Last Day of Feb. Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My boyfriend spends all his time selling weed. Should I leave?

    That depends on how big a discount he gives you.

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  3. Sleeping Dog says:
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Right wing heads everywhere explode.

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  5. Jon says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    “If you don’t eat our 100% trans-fat cookies,” added Johnson, “you’re a bigoted transphobe and on the wrong side of history.”

    Heh.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: I liked,

    Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow, responded to Nabisco’s announcement announcing his plans to start his own cream-filled chocolate cookie company called “Heter-Oreos” that affirms traditional Christian sexuality.

    Nabisco responded to Lindell’s announcement with a cease and desist order.

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  7. CSK says:

    Worth a read:

    thetriad.thebulwark.com/p/cpac-was-the-real-republican-party

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:
  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I resemble this tweet:

    IncitementToResurrectionHat
    @Popehat

    Me: spends 24 hours trying to figure out who Bin is and what I was supposed to be doing with him or her at 10:00 this morning and whether it involved court, based on handwritten notation on my calendar

    10:00: garbage bin I ordered to clean out garage delivered as scheduled

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  10. @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’ve heard Lindell on the radio. He’s basically a right wing nut.

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  11. @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yes it really is me.

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  12. Mikey says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Welcome back, Doug!! Great to see you again!

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  13. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Doug Mataconis: welcome back! Great start to our Sunday!!

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  14. @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Thanks. As James said in his post, it will probably still be awhile before I return to posting but I figure I can comment from time to time when I am able to.

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I am smiling.

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  16. Teve says:
  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Meet Juanita Moody, the most important woman involved in the Cuban Missile crisis you never heard of.

    A few weeks later, in a letter of thanks addressed to the NSA director, the commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Adm. Robert Dennison, wrote that the intelligence coming from NSA’s Cuba desk was “one of the most important single factors in supporting our operations and improving our readiness.”

    Moody’s use during the crisis of what were known as “electrograms,” essentially top-secret intelligence reports sent to the highest levels via Teletype, forever reshaped how the agency handled urgent intelligence, according to David Hatch, the senior NSA historian. “Juanita was a pioneer in using this capability,” he told me. Before Moody’s innovation, he went on, “most product was released via slower means, even in a crisis—hand-carried by courier, by interoffice mail, or even snail mail, to cite a few examples. The importance of having the ability to disseminate sigint in near-real-time was clearly demonstrated” during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    “The information Juanita and her team produced was very important in the decision to launch U-2s,” Hatch said. The United States would not have learned what it did, when it did, about offensive nuclear weapons in Cuba without Moody, a civilian woman in a male and military-dominated agency.

    Moody would later say the work she did in the 1940s and ’50s had prepared her for the Cuba standoff. “I felt at the time, while it was happening, that somehow I had spent all of my career getting ready for that crisis,” she said of those tense weeks in the autumn of 1962. “Somehow, everything that I had done had helped point me to be in the best position possible, knowledge-wise, to know how to proceed in that crisis.”

    But even in retirement Moody, who died in 2015, at age 90, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, was discreet. When asked about her past, she would deflect. As one friend remembered her saying, “Oh, I’ve done lots of interesting things for a country girl from North Carolina.”

    Quite the epitaph.

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  18. @Teve:

    That anyone finds this shocking is kind of confusing to me. All the Tech companies we love exist to make money, just like any other company

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  19. I’m happy to see that the state where I grew up and Virginia and advancing the ball down the field on marijuana legalization. It’s now legal in NJ but there aren’t any stores yet, and the Virginia legislature has approved legal weed and sent the bill to the Governor. Both states are also working on expunging the records of people who were arrested and usually convicted on a possession charge for having small quantities of marijuana in their possession. It’s about time.

    For the record, Virginia will be the 15th state to legalize. New York will probably have legal weed by the summer and Connecticut is going to do it soon too.

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  20. DrDaveT says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    For the record, Virginia will be the 15th state to legalize. New York will probably have legal weed by the summer and Connecticut is going to do it soon too.

    Well, legal for most. If you work for the federal government or one of its contractors, you’ll still get fired for it. In Virginia, that’s a lot of people.

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  21. Kathy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Welcome back.

    He’s basically a right wing nut.

    Isn’t that a pleonasm?

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  22. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Glad to have you back Doug!

    Yes, Lindell is a wack job. Years ago, I was acquainted with a folk singer who wrote a song with the refrain, He used to take acid, but now he loves God, but he still has that look in his eyes. That describes Lindell to a T.

    BTW, you may not have gotten the memo, that the top line posters updated their avatars. 🙂

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  23. Teve says:

    For the past year there’s been a song that I would hear when I was at the grocery store or at the mall etc. and I’ve tried to find out out what it is, but it was hard to hear on those overhead speakers. I would strain to hear a lyric I could Google and when I finally did and I googled it and found the song on YouTube it was some Honkytonk bullshit. Just wrong. So I would wait till I heard it again and find a different lyric and Google that. The same Honkytonk bullshit came up. It wasn’t the right song at all. It sounded so wrong that it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to realize that the song I liked was a very differently-produced cover of a song that was originally Honkytonk bullshit.

    https://youtu.be/J7vcFDPpcPU

    Someday Soon cover by Templeton Thompson

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  24. Teve says:

    @Doug Mataconis: of course they exist to make money, the point is that Facebook spends a hell of a lot of energy arguing that they just can’t kick nazis, holocaust deniers etc off the platform because First Amendment Free Speech blah blah, and it’s all lies. As soon as it interferes with their ability to make another dollar they chuck it right out the window.

    “ I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong.”

    Lie. He doesn’t think they should take it down because it would cost money to police that shit.

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  25. gVOR08 says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Welcome home.

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  26. Teve says:

    @Kathy: 😀

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  27. @DrDaveT:

    That’s true. I am hoping the Biden Administration will do something about this like he promised on the election trail. One big step would be to remove pot from the Schedule One drug list along with cocaine and heroin. Its not nearly as dangerous or addictive as those drugs. It should be treated the same way we treat alcohol and tobacco, both of which are arguably worse than pot in terms of the health issues they can lead to.

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  28. @Teve:

    To be fair there are hundreds of millions of things posted on Facebook and Twitter every day. It would basically be impossible to have enough employees to review every single post and comment. That’s why they both have to rely on algorithms, which are good but imperfect on both the false positive and false negative side of evaluating comments and posts.

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  29. Teve says:

    @Doug Mataconis: of course it’s technologically difficult. I can give you a screenshot of how I am currently on a 72 hour Facebook ban for promoting racial hatred because a juxtaposition I made had a swastika in it. Because the algorithm couldn’t understand the context. This is, also, adjacent to the original point that Zuckerburp lies about why they do things. But thanks for stress-testing that idea.

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  30. Kylopod says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’ve heard Lindell on the radio. He’s basically a right wing nut.

    Welcome back, Doug.

    I agree with Anderson Cooper’s characterization of Lindell as a snake-oil salesman. That was very clear in their interview last year. I don’t think he truly has any ideology other than trying to make a buck off gullible people, who just happen to be heavily overrepresented on the right.

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  31. Teve says:

    Poor Bill fell victim to this

    @mattyglesias

    One of the craziest right-wing tics is pretending that “the media” is in the tank for Andrew Cuomo.

    The NYT literally broke the story and it is dominating their home page.

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  32. Teve says:

    trying to make a buck off gullible people

    Supply-side economics, global-warming denial…

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  33. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Teve:

    For the past year there’s been a song that I would hear when I was at the grocery store or at the mall etc. and I’ve tried to find out out what it is, but it was hard to hear on those overhead speakers.

    Teve, while wandering through our local mega mart last week, it suddenly got quiet, just in time to hear ELP’s Karn Evil #9 line regarding seven virgins and a mule… Thought for a moment it was a bad acid flashback.

    Anyone here remember the old saw that you knew you were middle aged when you heard 101 Strings playing the rock & role of your youth?

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  34. Mister Bluster says:

    February is Black History Month
    Minnie Riperton
    1947-1979
    RIP

    Encore

    Minnie Riperton sang with the Rotary Connection and did a show at one of the local clubs in Sleepytown late ’60s early ’70s. I was either driving the Yellow Cab night shift or didn’t have the $5 cover charge to see the show. In any event I missed the gig.

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  35. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    I think that song was written by Ian Tyson of Ian and Sylvia. Judy Collins covered it, and possibly Joni Mitchell. All lovely, as is the Boguss cover.

    I can’t recall ever hearing a honkytonk version.

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  36. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    “…trying to make a buck off gullible people…”

    Golly, he sounds just like Trump.

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  37. @Teve:

    The leaders of both Facebook and Twitter both need to be more aware of how what they tell Congress and the public.

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  38. @DrDaveT:

    The other issue is that private sector companies have the right to have rules for their employees even if they are stupid rules. Unless they violate state or Federal law or there is an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement that says something different, you can get fired for any reason the employer chooses.

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  39. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Here’s a radical idea: a hypocrisy tax.

    Set the reate by the magnitude of the hypocrisy. Facebook and other social media companies would be taxed at, oh, maybe 22,567.2% of their income.

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  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Someday Soon, is an Ian Tyson song, along with another chestnut, Four Strong Winds. A recurring Tyson riff before playing either one, is to note how much alimony those residuals covered.

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  41. Mimai says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    One big step would be to remove pot from the Schedule One drug list along with cocaine and heroin.

    In fact, cocaine is Schedule Two…..which just strengthens your point. Given the political nature of scheduling decisions (to wit, LSD and psilocybin are still Schedule One), I’m not confident that we’ll see much movement on this. I hope that I’m wrong.

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  42. Kylopod says:

    @Teve:

    The NYT literally broke the story and it is dominating their home page.

    This is something I’ve seen for years–a righty complains that the mainstream media isn’t covering a story, then they link to an article from the mainstream media. (Here’s one previous example at OTB: In 2016, JKB linked to a 2008 Atlantic article about the Mark Penn memo, then stated without a trace of irony, “It’s going to be fun watching the media and Hillary shills, but I repeat myself, tear themselves up over this.”)

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  43. CSK says:

    I wonder if Trump will use his CPAC speech this afternoon to encourage his fans to storm the Capitol again on March 4 to reinstall him as president. QAnon believes there will be a military coup that day, a la Myanmar.

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  44. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I’m still holding out for my prediction that he’ll use the phrase “Fake President Biden.”

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  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I had no idea that cookies even had gender, or that their gender was associated with the color of the frosting inside. But the real question becomes what we should assume about cookies that don’t have filling. And what about Twinkies?

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  46. @Mimai:

    I’d forgotten that cocaine was Schedule II drug. Which makes this whole thing even crazier. There’s also the point that pot isn’t a drug, it’s a plant. Alcohol and Tobacco ate both plant related. Pot should be treated like they are.

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  47. @CSK:

    I predict he will use the speech to make what amount to coded message to QAnon believers like he does with white supremacists

    As for March 4th, the Capitol Building remains behind high fences and barbed wire and there are still a lot of Natonal Guard troops handling outdoor security. It is insane that this is necessary.

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  48. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Yes. I’m sure he’ll speak to his followers the way a Mafia don does to his soldiers. They’ll “know” exactly what he’s telling them to do.

    I’m pretty sure the reason that the fencing (and the troops) remain around the Capitol is to ward off any of this nonsense. The idiocy about Trump retaking the presidency on March 4 has been broadcast for weeks now.

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  49. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I had no idea that cookies even had gender

    Depends which language you’re talking about.

    Feminine: Spanish, Hebrew

    Masculine: French, German

    Neuter: Russian

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  50. @CSK:

    I know about the March 4th nonsense. Perhaps not coincidentally, March 4th is the day that Presidents were inaugurated prior to the 20th Amendment which changed the date to January 20th.

    Anyway it appears that the people responsible for Capitol Building security are aware of the QAnon thing and far better prepared than the authorities were on January 6th.

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  51. grumpy realist says:

    Welcome back, Doug!

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  52. But of course the New York Times is a Democratic propaganda machine.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/27/nyregion/cuomo-charlotte-bennett-sexual-harassment.html

    You’ll also recall that it was the Times that broke the Hillary Clinton email story.

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  53. Moosebreath says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “it was the Times that broke the Hillary Clinton email story”

    For more than one meaning of “broke”.

    Welcome back, Doug.

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  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  55. Kylopod says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Perhaps not coincidentally, March 4th is the day that Presidents were inaugurated prior to the 20th Amendment which changed the date to January 20th.

    What the Q people who support this theory have been saying is that the US stopped being a federal entity in 1870 and became a corporation, and therefore every president after Grant has not been legitimate–until Trump–and the 20th Amendment isn’t legit either. So when Trump is sworn in this Thursday, he will be the 19th president.

    No, I’m not remotely kidding.

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  56. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yes, I take your point. I think of “honkytonk” as somewhat louder, faster, and more jangly. YMMV.

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  57. Jax says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I keep poking your avatar to make sure it’s real. 😉 So glad to see you back!

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  58. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Oh, Qanon supporters are very loud and firm in this belief. Yep, on March 4 Trump becomes the 19th president of the U.S. Definitely.

    What amuses me is the number of insurrectionists busted after Jan. 6 who are now trying to use the “Trump made me do it” defense. Spoiler: That defense doesn’t appear to be working.

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  59. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    I don’t get songs stuck in my head for a day or two, I get them for years at a time. Other songs may come and go, but a few times a week it will be that certain song, again and again

    For about a decade–high school through college and a bit beyond–it was the background guitar riffs in Joplins’ cover of Me and Bobby McGee. Then I had kids and its been “Let It Go” for the last few years.

    For the entire pandemic it’s been the start of the organ break in Karn Evil #9. Washing dishes, having a nice little internal monologue and suddenly “duh DUUUH duh ba da DUUH DUUH.” Walking the dogs, “duh DUUUH duh ba da DUUH DUUH.” Getting up to pee at 3 am “duh DUUUH duh ba da DUUH DUUH.”

    Anyway, I used to like that song.

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  60. @CSK:
    I can say with confidence that this argument won’t work in court and no competent lawyer would make the arguement in court.

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  61. Kylopod says:

    The letter Q is descended from the Semitic letter qof, which has a gematria (numerical value) of 100.

    The first actor to play Q in the Bond films, Desmond Llewelyn, lived to age 85.

    Trump has five fingers on each hand, but his hands are so huuuuuuge he might as well have six fingers each.

    100 + 007 – 85 + 6 + 6 = 34

    3/4!

    QED.

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  62. Gustopher says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    That anyone finds this shocking is kind of confusing to me. All the Tech companies we love exist to make money, just like any other company

    They definitely exist to make money, but do they exist just to make money?

    The ones still run by their founders are often subject to the wild-eyed idealism of the founders who want to change the world. Are Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos competing in an arms race of missile technology because they want to make money, or because rockets are cool?

    (If North Korea had a rocket program as advanced as either of them, we would be bombing. I’m just saying… we know where Bezos and Musk live…)

    Some of the founders are massive ego-maniacs who think they know how the world should run, and now that they have money that just affirms they were right so why wouldn’t they push their agenda?

    Having worked for some of the big tech companies while the founders were still mostly involved, I’ve seen a lot of things that go against the business interests. My favorite stories are still not public, which is very sad, because I have a great one.

    Anyway, a lot of these founders fall prey to the great man fallacy, and believe that they are the great man in question.

    Facebook happens to have been founded by a Nazi-loving sociopath, that’s all.

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  63. Jax says:
  64. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    That’s not stopping some lawyers from trying that argument, though. I think this is known as “scraping the bottom of the defense barrel”

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/nation-world/2021/02/27/blame-trump-defense-in-capitol-riot-looks-like-a-long-shot/

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  65. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Babylon Bee is generally not funny at all, but “Heter-Oreos” is hysterical.

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  66. @CSK:

    The lawyers who raise this argument are not helping, and inevitably harming, their client’s best interests.

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  67. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    One lawyer quoted in the article said he thought it might persuade the judge to be lenient in sentencing.

    I suppose if you know your client is as guilty as sin, and that there are mountains of evidence to prove this, most notable of which are the videos the client himself or herself took of the client pillaging the chamber and then merrily posted on Facebook and Twitter, mounting an adequate defense might prove somewhat problematic.

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  68. @Gustopher:

    Musk is admittedly an oddball but his advances in electric car technology will, over the long run be seen as the beginning of the electric and self-driving car Revolution.

    Space X is going a great job as far as I can see and their development of a recoverable launch rocket will be considered groundbreaking in the long run. Also, it’s good that, thanks to them we no longer have to rely on 70s era Soyez capsules and the Russians to get astronauts to the space station. Musk’s mission to go to Mars is quirky to say the least but it serves SpaceX’s drive forward, which is of great value to the Federal Government’s goal to keep open access to the ISS.

    I’m not sure what to say about Bezos’s own space company but it’s very far behind SpaceX.

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  69. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Ah, the Babylon Bee, the site that proves that ideology isn’t the only thing that sets The Onion apart… it’s understanding how to write comedy. The BB writers, like self-styled wits in every high school in America, just can never resist that extra flourish on top of the joke… and the three more on top of that.

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  70. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: And you look exactly the same!

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  71. @CSK:

    It might help at sentencing time but also .might piss a Judge off enough to lower the boom on a convicted defendant who is unwilling to accept responsiblity for his actions. This could be especially true of Federal Judges.

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  72. @wr:

    I guess I need to update my avatar

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  73. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Alcohol [is] plant related

    I never thought about it like that. Kind of changes my perspective. I can see the ads, “Smirnoff Vodka, for all you potato lovers!”

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  74. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    And whiskey for all you barley, corn, rye, and wheat aficionados! And wine for all those who fancy grapes!

    It’s positively vegan.

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  75. @Kylopod:

    You’ve cracked the code

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  76. Teve says:

    I’ve seen a lot of complaints, but I don’t negotiate with terrorists.

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  77. Kurtz says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’d forgotten that cocaine was Schedule II drug. Which makes this whole thing even crazier. There’s also the point that pot isn’t a drug, it’s a plant. Alcohol and Tobacco ate both plant related. Pot should be treated like they are.

    You hit upon an interesting point here. Arguably, tobacco and weed can be distinguished from alcohol and cocaine. The former two go through minimal processing whereas the latter two require more processing, though the coca plant is an interesting case, see below.

    Alcohol harnesses a natural process–fermentation. But it’s not as if manufactured alcohol is as simple as letting fruit/grain ferment on its own.

    The opium poppy has an odd legal status.

    The coca plant is complicated historically. When Europeans restricted the use of coca by indigenous populations, it caused serious problems beyond just religious practices. It negatively affected the productivity of the indigenous population in significant ways.

    Both opium poppies and coca bushes can be used without chemically concentrating the active ingredients–much more like weed than alcohol.

    This is one of those areas that justifies my argument that cultural/social right wing beliefs are the heart of authoritarianism. Regulating economic behavior is inherently regulating human interactions with one another. Cultural “conservatism” places restrictions on individual behavior on the basis of potential effects on other individuals.

    It also highlights the insidious nature of dividing policy preferences in the frame of socially liberal, but economically conservative–the policies interact in so many ways that it’s a false distinction. Yet, it has become a way to define individual political identity.

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  78. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:

    Regulating economic behavior is inherently regulating human interactions with one another.

    Can you say more about this? Are you saying that this is a position that conservatives advocate?

    Also, and regardless, one thing that appears to be missing from your point is the notion of sanctity. That is, many (especially social conservatives) hold the view that taking substances to alter consciousness is a form of desecrating that which is sacred. This notion undergirds much of the discussion/policy surrounding substances.

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  79. CSK says:

    Well, Trump was supposed to start his CPAC rant at 3:40 p.m. It’s now 4:05 p.m. and he hasn’t shown up yet. He must think this is one of his rallies.

    His fans clearly enjoy being treated like disposable commodities.

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  80. Mikey says:

    @CSK:

    His fans clearly enjoy being treated like disposable commodities.

    The gaslighting and abuse are just part of the whole package.

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  81. CSK says:

    @Mikey:
    The speech is now scheduled to begin at 4:55 p.m.

    I’m reminded of the two women waiting for a Trump rally to begin. Tommy Christopher asked them if there was anything Trump could say or do that would turn them against him. Their reply was: “No.”

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  82. Kurtz says:

    @Mimai:

    Actually it was intended to do two things:

    a veiled shot at the idea that dominant theme of libertarian philosphy–that property is, for the lack of a better phrase, the foundational human right:

    Liberals generally wish to preserve the concept of “rights” for such “human” rights as freedom of speech, while denying the concept to private property.1 And yet, on the contrary the concept of “rights” only makes sense as property rights. For not only are there no human rights which are not also property rights, but the former rights lose their absoluteness and clarity and become fuzzy and vulnerable when property rights are not used as the standard.

    More germane, it was a way to show that the distinctions between social policy and economic policy are real, but that splitting them in terms of political philosophy hampers effective policy-making and renders law and political preferences inconsistent–codified cognitive dissonance.

    Drug laws are an interesting example. Yes, much of their origin is rooted in religious interpretation (though, much of their use historically is based in sacred ritual). It is also tied to racism in many cases. But let’s break it down.

    Prohibiting the sale of a substance is purely an economic regulation

    Prohibiting the possession of a substance is purely regulation of personal behavior.

    Prohibiting the production and/or possession of more than a certain amount as an implicit intent to sell, is purely an economic regulation.

    But as you point out, the intent of initial drug laws was never regulation of economic activity–it was regulating personal behavior. The economic regulations were codified in service to a social goal that prohibited personal choices that did not intrinsically affect other people.

    There are a few takeaways here:

    The initial goal was regulating individual behavior. Without that goal, the economic prohobitions would never be enacted. Hence my contention that cultural conservatism is the heart of authoritarianism.

    Criminalizing entirely personal behavior in an attempt to impose particular cultural values exacerbated social and economic harms that were pre-existing and actually incentivized the criminalized economic activity.

    Now, a Libertarian would look at me and say, exactly! But not so fast.

    One of the causes of the spike in opioid deaths was the cutting of heroin with fentanyl, because the latter was cheaper.

    If we say, legalized the production and sale of heroin, it would be entirely legitimate for the government to create purity standards, require the disclosure of all the ingredients in the final product, and implement an inspection regime.
    Why? Because the product, the embodiment of the interaction between people, can be harmful. In fact, it is often more profitable to sell a product with a higher risk of harm.

    But this is an example of one of the inconsistencies of libertarian philosophy. If we place property rights as the foundation of all other rights and let freely agreed upon contracts solely govern human interactions, individuals are often harmed irreparably by unforeseeable actions of others. Indeed, economic gain often incentivizes it.

    And even if we were to concede that it is, at its base, an affront against the body as property, it would still justify government interference on the basis of harm.

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  83. Mimai says:

    Thank you for taking the time to lay this out. I have a much better understanding of where you are/were coming from. This is a challenging discussion to have on this platform, as I suspect neither of us are inclined to write it all out. Nevertheless, I’ll free associate (of course, that is impossible when writing) to a few points you made:

    1) Re your breakdown on prohibitions, I suspect the Libertarian would object to the notion of “purely” in this list.

    2) One of the primary objections you seem to have (please correct me if I’m wrong) is one of consistency in the Libertarian philosophy. Indeed, some variant of “inconsistent” and “cognitive dissonance” is sprinkled throughout. I’m not taking issue with your characterization – indeed, I struggle to think of a perfectly consistent philosophy, I suspect that one would be abhorrent, and regardless, reality gives zero #$%& about consistency or philosophy. Rather, it’s not clear to me whether you consider this a feature inherent to all philosophies or to Libertarian philosophy specifically. Or perhaps it’s the former, it is just that you find the Libertarian variant to be particularly galling, harmful, etc.

    3) You say that “individuals are often harmed irreparably by unforeseeable actions of others. Indeed, economic gain often incentivizes it.” I suspect the Libertarian philosopher (note, this is separate from the Anarchist philosopher) would agree with this. And would respond by saying, among other things, that “we” would set up a system (voluntary, natch) of laws/rules governing such behavior. Thus, if the “seller” misrepresents their product, thus preventing the “buyer” from making an informed decision, then this would violate the law/rule. If the seller accurately represents their product, and the buyer makes an informed decision to purchase and consume said product, then all is ok regardless of the outcomes. After all, Libertarianism != Consequentialism.

    coda: I am trying to pass the ideological Turing test vis-à-vis Libertarianism, which is a good exercise for me and also advances this discussion.

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  84. charon says:

    So I paused the action during the CPAC speech to take a look at the crowd.

    Without counting, about 65 to 80 (estimate) faces on the screen.

    All white, no POC, all seated close together, so super spreader potential.

    I only saw two masks, the remainder bare-faced.

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  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I go by the overall effect of feeling my teeth setting on edge. That and pedal steel guitar.

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  86. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    How do you feel about “Honky Tonk Women”?

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  87. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: And here I thought it was called “accumulating billable hours to collect a fee.”

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  88. charon says:

    @charon:

    What a whinefest. The party of WATB led by the ur WATB. Lots of lying of course.

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  89. DrDaveT says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I don’t get songs stuck in my head for a day or two, I get them for years at a time.

    What term do you use for such things? The only term I’ve heard in more than one place is “earworm”. My favorite is from Alfred Bester’s SF novel The Demolished Man, in which the composer calls them “pepsies” (etymology unknown), and writes one for the anti-hero to use as a defense against telepaths.

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  90. DrDaveT says:

    @Kylopod:

    The letter Q is descended from the Semitic letter qof

    I vividly remember the most annoying day of my Nonlinear Programming class in college. It was already the hardest class of my senior year, and I was barely keeping up. The professor was lecturing, and he said “Suppose we have a twice-differentiable function qof“, and he wrote a symbol on the board. “It’s Aramaic; I’m tired of Latin and Greek letters.”

    Having to draw this glyph every time it occurred in the subsequent proof slowed me down juuust enough to keep me from really following it. If I’d been clever, I’d have just written “Q” every time and would have kept up just fine…

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  91. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mimai: On the other hand, if the seller violates the voluntary rules/laws, what is the consequence and how does that consequence restore to the purchaser in the fraudulent transaction what was lost (particularly, for example in a case like heroin having been “stepped on” with fentanyl)? Because, after all, Libertarianism !=Consequentialism.

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  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I’m pretty passionately ambivalent about the song, not being a Stones’ fan. Formally, it strikes me as more bluesy than honky tonk. Others don’t make that distinction, going with the notion that honky tonk is what happens when cowboys try to sing the Blues.

    My teeth have no reaction, though.

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  93. Jax says:

    JustSecurity published a litigation tracker for all of Trump’s civil and potential criminal cases, if anybody else wants to bookmark it. It was nice finding them all in one list! 🙂

    https://www.justsecurity.org/75032/litigation-tracker-pending-criminal-and-civil-cases-against-donald-trump/

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  94. DrDaveT says:

    @Kurtz:

    More germane, it was a way to show that the distinctions between social policy and economic policy are real, but that splitting them in terms of political philosophy hampers effective policy-making and renders law and political preferences inconsistent–codified cognitive dissonance.

    In an interesting side development, the profession of economics has decided that microeconomics is the empirical study of human interactions, and that interactions involving money are only a subset of these. At a typical economics conference these days, if you drop in on a random micro track session you’re just as likely to hear a paper about how people get matched up with potential spouses as you are to hear about the effects of minimum wages on employment.

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  95. Mimai says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Re the consequence, I don’t think it would be any different than in any other system of rules/laws. That is, the consequences are spelled out when the rule/law is being articulated and implemented. So in the Libertarian society, the people would agree on the rules/laws and consequences, and proceed accordingly.

    Re the restoration, this is where it gets more complicated (IMO). In the abstract sense, the Libertarian philosopher might simply say that this too is a matter of voluntary agreement among citizens of the society. Violate X rule/law, pony up X amount restoration. But as a practical matter, and as you note, this isn’t always so simple…..especially in cases where irreparable harm is done (e.g., fentanyl laced heroin that causes permanent damage, including death). In that case, the purchaser can never be restored.

    So wouldn’t this example highlight the inconsistency (I almost wrote “folly” but changed it, consistency and folly are orthogonal to one another) of Libertarianism? Perhaps. But I suspect the Libertarian philosopher might object by noting that restorative justice is but one form of justice. And there is nothing in Libertarian philosophy that necessitates that justice = restoration.

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  96. DrDaveT says:

    @Mimai:

    Rather, it’s not clear to me whether you consider this a feature inherent to all philosophies or to Libertarian philosophy specifically.

    Not pretending to speak for @Kurtz here, but for me it’s specifically libertarian philosophy that is built on an inescapable contradiction. Specifically, a philosophy cannot be both deontological and consequentialist — it can’t make “behaving according to the fundamental rules” primary AND make “achieving the desired outcomes” primary, unless it happens to be true that behaving according to the fundamental rules inevitably leads to achieving the desired outcomes.

    For a while, libertarians tried to argue that making property rights primary would lead to all of the nice social outcomes everyone desires. When that argument was no longer viable, due to overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary, the movement fragmented.

    Those who still consider themselves libertarians have either (1) denied the evidence that making property rights primary leads to bad outcomes, or (2) have tried to redefine property rights while denying that outcomes are more important than proper rules, or (3) have admitted that outcomes are more important than proper rules and have tried to tweak the rules to produce better outcomes. The first are deluded; the second are hypocrites; the third aren’t actually libertarians — they’re classical liberals.

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  97. Joe says:

    @CSK: Love the Judy Collins cover. It’s sometimes my daily earwig.

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  98. CSK says:

    @Jax:
    Well, that was an engaging read. Thanks.

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  99. dazedandconfused says:
  100. CSK says:

    @Joe:
    It is indeed lovely.

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  101. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    Why didn’t you warn me????? That was excruciating.

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  102. Mimai says:

    @DrDaveT: Thanks for chiming in. And for bringing in the distinction between deontology and consequentialism. This is a hotly debated issue among Libertarian philosophers (as you note, “the movement fragmented”). Some contest, as you do, that they are fundamentally in opposition. Others hold the counter viewpoint – so called Consequentialist Libertarianism. I don’t have a dog in that fight.

    You write “The first are deluded; the second are hypocrites; the third aren’t actually libertarians — they’re classical liberals”. Here’s how the different camps might respond:

    The Deluded – I do not deny the evidence that making property rights primary leads to bad outcomes. Bad outcomes are inevitable in any governing philosophy. I just think that my philosophy produces the least worst/frequent bad outcomes.

    The Hypocrite – We’re all hypocrites. It’s part of the human condition. And of course we refine (note, this is different than redefine) our conception of property rights, in as much as our conception is not divorced from actual society (or its continued evolution). We do indeed deny that outcomes (other than liberty, which can be primary and outcome) are more important than X (you say “proper rules” which is vague and not the same as property rights, which is what I thought we were discussing). We are not Consequentialists per se.

    Classical Liberal – Why’d you have to bring me into this? I agree with much of what my Libertarian cousin says, but damn if he (and let’s be honest, it’s mostly a bunch of hes) isn’t insufferable! Regardless, I take issue with that notion that I “have admitted that outcomes are more important than proper rules.”

    [and scene]

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  103. Gustopher says:

    @dazedandconfused: Too much Honky, not enough Tonk.

    I do want to know if the piano player was really involved at all, but not enough to listen to more of that.

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  104. An entirely predictable CPAC speech from Trump.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/28/us/politics/trump-cpac-republicans.html

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  105. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve:

    It sounded so wrong that it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to realize that the song I liked was a very differently-produced cover of a song that was originally Honkytonk bullshit.

    Someday, maybe you will realize that all that “honkytonk bullshit” wasn’t bullshit at all. That some of it in fact is really good music.

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  106. Gustopher says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Thanks. As James said in his post, it will probably still be awhile before I return to posting but I figure I can comment from time to time when I am able to.

    Good to have you drop by from time to time, even if you never get back to posting regularly.

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  107. Jax says:

    This woman is going to end up being responsible for one of the most famous grizzlies in the Grand Teton National Park being euthanized. I don’t understand how she’s not up on charges.

    https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/homeowner-feeds-teton-park-grizzlies-for-years-feds-decline-charges/article_c3e0b597-1816-5d07-b042-bb866a87e216.html?fbclid=IwAR13g0tTipt6pWWK-tkkzLb0lslE6dtUxQp7Q1Bj-Hdegpu647tiqDONhwE

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  108. Gustopher says:

    @Doug Mataconis: He was literally under a sign that reads “America Uncanceled” while calling for specific people to be cancelled.

    Of course, he was also literally on top of a Nazi symbol while spouting lies that would have made Goebbels blush.

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  109. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: This is something I’ve seen for years–a righty complains that the mainstream media isn’t covering a story, then they link to an article from the mainstream media.

    Lefties do it too. I can’t count the number of times I have replied to liberals with that complaint with, “How did you hear of it?”

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  110. @Gustopher:

    As I said earlier, in the Trump world dissent is not permitted hence the arracks on Cheney, Romey. Collins. Murkowski, and McConnell.

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  111. flat earth luddite says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    These days, the tinnitus pretty much buries the background songs. I miss being able to hear the music.

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  112. Kurtz says:

    @Mimai:

    Ah, yes. I was barely clear enough. Good. I was worried about that.

    Random aside or two:

    I realized I didn’t clearly answer your sanctity question. I wrote a post. A connection goblin got it. I’ll give a short version here.

    Free moral agency is an important concept in protestant theology. I could see the argument that intoxication diminishes the capacity for agency so should be avoided. But from a theological perspective, it seems to me that using law to punish usurps God’s claim to the be the sole authority with exclusive right of judgement.

    Before you started commenting here, there was a multi-day discussion of deontology vs. utility.

    The point I made was that Right Libertarians are making a deontological argument. The consequential justifications previously offered for their worldview posed a problem in the late 21st century–the outcome of dismantling the New Deal. By shifting the argument to a moral framework, they no longer had to defend any real world data.

    It’s important to understand that my point was based on the current form of it. The forerunners of popular RWL were around way before, but the 80s, Reagan, and subsequent rise of Silicon Valley marked the mainstreaming of what was considered a fringe part of Republicanism. And yes, it isn’t compatible with social conservatism, but there are historical reasons that uneasy alliance was formed.

    Let me give one attempt at a clarification here:

    Consistency is a fable. I can agree with that. However, Libertarians would argue that they are consistently on the side of liberty, because it is predicated on the notion of voluntary exchange and association. The other critical argument is that the State can only function via coercion, which is prima facie immoral. In short, State=violence.

    The State cannot satisfy the voluntary relations standard, because one cannot opt out of any restrictions imposed by law. We are born and subject to State-imposed restrictions without ever choosing to be.

    My test for consistency in this case would be to test the philosophy at the axiomatic level. I can approach this from several different directions. I’ll go for the ones I see as most important.

    The first is definitional. The notion that the State is intrinsically coercive is often phrased as the State has a monopoly on violence. There are two errors here, but one requires a much shorter explanation.

    In order to provide a viable alternative to the State, one must limit the meaning of coercion to physical violence to the body. But coercion need not be the threat of direct physical harm or imprisonment. Coercion can be employed against anything of importance to an individual, including metaphysical concepts.

    A burning cross meant more than just a threat of violence. It was also meant to instill a metaphysical terror–a restriction on choice that relied just as much on a Black person’s self-conception as the threat of a spectacular lynching. At some point, the symbol of a burning cross no longer derived its power by implying the imminent threat of a public hanging, but as a reminder of the target’s place in a broad hierarchy. That is still coercion.

    The primacy of property rights also requires one to ignore fundamental differences between property right and, say, the right to speak one’s mind.

    You and I both have the natural right to speak freely. They can conflict, but only by a claim by one of us to exclusive privilege. Other than that, they can both be exercised independently of one another.

    In contrast, the right to property is a claim of exclusive privilege by its nature. Another way to put it, it is the right to impose restrictions on another.

    Let me be clear, that does not mean that property rights are immoral, or illusory. It is merely pointing out that they are defined by different attributes from other rights.

    One other key difference is enforcement. I can speak regardless of whether anyone listens. I can preach from a street corner eight hours a day, and be completely ignored–even inaction from a third party is an affirmative recognition. The only way to interfere with my claim to the right to speak is through some (threat of) coercion. But my exercise of the right need nbe coercive–it doesn’t require action by another individual.

    But the right to property requires others recognize my claim. It becomes incumbent on others to avoid activities that interfere with that claim. It is by its nature, restrictive.

    That is why I quoted Rothbard. The only way around that, is to define all other rights as types of property rights. But this isn’t grounded in anything real. It’s a construct designed to avoid a distinction inconvenient to a desired conclusion.

    This comparison is particularly useful, because it highlights another Libertarian argument based only in semantics–how to define the State. By their own definition, it would be an entity with final authority to resolve disputes and monopoly on coercion to enforce its resolution.

    If you and I have a dispute over a claim, what happens if we cannot agree on a fair arbiter? If there was a contract in place, but I challenge the neutrality of the arbiter, who resolves that dispute?

    The answer is, the State, even if they
    call it something different.

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  113. CSK says:

    Tanqueray is promoting its latest product: alcohol-free gin.

    ReplyReply
  114. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz: I appreciate your further explication. I think it’s as good a place as any to end on. Cheers.

    ReplyReply
  115. Kurtz says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Lol, academic imperialism.

    ReplyReply
  116. Mister Potato Head says:

    Test

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  117. Mister Bluster says:

    Mr. Potato Head cancelled by OTB.

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  118. Mister Bluster says:

    Right Wing Laments Loss of Mr. Potato Head’s Imaginary Genitals as Hasbro Gives Toy Line Gender-Neutral Name
    Fried, baked, mashed, scalloped, broiled, boiled, potato pancakes, mustard salad, mayo salad, german salad, I’m sure there are many more ways to fix up a spud. I’ve eaten them raw fresh dug up out of the garden.
    But I’ve never seen a potato with a penis or a vagina.

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  119. Kurtz says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I sometimes wonder if Shapiro has ever actually read anything in his life.

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  120. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: Nope. Just YouTube videos. I’ve discovered one of the biggest indications of conservatism is whether they actually READ anything, or if they found all their “facts” on YouTube videos.

    Me, I can’t sit down long enough to watch that shit. I need the written word, I can read an entire transcript from a YouTube video (without the “personality blessings”) in a much faster time frame than people who absorb through video.

    I guess that’s why I like it here.

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  121. DrDaveT says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    But I’ve never seen a potato with a penis or a vagina.

    Surely this merely confirms that gender is not determined by sex, no? Mister Potato Head can have whatever plumbing he is comfortable with.

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  122. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..Juanita Moody, the most important woman involved in the Cuban Missile crisis

    …some 145 intercontinental ballistic missiles stood on ready alert,..
    WikiP

    I was 14 at the time and a freshman at Danville High School. I remember listening to news on the radio at my father’s donut shop where I was working. I think the reports were that the missiles were seen out of their silos. I knew enough to realize that we were in deep shit if things got worse.

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  123. Jax says:

    @DrDaveT: I’m still waiting for conservatives to figure out out that Mr/Mrs Potato-Head and Barbie/Ken were the first verified examples of children discovering “cross-dressing”.

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  124. Kurtz says:

    @Jax:

    I am more likely to read or listen to a podcast.

    I did watch a McWhorter talk the other day when he became a topic of discussion in a thread. I fired a few blind shots in his direction. Refreshed my memory on him. Ate my crow. Watched the talk. Wondered whether I ate the crow a little early.

    But then I came to the conclusion that I should read one of his books to dis/confirm my suspicions, because I’m not sure a talk can give a true picture of his argument. So I have put a moratorium on crow eating for the time being.

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  125. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: I can’t even listen, there’s still too much in the “personality blessings” department. My Dad sounds great on the phone or the radio, then he starts talking about sand n**** and ragheads and whatnot. If they can’t put out a written transcript of their YouTube/Podcast/etc, that I can read super-fast, they don’t need my eyeballs.

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  126. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: I spent several years in the 90’s reading for Luce Press Clippings. Thousands of pages of newspaper a day. It’s permanently affected how I consume media. Give it to me in written form, and I can blow through it. Make me slow down to listen to it…..

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  127. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Potato Head:..test

    Got sprung from moderation for Mashed Potato Time!

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  128. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @dazedandconfused: Ouch!!! But I did like the white go-go boots. A real fashion statement.

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