U.N. Condemns Julian Assange Exile, Clinton Stumbles on Speaking-Fee Questions, Satanist Group Trolls Phoenix City Council: A.M. Links

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  1. Obama proposes raising the oil production tax to $10 per barrel

    He’s going to get gas prices where they should be!

    1. They need to drop another $0.90 to get close.

      1. $139.9 in Webster Texas yesterday.

        $30 filled my truck tank with the gas light on to the top when at one time it took $80.

      2. Posted: SAT, FEB 6, 2016@70

        Online jobs guys

        I just got paid $8580 working off my computer this month. And if you think that’s cool, my divorced? friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less.,,,,,

        This is what I do ??????? http://Incomefortuneonline/VIP/V

    2. What are you talking about, Fist? The oil companies pay all of this, and surely none of it will be passed down to the consumer!

    3. Another oil subsidy. Could have been 20

    4. Hello.

    5. It’s to help the poor.

      1. Sure it is.

        “The plan, the White House said, would lead to new investments in clean vehicle research and expand funding for public transportation.”

        Expand funding for public transportation. What I heard on the teevee this morning was ‘high speed trains’. What is it with these fucks and their high speed trains? Does this have anything to do with Hillary’s suggestion that we have camps for adults?

        1. The high speed trains thing is nuts. They are hugely expensive, consume astonishing amounts of energy and are not by any measure inexpensive to ride.
          They are kind of nice in some places like Western Europe or Japan as they are much more comfortable and a bit less of a hassle than flying. But they really aren’t less expensive or particularly more efficient.

          1. And it works in Japan because of the HIGH POPULATION DENSITY!!

            Unfortunately that takes three words to describe, two of which are multisyllabic and thus outside the experience of the people supporting it in the US.

            1. Of course, Japan also has to employ people pushers to fit everyone on the train. Pretty sure that’s not what these folks are imagining when they think about trains.

              1. And Americans don’t like the people pushers at all. A friend of mine is teaching English in Japan, and will pay extra for a taxi rather than take the subway once she gets to Tokyo (she’s living and teaching in a smaller area, and can take the high speed to Tokyo).

            2. The only time I’ve been in Japan was just at the airport. Immediately upon deplaning I was crammed into a bus with way more people than would be legally permitted in the US. Which seemed about perfect.

          2. TSA would immediately take steps to make it just as big a hassle as flying.

          3. There are likely profitable lines on both the TGV (France) and Shinkansen (Japan) due to population density (especially for the latter), but both systems have been expanded and upgraded for reasons of nationalistic arrogance and Keynesian economic “stimulus” and so are giant welfare queens presently.

        2. Of all the douchebaggy things he’s proposed, this is probably the douchebaggiest. Taxing oil is a hit on every American, poor and rich, right in the gut. It raises prices on everything.

          1. It raises prices on everything

            This can’t be repeated enough. Beef went to hell during the last increase as a specific example, and never came back.

        3. Gee, it couldn’t be to funnel money to connected donors, could it?

        4. Thye love high-speed trains because they offer unparalleled opportunities for graft, bribery, cronyism, and all the things politicos love more than anything.

      2. Nothing helps the poor more than higher energy costs.

        1. It’s Exxon’s fault. They should just suck that tax up and pay it out of their windfall profits.

  2. 145) A few years ago a lot of people were talking about Arcade Fire, so I picked up their album. After a couple listens I decided it was boring and set it aside. For some reason I put it in the CD player on my way to work the other day and was struck by how Springsteen-ian it sounded, ca. Darkness on the Edge of Town. Arcade Fire, the Bruce Springsteen of indie rock?

    I’ve had similar reactions lately with the Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, the White Stripes, Avenged Sevenfold, etc.

    In fact, nearly any new rock song I hear nowadays sounds derivative. About three seconds in I say, “Oh, they’re trying to sound like the Rolling Stones” (or AC/DC, or whatever). Now Zeppelin and the Stones and Clapton and all those guys ripped off the 50s electric blues guys like crazy, but somehow I feel like they made something original out of it. Is it just a sign of my age that the guys from before I was born seem like great creators, while today’s musicians are more derivative? Or is it an actual phenomenon that the new guys are just remixes of the old music?

    1. The reality is that the Beatles did it all. Everything else was derivative, whether good, bad, creative, same-old.

      My current passion is folk punk.

    2. Zeppelin’s first album was panned as a cheap ripoff of classic blues. So yeah, you’re just getting old.

      1. That’s because it was a ripoff, and an uncredited one, of the music of bluesman Robert Johnson. They eventually, grudgingly, acknowledged that.

        1. But today few people would know that since his fans are mostly dead. Forty years ago is another matter. My point was to agree that most if not all new music is just a rehash of something old.

          1. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

            1. +1 Wisest man

          2. Well Sarc, that has been true since the beginning of time. It all traces back to Pan.

            The classics are ripoffs of shepards, so I am told. I guess back in the day those fuckers didn’t have anything to do while watching their sheep so they sat around all day playing a flute.

            1. “That is why concepts such as zero or arithmetic come from pastoral societies where herdsmen sit around all night with nothing to do except think things up. (Though it is a wonder more cosmologies aren’t founded on screwing sheep.)”

              1. +1 junior enlisted barracks wisdom

            2. “Playing a flute” was not where I thought this was going.

              /Sheep fucker

            3. And back in the day, playing your own music was the only option if you wanted music. The shepherd’s flute was basically the ancient version of the iPod.

          3. It’s not only music.

            Star Trek is simply the story retold of Cpt. James Cooks voyages of exploration during the age of sail.

            A lazy copy indeed:

            Cpt, James Cook
            Cpt. James Kirk

            ship Discovery
            starship Enterprise

            Kirk’s orders were a modern English translation from Cook’s orders in 1700’s English both were basically told to go where no man has gone before, capture no territory, and don’t fuck with the natives.

            1. However, fucking the native women was totally cool.

              1. Especially the green ones.

            2. There were several UK and US ships named Enterprise which pre-dated the TV series by at least a hundred years. As to the other parts…maybe. You lost me with “lazy.”

              1. Exactly. TOS wasn’t lazy. Voyager was.

              2. Read Cook’s orders in full and then do the same with Kirk’s.

                Star Trek showed zero creativity in the overall plot.

                Sorry if that touches a nerve.

          4. My point was to agree that most if not all new music is just a rehash of something old

            Actually there is all kinds of new and innovative music in the world. It’s just that no one likes it because it actually requires an effort to appreciate it.

            The vast majority of people have velvet painting/Michael Bay taste in music. It is rehashed dreck because people like rehashed dreck.

    3. I listen to college radio whenever I get the chance. It’s always a crap shoot, and more of it sucks than not, but it is the only way I’ve found to listen to music I’ve never heard before. Once in a while there are golden nuggets buried in the turds.

      1. Pandora is a good way to get introduced to new music.

        1. I don’t know what I did, but Pandora decided that I liked japanese girl bands, in the vein of Shonen Knife.

          Pandora is wrong.

          1. They probably accessed your browser history and saw many “Japanese teens” searches.

            1. That should have resulted in more japanese solo artists.

    4. Paulie Krugnuts loves those guys and talks about them all the time, so I instantly figured it’s because they’re a bunch of far left idiots.

    5. There’s an inspirational flavor to most creative works. The fantasy genre is said to have built on Tolkein. An astute observer can see the influence of Morimoto in my Asian-American fusion.

      1. Wait, what? I thought it was Michiba!

        1. Michiba isn’t known for his fusion. I merely idol-worship him. His techniques? Stone cold. Just the thought of being that good gives me shivers.

      2. You misspelled Nakamura.

        😛

        1. Chinless. God, he was so much the weakest in the group. No wonder he didn’t last long.

          1. March 12, 1999.

        2. You’re going to hell for that.

          1. He doesn’t actually like food.

            1. I love all kinds. As long as it’s grass-fed.

              1. *serves sloopy a plate of fried locusts*

                They’re grass fed. And you can have it all.

                1. I wonder if people would like them better on a menu if they were called “prairie shrimp”?

                  1. +1 TBSP Grapeseed oil

    6. how Springsteen-ian it sounded

      Thank you. I can cross them off my list of things to listen to.

    7. Just listen some Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, etc… to hear how derivative guys like Clapton were and how Led Zep were outright thieves.

      1. Zep’s first album was outright thievery, but they took it to different places after that.

        1. Lemon Song from II was probably their most blatant rip-off.

          1. There were direct covers on the original that the first edition release credits to Page.

            Later pressings credit Willie Dixon for “I Can’t Quit you, Baby” and “You Shook Me”.

            Same thing with “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”.

            But “Lemon Song” was just as bad.

    8. This is that episode of Southpark where all music just sounds like shit to Stan.

      1. That episode doesn’t square with Stan’s love of Robert Smith.

    9. Is it just a sign of my age that the guys from before I was born seem like great creators, while today’s musicians are more derivative?

      Not your age per se, but yes.

    10. Nearly all music has always been highly derivative. The high value placed on originality is a relatively recent innovation.

      I think that today’s music sounds so derivative to you it because you are familiar with the things they are derivative of whereas you are much less familiar with what those older things are derived from.

      The other thing is that we remember the good stuff from the past a lot better than the crap. Popular music has always been mostly boring, unoriginal stuff.

      1. I’ve always thought “originality” was overrated anyway. I just want to hear something I enjoy.

      2. “Hey hey we’re The Monkies! People say we monkey around…”

        1. So racist, and culturally appropriative.

          1. Is it still racist when you spell it “Monkees”?

    11. Creativity is dependant on the underlying technology to a great degree. With the advent of multi-track recording, advances in studio and instrument technology, you saw an explosion of creativity for the next couple decades. Artisits from the ’60s and ’70s, who I love, were also in the right place at the right time. There haven’t been as many advances in recording technology in the last 20 to 30 years. Where there have been, you see artists jumping on it (auto-tune hip hop, mashups, electronica). Of course, I’m old and don’t like those genres. I like rock. There is still good stuff made, but you have to give the kids a bit of a pass for playing in a genre that was fresh 40 to 50 years ago. I’m sure the same is even more true for the kids playing Jazz. Only so many chords, only so many instruments…

      1. You know, some of the kids said Dylan sold out when he went electric but back in my day it was that Mozart with his harpsichord that was the sell-out. Hell, anybody can sound good if you’ve got an instrument with that many keys – let’s see how well he’d do with a stick and a rock like real musicians.

        Now get off my lawn.

        1. Stick and rock is technology too. Singing is the only authentic and original way to make music.

    12. Your playlist needs moar prog metal, jatnas.

    13. Try Gaslight Anthem for some good Springsteenian sound.

  3. Was last night’s Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders showdown “the election’s most explosive exchange to date?”

    It’s all relative.

    1. I await SugarFree’s take on old person, explosive Depends filling.

      1. Yeah, I bet Christie had some explosive exchanges after the Iowa State Fair.

      2. Eeeeeewwww! Really, Switzy? Eeeewwww.

        1. I didn’t say “eagerly” did I?

          🙂

          1. Eh. I don’t have the energy to deal with Hillary’s butthole today.

            1. I think the commentariat just gave a collective sigh of relief.

            2. Channeling slick willie are we?

    2. I really don’t want to hear about elderly people’s “explosive exchange(s)”.

    3. What difference, at this point, does it make?

  4. “This is what that Satanist group wants”?for people to stop praying before Phoenix, Arizona, City Council meetings.

    Wouldn’t they just want the prayers….redirected?

    1. Some ‘satanist’ groups are actually ‘the church of atheism’, so it depends who we’re talking about.

      1. Yes, you have some satanists claiming to be atheists. Which is annoying and unhelpful, but then again expecting honesty and transparency from the religious (of any stripe) is a fool’s errand.

        1. Because most of them are athiests.

          1. Not if they actually believe in any gods. Sorry.

            1. I don’t know that I’d call it “believing in God” just because you believe there’s some fat guy in a red suit who has elves make toys he then flies around the world delivering via flying reindeer sleigh. Santanists get such a bad rap when it’s just some harmless fun.

        2. The LaVey satanists are silly folks.

    2. I’m always amused by how fragile the religious think our condition is. That without constant prayer their vengeful, angry god will do bad things, or allow the evil sub-gods to run amuck.

      1. I like you Tonio, but you completely misunderstand, or misrepresent, what prayer means to many different Christan sects.

        It’s never about staving off vengeance or anger.

        1. Why is it needed before city council meetings? In that particular case it strikes me as little more than empty ritual.

          1. Would that the meetings were, too.

          2. It’s not needed before civic meetings. I wouldn’t call it an empty ritual because I certainly don’t believe prayer is ever an empty ritual. But it doesn’t belong as part of a government meeting.

            1. But it doesn’t belong as part of a government meeting.

              Agreed, but like “under God” and “In God We Trust” – once it’s established, it’s never going away. Only Godless heathen sinners would argue against it.

        2. And I like and respect you, too, Sloop. But we will probably always disagree on this. But the POV I articulated is based on the observed behavior of many self-professed Christians, which I realize is different than the official doctrines of the various denominations of Christianity.

          A few years back a stray bullet from a gang shootout hit a school bus. The locals were all like “we need to pray harder so this doesn’t happen; we need to constantly pray for the schoolbuses.” I don’t see how that attitude as expressed by believes can be spun any other way. I’m sorry that the refusal of some Christians to adhere to doctrine is inconvenient for other, more sophisticated believers.

          1. Tonio,

            I love ya brother – but your one furious angry spot is religion…

            1. one furious angry spot
              You forgot Israel.

              1. Israel which only exists as such because of (wait for it, griz, wait for it)…Religion.

                1. Except that the Zionists were not particularly religious. Many of the early groups to migrate to Judea (The Romans renamed the area Palestine when they kicked the Jews out) were atheistic socialists. So, no, modern Israel does not primarily exist because of religion.

                  1. So, no, modern Israel does not primarily exist because of religion.

                    I wasn’t thinking along those lines, I was thinking about the Holocaust. After Hitler killed all those Jews, moving someplace else seemed like a good idea. Problem was, the place they decided to move to wasn’t really theirs. Duly noted that many post-WW2 jews had ancestors from Judea, but those ancestors abandoned their claim by leaving, nobody had clear title to anything.

                    1. Ok. Sorry for the confusion.

                    2. Then didn’t the Pals also abandoned their claim when they left during the Great Arab War ?

                      I’ve read that they were told before the invasion that if they stayed they wouldn’t be bothered but if they left they weren’t allowed to return.

                      I don’t know if that is fact but it is a fact that I read it somewhere. I think it was in a supposed to be non fiction by a Jewish writer about those times.

              2. What about fetuses?

          2. Maybe they were praying harder so people would see the err in their ways that led to the senseless violence and didn’t articulate it clearly? Or maybe they really were looking for divine intervention preventing it from happening by actually stopping the bullets. I don’t know for sure.

            But that’s still different than the “we must pray to keep God from subjecting us to harm”. Prayers for intercession*, be it from disasters, disease, pain or other suffering are commonplace but are different than prayers of appeasement.

            *And much more often that people think, these prayers are for God to grant men wisdom to help cure someone or to ease their suffering. It’s far from the Calvinist beliefs many non-believers portray it to be.

          3. Tonio, we all love each other, but who gives a shit they say that? I think, as libertarians, we have bigger problems. My mother always says pray to things. To get ruffled over it is pointless in my view.

            Atheists can be ball busters over the most innocuous of things. Can’t we just all get along?

            /stands up and sings ‘The way we were’.

            1. /stands up and sings ‘The way we were’

              STOP THAT

            2. who gives a shit

              I’ve never seen more piety than at a European or South American soccer match. I kind of SMH at that stuff but yeah life’s too short.

            3. Atheists can be ball busters over the most innocuous of things.

              Rufus, I trust that wasn’t your intention, but it seems you are trivializing my concerns. I don’t know if you’ve ever read Sam Harris’ “Letter to a Christian Nation,” but he explains why those things are not innocuous from the pov of atheists.

        3. “It’s ( prayer ) never about staving off vengeance or anger.”

          No, that is what sacrifice is for.

          1. Too Jewish.
            -Hedley Lamarr

            1. I think most people would prefer a God that demanded blood. At least you’d know where you stand based on how many doves you gutted.

              1. I think most people would prefer a God that demanded blood.

                That explains the growth of Islam.

                ::ducks::

                1. No way, that’s the religion of peace!

                2. I believe they still do animal sacrifices at Mecca. Jews would still be doing animal sacrifices if they had a temple, but apparently it doesn’t count unless it’s done at The Temple which can only exist at one specific and very inconvenient location.

        4. “It’s never about staving off vengeance or anger”

          Of course it is, that’s exactly what it is meant to be.

          God is a jealous god and you damn well better praise him right, or else!

          1. I’ve never once attended a service where a prayer was made to keep God from smiting the shit out of us because we hadn’t been praying enough or kissing his ass.

            Christian rant follows: The overwhelming majority of Christian faith is based on free will. And God wants us to choose a certain way. But it is still a choice. And God’s vengeance is real (in my opinion) but it is eternal rather than worldly. That became true when Jesus died on the cross, was resurrected and rose to heaven three days later. Choose one way and you,spend eternity in one place. Choose a different way and spend eternity somewhere else. That’s it.

            1. That’s all fine and dandy, but the origin of prayer is that a low self-esteem God needs humanity to constantly tell him/her how great he/she is.

              1. Please keep in mind that I am referring to the “God” as created by social shysters as there is no other.

              2. That ended with Jesus.

                1. “That ended with Jesus”

                  Please just shut up with your fairy tales.

                  1. Please just shut up with your fairy tales.

                    I love it when the “exceedingly rational” and “grounded” ubermensch atheists have a temper tantrum when somebody mentions Jesus. There nothing more enlightening than a grown adult shitting on a grownup discussion like a child who needs put down for a nap. It confirms my belief that some atheists are just emotionally damaged children in adult bodies who are lashing out because mommy and daddy don’t approve of their hedonist lifestyle. “ugh, it’s like totally MY LIFE! Stop making me feel guilty for hating you, mom!”

                    I’ll pray for you. ;p

                    1. wait, Sloopy says “that ended with Jesus”
                      and I’m the emotionally damaged child?

                      Fairy tale, lie, bullshit, brainwashing, tyranny, collectivism…
                      Choose the one that feelz best to you.

                    2. So I take it you accept nothing on faith? Nothing at all.

                      I find that hard to believe. And I won’t try to get into a philosophical/religious debate with you. It,won’t do either of us any good. But I can tell you that your narrow-mindedness toward others that have never and will never cause you a bit of harm or try to force you to live a certain way probably wont win you too,many friends.

                    3. “So I take it you accept nothing on faith? Nothing at all.

                      I find that hard to believe. ‘

                      You find it hard to believe a person bases his beliefs on evidence and rationality, yet you have no problem believing the most ludicrous myths?

                      If you can read the Judeo/Christian Bible from front to back with an objective mind and not be overwhelmed by the sheer immorality and intellectual retardation contained therein, then peace be with you.

                    4. It’s always perplexing to me that many atheists read scripture (very, very little of it) quite literally and then gripe because many Christians do the same. You’re sure welcome to your opinion, but if you’re going to pass it off as “rationality” that you should study religion and other ancient texts in a bit more depth than what you get reading anti-religion screeds on Internet Infidels. You just can’t get much out of religious texts by reading them literally.

                      Most religious compilations include various genres of literature. You can’t read a apocalyptic book the same as poetry, or as you might an historical narrative or book of law. The new testament brings a new genre called a gospel. It’s impossible to understand these types of literature without a firm foundation in the history and culture under which each was written. IOW, you just don’t know what you don’t know.

                    5. If you’re talking to me, I’ve read the Bible front to back.
                      If you want to read the Bible as a piece of anthropological literature, let me know when the book club is meeting, I’ll bring the lemon squares.

                      “You just can’t get much out of religious texts by reading them literally.”
                      You talking about the Word of God? Somebody isn’t going to be too happy about that. Sloopy explained the afterlife options pretty bluntly somewhere upthread.

                    6. You talking about the Word of God?

                      No. This is a good example of what I was trying to get across. The Bible is not the Word of God. That’s an Evangelical worshiping of a book. Traditionally, the Law is the word of God. But more specifically, word means truth. A compilation of books cannot be a truth. It can certainly contain a truth. But it is not one.

                      Word can also mean command, as in: God spoke and light came into being. His very word brought forth light. And BTW, this light is–on a deeper level–not light from a star, but light in the way of knowledge and understanding. Again, word or truth.

                      One can read and still not understand. I spent twenty years studying and teaching others from that same book without understanding much of anything (I thought I did). Then I spent another ten years studying religion, history of religion, philosophy, writers like Joseph Campbell, etc., and came to a much different understanding. Infact, many Christians might call me an Atheist, though I don’t consider myself one. Some of my favorite theologians (Paul Tillich, John Shelby Spong) flirt with Atheism. But why? Because after some point a student of scripture comes to a much different definition of God–and that changes thing drastically.

                    7. (Continued)

                      You likely think that I’m trying to convert you to Evangelicalism, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m only hoping that you and any other person reading this will consider that there just might be more to spirituality and religion than you see in the typical believer. And I hope to spur believers into looking more closely at scripture for the deeper meaning.

                    8. Something I find outrageously funny is to watch someone who has no problem with a conversation about the spirit world or ghosts, goblins, or black magic suddenly froth at the mouth if I mention The Holy Ghost.

                      The Hoy Ghost seems to be the only being that cannot exist in the spirit world.

                    9. Fairy tale, lie, bullshit, brainwashing, tyranny, collectivism…
                      Call it a fairy tale or a lie…we call it faith
                      Same with bullshit or brainwashing…we still call it faith
                      Tyranny? You’re right, sure. We force people to attend church in my town under penalty of imprisonment or death. I can’t believe it didn’t make the news.
                      Collectivism? What’s wrong with voluntary collectivism? Have you never caught a ride to work or been to a New Year’s Eve party? Because that’s the same type of collectivism religion in America is. It’s free from force, unlike the collectivism of, say, the atheists in the Soviet Union.

                    10. So much projection, Trashy. Had thought better of you.

                  2. Thanks for the courteous back and forth, Copernicus.

                    Copernicus..strange choice of a handle for an atheist. Picking a man who immersed himself in Catholicism his entire life and died in good standing with the church (much to the consternation of ignorant people that claim he was excommunicated).

                2. Then how come christians still yammer on about the old testament? Sorry, Sloop, that’s having your cake and eating it too.

                  1. Then how come christians still yammer on about the old testament

                    God had an equivalent of the Articles of Confederation (the old covenant) that set some morals/principals/ideas in motion, along with certain parts that we’re meant to specifically to get the Hebrews through some tough times.

                    Then, once the Hebrews (and the world) were ready, God unveiled the Constitution (the new covenant) which contained by reference much of the old covenant, but got rid of many of the procedrual/societal rules.

                    Of course, much like you can’t understand the different purposes of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution on first glance, the purposes of the old and new covenants are not simple, either.

                  2. Because the OT is part of the evolution of the church. Especially since such a great deal of the church’s history took place when it was written/passed down. But (Christians believe)’Jesus was a game changer that turned what it took to receive salvation on its head. The religion ceased being one of “total obedience or suffer damnation” to one of “admit acceptance and receive salvation”.

                    It was a sea change in the religion but it doesn’t erase what preceded it.

                    1. ” But (Christians believe)’Jesus was a game changer”

                      Muslims believe the same thing about a different guy.
                      Mormons believe it about some other guy.
                      Game changers all.

                      “Claim it and they will come” seems to be the common theme.

              3. That’s all fine and dandy, but the origin of prayer is that a low self-esteem God needs humanity to constantly tell him/her how great he/she is.

                Can you tell me where you got this notion? It’s not from scripture. Maybe you heard it from some Evangelical, but that doesn’t make it true.

                Proper prayer is more like meditation. It is for putting one’s mind right. Try Matt 6:9-13 for a specific example. It includes honoring God, thankfulness and forgiveness. There is no supplication for a new car and the like.

                1. Thanks to you and trshmnstr, and to Tonio for debating in good faith. But damn, do some people completely misunderstand Christianity.

                  Also, I just can’t believe we had a spiritual conversation on here without Eddie showing up.

                2. Matthew 6:9-13 was written by some guy.

                  Try going way back in time when God was striding across the Earth like a jolly green giant. If you want to talk about God, you have to talk about the original, not the God we got after he was reformed.

                  1. Try going way back in time when God was striding across the Earth like a jolly green giant. If you want to talk about God, you have to talk about the original, not the God we got after he was reformed.

                    This never happened. See my other comment.

                    Genesis is a book of origins and beginnings. It is highly allegorical, symbolic, and metaphoric. Those creation stories (and there are more than one) were never supposed to be taken literally. Infact, they make no sense read literally. Was Eve really fashioned from Adam’s rib? Of course not. But one needs to learn a bit about ancient symbolism to get it. Most Christians lack the knowledge because their leaders keep them at bay intellectually by dumbing things down.

                    I think I understand why you see Christianity the way you do. There is a lot of superstition and misunderstanding and literalness. But the general population has those too. Just ask someone on the street why it is that a sweater keeps them warm, and they’ll likely answer that it is itself warm. They don’t understand heat transfer and thermodynamics. And so it is with religion. Spirituality is really a difficult subject. It has to do with the subconscious, and it is unrational. That doesn’t make it unimportant.

                3. Hyper-B, as noted above there’s a difference between scripture/dogma, and the observed behavior of Christians. When atheists point out the observed behavior, apologists for religion retreat behind dogma and scripture, ie the No True Scotsman fallacy.

                  1. Hyper-B, as noted above there’s a difference between scripture/dogma, and the observed behavior of Christians. When atheists point out the observed behavior, apologists for religion retreat behind dogma and scripture, ie the No True Scotsman fallacy.

                    Yes, they do. And I’m not attempting that. As I wrote below, I’m just trying to get the point across that spirituality and religion are not worthless superstitions.

                  2. When atheists point out the observed behavior, apologists for religion retreat behind dogma and scripture

                    The observed behavior of individuals. Judge them on their actions that impact you…the same as they should judge you on. As for dogma and scripture, that’s also open to interpretation as evidenced by the myriad “brands” of Christianity that exist.

                    That’s how I square Christianity with libertarianism, by the way. And why I think Christianity can easily coexist with libertarians of any stripe.

            2. “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

              1. +1 Pascal’s Wager

              2. Amen to this.

            3. The way I’ve had it explained to me by Christian, prayer is not so God knows what we want, because of course he already knows what we want and need; it’s more like spiritual exercise, to keep God in our minds.

              I can get behind that, but it makes prayer at city council meetings look that much stupider. I’m sorry, I thought we were here to discuss putting garbage cans on Ninth Street, not to exercise our spiritual sides.

              1. You’re talking new age Christians. Stick with the Old Testament God. He’s the real deal. Like a real sociopath.

              2. it’s more like spiritual exercise, to keep God in our minds.

                If one get’s their definition of prayer from scripture, this is pretty close, although there are examples of, and suggestions to offer up supplication. Nonetheless, all religious acts are about aligning one’s thoughts and actions to God’s wishes. If people pray for a new car, they are praying to another god.

                1. “Nonetheless, all religious acts are about aligning one’s thoughts and actions to God’s wishes. If people pray for a new car, they are praying to another god.”

                  Praying to another god is still a religious act.

            4. ‘Christian rant follows: The overwhelming majority of Christian faith is based on free will. And God wants us to choose a certain way. But it is still a choice. And God’s vengeance is real (in my opinion) but it is eternal rather than worldly. That became true when Jesus died on the cross, was resurrected and rose to heaven three days later. Choose one way and you,spend eternity in one place. Choose a different way and spend eternity somewhere else. That’s it.”

              And that doesn’t sound demented or sociopathic?

              1. God: “Nice soul you got there, be a shame if anything happened to it”

              2. And that doesn’t sound demented or sociopathic?

                No. To me it doesn’t.

                1. Q.E.D

            5. Again, sloop, you’re arguing doctrine. I’m arguing from observervation of christianity as practiced by ordinary people. Now, perhaps those people posting about praying for schoolbuses were satanists masquerading as christians. Perhaps they were “christian” but not True Christians(tm), but that gives the religious such an easy out. Again, while the bus-prayers may not hew to the dogma to which you, or their denomination, would like them to, they define belief far more realistically than do the scholars.

              This is sort of like the debate between the “religion of peace” scholars and theologians, and the actual murderous face of islam as practiced by ISIS.

              1. I’m arguing from observervation of christianity as practiced by ordinary people. Now, perhaps those people posting about praying for schoolbuses were satanists masquerading as christians. Perhaps they were “christian” but not True Christians(tm), but that gives the religious such an easy out.

                Frankly, modern christianity is a shitshow. The social gospel and ensuing progressive Era created an anti-intellectual movement in southern protestants that metastasized and infected all of the churches of Western culture. The only western church that was somewhat resistant was the Catholic Church, and that’s for complicated reasons.

                As such, you have a bunch of “cultural christians” (snocones who go to the country club church for an hour a week) who think that Jesus is gonna take the wheel and that you can pray the gay away, and that the US is the modern day Israel.

              2. Your observations differ from mine, Tonio. I’m not disputing them, but they definitely differ from mine.

              3. Did the people praying for the stray bullets not to hit the school bus harm you in any measureable way ?

  5. …the U.K. and Sweden should compensate the WikiLeaks founder for his exile in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

    I mean, have you spent time with Ecuadorians? Sheesh!

    1. So, does he eat take out all the time, or do they have a cafeteria?

  6. Was last night’s Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders showdown “the election’s most explosive exchange to date?”

    We were too busy drunk-tweeting to notice.

  7. Texas Women Use Less Birth Control, Have More Babies Since the State Defunded Planned Parenthood

    Unsurprisingly, the study shows a 1.9 percent increase in the birthing rate in counties that once had state-funded Planned Parenthood clinics during that same time period of 2011 to 2014.

    If there were any remaining doubts about how cutting Planned Parenthood funding affects women, those should be pretty much cleared up by this new data. When Texas removed Planned Parenthood from its state Medicaid family-planning program, low-income women who qualified for the program were no longer able to afford some of the most highly effective contraception options. And the subsequent consequence was an uptick in the birthrate.

    Combine all of this with the fact that Texas politicians have done pretty much all they can to make abortion nearly impossible to access in the state, and you have a lot of low-income women who can not only not afford birth control but don’t have a way of safely ending an unwanted pregnancy.

    1. I’m sorry, but condoms are still very cheap.

      1. But try getting men to wear one. One advantage of hormone-based birth control is that women can be on it without getting the guy involved. That can be advantageous in areas where superstitious, primitive belief systems such as catholicism are common.

            1. Good point. The worst scale in ascending order : men, white men, Nikki.

            2. No, all men are Nikki.

        1. It’s not like the women don’t have a choice regarding whether or not to have sex if the guy won’t use a condom.

        2. Since most of these low-income women are single, you are proposing that our inner cities are teaming with low-income papists that ignore the Church’s instruction regarding premarital sex, but are worried about having to go to confession if they slap on a rubber?

          I’m not buying it.

          1. Texas, specifically. And I didn’t use the word “papist,” that was all you. Get back to me when you turn off the projection.

            1. Catholicism==papist

              1. He wasn’t implying anything by specifically calling out Catholicism. No sirree.

                That’s an awesome dodge: zero in on a throwaway term often used by anti-Catholics (which Tonio definitely is, though not necessarily to a greater degree than he’s anti-religion in general) and avoid the greater point. Is there a term for such a rhetorical device?

                1. Because the other predominant religion in that area, Southern Baptists, have no trouble with contraception per se. Way to waltz right past the reality of that, KDN.

                  FWIW a minority of SB’s are against hormonal contraception for the same reason that catholics oppose it.

        3. “That can be advantageous in areas where superstitious, primitive belief systems such as catholicism are common.”

          Any Catholic who is sexually active isn’t going to be hung up on condom dogma. And married Catholics don’t have “unwanted” pregnancies.

        4. IMNSHO, getting a man to wear a condom is easy for women ? the “no glove, no love” rule works wonders.

          The problem with condoms (especially the lubricated ones) is that the damn things keep slipping off during vigorous, um, thrusting. Now if condom-makers could figure out a convenient, foolproof way to secure the condom until after the act, they’d make way more money than they do now.

      2. I’m sorry, but condoms are still very cheap.

        They’re also nowhere near as effective as hormonal birth control.

        I honestly can’t believe how many people I see recommend condoms as an alternative to hormonal BC in these comments whenever Democrats bring up retarded “access” issues. Condoms suck at preventing pregnancy. This is what happens when government schools don’t teach sex ed!

        1. Condoms suck

          End the sentence right there.

          1. Some people enjoy the smell and feel of latex.

            1. Yeah. They’re called Germans.

              1. *applause *

        2. They are effective when used properly.

          1. In any case, you still do not have the right to force other people to pay for your shit. You want “x”? Fine, pay for it.

            1. Yep. But at the same time you have to be willing to accept the consequences: when you stop subsidizing BC, don’t be surprised when less people of lower means stop using it. They have other priorities to consider, after all.

              And yes, a baby’s a lot more expensive than a condom or pill, but those costs are hypothetical and in the future. And if these people were good about planning for the future they probably wouldn’t need their BC to be free in order to afford it.

              1. It’s not like people on Medicaid actually have to pay to raise their kids.

          2. The pill is 99.9% effective when used properly. Condoms are 98% effective when used properly. Even if you use them perfectly, 2 in 100 women will get pregnant every year. That’s crazy.

            And that’s if you use them perfectly, which the woman can’t verify.

            1. Is that how the “98% effective” is calculated?

              I would think that it would mean 2 out of every 100 ejacts, some sperm enters the vagina.

              1. I’m guessing you take the number of condom failures and multiply it by conception rate of unprotected sex. I remember from HS sex ed that condoms are, according to the scare chart in 1999, 80% effective.

                My personal experience is condoms are about 98% effective (1 per box seems to fail). Unless it’s Trojans, in which case it’s more like 30%.

            2. No, two in every 100 women will get pregnant that have sex while ovulating. So that risk could also be mitigated if the two parties sat down with a calendar and said “even though we use condoms, maybe we ought not to risk it for the next three days”.

              That alone would make it closer to 2 in every 1000 rather than 100.

              1. And it certainly doesn’t equate to the 2 in 100 women will get pregnant every year definition that Nikki (the worst) mentioned.

              2. “maybe we ought not to risk it for the next three days”

                As an occasional viewer of Maury and Jerry Springer I can guess that a lot of people aren’t thinking that far ahead.

              3. If anyone knows about having babies Sir ProcreatesALot here would be it.

            3. Well, if those two women happen to be fertile at the time, and that monthly window is rather short. Of course, many women are more responsive to sex during that window.

            4. Wow…. I take it that probabilities and statistics aren’t your thing.

    2. Apparently they just assume the babies are unwanted. What a surprise

      1. More like they don’t care. They got a number that fit their narrative.

        Also, not a mathematician: is 1.9% statistically significant? Or would you have to know more about the sample size, etc. to make a determination on that?

        1. 1.9% is waay to small to say it is even probably caused by PP defunding. That could be a sign of layed off bored people filling time, or folks who have a slight recovery deciding to celebrate.

        2. You also don’t know if babies are/were already on the uptick when the PP was defunded. Babymaking is a cyclical industry after all.

        3. 1.9% is, at best, a cold snap, NFL byweek or a weekend of bad connections.

        4. I don’t think it’s a sample so significance doesn’t come into play. I’m pretty sure 1.9% is an actual measurable number based on hospital records.

          What is questionable is whether it has anything to do with PP or not.

          1. Significance completely comes into play, because the actual number is being used to infer that the increase was due to ‘PP Defunding’.

            So the hypothesis: Is a 1.9% change in birth rates over the top of a bunch of other counfounding factors significant enough to infer that PP funding was significant factor in that change.

            The answer to that hypothesis should be “Readily obvious to the casual observer”.

        5. Also, not a mathematician: is 1.9% statistically significant? Or would you have to know more about the sample size, etc. to make a determination on that?

          Even if it’s relevant, there are so many
          confounding variables
          that the association implied is hardly the only right one; Defunding PP caused more mooching women of child bearing age to go back to CA and/or Mexico, so the birth rate went up.

          2013 saw more babies than 2012 and the rate dropped; http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/ch…..3/t01.aspx

    3. I understand that the authors of this piece think they are concerned about the welfare of poor women. But I believe they are also concerned about an uptick in poor people getting born into this society. Because that was one of the reasons for the implementation of PP in the first place.

      Furthermore, it’s very likely that these poor women could still get what they need/want from PP without state funding because PP gets donations to support its efforts. So, I’m left wondering whether these results tell us anything about the effects of state funding or if they reflect changes in demographics or changes in economics (greater wealth might well lead to more births) since Texas is one of the fasted growing economies in the US of A.

      1. The local PP by the pub I get lunch at is still open. To judge cause and effect the first thing they’d have to do is determine how many PP’s closed, and then also see if that correlates with areas that have seen an uptick in births. This will only show correlation though.

        1. Somewhere here there is a joke waiting to be made but I’m not up to it.

    4. The law in question was passed in the middle of 2013. And, heck, if you were a woman 7 months pregnant in July 2013 you would have had a difficult time getting a legal abortion anyway. So they’re trying to lump in almost 3 years worth of birth data that predecessed the law.

      1. Right, one could just as easily make the conjecture that publicity around PP and its practices made people less likely to use them.

    5. Can someone tell me what the rate of growth in Latin immigration was to those,counties,over the same time period? Because the rate of births among Latin immigrants is considerably higher than white or black or even descendants of Latin immigrants.

      And it’s not because they’ve stopped funding PP that those women are having babies. It’s because their religion tells them abortion is murder. There could be a PP on every street corner and that wouldn’t change many of their minds.

    6. This study got pretty well tore up in the comments yesterday. Bottom line: you couldn’t fit that many freshly picked cherries in a pie.

  8. One of Clinton’s worst moments in the Democratic presidential debate last night came when asked about speaking fees she received from Wall Street banks.

    Yes, I can see now why everyone on twitter was gushing about how exciting the debate was.

    1. Did you click on the NYT link? The first bit of the story is how poorly she handled the question, the rest of it was the “news analysis” of how various political campaign advisors think she should handle that question and turn it to her advantage in the future. IOW – the piece is more friendly advice to Hillary than actual criticism. The NYT I’m sure is reporting the in-kind contribution to the HRC campaign of political consulting to the FEC.

      1. She handled that with exactly the level of humility and honest she employed with the “what, you mean with a cloth” statement.

    2. Is that the one I saw on the news where she said ‘that’s what they offered?’

      Yeah, right. Like they don’t command a certain ‘floor price’. Besides, speakers always disclose what they want for engagement. I’m sure she would have given the talk if she was offered, say, ‘$35, 000″, right?

      Riiighht.

      This sociopath lies to your faces and people still fawn over her. It truly is sickening to watch.

      1. Yeah. I’ve never heard of anyone refusing to pay less for goods and services when requested to do so by the vendor. Also, nothing stopped her from donating the outrageous part of that fee to charity (as in one not controlled by her or her family).

      2. As I recall, the actual question Bernie asked was what she was doing getting that much money – and Clinton didn’t actually answer the question. But why would a bunch of bankers want to hear Hillary talk? I could see if they were paying Jerry Seinfeld or Robert Rubin – but what does the wife of a former President, a no-accomplishment former Senator, a no-accomplishment former Secretary of State have to say that a banker’s going to give a shit about? Especially $675,000 worth of shit?

        1. Hillary keeps insisting she wasn’t selling influence but it sure as hell looks like that’s what everybody was trying to buy. You can insist all you want just because guys keep coming up to you and asking how much you charge for a blowjob that doesn’t mean you’re a prostitute, but at some point you ought to ask yourself just why it is they all seem to think you bear a striking resemblance to one.

          1. Exactly. Hillary’s speeches are not so fascinating or enlightening that they’re worth $225,000 each to hear. The only reason you pay that much is because you want access to power.

      3. that’s what they offered?

        These are investment bankers. They don’t spend a penny without expecting a return. If they spend over half a million, they are expecting a significant return.

        What would that return be, I wonder?

  9. Plus-Size Vlogger Barred from Trying on Sweater at Walmart Because She Would ‘Stretch It’

    Friesen, 19, captured the incident in a video, which she posted to her YouTube channel, ShiCurves, on Jan. 26. In it, the Canadian vlogger attempts to try on a sweater and other clothing in the dressing room, but the female Walmart employee takes the clothes away from Friesen.

    “Sorry, I’m really confused, what were you asking me not to do?” Friesen says.

    “Just don’t try to push it,” the woman tells her.

    “I don’t understand,” Friesen responds.

    “Just don’t try to put on something that’s obviously not going to fit. That’s all I’m asking,” the employee says. “Just don’t stretch it. That’s all I asking. I’m not trying to impertinent or anything.”

    1. I have to side with wal-mart here. Their clothes are not that resilient, and if put on a frame to obese for the shirt, will fail and they won’t be able to move that unit.

      1. The article is vague. It says nothing about the size of the clothing she was trying on. You’re right, there’s no way to tell whether the employee was being a dick or had a very valid point.

      2. I wasn’t aware that WM carried clothes in non-obese sizes.

        1. There is the methhead line.

            1. *counts money to see if there’s enough to hire a hitman*

              *decides at most it would pay to have a finger broken*

              *keeps money and slinks away*

    2. Why was this person filming herself trying on clothes anyway? This whole thing sounds like a setup.

      1. Of course it is, why else would she have a sweater that was obviously way too small for her?

      2. Why aren’t you filming yourself while trying on clothes?

        1. *catches self being a bit surprised…then looks at handle of commenter, nods and goes back to coffee machine for moar*

      3. “Sorry, I’m really confused. Can you speak into the microphone?”

      4. “Plus-size vlogger” wasn’t an explanation of that?

    3. she informed the employee that this was a form of discrimination, and told the store manager about the incident.

      So, asking that someone not wreck the merchandise prior to purchase is discrimination?

    4. Walmart carries sizes other than “heroin thin” and “mortally obese”?

      I kid, I kid.

      1. “heroin thin”

        I think you mean “Meth skinny”, aye?

        1. po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to

          1. “Heroin thin” is considered chic. “Meth skinny” involves dental work.

    5. Fat guy in a little coat…

    6. *looks at pic*

      should be surplus size

    7. Wow, that Vlogger is an ass. The woman working there is just trying to protect the merchandise (her job), and you go and bitch to her manager about it. There was no winning move here. The Vlogger would have kept destroying clothing until she got a response, or she’d have edited things to get the reaction she wanted.

      1. You don’t understand. Walmart has a moral obligation to cater to this woman’s extraordinary needs, because otherwise she’ll patronize one of their competitors whinge about it on the internet.

      2. You know who else edited videos to get the reaction they wanted?

        1. Every journalist, ever?

        2. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula?

    8. What I want to know is where they found a WalMart employee who cared enough to stop damage of the merchandise. Oh, right, Canada.

    9. Why didn’t the employee show her this rather than try to explain?

  10. …for people to stop praying before Phoenix, Arizona, City Council meetings.

    If anything needs your prayers it’s local politics.

    1. Not fire… cleansing fire?

    2. If anything makes me want to beseech a higher power to come to my aid, it’s politics.

  11. In the no shit department:

    Minimum Wages Surged In 6 Cities Last Year; Then This Happened

    Hiring at restaurants, hotels and other leisure and hospitality sector venues slowed markedly last year in metro areas that saw big minimum-wage hikes, new Labor Department data show.

    Wherever cities implemented big minimum-wage hikes to $10 an hour or more last year, the latest data through December show that job creation downshifted to the slowest pace in at least five years.

    Liberals fighting for a dramatic increase in the minimum wage have insisted that there would be a negligible impact on job creation. Though the data are preliminary and overly broad, Washington D.C., Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago seem to be finding out that the reality isn’t so benign.

    1. “You’ll be amazed at Number 3!”

      1. “Use this one weird trick to reduce employment!”

        “Economists HATE him!”

    2. Except that in the local paper’s site, I have morons who willfully insist that this doesn’t happen and that anyone who presents evidence to the contrary are just “shilling for the 1%”.

      I wish I was making it up.

      1. On my local paper’s site, anyone who suggests that zoning may have unintended consequences is shilling for developers.

        1. Zoning and minimum wage proponents have good intentions. If you disagree with them then you have bad intentions.

        2. Yeah where I am from they are pretty bad as well. We have so many rules about development and then they act surprised when the only developers left are big and extremely wealthy, and that they only want to build large projects (why waste time going through the City Council, Planning Commission, and Board of Architectural Review for a small building – why would you ever both?).

          1. Then you just add a set-aside for “affordable” units, duh.

    3. Those greedy businesses need to be forced to share their obscene profits with the workers!

      1. And if the business goes under, they just weren’t good businessmen. Now that we’ve gotten the bad businessmen out of the way with our shiny new minimum wage laws, there will be room for good businessmen to take the place of all those bad businessmen who were hogging the whole local market for themselves.

        THIS IS HOW IT WORKS. WE FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE.

    4. That’s not what my Facebook feed told me would happen.

    5. Lord Humungus: You obviously do not have a grasp of modern economics.

      The fact situation is that minimum wage was increased to $10/hr and job creation turned down. However, the relevant question is how much it would have turned down without the hike to $10/hr. In other words, how many jobs were saved or created by increasing the minimum wage? All right-thinking economists since Card and Krueger understand that increases in minimum wage have a favorable impact upon employment. Therefore, the hike in minimum wages saved jobs versus the status quo. Obviously the government’s error was that they did not sufficiently increase minimum wages to offset other factors like animal spirits. Just like any evidence to the failure of stimulus spending to obtain the desired result is evidence that government did not spend enough, any evidence of the failure of minimum wage hikes to obtain the desired result is always due to a failure to increase the minimum wage enough.

      1. All right-thinking economists since Card and Krueger understand that increases in minimum wage have a favorable impact upon employment.

        I know this is sarc, but dear god, no. Just, no. No, no, no, no, no.

        1. I think Cuomo’s statewide 15 dollar minimum might be the first test of implementing it outside of a wealthy city that already pays well.

          It is going to absolutely destroy the economy up there and the worst part is that Cuomo knows this. The only reason he’s doing it is to out-prog Deblasio and keep his name in the paper.

  12. YouTube and chill?

    Change that last l to an i and you got a deal.

    1. Been reading the comics lately, I take it?

      1. I honestly don’t know who should be more embarrassed; you, me, or the writer of FoxTrot

      1. I refuse to buy from the Girl Scouts because A: I can get the same stuff from Keebler for half the price, and B: I refuse to finance Social Justice.

        1. I swear, Girl Scouts must get a flyer with my picture on it under the heading “Easiest Mark Ever”, because I am helpless against the combined force of (a) little girls and (b) cookies.

          1. I’d be willing to bet OMWC is an easier mark for a Girl Scout to make a transaction with.

    1. At least “Stormi” was going door to door and learned a valuable lesson about market economics … not everyone wants to buy your product for various, sometimes superficial reasons — Rather than all of the other Girl Scouts whose parents basically bring the order sheet into work and send around an email and don’t make their kid do any shred of work necessary to secure orders.

      1. OMFG, the Post article linked inside is just unbelievable treacle. The whole thing reads like a set-up to me but I guess that just makes me a cisheterohomo monster.

      2. When the doctor’s whined that we only gave them cookies one day a week (I am not making this up), I suggested that we park a Girl Scout in our doctor’s lounge to sell cookies instead. I really hope we do this.

  13. One of Clinton’s worst moments in the Democratic presidential debate last night came when asked about speaking fees she received from Wall Street banks.

    Would you rather she be under the influence of only foreign money?

    1. It is telling that they ding her for this but not the millions on the Uranium deal.

  14. New ‘Johnny Cash’ Tarantula Uproots Spider Family Tree

    A challenging, years-long survey has uncovered 14 new species of U.S. tarantula, including one named after Johnny Cash.

    Some, like Aphonopelma madera, live on forested “sky islands,” mountains surrounded on all sides by Arizona’s deserts. Others, like the tiny Aphonopelma atomicum, nestle themselves in silk-lined burrows near Nevada’s nuclear test sites.

    And Aphonopelma johnnycashi, named for the legendary country musician, makes its home near Folsom Prison, California.

    True to form, adult males are mostly black, a getup of which Cash?the Man in Black?would have no doubt been proud.

    1. “challenging, years-long survey”

      Because researchers kept screaming and running off when encountering new specimens.

      1. Well there was that one guy who didn’t. He discovered the nuclear face-melting spider. They named it for him posthumously after it melted his face off.

      2. Pffft – it wasn’t like they were in Australia.

  15. Pluto might have icebergs that float in frozen nitrogen

    Pluto is weird. Good weird, but definitely weird. The latest findings from NASA’s New Horizons mission help confirm that beautiful weirdness: According to the latest scientific analysis of photos and data from the July flyby, Pluto is home to rock-hard glaciers made of water ice (note: planetary scientists use the terms “water ice” or “frozen water” instead of the more obvious “ice,” because ice on other planets can be made of all sorts of molecules other than good old H2O).

    These water ice glaciers float around on frozen nitrogen, which is much more common on the frigid dwarf planet. Because of the temperature on Pluto (minus-380 degrees Fahrenheit, on average), water ice glaciers are likely as hard as mountains made of rock are on Earth. Meanwhile, nitrogen ? which doesn’t even freeze until it hits minus-346 degrees ? is icy but flowing, like glaciers on Earth.

    1. The news and images from Pluto have been awesome.*

      *Stipulates that carrying out the mission with private funds would be preferable.

      1. the proper form is SLD

      2. the proper form is SLD

    2. the frigid dwarf planet

      There you go, shaming the orgasmically-challenged, again. You’d be frigid, too, if you’d been demoted from real planet to junior planet.

  16. Victory for gunners: fourth circuit finds that any gun legislation must stand up to “strict scrutiny” reserved for core rights of the BoR. ABOUT FUCKING TIME!!!

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..lt-weapons

    I’ll TAKE it!!!

      1. Maryland had argued that the Second Amendment does not apply to magazines because magazine are not firearms.

        This is what passes for “common sense gun control” among the gun grabbers.

        Fortunately, the court was unpersuaded: “‘the right to possess firearms for protection implies a corresponding right’ to possess component parts necessary to make the firearms operable.”

        1. + 10,000% tax on bullets.

        2. You might as well argue that the First Amendment does not apply to ink or paper because ink and paper are not “the press”.

    1. With this ruling, there’s a circuit split between the 4th and the 2nd, making an appeal of the SAFE Act ruling more likely to get Cert.

      1. There is also a split with the 3rd, which ruled that New Jersey’s de facto prohibition of concealed (or any) carry based on vague and unsupported “public safety” does not burden the right to bear arms.

        1. The 2nd and the 4th split is more cut and dried because they are diametrically opposite opinions on what is essentially the same law.

    2. In our view, ‘the right to possess firearms for protection implies a corresponding right’ to possess component parts necessary to make the firearms operable

      No shit, you think?

      If government has “implied powers”, then the people have “implied rights”.

      1. The tenth amendment says the government does not have any implied powers.

        1. I think the doctrine of implied powers established by McCulloch v. Maryland would be tenable if it wasn’t for the prevailing interpretation of the commerce clause. Put the two together and you have a recipe for the federal government to control anything as long as Congress can massage the wording of the bill to the courts’ liking.

        2. Whereas the ninth amendment says the people have a whole slew of implied rights.

        3. The tenth amendment says the government does not have any implied powers.

          But the Commerce Clause says that the US government owns and controls all objects, beings and abstractions in both known and unknown universe, as well any other universes and the bulk space within in which all hypothetical universes inhabit. The 10 Amendment is so quaint.

    3. Thanks for sharing. Posted on my blog, so H/t to Monte Crisco 🙂

      1. YAY ME!!! I FINALLY GOT FUCKING HAT TIP FROM SOMEBODY!!! EAT MY SHORTS, ROBBY, NICK AND REASON!!!
        MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA………

    4. It won’t survive at SCOTUS, which has already, if memory serves, said that some squishy form of intermediate scrutiny is all the rednecks and bitter clingers deserve.

  17. Maduro Calls Owner of Largest Food Company `Thief’ and `Traitor

    President Nicolas Maduro called the owner of Venezuela’s largest privately-held company a “thief” and a “traitor” Thursday, blaming him for the country’s economic woes.

    In televised address, Maduro accused Lorenzo Mendoza, head of food giant Empresas Polar SA, of conspiring against his socialist government and meeting with his political opponents outside Venezuela’s borders.

    “He’s a true thief,” Maduro said to a crowd of red-clad supporters. “I call on the people to unmask Lorenzo Mendoza in the streets. I’m waiting for you Lorenzo Mendoza.”

    Polar’s billionaire owner this week has criticized the government’s stewardship of the economy and called on the Maduro administration to provide private businesses with much-needed foreign currency for imports.

    something something wrecker, kulak

    1. Nobody needs 23 varieties of food. Venezuela is feeling the Bern.

    2. aduro accused Lorenzo Mendoza, head of food giant Empresas Polar SA, of conspiring against his socialist government

      Reality is a well-known counter-revolutionary.

      1. Aaaaand suddenly I just understand 1984 on a whole new level.

        Mind. Blown.

    3. Hamilton Nolan says that Venezuela would be a paradise if only we greedy Americans would pay $200 a barrel for oil.

      1. Proof that Hamilton Nolan is not even FUNCTIONALLY retarded…. at least the ones who are are capable of LEARNING….

    4. I can easily hear a president Sanders saying something similar. Bernie blames moneyed interests for corrupting politics, for failing to pay their Fair Share? in taxes, and for “rigging the system”. That is not so very far from blaming failed socialist policies on Walmart. People should be afraid of Bernie Sanders not flocking to support him and his evil policies.

      1. No fucking question Sanders and his supporters swim in that pond.

        Quote:

        “He’s a true thief,” Maduro said to a crowd of red-clad supporters. “I call on the people to unmask Lorenzo Mendoza in the streets. I’m waiting for you Lorenzo Mendoza.”

        It’s been said many ways and many times but socialists and leftists are evil. Pure evil.

        1. I have to wonder about the translation of that “call on the people to unmask” him in the streets. What’s the difference between “unmask” and “rip his face off”?

    5. They are importing lots of paper – in order to print worthless currency.

      The shipments were part of the import of at least five billion bank notes that President Nicol? s Maduro’s administration authorized over the latter half of 2015 as the government boosts the supply of the country’s increasingly worthless currency, according to seven people familiar with the deals.

      And the Venezuelan government isn’t finished. In December, the central bank began secret negotiations to order 10 billion more bills, five of these people said, which would effectively double the amount of cash in circulation. That order alone is well above the eight billion notes the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank each print annually?dollars and euros that unlike bolivars are used world-wide.

      Feel that Bern.

      http://www.morningstar.com/new…..eload.html

      1. That makes it easier to be a billionaire. He probably just owns a grocery store.

    6. Let’s give these morons their wish and send in some CIA black ops to wipe his smug ass off the planet, when is enough enough?

  18. Being a shitbag doesn’t help either:

    The political wars damage public perception of Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts says

    Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said late Wednesday that partisan extremism is damaging the public’s perception of the role of the Supreme Court, recasting the justices as players in the political process rather than its referees.

    Divisive battles over confirmations and mischaracterization of the merits of the court’s decisions worry him, Roberts told a ballroom crowd of about 1,000 people at a celebration of Law Day at New England Law-Boston, a private law school.

    Criticism of the court “doesn’t bother me at all,” Roberts said, as long as it is not based on a misunderstanding of how the court differs from the political branches.

    1. Yeah, decisions like “penaltax” have nothing to do with the public’s perception of the court.

    2. partisan extremism

      Rapidly becoming the phrase I hate the most.

      Yeah, Mr. Chief Justice, it would be so much better to get back to the non-partisan 1810s and 1850s.

      1. Although ti would be good to go back to original understanding of the commerce clause and do away with the fiction that it negates the entire rest of the constitution and allows the federal government to do whatever the fuck they want.

        1. True fact:

          The EPA was created under the Commerce Clause.

      2. Partisan extremism = democracy.

      3. 1937 was a particularly non-partisan year. It was also a terrible time for the court.

    3. Serious question: Does anyone with any familiarity with the court think they *aren’t* players in the political process rather than its referees?

      1. anyone with any familiarity with the court

        Only the 1% has any familiarity with the SCOTUS.

    4. Chief Justice John “Defer-to-Congress” Roberts thinks the SCOTUS is a referee? That’s surprising. I thought he said it wasn’t his job to second guess Congress. Maybe he meant to say it’s not his job to second guess a Democratically controlled Congress.

    5. recasting the justices as players in the political process rather than its referees

      Maybe if you weren’t playing for one of the teams, this wouldn’t happen.

  19. Groups plan to ‘Surround the Superdome’ to stop new Gulf drilling

    Environmental groups want President Barack Obama to halt oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and for the industry to immediately hire 1,000 new employees to address problems with energy infrastructure.

    To bring attention to their cause, they hope to convince enough people on their side to meet at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 23 — the same day the federal government will open bids for its next Gulf of Mexico lease sale — and circle the stadium hand in hand.

    Rolfes said the 1,000 new jobs being called for are intended to address outdated and dangerous conditions on drilling wells and at refineries. She referenced video of a damaged pipeline at the ExxonMobil refinery in Baton Rouge that was repaired with duct tape and plastic bags. Rig workers and welders whose jobs would be affected by a leasing ban could be transitioned to this type of work, she said.

    Asked about the specialized engineering and technical drilling jobs lost, Rolfes said, “For that handful of jobs, we think that’s a fair sacrifice.”

    1. I’m sorry, is there drilling going on in the Superdome?

      1. No, but there is public transportation there; so the sort of unproductive losers who spend their lives protesting things rather than in productive activities that make the world a better place are able to make it there.

        Getting to an oil rig requires both money to afford transportation and hard work. The protesters have little of either.

        1. And if that transport is by boat (cheapest), it requires a strong constitution if the water is choppy. Something else which most whiners lack.

        2. Getting to an oil rig on a boat is one thing.

          Getting on an oil rig uninvited from a boat is something else entirely.

    1. Pneumonia? That’s a strange way to spell “inhaled entire can of uncooked biscuit dough while on food rampage through downtown gourmet grocery store.”

      1. Hey, you diagnose with ICD-10 diagnostic codes you have, not the ones you wish you had.

        1. I’d be willing to bet there is an ICD-10 code for “consumption of uncooked dough at grocery store.”

          Not to worry, though. They are already working on ICD-11, because ICD-10 just isn’t ridiculous enough.

          One of my faves: “day spa of prison as the place of occurrence”

          Another: “Spacecraft collision injuring occupant, sequela”

          http://www.healthcaredive.com/…..es/285737/

    2. Here was his chance to prove his bull shit. He could even have come to Canada.

      But I think he’s gonna use his riches to ensure he’s in total comfort and gets top care.

      It’s what faux-populist millionaire fat asses do.

  20. Historic: Tennessee votes to change the Constitution without Obama’s permission

    “Our founders saw a day when we would need to stop the abuses of a federal government,” explained Rep. Sheila Butt (R-Dist. 64). “They wisely provided a tool that was a tried and true process, one they themselves had used 30 times before they got to the Convention in Philadelphia. The amendment process that is outlined in Article V of the constitution is their gift to us, we need to display the courage of our Founders and not the timidity of serfs. They work for We the people, and we are not happy with what they have done.”

    Tennessee is not the only state fed up with the federal government.

    Five other states have already called for a convention of states. If 34 states pass resolutions to call a convention of states to limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, Congress must call the convention.

    1. But I don’t believe the president ever has anything to do with amending the constitution? Also, calling a constitutional convention sounds like a really bad idea to me. If I thought we could create an assembly full of Madisons and Jeffersons, it’d be great, but I just don’t see that happening.

      1. Yeah. I could see a living wage and health care being declared as basic rights.

        1. The first, second and fourth would probably not survive intact. I mean, while they’re all assembled, might as well get some real work done, amirite?

          1. Yep. Can’t allow offensive speech, self-defense is vigilante justice, and nobody has anything to hide if they’re not doing anything wrong.

        2. And safe spaces and limits on salt and soda intake and all that shit.

          1. I really think that within my lifetime, disobeying your doctor will be declared a crime. This way everyone will magically become more healthy.

            1. I can already see that beginning – we now have random nicotine testing because of insurance costs.

              I can definitely see a time where a yearly physical is a requirement, or else you will get hit by a higher premium.

              Add in – cholesterol, BP, weight, alcohol consumption, or whatever buga-boo is in season.

              1. *we being the company I work for

      2. The President is the one person in government with absolutely nothing to say about a constitutional amendment, because it’s all up to Congress and the states.

        A constitutional convention is nice in theory, but in reality it’s an absolutely horrible idea that would make the situation we have now look like sunshine and rainbows in comparison.

      3. Yeah, I can just see all kinds of positive “rights” coming out of that.

      4. If I thought we could create an assembly full of Madisons and Jeffersons, it’d be great, but I just don’t see that happening.

        This, so many times.

      5. There was some work being done several years ago on these. The states were looking at how to set up a convention with limited authority, which could include “Don’t fuck with the BOR”.

        1. The original constitutional convention was theoretically limited to improving the Articles of Confederation, not replacing them wholesale. That did not work out.

    2. *feeling tentatively optimistic*

    3. Hmm, I think this is the idea that Mark Levine has been pushing for a few years. I don’t remember the details but I think his argument is that you can limit what gets discussed at the convention.

      1. Yes, sure, just as there were limits for the first constitutional convention.

    4. In honor of Rep. Sheila Butt, I give you this little memory from Tonio’s tender years.

  21. The economic massacre continues; Mish calls a recession:

    Even though economists see a mere 20% chance of recession in 2016, I am increasingly confident a recession began in December 2015.

    It was another disastrous factory orders report this month.

    December factory orders fell 2.9%
    Durable goods orders -5.0%, nondurable goods -0.8%
    November factory orders revised from -0.2% to -0.7%.
    Core capital goods orders fell steep 4.3%
    Inventories rose 0.2%
    The inventory-to-sales ratio rose again which portends weakness for future hiring and production.
    Shipments fell a steep 1.4%

    Perhaps the best indicator, though, is the fact that the clowns at the Fed do not expect there to be a recession this year.

    1. The recession may have indeed ended, but the depression lingers on and on and on.

  22. Was last night’s Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders showdown “the election’s most explosive exchange to date?” Actually, yeah, probably.

    Which one had the dorm cafeteria food?

    1. Unless there were hand grenades or claymores involved I don’t really care.

      1. [Jots notes for pay-per-view debate, with each podium having a claymore. Ponders: should the claymore be aimed at the candidate using the podium, and controlled by other candidates, or should it be pointed at the other candidates, and controlled by the candidate using the podium?]

  23. January Payrolls Miss Big, Adding Only 151,000 Jobs, But Hourly Wages Jump And Unemployment Slides To 4.9%

    A quick glimpse at the big miss in the January payrolls report, which just reported only 151,000 jobs gains well below the 190,000 expected and below most big banks’ expectations, if precisely on top of the whisper number, would have been sufficient to send futures soaring in the pre market: after all it would mean the economy has topped out and no more hikes are necessary.

    Additionally, prior months were also revised sharply lower, with the November and October prints of 292K and 252K revised to 262K and 177K, a net loss of 105K jobs in the prior two months.

    1. Do prior month job additions get revised higher? Have they ever?

    2. Here’s a proposal, when the prior month job totals get revised down, you have to count them against this month’s job totals. It might cut down on some of the monkey business.

    1. +1 Monster Island is ablaze.

      1. It’s actually a peninsula.

    2. Bahh… Until Mt. Fuji cracks open it’s just penny ante stakes.

  24. OT: (but not very far OT) I heard a radio clip this morning of Chelsea Clinton stumping for her mom. The radio station played it b/c Chelsea flubbed and said “President Sanders” instead of “Senator Sanders.”

    But the spooky thing was all I could hear was how similar Chelsea’s voice is to her mom’s, it’s like they’re twins.

    1. Chelsea’s a clone. Do you really think Bill copulated with Hillary??

      1. I think you mean they were manufactured by the same robotics factory.

      2. Dude, everyone knows Webb Hubbell cucked Bill Clinton, making Webb the most alpha of them all.

        1. I tend to think of it as Webb took one for the team.

        2. Chelsea does look more and more like Webb Hubbell as she ages.

      3. Now now. We all know Bill’s standards aren’t exactly Clooney-esque.

  25. “A United Nations panel says that Julian Assange has been “arbitrarily” detained and the U.K. and Sweden should compensate the WikiLeaks founder for his exile in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.”

    I’m happy for Assange, but I’m not sure the UN got it right.

    Assange is in the Ecuadorean embassy of his own free will.

    Both the UK and Sweden have extradition treaties with the U.S., and that is why he chooses to remain in the Ecuadorean embassy.

    There isn’t anything wrong with Sweden seeking to question someone implicated in a sexual assault case.

    There isn’t anything wrong with the UK seeking to extradite someone to Sweden in harmony with their respective extradition treaties.

    It may be wrong for either government to extradite Assange to the U.S., where, Assange could argue, he is likely to face persecution for his political beliefs. But no one’s extradited him yet.

    The UN is effectively punishing Sweden because the UK has an extradition treaty with the U.S.

    1. This was my first reaction, too.

      Then I took a look at the working group’s report, which is downloadable from this page.

      The reasoning isn’t a model of coherence, but they raise at least one key issue: Sweden has not even charged Assange with any offense, they simply have a warrant out for him so they can arrest him for questioning.

      This warrant has been outstanding for several years. During that time, the Swedes *still* haven’t decided whether to charge Assange.

      You’d think that, faced with non-cooperation on the part of the suspect, they’d keep up the investigation and decide whether there’s enough evidence to have a trial. Then they could formally charge him. Or not, as the case may be.

      But the Swedes seem to suggest that they need Assange’s cooperation before making a final charging decision.

      A country can issue charges against a fugitive, even a fugitive who hasn’t cooperated with their investigation (and Assange claims he would be willing to talk to Swedish authorities at the embassy to give his side – but they didn’t take him up on his offer).

      So by this time, you’d think the Swedish prosecutors would have done enough investigation to see if Assange is a sex criminal who should be brought to trial.

      Either they have enough evidence – in which case what are they waiting for? – or they don’t – in which case they should drop this multi-year investigation.

      1. The only possibility I can think of is that they need to bolster their case by getting incriminating testimony or evidence from Assange, like DNA samples, a sworn statement which can be checked for inconsistencies, a list of alibi witnesses to see if the alibis check out, etc.

        1. My understanding of Swedish law is that they can’t indict until the preliminary investigation is complete. The procedure requires an interview with the suspect while in Swedish custody.

  26. Nearly 13 million people enrolled in ACA plans for 2016

    Nearly 13 million people signed up for health insurance ahead of the Jan. 31 deadline for 2016 on the state and federal exchanges, federal health officials said Thursday.

    The numbers represent an increase of 4 million new people enrolled in the 38 states using HealthCare.gov. Of the 9.6 million consumers who got coverage through HealthCare.gov, about 42% were new to the exchange in 2016.

    Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell called the season a success on a press call, saying it “exceeded our expectations.”

    Burwell highlighted that 2.7 million of the newly insured were 18 to 34, which represented more new young enrollees than last year.

    1. – “40 million uninsured!!!1!1!11!”

    2. Their victory dance is unimpeded by silly facts like:

      1. The penaltax is ramping up
      2. Employers are dropping coverage due to sharply rising premiums
      3. Many or even most of those enrollees won’t make all of their premium payments
      4. The insurance companies are consolidating due to fiscal insolvency

    3. The comments are awful:

      “Albert Wiersch ?
      Owner at Self-Employed
      Irresponsible people need to be scared into buying health insurance instead of passing their costs onto others.
      Like ? Reply ? 5 ? 18 hrs”

      Go fuck yourself Albert.

    4. If memory serves, around 20% of the initial enrollees fall off for nonpayment of premiums during the year, so adjust accordingly.

  27. “Obama proposes raising the oil production tax to $10 per barrel”

    It’s sad that the greens have finally cottoned onto this tactic. The gas tax was going to effect to many people directly and more importantly visibly to get passed easily. Taxing the evil oil corporations has enough feel good behind it that it should be a shoe in, though.

    1. Obama is becoming increasingly desperate for attention. Obama’s worst nightmare is becoming a reality–Hillary got more attention last night then he did.

  28. The popup video ads are really, really annoying.

    1. Something about that popup makes it really hard to read the page. I couldn’t even scroll for a while.

      I updated AB, and that took care of it.

    2. what ads? /runs Ad Blocker and NoScript

      1. The new one on the front page was stumping Ad Blocker for a while.

  29. My old motherfucking dad has been, uh, youtube and chilling (Jesus Christ) for over a fucking decade. What the fuck do millenials have to do with this pandering and incessant reinterpretation of ultra-fucking-normal human activities?

    1. Er, I’m not sure you know what “Netflix and chill” means. At least I hope you don’t.

      1. I don’t know what that means.

        1. You know how at the end of a date when a woman doesn’t want to ask a guy if he’d like to come in and fuck, she asks if he wants to come in for coffee? Yeah, same thing.

          1. That has never happened to me at the end of the date.

            1. Crusty, would you like to “Reason TV” and chill?

              1. Somehow I imagine watching Remy videos might spoil the mood.

            2. That has never happened to me at the end of the date.

              Shock and dismay.

          2. I know of it.

          3. Fuck me. I imagined Netflix and chill to be taken literal. If I’m planning on sliding my fat cock into a willing vagina the last thing I’m going to start the evening with is an activity that evaporates sexuality like ‘chilling around a goddamn shitty movie’. Who fucks like this?

            1. Depends on the movie.

              1. Chilling with a film brings to mind flicks that naturally suppress the lubrication of attraction. An hour and a half of ‘chilling’ generally puts people in the state of mind to sleep, aimlessly pad about, look out the window into the dark afterward with that infinity gaze… everything but geared up for the fuck party… at least based on my experience. What the fuck do I know tho?

                If the movie is not a flick designed to chill but, rather, promotes the sizzle then- superb, but I posit this is not, in fact, actually ‘chilling’. This is fucking her mind first to allow her the comfort and mental excitement that encourages the spreading of lovely knees so that the orgasm adventures may begin.

            2. Horny teenagers.

            3. Don’t hate on my smooth, love-making skills

              1. Does it start with a back rub? *starts up groovy 70s porn music (on 8-track, ‘natch)*

                1. Just snuggle on the couch and repeatedly jam your erection into her hip, butt cheek or lower back. Always gets girls in the mood. Always.

            4. Try this on…

              “Wow, this movie is boring. You wanna do something else?”

              1. I had this method work once… surprised it worked at all. Try at your own peril.

                Background: College. Crazy goth girl that I barely know comes over to my apartment since her boyfriend left for Christmas vacation. She’s sitting on the sofa and listening to whatever music I put on my stereo – vintage Harman-Kardon Citation V amplifier and Snell speakers, btw.

                Her: So what do you want to do?

                LH: I don’t know. Do you want to take a bath?

                Her: *smiles* sure.

                *LH goes to bathroom and starts the tub up*

                …screen dissolve…

                1. Closely related is the hot tub:

                  “You want to get in the hot tub.? I can find you an old t-shirt to wear.”

                  “I don’t need a t-shirt.”

                  1. aggressive snuggling.

          4. Never happened to me.

            The women always asked me over to their place for dinner. Which was usually quite good.

            Then we did it.

      2. I assume he used “motherfucking” for a reason.

  30. “Sir, we’re not killing you”, cops say after they drag man out of his own home thinking he’s an intruder and begin to suffocate him.

    (Spoiler alert: They were killing him.)

    1. If he didn’t want to die, he should not have been drinking alcohol on his own home. Lesson learned.

      1. Yeah, duh.

    2. The bloody beauty of the drug war is that it cleverly masks the serendipitous arrangement between compassion and moral outrage- the guise of brutality marching to choirs wearing the keys to violent chambers under their robes.

  31. UPDATE FROM THE DERPETOLOGIST AT FORT SILL!!

    He was issued an M16a2 and qualified on it. Guess the nickname he gave it?
    1) shooty shooty bang bang
    2) kill kill kill
    3) this is my rifle, this is my gun
    4) Stella

    A colleague named hers “Cletus”. He said it’s REALLY old and wearing out – has to lube it “like a porn star’s asshoe” to get it to work. Your modern American army!

    He said it took him 5 times to qualify, but he did it. No one in his group got ” Expert”. They qualify in all their armor and gear, which makes it a lot harder to get comfortable, but makes sense.

    He was team leader, but got fired from it for on being sufficiently into the army reindeer games.

    MORE TO COME AND I”LL REPOST THIS IN SOME LATER ARTICLES AS WELL.

    PS Asked if he’s OK for me to publish his address – he’d like to get some mail – don’t know how to do that unless I publish his address!

    PPS His gun is named “shooty shooty bang bang”. Best. Name. Ever.

    Another month till Derpy’s done! i’ll keep you posted.

    1. I read that as “he’d like to get some tail” at first.

      *pew pew*

      1. heh

    2. I had an M16A1 that was an AR-15 rebuild from the Vietnam Era (5 digit serial number) when I qualified for the first time in 1985. Training units always get the old krep.

      1. I may have had the same M16A1 for my first time – but that was in 1976 so it might have been a bit tighter then.

    3. +1 mail call

    4. As a former Marine in the National Guard, I used to help out the Armorer.

      Tip – always try to get an FN made M16. The Colts are the loose old shitty ones. The FNs are tighter and more accurate.

      I hated the stupid Army pop-up ranges. They had us firing out of fighting holes and couldn’t see us well – so I always took off the body armor in the hole before shooting.

    5. I’m going to guess the bigger issue with his qualification and using an A2 was with the kneeling position and not with the how the gear fits. He’s been doing marksmanship wearing that equipment for weeks; actually practicing supporting 3 feet of barrel is something they just don’t do as much of.

      1. Not an issue if you use the sling correctly.

        1. If he’s having issues getting his equipment to fit comfortably by the time he’s qualifying I’m going to guess that properly using the sling isn’t something they’ve worked on either.

    6. It’s good to hear Derpetologist is doing OK. And, Almanian, it’s good to see you posting. How are you doing?

    7. Thank you so much, Almanian. Yes, I would like his address. Perhaps you could give that to Jesse who could pass it on to me? Or anyone else who has a posted email address here. I could also setup a burner address so folks here can contact me.

      Did he name it Charlene? (Pyle’s gun’s name from FMJ, according to IMDB quotes). Please tell me he did.

    8. #2 is the not.

  32. I love the ‘this tax will be paid for directly from the oil companies’ line of argument because it probably sounds good to a lot of morons even though oil margins are so small that virtually the entire cost will be passed onto consumers.

    1. And the Messicans will pay for that wall we make them build, damnit!

      1. At least Trump would just take the money by taxing remittances. This is like doing that but claiming you are only taxing the banks not the people whose money it is.

        1. As with everything else Trump hasn’t announced that as his plan in detail but it is my guess as well.

          I posted that here once and was immediately corrected by someone who said the Messkins etal would just remit in cash.

          I wonder how many remittance envelopes would ever make their way out of the Mexican post service once it became known they contained cash ?

    2. Obama promised he would never raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year. If this tax gets passed onto people who buy gas, well that is just the fault of the evil greedy oil companies who won’t pay their fair share. And there are people out there who actually believe that.

      And the tax is only the half of it. The other half is that he wants to use the money “to reduce carbon emissions”, which means hand out to cronies for green energy scams. Obama wants to tax everyone in America and take the money and give to people like Elon Musk and various other connected crooks. Remember, Obama cares about you.

      1. He’s already raised taxes on everyone making less than $250,000 a year, he’s just done it through various taxes worked into Obamacare and Dodd/Frank rather than by raising the income tax so innumerate idiots don’t notice.

        1. Dodd-Frank, what a piece of shit legislation. I re-fi’d in the last six months and something that should take 3 weeks on the outside took 2 months instead because of all the bullshit provisions from that law.

          1. Yeah, and the additional costs of that compliance get passed onto consumers. Thus Dodd/Frank is effectively a large compliance tax on the middle class.

            1. Yes. This was easily the most expensive loan I’ve ever gotten in terms of fees.

          2. I went to a talk by a caltech professor who was analyzing the big financial apocalypse and comparing it to past financial meltdowns (there were similar meltdowns during the westward expansion of the US as banks out east started making more and more risky loans without any knowledge of what/who they were lending for).

            Being at caltech, this professor was no slouch. Even their econ degrees are Science, not Arts degrees. But his entire analysis basically said that as long as you stick with 20% down on all real estate loans, the crisis would have been averted. I’d prefer no laws, but consider such a simple law compared to Dodd-Frank.

            1. No only does a mandated down payment lower the number of repos it also lowers the number of real estate sales.

        2. Don’t forget the federal cigarette tax hike that passed shortly after he took office. He wasted no time taxing “working families.”

          1. It is not his fault the greedy tobacco companies won’t pay their fair share.

  33. On the radio news this morning, Georgia is lowering the passing score for the GED test. Seems they’ve seen some studies showing GED holders entering college do as well or better than traditional straight-out-of-high-school entrants. So they want to make it easier to get the GED that makes college students do better. No discussion of how A) since you can’t take the GED test until your graduating class graduates, GED holders are older students and quite possibly have some real-world learning and B) GED holders are a self-selected group of people self-motivated enough to work to better themselves and C) looking at A and B might suggest that it’s not the having of the GED that makes college students better, it’s that the earning of the GED predicts for college success – because these people have learned the benefits of working at something. Just as “having a college degree” and “being successful after college” are not a cause-and-effect thing, they’re both the effect of being willing to do hard work, but academics are just too stupid to grasp the blindingly obvious connection and instead worship the magic piece of paper.

    1. HAHAHA what the hell sort of magical thinking is this? Why not just give GEDs to kindergartners then?

      1. Holy fcuk, don’t give them ideas. They wouldn’t come up with these ideas on their own.

        1. No, dude, that would be hilarious.

    2. Isn’t it possible that this actually proves it’s too easy to get a high school diploma since people with a high school diploma don’t outperform people with GEDs?

    3. Seems they’ve seen some studies showing GED holders entering college do as well or better than traditional straight-out-of-high-school entrants. So they want to make it easier to get the GED that makes college students do better.

      Holy cow, that is the one of the most retarded things I have ever read. Its like saying that people with lower blood pressures are healthier, so therefore the way to make people healthier is to change the way we measure blood pressure so more people have lower blood pressure and are therefore healthier.

      Rarely do you see a really blatant example of cargo cult thinking, but this is one of them. Usually they try and at least pretend they have some connection to reality. Not anymore I guess.

      1. Government success is all about gaming the measurements.

        1. This is not careerism. These people honestly believe the way to get more kids to do better in college is to lower the standards for GEDs. They are not cynical bureaucrats. They are well meaning and this stupid.

          1. Look! The cart is pushing the horse!

          2. I call it cargo cult educationism.

          3. Didn’t say it was. I’ts in the same vein as adjusting the unemployment measurements so that people automatically fall off those rolls after a few months. The government instantaneously gets to say that things look a lot better even though the situation hasn’t changed.

            By the same token, they are retroactively granting GEDs. All of a sudden, the statistics look so much better, yet nothing has changed.

            1. Sadly, it is not that they just don’t care and understand that statistics don’t necessarily reflect reality but know they can get ahead by making the stats look good. I wish it were that. They honestly think that the stats reflect reality and if the numbers change, then they have succeeded. The former is just ordinary careerism. That is bad but is always there and can be fixed. The later is flat out primitive thinking. That can’t be fixed.

    4. I wonder what would happen if High Schools didn’t issue diplomas – that you took a GED-type exam at the end instead? Long-term, I’m sure the education establishment would teach to the test and stack the testing board to get the results they wanted. That first term’s grad rates could be brutal.

      1. I like it. Make it a test for completion, and students can sit the test whenever they like.

        Efficient, practical, flexible. Of course TPTB would never do it.

      2. Sounds like some New York values to me.

    5. The piece of paper makes people smart. If you make it easier to get the piece of paper, then you’ll have more smart people.

    6. Why make people take the test or even go to High School at all? Just hand them a GED and send them off to MIT.

    7. something more middle-class people own houses.

      something make it easier to get houses

      something so we get more middle-class people

      profit?

      1. People with college degrees make more money and do better in life than those who don’t. Therefore, giving those who don’t college degrees will even out the outcomes.

        It is just terrifying. Our country is being run by retards. Our entire elite class has absolutely no understanding of causality and might as well be sacrificing virgins in hopes the Gods will give us a better harvest.

        1. People with college degrees make more money and do better in life than those who don’t.

          Possibly one of the most abused and misrepresented statistical conclusions of all time. While accurate, in its normal presentation it is so broad as to be meaningless.

          1. It is one of the best examples of people reversing causality and seeing the effect as being the cause.

            1. True. But my argument is that the studies usually average every college graduate with every non-college person. So you’re throwing into the mix the high school drop out AND the person who earns a degree in, say, chemical engineering. But how would the numbers look if you compared a highly skilled tradesman (say, a welder) vs. someone with a BA in medieval French literature.

              Higher ed is selling bullshit to a lot of people by convincing them that a liberal arts BA earned with a 2.2 GPA is really going to make them financially better off – especially when you figure in 5 or 6 years of lost income and student loans.

              Parenthetically, this is why most college students learn very little: they go to college to get the piece of paper that will give them a higher income rather than to acquire knowledge.

    8. In a desperate attempt to increase enrollments, my school has decided that there is an untapped treasure trove among the students who failed to make the minimum scores on standardized tests. So they have decided to admit some of these applicants under a special remedial admission process.

      Given that about 10% of regular admits don’t have the skills to succeed in college, I’m sure this new plan is going to be a rousing success.

  34. UNH students are Feeling the Bern, hating the fossil fuels, and bearish on Hillary Clinton.

    And one should expect these precious snowflakes walked to see the Bern debate Hillary because they’re so principled and consistent in their hatred and… what are you guys laughing at???

    1. I think UNH should do the right thing and stop heating their dorm rooms this winter.

  35. One of Clinton’s worst moments in the Democratic presidential debate last night came when asked about speaking fees she received from Wall Street banks.

    Everyone in this room became dumber after listening to what you just said. You get no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

    Russia and Turkey continue to argue over Syria.

    Release the Cossacks!

    Obama proposes raising the oil production tax to $10 per barrel

    Youse oil is too cheap, it is messin’ with our business.

    “This is what that Satanist group wants”?for people to stop praying before Phoenix, Arizona, City Council meetings.

    Yes, there is a group more satanic than the Phoenix City Council. I guess there had to be.

    1. I think the best moment of the entire campaign was during one of the debates when they asked Trump about Hillary Clinton attending his daughter’s wedding. Trump said she was there because he paid for her to be there. It was the first time I had ever seen any politician or journalist admit the truth that people buy access to politicians and anytime a politician shows up somewhere it is because someone is paying them as a way to get access. His answer was both brilliant in its honesty and utterly demeaning to Hillary Clinton, treating her like the highly paid whore she and every other politician is.

      1. Re: John,

        Calling Hill-Rod a whore is sexist!

        Even if it is true.

        1. If only it were just women politicians who were whores.

  36. The sexist double standard behind why millennials love Bernie Sanders

    “Female politicians ? at least if they want to be taken seriously on a national stage ? cannot be unkempt and unfiltered, hair mussed and voice raised. They have to be carefully coifed and scripted at all times, because they have to hew as closely as possible to the bounds of propriety available to both their sex and their occupation. They can’t be too quiet or too loud, too emotional or too cold, too meek or too aggressive, and so on.”

    Remember when Hillary Clinton cried and it actually raised her poll numbers? So how are women expected not to be ‘too emotional?’ Or how about the time Howard Dean destroyed his campaign by yelling? Wouldn’t this show that men also aren’t supposed to be ‘too loud’ on the presidential campaign trail?

    It is an endless supply of idiocy. Enjoy.

    1. People keep saying that whoever loses the Democratic nomination’s supporters will buck up and turn out for the winner. Maybe they will but I am not so sure, especially if Hillary losses. There are a lot of women out there who are never going to get over it not being HIllary’s turn.

      1. They got over it for Obama. They’ll get over it for Bernie.

        1. I don’t think so. Bernie isn’t black. And they knew Hillary would get another chance in 2016. Turning out for the crazy man who yells at everyone in the laundromat about the evils of capitalism won’t hold the same allure or healing power as turning out for the first black President and the President that they all wanted to be.

          1. I don’t think so. Bernie isn’t black.

            And Democratic women harbor those fantasies…

            “Ist truh! Ist truh!” – Lili Von Shtupp

            1. What, you mean the Mandingo fantasy?

              Ah yes, I remember when otherwise normal-appearing women started moaning about the Chocolate Jesus’ chiseled abs and how much they’d like to “get with that”…

              Doesn’t look so good after almost a decade in office, does he?

      2. I noticed some women* who are the right age and political inclination to be Hillary supporters who are actually rooting for Bernie.

        *Not necessarily a representative sample

        1. I live in I think the most Democratic country in the country. If it is not first, it is in the top five. What I have noticed is that in both 2008 and 2012, everyone had their Obama stickers by now. In 08 there were Hillary stickers but they were outnumber by Obama stickers. And Obama 12 stickers were on every Prius in the city by the end of 2011. This year, I have not seen a single Bernie sticker and maybe one or two Hillary ones. About 10% of the cars you see still have their Obama 12 stickers on them. But you never see any for Bernie or Hillary 16.

          They really don’t seem very motivated or excited this time.

          1. Your point reminds me of a funny thing that happened a few months ago that had me laughing my ass off.

            Whilst stopped at a traffic light in Watertown (a town just upstream Cambridge MA on the Charles River), I observed that the car in front of me, a prius, had a bunch of political bumper stickers. The places of honor, side by side, were ones proclaiming that “War is Not the Answer” and that the people in the car were “Ready for Hillary”.

            I assume that the car is not only powered by smug, it can, in a pinch, be driven a few miles on the driver’s cognitive dissonance.

            1. Like this maybe?

            2. I have seen some great ones around here. My favorite was the Prius with the Obama sticker, the COEXIST sticker and the Oberlein sticker.

          2. But, I saw A Hilary! for Prison 2016 on a truck the other day, cleverly disguised as a real campaign sticker, I larfed

      3. What I’m eager to find out is what the turnout will be among the vaunted Millennial vote that Sanders apparently has a lock on. It would be funny if he wins the primaries with their help and then come November only about half of them show up to the polls.

        1. It’s far more likely not enough of them show up to the primaries and he gets killed.

    2. I don’t know why, but men seem to better at working a group than women on average. I’ve known multiple guys that were the life of the party. They knew everybody’s names, knew how to talk to get them engaged, and would bounce from one group to another to make sure everybody was enjoying themselves. I’ve known maybe one woman who is the same way, maybe. I’ve known many that have one or two of these traits, but I haven’t really seen them all together.

      How ’bout ya’ll. Is this just my personal experience deviating from the norm, or has anyone else noticed this too?

      1. women go to venus to get a penus.

      2. That describes both my wife and my daughter.

      3. “They knew everybody’s names, knew how to talk to get them engaged, and would bounce from one group to another to make sure everybody was enjoying themselves. I’ve known maybe one woman who is the same way, maybe.”

        Men need to be gregarious, outgoing, and personable to get laid. Mystery solved.

        1. Men need to be gregarious, outgoing, and personable to get laid.

          What about black men?

          1. They just have large penises?

        2. “Men need to be gregarious, outgoing, and personable to get laid.”

          On the converse, the only action the brooding mystery greasy fuck with eternal springs of aqua spilling from his pupils engages in to get pussy is to toss his goddamn hair to throw a shot of Jack back. Pussy will even unbuckle his thick leather belt and pull his zipper down with her teeth.

          1. I don’t know what you’re telling me, but I’m glad it was said.

            1. “Brooding and mysterious can can you laid as well.”

              /translation

              1. As a shy teenager, that was my method: Don’t say much, look sullen, and act like everything sucks.

                Just add in some punk rock rebellion… I went from “hardly noticed” to “had multiple girls after me” all in a few months.

                This method, however, doesn’t age very well.

      4. I have a sister that works a crowd like a motherfucking banshee on chat steroids. Aside from her I’ve never met a woman capable of the enhanced ability to woo multiples.

      5. There’s something odd about American women that makes most of them the most jealous and insecure people on earth. Most of them seem to just instinctively and viscerally fear and loathe any better-looking woman, and it’s a trait I’ve never observed in any country than this one.

        I’m convinced this is the reason why it’s virtually impossible for attractive women to make it in American politics and they’re virtually all ugly hags.

    3. her entire column history seems to be filled with nothing but the most vapid of opinion pieces.

    4. Socialism as leadership to the unimaginative and unthinking youth brigades could come bounding in from the edges, center, or sky dressed in pinstripes, velvety frocks, or disheveled Levis and dirty sneakers and the ideology would still remain primary to the peripheral functionary it entered in.

      The explanation of the vessel merely makes for editorial filler in an otherwise short article.

    5. And Bernie combs his hair, it just looks crummy.
      And what man won’t vote for Clinton because of how her hair looks? Has it the potential to attract votes? Aren’t Bernie and H-Rod both kinda ugly? Who really can count on the unkempt hair vote?
      Who’s the clever person who could make both Bernie and Hil weep a bit? I’d like to meet them.

  37. NH Senate kills minimum wage hike

    The Senate on Thursday, once again, voted down a proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour.

    The state uses the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.

  38. Two criminals who don’t want to be shot

    Police are investigating the theft of four firearms from a local gun shop.

    Hooksett police responded to a burglar alarm at Wicked Weaponry, located at 114 Londonderry Turnpike, around 3:55 a.m. Wednesday.

    Police believe two individuals, caught on surveillance footage, broke into the store and stole four firearms.

  39. Lefty rag has honesty attack!

    “Brenkus’ bargain-rate flat has turned out to be his undoing. Rent control is great if you’re poor, at least in the short term. But here is a guy who has had three decades to buy his own place.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/technolo…..807971.php

    The article doesn’t get around to mentioning the units no longer available as a result of rent control, nor the landlords subsidies for such parasites, but at least it holds the leech accountable for his situation.

    1. The article linked within is infuriating:

      His kids fought through a bankruptcy, and in 2013, the bank forced them to sell the Walter St. building. The Harshawat family ? Ish, Kavi, Paras, and Roompam ? bought it for about $1.3 million, city records show.

      That, to say the least, was a huge bargain. The place needs work, but part of the reason it sold so cheap was that it was occupied by long-term tenants.

      In San Francisco, when you buy a building, you don’t just get to throw all the occupants out. You are informed by the seller what the existing rents are, and if those numbers don’t pencil out, you can pass on the deal.

      http://www.48hills.org/2015/10…..-eviction/

      So here’s an old man who according to the very same article went practically bankrupt due to the real estate collapse and was forced to sell the property, but if he can’t find a buyer his place because interested parties are dissuaded by existing tenants that they’d have to allow to stay, well, then fuck him because those are the rules. What a deplorable piece of shit this author is.

      1. More important, he’s what San Francisco used to be about. When I got to town, most of the people I knew worked part time at jobs that just payed the rent while they focused on theater, music, poetry, visual art, or politics. There was nothing wrong with the idea that cheap rent subsidized some form of creativity that wasn’t in the mainstream.

        *barf*

        “I thought SF could be powered by rainbows and unicorn farts forever :(“

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

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

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