Uganda

Uganda's Bad Seeds

East Africans go hungry because they can't trust their markets

|

The National Seed Testing Laboratory is about eight miles north of the Ugandan capital of Kampala, where the sprawl of the city starts to give way to fields of cassava, corn, and bananas. Inside, a strong, yeasty smell pervades the air. It's a Wednesday morning, but no one seems to be here: I pass one empty office after another on my way to meet the director, Divine Nakkede.

Nakkede is proud to describe the work her Ministry of Agriculture lab does testing the quality of the seeds used by Uganda's farmers. But as she sings her institution's praises, I keep wondering: Who exactly is doing all this crucial work? When I ask how many people the lab employs, she talks about budget challenges and hiring plans. When I press her, she casts her eyes down.

"We have only one technician," she says. Today that technician is not in.

With every last bit of fertile land spoken for, Uganda's only path out of mass hunger is intensification—getting more food out of the same amount of ground. Back in the 1960s and '70s, high-yield varieties of wheat and rice revolutionized agriculture in Asia and Latin America, freeing up to a billion people from chronic hunger. But the Green Revolution skipped Africa. I had come to Uganda to try to figure out why.

Nakkede's laboratory gives me my first clue. Ensuring that farmers have access to good seed should be at the forefront of Uganda's fight against hunger, and a sample of each lot of agricultural seed produced in the country is supposed to be tested here. But the lab barely functions at all.

Is insufficient funding the problem? Not quite. Expensive-looking machinery is all around us. Yet none of it, I slowly realize, is plugged into the wall.

"Oh, yeah," an aid official tells me days later. "All the equipment at the Kawanda lab is fried."

Between 2003 and 2008, a $1.9 million project by the Danish International Development Agency fully equipped this lab and trained staff to work here. But blackouts are frequent in Uganda. When the power comes back it often returns with a surge, and the Danes apparently forgot to put surge protectors in the budget. As a result, Danish taxpayers have paid top dollar for a collection of finely engineered paperweights.

The Danes were just one of a string of donors to come in, commission an assessment of Uganda's food security problems, zero in on seed quality, and spend a lot of money on "technical assistance," only to see virtually no bang for the development buck. Writing for the World Bank, the agricultural economist James Joughin reviewed 20 substantive studies of the Ugandan seed industry conducted between 2003 and 2013. Everybody who is anybody in African development has done one: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the African Development Bank, the European Union, the United Nations, and various NGOs and academics.

"The reports invariably recommend how to repair these problems," Joughin concludes. "Rarely do they ask why earlier recommendations have not been acted upon."

A Market Flooded With Bad Seed The village of Buwenge is a couple of hours' drive from Kampala. The road is paved, and roadside stands sell cold drinks and mobile phone airtime; goats munch on whatever's around.

At the Buwenge Modern Farmers' Sacca (a Ugandized rendering of circle), a group of small farmers tell me how trouble obtaining decent seed has blighted their community.

Dandel Byansi is a big, soft-spoken 19-year-old. His family sacrificed for years to afford secondary-school tuition—a major hardship for small farmers here—and he'd done well in his classes, eventually earning a place at a nearby agricultural training institute. He was hoping to become just the kind of well-educated, technically astute "modern farmer" constantly invoked in the aid agency reports. But then things went terribly wrong at home.

Expensive-looking machinery is all around us. Yet none of it, I slowly realize, is plugged into the wall.

In early 2015, Dandel's father spent a good portion of the family's meager savings on a batch of high-yield soybean seeds—part of a long-term plan to move away from subsistence farming and into cash crops. The soybean market was hot, and Dandel's father calculated that if he could raise yields through diligent weeding, fertilizer use, and high-quality seed, he could get a big enough harvest to afford Dandel's university fees.

But only about 20 percent of the seed germinated. They had wasted their money on junk. Dandel's hopes were dashed.

There was no way to pinpoint the exact source of the problem. Was this seed that had once been good but was improperly stored? (Seed is a living thing—store it in too much heat or too much humidity, and you can kill it.) Was it actual fraud—regular commodity soybeans that some unscrupulous trader had tried to pass off as seed? Had it expired? Or had the Byansi family made some sort of mistake in planting it?

It's impossible to tell. A culture of blame-shifting is deeply entrenched in the seed sector. Complain to the village seed dealer and he'll blame his distributor. Ask the distributor and he'll blame the company. Ask the company and it'll blame the National Agricultural Research Organization that supplied the foundation seed. Ask the people there, and they'll blame the regulators and the seed lab at Kawanda. The buck stops nowhere.

Stories like this are distressingly common in East Africa. Uganda's better seed companies are mired in a cat-and-mouse game with the fakers. About 10 years ago they began branding the bags that hold their seed to differentiate themselves, but then traders started buying up the empty bags and selling them to scammers to refill with commodity grain passed off as seed. The companies tried dyeing their seed in bright colors to make them visibly different from bulk grain, but the scammers quickly figured out how to dye the fakes too.

The legal system offers little recourse—the fees to bring a suit could easily amount to the Byansis' lifetime earnings. And the police aren't much help, either: In 2015, only a single seed faker was prosecuted in all of Uganda. He had made just about every mistake imaginable, paying a sidewalk print shop in the town of Jinja to reproduce seed company bags half a block from a police station, in plain view of everyone. After a summary trial, he was sentenced to two weeks' community service, picking up garbage from the side of the road. But that's the exception. If you're minimally sophisticated (this guy wasn't) and take rudimentary precautions (this guy didn't), you won't get caught.

For his part, Dandel Byansi is still working his dad's farm, spending long, sweaty afternoons weeding fields by hand. In their small, earth-brick home at night, he looks through Facebook on his simple Chinese smartphone to keep up with his school friends who are now at college.

Yet poor as they are, the Byansis know they're relatively privileged. They can afford to have smartphones, plans, dreams. When they're taken in by bad seed, they count the costs in semesters of education missed, not meals forgone. Millions of other Ugandans aren't so lucky.

Never Starving, Always Hungry Just outside the town of Mbale, some 250 kilometers east of Kampala, I talk with members of the Bungokho Modern Farmers' Association, a local self-help group. I meet Christine Masawi, who is much more typical of Uganda's farmers than Dandel and his family. She relies on a garden less than an acre in size for her food. It would never occur to her to do something as grand as buying a bag of industrial seed. Money's far too tight for that, and commercial seed is far too risky.

The little contact she's had with the formal seed sector comes around election time, when soldiers turn up in her village to give away freebies as they work to rustle up votes for the ruling party. Last year they gave out corn seed, but most of it didn't germinate. Realizing it wasn't worth the trouble to sow, Masawi ended up holding a couple kilos of it. It's dusted with strangely colored chemicals—most likely fungicides applied to keep it from molding. But food is scarce around the homestead, and the non-germinating seed sure looks edible. She asks me if it would be safe to clean off the chemicals and cook it up for dinner. I have no idea what to tell her.

Such experiences explain why Masawi doesn't bother buying seed. Instead, she does what 95 percent of Ugandan farmers do: She saves part of her harvest each season to plant the following season. She might trade a bit of it informally with her neighbors, but in general what she plants hasn't travelled more than a couple of kilometers. This is the way the vast majority of East Africans source their seed, and it is a major reason they're often hungry but seldom starve.

They're hungry because saved seed sucks. Haphazardly selected from fields, its production potential is far lower than that of modern hybrid seed. Planted again and again on fields that are overexploited and starved of nutrients, the yields not only are low but tend to decline over time.

But while saved seed won't give you a great harvest, it's rare for it to fail to germinate at all. You know where it came from, since you probably gathered it yourself, and you know what you can expect from it. Those who live on the edge of subsistence can't afford to take risks. And saved seed is a lot of things, but risky isn't one of them.

This is the key to why there has been no Green Revolution in East Africa. To farmers here, high-yield seed looks less like an investment and more like a dangerous bet. Shelling out for a bag of commercial seed is buying the world's most expensive lottery ticket: Without proper testing and certification, you have no idea whether it will even germinate.

As a result, the formal seed market is tiny, covering just 5–10 percent of the country's acreage. Because it's so small, big seed multinationals have minimal incentive to bother with it. The Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta doesn't work here; neither does Dow AgroSciences. Monsanto used to do business in Uganda but it left in 2014, unable to make a buck. What's left are mom-and-pop seed companies—often spun off from yesteryear's aid projects—that don't have the capital to fight the fakers.

The one thing worse than being exploited by Monsanto, it turns out, is not being exploited by Monsanto.

It sounds like an argument for stronger regulation. But a dissonant note keeps going off in my mind. All that fried lab equipment; all that Danish money. What if the problem isn't too little intervention from the Ugandan government, but too much from the aid agencies?

A Finely Honed Machine The theme keeps coming up, but seldom during the day. It's the kind of thing aid workers talk about after hours, at the bar. I hear it most forcefully from Tim, a no-nonsense German technocrat temporarily assigned to the Central Bank of Uganda. This isn't his first job in Africa.

"No donor ever shuts down here," he says. "New ones come, but the old ones never leave, so they just build on top of each other in layers. It's like an aid lasagna out here."

Dandel Byansi. Photo by Wilfred Sanya.

It's true. In the nicer parts of Kampala, every third building hosts one aid organization or another. There's USAID and a gaggle of USAID contractors. There's GIZ, Germany's official aid body. The Danes have scaled back, but the Dutch have picked up much of the slack. There's the whole baffling alphabet soup of United Nations–related bodies: UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, FAO, CGIAR, IFPRI, half a dozen others. And there's a virtual infinity of private charities in every imaginable field, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to—I'm not making this up—Homeopaths Without Borders.

It's easy to see why. Kampala is quite a nice place for an expat to live. The streets are safe, the weather's nice, the nightlife is surprisingly lively, malaria is rare, and Ugandans are super polite. You can live extremely comfortably here on a salary that would qualify you for food stamps back home.

The agencies are permanent, but most of the people who staff them enter and exit quickly. The usual time horizon is two or three years, Tim says. After that, it's off to another African capital or a stint at headquarters.

But their counterparts, the officials at the ministries? They're here to stay. They've seen any number of white guys come and go, and they know this batch will leave soon, too.

The one option a foreign aid administrator doesn't have is to not spend his money. It is a truth universally acknowledged that unspent budgets get clawed back in the following year's review. For an aid official with a two- or three-year window to get some results, the prime directive is simple: Whatever you do, spend that budget.

"Local officials understand that," Tim tells me, "and they're not even a little bit shy about exploiting it."

Uganda's Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF) is notorious for this. Over the years, its labyrinthine bureaucracy seems to have given up entirely on its founding goal of assisting Uganda's farmers, morphing instead into a finely honed machine for separating aid donors from their budgets.

"When you go into a meeting with MAAIF officials, you feel the farmers are very far from view," says an official attached to a Dutch aid project, who requested not to be named because her job brings her into constant contact with ministry officials.

A key element of this is the infamous "per diem" culture—the practice of paying a small sum to Ugandan officials to attend events sponsored by foreign partners.

"Say you go to the ministry and propose a capacity building workshop—you can be sure the first question they'll ask is about the per diem," the Dutch official says. The actual subject of the workshop is secondary, and its "goals" hardly merit a mention.

I attend one such event sponsored by the World Bank. It's held in grand style at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa, a luxury hotel with expansive views of the lake at the source of the Nile. Officials from four continents arrive to discuss institutional development. Many a fine word is spoken, and many a team-building exercise is led by young D.C.-based staffers.

MAAIF officials make sure their presentations include all the latest development catchphrases: multi-stakeholder platform and sustainable intensification and evidence-based monitoring and evaluation. To extract money from the international development machine, you need to sound just like it. At this task, if at no other, MAAIF excels.

On the ride back to my ramshackle Kampala Airbnb, I struggle to make sense of what I've just witnessed. The same bureaucracy that can't keep its lab equipment hooked up to a surge protector glides effortlessly among the leading lights of the development world.

Lant Pritchett, a professor of international development at Harvard, calls this "isomorphic mimicry," a phrase he borrowed from evolutionary biology. Think of the nonvenomous scarlet kingsnake, which has evolved to look uncannily like the highly venomous eastern coral snake. It borrows the deterrent effect of appearing venomous, he notes, without going to all the trouble to evolve venom. And it works: Animals won't risk attacking an eastern coral snake, so they leave the scarlet king alone. There can be a clear evolutionary payoff to appearing to be something you're not.

Pritchett posits that the governmental institutions in many developing countries do something similar: They evolve to mimic the trappings of a properly functioning bureaucracy, without investing scarce resources in the bothersome task of actually doing their jobs. To get resources out of international donors, such institutions have many incentives to look like agents of development but very few incentives to act like them.

Uganda's problem isn't a badly performing ministry of agriculture. It's a ministry of agriculture that performs extremely well at the wrong thing.

Sidestepping the State Is this a reason to throw in the towel on development assistance? Almost, but not quite. One promising aid project has figured out an alternative to throwing money at MAAIF: gently guiding the agency to the sidelines and letting private contractors do the work.

The project is sponsored by USAID and run by Tetra Tech, one of the agency's contractors. It upends the usual way international aid is carried out. Instead of hoping against hope that this time MAAIF really will change, it'll sidestep the Ugandan authorities using a techno-utopian sleight of hand.

Under the eVerification system, a lottery-style scratchcard will be attached to every bag of certified seed in Uganda. Once purchased, the buyer can scratch it off to reveal a code. Send that code via text message to a central database, and an instant response will confirm that, yes, that bag of seed has indeed been inspected and can be relied on to produce the advertised results.

The techno-novelty, while neat, is actually a clever bit of misdirection. More important is that USAID has managed to keep the entire eVerification certification protocol outside of MAAIF's purview. (The ministry takes what is euphemistically called "an oversight role.") The program is, in effect, a quasi-privatization of the process: It may be funded by U.S. taxpayers (with some money also coming from participating seed companies), but the testing and certification system is carried out by private entities.

Private sector-led seed regulation is already in place in South Africa and Zambia. The system has made the latter country, which is just as poor as Uganda, home to a competitive seed industry with hundreds of new varieties tested, certified, and planted each year. A tougher place to farm (having a single growing season each year vs. Uganda's two), Zambia even exports 16,000 tons of corn seed annually. Why?

Because larger firms have the confidence to invest there: They trust that their intellectual property won't get ripped off by fakers.

The need to get quality seed to East Africa's farmers will only grow more intense in the years to come, but outside of the context of rule of law and property rights, markets can go into the kind of death spiral that has robbed Dandel Byansi of his education and Christine Masawi of her dinner. What the Zambians know, and the Ugandans will need to learn, is that sometimes the road to effective regulation goes not through the state, but around it.

Reporting on this story from Uganda happened in 2014-15 and was made possible by a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.

NEXT: Lawmakers and Regulators Act Like They Hate Farmers Markets

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Sometimes the best way to help people is to stop trying to ‘help’ them.

    These aid agencies really are just interested in self-preservation and perpetuating the problems (which allow them to more easily exploit the populace). As soon as they see the end of the road they turn around and go back.

    #FreeAddictionMyth

    1. I’m sure that isn’t true of all agencies on all levels, but that it is true of some agencies and especially of certain agency bureaucrats.

      *sigh*

      The history of post colonial Africa, decade by decade, tend stop make Colonial Paternalism (always excepting the horrible object lesson the the Congo Fee State) look awfully goddamned good. What is missing here is a government capable or interested in prosecuting the bad seed companies for fraud.

      1. Or a court system that is accessible and functioning such that farmers can obtain judgement for fraud. You don’t necessarily have to throw people in jail. But you have to have some way for there to be recourse for fraud. The market will not always solve for fraud. Most of the time diminished business reputation isn’t enough to deter fraud.

      2. Someone on this board made the point recently that the leaders of post colonial Africa were largely educated in Western leftist universities. I would add to that they come from historically tribal cultures.

        In other words, they were doomed to fail.

        1. Yep, Africa was essentially handed over to Marxist dilettantes who’s only life experience was being in Western universities. Shockingly, the results were suboptimal.

          1. And the left would love nothing more than to hand the sovereignty of the U.S. over to these clueless international NGO’s.

            1. But remember, talking about globalism as a threat just makes you a rightwing racist paranoid nutjob.

              1. The fact that Saudi Arabia is on the UN Human Rights Council should make everyone shudder at the thought of world government, among a multitude of other reasons.

                1. You can add to that Human Rights Watch saying that the USA is one of the world’s biggest threats to human rights because, of course, Trump!

                  1. LOL that picture – it looks like the next word coming out of his mouth begins with an “F”.

                  2. Actually HRW has always been anti-american partisan hacks so nothing they say is meaningful.

              2. That’s not globalism.

      3. Nope. Its true of all agencies and NGO’s at all levels. Their very model for ‘helping’ involves heavy government interaction – interaction with the very government’s that are often the major obstacles to wealth creation in the first place.

        Too, too many people are perfectly satisfied with being a big fish in a small pond.

    2. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime. Government’s in the business of handing out fish, fishing schools are for private enterprise.

      1. Well said.

  2. The legal system offers little recourse?the fees to bring a suit could easily amount to the Byansis’ lifetime earnings. And the police aren’t much help, either: In 2015, only a single seed faker was prosecuted in all of Uganda. He had made just about every mistake imaginable, paying a sidewalk print shop in the town of Jinja to reproduce seed company bags half a block from a police station, in plain view of everyone.

    You have to have a functioning legal system and tort system for a market to function properly. The anarcho capitalists who claim you can have a fully capitalist society without a legal system and functioning rule of law are morons. If that were true, things like this wouldn’t be happening. Understand, this isn’t a case of the government whacking the market. This is a case of the lack of legal recourse preventing a market from properly functioning.

    1. Understand, this isn’t a case of the government whacking the market. This is a case of the lack of legal recourse preventing a market from properly functioning.

      Good point, but I would also say it is a case of the Government not caring about the market because the officials have their own pockets to fill.

      “When you go into a meeting with MAAIF officials, you feel the farmers are very far from view,” says an official attached to a Dutch aid project, who requested not to be named because her job brings her into constant contact with ministry officials.

      A key element of this is the infamous “per diem” culture?the practice of paying a small sum to Ugandan officials to attend events sponsored by foreign partners.

      “Say you go to the ministry and propose a capacity building workshop?you can be sure the first question they’ll ask is about the per diem,” the Dutch official says. The actual subject of the workshop is secondary, and its “goals” hardly merit a mention

      The officials have other goals than providing a fair market or legal recourse.

      Private sector-led seed regulation is already in place in South Africa and Zambia. The system has made the latter country, which is just as poor as Uganda, home to a competitive seed industry with hundreds of new varieties tested, certified, and planted each year.

      An end run around the Government worked there, and I am guessing the legal system in Zambia is as bad as it is in Uganda.

      1. The actual subject of the workshop is secondary, and its “goals” hardly merit a mention

        The officials have other goals than providing a fair market or legal recourse

        So, typical government behavior, everywhere?

    2. Do An-Caps say there will be no rule of law or legal system? Not in my experience. An-Caps are forever extolling the virtues of a poly-centric, competitive legal industry based around contracts, insurance and reputation as an alternative to a Top. Man. run top-down system.

      Justice is a service, if demanded it will be provided. The sames as transportation (roadz!), money, education, and so forth.

      There’s a difference between government and governance. You don’t need government to provide governance.

      Governments promulgate legislation which is almost always a means for big guys or incumbents to screw over small guys or newcomers. In fact government itself is just the mechanism of getting one over on the other guy.

      Laws (governance) come from the bottom up, the ones that work for everybody stick around, those that don’t get ignored. And in contracts you and your counter-party can devise your own customized tiny legal code that only affects you. No need to vote for anybody or hope this or that judge sees things in a way you wish. And this can happen millions of times a day without recourse to a tax-fattened, corrupt, inefficient system staffed with time-servers, empire-builders, power-freaks, and the industriously incompetent.

      You can opine that it won’t work, but you can’t claim that An-Caps don’t believe in rules or laws when it’s legislation and the resultant system of which they are skeptics.

      1. And that is all fantasy. Without the threat of government and the ability to enforce judgement by force if necessary, the justice system is meaningless. Ancaps believe in rules, they just operate under the mistaken assumption people will magically follow them.

        1. if it all comes down to force – then why can’t these people just get off their arses and enforce their own judgements?

          Why does it require a *government* to do this?

          1. People enforcing their own judgements will start out looking like street gangs, than warbands under a warlord, then one day you’ve got a functioning monarchy, and people look around and ask “wait, weren’t we supposed to be doing anarchy?” “Shh, at least we have order now.”

            1. Except that has never happened to any AC-like system. Enforcing rightful claims validated by a court is not at all like a street gang. People understand that you fight a street gang because otherwise they just keep taking from you. You do not fight a DRO because if you let them take what their clients are rightfully owed, it’s cheaper, safer and they don’t come back unless you rip someone off.

              But in any case this is not the original objection. The original objection was that ACists thought that the market could operate with a legal system/ROL. We do not.

              1. I was addressing Agammamon’s comment. I don’t care what the “original objection” was.

            2. Sort of like how socialists believe all capitalism will devolve into monopoly?

              How about instead of looking at competition in rule of law as primitive lack of all our progress, you look at it as a technological advance from the state monopoly on force towards future progress. Simply start allowing more competition in enforcement and build from there.

            3. Yes, there is a name for this, it is called ANARCHY.

              People who believe in ANARCHY are called ANARCHISTS not libertarians. (no matter what they claim)

    3. The anarcho capitalists who claim you can have a fully capitalist society without a legal system and functioning rule of law are morons.

      By which you really mean a coercive government with authoritarian leaders.

      No John, you are the unimaginative moron who can’t envision anything which you have not experienced.

      If you thought about it for even a few seconds, you’d realize that far more of society’s enforcement and justice comes from reputations quite apart from government. Whether it’s family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, businesses, or any category outside government, it’s reputations which rule the roost. Lie to people? Welsh on deals? Go back on your word? Be late and unprepared? It all goes on the scales. It’s you government boot lickers who ignore this and pretend that government IS society.

      A few more seconds contemplation would show that this does apply to government too, but in a sense that authoritarians can’t fathom — government has earned its reputation for incompetence, but people who have the most to lose from admitting that just lay the blame on the wrong Top.Men.

      Fuck off, slaver.

      1. Fuck off you moron. Without the ability to enforce judgements at the end of a gun, a justice system is meaningless. If you can’t understand that, you lack brains.

        1. Who says there will be no guns in an An-Cap system? There will be guns. Lots of guns.

          1. I can believe that a society in which everyone is armed all the time, is a more polite society. Problem is, you have to have someone with the biggest gun, or you’ll get someone who wants to have the biggest gun, or something like that.

            I think the ultimate challenge for humanity is to prevent the biggest sociopaths in society from running society. So far, no one’s been able to do that. The USA and our system of government put in place by the founders is probably the closest to achieving that. But like one of them said ‘A republic, if you can keep it’. Was nice while it lasted.

            1. The Warlord question is one of the hardest ones to answer.

              I would hope that someone would take care of the problem before he can command enough resources to succeed in his conquests.

        2. I think John needs to quite arguing An-Capism and cough up the link to the Asian chick with the owl glasses already. It has garnered much interest.

          1. You can just click on the show comments link and it’s at the top, but I think you guys worked up too much anticipation, because a homely Asian girl holding a sign that says “sit down and let us abolish you”, referring to straight white men, isn’t particularly enticing.

            Also, I’d just call those problem glasses.

            1. I think you guys worked up too much anticipation

              Ya maybe. But she is still better than Hyp’s link.

    4. “The anarcho capitalists who claim you can have a fully capitalist society without a legal system and functioning rule of law are morons.”
      Not a single anarchocapitalist does that. The whole point of AC is that a functioning legal system and rule of law are easier without a State. Now you can dispute that, but at least dispute what we actually say.

  3. http://disq.us/p/1g3we1l

    Here you go kids, have some Prog tolerance and love. I hate to break it to the homely Asian chick with the owl glasses but I don’t think straight men of any persuasion, even those who just finished long prison sentences are going to find much need for her.

    There there is the chick flipping off the camera. All class honey, all class. My guess is these women are probably not lesbians. How fucked up of an existence must it be to on the one hand see hating straight men as the core of your identity but on the other hand feel a natural sexual attraction and biological urge to mate with them. I can’t imagine the amount of cognitive dissonance that must go on in these idiots’ heads. What a miserable way to live.

    1. the link there goes to a Megan McArdle piece on immigration. Is that what you intended?

      1. I didn’t see an Asian chick with owl glasses. False advertising!

        1. That’s what i was looking for as well. It was so *specific*

        2. Sad!

      2. Is McArdle an Asian chick with owl glasses?

        1. According to Bing, this is Asian chick with owl glasses:

          Asian chick with owl glasses

          1. HM has way better links to asian chicks

            1. We’re talking owl glasses here, mister!

              1. Does HM have any links to Asian chicks with owl glasses? NO! Not even one! And neither does John.

          2. That was a waste of a good asian chick Google search.

      3. I too would like to see the source article.

          1. It’s for me. There is something special about the unhinged ones capable of biting your dick off. Vary special.

  4. The one thing worse than being exploited by Monsanto, it turns out, is not being exploited by Monsanto.

    /thread

    1. The one thing worse than being exploited by Monsanto, it turns out, is not being exploited by Monsanto.

      Well if someone was stealing Monsanto bags and filling them with crap seed, you could guarantee they would see to it the government did something about it.

  5. So the latest hyperventilating is that Trump is going to make The Handmaid’s Tale real for real you guys, seriously. Just when I think they’re beyond parody, they totally outdo themselves.

    1. Do you have a link? How exactly is he going to do that? And when do I get my handmaiden?

      1. Big old thread on reddit/r/books about it. It was absolutely hilarious. Assorted tweets and blog posts “this book is so relevant right now!”

        The twice divorced, completely irreligious, rainbow flag waving NYC casino mogul is just itching to have a religious dictatorship guys, for real.

        1. Big old thread on reddit/r/books about it. It was absolutely hilarious. Assorted tweets and blog posts “this book is so relevant right now!”

          I read the book back in highschool. the Patriarchy in the book was reinforced by a religion, if i recall.

          It was far closer to “Islam” than “The US if some boor happens to take office”

    2. So I just googled Handmaid’s Tale and am a bit confused. Why would an author need to invent a future world where women in America are subservient and oppressed? I thought that was present day reality?

      1. I never understood why that book was not considered misogynist. The rich infertal women were just as much or more responsible for the oppression of the women who could have children. It didn’t take much thought or understanding of human nature to realize that the wives would be the main drivers behind such a system.

        1. I guess they’re supposed to be fellow victims of the patriarchy? House slaves lording it over field slaves. It’s certainly a misunderstanding of the book, which Atwood herself has made clear.

          I read the book when it came out and liked it, though I thought the premise of using the banking system to take over was laughable. One thing people seem to miss is that it takes place after an environmental collapse of some sort, which is never fully explained in the book. It’s not like the Republic of Gilead suddenly pops up in 1985 America.

          Equating it with directly Trump is also laughable. He’d be first against the wall in the newly minted Republic.

  6. http://pjmedia.com/homeland-se…..-of-maine/

    Where is Mainer? Al Shabaab is coming for him. Between the fisherman and the loggers, there are some people in Maine you really don’t want to meet. I would advise them to stick to the hipster quarters of Portland and not much else.

  7. Sunday threads. Nice.

  8. http://althouse.blogspot.com/2…..o-win.html

    Wisconsin Democrats no longer even opposing conservative Supreme Court justice in upcoming election. Scott Walker really does deserve a throne made of the skulls of his enemies.

  9. http://www.the-american-intere…..an-see-it/

    Even Vox now realizes that Black Lives Matter did significant damage to the cause of police accountability. The cop unions could not have done any better if they had set up a false flag organization to discredit all criticism of the police. That is the legacy of BLM and everyone who cares about police accountability should hate BLM for that.

    1. BLM was similar to the Tea Party in that there was no requirements for membership. So you end up with some well meaning people with concrete goals, some well meaning people who were counter productive, some ignorant asses, some groups who hijacked the name for political or sjw purposes, some people who took advantage of protest to engage in criminal activity, etc. I think the lefts interference is the organization hurt them. I will say that one of the few intelligent things I’ve ever heard Hillary say was when she advised activist to focus on actually policy changes instead of just their anger.

      1. Agreed, except for the “criminal activity” part. I saw none of that in my local Tea Party.

        1. Protest location no doubt makes a difference.

      2. I’m unaware of anyone using the Tea Party for cover of criminal activity.

      3. BLM was similar to the Tea Party

        Nope not at all, if anything it was the antithesis of the tea party.

        BLM was an Astro-turf campaign designed to agitate black people so that they would turn out and vote for Hillary at levels similar to what they did for Obama.

        That’s why Bernie was an early target of BLM, why they excluded other victims of police abuse from their program and why they drifted from police abuse to othe ‘social justice’ areas.

    2. BLM didn’t really do that themselves. Leftists politicians and race baiters like Sharpton made it all about race. That’s what doomed BLM. And then when they rioted and blocked highways, that didn’t help either.

      1. Leftists politicians and race baiters like Sharpton made it all about race.

        You’re telling me that a movement that called itself Black Lives Matter, and cried bloody murder if somebody said All Lives Matter, wasn’t about race from the get-go?

        1. It was about race because they themselves admitted it. The idea is not that White lives do not matter. It is that White lives already matter in our country. A cop will hesitate more to shoot a white person in a comparable situation than a black person. Of course, there are other victims. Mental patients, regardless of color, get a raw deal too. Many cops are just not trained well enough to be patient and know how to deescalate situations.

          1. “A cop will hesitate more to shoot a white person in a comparable situation than a black person.”

            I’m pretty sure I remember reading here that the statistics don’t bear that out.

      2. I disagree. Mobs of people chanting “Fuck White People” are basically the core of BLM

        1. It didn’t start out like that. At first it was people actually protesting police violence. And then Sharpton and the other race baiters, and then, of course, end of story.

          1. It didn’t start out like that.

            This .

            Thanks, Hyp, for pointing out that fact.

  10. Divine Nakkede would be a great porn name.

    1. Devine Nakkede staring in The Bad Seeds

      Yeah, that works.

  11. Will somebody please put whatever remains of the libertarian movement out of it’s misery? Thank you.

    1. Hmmm. I wonder if the rest of the family agrees.

      1. If not, they didn’t care enough to write their own.

  12. Homeopaths Without Borders.

    If there were ever anything that cried out for stricter borders, it’s homeopathy.

    1. That just dilutes it and makes it stronger.

  13. Desire for victimhood, or ambulance-chasing?

    “Residents Say 1st Atom Bomb Test Caused Cancer Cases”
    […]
    “Residents say the world’s first atomic bomb test caused generations of southern New Mexico families to suffer from cancer and economic hardship, according to surveys gathered by an advocacy group seeking compensation for descendants.”
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technolo…..r-45414643

    We’ll give ’em the “Nice Try” award (from the article):
    “Chuck Wiggins, director of the New Mexico Tumor Registry, has said data shows cancer rates in Tularosa are around the same as other parts of the state. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death all over New Mexico, he said.”

  14. What the hell is going on around here? Is this the 2nd Sunday thread?

  15. This article touches on the themes of the documentary Poverty, Inc. and the book, Why Nations Fail (Acemoglu & Robinson). I recommend both.

    1. Yep, Poverty, Inc is good.

      It’s true. In the nicer parts of Kampala, every third building hosts one aid organization or another. There’s USAID and a gaggle of USAID contractors. There’s GIZ, Germany’s official aid body. The Danes have scaled back, but the Dutch have picked up much of the slack. There’s the whole baffling alphabet soup of United Nations?related bodies: UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, FAO, CGIAR, IFPRI, half a dozen others. And there’s a virtual infinity of private charities in every imaginable field, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to?I’m not making this up?Homeopaths Without Borders.

      Aid work is a self perpetuating endeavor.

  16. This article is like the old Reason I knew and loved.

    1. You mean the one where it wasn’t always required for them to say ‘but Trump is Hitler’ in the lead in to any story? Yeah, that’s dead and gone.

      1. Well, it can’t be entirely dead if they printed this. This is excellent stuff– the old stuff I remember where they did a deep dive into an institutional system and exposed the absurdity of it all.

        This is where libertarianism shines. You know, actually trying to help people in grinding poverty by getting the corruption of government out of the way.

        1. “You know, actually trying to help people in grinding poverty by getting the corruption of government out of the way.”

          Yeah, it’s just really unfortunate that no one has ever actually succeeded in doing that. Maybe one day.

        2. It’s the difference between articles from the magazine and random brain-fart posts.

          1. This. I’ve said it at least a couple times, but they put in a great deal more effort into their long-form writing than their blog posts. To give you an idea, Robby had a well written article in the same edition this was printed in.

            1. Yes, and I remember being surprised it was him when I got to the end of it.

        3. Aren’t the long-form pieces supposed to be the meat and potatoes of the revamped print edition, while the blog gets the hyperventilating hot-takes?

          1. Nothing wrong with a hot take. But it doesn’t have to hyperventilate.

  17. I wonder if anyone realizes that once you’ve grown some plants, you can typically collect seeds from them and grow more of them? Or you can always propagate them in one way or the other. No fancy machinery needed.

    1. They actually cover it in the article. The problem is that those seeds aren’t as good as the high yield seeds most commercial farmers use. It’s like using a sundial instead of a watch. Yes, they both perform the same function, but you’d be better off using a watch. Unfortunately the only options they have at the stores are a bunch of Rodexs and Swalches.

      1. “those seeds aren’t as good as the high yield seeds most commercial farmers use”

        Them sounds like some them GMO seeds to me. GMOs IS BAD! RAPING MOTHER GAIA WITH FRANKENFOOD!

        /progderp

      2. Unfortunately the only options they have at the stores are a bunch of Rodexs and Swalches.

        All the roadside shops I visited on that continent were an education in brand/trade mark theft. I don’t remember if it was South Sudan, or Kenya, but I had to buy the toothpaste on the shelf just for the laughs. It had a very familiar logo on the box, they just spelled it “Crust”. It made me chuckle, but I would never brush my teeth with it.

        1. You should go to Paraquay. Anything that can be knocked off like that, has been by the Paraguayans. They’re known throughout South American for it.

          1. I have never had the pleasure/opportunity to work in South America so haven’t spent much time there. I delivered a sailboat to Venezuela back in the late 80’s and got on a plane the day after we arrived. I have many friends from the continent though. Venezuelans, Peruvians, Bolivians, one Costa Rican. I worked with them in Africa, and the middle east.

            1. Someone told me that it’s due to the country being landlocked, they don’t have a port. But anyway, if there’s an American or international brand, you can buy it there cheap. It’s not the real thing, but you can buy it. I wonder how the Johnnie Walker Black is? Tastes like sugarcane rum, no doubt.

    2. Using seeds from the fruit of modern day crops doesn’t work. These days you have to buy seeds.

      I proved this to my wife one year. She grew some beautiful tomato plants from the seeds of lat year’s tomatos. The problem was beautiful bushes, no tomatos.

      The seeds are genetically modified to not produce fertile seeds.

      Monsanto has patents on them so real farmers cannot save their own seeds year to year and must buy seeds for every new crop.

      1. Our second-year cherry tomato plants (grown from the seeds of the tomatoes that fell and rotted, it wasn’t something we did deliberately) produced lots of tomatoes but they all had thick skins and tasted like styrofoam.

  18. This article is like the old Reason
    ——————————————
    Drake Quotes

    1. I’ve somehow managed to go like 4 years without ever hearing anything that guy ever did.

      1. Over 70 years for me.

        Say. How old are you?

  19. Were people able to grow stuff in Africa before the white devils showed up? Just curious, I mean was it the patriarchy that permanently made seeds non-viable in Africa? I think back then they called Africa the dark continent because of all the dense flora.

    1. They didn’t have nearly the number of mouths to feed back then, before the white devils brought their antibiotics and vaccines.

      1. Well, I knew that somehow the white devils were to blame.

        1. Yeah. The white man didn’t stop them from continuing to reproduce like they had 50% infant mortality.

  20. Wait a minute. What is going on here? These people live in a socialist utopia. Why are they not having to build a wall to keep out teh evul capitalists?

    Venezuela now leads applications for asylum in USA

    And no doubt once they’re here, most of them would vote for more of what they just fled from.

    1. “And no doubt once they’re here, most of them would vote for more of what they just fled from.”

      Same as the people who leave Detroit.

      1. “Same as the people who leave Detroit”

        And Cali

          1. Why do people flee these paradises on earth?

    2. And no doubt once they’re here, most of them would vote for more of what they just fled from.

      I don’t know about that. I know a handful of Venezuelans and they all hate Maduro, and pitched a fit at the Chavistas who wanted to federalize everything and kill free enterprise. They all worked in the Oil and Gas industry though. My take is it was mostly the poor who pushed Chavez into power and later backed Maduro. I doubt if many will get asylum. We have terrorists from the middle east to bring in.

    3. no doubt once they’re here, most of them would vote for more of what they just fled from.

      I tend to think this is a terrible argument re: immigrants.

      having done lots and lots of research about ‘immigrant/1st generation americans’ and their attitudes back in the early 2000s… my experience was that while they often tended to vote for democrats, their reasons weren’t because they necessarily agreed with ‘wealth redistribution’ as much as “keep Team Red from deporting us”. .

      the other thing i think people never seem to consider is that the differences between the attitudes and opinions of 1) “recent immigrants” and 2) “immigrants who have been in the US a long time” and 3) (most importantly) their kids… tends to be wildly different. Headline poll data buries the diversity of opinion that exists within immigrant groups,, and the things they tend to consider most important often suggest that they *should* be conservatives rather than leftists

      (*e.g. strongly religious, strong feelings about ‘traditional family values’, more locally-orienteds, economically aspirational, likely to be small-business owners, etc)

      anyway, this isn’t a pro/con argument about immigrants in general or any defense of Venezuelans in particular, but the thing i find stupid are the arguments which pretend that immigrant minds are all alike, they’re all just carbon-copy leftists that never change over time, and so on. its just not true.

      1. Well, it might be a terrible argument re:immigrants. But it’s the truth.

        I know and have known people from Latin American my entire life. Some of them are actually American style libertarians. But those are, for the most part, the very well off ones and it’s an anomaly. They have figured out that the ‘right’ socialists are never coming. They stopped believing in Santa Claus and figured it out. The lower classes and middle classes from those country are overwhelmingly of the opinion that the state exists to take care of them. And they don’t see things ever getting any better unless the right people get in charge of government, someone who isn’t corrupt and will give them everything they ever wanted. That never happens, of course, the next one is just as corrupt as the last one. But this does not deter them. It seems to be part of their very nature.

        1. But it’s the truth.

          My point was that its not, but whatever.

          I think the conventional wisdom that exists in this regard is based on “people who are bad at understanding poll-data, over-relying on bad-poll data”. I’ve heard the same points and seen the same sweeping generalizations applied year after year, and it never becomes any more-detailed than “look at this one headline survey which pretends that this very large population is monolithic”

          not only are these opinions not monolithic at all, they change dramatically depending on changing conditions. give these people some modest skin in the game, and they’re suddenly fairly conservative.

          basically, claims about demographic-determinism (*a term i just made up) – the idea that “certain kinds of people maintain certain kinds of ideas, and more of these people mean these ideas are going to grow” – involves massive misunderstandings about how demography *actually works*, and how the directional trend of generational changes are generally more significant than the opinions of any single generation.

          A simple point = the people you should actually be afraid of, from a ‘generational-political’ POV? are the children of the Baby Boomers (millenials).

          They’re the most statist fucks of all, and they’re *worse* than their parents (who were already bad). Children of immigrants actually trend in the opposite direction

          1. I’m not talking about polls. I’m talking personal experience. The fact that most Latin Americans think the government should be responsible for proving them stuff is absolutely correct.

            Most people in Latin American are not insane leftists, like American progs. They just think the government is supposed to provide for them. A lot of them are socially conservative though. They would in no way fit in with American leftists. The left here in Murika have them some ‘first world problems’. You don’t typically see Latin Americans going loco over the rights of livestock or how many genders there are, 8 or 15, or shrieking about white privilege and the patriarchy. American leftists went over the edge with identity politics. Now they’re completely insane. So we’re talking about 2 completely different types of leftists here. The ones who just want government to provide everyone some free stuff, and the insane totalitarian Murikan version.

            1. Also, I wasn’t making any case for immigration, pro or con. I was merely pointing out a fact. I don’t have any problem with the Latins. I married one and her family are great people. I can only wish my own family here was like that, instead of being a dysfunctional mess for the most part.

            2. “proving them stuff”

              providing, damnit. Time for a beer.

            3. I’m talking personal experience

              oh, *anecdotes*. why didn’t you say so! those are always much better sources for huge generalizations.

              1. Sigh… Dude, I don’t know what you’re going on about, but a majority of Latin Americans lean left and think big government is THE solution to everything. Not all of them, of course. But a majority. But go right on believing otherwise if you want. Maybe it will change. They might even get their own Great Orange Trumpallo if they dream big enough. Because no way they’re getting ours, he’s priceless for the lulz!

              2. I think we’ve had this same argument before – when I think of “illegal immigrants”, I think of the young men living 8-to-a-trailer down at the run-down old trailer park at the edge of town who gather in the parking lot at the buttcrack of dawn waiting for contractors to come by and hire them a few at a time for day labor. I’ve never seen any of these women who show up supposedly by the trailer-load, pregnant and dragging a few kids, waiting to sploot out an anchor baby so they can all get on welfare and go vote 8 times in the next election. But I live on the far fringes of Atlanta, if you live near San Antonio or San Bernardino or Peoria, YMMV. But just remember that your impression of illegal immigration isn’t any more a documented fact than mine. You gotta look at the actual factuals.

                1. “I’ve never seen any of these women”

                  You’re looking in the wrong place. Pay attention next time you stay in a hotel. They’re the ones doing the house cleaning. The cute ones typically marry an American and are able to stay in the country.

                  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with them, I’m just telling you were to find them in case you’re interested.

                2. “You gotta look at the actual factuals.”

                  I hear that CNN are the only ones who got some of those.

            4. *re: your watered-down ‘ just want government to provide everyone some free stuff’

              I don’t think that’s disputable, mainly because that’s true of everyone on earth more or less.

              the issue which i was talking about is the argument that

              – “immigrants* believe X”; ergo, more immigrants, more of X is inevitable and will be permanent.

              it has a lot of problems, some of which i mentioned above, but the most important of which is, “they tend to change, tend to change quickly as their status changes, and tend to change even quicker w/ subsequent generations.”

              1. “more of X is inevitable and will be permanent”

                Well, I certainly do not believe that. When the new immigrants get a looksie at the depraved level of insanity the left here have devolved into, it’s highly likely to convince a good number of them to not align with Democrats. But then they turn into Trumpkins. What can you do?

                1. then they turn into Trumpkins. What can you do?

                  Treat them like people with agency rather than a ‘class’ of people who are doomed to think a certain way?

                  I think the GOP has mostly failed to appeal to hispanics by pandering to cultural criteria, while ignoring actual policy

                  (*they seem to think that “jesus” will sell well, while they’ll somehow ignore the border-wall rhetoric)

                  Hispanic voters care mostly about jobs + education, like anyone else with a family; i think the school choice thing is something too long overlooked by republicans as a means to really gain more minority support.

                  1. If you think Hispanics stress education then you obviously aren’t exposed to many Hispanics.

                    A 20 year old Hispanic male is more concerned with having a wife and a family than an education and he is willing to do auto body repair for the rest of his life than be denied his family.

                    1. If you think Hispanics stress education then you obviously aren’t exposed to many Hispanics.

                      Top Issues in this Year’s Election for Hispanic Voters

                      Education, Economy, Health Care are Top Issues for Latinos

                      The new survey asked Latinos to rate the importance to them of five issues that might be discussed in this year’s midterm elections: education, health care, immigration, jobs and the economy, and conflicts in the Middle East.

                      Top Issues for Latino Registered VotersAmong Latino registered voters, two issues rate highest in importance. Fully 92% say education is an extremely (49%) or very (42%) important issue to them personally, and 91% say jobs and the economy is an extremely (46%) or very (45%) important issue. Following these two issues is health care, which 86% of Latino voters rate as extremely important (40%) or very important (46%). These three issues have consistently rated as the top three among Latino voters in Pew Research Center surveys

                    2. I think you misunderstand what i meant by “hispanic voters care about education” as meaning, “they run out and get graduate degrees”

                    3. I don’t think he meant school choice for the 20 year olds.

      2. my experience was that while they often tended to vote for democrats, their reasons weren’t because they necessarily agreed with ‘wealth redistribution’ as much as “keep Team Red from deporting us”

        If they were citizens, fear of deportation was incredibly unreasonable.

        If they were non-citizens, how the fuck were they voting?

        1. the point about “deporting” wasn’t literal – so much as ‘Team Red was unlikely to win over hispanic voters while using hipanic-immigrants as scapegoats for all america’s problems’.

          1. Some legal immigrants are anti-illegal immigration.

            1. No kidding.

              I still don’t get why US citizens with Cuban and Brazilian heritage are supposed to vote for whoever will let the most Mexicans cross the border illegally.

              1. Well, at least some of them won’t.

            2. true, which is in keeping with my point above about the error in treating immigrants (or their offspring) as a monolithic class

          2. Team Red … using hipanic-immigrants as scapegoats for all america’s problems’

            Which also is a Democrat myth that never happened.

            If your point is that legal immigrants who become citizens are susceptible to Democrat propaganda about Republicans being a threat to them, then that again bolsters the point that you called terrible.

            1. a Democrat myth that never happened.

              Apparently you never watched Lou Dobbs between 2004-2008

              If your point is that legal immigrants who become citizens are susceptible to Democrat propaganda about Republicans being a threat to them, then that again bolsters the point that you called terrible.

              No it doesn’t.

              My point was about how polling data tends to mask the fact that the hispanic vote/recent immigrants aren’t monolithic, and that people who try and project snapshots of current attitudes within populations into the future don’t understand demography.

              That has little to do with the fact that the GOP has generally had shitty outreach to hispanics, other than some modest improvement w/ GWB in 2000-2004

              1. I’m going with Gilmore on this. The GOP wants the Hispanic vote but feels free to use them as meat for their get-out-the-vote efforts. They’ve effectively turned Hispanics into a wedge issue for a large portion of their base.

                1. I agree with Gilmore especially that no group is monolithic. Two of the biggest Trumpkins I know are hispanic dudes. However, I think the perception that many hispanics have about team red being anti hispanic is because team blue is very effective in pushing that gibberish.

                  Remember during the run up to the election the black kid (Trump supporter) being yelled at by another black guy who was saying Trump was going to deport him back to Africa? Who the hell could even fathom a thought like that? A progressive Dem, that’s who.

                  1. Gilmore is, of course, right about that. But that doesn’t change the fact that most Latin Americans lean socialist economically. Most does not mean all.

                    It’s American culture that changes some of them. For one thing, the left here are literally insane and cannot wait to prove it to the world. A lot of Latin Americans are socially conservative. And even the ones who are not, many of them are shocked by the absurd antics of the left here. They’re worried about the welfare of their family and do not understand this first world problems drama. The other thing is that financial mobility is available here in ways it is not in their home country.

                    I’ve talked to immigrants here who are citizens and are actually terrified that Trump is going to deport them, because all they ever listen to is prog talking points. Very sad.

                  2. However, I think the perception that many hispanics have about team red being anti hispanic is because team blue is very effective in pushing that gibberish.

                    I don’t want to repeat the same piece of evidence over and over, because its more just ‘symbolic’ than anything else….

                    but do you remember Lou Dobbs’ shtick between 2005-2010 or so?

                    The modern “immigration panic” didn’t really get kicking until Bush’s second term, but then it just went bananas.

                    According to Lou Dobbs, “a third of the prison population in this country is estimated to be illegal aliens,” and Glenn Beck regularly warns of “an illegal alien crime wave.” Congressman Tom Tancredo insists, “The face of illegal immigration on our borders is one of murder, one of drug smuggling, one of vandalism for all the communities along the border, and one of infiltration of people coming into this country for purposes to do us great harm.” Michelle Malkin adds an even more terrifying note, calling our borders “open channels not only for illegal aliens and drug smugglers, but terrorists, too.”

                    Trump’s victory is mostly due to the anti-immigrant animus that’s been stewing on the right since then. Saying that the only reason the GOP doesn’t do better with hispanics is due to left wing agitprop seems to ignore a decade of right-wing nativist rhetoric.

                    1. Trump’s victory is mostly due to the anti-immigrant animus that’s been stewing on the right since then. Saying that the only reason the GOP doesn’t do better with hispanics is due to left wing agitprop seems to ignore a decade of right-wing nativist rhetoric.

                      Well, maybe if one does not differentiate between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants. I think it could be argued that the blockquote you have there could be pushed to the “law and order” crowd as much as to the nativist crowd.

                    2. No, dude, you got to get it. You don’t get it. It’s black and white, there’s no gray areas here. Either you are pro-immigration, or you’re anti-immigration, you fascist white pig dog.

                    3. Trump’s victory is mostly due to the anti-immigrant animus that’s been stewing on the right since then.

                      I think his victory has more to do with the left shedding one of its core bases – blue collar whites. He would have got the GOP base either way, but he could not have won without appealing to a new group that the GOP largely ignored in recent years.

                    4. Trump’s victory is mostly due to the anti-immigrant animus that’s been stewing on the right since then.

                      I think his victory has more to do with the left shedding one of its core bases – blue collar whites.

                      i don’t think those 2 points are mutually exclusive, necessarily; esp if you just modify my point about anti-immigrant animus and expand it to the same working-class whites you mention.

                      i’d maybe modify it further, and maybe downgrade ‘animus’ to something else. I think the feeling about immigration, and how “nothing’s being done about it” is much wider and more amorphous than simple “dislike of illegal immigrants”. I think its more of a proxy for the larger issue that politicians in washington are unconcerned about the real-experiences of working people in America.

                    5. Trump also got a higher percentage of Hispanic votes than Romney did.

                2. The GOP wants the Hispanic vote but feels free to use them as meat for their get-out-the-vote efforts.

                  That’s baloney.

                  Hispanics != illegal immigrants

                  If anybody is using Hispanics as a wedge issue, it’s the Democrats.

    4. They’re all terrorists, of course.

      1. Economic terrorists, not liking socialism and all.

  21. Good article (I’d already read the dead tree version.) I’d recommend Poverty, Inc. for anyone interested in how government and NGO aid helps to keep the third world in poverty.

  22. TL;DR, except this:

    With every last bit of fertile land spoken for, Uganda’s only path out of mass hunger is intensification

    Maybe, if you live in country where it’s hard to feed people, regardless of the cause, you shouldn’t have children. I hate having to add this disclaimer, because it should be obvious: I’m not advocating forced antinatalism.

    1. Look at worldwide birthrates. Highest in Africa, like 5x the rate in USA and Europe.

      1. Connecting birth rate with starvation is dubious. Birth rates were higher in many parts of the world when those societies were largely agrarian, because you needed the labor to produce food.

        I suspect Africa– many parts of it at least– is in this category. More people doesn’t have to be a net drain on resources. More people can produce more.

        This was, I believe, Julian Simon’s premise on economics and productivity. It was the left that looked at more people as a mouth to feed and nothing more.

        1. More people to feed is a fine thing if their society has the resources, skills and social structure that allows them to feed themselves.

          1. Sure, if you’re sittin’ in the crib, chillin’, and you’ve got no plan to produce more food (resources), having another kid to sit in the crib, chillin’ with you isn’t prudent.

            But in an agrarian society, more kids = more labor = more output.

            I agree though, that Africa, being an aid-based economy probably can’t follow that chain.

            1. Unfortunately, African population has grown to a size that an agrarian, aid-based economy can’t feed it adequately.

              1. There is no proof of that. Hell, there’s plenty of fertile land in countries like Zimbabwe, but most people don’t bother farming there, because 5 minutes after you start harvesting crops, some bureaucrats will nationalize the land and hand it out to their buddies.

                People don’t farm there, not because the land is no good, but because the government is no good.

                You’ll find a hard time finding any sort of mass starvation in history that wasn’t caused by bad government.

                1. I wasn’t clear, I meant use of inefficient farming methods. You are correct, though, a kleptocratic government hinders production itself, let alone efficient production. No reason to invest capital in efficient techniques when the government will confiscate your production.

              2. Actually, its just a problem of ‘aid based’ economies, nothing to do with their being agrarian.

                Its a government welfare problem. Aid organizations funnel huge amounts of money to local governments, which then use that money to *govern* (ie, get in the way of) people making a living.

                Take those seed fraudsters – sans government intervention in the legal market, those guys would be killed, at the very least run out of town on a rail, at the slightest hint of fraud. Protecting their reputation as reliable merchants would be paramount – no shrugging shoulders and blaming the next tier of distribution for the problems.

                Instead, government spends the aid money to insure that its court monopoly is upheld – but since it has a monopoly through open coercion, it has no incentive to serve its customers any more than the minimum necessary to prevent open interference with its monopoly.

    2. With every last bit of fertile land spoken for, Uganda’s only path out of mass hunger is intensification

      Maybe, if you live in country where it’s hard to feed people, regardless of the cause, you shouldn’t have children.

      You could import food I guess. Uganda’s neighbor to the north has vast amounts of fertile land not in use. There is just nobody willing to farm it. South Sudan could feed the entire continent if they ever got their act together and developed a real economy. It is just another country ruined by foreign aid and tribal feuds.

    3. Maybe, if you live in country where it’s hard to feed people, regardless of the cause, you shouldn’t have children.

      Very easy to tell someone else, when you’re not the one in the situation. A situation where they also are unlikely to have contraceptives, so your counsel boils down to either celibacy or infanticide, not sure.

      1. Its not about food availability – Ugandans aren’t starving, they’re just having real difficulty getting beyond sustenance farming.

        And its not about availability of contraception – there’s easy availability of contraception throughout Africa thanks to NGO’s that focus on ‘overpopulation’ and ‘family planning’.

        Its a matter of *retirement*. Those kids are their parents insurance policy that if they can’t work for some reason they won’t starve.

        Unless and until incomes improve, it won’t matter how much food they make or how many pills and condoms they have – they’ll still be having large families for that insurance.

  23. “Uganda’s Bad Seeds…There’s GIZ”

    SMDH

    1. Er, don’t Christianity (tacitly) and Judaism (explicitly) allow slavery in their sacred texts?

      1. If you define “Christianity” as new testament… not really, no.

        1. Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

          — Ephesians 6:5

    2. So, Islam forbids the very slavery that the Koran says Mohammed practiced?

      Looks like someone has learned his taqiyya since 2015.

      1. Judaism and Christianity forbid the very polygamy and concubinage the Bible says all the patriarchs, from Abraham down to Jacob and beyond, practiced?

        And don’t give me “that’s not the New Testament” bullcrap. The Bible includes both.

  24. file under: mental gymnastics

    Goldstein added: “When the Trump Administration refuses to mention Jews in a Holocaust remembrance statement, that’s Holocaust denial, and Holocaust denial is anti-Semitism. When the Trump Administration defends its anti-Semitic exclusion of Jews day after day without the president’s apology, that makes him guilty of anti-Semitism, too. And it doesn’t matter that his daughter is Jewish and married to Jared Kushner and that they’ve given the president Jewish grandchildren. What kind of defense is that? Donald Trump is still guilty of anti-Semitism.”

    1. We should pity the brain-damaged.

    2. Trump is the blank canvas of all evil. Paint your own picture of the devil with tweets.

    3. The guy who wants to move the embassy to Jerusalem is such a Jew hater, he’s practically Hitler.

  25. Tom Brady Under Fire for Sharing ‘Racist’ Poem By Rudyard Kipling

    See: Kipling was racist, Brady quotes Kipling, therefore Brady is racist.

    Logic!

    Bonus points for misunderstanding The White Man’s Burden. I guess a lot of people don’t get past the title.

    1. It’s hilarious, the left cannot even keep their politics out of sports now. Tom Brady, now a Trumputin. You can’t even make this stuff up.

    2. Kipling–a realist if ever there was one– foresaw the outcome of Dutch seed certifying project when he wrote “The White Man’s Burden”

      Take up the White Man’s burden?
      The savage wars of peace?
      Fill full the mouth of Famine
      And bid the sickness cease;
      And when your goal is nearest
      The end for others sought,
      Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
      Bring all your hope to nought.

      1. That is NOT the poem that Brady shared. He shared a poem from The Jungle Book.

        1. I know that. Somebody mentioned “The White Man’s Burden” an it reminded me of a tie-in to the seed certifier story. Hence the quote.

    3. The Patriots better trade him for Colin Kaepernick to appease their sold-blue fan base.

      1. Sounds like a brilliant plan.

    4. The bigger scandal is that Brady quoted the poem in full without crediting Kipling

      Why? If you recognize the poem you know who wrote it – its not exactly obscure – and if you don’t, you don’t know who Kipling is in the first place. How many people had to look up Kipling in Wikipedia once they were told who he was?

      How many didn’t bother – ‘someone told me he was a racist’ was enough knowledge for them?

    1. Just don’t try to discourage them from this type of behavior. They’re doing a fine job, a fine job.

    2. Everyone is looking for leadership to start this off, but there is no one carrying the banner. Without that we will all settle in to becoming angry hateful people and there will be no solutions. So, where do we go from here? Rallies and demonstrations are pretty much futile, since the lunatics just laugh at us knowing we haven’t the guts to stand up and take the actions needed. Writing and complaining falls on deaf ears. Not until the first shot is fired will the recovery begin.

      Hahahaha. Ya, good luck with that there Sally. Does it make me a “lunatic” because I am laughing at him?

      1. “the lunatics just laugh at us”

        Gee, I wonder why? That’s some really classic derp right there. Yeah, go ahead, you’re spot on, just start shooting because your self destruction is not happening fast enough.

      2. Not until the first shot is fired will the recovery begin.

        He must be using a different definition of recovery than I use.

      3. Colin says he would never act out in real life, what he suggested online.

        So he doesn’t have any guts?

    3. I first read that as “substitute teacher caned“. Not yet, alas.

    4. There’s something about 50-something men who use bright hair dyes.

      1. That’s the dude? What the hell? Ya, I am thinking the hillbillies are really going to take him and his armed uprising seriously.

        That link needs a TW btw.

        1. Oh, they’ll take him seriously when he starts shooting at them. Unfortunately for him, ‘taking seriously’ will be the end of him.

      2. Dude’s got a punchable face, gotta give ’em that.

        1. He looks like he’s already been punched around a few times. Yikes.

      3. Why do you think he’s still a *substitute* teacher instead of being offered a full-time position.

    5. Substitute teacher canned for saying “only good Trump supporter is a dead Trump supporter”

      Here is an edited interview with the teacher in question.

  26. Mysterious technical glitch cuts Bernie Sanders’ feed after he refers to CNN as fake news.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzY_h6OpnoQ

    ABC News Edits Out Refugee Saying He Likes Trump
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqXiNSFSgLk

    1. Bernie understands Democracy. It’s when you vote yourself some free shit. Right, Bernie?

        1. That won’t buy you much in Manhattan. In fact, you’re probably still going to be living in Joisey.

          1. $150K is starting to be a nice chunk of change. And it’s not like they don’t all have something on the side.

            1. Yeah, it’s starting to be a nice chunk of change in Baltimore, not so much in Manhattan or SanFran, or DC.

              1. It’s several dozen K over the median for the borough. Of course, the complete lack of a middle class means nobody actually makes the median.

  27. Can’t tell who this is- I think’s DeBlasio. Anyway, he says some really retarded things:
    https://youtu.be/_1kULsHiL1s?t=6m13s

    1. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo

      1. “I am an immigrant. My people were refugees, poor refugees who came from Italy…”

        Your dad was the fucking governor of New York State and you were born with the silver spoon in your mouth. Quit the self-made man act.

        1. Well, Hillary was once penniless and could barely pay the mortgage on her 2 mansions and $6000 a month Manhattan apartment.

          Also, Italian refugees? Really? Doesn’t he mean immigrants?

          1. Economic migrants are basically the same thing as refugees. Duh.

          2. I’m not watching but he really said that?! Well, they have been trying to redefine the word for a while now, but that right there is pretty egregious even for the left.

          3. They were Sicilians, and we all know who they were spawned by.

  28. There something quaint about the in-your-face racism of old timey political cartoons:
    link

    Needs more labels!

    1. Thanks for the lynx, Derpetologist.

  29. I remember when Reddit was being regularly decried as some kind of libertarian stronghold (by idiots who think along the lines of “not being actively suppressed = supporting”, but, well, this is CURRENT YEAR, so now anything from HyR is banned from r/politics for being a “personal blog”, which it definitely is not. Taking a look the moderator’s history, I also note that FrontPageMag also fell under the same classification, as well as the fact that he has all day, every day, to post literally nothing but anti-Trump stuff. Not even the usual segue into video games or weed.

    It wasn’t enough that the posted article was downvoted into oblivion, with the top comments accusing the person posting it of being “a horrible MF”–remember this subreddit is for civil discussion–and saying that Robbie Soave’s piece “reads as if a middle schooler wrote it”, along with many others of a similarly constructive nature. Nope, active suppression in defiance of the posted rules is now the order of the day. Living document theory in action.

    Yes, I know it’s a cesspool subreddit and that Reddit’s ideological cancer is a “fish rots from the head” situation with admin support of such chicanery, as well as paid and unpaid shills doing their thing.

    1. (Fucking character limit.) I just thought it was amusing that despite Reason’s shift, anything but full lockstep is still not good enough.

      Also, it brings to mind the increasing entryism into other, supposedly neutral or nonpolitical communities to ensure that literally everything is politicized, by the fellow travelers of the same crowd in the 90s who proudly proclaimed that “the personal is political, and vice versa”.

      Ah, I can’t wait for Reddit and Twitter to crash and burn. Facebook, unfortunately, seems to have figured out some sort of business model.

      1. [?]ne99ne 3 points 17 hours ago

        And here we have on clear display the character of the Trump supporter, and basically Republicans in general, summed up in one headline.

        Robby will be glad to know he is a Trump supporter as well as a Republican.

        I tried Reddit for awhile. The ColoradoCare topic came up in an article posted. (ColoradoCare got voted down by 80% during the election) The “free stuff” crowd was there in full force. I received so many down votes in my replies to the marxists on that one topic it was hilarious. I had to throw a few, “Fuck off Slaver”‘s. Just outright, other people owe me their money because I don’t have as much money as them kind of stuff. It was bizarre.

        1. I used to say that Reddit is actually a legit breeding ground for fascist sympathies because I saw a pretty consistent trend of “hey, these *insert group I don’t like here* are screwing us with all their demands for free stuff, when really all the free stuff should be going to people like me!” arguments. It’s been years since I’ve dug into pol stuff so maybe they went more social justice now.

        2. Was that in a Colorado regional subreddit? Literally every regional subreddit I’m familiar with is almost entirely populated by leftists, and is in no way indicative of the beliefs of the average person living there. If it were, AZ would look more like San Fran than AZ–despite the best efforts of the CA refugees fleeing and wanting to recreate the same disaster they just ran from.

          1. No it had to be one of the news reddits or politics. I have never delved into the subreddits. I just go there now to see links to stories and no longer participate much in a discussion. If you don’t walk the socialist line you catch too much shit.

        3. I own property in Colorado and have plans to eventually move there full-time. Seeing ColoradoCare get voted down so substantially made me weep tears of pure joy.

          1. *live* there…

          2. It was a disaster of a proposal. The fact that CO went for Clinton and that idiocy got slammed is testament to how dumb it was. Huge tax increase on businesses. It would have killed small business especially sole proprietorships. That crap all comes out of the front range/Boulder/Denver area. There was a proposition passed that now says for idiotic proposals to get on the ballot, they need to have some percentage of support from the rest of the states districts. That should slow down the marxists a bit.

    2. Twitter, Facebook, reddit, etc… are all viewed as opportunities on the left to shout down opposing viewpoints. I’ll say this for the leftists, they know how to co-opt an organization.

      1. It’s easy to destroy or corrupt and live as the privileged among the ruins than to build something grand in the first place.

      2. To be fair, all those organizations were started by leftists.

        They do of course co-opt reputable organizations that were started by honorable people as well.

  30. I was so impressed by this article by Toro that (after clicking on his name and finding it) I read another one that he wrote for Reason late last year.

    Both are excellent work in my opinion.

  31. Adele is probably going to win some Grammys for that absolutely horrible song “Hello”.
    If there were any justice in the world, she would be caned and have her tongue removed.

    1. She has some good stuff. Had?

      1. I don’t care. That song is so horrible, and was so hard to not great, that it negates any positive contribution she may have had on the planet before, and will negate any positive contribution she makes in the future.

        1. “so hard to not hear”

          1. I had to look it up. Never heard it before. I must be doing something right.

            1. I never heard it either, but then my “radio” listening is the classical music station and international broadcasters.

      1. How are you ?

      2. It’s me.

        Do you have any evidence of that? You could have been replaced by a duplicate.

    2. Who’s Adele, and what is a Grammy?

  32. If it were economically viable; private sector seed companies would be happy to set up shop in Uganda and provide hybrid seeds to farmers there. But there is no money in it when the average farms are under 10 acres and their owners lack the equipment, knowledge and capital to ensure a good return on their investment. That’s the real issue. It’s not about cheapskate fools buying bogus seeds from unscrupulous scammers.

    1. If it were economically viable; private sector seed companies would be happy to set up shop in Uganda and provide hybrid seeds to farmers there.

      I was wondering about that as well. This article prompted me to watch Poverty, Inc again. I wonder if the seed being provided is from NGO sources. Poverty, Inc touches on several cases where aid has killed a local business or hamper local startups because you can’t compete with free. Since the article talks about the farmer losing money on bad seed, I don’t know. I would think if there are enough 10 acre farms there would be a market.

      1. Good points. I’m just not convinced that dirt poor subsistence farmers in Uganda have an extra $100 lying around to buy decent seed. They have been using the leftover seed from the previous years harvest for 1000s of years. It’s a habit that’s going to die hard for many of them. The adoption of Hybrid seed here didn’t just happen overnight and our early adaptors of hybrid technology had more land assets and equipment to ensure it’s success than most Ugandans currently have.

  33. Pritchett posits that the governmental institutions in many developing countries do something similar: They evolve to mimic the trappings of a properly functioning bureaucracy, without investing scarce resources in the bothersome task of actually doing their jobs. To get resources out of international donors, such institutions have many incentives to look like agents of development but very few incentives to act like them.

    Uganda’s problem isn’t a badly performing ministry of agriculture. It’s a ministry of agriculture that performs extremely well at the wrong thing.

    Boom!

    1. Uganda’s agriculture output probably has very little to do with the (good or bad) performance of their ministry of agriculture. Viable seeds are readily available from dozens of global distributors.

      1. Agreed. The creation of a Ministry of Thing is sure way to ensure a shortage of Thing. Mr. Toro understands bureaucracy well.

  34. Hmmmmm

    Meet the new generation of permatemps in Europe.

    While the region’s economy is finally recovering, more than half of all new jobs created in the European Union since 2010 have been through temporary contracts.This is the legacy of a painful financial crisis that has left employers wary of hiring permanent workers in a tenuous economy where growth is still weak. Under European labor laws, permanent workers are usually more difficult to lay off and require more costly benefit packages, making temporary contracts appealing for all manner of industries, from low-wage warehouse workers to professional white-collar jobs.

    Yes, of course; it’s all the fault of the Great Recession.

    If not for secular stagnation, managers would be falling all over themselves to offer lifetime employment to every Tom, Dick or Vaclav who wandered in the door.

    1. All employees and contracts are temporary.

      1. Not in France – where its hard to get the *dead* off the payroll.

    2. It’s been that way since I entered the business world in the mid-70s. The US model was employment-at-will with a whole lot of long-term, career-oriented employment opportunities that could be terminated for either poor performance or economic downturns. The European model created an employee’s right to his job and larded on all sorts of obligatory benefits. Taking on a new full-time employee is a very serious decision in Europe. As a result, there has been far less long-term employment opportunity in Europe and much more temping than in the US for decades.

      Of course, over the decades, Americans have insisted that we should be more like Europe. And we have. There are going to be lots of “unintended” consequences in the US as well.

  35. For those stuck in this employment netherworld, life is a cycle of constant job searches. Confidence can give way to doubt as career prospects seem to fade. Young people talk of delaying marriage and families indefinitely. And though many were grateful for any workplace experience, they were also cynical about companies that treated them like disposable labor.

    Kkkorporations. They’re the worst.

    1. Kkkorporations. They’re the worst. I have it upon good authority that in secret board (broad?) meetings they refer to each other as “Nikki” and self-aggrandize.

      I know that this is completely unrelated to your post, Brooks, yet the first picture in the article for which you provided a link reminded me of Katie Melua’s Concert Under The Sea .

      Although I thought that only the lifeboat training segment might be of interest to some H&R commentators, I’ll add that the actual concert begins around 29:32.

  36. the agricultural economist James Joughin reviewed 20 substantive studies of the Ugandan seed industry conducted between 2003 and 2013. Everybody who is anybody in African development has done one: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the African Development Bank, the European Union, the United Nations, and various NGOs and academics.

    “The reports invariably recommend how to repair these problems,” Joughin concludes. “Rarely do they ask why earlier recommendations have not been acted upon.”

    My ex GF worked for the UN on African development issues (which worked alonside USAID). we talked about this sort of stuff all the time. namely, that everyone basically churned out “Studies” every few years, but never ever touched the underlying issues why the studies were impossible to implement or why prior studies had failed… because the real purpose of the whole charade was to get more funding to “do more studies” – the funding wasn’t for Uganda; the funding was to fund a bunch of First World Do-Gooders to have their field-trips and their conferences.

    When you realize that this is 80-90% of what all international-development aid is really about (*with exceptions), everything makes a lot more sense.

    1. “because the real purpose of the whole charade was to get more funding to “do more studies”

      Have you ever worked in academia or had clients in academia? This is what it always is.

      1. Have you ever worked in academia or had clients in academia?

        Nope.

        I get that ‘that’s what it always is’. I think in “International Development” it goes to the next-level of super-bullshit, because its not merely about some faceless govt agency handing out a few million to a few universities to research gay penguins or Feminism and icebergs…..

        ..but its about places like the World Bank/IMF/UNAID et al handing out BILLIONS to corrupt-as-fuck governments to help prevent real people from starving/going to war, etc. or other actually pretty-fucking-serious stuff.

        At the base level its the same “doing shit just to say you’re doing something” to keep the funding flowing…but it takes on an added level of horror because these billions of $ are basically being flushed down a bureaucratic toilet while the people whom are the ostensible purpose of the whole charade are actually dying.

        Its some pretty soul-crushing shit.

    2. 80-90% of international-aid DOES NOT go to studies …

      You’re forgetting about the 10-20% that goes to Beltway lawyers and lobbyists, and the 10-50% that goes to recipient country kleptocrats. Also, don’t forget about the domestic-content requirements that stipulate purchases of goods from politically-connected vendors.

  37. The cultural differences between here and there are worth taking into account. The native Ugandans are still of the spoils system mentality that they have been since before the dawn of time. Setting up western style institutions (courts, cops, corporations etc.) and then filling their ranks with people who still hunt witches, fight blood feuds, engage in ritualistic cannibalism, and conduct raids on neighboring tribes for cattle and wealth is going to be an abject failure.

    Standing from afar and viewing their culture through a 1st world western lens will neither give you a full picture of what is going on or allow you to suggest successful fixes for their problems.

    1. True, but you’re flirting with heresy there.

      1. As someone else here said once, I value truth over politeness, so no flirting to it. Besides, discussions of culture are interesting while ‘every culture is equal so don’t talk about them’ is a boring bromide for thin skinned idiots.

    2. Setting up western style institutions (courts, cops, corporations etc.) and then filling their ranks with people who still hunt witches, fight blood feuds, engage in ritualistic cannibalism, and conduct raids on neighboring tribes for cattle and wealth is going to be an abject failure.

      Maybe in the short run, (on a world history clock) but not in the long run. At least I would hope things would turn around eventually if society’s were left to their own devices and a global market.

      The first time I went to work in the swamps of the White Nile, S Sudan had not voted for independence yet. I had my high western idyllic hopes of a new start for the country. The first time one of the guys we worked with came back with bullet holes in him from fighting off a cattle raid made me rethink my mindset. There is truth to what you say. But much of Africa is very well able to lift themselves out of poverty if the aid industry leaves them alone other than promoting free markets. I have to have faith in humans.

    1. Warty,

      The lyrics reminded me of Agile Cyborg:

      “You fell from the sky
      Crash landed in a field
      Near the river Adur
      Flowers spring from the ground
      Lambs burst from the wombs of their mothers
      In a hole beneath the bridge
      She convalesce, she fashioned masks of clay and twigs
      You cried beneath the dripping trees
      Ghost song lodged in the throat of a mermaid

      With my voice
      I am calling you

      You’re a young man waking
      Covered in blood that is not yours
      You’re a woman in a yellow dress
      Surrounded by a charm of hummingbirds
      You’re a young girl full of forbidden energy
      Flickering in the gloom
      You’re a drug addict lying on your back
      In a Tijuana hotel room

      With my voice
      I am calling you
      With my voice
      I am calling you

      You’re an African doctor harvesting tear ducts
      You believe in God, but you get no special dispensation for this belief now
      You’re an old man sitting by a fire, hear the mist rolling off the sea
      You’re a distant memory in the mind of your creator, don’t you see?”

      1. “You fell from the sky
        Crash landed in a field

        And here I thought David Bowie was the man who fell to earth.

      1. I expected more Nick Cave with that link title.

        1. I guess I should have linked to this bad seed instead.

      2. I got this seed with a youtube search. Which one of you depraved fuckers made that?

  38. Impersonator?

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2…..nator.html

    1. Is “No one else” or “No individual ever in the history of humanity” the correct answer to this one, JB?

      What an implied conundrum you’ve given us.

  39. Oh yeah and fuck Tim Cook, Apple, and his iCrap.

    Fake news is killing people’s minds, says Apple boss Tim Cook

    “It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public,” said Mr Cook. “There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic.

    “We must try to squeeze this without stepping on freedom of speech and of the press, but we must also help the reader. Too many of us are just in the complain category right now and haven’t figured out what to do.”

    He said that this crackdown would help providers of quality journalism and help drive out clickbait. “The outcome of that is that truthful, reliable, non-sensational, deep news outlets will win,” Mr Cook said.

    But he is optimistic. “In some ways kids will be the easiest to educate. At least before a certain age, they are very much in listen and understand [mode], and they then push their parents to act. We saw this with environmental issues: kids learning at school and coming home and saying why do you have this plastic bottle? Why are you throwing it away?”

    1. “Fake news is killing people’s minds, says Apple boss Tim Cook”

      The Russians hacked Tim Cook?

    2. I seem to recall his predecessor at Apple wanted to believe news about the medical effectiveness of goji berry juice enemas, acupuncture, psychics, and the healing power of crystals when it came to his initially-operable cancer.

      We must try to squeeze this without stepping on freedom of speech and of the press, but we must also help the reader.

      Gee, I wonder what exactly that “help” will entail. However, I do note that Apple has already made some pretty heavy breakthroughs in reality distortion field technology. And his go-to example is Gaia worship being pushed in schools, heh. Clearly very effective given the virtue signalers against DAPL and their 4.5 million pounds of trash.

      1. I actually would support some critical-thinking classes in school curriculums, so long as it was presented objectively. Teaching people to check multiple sources from multiple POVs before making up their minds would be a good thing, as contrary to human nature as it is.

        Somehow I don’t think that’s what Tim Cook has in mind, though.

        1. kids learning at school and coming home and saying why do you have this plastic bottle?

          You mean like the way that kids are already being turned against their parents in propaganda mills and let’s have more of this please?

        2. Then we need to get rid of the public school system and go to an all-private one.

      2. I invoke the ‘but rule’.

      3. The manufacture of iPhones produces some of the most toxic industrial waste on the planet. Kids don’t need to be asking about plastic bottles, they need to be asking about iPhones.

    3. “The outcome of that is that truthful, reliable, non-sensational, deep news outlets will win,”

      So it’s the death of the “mainstream” media then.

    4. Meh – boiler-plate leftism. I’m more interested in their response to the war against encryption that Trump seems likely to ramp up.

      We need the modern version of a public-service announcement campaign

      Yeah, I’m not exactly shaking in my boots.

    5. We must try to squeeze this without stepping on freedom of speech and of the press

      Well at least they’ll try not to step on freedom of speech. But you know how it goes, eggs, omelets, etc.

  40. An article about how East Africans can get better crops? Sounds like a good break from OMG Did You See This Thing Trump Just Did?!?!?!

    1. Why is no one investigating The Donald Trump Eastern African Subsistence Farmer and Top-of-the-Line Professional Real Estate Operator College?

  41. Time for some damage control

    “Islam as a faith and I as a person condemn slavery, rape and concubinage.” – So never mind that speech I gave about what does slavery mean anyway, and Islamic slavery was better than the American kind, and Westerners freak out about forced concubinage because they fetishize sexual consent.”

    1. Like you’ve never unintentionally condoned rape and slavery.

    2. Bear in mind that this guy teaches Islamic Civilization to future U.S. diplomats at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and he directs the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, also at Georgetown.

      I wonder what he’d say if it *wasn’t* his job to promote Muslim Christian understanding?

      I hope we get to find out.

      1. His professorship is apparently funded by the Saudis.

        Having been in academia, I can assure you that liberal arts PhD’s would gut their grandmothers to get a secure lifetime professorship such as that. Functioning as a Salafist spin doctor is a comparatively small price to pay.

        I’m sure Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier would be proud of what their order’s university is up to these days.

      2. He must be doing a great job since no one has issued a fatwa calling for his death.

  42. Looks like Oroville Dam is failing. Evacuation orders all the way into Yuba County.

    1. ALL of the city of Oroville is being told to evacuate.

    2. News guy just mentioned that the water officials say it could be a “wall” of water crashing into Oroville.

      1. No one ever expected the emergency spillway would actually be needed.

    1. I don’t know who that is but I like the cheek.

      1. She wasn’t showing her cheeks, prevert, but in one of the photos it looked like it said RUM on the back of her skirt.

        1. Are you thicc? I wasn’t talking about that cheek at all.

  43. I thought I’d see if there was any coverage of Jonathan Brown’s speech in Georgetown’s student newspaper, The Hoya.

    No, not yet, but there is this:

    Two Weeks After Executive Order, ‘All Are Welcome Here’

    1. Remember how Jonathan Brown directs the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown? Check this out:

      “Rasoul Naghavi (GRD ’19), a visiting researcher from Iran with the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and an imam at local mosques, immediately thought of his community. For months, he had asserted in his prayers that there were no borders between the Islamic and Western worlds. Now, he was at a loss for words.”…

      “Naghavi said Trump’s rhetoric is detrimental to the image of the United States abroad. According to Naghavi, it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince his friends that the United States has no animosity toward the Middle East.

      “”I saw the United States only under Obama, and the narrative that he had was that you’re welcome here, no matter who you are,” Naghavi said. “The powerful words of a president are able to damage the whole image of the country.””

      Naghavi managed to avoid saying “your women, I want to buy your women”.

      1. Last year, The Hoya had an editorial against the Prince Alwaleed Center for having “Ibrahim Kalin, the chief adviser to the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as one of its senior fellows.”

      2. it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince his friends that the United States has no animosity toward the Middle East.

        What gave it away?

        1. Didn’t you hear the guy? Obama was awesome!

          1. (And I’m not suggesting for a moment that this Rasoul Naghavi is playing a good cop/bad cop game where he’s our friend and he only wants us to cooperate with him so that he can protect us from the bad cops who don’t like us)

      3. I’m wondering if they can sustain this level of tear-jerking for another 90 to 120 days.

      4. For months, he had asserted in his prayers that there were no borders between the Islamic and Western worlds. Now, he was at a loss for words.”…

        As for that open borders utopia of Iran……

        1. You can cross the border into Iran any time you want, it’s crossing back out again which may be a bit of a problem.

          1. Worst Hotel California ripoff amusement park ever.

    1. I’m interested in Barb IQ.

    2. Mike Dice contributes his own “idiom” in this regard, GIL.

      1. He’s not Staten-Island enough for me.

    3. Related: an excellent plan to keep them from inundating my neighborhood.

      1. Rhywun,

        The plan you seem to like usea government/the state to benefit you (and your neighbors, et cetera) at the cost of other individuals.

        He argues that because travel on the bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn is free, more drivers – mostly truckers coming from New Jersey – choose that route to get to Manhattan, filling downtown streets as well.

        1. While I was mostly joking/riffing on SI vs Brooklyn, I’ll give you a serious answer.

          The idea is ostensibly to restore the base fee in each direction, in place of the double fee that currently applies in one direction only.

          Nobody loses, as far as I can tell.

      2. You live in bay ridge? i lived there as a teenager.

        i was sure that was going to be some picture of the bridge being blown up

        1. Yes. Though I have to admit the SI Problem has lessened since one of their nighttime haunts – whose “party patio” backed up to my bedroom window – closed a couple years ago.

    4. They need to promote that to the Staten Island Tourism Council. I’m sold.

  44. It appears as if the oh-so-competent CA state gov’t has found a way to extend the drought even longer; drain one of the largest storage dams:

    “Evacuation ordered for Oroville; dam spillway expected to fail”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art…..926950.php

    Since the emergency spillway is pretty much the top of the dam, I think they’re being coy in that statement.

    1. If only those people had a bullet train to whisk them to safety.

    2. It’s pretty fucking serious.

    3. The scuttlebutt is that they might lose 30 feet off the top of the “emergency” spillway.

      If that happens, there will be a non-insignificant number of casualties.

      1. The erosion is not as bad as originally feared and the water flow has reduced.

        1. How local are you? Packed up or staying put?

          1. I’m well north. So staying put. Might have to deal with a flood of refugees though. Hopefully we will vet them well.

              1. You’ve not been to Oroville then?

                1. Lodi is the only place I’ve had the pleasure of encountering the river ladies. A few times.

                  I don’t miss it.

                  1. pleasure of encountering the river ladies. A few times. I don’t miss it.

                    Just on a research standpoint, did these encounters lead into a daily dose of antibiotics?

                    1. Nah. Back in college. Get ’em before the STDs do.

      2. From the pictures in the link, if they lose 30 feet off the top of that spillway, forget about it. It wouldn’t take long for the whole damn to fail. Water is brutal.

        1. *and or dam

        2. The sheer mass would prevent that. The problem is a haircut off the top. It’s the tallest dam in the county.

          1. I don’t know. The spillway is on the side from what I see. If it fails the side hill is gone in about ten minutes. The dam may still be standing, but there won’t be any water behind it. I sure hope it doesn’t happen. That is a lot of water.

          2. “The sheer mass would prevent that. The problem is a haircut off the top. It’s the tallest dam in the county.”

            If the haircut is sufficient to keep the water flowing, the haircut tends to continue until there’s no hair left to cut. In a class I once had, an instructor asked what sort of wind was required to move a ‘phone book (remember those?). Turns out a modest breeze will do so if the open side of the book faces the breeze; one page at a time. In less than 15 minutes, the book had been flopped.
            There’s little that the engineering staff at O-ville has said or done so far to encourage confidence. And the rains due later this week are predicted to be heavier than what we (and you) got this last week.
            I certainly hope they do not lose the dam, both for the safety of those in what will become a YUGE flood plain and for those of us who will have to put up with moonbeam’s hair-shirt programs.

            1. The spillway isn’t really part of the damn. It’s offset to the left by several hundred yards.

              The problem is the concrete lip of the emergency spillway, which is thin, and about 30 feet tall. The earthen fill under it is eroding, and the whole thing might go. Scour might take out the whole foundation. Underneath that, the mountain is a half mile thick.

              The dam will hold, but whatever (30 multiplied by surface acres) does go downstream in a failure will be devastating,

              1. “Scour might take out the whole foundation. Underneath that, the mountain is a half mile thick.”

                I don’t have data to disagree, just suspicions.
                We’ll see what the condition is later this week; not sure the thickness of the mountain is the controlling issue.

                1. Whatever happens, it’s Moonbeam’s fault.

    4. I’m no engineer, but… “earthfill” dam? Seriously?

      1. Very common, very safe, IF MAINTAINED.

    5. Whose fault is it? Global Warming or Trump?

      1. Russians via Wikileaks.

    6. Ol’ Pomp the masochist can’t resist treading into a comment gutter

      rigatoni Rank 6540
      @Rawhide: How about we just keep the money we send to the federal government to subsidize all the loser states in the middle and southern part of the country? You didn’t see us complaining about coming to help hurricane or tornado ravaged states. So shameful that you use the forum of this emergency that threatens the lives of many to make your deplorable political post

      So what you’re saying is we should dissolve the IRS? Sounds good to me!

      1. I liked this one:

        CosmicRogue Rank 760

        The third world crumbling U.S. infrastructure..brought to you by 8 years of Republican roadblocks in the House. “We will not allow anything to pass as long as Obama is President”. Mitch McConnell.

        The bashing ensued about Pres O’s stimulus. I will give it to Chron commenters. There is a good mix of non idiots.

        1. Idiot can’t even fucking count, Dems controlled congress for Obama’s first two.

          No in California, fucktards like him voted for the stupid fucking train to no where, but do not care about building more dams or strengthening our waterways. It’s all on them.

    7. Stores in Oroville being looted.

        1. No idea.

    8. Lake level reducing, flow slowing down.

      1. Overflow on emergency spillway may stop within the hour.

        1. Are you standing on the dam right now?

        2. Flow has stopped.

          1. Are you in Chico?

            I’ll be right there. Just need to stop for jug wine and lube.

  45. Jonathan Brown on Facebook in 2015

    “I think people have a lot of things mixed up in their minds, forming a sort of outrage soup that they can’t deal with. I think one has to proceed in an orderly way 1) slavery is, in general, allowed in Islamic law. 2) It’s very possible (and it’s actually happened) to declare that slavery is no longer permissible, whether due to consistent failings in treatment of slaves or the decision of governments for the common good of the Muslim community. 3) But it’s not possible to say that slavery is inherently, absolutely, categorically immoral in all times and places, since it was allowed by the Quran and the Prophet. 4) Slave women do not have agency over their sexual access, so their owner can have sex with them.”

    1. it’s not possible to say that slavery is inherently, absolutely, categorically immoral in all times and places, since it was allowed by the Quran and the Prophet

      Seems legit to me

  46. “The 9th Circuit opinion reads like a desperate brief from the losing side of an argument where the writer knows the law is against them. An old trial lawyer’s adage goes, when the facts are on your side, pound the facts; when the law is on your side, pound the law; when neither law nor facts is on your side, pound the table. There was a lot of table pounding by the 9th Circuit, and that may be the biggest tell of all that they know they are wrong on the law, and Trump is right.”

  47. Kind of sort of on topic, I’d like to toss out a recommendation for The King of Vodka. It’s a biography of Pyotr Smirnov, the founder of Smirnov vodka.

    OK, So, you’re probably asking what does that have to do with the sales of Ugandan seeds? Before Smirnov showed up, there were practically no name brand goods in Russia, outside of insanely expensive things like Faberge eggs. Normally Russians would just go into an inn or pub, order vodka, and roll the dice between the good stuff, the stuff that tasted like soap covered ass, and the stuff that made you go blind.

    Smirnov started a name brand for quality controlled vodka in a country without any sort of copyright or trademark laws, and ended up as one of the richest men in Czarist Russia. He would do things like ordering 5,000 green labels 5,000 blue labels, and 5,000 red labels. Then he would go einy meiny miney moe on label color, so all Smirnov labels were now red. And he would buy full page ads saying that if you see any green or blue red labels, those are knockoffs, don’t buy the green labeled vodka.

    It’s also an interesting rags to riches story in Czarist Russia, if that’s the kind of thing that interests you.

    1. Wow. That’s a great story. I’m (just a little) buzzed, so, I’m actually considering moving to East Africa and getting rich using Smirnov’s blueprint.
      I’ll sober up on the morning and cancel the plan, but it will still be a really cool story.

  48. So California Leftists ignore infrastructure, push Bullet Trains and other pet projects. Then blame Republicans when disasters happen.

    Yeah, a state run dam failing is because of gridlock in the Federal Government.

    You really have to be fucking retarded to believe that.

    1. Exactly. Maybe if we’d had actual attempts to deal with water storage and delivery in the last fifteen years in this state, someone might have inspected the spillway which hasn’t been used since 1948 and found it had weakened.

      Jerry Fucking Brown, y’all. Let’s build a bullet train for two hundred bazillion dollars, but desalination plants? OH HORROR.

    2. Exactly. Maybe if we’d had actual attempts to deal with water storage and delivery in the last fifteen years in this state, someone might have inspected the spillway which hasn’t been used since 1948 and found it had weakened.

      Jerry Fucking Brown, y’all. Let’s build a bullet train for two hundred bazillion dollars, but desalination plants? OH HORROR.

      1. even the squirrels hate him!

    3. I’ve lived in AZ my entire life, and yet I know what CA Prop 13, from the fucking 70s is, because I’ve heard so many Californians decry it as a “Republican power grab” responsible for the state of schooling in CA. Those poor CA Democrats, so outnumbered they can’t do anything about it after almost 4 decades.

      As somebody who’s read a lot of Soviet history, I think of that kind of stuff as “kulak wrecker-hoarderitis”. It has to be sabotage, because the ideology and the system are literally perfect and can never, ever be questioned.

      Maybe I’m just lucky but it has seemed to me that the trainiacs touting a high-speed rail line between LA and SF as the economic panacea haven’t been as popular lately. Then again, I don’t visit CA nearly as often as I used to, so perhaps I’m just graced to not hear it.

      1. Prop 13 was a good start, sort of like the Bill of Rights.

  49. Aside:
    Who got to deliver the honorary “WE HATE TRUMP!” speech at the sales award meeting?

  50. __Warren__|2.12.17 @ 11:37PM|#
    “Flow has stopped.”

    Mike Tirico disagrees!
    Serially, I can’t find any link that says so; got one?

    1. Just what the local news drones are saying.

      1. And it’s only the flow over the emergency spillway. The other spillway is still going.

        1. I didn’t want to get involved, but i actually used to know more about retaining walls than anybody else that i have ever met. Not exactly the same as a damn, but some overlap.
          Me being buzzed, and the hight of my knowledge being at least 15 yrs ago, i am hesitant to speak up.
          I remember slough vs slip, and other things. Bottom line, i suppose you already know that, if you are downstream of the dam, it might be prudent to go elsewhere for a day or three.

  51. Watching Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States. Just got to the shit about Johnson and Vietnam. I believe Mr Stone has been less than forthright in the past, so, I just gotta ask: is this shit for real? Is his account of US actions since the beginning of WWII even close to accurate? Because, if so, I’ve been sadly misinformed.

  52. The sheriff claims there was never any looting.

    1. The pics show the town pretty much deserted.

  53. RE: Uganda’s Bad Seeds
    East Africans go hungry because they can’t trust their markets

    What?
    You can’t trust a bureaucrat to produce a better agricultural product? But that would mean Marx and Stalin were wrong.
    That can’t be.

  54. Most of us want to have good income but dont know how to do that on Internet there are a lot of methods to earn huge sum, but whenever Buddies try that they get trapped in a scam/fraud so I thought to share with you a genuine and guaranteed method for free to earn huge sum of money at home anyone of you interested should visit the page. I am more than sure that you will get best result. Best Of Luck for new Initiative!
    =================== http://www.moneytime10.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.