Thursday Open Thread

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Please feel free to write comments on this post on whatever topic you like! (As usual, please avoid personal insults of each other, vulgarities aimed at each other or at third parties, or other things that are likely to poison the discussion.)

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  1. If you listen to talk radio, you’ve heard the advertisements for Home Title Lock and the tales of woe where someone forges a quit claim deed and then either sells your home or takes out four mortgages on it, which you wind up responsible for.

    Rudi Giuliani was hawking insurance against this which caught my attention until I realized that Rudi today isn’t the Rudi of 25 years ago — it’s sad, but I digress….

    Anyway, does home title theft actually *happen*?

    1. It could happen, but you are not liable for it. You are not liable for loans you don’t sign for and receive the proceeds of.

      It could however be messy to straighten out

      1. You make a good point and many people worry about this, but they should know that in the end they are not responsible.

        I think the answer here is for people to be educated about their credit. I pretty easy for people to get educated, any of a number of sites can advise people. I also make it a point to pass this information on to my kids.

        Most advisor will tell you to contact the three major credit bureaus and have you credit locked, except when you are actively seeking a loan. Easy to do and a simple way to stop identity theft.

        Another thing many people do not know is that if someone contacts you about a debt they have to put it in writing. Never talk on the phone before you see what they have in writing.

        The insurance gives piece of mind but it is an unnecessary expense.

      2. What I wonder about is the registration of a phony deed.

        1. I would wonder about that also? The commercial talks about a quick claim deed, which are legal. What I wonder about is how would the clerks office respond to a deed with no mortgage lien? Would that not raise suspicions? On the same point most homeowners would have a mortgage lien on their property. Would a clerk office allow a transfer without approval of the mortgage holder? I had to bring in a satisfaction letter just to have the lien holder removed when I paid off the mortgage.

          1. Clerks maintain documents; they do not decide legal issues of ownership.

            1. “they do not decide legal issues of ownership.”

              Correct, but they often think they do.

          2. quit claim, not quick claim

      3. It sort of happened to my parents, a crooked lawyer changed the address for tax notification on a pieces of property they owned in the country. We assume he would expect the taxes to go unpaid and then purchase it at a tax auction. My mother caught that they had not received a tax bill and called the county clerk.

    2. Is there a reason you spell Chaplinsky as Chaplinski and Rudy as Rudi?

    3. I am in the title business, its not widespread but happens. Usually in poor communities.

      Banks and other mainstream lenders require a lot of documentation [most loans are sold after closing] and usually close thru title agencies so it would be hard to borrow.

      1. The whole thing does not make a lot of sense to me as a scam or otherwise. Maybe it depends on local laws.

        Why use a quitclaim deed? Aren’t those usually for final resolution of disputes and situations like that? If you are going to go to the trouble of forging a deed, why not forge a normal warranty deed (or whatever they are called in your jurisdiction).

        1. Supposedly it reduces the forger’s exposure, they only transferred their interest in the property and so aren’t liable for damages when that interest turns out to be nil.

          1. “aren’t liable for damages”

            That’s what I thought but its nonsense of course, they are not giving the deed, they are pretending to be another person.

            Criminals are stupid, example 10 million.

    4. Not in Iowa. We don’t have titles, we have deeds.
      I think Oklahoma operates the same way

  2. What do you think the Supreme Court will do with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization?

    1. It looks like it’s up to ACB, and one possible clue is this quote from
      her: “I think don’t think the core case – Roe’s core holding that, you know, women have a right to an abortion – I don’t think that would change. But I think the question of whether people can get very late-term abortions, how many restrictions can be put on clinics – I think that would change,” Barrett said at the time.”

      One could take that as her opinion of what was likely, at a time when she wasn’t an SC candidate, or one could take it as how she’d rule. If it’s the second, then parts of Roe that aren’t the “core holding” are up for reversal. Which could mean the 24 week boundary is flexible, and “no undue burden” could change to “no outright prohibition”. She might sign on to the idea that the 15 week Mississippi limit is enough of a window.

      1. I think that’s as good a ‘Kremlinology’ on this issue as I’ve read.

      2. I’ve always though the viability part could be subject to change as medical technology advances.

        1. Same thing here.

          Compare a standard hospital room circa 1973 to one today — the technology has advanced so much that it’s cheaper to build a new wing/building and use the old hospital rooms for offices.

          Remember too that the children of the justices who wrote _Roe_ would have been born in the 1930s, when childbirth was a lot more scary.

          Here, the heartbeat means the child is viable — that is more accurate than a counting of weeks, as reported by the mother.

          1. That is nonsense. The heartbeat can be heard at about 6 weeks. Viability is at 24 weeks, and the best NICUs may be able to get it to 22 at best.

            1. Excellent point that I hope many will note.

        2. The point in time when viability occurs would change, but why would that mean that viability isn’t still the cutoff. I agree that if improvements mean that viability is 2 weeks earlier than in Roe (just picking a number, that isn’t based on anything), then the ruling would be about viability, so two weeks earlier than before, instead of a specific week that was viability in in the 1970s.

          I don’t agree with Roe as a constitutional matter, but that doesn’t mean we can just discard it or parts of it just because

      3. “I think the question of whether people can get very late-term abortions”

        Can’t we stop beating about the bush and admit that yes, post-natal abortion is the logical counterpart of late-term abortion, and needs to be used far more often? I think we should put the cut-off time at a couple of centuries after birth, just to be sure.

        (Seriously, there is obviously a spectrum of ‘alive’ that starts at conception, and continues until some point well after birth – 18/21 years, perhaps; at least a few. The only significance of birth in this debate is it is the point where the mother’s body is no longer being inhabited.)

        1. “The only significance of birth in this debate is it is the point where the mother’s body is no longer being inhabited.”

          That’s a pretty significant significance.

          Can people also stop pretending that a blastocyst is a person? It’s a collection of undifferentiated cells. Yes, people try to define their way into it by emphasizing “potential” to become a person, but, frankly, that gives away the game that it is not, in any sense, an actual person.

          So, between blastocysts and birth, we can all agree there is a lot of grey area.

          If we can’t agree on that, then I have serious doubts that you are discussing this in good faith.

          1. I’m in your camp, but people who say personhood begins at conception do have the advantage of how a clean, clear logical argument based on the intrinsic state of the would-be person. It’s just that for the most part they can’t accept the consequence of that argument that destroying a blastocyst is murder. But perhaps some do, and I can deal with them in good faith.

            We on the other hand, define personhood based on squishy factors external factors such as no longer being inside a person. But, given the consequences of the cleaner argument which strike me as absurd, I endorse the squishy one.

            1. Picking a universal definition to meet that of the Pro Life crowd is a trap. That’s why it’s pro choice – we allow your definition to differ from mine and others, as each chooses.

              1. I don’t think each of us chooses as evidenced by not allowing personhood to begin after birth. Moreover, I have no problem with limiting the choice on third trimester abortions even without the fetus being considered a person.

                1. Fair – under the current paradigm it is a sliding scale.

            2. people who say personhood begins at conception do have the advantage of how a clean, clear logical argument based on the intrinsic state of the would-be person

              I don’t think it is at all clean nor clear nor particularly logical. It’s sole advantage is that it, like birth, is a bright line. Something changes at conception just as something changes at birth. But asserting an 8 1/2 old is totally not a person is just as clean, clear, and logical as asserting that a blastocyst is a person.

              Which is to say, while both positions are pretty clean in the sense that they have bright-line demarcations, they aren’t terribly clear in defining a person and aren’t terribly logical given the very obvious and vast differences between a blastocyst and an 8 1/2 month fetus. For Constitutional purposes, “person” needs a bright-line, hence birth. The alternative bright-line (conception) is, frankly, not as bright (when egg meets sperm? Or implantation? Or first cell division?). But, even with the bright line we have, very few assert that the state has no interesting in protecting the health and well-being of an 8 1/2 old fetus, notwithstanding it is not an independent person for purposes of the Constitution.

              And to be clear, I am not asserting that people can’t argue that we should use the alternative bright-line of conception. But don’t pretend it is really a biological line between a person and a non-person. I think that’s bad faith to pretend a blastocyst is a person as some sort of biological fact. As a religious “fact”, well, that really has nothing to do with the law. Or shouldn’t.

          2. “The only significance of birth in this debate is it is the point where the mother’s body is no longer being inhabited.”

            That’s a pretty significant significance.

            Not in terms of determining whether or not the aborted entity had a human right to life.

            So, between blastocysts and birth, we can all agree there is a lot of grey area.

            If we can’t agree on that, then I have serious doubts that you are discussing this in good faith.

            To whom would that be directed?

            1. Not in terms of determining whether or not the aborted entity had a human right to life.

              Actually, it does. While it is not necessarily the case that the mother’s choice would prevail (and it doesn’t in any U.S. jurisdiction) in all cases where the fetus has not been born, there is a clear and significant difference in the mother’s interest with respect to a fetus that is inside her (possibly with macrocephaly and brain dead, such that it would kill her if she was required to give birth to it and subject her to invasive, possibly disfiguring and otherwise damaging surgery if required to undergo a caesarian) versus a fetus outside of her with the same condition. If you want to pretend there isn’t a significant difference between a baby in a crib and a fetus in womb, then I know how seriously to take your arguments.

              To whom would that be directed?

              To anyone who doesn’t agree that there is a lot of grey area between blastocyst and birth.

              1. there is a clear and significant difference in the mother’s interest

                Any “mother’s interest” in anything is utterly irrelevant with regard to the existence (or lack thereof) of the entity’s right to life. It might represent a right that is in conflict with the former, but it does not determine its existence.

                If you want to pretend there isn’t a significant difference between a baby in a crib and a fetus in womb

                Are you trying to steal Sacastr0’s throne as king of pathetic straw man arguments?

    2. I suspect that, however it may redraw the boundaries, the Supreme Court will do something I’ve been pointing out for some years: it will explicitly equate the status of fetuses with the status of prospective-immigrant extraterritorial aliens, an equation bolstered by the Supreme Court’s recent reaffirmation that the Bill of Rights lacks any application to the latter.

      And in doing so, it will explicitly walk back the idea implicit in Roe and its progeny, that because fetuses don’t have the rights of persons “in the full sense of the word,” they aren’t to be regarded as persons in any sense, and the idea that they have some of the moral characteristics of persons are is at best suspect.

      Extraterritorial aliens have no constitutional rights, just like fetuses. Government has an unfettered right to decide whether to let them in or keep them out, a right stemming from its sovereign autonomy and sovereign right to control its boarders. Just like fetuses.

      But no-one would seriously argue that it follows from any of this that aliens outside US territory are nothing but lumps of meat and are not human in character. It’s a fact about the constitution, the limits of the protected class, not a fact about the very nature of extraterritorial aliens. Not having personal constitutionl rights simply doesn’t imply not being a person.

      Nor would anyone seriously argue that laws protecting extraterritorial aliens should be subject to strict scrutiny. If they were some would fail. For example, there’s a law against US citizens travelling to foreign countries to have sex with minors. But what if sex with minors is legal in the country? What if the country invites sex tourism? No foreign relations issues, the ordinary basis for laws involving foreign policy to be considered as serving a compelling interest surviving strict scrutiny, would seem to be implicated. The only basis eould seem to be the same sorts of moral considerations as animate laws against abortion, the idea that foreigners have some sort of intrinsic worth independent of what they can do for us in our relations with their rulers. The same is true for laws prohibiting US companies from bribing foreign officials even where permitted in the country. The rationale here too is strictly moral.

      In short, extraterritorial aliens disprove Roe’s basic syllogism. Exactly like fetuses, they have no constitutional rights. But they ate nonetheless moral beings, part of the moral iniverse, and their lack of constitutional rights in no way discredits the use of moral considerations in dealing with them.

      To equate the two completely reframes the abortion debate. Constitutionally we can engage in a war of extermination and simply go out and kill foreigners if for example we think the world is becoming too populate or there are too many useless eaters taking up resources we want for ourselves. We can. But there’s no romance in doing so. Justice isn’t regarded as being on its side. Doing so isn’t proof that we are soveriegn and independent. We won’t be psychologically damaged if we don’t. People who oppose it aren’t bluenoses. The Constitution permits it. But it doesn’t put its thimb down to promote or celebrate our right to do so.

      It’s a big difference in attitude.

      1. I am unaware of any precedent or principle that would support your ipse dixit that extraterrestrials have no Constitutional rights. A sentient being that is capable of presenting its case in court would, surely, be considered a person. Do you disagree? Why on earth, or elsewhere for that matter, would you disagree?

        Conceding that, what’s left of your argument? (Of course, there may be extraterrestrials that are not capable of that, but if they are here, they are almost certainly sentient and must have the intelligence to navigate between solar systems, at least, so surely could assert rights in court? If they aren’t here, their constitutional rights wouldn’t be at issue.)

        1. I am unaware of any precedent or principle that would support your ipse dixit that extraterrestrials have no Constitutional rights. A sentient being that is capable of presenting its case in court would, surely, be considered a person. Do you disagree? Why on earth, or elsewhere for that matter, would you disagree?

          You’re kidding….right?

          1. Not at all. See my response to ReaderY who tried to supply some principles. None of which are even remotely convincing (to the extent they even come close to tangentially reaching the issue).

            1. See my answer below. Never doubted you were serious when you said you were unaware. But now you’re aware.

              If you don’t find the argument convincing, a lot of people didn’t find Roe v. Wade convincing. But this is the thread on predicting what the Supreme Court will do. It’s a very logical way of interpreting Roe v. Wade’s core holding. And I predict it’s the one the Supreme Court will use.

            2. I’m referring to you’re confusing “extraterritorial” with “extraterrestrial”.

        2. I provided an answer with links but it is being moderated, so I will repeat the answer with out links.

          There is a line of cases, most botably Johnson v. Eisentrager, 339 U.S. 763 (1950) and most recently USAID v. open Society Int’l, 513 U.S. ____ (2020), which say exactly that.

          Johnson went through a brief exegisis of the use of the word “person” in the constitution before concluding it lacks “extraterritorial application.” Roe went through a longer version of the same exegesis before concluding it lacks “prenatal application,” almost identical language.

          The Johnson court pointed out that this is a statement about “the Judiciary’s power to act,” not about the nature of extraterritorial aliens. USAID said that “As a matter of American constitutional law, foreign citizens outside U.S. territory do not possess rights under the U.S. constitution,” not that they “aren’t persons” or “lack personhood.”

          Roe went through the same exegesis. It ought to have reached the same conclusion. Indeed, the Roe court explicitly rejected using the “biological facts of fetal development” as the basis of its decision about whether the Bill of Rights applies to fetuses. It said it was relying solely on textual exegesis of the use of the word “person” in the constitution – the same exegesis it made about extraterritorial aliens.

          The conclusions from this exegesis ought to be the same as well. While it was correct as far as it goes for the Roe court to conclude that the word ‘person’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment does not include the unborn (just as it doesn’t include the extraterritorial), it was a mistake to extrapolate from this that the Constitution somehow says that thd unborn isn’t a person. It’s a statement anout the Constitution’s limits, not a statement about the unborn’s nature.

          1. Correction: The Roe language was “the well-known facts of fetal development.” The Roe court mentioned that these facts had been advanced by Texas to support its case that a fetus is a person.

          2. ReaderY,

            First, I initially missed that you only asserted that extraterrestrials had not constitutional rights if they were not present in the United States. That’s true. But then why extraterrestrials, why not Germans or Norwegians? And why any of them, because fetuses (the fetuses at issue) are present in the United States.

            Which gets to the heart of your argument. It only works if your assertion is equally true if the extraterrestrial at question is present in the United States. In that case, I see no principle in law or reason why, categorically, extraterrestrials would not have the same constitutional protections as a German or a Norwegian.

            Of course, I am making the assumption we are talking about sentient extraterrestrials, not microbes or something. I am also making the assumption that they are not just sentient (like an orca) but sufficiently intelligent to converse with us, etc.

            So, for the easiest case, say that, in fact, we have a sister planet that has identical features as Earth and the extraterrestrials come from that planet and, due to convergent evolution or randomness or God’s hand, they look like, act, and talk like humans. Perhaps they are Klingon or something, but definitely seem like people. By what principle would a shipwrecked Klingon be denied constitutional rights (such as freedom of speech, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment)? I see none. None of your precedents provide any basis for such a denial of rights. They aren’t in the non-person category like fetuses.

            I could go on, but thus your analogy fails. Unless you can show why Klingons present in the U.S. would not have the same protections as Germans present in the U.S., you haven’t shown anything.

            A more fruitful analogy might be to cases involving animals. For example, Naruto, a Crested Macaque, v. Slater.

            1. I initially missed that you only asserted that extraterrestrials had not constitutional rights

              You missed that because he never mentioned “extraterrestrials”.

              1. Touche! And mea culpa.

                UAP conspiracy theories on my mind, obviously.

                Reading comprehension is fundamental, kids. Let me be a warning to you.

                But that makes the analogy even more a stretch (the other reason I assumed he was trying to compare fetuses to some other non-persons). Eisentrager didn’t hold that foreign nationals engaged in hostilities against the United States were not persons, it held that they were people in the same position vis a vis the U.S. government as U.S. military members. Just as the Fifth Amendment did not apply to military personnel engaged in hostilities, neither would it apply to foreign military personnel engaged in hostilities against us. As the Court noted, any other reading would result in absurdities whereby foreign nationals engaged in hostilities and captured by the U.S. could not be tried at all, whereas U.S. citizens conscripted into the military could be tried without Fifth Amendment protections. The issue wasn’t whether the Eisentrager was a “person”, it was whether he was a person with rights similar to a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil or whether he was a person with rights similar to (or at least not in excess of) the rights of a member of the U.S. military.

                The analogy fails in multiple ways. Whether fetuses are like extraterrestrials is more interesting.

  3. Also, what do you think the Supreme Court should do with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, seperate from what you think they will do with it.

    1. It’s a tough one because personal freedom, commitment to the text of the constitution, and desire to continue having three independent branches of government pull in three different directions. I believe in keeping the government out of abortion. But it has to be admitted that the reasoning in Roe is only weakly connected if at all to the text of the Bill of Rights. And finally, there’s a real danger of the court being permanently destroyed by packing, which might mean the safe thing to do right now is punt.

      1. “But it has to be admitted that the reasoning in Roe is only weakly connected if at all to the text of the Bill of Rights.”

        I can agree to that, but it’s not so weakly connected to a fairly long line of precedent (which itself could be said to be weakly connected to the text of the BoR) concerning ‘private,’ ‘family,’ and ‘procreation’ decisions. As the opinion says:

        “[these precedents] also make it clear that the right has some extension to activities relating to marriage, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1, 12 (1967); procreation, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U. S. 535, 541-542 (1942); contraception, Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. at 453-454; id. at 460, 463-465 (WHITE, J., concurring in result); family relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U. S. 158, 166 (1944); and childrearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U. S. 510, 535 (1925), Meyer v. Nebraska, supra.

        This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”

        1. It is, if you accept the idea that she’s the only person involved. Once you reject that idea, treating it as a personal liberty issue crumbles.

          What offends me, though, is that the courts have never extended the abortion reasoning beyond abortion. If intended seriously, it ought to have been equally fatal to a huge range of laws.

          Seriously, why, under the reasoning of Roe, can the government regulate drugs, medical devices, surgery?

          1. Those are tools and processes, not decisions.

            1. Those are tools and processes, not decisions.

              You’re kidding too….right?

          2. The precedent has to do with issues of family rearing/family having, I don’t know what you do re drugs, medical devices and family but in my life those are a bit distinguishable 😉

            1. The history of abortion in Germany may be of interest. A provision of the German Constitution recognizes the sanctity of life (not surprising given the Nazi disregard of life not only of Jews but of people with mental or development issues). So the Court initially took the position that abortion was illegal (because the fetus was alive). But, on further consideration, it allowed an abortion within 12 weeks if the mother was counseled, urged to keep the baby and told of the social and financial resources available to an unwed (or wed) mother.
              Not only does Germany have a 12 week limit, but so does France, Italy, Denmark and Greece. No European state has abortion as available as it is in the United States. Indeed, the Mississippi law now before the Supreme Court is more strict than most European law (and the law of many other countries. (The brand new Texas abortion limit law, however, is much stricter than European laws.

          3. Brett, no, even if it were conceded that the fetus is a person, it’s still a trespasser, and ejectment has always been a legal way of dealing with trespassing.

            The law would not allow me to sleep on your couch for nine months against your will; the idea that one person can seize another person’s body for ninth months against her will is just insane.

            1. We know Brett’s all for shooting trespassers…

              1. Right, you think that, because I’d shoot a burglar who broke into my house, I’d also shoot a baby that crawled in through an open door?

            2. As long as ejectment is reasonable – killing a trespasser that lacks the ability to remove themselves is not legal. If you fell in a hole on my property and couldnt get out on your own, I cant use an extaction method that kills you to get you out my hole and off my property.

              1. Actually, if I posed an immediate danger to your health, safety or welfare, and there were no non-lethal alternatives, you probably could.

                1. Abortion is practically never due to an immediate threat to health, safety, or welfare. I don’t think even the most devoted pro-lifers think abortion is immoral in the case of ectopic pregnancy, for instance.

                  1. But you’ve said you’re for shooting trespassers here before, right?

                    1. Give it a rest, already. I’m for shooting burglars. You think you’re being witty, but you’re only halfway there.

                  2. If welfare is distinguished from health and safety, then the significant costs associated with childbirth along with the physical changes experienced by the body, would impact the welfare of the mother.

                    I’d be interested in your source for the statement that women “practically never” get abortions for reasons of “heath, safety, or welfare.” I find that statement hard to believe. Not being able to afford a child as it may impact their ability to pay bills and buy food would certainly be an impact to welfare. Perhaps you’re relying on “immediate” to do the heavy lifting here?

                    1. Krychek_2 made it about an immediate threat, and I was pointing out that abortion is virtually never about immediate threats, so they weren’t relevant.

                      Financial aid is available for the expenses related to pregnancy, and adoption is available if you don’t want to raise the child. But I will gladly concede that not aborting can be inconvenient, and pregnancy is not totally risk free.

                      We don’t let people kill to avoid inconvenience…

                    2. I don’t think I originally made it about an immediate threat; I think that came up later. But even so, you’re discounting the extent to which a pregnancy is a life changing event for a woman. Your “inconvenience” makes it sound like she missed a bus and has to wait ten minutes for the next one.

                      The bottom line remains, the fetus is occupying a space that the owner wants back. If she wants it back, she’s entitled to have it back. You wouldn’t wait nine months to eject me from your spare bedroom, even if you invited me in there originally, so why should she have to wait nine months to get her body back?

                    3. Being stolen from is also inconvenient, but there you wax on about how property is money is wages is time, and so it is not inconvenience but a little death.

                      This does not seem to be consistent.

                      Financial aid is available for the expenses related to pregnancy, and adoption is available if you don’t want to raise the child.
                      Lets up financing for pregnancy aid and the foster system to much, much higher than it is now, to assure that this is true.

            3. “The law would not allow me to sleep on your couch for nine months against your will; the idea that one person can seize another person’s body for ninth months against her will is just insane.”

              After having invited me in for a 9 month stay?

              You don’t get pregnant by sitting on the toilet….

              1. Not having taken every possible precaution to keep you out is not quite the same thing as inviting you in.

                1. Every possible precaution? You produced an egg, and had some dude squirt a bunch of sperm onto your egg…

                  1. Yeah… you had a door and a window, so of course I entered through them. If you don’t want me sleeping on your couch, don’t have a door! Or a couch!

                2. Unless she was raped, she invited the baby in — actively invited the baby in, knowing that the invitation might not be accepted…

            4. “it’s still a trespasser,”
              That is a hard claim to take seriously. It is not as if one night the angle of the lord swooped drown and put it there.

              1. There’s a long list of legal fictions that are facially ridiculous, but they are the law nonetheless. Further, sometimes even silly rules exist for good reason.

              2. Did the “angle of the lord” swoop down in an arc?

            5. “it’s still a trespasser”

              Not usually, its a licensee or invitee.

              Consensual sex can always result in pregnancy, no birth control is 100% effective. A woman is inviting the baby in.

              1. So if I leave my door open (or heck, even if I lock it I guess because, hey, no lock is 100% effective) and you come in uninvited you’re an invitee?

                1. No, its like sending an invitation.

                  1. How so? Especially if she was taking birth control she was taking active efforts to keep it out. You’re ‘she had to know it wasn’t 100% effective’ could be said about every lock on every door, that doesn’t mean that anyone who gets through was invited.

                    1. There is a lot of asymmetry in the current legal condition. A woman can choose to abort a fetus, with no reference to anyone else, but if she chooses to have the baby then she can force the male involved to support the child.

              2. So if she was practicing birth control, and it failed, and she became pregnant anyway, you would take the position that she invited the fetus in? Because if that’s the standard, every burglar is an invitee as well.

                1. You are responsible for the forseeable effects of your actions.

                  1. Her actions include taking active steps to prevent pregnancy.

                    Do you think if a woman does intense exercise and, unbeknownst to her she was in the early stages of pregnancy and miscarries she has committed involuntary manslaughter?

                    1. “Her actions include taking active steps to prevent pregnancy.”

                      And taking active steps to cause the pregnancy.

                    2. So 12″idiot is the kind of person who thinks that sex is only to be allowed when attempting to procreate.

                      Good to know.

                      Must be a virgin and unaware of the fact that people do it purely for pleasure far more often than they do to have children.

                  2. I’m also entitled to fix them, including abortion if the effect is a fetus.

                    1. Baby

                    2. Fetus, for nine months. Then baby.

                      But even if I were to concede that point and call it a baby, the point still is that it’s occupying space owned by someone who doesn’t want it there. An invitee can become a trespasser if it stays past its welcome.

                    3. If you keep going with the “trespasser” argument, consider the following.

                      Let’s say a person is illegally squatting in your home. You don’t do anything about it, for 2 months. Then, you decide you want to kick them out. They say, they’ll die if you kick them out. And there’s evidence to support their point.

                      What does the law say?

                    4. I’ll have to get a court order since they’ve been living there for two months. But if their illegal squatting is posing a threat to my health, safety and welfare, I will get that order.

            6. The law would require the owner to go to court and get a court order to evict you if you had been there for a few weeks.

            7. Brett, no, even if it were conceded that the fetus is a person, it’s still a trespasser, and ejectment has always been a legal way of dealing with trespassing.

              I thought apedad’s response was the dumbest one we’d see here, but then you went and proved me wrong. Did the fetus sneak into her womb when she wasn’t looking, and the refused to leave when she told it to?

              1. How it got there is irrelevant to its status. Even if it was invited, it is no longer welcome.

                1. How it got there is irrelevant to its status.

                  You really are as dumb as a box of rocks. How it got there…and whether or not it has the ability to leave of its own volition…has EVERYTHING to do with whether or not it’s a “trespasser”.

          4. The question, Brett, is who gets to ask the question of when personhood begins.

            The Supreme Court has put that question, alongside what can be said, what can be believed, who gets to own a gun, who to associate with, etc. out of the political process and down to the individual to choose for themselves.

            That’s why it’s pro choice, not pro abortion.

            1. Many a mother has gone in the clink for killing her small children. Who knew all they had to do was explain that in their view personhood had not yet begun?

              1. Think for a moment why one might be a nearly unanswerable philosophical question, and the other is not.

                And then don’t make bad faith conflations.

                1. Not a shred of bad faith in it. Just a directly on-point application of your high-sounding language. Both involve the state drawing the same qualitative line in the sand. But in only one do you propose individuals should get to override that line based on their own personal preferences.

                  1. Captain Facile strikes again!

                    Because the line between, say a one day old microscopic zygote and a five year old is just the same kind of qualitative line as that between a 17 year old and an 18 year old! Herp derp!

                    1. Herp derp!

                      From the crowd who is proposing that the question of what constitutes murder should be a matter of personal belief. Has the whole gender identity thing become boring already?

                    2. Most pro life people don’t want to jail the mother for abortion, LoB, so they don’t think it’s murder either.

                      It’s rhetoric, not argument.

                    3. “Most pro life people don’t want to jail the mother for abortion,”

                      For tactical reasons only.

                    4. Compromising with murderers, Bob? What a bunch of cowards!

                      Actually, there’s plenty of room to want to ban abortion without the ‘baby murder’ histrionics.

                    5. “What a bunch of cowards!”

                      First things first. Plenty of time to jail the women later.

                    6. Bob,

                      I suspect a substantial number of people who identify as pro life do not agree with you on the merits rather than tactics. Ditto for punishing as murderers those who destroy embryos as part of IVF or stem cell research, which I am guessing you endorse.

                  2. We all agree bathwater should not be boiling, which means no one can disagree on the temperature otherwise!

                    1. I can — 105 CMR 410.190 reads (in part): The owner shall also provide the hot water for use at a temperature of not less than 110°F (43° C) ….The hot water shall not exceed 130°F (54° C).”

                2. “Think for a moment why one might be a nearly unanswerable philosophical question, and the other is not.”

                  I don’t know. Some places tolerate the murder of young children out of cultural sensitivity.

                  1. Luckily, we’re having this conversation in America. Now, do you have a real response?

            2. The Supreme Court has made clear that the Bill of Rights begins to apply at the border so far as non-citizens are concerned, just as it begins to apply at birth. Just as the word “person” lacks “prenatal application,” it also lacks “extraterritorial application.”

              But nobody would conclude from this that a foreigner 6 inches on the other side of the border isn’t a person or lacks “personhood.” Everyone understands that when the Supreme Court talks about “extraterritorial application,” it is only making a statement about the constitution, describing the limits of its scope and what it means, and certainly isn’t making any sort of statement about the nature of non-citizens. Nobody would conclude that a foreigner outside US territory isn’t a person, still less that its death somehow doesn’t matter.

              Why aren’t fetuses constitutionally identical to foreigners? The Bill of Rights lacks “prenatal application” in exactly the same way and for the same reasons, determined through the same textual exegesis of the word “person,” as it lacks “extraterritorial application.” Why isn’t that similarly just a statement about the constitution’a scope, not a statement about what fetuses “are”?

              No-one would interpret the Supreme Court has determination that the Bill of Rights lacks “extraterritorial application” as a conclusion that a foreigner outside US territory isn’t a person or lacks personhood. Nobody would interpret it as a statement about that personhood begins at the US border. Why should should such an interpretation be made of the virtually identical statement that the Bill of Rights similarly lacks “prenatal application”?

              1. Why aren’t fetuses constitutionally identical to foreigners?

                I can think of a couple of ways to distinguish them.

                1. Justice Holmes said something almost identical about the differences between men and women. Ans many have seen a huge distinction between black and white people. But the question isn’t whether these distinctions exist. It’s whether they make a CONSTITUTIONAL difference. And they don’t.

                  That’s the point here.

                  I would argue that a viable fetus (perhaps earlier depending on how Dodd is decided) and an extraterritorial alien are identical constitutionally. And the difference before that point lies if at all in the nature of the government’s interest, not the nature of the fetus.

                  1. One is of questionable personhood, the other is not. Yeah, there was similar logic with race and gender; that doesn’t mean it’s wrong this time.

          5. Congress can regulate drugs and medical devices through the FDA because of the Commerce Clause. Surgical procedures are not directly regulated by the federal or state government. The reasoning of Roe has nothing to do with the Commerce Clause.

            You can’t convince me that life begins at conception, and I don’t think I can convince you that it doesn’t. There’s no definite scientific or factual answer to the question of when life begins, so the answer is a matter of personal beliefs, religion, philosophy, morals, logic, experience, etc. I don’t think government should answer that question for me (or women) though, which is what it would be doing if it banned abortion.

            1. You can’t convince me that life begins at conception

              Then you’re fundamentally ignorant about the biological meaning of “life”. While there are disagreements within the biological science communities about exactly how to define “life”, and where it does/doesn’t apply around the contours…there is NO serious disagreement among biologists about the status of a genetically complete fertilized human ovum with regard to whether or not it is alive. In fact the sperm and the pre-fertilized ovum also meet all of the mainstream biological criteria for “life”…so life actually begins before conception. But if you narrow the question to one of when “human life” begins that, at a minimum is going to require a complete human genome, which happens at conception.

              1. I think it is pretty clear that when Brian says “life,” he means “personhood.” All too often I see people argue that science tells us “human life” begins at conception knowing that listeners mistakenly equate “human life” and “personhood.” Sorry, Brian is right. Science does not settle this debate.

                1. I think it is pretty clear that when Brian says “life,” he means “personhood.”

                  Why is that pretty clear? Are you asserting that he’s not educated/articulate enough to use the word “person” when that’s what he means?

                  All too often I see people argue that science tells us “human life” begins at conception knowing that listeners mistakenly equate “human life” and “personhood.

                  Now you’re trying to argue that I’m being deceptive by responding to his exact words rather than making assumptions about “what he really meant” and putting words in his mouth to respond to. That’s a pretty shitty tactic.

                  1. Because when there are multiple possible meanings for what someone says, most of the time the one that’s not totally idiotic is the one to go with. Deliberately picking the one that makes him look bad just makes you look bad.

                    Of course a zygote is “human life” in the sense that it’s alive and it’s human. Nobody is disputing that. Then again, all the millions of cells you kill by scratching your nose or having a bowel movement were human life by that definition too. The question is whether it’s a human person.

                    1. Because when there are multiple possible meanings for what someone says, most of the time the one that’s not totally idiotic is the one to go with

                      Coming from the dope who insists that “trespasser” accurately describes a fetus, the above means absolutely nothing.

                    2. Deliberately picking the one that makes him look bad just makes you look bad.

                      I picked the one that is the literal meaning of the word he chose. If it wasn’t what he meant, that’s not my problem.

                      Then again, all the millions of cells you kill by scratching your nose or having a bowel movement were human life by that definition too.

                      How do we parse this one that doesn’t make it sound completely idiotic? Do you really not comprehend the substantial differences…for purposes of this discussion…between a developing fertilized human ovum and a skin cell?

                    3. They’re similar to the differences you are eliding between a fetus and a baby, actually.

                    4. They’re similar to the differences you are eliding between a fetus and a baby, actually.

                      I’ve said nothing at all regarding any differences “between a fetus and a baby”, you lying sack of shit.

                  2. I would be sympathetic to your counter argument if you had initially posited the possibility that Brian was conflating “life” and “personhood” and offered him the opportunity to clarify his statement.

                    1. It’s not my responsibility to reinterpret someone’s choice of words in a way that gives them an out. It’s their responsibility to choose words that accurately convey what they intend to say. Choosing the words that do so is just as easy as choosing those that don’t, so laziness isn’t even a valid excuse.

                    2. No one else agrees with your absurd interpretation. There’s someone to blame, and it’s not the writer.

                    3. No one else agrees with…

                      Your penchant for being a pathologically dishonest piece of shit is exceeded only by your delusions regarding your ability to read others’ minds.

                2. Oh, and as Ed points out, Brian has demonstrated multiple bits of topical ignorance in his post, including…..

                  Surgical procedures are not directly regulated by the federal or state government.

                  For you to make assumptions about how “right” he is based on your own rewording of his comment to conform to your own views when he clearly has no idea what he’s talking about is just plain dumb.

            2. Surgical procedures are HIGHLY regulated at both thew state & Federal level…

  4. The Internet has made it easy to indulge in a favorite pastime of mine. Keeping tabs on the old schoolyard chums.

    I was especially intrigued by the difference in the material success between the guys and the gals at least in the net I’ve cast. Its quite a bit more stark than you might expect.

    In general the gals appear to be more financially, professionally, and especially familially successful. They’ve mostly landed in middle class or upper working class seemingly secure positions in bureaucratic type structures, large institutional cubicle farms, corporations etc, as well as nurturing and communications based roles and almost always have successfully generated families and have relationships.

    The guys on the other hand. Well, it may be too much to say they’re unsuccessful as a whole, many are doing okay and some seem to have prosperous careers. But there is a strong pattern of falling to the fringes that you really don’t see with the gals. A rather large amount haven’t gone or finished college. Some trapped in dead end jobs they hate. Whats especially marked is the darwinist success or lack thereof when comparing the men to the women. The men are much more significantly likely to have not generated any progeny and have no or much fewer romantic relationships or opportunities. More likely to be in the position of a drifter floating alone from unstable job to unstable job with no supportive attachments or social network.

    The college circle definitely seems significantly more materially successful than the high school crew. Both men and women are mostly in seemingly secure middle class or upper middle class positions. With women gravitating more toward large bureaucracies (what is it with women and bureaucracies?) and complex large hierarchical organizations and the men going for slightly more unconventional jobs in smaller outfits. Still the women generally seem more financially secure or at least no less than the men. Many if not the majority of the most successful former classmates are women with impressively dramatic linkedin titles and giant ritzy beachfront houses I’ve admired in Google Earth. Even when they’ve assumed a lower paying positions, they usually have a spouse that secures them more than on the men’s side. And of course the women still generally have much more populous support networks both in close relations and in acquaintances.

    So yeah, piling on the personal experience angle as well, I still don’t really get the popular meme that women are disadvantaged and need hundreds of trillions in aid and propaganda to get a legup in modern society. Maybe it used to be true but it certainly doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I think a lot of it boils down to comparisons and statistics that don’t properly take into account the tendency for men to have a flatter distribution curve and women end up just being compared to the top alpha male dogs.

    1. AmosArch, maybe, “old schoolyard chums,” as a sample selector fails some test of systematic inclusivity?

      1. Like I indicated, personal experience is not a be all end all but just another perspective to add to the whole.

    2. ” I still don’t really get the popular meme that women are disadvantaged and need hundreds of trillions in aid and propaganda to get a legup in modern society”

      I think there’s a bit of ‘my umbrella really worked during those rain showers, but it’s not raining now so I guess I should toss it!’ going on there.

      “I think a lot of it boils down to comparisons and statistics that don’t properly take into account the tendency for men to have a flatter distribution curve and women end up just being compared to the top alpha male dogs.”

      There’s a good point here, but here’s a counterpoint: imagine that the GOP won a majority of local and state elections but had a 59 presidential election losing streak and won only just over a quarter of Congressional seats (and that was a record for them). I doubt GOPers would be saying ‘hey, we’re doing fantastic!’ In fact, I think they’d be talking about rigged games…

      1. This assumes categorical representation is a value, rather than choosing politicians based on issues. “Women” are not a political party with monolithic desires.

        1. “rather than choosing politicians based on issues. ”

          And somehow one half of the population just never happened to be the politician chosen based on issues in 59 tries? Yeah, that smells right…

          1. “somehow one half of the population just never happened to be the politician chosen”

            You mistakenly presume equal numbers and equal ability.
            Feminist theory is that men are productive, women reproductive — see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_Ways_of_Knowing

            1. Apart from being a predictably wild misunderstanding of Gilligan’s work, this is like saying ‘economic theory is’ and then quoting linking to Lenin or Mises…

          2. You assume good old boys club is more about excluding women than busting their butts to win elections so they can join the corruptocracy. No power hungry man is going to step aside so a woman can take his place.

            Going into government is about seeking opportunities for corruption. Nobody stands aside for others when seeking that gold mine.

            Also, there are women in positions of elected power, and their family incomes start to go up at great rates.

            Hooray for women! Corruption, not just for men anymore!

            1. Going into government is about seeking opportunities for corruption.

              No, it’s not.

              1. Side benefit?

                Your opinion of politicians is not warranted by history.

                1. Going into government includes a lot more than politicians. Me, for instance.

                  If you’re into making money, there’s plenty of easier and more lucrative gigs than politician.
                  Plus, most politicians are already rich as hell.

                  I’m not saying they’re all great people, but they’re not all just constantly looking for opportunities for corruption; that’s lunacy.

                  1. “win elections”

                    He was talking about politicians. Not bureaucrats. So I comment about politicians.

                    If you insist, most bureaucrats go into government because they are not qualified for anything else. Lazy or incompetent or both.

                    “most politicians are already rich as hell”

                    Its not true. Even the US senate does not have a majority who is “rich as hell”.

                    Lotsa rich people are still greedy for more. Feinstein is “rich as hell” but her husband still gets sweatheart deals.

                    Its actually more about getting relatives, retainers and friends rich.

                    1. Seems to me like his weird libertarian bigotry got ahead of him and he painted with too broad a brush.

                      To run for office you don’t need to be independently wealthy
                      https://www.rollcall.com/2018/02/27/wealth-of-congress-richer-than-ever-but-mostly-at-the-very-top/

                      If you’re rich and want more money, you invest, you don’t run for a pain in the ass job in Congress.

                      I worked in Congress, I can tell you. What Congress offers is glory. Not really power anymore, but glory. A whiff of historymaking.

                      Its actually more about getting relatives, retainers and friends rich. You just made that up.

                      Politicians are not generally good people, but you and Krayt have no idea what you’re talking about.

                    2. To run for office you don’t need to be independently wealthy – but it sure helps.

        2. True, but up until relatively recently “women” were a monolithic entity that faced economic disadvantage because of prejudice. They may not all have the same beliefs, but they all suffered the same discrimination.

          1. Those women are all retired now.

            1. Don’t be so sure of that.

              1. The Equal Pay Act was signed into law in 1963 — 58 years ago.
                Assuming a college degree, i.e. age 21, any woman entering the workforce before then would be 81 years old now….

                1. 80 years old….

                2. And we all know that employers always obey the law.

                  There is still a significant amount of misogyny out there. A former partner of mine would not hire a woman he knew to be divorced, and he had ways of finding out if she was. He did not have similar moral objections to hiring divorced men.

                  1. You know what they say about anecdotes…

                    1. Is your claim that there isn’t still a significant amount of misogyny out there?

                    2. “significant amount of misogyny”

                      No, paying a woman less is not hatred of women.

                      Sexist yes

                      You use “misogyny” because it sounds worse, its lazy propaganda.

                    3. I just went to dictionary.com One of the definitions for “misogyny” is “ingrained and institutionalized prejudice against women; sexism.”

                      But to cut to the chase, do you dispute there is still a significant amount of sexism out there?

                  2. And women who won’t hire divorced men are different — how?

                    1. They’re not. What makes you think they would be?

      2. “won a majority of local and state elections but had a 59 presidential election losing streak and won only just over a quarter of Congressional seats (and that was a record for them)”

        Most of the state and local seats only pay a small stipend (if that) and only someone being supported by her husband could afford to serve in these positions.

        Could *you* live on $200/year? That’s what the New Hampshire State Legislature gets. Maine pays $14,073.63 for the first year of the biennium and $9,982.44 for the second. And that’s on the STATE level, things like school committee are completely volunteer.

        Furthermore, society *accepts* a woman being supported by her husband, but not the converse.

        1. Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO) paid herself over $25K as a “salary” out of her campaign funds while running for Congress. (That reportedly is legal.)

          Imagine a male candidate doing that…

          1. Actually it is legal, as long as you don’t go overboard. The candidate, too, is working for the campaign.

          2. I don’t have to imagine it. Alan Keyes did it while running for senate in Maryland.

            1. I’m honestly surprised it wasn’t an issue…

          3. So only rich people can run a full time campaign?

            1. That’s why it’s legal: Otherwise only the independently wealthy could afford to run serious campaigns.

          4. What is more interesting to me is that actual office-holders seem free to spend their time running for re-election, or election to higher office and, AFAIK, continue to hold office and draw salaries. (Am I mistaken there?)

            Why should a governor or senator, say, from some other state, get to spend time in Iowa or NH on the public tab?

            1. What are the defined hours for a governor or senator? Do they punch a clock?

    3. The internet was responsible for one of my more surreal experiences: A guy who’d gone to my elementary school friended me on FB.

      I had to think hard to remember him, then I had it: He was the bully who had made my elementary school existence a living Hell until I beat the crap out of him. Literally the only happy memory I had of him was kneeling on his chest pounding his face back and forth until I was pulled off him.

      And he thought we were friends?

      1. It’s like that scene in Anger Management with Adam Sandler and C. Reilly.

        1. “There he was — Scut Farkas!”

      2. He *might* have matured and now feels sorry for tormenting you.
        Or wants you to forgive him — doesn’t mean you have to.

        1. He could have said so, then. I’d have done it.

          Actually, I felt bad about it afterwards, if I hadn’t been pulled off him I probably would have kept whaling away at him until he’d been seriously injured, I’d already beaten him to the point where he wasn’t able to put up a fight anymore.

          After that I made a serious effort to learn to control my temper, so I guess I learned something from the experience.

          1. Wasn’t this a Big Bang Theory episode?

            1. For all I know it might have been, I was an early cable cutter, you can assume I have basically no familiarity with TV shows since the mid 90’s.

      3. He was the bully who had made my elementary school existence a living Hell

        Maybe he was performing steps 8 and 9 of AA, which require the making of amends to everyone he has harmed. One would think he would mention this.

        Or maybe he was a failed salesman scraping the bottom of the barrel of prospects he had any hope of selling to.

    4. There is considerable evidence that childless college-educated millennial women earn more (per hour worked) than men.

    5. This seems to be a self-selection issue. Depending on where you went to school, you’re unlikely to remember most of the kids from your class. (I had a graduating class of 53 and I certainly can’t remember them all.)

      So you’re probably going to mostly remember: (a) attractive, popular girls who are likely to secure highly successful mates; and (b) alpha male boys, who tend to be good (though not great) in athletics or are successful in non-academic activities.

      Who are you not going to remember? The unattractive or quiet nerdy kids. But it’s the nerdy kids who do well in school, graduate from college, and end up with higher-paying jobs.

      1. “Who are you not going to remember? The unattractive or quiet nerdy kids. But it’s the nerdy kids who do well in school, graduate from college, and end up with higher-paying jobs.”

        My freshman college cohort — the women were hired into good jobs immediately upon graduation. With the exception of one who moved 4 states away, the men weren’t, not immediately.

        Then I look at undergrads I have advised — same thing…

    6. With the caveat that this is purely anecdotal, now that you mention it my experience is similar. I haven’t thought about it before. Grew up in a small northern Wisconsin town. Almost all of my female friends went to college, moved away permanently, and are very successful. Almost all of my male friends stayed in the town, didn’t do college or did it and came back and are really struggling. And got very fat.

      1. “or did it [college] and came back”

        Serious mistake. Why seek education, opportunity, and modernity elsewhere, then return — against all evidence — to declining towns and dying industries?

        I wish those people had made better decisions.

        1. A high-school classmate left our town, got her degree and education, and moved back to take a teaching position (her family was in the administration). For a little while, I worked in a town near my hometown because it was one of the first law jobs I could get. Others I know moved back because they liked outdoor activities (such as hunting and fishing) that were more difficult if they lived in urban areas. Or because they went to college to learn about farming technology, and there happens to be few farms in urban coastal settings.

          People move back to their home towns for many reasons, and it’s awful presumptuous of you to expect them to have the same values and preferences that you do.

          1. It’s what you belong to — rural economic attrition was something that Nixon campaigned on in 1968 — it’s been an issue for a long time.

          2. “People move back to their home towns for many reasons, and it’s awful presumptuous of you to expect them to have the same values and preferences that you do.”

            Those people were described as “really struggling.” Why would you think that is good? It seems reasonable to associate the personal struggle and the move back to a declining, poorly educated, struggling community.

  5. I would like to separate out a framing issue with social media complaints, and get comments. Again and again we get threads which focus on the internet, censorship, Section 230, and related issues. The discussions which result strike me as too narrow.

    The problem seems to begin by casting discussions as controversies over speech freedom. That biases everything else which follows, because it tends to exclude press freedom as a separately enumerated right, and to beg from the get-go any question whether internet posting ought to count as mere speech, or whether it makes more sense to call it publishing.

    What follows then are barren discussions, which exclude from relevance the costs to press freedom and publishing which Section 230 may impose. My point here is to challenge commenters to take note of the costs to society if long-standing publishing practices—particularly involving liability shared among publishers and contributors, editing prior to publication, and accuracy as a competitive tool available to publishers, get gutted by Section 230.

    Does availability of editing-free “speech” for everyone outweigh the public value of a standard for edited publishing with truth and accuracy as criteria enforced by a diversity of private editors? Are there reasonable standards for evaluating the impetus toward government censorship of the press which Section 230 seems to create, with the burdens which private editing imposes, allegedly as a government-induced censorship to prevent libel?

    If those two are mutually exclusive alternatives, does either of them deliver more social value than the other as a norm for publishing practice? Might there be some way to operate both systems simultaneously, without making either one so dominant it drives out the other?

    Any thoughtful comments greatly appreciated.

    1. Broadly speaking, section 230 only really applies to internet activities.

      Any alterations to section 230 would only apply to them, not to more classical publishers within print, television, radio, public spaces etc. Any alterations on section 230 would still leave all of these just as open as they were before section 230 was instituted.

      1. Armchair, broadly speaking, Section 230 applies to internet publishing, not to internet “activities.” For instance, it does not apply at all to activities such as private email, the remote control of physical systems, or use of internet technology by common carriers.

        Your notion of a categorical separation between internet publishers and other publishers is fanciful. Except for Section 230, the business models of the two classes would be largely the same. The proof that they interact is obvious in the collapse of advertising-supported traditional publishing consequent to the special privileges afforded internet publishers by Section 230. If the two classes compete in the same marketplace, as they do, then they must be in the same business.

        Any alterations to section 230 would only apply to them, not to more classical publishers within print, television, radio, public spaces etc. Any alterations on section 230 would still leave all of these just as open as they were before section 230 was instituted.

        Given that enactment of Section 230 closed so many of them, your complacent claim is already refuted by experience.

    2. Shorter SL: Everybody ignores my constantly repeated arguments that I, Stephen Lathrop, should be the gatekeeper of what may be seen by the plebeians.

      Nobody cares that you want to frame the discussion in a way that you think you can score points. Freedom of speech is no less important than “of the press.”

      Want to know what is a bigger cost to society? People who think that they should be able to decide what others may see or hear. You’re like a prohibitionist, just choosing a different “sin.”

      1. “Want to know what is a bigger cost to society? People who think that they should be able to decide what others may see or hear.”

        Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland approves this message (but could not express that point here personally; he was banned by the Volokh Conspiracy Board of Censors for making fun of conservatives.)

        1. Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland approves this message (but could not express that point here personally

          It’s cute that you discuss your multiple personalities as though they’re independently real.

          1. Good to know that muting Artie was the right choice. Nothing of substance as usual?

            1. Yeah, so far I’ve only muted Behar just so I don’t have to wade through it. Artie amuses me on great occasion.

            2. Vinni will spend the remainder of his life complying with my preferences regardless of whether he reads or mutes my comments. That is the clinger’s lot, and there is nothing a clinger can do about it.

              Except maybe whine a lot at White, male blogs.

      2. Vinni, 7 questions:

        1. Considering your own balance of values, is the notion that libel is not protected speech too great a burden on press freedom?

        2. More generally, is freedom to publish libel a liberty guaranteed by the Constitution?

        3. If commonplace publication of libel results in social revulsion against speech freedom, and successful pressure for government censorship of the press, will that make freedom to publish libel an enhancement of speech freedom, or a detraction from it?

        4. The predictable next step in the use of unedited publishing will be development and widespread deployment of deep-fake techniques. Those will be used by well-funded but publicly unidentifiable political actors. Their aims will be twofold: first, to destroy political opponents by publishing seemingly well-sourced and irrefutable misinformation about them, and second, to create general rejection of all political claims as unreliable, with an eye toward discouraging ordinary Americans from political participation.

        Using your own judgment of the proper balance of liberties regarding speech, publishing, and political participation, does liberty for everyone to publish without prior private editing justify enabling deep-fake publishing techniques used for those purposes?

        5. Do you assert that private editing is too great an imposition by elites on freedom of speech for ordinary Americans?

        6. If so, what do you make of a counter-claim that diversity and profusion among private publishers is the best protection against government interference with speech and press freedom?

        7. If you can stay free of government interference, you yourself remain free to set up a privately edited publication, to publish whatever opinions you favor—and because of economies delivered by the internet the ability to do that is now available even to people of limited means. Why is that not better protection for the opinions of ordinary Americans than reliance on government control of private publishing would be?

        1. 1. Press freedom is not affected by 230. Don’t care.

          2. Libel is neither guaranteed, nor restricted, by the Constitution. Current jurisprudence doesn’t restrict all libel. Irrelevant.

          3. Stop conflating free speech with press.

          4. Fear-mongering.

          5. Yes, when it is done in a heavy-handed, politically biased manner that is not agreed upon prior AND not in accordance to the rules and principles agreed upon by the user. (Setting aside the “we can change our rules at any time” nature of TOUs).

          6. Publishers may continue to be publishers. Since they are not the topic here, I don’t care. If publishers were such a public good as you claim, then 230 would have no effect on them, and in fact, if you want to sell a book, you still need to use those archaic gatekeepers, unless you are independently wealthy.

          7. This has nothing to do with 230. When Facebook is the publisher, they are liable for their speech. When Facebook is just letting me publish content to my own space, then they are no liable for my speech. The question is, when Facebook no longer moderating in good faith and acting as a de facto publisher, when do they lose the 230 protections.

          And, being debated isn’t whether 230 should still exist, it’s how to deal with the holier than thou social media companies who are blatantly disregarding the “good faith moderation” while still receiving the benefits of 230.

          We do not need YOU to decide what we should be allowed to read, write, speak or hear. Facebook et al are (arguably) not publishers per se. Stop conflating the two.

    3. Is your argument 230 should be extended to traditional publishing, or that Internet giants should be at risk of lawsuits when they do a sloppy job adhering to their own editorial supervision claims?

      Because then trillions of stock dollar valuations become in jeopardy as lawyers sue for damages, and retirement funds are crushed as they collapse, all so they and their advertised-for clients can claim fractions of a penny on the dollar of lost valuation, still enough to buy grand yachts.

      1. Retirement funds will be crushed when the stock market collapses…

      2. Is your argument 230 should be extended to traditional publishing, or that Internet giants should be at risk of lawsuits when they do a sloppy job adhering to their own editorial supervision claims?

        Krayt, neither. My argument is that there should be one rule applied alike to all publishers, and that it should require shared liability for publishers and their contributors. That last point is indispensable, because it is the only way to assure prior editing while leaving private publishers otherwise free of government interference.

        To understand why I think prior editing is indispensable, please read my list of questions for Vinni, above.

        A point not mentioned in that list is that all the myriad sorts of public damage that unedited publishing can inflict—not just libel damages—are markedly reduced by private editing. In a no-editing publishing regime, no after-the-fact legal process can prevent any damages before they happen and take their toll. Only severe government censorship could do that. I judge government censorship a far more dangerous imposition on expression than private editing will ever be.

    4. I think any framing that places freedom of the press and freedom of speech against each other is flawed. The words to focus on when in doubt are “shall make no law”.

      IMO a lot of this could be solved by having fewer laws and less legal process available. For example:

      1. One barrier to setting up effective alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, etc is software patents and protections for “look-and-feel”. Both ought to be greatly scaled back.

      2. The concept of “common carrier” needs to be limited to things that are necessarily connected to a government granted right of way: railroad tracks (but not cars), electric power wiring (but not generation), long-haul fiber optic cables and the hardware to access them.

      3. If libel and copyright lawsuits are ruining everything, and there is a good argument that they are, then instead of giving certain companies special protection, take some general actions to decrease incentives and increase consequences for filing bad lawsuits. Some radical ideas: allow juries/judges to award negative damages; punitive/deterrent damages go to the state rather than the plaintiff.

    5. You know the rest of the world doesn’t have Section 230? The reality is that it just isn’t important. All it does is make life slightly less convoluted for big US companies, who’d otherwise have to nameplate their servers in another jurisdiction.

      Simple fact: the US does not own or control Googlebook etc. If you make the conditions impossible for them, they will withdraw from the US, and US residents will voluntarily then take their business to the same entity now pretending to be in a different country. Net effect, zero.

    6. the costs to press freedom and publishing which Section 230 may impose

      awejeeznotthisshitagain.jpg

  6. Anyone think Biden’s energy policy with pipelines is a little crazy?

    1. Cancel the Keystone-XL pipeline….
    2. Take a “Well, you do what you gotta do” approach to US pipeline companies paying $5 Million in blackmail to Eastern Europeans.
    3. Waive sanctions for Russians building pipelines to Germany….

    I mean, what’s going on here?

    1. This would be a good time for you to present your Steelman argument to answer your own question.

      1. Gosh, that’s a hard one. Simultaneously the follow items are true.

        1. Global Warming is such a severe threat, we need to stop building our own pipelines with long term allies, despite the damage to our own energy security.

        2. It’s important that our geopolitical enemy, Russia, build a pipeline to Germany, even though it may damage both global warming.

        I mean… Gosh. What would make a good argument here that Biden wasn’t slightly crazy?

        Best I can think of is that Biden is being blackmailed by Russia, with perhaps incriminating info on Hunter. That would make Biden not crazy.

        1. Well, you’d get a poor grade in professor Baude’s class. This kind of thing reveals you as a hopeless partisan living in an ideological bubble.

          I mean, it’s not like you had to do some deep reading to come up with something more plausible than ‘the other side just must be crazy.’ The official SoS statement on the issue, that the waiver on sanctions in this area was done as a favor to a long time ally with him this administration has made a priority of patching up relations with after the previous administration’s perceived missteps in this area is quite plausible. I got that in a five second Google search.

        2. “Best I can think of is that Biden is being blackmailed by Russia, with perhaps incriminating info on Hunter.”

          Best you leave the thinking to others.

        3. “Best I can think of is that Biden is being blackmailed by Russia, with perhaps incriminating info on Hunter. ”

          Huh. I have to say, that theory seems a little familiar. Where have I heard a similar one recently?

        4. Trying this,

          The alternative to Russian gas in Germany is German liginite, a particularly bad form of coal, so one could rationalize that it’s environmentally favorable to permit that pipeline, despite the fact that it helps a geopolitical foe render allies more dependent.

          Meanwhile, back in the US, they tend to view it as a fossil fuels vs renewables question, and figure the more they can burden fossil fuel use, the faster people will transition to unicorn farts.

          Mind, I think your blackmail theory has some strong basis, too.

          1. “I think your blackmail theory has some strong basis, too.”

            No it doesn’t, just the usual conspiracy theory speculation of circumstantial evidence, bias and selective speculation.

            Remember, this is a story because the administration waived this sanction as part of a bigger package of other sanctions.

            1. Yeah, circumstantial evidence about a hundred times more solid than the Russia collusion theory: His son gets a highly remunerative job he’s not qualified for, in an area with heavy Russian influence, and actually writes down stuff about having to pay “the big guy” a share.

              Between that and the even bigger bucks Hunter is pulling down from China, yeah, I think Biden could quite plausibly have to worry about blackmail, if not personally, about his son being blackmailed.

              1. There are people in prison after trials with full due process re the Russian collusion affair, what you’ve got is just only circumstantial evidence with your partisan spin. I mean, it’s not proven at all that the job was part of any quid pro quo, it just ‘smells fishy’ to you, then it’s not proven that ‘in an area with heavy Russian influence’ is in any way connected to ‘Russia has something on Hunter Biden.’ It’s the sheerest conjecture. You’re just a hopeless partisan conspiracy theorist.

                1. “There are people in prison after trials with full due process re the Russian collusion affair”

                  But are they in prison for Russian collusion? No, they’re in prison for “Show me the man, I’ll show you the crime.”

                  It would be easy enough to put Hunter in prison, too, if you didn’t care what you put him in prison for. Filing a false 4473, for instance.

                  1. So all the evidence should be ignored, and lets go with your feelings about Hunter Biden.

                    Sheesh, Brett, have some shame.

              2. It’s bullshit, Brett.

          2. “Mind, I think your blackmail theory has some strong basis, too.”

            Perhaps you could track that one down . . . after finding the Muslim socialist’s Kenyan birth certificate.

            1. You provide the pee-pee tape first.

              1. I’m curious : Are you aware said tape actually exists? That Michael Cohen and a Russian associate both testified before a grand jury about their attempts to suppress it? That (supposedly) you can watch a copy on the internet if your diligence runs to the sordid (I haven’t tried).

                It’s all documented in Mueller’s report, along with the conclusion the tape was probably a fraud. But that means that in addition to the dozens of other bizarre connections between Trump’s circle and the Russian state there was – yes – a tape with prostitutes that Trump was paying money to suppress.

                I would assume you already knew that, but with you?
                One never knows.

                1. That’s what BlueAnon is telling you guys? Wow.

                2. It’s all documented in Mueller’s report, along with the conclusion the tape was probably a fraud.

                  So there was a likely fraudulent video made as an attempt to frame/extort Trump…not a legitimate one showing him doing what he was accused of doing. OK.

          3. “The alternative to Russian gas in Germany is German liginite”

            Or American LNG shipped into any one of several German ports.

            Furthermore, both the Germans and South Africans did quite a bit with synthetic fuels — coal to oil or gas. Isn’t that a lot cleaner?

            1. Not if it’s starting with dirty coal, no.

            2. “Or American LNG shipped into any one of several German ports.”

              Or nuclear power, but they abandoned that method for stupid reasons.

              1. Are you trying to tell me that tsunamis are not a risk in Germany?

                1. The tsunami damage to Fukishima was mostly the result of very stupid civil engineering that had nothing to do with the reactor.

                  1. The tsunami damage to Fukishima was mostly, in a country known for engineering excellence, the result of very stupid civil engineering that had nothing to do with the inherent danger associated with nuclear reactors.
                    FTFY

                    Design flaws always happen. When the design fails, you don’t want it making large portions of your territory, especially productive sea-front, uninhabitable for generations. The Hindenburg was enough to discourage people from flying under a balloon of explosive gas and that didn’t render an entire region radioactive.

                    1. The design flaw of placing the backup generators below the ground level of the reactors does not just happen. It is a gross engineering blunder that the other Fukishima reactors did not include.

                      That exogenous blunder had nothing what so ever to do with the reactor design and has little to say about the inherent safety of nuclear reactors.
                      Moreover, overwhelmingly the damage to the region was due to the tsunami and not to the reactor failure.

                      So quit the scare tactics and think.

                  2. People don’t realize that a Diesel engine will run under water, as long as it can get dry air — military trucks have “snorkels” up the side of the windshield.

                    It probably isn’t good for the engine — I can see water floating the oil out of the crankcase and cracking the exhaust manifold, but Diesels have no spark plugs so once you get it running, it will continue to run until you deny it fuel or deny it dry air. (Water can’t be compressed, so you put water in a cylinder and it blows the piston rod through the side of the engine…)

                2. No, actually tsunamis are not much of a risk in Germany. Not theoretically impossible, (Though rare and in comparable magnitude to a bad storm surge.) but tsunamis are generally a result of undersea earthquakes, and Germany isn’t on the ring of fire. It’s minor tsunami risk comes from sharing an ocean with Iceland.

            3. “Or American LNG shipped into any one of several German ports.”

              There are no German LNG terminals. The entire European capacity is not enough to meet Germany’s gas needs, afaik.

              “Furthermore, both the Germans and South Africans did quite a bit with synthetic fuels — coal to oil or gas. Isn’t that a lot cleaner?”

              No, it’s vastly less efficient. Germany had to use coal-conversion during the Second World War because it had insufficient oil. No-one would do that absent a war/blockade.

              Synthetic hydrocarbons made via atmospheric capture are a different beast – carbon neutral if the energy inputs are. Again, though, it’s not very efficient in terms of e.g. synth-oil created versus the power put in. Might make sense if we get the efficiencies up, and solar panels keep getting cheaper for a while longer – in theory, a carport sized area of panels could provide an amount of car fuel sufficient for the average motorist.

              1. Those same solar panels could provide more energy for travel if it were simply stuffed into a battery rather than used to drive a less-efficient chemical process.

                1. Not really, Shawn. You’d need an electric car too. And to rebuild all the infrastructure, which has an embodied energy cost. Plus, batteries don’t scale well.

                  Oh, and of course in fact charging and discharging batteries isn’t massively less efficient.

                  But the point overall is that we expect to have a surplus of production over storage, in which case any form of storage is good, even if quite inefficient.

                  Put it this way: you have a choice between buying, say, 4 square metres of solar panels (at minimal cost /sqm) and an electric vehicle to use the power from them, or 8 sqm of solar panels – throw in an extra hundred bucks – and a synth-oil machine, and keep using the car you already have. What would you do?

                2. Shawn,
                  You ideas about system engineering or even the battery sub-system are rudimentary. I suspect that all you know about batteries is how to put new ones in your flashlight

    2. The real answer is that the Keystone XL opposition is a neo-Luddite movement that opposes everything, even a pipeline that would actually reduce carbon emissions over what is happening now in an effort to stop exploitation of a foreign resource which will no doubt be exploited at higher cost and less benefit to the US economy.

      1. I can think of things to criticize opponents of Keystone about, but it’s hard to think ‘neo-Luddite’ applies to folks who almost surely would love things like wind, solar, etc., technological innovations and commitments.

        1. Try to build a wind farm and you get the birds it kills.
          Try to build a large solar array in the dessert and you get habitat disruption.

          There are potential environmental objections to almost everything and someone will make them.

          1. Potential maybe, but as an empirical matter I’d be willing to bet most opponents of the Keystone also support new ‘renewable’ technology efforts.

            1. In the abstract as a talking point, yes but in reality specific projects get opposed. The wind power and birds is a real thing from a proposed wind farm off the east coast.

              1. ‘Get opposed’ is pretty vague, could mean a small minority of the people who opposed Keystone. Likely does…

              2. You’d need to figure out if those arguments are coming from real “neo-luddites” or high-end property owners simply parroting the talking points as cover for their desire to hold on to their multi-million dollar views.

                Also, domestic housecats in the US kill many times more birds than turbines do. And so far, housecats aren’t carbon-neutral nor power the technologies used by the environmentalists to organize and protest.

            2. QA,
              It is far from potential. The amount of land needed for the US alone is between 10,000 to 30,000 square Km.It would need constant access to clean solar panels or concentrators and to service turbines. The idea that such huge expanses can be exploited without environmental disruption is a fantasy.

              1. The idea that “without environmental disruption” is the requirement being pushed by environmentalists is a fantasy.

                1. Poor shawn, wishing away decades of interventionist law suits.
                  The fantasy is that you think that what YOU want is risk free, but what other consider a bona fide cost is irrelevant. Think again dude

              2. Not to mention that the total power available from wind is much more limited than people realize. You’d actually start altering climate if you deployed wind power on a very large basis, too.

                1. Brett, I have seen substantive engineering analyses on that point based on midwest weather pattern. I’d not be able to locate those in my files. Perhaps you have seen them.

        2. Yes, neo-luddite is completely wrong. They’re the far-right. Must keep those ‘darkies’ from driving their own cars.

      2. Like many things, a lot of it involves emotional appeals and social virtue signaling quite unhinged from rationality or informed perspective.

        Also, some influential people openly celebrate the idea that climate change presents an issue that can be used as a pretext, or as a partial justification in combination with the usual precepts of Marxism, for the adoption of globalist socialist policies and the eventual establishment of a global socialist state. Such policies are not a future possibility, they are a currently implemented reality.

        ““There’s just no room for countries like Canada and the US to be investing in the expansion of additional fossil fuel reserves,” Anthony Swift, director of the Canada Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said.” https://www.vox.com/22306919/biden-keystone-xl-trudeau-oil-pipeline-climate-change

        The constant refrain is that countries “like Canada and the US” must accept reductions to their standard of living through higher energy costs than what would otherwise obtain, while other standards are applied to the rest of the world. The reason being that you are rich enough already, so it’s time to transfer some of that wealth. Of course this is farcical, because these burdens and costs will fall primarily on the working class and comparatively poor Americans, while those who are actually rich suffer nothing and even profit from such arrangements. And nobody suffers less or profits more than those who appoint themselves to direct and oversee the supposed redistribution of wealth.

        1. “social virtue signaling”

          As can be seen here, a rather useless concept meaning (at best) ‘public support for something I think won’t work.’

          1. QA,
            Not so.
            It means support for concepts than have not even been explored 2 moves deep. It means public support based on slogans rather that in depth systems analysis.

    3. In the environmentalist religion, it’s a sin to transport fuel. Do you expect religious zealots to appear rational from an outside observer’s prospective?

      Paying ransom and appeasing Russia are just lack of fortitude.

    4. Anyone think Biden’s energy policy with pipelines is a little crazy?

      What did Biden get from Russia and Germany in exchange?

  7. Interesting article on the limits of homo economicus:

    https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/05/three-point-shooting-in-the-nba-and-the-meritocracy

    “This is a post about how big time professional sports can throw light on how a lot of assumptions about the supposedly rational reward structure of our society and general and economy in particular are shaky at best. “

    1. Also interesting: Pete Maravich (college and professional) with a three-point line.

      Pete averaged 44.2 in college. The closest to him: 33.8.

      Number of players who achieved as much as half of Pete’s career scoring average: 17. Nearly all of those 17 played for smaller schools, against substantially lesser competition, and more than half of those 17 played with a three-point line.

      Before a game against Maravich’s Aliquippa Quips, an opposing high school coach castigated Pete for floppy socks, hippie hair, fancy dribbling, exotic passing, long-distance shooting, etc. and insisted he had developed a ‘fundamentals’ defense that would stop Maravich. During the Quips’ first possession, Pete brought the ball up, took one dribble past the half-court line, pulled up, and swished it. Backpedaling, he looked toward the other coach: ‘Defense that, coach.’

      1. All of which is meaningless with respect to national energy policy.

    2. Not sure what the article has to do with homo economicus, or assumptions about the supposedly rational reward structure of the economy.

      Perhaps it would make more sense if the article explained who’s doing the analytics, and why.

      1. Rational actors would have realized early that the 3 point option was something that should be tried more if your goal was winning, but it took them decades to implement changes consistent with that. The culture had to change.

        You can see a similar thing in the film Moneyball.

        1. I think it reflects more the traditional-mindedness of a lot of coaches and the sports world in general. It was seen as somehow not serious, manly, basketball to take a lot of three-point shots.

          That varied a good bit. I remember watching Vanderbilt basketball in the early ’90’s. The 3-pointer was still fairly new, and not that popular, but the coach, Eddie Fogler, was a big proponent for many of the reasons cited in the linked post, and his teams did quite well, with heavy use of the long shot.

        2. “Rational actors would have realized early that the 3 point option was something that should be tried more if your goal was winning, but it took them decades to implement changes consistent with that.”

          No, because in fact the conditions changed in that time. The three point line has been moved repeatedly, while the overall level of ability has clearly gone up. We should expect more three pointers now, and that’s exactly what we get.

          Obviously your jew-killing fantasies require you to insist the world is rigged against you, but they aren’t in any way supported by evidence.

        3. Again irrelevant with respect to energy policy, energy generation, use or transmission.

        4. “Rational actors would have realized early(er) that the 3 point option was something that should be tried more if your goal was winning,”

          What’s the time frame that a rational actor should have realized that? How do you calculate it?

  8. If there was a legit Royal Rumble physical no-holds barred battle royal fight with all SCOTUS justices, past and present, in their physical prime, who would win?

    My guess Byron White.

    1. Taft was a big guy, useful in grappling. That assumes a bone fide athletic competition, though. If not, RBG wins due to scripted event.

      Short answer though is anyone with actual wrestling training.

    2. Would the originalists insist that the contestants be nude?

    3. The Whizzer was a real Buffalo.

    4. In their physical prime? Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. must have become a pretty tough guy during the Civil War. He survived being shot through the chest at Balls Bluff, being shot through the neck at Antietam, and shot through the pelvis at Chancellorsville—with each of the injuries presumed fatal at the time.

      More generally, if you want to see what real tough guys look like, I don’t think you can do much better than look at photographs of combat infantrymen from any era, but particularly from the Civil War. When Grant said of the Army of the Potomac at the end of the war that they were, “Inured to hardship,” it was a judgement based on a demanding context.

      By comparison, I look skeptically at steroid-pumped images of Navy Seals and Blackwater mercenaries. I have trouble imagining those hulks keeping up with Sherman’s army, fighting its way down the Mississippi, around the toe of the Appalachians, and back up the east coast in time to support Grant at Appomattox.

      1. As I understand it, the modern Navy Seal and the like are not optimized for long term combat, where you’re wearing down the opposition over a period of time, but instead the ability to go to a specific place and dish out extremely intense and concentrated violence, overcoming resistance very rapidly. Then leaving quickly once the job is done.

        They’re a strike force, not an occupying or invading force.

        The Russian Spetsnaz, by contrast, are meant to do longer term actions behind enemy lines without support, and are trained more for endurance. They’re your “Sherman’s army”.

    1. It’s a horrible affront to my fundamental and basic liberties! I think we need a mass movement based on that opinion.

      1. The clingers will get around to whining about shirt-and-shoes requirements eventually. The whimpering and grievances are about all they have left.

    2. I always thought the shoe requirement was fear of liability if a customer stepped on something.

    3. I had always assumed shoes were required to avoid lawsuits from stepping on glass or something. No hippie worth his salt would waste a microsecond running to The Man if it meant $1200 in his pocket in the 1960s.

    4. I’ve always wondered why it doesn’t include pants/skirt,

      1. “I’ve always wondered why it doesn’t include pants/skirt,”

        Probably because that would already be covered by some kind of public nudity law, so they didn’t need to additionally require it.

  9. What do you all think of this Texas heartbeat law? Not so much the abortion issue as the tactic of insulating it from judicial review.

    Seems to me to be a tactic that, if successful, would kind of gut lots of constitutional rights. Plenty of state legislatures don’t like guns and free speech for example.

    Thoughts?

    1. The left started this with the national injunctions…

      1. This is made up history combined with legal gibberish.

    2. Seems to me it’s hilariously doomed.

      First, because the courts treat abortion as a special right, getting much higher deference than other rights. So all ties go to the abortionists.

      Second, because there’s a Democratic administration in control of the DOJ, which would have options to go after anybody attempting to be one of these private AGs.

      Third, because it only insulates abortion law against the early stages of litigation, and a test case can absolutely rocket through those.

      This tactic would actually be more effective against 2nd amendment rights, because THOSE the judiciary don’t like.

      OTOH, I think there should be more use of private prosecution, to validate laws that the state AG might happen to dislike, and refuse to enforce.

      1. OTOH, I think there should be more use of private prosecution, to validate laws that the state AG might happen to dislike, and refuse to enforce.

        You familiar with the saga of labor violence in the North Idaho mining district at the end of the 19th century? How it was followed by the assassination of the ex-governor of Idaho in 1905, with that followed by the privately-planned and executed kidnapping in Denver of Western Federation of Mining officials, and their trial in Idaho for the governor’s murder?

        Taken together, that tale shows how quasi-private prosecutions (the state and nation turning themselves into cat’s paws for prosecutions instigated, investigated, staffed, and funded by private industry) can create widespread, long-lasting chaos in legal administration, at the cost of respect for the law, and encouragement of desperate private retaliation.

        Cast of characters includes President Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, William Borah, Clarence Darrow, Eugene Debs, Big Bill Heywood, the Pinkertons, and a host of others. The assassinated former governor’s name was Frank Steunenberg.

        It’s a great story. Nobody is innocent. It convulsed the nation.

        Now, almost no one remembers it. Probably because it is sort of a disadvantage for everyone to recall shameful, criminal private initiative, cloaked in state power, which provoked murder and corruption of justice in return.

        You might want to check that story out before you insist again on private prosecutions.

        1. Then there’s how Shay’s Rebellion was ended — the Boston bankers hired mercenaries.

    3. Clever idea but obviously can’t be an allowed tactic in the long run.

  10. Interesting article on fraud in the PPP loan program.
    https://www.propublica.org/article/ppp-farms

    Between this and (a) housing prices, adjusted for inflation, are back to where they were in 2004, just before the crash, and (b) there is a wave of foreclosures coming when the moratorium eventually ends — Biden could have some fun….

  11. I’d like to find out what people here think of “The Eyes of Texas” and the controversy around it.

    As I understand it the tune has had many different words and verses over time some of these were “racist” although they strike me more as a similarity with a quote attributed to Robert E Lee, which is alleged by some to be related to the Lost Cause, but may also have been simply his way of encouraging students to work had an represent the south well.

    1. I think the controversy is silly.

      Apparently, decades ago it was sung by UT students who were possibly wearing blackface. So what? That describes lots of songs.

      If it had actual, demonstrable, racist lyrics, or had been used as a segregationist rallying song, I would feel differently – let’s not use “Dixie”, but this just looks like overreach.

      1. Indeed, bernard, so what?

        1. I’m not sure what you are asking me.

  12. Are ballots “federal election records?” 52 USC Ch. 207 requires preservation of “all records and papers which come into [officer of election’s] possession relating to any application, registration, payment of poll tax, or other act requisite to voting in such election.” Although a ballot would seem to be “requisite to voting,” the wording is strange if that were actually the intent of the law. On the other hand, the Justice Department manual on Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses discusses 52 USC Ch. 207 (https://www.justice.gov/criminal/file/1029066/download page 76) and tells us that “The voting process generates voluminous documents and records, ranging from voter registration forms and absentee ballot applications to ballots and tally reports,” which suggests, but does not explain why, ballots are federal election records.

    1. I should perhaps explain the relevance of the question. Arizona has turned the ballots and tally reports from the 2020 election over to a private company, which would seem to be a violation of 52 USC Ch. 207 if ballots or tally reports are covered by that statute.

  13. Apparently, Texas excluded the media from their most recent ritual killing:

    “There were no unusual circumstances with the execution itself, he said, relying on accounts from agency officials who were inside the death chamber.”

    https://apnews.com/article/texas-executions-lifestyle-747fc8994706df9dee9e64909c464b99

    Mr. D.

    1. “Texas excluded the media ”

      That’s a shame.

      “ritual killing:”

      “he beat her with a bat in her Fort Worth home then took $30 from her purse to buy drugs.”

      Nice guy you are defending.

      1. Bob lives in False-Dilemma-ville.

        1. No, he doesn’t. A man who does something that gruesome does not deserve to live the rest of his life.

  14. I know authors who use subtext, and they’re all cowards.

    1. Change it to “The woman in white.”

      Trust me.

  15. Do you think it’s possible for Israel to, once and for all, root out and destroy Hamas in Gaza? I hope they do.

    What do you think of Biden’s imploring them to tone it down? Just pandering to the radical left faction of the party? Seems stupid to me – how do you tone down your defensive response to someone firing rockets into your population?

    1. Even if Hamas could be destroyed something else similar would likely take it’s place, after all, what are the Palestinians to do? Israel has taken a big dump on more moderate approaches to stand up for Palestinian rights (such as Abbas).

      “What do you think of Biden’s imploring them to tone it down? ”

      An interest in international law being upheld? Proportionality is kind of a thing in that.

      1. You’re saying Israel is violating international law? Be specific, please. That’s a common refrain of those opposed to Israel, with no basis in fact.

        Hamas, however: doesn’t wear uniforms, operates from civilian enclaves, uses civilians and journos as human shields, fires rockets indiscriminately into civilian population centers without any clear military target defined: all violations of international law. Yet, no one mentions that.

        1. I’m saying there is a well recognized proportionality principle in international law (see here: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule14 ). Does it apply here? Reasonable people I think could disagree, but if you’re wondering “What do you think of Biden’s imploring them to tone it down?” that seems like a likely answer.

          ” Yet, no one mentions that.”

          Sure they do, all the time. Almost no one takes up for Hamas (rightly imho), the criticism of Israel has to do with non-combatant casualties.

          1. QA: Almost no one takes up for Hamas (rightly imho), the criticism of Israel has to do with non-combatant casualties.

            “doesn’t wear uniforms, operates from civilian enclaves, uses civilians and journos as human shields, fires rockets indiscriminately into civilian population centers without any clear military target defined”

            Most casualties appear to be non-combatant, when combatants disguise themselves as non-combatants. Crazy how that works.

            1. Yeah, I like how the Hamas fighters disguise themselves as little kids, they really are something!

              1. Whom do you think the US Army was fighting in the final days of WWII?

                Little kids, with guns. And lethal.

                1. It’s really silly to argue that most or even a significant amount of the kids killed in Gaza were lil’ tykes with guns fighting for Hamas.

                  There’s actually some decent defenses of the casualties there, but of course the usual clowns here have clownish responses. It’s because it’s just a reflexive defense of anything Israel does, and that doesn’t lead to serious thought on the issue.

                    1. You realize that doesn’t make it cool when Israel kills kids, right?

                    2. “You realize that doesn’t make it cool when Israel kills kids, right?”

                      They try to avoid it, Hamas launches hundreds of unguided rockets. Not to mention putting launch sites in residential areas. Hamas wants dead kids, both Jew and Muslim.

                      Dudes like Queenie only criticize the Jews.

                    3. “They try to avoid it”

                      They often don’t seem to be very good at it then…

                      And, again, no one is defending Hamas, but for some people Israeli actions can be condemned even if they were taken in a fight against Hamas.

                    4. “no one is defending Hamas”

                      Except you and Tankie Auntie below.

                      Not a word about Hamas killing kids from you, just Jews.

                    5. Again, the mayor of False-Dilemma-ville, folks. No one can criticize Israeli killings (even in response to the question ““What do you think of Biden’s imploring them to tone it down? ”) unless they are defending Hamas.

                    6. ” unless they are defending Hamas”

                      When you attack one side only, you are defending the other side.

                    7. You realize that doesn’t make it cool when Israel kills kids, right?

                      Everybody take a shot! (I’m playing the Sarcastr0 strawman drinking game)

          2. Israel should just turn off their anti-missile defense, casualties would immediately be proportional.

            1. Proportionality is more a strike by strike kind of thing iirc.

            2. Perhaps Americans will turn it off for them, by removing the political, military, and economic skirts Israel has hidden behind for decades.

              Most Americans oppose right-wing belligerence (especially when steeped in superstition) at home. How much longer does anyone expect modern, reasoning, successful, educated Americans to be willing to subsidize it anywhere else?

              The penalty for siding with Trump and engaging in immoral violence and brutality (settlements, air strikes, etc.) should be severe. I expect it will be.

      2. “Israel has taken a big dump on…. Abbas.”
        The man is extremely weak with no credibility anywhere.

        Israel will play the long game until only Iran will support Hamas or Hizballah, and the Sunni states will put a tightening squeeze on Iran.

    2. “What do you think of Biden’s imploring them to tone it down? “

      I think a lot of American Jews will *finally* ask why they’re still Democrats…

      1. Right after the imminent Civil War, no doubt!

      2. Ed continues his campaign to tell American Jews what to think.

        And as he does so he suggests that we should put (what he sees as) the wellbeing of Israel ahead of the wellbeing of the US.

    3. This might be seen as splitting hairs, but Hamas is firing *missiles.”

      Technically, a “rocket” has no onboard guidance while a missile does. Missiles can change direction in pursuit of their target while rockets generally do not. If a rocket strikes a school, there’s a chance it wasn’t intended to. Whereas, with a missile (that doesn’t malfunction), it should strike fairly close to where its target was set.

      1. Basically the difference here is that Hamas is launching rockets to strike at random locations in civilian areas, and Israel is launching missiles to attack rocket launch sites.

        But Hamas deliberately puts their launch sites in areas where return fire will cause civilian casualties, because they find such casualties useful for PR purposes. This makes the original war crime, use of innocent shields, Hamas’.

  16. Is there a word for people who just reflexively side with losers all the time?

    Lose a war (doesn’t matter who started it), they side with the loser.

    Be poor (doesn’t matter if you are a rapist), side with the poor guy.

    Get bad grades, side with the D student.

    Etc

    1. Liberal….?

    2. Lol, are you really not even familiar with the concept of ‘rooting for the underdog?’

      1. The pathology I am thinking of goes much further than that. There is a significant part of the population that, if a man with a knife tries to rape a woman and is deterred, finds himself pepper sprayed, and then kicked in the balls, will immediately and reflexively think the woman went too far.

        1. I think those persons live more in your mind than the world.

    3. Minnesota sports fans?

    4. At a time, Christianity was closely tied to reflexively siding with the losers. Obviously a lot has changed in that regard.

    5. “Is there a word for people who just reflexively side with losers all the time?”

      Democrat?

      Progressive?

      1. In what country does Bob from Ohio figure liberals are the losers?

        Turkey? Israel? Saudi Arabia. UAE? The medium- to long-term prospects of conservative governments in those countries seem dismal.

        America liberals have been kicking conservative ass inside-out for at least a half-century, with no end in sight. That’s why the clingers are so disaffected, desperate, and whiny.

    6. Oakland-Los Angeles-Oakland-Las Vegas Raiders fans?

  17. The January 6th Commission is really just a de facto Truth and Reconciliation hit job being poorly disguised as a serious inquiry. Change my mind.

    1. Don’t you have to have a mind before it can be changed?

      1. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”

        1. Quoting the guy that you also complain is a lying liar, liar liar pants on fire doesn’t exactly help your argument.

          1. I’m quoting Jimmy and your Dear Leader who inspired the very event being discussed. I think he does know the minds of his followers…

            1. I fail to see how a quote from 2016 is relevant to the happenings on January 6….

              1. He knew the minds of this followers, nothing’s going to or would change your mind about the guy.

              2. I do. He said in 2016 that his followers would follow him no matter what. January 6 proved him right.

                1. So we are supposed to believe the guy who is an idiot with a sham financial empire who colluded with Russia to win an election is on the other hand so memorizing and powerful that he can wield public opinion in a way where he can give a speech that directly incites around a million people to attempt to seize the seat of government….? OK…..

                  1. Goofballs can appeal to other goofballs, happens all the time.

                    But of course, my comment was not about Trump inciting a riot it was about you and his followers potential to have their minds about him changed. Heck, even he knew the score on that one!

                    1. Goofballs can appeal to other goofballs, happens all the time.

                      You appear to be banking on that.

                    2. So obviously the people being held as political prisoners lacked the criminal intent element so ought to be let go. They were simply brainwashed, mindless followers of Dear Leader and in our fair system of justice should not be held responsible for their actions because of the lack of intent….

                    3. That’s a bizarre extrapolation from what I wrote (and an evasion from most of it, actually). I guess defending the indefensible leads to that…

                    4. Just trying to follow your logic here (which is hard to do), so what is this event then? A bunch of low IQ individuals, incapable of independent thought, who were incited by a god-like leader into attempting to overthrow a seat of government? Or are you trying to spin it another way at the same time?

                    5. “low IQ individuals, incapable of independent thought” =/= goofballs
                      and
                      “a god-like leader” =/= goofballs

                      It was a Jesse Owens level jump to conclusion thinking there…

                      People who join demagogic personality cults are not necessarily low IQ or incapable of independent thought, they’re usually just a mix of gullible, ideological, purpose seeking characteristics. And a demagogue need not be god-like or even especially competent.

                    6. Also, you still seem to be missing (evading?) the fact that my point was primarily about people like you and Vinni, partisans and personality cult followers who can be counted on to defend anything Trump does or did or will do, the guy said as much about you himself…

            2. I’m quoting Jimmy and your Dear Leader who inspired the very event being discussed. I think he does know the minds of his followers…

              You quoted OrangeBadMan. Not Jimmy. Your delusions seem to be getting the better of you.

              1. He’s your Dear Leader, I realize the quote of his opinion of you and other followers is especially embarrassing for y’all right now, but that’s not my fault.

                1. “He’s your Dear Leader”

                  I suppose that’s why I didn’t vote for him in 2016 or 2020?

                  Or, maybe you just have no actual ability to refute anything, and think just slinging around “Trump’s followers are dumb! Herp derp” might make up for it.

                  1. Given the number of rabid trump-defenders who “didn’t vote for him” in either election, it’s a wonder the man made as good a showing as he did. Maybe his “votes” were all from that election fraud I keep hearing about …..

                2. You need to focus: my point is that according even to Trump his followers are to an extreme degree not likely to change their mind regarding support for him, so when someone says ‘this is a hit on Trump and his supporters, change my mind’ eye rolling is appropriate.

          2. Goes with the territory. Who else can you quote for insights into modern conservatism?

            1. Indeed, they love the guy and have made support for him a litmus test for their movement, then they get all apoplectic when you directly quote him.

            2. Nige : Who else can you quote for insights into modern conservatism?

              Well here’s an insight : Modern conservatism is an entertainment business. It started decades ago with talk radio – a few hours each day paralleling political reality. Then came Fox News and the entertainment substitute became full-time 24-7. With Trump the evolution was complete, with President Troll supplying yee-haws & yucks directly from the Oval Office itself.

              All the “serious” GOP politicians today who still follow old-school practices (like servicing the wealthy) are only extras on a set. If they’re not being brattish, funny, or “owning the libs”, then they’re probably RINOs or cucks anyway. Modern conservatism wants cartoon drama in bright garish colors. It’s all about the show.

    2. The fake outrage over that event, in which nobody was killed except a peaceful protestor by an unidentified man in a suit, was something to behold after a summer of never-ending murderous riots.

      1. Death is not the only metric of badness.
        Is it so impossible anyone could be pissed about an armed assault on the machinery of our Republic that came within minutes of threatening the elected leadership of both parties? (and yes, it was armed)

        They must all be lying.

        I believe you are sincere in believing Jan 06 was no big deal, but also that does not say good things about your fidelity to our democracy.

        1. “…an armed assault on the machinery of our Republic that came within minutes of threatening the elected leadership of both parties? (and yes, it was armed)”

          This must be what happens when you watch the news with your eyes closed. Billions of dollars in damage over the summer, “peaceful protests”…

          1. This is non-responsive to the excerpt preceding it.

            1. This is non-responsive to the excerpt preceding it.

              Both of your brain cells are on break? I quoted what I was responding to, and I responded to what I quoted.

              1. Sarcasto’s comment was about “an armed assault on the machinery of our Republic that came within minutes of threatening the elected leadership of both parties?” and yours was not.

                1. Yes, his comment was based on “watching the news with your eyes closed” as I wrote.

                  Carry on with that awesome inductive logic.

                  1. You’re incoherent.

                    Sarcasto said “an armed assault on the machinery of our Republic that came within minutes of threatening the elected leadership of both parties?”

                    And then you wrote in reply “This must be what happens when you watch the news with your eyes closed” and then about, I guess BLM stuff. That’s just a change of subject, non-responsive to what he wrote.

          2. The video I saw was mostly of people milling around taking pictures who when asked nicely to leave, left, picking up trash on their way out. The footage shown on news, if you noticed, is the same 6 second clips designed to make it look like something it wasn’t.

            1. “The video I saw” on OAN and Newsmax…

              1. Do a basic search on Youtube. Most of it is still up there. You will need to do some filtering to find it though because the hit count is pretty low (which is probably also how it avoided the censors).

                  1. Yeah that is a good propaganda reel cut. I’m sure if someone used the same tactic for BLM violence you would just call it “racist.”

                    1. You get your tu quoque doesn’t help your argument, right? Maybe not…

                    2. I think it says more about you that you are falling for what is obvious propaganda….

                    3. It’s not propaganda, it’s video evidence that many Jan 6th actors were terrible.

                    4. Video clips cut in a way designed to reinforce a prosecutorial indictment is a piece of propaganda and not any kind of accurate portrayal of the event in its totality.

                    5. Who cares about it’s ‘entirety’ (the videos you’re talking about are, of course, not accurate in portraying the event in its ‘entirety’ either, they’re likely posted by partisan participants). The point about Jan. 6th isn’t about what proportion of the people there acted terribly, it’s about the demonstrable fact (via video, testimony, etc.,) that hundreds, at least, did.

                    6. So are we now to judge every single public event by its lowest common denominator?

                    7. That’s an equivocation, we’re not talking a denominator of a dozen, we’re talking hundreds (at least). When hundreds of people violently storm the Capitol of our nation to stop the peaceful transfer of power that’s a big deal, those that can’t see that putting some serious partisan blinders on.

        2. I would take a serious assault on our Republic seriously. What transpired on January 6th was far from serious. It was some overexcited tourists who gained access to the People’s House in a way that angered some elite leftists.

          1. I know when I go on vacation I like to toss barricades, smash windows, climb through them, yell about hanging the people there and hang out in other people’s offices!

            1. Were you with these tourists back in March? Seems they have a passion for similar kind of activity.

              https://wsvn.com/news/local/miami-dade/fed-up-with-spring-break-violence-and-chaos-miami-beach-residents-hold-rally/

              1. Oh, so you’re equating your ‘tourists’ with ones that were violent and chaotic. Thanks for doing my work for me.

                1. I was just trying to gauge what you think of as “tourism” since destruction seems to be what you do for leisure and fun according to the above. Figured perhaps you might have been in Miami in March…

                  1. Lol, pathetic. I’m not the one defending violent protesters here, that’s you.

                    1. It is a strange world we live in when stating plain truthful reality is equated with “defending violent protesters”….

                    2. “What transpired on January 6th was far from serious. It was some overexcited tourists who gained access to the People’s House in a way that angered some elite leftists.”

                      That’s not stating reality, that’s spinning it. If you want to state that many hundreds or thousands of Trump supporters at the Capitol that day did nothing wrong, fine, but you can’t deny that seemingly hundreds did.

            2. “I know when I go on vacation I like to toss barricades, smash windows, climb through them, yell about hanging the people there and hang out in other people’s offices!”

              Rolling Stone is going on tour — you’ll get to see this and a whole lot more if event security is as incompetent and as unprepared as the USCP were that day.

              Where were all the cops?!?

          2. “Overexcited tourists.”

            Breaking doors and windows is no big deal, except to “elite leftists.”

            That’s fucking ridiculous. Are you really that deep into the cult?

            1. “Breaking doors and windows is no big deal, except to “elite leftists.”

              Correct. Leftists do it every day. The problem with outrage over Jan 6th is that it’s nearly always selective outrage.

          3. What transpired on January 6th was far from serious. It was some overexcited tourists who gained access to the People’s House in a way that angered some elite leftists.

            What kind of sociopath would knowingly lie like that? What do you gain from it? You don’t believe it. You don’t think you can convince anyone else to believe it. You don’t think you can convince anyone else you believe it. What is the point of saying it?

            1. What is the point of saying it?

              He’s just trolling.

              1. I know, but it’s not good trolling. Good trolling requires that people think you’re serious.

        3. There’s lots of stretching and lying in that story, Sarcastr0.

          No, it was not an armed insurrection. It wasn’t even an insurrection.

          Have you seen the recently surfaced video of Capital Police Officers welcoming and ushering people into the building?

          1. They talked about taking over the government. They violently forced themselves into the seat of government. They had guns. They were searching for Senators.

            Whatever anecdotes you point to cannot gainsay the videos of the violent mobs both inside and outside our Capitol.

            1. The police removed barricades in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. And it worked as the tourists largely left after being asked to do so.

              There was one guy who MIGHT have had a gun as reports are conflicting. Considering the size of the crowd the fact that the “weapons” they were carrying were all legal and not used outside of maybe one or two isolated incidents tells a lot of about how orderly the entire crowd was despite the informal nature of the event.

              There was one guy who said something about taking over the government and he was an antifa plant (who also got arrested but the news decided to not cover that). If you want to start branding every form of protest by the lowest common denominator by all means, lets do that. But, objectively and reasonably, this was a MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTEST.

            2. “They talked about taking over the government. They violently forced themselves into the seat of government. They had guns. They were searching for Senators.”

              Have any of them been charged with insurrection?

              1. You know how charging works well enough to know your question is crap, especially with the investigation ongoing.

        4. “stun guns, pepper spray, baseball bats and flagpoles wielded as clubs”

          Good ole Gaslito.

          An “armed” insurrection means guns and you know it.

          1. Bad faith cherry-picking, and you call me a liar?

            From the article: “But FBI spokesperson Carol Cratty told NPR that Sanborn was talking only specifically about arrests by the FBI, and not other police agencies that made arrests on the day of the riot — including arrests of people allegedly carrying guns.”

            “Federal prosecutors say that Christopher Michael Alberts of Maryland was arrested on Capitol grounds on the evening of Jan. 6 while carrying a Taurus G2c 9 mm handgun with one round in the chamber and a full 12-round magazine. He also allegedly had an extra magazine in his pocket and was carrying a gas mask, pocket knife and first-aid kit.”

            “Lonnie Leroy Coffman of Alabama was also arrested that evening after law enforcement found two firearms on his person, as well as what a federal judge referred to as a “small armory” in his truck, which was parked near the Capitol. According to the court, the government found “a loaded handgun,” “a loaded rifle,” “a loaded shotgun,” “a crossbow with bolts,” “several machetes,” “a stun gun” and “11 mason jars containing a flammable liquid, with a hole punched in the top of each jar.” According to the government, surveillance footage showed him “in attendance at the events at the Capitol,” though he has not been charged with breaching the building”

            “For example, Guy Wesley Reffitt allegedly “led a group of rioters up the Capitol steps” and “confronted law enforcement” but retreated after being pepper-sprayed. Reffitt was wearing tactical gear and “carrying his pistol” during the riot, according to the government, and also brought plastic flex cuffs.”

            1. “arrested on Capitol grounds on the evening”

              When did the riot take place?

              ““small armory” in his truck”

              Is his truck the Capitol?

              “carrying his pistol”

              Yet no gun charge. Weird.

              “A grand jury indicted Reffitt on charges of obstructing an official proceeding, obstruction of justice and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.”

              Even when you gaslight you gaslight. There is zero proof that any of those people were armed DURING the riot.

              1. There are ZERO gun charges involving anyone arrested for any behavior linked to the actual capitol hill event. None. And DC is a jurisdiction where carrying is de facto illegal. You can bet your bottom dollar if one of those people was caught with a gun, with any type of probable cause, a gun charge would have been stacked on in a second. Why no gun charges then? I think we all know the answer.

                Pocket knife? Not what most people would call a ‘weapon’ and also perfectly legal.

                Rifles in a car? Properly secured and in transit also not illegal. And to make it nefarious requires one heck of a leap of logic.

                Plastic handcuffs? Again not illegal with evidence suggesting he picked them up (maybe he shouldn’t have but alas…) when a DC cop dropped them.

                Hence why “insurrection” and further “armed insurrection” is laughable. It just didn’t happen and when you make people like gaslightro try to justify the statement they have to reach into the nether regions of logic to do so.

              2. Similarly, you cannot prove anyone stole a car just because it was stolen and they were caught driving it.

                You’re requiring a standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt, because you’re trying to defend the indefensible.

                1. Are there arrests or indictments for carrying a firearm in the Capitol during the riot? Not that evening or having some in a vehicle.

                  Yes or no.

                  1. No new goalposts, Bob.

                    The fact that you need to so carefully tailor your question should tell you something.

                2. Sarcastro – I know that you know the difference between probable cause and proof beyond a reasonable doubt and what the legal standard is to CHARGE someone with a crime. And don’t tell me here that if there wasn’t probable cause to charge any of those people with a gun crime they wouldn’t have done so in a heartbeat even if they doubted there was enough evidence to convict.

                  You are getting sloppy with your gaslighting lately….

                  1. He’s playing to a friendly audience, and it’s not us.

                    1. What are you talking about?

          2. An “armed” insurrection means guns and you know it.

            Weird, because when you defend cops murdering people, all of the sudden anything from a stick to a pocketknife to a cell phone constitutes “armed” suspects.

            1. “Weird, because when you defend cops murdering people, all of the sudden anything from a stick to a pocketknife to a cell phone constitutes “armed” suspects.”

              The person murdered at the capitol, (a murder that many on this thread defended) didn’t have any of those things.

              1. It was a tragedy, maybe not necessary, but you need a lot more to call it a murder.

                1. Not really. Just requires an M-U-R-D-E-R for it to be called murder because that is what it was…unarmed protester and no direct threat to the police officer. Chauvin was convicted and he had a lot more to his defense. But I guess “this life does NOT matter” which is the difference.

        5. “and yes, it was armed”

          From your link “a variety of weapons: stun guns, pepper spray, baseball bats and flagpoles wielded as clubs”. So, we have a bunch of hard core right wingers setting out on a determined effort to take over the country in a violent revolution … and they leave the guns at home?

          May all my enemies be so feckless.

          1. Maybe it was because DC gun control actually worked…

            “Hey Bob let’s go to DC and overthrow the government over this whole stolen election thing!!!!”

            “Great idea! I’ll go get my stash of guns and put them in the car!”

            “Oh wait Bob, guns are illegal in DC we better not bring those to our coup attempt.”

            “Good point. Looks like this metal pole is legal to carry so I’ll bring that instead!”

            Or maybe it was not a “coup” or “insurrection” and just some overexcited tourists taking pictures after the police let them in…..

            You decide….

      2. So just to be clear, you weren’t outraged by it?

      3. “The fake outrage over that event”

        This is why shoving progress down conservatives’ throats, and mocking the clingers when they whine about it or when they muse about turning the tide of the culture war, is such fun and important work. Lousy people deserve every bit of the stomping and the mockery.

        You will comply, clingers. That’s the beauty of the American way.

        1. “This is why shoving progress down conservatives’ throats, ”

          Not the “progress as a penis” again, Arthur. That’s very un-inclusive.

          If you were a true progressive, you’d be telling clingers to stick out their tongues and lick the Woke-Ass Progress that you’re going to rub in our faces.

          It’s truly sad that you need a guy like me to tell you how to do this correctly.

    3. What transpired on January 6th was far from serious. It was some overexcited tourists who gained access to the People’s House in a way that angered some elite leftists.

      I would like to see a serious inquiry into the actions of Trump after he got back to the White House on January 6 in order to determine (among other things) whether Trump believes as you do and if so, which elected officials and candidates agree or disagree with that position.

    4. “hit job being poorly disguised as a serious inquiry”

      Of course, its a Pelosi idea.

      GOP is going about it wrong imho, accept it and name Trump, Kellyanne, Miller, Pompeo and that acting AG everyone was mad about before Barr.

    5. Back up your claim.

  18. French study: COVID 19 was made in a lab and includes HIV fragments

    Jean claude Perez § Luc Montagnier – COVID-19, SARS and Bats Coronaviruses Genomes Unexpected Exogenous RNA Sequences

    Oddly enough, looks like this is a year old.

    1. Montagnier is also into homeopathy, so might not be an authority you want to appeal to.

      Plus, the HIV bit has been roundly debunked as using fragments so short it was likely random chance. If you Google for even a moment before posting.

      1. Might want to learn what “appeal to authority” and “debunked” mean before you say silly things. Look up ad hominem too while you’re at it.

        To be clear, I didn’t appeal to any authority, or make any claim at all other than “looks like this is a year old.” I posted the study because it is an interesting and little-known data point. Googling the title of the paper and checking search results as well as “News” results does not immediately turn up anything notable.

        Based on your comment about the HIV fragment thing and what is “likely” according to something you read but didn’t understand or link to, I tried some other Google searches and did find some things criticizing some other totally different work by different authors.

        Anyway, happy Thursday to you.

        1. You shared something, and you did no due diligence on if it was legit.

          It’s not a data point if it’s crap data. Slow your roll before you signal boost bullshit.

          Plenty of examples of debunking that HIV study – including the post-peer reviewed study itself. Here’s a good primary source: https://www.cnews.fr/france/2020-04-17/le-coronavirus-issu-dun-laboratoire-des-specialistes-demontent-lhypothese-du-pr

          1. “you did no due diligence on if it was legit.”

            False. Like I said, I Google searched the title and checked news results. I did the same for the names of the authors put together in a search. Nothing pertinent came up, just more links to the same study. I verified authenticity by confirming that the two authors are real people who really published this. One is a Nobel Prize recipient in Physiology and Medicine, while you could win a prize for being the very worst at arguing on the internet, in a field of stiff competition. Nearly every post of yours is nothing but very obvious straw men and other inane huffing and puffing. You should do comedy only.

            Now, you’ve posted like a 300 word “article” from some journalist at a French news media outlet, in French. Really? I don’t know French, but the title seems to be attacking the lab origination theory. Ok cool, good story.

            1. Bullshit, ML. I Googled the study you cited and the entire first page was debunkings.

              I generally assume good faith, but there’s no way you searched the title and then thought it was legit.

              And I know you are able to translate a website, don’t pretend to be obtuse.

                1. You googled my headline that I wrote about the study, not the title of the study. And the results are all irrelevant foreign French, Indian, and Chinese media journalist mumbo jumbo.

                  1. The results all deal with the April 2020 study you cited, you weird liar.

              1. I think you are lying, or Google is showing us different things.

                I Google the title of the paper. “COVID-19, SARS and Bats Coronaviruses Genomes Unexpected Exogenous RNA Sequence”

                Results 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 are just links/copies of the paper itself, including an odd SEO page at number 6 that includes a bunch of other links. Results 8 and 10 are some other different studies that don’t reference it, totally irrelevant.

                The 7th result is the only hit, from something called “europeanscientist.” Although it makes no mention or reference at all to the paper, it critiques a statement made by its “extraordinarily talented” author on some TV news channel in France. Its bottom line? — “inescapable conclusion that the SARS-CoV-2 is likely a product of nature, born out of Darwinian selection.” That is highly contested, as I’m sure you are aware.

                Do you actually think the lab origin theory is “debunked” ? And that anything to the contrary is not “legit” ? I didn’t think you were that ignorant.

                1. French Nobel prize winner: ‘Covid-19 made in lab’
                  A controversial French Nobel prize-winning scientist has accused biologists of having created SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19 – in a lab, but the wider scientific community has so far refuted the claim.
                  https://www.connexionfrance.com/French-news/Disputed-French-Nobel-winner-Luc-Montagnier-says-Covid-19-was-made-in-a-lab-laboratory

                  1. His claim is nothing new. He made it several months ago.HIs hypothesis has been tested by every lab that has done a genetic sequencing. He is simply wrong. Even smart people make mistakes

                    1. Indeed – this is the issue I have with M L posting it. A moment’s research would show him that.

                      But he posted nevertheless. And now M L claims he totally did the research and found nothing against this claim.

                      Just a bad show from M L all around.

                2. A Nobel Laureate Said the New Coronavirus Was Made in a Lab. He’s Wrong.
                  https://science.thewire.in/the-sciences/luc-montagnier-coronavirus-wuhan-lab-pseudoscience/

                3. Q: What keeps the coronavirus-jumped-from-the-Wuhan-lab ‘conspiracy theory’ alive?
                  One scientist recently added fuel to the fire. On Friday (April 17, 2020), Prof. Luc Antoine Montagnier, a French virologist sparked a maelstrom. Montagnier, 88, who won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), made an outrageous claim that the new coronavirus was made in a lab.

                  https://gulfnews.com/special-reports/covid-19-origin-virus-shrouded-in-mystery-heres-why-1.1588101149319

                4. Did This Nobel Prize Winner Say COVID-19 Was Created in a Lab?
                  Keep in mind, the opinion of one person does not outweigh the consensus of the scientific community.
                  https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/luc-montagnier-covid-created-lab/

                5. Finding this took me less than a minute. If they’re not on your page 1 Google results (as I linked), your Google is tuned in a pretty messed up way.

                  1. Yes, I saw those too, when I googled my own headline that I wrote to describe the study, instead of googling the title of the study. So my results are the same as yours. I suspect if you google the title of the study, your results will be the same as mine just as I described, as well.

                    Of course, if you actually read your links, which are just articles written by foreign journalists, you’ll see they do absolutely nothing to “debunk” anything. So your claims are outlandishly false and cartoonish, as usual.

                    1. I did read them – they all debunk the article, especially the HIV part, which they all explain how it’s BS, why it’s BS, and that the paper was withdrawn. They also all include other experts explaining why your paper is nonsense. That’s debunking.

                      You just came in hot and hit send because for reasons I will not speculate on you like the idea that COVID was designed enough to not check your sources.

                      And your source is now being dismantled from multiple sides. But the real issue is you are spreading misinformation, and don’t seem to care.

            2. Une théorie avancée par le professeur français Luc Montagnier, co-découvreur du virus du sida, selon laquelle le nouveau coronavirus serait issu d’un accident de laboratoire, a été vivement contestée vendredi par la communauté scientifique.

              A theory advanced by French professor Luc Montaigne, co-discoverer of the AIDS virus, according to which the novel coronavirus was created by a lab accident, was strongly contested by the scientific community Friday.

              Not hard, M.L. You don’t even need to know French to read and understand it.

              Stop trolling.

              1. Oh wow, some French journalist wrote that the theory was strongly contested by the scientific community on Friday.

                If that’s not a debunking, I don’t know what is. I stand corrected.

                1. Just helping you with the reading, M.L., since you seem to have trouble with it.

        2. “Might want to learn what “appeal to authority” and “debunked” mean before you say silly things. ”

          You might want to study logic more than a community college intro class before you say silly things. The ‘appeal to authority’ fallacy only means that an argument is not proven by citing an argument, in inductive logic it is entirely proper to consider the quackiness of a source when estimating the probability they will be correct.

          1. Your appeals to inductive logic are hilarious. You seem to think it means that you can make up whatever you want and call it “inductive” reasoning. Wicked smaht.

            1. You’re free to argue why I’m mistaken oh logic master.

              1. “Fallacy labels have their use. But fallacy-label texts tend not to provide useful criteria for applying the labels. Take the so-called ad verecundiam fallacy, the fallacious appeal to authority. Just when is it committed? Some appeals to authority are fallacious; most are not.”

                https://iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

                1. Well, you found a link to it. Now go read it.

                  1. Lol, I quote from it. Now refute my point and/or the quote, smart guy, or slink away as you likely do quite a bit in life.

                    1. You quoted it, but I see no proof that you read or comprehended it. Scroll down to “Appeal to Authority”. Read it. Then read it again. Then go back to my comment mocking not appeals to authority, but your ability to use the inductive logic that you constantly bring up.

          2. “an argument is not proven by citing an argument”

            Right, and I never said anyone’s argument was correct — much less that it is proven so by the fact of who said it. Which is why Sarcastro’s statement was low IQ and silly as usual. You are not quite measuring up the standard of a community college intro class here, but you may be doing better than getting an F in high school, so there’s that.

            “inductive logic it is entirely proper to consider the quackiness of a source when estimating the probability they will be correct.”

            Very true. Which is why the recipient of a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine gets more credence than someone who doesn’t understand community college intro logic, or someone who is like a parody of a parody going around saying things have been “debunked.”

            1. low IQ

              Weird insult choice. Where do you hang out?

    2. That study is bogus and was not confirmed by thousands of later studies by labs throughout the world.

  19. RIP liberal Zionism. And good riddance. It appears that we’re finally seeing a breakdown of the consensus that Israel is the “good guy” in the I/P conflict. Soon enough, it appears that the issue will be seen through a partisan lens, where only the extreme right will be willing to go to bat for Israel. Will the US’s massive aid and weapons sales survive such an arrangement?

    1. I’m fine with staying out of other people’s business, but not with demonizing one side.

      OK, say you’re the Prime Minister of Israel and, just for fun, assume you’ve been delegated plenary powers to solve this conflict. What do you do?

      1. To clarify: We’re assuming the whole voting population of Israel will back whatever action you take. All that remains is to work with the other side(s) to get a deal.

        Ideas?

        1. Sure. Either give the Palestinians a fully sovereign state, or make them coequal citizens. Easy.

          1. I’m not sure that would stop the violence because 1. at this point many Palestinians have had loved ones ‘killed by Israel’ and that rage won’t just go away and 2. many will claim that any land that remains Israeli is illegitimate and therefore the struggle will go on.

            I’m no fan of recent Israeli policy in this area but I think they face an incredibly thorny nearly intractable problem here.

            1. I think point 1 has some validity, but I’m very skeptical of point 2. I think most Palestinians would be happy to be left alone by the Israeli government and have their own separate nation. The notion that they are motivated to “wipe Israel off the map” is way overblown – most of their violence is a reaction to degradation and mistreatment by a tyrannical government. Take that away and the violence mostly stops.

              1. Like it stopped after the withdraw from Gaza.

                1. Yeah, that’s why I said a fully sovereign nation. One where they could not be blockaded, have their food rationed, trade cut off. electricity limited to four hours per day. Where an aggressor nation’s act of “mowing the lawn” would be rightfully regarded as an act of war.

                  1. You do know that the Gaza strip has a border with Egypt, right? So if Gaza is blockaded, it’s because Egypt wants them blockaded, too.

                2. South Africa withdrew from the Bantustans too, but those ungrateful denizens thereof were still also pissy…

              2. You may be right for all I know, but if so why does Hamas’ charter say, “The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: 0 Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”

                1. Probably similar to the reason GOP platforms talk about eliminating the IRS. People engage in heated saber-rattling rhetoric against things they don’t like, even if they have no real intention or capability of acting on it.

                  1. Is it possible that Hamas is more *sincere* than the Republican Party? Republicans are way over on the cynical side of the spectrum, we can’t assume that all political movements are like them.

                  2. Also, for what it’s worth, one of Israel’s leading ministers has called Palestinian children “little snakes”, apparently a sentiment shared by much of the Israeli population. Not to justify the Hamas statement, but there is plenty of nasty rhetoric on both sides. That’s why it’s more useful to look at actions than words.

                  3. Ok… by “eliminating the IRS” I assume the GOP doesn’t mean killing them. Eliminating the IRS could be a good thing. I don’t think the platform actually says this anyway?

                    But all of that aside, it seems like your statement is that eliminating the IRS and killing all Jews are alike, in that they are both broadly popular in these respective constituent groups. And therefore these things won’t go away, but will continue on with heated saber-rattling rhetoric and also maybe occasional heated saber-rattling rockets in the one case.

                    1. So eliminate the IRS is kinda like defund the police, except you pretend not to understand how slogans work for the second one?

                    2. As noted above, there is plenty of eliminationist rhetoric on both sides of the I/P divide, none of which should be excused. All the more reason both need separate sovereign states.

                    3. AT – Isn’t that impossible, because both claim Jerusalem?

        2. “Only people who look at this like a football game – rooting for their side to “win” – fail to see that.”

          I’m rooting for Israel to not-lose. Their enemies only have to win once.

          If Hamas is like a U. S. / European political party, we can safely ignore all the awful stuff it’s saying – “oh, they’re just letting off steam but eventually they’ll come to the negotiating table.”

          But what if Hamas isn’t like one our corrupt political parties – or rather, what if their corruption takes other forms than bloviating and lying about their objectives?

          Or to put it plainly, what if Hamas means the stuff it says about Jews?

          I suppose we could put it to the test and get a treaty with them allowing for a Palestinian state and providing for perpetual peace between the parties. How long before Hamas announces that Israel has violated the agreement and the war must start over – or that the agreement was never supposed to be permanent anyway and it’s time to start war on Israel again?

          Sure, try the experiment and have one more peace deal – maybe this time it will stick, who am I to say what will happen in the Middle East? But for goodness sake observe caution.

      2. Cal Cetín : OK, say you’re the Prime Minister of Israel and, just for fun, assume you’ve been delegated plenary powers to solve this conflict. What do you do?

        There is no single thing any Palestinian or Israeli leader can do to magically produce peace. The leadership of both sides are blind, short-sighted and addicted to short-term political actions. They have to slowly rebuilt common trust & hope more visionary leaders will follow.

        But though both sides try to ignore the obvious, this problem must be faced eventually. For the Palestinians it means escaping decades of oppression, poverty and misery – but the stakes are even higher for the Israelis. They face three choices :

        (1) Give political rights to all Palestinians in the state of Israeli, thereby losing a predominantly Jewish state.
        (2) Create a fully viable Palestine as an independent state.
        (3) Or opt for apartheid, and the eventual corruption & ostracization of Israel.

        The only thing shielding Israel from apartheid now is the non-state stop-gap entity of the Palestinian Authority, created as a temporary measure with a full state following. That’s already a pretty miniscule fig leaf – and it grows more untenable every year. The ultimate survival of a Jewish state of Israel depends on creating the state of Palestine. Only people who look at this like a football game – rooting for their side to “win” – fail to see that.

        1. A few ideas:

          1) Israeli statehood. It likely would be cheaper (in varied ways) and more effective than safeguarding Israel in current circumstances. It also would remove some of the superstition, backwardness, and disparate treatment from Israel’s conduct.

          2) An offer of American citizenship to every Israeli citizen. American would benefit greatly from the immigration; the immigrants would benefit, too.

          3) Stop flattering the religious kooks with treatment that makes snowflakes seethe with envy.

          4) Stop treating people over whom Israel has control with brutality, displacement, and double standards.

          5) Prepare for loss of American support.

          6) Make amends for cozying with Trump, and recognize that siding with the losing end of America’s culture war could be an existential mistake.

    2. The right here and in Israel has certainly made support for Israel more complicated here in the US and many other parts of the world, but I don’t see any massive policy shifts there too soon as Israel has some built in major ‘PR’ advantages (the predominate religion in the US is largely based in the story of historic Israel, they are a very ‘Western’ facing’ nation, etc.,).

      1. We must be conversing with different elected and influential Democrats. The shift I have observed has been striking.

      2. Typical Jew-hatred from Queenie. Israel does not have ‘PR advantages’, with which teh ebil Zios hoodwink the world. It has natural sympathies of everyone with half a brain, because they can see the state of affairs without antisemitism poisoning their minds.

        Sympathy for Israel does not preclude sympathy for Palestinians. Both are victims of Hamas/Iran’s terrorist oppression, the Palestinians to the greater extent.

        The fact is, Gaza and the West Bank are indeed occupied, and it’s by Hamas. The ‘government’ of those territories is a terrorist/criminal gang. It terrorises and oppresses the unfortunates who have to live under it. It is totalitarian, fascist, militaristic, and murderous.

        The first step in peace is getting rid of Hamas, and holding free and fair elections. The second step is signing the peace deal that Israel has been begging Palestine to take, and Palestinians have been begging Hamas to accept, for over a decade. The third step is building up the Palestinian economy so this ends once and for all. (Finally getting rid of Bibi isn’t even a step, it’ll happen all by itself the day Hamas goes.)

    3. Why would anyone want to appeal to liberals? Do they ever have anything to offer anyone besides complaints and demands?

      1. Ben is complaining about liberals complaining. Once again, the Least Self Aware Person on the Planet strikes.

      2. Can’t really disagree with you there, but Israel obviously has a very strong interest in appealing to liberals in America. They have for decades always signed off on funding and weapons sales, and provided them a great deal of bipartisan and institutional support.

        1. That’s actually a practical example. But those are historical liberals rather than the leftists we see today. Who is the modern Joe Lieberman?

          Which faction in the modern Democratic party has shown that they support Israel or other traditional US allies? And is that “support” strong enough to weather even a single emotional story?

          1. Ben’s never heard of Chuck Schumer.

            1. Chuck doesn’t have an identifiable philosophy. He might support someone depending on political or personal financial calculations, but then the question is why would we think political or financial calculations would favor that support. And when, and for how long.

              1. Chuck Schumer sucks, but he sure as hell supports Israel.

              2. Ben’s spin here reminds me of the old line in the song ‘turn, turn, turn’

          2. “Which faction in the modern Democratic party has shown that they support Israel”

            An article from a few weeks ago states:

            “A bipartisan group of 328 members of Congress sent a letter on Thursday morning to the Appropriations Committee to voice support for “robust funding for Israel’s security without added conditions.”

            So I’m gonna say a whole lot of them. Obama certainly did not turn off the spigot, and did very little if anything to deter their aggression toward the Palestinians. I see no reason to think Biden will be much different.

            1. “I have said to people when they ask me. If this Capitol crumbles to the ground, the one thing that would remain, is our commitment to our aid — and I don’t even call it aid — our cooperation, with Israel. That’s fundamental to who we are.”

              Nancy Pelosi Dec. 2, 2018

      3. ” Why would anyone want to appeal to liberals? ”

        They have been kicking conservatives’ ass in America — shaping our national course and progress against right-wing wishes and works — for more than half a century, with no end in sight?

    4. What happens in Israel is largely not my cup of tea in that I have limited bandwidth and can only care about so much. But, I’ve always thought Israel is probably a good actor as far as war can go up until i saw some raw videos of “settlers” physically evicting people from houses they occupied. I’m sure the situations are more complex then a guy with a gun forcing lawful occupants out of something that appears to be their residence, but it made me more neutral to the entire deal.

    5. Tankies gotta tank I guess.

      1. Do you know what a tankie is? Doesn’t have a lot to do with Israel/Palestine.

        1. Auntie is an admitted commie. Commies support terrorists. QED

          The KGB funded Palestinian terrorism.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1981/02/17/terrorism-and-the-kgb/2cfe10f6-c2c9-46f8-a188-177963b9c1da/

          Opinion piece admittedly.

          1. 1) She is?

            2) All tankies are Comies. Not all Commies are tankies.

            1. Do you see him/her denying it?

              Just making a bad joke about actual tanks.

              1. Do you see him/her denying it?</i.

                Fuck all the way off with that tactic.

                1. A guy named “Sarcastro” just typed that.

                  1. You think Bob was joking?

                    He wasn’t joking.

          2. I am most certainly not an “admitted commie.”

            And if you think that communism and support for terrorism are somehow coextensive, I would suggest reading up on the Afghan Mujahedeen and where it got its funding and weapons. Not to mention all the terrorist death squads throughout Latin America.

            1. ” terrorism … Afghan Mujahedeen”

              I tend to look at the Mujahideen who were fighting the Soviets as patriots fighting a foreign invader. The Soviets, of course, viewed them as terrorists.

              Of course, some of the ones we supported while they were fighting the Russians, like Osama, later turned against us (and some, like Shah Massoud didn’t), . But I don’t think we were still supporting Osama et al. at that point.

              We allied ourselves with Ho Chi Minh, Tito, the Poles, and Stalin in WWII, even though we later fell out with all of them during the Cold War. Was aiding them when they were fighting a common enemy a mistake?

              (I agree on some of the South American stuff)

          3. “Auntie is an admitted commie.”

            Bob from Ohio is a defeated right-wing bigot muttering bitterly and inconsequentially about modern America from Can’t-Keep-Up, Ohio.

            Everybody has issues, it seems.

      2. You seem to be badly mistaken as to which side is using tanks.

    6. “Will the US’s massive aid and weapons sales survive such an arrangement?”

      Not a chance.

      I would cut Israel and Saudi Arabia loose simultaneously. Both countries would improve substantially and soon, I expect, without American skirts to operate behind.

  20. After the fiasco with the oil pipeline being hit by ransomware, I would think that cyber-security should be a major concern for many businesses. Yet so far, I see little talk about it.

    In the past, the SEC has required public companies to certify what they are doing about Y2K and a few other similar issues.

    What does anyone here see being done to encourage crucial businesses and other institutions (e.g., hospitals) to upgrade their cybersecurity?

    1. Part of my work involves auditing and IT security is becoming a major component of that process. Granted, this used to be a required checklist that some junior associate went over with a junior IT rep, but now it is getting a lot more attention and has for the last few years. Some engagements even require us to analyze firewall logs in detail. I imagine as IT security is becoming more and more linked to financial risk these areas are going to see tighter controls.

      1. I’m wondering what the initial ransom demand was — and if Colonial shut down as a negotiating tactic.

    2. “What does anyone here see being done to encourage crucial businesses and other institutions (e.g., hospitals) to upgrade their cybersecurity?”

      I ask if hospitals should have so many systems connected to the internet.

      I believe the ICBM silos still use 5 1/4″ floppies from the early ’80s — but no one is ever going to hack that…

      1. The default in IT was hook up everything up to a WAN eventually even if it didn’t need that kind of connectivity. Why not? The system admin would say. Maybe in the future it will be needed. Truth is most systems only need to be on the LAN and anything that needed to say come down from the internet can pass through an intermediary (like system updates). Of course, this gets harder with cloud based databases, but you can get around that by updating a master in the cloud on a regular shift basis. Sure it won’t be available in real time, but things like medical records don’t need to be available in real time if they update say 3 times a day (and you can get the local copy at the hospital where say a patient is being treated in real time because that is on a local server).

      2. “I believe the ICBM silos still use 5 1/4″ floppies from the early ’80s”

        Why would you believe such nonsense? Where on earth do you come up with these things?

        I accept that for a talking horse, you do remarkably well just forming roughly comprehensible phrases.

        1. Without getting into details, Dr Ed isn’t so far off.

          Despite the sexy IT stuff you see in movies and TV shows, the govt systems – generally speaking – are not super, high-end stuff and sometimes tend toward below average.

          1. It’s utter nonsense. We know what the hardware is. The truly amazing thing is that he isn’t just a talking horse, he’s a talking horse’s ass.

  21. You know those numbers of people hospitalized with Covid you’ve been watching?

    Studies find California child hospitalizations from COVID-19 were ‘grossly inflated’ by at least 40% — findings ‘likely’ to be the same across US

    Hospitalized with Covid not the same as hospitalized for Covid. But the people reporting the numbers got what they wanted. And the finger-pointing class was able to work from home and didn’t miss a paycheck.

  22. Breaking News: Video shows cops laughing as they kneel on the neck of a man who called them himself for help, for over 14 minutes! As he begs for his life over 30 times, then dies

    Tony Timpa wailed and pleaded for help more than 30 times as Dallas police officers pinned his shoulders, knees and neck to the ground.

    “You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me!”

    After Timpa fell unconscious, the officers who had him in handcuffs assumed he was asleep and didn’t confirm that he was breathing or feel for a pulse.

    As precious minutes passed, the officers laughed and joked about waking Timpa up for school and making him waffles for breakfast. . . . .

    Naw, this happened 5 years ago. You just never heard about it because this event didn’t provide a propaganda opportunity for lying anti-American communists to whip up brainwashed people with false narratives.

    1. Not one of the people whose life matters, M L.

    2. Extremely nasty behavior by cruel cops.

      I *did* find a reference to it on CNN, but I don’t think there was *wall-to-wall* coverage, and I’m TOTALLY BAFFLED as to why not.

      1. I *did* find a reference to it on CNN, but I don’t think there was *wall-to-wall* coverage, and I’m TOTALLY BAFFLED as to why not.

        I know you’re being snarky and you really mean, “I know there wasn’t because he wasn’t black.” But of course black people are killed by police all the time without resulting wall to wall coverage. What distinguishes the coverage from the non-coverage events is whether there are protests.

    3. You think Derek Chauvin is not guilty, IIRC – victim of jury and witness intimidation.

      So your outrage over this ‘double standard’ is utter bad faith.

      1. “You think Derek Chauvin is not guilty, IIRC – victim of jury and witness intimidation.”

        I did not follow the trial closely, but my general impression was that there should have been a good case for some kind of negligent homicide, but not intentional. There were some folks who doused a house in pig’s blood, but the defense witness no longer lived there, it was a former home. 3 people were since arrested for that.

        “So your outrage over this ‘double standard’ is utter bad faith.”

        Actually, opposition to a double standard is independent from, and can be valid irrespective of, the question of which standard is the correct one that should control.

        1. There is only a double standard if you think both are outrages; you seem pretty skeptical about Floyd’s death being worth such.

          And even if both are outrage, there are sufficient variables, you can’t really be sure what the distinction is. Maybe it’s race, maybe it’s location, maybe it’s that it was the quality of the video, maybe it was the timing.

          Without more, it’s an insufficient attack on BLM unless you already think they are ‘anti-American communists.’

          1. “There is only a double standard if you think both are outrages”

            No. Think about it for a minute and see if you can understand something basic for once.

            Let’s say you think that the police were totally justified and their behavior should be allowed in both cases. You could object to a double standard being applied by the media and leftists.

            Let’s say you think that in both cases the the police were not justified and behaved egregiously. Again, you could object to a double standard being applied by the media and leftist politicians.

            See?

            As far as comparing the two cases, Timpa was worse. Have a read. https://www.nationalreview.com/news/tony-timpa-suffered-the-same-fate-as-george-floyd-but-received-none-of-the-attention/ E.g., “In at least one regard — the fact that Timpa had called 911 himself looking for help, whereas Floyd had been involved in a crime — Henley believes the Timpa case is “significantly more egregious.””

            1. The couple of top rated comments on the NR article are worthwhile. As someone pointed out, the case of Daniel Shaver is orders of magnitude worse than either of these. Just one of many.

            2. I think both are examples of police entitlement and abuse, and I like that one of these cases inspired worldwide protests.

              I don’t think the fact that the stars aligned for one of these cases and not the other is proof white people are oppressed or something.

              1. “proof white people are oppressed”

                There is discrimination and harassment against white people, but that doesn’t mean I would yet classify it as oppression in the sense you seem to mean. I don’t think people of good will need to wait around and twiddle their thumbs until the harassment and discrimination reach a certain level where you’re satisfied it’s true oppression. Why not just stop it in the early stages by, for example, abolishing laws and policies which discriminate against white (and Asians – #stopasianhate) and stop with the double standards?

                The reason the stars aligned as they did is that influential people want to promote a narrative that abusive cops are targeting blacks and leaving whites alone – indeed, that the targeting of blacks is done as part of a white supremacist culture. Obviously, police abuse and killing of white people doesn’t fit that narrative and doesn’t bring out the (mostly peaceful) protests.

                Also, a person like Chauvin could be guilty as heck and still not have gotten a fair trial.

              2. I don’t think the fact that the stars aligned for one of these cases and not the other is proof white people are oppressed or something.

                That’s not the claim. The claim is unequal justice in order to placate the mob. And while making up for past injustices in the other direction may be satisfying for some, it still does not make for equal justice in the present. Chauvin was originally charged with second degree manslaughter:

                A person who causes the death of another by any of the following means is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree… (1) by the person’s culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another

                This sounds like it fits the facts. However after the public outrage reached a certain level he was also charged with second degree murder:

                Whoever does either of the following is guilty of unintentional murder in the second degree… (1) causes the death of a human being, without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense

                State attorney general Keith Ellison, in his 60 Minutes interview, said that this is the first time in the history of the state that a police officer had been convicted of second degree murder, and it’s easy to see why: “committing or attempting to commit a felony offense” does not sound like an appropriate description of Chauvin’s activities. However, second degree manslaughter description does sound appropriate. Public pressure played a role here in the bringing of the charges

                1. Demanding equal protest for all injustices is not about equal justice, because that’s not how protests come about.

                  It is about white grievance, based upon a really dodgy parallel.

                  1. No sympathy for the wrong race from Sarcastr0.

                    If you wanted the left to care about your people being killed, you guys should have been born with the left’s preferred skin color.

                  2. “… because that’s not how protests come about.”

                    I dunno. Maybe we should value all people equally. It’s not the worst philosophy to have.

                    1. You’re making a policy argument. When a protest is sparked isn’t about policy.

                    2. No, I’m making a moral argument about how I think people should act.

                    3. This is like demanding equity in what memes go viral.

            3. As far as comparing the two cases, Timpa was worse.

              I’m not interested in ranking victimhood.

              The obvious reason Floyd’s case received so much attention is not that Floyd was black, but that it was done right in front of a crowd and there was real-time video of it. (There is video of Timpa’s murder, but it’s body cam footage released later.)

        2. See M L? You are the problem.

          Did you know this is all about you?

        3. there should have been a good case for some kind of negligent homicide, but not intentional

          Second-degree murder in Minnesota doesn’t require intent, and the DA didn’t argue intent. Instead, the DA argued the death happened while in the commission of a felony (assault), which is comparable to felony murder statutes in many states.

      2. Come on gaslightro, you know that is simply not true….

        The Chauvin case has a lot of context and individualized facts and circumstances. No “cops held down the suspect by placing a knee near the neck” case is exactly the same as the other. One can say, and I think rightfully so, that Chauvin’s use of force was lawful whereas another similar incident it may be unlawful given the totality of the circumstances.

        But of course you are almost always of the opinion that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is arguing in bad faith, so there is that too….

    4. It’s too bad this case did not get widespread coverage because it could have been a vehicle to gain consensus on combating police abuse and loathsome procedures (a rush to escalate built into training, cowboy attitudes on yielding power, asking police to do jobs they shouldn’t be doing such as dealing with mental health issues (*), cover-ups by the blue wall of silence, and bad apples staying on the job in part thanks to the union) that at least would disparately favor (and perhaps reduce intentional discrimination against) blacks.

      All that being said, I am not buying into the narrative the lesson to be learned is whites are victims, especially when the alleged abuser is the media.

      (*) The horribly named “defund the police” is at its heart about reducing what police do, and hence reducing their budgets. What proponents should do is put forth a better model of policing and then work the financial numbers.

  23. Do the cancellations begun against Prince Harry and Meghan because of their unrepentant connection with Procter & Gamble, reputed purveyor of a skin whitening cream, have merit?

      1. What?! You think that racism as blatant as marketing a skin whitening cream is of no consequence? What kind of a moral reprobate are you?

    1. The Daily Mail is a fucking rag. They’re just trying to stir up trouble. Those ‘protestors’ are not ‘pro-Palestine’, whatever they may claim. They’re just antisemites, using the Palestinians as an excuse.

  24. Any thoughts on the awarding of attorney’s fees to Harvest Rock Church by US District Court Judge Jesus G. Bernal?

    1. What would Jesus do?

      1. Jesus batted .300 thrice, although he was a largely average for his career.

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