Reason Roundup

Border Backlog Fuels Human Smuggling Spike: Reason Roundup

Plus: The TSA mask is slipping and government shutdown goes on.

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MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS/Newscom

"Business is booming" for human traffickers as Washington's immigration policies drive desperation at the Mexico border, The New York Times reports. Neither the Times nor lawmakers are actually using the phrase human trafficking, of course. (That term is reserved in political theater for attempts to eradicate prostitution.) Instead they describe human smugglers and smuggling cartels that sneak Central American asylum seekers across the border for cash.

"I honestly don't want to cross illegally, but I don't really have a choice," Julian Escobar Moreno, a 37-year-old Honduran smuggling "client" (as the Times calls him), tells the paper.

As the number of refugee claims processed has slowed to a trickle, more and more migrants are waiting in limbo on the Mexican side of the border. And more and more are enlisting the services of smugglers, according to groups assisting refugees waiting to attempt their entrances legally.

In effect, U.S. policy may be driving a spike in the actual trafficking of human beings across borders, making vulnerable people more vulnerable—undocumented immigrants are now more likely to be indebted to dangerous groups, sexually victimized, or subject to labor exploitation. Yet we're hearing none of the hysterical discourse that usually surrounds human trafficking reports; the government-funded groups that usually go all in on these narratives are now basically silent.

Republicans continue to be preoccupied with building a big border wall to keep folks out. "The White House is asking for 234 miles of steel barrier—which works out to about $24 million a mile," NPR reports.

Democrats continue to deny their request, which leaves us with a lingering "shutdown" crisis.

There's some potential good news in all of this, though. The Washington Post notes that the White House's most recent funding proposal included a request for more funding to process unaccompanied minors at the border. It adds that "the administration has also signaled it would be willing to restore some version of an Obama-era program that allowed children in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to apply for refugee resettlement in the United States, according to an official with knowledge of the proposal."

Meanwhile, as we head into week three of partial federal-government closure, some interesting effects can be observed at airports. Transportation Security Agency (TSA) officials with uncertain upcoming paychecks have begun to go lax on the usual "security" antics. A Reason staffer traveling through the Miami Airport over the weekend reports that TSA agents "were herding people through metal detectors with their shoes on and their laptops still in their bags."

QUICK HITS

  • Perpetrators of (update: an attempted) military coup in the West African country of Gabon say they are planning to "restore democracy" there.
  • "Life has always been hard, but many millennials are unequipped to deal with the particular ways in which it's become hard for us," argues Anne Helen Peterson at Buzzfeed.
  • In case you care about the Golden Globes: A complete winners list is here. (Congrats to Rachel Brosnahan on her Best Actress win for the very stylish and endearing Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and to the folks involved in Best Animated Picture winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, for which the same adjectives apply.)
  • Against morality contracts for writers.
  • RIP delivery drivers:

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186 responses to “Border Backlog Fuels Human Smuggling Spike: Reason Roundup

  1. Perpetrators of a military coup in the West African country of Gabon say they are planning to “restore democracy” there.

    That’s the usual end results of coups, right?

    1. Hello.

      “I honestly don’t want to cross illegally, but I don’t really have a choice,” Julian Escobar Moreno, a 37-year-old Honduran smuggling “client” (as the Times calls him), tells the paper.”

      Yes you do have a choice.

      1. There may be an implied “if I am to get to the US” in there.

        1. Maybe there are other choices than getting to the US.

          1. Yes, of course there are.

        2. I don’t know why he would want to do that. From what the progs tell me, the US is a horrible racist place. Plus, they say the evil Drumpf is cratering the economy.

      2. I mean, look at how badly Rufus wants to cross the border to the US, yet he is staying in Canada.

        1. I do?

          Who knew?

          You people can read minds! You’re like mimes or something.

    2. FTA: Gabon army seizes control of the government ‘to restore democracy’

      Well see, there’s your problem right there – should have used a different military. I’ve heard the Brits had a good reputation in this area.

  2. In case you care about the Golden Globes-

    Stop right there.

  3. http://www.spiked-online.com/2…..s-tyranny/

    Who could have guessed, even a decade ago, that in 2018 the word ‘woman’ would be treated as an expletive? It’s become a dangerous word, either erased from public life altogether or discussed in apologetic, hushed tones. Bizarrely, what ‘woman’ signifies now needs explanation. But anyone brave enough to define women in relation to biology, to make reference to ‘sex’ or ‘female’, risks vilification and public shaming. In a very short space of time we have moved from the premise that men and women exist as fundamentally distinct biological entities with tolerance shown to a small minority of people who chose to live differently, to transgenderism as an ideology that insists all aspects of public life must comply with its demands.

    1. 2018 was the year the government consulted over proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act. The consultation was never intended to question the right of transgender people to exist, still less to threaten legal rights and protections women have won. It did, however, ask about the processes individuals should have to go through in order to be legally recognised as a member of the opposite sex. The proposed changes will do away with the necessity for medical diagnoses, surgery, or living as member of the preferred sex for a substantial period of time. Instead, self-identification, a simple declaration, will be enough for a man to become a woman in the eyes of the law. As many women have pointed out, this erodes all meaning from the concept of sex and permits biological males entry into women-only spaces, such as public toilets, refuges and prisons.

      1. Why are so threatened by human sexuality? You need to man up and stop being such a pussy.

        1. No. You need to stop telling people they have to lie and pretend reality is something other than what it is. Sorry, but I don’t submit to your newspeak.

          1. Here’s reality for you. You evolved from a pile of warm slime. Along the way you were a fish, a rat, a monkey. You dress up in a costume everyday because you’re afraid of reality. You hide from it. You make up stories to obscure the cold hard truth. You’re pile of slime with consciousness and you’re frightened.

            1. And none of that makes you into anything or anyone other than what you are. No matter how hard you pretend you are something else no matter how much you try and assert your will over everyone else and reality itself, you will still be the same being that you always were. That is the root of your problem. You think pretending can get you over your self loathing. It won’t. It will just make it worse.

              1. The world speaks for itself. Human sexuality isn’t fixed. It ebbs and flows.

                1. Human sexuality is nothing but a fancy word for whatever sexual vice appeals to you. Just because being a woman or a dog or whatever appeals to you doesn’t mean you are that thing. You are who you are not what your will desires you to be.

              2. I like pussy and nice asses. I like fucking women but it’s not

                1. so hard for me to imagine liking something else. People have foot fetishes. They like dressing up as furries. Visit any porn site and you’ll find examples of humans expressing their sexuality in varied ways that defy the static story you would like to impose on others. You have a lizard brain, a fish tail, sharp teeth. We’re all Frankensteins. Created from the earth. That we would have such varied and confusing sexuality should not surprise.

                  1. People like all sorts of things. But what they are is not defined by their desires.

            2. Here’s reality for you. You evolved from a pile of warm slime. Along the way you were a fish, a rat, a monkey……and in all that time only two sexual chromosomes evolved, an X, and a Y, two, binary, and there are no other.

              This is the only truth there is.

        2. Why are you so threatened by the notion of an objective reality that is not malleable on the basis of feelings?

        3. Good question. Why does the left want to defy science?

          1. Because forcing people to say a lie is how one way that it asserts power. The more outragous and degrading the lie, the more forcing people to say it asserts the left’s power over them.

            1. how many lights do you see?

              When forcing people to say what is not true is the ultimate control. Many nations have force people to abandon their religion and replace it with their government leader as a god it has happened and it is happening again in other countries and in this nation we are taking small steps toward the government being the god we look to for everything even how we feel

      2. Wokeness as a status symbol, as conspicuous consumption, requires constant decent into craziness. They have to keep pushing to be more woke than thou. They can’t ever finally win; they have to constantly push something ever more batshit down society’s throat. 95% of the population has to disagree with you for your Princess and the Pea political views to mark you as uniquely sensitive.

        No borders, no genders, just their total control over what you are allowed to say and think. No history, no tradition, no laws, just them and their authority over you.

        The first words out of their mouth when a Hawaiian judge rules we have to recognize all 67 genders is that we are a fascist state for not recognizing all one thousand of them.

        1. The first words out of their mouth when a Hawaiian judge rules we have to recognize all 67 genders is that we are a fascist state for not recognizing all one thousand of them.

          That might be the best sentence ever to appear on Hit and Run. Certainly on any top ten list. Well done.

        2. Wokeness as a status symbol, as conspicuous consumption, requires constant decent into craziness.

          It’s a sign of prosperity that we can waste so much effort on crap like wokeness signaling.

          1. It is a sign of material prosperity combined with moral and spiritual bankruptcy.

            1. I fear that it may be a feature of human nature that with prosperity comes idiocy like this.

              1. Humans thrive on conflict and when no real conflict is available something has to be made up. It may still be a positive in the long run as conflict breeds creativity.

                1. political parties require conflict to exist otherwise who would need them and when real problems such as health and wealth have been resolved, which i say they have in this nation, then they must turn to teh outrageous to find new conflicts to claim a fix is needed

        3. Complaining about wokeness is also a status symbol, Johnny dear.

          1. Complaining about facistist and Leninists probably was too at some point somewhere. What is your point?

            1. My point is that it is silly to call out the left for virtue signaling, when the very act of doing so is also a virtue signal.

              1. Then your point is ridiculous, wrong, and an attempt to draw equivalence where none exists.

          2. Nope, calling stupidity out is perfectly reasonable. I’ve explained how it works; you just threw up some SJW bullshit about privileged.

  4. The White House is asking for 234 miles of steel barrier?which works out to about $24 million a mile…

    That’s pesos. 24 million pesos a mile.

    1. That gofundme account is closing in on covering the first mile

    2. Perhaps whoever is building the wall should take over building California’s highish speed rail.

  5. Life has always been hard, but many millennials are unequipped to deal with the particular ways in which it’s become hard for us…

    All you need is a solid sense of entitlement and good foot-stompin’ shoes.

    1. “I tried to register for the 2016 election, but it was beyond the deadline by the time I tried to do it,” a man named Tim, age 27, explained to New York magazine last fall. “I hate mailing stuff; it gives me anxiety.”

      Perhaps it’s best that Timmy doesn’t vote

      1. “The amount of work logically isn’t that much,” he continued. “Fill out a form, mail it, go to the specific place on a specific day. But those kind of tasks can be hard for me to do if I’m not enthusiastic about it.”

        Stop the oppression! Make voting fun again

  6. Donald Trump Is The Real National Emergency, Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig Says

    Lessig, of course, is the professor quoted in the Newsweek piece I often link describing how Hillary Clinton can still be President after Robert Mueller removes Drumpf from office because of Russian collusion.

    #Resist
    #Impeach
    #StillWithHer

  7. “Detecting depression: Phone apps could monitor teen angst”
    […]
    “Changes in typing speed, voice tone, word choice and how often kids stay home could signal trouble, according to preliminary studies.
    There might be as many as 1,000 smartphone “biomarkers” for depression, said Dr. Thomas Insel, former head of the National Institute of Mental Health and now a leader in the smartphone psychiatry movement….”
    https://apnews.com/21d8615
    133864b43bfe071ddfaf55a53

    Beyond creepy; plug into big brother early, be marked for life.

    1. I keep feeling like housing needs a correction. We will see though. Part of it is just greed on my part. Wanting a house that isn’t 600k for some random ranch house.

      1. Glad I got out of Denver’s over-heated housing market when I did. I don’t think the correction will be as bad as it was in 2008-2009, but there’s still going to be a lot of people underwater when it happens.

        1. And my dream is to be the harvester of those people’s broken dreams. I.E. get a house on the 36 corridor for less than half a million.

          1. Hopefully you can make that happen. Seriously. There are plenty of good places to live along that stretch that should be easy pickings in a downturn.

            1. Yeah, I’m pretty open. I quite like Longmont, and that’s where my church is anyway. But professionally I think it’s most likely I will continue to be working in Boulder or Denver if I stay in tech. So the corridor seems the most reasonable for long term prospects.

          2. This was my mentality in 2015, but prices kept rising. Then again in 2016. Then again in 2017. Then I bought even higher in 2018 because mortgage rates were coming off their historic lows. Prices are still going up, but starting to level off here in the DC metro area.

            1. It’s a nil point, as I’m still fresh out of grad school paying off my student loans now anyway. If it crashes in 2020, that would be dandy though. I think I should be done by then.

    2. “Worst Yet to Come” = one of those predictions that can never be wrong.

    3. The housing market today is not at all the same as that of 2007-8. Back then, credit was loose and people were getting mortgages they should not have. Now credit is much tighter and the price increase over the past few years is because of increased demand because of the better economy plus low supply due to slow growth in housing stock.

      I think we’ll see a dip in house prices over the next year (maybe 10% tops and that’s because of rising mortgage rates alone), but definitely no crash.

  8. A calm, cool, collected, and thoughtful Chicago Bears fan reacts to Cody Parkey’s missed field goal.

    1. LACES OUT!!!

      1. Nick Foles is a UA alum. So I’m rooting for the Eagles this year.

  9. “Female esports players face routine sexism and toxicity: ‘I no longer have power'”
    […]
    “The Entertainment Software Association reported this year that 45 percent of US gamers are female, yet women make up a scant portion of the professional esports player pool.”
    https://nypost.com/2019/01/03/female
    -esports-players-face-routine-sexism
    -and-toxicity-i-no-longer-have-power/

    New field of victimhood! New ‘studies’ majors!

    1. Since roughly half the population is female, logic dictates that roughly half the top 8 players at any major Street Fighter tournament should be female. If this doesn’t happen, we can be sure sexism and misogyny are holding women gamers back. And this is something that absolutely needs to be addressed.

      #DiversityInGaming

      1. To be fair, African Americans are highly represented in Street Fighting tournaments. And Blazblue tournaments. Fighting game tournaments in general, really. And African Americans are the most underrepresented minority there is.

        1. And transwoman are also oddly overrepresented in the speed running community.

          And then there is the professional Madden community which is it’s own odd microcosm.

      2. Maybe more women have better things to do than waste their lives playing video games.

        1. No. Not really. I think the biggest divide is in the games men and woman play.

          1. I have no idea. I’m the weirdo who isn’t interested in video games at all.

            1. You also appear to be the guy who doesn’t know about the salaries, bonuses, sponsorships and large cash prizes. The “wasting your life” thing is what old, ignorant people say about video games.

          2. Hello Kitty Adventure Island! (MLNW)

            1. The Sims would be a major one. The Sims community is probably 2/3rds woman.

    2. I thought at first it said “escorts,” not “esports.”

      So I was thinking, “WTF, not enough women escorts?”

      Naturally, my mind was in the gutter, but I was thinking of an earlier Reason article about online gamers vs. hookers.

      1. I thought the same thing.

    3. Mens’ brains are hardwired for hand-eye coordination; womens’ less so. There’s your hatefact for the day. The best woman in Starcraft 2 is a man.
      Esports on the whole is pretty unwoke. Asians dominate a lot of genres.

  10. I wonder how the “but they are private companies!!” crowd will react when the big media corps band together to not accept GOP campaign ads in 2020. They played with that a bit during 2018. You know they will say they are ‘hate’ and reject them.

    1. I wonder how the “but they are private companies!!” crowd will react when the big media corps band together to not accept GOP campaign ads in 2020.

      My response:

      They’re private companies that can do as they please.

      I would also seriously reevaluate my life if I suddenly felt the need to cry about the fate of one political party or another.

      1. Yeah, because there’s no downside to mass media actively working to promote one major political party over the other.

        1. Oppression and censorship are great as long as corporations and private cartels are doing it and it is happening to people who deserve it.

          signed

          Reason staff.

        2. It’s not surprising at all to see the anti-lefties making these arguments.

          1. We’re only going off of their actions for the last 229 years.

            1. Sure, the world has absolutely, objectively gotten worse over the past 229 years.

              1. Whenever leftism is actively rejected, absolutely.

                1. Sorry, I didn’t realize you were planning to actively argue against your original point.

                  1. Considering my original point had to do with the dangers of mass media actively shilling for one specific political party, you didn’t actually refute anything I said.

                    1. And you didn’t refute anything I said.

          2. It’s nice seeing all the cool kids promoting leftist idiology. That’s never steered anyone wrong or done any harm right sparkles.

            /noticed typo, decided to leave it as appropriate.

            1. promoting leftist idiology

              Who is doing that?

              That’s never steered anyone wrong or done any harm right sparkles

              Nice to see another person who believes that if you don’t support A then you support B. With zero evidence to back that belief as usual.

      2. “I wonder how the “but they are private companies!!” crowd will react when the big media corps band together to not accept GOP campaign ads in 2020.”

        Paul Kurtz ran a sceptics organization named SCICOP many years back. When I subscribed, the newsletter was a mimeographed 16-pager.
        Paul finally listed so far to port that he capsized, and I quit subscribing when the book was a glossy 8-1/2X11, 120 pages or so, with him spending the front several pages whining that ‘corporate media was pushing out small publishers!!!’.
        Outside of FOX, the major media is already a division of the DNC; if they didn’t run GOP ads, I probably wouldn’t notice. They are “major” only to those who agree with them; and they are pretty much the last place I check for news.

      3. I would also seriously reevaluate my life if I suddenly felt the need to cry about the fate of one political party or another.

        How about the fate of all opposition to one political party?

        1. How about it? Tell me why I have to be concerned.

          1. The concerns about a one party state w/o opposition aren’t obvious?

            Is CA a model of government you think the rest of the US should follow?

            1. I see. So the millions of people in California are dead now because of their government?

              1. So the millions of people in California are dead now because of their government?

                No, they just export their trash to other, less-fucked up states.

                1. No, they just export their trash to other, less-fucked up states.

                  So the entire country is garbage now.

                  1. Your passive-aggressive arguments are noted

                    1. If you don’t have a response, don’t respond. The country is not some desolate hellscape despite all your doom and gloom. I’ve lived in Massachusetts my entire life. I know what living under one party control looks like. Guess what, I’m not dead and I’m pretty happy with my life. Your absolute hatred of one group of people doesn’t confer truth to your statements about them.

                    2. You are a misantrhope though. So something led to that.

                    3. So something led to that.

                      Too much time on H&R done it.

                    4. I’ve lived in Massachusetts my entire life

                      Oh, you’re defective. You should link to that in your name so that people know that it’s okay to ignore anything you say.

                    5. Oh, you’re defective

                      It certainly seems to be the majority belief that hating government in all its forms makes you defective.

        2. Republicans are icky and deserve it. The Democrats would never do this again once we have a opposition party worthy of the name.

          I think Sparky actually believes this.

          1. It’s all bullshit. All of it. Both parties suck ass and I don’t care who can or can’t do whatever they’re trying to do.

            If you want to know what I actually believe, you could ask. But that just isn’t your thing.

            1. Both parties suck ass and I don’t care who can or can’t do whatever they’re trying to do.

              So one party destroying the other and elminating the ability to dissent to it is totally okay. You are just telling me that since the Republcians are bad, they deserve it. Saying that the Democrats are bad too doesn’t make that statement any less stupid.

              1. You are just telling me that since the Republcians are bad, they deserve it

                Copy/Paste where I said that.

                Saying that the Democrats are bad too doesn’t make that statement any less stupid.

                I wouldn’t expect you to think so based on your well known hatred of Democrats. The fact that you can’t grok people not believing what you believe is unsurprising.

        3. Well, I doubt that’s going to happen. But it could.

          What do you want to do about it? Bring back the fairness doctrine?

      4. “I would also seriously reevaluate my life if I suddenly felt the need to cry about the fate of one political party or another.”

        But crying about the people who cry about them is fine I guess.

        1. As is, apparently, crying about people who cry about people who cry about them.

    1. Racist! They’re called Asians now.

  11. “In case you care about the Golden Globes:”

    Who made the ‘Trump is a poopyhead’ speech?

    1. The gay hipster who accepted the award for the Andrew Cunanan / Gianni Versace murder show.

      1. So somebody I never heard of trying to break into the ‘in crowd’.
        So cool, so edgy!

  12. “I honestly don’t want to cross illegally, but I don’t really have a choice,” Julian Escobar Moreno, a 37-year-old Honduran smuggling “client” (as the Times calls him), tells the paper.

    You do have other choices. You just don’t want to take them. Being told “no” on your first choice does not eliminate all other options.

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  14. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ch…..da72a15b50

    With the December jobs number, President Trump now has two full years of economic performance to compare with his predecessor, President Obama. The two biggest statistical standouts are:

    Manufacturing jobs are growing at a 714% faster clip under Trump than over a similar time under Obama , and;
    Under Obama, federal state and local government employment grew 6 times faster than did manufacturing jobs, while under Trump, that ratio has been reversed, with manufacturing jobs growing 5 times faster than government jobs.

    But Reason assured me that manufacturing jobs were never coming back and the future was in food trucks and uber and being a freelance basket weaver.

    1. What are the raw manufacturing numbers? Comparing growth under two people obscures a lot of numbers there.

      1. Read the rest of the article. It gives some rather staggering numbers.

        At first glance, the overall employment numbers look comparable, with a little more than 5 million net nonfarm jobs added in the last two years of the Obama Administration compared to more than 4.8 million jobs in the first two years of President Trump’s term.

        But, recall that the official unemployment rate in January 2015 was 5.7%, close to what many economists thought at the time was full employment. Some of these economic experts warned that President Trump’s tax cut and reform would quickly overheat the labor market, causing a round of inflation with little long-term benefit to workers. Instead, millions of Americans rejoined the labor force, with the official unemployment rate declining to 3.9% by December 2018.

        Stated in overall numbers, 8.9 million people who wanted work were out of work in January 2015, and that went down to 7.5 million people in the last full month of Obama’s presidency. This month, that number was further reduced to just under 6.3 million people.

        The number of Americans working part-time for economic reasons?meaning, they would prefer to work full-time if they could?stood at 6.8 million in January 2015, declining to 5.6 million in December 2016 and even further to just over 4.6 million people in December 2018.

        1. Winning!

      2. Looking at manufacturing, the government report noted that 32,000 jobs were added in December with 19,000 of the gain being in the durable goods component. In 2018, manufacturing employment increased by 284,000 with some three quarters of the gain over the year being in durable goods manufacturing, an indication that President’s Trump’s policies are likely causing a shift of manufacturing back to American soil.

        This is remarkable due to the widespread belief that it wasn’t possible?President Obama himself said in June 2016 that manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back,” and New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman claimed on November 25, 2016, “Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.”

        1. “Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.”

          It’s not surprising that Krugman is pushing this, because it fits in nicely with the Democrats’ increasingly third-world ideology. The social model of a professional uber-class that lives behind gated communities while their labor force lives in run-down favelas and barrios is their new vision for the US.

          You already see this in BUCS’ current hometown of Boulder, which is populated largely by wealthy whites, while the city’s service class has to commute in from Longmont or Louisville.

          1. That is exactly what they want. The hate the American middle class and envy third world elites for all of their unaccountable power.

          2. Yeah, almost never see anyone non-white outside of the University or in the Kitchen at places.

            Plus, Boulder has enough restrictions on building that my shitty rental home that doesn’t have sealed windows is a 600k house. Enough to keep out any poor that might dare want to live closer to the mountains.

          3. Though you’re also missing the other purpose of saying “recovery can never happen. This is what unemployment looks like now.” is that this is a core part of the argument for the continued government intervention. If 5% of the population (actually far more since unemployment is a number that does not correlate directly to how many people are actually working) isn’t working then this job of helping them is far, far to big to be handled without the federal government stepping in.

            1. It is also how people rationalize their continued commitment to failed policies. Policies fail and instead of admitting they were wrong, the supporters of the policy just claim “it would have been worse had we not done this”. It is a variation of the old Heinlein quote about the bad things that happen after you run out all of the good people being called “bad luck”. If you never have to live the counterfactual of competing policies being implemented, you can always tell yourself that the results of your preferred policies are the best that can be achieved no matter how bad those results are.

              One of the reasons why the establishment has gone so batshit insane over Trump is that with regards to immigration, foreign intervention, and trade, he is forcing the establishment to live the counter factual of a competing policy being implemented and thus depriving them of the “this is the best that we can do” excuse.

              1. Yep. Can’t even consider the possibility that the best policy might be no policy.

            2. I’ve always assumed the “recovery can never happen” trope was always pulled out to justify the failure of the policy being examined. If you sold the country a bill of goods that (Medicare for all, $15 min wage, 10 hr work weeks, whatever) would bring back millions of jobs then a drop in employment numbers must only be because recovery is impossible generically, not because recovery with this “solution” in place is the source of the poor performance.

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  16. Some absolutely awesome news to start the week right: enemy of the American constitution Ruth Bader Ginsburg is missing arguments for the first time in her career.

    Here’s hoping that lasts a while!

    1. RBG is probably the best and most libertarian-friendly justice currently on the Supreme Court. Furthermore, she’s in excellent health. Any speculation to the contrary is based on sexism. The patriarchy hates strong women, which is why Hillary Clinton also faced completely unfounded speculation about her health in 2016.

      1. Apparently she’s about to become the John McCain of the Supreme Court: desperately, pathetically hanging onto power until her last moment on earth despite being incapacitated.

        1. I don’t think she is long for this world.

          1. Agree. We’re being told that she’s “working at home” and “recovering”, but that’s the exact same bullcrap the JournoList was laughably saying about McCain for all those months.

            She is pretty tough and might be able to hang on for a while, but I think we’ve seen the last of her on the court in public.

            1. You don’t recover from major lung surgery and the various problems she has when you are in your 80s. You just delay things a bit if you are lucky.

              1. You just delay things a bit if you are lucky.

                Well, maybe. I thought Carter was done for when they found that tumor, but he seems to have recovered okay. However, he’s always been in pretty excellent health and Ginsburg’s had all kinds of issues for years.

                1. Yeah. Carter has been going to die in six months for five years now. As you say, he has much better overall health than RBG.

          2. The demcorats will “weekend at Bernies” her until 2024

        2. The rumor is that she intended to die while in the seat, regardless of who was President at the time or what the makeup of the court was, solely because she wanted to go down as the longest-serving Justice in history.

          1. The rumor is that she intended to die while in the seat

            during oral arguments.

            1. An excellent argument for bringing back the electric chair.

  17. Sad! A big part of it is that the world seems to think they’re entitled to our resources, ones we need for our own citizens! Many legal immigrants feel it’s unfair those who cheat the system get to come, while they had to go through the hard way. A solution needs to be done, and a wall is a deterrent… Not 100% effective, but then, nothing is!

    1. Each person gets to decide what to do with their own resources. They aren’t “our” resources, they are the resources of the different people who own them.

  18. “”Life has always been hard, but many millennials are unequipped to deal with the particular ways in which it’s become hard for us,” argues Anne Helen Peterson at Buzzfeed.”

    Life is hard. It is harder if you are stupid.

    1. Life has always been hard, but many millennials are unequipped to deal with the particular ways in which it’s become hard for us,

      Read that sentence and then remember that Anne Helen Peterson actually gets paid to write for a living. Not on that, she wrote that sentence in a professional article. That means she thought about it, wrote it, edited it and still didn’t see anything wrong with it. Some forms of stupidty defy description and can only be seen through examples.

      1. she thought about it, wrote it, edited it

        You’re making some big assumptions about millennials there, John.

        1. I am in a charitable mood this morning.

      2. Life causes burnout.
        That seems to be her message, though my eyes glazed over as I scrolled through her screed

        1. That is the message I got, though my eyes glazed over as well.

    2. That article is so disorganized and meandering my eyes glazed over before finishing it. The author claims to have written a book. They must make people read it in CIA prisons as a way to break their wills.

    3. The juxapostion of these two paragraphs is really something.

      Until or in lieu of a revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system, how can we hope to lessen or prevent ? instead of just temporarily staunch ? burnout? Change might come from legislation, or collective action, or continued feminist advocacy, but it’s folly to imagine it will come from companies themselves. Our capacity to burn out and keep working is our greatest value.

      While writing this piece, I was orchestrating a move, planning travel, picking up prescriptions, walking my dog, trying to exercise, making dinner, attempting to participate in work conversations on Slack, posting photos to social media, and reading the news. I was waking up at 6 a.m. to write, packing boxes over lunch, moving piles of wood at dinner, falling into bed at 9. I was on the treadmill of the to-do list: one damn thing after another. But as I finish this piece, I feel something I haven’t felt in a long time: catharsis. I feel great. I feel something ? which is not something I’ve really felt upon the completion of a task in some time.

      1. The other odd thing is being awake from 6AM-9PM is represented as something odd, or at least notably extreme.

        Then there is the most obvious thing of taking satisfaction from the hell hole she decries capitalism to be.

        1. I think her and the people she is describing problem is mostly due to the lack of perspective that comes with ignorance. Problems are relative. There are people living in poverty or in prison who manage to be happy or well adjusted and people who are free, wealthy and healthy who are depressed to the point of suicide. The point of the article is that millenials can’t be bothered to do mundane things because they have been driven and work so hard they are “burned out”. To me that sounds completely absurd. But to someone who knows nothing about history, has no idea how people in the past lived, and no real understanding of how most of the world today lives, that probably sounds like a reasonable assertion. They sit around and feel sorry for themselves and feel burnt out by their lives because they lack the ability to put their problems and their lives in perspective.

          1. “The point of the article is that millenials can’t be bothered to do mundane things because they have been driven and work so hard they are “burned out”.”

            That is not quite right. They do not want to do mundane things that do not provide immediate gratification, and they assume those mundane things are too time consuming and bothersome to fit in.

            1. Other than jerking off and doing drugs, what in life provides immediate gratification?

              1. She keeps saying that she is burned out on tasks that require some effort but do not obviously improve her life. That seems to be just doing basic foundational groundwork.

              2. Having sex while doing drugs?

            2. This is, to me, the most telling portion:

              But as I finish this piece, I feel something I haven’t felt in a long time: catharsis. I feel great. I feel something ? which is not something I’ve really felt upon the completion of a task in some time.

              Or, in other words, the author is suffering from an acute case of First-World-Itis. It’s most acute in people who work from home remotely while earning $60k-$90k a year.

              I do love that they include things they aren’t doing in their list of things they are doing (e.g. ‘trying to exercise’). This also indicates a person that can’t cope with the mundane, but feels pressured to accomplish. It’s a pretty stereotypical millennial thing, right down the Rx and dog walking I think.

      2. The impression given is that millennials somehow got the idea that if they got the right credentials then society would hand them exactly what they wanted on a silver platter. When that did not happen, they decided the system was broken rather than their expectations were wrong, and someone to fix it for them. If anything, it appears that we have created in the millennials the ur example of a disaffected intellectual class resentful that the world does not put them in charge that Hayek warns about. If we are not careful, that generation will make a dystopia trying to “fix” the system.

        1. In many ways they have been screwed. All of the things their leftist teachers and overbearing parents told them were lies. The problem is that they lack the knowledge and reasoning skills to understand what happened to them and why it happened. This leaves them angry, confused and bitter without the ability to meaningfully change their situation. That isn’t going to end well for anyone.

          1. The only good thing is their apparent apathy and lack of motivation for doing any kind of prep work. That might just save society.

  19. Alexandria Occasional Cortex tells Anderson Cooper that even when she’s factually wrong, she’s still ‘morally right’
    “There’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right,” @AOC says in response to criticism that she’s made factual errors.

    1. She and Trump have a lot more in common than she’s willing to admit.

      1. Except that Trump really didn’t mean all of his assertions literally and he and his supporters saw them as a negotiating strategy. AOC in contrast actually means it when she says that we can get rid of fossile fuels by 2030 and have a 70% tax rate that creates a new Sweeden. Trump meant what he said seriously but not literally. AOC means what she says literally.

    2. Except that she is morally reprehensible.

    3. Factually wrong but “morally right” makes for all kinds of evil.

      Doesn’t all authoritarianism begin with the assumption that good intentions can justify anything?

      Factually wrong but “morally right” gave us the drug war and the invasion of Iraq. Fuck her and her “morals”.

      P.S. How can ignoring individuals’ agency as a matter of public policy be morally right?

      1. “One death is tragic. A million: a statistic.” – AOC

      2. Technically correct is the best kind of correct.

    4. “I’m morally better than you, so stop calling me out on my fuck-ups.”

      She’ll be voting on, and maybe writing, laws. Her whole job depends on being “factually, and semantically correct”

  20. “We’re going to go in there, and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker.”

    —-Rashida Tlaib

    http://www.nytimes.com/2019/01…..trump.html

    This was a monumentally stupid thing to say for at least two obvious reasons:

    1) The Democrats’ push for impeachment isn’t about anything illegal Trump has actually done.

    They don’t care what the Mueller probe says. They just want to undo the 2016 election.

    How is that likely to play in 2020 with the swing voters who voted for Trump last time?

    2) The Democrat leadership is currently trying to negotiate a compromise with Trump to reopen the government.

    Talk about undermining negotiations! Why would Trump negotiate with the Democratic leadership in good faith while Democrats are openly calling for his impeachment?

    Is Nancy Pelosi is the most grown-up person left in the Democratic Party? I can’t remember the last time I saw a national politician behave so . . . childishly. Does Tlaib have no appreciation for the consequences of her actions?

    If Trump had stayed up all night with his advisors trying to think of a better way to undermine his impeachment, he could hardly have come up with anything better than having Rashida Tlaib say, “We’re going to impeach the motherfucker” on camera.

    Monica Lewinsky was a distraction that benefited Clinton in his impeachment. Trump doesn’t need any distractions. He probably just wants people to focus on what the Democrats are actually saying.

    1. I think Tlaib probably believes they are immune from critique based on their spot on the stack. I suspect they are wrong.

  21. I’m coming to believe more and more that we could really use a constitutional amendment saying that if you’re a federal official (congressman, Supreme Court justice, etc) and you’re unable to perform your duties due to something like mental or physical incapacitation, that after a certain set period of time you’re automatically retired from the office.

    Personally I think six months is a pretty reasonable period of time, but if people think that’s not long enough I could possibly be talked into giving up to a year.

    1. So apply the 25th amendment to all Fed lifetime appointment gigs?

      1. Kind of, yes, though I don’t believe it should be based on any kind of vote or group opinion, I think it should just be automatic. “If you’re unable to perform the duties of your office for X number of days (or months), you’re done and will be replaced.”

        The idea that you’re still a senator or justice even if you’ve been in a freaking coma for two or three or five years is absurd. It’s a simple oversight that the Founders made that ought to be very easily correctable.

  22. These clauses release a company from the obligation to publish a book if, in the words of Penguin Random House, “past or future conduct of the author inconsistent with the author’s reputation at the time this agreement is executed comes to light and results in sustained, widespread public condemnation of the author that materially diminishes the sales potential of the work.”

    How about applying this to politicians? If anyone involved in passing a law gets “condemned” then said law is null and void.

  23. Our parents ? a mix of young boomers and old Gen-Xers ? reared us during an age of relative economic and political stability.

    Millennials are even worse at history than they are at “adulting”.

    1. They have been lied to. But at some point they have the responsibility to go and find the truth for themselves.

    2. I misread the quote as that boomers and Gen-X were raised in such an era. That’s what I get for reading on a smartphone while off-roading.

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  25. the millennial article was interesting, but the complaint about lagging behind the prior generations economically caught my eye. As a Gen Xer, I was taught in the ’90s that we would be the first generation to fail to outearn our parents.

    In fact, the entire article is just a rehash of the Gex X Slacker angst of the ’90s.

    1. “We couldn’t just show up with a diploma and expect to get and keep a job that would allow us to retire at 55. ”

      Neither could I. 30 years ago.

      1. Yeah, that’s been the story since the 80s.

        1. And even then, the only jobs that promised retirement at age 55 were cops, firemen, and military.

  26. I blame “play dates.” When I was a kid, that wasn’t even a thing. The first time I heard it, I felt bad for any kid who had to wait for their parents to arrange pre-prepared playtime with another kid for them.

    1. Oh, this is about the millennial article.

    2. That is probably a good place to start

  27. Then those two years ended and the bulk of my friend group began the exodus to grad school. We enrolled in PhD programs, law school, med school, architecture school, education master’s programs, MBAs. It wasn’t because we were hungry for more knowledge. It was because we were hungry for secure, middle-class jobs

    If you went for a PhD because you thought it would bring you high paying job security, then you did it so wrong. You need to get a Master’s for that and even then, good luck. Getting a PhD in anything but science and engineering will get you a teaching job, hopefully as an assistant professor, but for that title you’ve got to beat out 200 other newly minted PhDs for each open position. Good luck with that. Even if you got a Master’s or PhD in a hard science, you’ll be really lucky if you get a permanent position instead of a 2-5 year contract.

    1. Even in the 90s when I graduated everyone knew a PHD in the humanities was a ticket to poverty and underemployment. And the hard sciences were not much better. Engineers almost never get a PHD and being PHD researcher has always been a very difficult life and something only people who were truly gifted and saw it as a calling ever did.

      Basically the author and her friends seem to think life is just handed to you as long as you have a high enough degree. That isn’t just not true now, it was never true.


  28. Transportation Security Agency (TSA) officials with uncertain upcoming paychecks have begun to go lax on the usual “security” antics. A Reason staffer traveling through the Miami Airport over the weekend reports that TSA agents “were herding people through metal detectors with their shoes on and their laptops still in their bags.”

    God damn it, now I’m back on Trump’s side.

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