Wednesday’s 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. Teve says:

    Would you be terribly shocked if I told you that last year three crypto techie libertarian Bros started a Libertarian Paradise on the ocean and it’s already gone tits up?

    The disastrous voyage of Satoshi, the world’s first cryptocurrency cruise ship

    Last year, three cryptocurrency enthusiasts bought a cruise ship. They named it the Satoshi, and dreamed of starting a floating libertarian utopia. It didn’t work out

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Peter Wolf
    @peterawolf

    Where Does @RichLowry Go to Get His Ass Kicked?

    Because it’s been a looong time coming.

    (graph of Florida deaths at link)

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  3. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I haven’t had coffee, but…what’s the connection between Lowry and the Florida Covid death toll?

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  4. Jon says:
  5. Barry says:

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I finally sent my Hurricane Ida refugees home yesterday. One of the restaurants my son works at has had a return of electricity, so he needs to get back down there and go to work. We bought them a generator and I was ready to drive it down there last Thursday when he called to say they were coming up. Thank dawg, I was not looking forward to trying to make my way thru flood ravaged MS and LA at all (according to MS and LA DOTs, 55 was open all the way to just north of Pontchartrain, but I couldn’t get much info on checkpoints) and then driving back the next day. Still, 2 adults, an infant, and 2 dogs (one of which is old, blind, and arthritic to the point where peeing inside is sometimes her only choice) helped to fill our smallish abode to the overflow. A little bit stressful, but not overwhelmingly. As sorry as I am to see them go, I can’t deny feeling a little relieved at their departure. They don’t know for sure if they have electricity at their house but the generator should take care of most of those concerns.

    I didn’t get to say goodbye because I had my 2nd set of pelvic stents put in yesterday. At least this time I wasn’t awake thru out the entire affair. The Doc said that this time was even worse than the other. Can’t say for sure as I was out but I know I felt significantly shittier in post op than I did after the first set. A whole lot of back pain in addition to the upper thigh, not to mention the hangover from the drugs. Finally they go to send my home, disconnecting the monitor and blood pressure cuff and O2, sit me up, and oh lordy, it’s a gusher down their. Femoral (vein, not arterial) bleeders are not for the faint of heart. So I got to spend another 15-20 minutes with a pretty girls’ hands in my junk as she applied pressure to stop the bleeding. That phrase, “15-20 minutes with a pretty girls’ hands in my junk” was never so unsexy.

    They finally cut me loose an hour later with a whole new drug regimen for my blood clots because the Doc found 3 small clots on the upstream side of the first stents they installed and he thinks the old thinner seems to have lost it’s effectiveness. I’m not sure if that contributes to my lightheadedness this AM or not. I know I had to take a vicodin last night and sleep with ice packs on my back and in my crotch, which I did not need after the first set went in. We’ll see how the day goes. I know I am taking it easy, not lifting anything over 10 pounds and not doing anything I don’t have to do.

    Tomorrow is another day.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: He wrote an article on the Covid rates in Florida last winter basically saying RD had it right and everybody else was wrong: “Where does Ron DeSantis go for his apology?”

    There were a number of factors that contributed to the low rates down there then, the most obvious of which is that winter in Florida is outdoor season while summer is indoor season. Lowry was tooting that horn a little too soon.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Or what @Jon: said. Thanx, I didn’t feel like digging it up.

    eta: NOW I get an edit function.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Karyn Maughan
    @karynmaughan

    The accuracy of this. (.55 video)

    Too true, too fn’ true.

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  10. Mu Yixiao says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    That phrase, “15-20 minutes with a pretty girls’ hands in my junk” was never so unsexy.

    Over the course of the last year, trying to figure out why my bloodwork is messed up, I went through a whole battery of test to see if there was cancer anywhere*. One of them was a testicular ultrasound. Twenty minutes of having my sac lubed up and fondled was never so unsexy. I didn’t even get a pretty girl, I got an old battle-axe. 😛

    I’ve been told I have no boob cancer, no butt cancer, no ball cancer, and no bellybutton cancer.

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  11. CSK says:

    @Jon:
    Ah, I see. Thank you.

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  12. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Yep. Thanks.

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  13. Mu Yixiao says:

    Talking about “voting blocs” (e.g., the “black vote” or “the women’s vote”) is common in politics. These videos give a good representation of just how non-monolithic different groups are. The first one is “boomers”, but there’s a whole series of them. The “Do all blacks think the same” is very descriptive of the issue.

    Do all Boomers think the same?

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  14. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    That phrase, “15-20 minutes with a pretty girls’ hands in my junk” was never so unsexy.

    That made me laugh and reminded me of my vasectomy that had an all female crew including the urologist. All had sharp objects in their hands.

    Hope you get well soon.

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Idaho hospitals begin rationing health care amid COVID surge

    Death panels, here we come. Thanx GOP.

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: You’re supposed to close your eyes and pretend. 😉

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  17. Tony W says:

    It feels like four months ago the world was opening to both a literal and a figurative springtime – vaccines were taking hold, COVID infections were way down, and life seemed like it was heading back to the old normal.

    It’s amazing what a couple of months of easily published evil rhetoric can do to the world.

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: All had sharp objects in their hands.

    Heh, reminds me of the time I collapsed my lung. It was a public hospital (I was dirt poor and uninsured) so the whole affair was a bit of a nightmare, but the high point was when I was being prepped for surgery on a gurney on the open floor of an overflowing ER (not even curtains for privacy) when 7 or 8 very young, white men and women filed in after the Pakistani Doc and surrounded me.

    I thought, “OK, I am the lesson of the day.”

    The Doc is speaking in very heavily accented English that I could barely understand and I would soon learn that at least one of them couldn’t understand at all. One of the students looked a bit edgy, almost nauseous. I didn’t think much of it until he stepped forward and I saw the scalpel in his hands. Things did not necessarily go bad, but they definitely weren’t exactly textbook. The fact that other than a local, I was without anesthesia probably didn’t help.

    At one point I looked up across the ER and made eye contact with a cop who was looking a bit like, “Jesus, whatever I do I don’t want to end up like that.”

    When I finally got to my room post op, I learned what all the junkies were raving about. The morphine didn’t make the pain go away, but it was a beautiful pain, heaven sent.

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  19. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: I started reading the article but it is essentially the same story from every Libertarian initiative since it was founded: adult frat boys whose social development ended at the age of 13 decide the fantasy world they have constructed in their head is revolutionary and the reason no one ever did it before is that the rest of the world are lame sheeples who aren’t daring enough. They go off half cocked, everything falls apart, and the rest of the libertarian community wipes it from their collective memory. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    The only thing that I’m mildly curious about (but not enough to finish the article) is whether the ship eventually got sold for scrap, or is it lying rusting in some harbor where it will eventually sink and release a toxic oil spill into the surrounding waters?

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:Best of luck.

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  21. Barry says:

    One of the things that I’ve seen a lot is libertarians who assume that living in space would be a free life.

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  22. Keef says:
  23. grumpy realist says:

    @Teve: I found the article howlingly funny, complete with a nice load of British snark:

    As with many stories about techno-libertarian fantasies, the tale of the Satoshi begins in an all-male, quasi-frat house in San Francisco in the late 90s.

    Too many libertarians think that the supporting systems surrounding them don’t exist. There’s a reason for regulations, guys.

    (Oh, and there’s a happy-ending for the cruise ship: it got sold to someone who’s starting up a cruise line and thought it was exactly what they wanted.)

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  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Frank Lesser
    @sadmonsters

    The only thing Franklin Graham has in common with Jesus is that he only got where he is because of who his father was

    Franklin Graham
    @Franklin_Graham
    · Sep 6
    Repeated stimulus payments & giveaway packages have encouraged people not to go to work. The Republicans seem to know how to get people to work and the Democrats seem to know how to tax your money and give it to people as an incentive not to work.
    Show this thread

    Frank Lesser
    @sadmonsters

    To be fair, Franklin Graham is also being publicly crucified right now

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  25. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    If you know any other way to protect people from the vaccine, we’d all like to hear it.

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  26. grumpy realist says:

    @Keef: You believe stuff you find in HotAir?

    Well, that explains everything.

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  27. Scott says:

    @Barry: Because everything they know about living in space comes from Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”.

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  28. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Keef:
    Ed Morrisey is a hack, has always been a hack, and will never be anything but a hack.
    Linking to him only shows me how dumb you are.

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  29. Kathy says:

    Yesterday was a busy day.

    I had a family Rosh Hashana meal I couldn’t get out of, but that went better than I expected (though it was still a terrible idea during a pandemic).

    Then we had that earthquake a little before 9 pm. Now, I’m not usually scared during earthquakes. I’ve been living with them all my life (though I was out of the country for the 1985 Big Quake). This one, though, apart from feeling rather strong, went on for almost a whole minute.

    That scared me.

    Not personally, but I thought the city would suffer massive damage. this did not happen, aside from some power outages, some injuries, some downed utility poles.

    On the bright side, Mexico’s supreme court ruled yesterday that criminal penalties for abortion are unconstitutional.

    This doesn’t legalize abortion nationwide, but it makes things harder on those who want to restrict abortions. Currently it’s legal, for the first trimester, only in Mexico City and three states.

    But given the new draconian restrictions in Texas, it would be stupid beyond belief for the states along the border not to legalize abortion.

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  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: ???

    An edit function has appeared: the triage applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated no matter their reason for going to the ER.

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  31. DAllenABQ says:

    This is a suggestion for Teve regarding his new interest in poetry. Try out W. H. Auden’s “Musee des Beaux Arts”. It is a bite sized piece but powerful; it imagines the moment when Icarus fell from the sky after flying too close to the sun. The moment was perhaps momentous, but ultimately trivial. Everyone else on earth had a life to live and so the spectacle of a boy falling from the sky was met with a decided, “Meh”, if it was noticed at all.

    Make sure to google a version of the poem accompanied by Pieter Brueghel’s painting depicting the fall of Icarus, which inspired Auden’s poem. I especially love the insight how the aged “reverently, passionately” await the second coming, but children are not so keen to see it happen just yet.

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  32. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I don’t understand that, either.

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  33. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Scott:

    Because everything they know about living in space comes from Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”.

    You mean the story where you’re left to suffocate if you don’t pay your air fee?

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  34. Scott says:

    @Mu Yixiao: TANSTAAFL!

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  35. HarvardLaw92 says:

    In local news, some clowns tried to rob Bulgari yesterday. Car chase though central Paris, pew pew, bad guys caught.

    We’re also basically under lockdown (Île de la Cité and both banks of the Seine) as terrorist trials related to 2015 begin. It’s never boring.

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  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Teve:
    That was an excellent read. I’ve generally had contempt for the intelligence of libertarians over the age of, say, 20 or 21. Earlier than that you can chalk it up to the usual youthful imbecility. So this was entertaining.

    The idea that a ship would be libertarian is delightful. Since the dawn of time ships have been rigidly hierarchical because they’re on water, and they have a tendency to run into things and sink, to encounter bad weather and sink, to catch fire and sink, to have mechanical issues and sink. . . basically, unlike houses, they sink. Now, had they managed to hold on just a few months longer we might have had the fun of watching our frat boy libertarians captured by pirates.

    If you want total freedom a ship is your worst choice of domicile, short of a Boeing 747. If you want to be a sincere libertarian you need to find a remote piece of land, build a shack, dig a latrine, and prepare yourself for a lifetime of fleas and filth and children daring each other to go into the woods where the old lunatic lives.

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  37. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @CSK:

    Irony,

    Real Americans overwhelm hospitals and die, rather than submit to a vaccine that will magnetize their infertility or something.

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  38. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’d like to meet one of these people who think the government is inserting tracking devices in vaccines and ask them if they have a smart phone. You know, a tracking device they buy, they pay for, with not just the ability to track their movements, but also their online activities, their financial transactions, and their conversations.

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  39. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Not to mention that a ship has limited supplies, limited energy reserves, and requires energy expenditures 24/7 to keep moving (usually cities invest in preventing damage when the city moves, as in an earthquake).

    Life on a ship could be idyllic, if it remained moored to a port and had access to landside energy and other supplies.

    You’d think people obsessed with economics would know this.

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  40. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Weren’t Freedom Phones created to furnish an end run around government surveillance of MAGA patriots? 😀

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  41. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: They get the Freedom Phone!

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  42. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    “Life on a ship could be idyllic, if it remained moored to a port…”

    I give you…houseboats!

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  43. @Michael Reynolds: Indeed. It is one of the more ridiculous of the anti-vax conspiracy theories.

    Really, if the goal was to trace people, the government would just give away brand new iPhones with the trackers turned on.

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  44. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If you want to be a sincere libertarian you need to find a remote piece of land, build a shack, dig a latrine, and prepare yourself for a lifetime of fleas and filth and children daring each other to go into the woods where the old lunatic lives.

    Or… one could buy a remote plot of land, hire an architect to design a nice house; hire carpenters, masons, electricians, plumbers, and roofers to construct it; hire landscapers to design and scape the lawn; purchase a septic system from a private company and hire them to install it; and–if need be–hire a septic pumping company to empty it out on occasion.

    All without the help of the government.

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  45. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I started reading the article but it is essentially the same story from every Libertarian initiative since it was founded:

    Not true! There weren’t any bears this time.

    😀

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  46. Kathy says:

    It seems that Holmes will try the chutzpah defense.

    From the link:

    Legal experts say beyond the alleged abuse defense, it appears Holmes will argue she did not fully understand the complex science behind the devices and believed they worked.

    So, the company she founded and where she served as CEO, made a technology she proposed, and she thought it did work, but it really didn’t?

    Wouldn’t that be, at the very least, beyond-trumpian level of negligence?

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  47. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I suppose the results are going to heavily depend on the intelligence/personal responsibility/money of the individual doing the building.

    Grafton, NH is a cautionary tale. Libertarians were successful in rolling back regulations, and the end result were open trash pits that attracted bears.

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  48. Teve says:

    @Scott: dang, I was just reminded of that.

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  49. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    You left out water, electricity, and the legal recognition of the deed to the land and house.

    All without help from the government.

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  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just came across this for the first time ever: Graham Chapman’s Eulogy by John Cleese

    Short, not so sweet, but as funny as a eulogy could be. I hope the eulogies for me make people laugh as well.

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  51. CSK says:

    The attempt to establish a libertarian town in rural Grafton, New Hampshire did not end well. It got taken over by…bears.

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  52. Teve says:

    @DAllenABQ: i like Auden, Funeral Blues is a longtime favorite.

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  53. Kathy says:

    @Jen:
    @CSK:

    Betcha the bears don’t confiscate money as taxes, nor impose onerous regulations on their prey.

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  54. @Mu Yixiao:

    All without the help of the government.

    Sure-if can remove the public utilities from the equation. And the publicly subsidized education of almost all (if not all) of the people involved (from K-12 through to their architectural licenses). And if you could remove the public roads from the equations. And you could remove any public investments that led to at least some of the technologies used in the various tasks listed. And if you could remove the government’s protection of property rights. And on and on.

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  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Got it. Thanx.

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  56. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Like I said, TL:DR, but I have a prediction: they learned absolutely nothing from the fiasco and feel no responsibility or regrets for any harm they caused to the people that got sucked up in their scheme either directly or tangentially. Because when it comes to Libertarians you can just boilerplate that ending and add it to every story ever written about them.

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  57. Teve says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The idea that a ship would be libertarian is delightful. Since the dawn of time ships have been rigidly hierarchical because they’re on water, and they have a tendency to run into things and sink, to encounter bad weather and sink, to catch fire and sink, to have mechanical issues and sink. . . basically, unlike houses, they sink. Now, had they managed to hold on just a few months longer we might have had the fun of watching our frat boy libertarians captured by pirates.

    Neal Stephenson had a line in one of his books about the 18th or 19th century that a seafaring vessel required so much effort to keep functioning that seeing one on the ocean was like stumbling across an upside-down pyramid, resting on its tip. You don’t necessarily know what’s going on, but it’s taking a hell of a lot of work to keep it going like that.

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  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Or… one could buy a remote plot of land, hire an architect to design a nice house; hire carpenters, masons, electricians, plumbers, and roofers to construct it; hire landscapers to design and scape the lawn; purchase a septic system from a private company and hire them to install it; and–if need be–hire a septic pumping company to empty it out on occasion.

    All without the help of the government.

    I live in a place without building codes. My house might well be the only WashCo house within miles one would want to live in. And I missed the not up to code plumbing when we bought it. It’s safe, but problematic.

    Funny enough, property values just across the Franklin Co line one mile away are %50 higher. I wonder why that is?

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  59. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Whoops; I didn’t see your comment. That’s a pretty entertaining story, isn’t it?

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  60. Teve says:

    @Kathy: and who to turn to when a subcontractor stiffed him. And who to call when burglars steal his flatscreen. And…

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  61. Teve says:

    @Kathy: post of the morning!

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  62. Jen says:

    I’m also left wondering how a libertarian/architect built-house would impact an eventual sale.

    Does the architect ignore all of the building codes in effect, if that’s what the libertarian homeowner wants? How is the home then insured? Assuming that the libertarian foregoes insurance coverage, what if they eventually want to sell and can’t find a buyer because the home cannot be insured?

    Building a home that requires 100% cash financing at outset and 100% cash buyers from that point forward sounds…tricky.

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  63. Jen says:

    @CSK: I think it’s likely we were typing at the same time, as has a tendency to happen!

    I still need to read the book, but yes it is entertaining.

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  64. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    You might want to read the late Jane Kenyon. Start with “Otherwise.” Very quiet, very spare, and ultimately a knockout. Kenyon died of leukemia in 1995. She was 47.

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  65. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Strictly enforced building codes are one of the greatest inventions of our age. They protect buyers and builders as well as their neighbors from everything from lawsuits to explosions and fires. They guarantee that the appliance you buy at Target plugs into the socket your contractor built into your wall.

    If you want to know what libertarian buildings look like, check the slums of Bangladesh. Or for a closer to home example, look at what corruption and deliberate under enforcement of building codes did to Florida. After a hurricane in the 90’s an entire neighborhood was destroyed except for a handful of homes. The difference? The ones that survived were built strictly to code by Habitat for Humanity while the thousands that fell down were built by developers without installing the hurricane ties when the roof was assembled. Those developers knew that you couldn’t tell if they were there without taking the roof off again, and were also certain that years of Reagan Era/Libertarian raging against “stifling governmental regulation” meant that there was almost no chance of a building inspector showing during actual construction to check to see if they were being installed.

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  66. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: i worked in the electrical dept at Home Depot and Lowe’s years ago, which was easy cuz physics, and you would not believe the things i had to talk people out of doing.

    “Gimme some of that 14/3 Romex.”
    “Okay. What are you wiring, BTW?”
    “New water heater.”
    “What size is it?”
    “4500 watts”
    “Okay. What are you going to do three seconds after you turn it on?”
    “What?”
    “What are you gonna do three seconds after you turn it on, and this 14/3 bursts into flame?”

    And the stories people told me, of buying a house, and discovering…unorthodox…wiring contraptions…yikes.

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  67. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    You left out water, electricity, and the legal recognition of the deed to the land and house.

    Water comes from a well. There a dime a dozen around here (we tend to use sandpoints because of the make-up of the soil). And electricity comes from solar or wind turbine (those aren’t common here yet, but they’re around).

    If you’re living as a libertarian, you obviously don’t care about the deed.

    @Jen:

    Does the architect ignore all of the building codes in effect.

    Building codes generally aren’t created by the government. They’re created by architects,
    insurance companies, etc., and presented to the government for acceptance as a legal standard.

    Insurance would require that the codes be followed–but that’s, again, a private company making a requirement in order to enter into a commercial contract. Just like the bank I’m refinancing through requires that I have flood insurance–even though I’m not legally required to have it.

    As for resale, if the owner is thinking about resale, he’ll do what the market requires in order for it to be valuable to potential buyers.

    The notion of using the market does not necessarily devolve into a bunch of idiot hippies in the woods ignoring basic hygiene.

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Funny enough, property values just across the Franklin Co line one mile away are %50 higher. I wonder why that is?

    Because the market forces say well-built homes are better value. 🙂

    The point is: Virtually all of the things that y’all are saying need government control could be handled by the market if people take the time and effort to build the services that provide them. In fact, every thing listed above (except legal recognition) is handled by private companies in a lot of the country.

    Is it the best way to do things everywhere? Certainly not. But it’s not entirely impossible.

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  68. Beth says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    …and children daring each other to go into the woods where the old lunatic lives.

    Not gonna lie, this part sounds idyllic. The rest, not so much.

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  69. grumpy realist says:

    @Barry: Sorta like all the NEETs who claim they want to “live on Mars.”

    The fact that nobody trying to in fact run a space colony would want a drip who spends his entire time playing video games and thinks he has a right to mooch off his parents for the rest of his life somehow completely bypasses them.

    I suspect that actual space colonies will eject (either back down to Earth or into orbit) anyone who refuses to contribute to keeping the colony going or manifests any behaviour which indicates that they’re a risk to the colony (so no hoarders either.)

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  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    True life horror story:

    ‘We didn’t know police could lie’: Day care worker ‘naive’ until convicted of murder

    Right up until Carrody Buchhorn was convicted of murdering 9-month-old Oliver Ortiz in the Eudora, Kansas, day care where she worked, she was sure that those who run the justice system she’d trusted all her life would see — of course they would — that that was just not what happened on Sept. 29, 2016.

    “I was confident,” she said in an interview in her home last week, a few days after her release from the Topeka Correctional Facility. This was the first time she’d talked to a reporter in the nearly five years since Ollie died. From that day almost until the verdict came back, “I thought, ‘I didn’t do anything, so why would I be going to prison?’ It was really only when they were deliberating and asked the judge the difference between first degree and second degree that I knew things were not good. I was slow to catch on. Naive.”

    We all were, says her husband, Tim Buchhorn, an active duty master sergeant in the U.S. Army. “We didn’t think you could lie on the stand, and we didn’t know the police could lie to us.” Since enlisting at age 19, he has fought for the beautiful idea of America.

    “When you spend 40 years thinking one thing, and living by a certain set of values — I’ve spent my entire adult life defending our justice system and believing in the Constitution and believing in the Declaration of Independence,” he said with emotion. “It made me question everything I’d done, because the system didn’t work.”

    Maybe it still will work, belatedly, in this case, anyway: His wife’s 2018 conviction was overturned in August, essentially because her original legal team failed to challenge the fact that the cause of death explained in court by medical examiner Erik K. Mitchell doesn’t exist. So she’s home for now, on house arrest and in an ankle bracelet, while she waits for a new trial.

    More at the link.

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  71. Teve says:

    NGrossman81

    Insane that it’s a live possibility that “what happened to US democracy?” might be answered with “there was a pro-democracy and an anti-democracy party, and when the pro-democracy party had power, some members prioritized preserving a minority veto for the anti-democracy party.”

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  72. grumpy realist says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Historically, the government has ended up stepping in with regulations whenever the gaggle (of whatever it is) has shown they’re unable to self-police themselves. Which is why we have the FDA, the FDIC, etc.

    So if humans weren’t so greedy and stupid in the first place….yeah, right.

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  73. Michael Reynolds says:

    There has never been, and there never will be, a successful society based on libertarian principles. 100% of the places in the entire world where any rational person would care to live, have central governments that impose regulation on the market. 100%. There are zero examples of libertarian success because – and it’s crucial to understand this – libertarians are idiot fantasists who think narcissism is an organizing principle.

    In fact, it’s not just regulated market capitalism and democracy that have histories of outperforming libertarianism, monarchy, fascism, theocracy and communism all have infinitely better records of success, for the excellent reason that (I repeat myself) there never has been, and there never will be, a successful society based on libertarian principles.

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  74. wr says:

    @Kathy: “Life on a ship could be idyllic, if it remained moored to a port and had access to landside energy and other supplies.”

    And even so, according to this article, it takes a million dollars a month to maintain a cruise ship when it’s empty.

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  75. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    This is disappointing. You’re quite a bit dumber than I’d thought.

    Water comes from a well? And if someone builds a factory that leeches poison into your well? Duh? Let me guess: you take them to court, little you vs. Dow Chemical. And after ten million or so and fifteen years in litigation. . .

    I don’t know how old you are but libertarianism is something that never should escape a college dorm room. Not if you expect to be taken seriously.

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  76. wr says:

    @Teve: “There weren’t any bears this time.”

    I was waiting…

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  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: The point is: Virtually all of the things that y’all are saying need government control could be handled by the market if people take the time and effort to build the services that provide them. In fact, every thing listed above (except legal recognition) is handled by private companies in a lot of the country.

    Is it the best way to do things everywhere? Certainly not. But it’s not entirely impossible.

    You are being incredibly naive. Do you have any idea how often contractors of all stripes try to get away with shit? Not to mention just slip up and forget something?

    How long and how much effort are 90% of the people willing to put into everything they need to know about building a house from pouring a proper footing of the right size and properly reinforced to foundation walls to flooring systems, to framing walls and framing and sheeting roofs to electrical systems to plumbing to HVAC to roofing and on and on and on. I was 3-5 years getting good at my one small part of the process and years more at learning other folks’ contribution and at the end of my career I was still learning stuff. Not just about what others do but what I did because technology and techniques were changing all the time

    The market will fix it? If thousands upon thousands of years of the market NOT fixing stuff haven’t convinced you, nothing will.

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  78. Beth says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The point is: Virtually all of the things that y’all are saying need government control could be handled by the market if people take the time and effort to build the services that provide them. In fact, every thing listed above (except legal recognition) is handled by private companies in a lot of the country.

    And what do you do when the market won’t transact with you because of the color of your skin? or gender? or religion (or lack thereof). What do you do when the market lies? and those lies aren’t discovered until there is no recourse? and how do you get recourse anyway, shoot the bad actor?

    Libertarianism both assumes that people are absolutely rational at all times AND that you as an individual are both smarter and more rational than anyone else AT ALL TIMES. This totally discounts the fact that humans are wholly irrational meat sacks haunted by crazed ghosts.

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  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: And if someone builds a factory that leeches poison into your well?

    You probably live in Texas or Louisiana.

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  80. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “All without the help of the government.”

    Please go ahead and build your dream home. As soon as it’s done, I’ll be showing up to take possession. Because there’s no such thing as property rights without government. Oh, and you may be able to fight me off with greater force, but before I go, I’m burning it all down to the ground, because you won’t have that eevil gummint fire department, either.

    The state of nature is a great place to live if you’re the alpha predator. Funny thing is, I’ve met a lot of libertarians in my life, and not one came close to being a beta. More like a snack.

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  81. wr says:

    @Jen: “Building a home that requires 100% cash financing at outset and 100% cash buyers from that point forward sounds…tricky.”

    It’s called freedom, pal.

    All that other stuff is for pussies.

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  82. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: It’s fine if the bears are libertarians

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  83. EddieInCA says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    There is so much wrong with this that I’m just going to shake my head, sadly.

    No. Just no.

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  84. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Virtually all of the things that y’all are saying need government control could be handled by the market if people take the time and effort to build the services that provide them.

    And it has been. Successful societies have, communally, put these things in place. We refer to that as “government” or “government regulation”. I can’t understand why you think that throwing that all away and starting all over again will result in utopia. We know what happens when you weaken government to the point where everyone has to look out for themselves. It gets you Brazilian Favelas in the drug cartel controlled zones. It most certainly does not get you Paris.

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  85. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Well, how’s it going for you living without government?

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  86. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    If you’re living as a libertarian, you obviously don’t care about the deed.

    Interesting. What if someone comes along and says, “I own the land you built your house on and now I’m taking it and you have five minutes to get yourself and your family the hell off.”? Shoot it out?

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  87. Kathy says:

    @wr:

    A ship, IMO, should be seen as a machine rather than a city, and a very complex one with many interconnected and interdependent systems. A complex machine requires a lot of maintenance and a lot of energy in order to work.

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  88. MarkedMan says:

    @Beth:

    This totally discounts the fact that humans are wholly irrational meat sacks haunted by crazed ghosts.

    Mind if I steal that?

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  89. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I don’t know how old you are but libertarianism is something that never should escape a college dorm room. Not if you expect to be taken seriously.

    I’ve known a few “libertarians” who took it as less of a religion and more of a guideline. The “minimal government involvement” rather than the “in a free market we will all negotiate independently for our water from the warlord upstream.”

    Some will claim that they are not good libertarians, but there’s definitely a libertarian leaning aspect. They’re still often idiots… but they’re idiots who know that private fire departments were literally where we got a the term protection racket from. They just need to learn this lesson every single time.

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  90. Michael Cain says:

    @wr:

    And even so, according to this article, it takes a million dollars a month to maintain a cruise ship when it’s empty.

    Water generally, and salt water in particular, hates everything placed in its vicinity. Ditto for many of the tiny plants and animals that have managed to adapt to living there.

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  91. @Michael Reynolds:

    There has never been, and there never will be, a successful society based on libertarian principles. 100% of the places in the entire world where any rational person would care to live, have central governments that impose regulation on the market. 100%.

    I was going to say something along these lines, but will just agree with this.

    It matters (or it should) that we can find no functional model of what Mu is describing. Even the American frontier experience was only possible because of US government acquisition of land via conquest or purchase.

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  92. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Mu Yixiao: why would you even bother installing a septic tank? That’s something required by government regulations, isn’t it? Just use a pipe that goes to your neighbor’s property line. Of course, your neighbor could do the same and you’d have sewage flowing on your property potentially fouling your well among other things… (even if you did use a septic tank, there’s no restriction keeping your neighbor to just pipe his effluent to your land).

    The real problem is that freedom doesn’t mean you can do anything you want without constraints, the pandemic is teaching us that right now. If we instituted a vaccine mandate, and got enough compliance that we hit herd immunity*, our society as a whole would be a lot freer because we wouldn’t have to worry about masks, quarantines, potential shut downs or other restrictions on our liberty.

    Just like restrictions on disposing of waste make you more free to use your land with fewer restraints.

    *I can think of 2 solutions, one involves hiring ninjas to administer the vaccines or to hire football players to tackle and then administer vaccines to the non-compliant. The benefit to using football players is that it could be funded by filming and then streaming it on a pay service like Disney+.

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  93. Teve says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I’m sure the next Libertarian Paradise will be splendid. It’ll work, next time.

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  94. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve never come across a Libertarian who even claims to have an example of a successful society based on libertarian principles. But in the spirit of fairness, Mu Yixiao, I’ll ask you the same question I pose to anyone defending libertarianism: can you point to a single successful libertarian society?

    I am not being sarcastic, and I respect the contributions you make to this comment section. I am sincerely asking this in an attempt to understand your perspective.

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  95. Beth says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Steal away! It’s libertarian Bartertown day here.

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  96. CSK says:

    According to a WaPo/ABC poll, 72% of the unvaxxed say they’d quit a job rather than comply with an employer mandate to get the shots provided they couldn’t get a medical or religious exemption.

    Some of that’s bravado, no doubt, but even so…beggaring yourself seems a long way to go just to own the libs.

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  97. Mu Yixiao says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Historically, the government has ended up stepping in with regulations whenever the gaggle (of whatever it is) has shown they’re unable to self-police themselves.

    Not arguing that. I believe that we need governments to handle quite a few things in our society.

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  98. Mister Bluster says:

    @Beth:..wholly irrational meat sacks
    Stimpeee!…you bloated sack of protoplasm!

    My Heros!

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  99. Teve says:

    @CSK: 63% have been vaxxed at least once. 37% haven’t. If 72% of the 37% won’t, that’s 27% of the population.

    The Crazification Factor! 😛

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  100. grumpy realist says:

    @wr: Speaking as a woman who had several boyfriends who flirted with Libertarianism, I have to say they’re also not very good in the sack, either.

    (Who would think that a philosophy of selfishness would have repercussions on your sex life?)

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  101. dazedandconfused says:

    There will never be a workable system of government based on pure Libertarian ideology, but there is a system based on libertarian principles now: The US.
    Jefferson was a radical libertarian in his day. The bill of rights was a radical libertarian document, however much we take it for granted today.

    However silly some libertarians are they serve us by providing a constant kick-back to Leviathan.

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  102. Scott says:

    At the end of the day, private industry getting together to create regulatory standards is not that much different that the Dept of Commerce doing the same thing. The DoD used to use its own standards and insisted on putting them on contract. Eventually, in the 90s, primarily, industry and DoD got together and created on set of standards.

    At some point, it is hard to differentiate where govt ends and private industry begins.

    Historical example: British East India Company (private) and Great Britain (government). Not much difference in operations other than scope.

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  103. Mister Bluster says:

    @Scott:..vasectomy
    I lived with a woman for 16 years. We never did get married. About half way through that stretch it was clear that we were not going to reproduce so we decided that I would get cut and she could give up the pill. The pre op consultation at the clinic went well. Just as we all stood up my girlfriend asked the doctor “Can I observe the procedure?” I didn’t know that was coming. The doctor took a good step backwards and I thought for sure he would be opposed.
    “Yes.” he said.
    As we entered the surgery room he told his assistant, a pretty girl, to get a gown and face mask for my girlfriend.
    She stood right next to the nurse. As I was lying on my back all I could see was the three of them peering down at my family jewels. Snip! Snip!
    I guess she wanted to be sure that I’d be shooting blanks from then on.

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  104. EddieInCA says:

    @Teve:

    This is my favorite bit of the piece you cited:

    After trying multiple insurers and brokers, Romundt began to realise that the cruise ship industry was, as he put it, “plagued by over-regulation”. (Along with airlines and nuclear power, according to Harris, it’s in “the top three”.)

    Because if anything should be fully deregulated, it should be nuclear power and airlines. Seriously, what could go wrong?

    It underscores how libertarian ideals suck at any sort of cogent philosophy, much less as a societal structure.

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  105. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: I’ve always pointed out to Libertarians that we only have three types of self-organising that has existed in history: a) absolute chaos (certain countries in Africa), b) governments (whether democratic, monarchial, or whatever), or c) warlords (Somalia).

    Only one of the above has a track record of producing viable economies and stable societies. I think I know which one I’ll pick.

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  106. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Teve:

    In related cryptobro news:

    https://twitter.com/brian_armstrong/status/1435439291715358721?s=20

    Crypto company makes what amounts to a crypto-denominated bond and the CEO is shocked that when the SEC finds out they have a lot of questions they want answered.

    Cryptobro commenters take this as a sign of conspiracy rather than a sign that the CEO is an idiot.

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  107. Teve says:

    @EddieInCA: When I was a young, naive, healthy, high-IQ white teenage boy, I was registered Libertarian. Having every benefit in life (and being oblivious to that fact) and very little understanding of history or the interdependence we all have is the Perfect demographic for libertarianism.

    As I got more experience and knowledge I quickly grew out of it, like most do. It’s an idealistic fantasy for the young and clueless.

    I don’t think it’s bad to have libertarian tendencies, but it’s like religion. Having some of it, to a degree, is usually fine, but when people go hog wild with it, calamity is not far behind.

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  108. Stormy Dragon says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Are there any industries less regulated than the cruise industry? They’re notorious for using flags of convenience to make themselves largely beyond the reach of US law.

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  109. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist: Exactly. There is no shortage of societies that have devolved to Libertarianism and several that tried to evolve to it (Kansas being the largest experiment). They are/were all disasters to
    Varying degrees. As far as I know none have ever yielded anything but negative results. A few warlords might disagree, or those who led a campaign to put the “impure” to the sword, or wanted to subjugate women and so forth, but those either quickly feel apart or “evolved” into dictatorships.

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  110. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Teve:

    There’s no such thing as actual libertarian (or followers of any other ideology). People fundamentally do not have loyalty to abstract philosophical concepts, and anyone claiming their primary motivation is such at best completely doesn’t understand their own actual motivations or at worst is deliberately being deceptive about what they are.

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  111. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “Is it the best way to do things everywhere? Certainly not. But it’s not entirely impossible.”

    It’s not impossible to build your own oven out of scrap metal when you decide you want to bake a cake. But it’s an idiotic waste of time and keeps you away from your real goal. Just like most libertarian fantasies — hey, if we spend all of our time cultivating private markets we could accomplish almost everything we get through government with no investment of time.

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  112. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..building codes

    Jackson County, Illinois where I live is zoning free. There is regulation by the county Health Department concerning sewage disposal but that’s about it. The issue has come up several times in the 53 years that I have lived here. It never gets anywhere. No body who runs for the county board is ever pro zoning.
    There is a large plot of land about half way between Carbondale and Murphysboro adjacent to the state highway that the had owner developed and operated as a golfball driving range.
    One day 15? years ago a sign went up “Home of your new Walmart”.
    The howling and wailing began. What! Walmart? We don’t want that! We want the County Government to stop this!
    All of a sudden county zoning was the Cause du Jour. Of course it was too late.
    The City of Murphysboro annexed the land and that was that.

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  113. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: The Outlaw Sea nicely explained the whole Flags of Convenience debacle for me. It was really put into overdrive by the US government so we could give supplies to Britain while being officially neutral.

    “You say a cargo ship was sunk by the Germans? Well, no reason for the US to get involved. That ship was registered in Panama, you see, not America.”

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  114. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I don’t know how old you are but libertarianism is something that never should escape a college dorm room. Not if you expect to be taken seriously.

    @Teve:

    It’s an idealistic fantasy for the young and clueless.

    All you really need to know about Libertarianism is that Ayn Rand jumped on Medicare the instant she got the cancer.

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  115. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    And you’re so locked up in your sense of self-importance that you never think to ask questions. You obviously know what everyone one else is thinking, and you’re obviously right.

    1) I AM NOT A LIBERTARIAN

    Is that too subtle for you, or should I add a couple swear words to punch it up?

    2) I respond to “a house in the woods” and you turn it into “OMG! He wants to abandon all government!!!1!”

    YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT THIS

    You want to have an civil conversation about what I actually believe? Fine. You want to debate the different perspective on the role of government? Great.

    But I’ve had enough of your sanctimonious bullshit for the day.

    See y’all tomorrow. Or Monday.

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  116. Scott says:

    Totally tangential to this conversation, this popped into my memory:

    Principality of Sealand

    Sealand was founded as a sovereign Principality in 1967 in international waters, seven miles off the eastern shores of Britain.

    Wikipedia has a slightly different take than the merchandising website cited above:

    Principality of Sealand

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  117. EddieInCA says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    You claim you’re not a conservative, yet you constantly opine with what can only be described as Conservative talking points, not grounded in actual facts.

    You claim you’re not a libertarian, yet you constantly opine with what an only be described as support of libertarian positions.

    You repeatedly bash the “urban left” for not being nice enough to rural folks.

    You repeatedly support the idea that the “left” is far more dangerous to the republic than the “right”, and that all would get better if progressives would just be nicer to country folk.

    If someone repeatedly tells me who they are, I’m going to believe them.

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  118. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Of course it will.

    Provided there’s a government involved that can guarantee rights, mediate disputes, dispense justice, provide services, and regulate various activities. Of course, it would collect taxes to keep going.

    Fact is in most Western countries, including much of Latin America, people are very free in their personal lives, and politically as well.

    There are some practices, laws, and regulations that are flat wrong and should be reformed or eliminated. Things like drug prohibition, especially criminalizing drug use, civil forfeiture, and restrictions on abortion.

    Social problems, or problems rooted in social and cultural issues, like excessive force by police against people of color, would persist regardless of the political system.

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  119. Kathy says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I THINK HE MAY BE A CONTRARIAN!

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  120. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Ayn Rand wasn’t a libertarian, and I’m sure she had a very good, very logical, very reasonable rationalization for jumping on Medicare.

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  121. Monala says:

    Hoping it’s okay to share this. A commenter at Balloon Juice wrote this in response to a post about Idaho moving to triage crisis of care in its hospitals (and other commenters saying that the unvaccinated should be the first to be denied treatment):

    As an ED nurse, I do triage every day – we are the definitive destination for every sick person within 50 miles, and have limited resources. Most of the time, we are not close to the limit of what we *could* do, but when we are, those resources need to go to the people who can’t wait; in theory, a person with a ruptured appendix could wait for hours (with the proper antibiotics) before further treatment, but a person with a gunshot wound to their aorta will die if they don’t get surgery now – the gunshot victim goes to the head of the line.

    I would just like to make a few points, expanding a bit on what some of you have already said:

    It’s frustrating to hear the press refer to “ICU beds,” as though we could just throw up a few cots and everything would be fixed. An ICU patient (or a very sick ED patient, which is the same thing, just earlier in their hospital course) requires a tremendous amount of resources – specialize Doctors (Intensivists, Nephrologists, Pulmonologists, Cardiologists, just to name a few,) specialized nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists. It takes years to train and recruit these people; you can’t just throw up an advertisement on a website and hire new ones. And as the pandemic drags on, my colleagues are taking early retirement, or moving into other areas of care. They are tired and burnt out, surrounded by dying people that wouldn’t be there but for a severe deficit of empathy, rampant entitlement and selfishness, exacerbated by a firehose of misinformation. Once they’re gone, areas like this are competing for a small pool of traveling specialists who can get paid multiple times better to go somewhere with more resources and at least be paid for what they’re being asked to do every day.

    Triage happens *fast* – in the ER, by the time you speak to me, I’ve already watched you walk across the room, taken in your skin color and gait, and 95% of the time, I know what I’m going to do with you. I know how many beds are open, how busy the Doctors and Nurses are, how many ambulances are en route, and most of the time, I know where you’re going – the part where we’re talking is mostly filling out paperwork. This is because if I have to figure it out, and it won’t be fair to anyone else, the 5 people waiting behind you (one of whom could be dying) will have to wait.

    Triage has to be protocolized well ahead of time, and it’s impersonal. I know that your 95 year old mother is different than a 95 year old nursing home resident with dementia, but she’s still 95; should she get priority over a 35 year old mother of 4, even if she didn’t get vaccinated? I’m really grateful that that’s not my call to make. Also, if it’s not laid out in advance, then you’re imposing an even worse burden on the people who have to make each of these calls in the moment; the situation has to do with the resources available *right now* and the number of people outside the door *right now* and every one of these cases imposes an incredible moral injury on everyone involved, who had nothing to do with how we got here – the lack of resources, lack of testing, lack of a reasonable reaction to situation that has been ongoing for almost 2 fucking years, and the responsibility has fallen on an individual doctor who happens to be at the bedside today.

    It’s so tempting to want to push people to the end of the line for their lack of foresight, but that’s a really slippery slope, and even if it’s morally justifiable in the moment, there are powerful economic forces (to which David can speak better than I) which would like nothing better than to be able to deny care for “lifestyle choices” that are anything but. I certainly didn’t take an oath to treat anybody except for those who did something that I don’t agree with. Even if they yell at me when I leave work. If I burn out to the point where I can’t remember that, time for a new profession.

    Thanks for listening.

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  122. Teve says:

    @Teve:

    As soon as Capt Harris joined the ship and met Koch on board, he realised there would be challenges ahead. “I was thinking a week into the job, I can see I’m going to be resigning,” Harris told me, immaculate in a striped shirt on a video call from his home in Kent. Koch, he said, was admirable in his ambition, and a likable, law-abiding man, but he was naive about how shipping worked and had an abhorrence of rules. “He didn’t understand the industry,” said Harris, who has the frank, upbeat air of a born leader for whom hierarchy is a kind of creed. “He just thought he could treat it like his own yacht.”

    LOL

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  123. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA: You can look at it that way. But what I see is someone who has different views than me (and many of the people here) but is still willing to engage thoughtfully. I am honestly curious about why he holds the opinions that he does.

    I also believe him when he says he isn’t a Libertarian but rather is interested in it and can see valid points in it. When discussing he lays out what he sees as the strongest Libertarian argument, but I’ve never seen him don the true-believer hair shirt. I WANT to engage the best argument of those that I disagree with or are suspect of. It’s why I don’t engage with the various true believers that show up here. They only provide insults and ridiculous assertions, so there is nothing to engage with, just something to snipe at.

    I also sympathize with him when he feels he’s being attacked. It’s one thing when one or two of us challenge him and he can have a back and forth. But given the nature of a blog comments section, whenever you bring up something that the majority disagrees with, it’s going to seem like piling on. I’ve been on that side of the equation myself a few times, and I mostly just chalk it up to the mechanics of internet discussions and try to engage with one or two people rather than respond to everyone in the crowd. But if it happened often enough I’d get sick of the place and head off elsewhere.

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  124. grumpy realist says:

    @Teve: ….and even personal yachts require a hell of a lot of upkeep.

    (For anyone who has ever had the desire to get his very own yacht, make sure you check into the yearly costs of licensing and upkeep. It’s not as bad as an airplane or helicopter per engine-hour, but it’s still quite a bit more than “I just need to rent a dock and pay docking fees” level. )

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  125. Mikey says:

    @Kathy:

    Ayn Rand wasn’t a libertarian, and I’m sure she had a very good, very logical, very reasonable rationalization for jumping on Medicare.

    According to the article at the link, she was convinced to do so by her social worker, the rationale being “you paid into these programs for your whole adult life, you’re entitled to draw from them.”

    https://www.openculture.com/2016/12/when-ayn-rand-collected-social-security-medicare.html

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  126. inhumans99 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I understand why folks like to say if someone sounds like a duck, looks like a duck, and all that jazz, but I agree that Mu seems to be someone who is not a “liberal,” not quite a full-on Conservative, but definitely likes to flirt with Libertarian ideas, and someone worth engaging with on this site.

    It just makes me crack up and shake my head when folks sometimes chime in to say they wish that more people with different viewpoints than most of the regulars on this site would chime in to allow for a reasoned and fairly intelligent discussion with folks who are not simply nodding their heads in agreement with most of the regulars on this site, and here we are with Mu chiming in to have this type of discussion with us and we just snipe away at this individual and chase them away for a bit of time.

    If we want the only “opposing” viewpoints on this site to be those of Keef and JKB, well, we are doing a great job of that. Me, even if some of what Mu says makes me say to myself, no, no, no, that is not how it works, I at least I know I am engaging with someone who does not just jump in to post what he/she thinks is a “gotcha” post and then scurries away when the post generates follow up questions that JKB/Keef are quite frankly not equipped to respond too.

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  127. Mike in Arlington says:

    @grumpy realist: The joke I heard about owning a boat (or yacht):
    If you want to know what it’s like to own a boat, get into your shower fully dressed, turn it on and start stuffing money down the drain.

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  128. JohnMcC says:

    @Kathy: As I recall the story, she was careful to ensure that she was registered under her ‘married name’, as we used to say.

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  129. Matt says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Most of the time I’ve asked one online they would go on the offensive calling me a sheep and what not. Some would block me others just ignored me and continued to post their dumb memes. In person they just stopped talking to me by walking away or they said something like “that’s different”. The ones that said cell phones are different essentially think it’s fine because it’s not the government tracking them directly or such nonsense. Generally they don’t understand that turning the GPS off isn’t enough to not be tracked.

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  130. Jen says:

    @inhumans99: Agreed. Mu is adding to the discussion in a constructive way, and I also think that timing has a great deal to do with the appearance of a pile-on.

    I think I might just need to stay away from discussions about libertarian ideas. As a New Hampshire resident, I’m personally acquainted with some of their efforts via the Free State Project in this state and my feelings are borderline contempt–I’ve seen attempts to strip funding from a wide array of public services that would never, ever be replaced by “the market” and so I am immediately wary and likely defensive when I see libertarian ideas offered as legitimate solutions.

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  131. JohnMcC says:

    @grumpy realist: Once lived aboard a 38′ sailboat. Planning to not be young forever, bought a 1bd condo. Rent on the slip was more than the mortgage on the condo.

    Unless you are unbelievably well off, you cannot afford to live on a boat that you do not repair, restore and maintain yourself.

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  132. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: Ah, the irony of life. “Ayn Rand’s Social Worker.” A woman with no empathy or compassion for others, who despised everyone she considered weak or insufficient, who drove everyone from her life with her selfishness and acid tongue, and who almost certainly considered social workers and the people they helped as parasites. In the end, a social worker was the only one who gave a shit about her.

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  133. sam says:

    A couple of random things nautical:
    “[B]eing in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.” Samuel Johnson

    “The two happiest days of my life: The day I bought my boat and the day I sold my boat.” Unknown (but happy).

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  134. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: ….ah, yes, the Ayn Rand who thought a kidnapper and murderer was the closest thing to her ideal man…

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  135. Kathy says:

    @Mikey:

    I’ve heard that one.

    How did she rationalize taking more out of the system than she paid into it?

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  136. sam says:

    Kevin Drum on libertarians:

    Jeet Heer investigates a burning question today: why are most libertarians men? He offers several plausible explanations, but I think he misses the real one, perhaps because it’s pretty unflattering to libertarians.

    So here’s the quick answer: Hardcore libertarianism is a fantasy. It’s a fantasy where the strongest and most self-reliant folks end up at the top of the heap, and a fair number of men share the fantasy that they are these folks. They believe they’ve been held back by rules and regulations designed to help the weak, and in a libertarian culture their talents would be obvious and they’d naturally rise to positions of power and influence.

    Most of them are wrong, of course. In a truly libertarian culture, nearly all of them would be squashed like ants—mostly by the same people who are squashing them now. But the fantasy lives on regardless.

    Few women share this fantasy. I don’t know why, and I don’t really want to play amateur sociologist and guess. Perhaps it’s something as simple as the plain observation that in the more libertarian past, women were subjugated to men almost completely. Why would that seem like an appealing fantasy?

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  137. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “If someone repeatedly tells me who they are, I’m going to believe them.”

    There are people you meet on line whose stated self-description doesn’t match up at all with how they actually present themselves. Some of them are simply bad writers who are incapable of clearly communicating ideas. Some are willfully misrepresenting themselves to try to bring people to their side.

    I don’t think Mu Yixao falls into either of these boxes. His writing is clear and fine; I get no sense from him of anything other than complete sincerity.

    And yet he frequently insists he is not that which his beliefs say he is. Maybe he just hates being pigeonholed. Maybe he feels he contains multitudes. (Who among us doesn’t?)

    But ultimately he hasn’t learned the Duck Rule: If you look like a duck and fly like a duck and quack like a duck, it doesn’t matter that you call yourself a gazelle — everyone else is going to see you as a duck.

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  138. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Indeed! Significant numbers of pain medications don’t make pain go away as much as they make you unconcerned about it. That’s why self-medication for psychic trauma is both so easy and so perilous/destructive.

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  139. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: Which is why a boat is defined as “a hole in the water into which you pour money.”

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  140. wr says:

    @inhumans99: “I understand why folks like to say if someone sounds like a duck, looks like a duck, ”

    Just to be clear, I wrote my duck comment before I saw yours. I promise I would have chosen a different metaphor if I’d seen this!

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  141. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Keef: Are you sure Morrisey didn’t get this article from The Onion or The Duffel Bag or some other similar source and just lie to you about where it came from?

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  142. Modulo Myself says:

    A woman told me a story about going on a date with a libertarian/tech guy she met online. She’s a therapist, and within minutes this guy is explaining away what a therapist really should be doing and why she’s wrong. Just condescending and dull as hell. So she puts on her profile no libertarians please and of course she gets dozens of boring messages from libertarians explaining at her that she should date them.

    I do think that there’s a direct line between libertarians and Protestants in the 19th century who spent their lives trying to figure out if the Creation happened on a Thursday or a Friday and at what time. There’s just a whole spectrum of insane literalism going on with libertarians, which is like a substitute for actual thinking.

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  143. Teve says:

    How did she rationalize taking more out of the system than she paid into it?

    Oh that’s easy. “I’m just getting back the money i put in” turns into “well i Should get a return on my investment”.

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  144. Modulo Myself says:

    The crypto thing is something else. Anecdotally, younger people seem to be really into it. I surf, and I was out in the lineup one day and listening to these younger guys talk about their portfolios. I’m like oh no–it’s all crypto. I think they were talking about cashing out. Hopefully they did. I feel like the art world has a lot of people into crypto as well.

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  145. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: No, they just kill them. (open question: do bears eat human flesh? I know they are omnivorous, but I’m still curious. Maybe they just kill us for the lulz.)

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  146. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: And don’t forget the title report. How does title get transferred on a home for which there is no documentation? (And who would the new owner complain to should the original owner sell the home more than once?)

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  147. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    That’s not a regulation.

    Bears mostly are foragers, not hunters. Think of picking off berries, roots, etc., and plucking fish off streams. But they are known to kill and consume young deer and elk. A human neither runs as fast nor kicks as hard as these herbivores.

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  148. Jen says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I could go on and on, but I won’t. Insurance is also a heavily regulated industry, it’s not a matter of just an agreement with a private company as alleged, and there are reasons for that too.

    I didn’t want to pile on, so I stopped.

    In my experience, there’s a reason behind almost every law and regulation, most of which are to curb the less suitable behaviors of greed and malice. Others protect from avoidable harms, and (rather frankly) human stupidity.

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  149. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Mu does have a point though. The market could provide all of the protections necessary to the situation that he is envisioning–provided that the market’s job was more extensive than clearing product gluts and attempting to rectify shortages. Sadly, the marked simply doesn’t care about the things that are necessary to his model as long at it can sell what’s available even though it doesn’t meet Mu’s criteria. Ultimately, the success of Mu’s venture would depend on Mu being able to control 90% + of the elements required to pour the foundation, erect the framework, dig, plumb, and maintain testing on the well, and all the other stuff that goes into the project. I wish him good luck. I’d not be able to do all that–beyond not having the knowledge base to begin with.

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  150. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    If we instituted a vaccine mandate, and got enough compliance that we hit herd immunity*, our society as a whole would be a lot freer because we wouldn’t have to worry about masks, quarantines, potential shut downs or other restrictions on our liberty.

    With Delta having done what it does, your scenario is a touch more imaginary than it is real. But things would still be better than they are currently. How much better? I don’t think any place has gotten enough people jabbed to tell yet.

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  151. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: On the other hand, some would have us believe that the important lesson from Kansas is that libertarianism cannot fail, it can only be failed by the weakness of others. (Sort of like conservatism and Scotsmen. 😉 )

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  152. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    This is helpful:

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccine tracker

    I’m grateful that nearly 76% of the people in my state have gotten at least the initial dose, and that the hospitals here aren’t overwhelmed. A week ago today I had a surgical procedure. I would not like to have delayed it.

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  153. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I don’t know where to look for it anymore, but years ago, I read an essay where she claimed to have decided to take Medicare benefits when one of her friends asserted that it was foolish not to avail herself of benefits she had, at least in part, paid for. But bashing Rand for hypocrisy is fun (and comparatively easy to do) so carry on folks!

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  154. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Well, there’s only one way to really find out: yup, you guessed it, ninjas. (granted, this is my solution for a lot of different problems, but that’s another topic for another time)

    In all seriousness, I agree that I might well be overstating my case, counterfactuals being notoriously difficult to prove or disprove it’s very hard to tell.

    That said, the statistics, as flawed as they are, do show that vaccinated populations are in much better shape than the unvaccinated, even with the Delta variant. That leads me to think that a vaccine mandate would allow for a state (or country) to safely open up earlier than a non-vaccinated one.

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  155. Teve says:

    This is sonething that’s bothered me, that I take steps to avoid. It’s easy to be emotionally manipulated and damaged by constant noise about irrelevant nonsense.

    https://jabberwocking.com/the-nationalization-of-trivia-has-turned-us-all-into-nervous-wrecks/

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  156. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: I guess she wanted to be sure that I’d be shooting blanks from then on.

    Ha!

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  157. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: “How did she rationalize taking more out of the system than she paid into it?”
    Probably the same way the rest of us do–by not thinking about it.

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  158. Modulo Myself says:

    @Teve:

    Drum picks a real odd example–

    The first time this really hit me was about a decade ago. I don’t remember the details, but there was some student at Harvard, maybe, who wrote a private email to a friend that contained some sketchy thoughts about race and genetics. For some reason the friend got mad a few months later and made the email public.

    It’s hard to think of anything more trivial. A private email! From a college student! And not even racist per se, but just poorly thought out. Thirty years ago it would have sparked controversy on campus—at most—and that’s it. But in 2010 it became viral news, and the student became a national poster child for intolerance.

    A) Allan Bloom wrote The Closing Of The American Mind in 1987 and that was a bestseller about trivial stuff that a Ivy League professor saw at an Ivy League campus. Getting angry about trivial predates right now.

    B) Kid wrote some sketchy thoughts about race probably because he’s a bit racist. And oh yeah I just googled Harvard private email racism. Here is, I guess, what happened:

    In her e-mail, Grace allegedly wrote that she “absolutely” does not “rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent.”

    Come on. What exactly was poorly thought out about this email? She couldn’t find a more clever way to say black people are dumb without racist?

    C) I’m positive Drum remembers this only because he thinks that black people are dumber than whites and having someone outed and treated badly so it irks him for decades on end as if the real problem was the news itself and not him.

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  159. Stormy Dragon says:

    @sam:

    I’m reminded of Umberto Eco’s “Ur-Fascism” essay:

    In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Spanish Falangists was Viva la Muerte (“Long Live Death!”). In nonfascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

    You have people raised from childhood on media telling them the only meaningful life is one where they are “the hero”. When they grow up and notice they’re clearly not one, they become susceptible to groups who will provide them with an external explanation for this discrepancy.

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  160. Beth says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I think about this one:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JNuqEz_GCQ

    and The whole “tank paratroopers” thing way too much. Man, the 90’s were weird in a good weird kinda way. Not in the terrifying weird we have now.

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  161. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Mu does have a point though.

    I love how you say this, and then spend the rest of your comment explaining why it would/could never work. 🙂

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  162. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    But rationalizing is a volitional act. one does not rationalize automatically, one must choose to rationalize.

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  163. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    That’s a very Soviet view of political systems 🙂

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  164. Teve says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Getting angry about trivial predates right now.

    okay how did you miss this part:

    If some guy lost his shit on a plane in Salt Lake City in 1991, that was a local story that you likely wouldn’t hear about in New York. In 2021, it’s a viral video, and every NYC-based writer is rushing to the keyboard to either QT-dunk on it or embed it in a thinkpiece about the age of rage.

    ?

    As far as being certain Drum’s a racist because of the overblown story about one college-student’s email, I’ll just leave that…perspective to you.

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  165. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    maybe not every little thing got blown out of proportion, but I recall news fads like road rage well before 2010

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  166. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mike in Arlington: I would agree except that I be more likely to say the more vaccinated group will be able to open more and with greater safety than the less vaccinated group. In some ways, I’ve lived the life of a unicorn in relation to my overall health (and my imagination about how good it is), and in fact, only Luddite here has more unicorn qualities from what I’ve seen. But having been enormously lucky as to health related to permanent chronic health issues that lead to a shorter life in many cases makes me lean a touch toward being more aggressive in asserting that lower incidents of X is not the same as zero.

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  167. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: But bashing Rand for hypocrisy is fun (and comparatively easy to do) so carry on folks!

    Sorry, it’s not the hypocrisy that makes bashing her so enjoyable, tho that is a sweetener. It’s the absolute ludicrousness of the worlds she imagines might exist if only the evil government wasn’t constraining the inherent geniuses amongst us. She assumes money is the measure of worth while totally ignoring the reality that it is just as often the measure of a parasite.

    FTR, I only read one of her books, The Fountainhead. Really? An architect as the hero? A guy who’s never swung a hammer? Welded iron? Sweated a joint? Wired a panel? And couldn’t do any of it on a dare? Who needs all of the above people to make the pretty pictures he draws into reality* but she acts as tho they are nothing but robots there for his purposes?

    Having verbally slapped down a few architects over the years, I can tell you with certitude that that asshole wouldn’t last one morning on a jobsite.

    * once worked for a guy who the first day on every jobsite said, “OK, now that we’ve read the funny papers, how are we gonna build this monstrosity?” He wasn’t all that far off.

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  168. Teve says:

    @Kathy: sure. But it’s nothing like the tidal wave now, with everyone on screens all day with algorithms selecting what to show you on the basis of enragement. It’s exponentially worse. I never had to create rules for how I consumed CBS News to avoid a depression spiral. I have had to do that with Twitter.

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  169. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Acknowledging that a hypothetical point could have some validity and then examining why the hypothesis is not likely to hold up was part of my teaching method and style when I was teaching students to craft research-based persuasive essays. It seems to create a balance that has more persuasive power for the prospective audience.

    Also, please note that my main point was that I would not be able to succeed in juggling all the balls necessary. I’m entirely open to the possibility that Mu can as I have no way to assess his level of knowledge in these matters. For all I know, you actually can juggle them all, too, but choose not to tempt fate (and karma) by asserting such skills.

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  170. steve says:

    Monala- Thanks. I think that captures things for a lot of us. I have tried to help talk through some of my ICU docs through this stuff. Most of them are doing OK but a few have been hit hard at times. What the nurse does not convey is how angry it makes you when you are working that hard and you have pt families accusing you of lying. Then you have your own relatives accusing you of making up stuff and denying the real truths.

    Our network is requiring everyone to get vaccinated. We are seeing, like many others, an organized group trying to claim religious exemptions to avoid vaccinations. Some hospitals are now giving in and not requiring this of staff as they are afraid they will lose too many people.

    Steve

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  171. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Allow me to be blunter then–most of us simply decline to think about whether we’re taking more than we put in. I would assert that she probably did the same.

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  172. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I see your point and you’ve explained it well. Carry on!

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  173. EddieInCA says:

    @Dr. Joyner –

    So sorry to hear about the passing of your dog, Molly. 16 years is a good run. I lost my Corky about three months ago, just past his 18th birthday. He looked a bit like yours.

    Glad you were able to give Molly such a good life. She’ll be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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  174. dazedandconfused says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I am in awe of anyone that can read one of her books all the way through. You’re a better man than I am, Ozarkhillbilly-Din!

    The best analysis of Ayn I encountered was that she was a victim of PTSD. Post Traumatic Stalin Disorder. The world she creates is the Soviet ideological take on Marxism turned precisely inside out. Her parents and grandparents suffered terribly under the Communists.

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  175. Teve says:

    THERANOS’ GREATEST INVENTION WAS ELIZABETH HOLMES

    Holmes was where the girlboss met Silicon Valley founder worship

    I highly recommend Bad Blood.

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  176. Modulo Myself says:

    @Teve:

    I didn’t miss it. It’s just a bad argument. People were talking about television removing context and place from society in the 1970s and replacing it was trivia and fake controversies and sensationalism all in a vast medium with no center and no periphery. In the mid-80s Don DeLillo wrote a novel where people go to photograph The Most Photographed Barn In America, and two professors, one in Elvis Studies and the other in Hitler (doesn’t speak German), study this phenomenon.

    Also, it’s just a weird example to hold onto. I don’t remember it. Why does he?

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  177. Mikey says:

    @MarkedMan:

    In the end, a social worker was the only one who gave a shit about her.

    Doubtless the social worker was government provided as well.

    Rand spent her life pushing an unattainable fantasy of “the virtue of selfishness” and then got a very direct lesson in what happens when reality intrudes.

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  178. Teve says:

    @andrewsolender

    Trump, in a lengthy statement, decries the removal of Richmond’s Robert E. Lee statue, calling it “magnificent.”

    “If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan… What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!”

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  179. wr says:

    @Teve: ““I’m just getting back the money i put in” turns into “well i Should get a return on my investment”.

    Turns into — “They’re all parasites and I am the only deserving one.”

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  180. Mikey says:

    @Teve: That can’t be real. He can’t have said that. It’s too abysmally stupid even for him. Good God how was that utter imbecile President? Unbelievable.

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  181. Teve says:

    @Mikey:

    Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America
    09/08/21
    Just watched as a massive crane took down the magnificent and very famous statue of “Robert E. Lee On His Horse” in Richmond, Virginia. It has long been recognized as a beautiful piece of bronze sculpture. To add insult to injury, those who support this “taking” now plan to cut it into three pieces, and throw this work of art into storage prior to its complete desecration.

    Robert E. Lee is considered by many Generals to be the greatest strategist of them all. President Lincoln wanted him to command the North, in which case the war would have been over in one day. Robert E. Lee instead chose the other side because of his great love of Virginia, and except for Gettysburg, would have won the war. He should be remembered as perhaps the greatest unifying force after the war was over, ardent in his resolve to bring the North and South together through many means of reconciliation and imploring his soldiers to do their duty in becoming good citizens of this Country.

    Our culture is being destroyed and our history and heritage, both good and bad, are being extinguished by the Radical Left, and we can’t let that happen! If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago. What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!

    https://www.donaldjtrump.com/news/news-nqqxjy65sh0

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  182. DrDaveT says:

    @Scott:

    Because everything they know about living in space comes from Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”.

    Which, if you read it carefully, would in fact tell you everything you need to know about how you, personally, would fare in the Libertarian Paradise.

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  183. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Or… one could buy a remote plot of land, hire an architect to design a nice house; hire carpenters, masons, electricians, plumbers, and roofers to construct it; hire landscapers to design and scape the lawn; purchase a septic system from a private company and hire them to install it; and–if need be–hire a septic pumping company to empty it out on occasion.

    All without the help of the government.

    Apologies if this is a level of snark beyond my ability to detect, but…

    None of this can happen without government. Without government, you can’t “buy” anything because the person with more muscle than you have will just take your stuff, and if you’re the one with more muscle you don’t need to “buy”. Without government, there are no architects, carpenters, masons, etc. — or at least none that you have access to. Unless you’re the kingpin, in which case you don’t have to “hire” them. Without government, there is no electrical grid or sewer network to tap into, though you could do standalone septic and solar — again, without needing to pay for it if you’re the boss, and with no chance of getting it if you aren’t.

    Libertarianism is the belief that warlords would build subways.

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  184. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Because the market forces say well-built homes are better value.

    Just like market forces say that medicines that actually work, and don’t poison you, are better value than snake oil?

    Yeah, we’ve seen how that plays out.

    For someone who complains loudly about being labeled a “libertarian” here, you certainly do repeat a lot of their silliest arguments with no indication that you’re being snarky or ironic.

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  185. DrDaveT says:

    @Scott:

    Historical example: British East India Company (private) and Great Britain (government)

    The British East India Company could depend on having the Royal Navy step in and smite anyone who gave them a persistent hard time, anywhere in the world. That’s not “private”.

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  186. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Mu does have a point though. The market could provide all of the protections necessary to the situation that he is envisioning–provided that the market’s job was more extensive than clearing product gluts and attempting to rectify shortages.

    Market? What’s that? Without government, there is no such thing as a “market”, not as defined by free-market conservatives (including libertarians). This simple fact seems to elude many people.

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  187. grumpy realist says:

    @DrDaveT: What Libertarians never admit is that “property rights” are COMPLETELY an invention of the government. Otherwise you’d be limited to whatever you can sleep on top of.

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  188. Jax says:

    HA!!!! Well, perfect….the males, at least, are removing themselves from the gene pool.

    https://www.wfla.com/community/health/coronavirus/ivermectin-causes-sterilization-in-85-percent-of-men-study-finds/

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  189. Jax says:

    It’s probably not real, but it was good for a laugh! The list of the ailments in the poor affected sperm cracked me up!

    Low sperm count
    Poor sperm morphology
    Two heads
    Tiny heads
    Double tails
    Absence of tails
    Albino sperm cells
    Azoospermia, or the absence of motile sperm
    Poor sperm motility
    “There was a significant drop in the sperm counts of the patients after their treatment with Ivermectin,” the study’s authors concluded.

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  190. Teve says:

    @Jax: i looked into that and it’s one study of 385 people in Nigeria. I wouldn’t bet the rent money on it.

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  191. Gustopher says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    In her e-mail, Grace allegedly wrote that she “absolutely” does not “rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent.”

    You know what? I wouldn’t rule that out either. Or that they are genetically predisposed to be more intelligent. Likely not by a large enough factor one way or another to overcome a significant difference in opportunities though, and so similarly likely to be hard to measure.

    Just feeling pedantic.

    (I do know that they don’t burn as fast in the sun as my pasty white ancestry, so that’s a definite advantage to them…)

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  192. Gustopher says:

    @Teve:

    If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago. What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!

    Our surrender would have happened much earlier, and many American lives would have been saved.

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  193. Mikey says:

    @Teve: That may be the single dumbest thing I have ever read.

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  194. Jen says:

    @Teve: “Except for Gettysburg”??

    Good lord.

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