U.S. Suicide Rate Rising, Stray Tiger Takes on Houston, Uber Drivers Can Remain Indie Contractors: A.M. Links

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  • The suicide rate in America rose 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, with 13 out of every 100,000 Americans now killing themselves annually, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics. For some groups the jump was particularly steep, especially for women ages 45- to 64-years-old (up 63 percent) and girls ages 10- to 14-years-old (up from 50 suicides in 1999 to 150 in 2014). 

  • "If two people dig each other, they dig each other," wrote Donald Trump about gay marriage in 2005. The New York Times explores what it means that the Republican presidential frontrunner "is far more accepting of sexual minorities than his party's leaders have been."
  • Cubans can now come and go from the country by sea… as long as they're on a Carnival Cruise ship.
  • stray tiger fills suburban Houston with terror and cuteness.
  • Michelle Obama will appear on an upcoming episode of everyone's grandma's favorite television show, NCIS.
  • Department of Markets trump Mandates: Papa John's will stop using high-fructose corn syrup in its ingredient list; it also recently banished artificial colors and flavors.
  • Uber announced a settlement with drivers in California and Massachusetts. Drivers will remain independent contractors, not employees, but can get tips, appeal decisions to drop drivers to a special panel, and receive $84 million between them, with an additional $16 million if the company goes public and its "valuation increases one and a half times" within the first year. 

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  1. Michelle Obama will appear on an upcoming episode of everyone’s grandma’s favorite television show, NCIS.

    Will she play Mark Harmon?

    1. They are doing a Star Wars spoof episode.

    2. Hello.

      “Michelle Obama will appear on an upcoming episode of everyone’s grandma’s favorite television show, NCIS.”

      Will she play the part of an over-bearing cafeteria cook?

      1. Saying she looks like Chef?

        1. No, of course not, we don’t want to be sued for insulting a scientologist.

        2. Come on children!

          1. “No! Your food is terrible!”

      2. If she plaid the murder victim, it might be the highest rated episode of the show 😛

        1. +1 Tartan

        2. She would make the victim look like a Scot?

          1. Distracts from the evidence 😀

        3. Dead First Ladies Don’t Wear Plaid

          1. The Secret Service is the way to your door.

            1. That’s okay, they’ll be too drunk and distracted by the nearest hooker to do anything.

      3. It would be better if she were played by actor Robert Guillaume.

      4. Not over-bearing, bossy.

        1. We banned “bossy” when talking about women. The preferred term is “bitchy little cunt”.

    3. NCIS is Hillary’s favorite show?

  2. “If two people dig each other, they dig each other,” wrote Donald Trump about gay marriage in 2005. The New York Times explores what it means that the Republican presidential frontrunner “is far more accepting of sexual minorities than his party’s leaders have been.”

    As well as the Democratic Party’s front runner.

    1. Makes me wonder if “I Dig a Pony” was about bestiality.

    2. As well as the Democratic Party’s front runner.

      Depends what day it is.

      1. It’s always a Depends day for her.

    3. See, I thought Reason would be all about Trump, as a libertarian leaning Republican. Until he started campaigning like George Wallace.

  3. A stray tiger fills suburban Houston with terror and cuteness.

    Looks like someone’s trying to put it in his tank.

      1. You didn’t think the comment was grrrrreat?

        1. +1 Well Balanced Meal

        2. Only if el tigre was named Tonio.

  4. Diabolical beaver holds Daugavpils in its thrall

    However, en route to the scene, the friend was pulled over for speeding. Police were unconvinced by the friend’s explanation that he was rushing to the aid of a stricken friend being held hostage by a single beaver – not even a gang of them.

    After subjecting the Good Samaritan to a breathalyzer test, the police reluctantly accompanied the friend to the scene of the crime.

    There, it is reported, police found the man still at the mercy of the toothsome terrorist, who made clear his hostility to law enforcement and all the norms of civilized behavior.

    Consequently, police called for immediate backup from high-readiness animal welfare officers who arrived at the scene to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the hostage situation.

    1. Pretty sure that’s sexist.

    2. Diabolical beaver

      Nice band name.

      1. We already had Hole.

        1. -1 Kurt Cobain

          1. Didn’t bother turning of the Ride like the Wind I had going. Bizarre mashup.

        1. “The beaver – a protected species in Latvia – is understood to have made good his escape and is still at liberty, like some furry Latgalian Jesse James.”

        2. Was it shaved? Stuffed? Mounted?

    3. That was one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while.

      Seriously though, beavers are assholes.

      1. “beavers are assholes.”

        Do you find that your dates frequently get mad and go home early?

        1. Definitely realized this after I posted it. I just figured, meh, let’s see where they go with this.

      2. In Colorado, beavers are one of the few animals that can be hunted without a license.

        Beavers are the only animal, other than man, whose work can be seen from space.

        /cliff claven

    4. After subjecting the Good Samaritan to a breathalyzer test, the police reluctantly accompanied the friend to the scene of the crime.

      I love that phrasing. Yeah, too bad they weren’t just able to arrest a drunk driver and had to actually do something. Except they didn’t, really. They had to call for backup for a rodent.

    5. “Pupi?? said that running away is the best course of action when encountering a rampant beaver.”

      Not in my experience.

      1. Just lie back and think of Mother England?

    6. The victim emerged from his ordeal alive but badly shaken and with 15 stitches in his leg.

      Not cool, beaver.

  5. Man, who saw that Patrick Kane goal? Oh and 8:42PM Central game starts are fucking stupid

    1. All I really care about is that the Stanley Cup remains in the United States where it rightfully belongs.

      1. It will still be won by a bunch of Canucks, though.

        1. I didn’t know Russia and Sweden were part of Canada.

          1. Okay, mostly Canucks.

        2. More Americans and Swedes every year. I bet that Americans will be the largest player demographic by time I die, assuming the Democrats don’t ban contact sports by then.

          http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/…..lities.php

          1. …assuming the Democrats don’t ban contact sports by then…

            So, Americans will never be the largest player demographic. Got it.

  6. Papa John’s will stop using high-fructose corn syrup in its ingredient list; it also recently banished artificial colors and flavors.

    So now pizza won’t contain something from all four food groups?

    1. At least, according to Congress – whose Constitutional responsibility it is to determine such things – it’s still a vegetable.

    2. Grease, salt, carbs and bacon. Order right, and there probably won’t be a problem.

  7. Cubans can now come and go from the country by sea… as long as they’re on a Carnival Cruise ship.

    Setting a good example in economic freedom.

  8. Neat explanation of why crime is down, and police numbers are up in Sydney.

    TL; DR Something something free markets and public choice.

    1. Until recently, a bureaucrat in a grey pullover would write you up for riding the train without a ticket. Now, it’s a police officer carrying a Glock and seven kilograms of materiel.

      Following America’s lead by over-policing everything, I see.

  9. CBS said that in the episode, the first lady will bring NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a Marine’s wife and actual military spouses to the White House for a roundtable.

    And Gibbs collars a fence jumper who tries to crash the roundtable.

    1. I know how I feel when I’m “invited” to a roundtable at work – like I should hang myself.

  10. The New York Times explores what it means that the Republican presidential frontrunner “is far more accepting of sexual minorities than his party’s leaders have been.”

    Or candidate Obama was.

    1. That’s been memory-holed.

  11. Prisoners allowed access to adult films and internet

    A world-first system called PrisonCloud has been introduced in a prison in Antwerp, allowing prisoners to access the internet, make calls and download films from the privacy of their own cell. But how effective is it?

    “If they have a legal problem, they can get help from PrisonCloud and they can see the books they want to read. It’s a connection with the outside world. PrisonCloud has more positive sides than downsides.”

    Ivan says that it makes the prison run more smoothly and it means that bits of paper with orders or requests on don’t get lost. It also gives him something to do.

    “We can play very, very simple games like Tetris and the old school stuff,” he says. “We can rent two types of movies. The normal movies cost about ?3 and the other movies are ?6 or ?7.”

    And when he says “other” movies he means porn, one of the most contentious issues around PrisonCloud.

    1. “Warden, there isn’t a good enough selection of porn in this prison, and this afternoon you served the wrong wine with my meal.”

    2. Probably not a terrible idea. Better to have prisoners wanking it in their cells than getting up to other mischief.

    3. Porn reduces rape. Male rape in prisons is a real problem. I see no problem.

  12. Everyone knows that high-fructose corn syrup is the result of evil capitalism and that only government can save us.

    1. Well it is the result of capitalists responding to incentives that exist in the market. We do not speak of the fact the government created those incentives in the first place.

    1. These euphemisms!

      1. +1 Bloomin’ Onions!

    2. “Suffering from colic”

      Aka crying, aka “stop fucking with my back asshole”

  13. Windsor high school basketball star found to be 30 years old

    In a stunning development, a star center for a Canadian high school basketball team was exposed as a 30-year-old African refugee, leading to his being detained in connection with the Immigration Refugee Protection Act.

    According to the Windsor Star, 30-year-old South Sudanese native Jonathan Nicola was a star center for the Central Catholic Comets throughout the 2015-16 season. The 6-foot-9, 202-pounder spent the previous months during the academic year living with Central Catholic basketball coach Pete Cusumano as part of the Canada Homestay program while he lived in the country on a student visa.

    That visa is now likely to be terminated as a result of the large discrepancy in his Nicola’s age. While he has been presenting himself as a 17-year-old, the Canada Border Services Agency has obtained evidence that purports to show Nicola is actually 30 years old, making him a full 12 years older than the eldest competitors on most of the teams he played against during the 2015-16 season.

    1. Maybe he identifies as a 17-year-old, eh? SO problematic.

    2. “Dad, is my penis larger than all the other boys in kindergarden because I’m black?”
      “No, it’s because you’re 27.”

      1. That would be a great way to fuck with the SJW crowd.

      2. “Dad, I’m really good at track. Is it because I’m black and on crack?”
        “No. It’s because whitey is weak….and you’re 27.”

        1. I’m waiting for the day an SJW asks me why white women and black men intermarry so often.
          “They’re about the same intelligence.”
          “Racist!”
          “Actually, that response makes you the racist.”

          1. white women and black men intermarry so often

            From your lips to God’s ears.

            God is a divine mulatto, btw.

            1. Be fitting, wouldn’t it.

    3. Claming one is a minor provides considerable benefits in immigration/refugee cases. Not that authorities would have to carbon-date, but they apparently shy away from practicable methods.

      1. And apparently nobody’s going to question you because racism.

    4. That’s OK, I’m sure his freshman girlfriend identifies as a senior.

    5. That is absolutely fucking hilarious.

  14. How much does it cost to have a threesome in a paddling pool filled with olive oil? SFW

    http://popbitch.com/home/2016/…..eadsheets/

    1. …and can you deduct it as a business expense?

    2. In the US those are called Kiddie Pools.

      1. Elton John’s husband David Furnish. There’s an injunction in force in England and Wales to prevent some guy from telling his story about threesomes with Furnish

  15. Can some explain if Arbor Day and Earth Day are the same thing or not? Did Earth Day replace Arbor Day?

    I like the idea of planting trees and hate the smug moralizing that come along with Earth Day.

    1. Smug moralizing is the whole point. And I’m pretty sure it has something to do with Robby’s Alma Mater. #AAAA

    2. Arbor Day is about 100 years older and was born out of the 19th century conservation movement. It does have a piece of “we’re destroying the earth” in that it was a response to the destruction of American forests. But, it has that conservation ethic along the lines of “we should do something constructive” rather than Earth Day’s “we should stop progress.”

      1. Yeah, Arbor day was a response to a real problem of erosion in farmland because there were no trees to break the wind because people cut them down. Loss of forests is a real problem for lots of reasons that aren’t so much about destroying the Earth (which is a ridiculous notion) and more about maintaining a good, livable environment for people.

    3. You misspelled “Lenin’s Birthday”….

      1. You misspelled “Lenin’s Birthday”….

        Not a coincidence.

    4. I turn on all the lights in the house to celebrate.

  16. Michelle Obama will appear on an upcoming episode of everyone’s grandma’s favorite television show, NCIS.

    Gibbs would.

    1. No he wouldn’t. She isn’t a redhead.

    1. Again with the euphemisms!

    2. Australia, eh?

      What the video *doesn’t* show is that the python was later devoured by a giant spider.

      1. Which was eaten by a saltwater crocodile, which was stung to death by a box jellyfish, which was bitten by a deadly sea snake, which was dispatched by a sunburnt drunk with a large knoife.

        1. That’s not a knife, it’s a spoon.

  17. Way OT:

    So I’ve been on boards here for about 2 years now. I hear about these meet ups/hang outs/etc. Usually in large metro areas. Is there a Kentucky group or dedicated forum on a different site for planning? There’s a small libertarian group in Lexington but they’re 8 shades of crazy. More Alex Jones than NAP and basic economics. Trying to expand develop my social circle.

    1. Kentucky? I’m afraid you’re stuck with SugarFree. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

      1. Yeah, mine too. I suggest moving.

      2. Yeah. Most of the rest of the Kentuckians on the board are expatriates or in Bowling Green or Louisville.

        1. Vine Grove… Half way between BG and Loo-ah-vuhle.

          1. My best friend grew up in Radcliff. Army brat.

        2. Covington, it’s not Hell, but we can see it from there…..right across the river……

    2. Not OT at all. Good luck with that.

    3. Is there a topic in the morning links?

    4. Well shit… Thanks anyways. The post grad struggle is real. People moving away and getting hitched. Trying to get me an (occasional) Friday or Saturday night crew.

    5. And who do I contact for a Baltimore/ DC? NOVA meetup? I want to get in on some of this hot Libertarian on Libertarian action…

      1. I’m afraid you’re stuck with John. Of course, being his wingman isn’t the most onerous task in the world.

        1. He’ll pick off the fattie cock-blocking the babe, so everybody wins?

      2. I’ll be out there for 2 weeks this summer, so keep me in the loop if you find any victims rubes people who want to meet up.

        1. I’ll add that I’m looking to move there long-term, so I wouldn’t be just crashing the party once (I’d crash the party every time).

      3. I live in Arlington, I have a penis as all libertarians do.

        1. And a sizable bank account if you live there!

    6. There’s a small libertarian group in Lexington but they’re 8 shades of crazy.

      So, pretty much like small libertarian groups everywhere.

  18. Barack Obama: As your friend, let me say that the EU makes Britain even greater

    As citizens of the United Kingdom take stock of their relationship with the EU, you should be proud that the EU has helped spread British values and practices ? democracy, the rule of law, open markets ? across the continent and to its periphery. The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence ? it magnifies it. A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain’s global leadership; it enhances Britain’s global leadership. The United States sees how your powerful voice in Europe ensures that Europe takes a strong stance in the world, and keeps the EU open, outward looking, and closely linked to its allies on the other side of the Atlantic. So the US and the world need your outsized influence to continue ? including within Europe.

    In this complicated, connected world, the challenges facing the EU ? migration, economic inequality, the threats of terrorism and climate change ? are the same challenges facing the United States and other nations. And in today’s world, even as we all cherish our sovereignty, the nations who wield their influence most effectively are the nations that do it through the collective action that today’s challenges demand.

    1. Nonsense. It subjects Britain to the vote of a group that is not in line with these values. The EU is a fickle being, with contradictory principles, and the nicely fitting claim to be “merely” “supra-national”. Effet utile.The EU is one giant commerce clause.

    2. A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain’s global leadership; it enhances Britain’s global leadership.

      HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!

      1. You can pretty much take the opposite of whatever Obama says to be the truth.

    3. Technocratic statist favors technocratic statism. SHOCKED.

    4. The EU is destroying Europe. The Brits need to get out before the Turks get a free pass to immigrate en masse and further diminish the sovereignty of British people. Democracy is a real cunt like that.

  19. Yup. We’ve taken this bullying thing a bit too far:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/…..-1.3544358

    Without being told why, a 12-year-old boy was asked to leave the classroom by the teacher. His classmates were instructed to think of insults as part of the lesson.

    After being called back into the classroom, the boy was met with a flurry of insults, ranging from “idiot” to profanity-laced taunts.

    “There were no limits,” one parent, who asked not to be named to protect the identity of their child, told Radio-Canada.”

    More disturbing? How easily we listen to authority figures.

    1. Milgram experiment in 2016,

    2. Listen to authority figures? That’s like a flood “listening” to the removal of a dam.

    3. Not so disturbing for a class full of 12-year-olds.

      1. No but they knew it was wrong but still did it. You would think or hope at least one kid would have spoke out.

        I’d like to think I’d be that person but maybe it’s wishful thinking.

        1. At only 12? Not likely. Not only would a kid that age be very susceptible to peer pressure, at 12 they also tend to be little dicks who would mostly relish the chance to do this shit and get away with it.

        2. Also, if the teacher told them to do it, I’m not so sure they “knew” it was wrong. Kids have to be taught right from wrong, and alot of that obviously comes from authority figures.

          1. Some were crying as it was happening.

            But you’re probably right.

    4. “After each insult, students dropped a dictionary into a bin the boy was told to hold. The weight of dictionaries was meant to represent the weight of hurtful words.”

      LOL wut

      1. That lesson was backwards. The children would be better served learning to shrug of words.

        Oh wait, that’s the point, crippling their ability to ever become adults to feed grist the the mill of perpetual victimization and offense.

        1. Yeah, that’s the really insane part. We shouldn’t be teaching kids to be more sensitive to insults and cruel talk. Basically they are just teaching the kids that if they want to be assholes, here’s a good way to do it. Bullies want to cause distress. Showing them how hurtful mean talk can be isn’t going to dissuade them.

  20. Robot monk blends science and Buddhism at Chinese temple

    “When you can snatch the dashboard Jesus from my hand ?.”

    1. “resembles a cartoon-like novice monk in yellow robes with a shaven head”

      Resembles Charlie Brown.

      But then, we are all one.

      1. dashboard Jesus

        “He don’t slip and he don’t slide…

        cause his ass is magnetized”

        1. My dashboard is made of some form of plastic. There’s not a whole lot of frame underneath. A magnetized item wouldn’t have any advantage in staying in place.

    2. I programmed my PC to face Mecca and pray 5 times a day.

      Still not sure WHY I did that. But I did. Mostly just to experiment with text-to-voice functionality.

      The point is this robot monk is clearly a ripoff of my cyberimam.

  21. Cubans can now come and go from the country by sea… as long as they’re on a Carnival Cruise ship.

    That’s a worse cruelty than making them cross the Gulf in a dingy.

  22. Colorado School District Arms Security Guards With Rifles

    A suburban Denver school district is arming its security staff with military-style semiautomatic rifles in case of a school shooting or other violent attack, a move that appears unprecedented even as more schools arm employees in response to mass violence elsewhere.

    The guards, who are not law enforcement officers, already carry handguns.

    Douglas County School District security director Richard Payne said he decided to spend more than $12,000 on the Bushmaster brand rifles for the district’s eight armed officers to give them the same tools as law enforcement, including the sheriff’s deputies they train with. Payne said the rifles will be kept locked in patrol cars, not in the schools.

    1. I’d be more comfortable if they gave the rifles to the seniors.

    2. Same Douglas county? Arsehole school board.

  23. BOJ Officials Are Said to Eye Possible Negative Rate on Loans

    Having adopted a negative interest rate on some excess reserves to penalize financial institutions for leaving money idle, the Bank of Japan may consider helping them lend by offering a negative rate on some loans, according to people familiar with talks at the BOJ.

    Such a discussion could happen in conjunction with any decision to make a deeper cut to the current negative rate on reserves, said the people, who asked not to be named as the matter is private. The BOJ’s Stimulating Bank Lending Facility, which now offers loans at zero percent interest, would be the most likely vehicle for this option, they said.

    The officials said that adding this to the central bank’s arsenal could have a positive impact on the economy, but would also raise questions about giving subsidies to commercial lenders. Financial institutions, who already feel penalized by the existing negative rate, could face demands from borrowers to cut their lending margins further, said the people.

    1. leaving money idle

      The money wouldn’t be “idle” if there was something worth spending it on.

  24. “TIGER FOUND WANDERING LOOSE IN CONROE NEIGHBORHOOD”

    Am I the only one whose immediate thought was, “I wonder what Tiger Woods is up to now?”

    1. Not after they killed that alien that caused men to want to have lots of sex.

    2. It’s right out of one of Saul Goodman’s ads. Keeping a tiger at home? Check. Tiger gets out? Check. “That’s not my tiger.” Check. Escaped from wild animal facility? Check. Texas? Check.

  25. Sober is the new drunk: why millennials are ditching bar crawls for juice crawls

    “It kind of makes my leg hair follicles feel like they’re standing out,” says Isham, a 33-year-old audio visual technician whose grey hoodie is decorated with a Bernie Sanders sticker and button. Floyd, who is wearing a Feel the Bern-themed Christmas sweater, throws back the small plastic cup. “Oh man. I feel that right up here,” she says, bringing her left hand over her head. The 26-year-old clinical psychology grad student is on her eighth shot of the day, but she could still pass a breathalyzer test. The Mother F*#%in’ Fireball is not the cinnamon whiskey teenagers steal from their parents around Christmas ? it’s an orange-based drink with a spicy kick from a mix of cayenne, ginger and oregano oil.

    BAN IT!!

    1. What?

    2. Hipsters will be bustin’ out of those tight jeans as they get fatty fat.

    3. God, that makes me want to punch a hipster millenial.

      1. Dude, chill out. Take a deep breaths and sip on a Mother F*#%in’ Fireball, and that will make everything alright.

        1. Yeah, that pretty much makes everything better.

      2. I don’t care if they’re teetotalling mocktail drinking muppets. More booze for the grown-ups

      3. Its designed to make you feel that way… this is not representative of the majority of generation Y.

    4. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

    5. God, they’re so boring.

      Cherish the lost cult of Animal Houses everywhere.

      1. We really are raising a nation of pussies.

    6. No, its not. Shut up Guardian, my generation still likes drinking. These people are basically caricatures of my generation.

      1. I visited a hipster barber shop (I had to drop off papers to someone) recently. Everyone had tight jeans, tattoos, and beards.

        Very weird.

        It’s a fad and will pass.

        1. There are places you’ll find this, especially in the cities.. but still, this is a subset of my generation – not an accurate representation of the whole.

        2. Yes, it’s nothing new.

        3. It’s a fad and will pass.

          Is it just me or are fads hanging around way past their sell-by date now? This one has been going on for at least 15 years with no end in sight.

          1. Well, you still see plenty of people with 70s style fake hippy clothes.

            1. Not where I live I don’t.

              1. OK, not you then. I do. I don’t claim to understand you city folk.

        4. I visited a hipster barber shop (I had to drop off papers to someone) recently. Everyone had tight jeans, tattoos, and beards.

          That sounds atrocious.

          I’m sure it’s super expensive, too. Nothing’s quite like having some dirty “artisanal” hipster cut your hair.

        5. I’ve been bearded for more than a decade now. I’m not giving it up until my wife makes me.

          1. Gross. She better be getting something out of that deal.

        6. I went to a hipster barbershop when I first moved to Seminole Heights here in Tampa, and you’re absolutely right about the jeans tattoos and beards. Anyways I will never return, not because of the hipsters, but because they gave me an awful cut AND don’t do hot shaves. Now I travel 15 miles to my old barber in St Pete.

        7. That look is hot. Well, replace tight pants with cutoff shorts. Mm.

      2. An awful lot of people just love making sweeping generalizations about whole cohorts of people. Very silly. And I think “hipster” is really overused. At this point, beards, skinny jeans and tattoos are mainstream fashion. Hipsters are probably about ready to move on to something else.

        1. Horizontally-striped tank tops and man buns?

          1. I’ll have to see in a few months when I sell my artistic creations as the local hipster fest.

        2. And I think “hipster” is really overused. At this point, beards, skinny jeans and tattoos are mainstream fashion.

          It is. True hipsters are hilariously awful; those people are just fitting in.

        3. I think what Zeb is trying to say is that he is a true hipster and the barber shop guys are posers

          1. Zeb is just taking away our right to have fun with generalizations!

          2. Well, I am on the avant garde, cutting edge of whatever it is that I am.

        4. Like McInnes said, they’re just young people. Or I guess “any young-person archetype I don’t like.” Actually there are definite connotations to the word, but the problem is the references are so varied. So it becomes a convenient pejorative with a nebulous mishmash of references.

  26. http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/11/….._expansion

    Kids suing the US government for potential climate change? Didn’t realize we could sue for theoretical damages now!

    1. The climate kids’ argument is multifaceted and nuanced, bringing in concepts of public trust doctrine as well as constitutional rights to life, liberty and property. But one of the oh-wow points they’re making is this: Young people and unborn generations are being discriminated against when it comes to the U.S. propagation of climate change.

      What. The. Fuck?

      “This decision [to allow the case to move forward] was our biggest hurdle,” said Julia Olson, executive director of Our Children’s Trust, an advocacy group behind this and other lawsuits on behalf of young people.

      Why, yes, having your case laughed out of court would have been a problem. Fortunately, there’s still hope..

      The decision still needs to be reviewed by another judge before it goes to trial. But an attorney for the climate kids, Philip Gregory, told me there is a “high likelihood” it will pass that review.

      Can one of our resident attorneys comment on this? Is that two-judge vetting normal for suits like this?

      1. Counter-sue for the very real damages of hobbling prosperity in the name of advancing a political agenda.

      2. No.

        Generally, a magistrate decides whether a case goes forward or not; based on a pretty simple set of rules that create a very low bar. And generally the case either clears the bar or it doesn’t. And the ruling is generally not appealable.

        However, if the magistrate recognizes that the case is in kind of a gray area, he can make his decision appealable; permitting the losers to demand a rehearing before a full fledged judge.

        OF course, since the Obama admin is desperate to take a dive on this case; I think it’s likely they won’t do that.

        1. Saw those Snider links last night. Talk about wanting to punch everyone in the face.

          What a pompous jerk off Gore is.

      3. And restrictions on economic development and energy use couldn’t possibly have any negative consequences for future generations. Yeah.

    2. Today, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the federal District Court in Eugene, OR, decided in favor of 21 young Plaintiffs, and Dr. James Hansen on behalf of future generations,

      I was wondering who the schmuck behind this effort is.

      1. U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the federal District Court in Eugene, OR

        Shock of shocks. I’ll enjoy watching this get overturned on appeal in about 10 seconds flat.

    3. John D Sutter is the Social-Justice writer for CNN

      he’s Zerlina Maxwell without a tan. Look at his beat = Rape, Slavery, Gay, Climate Change.. Clearly one very-beta-beardo can provide the world informed and unbiased editorial coverage of those range of topics.

      1. Social-Justice writer for CNN

        That tells you everything you need to know about him as a person and everything he writes about.

      2. the Social-Justice writer for CNN

        That job’s got to be the journalistic equivalent of porta-potty scrubber.

        1. Except that porta-potty scrubbing is an actual job dealing with real shit.

          1. True, but nobody aspires to it.

    4. He has standing to sue on the basis of some abstract, future, hypothetical, theoretical damages to his great grandchildren? (assuming this hamanity hating weasel reproduces)

    5. Alright, alright, even if the damages of climate change could be proven and quantified, and thus tort law could cover a lawsuit for “damages”.

      Doesn’t the lawsuit need to be against people contributing more CO2 into the atmosphere, not the Government?? He should be suing factories, power plants, and car owners, if he’s serious.

  27. something something euphemism

    Daimler Probe Hits Industry Credibility After Mitsubishi Charge

    With U.S. auto sales projected to hit another record this year, cars are stacking up while awaiting EPA validation of fuel-economy claims, Baum said.

    “They’ve lost the presumption that they’re doing it right, and now they’re going to have to show that they are,” Baum said. “Because the testing system is going to be more difficult, that’s going to add costs on both the automaker side and the EPA side.”

    It also delays how quickly automakers can roll out new models, Brauer said.

    “This is going to have a big impact across the industry,” Brauer said. “This is slowing down the processing of vehicles right at the stage of introduction. I’ve heard that for the last few months from every manufacturer.”

    has anyone owned a car that exceeded it’s stated MPG? It’s happened, but most of the time I’m lower than expected.

    1. Sure, whenever I drive downhill with a tailwind.

      1. That’s a pretty smooth masturbation euphemism, Tonio.

    2. Yes, but only when it’s warmer out, I’m doing nothing but highway driving with no traffic, and before they change the gasoline formula for summer.

    3. Ya, every vehicle I’ve owned, though when temps are below freezing, averages match the estimates

      My Sunfire was usually about 28 in the suburbs and 33 pure highway. (rated 22/25/30)
      My TDI average when I lived in the suburbs was 39 and usually about 48 pure highway (rated 30/34/42)

      Wife’s van gets about 20 around town, and about 30 highway (Rated 17/20/25)
      Her old Toaureg got around 17 in the suburbs and 24 highway. (Rated 13/15/19)

      1. The funny thing is the estimates are based on some ideal 70-degree weather.

        1. The standards since 2008 attempt to factor in cold weather driving actually.

          They also try to factor rapid acceleration and high speed driving

          Clearly they need to refactor their standards.

      2. Someone check Honda.
        Mine is supposed to get 27/37 and it’s more like 22/27.

        1. Lighten your lead foot and check your tire pressures.

    4. Mine does on long trips. Stated for my car is 27 city/33 highway. I don’t usually get 27 in the city, but that’s because a route to one job is on a long road at 45 MPH with lots of stoplights, so lots of acceleration and stop and go. On the highway I usually get at least 35, if not 37.

    5. has anyone owned a car that exceeded it’s stated MPG?

      Yes, every car I’ve ever owned. I was taught how to drive by a nuclear power researcher/part-time mechanic (my dad).

      The truth is almost nobody is taught how to drive economically. This is because most people are taught by gym teachers. This is why most men and all women drive by emotion rather than intellect. This is also why most traffic fatalities happen.

      The EPA’s tests are set to some “ideal condition” that almost nobody knows how to achieve and are basically junk science. Most people drive poorly-maintained cars on under-inflated tires and set their cabin temperature to 75 in the winter and 65 in the summer.

    6. has anyone owned a car that exceeded it’s stated MPG?

      Yup. My Fusion hybrid is rated in 44 city/41 highway/42 overall. I usually get around 50 city, 38 highway, and my cumulative MPG since buying the car is at 42.1 or 42.2. It took about 6 months for the car to break in, so I’m expecting it to go up to 43 or 44 over the next 6 months to a year as the relatively inefficient (40mpg) break in period is balanced out.

  28. State Department Office Removed Benghazi Files After Congressional Subpoena

    Attorneys for the State Department said the electronic folders, which contain hundreds of documents related to the Benghazi attack and Libya, were belatedly rediscovered at the end of last year.

    They said the files had been overlooked by State Department officials because the executive secretary’s office transferred them to another department and flagged them for archiving last April, shortly after receiving a subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

    Don’t worry, it will never happen again, because:

    Since last fall, the State Department has taken additional steps to increase transparency, recently hiring a transparency coordinato

    1. the executive secretary’s office transferred them to another department and flagged them for archiving

      No, the “office” did not do this; a person with a name did.

      Start squeezing.

    2. belatedly rediscovered at the end of last year.

      At the end of a congressional session, in the period when no one reads the news.

      “belatedly rediscovered” is an extremely generous way of saying, “finally released after all legal & procedural obstacles had been worn out”

  29. House would ban IRS from rehiring people fired for misconduct

    The legislation, introduced by Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., would prevent the IRS from rehiring employees who have already been fired for certain forms of misconduct, such as accessing taxpayer information without permission, filing false documents or not doing their own taxes. The measure easily passed by a 345-78 vote.

    It advanced following a February 2015 report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration that chided the IRS for rehiring hundreds of former employees with conduct issues. The review found nearly 20% of the rehired staff had performance issues when they returned to the IRS.

    1. Why is this not already policy? You shouldn’t need Congress to tell you that.

      1. The administration has already stated their opposition to this bill. They think it will hurt hiring.

        1. That’s like cops talking about chilling effects. Yeah, buddy, that’s the point.

      2. You shouldn’t need Congress to tell you that.

        lol

    2. Now if they would just do that for guys that carry guns and badges for a living….

      1. QUITE A FEW people at the IRS DO carry guns and ESPECIALLY badges.

  30. “If two people dig each other, they dig each other,” wrote Donald Trump about gay marriage in 2005.

    He wrote that about gay sex.

      1. “May I push your stool in?”

  31. Idaho radio station cancels wiener dog race to avoid felony charges

    Westerburg says although he is not personally against the wiener dog racing events, he says the law is clear. Those who hold events like WOW’s Arena-Wiena Cross, can face felony charges.

    “I think the law is what it says it is… dog racing is a felony in Idaho.” Westerberg said.

    Whether you are betting or not?

    “It doesn’t say anything about betting. It simply says dog racing is a felony.”

    And if you are charged and convicted of live-dog racing, you could be sentenced up to five years in prison and fines up to $50,000.

    1. Dead-dog racing is totes legal, though

    2. So, “wiener dog race” is not a euphemism?

      1. WTF?!?!? Are ye some kind of wiener dog racist, then?!?!? Is THAT whut ye are sayin’?!?!?!

  32. color me shocked

    Obama’s Violating the Constitution by Not Submitting Climate Treaty to Senate

    Despite these facts, President Obama has already announced he will not submit the Paris Climate Agreement to the Senate for advice and consent. Instead, the White House claims the signature environmental achievement of the president’s tenure is just an “international agreement” not meriting Senate attention.

    If the stakes weren’t so high, this claim would be laughable on its face.

    Not only was this agreement’s predecessor, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, submitted to the Senate and approved as a treaty, but when the Senate ratified that treaty, the Foreign Relations Committee specifically reported that any future emissions targets agreed to through the Convention “would have to be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent.”

    1. It’s not unconstitutional unless the President agrees to do something that violates the law. Congress has the authority to smack a lot of this shit down but largely refuses to exercise it.

    2. Could private citizens sue him for this? Oh, yeah, we probably couldn’t get “standing”.

  33. “The suicide rate in America rose 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, with 13 out of every 100,000 Americans now killing themselves annually, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics. For some groups the jump was particularly steep, especially for women ages 45- to 64-years-old (up 63 percent) and girls ages 10- to 14-years-old (up from 50 suicides in 1999 to 150 in 2014). ”

    I’m pretty sure this is an international phenomenon.

    This being Alternet, they assume the reason for rising suicide rates is some stupid bullshit about men not sharing their feelings enough, but it’s still a decent overview.

    1. I’m glad to see women achieving equality with men.

      1. See, when I tell random women on the internet to kill themselves, it’s not because I’m a sexist. I just take a very radical view of gender equity.

    2. men not sharing their feelings enough

      I share my feelings constantly with you people!!

      And i’ve only gotten – at most – 1 or 2 people to kill themselves.

      1. I think your quota should be increased.

      2. You’re not counting the people your feelings made me go out and bury in my crawlspace?

        1. When they count suicides, do they count people who smoke themselves to death with nicotine over 40 or 50 years? How about those who get themselves kilt by Government Almighty and/or Globabble Warmererering, for deliberately and maliciously (deliciously even?) WILLFULLY and DELIBERATELY refusing to endorse the theory of Globabble Warmererering??!?! And to ABIDE by the Commandments of Al Gore?!?!? Hunh??!?! Hunnh??!?!

          Ya do the crime, exhale carbon dioxide fer instance, then BE PREPARED to do the time!!!!

    3. Imma make it my mission to help the hot women in the demographic of 45-64!!

      I’M COMIN TO CHEER YOU UP, LADIES!!!!

    4. This is depressing.

  34. Want to meet a girl? Welcome to http://goo.gl/mxiosK
    the Best adult Dating site!

    1. Is she a John-type or more Sarcasmic-y?

    2. Eastern European beaver encounters have already been covered in this thread, Karinka.

  35. ISIS suspect reveals plans to open up route from Syria to U.S. through Mexico

    One of the American men accused in Minnesota of trying to join the Islamic State group wanted to open up routes from the U.S. to Syria through Mexico, prosecutors said.

    Gules Ali Omar told the ISIS members about the route so that it could be used to send members to America to carry out terrorist attacks, prosecutors alleged in a document filed this week.

    The document, filed Wednesday, is one of many filed in recent weeks as prosecutors and defense attorneys argue about which evidence should be allowed at the men’s trial, which starts May 9.

    1. That’s just a silly plan. Obama and dozens of other useful idiots will fly ISIS operatives here without all the hassle under the pretense of ‘helping’.

      1. Why should we be afraid of widows and orphans?

        1. Because they’ll import their family and one day they’ll grow up to be devout Muslims.

          1. You fucking BIGOT!! You act as if Shariah law is not perfectly compatible with the Constitution!!

            1. If preserving western civilization is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

      2. Let them in freely so they can become gainfully employed and will be so grateful that they give up their terrorist ways forever? Great plan! /Dalmia

  36. I wonder how the world would be reacting today if ISIS had killed Prince.

    1. How would the world react if ISIS killed Lou Reed?

      1. Thank God Lou is still alive.

        1. The flame burns on!

  37. Has anyone used the promoted comment feature at the top? While I like the idea of Reason trying to get more money out of us, it seems a bit of a wank to promote oneself, and I’m buggered if I’ll pay to promote any of you lot and inflate your already dangerously gassy egos*

    *said with love, I suppose.

    1. Noscript already blocked the hell out of the promoted comments, I don’t see them or the associated elements.

      1. I’m going to promote the hell out of my PUA posts.

        1. Might as well, it’s not like you need that money for dates.

          1. That’s because Johnny Longtorso makes the woman pay to prove his alpha superiority.

            It’s like you guys don’t even listen to the wisdom he imparts on us.

            1. We’re too busy trying to keep track of who your girlfriend is at any given moment. Slut!

    2. Nothing I post is worthy of being promoted, and definitely not worth me paying anything for.

      1. I do enjoy the occasional anti-libertarian idiot that gives money to a libertarian site to promote their anti-libertarian comments. Such stupidity…

      2. SECONDED!!!

    3. it seems a bit of a wank to promote oneself

      Finally, a non-euphemistic masturbation reference. Thanks, Australia.

    1. and just how many tragic deaths forbidden condoms could prevent

      Heh.

      1. Yet they are less insufferable than most of the atheists I know.

        1. Catholics have to answer for Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig and Commie Pope.

          Checkmate

          1. Anyone who believes in an authority higher than the government is at least half right.

        2. Lol, guess I should’ve scrolled down.

        3. Remember when all those atheists molested thousands and thousands of children and the Athiest Cardinals helped cover it up?

          1. For some reason, I wouldn’t doubt it if a large proportion of the people occupying the powerful positions within any religious institution turn out to actually be atheist. I also believe we’ve probably had several atheist U.S. presidents by now – they just can’t admit it. Just a guess though.

            1. He who smelt it, dealt it. If they want to only pretend that the pretend God exists I don’t see how that has anything to do with atheists.

              1. I’m not saying it does… I judge people individually – not based on identity (including religion or lack thereof). If someone does something horrible, it doesn’t really say anything about the people that share a trait or two with that person. Its only when the doctrine itself is advocating for violence, etc. that it becomes a problem.

                Atheists don’t really have a doctrine and modern Catholicism doesn’t advocate diddling children.

                1. And you could be a total piece of shit and still follow the NAP.

                  1. Yep, there are plenty of dickholes that never cross the line but are still, well, dickholes.

            2. Statistically, the amount of atheists who are also Anglican priests is really rather high!! I guess when your faith was literally founded so the king could bang someone, it doesn’t inspire much faith.

          2. I’m an atheist. I prefer to hang out with free market atheists, free market Christians, and last of all statist atheists.

            1. Then bitch about statists. The atheism didn’t make them that way.

              1. I just can’t find the perfect friends. I’m even married to a Buddhist for god’s sake.

          3. Remember when the Christians systematically starved millions of atheists to death?

            1. Was it ordered by the Athiest Pope, like the Cathar genocide?

              But defend your kiddie-fucking buddies, Eddie. It makes you look awesome.

    2. I enjoy FT. But haven’t read in a while. Is it still good after the death of Neuhaus?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_John_Neuhaus

      1. I don’t read a big enough sample to know, but when I dip into it, the quality seems OK.

    3. So… the immaculate conception refers to Mary, not Jesus.

      See, this is what happens when kids can’t pray in school. They grow knowing next to nothing about Christianity.

      1. So… the immaculate conception refers to Mary, not Jesus.

        Yup. It’s the way that Catholics explain how Jesus was born sinless when “original sin” is (supposedly) inherited.

        Of course, many Protestant sects completely reject this, either believing that original sin is inherited through the father, or that original sin refers to a “sinful nature,” which effectively compels people to be selfish and sinful.

      2. They grow knowing next to nothing about Christianity.

        FIFY

        But they have strong beliefs in the supremacy of the state and its wise and benevolent leaders.

  38. Officers captured the feline and transported it to a local animal shelter. It did have on a collar and leash. The cat’s front claws had been removed.

    It’s the hind claws you have to worry about.

  39. Don’t hate us just because we’re better than you

    Example: “Atheists do not start wars or commit acts of terrorism for religious reasons, just to prove their deity is the correct one. On the other hand, Marxist-Leninist atheism at the core of communism has certainly given atheism a bad name, but it’s not necessarily an argument that it was atheism itself that led to the repressions and killings. There were complex historical, social and economic reasons for that. Atheists tend to not kill others for the sake of atheism.”

    1. And it is quite arguable that Soviet Communism, despite claims at being atheistic, was actually more of a religion, just a particularly dreary and uniquely un-mystical one.

      1. And it could be argued that it was a form of libertarianism, too, if you define the word to mean that.

      2. They’re not TRUE atheists.

        Come on, just admit that your lack of religion drives you to commit atrocities on a daily basis.

        1. I don’t believe in a different God than the one you don’t believe in.

      3. I think they were pretty atheistic and remain so.

        1. Meh. Anti-religious. Our domestic commies seem to embrace a lot of eastern mystical crap. Remember that the real reason Lenin was so against religion was that the Russian Orthodox Church was part of the power structure he was trying to take down.

          Also, isn’t Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig a catholic commie?

          1. Irish is corroding your MINDZZZ!

        2. And…Stalin requested a priest when he was on his deathbed. So revealed versus stated preference rules apply.

          1. This is the first time I heard this.

            1. OK, I just fact-checked myself and can’t find any reference to that. Therefore, I retract that due to lack of evidence. I welcome any references which anyone can provide.

              Can’t remember when I heard that, but it was probably decades ago and might have been from a religious apologist clutching at straws of the no-atheists-in-the-foxholes variety.

              There is reasonable speculation that Stalin had some sort of personal revelation in 1941 when he went on a mysterious retreat and shortly thereafter eased up on the religious, but I’m not going to claim this as strong evidence.

              1. Stalin did attend seminary before he rose to power.

          2. You got a citation? I tried Googling, but maybe my Google-fu is inferior.

          3. This seems to be a myth, Tonio, based on the rumor spread by a priest that Stalin cursed God by shaking his fist. But the priest wasn’t in the room or even in Russia.

            Although Stalin was such a devout atheist that his children were educated by nuns. (Related by his daughter who debunked the deathbed conversion story.)

            1. Thanks, again, Sug. I didn’t know about the nuns. Did find online references to his daughter’s book but the text doesn’t seem to be online.

            2. Although Stalin was such a devout atheist that his children were educated by nuns.

              Taken in context, it’s not that weird. The Russian Orthodox Church (like the Roman Catholic Church in eastern Europe and the various Protestant Churches in western Europe) was the primary provider of education in the late 19th century. There were some “public schools,” but they were more like state-funded private schools than like modern secular public schools. It really wasn’t until after WWII that the modern shift to secularism in schooling started. IOW, it really doesn’t say much about Stalin that he had his kids educated by nuns. They were probably lightyears ahead of any state-provided option, and he knew it.

          4. “And…Stalin requested a priest when he was on his deathbed.”

            How is this possible when Stalin died suddenly after going out with various party members to a dinner and a movie? He never had a deathbed.

            1. Stalin had a stroke and lingered for 4 days before dying.

              1. ^This. Thanks, Sug.

              2. As I recall all of his subordinates were afraid to help him. Stalin always had those closest to him killed first in his purges.

                “And indeed, what were we to do ? go in to him? But he had always told us categorically: if there was ‘no movement’, we were not to go in. Or else we’d be severely punished. So there we were, sitting in our lodge (connected with his rooms by a 25-metre corridor), it was already six in the evening, and we had no clue what to do. Suddenly the guard outside rang us: ‘I can see the light in the small dining room.’ Well, we thought, thank God, everything was OK. We were all at our posts, on full alert, ready to go, and then, again… nothing. At eight ? nothing. We did not know what to do. At nine ? no movement. At ten ? none. I said to Starostin: ‘Go on, you go, you are the chief guard, it’s your responsibility.’ He said: ‘I am afraid.’ I said: ‘Fine, you’re afraid, but I’m not about to play the hero.’

                1. Thanks, Lee. Source for that, please.

          5. Retracted. See my 10:24 AM response to Grrizzly, above.

            1. Can we at least all agree that Stalin was a fucking hipster?

                1. Stalin was a poet, even a published poet.

                  At the Orthodox Seminary of Tiflis, where he was enrolled beginning in 1894, Stalin read Goethe and Shakespeare in translation, and could recite Walt Whitman. He also started writing romantic poetry in Georgian. In 1895, at the age of 17, Stalin’s work impressed the noted poet Ilia Chavchavadze, who published five of them in his journal, Iveria, attributed to the pseudonym Soselo.

                  That’s much more success than Hitler ever had with his paintings.

                  1. Clearly, it’s not atheists and Christians we ought condemn, but artists. Put ’em in camps!

      4. It is sophistry that atheists hold religion responsible for every bad actor that operated in a religion’s name but write out of atheism the bad actors that operated in atheism’s name.

        Sorry but you cannot rationalize away this bad faith argument.

        1. No, the sophistry is you assuming that all atheists hold religion responsible for every bad actor that operated in a religion’s name.

          By the way, try and grasp the irony of your silly assertion the next time you foam at the mouth about Islam being responsible for every bad actor that claims to be doing something in its name.

          1. I am not assuming all atheists do anything. I am commenting on an unfortunate double standard many popular atheist apologists fall into, which Tonio seems to be defending. That such apologists are very tetchy about any criticisms of atheism while throwing broad accusations at religion. The cognitive dissonance is amusing, especially when it leads hateful personal attacks like you just engaged in here.

            As far as whatever your point is about Islam, I think you have me confused with somebody else.

            1. Take a look at who started the attacks. No one was talking about this before Eddie had to inject his barbaric nonsense into the board for the thousandth time.

              And where is the double standard? Is it atheists that are supposed to love thy neighbor? or turn the other cheek? or pray in a closet so they don’t make a public spectacle of their faith?

              1. That was an attack?

                I think you need to get your skin thickened.

                1. Yes, making random atheists morally responsible for mass murders committed before the birth of those random atheists is rather an attack.

                  1. But doing the same to random religious people is not an attack?

                    That is what is being commented on. The double standard atheist apologists like Ratner use and you defended, to the extent of writing Communism out of atheism altogether and into religion.

                2. Yes, because I’m supposed to forget Eddie’s long history of this shit.

                  And don’t talk to me about getting thicker skin Mr. Da Mean Atheists Are Mean.

                  1. Do you need a safe space?

      5. I’m not sure that there’s much of a contradiction between saying it is atheistic and saying is a religion. Theism and atheism are not religions, thought they’re often traits of religions. Jedi, for example, are an atheistic religion.

      6. And it is quite arguable that Soviet Communism, despite claims at being atheistic, was actually more of a religion, just a particularly dreary and uniquely un-mystical one.

        And if your uncle had a dick he’d be your aunt.

    2. Other than the bad stuff, Nazism was pretty good!

    3. #11. They’re good at being insufferable dickwads. #12 taking people to court over trivial bull shit. #13 making Rufus very thirsty.

      /atheists among us noted. Love ya!

      1. Careful, Sevo will ask whether you’re really that stupid. Don’t fall for it! He already knows you are.

        1. If he knows it then I’m safe from his wrath!

      2. But we fight against the scourge of pretentiously serial-numbered posts!

        1. God’s work!

          1. [Glowers menacingly at Rufus]

    4. “It’s different when we’re doing it. You aren’t considering the totality of the circumstances. And it probably wasn’t our fault anyway.”

      The writer starts out with firm boundaries – ‘[a]theists do not’. Then ends with ‘[a]theists tend to not’. It’s as if they just convinced themselves that they’re full of shit.

      1. There is no “they,” Ham. Only Paul Ratner who does not speak for all atheists.

        1. The article was skimmed and saved for later. Posted on the fly, and used the genderless ‘they’ to save time re-checking the author’s gender.

      2. My favorite part is that for some of his claims he has citations, but then for other claims he just talks out of his ass.

        For example:

        “SELF-ESTEEM & SELF-RELIANCE

        These are two sides of the same coin. Atheists are not being told that they are guilty and sinful, as is the case with many religious teachings. This leads to higher self-esteem and a feeling of control over life’s events.”

        They offer no evidence for this. I could just as easily say religion leads to higher self-esteem and self-reliance because it convinces you that you will be rewarded after your death or something. This is just back patting. He wants to tell you how much better he is than you, but has no evidence for half the shit he’s saying.

        1. He must be joking. The movement has become a satrap for social justice, an ideology predicated on original sin theology.

          1. Thank you. ^This.

        2. “SELF-ESTEEM & SELF-RELIANCE

          These are two sides of the same coin.

          Not at all. You can be jammed full of self-esteem, and not be the least bit self-reliant.

          I suppose its possible the opposite is true, but I would expect anyone who was truly self-reliant to have good self-esteem.

          1. I would expect anyone who was truly self-reliant to have good self-esteem.

            True, the homeless people that *aren’t* crazy often tend to be cheerier and less moaning-about-things than you’d expect.

            but i think you got the point correct the first time around – the two things are mutually independent of one another.

        3. Given what we have seen in recent years with self-esteem building is that is not necessarily a good thing. High self-esteem often results in emotionally fragile narcissists.

    5. “On the other hand, Marxist-Leninist atheism at the core of communism has certainly given atheism a bad name, but it’s not necessarily an argument that it was atheism itself that led to the repressions and killings. There were complex historical, social and economic reasons for that.”

      This seems like leftist bullshit, what with the whinging about complex nuance and blah blah blah.

      The real reason it’s dumb to bring up Communist atheism as an attack on atheism is because the *economic and political* aspects of Communism are what led to all those deaths. There were definitely religious people who were murdered by those regimes for being religious, but the overwhelming majority of deaths were caused by the totalitarian economic aspects of Communism, not their religious views.

      If a Christian shot someone because they wanted to steal his wallet, it would be stupid as shit to blame that on Christianity. Similarly, it’s stupid to blame atheism for the deaths in Communist societies when the real reason those deaths occurred was because of radical leftist economic policy.

      1. Similarly, it’s stupid to blame atheism for the deaths in Communist societies when the real reason those deaths occurred was because of radical leftist economic policy.

        ^This, of course.

        But you have certain perpetually butt-hurt religious nuts who see things differently and feel that by launching such off-base attacks it will distract people from the actual atrocities commited by actual church authorities.

        1. Similarly, it’s stupid to blame atheism for the deaths in Communist societies when the real reason those deaths occurred was because of radical leftist economic policy.

          ^This, of course.

          Erm, Mao and Pol Pot butchered millions precisely because of their religious beliefs, and there isn’t one of these communist enclaves where the new political lords wanted any competition from any religion and didn’t act with swift brutality to crush them.

          I am not condemning atheists for this, but communism, nay collectivism as a whole, is just another region, where god was replaced with the state and the promise of paradise was shifted from the afterlife to one they would deliver on earth.

          Frankly I feel anyone that needs to spend so much effort defending their belief in a higher power or not is showing religious tendencies. Who the fuck should care and why the compulsion to tell or judge others? To each their own. Even those of us that worship the flying spaghetti monster.

      2. Similarly, it’s stupid to blame atheism for the deaths in Communist societies when the real reason those deaths occurred was because of radical leftist economic policy.

        That’s a good point, especially if someone argues that atheism does not lead people to oppress others. OTOH, if the claim is that being an atheist always leads to someone being more of a humanist, it doesn’t work. Not saying that’s your argument, just that it has limits.

        1. The number of atheist progressives tells me that there are plenty of atheists who yearn to oppress their fellow man. I just think that since atheism has no actual doctrine (since all it is is the lack of belief in something, not a philosophy in its own right) it’s much tougher to pin crimes on “atheism” than it is to pin crimes on a given religion.

          When gay people are murdered in an Islamic country, I can find plenty of reasons why the religion of Islam is at fault because of the specific teachings of that religion. If an atheist goes and blows up a church, there’s no atheist holy book giving him justification for his actions.

          1. Atheism has/is a doctrine: that there is/are no god(s).

            Lots of people keep conflating “lack of belief” (that’s agnosticism) and “lack of evidence” (that’s positivism) with it, though.

          2. There is one thing that I really hate George Carlin for*: saying that agnostics are atheists without balls. It implies that there is no real difference in character between atheism and agnosticism, only a difference of degree. It basically concedes to theists the power to set the terms of the debate.

            * = He’s not the only one to say it, and he’s surely not even the first, but he’s probably the most well known expositor of the idea

      3. And not killed for religion qua religion, but killed for putting their faith above the all-encompassing State.

        1. +1 for using “qua”…..

      4. Thecsamevcoukd be said for the deaths ascribed to religion. The Thirty Years War was ostensibly religious but was also a realignment of feudal political arrangements into more modern forms. An atheist author like this wants nuance for his side’s bad actions but allows for none on the other side.

        1. I agree. I think Paul Ratner is a smug prick based on this article, but that doesn’t change the fact that you can’t blame atheism for people killed by Communist economic policy.

      5. The real reason it’s dumb to bring up Communist atheism as an attack on atheism is because the *economic and political* aspects of Communism are what led to all those deaths.

        Untrue. Communism was explicitly atheistic. The eradication of church was as essential to the early Soviets as Catholicism was to the Papal States or Islam is to the ayatollahs and imams.

        The point is not that atheism is particularly bloody, even though, in the past 250 years or so, its adherents killed religious people because of their faith in far greater numbers than religious adherents killed infidels, heretics, and atheists. The point is that it is ridiculous to argue that atheists are more peaceful or less violent than religious people. History since the French Revolution disproves such nonsense. That is why is is not dumb to bring up Communist atheism.

        1. Yeah, and dechristianization was central to the worst aspects of the French Revolution. Where atheism becomes virulent reaction to religion and perceived religious oppression? which it is when it’s so organized and visible (I mean, I don’t believe and don’t feel a need to make it part of my identity and socialization; it’s pretty easy not to in the secular world)? and that virulence extends to violence, I’d say atheism is an important aspect of that violence. (But as always, human and sociopolitical factors remain paramount.)

    6. Moral preening is really irritating

    7. LOL

      “It wouldn’t be a worthwhile list if it didn’t talk about sex. There have been studies that showed atheists having better sex lives than religious people simply due to not feeling guilty about it. Guilt about sex is certainly a strong feature of some of the world’s religions and the political discourses they generate (particularly in the US). There are also studies out that show a greater satisfaction with sex among the believers, but as it’s also not something they should really focus on and discuss (according to religious tenets), it’s hard to know where their responses are coming from.”

      There are studies that show atheists have better sex lives and studies that show believers have better sex lives. I’m just going to discount the studies that oppose my view.

      1. Elevatorgate. Checkmate, atheists.

        1. Oh, you caught us out, Spitty. It was a fair cop. I mean, the atheist pope did issue an encyclical on elevatorgate telling the rest of us how we should feel about that.

          1. Oh, come on. It’s a funny comparison. Atheism+ is the only real traction the movement has had in decades besides riding the gradual and probably inevitable secular wave, and one of their chief accomplishments is making sex a guilt-ridden, stultified occasion.

            1. Hitchens is dead, Dawkins is dead (to the movement), a lot of the skeptical atheist crowd has been coopted under the social justice banner, and Rebecca Watson is effectively Atheist Pope. Atheism is about as sexy as a stillborn fetus.

              1. I don’t even know who Rebecca Watson is. But keep shifting those goalposts if it makes you feel better.

                1. You people really do take yourselves too seriously. This is exactly why I no longer identify as an atheist.

      2. God features heavily in my sex life. It wouldn’t be nearly as good without those loud pronouncements.

    8. “On the other hand, Marxist-Leninist atheism at the core of communism has certainly given atheism a bad name, but it’s not necessarily an argument that it was atheism itself that led to the repressions and killings. There were complex historical, social and economic reasons for that. Atheists tend to not kill others for the sake of atheism.”

      “On the other hand, Roman Catholic Christianity at the core of the Crusades has certainly given Christianity a bad name, but it’s not necessarily an argument that it was Christianity itself that led to the wars and killings. There were complex historical, social and economic reasons for that. Christians tend to not kill others for the sake of Christianity.”

      For the record: my own religion has Zero genocidal dictators, so I win against both Christians and Atheists. 😛

      Marxist-Leninist atheism DID lead to the destruction of my religion’s first place of worship, though. It was hatred of religion, not any broader Communist goal, that caused the Soviets to seize our Mashriqu’l-Adhk?r and mismanage it until it was collapsed. There was no broader goal important to Communism in shutting down our faith in particular, at that point in time in the USSR just a handful of people in Turkmenistan. So yeah, atheism does inspire people to be assholes sometimes. That’s not necessarily marks against atheism, though, but pretending that atheism has never inspired people to be repressive asshats is just wrong.

      1. My religion, of which I’m the only member and just conceived, is even purer! I’m a terrible representative but I haven’t killed anyone!

  40. So, judging by the way this Uber story is being reported: You can break into my home, I can sue you, we can settle the lawsuit, and burglary is now longer illegal? It is not for plaintiffs to decide who is and is not an employee. FBOFW, the issue will ultimately be decided by the IRS and the Department of Labor. Good luck with that under Clinton 2.0.

    1. It seems pretty clear to everyone involved (including Uber) that this is merely a settlement between two parties and sets nothing in terms of legal precedent. Maybe you’re reading different articles than me?

  41. especially for women ages 45- to 64-years-old

    Must be because of the 77 cents thing.

  42. Pinellas County, Florida: Dashcam Footage Appears to Show Officers Stand By as 3 Teens Drown

    Dominique Battle, 16, Ashaunti Butler, 15, and Laniya Miller, 15, drove into a pond while fleeing the two officers, police said. The officers do not appear to attempt aid in the video.

    1. So, they got away?

    2. That dashcam footage shows nothing.

      I’m not saying “cops aren’t dicks”; i’ve seen similar examples recently of people ‘standing and watching’ as someone drowned; but the claim that the video proves anything is bullshit.

      Some black kids died doing something epic stupid; what’s the story to sell? Police Racism, natch.

        1. I like the fact that this guy never puts his microphone down while “giving aid” to the man who just rescued himself from a sinking car while the reporter yelled from shore.

      1. Well, so much for “protect and serve”, I guess. I mean, a cop who really believed in that would have gone in to try to help, wouldn’t they?

        You can bet your ass that if that was a police cruiser, they wouldn’t have stood around waiting for the waterlogged corpses to be dragged out.

    3. Its pretty dangerous to go into water after a sinking car. As in, don’t do it without a rope and a lifevest.

    4. So, suicides?

  43. #BoycottTarget: Group Protests Retailer for Letting Customers Use Bathrooms Based on Gender Identity

    “We believe that everyone?every team member, every guest, and every community?deserves to be protected from discrimination,” Target said. The American Family Association called for a boycott.

    1. If we can keep the government out of the argument, I’m satisfied for the moment. Target can do what they want and the A(rdent)F(ucking)A(ssholes) can do their thing.

      1. Yeah, if the AFA is agin’ it, I’m for it.

    2. Target can do what they want, of course. But I remember how they made allowances for their Muslim employees in the deli department and I wonder if or how they’ll reconcile those religious allowances with the bathroom thing

    3. Please Target explain what is discriminatory about sex segregated restrooms that is not discriminatory about gender segregated restrooms?

  44. NASA discovers free-floating planet-sized object in the Milky Way

    The planet-like body probably started as a brown dwarf star and is believed to have five to 10 times the mass of Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, NASA wrote in a blog post.

    1. and is believed to have five to 10 times the mass of Jupiter

      “Day-um, girl.”

      -John

      1. Well, it is a failed starlet.

        1. BOOM, thread won

        2. But it is brown. Assuming it doesn’t cross some intergalactic border, John’s content to give it The Male Gaze.

          1. Everything’s inky black like the perfect void of space in the dark, baby.

    2. The distinction between a large gas giant and a brown dwarf star lies exactly where?

      1. Whether it has been captured by a real star.

        1. But then there is still the question of whether that makes it some kind of binary star or a star with a very big planet.

          I don’t think there are enough observed examples of brown dwarf stars to really define the distinction well.

          1. Fuckin racist!

            1. I believe “little person” is the preferred nomenclature

          2. If memory serves this might be the first brown dwarf actually observed, as it still close enough to formation to be relatively hot.

      2. You people and your Lord of the Rings nonsense. Grow up.

        1. Yes, but as they have no internal source of energy a brown dwarf will eventually cool out of that temperature range without presumably losing much mass, so that distinction is temporary.

          1. I think that some can in theory fuse deuterium. And it takes a really long time for big things in space to cool off.

            And there just aren’t a lot of really sharp dividing lines like that in nature. There is probably a continuum of relatively low mass blobs of mostly hydrogen.

          2. Of course it’s temporary. Today’s robust yellow dwarf is tomorrow’s dwarf and nebula act.

            1. Yes, but there are interesting changes in the internal workings of the stellar object between those classifications.

              This, not so much.

              I guess I am a bit annoyed with the headline suggesting a planet but the story calling it a brown dwarf.

      3. The distinction between a large gas giant and a brown dwarf star lies exactly where?

        The spectrum of light generated and whether or not it ever underwent nuclear fusion at it’s core, if even briefly and it’s formation. There’s some debate about the criteria however.

  45. Cubans can now come and go from the country by sea… as long as they’re on a Carnival Cruise ship.

    So the Castros have lifted their ban on emigration?

    Carnival Corp. said Cuba has lifted a long-standing ban on Cuban-born travelers returning to the island by sea,

    Oh, I guess not. Boy, that great opening of Cuba thing isn’t really all that great after all, I guess.

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