How Far a 'Freedom Friendly' City Has Strayed

Years ago, Anaheim gained notice for its freedom-friendly way of governing. Now, the city is pursuing the command, control and subsidize approach seen elsewhere


The presidential race has become an all-consuming affair on social media, as Americans debate which candidate will do less harm to the republic and our freedoms. I remain more concerned about state and municipal governments. Local regulations are far more likely to have an effect on your life than, say, an executive order from the president.

City officials are afflicted by the same regulatory disease as those at other levels of government, whose victims crave the power to tax and regulate. There are some exceptions, places inoculated from the regulatory disease. Sandy Springs, Georgia, has privatized most city services. Voters in Talkeetna, Alaska, have elected Stubbs the Cat mayor since 1997, although some say that funny story is just a fable.

A decade ago, Anaheim was gaining national headlines for its freedom-friendly approach to government. The idea—deregulating, loosening land-use restrictions, and slashing fees—was championed by then-Mayor Curt Pringle. It was the idea of then-councilman and current Mayor Tom Tait. I called it an "enormous success" in a column in The Wall Street Journal, given how these freedom policies helped spark a renaissance.

Anaheim has done well over the years for various reasons, but it's sad the city has recently followed the same command, control, and subsidize approach found elsewhere. The best (or worst?) example involves Anaheim's approach toward homesharing web platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway, which match up vacationers with homeowners who rent out their homes for short periods of time.

The city had allowed a number of short-term rentals, but required property owners to receive a city permit and pay taxes. Following complaints from neighbors, the City Council in late June voted to ban new ones in residential neighborhoods and to force existing operations to close down in 18 months. The city also passed tough new rules on those that will stay in business over the next year and a half. Sadly, Mayor Tait led the charge for draconian restrictions. (The city plans to come up with rules to allow some room sharing.)

In recent weeks, Airbnb filed suit against the city, echoing many of the complaints the company made against San Francisco's new regulations. HomeAway also filed a lawsuit against Anaheim. The legal actions raise some of the "freedom" issues that now get short shrift from the City Council.

The main complaint centers on Anaheim's requirement that these web-based companies police their own sites, which the short-term rental (STR) companies say is a violation of the federal Communications Decency Act. That 1996 law created a foundation of internet freedom because it protects internet platforms from being responsible for content submitted by users. Imagine if, say, Facebook were liable for what your friends posted on your wall!

"The ordinance is invalid under the First and Fourteenth amendments because it purports to impose strict criminal and civil liability on websites for publishing speech," according to the HomeAway lawsuit. For its part, Airbnb claims the ordinance "also violates Airbnb's First Amendment rights because it is a content-based restriction on speech….To justify this content-based restriction on speech, the city bears the burden of showing that the ordinance is narrowly tailored to further a substantial government interest. The city cannot carry this burden because, instead of targeting speech, the city instead could simply enforce its short-term rental laws directly against hosts who violate them—as the city acknowledges it already does successfully."

There's also a possible "taking" involved in requiring property owners to stop operating these businesses. That's the kind of anti-property-rights action I would have expected Tait to have opposed in those freedom-friendly days. I also would have expected the city to understand how the free market is fixing a once-vexing problem. In those days, officials complained about blight in older neighborhoods. These days, STR critics complain they are driving up prices in neighborhoods.

The federal court will decide the constitutional issues, of course. But the ordinance is an assault on the concept that people should be free to live their lives and run their businesses as they choose, provided they don't harm others. Neighbors have a right to complain—and expect the city to respond—when visitors violate noise and other ordinances. But they shouldn't have a right to pre-emptively stop certain activities just because other people don't like them.

Yes, we should all be worried about what the presidential election means in terms of our freedom. But our time might be better spent focusing on the myriad ways local officials are stifling innovative new businesses and ideas.

NEXT: Libertarian Party of Connecticut, with Help of ACLU, Wins Ballot Access Petitioner Lawsuit

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  1. A comment on Sandy Springs, GA. They may have privatized many things but they are a horror when it comes to zoning and “planning.” They had a moratorium on development, they switched zoning codes for no reason, etc. They are awful.

    1. This is the problem with “privatizing.”

      They have not removed things from government control they have simply contracted out government functions to private actors. This may be good for efficiency and cost control but it is not automatically good for freedom.

      The customer of the management company is still the city government, private citizens do not have the option of taking their business elsewhere – or not using the service at all.

      1. This is a very good point.

        1. like Kathryn implied I’m shocked that some people can profit $5k in four weeks on the internet . see it here >>>>


      2. Areas/communities designated as ‘private’ but use roads and electrical lines laid down by government on the taxpayer dime are annoying. Talk about getting your cake and eating it too with cherry on top.

        1. In America most of that is paid by the housing developer (and then the homeowner when they purchase) and is then turned over to the local government/utility for management afterward. Individual homes are usually charged for the cost of extending infrastructure to them in a payment over a couple of decades added into their property taxes.

          There are, generally, very few places where the government foots the bill – except those places where local governments ‘invest’ infrastructure spending to direct development. They’re doing that out where I live – the local county government has built a couple of very large divided highways to nowhere on the hope that this will encourage developers to buy the land around those highways to build on.

        2. How commonplace is it for the roads and electrical lines to have been laid by the state? I don’t know of any cases, myself, of the state building the electrical infrastructure, though it seems entirely possible it may occur in some of the strange West Coast areas. With regards to roads–they are generally put in privately to begin with and after a while the state may end up seizing control after it’s started taking more “taxes” from people.

          1. Rufus is referring to Quebec where the electrical utitility is the State (Province).

            Everything the state provides is done so at a cost of some private actor[s].

            When developers subdivide land they set aside or “dedicate” strips of land for as public rights-of-way to make sure all buyers have acces to their properties. Sometimes (usually because local governments require it) they set aside tract of land for public schools and parks.

            To pretend that the state plays no part in these actions displays a level of ignorance about how things work.

            That is not to say that there are no absolutely “private” developments. However, they are few and far between. Land developers tend to be either the biggest “welfare queens” or the biggest victims of government interference around.

            1. Whether the buyers of land in a subdivision chopped down the trees in the Right of Way leading to their property and graded the ground into a couple of wagon ruts or got the ground graded and paved by the developers contractor that ROW ended up belonging to the state or local government and the property owner expected it henceforth to be maintained and improved by said state or local government.

              Most permission to subdivide and sell lots (rightly or wrongly) contain provisions that the subdivider will construct the necessary improvements (at a minimum graded roads which the local government will assume responsibility for).

              The idea that there has been some kind of laissez-faire over property development at work anywhere in the USA since sometime after WW2 is a dream.

              It’s a shame, but those are the facts.

              1. IOW, don’t you understand that no one gets to subdivide his land without government approval?

      3. Privatization versus Contracting Out. Both the heart and Godwin of it:

        I would argue that “privatization” should refer to situations characterized by private supply AND demand. Privatizing supply alone (which, as suggested above, always occurs, except that the incentive structure changes when the contract is with a for-profit firm rather than a union or individual laborers) can make things worse rather than better. As I suggested to Randy, if Hitler had contracted out the extermination of the Jews, I expect that more Jews would have been killed at lower costs, but surely this contracting out does not move us in the direction of a libertarian society.

        1. if Hitler had contracted out the extermination of the Jews,

          I was making almost this same statement back in the late 80s and early 90s in discussions in various libertarian and libertarian settings when I was actually active in the LP.

    2. The proliferation of new local police departments in newly incorporated metro ATL cities is bad.

      1. I think the point of Sandy Springs was as a bulwark against annexation grabs by the city of Atlanta. Sandy Springs was a wealthy suburb, so they didn’t need any public services. Hence the privatization. A big push on that front came in the 90’s, as Atlanta residents were paying more for their sanitation services than folks with private services in the burbs… but the private companies would even pick up the cans around back, instead of requiring cans be brought to the curb. Privatizing services was a big deal.

        Bill Campbell even used promises of privatizing services to get influential white TV and radio personalities on board with his campaign. Of course he didn’t follow through with any of that. Quite the opposite in fact. But still, it was enough of an issue that he used it successfully in his campaign.

        Fast forward 25 years and now the wealthy folk in the burbs want to make sure that everything in their community is up to their standards. Hence the zoning difficulties.

        It seems to be an immutable law of nature. There is no such thing as a lever of power without someone wanting to pull it.

    3. Started working at home! It is by far the best job I have ever had. I just recently purchased a Brand new BMW since getting a check for 25470 dollar this 7-week past. I began this 6 months ago and I am now bringing home at least 97 dollar per hour. I work through this website. Go here…

  2. command, control and subsidize approach seen elsewhere

    For example, the $100,000,000,000,000 shit storm of corruption, boondogglery, graft, grift, coercion, and ruination known as the Federal Government? That “seen elsewhere”?

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


  4. Given that it’s California,are you surprised??

    1. I have the cat version of that. Her name is Adolf.

      I have actually had people ask me why I named a female cat Adolf. I refuse to tell them. Idiots.

    2. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwuschwitz

  5. Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!

    She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.

    Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.

    Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

    The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.

    I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.

    I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.

    Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

    -Zephaniah 3:1-8

    1. Is it the weekend already? 😛

  6. “According to Paramahansa Yogananda, [Abraham] Lincoln was a yogi in the Himalaya in his past life. He died with a wish to unite people and bring racial equality. He incarnated as Abraham Lincoln to fulfill the desire of fighting for humanity and again incarnated as Aviator Charles Lindbergh.”

    1. Charles Limburg the Nazis sympathiser?

      1. Charles Lindbergh might have, like most Swedes (either in America or in the native land), been sympathetic to Germany but he was never a Nazi.

    1. You know who else put people in camps and made them wear uniforms?

      1. The Boy Scouts of America ?

  7. “The city had allowed a number of short-term rentals, but required property owners to receive a city permit and pay taxes. Following complaints from neighbors, the City Council in late June voted to ban new ones in residential neighborhoods and to force existing operations to close down in 18 months.

    It’s a company town. Disney’s screw ups and problems in Anaheim made it avoid all the same mistakes in all its other parks.

    Anaheim could afford to be freedom loving to local residents when taxing tourists through taxes on hotel and motel stays surrounding the park was easy.

    Airbnb threatens that revenue stream. It’s easy to be freedom loving for local residents when the tourists are paying the bills. Threaten that revenue stream, and all that goes out the window.

    1. I am curious how many of the complaining ‘neighbors’ are hotels?

      Hotels seem like the group which is most likely to profit from these regulations. The renters who are indirectly pay higher rent thanks to house sharing services are most likely not a block that will affect local government.

  8. Vegas is like this, too. Prostitution is legal outside of Clark County. Getting a marijuana card is as easy as could be. They may make recreational marijuana legal come November, and you can bet on most anything you want in Vegas.

    . . . except you’re not allowed to play one day fantasy sports for money online if you’re a Nevada resident.

    They’ve got their reasons, but the real reason is because the casinos don’t want competition in the market for locals who bet on sports. If and when the casinos that cater almost exclusively to locals and are licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission launch a competing product? I’d give 1- 9 odds that policy prohibition against one day sports leagues goes out the window.

    And the casinos are paying the bills just like the hotel taxes in Anaheim.

    “No taxation without representation” sounds nice. It rhymes and everything. So does, “Money talks and bullshit walks”. It says the same thing but adds something–a wider scope or something, I’m not sure.

    1. They sound like Occupy Iceland. In which case, be afraid.

  9. Speaking of Led Zeppelin…

    “Led Zeppelin may have won the copyright war over its creation of “Stairway to Heaven,” but it lost its battle Monday to recoup nearly $800,000 in defense fees.”

    1. They got off easy.

    2. Oh, and I still say Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” is a total rip off Killing Joke’s “Eighties”.

      Killing Joke, still one of my all time favorite bands.

      1. Hell yeah. Saw them in Toronto in 1989 – all I remember is it was ear-bleedingly loud and they didn’t play any of their recent material that our friends and I were actually familiar with.

      2. That video only gives a hint of how truly terrifying Jaz Coleman can be.

      3. They ripped it off *and* made it worse.

        1. The musician who ripped off that song should just…oops, too soon.

          1. No, no it’s not.

      4. I still say Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” is a total rip off Killing Joke’s “Eighties

        not really.

        they use similar parts of the same arpeggio. which is just a way of saying, “the verse uses the same base chord”. the fact that they both have a wobbly tremolo effect on the guitar adds to the similarity, but i think from the pov of a legal claim, that’s sort of irrelevant.

        but the tempo is different, the actual “riff” in how the arpeggio is played is different…

        (the KJ version doesn’t have the bass note ‘walk’ chromatically up and down within the arpeggio)

        …the chord change between verse and chorus is different, the vocal melody is completely different… etc.

        At least the Zep/Taurus claim was over not just the one “A(m) arpeggio”…but the entire 4 chord progression that followed it. in exactly the same tempo, in exactly the same way. If Zep beat that one, i don’t think your case would even get into court.

        1. Today’s ridiculous copyright laws mean Maurice Ravel would never have been able to orchestrate Pictures at an Exhibition, for one example. All sorts of classical music building upon things from the past probably would have gotten tied up in court if the current life+70 were in existence then.

        2. They took Killing Joke’s riff which is the whole basis of the song.

          Killing Joke was a huge influence on subsequent industrial artists for precisely those kinds of riffs.

          The riff was the song, and Nirvana used it.

          I’m not saying it’s wrong to use other people’s music, that’s an important part of musical innovation.

          See Romantic composers using melodies from folk songs or Jazz artists innovating on standards as the whole basis of the art.

          Just give credit where credit is due.

          I used to think the Stray Cats obviously stole Stray Cat Strut from Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation. Turns out they were both stealing from the same source–a record from the ’50s.

          Hope Rod McKuen got paid.

        3. “If Zep beat that one, i don’t think your case would even get into court.”

          Actually, that’s not the way it works.

          A jury is like a box of chocolates.

          Rumor had it that Killing Joke was spoiling to sue at the time Cobain died. One of the reasons they were reluctant to sue was because suing the fuck out of Nirvana and their label is expensive as hell.

          Meanwhile, Cobain was reluctant to release “Come As You Are” as a single specifically because it was so similar to Killing Joke’s “Eighties”.

          Rumor has it they may have quietly settled out of court with an NDA after Killing Joke complained in the press.

          Ever heard the creators of Kimba complain about “The Lion King”, the story of a boy lion named Simba with all the same animal friends and hyena enemies?

          No one else has either. Gee, I wonder why that is?

          Meanwhile, Grohl has since drummed for Killing Joke.


    3. I think they can manage the 800k fee.

      1. If they’d lost, it would have cost them a hell of a lot more than that.

        And there was a really good chance they’d lose. I bet they offered millions to settle out of court and the plaintiffs refused.

        1. How much more do you reckon? Even then, this band wallows in cash flow – I could be wrong.

          1. If they lost that is.

  10. So I says to myself, “I wonder what Louise Jameson is up to lately?”

    1. I’m more a Sarah Jane man.

      1. Hope Solo is experiencing quite a backlash for her stupid comments.

        Hope in despair!

        Sweden had the right game plan and executed. End of story.

        1. She was just kidding. Can’t you people take a joke? Sad!

          1. Or was it sarcasm?

  11. In those days, officials complained about blight in older neighborhoods. These days, STR critics complain they are driving up prices in neighborhoods.

    Don’t you get it? In order to achieve progress, everything must stay the same!

    1. Heil-but?

      “Goldfish” sounds too Jewish.

  12. I will post another update in this ongoing story, and if you don’t like it, don’t read it.

    Ashes of Civil War veteran taken on cross-country trip, including stops at Appomattox and Gettysburg

    1. The article states he was married with 5 chillin at one point. I wonder what happened to the family.

  13. “This is the problem with “privatizing.”
    They have not removed things from government control they have simply contracted out government functions to private actors. This may be good for efficiency and cost control but it is not automatically good for freedom.”

    In some cases, it’s not good economically, either.
    SF has ‘privatized’ many bum-services to various non-profits. *Many* non-profits, with many admin staffs doing exactly the same thing but having offices in a different supervisor’s district. And performance metrics are anathema.…..toryPage=2
    I’m sure no one here will find it surprising that many of the staff put in efforts during the supervisory elections, and since each supervisor has a similar arrangement, no one has any interest in changing things.
    SF spent $240M on bums last year; supposedly 6,000 of them.

    1. In some cases, it’s not good economically, either.

      Hence the “may be” in “This may be good for efficiency and cost control…”.

      You are quite correct. And your point about political activity is spot on. This is true for both the non-profit and for-profit beneficiaries of contracting out. It is certainly not news that every bit of government spending creates its own pressure groupwhether it’s prison guards or defense contractors.

      The American Road & Transportation Builders Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers aren’t paying all those lobbyists to urge congress to cut the transportation budget.

  14. You monsters!

    Follow-up: “My right to safety trumps their rights to be jerks. @reason should stop sexual harassment in their comments.”

    1. I wonder how much student debt she has?

    2. “Please stop making flimsy arguments that cause me to agree with the reason commentariat.”

      “Yeah, those people are a blight, and yet she’s making me sympathetic to them.”

      Melissa Byrne is so horrible that she even makes our betters agree with us.

    3. Poor little snowflake.

    4. Meh, no me in that screenshot. (Although I don’t post much so it’s down to probability.)

      I’ve had Tony call me “teabagger” once though. *flexes carpal tunnel*

    5. Are the rumors that Melissa Byrne fucks goats true?

      (Melissa, if you’re reading, you’d better know this is an in-joke that started with some nasty male politician.)

    6. Hilarious…

      Nate Cohn @Nate_Cohn
      If Clinton is up in Pennsylvania by 10 points, as polls suggest, she wouldn’t even need the city of Philadelphia to win.

      Melissa Byrne Retweeted Nate Cohn
      False. You always need Philadelphia. But thanks for making Philly meaningless and erasing people of color.

    7. Poor crybully.

  15. Yes, we should all be worried about what the presidential election means in terms of our freedom. But our time might be better spent focusing on the myriad ways local officials are stifling innovative new businesses and ideas.

    Fuckin’ A right, Reason. So quit writing about how much Trump sucks and tell us why Clinton sucks instead.

  16. Friday night grab-bag

    Crushed another Pig Latin speaking test today. I did so well the teacher ended the test early as it was clear I was on the ball. Oh yeah!

    Fun fact: the word cigar comes from a Mayan word that means smoke.

    Had a student get dropped from my class for poor grades. I tried to help him, but he just isn’t cut out to be a linguist. Hopefully he will get re-classed to a more suitable job. I talked to him about failing out today to make sure he isn’t going to hang himself in a closet. He assured me he’s alright.

    I’ve talked a number of people who’ve failed out. They usually get re-classed to awful jobs at bases way out in the sticks. I have hard seeing how people flunk here. It’s been pretty easy so far and I’m 25% done with about a year to go.

    Man who went to prison for deadly road rage incident is killed in another road rage incident.

    1. Glad to hear school is going well. We should do another meetup soon. Maybe we can get C. Anacreon and Suell to show next time.

    2. Fun fact: the word cigar comes from a Mayan word that means smoke.

      Reminds me of probably the most famous word of Basque origin.


    1. What the hell are these people doing?

      people pay blackjack online, but they have a live dealer and… wth is the deal with the table? digitized magic?

      I thought the whole point of gambling is to get free booze and hang out in a casino with other bizarre characters. i don’t understand the appeal of it being done “from home”. poker i can understand because you’re playing *other people*, and you can bullshit and smack talk, etc…… but if you’re just playing the house, like bjack?….. i don’t get it.

      also, are all these people… dutch? south african?

      i know, i know, i’m not supposed to care about anything but the joke. but i can’t help it.

  17. Random thought: for most of history, people bragged about being tough. Lately, that has begun to flip. Now more people desire to be victims instead of heroes. I think this is because broadly, people are more compassionate and tolerant than in earlier times.

    When the world was full of danger and hardship, there was nothing to be gained by playing for sympathy. It would be like trying to be beggar on a desert island.

    1. This is what passes of as *courage* these days:…..her-looks/

      1. After a good bit of crying, Chiazrizzio wrote about the incident on Facebook and the story took off.


        1. I think more people need to really listen to Michael Bolton’s line in Office Space: Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks.

        2. The girls in my day who colored their hair tended to be punks and what not and they generally didn’t give a shit what people thought; that was the point. They were made of better mettle.

          This bunch? They crumble the second someone doesn’t accept them.

      2. After a good bit of crying, Chiazrizzio wrote about the incident on Facebook and the story took off.

        Bahahahahahahahaaaa! Hee here man, that’s the best part of the piece full stop. The Red Robin should staff a backup server named Corky and force the customer to choose next time.

      3. I love the solidarity – je suis narcissiste.

      4. Red Robin says they have a non-discrimination policy. If a customer asks for a new server solely based on a discriminatory reason, they will not accommodate that person.

        And yet, when this customer asked for a new server because he didn’t like the server’s looks, Red Robin jumped up to accommodate? To accommodate a customer asking for another server based on a discriminatory reason? I do not think Red Robin knows what ‘discrimination’ means.

        If they did they would realize that that policy is meaningless – if you asked for a new server because the current one picks his nose you would be doing so for a discriminatory reason.

    2. The world must have a bit of danger and hardship left, I mean you’re in the armed forces aren’t you?

      1. Yeah, but I chose to be involved. What I meant is that in the past, there was no choice. Everyone had to face a lot of hardship.

    3. I think it’s less of a historical evolution and more of a shift from a paternalistic society to a maternalistic society. Western culture has become quite feminine, and toughness is not a feminine trait.

      #theseAreOnlyGeneralities #tryingToAvoidTheButthurt

      1. I believe this is true.

        1. I grew up in a family of construction workers. When I was a kid I thought I could never live up to their toughness. Now kids in college can’t make it a day without their puppy dog crayon space. I’ve never felt manlier.

  18. Saw Mitch McConnell on a anti-Trump TV ad about Trump not releasing his tax returns. Thanks, Mitch. Way to support your party’s nominee.

    I get the feeling a lot of Team Red likes Clinton better. It is a puzzlement.

    1. It is a puzzlement.

      Not at all. Anyone in the “business” of being a GOP politician vastly prefers clinton.

      It would be like a revival of their glory days in the 1990s. They’ll have endless scandals with which to froth up their base and gnash teeth about, producing a flood of campaign donations. Being the opposition-party is in many ways easier = you’re not held responsible for actual legislation that gets passed (even when many times you have your prints all over it), and you can always scare people to vote for you, promising to protect them from the horrors of the liberal-overlord in power.

      Hillary gives them a reason to exist. Their jobs are secure. The basic narrative of their party doesn’t just ‘not change’, it is reinforced by a character that’s been in the public eye for almost 30 years. They’ll be the Anti-Clinton.

      With Trump… jesus, they will all be forced to be cast-members in the Trump Show. If he sucks, they will suck with him. They’re collectively responsible for everything that happens. and they become targets for the Dem minority to overthrow.

      There’s also the problem that Trump isn’t necessarily on board with what their lobbyist supporters have long paid them to deliver. They can’t rely on Trump to be a good team player and support whatever bullshit they pass up the chain.

      He’s basically a lose-lose situation. The only reason some support him is that they’re scared of his voters.

    2. Why puzzlement? Team Red likes the status quo, too. Look how quickly they turned on those tea folks voted in as the party gained majorities in both houses. And the GOP is primarying conservatives in multiple districts.

      Meanwhile, a closer look at Herself’s tax return showed one million of the 1.4 mil claimed in charity donations went to the Clinton Foundation. Sounds a bit like money-laundering.

      1. This
        explains everything.

    1. Imagine how much better off the world would be if Hitler had been hoarse.

      1. Alternate joke: Horse Wessel.

        1. Sieg hay?
          Sieg neigh?

    2. Neighzis.

      1. Yes, very good.

  19. Obscure history: South Korean atrocities during the Vietnam war

    At its peak, South Korea had about 300,000 troops in Vietnam fighting along side the US. They were implicated in numerous atrocities. The B?nh H?a massacre left 430 civilians dead and the B?nh An/T?y Vinh massacre left about 1,000 dead.

    1. Thanks for that. Definitely interesting but completely pulled me off cloud 9 after reading about the crying inverse smurf.

  20. So I’ve been looking after the kiddo more and more often since my brother and his girlfriend feel more adventurous about getting out on their own. He’s nine months now and a congenial little sweetheart, but between him and them I’m reminded why I prefer staying childless and single.

    Anyway, sitting him gets me sometimes googling little eccentricities about his behavior, and that has introduced me to the weird world of maternity forums. What is the deal with the acronyms? Okay, you type something out frequently enough and it becomes more convenient to abbreviate it, and for instantly recognizable shit like SLD and TIWTANFL, it becomes something of an inside joke. But “dear husband”? “Darling son”? Either this is dark sarcasm or the desire for weird insider lingo is pretty fundamental to humanity.

    The only reason I didn’t have to look up the nomenclature when I started encountering it. I thought it was just parody.

    1. Mommy blogs are one step above DU and dailykos. Protect your brain before it leaks out of your ears.

    2. Go start a thread about drinking during pregnancy.

      1. The belly is where the baby’s brain is!

      2. I like the cut of your jib.

    3. “TIWTANFL”

      I still don’t know what that means.

      1. That’s it with this asshole national football league?

  21. Actor who played Gimli in the LOTR movies on being shunned for being a conservative in Hollywood.

    The British-born actor said he is worried for our civilization.

    “The world is a dirtier and darker place now than it has probably been for 200 years,” he said. “Western civilization is profound and tolerant and we are now confronted with a far more vital and energetic civilization…[that is] completely epithetical to our beliefs, and how we cope with that is going to be the big challenge for the 20th century [because we] will lose it if we don’t defend it in the right way.”

    1. alongside Stephen Baldwin.

      Ouch. i can understand being hard-up for work, but that’s a bit much.

      1. I’m not saying it’s not happening, but he is a 72-year-old actor who looks like James Gandolfini (RIP) had a munchkin little brother. How much work is there for a guy like that? And a Brit to boot.

        1. he is a 72-year-old actor who looks like James Gandolfini (RIP) had a munchkin little brother. How much work is there for a guy like that?

          Lots. You fail to appreciate that good character-actors who can fill a niche are far more useful in hollywood than your cookie-cutter, disposable “Hot young blonde/strapping square-jawed hunk”

          I mean, look at people like Paul Giamatti. he’s a schlub. but he’s like one of the hottest properties in acting.

          Guys like rhys davis could do top-billing theater until they die, there’s no reason for him to disgrace himself alongside (spits) ….that Baldwin brother. Fuck the bible. God doesn’t need the bad PR.

          1. But he’s working, according to IMDb. Maybe not as much as he’d prefer, but how much of that is reverse McCarthyism for his conservatism and how much is simply being in the twilight of his career?

            And I fully believe Hollywood is as vindictive as any other progressive institution, but it’s a bit different in that it’s the only progressive institution which has to turn a profit and gets punished for shit products. Nick Searcy gets on well, anyway.

            1. how much of that is reverse McCarthyism for his conservatism and how much is simply being in the twilight of his career?

              oh, i have no idea. I was just kidding, i’m sure he can do most whatever he wants and doesn’t actually need to do shoddy projects.

              how much ‘reverse mcCarthyism’ is there in hollywood? i don’t know. i don’t think it matters all that much. No one listens to what actors think/say until they’re already famous. So you sort of have to “be famous” already before what you think can get you into ‘trouble’.

              the only way i think you can truly screw yourself is if you’re a young(er) actor, and have 1-2 successful projects, and THEN start being the ‘unpopular conservative’ as soon as the media pays attention to you. I don’t think that happens very often because “Agents” are smart enough to muzzle these morons (just like pro athletes) for at least another few projects.

              By the time they’re powerful enough to not need to shut up, then they’re basically “choosing” to be blacklisted.

              I think the idea that conservatives get ‘persecuted’ in hollywood is sort of silly/stupid for that reason. The only people who *can* be persecuted are already whopping superstars. No one else matters.

              Whereas, say, Academics? That’s some seriously dangerous shit. You can be the best in your field, and still be rejected by institutions because of some shit you said 20 years ago which is currently considered out-of-favor.

              1. One of the podcasts I listen to is helmed by that Hoover Institute cuck Peter Robinson and a Hollywood insider, James Long, who describes himself as a conservative squish but is miles more conservative than the Hollywood standard. (There’s a third, James Lileks, but I’m not sure what all he does.) I like the podcast because it’s not just the NRO-type academic conservatism, but an un-self-consciously cultural review. They’re not giving the conservative review of culture but a cultural review from conservatives. Anyway.

                It’s interesting because it shows that people like Long can live in the industry, and because it shows that it is in fact a commercial industry, unlike academia.

                1. that Hoover Institute cuck

                  lol. i don’t know why, but i think its just funny to call random people ‘cuck’ for no intelligible reason.

                  Socrates was a total cuck.

                  1. Was that asshole even born in Greece or did he peripatetic his way from Mexico?

                2. Lileks does regrettable foods, and this wonderful take-down:

                  When Avril sticks a safety pin through her ear, pogo-dances all night and throws up seven beers and a handful of uppers in the gutter outside the club, then she’s got a downpayment on punk. But only if the ear gets infected tomorrow.

          2. His best work was obviously in Sliders.

    2. Epithetical? I mean, sure, the trashtalking on Xbox Live is pretty rotten, but it doesn’t rise to a civilizational threat.

      1. Epithetical

        he was obviously misquoted. From context, im sure he meant “Antithetical”

        adjective: antithetical

        directly opposed or contrasted; mutually incompatible.
        “people whose religious beliefs are antithetical to mine”
        synonyms: (directly) opposed to, contrasting with, contrary to, contradictory to, conflicting with, incompatible with, irreconcilable with, inconsistent with, at variance with, at odds with
        “your theories are antithetical to mine”

        1. Can’t you just let me springboard off other peoples’ Johnos?

          1. people may have noticed – i make jokes, but i’m often terrible at perceiving them.

            1. I’m just puzzled how he copy-pasted the paragraph but ended up with the typo. It’s not in the link.

              1. It also says [21st] century, not 20th. Maybe FOX fixed it up after he copied it?

    3. Uh… um… the 20th century has been over for 16 years now.

      1. Yeah? Well how come 2001 is still in the future, huh? Yeah, didn’t think you could explain that one. Space, 1999 bitches! The future is gonna be boss!

    4. Actor who played Gimli Maximillian Arturo

      I mean, come on.

        1. Not to TV nerds like me.

    5. John Rhys-Davies, best known for his role as Gimli in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy,

      People who think JRD’s best known role is Gimli should be turked by a syphilitic bear.

    1. “However, he added that if the mayor’s office were to request the mosque receive the body, and Kermiche’s family were to indicate they wanted a burial, they would be obligated to assign an individual from the community to oversee the process.”

      Is this a legal requirement?

    2. Jeez, do they keep you sequestered at translator school? That news is like a week stale.

      1. I meant to post it earlier, but I have to translate Pig Latin for 12 hours a day and whenever I make a mistake, they beat me.

    3. +1 Everlasting Gobstopper

    4. So, to avoid ‘tainting’ Islam they’re going to end up making the Catholics take up this burden? Dude’s dead, whatever he did in life is done. Drop him in the ground and walk away. I’m sure the Catholics will do this for them though – and even go to the trouble to give him as Muslim a burial as they can – because they’re not vindictive dicks.

      1. Cremate him and scatter the ashes.

        Or put him in an ossuary.

  22. Things that impress stupid people

    1. shiny objects
    2. loud noises
    3. uniformity
    4. complicated rules
    5. big words
    6. excessive neatness

    Yeah, I realize all these apply to the military.

    1. This is true. However, only in the military will you hear a string of obscenities delivered with such precise cadence.

      1. My favorite drill sgt-ism: don’t worry, private, we’ll fuck that cat. you hold the tail.

    2. 4. complicated rules

      For example… a primary process?

    3. 5. big words

      Brandine: It’s like looking in a mirror.

      Cletus: What’s a “meer-oar”?

      Brandine: That’s a big-city word for reversifying glass.

      1. Hey, Brandine! You might could wear these t’yer job hinterview.

        -And scuff up the runway at the topless dancin’ bar? Naw, you bes brang ’em back where from you got’em.

        1. You know what, this episode is a terrific indictment of government. Failed civic investment? Contracting out to private firms? Sadistic prison guards? It’s Rothbardian.

          1. And that’s in the first eight minutes.

          2. And criticizing the drug war… padding prison population for better revenue…

          3. The episode was written by a PhD grad for inorganic chemistry from the University of Chicago… too late to have matriculated under Friedman, but I’m sure Milt left a legacy into the eighties at least. A lot of this episode is just so on-the-nose libertarian for that to be a coincidence.

            1. You know who else went to an Austrian school?

              1. Those kids in the Sound of Music when they weren’t prancing around singing?

                1. Wait, maybe that ex-nun taught them all other subjects as well as music, I forget.

          4. Excessive, ancient statutes (Wiggum pokes through a literally dusty tome of municipal laws looking for reasons to arrest more people)

            Political favoritism (Wiggum then declines to arrest Smithers because “If I didn’t arrest you that night in the park, I’m not going to arrest you now.”

            Unreliable prison informants (when Homer is bribed and coerced to bring Burns useless minutiae with which to punish fellow prisoners)…

            1. And an Abu Ghraib joke! Meaningless now, timely in 2005.

              1. Homer vs the 18th amendment is one of my favorite pro-liberty episodes.

    4. You forgot boobies.

      boobies impress everybody. Even stupid people.

      1. Well, I was trying to stick with things exclusive to stupid people.

        1. Boobies do have the capacity to render stupid reasonably intelligent men.

          1. Yes, but things that cause smart people to become stupid is a separate category.

            1. There is nothing less divisive than a nice rack. It’s something we can all come together over.

              1. Wait, was that some kind of pun?

    5. 7. Foreign phrases slipped in there when there’s a perfectly good English word available

      Maybe it’s just my libertarian bias showing, but I think the worst offenders are “progressive” opinion piece writers.

    1. You know who else listened to German music?

      1. My understanding is that most famous classical music was composed by Austrians, who of course speak a mysterious language not even known to Obama.

        1. Beethoven was of course born in what is now Germany.

    1. That plus earlier legislation sets up a series of execution methods to be used if the courts declare lethal injection unconstitutional: Nitrogen asphyxiation, electrocution, and finally the good old firing squad.

      1. I was going to add “thrown off a cliff,” but I don’t know if they have cliffs in Oklahoma.

      2. Why nitrogen and not carbon monoxide, though? As I understand it the whole exhaust tube to window approach is pretty comfortable.

        1. Perhaps dangerous to spectators? I’m just guessing.

          1. Oh, man. The original gas chambers?

            The executioner activates a mechanism which drops potassium cyanide (or sodium cyanide[15][16]) pellets into a bath of sulfuric acid beneath the chair; the ensuing chemical reaction generates lethal hydrogen cyanide gas. Because hydrogen cyanide gas condenses at approximately 78 ?F (26 ?C), the temperature in the chamber (when it is in use) is maintained at at least 80 ?F (27 ?C).[17]

            The gas is visible to the condemned, who is advised to take several deep breaths to speed unconsciousness. Nonetheless, there are often convulsions and excessive drooling. There may also be urinating, defecating, and vomiting.[18][19]

            Following the execution the chamber is purged with air, and any remnant gas is neutralized with anhydrous ammonia, after which the body can be removed (with great caution, as pockets of gas can be trapped in the deceased’s clothing).[20] Sometimes, as a safety precaution, the clothing worn by the executed person is destroyed by incineration.[21] The undertaker who handles the body wears rubber gloves for protection against any trace amounts of cyanide that might still be present on or in the body.[21]

            1. Suffering shouldn’t be a factor in executions. I’m not even saying the pinprick of the needle into the artery shouldn’t be too painful, I’m saying you make it as comfortable as possible. It should be a purely clinical rendering of death from life. Because it doesn’t matter at that late date. The offense is so far in the past, and all the exigencies so long ago tamped down, that the arduous process of rendering a capital verdict is punishment enough. At a point the condemned’s life revolves around his condemnation. Except for (we hope) actually being guilty of his crimes, the executee is Winston: ground down in the end to acquiescence of his fate. If we want authentic human suffering in an execution, there’s recent events to go by: live beheadings, setting fire to captives, or drowning them. But that’s not our modus, is it? Ours is the arduous process between capture and execution. So the ultimate disposal should be made as comfortable as possible, because it’s the least painful part of the process.

            2. A good portion of this is shown in great detail in Susan Hayward’s Oscar-winning performance in I Want to Live!

              Unfortunately, the movie is so stridently anti-death penalty that I see it as one of the great pro-death penalty movies. They try to make Hayward’s character into somebody so obviously innocent that you just want her to die already.

  23. You know, ultimately I think the problem with The Simpsons is that it didn’t keep up with the times. And I don’t mean the hamfisted attempts to keep current, I mean it no longer reflects the reality of our modern needs in terms of entertainment. We don’t like saccharine with our bitters, and that’s what The Simpsons was built on. According to the show, we are all impossibly cynical, self-involved assholes, and the concept of a show that ends up being family-based rather than ideals-based serves no role for us anymore. It has no place at all. We want incredibly refined niches of self-serving, sentimentality-flattering entertainment. And the Simpsons family has no role if it tries to find some middle ground therein.

    1. I think the problem with the Simpsons is that its almost 30 years old and they have ran out of story line ideas. “Saccharine with our bitters” I would call drama in regards to story telling and family based story’s are ideal based. I think the series has just ran its course about 10 years ago.

      “We want incredibly refined niches of self-serving, sentimentality-flattering entertainment” – What exactly do you mean?

    2. I recount the exact moment I lost interest in The Simpsons. Happens right at 0:40.

  24. Anna . I agree that James `s storry is really great… last thursday I got a top of the range Mitsubishi Evo after bringing in $4828 this last 5 weeks and just over ten grand last-munth . no-doubt about it, this really is the best work I’ve ever had . I began this four months/ago and straight away started to bring in at least $87, per-hour

  25. These days, STR critics complain they are driving up prices in neighborhoods.

    So when property values decline, we have a housing crisis, and that is bad, and that requires regulations and massive government spending.

    And when property values increase, we also have a housing crisis, and that is bad, and it also requires regulations and massive government spending.

    I get it.

  26. To follow up on this, Reason should Ask A Mexican. What does Gustavo Arellano think of all of this?

  27. I don’t know the details, but I imagine that if enough renters continue to be a drunken or doped up nuisance, it becomes an intolerable strain on law enforcement. Then you have the general populace essentially subsidizing the landlords.

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