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July 07, 2019

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And yeah the "no middle Sunday" thing dates back to some agreement with the neighborhood, but come on, it's almost 2020!

First thing to ask: does the neighborhood still care? If not, no reason not to change it.

But if the neighborhood still does care, I really don't see abrogating the agreement for the convenience of others. I've seen too many cases of "well enough time has passed that now it's OK to screw you, just 'cause we're powerful enough to do so."

Sometimes it's tough:

Shasta County, about 250 miles north of San Francisco, is where California takes a hard right, where people wave the flag and hold their conservative ideology tight. Now they have a homegrown, world-famous sports star with lavender-streaked hair who is both “out,” and outspoken.

“It is interesting to watch people pretzel themselves to say, ‘We love her and we want to claim her but we also don’t support her as a person,’ ” Shasta College sociology professor Heather Wylie said.

Meanwhile, also across the pond, Boris Johnson described as "moronic and clueless". Not surprisingly, those who speak Welsh and Gaelic at home are taking offense. (But do they vote Conservative anyway?) Most amusing, his sister points out that she doesn't know what he's on about.

And (offense intended) he kinda looks like Trump, too.

Quote of the week...

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/census-case-could-provoke-constitutional-crisis/593425/
“Reason by degrees submits to absurdity,” Samuel Johnson once wrote,“as the eye is in time accommodated to darkness.”

"Boris Johnson described as "moronic and clueless".

That's just the typical English gift for understatement, innit?

Sometimes it's tough

They grow a lot of weed up there in Shasta. At least, that's what I hear.

Ideology is as ideology does.

Hopefully, they'll find a way to hold Rapinoe and MAGA in their heads at the same time. Maybe it will even give the "G" in MAGA new meaning.

In other news, the great turkey invasion of recent years has turned into an influx of bunnies. Cute as a button, but they eat everything they can reach.

“Reason by degrees submits to absurdity,” Samuel Johnson once wrote,“as the eye is in time accommodated to darkness.”

Yeah, we're there. That's not a statement about some nascent future.

We are there today.

Absurdity and darkness. And the savage violence that follows.

From Nigel's link:

"If, in fact, the Fourteenth Amendment requires that the president impose a citizenship question on the census form, how come nobody ever noticed that until the precise moment, 150 years after its passage, that Donald Trump needed a new argument?"

Indeed. As sold to us by those who believe in a literal, static "interpretation" of words as written in 1787. Except when THEY want to make up a bunch of shit yesterday afternoon to further their interests.

As with Citizen's United, as with Columbia versus Heller, and with so much conservative horseshit foisted upon and ruining my country, year after year, made up of whole cloth, freshly and stupidly "re-interpreting" settled law, supposedly "literal" constitutional language, claimed by asshole conservatives to be settled and literal from the get go in 1787, just as they claimed the fucking Articles of Confederation were settled and literal, ordained-by-God words, all to further the malignant aims of the modern conservative movement, not the country, not the people as a whole, not society. THEM.

THEM. Not me. Not you. THEM.

What took so long, indeed?

Along these lines, another must read: "Tailspin" by Steven Brill, which chronicles the unified theory of the willful, corrupt, dissolute perversion of everything having to do with the conduct of government by vermin conservative subhumans, not all it partisan, by the way, Democrats and liberals ..... look up the liberal name Martin Redish for a pig-headed, no exceptions, one-dimensional, Johnny-come-lately, literal, and utterly destructive "interpretation" of the First Amendment .... have been bought off, bribed, and compromised by the exclusively self-interested vermin in the fucking business "community" (there is no such thing as a business "community"; there are packs of wolves and colonies of termites, and lounges of lizards, but business is not a fucking "community"; in its place business is fine, but it will be put back in its place or it will be butchered and slaughtered, on as-need basis).

They want ALL of it, as Russell would say, and want government, if it must exist at all, to seize up and stop working altogether for the common good.

Again, the book is not positing a future. It's already fucking happened.

It's a fucking done deal.

This book, the sheer depressing, enraging factuality of it, should come with one year subscriptions to the in-house magazines of radical gun fetishist organizations, a five-year supply of ammo, and unlimited free access to gun ranges to practice one's aim when the killing of motherfuckers is finally interpreted by some asshole, surely enough conservative, as permitted by the Constitution.

For when the Roberts Court rules that bullets in transit from the barrels' of guns are protected free speech.

I trust this rant has not sent various OBWIer's off on a snipe hunt for cooler climes.

Thank you.

Here's my handkerchief to wipe the spittle from your lapels.

Keep it, for the next time.

All of the good faith in America had been dissipated over the past 40 years.

It can't, nor should it, be reclaimed.

We're done with these cocksuckers.

Absurdity and darkness:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/americans-rights-are-literally-vanishing-at-the-airport/

another must read: "Tailspin" by Steven Brill,

saw this at B&N yesterday and thought about picking it up but then decided I had too many other unread books (but can there ever be enough?).

Thanks for the rec John.

If, in fact, the Fourteenth Amendment requires that the president impose a citizenship question on the census form

It doesn't. The whole thing is transparent bullshit. The intent is to tilt congressional districts away from people who might vote for (D)'s.

Full stop.

Trump et al will beat this dead horse until the courts tell him to piss off. Or, until they defer to him and let him do what he wants.

(R)'s have been playing a long game for a generation, and now it's paying off. Time for the (D)'s, or whoever, to wise up and do likewise.

It is a long game, so it will take another generation to undo it all.

Savage violence is not going to happen unless the economy utterly craters. And if that happens and savage violence ensues, the outcome could go in any of ten ways. So, not something to really look forward to.

We need a generation of steady, patient, hands-on grunt work to rebuild representative governance, starting locally and building up.

If the (D)'s want to really make a dent, somebody will take all of the POTUS wanna-be's aside and suggest they run for some other office. Senator, House Rep, governor, state Senator or House rep, mayor.

There really isn't another option that doesn't break more things than it fixes.

Those are my thoughts.

Following Nigel (because I sometimes have difficulty ignoring interesting links from articles linked to.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/caban-de-blasio-and-new-york-socialists/593386/
Money quote: "The success of left-wing candidates in the Empire State has less to do with their ideas than with the decline of the Republican Party." Which is what we have been seeing in California for a couple of decades.

Call me low minded, but this made me laugh. A lot.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/07/watch-crowd-chant-trump-during-fox-news-world-cup.html

You are low-minded, and it's about time. ;)

"So, not something to really look forward to."

Of course not.

Lincoln did not relish going to war.

But even after that terrible interlude of the Civil War, "steady, patient, hands-on grunt work to rebuild representative governance, starting locally and building up" was attempted and sabotaged, rolled back, and destroyed in the years following by conservative, fundamentalist, racist, confederate nationalists, who called themselves Democrats, and when THAT 100 years of traitorous backsliding was temporarily thwarted in the second half of the 20th Century, the same ilk were welcomed into the conservative, fundamentalist, racist, confederate republican party, made themselves at home, and began yet another era of reclaiming their hooded, malignant bullshit for the country.

It never fucking stops.

No more.

"If the (D)'s want to really make a dent, somebody will take all of the POTUS wanna-be's aside and suggest they run for some other office. Senator, House Rep, governor, state Senator or House rep, mayor."

Yup.

There's a horse loose in the hospital, and these idiots skate in like Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr Howard commandeering a gurney with no apparent horse sense and not a bridle or bit in evidence, generally speaking.

"There really isn't another option that doesn't break more things than it fixes."

Everything has already been broken with malice aforethought by the conservative movement and now its apotheosis, p., irrevocably.

Clean-up crews in HazMat suits with ruthless triage powers are the only option, IMHO.

But I'm just a voice in this little corner of the world, growing hoarse.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/07/us/politics/census-citizenship-question-justice-department.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&fbclid=IwAR0WujPGFrYindBvP70G3VJXXlCLyGuMUY-Fz9gGmuLdqXdc-fER4G34TqE

If the replaced attorneys weren't so fucking Socratically inclined to drink the hemlock and were more American, they would set fire to their offices in the Justice Department and make sure the fire exits were blocked to Barr and company.

So, alongside Brill's "Tailspin", I'm finishing up, among other books as well, "The Outlaw Bible of American Literature", which is a survey of excerpts from the usual suspects on the periphery of the literary canon, Kerouac, Miller, Dick, Kesey, Algren, Burroughs, Thompson (the ones Truman Capote maligned as mere typists, not writers) but lots of other not-so well known names to the literary-inclined, we're not talking Jane Austen, we're talking the low but entirely satisfying pleasures of James Leo Herlihy, Patti Smith, John Waters, Andrea Dworkin, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Harry Crews and on and on, including Annie Sprinkle, prostitute, stripper, porn actress, advocate for legalized and regulated prostitution who provides in her cheerful, glib, forthright way an unwitting synopsis and analogue of Brill's overarching point in his book that legalistic assholes have overtaken the government and America by pointing out that in her numerous pursuits in the prostitution business, attorneys, cops and Judges make up a sizable percentage of her clientele.

You know, the ones who prosecute her from time to time for crimes such as "conspiracy to commit sodomy" a charge over which she has a good cackle.

But Sodomy of a closely-related political variety could be the subtitle of Brill's book.

Want to see a little more sanity in our foreign/military policy? Rather than the rise of the chickenhawks? Here's an idea that I think has a lot going for it.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/political-confessional-the-guy-who-wants-to-bring-back-the-draft/

Will it be popular? Perhaps not -- especially with those who remember how the draft during Vietnam disrupted our lives. But has Afghanistan (not to mention Iraq) been any better? I'd argue that they have been worse, not least because so few in Congress (and the various administrations), not to member voters, have experience in the military. Or children in the military.

Wars will happen regardless. But dumb wars are easier to slide into when it's mercenaries, or just a small cadre out of the total population, who are the only ones bearing the cost.

And that's before we get to the author's argument, which I think has a lot going for it: national service, whether in the military or otherwise, does a lot to build national cohesion. Something that is in pretty short supply these days.

But I'm just a voice in this little corner of the world, growing hoarse.

I find no fault with your analysis. Just hoping for solutions by peaceful means.

Rave on.

Re: New York and socialists:

The decline of the GOP in dense urban areas can be seen throughout the country

Here are the most densely populated areas of the United States. 133 incorporated areas with population densities greater than 10,000 per square mile are shown.

Those in the NYC metro area include:

9 of the top 10
12 of the top 20
24 of the top 50
42 of the top 100
56 of the 133

2/3 of the population of NY state live in the NYC metropolitan area.

The degree to which socialism, or at least "socialism", is a more functional approach than not is directly related to population density. There are a lot of "socialists" in NY because the overwhelming majority of people in NY live in densely settled areas, and in densely settled areas, providing basic services and public goods through public means makes more sense than not.

It's not an ideological thing, it's a pragmatic one. People aren't stupid, and absent other incentives or impediments they will evolve institutions that address their needs.

Horses loose in a hospital?

How bout unlicensed black bears driving cars as an analogue to p and vermin company shoving the country into reverse and then tearing off the doors when they don't get their way.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/07/08/monday-morning-open-thread-hey-boo-boo-lets-go-for-a-joyride/

And fleeing the scene afterwards, natch.

This is what happens when you leave food out for conservatives.

They wreck everything and then have to be hunted down so they don't ever come close to civilization again, one way or another.

Look, the demographic profile of the country is changing. It's becoming more urban. Ethnically, it's becoming less northern European. It's becoming less religious overall, at least nominally, and specifically less Christian.

The dynamics between nations, and parts of the world, are changing. Europe no longer dominates the rest of the world through colonization and empire. The whole communist vs free world thing is no longer the thesis and antithesis that drives the dialectical wheel. The West no longer has exclusive claim to technological or economic pre-eminence.

I understand why people might find that unsettling. Their image of what it means to be "American" may increasingly look less and less like the ground truth. Either within or without our national boundaries.

Nothing stands still.

There are various ways to respond to this. You can hide your head in the sand and pretend it's not happening. You can dig in your heels and try to prevent it from happening. You can adapt to reality and find a way to express yourself and your culture, traditions, and values, in a new context.

One of these ways affords the possibility of success. Only one.

One of these ways affords the possibility of success. Only one.

WTF? No door number two? That is simply un-American!


Well said. Couldn't agree more.

And that's before we get to the author's argument, which I think has a lot going for it: national service, whether in the military or otherwise, does a lot to build national cohesion.

So, involuntary servitude is OK if done by the state instead of individuals?

(R)'s have been playing a long game for a generation

There have been variations on the theme, but the GOP has essentially been playing this same game since right after the Civil War - So yes, a very long game. It was a lot more ruthless when the initial heat of their love for Social Darwinism first bloomed in the Gilded Age, and calling out the national guard to gun down labor strikers by the hundreds was just another cost of doing business.

If they don't cement their victory this time, I expect their response will fall along similar lines.

They have no qualms about resorting to naked force.

So, involuntary servitude is OK if done by the state instead of individuals?

yes.

also, taxation is violence and mandatory vaccinations are rape.

LOL

Wars will happen regardless. But dumb wars are easier to slide into when it's mercenaries, or just a small cadre out of the total population, who are the only ones bearing the cost.

The opposite seems to be the case with Vietnam. And you must remember how freely the military wasted lives in that war when they could easily shanghai fresh cannon fodder as needed.

from the wikki:

If I were asked to answer the following question: What is slavery? and I should answer in one word, It is murder!, my meaning would be understood at once. No extended argument would be required to show that the power to remove a man's mind, will, and personality, is the power of life and death, and that it makes a man a slave. It is murder. Why, then, to this other question: What is property? may I not likewise answer, It is robbery!, without the certainty of being misunderstood; the second proposition being no other than a transformation of the first?

— Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?[I]

The national service issue is not one of involuntary servitude versus freedom (as Milton Friedman argued for the AVF). What it does is subsidize military service in the market in order to persuade as many at-risk individuals as necessary to indenture themselves in order to supplement the number of people who have chosen a military job because they find the violence/myth/experience attractive. That subsidy is itself a form of coercion.

The other effect of the AVF is that it externalizes the moral hazard of engaging in military action. If they didn't want to be pawns, then they shouldn't have joined up in the first place. Screw 'em (and thankyouforyourservice, sucka)!

Of the two ills, I find the moral hazard to be the more dangerous.

Of the two ills, I find the moral hazard to be the more dangerous.

And, of the two, I find the other to be more immoral.

p, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Mitch McConnell and an assortment of bloviating male and female conservative cowards fake newsing their anal cysts will serve on the draft boards and decide who goes and who doesn't.

No thanks.

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/5c1211e5-1916-4721-9742-b40f2c19c4f1

I'll agree to a draft when they agree to draft me as a replacement instead of drafting and placing my son in harm's way.

If they start a draft again, thank god, perversely speaking, that the conservative vermin have decided to prohibit entry by LGBT, which includes cross-dressers, I presume, so that I can at least show up in a sundress and heels powdering my nose demurely at the examining physician while inquiring about the availability of sex-change surgery at taxpayer expense and at least have a shot at being dismissed from certain slaughter under false pretenses and living to see the rest of my days as a straight, heterosexual man without having my testicles blown off by friendly fire.

I don't believe for a second that wars will not be engaged in by the powers that be for fear of a backlash by the citizenry.

Citizenries in World War I pf all stripes felll all over themselves to tne forst to be gasses, maimed, and butchered.

I WILL accede to a draft if true believers of one of Milton Friedman's other dumb notions .. that corporations should ignore all externalities and work only to increase shareholder value .. are drafted first and sent directly to the front lines without camouflage for quick, efficient scragging by enemy troops who also have only one fucking ideological reason for living.

I'm not sure the draft would help, e.g.:

Americans are terrifyingly supportive of nuking civilians in North Korea

A large number of Americans seem to be members of some crazy death cult.

On top of that, war is just too good for business - the military-industrial complex has won.

"Citizenries in World War I pf all stripes felll all over themselves to tne forst to be gasses, maimed, and butchered."

Obviously, I am suffering from PTSD just thinking about it.

The opposite seems to be the case with Vietnam. And you must remember how freely the military wasted lives in that war when they could easily shanghai fresh cannon fodder as needed.

If we had had an all-volunteer force, there never would have been a mass movement to stop our involvement in Vietnam. (See Afghanistan for an example).

We should also talk about the moral hazard of drone strikes. Vietnam with an AVF and with drones would have been an unending bloodbath for Southeast Asians.

I'll agree to a draft when they agree to draft me as a replacement instead of drafting and placing my son in harm's way.

The premise of John Scalzi's Old Man's War SF series.


A draft won't be necessary to man and woman a domestic revolutionary force to overthrow, with military grade force, the U.S. government.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/bill-barr-census-pathway-citizenship-question

Uniforms won't be required nor a burden on the fucking taxpayers either.

Folks will show up in the their street clothes to do what needs to be done.

Vietnam with an AVF and with drones would have been an unending bloodbath for Southeast Asians.

Though not unending, it certainly was a bloodbath.

When the right-wing vermin wurtlizer gets done, p will, without push back from his sheeple, appoint Epstein as the Secretary of the newly formed Homeland Finger Fucking and Pussy Grabbing:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/07/08/watching-the-disinformation-being-made-and-transmitted-jeffrey-epstein-edition/

As I recall, the French AVF didn't do so well in Viet Nam.

Much as I opine that CharlesWT is lost in the intellectual wilderness, I would aver that in order to "win" in Viet Nam an AVF would have simply priced itself out of the market.

The French still had conscription during the Indo-China war, they just did not send any of the conscripted troops to fight in SE Asia because it wasn't considered an intrinsic part of the Metropole.

of the two, I find the other to be more immoral.

So what you are saying is that you believe it is a virtue to be a free-rider. That is, to get the benefits of having a military (and nobody with an ounce of realism thinks we are going to be able to do without one any time soon), without the inconvenience of having to actually serve yourself.

You do realize that is what your position amounts to, right Charles?

wj,

Charles would counter that he pays taxes, so he is not actually a free rider.

Of course taxes are coercion, so they, too, are immoral.

So two wrongs do make a right. Now you know the rest of the story.

The peace of mind that comes from knowing that if an externality is not captured by the price mechanism, it does not exist is simply extraordinary.

It's a drug more powerful than oxycontin.

A few years ago, when I supposed people should know what I thought, I wrote this about compulsory military service. Add President Bonespur to my list.

I oppose both the draft and an AVF. AMA

You do realize that is what your position amounts to, right Charles?

So, is someone a free-rider for using public roads if they've never worked road construction? As for me, I had the inconvenience of four years of involuntary servitude and worked one summer on a bridge construction crew.

Since WWII, old politicians have been using the blood of young people as Viagra for what they perceive as the state's erectile dysfunction.

The peace of mind that comes from knowing that if an externality is not captured by the price mechanism, it does not exist is simply extraordinary.

I certainly have greater peace of mind when politicians aren't defining and fixing what they perceive to be externalities.

Things that could count as mandatory service:

Military Service
Teaching
Health Care
Elder Care
Child Care
Conservation Work
Infrastructure Work

In return - free access to educational classes during (related to service) and after (elective) or apprenticeships or internships where those are more applicable.

If I got one wish for a constraint to place on service, it would be that the service would require travel and cross-cultural exchange (including urban/rural).

I oppose both the draft and an AVF. AMA

Don't know what AMA stands for, but seconded.

CharlesWT: So, is someone a free-rider for using public roads if they've never worked road construction?

As rhetorical questions go, that's a very good one. But this ...

I certainly have greater peace of mind when politicians aren't defining and fixing what they perceive to be externalities

... is problematic. Who exactly is CharlesWT willing to countenance as arbiters of what "externalities" are?

--TP

So, is someone a free-rider for using public roads if they've never worked road construction?

Road construction does not, in the usual course of events, subject you to getting shot at. At least around here -- your experience may differ.

Who exactly is CharlesWT willing to countenance as arbiters of what "externalities" are?

Government regulations are no guarantee since regulations are sometimes as much about protecting the creator of the externality as they are in mitigating the externality. A polluter can argue that he cannot be sued for polluting because his pollution levels are within the limits set by regulation.

Some externalities can be handled with contracts between property owners and in the civil courts. Air pollution is probably one the externalities least amendable to the property rights approach.

Negative Externalities and the Coase Theorem

Road construction does not, in the usual course of events, subject you to getting shot at. At least around here -- your experience may differ.

So, if someone doesn't want to get shot at, the state would be justified in making them take the risk?

I suppose road construction could lead to being shot at if you're on a chain gang.

When I was growing up, we had chores. (It was a farm, so there was lots to do.) Not particularly burdensome, but it taught us about responsibility -- if you fail to feed the chickens, they die.

But around the house there were other tasks that we were expected to do "because you live here." Sweeping, washing dishes, laundry, misc other stuff that had to get done routinely. I can't really see that expectation as involuntary servitude or violating the child labor laws.

National service is much the same. If you aren't willing to contribute to the efforts required to function as a nation, go live somewhere else. And no, you don't get to buy your way out, even if you can afford to.

National service is much the same.

A nation is not a family writ large. To make it come close to acting like one requires coercion and violence.

A nation is not a family writ large. To make it come close to acting like one requires coercion and violence.

Depends on the family. And the nation. Sometimes people can agree to share responsibilities in a reasonable way. Not everyone is capable of it. Not in families, not in nations.

Evolutionary psychologist John Tooby's take on the subject.

"The chief problem, he suggested, is that many people are beguiled by 'romantic socialism'—that is, they imagine what their personal lives would be like if everyone shared and treated one another like family. We evolved in small bands that were an individual's only protection from starvation, victimization, and inter-group aggression. People feel vulnerable if their band does not exist. Such sentiments are more or less appropriate when people lived in small groups of hunter-gatherers composed mostly of kin, but they fail spectacularly when navigating a world of strangers cooperating in global markets."
Why Is Socialism So Damned Attractive?: Because evolution wired our brains for it.

To follow on that, sometimes coercion and violence is necessary to enforce reasonable rules. The issue is what rules, who makes the rules, and how. We all want rules. Nobody wants the gangsters evicting us from our homes.

Sadly, we have the gangsters now. Reason? Violence? Coercion? I have a feeling we at ObWi won't be the deciders.

"A nation is not a family writ large."

Finally, does this mean I don't have to attend those family budget meetings around the kitchen table conservatives are always prattling on about when it comes down to deciding the nation's finances?

My family was not the Nation writ large either, except that time we sent the drones over the neighbors' house to get them back for TP'ing the willow tree by the driveway.

If I recall, someone or other is supposed to be representing me in these affairs.

"romantic socialism"

I hang out at the local Medicare office looking for love.

I carry a lute with me, hoping for at least a kiss, but what I really end up with is some practical cooperation from a large pool of participants in paying my medical bills.

It works pretty well, but I notice wolves and gangsters sniffing around the parking lot in recent decades.

It's starting to take the romance out of the whole thing.

Things that could count as mandatory service:

Military Service
Teaching
Health Care
Elder Care
Child Care
Conservation Work
Infrastructure Work

Yes, but who do you think will be assigned to teach, or baby-sit, and who to fight in the war?

Even in wartime we no longer need millions in the armed forces, so there will inevitably be, as there were during the Vietnam War, gross inequities in who gets shot at and who doesn't.

"Government regulations are no guarantee since regulations are sometimes as much about protecting the creator of the externality as they are in mitigating the externality. A polluter can argue that he cannot be sued for polluting because his pollution levels are within the limits set by regulation."

Gosh, that just kinda happened by accident, didn't it?

Read "Tailspin"

Read "The Wrecking Crew"

Read "The Fifth Risk"

Read "Dark Money"

If we paid everyone not to work, no one would be coerced to work, as they are now.

Every job I ever had entailed coercing someone at some point to do something.

A nation is not a family writ large.

And mandatory national service is not slavery.

That's the thing about analogies: if you don't like the implication, you can always claim a different one. The challenge, if you get dueling analogies, is to contrive to have the more plausible one.

"A polluter can argue ..."

And they are:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/07/white-house-unable-to-think-of-any-trump-environmental-accomplishments/

I'm for getting the government out of the "business" of regulating pollutants altogether and handing the job over to private armed militias who will show up at the polluters' estates and job sites and fucking deal with it.

And mandatory national service is not slavery.

So, if someone refuses, people with guns won't show to take them to jail or turn them over to someone else who will force them to perform services for others against their will?

And if you break any of numerous laws, the same scenario (complete with guns) plays out. Does that mean that any and every sort of government, short of absolute anarchy, is involuntary servitude?

Granted extreme libertarians tend to act like that's exactly true. But I thought you had a better grip on reality.

I'm with nous on this.

Yes, but who do you think will be assigned to teach, or baby-sit, and who to fight in the war?

What we hope is that people would select a path. As was mentioned above, we need fewer people in the military (because of robots - I know, dronz! They're evil! We want people to be shot at!). But there would be people who would be interested in choosing a military life. People wouldn't be "assigned" to hazardous service, but there might be incentives for that if we needed people to do that. (Like more money - this service wouldn't be unpaid.)

Kind of unrealistic to expect people to give a bit of their lives though, when so many Americans resist so hard giving a pittance of their income.

Yes, but who do you think will be assigned to teach, or baby-sit, and who to fight in the war?

Even in wartime we no longer need millions in the armed forces, so there will inevitably be, as there were during the Vietnam War, gross inequities in who gets shot at and who doesn't.

Well, since we are brainstorming, the military already does a decent job of determining aptitudes and matching those to structural needs. Universities do the same with their admissions criteria.

As far as combat MOS goes, there are always people willing to volunteer for that in general and more who are willing if needed if the cause seems just and necessary.

And if we have enough people with experience in the support skills, then they can practice those skills in non-military national service during peacetime and we could scale down our active military budget without affecting readiness as much.

Since we're SF worldbuilding here.

Kind of unrealistic to expect people to give a bit of their lives though, when so many Americans resist so hard giving a pittance of their income.

Well, young people tend to be a bit more idealistic. And a bit less fanatical in their resistance to taxes. So maybe not that unrealistic. After all, we do currently manage to staff both the military and the Peace Corps, etc.

Granted extreme libertarians tend to act like that's exactly true.

From a not so extreme libertarian.

"I. Why Mandatory National Service Is Unjust.

Mandatory national service is not just another policy proposal. It is an idea that undermines one of the fundamental principles of a free society: that people own themselves and their labor. We are not the property of the government, of a majority of the population, or of some employer. Mandatory national service is a frontal attack on that principle, because it is a form of forced labor—literally so. Millions of people would be forced to do jobs required by the government on pain of criminal punishment if they disobey. Under most proposals, they would have to perform this forced labor for months or even years on end.

...

II. Why Mandatory National Service is Unconstitutional.

The constitutional issues raised by mandatory national service are not as important as the moral ones. Nonetheless, any such proposal is likely to be unconstitutional, as well: if it includes civilian service, it would be beyond the scope of federal power, and it also violates the Thirteenth Amendment."
Why Mandatory National Service is Both Unjust and Unconstitutional: A post based on my presentation at a panel on mandatory national service organized by the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service.

Do I own my data?

"I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."

The Epstein case is going to have massive repercussions, as he assiduously courted powerful friends. How many were complicit in his crimes is for now a matter of conjecture, but it is almost impossible to think that none were.

Trump’s Labour Secretary, Alan Dershowitz, and Kenn Starr were involved in the dodgy plea deal, recently found unconstitutional.

Open thread, so, newly thawed 1,500 year old moss still alive and able to sprout:

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/ancient-life-awakens-amid-thawing-ice-caps-and-permafrost

Most lawmakers pontificating over the Mueller report appear not to have read it:
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/09/congress-read-mueller-report-1402232

Epstein needs to be given a simple choice:

Either rat out all the 'clients' of his pedo service, provide copious testimony and evidence, and serve a substantial sentence at Club Fed,

OR, 2 hours in a locked room with the victims of his pedo ring, who are armed with nail clippers.

The Epstein case is going to have massive repercussions

that would be nice, for a change.

It's likely to have repercussions for Bill Clinton and other Democrats who circled Epstein's toilet bowl.

p and republicans will not be touched, (il)legally vaselined up as they are and protected by the stinking, fucking right wing government coup underway for the past three years and counting.

Only wiping the conservative movement off the face of the Earth will accomplish America's renewal.

Nothing will be nice, nothing will change until that day.

J Rubin:

I’m tempted to say that the Republican Party should join Pelosi because it wouldn’t want to be associated with an alleged child molester, but Trump already has (Alabama’s Moore). I’m tempted to say that the GOP should care about victimized minors; but its indifference to the plight of mistreated children detained at the border should disabuse you of that notion. I’m tempted to say that the GOP doesn’t want to be on the side of men who abuse women, but ... well, you get the point. If Acosta doesn’t quit as Pelosi suggests, Democrats should pass a resolution in the House demanding Acosta’s resignation. If that doesn’t do it, commence impeachment hearings. It’ll be good practice. And let the Republicans defend the guy who cut a deal with a “monster.”

come at me with the 'morality' and the 'family values' now, muthafuggin GOP.

Vermin:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/americans-slashed-their-charitable-deductions-by-54-billion-after-trumps-tax-overhaul-2019-07-09?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

And God sayeth unto you: Goeth into the desert, gird thy loins, and fucketh thyself with the sword of thy Lord and Savior.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/bible-shortage-publishers-say-tariffs-could-cause-it/ar-AAE28IB

I agree that anyone associated with Epstein's deal should be disqualified from public service. Trump will take on water and he should. So will Bill Clinton (IIRC, Bill had 30 plus flights on the Lolita Express) and by extension Hillary and by extension, their past apologists. Trump is truly disgusting and his disconnection with reality is patent. That said, the stone-throwing from the left may hit some unintended targets.

That said, the stone-throwing from the left may hit some unintended targets.

LOL. That's funny. You really do not know much about "The Left", do you?

Take care, Tex.

What has Hillary to do with Bill's flights on the "Lolita Express"?

By the way, two of my comments are in the Spam trap, one with a link (as an experiment) and one without.

Fixed -- wj

What has Hillary to do with Bill's flights on the "Lolita Express"?

you've clearly forgotten that Hillary is the root, stem and branch of all evil in the world.

Quite right, cleek, thanks for reminding me!

What has Hillary to do with Bill's flights on the "Lolita Express"?

Epstein is a classic sexual predator. He grooms not only his victims but he grooms his environment, seeking and obtaining the goodwill of those around him (it's almost always a man). Clinton is a predator too. And he groomed much more effectively than Epstein. The purpose of the grooming is to cause the accusers to be disbelieved.
A lot of men are rightly being called to account for their behavior. The women who give those men shelter and cover should be held to account as well. Otherwise, it's hypocrisy and opportunism.

To be clear, the Republican Party has sold its soul to accommodate Trump. However, the outrage from the left--which I know nothing about--rings hollow with the Clinton baggage in plain view.

The women who give those men shelter and cover should be held to account as well.

please present evidence of Mr Clinton's crime, and of Mrs Clinton's knowledge of it, counselor.

you've clearly forgotten that Hillary is the root, stem and branch of all evil in the world.

This is actually not a substantive response. HRC rode her husband's coattails to national prominence. Her husband was a sexual predator. She enabled that. It's a matter of record he hung fairly often with Epstein. If Trump takes a hit because of his relationship with Epstein, fine by me. However, Bill, and by extension, Hillary should take hits as well.

please present evidence of Mr Clinton's crime, and of Mrs Clinton's knowledge of it, counselor.

If a "crime" is the bar, then Janita Brodderick. Her story was as least as compelling as Christine Ford's, so there is that. If it's just plain, predation, then you tell me why Bill spent so much time with Epstein. Or why "Bimbo Eruptions" were a thing well before he got the nomination?

Treating women like objects is wrong. Enabling/benefiting/applying a double standard, all wrong.

I hope Esptein brings a lot of people down. If lefties get a break, well, that tells it's own story.

A lot of men He, Trump's minions are rightly being called to account for their behavior. The women conservatives who give those men lickspittles shelter and cover should be held to account as well. Otherwise, it's hypocrisy and opportunism.

But also tax cuts.

--TP

decline.
i'm not interested in whattabouting.

Her husband was a sexual predator. She enabled that.

I'm quite prepared to believe the first of these two sentences, finding Juanita Broadrick for one credible, but see absolutely no evidence for the second as it relates to paedophilia, or, FWIW, anything other than adultery and habitual womanising.

Treating women like objects is wrong.

How true. And treating them like adjuncts to their husbands, as well as responsible for their husband's possible criminal behaviour, just as wrong.

Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, who was at the White House weeks ago huddling with p, perhaps to strategize where next nookie shall be available with Epstein on the rocks, blames Hillary Clinton for not reigning in Bill's carnal excesses and by extension, allowing Hunter's wife to look the other way as he serially unzipped and cheated on her at taxpayer expense, that latter feature being the only part of it she commended so as not to dip into their savings so more $$$ would be available to her in the divorce settlement after both of them one day, not soon, emerge from jail, even though in Hunter's case the death penalty should be applied.

See, from the point of view of the fundamentalist family values republican conservative Falwell/p axis of snivel, the problem with wives and girlfriends, especially when they are juggling both simultaneously, is that like Hillary, their wives and girlfriends are so wrapped up in developing policy positions to serve the poor and other rightful functions of government, that they just don't have the time to put out for the man of the house and fetch them a beer while they are up.

You see a conservative* walking around pantsless waving his manhood in the breeze and invariably he places the blame on Hillary Clinton for attempted emasculation.

Hillary Clinton*, to Humbert Humbert republicans, is like Charlotte Haze, Lolita's mother .... a woman to be dispatched by every means available to make gangway to the main chance, which is screwing children outta their food stamps.

*something you won't see at OBWI

*Lousy candidate, corrupt in an amateur way, despite her good traits, unlike the professional gangsters running/duining the show now. I'd vote for her again if she was the only candidate available.

come at me with the 'morality' and the 'family values' now, muthafuggin GOP

please present evidence of Mr Clinton's crime, and of Mrs Clinton's knowledge of it, counselor.

decline.
i'm not interested in whattabouting.

I sense a pattern here.

Prince Andrew is also in trouble re Epstein. If it was just(!) with a 17 year old girl, as previously alleged, that is problematical for UK public opinion, since 16 is the age of consent here, but it still looks pretty sleazy.

but see absolutely no evidence for the second as it relates to paedophilia

I agree, and I said predator, not pedophile. Monica was 21. That said, anyone who was a regular passenger on Epstein's jet will come under the microscope. It could get ugly for a number of people.

I absolutely hold spouses responsible who look the other way and continue to benefit from associating with predators. Male or female.

What evidence is there that Hillary knew about Bill's "predation", as opposed to adultery and serial womanising?

yeah, the pattern is: the GOP spent my whole life presuming to lecture the country (and the world) on only morality. but now it's hooked up with a serial-divoring, casually-bankrupting, con man who can't speak two sentences without at least one of them being a self-aggrandizing lie.

so, no, i don't give a single fuck about your fantasy Hillary Clinton. feel free to derive as much pleasure from that phantom as you can. but i'm not going to hand you the lotion.

To round out my thoughts, the Republican embrace of Trump completely de-legitimizes any and everything they said about Bill Clinton. I just find it interesting that Democrats and the left revel so freely in Trump's awfulness with respect to women and are so blind in their own selectivity. Was/is Trump more of a monster than Clinton? Maybe. Clinton lies better and has a much more compliant media.

Clinton!Clinton!Clinton!Clinton!
seek help.

Yeah, it's just terrible how prominent Dems like Edwards, Weiner, Franken, and Spitzer have been able to glide through HUGE sex scandals unharmed, all while climbing to ever higher office.

Meanwhile Moore, Vitter and Trump have had to slink away from public view in shame after their teensy pecadillos came to light.

So unfair.

What evidence is there that Hillary knew about Bill's "predation", as opposed to adultery and serial womanising?

This kind of illustrates my point. If you google "clinton's accusers", you'll see that there were at least three public complaints of sexually assaultive behavior by Clinton. Public, meaning HRC had to have known. Impossible not to have known. As we know, many women fear coming forward. Much truer then than today and still not easy today.

Demanding proof that HRC "knew" about her husband is the kind of passive denial that makes the complaints about Trump ring hollow.

I absolutely hold spouses Republicans responsible who look the other way and continue to benefit from associating with predators traitors. Male MAGA or female "reasonable conservative".

--TP

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