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The Way We Shop Online Will Be Threatened in the Supreme Court This Week: Reason Roundup

Plus: Ketamine nasal spray gets boost from Johnson & Johnson study and Philly protests over jailing of rapper Meek Mill.

Imagine China/NewscomImagine China/NewscomTax case could kill small-scale digital entrepreneurs. The way we communicate online is in major peril. Is the way we shop online now threatened, too?

The Supreme Court this week will hear a case concerning state sales tax and independent sellers who peddle goods on Amazon.com, eBay, Esty, and countless other online marketplaces. Right now, state authorities can't make online merchants serve as state tax collectors unless the merchant has a physical presence in that state. But if the Court sides with South Dakota here, billions of dollars worth of merchandise could suddenly be subject to state sales tax.

"In the case, South Dakota is seeking to overturn a longtime precedent under which states can't require retailers to collect sales taxes unless the companies have a physical presence in the state," notes the Wall Street Journal.

The current tax rules—from the era of mail-order catalogs—helped fuel the rise of internet commerce and spurred frustration among brick-and-mortar retailers, shopping-mall owners and state governments. Tax and legal experts expect the court to overturn the precedent, freeing states to collect levies on future cross-state transactions. It isn't clear what new standard might take its place or what rules states might impose.

The case (South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc.) is supposed to be decided by the end of June. And the outcome could be a bigger deal than many even realize. Here's James Sutton at National Review:

But seriously — aren't we just talking about collecting sales tax and turning it over to the state? Don't we have software that can do this easily? This is what South Dakota would like everyone to believe. The reality is very different.

Sutton lays out myriad ways the change would harm small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. Or, as Marie Oh Huber at The Hill puts it: "If you run a company that makes just $60,000 a year, paying an accountant $50,000 a year to comply with 300 different tax jurisdictions' regulations isn't in your budget."

The Tax Foundation notes that 15 briefs were filed in support of South Dakota, and 23 briefs in Wayfair: "The Tax Foundation submitted a brief in support of neither party, making the case for a meaningful limit on state taxing power while agreeing that South Dakota's law doesn't burden interstate commerce."

FREE MINDS

Drug-company study gives ketamine nasal-spray a boost. There's been a lot of evidence in recent years showing that the drug ketamine is effective at treating depression. Now, the first study undertaken by a pharmaceutical company also confirms that ketamine shows promise. The study—from Johnson and Johnson subsidiary Janssen Research and Development and the Yale School of Medicine—involved 68 depression patients deemed to be at "imminent risk" of taking their own lives. All were hospitalized and put on antidepressants. Half were also prescribed a ketamine nasal spray (while the control group got a nasal-spray placebo).

According to results being published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, patients who got the ketamine spray saw much greater improvement during the first four weeks of treatment. "However, at 25 days the effects had levelled out," reports the BBC.

The study's authors suggest it could offer an effective rapid treatment for people severely depressed and at imminent risk of suicide and could help in the initial stages of treatment, as most anti-depressants take four to six weeks to become fully effective.

The ketamine nasal spray is currently in phase-three clinical trials, which must be completed before it can be licensed for sales in the United States. Previous positive research on ketamine as a depression treatment has been stalled here by worries over ketamine's popularity for recreational use.

FREE MARKETS

Trump's trade tantrums are threatening the European economy, warns a new report from the German Institute for Macroeconomics and Economic Research (IMK). Last month, the group estimated a 6.8 percent likelihood of a recession in Germany within the next three months. Now, they've ratcheted the recession estimate up to 32.4 percent. Said IMK research director Gustav Horn:

President Trump's flirtation with protectionism is sending out shock waves that are not only affecting financial markets, but also the German economy.

Horn said folks abroad are worried that the tariffs Trump is threatening to slap on China "will eventually also apply to European goods."

QUICK HITS

  • There's a protest in Philadelphia today over the treatment of rapper Meek Mill, who is currently imprisoned there. "The same officers who arrested Meek Mill are now under investigation for their participation in crimes conducted by fellow officers, ranging from assault, robbery, and kidnapping, to committing false arrests," say the organizers of the rally. "Despite this, Meek Mill has been refused bail, and remains in prison serving a 2 to 4-year sentence for technical probation violations: non-criminal and non-violent offenses."
  • Buzzfeed has published a massive trove of NYPD disciplinary files.
  • "I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia. He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence who's tracking conversations and knows what's going on. I don't think he's medically unfit to be president. I think he's morally unfit to be president." —Former FBI Director James Comey on President Trump, in an interview with ABC News.

Photo Credit: Imagine China/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There's a protest in Philadelphia today over the treatment of...

    ...the Cryers by Sidney Crosby?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I'm worried about Rufus. The first comment is a hockey reference and our resident Canadian didn't even bother to say "Hello."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Probably a Jets fan.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Buzzfeed has published a massive trove of NYPD disciplinary files.

    That has to break like a thousand internal NYPD policies (AKA THE LAW).

  • John||

    I am sure it does. But good on them for publishing it. The public has a huge interest in knowing what is going on there. I seem to recall New York having a newspaper that calls itself the "newspaper of record." Funny how it took an internet rag like Buzzfeed to do this. It is almost like the Times is in bed with the powers that be or something.

  • Agammamon||

    Sorry, but the law is the law. If there's one thing I've learned reading the Reason comment section it is this.

    Except when my own ox is being gored.

  • Longtobefree||

    PETA denies you the right to own an ox. Free it immediately.

  • Rossami||

    Sorry, no. Internal NYPD policies =/= the law. Internal policies, whether corporate or public, only have jurisdiction over other insiders. Someone might have broken an internal policy by leaking the files (but maybe not) but Buzzfeed cannot have broken any NYPD policies by publishing them because Buzzfeed is not part of the NYPD and is not subject to their internal rules.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence who's tracking conversations and knows what's going on.

    Comey, back in the president's good graces.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    " I think he's morally unfit to be president."

    I think what he meant to say is that he's morally unfit to be anything but president.

  • John||

    What "immoral' has Trump ever done? Traded in a few wives for younger models? At least he had the decency to divorce them, which is more than you can say for Clinton. Comey is a Clinton crony. Someone needs to ask him what about Trump makes him morally unfit that wouldn't have made Bill Clinton morally unfit.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    He is a full time con man and liar, you idiot. He stiffs his creditors and customers. Did you get your degree from Trump University? That would explain a lot.

  • John||

    I agree Shreek, except that Bill Clinton had nothing to do with Trump University. Other than that, you are pretty spot on about Bill Clinton. And that is exactly my point.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Your political mirror image, the Klondike Kardashian Sarah Palin, told a reporter she was open to running for office again, John. I am sure you know this and will support her again. It could be just like 2008 again!

  • John||

    And she would make a better president than your hero Obama. How stupid does that make Obama. Just what would she do as President? Give a billion and a half dollars in unmarked bills to Iran? Destroy the government of Libya and turn the place into a giant slave market just because? Use the IRS to attack her political opponents?

    Your anger and misery are so pleasant Shrike.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    As always you are full of shit.

  • Agammamon||

    I would - she'd be better than Hillary, Bernie, *and* whoever the DNC digs up this cycle combined.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You know who else is open to running for office again, and again?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    John, 1998: "Bill Clinton is morally unfit to be President!"
    John, 2018: "Bill Clinton is the moral yardstick by which all presidents should be measured!"

  • What Smells Like Pee?||

    John didn't make that choice, it was made for him.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Stormy Daniels and 64% of the internet would like to have a word with you. And that Playboy model. And I would guess many others.

    Wasn't there also something about eminent domain, a parking lot, and some old lady's house?

  • John||

    Bill Clinton banged actresses and beauty queens and anything that didn't move. And I don't see how a single use of legal eminent domain is as bad as participating in the looting of an S&L.

    Try again.

  • LynchPin1477||

    How about you try to come up with a better moral yardstick than Bill Clinton. If you can't and you have to sink that low to make Trump look good, it pretty much proves my point. At any rate, they seem like perfectly equal scumbags to me.

  • John||

    The yardstick is what it is. Bill Clinton was president for 8 years and the world didn't end. In fact, Clinton did a few pretty good things in office. He was certainly a better President than both Obama and Carter, both of whom seem to be quite moral in their personal lives.

    The point is that the only people who give a shit about this stuff are people who want to use it as an excuse to dislike a President they already don't like. Democrats didn't give a shit about Bill Clinton and most Republicans don't give a shit about Trump. Regardless, someone's personal morality seems to have no correlation to their effectiveness in the job, which is all that matters.

    I would think Libertarians of all people would understand that and resist the urge to hold up any politician, let alone the most powerful politician as some kind of moral paragon. The President is hired help. He is not the Pope.

    Lastly, whatever you think of this issue, it was settled in the 1990s. And the people who claimed it mattered lost. We can't now go back and reconsider that just because someone the Democrats don't like is President. It doesn't work that way. If the Democrats want this standard, they need to apply it to one of their own first. Otherwise, tough shit.

  • sarcasmic||

    He was certainly a better President than both Obama and Carter

    I don't know about that. Carter did a lot of things wrong, but he was the most libertarian president in a long time. During his tenure home brewing was legalized, and both trucking and airlines were deregulated. Say what you will, but those things right there outweigh the bad stuff. In my opinion anyway.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Say what you will, but those things right there outweigh the bad stuff. In my opinion anyway.

    Carter was a pretty decent President who held office at the wrong time. He was more of a Kennedy-type Democrat who got elected right at the time the New Left started to infiltrate and take over his party, and he didn't understand how to keep their fundamentally anti-American sympathies from being associated with it going forward.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I'd read that the trucking deregulation was actually Ted Kennedy's doing, on account of he was feuding with the Teamsters over some bullshit at the time. But Carter signed it, so it counts.

  • Agammamon||

    What good things did Bill do?

    War in Kosovo?

    Expand the War on Drugs?

  • Bubba Jones||

    How about Obama's real estate deals in Chicago?

    I would hope that Trump's third wife would have guessed he might be the type to cheat. I think she still came out ahead in this deal.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    How about you try to come up with a better moral yardstick than Bill Clinton. If you can't and you have to sink that low to make Trump look good, it pretty much proves my point

    JFK, the Boomer generation's vastly overrated demigod, wasn't exactly a model of moral decorum himself.

  • Agammamon||

    Not a single use.

    Just the most visible victim of a single use. He's done it multiple times and each time it affects multiple people.

  • Agammamon||

    And to say he's more moral than Bill is the same as saying he's a better President that Hillary - definitely true but he's still shite.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Also, trading in a few wives for younger models, even if you divorce them, is immoral in the eyes of a lot of people. Not so much the divorce part as the treating marriage and women like merchandise part.

  • John||

    Again, plenty of Presidents in the past have done worse. Moreover, he ex wives don't seem to have an issue with him. HIs kids like him. So, what the hell business is it of yours or mine? Are you really claiming that "he has been divorced" makes him unfit to be President? Give me a break.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    "Again, plenty of Presidents in the past have done worse."

    That was the point of my post, wasn't it?

  • LynchPin1477||

    No, I'm claiming that cheating on your wives and treating them like a car that's up on its lease make you a bad person. You know that's what I'm claiming and you know you can't defend your claim that Trump hasn't done anything immoral, so you are trying to change the topic.

  • John||

    No, I'm claiming that cheating on your wives and treating them like a car that's up on its lease make you a bad person.

    But it doesn't necessarily make you a bad President. Since I am not Trump's wife or child, that is all I care about. If you want a hero, go join the church or get a dog or something.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    The argument was that he is immoral, Comey may have said it disqualifies him but the argument Agamemnon made was that he is in fact immoral. You are arguing against that point, and then arguing an orthagonal point that no one else is

  • John||

    My point is that he is no more or less moral than any other President. None of them are perfect. I never argued that he was moral. I said he was just as fit to be in the office as anyone else.

    Do me a favor and make sure you understand what I am saying before responding. Otherwise you are just wasting my time BUCS.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Trump's immorality was fully disclosed prior to the election.

    Caveat emptor.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Shit, this is a guy who's love life and affairs were breathlessly covered by the media bobbleheads on shows like "Entertainment Tonight" for years. Everyone over the age of 30 knew Trump was a poonhound long before he ever started talking seriously about running for President.

    I would agree with people who say that this kind of behavior should not be considered acceptable in normal society, but we don't live in a normal society, we live in a Clownworld one where degenerate behaviors have increasingly been enabled and excused for decades, particularly by Boomers and Gen-Xers who've been stuck in a state of emotional arrested development because acting like a serious adult might get in the way of their constant endorphin rush-chasing.

  • What Smells Like Pee?||

    / thread

  • Agammamon||

    What "immoral' has Trump ever done?

    Used Eminent Domain for private gain? How about that?

  • John||

    Which means he is a real estate developer. Doing that is legal. That means everyone who is in that business has to do it because their competitors are doing it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Do you believe legal and moral are equivalent? Because you keep saying that basically

  • John||

    I can't judge people for decisions I am not in a position to make. If you don't like ED, blame the judges and the government officials who created it not the developers who used it. If your competitors take advantage of a legal mechanism that you don't, they have an advantage over you that will both cost you money or maybe your business if you don't take advantage as well.

    It is not so much that I think Legal means moral, because I don't. It is that I do not believe in telling other people it is their job to spend their money for my morals. And that is really all that is going on here. You expect Trump and everyone else in real estate development to lose money and fall behind their competitors because of your morals. Well, fuck you. Go spend your own money on your morals. If you are not willing to do that, shut up.

  • gormadoc||

    What a roundabout way of saying "Fuck morals, money matters more."

    I can't judge people for decisions I am not in a position to make.

    You can't honestly believe this, otherwise your posting here would be cut in half. It would also be a stupid belief.

  • John||

    Yes I can honestly believe this. Who am I to say someone else should go broke by refusing to do something that is entirely legal because I think it is immoral? Talk is cheap. You can't honestly think you have a right to demand other people go broke for your morals.

  • gormadoc||

    So you refuse to condemn oligarchs and dictators?

    And you violated your own principle here. Something tells me that you've never gotten to make a decision even slightly comparable to that of a Russian citizen deciding whether or not to stand up to the Soviet government. If any talk is cheap it's that of an American in 2018 criticizing Russians for not fighting the Soviets.

    The problem with legal money trumping morals is that you get societies like China and then don't really have any moral standing on which to try to change laws. Trying to stand on 'pragmatic' footing gets you France or Turkey.

    go broke

    That's a straw man; nobody here is asking for him to do that. There are a large number of people in real estate who don't indulge in immoral acts. They might not end up at the top of the totem pole but at least they aren't scumbags.

  • John||

    So you refuse to condemn oligarchs and dictators?

    Sure I will. But a company using ED because the government allows it is not in any way equivalent to being an oligarch or a dictator. Moreover, you condemn the people who make the law, not the people who live with it. So, I am explicitly condemning dictators here.

    And it is not a straw man to say people might go broke. Business is very competitive. And the difference between going broke and not often is very small. You are absolutely telling them to go broke. Who are you to say that some amount of other people's money is not going to cause them to go broke? How do you know? You don't. You are just making the same bullshit talking point leftists make about everything thing, "if you can't afford to pay X wage, you don't deserve to be in business"

    Again, go fuck yourself. Stop morally judging people for not losing money for your morality. If you don't like the law, change it.

  • Agammamon||

    Why not? Nothing a dictator does is, by definition, illegal.

  • Murray Rothtard||

    apparently having your own guy in office makes you incapable of rational thought.

    john occasionally made sense 2 years ago. by then end of trump's presidency i expect you tobe typing in tongues

  • Murray Rothtard||

    "you shouldn't be in business if you have to use government power to steal other people's property in order to stay profitable. (even if legal)"

    "you shouldn't be in business if you consensually negotiate wages with your employees without government interference."

    ^ these two "why don't you just go broke?" arguments sound like the "same bullshit talking point" to john. that's pretty embarrassing. you are usually good at logical thought. but someone said "trump immoral" and you literally lost your mind.

  • Agammamon||

    I'll also blame the people who stoop to legal but immoral tactics to sate their greed.

  • Agammamon||

    C'mon man - we're libertarians here. Legal =/= moral. Never has.

    Or are you going to say drug use is immoral. Because its illegal.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Leaker Comey had to admit that I have average intelligence. Some people have even said the best average intelligence of all time. Many have said that. No collusion. #MAGA"

  • Citizen X - #6||

    +1 very good brain

  • ||

    Thank god we have a lawyer, lobbyist and ex-head of one of the more corrupt Federal institutions lecturing us on morality.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Police in the U.K. are now convicting people off of photographs of their fingerprints on drugs.

    If only they could get their CCTV high res enough to zoom in and get video of drug fingerprints.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Get ready for a ban on gloves in the UK.

  • ||

    In the Police's defense, they do look like quintessential English lowlifes. Like they wouldn't be picked as extras in a Guy Ritchie movie because they're trying too hard to look like British criminals.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Isn't Quintessential English Lowlifes the name of the Manic Street Preachers' next album?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Bitcoin traders have been less than pleased with the realization they have to pay taxes on any of their earnings."

    Defeating half the purpose.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    But if the Court sides with South Dakota here, billions of dollars worth of merchandise could suddenly be subject to state sales tax.

    South Dakota is Worst Dakota.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I thought that was Dakota Fanning.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Dakota Fanning never cost me a dime.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Oh, you won that fan club contest for free tickets for all the Twilight Saga movies? You lucky dog, you.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I traded them to some middle schoolers for what turned out not to be Ritalin after all. Live and learn, i suppose.

  • Agammamon||

    You need to know a guy like this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBPhp5a3EnM

  • Don't look at me.||

    Perhaps to make it fair, we should eliminate all sales taxes.

  • Longtobefree||

    Minor detail. Those goods are currently subject to sales tax. The purchaser is required to report the purchase and pay the taxes due.
    What is at issue is enslaving out of state companies, who receive no benefits whatsoever from the state, to work as tax collectors at their own expense. Sort of like taxation without representation.
    We went through all of this with mail order companies decades ago.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But "the technique appears to have backfired this time, imperiling an innocent bystander held at gunpoint and blowing the agents' drug investigation," reports The Oregonian.

    There are no innocent bystanders in the total war on drug users.

  • Agammamon||

    There is no such thing as an innocent plea in my guilt. A plea of innocence is guilty of wasting my time. Guilty!

  • Bee Tagger||

    Pensacola, Florida, is considering a city-wide ban on skateboarding.

    Even the youth trends in Florida are old.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The city is also not too keen on this "hip-hop" thing.

  • Eidde||

    And those video game emporiums.

  • Don't look at me.||

    And dancing. It's the devils work.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    And don't get the Pensacola city council started on the scourge of soda fountains being open on Sundays.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    There have been too many accidents of seniors falling and breaking their hips while riding rails and jumping curbs on their skateboards.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    In front of Blockbusters and Barnes and Noble.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I know a number of dudes in their 40s who have gotten severely injured because of an unwillingness to accept that skateboards are not a legit commuting method for anyone over the age of 19.

  • Brian||

    Yep. Had a friend try to show his son how to shred.

    He has titanium pins in his ankle now.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    One of my wife's former bandmates thought he'd show off for his kid like that. Multiple surgeries later, he can almost bend his right elbow again. His son was impressed, but not in the way he was hoping.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Whenever I read about a skateboarder who committed a serious crime or assault, he's always in his 40s.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Someone who still skateboards at that age is obviously already prone to making bad choices.

  • Longtobefree||

    In unrelated news, Pensacola Florida is at a loss to explain a sudden increase in pedestrian/vehicle accidents.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Pensacola, Florida, is considering a city-wide ban on skateboarding.

    Also, hike up your breeches.

  • Bee Tagger||

    "I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia.

    Speaking of buying things, though... I wrote a book...

  • Get To Da Chippah||

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia.

    Well, shit, where is shreek supposed to source his stupid nickname from, then?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    He'll make due. He always does.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Police in the U.K. are now convicting people off of photographs of their fingerprints on drugs.

    Yet another area of life in which vampires can act with impunity.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Did you know the Daily Mirror is run by vampires?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Millennials like me and X call them British these days.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    It's not that they can't go out into the sun, it's that there isn't any sun for them to go out into.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Tax and legal experts expect the court to overturn the precedent, freeing states to collect levies on future cross-state transactions.

    Tax and legal experts know this supreme court so well.

  • Bee Tagger||

    I don't think he's medically unfit to be president. I think he's morally unfit to be president."

    I don't think the people who want Trump gone are willing to close off any avenues quite yet.

  • Eidde||

    They've been fantasizing about the 25th Amendment. Just

    -get the Cabinet, Vice President, and Congress to agree that Trump is medically unfit,

    -then Pence takes over.

    -???

    -President Hillary!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    In those question marks lies a hell I fear above all else.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN. The stars, unfortunately, have come right.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The study—from Johnson and Johnson subsidiary Janssen Research and Development and the Yale School of Medicine—involved 68 depression patients deemed to be at "imminent risk" of taking their own lives.

    They're allowed to give them ketamine up the nose? Don't they know that could kill them???

  • Citizen X - #6||

    It's certainly true that taking a bunch of Special K is going to keep you from accomplishing anything, let alone a suicide attempt.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That's the worst cereal ever. More tasteless than Crusty.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    But "the technique appears to have backfired this time, imperiling an innocent bystander held at gunpoint and blowing the agents' drug investigation," reports The Oregonian.

    Sometimes you have to break a few eggs in order to imprison someone for selling unapproved omelets.

  • Ska||

    The online shopping graphic really makes me want to watch the Price is Right.

  • Just Say'n||

    "I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia. He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence who's tracking conversations and knows what's going on. I don't think he's medically unfit to be president. I think he's morally unfit to be president." —Former FBI Director James Comey on President Trump, in an interview with ABC News.

    Thank you for your self-serving service, sir. This love for bureaucrats by some so called "libertarians" is not a good look.

  • Just Say'n||

    Trump should be opposed and impeached for his illegal bombing in Syria. But, instead some insist that he be impeached because he offends the sensibilities of rich white liberals. Trump and his opposition are equal parts retard

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Murder sits fine with everyone, as long as it's done with bombs instead of scary privately owned guns.

  • WoodChipperBob||

    Of course, the same 'opposed and impeached for his illegal bombing in [fill in nation]' applies to most of his predecessors. One of my liberal friends asked my take on the legality of bombing Syria. Talking about domestic law, I said, "It's illegal. But no more illegal than similar actions his predecessors took. So if impeachment were a judicial process, rather than a political one, he'd have a very credible defense in saying, 'how the hell would I think it was illegal, since all of my predecessors did it, and nobody said anything.'"

  • ||

    love for bureaucrats by some so called "libertarians"

    Who, exactly?

  • Just Say'n||

    Me. I've been looking for that Comey McAbe sex tape all weekend

  • ||

    Ick.

    I find it appalling that the press is so willing to give Comey such a large platform to moralize. Does his book have anything of substance at all? The whole thing seems to be simply James Comey = Jesus Christ.

  • Just Say'n||

    Are you denying the divinity of Comey, shitlord? He died for our nation's sins of electing a man who was not pre-approved of by our noble bureaucrats.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I believe in one director, maker of rules and regulations, watcher of all visible and invisible.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Should have been titled, "Comey on Comey".

  • Shirley Knott||

    I have to ask — who the hell *is* 'morally fit' to be president?
    We >may< have had as many as 1 who qualifies. [Washington, who refused a kingship]
    Everyone since has been a moral monster to one degree or another. Increasingly so over time.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Wanting the job in the first place is definitive proof that one is morally unfit for it.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    ^So much this.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    I don't agree that every president has been a "moral monster". Imperfect? Of course, but to me there's a substantial gap between being imperfect and a moral monster.

    By the way, even George Washington falls far short if you're the sort who expects the president to be Jesus Christ.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford were probably reasonably moral people. Hurray?

  • MSimon||

    I want the President to be Willie Sutton. I have NEVER been disappointed.

  • Just Say'n||

    On a personally moral basis, Presidents Bush and Obama were more moral than President Trump. Both Bush and Obama were faithful to their wives and were good fathers. Trump has not been faithful to any wife ever. On a policy basis, every president has taken immoral and often illegal actions, with very few exceptions.

  • Don't look at me.||

    How could we ever go to war if the president was moral?

  • EscherEnigma||

    If you're going with an "all wars are immoral" stance, then we couldn't. But most people's morality allows for "just wars".

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And while I do have some concerns about defense, where we are now I'm not particularly afraid of us entering too few wars.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Naturally it got almost completely ignored by the Obama Momma media (including Reason), but while you were busy getting drunk this weekend Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his first report, and as expected it tears McCabe to shreds. You can read it in its entirety here if you're so inclined.

  • John||

    "Bitcoin traders have been less than pleased with the realization they have to pay taxes on any of their earnings."

    How stupid do you have to be to have to be told this? It is called a capital gain. I can understand how someone could not like it. No one likes paying taxes. But, I can't fathom being so stupid that you have to be told your gains on it are taxable.

  • Ska||

    They should be happy that 988, 1256, 987, and other currency provisions don't apply - that Bitcoin is treated more as a security and not as a foreign currency.

    But yeah, I find it hard to believe a US person would think that realized gains on trading of any sort would be nontaxable.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    +1 for you, 19 for me, 'cause i'm the taxman

  • Bubba Jones||

    I think a lot of basement dwelling neckbeards bought bitcoin before it was cool.

    People who suck at taxes.

  • ||

    But, I can't fathom being so stupid that you have to be told your gains on it are taxable.

    Because everybody in the Bitcoin community continually shouted at them about how everything they knew to be true about finance and currency wasn't?

    Anonymous! Secure! Decentralized! Replacing cash! Replacing credit! It's just value, how's the government gonna tax value, huh? We divide up the unbroken chain of value records among lots of people, the government would have a really hard time getting at lots of people value stores!

  • John||

    Anonymous! Secure! Decentralized! Replacing cash! Replacing credit! It's just value, how's the government gonna tax value, huh? We divide up the unbroken chain of value records among lots of people, the government would have a really hard time getting at lots of people value stores!

    Anyone who believed that is even dumber than someone who didn't think their gains were taxable.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Taxes on investments aren't part of most folk's life experiences. And while I don't have demographic information on Bitcoin owners/buyers, I imagine most folks that got into it did not previously have experience with traditional investing (and thus capital gains taxes).

    It's like when anyone gets into something entirely new. There will be a lot that veterans of the field will think are obvious that they just don't know about.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Taxes on investments aren't part of most folk's life experiences.

    Sure they are. Almost everyone I know has a 401k or a 403b. It may not be 'playing the stock market' to most people, but it's an investment, and there are tax implications to it.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Then I'm going to guess you're middle-class or higher and that the folks you know have employers that have a plan.

    That said? From a few quick searches, that puts you and your friends in the upper third, as (estimates vary) somewhere from half to two-thirds of Americans don't put anything in their 401(k).

    And that said, having a 401(k) plan doesn't teach you shit about capital gains taxes.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's almost as if to actually "make money" on bitcoin, they have to trade it for dollars. This doesn't make sense to me.

  • Just Say'n||

    The #resist crowd had a golden opportunity to actually #resist something of serious concern: an illegal bombing carried out by the president. #Resist has always meant #war. SAD

  • Citizen X - #6||

    You're assuming the #resistance was ever a serious thing, rather than a passel of narcissists and children having a public temper tantrum.

  • Just Say'n||

    Why do you have to crush me like this? Why can't we go back to 2006? Remember when Democrats opposed war? And Tucker Carlson wasn't the only sane guy on TV regarding foreign policy? Remember that? That was fun

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Oh man, remember Cindy Sheehan? Remember how, immediately after Obama's election, she got thrown out of the public eye so fast that it broke the sound barrier?

  • Just Say'n||

    I give her credit for being a Chavez apologist before all the celebrities. She was a real trend setter.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I found her commenting on some anarcho-primitivist Facebook page in 2015. She HATES Bernie Sanders, surprisingly.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    She is actually consistently antiwar, which is more than can be said for most of the proggie "antiwar" activists.

  • Just Say'n||

    She's at that point on the political spectrum where she overlaps with Pat Buchanan. You love them when they discuss foreign policy, but you just want them to shut-up about almost everything else

  • Just Say'n||

    Buchanan: We need to stop bombing Syria. All we are doing is prolonging the conflict. We're not helping anyone there

    Me: Yes

    Buchanan: If we keep bombing all those Arabs are just going to invade our border

    Me: Awww, damn it

    Sheehan: We need to end these overseas wars.

    Me: Yes

    Sheehan: And we need to end capitalism that has created these conflicts

    Me: Awww, damn it

    Every. Damn. Time.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Yeah, pretty much how I feel about Buchanan.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I still respect that dirty hippy on the corner protesting war in 2013, over pacificsts of convenience coming out of the woodwork when opposition is in power.

  • Just Say'n||

    Agreed. When it comes to war opposition, you can't get too picky, because there are so few dissenters.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    She HATES Bernie Sanders, surprisingly.

    Now that is surprising.

  • Number 2||

    Don't exaggerate. Sheehan was thrown away after the Dems won control of Congress in 2006. She didn't even last unti Obama's election.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Usefulness often doesn't turn off like a lightbulb... it fades like a tea light reaching the bottom of the aluminum container thingy.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    She didn't endear herself to any donks when she attacked the newly minted Democratic congress in 2007 for continuing to fund the Iraqi occupation.

  • Just Say'n||

    Even ostensibly libertarian commentators whose brains are riddled with TDS thought it more important to discuss Comey's book than to voice opposition to a blatantly illegal and immoral action taken by the administration.

  • Just Say'n||

    It should be noted that civil libertarian "(lol)", Rand Paul, has been vocal in his opposition to this bombing. Others, not so much. LOL

  • What Smells Like Pee?||

    Hey man, there's only enough time to care about whores or wars, not both.

  • Sevo||

    "Tech designers should be licensed, SF studio co-founder says"
    [...]
    "Technology companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Snap employ some of the most sought-after designers in the world to help them build their products.
    These designers, using all the tools at their disposal, can wield enormous power, influencing what we click on, see, hear and buy. Their choices decide how we interact with the Internet.
    With this power, there needs to be accountability, says Mike Monteiro, a designer who co-founded Mule design agency in San Francisco."
    https://www.sfgate.com/business/article
    /Tech-designers-should-be-
    licensed-SF-studio-12833513.php

    Can't have just anybody 'influencing what we click on'! Nope, gotta be government-approved!

  • Bubba Jones||

  • Ken Shultz||

    Interesting observations about the inability of Silicon Valley companies to raise money for smart-gun startups.

    "Smart-gun evangelists also underestimated how liberal political sentiment in Silicon Valley would hurt their cause.

    In November, the tech elite at San Francisco's exclusive social club the Battery voted to give $1.3 million to five gun-control and anti-violence groups, but not to the Smart Tech foundation. Colleen Gregerson, who runs Battery Powered, the club's philanthropic arm, said she was surprised that the members didn't vote to fund a technology solution to gun violence.

    "At the end of the day, it's still investing in a weapon and I suspect conceptually that might have been a hurdle for people," said Ms. Gregerson. "There might be some underlying feeling [like] 'I just wish they would all go away.'

    ----WSJ

    "Why No One Wants to Back the Gun of the Future"

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/wh.....1523707203

  • Ken Shultz||

    Gun buyers don't want anything that might reduce the reliability of a gun when they need to use it, and given that states like New Jersey have already passed laws requiring smart-gun technology once it becomes available, buyers generally don't want to invite regulation with smart-gun technology either.

    On the other side of the fence, it's interesting to note that the left doesn't really care about tech solutions to gun crime. When we come across people on the left talking about "common sense" solutions to gun crimes, we're often dealing with people who don't really give a shit about practical solutions at all.

    I'm quite vocal about my qualitative preference for freedom. Even if gun control did limit the number of deaths, I'd prefer freedom anyway. Maybe it's that the utilitarians on the left have a hard time seeing their own qualitative preferences and describing them in those terms. Maybe they're just being dishonest. Regardless, they don't care about the details of any given mass shooting or how tweaks to public policy (higher age restrictions, banning 30 round magazines, etc.) would or wouldn't make things better. They won't even fund their own technology.

    By hook or crook, they just want to take our guns away.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't even like safeties, let alone "smart" guns. Give me a revolver or a DA/SA. Fuck safeties. Fuck smart guns. Oh, and fuck Glock and every other striker fired handgun.

  • John||

    The best safety is your trigger finger. If you don't pull the trigger, the thing won't go off. That seems to be a concept that everyone except cops and small children cannot grasp.

  • sarcasmic||

    Cops grasp the concept. They just don't give a shit since they know they will not be held accountable for their actions.

  • John||

    Some don't. Cops are notorious for accidentally shooting themselves.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Sounds like someone that has never hunted in their life. Walking around in the woods with a gun that doesn't have a safety is very dangerous. Twigs find their way into the trigger guard, you trip over logs and your fingers go right on the trigger as you subconsciously try to catch your balance, dogs running around can step on a trigger of a loaded gun that has been put down for a second to adjust something, etc. A safety is a must.

  • John||

    I have hunted plenty. And if you do so and think a safety is sufficient, you are fooling yourself. If you are moving around in the woods with a loaded weapon, you don't chamber a round until your dog points and is ready to flush. The safety is really superfluous. I would never trust my life to a safety. The only "safety" is not having a round in the chamber. That way there is no way for it to go off no matter what you do.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    If you are moving around in the woods with a loaded weapon, you don't chamber a round until your dog points and is ready to flush.

    That might work for pheasants, brother, but not for grouse.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Also, you don't chamber rounds for an over-under.

  • John||

    No, you don't chamber rounds for an over under. But you can break the weapon down.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I've seen old timers leave a fired round in the chamber with an old Winchester 1894 and say that was their safety.

    I think it's safe to say that what you grew up with tends to shape your view of safety. People carried rifles around safely for a long time before they had safeties. And people who learned to carry that way were probably much more careful about where they were pointing their weapon, etc.

    I also think it's safe to differentiate between hunting rifles and revolvers made for carry. If a safety makes you miss a shot at a nice buck, that's one thing. If the bad guy is shooting at you, and you need to remember to undo your safety, that's another. Design should follow function, and handguns are designed for emergency situations.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I've seen old timers leave a fired round [casing] . . .

    You know what I meant. They'd fire a round and not eject the casing--saying that was their safety.

    People have told me that their guide did that with a 45-70 guide gun when they were in grizzly country, too.

  • John||

    I guess I am an old timer because to me the key to gun safety is not having a round in the chamber until you plan to fire it. If you want to keep a round in the chamber, then you need to work very hard at keeping your finger off the trigger. If you ever go through any kind of infantry training, one of the first things they have you do is point a weapon towards the ground with your finger outside the trigger guard and then bring it up and point it from your hip and dry click the weapon. You do that over and over again so that you get in the habit of never putting your finger inside the trigger guard until right before you fire. If you do not have that habit down to pure instinct, you should not be walking around with a live round in the chamber. If you have a live round in the chamber and your finger is on that trigger, that weapon is going to go off when you don't want it to at some point.

    Safeties are nice, but they are something that you can never count on being on every time you think they will be. It is just too easy to turn the safety off and forget to put it back on. So, the only way to be safe if to not have a round in the chamber or at the very least not have your finger anywhere near the trigger.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    John, not having a round chambered is an extra feature of safety in making misfires impossible but that is only for semi-autos. Revolvers will have a chambered round unless you leave one chamber empty and that is not smart in case since revolvers hold less bullets that you might need in a hurry.

    I always select pistols that allow it to be drawn from a holster without the trigger being depressed accidently. As you say, safeties might move to the firing position or you forget to reactivate the safety.

    SIG Sauers are awesome because they have a lever to lower the hammer without accidentally firing the weapon. That requires more force to activate the dual action hammer. You can still cock the hammer back to put it in single action mode if you want. I have seen guys accidentally shoot their weapon when they try and lower the hammer manually and it slips from their finger. Not smart.

  • Agammamon||

    Traditionally - before safeties - 5 rounds in a 6 round cylinder was how it was done.

    For those interested in cowboy shooting, there's some short tutorials on how to load revolvers with loading gates (not flip out cylinders) so its easy to ensure the last empty cylinder lines up with the barrel when you're done loading.

  • What Smells Like Pee?||

    "A safety is a must"

    You sound like someone who has never had a safety fail, and only uses their gun for hunting and not self defense.

  • Bubba Jones||

    I don't get it. How is a striker different from a hammer? Both derive their force from a spring.

  • sarcasmic||

    You don't shoot guns very much, do you.

  • Agammamon||

    Strikers are internal and are cocked only when the slide is pulled back.

    Hammers are external and can be moved even if the slide is stationary - such as when being dropped or snagging or by your thumb.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I was going to mention . . .

    For a long time (up until the late 90s even), the debate was between revolvers and semi-auto in terms of their reliability. The old timers would argue that revolvers never jam, but those plastic things from Austria? I dunno.

    Once people became convinced that well made, semi-autos were sufficiently reliable, the old guys were all about larger calibers and 1911s. One of the knocks on the 1911 was that having a thumb safety made them more unreliable in shootout. That's a compelling argument. The less you have to do, the better--Murphy's law and everything.

    You'd think the fogies might have gone back to S&W revolvers (despite the width) on a reliability argument--if it wasn't for the addition of the internal lock. Gun buyers hate that internal lock!

    Why?

    For the same reason they hate smart-gun technology, right?

    It's something else that could go wrong and doesn't make the gun safer with proper use and storage anyway.

  • sarcasmic||

    My S&W revolver was made between 1948 and 1950 according to the serial number. No lock.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, they didn't introduce the internal lock until much more recently.

    Now they can't get rid of it or the first time somebody accidentally shot himself or his kid without the lock, cleaning them out would be a cake walk in court.

  • John||

    Smart guns are something only someone who hates guns and has never owned one would think is a good idea. They are a solution in search of a problem. The only way they would ever be of any benefit is if you left a loaded gun laying around where a child, who was dumb enough to shoot himself, could get ahold of it. That rarely happens. More kids drown in buckets than shoot themselves with guns.

    Meanwhile, it is a technology that is almost certain to be unreliable. Do you really want to have to do what amounts to unlocking your cell phone every time you need to fire a round? The whole thing is idiotic. And they will never sell unless they can get the government to require the technology, which is clearly the goal.

  • ||

    kids drown in buckets

    275 since 1984!

  • creech||

    CPSC also estimates about 87 kids drown in bathtubs each year. I wonder about the swimming pool and ocean surf deaths. Time to close pools and oceans?

  • Don't look at me.||

    We need smart bucket technologies!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No only is that "smart gun" technology not even close to being proven tech like over 150 years of reliable centerfire rifles and pistols with simple firing pin tech.

    I think much of it is about control. A "smart gun" can be turned off or deactivated by government if they so choose.

    Same thing with vehicles. When driverless cars started coming out I heard a few people in the media get excited about the police being able to simply turn off a drivers car remotely. I don't hear that mentioned much anymore.

    The Nanny-Staters have slips of their authoritarian ways when the tech comes out and then realize that they need to keep their mouths shut until they can implement the tech.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The main problem is that technology-worshippers think that technology advancement for its own sake is always a positive good, and never consider the long-term implications, particularly on the social side, because they simplistically believe that you can force simple structures onto complex organisms without any negative consequences. They've been raised to believe that "The Jetsons" is a world state we should be striving for instead of a cartoon distortion of a post-WW2 fantasy of what the future might look like.

    To be blunt, we need more Ian Malcoms and fewer John Hammonds.

  • John||

    Sometimes analog is better because it is so de centralized and hard to control. It is like cash. The tech worshipers love electronic banking and fail to see the threat posed by governments doing away with cash. Same goes in spades for robot cars and "smart guns".

    Tech worshipers like Ron Bailey drive me nuts. They claim to be distrustful of government and central planning, but they will buy into anything seen as a technological advance, no matter how unneeded the benefit or how great the threat to liberty and privacy it creates.

  • sarcasmic||

    They claim to be distrustful of government and central planning, but they will buy into anything seen as a technological advance, no matter how unneeded the benefit or how great the threat to liberty and privacy it creates.

    "Need" is subjective. You can't tell someone else that some technological advance is unneeded simply because you have no use for it, anymore than someone else can tell you that some technological advance you use is not needed because they don't use it. Check your hubris.

    And I don't see how technology can be a threat to liberty or privacy by itself. I don't use Facebook, so I'm not worried about their data collection. No one forces anyone to use Facebook. Yes, government can and will abuse whatever it can abuse, but that's not the fault of the technology. It's the fault of the assholes who seek power.

  • John||

    And I don't see how technology can be a threat to liberty or privacy by itself

    It is a threat to liberty because human nature never changes and the consequences of some technology are both predictable and inevitable. No amount of wishful thinking is going to prevent the government from abusing liberty and privacy via any means available to it.

  • sarcasmic||

    That is not the fault of the technology or the people who create it. If we were to use potential government abuse as a metric for whether or not a technology should be invented, we would be living in caves and wearing animal skins.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "And I don't see how technology can be a threat to liberty or privacy by itself."

    Like I mentioned up top, there is already a law enacted in New Jersey that requires smart-gun technology on all guns once the technology becomes available.

    The technology is a threat to liberty when requiring its use becomes a forgone conclusion.

    Is there a good reason to doubt that California and Massachusetts will require this technology as soon as it becomes widely available?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just for the record:

    "The amended bill specifies that three years after it is determined that personalized handguns are available for retail purposes, it will be illegal for any registered or licensed firearms manufacturer or dealer to transport, sell, expose for sale, possess for sale, assign or transfer any handgun unless that handgun is a personalized handgun.[2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N.....andgun_Law

    The people of New Jersey should see this technology as a threat to their rights, and anyone who can safely assume that their state will pass a similar bill, likewise, should see the technology as a threat to their rights.

  • sarcasmic||

    Ken, that's the fault of the idiots who write legislation, not the technology.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Isn't the technology meant to be used this way?

    It isn't just that they're going to gun grabbers asking for financing. Isn't the technology intended to bypass gun owners and take away their freedom of choice--so they can't store their guns improperly?

    I'm usually of the opinion that technology is neither good nor bad--that it just depends on how people use it. If, however, a technology is developed with the intention of restricting people's choice, that assessment about being neither good nor evil starts to break down.

    And how do you answer the charge that the technology in this case has been widely rejected by consumers--who do not want it?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Imagine, guns that are part of "the internet of things". Silicon Valley should give half a billion dollars to the Juicero guy to produce an internet enabled smart gun. That'd be a laugh riot.

  • BYODB||


    Maybe it's that the utilitarians on the left have a hard time seeing their own qualitative preferences and describing them in those terms. Maybe they're just being dishonest.

    Of course they're being dishonest since they aren't utilitarian's. They're Progressives and Socialists (but I repeat myself) and thus they lie to bring out their preferred end-point of a disarmed populace that's easily controlled.

    I think it's pretty obvious they're against so-called 'smart gun' technology because it allows people to keep and bear arms. 'Common sense' gun regulations should be generally understood as a blanket gun ban, because that's the real agenda. Everything else is designed to chip away at the status quo until sometime later down the road they achieve victory with a total gun ban for anyone not acting on the States behalf.

  • Sevo||

    "Police in the U.K. are now convicting people off of photographs of their fingerprints on drugs."

    What sort of drugs are the fingerprints on? The world wonders.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Baggies.

  • Sevo||

    Eco-wacko sets fine example; we can hope others follow:

    "Gay rights lawyer immolates self in NYC in ecology protest"
    [...]
    "The Daily News reports that Buckel left a suicide note in a shopping cart near his body that said he hoped his death was "honorable" and "might serve others."
    The New York Times said it received an emailed copy of the note, which also said, "Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result — my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves."
    https://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/
    Gay-rights-lawyer-immolates-
    david-buckel-suicide-12834963.php

  • colorblindkid||

    Those fossil fuels have led to the increase in life expectancy by decades.

  • John||

    Tell me again how it is not a cult?

  • sarcasmic||

    Dude, it's like science! I mean, a bunch of like really smart scientists voted and stuff, so it must be true! You know?

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm old enough to remember when Lefties immolated themselves to oppose war overseas. Now they do it to please Gaia. These people are not well

  • Eidde||

    That's fairly depressing. Whether it's pure ideology or whether there's some private personal issues mixed in.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I have a theory that it's always personal issues in these cases, that ideology is a rationalization but never a direct cause, and that people are attracted to extremist positions in direct proportion to the extremes they're experiencing internally.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    As Nietzsche said, all philosophy is psychology.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Hey, I give this dude respect. He actually lived up to his principles.

  • What Smells Like Pee?||

    Be crazy? Yeah.

  • Eidde||

    I prefer the crazy that's just crazy, not based on a fanatical determination to pursue a bad idea to its logical conclusion.

    The latter kind of crazy is more dangerous.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I spent a fair amount of time thinking about this story this weekend. The guy had obviously taken himself to a very dark place, and it shows a certain amount of narcissism in his perception of the world. Thank God he didn't take anyone else out with him. We should all be somewhat relieved that he went out peacefully.

  • BYODB||

    Of course, we should pay lots of attention to this guy setting himself on fire but we should also ignore all the Tibetan monks that have done the same because...like trade with China and cheap goods or something.

    I'll start paying attention to lawyers that set themselves on fire when they do it en masse like the monks did.

    What's bizarre is a lawyer being so sure of the climate science that it was the stated reason for suicide. I'm sure that was the cover reason, and the 'real' reason was something that probably won't come out like a discovery of AIDS or some type of cancer.

  • sarcasmic||

    "What is your major malfunction?"

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....monia.html

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Well shit.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    He was great in this Geico commercial.

  • sarcasmic||

    He will be missed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So, did you hear the one about the gay-rights lawyer who committed suicide by setting himself on fire to protest our inaction on global warming?

    His suicide note: "My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves".

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna866161

    There are a number of ways to go with this. How progressivism is a religious revival without the Jesus part, and how the AGW cult is one of its largest denominations?

    Maybe how they're both easy focal points of psychiatric illness--just like new religious movements and radical politics?

    Sure, go with that.

    My take is about David Weigel.

    When we got pissed of The Weigel for saying that we should set ourselves on fire, it wasn't because what he said was rude. It was because he'd been hired by the Washington Post to explain the Tea Party and libertarians to the Post's liberal readers--when we, here in the commintariat at Hit & Run knew he secretly despised us.

    So when you make your jokes about how you wish the rest of the AGW cult would do like this guy did and decrease their carbon footprint, don't feel guilty about having gone after Weigel for saying more or less the same thing. You're not betraying anybody's trust or misrepresenting yourself as an unbiased authority. You're just being insensitive as fuck.

  • Sevo||

    Ken,
    Check 10:19, above.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're just being insensitive as fuck.

    I could say I was insensitive as fuck, and I could say I was a libertarian. But I repeat myself.

  • Ken Shultz||

    +1

    I believe it was Juvenal who responded to the question of why he wrote satire by saying, "Given the world around me, what else could I write"?

    Insensitivity is a perfectly appropriate reaction to people trying to guilt trip us into sacrificing our rights and liberties at the alter of environmentalism, social justice, etc., etc.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I doubt they teach Juvenal in college anymore, but some of the best Latin quotes are his.

    "Who will watch the watchers", etc. Some of his satire is . . . um . . . problematic from an SJW perspective:

    "A noble man, Gracchus, gets married to another man – but such brides are infertile no matter what drugs they try or how much they are whipped in the Lupercalia."

    ----Satires

    Here's another old quote: "There is nothing new under the sun".

  • widget||

    Right now, state authorities can't make online merchants serve as state tax collectors unless the merchant has a physical presence in that state.

    How about abolishing all sales tax? While States have the right to tax sales within their boundaries it is impossible to police. Does a UPS Store mailbox qualify as a physical presence?

    This would be good a hobby horse issue for libertarians to ride. Sales tax affects everyone, every day. It is a regressive tax even with food, clothing, and housing exempt. Even a sensible leftist could go along with this.

  • Don't look at me.||

    It would be the easiest path. So no, it won't happen.

  • Longtobefree||

    It does have one redeeming social value; it is very hard to cheat on sales taxes.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Cool. And then income and property taxes will raise everywhere.

  • widget||

    Probably so, Enigma. But the government nit-picking overhead on sales tax collection is much higher than on income and property tax.

  • sarcasmic||

    I would think that forcing retailers to collect sales tax would amount to a violation of the Commerce Clause.

    It is essentially like states charging a tariff on goods purchased in other states.

  • Rossami||

    It may be a violation of the Commerce Clause but it is not like a tariff because a sales tax is imposed equally on goods or services produced inside and outside the state. Tariffs are differential charges levied only against outsiders and not against insiders.

    States clearly have a right to charge a sales tax, no matter how bad that is as public policy (and it's pretty bad). And they clearly have the right to force their own residents to comply with their law. What's in question is their right to coerce non-residents to act as unpaid agents of the government.

    The precedent from the mail-order-catalog days was "no". Technological feasibility (assuming for the moment that it iss true) is not a reason to deviate from the legal principles behind that earlier precedent.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This cross state line taxation is utter bullshit. If someone on state X buys something they are responsible for paying sales tax if their state has that.

    Brick and mortar stores that have to collect state sales tax do have that burden but they don't have single shipping costs like a single online sales does.

    Online sales have sales tax for the buyer (if applicable) and ever increasing shipping costs partly due to ever increasing government regulations and taxes (even with the recent corporate tax reduction) to shipping companies.

    Taxes are constitutional but they need to be as minimal as possible and easy as possible for everyone to be compliant.

  • creech||

    It appears that Starbucks will soon have a new policy allowing libertarians (and others) to hold business meetings in their establishments without having to order anything. So nice of them to provide free meeting rooms.

  • DajjaI||

    Bathrooms too.

  • Don't look at me.||

    They should stay open 24 hours so I don't need to waste money on a hotel room.

  • ||

    It appears that Starbucks will soon have a new policy allowing libertarians (and others) to hold business meetings in their establishments without having to order anything. So nice of them to provide free meeting rooms.

    What if I and my gay business associates were evicted from backpage.com? We can use Starbucks to conduct our business in a non-discriminatory fashion too, right?

  • StackOfCoins||

    Is that low number of Syrian refugees supposed to alarm me?

  • Just Say'n||

    The answer for the low number of refugees is actually simple to explain: there are very few Syrians still alive, in part, due to the US and its allies' continued support for the civil war.

    #merica

  • Rossami||

    Syrian population (per source)
    1960 4.6 million
    2008 20.33 million
    2010 21.02 million
    2012 20.42 million
    2014 19.20 million
    2016 18.43 million
    2018 18.28 million

    - Population decline related to their civil war? Plausible to probable.
    - "very few Syrians still alive"? Wild exaggeration.

  • Just Say'n||

    Let me introduce you to the word "hyperbole"....

  • What Smells Like Pee?||

    That he found it necessary to fisk your obvious parody should give him pause.

  • Just Say'n||

    The fact that he believed a real comment would end with "#merica" is a little disturbing

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Some folk'll never run afoul of Poe's Law, but then again, some folk'll.

  • Jerryskids||

    Unfortunately, I think South Dakota has the best of this argument - when you buy something online the transaction takes place on your computer, not the merchant's server. This is why online gambling is illegal even if the online casino is located in a jurisdiction where online gambling is legal, the gambling isn't taking place there, it's taking place here. So if I buy something from a merchant in Texas, the sale isn't taking place in Texas, it's taking place in Georgia. But why it would be incumbent on a Texas merchant to collect the sales tax for Georgia and how Georgia would go about enforcing the collection is beyond me - Georgia sales tax is Georgia law, not Texas law so why would Texas give a shit? The US can get away with arguing US law has global jurisdiction but Georgia ain't got no nukes to threaten Texas with.

  • StackOfCoins||

    when you buy something online the transaction takes place on your computer, not the merchant's server.
    And you know this how? A computer is just a terminal. It has no POS functionality on it's own. If you're using a website then the POS is, arguably, wherever the website is hosted.

  • sarcasmic||

    Actually, the transaction does take place on the server. What you see on your computer is what the server tells it to display. All the processing happens on the server.

  • ||

    Actually, the transaction does take place on the server. What you see on your computer is what the server tells it to display. All the processing happens on the server.

    Actually the payment processing likely happens across several servers in several states and is set up distinctly on the basis of the merchant's location(s). The idea that the customer's computer is where the sale takes place is dumb. I do business with several custom merchants who's services can't readily be automated and put online. If I call them and place an order and give my payment information/authorization, did the order take place on my receiver? What if I place the order and then pay on site for services rendered?

  • sarcasmic||

    Actually the payment processing likely happens across several servers in several states and is set up distinctly on the basis of the merchant's location(s).

    I thought that right after I hit submit. You buy something from a business, the sale happens on their server. But when you pay with PayPal, you're using their servers. Wherever they are. PayPal might draw funds from your bank account. The merchandise might not even be located in the same state as the merchant's server. Then you've got shipping and tracking, emailed receipts...

    So yeah, that transaction is processed all over the place. One place where it is definitely NOT processed is on the customer's computer.

  • Jerryskids||

    I'm not talking about where it takes place in reality, I'm talking about where the law says it takes place. Note the comment about internet gambling being illegal - argue all you want about the gambling taking place on the website's servers, you're still going to jail. Because the government says the gambling is taking place on your computer.

  • John||

    I think you have it about right Jerry. But understand that with the rise of online commerce, it is basically going to make sales taxes on consumer goods no longer practical for states to collect. I think the brick and mortar businesses also have a good point about it being unfair that they have to collect sales taxes while those who operate online do not. The states' answer to that is to tax everyone because that is what states do. As you point out, I am not sure how the states can ever really collect the sales taxes from businesses that have no contacts with the state beyond online transactions. So, the ultimate answer is likely that the states need to find a different way than sales taxes to tax their citizens if they want their local brick and mortar stores to have a chance at competing.

  • Longtobefree||

    I think the brick and mortar businesses also have a good point about it being unfair that they have to collect sales taxes while those who operate online do not.

    Objection, your honor. Irrelevant, and immaterial.

    Shall the ruling that businesses with absolutely no connection to a state has to function, at its own expense, as a servant of that state also require the local brick and mortar store to charge shipping costs 'to make it fair'?

  • MSimon||

    There are probably 100,000 sales tax regimes in America. Maybe a million.

    How in the heck do you know what jurisdiction your customer is in?

  • MSimon||

    And how do you know what items are taxed? And at what rate.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Shipping information?

    Billing address?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Billing address could be different than the shipping address for those sending gifts which could add to the confusion.

  • John||

    It is very relevant. It is just that the solution is to stop taxing brick and mortar businesses for their sales of personal property.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sales tax is too much a hidden cash cow to give up. Most people don't even factor in sales tax when computing the final price you pay at the register.

    If everyone had to pay 50% every April in taxes to the IRS and states, Americans would have more to say about taxes being too high.

    The government likes to hide taxes as much as possible.

  • target||

    but if states push too hard or charge too much, it will push people to buy outside the tax limits, like directly from china.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They create tax schemes that capture taxes no matter what you do.

    Destroying the entire taxes on everything scam is really the only way at this point.

  • Rossami||

    Whether the transaction takes place on your computer or on the merchant's is irrelevant to the legal argument.

    The legal argument boils down to the right of a state (or city, etc) to compel you to do something. If you are a resident of the state (city, etc), then clearly they do have that right to compel you. If you are a non-resident, then generally no, they do not have a right to compel you to do anything unless you take some action that creates an implicit consent. So by choosing to drive on their roads, you are presumed to have consented to their speed limits.

    Likewise, by choosing to build a physical facility within a state's boundaries, you are presumed to have consented to their other rules including the one about acting as an unpaid tax collector for the state. But if you have made no such choice - you have no physical presence and did not actively choose to set up shop in a state - there is no such presumption of consent to be bound by the foreign laws.

  • John||

    I am perfectly aware of the legal argument. It is called minimum contacts necessary for personal jurisdiction. And yes, there is likely no way to assert such jurisdiction when the business has no presence in the state. That means the only way to address the manifest unfairness of local businesses being forced to collect the tax while their online competitors do not, is to stop taxing local businesses.

    I don't really understand why that wasn't clear or why you and long to be free thought it necessitated a lecture on the concept of state jurisdiction. I know the limits of state jurisdiction. And that is my point.

  • ||

    I don't really understand why that wasn't clear or why you and long to be free thought it necessitated a lecture on the concept of state jurisdiction. I know the limits of state jurisdiction. And that is my point.

    There are some around these parts for whom a border is a vague, fuzzy, imaginary line on a paper somewhere and nothing more. It can sometimes take some them some time to get used to the notion that taxes here =/= taxes there and it's best not to push them on their slowness lest you be branded a white nationalist.

  • Rossami||

    My reply was to Jerryskids, not direct to you, John. That's what the indentation means. Whether or not you understood the concept of jurisdiction, others clearly do not.

  • Agammamon||

    when you buy something online the transaction takes place on your computer, not the merchant's server.

    That is absolutely not how that works.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That "Syrian Refugees to the U.S." graphic is pretty powerful stuff to people who felt like their concerns were ignored or deplored by progressives and the Obama administration.

  • Just Say'n||

    It's a purposeful distraction that has been pushed by all the right thinking people who are uncomfortable with the fact that they're #resist allies include noted warmongers like Bill Kristol. Couldn't someone just respond to that graphic by saying "well, they wouldn't have to immigrate here if we weren't feeding the war in their country"?

  • John||

    It was one of the things he was elected to do. His doing it gives the people who voted for him reason to do so again.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    I heard that pivotal decision on state employee unions was coming real soon now. There was another important one that I've forgotten about. And now this biggun. SCOTUS sure has a lot on its plate but they have lifetime appointments. Still, it seems like the judicial branch is so damned inefficient that they can't cope with an unrelenting flood of bad laws. This arrangement isn't working. Something's got to give. And I don't want to be here when it happens.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The US Navy appears to have fooled Russia and Syria with a warship ruse before the strike
    Business Insider article
    So, Trump announced that US missiles would be incoming. Russians and Syrians knew they were coming and still were unable to shoot down a single missile. The Pentagon reported that only one missiles failed to reach its target. if that is true, that tells a lot about Russian equipment and training.

    Trump and Putin conspiring again!
    /Lefty derp

  • buybuydandavis||

    "President Trump's flirtation with protectionism is sending out shock waves that are not only affecting financial markets, but also the German economy"

    Perhaps Germany, and the EU, will find it in their interest to give the US better trade terms.

    So much winning!

  • prediksifajar||

    are you sure about this ?

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