchers feel when they realize that enticing the talented 10th out of Somalia and into the West was a disaster for those left behind?

    1. If the Somalis here are the talented tenth Somalia is destined for disaster regardless of emigration.

  19. Jon Stewart’s replacement should be a woman. It’s time.
    http://www.theguardian.com/com…..late-night

    1. Fauxcahantas needs a new gig!
      Or, how about that guy who was or is in the Kardashian family scrum? I hear he’s gonna get fem! He’d be a perfect replacement for Stewart; every bit as sincere.

    2. … to watch Conan.

    3. It won’t ever happen, but I’d love to see Gavin McInnis replace him.

      Such a meltdown as never before seen…

  20. So… the progressives really do watch the Daily Show as their primary source of news?

    Jon Stewart’s exit as a phony newsman is a loss to real news

    The timing of Stewart’s departure could hardly be worse from the viewer’s perspective, with the 2016 presidential campaign gearing up. In recent cycles, Stewart had made himself as much a part of the electoral process as ballot-counting disputes.

    For that and many other reasons, it’s hard to fathom the scope of the void he will leave. As a champion of enlightened phoniness in TV journalism, Stewart has proven himself to be one-of-a-kind, a fake who’s unrivalled as the real deal.

  21. Is Matt Welch Bo?
    https://reason.com/archives/201…..-libertari

    It’s a pathetic statement about contemporary American politics that a few short years from now, libertarians may start to feel nostalgic for the guy.

    Um doesn’t that contradict all the “libertarian moment” spiel?

    1. hardly in context:

      In many important ways-especially on Obamacare, domestic surveillance, and Keynesian economics-Barack Obama will rightly go down as a solidly anti-libertarian president. It’s a pathetic statement about contemporary American politics that a few short years from now, libertarians may start to feel nostalgic for the guy.

      After eight years of Obama, I feel nostalgic for Clinton, that’s how the ratchet works.

      1. A “libertarian moment” is when the ratchet goes down rather than up.

        1. I agree I misinterpreted your comment.

      2. After eight years of Obama, I feel nostalgic for Clinton, that’s how the ratchet works.

        Also so many libertarians predicted that, using Clinton as evidence, that the fall of the USSR and the Horrors of Bush meant that the Democrats had seen the light and became libertarian. What happened?

      3. After eight years of Bush, a lot of Republicans were nostalgic for Clinton.

        1. And Obama was basically 8 more years of Bush

  22. Jon Stewart’s fans were gobsmacked

    By Frazier Moore. If ‘Frasier’ isn’t a gobsmacking white-privileged male first name I’ll be Earnest ‘widget’ Hollingsworth III.

  23. Guess whose communications director said this?

    But as the District of Columbia, like other American cities, flourishes in an unprecedented urban renaissance of private investment, sprouting eateries frequented by an influx of young professionals making it in the marketplace…

  24. Is a country really obligated to allow its currency to be send overseas by use for non-citizens?

    Maybe they should buy goods here in the US with that money and send them over to Somalia? Okay, shipping would be a bitch, and a lot of it might get pirated, but…

  25. IMO ending the remittances is a bad foreign policy move. Will some of that money end up in the “wrong hands” ? A small amount surely. Most of it will end up in the hands of people who will buy what they need, or to start businesses. Strong economies always have a stabilizing effect on societies.
    Some may call this American exceptionalism. I call it Flea Market foreign policy.

  26. my best friend’s ex-wife makes $65 an hour on the computer . She has been without a job for seven months but last month her check was $13740 just working on the computer for a few hours. try this…………..

    ????? http://www.netpay20.com

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