Sentencing Reform

Christian Ethicist Says Freeing Prisoners 'Would Make Their Lives Worse'

Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig argues that sentencing reform "won't work" without more welfare spending.

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In a recent New Republic essay, Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig notes that "criminal justice reform, especially prison reform, has become a rare point of bipartisan activism." But don't get too excited, she says, because conservatives are only in it for the money. Bruenig thinks any money saved by reducing the prison population should be spent on social services, but the Republicans who support sentencing reform will never go for that, which means "Conservatives' Prison Reform Plans Won't Work" (as the headline puts it). Is Bruenig, who specializes in "Christian ethics," saying that efforts to make our criminal justice system less senselessly punitive are not worth pursuing unless taxpayers' money is reallocated in the way she prefers? She sure seems to be:

The real question isn't whether these conservatives care about the disadvantaged, but whether their approach will indeed improve the lives of the disadvantaged. There's strong evidence of quite the opposite—that it would make their lives worse.

Bruenig never supplies that evidence. In fact, two paragraphs later, she concedes that "reducing prison populations will doubtlessly improve a vast number of lives." Two paragraphs after that, she admits that "reducing the prison population would improve the lives of the otherwise incarcerated." The fact that she felt compelled to make such blindingly obvious statements should have alerted her that her train of thought had run off the rails. But Bruenig is so focused on discrediting the Koch brothers, Rand Paul, and other reform-friendly Republicans that she is oblivious to this logical disaster.

I understand that, in Bruenig's view, freeing people serving draconian sentences is not enough. She would also like to see more government spending on education, job training, health care, and drug treatment to address "the underlying issues that compromise the lives of people long before they become inmates." But even if that money never materializes, making the punishment fit the crime by locking up fewer people for less time is not just a worthwhile goal that unites people on the left and right. It is morally obligatory. 

Although Bruenig semi-retracts her thesis that people are better off in prison ("the only place where healthcare and college education come free to vastly poor populations") than they would be on the outside without the government's financial support, her main purpose is to undermine the bipartisan, transideological alliance in favor of criminal justice reform. It is hard to understand why anyone who truly cares about this issue would want to do that. Bills recently introduced by Republicans along with Democrats would free thousands of drug offenders and help thousands of future defendants avoid prison or spend less time there. That is worth doing no matter what happens to the money that would have been spent on keeping those people in cages.

These bills already face opposition from "tough on crime" authoritarians like Chuck Grassley, and now Bruenig is encouraging progressives to view them with suspicion by saying they "won't work." They will work if the goal is to alleviate the egregious injustices inflicted by our mindlessly harsh penal system. People who do not belong in prison should not be held hostage until Bruenig's spending demands are met.

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  1. She appears to be neither “Christian” nor “ethical”… unless my Newspeak Dictionary is out of date again?

    1. Oh she’s very, very Christian. Just ask her what she thinks about nonprocreative sex. Short version: heteros should be more like homosexual “bug chasers,” because at least they understand sex isn’t sexy without danger.

      1. To quote some of our commenters… “Da fuq”?! “Go try to catch a potentially fatal disease, its hot!” – like that?!

        1. Well except for straights it’s less a fatal disease, more…a chronic condition, amirite?

          1. It’s now a chronic condition for pretty much everyone provided you get on Truvada early and stay on it. The life expectancy for HIV patients keeps going up with each passing year.

            1. Sorry, Tonio, I realized my joke was ambiguos…the chronic condition I was referring to was being a parent.

              1. Ah, go forth and risk unplanned pregnancy…got it.

              2. It’s cool, Nikki. You may be The Worst(tm) in many ways, but animus towards teh gays isn’t one of them. Also, while I find bug chasers to be idiots at best, I feel it’s important to spread the word that HIV is at least an order of magnitude less scary in 2015 USA than it was earlier.

                1. Stalinism is scarier:

                  Nixon went after cannabis to jail his political enemies. The essence of Stalinism.

                  “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

                  1. Do you have a source for that quote? I had never heard it before and when I Googled it all I got were a bunch of posters and bloggers copying the same text without anyone listing the actual source material.

            2. Eventually they’ll be immortal, and then after outliving everyone else the world will be theirs!

      2. Oh shit, I let my hatred of ESB spill over, it was actually Rachel Lu who wrote the thing about bug chasing. But ESB is still awful.

        1. Your credibility is destroyed forever. Would that make you the worst?

          1. I issued a correction, so no.

        2. This is Rachel Lu? How disappointing.

          1. I was going to make that joke. But I thought better of it.

            1. I thought better of it, then thought worse. I’m cranky today.

          2. Were you really going to be interested, considering?

        3. ESB recently wrote the world’s most retarded article, on 50 Shades of Grey and inequality and capitalism.

          1. I tweeted her something like “Do you wake up in the morning thinking ‘hey, I’ll write something retarded’, or does it just come naturally?”

            She responded, but I didn’t read it.

      3. Oh she’s very, very Christian. Just ask her what she thinks about nonprocreative sex. Short version: heteros should be more like homosexual “bug chasers,” because at least they understand sex isn’t sexy without danger.

        Are those the ideas that define all of “Christianity”, or just of some subset thereof? I haven’t noticed that the entire population of that particular religion identify themselves by reference to genital amusements, but I could be missing the nuances.

        1. Are you joking, or retarded?

          1. He’s making fun of her retarded husband’s column here.

            1. Never heard of that clown before, and now I’m wishing I still hadn’t. What a snotty little turd he is.

              -jcr

            2. She’s married? She doesn’t even look old enough to have legal sex.

              1. Her kind of Christian gets married young so’s they can get to the sanctioned fuckin’.

                1. Well I don’t really see a problem with that. And in any case, sense she’s currently working on her PhD, she’s probably older than she looks.

          2. Is that a rhetorical question?

            1. I have a terrible memory for who’s a tedious TEAM RED shithead and who’s merely mocking them.

        2. She has an MPhil in Christian theology and is very clearly a leftist Christian. Go read her writings; they speak for themselves.

          1. “Go read her writings”

            GAH! NO! You are the worst!

        3. The comment was in response to someone saying that she didn’t seem very Christian.

          You are correct, but by the same token, another Christian can’t say that she isn’t Christian because of her particular views that they disagree with.

          1. Christians can’t just go around calling each other apostates! Who do they think they are, Muslims?

            1. Well, I suppose they can. But what is the point if you can’t murder the apostates?

              1. Well, having known some Jehovah Witnesses who quit their church, apparently a lot of shunning.

                1. There is that. There is a big split in my wife’s family over just that.

            2. Lutherans, Anglicans and Catholics have been vigorously calling each other apostates for quite long time..

              -jcr

              1. And all of the above comments are completely serious and meant to be taken literally.

              2. And by “vigorously” you mean “with pitchforks, clubs, and rifles”?

      4. “Oh she’s very, very Christian. Just ask her what she thinks about nonprocreative sex. Short version: heteros should be more like homosexual “bug chasers,” because at least they understand sex isn’t sexy without danger.”

        Wait, what? Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig is like a bottomless well of idiocy. When you think you’ve reached the bottom, you’ve only just begun.

      5. Nixon for sure was a Christian.

        Nixon went after cannabis to jail his political enemies. The essence of Stalinism.

        “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

        1. Nixon was a Quaker, which in the grand geography of Christianity is certainly one of the most distant provinces. Yes, Christian, but Christian mystics.

    2. What Nikki said. Basically, she’s what Eddie would be if he creamed his panties at the sight of Che pictures.

      1. Wasn’t Che a Knight of Malta?

      2. “What Nikki said.”

        What Nikki said was, “Oh shit, I let my hatred of ESB spill over, it was actually Rachel Lu who wrote the thing about bug chasing. But ESB is still awful.”

        1. You’re still the butt of the joke, Eddie. “Butt,” get it?

          1. What, sexual humor on H&R? Now I’ve seen everything!

        2. How’s repelling the Ottoman hordes going?

          1. Malta remains free of the Sultan.

            1. East Cyprus needs liberating.

            2. THANKS TO CELIBACY!

        3. And she’s still a Christian and doesn’t like nonprocreative sex.

          1. I’m not sure where to start. I read the Rachel Lu article which you originally confused with an Elizabeth Stoker article:

            http://thefederalist.com/2015/…..test-kind/

            And the article says that “devout, married Catholic men are especially likely to go in for real sex, and they seem to have it pretty good” – linking to an article whose headline is “Devout Catholics Have Better Sex, Study Says.”

            But, just to make clear, Elizabeth Stoker had nothing to do with either of these articles.

            You claim that Stoker doesn’t like nonprocreative sex. Maybe she does, maybe she doesn’t, but this time, maybe you could favor us with a link?

            1. Sure thing. How’s this http://ethikapolitika.org/2014…..ther-name/

              1. Elizabeth Stoker Guest ? 7 months ago
                We’re at a point where certain forms of sexual misconduct are in a position to gain widespread social tolerance — ‘polyamory’ is one of them. It’s important that Christian communities maintain our language here because it enforces a habit of mind that encourages virtue, and in turn prevents the manipulative language at hand from gaining ground. So the proper question would be: if we had never socially agreed to call second marriages ‘wives’ or ‘husbands’, but had rather used some other term that acknowledged the sacramental reality, would we see such widespread tolerance of divorce and remarriage in Christian communities? I guess that it’s possible, but I would predict at least a marginal decrease in tolerance had the language always been kept reflective of tradition. My hope is that by getting in on the ‘ground floor’ of this push and pointedly hanging onto our own language for the phenomenon, we can hold out a bit better than we have on other related issues.
                1 ? Reply?Share ?

                Oh, Jesus fucking Christ. I knew she was a dirt-worshiping savage, but I didn’t realize she was this bad.

                1. “It’s important that Christian communities maintain our language …in turn prevents the manipulative language at hand from gaining ground. … if we had never socially agreed to call second marriages ‘wives’ or ‘husbands’,”

                  It really looks like she’s the one trying to manipulate the language.

              2. She speaks in favor of BOTH contraception and abortion here http://www.theamericanconserva…..i-poverty/ but more recently has said she is pro-life http://www.capitalnewyork.com/…..the-new-re

                1. And she wants to rob from all of us to pay people in hopes they won’t get an abortion.

                2. ESB appears to be immensely confused.

      3. Maybe you’ll write me off as a shithead, but I don’t see even Eddie as so extreme as to be an advocate of locking people up in prison for their own good.

        That takes a fucking special kind of evil.

        1. Ask him about adultery.

          1. Yeah, ask me!

            1. Hey, Eddie, tell us about adultery?

              1. Aren’t you re-married, Old Man? That makes you an adulterer.

                1. A double adulterer since I’m on Wife 3.

                2. Okay, if that’s his position, it is pretty damned stupid. But, I don’t think it quite escalates to approving of people being kept in prison.

                  1. He wants prostitution to remain illegal because it might result in adultery, so he does want people thrown in jail for his interpretation of marriage.

                    But, no… I have never seen Eddie advocate people being kept in prison for social welfare reasons. But ESB wants to do it for leftist reasons, which Warty said was a difference between the two of them.

                    1. Point taken.

                      I’d always assumed he was expressing misgivings rather than straight asserting statism.

                      If that’s the case, I won’t say much to defend him.

                    2. Not a big deal. He has a tendency to bust out his more extreme positions in mostly dead threads or when he’s backed into a corner. They are easy to miss.

        2. Eddie’s a special kind of evil, no doubt about that.

          1. As opposed to Warty, who is just regular evil.

        3. I don’t get the Eddie hate. I figure some people here must have problems that Eddie shines a light on.

    3. Looks kind of cute though. I’d hit that. Not sure if it would straighten her out. Or be that final big mistake which would ruin her forever though.

      1. I disagree. That picture looks to me like Sheldon Cooper in drag.

    4. Nixon was a Christian.

      Nixon went after cannabis to jail his political enemies. The essence of Stalinism.

      “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

      1. Ok, that’s the third time you’ve posted that quote, which I couldn’t find a source for. So, I’m guessing some kind of Troll.

        But what’s the point in trying to make Nixon look worse than he was by some kind of made up racist quote? I’m pretty sure he’s not going to run for office again.

      2. Marijuana was already illegal at the federal and state level before Nixon went in the Army, much less any political office.Nixon’s role in the War on Drugs was signing the Controlled Substances Act, passed by a Democratic congress to fulfill our obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty that was fucking signed by JFK.

        Nixon was every kind of statist fuck on everything domestic except ending the draft and Selective Service (revived by Jimmy Carter) but he shares responsibility for the War on Drugs with a whole lot of other politicians, particularly the Democrats who signed drug prohibition into law Wilson, FDR (the president you can thank for making marijuana illegal in the first place, and LBJ (goodbye legal LSD). The feds and the states were arresting and caging people for drugs long before Nixon was on the scene. Marijuana possession penalties were actually reduced during his term in office because the voters didn’t want their kids doing hard time for Mary J.

    5. We can’t start helping poor people, come on… They need to stay in their cages and give the money to the privatized prison industry instead of those convicts. Many of them were put in prisons because of non violent offenses like pot possession charges. We should just keep them in cages and when those cells fill up we can put them in FEMA camps, but that will be OK because we can privatize them, that way a few corporations like Wackenhut, CCA and GEO Group will get all of the government money instead of helping the poor people. Then those corporations can get even more draconic laws passed through organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council and put anyone that receives government aid or defaults on student loans in the privatized prisons or privatized FEMA camps. Then we can brag about America being the home of the incarcerated.

  2. That dead tooth always creeps me out.

    1. She refuses modern dentistry until universal dental coverage is the law of the land.

      1. What’s wrong with a dead tooth?

        1. HAH! Epi loves dead-toothed twats! HAH!

            1. Hey, Epi, apparently her nude selfies are available on The Fappening.

        2. I like girls with a dead tooth. I know where to punch them when they get uppity.

          1. True, in a sense, you’re doing them a favor. Free dentistry!

        3. I knew you were going for a Maureen Ponderosa moment even before I clicked on the link.

  3. Someone is treating Elizabeth Stoker “Jesus told me communism is awesome” Bruenig as a serious thinker? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    1. If she were of age in the early 1980s, she would have tried to go to Nicaragua to help the Sandis as a Maryknoller or somesuch.

    2. she’s been writing a lot of stupid shit lately as evidenced here.

      1. I thought her name sounded familiar.

    3. That’s what working for The New New Republic buys you.

      1. “The last remnants of the New Republic have been swept away forever.”

        “But that’s impossible! How will the Publisher maintain control without sane columnists?

        “The Editorial Board now has direct control over their turf. Fear will keep the local writers in line. Fear of losing a paycheck.”

        1. “This newspaper is now the ultimate power in the universe.”

          “No it isn’t, you fucking moron.”

        2. “I find your lack of editors disturbing.”

        3. “Many copywriters lost their jobs to bring us this information.”

          1. These are not the drafts you are looking for.

    4. I’ve never heard of this girl. Is she some sort of Christian hipster?

    5. Actually Pete Dominick is a bit of an ESB groupie. But then again, he has been examining the full range of political and economic philosophy from progressivism to Marxism for the past several years.

      Her critique is rather shallow and she appears to be a rather educated but witless social critic who is tragically uncurious overall. I suppose it is the arrogance of youth and ability.

      1. Minus the ability part.

        1. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!XEONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Are you back now?

          1. I’ve been back for like a week, man.

            And don’t think i’ve forgotten our blood feud. I NEVER FORGET.

        2. I don’t think she is without ability, just that the analysis is so awful…

  4. When I was sic,k and in prison, you came and visited me….and said ‘Boy, are you lucky to be here! Imma gonna tell the Roman prefect to keep you locked up!!!’

    Prog II, 3-4

    1. Ha! Good one, Switzy.

  5. the only place where healthcare and college education come free to vastly poor populations

    At the price of being locked in a cage. But that’s OK, right Elizabeth? It’s OK if you’re locked in a cage as long as you technically have “free” health care and education. In fact, let’s make the whole country a cage, but with “free” health care and education! Remind you of anywhere?

    What a shame, she’s a cutie. Physically. Mentally she’s pretty disgusting.

    1. I bet the quality of health care and education in prison is amazing.

      1. It is, if you’re a diabetic, they allow you to get gangrene and chop off your leg at a much younger age than would happen on the outside… that way you’re more likely to recover, since younger bodies bounce back from the trauma of amputation better.

      2. do they get dental?

        1. Yeppers. When the Aryans break out your teeth with a pipe so you can go all night without getting tired, you can fill out a form to request some county dentures.

      3. Regular colon exams.

    2. What a shame, she’s a cutie.

      I prefer women who look slightly older than 12.

      1. Wouldn’t that make it less hot?

      2. I prefer women who look slightly older than 12

        Ahem.

    3. She really needs to personally research the subject she’s writing on.

    4. In fact, let’s make the whole country a cage, but with “free” health care and education! Well, that is what the progressive want, isnt’ it?

  6. Look, anyone who says that being raped by your cellmate before being shanked in the yard of a brutal and overcrowded prison is somehow worse than the possibility of living under Republican administration is obviously lying.

    1. Offer it up to Jesus, Hugh. I mean really.

      1. I don’t know what that means, so I’ll have to assume it’s an Archer reference.

        1. You offer your suffering to God as a sacrifice. WWESBD?

      2. You mean Jesus the Latino gan leader right? Pronounced like ‘hezeus’? Cause you will definitely be ‘offering ti up’ ………nightly.

    2. That isn’t quite the point. She is using this as a means to critique libertarian and “small government” conservatives regarding government spending. She’s all for taking people out of prison, as long as they can all be forced into other forms of bondage to the government. All for their own good of course.

  7. Sooooo… prison is really awesome welfare for the disadvantaged. I’m sure all the prisoners would be happy to know she’s on their side.

  8. I hate to see morally crippled monsters like Elizebeth Bruenig being given the oxygen of publicity, but in contending against their vile, hateful and malevolent ideas, one necessarily must draw attention to their existence.

    1. Yeah, you still have to put up a hazard sign for a toxic waste spill of thought like that.

    2. Well put, tarran, well put.

  9. Democrat: The prison money saved should go towards rehabilitation!

    Republican: The prison money saved should go towards law enforcement/military.

    Anyone Else: Give me my money back.

    Please, please America, vote for Anyone Else for a change.

    1. Can we change that to “I want my FUCKING MONEY BACK, YOU THIEVING BASTARDS!!!”

      Just to add a little “oomph”, if you please?

      1. In lieu of an edit button, consider it amended.

        /nod

  10. Never heard of this fascist cunt before.

    Hope I never do again.

    1. She was featured on H&R once before – she is a real piece of work.

      1. Hey man, I’m a bit of an ESB connoisseur, so she’s been featured in the comments far more than once.

        I’m pretty sure I’ve posted every article ESB has written for the New Republic on this site at some point. This means that I might have some emotional problems I should deal with.

        1. I meant in posts – I try to stay away from the NR.

  11. Wait, what? I don’t think you can call yourself an ethicist without, you know, ethics.

    1. you can, you just lack any sort of credibility. Kind of like palin’s buttplug can claim to be a libertarian or Barack Obama can claim to be a black guy.

      1. Or a libertarian can claim to be a women.

        1. So I’m a libertarian claiming to be a woman? I thought I was a woman claiming to be a libertarian?

          I’ve recently started using the phrase “self-identifies as” for all descriptions of people. Such as, “Jen, who self-identifies as Catholic, will be singing at Mass this week.” “Zac, who self-identifies as a sailor, is shipping out this week.” “My dog, who self-identifies as a dachshund is late for her shots.”

      2. Or progressives claiming to be human, or have souls.

    2. Apparently you can, ProL, since every person I’ve ever seen call themselves an ethicist was the exact opposite.

      1. I suppose the Nazi quote from The Big Lebowski would be appropriate here.

        1. “Are these the Nazi’s Pro?”

          1. No Idle, these women are ethicists, they’re nothing to be afraid of.

        2. Shut the fuck up, Donny.

      2. Oh, they are ethicists. It’s just that their ethics are terrible.

        I think that the difference between ethics and morals are that ethics are just whatever anyone says they are. Which makes it really easy to be an ethicist.

      3. Like the hospital “ethicist” who stopped by to chat with me about my (very, very) terminally ill grandmother? My father’s comment was ‘ oh yeah, you mean the hospital CYA guy?’.

    3. defn – Ethicist: honorary title given to yourself to impress idiots who can be so impressed upon that your ethical opinions are more important than theirs.

  12. How can anyone be a christian ethicist? did the crusades just not happen? and she’s a communist? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

    1. Here, try this

      *hands foil roll to IH, and points to nice foil homburg*

      Keeps me sane! EEP!

    2. How can anyone be an ethicist? No human mind could stand that amount of navel gazing and remain sane.

      1. I think you answered your own question. How can you be an ethicist? By being insane and actually believing that people should listen to the ridiculous things you say.

    3. After the crusades (and all the other sh*t), how could the church still survive without professional apologists? They also need historians. The combined message is: X didn’t happen; but even if X did happen, it wasn’t so bad, and in any case, it was perfectly ethical! It takes a lot of skill and education to make those kinds of arguments with a straight face.

  13. Just a general question: I see a lot of people like her whose writing draws attention and is widely disseminated. What causes this? Quality of prose? Clearly not. Originality of thought? Not really. Clear and logical reasoning? Nope.

    What, then? How do you explain an ESB or a Marcotte or any of the other mediocrities who attain publishing success?

      1. You can get that lots of places. I’d say they must possess some type of skill. Like the ability to suck the chrome off a trailer hitch.

        1. Her work is so sexophobic that either she’s a total freak in meatspace or unbelievably repressed. I’m more inclined to believe the latter, actually.

          1. I choose to believe the former…for selfish reasons.

      2. Anal sex is sex that is not open to life, Warty.

        1. That’s not true. Sometimes God is in the brownest of dribbles.

          1. I may put that on my Coat of Arms.

            1. Of course, by “coat of arms”, you refer to your cloak sewn together from the dried shrived left-arms of all the Viet Cong you killed in the ‘Nam.

              1. Shhhhh, that was supposed to be Our Secret.

              2. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn’t see. We went back there, and Jenny McCarthy had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms.

          2. Sometimes God is in the brownest of dribbles

            Interdum Deus sit in brunneis effluo

            1. With a bottle of Astroglide, Dexter and a bag of candy, Sinister? Oh, and a tear stained mattress Couchant.

            2. Sometimes, let God be in brown things; I flow out?

    1. What makes you say they are successful? That their content is posted here?

      1. That they get published, they get paid for it, and they get a lot of attention (not just here).

      2. They make a living at it, yet millions of people cannot. They have to be considered successful by that measure alone.

        And the answer is: They confirm the bias of some people and enrage everyone else. Clickbait journalism is in its ascendancy. Marcotte is the Mencken of Derp.

        1. Are we really so sure Marcotte isn’t a self aware troll?

          1. I’m not sure she’s a self-aware human. She seems completely devoid of anything remotely resembling shame or integrity.

        2. the Mencken of Derp

          Should that be an annual prize, from the Reason Foundation? You get $13.04 and a LA Metro one way ticket good for any destination in the system?

          1. Hey, that would be a good thing for Reason to get some publicity! The Annual Derp Awards for the Dumbest Thing Said in Advocacy Journalism.

            We could call them THE DERPIES!

            1. I got derpies from not washing my hands after reading an issue of The Weekly Standard. Once you get that shit, it stays got.

              1. The most Hugh can hope for now is just controlling his viral load.

                1. Its not as bad as space herpes, is it now?

            2. I know it’s early but this has to be in the running right?

              Inequality Becomes More Visible in Cuba as the Economy Shifts

              As Cuba opens the door wider to private enterprise, the gap between the haves and have-nots, and between whites and blacks, that the revolution sought to diminish is growing more evident.

              That divide is expected to increase now that the United States is raising the amount of money that Americans can send to residents of the island to $8,000 a year from $2,000, as part of President Obama’s historic thaw with Cuba.

              Remittances, estimated at $1 billion to nearly $3 billion a year, are already a big source of the capital behind the new small businesses. The cash infusion has been one of the top drivers of the Cuban economy in recent years, rivaling tourism revenue and mineral, pharmaceutical and sugar exports.

              But some will enjoy that support more than others. Cuban economists say that whites are 2.5 times more likely than blacks to receive remittances, leaving many in crumbling neighborhoods like Little Swamp nearly invisible in the rise of commerce, especially the restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts that tourists tend to favor.

              1. Oh, yeah. That’s got to be a finalist.

            3. THE DERPIES

              Nice – now we just need a few categories?

              Feminist of the Year
              SJW of the Year
              Greatest Derp – Economics
              Greatest Derp – Politics
              Greatest Derp – Culture

              Life Time Award – “Approaches Peak Derp”

              1. Journalism

                Campaign Flub (Carson in first place right now?)

                Police Fuck-up

              2. I dunno. Since so many of the SJW’s focus on women does feminism really need it’s own category?

                1. I love the idea of The Derpies. Reason needs to get on that. There needs to be an Evil Derp category. I nominate this year’s Vox column advocating throwing innocent men into prison to help stop rape as the leading favorite. If there is Evil Derp of the Decade I really want Sad Beard’s column to be nominated in which he advocated the end of all currency so that the government can track every single penny anyone spends. That column still pisses me off.

    2. Clickbait and shitty editors

    3. For the same reason that Michael Bay keeps getting hired to direct movies…

      The crowd is fickle and capricious and sometimes it really, really likes the work-product of talentless hacks.

      1. Best answer so far.

      2. Bay may be a “hack” but he’s not talentless. He’s quite good at making the type of movie he sets out to make.

          1. I was leaving contemplating the type of movie Bay makes and the work and talent involved as an exercise for the reader.

            Hint: you are not comparing apples to apples.

        1. And he blows things up good. He blows up things REAL good!

          1. +1 Flaherty

      3. It has little to do with demand, and much to do with having wealthy Leftist patrons.

      4. It has little to do with demand, and much to do with having wealthy Leftist patrons.

    4. Mass psychosis.

    5. I suspect Warty’s and antisocial-ist’s theories hold water in some cases. That said, I don’t think you can omit things like school networks, family connections, or the power of the circle jerk (I publish you if you publish me and we repeat until it looks like we’re popular).

      1. +1 Positive Peer Review

      2. Painting the tape.

    6. Confirmation of bias and emotional gratification of readership for expressing opinions that validate them?

    7. There has to be a web of Leftwing patrons funding this stuff.

  14. And you guys said that PEAK DERP was unattainable! I think we have a VIABLE candidate here. This twat has less consistency or credibility than teh Weigel…

    1. It isn’t stupid, it’s just evil.

    2. Oh just wait, next week or the week after someone will manage to out derp even this stupid cunt. If I were a betting man my money would be on either Marcotte, Sad Beard, Krugman, or anyone who writes for Salon doing it.

  15. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8012 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.work-mill.com

  16. I thought Jacob had to be mischaracterizing this article. But then I read it, looking for the reasoning about how prison reform won’t work, and got stuff like this gem:

    The fact that prisons act as de-facto welfare agencies delivering healthcare, college education, shelter, and job training should emphasize the gaping holes in our social insurance system.

    Shorter summary of this article: “Because TEAM RED is proposing this, and their stated intentions don’t match mine, we should reject this and not change anything — unless we can get only purehearted TEAM BLUE people to endorse this, and not ally with those TEAM RED meanies.”

    Holy fuck. Talk about a complete empathy fail.

    1. TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM! TEAM!

    2. Wait, is she advocating institutionalizing welfare recipients?

  17. Doesn’t incarceration make you “choose” to be gay?
    I’m sure some doctor or something was saying that, so it must be true.

    Free healthcare, free college education, gay sex and lifting weights all day.
    What more could you ask for?

    1. Since gender is now choice, can I choose to be incarcerated at a women’s correctional facility in gen pop?

  18. I made the mistake of looking at this retarded twat’s twitter feed.

    Do yourselves a favor: don’t.

  19. I would imagine that she isn’t really a Christian, that–much like David Brock’s “conservatism” or Bill Maher’s “libertarianism–she just playing a role for the audience.

    1. I would imagine that what she views as being “Christian” is very different from what a lot of people view as being “Christian”. The same goes for being “ethical”.

      1. No, liberation theology is definitely a thing, and especially “trendy” with Pope Francis giving his wink, wink, nudge ,nudge approval of it.

        1. Yep. She seems like a very straightforward type of Catholic to me; I’m confused about why folks are so confused.

          1. I guess you know more about this than me, dude. God DAMN it you’re the worst.

          2. Yep. She seems like a very straightforward type of Catholic to me; I’m confused about why folks are so confused.

            Because everyone knows that teh catlickers aren’t true Christians and that teh Roman potpourri is teh Antichrist…

    2. It’s possible. Her Twitter feed suggests she loves trolling.

    3. Long-term role, dude. She’s religious studies scholar. I buy it.

  20. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig is probably a very, very stupid person.

  21. She and her husband both have a lot of work decyring libertarianism. If you must have enemies, it’s good to have the right enemies, I guess.

    1. decyring their uneducated, strawman concocted version of libertarianism.

      Miss Lizzy here is the one who claimed the NAP would morally prevent someone from rescuing another from a burning building. It’s not like she knows of what she speaks.

    2. Every time you attack libertarianism, libertarians respond by saying you haven’t actually attacked libertarianism. You’ve only attacked one libertarian or one perspective, but that’s not the right one to look at it. You are engaging in a straw man argument. And so on. It never ends. You can’t ever deliver a square blow against it because your description of it is never correct, no matter what you say.

      And then he spends the rest of the article acting like Rothbard is the God of Libertarianism in order to attack all libertarians. Idiot.

      1. You can’t ever deliver a square blow against it because your description of it is never correct, no matter what you say.

        That’s correct, Mr. Bruenig, your description is never correct, no matter what you say, because you are a mendacious twat.

      2. Collectivist gonna collectivize, NutraSweet. Note his utter inability to understand rejection of collective guilting.

      3. And so on. It never ends. You can’t ever deliver a square blow against it because your description of it is never correct, no matter what you say.

        He fails to understand that HIS description of libertarianism ISN’T correct, because he has no fucking clue what the NAP means.

        1. Yes, that’s my reaction, too. When you really don’t understand the opposition and the opposition points that out, whining that they’re shifting the goalposts is rather disingenuous.

      4. My favorite part of that article is that Bruenig is basically angry that libertarians think for themselves and don’t all agree with each other and therefore you have to argue with the individual rather than some collective philosophy.

        I’ve never met a libertarian who I agreed with on everything. Literally never. I think there are some things a libertarian has to oppose (government attacks on free speech, for example) but there’s an awful large difference between libertarians outside of issues like that.

        We don’t engage in group think to the level progressives do, and this makes Matt Bruenig sad.

        1. I see how his train of thought worked. The problem is that ESB started by citing some poll by “self-described libertarians,” who held a bunch of unlibertarian positions. This was called out as nonsense, because there are some basic tenets of what constitutes a libertarian, even if “self-described” libertarians don’t hold them. Rothbard is cited as one source for some basic libertarian positions. He then picks Rothbard alone as sole arbiter of all things libertarian.

          It’s going from judging a group insanely broadly to judging it too narrowly by only looking at one man/sect. If he wasn’t so committed to making this point, I hope he’d recognize how stupid this is.

    3. Jesus. One guy said said to look at Rothbard, some other guy at a whole different site said Rothbard was pretty crazy. Libertarians are so hypocritical!

      1. Yep. Let’s not take a step back and question the claim that Rothbard is the founder of modern libertarianism. That leaves out Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and the like.

        Anyway, I think the confusion stems from the fact that Progressivism does have a consistent metaphysics of radical materialism. Matter is everything. Therefore, Science has all of the answers. Therefore, we should be governed by Top Men who are well versed in Science. QED.

        1. Anyway, I think the confusion stems from the fact that Conservatism does have a consistent metaphysics of radical spirituality. God is everything. Therefore, Religion has all of the answers. Therefore, we should be governed by Top Men who are well versed in Theology. QED.

          The difference between progressivism and conservatism is slight, unfortunately.

  22. Why are we spending time on her writings? Does she have credibility anywhere?

    1. She has a paying job at a (formerly?) prestigious commie rag. That buys a certain kind of credibility among a certain species of retard.

      1. So we should have brought cake, dammit all!

      2. How does communism have prestige? Are there prestigious Nazi magazines as well?

  23. There’s strong evidence of quite the opposite?that it would make their lives worse.

    What an unremittingly evil fuck.

    Hey, Elizabeth, if you think people’s lives are so much better in rape cages, why don’t you lock yourself in with STEVE SMITH. I’m sure he’ll go along with it.

    Fuck, Christian leftists make Christian conservatives look great in comparison.

  24. There has been too much Derp. Too much Herp. But I have an honorable compromise. Just walk away

    1. Give you our comments, the vitriol, the post, and the whole New Republic, and then you will spare our lives?

  25. “Christian ethicist”?

    Well, I guess it’s more lofty-sounding than “New Republic dipshit, one of several”…

  26. If she actually had read the Bible in order to get her degree in “Christian Theology” (from where?), then perhaps she should have realized that the entire prison system is unBiblical, neither found commanded in the Old Testament (even the “persona non grata”, the prophet Jeremiah had to be thrown in a well because the evil government didn’t have any prison to throw him in) nor celebrated in the New.

    Basically, she’s an evil Biblically illiterate moron.

    1. her degree in “Christian Theology” (from where?)

      Cambridge, which explains a lot, actually.

    2. Is there something in Christianity that says Christians can only support things that are mentioned in the bible?

      1. Nope, though if God didn’t think there should be prisons (non-repayment “justice”), then it is nonsense for supposed “Christians” to think they are a good idea, especially the ones who have actually studied Theology.

        Basically, there is no excuse for this one. Most Christians have the excuse that they are just ignorant and follow whatever the society tells them to. Romans 12:2

  27. ESB has 1 letter different from ENB.

    S is 5 five letters away from N.

    5 + 1 = 6.

    There are 3 letters in ESB.

    6 repeated 3 times = 666.

    ESB is Illuminati confirmed.

    1. Holy shit! You need to warn us before you drop something like that. Creepy as fuck!

    2. Day-um!

      TONIO?! IF YOU ARE STILL HERE, I AM OUT OF FOIL – AND LOOK AT THIS! HELP!!!!

  28. Is she twelve?

    1. Mentally, yes.

  29. This provides a good summation of Progressive Ethics.

    “We don’t want to do what we know is right, unless we can use it to advance our agenda.”

  30. “It is hard to understand why anyone who truly cares about this issue would want to do that.”

    – See Progressivism, Modern

  31. my buddy’s half-sister makes $84 /hour on the computer . She has been without a job for ten months but last month her check was $12581 just working on the computer for a few hours. check this site out…..

    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  32. GUYS GUYS GUYS

    Homecoming is a fifth season in Texas. It asserts itself in hazy late summer and reigns until the depth of autumn. Traditionally, the boys give girls homecoming mums to wear, and the girls give the boys garters. The mums can cost upward of $100, some larger than dinner plates, their ribbons trailing the ground. They sport miniature mascots, fake flowers, blinking lights, lashings of glitter and sequins, and each year grow more ostentatious. My mother has a collection of four from when she was a high school cheerleader.

    I never got one. I never got asked to a homecoming dance, or prom. My mom tried to show me how to do my makeup.

    This explains so much about her. The poor kid desperately wanted to be banged by burly football idiots and never got to be.

    1. Doesn’t say much for her husband. Now does it?

  33. This article forgets the funniest thing about ESB – she is currently in a bizarre feud with Roosh V, the creepy pick-up artist. ESB mentioned him in two New Republic articles in less than a month, so Roosh tweeted that he thought she was in love with him and asked his followers ‘would you bang?’ at which point ESB claimed he was threatening to rape her.

    It’s like watching a cripple fight.

    1. I would absolutely bang her, missing bicuspid (or is it dead?) and all. But then I love tiny mousey nerd girls. I could dress up in shoulder pads and give her all the burly, loveless football sex that she wanted so badly and never got in high school.

      1. Tiny mousy nerd girls FTW!

      2. Warty, admit it, you and Epi just want to hate fuck her. MMF style, of course.

        1. As long as our penises touch.

        2. Spitroast or sandwich?

          1. Sandwich, of course. Penile propinquity.

    2. That… is really, really sad. So why can’t i stop laughing?

      1. Because it’s one of the funniest things you’ve ever heard of.

        Trust me, when I saw those tweets getting passed around, I knew I was witnessing something special.

    3. would you bang?

      I’d have to say, almost certainly not. The hybrid of hyper-Catholicism and SJW lunacy means some high octane crazy right there. Like, showing up at your job and making a scene crazy. Or false accusations crazy.

      So, you bang her, good chance you’re stuck with her. Now, imagine having to listen to that. Every. Fucking. Day. For the rest of your life (okay, or hers). And you just know, she’s the type who’d have your every minute out of sleep or work planned. And would be in full whine mode if you told her no.

    4. Roosh V?!!?!? Oh my God thats amazing.
      Everyone got on board the F Plus Train: http://thefpl.us/episode/46

  34. Squirrel check:

    I had a post. It had very little content. I just called her a fascist cunt. I’m making sure we aren’t getting censored.

  35. I’m sure that all the people in prison for non-crimes like marijuana possession are grateful that the pig-ignorant white lady is so concerned for their welfare.

    -jcr

  36. Her argument is moronic. I personally love the fact that she argues the only reason conservatives/libertarians want to decrease the prison population is to ‘control costs’ and bases this claim on the fact that a bunch of conservatives mentioned cost cutting as a benefit.

    But saying ‘this is one benefit’ is not the same thing as saying ‘this is the reason we’re doing this.’ Cutting prison populations would seriously improve state budgets, but it’s also the moral thing to do. I can simultaneously believe it’s moral and also use budgetary arguments as yet another reason we should do it.

  37. Also, she claims prisons deliver college educations to their inmates. Quick question: What percentage of fucking prison inmates do you think avail themselves of college courses available through their prisons? I mean seriously, what universe is this woman living in.

  38. In a recent New Republic essay[…]

    That should give any person with an IQ higher than a gnat’s a clue of what is coming…

    […] she [Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig] is oblivious to this logical disaster.

    She and the editor in chief at the New Republic.

    Don’t these guys proof-read anything? Or the more likely explanation is that all little red Marxians are oblivious to simple logic and sense.

    By the way, with these recent changes in the format I am now forced to add BR /BR tags at the end of paragraphs just to they will appear with a nice and crisp blank line. This sucks.

    1. … At least in the preview…

  39. Of course, the idea of people simply being free without becoming welfare dependents is beyond her ability to imagine.

    -jcr

  40. ENB is much greater than ESB. Can I get a woop-woop?

    1. Woop-woop!

    2. I see your ENB, and raise you “TYA or TCB

    3. Woop. Woop.

  41. “Bruenig is encouraging progressives to view [less punitive criminal policies] with suspicion by saying they “won’t work.”

    If progressives actually judged policies on whether they “worked” or not, they’d have abandoned the Great Society programs decades ago, and dropped their idiotic crusade to raise corporate and capital gains taxes in effort to “soak the rich”, as though ‘making it difficult to be rich’ were some form of aid for the poor.

    Instead, they simply claim to be pragmatists whenever their opposition has the better *moral* argument. its just a bullshit rhetorical game they play, endlessly pretending to maintain the ‘rational and practical’ posture, while dogmatically adhering to policies which are immoral and impractical and have been proven time and again to be failures.

    1. Well if 2 trillion dollars wasted on anti-poverty failures won’t convince you, then what in the hell will?

  42. “Christian Ethicist”

    I read this in the headline and had no desire to read further. No one with that title is worth knowing about, and I’m sure no Christian Ethicist would approve of my knee-jerk reaction, but whatever.

    1. “Q = How can I elevate my social-justice causes above any rational criticism?
      A = Claim GOD SAYS SO!”

      Its just the same progressive argument, using the language of religion

      ” Because of how property laws are set up, wealthy people can keep amassing their wealth for generations while the poor suffer, and the poor have no recourse but to hope the wealthy choose to slide a little their way.

      Why is this schema terrible? It observes state conventions of ownership that are out of joint with the rights of persons to legitimate use of God’s creation. Therefore the state is acting unjustly.”

      It reminds me of the ‘Bleeding Heart Libertarians’ shtick = endless, tortured academic efforts to reach political conclusions they’ve predetermined for themselves. Its all intellectual window-dressing for a bullshit social-justice agenda which, while providing an endless bounty of self-esteem for the advocate, does absolutely nothing in the real world to help anyone other than themselves.

      It is notable that the most impassioned advocates for the “Underclasses” are young, upper-middle class women who generally have zero understanding of the ‘oppressed’ people they claim to speak on behalf of.

      as someone else noted = “For Social Justice types – Minorities are their Pets

      1. She seemed to have missed a couple of verses:

        “You will earn your living by the sweat of your brow” Genesis something.

        “He who does not work, shall not eat.” Old Testament something

        “Don’t worship or pursue mammon” That would be ole Jesus right there, but all progressives care about is money and social status.

        She also seems to miss the teachings on being satisfied where you are, trusting that God (not gov’t) will provide your needs (she doesn’t seem to have much faith does she), being more concerned about your salvation rather than your social standing, and she missed a shit ton of Paul’s teachings on wealth, status, etc.

        She seems to have missed a lot and she might want to get her money back on that theological degree that she seems very proud of for some reason.

        1. The second quote predicating eating on working is New Testament stuff (Thessalonians). It’s a very clear condemnation of idleness and states quite clearly that it is just to not make extraordinary provision for wastrels – it presupposes that the able bodied will be sufficiently motivated by hunger to be productive.

          ESB’s entire worldview insofar as she claims to be Catholic is utterly refuted by the Papal Encyclical Rerum Novarum which quite plainly condemns Socialism. She’s a dead end, engaging in solipsistic masturbatory exercises the only end of which is to trick others into believing that they can reconcile the irreconcilable.

      2. “Why is this schema terrible? “

        Because its a lie she just made up in her head, pretending the world is a zero-sum economic system where one person’s prosperity is necessarily another person’s deprivation?

        Convenient, that.

  43. Derp

  44. Man I had no idea that prison was such a wonderful place. Here I served 8 years in the military, went to Iraq and put up with all that bullshit, just so I could get the GI Bill and I’m still having to take out loans. If I had known that all I had to do was paint my face black, drive down the street, and get arrested, I would have had it fucking made. I could have gotten top quality medical care, attended the most prestigious prison university, and received top notch job training. God, why doesn’t everyone do this, it’s so damn wonderful.

    Now back in the real world: What a FUCKING IDIOT!!!!!!!!

    1. A question: Why is it always young, well to do, leftists that bitch about universal healthcare? When you’re young, you never have to go to damn doctor, unless you are one of the unlucky few that has something wrong with you. You would figure it would be old, poor people bitching about “free” healthcare.

      1. Old people are more likely to face the real price of ‘free’ healthcare and are more to run screaming from it.

      2. It’s an easy fantasy for them to engage with – evil fat cigar smoking white men in board rooms are causing poor oppressed people to die needlessly for profit. Even though there’s very little truth in it, it presents the sort of Manichean Universe in which they feel most comfortable making their “arguments.”

      3. I’ll also add that I think because in the U.S. most health insurance is employer based, and therefore a “real world job” is one that comes with health insurance, they see the necessity of taking one of those jobs as the death of their youthful dream life as a musician/sculptor/etc. Universal single payer type system would level the relative legitimacy of different jobs/occupations/full time hobbies.

  45. I thought the Christian Left were all in Canada. We have a lot of those. Probably more of those than Christian Right.

    They take the position Jesus was a socialist because he gave away Fish and Loaves.

    1. Yea they take that since Jesus commands Christians to be charitable that he must be a socialist. The only problem is that he never commanded to set up a gov’t, rob people blind, and then use that money on your pet projects. He never said to slander your opposition’s name, look down on people for having different views, or to give everything you own away. Basically he never said any of the bullshit that lefties say so he doesn’t seem like much of a socialist to me.

      1. The closest thing Jesus of Nazareth would have known to progressive income and wealth redistribution would have been Roman bread and circuses.

        Somehow, I don’t think that’s what he had in mind.

      2. actually jesus DID say to give everything you own away. and to leave your family.

        1. So Pope Francis is not following the teachings of Jesus?

          1. Correct.

            1. Really? What does the Pope own?

  46. my friend’s mother-in-law makes $68 every hour on the computer . She has been out of a job for 5 months but last month her pay check was $15127 just working on the computer for a few hours. see post……………

    http://www.Jobsyelp.com

  47. This is why I am an anarchist.

    Government is necessarily the initiation force and it is corrupt for the simple reason that it has special rights others can not posses.

    You can not expect, nor demand, that a government will do what’s “right” because it’s very existence is immoral.

    ‘A’ can not be both ‘A’ and not ‘A’.

    Statism: The Most Dangerous Religion

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6uVV2Dcqt0

  48. The 10th commandment:
    “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

    Well there ya go.
    No tax, no asset seizure, etc.
    Anyone who proposes welfare-state bs is NOT a Christian.

  49. They want to fuck this one up badly. This is the thing that bothers me most about many activists of all kinds, including libertarian ones: it’s less important that the right thing be done, or even that they be right, than that everyone else be wrong.

  50. Whenever I see “ethicist” in someone’s job description, my skepticism comes out in full force.

    1. Where can I make money as an ethicist?

      Oh, right, I’m a libertarian, so my ethics don’t require me tying myself in logical knots to justify them, no money there. 🙁

    2. Wasn’t Josef Mengele technically a state ethicist?

      1. Damn!
        It would figure that making money as an ethicist would involve carving people up.

  51. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing,
    http://www.wixjob.com

  52. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link,
    go to tech tab for work detail

    ?~?~?~?~?~~~~~~~ http://www.jobsfish.com

  53. That chick sounds like a dumb fucking cunt. Leftist idiot, what a tool.

  54. I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,
    http://www.big-reports.com

  55. We can’t start helping poor people, come on… They need to stay in their cages and give the money to the privatized prison industry instead of those convicts. Many of them were put in prisons because of non violent offenses like pot possession charges. We should just keep them in cages and when those cells fill up we can put them in FEMA camps, but that will be OK because we can privatize them, that way a few corporations like Wackenhut, CCA and GEO Group will get all of the government money instead of helping the poor people. Then those corporations can get even more draconic laws passed through organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council and put anyone that receives government aid or defaults on student loans in the privatized prisons or privatized FEMA camps. Then we can brag about America being the home of the incarcerated.

  56. Would bang.

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