Correia’s Current Event Roundup

I’ve been really productive this year (put together an anthology, put together my first short fiction collection, wrote two short stories, finished Siege, edited Saints, outlined three collaborations, and I’m 75% done with Tom Stranger 2) but the downside of that means not nearly as much blogging.

I usually write a lot of political posts, but those take time. Which sucks because there have been so many things to comment on. So instead of a big, in depth, long winded post about one topic, here’s my quick opinion on a bunch of current topics.

Trump – As a guy who was on record never liking him, who donated money to other candidates in the primary, who honestly thought he was going to lose in the general, and who thought he was going to totally suck after… Eh. I still don’t like him, but to be fair he’s been better than I expected.

He made some good picks, SecDef, SCOTUS. It’s nice to have somebody not bowing to foreign leaders, that sort of thing. Like I said, better than expected, so credit where credit is due. I’m like many Americans, in that it isn’t that we like Trump or at all trust the Republican party, it’s that we absolutely despise the Democrats and all they stand for because they’re terrible assholes who suck beyond all comprehension. We’d vote for a head of cabbage before we’d vote for a democrat. Judging by the senate, congress, governor, and state legislative races over recent years I am not alone in this feeling.

The Media- A bunch of lying assholes. I trust gas station sushi more.  I usually despise them, but lately they’ve gone off the deep end even more than usual. They’ve moved onto absurd straw grasping. I didn’t even vote for the guy, but your 98% negative coverage about bullshit like him getting two scoops of ice cream makes me wish that I had just to spite you.

The Nefarious Russians – Hey, if you’ve got actual evidence of wrongdoing, and you want to impeach, go for it. (eh, I’ll take Pence). But for that to happen it would require actual evidence of crimes being committed. And then you need to go through that whole pesky legal process. Sadly for you guys, you can’t just declare that there is a consensus among all your friends on twitter that Vladimir Putin stole the election and then get a do over where Hillary gets in. In the meantime, to those of you where every Facebook post is something about NEW DAMNING PROOF TO ARREST THE ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION you just sound like whiney assholes.

I’ve got some Facebook friends where it is really laughable, like they’re living in this little crazy bubble where Trump is going to resign tomorrow and they’re going to impeach everybody because of their overwhelming evidence of something something mumble mumble. I’m actually cool with that but only if ideally you could find a way to impeach to about six levels down so we get President Mattis. That would be awesome, thanks.

The whole thing is funny, since the nefarious hacking part merely revealed that the DNC was a bunch of corrupt anti-Bern cheaters and John Podesta was an idiot. Then there’s the whole thing where Wikileaks is making it sound like the leak came from that DNC staffer who got murdered, not the Russians. Depending on whose opinion you get that is either a whacky conspiracy theory with absolutely nothing to it, or a mighty suspicious coincidence. Beats me.  But nobody on either side has any faith in the FBI ever revealing the truth.

Which brings us to:

Comey Firing – Nobody liked him. Get over it. The week before dickweed democrats were ranting about how he needed to go. So either he was a Hillary sabotaging Trump stooge, or he was a Hillary covering Hillary stooge, make up your friggin’ minds already.

Flynn Firing – And this is where the right side of the aisle and the Trumpkin Nut Huggers sound as bad as the democrats. Whatever. Nobody liked him either. Besides, from all accounts McMaster is way better.

The Obamacare Replacement – I knew a whole lot more about Obamacare than this one. That’s because when the last one went through I had to get trained on it enough to implement it for a 250 person company. Everybody who actually had to deal with it could tell that it would be total shit. (spoiler alert, it did turn out to be total shit). Now my company consists of just me, so I did not inflict learning the details of another giant stupid healthcare bill upon myself, so I don’t really know the ins and outs of this one, or how much it will or will not suck.

BUT REPUBLICANS WANT ME TO DIE!!! Not particularly, no, but they really didn’t like having an additional $300-$800 taken out of their pocket every month to pay for shittier insurance. All I do know is that there are a whole lot of people on the internet who do not understand how the concept of “insurance” works. But we’ll just throw that on the pile with other terms like “capitalism” and “rights”.

Rights – Real quick, you can’t have a “right” to something that requires somebody else to do something for you. Holy shit, that’s fucking stupid. You can’t have a right to someone else’s labor, time, or property. That’s theirs. Not yours. Do they not teach Civics anymore?

The Montana Special Election – this is a funny one, because right now the media is doing everything in its power to find some national referendum against Trump. Which is the only reason why the media has ever, in US history, given a shit about Montana. Seriously, I live in the Rocky Mountain west, the closest those elitist fucks get to cultural exposure about this part of America is they watched Brokeback Mountain once as a requirement for their Gender Studies degree.

I wrote this on Facebook yesterday:

ME: What? A guy running for congress body slammed a pushy reporter? That is unacceptable. No matter how annoying they are, it is never right to resort to violence over something so trivial.
ME TWO MINUTES LATER: Oh, it was a GUARDIAN reporter? Heh. Heh heh heh. Ha ha ha ha. HAA HAAA. BWWAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAA snort. (wipes eyes)
ME TEN MINUTES LATER: Still… Probably not cool.

For those of you unfamiliar with this blog or my personal history with the Guardian, go up and plug Guardian Village Idiot into the search bar, and enjoy. Because there is no more wretched hive of scum and villainy on this sorry world than the Guardian.  They are all lying, shifty, duplicitous, libelous, ignorant, shit weasels. And the only good thing I can say about them is that they fired their stupidest reporter, and his final article (ironically, about me again) was printed on my birthday, because Karma is a stone cold motherfucker.

But anyways, the republican still won, so this morning all of my liberal friends are screaming on Facebook about SO VIOLENT! THUG! HELP HELP I’M BEING OPPRESSED! HOW CAN YOU CONDONE THIS VIOLENCE!?! Which is super funny, because you guys can’t really seem to get too worked up about violence when the douchebags in Guy Fawkes masks are smashing the local Starbucks or you’re all sharing memes about “punching nazis” (which wouldn’t be so bad if you guys weren’t shit at target identification and didn’t call everybody who disagrees with you a nazi).

But here’s the thing. Republican voters fell into a couple camps on this controversy.

  1. They just hate the media (which lies about them and insults them constantly) so much that they were all like “Body slam a reporter? Hell, GIVE HIM THE CHAIR!” He could have literally killed, eaten, and then worn the reporter’s skin as a face mask and they’d be happy. I’ll call this the Fuck You Get Off My Lawn contingent.
  2. They don’t think violence over trivial matters is okay (even if reporters are annoying dicks), but they don’t know what actually transpired, and they know better than to ever actually believe anything that comes out of a reporter’s mouth so they gave the guy the benefit of the doubt. (and one of the witnesses backtracked her statement shortly after anyway).
  3. They figured the candidate lost his temper, and was a total asshole, but electing a total asshole is better than electing a guy from the party that leaves you poor, broke, unemployed, unarmed, and paying for somebody else’s good time.

I don’t live in Montana, and didn’t pay a lick of attention until the infamous body slam (by the way, if you can still talk about your glasses right afterwards it wasn’t much of a body slam) but I’d probably have been a B. Back when I used to teach concealed carry, during the long part of the lecture where I was going on about the legalities of shooting people, and how if humanly possible it is better to avoid shooting people, one of the things I would always point out is that eye witnesses are often unreliable, and nobody selected for your jury will have ever been punched in the face. When sudden violence unfolds, most people are taken by surprise. They don’t process it well. Their accounts afterwards are often crap. Which is why I never jump to any conclusions about any story until a few days later, after the initial bullshit calms down and the evidence (if any) is gathered.

But the Guardian reporter said X happened! Yeah, but see above. Nobody trusts reporters. Was he an innocent reporter humbly going about his business when set upon by a vicious out of control republican with delusions of being Randy Macho Man Savage? Maybe. Or was he a partisan hack asshole being rude and aggressive, who got shoved down in reaction to suddenly sticking his phone in the candidate’s face? Also maybe.

So Contingent B and C said when in doubt, I’m voting for the guy who is less likely to mooch money out of my wallet. So he won. Which is really a sad commentary on how little regular America trusts reporters. If you guys want to fix that, maybe try not being such lying bastards.

Whew… That one went long, but come on, it’s the Guardian. Making fun of the Guardian is like a hobby of mine, and I’ve not been able to indulge as much since Damian’s dumbass got canned.

Terrorist Attacks – Same old, same old. It pisses me off, makes me angry, and makes me sad. I’ve written about it before, and depressingly will probably end up doing it again. http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/01/07/thoughts-on-the-islamic-terrorist-attack-in-france/ and http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/11/16/thoughts-on-paris/ and http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/12/03/guns-and-vultures/

Short version, the world is fucked up, and there are super evil people in it. And we hear from idiots on both sides of the aisle, from cartoonishly simple responses on the right, to idiotic head in the sand, let’s all hold hands, responses on the left. And we can’t ever really have a national discourse about what to actually do about it because idiots start screeching about islamophobia.

CalExit- Sadly it appears my dreams have been crushed. I had so been hoping you would be able to spread your wings and fly. Someday, California, someday.

Brianna Wu for Congress – Oh please yes. I am so in favor of her becoming the fresh new face of the DNC. I am in favor of this even more than CalExit. Please let this happen. Santa, it is all I want for Christmas.

$15 Minimum Wage – You guys really don’t know how this works, do you? I’m guessing your Gender Studies degree didn’t require Econ 101.

Universal Basic Income – Shove it, Zuckerberg.

Sexist Haters Hate Star Trek Because Misogyny – I’m guessing this is like that time those legions of people (three guys named Cooter) were super angry about a black storm trooper, and thus required hundreds of articles and blog posts boldly condemning such blatant hatemongery. Personally, not being a Trekkie, I thought the trailer looked like wooden actors pronouncing dialog of great profundity in front of sweeping CGI vistas. Which is too bad, because I think Michelle Yeoh is cool.  But anyways, sexist racist, something something, I’m super outraged and need to virtue signal so all my friends know I’m cool.

Bill Nye-  One day Neil DeGrasse Tyson declared “No one can make science more preachy and pedantic than I can!” and Bill Nye said “Hold my beer and watch this”. It’s like he tried to jump the shark and fell in its jaws. My Sex Junk is literally the worst thing ever made. My Sex Junk causes autism. My Sex Junk is worse than climate change. My Sex Junk made me renounce science and I immediately signed up for Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog to learn about the healing power of crystals. My 150 IQ daughter who wants to become a biochemist hates Bill Nye so much that she wants to someday win a Nobel Prize just so that she can insult him during her acceptance speech.

Venezuela – What? Socialism fails again? I’m shocked! SHOCKED I TELL YOU! No really. This is my shocked face.

##

That should about cover it.

 

233 thoughts on “Correia’s Current Event Roundup”

  1. But haven’t you heard? The “Impeach Trump” thing is really a *Republican* plot so they can install Pence and bring about The Handmaid’s Tale for realz!

    Yes, some people actually believe that.

      1. Entirely to sane sounding. Plus no mention of Russians.

        I’ve missed these type of posts!

      2. I’d re-elect Trump merely for the level of epic butthurt he has generated from the left, if for no other reason.

        1. It would be interesting to see if they can through an 8 year long temper tantrum. I might finally finish off my Psych degree. I’m predicting lots of money to be made in the field of mental health over the next few years.

    1. As a libertarian I *hope* this is true, or can become true. While Trump is a thousand times better than evil Hillary, when it comes to either cutting the bureaucracy, getting rid of ObamaCare, or running Middle East policy he is a bull in a china shop, and I don’t want us to blunder into World War 3 because of him.

      1. Because Trump is going to start World War #…

        No wait, he can’t, we all died when Reagan started a nucealr war.

        1. He might impulsively resist China/Iran/Russia where Clinton would have surrendered. I think the handling of North Korea may indicated a return to sanity in signaling our intentions as compared to Obama. Four months may be too soon to draw any conclusions.

    2. I am willing to bet money that Trump will never be impeached. It’s just such a stupid notion, for so many reasons, that I’m surprised anyone believes it.

      1. They can impeach him if they want. But they should remember what happened with the last impeached president . . . (hint: he served out eight years in office)

        1. No, they really can’t. Not with Republicans in control of the entire government. It’s just impossible. Even if Trump eats an adorable orphan on live TV, very few (if any) Republicans would vote to impeach him. Unlike Democrats, Republicans have always been excellent at maintaining party solidarity, and this won’t be the exception.

          1. It might look like that to you. But I bet you don’t read the comments section at Instapundit, do you? If you did, you’d see lots of people angry with how (in their opinion) the Republicans in Congress are doing their best to sabotage Trump’s legislative agenda. From my perspective, it’s the Democratic party that looks like the monolithic, “party loyalty trumps all” (no pun intended) group. (E.g., none of the Democratic Senators voted to impeach a Democractic President who lied under oath — apparently they were totally cool with perjury, whereas I said “If you can’t trust his oath, you can’t trust his oath, including the oath where he swore to defend the Constitution. Throw him out!”)

            Now, you probably see a lot of cracks in the Democratic party that I don’t see, being an outsider. But I’m telling you, the Republican party is *also* not nearly as unified as it looks like to an outsider. There are plenty of Republicans who would much rather see Pence as POTUS than Trump, for example. Don’t think for a second that some of those Republicans wouldn’t vote to impeach Trump if they had evidence of his committing high crimes and misdemeanors — because if he was impeached and Pence became POTUS, they would see the situation as being improved.

          2. I’m not a Pence fan. Pence at least is not a Democrat.

            Furthermore, if Trump is that much of a screw up, and leaves conclusive compelling evidence, impeaching Trump and replacing him with Pence might be the best way the establishment Republicans have to get re-elected. Pence at least has survived as a Republican politician for decades, and hopefully has a sense of what he simply cannot afford to do.

          3. I tend to vote Republican because I strongly dislike the Democratic Party. I am heavily disenchanted with the Republicans for nominating a Democrat. I am not sure if you would count me as a Republican or not as far as votes to impeach Trump are concerned.

          4. Republicans are “excellent” at maintaining party solidarity? REALLY!? “Maverick” McCain? The Ladies (well, Lady now, since one of them is no longer in the Senate) from Maine?

            I could go on.

            Suffice to say that Republicans are usually horrible at party unity. It makes it quite noteworthy on those occasions (Obamacare, Obama’s SC pick) when the Republicans manage to successfully close ranks.

            How many Democrats have a nickname like “Maverick”?

  2. Word on the street is that Trump wanted to use recordings of My Sex Junk as a weapon against ISIS, but it was determined to be a violation of the Geneva Convention.

    1. “It is rejected by all civilized nations!”
      “These are uncivilized times.”
      “We have treaties-”
      “-EENK on a PAGE!”

  3. Huh. Is it sad when the Suicide Squad-esque ST:Renegades fan film looks both better and closer to Star Trek than that trailer?

  4. It’s hard to get too worked up over a body slam when all we have heard from the left is how violence is the answer to political disagreements.

  5. You are obviously uniformed about the situation in Venezuela.
    The drop in oil revenue has nothing to do with years of infrastructure neglect due to channeling the maintenance funds into socialist programs or an international turf war between OPEC and US oil companies causing a huge drop in oil prices. It is a conspiracy by capitalists to destroy the Venezuelan Socialist Experiment.
    The exit of foreign investors and companies has nothing to do with the fact that the government keeps “nationalizing” companies and private property. It is a conspiracy of foreign capitalists deliberately sabotaging the Venezuelan economy.
    NONE of Venezuela’s problems are from her socialist policies.
    ALL of her problems are due to internal capitalist traitors and foreign conspirators that are deliberately trying to sabotage her economy – mostly to try and make her President look bad. If it wasn’t for deliberate sabotage why would all of these previously profitable companies start losing money as soon as the government took them over? Can’t argue with that can you?

    1. Mr. Jones–you may want to be slightly more over the top. There are people who would wholeheartedly agree with what you’re saying.

      1. Yes, SARC tag definitely required. The only clue that he’s not a moonbat is that he’s posting here. And I think I’ve seen a few that do post here. But he’d have to be a LOT more over the top to make it clear without a tag.

      2. The sad part is that what I posted above is the official position of the Venezuelan government and that is what you will see on all their official news releases. The sadder part is that their are actually people stupid enough to buy that drivel.

        1. “The sadder part is that their are actually people stupid enough to buy that drivel.”

          But fewer and fewer of them are actually Venezuelan.

  6. Man…this TOTALLY made my week!

    Thanks Larry.

    Right on.

    Well, all except the part about Trump being better than expected. I mean, yeah, he’s had some good picks, but that whole Intel disclosure thing really pisses me off. Sure, be yourself or whatevs to the media. Play the buffoon AND the prick all day long. Degrade the office of the president till there’s no more respect for it at all (at least maybe then we’ll stop thinking of it like our president’s the Eternal Goddess Mother of Infinite Importance). But dangit, you don’t get to risk the lives of the men and women who put it all on the line just because you’re a stupid who doesn’t understand the first thing about…well…pretty much anything.

    So, yeah, what you said…except that one little thing. 🙂

    rip

    1. The expectation was that he would be Hillary in drag, butch, ?? what’s the slang for a woman dressed as a man?

  7. Once again your blog is spot-on, of course condensing that much reality in one spot is causing a gravitational shift which is going to cause our planet to wobble and spin out of the Goldilocks zone. Congratulations you have doomed us all. Just please finish up the rest of Monster Hunters story before the end of the world.

    1. I dunno. I always that that thought the solar system’s gravitational field wobbled off course a bit after Larry and Jim Butcher met and became friends.

      Then it did it again when they started writing stuff set in each other’s worlds. (Well, as far as I know, Jim Butcher’s got a story for the MHI universe.)

      The universe cannot possibly contain that much awesome, without it having an effect on the universe! *grin*

  8. I don’t always agree with you, Larry, but I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. I do always agree with you 100% on the shifty media, though.

    I admire how articulate and fearless you are.

    You’re an inspiration to other writers like me who are on a trajectory from indie to published.

  9. Pretty sure there wouldn’t be a single person here (minus the usual trolls) who wouldn’t be perfectly happy with St Mattis the Mad Dog adding Mr President to his list of titles. Heck, Tillerson would be fine by me, too. Not super enthusiastic about Trump and Pence, but they’re better than the alternatives.

    Any comments on the whole Net Neutrality thing? As a consumer with a single choice for ac ISP I’m not thrilled, but as someone against government regulations I’m less opposed. I guess if be more okay with it if the companies in question had a better record of good customer service.

    1. the big ISPs want to have their cake and eat it too

      they want to have total control over what goes over their network to extract more money from people after they have already paid for bandwidth

      but they want no liability for what goes over their network so that they don’t have to actually police anything

      It used to be that ISPs were considered ‘common carriers’ like the phone company, like delivery companies, like transportation companies. A common carrier is required to provide service to anyone in their area who is willing to pay, and not care about what is in the packages they transport (minor exceptions for hazmat material which must be declared, but if the carrier handles hazmat material at all, it must accept that material from anyone)

      What happened was that the FCC tried to get some ISP to fix bad behavior (actual misbehavior), and the ISP got a Federal Judge to say that the FCC didn’t have the authority under the rules, the FCC tried to re-state the rules and the Judge basically told them that unless they declared that ISPs were common carriers, they couldn’t block the ISP. That’s what the FCC then did under the term “net neutrality”

      My personal opinion is that ISPs should be forced to declare (I’ll let them do it once a year if they want) if they are a common carrier or not. If they are a common carrier, they are required to pass packets at the agreed on rates with no inspection of what those packets are (other than legal investigations into hacking). If they are not a common carrier they can impose whatever policies they want over the traffic that goes through their network, but since they are then declaring that everything that goes through their network is approved by them, they loose any immunity to being sued over that content.

      I’ll bet that they would all very quickly elect to be common carriers.

      I am far from an Obama fan, but his FCC accidently got this one right.

      1. Is a common carrier allowed to have any rules at all, any consequences at all for bad behavior? If I use my home Internet connection to carry out hacking attacks on companies or individuals I don’t like, or send spam, or harass people, there will be complaints to my ISP and presumably rather quickly the account will be terminated. Is a common carrier allowed to have a Terms of Service policy, or a Code of Conduct for its users, or must the only rules be “if you pay for it we send it?”

        Once upon a time an ISP that hosted bad actors–spammers, for example–could fully expect to be depeered: lose its connection to the Internet backbone. This provided an incentive for strict terms of service that were rigorously enforced.

        1. illegal acts are illegal acts, and the common carrier can react to them. most spam is fraud and can be dealt with under those rules.

          There is a section in the net neutrality rules that allows an ISP to manage traffic for ‘legitimate network management’ reasons, but ISPs have been pushing this definition, even under these rules.

    2. As I understand it, the regulation that got squashed had not gone into effect yet and it would have restricted the ISPs from doing the same kind of things with client data that Google, Facebook, and Twitter do.
      I’m not sure if that is correct because I don’t worry about it. I just assume that anything I put on the wire can show up on the front page of the London Times (or on Drudge).

      1. I think you’re thinking of that regulation that would have allowed ISPs to sell your data, which is something different. Net Neutrality means that ISPs have to sell access to the internet as a whole or not at all. They can’t, say, give you access to Youtube only if you pay an additional monthly fee. It doesn’t really have anything to do with privacy.

        1. Yes, I know what net neutrality is. But IIRC when the big kerfuffle about that rule being canceled it was described in the media as affecting “Net Neutrality”.

          As far as actual net neutrality is concerned I’m a bit conflicted. It sounds more like an issue that should be addressed by the marketplace. On the other hand, there’s not a lot of local competition between ISPs due to the high cost of entering the market (and government supported monopolies of course).

      2. @mark, this was different legislation. Also, ISPs are in different position than Google, Facebook and Twitter, in that they get _all_ your data, and in US in most cases you cannot choose your ISP – there is functional monopoly; while you can use different services than Google etc.

        1. ISPs can only see your *unencrypted* data. Most data is encrypted these days. They can see which IPs you connect to when it’s encrypted, but that’s it. That kind of data is useful for marketing people, but actually *less* useful than what Google picks up when you click on a link. The collusion that occurs to allow isps to have local monopolies is a much bigger problem.

          1. Even when you go to an encrypted site, they know the fact that you went to that site, and how much data transferred in what direction.

            But net neutrality is about them being able to charge you more to go to some sites than to go to other sites (albeit indirectly by charging the website as well as you for the access)

    3. “Pretty sure there wouldn’t be a single person here (minus the usual trolls) who wouldn’t be perfectly happy with St Mattis the Mad Dog adding Mr President to his list of titles.”

      Great deal of respect for the man, but he’s awfully fond of bringing Obama appointees into his inner circle. That aside, the skills that make a great military leader do not necessarily translate to political leadership.

    4. Case A: Sprint slows down access to (frex) Drudge.
      Case B: Sprint offers unlimited data for people connecting to Netflix.

      The net neutrality laws prohibited both. Case A is a problem. Case B, not. Case A has never occurred. Case B has.

      But here’s the kicker… Anyone think the bureaucratic infrastructure needed certify services as compliant wouldn’t grow? Remember, government isn’t an octopus. It’s a hentai monster.

      1. Remember, government isn’t an octopus. It’s a hentai monster.

        I want to both upvote your comment for that wonderful phrase, and downvote it for sticking that image in my head. 😀

      2. actually, case B is a problem in that it is now favoring netflix over it’s competition. how can a netflix replacement get started if it first has to pay lots of ISPs to let it be in the ‘unlimited’ category and then try to get subscribers?

        Now, netflix is an interesting case

        They generate a lot of network traffic (which they pay their ISP for, and the watcher pay their ISP for, but the watcher’s ISPs want to charge netflix for the traffic again)

        And they have grown to the point where they are willing to provide (at no charge to the ISP) servers to run in the ISPs network that will serve a lot of the more common videos without the traffic needing to ever leave the ISPs network.

        But a number of ISPs want netflix to pay them and refuse the netflix servers, and refuse to upgrade their network connections to other ISPs that the netflix traffic goes through.

        The idea that the ISPs can start charging websites, as well as their users, otherwise the websites won’t work as well, is in many ways death to the Internet. It changes it from something where a couple people in a garage can start the next google (which is how google got started against the incumbent search engines at the time) to something where only the established, well funded companies can afford to compete.

        1. David, I see a different scenario being more likely:
          Content is King
          First, a number of competitors rise to challenge Netflix dominance of licensed content. This has already occurred.
          Second, Netflix, seeing competitive advantage, Netflix produces its own proprietary content. Others do the same. This has also, already occurred.
          Both Netflix and its competitors want their services to work better, but, more importantly, so do the subscribers to Prime and Netflix.
          ISP’s, for now, are accountable to their subscribers, who demand that both Prime and Netflix work well. Similarly, VUDU, Hulu, and the other dozen options my TV tells me I have.
          As long as the accountability of ISP’s is to the end user, the end user will be able to access the content they want. The current situation has produced numerous well funded competitors, all of whom are increasing their services, and best of all, producing new content (some of very good quality). My options as a consumer are anything but limited, and the industry is highly competitive (demonstrated by the increasing service and content options).

          As for the garage kitbash competitor to Netflix, it’s not very likely without a significant innovation. Just as a new mom and pop video rental store wasn’t going to pose a significant challenge to Blockbuster, a Steve and Dave’s video streaming isn’t likely to out compete Prime or Netflix, with or without ISP restrictions. However, if someone produced an innovation similar to the one Netflix deployed against Blockbuster, they would have a chance. Customers will demand such innovations, and react poorly to an ISP that interfered with or denied their choices.

          The most narrowing scenario I see developing is actually “Free Internet”. In this scenario, the ISP becomes accountable to Amazon/Google/Netflix/Facebook, who pay for preferred traffic routing. The customer no longer pays for the ISP, the content provider pays. However, even in this scenario, the ISP will doubtless offer a premium service, free of traffic routing/filtering, because it’s something people want. Within the confines of such a service, the ISP would be accountable to the end user. I find this scenario really fascinating in the social implications.

          1. They key is in your statement:
            As long as the accountability of ISP’s is to the end user…

            The trouble is that in many areas the accountability isn’t to the end user, the end user has no other choice, they must take what the ISP provides because there isn’t another ISP that they can get.

            The ISPs go to the big content providers and pitch to them, “we have X subscribers, how much are you willing to pay us for access to them”.

            The end-users have become the product, not the customer.

            ISPs have shown through their policies and actions over the last several years that they want both the customer, and the content providers to pay them (as well as the content providers paying their ISP), and they are not at all interested in providing the unfiltered connection. In many areas, the only way to get anything close to an unfiltered connection is to get a business account at 10x-20x the price for the same bandwidth.

            their behavior towards the heavy users of their system is another example, if you consume anywhere close to the bandwidth that they sell you as an ‘unlimited’ service, they will declare you an abuser of the network and work to cut off your service.

          2. David, there may well be areas where only one ISP is available. However, I know of two competing satellite ISPs. If someone were out or range of all the ground based ISPs, and out of range of one of the satellite providers, I would expect that they’d have the sorts of difficulties associated with narrow options. However, I don’t think it’s a good idea to invite government to stick it’s fingers into all the ISPs to, in theory, ameliorate this narrow case.

          3. satellite ISPs only work if you have the right access to the sky. Rural folks with trees in the wrong place and city folks with buildings in the way don’t have them as an option (not to mention, they have horrible latency and low bandwidth caps)

            The vast majority of the country has access to two ISPs, their phone company and their cable company, both of which have very similar policies, so there really isn’t much competition between them. They are both mega-companies with extraordinarily low customer approval ratings. They are the only industry I know of that rivals Congress and the media for the lowest approval ratings.

            I also disagree with this being inviting government to tinker with the ISP market, it’s just changing the way that the government is involved, and making it be in line with the regulations that are already in place on phone services. They aren’t inventing new regulations to apply.

            ISPs used to be under the common carrier restrictions, after they were changed was when we saw the small ISPs disappear and get gobbled up by the mega-corps.

            I fail to see how requiring new companies pay every ISP in the country to get fast access to their customers could possibly improve innovation in Internet services. It sounds like a way for the incumbents to block out newcomers.

            Especially as the mega-corps who own the ISPs decide to start up their own streaming services (and network based DVRs) in competition to things like netflix, and can ‘coincidently’ degrade the customer experience with netflix. Not in any big way, but just making it a touch sluggish if netflix doesn’t puny up the cash/

            I strenuously disagree with most of what happened during the Obama administration, but this is one (and close to the only one) place where they did the right thing.

            This goes back prior to Obama, in 2005 the AT&T CEO admitted that they intended to force the major content providers to pay them as well as collecting money from their customers. The whole mess kicked off in 2005 when the FCC ordered an ISP to stop blocking Voice over IP services that competed with their own offering.

          4. I’m not going to support creating a new government bureaucracy to decide what constitutes fairness in terms of internet service. You want disparate impact nonsense and certification requirements? This is how you get them. I’m more willing to risk that people who choose to live far from service hubs and happen to be on the wrong side of the mountain get boned by their ISP than I am to guarantee everyone endure even more government lag.

            Everyone hates government interference until they think it will come out in their favor.

          5. I don’t see it as creating a new government bureaucracy, there is already a bureaucracy to address these issues. net neutrality just brings data communication into line with voice communications, and the rules to be enforced are far simpler than what the FCC has to do to address ISP abuse without the common carrier rules.

            Or do you think that it’s just fine for the mega-corp ISPs to block various things because they are cheaper/free compared to services they want to sell you?

          6. I wouldn’t patronize an ISP that didn’t let me access the services I wanted to access. I oppose laws that force others to provide goods and services against their will. I’m against it for PPACA and I’m against it for Net Neutrality. If we differ on that point, I doubt we’ll hash it out here.

          7. again, if there were real competition, I would be in favor of the market dealing with it, but there isn’t.

            I also see a huge difference between requiring that a company take active measures to provide a service against their will vs prohibiting them from taking active measures to impede a service that would work fine without their action.

          8. there are times when forcing people to provide services to those who they don’t want to makes sense (eliminating “whites only” services during the civil rights heyday is a good example), and there are times when forcing people is not appropriate. You would never be able to force a writer to write ad copy for a cause they oppose for example.

            IMHO, the line is when the service provided includes creativity, A bakery cannot post a sign “no gays served” or refuse to sell something in stock to someone because they are gay. But requiring the baker to exercise their creativity to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple is like requiring a writer to create ad copy for a cause they oppose.

            A Pizza place catering a wedding is right on the line, I don’t see much in the way of creativity there to be protected.

            I know that the court cases do not support my position right now, but I keep hoping that someone will find a way to sue a leftist establishment for not providing a service that would support a cause they oppose, and start to turn this around and draw the line in a more appropriate place.

        2. But a number of ISPs want netflix to pay them and refuse the netflix servers, and refuse to upgrade their network connections to other ISPs that the netflix traffic goes through.

          As Andrew has pointed out, if you have competition, then this is a self-solving problem. ISP A refuses to take the Netflix servers and refuses to upgrade their network. So customers of ISP A get lousy connections to Netflix at peak usage times like 6-10 PM, and grumble about how lousy their Internet connection is. Meanwhile, ISP B, which serves the same area, has taken the Netflix servers (since that costs them very little). So even though they haven’t upgraded their network either, ISP B’s customers get great Netflix streaming quality on the most popular shows during those same 6-10 PM peak hours. What results is that a lot of ISP A customers hear from their friends who have ISP B “Wait, you have problems with Netflix in the evenings? My Internet connection handles Netflix just fine”, and start switching over to B. ISP A loses customers and money, and ISP B gains them.

          Now, there’s a problem of local ISP monopolies going on, so in many parts of the country, ISP B doesn’t exist. That “monopoly” equals “poor service” comes as a surprise to basically nobody familiar with economics, of course.

          But as with most things where the left is pushing for huge government regulation, my response is “trust in the corrective power of the market”. As long as government intervention hasn’t screwed it up by (say) creating local monopolies, the market will correct for ISPs like ISP A in my example. And if government intervention has screwed up the market, more government intervention is unlikely to fix the problem.

          1. The reason there is no ISP B is in part because of the government regulations (look at how many states prohibit a town from running their own ISP for example)

            I agree that if there was real competition, net neutrality wouldn’t be an issue.

            The problem is that right now, we have government granted monopolies, and yet the government is unable to reign in their misbehavior. The Courts stated that in order to reign them in, the FCC needed to classify them as common carriers (note, the phone company is also a common carrier, as is FedEx, UPS, the Post Office, the railroads, etc)

            This isn’t trying to impose new and special regulations on ISPs, it’s trying to be able to avoid bad behavior, behavior that the ISPs have stated that they want to do more of (stated in court, under oath)

            It’s not a leftist attempt to insert more government regulations, it’s an attempt to control the misbehavior of monopolies.

            I am not in favor of increased government regulations, but I would much rather see ISPs classed as common carriers (and subject to those well established regulations) than to see the ISPs fragment the Internet and block innovation and turn their end-users into their product instead of them being the customer.

    5. Wasn’t this like, back in Obama’s term?

      Am FOR Net Neutrality, simply because it keeps the ISPs from favoring types of data.

      Back when this was being discussed, I asked my housemate, who’s been working in the industry for at least a decade now, about it. He gave me this link, saying that it was hilariously presented, but accurate in how bad it would be if Net Neutrality was gone (also, easily understood by the non-tech layman in how it affected them.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbOEoRrHyU

      1. Whereas I’m AGAINST it for the exact same reasons you’re for it: because it keeps the ISPs from favoring types of data.

        Let me expand on this. As a consumer, rather than an ISP, I want to be able to watch Netflix at good quality. So if my ISP throttles Netflix, that will hurt me. HOWEVER, if they’re not allowed to throttle Netflix, that will hurt me too — because it will mean I pay higher prices for my service, and so do all their customers who DON’T use Netflix, which is unfair.

        Let me expand on that a little farther. Say the ISP wants to favor certain types of data. Why? Well, they’re a business, so the answer is always going to be “Because it makes them more money” (or “because they have to spend less money that way”, which amounts to the same thing). If serving up Netflix’s data costs them more than serving up WordPress’s data (which it does), then they’re going to want to find ways to reduce the cost of serving up Netflix’s data. And now we reach the point where the government interferes in the market. If the ISP is prevented by law from reducing their costs in this way, the only way they’ll be able to make the same profit is by increasing their prices instead. Which means I’ll end up paying more for my Netflix-with-good-speed anyway… but so will my neighbor Joe who never watches Netflix. And that’s not fair to Joe.

        If instead, the ISP was allowed to throttle Netflix and say “But for an extra $5 per month, you can get premium full-speed Netflix service,” then Joe wouldn’t be subsidizing my Netflix usage. His bill would be (say) $30 per month, mine would be $35, and I get the full-speed Netflix that I’m paying for. But if the government regulations have prevented the ISP from throttling Netflix to regular customers and making it a premium service, I’m (of course) going to keep watching Netflix since I’m not paying any extra for it. So their costs remain the same, and they have to charge everyone a higher base price. In my artificially tiny example where they have just two customers, that means they charge everyone an extra $2.50 for their higher costs. So I pay $32.50 instead of $35, and Joe pays $32.50 instead of $30 — which means that the government regulations have had the effect of making me steal $2.50 per month from Joe!

        And that, in short, is why I oppose Net Neutrality laws. Because like just about every other government regulation in the market, it leads to unfair pricing, favoring some customers over others, and stealing from Peter to pay Paul.

        1. You are missing one reason for them to slow down a service. The idea that they offer an inferior service (say their own streaming video service) and want to force people to use it instead of netflix

          A properly run ISP will not slow down overall because people use netflix, the customers are paying them for X amount of bandwidth, if they customers are using that bandwidth to use netflix, it is no different than them using that bandwidth to watch Amazon, or download DVD images or anything else.

          Nobody is opposed to them offering multiple tiers of service. It’s just that those tiers should be based on the bandwidth used, not what server they are connecting to.

          Otherwise, you end up where the ISP has a base price of $30, + $5 for netflix, $5 for Amazon video, $5 for Hulu, $5 for CBS, $5 for Slingbox….

          you can’t watch all these services at once, so charging for them separately makes no logical sense, but that’s what you are wanting the ISPs to do.

          Charge for speed and/or total volume, but not based on what server you access.

          1. by the way, if you and Joe aren’t using netflix, what servers are you accessing that are using up the bandwidth you are paying for? why aren’t you having to pay extra for accessing those websites? After all, using your own logic, the netflix users aren’t accessing them (they are too busy watching netflix), so why should they subsidize your access to them?

          2. Well, most websites that are text plus a few images have roughly similar bandwidth usage, so it makes sense to treat them as interchangeable. But of course, by acknowledging this, I’m also acknowledging that it also makes sense to treat Netflix / Hulu / Crunchyroll as interchangeable “higher-bandwidth” sites, which means it would make sense to say “Charge for speed and/or total volume, but not based on what server you access.” Which I agree with you about, BTW — I don’t think I made that clear enough in my earlier response.

            What I am suspicious of, though, is the government forcing that business model on ISPs. It’s the business model that the market has reached already — most people want to buy an “unlimited” package, and are quite unhappy when they learn that the “unlimited” package they bought is actually a “No more than 100Gb per month or we charge you more” package. But if that is presented up front — “THis much for a 10Gb/month cap, this much for a 50Gb/month cap, and this much for a 200Gb/month cap”, a lot more people are (AFAICT) willing to say “Okay, fair enough” and shell out for the level of service they want. But every time the government forces a business model on people, it tends to come out poorly.

            Of course, I’m also someone who will argue that a business should have the right to refuse to serve a customer for any reason, even totally bigoted ones: “I don’t like you because you’re (white/black/Muslim/Christian/atheist/left-handed/right-handed/whatever), so I won’t bake you a cake” is, IMNSHO, a fundamental part of freedom of association. (With the corresponding freedom of speech that allows the customer who’s just been refused to publicly say “Hey everyone, Ken Smith the baker is a bigoted asshole who hates (insert category here), so you should all boycott him to teach him a lesson”.) I’m becoming more and more hard-line in the cause of freedom, so I’m naturally biased against pretty much any law that interferes in a person’s ability to decide how they want to run their own business, with very limited exceptions like “You shall not dump toxic waste on other people’s property without their consent, nor into the rivers where it would affect the property of thousands of people” and so on. Therefore, unless there’s a significant evil that would be prevented by Net Neutrality laws, I’m opposed to them a priori on philosophical grounds. If they would prevent an evil but it’s a small evil, I’d tend to still be opposed to them.

            Now, being deprived of certain forms of entertainment would be a small evil, but being deprived of certain forms of political speech would be a VERY large evil, and the former would inevitably lead to the latter, so I could see myself being in favor of some form of net-neutrality laws. But I have serious doubts about whether Congress will actually write a good law, rather than larding it up with irrelevant and/or actively dangerous provisions.

            And I’m rambling from point to point now, so I’d better stop. This comment is already five times larger than the one it was replying to — sorry about that.

          3. Good point on offering their own inferior service. If they’re a local monopoly, that could be a problem, though I think current anti-monopoly laws might be leverageable in that situation. (C.f. Microsoft being sued for anticompetitive practices for incorporating their own Web browser into their OS, at the time when selling a Web browser was still a plausible business model).

            Though you certainly *can* access all those services at once if you have multiple computers with multiple family members sharing an ISP connection, so your “extra for Netflix, extra for Amazon video, extra for Hulu…” argument doesn’t hold up quite as well.

            But I certainly agree that trying to steer people to their own inferior product is one trick that ISPs would try to pull. However, I don’t see that as a serious problem as long as the customer still has the option of getting Netflix at some premium: “Pay less for this crappy service, or pay more for this superior service” is pretty much identical to what you get in other markets: “pay less for this crappy dishwasher from brand A, or pay more for this superior dishwasher from brand B” (and sometimes, the superior dishwasher is also brand A, but a different model). Some customers will choose the crappier-but-cheaper model, some will choose the more expensive but better-quality model, and the market hums along.

            I think I would be in favor of an anti-censorship law: “You may not block customer’s access to certain sites based on the content of those sites” (with exceptions for malicious sites that actively try to attack your network with viruses, worms, etc). Such a law would both prevent ISPs from blocking Netflix/Youtube/etc entirely, and would also prevent them from blocking conservative blogs. But I haven’t worked out all the details of that one: it’s possible (even likely) that there would be some nasty unintended consequences of such a law, which I haven’t thought of yet.

          4. anti-trust laws can’t be used against the ISPs because they are government-granted monopolies. The entire net neutrality mess started when one ISP blocked Voice over IP protocols other than the one they offered, and when the FCC tried to get them to stop it, the ISPs sued the FCC claiming the FCC had no authority to prevent them from doing that. They got a Federal Judge to agree and that Judge stated that unless they were classified as a common carrier, the FCC had no authority to block them.

            It turns out that the same authority the FCC needs to have to be able to say that the ISP can’t block sites/services is the same authority it needs to have to say that they can’t slow some unless the site/service pays them not to. If they don’t have the authority to block the ISPs from doing one type of interference with the customer’s traffic, they don’t have the authority to block the ISPs from doing the other type.

            as for surcharges, how does it create any more network load if you have 5 people in a house watching 5 different streaming services, vs those same 5 people watching different videos at the same streaming service, vs those same 5 people doing real-time high-res video chats to other individuals? why should they be charged more for accessing the 5 different streaming services than for the other scenarios?

            Charge for bandwidth, have data caps (at different tiers), those are legitimate, even with the net neutrality rules. It’s only when you start applying policy based on where the other end of the connection is that net neutrality rules would kick in.

            Why should you be able to use the same amount of bandwidth as the people watching netflix and not pay the same amount?

          5. I tend to agree with you about the “You should charge on bandwidth rather than on the sites accessed” point, as I mentioned in the comment I just finished writing (which you of course hadn’t seen yet when you wrote this one), so I don’t have much to argue with you about here.

            My only point of disagreement with you seems to be is that I think I’m more leery of government regulation than you are. I would far prefer to see a market solution to that “one ISP is blocking competitors’ VOIP protocols” problem than to have the FCC tell them “you can’t do that”. If that ISP is a local monopoly because of previous government interference, my preferred solution would be to remove that government interference as well, not to add a new set of rules. That way when ISP A, the local monopoly, blocks (let’s say) Skype, ISP B can start running ads to say “Hey Grandma, ISP A won’t let you use Skype, but our service will let you Skype with your grandkids!” And the problem is solved, rather quickly, without giving the bureaucrats more power that they will, inevitably, abuse at some point (by declaring conservative sites to be “hate speech” that all common carriers must block, or some other similar nonsense).

          6. I agree with you that the ideal situation would be to increase competition, but in this case, that’s hard to do.

            Back in the early days of the telephone, large cities had many different phone companies, and they didn’t talk to each other. So the old movies that showed a news editor with a dozen phones on their desk was a reality, each phone was for a different phone company (it later became a comedy standby, trying to figure out which phone to answer, but it was comedy based on reality)

            The early days of electricity also saw a similar chaos where New York City had multiple power companies, all running their own wires, all with their own utility poles (and sabotage of the competition’s poles)

            can you imagine the mess of trying to have multiple water companies or sewer companies in an area, each with their own set of pipes?

            There are some types of service that do not scale well to lots of competition with each competitor running their own infrastructure in an area.

            To have a new ISP move into an area requires a huge investment, and it also requires cooperation from the existing ISP (do some searches to see how competitors have blocked Google Fiber from deploying services in many areas).

            In many cases, the existing ISPs are monopolies exactly because they were promised exclusive access to the area in exchange for their investment. Many small towns have looked at the cost and decided that for far less money than the local ISPs charge for poor service, they could lay in very high speed connectivity throughout the town and then either run a public ISP, or rent bandwidth on their new, good infrastructure to multiple ISPs. Unfortunately the entrenched ISPs have gotten laws passed at the state level in many states to prohibit the towns from doing this. One of the things the Obama FCC was starting to do under the net neutrality framework was to look at blocking such state laws (on the basis that they conflicted with the federal laws), but any legal fight like that is a long battle.

            Phone companies are common carriers, and are required to let other ISPs rent space in the central office and use the wires that they have to buildings in town. Unfortunately, this only works to DSL speeds, not to higher speed services and longer distances. By current definitions of “broadband access”, these third party ISPs don’t qualify

            I wish it was just possible to remove some regulations and get competition, but the barrier to entry is very high, and the big players have no interest in competing with each other. Even if they did, it would take years (if not decades) for real competition to develop.

            As a result, some amount of government interference with these companies is needed to limit the damage done by the government granted monopoly.

            P.S. from a strict technology point of view, data caps on wired networks make no real sense. If you build the network to be able to handle peak usage, it saves you nothing to have people use it less at other times, it doesn’t even save you a noticeable amount of electricity. It really boils down to what the peak usage if and provisioning to be able to support that. This is why bandwidth limits make more sense than data caps on wired networks.

    6. Net neutrality as implemented isn’t what it was pitched as. People wanted a law to stop ISPs from (de facto) blocking the pages of competing services (ect.). We got FCC in charge of the internet.

      1. Since the FCC regulates telecommunications (including landlines), they were already “in charge of the Internet”. We just had the situation developing where ISPs were suing the FCC to prevent the FCC from preventing them from abusing their monopoly status, claiming that the regs the FCC had written didn’t apply to that level of detail.

        It’s hard to claim that the NN regulations didn’t have an effect, when the ISPs have been claiming in court that they want to do things, the NN regulations prohibit them, and the ISPs haven’t done them.

        What would it take to prove that the regulations are having their desired effect?

        What effect are you seeing from the NN regulations that you think is wrong?

  10. “I’m actually cool with that but only if ideally you could find a way to impeach to about six levels down so we get President Mattis.”

    That would rock, to be sure.

    A surprising number of them seem to half-believe that if only Evil Trump were defeated by the forces of good, then Hillary, the rightful Queen, would ascend the throne.

    I mean, most of them aren’t actually that stupid (they’ll admit that won’t happen if you ask them directly) but that’s the unstated fantasy they operate on. They’re basically running on a Skinnerian stimulus-response level — Must. Remove. Unpleasant. Stimulus. (Trump, in this case), even if that means more pain in the long term. There’s no higher cognitive process in evidence– they apparently don’t even have a concept of “long term”. The fact that if they somehow kept get getting rid of people they’d eventually wind up with Mattis, Sessions, Carson, Perry, or DeVos doesn’t enter their minds at all.

  11. All right ! Something for me to finally disagree with !

    Trump: So far, his administration was actually a lot more effective than either side predicted he would be. Not nearly as effective as his supporters hoped, of course, but neither is any politician. Unfortunately, he’s been effective at all the wrong things. For example, even if you believe that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by a conspiracy of left-wing scientists, destroying climate data (or public access to same) is still the wrong move. You want more data available for scrutiny, not less. Democrats often claim that Republicans are against science in general, as a concept; and I thought this to be an exaggeration until now. Shutting down the EPA and cancelling Net Neutrality makes sense from the Republican standpoint, I suppose (government bad, business good), but these are quite destructive measures that will cause a lot of negative externalities down the line. For example, you may not know this, but in most Communist countries tap water is undrinkable. In America, it is… in most places. It would be a real shame to lose that; but then again, without a free Internet you may not notice, so out of sight out of mind I suppose.

    The Media: No, they’re not lying assholes. They are hysterical lying assholes. Get your facts straight, Correira ! Man I wish I could disagree with this one, but I can’t.

    The Nefarious Russians: They didn’t hack the election; they just made the DNC corruption public. This is the Democrats’ own fault, both for being corrupt, and also for sucking at security. The RNC is probably no better, but we may never know, since Putin wanted Trump to be elected and not Hillary. On the other hand, when your President blabs classified information to emissaries of an unfriendly nation… well, it’s not ill intent, it’s just stupidity, but still, don’t you think it looks a little bad ?

    Firings: Ok, no one liked those guys, but still, when you fire the guy in charge of investigating you, don’t you think it looks a little bad ? That’s, like, Venezuela-grade bad. It doesn’t matter if the guy eats a kitten for breakfast every day, you’ve got to at least wait until he declares you not guilty, or fails to produce any results after four years. Otherwise, you look like a stereotypical Southern Sheriff from a small town, who fires the deputy who’s digging into his suspiciously padded finances, or something.

    Montana special election: I don’t know much about this one, so no comment.

    Terrorist Attacks: Once again, wish I could disagree, but I can’t.

    CalExit: have you read those guys’s platform ? It reads like an Onion spoof. I don’t understand how they even exist.

    Brianna Wu: She’s in it for the money, just like Anita Sarkeezian. Stop giving her attention.

    Minimal Wage/UBI: This will become a necessity somewhere down the line, when most jobs are automated — though maybe not yet.

    Star Trek: The trailer looked like someone made the most cliched and unimaginative show ever, then barfed lens flares all over it. I don’t care about their genders or races or whatever; Star Trek is dead as far as I’m concerned.

    Bill Nye: Yes, his sex junk is stupid, but he’s just an entertainer. I didn’t care when Brittney Spears changed her outfit or whatever, and I don’t care about Bull Nye now.

    Venezuela: I agree of course, but I think it’s a mistake to just blame everything on “Socialism”. It’s a combination of socialism and a massive erosion of civil liberties that has been going on in that country for about a century by now. Civil liberties are a basic building block of society; Socialism and Capitalism are built on top of them, not another way around. I don’t believe in the concept of “God-given Rights” — if you disagree, try jumping off a cliff and see if gravity will respect your right to live — which is why I think it’s incredibly important to maintain them. It’s easy to fight for people’s right to do stuff you agree with; however, the whole concept of civil liberties requires you to fight for the rights of your political opponents. Their right to speak stuff that is abhorrent to you; worship a god who is blasphemous to you (or worse, no god at all); publish angry Internet screeds that you know are stupid; performing science on topics you find distasteful; using their money in ways that you find stupid; and yes, even passing laws you oppose. I feel like, sometimes, Republicans lose sight of this along with the Democrats.

    1. Aaaalmost hate to tell you this, but the “erosion of civil liberties” thing?

      Kinda part and parcel of the Socialist thing.

      1. You mean like, prohibiting certain types of science from being pursued or taught ? Instituting a specific religion as the official state faith, and banning all others ? Persecuting people for posting the wrong thing on the Internet ? Prohibiting life-saving medical procedures due to them being “immoral” or “blasphemous” ? Burning books and destroying historical monuments ?

        Socialism is just window dressing, really. So is radical Christianity, or even Islam to some extent. All of them start off with people sacrificing their own civil liberties, in the name of fighting their political enemies — either slowly, piece by piece; or all at once, after a violent revolution and civil war.

        1. Socialism is a religion. Marx’s Reformation disguised it as something else. It’s adherents are driven to establish it as a state church, and impose its rituals on nonbelievers. As a state church it tries to manage human societies. Managing human societies to that degree always results in greater butchery and starvation.

        2. You know, you mention “radical Christianity”, but what you describe is Islam.

          I think you will find that they are quite different.

        3. I didn’t even see your comment about “radical Christianity” until just now. (Juxtaposed with Islam, even.) Um, the kindest way I can put it is that juxtaposition was a really, really ignorant thing to say. Since I choose to believe that you are simply ignorant rather than stupid*, let me help. Both Christians and Muslims tell stories of the heroes of their respective faiths, usually the martyrs who died in service of Christianity or of Islam. But that’s where the similarity ends. The martyrs that Islam celebrates were the people who died while killing others in the name of Allah. Whereas the martyrs that Christianity celebrates… well, I looked up Wikipedia’s list of Christian martyrs to find ones that were pretty well-known historically and about whose life and death there is very little doubt. Here are three of them:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-six_Martyrs_of_Japan
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janani_Luwum
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Elliot

          Notice the difference? The martyrs that Christianity celebrates were giving their lives in order to help other people, not in order to kill them.

          You have spoken rather intelligently about other subjects, so I’ve acquired a certain amount of respect for you. So it pains me to see you so ignorant on this subject. Hopefully this will help you fix that ignorance.

          * The difference between ignorance and stupidity is that ignorance can be cured, while stupidity cannot. Willful ignorance — deliberately remaining ignorant when someone offers knowledge that would cure one’s ignorance — quickly becomes stupidity, though, so the line between the two concepts is blurry rather than crisp.

        4. You’re trying the fashionable but fallacious argument most Lefties, and even some more self-important Libertarians, like to attempt. Namely, that there is a “radical” sect of Christianity in the US (or the world for that matter) that is capable, or even resembles, the straw man you’ve stuffed together here. Even if you manage to find such a group, you will fail to make a case that they wield any significant power or even influence anywhere.

          Now try to say the same for Socialists and Islamists.

          Yours is an objectively stupid comparison.

          1. Butchering babies for material to supply therapies that have limited utility due to foreign tissue rejection could be called a life saving medical procedure.

            Bergen-Belsen drug rehab could likewise be called a life saving medical procedure if it stops just one junkie from stabbing a cop.

          2. Not to mention that it’s not so-called Radical Christians opposing GMOs, shutting down scientific debate about AGW, pushing Net Neutrality, or tearing down historical monuments in NOLA.

    2. Presidents routinely share classified information with foreign entities, that’s why there is a process in place to report exactly what was shared immediately after such meetings.

      remember that we have no idea what was said, other than the leaks and claims that it was ‘bad’ (as opposed to the statements of the other people in the room who said it was appropriate)

      Remember that the President has the ultimate authority to share anything and set any classification level. The Constitution doesn’t authorize the NSA/CIA/etc, what it does is authorizes the President to do things, and delegate responsibility to people he hires.

      This means that everything the Executive Branch does, it does only because the President is personally authorized to do it. As such, it is not possible for the President to not be allowed to do anything that anyone else in the Executive Branch is authorize to do.

        1. It’s not even clear that it was stupid. The other people in the room (who have far more experience than Trump does in these matters) don’t seem to think there was anything inappropriate. It’s only the leakers and the press that claim it’s bad.

    3. Water is state. EPA exists to harm human welfare.

      I understand net neutrality is for regulating political speech and giving Google et al a government protected monopoly in exchange for bribes.

      Putin has decades in labyrinth of mirrors. If you don’t want to exterminate Russians, Putin supports you. Beyond that?

      All Obama appointees should be fired. Comey perhaps overdue.

      Minimum wage drives automation. UBI drives mass murder.

      1. Just so. These are terrifying times we live in, when a Russian leader who came from the ranks of the KGB seems less hostile to the US than anyone the Democrats have run for President since Lyndon Johnson.

        1. Putin’s an asshole, and quite possibly more hostile to the US than Mondale. (Johnson and Kennedy were also assholes.)

          Beyond a vague “his perception of Russia’s interests”, it is impossible to know his mind enough to specify his wants. “What Putin wants” is too broad of a test, and can hang any Democrat.

          Putin does not advance US interests.

          1. > Putin does not advance US interests.

            Of course he doesn’t. Why does anyone expect any other country’s leader to “advance US interests”?

            Every leader should be working to advance their own country’s interest. The key to diplomacy is finding where the other country’s interest matches (or is at least close) to our country’s interest, and agree to work together on that interest.

            There are interests that the US and Russia share, and we should work with Russia in those areas.

            I’ll also point out for those that don’t realize it. The US access to space is largely depended on Russia. We currently have no way of launching people into space, so we buy seats on Russian rockets. Our Atlas V rocket that is the most common rocket we use (discounting Space-X), is dependent on Russian engines. There has been a project to develop a new rocket engine to replace the Russian one for several years, but it’s not expected to be flight ready for another year or two.

          2. A better formulation would probably be “Putin’s interests are mostly opposed to the US’s interests, so it does not advance US interests to help Putin.”

            In cases where both countries want the same thing — fighting against terrorism, for example — it does make sense to cooperate, on a limited basis. Which is why I had no objection in principle to Trump revealing to the Russians that we had intelligence regarding certain plots against civil aviation (presumably against civil aviation in Russia, otherwise they would have had no need to know). The guy who was there specifically told the media that that’s what Trump discussed with the Russians, and that he didn’t reveal sources and methods, but the media was too wedded to their Narrative to actually care what the truth was. As usual.

            But as a general rule, we should not be cooperating with Putin, because most of the time, what he wants (Russia expanding into eastern Europe again) is diametrically opposed to US interests.

          3. Putin may have opposed some of Obama’s insane formulations of US interests, but Putin also seems mostly opposed to sane formulations of US interests.

            To include some points regarding terrorism. Remember, if Wikileaks is Russian, they compromised many of our counter terrorist assets.

          4. do you really believe that wikileaks is under the control of Russia?

            We know where some of their data has come from (Madding and Snowden), it doesn’t take a state actor to come up with sensitive data. I readily admit that the Russians may take advantage of them to publish things they want to use to embarrass the US government, but I’ll equally admit that they use the New York Times the same way.

            If you think this sort of info can only be had by state actors, you have way too high an opinion of US government security, and way too low an opinion of the capabilities of young, self-righteous hackers (here in the US among other places) who are convinced that there should be no secrets.

          5. Snowden’s movements are evidence of ties to Chinese and Russian intelligence. Snowden, Manning et al. may have simply been the public excuse for revealing information foreign intelligence already had through more highly placed moles. Russia hasn’t given us Snowden to mulch.

    4. Less money to the EPA does not equal undrinkable water. It may mean that the EPA will stop declaring the puddle on your property to be a federal waterway and therefore forbidding you from regraveling your driveway. The EPA is one of the most abusive and inept bureaucracies in the federal government.

      1. Yeah. Take a look at the DoI report on the Gold King mine incident. Even if that was motivated by the desire to take duties and funding from the EPA, it implies that someone else wants the funding and duties of the EPA. If the report is honest in describing the incompetence of the EPA, most of us are safer without the EPA in our water supply.

        Bugmaster may live somewhere the EPA doesn’t dare contaminate. That isn’t rural areas where I live.

          1. You can read implications of deeper problems than that into the report. Is that too much? I’m pretty much at the limits of my background, and don’t know.

  12. Pretty much 100% agree with every word, which not usual for me and words on the Internet. Nice to have one of those “Thank God I’m not alone” moments.

  13. Wait, that Bill Nye musical number… just realized it makes the Star Wars Holiday Special look almost pleasant in comparison. (Though SWHS was still nasty…)

    1. The animated sections of *The Star Wars Holiday Special* were actually pretty good. Made me wish they had led to a spin-off Saturday morning cartoon. As far as I can tell, Bill Nye’s show has no redeeming value whatsoever.

      1. What memories I haven’t managed to suppress of that show did think the Boba Fett intro was cool. 😉

  14. First, it’s nice to see the left agreeing that Russia is a competitor and potential enemy.

    Second, as a professional programmer and amateur roboticist, I can’t see a problem with $15/hr minimum wage.

    1. I take it that you have no use for fast food, and don’t mind hosing those who want it.

    2. in many parts of the country, $15/hour is a skilled wage or police salary. One company I know pays $15/hour for a big rig truck driver who jumps through all the hoops to be rated to drive explosives around.

      Raising the minimum wage will erode everybody else’s pay. 30+ years ago I worked at Radio Shack and I bucked for a promotion to a higher paying position. Then there was a minimum wage hike in California, and minimum wage was increased to $0.05 less than my new position earned. I still had all the added work for the position, but now no benefits.

      In theory, eventually, most of the the other jobs will get pay increases as well, and prices will go up to cover the costs of these increases, and everyone’s buying power will end up around the same as it was before. In Practice, some jobs (big unions for example) pay will go up, but other jobs just become minimum wage jobs, with no incentive for people to work harder in them. The employers can’t afford to pay more without raising prices, and until inflation increases the acceptable prices enough, they can’t raise prices without loosing customers.

      If $15/hour is good, isn’t $30/hour better? why not $100/hr?

      I’m also also in the IT field (computer security, not programming), but I see a major problem with raising the minimum wage. The minimum wage should be the pay that a teen gets for their first job, it’s not intended to be something to support a family. The fact that so may jobs (at least in California) are minimum wage jobs is because of the wage compression problem that I describe above. It is the result of already out-of-control minimum wage rules.

      1. I may be wrong about this, but I thought he was joking that the $15/hr minimum wage would benefit him by causing more demand for automation.

      2. It also increases fraud as a way around employment laws, which tends to involve bringing in illegal immigrants.

    3. We have always been at war with Russia.
      All the talk from Former President Obama about how fearing Russia was a relic of the Cold War is just a doubleplus ungood figment of your imagination.

      1. The roots of our enmity predate Russia, but Russia has only been an enemy since the nineteenth century.

        If we can hang Trump on the alleged substance, we can hang FDR, Obama, and maybe Jacqueline Kennedy.

        By current standards, anyone who doesn’t want to cut entitlement spending, do missile defense, first strike the Russians, and put the survivors in death camps is a Russian spy.

  15. The comments of the Bill Nye video featured an atheist begging the religious right to come back because they were right about that slippery slope. Sweet, sweet schadenfreude.

    1. …I’m curious. What Bill Nye video and which comment? Trying to resist logging into Heroes of the Storm (because that game turned out to be surprisingly fun and addictive.)

        1. Sounds like a smaller-scale version of the sociologists saying “Hey guys, maybe the religious right wasn’t nearly as bad as we were saying, because the alternative is way crazier.”

  16. It’s like you took my thoughts on all these things and worded them oh so much more eloquently.

    Except the reporter thing. I’m more of a “I wish he power bombed him and followed it with a People’s Elbow for good measure” kinda guy.

  17. Larry, you forgot the other nice thing about the Trump Administration: Melania Trump. It’s rather pleasant to have a First Lady who exudes elegance. as opposed to a shrill harridan who was, at best, “Ghetto Fabulous”. . .

    1. It’s also delightfully entertaining to watch the liberal media freak the everliving fark out about EVERY ITTY BITTY THING SHE DOES.

      It makes me think, wishfully I know, that perhaps, just perhaps the news screaming on gossip column level will let the adults actually DO SOMETHING.

  18. Whichever Correia 2.x it is that wants to be a biochemist: You go girl! I’d love to see Nye get slammed in an acceptance speech. He deserves it. Plus having the ILOH progeny learn how to manipulate DNA just sounds perfect. She’ll have a spot in CorreiaTech’s R&D department in no time. 🙂

  19. Why the hate on Universal Basic Income?

    I’d be for it if the massively​ parasitic bureaucracy of poverty was done away with at the same time.

    1. what makes you UBI would obviously only go to those who deserve it, not to those filthy business owners and other undeserving rich. So they would still have a huge bureaucracy to police everyone.

      1. Universal means everybody gets it, from the homeless to Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. No bureaucracy needed to police it, that’s one of the selling points.

        1. where does the UBI come from? Other Peoples Money (OPM). Any time you take other peoples money somebody in the .gov decides that there needs to be a bureaucracy to a: take it and II) pass it out (with a dose of 3. skim a bit off the top).

          1. You can use this argument to oppose any kind of a government program, including the military, road maintenance, faith-based initiatives, courts, and traffic cops. Now I understand that some people are, in fact, opposed to all forms of government just on principle; but I’m not sure if you’d want to go that far (though if you are, I wouldn’t mind hearing about some alternatives that you can propose).

            But if you aren’t willing to simply ditch all government on principle, then you need to explain why UBI would be more bureaucratic than, say, the armed forces or road maintenance or, I don’t know, traffic speed limits. Is there something special about UBI that makes it more prone to red tape ?

          2. Money is more an illusion than food or energy, so no law of conservation. (Outputs at most matching inputs, not the Green meaning.)

            Funding income from (one presumes) a tax on income is similar to perpetual motion. Bureaucracy is frictional losses.

            Modern wealth comes from cheaper ways of doing things, as if engineering machinery.

          3. i tend to be a strict constructionist when it comes to reading the Constitution. in your example you have for lack of a better term mixed metaphors. Military and upper courts should be and are covered by Federal powers, the rest that you have outlined are local or at most State powers.

            As i have seen it the .gov is a necessary evil and was understood at creation as such. much like evil anywhen, it grows unchecked unless it is stopped by people who aren’t seduced by it.
            You are correct in your assertion that a potential UBI would be no less bureaucratic than what we have now, however i refuse to accept the premise that what we have now is at least at the Federal level what the Founders intended when they wrote the Constitution.
            it isn’t necessary to ditch all government on principle, but what about returning to our original principles of government? freedom, equality of opportunity, justice under the law?
            i don’t want a government that gives me the BLS or UBI or whatever you call it just to exist, i want a government that stays off my back, outlines the rules of the game, and keeps Pax Americana in place so i can succeed or fail on my terms. not waits until i get ahead and then taxes me to give somebody who didn’t even try their “fair share”.

    2. I already wish that all the congresscritters who voted for Obama care would die in a fire, for forcing me to choose between going to grad school and not being dependent upon government largess to make my health insurance premiums.

      If they chose to make me a ward of the state by forcing a universal basic income on me, I might just be inclined to go to D.C. and start setting them on fire myself.

    3. You do know that Swtizerland yoted on this just a short time ago? Looks at the basic numbers they were calculating to pull it off and you will realize what an incredibly stupid idea it is.

    4. At about 220 million adults times 15000 dollars a year, the UBI would cost 3.3 Trillion dollars (if I counted the zeroes correctly). We couldn’t afford it. I suppose we might get some of the money back as people with jobs have to pay income tax on their UBI, but that wouldn’t cover the shortfall.

      Plus the political fallout of all the government bureaucrats that would be out of a job that pays more than UBI.

      1. THIS. This is what the left NEVER seems to understand. The erosion of human dignity that happens when people are told, “We will take care of your every need, and you don’t need to lift a finger.” They see films like WALL-E and never draw the obvious conclusion intended by the filmmakers: that not having a purpose, a job to do, is bad for human beings on the emotional / mental / spiritual level.

    5. The bureaucracy would necessarily expand to administer this new, additional entitlement program, thereby creating millions more Affirmative Action featherbed do-nothing jobs for millions more leftist civil-service apparatchiks–Regional Directors for Community Outreach, Diversity and Inclusiveness Board appointees, and on and on and on and on–who be members of public employees’ unions and who will use public funds to do fundraising for Democrat candidates. That’s one of the five reasons the Democrats want this so badly.

      Another is that it will be another step towards normalizing being on the dole and doing away with the stigma of being a welfare leech, and strike another blow against personal responsibility, a concept they hate.

      Another is that creating yet another multi-trillion-dollar entitlement program will bankrupt the US government, destroy the nation’s economy, and bring about national collapse sooner rather than later–see also, Cloward-Piven Strategy.

      Also, the Democrats’ strategy for 80+ years now has revolved around punishing people who work for a living and using the public treasury to hand out bribes to reward people for voting for them: “vote for Santa Claus and infinite free stuff for everyone forever, because those mean old Republicans want Grandma to DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

      Lastly, you may be sure there will be lawfare waged against anyone who tries to ensure that only US citizens are eligible for this, and charges of RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACISM and whatever-o-phobia will be leveled day after day in the press against anyone who suggests that this amounts to an open invitation to the entire Third World to come swarming into the US, stick their hands out, and say “GIMME GIMME GIMME.” This is what the welfare state has already done, and the Democrats are perfectly fine with turning a formerly advanced and wealthy nation into a pile of rocks and goat dung ruled by foreigners so long as the foreigners they bring in all obediently continue to tug the forelock and (illegally) vote the straight Democrat ticket. They view such people as a useful armed auxiliary to the Party.

      So it’s win-win-win-win for them with no possible downside, and the worse it makes things the better. Why wouldn’t they want this?

    6. Disregarding the mathematical budgetary impossibility:

      A. Lots of folks say if you’re going to get paid anyway, why bother working?
      B. Productivity plummets, making the math even worse.
      C. A government that can give everything can also take it away, so after A & B, I give it about 5-10 years before that super powerful government starts eliminating undesirables for the greater good.

      1. Psh…that’s just “moral hazard” nonsense.

        Besides, the government isn’t going to have to eliminate anyone. History shows us that starvation and disease brought on by economic collapse will do most of the work.

      2. Ignoring the fiscal impossibility, then I can think of the following:
        Pros. 1. Many families find it much better for a parent to quit and take care of the children, so we have more stay at home parents.
        2. Clever students can get through school with smaller or even no loans.
        Cons: 1. Places in the US with high unemployment invariably have high crime and high drug addiction. Like Louis Armstrong sand, “A man wants to work, for his pay…”
        2. Inflation would go up, at least on things like rent, airline travel, tourist attractions. With an extra $10k in each middle class household, more dollars chasing the same number of apartments, airline seats, and places in line at DisneyWorld. Items may not go up so much, because of the huge plethora of stuff to buy. Shoot, any service that can’t be automated will go up in cost as the employer has to raise wages to get a dolist to work.
        3. The other government doles won’t go away for long. A few documentaries and they’ll bring back EBT, WIC and other programs because of the trials of single parent families. Then we need the bureaucrats again to police the system.
        I’m sure there more arguments against, but since we can’t afford it in the first place,, these are more than enough.

  20. Oh, and does anyone see “Universal Basic Income” and immediately think “Basic Living Stipend”?

      1. Same day Ringo finishes Legacy of the Aldenata.

        Though maybe now that Safehold is done Weber will give up on Tor and come back to Baen full time. It’s pretty obvious the Honorverse has been second priority for him the last few years.

        1. Is Safehold done? Every time I go to get the next one that I haven’t read I look a the price and the “price set by publisher” comment and respond with NFW.

          Ringo needs to continue a buncha-mess of plot-lines (Queen of Wands for instance). Seems to be the same for all the series that I fall for.

          1. Well, the first part of Safehold is done–i.e., the war between Charis and the Church. Now we have to go to part two, which is the war between humanity and the Gbaba.

    1. Yes, “Basic Living Stipend” was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw Zuckerberg’s idiocy on the tube this morning, along with “Oh great, now he wants us to be the goddam Peoples’ Republic of Haven.” The second (third?) thing was to wonder if anybody happens to have the number to Thomas Theisman’s personal com. Or even Victor Cachat’s. 😛

      All joking aside: Why do progs always use sci-fi dystopias as how-to manuals?

      1. Definitely Victor. Headline:
        “Mark Zuckerberg to resign. Management role to be assumed by Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Reynolds. No explanation given.”

      2. “All joking aside: Why do progs always use sci-fi dystopias as how-to manuals?”

        In a word, Utopia. The idea that we can “make people better” is pretty powerful in the left. There’s also a strong materialism, in the sense that material causes are the source/means of things. However, the root failure is the belief that the “state of nature” was utopian.
        We would have Utopia if it weren’t for bad people. Most of people’s behavior problems are driven by material want. People don’t commit crimes because they have broken moral compasses or corrupt incentives, they do it because they are poor. Poverty and inequality aren’t part of the state of nature, but because of corrupt people.
        This line of thinking leaves them vulnerable to Utopianism. If we could make people equal, the problems would go away. If people weren’t poor they wouldn’t commit crimes. Since everyone SHOULD be equal, if you have more, you are corrupt. Restoring things to the proper state will solve the problems and bring a new age free of problems.

        The reason it goes dystopian is that things don’t actually work that way. The state of nature is filled with inequality, injustice and pain. It is very difficult to “make people better”, and generally only possible when they act upon themselves internally. Those sorts of fundamental personal changes aren’t the sorts of things you get from free college or even free lunch, but rather from the love of a family that sticks together and an enduring vision of the good life.
        So, when you object to the idea of UBI/BLS/Free College/Whatever, you’re not just against that, you’re against their vision of heaven. Your objection is a vocal statement that you are one of those “bad people” standing in the way of Utopia. Once the opposition is seen as being opposed to the utopian vision, dystopia follows.

  21. “Brianna Wu for Congress – Oh please yes. I am so in favor of her becoming the fresh new face of the DNC. I am in favor of this even more than CalExit. Please let this happen. Santa, it is all I want for Christmas.”

    I am getting that sick feeling in my gut that this would the first step presidency for Wu. And this scares me.

    Also, I miss Damian Walter. He provided the world so much entertainment.

    1. I don’t know…the Brianna Wu presidency might be what would finally get us back on track, as the first two years would be so utterly insane that the midterms would be worse for the Democrats than 2010.

      1. But in the meantime, they’d give us the NEXT ill-considered, almost-impossible-to-get-rid-of-because-the-Republicans-in-Congress-are-spineless-idiots idea like Obamacare. No thanks.

  22. Thanks Larry…

    It’s been a pretty trying week, and this is truly the first laugh-out-loud-and-startle-the-office-cat moment I’ve had since Saturday…

  23. As to these “racist fans” who make the news with suspicious regularity, I look to all those incidents of “hate speech” and “hate crimes” that are found to be hoaxes and wonder. After all, it’s much easier to get away with faking this stuff online. Just saying.

    1. Meaning they likely quoted some troll account on YouTube and/or Twitter and applied it to a bunch of other people who likely don’t share the troll’s claim.

      (Actually I doubt the troll shares those views. They seem to like saying crap for the lulz. Kids who didn’t get spanked enough I guess.)

  24. CalExit- Sadly it appears my dreams have been crushed. I had so been hoping you would be able to spread your wings and fly. Someday, California, someday.

    CalExit’s now been replaced in the Idiocy Paradigm by Single Payer, which made it out of committee despite A) costing significantly significantly more than everything else in the budget put together and B) with no indication of how it would be paid for.

    1. The current plan is –

      – Rely on the idea that the federal government will allow the funds it provides for healthcare to be used for the state’s single payer system, and hope that the funding doesn’t get cut. Note that this covers roughly *half* of the projected $400 billion cost.
      – Require employers to take the money that they currently spend on healthcare, and put it into the single payer system instead. This would cover somewhere between $100 – $150 billion.

      Assuming that all of the estimates are correct (/rolleyes), that leaves costs between $50 – $100 billion that are not covered.

      The state’s proposed General and Special Fund spending for July 1 is $180 billion.

      1. people are going to be very unwilling to keep paying what they currently pay for their current employer coordinated plan to instead get just state level coverage.

        single payer only works if they can nationalize the health providers, and I would just _love_ to see the lawsuits if they try to do that.

        If they can’t control the costs, and people are allowed to go around their ‘single payer’ system, it will collapse in very short order.

  25. “Real quick, you can’t have a “right” to something that requires somebody else to do something for you.”

    6th Amendment right to legal counsel. The pedantic part of my brain requires me to point that out.

    1. You have a right to legal counsel of your choice. In a sane country, you would be expected to pay your counsel out of your own pocket, or find one that will volunteer to do it for free.

      Nowhere in the 6th Amendment did it say the state would provide one.

      1. OK, I think that’s a reasonable argument. But, back to the 6th Amendment – right to trial by jury. Your right to the jury requires people to serve on the jury.

          1. As far as I can tell, jurors were *always* drafted in the English Common Law tradition, and the Founding Fathers would have been aware of that when they wrote the constitution. They could have specified a volunteer-only system, but they didn’t. Having said that, I don’t have an in-principle objection to volunteer-only juries, I’m just not sure it would work.

          2. I don’t like the idea of volunteer juries, myself.

            A jury is supposed to represent the opinions and values of normal people, and normal people hate, hate, HATE jury duty. Someone who would volunteer for jury duty is very likely the kind of person who enjoys wielding power over others. The kind of person you find running homeowner’s associations and science fiction conventions. Yeah.

            Hey, maybe we should start drafting legislators. 🙂

          3. “Hey, maybe we should start drafting legislators.”

            That’s what they did in Athenian democracy. But I’m pretty sure that the Athenian system is what the the founding fathers had in mind when they warned against democracy…

          4. LE Modesitt had a series where the government people were drafted, and then after their term then had to spend years doing literal public service at no pay in order to pay back society for having wielded power over it… so naturally no one wanted to be in government and thus had to be drafted into it.

            I recall thinking as I read it that it was a lovely idea, but no way would it actually work 🙁

          5. Hrm, yoked/harnessed legislators pulling a load… (instead of speaking a load). Yeah, good idea.

        1. I still don’t think this strictly speaking requires someone to do something for you. It means the state must arrange to have a jury if they want to press criminal charges. No jury, no trial, hence the benefit of the right.

          1. But the right to a jury trial assumes, de facto if not de jure, that the state can pick twelve random people and say “Okay, you’re the jury”. Why do I assert that it makes that assumption? Because as jic pointed out upthread (about ten hours ago, according to the timestamp as I’m writing this), that’s been the norm for juries in the English tradition for centuries, and the drafters of the Constitution were quite well aware that that was the “standard” way of forming juries. (And for the record, I don’t have an objection to that practice.)

        2. Yeah, but those people aren’t serving you, they are being drafted by the state. The state is the one trying you. The state is the one that will punish you. You have a right to a fair trial. Ergo the obligation to provide a jury belongs to the state, not you. The state then drafts/pays them for the service.

          1. I think that’s a distinction without a difference. The jurors are forced to serve because of the constitutional right to trial by jury.

          2. Nope. It works the same was as drafting you to serve in the military, which is also Constitutional.
            It is the state that wants to try you.
            The state is required to get a jury. (a check on the state’s power)
            The jury does not work for the defendant.
            The right to a fair trail is a limitation upon the government.

    2. The so called right to free, public legal counsel was invented out of lefty badfeels. It is not in the Bill of Rights.

        1. Ever read the opinion? Just because someone somewhat on the Right commits it, does not make it not Left. See Nixon, EPA, Hoover, easy credit policies, Reagan, abortion, etc.

      1. I think it is more an effort to level the playing field in criminal court. In essence, the government is not allowed to chain you in place and then drop the mighty hammer it can wield on your defenseless unprotected skull like an Inuit clubbing a baby seal.

    3. But the legal counsel is compensated, either through wages from the state, or through some form of pro bono service necessary for membership in their “guild”. The state is the one trying you. They are the one obligated to foot the bill for the labor involved in putting you away.

      You have a right to a fair trial. But it is the state trying you, therefore the costs involved are upon the state. The state could very easily decide not to try you.

  26. “He could have literally killed, eaten, and then worn the reporter’s skin as a face mask and they’d be happy. ”
    I am in this group. The media is the enemy. All other things that threaten or annoy civilization are powered, created, nurtured and set loose by the media, who then obfuscate, distract, and cover up the threats and annoyances. The dems would be nothing without the media. The jihad would be nothing without the dems.

    1. The current crop of Media is ignorant, and lazy, lazy, lazy.
      And like many lazy fools, they turn to social justice trumpery to hide that fact.

      1. “Current?” Bruh. BRUH.

        The Press in the US has been redder than the proverbial baboon’s ass and a playground for coffeehouse revolutionaries going back at least a century, if not further.

        We have a strange sort of amnesia about the press in this country, anyway. We see a story in which some poor miseducated borderline-illiterate naif of a liberal arts/journalism major has attempted to write about some subject of which we personally have technical knowledge. Maybe it’s computers. Maybe it’s firearms. Maybe it’s stamp collecting. And we are invariably left agog and utterly mindboggled at the risible stupidity they committed to paper, which then passed the inspection of at least one and possibly several editors, themselves one and all also liberal arts majors who didn’t have the mental horsepower to go into science, engineering, law, or business. We shake our heads and chuckle at the story. Then we read the next story, and the next, the utter incompetence of the self-chosen “gatekeepers” who decide what is and isn’t newsworthy, and who tell us what all right-thinking people are allowed to think about everything that matters, vanishing from our short-term memory like the morning dew. When we read an article they write about guns, we see that they’re cretins who don’t know which end of the tube the round comes out of and who aren’t even subtle about the political agenda they’re pushing. But when we finish that story and go to the next headline, which is about a zoning dispute, or a dog biting a toddler, or a proposed property tax increase, or a murder trial, we read with utmost seriousness, having forgotten that we already know the people who wrote it are idiots.

        It reminds me of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, actually.

        1. I’ve had conversations about a particular subject and been given the Standard Media Line about such and explain, “You ever see how something you know a lot about is portrayed? And they get it horribly wrong?” “Uh.. yeah.” “They get everything else just as wrong.” And yet… *sigh* It’s enough to make me look for the way IN to some labyrinth. Though better meal arrangements would need to be made than… back when.

        2. Attributed to many… I’ve seen Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Mark Twain all said to have been the source of this — “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”

        3. At least the old bunch would actually work to fill the pages full of Leftist propaganda, misinformation, and slanted news.
          These kids pretty much just parrot press releases. Lazy damn Millennials!

  27. Seems to me that a lot of the “Impeach Trump” nonsense is the Democrat Establishment desperately hoping they can keep up the hysteria long enough for the voters to forget that they twisted the nomination process into a pretzel in order to hand the nomination to a massively unlikable, ostentatiously stupid, criminal shrew. I mean, Hillary? Really? What the pluperfect hell were they THINKING? The woman has more baggage than Zsa Zsa Gabor on one of her honeymoons.

    They really displayed contempt for the Democrat voters, and they frantically hope that the voters won’t focus on that until at least after 2020.

    As for Trump himself? I voted for him, and I can’t say I expected much. Offered a choice between a blustering clown and a hectoring shrew, I voted for the clown on the grounds that laughing was better than crying. On that basis, he’s doing damned well. His enemies certainly recommend him. At this rate, I can’t see that the legacy media is going to have any credibility left by 2018, much less 2020. And not before time. In the past few months Trump has been more genuinely entertaining than Obama managed to be in eight years, or Shrillary in entire lifetime.

    As for the way Chelsea is getting groomed for large things; in her place I would be worried that mummy was plotting to have her brain transplanted into my body. I think her best chance to live a somewhat happy life is to have her face and fingerprints changed, dye her hair, and decamp to Ulan Bator or someplace similar.

  28. That about sums it up. Hats off and missed your blogging about these issues. Real life and getting paid first though👍🏻 And more books from one of my favorite authors

  29. Oh, Mr Correia, how I have missed this kind of post.
    Thank you for being awesome.
    🙂

  30. I wish I lived in Montana. I’d vote for anyone who body slammed a reporter. I guess that puts me in the “fuck you, get off my lawn” crowd.

  31. There are times I ponder that at or after The End Of The Universe… the credits will roll, and at the very very end will be this last declaration: This has been a Stupidaphone Production.

  32. As a native Montanan who moved back here last summer the special election has been entertaining to say the least. The general consensus among the non-D crowd the next morning was “finally a politician that follows through on his promise to fight for Montana”. The reporter was trespassing at a private event when he barged into a private room, refused to leave when asked several times while shoving a microphone in Gianforte’s face and demanding an answer to a “gotcha” question.

    Why is it we don’t hear about D candidates getting badgered by reporters stalking them and trespassing into private spaces?

    As for Rob Quist? Even the Rolling Stones puff piece article admitted that a Hollywood scriptwriter wouldn’t recommend such a typecast over the top comic foil. Bernie Sanders campaigned for him because they are ideological twins, minus the Stetson and the banjo that has been his singular professional accomplishment in over 50 years.

  33. I don’t agree with most of your opinions, but I do believe in the rights of free speech.
    I have friends that think like you and we decided that we won’t change the other and respect our friendship a lot more.

    You are an extremely talented writer that gave me my fix after finishing all books by Jim butcher. I have read everyone of your books except the mercenary ones.

    Please keep writing, I love your works and get excited when I get a new book (already bought Siege and plan to start reading it tonight while drinking a cold one).

    I know you just finished a MI book, but any ideas when you star the next one, and when will you write a new Warmachine/Hordes book? 🙂

  34. ” Or was he a partisan hack asshole being rude and aggressive, who got shoved down in reaction to suddenly sticking his phone in the candidate’s face? Also maybe.”
    ———————

    The reporter himself has said that this is pretty much what happened. He didn’t call himself a partisan hack, of course. But he did admit that he went where he wasn’t supposed to go, interrupted an interview that was being set up (that’s why the other reporters were there), and demanded that the candidate answer his questions. He figured that the candidate wouldn’t be as rude as he was, and the worst that would happen is that he would be asked to leave.

    Needless to say, that’s not exactly how it worked out.

    As Robert E. Howard once wrote, “Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.”

    1. Japan’s elaborate politeness was the end result of centuries where the Samurai class was immediately obligated to answer insults with their swords… or commit seppiku.

  35. My Sex Junk has one redeeming quality, it produced this: “My 150 IQ daughter who wants to become a biochemist hates Bill Nye so much that she wants to someday win a Nobel Prize just so that she can insult him during her acceptance speech.”

  36. I’ve seen a few episodes of Supergirl. Parts of the pilot were cute, eg when she tears her glasses off before saving the plane, or her sister saying “blue is your color, you can’t go wrong with blue.” The episodes with the Flash are pretty good. But mostly the show is about emotions, with people talking about their feelings. Lifetime superheroes. I figured if this is what the show runners want, and enough people tuned in to make the ratings, that was fine, as long as I didn’t have to watch it.
    What if ST:D is the same way? Everybody talks about their emotions. And it was a hit. Same rules apply, their business and I don’t have to watch it. But lifetime Star Trek is all we’d get for thirty years.

  37. Star Trek’s prime run began with Wrath of Khan and ended with the final episode of Deep Space Nine. Lots of engaging storytelling in there. And some terrific acting to boot. Things kinda went off the rails during Voyager, and stayed off the rails during Enterprise. All of the TNG-era films, save the first, were like 2-parter TNG episodes which couldn’t quite measure up to the expanded canvas of the big screen. JJ-Trek has been fun, but it’s not got the soul of the show; which I’d expect from a new franchise tentpole.

    I am afraid Discovery doesn’t look like it has that soul either.

    Now, I could be completely wrong. Discovery might be BSG 2.0 badass. But it would need to overcome even more skepticism than TNG faced during its first-year run.

    It’s been a dozen years since Trek lived on the small screen. Many of us remember how TNG almost didn’t make it. Indeed, Berman had to pretty much kick Roddenberry to the curb. To save TNG from going completely into the Derp Zone. Because Roddenberry’s concept was essentially Preachy Secular Hedonists in Space.

    If the new Trek wants to Boldly Go, they could shock the hell out of us and have the show not be just another megaphone for California Progressive political table droppings.

    Alas, I strongly suspect that California Progressive political table droppings is what we’re doomed to get. Which means the new series will die ignominiously after two or three seasons — then all of us will be blamed for being evil bigots. Just like when the Ghostbusters reboot imploded.

    😉

    1. Adding Progressive table droppings to media is a lot like a chef taking some prime ahi tuna, then breading it in cheap meal, then deep frying it far too long in stale oil that’s too cold, and serving it with clotted grits and overcooked greenbeans, ala public school food from the 80’s.
      Then, when the customer balks at the greasy mess set before them, the “chef” upbraids them for just not liking fish.

    2. “All of the TNG-era films, save the first, were like 2-parter TNG episodes which couldn’t quite measure up to the expanded canvas of the big screen.”

      The only TNG Star Trek movie that was really worth seeing was First Contact. Yes, it was stupid as hell (great big tank of deadly plasma in engineering that can easily be ruptured with a hand phaser? Seriously?) and required Picard to act out-of-character, but it was also a fun, exiting, memorable movie. Generations, on the other hand, was just like the other two of its generation: I’ve seen it, but I can’t remember a thing about it.

    3. At least in Canada it’ll be on regular cable.

      There are enough people I recognize in it that I’ll give it a shot, but I have limited expectations.

    4. I doubt I would care a whit more should it turn out to be on the level of BSG 2.0.

  38. This was GOOD. Right up there with the list of author ranks. One of your best pieces ever.

  39. Okay…I read MHI and looking for the next series to try when I saw this blog. I’m normally afraid to find out the political opinions of famous people, cuz they’re usually liberal idiots. But then it makes sense that authors would be more intelligent than actors. 🙂 This post was great! I will happily continue to buy and read your books.

    1. There are smart actors, and stupid, or at least very unwise writers. Historically, writers sold through a publishing industry that became increasingly entrenched in New York City. This seems to have had political effects.

      Things are nasty now politically, but I would still encourage folks to consume art from different political viewpoints when the artist does not compromise art for politics.

  40. As far as I can tell, the impeachment theory goes something like this:

    (1) Impeach Trump and possibly Pence because of the proof that the Nefarious Russians ™ stole the election (aforementioned proof will be forthcoming any day now).

    (2) Pence or Ryan or whomever ends up in the top seat after the impeachment will feel so guilty about getting into power in such an illegitimate way after a stolen election that he will immediately call for a special election to determine the new president (Q: If you think Republicans are power-hungry monsters worse than Hitler, why do you think they’ll be eager to relinquish power when they don’t have to? A: Shut up).

    (3) Hillary, upon being given yet another chance at the presidency, will find that the third time’s the charm and finally win it. Never mind that she couldn’t beat a not-even-one-term senator or a game show host, she’ll have no problem with a serious politician like Pence or Ryan. THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT, GOT IT!!!!!!

    I think there might be more to it, but after that point, it usually descends into a lot of screaming and spitting, and its hard to get anything coherent out of it.

  41. Larry, my computer showed me logged in as you when I checked here this morning. I had an admin toolbar at the top of the screen. It only appeared on the home page and clicking any links led to a login page. Once I hit ctrl+F5 it went away. Still, strange bug you may want to look into. Could be a security hole.

    1. Happens sometimes, and the crack CorreiaTech IT Squad has been trying to track it down. Current research shows that while you appear to be logged in as the ILoH, you can’t actually DO anything (as you note above). The actual cause, and it’s eventual resolution remain unknown.

    2. CorreiaTech is well aware of the problem. I too had the same thing happened a couple of times. It would appears to be an display problem, and you’re not actually login as International Lord of Hate.

  42. Off Topic Alert: Larry, I was listening to “Raining Blood” by Slayer the other day and the lyrics sound EXACTLY like a Correia book. Any chance that it’s been an inspiration?

    1. Remember, sneaking out to a Slayer concert is what got young Mosh Pitt his nickname and his career goals. 🙂

  43. “Rights – Real quick, you can’t have a “right” to something that requires somebody else to do something for you. Holy shit, that’s fucking stupid. You can’t have a right to someone else’s labor, time, or property. That’s theirs. Not yours. Do they not teach Civics anymore?”

    This is kind of the crux of it right here. I was having a little online argument with someone recently who said “Every author has a right to an audience” and I was trying to explain to her why her sitting in her room and banging on her keyboard for a while does not entitle her to my time and/or money. She never understood what I was saying. I think the main thing is that there’s a complete disconnect between the service/whatever that they receive (healthcare/an audience/what-have-you) and the actual individual person on the other end who is losing something (time/money/etc.) to give it to them.

    As for Star Trek, I am a Trekkie, have been pretty much all my life, and I have as little interest in this new series as I did in the last movie. They’re just not making Trek for Trekkies anymore.

    1. As an actual professional working author, your friend has no flipping clue. We don’t deserve shit. We earn our audience. If she is going to believe that nonsense, she is destined for failure.

      1. Oh, she’s not my friend, just some random person on the internet. On a forum I left because they were a bunch of pearl-clutching snowflakes who’d rather castigate someone for saying something offensive than rub two brain cells together to understand what I was actually saying. I found other websites for publishing advice/opinions.

  44. This is off-topic but since you’re working on the Grimnoir Chronicle again I recently found some Imperial Japanese military songs on youtube like Battotai which is my favourite (very honourable, very glorious), also Navy, Kamikaze songs etc. The guy who posted the song in this link has a bunch more:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzKeEbHGn4s

    Songs like that can help you get into the Imperial Japanese military mindset.
    There’s also this channel playlist: War in the Pacific by some German dude:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrdNZnpkfHM&index=18&list=PLv0uEimc-uN-PHNubCftS5migNvHVkjS-

    If you feel like procrastinating and want more epic songs in foreign languages on youtube find O Fortuna & Fortuna Plango Vulnera (or, Carmina Burana I & II) with English subtitles.
    For an epic song without lyrics, try Sergei Prokofiev – Battle On The Ice

    1. Red Army songs are also good for mindset. A few bars, and you are ready to pick up PPSh-41, jump on T-34, and fight Hitlerite Invaders!
      Forward, bratshkia! For Motherland! For Stalin!

  45. Random question Larry. If MHI ever gets picked up for TV who would you like to see play Earl Harbinger? Owen could probably be played by a lot of big guys, Julie p problem to cast as well but to me the casting of Earl could make or break the series.

  46. I read an article about the so-called “sexist, racist, alt-right” trolls that were supposedly upset about “Discovery,” and they didn’t link to one single example of this, so I’m inclined to think this is another made-up controversy.

    Personally, I think “Discovery” looks boring myself. It may be time to give Star Trek a rest.

    1. Well, I’m obviously a troll. I’m not alt-right, but may be right, and probably am racist and sexist if you listen to the SJW. I’m upset that Discovery isn’t a new Star Gate series that has nothing to do with Scalzi. (Destiny was a missed opportunity. Infinity did a better job of being Star Gate IMO.)

      1. Destiny? Do you mean Universe? That was the last Stargate series, and I also found it extremely disappointing. Actually, I think Atlantis started tanking around the middle of the series (coincidentally? around the time Mallozzi started raving about having Scalzi as a new creative consultant). I wouldn’t go so far as to blame Scalzi entirely for Stargate going downhill and never recovering, but I’m sure he did his part. With Universe, it really felt like the creators all got together and went, “Let’s make a list of what fans love about Stargate. Great! Now let’s not do any of those things.” Which is kiiiinda the same vibe I’m getting from Discovery.

        1. Yeah. Universe. My error.

          Scalzi isn’t the whole issue. By far. Decision makers had to sign off.

          Similar decision makers might ruin a new star gate series similarly.

          But if I’m so smart, I should figure out how to do an awesome series.

        2. “Let’s not do any of those things, plus let’s insult the viewers’ intelligence at every opportunity.”

          There was a 20-year-old Marine Master Sergeant. Not a guy who’d been in the Corps for 20 years and had attained that rank. No, he was 20 years old. And a Master Sergeant. IIRC, he’d even been demoted at least once.

          Then there was the Colonel (the married Colonel, just to add another level of wrong) who got one of the Lieutenants under his command pregnant.

          And the plots. Ye gods, the plots. My personal ‘winner’ for the ‘Are You On Drugs?’ prize was the one with the alien velociraptors that spent most of the episode eating members of the away team, only relenting at the end when they realized humans were intelligent. Because they saw one use fire. Tools, firearms, traps, #(%&! explosives, those weren’t hints, nope. Somebody lights a torch, and ‘oh, hey, maybe they aren’t cows after all.’

  47. I’d say that, so far, Trump is my favorite president of my lifetime. Though I’m young enough my other choices are the perjurer, W (who wasn’t nearly as bad as the adjacent two, just utterly lacking in charisma and far friendly to democrat attacks on freedom), and King Community Organizer so that’s really a moot point

  48. Here’s one thing I though you might like to hear about: Had a meeting with my Congressman (Ron DeSantis FL-6) about NFA repeal* last month and he seemed receptive (one thing he really seemed to approve of was pointing out that being unable to pass it was Hillary’s excuse for non-action on tax reform), ending with that he can’t make any promises but he’d like to see the judiciary do something about guns (Also got it as one of the “memos” on bill proposal for Sen. Rubio via phone meeting with senior staff, but I doubt that will go very far). Any ideas or suggestions where to go from here for someone that wants to own a copy of Abomination someday?

    *Outline I sent him (which he liked getting before the meeting) didn’t include anything about destructive devices that weren’t because of bore diameter and weren’t less lethal agents, and, to avoid spliting HPA support, silencers. Otherwise calls for killing everything NFA AND the ITAR registration tax.

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