Donald Trump

2 Books To Help You Thrive in Trump's America!

Penn Jillette's diet memoir and a Harvard historian's take on Prohibition are essential guides to the next four years.

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Donald Trump, Twitter

I didn't vote for Donald Trump (I proudly voted for Gary Johnson, thank you very much) and I do worry about some (most?) of his policy ideas. Yet unlike many progressives, liberals, Democrats, libertarians, conservatives, and #NeverTrump, I'm not trembling in fear or quaking in anger over the transfer of power that happens on January 20. Part of the reason for my lack of pants-wetting is because of two books I've read in the past year. Neither is specifically about Trump—or even contemporary politics—but each holds some great lessons about how to deal broadly with the billionaire developer and the bigger question of out-of-control government power.

Penn Jillette's Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales is a lean, mean diet memoir by the well-known magician that is leavened with tales of his two tours on the Trump-hosted Celebrity Apprentice. You'll not only learn how to go cold turkey from what Jillette calls the "Standard American Diet" (or SAD!) but get a strong sense of what makes the Donald tick. The other is a sobering book about the long-range hangover from the "noble experiment" in banning booze during the 1920s. Harvard historian Lisa McGirr's The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State is a tour de force of deep, serious research and analysis that's also a real page-turner. Most important to the current moment, she documents how federal powers don't ever really disappear. Instead, like parasites they find a new host to do their bidding after their original purpose is served.

Presto! begins a couple of years ago, with Jillette weighing in somewhere north of 330 pounds (folks that fat, he notes, stop weighing themselves). After years of high-blood pressure, self-delusion about what a "fat fuck" he had been for years, and a serious cardiac event, he's given an ultimatum by his doctor to lose lots of weight in six months or submit to stomach stapling. Jillette follows the diet advice of his friend Ray Cronise, a former NASA engineer turned nutrition guru. He eats nothing but plain potatoes for a couple of weeks and then slowly adds back other vegetables, fruits, and whole plants, all while losing almost a pound a day. Once he hits his target weight of around 230 pounds, he settles into a version of the "nutritarian" approach elaborated by Joel Fuhrman, the medical doctor behind Eat To Live and an ever-expanding web empire. It's a rollicking and profane story of self-control and literal and figurative reinvention. "The kind of guy I am," writes Jillette, "if I couldn't eat nothing, I was going to eat everything….There is nothing fun and sexy about moderation. To be thin, I needed to find a way to make my diet as extreme as my other lifestyle choices."

But what about Trump? As a very public libertarian who supported Gary Johnson throughout the presidential race, Jillette had little love for the Democratic nominee. "Eating pizza is voting for Hillary Clinton," he writes, meaning that casting a ballot for her would be the equivalent of one of his old comfort-food binges during which he would slather a hunk of cheese with peanut butter while driving to The Cheesecake Factory and eating two entrees and a dessert or three before heading to the movies and downing a bucket of buttered popcorn in which he's tossed a boxful of Milk Duds. And yet, he has warmer feelings for her than his TV boss on Celebrity Apprentice (indeed, in a complicated vote-swapping gambit, he actually voted for her in tightly-contested Nevada in exchange for a dozen other people voting for Johnson). "I really thought there could be no one worse than Hillary Clinton, and there is no one worse than Hillary Clinton except Donald Trump." Jillette likens Trump's hair to "cotton candy made from piss" and that's the closest he comes to a compliment.

Simon & Schuster

Trump, Jillette says in a characteristic passage, has "filled our country with embarrassment, hate, and fear…fuck Trump in the neck." Presto! doesn't suggest that we can simply shed Trump the same way Jillette lost weight, but there's a clear lesson that we can at the very least take control of our own bodies and lives in profound ways that minimize the ability of Trump (or any other politician) to screw us over. And we can remain outspoken in our defiance of illegitimate power, wherever we find it. "Everything you love in life, everything you're proud of, you had to work for," he writes. "Live outside the law."

That's often easier said than done. Indeed, Lisa McGirr's profoundly disturbing The War on Alcohol underscores the high price paid by many of the people who did live outside the law during Prohibition. In New York (state and city) under the governance of Al Smith and Franklin Roosevelt, the ban on liquor wasn't particularly harshly enforced, but other parts of the country were a different story. Part of the power of McGirr's account is that revises our understanding of Prohibition as a set of rules that were widely scoffed at. In many—perhaps most—parts of the country, there were no loopholes to enforcement, especially if you were poor, female, immigrant, or black. Indeed, Prohibition is best understood as a means by which Progressives and Ku Klux Klanners alike could control undesirable behaviors and populations. "I believe in Prohibition" declared Eleanor Roosevelt in 1930 while Progressive leaders railed that "Alien illiterates rule our cities today; the saloon is their palace; the toddy stick their scepter." A Dallas-based Ku Klux Klan paper spoke in similar terms of the "fight…against the Homebrew and the Hebrew."

Prohibition, writes McGirr, gave rise the first truly national forms of law enforcement and, as important, to a then-unprecented state and federal prison boom. What became the FBI was empowered by Prohibition and so were other federal agencies that were created to enforce national liquor laws. When "the war on alcohol was over…the expansion of state authority that the war had engdendered…did not disappear; it merely lurched forward in new directions." The war on booze explicitly morphed into a war on drugs, with different "illicit" substances being identified with different sub-populations (marijuana was a Mexican threat, cocaine a Negro menace, opium a uniquely Chinese vice). Richard Nixon reinvigorated the war on drugs as part of his "law and order" campaign promises, but every president since Nixon, whether liberal or conservative, has increased the amount of money, resources, and prison beds for drug offenders. McGirr says that Prohibition was figuratively a "dry run" for the drug war by giving rise to a "carceral state" which has resulted in the United States holding the dubious honor of being the world's greatest jailer-nation.

W.W. Norton & Co.

Which brings us yet again to Donald Trump, who explicitly called back to Nixon by announcing he was a "law and order" candidate. It's not simply, or even mostly, drug laws that empower the president of the United States in the 21st century to do whatever he pleases. First under George W. Bush and then under Barack Obama, we've witnessed an incredible expansion of executive-branch power in which secret interpretations of law gave rise first to torture and later to a "secret kill list," among other awful things. Presidents no longer even pretend to consult Congress when engaging in war-making, for instance, and the use of so-called signing statements, executive actions and orders, and the use of recess appointments vastly multiplied first under a Republican and then a Democratic president.

And now whatever power has accrued to the Oval Office will be at the service of Donald Trump, a man who has shown little interest in or patience for limits on his behavior. Beyond telling the stories of people who had been ignored in previous histories of Prohibition, The War on Alcohol lays out why it's never a good idea to cede power to the government simply because you agree with the people wielding it at the moment. Sooner or later, McGirr's book reminds us, your enemy is going to be king of the hill.

That's the whole point of a principled libertarianism, which argues for a limited government, regardless of who is wielding power. It's not enough to change your positions on, say, executive power, simply because your tribe is calling the shots. Trump will enter office having garnered just 46 percent of the popular vote and even though he will work with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, the Party of Lincoln is fractured enough that they will hopefully not work in lockstep. Despite winning the popular vote in the presidential race by almost 3 million votes, the Democratic Party, like its conservative counterpart, is not really a national party in any real sense of the word. Rather, each is governs different regions of the country when it comes to national politics.

If Donald Trump's victory bothers you—and there are many good reasons to be worried—this is the time to start whittling down what the president, Congress, and the federal government can do to you, me, or any us.

Watch Penn Jillette talk with Reason about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bob Dylan's genius, and losing 100 pounds:

Full transcript here.

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157 responses to “2 Books To Help You Thrive in Trump's America!

  1. Too soon for an Off Topic?

    The carnage of 2016 ain’t over yet.

    “Pour one out: The inventor of the red Solo cup has died”

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/29/…..index.html

    1. I dropped a RIP last night. Err… I poured one out for him.

    2. It’s a Trump (anti-)panic post. It’s NEVER too soon for off topic.

      1. We truly are exceptional.

    3. He must have seen “Rogue One” too.

    1. YOU CAN EVEN

  2. Jillette follows the diet advice of his friend Ray Cronise, a former NASA engineer turned nutrition guru. He eats nothing but plain potatoes for a couple of weeks and then slowly adds back other vegetables, fruits, and whole plants, all while losing almost a pound a day. Once he hits his target weight of around 230 pounds, he settles into a version of the “nutritarian” approach elaborated by Joel Fuhrman, the medical doctor behind Eat To Live and an ever-expanding web empire.

    What also works: eating a fuckton of protein and vegetables, and also exercising a little…and then exercising a little more…and then a little more…

    1. But, I am not a medical doctor, and I do not have a web empire related to food*.

      *I do have a web empire related to a certain sect of genre-specific videos, but watching them will not help you lose weight.

  3. Uhhhhh, Jilette voted for Hildog by his own admission, so please stop telling us that he’s “all in on Gary Johnson”. Because it obviously wasn’t true.

    That was so disappointing too, because I really like the guy and had a shitload of respect for him. Then that happened.

    1. See if you can get someone to read the article to you, because that is mentioned in it.

      1. He doesn’t care. Simply disagreeing with someone’s decision and reasoning for it is unlibertarian. People who make arguably poor choices are heretics who must be excommunicated and flayed alive.

      2. It’s mentioned very briefly in the middle of a piece that’s clearly intended to still try and present Jillette as if he’s a libertarian, and to help him sell more copies of his book. Heck, right beneath the piece they’re even showing the old, outdated, and misleading video from four months ago where he claims to be 100% behind Gary Johnson.

        Well, the political talk in the video (which takes up a big chunk of it) turned out to be not true in the end, and I kind of suspect that it never really was in the first place.

        1. Mikey is the abeiter of who and who isn’t a libertarian. Really, anyone shilling for Trump should be.

        2. Gary Johnson is even less libertarian than Penn.

    2. …so please stop telling us that he’s “all in on Gary Johnson”.

      Hey, he was about as all in as Bill Weld.

    3. But nothing says Libertarian like voting Clinton. NOTHING!

      Besides, he has mentioned o his show how he would give oral to any president. Maybe he liked hers better than Gary’s?

  4. I just came here to find out if Nick Gillespie voted for Donald Trump.

    Thank god he mentioned it in the very first sentence so I don’t have to read any further.

    1. Lol. The rest was drivel. Who cares about Gillette?

        1. I didn’t realize you were a BBM fetishist.

          Not judging.

    2. I didn’t vote for Donald Trump (I proudly voted for Gary Johnson, thank you very much) and I do worry about some (most?) of hisTrump’s policy ideas.

      Yup, shedding the opening clause takes nothing away from the rest of the sentence, or article. Pure virtue signalling.

      Nick: Trust me, nobody thinks you voted for Trump. No need to open an article reassuring us you aren’t a deplorable.

  5. The War on Alcohol lays out why it’s never a good idea to cede power to the government simply because you agree with the people wielding it at the moment. Sooner or later, McGirr’s book reminds us, your enemy is going to be king of the hill.

    Like politicians aren’t trustworthy!

    1. If said pizza is deep dish, with Velveeta stuffed crust, and with dog shit and garbage as the toppings, then I agree — it is exactly like that.

    2. No way, Penn. Eating pizza is an awesome experience of delicious food at probably a party or something. Voting for Hillary Clinton is hella just sad and messed up.

      1. I’ve never eaten a pizza and gotten a feeling of despair and self-loathing before; of course, I also don’t go out on “pizza” runs with John Podesta.

  6. My three favorite things about that Trump photo:

    He still reads newspapers, the taco bowl comes with a cloth napkin, and he has a golf trophy he most certainly didn’t win.

    1. He’s kind of an old man. Those are old man things.

    2. I heard he is a hell of a good golfer. I cant remember who told the story but they said on the golf course Trump will announce ahead of time what shots he will make and how and then does it just like he said.

      1. “I’m the best golfer ever. I know more about golf than even Tiger Woods does, believe me.”

  7. Re Penn’s shirt and weight-loss lifestyle: who is he, Tor Eckman?

  8. If Donald Trump’s victory bothers you?and there are many good reasons to be worried?this is the time to start whittling down what the president, Congress, and the federal government can do to you, me, or any us.

    While your conclusion is always sound advice, I have to say I’m finding the prospect of a Trump presidency less and less worrisome. For one thing, he’ll actually be subject to media scrutiny (if they don’t completely blow their credibility before he actually does something wrong.) For another, a number of his picks (yes, Sessions is an execrable exception) do seem to look like they don’t see bigger and more powerful government as a solution to every problem and non-problem.

    I have no doubt that there will be no shortage of things from the Trump administration for libertarians to lose their shit over. But, I’m not particularly ready to start doing so just because he’s “icky”.

    1. For one thing, he’ll actually be subject to media scrutiny

      They’ve cried wolf so many times that nobody takes them seriously anymore. He’ll be subject to scrutiny by people that nobody takes seriously. It’s actually kind of a problem.

      1. That’s why I said “if they don’t completely blow their credibility before he actually does something wrong”.

        1. I think there’s a problem of tenses here.

    2. “he’ll actually be subject to media scrutiny (if they don’t completely blow their credibility before he actually does something wrong.)”

      That parenthetical part is going to be a problem.

      Suppose – and I’m not saying he’ll do this – that he gives a sweetheart deal to some cronies in the name of protectionism.

      PERSON 1: “Hey, it says here in the NY Times that Trump gave a sweetheart deal to some cronies in the name of protectionism!”

      PERSON 2: “You don’t believe that lying rag, do you? They were the ones who said Trump raped the entire Dallas cheerleader squad.”

      PERSON 1: “Oh, yeah, good point, I bet this article is just another lie and he’s Protecting American Jobs.”

      1. Which is why it would be nice to see Reason not join the idiot chorus and see them cover the administration from a straight libertarian perspective. I mean Dalmia, and especially Suderman, have already pretty much blown their credibility on the subject of Donald Trump. I find it almost impossible to take anything they say on the topic seriously.

        1. The trouble is, they already did. I now feel psychologically invested in the Trump admin., even though I know I shouldn’t be. I think it’s going to turn out to be the best presidency possibly of my lifetime but at least in 3 decades, but I don’t trust my own judgment any more. I’ve lost credibility w myself.

          1. It’s like I’ve been leaning too hard vs. the pressure, and anticipate I’ll be judo-thrown as a result.

      2. Business success may or may not translate to government. There are two opposing types of successful business leaders, authoritarians and motivators. Bullies and cheerleaders. Which would YOU work for? Authoritarians succeed ? but only when everyone’s job depends on obeying them.

        It is NOT Politically Correct to treat others with grace and respect. That’s how you build an enthusiastic and supportive team that all work together. What would cause YOU to be an enthusiastic team player? World leaders do not need to obey Trump. Congress (“those morons”) do not need to either. NOBODY does. But that’s all he knows, gutless wusses who work for authoritarians. Would YOU work for him?

        Think of the very worst asshole you ever worked under or for. How would he or she do in the White House? Working with our (sovereign) allies? In seeking clients, I got to where I could spot an authoritarian in less than five minutes. I walked out. Without a word. My coaching specialized in performance-based pay plans for everyone, which bullies would never adopt. And I’ve defied them since high school.

        Political Correctness is the use of verbal aggression, based on INTOLERANCE of opposing views, in the name of diversity Right? OVER-sensitivity So what is the REAL opposite of PC? Might it be ?. TOLERANCE of all opposing views? Not just race and gender? Is there any difference between defying Political Correctness ? and an Authortarian Bellowing Blowhard?

    3. “If Donald Trump’s victory bothers you?and there are many good reasons to be worried?this is the time to start whittling down what the president, Congress, and the federal government can do to you, me, or any us.”

      I believe Trump said he was going to do just that, and he has started making good on it before he is even in office. That is all I have to say. Anything more would just be a waste of breath. Or pixels.

      1. I believe Trump said he was going to do just that, I’m sure you believe that. But he’s going to increase spending on military and healthcare, refuse to cut a penny from entitlement .. and reduce deficits!!

    4. “he’ll actually be subject to media scrutiny (if they don’t completely blow their credibility before he actually does something wrong.)”

      Does Donald Trump know where his bombs are falling?

      1. Does Donald Trump know where his bombs are falling?

        On his own head? Nope.

    5. The media’s credibility was already pretty shot outside of ideologue circles to begin with. A lot of people were perfectly aware at how major news sources were trying to drag Clinton across the finish line. There’s a reason why the ‘fake news’ narrative popped up, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that much of the mainstream media is seen as completely untrustworthy, and that terrifies them.

      There’s an argument to be made that the media, regardless of who ended up elected, was doomed to cast itself into irrelevancy. If Trump was elected, they’ll freak-out about the wrong issues, and then delegitimize themselves by crying wolf. If Clinton was elected, they would have been lapdogs for her Presidency regardless of what she did, making them out to be the American Pravda. But yes, ultimately a media critical of the Presidency is superior to a media that is infatuated with those in power.

      1. So …. we get Fox, infatuated with those in power, as the sniveling lapdog instead. And replace liberal PC with conservative PC.
        Oh.

  9. I would have been disappointed if Nick “Libertarian Moment” Gillespie gave up the dream just because Trump was elected.

    Barack Obama was an authoritarian jackass of a socialist, and libertarians everywhere should celebrate his departure.

    Hillary Clinton was a warmonger and a crook, and libertarians everywhere should celebrate her loss.

    Donald Trump ain’t no libertarian, but this New Year’s, I’ll raise a glass and celebrate all the libertarian moments to come in spite of him. And, surely, our most libertarian moments are still ahead of us–even if Donald Trump is president.

    1. Donald Trump ain’t no libertarian, but this New Year’s, I’ll raise a glass and celebrate all the libertarian moments to come in spite of him.

      Drinking the Kool-Aid.

      And, surely, our most libertarian moments are still ahead of us–even if Donald Trump is president

      We just fucked away a Presidency we could have won — with a POLICY platform — and may need another 50 years or so for such an opportunity.

      The GOP has already promised to fuck up healthcare even more — starting with Cato’s wacky Medicare vouchers which LOOK LIKE privatization to goobers … but increases competition in the wrong market … does NOTHING to give seniors ANY incentive to force prices down …. and … OMG …. speaking of STUPID, insurance companies will add a costly and useless middleman between the gummint and providers. (lol)

      PLUS they’ve said they will repeal the mandate but KEEP GUARANTEED ISSUE … which guarantees even higher premiums … except the insurance industry will jam it up their asses by refusing so MASSIVE an increase in risk. Keep 26 year olds on group coverage. Continue having younger and poorer Americans subsidize lower premiums for older and wealthier Americans (who vote more). Free stuff as wacky as progressives,

  10. Trump, Jillette says in a characteristic passage, has “filled our country with embarrassment, hate, and fear

    In certain rather narrow bubbles, yes. Get out of those bubbles, and not so much at all. See, e.g., consumer confidence since the election.

    1. embarrassment, hate, and fear

      90% of it stemming from hysterical op-ed pieces and MSNBC.

      1. And loads of hate crime hoaxes.

  11. “…it’s never a good idea to cede power to the government simply because you agree with the people wielding it at the moment. Sooner or later, McGirr’s book reminds us, your enemy is going to be king of the hill.”

    In other words, what you empower a government to do unto others will inevitably be done unto you.

    Unfortunately, and like most the the articles posted on this site, it is preaching to the choir. Those who need most to see and hear this, that “the whole point of a principled libertarianism, which argues for a limited government, regardless of who is wielding power” are not here.

    Not that they’d be much inclined to listen if they were.

    1. You sure about that? Most people here seem more interested in sticking it to their enemies than in anything libertarian.

      1. I, for one, am more interested in sticking it in these two.

        Jus’ sayin’

        1. Normally i’m with you, but those two have serious dudeface.

          1. This is all I have to say to you at this moment.

            1. He’s right.

        2. As a rhetorical question I’d ask, “How in the world does that have over 8 MILLION hits?”
          Of course, the answer is that it is Korea, and they do weird things with YouTube.

      2. Contrasted against that, we have all the substantive things you’ve contributed:

    2. In other words, what you empower a government to do unto others will inevitably be done unto you.

      Quoth the Iron Law:

      Me today, you tomorrow.

  12. I will be sorely disappointed if at least one commenter doesn’t change his handle to “Homebrew Hebrew”.

  13. …his old comfort-food binges during which he would slather a hunk of cheese with peanut butter while driving to The Cheesecake Factory and eating two entrees and a dessert or three before heading to the movies and downing a bucket of buttered popcorn in which he’s tossed a boxful of Milk Duds.

    Christ on a pony.

    1. Christ on a pony Clydesdale.

    2. I had a roommate who I saw eat in a similar way. It takes a lot of calories to fill a 6’4, 300 something pound man. He would do things like eat three bags of microwave popcorn – back to back to back – while watching a football game. It’s impressive!

    3. I got sick to my stomach just reading that.

      1. No kidding. No bleu cheese anywhere.

        1. Unless that’s what he was putting the peanut butter on.

  14. Obama pantses himself one last time (we hope) on his way out the door.

    “We know that this administration was at a minimum helping to shape a final resolution at the United Nations and had been working on this for months,” Schanzer said.

    “This isn’t terribly dissimilar from the administration’s attempts to spin the cash pallets they sent to Iran,” he added, referring to the administration’s efforts to conceal the fact that it sent the Iranian government some $1.7 billion in cash.

    “The fact is, the administration has been flagged as being an active participant in this U.N. resolution,” Schanzer said. “Now they wish to try to spin this as inconsequential. This was an attempt by the administration to lead from behind, as they have done countless times in the past and which has failed countless times in the past.”

    What a bunch of fucking assholes.

    1. “We know that this administration was at a minimum helping to shape a final resolution at the United Nations and had been working on this for months,” Schanzer said.

      Fixed for Hitler. I mean, accuracy.

      1. “final solution” is how I read it the first time, actually.

    2. One veteran foreign policy insider and former government official who requested anonymity in order to speak freely described senior Obama administration officials as “lying sacks of shit” who routinely feed the press disinformation.

      B-b-but the fake news!

    3. So what? Israeli politicians are calling out all the stops amongst their conservative allies in the US to tarnish Obama. Psst, he’s an anti-Semitic Black man, you know. Maybe they should try a new tack– abandon their Apartheid state and stop building homes for Israeli citizens in lands that rightfully belong to the Palestinians. Fat chance on that though… they’ll get a better deal and billions of dollars in foreign aid from the neocons set to take over in 3 weeks. Sneaky Jews know what their doing.

      1. They’ve had the opportunity and spurned it. Quit knifing schoolchildren and firing rockets into Tel Aviv and maybe Israel will have a reason to invite them back to the table. By rights they’re Jordan’s problem, but they’re a useful thorn for the rest of the semi-civilized ME to dig into Israel’s side, so there will never be a solution. And our president beclowning himself behind the scenes at the UN, then lying about it, helps nothing. Go home, ‘bama. Your time is done.

        1. I thought libertarians would be the first to recognize that blaming a group for the criminal actions of a few is an act carried out by power hungry politicians looking to perpetuate a police state. I’m not a Zionist, but I’m sympathetic to The ideal of a secular Israeli state. Since they can easily defeat militarily any of its adversaries how about we just let them fend for themselves and bring that money home so that Melanie can spruce up the WH that has been too long in the clutches of the uncultured lumpenproletariat Obama family?

          1. The Obamas are nomenklatura not lumpenproletariat. You of all people should at least know how to use communist terminology properly.

          2. how about we just let them fend for themselves and bring that money home

            I thought we were supposed to be giving out money to “democrats, libertarians, and socialists” like you said? The Israelis are at least “democrats” especially compared to other nations in the region. By your own reasoning, shouldn’t they be getting U.S. foreign aid money?

            1. Being intellectually consistent would require that american socialist actually have an intellect, k. It’s too much to ask for.

            2. Different scenarios require different solutions. I say that instead of funding Hamas like Mossad did in the 1970s and 80s we should be funding the Kurds that are fighting religiously-motivated fascists in Syria and Iraq. They face an existential and vital threat. Israel, on the other hand, is secure against any conceivable military attack from its neighbors. Thus, why not just let them fend for themselves?

              1. Israel, on the other hand, is secure against any conceivable military attack from its neighbors.

                Well, not counting a nuclear attack from Iran, of course.

                1. R C Dean|12.29.16 @ 2:21PM|#
                  Well, not counting a nuclear attack from Iran, of course.

                  It’s Israel with the nukes, and Israel the aggressor. Would you defend Israel having the only nukes in the area? If nobody else has nukes, why would Israel NEED any — except for more aggression?

                  Are you being paid by ISIS?

              2. Why not just let everybody fend for themselves? Why is it the job of the U.S. Government to fight other people’s wars?

              3. I say that instead of funding Hamas like Mossad did in the 1970s and 80s we should be funding the Kurds that are fighting religiously-motivated …

                Aw c’mon. AmSoc, that’s WAY over the heads of the goobers here.

              4. I say that instead of funding Hamas like Mossad did in the 1970s and 80s we should be funding the Kurds that are fighting religiously-motivated …

                Aw c’mon. AmSoc, that’s WAY over the heads of the goobers here.

              5. I say that instead of funding Hamas like Mossad did in the 1970s and 80s we should be funding the Kurds that are fighting religiously-motivated …

                Aw c’mon. AmSoc, that’s WAY over the heads of the goobers here.

                1. Mary? Not surprising that the “socialist” ignores the Socialism of Israel and goes straight to claiming certain areas be Judenrein.

                  So “National” Socialists.

                  1. Umnm, what’s your bitch with the Israeli Kibbutzim? And by what right?

          3. I thought libertarians would be the first to recognize that blaming a group for the criminal actions of a few

            We’re talking here about whether the Palestinian government has sufficient credibility to be a negotiating partner, given (a) their overt policy of driving the Jews into the sea and (b) their support for (at worst) or inability to stop (at best) their subjects from murdering Jews. The fact that the Palestinian people suffer from their own government’s malice and/or incompetence isn’t a result of the Jews holding them responsible for their criminal element, its because their government is malicious and/or criminal.

            1. There is not a single Palestinian government, but in fact two distinct governments. One of the West Bank, and one of Gaza.

            2. R.C. Dean, I’ll go slowly
              1) How do you defend Israel’s military blockade of Gaza, an act of war and aggression?
              2) How do you defend Israel’s defiance of international law established 67 years ago, the Geneva Convention, which forbids ANY nation from settling its people in conquered land?
              3) How do you defend Bibi’s intention to INCREASE the illegal settlements, a military occupation?
              4) How do you defend our military assuring Israel remains the only nuclear power in the area — and why does Israel NEED nukes when nobody else has any, except for MORE aggression?
              5) How do you defend Israel — not Palestine — breaking their treaty obligations to the Oslo Accord?
              6) By what delusion do you deny that BOTH sides would push each other into the sea, but only Israel is now actively pursuing that goal – in severe violation of international law?
              7) Do you seriously oppose action by other nations to pressure a peaceful settlement by negotiation, as both Israel and the PLO agreed to do by formal treaty?

              We stuck our nose into a conflict that did not concern us, the war between China and Japan, and suffered Pearl Harbor We stuck our nose into another conflict of NO concern, in the Middle East, and suffered 9/11. Is it true that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them?

              If Russia created a settlement in Arizona, could it possibly be both Russian and democratic?
              Do you have ANY sense of history in that part of the world?

              1. When you wrote this word salad, why not simply say “Jews are an inferior race and deserve to be wiped from the face of the Earth. I will cheer even the horrible rag head who would murder all of the “secularists” as long as they kill Jews”?

                You ain’t fooling anyone.

                1. Gill the Progressive “mind” Am I a racist for supporting Obama? (lol)

                  I’ll go slowly
                  1) How do you defend Israel’s military blockade of Gaza, an act of war and aggression?
                  2) How do you defend Israel’s defiance of international law established 67 years ago, the Geneva Convention, which forbids ANY nation from settling its people in conquered land?
                  3) How do you defend Bibi’s intention to INCREASE the illegal settlements, a military occupation?
                  4) How do you defend our military assuring Israel remains the only nuclear power in the area — and why does Israel NEED nukes when nobody else has any, except for MORE aggression?
                  5) How do you defend Israel — not Palestine — breaking their treaty obligations to the Oslo Accord?
                  6) By what delusion do you deny that BOTH sides would push each other into the sea, but only Israel is now actively pursuing that goal – in severe violation of international law?
                  7) Do you seriously oppose action by other nations to pressure a peaceful settlement by negotiation, as both Israel and the PLO agreed to do by formal treaty?

                  If Russia created a settlement in Arizona, could it possibly be both Russian and democratic?
                  Do you have ANY sense of history in that part of

                  Can’t shoot down the message, so SHOOT THE MESSENGER.
                  Coward.

        2. The school children were killed by Israel.
          Israel maintains a military blockade of Gaza, an act of war and aggression.
          The West Bank settlements are an armed occupation, in severe violation international law established 67 years ago (the Geneva Convention)
          Crazy Bibi, thumbs his nose at the entire world by wanting to INCREASE the illegal settlements.

      2. Foreign aid to Israel has been a reality since the 1970s. It won’t spring into existence suddenly in 2017 any more than it magically disappeared in 2009.

        Who knew Jimmy Carter was a neocon?

      3. “Sneaky Jews know what their doing. ”

        Thanks for dropping the pretense of not being anti-Semitic.

        1. “Thanks for dropping the pretense of not being anti-Semitic”.

          Like only racists oppose Obama? Have you always been so PC?

  15. What’s the deal with the phrase “Trump’s America”? I’ve been hearing this a lot since the election. Was there a similar “Obama’s America” or “Bush’s America” phase? I don’t remember it happening.

    Aesthetically, I find it annoying and scare-mongery, but whatever. It’s also extremely anti-Libertarian. We’re the ones who say “the president works for us” and “the president doesn’t run the economy.” It’s a small point in this case, but I find that generally buying into (mostly) the left’s conventions of speech and thought is damaging overall and to the libertarian message specifically.

    1. I use it purely facetiously, like “Thanks, Obama.” I dropped my toast and it landed on its butter side; this really is Trump’s America now.

    2. I don’t remember it happening.

      Of course you don’t.

      1. I like how you “cited” your claim with not just one, but two, worthless links.

    3. No, the years before Trump were more of an Obama Nation.

  16. Is Reason making the assumption that some people might survive the Trumpocalypse? I’ve been hearing that no one will survive it. Hillary hardest hit.

    1. I think it was Suderman that hysterically claimed that America would be overrun with roving cannibal rape gangs.

      1. Shreek said that the redhats are already outside his house and that he can’t even leave the basement.

    2. We all survived the onslaught of the Obama years although you wouldn’t know it from the rhetoric of right-wing hacks like you.

      1. We all survived the onslaught of the Obama years

        Not so lucky: youth employment and health insurance plans

      2. Tell that to all the celebrities they sacrificed to Satan in a last-ditch effort to try to prevent Trump’s ascension.

        1. No, but I’ve tried telling people that they should vote for their economic interest ahead of whom the NRA tells them to vote for. It’s an uphill battle in this nation of aggrieved squirrel hunters that thought Obama was coming for them. Do you think that when Republicans kick thousands of people from Kentucky off of Obamacare those people will be able to undergo dialysis on the secure knowledge that they’ve stuck it to those weirdos in San Francisco? Placebo effects are real, you know.

          1. Whose economic interests are well served by raising taxes?

            1. “Whose economic interests are well served by raising taxes?”

              Top men. Top. Men.

              What’d I win?

          2. american socialist|12.29.16 @ 2:10PM|#
            “No, but I’ve tried telling people…”

            Maybe you should learn that people already know you’re a fucking idiot.

          3. Yeah, guns are the only reason some people didn’t vote for Obama.

            Fuck you’re stupid.

          4. Your website praises Stalin, one of the biggest mass murderers in the history of mankind. Does anyone listen to anything you say and do anything but laugh? Or shake their heads in pity? It is as if you don’t know how pathetic and vile you are. Sad.

            1. Marshall Gill|12.30.16 @ 9:08AM|#
              Your website praises Stalin, one of the biggest mass murderers in the history of mankind.

              Here’s the website, for anyone who doesn’t already know what Gill is.
              No need to read, Just do a page search for “Stalin.” (lol)
              And remember what you’ve learned.

              Does anyone listen to anything you say and do anything but laugh? Or shake their heads in pity? It is as if you don’t know how pathetic and vile you are. Sad.

              DAMN YOU. I peed my pants laughing at you.
              Again.

    1. Is that what they’re calling the reptilians these days?

    2. Nah, that’s just reflexive moistening of dry lips; happens to the elderly all the time.

      But yeah, he is possessed. Possessed of a mediocre intellect and a native penchant for lying through his ass.

      1. a native penchant for lying through his ass.

        Add one more goober to the list.

    3. Yeah, that goddamn Geneva Convention and the Oslo Accords ,… Israel in extreme violation of both … Netanyahu pissing on international law by building MORE illegal settlements .. , and violating Israel’s own treaty obligations … while that fucking Kerry licks his lips during a speech! Disgraceful.

  17. As far as prohibition/drug-war and racism, yes, indeed you had a lot of racists supporting both.

    But you also had the Liberty Party, the first abolitionist party in the US and which by “coincidence” was disproportionately made up of prohibitionists.

    You had the anti-drug campaigns led by black Americans – some of them suggested that light drug sentences were a product of racist judges who didn’t care about protecting the black community from the Scourge of Drugs.

    Reformers gonna reform. They don’t have to be racist.

    1. “The Second Great Awakening also spawned efforts to bring God’s will into history by perfecting human ways and combatting social evils. Women worked with men in the causes of reform?temperance, moral reform, prison reform, educational reform, pacifism or nonresistance, mental health reform, and, of course, abolition. These activities were more controversial and therefore more radicalizing than benevolence; moral reform (anti-prostitution) and temperance were especially likely to provide a constituency or training ground for early women’s rights impulses.”

  18. Penn Jillette’s Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales is a lean, mean diet memoir by the well-known magician that is leavened with tales of his two tours on the Trump-hosted Celebrity Apprentice.

    Awesome! If I’m ever in Hollywood trying out for the role of an extra in the new family-friendly reboot of Schindler’s List, I’ll know what to read to nail the right look.

  19. Yet unlike many progressives, liberals, Democrats, libertarians, conservatives, and #NeverTrump, I’m not trembling in fear or quaking in anger over the transfer of power that happens on January 20.

    I don’t see many libertarians or conservatives trembling in fear or quaking in anger.

    Perhaps I need to get out more.

    1. There’s the cucks at Cato.

      1. SIV|12.29.16 @ 1:38PM|#
        “There’s the cucks at Cato.”

        And we have assholes like SIV at H&R.

        1. For a dude as old as you are, it is amazing how youthful your posts are.

          1. Marshall Gill|12.30.16 @ 9:10AM|#
            For a dude as old as you are, it is amazing how youthful your posts are.

            https://reason.com/blog/2016/12…..nt_6649285

    2. Trump’s going to drone SNL, I know it!

      1. If he needs the exact GPS co-ordinates, I’d be happy to Google ’em for him.

    3. I’m afraid I might damage relationships with people that, despite their terrible politics, I actually care about, by too openly enjoying the taste of their sweet, sweet tears.

      And I’m certainly angry at how dangerously badly the left/media have behaved since losing. The president fucking shit up on his way out the door, the media selling Hearst-level lies that could get us into a war, and the rest of them trying to pull everything short of an armed coup to prevent the peaceful transfer of power to the other party after losing an election.

    4. I don’t see many libertarians or conservatives trembling in fear or quaking in anger.
      Perhaps I need to get out more.

      That would help, We never see anything we never look for!
      For example, Trump — who BRAGS about FILLING the swamp — is promoting a 60% tax cut for HIMSELF.

      Nearly all his corporate profits come from “pass-through” corporations — 100% exempt from the corporate income tax, profits “pass-through” to shareholders, reported and taxed as personal income. Trump proposed cutting that top PERSONAL rate from 37.5% to 15%, claiming it will help small business. True, but ALSO BILLIONAIRES. (OMG)

      Trump promotes a 15% tax bracket for himself. What’s YOUR bracket, working- and middle-class suckers?

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      That’s good to know, I was worried there for a second.

  21. “Penn Jillette admits to voting for Hillary Clinton, “who I do not agree with on anything”!”

    https://reason.com/blog/2016/11…..ry-clinton

  22. Is there anything daffier than the claim, mostly by Nick and Cato’s Michael Tanner, that “it’s time” to repeal or reduce something they have no clue how to achieve. And not the slightest possibility of happening?

    Why yes, it’s even wackier to say that reading two books — on nothing relevant to the topic –will create Nirvana…

    this is the time to start whittling down what the president, Congress, and the federal government can do to you, me, or any us.

    …. by reading two books ….
    Even wackier than a libertarian moment?

    Psst, Nick. It’s been time for all of that for the entire 40+ years of our existence. What if we had …. a single policy solution .,.. just one … instead of empty slogans and hollow soundbites. Then, we might have even avoided the total humiliation of this year’s Presidential race! Not one single solution for taxes, healthcare, government reform … nothing … for an opportunity that may not appear again for 50-100 years.

  23. “he would slather a hunk of cheese with peanut butter while driving to The Cheesecake Factory and eating two entrees and a dessert or three before heading to the movies and downing a bucket of buttered popcorn in which he’s tossed a boxful of Milk Duds.”

    Fuck. I’m all for doing things to excess, but have some sense of self esteem and control. There is a major difference between a wild drunk and a sloppy one.

  24. Abusing yourself by withholding nutrition might allow your body to lose weight but it messes with your mind sometimes making you write books about imaginary NASA scientists when the diet was obviously recommended by Michelle Obama for schoolchildren.

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