Reason Roundup

Supreme Court to Consider Tree Frogs, Liquor Licensing, Criminals With Dementia, and More This Fall: Reason Roundup

Plus: The Justice Department goes after "net neutrality" in California and SNL takes on Brett Kavanaugh.

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John Pendygraft/ZUMA Press/Newscom

As the open spot on their team devours U.S. news, politics, and culture whole, the eight existing justices of the Supreme Court return to work today for the start of a new legal year and a return to 43 pending cases. This month, justices will hear arguments in 11 cases. The issues involved include whether smaller government employers can be guilty of age discrimination; how to treat convicted criminals whose dementia has left them with no memory of their crimes; and what happens when Homeland Security forgets to detain "criminal aliens."

You can see a full list here of the cases slated to come before the court in October and November.

To kick things off today, SCOTUS will ponder the plight of a Florida tree frog in Weyerhauser Co. v. Fish and Wildlife Service. The case, explains Constitution Daily, "is about the federal government's power to prevent tree-cutting on 1,500 acres of land that could be home to an endangered species, the dusky gopher frog"; it "involves important principles of environmental and property law."

Or, as our Reason headline puts it: "Should Dried Up Tree Frog Sex Ponds Limit Property Rights?"

A few notable cases have not yet had a date set for argument. Among them:

  • Apple Inc. v. Pepper, which looks at "whether consumers may sue anyone who delivers goods to them for antitrust damages, even when they seek damages based on prices set by third parties who would be the immediate victims of the alleged offense" (via SCOTUSblog);
  • Timbs v. Indiana, which considers "whether the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause is incorporated against the states under the Fourteenth Amendment";
  • Nieves v. Bartlett, which is related to probable cause, retaliatory arrest, and the First Amendment; and
  • Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Byrd, which looks at state regulation of retail or wholesale liquor licenses.

The court "has not yet added any blockbuster cases to its nine-month calendar," notes Axios. But the pending cases include some with "major ramifications, and a confirmation of Trump's nominee would solidify a conservative majority and ultimately hand Republicans major wins." And should Trump's embattled first pick, Brett Kavanaugh, fail to be confirmed, we could have to wait well past this November's midterm elections for the next nominee.

If Republicans fail to hold the Senate, Axios' sources claim, Trump may stall for years on nominating someone new. This would leave the Court to decide cases with four liberal-leaning justices and four conservative-leaning justices.

FOLLOW UP

"I was the proudest, drunkest virgin you have ever seen…" In its recent season premiere, Saturday Night Live tackled Brett Kavanaugh's Friday testimony before the U.S. Senate. Kate McKinnon's impression of Lindsey Graham alone makes the clip worth it, but Matt Damon isn't half bad as the judge either.

Were but that the only Kavanaugh-confirmation circus development of note in the past few days! Instead, the weekend brought a barrage of new statements from Kavanaugh friends and foes—"when Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive," one former Yale classmate said—and updates on the FBI's investigative efforts.

Meanwhile, outside the most conservative circles, the lastest commentary on Kavanaugh has largely coalesced around the idea that even if he isn't guilty of sexual assault, his stalling, haughty, conspiratorial, and non-sequitur- and falsehood-filled performance last week presents its own case for canceling Kavanaugh's ascendance.

FREE MARKETS

Washington takes aim at state "net neutrality." The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit yesterday to stop the State of California's new "net neutrality" law, which was ostensibly passed to prevent internet traffic discrimination.

"States do not regulate interstate commerce—the federal government does," Jeff Sessions declared in a statement. "Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy."

In other California and markets news, a measure Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law over the weekend attempts to regulate the sex and gender makeup of corporate boards.

QUICK HITS

NEXT: This Florida Ballot Measure Is the Only Shot at Relief for Inmates Serving Draconian Sentences

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  1. As the open spot on their team devours U.S. news, politics, and culture whole…

    No, I think we’re all tired of it.

    1. Hello.

    2. I spent my weekend focusing on (and ultimately being devastated by) college football, and I am happy to report not a whiff of anything Kavanaugh-related.

      1. I envy you. I saw a few major relationships get dumpster fired because of this crap.

        1. Any interesting summaries you care to share?

        2. That’s sad. Politics have no place in personal relationships.

        3. Wtf?

          Have people become that retardedly stupid?

        4. My liberal sister-in-law and her son got into it on Facebook over the weekend.

          She posted an editorial cartoon showing Lady Liberty being held down and groped by Senate Republicans while making the outlandish claim that they supported rape.

          Her teenage son innocently asked why they would support rape and hoo boy she responded with an long, angry lecture which was even less measured, restrained, and rational than her original comment.

          Liberals: publicly berating their offspring on social media to own the cons.

      2. Devastated? I’ll assume you mean getting blitzed in the celebratory aftermath of our win over Penn State.

  2. This would leave the Court to decide cases with four liberal-leaning justices and four conservative-leaning justices.

    Wait a minute. There are justices on the court with biases?

  3. …”when Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive,” one former Yale classmate said?and updates on the FBI’s investigative efforts.

    No one wants a mean drunk on the bench.

    1. Eyeing little girls with bad intent.

      1. Excellent

      2. “Watching as the frilly panties run.”

        That song is kind of disturbing.

        1. Where’s my flute when I need it.

          1. this one time at band camp…

    2. Movie idea starring Bill Bob Thornton:

      Bad Judge.

      1. Billy Bob would make an excellent judge.

    3. Congress actually impeached and removed a judge from the bench for being drunk…on the bench, that is:

      “That whereas for the due, faithful, and impartial administration of justice, temperance and sobriety are essential qualities in the character of a judge, yet the said John Pickering, being a man of loose morals and intemperate habits, on the 11th and 12th days of November, in the year 1802, being then judge of the district court in and for the district of New Hampshire, did appear on the bench of the said court for the administration of justice in a state of total intoxication, produced by the free and intemperate use of intoxicating liquors?”

      They could tell Pickering was wasted because he kept babbling about penumbras and emanations.

  4. how to treat convicted criminals whose dementia has left them with no memory of their crimes

    Memory-implanting psychotherapy sessions? Week-long FBI investigations?

  5. …the lastest commentary on Kavanaugh has largely coalesced around the idea that even if he isn’t guilty of sexual assault, his stalling, haughty, conspiratorial, and non-sequitur- and falsehood-filled performance last week presents its own case for canceling Kavanaugh’s ascendance.

    I didn’t know we were putting attorneys on the bench!

    1. Doesnt he have 12 years on the federal bench that might be more helpful in determining his temperament when handling cases?

  6. The North American Free Trade Agreement is probably safe after all.

    the Con Man renamed it and declared it the greatest trade agreement of all time.

    1. There was going to be a TRADE WAR!! Yeah not so much. He just made fools of idiots like you once again.

      1. He has accomplished nothing, you moron. Except for bailing out farmers he fucked over and hurting hundreds other US businesses.

        Was it a catastrophe like the Bushpig’s 2008 financial collapse? No one said it would be.

        1. Haha! Shreek was wrong and john pointed it out and now shreek is upset!!

          Look at him cry!

        2. He has a 4% growth rate that the chocolate Jesus said was impossible. He has accomplished a lot.

          1. Liar. That 4.1% GDP last quarter would have been only the fifth best of the Obama years.

            1. Obama never achieved a yearly growth rate in 8 years even close to what Trump is achieving this year. It is not just this quarter.

            2. Sarah Palin’s Buttplug|10.1.18 @ 10:01AM|#
              “Liar. That 4.1% GDP last quarter would have been only the fifth best of the Obama years.”

              You have been called on this bullshit many times, you cherry-picking piece of shit.
              Obo started from the worst economy (thanks, congress!) in 50 years; if he’d have done nothing, it would have improved more rapidly than it did under his pathetic ‘management’.
              And you keep repeating how great he was as a result.
              Crawl back under that rock, scumbag.

            3. From Politifact

              “Speaking at an event in Chicago earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., was talking tax policy and the economy when he pointed to lackluster economic growth that occurred under former President Barack Obama.

              “The past (Obama) administration was the first administration that never had a whole year of 3 percent growth,” Roskam said during a March 6 speech at the City Club of Chicago…

              We rate Roskam’s claim Mostly True

              Trump is Title IXing Obama.

          2. Actually, if you pay attention to Mr. Buttplug’s frequent economic links, you’d know the Drumpf economy is bad. Don’t forget, Sam’s Club closed a bunch of stores, which is a clear indication we’re currently in the global recession experts predicted.

            1. The economy is terrible, wages are rising, unemployment is down, labor force participation is up. It is just brutal out there.

        3. Sarah Palin’s Buttplug|10.1.18 @ 9:41AM|#
          “He has accomplished nothing, you moron…”

          1) DeVos
          2) Gorsuch
          3) Ajit Pai, end net price fixing
          4) Major reduction in the growth of regulations
          5) Dow +30%
          6) Unemployment at 3.8%
          7) The US Manufacturing Index soared to a 33 year high
          8) Got repeal of the national medical insurance mandate.
          9) Withdrawal from Paris climate agreement.
          10) Not sure about the tax reform; any “reform” that leaves me subisdizing Musk’s customers is not what I hoped for. Let Musk run a company for once.
          11) In the waning days of 2017, the Trump administration pulled its support for the $13 billion Hudson Tunnel project.
          12) More than 16,000 jobs have been cut from the federal leviathan
          13) MIGHT have a deal to de-nuke NK.
          And finally:
          14) Still making lefties steppin and fetchin like their pants is on fire and their asses are catchin’

          As opposed to:
          1) O-care

          1. Nice list, thank you. Not the Trump should necessarily get credit for everything, but why not since he will certainly be blamed for anything.

            Democrats/liberals/progressives just plain hate the fact that enough people [sure, cue in “but she won the popular vote in California!]” voted for him to thwart the wicked witch. And truthfully, other than the poor behavior of left wing assholes, it hasn’t been so bad.

            Now let’s add Kavanaugh to that list of accomplishments. And then Barrett for Ginsburg. That’s settle their hash all right. If Republicans hang onto their majorities post mid term, and something like that happens, it will certainly be interesting to see if they try a violent overthrow. Might even accomplish what the Civil War didn’t.

            1. “Not the Trump should necessarily get credit for everything, but why not since he will certainly be blamed for anything.”

              You can make the point especially regarding the economy; any POTUS has, at best, an indirect effect on that. But the revealed preferences of the market and the economy in general says his indirect effects are certainly not hurting.
              BTW, I didn’t vote for the guy, and once he won, the best I was hoping for was making sure that miserable hag didn’t appoint a SC justice in her image.
              Trump certainly makes you cringe, but he’s done better than any POTUS in my memory.

          2. More than 16,000 jobs have been cut from the federal leviathan

            Really?

  7. I see Reason dropped in Welch defending Flake as the “vital Libertarian center” on a Sunday night. Looks even reason realizes how embarassing a claim that is.

    If Flake were refusing to vote for Kavanaugh for a valid reason like he objected to Kavanaugh’s views of the 4th Amendment or his connection to the Bush Administration’s domestic spying and torture, he would be a “vital Libertarian center’. But that is not what he is doing. He is objecting to Kavanaugh based on a transparently false claim of sexual assault from 40 years ago and in doing so is walking away from any principles of fairness and justice towards those accused of such acts. That is nothing nothing “libertarian” about that. To say there is is a new low for Reason.

    1. Giving up “innocent until proven guilty” in the service of a Democratic party that wants to turn this country into Venezuela = Free Minds and Free Markets.

      Hey immigration extremists, nobody is immigrating into Venezuela. Everyone who can is leaving. If you want immigrants, don’t destroy the economy that attracts them.

    2. Flake decided to be king-maker for a day or two.

      1. Flake’s performance last week was the worst type of Washington Kabuki theater. He was always going to vote for Kavanaugh; he just wanted to portray himself as the Serious Moderate Willing to Cross The Aisle.

        And the Media, including Reason, lapped it up.

        When the FBI investigation shows no smoking gun, Flake will vote to confirm Kavanaugh. He will express a few reservations, and then blather on about the evils of partisanship, but in the end he will join the party.

        For Flake this is all about 2020 election, nothing more.

    1. “Trending”?

  8. The American Civil Liberties Union officially opposes Kavanaugh’s nomination.

    As much as they oppose a certain civil liberty?

    1. I am shocked anyone was dumb enough they felt they had to say it outloud. Democrats really must be slow learners some of them.

      1. Constituents, however, sometimes don’t get subtly.

        1. …subtle subtleties. Let’s go with that.

  9. We Are Finally Getting Rid Of The Treacherous Sissies Who Used To Control The GOP
    That simpering sap Jeff Flake ? he’s the kind of guy who voted for Evan McMullin and still doesn’t regret it. It’s sad to see what was once allegedly a man be utterly emasculated in public and then proceed to dance to please his new masters. He ought to be, and henceforth shall be, known as Jeff! since he’s essentially Jeb! without the pedigree or ? here’s the scary part ? the spine. Yeah Jeff!, you’ll get your one-shot 60 Minutes tongue bath, and there’s probably a 3:00 a.m. Sunday MSNBC program in it for you, wedged between reruns of Lockup. A hosting gig for a crappy show on a doofus network is today’s equivalent of 30 pieces of silver.

    The conservagimps want to claim that the Republicans are now the Party of Trump, but that’s a self-serving narrative designed to obscure the fact that they brought their downfall upon themselves through their legacy of failure in the fight against progressivism. Donald Trump is the avatar of the Militant Normals. None of the establishment was fighting for their rights and their interests, so they found someone who would and would not apologize for doing so.

    1. My respect level for Kavanaugh went up substantially when he showed that he wasn’t going to back down without a serious fight, and when he pretty much called his lefty enemies the lowlife scumbags that they are.

  10. FOSTA “provides another tool for silencing people you dislike.”

    Which those constitutional oath-takers on Capitol Hill have no problem with.

    1. FOSTA “provides another tool for silencing people you dislike.”

      Well, isn’t the full name “Victims Interested in Negating Criminal Elements to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act”?

      1. I laughed.

  11. @SteveSGoddard
    “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage …. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

    – Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber

    @SteveSGoddard
    “One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. …. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy.”
    – Ottmar Edenhofer IPCC co-chair

  12. States do not regulate interstate commerce?the federal government does…

    Or the whole of intrastate commerce, for that matter.

  13. #MeToo

    ASIA ARGENTO
    ANGER’S ALL THAT KEPT ME ALIVE
    After Bourdain’s Suicide

    Asia Argento is breaking her silence on Anthony Bourdain’s suicide ? saying his death left a hole that can’t be filled, and anger was the only thing that kept her from taking her own life.

    Tears streamed down Asia’s face as she revealed her initial reaction to her boyfriend’s death was anger. Anger because she felt he was “abandoning me, my kids.”

    1. Right. It’s all about her. His pain, anguish, suffering, death, none of that signifies in the face of “me, me, me.”
      God’s, what a cunt.

      1. The Kavanaugh hearing should have just been interviews of Ms Argento played on an endless loop.

      2. That’s a popular opinion about suicide on these boards. For example, John had the first comment on the Bourdain suicide thread in June:

        John|6.8.18 @ 10:38AM|#

        He left a wife and young daughter. Horrible act of selfishness. He was a smug New York Prog but he at least owned it and didn’t pretend life in his circles was anything approaching normal or morally superior to lives that do. That put him above pretty much all of his peers.

        1. And I stand by that. You don’t kill yourself when doing so leaves an 11 year old kid without a father. His daughter didn’t ask to be born or to have him as her father. Bourdaine made the choice to bring her into this world and he had the responsibility to be her father and not off himself because he couldn’t face the fact that is girlfriend was a whore.

          1. Bourdain didn’t bring her into the world; her mother did that.

            1. No Bourdaine did that. They were married and decided to have a child together. It was a mutual decision.

            2. It takes an especially stupid motherfucker to think what you think Cathy.

            3. He didn’t build that.

          2. Yeah, why wouldn’t you expect someone who is suicidal to have a rational debate with themselves… right?

            1. You can still hold them responsible for their selfishness, while understanding that they were in pain.

              1. Yeah. It was a horribly selfish thing to do.

                At the same time, I can’t imagine the anguish that would drive me to abandon my wife and daughters.

                1. At the same time, I can’t imagine the anguish that would drive me to abandon my wife and daughters.

                  Let’s keep in mind that Bourdain had actually abandoned his own marriage to go fool around with Argento.

              2. ^This

                1. Reply to Overt, not Bubba Jones, although I have no beef with his position either.

              3. My point is just that there one doesn’t generally arrive at the decision to kill oneself through rational introspection. Sure you can hold them responsible, as much as you can hold anyone with mental illness responsible to make rational decisions all the time.

            2. What Overt said. Being anguished and and irrational doesn’t excuse you from responsibility for your actions.

  14. Whether, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the same 20-employee minimum that applies to private employers also applies to political subdivisions of a state, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th Circuits have held, or whether the ADEA applies instead to all state political subdivisions of any size, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held in this case.

    Obviously the solution is to build up to a 5-4 Courts of Appeals split.

  15. new statements from Kavanaugh friends and foes?”when Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive,”

    instead of moving in the direction of understanding that eye witnesses, of even recent events, are unreliable, we are now caring about 20+ year-old memories of how a person was in alcohol-fueled situations.

    1. It is Kavanaugh who chose to move us in that direction. Up to now, the easiest basic defense for that sort of irrelevancy was ‘when I was young and stupid, I was often young and stupid. Now I have grown up.’

      I said it in the thread re his Fox interview – He’s chosen to present himself as a self-righteous virgin – despite his best HS friend publishing tales about his HS drunkenness, pledging to the Animal House frat in college, and sniffing panties (legally speaking) in his early career. That takes guts because it’s either true or it will explode craptacularly.

      1. “It is Kavanaugh who chose to move us in that direction.”

        You need to stop posting.

  16. “Meanwhile, outside the most conservative circles, the lastest commentary on Kavanaugh has largely coalesced around the idea that even if he isn’t guilty of sexual assault, his stalling, haughty, conspiratorial, and non-sequitur- and falsehood-filled performance last week presents its own case for canceling Kavanaugh’s ascendance.”

    By that you mean, among the other 50% of the public who opposed him in the first place, the inability to get him on Sexual Harassment charges has led them to center on a totally new reason to oppose him.

    Checking out that article, it is obviously clear that the writer was never going to support him in the first place, so I wonder why it is newsworthy that he was able to find yet another reason why Kav is unfit. I mean the author literally says, “However, while these aspects of Ford’s allegation might lead us to demand more proof, they in no way make it inconceivable. In fact, they’re exactly what we might expect if the allegation were true.”

    Get that? The fact that there is no actual evidence, is actually evidence that Ford’s allegations are true.

    1. “In fact, they’re exactly what we might expect if the allegation were true.”

      *** reads utterance slowly ***

      Beautiful.

    2. By that you mean, among the other 50% of the public who opposed him in the first place, the inability to get him on Sexual Harassment charges has led them to center on a totally new reason to oppose him.

      It’s NOT the other 50% – more like the other 70%. I opposed Kavanaugh from his nomination because he pretty clearly had no libertarian-leaning or individual-protecting philosophy but was basically just a very reliable Republican partisan judge. That is only an important thang to registered Republican voters (roughly 30% of registered voters). That criteria is intended to be a partisan nomination vote – not a judge who some Senate Dems might otherwise vote for.

      Nor does that opposition MEAN anything because even if one opposes Kavanaugh, Trump still gets to nominate the next judge on his list and one would presume whoever he nominates is mostly going to be a reliable partisan R vote.

      I DON’T actually believe Ford’s allegations happened the way she described (for reasons that weren’t addressed in the questions she was asked) – but Kavanaugh’s response was immature and embarrassing. All he really did was act like Trump would – and provide reasons why he will have to recuse himself from any case that has partisanship at its core.

      1. No one cares what you think you fucking retard.

        1. Thank you for remaining on hold. You are very special. A customer service rep will be with you shortly

          1. I just got off the phone with customer service. They agreed that you’re a fucking retard.

  17. the eight existing justices of the Supreme Court return to work today for the start of a new legal year and a return to 43 pending cases.

    we should just have 2 main justices. if they split 1-1, then we add 2 more justices and if its 2-2, then 2 more, and so on until there’s a majority. each president is allowed to replace a justice in the priority order with one somewhere else in the priority order. technically speaking, all adults are part of the queue. registering for the judicial queue replaces registration for the military draft. the government is granted authority to ensure that at no point in time is there an even number of adults in the country.

    there, done, what’s next?

    1. No. If learned justices can’t agree unanimously on what a law means, the law should be thrown out as too vague, and the case should be decided in favor of individual liberty.

      Seriously, if highly educated judges with years and years of experience disagree about what a law means, how can any lesser mortal be expected to understand the law well enough to comply with it?

  18. “when Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive,”

    “unlike me, who was often uncoordinated and forgetful.”

    1. The key is to just be drunk all the time. That way everyone thinks that’s just the way you are.

  19. Mitchell’s summary of Ford’s testimony is pretty devastating:

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/09/
    breaking-sex-crimes-prosecutor-rachel-mitchel
    -completely-exonerates-judge-kavanaugh-in-
    new-report/

    1. Why won’t people learn how the links work here?

      http://www.thegatewaypundit.co…..new-report

  20. My wife is a big fan of the Harry Potter movies and they had a marathon of them on some cable channel this weekend. For all of the flake Rowling gets from the Right, she actually does a really good job explaining how a bureacracy becomes a force of evil and how otherwise well meaning people rationalize beceoming a part of it. She also gives a great analogy to the plight of modern universities when the Ministry of Magic takes over Hogwarts. Delorus Umbrage is nothing but a magical SJW. And what does she do when she takes over the school? Bans teaching any traditional knowledge and replaces it with teaching politics leaving the students stupid and defensless, bans all student organizations, holds kangeroo courts for anyone thought to have committed wrong think. It amazes me that so many college kids grew up reading those books and somehow miss it happening in real life in front of them and seem to have learned no lessons from them.

    1. It’s different when they do it.

    2. Yep. The funny thing is that book 5 and on, really seem to get weighty in this matter. We go from the simple morality of the Harry Potter books to the more complex issues that young adults must grapple with. And it is not surprising that those books are a lot harder to get through- and the moral metaphors a lot more subtle than in the first 4 books. I think that is why these kids never got the hint. They either never made it through these last books, or just didn’t get the comparison.

      1. I think you could make the argument that Rowling does a better job explaining evil than Tolkien did. For all of the great things about Tolkien, his concept of evil is pretty primitive and unexplained. Middle Earth is a world of monsters, angels, and men. He never really explains why Orcs, for example, are so irredemibly evil and lack any kind of moral agency. He also never explains why the men from the South join Sarum. To me the most disapointing character of Tokien’s is Sauruman. He joins up with Sarum but Tolkien never really explains why an imortal being on par with bith Gandolf and Sarum would suddenly change sides other than “he thought Sarum was going to win and made the best of it”.

        1. Agree, I don’t think LOTR is great literature, as a feat of imagination it’s an astonishing achievement. It may be an ocean wide but the water is pretty shallow.

        2. If you want to find moral significance in LoTR, focus on good people’s *response* to evil.

          Sauron, Saruman, the Orcs, the Nazgul, are not what you’d call fully-developed characters. The important character studies are in the good guys, and in the people deciding whether to be good, bad or mad.

          1. I mean, here you have people faced with overwhelming evil such that, the more you know about it, the more hopeless it seems. So do you ignore the evil, sell out, go mad? Or do you use the Ring?

            I haven’t read the Harry Potter books, so I can’t say whether Rowling managed to be more profound than Tolkien. If she did, it didn’t show up in the movies, which I *have* seen.

          2. Even the responses of the good guys is a one dimensional and disapointing in many cases. What it is about Hobbits that makes them so impervious to the ring’s power? Moreover, what is the ring’s power? That is never really explained. He talks about it poisoning Golum’s mind but doesn’t really say what that means. He never explains just what the pull of the ring is and why it corrupts people so much other than the fact that it is ultimate power. Tolkien never really explains why the princes of Gondor were so wrong to want to take the ring and use it to destroy Sarum. And if they were wrong what about the ring made it so seductive. What is the thought process where a person rationalizes giving into this ultimate evil? Tolkien never explains that.

            1. He never explains just what the pull of the ring is and why it corrupts people so much other than the fact that it is ultimate power. Tolkien never really explains why the princes of Gondor were so wrong to want to take the ring and use it to destroy Sarum

              I think you explained it right there, though. The ring represents total, absolute power and what that does to corrupt good people both high and low, from Isilidur to Gollum, to even Frodo at the end. What Tolkien was trying to show was that desperate men will turn to things that will ultimately doom them in the end, and that’s why the princes shouldn’t take possession of the ring–because they would, like Isilidur, ultimately use it for their own selfish ends.

            2. “What it is about Hobbits that makes them so impervious to the ring’s power?”

              But they’re not all good – some of them joined collaborated with Saruman’s occupation government in the Shire. And Gollum himself was a hobbit.

              While there wasn’t a lot of technical detail about the Ring, the key points are that it was a vehicle both for Sauron’s power and for his evil, even when separated from its creator. And if you use the power you get the evil, too.

              Biblically, using the Ring against Sauron would be like using Beelebub to cast out Satan – not gonna work, however you slice it, it still comes out evil.

              1. Tolkien himself wasn’t fully comfortable with his Calvinist, inherently depraved Orcs. Compared to his other characters, Orcs are just video-game monsters.

            3. What the Ring’s power exactly is, is left largely to the imagination, but what the Ring’s danger is to those would use it for good is explained in Galadriel’s rant about setting up a Queen in place of the Dark Lord when Frodo offers her the Ring.

              It is explicitly saying that even with the best initial intentions, giving one person that kind of power is a danger in itself.

        3. Most of Tolkiens characters in LOTR that go to the bad have fallen through despair of one sort or another. Saruman, and Denethor despaired of defeating Sauron and of preserving the world as it was. That is part if the ending that even if good triumphs, the world is irrevocably changed.
          Frodo does too, at the end but had gotten far enough to be saved by Providence (Gandald says at one point that Gollum is still alive because he has some part still to play in the story for good or ill). Tolkien did not need to to explain the orcs in that story (LOTR is not the complete history of the universe he created), but the question apparently did bother him, since he did not believe a creature could be irredeemably evil.

          1. I do think he believed that the orcs could be redeemed, considering their origin as elves who had been corrupted. Tolkien’s Catholicism wouldn’t allow him to create a creature who couldn’t ultimately be saved, if that creature so chose to be.

    3. Umbridge was a xenophobe. Whatever the definition your using for SJW, I really don’t think Umbridge is one.

      1. SJWs are the ultimate xenophobes. What do you think intersectionality is other than a complex system of xenophobia and race superiority? Xenophobia doesn’t mean “thinking white people are superior”.

    4. Delorus Umbrage is nothing but a magical SJW.

    5. For all of the flake Rowling gets from the Right, she actually does a really good job explaining how a bureacracy becomes a force of evil and how otherwise well meaning people rationalize beceoming a part of it

      Not to get too deep into this, because it is just a bunch of YA novels, but it’s telling that Rowling exhibits the same mentality as most lefties in this regard–“It’s not the system that’s bankrupt and encourages corruption, it’s just that the wrong people are in charge.” At the end of the novels, Harry and his friends don’t act to reform the Ministry, they just become part of the same sclerotic bureaucracy that was incompetent to confront Voldemort to begin with.

      1. So it just takes a chosen one? We’ll find that one survivor with the scar to prove it; they will be sacrificed and come back from the dead to make the world right and bring us back to the before times (but you know, the new before times) where everything is better.

        The story sounds so familiar.

        1. Rowling might be a secular leftist, but even she can’t escape the fundamental Christianity of English culture (at least, before it becomes an extension of the caliphate in the next 50 years or so).

      2. Rowling is currently taking a bunch of shit from the SJWs for revealing that some character in some upcoming movie turns out to be an asian woman… complete with screams of RAYCISSSSS!!!!

      3. And there is the populist urge. The people in charge are just doing it wrong for shortsighted and venal reasons. If we put in people who tell us they are not shortsighted and venal, then everything will be great.

  21. The North American Free Trade Agreement is probably safe after all.

    Canada and Mexico couldn’t wait until after the mid-terms???

    1. OMG ? they’re interfering with our elections!

  22. Reason should put out a statement about how obviously partisan they were last week, and why they were wrong to spend an entire week helping smear a decent man.

    None of you give a damn about anything but open borders and free abortion, that’s painfully obvious at this point. Try to get out of each others asses and come up for air once in a while.

    1. Their coverage of the Kavanaugh/Ford issue has been abysmal.

      1. Reason writers have a weakness for inside-the-Beltway groupthink, especially when it confirms their biases on a specific issue.

        They did the same thing during the Ferguson riots; their coverage like was like a bunch of groupies at a KISS concert in the 1970s.

        1. Sometimes it certainly seems that way.

  23. “US sues California over ‘net neutrality'”
    […]
    “Rules governing online access have undergone numerous court challenges and regulatory moves over the past decade, and in December the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to reverse a 2015 order which established net neutrality.
    https://phys.org/news/2018-10-sues
    -california-net-neutrality.html#jCp

    It would be nice if some ‘news’ organization were honest enough to call it price-fixing.

    1. Oops; scooped.

  24. Meanwhile, outside the most conservative circles, the lastest commentary on Kavanaugh has largely coalesced around the idea that even if he isn’t guilty of sexual assault, his stalling, haughty, conspiratorial, and non-sequitur- and falsehood-filled performance last week presents its own case for canceling Kavanaugh’s ascendance.

    The seventh federal investigation into Kavanaugh is of course going to turn up absolutely nothing that the first six investigations didn’t turn up.

    And when Kavanaugh gets confirmed, I am going to laugh so hard at you and all the rest of Reason’s Obamafags, you sorry-ass lesbian cunt.

    1. Calm down. There’s no call for that kind of attack on her. Sure she is biased and seems overly credulous of the fabricated allegations but you only look like an ass reacting that way.

  25. Important insight from Senator Feinstein: Judge Kavanaugh did not reflect an impartial temperament or the fairness and even-handedness one would see in a judge. He was aggressive and belligerent. He should not be rewarded with a lifetime Supreme Court seat.

    Even if you don’t believe Dr. Ford ? although you really should, since she passed a lie detector test and asked for an FBI investigation ? Kavanaugh is obviously unfit to serve. This was clear to me weeks ago with all his other scandals, like baseball tickets, snubbed handshakes, and white power gestures.

    #LibertariansForFeinstein

    1. “Judge Kavanaugh did not reflect an impartial temperament or the fairness and even-handedness one would see in a judge. He was aggressive and belligerent. He should not be rewarded with a lifetime Supreme Court seat.”

      OK, THST’s funny.

    2. “Stop being aggressive and belligerent!” /Officer Feinstein

      1. Speaking of Officer Feinstein, since the left is so big on federal investigations, when are we going to have a federal investigation into the Chinese spy who was right under her nose for God knows how many years?

        How much damage was done to national security because of that anyway?

  26. “when Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive,” one former Yale classmate said

    I decline to accept this as disqualifying… heaven help me otherwise.

    1. When I was in my early twenties, I got so drunk one night at my University that I roamed around threatening any and every one to fight me. Luckily no one took up the offer.

      But, according to Democrat and their punditry, that is just so shameful that it should disqualify.

      Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  27. “…even if he isn’t guilty of sexual assault, his stalling, haughty, conspiratorial, and non-sequitur- and falsehood-filled performance last week presents its own case for canceling Kavanaugh’s ascendance.”

    “Borking wasn’t going to work, so let’s throw out a decades old sexual assault claim from when the guy was in high school and see it that sticks, And if that doesn’t work, let’s take issue with his style. Anything to delay or deny until November…

  28. “Meanwhile, outside the most conservative circles, the lastest commentary on Kavanaugh has largely coalesced around the idea that even if he isn’t guilty of sexual assault, his stalling, haughty, conspiratorial, and non-sequitur- and falsehood-filled performance last week presents its own case for canceling Kavanaugh’s ascendance.”

    I’ve repeatedly shared my statistical analysis, here, of the likely outcome of the upcoming midterms, but if Kavanaugh isn’t confirmed, I’m chucking that out the window.

    One of the reasons Trump did so well despite expectations was because of the way the left and the media attacked him. You all know the definition of insanity, right?

    1. If they abandon Kavanaugh and he doesn’t get confirmed it’s bad news for the GOP in November and a lot of incumbent Republicans will be primaried when 2020 rolls around.

      1. I saw Democrats over the weekend threatening to impeach Kavanaugh if he’s confirmed!

        1. I’ve no doubt the temper tantrum that started Nov 9 2016 will continue unabated…

  29. Strange as it may seem, average people identified with Trump because the media and the left accused him of being the same sort of deplorable that they’d been smearing the white, blue collar, middle class as for years during the Obama administration. Average people came to think that if the left was expressing their contempt for Trump in the same terms that they expressed their contempt for average people, then he must be one of them.

    Gabba Gabba, we accept you, one of us!

    I’m watching the left go after Kavanaugh this weekend, and they might as well be going after the average voter. I know it’s hard for progressives to understand, but you can’t base a campaign on how much you hate the typical behavior of average people and then expect them to show up for you on election day.

    I suppose the first step in becoming a white, middle class, social justice warrior is to hate yourself for who you are. The second step is to hate everyone who doesn’t hate themselves. In their minds, if you can’t hate everyone who doesn’t hate themselves for being white, heterosexual, drinking beer in high school, and going to house parties, etc., then what’s the point of being a social justice warrior? Unfortunately for them, hating the people you need to win on election day isn’t likely to translate into victories at the ballot box.

    1. We called them racists.
      We called them homophobes.
      We called them white.
      We called them privileged.
      We called them rapists.

      . . . and they still wouldn’t vote for us!

      What’s wrong with Kansas?

    2. True. He wasn’t my first choice but I’ll be damned if the left hasn’t found new ways for me to identify with him.

      1. Nobody wants the stupid shit they said and did in high school used to disqualify them from positions of responsibility. They don’t even want the shit they wrote on Facebook during the Obama administration used against them.

        He drank beer. At house parties.

        Unacceptable?

        Proof of sexual assault?

        They might as well be going after everybody that went to high school.

  30. This just in. ENB opposes pro life nominee.

    1. I don’t know how you can come to that conclusion after all of her clearly reasoned arguments.

      /sarc

  31. Amazing how the worst deal in history since the French sold the Louisiana Territory for a pittance is magically transformed by the simple expedient of slapping the “TRUMP!” name on it into the greatest deal in history since the French sold the Louisiana Territory for a pittance.

    1. Listen, we get it, you viscerally hate Trump, but you sound like an idiot calling this ” the worst deal in history since the French sold the Louisiana Territory for a pittance.”

      Giving Iran a pallet of cash for nothing was worse, for example.

      1. They didn’t give Iran a pallet of cash for nothing, we exchanged hostages for that cash, no matter what Snopes says.

        1. Fucking Snopes!

      2. You’re such a fucking pickle-brained moron it’s painful. Then you go on to harass other people like an obnoxious speed freak child. I think you’d rather Iran build its own nuclear weapons program than give Obama credit for something.

        1. I did give him credit for what he did, “Giving Iran a pallet of cash for nothing.”

          Try to keep up you whiny clown.

          Oh wait…hostages. He got some hostages. Mea culpa.

          1. He got an agreement to suspend a nuclear weapons program yb a dangerous theocratic state, and he offered was the end of a long and boring process to give Iran its own money back. But you wouldn’t know that what with not having a brain capable of evaluating facts instead of chugging right-wing media propaganda like Brett Kavanaugh doing a keg stand on a Tuesday.

            1. “He got an agreement to suspend a nuclear weapons”

              From people like you who constantly lie, so nothing. Glad you agree.

              Now cry more that I’m not lovingly cradling the Lightbringer’s balls like you do.

              Honestly the speed and intensity with which you attend his gentials makes one wonder if you are perhaps being compensated.

              1. I was an Obama skeptic from day 1, in fact, but it happens to be true that the most feckless of Democrats is a million times less of a lying hypocritical fuckstain than any of the Republican bobbleheads you get what you think are facts from.

    2. What are you taking about?

  32. Saturday Night Live tackled Brett Kavanaugh’s Friday testimony before the U.S. Senate. Kate McKinnon’s impression of Lindsey Graham alone makes the clip worth it, but Matt Damon isn’t half bad as the judge either.

    On a scale from 1 to Woke, how would you rate Damon’s performance?

    1. Oh, and I’m guessing Damon’s long-time professional relationship with Harvey Weinstein is behind him now.

    2. On a scale from 1 to Woke, how would you rate Damon’s performance?

      Damon was the funniest, best acted part of the whole bit and that, IMO, pretty much sums up SNL. McKinnon’s Graham wasn’t particularly funny, talented, or good. I can’t wait for her lack-of-comedy career to die so that people can stop acting like she’s talented at something.

  33. Do any of Brett’s youthful sexual encounters not involve at least one other male present? He sure does mention beer and sports a lot. Just sayin’.

    1. Tony’s the fuck police, suddenly.

      1. I think I’ve been pretty gracious waiting for centuries of self-proclaimed heterosexual geriatrics to become comfortable with gay people having the same rights they do.

        1. It would actually explain a lot if Tony is a soulless vampire that has been clinging to the edges of society for centuries, now freed by the internet to interact with mortals during the day from his within his mysterious lair hidden away from the sun.

          Vampires love socialism. It makes it easier if the prey want to be put out of their misery.

  34. >>>the weekend brought a barrage of new statements

    one was cited.

  35. Kate McKinnon is being held up as funny because she dates girls not because she is funny which she is not.

    1. Yeah, her Hillary Clinton actually isn’t a parody, it’s a dead-on accurate portrayal of that entitled bitch.

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