Gun Rights

The House Passes a Gun Measure Supported by the ACLU and Mental Health Advocates. Media Hysteria Ensues.

Bad reporting, and bad attitudes, make a sensible move to prevent the government from discriminating against certain Social Security recipients seem like sheer madness.


The Associated Press would have you believe yesterday that "House votes to roll back Obama rule on background checks for gun ownership." Discussing the same incident, National Public Radio informed its sober, serious listeners who want real news and not all that cable network noise that "House Votes to Overturn Obama Rule Restricting Gun Sales to Mentally Ill."

CNN tweet

Charles Cooke at National Review has an excellent post with visuals of many idiotic news tweets and a great explanation of the controversy.

The impression one would get from those headlines, and others that you can see in Cooke's article linked above, is that background checks for gun ownership maybe weren't going to exist anymore? That before Obama, you could sell guns to the mentally ill, and now that he's gone the GOP says you can again?

Getting across every nuance of a convoluted procedural change in a headline is tough, sure. But one should err on the side of avoiding strongly implying something serious and panic-inducing to many of your readers that just isn't true. (Unless your goal is to seriously panic your readers.)

What actually did happen? The Obama administration had proposed and passed a rule via what he called at the time "executive actions to reduce gun violence" (that is, somewhat like the "executive orders" you hear so much about these days, something the executive branch wanted to do and just went ahead and did) to arbitrarily deprive an entire class of innocent American—a certain class of Social Security recipients who are not yet at full retirement age and who get their money sent through a "representative payee" and not directly to themselves—of a constitutional right that could be vital to their safety and security.

I critiqued that awful idea here when it was still just a trial balloon in 2015, and Jacob Sullum also explained the injustice of it in January 2016.

This week the House of Representatives voted 235-180 to abolish that Obama rule.

Federal law since 1968 has prohibited those who have "been adjudicated as a mental defective or…been committed to any mental institution" from having a gun. And 1993's Brady Law mandated a national background check system to find out whether those disqualifying events have occurred for all sales from licensed firearm dealers.

Nothing about this House vote has anything at all to do with either of those things changing, despite misleading headline implications.

A wide variety of groups dedicated to the rights of the disabled or mentally impaired or ill, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), were very much in favor of the House's move to eliminate this rule.

See the ACLU's letter to Congress advising them to do the thing that A.P. and NPR wanted their readers to be so scared of, giving an account of the regulation and what was wrong with it:

the SSA [Social Security Administration] promulgated a final rule that would require the names of all Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit recipients – who, because of a mental impairment, use a representative payee to help manage their benefits – be submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is used during gun purchases.

We oppose this rule because it advances and reinforces the harmful stereotype that people with mental disabilities, a vast and diverse group of citizens, are violent. There is no data to support a connection between the need for a representative payee to manage one's Social Security disability benefits and a propensity toward gun violence… the rule automatically conflates one disability-related characteristic, that is, difficulty managing money, with the inability to safely possess a firearm.

The rule includes no meaningful due process protections prior to the SSA's transmittal of names to the NICS database. The determination by SSA line staff that a beneficiary needs a representative payee to manage their money benefit is simply not an "adjudication" in any ordinary meaning of the word. Nor is it a determination that the person "[l]acks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs" as required by the NICS. Indeed, the law and the SSA clearly state that representative payees are appointed for many individuals who are legally competent.

Very specifically, the SSA claimed that under the rule they would only report to NICS people who have filed a disability claim, been determined by SSA to have an impairment that meets one of their "Mental Disorders Listings," are over 18 but under full retirement age, and have a designated payee. They also said they wouldn't blow the whistle on existing people in this sad state, just new ones moving forward.

That order has not yet gone into real effect, and by law didn't have to until December 19 of this year.

The supposed change that so alarmed headline writers and, if my social networking world is any indication, generated waves of exasperated fear across the nation is in fact no change at all in existing practice.

Obama wanted it to happen, but it hasn't gone into enforcement yet. The House has voted to make it not happen at all, and according to the Congressional Review Act now just a bare majority of the Senate needs to agree (explained in this decent bit of reporting from Bloomberg) and this rule that never previously existed will continue to not exist.

The SSA's long, long excuses for themselves at the Federal Register are worth reading to understand the bureaucratic mentality,including their sops to medical privacy such as:

we will not include medical information in our reports to the NICS—we will report only the beneficiary's name, full date of birth, sex, and Social Security number. In addition, we will only inform the FBI of the fact that the individual meets the criteria for inclusion in the NICS under the NIAA due to a mental health prohibitor, but we will not provide any details on the individual's specific diagnosis.

And if it feels like an arbitrary act without due process on the part of the SSA to deprive you of a core constitutional right, well, SSA rebuts:

Affected individuals will have the opportunity to apply for relief from the Federal firearms prohibitions…at any time after our adjudication has become final.

We let you try to get your rights back after we take them away from you without any court or review body, so, there's that.

The National Rifle Association, naturally, opposed the rule. But so, as Cooke in National Review explains in detail and with long lists, did a wide swath of organization concerned with the rights of the disabled, from the American Association of People with Disabilities to the National Alliance on Mental Illness with many in-between

There is no necessary connection between needing or wanting a designated payee for your benefits and being unable to safely use a gun. Nor is there a strong connection between being "mentally ill" or with some cognitive disability and being dangerous to self or others with guns. In a bitter irony, the people this proposed action would disarm are more likely to be victims of the sort of violence that people want guns to protect themselves from.

SSA itself admits that "We are not attempting to imply a connection between mental illness and a propensity for violence, particularly gun violence."

They just claim they should be among the official authorities who get to "adjudicate as a mental defective" according to the language of U.S. Code 922(G)(1) and one of the authorities who, via Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms regulatory policy, qualify as "a court, board, commission or other lawful authority" with power to declare someone to "lack the mental capacity to contract or manage his or her own affairs as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency…"

And having taken and used that power, there goes Second Amendment rights.

As I've explained before about the anti-gun mentality, those who want stricter gun laws don't think they need to be sure any strong benefit would come from an attempt to take away anyone's guns. It just doesn't matter that they know full well the people whose rights they are trying to take away are not known to be likely to use the right in a harmful way.

The taking away of the gun is a benefit in and of itself. They certainly don't think about any legitimate benefit the person prohibited from gun ownership might be losing.

With that mentality, benefits such as, oh, the ability to save or protect your life and property or loved ones against a violent criminal, don't matter. It's an especially cruel legal and rhetorical move when you can point at the people whose rights you are violating as the easily stigmatized and disrespected "mentally ill" and assume that does all the work you need to do to prove it's a public benefit.

Government sells itself, when questioned about its legitimacy, as necessary to keep us safe. It patently is unable to ever keep us safe from any given person meaning to do us harm in real time. When it pursues policies that disarm the innocent, especially the stigmatized innocent, with no reason to believe any larger good would arise from it, it's perfectly appropriate that Congress make the executive stop.

Unfortunately, the media reaction to this story shows that too many Americans are ready to cheer the imposition of, and fear the removal of, policies that take away the core human right of self-defense for the most cliched or prejudiced reasons.

NEXT: Canadian Effort to Bring Patients Banned from U.S. Faces Restrictions on Sick People Entering Canada

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  1. In a bitter irony, the people this proposed action would disarm are more likely to be victims of the sort of violence that people want guns to protect themselves from.

    Which, as you know, is completely irrelevant to the people writing these alarmist headlines. This was to be an incremental step to gun control and now the House GOP ruined it.

    1. These headlines just keep getting crankier. I hope the media gets used to having their ass handed to them for a while.

      Christopher Hayes

      Can you *imagine* what they will do and who they will blame if and when there’s an attack under their watch?

      David Marcus

      Probably not a YouTube video.

      Not gonna get any easier from here.

        1. Some absolute fire comments in that thread-

          “Jeff Kiser ?@1962Kiser 11h11 hours ago
          @BlueBoxDave @chrislhayes

          The last administration passed the buck so often they were their own economic mulitplier”

      1. that guy just made me a more-regular reader @ the Federalist.

        i do have them bookmarked at the top of my browser, but what happens is i go there, and see 2 things that sound interesting, and 6 that sound too dull and partisan-conservative….

        like right now = ‘churches [no], australian refugee-swap [no], @*#& Tom Brady [heck no], ‘1984.’/’Brave New World’ comparison? [yes please], gorsuch analysis [did it already], Leftists being violent [Ok fine]

        1. I’d fuck Tom Brady. He’s gorgeous.

  2. Every little bit helps, Brian, but it’s going to take a hell of a lot more work to even begin to un-cuck this blog.

    1. please don’t start calling people cucks in seriousness. Its way too gay.

      1. The chicken flew the coop eighteen months ago…

        1. le cuck = adieu, adieu?

          1. that really should have been “Le coq” for internal consistency

            1. Its way too gay.

              Whereas you, Sir, are the “correct” amount of gay?

              I do not think Brian Doherty of Reason Magazine is homosexual.

              1. Whereas you, Sir, are the “correct” amount of gay?

                But of course. See my french pun just above!

                for the record, i initially meant in the “embarrassingly socially-lame” sense, not the “alternative sexual orientation for gentleman of taste” Now, of course i’m talking about both.

                1. I do not think Brian Doherty of Reason Magazine is homosexual.


                  It seems to me that Brian Doherty (currently of Reason Magazine and an author of several books) could and very well might “spread” heterosexuality.

                  1. Chuck my love,

                    I never meant to suggest anything at all about Brian. My comment was prevailing upon SIV to cease usage of a term that i felt reflected poorly on the collective commentariat.

                    I have no doubt Brian’s beard inspires spontaneous, gushing heterosexuality in others wherever he appears.

                    1. I have no doubt Brian’s beard inspires spontaneous, gushing heterosexuality in others wherever he appears.

                      Have clicked on author’s profile, was instead inspired to watch Ghostbusters

                    2. That pic is from the dawn of this website. His more-recent visage is more mature and Greek-Godlike

                    3. Thank you, GILMORE. My apartment is now a throbbing, vibrant nest of heterosexuality.

              2. Whereas you, Sir, are the “correct” amount of gay?

                He literally taught a grown man how to dress on these very forums. Television has taught me that is the very definition of “correct amount of gay”.

                1. ‘Not there’s anything wrong with that’.

                  ‘Cuck’ is such a dumb word that people use on Breitbart or some other Trump propaganda site

                  1. ‘Cuck’ is such a dumb word

                    Oh, come on–it’s a perfectly cromulent word.

                    Snacktacular, even.

                    1. I would have some respect for the people that used that word if I was confident they spent more time studying Shakespeare than pornhub.

    2. I thought you liked cocks? Oooohhhh.. un-Koch this blog. I heard you wrong.

      1. He prefers capons. They don’t resist as much.

        1. Roosters, capons, chicks, chickens, they’re all the same to me! No turkeys, though… Gotta have SOME standards! And I have heard that turkeys can “gobble” uncontrollably, with their sharp beaks, at times…

  3. Wait, you mean to tell me when the President makes a law, Congress can veto it? I don’t recall reading of that power in my copy of the Constitution.

    1. Duh, never mind – I had a brain fart there. I forgot that Obama’s not the President any more so now it’s okay for Congress to veto whatever laws he passed. Congress just didn’t have the power to veto any of the laws he made while he was still President, obviously.

      1. I enjoyed your original comment, but now you ruined it.

        1. Ruminations Sir.

          Stop looking into them.

          Or look over here.

          Do not.

          1. This should have been the first video played on MTV. Not that Buggles shit.

  4. Charles Cooke at National Review has an excellent post with visuals of many idiotic news tweets and a great explanation of the controversy.

    Cookies summary =

    when you saw these headlines you probably thought, “Wow, that seems extreme.” Has the House of Representatives really got rid of background checks? Are Republicans really intent upon putting firearms in the hands of the “severely mentally ill”? What fresh insanity is this! And, given the way the headlines are written, you could be forgiven for drawing any one of those conclusions. But here’s the thing: None of them is true

    (*are true? or is true? I defer to the englishman’s superior grammar, but i suspect its a royal-navy anachonism or something)

    To that last point = What does it say when the major news media all gleefully and willfully spread misconceptions?

    People in the press regularly bemoan the declining trust in media… as though its a completely ‘irrational and unjustified perception’

    But it only seems like they’re *getting worse*. As though they decided to stop trying to even convince those 14-30% on the right that “we’re honest! WE SWEARS”

    Its like CNN has basically given up on appealing to anyone except Liberal suburban housewives or something.

    1. None is singular. Also, everything I say is false.

  5. Progs are already in full-meltdown and now there’s a GUNZ story for them to deal with too?! Is there no mercy?

  6. It’s raining here….fuck you, Trump!

  7. As I’ve explained before about the anti-gun mentality, those who want stricter gun laws don’t think they need to be sure any strong benefit would come from an attempt to take away anyone’s guns. It just doesn’t matter that they know full well the people whose rights they are trying to take away are not known to be likely to use the right in a harmful way.

    The taking away of the gun is a benefit in and of itself. They certainly don’t think about any legitimate benefit the person prohibited from gun ownership might be losing.

    Yep. Guns R evil. To a progressive, the right to own a gun is the ultimate protection of the right to dissent. As seen lately, progressives really do not like dissent.

    1. To paraphrase Van Vogt, “The right to buy guns is the right to be free”

      Which is even worse than dissent in their eyes.

    2. Very true. The right to free speech and the right to bear arms are collectively the defensive rights. So long as a man possesses both, he is capable of defending himself from any attack and is equipped to fight for all of his other rights. If anyone seeks to institute a general system of oppression, they must first silence and disarm those whose rights they wish to steal. This is why it is so important to protect these rights, and why those who believe in the total state seek so fervently to discredit and destroy them.

      1. Well said.

  8. *throws away business plan for Guns for the Crazy and Children shop*

    1. “Our deals are as insane as you are!”

      “Free lollipop with every Glock!”

      1. Dude, Crazy Eddie has been done.

    2. Wait, wait, if you add “Drug Cartels”, you can become a one-stop shop for federal entrapment. Repeat custom and subsidies!

  9. Anyone think the proggies hate guns because they know how unstable they are?

    1. Whatever makes you think that?

      “But since most people like me are more likely to harm ourselves than to turn into mass-murdering monsters, our leaders should do more to keep us safe from ourselves.

      “Please take away my Second Amendment right. Do more to help us protect ourselves because what’s most likely to wake me in the early hours isn’t a man’s body slamming at my door but depression, that raven, tapping, rapping, banging for relief.

      “I have a better chance of surviving if I never have the option of being able to pull the trigger.”

      1. If a person can’t think of any other way to kill themself than with a firearm, they’re either painfully unimaginative or a screaming dumbass.

        1. It’s like the progressive guy who told me that if he owned a gun he would probably have killed his wife with it. I wondered what stopped him from using a knife.

          (This is the same guy who called me a racist, not that I’m bitter)

          1. Oldie but a goodie


        2. Well, that’s just unfair: you forget the very real possibility that said person may not own any knives, razors, cleaning chemicals, medicines, poisons, plastic bags, ropes, ladders, automobiles, electronics, bathtubs, weights, or maps detailing the location of nearby bridges and precipices. There are people who live in total safety that would be uniquely upended by the introduction of firearms to their lives. (nah…you’re right, it’s the last option you mentioned)

      2. My… God… *shudders*

        Still not as bad as my buddy who said ‘it’s better his (hypothetical) wife and kids die to an intruder than for him to own a gun and kill a man (i.e. the intruder)’

        Remember there is no peak derp for us to climb too; nor rock bottom for us to fall too.

        1. What’s wrong with that? I don’t have a problem with pacifists. After all, the great libertarian Robert LaFevre was a devout pacifist. People have a right to be pacifists and we should respect their choices. They do not, however, have the right to dictate that other people be pacifists as well.

          1. What’s wrong with that?

            Well, to quibble, the guy seems to be offering up his wife and child as a sacrifice. The wife, in and of herself, could also make that choice, but the child can’t. Or, at least, not very effectively.

            I would suggest to the coward that he has a duty to protect the child (at least), but certainly wouldn’t coerce him.

            1. Yeah, leaving the child defenseless is not cool. I was assuming the wife was ok with it. But really my comment was aimed at the single pacifist, not tasked with defending minors.

              I was just playing devil’s advocate and being consistent with my libertarianism. I am of course not a personal pacifist.

              1. No worries; I didn’t think you are/were…I think it was more of seeing a place to sorta refine a stance I would take. I think we are in agreement, especially when children aren’t in the picture.

          2. “What’s wrong with that?”

            On a purely evolutionary level, everything. Aside from allowing physical violence to be perpetrated upon innocent people being an inherent evil, it’s also extremely selfish.

            I’m sure this comparison is filled with illogical holes, but here it goes: It’s akin to a vegan, with children safely at home, being lost in the wilderness. Yet, they still refuse to consume food sources that would ensure their survival when presented to them.

            All based on moral preening towards a dietary philosophy that’s counter to basic human physiological truths.

            Yes, you remained true to yourself, but now your kids are left with one less parent. And by comparison, said original shithead is left with knowing he let his family be murdered because he valued his dogma over the lives of his own flesh and blood’s continued existence.

            If he thinks being a pacifist mean allowing innocent people to die while stand idly by, well, fuck that guy.

      3. But since most people like me are more likely to harm ourselves than to turn into mass-murdering monsters, our leaders should do more to keep us safe from ourselves.

        Please take away my Second Amendment right. Do more to help us protect ourselves because what’s most likely to wake me in the early hours isn’t a man’s body slamming at my door but depression, that raven, tapping, rapping, banging for relief.

        I have a better chance of surviving if I never have the option of being able to pull the trigger.

        She thinks because she may blow her brains out others should have their 2nd ammendment rights stomped on. Fuck her.

        I had a facebook conversation with some progressive “friends” a few years ago after one of the high profile shootings. I don’t even remember which one. The initiator of the conversation stated, “no one should be allowed to own a gun until the mental health situation in the US was brought under control”. A friend of hers promptly listed all the meds she was on and how many therapy sessions she went to and how she would be terrified if they allowed her to buy a gun. I was going to reply that if she was honest about her ailments and medications, no honest dealer would sell her a gun, but I gave up on the conversation as those people are nuts.

        1. If they don’t want guns then don’t buy one.

        2. I know it’s late, but it’s a fairly typical leftist attitude. It’s just like “I want to help the poor, so I’m going to steal money from everyone else at gunpoint, keep 2/3 of it for myself, and dribble out just enough to the poor to keep them dependent on me (and claim moral superiority as a result).

    2. Proggies hate guns because they know goddamned well that unless they disarm the ‘deplorable’ their Grand Plans are going to get about 5 minutes drive outside of their tight little enclaves and then stop dead. They know that there is a large population of armed and competent people loose in flyover country who are all too likely to tell their Proggie ‘betters’ to go piss up a rope and stand under it while it dries. And that will be Truly Awful.

    3. During the post-Newtown hysteria, I often argued in favor of gun rights with people at work (it was a factory in semi-rural Ohio, so there was no risk of a politically-motivated firing).

      More than a few people would say things like, “Oh my god, you own an AK-47?? Why? Are you going to shoot this place up? That’s terrible! But when you do, make sure to kill Jane in human resources; she fucked up my paycheck last week! And kill our supervisor, he’s a dick! Oh yea, and try to kill Bob the technician too, I HATE that fucker! Man, if I had a gun, I’d kill so many people in here!”

  10. Speaking of Canada…the Toronto Sun interviews the old Berkeley Free Speech Movement guy Jack Weinberg about the recent riot at his alma mater.

    (The 76-year-old Weinberg is famous for a remark about not trusting anyone over 30).

    1. (“Speaking of Canada” is an allusion to the previous thread…I’m a tad confused)

    2. The speaker himself feeds on disruption and feeds on protest … I think the students who acted violently in opposition play right into his hands. He got just what he was looking for.

      It’s all right, I have learned to love Big Robby.
      It’s all right, I have learned to love Big Robby.
      It’s all right, I have learned to love Big Robby.
      It’s all right, I have learned to love Big Robby.

      1. It’s still rape if I wanted it.

        1. This is the problem with the very common rape fantasy. It’s not really a rape, is it, if you are fantasizing about it.

      2. ‘Big Robby’ gets more funny every time I read it.

        1. Accept Big Robby into your heart, and your life will change forever. Love him!

          1. I missed the joke. What’s the “Big” part about?

            1. At some point my brain locked and, like Winston Smith, I learned to love Big Brother. Only it was Robby.

              Then I realized how absurd a nickname Big Robby was, and couldn’t resist it.

    3. “The Free Speech issue at the time was the right of students to advocacy on campus. That central aspect of it is not being challenged by this. Right now, campuses are places where people can mobilize. The issue here is controversial speakers … I do think it undermines protest when small groups of people en masse hijack peaceful protests for what they do. I condemn that. The provocateurs are also a threat. Non-violent protesters is what’s called for here. The impulse to smash windows and start fires can only help the cause that Breitbart want.”

      Fuck you you fucking commie. Fuck you and your kind. Fuck your protesters, fuck your students, fuck you and I hope zombie Margaret Thatcher eats your worthless brain.
      “It’s not the problem they shut down the event. That was the correct course of action. The problem is they might generate sympathy if they use violence, for some weird reason. I know, I know, fascists should be killed but degenerate retrograde media will use it to smear The Movement.”

      It’s all right, I have learned to love Big Robby.

      1. There is a right to advocacy on campus, but not by people this person deems controversial.

        Doublethink hurts my brain.

  11. So is this going to be the overnight thread? Baylin, don’t even think about.

    1. There are overnight threads? I had to travel to Waikiki to find this out?


      1. What else did you find out in Waikiki? I found out where all the hookers went.

        1. [gets Google maps ready]

          Go on…..

          /not a euphemism!

          1. Under the Nimitz Overpass and Kalihi. Or so I have heard.

  12. (Speaking of guns, does anyone know if any of the gun “clubs” that advertise their services on the streets of Waikiki are any good? I’ve gotten used to a certain quality of service from my range in Langley and don’t wanna find myself in amongst a bunch of dumbasses…)

    1. Yelp?

      Also, I’d think the military presence might help raise the bar a little..

      1. Huge number of Japanese tourists use them to shoot. Are they competent enough to keep the firing line safe? I have heard so. Will they actually teach you how to be proficient with a firearm? I would not bet so.

        On Oahu there are a very limited of places to shoot. There is a public range near Koko Head and there are military run recreational ranges at Barbers Point and Schofield. But in general the best place to shoot is Molokai or the Big Island.

  13. PS, guns are a “culture war” issue, accept it.

  14. Looks like Patton Oswalt contributed to his wife’s death. That is aside from what having a prog-hole husband would do to a person.

    So worried about her health, Oswalt suggested she take a night to “sleep until you wake up.” On April 21, McNamara took some Xanax and went to sleep, but never woke up.

    1. Adderall, Xanax, AND Fentanyl??? Holy fuck.

      1. Speaking of Holy Fuck

        1. I like that. they sound very DFA-ish

          stupid band name tho. and that’s hard.

          1. Which DFA? Italian or Canadian?

            1. The NYC DFA records

              mix of punk-electronic, disco-punk hybrids. sometimes too pretentious to listen to, sometimes very good.

              most known for LCD Soundsystem, the Rapture (above), their remixes, and a few other scattered acts.

      2. No shit. Who does that? Honey, you are not Kieth Richards, you might want to pick one of those things and not all three.

    2. Which leads to one of the coldest one-liners I’ve ever read.

      When Hillary Clinton had to be carried into her van after nearly collapsing in NY, Oswalt opined on Twitter, “Wait, so Hillary has PNEUMONIA and she’s still campaigning as hard as she is? You realize how badass that is, right?” Then came this reply:

      “If you knew how to recognize a gravely sick woman you wouldn’t be a widower now.”

      1. That is epic. And he is such a shitbag, he deserved it. Meanwhile,

        The blockages, combined with her taking the medications Adderall, Xanax and the pain medication fentanyl, caused the mother of one’s death in April 2016, Oswalt said.

        I am as much for the wonders of pharmaceuticals as anyone, but Jesus Christ. I can see taking one of those, but all three? Regularly? These people always turn out to be freaks. It never fails.


          Thought she’s not really ill, there is a little yellow pill..

      2. it’s ok @pattonoswalt your wife is with Harambe now.

        1. Jesus Christ, even Dalmia wouldn’t deserve that.

    3. her taking the medications Adderall, Xanax and the pain medication fentanyl


      [she] was working long days and nights and was unable to sleep due to anxiety and nightmares that kept her up at night.

      Anxiety and nightmares about what??

      1. When I was in college, I had some summer jobs that required 6 days straight of 12 hour shifts. I was having some very vivid dreams (mostly of not being able to go to sleep) at the end of the week.

        1. 6 days straight of 12 hour shifts

          Seriously? That still left you 12 hours a day to fit in 8 hours of sleep. I fail to see how your job alone contributed to your “sleep deprivation.”

          Millions of people work jobs like that. Farmers come to mind; in the sprig and fall I’m sure most of them would welcome only working six 12 hour days.

          1. Or deployed Soldiers and Marines.

  15. Government still arguing that copyright protects laws from being published by just any old publisher that wants to publish them. You want to know what the law is? That’ll cost you.

    The particular reference here is to standards and codes (the building codes say the National Electrical Code is the law, but if you want to know what the NEC says, you’ll have to buy the book) but the same thing applies to court opinions and the state code itself in at least some states – last time I checked if you want to read the Georgia Code, it’s online but you have to click through a user agreement that it’s copyrighted and you can only read it online, not print off pages.

    1. To be clear, it’s not the state of Georgia that holds the copyright – they have an exclusive contract with a publisher to print and bind the code so it’s not technically the code itself that’s copyrighted, it’s just this particular format that’s copyrighted. And this particular format is the only one available.

    2. is the nut of it some very-petty crony-capitalism? (gov’nrs handing out exclusive contracts to pally printers)

      School textbook publishing, from what i’ve heard, is like the international mafia in terms of slimy insider-dealing.

      1. Only reason I could see is ensuring the integrity of the law.
        Misprints (or deliberate alterations) in public domain books are one thing. When it comes to law, it’s dangerous.

        Yes, I know, you can make it a crime to change, competing printers as a check etc but someone needs to notice first, and by that point, damage can be done. Historically, this may have been one of the reasons some groups looked askance at printing Bibles (and hey, not like convenient messages didn’t get inserted in various versions).

        But yes, cronyism + control is probably the reason.

        1. Historically, this may have been one of the reasons some groups looked askance at printing Bibles

          +1 John Wycliffe

  16. Plans continue for a “nonpartisan” March for Science

    “Politicians, [Political science professor Daniel Gillon] says, are “gauging the landscape,” trying to understand what their constituents want. If there is protest coming from both sides ? such as the Women’s March, which was generally pro-choice, and the March for Life, which was generally pro-life, Professor Gillion suggests ? “It’s white noise. They wash each other out.”

    “If, on the other hand, there is a united voice, then politicians often feel compelled to listen, he says….

    “”The most important thing I’ve learned … is that facts are not enough,” Katharine Hayhoe, an associate professor of political science at Texas Tech University and co-author of “A Climate for Change,” previously told the Monitor. “We need to connect to people’s hearts.””

    1. “If, on the other hand, there is a united voice, then politicians often feel compelled to listen, he says….

      “and that is why it’s vital to shut down the opposing voices. Without using violence, of course….if cameras are rolling”

    2. Has anybody told them the bad news yet – that political science is to science as Fruit of the Loom is to fruit?

      1. Look Jerry. If it wasn’t a science, they wouldn’t call it one. Didn’t you know that?

      2. Fruit of the Luddites tear underwear?

    3. “The scientists will not be controlling the message of the march,” Young warns. “It will be the signs with the most offensive and political messages that become the internet memes of the climate skeptics and the right wing following this march.”

      Nothing says “non-partisan” like referring to “climate skeptics”.

      I met a climate skeptic once, but then I showed him the dictionary and he became a believer. Turns out he thought it was spelled with a ‘k’ was the reason he thought climate didn’t exist.

      1. Well, I think the true believers in climate change prefer the term “deniers”, because it makes them sound like Holocaust deniers.


    There there is this woman advocating for a military coup. Apparently Breitbart picked up on it. Her twitter feed is not one constant “how dare you” as she tries to claim she “owns every word” of an article that listed a military coup as one of four possible responses to Trump but never advocated for a coup. She is just a victim of right wing trolls.

    Worst of all, there is a government professor at West Point tweeting her about how he has given her article to his cadets to contemplate. Wonderful

    1. If there’s a President the combat arms guys would follow even more than Trump, it’s Mattis. Not that she’d probably like a Mattis Presidency all that much…

      So long as the gov’t professor is also teaching the relevant sections of the UCMJ relating to insurrection, why we have those sections, and how the Civil War changed our sense of secession, military rule, and the role of the military in governance, I don’t see a problem here. At West Point, I’m (maybe too confident) more confident that’ll happen than if the subject were addressed at, say, Berkeley.

      1. The West Point guy is a civilian. And he seems to be quite a fan of the article. I see your point about reading it. But I seriously doubt that clown is telling his students that.

        1. West Point also hosted the professor who was pumping his bullshit theory of “Domestic Right Wing Terror” last year.

          he’s gone now. i don’t know who is control of their academics but i’d guess its somehow politically appointed.

    2. Don’t take legal advice from someone who can’t count. The title says “3 Ways to …” and the article lists 4.

      1. Please tell me that one of those ways was “Spanish Inquisition”.

        ‘Cause I ain’t looking at her bullshit.

    3. I used to read FP almost as much as Reason*
      (*technically i hardly “Read” reason anymore at all)…
      …then they redesigned their website in 201x? a few years back. When TIME or someone bought them.

      Now i can’t even bear to look at the dogshit mess of the place. plus, i get script errors in like 2 seconds. That website is like concentrated Internet-AIDS.

      All the people who write for FP (with the exception of some bloggers/columnists) are voluntary submissions, AFAIK, so the content there can vary from ’eminently sensible’ to ‘batshit hogwash’.

      I saw that piece before. It struck me as stupid fantasy, but not as in “recommending overthrow”. this summed up her fever dream =

      For the first time in my life, I can imagine plausible scenarios in which senior military officials might simply tell the president: “No, sir. We’re not doing that,” to thunderous applause from the New York Times editorial board.

      She obviously hangs out with a lot of military people.
      (read: marianas trench sarcasm)

      1. FP was where I found Hit and Run. I had been a subscriber of reason years ago, in the Postrel years, but fell away. One issue of FP had a profile of someone I can’t remember but they mentioned Hit and Run and how great it was. Ended up checking it out, lurking for a long time (other than an occasional comment and maybe a spoof or two) until the registration change and decided to come in from the cold. Sad to see many familiar commentator names disappear over the years but even sadder to see such a bunch leave all together recently.

  18. OT: Forgive my usual off-topic tripe but it’s Friday night and surprise, surprise, I’ve had a few. Anywho, it’s been a very tumultuous week here and I’m sorry to see so many people from whom I’ve gained knowledge declare their intention to leave and never return.

    For whatever reason, thinking about it brought to mind a nearly forgotten tune I once again, dearly love.

    90’s era Shirley Manson + a sexy nurse outfit + a bittersweet melody and lyrics = a sentimental frame of mind.

    I love you guys.

    1. FTR, I don’t think ragequitting solves anything, but I can understand why people who don’t enjoy themselves here anymore would not want to visit… 🙁

      1. I totally get it why some here think that way.

        Some of those guys have spents years and at least hundreds of dollars on this site, so when they feel the staff has slighted one of our own(largely based on pettiness, from the commenters point of view) it’s a perfectly valid reaction to have, at least temporarily.

        1. *shrug*

          Someone linked the funding sources for Reason, and, based on the percentages, we are not their customers.
          The articles have made it clear we are not their audience, either.
          So, when in course of human events it becomes etc…

          1. I’ve considered that as well. The only logical explanation for a healthy percentage of the content is that they receive far more in revenue from sympathetic advertisers than they do from us.

            If I remember correctly, they fell short around $60k to $70k in donations from the previous year or from last years’ goal and I’m willing to bet most donations came from loyal regulars. However, judging by the recent tenor here, it seems to be little more than chump change to them.

            1. Here’s the 2015 financial statement for Reason Foundation.

              They list Reason Magazine as bringing in $923K. That year, donation drive got $246K.
              Reason-TV is listed as costing $1.6 million, magazine $3.6 million.

              So yeah, we are not relevant to their existence.

              1. So what you’re saying is: The next time Readon hits my working class, blue collar ass up for feti right before Christmas I have even less cause to feel guilty for not donating?


        2. “so when they feel the staff has slighted one of our own(largely based on pettiness, from the commenters point of view”

          What the hell did I miss??

    2. Music is always welcome.

      1. I have nothing “contemporary” for you at the moment but this (ball of eyes) is a record i only knew for a few samples, and had the recent opportunity to get the physical LP and wow that dude (moulin) was way ahead of his time. the 1973 album is also ridiculous.

        they both sound 20 years ‘newer’ than they are. both in concept and execution.

        1. Awesome. My kind of jam. Thanks.

          I am also liking DFA.

          1. That’s a happy coincidence, tho not who i meant (see above). These guys

            1. Interestingly enough, the Canadian DFA band is not bad either. So I accidentally discovered two new bands to enjoy, plus I still get to check out the DFA label.

              Thanks, man!

        1. I sadly haven’t been listening to too much classical music recently, Eddie. But I love the Russian composers, especially Prokofiev and Rimsky Korsakov.

          1. Eddie

            You know how to cut to the bone 🙁 Have my pro-Constantinople, anti-Schismatic rants not reached you?

            But yes, I adore Russian composers. Tchaikovsky is the Batman of classical music – he might not write a definitive symphony, opera, concerto etc, but by god, he mastered all of them! Only Mozart can stake the same claim.

            1. Holy shit. Lol. My apologies. My girlfriend is feeding me Moscato. Must be the sugar and alcohol working together.

      1. No, no, Jerry. You’re getting your mammals mixed. The vocals are clearly preformed by a goat.

        1. *performed

          Did I mention I’ve had a few?

      2. I hate Fleetwood Mac, but have very positive associations with this song because it’s the theme music for BBC’s coverage of Formula 1 racing.

    3. Personal confession- I went to an Alanis Morrisette. But it was because Garbage (and even more, Shirley Manson) was the opening act.

      1. *to an Alanis Morrisette concert.

      2. It’s cool. I once let a woman drag me to a Dixie Chicks concert based on the off chance she would fuck me later that evening.

        It was worth it.

        1. So the Dixie Chicks were good, huh?

  19. I had heard about “background checks” for literally 20 years before I became aware that one criteria that fails you is “use of illegal drugs.” Since then, I’ve been telling every Californian prog that I can that their use of Marijuana disqualifies them from owning a gun. A significant subset of them are shocked to discover that the law is so unreasonable and that, well, it applies to them…

  20. “How a Never-Enforced Rule Being Voted Down by the House Got the World Fearing Gun Background Checks Were Dead and the Mentally Ill Could Buy Guns Willy-Nilly”

    The Anti-Gun ninnies in the Media lied, early and often. It is, after all, what they do. It’s all they’ve got.

  21. Looks like John decided to up his participation in the evenings. For what it is worth, I would not mind it if Agile Cyborg took a hike, but most of the commentariat is o.k. most of the time.

    1. I have to work for a living more these days and more at regular hours.

    2. You should really pay more attention to Agile. Most of the time his writings are orthogonal to this reality, but once in a while he drops a beat that makes your neurons resonate with the galactic consciousness for a few heartbeats..

    3. And thee trolls don’t show up at night. It is a better board.

      1. Didn’t see a lot of them in PM Links today. Was AmSock really one of the regulars who quit?
        I know Tony is a performance piece, ever since he posted this.

        1. “Was AmSock really one of the regulars who quit?”

          He lost control of his handle and someone grabbed it. That person is now posting as ‘amsoc’ (lower case “a”) and asswipe has had to re-register as ‘Amsoc’ (u-c “A”). S/he seems equally pissed about that and that the (sane) ‘amsoc’ posts might be attributed to him. But AFAIK, asswipe is still posting.
          Could also be that he’s as tired as I am of the constant drumbeat of TDS to the extent he doesn’t bother checking in very often. Tiresome doesn’t begin to describe it; the contribution was drastically reduced this year; next year, Welsh can pound sand.

          1. Yeah I know, but none of the shitsocks were posting in PM, or at least I didn’t notice them. And the rest of the day seemed AmSock-free (I was snowed in so I spent more on than usual).

            1. I missed most all of the day, having checked and found TDS too often.

            2. Hihn will show up once his kids forget about him at the nursing home again


    4. Agile cyborg is the best wall-of-replies commenter by a mile. His work is lyrical and occasionally touching.

      Amsoc/mtrueman/blah/blah/blah/blah otoh… zero value.


    This is funny. I had no idea Ashley Judd’s speech was that incoherent and bizarre.

    1. I could only take five seconds of her talking before I gave up. Maybe Patton Oswalt could recommend some pharmaceuticals to help her relax.

      1. I made it to about 1:50. That is no joke serious mental illness.

        1. I laughed at 3:05 or so, she really lights up when it’s her ox being gored.

          And honestly, I heard worse speeches. At least it wasn’t boring.

          1. Just deranged.

            1. It just seems like it’s deranged because it’s a bunch of leftie talking points spoken like a poem.

              Shit, tell her speech was worse than this. (and check out Leonard Cohen among signatories)

              1. Low bar, there. That’s simply infantile whining.
                And Cohen? Maybe he did something worth hearing, but the closest he got IMO was Dylan covers and they were turgid at best.
                As a thinker? I’d like to meet his dog to see who was better equipped to deal with logic.


    David Marcus picks on the retarded kid, but does it well.

    1. EPIC JOHN

      (it was the first second post in the thread)

  24. I wonder if University of Missouri enrollment is dropping due to fewer conservative students or fewer activist students. Without a foil to unite them, it must be hell hanging around a bunch of activists.

  25. The mentally-ill have had guns forever; see Dunphy, for example.

    1. Not even functional links!

      1. Check your pivilage!

        1. Or doing a preview?

          Not judging, I had a day where I just couldn’t get my links up…

        2. And Ernest Borgnine was the tits:…..msnnews11.

          How underwhelming is that link now? Seriously though, I had an uncle who babysat me as a young child I would watch that movie over and over and over again, so fuck that I know a lot about convoy.

          1. Steve Thompson was on his way to pick up some feed for his goat …

            The beginning promises a much more exciting article than what we got, yes.

  26. Long live the comment section! It is the best part of reason. I first came here because I was trying to find some rhetorical ammo to come back at my buddy who I had (and have) a running argument about global warming. I was specifically looking for examples of leftists going way overboard because he didn’t want to admit it. I sent him the H&R post that had the video of British denier kids exploding. It must’ve been about 7 years ago. He emailed me back that he found the comments section to be a bunch of degenerate idiots. I found it my kind of degenerate idiots. Hope those that took off come back. I’m back to my original handle from when you actually had to sign up post gambol bullshit. Fuck reason for not listening more to the commenters valid complaints, but I will still check out all the fun posts to read here.

  27. People have expressed mixed opinions about Internet Aristocrat/Mr Metokur (hm, specifically, who thinks him …i think ‘too genuinely alt-righty’)… but he’s always been very funny when he puts some effort in, which is very rate lately. He here skewers Shia Leboof.

    think, “sargon, but funnier and crueler”

    i think i check him out twice a year or so. good for a giggle and the occasional very-observant meme-generating thought.

    1. He was the Martin Luther of Gamergate, and for that he has my blessing.

      BTW, thank you for leading me to Razorfist. I had a blast listening to his rants. Best part is that his rants on subjects he enjoys (80s action schlock, The Shadow, Doom 2016 for example) are even more enjoyable than when he rips into something he really hates.

      Even if he’s flat-out wrong on Witcher being ripoff of Elric of Melnibone.

    2. 8:23 made me crack up. Where the fuck did they dig up that tune?!

    3. Funny vid; the guy has Leboof nailed.
      I linked the ‘art project’ when it first showed up, and still am amazed at his lack of self-examination; he is inferring that someone *else* might “divide us”?
      Is he truly ignorant enough to presume HE is not a divisive element? Is his bubble so complete that he presumes those who do not agree with him are simply missing the message he paints on a wall?
      Those who voted for Trump (at least in his opinion) must be lacking in a devotion to ‘brotherhood’ as defined by a guy who’s willing to beat his opinion into you. If they’d have thought properly about it, he wouldn’t have to assault them to change their minds!
      I’m saying 12 years of government schools, followed by X years in ‘dramatic studies’.

      1. what’s funny is that I typed “Shia labeouf – idiot” and discovered that this was a consensus opinion many years ago, for good reason

    4. You’re walking in the woods.
      There’s no one around,
      And your phone is dead.
      Out of the corner of your eye you spot him,
      Shia LaBeouf.

      He’s following you
      About 30 feet back.
      He gets down on all fours and breaks into a sprint.
      He’s gaining on you.
      Shia LaBeouf.

      You’re looking for your car,
      But you’re all turned around.
      He’s almost upon you now
      And you can see there’s blood on his face!
      My god, there’s blood everywhere!

      Running for your life
      (From Shia LaBeouf.)
      He’s brandishing a knife.
      (It’s Shia LaBeouf.)
      Lurking in the shadows
      Hollywood superstar Shia LaBeouf.
      Living in the woods,
      (Shia LaBeouf.)
      Killing for sport,
      (Shia LaBeouf.)
      Eating all the bodies
      Actual, cannibal Shia LaBeouf.


    1. Laws and rules are for thee, not for me.

    2. Well according to the Supreme Court they are not required to actually know the law so we might as well give them a cheat sheet.

      1. Now, now. It’s supposed to be a “reasonable” misinterpretation of the law.

        Of course, there’s nothing they won’t find “reasonable”, so…

  28. Well good night/good morning my Reason friends

    1. And, a hardy Good Morning to you, too.

      I would include a laurel and handshake, but, you know how that turned out the last time.

  29. And the country’s decline continues apace………..

    “Hundreds Will Brave Cold To Moon Trump Tower in Chicago”…..n=politics

    1. Remember when those CRAZY KOOKS in the Tea Party protested Obama? Boy they sure were CRAZY KOOKS and dreadfully un-civil to boot, amirite?

  30. The ‘mentally ill’ will protect us from the White Supremacists. Oh the irony.

  31. To find out if any “gun control” advocate is truthful, inquire as to their opinion of requiring hundreds of dollars in training, fees for permits, and renewals to obtain a permit to exercise the first amendment, fourth amendment, or fifth amendment. Equal protection and all that jazz, you know.
    So far, I have found 100% to be liars. They just want “right wing” control.

    For extra credit, ask if they would approve of requiring a CCP to vote. Both keeping and bearing arms, and voting are constitutional rights, why not require the same level of protection to be sure they are only exercised by approved citizens?

    1. “So far, I have found 100% to be liars.”

      No one wants you to be unable to defend yourself for your own good.

  32. ” (Unless your goal is to seriously panic your readers.)”

    Well, duh, that is definitely their goal.

  33. I hadn’t realized that this law wasn’t even in effect yet. I’ll be sure to pass this information along to friends of mine hyperventilating over hordes of mentally ill people who can now arm themselves.

  34. Even the ACLU is on the Trump Train. America weeps.

  35. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do,

  36. My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour… This is what I do


  37. My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour… This is what I do


  38. My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour… This is what I do


  39. Finally, the way is clear for pardoning Robert Lewis Dear and appointing him the new Faith-Based Director of NIMH… or at least appoint the warrior for the babies to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (White House OFBCI) within the Executive Office of the President. Justice is served!

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