From Reforestation to the Decline in Violence, the World Is Doing Better Than Ever

Look past the grim daily headlines.

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With the presidential debate shaping up as a match between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (with Trump actually beating Hillary in the latest polls), it's easy to think the world is finally falling apart. It's not.

Reason TV's Zach Weissmueller and Justin Monticello recently went down to Venice Beach to make the case for optimism.

Click below to watch the video. Click here for the original writeup.

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  1. The exception, if course, being American politics…

    1. So which political system aside from the United States of America do you prefer?

      1. I would be the most benevolent dictator ever!

        1. You would usher in Libertopia? Wherein democracy would have limits, and voters would NOT be allowed to say, “51% of the voters are empowered to decide what everyone will have to eat for breakfast every day”?

          Ya got my vote! WHERE do I sign up for your blog or your snail-mail rag?!?!?

      2. Refenestration and Decline in Venice.

        And you ?

  2. This is too easy.

    If left up to politicians and bureaucrats: Extremely pessimistic.

    If left up to personal freedom and technology: Extremely optimistic.

  3. A Hillary win would pretty much insure the Obama policy for future generations even in areas where it has been criticized as misguided … it will become accepted/acceptable IMHO

  4. I did a shift in the ER on Friday with another doc who lives in Berkeley, and she is the epitome of the Berkeley stereotype. She knows about my libertarianism, and so she peppered me with the lefty party line how income inequality is destroying the country, the middle class is just about all gone, poor people have zero chance at economic mobility in the USA, etc. I countered everything she said with real stats — and every time I told her something, she’d google it and come back later saying “dammit.” At the end of the day she said “I spend too much time in the Berkeley echo chamber, I guess.” What a nice little turn of events! But I’m sure that once she gets back around her neighbors again, she’ll forget about everything and start lamenting again how Trump’s ascent is identical to Hitler’s (which was the first thing she said to me on Friday).

    I just sent her the link to this video. I wonder if she’ll watch it.

    1. At the very least you will get her to realize that some the stuff she hears is whiney nonsense.

      Then again, Trump will lead to fascism. Trust the Brookings Institute.

      1. Trump will lead to fascism? What the hell have we been doing for the last 40 years or so if not fascism – making the individual subservient to the collective? True, it’s not the universal collectivism of socialism but the fragmented collectivism of identity politics but it winds up in the same place. Your duty is to serve the common good – not the common good as the common folk determine it, like “if you provide stuff we desire we’ll give you money”, of course, but the common good as your betters define, “what you would want if you were as smart and noble and wonderful as us instead of the fat stupid lazy pigs you are”.

        1. Government is the mandatory five-cent bag fee we impose together.

    2. Yep, doctors can be dumb too.

    3. Ha, good work.

    4. Over the past two weeks I’ve given two programs explaining the new Texas open carry laws, one to an Austin building contractor’s association, one to a small-town morning Rotary Club; I did a program for educators about the new Texas campus carry law; and I taught two license-to-carry classes, one to a private family group (millennials) and one (senior citizens) sponsored by our community education program. Around here you can’t get much more diverse.

      During each presentation when “the rising tide of violence” came up I said something like, “According to DOJ the U.S. violent crime rate has been dropping since 1993.”

      Typical response was, “But look what was on the news last night.”

      1. Typical response was, “But look what was on the news last night.”

        Maybe you should teach courses in skepticism?

    5. You fucked her, too, right? I mean, that can’t be the climax of the story.

      1. I mean, that can’t be the climax of the story.

        What you did there, I seens it.

        1. With his mind! To get a lefty woman to hit the hay isn’t an accomplishment (they do it at the drop of a hat to piss off “The Establishment”)…But to get her to admit she was wrong about politics?! That’s what I call impressive! Well done, sir.

    1. Careful, Crusty. Your sarcasm borders on Thoughcrime!

  5. Things are getting better despite the best efforts of government.

    Think where we’d be if we were free.

    1. Think where we’d be if we were free.

      An unorganized, road-less wasteland, flooded with unsafe food and rape.

      1. Rape Flood.

        Awesome Band Name, or Awesomest?

      2. POOP everywhere.

        1. Oh, I do!

    2. I can’t! it’s sad to think about how much life has been wasted propping up a terrible standard of living for a few.

  6. OT

    File under = “Having It Both Ways”

    Kerry says Taliban leader Mansour posed a ‘continuing imminent threat’

    When the Obama admin banned the use of torture, they seem to have made numerous exceptions for language

    I presume the term-of-art, “Continuing-Imminent” is a diplomatic attempt to explain the legal basis for ongoing targeted killings of Pakistani Taliban… who we’ve never technically been “at war” with, who only present a ‘threat’ to Afghanistan, where we’ve ended combat operations (or so I’m told)… and which Pakistan themselves isn’t really all that cool with.

    We can pretend they’re not “assassinations” by claiming we were pre-emptively responding to an ‘imminent threat’; but since no such specific threat will ever be substantiated, they call it “Continuing/Imminent”… meaning, “Well, they’re ALWAYS threatening, uh, something…by nature of their very existence?

    1. It’s amazing how no one cares.

      1. Well, one side will start caring if President Trump starts doing the same things Obama did.

        But yeah.

        1. Whut if a tranny admires my privates while I tinkle?!?!?

          Does no one CARE about my trauma anymoah?!!??!

          I WUNT MA MMMMOOOMMMMAAAAA!!!!!!

          1. I don’t think you have to worry about anybody admiring your privates.

            1. Do tell.

              1. Have you ever seen a squirrel with admirable privates?

      2. It’s is about as “dog bites man” as it gets.

        The Obama administration being dishonest and duplicitous is old fucking news.

  7. The world may be doing better than in the past, but the future isn’t as bright as it used to be–and that’s really important.

    People will put up with a lot when they think things will get better. Take the better future away, and everything they used to tolerate suddenly becomes intolerable.

    And I blame progressives for the dim future. According to them, if you’re not pessimistic about the future, you’re part of the problem.

    “Portland school board bans climate change-denying materials”

    http://tinyurl.com/j76luyf

    If you don’t hate yourself for being an average, middle class American, you’re also part of the problem according to progressives.

    1. In a move spearheaded by environmentalists, the Portland Public Schools board unanimously approved a resolution aimed at eliminating doubt of climate change and its causes in schools.

      Hard to argue that things are getting better wrt liberty when you hear shit like this. And liberty is what makes the other accomplishments possible. Things may still be improving, but I wonder about the rate of improvement. While we certainly have a few examples of improvement, guns, pot gays…this is extremely disheartening.

      1. Convince people that we’re all doomed by climate apocalypse, and it isn’t surprising to see the optimism go down the tubes.

        Also, there’s something about personal autonomy and optimism. People who believe that their ultimate destiny is in their own hands are probably more likely to be optimistic–and capitalism engenders a sense of personal autonomy.

        Convince people that capitalism has destroyed the earth and there’s nothing we can do to save it but destroy our own standard of living–and it’s no surprise that the optimism goes bye bye.

        My grandmother was born in horse and buggy days. She lived to see the Nazis defeated and she flew in a commercial airplane halfway around the world.

        I saw communism implode and the invention of internet porn. It’s no surprise that I was optimistic. The future was so bright!

        Nowadays, the prevailing sense is that the future is doom. Anyone who gets ahead is selfish–and probably racist. We’re all supposed to hate ourselves for not being a minority somehow or middle class or straight or . . .

        The same present looks a lot better when the future is brighter. Nowadays, everything people want is destroying the earth itself. You can’t have a optimism without an optimistic future. Somebody please invent the warp drive already!

        1. We’re all supposed to hate ourselves for not being a minority somehow

          All of us?

          1. I was speaking in a general sense, but, yeah, everyone who isn’t a preferred minority somehow is supposed to be ashamed of themselves, their culture, their heritage, their ancestry, not to mention their hopes and dreams.

            But everyone who is a preferred minority should probably be ashamed of themselves if they don’t blame their personal failures on the rest of us, too.

            And we should all certainly be ashamed of ourselves for wanting things that destroy the earth. Some people grow up wanting to find a nice girl, start a family, etc. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

          2. My ancestors grew tobacco. They fought in the Civil War even. I went to a boarding prep-school in central Virginia, and to make matters even worse? I worked my way through. I didn’t lean on my privileges–which is disgusting. Because denying your privilege is the unpardonable sin.

            Growing up in a dorm, I survived and thrived in a homophobic environment, and, yeah, in my formative years, I must have been influenced by that to some extent. We were also taught to treat the ladies across campus differently from men. I know! It was almost like being southern gentlemen!

            I could go on about how I’ve started several businesses in my career. Hell, I’ve even developed office and industrial distribution facilities–sometimes 300,000 feet or more at a time! God knows how many trucks that put on the road. But haven’t I already said enough?

            White, heterosexual, capitalist, Protestant . . . yeah, on top of everything else, I was raised Christian, too. Any one of those things individually should be enough to drive me to self-immolation in progressive world. But here I am, not ashamed in the least.

              1. Thanks!

          3. Yes, Earthling. All of you are a minority.

            1. We’re all a minority in some way.

              The question is whether you’re ashamed of yourself for not being one of the special ones.

          4. “We’re all supposed to hate ourselves for not being a minority somehow”

            Oh, and actually, what I wrote was:

            “We’re all supposed to hate ourselves for not being a minority somehow or middle class or straight or . . .”

            You know all about ellipses.

        2. They’re driven & warped. Is that close enough?

          1. I don’t think they’re driven.

            They try not to think about the future because they dread it.

            That doesn’t make people driven.

            It makes the present seem pointless.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U1-OmAICpU

            Worse than pointless. Eco-apocalpyse makes the present seem evil. Your dreams are evil.

            You want a big house and a fast car and a hot wife to breed with, don’t you? Don’t you!!!

            You evil bastard.

    2. “Portland school board bans climate change-denying materials”

      This is supposedly virtuous, but

      “Portland school board bans intelligent design-denying materials”

      is supposedly evil. (Of course, the real problem is the government schools.)

      1. It’s not about the religion.

        I’m not sure it’s about freedom of speech, either, since they’re talking about textbooks. They don’t want Pearson to use words in their textbooks like “might”, “could”, etc. They want those words in the textbook to read “does” cause global warming and “did” cause global warming.

        It’s about indoctrination. It’s about choosing the approved science and teaching it as dogma–which is not science.

        Science is a consensus, and the consensus changes as new data becomes available. Science without appropriate disclaimers like “might” and “could”–especially in the face of disputed data or data that’s still coming in–isn’t really science.

        They’re treating the preferred case for global warming like the creationists treat the Bible though.

        What they don’t understand is that people aren’t rejecting the science because it isn’t taught in school. They reject the science, mostly, because they think the solutions will destroy their standard of living.

        My response to them teaching global warming to students is that I wish we could teach the teachers economics. Maybe then they wouldn’t imply that we should make whatever sacrifices are necessary–no matter the cost–and still claim to be unbiased.

    3. It’s worse than that. They banned not just “denying” materials, but even insufficiently supportive materials.

      “A lot of the text materials are kind of thick with the language of doubt, and obviously the science says otherwise,” Bigelow says, accusing the publishing industry to bowing to pressure from fossil fuels companies. “We don’t want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.”

      In board testimony, Bigelow said PPS’ science textbooks are littered with words like might, may and could when talking about climate change.

      ” ‘Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, may contribute to global warming,’ ” he quotes Physical Science published by Pearson as saying. “This is a section that could be written by the Exxon public relations group and it’s being taught in Portland schools.”

  8. More OT, (but pay wall)
    “Short-term health insurance fills Obamacare gaps but has risks”
    […]
    Sales of health insurance policies with limited benefits ? plans that represent the very type of coverage and industry practices that the Affordable Care Act was designed to get rid of ? appear to be on the rise.
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/bus…..ate-result

    Amazing! People will buy what they want regardless of the gov’t-approved brand of deodorant!

  9. I remember being taught WW2 is what brought the US out of the great depression. What is going to pull us out of the great derpression?

    1. That’s easy!

      Increase the minimum wage, regulate oil sales like the FDA regulates tobacco, also transgender bathroom access, and ObamaCare–which makes us more competitive globally.

      Don’t you know anything about how the economy thingy works?

      What a racist!

      1. Needz moar prisoners and a healthy bond, student loan and China bubble.

    2. I think you answered your own question.

  10. That’s great and all, but I want to know which celebrities got so fat I’ll be shocked.

    1. #5 will amaze you!

  11. Getting older has made me optimistic that I won’t live long enough to see just how bad this world is going to get.

  12. MSNBC visits the NRA national convention, employs the power of forced perspective.

    1. The joint probe … marks the seventh pay-to-play scandal engulfing the de Blasio administration.

      Keep the faith, NYPost. Maybe this one will stick.

    2. Speaking of Preet, what’s his supposed reason for giving Mickelson a pass but but prosecuting the other two “involved” in Mickelson’s insider trading?

      SLD insider trading by non-insiders such as Mickelson is complete bullshit.

  13. I dunno. Food prices are high, medical costs are prohibitive. People make less than they used to. There’s little hope things will improve in any of those things.

    TSA. War on Drugs. Police killing citizens with impunity.

    And let’s not forget the whole Middle East is as huge as mess as it’s ever been. Maybe the body count is lower, but it’s not any safer.

    Freedom of speech is in danger. SJWs have ruined several fields and are on the verge of ruining video games, to the point where Japanese companies are afraid to localize stuff.

      1. They could have made that video a lot funnier if at the end where they’re all at the cornfield, loser dude pulls out a pistol and shoots the rappers one shot each in the forehead and laughs.

          1. Gangsta’

  14. Articles like this are why so few takes libertarians seriously. Hey, cops only murdered a few hundred or so people last year with out any accountability what so ever. Isn’t that fucking great? Things are just fucking awesome….if you have a job at some hack non-profit wannabe libertarian rag. Hey, the world biggest prison population has dropped a few hundred and now stands at a few million. Isn’t that fucking great? And there is less suffering from war….well unless you are in eastern Ukraine, Somalia, or the South Sudan. Isn’t that fucking great?

    Oh but hey, I can get a flat screen TV cheap. Things are fucking great. That is truly the measure of greatness. Being able to consume. Not freedom, not the rule of law. Cheap chinese made shit is why I wanted to be a libertarian. We don’t have the rule of law any more but hey, my new galaxy S7 can play Angry Birds AND I can talk at the same time…. Isn’t that fucking great?

  15. And for those of you who lost your jobs because you didn’t have enough foresight to see your job was doomed by the progress of technology. Too bad, you should have been smarter. Oh, you are 50 and don’t have any money to retrain, Too bad. /Start a business. Oh you don’t have any money to start a business. Too bad. If there libertarianism is about anything, it is about taking responsibility for your lack of omniscience. You should have been smarter. But hey, Best buy has Xbox 360’s for sale.

    The political parties are fucking falling apart. But that is because things are just so god damn awesome.

    This is just as fucking stupid as that Venn Diagram.

    1. Bitching about it doesn’t make it any better.

    2. If there libertarianism is about anything, it is about taking responsibility for your lack of omniscience.

      Well, yes. Tell me why I should have my liberty impinged upon due to your bad luck?

      1. YOu don’t have any liberty to impinge upon. You live in a fucking open air prison.

        1. I’m not seeing the connection between that and your advocacy for dunder-headed economic protectionism in the name of Joe Fifty-Year-Old, unemployed P.E..

          1. So you admit that there is no liberty to impinge upon?

            1. Would I be part of the underground if I didn’t?

              1. I will take that as you agree with me.

                1. In part.

                  Now, answer my question.

        2. It’s like you’re barely breathing, and you can’t find the air. I don’t know who I’m kidding, imagining you care.

    3. “Too bad, you should have been smarter. Oh, you are 50 and don’t have any money to retrain, Too bad. /Start a business.”
      Were you always a loser? Did the smart kids make fun of you?

    4. “Too bad. If there libertarianism is about anything, it is about taking responsibility for your lack of omniscience. You should have been smarter. But hey, Best buy has Xbox 360’s for sale.”

      OK, since you bailed, here’s the story:
      In 1994, those guys at Stanford ‘invented’ Yahoo; anyone with any sense, who was making money from sourcing friction was put on notice. Once Brin and (the other guy) started Google, you were too damn late. Shame on YOU, not me for not warning you.
      If you could do your job over the phone (or later, web) without face time, that same introduction of Yahoo should have told you your job could be done anywhere in the world, and if you thought no one else was bright enough to do it, shame on YOU, not me for not warning you.
      If you worked in a factory and learned everything you needed to know about your job by age 25, you should have known your job was toast; factories can be built anywhere and you were fucking dumb enough to think the union was gonna save your ass. Shame on YOU, you imbecile, not me for not warning you.
      You have valid gripes about the current political ‘arrangements’ (but calling them ‘open air prisons’ suggests a certain lack of intelligence); regarding your whine about changing employment, you obviously want momma to protect you.
      Fuck off, slaver.

  16. That Veen Diagram Clinton tweeted the other day.

    Tell you what, when it become the norm that cops are held accountable for their murders, When we get rid of the unaccountable administrative state. When people like clinton are held accountable. When I can smoke a god damn joint in my own house any where in the US without having to worry about pigs storming down my door and openening the chest cavity of my children or grandchildren with a grenade, then….maybe then, I will be willing to acknowledge things are getting better.

  17. OT – To compensate for all those icky articles I’ve been posting about religious freedom and other lame topics, here’s something *really* important:

    3 out of 5 Spice Girls agree – it’s time for a reunion tour

    1. No Sporty or Posh then.

      1. No Sporty? Deal breaker for me.

  18. The world is better off because we’re monsters! Here is a single Guardian column that provides a ration of muddled (that’s being polite) thinking that will last you for the rest of the year.

    “So, yes, convenience has turned many of us into monsters. We are choosing our desire for ease over justice for Uber drivers. But every progressive could delete their app tomorrow, and it wouldn’t radically shift the tectonic plates that thrust Uber to prominence in the first place.

    Trading ethics for comfort is par for the course in America. We can aspire to become conscious participants in the system. We can understand where our money is going before we give it out, and be aware of how our actions collude with economic oppression and exploitation. But I can’t help feeling that more is required. What could stop the march of convenience? It’s a question my generation may one day have to answer. But by then, will the luckier ones among us have become too comfortable to care?”

    http://www.theguardian.com/com…..pew-survey

    1. Jesus, just kill yourself and be done with it already. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?!

      we young progressives

      Oh, I get it.

    1. That makes me want to beat my head against a wall.

      1. Hey this is just showing how awesome things are. The free market is working.

      2. You just can’t take all this good news, can you?

    2. Read something recently about how the Angry Birds movie is lighting up alt-right message boards/cesspools. Too lazy to google: can anyone confirm?

  19. And speaking of things looking up:

    Kentucky bourbon makers filled almost 1.9 million barrels in 2015, a 44 percent increase over the previous year and the most in 48 years, according to state revenue data and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association….

    “”We’re filling more barrels, creating more good-paying jobs, generating more tax revenue and attracting more tourists than ever before,” said Eric Gregory, KDA president, in a news release. “The entire commonwealth, and especially our local distilling communities, is realizing the benefits of the growing global thirst for bourbon.””

    1. More people getting drunk is a sure sign that things are looking up.

  20. If you’re going to be in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in mid-June, be sure to stop by the fairgrounds to see Richard Petty and Catherine “Daisy Duke” Bach.

    1. Upcoming TS song to feature lyrics about getting dumped by a boy faking a car accident.

  21. Tired of all my Lincoln links?

    “If your bucket list includes owning a piece of President Chester A. Arthur, here is your chance. His house on Union Street in Sag Harbor is available as a summer rental, with the price tag being $390,000….

    “…For your $390,000 this summer, you will rent a third of an acre with gardens and a Gunite pool, a garage, and a dwelling with six bedrooms, 4.5 baths, media room, and wine cellar . . . and the thrill of dropping into conversations, “Chester Arthur slept here.””

    1. Tired of all my Lincoln links?

      Never.

    2. What the fuck?

  22. Look at hot women in bathing suits competing in the Galveston Island Beach Review.

    (NOTE: “Hot” refers to the weather, no other definition of hot is intended or should be inferred)

    1. Cue up the Bob Crewe music.

    2. It’s true. Everything IS bigger in Texas.

  23. Look past the grim daily headlines.

    Yeah, unless it was your father who was shot by the pig who will never be held accountable.

    The brand of dogmatic libertarian espoused here seems to be nothing more than pathological narcissism. If you are really get bent to pay a couple extra dollars for a fucking electric can opener, for example, so Joe can have a job, then you really have fucked up sense of morality.

    It is like the freedom to buy cheap shit is all that matters.

    I hate to tell you guys this but you aren’t libertarians. You can’t be a libertarian unless you can practice it. It kind of like bragging about being a porno star without actually having sex. Anyone who thinks we live in a free country should have the US code, the US Code of federal regulations, the State Code (that you live in), state regulations, city ordinances, county ordinances, state administrative regulations, and county administrative regulations dropped on your face.

    1. There are no more libertarians in america practicing libertarians that there are any in North Korea. You are not free. From the time you get out of you government regulated bed, leave your code enforced house, drive your federal and state regulated car on your state and federal regulated roads, to your employment law regulated job, every fucking facet of your existence is touched upon by the state. How the fuck in anybodies right mind could call that freedom?

      1. Preach Preacherman.

    2. I hate to tell you guys this but you aren’t libertarians

      What am I? Am I a princess? I hope so, because I look positively ravishing in a sequin dress.

      1. Look at Debbie Downer here.

        1. That’s Princess Debbie to you.

          1. *Purincessu

    3. If you are really get bent to pay a couple extra dollars for a fucking electric can opener, for example, so Joe can have a job, then you really have fucked up sense of morality.

      Perhaps I’m not reading you correctly, but isn’t the trade protectionism that would force us to buy the USA-Made look for the Union label can opener at 7 times the price, also a part of those state regulations? You’re not saying we should throw what little economic freedom we do have in the trash, are you?

      1. Trump seems to be tapping into the frustration that a lot of Joes are feeling.

          1. LOL, at least Joe wants a job of some sort. He should look into being a prison guard – that’s always growing.

    4. I hate to tell you guys this but you aren’t libertarians.

      Ugh, could you at least “SPOILER ALERT”? I mean god.

    1. Most of us read conservative fluff in grade school. Then again, most conservatives (whether mohammedan or Xtian) have read exactly one book, over and over and over…

  24. Optimist or pessimist. Why is not giving a shit not an option?

    1. Things are so great even an octogenarian needs to keep doing concerts just to put food on the table.

      I keed, that’s awesome.

  25. You think all the social trends are bad? The Vice President begs to differ.

    “Joe Biden told the United States Military Academy’s class of 2016 on Saturday that greater diversity, including more women and openly gay soldiers, will strengthen the country’s armed forces.”

    He added, “I was just thinking as I was coming over here, yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the Nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must be Duty, Honor, Country. And being fabulous.”

    1. Co-ed showers or GTFO.

      1. +1 Starship Troopers

        1. I was about to comment that Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers film was unfortunately before its time, exactly 3 years, 1 month, and 4 days before. And properly understood as satire of post-9/11 America, Starship Troopers 3 is criminally under-seen and underrated.

          1. Thanks. I didn’t know they had the nerve to put out a third Troopers one after II. RAH went through some Cold War exercises for a while there, completely lost on most folks outside Hospers’ Libertarian Defense Caucus. The more I see of these mohammedan jihadists, the more I miss the commies and nuclear brinkmanship.

          2. I didn’t know there was a 2nd one.

        2. “+1 Starship Troopers”

          Wahh? I think Rhywun was talking about Top Gun.

          1. LOL except I’ve never seen Top Gun.

            1. I’ve never seen Top Gun.

              Not only are you Un-American, you’re anti-gay. BIGOT!

              1. Take his breath away!

                1. I told you, I haven’t seen Top Gun.

                  1. Have I mentioned they are making Top Gun 2?

  26. So you run a private school.

    Which headline would you rather read: “Salmonella outbreak in cafeteria”

    or

    BARRY BONDS CALLS RACISM ON DAUGHTER’S PRIVATE SCHOOL … White Kids Rapping N-Word

    1. The salmonella. Bleach, better kitchen staff, totally solvable.

    1. Eddie, which is the better 2 Live Crew song: “Face Down Ass Up”, or “Pop that Pussy?”

      1. I’m trying to post optimistic articles about American culture, Philistine.

  27. On that decline in violence… it really does make you wonder if those number-crunching Freakonomics dudes aren’t on to something. They predicted that forcing children to carry unwanted pregnancies to labor might (besides violating the 13th Amendment) result in spikes of violent crime down the line. Canada has had a remarkably smooth fall in violent and property crime since women there gained complete individual rights. This is proof that a nation can prosper and be at peace with the world even with NO abortion laws whatsoever.

  28. Tell me why I should have my liberty impinged upon due to your bad luck

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG2DTAzZAzw

    This happened where I grew up. I didn’t see it until 6 months later and even then it was unreal because of my references were gone.

    So, Hero, the reason is that one day, some bad luck may come to you. If I saw you on the road on that day with a large bag of bandages and objected asking why your liberty and property should be impinged upon, then I would have shot you in the face, take your bandages went to treat people. Because, Hero, maybe,

    You guys really begrudge every fucking penny. NO? When? So the Snidely whiplash thing isn’t a joke?

    1. If I saw you on the road on that day with a large bag of bandages and objected asking why your liberty and property should be impinged upon, then I would have shot you in the face, take your bandages went to treat people.

      And you probably would think yourself a hero for killing a peaceful person who engaged in no aggression toward you whatsoever. This is progressivism in a nutshell.

      This is also why I’m armed myself. And when I go to the range am I preparing myself to kill people like you. People who would, when the SHTF, justify the most horrific actions in the name of lifeboat ethics.

    2. What in holy hell are you moaning about.

      You’re for trade protectionism? english, pls

      1. As far as I can surmise, he’s coming out as Reason’s very first anarcho-syndicalist.

        1. (googles that)

          Ah. Well that was clearer, at least.

          side note – What was it with the first half of the 20th century, where every 10 people seemed to have their own splinter-faction of some already-mostly-theoretical political philosophy?

          1. Conflict. Old empires falling. All that jazz.

            A similar period where you saw the same thing was during the Spring and Autumn era of Chinese history, which is known for the so-called 100 Schools of Thought.

            1. +97 Represents

            2. interesting. (the china comparison)

    3. What in the FUCK are you going on about? Killing and robbing people because in your mind you’re the arbiter of what the Greater Good? is?

      Get the fuck out of here with that shit. You’re better than this.

      1. I can only guess he’s on a heckuva bender tonight.

  29. OK, that’s enough optimistic links about American culture. Now I’ll link to some soothing music by Telemann.

    Just kidding, it’s some guys in a bar covering C + C Music Factory.

  30. Stop obstructing single-player!

    Incidentally, all those people saying the movie exceeded their expectations – what does that say about their expectations?

    1. That’s funny because every single-player game gets immediately criticized for WEAR’S MUH MULTEEPLAYERRR.

      1. God, fuck EA with a rusty knife. It was caving into that mentality which killed SimCity.

        On a side note, all my fears concerning Stellaris were unfounded. Despite the civilizations you create having no “pre-fab” lore to hook you in to managing them over the course of centuries (unlike the alternative history allure of Paradox’s other games), the game still somehow manages to engage you with until 3 A.M. addictive gameplay. Knowing Paradox’s DLC-mania, I would advise casual fans or those on a budget to wait until the 1st major DLC, which will inevitably add new game mechanics. But if you have the cash to drop now, I recommend it.

        1. Cities: Skylines has stolen SimCity’s thunder. It has its own problems but at least they didn’t futz around with multiplayer crap.

          PS. Multiplayer also ruined the Myst franchise.

        2. Stellaris is fun as hell, would second that recommendation. Hopefully they’ll take cues from Crusader Kings and add more role-playing elements and internal politics to spice up your empire.

  31. Several balloons lofted just above White House grounds early Sunday afternoon, prompting a White House lockdown before the all-clear was given

    BAN BALLOONS! At least — Why does anyone *need* more than one balloon?

    Serious question: How does W.H. Security handle *birds* flying over the grounds?

    1. “How does W.H. Security handle *birds* flying over the grounds?”

      Ya know those damn gulls are incontinent, right?

  32. Those damn dirty Romans: A Ben-Hur remake is coming out in a few months.

    1. Going by the preview, it looks like Fast and Fvriovs: Pax Romana.

      1. I wonder what it was like back when the first Ben Hur movie came out, when carriage races/pod races/car chases were actually a new experience for audiences.

        1. Hollywood has gone back to that well so many times I’m curious as to whether they’ll be able to do anything original with it.

          Oh, well, at least they’ll treat the Christian theme with respect and delicacy.

      2. Every vaguely “action” movie looks like Fast ‘n’ Furious to me. That is not OK.

        1. *new* movie that is

  33. Everything is fine and there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, it’s all better than ever!
    -Postcard from 1908

    There’s nothing wrong with noting that our societies have relatively low rates of violence compared to 50 years ago (though certainly not the lowest in history; one can name plenty of societies even in colonial America that were more peaceful). Nor is there anything wrong with pointing out that consumer goods and electronics are very affordable. Neither of these things addresses the debt problems that first-world countries are facing and that will soon hit the fan, an increase in the bellicosity of countries like China and Russia compared to, say, the 90s, and the increasingly political nature of American life. All of these are emergent trends that haven’t yet reached full flower, but like the pacts between the Great Powers in the early 1900s, suggest enormous change to our way of life when their consequences fully manifest. Many of these trends are dictated by government, making an acceptable resolution unlikely. In any case, I don’t see the “everything is fine, carry on” message as reaching receptive ears for the time being and it certainly is not an attitude that will motivate appropriate action on these issues.

  34. What’s the term for the evolutionary advantage conferred by non-parental individuals by nonetheless helping propagate their kin?

      1. I don’t want to always see the same hands.

        1. Right? What a teacher’s pet.

          1. I’m not sure if that’s what CS was looking for.

      2. I think it’s specific to mammals, maybe. Members who are capable of breeding and are selfless extroverts within the breeding paradigm even though they themselves are not breeders.

        1. Richard Simmons?

        2. I know what you’re talking about, but I’ll be damned if I could remember it at this hour.

          1. I’m quite drunk and dying to remember the word.

                1. That movie creeped the shit out of me when I was a kid.

                  1. That was an outstanding trailer. Bad horror movies are much better than horror movies that are bad by design. I am looking at you, Syfy network.

        3. Luther Vandross?

          1. His curl never really curled all the way over.

            1. yes, but he made so many babies *happen*

  35. So sometimes lately I get a little depressed seeing the ignorant rise of socialism supporters in this country. And I think it might foretell a future for my son that will be a lot shittier, where the loudmouths of today will have done so well punishing the successful and making most people either working for or dependent on the government, that we’ll be just like another version of Greece soon. And if Trump gets elected, he’ll be just the sort of lightning-rod that engenders so much dissent that pushes socialism and super-leftism into the majority in this country, and then we’re all fucked.

    But then I remember my own youth, watching the hippies protest the Vietnam war when I was in elementary school, and they were all about changing everything and even living in communes. And they loved Mao and Che and Uncle Ho. And they hated Nixon, just like they hate Trump now.

    And what happened after their tumultuous 60’s, which was so much like our current tumultuous teens?

    The goddam 70s, with ridiculous clothes and disco and everyone swapping wives and doing blow. All that idealism went away for the hedonism of drugs and sex.

    And so I’m not quite so worried anymore. In a few years, double down on mirrored ceiling balls and fog machines, the latest version of the 70s will be back. It happens every fifty years. Don’t believe me? Look at the social change of 1910-1920, and then look what the 1920s were – flappers, speakeasies and bathtub gin — their version of disco, sex and blow.

    1. Is this the only way you look at it?

      The “social changes” of the 1910’s were also economic. The establishment of the Fed, supposedly to smooth out the ups and downs in the economic cycle of the 1800’s, created massively easy credit (for the government AND the people). There was massive binge spending on CREDIT, it inevitably blew, and we got the Great Depression.

      BUT, we pulled out if it by simply putting the economy into War mode, and everything was hunky dory. Of course, we lost a HUGE amount of liberty we never got back. And we’ve had a de facto command economy since. The bonds were paid off, just in time for Viet Nam. And we got the stagflation of the 1970’s. How was that cured? The Reagan Recovery! Borrowing like there’s no tomorrow!

      And we’ve been living like the 1920’s FOR THE LAST 35 YEARS. Any guesses as to what the outcome is going to be? And we’ll just have another “great generation” war to fix it? Or are we just going to tear ourselves apart?

  36. Why did I know, before even clicking on the link that opened the article, that the comments would almost all follow the pattern:

    “Well maybe so but…(insert conditional statement of doom)” ?

    1. Read the Financial Report of the United States Government for the past ten years, paying particular attention when David Walker was Comptroller General, then get back to me.

      I WISH people had even a VAGUE idea of just how much trouble we are in economically/fiscally/monetarily. And how Reason has tripled down on this video over the last week convinces me they are part of some effort at propaganda. Forestation and some bullshit massaged FBI numbers! Things ARE good!

      $70,000,000,000,000 in accrual basis debt, and probably MUCH more, with $84,000,000,000,000 of individual wealth? Yep, forestation is issue number one in MY book. Everyone is going to be giddy over the trees when they find out they’re about HALF AS WEALTHY as they think they are. A society that has copious people resort to gunfire when somebody cuts them off in traffic is going to be purely docile when they learn they’ve got half the wealth and entitlements they THINK they do. Because trees.

  37. RE: From Reforestation to the Decline in Violence, the World Is Doing Better Than Ever

    Never print good news.
    Otherwise the clueless, over-educated idiot socialists will have nothing to whine and snivel about.

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