Criminal Justice

Trump's Executive Orders on Crime are More of the Same, Just More Intense Rhetoric, Says Harvey Silverglate

Trump's orders are "draconian" but Obama gets too much credit for too little actual criminal justice reform, according to famed civil liberties attorney.

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more of the same
Stan Wiechers/Flickr

"Any notion that the Trump administration is going to be a radical shift from past presidencies is erroneous. These executive orders indicate more of the same, and the same is disastrous," says Harvey Silverglate—the famed criminal defense and civil liberties attorney, author of the seminal book Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, and co-founder of the The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)—in a phone interview with Reason.

To be clear, Silverglate thinks the Trump administration has "no imagination" and that the harsh law and order rhetoric and wild exaggerations about the level of crime in the United States included in Trump's most recent executive orders are designed to "pamper" the law enforcement agencies tasked with enforcing the nation's laws. "I just had trouble understanding the Obama administration's claim to be a change agent, it really wasn't," Silverglate says. "You have to be—pardon me—smoking a lot of weed to believe that."

"The Obama administration promised change, and then it turned out to be more of the same, more prosecutions," Silverglate adds. "And then at the very end, to save his name from historical infamy he issued a lot of pardons and commutations, but that doesn't change the fundamental nature of his two terms as president. Very little imagination, run by the bureaucrats. The law enforcement bureaucracy is not going to go away quietly and there's nobody trying to push them away except for a few libertarians."

According to Silverglate, the intensity of the rhetoric in Trump's executive order is the most significant change to the federal approach to law enforcement. Trump's repeated assertions that we're in the midst of an unprecedented crime wave, despite data-based evidence to the contrary, is represented in the executive orders, but "we get more and more criminal laws every day, we get more prisoners every day. It's an industry, the law enforcement industry. And anyone who sees it as anything other than a cynical attempt to employ more law enforcement officers, incarcerate more people, and anything more than an opportunity for members of the government to grandstand on the law and order platform is misled."

States who have legalized recreational marijuana or medical marijuana should probably expect a Justice Department crackdown under President Trump, and Silverglate also thinks "the marijuana laws are a very important component of the full employment program for law enforcement officers that has been in place for quite a few administrations. Constantly, we need more and more law enforcement officers to enforce these insane laws that criminalize personal behavior."

Silverglate sees no hope for reform from the Trump administration, but thinks that a bipartisan goal for congress should be passing mens rea legislation.

"If the laws are going to become more draconian and prison sentences are going to go up and there's going to be more law enforcement officers arresting more people, the least we can make sure is that the people sent to prison knew what they were doing was illegal," Silverglate tells Reason.

"As a criminal defense lawyer, I'm willing to cut down my own business for the good of the public."

Watch Reason TV's "When Everything is a Crime: Harvey Silverglate on the Overregulation of Ordinary Life" below:

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208 responses to “Trump's Executive Orders on Crime are More of the Same, Just More Intense Rhetoric, Says Harvey Silverglate

  1. “You have to be?pardon me?smoking a lot of weed to believe that.”

    That’s a felony. (The believing ill of Obama part, not the weed part.)

    1. not the weed part.

      Yeah, the weed part too. I have never found a correlation between being highness and gullibility.

      1. being highness

        I have, however, found a correlation between bad grammar and early morning.

  2. …and Silverglate also thinks “the marijuana laws are a very important component of the full employment program for law enforcement officers that has been in place for quite a few administrations.

    But Trump hasn’t hinted in the slightest that he’s for protectionist policies. That’s something Democrats do.

  3. Silverglate sees no hope for reform from the Trump administration, but thinks that a bipartisan goal for congress should be passing mens rea legislation.

    I wouldn’t look for a lot of action on reform at the other end of PA Ave., either.

  4. “we get more and more criminal laws every day, we get more prisoners every day. It’s an industry, the law enforcement industry. And anyone who sees it as anything other than a cynical attempt to employ more law enforcement officers, incarcerate more people, and anything more than an opportunity for members of the government to grandstand on the law and order platform is misled.”

    Yes. Our “officers of the law” have been trained and incentivized to think their job is to arrest as many people as possible.

    1. Not true. It’s “possible” for them to arrest each other, but that is not a normal occurrence.

    1. Chizza, the fried chicken-based pizza that’s coming to Singapore.

  5. It amazes me that we have the highest incarceration rate in the industrialized world yet we have millions of people out there who believe that we need more jails and more police. Not only that but they can somehow (in their own minds) defend those views as being ones that align with smaller/limited government.

    1. It depends on who’s in those cells – recidivist violent offenders who have demonstrated their danger to the community, or people in other categories.

      1. Release every drug offender and those locked up for minor traffic related offenses and I would bet we’d have all the room we need to lock those who pose a serious danger to society. We could probably even significantly reduce the number of judges, lawyers, jailers and cops if we did that.

        1. What the hell are y’all talking about? People go to jail for political reasons (cant be seen as soft on crime) or for financial reasons (fines, court costs, rehab, probation etc.). The systems primary mission is feeding itself.

          Guilt, innocence, dangerous or harmless have little to do with it.

    2. “Freedom” includes the freedom to choose to do bad things. Like the freedom to choose to lock your neighbor in a cage if you don’t approve of what he’s putting in his body (or paying somebody else to let him put in theirs) even if it’s really none of your business.

  6. According to Silverglate, the intensity of the rhetoric in Trump’s executive order is the most significant change to the federal approach to law enforcement.

    I heard he was gonna bomb the shit out of them and take their oil. Waterboard them and kill their families, too. Was all that just bluster? He said he never kids, are you telling me maybe he wasn’t kidding but he was talking out his ass?

  7. No offense to Harvey, but really… just drop the second L.

    It’s gotta get old saying, “It’s SilverGLATE, dammit, not SilverGATE

  8. This weekend is going to sunny with highs near 80, and I just bought a new toy. My weekend is pretty much set. 🙂

      1. Right now it’s 57. Where I live, though, single-day temperature swings of 20 degrees or more are the norm.

        1. 60 right now, 70 by Sunday.

          It’s raining though. I picked up pho for the whole family to keep warm, which means now I want pizza, obviously.

          1. Nice bike, BTW. I wouldn’t dare compare my hypothetical pizza to your bike.

            1. Nice bike, BTW. I wouldn’t dare compare my hypothetical pizza to your bike.

              Thanks. I’m still geeking out over it. And your hypothetical pizza is probably a lot better than the regrettably real takee-outee fried rice I just ate. I feel like a dirty little whore every time I eat at that place.

              1. I’d buy one if I were allowed. But I’m not. Page 3 of the life insurance policy.

                1. Page 3 of the life insurance policy.

                  Really? That seems odd; most life insurance policies I’ve looked at only ding you if you actually race motorcycles.

                  1. Page 3 of the life insurance policy.

                    I misunderstood Playa’s comment to indicate that his wife, through implication, had “written” page three (and perhaps a few more pages in addition).

                    I’ll exit the personal exchanges betwixt the two of you after asking this question of Karl: Have you heard/read that the color red attracts extra attention from humans?

                    Most police officers are human.

                    1. . . . this question of Karl: Have you heard/read that the color red attracts extra attention from humans? Most police officers are human.

                      Most drivers are human, and believe me, I want to be as visible to them as I possibly can. I ride pretty conservatively, so I’m perfectly OK being more visible to the po-po as long as I’m equally visible to the teenager on her cellphone who is thinking of turning left across my path of travel.

                  2. Farmers Insurance. Same paragraph that voids the policy if I BASE jump or become a student pilot.

                    Interestingly enough, if I do buy a motorcycle, I get a discount on the Farmer’s motorcycle policy.

                    I feel like I’m getting mixed signals here.

                    1. That really is odd. If you ever did want to get into riding, you’d have no problem getting covered through another policy, I’m sure

                      My bike is insured through Progressive (which is who USAA, my auto insurer, farms out motorcycle policies to). Full coverage is only running me 280 bucks a year. Even though my bike will outperform almost any production car out there, it’s still not classified as a “super sport” or “race replica,” which means my rates stay down. If I’d gone for a CBR600RR, for instance, I wouldn’t be surprised if the same coverage was three times as much. Forget about a liter bike.

                    2. Same paragraph that voids the policy if I BASE jump or become a student pilot.

                      I wonder if that is a locality thing that the actuaries believe riding a motorcycle to be as dangerous as base jumping.

                    3. Actuaries don’t “believe” anything; they just have numbers.

                      If you live in LA, motorcycles are probably pretty dangerous, and bear attacks aren’t.

                      If I want the policy I have, I have to play by their rules. It’s a business, after all.

                    4. Actuaries don’t “believe” anything; they just have numbers.

                      I’ll have to tell that one to my niece. (She’s an actuary.)

                    5. I was making a joke. Obviously a bad one. Do they know you ski? And how is Mammoth this year? I did a season there in ’84. Worst snow year in a decade. People where sliding on ice to their deaths. But 4 clams an hour and a ski pass was what I was up for at the time. It was worth it.

                    6. Karl = most life insurance policies I’ve looked at only ding you if you actually race motorcycles…

                      Playa = Same paragraph that voids the policy if I BASE jump or become a student pilot..

                      i think whole-life policies have special notes about “no payouts for skydiving, single-engine plane-piloting, hang-gliding, etc” and if you ride a motorcycle regularly you either pay far larger premiums or you can’t access certain riders, policy benefits.

                      I think the “piloting, skydiving” thing is a national rule that all insurers are exempt from payouts on, and the motorcycle thing is a “risk-level based” issue which every insurer treats differently based on policy type. (e.g. i don’t think any of them care about term)
                      .

                    7. ^^this is stuff somehow still lingering in my brain from taking a Series 65 exam like 6 years ago, and being asked to review a variety of people’s policies, because god knows why, but most people hate reading that sort of shit.

                    8. This is term. 30 years.

                      I have mid 7 figures of coverage, and then fuck the kids. If they don’t have their shit together, I’m not going to die worrying about it.

                    9. This is term. 30 years.

                      ah.

                      normally they aren’t as picky about the restrictions, because you’re basically handing them cash. but i think its a state-by-state thing tho, as all insurance is.

                    10. I’m handing them cash, unless I “win”.

                    11. unless I “win”.

                      technically, your wife (i assume) wins.

                      did the guy who sold you the policy make tasteless jokes about ‘how much you trust your wife’? i bet they did.

                      I went out for drinks a few times with insurance guys. they’re creepy. like used-car-salesmen/ meets-mortician /meets-PUA-creepy.

                    12. I’ve been doing a little light reading since this thread started, and from what I gather (and confirming what I seemed to remember), most insurers don’t deny coverage or even charge higher rates for motorcyclists. They will check your driving record and charge a higher premium if it’s spotty, but that also applies to any other driver. Riding a motorcycle is undeniably more dangerous than driving a car, but apparently, from an actuarial standpoint, your risk of dying is considered relatively negligible.

                    13. Are we talking auto or life here?

                    14. Are we talking auto or life here?

                      Apologies, I was talking about life insurance. Motorcycle policies can vary wildly, and are in large measure dependent on your age and what kind of bike you ride. A 50-year-old man riding a basic Honda Shadow might pay a couple hundred bucks a year for full coverage; a 20-year-old kid on a GSX-R1000 will likely be looking at thousands a year for the same coverage.

                    15. I’m moving closer to the beach soon, and I’ll need a vespa.

                      In CA, auto is all about liability. You’re not going to mow down a crosswalk full of pre-schoolers on a motorcycle. In most cases, you’ll only hurt yourself.

                      I’m not so concerned about my liability. Just what happens to me when I’m gone.

                    16. a vespa.

                      be “that guy” and get a segway.

                    17. how long was the “novelty window” for those things? a year? 2years? I thought if they were still used non-ironically anywhere, it would be near the beach in Cali.

                      I thought they were retarded from day 1. Cops in Central park had them for a few years and i would point and just loudly go HA HA HA HA HA HA HA and they’d give me the finger.

                    18. *googles skydiving deaths per year*

                      So… are they worried payees will stage a suicide?

    1. A recumbent bike? What kind of freak are you?

      1. If i’m ever recumbent on this thing, it’s because I’ve done something very, very wrong.

    2. Your photo is really professional-looking.

      1. Your photo is really professional-looking.

        It’s a stock photo, but that’s the identical bike. Haven’t really taken decent pics yet, but since I have the ability and equipment to take a pic like this, I don’t feel too bad pilfering Cycle World‘s photo 🙂

  9. Did Obama do (advocate) ANYTHING which qualifies as “criminal justice reform”?

    1. Does the Dispositon Matrix count?

      The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. US officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the “disposition” of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.

      An individual cannot engage in criminal activities if he or she is killed prior to being able to commit said activities*.

      *Nor can their children , who are are “saved” from a life of criminal activity.

    2. He did sign the Fair Penalties Act, which reduced the criminal penalties for crack down to the penalties for regular powdered cocaine.

      It’s not great, but credit where credit is due.

      1. Fair enough.

  10. I just bought a new toy. My weekend is pretty much set. 🙂

    Just be sure to bequeath your pancreas to Sugarfree.

    1. Just be sure to bequeath your pancreas to Sugarfree.

      So Sugarfree’s inability/unwillingness to properly maintain his own pancreas translates into some sort of obligation on my part?

      1. It’s repayment. He’s stuck something alarming and gross inside of you, and now you can return the favor.

  11. Not too long ago, Elizabeth Warren said THIS about School Vouchers:

    “Vouchers would relieve parents from the terrible choice of leaving their kids in lousy schools or bankrupting themselves.”

    http://tinyurl.com/hr79h9y

    1. Yes, but she went on to say:

      But there is another alternative, one that would keep much-needed tax dollars inside the public school system while still reaping the advantages offered by a voucher program. Local governments could enact meaningful reform by enabling parents to choose from among all the public schools in a locale, with no presumptive assignment based on neighborhood. Under a public school voucher program, parents, not bureaucrats, would have the power to pick schools for their children?and to choose which schools would get their children’s vouchers.

      1. Yes, but ahead of DeVos’ confirmation hearings, Warren charged that DeVos’ support for vouchers and privately run schools was disqualifying.

        1. Yes, but Warren is an imbecile.

      2. I don’t really see how that would work.

        Who would choose to send their kids to the shitty schools? There would be overflow at the good ones.

        Not to mention all the lost time getting kids to and from the schools that are all the way across town. Schools aren’t “picked” by bureaucrats, they’re picked by proximity. You could argue the lines are arbitrary, but they’re clearly defined. A big selling point for real estate agents is the school district a given house is in.

        1. Yep, Warren is trying to give the appearance of reform while doing nothing to change the problem. She receives a shit ton of money from the teachers unions, who have their jods, not the education of their customers, in mind.

        2. how that would work

          Not as well as breaking the teacher’s unions.

          A big selling point for real estate agents is the school district a given house is in

          Indeed. That’s not very helpful to people who can’t afford to move to a better district, though.

    2. How can I get around the paywall?

      1. Put subject in Google and follow the link. This should work.

        1. That’s one thing I like about this site. Good tech advice.

  12. Mr. Fisher, what’s your take on the fact Obama issued 19 immigration bans?

    It seems to me the ONE thing the President has a legit function over is national security, no?

    1. It seems to me the ONE thing the President has a legit function over is national security, no?

      Rufus,

      I think that I partially understand you here, and if I am correct in that amount, I admire your appreciation for the limitations set by the “founders” of the United States with regards to Executive Powers (and of course governmental powers in general).

      The Constitution and later the Bill of Rights limit the actions of the individuals in the United States government Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: – “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

      1. I’m just trying to separate the hysteria from legit criticism.

        Why was this not an issue – unless I missed it – when Obama or previous Presidents did it?

        Is there a nuanced spin I missing?

        1. No, you’re not missing anything.

        2. It seems to me the ONE thing the President has a legit function over is national security, no?

          Technically, its not *just* “national security”, narrowly defined.

          The executive branch has wide-reaching powers covering almost everything that falls into “how the US relates to other nations”

          – e.g. Trade relations, border enforcement/homeland defense, diplomatic relations, military deployment, etc

          and more. Whether or not these functions are ‘natural’ to the executive and best suited there is debateable, but these powers mostly reside in the presidency, shared to greater or lesser degrees with Congress, who has to ratify treaties & authorize spending, etc.

  13. Y’all want to keep it down? I’m trying to drink.

    1. What you drinking? I’m on my second “Even More Jesus” stout. The weekend has begun.

      1. That sounds interesting. I’m sippin’ whiskey and chasing it with Budd light

          1. Don’t be a beer snob. Budd light is pretty much water, and cleanses the palate while quenching thirst.

            1. That’s what Miller is for. Bud… yech.

        1. Ooooh, classic Boilermaker! That’s some old school shit, son!

        2. If you can handle liquor then beer, never fear, beer then liquor, get sick quicker.

      2. Watermelon Dorado.

        Light beer, but 10%

        1. I have mixed feelings about fruity beers, but this sounds interesting. . Especially the part about 10%

          1. I don’t think they intended it to be fruity. They mess around with yeast and hops, get a novel ester, and name it after a fruit. Same with the pineapple and grapefruit sculpins.

      3. I love a good imperial stout, or any kind of stout or porter for that matter, but I’m spending my time with Evan Williams small batch tonight.

        1. Kinda related: have you had any bourbon barrel stouts? I have a four of Evil Twin Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Biscotti Break. Evil Twin brews the stout I mentioned above. Two excellent beers!

          1. Yeah, they can be good. Some bourbon barrels can be too strong on the bourbon for me. I love bourbon, but mostly by itself. I’ve not tried Evil Twin’s, but I know they make some good beers.

      4. It’s Saturday AM here. I started with Tramadol and coffee. Fireworks, dancing dragons, and tequila last night.

        1. Pretty obscure euphemisims

        2. Fireworks, dancing dragons, and tequila last night.

          Which brand of tequila renders those hallucinations? Does it have a worm in the bottle?

  14. I think Obama just opposed blacks going to prison more than whites. He still wanted to make sure to clean up the streets.

    I guess it’s better than Trump, but both are far from libertarian. Do we know Trump’s position on weed?

  15. The derp horn of plenty that is Everyday Feminism yields its bounty once more:

    I’ve watched a lot of powerful, badass women get into relationships with dudes who treat them badly, and it’s wearing them out.

    Even if you find a dude who says he’s a feminist, he might be lying to get laid. It’s enough to make you want to give up on men entirely.

    I recently overheard a bro tell another bro, “At home, I just agree with my wife and then do the opposite.” This is straight-up misogyny as a form of dude-bonding

    Being an alien’s life support for nine months is a big deal, and can make a lot of people miserable, especially people whose spouses saddle them with most of the child-rearing.

    1. “he might be lying to get laid. It’s enough to make you want to give up on men entirely.”

      Because women NEVER do this.

      Not. Ever.

      1. People are always scrupulously honest, especially when something they really want is at stake.

        1. Don’t worry, as the relationship goes on you have more and more invested in it and more and more to lose if things go south so the lying goes away.

          *snicker*

      2. Guys might not pretend to be feminists to get laid if feminists didn’t narrow their potential relationships down to people who agree with their politics explicitly.

        1. And here you see why Feminists are pressing the Sex Trafficking hysteria so hard. They are afraid that if a man doesn’t have to jump through their hoops to get laid, no man will put up with them. The idea of trying to be more pleasant is anathema.

    2. Even if you find a dude who says he’s a feminist, he might be lying to get laid.

      Does that work?

      Asking for a friend

      1. No. It’s bottom feeding. And not the good kind.

        1. There’s a good kind?

          Asking for a friend.

      2. I know saying you’re on the pill is a good way to land you a husband. Does that count?

    3. It’s true they might be lying. Perhaps you should have a ceremony where you promise certain things to each other in front of family and the community so there is docual pressure not to leave you pregnant.

      Perhaps the person that breaks that promise should be regarded as someone who broke a contract.

    4. Pregnant women I’ve known are always stressed and a little bitter about it but wouldn’t give it up for the world. Which makes me think that feminists have to strive extra hard to take the joy out of it.

  16. It would be nice if my liberal friends, or our erstwhile trolls cared half as much about this as immigration or school choice.

  17. The Pains Of Being Woke

    To be woke means that the pursuit of knowledge takes precedent over accepting popular opinion. To be woke also means that ego should never sway your awareness. To be woke is a journey without a final resting place. To be woke means that not everyone will understand you. When existing in this state of wokeness around white people, some may call you “crazy” or “too sensitive,” and argue that your lived experiences are exaggerated, a lie, irrelevant. To be woke means short victories offset by unstoppable growing pains.

    1. To be woke means you’re a blithering idiot.

    2. To be woke means that the pursuit of knowledge takes precedent over accepting popular opinion.

      Sounds like being a libertarian.

      1. Popularity in the sense he’s using it isn’t numerically popular (true) but sine qua non in the circles in which he runs (other blithering idiots).

    3. Translation: Your social life isnt dying because you are an insufferable, self-absorbed asshole. Its because something is wrong with everyone except you.

      1. “I did well on the history test because I’m smart, but I did badly on the math test because the teacher hates me.”

      2. In the words of a wise man: “You meet an asshole in the morning, you met an asshole. You meet nothing but assholes all day, you’re the asshole.”

    4. To be woke means that the pursuit of knowledge takes precedent over accepting popular opinion.

      This was genuinely, honestly written by someone in the course of the attempting to explain the trials of being enlightened through the magic of social justice.

      ‘Oblivious’ just doesn’t quite get the job done.

    5. Eric Hoffer

      “There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a selfless life we gain enormously in self-esteem. The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.”

    6. To be woke means you are at least self-aware enough to understand that calling yourself “awakened” sounds like you joined a cult, but think being cutesy about it somehow solves the underlying issue. Well, no, that only applies to the people that originated the term. The rest of you are just fucking parrots.

  18. My take away from the video is that I totally missed the idea of spy vs spy to race if it was published today. I just assumed it led to my preteen infatuation with blowing shit up. Granted those where days when a twelve year old could walk into the hardware store and buy as much black powder as they had cash for. And no, no fingers were lost, or anyone hurt and or cats harmed in the memories that prompted this comment.

    Also, we have too many laws. That too.

    1. If you didn’t at least singe your eyebrows off you weren’t doing it right.

    2. A few fingers were lost in my crowd.

      1. Did they still have eyebrows?

  19. Pakistani government officials deny that blasphemy laws target Christians

    Meanwhile: Pakistan’s minority minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a vocal Christian critic of the blasphemy laws, was assassinated in 2011 for his outspokenness.

    1. You know who else wrote laws that targeted minorities, made them pay special taxes to have even minimal rights, often unlawfully executed them out in backwards rural areas, and assassinated their leaders when they spoke out for more rights?

      1. Fidel Castro?

      2. Crusaders?

        Fred Phelps?

        Timothy McVeigh?

      3. Henry VIII?

      4. The Red Skull?

      5. Duterte Harry?

      6. Vyacheslav Plehve?

  20. file under: kill them with fire and piss on the ashes

    The Islamic State chops off children’s hands for refusing to execute prisoners

    also:

    Children do not escape the cruelty of Islamic State jihadists. Some horrific examples (which may be disturbing to some people):
    -A one-year-old Yazidi baby was beaten in front of his mother until she gave in to all of the Islamic State jihadi’s sex demands.
    -A baby was blown up as part of an Islamic State explosive training exercise.
    -74 children were executed by the Islamic State for “crimes” that included refusal to fast.
    -Children are also being raped, tortured, beheaded, crucified and buried alive.

    1. I would say bomb them back to the dark ages, but they are already there.

    2. My favorite was ‘The Butcher’ who would use an electric drill to drill holes into children’s brains until the local’s capitulated to his demands. When people started hunting for him they discovered that every local area has some dude named ‘The Butcher’ who engages in similar practices. It’s like looking for Ali Baba. Grab some local dude on the street and you likely have one of the right guys.

      It is a culture of barbarism and has drawn sociopaths who want to engage in depravity from all over the world.

      Exterminate them without mercy. No quarter. I say this as someone who would be willing to take the fight to them instead of sending someone else’s sons.

      1. The Peshmerga will take anybody who can pull a trigger. I thought about going to them, but the Army seemed like a safer choice. The thought of looking in a mirror 30 years from now and saying “If only I had done something” was too much for me.

        People like them really test my commitment to the non-aggression principle. It would be very hard to be in the same room with someone like Anjem Choudary and resist the urge to saw his balls off with a dull knife.

        1. The Peshmerga will take anybody who can pull a trigger. I thought about going to them, but the Army seemed like a safer choice.

          Good choice. With the Pesh you have to wear pointy toed dress shoes with your uniform. (joking)

          Good for you for taking a stand there. It is some other world fucked up shit going on with those guys.

    3. Just imagine if alcohol was legal.

  21. Cops and the rest of the CJ system are a pretty large and homogenous voting block.

  22. Regis University is concluding its “Anti-Oppression Week” programming, which included a “space only for people of color” and events condemning and events on white privilege, police violence, “gendered language,” and more.

    Jack Flotte, a member of Regis University’s Social Justice and Spirituality Committee, opened the session by scolding his white peers and professors on their state of “white fragility,” saying, “Like it or not, we are already accomplices. The question becomes: to what end are we partners in the crime of continuing to perpetuate these systems that dehumanize and oppress people, or are we partners in creating something new?”

    He then outlined several paradigms that he considers counterproductive, starting with the demand that white people “quit mythologizing black-on-black murder by isolating statistics,” boldly claiming that “Black-on-black murder is not a thing. It’s just a bad argument. Black-on-black crime is not a thing. Don’t talk about it. Shut it down when people talk about it.”

    1. “Social Justice and Spirituality Committee” Jesus that sounds scary

    2. Wow.

      I know I’m moose pissing into the wind, but how does he factually and intellectually refute the statistics of black on black crime?

      This is not good.

      1. “but how does he factually and intellectually refute the statistics of black on black crime?”

        He doesn’t and he doesn’t want to. It would destroy his worldview.

      2. I have a friend who was cool but then I guess got woke. He refuted it for me pointing out that percentage wise whites are murdered by whites like 80% of the time. Blacks are murdered by blacks around the same. Therefore it’s a myth.

        The fact that the amount of blacks murdered, and murdered by blacks is far higher than whites is a hate fact.

        Also about half of murders are by blacks, and half not black. Percentage of population isn’t a thing I guess.

    3. events on “gendered language”

      Spanish or Urdu?

  23. Red Wings owner Illitch dies.

    https://www.nhl.com

    1. I always thought those boots where over priced. I usually bought Keen.

      1. I thought those boots were made for walking.

  24. At UMass Amherst, students are required to take two “social justice” classes to earn diploma, and this course ? Education 115: Embracing Diversity ? fulfills one of those requirements.

    One reading assignment in the class, “Normal University and the Story of Sam,” tells the story of Sam, a low-income black lesbian who attends “Normal University,” an Ivy League-like university whose namesake had a role in the slave trade. Sam faces all sorts of oppression during her freshman year.

    Her roommate’s friends make racist remarks, funds are diverted from the campus LGBTQ organization and a protest over the use of bathrooms remind her of stories shared “about the Jim Crow era.” To top it all off, she studies in a “male-centric” engineering department where a woman has never been promoted and tenured.

    At the end of the reading, students in the course are tasked with choosing an option to make the university more welcoming for Sam.

    A black lesbian engineering major is about as common as a unicorn, but not for the reasons these nimrods think.

    1. As I understand it the intellectual tools needed for engineering – logic, fact, reason, math – are tools of the oppressive patriarchy. Sam should be pilloried for perpetuating the patriarchy.

  25. Par for the course, unfortunately. Nobody gets elected by promising to “get soft on crime.”

    1. Looking at those hipsters….false flag which if busted will be explained away as part of the exhibition.

    2. What’s the deal with (((neo-Nazis))) and (((bottles of milk)))?

      1. Cockney rhyming slang is hate speech!

      2. Um,…it’s pertinent to A Clockwork Orange. So,…everyone considered right of center is literally worse than Alex?

    3. Um… La Beef is well known for performance-art antics. Oh, Salon.

  26. OK, I’m almost done with my daily derp patrol.

    Slate: 1979 German Photo Book Traces Manspreading Back to Ancient Civilizations

    Men need more room because their testicles get smushed? Show me the man with testicles that take up an extra half-seat on the subway, and I’ll show you a man with an urgent health problem.

    Manspreading apologists should be forced to study Let’s Take Back Our Space, which makes a convincing visual argument for manspreading as socially replicated performance rather than physiological necessity.

    1. Said somebody with no balls.

    2. Is that true?

    3. I”‘m almost done with my daily derp patrol”

      Dude, I’m about done with the Internet except for reference purposes. My apathy has taken me to the place I said I would never go. Completely tuning out of the news. It’s all children and Idiocracy. From the politico’s to the people reporting on them

      1. I hear you.

        Now, as for manspreading… I think it’s pretty clear that much of it is a “performance” – just observe the characteristics of the folks who do it the most – but WhoTF cares? Is it really worth bitching about? Just assert yourself and push your way in there.

        1. “other” characteristics – tuff gai types, etc.

        2. I’m just bored

      2. You know there used to be a show called Firing Line? Buckley headed it, and discussed things with people of all stripes. Apparently it was quite philosophical and erudite.

        I’m thinking of binging it when I have a hankering for something political, rather than going for something current. Because we seem to be living in the dumbest of times. Our intellectual pulse is flatlining.

        1. I would like to see a Lenny Bruce comeback.

          1. Saw him live. Quite topical back in the day. These days …. not so much.

        2. Eddie would probably like the interviews with Malcolm Muggeridge.

  27. file under: “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”

    Hate or Be Hated: How I Survived Right-Wing Extremism is my story of being raised by a paranoid, white-trash hillbilly in the woods of western Washington preparing for the impending communist invasion or overthrow of our country. One hundred percent of all book sale proceeds are going to the ACLU. It’s about how it took 30 years to undo the right-wing brainwashing I endured as a child. It gives a glimpse into what kind of family produces Americans who are primed to believe fake news and put their trust into anyone who seems as angry as they are.

    1. Amazing how, like bigfoot, the boogermen that haunt the proggie narrative are only ever seen by the people that already believe in them. I live in the redneck, white nationalist, racist, alt-right capital of the world and somehow I never run into them. I guess I just cant recognize their secret nazi haircuts.

      1. The alt-right are the scary clowns of politics.

      2. “1 in every 3 white Americans is a Nazi. If you look around, and don’t see a Nazi, it’s you.”

        1. Looking around bar. Seeing a bunch of hillbillies. Shit!

        2. Men think about sex every 6 seconds, but they only think about having sex with a black man one month out of the year.

          1. well, now that you threw that out there, can I just think about it this one time, or do I have to set reminders on my phone for the whole month?

    2. “paranoid, white-trash hillbilly…right-wing brainwashing…angry as they are.”

      Yeah, those other people sure are angry!

    3. Wow, the projection in those comments. You can’t talk to them! They won’t believe your truths! It’s all a cult of personality! They don’t tolerate different beliefs! Just like Nazis! Aaasrgh!

    4. Over time, it became obvious that I was writing a book about the role my parents (specifically my dad) played during my childhood, intentionally or not, in corrupting my life by molding me to be just like them.

      How does one get a book promo published when the progressives are losing their minds?

  28. The “Maduro” diet: Venezuelans now eating dogs, cats, donkeys, horses, pigeons, anteaters, and pink flamingos to survive.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/new…..78819.html

    1. and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats…

    2. They’ll be eating Soylent Green, soon.

      1. I think they already are.

    3. I knew an old Venezuelan that swallowed a fly…
      Perhaps he’ll die.

    1. When you call somebody a fascist, you can mean any number of things. Often, it means no more than “somebody I don’t like.”

      The modern equivalent of, “I don’t have anything against black people, but…”

      1. Neoliberal is a more recent word with the same meaning.

    2. His argument is weak, to put it mildly. Serious question: Did he suffer a stroke or something?

      1. Parkinson’s, though I don’t know if that affected his writing.

        1. its a better excuse than “he’s just getting old”

    3. Didn’t Michael Kinsley used to be semi-sane?

      Was he the guy who founded Slate?

      oh, right.

      Guys like him remind me that it was (almost) “hip” to be a liberal in the mid-late 1990s. they were tech-savvy, literate, unlikely to overly excited about things…. while the bible-beaters had come to increasingly dominate the GOP, and they were basically mad as hell there wasn’t a soviet union to Warmonger about anymore.

      he’s not even witty anymore. The left really has gone to shit.

      1. This. And I remember when he was pretty moderate.

  29. “Christine Baranski Offers to Play Betsy DeVos on ‘Saturday Night Live'”
    […]
    “The [‘SNL’] sketches have been unbelievable all through the election, and the post-election,” Baranski continued. “So yeah, we could have a revolving door of people playing the cabinet members and all.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/entertai…..iclerecirc

    Somehow, I doubt she uses the word “unbelievable” in the same sense I do. In fact, I’m sure the skit will include low-watt kids who obviously haven’t learned to read.
    And these kids, who currently *are* the product of gov’t schools, will be portrayed as ‘home school’ kids

    1. I can’t wait to tune in to that.

      1. I can’t wait to not tune into that either.

        1. Yeah, I can easily predict my cable feed will be down that night. But re: Eddie below, at one time I recall they admitted there *was* more than a single POV.

    2. I haven’t watched in over a decade. Hell, maybe two. Does the show do anything besides proggie propaganda anymore? Does anyone laugh besides the laugh track machine? I am guessing no more samurai cooks, pedophile uncles, claymation dismemberment, irreverent newscasters, parodying iconic characters, etc etc.

      The show isnt funny anymore, is it?

      1. I remember the political humor always being kind of gentle, neutral – Ford falling over, etc – but it sounds (I haven’t watched) like it’s just mean-spirited now.

        1. I wouldn’t call it “gentle,” not when you’re talking about Dennis Miller and David Spade – but it wasn’t all in favor of one faction.

          1. Was that the Clinton years? Lots of red meat there, to be sure.

        2. I get the impression it is in the same vein as Samantha Bee. She smugly declares Trump a poppyhead and they que the laugh track. No substance, just superficial ad hominems. Given their target audience that is about what I would expect.

          1. Yeah, like her characterization being “unbelievable”, it stands a chance of being “funny”, just not the way they or she see it.

    3. “So yeah, we could have a revolving door of people playing the cabinet members and all.”

      Is this something they did in the Obama administration? I quite watching SNL in the ’90s so I don’t know.

      1. I dunno, but the skits are easy: They’re all “Buts”
        “I support free speech, but…”
        “I support legal dope, but…”
        “I support the 2nd Amendment, but…”
        “I support choice in medical insurance, but…”
        “I support peace in the middle east, but…”
        Fill in the blanks, and cue the laff-trx.

        1. I support free speech but you have an ugly hair cut and say mean things.
          I support legal dope but trailer trash might smoke it and be more trashy and they be white trash.
          I support the 2nd amendment but the trailer trash might own guns.
          I support choice in medical insurance but you have to pay for mine too.
          I support peace in the middle east but the Jews must be exterminated.

          Like that?

    4. How often did Cabinet members of earlier administrations show up in SNL skits?

      I know back in the 80s Johnny Carson did a skit involving Reagan and Yasser Arafat puns.

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