Reason Roundup

U.S.–Saudi Coalition Paid Al Qaeda Militants to Scram, Let Them Keep Weapons, Then Declared Wins Against Extremism in Yemen: Reason Roundup

Plus: No segregated subway cars for white nationalists and a new law-and-order centered series from Dick Wolf

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Apparently, we do negotiate with terrorists. A U.S.-backed military coalition in Yemen has "cut secret deals with al-Qaeda fighters," according to an Associated Press (AP) investigation.

Throughout the past two years, the coalition—led by Saudi Arabia—"has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaeda militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West," the AP reports. "Here's what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot."

The "without firing a shot" part sounds good, until you realize how they got these guys to leave key places in Yemen—places publicly portrayed by U.S. authorities as dangerous strongholds of extremists from whom the we needed to wrest control and free the inhabitants. According to the AP, the coalition simply paid some al-Qaeda fighters to leave. Others were allowed to take cash and weapons with them in exchange for leaving peacefully, while hundreds more were admitted into the Saudi-led coalition.

Terrorism analyst Michael Horton tells AP there was "much angst" in certain segments of the U.S. military about this, but that "supporting the UAE [United Arab Emirates] and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against what the U.S. views as Iranian expansionism takes priority over battling [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] and even stabilizing Yemen." UAE and Saudi pledges to fight Al Qaeda are mostly "a farce," Horton adds. In fact, the AP found that the coalition actively recruited current or recent Al Qaeda fighters because they were good at what they did.

American Enterprise Institute Research Fellow Katherine Zimmerman tells the AP that "in some places, it looks like we're looking the other way" when it comes to Al Qaeda.

Last week, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the U.N. Security Council that the U.S. government is beginning to grow concerned over our allies' actions in Yemen. "The idea that a Saudi-led coalition had air strikes today against a fish market and a hospital in Hodeida that may have caused dozens of casualties," said Haley. "The idea that strikes almost hit some of the water tanks, with the cholera outbreak, all of these things are starting to show a disregard for the people on the ground in a time when they are already suffering so much." Haley suggested that "we've hit a new day now" in terms of U.S. policy there. We'll see.

The AP notes that Washington has sent billions of dollars' worth of weapons to the coalition, has given the coaliton "intelligence used in targeting on-the-ground adversaries in Yemen," and has provided American jets for air-to-air war-plane refueling. We don't directly give money to the coalition, which was launched in 2015.

Amid the chaos, Al Qaeda is gaining ground. "[A]l-Qaeda says its numbers—which U.S. officials have estimated at 6,000 to 8,000 members—are rising," AP reports. "An al-Qaeda commander who helps organize deployments told the AP that the front lines against the Houthis provide fertile ground to recruit new members."

Meanwhile, everyone's declaring mission accomplished left and right.

In February, Emirati troops and their Yemeni militia allies flashed victory signs to TV cameras as they declared the recapture of al-Said, a district of villages running through the mountainous province of Shabwa—an area al-Qaeda had largely dominated for nearly three years. It was painted as a crowning victory in a months-long offensive, Operation Swift Sword, that the Emirati ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, had proclaimed would "disrupt the terrorist organization's network and degrade its ability to conduct future attacks."

But weeks before those forces' entry, a string of pickup trucks mounted with machine guns and loaded with masked al-Qaeda militants drove out of al-Said unmolested, according to a tribal mediator involved in the deal for their withdrawal.

Under the terms of the deal, the coalition promised al-Qaeda members it would pay them to leave, according to Awad al-Dahboul, the province's security chief. His account was confirmed by the mediator and two Yemeni government officials. Al-Dahboul said about 200 al-Qaeda members received payments.

The earliest such deal that the AP uncovered took place in 2016 and involved Mukalla, Yemen's fifth-largest city and a major port:

The militants were guaranteed a safe route out and allowed to keep weapons and cash looted from the city—up to $100 million by some estimates—according to five sources, including military, security and government officials….Coalition-backed forces moved in two days later, announcing that hundreds of militants were killed and hailing the capture as "part of joint international efforts to defeat the terrorist organizations in Yemen."

No witnesses reported militants killed, however. "We woke up one day and al-Qaeda had vanished without a fight," a local journalist said, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

In other Al Qaeda news: Osama bin Laden's mom spoke out for the first time last week:

Meanwhile Osama's son, Hamza bin Laden, "has married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in the 9/11 terror attacks," The Guardian reports.

FREE MINDS

No segregated subway cars for white nationalists. "Metro will not be providing a special train or special car for anyone next Sunday," said Jack Evans, chair of the Washington, D.C., public transit board. Metro had originally floated the idea of setting up separate trains for protesters attending an upcoming "unite the Right" protest in Washington, D.C. The rally is organized by the same group responsible for the white nationalist tiki-torch mafia that took to the streets of Charlottesville last summer.

FREE MARKETS

If you tax them, they will come?

Read more on the disasters of Trump's trade policies from Steve Chapman and Shikha Dalmia.

QUICK HITS

  • Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio appeared on Sacha Baron Cohen's show Who Is America? and talked to a plastic donut about giving President Trump a blowjob.
  • "Whom to believe—the accused liar, or the admitted one?" asks The Washington Post. A Virginia jury is scheduled to hear former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates testify against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, whom Gates had worked with independent of the campaign for many years.
  • Dick Wolf of Law & Order fame is launching a new CBS series titled FBI.
  • The actual FBI has released information on British agent Christopher Steele's pay for producing the infamous Trump-Russia dossier. "Because of the redactions, it is not possible to tell when payments to Steele began," notes NBC, "but it has previously been reported that he assisted the FBI with past investigations, including a probe of corruption in international soccer."

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  1. Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio appeared on Sacha Baron Cohen’s show Who Is America? and talked to a plastic donut about giving President Trump a blowjob.

    I’m now okay with that show.

    1. I… uh… wait… what?

  2. “but it has previously been reported that he assisted the FBI with past investigations, including a probe of corruption in international soccer.”

    Uh oh, no way the left believes Steele now after it used soccer instead of futbol.

    1. In Europe, they call it FIFA. Here, we call it FISA, right?

  3. Dick Wolf of Law & Order fame is launching a new CBS series titled FBI.

    “In the criminal justice system, the partisans are represented by the deep state…”

    1. Dick Wolf was my nickname in Oklahoma.

      1. I’m sure you believed in the deep state as well. The deeper the better.

  4. Metro had originally floated the idea of setting up separate trains for protesters attending an upcoming “unite the Right” protest in Washington, D.C.

    This is going to make it much more difficult for my prank event “Untie the Right” where we planned on boarding the white nationalist train and untie their boots and watch hilarity ensue.

    1. Proofreaders of the world untie!

      1. Did you take note of Bill Belicheck and Robert Kraft taking the time to show up and honor Randy Moss the other night in Canton?

        1. I assume the gathered in Canton showed appropriate appreciation.

          1. They did.

            Lots of props for Jerry Kramer! How about keeping alive those Lombardi catechisms like, “you don’t do the right thing once in a while, you do it every day?”

            #mostfamousblockinNFLhistory

            1. It’s criminal that Kramer wasn’t inducted ’till now.

              I read his book when I was just starting Junior High football. Totally inspiring, and full of useful tips, too.

  5. Metro had originally floated the idea of setting up separate trains for protesters attending an upcoming “unite the Right” protest in Washington, D.C.

    So suddenly people don’t deserve their safe spaces.

    1. If Antifa didn’t show up, is there any doubt at all that the Unite the Right thing would be entirely peaceful? Antifa is going to show up and start a riot in what would otherwise be a peaceful exercise of people’s 1st Amendment rights, but the media is going to tell us that Unite the Right are the violent ones.

      1. This morning’s AP report about the Portland event noted that “extreme right” groups, including some from “hate groups” had a rally and that the cops are now under investigation for injuring “counter protestors.” AP did mention “Democratic Socialists of Portland” but, of course, they aren’t a Hard Left or Extreme Left group.

        1. What’s the difference between a “democratic socialist” and a regular old “socialist”?

          In a standard socialist state, your executioner is appointed.

          In a democratic socialist state, you get to elect your executioner

          1. In a standard socialist state, the dictator plans the economy.

            In a democratic socialist state, Trump is elected and then gets to set the price of foreign goods unilaterally.

            1. I believe Trump prefers to refer to his economic position as corporatism. I’m kidding, he doesn’t know what that means.

              Let’s defend socialists now, though!

              1. I think the only real difference between corporatists and socialists is who the protected class is.

                1. I’m not going to defend corporatists or socialists, but many here will defend the latter.

                  1. And still, many here defend the former as well. Free-market absolutism is the only way to keep from picking winners and losers.

                    “Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it… gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.” – Milton Friedman

                2. According to the World Bank data on average tariff rates, the average tariff rates in 2016 were 1.7 for the USA, 5.0 in Zimbabwe, 10.0 in Venezuela, 2.0 in the UK, 2.7 in Turkey, 9.3 in Tunisia, 12.3 in St. Kitts and Nevis, 4.5 in South Africa, 9.0 in Senegal, 3.6 in Russia, 3.4 in the Philippines, 10.1 in Pakistan, and 11.3 in Nigeria.

                  Lower tariffs are better than higher tariffs, and I hope the trade war ends soon. However, Trump’s actions are just bad policy, not the signs of a new dictatorship. If our tariffs doubled from the 2016 baseline, they would be about the same as Russia’s and the Philippines’, and about half of the New Jersey sales tax. That’s well within the rage of meh.

                  1. The Philippines and Russia. Boy, those are successful countries I really want to see the US emulating!

        2. noted that “extreme right” groups,

          One need not be a far lefter to oppose Fascism/Nazism.

          1. Fascism: Jacksonian Democrats / American Progressives like Madison Grant and Margaret Sanger and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Woodrow Wilson from whom Benito Mussolini, FDR, Churchill, and Adolph Hitler borrowed and ensued by the likes of Robert Byrd, Orval Faubus, William Stennis, Huey Long, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James “Fibber Flapper” Clapper, Walter Mondale, Hubert Humphrey, Ted Kennedy, Mario Cuomo, et al.

            The state, nothing but the state, nothing outside of the state.

            1. “John Brennan, James “Fibber Flapper” Clapper”

              How dare you impugn these brave men of the #Resistance!

              1. The physiognomy of profligacy = John Brennan.

          2. Nazis are pretty far Left. Its only a hop from Socialism to Communism.

            1. The Nazis came to power as the moderate compromise between Capitalism and Communism.

      2. If Antifa didn’t show up then the Unite the Right crowd would be much smaller. If they can’t beat up on each other, what’s the point?

        1. Lefties beating up on Lefties. Who cares?

          1. Property owners stuck in the middle. But yeah if both groups decided to have one big final brawl in the Nevada desert, I wouldn’t care who won, lost or got killed; America would be better off all the same (plus think of the pay peer revenues!)

            1. *pay-per-view.

              Can’t blame auto–correct; just my plan carelessness.

            2. That was our foreign policy fighting the Russians during the Cold War, but with a different desert.

      3. A lack of Pantifa in particular might not do it, as there are no doubt people who object to them, possibly violently, who are not members of that organization.

        But yes, in general, I do not expect that they are the sort of marchers who, for instance, put bricks through Starbuck’s windows “just to make a point”. (Whatever that point may be.)

    2. More about left-statists effectively proposing a “Whites Only” car until someone not brain damaged pointed out the optics of that.

  6. GTFO STFO.

  7. “Whom to believe?the accused liar, or the admitted one?” asks The Washington Post.

    WELL SURELY NOT BEZOS.

  8. a new CBS series titled FBI.

    this should amuellerate the recent bad CBS public perception

    1. ameliorate

      1. i’ve seen it both ways

      2. It’s Melior time!

  9. Well, it just goes to show. Never let a broad tinker with page formatting.

    1. Wait, I thought they were dames now? I can’t keep up any more.

  10. “The idea that a Saudi-led coalition had air strikes today against a fish market and a hospital in Hodeida that may have caused dozens of casualties,” said Haley.

    “Why, the very IDEA!”

    “The idea that strikes almost hit some of the water tanks, with the cholera outbreak, all of these things are starting to show a disregard for the people on the ground in a time when they are already suffering so much.”

    Must be diplomat-speak.

    Haley suggested that “we’ve hit a new day now” in terms of U.S. policy there.

    Well, a Saudi-led coalition almost hit some of the water tanks.

  11. According to the AP, the coalition simply paid some al-Qaeda fighters to leave.

    The Saudis learned from the US State Department well.

  12. Trump Tariffs are working big time.

    Only idiots believe this lying piece of shit now.

    1. Hey Weigel, how is the problem acne?

      1. I’m confused. Is Longtorso just WCR/Simple Mikey with a habit for posting links, or is he an independent being with a similar Weigel obsession?

        1. Has anyone ever seen Mikey and Johnny together?

          1. …are you coming on to me?

            Because I mean, I do swing that way…

            1. Well, do you have…swing?

                1. Baby, you got it!

          2. Has anyone ever seen Mikey and Johnny together?

            Uhgggg. That was an image I did not want in my head.

        2. How did you and Weigel celebrate Block Yomomma Day on Saturday?

          1. They’re the only ones with dicks small enough to symetrically dock one another.

  13. Osama’s son, Hamza bin Laden, “has married the daughter of Mohammed Atta”

    The children are doomed.

  14. …it has previously been reported that he assisted the FBI with past investigations, including a probe of corruption in international soccer.

    How unAmerican can you get.

  15. “Apparently, we do negotiate with terrorists. A U.S.-backed military coalition in Yemen has “cut secret deals with al-Qaeda fighters,” according to an Associated Press (AP) investigation.”

    Serious question, was everyone just willingly ignoring what we were doing in Syria or is this in jest?

    1. So strange how ISIS withering away once the US decided that it no longer supported efforts to overthrow Assad

    2. Serious question: Can one willingly ignore what is classified?

      1. That depends. Is it on Hillary’s server or not?

    3. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/vide…..syria.html

      “I can’t believe we helped Putin by….not arming ISIS anymore?”

      1. “The thing that should make everyone feel sick is that people would rather support, directly and indirectly, al-Qaeda, than actually give up their regime change goals,” Gabbard added.

        “The thing that should make everyone feel sick is that this awful region of the planet has not been destroyed by an asteroid strike.”

        1. I wonder how awful the region would be if it wasn’t constantly under threat of invasion or bombings by the state powers that surround it

          1. States have fought over that land since there were states. You would never know.

        2. No matter what USA does, it will be blamed. To the Middle East people , we are “The Man” . Everything is our fault.
          The arabic caption (“Al Qaeda …made in America”) is all you need to know about the utility of interfering there.

          1. “Al Qaeda …made in America”

            I mean, that saying isn’t really all that inaccurate…

          2. Generally blame happens when you invade another country on false pretenses

        3. Oh, there’s a lot of neat stuff there too (if it hasn’t all been destroyed in the war or by fundamentalists). And regular people just trying to get by.

      2. She has a great handle on foreign policy, so naturally the next Democratic presidential nominee will be a lady communist who knows as much about foreign policy as she does about the constitution

    4. “Oh my God, we pay off terrorists?”

      – Totally legitimate newspaper guy who totally knows what he’s talking about and was just taking a really long nap for the past nine years

      Why don’t people trust them?

    5. Syria dropped off the front pages when accusations against Russia started. It was a choice between covering a 6 digit Arab death toll verse the Democrats loosing a bid for the White House. The top men in Cambridge have their priorities. The war ended within several days of Jordan closing its border. Once rebels realized that fleeing to Jordan was no longer an option, they brokered a deal.

  16. “Whom to believe?the accused liar, or the admitted one?” asks The Washington Post.

    “Who to believe?the accused grammarian, or the admitted one?”

  17. Let this sink in. Today, President @realDonaldTrump admitted his campaign colluded with Russia. He thinks you don’t care. He doesn’t know America. We care. And we will be heard. Stay tuned, comrade Trump.

    I must once again emphasize how important it is for all patriotic Americans to vote Democrat in the midterms. We need to create the biggest #BlueWave possible so a Democratic Congress can act on Mueller’s evidence and remove the Kremlin asset from the White House.

    #TrumpRussia
    #ItsMuellerTime
    #Resist

    1. how important it is for all patriotic Americans to vote Democrat in the midterms.

      What with all the meddling and hacking, isn’t it more important for patriotic Americans to *not* vote?

      1. Also, be very wary on Facebook or the Russian memes will brainwash you

        1. Hey … wait … is *that* a meme?!

          1. lap83 has been subverting democracy since last week. She keeps making sense and it’s endangering the Republic. This is not normal!

            1. Is it just me, or is the world slowly turning into a Firesign Theater bit?

              1. They were as prescient as anyone and more fun than most.
                Time for another round of Beat the Reaper!

          2. Notre nouvelle loi emp?che la cr?ation de memes m?me.

    2. #StillWithHim
      #InternsToo
      #Incest

    3. is there a hashtag to resist Resist?

      1. #ReResist

        1. Is that a double-negative? How ’bout #Sist?

          1. And someone who Sists is a … Sister?

  18. http://www.twitter.com/SyriaArchivist…..4992942081

    Alright, Russia fever dreams sure are spurring a healthy conversation. Oh wait, I meant, Russia fever dreams are being employed to help stifle dissent to the benefit of the pious intelligence community.

    Peter Van Buren, a one time dissident within the intelligence community and writer for The Nation and The American Conservative, gets banned by Twitter for stating the obvious: the news media loves promoting war and uncritically recites CIA talking points

    1. Does anyone have the tweets? Screen shots?

      1. Can’t link it. Scott Horton has a screenshot. Here’s what he wrote:

        “All journalists and others who are attacking me here for admitting I lied to their peers as a government official in Iraq, and that they accepted the lies, and I thus hold them in contempt, need to look into themselves. Ask why you don’t believe more govt officials lie to you?”

        He got banned over that

        1. To be fair, the abridged version of the First Amendment does only include the line “the corporate press can never be besmirched and must always be held in the highest regard and free speech is exclusively reserved for them”

        2. And now Scott Horton has been banned along with Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute. And many writers at antiwar.com

          I guess only “libertarians” that mouth CIA talking points are safe now. Congrats, Reason

          1. Note: Twitter banned them, not Reason.

  19. “We knew from the beginning [that it was Osama], within the first 48 hours. From the youngest to the eldest, we all felt ashamed of him.” Via @martinchulov in @guardian: https://t.co/Ua8NmQaXPS
    ? Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) August 4, 2018

    That porn stash Seal Team Six found didn’t help his standing in the family either.

  20. Main story: is this necessarily a bad thing?

    Yes, they’re asshole terrorists. But telling them “we pay you, you get out and fuck off”?well, it’s both probably more peaceful than fighting them, likely has a similar likelihood of success, and is probably cheaper. I can see downsides, but I don’t think this is necessarily the worst option (or that it has to be a bad one).

    1. They’re getting paid by the Saudis either way. And we’re paying them off at the behest of the Saudis. So either way, they get paid. LOL- nothing matters

      1. Your cynicism makes me a sad panda.

        1. Here, let me put on my totally well informed newspaper man persona:

          “Oh my God, we pay off terrorists now? This is not normal. A threat to the Republic!”

          1. Often times, we train, feed, supply and cloth them too.

            1. “Both sides now”
              OMG, pop music really is evil!

    2. Yes, they’re asshole terrorists. But telling them “we pay you, you get out and fuck off”?well, it’s both probably more peaceful than fighting them, likely has a similar likelihood of success, and is probably cheaper.

      Especially when, as the article indicates the “good side” that we’re on is, at least superficially anyway, bombing civilian targets and flirting with infrastructure and infectious disease attacks.

  21. Saudi Arabia is widely recognized as an extremist Muslim country preaching hatred of non-Saudi Muslim theology. Yet when push comes to shove, ie, when they want petro dollars and when Kuwait is invaded by relative infidels, they soften their stance enough to ask an infidel pal, George H. W. Bush, to rescue them, thus losing their street cred and fostering the birth of the new extremists on the block, Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

    The Taliban eventually gets in bed with the infidel, selling out Al Qaeda, and taking lost of money from the infidel.

    Al Qaeda eventually is seen as selling out to the infidels, creating an opportunity for ISIS as the new extremists on the block.

    On and on it goes.

    1. Al Qaeda was openly receiving funds from the US during the Afghan-Soviet War and our intelligence community was pretty openly funding and training ISIS.

      They don’t lose street cred over that. They’re all just a bunch of rival gangs. Ideology is only nominally important. Our intelligence community is just another gang in that neck of the woods.

      1. Al Qaeda didn’t exist during the US Sr-Afghan war.

        True, we supplied weapons and training and scores of Mujahideen later used those weapons and training to build AL Qaeda, but international politics is all about shifting alliances. We worked with Stalin among others when necessary, this was no different.

    2. The awful truth that I think most of us instinctively know deep down inside but almost nobody will openly admit because we’re ashamed of it is this: we’re Saudi Arabia’s bitches, and apparently we can’t or won’t do anything about it.

      Many of our country’s biggest secrets and coverups seem to revolve around the Saudis. Their government’s direct involvement in 9/11 and their shadowy role in Stephen Paddock’s Las Vegas massacre, just to name two examples.

      1. but almost nobody will openly admit because we’re ashamed of it is this: we’re Saudi Arabia’s bitches,

        Actually, there’s an entire genre of movies … never mind. You don’t want to know.

      2. their shadowy role in Stephen Paddock’s Las Vegas massacre

        Is there any actual evidence for this?

    3. Is this like when we stop crime before it starts by funding midnight basketball?

    4. Yeah… Why did we get involved in the Iraq – Kuwait conflict? Seriously, why was it any of our problem?

      1. Because George H.W. Bush owed a debt of gratitude to the Saudis for throwing contracts at his son?

  22. http://www.twitter.com/Mediaite/statu…..3515441152

    This is different for reasons.

    As if a black comedian could ever relate to the brutal oppression experienced by an Asian woman who attended Harvard Law and now will work for the New York Times Editorial Board.

    1. It’s pretty clear that the whole deal with Sarah Jeong isn’t the question of racism, but that liberal elite institutions, their mass-media organs, and leftists in general, have confirmed their adherence to the “tribalism is bad except when we do it” argument. “Racism” is just window-dressing–it’s really about the struggle over who controls the country and its resources, and in a multicultural world, those who successfully carry out the “tribalism is bad except when we do it” argument are going to be the ones to carry the day.

      Ethnocentrism/tribalism isn’t just a winning strategy in a multi-cultural environment, it’s THE winning strategy because it will ruthlessly exploit the altruism of those using humanitarian and traitor strategies to ultimately devour anyone who doesn’t fit in with their particular group (see: Native Americans over the last 400 years). The goofs who pompously go on about MUH PRINCIPLES aren’t just wrong in this environment, they’re actively dangerous because they’re arguing that martyrdom is preferable to self-preservation (probably because they think their efforts to reach across to people who have marked them as sworn enemies won’t result in them getting thrown the proverbial lions).

  23. “We knew from the beginning [that it was Osama], within the first 48 hours. From the youngest to the eldest, we all felt ashamed of him.”

    Lady, I don’t believe you for one damn second. And if this is supposed to be your way of apologizing, it’s way too late, and I don’t accept it.

  24. http://www.twitter.com/ggreenwald/sta…..4268168192

    “When will Putin puppet Glenn Greenwald be banned from Twitter for his threats to democracy?”

    – totally legit “journalist”

    1. That goddamn Irish banshee Samantha Power is the epitome of neoliberal warmonger hypocrisy–it was her influence that got us involved in the Libya conflict, and I’d be shocked if she wasn’t pimping for us to get involved in the overthrow of the Egyptian, Syrian, Yemeni, and Tunisian governments as well.

  25. Too bad Mueller was not looking into foreign nations sinking money into propaganda and protesting to undermine Trump’s pro-American policies.

    He would have actually found something by now.

  26. Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio appeared on Sacha Baron Cohen’s show Who Is America? and talked to a plastic donut about giving President Trump a blowjob.

    To be fair, Arpaio would have given Trump a blowjob even without the plastic donut.

  27. Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio appeared on Sacha Baron Cohen’s show Who Is America? and talked to a plastic donut about giving President Trump a blowjob.

    How to make sure you never get a blowjob.

    Step 1: Tell people how much you like the comedy show that mocked a political opponent by making him describe giving a blowjob.

  28. Gotta love a “libertarian” pushing that phrasing of the metro bit. Every last leftist media talking point to make it explicit that the “good guys” are the communists showing up in masks with weapons to stifle the speech of others through violence.

    Go ENB, no seriously…go.

    1. Woketarianism is a hell of a drug

    2. One of the few downsides to the ongoing slow death of the old liberal media is that scumbags like Lizzie the Lezzie can no longer get jobs very easily in the outlets where they belong.

  29. There are only a handful of options when we’re talking about resisting our expansionary enemies–be they the USSR, the Nazis, Japan, or Iran.

    1) Invasion.

    We’ve invaded China, Vietnam, South Korea, Iraq, Europe and others under this option. It’s expensive in terms of treasure and American causalities–and leaving afterwards is practically impossible. That option is best avoided for those reasons, but neocons like it because we can avoid the appearance of collaborating with dictators.

    2) Proxy Wars

    Did this all over the world during the Cold War. Requires us to shake hands, sometimes, with whomever will fight our enemies. E.g., we end up supporting the apartheid South Africans because they’re fighting against the Cubans in Angola. Better in terms of treasure, American casualties, and the lack of long term commitments.

    3) Isolationism

    We pull our pants down, bend over, spread out cheeks, and ask the Iranians not to screw us because of the NAP. It’s effectiveness against state sponsors of terror with a nuclear and ICBM program is questionable.

    I should add, there’s a fourth strategy that isn’t an alternative to the others but rather complimentary–and that’s financial devastation of the enemy through sanctions. Those of you who oppose options 1) and 2) should account for yourselves if you also oppose Trump reimposing sanctions against Iran. Trump draining Iran’s treasury may be the most effective means to stop their proxy wars in Syria and Yemen.

    1. Well said, and it may be working. I’ve read reports of new protests in Iran in response to the sanctions starting again.

    2. Good grief Ken.

      Sanctions? Everyone knows those are bullshit and don’t work. The little people suffer and the power elite have a constant bogeyman they can blame and rile up the people. Sanctions typically accomplish literally the exact opposite of the stated intentions.

      The best way to devastate the enemy financially is to freely trade with them. Once all the young people there are hooked on instagram and levi’s and listening to Demi Lovato and Drake with a four loko in their hand, THAT’s when you’ve won.

      1. “Sanctions? Everyone knows those are bullshit and don’t work.”

        If you made it out of a freshman composition or philosophy class and still write sentences like that (and believe them), then you should sue your former professors.

        Oh, and in addition, the sanctions against Iran did work. The only question is what they work to do.

        If you think the sanctions against Iran didn’t work to drive Iran to the negotiating table last time over their nuclear program, then you’re factually incorrect. Because Barack Obama gave away the farm in exchange for magic beans doesn’t mean that the sanctions didn’t work to drive Iran to the negotiating table.

        If you think lifting the sanctions didn’t make it easier for Iran finance proxy wars against the Saudis in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere, then you’re wrong about that, too. If you think reimposing sanctions against isn’t making it harder for Iran to finance proxy wars in other countries, you’re also wrong.

        It’s important to recognize when you’re wrong, and right now, you’re wrong about everything. Feel the wrongness. Learn from it.

  30. Alex Jones’s podcast has been removed from iTunes.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ap…..533538681?

    If I’m not mistaken, that means he’s been ostracized now by Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube, and now iTunes–all in the past week or so.

    I believe in freedom of association, but this may be more complicated than that. Alex Jones invested considerable time, money and resources into these companies’ platforms to their benefit–maybe even before they changed their terms of service so as to make his old content unacceptable. No need for congress to get involved, but he may have some legitimate arguments for breech of contract in civil court. He might even be the subject of collusion if theses companies have discussed him among themselves.

    Regardless, Alex Jones is a canary in the coal mine. Freedom means the freedom to be stupid, awful, and wrong, and our society has become less tolerant if it can no longer tolerate the likes of Alex Jones. We used to tolerate much worse. I suppose the irony is that YouTube still tolerates much worse.

    Do you know what this is about?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr9KRAMydf0

    Safe enough for MTV back in the day, but NSFW today.

    America needs rude, obnoxious, vile, wrong, and transgressive content–now more than ever. You can’t be tolerant without something awful to tolerate.

    1. Scott Horton and Daniel McAdams with the Ron Paul Institute have also been purged. Along with Peter Van Buren.

      Looks like while everyone is discussing Alex Jones being purged, they’ve taken the opportunity to purge most anti-war voices

      1. When I was a kid, we used to talk about how you can’t really trust the left on things like free speech–because anyone who isn’t really committed to property rights doesn’t have a firm foundation upon which to stand up for things like free speech.

        Why would we depend on somebody to defend our self-ownership when they don’t really believe in property?

        All that is borne out by experience now.

        The ACLU isn’t even about free speech now.

        1. Not to worry, I’m sure there will be a Reason article today informing us that Scott Horton was actually “alt-right” who was spreading hate speech against our brave intelligence community, so we shouldn’t concern ourselves with him being banned

          1. They seem to be ignoring the whole thing.

    2. That is one dark song.

      Reminds me of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.

    3. It costs about $50 per year to host a website. If your value as an artist on social media gets above $100 per year, it’s time to mirror your content on your own website.

      1. $50 seems a tad low…but I agree. If you make money from your content, why would you want someone else to have control over it?

      2. The conversation is happening on social media. Podcasts are being distributed on iTunes.

        These voices can be squeezed out of the conversation entirely by a handful of companies, and while maybe that should be perfectly legal–it is not desirable from this libertarian’s perspective.

        It’s like how I feel about immigration. Just because I support congress’ proper place in setting the rules for immigration, that doesn’t mean I like the rules or have to shut up about the open borders policies I want. Likewise, I don’t have to pretend that a handful of companies determining which voices get heard and who gets to have a voice is a good thing.

        1. The conversation is happening on social media. Podcasts are being distributed on iTunes.

          I’ve downloaded thousands of podcasts, and never once used iTunes.

          Your point is simply a sheltered opinion, not reality.

          1. Because you can get your podcasts from elsewhere doesn’t mean that’s what most people do,

            If iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon stop hosting your podcast, your voice has largely been eliminated from the conversation.

            And that’s not my personal opinion. It’s statistics.

            http://www.statista.com/statis…..in-the-us/

      3. I think part of the problem here is the absence of price signals. Podcasts, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. aren’t paid for by the people who consume them. It’s not like selling records or renting out vhs tapes. I think the content providers have more leeway to discriminate against lesser voices in such a system.

        From a content perspective, think of the difference between old broadcast TV and HBO. Once people start paying for content, content providers start paying closer attention to price signals and what the audience wants. Otherwise, it’s all about what the advertisers want–content that doesn’t offend anybody and is as inclusive of as broad an audience as possible. That’s why broadcast TV sucks and HBO’s content doesn’t.

        It’s the same with Twitter, podcasts, YouTube, Facebook, Hit & Run, etc. Because we don’t pay for content, they give us whatever thin gruel they want us to eat.

        Yeah, you can start your own website to do what you want (Hi Glibs!), host your own files, etc. but the conversation is happening elsewhere.

  31. According to the AP, the coalition simply paid some al-Qaeda fighters to leave. Others were allowed to take cash and weapons with them in exchange for leaving peacefully, while hundreds more were admitted into the Saudi-led coalition.

    Next y’all will probably be calling for tariffs to prevent ‘muricans from spending their tax dollars on staving off or resolving conflicts without putting boots on the ground and/or firing shots.

  32. So, anyone bought their $250,000 “Apollo 7 sponsorship” to the big party yet?

  33. http://medium.com/@therealsexy…..4a32fda9b5

    Sarah Jeong is quite a piece of work.

    1. I hope the republicans prominently feature her material in their campaigns, just to let people know that this is what the other side really thinks of you.

    2. It really confirms what an amoral striver she is. This is what happens when you throw a minority immigrant child into a school system that openly and gleefully denigrates the country’s history and a certain class of people (in the case of the US, white men, and white people in general). Rather than growing their understanding of a complex past and society, it just breeds resentment, increases feelings of alienation within the host country, and inculcates a desire to see the system that you’re benefitting from destroyed.

      1. The word sociopath gets thrown around way too liberally. But, it is probably pretty appropriate in describing Jeong. The way she did so much harm to that woman and then so casually rationalized it and lied about there not being an agreement is something that really only someone pretty dead inside could do.

    3. Vice has become such utter crap. It’s possible they always were, but now that they’re full HollyWoke, they’re just awful as shit.

    4. I’m not sure what happened here. It looks like the Vice reporter asked a question privately, and said he’d understand if she didn’t want to talk about it. Then, she went public on Twitter about it before the article even came out, basically a self-outing?

      Then she doxxed the editor, which is explicitly against the Patreon TOS. It wasn’t because Vice has lawyers that her account was terminated, it’s because Patreon doesn’t allow doxxing.

      1. I typically don’t read Vice. I’ve heard too many bad things about how they treat their freelancers, and my wife is a freelance writer.

      2. The point was about what an execrable piece of shit Jeong is. Try to keep up, Goofy.

        1. She is a racist and Chandler loves racists

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