Reason Roundup

Marianne Williamson Rises from the Memes and Enters America's Dreams

Plus: Pete Buttigieg's plan to destroy the gig economy, Josh Hawley's plan to destroy social media, and more...

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She resolutely refuses to talk policy specifics. Her voice sounds like a "televangelist crossed with a glass of Chardonnay," to borrow a phrase from Robby Soave. She says things like "dark psychic force" and "emotional turbulence" when discussing politics. And she was the breakout star of Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Detroit.

Before yesterday, Marianne Williamson's candidacy existed mostly as a meme. She seemed interesting and weird and destined to drop out of the polls and then the race. But a funny thing happened on her way to the remainder bin: Not only did the quirky and possibly insane self-help author make it back for round two of the #DemDebates, she also stole the show.

As candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders (D–Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) huffed and puffed about the putrid centrism of fellow candidates, and the purported centrists griped and swiped at their more radical counterparts, Williamson beamed with calm, sturdy energy and fired off quietly devastating barbs.

"I look at some of you and I almost wonder why you're Democrats—you almost think something is wrong with using the instruments of government to help people," she chastised colleagues at one point. Later, she ripped into "politicians, including my fellow candidates," for taking "tens of thousands—and in some cases, hundreds of thousands—of dollars from… corporate donors" while acting like they "now have the moral authority to say we're going to take them on."

Questioned about the environmental crisis in Flint, Michigan, she turned it into a referendum on Donald Trump's aura:

The racism, the bigotry, and the entire conversation that we're having here tonight—if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I'm afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.

America, apparently, ate it up. Williamson was the most-searched candidate on Google last night in every state except Montana (where their own governor and debate-stage newbie Steve Bullock got the most Google queries). CNN hosts fawned over her in the post-debate analysis. Even the antagonize-everyone teens behind Mike Gravel's candidacy were digging Williamson's vibes.

Political reporters and pundits on the left, right, and posts further afield had positive things to say about Williamson's performance, if not necessarily her ideas or ability to win. Yet even those estimations seemed to rise last night for some.

As Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Ky.) pointed out during the last election, Americans love "the craziest son of a bitch in the race." Among Democrats this year, that's Williamson. Her Big "Santa Fe Aunt Energy" is a refreshing change of pace compared to the other career politicians on stage. Her New Age-ness makes her relatable to some, and an easy target for gentle ribbing for many of us. Her long-shot candidacy makes it feel harmless to ironically cheer her on.

But are we failing to take Williamson seriously at our own peril? Not everyone seems to think that elevating her is harmless fun.

Not only does Williamson buy into the litany of bad, big-government proposals that most of the Democratic candidates do, she has also written a host of bizarre (and some say dangerous) things about both mental and physical health (among other things).

For more on Williamson overall, see Jesse Walker's excellent profile of Williamson from earlier this month. For more on her debate performance last night, check out these write-ups from The Spectator and from Buzzfeed.

As for how Williamson herself thought the debate went, she told reporter Sarah Mucha last night: "I'll tell you later when I see the memes."


FREE MINDS

Latino voters split on whether President Donald Trump is racist:


FREE MARKETS

Buttigieg would destroy independent contractors. South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg wants to unionize "gig economy" workers, he told debate watchers last night. He has proposed similarly before. "But in order to successfully execute that plan, the presidential hopeful would need to ensure those workers are reclassified as fully-fledged employees, as opposed to independent contractors," points out Billy Binion.

That may be a tough sell: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) already ruled that Uber drivers cannot unionize because they are independent contractors, and the Department of Labor similarly declined to classify gig economy participants as employees. Both agencies said that those individuals are free to work when they please, can set their own hours when it best suits them, and are permitted to work for competing companies. Those criteria, and several others, make them contractors.

And this change could be devastating to not just employers that rely on them and those who use the services they provide but to the workers themselves.


QUICK HITS

  • "Tony Timpa wailed and pleaded for help more than 30 times as Dallas police officers pinned his shoulders, knees and neck to the ground. 'You're gonna kill me! You're gonna kill me! You're gonna kill me!'" he shouted. Police laughed as they did.
  • During health care discussions in last night's Democratic debate, "neither Sanders nor Warren even acknowledged the possibility that Medicare for All could affect providers adversely. Instead, they kept returning to the profits of drugmakers and insurance companies, as if that were the entire problem."

  • "Conspiracy theories about social media are undermining American institutions," warns the R Street Institute's Jeffrey Wesling.
  • Pete Buttigieg held up alcohol Prohibition as evidence that we could abolish the Second Amendment.

NEXT: Why Did New York Have to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession Twice?

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  1. She resolutely refuses to talk policy specifics.

    Finally, someone on that stage who can be presidential.

    1. Hello.

      On Marianne. Could you imagine how she preps the room before sex?

      “Dark psychic force.”

      Party of science folks.

      1. It’s more scientific than Michael Manns treemometers used to create the hockey stick.

        1. More scientific than Comrade Bernie shouting “I wrote the damn bill!”?

          1. I didnt get that comment from bernie at all. Just because something is written down doesnt make it right. See every Jeff or tony comment.

      2. I think Marianne is probably the only dem who can beat Trump at this point. Politics, esp presidential elections, have been about entertainment over policy for as long as I can remember. And there are lots of flaky middle aged women out there who didn’t vote for Hillary but will vote for her.

        1. And there are lots of flaky middle aged women out there who didn’t vote for Hillary but will vote for her.

          It’s not an accident that Oprah, the queen of Self-Actualization, was singing her praises.

          1. I expect Open to slip the knife into her back, then take her place, Game if Thrones style.

            1. That’s a read I could get into.

      3. “I look at some of you and I almost wonder why you’re Democrats—you almost think something is wrong with using the instruments of government to hurt people,”

  2. Trump’s tax returns required under new California election law

    These poor Lefty states need to read the US Constitution again. States select/elect Electors and those Electors vote for anyone they want. States have different rules for whether the Electors have to vote for the person on a ballot where that person was selected by a majority of voters in the state.

    This will end badly for Blue states because there is nothing in Article I or the 12th Amendment that says Electors can be forced to vote for a certain person.

    In other words, Trump does not have to be on the Commifornia ballot and still be elected President. Especially with their National Popular Vote Compact.

    Taxifornia’s EC votes got to the winner of the National Popular vote. Which will be Trump!

    Hahaha!

    1. It would just be required for his name to be on the primary ballots. Electors have nothing to do with that.

      1. Trump will win the Republican Primary as there is nobody running or anyone that will break 10% of the GOP vote nationwide.

        Trump doesnt need anything to do with Commifornia to win the GOP Primary.

        The if CA tries to pull this stupid shit come 2020 election time, Taxifornia can be shut down on this tactic because the US Constitution does not force Electors to pick who Commifornia wants or “allows” to president.

    2. How long before that tax return grenade frags some prominent Democrat pol?

    3. A lot of states have passed legislation requiring all of the majority vote to go to that candidate, electoral college be damned! More than half I think. That’s not good. Buncha fools.

  3. …Williamson beamed with calm, sturdy energy and fired off quietly devastating barbs.

    Did she end them with “Sad!”?

  4. Push For A Full 2020 Count Ramps Up After Census Citizenship Question Fight

    Keep an eye for the Lefty plan. It’s out in the open because they think that they won. Trump can still have Census canvassers ask Citizenship as a followup question, since the SCOTUS majority said that the citizenship question was perfectly within the power of the federal government to ask.

    1. Eighteen months from now, they’ll go back to not caring.

      1. Like they do with war. Or any thing else they freak about whenever a Republican is in power.

        Fricken children. Actually, children exhibit more restraint and sometimes wisdom.

        They’re just faux-righteous immature adults.

  5. …if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.

    Luckily we can counter the darkness by letting Al Gore get his chakra massaged to release.

    1. Bob Kraft can recommend a few good chakra massagers…

  6. I disagree with this — I think there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that ‘racist’ is a fair descriptor — but one more time: The idea that there is a unified bloc of “people of color” or even Latinos who share a set of political beliefs… no.

    Super racist.

    1. Someday, someone will explain what race Americans are.

      1. You cannot be “racist” after all unless you think that your race is superior to another race.

        1. “Racist” = “poopyhead”

          1. Lefties do like to change the definitions of words.

    2. Super racist.

      Worst band name ever.

    1. Will 2020’s “Red Wave” be even more impressive than 2018’s?

      LOL

      1. The “Blue Wave” was very impressive with 6 lost Senate seats and still not gaining the same 236 House seats that the GOP held.

        I notice that no lefty even mentions the “Blue Wave” anymore.

        OBL is a parody account to get more web traffic, so it does not count.

        1. Y’know, I’ve been meaning to ask about that. If the “Blue Wave” was such a colossal success, why do we still have “concentration camps” on the border? Do dems hate immigrants? Why are we still mired in endless wars? Do dems love war? Why hasn’t anything changed? It’s still nothing but “Trump! Trump! Trump!” all day long. And he’s still president. May win re-election.
          It’s all very puzzling.

        2. “…a parody account to get more web traffic, so it does not count.”

          Less and less so.

      2. Why are you still running that stupid fucking parody Crusty?

        1. You have too much faith in crusty

          1. Boring links no one cares about with commentary that is stupid and also boring.

            I’d say it’s pretty par for the course for crusty.

  7. South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg wants to unionize “gig economy” workers, he told debate watchers last night.

    So that’s who is funding his campaign.

    1. They don’t call him “Buttigig” for nothing.

      1. I think it’s pronounced Buttjuice.

        1. I thought Santorum had that angle covered.

        2. Is that like Beatlguice? If you say his name three times he appears?

        3. It’s Maltese for “chicken fucker”. I think he’s related to SIV.

      2. It’s not Buttgag?

  8. Latest U.S.-China trade talks ‘constructive’, Beijing says

    I’m sure Boehm will do an in-depth article on Chines-US relations as it relates to trade.

    That and how the DOW Jones is at it highest level ever. 27,270.39 as of 7/31/2019 @9:51am

  9. Police laughed as they did.

    Of course the mocking isn’t the main problem here, but it does point to a dangerous culture where not only did none of them put a stop to it but they enjoyed camaraderie over what they were doing to another person who was not one of them.

    1. We should not punish the cops because they probably felt bad about it. They did not MEAN to kill the guy…

    2. I’m not condoning anything, but I certainly won’t cry when someone’s brother/father/mother/friend/etc hunts down and gets vigilante justice against some murderous pigs.

  10. Williamson was the most-searched candidate on Google last night

    Because people couldn’t believe there was someone weirder than McAfee running for president?

    1. McAfree Williamson, a crazy choice for crazy times.

      1. IT’S THEIR TURN!

      2. I’d vote for that ticket.

  11. As the officers and paramedics struggle to load Timpa’s lifeless body onto the gurney, they begin to panic, seeing his glassy, open eyes and blades of grass stuck to his mouth.

    One of the officers asks: “He didn’t just die down there, did he?”

    Not too panicked to lose that passive voice.

    1. +1, they’re constantly performing on camera to establish plausible deniability. “Stop resisting! Stop resisting!” etc.

      “He didn’t just die down there, did he?” like it’s some deus ex machina shit instead of a murder.

      1. He aggressively died at them. They had no choice.

      2. Hell they don’t need a camera for that. They talk to the tape to make it “look” like someone’s being ornery. I’ve had it happen a few times, and called them out on it.
        I got arrested for it.
        I’ve also been hauled out of my car for asking “Why are you contacting me, have I done something wrong?” That when a cop appeared at my window in a line for a drive-thru, and didn’t even ask for my license or insurance or registration.
        He asked some random ass thing, so I asked him that. He roughed me up a bit, told me to get my L & R, and when I moved toward the door to get them, hollered for me to get back. A bunch of that crap. I told him to quit talking for the tape. I went to jail. In front of a lot of witnesses – including a few of my kids, who were left there with all our stuff. Wish I’d always fought harder.
        I really hate cops.

  12. I like Williamson. She is one of those quirky fun hippie women you meet occasionally. Sure, she had terrible policy ideas but they all do. At least Williamson is someone you could spend an evening with without wanting to kill yourself before it was over. Williamson and Gabbard are the only two you can say that about. They are the only two that seem in anyway like a normal person or someone you would ever want to meet. The rest of them are either evil, crazy, creepy, stupid or all four.

    1. Williamson is someone you could spend an evening with without wanting to kill yourself before it was over.

      Ah, but could you spend her first term similarly?

      1. No more so than the rest of them.

      2. Maybe I would have spent an evening with Marianne 20 years ago – I’m sure there would have been lots of incense and scented candles involved, along with the Kama Sutra. I would happily spend an evening with Tulsi now.

    2. I dated a couple.

      No doubt I agree.

    3. I think Booker is close to a normal person too, but is a bad actor intent on playing crazy.
      I find it interesting

    4. Agreed. But it would be a total gas if she can hang in there long enough for the fun value. Tulsi is the most intelligent, imo, but doesn’t have the fun factor.
      But she’s right on war for sure.

  13. Instead, they kept returning to the profits of drugmakers and insurance companies, as if that were the entire problem.

    The rich won’t eat themselves.

  14. a no-knock warrant for an unpaid gas bill

    They were going to flush the cash they saved not paying the bill.

    1. You don’t have cash unless you’re committing a crime.

  15. they kept returning to the profits of drugmakers and insurance companies, as if that were the entire problem.

    For them, that *is* the entire problem. “Simply outlaw large international corporations and things will be just peachy.”

    1. “You didn’t build that!”

      1. With a Warren twist:
        “You have no right to earn money!”

  16. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/07/axioms-and-animadversions-2.php

    Not only was Lincoln a vampire killer, he was also a Marxist. I love this. Lincoln was a Marxist even though Marx didn’t complete his major works until at least four years after Lincoln’s death. Lincoln was apparently a time traveler too. What a guy.

    1. Public Schools have failed this nation. These people are fucking retarded.

      Thanks John.

    2. In one of Harry Turtledove’s alternate-history novels, How Few Remain, Lincoln becomes a socialist after the North loses the Civil War and his political career is ruined.

      1. People are always writing alternative histories where the South loses the Civil War. I find it tiresome and boring. The more interesting alternative history is suppose in 1863 Hooker is aggressive and Chancellorsville turns into an American Austerlitz as he catches Jackson strung out in the process of flanking him and destroys Lee’s army ending the war.

        That sounds boring except that a victory that quickly would have likely not settled anything or convinced the South they had lost the way losing a long war and watching most of their cities burned to the ground did. The alternative history would consist of the South rising again in the form of partisan warfare and smaller rebellions. That would have been a truly nasty affair and more interesting than the South winning.

    3. From the linked article:
      “Of course, Lincoln was not a socialist, nor communist nor Marxist… But Lincoln and Marx ⁠— born only nine years apart ⁠— were contemporaries. They had many mutual friends, read each other’s work and, in 1865, exchanged letters.”

      It also quotes a 1861 letter by Lincoln published in the Chicago Tribune:
      “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

      Perhaps you ought to take Powerline with a grain of salt.

      1. Sharing a view or two with Marx does not make him a Marxist. Perhaps you should learn how the meanings of words work.

        1. 10am John really needs to talk to 12:31pm John, ’cause they’re arguing different points.

          1. No they are not. Lincoln wasn’t a Marxist. Showing a quote that alligns with a small part of Marx’s views does not disprove that nor does it prove he even knew of Marx since he could and probably did come to that view independently

            1. So you’re now disagreeing with the premise of the Powerline post that you originally linked? The one that misrepresented a WaPo article?

    4. “I have noticed in Southern newspapers, particularly the Richmond Enquirer, the Southern view of the Free States….What a mistaken view do these men have of Northern laborers! They think that men are always to remain laborers here— but there is no such class. The man who labored for another last year, this year labors for himself, and next year he will hire others to labor for him. These men don’t understand when they think in this manner of Northern free labor. When these reasons can be introduced, tell me not that we have no interest in keeping the Territories free for the settlement of free laborers.”

      http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/pre-civil-war/1856-2/speech-kalamazoo-michigan-august-27-1856/

  17. Conspiracy theories about social media are undermining American institutions…

    Social media is our only remaining trusted American institution.

  18. David Hogg continues to impress. Forget those conservatives who pounce on his reported 1270 SAT score as if it proves he’s not Ivy League material; the kid is clearly brilliant.

    It’s so ironic how many politicians’ ancestors came here through open borders, stole land, and killed indigenous people, and now call people that come to the United States the same way illegal.

    We Koch / Reason libertarians tend to focus on the economic argument for open borders, which is of course ironclad. But we should also make the moral case — if your ancestors came to this country decades or centuries ago, and you oppose open borders now, you’re a hypocrite.

    #LibertariansForHogg

    1. Jesus you’re fucking boring Crusty.

    2. Hogg? You mean the kid who rode his bike to school after the shooting was over and claimed survivorship? And then took a whole year off to be an activist, but whose luck ran out because there were no school shooting worthy of national attention the entire fucking time? That guy?

    3. I wonder if any of these kids got messed up by the national media coverage suddenly dropping off a cliff as soon as something more shiny than them popped up. I’m sure some of them have emotional problems from the shooting, but its gotta be even worse since everyone cared so much before and then suddenly no one gave a shit.

  19. This is a country that once changed its constitution so you couldn’t drink. And then changed it back because we changed our minds about that.

    Is Buttigieg admitting we need constitutional amendments to ban things?

    1. Ima say No.

    2. Maybe Buttigig is lurking on reason and reading my comments.

      1. I hear he goes by the name Esmeralda Overdrive

        1. Hmm…. might be something too that.

        2. Nope that’s Tony.

          Although, boring fag with stupid ideas does describe him too…

    3. Yes. And he’s also saying that prohibition had no unintended consequences. None. At all.

      1. It created NASCAR, that should scare anyone.

    4. But it didn’t make it so you couldn’t drink and in fact provided plenty of loopholes. The most obvious of those being no mention whatsoever of drinking alcohol. It only addressed manufacture, sale, transportation, importing, and exporting alcohol. Possession and consumption was perfectly legal.

      1. Also, to continue the nitpick, the ban was only on manufacturing etc. alcohol for beverage purposes. Medicinal and sacramental purposes were still allowed. Doctors, priests and rabbis put in lots of orders for medicinal and sacramental alcohol.

        1. “I don’t know if this cures me or makes me more holy, but somehow I don’t care anymore.”

        2. Not to mention that you could still sell anything you’d bought before prohibition started.

          I forget which, but a famous NYC establishment bought enough alcohol to last 14 years, exactly how long prohibition lasted.

    5. I’ve been arguing for quite some time that if progs really want to ban guns, they need to go all-in for an amendment to remove the 2nd. Go for it, be honest for once and let’s see what happens.
      But they’re mendacious. They are, rather effectively, going the route of killing the 2nd by a million cuts while mouthing platitudes about how “nobody wants to take your guns.”

      1. Lefties are unable to pass a Constitutional amendment repealing the 2A at this time or the near future.

        Using judges to undermine the 2A is their only workable tactic.

  20. Could this be the beginning of the end?
    “Analysis: Trump’s Political and Policy Guardrails Fall Away”
    […]
    “WASHINGTON (AP) — An unrepentant President Donald Trump has been testing the limits of the nation’s tolerance from the day he took office. Now he has cast off one of the few remaining voices trying to curtail his at times mercurial impulses.
    Trump nudged out national intelligence director Dan Coats, a rare cautionary influence in his foreign policy apparatus, while he escalated his attacks on minority members of Congress and went so far as to call a majority-black U.S. city of 600,000 a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” on Twitter. Both moves underscored Trump’s longstanding belief that he is his own best political strategist.
    https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2019-07-29/analysis-trumps-political-and-policy-guardrails-fall-away

    The walls are closing in!!!!!!

    1. He called Baltimore a shithole. What kind of nut would say something like that?

      1. At least he didn’t tell Cummings to go back where he came from.

        1. Telling someone to go back to Baltimore would have been over the line. Only a monster would wish that one someone.

      2. Especially when people are getting beaten up by gangs in DC.

    2. If the rats weren’t enough, they also have all those Ravens fans.

  21. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/the-most-soviet-story-ever-toilet/

    More tales of the wonders of socialism. This is pretty awesome.

    Problem: Vladimir’s family lived in Dnipro, Ukraine; Novokuznetzk is on the other side of the USSR, near the Mongolian border — a 17-hour flight.

    But the family needed a toilet. So off dad went.

    How did he get the toilet home? He lugged it onto the Aeroflot flight, and sat on the toilet all the way back to Dnipro. Though a small man, Vladimir’s dad wrestled the toilet up into their apartment and installed it. There it remains to this day.

    A system that makes a man have to fly 17 hours one way to get a new toilet through back channel connections, then ride all the way back home sitting on top of that commode — that’s not a system that works.

    1. Communists are so shitty.

    2. Not real socialism. /sarc

    3. In Soviet Russia, sometimes toilet sits on you.

      1. +1 Lada joke

  22. For asylum seekers, Guatemala is no ‘safe third country’

    Trump deserves credit for having Guatemala block immigrants from Central and South America claiming asylum. Now America only has to worry about Mexicans, Canadians, Cubans, Bahamans, and boat people claiming asylum in the USA.

    1. Canadians seek asylum?

      /Doug Henning stare.

      1. +10

  23. Ebola crisis: Second case confirmed in DR Congo border city of Goma

    Lets hope they don’t bring Ebola infected people to the USA again. Treat them off shore or whatever but don’t purposely bring dangerously infected people to the USA to show off how great Emory Medical Center is.

    1. Let the pants shitting begin.

      1. Open Borders! This includes people infected with a disease that has a death rate of 90% based on past outbreaks.

        1. While it’s unlikely, suppose illegal immigrants brought Ebola into the US and wiped out 20-30,000 people in a particularly gruesome fashion…that would be the end of the democratic party.

          1. Seems extremely unlikely given that outbreaks in Africa where medical care and sanitation are much, much worse don’t kill that many people.

            1. Dec 2013–Jan 2016
              28,646 sick 11,323 died

              Mind you, Ebola was only really tracked as of 1976.

        2. I could be misremembering, but I thought that the infected people who came to the US before were Americans.
          And a bunch of people were sure it was the start of an Ebola outbreak in the US. And then nothing happened.

          1. A few people were sick and were able to travel to the USA. One guy was not sick but was a carrier and passed it via his semen to some woman.

            2-3 American medical personnel got sick while helping in Africa and were flown to Emory Medical Center in Georgia for treatment.

            There is no reason that we can’t treat these sick people offshore on a US Navy hospital ship. Make sure everyone is not sick and then return to a US port. Bringing actively sick people with Ebola to the USA is stupid and not worth the risk. These doctors think that they are so smart and then they get sick.

            If one American gets sick because this happened, heads would roll.

            Ebola is a super deadly disease with no cure. Its not worth the risk when Ebola is not native to North America.

  24. Later, she ripped into “politicians, including my fellow candidates,” for taking “tens of thousands—and in some cases, hundreds of thousands—of dollars from… corporate donors”

    Like Oprah.

    1. S corps dont count.

  25. http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-the-power-of-organized-crime/

    This is a bit long and rambling. It is almost too long didn’t read for me and that is almost never true. But it is fascinating. It is a review of two appearently very well researched and legit books about the history of the Chicago mafia and it’s connections to California. There are a million interesting things in this review and I need to read these books. But one story really sticks out.

    David Bazelon is the grandfather of noted Slate dingbat Emily Bazelon and one of the most famous liberal judges of the 50s and 60s. Turns out that Bazelon started out as a lawyer for the Chicago mob. He then moved to California and in the early 1940s got himself elected to a position that allowed him to liquidate all of the property seized from the Japanese FDR and Earl Warren locked up. Bazelon then sold tens of millions of dollars worth of property stolen from Japanese and German Americans to his cronies for literally cents on the dollar and making them and through the kickbacks himself rich. He then went on to get himself appointed a federal circuit judge, a position he was in no way qualified for and the rest is liberal history.

    The author of the piece speculates on why Bazelon ended up being a civil libertarian after being such a crook. One theory is that he wanted to let his criminal buddies go free. Another is that he had a guilty conscience. The author dismisses both of those and offers a provocative but compelling counter theory. It goes

    But there is an even more disturbing possibility that comes to mind. Medical personnel and lab technicians usually wear spotless white coats so that even the slightest bit of potentially-dangerous foreign matter can easily be detected and removed. In a society having very low rates of ordinary street crime or social disorder, public attention would naturally focus upon the sort of business corruption and financial crime that constituted the regular activity of Bazelon and his Supermob circle, who would inevitably become primary targets of law enforcement efforts. But suppose that same society became overwhelmed with the sorts of robberies, muggings, and rapes that evoke the most public fear, along with the chaos and disorder caused by the frightening public behavior of large numbers of the mentally-ill. Surely under such conditions, the citizenry would demand that the authorities concentrate their main efforts on those most immediate threats to public safety, necessarily drawing them away from the white collar crimes being committed in lawyers’ officers.

    Read the entire thing. It is worth it.

    1. Interesting claims.

      Remember when the Mob supposedly disappeared and/or was “broken” by the FBI?

      Yet we still get a story here and there about Mob crimes.

      Organized crime made a killing off the Drug War, war on sex, and war on gambling.

      If Democrats are supposedly so into civil liberties then why don’t they repeal these Vice laws when in power? Conservatives tend to support Vice laws, so its understandable that they wont repeal those laws.

      1. One of the other interesting points he makes is that organized crime was as much Jewish as it was Italian. It only became associated with Italians because the Jews who ran Hollywood wanted it to be associated with someone other than them. If you listed out the famous gangsters from the early 20th Century, there are just as many Jews as their are Italians on the list. Indeed, unlike the New York mob, the Chicago Mob did not restrict its membership and leadership to Italians and was predominantly Jewish.

        1. “Sonofabitch, do you know who I am? I’m Moe Greene! I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders!”

          1. “Who is he, anyhow, an actor?”

            “No.”

            “A dentist?”

            “Meyer Wolfsheim? No, he’s a gambler.” Gatsby hesitated, then added coolly: “He’s the man who fixed the World’s Series back in 1919.”

            “Fixed the World’s Series?” I repeated.

            The idea staggered me. I remembered, of course, that the World’s Series had been fixed in 1919, but if I had thought of it at all I would have thought of it as a thing that merely happened, the end of some inevitable chain. It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people — with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe.

            “How did he happen to do that?” I asked after a minute.

            “He just saw the opportunity.”

            “Why isn’t he in jail?”

            “They can’t get him, old sport. He’s a smart man.”

            1. Hehehe

        2. Every ethnic group has gangsters and Jews are no different.

          Loansharking was evidently some Jewish gangsters bread-and-butter.

        3. The hitman Italians hired were usually Jewish.

          That being said. Look up ‘Ndrangheta in Calabria. Probably the most secretive, powerful, influential and ruthless of them all.

          They make the Cartels and Sicilians look like little children. They’re the point guards of the whole operation as I understand it. At least, according to Interpol and a news report about them I watched in Paris years ago.

          1. Yeah, “Murder Inc” was run by Meyer Lansky and mostly Jewish. According to Wikipedia on Ndrangheta

            A US diplomat estimated that the organization’s narcotics trafficking, extortion and money laundering activities accounted for at least 3% of Italy’s GDP in 2010.[3]

            Damn

            1. $27.240 Billion Euros in 2007 for drug trafficking!

            2. Impressive. And Ndrangheta is just one of the many organized crime groups in Italy…

        4. It’s not really an accident that the immigrant groups that primarily settled in the cities in large numbers–Irish, Italians, and Jews–ended up building the mafia out of their urban ethnic enclaves. The Germans seemed to have avoided doing the same thing despite their equally large numbers, but that’s likely because they spread out to the hinterlands and created a lot of small towns centered around agriculture and light industry.

          Mafias were built out of the sheer scale and social Darwinism of 19th century urban America.

        5. Frank Nitti had a sweet deal going with Hollywood. Studio producers would pay him 100 thousand bucks and Nitti kept the projectionist union on a leash. The studios saved millions and were quite happy. Nitti, despite what you see, was only a front man for the two guys who ran the Chicago mob, Tony Accardo and Paul Ricca. When the shit hit the fan and the feds pounced, Nitti was told he was taking the fall. Rather than face jail, he had claustrophobia, he swallowed a bullet. A couple of mobsters went to jail, but no Hollywood producer was ever charged. The Frank Nitti story has never been accurately told in any Hollywood movie and never will.

          1. +10

    2. Seems like a Soros kinda guy

    3. I found it interesting until it veered very uncomfortably into “Jewish media / criminal conspiracy” territory.

      Russo may or may not be aware of it, but for most of the last couple of centuries, Eastern European Jews have enjoyed a tremendous reputation for rampant criminality, especially involving crimes of corruption, vice, or financial gain. Since the end of World War II, overwhelming Jewish influence in the media and academic worlds has led to massive suppression of this historical reality, much like the criminal activities of the Supermob disappeared almost without a trace prior to Russo’s ground-breaking research. But his story would hardly have surprised knowledgeable Americans a century or more ago. Before Jewish political and media had fully established itself, writers sometimes candidly discussed such criminal tendencies in ways that might seem extremely discordant to naive present-day Americans.

      1. I clicked on the article “the nature of anti-semitism” at the bottom of John’s article. If reading the first paragraph of that article doesn’t make you think the author is nuts, I don’t know what will.

  26. Her New Age-ness makes her relatable to some, and an easy target for gentle ribbing for many of us.

    “Gentle ribbing”? Is that like “Rolfing”?

    1. Her New Age-ness is the Yin to the Yang of Biden and Sanders Old Age-ness.

  27. Marianne Williamson started speech by asking white people apologize to black people

    Presidential long shot Marianne Williamson told the white people in the crowd at one of her talks to apologize to the black individuals in attendance last year.

    Williamson was speaking on her “Love America Tour” at the Unity of Houston in July, 2018 when she began by having all of the white people stand up, Joy Sewing, who was in the crowd, of the Houston Chronicle wrote at the time.

    The spiritual guru then asked all of the white people to hold the hands of black people near them and to repeat after her. Williamson began with “I apologize …”

    1. She asked them to apologize. At least she didn’t ask them to get out their checkbooks.

      1. That’s Step 2.

    2. Collective guilt is a great idea.

    3. Yeah, no thanks.

  28. “Tony Timpa wailed and pleaded for help more than 30 times as Dallas police officers pinned his shoulders, knees and neck to the ground. ‘You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me!'” he shouted. Police laughed as they did.

    How is that not murder by agents of the state under the color of law?

  29. So Trump busted the glass ceiling between reality TV and the presidency. Maybe Williamson can bust the next ceiling and bring unreality TV to the White House.

  30. Buttigieg continues to creep the hell out of me.

  31. I disagree with this — I think there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that ‘racist’ is a fair descriptor

    Good to see Jesse Singal, whoever he is, self identify as a complete moron. There really must be an IQ test you have to fail to work in the major media.

    1. Maybe not a complete moron. Just half a moron. At least he’s aware enough to realize that Latinos don’t all share one hive mind.

      1. True. I am not sure he sees that as a good thing, however.

  32. Latino voters split on whether President Donald Trump is racist

    The truth is it doesn’t matter if he’s racist or not. All that matters is outcomes. First Step Act? Who cares if he’s a racist of some kind, he signed it.

    Or conversely, look at some of the presidents who are revered by certain Trump haters. LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act and he was a much bigger racist than Trump. So what? It doesn’t matter.

    FDR ran a SEGREGATED military! Was he a racist? Doesn’t matter. If Trump tried to re-segregate the military to be more like FDR… oh man

    1. Pretty much. Especially if the “racism” is just some casual bigotry or ill advised comments. Unless he’s trying to implement policies that treat people differently based on race, so what if he makes some dickish comments?

  33. Fantastic news!

    Between 2020 and 2100, Africa’s population is expected to increase from 1.3 billion to 4.3 billion.

    In 2021 the Democratic President will implement the Koch / Reason open borders agenda. And for the rest of the century there will be literally billions of Africans wanting to immigrate here. Imagine how much this influx of skilled labor will help our economy!

    #OpenBorders

    1. OBL I think you’ve finally crossed the proverbial line.

  34. collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country,”

    that collective hatred is only coming form the left and the media. If they ignored half of what he said they wouldn’t get a charge out of him and if they didn’t lie about other the half then he would probably be a boring president

  35. CNN’s resident metrosexual potato Brian Stelter feels Onion is satire while Babylon Bee is “fake news” because leftists sometimes confuse Babylon Bee stories as truth.

    Now, Babylon Bee expressly states it’s a satire site. The Onion still does not.

    But because Lefties are, apparently, morons — Babylon Bee isn’t satire. It’s just “fake news”.

    Shame, as their story about a stopped clock being CNN’s most accurate reporter was quite funny.

    1. Babylon Bee is great.
      Seems to me that “fake news” is exactly what both BB and the Onion are. If stetler is too dumb to realize that they are also satire, that’s his problem.

      1. They are just angry that the Bee ridicules the left and want it shut down

        1. They’re trying to get Facebook to deplatform them.

          This is not a problem to “libertarians”, though, because “MUH PRIVATE PLATFORMS”

          Snopes going Babylon Bee and now, metrosexual potato Stelter doing the same? This is not a coincidence.

    2. People on both the left and right mistake stories in both the The Onion and Babylon Bee as being real news. Stupidity in not bound by ideology, nor is getting duped by an article that confirms your priors.

    3. The Babylon Bee has now engaged attorneys against Snopes. Hope they win.

      They’re still winning with tweets like this, though (remove the space):

      https://twitter.com/TheBabylon Bee/status/1154488665126522880

  36. “This is a country that once changed its constitution so you couldn’t drink. And then changed it back because we changed our minds about that. And you’re telling me we can’t reform our dmeocracy?”

    Good to hear he won’t try to strip the 2nd amendment without going through the state legislatures first. LOL

  37. Her long-shot candidacy makes it feel harmless to ironically cheer her on.

    You know what other long-shot candidate felt harmless to ironically cheer on?

    1. Hitler?

  38. It’s unclear from the video why Dallas Fire-Rescue medical responders don’t intervene immediately after Timpa loses consciousness.

    Is it?

    1. The clarity comes more from prior knowledge of how police operate than from the video.

  39. I’m shocked Reason hasn’t reported on this story yet, where a deputy who hadn’t identified himself shoots a citizen through the window beside the front door, then claimed contrary to bodycam footage that the citizen opened the door brandishing a handgun:

    https://www.wyff4.com/article/upstate-man-shot-by-greenville-county-deputy-through-own-front-door-attorney-says/28525869

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