Tyranny

Around the World, Tyrants Ascendant

Leaders crack down on their own citizenry.

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Rodrigo Duterte
Mark R. Cristino/EPA/Newscom

John McCain is fond of saying, "It's always darkest just before it goes totally black." According to a February report by Amnesty International, human rights "reached a nadir" in 2015. Not quite. The past 12 months prove that even when you hit bottom, there is always room to sink.

Few recent years have been so unrelievedly grim when it comes to freedom and democracy as 2016. Retreat from the values of human liberty and dignity was the norm. The bleak trend blanketed the globe like volcanic ash.

Rare was the country showing progress. Even the United States succumbed to illiberal impulses—electing a president who takes leadership lessons from Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein, praises torture, wants to curb press freedom, and endorses surveillance of "Muslim neighborhoods."

The government of China carried out a campaign against internal enemies, arresting hundreds of people to punish even the mildest dissent. "As an old-timer who's been studying China since the Mao era, I have to say it's the worst I've seen since then," University of California, San Diego scholar Susan Shirk told the Los Angeles Times.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin continued "a sweeping crackdown to silence critical voices that has included new legal restrictions on the internet, on freedom of expression, on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and on other fundamental freedoms," reported Human Rights Watch.
The CIA and FBI concluded that the Kremlin interfered in the American presidential election to help the Republican nominee. A Russian state TV news anchor exulted that "'democracy' and 'human rights' are absent from Donald Trump's lexicon."

Those terms are also not favorites of Putin's ally Bashar Assad. The Syrian despot invited prosecution for crimes against humanity in his waging of civil war, culminating in a murderous siege of the city of Aleppo. With hospitals inundated, a medical administrator told The Wall Street Journal, "death is a thousand times more merciful than being wounded."

After surviving an attempted coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government arrested dozens of Kurdish mayors and silenced every independent Kurdish news outlet—even though the people blamed for the plot are enemies of the Kurds. Turkey now has more journalists behind bars than any other country, double the number in runner-up China.

In Egypt, hundreds of suspected dissidents vanished through "enforced disappearance," which involves secret imprisonment without trial and sometimes torture. Saudi Arabia opened the new year by beheading 47 prisoners on terrorism charges, though a poet given the same sentence for apostasy had his punishment generously reduced to eight years in prison and 800 lashes. Tunisia retained its status as the sole democracy in the Arab world.

Elected president of the Philippines in June, Rodrigo Duterte mounted an anti-drug campaign in which more than 6,000 people have been killed by police and vigilantes—an average of 36 every day he's been in office. He bragged that as mayor of Davao City, he personally executed three criminal suspects on the street.

Poland's Supreme Court ruled that a new law to restrict public demonstrations was unconstitutional. Legendary Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, who helped liberate the country from communism, accused the right-wing government of destroying everything he fought for.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled for 22 years and once promised to rule for a billion, lost an election and agreed to step down, before changing his mind. Joseph Kabila, barred from running for a third term in the Democratic Republic of Congo, insisted on staying on after his term expired, finally agreeing to leave at the end of 2017.

Robert Mugabe, who has held power in Zimbabwe since 1980, announced he will run for re-election in 2018—for a term that would end after his 99th birthday. But Ghana, an exemplary African democracy, carried out its third peaceful transfer of power since 1992.

Cuba's Fidel Castro died at 90, but the persecution of dissent has continued under brother Raul. Venezuela's leftist regime, presiding over economic chaos, blocked a referendum that could have removed President Nicolas Maduro, who rules by decree. Said Venezuelan political scientist Maria Teresa Romero, a critic of Maduro's, "The golden age of socialism in the 21st century is over in South America."

The golden age of democracy, when dictators were falling and freedom was on the march, likewise appears to have ended. In 2016, the world marked another year in an age of lead.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Steve, you’re drunk, go home.

    1. Chappie is at it again.

  2. Very articulate. Good job on that!

    1. And somehow, my reply is not a reply.

      1. That is OK, it wasn’t much of a thought either.

        1. Right to the point then. You’re an asshole.

          1. Right proper handle ya got there.

            Happy Boxing Day!

            1. He doesn’t understand you like I do.

        2. “So Swiss Servator took part in a medieval battle reenactment, and he came back with scratches on his arms. The missus asked him what happened; he replied, ‘Arrows grazed.'”

          1. *begins clapping* “Way to go, Jr! Way to go!”

            1. The viking lieutenant Swissy, returned from the raid on the small village and reported, “Barrows Raised!”

              1. *razed*

                ?

                1. DAMNIT!

                  Hey, maybe it was a viking construction crew…YOU DON’T KNOW!

  3. Hey look another strawman argument about Trump caught fire!!

    1. Hitler! Trump!
      Hitler! Trump!
      Hitler! Trump!
      Hitler! Trump!
      Hitler! Trump!

  4. Humam rights reached a nadir over what time period?

    Also, pretty begative article for this site. Reads sort of like Chapman is drunk and depressed on Christmas. Looking at a noose, saying that everything is shit.

    1. How were you spying on me???

  5. While I agree, I’m not nearly so pessimistic. This is what happens without free speech and religion, and I think the world is just starting to understand that. The 14-0 UN vote was significant – the world is fearful of the US and Russia teaming up against them. So they will have to make a choice between more freedom and more oppression. Ultimately I think people will choose freedom even though it means that some people will end up with a little more than them.

    1. While I agree, I’m not nearly so pessimistic.

      Yep. My New Year’s resolution is to stop being so pessimistic. Instead, I’m going to just be realistic and maintain a healthy cynicism.

  6. Hillary Clinton was illiberal in a way the Beltway Class likes. Donald Trump is illiberal in a way the Beltway Class doesn’t like.

  7. SC;DR

    1. Here, a “highlight for ya….

      electing a president who takes leadership lessons from Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein.

      Yeah, its Chapman…

      1. NYT bestsellers The Mother of All Business Insight Books and it’s sequel You too Can Be Dragged Out of Your Spider Hole: Surving the Cutthroat World of Office Politics

      2. As soon as I saw the title of the article, and authorship by ‘The Reason Staff’, I knew it would be Dalmia or Chap-Man.

        1. Let’s face it, if they posted their name up front, would anyone click?

          I am convinced that Steve Chapman has video of Nick committing murder. It really is the ONLY possible explanation for the continued posting of that turd.

      3. electing a president who takes leadership lessons from ignorantly and stupidly praises Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein.

        1. Just a dumber version of what Chapman said.

          1. You don’t have to suffer TDS to find a few critical things to say about the man. He has made indefensibly dumb and ignorant statements about Putin and Hussein in the past. Doesn’t mean I’m any less optimistic about his cabinet picks.

            1. Like what?

              1. Tacitly excusing the murders of dissidents and journalists under Putin because, hey, we drone people all the time.

                Praising Saddam Hussein, whose regime funded terrorist groups and who awarded bounties to families of Palestinian murderers, as hard-line on terrorism.

                I’m not going out on Chapman’s limb in saying these miscues betray some authoritarian impulse or that Trump is sympatico with despots. I’m saying he’s made dumb statements because he’s often out of his depth on these issues. Hence correcting Chapman’s line.

      4. Thing is, given the race-to-the-bottom Invective Derby passing for journalism these days, he can rest assured that he’s more or less in the middle, Trump hyperbole-wise.

  8. From Bailey to Gillespie, I’ve been reading articles all year long on how things are better than they have ever been, and now in the last week of the year I’m being told that I should be pessimistic?

  9. A guy who voted for a candidate that vowed to crush media outlets that have no right to exist is bitching about tyranny? A candidate that was going to create millions of felons with a stroke of the pen in spite of congress? A candidate that shamelessly told baldfaced lie after baldfaced lie to a nation that knew she was lying? A candidate that held at least a quarter of the nation in contempt?

    Eat shit Chapman.

    1. Chapman mindlessly worships pure evil, then lectures us about the dangers of evil, all while worshipping the aforementioned pure evil.

  10. Do we have internment camps that I missed?
    Has the draft been reinstated?
    Did I miss the Mcarthy Hearings II?
    Has Putin retaken Eastern Europe and put them back under the Soviet yoke?
    Has South Africa reinstated apartheid?

    Not to be Mr Sunshine, but this is hardly a nadir of human rights, and that’s just 20th century stuff.

    1. Zombie Pol Pot is back killing 1/6th of his country again.

      Zombie Stalin is reconstructing the GULAGs and killing millions of Ukrainians.

      And Jimmy Carter wants us all to wear a sweater if it gets too cold in the house!

    2. Haven’t you heard? Trump has already stolen Christmas (it didn’t even happen!) and he’s ruined the country and likely the world, and he isn’t even in office yet!

      1. Trump the Grinch that stole the election but gave the people back their country when his heart grew three times larger

        1. But only for white males. Wiminz and colored folk going back into chains.

      2. Well, Obama won a Nobel Prize for implementing WORLD PEACE before he’d even been inaugurated, so…why not?

        A powerful gift for projection and a disregard for reality can yield magickal results, neh?

    3. But…..but……..TRUMP!!!!!!

      See?

  11. So the guy who voted for Hillary is going to talk about freedom and liberty?

    Please.

  12. “The golden age of socialism in the 21st century is over in South America.”

    I trust (hope) sarcasm?

    1. Since the quote was from “Maria Teresa Romero, a critic of Maduro’s,” I’d guess sarcasm.

    2. Castro dead, Dilma impeached, left out of power in Argentina, Venezuela falling apart. The Golden age of Socialism is dead and Chapman is in mourning.

    1. Reason taking a 4-day weekend for Christmas? Lazy bums.

      1. It is a Canadian Holiday…Happy Boxing Day!

  13. OT: I hate when sports announcers describe a player as a “former first-round draft pick”.

    If a player is drafted in the first round, that’s it. His status as a first-rounder never changes. What these tools mean to say is, “(player name) was a first-round draft pick back in (year).”

    1. And don’t even get me started about “rate of speed”!

      1. I could care less.

        1. Irregardless, hopefully you understand.

          1. I try, but your lightyears ahead of me.

            1. Isn’t there a statue of limitations on the use of these phrases? Or is that a whole nother thing?

              1. Sorry for my late response, but I just got back from kayaking so I guess it’s a mute point.

                1. I suppose we’re all expected to tote the line on these usages?

      2. “Escapability”

        “He can move, out in space”

        “Big Playability”

        1. Swiss bringing his A-game!

      3. They really meant rate of change of rate of speed, or acceleration, honest!

    2. Former Heisman Trophy winner!

      1. Reggie Bush

          1. +1 Johnny Football

      2. And yet somehow they’ve extinguished the phrase “former president.”

        I want to enshrine the phrases “former President Bush,” “former President Clinton,” “former president Bush,” “former president Obama”, right alongside “president reject Clinton, not to be confused with former president Clinton.”

    3. Then of course, there’s this case: the Cavs hit a jumpshot, making the score 98-96; the announcer says, “The Cavs pull to within two!”

      96 is not within two of 98 – it’s exactly two from 98.

      1. Look, they had to make plays on both sides of the ball and get some good, open looks in order to keep playing such an outstanding brand of basketball.

      2. “96 is not within two of 98 – it’s exactly two from 98.”

        Which is within two of 98.

        Again, you seem really upset about being wrong about this.

    4. “Heighth” is not a word.

    5. “He’s a great story.”

      No, he isn’t a story. He’s a person with an interesting life story. And it usually isn’t all that interesting anyway.

    6. From football: a pass receiver “catching the ball at its highest point.”

    7. You seem really upset about something that is correct and you’re wrong about.

  14. Chapmans stinging salve for butthurt babies.

  15. Let’s stop talking about Syria as a “civil war” OK. What happened in Syria was a war between the Syrian people and outsider armed and funded insurgents attempting a coup. The Syrian Observatory on Human Rights is a 2 person operation in Europe who are aligned with the insugants. Those few independent journalists on ground have a very different view of what has been blamed on Assad.

    1. “What are you going to do about Aleppo?”

      1. Chapman’s presidential pick would start WW3 over it.

    2. Let’s stop talking about Syria as a “civil war” OK. What happened in Syria was a war between the Syrian people and outsider armed and funded insurgents attempting a coup

      Horseshit.

      but why even bother trying to spin the interpretation of the thing at this point? Russia & Syria have more or less crushed it. they’ll consolidate all the cities and let the West continue to mop up the ISIS goofballs in the countryside. Because we’re assholes and don’t have any excuse left to be there.

      It was a civil war. it was also a civil war heavily influenced by outside forces. insisting on some 100% version one way or the other is stupid.

  16. Even the United States succumbed to illiberal impulses?electing a president who takes leadership lessons from Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein

    Huh?

    Steve Chapman

    Oh.

    Thank you for continuing to make me glad I voted for The Don.

    1. Not regretting my refusal to donate yet.

      1. Chapman, Rickman and Dalmia are all surely donation kryptonite. They must give great blowjobs though.

      2. I gave $1 this year so I could include a message about shitty non-libertarian writers ruining everything.

        This article makes me wish I gave a penny instead.

    2. Putin is still in power. Hussein kept a lid on a 400 year old schism. Id say youd be foolish not to take lessons from them. And just because u take lessons from them doesnt mean u will emulate them. The Reason staff should found a new Jezebel.

      1. good point in college I had communist professors but I did not become communist.

  17. John McCain is fond of saying, “It’s always darkest just before it goes totally black.”

    When you’ve got John McCain in your lede, how can you lose?

    1. Well, to be fair — *lots* of people are fond of saying that.

    2. Sounds like he was talking about a stroke…?

      1. ‘Stroke’……’goes totally black’. Is Chapman talking about big black cocks in porn again?

    3. That which doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Unless, of course, it hurts you really bad, in which case you’re crippled for life.

    4. Once you go black…

      1. You resolve the next morning to never drink another fifth of Jim Beam by yourself in one night?

        1. I like your reply better than mine.

          1. I like your hair better than mine.

    5. just don’t fly with McCain

    1. My favorite Cabinet pick is what’s his name, umm it’s that guy who wanted to eliminate the Dept. of @ENERGY. Hang on I’ll think of it…

      Gotta do the zingers during the primaries, Rand.

    2. So, that’s the first and last time I will read Breitbart.com comments. FFS, the stupid, it burns.

      1. Sorted by “Best,” there’s a lot of praise for Rand.

  18. Remember when we were having a libertarian moment?

    What happened since November 7th to change all that?

    I could jump on the commentariat’s case for the same thing in the opposite direction. A few weeks ago, Gillespie, Welc,h and Bailey were out of their minds for being overly optimistic. Suddenly everything’s coming up roses.

    I guess it’s all about expectations first–and the justifications come later. Personally, I think the future looks better than it used to when I thought Hillary would win. If you believe the worst about Trump’s bravado, I can see how you might be uneasy about the future–but why does the past year now suddenly seem so much worse to so many people than it did before Trump was elected?

    We’ve had some awful years in recent memory. 2008 was awful between the financial crisis, etc. In 2009, we got ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and Obama used taxpayer money to nationalize GM. We foolishly invaded Iraq in 2003. If rcent years were ranked from worst to best, 2016 wouldn’t even make the top three.

    1. “Remember when we were having a libertarian moment?

      What happened since November 7th to change all that?”

      Trumputin? I mean, we were going to have a huge libertarian moment with Hillary. More war, more drug war, a mile long list of new taxes on the middle class, Congress replaced with Title X admins, 2 anti-2nd amendment SCOTUS picks, Hillary running the Clinton Foundation out of the Whitehouse and the media remaining silent about it…

      1. Oh yeah, it’s all about Trump.

        I haven’t seen Gillespie, Welch, or Bailey do a “worst year ever” post yet, but if and when they do, it’ll be filled with comments about the libertarian moment.

        For the rest of the staff, the libertarian moment was all about the optimism associated with people being fed up with the two parties–right up until those disaffected non-partisans lined up behind Trump.

        Now, not only are we going to hell in hand basket, the past was a lot worse than we used to think it was, too.

        If Hillary were President, we’d be hearing about how single payer isn’t the worst thing in the world, etc.

        2016 will go down in history as the year things started turning around, the year people all over the world started holding their leaders responsible at the polls, the year elitism died. France and Germany are having elections next year–and it ain’t looking good for the elitists over there either.

        1. No worries though, Merkel is going to start a war on fake news, in case you haven’t heard. That’s going to work for sure.

          1. Those twelve dead in a Christmas market attack were an invention of Faux News, and it’s all the fault of Citizen’s United.

  19. “The golden age of democracy, when dictators were falling and freedom was on the march, likewise appears to have ended. In 2016, the world marked another year in an age of lead.”

    Umm, ok. Castro died, Dilma was impeached, Hillary lost, Brexit, leftists around the world dropping like flies. If only we could bring back the glorious age of socialism, paradise would be restored!

  20. I’m going to start at 100. For every Chapman article I’m going to subtract one. The result will be my annual donation

    1. Reason may end up owing YOU money.

      1. ….by next month

  21. OT: 40% of Japanese women OK with ‘Christmas Eve-only’ boyfriend

    Christmas Eve is supposed to be the biggest date night of the year in Japan. Some singles without plans may be feeling emboldened because of a recent survey in which 55 percent of the unattached Japanese women polled said that they’d be willing to accept a Christmas Eve date invitation from anyone with the confidence and courage to ask, but a separate poll from another organization shows some less flowery emotions may be at play.

    1. Poor boyufurendus.

    2. If we have fun together, and it feels romantic, that’d be great,” chimed in another respondent in her early 30s.

      What’s the term? Christmas cake girl?

    3. **anyone with the confidence and courage to ask**

      I think I see the problem.

    4. Can I poll the unattached Japanese women?

    5. they’d be willing to accept a Christmas Eve date invitation from anyone with the money to buy dinner

      ftfthem

  22. And George Michael is dead.

    Now, what are we going to do?

    P.S. The correct answer is “the jitterbug”.

    1. At least we still have Lou Reed.

      1. And Abe Vigoda.

    2. And Carrie Fisher is hanging by a thread………..

      I was on Deadline the other day to see if there were any reports updating her condition. Thee were actually progtards in the comment section making it all about Trump. That kind of shit is why I have no mercy towards their kind.

      1. We still have virtual Carrie Fisher, though.

        (Just saw Rouge 1)

    3. George Michael was like a father figure to me.

      1. You mean the guy from The George Michael Sports Machine?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCC3RQsGitg

  23. I know every internet personality I’ve seen lamenting the annus horribilis we just endured had Syria, Turkey, and Egypt in mind!

    1. No one told them how dire the situation was in Syria, Turkey, and Egypt until Nov 9th

  24. Oooh! Oooh! Lets pretend the fascist tendency in America STARTED with Trump!

    As opposed to his immediate predecessor, who ran over the Constitution as if he was getting dancing girls for every paragraph he raped. Or, for that matter, one could go back to Woodrow Wilson, that miserable, racist, authoritarian swine who the Progressives revere as if he routinely raised the dead instead of letting his Anglophile snobbery get us into a World War that was none of our F*cking Business!

    Don’t get me wrong, Trump probably isn’t going to be good, and if he is the odds are pretty good it will be largely by accident. But the Democrat Left have been incipient fascists for DECADES. Consistently.

    1. Trump is going to be shit, but yes. This started long, long ago, and Woodrow Wilson is where it started.

      1. More importantly, Trump – however bad he ends up being – is a side issue. The Political Establishment, Left and Right, is where the problem lies.

        Not that that isn’t usually the case with human societies….

    2. “But the Democrat Left have been incipient fascists for DECADES. Consistently.”

      Now the Democrat Left is Islamofascist. They are giving the old-fashioned Hitlerian fascists a bad name with their sexism and terrorism.

  25. I think it’s wonderful that Chapman dropped one of his usual turds as a present to the commentariat. Gives everyone a chance to weigh in like a fully stocked buffet and no one, except perhaps the most ornery contrarian, is arguing for Chapman. Merry Christmas everyone!

  26. Steven Chapman recaps a year of misery.

    And who else better than he who has caused so much.

    1. I sometimes disagree with him, but I wouldn’t say Chapman causes so much misery. He mostly just writes articles for a living.

      Obama spreads misery.

      1. I would say he causes a certain joy in the commentariat as they mock him and rip apart his arguments.

  27. I get the sense that Chapman got his lunch money stolen a lot when he was a kid.

    1. I get the sense that Chapman pooped his diapers well into his teenage years.

  28. “The golden age of socialism in the 21st century is over in South America.”

    That seems either sarcastic or very hopeful. A Brazilian buddy of mine said to me recently that while the situation in Venezuela is very sad, the positive from it is that it at least it is providing a real time example of the horrors of socialism for Brazil and other SA countries. It seems as if each generation has to relearn how horribly shitty that system actually is. I was recently reading somewhere how the youth in Chile have been pining for more socialism. Chile, without a doubt the most successful example in SA of a (relatively) free market that has brought much wealth and freedoms.

    1. “A Brazilian buddy of mine said to me recently that while the situation in Venezuela is very sad, the positive from it is that it at least it is providing a real time example of the horrors of socialism for Brazil and other SA countries.”

      Dunno, Suell.
      Sarte gave talks on the wonders of socialism in Hungary in the late 50s. Drew crowds of, oh, 5s., but there it was staring him in the face and, being a lefty, there was no breaking through that ‘force field’.

      1. He was an intellectual though. Reality sometimes doesn’t intrude with them. The plebes figured it out.

    2. It seems as if each generation has to relearn

      I’m gonna say every-other. It’s still fresh enough, in their mindset/behaviors/way-of-life, in the parents that the gist gets transmitted to their kids without the direct experience of tyranny, but that echo isn’t strong enough to make it to the grandkids on its own. Some people still revere their elders, but I feel like most consider them cranky old kooks bereft of value.

    1. Amusing. Nicely-done cardboard tank.

  29. Steven Chapman writes.
    Who listens to the liar?
    He mourns his tyrant.

    1. A frog,
      jumps into a pond
      balls deep

    2. Reason commenters
      like snowflakes, each unique-ah!
      but so similar.

  30. “Rare was the country showing progress. Even the United States succumbed to illiberal impulses?electing a president who takes leadership lessons from Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein”

    I don’t expect any libertarian to be pro-Trump. I’m not. I certainly didn’t vote for him.

    But the media is awash with TDS, and it is getting tedious.

    You don’t have to be the first mainstream journalist to hop aboard the Trump express, but just treating him objectively would be groundbreaking.

    Maybe look to Cathy Young for inspiration:

    “The “pussy tape” contains what can be read as a confession to sexual assault?though, in my view, it sounds more like sexual trash talk.”

    —-Cathy Young

    https://reason.com/archives/2016/10/11/ is-donald-trump-trying-to-prove-feminist

    That was from October 11, 2016, but it seems antediluvian, doesn’t it?

    If she could be objective then, maybe she could explain to other journalists how to be objective now. I guess the journos will never take it from us guttersnipes in the peanut gallery. We’re all stupid Trump rednecks to them, I suppose. But don’t you want to be part of what comes next?

    As a culture critic who writes about politics, don’t you not want to date yourself? Don’t get trapped in an Obama era mentality that’s been rejected by voters and average people all over the world. In the early eighties, there were guys that still used to walk around in polyester suits with zip-up ankle boots. Don’t be Leisure Suit Larry.

    1. Good advice. I keep urging Reason to get in front of the Trump train and lead it in a libertarian direction when and where they can: healthcare, taxes, regulation, government downsizing, Title IX, etc. But rather than positive suggestions, we mostly get whining and chest-puffing promises to Oppose Trump. Yeah, OK, but the left and the MSM will have the Oppose Trump angle covered, including opposing anything good he might try to do, so put your effort in the place it will do the most good.

      1. That Trump is a neanderthal who eats neanderthal food, rides in a neanderthal car, and appeals to neanderthal supporters with his neanderthal thoughts is so thoroughly ingrained in their minds, they can hardly see where he is on deregulation, corporate tax reform (double taxation is double theft), the oppressive weight of the PC wars, etc.

        That we’re going to have reasonable reform of ObamaCare rather than single payer should be reason enough to celebrate Hillary’s loss–if not Trump’s victory–but you can’t even seem to get a grin out of them other than that.

        I’m thinking this is an excellent argument for the pagan heritage of our holidays. Be thankful for what little you’ve got for Thanksgiving, celebrate making it to the worst part of the winter during the solstice, and purge yourself by way of a drunken wake for the new year. But, by the gods, be done with it come January 2nd.

        The future isn’t going to wait for us to come to terms with it, and Hillary losing doesn’t even rank spilt milk. She was warmongering crook who wanted to take us to single payer. If they can’t bring themselves to sing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” with the rest of us, then at least they should stop moping around like somebody stole their bicycle.

        1. Every now and then, I see a “Well, maybe Trump is not entirely bad” clause in an article, but that’s about it.

      2. Good points.

        Among the worst potential results of a “bad” Trump presidency would be the mass conclusion, sure to be fostered in every MSM outlet, that “Since Trump is bad, OUR solutions would have been more effective and more moral to boot!”

        Libertarians should seek to oppose any Trump criticism that even remotely implies that hoary old lobbyist-driven Beltway nostrums (“More money for my friends in the [whatevah] industry! Good Americans, all.”) or divisive, insane, reality-denying “progressive values” are the clear and maybe only alternative to “failed Trumpian xenophobia, homophobia, etc, etc”. Ugh.

  31. Elected president of the Philippines in June, Rodrigo Duterte mounted an anti-drug campaign in which more than 6,000 people have been killed by police and vigilantes?an average of 36 every day he’s been in office. He bragged that as mayor of Davao City, he personally executed three criminal suspects on the street.

    Philippine lawmaker accuses President Rodrigo Duterte of Fentanyl abuse: ‘It has already driven him to madness’

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new…..-1.2918009

    Duterte plans on executing himself for being an addict – for his own good, and the children too!

    1. Don’t believe everything Philippine lawmakers say about each other.

      Also, don’t take marriage counseling advice from a drunken old bar fly or financial advice from used car salesmen.

      1. What about taking advice from a Hit & Run commenter?

        1. Better than believing what politicians say about each other in the Philippines.

    2. Fentanyl abuse

      I totally didn’t see that coming.

      1. I know!

        The plot lines practically write themselves.

        . . . which is why we might be skeptical.

        What Duerte is doing in his pogrom against drug users is wrong regardless of whether he takes Fentanyl.

    3. Didn’t he respond that she partakes overmuch of a “female Viagra” (for the waning libidos of middle-aged women, IIRC), and that explained why she was so often seen in the company of gardeners, masseurs, cooks, and, for all I know, footmen, lamplighters and bowkers? I believe he did.

      Compared to a lot of these Yahoos (or, as Swift might write today “Sub-YouTubers”), Trump earns a solid “Could be worse” grade. You’d think that would encourage people to gain a little bit of perspective about him, but perspective doesn’t seem to be a strong personality trait or intellectual strength of the anti-Trumpers. (I’d say that’s deplorable but memespeed dictates against.)

    1. If I could figure out how to side with the fucking rebels, I’d do it, sigh…

    2. Chapman would probably side with Scarlet Chorus, because they have red as their primary color. Red == commies, so there you go.

  32. I’m mathematically-inclined and have an interest in statistics, but am too lazy to look it up. Can someone find out if Trump won more of the popular vote percentage in his victory over HRC than Kerry did in his convincing loss to Bush back in 2004? We wouldn’t want effete liberals on the Coast to have their vote count just as much as a John Deere tractor operator in Illinois.

    1. american socialist|12.26.16 @ 11:14AM|#
      “I’m mathematically-inclined”

      You’re a liar and an imbecile.
      Fuck off.

      1. Statistics don’t lie. Hag (your sexist term, not mine) won the popular vote by 2.0% and Bush won by 2.4%. The result: a landslide win [in the electoral college] and a convincing mandate for the Iraq War, respectively.

        Don’t you think it’s time to live in a country that counts the votes of smart and educated urban dwellers such as you and I with the same weight it counts some goober in Alabama. I’m for a basic educational level for people seeking to vote in the Republic of California. If you think that millions of Mexicans are streaming over the border to cast a vote for President Kamala Harris (don’t I wish!) you get a free bus ride and an emigration allowance of $100. Let Nevada deal with your stupid ass.

        1. smart and educated … such as I

          You are not smart. You may be educated, but that only proves how worthless most “education” is.

        2. american socialist|12.26.16 @ 11:50AM|#
          “Statistics don’t lie….”

          You’re a liar and an imbecile.
          Fuck off.

          1. Apparently amsoc thinks “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics” means something different than everyone else does.

            1. comma separated lists are routinely used to enumerate contradictory concepts, right?

        3. Hey AmSoc, you pay your mortgage yet?

        4. Well, I personally think the votes of highly educated, well-read, morally evolved citizens should count for considerably MORE than those of uneducated rednecks, goobers and couch potatoes in flyover country.

          We should probably implement testing of some sort. I know the last time that was done, a lot of highly educated, well-read, morally evolved citizens had to go in and stop Alabama, Mississippi and other deplorable states from doing it. But I’m pretty sure since *our* testing, being for the noble purpose of giving the right people greater political power, is for the good, I don’t see why there’d be a problem.

          /complete lack of self-awareness #trolledmeeasy

    2. We wouldn’t want effete liberals on the Coast to have their vote count just as much as a John Deere tractor operator in Illinois.

      The votes DO count the same. Your snide remark is unfounded. The president is not the president of the people. The president is the president of the several States. This is why we have an electoral system for electing the president, instead of a popular vote (also to avoid direct democracy). In the US there are 51 separate presidential elections so that the States elect the president of the States. You people need to come to terms with the fact that Hilldawg lost by the rules of the game she was playing. The popular vote is irrelevant. Additionally, the last time I checked, more people that cast ballots voted for someone other than Shrillery. At best, she got a “plurality” of votes. And she got this by winning by huge margins in places like CA. With this in mind, it seems to me that you want coastal elites to be able to dictate to Farmer John in middle-America. The EC prevents this, and rightfully so.

      1. Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment!

      2. Not to mention Congress, the branch that originates and ultimately controls most law and policy for the U.S. government, is popularly elected. To whine about the fact that the EC and not the popular vote decides the President as though he were the entirety of government is just laughable.

        1. The left wants to elect a strongman and then do away with elections. I can’t remember the exact number, but more than 50% said in a poll that they wanted Obama to serve a 3rd term. I think Obama just started whining about exactly that recently, saying he would have won. And he still thinks that most Americans want communism.

          We’re all commies now!

          1. “can’t remember the exact number, but more than 50% said in a poll that they wanted Obama to serve a 3rd term.”

            Please! God.

            1. Please! God.

              I know, right? There are at least 150 countries left untouched by the glory of his foreign policy. We should foment rebellion in at least a dozen of them.

            2. What poll? A poll of Obama supporters? A poll of DNC workers? A poll of persistently vegetative hospital patients? A pollo CPUSA members? A poll of NAMBLA members? A poll of your alternate personalities? A poll of progtarded dipshits?

    3. I’m mathematically-inclined

      Not in the slightest. But I’d love to see you present a new “mathematical” argument so I can once again show it to be complete horseshit.

      1. Can you– as a mathematically superior– tell me how many people are represented by a single elector in the Electoral College in California and Wyoming, respectively.

        1. american socialist|12.26.16 @ 12:23PM|#
          “Can you– as a mathematically superior– ”

          You imbecile; that’s not a question regarding math; that’s civics.
          But as a liar and an am imbecile, you’re too fucking dumb to know that.

        2. Don’t put words in my mouth. Your arguments are shit. I point this out. I’m not calling myself superior.

          The EC elects the President. The President is not the government. Representation in the EC is not strictly popular and it is not meant to be. California has 55 electoral votes and Wyoming has 3. That is what the formula establishes and it still leaves much more populous CA with much more say than WY.

          You have a Representative in the House who is elected by popular vote and represents about 600,000 people just like residents of WY have a Representative in the House who is elected by popular vote and represents about 600,000 people. There is your popular representation.

          Appealing to some arbitrary metric does not give your argument mathematical weight. Missing the point but with numbers! is still missing the point.

          1. I get that one elector in California and Wyoming represents 690,000 and 195,000, respectively. Talk about tyranny! I’m pretty sick of being told what to do by shit kickers.

            1. You are whining child and I get that but you could at least make an attempt to act “smart and educated” for once.

                1. Numbers are not math.

                2. american socialist|12.26.16 @ 12:39PM|#
                  “I’m just posting math.”

                  Posting numbers from a civics lesson and calling them “math” simply shows how stupid you are.
                  Please keep it up; 2016 has been pretty good and finishing it by laughing at some commie nitwit is pleasant to comtemplate.

            2. Then secede, you little tinpot dictator.

              1. Then secede, you little tinpot dictator.

                He’s already advocated as much. Apparently secession is no longer associated with the Confederacy and slavery if you have the right intentions. But, unfortunately for him, the “smart and educated” voters of California don’t agree that leaving the U.S. is all sunshine and rainbows for them.

            3. That’s no way to talk about Californians.

              Also, just move to the place you think gets more representation.

          2. Can you tell me what the percentage of voters that voted for a Republican in Congress vs. what the percentage of Republicans holding a seat in Congress is. This system is worse than the Democratic Party’s super-delegate system. Vhat a country!

            1. Yes, your representative represents the district not the country. Civics 101. Maybe you can tell me what the ratio was when the Democrats held Congress, or what it is for Democrats in your own state’s legislature?

  33. You know who else went totally black?

      1. They stole that from Spinal Tap though.

    1. Me, that time I passed out and my buddies went crazy with the Sharpies?

      1. That’s, like, double-blackout. Triple if they were listening to Redman And Method Man while they drew on you.

    2. Me and my coffee every day?

      1. ^The only way to drinks the coffee.

    3. Post-election news coverage of the sexual-assault allegations against Trump?

  34. OT, but I’ve got this wonderful idea that meds cost too much, so we should put price caps on them to keep the greed pharm companies from wasting money:

    “Ebola vaccine gives 100% protection, study finds”

    1. Damn; keyed “submit”
      http://fox61.com/2016/12/26/eb…..udy-finds/

      And I’m sure it was developed by a company in one of the socialist paradises, right?
      http://www.merck.com/index.html

      1. NPR told me the Government of Canada developed it and Merck will scale production.

        1. “NPR told me the Government of Canada developed it and Merck will scale production.”

          Yeah, I’m sure it was funded by the excess profits pharm companies make selling to the poor Canukistans who have to be subsidized by sales to those rich countries in Africa.
          And equally sure Merck reps were just standing around the labs hoping to find something to exploit; Merck probably only bought the researchers coffee from time to time…
          NPR: Pravda of the West!

      2. OOT: Found under ‘News’ on that page:

        ‘Orange Is the New Black’ actress: Immigrants ‘are here to stay’

        Well, there goes her shot at SoS.

        1. I’m sure the Reason editorial staff will feel pretty smug after that endorsement of their position.

  35. O read the headline as The Years in Trannies. Sugarfree hit hardest.

    1. They had surgery to add a “y” to their agenda.

  36. I played a few hours of Tyranny last night, and apparently the hardest thing to do in the game is figure out how to side with the Oathbreakers, AKA the rebels. At the point I had already decided to side with them and it was all agreed, I then went to meet them at some tower or something and they attacked me. Back to earlier save to see if I can figure this out.

    1. A group called the Oathbreakers double-crossed you?

      Who could have anticipated that?

      1. Were you at least able to arrange a functional alliance with the Backstabbers?

        1. I guess I did and they backstabbed me.

          Anyway, it’s not the rebels who gave themselves the moniker of Oathbreakers, but the Disfavored and the Scarlet Chorus.

          I think where I failed is when I went back to the Disfavored camp and tried to get the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus into a fight so that they would start fighting each other. Apparently, the rebels mistook that for me siding with the Disfavored.

    2. There’s these fancy things for video games now called “Wikis”.

      1. Cheating for the New Millennium.

  37. “electing a president who takes leadership lessons from Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein,”
    You know He referring to their strength as leaders and not as the tyrants they are compared to the meek leader we do have that is a tyrant in disguise . Remember be wary of the wolf in sheeps clothing and that dicribes Obama who just signed the “Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act” Into Law

  38. Ohio becoming safer.

    http://nbc4i.com/2016/12/26/oh…..y-permits/

    1. Next thing, you’ll be wanting 10 year olds to carry rocket launchers to school!

      1. #nomorebullies

        1. An armed society is a polite society. Or it might just end up like and old school game of Quake. We won’t know until we’ve tried it.

  39. Tonio’s Prog Xmas Story

    A suburban household.

    Teacher: DeVos is the worst. We need more state control of the schools. [Other Progs agree.]
    Tonio: Yes, absolutely. Education is very much the purview of the municipalities and the states. We should do away with the federal department of education; that way something like this will never happen again…
    [long pause]
    Teacher: [Disjointed restatement of the If Only the Right People Were in Charge fallacy.]

    Winning.

    1. I always like pointing out the U.S was putting men on the moon 10 years before the Department of Education existed. Think of how much smarter those rocket scientists would have been if only there were more education majors in charge of their education.

      1. And after the DOE, we can’t even get out of low orbit for the last 50 years.

    2. If Only the Right People Were in Charge

      Having lived in a state long under the control of “the Right People”, I find this argument less than convincing. But I’m sure Baltimore schools will cease to be shitty after we throw another few million dollars at them!

      1. If only we could get a black female mayor, things would be better.

        1. No, no, no. It’s all Hogan’s fault. Everything was perfect in this state until he was elected, and it will return to being perfect once he’s no longer governor.

          1. I mean, he’s a R, so his election wasn’t really legitimate anyway, right?

        2. On a related note, school funding debates in Maryland are always fun. We already have the best funded schools in the country and yet everybody acts like if we don’t raise taxes every year, our children will be sitting in one-room schoolhouses being taught by bus drivers.

          1. So happy to have no children at home.

          2. I too have heard “progressives” having conniption fits over the alleged “gutting” of public schools. I always like to point out that some of the worst performing school districts are also the most well-funded.

    1. The UN should be paying us to take part in its charade.

  40. Not that OT: Obama says he could have won a third term. Before Trump won, he was saying a Hillary loss would be a repudiation of what he accomplished

    1. He is possibly correct. Thank heavens for whatever amendment that was.

      1. The only good thing to come of FDR’s presidency.

  41. “As an old-timer who’s been studying China since the Mao era, I have to say it’s the worst I’ve seen since then”

    I’m sure Tank Man will be relieved to discover just how good he had it.

    It’s one thing to have your head screwed so far up your ass you could perform your own tonsillectomy with your teeth, but trivializing the suffering of people who lived and died under true human rights atrocities because your candidate lost is an insult to history and shits on the graves of the victims. Fuck you, Chapman. And most especially, fuck you Reason for syndicating this disgusting shit.

  42. I thought I might be able to read more than four paragraphs into a Chappie article before my eyes rolled too far backward to see the screen. I thought wrong: Chaps is probably the least ideologically Reasonable person at Reason.com.

    Hair on fire, duplicity…would it have been been more “liberal” to elect Clinton, a statist nightmare who would have succeeded over the next four years only with falling over things and appointing activist SC judges to further increase the power of the Federal government, and particularly the executive, over everything?

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  44. I hate that Trump was elected, but I’ll take it over Herself.

    The way I see it, Trump was always 99% involved in promoting himself and running his businesses. The 1% where he did dabble in politics, he got most of his info from leftist news and friends. He’s only been “Republican” for a short time.

    He’s got some pretty impressive friends of liberty on his staff now (Bannon, Kelly-Anne, etc.), so I imagine that he’s malleable enough to learn of the benefits of liberty and begin leaning more towards liberty himself.

    He’s expressed some pretty good policies when it comes to taxes and regulations. Let’s hope he stays the course and doesn’t fire the good folks and replace them with leftists (always a possibility with an unknown like Trump).

  45. Around the World, Tyrants Ascendant

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    Best year for freedom in the Western World since the Berlin Wall fell

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  47. Look, George Waffen Bush followed Bert Hoover’s strategy of using asset forfeiture to enforce prohibition laws when light beer was a felony. The result in both cases was identical: major economic collapse. To pay for TARP, the obvious tactic was to export those same prohibition and asset forfeiture laws elsewhere, using the UN as the disease vector, and then recover by short-selling those foreign currencies and securities. Transferring a depression to other victims by exporting its causes–then cashing in on the predictable result through short sales–may not be good for the global economy. But got a GO-Pee president elected in just 8 years instead of the 20 years of Democratic rule won by the Wet Plank of 1932.

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  50. Republic, Republic, REPUBLIC!
    Much more than just a Democracy.. We The People in our U.S. Constitution; the most basic fact of civics, that these united States of America are a republic, a form of government guaranteed by We The People to each of the States in Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution.
    I’m talking about most of our presidents, members of Congress, university professors, journalists and others who should know better. Like most adults trained in government schools, they believe that Abe Lincoln was our greatest president, a preposterous ‘fact’ of propaganda on which Washington D.C. has relied for 150 years. In this previous blog article, we offered six books and one website that put that destructive lie to rest once and for all.

    http://freedomoutpost.com/repu…..-republic/

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  52. I’m very disappointed to find Mr. Chapman glibly chanting the D.C. mantra about “the Kremlin” interfering in our election. And I’m even more disappointed that this piece found its way to Reason – who I thought was better than this.

    Mr. Chapman is also playing the same tired old tunes from the neocon-statist hymnal about President Assad in Syria, following instructions from the Zionist occupying army controlling “our” representatives in Washington. It’s bad enough having to listen to such crap from mainstream media; but here on Reason? Please.

    And not a single mention about two of the worst on the planet: the head-choppers in Saudi Arabia and the apartheid regime in Israel?

    I guess we now know who signs Mr. Chapman’s paychecks, don’t we?

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