Reason Roundup

A New Front in Trump's War on Amazon

Plus: Thousands of troops leaving Afghanistan, TV networks sue streaming site Locust, Gabbard calls Harris response "pathetic," and more...


A $10 billion tech contract with the U.S. military is under review, in what many perceive as a political move by President Donald Trump against Amazon.

In mid-July, Trump said his administration was looking into the Pentagon's likely decision to award the contract to Amazon Web Services, amid "complaining from different companies like Microsoft and Oracle and IBM."

"Amazon Web Services, which virtually created the cloud computing industry and has long provided cloud services to the Central Intelligence Agency, has always been seen as the strongest competitor," reports The New York Times. But Trump—a frequent Amazon critic—told reporters in July that "great companies are complaining about it, so we're going to take a look at it. We'll take a very strong look at it."

This week, a spokesperson for Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper announced that the contract would be postponed while Esper was "looking at" it further. No word was given on how long that will take or whether the White House had in fact intervened.

Google had initially been in the running for the contract, but it "pulled out amid employee opposition to military work, though many analysts said it was unlikely to win the project because it lacked the right security credentials," says the Times.

IBM and Oracle had also been vying for the contract, but the Department of Defense said in April that they were no longer being considered and the contract was between Amazon and Microsoft.


Gabbard calls Harris response "pathetic." More fallout from Tulsi Gabbard challenging Kamala Harris during Wednesday night's debate:


Lobbying is speech:


Big-four broadcast networks fight the TV distribution nonprofit Locust. ABC, CBS, Comcast NBCUniversal, and Fox are suing a video-streaming company called Locust:

New York based Locast offers viewers access to over the air broadcasts via the internet to roughly 13 cities (about 31% of the US market). Its website notes the operation is funded by donations and that access to this content (again, already accessible for free via an antenna) should be a consumer "right" given that US consumers technically own the airwaves these programs are broadcast over.

The networks disagree.

Locust is "funded in part by AT&T and Dish Networks" and "was developed by former FCC lawyer and media executive David Goodfriend, who…designed the service entirely from the ground up in a bid to try and comply with (and test the logic of) the current legal minefield," notes TechDirt. Goodfriend told The New York Times: "We really did our homework. We are operating under parameters that are designed to be compliant within the law."


  • Thousands of troops are being withdrawn from Afghanistan today. "The agreement, which would require the Taliban to begin negotiating a larger peace deal directly with the Afghan government, could cut the number of American troops in the country from roughly 14,000 to between 8,000 and 9,000," reports The Washington Post.
  • The U.S. is pulling out of a missile treaty with Russia. "France and Germany and other allies have backed the U.S. plan to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty on Friday unless Russia destroys missiles that the U.S. says violate the pact," reports The Wall Street Journal. "Moscow has shown no sign of complying with the deadline."
  • New Jersey just joined eight states and D.C. in legalizing physician-assisted suicide.
  • Trump announced yesterday that another $300 billion in Chinese goods would face 10 percent tariffs come September. "Combined with the existing tariffs of 25 percent on about $250 billion worth of Chinese-made goods, the new tariffs will effectively cover all goods imported from China," notes Reason's Eric Boehm.
  • Jail nurse charged in inmate's death:

  • Playboy is being relaunched as a quarterly magazine. CEO Ben Kohn said Playboy merchandise and services still net $3 billion annually, and so reviving the magazine worked well as a form of "brand extension." The New York Times says Kohn "likened the future of the company to Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop."
  • The FBI thinks conspiracy theories could be a terror threat, and it has issued a bulletin warning about them. Yahoo News, which obtained the document, quotes some skeptical thoughts from Joe Uscinski, Michael German, and David Garrow.
  • Women in Saudi Arabia can now get their own passports.

NEXT: As Opioid Prescriptions Surged in Germany, Opioid Addiction Held Steady, While Opioid-Related Deaths Fell

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  1. “Thousands of troops are being withdrawn from Afghanistan today.”

    What a disastrous and irresponsible move from our cowardly Commander in Chief. I voted for Hillary Clinton because she would have left Afghanistan only after securing a decisive victory over the Taliban.


    1. Military is getting stretched pretty thin, OBL. There are probably five or six more wars the U.S. needs to start. Which of your favorite candidates will back a new DRAFT (males and females, of course) while still cutting back the defense budget that robs the work-shy of their minimum annual income?

      1. “There are probably five or six more wars the U.S. needs to start.”

        Not that many. If there’s another war that needs to happen, it’s against Russia as revenge for the attacks they started in 2016. Literally any Democrat except Tulsi Gabbard would make an excellent Commander in Chief to lead us through the Russo-American War.


        PS — If drafted to fight against Russia, I will embrace my mission with the same enthusiasm as the patriotic Americans who joined the military after Pearl Harbor.

        1. Lordy, this brings back memories. I grew up expecting the commies would nuke us. Maybe a dem president can finally make it happen!!!

        2. I would have thought you’d want U.S. to blast the Norks, the Iranians, and – to get even for preventing more asylum seekers – even Guatemala. China still spews too much CO2, so let’s not forget them. Maybe even Canada needs to be taught a lesson, too.

        3. OK, you’ve officially jumped the shark tank. Time to pack it in, buddy, find a new shtick.

        4. #Putin’sMistress

      2. Sexist! The New Green Draft will include males, females, trannies, undecided, and centaurs. In fact, to compensate for past patriarchal bias, the first years will draft every young person NOT male.

        1. What about people who identify as attack helicopters?

          1. You mean AttaX helicopters?

  2. Amazon has been at war with Trump since the election. How dare he punch back!

    1. Have they? How so?

    2. Backwater religious schooling, and homeschooling involving substandard parents, have consequences.

      Cy is among those consequences.

      1. Arthur L. Hicklib would know about backwater schooling, given his room temperature IQ.

        1. To be more precise, room temperature in Celsius.

    3. Hint: Donald Trump ain’t a God or even Dear Leader, the police and federal antitrust regulators aren’t his fucking personal hit squad whatever washed-out post puts up. Damn son, you really like all this authoritarian shit don’t you?


    So creepy weirdo becomes evangelical huckster by developing a theory that says that people should not date or intereact or be friends with the opposite sex unless they think that person is “marriage material”.

    After making a good career as an evangelical carnival barker, said creepy weirdo now divorces his wife, renounces Christianity and apologizes to the LQWERTY community or whatever it is calling itself for his past sins.

    So, what shoe is about to drop? Boys, gay lovers or both? Clearly he is coming out of the closet soon. But I don’t think he gave up his lucrative gig preaching about the evils of the flesh for no reason.

    1. Soon to reinvent himself as an I-used-to-be-a-self-hating-gay-man-but-now-I’ve-seen-the-light inspirational speaker at Lefty events.

    2. Interesting. Preachers and politicians will always let you down.

    3. Any Christianity that doesn’t get righteousness by faith (rather than our own perfect action) is doomed to frustration and failure. His message was basically telling people that Jesus died for nothing–and we’re supposed to live a perfect life. I remember reading the part about how we have little or nothing left of ourselves to offer our spouses or God when we’ve given ourselves away to some many different people. Where is that in the Sermon on the Mount? Where is that in Paul, even?

      The whole Christian outlook is supposed to be based on the observation that because Jesus died for the people who are doing the rotten things we see, we’re supposed to treat them as if they were worthy of that sacrifice regardless of how they behave. It also holds that the creator of the universe came to die for each and every one of us–despite our failures. Believing that God loves us despite what we’ve done and treating rotten people well, despite the way they act, that’s a big part of what we’re talking about when we talk about faith . . .

      If his Christianity ignored all of that and centered on actions like maintaining virginity instead, then I might argue that he was never really a Christian in the first place.

      1. Didn’t Paul command us in “Romans” to obey our rulers because they were set up by God? That might have been an interesting defense at the Nuremburg trials.

        1. I don’t see arguing that being good citizens by obeying laws against theft, etc. is a good way to protect the spread of Christianity within the Roman Empire as supporting Nazi war crimes in any way.

          I see evidence that Paul may have been right about that when I see Pliny the Younger’s letter to Trajan. He’s wrote to the emperor asking him what to do with Christians, who seem to be among the most law abiding citizens under his rule as governor–but they keep getting brought before him for the crime of being a Christian! Being good, law-abiding people seems to have served them well.

          The idea that Paul was arguing that Christians should help the Nazis perpetrate the holocaust seems to be something you invented in your own head. What Paul was saying isn’t really hard to understand–unless you don’t want to understand it. If you said that Christians shouldn’t obey the law in regards to perpetrating the holocaust, would that mean you condone Christians stealing cars? No, that would be a ridiculous interpretation.

      2. That is one interpretation of Christian theology. One that happens to be common in America, that I was raised in, and you believe in.

        But it is not “the whole Christian” outlook. Christianity has a 2000-year-old history with lots of various outlooks.

        1. Yeah, it’s hardly a new take on Chrsitianity. Puritans were an even more extreme case. One big reason that sect didn’t last is that they found that having to tell grieving parents that their dead children were in hell was not a very tenable position.

          1. Puritans didn’t go away, they just started calling themselves progressives

            1. Not really. People have no trouble coming up with new ways to be insufferable moral scolds who think they are God’s chosen ones.

              1. There’s a continuous line of development from Puritanism through abolitionists through prohibitionists to environmentalists and SJWs of today.
                It’s the same movement

                1. I was talking about a specific religious sect that predominated in New England in the 17th century.
                  There is a continuous development from the first Homo species in Africa to the USA. Does that make us all bushmen of the Kalahari?

            2. St Pete Buttigieg was damning us Minimum Wage heretics. I decided to be a better Christian than him and push for a $25 Minimum Wage

        2. “If you have done so unto the least of these, you have done so unto me.”

          “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”

          That second one in particular, teaching us how to ask for forgiveness from God, is even steeped in the idea that you should only ask for forgiveness from God to the extent that you’re willing to forgive other people for what they’ve done to you. Did Jesus die for your sins or didn’t he? Do you or don’t you want forgiveness for that?

          I suspect we’re partially talking about what I call, “the Chuy divide”. Chuy is a guy I knew. I was going to live in Mexico. Chuy was explaining to me that real Mexican food isn’t like it is in the U.S. For one thing, everything in Mexico isn’t covered with cheddar cheese. He said this while eating a cheese covered taco. I replied something to the effect that, “Everything you eat is, by definition, real Mexican food”.

          I was arguing that when Chuy eats sushi or pizza, it’s real Mexican food if real Mexican food is defined as food eaten by real Mexicans. He was arguing that real Mexican food is a canon of the traditional cuisine of Mexico in its unaltered form.

          I’m telling you that Christianity is the belief in a loving and all powerful God and reconciling that belief with the unjust death of Jesus of Nazareth. Some of the more obvious implications of that reconciliation have to do with how you should treat other people the way you would want to be treated if you were them–as an expression of your faith–because you believe that Jesus died for them.

          You’re telling me that Christianity is whatever Christians believe, and, historically, that can be like a Mexican eating sushi and calling it “Mexican food”.

          In other words, I think we’re talking about two different things.

          1. Somewhere in the new testament it said to judge trees by their fruits. I don’t know what other’s experiences have been, but I have seen a number of friends and myself harmed by things christian churches teach. One of my best friends stayed in a horrible, abusive marriage for 5 years longer than he should have because he didn’t want to let god down. 4 years ago I remember visiting and him saying “my wife doesn’t have any interest in showing affection to me, I’m so miserable, I can’t figure out why god would want me to suffer like this”. My girlfriend went to a private christian school affiliated with her parent’s church and was bullied so badly she took up cutting herself. A big part of why I struggled to date effectively is I had to work for years in my early 20s deprogramming myself from the purity, shame, no sex before marriage bullshit this guy is selling. I see a lot of christian churches selling that bullshit. I have yet to see anyone I know in real life actually helped by being part of a church community.

            Maybe those churches were No True christianity. Maybe doing religion well is super hard and in a majority buddhist country I’d see a lot of the same (or different) awful bullshit from those temples. Honestly, I don’t think it’s worth my time to try to find out. I know I’m not an expert, but what I have seen does not provide an impression that christianity is helpful to people in terms of living better lives.

            1. From an evolutionary perspective, religion, like other aspects of culture, are adaptations. Taboos that evolve among stone age level tribes near the equator are adaptations. As culture, the economy, people, etc. change, some of those adaptations prove to be more trouble than they’re worth. Our opposable thumbs aren’t as useful as they used to be, but keeping them doesn’t hurt us–so they persist. Plenty of the harmful aspects of our culture have been heavily revised to avoid the downsides, too, with religion being an excellent example. The most harmful aspects of Christianity don’t seem to be as harmful as they used to be. Christians and Christian religions are more tolerant of things like divorce and homosexuality than they used to be. They’re less tolerant of abuse by clergy than they used to be. From this perspective, however, we’re mostly talking about what I referred to below when I was talking the definition of Christianity as what people who are Christians actually do. That’s seeing sushi as Mexican food because it’s eaten by Mexicans.

              There is another way to look at Christianity–as a set of ideas that Jesus taught, especially in the Sermon on the Mount, and a set of natural implications that flow from the idea that the creator of the universe sacrificed himself (or his son) to save us and our freedom. Perhaps the most profound impact on my thinking about this idea of Christianity came from Dostoevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor” chapter in The Brothers Karamazov. I read the description of the three temptations of Christ as Jesus resisting the temptations to answer our prayers, when we ask him to give us what we want or when we ask him to protect us from harm. In that chapter, this was juxtaposed against what the church actually does. In that chapter, Jesus is forced to face the Spanish Inquisition–and the church condemns him for his teachings.

              Regardless of the extent to which churches make it easy for people to justify inflicting the worst aspects of their culture on fellow believers, I don’t see anything in Jesus’ teachings that condone the abuse of other people in his name. People misquote, misinterpret, and completely ignore the First Amendment all the time–in the name of all that’s good and holy and the Constitution, too. I don’t think that’s the fault of the First Amendment or the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. That’s the fault of the people who speak blasphemy in the First Amendment’s name, and it’s also my fault if I fail to point out their blasphemy. It’s the same thing with religion.

              If your problem is with what a church taught you and your friends, some important aspects of which may not have been true, don’t mistake the messenger for the message. They’re two different things! What Jesus taught and did, and its implications, may or may not be what your church taught you about him.

              1. Thank you for your response Ken. I can see your point. I don’t disagree with the major points of the new testament. Love and forgive your neighbor, treat others the way you’d like to be treated, go forth and sin no more. I just never found anything in there that helped me overcome the challenges I’ve had in life. Maybe it’s more helpful for others.

            2. in a majority buddhist country I’d see a lot of the same (or different) awful bullshit from those temples

              Yes – you would. In parallel with abstracted Buddhism catching on here like wildfire, Christianity is spreading quite rapidly and enthusiastically in Buddhist countries, where they don’t see Christianity as being quite so polluted by the hypocrisy of the Temples.

              Back when I was teaching I once had a student from Laos who said she just couldn’t understand white people here who take Buddhism so seriously because to her Buddhism is about sacrificing chickens for good luck, the way her grandmother used to.

              1. Meditation practices that train the mind to focus on present are especially popular in the U.S., I suspect, because of our obsessions with self-help and psychological problems. Depression can be seen as an uncontrollable desire to ruminate on the past. Anxiety can be seen as compulsion to escape the present by obsessing over the future. Buddhist meditation techniques can help us train our minds to focus on the present, when they’re in a state, for whatever reason, that they don’t want to do that by default.

                Also, women like yoga, and it’s like yoga.

                Also, there’s the uncanny valley aspect. The uncanny valley is about how we like things the more and more they’re like us–right up until some point where they become too much like us. At that latter point, the more they become like us, the more we find them revolting. Buddhism is far enough away that it’s like some of our own cultural aspects of Christianity without being too much like Christianity. I suspect it’s in that zone where we call things “exotic”, where they’re both foreign and attractive. Christianity, for a lot of people, is on the revolting side of the uncanny valley.

                1. Also, there’s the uncanny valley aspect.

                  Agreed – but I would argue that for Christians, that’s Islam, and vice-versa. Buddhists and Christians have a mutual attraction due to the dissimilarity that makes each look more pure to the other.

                  1. Christianity is monotheistic buddhism.

                2. Ken Schultz, I often read the comments for your insightful commentary. Uncanny valley viewpoint is great! Unfortunately I accidentally flagged your comment. I’m an inept GenXer with 20 year old coding skills in C+, and thought the flag symbol was a bookmarker. Duh. My apologies.

    4. No more “Girls Gone Wild”?

      What we need are not girls who have gone wild but girls who are “getting ready to go” wild.

      1. What we need are not girls who have gone wild but girls who are “getting ready to go” wild.

        Send them back!

        1. Have you seen a Girls Gone Wild video?
          They’re garbage – so boring!
          Had friends in college who ordered one, and did (try to) send it back

          1. Have you seen a Girls Gone Wild video?

            The first or early iteration was mostly reliant on novelty and/or voyeuristic kink appeal. Once they moved past taking 20 min. to get a drunk girl to flash for 2s and got into more casting couch/overt gay(lesbian)-for-pay porn it got better. But not much. I am/was a fan of Malena Morgan.

    5. Religious dilettantes. My brother is one. They are super passionate about whatever their beliefs happen to be that week.

    6. “So, what shoe is about to drop?”

      My prediction: he comes full circle but now identifying as a woman… Who demands a return to traditional courtship except for the part where anyone who doesn’t think he is now an attractive woman must be shamed on twitter

      1. “Now wax my junk, you transphobe!”

    7. So, what shoe is about to drop? Boys, gay lovers or both? Clearly he is coming out of the closet soon. But I don’t think he gave up his lucrative gig preaching about the evils of the flesh for no reason.

      Put me in the ‘home schooled is the only reason I needed to hear’ camp. He seems to have managed not to shoot up a Church or a gay nightclub though.

      1. Did you see his picture? Man does he look like a closet case.

  4. “A $10 billion tech contract with the U.S. military is under review, in what many* perceive as a political move by President Donald Trump against Amazon.”

    The Capitol One breach, which may have compromised the data of as many as 100 million people, happened when Capitol One was using Amazon Web Services. Early indications suggest the breach was about Capitol One failing to secure their own firewall, rather than Amazon Web Services; regardless, the CIA and the Pentagon might want to make sure they understand the risks thoroughly before they commit their data to a system that was just compromised by a random kook.

    *weasel word alert

    1. As WWIII begins and America’s nuclear missile systems are disabled, the Deep State traitors running to their fallout bunkers will convince themselves that those software backdoors to spy on Americans were worth it.

    2. I think the military should have their own cloud system separate from everything else but then a closed system wouldn’t provide the drama everyone wants.

      1. Run by the NSA, since they are the only ones that know about all the zero-day exploits that they won’t tell us about.

        1. Built by Indian H1B workers?

  5. “The FBI thinks conspiracy theories could be a terror threat”

    Conspiracy theories clearly threaten the stability of our nation. Indeed, it’s been downright scary to watch a major American political party descend into a kind of fantasy land over the past couple years. Far too many Republicans believe in a ludicrous conspiracy theory alleging the so-called “Deep State” was embarrassed by Drumpf’s victory, and went looking for reasons to remove him from office.

    The truth, of course, is that Drumpf has been a Russian intelligence asset since 1987 and therefore scrutiny of everything he does is entirely appropriate.


    1. Back on top of your game I see.

    2. Perfectly calibrated projection.

    1. Paint means everything.

    2. Of course, if they were black or brown, that would be because white people think that only POCs should do physical labor.

      1. It’s racism all the way down.

      2. Check out a photo of Toyota’s basketball-playing robot.

        1. OK, I laughed out loud. Maybe there’s something to the CNN article after all. It was made in Japan though.

        2. Toyota’s basketball-playing “free throw” shooting robot

          Dear Toyota,

          Suck it.


    3. Oh, for heaven’s sake. Black and white have symbolic meaning deeply ingrained in culture that has nothing to do with skin color. There is a reason we paint ceilings and walls white and not black. There are reasons why people like light colored and bright things. It has nothing to do with race.

      1. The funny thing is that you know as well as I do if robots were generally brown or black, they would claim it was racist because of the implication of black slavery. “White people love black robots because it reminds them of the days when they had black slaves”. There is no winning with these lunatics.

        1. See also white flight vs. gentrification.


    In yet another crazy example of Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Washington Post is now going after hamburgers for a “Russian connection” merely because Donald Trump likes to eat a burger now and again.

    You read that right. Hamburgers are now Russian assets because Donald Trump likes them.

    1. The “logic” taught on many US campuses is paying off.

    2. The WaPo article is actually fascinating history. The Sovs learned about hamburgers during one of their detente-era “fact finding” trips, the sort that were generally cover for industrial espionage. The article also details how Russian cooks put their own spin on the burger, turning it more into football-shaped meatloaf.

      1. Pity they couldn’t do it without making it about Trump in some way.

        1. “Trump” is clickbait.

    3. I thought hamburgers came from Germany? And you know what else came from Germany…

  7. Nets Ignore NYC Man Beaten for Wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ Hat

    Wait… I was assured that Trump supporters are the White racists!

    1. Read some of the tweets from tolerant progressives

      “Wearing a MAGA is like wearing a KKK hood to many of us.”

      “Anyone supporting @realDonaldTrump after two years of his insanely bigoted rhetoric are themselves bigots. And I don’t have sympathy for bigots who get their asses kicked.”

      1. “Hey if you go out wearing nazi garb, be prepared for the consequences as well ”

        Haha. I bet this person feels differently when antifa are wearing black Nazi garb.

        1. Actually, it was Italian fascists that were the blackshirts; Hitler’s thugs wore mostly brown until they started carrying guns outside of Germany.
          But yeah; no one needs to guess who will scream the loudest when the first armored black shirt fascist finally gets capped. I can only hope they are shot by a non-white to make the socialists heads explode and take away the race card. Oh, wait. They play the race card anyway.

          1. And Antifa’s thugs were fighting Hitler’s thugs.

            1. And also joining Hitler’s thugs.
              It was all the same crowd

            2. They’re all Socialists of some sort.

              The antifa want some Socialist from the Democrat Party in charge.
              The neo-Nazis wants some National Socialist in charge.
              The Comunists want some Socialist in charge.
              The Anarcho-Communists want some Socialist in charge.
              Anarchists want some Socialist in charge so the USA implodes (Ironic, I know).

              1. Yes, and different kinds of socialists tended to hate each other even more than they hate capitalists.

          2. While the Italian Blackshirts very much wore actual Black shirts and uniforms, the Nazi SS wore black uniforms.

            Nazis wore all colors of uniforms on top of the Black SS uniforms.

        2. Also from this group, “Well, she was asking for it. Did you SEE how she was dressed?”

      2. And it’s also criminal and unacceptable to beat up someone for wearing a KKK hood. This isn’t difficult to understand.

        1. Welcome to our new education system

    2. My version of social justice dictates that this guy gets a free shot at Jussie.

      1. Even if he faked his own beating he gets a free shot, but then it’s more about public education than justice.

  8. Debates Identify Plenty of Democratic Divisions, but Not a Consensus Favorite

    While Democrats are learning about Division in math, Trump is successfully playing “n”th D Chess.

    1. I dunno, sounds like a conspiracy theory.

      1. Have you alerted the FBI?

  9. US formally withdraws from Cold-War era nuclear treaty with Russia

    Just what the Russians wanted- Another Cold War.

  10. Gabbard calls Harris response “pathetic.”

    If Tulsi’s not careful, the DNC is going to unperson her. She’s supposed to lay down and let Harris or Warren be the party’s chosen one, not stick a shank in their establishment boos. She’s going completely off-script right now.

    It says something about how pussified the Democratic party has become that none of the male candidates have shown the balls to slag Warren or Harris on their records. Gabbard not only hit Harris with a haymaker the other night, Harris couldn’t even make a comeback on her with any substance to it.

    All someone has to do is call Harris a “dirty cop,” and her support will crater. Same thing with Warren and lying about her ethnicity for professional advancement.

    1. Harris is showing a Clintonian-level lust for power.

    2. Any democratic candidate with balls is automatically disqualified.

      1. Unless it’s Hillary

        1. Wait. Those things hanging down were balls?

    3. Warren and lying about her ethnicity for professional advancement.

      Do you think anyone cares? I really don’t care about that. It’s all her other terrible ideas that really bother me. I guess people who think affirmative action is good and pure might be bothered by it.

      1. Do you think anyone cares? I really don’t care about that.

        I’m not sure what this is supposed to prove. Trump kept dunking on her often enough about it that she finally took a DNA test to try and shut him up, and ended up making a fool of herself in the process.

        The other Dem candidates are harping on Biden’s votes from 40 fucking years ago, you really think no one is going to dig that knife into Warren if they believe it will get them votes?

    1. Do you know why JFK jr. didn’t take a shower before he got into that airplane?

      He figured he would wash up on the beach.

      1. LOLOL. Can’t believe I never hard that before.

      2. +100

        As a Navy veteran, it was an outrage that JFK, Jr was buried at sea on a US Navy Destroyer and he never served one day in the US Navy.
        US Navy give JFK Jr sea burial
        I hate JFK, but he was a Naval officer and was entitled to that. Instead JFK is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The Kennedy’s think they are entitled to taxpayer handouts.

        1. I don’t have a problem with a President getting a military funeral. He is commander in chief. But JFK Jr. getting one is appalling.

          1. I didnt mean to sound like JFK should not have gotten a state military funeral if the family wanted it.

            It’s the JFk, jr burial at sea that pisses me off. Technically it was his wife and daughter buried at sea too.

            1. It should piss you off.

            2. It should keep you up at night.

              1. Shut up shreek. You sick fuck.

                1. I thought reason booted spoofers who try to do what fake John is trying with real John

                  1. I thought so too.

    2. That report said RFK alone has 35 grandkids. Unfortunately, the Kennedys are going to be haunting this country for a long time.

      1. RFK and Ethel bred like rabbits. She was only 39 when he died and they had 11 kids if I am not mistaken. And Ethel was and is a first class nut.

      2. Holy crap! Those Catholics still pop out kids at that rate?

        You’re probably correct, the Kennedy’s will be a menace for generations.

      3. That’s 35 acknowledged grandkids.

        1. Haha. True.

    3. And Joe is forgotten again. Of course , he was a real WW 2 hero, unlike JFK.

      1. He volunteered for a suicide mission. The brothers seem to get worse as they got younger. Joe is considered to have been the best of the lot. John was competent and at least had balls. Robert was was competent but corrupt and sleazy. And Ted was the dumbest, most cowardly, and most corrupt of them all. Ted truly was the Fredo of the family, only less likable.

      2. Joe Kennedy, Jr is what I would call a hero too. He had enough flights under his belt to return to the USA by 1944. He volunteered to get B-17’s airborne that were actually filled with Torpex explosives to act as massive glide bombs. He and his crew died within 2 minutes or arming the explosives in a premature explosion.

        JFK commanded PT-109 and was supposed to intercept a Japanese convoy. All his torpedoes missed. JFK was running his PT boat “silently” and was struck by amidships by a Japanese Destroyer running at 40 knots cutting the PT boat in half. The surviving crew spent 15 hours in the water and swam to an island.

        I wouldn’t call JFK a hero but her definitely did his duty up until he didn’t go down with his boat.

        1. He had guts. He didn’t serve with distinction but he did serve with honor and that is enough for me.

          1. I hated JFK but not for his military service.

            Same with McCain. I hated McCain but he served honorably in the military.

  11. North Korea Conducts 3rd Missile Test Since Last Week Amid Stalled Talks With U.S.

    You know that you don’t have “Hand” when you’re negotiating and nobody sees you there.

  12. Whaley Bridge evacuations: How many people have been evacuated? When can they go home?

    Socialists like building projects, just not maintenance projects.

    1. Interesting. I just read a book by Eric Hoffer where he made that point. They love grandiose ego projects but stuff like roads and food for the little people…not so much.

      1. Facts have just have eviscerated Socialist Propaganda this last decade.

        Chernobyl was another example of grandiose build projects but they never successfully made that nuclear reactor safe before their incompetence blew it up.

        1. If you haven’t watched the HBO miniseries on Chernobyl, do so. It is amazing.

          1. Yeah, that was really good. Good story and really shows the structural evils of that system.

            1. Actually Zeb, I wouldn’t be so hard on communism. Part of it was that but part of it was human nature and how bureaucracies function. Corporate bureaucracies have done similar albeit less damaging things. It is the same cover you ass and pretend the world is different than it is mentality that caused the shift manager to tell people they were nuts when they told him the reactor had exploded that caused the management at Boeing to go ahead and filed the 737 max even though they knew it had serious and perhaps fatal software flaws.

              1. True, it’s not unique to the communist system or the USSR. But the “everything for the glory of the state” attitude that ruled really strengthened the incentives to make facts secondary to what the leaders want to hear. Helps when there is a good chance you will be killed if you piss off the wrong party official.

                1. Also promoting entirely by party loyalty rather than competence tends to make things go poorly after a while.

              2. +100

                Communism is very bad but as you say, bureaucracy was a major factor in Chernobyl and the USA has plenty of bureaucracy.

                The 737 Max is an excellent example of that. Boeing should be sued into oblivion for that wanton and reckless negligence. The US government covers for Boeing, so this will never happen. All we can hope for is that the financial toll is enough for Boeing and the airlines that operated the 737 Max that they will think twice before doing something like that again.

                The Commies in the USSR and now Russia still have 10 RBMK reactors and three small EGP-6 graphite moderated light-water reactors operating in Russia, Supposedly they have all been retrofitted with a number of safety updates. A single series of RBMK-1500 reactors operate with even LESS WATER to cool the core.

                Sufficiently cooling the core is the greatest weakness of nuclear reactors. You can never plan for every disaster and once the cooling source is removed from a nuclear core, it can create a runaway plasma of fuel. Even if all fuel reactivity is reduced to no fission, there is still massive amounts of residual heat buildup that needs to be dissipated.

          2. I did. It’s fucking terrifying.

            Anyone who watches that and still thinks that civilian nuclear power is 100% worth the risk is off their rocker. Radiation burns and poisoning are no joke! The government coverups and fear of being responsible for such a bad explosion are even worse.

            Half-lives of fission by-products:
            Strontium-90 28 years
            Caesium-137 30 years
            Plutonium-239 24,000 years
            Caesium-135 2.3 million years
            Iodine-129 15.7 million years

            I’m not saying that we should not have nuclear power. The US Navy has nuke subs and other ships without a single accident. Of course any meltdown on a Navy vessels will probably sink and the ocean will provide eternal cooling of the nuclear fuel plasma.

            Nuclear power has real risks that need to be addressed since a meltdown can result in damage not caused by any other known energy source.

            1. For those that don’t know about half-lives of atoms, that does not means that it disappears. At a “half-life” of a radioactive atom, half of that atom decays into other isotopes or atoms and giving off alpha, beta, and gamma particles.

              Its takes about 10 half-lives to reach 99.9% decay and that is if enough of the atoms actually decayed each half-life. Then it might have low enough radioactivity to be “safe” for humans.

        2. Facts have just have eviscerated Socialist Propaganda this last decade.

          They’ve been doing that for a lot longer than that.

          1. I would argue that the wider reach of the internet around the World has allowed for more effective countering of Socialist Propaganda than ever before.

            Even the word “Socialist” is being avoided by more and more politicians. Even Bernie Sanders calls himself a “Democratic Socialist”.

            “I myself don’t use the word socialism,” he said in 1976 in the Vermont Cynic, a student publication at the University of Vermont, “because people have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech.”

    2. Socialists like building projects, just not maintenance projects.

      That’s a major problem domestically as well. It’s a big part of why public construction is so expensive. These days public buildings are designed with the assumption that no one will maintain them, because no one will. They sit for 50-60 years until they fall down, and then we build new ones.

  13. US preparing to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan as part of proposed Taliban deal

    It would appear that Trump is lowering overall US troops in Afghanistan than in 2017 but since the MSM does not thoroughly cover anything good that Trump does, its hard to get a firm troop count.

    In an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last month, Trump said the U.S. had already cut the number of forces down to 9,000 from the current 14,000. By comparison, there were 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

    “I have pulled a lot out,” Trump said. “We were at 16,000. We’re down to about 9,000, which a lot of people don’t know … “

  14. Too bad for that Utah jail nurse that she wasn’t wearin’ the badge.

    Tons of examples of jail cops killing folks and getting away with it. Hell, the guys that boiled a prisoner to death in Miami got promoted.

    1. That’s because they followed the recipe.

      1. “add one part immunity, qualified is best but any kind will do in a pinch”

  15. Trumping China on tariffs: Why the president’s move hiking levies make sense- By Gordon Chang

    I am sure that Boehm will do another DOW Jones down articles now that the DOW Jones fell from an all time high of 27,359.16 on July 15, 2019.

  16. More bad economic news.

    Lowe’s to lay off thousands of workers



    A redesign of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website will make it harder for voters to inspect Sen. Kamala Harris’s controversial record as the state’s top cop.

    The department removed public access to a number of reports on incarceration in the state, including when presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D.) was California’s attorney general. Twice a year, the CDCR releases information about the number of new individuals incarcerated in the California prison system as part of its “Offender Data Points” series. These reports provide important information on demographics, sentence length, offense type, and other figures relevant to criminal justice and incarceration.

    1. Opaque is the new transparent.

    2. The Commifornia Police and Prison Guard Union is gonna be mighty upset that Kamala Rouge does not gain national popularity.

      I find it hilarious that the US Constitutional design of Republicanism causes such frustration with Lefty groups in Taxifornia.

      Just wait until Blue states have to give Red states like Georgia some House seats based on Census 2020. Those tears will be so sweet.

    3. Let me go get my shocked face, it’s around here somewhere.

      Harris is such an unlikeable cunt that even her own father despises her.

      1. She makes Hillary seem a nice old lady by comparison. Harris is just straight up evil.

        1. And I would know evil. It’s what I do.

          1. Shut up shreek, you sick fuck. Evil is knowing how to access child porn on the dark web and posting instructions on this forum. You are an evil twisted freak.

          2. Gee shreek, why do you use an encrypted mail address? It wouldn’t be because you are sending shit that you wouldn’t want the feds to know about or anything. Nah, couldn’t be that.

    4. Please remind me to check and see if the next round of political contribution reports lists this gift – – – –


    So the same people who ran a false flag candidate in McMullin, told the electoral college to vote against what they pledged to the voters to do, and pushed the Russia hoax for two years now claim they were not “Never Trump”. That is just a evil lie made up by Trump supporters.

    You have to give these people credit, they really do lack any shame at all and have an epic amount of nerve.

    1. If I had to choose between them hiding and trying to pull or doing it out in the open, I would definitely want their hatred of the USA to be transparent.

    2. To have shame, you must first have a moral code.


    A record 157 million people were employed in July. A person with a job is self reliant and more free and much less likely to want to trade their freedom for the security provided by government than someone without a job.

  20. Two current TV series that feature positive depictions of Capitalism.

    1) Stranger Things (Season 3)

    A Russian scientist (who wants to defect) and an American conspiracy theorist are in a carnival on the Fourth of July. The Russian wants to play a carnival game and win a stuffed animal. He asks the conspiracy theorist if the games are rigged. The conspiracy theorist replies something to the effect this is the most American of places, that they want you to think you can win by your own effort, but, of course, the game is always rigged against you. He then leaves the Russian to go find someone. When the conspiracy theorist comes back to the Russian, he finds that the Russian went and played the game without him. By his own effort, the Russian won a stuffed animal, and the crowd cheered for him when he won. He looks at the conspiracy theorist with a big grin and says, “The game isn’t rigged”.

    This show is set in the Reagan era!

    2) NOS4A2

    This is capitalist like Ayn Rand is capitalist, where capitalism is like a personal struggle to achieve your own destiny through the force of your own will. The entire story, not just the supernatural part, is about how being creative and talented can set you apart from the people around you–and that can make them resent you and want to drag you down to their level. Some of the biggest villains in the show, from the central character’s own mother to the janitor who abducts children, are people who have no apparent talent or creativity of their own. They take the path of least resistance, and they hate it when the people they love won’t stay with them at the bottom of the barrel.

    Between Twitter storms and the Democrat candidates vying for donors on the far left, it can seem like the world is more hostile to capitalism than it really is. There’s still good stuff that filters through.

    1. P.S. on Stranger Things

      Oh, and SPOILER ALERT!

      The Mormon girl at the end of the series, have you ever seen a fundamentalist character like that portrayed positively in the mass media before?

      The girl is incredibly smart, she sings pop music beautifully, and most of all, she’s assertive. She absolutely refuses to be taken for granted. She makes him sing or she wont’ give him what he wants!

      This is especially interesting because she’s soooooooooooo Mormon. Her hairstyle is conservative and Mormon. He dress, as I recall, goes up to her neck and has long sleeves down to wrists.

      When was the last time you saw a fundamentalist girl depicted as anything but a victim? That may be the most positive depiction of a fundamentalist that we’ll ever see in our lifetimes.

      1. Half, or hesitantly agreed:
        1. It would’ve been nice if they could included her without hobbling Dustin.
        2. Expectations that the Duffer Bros. may or may not subvert.

      2. Romney is a never Trumper, so Mormons are a little bit okay for now?

        Enemy of my enemy is my friend?

      3. It’s not the fundamentalism, it’s the girl part. Girls are no longer to be portrayed as victims. What have you been watching the last 5 years?

        1. They didn’t need to make her Mormon. Mormons can’t be smart, much less assertive. Mormons are stupid, and girls are the miserable victims of fundamentalism. Not only is she smart and assertive, she’s also apparently happy, which is outrageous! She flies more in the face of progressive norms than any character I’ve seen since I don’t know when. She’s a social justice warrior’s worst nightmare. Where have you been for the last five years?

    2. Two current TV series that feature positive depictions of Capitalism.

      Is there a show on HGTV that depicts capitalism in a bad light? They even seemed to have learned the lesson about being obnoxiously over-the-top with SJW bullshit and half the shows are filmed in Canada no less.

      1. I understand Chip and Joanna Gaines are about to get their own network. And they’re . . .

        I can hardly say it.

        They’re . . . CHRISTIANS!

        Is that even allowed by the FCC? Surely, there must be something progressives can do to stop it in an election year.


    Economists use beer to document the horrors of socialism.

    Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World,” by Robert Lawson and Benjamin Powell, is billed as a “worldwide tour guide written in plain English” which takes readers on a not-so-luxurious expedition into three countries that have embraced socialism – North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba – using beer as an indicator of economic concern.

    “In Cuba, there were only two types of beer, almost the same in alcohol content and both tasted like skunky Budweiser. In North Korea, it was just god awful,” Lawson, who is also the director of the William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University, told Fox News. “And, in Venezuela, the country has basically run out of beer because the government planners couldn’t import enough barley.”

    No one needs more than one brand of party beer!!

  22. Locust is going down Aereo’s rabbit hole. Good luck!

    1. I wrote about that yesterday. Didn’t get many responses:

      It’s a two-parter. Slide down the page past the first post.

      There’s a lot to see in that case.

      1) Creative Destruction 101

      2) The folly of using central planing to protect us from rent seeking.

      —a) Facebook
      —b) Google

      1. P.S. I expect Locast to prevail.

        1. Aereo should have prevailed too.

          What I never understood was why any TV station would object to Aereo. They provided extra eyeballs for the advertisers all free to the TV stations. If anything, the TV stations should have been paying them for the extra audience.

          The legal justifications for shutting them down were the usual after-the-fact rationalizations which would never have stood up to any impartial analysis.

          A typical crony affair.

          1. I detailed all of this in yesterday’s post.

            The Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 requires cable companies to carry local network broadcasts without charging them for access. The local broadcasters then get to charge the cable companies for carrying their signal.

            Locast doesn’t pay the fees to carry the signal that cable companies do. The signal is broadcast for free! The free broadcasts are paid for by advertising. The reason local broadcasters oppose Locast is because they’re taking away business from the cable companies–who are paying those fees.

            The fewer consumers there are paying the cable company for a signal they can already get for free with an antenna, the less fees they can extract from cable companies to carry that signal.

            Those fees are worth huge amounts of money. Locast is threatening a revenue stream worth hundreds of billions of dollars. That’s why they oppose Locast. Locast is being supported by the satellite TV companies, who have their own streaming options–DirectTV Now and Dish Network’s Sling–because they want to be able to offer a full spectrum of local broadcast options at a lower price then the cable companies can. This becomes especially important as football season approaches.


    Booker criticizes debate for pitting Democrats against one another

    I guess he was told there wouldn’t be any debating.

    1. Unclear on the concept, apparently.


    Calls to make transgender athletes compete in their own category after man wins women’s weightlifting competition. The problem with that is that once you admit that the trans have no business in women’s sports, you have admitted they are not really women. Do that and the whole thing falls like a house of cards. There really is no compromising on this. Either end women’s sports or reject transgenerism. There is no third option.

    1. +100

      This is always the fun part, when Lefties publicly admit in their timid way that they were 100% wrong.

    2. “Calls to make transgender athletes compete in their own category” could just as easily been written “Calls to make sure biological women win trophies”, but that would make the intention too obvious.

      1. You can’t embrace transgenderism and also embrace the the idea that there is a biologically significant difference between women born with two XX chromosomes and those born XY and later discovered they were not men. So giving biological women their own category is not something the transgender supporters can do.

        1. Maybe not, but it’ll be interesting watching them try to weasel their way through the dilemma they’ve created for themselves.

          1. What they are going to do is try to bully women into accepting the lie and giving up their chance to ever compete at the elite levels of sport. I don’t think they will succeed but I wouldn’t say they can’t given the track record of activist groups bullying people into believing things.

        2. And then there is the weird inconsistency of both claiming that gender is socially constructed, and that some people are really, essentially men or women regardless of their sex chromosomes. If what you feel on the inside is really who and what you are and that can’t be changed, then how do you claim gender is a social construction? And if it is just a social construction and not a biological reality, then what the hell is the hormone therapy and body modification for?

          1. None of it makes any sense Zeb. It is just insanity. As you point out, it is a complete rejection of everything the feminist left has been claiming for 50 years. That would be one thing if it were in any way internally consistent. But it is not. As you say, if the whole thing is about how you feel, then why do you have to change your body?

            Moreover, what does it even mean to have gender dysphoria? It embraces a form of dualism so radical it would make DesCartes blush. It is basically saying that there is this “you” that not only exists completely separate from your body but also can override the physical reality of your body. It is just nuts.

          2. Its modern medical procedures for people with mental problems.

            Delusion is a real mental problem. Having the biological makeup of a man but claiming that “you’re a woman” is delusional. The biological factors between men and women are well established. One major biological factor that makes you a man or women is whether you have the biological parts to have children. If you want to change that, so be it and I respect you spending your money on it and being free to do so.

            I just wont engage in enabling self-delusional mental defectives by furthering their delusions.

          3. And then there is the weird inconsistency of both claiming that gender is socially constructed

            There’s also a weird inconsistency in just ignoring the larger more entrenched and far-reaching set of objective facts and explicit social constructs while clinging to a lesser set of objective facts and explicit social constructs. If you really want a trophy with a someone of the opposite gender’s name on it, any trophy shop will sell you one. You don’t even have to lift any weight.

          4. And then there is the weird inconsistency of both claiming that gender is socially constructed, and that some people are really, essentially men or women regardless of their sex chromosomes.

            And if gender is fluid, and there are actually many genders rather than just two, then what does “trans- gender” even mean?

    3. Calls to make transgender athletes compete in their own category after man wins women’s weightlifting competition. The problem with that is that once you admit that the trans have no business in women’s sports, you have admitted they are not really women.

      It fails from the other direction as well and I said as much when RAW repealed its tranny-come-lately competitor’s medals and announced that they would be having a Mens, Womens, and Trans Division. The Men and Women are categorical regardless of competition, trans is (self-)identified as not either of the other two categories. Further, unless you want the Trans Division to be a redundant trophy for the Mens Winners, you’re going to have to explicitly exclude them. So, the only uniquely objective and explicit requirement to participate in the Trans Division is not already being a winner. The Trans Division will by synonymous with The Losers Division.

      Other federations and sports might be able to have ‘Open Division’ where weight class is ignored or enhancement is allowed (not RAW), but an explicit Trans Division is explicitly a Losers Division. The best it can hope for is a Final Four/NIT-type association.

    4. I feel it also pertinent to point out that, rather overtly, these people are unable to win trophies on the merits and are effectively cheating, to the point of compromising far more than just their individual competitions, in order to win trophies.

      This is what happens when everyone wins trophies.

  25. Bezos’s silhouette looks like Mr Magoo.

  26. The minute everyone went all “Russian Stooge” and “Putin Puppet” on Tulsi, I knew Tulsi was on to something.

    1. It will make you believe in there being a deep state and military industrial complex running things. It is one thing to claim Trump is a Russian puppet. That is idiotic but also typical partisan politics. But to call one of their own the same for the crime of questioning US involvement abroad makes you think that they really do want endless wars and all that. What other conclusion can you make?

      1. There’s no question there’s a deep state. I do admit I suppose it depends on how you define a deep state, but the way I define it, you definitely don’t need to be Alex Jones or Rachel Maddow to believe it.

        There is a huge swathe of DC career insiders who exist across multiple administrations and just keep swimming, running their own micro-empires for decades– regardless of who’s “really” in charge. Hell, I believe it was Henry Kissinger who said that the State Department could undermine administration policy brick-by-brick, quietly, and in the background.

        And the deep state isn’t some dark, evil force, it’s just career bureaucrats who solely exist to justify their own existence.

        Think of Lord Verys from Game of Thrones and his little speech where he says that he keeps swimming, swimming, swimming despite whatever King happens to be on the throne.

        If you want a great speech I just heard on the existence of a Eurpoean deep-super-state, check Peter Hitches out on a talk titled: The E.U.: The Continuation of Germany by Other Means.

        1. Look sometime at the plan Germany had for Europe had it won the First World War. It looks nearly identical to the EU.

          1. I believe that’s what Hitchens is talking about.

          2. Japan accomplished all the wartime goals of the “co-prosperity sphere” after the war through peaceful means.

        2. Think of Lord Verys from Game of Thrones

          Or even better, Sir Humphrey from Yes, Minister.

          1. Reason needs a “like” button.

  27. CBS News, so I assume this is legit.

    A 10-year-old boy from Canton, Michigan, has been charged with aggravated assault after injuring another student during a schoolyard dodgeball game. The child’s mother, Cameishi Triplett Lindley, said on April 30, her son Bryce was suspended from Erikkson Elementary School “for throwing a ball back at a student during recess, while playing a game called TIPS/ DODGEBALL,” she posted on Facebook.

    1. Reason had that story a few days ago.

      1. Ah. I’ll be late for my own funeral.

    2. “Why are kids so fat and lazy? I mean that is not because of us banning virtually any activity that could potentially cause them pain, meaning sitting and playing video games is about all they can do…”

  28. “Jail nurse charged in inmate’s death:”

    Should’ve claimed it was a one year child and moved the body to a car. Then Reason would empathize.

  29. “The New York Times says Kohn “likened the future of the company to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.””

    Can’t see how that’s a positive at all.

    …and shouldn’t Playboy or any adult magazines avoid comparisons of their product with something called “goop”?

    1. I laughed

  30. New Jersey just joined eight states and D.C. in legalizing physician-assisted suicide.

    Being in Jerksey is enough to induce suicidal thoughts.

  31. A $10 billion tech contract with the U.S. military is under review, in what many perceive as a political move by President Donald Trump against Amazon.

    I can only assume there is no good time to review a $10 billion expenditure.

  32. Honestly it’s pathetic that when confronted with the facts & the truth about her record that she claims to be proud of as a prosecutor, as AG of CA, all she can do is lob cheap smears.

    You are in a Democratic primary.

  33. State sends her letter warning of big fines for unregistered outlays of > $5,000 to advocate re: legislation.

    The Founding Fathers certainly didn’t foresee airplane banners when they wrote the First Amendment.

  34. Thousands of troops are being withdrawn from Afghanistan today.

    Peace is dangerous.

  35. …Kohn “likened the future of the company to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.”

    I must have missed that pictorial.

  36. “pulled out amid employee opposition to military work, though many analysts said it was unlikely to win the project because it lacked the right security credentials,” says the Times.


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