Reason Roundup

World Health Organization Declares Global War on Trans Fats: Reason Roundup

Plus: Lawyers can't overrule a client's wish to maintain innocence says SCOTUS and Cloyvr moves to decentralize apps.

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Richard B. Levine/Newscom

Haven't we heard this one before? Regularly demonized by the press and politicians just a few years ago, trans fats haven't been getting much attention lately. But if you thought this debate was done, surprise! It's really just getting started.

On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a plan to eliminate industrially produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply within five years. Because the WHO has no power of its own to accomplish this, it's pressuring governments around the world to enact trans-fat bans.

The WHO trans-fats campaign is a first for the organization, which doesn't usually call for global elimination of things that can trigger chronic disease, Tom Frieden, president of Resolve to Save Lives and a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Vox. WHO "successfully led the elimination of other infectious diseases, such as smallpox and river blindness, but never before has the world set its sights on eliminating a noncommunicable disease."

Trans fats occur naturally in some meats and cheeses, but their biggest gateway into our bellies has been through vegetable oils, margarine, Crisco, and other manufactured foodstuffs that rely on partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. There's strong evidence suggesting high trans fat consumption is linked to heart problems and a decrease in cognitive functioning, perhaps even serving to speed up decline in folks with early-stage dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

As with so many studies on isolated ingredients and human disease, it's unclear how much is too much for human consumption. In any event, mounting public fear of trans fats had U.S. food companies drastically reducing or cutting trans fats entirely from their products long before public health officials stepped in. But as governments, including ours, became increasingly fixated on "solving" obesity and chronic lifestyle diseases, they began turning with increasing animosity toward trans fats.

Denmark became the first country to ban trans fats in 2004. In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administraiton declared trans fats to be no longer "generally recognized as safe," a ruling that was finalized in 2015. At that time, the FDA gave U.S. companies three years to phase out trans fats "or seek food additive approval for those uses." That means we're in final countdown territory on trans fats now: June 2018 is the trans-fat free deadline.

Ironically, the reason trans fats wound up so prevalent in American diets in the 20th century was because of another nutrition nanny crusade, this time against lard. Convinced that saturated fat was the big trigger behind heart disease, public-health officials and groups (plus the makers of "vegetable fat" products like margarine and Crisco) convinced consumers that animal-fats were bad news and trans-fat laden hydrogenated oils a healthier alternative. The market responded by replacing products high in saturated fat—now generally recognized as much healthier than trans fatty acids—with those that relied on partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Now, "if the world replaces trans fats, people won't taste the difference, food won't cost more, but your heart will know the difference," Frieden said.

This, of course, was basically the same pitch used last century to spur the switch from animal-fat-based products to trans-fat based ones. And as some are already noting, "the replacement fats [for trans fats] have their own problems."

FREE MINDS

Attorneys can't overrule a clients' wish to maintain innocence. U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled 6-3 in favor of Robert McCoy, the Louisiana death row inmate whose lawyer said evidence of his guilt was overwhelming and entered a guilty plea on McCoy's behalf. McCoy—accused of murdering three people in 2008—said he wished to maintain his innocence even if it meant he would surely get the death penalty instead of life in prison. (A jury ended up sentencing McCoy to death regardless of the lawyer's plea.)

"The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to choose the objective of his defense and to insist that his counsel refrain from admitting guilt, even when counsel's experienced-based view is that confessing guilt offers the defendant the best chance to avoid the death penalty," wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Court's decision.

FREE MARKETS

Blockchain? There's an app store for that. A new company from the former head of J.P. Morgan's blockchain unit will function like an app store for "decentralized applications." Called Cloyvr, the company—founded by Amber Baldet and Patrick Mylund Nielsen, another ex-J.P. Morgan employee—has had folks in the crypto world buzzing.

Cloyvr will allow "people and businesses [to] experiment with a multitude of decentralized apps and services, developer toolsets, and underlying distributed ledgers," reports Fortune. "The cofounders envision the platform serving as a neutral ground, offering a browser-like dashboard for the blockchain-curious, through which Clovyr can provide support and other services to customers according to their needs."

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  1. U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled 6-3 in favor of Robert McCoy…

    The district attorney on Law & Order???

    1. Ice T wrote the dissent. It was laced with references to “mofo” (whatever that is).

      1. Did he bring his orthopedics?

    2. Hello.

      “…disproportionate and illegal use of lethal force against unarmed civilian protesters.”

      Disproportionate. Lol.

      Don’t attack.

      1. Don’t bring rocks to a gun fight.

      2. Gotta love the Palestinian perspective Reason brings to the table. No comment from Israel’s side?
        But nooo, Reason totally isn’t progressive – they’re just woke libertarians!

  2. President Trump is reportedly seeking better “TV lawyers” after Rudy Giuliani royally botched his televised speaking on Trump’s behalf last week.

    Denny Crane.

    1. Where’s Ben Matlock when you need him?

      1. Now, for ten grand, he’ll actually sit behind us in court and read the paper. For $15,000, he’ll actually sit at the defense table. For $20,000, he’ll twice lean forward

        (Whispers.) and whisper something in your ear. Oh. White suit, that’s extra.
        -Arrested Development

        1. Ben Matlock was one fine lawyer.

    2. Sal Goodman.

        1. A.K.A. James Morgan “Jimmy” McGill

  3. How Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti has “parlayed a narrow dispute about a one-night stand into a news-cycle-dominating assault on the president of the United States.”

    About which no one other than news media give a shit.

    1. Funny. One of the claims is that the Non-Disclosure Agreement was not a valid contract because Trump never signed it. I wonder if she returned the $130K which she took in exchange for nothing.

      1. I’m also wondering why the media is so incurious as to who is paying him.

        They seemed OBSESSED with Thiel funding Hogan’s lawsuit with Gawker. But we know Daniels isn’t paying Avenatti. I am curious as to who is.

  4. Scientists have successfully transplanted memories from one snail to another.

    Wake me when they successfully transplant those memories into a robot snail. SPOILER ALERT.

    1. Scientists have successfully transplanted memories from one snail to another.

      The process is painstakingly slow.

      1. “You be the female this time.”
        “I distinctly remember being the female last time.”
        “No, I was the female.”
        “If we are doing this, I am using my penis.”
        “You are so selfish. This is what you did last time.”
        “No, you did this last time. My turn.”
        “Like hell.”
        [snail fight!]

    2. When the researchers subsequently tapped the snails, they found those that had been given the shocks displayed a defensive contraction lasting about 50 seconds

      #MeToo

    3. Wake me when they successfully transplant those memories into a robot snail. SPOILER ALERT.

      http://twitter.com/ENBrown/sta…..3732429824

      1. You have to get up pretty early to scoop Fist. Or just never go to bed, like ENB probably.

      2. That tweet doesn’t look like anything to me.

        1. Don’t worry. She’s a Libertarian. No one will listen to her.

    4. Nobody *likes* to salt a snail.

      1. But the salt brings out the flavor of the garlic and butter!

  5. Around 2,700 Palestinian protesters were injured and 58 were killed yesterday after Israeli troops opened fire on them. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called the actions “criminal” and a “disproportionate and illegal use of lethal force against unarmed civilian protesters.”

    This is 100% Drumpf’s fault. It’s entirely because of his decision to move the embassy.

    1. Yeah, right on! Drumpf made those people throw rocks because he took all their money so they coudln’t afford proper weapons. Drumpf! Drumps! Drumpth!

  6. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called the actions “criminal” and a “disproportionate and illegal use of lethal force against unarmed civilian protesters.”

    They can ask American diplomats to mediate the dispute from their shiny new embassy in Jerusalem.

    1. For those Palestinians who aren’t yet dead, they may well live their entire lives and never be impacted by the location of the US embassy except for those special occasions when their “leaders” send them out to be cannon fodder.

      1. The New York Times reported daily buried in their article. That the Imams were actively lying to the mob at points. Telling them the wall had been breached and Palistians were pouring into Isreal to get more to make the suicidal charge towards the wall.

        1. …I thought walls couldn’t keep anybody out of a country…

          1. Walls can’t. Walls and guards can, and Israel also provides the guards needed. OTOH the US border patrol does not have enough officers to keep a pair of guards on each _mile_ of the Mexican border full-time.

  7. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to bring back the state’s death penalty, which was banned in 2011, for mass murderers and people who kill police officers.

    Sounds like someone needs the law and order vote.

  8. Say farewell to Fox comedy series The Last Man On Earth.

    At least now I know I don’t need to say hello to it.

    1. That’s Rufus’s shtick

      1. I bet Rufus says “hello” every time he takes his wife’s underwear off.

        1. Then he says “hello” again as he puts his own underwear back on.

          1. Then, when his wife gets home, he greets her, too.

    2. It links to a Mary Sue article about D-Day.

      1. I used to love Doris Day.

  9. War on trans fats? I thought we were supposed to be tolerant of those uncomfortable with their gender but have a body positive attitude.

    1. “War on trans fats?”

      They self identify as fiber. Eat as much as you’d like.

      1. If it smells like fish , eat all you wish. If it smells like cologne, leave it alone.

  10. Because the WHO has no power of its own to accomplish this…

    Maybe they should cure their own impotence before tackling my food choices.

  11. What kind of memories do snails have?

    1. They remember crawling across the edge of a razor blade.

    2. If I were a snail, I’d want to receive the memories of the most studly porn snail.

    3. If we still had the PM links, I could say “hey, maybe they should trabsplant snail memories into Robby, so we could get the PM links faster.”

      1. Yeah but then he’d bogart the fruit sushi AND ruin all the lettuce.

  12. Scientists have successfully transplanted memories from one snail to another.

    The horror

    1. You’re an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.

  13. When you see those two dopes making money off it, you know block chain is a scam.

    1. Someone goofed the pic – pretty sure I saw those two serving coffee this morning.

      1. They said they didn’t really fit in at JP Morgan.

  14. What the fuck is river blindness, and does curing it really justify coming after I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter?

    1. You wanna be parking your van IN the river??

  15. What, no mention Margot Kidder died?

    1. Can you read my mind?

    2. Can you read my mind?

      1. +1 multi-million dollar New York apartment on a reporters’ salary.

  16. In 2009, when Mueller ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007.
    Yes, that’s the same Deripaska who has surfaced in Mueller’s current investigation and who was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration.

    Mueller may have a conflict ? and it leads directly to a Russian oligarch

    1. Given how often everyone in Washington deals with Russians, it’s not that shocking that everyone in Washington has a ‘gotcha’ over Russians lurking in their closet.

      Welcome to the New Red Scare, but it looks more like fuchsia to me.

  17. “U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled 6-3 in favor of Robert McCoy”

    Wow. Did this case really need to go to the Supreme Court? What jackass lower court judge got it wrong?

    1. Just read the result. Gorsuch, Alito, Thomas were the 3 losers. WTF?

      1. Does that still surprise you? Conservatives always rule against criminals.

        1. Lefties always rule against law abiding Americans.

          Since you’re making absolute statements that are untrue.

        2. But in this case, they are trying to nanny protect the criminal, even though, as you say, they are ruling against the criminals wishes.

          1. Criminal defendants should absolutely get a fair trial. Anything less and the case should be reversed.

            Lawyers work for the defendants but they also cannot just abandon a client if the client is lying to try and set the lawyer up for an appellate issue.

            In this case, the lawyer should not have told the jury that his client admitted guilt when the defendant did not want that.

      2. Evidently, “Justice Samuel Alito wrote a dissenting opinion, which Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch joined, saying that while McCoy’s lawyer admitted his client was guilty of murdering the people, he didn’t admit the client’s guilt of first-degree murder.”

        1. Doesn’t matter that the lawyer says. It’s not his call.

          1. Most of what a criminal defense attorney does is their call. Criminal defendants don’t do much and that is because the lawyers are supposed to be the pros.

            Major strategic decisions are the call of the defendant and this case seems like a good precedent. I have yet to read the entire dissent.

  18. War on Trans Fats

    Just cut to the chase and start a war on fat people. Because everyone knows that’s what this is really about.

    1. Fat trans people.

      1. Pity the plight of the fat tranny

    2. Just cut to the chase and *tax* fat people.

      1. “Freedom isn’t free.”

        “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.”

        THEREFORE, taxation is warfare pursued by other means.

        QED.

  19. I watched some video of the Palestinians “protesting”. They are mindless sacrificial lemmings.
    There is a US embassy in Israel.
    It was in Tel Aviv, now it’s in Jerusalem.
    Really? That’s what you are throwing your life away to protest?

    1. Collective identity is a hell of a memetic drug.

  20. This, of course, was basically the same pitch used last century to spur the switch from animal-fat-based products to trans-fat based ones. And as some are already noting, “the replacement fats [for trans fats] have their own problems.”

    Several cities around here have banned plastic bags.

    I always laugh at this because when I was a kid they changed from paper to plastic to save the trees.

    Can they make up their minds?

    1. “Oh, very well. We’ll use human skin.”

      1. “Can you please use the light-colored bag?”

    2. carry your groceries home in your invisible knapsack, whitey

    3. If you took the light rail every day to get your fresh overpriced groceries then you would not need a bunch of bags. Plus, the underused light rail systems would be properly funded.

  21. “A new company from the former head of J.P. Morgan’s blockchain unit will function like an app store for “decentralized applications.”

    This is about Etherium and smart contracts.

    JP Morgan’s involvement through the Etherium Enterprise Alliance is a hell of a lot more compelling for ether than two hipsters breaking off of JP Morgan. Just look at the list of banks, tech companies, manufacturers, etc. that are developing solutions based on Etherium.

    https://entethalliance.org/members-2/

    1. Incidentally, the Etherium Alliance is one of the reasons my guess is that Etherium will survive whatever mistakes are made going from a proof-of-work concept to a proof-of-stake concept–regardless of whether there’s a hard fork over the issue of Bitman and their army of antminers.

      If and when applications from the Etherium Alliance require decentralized mining as an integral part of their security and viability, we’ll see such applications break out for its own mineable currency/tokens like Musicoin, which is to say, that isn’t speculation. That’s what members of the companies behind the Etherium Enterprise Alliance have already done.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musicoin

      1. Until Amazon or Google or Facebook or all of them start their own coin systems.

  22. Amber
    @AmberBaldet
    CEO @GrowClovyr | Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right

    I think i’m in love.

    1. Purple hair + that sneer = would

      1. If i were a single man, i’d follow her on Twitter so hard.

        1. Blockchain actually refers to one of her favorite “toys”

          1. That sounds scary! Tell me more.

          2. Ouch. Anal blocks. No thanks.

            1. Voice of experience? I didn’t realize Goldberry was a dom.

              1. She’s a river nymph. Say no more.

    2. When I listen to Cake’s “Short skirt, long jacket”, Amber Baldet is what I imagine the protagonist looks like.

      1. +1 machete to cut through red tape

      2. Whenever I listen to a Cake song, I picture cake.

        1. Cake should remake American Pie.

  23. Kudlow: Trump-Xi ‘bromance’ could lead to a China trade deal

    Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, continues to believe the U.S. and China can avoid a trade war.

    CNBC

    Sick shit. Commies sucking each other off.

    1. Whatever it is you’ve read, it’s made you dumber than you would be if you’d read nothing.

      1. The US President has a “bromance” with a Communist authoritarian Chinese leader. He loves Putin and the asshole from the Phillipines.

        Sick shit.

        1. Unless shaking hands with these guys is what’s necessary to end ISIS in Syria and North Korea’s nuclear program–both without the need of a formal U.S. invasion a la Iraq.

          . . . in which case, your stupid squeals about shaking hands with people and negotiating with them makes you look both sick and stupid.

          If defeating the Nazis and chasing the Japanese out of China required you to negotiate with Stalin, would you do it? Or would you subject millions more American GIs to months or years of more battles because of your stupid reluctance to shake hands with Stalin?

          Meanwhile, North Korea is already dismantling what remains of its nuclear research facility.

          “North Korea Starts to Dismantle Nuclear-Test Site”
          Buildings have been removed, latest satellite images show, ahead of planned May 23-25 destruction.

          WSJ, May 15, 2018

          http://www.wsj.com/articles/no…..1526377862

          You’re a buffoon.

          1. Sometimes, I think that lefties like Butt actually want a major war with nukes flying.

            They probably think that they can then make a socialist utopia work out of the ashes.

            1. I’m sure many of them want Trump to fail and look like a fool.

              They care more about Trump looking like a fool than they care about whether North Korea can hit the U.S. with nuclear ICBMs, and, yeah, that’s sick and stupid.

              . . . especially if the alternative is negotiations?

              And then they want to talk about peace. Peace without negotiating with bad people?

              Like I said, they’re sick and they’re stupid.

              1. Weigel is a very sick individual.

              2. Exactly Ken. FDR had the USA allied with Stalin in WWII.

                Stalin killed more people than Hitler.

                We worked Hitler over with the stupid commies doing most of the work. Then the USA ran the Communist economy ragged by being the great capitalists that Americans are.

        2. Oh oh. Lefties like Butt are a bit nervous that Trump might pull off a diplomacy coup with North Korea.

          The fact that Trump cozies up to people to get what he wants escape the rusted mind of Butt.

          Butt was so used to Obama having dried semen on his face after he met with foreign leaders to suck them into hurting the USA, its hard for that rusted mind to tell the difference.

        3. Yesterday he was going to start a trade war that was going to end the world economy. Now he is in a bromance with communists. God you are a moron

  24. “…Because the WHO has no power of its own to accomplish this, it’s pressuring governments around the world to enact trans-fat bans….”

    Removing the US from that eco-redistribution scam is one of the best things Trump has accomplished. He could add to his legacy by simply telling the UN we are no longer members.

  25. How the GOP farm bill is hypocrtical on welfare reform.

    Take from the poor and give to the farmers. The GOP knows where their ears of corn are buttered.

    1. The socialization of agriculture is an established part of the American tradition at this point, and must therefore be defended by even the reddest-blooded conservative.

      “The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected” – G.K. Chesteron, almost a hundred goddamn years ago

      1. I wonder if people would actually want to pay the real price of food. I suspect most of them would not.

        Not saying it’s a good thing, but it’s the reality of the situation. Sort of like how Reason shills for open borders without even talking about U.S. labor policy. At least not in the same article, anyway, so I think they assume they’re unrelated topics or something.

        1. Everyone pays for it in other ways: pollution from chemical-dependent agribusiness monocultures, antibiotic-laden meat so that animals can survive the feedlots, the additional tax and regulatory burden, etc.

          1. So, no, people do not want to pay the true cost of what food is actually worth.

            Personally, I’ve figured that it’s a way to keep people moving into the cities since if food prices were actually allowed to go to where they were profitable farming would be a more attractive business and you can’t usually farm in the middle of an urban center.

            It’s probably not a 1st order consequence, but it’s a side effect if nothing else. Yet, somehow, we’re still a net exporter of food. Ah, efficiency and subsidy. Like a hand in a glove, I guess.

    2. Meanwhile with the Democrats we get take from the middle class and give to everybody else.

  26. for the blockchain-curious

    that was my nickname in woke marketing school

  27. “Around 2,700 Palestinian protesters were injured and 58 were killed yesterday after Israeli troops opened fire on them. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called the actions “criminal” and a “disproportionate and illegal use of lethal force against unarmed civilian protesters.”

    Just because Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, used to be a leader in the PLO, that doesn’t mean that killing unarmed protestors okay. Still, sinners don’t necessarily play well on TV when they’re denouncing sin.

    I guess the Palestinian authority has a very small pool of people to choose from in their leadership ranks, and, who knows, maybe the alternative spokesperson would have been even worse. There probably isn’t a Gandhi anywhere among them.

    1. Modern mediacentric politics are distinctly inhospitable to Gandhis.

      1. It’s always been that way.

  28. I’m severely disappointed in the world’s response to Palistian attempts to breach another country’s border yesterday. Rocks, firebombs, attempted explosives, and everyone is upset with the people defending themselves vs. the aggressors in this encounter.

    What would have happen if the mob broke through? How many innocent men, women, and children just going about their day would have ended up dead? How much property would have burned to the ground with people inside?

    But no let’s sympathize with the people throwing rocks and seting wildfires, trying to break into a country they’ve never even seen.

    1. My favorite is the right wing open borders Jews cheering Israel defending its closed border. Okay now do the US and Mexico

      1. Because Palestinians wanting to kill Israelis is the same as Mexicans looking for work. Like totally equivalent and stuff.

        1. Not every one does. Stop with your collectivist thinking. They have a right to cross any border they want. And if an Israeli wants to hire them that is their right.

    2. Those people were no serious threat.

      There were no Israeli casualties.

      2,700 Palestinians injured and 58 and were killed.

      Even if you support Israel, there’s no need to pretend the Israelis were the victims here.

      I don’t feel the need to defend Trump’s decision here, either. I think he took on a greater risk of making us an intentional target of Palestinian terrorist groups in the future, and I don’t see any upside for U.S. security to offset taking on that increased risk.

      -1 point for Trump on this. It was a strategic mistake from a perspective of the security interests of the U.S., and that’s my primary concern in regards to our policy towards Israel. This is not an excellent example of putting American interests first.

      1. Injured how? The numbers I’m reading are most breathed in the tear gas used to dissipate them, others had shrapnel from bullets. Which could be anything from a graze to life threatening. Though they’ve made note that near unanimously the bullet wound were aimed at the legs.

        The people giving the numbers are the same people who encouraged their followersto charge the wall with the purpose of getting them hurt for media briefings points.

        Also yes, no Israelis got hurt because their army refused to let anyone breach the wall. Are you trying to say that you have to let a person trying to punch you bloody your nose before you are allowed to stop them? When you attack a country, they have the right to defend themselves.

        1. Again, are you insisting the side without the casualties is the victim here?

          Is that necessary for some reason?

          Can you tell me why?

          1. I’m a cripple. Some guy tries to rob me at knife point. I shoot him. Casualties are distinctly one sided. Is the robber the victim. I don’t believe in duty to retreat. You have the right to defend yourself from someone attacking you.

            1. Whether you were justified and whether you’re the victim is not the same thing.

              This false equivalence gets us in all sorts of trouble.

              If the robber gets killed and the shooter loses nothing, then the robber was definitely the victim.

              Whether the victim was the bad guy or deserved to be shot is another question entirely.

              The Palestinians were the victims yesterday.

              Whether you sympathize with them, like them, hate them, justify them, condemn them, none of that matters in relation to whether they were the victims.

              If you convince people that you can’t tell who the victims are because of whom you favor, then you’re going to lose a lot of arguments. The victims are 2,700 injured and 58 dead. You don’t have to sympathize with them, but those are the victims.

              1. It seems like a semantic argument. The question I’d ask is ‘would the Israeli’s have shot a bunch of civilians if they weren’t charging them’ and I’d like to think the answer is no.

                That said, I have no real interest in who’s at fault since the whole region is shit. If I lived in Israel I’d hope they’d shoot the mob since this is the same mob that likes to shoot rockets across the border.

                It’s not like East and West Germany, or the southern U.S. border. It’s more like the Wall of China, as the people on the other side are pretty interested in looting it seems.

                1. “The question I’d ask is ‘would the Israeli’s have shot a bunch of civilians if they weren’t charging them’ and I’d like to think the answer is no.”:

                  If you’re looking for the justification before you make the factual observation, then you’re not looking at this objectively.

                  The factual observation is that thousands were injured and dozens are dead and those are the victims. Whether Israel was justified in that is a separate question from whom the victims were.

                  If you have a hang up with the word “victim”, that’s your semantic burden to bear. I don’t have to play by your semantic rules just because the fact is that the people who were injured and killed were the victims.

                  Maybe think of it this way: if you can’t justify Israel’s actions without pretending that Israel was the victim, then your justification must not be very strong. If your justification is strong, then stop making Israel out to be the victim here–you don’t need that.

      2. ” I think he took on a greater risk of making us an intentional target of Palestinian terrorist groups in the future, and I don’t see any upside for U.S. security to offset taking on that increased risk.”

        Yes. Let’s continue to kowtow to extortionists.

        The upside is stating in no uncertain terms to Palestinian terrorists: What fucking business is it of yours? Please give us a list of all the legal things we can do to piss you off, and we’ll get right on them.

        1. “Let’s continue to kowtow to extortionists.”

          Making strategic blunders that do not benefit U.S. security is not bravery.

          And making strategic decisions that enhance our security because they’re in our best interests is not kowtowing to extortionists.

          Moving our embassy didn’t benefit us in any way that I can see.

          Moving our embassy unnecessarily increased our risks (especially if and when Iran develops a nuclear deterrent).

          If you like Trump, that doesn’t mean you need to defend everything he does.

          Hell, I even supported Obama on the one or two occasions when he accidentally did something right.

          I guess I’m just intellectually honest.

          1. If you like Trump, that doesn’t mean you need to defend everything he does.

            Sure seems that way. Criticize anything the man says or does and you’re instantly accused of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Seems to me that the worst TDS sufferers are his supporters.

            1. I’m sympathetic to that. They’re reacting to something real.

          2. I explained the upside/benefits. These assholes need to be challenged eventually. Why not now? Their demand that they get to choose the location of the US Embassy is irrational. There primary reaction of violence is evil. Fuck them. Period. There might be some tough times ahead. The long term benefits will outweigh them.

            1. “These assholes need to be challenged eventually. Why not now?”

              If anything is kowtowing, it’s being defiant for the sake of being defiant.

              There should be clear benefits associated with costs, and I don’t see the particulars of this specific defiance as being of any material benefit to the U.S. or its security.

              So, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

              1. If there was zero resistance to the embassy move, would you have strong feelings that it shouldn’t be in Jerusalem, or is your opinion based on the violence of religious retards?

                Here’s an example of defiance for the sake of defiance. I just read of some white busybody who called the cops because they didn’t like a black family barbecuing in the park nearby.
                The response: Scores or black families going out of there way to barbecue in the park.
                That is defiance for the sake of defiance and it can be the right thing.

                1. It’s a risk analysis.

                  If you bet your whole life savings on one hand of blackjack, winning that hand doesn’t mean you were smart to make that bet.

                  1. Yes. I know the calculus.
                    Don’t take this the wrong way but you’re a pussy.

                    If you tell your neighbor you’re going to paint your house a different color and he tells you: if you do it, he’ll kill you.

                    You have a choice.
                    1. Slink away like a coward and don’t paint your house, or ever do anything without his approval…or,
                    2. Challenge that asshole on the spot and establish your rights.

                    1. Fundamentally, the question is ‘if the Israeli’s didn’t shoot, would they then be bludgeoned to death with rocks’ and the answer appears to be ‘yes’.

                      I think Ken’s main issue with this is that he blames this on Trump’s decision to move the embassy, but your description is apt: what business is it of the Palestinians to object to something that Israel explicitly asked us to do with our embassy in their territory?

                      Or, shorter version, Ken should be blaming the Jews for asking us to move the embassy for the violence but somehow this seems to be a bridge too far for him whereas blaming Trump and the United States is not.

                      Curious. I take this to mean that we shouldn’t have embassy’s in the region, since it could theoretically ’cause’ violence?

                    2. I have yet to hear a rational, articulated objection to an embassy being located in Jerusalem. All I’ve heard is Argle bargle, Jerusalem, argle, bargle, kill Jews, argle.

                    3. I think the reason is clear: appeasement and a continuation of the Obama-era foreign policy of ‘don’t agree with Jews, because it angers the rest of the region’.

                      I don’t intend for this to imply anti-Semitism, but rather an unwillingness to do anything that could theoretically cause violence even when it’s something like a nation exlicity asking us to move our embassy to another city.

                      Basically, these types say we should cut ties with Israel because they’re so hated in the region, and they believe it’s why we’re hated in the region. It’s almost definitely one reason why we’re hated, but I suspect our explicit support of Saudi Arabia throws more shade on us than our support for Israel so it’s curious that only Israel ever seems to make the news.

                      Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t much give a shit about the region since as far as I’m concerned they’re a bunch of 15th century savages playing around with fire, and inevitably they’ll get burned by it. I fully expect a nuclear detonation in the region within the next 20-50 years, but I won’t pretend to know which group of savages will light the fuse.

                      I know, not very ‘woke’ of me.

                    4. “What business is it of the Palestinians to object to something that Israel explicitly asked us to do with our embassy in their territory?”

                    5. It ate half my response.

                      The new embassy is straddling the green line.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Line_(Israel)

                  2. Ken, you’re more insightful than that.
                    Trump is not playing blackjack – he’s playing poker.
                    For 22 years the US folded twice a year whenever the Jerusalem hand flopped, despite raising preflop. Flop comes down, Palestinians/Arabs/Euros make a little raise, US folds. You know what happens when you play poker like That? You get raised on hands you should win because you’ve got a rep for folding top pair, and you bleed chips.
                    I didn’t start winning until I came up with the balls to call a river bet with bottom pair. Not so easy to get the US out of hands anymore, since now everybody at the table knows we won’t just lay down to any bet, we might just call with a better hand – even if it’s ace high or bottom pair.
                    *side note: I once saw a guy win a $1200 dollar pot (1/2 game) with Queen high. Dude tried to bluff him off with Jack high.

      3. “There were no Israeli casualties.”

        This is called ‘great news’.

  29. Say farewell to Fox comedy series The Last Man On Earth.

    Far more importantly, sign this petition to get The Expanse picked up by one of the streaming networks.

    1. “The Expanse”

      Hillary Clinton has a show?

      1. I’ll not dignify this with a response.

        1. Bonus: If Hillary took someone to court to keep her show on the air it would be called……

          (Removes, cleans, and replaces sunglasses)

          …..The Expanse Suit

            1. Thanks. It was a divine joke.

    2. It’s gonna be a tough sell.

      If it gets picked up, the production values will almost certainly take a hit.

      Most of the streaming services are already committed to an expensive SciFi franchise that they own lock, stock, and barrel. Why pay for content to compete with your own–and such high production costs?

      The best hope is probably YouTube Red. If it doesn’t get picked up there, then I’m sure Netflix will be happy to broadast reruns.

      P.S. I’m still pissed off about Farscape. You’d think SyFy would have learned something from that experience, but noooooOOOOOooooo.

      1. Netflix has proven that they will buy literally anything that gets offered to them, regardless of quality.

      2. My understanding is that Alcon, the production company, has borne most of the costs themselves, and have recouped their expenses by selling the streaming rights (to Amazon in the U.S. and Netflix internationally). SyFy only had first-run rights, so they were only making money off the show when people tuned in at a set time once a week. This is what’s known as “a completely obsolete business model,” especially since the Venn diagram of Hard Sci-Fi Fans and Cable TV Subscribers Who Don’t Stream is probably just two circles that barely touch.

        Rumor has it that Netflix has already passed on The Expanse but Amazon is interested. Amazon is also developing Snow Crash, Ringworld, and Iain Banks’s Culture series, which makes Amazon sort of goddamn awesome.

        1. It actually makes a bizarre sort of sense that Amazon, a one-time bookstore, is now making shows about those books.

          If Netflix passed on The Expanse I’d be at least a little surprised given the things they have purchased in the past. Cloverfield being an especially ‘what the fuck’ buy since none of it makes any sense yet still manages to cost a bit in the special effects department.

          I suspect that any success the Netflix Originals have had is purely accidental, as whomever is doing their purchasing seems to have no idea what they’re doing. ‘Love’ is another Original that’s a real head scratcher on who would have green-lit such a terrible show.

          1. Netflix seems to cast a pretty wide, uh, net, with varying results. They’ve taken over discontinued shows before – most famously Arrested Development, but they also acquired The Last Kingdom after the BBC lost interest, and that show kicks so much ass.

            1. Netflix produces a bunch of garbage and a few good hits. Netflix owns full rights to all their programming. They have to buy some content to fill in the blank areas of programming categories.

              TV providers have to pay for content and the networks that do own some content have to pay for other network’s content.

              I think Netflix has the better revenue model in the long run as long as they can weed out more of the bad content.

        2. the Venn diagram of Hard Sci-Fi Fans and Cable TV Subscribers Who Don’t Stream is probably just two circles that barely touch

          I don’t stream or watch shows at a set time. I DVR.

    3. Oh, and P.S.

      I was right about Westworld.

      SPOILER ALERT!!!

      It’s getting more and more about replacing real people. I said. I knew it. You read it.

      P.P.S. Caps in 6.

      1. Um, everyone has been saying that since before it even aired. You uh, you got on that one late bud.

    4. I think I’ll just stop watching the show and buy the books instead.

      NFW I’m paying extra to stream it. If it comes out on DVD or BR in five or six years I’ll buy it then.

      1. I watched 3 episodes of Last Man on Earth until another man showed up.

        Fuck that. That network cannot even make a single guy and multiple ladies entertaining?

  30. You know, given the track record of the efficacy of nutritional science, not sure I buy much of what they are selling on trans fats.

  31. I’m genuinely sad to aay, Tom Wolfe has passed.

    He was truly one of the best authors of the last century. He was one of my favorites.

  32. “How Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti has “parlayed a narrow dispute about a one-night stand into a news-cycle-dominating assault on the president of the United States”

    Is this really true? I watch stations other than MSNBC and Fox News, so maybe it’s just me.

    1. If you watch CNN, you’ve seen more than most of their on-air “talent”

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