Reason Roundup

Tulsi Gabbard Pushes Back Against Meghan McCain's 'Assad Apologist' Accusation: Reason Roundup

Plus: Will Wilkinson on "abolishing billionaires," and what's really going on with YouTube?

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BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters/Newscom

"Covert regime-change war" hasn't made Syrian lives better, says Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. The Hawaii Democrat and 2020 presidential contender has taken a lot of flack for sometimes deviating from Washington's warmongering establishment consensus. On Wednesday, Gabbard came under attack on ABC's The View, with host Meghan McCain calling her an "Assad apologist."

"When I hear the name Tulsi Gabbard, I think of Assad apologist, I think of someone who comes back to the United States and is spouting propaganda from Syria," said McCain. "You have said that the Syrian president Assad is not the enemy of the United States….It's hard for me to understand where you come from a humanitarian standpoint if you were to become president."

It's not surprising that McCain, daughter of a senator who seldom saw a country he didn't think could be improved by U.S. bombs, can't understand the impulse not to police the world. But Gabbard pushed back admirably at the contention that trying to disentangle the U.S. from Syria was somehow tantamount to supporting Bashar al-Assad.

"An enemy of the United States is someone who threatens our safety and our security," said Gabbard:

There is no disputing the fact that Bashar al-Assad in Syria is a brutal dictator. There's no disputing the fact that he has used chemical weapons and other weapons against his people. There are other terrorist groups in Syria who have used similar chemical weapons and other weapons of terror against the people of Syria. This is an unfortunate thing that wrenches at every one of our hearts. This is not something that I'm disputing, nor am I apologizing or defending these actions.

My point is that the reality we are facing here is that since the United States started waging a covert regime-change war in Syria starting in 2011, the lives of the Syrian people have not been improved.

FREE MINDS

"We took immediate action," says YouTube. A lot of headlines and angry tweets have been mentioning a YouTube "child exploitation controversy." The Verge describes it as YouTube failing to curb "predatory behavior on content featuring young children." Holy shit.

But the situation isn't quite as horrific (or negligent on YouTube's part) as that makes it seem. The video content in question isn't itself obscene—it's just regular vidoes of children doing regular things. The problem is people in the comments talking about these children in a sexualized way.

That's still disgusting behavior, and YouTube may be falling behind in moderating it. But it's also—thank goodness!—a far cry from some of the worst readings of the situation.

YouTube tells The Verge: "Any content—including comments—that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments. There's more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly."

New York Times

FREE MARKETS

Billionaires per se aren't the problem, argues Will Wilkinson in The New York Times today, responding to a leftist meme that's been gaining ground. "Egalitarian Sweden, an object of ardent progressive adoration, has more billionaires per capita than the United States," he points out. The same applies in other more social democratic countries, too.

"So what's the problem?" asks Wilkinson.

Preventing billion-dollar hoards guards against the bad consequences of…having the best sort of polity that has ever existed? The progressive idea here is usually that people with vastly more wealth than the common run of citizens wield vastly disproportionate political power and therefore imperil democracy and the equal worth of our basic rights. It's a worry we've got to take seriously, but it's based more in abstract theorizing than empirical analysis. Inspect any credible international ranking of countries by democratic quality, equal treatment under the law or level of personal freedom. You'll find the same passel of billionaire-tolerant states again and again. If there are billionaires in all the places where people flourish best, why think getting rid of them will make things go better?

Read the whole thing here.

QUICK HITS

  • "A quarter of Latinos in the U.S. say there are too many immigrants living in the country, while about half (48%) say there are the right amount and 14% say there are too few," the Pew Research Center found in a recent survey.
  • Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested for disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.
  • "Federal agents searched the Maryland home of the U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting to kill politicians and journalists in a quest for a 'white homeland,'" reports The Washington Post. The lieutenant has been arrested.
  • "Why would anyone buy legal marijuana when the state is planning to place a $42-an-ounce tax on the stuff?" asks John Crudele at the New York Post, in response to a proposal from New Jersey lawmakers.
  • Whoops:

NEXT: Bernie Already Won. So Why Run Again?

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  1. The problem is people in the comments talking about these children in a sexualized way.

    Never look at the comments.

    1. Hello.

      Tulsi should join the GOP.

      The Democrat party is the party of mayhem, war, identity politics, economic illiteracy, racism, misogyny, eugenics, infanticide, socialism and plain old retardation.

      1. Much as I hate to find myself agreeing with a dingbat like Tulsi Gabbard, I’ve never understood what the hell the objective is in the Middle East with the US seemingly having a hard-on to replace secular Westernized brutal dictators with religious nutjob anti-Western brutal dictators. Is everybody in the top levels of the US government – or at least the State Department – for the last 20 years been a secret Muslim?

        1. I suspect that most of them are simply arrogant twits who think they can “fix” the Middle East with the power of their mighty brains. In reality, they’re about as competent as a monkey trying to fuck a football and nobody from the outside can fix the Middle East anyway.

        2. I would vote for Tulsi because if we are going to have a progtard for POTUS they might as well be (1) hot! And (2) not a warmonger

        3. Seems to be more an issue of replacing fascist terrorist financing assholes with islamist terrorist financing assholes. Then replacing the islamists with fascists again. All at great expense in blood and treasure.

          Eventually, well get right, I’m sure.

          1. Eventually, we’ll get it right, I’m sure.

        4. The ruling elite of the US — Democrat and Republican — share a vision of a new world order wherein every nation has a democratically elected representative government that respects the latest notions of human rights shared by the US ruling elite.

          The ruling elite believes the US government not only has an R2P in the event of gross human rights violations but also a responsibility to oppose any government that does not conform with politically correct notions of human rights. Kinetic military activity is the go-to method for responding to the former unless the offending nation has military capacity to inflict casualties. Sanctions, even casus belli sanctions, are the go-to methods where kinetic military activity is not immediately practicable.

          Of course, exceptions must be made for certain nations with which the US ruling elite has favorable and substantial cultural, financial, or commercial relationships. Thus, Saudi Arabia and Israel are both excluded from R2P even though the former is an absolute theocratic monarchy with a miserable human rights record and the latter is theocratic republic with a dubious human rights record.

    2. Yeah, I thought everyone knows you don’t read YouTube comments.

      1. So, you’re a “grow-er” not a “show-er”

      2. Depends the channel. I’ve seen some really good comments there.

        1. I read comments to songs in languages I don’t understand as sometimes someone has translated the lyrics. Occasionally even right.

          1. Occasionally even correctly.

            1. Occasionally even cortex.

  2. “A quarter of Latinos in the U.S. say there are too many immigrants living in the country, while about half (48%) say there are the right amount and 14% say there are too few,” the Pew Research Center found in a recent survey.

    Their Goldilocks opinions are in a bell shaped curve. They’ve assimilated.

    1. They’ve assimilated.

      Resistance is futile?

      1. (Points and utters unearthly scream)

        1. +1 don’t go to sleep

        2. ^Eddie’s reaction when they run out of communion wine during mass.

          1. Tony calls it Red Sleepy Drink.

            1. No, he calls that ‘Mother’s Milk’.
              Red Sleepy Drink is his special Tequila Rose, NyQuil and Rohypnol cocktail he gives to teenage runaways he meets at the Greyhound station.

    2. “A quarter of Latinos in the U.S. say there are too many immigrants living in the country, while about half (48%) say there are the right amount and 14% say there are too few,”

      Wouldn’t that imply that 73% think the US should have *no* immigration, and only 14% are committed to *any* immigration?

      Latinos so racist!

  3. Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested for disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.

    The disorderly conduct part being the total self own.

    1. The dude’s an actor – he was acting. And I mean cmon, they guy kept the noose on after he got home, after he called the cops, and even until when the cops got to his place – the guy gets so wrapped up in a role, that he can’t even put it down until well after the scene is done.

      1. Now he’s a prop comic.

        1. One performance and he’s already provided more laughs than Carrot Top has his entire career.

          1. When you factor in all the jokes about Carrot Top, he’s done quite well.

      2. ‘actor’ is a strong word to describe him.

        He could not even pull off the role of HIS lifetime.

        1. Well, he had a really weak script with an unbelievable plot.

          1. Too bad we all saw the plot twist coming a mile away.

            Call this guy M. Night Shitforbrains.

            1. I made myself laugh super hard on that one.

  4. and YouTube may be falling behind in moderating it.

    like the rhetorical question of whether we would have made cars if we knew the deaths that would result, would web 2.0 ever have been ventured into if we knew we would be legally responsible for the things other people said.

    1. To be fair, when Web 2.0 first came about I don’t think anyone imagined they would be held accountable for things other people said. We clearly underestimated the idiocy of the political class.

    2. There is a lot more to this.

      This actually started over a year ago, when it was discovered that some of the most popular channels- which also appeared in youtube kids- were sketchy crypto-pedo shows. Think parents who are dressing their 8-10yr old kids up in diapers and engaging in clear fetish behavior. It soon came out that Youtube was turning a blind eye to this stuff because these channels raked in large amounts of cash.

      The big problem is that Youtube has specifically created a space for kids. But they aren’t treating it with the care and feeding that should be required of a kids-place. And so you have nasty adults mixing in a forum that goes directly to an app that they market for kids.

  5. Trump has no idea about his administration’s push to decriminalize homosexuality around the world, per WH transcript from today’s pool spray: pic.twitter.com/fkzzE8OMFb
    ? Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) February 20, 2019

    All those critical hot takes: VINDICATED

    1. I would think that Trump having no idea about the policy would make the policy ok again.

      “I’m against something I’d normally support and did support when Obama did it because Trump supports it, but if Trump has no knowledge of the policy then he by definition doesn’t support it, so I now support it again.” That’s the correct logic pretzel.

        1. “Trump is a racist who supports the racist harassment of third-world countries by…wait, this policy was by the State Department bureaucrats carrying on prior policy? Well, then, what I meant to say is that Trump is hijacking the career civil servants who are courageously implementing Obama’s enlightened policy on LGBTs.”

          1. Well, then, what I meant to say is that Trump is hijacking the career civil servants who are courageously implementing Obama’s enlightened policy on LGBTs.”

            So, basically, the Night of the Long Knives except no one gets stabbed to death.

      1. “And if Trump happens to find out about the policy and still supports, that means I must now change over to condemning the policy, even if that means I’d be condoning criminal penalties against gays.”

        Having TDS must be so confusing at times. But I guess that’s generally true when you believe in principals over principles.

  6. My point is that the reality we are facing here is that since the United States started waging a covert regime-change war in Syria starting in 2011, the lives of the Syrian people have not been improved.

    Talk like this won’t get her to Super Tuesday.

    1. Bernie’s running mate is the goal.

  7. It is like people like McCain (either one of them) just don’t remember ISIS. And the fact that they essentially dream up these so-called freedom fighters who are fighting against Assad. It is real simple: There are no good guys fighting in Syria over the last 7 years or so. There are bad guys, and a whole lot of innocents caught in the middle.

    1. Tell that to the Syrian Christians, some of whom live in villages where they still speak Aramaic, that were rescued by Assad, Putin and the Iranian led militia.

      1. we can’t have those people rescuing Christians, it goes against every talking point we have to stay in the fight

    2. The “freedom fighters” we’re supporting are fighting for the freedom to impose an Islamic state on Syria and kill or drive out all the Christians, Jews and non-Muslims. USA! USA! USA!

  8. “Federal agents searched the Maryland home of the U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting to kill politicians and journalists in a quest for a ‘white homeland…'”

    Just wait until we find out the politicians and journalists paid him to do it.

    1. As all of DC’s media class climb over one another to see if they made this nut’s target list.

    2. I figure the politicians will rush to get it into their fundraising emails.

    3. From what I’ve heard, this guy’s “plot” was about 95% fantasy. So a typical FBI “thwarting” of a terrorist plot that had no chance whatsoever of actually taking place.

      1. An army of cats were going to steal their souls while they slept?

  9. “Why would anyone buy legal marijuana when the state is planning to place a $42-an-ounce tax on the stuff?”

    Patriotism’s not here, man.

  10. really? nobody cares that the tax per ounce of marijuana is $42.0? did the internet go back and kill hitler after all?

    1. I’d go back in time to kill Baby Hitler.

      Okay – I’d kill any baby, I guess….

      1. To avoid moral dilemmas, you’d have to kill him after he’d started committing crimes, I’d say whack him immediately after the Rohm purge, that way they’ll think he was part of the purge itself. Of course, one of his lieutenants would have replaced him, but I don’t think his lieutenants had the evil mojo to get away with the stuff Hitler did.

        1. “To avoid moral dilemmas, you’d have to kill him after he’d started committing crimes”

          This doesn’t make any sense. You have 100 certainty that he will commit the crimes, there is no moral dilemma.

          1. Talk about not making sense.
            If you have 100% certainty that he will commit the crimes, then you have 100% certainty that your attempt to kill him will fail.

          2. So, it’s not a real world question. In fact, anybody who advocates killing baby Hitler is a moral monster.

            In the real world, nobody has 100% certainty of anything. Nobody.

            But let’s play the child’s game of “make-believe” — the baby Hitler thought experiment is indeed childish — that you had 100% that baby Adolf would grow up to be Hitler. You kill him because you know what’s going to happen if he lives.

            What you still don’t know — and there is absolutely no way to know — is what the consequences of your act will be. If Hitler did not rise to power in the 30’s, history may very well have had an even worse outcome.

            Anybody who grapples with the baby Hitler thought experiment ought to read Hayek’s work on the pretense of knowledge.

            1. Time-travelling Hitler assassin:

              https://xkcd.com/1063/

              1. (SCENE: VIENNA, AUSTRIA, BEGINNING OF 20th CENTURY. YOUNG HITLER IS WALKING BACK TO HIS FLOPHOUSE. SUDDENLY, A MASKED ASSASSIN EMERGES)

                ASSASSIN: Die, betrayer of Germany!

                YOUNG HITLER: But why? What did I do?

                ASSASSIN: It’s about what you *will* do. Or more precisely, what I am going to see to it that you *won’t* do. (bang bang bang)

                (ASSASSIN REMOVES MASK, REVEALING)

                OLD HITLER: Well, I resolved to commit suicide, and this was the most creative way to do it – going back in time. But wait – I died as a youth, so what is Old Me still doing here?

                (OLD HITLER DISAPPEARS)

                YOUNG HITLER (reappearing): Mein Gott, what a strange dream! But I have not a scratch on me. That does it, no more huffing paint!

                (OLD HITLER APPEARS)

                OLD HITLER: Die, traitor loser!

                (YOUNG HITLER DIES AGAIN. OLD HITLER DISAPPEARS)

                YOUNG HITLER (REAPPEARING): Screw this infinite regress loop! Tell you what, Old Me is such a jerk, maybe if I change my life I won’t grow up into being him.

                (SIGMUND FREUD APPEARS)

                FREUD: I’ve been told that I can find a very interesting case here. I can treat you for free, just for the experience.

                (OLD HITLER APPEARS AGAIN)

                YOUNG HITLER: But if you provide services for free, then all this stuff I’m reading about Jews must be nonsense. I’ll never read that anti-Semitic trash again!

                (OLD HITLER DISAPPEARS)

      2. I’d kill any baby, I guess….
        I see someone has been hanging out with Tony.

    2. It’s fucking New Jersey. Fuck them – New Jersey could fuck up a bowl of cereal. I’d be shocked if they ever got anything right.

      1. They do have $5 War at Bally’s Wild West.

        Yeah, kind of strengthening your point here.

  11. I’ll admit I think it’s fun when Ken stops by and tells everyone that they’re not supposed to care about this or that or to call the writers out for writing articles that nobody should care about.

    But it’s even more fun to see Ken defends Tony’s point.

    1. That was unusually sarcastic for Ken. Perhaps even verging on snarky.

      1. He’s been getting really on this topic lately that the news articles aren’t covering the things he considers important. Particularly he seems to have an issue with Robby.

        1. He’s a cunt, so fuck him.

        2. I used to like reading Ken’s stuff, but he’s been beating that dead horse for far too long now.

          1. To be fair to ken, Reason re-hashes the same topics over and over (buttsex, ‘Mesicans, TDS, drugs) and Ken seems to have passionate opinions about quite a few of those topics.

            Reason is beating the dead horse and we either let the trolls make it seem like Libertarianism is okay with Reason’s positions or we don’t.

  12. My enemies are tyrants even when they’re not threatening America. There’s nothing I hate more than a thief murderer disguised as some responsible father figure. Seeing half the population admiring these parasitic scum drives me up the wall. Sucking up and stupidity are ingrained in human nature so destroying these mafia govt is hardly the final solution yeah I said it.

    1. Well grab a gun and get your ass to Syria. I don’t think anyone will stop you.

      1. And when he gets buyer’s remorse, he can claim he was brainwashed and demand that the US pay for his therapy when he comes back.

      2. Bernie Sanders is in Syria?

    2. Generic rant!

      No context necessary. Universally applicable.

      1. What those in the biz call “evergreen.”

      2. From the forthcoming “100 Epic Thanksgiving Dinnner Table Rants”. Preorder now!

        1. Right up there with “Taxation is NOT Theft!”

  13. When I hear the name Meghan McCain, I think media whore, someone whose main claim to fame is her last name.

    Tulsi should challenge Meghan to a duel, or at least a mud wrestling match.

    1. someone whose main claim to fame is her last name

      And cleavage.

    2. at least a mud wrestling match.

      Or jell-o wrestling, or baby oil wrestling. Doesn’t matter really, so long as the end result is them lezzing out.

      1. In, apparently, some kind of viscous liquid forum.

      2. “long as the end result is them lezzing out”
        I see you’re a gentleman of exquisite taste as well.

  14. Like all serious libertarians, I vote straight ticket Democrat. But even I cannot defend Tulsi Gabbard. She’s Putin’s favorite Democrat and, therefore, obviously wrong for America.

    1. All serious libertarians favor kinetic military actions and the imposition of casus belli sanctions upon any nation that does not agree with current notions of human rights, am I right? What’s the point of a military if you don’t use to enforce freedom everywhere?

  15. “Federal agents searched the Maryland home of the U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting to kill politicians and journalists in a quest for a ‘white homeland,'” reports The Washington Post. The lieutenant has been arrested.

    All that I saw last night about this story was that he had lists, had looked stuff up on the internet, talked about doing something, and had a bunch of guns. He hurt nobody, didn’t make any concrete plans to hurt anyone, and didn’t threaten anyone, so not sure how any of what he did is not covered by the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

    Maybe the media is too nervous about giving more details since the Jussie Smollett story blew up in their faces.

    1. Nikolas Cruz agrees with you.

      1. And there is the problem. Is this guy just a nut with a big imagination or a no kidding terrorist? There is no way to know that for sure until he kills someone or tries to do so. Do nothing and you end up getting blamed for letting a terrorist attack occur. Go arrest him and you run the risk of throwing people in jail for fantasies and bad thoughts rather than actual crimes.

        There is really no good answer to it. I haven’t seen the facts in this case. But, unless he made a very specific threat or has a history of violence, it is hard to justify arresting him and any charges they file against him are unlikely to stick. This case seems different than Cruz in that Cruz was obviously mentally ill and had a history of run ins with the police and violence. This guy doesn’t have that. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t serious. Maybe he is. But it does make it less justified for the police to arrest him than it would have been in the Cruz case.

        1. The cops usually get people like this on a sting or conspiracy charge but it seems like he’s a lone wolf tightly- wound guy who talks a lot.

          I have not seen Tony today.

          1. If he took concrete steps in furtherence of his plan, they can get him for attempt. I don’t think you can have a conspiracy of one. But, it is going to be a hard case to prove.

            1. I once saw a case where even hiring a voodoo guy to stick pins in a doll could be considered attempted murder, because you wanted the guy dead and took specific steps to carry out your plan, even if it didn’t work. The theory was that you don’t have to believe in voodoo to see that they guy was willing to go and do something specific with the object of killing the target.

              1. I would have to see that case. I don’t see how something that is physically impossible counts as taking “concrete steps”. If a vodoo doll does, then so does trying to choke them to death Darth Vader style.

                1. Here’s a media summary – it didn’t produce a precedent because there was apparently a plea deal

                  https://bit.ly/2Ep5aB9

                  Also,

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV78vobCyIo

                  1. As to why the judge allowed the charges – perhaps because the intended victim was a judge?

              2. If the “victim” could not even be harmed by the “attempted murder” act, then its ridiculous to call it attempted murder.

                Just like saying that you want someone dead is perfectly legal.

            2. He was arrested on drugs and weapons charges. The “terror” is just shit they found on his computer and are using to argue against pre-trial release on the “owning guns while taking unprescribed” Tramadol”. There was no press release or news conference.Some political operative academic just “found” the court filing.

              1. So basically he is a drug user who has a big imagination and a few grudges.

    2. Smollett’s been exposed, the Covington kid’s gonna own the post, the left/media needs something

      So why not try another layer of that time-tested fake news?

      This time it HAS to work, just like socialism.

    1. I don’t believe that but I hope it’s true. That means when Trump leaves in 2024 about the time I retire, I should see a nice bump. In the meantime, I’m buying at a nice discount.

  16. Trump has no idea about his administration’s push to decriminalize homosexuality around the world, per WH transcript from today’s pool spray: pic.twitter.com/fkzzE8OMFb
    ? Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) February 20, 2019

    So, Trump gets no credit for what his Executive Branch is doing?

    …but Trump gets blamed for what his Executive Branch is doing.

    Makes perfect sense.

    1. Look, every president before OrangeHitler knew the details of every initiative and every thing that their administrations were doing at all times, so clearly Der Trumpenfuhrer is a bumbling idiot who doens’t even know what his own administration is up to. It’s not like the Executive branch is some huge, sprawling bureaucracy or anything. /sarc

      1. That’s right. Obama spent many hours telling Trump everything he needed to know for a smooth transition, but Trump ignored him. Just like Truman ignored the many hours of instruction from the sainted FDR.

      2. Obama only knew the details of what his administration was up to after he read it in the newspaper and Trump can’t read so how’s he supposed to find out what he’s been doing?

        1. “after he read it in the newspaper off the teleprompter”
          Fixed

    2. And the portions are so small.

  17. Bombshell Mueller report may never be fully revealed

    CNN had a sad. They knows its a bombshell report even though it hasn’t been released. They KNOW it.

    1. If Mueller’s report turns out to be no more than a fart in a whirlwind, it will be interesting to see how the Left spins it.

        1. Remember how fast the Lefties hated Comey, then loved him, then ignored him?

          Mueller is on track for that “special treatment”.

          1. I saw the late nite Colbert show where, to set-up his Trump dig, he announced that Comey got fired and the audience cheered and applauded and Colbert had to admonish them not to clap as that’s bad news.

            1. +1

  18. Billionaires per se aren’t the problem

    Socialism could make us all billionaires, what with the hyper-inflation and all.

    1. FYI: I won’t be accepting $1,000,000 dollar bills for my farm fresh food.

      I will take Bitcoin, gold and silver.

      1. What if they had a picture of Trump on them?

        1. A picture of Trump that Reason always uses or one of Trump’s Christmas card pictures?

          1. The one with Mrs. Trump dressed (or undressed) for the beach.

        2. That’s the on the $T Trumplatitonium coin. Big league.

          1. But is it YUGE league?

  19. “When I hear the name Tulsi Gabbard, I think of Assad apologist, I think of someone who comes back to the United States and is spouting propaganda from Syria,” said McCain.

    It’s too bad “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Syria” has one too many syllables.

    1. When I hear the name Meghan McCain, I think of that photo in 2013 of her father standing with al Baghdadi, some former Al Qaeda dude, and a couple of future ISIS butchers.

    2. Not if you pronounce it like an English toff: “Ser-yah”.

  20. China Offers to Buy $30 Billion More U.S. Agricultural Imports a Year

    WHAT!?! China is just offering to buy more American good out of the blue?

    Good thing Obama’s economy is so strong for that to randomly happen.

    1. Who is the victim in the “crime” of a false police report?

      Fine him the cost of the investigation and move on…

      1. Some police reports are signed at the bottom under penalty of perjury.

        1. Even if the police report form in Chicago is not under penalty of perjury, outside of Anarchy-Land, it is not in the public interest to have people file false police reports. Criminal laws to discourage that is fine for Libertarians.

        2. You didn’t answer my question. Who is the victim in this case? The police? Society?

          1. You know who the victim is, Leo.

            I also told you…the public. Same as with victims of illegals. Same as with treason. Same as with mishandling classified information.

            1. So society is the victim. That’s your stance on this?

              1. The voices in his head keep yelling “lock him up”

              2. Poor BUCS does not know how society creates laws that have the state as the prosecutor of the criminal statute.

            2. The families of the five out of six shootings that are not resolved by the CPD?

      2. Potentially people who get arrested or investigated because of the report. Though in this case, it seems like they were in on it too.

        1. Even so, that would be a tort right? It doesn’t seem like a criminal case.

          1. Poor Leo, doesn’t even know what a tort is.

      3. Who is the victim in the “crime” of a false police report?

        In this case, my sides.

        Fine him the cost of the investigation and move on…

        Nah. He’s a hysterical piece of shit, and letting him off with nothing more than a wrist slap is going to encourage more of this crap.

      4. And let’s not forget that this asshole was chomping at the bit to press charges against two innocent people, until he found out that the two men the CPD brought in for questioning where the two brothers he concocted this bit of idiocy with. Thank goodness the police didn’t bring in a couple of randos, because a determination of their innocence could have set off race riots.

      5. “Who is the victim in the “crime” of a false police report?”

        Apart from the taxpayers you mean?

        1. I thought that “fine him the cost of the investigation” would have covered the taxpayers.

          It’s interesting that on a “libertarian” site, I’m seeing lots of people apparently wanting somebody to go to jail for what appears to be a victimless crime.

          1. So is it victimless or should he be fined for the cost to the taxpayers?

      6. Who is the victim in the “crime” of a false police report?

        Fine him the cost of the investigation and move on…

        It’s Chicago. 3 people were shot the day of the crime. Every ~5 hours they worked on Smollet’s case, another person got shot.

        Now, of course, CPD would’ve prevented exactly 0 of those shootings and will only solve less than 10% of the shooting cases, but still, somebody is owed some justice (not just remuneration) that Jussie effectively stole.

    2. My question is, what’s the correct pronunciation of this guy’s name?

      NPR says “smah-LET,” am radio says “SMAH-lit,” and then this morning I heard someone say “smah-LAY.”

      1. How about ‘stupid twat’?

        1. Works for me.

    3. Cardi B says Jussie “fucked up Black History Month.”

      Leave it to a fag to fuck up Black History Month.

  21. Transphobic bigotry isn’t limited to humans. Machines can be hateful bigots too.

    Facial Recognition Software Regularly Misgenders Trans People

    As a non-binary person this is especially relevant to my experience. People misgender me with “he / him / sir” every day just because I have an Adam’s apple and hair on my face. Now I learn computers are likely misgendering me as well? Absolutely outrageous. Completely unacceptable.

    #TeachArtificialIntelligenceNotToBeBigoted

    1. AI deals with facts, not feelings.

      1. Now that’s seriously funny.

    2. #TeachArtificialIntelligenceNotToBeBigoted

      #DuckTypingIsBigotry

  22. On YouTube, a network of paedophiles is hiding in plain sight

    Companies like Disney and Fiat are pulling advertisements based on this.

    1. Not to get all Dale Gribble but how far fetched is Pizzagate – or some version of it?

      1. Well, the Catholic church is a thing.

        1. What’s interesting is these pedo incidences mostly happen in the USA. I don’t think I’ve seen scandals here.

          I could be wrong.

          1. The article says most of the comments are Russian, Spanish and Portuguese.

            1. From the Wired article about the pedophilia comments.
              The videos are also being monetised by YouTube, including pre-roll adverts from Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Fortnite, Grammarly, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Metro: Exodus, Peloton and SingleMuslims.com.

              Umm … YouTube’s algorithm discovered that people who like the videos that pedophiles like would probably sign up for SingleMuslims.com!?

              1. Tosh.o calls it the right side of the quincea?era dress.

            2. It will take some time before people in countries that recently had their lifespans increase to realize that their daughters can wait until their 20’s to get married. In many areas, people still think that making babies and doing housework are the only things someone with a vagina can look forward to. Before your kids post videos of themselves on YouTube, remember that they are accessible to young men looking for even younger brides. In other words, don’t post questionable stuff.

            1. I haven’t seen scandals like we do in the USA here in Quebec. There was a Protestant clergy one a few years back IIRC.

              I’m too lazy to look.

              1. You don’t see the scandals because the Canadian victims are too polite to bring up the matter.

              2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C….._in_Canada

                Seems to be a pretty universal thing in the Catholic church. Other churches and groups religious and otherwise too, I’m sure. But I’m starting to get the sense that having celibate priests might come with some bad side effects.

                1. “Universal” probably isn’t the right word. But widespread and shockingly frequent seems accurate.

                2. Wherever flocks of sheep gather so will the predators. Churches, schools, scout troops, little leagues.

                3. Like I said, here in Quebec it’s pretty rare. One incident and I remember that one because I worked on the West Island during that period mentioned.

                  But I agree it’s not restricted to the USA; just seems more prevalent. How’s that for letting perception rule the day!

          2. Yeah, I don’t think the US is anything special when it comes to pedophilia stuff. We do kick ass when it comes to serial killers, though.

            1. Germany evidently has a shit load of people who want to eat people.

              I think cannibals mostly hide their true desires since its so taboo, but evidently there are jokes about how a surprising number of Germans openly discuss their desire to eat human flesh.

          3. Bloomberg reported on this last night. It’s international news.

  23. Don’t bother reading the Wash Post article on the Coast Guard nut job. It is short on facts, and LONG on connecting everybody right of Obama as a bunch of alt-right Nazis.

    1. That was my impression too.

      I didn’t see any crimes committed by this guy yet.

      He sounds scary to Lefties and has some JournoLists but I didn’t see anything about this guy making threats or carrying out some plan to hurt people.

      1. Read the Fox news story. If true, he’s an idiot or wanted to get caught. Plus, alleged drug contraband.

        1. So far, he is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm (I don’t know what the specifics are) and he illegally got some Tramadol.

          First mistake, if you are going to get illegal opioids, don’t bother with tramadol. That shit is weak. At least go for Oxy.

        2. In a motion for pretrial detention filed in federal court in Maryland, authorities said Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, was arrested Friday and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and an opioid called Tramadol.

          How did they get probable cause to search his apartment?

          This story stinks.

          1. I also noticed a tangent with him being in the Coast Guard like its the same as active duty Army, Navy, or Air Force and the government “owns” him.

            Coast Guard is DOT or DHS and unless we are at war, the Coast Guard is not considered the same as US Navy.

          2. How did they get probable cause to search his apartment?

            He probably popped on a piss test.

            1. I didn’t think the UCMJ applied to Coasties unless they were brought under DoD fold during war?

              Even if he popped positive for drugs, if his apartment is privately owned and not in government housing, how does failed drug test equal residence search?

              This sounds like shady 4A work arounds that do not apply to any other military person who fails piss tests.

          3. How did they get probable cause to search his apartment?

            He was doing all of his idiotic web browsing on his work computer.

            1. Poor SparkY does not like the 1A either among the other Constitution protections and limitations that restrict his lunacy.

    1. We need an anti-anti-lynching bill to reduce the number of anti-lynching events like the one that Jussie just staged.

    2. That’s a tweet from January, fake trans.

    3. I’ve seen more than one person arguing the “truthiness” of Smollet’s staged hate crime by pointing to the rising number of hate crimes in Trump’s AmeriKKKa and specifically mentioning the Pulse nightclub attack on gays and Dylann Roof’s shooting black people as examples.

  24. I love it liberals are now totally dumfounded why Smollette would have faked this crime. Gee, maybe making victimhood the highest social virtue creates an incentive to lie to achieve it? What a concept.

    And the conservatives are wrong to think he did this because he hates them. He might hate them but whatever his feelings that is unlikely to be his primary motive. If Smollette had gotten away with this, he would have been sanctified by Hollywood and never wanted for acting work again. You can totally see how a guy who has had one big break to get on a TV show and was seeing his part written slowly out of the show would see being attacked by a bunch of racist Trump supporters as a ticket to martyrdom and a career of good parts.

    1. If you’re surprised, then you’re not paying attention or choose to not see.

      As for that tart, he had, from what I read, a nice career going and he went ahead and messed it all up for what? Trump?

      What a complete idiot.

      TDS is one serious disease man.

      1. I think he had a nice carreer but wanted a better one. If he had gotten away with it, it would have been a huge boost to his carreer.

        1. Jane Fonda, Pee Wee Herman, Al Sharpton.
          Even Wife murderers Robert Blake and OJ were let off.
          It’s Hollywood. his career is going nowhere but up.

    2. I think it’s the same thing that makes some guys lie about having been to Vietnam, the stolen valor guys who claim to have won the Congressional Medal of Honor, etc. It’s just that in the minds of progressives, their heroes are the victims racism, sexism, and homophobia–so they lie to make themselves seem heroic.

      Yes, in the twisted mind of progressives, the heroes are the people who get the shit beat out of them.

      I’ve linked this before. I think this is basically Munchausen Syndrome.

      “Munchausen syndrome, is a factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention, sympathy, or reassurance to themselves.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…..ed_on_self

      Maybe monks engaging in self-flagellation might be another example.

      1. Weren’t you saying just last night that people need to stop caring about this nonsense?

        1. I maintain that there isn’t anything rational to learn from this incident–either way–in terms of whether we should vote for or against Trump, whether homophobia and racism are or are not problems, etc., and that all the things various journalists seem to think we have to learn from this incident actually don’t depend on whether or not this incident was a hoax. Even knowing that the media is quick to jump to conclusions was something we knew before this incident ever occurred.

          No, the observation that progressives like to manufacture cults out of victimhood isn’t something we didn’t know before this incident either. If you want to speculate as to why people might engage in a hoax like this, you might mentioned Munchhausen syndrome–even before this incident occurred. After all, Munchhausen syndrome existed before this incident occurred, and it either applies to those progressives who falsely brag about being victims or not regardless of whether this one guy engaged in the practice.

          Is that really hard for you to understand?

          1. It’s fun to see you blow your wad over something people aren’t supposed to even care about.

            1. You’re a retard.

              1. Thanks

    3. Yeah, this wasn’t done out of any general racial or political animus. The guy is simply a narcissistic drama queen who was looking for attention, but was too stupid to figure out how to pull it off.

      And it’s not really the CPD he should be worried about at this point–they’re probably more irritated at him for wasting their time, given that he’s acted like such a dumbass and fell so easily into every trap they set for him. It’s the Postal Inspectors that will look to cornhole him for sending that fake anthrax letter through the mail. Those guys have a conviction rate of well over 90%, and are probably more feared by defense attorneys than any other LEA in the country. If they decide to go after Jussie, he’s looking at some serious jail time.

      1. This. He made it a federal case with his first attempt at terrorism and victimhood.

    4. It’s like all the people who claimed that Blasey Ford should be believed because “what could she possibly have to gain by going public with a false sexual-assault accusation?”

    5. If Smollette had gotten away with this, he would have been sanctified by Hollywood and never wanted for acting work again.

      ^This^

      I suspect that deep down he knows he doesn’t have the talent or the BJ skills to make it Hollywood, so he figured martyrdom would be his best shot at fame and fortune.

    6. At the cost of slandering whole swathes of people.

  25. “The problem is people in the comments talking about these children in a sexualized way.”

    And it might be pointed out that the problem isn’t with YouTube. It’s with YouTube’s customers. And, no, if you don’t pay YouTube to advertise your brand, you’re not YouTube’s customer any more than you’re CBS’ customer for watching broadcast television. YouTube’s customers are the advertisers, and guess what? YouTube’s advertisers don’t want their brandnames associated with content that includes people making lewd comments about children.

    “Several companies including Nestl? SA and “Fortnite” maker Epic Games Inc. suspended advertising on YouTube Wednesday following a report documenting material on the video service that sexually exploits children.

    . . . .

    The video, which had received over 1.7 million views as of Wednesday afternoon, said YouTube’s recommendation algorithm leads users to similar content.

    McDonald’s Corp. , which was among the several brands whose ads ran alongside the objectionable content, also paused spending on YouTube, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company didn’t respond to a request for comment.”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ne…..1550705643

    1. If McDonald’s wanted to use lewd comments about children, conspiracy theories about 9/11, 80% Lower reviews, and rants against the government, etc. in their advertising, they would do so. Instead, they typically feature pictures of nice people consuming their products with a slogan that reads, “I’m lovin’ it!”

      Libertarians have been making the argument that advertisers are better at censoring content to meet the tastes of viewers than the government since before average consumers even knew about the internet. There’s no reason to change that argument because the content creators are no longer working directly with the advertisers. If anything, this is just YouTube’s Achilles’ heel.

      Competitors to YouTube’s advertising driven model have already emerged, and viewers who want to see content that’s more objectionable than advertising driven models can support will migrate to YouTube’s competitors eventually. That’s why we evolved cable. If you want to see a dirty movie on TV, you probably can’t get that on advertising supported broadcast television. You have to pay for it through a subscription service like HBO.

      1. Ken,
        Good comments, all the way until you have to pay for a dirty movie. Pornhub is free!

        Just sayin’ 😉

    2. In other words, people are a problem.

      The world really does not want to know everyone’s thoughts , kinks or dark sense of humor. Civility sometimes means you do not put those things out publicly.

      1. YouTube’s model of separating content providers from the direct influence of advertisers is problematic.

        Advertisers go to a network and say, “We want a show that appeals to women between the ages of 16 and 24, what do you got?” The network creates a show for that advertising. Popular shows get canceled all the time because they don’t appeal to a target demographic that advertisers are willing to pay a premium to influence. From the very beginning, a network show is targeted for the benefit of advertisers.

        YouTube content creators are uploading whatever shit they’re interested in–without any input from advertisers. The commenters are writing about whatever the fuck they want–without any input from advertisers.

        Game of Thrones shows tits in a calculated way because the advertising driven networks can’t. McDonald’s, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, and Gillette don’t advertise on the Jerry Springer show because they don’t want their brands associated with that content, so the Jerry Springer show depends on the advertising of ambulance chasers, bail bondsmen, payday loan centers, and others who have no shame.

        1. A subscription service or a service that otherwise does away with advertising as the driver of commerce ruins that, and they’re out there and gaining steam. YouTube is kind of screwed because on the one hand, they need content that’s “dirty” (like on HBO or Alex Jones) to drive viewership, but they have to depend on advertisers. The solution sure as hell isn’t government regulation of content. YouTube’s model may not be sustainable over the long term in the face of competition.

          1. YouTube needs its creators and users to play nice to make its advertiser feel comfortable. You cannot really have that on a self policed forum that is open to all.

            It is another example that polite speech and civility are social lubricants and not inauthentic constructs.

  26. Because CA is so lacking in immature voters!

    “Should 17-year-olds vote? California lawmaker tries again to lower voting age”
    […]
    “A state lawmaker from the Silicon Valley has reintroduced a constitutional amendment that would lower the California voting age to 17, betting that a larger Democratic majority in the Legislature this year will help his proposal reach the ballot….”
    https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-
    government/capitol-alert/article
    226099350.html#storylink=cpy

    Hmm. I wonder which party thinks getting a bunch of adolescent support is a good idea?

    1. Commifornia is not going to like Congress curtailing their little federal voting schemes to run the USA.

      US Constitution, Article I, Section 4:
      The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

      1. 26A doesn’t require that the minimum voting age is 18. It says only that 18 year olds can’t be denied the right to vote.

        Apparently Congress has no say outside of senate and house elections. They could theoretically allow 17 year olds to vote for Presidential electors.

        “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector. “

    2. Voting will be a classroom assignment, the teacher will orchestrate peer pressure on any non socialist, then the teacher will harvest the ballots and toss any that voted for the wrong people.

      1. “Voting will be a classroom assignment,…”

        On November 10, 2016, a surprising number of grammar-school children ‘marched against Trump’ in San Francisco. And the ‘teachers’ were no disciplined for taking them out of class without the parent’s permission.

      2. I got 100 extra credit pts in my HS gov/econ class for voting in my first election.

  27. The International Monetary Fund decides to pour billions into another failing socialist rathole nation-state, this time it’s Ecuador.

    Hard to imagine that a country with a leader named “Lenin” is failing. I swear to God, this Marxism bullshit has a greater hold on these South Americans than heroin and crack cocaine does on a street junkie.

  28. Oregon rents are not nearly high enough:

    “Oregon on track to be 1st state with mandated rent controls”
    […]
    “SALEM, Ore. (AP) ? Faced with a housing shortage and skyrocketing rents, Oregon is on track to become the first state to impose mandatory rent controls, with a measure establishing tenant protections moving swiftly through the Legislature.
    Many residents have testified in favor of the legislation, describing anxiety and hardship as they face higher rents. Some have gone up by as much as almost 100 percent, forcing people to move, stay with friends or even live in their vehicles.”
    https://apnews.com/5852bf9251
    8d4502acb0270099066d73

    1. I have a perpetual-motion machine that I’d like to license to Oregon.

    2. Fucking Californians ruin everything everywhere they go.

      1. What most people are talking about when they talk about “Californians” has always applied to Oregon. Oregon is basically like Northern California only more so.

    3. Who wouldn’t want to spend $450 a square foot to build something that has built in price controls when it’s done?

    4. People in Oregon who own rental properties are already looking to sell their property before these laws take effect. Prices will fall at first due to the glut but then no one will buy and rentals will degrade.

      1. “Prices will fall at first due to the glut but then no one will buy and rentals will degrade.”

        And the state government will pass further laws requiring owners to pay the renters or some such idiocy and then wonder why there are no homes available for rent.
        SF gov’t has been reducing the supply of rental units for years and wondering why rents keep increasing.

    5. a housing shortage and skyrocketing rents

      An obvious market failure when the price of something goes up in response to increased demand and eager suppliers don’t rush in to meet that demand and thereby drive prices back down. It’s like the market for big-screen TV’s where when they first came out they were 2500 bucks or so and now that everybody wants one you can’t buy a big-screen TV for less than 20k.

    6. Idiots here have all number of ways to drive up the cost of housing, and then predictably divert “government” money to the politically connected “non-profits”. The obvious solution is to simply allow the supply to catch up with demand, but where’s the graft in that?

      https://bit.ly/2Iuq4mi

  29. Trump has no idea about his administration’s push to decriminalize homosexuality around the world, per WH transcript from today’s pool spray

    He has no idea that his administration is secretly trying to oppress homosexuals?

    1. He has no idea his state department is so racist.

  30. You can’t blame YouTube. It’s not like those kids were wearing MAGA hats or espousing non-leftest viewpoints. They can’t moderate everything.

  31. I have to wonder if the M-I-C is on Facebook and Twitter going after Tulsi as if they’re the typical “concerned and outraged” progs?

    1. Speaking of the M-I-C, why pay $650 for something when you can pay $3000.

      http://nationalinterest.org/bl…..sive-45087

  32. people with vastly more wealth than the common run of citizens wield vastly disproportionate political power and therefore imperil democracy and the equal worth of our basic rights. It’s a worry we’ve got to take seriously, but it’s based more in abstract theorizing than empirical analysis.

    No it isn’t based on abstract theorizing. Every one of those six countries mentioned that has both billionaire ‘density’ AND prosperity for the average joe found a specific way of ensuring that billionaires don’t just take over the political system and milk it for themselves.

    Hong Kong and Singapore built their prop tax system on a land tax (Sun Yat Sen adapted/popularized the idea for Asia). Iceland only has one who made his money elsewhere and was ‘shamed’ for his role in bringing down the banking system there. Norway and Switzerland both assess a wealth tax of 50-100 basis points. Norway itself owns its major land resource which is managed as a public asset for future generations not the current one. Sweden is a bit of an odd-duck but their success is not ‘abstract theorizing’ but very empirically explainable.

    1. We don’t care about your schemes to redistribute the wealth, scumbag.

      1. The thing is that someone has disproportionate political influence in any system. If it is a capitalist system, it will be the wealthy. If it is a socialist or communist system, it will be those at the top of the party. One of the many lies socialists tell is that top party people having disproportionate influence is somehow noble and better than rich capitalists having influence.

        1. In a socialist or communist system, the people at the top of the party are also the richest (think of Maduro stuffing his fat face on TV while his people starve).

          1. Also, setting itself opposite to capitalism, they’re predominantly composed of someone other than the most productive or valuable people.

        2. “The thing is that someone has disproportionate political influence in any system.”

          Agreed, and the cure for that is to reduce the power of the government, not to increase it in some vain hope of equality.

        3. Yes. SOMEONE is always going to have disproportionate influence in politics.

          The only question is whether that influence is transparent, well-managed, paid-for, etc (which is more a good government ‘googoo’ thang than a ‘libertarian’ thang) – and/or whether potential sources of political influence also have to morph into the same requirements imposed on current influence.

          This whole notion of dividing the world into ‘capitalists’ and ‘socialists’ is nothing but a bunch of twits adopting the MARXIST view of the world in order to oppose it. Well guess what – the real world is more complicated than that and those who adopt their opponent’s mindset have already lost the game and can only play defense from then on.

          1. “This whole notion of dividing the world into ‘capitalists’ and ‘socialists’ is nothing but a bunch of twits adopting the MARXIST view of the world in order to oppose it.”

            Yeah, they’re all the same, right?

            1. It is MARX who, uniquely among ‘classical’ era econ, created the notion that only ‘capital’ and ‘labor’ exist as factors of production. Either you are with us – or against us. A Manichean view of the world – not any actual boring dry complicated economics of scarcity.

              YES – EVERYONE who adopts that same notion now (and that is what neo-classical/marginalist econ did) is simply arguing with Marx by accepting that Marxist premise. It’s why they are as totalitarian and fundamentalist and unrealistic and ideological as Marx and those who support Marx.

              1. “YES – EVERYONE who adopts that same notion now (and that is what neo-classical/marginalist econ did) is simply arguing with Marx by accepting that Marxist premise.”

                You started out with capitalist and socialist, now we have capital and labor, and anyone who sees that there are differences between the two is accepting that there are differences between the two.
                Did I get that right? Thanks.

        4. Under capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under communism, the powerful become rich.

    2. Actually, the part that the left always seems to not bring up, is that while Sweden, Norway and Denmark have generous welfare states, they actually have fewer regulations on just about everything related to business. Their taxes are higher, but the cost of dealing with regulations is much lower.

      1. They also keep their budgets fairly balanced. They’ve been running a surplus.

        http://tradingeconomics.com/sw…..ent-budget

    3. A person in the media has vastly more political influence than your average person, but that does not justify government schemes to artificially equalize that influence as that has other bad effects on everyone’s speech and press rights.

      There is no equality of result, ever. Chasing it is quixotic quest.

  33. NASA has spent about $50 billion on projects to send a rocket around the moon in coming years, which would be a magnificent achievement if this were 1968. Since we already did that and more and have yet to see anything substantial in return for our $50 billion, some people are questioning whether it was worth it to spend all that money on a moon shot.

    Here’s an argument you may not have considered:

    “As far as I’m concerned, SLS and Orion are doing their jobs of providing work for NASA centers and contractors and giving the US a sense of national pride to have a major goal to work toward . . . . They are not meant to be quick, cost efficient, or sustainable. They are symbolic grand acts of a grand nation.”

    —-Laura Forczyk

    http://arstechnica.com/science…..l-distant/

    I can see the argument that a small nation couldn’t spend $50 billion on something like this without getting anything in return, but a truly great nation might not have spent $50 billion on advertising itself as a great nation. In fact, a truly great nation would have cut off funding for a futile exercise–$50 billion ago.

    P.S. The first private attempt to land on the moon is launching tonight.

    http://arstechnica.com/science…..r-surface/

    1. FFS, just about everything Ms Forczyk said was proof as to why we should defund NASA.

      -So it is the job of the taxpayers to find work for NASA personnel and contractors??
      -We give our country a sense of national pride by just coming up with a goal? A goal should be something that has some useful outcome.
      -So these goals are specifically to take years and years, result in throwing billions of dollars away, and be a one-off.
      -Symbolic acts of a grand nation??

      1. “-Symbolic acts of a grand nation??”

        “We will put a man on the moon…..”
        JFK

        1. And as a result of that glorious endeavor,

          we got Tang.

      2. What space program enthusiasts never get is economics. If going to space doesn’t produce enough value back on earth to pay for itself, then it is doomed to be nothing except national vanity projects that the public eventually gets bored with.

        The future of space flight is in the private sector. If the private sector can’t make it work, then it has no future.

        The other thing I find funny about space flight supporters is that they are usually big believers in the future of artificial intelligence. They never seem to put the two things together, however. The huge expense of space flight is life support for humans. Putting robots in space is orders of magnatude easier than putting humans into space. So, if you really believe AI is going to outperform humans some day, why on earth would it ever make sense to send humans into space instead of robots?

    2. I suppose this is why NASA currently has no manned launch capability as there is no sense of urgency to have one. Endlessly spinning their wheels developing a system is good enough because NASA because they don’t have a productive goal in mind.

      1. Not unlike Congress.

    3. So basically it’s governmental conspicuous consumption. And that’s supposed to be a good thing.

      1. Back during the dotcom boom, they used to talk about “burn rate” as if it were a good thing.

        Only a great company could waste that much money!

        I guess the same applies to great countries, amirte?

    4. “Let’s spend 50 billion to match our technological achievement of 50 years ago to boost our national pride.”

      Nothing boosts pride like a half century of technological stagnation.

  34. Trump has no idea about his administration’s push to decriminalize homosexuality around the world, per WH transcript from today’s pool spray:

    In my understanding, Trump simply points out the question is vague and based on hearsay.

    Trump could have said “citation needed” and let MSM develop conspiracy theories about how he edit Wikipedia at night while tweeting with the other hand.

    1. Yeah, looks to me like he’s asking the guy which report he’s talking about. I can’t comment on the “report” you’re asking me about if you don’t tell me what report you’re referring to. Meanwhile, that guy was looking for indifference and ignorance, and maybe he found them because that’s what he was looking for.

      I read a story about Reagan, once. He was talking to some guys from the shoe industry who were there to seek his support for a tariff on shoes. They told him what they wanted, and Reagan started talking about how he had a hard time finding cowboy boots that fit him right. Then he thanked them for coming and showed them the door. On the way out, one of Reagan’s aides asked the shoe guys how the meeting went. They said he seemed to be senile. He couldn’t even stay on topic. The aide went in and asked Reagan how the meeting went, and Reagan said something along the lines of–They seemed like nice enough guys, but there’s no way I’m slapping a tariff on shoes.

      Ever had a girlfriend who couldn’t seem to understand what you were saying so long as what you were saying was “no”? Because other people disagree with Trump doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t understand them.

  35. I love Tulsi Gabbart’s take on American jingoism. On that very critical aspect of government policy, she’s as good as any politician in Congress. During a lengthy interview with Joe Rogan, she not only said the right things but also seemed genuine (unlike GWB, for example, who was totally phony when he campaigned for a “humble foreign policy” that eschewed nation-building.)

    However, she’s a complete nutcase on economic matters. Two items: 1) she was an early supporter of Bernie and 2) she was the sponsor of the OFF Act in the House. The proposed Off Fossil Fuels Act is the batshit-crazy forebear of the Green New Deal.

    1. The problem with Gabbart is that she is so interested in establishing moral equivilence between the US and even the worst regimes, she never gets around to dealing with the core question of why it is the US’s responsibility to solve every problem and intervene in every crisis.

      The answer to Syria is not to go into a bunch of self evident horseshit about how the US is just as bad as Assad or somehow just as to blame for Syria being such a disaster. The answer is to say that whatever is going on in Syria, it is not he US’s responsibility to solve it and not in its interests or Syria’s interests to try and do so.

  36. Looks like a good discussion on immigration, both pro and con

    http://bleedingheartlibertaria…..migration/

    Haven’t watched the video yet, plan to do so later today.

    1. One response stood out to me, as one that often gets repeated here:

      Con: We already permit immigration of 1 million people per year. How many more does this country really need?
      Pro: No one knows. The government is terrible at trying to figure out how much this or that market needs in terms of resources or labor. So let the market decide.

      1. Yes, the market should decide, but only a truly free enterprise market, not a socialized, progressive, warfare / welfare state market.

        If we really want true free enterprise, then we must first eliminate the warfare / welfare state and make damn certain that we don’t have a situation where Joe gringo is paying income taxes, socialist security taxes, real estate property taxes, workers’ compensation, unemployment taxes, regulatory compliance taxes, compulsory insurance taxes, et al, and must compete against companies (read progressive, socialist parasites) employing hordes of black and brown analphabets and where the latter’s education, food, and shelter is financed by joe gringo.

        1. Yes, the market should decide, but only a truly free enterprise market, not a socialized, progressive, warfare / welfare state market.

          We shouldn’t be free to ________ because we don’t have a “truly free enterprise market.” In your mind is it only immigration, or should other freedoms not exist because of our mixed economy?

          It seems to me that it’s the illegality of the immigrant to work in this country that gives him the advantage of not paying taxes in the first place. Much like drugs, the ban is precisely what drives the black market opportunities of “illegal labor.”

      2. More than what we have is too many.

        Roads around the USA are already crowded and California has water issues because that state has too many people for its water infrastructure.

        ~330 people in America is a good number. Let the new LEGAL immigrants assimilate and revisit the issue in 20 years.

        By then, the Democratic Party will be a joke party like the Green party and we will have rolled back most of the socialist government programs.

        Or be bankrupt from crushing debt.

  37. Thems that Smollett, Dealtett.

  38. “If there are billionaires in all the places where people flourish best, why think getting rid of them will make things go better?”

    Billionaires can have more stuff than I can have. They can afford more expensive vacations than I can. Probably most important from an evolutionary psychology perspective, billionaires attract more beautiful, fecund mates than I can attract.

    I want a Gulfstream jet so that I can vacation on my private island with a bevy of beautiful women. But I can’t, and that’s not fair.

    I hate billionaires: every billionaire is a policy failure. Nobody says Sweden is perfect.

    #proglogic

  39. YouTube tells The Verge: “Any content?including comments?that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments. There’s more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly.”

    Every society has a gray area that is flirty but not erotic. When adults do it, we consider it flirting. When kids do it, we don’t look at it that way, because they are kids. It’s like how girls in some countries start wearing a hijab. At a certain age, the neighbors in those countries decide that they need to be modest to avoid unwanted romantic attention. American pop stars have the same situation if they start as child stars. Plenty of Americans thought that Britney Spears and Justin Bieber were being inappropriate until they got old enough for everyone to think that there’s nothing wrong with their lyrics and dance moves.

    How could YouTube possibly police all comments? Practically speaking, “Wow, that music video is hot,” and “Wow, that music video is inappropriate,” signal the same information. They will get the worse cases off their website, but one person’s “Citizen Generated List of Videos to Ban” will be seen as a list of videos to enjoy by a few people out there.

  40. On second thought, there’s a simple market solution to the YouTube pedophilia problem. Start a competing video sharing service that does not let people view videos if they live in a country where more than 1% of the women age 20 to 24 were married under the age of 18. The UN collects this data and publishes it. Then advertise that, “Unlike YouTube, we do not let people from child-bride countries view videos of your daughter.” This will pressure YouTube to do the same. This in turn will pressure other countries to stop the custom of child-brides.

  41. Which dipshit Lefty on here said that Socialists dont use re-education camps anymore?

    China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise

    China wants to make the country’s Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, more subservient to the Communist Party. It has detained up to a million people in what China calls “re-education” camps, drawing condemnation from human rights groups and a threat of sanctions from the Trump administration.

  42. Oh, hell, it matters not. If Gabbard ever becomes the Prez it’ll be because she’s extensively easy on the eye, and because she’s a chick. And she looks kinda ethnic while still having the fine features of a white wench.

    Oooh, feelin’ naughty, feelin’ naughty.

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