Reason Roundup

ThinkProgress Panics Over Unlicensed Cosmetologists

Plus: dangerous publishers, a history of slavery, and more...

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You might think that requiring people to pay elite gatekeepers for the right to accept money for their services would be anathema to self-styled supporters of workers' rights. Yet for many progressives, the desire to see people in meaningful, well-paying jobs is tempered by total panic over the idea that any aspect of life go unregulated. For them, the idea of anyone performing a profession without a government permission slip (a.k.a. a license) has spawned paranoia about the alleged dangers this poses to consumers.

Now the folks at ThinkProgress have found another asinine reason to oppose occupational licensing reform: because those libertarian boogeymen, the Koch brothers, are pushing it via a new Americans for Prosperity initiative. (Disclosure: Charles and David Koch have also given money to the nonprofit that publishes Reason.) Over the weekend, ThinkProgress sent out multiple pearl-clutching tweets about "unlicensed, untrained cosmetologists" running amok:

The tweets—and the article they promoted—were roundly and swiftly mocked on social media. Thank goodness.

As some pointed out, "unlicensed" is far from synonymous with "untrained." Most states do not have reciprocal licensing recognition, which means many trained workers are out of a license if they move states. Immigrants to the U.S. may be trained and certified in their home countries but unable to do the same here thanks to language barriers, undocumented status, or other factors unrelated to skill. And in some professions, people will often train informally under family or community members instead of in state-certified programs.

Other critics pointed out that fighting against government-mandated occupational licensing for a particular profession (and aggressive enforcement of it) does not necessarily mean eschewing certification altogether. Voluntary programs could still signal the worker's skill level.

But the piece, by Josh Israel, doesn't bother with any nuance, going straight for fearmongering about unlicensed neurosurgeons:

While it is likely true that people pay more to be treated by a neurologist who has actually been to medical school and demonstrated basic knowledge of how the nervous system works, it is unclear how public health would be improved by allowing anyone with a stethoscope and a dream to open a medical practice.

A spokesperson for the organization said in an email that they would not take the argument to that far.

"We aren't suggesting that doctors and pilots shouldn't have credentials and levels of competency to obtain,"Americans for Prosperity's director of employment initiatives, Erica Jedynak, said in an email.

Israel displays the worst sort of political tribalism, in which any policy or idea espoused by those considered enemies is automatically treated as suspect or even evil. If the Kochs support occupational licensing reform, the dictates of tribalism say that ThinkProgress cannot. The End.

But there are some ideas that unite a lot of Americans across political parties. Overhauling the many excessive, expensive, and nonsensical occupational licensing requirements that states have is one of them. Both the Obama and the Trump administrations, both red states and blue states, have endorsed some level of licensing reform.

Occupational licensing reform makes common sense. It is not some far-right plot, even if ThinkProgress is either convinced or willing to pretend it is.

For more on recent licensing policy reforms, see:

And for judges striking down bad licensing laws lately, see:


FREE MINDS 

The New York Times Magazine's new package on slavery's role in America's founding and early flourishing is drawing a ton of praise…and a lot of critics. Some of the criticism revolves around valid academic points, but much has just been bluster about the package's premise—that "no aspect of the country…has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed" the first African slaves being brought to the Virginia colony in 1619.


FREE MARKETS

Mel magazine profiles Paladin Press, the publisher of titles such as The Art and Science of Money Laundering and Be Your Own Undertaker: How to Dispose of a Dead Body. From its launch, the publisher riled up politicians.

It didn't take long for the FBI to investigate the publisher. Specifically, in 1982, the FBI was concerned that some of Paladin's titles could be used by terrorists. A year later, Minnesota Senator Rudy Boschwitz asked a similar question. Fortunately for Paladin, the FBI ultimately decided that even the most eye-popping titles in Paladin's catalog were completely legal.

The 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, however, changed all of that. Just a few days afterward, Timothy McVeigh was charged with the use of a weapon of mass destruction. Despite the fact that his fate was already sealed, the prosecution brought an additional piece of evidence: copies of three books on how to build explosives that McVeigh had purchased. Dana Rogers, who worked in Paladin's finance department, testified that Paladin sold these books to McVeigh in the spring of 1993.

Congress feared that allowing bomb-making instruction manuals to be openly sold was a recipe for disaster. As such, in 1996, California Senator Dianne Feinstein led the way in adding a key amendment to the Comprehensive Terrorism Prevention Act. It stated that publishers could be held criminally liable for knowingly selling explosives instruction manuals to someone who intended to use them for a crime. The law didn't explicitly ban Paladin's explosives instruction books, but the law was certainly designed to stop Paladin from producing and selling them, which, in turn, made them incredibly difficult to obtain.

Whole thing here.


QUICK HITS

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) just introduced a big new proposal for criminal justice reform. It contains a lot of good proposals, but has upset the sex worker rights community by failing to include their concerns.
  • George Will offers some praise for Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.).
  • Former MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin's new book deal is raising some eyebrows:

  • Sigh:

NEXT: The Rent Is Too Damn High—and It's Going To Stay That Way

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  1. ROBOpilot makes maiden flight in US Air Force tests

    But can this Aviator sing “You’ve lost that loving feeling…”?

    1. Hello.

      “While it is likely true that people pay more to be treated by a neurologist who has actually been to medical school and demonstrated basic knowledge of how the nervous system works, it is unclear how public health would be improved by allowing anyone with a stethoscope and a dream to open a medical practice.”

      Another variation of this is ‘why do you need guns do you actually stand a chance against the military? HA HA!’

      Progressives always stood against ‘the right to pursuit of liberty, happiness’ part of the equation.

      1. They believe in their right to pursuit of liberty and happiness by denying your right to it.

      2. There is an argument to be made from a libertarian point of view for some things involving public health and safety. An airline pilot, a neurologist, there are strong cases for that.

        As a consumer I get on a plane. I have no way of knowing the qualifications of the pilot or mechanics who work on it. My life depends on that as it does with the neurologist who is called in when I cannot move my arm in the night.

        I do not think cosmetologist crosses the line.

    2. The way we finally stamp out the last vestiges of slavery is to exterminate progressivism.

  2. If a D gets the White House in 2021, the NYT’s 1619 Project will fly away like a fart in the breeze.

    1. I disagree. A Democrat will definitely win in 2020. And the 1619 Project will be instrumental in building support for that President to pursue reparations for slavery.

      #LibertariansForReparations

      1. Give it up, OBL. I know you’re trying to be sarcastic but you’re just not that good at it. I say this in the friendliest way possible. Let it go. It’s time to find a new shtick.

        1. Agreed. OBL is done. Find something new.

      2. Seriously. It’s not sarcasm is you sound exactly like the serious statements of the people you’re supposed to be mocking.

        1. Maybe OBL is out to build a body of evidence supporting Poe’s law

          1. Wasn’t that Arts job?

    2. There will be a “D” getting into the White House in Jan 2021 and it will be Donald J. Trump.

      1. More idiotic predictions from Captain “Red Wave.”

        LOL

    3. Exactly.

      And seriously. LET IT GO. Blacks began to prosper in the early part of the 20th century….until the Democrats got a hold of them. So the ‘legacy of slavery’ argument has its limits.

      https://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/BAIC/Historical-Essays/Keeping-the-Faith/Party-Realignment–New-Deal/

      Progressives care about the past in order to a) bash America and b) when a Republican is in power.

      1. Yup. It’s just the most shallow, dishonest political posturing.

      2. Totalitarians must control the past in order to control the present

      3. The best way to help any group is to leave the them fuck alone. If I were black I sure as shit wouldn’t want a bunch of entitled white soyboy cunts speaking on my behalf.

      4. You remember how America was considered an economic and military superpower in the early 1800s? So much so that the European powers at the time dared not favor with our ships on the high seas?

        We really slipped in influence starting in the late 1800s and early 1900s once we no longer had those slave backs to build our cotton and tobacco hegemon upon

    1. Hopefully they’ll be given a chance to vote them out…and replace them with REALLY PROGRESSIVE Democrats!

    1. What do you call the father of a homeless guy? Poops or Poopa.

    2. How many turds on the street does it take to overwhelm Angelenos? We will let you know.

      1. Those are shitty jokes.

    3. Billboards coming soon: “Give a Crap: Don’t Take a Crap!”

      1. Don’t shit where you eat

    4. At least the H1Bs will feel right at home.

  3. A Buttplug Hacker Talks Security, Consent, and Why He Hacked a Buttplug

    Sarah Palin’s Buttplug the kiddie troll, hardest hit.

    1. Wrecked ’em?

      1. Damn near killed ’em!

  4. . Both the Obama and the Trump administrations, both red states and blue states, have endorsed some level of licensing reform.

    Both sides.

    1. Yeah. Red states are easing gun licensing.

      Blue states are limiting gun licensing.

      Both sides 🙂

  5. American slavery began 400 years this month.

    Neat trick, given that America hasn’t been around for 400 years.

    In fact, America was founded in opposition to all forms of human bondage and oppression, including slavery.

    1. Yes, this area was under control of foreign countries at the time.

    2. Exactly. This person is a moron.

      Slavery lasted 250 years . Black people were second class citizens *as a matter of law* for another 100. It’s astounding that people pearl-clutch over the very idea that just a generation later, racism might still be pervasive, and that this is something we should talk about. — Radley Balko (@radleybalko) August 19, 2019

      Slavery has been around for way over 5,000 years. Africans participated in slavery and sold most of the African slaves that ended up in the USA. Asians had slaves and Europeans had slaves.

      Of course, the real motive behind misstating the facts about slavery is to keep America from moving on and not voting for the Democrats (Party of slavery) anymore.

      1. And the only place where slavery still exists is in Africa. Yet, these people don’t seem to care about actual slavery that exists today. It is almost like they have other motives or something.

        1. It’s all about progressive power. And every one of them would gleefully Brian back slavery if it meant absolute power for the progressive state.

          1. Progressives _like_ slavery – when the government is the owner. They think they’ll be in charge of the government. (The thugs that will actually be in charge if the progressives get their way consider them “useful idiots”.)

        2. *and middle East

    3. There was a time, briefly in the mid-90s, when the country had a legitimate chance at becoming a no-shit post-racial society.

      Unfortunately, Peggy McIntosh’s theories on “white privilege” were quickly becoming diffused through academia around that same time, resulting in various monographs and studies with the message given in both implicit and explicit terms that white skin is a tainted state of being, a “mark of Cain” all its own. Now this mindset is conventional wisdom on the left, and the result has been that everything in our society has to be viewed through the IdPol lens.

      1. It was a genius play to perpetuate grievance and victimhood as the most powerful lobbying tools and the backbone of the plan to undermine good faith and social cohesion enough to make enough people feel reliant on big government to protect them.

        1. The other one was establishing within the left that transgenderism is an actual state of being instead of a mental illness–helped out in no small part by sympathetic psychiatrists who are even pimping this on kids as young as 2 or 3 years old. They’ve moved on to basically claiming now that biology is bigoted.

          The truth is that transgenderism is no different in substance than anorexia–no doctor would claim that giving an anorexic liposuction will help them feel normal, because the problem is mental, not physical. It’s simply another type of body dysmorphia, but the left’s grand solution to this has been to convince some extremely unhappy, and in many cases, highly autistic, people that biology is a social construct, and that you can swap out sex like Legos.

      2. There’s also a geographical variation. When my wife (black, immigrant, English as a third language) and I (Viking and Teutonic stock) moved from California to Arizona we noticed that the number of people staring at us dropped precipitously. In AZ, no one cared that we were an interracial couple. In CA they did, including remarks directed mostly to her about diluting her race.

        When we’d travel (usually for work) we noticed an easy prediction: in Texas, no one cared. In rural Georgia and Alabama, no one cared. In South Carolina, no one cared. In San Francisco, people cared. In NYC, people cared.

        Anyone else notice the trend? In “conservative” areas, no one cared about race. In “liberal” areas, they did.

        The only person I know who hates racism more than me is my wife, so I’ve had to turn down good jobs because she didn’t want to live near a bunch of racists.

        One exception: in Hawaii, no one cared, but that’s probably just because half the population are mixed, and the rest are immigrants.

        1. I dated a black girl for a short while and also noticed getting a ton of odd stares in ultra progressive Portland (where I thankfully no longer live). These were very noticeable stares and not something I ever observed getting when dating other girls.

          1. To be fair, there’s something like 100 black women in all of Portland, so they were probably staring at her specifically more than the two of you together.

        2. In AZ, no one cared that we were an interracial couple. In CA they did, including remarks directed mostly to her about diluting her race.

          One of the reasons my grandmother was pissed about my parents getting hitched was because Dad married a white girl instead of some cholla from the neighborhood.

    4. They clearly meant the American colonies, which have indeed been around for 400 years.

      1. They clearly meant the American colonies, which have indeed been around for 400 years.

        No, they meant the British colonies. Slavery was an injustice committed by the British empire, all across the globe (as well as by most other empires and nations at the time). America was founded, in part, to end this injustice.

        1. The British colonies in America. “America” was a thing before the USA was founded.

          1. Well, and then that “thing” called “America”, can pay the price for its history of slavery. America-the-country did not exist 400 years ago, so it bears no responsibility for creating a system of slavery and doesn’t have to atone for it.

            But you understand all that; you are equivocating for ideological reasons.

            1. And the United States of America paid dearly in blood and treasure to fight a war to end the institution of slavery in the parts of North America that it controlled (or formerly controlled and would again after the post-war reunification).

    5. America is a geographical region as well as a country.

      Though I’m pretty sure there was slavery in the Americas before 1619 and before Europeans showed up.

      1. But they are not blaming a geographical region for slavery, they are blaming America as a country. And the fact remains that America as a country did not start slavery, but rather was founded in part to eliminate slavery.

      2. Yeah, Aztecs and Comanche had plenty

  6. Why in the world would you think paying gatekeepers for the right to work would be anathema to people who supports worker’s rights? They have been for mandatory union and guild membership is part of their core belief system. Limiting access to approved select group of workers is the expansion of rights for approved workers, in their view. The have never advocated for an open market in labor.

    1. +100

      The goal of Unions is not to advance the rights of workers or their wealth. Its to keep them in their place so they keep paying Union dues.

      There is no Union in the USA that has a goal to obtain such good contracts for workers that the Union will dissolve itself.

      1. Union in the USA

        The workers’ anthem of Comrade Cyrus!

  7. Over the weekend, ThinkProgress sent out multiple pearl-clutching tweets about “unlicensed, untrained cosmetologists” running amok

    This affects more male ThinkProgress readers then female.

  8. “I’d encourage all of you to read — actually read — the reported essays”

    I tried, but a *fabulous* angel with a flaming sword guarded the paywall and wouldn’t let me read. What a loss!

    “no aspect of the country…has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed”

    No aspect of the country was untouched by original sin, either. Meanwhile, New York Times journalists are scratching their heads about why all these wonderful immigrants (who are awesome, don’t get them wrong) are climbing over themselves to move to this racist shithole.

    1. This statement is classic liberaltarianism:

      but much has just been bluster about the package’s premise—that “no aspect of the country…has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed” the first African slaves being brought to the Virginia colony in 1619.

      Translation: “Why won’t you uncritically swallow this left-wing gaslighting about the country’s history ?”

      The purpose for this is basically two-fold–attempt to guilt-trip white people into supporting reparations, and find another shiny object to focus on now that the Russia hoax is DOA.

    2. As soon as I read or see something about the “Golden Age of Islam” being built entirely on the backs of slaves, or the wonder proto-Wakanda the Egyptian empire, or the Persian Empire(s), or China, or……

  9. You might think that requiring people to pay elite gatekeepers for the right to accept money for their services would be anathema to self-styled supporters of workers’ rights.

    NOT WHEN THE KOCHS ARE BEHIND IT.

  10. So you’re saying that ANTIFA is not a “terror organization”? What exactly distinguishes them from Islamic terrorist organizations? Or from traditional Marxist terrorists?

    1. Their parents are still supporting them.

    2. They wear black…shit that has already been taken.

    3. They haven’t actually killed anyone … yet.

      1. Many other organization designated as “terrorist” haven’t killed anybody yet either.

        In any case, Antifa was originally part of the German communist movement and as such certainly has historically been responsible for many deaths.

    4. The biggest difference right now is that their presence is largely isolated to a few urban areas dominated by the upper middle class white left. They don’t have the numbers throughout society to really cause trouble unless some alt-right-type group decides to hold a rally on their turf, like what’s been happening in Portland, or they collect a bunch of people to go harass Tucker Carlson’s wife and kids.

      When these types try to operate outside their urban bubbles, like with the Oberlin/Gibson’s bakery case, they tend to create a local backlash that causes more problems for their benefactors. You don’t see that in Portland because the mayor is an Antifa sympathizer, and the cops are under standing orders not to interfere in their activities unless things get too far out of hand.

      1. Another big difference is antifa has a pretty surprising amount of popular support in TEAM BLUE coastal enclaves. Back in 2016 I had 3 antifa guys very clearly try to provoke a fight with me at a metal show. Fortunately others in the crowd backed me up in asking them to please leave me alone and they backed down. I’ve stopped telling anyone in real life about it because many people’s reaction is clearly those antifa guys were right to be vigorously trying to root out racism by accusing people they’ve never met of having racist beliefs, and that my objection to being singled out probably indicates I am a secret nazi who needs to be punched before my Crimethink can infect anyone.

        1. At some point, these guys are going to go after someone with a concealed carry permit and get Zimmerman’d.

      2. So, they’re starting just like the Brownshirts?

  11. Just imagine, if you will, tens of millions of unlicensed cosmetologists applying make-up, skin-conditioners, and other substances to the faces of unsuspecting victims. Obviously, the outcome would be tragic. Witness, today. the millions of deaths and disfigurements of men and women who choose to do it themselves! Oh, wait…

  12. It didn’t take long for the FBI to investigate the publisher.

    I thought they should have done that to Reason for that “Burn After Reading” issue!

    1. They investigate this place every time OBL posts something.

      1. Not sure why they’d do that. My posts merely express mainstream left-libertarian thought.

  13. For them, the idea of anyone performing a profession without a government permission slip (a.k.a. a license) has spawned paranoia about the alleged dangers this poses to consumers.

    Have you people forgotten about the epidemic of lethal floral arrangements from unlicensed florists?

    1. Just look at the terrible haircut they guy is getting in the picture.

    2. And what about the unlicensed interior designers placing throw pillows that don’t coordinate with the sofa? The horror.

      1. Really. How soon people forget the 1979 case where an unlicensed decorator doing a renovation ordered an avacado bathtub! And the buyers had CHILDREN!

    3. We did our own wedding flowers. The resulting carnage really put a damper on the honeymoon

      1. The poison ivy wrist corsages and the deadly nightshade plate garnishes were poor choices.

  14. “Koch Brothers’ anti-government group promotes allowing unlicensed, untrained cosmetologists”

    Although the progressive / libertarian alliance has been gaining strength, this ThinkProgress attack shows there is more work to be done. Too many progressives still have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to politically active billionaires.

    I’ve found the most effective approach is to remind your progressive friends that the Koch Brothers devote some of their fortune to funding open borders advocacy. So the next time you hear someone complain about “billionaires buying elections,” e-mail them a link to a Shikha Dalmia article. Several of my progressive friends have really warmed up to Charles and David after being made aware of Reason’s immigration stance.

    #BillionairesKnowBest
    #ProgressivesCanLearnToLoveBigMoneyInPolitics
    #(AsLongAsBigMoneyOpposesDrumpf)

    1. #ProgressivesCanLearnToLoveBigMoneyInPolitics

      So says Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg.

  15. It contains a lot of good proposals, but has upset the sex worker rights community by failing to include their concerns.

    Sanders is too old to remember what sex is.

    1. Memory loss might be from Cardi B’s cocktails.

    2. “Sander is too old to remember what sex is.”

      As might safely be said of ANYONE who combs his hair with a balloon.

  16. Halperin was accused of pressing his erect penis against multiple women, grabbing a woman’s breasts, throwing a woman against a window & when rejected, calling a woman to tell her she’d never work in media again.

    Now that’s a media book I want to read!

    1. Apparently he pressed his penis on a woman’s shoulder? That sounds very niche.

      1. He thought it was a bus window

  17. “Slavery lasted 250 years”
    Radly Balko Has never read a history book, let alone a Bible.
    Slavery has a history tens of thousands of years long. At the risk of him having a heart attack when exposed to true facts, I must point out that man has enslaved man on all continents, throughout all of history were there were two of more people groups. Despite his fervent anti-American wishes, all races have enslaved all other races. It was not just in 1619 that slavery was invented by white men. If he knows how to do actual research, he will find as many dark skinned slave holders as pink. If, as I suspect, he is in the ‘reparations’ camp, I would like to know how much money he thinks Egypt owes to Israel.
    Slavery was an economic institution, not a racial one. The industrial revolution would have ended slavery in America without a war.

    1. That and the USA has become one of the few nations to actually fight slavery re-emerging as Socialism.

      1. Not hard enough. Marxism must be criminalized.

    2. I am not sure that any reason alumni has turned out to be a bigger disappointment and crapweasel than Balko. Weigal is in many ways objectively worse, but everyone knew Weigal was a scumbag when he was at reason. Balko really managed to fool people.

      1. Didn’t Balk work at Cato? Explains some of Cato’s bad street cred.

        1. I am not sure. He wrote a lot of good pieces on police abuse for reason. He then moved to the Post to do the same things. Sadly, working at the Post showed who he was. I am told his wife is a first class leftist bitch. So, that may be part of why he has gone so far left.

          1. When he had his own blog and wrote here, he was pretty libertarian on most issues, not just police abuse. I think he was sincere back then. Seems like he has slowly shifted left over the past bunch of years.

            1. He married a radical left journalist. It’s not a shock at all that he’s parroting left-wing talking points now.

              1. Maybe he was parroting Libertarian talking points for the reason job?

                I have never heard of actual Libertarians becoming Socialists after introspection.

                1. The world is full of wonders that you’ve never even imagined.

                  1. “We have such sights to show you.”
                    ~Pinhead

          2. Another reason to wipe out the MSM. They’re just a criminal conspiracy to commit treason and sedition anymore.

            1. Jesus Christ, dude, get a grip.

        2. No, he never worked at Cato. He went to HuffPo after his stint at Reason, and then moved over to WaPo after that.

          1. Radley Balko

            Radley Balko is a journalist at The Washington Post.

            Previously, Balko was a policy analyst for the Cato Institute specializing in civil liberties issues, where he published a paper on alcohol policy and a groundbreaking study on paramilitary police raids.

            1. Ah, how about that.

    3. I would like to know how much money he thinks Egypt owes to Israel.

      Instead of cash, we’ll just take all of your first-born.

    4. Archeologist are trying to rewrite history and claim that Jews and others were paid workers of Egypt. American slaves were often paid as well as long as they paid the payer back for their care and feeding

      1. I have always read that the monuments of Egypt were built by free labor and not slavery. Egypt was in this wonderful position where the soil was so good it produced a huge surplus of food while at the same time leaving the farmers nothing to do for several months a year while the Nile flooded. It is my understanding that the monuments were built with this surplus labor.

      2. American slaves were often paid as well as long as they paid the payer back for their care and feeding

        That was usually limited to slaves with certain in-demand skills like blacksmiths, though. The slave was allowed to have some income from his labor, but he wasn’t entitled to it and the owner could simply confiscate all of it if he so chose, although that was rare. Most of the owners simply took a cut of the pay and let the slave keep the rest, and if that slave was lucky, they could eventually save up enough to buy their freedom. It typically took several years, if not decades, however.

    5. However, the slavery practiced in the South and other places followed a new model different from, say, slavery as practiced in Ancient Rome.

      In Rome, for example, slaves weren’t considered to be of a sub-human, separate race, were allowed to buy their freedom and become part of free society without stigma.

      Southern slavery constructed a whole culture where people convinced themselves that a whole race of people was inferior and white folks were doing them a favor by enslaving them. They convinced themselves slavery was the good, Christian thing to do.

      1. Southern slavery constructed a whole culture where people convinced themselves that a whole race of people was inferior and white folks were doing them a favor by enslaving them. They convinced themselves slavery was the good, Christian thing to do.

        You are describing Islamic slavery. In addition, Roman slaves could buy their way out and become members of society but non Romans could never become equal to Romans.

        There is nothing special or different about southern slavery. Moreover, even if there were, it was no different than slavery as it was practiced everywhere in the Americas.

      2. Early progressivism was great wasn’t it? Now they convince themselves that the only way we can be free is for everyone to be enslaved to the chains of socialism.

      3. However, the slavery practiced in the South and other places followed a new model different from, say, slavery as practiced in Ancient Rome.

        This is correct, but the ‘South’ you’re referring to is too far North. It was in South America where slavery became something truly vile.

        Because they were easy to replace, slaves were often simply worked to death by the Spanish and Portugese.

        In Rome, for example, slaves weren’t considered to be of a sub-human, separate race, were allowed to buy their freedom and become part of free society without stigma.

        In Rome, every non-Roman was considered somewhat less than human. Slaves were goods. They could be given as gifts. They were frequently among the animals used by augurs to divine the future. Yes, I said ‘animals’. They weren’t Romans.

        Buying one’s freedom was practiced in the American colonial lands of Europe as well as in Rome.

        But the name ‘Freedman’ was not without stigma. Anywhere.

        Southern slavery constructed a whole culture where people convinced themselves that a whole race of people was inferior and white folks were doing them a favor by enslaving them. They convinced themselves slavery was the good, Christian thing to do.

        Statements like these reference the apologia written by prominent Democrats to justify slavery. And while they were attempts to rationalize and redefine slavery as a ‘good’ their very existence tells the other side of the story–that the general temperament was against this position. There is no need to convince others that what you are doing is good when they all accept and believe in it.

        John is right when he calls out the Islamic slave trade as the worst. It utterly destroyed African culture as Islam entered it’s first wave of conquest. Whole, burgeoning civilizations were absorbed, enslaved or slaughtered.

        Slaves were castrated, carved into useful shapes–deafened, blinded, muted, hamstrung. Slaves were bred for specific traits. Slaves were thought of as animals and nothing else.

        It is a horrible thing.

    6. It is important to dispel the myth that slavery was a unique evil perpetrated by white Europeans against Africans. But it’s also OK to more narrowly discuss the history of slavery in what became the USA.

      1. But it’s also OK to more narrowly discuss the history of slavery in what became the USA.

        Why?

        It was legal to import slaves into the US for less than 20 years. And within less than a hundred years from it’s founding it was gone–and former slaves were elected leaders in the US.

        Why must the US, who has such a short history of allowing slavery, be chastised by peoples whose nations’ history with slavery covers hundreds, if not thousands of years?

  18. Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!

    Sounds like the mayor might need to be GITMO’d.

    1. Most prominent progressives belong in GITMO. Most of the democrats in Congress, the DNC leaders, and their money people.

  19. This shit is what turns people libertarian I’m just warning you.

    I thought it was hookers, blow, and free markets.

    1. No, that’s for “L”ibertarians.

  20. Justin Williams was baking a tray of gluten-free seeded bread for the next morning’s farmers’ market when his phone buzzed. It was a friend who grows organic sprouts, nervously wondering if he should bring along a shotgun to market.

    “It was a bright and sunny day. Suddenly a shot rang out!”

  21. “@WoodhullSFA conference”

    You realize that Victoria Woodhull ended her career marrying an English banker and trying to suppress evidence of her earlier, spiritualist-radical activities?

    1. That’s right, she went from Mrs. Satan to Mrs. John Biddulph Martin, the banker’s wife. The banker seemed to have a better retirement plan than Satan.

  22. Things got so politically volatile at the Bloomington, Indiana, farmer’s market that the mayor felt he had to suspend it.

    You can’t yell MAGA in a crowded farmers’ market.

  23. “If the Kochs support occupational licensing reform, the dictates of tribalism say that Think Progress cannot. The End.”

    Hope Think Progress realized the Kochs fund Third Way to push lefty open borders.

    https://theintercept.com/2019/08/13/koch-brothers-third-way/

  24. I have not said much about Marianne Williamson. But even she would be better at foreign policy than Drumpf:

    The US withdrawing troops from Afghanistan without ensuring the rights and protection of women is is unacceptable. The Taliban’s history of brutality towards women must not be forgotten or ignored in these negotiations.

    Of course, Commander in Chief Hillary Clinton would have secured a final, decisive victory in Afghanistan by now. In fact, when he left office Obama was on the verge of doing exactly that. But then Putin’s Puppet messed everything up.

    #LibertariansForFinishingTheJobInAfghanistan

    1. I know it is folly to reply to OBL, but I must share this fun fact; Trump is the only President in the last 25 years to NOT start a war. (War in this case as it is commonly accepted, an armed conflict using military troops of some branch. Not the actual ‘congress passes a declaration’ kind not seen since we stopped numbering the wars.)

      True, he is new in the job, but still – – – –

      1. Yup.

        +1 for Trump

    2. “Commander in Chief Hillary Clinton would have secured a final, decisive victory in Afghanistan by now. In fact, when he left office Obama was on the verge of doing exactly that.”

      My God!
      Your the best comedy writer in America.
      Keep up your fantasies, OBL.
      You’re hysterically funny.

  25. I am still waiting in vain for a socialist to explain to me why a state has to honor a marriage license from other states, but not a carry permit or a professional occupation license.
    Remember the flame wars when same sex marriage was under “debate”? We have to have reciprocity or the world will end.
    What is the difference? OK, other than the right to make a living, what is the difference?
    Could it possibly be that many of these workers who need licenses are independent business owners? Any chance at all that this is just another socialist power grab to get every single citizen under one form of direct government control or another?
    Or is this just another major policy failure of Trump?

    1. Yup. Full Faith and Credit Clause only applies to gay marriage. Not gun permits or professional licenses.

      1. Here is how it is supposed to work. The states should recognize the licenses and contracts of other states unless they declare some aspect of them to be against public policy. So, for example, if one state decided that you didn’t need a law degree to practice law, other states could declare that against public policy and not recognize people who didn’t meet their standards. Otherwise, they have to recognize the licenses.

        The same goes with marriages. States should be free to set their own marriage rules. That means allowing gays to marry or declaring such against public policy.

        It doesn’t work that way because gays are fucking sacred to the elites and damn it that is all that matters.

  26. https://www.breitbart.com/economy/2019/08/18/manufacturers-tariffs-empire-state/

    “Nearly half of the manufacturers, 47.9 percent, said tariffs had no effect on selling prices. Another 10 percent said there was a significant or slight downward effect.”

    “just 7.3 percent of manufacturers in New York state said tariffs were having a significant upward effect on their selling prices.”

  27. What’s this? Is Bernie Sanders repudiating his earlier statement that open borders is a “right wing Koch Brothers plot”?

    My father’s whole family was wiped out by Hitler’s white nationalism. We will go to war against white nationalism and racism in every aspect of our country.

    He’s drawing an explicit parallel between Nazi ideology and modern American white nationalism (meaning, opposition to the Koch / Reason immigration agenda). Open borders is becoming so mainstream in the Democratic Party that even Bernie is now a fan!

    #VoteDemocratForOpenBorders
    #LibertariansForWagingWarAgainstWhiteNationalism

  28. The majority of the Russian population lived in a state of enslavement until 1862. If slavery is the key to all wealth, then why isn’t Russia the richest nation on earth?

    I have also yet to hear anyone square the claim that slavery built America with the fact that the slave holding South was a poor, largely pre-industrial economy compared to the much richer and capitalist North at the time of the civil war. If slavery created all of this wealth, why didn’t the southern states see more of it?

    Moreover, if slavery was so lucrative, why did the northern states ban it? Am I to believe the white north was so charitable towards blacks that they ended slavery even though doing so made them poorer? I find that explanation dubious at best.

    1. The last victim of slavery died 50 years ago.

      There is no reason why someone today, who has never owned a slave, should be required to compensate someone who was never owned as a slave–certainly not because of slavery.

      Racism is about not being able to see people as individuals because of their race. I am not a racist. I judge people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. I question the anti-racist credentials of anyone who wants us to see individuals as a member of a race. That’s as good a definition of a racist as any.

      1. Slavery made slave owners wealthy but made the economy as a whole less wealthy. Slaves are not as productive as free men. Had the South not had slavery, it would have been overall richer than it was.

        1. There was always a tremendous amount of hostility between poor free white labor and slave holders–for a number of reasons. Among them, plenty of slave holders would rather have paid free whites or use indentured servants from Europe to do especially dangerous work. Slaves were expensive and a serious investment, and if it was less expensive to hire free whites or use indentured servants for dangerous work, you didn’t have to worry so much if they got sick–and the survival rate of indentured servants was low.

          Between half and two-thirds of all white people who came to the colonies in the 17th century were indentured servants. They were used not just for especially dangerous work but also in especially dangerous areas–especially in swampy areas where rice and sugar were grown, they were subject to malaria, yellow fever, cholera, etc. Meanwhile, runaway indentured servants were treated much like runaway slaves.

          Racism is morally wrong because treating anyone as if he or she were a group rather than an individual is morally wrong, but in addition to be morally wrong, racism is also stupid. There isn’t anything we can say with absolute certainty about anybody today because of their ancestors from 200 years ago. There were black slaveholders and there are poor white people today whose ancestors were horribly treated, as well. You can’t even be sure that people who think of themselves as “white” don’t have any slave ancestors. This is all about irrational pandering to some voters on the basis of their legitimate pity. Pity, like fear, can make us logically vulnerable.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_division

    2. Yeah, slavery in the south seemed to create a stagnant society, not a prosperous one. Plantation owners with lots of slaves were rich. But I don’t think there was a lot of social mobility or economic development.

      1. Yup. It’s cheaper to pay a free person $2 per day to cut down trees for a week than have a slave that cost you $1200 upfront and you need to get at least $1200 out of them.

        Back in the day, if the free person died while cutting down trees or was injured the employer might have to pay some small severance or the funeral cost. If a slave died, you were out how much the slave cost minus what you had gotten out of the slave.

    1. Haha. A few Twats down is a picture of an Antifa dipshit with a picture of Marx and a Marx doll right next to it. That is hilarious!

      These Useful Idiots don’t know what violence is.

      To quote Lt. Aldo Raines “We got a Nazi here who wants to die for his country! Oblige him!”.

      1. Outside of the black guy, there isn’t a bicep in that picture. A girls junior high dance squad could kick those losers’ asses.

    2. And like South Park, these white soy vacuums are implementing Operation Get Behind the Darkie.

    3. Mad Max Beyond Maple and 6th.

  29. LOL Think Progress used to have comments. Gee, I wonder why they got rid of them.

  30. >> It’s astounding that people pearl-clutch over the very idea that just a generation later, racism might still be pervasive, and that this is something we should talk about.

    sure. nobody but you cares what fucking color your skin is. go away.

    1. Racism is pervasive. Balko, as a morally superior white man, knows that.

      1. liberating to never have to think idiots like him exist. then he exists for a couple of minutes and i’m angry. then i forget and he doesn’t exist.

        1. I love all of these dumb white people who claim racism is institutional, endemic, unconscious, and all that. Okay, then how are they not racist? If they are, then they need to stop judging other people for faults they share. If they are not, then they need to explain what makes them so special.

          1. I think that part of the ritual is to acknowledge your own racism and privilege. Then you get to beat up on other people for it.

            I’m sure loads of people carry around bigoted attitudes about race. But that’s a far cry from institutional, systemic racism. To automatically assume that any disparate outcome is because of racism primarily and not a million other social and historical factors is foolish and counterproductive. There are real problems keeping a lot of black Americans in poverty. Insisting that it’s all just white racism is not going to help with any of it.

            1. I think that part of the ritual is to acknowledge your own racism and privilege. Then you get to beat up on other people for it.

              Exactly Zeb. The whole point is to acknowledge all of this “racism” as a means of asserting one’s moral superiority over other white people. To people like Balko, blacks are just bystanders and tools to be used in his assertion of his class and moral superiority over other lower class and morally inferior whites.

              When you really understand what is going on, you realize how twisted and gross people like Balko are. It is pure moral narcissism. Balko doesn’t care about blacks or racism. He cares about the morality play going on in his head.

  31. Given that the “suggestion” about what to do re: occupational licensing is to facilitate bringing more professions under control of central committees, I think it might be less knee-jerk partisanship and more about making sure that nobody can have a career without official permission.

  32. Why am I still seeing headlines about how evil Israel won’t let the poor anti-Semitic women visit? Even though Tlaib decided she won’t visit her grandmother because the conditions aren’t perfect or whatever. The media sucks

  33. I don’t understand the sigh for declaring an actual terrorist group, terrorists. They literally walk around to terrorize people.

  34. “ThinkProgress.”

    More like “Think Control and Unnecessary Licensing fees.”

  35. You must have never had your eyeliner go awry due to lack of skill.

  36. Ah classic Balko performative wokeness that led me to unfollow him.

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