Budget Deal Headed to Obama, EU Parliament Wants Members to Protect Snowden, D.C. Dance Cop Goes Viral: A.M. Links


  • In the wee hours of Friday morning, the Senate gave final approval to a budget and debt deal, passing it 64-35. Republican presidential candidates Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz all voted against the deal, which is aimed at avoiding partial government shutdown. It's now been sent to President Obama to sign. 
  • The European Parliament voted Thursday to ask EU member states "to drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender."
  • CNN has obtained footage of the May biker shootout in Waco, Texas, in which nine people were killed and 18 wounded; previously the footage had been placed under a gag order. (More from Reason's Brian Doherty on the story here.)
  • Victorian-era diseases are making a comeback. (Does this count as cultural appropriation?) 
  • The New York Times takes a look at state policies for sex offenders post-prison. 
  • "The moral crusade against (Germaine) Greer has provided a disturbing snapshot of the new intolerance," writes Spiked editor Brendan O'Neill
  • "Is Operation Cross Country the best way to fight child sex trafficking?" Probably not
  • The rogue Army blimp that drifted from Maryland to Pennsylvania Thursday has been shot down
  • A cop's interaction with a group of teenagers has gone viral, and for once the reason isn't awful: the D.C. officer defused a potential confrontation with a dance off

New at Reason:

Movie Reviews: Our Brand Is Crisis and Burnt: Sandra Bullock gets dirty, Bradley Cooper plays top chef. — By Kurt Loder

California Lt. Gov. Takes Detour on Pot, Embraces More Gun Control — By Steven Greenhut 

Paul Ryan Starts Off on Wrong Foot With Budget Deal: Boehner hands him a defeat on the way out. — By: David Harsanyi

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  1. The New York Times takes a look at state policies for sex offenders post-prison.

    Does it have anything to do with nail polish?

    1. Hello.

      I challenge you all to a dance off.

      /rips top off.

      1. /Brings out boombox, inserts cassette tape, hits Play, starts blaring Scorpio by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

          1. Ugh. NERDS.

            Canadians only dance to ANNE MURRAY.

              1. +1 Sundown.

                1. Superior it’s said never gives up its dead, when the winds of November come early!

            1. Duelling rules state the weapons are chosen by the challenged..

      2. anything but naked Canadian manflesh – white as a fish belly; the skin rippling like a stone thrown in a turgid pool of water.

        1. I heard that, even when a Canadian has stripped completely nude, they’ve still got long johns on.

  2. In the wee hours of Friday morning, the Senate gave final approval to a budget and debt deal, passing it 64-35.

    If those voting on it don’t read it, why should the people voting on them get to read it?

    1. It was probably a global warming storm. I heard those are going to get more intense as global warming really takes off.

      1. You laugh, but I could swear I’ve seen people claim that global warming causes earthquakes.

        1. I met a few Californians that believe that hot weather is earthquake weather

      2. “It was probably a global warming storm”
        Ha! Sasquatch laughs!



    3. Hmmm when is the next Godzilla movie coming out?

      1. After they build a new Tokyo Tower.

    4. The Russians are coming!

    5. Was it as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced?

      1. Tumblr or Pintrest crashed?

        1. +1 AOL CD

  3. 107) A couple summers ago my son and I drove from Nebraska to my in-laws house in Oklahoma. We drove at one point across south-east Kansas, and passed the Little House on the Prarie, where Laura Ingalls lived with her family in 1869-1870. Now in the book, the US Army forced the settlers to leave because it was still Indian territory, but later it actually was opened up to white settlers. Driving across it now though, there’s practically nothing. A few quite small towns, some cattle, even the farming seems sparse.

    This got me to wondering. If Indians had never been forced from their land, would the U.S. actually look much different today? The Dakotas, say, aren’t exactly teeming with people. And earlier than that, in the 1830s, the Seminoles, the Cherokee?southern Appalachia and the swamps of central Florida are hardly our country’s most productive areas. Aside from the misery inflicted by the moves (but how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?), did it really even give any great economic advantage to the young country?

    1. I’ll return a thought:
      “The Dakotas, say, aren’t exactly teeming with people.”
      Imagine if the nomadic tribes were still following the bison herds. Any area would be intermittently crowded with animals and people.

      1. And those bison herds were millions of bison roaming the plains.

        1. So no guns and horses for the natives?

    2. Tough to say; it was a really complex situation there. Many of the Indians in the Ohio/Michigan region were actively hostile toward American settlers, usually spurred along (and armed) by the British in Canada. Bison and other game were dying out for along time, but many tribes refused to adapt or take up a more agricultural lifestyle (President Jefferson actively promoted this approach to little avail). The situation in the Floridas and Louisiana was complicated during the early 1800s because of everything going on in the Old World.

      1. I vaguely remember that one tribe in southwest Louisiana travelled to New Orleans to ask the whites to protect them from other tribes. By the time they arrived there were only a handful of them left. The tribes in the areas they crossed killed most of them.

        Pre-European North America was a howling wilderness filled with stone age savages. Cannibalism was common. Murder and rape was commonplace. As bad as the early European settlers were they were better than what was here before. The romantic notion of peaceful Indians living in balance with nature is a pure crock of shit. They were stone age people and like stone age people everywhere they were savages.

        1. -1 Drum Circle

          1. I just started reading “The War Before Civilization”. Its basic thesis is that there was fairly constant small scale warfare happening even when there was enough food and other resources available.

        2. Well, that’s an awfully dismissive oversimplification of an entire continents’ worth of history.

        3. The Comanche genocided the Alabama Coshatta Indians that lived in Louisana. They killed about 90% of them. The US Army couldn’t defeat them due to single shot weapons and the Induans hit and run tactics.It took the Texas Rangers and revolving fire weapons . The Comanche were certainly not a kind and gentle people. They were a highly developed warrior society like the mongols under Genesis Khan. They were capable of raiding parties up to a thousand miles .

          1. The Comanche were originally a branch of the Shoshone, from much further north. They migrated to the southern Great Plains for the sole purposes of being closer to the Spanish, from whom they could buy/steal horses and guns.

          2. Comanche if I remember correctly are linguistic cousins of the Aztecs, that were known for their own culture of brutality.

        4. Murder and rape was is commonplace.

          Been by the Rez lately?

    3. Well a lot of those Indians weren’t from those lands to begin with. Especially affiliated tribes of the Iroquois and Cherokee that were eastern tribes, whose lands were taken, new lands were given, and then lose lands were taken and new ones given further west. This happened a few times until they ended up in the lands of Oklahoma and further west.

      So I’m not sure how it would look, but I’m not sure how many Indians would have really been living in the western interior of the continent anyways, I think it was a sparsely populated region prior to European contact.

      1. I think it was a sparsely populated region prior to European contact.

        Not always. Across the Mississippi from St. Louis are the ruins of Cahokia, which is now believed to have been the largest city north of Mexico until Philadelphia surpassed it in 1800. It was the center of a vast trade network that stretched from the Atlantic to the Rockies; soapstone from the shores of Hudson Bay has been found there, and an obsidian dagger from one of the Mayan cities in the Yucatan. Cahokia was abandoned, probably because of flooding issues related to deforestation, a couple hundred years before Spanish explorers arrived in the area.

        1. Looks like I have some wikipedia to explore. But this sort of fits a trend you can see with the Pueblos and some other south western tribes indigenous to the area. There is evidence of their history of great cities, strucutres, trade and some agriculture going on that seems to have mysteriously died out not long before Europeans arrived to the continent.

          I have to wonder what role the Uto-Aztecan tribes might have played in this. They were a semi nomadic family of tribes that did some major expansion in 14th and 15th centuries and they were particularly brutal, flaying children and wearing their skins et cetera. At least in the Valley of Mexico, they adopted some of the customs and technology of the more developed groups they conquered. It seems that the “barbarians at the gate” scenario played out there.

          1. Some of it was probably environmental, too – there’s evidence of a long drought in the Southwest around the end of the Medieval Warm Period that made a sedentary, agricultural lifestyle in the desert a lot less feasible. Some of the Puebloans were still around when the Spanish showed up, living in giant adobe apartment complexes, and readily adopted the raising of sheep and goats from the Europeans.

            The Aztecs were brutal, but complex. When they took over central Mexico, they burned the books of the civilizations they’d conquered, but they also burned their own books – Tlacaelel, the mastermind behind the Triple Alliance, wanted to create a more noble history for his people than the poverty-induced mass migrations they’d actually experienced. He invented the entire Aztec blood cult, the notion that the Triple Alliance had the special honor of feeding the god who held up the sun and made life possible, as a sort of national greatness program.

            1. The Pueblos were there, but they’d gone through a long period of depopulation and capital consumption and were barely holding their own against the more nomadic warrior tribes that had moved into their area. Their adobe towns were underpopulated before the Spanish found them.

        2. Been to Cahokia Mounds…interesting but all it looks like is a bunch of dirt hills. What we know of the history of them is pretty neat.

      2. The Cherokee were mainly peaceful and did attempt to assimilate into white society. They were pushed off their lands because it was valuable and relocated to Oklahoma via The Trail of Tears.

        1. +5 Civilized Tribes

    4. Many tribes were displaced not by the pale faces, but by other tribes. For example, the Sioux were pushed from Minnesoda out into the plains by the Ojibwe who were pushed west from the Great Lakes regions by the French and British.

      So when you watch Dances with Wolves, remember the Sioux had only been out dwelling on the plains for about 100 years by that time.

      Of course, trying to live on the plains without horses was not an easy task. Sticking a large bison with a stone tipped arrow wasn’t a recipe for a long life if you were on foot.

      1. I watched that movie for the first time a couple years ago. God, Kevin Costner is terrible. And smug.

        More like “Dances with Suck,” amirite brah?

        1. I’ve never watched it, but a friend and I always referred to it as “Dances With Fuck Up”. Cause that’s what it sounded like.

          1. Tatonka?

  4. CNN has obtained footage of the May biker shootout in Waco, Texas…

    Too bad a new organization didn’t get it first.

    1. Given that they completely stuck to the “violent bikers, heroic police officers” narrative in their article about the subject…

      1. News organization… but you got the drift.

        1. I didn’t notice the typo until you pointed it out!

      2. I saw the footage CNN was airing and my only thought was how much footage CNN “obtained”. Any chance it was all the footage rather than whatever snippets of footage the police specifically wanted CNN to air?

        1. The Waco Tribune is the only source I can readily find asking the question as to where exactly CNN got their information. Plus they don’t blatantly repeat CNN’s bullshit about the cops’ and prosecutor’s inability to comment because “they’ve been placed under a gag order” as if we’re so stupid we can’t puzzle out who applied for the gag order and who the gag order is designed to keep from speaking to the press. It’s almost as if the folks at the Waco Tribune are actually remaining somewhat skeptical of the cops’ completely factual statements as to how exactly this whole thing went down.

  5. Assistant Logan County Prosecutor Suspended After Gun Scare Involving Fake Spiders

    The alleged incident happened on October 5th after several secretaries in the office decorated for Halloween. The decorations included many fake spiders that were throughout the office. Apparently, White has arachnophobia and became irate over the decorations.

    “He said they had spiders everyplace and he said he told them it wasn’t funny, and he couldn’t stand them, and he did indeed get a gun out. It had no clip in it, of course they wouldn’t know that, I wouldn’t either if I looked at it, to tell you the truth,” Bennett explained.

    Bennett says it’s his understanding that White didn’t point the gun at anyone or wave it around but did threaten to shoot all of the spiders. Bennett says the incident caused quite the scare for the three secretaries that witnessed it.

    “Quite naturally, the ladies were concerned, as I would have been. Anybody would be, I would think, with a gun no matter where it was,” Bennett said.

  6. A warning to all you kids out there: don’t go challenging cops to dance contests (but kudos to this officer).

    1. Yeh. Seriously. We beat on cops (rightfully) for being pieces of shits but this officer intelligently avoided escalating the problem. Unlike that moron in SC.

      Wonder what ‘tough on crime’ conservatives and their hero worshiping of bad cops think of this.

      1. I suspect most right-thinking people expect LEOs to behave professionally and would see someone like this officer as an example to the rest. I have no issue with calling out the goon squad types but extending that to all of them is silly, just as silly as painting the girl in the SC incident as just another thug.

        1. Silly it is!

        2. You are right. There are goon cops and those that tolerate and look the other way when their colleagues act like goons.

    2. She’s more likely to be disciplined over this than if she had simply assaulted the kid.

      1. Sadly you’re probably right. They’ll say it was unprofessional of something.

        1. and then they’ll wonder why more and more people lack trust in law enforcement. Your officer did something that no one in the real world can get mad about. And EVERYONE got to go home safely. I would see that as a feature.

          1. No, they won’t wonder anything. They lack the capacity for such introspection. They will double down on authoritarian lecturing about how if citizens would just submit to their whims, no one would ever need to be beaten, tased, high-speed-chased, or shot by police.

        2. When that officer arrived to the scene and saw that those teenage girls did not immediately accede to her demands, she should have called for backup and put all of them into handcuffs, by any means necessary.

          When a police officer gives you instructions you follow those instructions…or else.

      2. And this is one more example of why women should not be allowed into combat roles. Confronted with a violent mob of terrorists, this silly girl was forced to dance for their amusement and entertainment. You can be sure a real blue knight would have been busting heads instead of busting moves.

  7. Man arrested for joking with a toy dinosaur. And the only cop who told the truth was bullied out of the force:

    The police case against Rickey Caton started with a “roaaaar!” when he was forcibly arrested by two officers after jokingly producing a toy dinosaur during a roadside car stop.

    But it ended with a whimper on Friday when a magistrate ordered the police force to pay more than $100,000 in legal costs after finding the matter should never have gone to court.

    The police are facing even more financial pain over the ill-judged prosecution, with Mr Caton and his mate set to launch a claim for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages for assault, wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution.

    1. “Ms Lichfield says she was subjected to bullying and isolation at work after blowing the whistle and has since resigned from the force.”

      It’s a shame she resigned. With one less honorable person in the ranks, that leaves more room for thugs.

      1. And from what I can see in this photo, she’s the hottest constable that police force will ever have. Hot. Damn.

    2. But it ended with a whimper on Friday when a magistrate ordered the police force taxpayers to pay more than $100,000 in legal costs after finding the matter should never have gone to court.


    3. And what if one cop hadn’t contradicted the other two? This guy would have been convicted of assaulting a police officer. The penalty in the US would be life ruining. I think in Australia it involves a giant boot.

  8. Australians Sound Drunk All the Time Because Their Ancestors Were Drunk All the Time, Claims Communications Expert

    The expert, Dean Frenkel, is a lecturer in public speaking and communication at Victoria University He made the claim in the Australian paper the Age. “The Australian alphabet cocktail was spiked by alcohol,” he writes. “Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns. For the past two centuries, from generation to generation, drunken Aussie-speak continues to be taught by sober parents to their children.”

    Frenkel’s piece isn’t designed to insult so much as inform, and in it he calls on Australian schools to put more emphasis on linguistics. He also asks his fellow countrymen to stop it with the missing consonants and “lazily transform[ing]” vowels into other vowels.

    “The average Australian speaks to just two thirds capacity with one third of our articulator muscles always sedentary as if lying on the couch,” he writes. “And that’s just concerning articulation.”

    1. That idea has occurred to me before concerning certain Irish accents.

      1. ”’is uze `akin fun of me `eritage?””” [slumberingly raises fist]

        I allenge you to e flllight.

        1. I have great affection for drunken Irishmen. I actually first came up with the theory when I noticed that I could understand them better when I was drunk.

    2. “You couldn’t get more Australian than me. My great-great-grandpa was a renowned rapist, and they shipped him out to Australia and that’s where he met my great-great-grandma; she was a prostitute. You know, I said “met” but he raped her.”

    3. Somebody posted the original article on my FB page yesterday. Frenkel’s argument loses some (a lot?) of strength as he writes:

      Despite other imperfections, America’s education system has a huge advantage over the Australian system that results, generally, in Americans communicating at higher levels than Australians. In fact the communication skills of most average Americans would be just below that of Australia’s best speakers.

      1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAYUuspQ6BY
        Commonwealth countries have this argument all the time. To me it is the height of snobbery.

        1. I can’t find the study for the life of me, but a few years ago I read a study about ‘mutual intelligibility’ that said the American midwest dialect was the most widely understood by speakers of other English dialects. For what it’s worth…

      2. Ha! Frenkel’s piece is so idiotic it’s hard to know where to start – it mixes ignorance of the evolution of various Australian accents with old-fashioned cultural cringe. He should just go stick his head up a dead bear’s bum

        1. A regular bear or a drop bear?

  9. Personal email, government business, choo choo, crony creatures


    And it wasn’t you know who or you know who else.

  10. Online Lenders Deluge Small Business

    Marketplace lenders sprout up by hundreds, chasing new customers


    Good times!

  11. The destruction of Alderaan was completely justified

    First off, let’s dispense with the childish notion that Alderaan was, as rebel spy and intergalactic insurrectionist Princess Leia has argued, a purely civilian target. There is literally no reason to believe her claim that “Alderaan is peaceful, we have no weapons.” She had previously lied about not only the diplomatic nature of the mission she was on when she was captured but also about the location of the stolen Death Star plans. It’s also worth noting that she would go on to lie about the location of a military target for the Death Star to target moments before Alderaan was destroyed.

    We have further reason to disbelieve Princess Liar when we consider that her adopted father, Bail Organa, was one of the original members of the rebellion, conferring with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda in an effort to undermine the democratically elected Chancellor Palpatine shortly after his ascension. Alderaan was less likely a peaceful planet than a financial and intellectual hub of the rebellion, whose leaders, as we’ve seen, are totally untrustworthy negotiating partners ? a hive of scum and villainy no less wretched than Mos Eisley, but on a planetary scale.

    god I hate Star Wars

    1. I can tolerate the constant posting of Salon links, but this is unforgivable. You’re officially the worst poster here, and I don’t care what anyone else says.

      1. You know…I think I hang out here too much. Last night my dog did something stupid while we were walking and I scolded him saying, “you are the Nikki of dogs”.

        1. My wife and I make constant STEVE SMITH and Warty references… and *hangs head* talk about the merits (or lack of) of SugarFree’s writings.

          /now I feel dirty

          1. *emails Lord Humungus’s wife dick pics*

            1. She would blush like a schoolgirl…

            2. What a decadently ambiguous sentence that is..

        2. A month ago I was at one of those really large bars that have like ten bartenders, and as I sat there drinking my beer I had a conversation in my head that went something like “Would. Would. Would. Would. Would. Would. Would. Would Would. Would. Would.”

          1. Make it three bartenders and I call that Thursday.

        3. Uh, yeah, reading the AM Links (et al from Reason’s comment sections) has definitely warped my sense of “normal.”

      2. uh… thanks?

        at least I’m no longer posting Salon links… for now.

    2. The movies never really appealed to me beyond mindless action flick either. I certainly never understood the extremity of love some people have for it.

      1. Same here. They were entertaining, and I’ll probably see the new one eventually, but I don’t get why people totally lose their shit over them.

    3. I’m of the original generation that grew up on Star Wars. It used to be you bought your little figurines and Millenium Falcons played with them for a bit and when you were done you gingerly placed Luke Skywalker next to your Hardy Boys books and ‘went outside for the day. It was all…healthy.

      I have no idea how it came to this.

      1. But you also think Italy makes better pizza than Merica. That’s not healthy. I wish there was some sort camp system in place that we could…concentrate… people of your persuasion.

    4. Leia “We’re a peaceful planet, we have no weapons.”

      Clint Eastwood “Well I guess he should have armed himself then.”

      1. “Midichlorians got nothin’ to do with it.”

    5. So Alderaan was basically a gun free zone, and the Empire went on a shooting rampage?

  12. New law proposal: If you’re too busy looking at your phone or doing something else stupid that causes you to get into an accident and add 30 minutes to everyone’s commute, every single person delayed gets to kick you in the balls. Do I have a second?

    1. I have proposed just having roving heavy lift helicopters. The at-fault party gets their vehicle and themselves immediately air-lifted to some kind of public shaming holding area

    2. I second it . also, rubberneckers get a kick in the balls too.

  13. University president apologizes for wearing a sombrero

    The president of the University of Louisville has apologized ? for wearing a sombrero. The college has also promised to immediately launch “training on diversity and racial equality issues.”

    President James Ramsey donned the sombrero and a multi-colored poncho in a picture he took with his wife and other university staffers wearing similar garb, including fake mustaches, at a Halloween luncheon.

    Unsurprisingly, the costumes were decried as offensive.

    “We made a mistake and are very sorry,” Kathleen Smith, chief of staff to the president, said in a statement to The Courier Journal.

    1. He shall be known as “James Lil’ Taco” Ramsey.

    2. when do sane people laugh at the offended and tell them to fuck off?

      1. It’s heading that direction. It’s becoming cool and underdog to openly mock the overly sensitive (South park is showing the way). I think we might have finally reached the tipping point.

        1. So, um, libertarian moment then?

          1. No more than the fact people who believed in the satanic daycare scandals of the past are mocked today. Every moral panic eventually become fodder for the next group to laugh at. It’s just how society works, nothing libertarian about it.

            1. I know I was being facetious. I’m just not sure we’re at a tipping point just because we see some push back.

      2. In higher ed? That day is a long way off.

        1. Yes. By the time most people will realize what has been going on, a law will have been created that will effect either them or someone close to them, and then it will be too late.

          “The law is the law.”

    3. God this is fucking stupid. I am a melanin challenged irish/german dude. And sombreros are fucking great if you live in the wonderful Sun of Arizona. You might look like an idiot, but damn if your skin won’t thank you.

      1. I wish the Urban Sombrero were real

      2. +1 The Thing

    4. So only certain races of people allowed to dress certain ways? isn’t that idea far more racist?

      Thats it! if I ever see someone in lederhosen that isn’t of German descent,(particularly Bavarian), then I’m going to raise hell.

      And if you wear green of St. Patrick’s day you better have a certificate from ancestry.com stating that you are at least 50% Irish or I’m going to be all sorts of offended.

      1. Thats it! if I ever see someone in lederhosen that isn’t of German descent,(particularly Bavarian), then I’m going to raise hell.

        I saw a black guy in traditional Bavarian garb once during an Octoberfest celebration. I wasn’t so PC then, but now I know that I should said something like “I can’t even…” and then throw my drink in his face and call him racist once there was enough people around to see how moral and tolerant I am. Maybe I could’ve punched him in the face or something, since I’d be within my rights to do so as a person who took offense to a perceived racist portrayal of my people.

        The black guy would then have taken to Twitter to apologize for his egregious cultural appropriation, but not before his livelihood was threatened by my lynch social justice mob. Yeah that’s how that would’ve played out for sure…

      2. I wear orange.

        1. Orangeman! I’m Scot/Irish/German/Dutch…

    5. He was wearing Mexican face? For SHAME!

  14. “The moral crusade against (Germaine) Greer has provided a disturbing snapshot of the new intolerance,” writes Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill.

    But a fun look at when activists eat their own.

    1. Germaine Greer is not some intolerant activist hoist by her own petard. She’s an old-school anarchist and sixties feminist – eg. she refers to her vagina as her cunt, has posed nude, generally doesn’t give a flying fuck what anyone thinks about her, and has a real gift for pissing everyone off. Even though I disagree with her on lots of things, she adds to the gaiety of nations by being contrarian, sweary, funny, and a real ratbag.

  15. “Victorian-era diseases are making a comeback.”

    If we’re going to have Victorian-era diseases, can we return to Victorian-era prositution-visitation rates?

    1. and don’t forget the beautiful poor houses and orphan worker factories. *wistful sigh*

      1. I’ve heard that a common response of New Yorkers when encountering the pictures of tenements in “How the Other Half Lives” is “Look at how much room they had!”

    2. Is this when you could beat women with a stick no thicker than your thumb? We could take turns with Nikki. I’d have a scrawny willow branch but god it would be fun to watch Steve Smith wail away.


    3. +1 merkin

  16. The Trials of Being a Witch Today

    Although women are no longer put to death for their magical powers, many still face prejudice in today’s society. Manchester-based witch Victoria Rivers, 28, was in primary school when she first found paganism and is “proudly out of the broom closet.” She practices her religion to do good, but claims that she faces resentment and prejudice from others.

    “I have been discriminated against as a pagan. I was once told by a preacher that I was going to go to hell after he noticed my pentacle, which is always worn around my neck,” she says. “He said this as I walked past him to give a homeless man a cup of tea and a pasty because it was a cold afternoon. I found it rather ironic that I was told I was going to hell when I was clearly trying to help another in need.”

    When others ask if she’s a devil worshipper, Rivers takes it as an opportunity to educate and put them in their place. “I tell them I’m not a devil worshipper as Satan is a Christian entity. To recognize the devil would mean I am in some way Christian. Luckily, most people do listen.”

    1. If that’s the best example of discrimination she can come up with, it doesn’t sound like much of a burden to bear.

      1. It’s not discrimination at all because he took no action other than talking to her to explain his opinion on her after-life activities. At least no more discriminatory than what any atheist/agnostic might put up with.

      2. Yes basically a member of a religion she doesn’t believe in told her she’s going to a place she doesn’t believe in. How on Earth did this fragile little snowflake survive into adulthood?

        1. We must celebrate our differences. Anything less is discrimination.

        2. Pagans are in my experience, usually far left snowflakes who are the absolute most extreme enforcers of everything PC you’ve ever seen. Sometimes they are also nice people, but an absolute bore to be around, because you don’t want to trigger them and have them go into hysterics, and also quite possibly hex you.

          1. I usually troll them by refusing to believe they aren’t just LARPing.

            1. Ha ha I like that idea. Fucking pagans. The religion is like 60 years old. They try to pretend they have some connection to ancient Celts, but I don’t see any modern pagans worshipping Lugh, Andrasta, Teutatis Epona or any other deity that made up the Celtic religion.

              Or I should say Celtic religions since some of their gods were local while others were more universal, but none of them worshipped this Earth mother horseshit.

              1. Does it matter if a religion was made up 60 years ago or 1500? All religions like to believe that they have much deeper roots than they really do.

                Pagans are particularly funny, though, in their earnest belief that they are somehow continuing an ancient tradition. And it really does look like LARPing sometimes.

                1. “Does it matter if a religion was made up 60 years ago or 1500?”

                  I think you answered your own question

                  “Pagans are particularly funny, though, in their earnest belief that they are somehow continuing an ancient tradition. And it really does look like LARPing sometimes.”

                  A religion thats about 60 years old trying to pretend it’s following ancient traditions that are based more on hollywood then history is really really funny.

              2. Neo-“pagans” are boring. Let me know when they start burying babies underneath new houses.

        3. I think her reaction is a sign that she really does believe in hell.

    2. The pagans rent space at the local park for their shenanigans. Nobody ever gets hurt AFAIK so who cares? It’s not much derpier than Star Wars nerds who keep their action figures in the original plastic.

    3. A good number of devil’s in Judeo-Christian traditition were pagan deities of enemy cultures,so…

    4. ” Rivers takes it as an opportunity to educate and put them in their place.”

      She sounds like too much “fun” even for Crusty

        1. Of course they exist. Of course

  17. Victorian-era diseases are making a comeback.

    Does this have something to do with hipsters?

    1. Victorian-era diseases are making a comeback.

      Not surprising as Victorian-era prudishness and prohibitions are making a comeback. That push is mostly coming from progressives/leftists although conservatives are not without blame.

    1. Well, she sounds like a lot of fun.

    2. Wow, remind me not to go camping with her.

    3. Why do I keep hearing Barney telling Lisa to ‘go back to Russia’ in my ear?

      This reads like the Vegetarian Lisa episode.

    1. Take a public bath with them, too.

  18. New national GOP Reuters/Ipsos poll:


    Carson, Trump maintain big leads – JEB! third.

  19. The moral crusade against (German) Beer….



    oh. who?

  20. Southeast Asia’s haze crisis: A ‘crime against humanity’

    Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia are choking under a thick haze of wildfire smoke caused by the annual burning of land for the production of pulp, paper and palm oil on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

    The haze is so bad it’s been described by the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) as a “crime against humanity.” Schools are closed, transport disrupted and half a million cases of acute respiratory infection have been recorded since July.

    The annual burning churns out thick smoke across parts of Southeast Asia, but this summer’s haze is the worst it’s been for 20 years.

    1. I remember when I lived in Shreveport about 25 years ago I could smell the smoke from that shit.

    2. The haze in Singapore is absolutely nuts. It’s been better the last few weeks but I’ve never experienced anything like it. Large buildings are invisible less than a half-mile away. On the worst days the whole air smells like a campfire.

      We even closed our schools for a day a few weeks ago. Got the notice Thursday night and hilariously the next day was the clearest air we’d seen in a long time.

      It’s been going on for about 6-8 weeks now. There have been semi-blue skies maybe half a dozen times since then. Lots of coughing sicknesses going around. The whole city is desperately waiting for clear skies again.

    1. According to BBC, extradition demand rejected.

    2. I await Whoopi’s sparkling intellectual take.

      1. It’s not going to be extradition extradition.

  21. Coast guard rescues 242 after boat capsizes near Lesbos

    he coast guard said it remained unclear how many people were on the wooden boat when it capsized and coast guard boats, a helicopter and vessels from the European border agency Frontex searched through the night in stormy seas for more survivors.

    Two young boys and a man died in that incident, but their nationalities were not yet known, it said.

    The International Organization for Migration said in a statement some sources told it 200 people were on the boat when it went under, while others had told it 300.

    Fishing boats and coast guard vessels ferried survivors to the port village Molyvos on Lesbos, a few miles away from the Turkish mainland. In makeshift shelters, volunteers and doctors offered assistance. Many women suffered from shock or hypothermia and received first aid in a chapel at the port.

    1. So do we only associate Lesbos with lesbianism because Sappho was from there, or did the island have that reputation for other reasons as well?

      1. From Sappho, I think. The locals do not particularly like it.

    2. If the authorities anywhere know how to handle a man in a boat, these would be they.

      1. Let’s hope there are no hatchet wounds.

        1. I think you muffed that comment.

          1. You put the finger on that one, Swiss.

            1. You risk having a gash in your boat by venturing too close to Lesbos.

              1. I cunt take any more of this.

  22. Free movement of labor!

    North Koreans sent abroad into ‘forced labour’, says UN

    Marzuki Darusman said workers earn very little, are underfed and are sometimes forced to work up to 20-hour days.

    Employers pay “significantly higher amounts” directly to the North Korean government, he said in his report.

    The majority of the workers are in China and Russia, mainly in the mining, textile and construction industries.

    But Mr Darusman, the special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, also listed countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe,

    He said the companies who hire North Korean workers “become complicit in an unacceptable system of forced labour”.

    1. Why would you work your workers 20 hours a day? Work them 15 with 1 hour dedicated to getting them three meals (doesn’t have to be high quality just carb heavy so they have energy) and 8 hours dedicated to sleep so they can work faster and harder. Give them basic first aid and protection equipment (think a cheap pair of gloves to minimize sores and infections) so you minimize time lost to injuries slowing them down and destroying valuable equipment, and pay them nothing. You’ll get more work out of them that way, and you won’t have to pay your more expensive guards quite as much to keep them in line.

      1. Excellent. You have a future as an overseer for my orphan staffed mines, should you wish it!

        *adjusts monocle*

      2. Such kindness is necessary only when slaves are scarce. Apparently the NORK government has an over-supply of slaves on the market.

        BTW, this is nothing new; the NORKs were exporting slaves back in the 70s and 80s. After reunification, Germany had to deal with some Korean and Vietnamese slaves that the GDR (East Germany) had imported. Many did not want to leave, but Germany forcibly returned the fugitive slaves to their owners.

      3. … this is North fucking Korea you’re talking about, if they had any sense they wouldn’t be a repressive police state shithole in the first place.

  23. Now Oklahoma City school cop is charged with assault and battery after punching student, 16, in the face TWICE because he was in the hallway without a pass

    The confrontation happened at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City
    Surveillance footage shows MSgt. Thomas Jaha approach the boy
    The student is seen walking away before Jaha strikes him in the face
    Jaha said the boy took an aggressive stance and he acted in self-defense
    District Attorney charged him with assault and battery after reviewing the footage which he said backed youngster’s claim that he did not act
    The officer has been placed on full administrative leave with pay


    1. “because he was in the hallway without a pass”

      Well, so long as it was for a good reason…

    2. Jaha said the boy took an aggressive stance and he acted in self-defense

      So what, you dumbass? “Aggressive stance” now cop-speak like “furtive movement” “threatening gesture” and such?

      1. The cop felt threatened by the lack of respect and was forced to use violence. The kid is lucky to be alive.

      2. Rastafari is the truth

      3. I think the get was getting ready to do a Ralph Macchio crane kick.

    3. Where’s your hallpass, brah?

  24. Hungarian Border Fence So Effective Illegal Immigrants Are Now At Pre Migrant-Crisis Levels

    While last month up to 10,000 migrants a day illegally crossed into Hungary, now border controls have been fully implemented, that number has fallen to dozens per day. Dr. Gyorgy Bakondi, chief adviser for homeland security to prime minister Viktor Orban was on hand to give viewers of a popular Hungarian evening television chat show this week a low down of just how successful the fence had been last night.

    Describing the sudden end of the migration crisis for Hungary as it rages in neighbouring nations who have decided to take no action to defend themselves Mr. Bakondi said illegal numbers were now well below those arriving in “peace time” ? before the migrant criss began.

    Reeling the latest statistics off, Mr. Bakondi told viewers that on Monday this week 12 illegals had crossed into Hungary, on Tuesday seven came, and on Wednesday the number was four, as of 6pm when the show started. He said even historically, these figures were “significantly small numbers”, reports popular conservative Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet.

    1. So will Hungary chalk this up to victory over the hordes and how they saved Europe again?

      1. +1Vlad the Impaler

    2. Makes sense. A lot of security is just making your bag of goods less appealing than your neighbors. Why cross into Hungary when you could go to a completely undefended border just up the road.

      1. I was listening to the BBC report on this from about a month back. Most of the migrants did not want to stay in Hungary. But Germany was demanding that everyone be registered before they would accept them. It was somewhat surreal: Germany was willing to take most of them, Hungary was willing to register them and move them on, but the migrants were complaining about their treatment.

        1. Apparently they were throwing away food and water given to them in Hungary because you know, fuck those Europeans.

          1. I am wondering which will happen first: Europeans get enough of that shit and start killing the invaders or will the invaders strike first?

            1. Nazism’s lasting impact has been to convince Europeans that it’s basically genocide to want your own tribe, nationality, ethnicity or cultural group to preserve it’s existence. I think their breaking point is so far removed that they’ll be extinct as a culture before they’ll reach it.

  25. So, I’m watching CSPAN last night trying to get some new about the “budget deal” and on comes this Senator from Rhode Island that I can best describe as a flaming retard named Sheldon Whitehouse. He spends a few minutes explaining some charts about differences in health care costs per capita by state and how he and his fellow Senators should find a means to coerce the higher cost states to reduce their costs.

    All I can think of is why the hell is there nobody standing there waiting for this moron to finish and asking “Who told you that your job is to examine health care charts and advocate controlling markets?” How do these assholes not get called out on this shit?

    1. Want retardation? Quebec decided it was a wise thing to hand Bombardier – a corporate welfare bum and ward of the state – $1 billion to save them from their inadvisable decision to enter the C-series market. The company just reported $4.6 b in losses and is $9 billion in debt and came to the government for a hand out because, well, JOBS! Then out comes a McGill University management professor defending the bail out (it’s not an investment when the government uses tax dollars in risky deals) on the grounds they represent 2% of Quebec’s GDP (whoopee-doo) and that it’s a symbol of ‘pride’ for Quebec. What utter rubbish and bollocks. Dunno where these people come from but how is this having pride when you consistently mismanage a company and beg for tax money to survive? They have no pride; they’re junkies. And the government enables them.

      1. Oh. I might add. The cops have been on strike for months now and teachers are (rightfully) angry that the government is inflating class sizes and screwing kids with special needs over because ‘responsible cost cutting’. The government of Quebec bullies essential services but play crony-pals with Bombardier. They’re timing of all this was awful. Just terrible.

        1. Argggh. Their. Apologies.

    2. Everybody who wanted the government to guarantee universal health care?

      As soon as you establish that as a proper goal of government, then the micromanaging follows.

  26. U.S., Chinese navies agree to maintain dialogue to avoid clashes

    The U.S. and Chinese navies held high-level talks on Thursday after a U.S. warship challenged China’s territorial assertions in the South China Sea, and a U.S. official said they agreed to maintain dialogue and follow protocols to avoid clashes.

    After the talks between U.S. chief of naval operations Admiral John Richardson and his Chinese counterpart, Admiral Wu Shengli, scheduled port visits by U.S. and Chinese ships and planned visits to China by senior U.S. Navy officers remained on track, the official said.

    “None of that is in jeopardy. Nothing has been canceled,” said the official.

    Both officers also agreed on the need to stick to protocols established under the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea.

    1. Wouldn’t want a hot war messing up your future proxy wars.

    2. You know who else agreed to maintain dialogue?

      1. Cylons and humans?

      2. Isengard and Mordor?

  27. GQ Exclusive: NBA Star Thabo Sefolosha Tells His Story of Assault by the NYPD

    An officer came over to me and said, “Get the hell out!” I said, “Did I do something wrong? You can talk to me in a nicer way.” I didn’t quite understand why he had to come at us so hard when there were so many other people around. We moved, but he kept telling us to get the hell out. I told him we were listening to him: “You are the police, but you don’t have to act like you’re the toughest guy on earth.” He said, “With or without a badge, I can fuck you up.” Like, whatever. We’re not about to find out. I’m the last guy who gets physical with anybody, especially the police. At the same time, I felt singled out for no reason. He was much shorter than me. [Sefolosha is six feet seven.] I said, “You’re a midget, and you’re mad.” I voiced my opinion, but I kept moving.

    1. They assaulted him for no reason, broke his leg, took him out for the playoffs, which completely ruined his team’s chances of winning and potentially affected the rest of his future career. I know it’s going to be the taxpayers who end up paying, but $50 million doesn’t even seem to be enough for all that.

    2. By then I was in the street, around many other people. I asked him where he wanted me to go. He said, “Keep moving until I tell you to stop.” I joined the rest of the people, next to a pizza place, and that’s when five or six or seven other officers surrounded us. It felt like I had done something wrong. Probably they heard what I said and decided, “We’re going to make sure this guy knows that we’re the police and that basically we rule.” They told me I had to leave the scene. They were almost provoking me, challenging me. I didn’t want to react to them.

      More officers started grabbing me. I was trying to put the money back in my pocket. Usually I don’t carry that much, but I had six or seven hundred dollars in my hand. One officer pulled me from my right arm, another grabbed me on my left, and another grabbed me on the back of my neck. I’m in, like, an on-a-cross type of position. I couldn’t even move. It was just chaos. I had never been arrested before. I understood a little bit late that they were trying to put me on the ground, but if somebody grabs your arms and pulls you on your neck, you fall face first.

      And the taxpayers will lose millions.

    3. “You are a midget and you’re mad.”


  28. Hacker posts majority of Britons’ web browsing history online:

    Police have arrested a UK teen following the leak of ISP-U-Like’s browsing history database. The news follows revelations of a hack of the internal systems of the nation’s most popular ISP that left 60% of the country’s browsing history accessible from a public web site based in Sweden. British ISPs are required to retain records of the last 12 months of users’ browsing history under the so-called “snooper’s charter” introduced in 2016.

    But we should totally trust government with our data.

    1. On second glance, this is a bit of satire…

      1. Either that, or it’s from the future.

        But we both know this will happen one day.

  29. Ted Cruz says the Democratic debate was ‘fawning.’ That’s not really true.

    This wasn’t really how the CNN-sponsored debate went. The first question, directed at Hillary Clinton, came after moderator Anderson Cooper ticked off a list of positions that the candidate had abandoned under pressure from the party base. “Will you say anything to get elected?” Cooper asked. After Clinton’s pat answer, Cooper named more flip-flops, and followed up: “Do you change your political identity based on who you’re talking to?”

    He only let Clinton go after she gave a memorable response to his question about whether she was a progressive or a moderate. It was on to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who got asked a procedural but pointed question: “How can any kind of socialist win a general election in the United States?” Cooper followed up, still on the electability side of the argument: “You supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. You honeymooned in the Soviet Union. And just this weekend, you said you’re not a capitalist.”

    1. Cruz lies with natural ease.

      1. Cruz didn’t lie, he used this thing called exaggeration to buttress the central point – the CNBC questions were not designed to inform anyone, they were meant to try and disqualify any of the candidates. If it’s okay to ask Trump about being a cartoon character, it is okay to ask Hillary about being a grifter whose potential administration would be beholden to the Clinton Foundation’s donors. But no one asked that. And as a bonus, John Harwood – for a second time, as he did it in print as well – misrepresented Rubio’s tax idea.

        Asking how a socialist can win is not exactly hard ball. And it’s certainly less noxious than “what is your biggest weakness” or “why don’t you resign?” Strange, it’s okay for Bernie to be in the Senate and run but not for the GOP folks.

        1. What was terrifying about the Democratic debate was that Sanders was asked about the attack ads that his socialism might lead to, and not “How do you advocate a political and economic philosophy that has proven time and again not to work and is responsible for literally millions of deaths?”

          1. There is currently a Change.org petition to get Bernie to read a single economics textbook.

            1. Bernie probably is like that kid in college who I bought weed from who believed capitalism/economics in general was a falsehood hoisted upon us by the jews and big banks to keep us enslaved to commercialism or something.

            2. I signed that one like a month ago. Unfortunately, we all know he’s just going to read Piketty.

          2. there remains a stubborn disconnect between the left and its ideas, between its belief in those ideas and the actual results they produce.

  30. Apparently, some people need to be told that “dolphin-assisted childbirth” is a bad idea.


    This is why the Islamists hate us. Because we have the time to think up stupid shit like this and actually do it.

    1. So. Is she pro or anti-vaccine?

    2. . The couple, who live on Hawaii’s big island and run a spiritual healing center, had planned to employ their flippered midwife on-the-fly by showing up at the ocean once Rosin went into labor. For an added bonus, Rosin said her baby would be able to “speak dolphin” as a result of immediate exposure to the animals.

      I can’t add anything here. This is too much. SMOD ’16.

      1. Isn’t speaking dolphin = speaking RAPE?

      2. Good god. That’s delusional.

      3. So. Almost half-way in and into a bye week. Yay or nay to Chip?

        1. Still yay, but it’s more hesitant. Bradford hasn’t been awful, but he hasn’t been good enough. And when he has been good, his receivers can’t catch the ball. I think he has the worst drop rate of any quarterback since 2007.

          I need to see an Eagles team with the 2013 offense, the 2014 special teams, and the 2015 defense. That would be unstoppable.

          1. The dropped balls is nuts and the defense is indeed awesome. They traded with the 2014 offense. Weird.

            Is it me or are they not using Celek and Cooper enough?

            Matthews has sick talent but slippery fingers.

            There’s no sure receiver as you point out.

      4. “Rosin said her baby would be able to “speak dolphin” as a result of immediate exposure to the animals.”

        So people have woo sisters-in-law, too.

    3. Kindergarten should include a video of lions chasing down a gazelle and then eating it while still alive. Too many people make it to adulthood with the delusion that the natural world is all sunshine and rainbows.

      1. Yes. Have that and also a demonstration of how to kill, pluck and properly butcher a chicken. Let kids understand where their food comes from.

      2. Along those lines, when my father introduced me to guns, he made me kill something with one. The point was to explain that guns have a particular purpose and should be treated as such. Target shooting is fine, but respect for the weapon’s purpose is necessary.

        1. People’s ignorance about guns is astounding. Did you see this?


          The remarkable thing about it is not that the woman felt bad for the guy who robbed her. I can understand how someone could feel that way. What is remarkable and scary was this.

          I didn’t ultimately think that person posed a threat. I didn’t feel afraid of the person; I felt more just afraid of the weapon.

          We joke about these people being animists, but some of them really are.

          1. That robber had no free will. The gun made him do it.

            *pounds head on desk*

            1. So if it has been her father showing her the weapon, she would have been just as afraid as she was when someone was using it to rob her.

              It scares me that there are people out there that stupid.

              1. Group mentality. I am certain that on some level, a portion of these people recognize that it makes no sense. But they’re afraid of speaking their mind against the group and are social signaling.

                They’re cowards on multiple levels.

          2. Who jokes? I’m serious when I say things like that. Just like global warming alarmists are hellfire-and-brimstone preachers who don’t believe in god anymore, gun-phobics like this woman are spear-shaking savages.

            1. They really are. They have devolved into the primitive.

          3. “Babu quotes another writer who was robbed that night as saying, “I didn’t ultimately think that person posed a threat. I didn’t feel afraid of the person; I felt more just afraid of the weapon.”

            Does this retarded retard understand how retarded that statement retardedly is?

            1. If they did, they wouldn’t be so retarded now would they?

    4. Where’s PETA to liberate these enslaved dolphin midwives?

    5. Dorina Rosin and her husband Maika Suneagle said they planned to rely on the unpaid and untrained help of dolphins to deliver their baby in the Pacific Ocean.

      I am no longer capable of understanding English.

    6. Dolphins? I’m holding out for hyena-assisted childbirth.

      1. Dingos, go for the dingos.

        1. Dingos are for daycare

    7. There was a Bullshit episode about dolphin new age hooey, including dolphin midwifery. I’m still surprised that people like that exist.

  31. Spot the Not: amazing fitness gurus

    1. Took up running at the age of 35 despite being 60 pounds overweight and a lifelong smoker. Wrote a best-selling book about running, but died of a heart attack while running at age 52.

    2. As a child, he was unhealthy and addicted to junk food. Through diet and exercise, he became a fitness celebrity, even beating a young Arnold Schwarzenegger
    in a body building contest. He died after becoming sick and refusing to see a doctor.

    3. He was obese as a teenager. He lost 123 pounds has kept it off for 42 years. He has made millions from the sales of books and tapes.

    4. A weak child, he did not learn to walk until age 6. At age 10, he began exercising with weights he made himself, but his parents destroyed out of fear he would injure himself. He continued to exercise alone until he was invited to join a fitness club. He went on to have a long career as a model and strongman.

    5. Sick and frail as a boy, he was not expected to survive childhood. His father was a circus strongman who insisted that he exercise. When he got stronger, he began carrying a calf a quarter of a mile each day. The calf was nearly a bull before he couldn’t carry it any more.

    6. As a child, doctors predicted he would due of tuberculosis. A Jewish strongman known as The Mighty Atom because of his size, he once single-handedly beat up 18 American Nazis with a baseball bat.

    1. I know #6 is true. He got acquitted of the assault of the American Nazis. He was tiny (like 5’3 or so), hence the name.

      I’m guessing #5.

      1. I was praying No 6 was true

        1. If Number 6 wasn’t true, it should be. And we can only hope he beat up Illinois Nazis.

          1. This is the guy referenced in #6. He led an interesting life.

            1. In 1914, a local Texas man who was obsessed with Greenstein’s wife shot him between the eyebrows from a distance of 30 feet. Amazingly, Greenstein left the hospital on the same day – the bullet did not enter his skull, but was flattened by the impact.


              1. Pistols of the day were pretty wimpy.

      2. And he literally said to the judge, when asked if he was sorry for beating up the Nazis, “It was my pleasure”

      1. Louis Cyr tried the same thing:

        After learning of the tale, Cyr attempted to mimic the practice of legendary strongman Milo of Croton, who as a child carried a calf on his shoulders, continuing to carry it as it grew into a full-grown bull and he into a grown man. Cyr’s calf, however, bolted one day, kicking him in his back, after which he instead began carrying a sack of grain 1?4 mile (0.40 km) every day, adding 2 pounds (0.91 kg) each day.

        1. I keep meaning to watch the movie about him.

    2. #3 – Richard Simmons

    3. 5 is the Not. The rest in order are Jim Fixx, Jack Lalanne, Richard Simmons, Max Sick, and Joseph Greenstein.

      1. No Jared Fogle?


    When it first emerged, libertarianism celebrated the principle of free will. In contrast to religious doctrines of predestination and fatalistic philosophies of mechanical causation, libertarians emphasised self-determination. The philosophical opponents of libertarians were labelled ‘necessitarians’. The defining feature of the necessitarian doctrine was a belief that all human action was necessarily determined by the laws of causation. The clash between the necessitarian and libertarian view of human action and behaviour rested on the polar opposite principles of determinism and self-determination. The unique foundational principle of libertarianism is that of autonomy ? an ideal that was, and remains, fundamentally antithetical to the various deterministic theories of modern times.

    It’s interesting to me that he frames libertarianism as antithetical to determinism, since it seems quite likely to me that the universe is mechanistic. My stance is that since we feel like we have free will, we ought to assume that we do, even if we don’t. Anyway, it’s worth a read.

    1. I don’t really see how he links one to the other. Even if you believe in a mechanistic universe, that doesn’t mean human beings can get around the information problem associated with central planning. Just because something is a mechanism doesn’t necessarily mean you can understand it much less control it or even manage it.

      1. You are right, but this is where the Top men/we’ll get it right this time/we’ve got computers oh my god imagine if Stalin had computers mentality comes in.

        1. Better living through algorithms.

    2. My stance is that since we feel like we have free will, we ought to assume that we do, even if we don’t.

      The alternative assumption leads to horrible utilitarian outcomes, so I’m with you on that.

    3. My stance is that since we feel like we have free will, we ought to assume that we do, even if we don’t.

      Iknew you would say that.

      *runs from room*

    4. I don’t think the question of free will is relevant at all to politics. Whether or not things are predetermined (whatever that might mean), we are still individuals making decisions. The world looks exactly the same whether or not we have free will.

      And free will and determinism aren’t necessarily in opposition. Choices and decisions don’t just come from nowhere. If our brains are mechanistic, then there is a cause for everything we choose to do. We definitely have free will in the sense that if we decide to do something and are capable and not physically constrained, we will do it. Decisions may be mechanistically determined, but we are still free to make them.

      1. It matters in so much as whether we are responsible for our actions or if we are just the predetermined outcome of the situation we were born into. The latter is exemplified by “privilege”, “victimhood morality”, “collective guilt” and other concepts that are antithetical to individual rights.

        1. I don’t see how predetermination absolves anyone of responsibility for their actions. Whether or not things are predetermined, you still make the choice to do the things you do. And other people respond they way they are going to respond.
          I really don’t think that collectivist ideas rest on determinism at all. Even in a world where people have free will, people’s choices are still largely constrained by the circumstances they were born into.

          As I said, the world with free will looks exactly the same as the world without it.

    5. The thing is, “free will” is very much a feature of Christian theology. Predestination doesn’t really negate the basic doctrine of free will, you know.

      I think its an error for libertarians to set themselves up as anti-religious (as some, but not all, do). Religion can be confined to the civic space, and kept out of the government space, where it would become a proper subject for libertarians to oppose.

      And, if you are a “deep” libertarian, there is a case to be made for religion as a civic institution that serves as an alternative/counterweight to the State.

      1. And, if you are a “deep” libertarian, there is a case to be made for religion as a civic institution that serves as an alternative/counterweight to the State.

        I agree with this, particularly in the case of charity supplanting welfare. I do not however see where any religion has restrained itself from getting involved with promoting the state, or at least their particular vision, nor have I seen any religious group serve as a counterweight to government. Perhaps if we were to remove tax exempt status from religious organizations, they would alter that behavior.

    6. You are exactly right Warty.

      Everything is determined but there are so many factors involved that it is impossible to know the future. My first physics professor told me that to describe the behavior of a single electron mathematically it would take all of the matter in the universe made into paper and pencils. Don’t know why that stuck with me.

      Free will does not exist but we should operate as if it does because that is our perception, the only possible perception.

  33. Democrats like what they hear from Ryan

    Democrats are welcoming Thursday’s changing of the guard in the House, expressing optimism that newly elected Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will have better luck managing the rambunctious chamber than his predecessor, Rep. John Boenher (R-Ohio).

    The Democrats say they’re buoyed by Ryan’s debut speech calling for more comity and cooperation, hoping the power shift will bring a new stability to the chamber and grease the skids for future legislative successes.

    “It was an aspirational speech,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), head of the Congressional Black Caucus. “He seemed to suggest that he wants to work in a bipartisan way, and I believe if he delivers on that commitment we’re going to have a better Congress and a better America.”

    1. OF course they do.

    2. Wait, but yesterday, Katherine Mangu-Ward told us that he was “libertarian-leaning”!

      1. depends on which way the wind blows, sort of like the trees in your yard that lean one way today but another when the gust comes from a different direction.

  34. Derpy’s beer picks: Narwhal Imperial Stout

    Any beer with a picture of a whale on it is bound to be good. You can also mix Narwhal Imperial Stout and Hoptimum to make a very strong black and tan.

    1. An imperial black and tan? Sounds interesting….

    2. Hoptimum – what a great name.

      1. There is also Hop Czar, Hoprod Rye, Modus Hoperandi, Hoptimus Prime, A Hopwork Orange, and many others whose names I can’t remember.

        1. Meh.

          Hops are a crutch used by inferior brewers.

          There. I said it. And I say this because I used to brew, and hoppy beers are the easiest by far because the hop bitterness masks all the mistakes you made.

  35. Good lord, who’s been playing with the css file?

  36. Everyone is aware of Existential Comics, right?

    1. Who knew Wittgenstein was so buff?

      Wittgenstein was from this enormously rich and dysfunctional Vienna family. I forget how many but several of his siblings committed suicide. This spawned one of the greatest philosophy geek Facebook memes ever. It was a picture of the Wittgenstein family with the caption “The Wittgenstein Suicide Squad”.

    2. I like the Skeptiholics Anonymous

    3. And I am not sure what I feel more embarrassed about, that I get the jokes or that I find them funny.

    4. “And once again, Cyborg David Benatar has ended the debates with a murderous rampage.”


    5. That is….FANTASATIC! Thanks for that Uncle Warty!

    6. That is….FANTASATIC! Thanks for that Uncle Warty!

      1. I had to google “fantasatic”. I came up with this:

        A message from Roku warns Aang of a great evil and urges him to complete his training before the comet’s arrival or all will be lost. Meanwhile a power struggle has erupted in the Fire Nation between Princess Azula and her father’s newest vassal.

  37. Re: the question of indian populations above. Someone here recommended “Comanche Empire”; a real eye-opener into how the Comanches at least dealt with the Euros and the other tribes.
    ‘Poor redskin’? Well, maybe not.

    1. The Comanches were bad ass and very viscous. There is a town a bit west of Dallas called “White Settlement”. It is called that because it was essentially an armed camp the white settlers in the area had to retreat to during the Civil War after they lost protection of the US Army. As soon as the war broke out and the Army left, the Comanches just started slaughtering people and it was no longer safe to live in anything but large armed groups.

      1. Hee hee, “viscous.”

    2. I read somewhere that ‘Comanche’ is actually a Ute word that means something like “people who are always attacking us.”

      ‘Iroquois’ is a Frenchification of a Wendat word that means “real snakes.” The Iroquois called themselves Haudenosaunee, which means “people of the longhouse.”

      ‘Cherokee’ is not what the Cherokee called themselves, either – their language has no ‘ch’ or ‘r’ sound. ‘Cherokee’ is a Creek word that means “people of the cave country.” The Cherokee called themselves Ani Yun Wiyah, which means “the principal people.”

      When Spanish explorers arrived in southern Mexico, they asked where they were – the natives responded with “Yucatan,” which, in the local Mayan dialect, means “I don’t understand what you are saying.” The Spanish named the peninsula that.

      1. Evidently you guys are all gooks.

      2. IIRC the word “Sioux” is Comanche for “dog” and “Navajo” is Ute for “Head smasher” ( implying they were too primitive for weapons better than a rock).

        1. The Sioux one is ironic, because the Sioux greatly valued dogs – until the arrival of horses, dogs were their only pack animal, and the Lakota word for horse is ‘sunka wakan,’ which basically means “sacred dog.”

    3. Charles Mann’s 1491 is also a really fascinating look at new research into pre-Columbian demographics.

  38. More Americans renouncing citizenship

    A record 1,426 Americans gave up their citizenship in the third quarter, according to new government data.

    That puts the number of Americans who have renounced their citizenship at a whopping 3,221 so far this year. In 2014, a record 3,415 Americans gave up their passports, according to government data analyzed by CNNMoney.

    An increasing number of Americans are bidding Uncle Sam farewell. Many are expats tired of dealing with complicated tax paperwork — a headache that has increased lately as hefty tax regulations have kicked in. Last year, 15 times more Americans renounced their citizenship than in 2008.

    1. It’s because they know Jeb Bush will be president soon! /Buttplug

    2. They stuck around through Reagan, ground their teeth through Clinton, mutilated themselves during Bush, and then finally just up and left during Obama.

  39. Drop-out club for doctors

    Mazansky said Drop Out Club membership has more than doubled in the last 18 months.

    What’s propelling the surge?

    “There’s growing dissatisfaction among physicians,” he said, echoing Kleinhaus’ concern about falling reimbursements and administrative requirements. On top of that, he said doctors are buckling under the cost of malpractice insurance.

    1. My PCP just up and quit at the end of last month. Thanks, Obama!

    2. Fewer doctors, more investment bankers? That’s not good.

      1. more regulation ought to fix that!

    3. I wonder if we could shift malpractice insurance onto patients more explicitly? That will be $500 dollars for use of the delivery room and $600 dollars for malpractice insurance in case something happens to your baby (baby doctors have to pay through the roof because grieving parents don’t accept acts of god when their infant dies). Make it a line item so people start realizing how much of their bill is going to making sure their doctor isn’t bankrupted for things out of their control.

      1. I wonder if we could shift malpractice insurance onto patients more explicitly?

        That would require civil juries to admit that, just because the doctor has lots of money (or they think he has lots of money) and the patient doesn’t, the doctor isn’t always 100% liable for every bad thing that happens proximate to a medical procedure or treatment.

        But that would also require most people to admit that doctors aren’t slaves to “the public” and are trained professionals who have no obligations apart from those they agree to. Having your life saved or your health improved by the ministrations of another is not something you have a “right” to.

    4. Obviously a false story, people don’t become doctors to get rich they only become doctors to help people.

  40. Record amount of cash heading into USA

    A record breaking amount of cash is flocking to the United States.

    Foreign direct investment into the U.S. hit $200 billion in the first half of 2015, a record high according to a report published Thursday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

    It’s a sign that global investors are optimistic about the U.S. economy at a time when the rest of the global economy undergoes a slowdown.

    However, a lot of the money can be traced to foreign entities that are buying U.S. companies. Many of these companies then relocate overseas to escape high corporate taxes in the United States.

    “These flows were driven not just by the improved economic performance in the United States but also by cross-border M&A designed to reduce companies’ U.S. tax obligations,” the OECD said in its report.

  41. Austin cop who shot a man in the back of the head under a bridge, after commandeering of a private vehicle and a foot chase has his manslaughter charges dismissed after appealing to federal court that he was a federal officer because he was investigating a bank robbery at the time.

    1. If you are anti-murder by cops, you are anti-cop.

      A cop told me so.

      1. And then he murdered you.

  42. Kevin D. Williamson on Rand Paul:

    “Senator Rand Paul’s testy libertarianism remains a hard sell in demographics more diverse than the dinner table when Matt Welch dines alone”

  43. The EU is going to protect Snowden to get back at the US for spying on every other European government. Maybe Merkel had something to do with this?

  44. 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.4cyberworks.com

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