Privatization

Will Donald Trump Screw Up V.A. Privatization? Probably.

Bad privatization is worse than no privatization at all.

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Sam Simmonds/Polaris/Newscom

As my colleague Peter Suderman has pointed out, Donald Trump's rumored privatization plan for the Veterans Affairs hospitals is not much of a plan at all. It seems like some Trump official, somewhere, speaking anonymously said the words system, vets, choose, and private in close proximity and that's really all we know.

But let's assume some kind of privatization plan is, in fact, afoot. Is that good news?

While there's a chance that the right people will be at the helm to craft this plan (I know some smart guys, if anyone's interested) and a robust and carefully considered privatization scheme could be enacted, based on what we know about Trump so far it seems far more likely that we'll wind up with something that looks like a giveaway to private business without the corresponding market mechanisms that are necessary for such a reform effort to show results. At the heart of the idea of privatization is the idea that when providers fail to actually deliver products or services as promised, they no longer get paid. Contracts must be canceled for legitimate (non-political) reasons, and companies must be allowed to fail for privatization to succeed. The V.A. hospitals' immunity to competition and veterans' inability to seek care elsewhere were two of the biggest reasons waiting lists got as long as they did.

True privatization is tricky to do correctly—though not impossible! As the Reason Foundation attests, it happens all the time in the real world on the state and local level in particular. But if the Carrier deal is at all instructive about how the Trump administration is going handle relations between the state and the private sector, some bullying of major market players combined with watered down cronyism and politically expedient favoritism looks like the most likely outcome. Which means that veterans may indeed wind up getting even worse care that the deeply troubled V.A. was providing. What's more, a messy half-assed reform effort with the word privatization slapped on the package will give future efforts at thoroughgoing privatization a bad name.

Those of us who are keen on privatization should take a moment to feel deep empathy for those on the other side of the political spectrum. I can only imagine the anticipatory agony of envisioning Trump-administered faux privatization is similar to what advocates of single-payer health care must have felt as they watched the Affordable Care Act take shape. The might-have-beens are cruel indeed.

I was on Kennedy talking about this very topic yesterday. Check it out:

NEXT: Farewell 2016, College Accused of Anti-Male Bias, the Democrats' Problem with Religious Voters, P.M. Links

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  1. Gee, I can only wonder how Reason would have faced Hillary’s plans for the VA?

    At least theres a chance that Trump will disband this sorry excuse for a federal program. With Hillary, it would have been more money for worse results… like it always is with the progressives….

    1. They would have told us that Clinton has a lot of experience, don’t rock the boat, and Trump would have been worse.

    2. Virtue signalling to the right wing doesn’t help one’s career in journalism.

    3. ME NO LIEK STOREES WHAT NOT CONFIRM MY BIAS!!!1!

      1. I don’t like stories that have no basis in fact. This is a hypothetical based upon a vague rumor.

  2. I suspect that Trump is going to do very little with the VA. It’s damn hard to make any major changes to anything in DC and any change to the VA at all will result in the D’s / media trotting out any veteran who could possibly be negatively impacted. He might push hard somewhere, but I doubt it will be VA.

    Best / realistic case scenario: They get some of the incompetent VA executives who were pulling down 150k + 5 figure bonuses to accept early retirement (and their 6 figure pensions).

    1. From what I’ve observed so far, I don’t see the media trotting out whatever from stopping Trump doing anything. If anything, it will make him more likely to do it and do it harder. Wrong or right, that’s one thing I admire about the guy.

      1. And the public will love it. The shit the media doesn’t like are generally things that the public loves.

    2. I think your analysis is the better one.

      1. I am somewhat optimistic that VA reform is going to be the front for a broader war for civil service reform. Make the bureaucrats defend their most indefensible. Tar legislators who oppose reform to the worst villains in the bureaucracy.

    3. More likely that several of the *more competent* VA executives will get ‘encouraged’ to retire or seek opportunities elsewhere (which they can do because they’re actually competent) and the less competent ones will be moved up and around and it will be described as ‘cleaning house’ and ‘having fixed the problem du jour’ – ala the Phoenix VA debacle.

  3. Then again, he might not. Reason’s authors have an easy gig: bitch about what Trump will do or won’t do or fuck up if he tries doing it. And they keep getting paid for writing what every proggie lunatic yammers in every workplace, restaurant, bar and holiday party in the fucking country every day for free. Christ! Can’t you overpaid, under-creative scribblers ever think of something else?

    1. How dare a libertarian magazine criticize non-libertarians.

      The horror!

      You know what they call people who vehemently disagree with the content of a site, yet continue to frequent/comment on said site?

        1. Hey! I resemble that remark.

      1. How dare a libertarian magazine criticize non-libertarians.

        “There’s a Rumor That the Non-Libertarian may be Considering a Libertarian Thing, but He’ll Fuck It Up Because He’s Icky” is a really shitty way to criticize the non-libertarian.

        How about this article instead: “Five Ways that Trump Could Avoid Fucking Up Privatization of the VA”

        It’s still all passive-aggressive against the icky non-libertarian, but it’s actually somewhat productive and may actually teach us something other than “all the Reason writers love to virtue signal against Trump.”

        1. Off-topic/on-topic: Since F d’A brought it up, how many admitted non-libertarians post here? John, UnCivil Servant, and Eddie Fusionist are three that I know of.

          1. Sparky does not consider himself, “libertarian,” by his own admission. I guess he’s an anarchist/anarcho-capitalist, but to me, he’s just good ole’ cheapskate, kidney stone laden, Sparky.

          2. According to Hihn, most of us are non-libertarians. Don’t have the Big “L” tattooed across our hearts.

            1. Something about ‘rejecting labels’

              1. (laughing)

          3. I’m not a libertarian but it is easier to say I am than explain why I don’t spray paint circle-As and throw bricks through Starbucks’ windows.

            1. You’ve got libertarians confused with communists.

            2. I’m not a libertarian, but it’s easier to say I am than to quit my job at Reason.

          4. I am a recovering Republican, and used to be very active in the local party. I no longer do that (since 2010 or so) but I don’t get involved in the local Libertarian party either.

            I am libertarian at heart though, and I do my best to spread the message to friends.

            1. “I don’t get involved in the local Libertarian party either.”

              What do you have against fat naked dancing guys?

          5. Do you mean those who agree with most libertarian thinking, or those who are die hard registered big L vote the ticket Libertarians? I have been registered as independent since the 90’s and have voted Libertarian in local/state when available if the candidate was a sensible sort. For instance, there was a Libertarian candidate here, not this last election, but prior, that was running on increasing the minimum wage. I emailed and asked wtf? I did not get a response. Legal weed does not a libertarian make.

          6. I’m not really comfortable with the label anymore given its meaning in the public consciousness and the people who most prominently represent it. If Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, Reason’s editorial staff and Bleeding Heart Libertarians are the archetype of a libertarian then I’m not one and do not wish to be one. So feel free to put me on “the list”.

            1. This, I voted straight republican this election as a big FUCK YOU to Bill Weld and company. I made sure that the state party knew this, and why. I have since sent in the forms to change my affiliation to Independent since the Lib party is now just Prog Lite.

            2. I didn’t vote this year. My take on the subject is that if this is the best you can come up with you can all go fuck yourselves.

            3. Same here.

          7. I’m a royalist, but only if I’m chosen as king of the world.

            1. Dude, you have to win that ticket in a card game. Or was it dice? I don’t remember.

          8. Tulpa and all his socks.

            1. Great name for an A capella boy band.

          9. I’m a recovering prog still in the process of going through all the relevant ideas. I’d say I’m 60-70% there. A prog would tar and feather me for my belief in the free market, but a fellow libertarian would probably call me a slaver for failing the purity test

            1. Slaver!

              (j/k, but felt I had to)

            2. You’re not really a libertarian unless another libertarian calls you a slaver. This is why there are no real libertarians, because the first libertarian would have had no one to call him a libertarian. It’s been nothing but fake libertarians all along.

      2. An anarcho-frankentrumpenstein? (or whatever Tulpa was saying during his butthurt fevers)

        1. He’s got a fever, and the only cure is (fill in the blank)

          1. the only cure is (fill in the blank)

            I don’t know, but it’s 1/3 Jewish.

          2. Pork. I’m talking lots of pork. Sausage. Bacon. Ham. Ribs. Chops. Loin. That roasted pigs face at the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland. Chicharron from Tacos El Zorro in North Hollywood. If you need a cure for anything in life, it’s pork. (((Unless))).

          3. I’m hot-blooded, check it and see.
            Circuit judge has to get up to pee..
            Old judge probly served in France,
            Not likely to give me a chance….

            .

      3. People with that condition from the movie 50 First Dates?

        1. Liking Adam Sandler will be in DSM-VI. I promise you.

      4. We have to at least try keep those lyin’ statist cucks honest.

      5. You know what they call people who vehemently disagree with the content of a site, yet continue to frequent/comment on said site?

        Critical thinkers who challenge assumptions, question authority, and reveal cognitive biases in the Sisyphean endeavor of edifying slow-witted cucks like you?

        1. Is filling out bogus information in an invoice billing scheme and stealing magazine issues part of the formula?

          1. I was a bit more of a left-leaning anarchist back in the late 80s. I paid through the Postrel era.

      6. It’s not the criticism, its the fact that the same criticism comes off the keyboard of multitudes of scribblers and soothsayers and out of the mouth of hundreds of media types and millions of others. It’s the lazy repetition that’s annoying.

        Can’t these people think up something that the very cattle in their pastures aren’t already discussing at length and with just as much as insight?

      7. Reason: Lub it leave it!

        God you’re a simple fuck.

      8. Someone employing cognitive analysis?

    2. Then go read another rag you fucking crybaby. This media outlet doesn’t exist to confirm your biases. Jesus tapdancing Christ! Reason prints an article critical of Trump and all of a sudden half of you twats need a trigger warning.

      1. This media outlet doesn’t exist to confirm your biases. Jesus tapdancing Christ!

        Correct.
        It exists to confirm Cosmotardian biases.

  4. based on what we know about Trump so far

    IOW next to nothing.

  5. Poor Donald. Doesn’t even have the job yet and already a failure.

    But I don’t know everyone is up in arms about the criticism. Our leaders need to be checked every step of the way. We’ve seen what eight years of journalistic cover buys us, and it’s not good.

    1. It is simple “media who cried wolf”. At this point, do you even read the anti-Trump articles? I assume that they amount to “Trump might not be the reincarnation of Harry Browne” or ” Trump could still end up being worse than Hillary” and do not bother. Can any of these people carry any credibility when it comes to Trump? They have lost all credibility with me and not just when it comes to Trump. I never even heard about Pence until I read about him in reason and now he is apparently the enemy. “Open borders now, open borders in the future Open borders forever” one assumes.

      1. I concede that the Fourth Estate’s check on the Trump Administration will likely amount largely to moonbattery and will therefore be not constructive and mostly ineffective. But it’s better than water carrying.

        1. At some point people stop listening though.

        2. I concede that the Fourth Estate’s check on the Trump Administration will likely amount largely to moonbattery and will therefore be not constructive and mostly ineffective.

          I thought the same thing about GWB, but Trutherism aside, the most moonbatty criticisms during his administration subsequently were proven 100% true. Being a biased partisan hack doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

          1. As I recall, Bush was supposedly on a religious crusade to bring about the second coming, and would cancel elections and install himself dictator.

        3. I concede that the Fourth Estate’s check on the Trump Administration will likely amount largely to moonbattery and will therefore be not constructive and mostly ineffective. But it’s better than water carrying.

          This is a big reason among many I preferred House of Orange over Nasty Critter Woman. All the accessory things of our society will suddenly work better. The press will be more cynical instead of suckers again. Humor about the potentate can be funny again. Speaking truth to power will be trendy again.

          A good example of this inadvertent evolution is NPR of all things. Diane Rehms is retiring or expiring or whatever from the network, and they’re replacing it with show called ‘1A.’ as in First Amendment. It’s hosted by black guy, so on NPR it will devolve into another Being Black Sucks Thanks Whitey, but still it is allegedly going to be about free speech. The statists are stumbling into free-speech programming? Thank Orange for that.

          1. So black guy = younger Diane Rehm. Diane Rehm’s intellectually-lazy circle-jerk was the stiletto heel to my intellectual testicle. I don’t see any successor program being any more or less decadent.

      2. It is simple “media who cried wolf”. At this point, do you even read the anti-Trump articles?

        Exactly.

        The endless “Ugh, Trump” disclaimers they have to utter before they bother to note anything potentially positive is @#()$*@# boring.

        its like Nick’s piece a while back where he was gleefully noting Politico’s “Libertarians Emerging as Trump Resistance“… as though the headline was supposed to be something everyone should be wildly excited about, when the actual substance of the story wasn’t quite the “To The Barracades!”-shout he imagined =

        “My efforts to insert myself into the public debate are not to oppose Donald Trump, they’re to support what Donald Trump said in the campaign,” Paul said, speaking at a time when Bolton was under more serious consideration to lead the State Department…”

        “People have some concerns, but for the most part I think are pretty positive with the big-picture outlook, with regard to lower taxes, less regulation,” said Brian Darling, a former top Senate aide to Paul. “So I think you’ll see the liberty movement, moving forward, being critical at times, but being very supportive on big issues like repealing Obamacare, regulation reform, tax reform.”

        yes, john bolton sux. so does sessions. But is that really the interesting aspect to the game here?

        1. You don’t understand. We need to point out bad stuff done by disfavored people, and ignore the good things they do. Just as we have to only focus on the good things done by anointed folks, while letting the bad stuff slide.

          Duh, get with the program, wrecker.

          1. Think of President-Elect Shrillz alternate universe and the daily Trump antic not so bad anymore.

          2. Oh hey, I did the duck tonight, it was most excellent. Biting into the apple stuffing was like devouring the essence of Christmas. I’m not big on punes, so I did my own twist to balance the sweet and tart: 1 sour apple, 1 Fuji apple, a handful of pitted Medjul dates, a handful of dried blackcurrants, and a dozen thyme sprigs. I took an online recipe’s advice of patting the skin down with coarse salt. I didn’t make the caramelised potatoes, but I made some duck fat gravy anyway. Heaviness cut with a lightly twisted red cabbage sour condiment – as you indicated; I used apple cider vinegar and more dried blackcurrants to form an apple and berry motif. To complete the trifecta, the pairing beverage was a very dry unpasteurised berry-apple cider from a local cidery.

            1. Oh and of course, the stuffing was sauteed with bacon cuttings and the rendered fat, which was allowed to completely absorb into the fruit.

              1. That sounds like a unmitigated culinary win of epic proportion, congratulations 🙂

                Raisins and other dried fruit works as well as prunes, as you found out. And thyme was a great call, I’ve done this as well, along with rosemary. Also try adding walnuts or pecans to the mix. The apple is really the important part, it adds moisture to the long cooking process.

                Good thing you used bacon, I forgot to mention using salt and pepper on the inside of the cavity, before filling it. Bacon would definitely compensate.

                1. It was a great recommendation. The concept of using fruit instead of a starch is really refreshing and adds tremendous balance. The only better dressing I’ve ever had is this bacon-onion-rice dressing my stepmother makes. I reserved most of the duck drippings in a small mason jar; the bottom third is a very pretty dark brown gelatin of pure umami, while the balance is duck fat. I am reserving this for more gravy of the same, for the next time I do Swedish meatballs and lingonberry preserve.

                2. Also with regard to a sour beet relish you intimated about, I included instead ready-made Polish beet and horseradish mince condiment that I usually pair with perogi. It works very well because the brand I purchased has very subdued horseradish spice. I bet spicier horseradish and beet would work too.

    2. Hes going to be an utter failure. The questions is- will he be worse than usual?

  6. Trump says some new shit every day.

    If he doesn’t pay the slightest bit of attention to whatever falls out of his face I don’t see any reason for anybody else to pay attention to it.

  7. Sell the VA hospitals to the highest bidder(s) and let the vets go wherever they want. Put them on Medicare or Medicaid until a better market based solution can be pushed through the political gauntlet.

    1. Given some of the common problems seen in combat veterans, the rest of the medical community is less able to cope than the VA is currently. Even given their incompetence. What Trump needs to do is remove any right to unionize for federal employees and destroy any who dare try to stop him.

  8. So is this the weekend thread?

    1. It is if you will it so, grasshopper.

  9. You want bad privatization? Just ask the Reason foundation’s Robert Poole how it’s done.

  10. While there’s a chance that the right people will be at the helm to craft this plan (I know some smart guys, if anyone’s interested)

    lol!

    From your link, here’s the TOP.MEN:

    Health Care

    Shikha Dalmia
    Senior Analyst

    Privatization

    Adrian Moore
    Vice President, Policy
    Robert Poole
    Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow and Director of Transportation Policy
    Leonard Gilroy
    Director of Government Reform

    Austill Stuart
    Policy Analyst
    Anthony Randazzo
    Director of Economic Research

    1. How is Dalmia an “expert” on:

      Economics, Energy, Environment and Health Care?

      I’m open to the idea that someone may have worked in all four of these fields (as incredibly unlikely as that is), but I’m not sure Shikha has.

      1. She’s a ____-policy expert. You don’t have to know shit about the field, only how to propose and craft regulations to control it. See “firearms policy” or (my new favorite) “feminist science policy” for examples

  11. For a libertarian, Suderman is big on top-down plans.

    1. I’m glad more people are noticing. There’s a whole libertarian-establishment devoted to expert-crafted, central planning and social engineering.

      1. Someone has to be in charge of the bong circle otherwise it’s total anarchy.

  12. Isn’t this the 2nd Sadbeard article today?

    1. Yes, that drove me to comment.

  13. OT: History of the IED

    The fougasse was the forerunner of the IED. It was a tube in the ground filled with gunpowder that was triggered with a trip wire. The first use was during the 16th century.

    The term IED became widespread during the IRA insurgency.

    wiki sez

    Thirty-three percent of U.S. casualties in Vietnam and twenty-eight percent of deaths were officially attributed to mines; these figures include losses caused by both IEDs and commercially manufactured mines.

    IEDs are generally seen in heavy terrorist actions or in unconventional warfare by guerrillas or commando forces in a theater of operations. In the second Iraq War, IEDs were used extensively against US-led invasion forces and by the end of 2007 they had become responsible for approximately 63% of coalition deaths in Iraq.[1] They are also used in Afghanistan by insurgent groups, and have caused over 66% of coalition casualties in the 2001?present Afghanistan War.

    1. Slow night at DU? You now bring up IED’s? I see similarity, same goals, different tactics I guess.

    2. Car bombs have been particular devestating in the second Iraq war.

    3. It’s really a pretty arbitrary distinction. As long as explosives have been around people have figured ways to use them. I guess ways not intended by the designer is an IED, but that category is almost as big as ways intended.

      Did anyone ever show you how to rig a claymore to a trip wire with an MRE spoon and clothes pin? You know, because trip wires are illegal. I guess that makes it an IED.

  14. I think the important thing here is to draw conclusions based on no evidence which best comport with the expectation of our peers in journalism, lest there be any confusion that we actually support things like “privatization” when Bad People? do them.

    1. Yep, it’s the herd-think that’s offputting.

    2. As long as we can feel smug. That’s the important thing.

      1. Did GWB even attempt social security reform? I don’t recall

        1. He had started taking about it but once the market tanked, it was over.

          1. Talking

        2. He proposed an extremely modest reform plan that would have allowed young workers to divert part of their social security withholding to private retirement accounts while leaving the benefits of old fucks untouched and, predictably, the headlines were something along the lines of “Bush to abolish social security, cat food futures up 200%”, whereupon his own party – who controlled both houses of congress at the time – quietly torpedoed the plan in committee.

          1. Oh, right. mandatory Retirement Savings Accounts, or something.

        3. He kind of tried, a bit. Then he got shut down and stopped trying.

      2. Oh man, the comments.

        Forget it Nick. As far as GWB’s concerned, anyone who isn’t a white God-fearing, Bible-believing, Born-again, Texas-loving, Republican deserves to be thrown into a hole and forgotten about.

        Good times.

        1. Is that Warren one of the ones still around? It gets so confusing. The crimethink commenter in that thread occupies the exact same conservative Catholic ideological ground as eddie, who denies they are the same person.

  15. An Italian orchestra conductor gets temperamental after a showing of Disney’s “Frozen”

    “Giacomo Loprieno was apparently driven to the fit of pique after families started leaving the performance early in a bid to beat the queues exiting Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica, an arts venue….

    “Angry that families were leaving before the show had ended, Mr Loprieno reportedly grabbed a microphone and from the stage announced: “Father Christmas doesn’t exist anyway”, before storming off.

    “The outburst, on Thursday night, left parents stunned and small children in tears. Under a barrage of complaints, the event organisers, Dimensione Eventi, said they “completely dissociated” themselves from what Mr Loprieno said….

    “Families had paid between 30 and 48 euros for tickets to the two-hour spectacular, titled “Disney in concert: Frozen”, which had been billed as “a fantastic surprise”.”

    1. You know what other Italian caused parents and young children to cry?

      1. One or another of the Borgias, I presume.

        1. Pope Alexander IV

          He over-rode previous popes and told the spaniards that enslaving millions of people in South America was AOK with God. (*because some would be converted…eventually)

          And more! back in those days being pope was like being Darth Vader. no one would bat an eye when you executed people for farting in your presence.

      2. Gugliermo Marconi via the wondrous invention of the radio?

    1. “Since ‘the announcement’, I have spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony. I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul.”

      “Tyranny is now on our doorstep; it has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth. Now it will burst into our homes through storm. I hope that we and many others will work together with greater dilligence [sic] and awareness to calmly and bravely work together to defend our freedoms and our rights for our families, our friends, and our fellow citizens.”

      “I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him.”

      1. “And another thing…”

        “Sorry, Ma’am, your 15 minutes are up.”

        1. OK, I’ll respond to this part:

          “I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue”

          Wait, you reflected on the pro-Hitler side as well as the anti-Hitler side?

          1. Yes. On one side you have turmoil. The other? Agony.

            1. I blame Rousseau and the Romantic Era – the cult of Meaningful Strong Feelings.

      2. “I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’

        Damn those are good lyrics.

        1. She also is suffering from sleepless days.

          1. Seriously! she’s a bottomless well of great lines. she should quit the mormons and join a rock band.

            1. or! just form a band called “the mormons”. they could wear ties! it would be very 80s.

                1. There is nothing redeeming about that band.

                  1. They had ties, backpacks and helmets. Looked pretty legit to me.

                  2. I should have known it was inevitable that someone always has already taken the low-hanging “silly band” ideas.

      3. “Tyranny is now on our doorstep”

        Has she been sleeping for the last few decades and just now woke up, or what?

    2. Tyranny is now on our doorstep; it has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth. Now it will burst into our homes through storm. I hope that we and many others will work together with greater dilligence [sic] and awareness to calmly and bravely work together to defend our freedoms and our rights for our families, our friends, and our fellow citizens.”

      I don’t care if she wants to sing or not. That is her choice. But what does this poor girl think is coming?

      1. If tyranny has been sneaking its way into my life and is now on the doorstep, can I assume tyranny is leaving and not coming? Then again, this time it’s being sneaky by using stealth. The sneaky bastard.

      2. Tyranny is now on our doorstep

        Its funny, you would have thought the whole NSA/Snowden thing might have elicited this sort of thing, but no… its a guy with the same political platform as Dick Gephardt.

        1. Like anybody knows who Dick Gephardt is. Most people, including my spell check, thinks that person is made up.

          1. sans the s on thinks. Fuck me I type like I talk. It is a bad habit.

      3. Well, for one thing, she’ll have to do her singing while barefoot, pregnant, and chained to an oven all day. Is you woke or what, dude?

  16. When we’re counting our blessings, we should make sure we’re comparing apples to apples.

    If Trump were just as bad as Hillary, it wouldn’t be because he’ll likely screw up privatization. Hillary would never even consider it. And that really is worse.

    It’s the same thing with ObamaCare. Trump isn’t likely to usher in a libertarian utopia of a healthcare plan. If we’re comparing apples to apples, though, we should contrast Trump’s willingness to sign reforms that are more market oriented rather than Hillary–who wouldn’t have accepted anything from Congress that didn’t include a public option, AKA the road to single payer.

    What is possible under Trump is vastly superior to what would have been possible under Hillary Clinton.

    Not getting the hamburger the way you ordered it really isn’t the same as getting punched in the mouth–since in both cases, you didn’t get what you ordered anyway. One is vastly superior to other–even if you still didn’t get what you wanted.

    1. Thank you Ken. This applies to every policy and position when comparing the two, not just the VA.

      1. Why do you love Trump so much!!!! You can’t be a Libertarian and not hate himmmmm!!!!1!!!11!one

    2. “Hillary would never even consider it. And that really is worse.”

      Not really, since the bad sort of privatization (rent seeking by another name) gets blamed on the free market, not corporatism.

      1. The only thing I have read on the supposed “privatization” is that there are thoughts of letting vets go to docs who take medicare/medicaid folk. Is there something else being talked about, or are those the “rent seekers”?

        1. I think any was speaking in general. As in, in general when government privatizes it is disabled more cronyism. Not true divestiture.

      2. “Not really, since the bad sort of privatization (rent seeking by another name) gets blamed on the free market, not corporatism.”

        Crony capitalism actually produces better results than nationalization, though, even if people blame the problems on the capitalism part rather than the cronyism.

        And you have to start somewhere.

        The Soviet Union and China had that problem. When you’re moving from nationalization and central planning to capitalism and free markets, you’re going through a phase of crony capitalism. You have to determine who gets control of assets and contracts to some extent, and regardless of whether the people who get that control and those contracts, they’re going to end up looking and acting just like cronies for a while.

        But who would say that crony capitalism isn’t better than communism was for either China or Russia?

        It simply isn’t so.

        GM is better as a crony capitalist entity rather than being owned by the federal government.

        If Medicaid contracts were handed off to crony capitalists, it would be better than the nationalized system we have now. And if crony capitalism is the only politically viable way to move to a more market oriented system, then we should always favor maximizing liberty–and the potential for more. If we sat around and waited to privatize things until they could be done without any cronies, we might never see anything privatized.

      3. Who’s going to say that going crony capitalism on marijuana is worse than the drug war?

        Yes, selling off Yosemite to a crony like Disneyland on the cheap would be vastly superior to keeping the government running it. Hell, if that’s what it takes to privatize that land, we should give the land away for free–if that’s what needs to be done to get it privatized.

        1. We did give land away.

  17. You know what other Italian caused parents and young children to cry?

    1. Damnit supposed to be posted elsewhere

    2. Is it Jake LaMotta?

      1. It’s Mario, and occasionally his brother Luigi.

        1. Damn, I forgot to scroll down… Luigi is the one that wears Birkenstocks, right?

    3. Enrique Caruso or Mario Batali?

  18. “But if the Carrier deal is at all instructive about how the Trump administration is going handle relations between the state and the private sector, some bullying of major market players combined with watered down cronyism and politically expedient favoritism looks like the most likely outcome.”

    The reports I read suggested that Trump told United Technologies that he was planning to deregulate and slash corporate tax rates–and they’d miss out on that if they left.

    I’d go after him for taking credit for getting them to stay, but taking credit for everything good that happens in the world, isn’t that what being a politicians means?

  19. Some advice Kat: Never type the words “As my colleague Peter Suderman has pointed out…”

    It does wonders for your credibility.

  20. WHYAINT TREASON NOT NO DONT ATTAKC HILURY HUH?????

      1. Aw, did Warty interrupt your Trumpkin circle jerk?

          1. Still playing this game? OK.

            1. No, i just have no idea what you seem to be mad about.

          1. Cool story, bro.

            1. Sorry, I skipped over the user name. I just saw the word “Trumpkin” and assumed.

              1. I think you might owe SIV some royalties for your handle.

                1. We had a falling out when he invited me to tag along to pick up chicks; I thought it was just a turn of phrase.

                  1. What you did there, I see it.

    1. WHYAINT TREASON NOT NO DONT ATTAKC HILURY HUH?????

      It appears that this is the sum total of everything you have to say. Simply pathetic. Tony trolls better. Hihn makes more convincing arguments. Did you drop something really heavy on your head? You appear to have suffered brain damage. Sad.

    2. WHYAINT TREASON NOT NO DONT ATTAKC HILURY HUH?????

      It appears that this is the sum total of everything you have to say. Simply pathetic. Tony trolls better. Hihn makes more convincing arguments. Did you drop something really heavy on your head? You appear to have suffered brain damage. Sad.

    1. “It’s d?j? vu all over again” is how one friend put it.

      I wanna be friends with Yogi Berra, too.

    2. Taibbi reliably uses half his brain

      he usually gets the headline conclusions right, and the rough outline of the issues, but then just litters it with just enough left-wing tardery to ensure that it passes the ideological filters of progressive-readership.

      he also manages to squeeze out 2-3 good sentences per story.

      1. “he usually gets the headline conclusions right, and the rough outline of the issues, but then just litters it with just enough left-wing tardery to ensure that it passes the ideological filters of progressive-readership.”

        So he’s eligible to write for Reason?

        1. oh, stop.

          i think as far as policy-analysis goes, most Reason people are way better than someone like Taibbi. He’s not really a policy guy. He seems to write more about ‘zeitgeist’, national-political-culture issues.

          His early piece on the Trump campaign back in the spring (can’t find it), then the “Summer of the Media Shill“, both had some good points.

          He also reliably writes batshit stupid stuff. I am sure without checking he’s one of these people who thinks Bernie could have won the election. But again = he uses half his brain. even when he’s wrong he’ll manage to make 1 or 2 good points.

          1. I can’t stop. When Reason stops topping off every good point they make with ‘but (throw in your choice of lefty social signaling)’, then I’ll stop. Ok, they don’t do it every, just almost every time. And it’s totally unnecessary. And no, I’m not leaving or boycotting the comments section.

      2. Taibbi reliably uses half his brain

        If you could only get Warty to do the same!

    3. Some news agencies seemed split on whether to unequivocally declare that Russian hacking took place

      lol

      maybe AP… Christian Science Monitor? WSJ?.

      NYT and WaPo shouted the conclusions from banner-headlines.

      To his credit , he flags both as being the prime culprits in the latest narrative-flogging

      The piece is good, if not a complete discrediting of the claims = he basically says he’s open to anything in between “complete bullshit being flogged by butthurt Dems”, or “actual attempts by Russians to undermine our elections”

      *what he doesn’t bother to note in his piece is that the Wikileaks intel, even if it *was* sourced to foreign agents, was only “influential” at all (and i don’t think it was) if you think any of it may have been faked. If it were all real… then its just the Dems hoist by their own hackery and scumbaggery.

      1. I read the report. There are some references in there about ‘compromising networks and endpoints associated with the US elections’. Umm, exactly what the fuck does that mean? What are these networks and endpoints and how are they ‘associated’ with the US elections? They don’t tell us. This is word salad mumbo jumbo and it doesn’t have jackshit of a meaning. They have nothing. End of story. Summary: Dems are sore butt losers.

  21. Gilmore, I was indeed referring to Red from Shawshank Redemption.

    1. Now you know why the Irish were always afraid of blacks taking their jobs.

      1. Is that what happened to Irish? Someone took his commenting gig?

        1. I had that thought while i was typing that. I have no idea what took him. Was he a recent law-graduate? maybe like Epi he got a sweet gig which bars any sorts of online-gabbing.

          1. Maybe the spate of trolls has been Irish all along, haunting us from beyond the digimal grave.

            Also, that’s what happened to Epi? He disappeared when Nicole did, I figured he’d gotten fed up with whatever got her fed up.

            1. I think Irish just got tired of being teased, which I don’t blame the guy.

              Again, there was a time that Nikki couldn’t even post “Hey, how’s about those Mets?” without a pack of rabid gibbering apes jumping down her throat and calling her “a stupid girl who posts stupidly, because she’s a girl.” I’m surprised she stayed around as long as she did, being Yokeltarian Public Enemy No.1.

              Epi? I’ve heard that some people speculate that he finally died from cocaine-induced cardiomyopathy.

              1. If the late version “Nikki” was a real person like the cute girl wearing kneesocks pictured sitting by Lake Michigan on her bad boring book blog I’d like to think she left after they got her meds sorted out. Or maybe it was all just TG Tulpa.

                1. her bad boring book blog

                  We all can’t have cheesecake/cockfighting blogs, SIV.

                  1. I read more of her blog than anyone else here. No way she was going to get 2175 followers

            2. I assume Irish just accidentally went into one of those neighborhoods. You know the ones I’m talking about.

              1. …He strayed into Southwark and was pressganged into service aboard an English freighter bound for Portsmouth?

                1. Cockneys are just a natural criminal underclass and it just makes sense they they get transported more often.

              2. I assume Irish just accidentally went into one of those neighborhoods. You know the ones I’m talking about.

                I’ve seen enough Blacked.com to know where this is going.

                1. Was Irish a one-dropper or did he only half-hate you?

              3. Knowing his degenerate kind, dead from alcohol poisoning, barfight or starvation.

          2. That’s what happened to Epi?

            1. Auto-erotic asphyxiation gone bad?

            2. I vaguely recall a mention that there was going to be a commenting haitus due to new contractual-deal which was very lucrative. I could be mixing him up with someone else.

        2. A lot of regulars left when the “whose worse – Clinton or Trump” arguments started. I’m hoping many will return now that the election is over.

          1. But you always have zoidberg me!

  22. I don’t get it. The unlettered foreigner-hating retard wing of the Tea Party is a month away from being the ruling party. You and your 90 IQs have all the political power you could ever want, and you’re about to stick it to the New York City homo liberal faggots like you’ve always dreamed of doing. So…why are you and your sloping brows here? What does it gain you to pretend to be libertarians? You should be enjoying your ascendancy, not complaining that a magazine that loathes you isn’t being nice enough to you.

    1. Thats a horrible way to speak to KMW

      1. Thats a horrible way to speak to KMW

        No, a horrible way to speak to KMW was my criticism of her robot teachers presentation.

        I might have been a tad too acrid, but her tone really rankled.

        1. her robot teachers presentation.

          I must have missed it.

          is Reason very bullish on robot classrooms?

          I honestly don’t really get the “self-driving cars” fetish that Bailey has. Robot classrooms seems like a similar “technological solution to a problem no one has”

          1. KMW is very ‘technology fuck yeah’ so it wouldn’t surprise me if she’d vocally support anything that uses the terms robot, techno or cyber regardless of its actual utility. Bailey’s technofetish is a whole other issue.

            1. Nah, you misunderstood. It’s “Technology fuck you” she’s into.

            2. she’d vocally support anything that uses the terms robot, techno or cyber regardless of its actual utility

              “Introducing Koch Industries EDITORBOT-9000…”

          2. It was a few years ago during one of their school choice week campaigns.

            KMW, at least, was looking forward to having robot teachers instruct her kid online so she can still live in a shitty inner-city hipster neighborhood but have access to a decent education. And something something Millennial urban creative class.

            1. You want a Butlerian Jihad? Because that’s how you get a Butlerian Jihad.

              1. I didn’t know Tim Dwight had a college named after him.

    2. Some folk just like being angry.

      1. And they know just about any other site would ban their whiny ass in about two seconds.

          1. Breitbart has what they really want in a comment section, but they’d prefer to stay here and troll instead.

          2. It was the likes of Rockwell and a bunch of Mises folk that got me into libertarianism in a big way. I still have a soft spot for Tom Woods, although the Civil War War of Northern Aggression is a rock I couldn’t swallow. More of a Gary North thing, but guilt by association and all that.

            1. Milton Freidman–>Ron Paul–>Peter Schiff–> Tom Woods–>Mises–>Reason–>. Who knows where I’ll be going next. Of all those stops in my evolution, I imagine I’ll always be going back to Tom from time to time just because I don’t feel all soiled with trivial infighting when I listen to him. Generally, he rises above that stuff. Generally.

              1. I’ve already decided you aren’t pure enough. Git out!

              2. Schiff was always some good fun. Yeah, Buttplug’s right, he’s a goldbug, but he nailed the feds on the housing bubble.

    3. You didn’t get the memo, Warty. It’s ok to hate fureners now and still be one of the cool kids, as long as the fureners are Russian. In fact, if you don’t hate the Ruskies, you’re probably working for the KGB.

      1. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with being a Republican. I generally prefer them to Democrats by quite a bit. But why are there so many who call themselves libertarians and complain that libertarians aren’t Republicans? I mean…surely Dondero must run a blog that they can comment at.

        1. All the cool conservatives are now avowedly ex-Republicans anyway.

        2. You’re right. What this place really needs is more of that quality-“holier than thou”/no-true-scotsman posturing that made conversation during 2015-2016 campaign season so pleasant.

          “i really wish all you fakes would just fuck off and leave me alone here in my safe-space!”

          ahh. so satisfying.

          1. If it prevents a 300-Comment bitch-fest every time the word “Suderman” is published on this site, bring on the Nacht der langen Messer!

            1. suderman sets john and a few others off. I’m not sure why. when he’s just talking policy he seems uncontroversially boring to me. he had a few real monumental stinkers in the last weeks of the campaign which deserved the mockery they got. I can’t imagine he’s going to have many opportunities to do that again.

              1. he had a few real monumental stinkers in the last weeks of the campaign which deserved the mockery they got.

                Does July count as last weeks?

                1. That one was actually pretty funny.

                  Not like, intentionally funny, but funny as in “a few years from now we’ll all look back on this and laugh and share a drink and wonder what all the fuss was about”

                  The ones i was thinking of were…. well just go back though his list of stories and pick any one at random that doesn’t have Obamacare”/ACA/HHS/or FDA in the headline. as i said = when he talks about policy, he’s generally on the ball and i don’t see why people would gripe. (tho i have no doubt they do)

          2. As opposed to your “I don’t like Trump but I’ll take his side every fucking time, tee-hee-hee, aren’t I coy?” fandance?

            1. one = that’s not true, two = why do you even fucking care?

              I could understand your (and others) need to spew vituperation at other people who comment here during the election. I don’t really see the point now, unless its just what you enjoy doing, because you’re lonely without someone to fight with. Lighten up.

              1. Yes, I think shrike has also “disagreed” with Obama a few times.

                1. Sure sugar, i’m just as bad as buttplug. You’re very rational and totally not being silly.

                  1. Has anyone seen “Hot Pursuit”? Is it really as bad as it looks?

                    1. That was for somewhere else.

                2. “I think shrike has also “disagreed” with Obama a few times”

                  I contest this, I’ve never seen it. And now it’s went completely mad over Hillary’s unfortunate loss.

          3. Is that what made the campaign season so unpleasant, then? I learned something today.

            1. i thought so. getting into personal tiffs with people over political opinions seems silly.

              1. Getting into a personal tiff with someone because of their Michael Rappaport admiration is not silly at all.

                1. I never said i *admired* the guy, i just said he did me solid once so i can’t hate him. also, the knicks

                  1. You wish you could have his untalented baby, and then bring that baby to the only time the garden was Eden, and that was in the early to mid-1970s

                    I did always like Larry Johnson, though.

                    1. If you haven’t tried it, do so. Danza as a badass and you can take him seriously enough.

                    2. That is the worst thing I’ve ever read on this blog, and that includes every SugarFree story and every post by a Canadian.

                    3. Don’t knock it if you don’t try it

          4. Pretty much the answer i gave up-stream to “where’d everybody go?”

          5. Oh C’mon. There is only one true libertarian and everyone here knows who it is. Ask anyone and you will get the same answer.

            1. “me”
              Oh wait, I mean “Hitler?”

          6. MUH SEKRIT CLUB and all that

        3. I can recall quite a few commenters here saying that they aren’t libertarian. It seemed to be a trend there for a while, but I don’t see it as much now. I do believe though that there are a lot more Republicans and conservotards who want to hang out with libertarians, than there are Democrats. In fact, it seems that Democrats pretty much universally hate libertarians more than they hate Republicans. Republicans can at least get on a little state worship. I think the fact that we even agree with them on some stuff drives them especially crazy.

          1. I can recall quite a few commenters here saying that they aren’t libertarian.

            you would think for a political movement that wants to gain as many potential new adherents as possible (like during election years), this would be seen as a *good thing*, rather than cause for constant complaint.

            my impression of “how people perceive libertarians” from the outside is that most people still don’t really know WTF it is. most people get as far as (spits) Ayn Rand… and that’s about it.

            We don’t really help in this regard, i know (*shrugs in a “you got me there” way to Theoretical Virgina Postrel)

            it seems that Democrats pretty much universally hate libertarians more than they hate Republicans

            for good reason. the whole culture-war bullshit doesn’t really work on us. and its the only weapon they’ve got these days.

        4. Everyone knows that real libertarians spend all their time complaining that there aren’t Top Men, top down detailed 2,000 page policy plans and regulatory bills to fix all the bureaucracies and problems in America, and that privatization isn’t really that great and shouldn’t be trusted.

          That’s according to all our real true blue libertarians writing for Reason from the heart of the Beltway and their faux tough-guy supporters like Warty, and SugarFree.

      2. Speaking of random crazy bastards, apparently there’s some kind of alt-right movement to make an all-white state on the West Coast.

        I say we let People’s Republic of California and Whiteington go independent and fight to the death.

        1. Good God, yes. And then Lex Luthor that sumbitch.

          1. “This is not about Asian fetishism or yellow fever.”

            Sure.

            “…Asian girls are better than white girls.”

            Well I mean, depending on where you buy them they’re at least more cost-effective.

              1. Where do you find these things, HM? Your googlefu is closer to arcane sorcery, isn’t it?

                1. Here’s the thing.

                  They find me. I’ve been a weirdness magnet my whole life.

                  I think I’ve told the story here about the time I was drinking in a small pub in Mae Hong Song province right on the border of the Shan State in Burma when the only shirtless, bandoleer-wearing, Shan rebel army officer who was formerly a Oxbridge-trained Shakespeare scholar decided to sit down across from me?

                  1. No. But I would love to know how to pursue a lifestyle like that.

                    1. Well, in that guy’s case it was “be born to an influential family, study abroad, have an awakening about ‘your people,’ leave your studies and return to fight in the jungle.”

                    2. I meant yours, given that Mae Hong Song, Shan State, Burma, and Oxbridge are all locations so foreign I’m pretty sure you’ve come through the wardrobe from Narnia.

                    3. Me? At the time, it was “be willing to travel 12 time zones away with only one suitcase to your name and knowing only how to say ‘no’ and ‘chicken’ in the native tongue upon arrival.”

                      You can vicariously visit Mae Hong Song in the meantime.

                    4. I’m just looking for what every millennial wants, HM: tell me what to major in and where to apply to have an interesting life.

                  2. *unzips*

                    Go On, Mr. Mulatto…

              2. I need to start writing porn summaries.

          2. What does he propose to do with the children? After a couple generations, you just have the Philippines. Do you keep importing white men to act as the ruling class?

            1. I’m thinking that he thinks it always ends with a facial.

              1. And by “it,” I mean “sexual intercourse,” of which, he has never had.

            2. If Spanish colonialism is any indicator, they become their own separate sub-class within the caste system and you just keep importing the white ruling class.

              1. Yeah, I should have remembered that this was all figured out a long time ago.

        2. I was discussing with someone the other day about how so much of the alt-right is a combination of the completely earnest and the completely absurd. It’s like a car accident, I just can’t look away.

          I mean, take a look at the Twitter feed of the gay, nudist, Nazi bodybuilder. It is completely and utterly absurd, but there is nothing that even gives a wiff that he isn’t also deadly serious. That constant questioning of “Is this just post-ironic trolling?” with no rational way to answer the question definitively. The entire political “movement” is one giant Zen koan.

          And it all started when some click-bait journalists pissed off gamers.

          1. I agree with you – GamerGate will forever be the worst.

            1. It’s kinda like when you’re boogermining ‘cuz there’s that one crusty bugger up there annoying the shit out of your nostrils, and suddenly you have a torrential nosebleed on your hands.

              1. Very well put, sir. If you dig deep enough for treasure, a golden-haired billionaire and his strange children will run the most powerful country in the world.

          2. I know. Digging into the alt-right reminds me of that post-religion religious convention in Transmetropolitan. Some of it is just so fucking odd that you keep waiting for the tell, the obvious hint that it’s a troll, but it’s completely straight. It’s a fantastically weird underground counter-culture that is so profoundly incoherent I just have to laugh when people demand I take it dead seriously. Hitler would look at these guys and see a collection of freaks and deviants.

            1. Doktor Sleepless! I was racking my brains trying to think of that title!

              But anyway, yeah. You know who else was part of a society composed of freaks and deviants who held some completely bizarre beliefs?

              1. Yes, but Hitler hated the Thule mysticism too. And gay nudist Nazi is basically a Rohmite. Nazism did collapse numerous Aryan groups into the movement, but they did clean house a bit and have a marginally coherent, if stupid central ideology. While the alt-right’s just an insane mix of people with completely disparate ideas. I mean, even the ‘normal’ alt-right forums are full of arguments like “you know what we need? An all-white Christian capitalist republic”, “No, fuck you, what we really need is a pagan caste-based monarchy”.

          3. so much of the alt-right is a combination of the completely earnest and the completely absurd

            Aside from that one website (Radix?) that was perused a while back (in an aritcle titled “what is the alt right” maybe?)… i’ve never come across any single source of Alt-Rightery that would allow me to make any impression of it at all. Most of my impression is just stuff from the comments-section @ Taki, random videos on youtube, and the occasional link that takes me to one of their various hives (amren, Vox Day’s thing, etc) and gives me some concentrated dose of context-free ranting.

            as with the “Deploraball” article earlier today… the impression i’ve gotten is that there is no “one” Alt-Right. Its just an umbrella for a bunch of people who rarely ever occupy the same space; and when they do, it doesn’t actually go all that well, because they don’t really share as much in common as the media would have you think.

            e.g. some are actually genuine neo-nazis, and some seem like they took 1980s Paleocons out of the fridge and re-heated them in the microwave.

            I think there’s also a very large 3rd category, which are just the young-internet-shitposters who really don’t give a fuck about race or political ideology, and just purposely try to rub people the wrong way.

            i think the latter is why people confused MDE with “alt right”, for instance.

            1. You haven’t been paying attention, then. Donald Trump very clearly and cogently lays out all the tenants of the alt-right movement in his regimen of daily tweets.

              1. I admit, i find the frog strangely compelling.

                Anthony Fantano is very helpful to me, explaining meme-stuff.

                he’s normally a music-reviewer. his music reviews are sort of terrible, but he’s so prolific and generally “correct” in terms of taste that he’s a genuine internet-celebrity.

                his meme-reviews seem to be a newer, second-career.

            2. Right. And from the outside looking in, the earnestness of the 1st (and 2nd) group combined with the for the lulz absurdity of the 3rd create this situation where you are never really sure if one is not taking himself seriously or if one is taking himself too seriously.

              1. Lololololololol. The mud person with his mud child is explaining whiteness. Lolollolololololol.

                Frog. Feminists are cunts and all women are feminists.

                Lol jk.

                I will violently rape everyone you know.

                Lol jk.

                1. That fucking frog meme gets an instant block on my twitter account. Anyone embracing the “deplorable” meme, too. Doubly so anyone earnestly using “cuck.”

                  1. anyone earnestly using “cuck.”

                    I think SIV uses it half-jokingly because he knows it drives people (sevo particularly) nuts. I think its funny.

                    1. Sometimes it’s half-jokingly, sometimes it isn’t, accurately sums up the alt right.

              2. the earnestness of the 1st (and 2nd) group combined with the for the lulz absurdity of the 3rd create this situation where you are never really sure if one is not taking himself seriously or if one is taking himself too seriously.

                yep. I do see how all 3 of those groups borrow a little from each other and create some sort of quasi-coherent internet culture, which is exactly how you describe = absurd/serious

                the aspect of it i genuinely find disturbing are actually not the ‘sincere racists’ like Richard Spenser or the people @ Taki, but the casual ones in youtube comments that seem to see JEWS everywhere, or suggest there’s racial reasons for shit that actually makes no sense.

                they’re just like progressive teenagers….

                ….but instead of blaming their woes on the “Corporations and the 1%, man”, and allowing their utter ignorance of how economies work to blame some category of business for their lack of progtopia….

                ….they instead go one (quasi logical) step farther and put a Face on that category, and make it the “Evil Jew Conspiracy”. Oh, they’re OK with business and capitalism = its just that the (()) spoiled it all and are planning white genocide!

                honestly, the “scientific racists” of Vdare.com variety seem harmless to me. its these teenagers that genuinely scare me.

                1. honestly, the “scientific racists” of Vdare.com variety seem harmless to me. its these teenagers that genuinely scare me.

                  I agree with you.

                2. I read through these comments but I have no idea what any of that means. I don’t know who any of those people are. Never heard of ’em. I am suspicious that the alt-right is a thing that does not exist, at least not i n any meaningful way.

        3. Wow, that’s hilarious.

          Reminds me of Christian Exodus, which tried (is trying) the same thing, only with Jesus, and otherwise seem racially-cool. They even look like they have the same web-design as the Whitelandia people.

          I first came across CE in 2003 (around the same time i came across Reason magazine) i signed up to their mailing list because i was curious about the whole ‘intentional community’ thing, thought i might write something about them. I pretended to be a recently divorced teacher from can’t remember where, named Daryl Coombs. I was very enthusiastic. I recall being surprised at how little anyone really ever talked about Jesus. They had a “no denominational infighting” rule which most people observed.

          unlike H&R 🙂

          1. Their intro page is interesting because it essentially comes off as a ‘Christian Exodus’ style call to a return to ‘decency’. There’s a definite ‘Memberberries’ spin:

            Let’s take a look backward fifty years or so. Families were anchored by a husband and wife. The husband earned a living, and the wife made the home worth living in. A high school diploma meant something, and employers were glad to add a new graduate to their payroll. Wages were sufficient for the new family to buy a house and a car and take vacations. Most people avoided debt, except for a mortgage.

            Neighborhoods were safer. You could take a walk at night if you wanted. Many people didn’t bother to lock their doors. There was no foul language on radio or television, or in the movies. When someone gave you their word, it could be depended on.

            …And then it suddenly turns into “and that’s why we need a country for white people only” (well, their argument is that the U.S. is going to collapse, and every ethnic group is going to try to destroy every other ethnic group, therefore white utopia). Of course, not touched on is what exactly they’re going to do with all the non-whites in the Northwest.

            1. .their argument is that the U.S. is going to collapse, and every ethnic group is going to try to destroy every other ethnic group, therefore white utopia

              as i said – Christian Exodus was very similar. (albeit their target was SC instead of the Pac NW)

              …. here’s a sample (from the execrable RationalWiki) =

              The Christian Exodus is a group of dominionists founded in 2003. Their stated goal is to move “thousands of Christian Constitutionalists to South Carolina to accelerate the return of self-governance based on Christian principles”. Barring that, they desire “personal secession” by “disentangling from society” where possible, including home schooling, going off the electric grid, self-sufficient farming, etc.

              Fittingly, they seem to have fallen off the grid almost entirely sometime after 2013…. …The group appears to have some crossover with the Sovereign citizen movement.[3] There is also a theme of rugged individualism, the site promoting agrarianism and survivalism.[4][5] To add to the general mess, the movement promotes natural childbirth,[6] naturopathy,[7], and home schooling.[8] They are also anti-feminist and somewhat paranoid about Marxism.

              The site believes the United States has become godless, morally and financially bankrupt, and is doomed to decline and fall.[9] …They maintain the government should have no role in areas such as our bodies, health, family, children or money.[10]

              1. * i included all that just to note – most of these types of groups? tend to be little-different in practice from hippies who started commnunes in the 1960s, or survivalists in the 1980s.

                basically, they thing modernity is hopelessly corrupted, the end is coming, so best to sequester themselves and prep for the collapse.

                It never gets old, for what i suppose are obvious reasons.

                1. These weren’t the crazy fuckers who tried poisoning a bunch of people in a buffet using a spray bottle filled with salmonella or whatever, were they?

                  1. No. Christian Exodus were harmless. JSTOR has some academic paper about them here Here’s a USA Today article from 2006

                    I can’t speak for the Whitelandia people.

            2. The world of 50 years ago that he describes only ever existed in his head.

              1. I guess if you’re a white person who doesn’t care about or wants foul language on tv they tell you to fuck off to New Babylon.

                At least the Christian Exodus people are basing their utopia on a coherent religion/philosophy, Whiteington is just “hey, white people want to live in an idealized 50s that didn’t exist, right?”

    4. Shorter Warty:

      Republicans R dumdums who hate foriegnerz. Haha. I’m smart.

    5. I can only speak for myself, but I come here because I do have libertarian values. Your “foreigner-hating” term kind of burns, because I have asked about the open borders platform of the party on these here threads. The libertarian platform of open borders is something I am conflicted about. It was, and remains, an honest question. I don’t hate anybody, but I am not sure how that squares with other libertarian values of taking money from one person to give it to another. I just had a friend call me last week. A guy I worked with over the years in different countries. He just made it to the US fleeing what Venezuela has become. I told him if he needs anything, let me know. I would help this man and his family in any way I could. But I would not want my neighbor, or you, or anybody else to support him through the force of Government. Around Christmas, a commenter, sorry I can’t remember who it was, talked of his time off Saigon and the refugees on the ship as they sailed home. Great stories. I had typed up a sea story too. It involved Cubans in the Gulf Stream in the early 90’s. But I didn’t hit submit. Again, I can only speak for myself, but I don’t know anyone who would deny someone fleeing a murderous government safe haven. But I am not sure how a nation survives if everybody wanting a better job can just walk across the border. Otherwise I am headed North to work at a Tim Hortons.

      1. Don’t waste your time with the party platform. Nobody knows what’s in it and it doesn’t matter.

        As far as the survival of the nation, nations existed for a long time before the mammals in charge started forbidding subordinate mammals to cross an imaginary line without permission from some mammal in a suit. Don’t worry so much.

        1. Don’t worry so much? Didn’t your read what that Mormon girl wrote? We are all going to die!!

        2. Sure, the Mongols, for instance, just wanted jobs the Chinese, Semites, and Europeans wouldn’t do.
          Open borders is where libertarianism descends into utopian magical thinking. As long as we share a border with a corrupt second world country and have a welfare system, open borders reduces liberty instead of expanding it.

          1. Let me dial that back: as long as those conditions exist, open borders is a legitimate subject for debate within libertarian circles.

            1. This is pretty good debate on immigration from a libertarian perspective. AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN SCREAM.

              1. Man, Larken Rose. Haven’t heard that name in a while.

                1. After he got out of the big house he kind of went off the radar.

              2. I watched 20 mins of it. I am so confused what actually is aggression. That used to be easy.

                1. If the state wants to restrict movement of people, it has to use at least the threat of aggression. Using aggression is wrong according to Larkin. From what I’m hearing, he’s basically answering Socrates’ question to Polus, “And now what about this? Which is more shameful, doing injustice or suffering injustice? Answer!”. The other guy is arguing that you get less aggression by limiting the number of people that will, in aggregate, facilitate greater government aggression. Not exactly clear to me which one is right, but it’s a good jumping off point.

                  1. The bald dude was making the point, that there is so much land, it could be homesteaded, (I think) but the Gov claims the land. If the Gov did not claim that land, maybe they would not have to steal, “aggressively take money” from the other people so new arrivals could make their own way. I don’t know. I was almost enjoying it, and then the one guy had to bring up, “but what if one group was this color”. What the fuck? Get over it, nobody cares about color. Quit giving my money to that guy by force.

                    1. replace ” ” with ( )

                    2. That guy, as you called him, is quite the flamethrower. Making that speech in public. That’s ballz.

                    3. HM, I don’t feel qualified to comment on sweaters.

                    4. That was good.

          2. Can we get a moratorium on comparing military campaigns to immigration? I’m willing to let the Migratory Period comment pass because it was essentially began as a mass migration of refugees (that interestingly enough, they kept wanting more stuff from the Romans, until they decided the deal wasn’t good enough) but comparing Mongolian expansion to immigration is asinine. Mexicans are not storming across the border in hordes to collect ears and built pyramids of skulls.

            1. NO! It’s the Reconquista of Aztl?n! Stop believing the (((media))) lies you time-traveling ninny!

              1. As if any self-respecting death cultist would use a non-Mexican skull for their Santa Muerte icon.

            2. Which is why i begged to step back and restate the case in mellower terms 🙂

              1. I figured as much, but this is more of a general criticism of the hyperbolic as shit rhetoric that jumps into the immigration discussion. Either no one enforced borders ever in human history and it was fine or every single military invasion in human history is some Aesop’s about immigration. They’re both just nonsensical, unfounded positions to take.

                1. Fair enough. Armed invasion is quantifiably different than economic immigration. However, as Europe is learning, mass immigration of people with very different values can lead to bad results.
                  From an economics point of view, every immigrant is actually a new resource for the host country, and that is good. From other points of view, mass immigration can cause severe problems in wages, public education, and weakening of common views concerning freedom and the role of government, as well as cause civil strife over culture norms (i.e. mini skirts, the Habib, pederasty, etc.)

                  1. “mass immigration can cause severe problems in wages, public education, and weakening of common views concerning freedom and the role of government, as well as cause civil strife over culture norms”

                    Feature, not bug.

                    /Obama

            3. Mexicans are not storming across the border in hordes to collect ears and built pyramids of skulls.

              That is not what I heard.

        3. “…nations existed for a long time before the mammals in charge started forbidding subordinate mammals to cross an imaginary line without permission…”

          On what planet? There has never been a time in the history of mankind or of our ancestor species when you could just wander about as you please, to gambol if you will. If you don’t believe it go ask a chimp what happens when he leaves his tribes territory.

        4. As far as the survival of the nation, nations existed for a long time before the mammals in charge started forbidding subordinate mammals to cross an imaginary line without permission from some mammal in a suit. Don’t worry so much.

          And then the nation was gone.

          Does it make you a better person to encourage the same thing- vs being too weak to prevent it? Don’t worry, Wartdude- your grandchildren are going to love living on the rez in Wayne, West Virginia.

          1. Cultural appropriation. Progs hardest hit. But has anyone yet freed the buffalo? Not even Speckled Eagle Bear?

        5. Can I get an actual date on when these mammals started enforcing imaginary lines? Because it’s before 113 BC.

          1. 11:00 am, August 14th, 4,462,281 BC. That was the first time.

    6. Steroids… Small balls and smaller brains.

    7. Damn, sounds like Warty needs a safe space. You gonna cry? Poor pathetic little thing. At one time, I actually believed that you were a man. Clearly I was mistaken.

  23. Not sure why libertarians in fight so much. Well, I mean, yes I am aware of why. We’re not herd animals. Which is why a libertarian political stance is so much healthier than being a lefty or a conservotard. So there’s some things we will all agree on as libertarians, but you get way more wiggle room than even conservatives. The far end of the spectrum is leftists and that is some straight up goose step stuff right there. The Borg are jealous. I just think we should agree more on disagreeing and that’s ok. Try going to DU or HuffPo and look for some healthy debate. You won’t find it.

    1. “you get way more wiggle room than even conservatives”

      Really? Because I’ve seen various kinds of conservative. And that includes Conservatives for Gay Marriage.

      It’s a friggen rainbow coalition.

      Some of them are even libertarian sympathizers, as long as you don’t drive several miles out of your way simply for the purpose of insulting them, like Johnson and Weld seemed to take delight in doing.

      1. “you get way more wiggle room than even conservatives”

        Really? Because I’ve seen various kinds of conservative. And that includes Conservatives for Gay Marriage.”

        Yes, absolutely really. Libertarians disagree on things way more than conservatives do. If that were not true, conservatives would be libertarians. And a lot of them who have gotten to that point ARE libertarians even if they don’t know it. I was libertarian for 3 decades before I even knew what it was.

        1. Well, two can play at that game, consider whether libertarians aren’t a type of conservative.

          Maybe not Weld, but H&R people as a general rule.

          -Distrustful of reshaping society by force (by cultural osmosis, sure, but not by force), distrustful of Big Plans along those lines

          -Getting off the identity-politics bandwagon (if a bit belatedly in some cases) and recognizing the dangers

          -Sentiments sounding a lot like American exceptionalism (and I don’t mean “we’re exceptional so let’s bomb those other countries which aren’t exceptional enough”)

          -Gold and Guns – 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

          1. I’ve seen intra-conservative disagreements on

            -war

            -federalism

            -drugs

            -economics

            -etc.

            There was a conservative “movement” with an artificial consensus, let’s see how cohesive that “movement” remains in present circumstances, but it doesn’t define conservativism

            1. Excellent points, Eddy. I don’t know how much i agree, but definitely a different way to look at it.

            2. As far as I’m concerned, conservatism means what I’ve read of Edmund Burke and his nostrums for society, and as long as self-avowed conservatives cleave precisely to Burkian philosophy, they’re True Conservatives, and where they depart from it they’re progressive radicals cast to the outer darkness of political philosophy, never to be countenanced by such as myself.

        2. I was libertarian for 3 decades before I even knew what it was.

          I suspect many of the commentariat are like this. The Silver Rule seemed so natural to me from an early age; then I discovered “Liberty”; stuff by Harry Browne; Reason; etc.; etc.

          “If you don’t like libertarianism, don’t use it.”

          1. Somehow for several years between high school and my early twenties I was able to rationalize a love for both Ayn Rand and progressivism. And then in 2008, after voting for Obama and seeing him take office, I started listening to a bunch of audio tracks on economics I’d torrented. One of them was a lecture by Walter Block, and he turned my head inside out. It was all downhill after that.

          2. “If you don’t like libertarianism, don’t use it.”

            Of course, this may be a problem.

    2. Because the minarchist vs anarchist debate is the most important issue of our day.

      1. indeed.

        its not like there’s anything in the real world people should be worried about. Instead we should be debating whether *true* anarchism allows for medicaid-funded abortions, or state-mandated snow-shoveling, and other serious-intellectual topics like that.

        1. GILMORE, you’ve made a few allusions to the snow-shovelling thing; any chance you’ve got a link to what you’re referring to?

          1. Here’s the relevant laws in Ohio.

          2. GILMORE, you’ve made a few allu-sions to the snow-shovelling thing

            really? i think its only crossed my mind like twice in the last year. You have a good memory if so.

            Its a vague reference to a nikki-argument from not-too-many years ago. she was a very particular kind of self-described anarchist who, despite being extremely doctrinaire about many things, would pick some random issues to go completely off the reservation about.

            among them, State-mandated snow-shoveling*, and government funding abortions.

            both provoked comment-storms, more than once i think.

            Maybe i’m just confusing references to either as reiterations of the argument, but regardless… it stuck in my mind as a perfect case-study of = “stupid shit reason-libertarians will scream at each other over for hours on end”

            I’d find you a link, but my googlefu is not that good. I’ll give it a brief try, but don’t get your hopes up. (*even if i do find anything – its not going to be that interesting)

            1. this is the best i could do. Jan of last year, and its just some dude badgering her with a reference to it, and she reiterates that its a public-safety issue, etc.

              *bonus points for Irish being very exasperated at the top of the thread at someone suggesting he’s racist

  24. Trump whateverism has made the Reason for more uninteresting than it should be. That statement applies to everyone but me, because I’m better than you.

    1. That statement applies to everyone but me, because I’m better than you.

      in your case its actually true. no homo.

      1. I just locked my doors. And windows. And I put pants on.

        1. Trying a new disguise? Smart.

  25. Doom 2016 is without a doubt the most fun I’ve had playing video games in a good long while. It’s even better than JC3, which I’d previously thought was the pinnacle of modern gaming. No. Doom is polished and obsessively tactile in a way you wouldn’t think possible. You remember leaning into dodges? It’s like that all the time. You’re constantly on the move. If you’re not, you’re dead. It’s retro gaming at its finest, where dying isn’t a setback, just a natural consequence of you sucking and needing to git gud. And visually it’s pretty stellar, too.

    1. I loved the original Doom. Back in the early days, there was a group of 4 or 5 of us who would all take our entire PC setup (monitors with tubes, keyboards, tower, etc.) over to Randy’s house, because he was the head nerd and actually had a router. We all would set up around his dining room table, plug am actual cord into the router, and get our multiplayer Doom on. Wow, the memories that brings back. Jeebuz, it must have been damn near 25 years ago.

      1. I did the same about 15 years ago with Starcraft. I still remember losing my carrier fleet to the guy’s much better constituted Terran force. I don’t remember his name, I just remember being put in my place.

        1. I remember one of our group, John, had an onboard video card. Nowadays is OK. Back then, his screen crawled, and he was basically just target practice for those of us with Invidia or whatever the alt was that I had.
          Man, he would get so frustrated and mad. Ah, good times, good times.

    2. I’ve been trying to like it, but it’s not really grabbed me. I think I’ve only played through the first 2 or 3 levels.

      Maybe I’m just a wuss who’s scared of dying.

      1. Oh, man. Dying is half the fun. It gets better when you get the stupid plot-device double-jump mechanic. But still, it’s all about moving and jumping.

  26. You will change your mind IMMEDIATELY when I post a link that directly, directly MFer, refutes the infantile point you put forward. This is MY god damned world. No, you can’t “sleep on it” you pathetic POS. Change NOW! Living in this world of douchebags like yourself is hard enough. I’ve spent years studying this shit and you know I’m right, so just gut the wisdom I’m tossing in your face. *Flexes Butt Cheeks* However you got here, FUCK YOU. Those were decisions you made and you suck for having made them. I can’t go and unfuck your brain, so just FUCKING CHANGE NOW.

    1. All I’m sayings is it’s a pretty good game. Maybe the best of the year.

        1. I’m playing through on ultraviolent, and I’m not a tryhard gamer by any means. But I’m loving it. Even dying, you realize you deserved to lose because you fucked up in various ways. It’s punishing and rewarding in equal measure.

  27. Is it the new year yet?

    Let’s get this over with already.

    1. *spins revolver, sets it on the table*

      You first, or me?

      1. Lol, i read that as “you, Fist, or me?”

      2. You?

    2. In nine hours or so, it will be the new year in Sydney, Australia.

      1. …and nine hours after *that,* Australians will wake up in the middle of the outback without their pants.

    3. Wait, have you heard about that bus with the entire cast of *Firefly*?

      Sorry, just a sick joke.

    4. 2017 was the worst year of my life.

  28. By the way, what the heck was that with Wedding Tackle in the AM links?

    Holy tasty Eucharist that was, erm, special.

    1. Dunno. After the third post I blocked the dumb motherfucker. I wish more of us had, every reply exponentiated his involvement.

    2. It was a Mike M acolyte. Sad.

      1. I figured it was butthurt Eli Lake come to shit all over Reason after smoking another bowl.

    3. I’ve already apologized for engaging it. Can’t we just drop it?

      1. Yeah, you would say that, bafflingcum.

          1. Well then. If that’s how you feel about Mike, then I’ll keep my opinions to myself.

            1. Absolutely. Mike would’ve used better nicknames.

              1. I’d just prefer it if Donna posted more often.

    4. Joke all you want; will you still be laughing when Eli Lake is raided by the DEA on New Years Day?

      1. No, but I will laugh when Elizabeth is abducted by Mossad.

        1. Did you just out the Mossad’s secret kidnapping plot?

          1. When was ENB’s last post?

            I fear it has already happened.

            1. My guess? They are keeping her inside the recently “closed” Carnegie Deli. Sure, she’s being held against her will and tortured, but the hot pastrami on rye is to die for.

              1. Those wholesome titties are at my house.

  29. According to the NYT, not enough non-whites are visiting national parks, and That’s A Problem.

    Why Are Our Parks So White?

    The place to start is the National Park Service. About 80 percent of park service employees in 2014 were white. The parks’ official charity, the National Park Foundation, has four minority members on its 22-person board.

    Minorities did not exceed 16 percent of the boards or staffs of some 300 environmental organizations, foundations and government agencies included in a 2014 study for Green 2.0, an initiative dedicated to increasing racial diversity in such institutions. Minorities hold fewer than 12 percent of environmental leadership positions, and none led an organization with a budget of at least $1 million, the study found.

    1. Having dated “non-white”, I was assured that “non-whites” don’t go swimming, and they don’t go camping. I was strongly dissuaded from bringing it up again.

      1. I dated a few non-white girls. They all swam, camped, hiked etc. Of course none of them were from the south or were from families that fled the south and had been absorbed into white culture.

        1. This girl was born in Detroit but raised in San Antonio since her teenage years, and didn’t want anything to do with the outdoors. She was a sweetheart, though. Loved a good steak and cherished cocktail hours. She wanted to live the high life. She ended up with me for awhile, unfortunately. Until she split. Last I heard, she’d gone on to date some European bloke. Gone continental, I guess. If this all sounds like a noir film reel, well, it’s because I’m embellishing a bit and only the first several sentences are real.

    2. There must be a tasteful joke about attracting more nonwhites to national parks.

      No, that one isn’t tasteful…

      …that one isn’t either…

      …certainly not that one…

      I got nothing.

    3. “The mountains are beautiful to watch,” she said, pausing for effect, “from a distance.”

      Well, there you go.

      FFS!

    4. I know that I, for one, always check the racial makeup of the group that takes care of the facilities before I choose my recreational activities.

      1. Which is why I seldom go to neo Nazi gatherings; there’s like almost no Polish board members of the US Nazi Party.

    5. Different cultures see things differently. News at 11.

      1. When I was in grad school in 1990-1992 the “whiteness” of the National Parks was a discussion then as well. Since I was in southern AZ I asked some hispanic friends what they thought of the issue. Their overall take was that they liked going to outdoors places with their families that featured mild development (picnic tables, grass for sports etc) but “wild places with nothing” was pointless since that is what their families had recently escaped. On the other hand, one of them was a hardcorps backcountry hunter since that is where the “fat idiots weren’t”. But ven for him family weekends were at Sabino picnic areas and not the adjoining wilderness area.

    6. Remember, [insert hated group] is racist because it’s all white.

      SHUT UP! It’s different when it’s the Sierra Club.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZj6UBr2KWo

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElJFYwRtrH4

      1. SEE? I think there are 1 or 2 minorities in this Greenpeace video:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RVp8Q6H9e0

        1. Why didn’t all of these planet aware enlightened ones sacrifice themselves to the ‘glah-see-ur’ gawd by falling into a ‘creh-vass’. to save the planet? No one wants to see you nekked, you fugly idjits, kill yourselves already.

  30. Enjoying today’s We The Fifth ep. Lots of talk of Russia Today and how hot Alyona is. Fact-based commentary.

    1. thanks for the reminder.

      i need to subscribe to something, because i keep expecting notifications here and missing them.

  31. Off topic yet again. I’m currently watching this episode of Frasier, and seeing Sela Ward in it almost makes me wish I gave a shit about life.

    1. In all seriousness, you are so white. Also, I really enjoy Frasier.

  32. Kennedy is cute.

    You can’t wear purple hair on tv and expect to be taken seriously.

    1. KENNEDY IS PERFECT, CAN WEAR WHATEVER COLOR SHE LIKES, AND I WILL TAKE HER ANYWAY SHE WANTS?!!!!

    2. But surely having a horse face with the purple hair helps, right?

      1. You know, i used to like you, Hyperion. But talking smack about Kennedy? Them’s fighting words. “Horse face”? If you don’t find her attractive, fine; less competition for those of us who recognize true beauty, inside and out!
        *Slams whiskey and kicks dog*

        1. Umm, shit, I thought the one on the left with NOT purple hair and NOT a horse face was Kennedy. Oh well.

          1. Well, i didn’t watch. I just assumed from the thread that Kennedy was the one with purple hair. I take back my challenge to a duel. Conditionally. Until i determine whether or not Kennedy was wearing purple hair.
            But then I’d have to watch the link. Damnit, I’m trying to be drunk, lazy, and witty all at the same time.

            1. Scroll upthread, it’s there. I can confrim that the horseface one with purple hair(blue?) is not Kennedy.

              1. I think the one on the right wrote the article. Kind of not cool calling her horse face, and I am a pig of a man. Easy there. It’s not like she is Nancy Pelosi or anything else unnatural.

                1. “Kind of not cool calling her horse face, and I am a pig of a man”

                  You’re an insult to us pigs of men. Your manpig badge has been revoked.

                  1. “Kind of not cool calling her horse face, and I am a pig of a man”

                    You’re an insult to us pigs of men. Your manpig badge has been revoked.”

                    Also, why do you necessarily see that as an insult? You’re being culturally insensitive and not open minded. Have you not heard about ‘excellent horse like women’? And then there’s the fact that I judge no woman until I’ve seen her ass in something tight. So there! I am not a man pig, but an enlightened spirit!

              2. Very well. I will stop trying to be witty, and will concentrate on drunk and lazy.

                1. My comment was to Hyperion. Is he channeling Trumps twitter feed?

                  But surely having a horse face with the purple hair helps, right?

                  1. Damn, you caught me, channeling Trump again. You got me, you got the tater.

                2. “Very well. I will stop trying to be witty, and will concentrate on drunk and lazy”

                  And all this time I was convinced that simultaneously doing all 3 of those things is a hallmark of the serious H&R commenter.

  33. This video is funny. They even made appropriate edits to the Trumpinator’s red info screen.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTbkbH3x7LQ

    1. Aren’t you supposed to be pulling guard duty, or charge of quarters? Does Uncle Sugar even make you do that stuff anymore?

      What news of the modern Army?

      1. I’m on holiday block leave til Jan 2nd. I had CQ one Saturday in November. It was lame.

        And when I get back to base, there will be the joy of the mass piss test. The last one I took, some joker put a smartphone with the babbling brook sound effect on top of the urinal to help things along.

        On a side note, I saw a pretty good documentary called The Hornet’s Nest the other day. It’s about the war in Afghanistan. Kind of sad though. Several soldiers introduced earlier in the film get killed in the battle at the end.

        I’ve been in the LA area with relatives for the past 2 weeks or so, where I shaved everyday and scrupulously obeyed all rules and regulations just like everyone else in the Army.

        1. Thanks. Let us know now and then what’s up with military life these days. Have a good ride into 2017.

        2. Well, that’s nice. I hope the Chinese don’t get wise to the fact that the entire US military is on vacation for new year’s.
          Commander Chang “the invasion is scheduled for Jan first: the American dogs will all be hungover and on liberty”

          1. James N. “Mad Dog” Mattis: “hungover, blind drunk, and STD infected, the United States Marine Corp will still beat your slanted eyes straight! We will rip off your skulls and shit down your necks! We will kick your ass so hard that your mama won’t be able to sit!” And so on, and so forth. HooRah!

          2. Eh, the Chinese military is famously corrupt and incompetent.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO9VAQR-X2Q

            And the whole military is not on leave- just the ones serving stateside, mainly.

  34. I saw the movie A Bridge Too Far about Operation Market Garden a few days ago. The Allies lost because they made more mistakes.

    allies
    -broken radios; no communication
    -bad weather delayed airborne reinforcements
    -supplies dropped in wrong place
    -lack of boats, pontoon bridges
    -jeeps did not arrive with gliders

    axis
    -bridge explosives failed
    -ignored captured plans

    1. Dude, WTF? The Allies won because Murika Fuck Yeah! You fucking commie! And what if the Nazis would have won? Would Trump be president right now? I think not!

    2. The four largest mistakes by the Allies were: not securing the schnee region around Antwerp before the offense rendering the port useless; ignoring inconvenient intelligence; trying to advance a corps over a one road wide front against the Wehrmacht which had developed a stalling defense to an art form; believing Montgomery could do anything quickly.

      The Germans on the other hand, after the initial surprise, quickly grokked the Allied intentions and effectively contained the Allied thrust. The weren’t forced from the region until the final months of the war.

  35. I read John Keegan’s A History of Warfare. Lots of interesting nuggets in there. His main point is that war is an extension of culture, not politics. Clausewitz and Sun Tzu have no way of explaining why the Aztecs would fight wars to capture people just to sacrifice them later or why the Japanese outlawed firearms in favor of swords.

    Another example- rival Islamic kingdoms and empires had trouble recruiting Muslims, who were reluctant to fight each other. So instead, slave soldiers like the Mameluke and the Janissary became the norm.

    1. I like keegan. I’ve read ~6 or 8 of his books.

      history of warfare, the mask of command, the face of battle (might be getting titles a little off) and the nature of war are all of the “lets look at the whole thing” analyses… where he takes a certain approach at looking at war (via ‘leaders’, via ‘soldiers’, via ‘technology and material’, via ‘strategy & tactics’, etc.), and might go through a 1000 years of history doing compare/contrast at each stage in history….

      …then his ‘war-specific’ books are another whole ball of wax. where he just applies the soup-to-nuts approach to a single conflict (or segment of conflict).

      I think the former are more readable, or entertaining at least. i think he’s freer to think creatively/

      the latter i think are more ‘typical’ war history, and more dry (*this happened, then this happened, etc), but also good. I can’t remember which of his books people say is the best but i think his WWI book is often cited as particularly good. I read a couple of his WWII books but none blew me away. (can’t remember which). My favorite WWII writer is Anthony Beevor, fwiw (his Crete, Stalingrad, & D-Day books were fantastic)

      *Keegans book “The Iraq War” is an utter piece of shit and should be avoided. From what i gathered he was forced by his publisher to whip something up ASAP because the war “ended” so quickly, and they wanted to capitalize on the great War historian’s name and get something out in print.

      1. Beevor’s “D-Day: The Battle of Normandy” is a good one.

        1. Don’t forget Cornelius Ryan and his other books on Operation Overlord (The Longest Day) and Berlin (The Last Battle) also William Craig’s “Enemy at the Gates”. Both authors wrote these tomes when they could still interview scores of participants and do an admirable job of mixing the view from the foxhole to the strategic level. For Craig don’t be scared off by the horrible movie of the same name.

          When I was in SFQC we had parts of “Bodyguard of Lies” (Anthony Cave Brown) which was a history of the entire web of deception operations behind Operation Overlord and was one of the first books to discuss Ultra. The part we had to read was about how the allies set up the Prosper resistance network to be compromised (with the attendant loss of French and British life) to provide credibility for the reports being sent by a captured and turned German agent. The lesson pounded into our skulls was that we could be sacrificed on the altar of the greater good in wartime because winning, not us, was what mattered. Anyway, it is a good read too that I have read cover to cover several times.

    2. I dunno. I think ultimately it’s just a way to reduce your manpower losses.

      The Aztecs captured other people to sacrifice because otherwise they would have to sacrifice their own people.

      Muslims used slave soldiers because otherwise they would have to sacrifices their own people in wars. Though to a certain extent, their 4 women to 1 man is also a way to ensure you have a lot of angry young men to use in fodder for wars.

    3. Explaining why the Aztecs captured people and then sacrificed them is easy if you take into account facts not usually mentioned in history books. The Aztecs lived in a desert. Deserts don’t produce enough protein to feed large populations. Neither do jungles. Gotta get that protein from somewhere.

      1. Are you suggesting that the culture engaged in widespread nutritional cannibalism? I’ve never read anything that supports anything other than study of human sacrifice for ritualistic god-appeasement.

        1. I agree with you Pompey concerning the Aztecs. I have seen no evidence presented that pre-Spanish contact they engaged in large scale cannibalism. Plus their collapse was too rapid for that practice to emerge as well. However Indo-cultural cannibalism is not unknown. The practice appears in the period preceding the collapse of the Anasazi culture. The Hopi and Zuni get indignant about these findings and blackball the authors.

  36. Will Donald Trump Screw Up V.A. Privatization? Probably.
    Bad privatization is worse than no privatization at all.

    #TrumpDerangementSyndrome

    Trump calls for fulfilling the wet dreams of libertarians, but it has to be opposed and sneered at, because Orange.

  37. Going for that transsexual I”m totally not a man because I dyed my hair blue” look, I see.

    Still, at least you aren’t channel Fonzie or Pee-Wee Herman

  38. So, Mengu-Ward extrapolates from zero evidence and comes to the conclusion that Trump will fail. That’s some first-class journalism, right there.

    1. We have already discovered that Trump has no idea where his bombs are falling.

  39. HAPPY NEW YEARS

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  40. Virginia Postrel would never have gone on national TV with blue hair.

  41. From the libertarian perspective, “will politician X screw up on policy issue Y?” Yes, they will probably do a bad job of it, that is what politicians do. After all, if politicians crafted nothing but good policies then none of us would be libertarians.

  42. “veterans’ inability to seek care elsewhere…”

    There are hospitals and clinics in just about every country in the world. USA included. What is stopping veterans from using these facilities?

    1. Costs. In the end, it is always about costs. Veterans have poor access, but the care once they get it, is good.

      1. In the end, it is always about costs

        Not to the patient, it’s not. The price paid by the patient ($0) has no connection to any costs.

        Veterans have poor access, but the care once they get it, is good.

        Good enough for the price point, anyway.

        1. To be clear, of course veteran patients have their own costs to consider. But the direct monetary cost of VA treatment is not one of them.

  43. Bad privatization is worse than no privatization at all.

    But isn’t any privatization better than leaving it to the public sector?

    1. “But isn’t any privatization better than leaving it to the public sector?”

      Unless you are worried about costs. In that case public sector care is worth the wait, as VA waiting lists tell us.

      1. It’s a little difficult to compete with $0.

        1. “It’s a little difficult to compete with $0.”

          True, but people should be willing to pay if medical treatments are superior to those offered by VA. My point is, why privatize the VA when veterans already have plenty of private options to choose from.

  44. HAPPY NEW YEARS

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  45. Obama started the “Choice” program several years ago. That was supposed to be the answer to the VA’s problems and a way for Veterans to be kept off of so called “waiting lists”. However the “Choice” program has been a HUGE deabacle because for one thing, the private sector does NOT have enough physicians to care for all of our Veterans, esp. in the specialty areas, such as psychiatry, cardiology, nephrology, etc. The wait to see a specialist is not shorter and in some cases is longer. The compensation from the VA to the private sector is a bureaucratic nightmare….since the choice program, the way it is designed, is not run by the VA, neither is the billing.so the private sector billing goes from the private sector provider…through choice..through the VA….and if you are very lucky….gets paid. Many Veterans find themselves going to collections with expensive unpaid hospital bills..due to the Choice program. Be careful what you wish for. It might sound good..but just because it makes YOU feel good to think you have “helped” the Veterans..it doesn’t always do that. There was no real follow up on Obama’s plan. I am all for things that will really help our Veterans. REALLY help. Not just on paper or as a sound bite…but will work..in the long run. also we need specially trained practioners in mental health for PTSD and military sexual trauma.can the private sector handle what our people have been through? There is a lot to consider. Consider all of it.

  46. The article’s suggestion that privatization is tricky but possible, suggests that in most cases it should not be pursued because staff is required to monitor the contracts, and training such staff is difficult.

    The article need to provide examples of successful privatizations

    1. Staff are also required to monitor internal processes for functions that aren’t privatized, and such training is equally difficult. Indeed, it may be even more difficult, because the oversight mechanisms are frequently entangled with conflicts of interest that nobody has to disclose or repudiate.

      Saying “if we don’t manage this contract well, there will be problems” is true. It is equally true that “if we don’t manage the in-house operations of this agency well, there will be problems”. Contracting tends to make the problems more evident and attributable, though.

    2. I think it might be better if we started by asking you to provide examples of the private sector performing as badly as the VA has. I think it would be hard to find such examples. I have very little respect for anything, at all (I was tempted to write the parody song above as “One-legged,”) but I do think we ought to, regardless of politics, make sure wounded veterans are treated well. If that means privatization, it means such.

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    R-r-r-regulations?

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