Droned nation Open Thread.

mmghosh's picture

Sometimes we look on the USA from the outside and wonder - are you guys nuts?  Why should you want to live with drones buzzing around?  Or not buzzing, which seems worse.

The Federal Aviation Administration has received about 80 requests, including some from police and other government agencies, for clearance to fly drones, according to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which seeks to limit their use for police surveillance.


Law enforcement authorities say drones can be a cost-effective technology to help with a host of policing efforts, like locating bombs, finding lost children, monitoring weather and wildlife or assisting rescue workers in natural disasters.

“In this time of austerity, we are always looking for sensible and cost-effective methods to improve public safety,” said Capt. Tom Madigan of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. “We are not looking at military-grade Predator drones. They are not armed.”


For now, drones for civilian use run on relatively small batteries and fly short distances. In principle, various sensors, including cameras, can be attached to them. But there is no consensus in law on how the data collected can be used, shared or stored.


I also learned about dashcams recently. Seriously?

American Family Insurance's Teen Safe Driver Program provides free use of a dash cam for one year, along with education and professional coaching to help licensed teens become better drivers.

The camera records sights and sounds inside and outside the vehicle when triggered by erratic movement, such as swerving, hard braking and sudden acceleration. The images and sounds are sent wirelessly to a center where professional driving coaches review the footage. Parents then can log in and review a weekly report card featuring the video footage and an assessment of their teens' driving, including comparison with other teen drivers.

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I found it!?!

brutusettu's picture

Mexican lemons make the US Highways a death trap?

Battery breakthrough

Bird Dog's picture

Forget lithium ion, the newest substance is graphene.


"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

"Forget lithium ion"

Bernard Guerrero's picture

Bet Boeing wishes they could! 


(I keed, I keed, the stock's actually held up ridiculously well.  I seem to recall Desi bitching about what a bad move it was buying the stock in late 2009 because of the machinist dispute. Life is good...)

I Shorted Boeing at a Good Number for About a Month....


...but it was disgusting, day after day, more bad news and more bad news and the teflon stock just didn't budge downward at all.


One of the major disappointments of my recent life....lol (as a shut in now, I've become a trader because it is something I can do; read, analyze and take positions and it can be fun.)


In any case I eventually covered at a small profit...some things just don't behave as they should (an interesting but true lesson also).


Best Wishes, Traveller 

Most Outrageous Oscar Show Ever,Seth MacFarlane is Off the Rails




People in the audience suddenly look angry.


Which is good.



Speaking of gun control...


The shocking truth! Obama preparing a negro army to confiscate the guns of white Americans!


HankP's picture

I was hoping for a fabulous gay army.


I blame it all on the Internet

Well, since we know Oregon


Well, since we know Oregon and Washington have written controversial bills that confiscate some guns and high capacity magazines, it is proven that the fringe elements of both sides are totally equivalent.  That's a load off my mind.  


Pratt predicted that President Obama may begin confiscating guns in order to provoke a violent response to justify further oppression, which host Stan Solomon feared would lead to the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people.


The insane man who made this claim is the head of the Gun Owners of America, a group with 300k members.  A group wikipedia describes thusly :


It makes efforts to differentiate itself from the larger National Rifle Association (NRA), and has publicly criticized the NRA on multiple occasions for allegedly compromising on gun rights issues and thereby selling out the gun rights movement.


That explains LePierre's recent paranoid rants.  He has competition from the right!


In full disclosure, the head of the GOoA didn't claim there was a coming race war, that was the host of the nutbag wingnut radio show.

Well, we all knew that's what he was up to.


This is why I support folks being allowed to wear swastikas.  As ugly as a thing as it is, I am far better served being reminded that this sort of thing is out there and done one better by knowing who these kinds of folks are.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Freed slaves or the black population generally

mmghosh's picture

have not been exceptionally violent towards whites either in the USA post Civil War or in SA post-apartheid IIRC.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

More on water wars.

mmghosh's picture




A few thoughts.  No one is better than than the Israelis at conserving water for irrigation.  They show the way for all of us.


Also, the areas of freshwater available in the Northern American continent will be a magnet for immigration for the world's 10 billion in a few short decades.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Dispensing With The Masks

M Scott Eiland's picture

Oregon legislature moves on to attempting registration and confiscation. Anyone after this point who claims that this isn't really on the gun grabber agenda is ignorant, deluded, or consciously lying.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

If you define the "gun


If you define the "gun grabber agenda" as whatever you please, then sure you have a point.  Meanwhile, I suggest the gun fetishists worry about what can and will actually become signed law.  Or they can go ahead and let their heads explode or promise armed revolt or whatever other stupid thing they want, that's fine with me.

Confiscation Followed By Registration Of Former Owners. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .pretty much fits any conceivable definition (I suppose the idea of literally branding the former owners failed to get a majority of the moonbats who wrote this thing up--oh well, there's always the next time). Funny how the "wait until it has a chance to get voted into law" argument doesn't work with the "war on women" propagandists.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Maybe you have a point wrt


Maybe you have a point wrt extreme elements proposing bills that won't become law but I'd be surprised if these similarities were alike in degree as well as in kind.  ie the number of southern state houses vocally approving of transvaginal ultrasounds before abortion vs the number of NE or NW state houses vocally approving of gun confiscation.

Gun Owners JUST Want the Right to Splatter Their Brains on aWall


...since I just don't get the gun fetishers' argument because it is demonstrated how dangerous this is to them personally...and then sometimes we just write the truth without seeing it.


I know I'm right in this argument, I have no doubt, but there may be some base reasoning in underside ganglia that I am missing...


And America is a cruel country, without the guts also of a Netherlands that has a Compassionate Right to Die Policy, (everything is legal in the Netherlands, except being willfully stupid...see great strides they are making in advance of Global Warming/Sea Change)...


Too many issues...rightfully taken, but still too many!


Yes, Gun Owners really want the right to kill themselves, they haven't got the balls to back this kind of public debate, but secretly in their hip pockets, if things go South on them, they can just Blow their Brains out; after all there are 20,000 gun suicides every year!


This is what is really going on...dying with dignity...and if they were only taking out themselves...who'd give a crap?


Not me, Darwin at work and good riddance!


But Suicide by Cop also means now kill as many people are around you as possible also...Damn, and people can't see this?


Weird stuff here in Darkest Subconscious America, I'm telling you!




M Scott Eiland's picture

As gun grabbers never tire of pointing out, there are almost no guns in private hands in Japan; in spite of their giddiness on this topic, the suicide rate there manages to stay high. As anyone who read Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther would conclude, attempted suicide by gun has a serious downside if you mess it up. There are multiple methods available that are less messy and painful and require no physician or even controlled substances to carry it off. Gun suicides are a red herring.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Life is Complex and Culture Matters...An Unequivocal Argument



...but it is difficult, it is not easy to tease out the root reasons, this is work not for the hesitant of bold, incisive thinking; but suicide in Japan is not difficult if one is willing to do a little work, and, like the recent alarming rise in suicide in the US Military, there are reasons if one is willing to look:


japan and sucicide:


Factors in suicide include unemployment (due to the economic recession in the 1990s), depression, and social pressures.[4] In 2007, the National Police Agency revised the categorization of motives for suicide into a division of 50 reasons with up to three reasons listed for each suicide.[6] Suicides traced to losing jobs surged 65.3 percent while those attributed to hardships in life increased 34.3 percent. Depression remained at the top of the list for the third year in a row, rising 7.1 percent from the previous year.[6]

In Japanese culture there is a long history of honorable suicide, such as ritual suicide by Samurai to avoid being captured, flying one's plane into the enemy during WWII, or charging into the enemy fearlessly to prevent bringing shame on one's family.[7]

There has been a rapid increase in suicides since the 1990s. For example, 1998 saw a 34.7% increase over the previous year.[1] This has prompted the Japanese government to react by increasing funding to treat the causes of suicide and those recovering from failed suicides.


Not silly at all...20,000 Americans still choose to splatter their brains!


A messy business indeed.




Yes, But The Instrumentality Is Irrelevant

M Scott Eiland's picture

Suicide is irrelevant to gun control, and including gun suicides in "deaths blamable on guns" is a dishonest practice by the gun grabber movement. People who want to kill themselves can usually find a way, unless they are confined in a place where no such means exist (i.e., a mental hospital under constant watch).

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Instrumentality is not irrelevant

HankP's picture

or we wouldn't hear so much about Iran getting nuclear bombs. Anything that makes it easier to do or to do in a moment of not thinking straight makes it more dangerous.


I blame it all on the Internet


M Scott Eiland's picture

A few Little Boy sized bombs can destroy the state of Israel (though not necessarily its ability to retaliate from beyond the grave). No lesser weapon is capable of that. Unless we are to ban cliffs, bathtubs, hibatchis, and gas cans (not to mention electrical outlets and forks), citing use in suicide as a reason for limiting or banning guns is sheer sophistry.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I guess you've never heard of Tokyo or Dresden

HankP's picture

both almost completely destroyed with conventional weapons. Israel is small enough that a dedicated conventional war could easily destroy it.


But you're avoiding my main point, which is that even if alternatives exist, making it as simple as pushing a button or pulling a trigger makes it more likely that someone will do so on a whim or in a moment of anger. You're also ignoring the fact that reducing the availability of firearms has been tested, and it works:


In 2006, after years of suicides among young men in the Israel Defense Forces, authorities forbade the troops from bringing their rifles home on weekends. Suicides dropped by 40 percent, according to a 2010 study by psychiatrists with the IDF and the Sheba Medical Center.

I blame it all on the Internet

Not By Iran

M Scott Eiland's picture

And only by using far more resources with air superiority. Again, a non-sequitur.

One example proves nothing--Japan and other low-gun examples with suicide rates comparable or greater than the US are more than an adequate rebuttal. Look up "small sample size" and get back to me.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

What would Japan's suicide


What would Japan's suicide rate be if guns were widely available?

Sophistry is the Word for Not Wanting to Deal with Honest Issues




M Scott Eiland's picture

Thus, trying to blame guns for suicides when other means are readily available and are provably used when guns are not present is sophistry. Quod erat demonstrandum.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Indeed.....Not. Subsumed in the Suicide Question...



...is this growing almost Singularly American tendency to Kill People along with Oneself.


And guns, they are the means.


To harm, maim and take life.


For all your smart turns of phrases, almost too good for your own good, this is not doable with a Hibachi.




M Scott Eiland's picture

But a gas container could. So could a car.

I repeat--gun grabber use of suicide as a reason for gun control is sophistry.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Travellers right


Every time I'm confused in an argument I wave my hands dismissively and go "mere sophistries!" Works every time.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Except That I Explained Why It's Sophistry

M Scott Eiland's picture

Whereas Traveller is arguing without substance regarding why committing suicide with guns is somehow different than any other number of means of committing suicide with readily available means. If someone chooses to commit murder while committing suicide, there are any number of means for doing so that no one is talking about banning. That being said, the vast majority of gun suicides are simply that--a suicide where no one else dies. This is not a valid reason for gun control.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Guns are to suicide as semi-automatic rifles are to spree


shootings. You can still do it, the gun just makes it a lot easier.

Yeah, but the discussion of suicides is generally lame


Where I'm from it only takes one bullet.  In other regions, where skulls may be thicker, it may take more but not so many that proposed magazine capacity limits are an issue.  It may be noteworthy that with all of our guns our suicide rates are generally on par with other western industrialized nations.   The point being is that suicide is evidently easy enough in countries with stricter gun control laws that I think the use of a gun is better described as a preferred method rather than an enabler.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 


Bird Dog's picture

The U.S. rank in suicides per 100,000, lower than Japan, Belgium and France, and slightly higher than Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Britain, Portugal and Canada.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

"Yes,But Guns Are Icky So F**k The Numbers And The Constitution"

M Scott Eiland's picture

The liberal zeitgeist in a nutshell.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I'm a liberal


I don't see gun control as a high priority and I don't have any interest in banning all firearms.  


But I also don't see that conservatives have a better answer than liberals on where to draw the line re: the 2nd amend.


The line drawn by the 5 conservative justices in D.C. v. Heller decision was to protect all firearms as long as they're used for "traditional" legal purposes such as "self-defense within the home".


Well, that entails that fully automatic weapons must be constitutionally protected since they could serve the traditional legal purpose of defending oneself within one's home, and that doesn't seem any more rooted in the Constitution or common sense than liberals who want to ban handguns.

Catchy, I think I have a better answer than liberals


In fact, I'd say it's already drawn, though far more to the permissive side than many here can stand.  Arguing about magazine capacity, appearance etc democratizes the 2nd Amendment, an act completely counter to the purpose of having the BofR to begin with.  We start playing the fool's games, a 10 round magazine is ok but an 11 round magazine is a felony, stupid stuff like that.  The line is simple to me, whatever we are comfortable with arming police, security and protective details with should be legal for the public to own.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I don't have anything better than that proposal


Some comments:


"democratizes the 2nd Amendment, an act completely counter to the purpose of having the BofR to begin with."


We have 1st amend. freedom of assembly but require parade permits. As long as the core right isn't infringed on, I don't see why it cheapens the BoR to legislate issues beyond that core, which might include particulars about magazines.


"whatever we are comfortable arming police, security and protective details with should be legal for the public to own."


Police go through a lot of training and background checks before being issued a weapon. Does your parity principle include training and background checks for private citizens as well?


Police use drones, things like infrared heat detection to spy into people's homes, etc. Are you saying those should also be available to private individuals or that we should restrict law enforcement from using them?


I worry the parity principle isn't really part of the 2nd amend. For example, the public might choose to restrict police from caring firearms, but that wouldn't make the same restriction on private individuals constitutional.


But I don't have a better line to draw, so even with these potential drawbacks yours might be the best way of doing things.

In no particular order


I wouldn't say I propose a 'parity principle'.  That might be a french benefit(ha), but it's more along the lines that if cops need hi-cap magazines and patrol (aka assault) rifles to police an area then maybe the folks who live work and play there might be able to get by with them as well.

Training? I'd propose a bare minimum for ownership, a simple demonstration on the part of the buyer of the basic steps to operate, unload and store a gun safely.  More than that is a burden and of questionable value, note the suspect value of training when two steely-eyed, flat-bellied, professionals decided that two asian women looked like a 270 pound black guy.

Drones? I'd sooner the public have them than the police. You may observe my erotic petting zoo, jello filled jacuzzi and Pot/tomato hybrids in my back yard.  You can shake your fist, I'll shake mine back and neither one of us are being hauled out at gun point to piss our savings away to get a decent defense.  Not so when the boys in blue are spying.

My approach isn't perfect but it's rational and a heck of a bit better than some of the recent proposed gun laws.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

OK, I'll adopt your suggestion


I don't have any better idea where to draw the line. 


If I was going to do more thinking on the topic -- which I don't think I will, since as I mention, gun control is a low priority issue IMO -- I would look into recent articles I've seen linked to which argue that an armed citizenry isn't a counterbalance to the power of the state. That balance seems to be a central motivation in your line-drawing.


But for now, your proposal is the most sensible I've come across.

Catchy, I may not be doing a good job at it but I'm trying


to stay away from a parity argument. It's a fine argument to have but not what I want to focus on. Mine is simpler. If it is determined that various govt personnel who conduct their business in public must have a certain class of weapon and associated components in order to protect their persons or property they are responsible for then the citizenry shouldn't be expected to settle for something less. Restated, if 10 rounds is good enough for me, it's good enough to protect the POTUS.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 



atop the white house.


think everyone should be able to station those on their roofs?


parity is a n unrealistic concept. threats should be dealt with proportionally.



“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Well, I'm confused.  On the


Well, I'm confused.  On the one hand you claim suicide statistics are irrelevant to gun control but here you seem to be saying the suicide "numbers" are somehow on the gun fetishists side.  I wonder why you might be making competing arguments?


The funny thing is, comparing suicide numbers between countries IS irrelevant to gun control.  At least as a measure in epidemiology.  There is no good way to say that suicide in Japan or the US would be more or less common if one factor -- guns -- were changed.  Too many confounding factors.  Of course, someone pointed out a controlled test of sorts where Israeli soldier suicide went down after reducing their access to guns.  So, maybe that data point is relevant though you toss it outright.

Heet, I think the confusion comes from


the fact that we're confusing issues.  There's the discussion on limitations of high-end firearms which have no bearing on suicides and then the issue of access to firearms at all, which is debatable as to whether it would have an effect on suicide. 

"There is no good way to say that suicide in Japan or the US would be more or less common if one factor -- guns -- were changed."

Another potential source of confusion.  FWIW, I 100% agree but this has not been the standard argument for proponents of gun control when applied to homicides.  Also, the link that Hank provided in no way suggests a controlled test.  Based on that article we have no way of knowing what other initiatives were taken to prevent suicide.  We don't even know what the '40% decrease' is.  Is it raw numbers, rates, and if rates comparable to what?

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Suicides are just not a good argument


They depend on a million factors. Culture and mental health being the most important.


But mass shootings are far higher in the US than elsewhere and you can't argue the numbers around that one, no matter how hard you try.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Other Than Pointing Out. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .that they represent less than 1% of an already diminishing homicide rate, of course. Legal abortion kills about as many people (adult women having abortions, that is) every year--let me know when that becomes grounds for tampering with an existing constitutional right.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

But mass shootings are not decreasing...


...and they are linked to assault style weapons and large clips specifically.


I have said many times I think somebody could own a rifle, and a handgun. I could even add a shotgun to that list.


But an AR-15 with 100 round clips? No Constitutional right for that, and buyers are more likely to be dangerous than for other guns.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Don't forget, live birth is several factors more dangerous

brutusettu's picture

for those pregnant woman, than are induced abortions, especially early term ones.


Maybe if less guns somehow miraculously increased suicided rates relative to the other factors, then maybe there might be a point about about putting pregnant woman at greater risk of dying to save more of their lives.




took the words right out of


took the words right out of my mouth.

"A preferred method rather than an enabler?" Nicely Put...


...I don't know if that is true, but I use these threads to have your gentlemen sharpen my thinking on this.


I remain certain that I am Right, but the suicides angle may be a very interesting blind alley.


On the other hand, upon looking into this, I am impressed at how Japan, with a history and tradition of honorable suicide, has mobilized many aspects of government and is now spending real money trying to counter this.


Unlike the United States, Japan seems willing to recognize a Social Pathology and try to do something about it. (btw, these efforts have brought down the suicide rates in Japan). I also like the idea that the Netherlands has assisted termination of life in place with pretty good safe guards.


The world is evolving.


But there is evil lurking in the shadow of that steel forged for the sole purpose of killing...something.



So Does. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .a cliff, a bathtub, or a hibatchi. A little hard to commit multiple homicide with one of those (although a car or the contents of its fuel tank will do nicely for that).

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

There Was a .gif of a Man Trying to Assault and Kill People


...with a large sword at a subway entrance somewhere, and what was striking to me...was the great difficulty he was having chopping even little old ladies that danced and skipped, almost with a youthful grace, out of harms way.

The man was obviously crazy as a Victorian Hatter (mercury in the process actually made the workers literally mad, hence, "The Mad Hatter,"), but what was significant as I watched this over and over again, as one is wont to do with .gifs, was the thought that even as potentially deadly as his weapon was, with a gun he would have in fact been able to Kill, and kill dead, all these people that easily survived his sword attack.


Just interesting to see, the obviousness of this fact just jumped out at you.


Best Wishes, Traveller


You Know, Scott (Darth) etc, Most of these Issues Would....



...completely go away if you guys were reasonable on....somethings, everything would go away, maybe the feared registration would become less onerous.


You don't need 100 round clips, you don't need military weapons...just surrender this craziness.


Speaking of crazy, 2~5 of the population is crazy and another 5% will have close to psychotic breaks with reality...this doesn't make these people bad...unless they have a gun handy...then this is dangerous to everybody.


I need to write a long diary on how the 2nd Amendment has become like a poison, like a medieval social madness, Saint Vitas Dance or the the Flagellates that roamed the countryside putting on shows of self torture...this was a widespread Social Madness, a contagion spreading throughout the population...without rhyme or reason.


Just like our Gun entitlement culture....I can have a gun!!!! The Second Amendment says so!!!! If I can have a gun, I can use it....against my girlfriend, my wife, any antagonist,...20,000 times a year in the United States, against myself.


A hundred years from now we will look back and see how crazy we were...and are.



Nah Trav. It really is best to keep you guys talking.


Regardless of where you and I may or may not come to agreement, keeping the authoritarians on your side talking is something you should want as well.  They are popping up, y'know. Keep this in mind, in the last 25 years or so gun control advocates have sought to eliminate a)cheap handguns aka Saturday Night Specials, b)expensive hand guns, c)semi-automatic 'assault rifles' and d) bolt action 'sniper rifles'.  b and c are the flavor of the day but you're bullsh**ting me if you think a and d aren't on the list too.  The fact is that giving ground isn't a compromise, it's a delaying action so there is no sense in giving ground easy. 

Setting aside all arguments but simple pragmatism, calls for gun control now make little sense.  We have 50 year lows in homicide rates, that have also dropped steadily for the last 20 years, while having record gun sales. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

You do know that this "right"


You do know that this "right" to have any and every kind of gun available is a recent (last 50 years) invention of the gun lobby?  Whining about how people are coming for your assault rifles is pretty silly in this context.

There Are A Lot Of Rights That Didn't Exist Fifty Years Ago

M Scott Eiland's picture

Most with far less textual support in the Constitution than the right to bear arms (which requires a hefty bit of sophistry by gun grabbers to attempt to circumvent). Abortion comes to mind (though if Roe had been based in the 13th Amendment rather than the nebulous "privacy" catch-all, it would be on far stronger ground). Miranda rights and the broader federal exclusionary rule also come to mind as far as the "emanations the Supreme Court pulled out of its penumbra" feel is concerned.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Heet, any guesses as to why that was?


Could there have been a law or maybe an act concerning gun control, oh say the late '60s or so, that would have turned gun enthusiasts and organizations political? 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

No one's talking about a right to "any and every kind


of gun." I doubt many folks here lose any sleep over the fact that it's extremely difficult to get Class 3 weapons. People are talking about the fact that a whole lot of folks figure that banning and confiscation of some weapons is just a first step to a more general ban and confiscation. Feinstein, for example, has been pretty vocal that she doesn't believe that private citizens should be allowed to own weapons at all.


The right to carry weapons being the marker of a free person goes right back to late medieval England.

DiFi's Been An Active Gun-Grabber For Thirty Years Now

M Scott Eiland's picture

The courts down smacked her attempt to ban handguns in SF back then, but the reflex remains.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Gun-Grabber is an Appalation of Intelligence & Honor...With


...a profound respect for human life.


So it will be recorded in the Book of People that Mattered, centuries hence.


(unlike others that scurry and squeal like mice underfoot)



Amen brother.

Zelig's picture

I find it more than a coincidence that two Forvm members who know exactly what a .556 NATO round can do to a human body are in virtual lockstep regarding gun control. 

Me: We! -- Ali

An Unhappy Sight to be Sure...Ripped & Torn Flesh, Terrible...nt



I Like Letting their Heads Explode Quite a Bit (Justice)..nt



The appear to have backed off on the most odious




This is one of those reasons why it's useful to have a Republican party around in spite of the fact that most of the party faithful believe that the natural and social sciences are hoaxes. (Now, if only they could get as excited about the eighth amendment as they do the second...)

why the frack would someone need a 100 round drum for PP?

brutusettu's picture

For personal protection, shotgun and/or handguns.


For people that want to join the National Guard or something similar, they get the detachable man card.


there's definitely no iron clad claim in the 2nd for people having rifles/attachments that are designed to kill humans in combat, or rifles designed to make the owner feel like they have a military grade one.


I would like to know if the GOP is actually keeping away a horde of laws that would keep shotguns away from people on their property.

Handguns Have Been Heavily Targeted For Bans

M Scott Eiland's picture

Our beloved DiFi made a go at it herself back in 1983, until the courts shut her down.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Brut, I doubt anyone 'needs' a 100 rd drum


I've never seen one for pistols or shotguns and the few I've seen for rifles are cumbersome and expensive.  I'd never buy one even if they were half the price so I don't have any heart in the argument for those things specifically.  I fall back on my standard argument for magazine/weapons limitations.  Whatever you are comfortable limiting from the POTUS security detail down through beat cops is something that I could understand, maybe not support, but could understand enough that I'd stay under my rock.

On the second amendment there are a numer of schools of thought.  Those that think that the framers used the term 'shall not be infringed' to protect only sporting uses of firearms are simply stoned.  That petty much leaves you with the purpose of killing another human being.  Whether that's personal protection, resistance to tyranny, or resistance to a foreign power, it comes down to killing if you accept any of those purposes.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Without a strong and vocal gun lobby


the Second Amendment would be a dead letter in fairly short order. And most of the more avid anti-gun folks aren't just interested in things like, say, limiting magazine size.

Speaking Of "Gun Nuts". . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .might be a good idea not to follow good ol' Uncle Joe's advice on home defense in the state of Delaware.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

All this focus on home defense.


The constitution gaurantees access to firearms for the protection of the state, not the individual. Mandatory gun safres, seperate storage of components, trigger locks, even local armory storage would all be very sensible measures that would not interfere one bit with the ability of the people to form a local militia to oppose tyranny.

Nyoos, that's pretty much wrong


We're talking about the Bill of Rights here, a document that lists protections from the state (or more correctly limitations on federal power) not obligations to it.  Really, that's it in a nutshell.  Time and again I've seen folks try to interpret the 2nd amendment in such a way that it actually gives power to the government.  I'm really not sure how much more wrong they can be.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

You've made that argument before.


The last time i made my one I believe. 


I like it, because it's subtle and smart, but I'm not really sure it's right.


If the amendment gives the right to bear arms without limitation then what is the militia bit in there for?


I don't buy the argument that since it is a document giving rights to the people nothing in it can be read as a limit on those rights. That's not what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting that it's just being more precise about those rights in specifying the militia and that it would be reasonable to link the two with laws (as thousands of other laws better define and limit the other rights given by the same document without great controversy).


What I will say I was wrong about though, is the document being well written. Foundational texts shouldn't be open to this much ambiguity. 

I think you're closer to right than nyoos:


one thing about the Anglo-American right to keep weapons was that it was very much the thing that signified a free person (which was why Catholics weren't allowed to keep weapons in early modern England). But, as the founders mention in the text of the amendment, all free people were expected to be on call to muster for militia duty. So the enormous question is whether the right to bear arms remains the mark of a free person when, because of the way modern armies are raised, you no longer have the obligation to serve in your city or state militia. My general take is that it does, but that fact that militia service was included in the text of the Amendment also indicates that there are civic obligations that go along with the right.

Home Defense Is A Fundamental Right In Anglo/American. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .legal tradition. Not comprehending that is pretty much going to leave one puzzled at the visceral reaction to the antics of gun grabbers.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

As a part of 18th century jurisprudence


along with laws that call for mandatory death penalty for being abroad after sundown with a blackened face or for theft over a value of 12 pence.


Unlike the right to bear arms as part of an etc etc which is ensconced in your constitution.


I'm a practical sort of guy. In Switzerland we have lots and lots of full auto assault rifles in cellars and attics across the country. Not much of a problem in a practical sense.  You guys seem to have more of a problem keeping your guns in your pants and butt heads all the time over the constitution.


Helpful sort that i am, I'm just trying to show you that the solution is pretty simple. your constitution is a stageringly well written document and has this well covered if people would just be honest enough to read it as it is rather than as they wish it to be: 


Worried about tyranny being imposed apon you? Think you need a tank or an uzi or a 50 cal to hold it at bay. No problem citizen. That is your RIGHT as protected by the American Constitution of the United States of America. But you have to keep it down the end of the road in an armory and you have to turn out and drill on the weekends because we need that militia to be well regulated. It also needs to be an actual militia, not just a population of paranoid self defense fantasists. This would be an actual break on the ability of a tyrant to take over San Louis Obispo. Where the people are organised and have a forum to communicate they can achieve things. 


You like to shoot for fun and sport? That's great citizen, but your hobby is not protected by the constitution. It wil be regulated by state and federal laws as seen fit by your representatives. You will be limited in the weapons you can aquire and you might be required to keep a hunting license or gun club membership current.


You're worried about home intrusion and defending your family against the hordes of have-nots who want to have your havings? That's great citizen, but your paranoia is not protected by the constitution. It wil be regulated by state and federal laws as seen fit by your representatives. Your havings are not havable enough to need to protect them with an assault rifle and even the handgun is a little OTT. Have a shotgun. Birdshot. Self defense only.

Older Than That. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .as are most basic laws against things such as murder and burglary. I'm not impressed with yet another variation on Ezra Klein's "but it's ooooold and hard to read!" reasons to ignore the Constitution and the context in which it was written.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

On that context thingie

HankP's picture

in the context of the times, it was that the President could raise militias to put down rebellions (as in Shay's rebellion and the Whiskey rebellion), not that the states could raise militias to fight the federal government.


I blame it all on the Internet

The context in which it was written


was one in which militias were common, useful and supplied with weapons by their members. Rather than ignoring that, I'm suggesting it's relevant.


What's your take on the militia bit of the amendment. Pure decoration, or should it be considered in the application of the law in any sense?

Acknowledging the text and


Acknowledging the text and modern relevance of the 2nd is unclear beats ignoring the parts of it ("well regulated militia") that inconveniently give political opponents a wedge issue.  Even worse is claiming any restriction of gun ownership is tyranny while ignoring numerous restrictions to the Bill of Rights already in place.  Finally - it is pretty rich to see "context in which it was written" typed as above.

Not really

HankP's picture

from your link:


The term has been used in England to imply a person's absolute right to exclude anyone from their home, although this has always had restrictions


this is reflected in the 4th Amendment, but the gun mania part is pure American and relatively recent.


I blame it all on the Internet

Who gets the blame for the sequester fiasco?



With all due respect to dailykos, only 11% of the population got the right answer. Obama helped set up this crisis, like he helped set up the debt ceiling crisis, in order to force deficit reduction. This is more governing-by-crisis bipartisanship.

House GOP: No Path to Citizenship


On both Rubio and Obama's plan, there was a proposed 8 yr. path to citizenship. I read talk of a compromised 13 yr. path. Now the GOP is counter-offering with ... never:


Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chair of the Judiciary Committee that will mark up any House legislation on the issue, told NPR this week that he will not support a bill that eventually grants citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in America.


“People have a pathway to citizenship right now: It’s to abide by the immigration laws, and if they have a family relationship, if they have a job skill that allows them to do that, they can obtain citizenship,” Goodlatte said. “But simply someone who broke the law, came here, [to] say, ‘I’ll give you citizenship now,’ that I don’t think is going to happen.”


Extraordinary article on junk food addiction

mmghosh's picture

in the NYT.

Sanger began by reminding the group that consumers were “fickle.” (Sanger declined to be interviewed.) Sometimes they worried about sugar, other times fat. General Mills, he said, acted responsibly to both the public and shareholders by offering products to satisfy dieters and other concerned shoppers, from low sugar to added whole grains. But most often, he said, people bought what they liked, and they liked what tasted good. “Don’t talk to me about nutrition,” he reportedly said, taking on the voice of the typical consumer. “Talk to me about taste, and if this stuff tastes better, don’t run around trying to sell stuff that doesn’t taste good.”


Moskowitz’s work on Prego spaghetti sauce was memorialized in a 2004 presentation by the author Malcolm Gladwell at the TED conference in Monterey, Calif.: “After . . . months and months, he had a mountain of data about how the American people feel about spaghetti sauce. . . . And sure enough, if you sit down and you analyze all this data on spaghetti sauce, you realize that all Americans fall into one of three groups. There are people who like their spaghetti sauce plain. There are people who like their spaghetti sauce spicy. And there are people who like it extra-chunky. And of those three facts, the third one was the most significant, because at the time, in the early 1980s, if you went to a supermarket, you would not find extra-chunky spaghetti sauce. And Prego turned to Howard, and they said, ‘Are you telling me that one-third of Americans crave extra-chunky spaghetti sauce, and yet no one is servicing their needs?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And Prego then went back and completely reformulated their spaghetti sauce and came out with a line of extra-chunky that immediately and completely took over the spaghetti-sauce business in this country. . . . That is Howard’s gift to the American people. . . . He fundamentally changed the way the food industry thinks about making you happy.”

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Deceptively Simple, Isn't It?

M Scott Eiland's picture

Assuming that there isn't some sort of social barrier screwing up the normal considerations (say, racial prejudice that would lead to the majority ostracizing any business openly catering to a minority group), it seems obvious that any businessman with the means and the oppportunity would jump to exploit an untapped market of that size. Yet, there's always the nagging doubt--perhaps there's a non-obvious reason that the market is untapped, and jumping into it will lead to disaster. Remember that Coca-Cola's decision to introduce New Coke back in the 1980's was based on surveys showing that a majority of the public preferred the sweeter taste of Pepsi, and the plan was to leverage Coca-Cola's greater economic power to beat Pepsi at its own game. It failed catastrophically, but it's not like they knew up front that it was a deeply stupid move.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

There's something I can't quite figure out


wrt Coke. 


I don't know how it tasted in the US in the 1980s but I'm pretty sure that in the 1880s it didn't ring so hard of corn syrup. In Europe it bites a bit, in the US it just tastes of high fructose corn syrup. How did they manage to (I assume) change the recipe from sugar to syrup without a new coke style revolution.

IIRC They Started That Change Before New Coke

M Scott Eiland's picture

There was a book published in 1983 called Big Secrets that was full of a lot of fun little things (analysis of KFC recipe, finding where Walt Disney is really buried, etc) that we'd mostly just use the Internet to find these days, but thirty years ago it was a hoot to read. One chapter was on the Coca-Cola formula, and IIRC it mentioned that Coca-Cola had (or was suspected to have) started using corn syrup for at least part of its sweetening in the mid seventies to early eighties (i.e., just before that book was published and before New Coke was introduced in 1985).

I also seem to recall that the book suggested that the change might have been part of why Coke started losing a majority of "the Pepsi Challenge" taste tests that were occurring about that time (I actually took the Pepsi challenge during that time and picked Coke--I still remember the mildly disappointed sound in the voice of the tester as he announced the result and went on to the next person in line).

That book was fun--maybe I'll snag a used copy from Amazon in the next couple of weeks.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Ahhh, such a good question!


Well, they did actually have a new Coke revolution.


I was a daily Coke drinker in the early 1980's (1 can a day), so I remember this well. Coke had sugar then.


New Coke came out one day and Coke loyalists such as myself despised it. Too sweet, not "cokish" enough. It wasn't quite the rancid melted sugar cube that Pepsi is, but it was definitely heading in that direction.


The reaction to new Coke was so negative that CocaCola backtracked and came out with something called Coke Classic or Classic Formula or something or other. I forget the details. New Coke was eventually dropped altogether.


BUT, the "Classic" Coke formulation, while less sweet and more cokish, now had HFCS. Looking back one could almost think that the whole New Coke thing was a diversionary tactic to slip HFCS into the coke formula. A New York Times article at the time pointed this out, but I am way too lazy to try to find it right now.


Somehow I never quite trusted the taste again. I still drink coke, but rarely. I still think Pepsi is a horrid beverage fit for Soviet re-education camps and CIA rendition facilities, but Coke isn't quite what I grew up with. I don't know if it is the corn syrup or what, but it's not the same.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

I've pondered the same thing.


I was only 11 or 14 or so when the New Coke thing happened, so I don't remember a lot of details about it. But the whole "negative backlash" thing really wasn't negative at all. It was a huge public rallying cry of publicity for old Coke. Coke wasn't just a beverage — it was NEWS! It was a CAUSE! The HFCS thing didn't occur to me though.


I'm in the ad biz now so I'm split. One one hand I could see the cynical manipulation side, a sort of jiu-jitsu of marketing genius. On the other hand, I've had enough experience with gigantic corporate America and have seen just how bone-headed and disorganized so much of it is.

I agree


For me the key question is whether new coke was hfcs positive or not. If it was then that was their plan all along.

Is this an HFCS issue? Or a sweetness issue?

mmghosh's picture

Technically, I don't see how HFCS sweetness can differ from cane sugar sweetness as they are both concentrated refined sugars.


Now molasses, yes. 


Incidentally, Coke here has an indigenous brand positioned - sweeter than Pepsi - called Thums Up which is great with our el cheapo local rum.  If you ever visit India again, you should try this!

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Different sugars taste different

HankP's picture

Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Lactose and Maltose all have distinguishable tastes, and different degrees of sweetness.


I blame it all on the Internet

Still available without HFCS


The product bottled in Mexico is still sweetened with cane sugar instead of HFCS.

For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise - B. Franklin



...I think Mexican Coke has more sugar than American pre-1980 Coke did.


Not that I can prove this. But I have read that Latin American variants are sweeter.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

HFCS is good


I know it's conditioning,  but now when I have a cane sugar Mexican Coke it's just too sharp.

You can buy "Mexican Coke"

HankP's picture

if you want the stuff that's sweetened with sucrose (cane sugar) rather than HFCS. But Coke still has more of a bite than Pepsi, which tastes pretty insipid to me.


I blame it all on the Internet

Pepsi is so horrible...


...it's probably one of the signs that the antichrist is coming.


I find it hard to believe that real humans consume the stuff willingly and pay for it. Even the logo is insipid beyond description.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

I'll never understand buying spag bol sauce.


So easy to make. Bonus is, if you make uit yourself it doesn't reek of vinegar like all the jars I've ever tried do (not to mention the horse of course).

You don't like horse meat?

mmghosh's picture

The Papal ban has been overturned!



horse meat carries 110 calories per 100 grams compared to 160 calories for beef and contains far more cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fatty acids

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Nothing against it.


The taste varies a lot in my (apparently less than expectedly) limited experience - from very gamey to bland. I've had some great horse meat dishes, but never found one to really challenge a perfet fillet steak or beef wellington.


What I do object to is consuming some carcas of unknown provenance - possibly dragged out of a ditch somewhere and infested with god knows what. Time may come when I need to do so to survive but until then I'd rather the Euro meat crooks not make their shekels out of me.


As a side note, I really can't stand this section of french cuisine that seeks to promote the bits of the animal rich people wont eat, like brains and kidneys and tripe, as somehow a fantastic treasuretrove of taste and sofistication. There's quite a selection of these eateries in Lyon wheere all that rubish is on the menu and everyone is sat there eating the same one dish - the only barely palatable one put on the menu by the chef because in the end he knows that the Emporer is naked.

The Food is Terrible; Nobody Goes There?


Yet you appear to have eaten there many times, Yogi.

I am married.


That is all.

To a redhead!


That is all.

Some People Manage To Burn Water When Cooking

M Scott Eiland's picture

Pre-made stuff cuts down on anxiety--at the cost of quality.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

What A Load Of Bull-Chuck

M Scott Eiland's picture

Did you brief Chuck the Dimmer on the existence of gravity and clue him in on who won WW II while you were at it, Senator?

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

"Tiger Beat on the Potomac"


that's the best diss of Politico I've come across.

Let's just put that in plain English

HankP's picture

Hagel will be the next Secretary of Defense and the Israel-firsters lost. So we'll have another person in high government position who recognizes Iraq for the insane clusterf(*k it was, and is.


I blame it all on the Internet

But they Could Have Spit In Republican Faces More Clearly...


...I think Obama and Hagel have been much too laid back on this.


It should have been kind of...F&^* Y(&


And remember, I am, within reason, (up to the top of the Mound of Olives, but no further), very Pro Israeli.



No, that's how you lose

HankP's picture

it's always better to be the calm, cool person in this kind of situation. Going overboard usually backfires. Act like a winner who's in charge.


I blame it all on the Internet

That's the right level of dumb for Politico


Nate Silver's take is good: "Politico tries to cover [politics] like it’s sports, but not in an intelligent way at all"


The best part of this article, after just tirelessly quoting Schumer's obviously fake story, is the last line: "It’s one of the most explicit accounts of his meeting with Hagel that Schumer has given to date."  


Politico tries to cover politics like they're giving a 6th grade book report, but not in an intelligent way at all.



Did you hear that Barack Hussein Obama is going to receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction from Shimon Peres? This will be an historic first!

The funniest part of that

HankP's picture

is that Obama is the ONLY US President to receive it. Not Bush II, not Bush I, not Reagan. Obama.


I blame it all on the Internet

Only Bibi Netanyahu was dumb enough


to openly back a losing US presidential candidate (and an obviously losing one at that). I'm sure some Israelis feel that fence-mending is in order.


EDIT: I removed a Romney ad that featured Netanyahu since I have no reason to believe Netanyahu approved of it. Still, it wasn't a mystery who Bibi was backing.

"How Stupid Do You Think We Are?"

M Scott Eiland's picture

Bravo, Mr. Taylor!

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

He's an idiot

HankP's picture

France has about the same labor productivity as the US (slightly better by some measures, slightly worse by others). Doesn't stop idiots from playing to people's prejudices, though.


I blame it all on the Internet

Plus he might have "visited" "several times"

brutusettu's picture

when everything was running smoothly and they were on an abnormally easy work mix.



poking your head in "several times" while "visiting" could possibly lead to a poor understanding of what it's like in a factory.   Someone popping off comments like the ones Taylor made makes it all the more likely he barely got a quick glimpse of what it's like in the factory.

It's not just that

HankP's picture

I've been an employee, and I've been a manager. It's a poor manager who blames his employees, making things work is the manager's job.


Also, the guy is a wingnut extroadinaire:


Among recommendations he’s made to President Obama include shutting the Department of Education and dropping sick pay for government employees




well, that's funny. His blog and the company website are both down. I was going to quote where he said he was moving all the jobs to India and China anyway.



I blame it all on the Internet

Moonbat Meme Makes Mario Mucho Money

M Scott Eiland's picture

Thanks MSM!

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Linky no worky


after I clicky with my pinky


M Scott Eiland's picture

Try this one.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I wonder if Howard Dean made $ by making into Halo 2

brutusettu's picture


Obviously I'm a fringe moonbat


but I did watch part of Rubio's response speech and he didn't come across as very presidential to me. I'm not sure it's wise to double down on this guy.


If Hillary doesn't age too poorly over the next four years, Rubio's not going to seem like he's in the right weight class. 

Neither Did Bill Clinton In 1988

M Scott Eiland's picture

Rubio's off to a good start by mocking (and profiting from) his idiot critics (no one here) rather than getting mad. And there's plenty of ammunition to use against an HRC candidacy--including all the crap the Obama cultists (not to mention our most decidedly not-cultist brethren here at the Forvm) flung at her in 2008. If I was hoping for a Democratic win in 2016, I'd be hoping there is someone else on the bench other than the obvious suspects.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Don't worry, be happy


I remember '88 like it was yesterday.

Me Too

M Scott Eiland's picture

Though mostly for a different reason:

 photo kirk-gibson-1988-world-series-home-run-unlikely-postseason-heroes_zps6d8d3fb7.jpg

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I distictly remember


you predicting a palin comeback. I asked whether you thought it would involve a chain mail bikini or a cat suit.


And have you seen jindal's tanking stature down south?



these are the same folks who thought little bobby jindal knocked it outta the park, that sarah palin had a bright political future and who voted for gwb. Twice.

Good times, good times

HankP's picture

I'm so old I remember when GWB was conservative.


I blame it all on the Internet

Remember his


dignified and warmly received speech at the gop convention last summer? What a guy, really has that certain something, no?

Uh oh, Boehner and Obama are pointing fingers at each other


The sequester is coming, the sequester is coming!


Most estimates I've seen say the sequester will cause between 500k - 1 million jobs lost (e.g., Macroeconomic advisers says 700k). For context, the US added a total of 1.8 million jobs in 2012. At 2012 growth rates, we're talking canceling out 30% - 60% of 2013 job growth.

500k here, 500k there

brutusettu's picture

Boatload of Bulgarian officials resign due to them screwing the pooch and implementing austerity over there.


Austerity now, austerity tomorrow, austerity forever, austerity no matter the circumstances.  




Macroeconomic advisors predict 2% growth


even with the sequester, 2.6% without. I hope they're right!


Americans are of two minds about drones and similar issues


WASHINGTON—Following the release of a secret Department of Justice memo this week that outlines the administration’s legal justification for killing U.S. citizens, a new Pew Research Center poll has revealed that a majority of Americans are torn over whether they support the government’s right to kill them anywhere at any time without due process. “On the one hand, I get it—it’s important for the government to be able to murder me and any of my friends or family members whenever they please for reputed national security reasons. But on the other hand, it would kind of be nice to stay alive and have, maybe, a trial, actual evidence—stuff like that,” said visibly conflicted 39-year-old Nashua, NH resident Rebecca Sawyer, who, like millions of other Americans, is split over whether secret federal agents should be allowed to target and assassinate her anywhere on U.S. soil.

Not everywhere

HankP's picture

Seattle Ends Police Drone Program

I blame it all on the Internet



University football stadium named after for-profit prison company.


"GEO Group Stadium" has a certain ring to it. I believe it's the sound of a public university turning its infrastructure into advertising for a company that earns profits on incarcerating people.


I think Florida Atlantic University should rename its football team to B.A.R.F.Y. 

All that money we're spending on incarcerating immigrants


is going to for-profit prisons?


... the company has captured growing shares of state inmate populations and secured contracts to detain hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants apprehended by the federal government.


And now the company has enough dough to toss around to turn football stadiums into advertising? 


Pardon me while I go explore my anti-American feelings in private.

It's impressive that a single story can encapsulate


so much garbanzo: Crony capitalism that funnels public funds into private hands, incentivizes mass incarceration, turns public infrastructure into corporate advertising ...


It's kind of amazing.

You need to calm down.

mmghosh's picture

'Twere ever thus.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Senator Rand Paul on CNN right now


saying he voted against the sequester in the first place because 85 billion more in spending cuts is a "pittance" and isn't nearly enough.


Very serious person Wolf Blitzer somehow failed to ask very serious person Sen. Paul about his past ludicrous economic predictions and statements. For example, Sen Paul warned in August 2011:


"we are going to default by paying with dollars that are worth less and less every day. ... what I worry about is the Weimar Republic, I worry about 1923 in Germany, when they destroyed the currency they elected Hitler, I don’t want something like that to happen in our country.”


The inflation rate after more quantitative easing and re-election of Barrack Obama? 1.7%.

IOW, Rand is saying

brutusettu's picture

"Serious people realize that particular white whale needs taken out"

For eeyn - the engineering and economics departments


The engineers have a point


When you divide GDP by the number of workers and then say productivity went up,  it conjures up an image of heroic manual laborers giving 110% and getting nothing in return.   But simply (for example) jacking up the cost of the same medical procedures results in an increase in GDP.  Purchase of useless services increases GDP.

It is what it is

HankP's picture

it measures the level of overall activity, not whether the individual component activities make sense or are beneficial. But as an aggregate it is a useful indicator.

I blame it all on the Internet

There's a lot of reasons to criticize GDP


For example, it doesn't measure how broadly new wealth is spread around, or how economically secure or happy people are.


Still, there's been a pretty substantial empirical correlation between GDP growth and the employment rate, and the latter is clearly not fake.


Okun's Law doesn't always hold precisely, but it's a reasonable rule of thumb as far as I'm aware. It suggests that the US currently needs 2%+ GDP growth to make a dent in the unemployment rate, which is one reason I'm not happy that so many politicians are fine with low growth in order to reduce the deficit.


As for productivity, I think the best image is of a class of more technically sophisticated employees being more efficient. Think about how many people use smart phones to take care of business immediately at all hours of the day vs. 15 yrs. ago, how many use computers to accomplish tasks that would've required many workers to accomplish, etc.


... I thought "Luncheon for reductionists" was hilarious. 

Reuters Felix Salmon pens an apology


I can't imagine a Brooks or Friedman ever writing anything like this.


Salmon originally wrote:


"To a certain extent, this is a female thing: positive happy bloggers tend to be female, as do their readers.  ... But to many male observers, there’s something a bit off there."


Today he writes:


... there’s a societal pressure on women to be pleasant, and the many wonderful snarky female bloggers out there generally face much nastier and much more personal pushback than do those of us who are men. So it’s fine to praise a male blogger for being positive and happy, just as it’s fine to praise a white man for being calm and slow to anger. But talking about positive and happy female bloggers is a bit like talking about calm and controlled black men — it’s something which is incredibly fraught, and which you certainly don’t want to do in passing.



Katha Pollitt, in 1991, coined what she called the “Smurfette Principle” of children’s books:

The message is clear. Boys are the norm, girls the variation; boys are central, girls peripheral; boys are individuals, girls types. Boys define the group, its story and its code of values. Girls exist only in relation to boys.



My “female thing” was a prime example of the Smurfette Principle in action. Snarky and political male bloggers are the norm; happy and positive female bloggers are the peripheral exception. That is pretty offensive, and also untrue. Blogging is a broad and vibrant church, and singling out some random subset of it as being particularly female is very unlikely to be helpful. So: apologies to everybody who was offended by this wholly unnecessary passage. There was no good reason for publishing it, and doing so was entirely my fault.

Shorter Felix Salmon

M Scott Eiland's picture

"It was stupid of me to needlessly append a gender based generalization to an otherwise accurate description of a blogging style, thereby ringing the dinner bell for bored Grievance Studies majors to descend on me like the Wrath of God. My bad."

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Except I think he agreed with the grievance studies majors


If it was a fake apology you coulda fooled me.

Another edition of Tyler Cowen, somewht dishonest


Are Government Spending Multipliers Greater During Periods of Slack? The embarrassing result here is that no, it seems they are not ... 


This is one cherry-picked study among many that say the opposite. E.g. the Chief economist at the IMF released a report a couple of months back saying multipliers that were originally thought to be in the .5 range were closer to the 1.5 range. 


Cowen doesn't tell us why this particular study is superior to others, but just relays it as at least probably correct and therefore embarrassing. 


So, if multipliers aren't greater when a large output gap, then the CBO must be lowballing its growth estimations, which were based on multipliers of between .5 - 1.5 for estimating the effects of 2013 fiscal austerity. These multipliers were bumped up b/c we're in a period of slack (though there's a case to be made that they weren't bumped up enough).  


The CBO has estimated 2013 growth at +1.4%, with the assumption of -.6% subtracted due to the upcoming sequestration and another -1.4% growth subtracted due to austerity agreed to earlier.   


Perhaps Cowen might take issue with one or more of the CBO's other assumptions, but suppose higher multipliers during slack is the only assumption over which they differ. Then according to Cowen the US should be expecting easy growth of over 2% if the sequestration goes into effect and 3% or greater if it doesn't. Let's see how that turns out.  

Presidential Medal of Distinction


The gods of irony then smote him down


According to an arrest report, 25-year-old Terry J. Davis walked into the Barnes & Noble college bookstore on S. Floyd St., near the University of Louisville campus, and stole a book titled, "Resolving Ethical Issues."

Drones for search-and-rescue make a lot of sense

Bird Dog's picture

For police work, there are already a plethora traffic and security cams, so we've already gone down that road. Instead of being in fixed positions, now they would be mobile. I do object to drone noise pollution, and armed drones.

The insurance thing is no big deal, so long as drivers aren't mandated to have them.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

"Drone noise pollution"

Jay C's picture

Dunno which agency or agencies are responsible for patrolling the skies over Castle Bird, but I recall from my days in LA (long past now, but I doubt things have changed much) that citizen complaints about the noise stemming from helicopter patrolling were routinely ignored as a matter of policy - especially in THOSE neighborhoods where said patrolling is most prevalent - the "needs" of Law Enforcement being routinely and officially  promoted and upheld over such mere trivialities as the civilians' pretended rights to an undisturbed night's sleep. I have no idea whether the type of drones being proposed for police work are quieter/noisier/same as the 'copters currently in use, but in any case, I'm sure that the official response to any objections you might raise over the noise will be the same (a polite, bureaucratic "FU").


As for AFI's dash-cam programs, I'm of two minds on this: (though I don't at all agree with MA or HankP that this is some sort of evil harbinger of an Orwellian dystopia) - one one hand, it's voluntary and semi-private, and can have some positive effect (reducing accidents); OTOH, it takes "parents snooping on their kids" to a new and different level I'm not sure I like much. 

The Welfare State Reaches Its Apotheosis

M Scott Eiland's picture

And yet, I have no sympathy for the local taxpayers in this case, given that they have yet to introduce the local authorities approving all of these measures to tar, feathers, and a rail leading out of town. Self-inflicted.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

How much net difference would an orphanage cost the state?

brutusettu's picture


False Alternative

M Scott Eiland's picture

Foster care and some kind of draconian measures directed at Ms. Clown Car and her ilk after they prove unable to stop breeding on the public dole after the second kid (say, non-dischargable debt for the full expense of other people raising her spawn, plus interest) would do just fine.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

"False Alternative" To some

brutusettu's picture

I'm flabbergasted to as to why someone would have more kids just to add more bedrooms and decrease common area square footage per-person.  If that's a problem, I have a blind spot to that.



side note:  anyone I know in the states that does similar stuff is living with a man and committing fraud on a large level to stay on government assistance

Phony garbanzo BS conservative propaganda


Anyone dumb enough to swallow these fake stories deserves to have their wages and benefits decreased, and to live in a world without social insurance. 


It's just too bad such folk are taking the rest of us with them.

Please mind your Ps and Rs


I know that you can make the point without breaking them.

Sorry about that


Too many spirits by that point in the evening.

Opportunity Knocks

M Scott Eiland's picture

Extra-crispy cowardly murderer Chris Dorner still has a noisy fan club. Angry protesting while deeply stupid can make one get quite the appetite--some food trucks should head out there and give those people some barbeque and a round of Blue Blazers, stat!

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Still reveling in the deaths of others I see nt

HankP's picture


I blame it all on the Internet

PRV, cheap shot and distortion...

Bird Dog's picture

...of what MSE has said about Dorner.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Nope, just going by his comments

HankP's picture

it's not like this is the first example either.


I blame it all on the Internet

Fantasy Island

Bird Dog's picture

Dorner had it coming. I agree, given his multiple acts of murder and his last stand.

Dorner was an insane moonbat serial killer. His manifesto and actions speak for themselves.

Ridiculing the Dorner fan club.

There was no reveling from MSE, so your comment is basically a personal attack. If you're "going by his comments", then I suggest you actually read his comments, and then comprehend them.


"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

At least he didn't call for a curbstomping

HankP's picture

as he's done in the past. No, Scott has a long history of gleefully recommending brutal acts on people he disagrees with and expressing satisfaction in their demise, Dorner included.


I blame it all on the Internet

As a moonbat


I object to calling Dorner one. IIRC he was a rabid supporter of Obama.


Moonbats are leftwingers who are generally in the fringe position of not supporting the president b/c he's way too conservative. 

Mild By The Usual Standards. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .though coming on the heels of a comment that implied active approval of the burning of Atlanta was rather amusing timing.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Nearly every aspect of that story has been F'd up



I can actually see a good use for drones

HankP's picture

in the Seattle area, at least a few times a year there are large scale searches for hikers, skiers, crashed private planes, etc. It would be helpful to have a half dozen or so of these drones available to shorten the search, since people can die in the mountains here most of the year. The trick is to keep tight controls on their use so the police aren't on a 24x7 fishing expedition.


I blame it all on the Internet



Can't be done.


The police should not have them.


If a park is risky, then the park can own the drones for their search and rescue operations.


If police have them, they will use them more and more.


There is also an argument to be made that if you go hiking, you are taking a risk but you are also on your own in the wild, or a good approximation of the wild. What is the point if, even there, the cameras of civilization are on you, even if it's for your own "good"?

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Don't be silly, of course it could be done

HankP's picture

now you can argue if they would be done, but that's a different argument.


I blame it all on the Internet

Cardinal Mahoney


In the past several days, I have experienced many examples of being humiliated. In recent days, I have been confronted in various places by very unhappy people. I could understand the depth of their anger and outrage–at me, at the Church, at about injustices that swirl around us.



Thanks to God’s special grace, I simply stood there, asking God to bless and forgive them.


Emory University president praises 3/5ths compromise


One instance of constitutional compromise was the agreement to count three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of state representation in Congress. Southern delegates wanted to count the whole slave population, which would have given the South greater influence over national policy. Northern delegates argued that slaves should not be counted at all, because they had no vote. As the price for achieving the ultimate aim of the Constitution—“to form a more perfect union”—the two sides compromised on this immediate issue of how to count slaves in the new nation. Pragmatic half-victories kept in view the higher aspiration of drawing the country more closely together.



Some might suggest that the constitutional compromise reached for the lowest common denominator—for the barest minimum value on which both sides could agree. I rather think something different happened. Both sides found a way to temper ideology and continue working toward the highest aspiration they both shared—the aspiration to form a more perfect union. They set their sights higher, not lower, in order to identify their common goal and keep moving toward it.


A PhD student in African American studies at Berkeley comments: 


"I expected the president of Emory University to be something other than offensively stupid, and I guess I still do: no one who can write that essay should be the president of a university. But what I’m really saying, when I say that, is that I expect a university to be a place where authority is derived from knowledge and engagement, where intellectual rigor is part of the air one breathes, the atmosphere of the place, in the water. And maybe that expectation shows that I’m the one who’s out of touch. The job of a university president, today, is not to be an intellectual leader but to be a manager and a fundraiser, the CEO of a corporation which just happens to be a university. And because the job is to ensure the continuity of the institution, no matter what, it makes a certain kind of sense that the 3/5ths compromise would appeal to him as an idea."

When it involves Atlanta, I prefer Sherman's compromise nt

HankP's picture


I blame it all on the Internet

Sherman wimped out.

Zelig's picture

As did Pres. Andrew Johnson. It's easy to Monday morning quarterback this, but what should have happened at the conclusion of the Civil War is the following:


Jail all signators to the Articles of Confederation. Ten years. Seize all of their assets. They are out of federal politics. They're traitors. Treat them as such. 


Jail all officers in the Confederate Army. Ten years. Seize all their assets. These men were also traitors. Bar them from federal office. 


Confiscate all assets of every southerner who "owned" 10 slaves or more. Demolish every "plantation", although perhaps leaving one or two as historical reminders may be a good thing. 


Pay actual reparations to former slaves. Sherman gave it a half-assed try in 1865, (40 Acres and a Mule), but what little land he handed out to former slaves was re-seized by Andrew Johnson and given back to the white traitors who formerly owned it. We'd have been rolling in the dough with all those seized assets I've suggested above. The former slaves deserved a shot at land ownership. They never truly got it. The southern slave culture should have been demolished. It was not. 


We'd have a very different "South" if we had been serious about punishing traitors who tried to withdraw from the Union. I doubt that the KKK would have ever been thought of in a post-war environment I've suggested. I also doubt that a Civil Rights Act 100 years after the surrender would have even been necessary. 






Me: We! -- Ali

Jail abolitionist Samuel Adams?


Jail Samuel Adams and John Hancock?  Actually I think all the signers were dead by the time of the Civil War. Oh,  wait,  maybe you meant the Confederate Constitution (1861) or the Articles of Secession in various states,  and not the Articles of Confederation (1777).


Some of the stuff you advocate (barred from federal office) is in the 14th Amendment and actually happened.  Jefferson Davis didn't get his citizenship back until Jimmy Carter signed it in 1978.  


The rest of what you say would have been reasonable as a punitive measure but probably wouldn't have been very wise public policy,  anymore than jailing every one who served as an officer in the German or Japanese armed forces.


Thank you for the correction.

Zelig's picture

Wikipedia is my friend. I must keep that in mind. 


However comparing post-war treatment of German and Japanese forces with fellow Americans who committed treason against their (our!) own country simply does not wash. 

Me: We! -- Ali

That and Grant had granted a mass pardon


as a condition of Lee's surrender.  Practically, Both Grant and Lee wanted the Army of Northern Virginia to surrender in good order to avoid Lee's Army turning into an insurgency.  Grant offered other decent terms, officers keeping their sidearms, cavalry keeping their horses etc, generally sweetening the pot in order to get Lee to give up. This assumed, correctly as it turned out, that it would influence the army in North Carolina under Johnston to give in. Under Reconstruction as it was there were problems with the klan and other minor insurgency/criminal organizations.  Those would have been immeasurably worse had the Union come down harder and prolonged the deployment of forces that were as tired of war as the south was.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Post-CW "insurgency"

Jay C's picture

IIRC, the problem wasn't so much Grant's (and Sherman's) mass-"pardon" (they would probably have referred to it at the time as a "mass-parole") on the military level - nearly everyone, at that point, was sick of war, and simply sending Confederate armies home with a mule and a salute was considered a tidy solution. And one right in line with 19th-Century warfare practices. It was the political aspects of "resolving" the Civil War that bugged the victorious Union government (or at least several factions of it), and AFAICR, both Grant and Sherman caught a lot of criticism for what were seen as over-generous terms to the defeated Rebels. Though the treatment of Confederate civilian officials would probably same been the same anyway.


Under Reconstruction as it was there were problems with the Klan and other minor insurgency/criminal organizations. 

But not for long: within a dozen years or so, the Federal Government recognized the restructuring of those criminal organizations into new entities, known as "state legislatures"... problem solved!!

I'm just going by American history

HankP's picture

my what-ifs on the South could fill a book.


I blame it all on the Internet

Agree: Also, there should have been hangings


At the very least Jeff Davis and his cabinet should have done the gallows dance.

Agree with your sentiments.

Zelig's picture

I've always been staunchly, uncompromisingly opposed to the death penalty. I've never approved of state-sanctioned murder. I hitchhiked to San Quentin prison for my first anti-death penalty demonstration when I was 14 years old. I was also born and raised as an anti-racist. I'm one of those guys that consider the concept of Race to be antiquated, 19th century Bull***t. 


The fact that our country didn't treat confederate leaders as traitors is the root cause of most present-day racism in America today, in my opinion. I'm glad that some other Forvm members agree that Confederate leaders weren't properly punished for their treason. Cheers!!

Me: We! -- Ali

Zelig on compromise


I'm not sure you're exactly modern day University president material.

Depends on the University

Zelig's picture

You are correct if we're talking about Emory University or any of the hundreds of right-leaning university boards of trustees. However the colleges, institutes and universities I've been associated with all of my life, interestingly, all on or near the California coast, tend to be a whole lot more left leaning and demonstrably anti-racist in political outlook. So, although I would be wholly unqualified to run any university, based on my C.V. and resume, my anti-racist sentiments are very mainstream in the environments I've worked in. 


So there!!

Me: We! -- Ali



Traitors, one and all, enemies of the USA. The confederate flag should be seen as a symbol of shame, treachery and failure. And it is seen that way by sensible people.

General Sherman was accurate about the USA, and Vietnam

mmghosh's picture

we see the same principles in operation today.

The United States does and must assert its authority, wherever it once had power; for, if it relaxes one bit to pressure, it is gone, and I believe that such is the national feeling.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Can't say I exactly enjoyed Atlanta


on my most recent visit last month.

It was a long time ago

HankP's picture

but I went there for a business trip and didn't think it was that bad (aside from the humidity). Seemed pretty cosmopolitan, most of the people I met there seemed OK.


I blame it all on the Internet

What was it?

Zelig's picture

The weather? The people? The cultural vibe? 


I would need to be paid an unrealistically large sum of money to move to that part of the country. Too many redneck a**hats. However, if I were a gay southerner, Atlanta would probably be my home. Atlanta has a huge, largely underground gay community.

Me: We! -- Ali

You Left Out The Rest Of It

M Scott Eiland's picture

The results do not affect car insurance rates or policies; American Family says it never sees the results (unless a parent gives the insurance company permission in a special instance, such as to prove another driver's fault in an accident).

More than 11,000 families have taken part in the program since the insurer began offering it in 2007, American Family spokeswoman Janet Masters says. The company offers a 10% participation discount in Colorado and Minnesota.

"We've seen immediate and impressive results, including a reduction in risky driving behaviors by about 50% immediately and 70% within the first five weeks," Masters says.

Dash cams aren't just about revealing what teens are doing wrong. The footage can also show what they're doing right. Masters says one family used the dash-cam footage to prove their teen driver did not cause an accident.

It's a voluntary program that seems to be reducing bad driving behavior by teenagers (which kills far more kids per year than mass school shootings have killed in the last hundred). What's the problem?

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Because it's another step towards a total surveillance state

HankP's picture

and please don't respond "If you're not guilty you have nothing to hide". It's creepy and un-Amerian.


I blame it all on the Internet

It Would Be. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .if it were mandatory--which is why I'm opposed to rental car companies monitoring cars to see if they ever exceeded the speed limit or that sort of thing. It's not--it's a voluntary program that only uses the data in ways that the person who owns the car (or who is allowing the juvenile to drive while living under their roof) approves of. Given the hysterical "if it saves one life. . ." reaction from the gun grabbers towards draconian, very *not* voluntary restrictions on gun owners rights, objecting to this sort of thing is ridiculous. And if you're talking about regular dashboard cameras*, I thought that liberals would approve of means to provide proof of abuse of authority and/or private fraud?

*--last sentence sang to the tune of "but I thought conservatives believed (x)?"

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

The driver

HankP's picture

meaning the kid - has no choice. So it's just another step in getting people used to being under surveillance all the time. And despite your comment, this has nothing to do with guns.


I blame it all on the Internet

Don't you guys have a bill working right now


that authorizes police to do warrantless home searches when someone registers select firearms?  Why compartimentalize the topic of ol' Big Brother?  Get it all out there.  That's exactly what authoritarians don't want; divide and conquer is the rule.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

You're watching too much Fox news

HankP's picture

they just make sh*t up, you know that, right?


I blame it all on the Internet

Seattle Times = Fox News?




In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

"The bill’s backers say that was a mistake"

HankP's picture

"Later, a Senate Democratic spokesman blamed unnamed staff and said a new bill will be introduced."


So yeah, that's pretty Orwellian.


I blame it all on the Internet

Ok, so it's not Fox News. Agreed?


Language allowing pretty intrusive measures by the police got into a bill.  Agreed?  This would sort of support your original premise of 'another step of a total surveillance state' but you have an issue with it.  And yeah, it's pretty Orwellian unless you believe the 'how'd that get there' BS. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

The guy said it was a mistake

HankP's picture

and said it would get fixed, unlike Republicans who double down on the crazy. So what do you want the guy to do, self immolate on the floor of the state house? Or maybe I should use the typical Republican dodge and say "Call me when it becomes law".


I blame it all on the Internet

Self-immolate? That'd be a start I guess


Maybe a simple "Thanks Darth for supporting my contention that we are moving toward a surveillance state."  In my little vignette here the very most charitable interpretation is that three politicians sponsored a bill w/o reading the part where they authorize warrantless searches of homes and according to the author, asserting one's 4th ammendment rights could get one a year in jail.  This is where you don't worry so much about gun control and start worrying about us being such a surveillance state that ths turd in a punch bowl slipped right on into contentious legislation without being read.  Of course that's only if you buy into the very most charitable interpretation of things here.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Sure It Was

M Scott Eiland's picture

Let me know when the "unnamed staff member" is named and fired for trying to abrogate the Fourth Amendment for people exercising their Second Amendment rights.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Agreed, a "mistake" isn't believable



Particularly When. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .the same legislator has sponsored bills with the same language repeatedly. Unless he's got Gun Grabber Tourette's or something and doesn't realize he's being compelled to try to violate the Fourth Amendment. Barring that, he's a f***ing liar.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

And that's why I don't believe people


who say, "Trust us, we don't want to outlaw gun ownership altogether, just a few commonsense regulations." At least Feinstein is honest about her long-term goals.

Perhaps some do


But what's your sense of striking a long-term bargain with liberal, overly rational weenies who seem to love compromise and coming to agreements?


Don't you think they could be trusted to work out a truce vs. start a slide down a slippery slope?

Paging Emily Litella!

M Scott Eiland's picture

There's a gun-grabbing snide ooops on Aisle Three that requires your talents!

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Sure He/She Has A Choice

M Scott Eiland's picture

They can wait until they're 18 and buy their own camera-free car. And pointing out liberal hypocrisy regarding "if it saves only one life!" and claiming to be against state intrusiveness (Right--tell me another) is always on point.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Still has nothing to do with guns

HankP's picture

but thanks for playing.


I blame it all on the Internet

He's got a point Hank


The Total Surveillance State is encroaching insidiously on all of us because each side sees only the part of it that we don't like.


On this topic the only people who are were close to being consistent were the libertarians, though now they seem to back a mental health registry or something incoherent like that.


If we can't stop it at the drones, we won't stop it at all.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

The Total Surveillance State is there because people want it.

mmghosh's picture

I was in the USA recently, and met up with several emigres from here.  Their acceptance of the TSS is complete - something they would not have stood for here.


Almost everything about everyone is filed somewhere, accessible to the right keys.  Social Security numbers, bank accounts, credit card numbers, tax details, employment statistics, insurance data, the list could go on and on.  And what the TSS doesn't know is contributed voluntarily via Facebook, Amazon book reviews and a million other sites on the Net.  


Someone here has the sig line - I will not be numbered, filed etc.  Those days have long gone.  But I don't see anyone here suggesting how matters could be different (except eeyn who I believe gets his pay in cash). 


The upside of this compromise may be the good life - a cash and barter economy may not be appropriate to your modern world.  But we haven't been done in yet.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

No he doesn't

HankP's picture

and it's a standard (but transparent) rhetorical trick to try to make A = B, even when they're not anywhere near related and have nothing in common.


I support background checks for everyone wishing to purchase a firearm. Please let me know when you can deform that into support for the total surveillance state.


I blame it all on the Internet

Still Has Nothing To Do With Creeping Authoritarianism

M Scott Eiland's picture

But thanks for "teenagers are entitled to string-free motor vehicle usage" riff.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

You don't seem to understand what I'm saying

HankP's picture

because of your mania in dragging guns into it. But using an inaccurate paraphrase of what I said is pretty dishonest.


I blame it all on the Internet

Posting Rules

M Scott Eiland's picture

And your comments are rarely difficult to interpret, no matter how inane the content.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).



The "mania" probably does shuffle it across the line into a PRV.


The "inane" jibe wasn't very polite either. 


Can we just not do that please? I have better things to do than to get all Solemn and Serious about this kind of thing (that may not actually be true).  

I'm Certainly Willing To Stop. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .the non-PRV rude comments assuming the PRVs that provoke them cease as well.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Not To Mention Anger

M Scott Eiland's picture

Gil-Galad is the son of Fingon, damn it! The Silmarillion said so! That loser Orodreth had nothing to do with him.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I'm just going to leave this here for posterity nt

HankP's picture


I blame it all on the Internet

Yeah, Right

M Scott Eiland's picture

Like being considered to be a Tolkien nerd is going to be what scares me.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).