The Dumbest Thing This Week

With Douthat and McCardle still breathing, there is a lot of competition for the stupidest thing in print (as Anne Laurie notes below), but this is still my favorite:

It’s not even worth my energy to flame this it’s so bad.

169 replies
  1. 1

    NO. Public libraries along with National Parks are the best things about this country.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    They got you to click. That’s all they care about.

  3. 3
    Ken says:

    @Baud: Yeah, it kind of gives the game away when they hashtag it “GettingBuzz”.

  4. 4

    The idea that nobody should ever have to pay taxes is still out there.

  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    I saw this at LGM and the commenters there ripped it to shreds. I saw a few of our librarian and future librarian commenters gleefully participating.

    My favorite response was from the woman who pointed out that her library tax costs her about 75 cents a month for the $70 worth of books she checks out in that month.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    From one point of view, it’s Sunday and the week has just begun. So that could be the pinnacle of cogent intellect for the week.


  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    “Panos Mourdoukoutas”, huh? Doesn’t sound Murkan to me.

  8. 8
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mnemosyne: So she’s a moocher, and proud of it?

  9. 9
    jl says:

    Cole owes us petpix and a patented Cole daily disaster story for this. I’ll check back later this evening.

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The weirdest thing to me is the people who prefer to pay MORE MONEY than to pay any tax at all. They seriously would prefer to pay $50 out of their pockets than 50 cents in taxes. It’s bizarre.

  11. 11
    Major Major Major Major says:

    I’ve seen that pop up in my twitter feed several times in the form of people mocking the ratio it has. Something like 5,000 replies and 100 likes last I saw. (The sign of a good tweet is generally considered the exact opposite.)

  12. 12
    jl says:

    @jl: And the patented Cole daily disaster story has to be particularly improbable and ridiculous to make up for this post.

  13. 13
    gene108 says:


    The $50 is voluntary. The $0.50 is involuntary

    People are irrational about what they are willing to pay. People bargain hunt over, which brand of pasta costs less for a savings of $0.50, but will agree to upgrades on a car costing an extra $1000.

  14. 14
    Schlemazel says:

    When we lived in FLA they had a major problem (well, 2 problems) Life without parole for 3 joints and prison overcrowding. As a result murders and rapists were being released after serving about 1 month for every year of sentence. The Governor (lawton Chiles, perhaps the last of the great Southern Dems) proposed a tax that would cost the average Floridian a penny a day. FOr $3.65 a year they could build jails & staff well enough to keep murderers and rapists in for their whole sentence. Of course this was TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!! People spent $5k on alarm systems, $500 on a handgun & $1k on killer dogs like pitbulls and akitas. These people are systemically stupid.

    BTW – that sunner a bunch of tourists got shot & it killed the goppers chances so they nominated Boy Blunders dumber brother who got his ass handed to him by Chiles. JEB? was such a great politician he selected a guy on record hating on Jews and Hispanics as his running mate. CHiles took him apart & word was he was the dumbest of the Bush bastards

  15. 15
    FlyingToaster says:

    This yahoo (and Forbes with him) is getting hammered on Twitter. It’s not just po’, blah’ folk who use the public library. That’s where a huge number of middle and upper middle class folks take their kids to do research on subjects NOT AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET. It’s where I go if I’m stuck for 2 hours in the Squayah waiting for an oil change or for the Parks-n-Recs folks at City Hall to come back from lunch. It’s where people go on lunch to use the free wifi on their phones rather than eat up all of their data plan, trying to keep in touch with their kids away at college.

    The mindless stupidity of the “I Got Mine, Fuck You” crowd is disgusting.

  16. 16
    gene108 says:

    I think political punditry should be outsourced to Amazon. If I want your opinion, I will download it and if not, I don’t have to have it forced on me.

  17. 17

    @Mnemosyne: I think they don’t do that calculation. It’s the gummint robbing their pocket!

  18. 18
    Shell says:

    There are some things that tax dollars should go to, and free public libraries, available to everyone, is one of them.

  19. 19
    FlyingToaster says:

    @jl: It’d better involve a geyser or a volcano or something equally spectacular.

  20. 20
    MomSense says:

    Let’s just close every possible means for people who are not wealthy to educate themselves and potentially move up in the world.

  21. 21
    Shell says:

    Cole owes us petpix and a patented Cole daily disaster story for this.

    Ugh. Be careful what you wish for. Weve been having drenching rain storms with flash flood warnings for the past 24 hours here in Maryland. Wonder how things are doing down in WV.

  22. 22
    Major Major Major Major says:

    At least once a month I have to explain to somebody that I get 95% of my books at the library.

    “But you’re always reading! …on your *phone*! And recent books too!”

    Yes, from the library. By their reaction it’s clear they’ve never even thought about it. And these are educated people! I’ve always assumed it’s because they’re millennials.

  23. 23
    jl says:

    @Shell: OK, I am gracious and merciful. A complaint about his flooded back yard with a pic will suffice. And a petpic.

  24. 24
    ThresherK says:

    Reminds me of Wired magazine publishing a piece about how the functions of a Post Office should be taken over by banks.

  25. 25
    Millard Filmore says:


    People are irrational about what they are willing to pay.

    My brother, a middle class white collar worker, thought is was a good day when he drove around to find a parking spot where he did not have to put a quarter in the parking meter.

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    Not like me at all to be so organized.

    Typed up and printed out a catalogue of the various to-do notes and possibilities of places to eat and places to go while in NY which had written on various scraps of foolscap. Also a separate listing of all the I.D.s and passwords of things online which I might possibly need to access on Mom’s computer.

    As stated, wholly uncharacteristic. Presume that, truer to form, the stapled together pages will be left sitting on a tabletop when I depart.

  27. 27
    Citizen_X says:

    To counter, here’s a library dedication from Isaac Asimov:

    Congratulations on the new library, because it isn’t just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you—and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.

  28. 28
    Jeffro says:

    I thought the dumbest thing today was Trumpov walking back the walkback of the walkback by tweeting that “Obama knew about the Russians! Why didn’t he tell me!” and therefore the whole “rigged Witch Hunt is a hoax!” This despite the fact that he admitted a few days ago it was all true that Russia ‘meddled’ in 2016. Or something.

    He really is going to try and claim that it all happened without him knowing or being told about it – he’s like innocent times infinity.

  29. 29
    VOR says:

    @Millard Filmore: My sister the Republican is always bitching about her property taxes. One day her daughter needed something from the library and it had limited hours. She was complaining that they ought to have better service. Just flatly didn’t see a connection between relentless pressure to cut taxes and the services offered by a public library. Cherry on top is she is a (non-Union) State government employee.

  30. 30
    Schlemazel says:

    That is the best response!

  31. 31
    efgoldman says:


    The weirdest thing to me is the people who prefer to pay MORE MONEY than to pay any tax at all. They seriously would prefer to pay $50 out of their pockets than 50 cents in taxes.

    I’ve known IGMFY types who spent more avoiding taxes than they’d have to pay.
    Flying monkeys of any economic stratum are innumerate.

  32. 32
    sdhays says:

    @Millard Filmore: He and my wife would get along.

  33. 33
    sdhays says:

    @Schlemazel: Yes! Something we could all get behind!

  34. 34
    efgoldman says:


    Just flatly didn’t see a connection between relentless pressure to cut taxes and the services offered

    G Fucking Will, of all people, was on that wagon decades ago.

  35. 35
    jl says:

    An interesting insight: GOP and Putin?Russianoligarch alliance juiced by fact the principals are rapidly fading hegemons who are enraged at losing their influence.
    Not sure how much it amounts to. Both GOP and Putin had some very practical business to conduct, but this is probably an important context.


  36. 36
    Mike in NC says:

    The Koch brothers must love this clown.

  37. 37
    dc says:

    Spoken by an idiot who’s never had a research question to ask a librarian because he’s so stupid he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and assumes he therefore knows everything.

    I have loved libraries since I was a kid. A good public library system is one of the signs of a healthy and ethical society.

  38. 38
    Gvg says:

    Did anyone ask him why Amazon should loan books for free?
    Also the library connects the down n their luck to chances at jobs. I know they think the unlucky should just die or something, but really truly it’s a place for pulling yourself up by bootstraps if they understood how anything works.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    Onion and Borowitz, how do they stay in business? Probably they are going niche with wit, nuance, and sly subtext. Marx Brothers and Jack Benny could coexist and make a few bucks along with the Three Stooges.

    Carter Page grudgingly admits that he was an ‘informal advisor’ to the Kremlin if Jake really wants to call him that. Then Jake reads a letter where Page calls himself “an informal advisor to the Kremlin”.

    Tapper plays the straight main in the accompanying clip.

  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    O/T, as much as possible have been watching, and shall continue to watch as able, the various Leonard Bernstein programs on TCM. Would not have known that they were airing were it not for you. Just wanted to thank you very much for the heads-up the other day.

    Oops, gotta go. His “Art of Conducting” is about to start.

  41. 41
    Mary G says:

    @NotMax: Will the Kindle for your mom arrive in time?

  42. 42
    geg6 says:


    He’s closer to me than you, I’m pretty sure. We’ve had a cloudy day, threatening rain, but just some light showers this evening. So far, anyway.

  43. 43
    Schlemazel says:

    NPR is giving this asshole a real run for the top spot

    Republicans claim the classified documents reveal FBI bias in favor of Hillary Clinton; Democrats say the documents are evidence of deep connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.

  44. 44
    Bruuuuce says:

    Meanwhile, James Comey concern trolls the Dems. At least this time, it wasn’t an October surprise:

    Democrats, please, please don’t lose your minds and rush to the socialist left. This president and his Republican Party are counting on you to do exactly that. America’s great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership.

  45. 45
    NotMax says:

    @Mary G

    UPS willing and the tides don’t rise.


    Supposed to be delivered here (along with the couple of other purchases) sometime on Tuesday. I head skyward on Tuesday night; don’t need to be at the airport until well after 8 p.m.

  46. 46
    hervevillechaizelounge says:


    They’d prefer to pay $50 out of pocket than a nickel in taxes because a percentage of tax money goes to the poor.

    These fuckers aren’t innumerate—they’re just racist and classist.

  47. 47
    Schlemazel says:

    So we have the top 3 now. It is just a matter of figuring out which it the very stupidest of the stupidest/

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Schlemazel: And JEB!’s running mate for that one, Tom Feeney, went on record saying taxes were satanic. After dragging down JEB!’s gubernatorial chances, he went back to his safe seat in the Florida legislature, then drew a new congressional district for himself before he was term limited out of the state house. The megachurch that he attended was right in the middle of his district and everyone in it were his fellow congregants.

  49. 49
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Bruuuuce: “Shut the fuck up, Jimmy. You’re out of your element”.

    Christ, I hope he’s getting dragged on this one. If you were so fucking concerned about the state of our democracy, Jimmy, why the HELL did you put your thumb on the scale for Trump?

  50. 50
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Mnemosyne: The other weird thing is that they all automatically presume that everyone can access Amazon *at home*, and what they don’t seem to grok at all is that besides all the other functions a library serves in its community, INFORMATION HUB is the most critical. How about all those people who actually need public access computers to even GET to Amazon?

  51. 51
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Miss Bianca: One response in the thread, from Jim Morin:

    Please, please, please, please don’t open your big mouth and screw the chances for a moderate female democratic candidate to be elected pres – oh, you already did.

    So yeah, he’s getting the kind of feedback he deserves.

  52. 52
    efgoldman says:


    I have loved libraries since I was a kid.

    Daughter and SIL started taking granddaughter to the library when she was ~a year old. Now one of her favorite places. Considered a special treat.

  53. 53
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Schlemazel: I’d probably still vote for the libraries comment, but all the contenders deserve the light of shame.

  54. 54
    Ruckus says:

    But publishers would make a lot more money if everyone had to purchase a copy rather than check it out. That’s the “free” market at work. Lending books is a communist idea. Wait, are we for or against communists this week? It’s difficult to tell, what with the shitgibbon making friends with a former KGB agent. Or should I say getting his knees dirty.

  55. 55
    Percysowner says:

    @Mnemosyne: The people who are willing to pay more for a service than pay less in taxes are the people who can afford to pay more. They want to make sure that “those people” whoever they are, don’t get something for “free”. They don’t want their money to go to provide “those people” with anything. It’s sick and selfish, but what else is new?

  56. 56
    Shell says:

    Meanwhile, James Comey

    He was on, of all things, the NPR show, ‘Wait, Wait, Dont Tell Me’, this week.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ThresherK: Actually the function of banks should be taken over by post offices.

  58. 58
    efgoldman says:


    But publishers would make a lot more money if everyone had to purchase a copy rather

    Where the fuck do they FIND these bozos? How many rocks do they have to flip over?

  59. 59
    Schlemazel says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I did not know that!

  60. 60
    debbie says:


    Publishing would die without libraries. Period. Publishers would make less money because most people can’t afford the price of many books, let alone the same number of books they’d have taken out from their library.

  61. 61
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Actually the function of banks should be taken over by post offices.

    At least some persoanal functions – savings, especially, check cashing, money orders. I can’t see the PO getting involved in mortgages and car loans.

  62. 62
    NotMax says:


    Did he wait? Or did he tell?


    /couldn’t resist

  63. 63
    efgoldman says:


    Publishing would die without libraries.

    True. Many publishers have dedicated library sales forces.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Insurers had a plan in the late 1990s to sell their policies out of post offices. Not that it went anywhere.

  65. 65
    Platonailedit says:


    How are these traitorous thugs even on teevee? They should be rotting along with manafort in jail.

  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Schlemazel: I was teaching at UF at the time and for some reason someone decided I could and should teach state and local politics. Why? I have no idea. So I know far too much about that stupidity.

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: Yep. No argument.

  68. 68
    debbie says:


    I was one of them. Publishers factored libraries into their profit projections.

  69. 69
    Brachiator says:


    NO. Public libraries along with National Parks are the best things about this country.

    I agree that libraries are essential, or should be. But I see library use declining, even in communities with a literate culture. I see fewer kids going to the library or checking out books.

    And I think it is becoming more expensive for libraries to modernize.

  70. 70
    Ruckus says:

    I wonder if conservatives are just plan stupid. The wealthy ones hire people to do the numbers stuff and the others can’t seem to add or subtract, let alone multiply or divide, let alone understand a concept like zero sum is bullshit. All of their policies are bad economically for everyone but the ultra wealthy, who aren’t sharing and never will.
    OK I just read this to make sure I hadn’t written something exceedingly stupid and my first line meets that criteria. They have to be stupid because if that isn’t it the only other possible cause is total mental deficiency.

  71. 71
    Kay says:


    James Comey

    OMG, he’s incapable of just butting out. THE LAST person anyone should take advice from.

    All he had to do was his job. That’s all. But that wasn’t enough. He wants to do everyone else’s.

    We’re never, ever going to be rid of any of these people, are we? All the Trump drama people will still be talking a decade from now.

  72. 72
    debbie says:


    I live three blocks from my library. It’s always hopping. They have all kinds of community events, computer carrels, etc. Plus there are always kids running around.

  73. 73
    efgoldman says:


    I was one of them.

    I did it in a very small way (bought a table and took samples) when i worked for a small record label, early 70s.

  74. 74
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ruckus: Paying for content is surely what the Framers intended. Otherwise why would they have written into the Constitution the idea of eternal copyright protection for an anthropomorphic mouse, am I right?

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    No, you will put them at the bottom of bag and not remember that you did that, so you will think they are sitting on the counter. You will discover the list on the last day of your trip when packing. Trust me on this, I know of where I speak.

  76. 76
    efgoldman says:


    I wonder if conservatives are just plan stupid.

    Question answers itself

  77. 77
    Bruuuuce says:


    All the Trump drama people will still be talking a decade from now.

    Yep. between wingnut welfare and right-wing ownership of the media, they’re never, ever going away, dammit.

  78. 78
    NotMax says:


    Old-fashioned as they were, card catalogs provided a more opportunity laden and enlightening experience, IMHO, than the electronic versions (which is not to imply those do not have their own strengths).

  79. 79
    Ruckus says:

    I asked my accountant once how I could lower my business taxes. He said “I can lower them to zero but you will absolutely be audited and have to pay me to fight for you. I will win every contested issue (he taught tax law at UCLA and was really, really good) but there is one problem. You will pay me more than your normal tax bill. Just pay your fucking taxes.” I’ve heeded his advice every year since.

  80. 80
    debbie says:


    That would have been fun. I loved selling books because I loved books. Sadly, it didn’t transfer to any sales positions out here, like tractor parts, pharmaceuticals, etc.

  81. 81
    Mary G says:

    We can’t take our eyes off the ball. The Texas Tribune has been keeping up the reporting on the lost children the MSM shiny object chasers consider not news. The latest thing is marking adults as released from custody while they are still in custody and not allowing them any communication with the outside world.

    This is why @TexasTribune isn’t letting go of this story: “6-year-old Heyli, separated from her dad at the U.S.-Mexico border 2 months ago, was sobbing uncontrollably, rubbing her eyes and rocking back and forth in a video call with her mother on Friday.”— Emily Ramshaw (@eramshaw) July 22, 2018

  82. 82
    efgoldman says:


    You will pay me more than your normal tax bill. Just pay your fucking taxes.”

    The woman who taught my brokerage exam class had been a top performer and earner at, I think, Paine Webber. Someone asked her why she gave it up to teach. She said a client came in ranting about having to pay $75K in capital gains taxes. She walked out on him. He had a gain big enough to pay that much tax? That was it.

  83. 83
    Brachiator says:


    Old-fashioned as they were, card catalogs provided a more opportunity laden and enlightening experience, IMHO, than the electronic versions

    Oh,no. I love libraries and was a master of the card catalog, but I cannot imagine going back to it.

  84. 84
    James E Powell says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The idea that nobody should ever have to pay taxes is still out there.

    If they’d just get rid of welfare and stop all the wastefraudandabuse and cut foreign aid, we wouldn’t need to pay taxes!!!

  85. 85
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Saw this same shit on Usenet 25 years ago, not getting off the boat.

  86. 86
    NotMax says:

    FYI. Air Force fighter jet intercepts small plane near Donald Trump’s golf course

    FYI #2.

    Judge Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest nominee to the Supreme Court, suggested several years ago that the unanimous high court ruling in 1974 that forced president Richard Nixon to turn over the Watergate tapes, leading to the end of his presidency, may have been wrongly decided. Source

    On a less somber note,

    Researchers say remnants of a nearly 200-year-old ship washed up on an English beach could be the soggy remains of a Nova Scotian vessel.
    “When you turn up there, it’s clearly the shape of a ship: you’ve got the sharp bow, you’ve got the timber sticking up, you’ve got the shape of the stern,” said Joseph Flatman, head of listing programs with Historic England.

    “And it’s a big ship – we are talking nearly 50 metres long, and the timbers are very, very heavy, very solidly framed.”

    Flatman said the most interesting part is that it had likely been there – in a prominent spot for tourists and families – for quite some time and was only recently discovered, although the woman reported seeing a stump during previous visits to the location.

  87. 87

    As a librarian who has witnessed massive public support for public libraries his entire career, I vented my rage at the man and now I shall ignore the fool forevermore.

  88. 88
    Mel says:

    @Mnemosyne: It really is utterly crazy, isn’t it?
    It’s as if the anti-taxers can’t stand the thought that someone else might get even a bit of benefit from “their” money that they think is being “stolen” by taxation. It’s a classic case of greedy “good for me, but not for thee”, I think.

    The fact that the whiny wingnuts themselves save a shitload of money by not having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair roads / provide sewage treatment / purify and pipe in water, etc. all by themselves seems to totally escape them. They really do seem incapable of understanding the concept of public works and services, and the reality of how quickly everything collapses without an infrastructure and a safety net.

    From where they think the health, safety, education and transportation maintenance services most of them use or benefit from daily would come without taxes, who knows? Pothole Jesus? Sanitation Santa?

  89. 89
    NotMax says:


    Inadvertently omitted the citation in that last snippet.

    Here it be, matey: Source.

  90. 90

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I wonder just WHEN tax-shaming libertarianism suddenly became so popular an idea. I bet it gained popularity right around the time white folk realized the federal government was going to spend money on helping poor minorities.

  91. 91
    NotMax says:


    WHEN tax-shaming libertarianism suddenly became so popular

    Reagan’s “…government is the problem.”

    Also too, California’s Proposition 13.

  92. 92
    Ken says:

    I wonder if Mr. Mourdoukoutas realizes he could have had a shot at the right-wing gravy train with the title “How the liberal Jeff Bezos plans to control the books you read”.

    (Maybe he’s planning to re-title for sale it to other markets. Worked for Agatha Christie for years – I own both “Ten Little Indians” and “And Then There Were None”.)

  93. 93
    Mel says:

    @PaulWartenberg: Thank you for what you do. It’s hard to find the words to say how much I appreciate the incredible work librarians do, and how much you impact the lives and the futures of individuals and entire communities every day.

    Plus, you guys make magic happen. Just ask any little reader after their first trip to the library, (Or any reader, at any age, for that matter!)

  94. 94
    B.B.A. says:

    @PaulWartenberg: Goldwater 1964, so about right.

    (Many libertarians point out to me Goldwater’s principled opposition to segregation but his even more principled opposition to federal interference in states’ rights. Be that as it may, there sure were a shit-ton of segregationists voting for him in ’64 that didn’t give a damn about what state-level laws he supported in Arizona.)

  95. 95

    @PaulWartenberg: NotMax said it.

    Prop 13 was in 1978. The politics of that period is vague to me. But it’s probably not coincidental that it’s a decade after 1968. I’m wondering why it took so long.

  96. 96
    Duane says:

    @Mel: The fee for processing my personal property tax (three dollars) was more than some of the taxes themselves.

  97. 97
    opiejeanne says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I have a credit union that I love. Do not mess with that.

  98. 98
    NotMax says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    I’m wondering why it took so long.

    It was still considered déclassé to stump for lowering taxes while actively at war, with body bags arriving daily. That encompasses the bulk of the decade.

  99. 99
    jl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    ” The idea that nobody should ever have to pay taxes is still out there. ”

    There is a demand for theories that are advantages to powerful interest groups.
    Indeed, I think most of us with for theories that justify all sorts of arrangements that would be in our interest.

    I personally wish for a very rigorous, well-established and universally accepted theory of society that says not only should I not pay taxes, but the government and everyone else should give me all the money I could want. Unfortunately the only think tank I can fund right now is me daydreaming about it while doing my clothes in the laundromat towards the end of the month. It’s low energy and probably needs to be reorganized.

  100. 100
    Mike J says:

    @NotMax: Nobody told Bush the dumber.

  101. 101

    @NotMax: Good point. I keep forgetting that the Vietnam War lasted until 1975. My life was pretty compex during that decade.

  102. 102
  103. 103
    Starfish says:

    This twitter thread was the best.

    Maggie Haberman:Where are people getting the impression she is an access journalist and Trump shill?Baffling?Let's take a closer look.— Jake (@Care2much18) July 22, 2018

  104. 104
    James E Powell says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Prop 13 was in 1978. The politics of that period is vague to me. But it’s probably not coincidental that it’s a decade after 1968. I’m wondering why it took so long.

    I think it had less to do with 1968 than it had to do with California housing prices. A lot of people paid their property taxes along with their mortgage. The WWII generation was retiring or approaching retirement and looked at their incomes as fixed. So when a new tax bill comes in reflecting the 100% increase in the market value of their homes since the last assessment, they freaked.

  105. 105
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @MaryLou: Indeed it did; it’s a wonderful library.

  106. 106
    Mel says:

    @Brachiator: I think it depends on the location, and on whether or not the librar sustem receives enough funding to stsy on the cutting edge.

    The library system in the city where I live has seen circulation rates increase steadily and significantly for the past 20 years. In addition, they a huge number of classes, activities, and services, and even sponsor a yearly writer-in-residence. They have great community engagement and outreach.

    A large part of the reason that the library system here is so beloved by the majority of the residents, and so successful is that is it well-funded. It offers enough programs and services so that everyone in the community can see the value of it for them, personally. The funding allows the system to provide all the traditional library functions, plus things like genealogical research assistance, courses in everything from resume building to money management to computer and programming skills, to art classes, teen cosplay parties, summer reading challenges, community wide and even online book clubs, and much more.

    The challenge for any library system is getting enough funds consistently coming in for libraries to continually adapt to the needs of their communities. Without funds, they cannot stay ahead of the curve and be an essential part of their community.

  107. 107
    jl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Prop 13 was a result of real problems with the long standing approach to property tax assessments in CA that was messed up by some big real estate bubbles in CA at the time, and which gave broad discretion to local governments to decide hardship and special cases in general on an ad hoc basis. And it was also the result of several botched state government efforts to solve the problem.

    Proposition 13 was a result of real problems with how to do property tax assessments and collect the taxes in a bubble prone economic climate, a real and difficult problem. But the cause was immediately hijacked by reactionary and big business interests, and miserable and very harmful Prop 13 was the result of that hijacking.

  108. 108
    rikyrah says:

    Uh uh uh 😒
    Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss) Tweeted:
    So Konstantin Nikolaev is the oligarch who bankrolled Butina. His son, erm, volunteered for the Trump campaign:

  109. 109
    jl says:

    We can tell the GOP that if we keep the public libraries open, with recent developments in surveillance technology and AI face recognition, we can easily track the movements of subversives, since they’ll visiting those sin pots on a regular basis.

    That’ll get the libraries funded real quick. They’ll keep them open.

  110. 110

  111. 111
    KSinMA says:

    @Mel: Co-sign!

  112. 112
    rikyrah says:

    Liberal Librarian skewered this clown.

    Liberal Librarian (@Lib_Librarian) Tweeted:
    @PMourdoukoutas @Forbes Sigh.

    Every few months, a moron like you comes along to say libraries should be replaced. I have to wonder what it is about libraries which frightens people like you so much that you want to be rid of them.

  113. 113
    NotMax says:


    The misfortune is that, after passage, it was appropriated as a viable one size fits all solution by the guildmeisters of greed.

  114. 114
    Miss Bianca says:

    @jl: ooh, that’s insidious. And more than a little scary, I might add.

    @Cheryl Rofer: Wait, WTF??? Is that for real?

  115. 115
    Darkrose says:

    @Brachiator: Part of what you’re seeing, or not seeing, is due to many libraries moving services online. The Sacramento Public Library allows you to search the catalog and many databases through their website. You can use OverDrive to check out ebooks from home, reserve books to pick up later, renew books, or set up a chat session with a reference librarian. There are special portals for elementary and high school students, including a web page you can go to for help with your Mission project.

    While actual library hours in many branches have been reduced, when branches are open, they’re typically busy with programming and maker spaces and meeting rooms. Last year I went to the North Natomas branch several times to meet with classmates in my online MLIS program, and we often had to wait for a study room, because the place was packed with high school students working on assignments and projects. It just depends on where you live–but that’s true of public services in general.

  116. 116
    Barbara says:

    @Gvg: The library is where a lot of people get Internet access. What an idiot.

  117. 117
    jonas says:


    Let’s just close every possible means for people who are not wealthy to educate themselves and potentially move up in the world.

    Libertarian dudebros: “I know, amirite!?”

  118. 118

    @Miss Bianca: Apparently so. It seems to be in response to this from Rouhani:

    Addressing a gathering of Iranian diplomats, Rouhani said: “Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret,” the state new agency IRNA reported.

    “America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani said, leaving open the possibility of peace between the two countries, at odds since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

  119. 119
    Brachiator says:


    The library system in the city where I live has seen circulation rates increase steadily and significantly for the past 20 years. In addition, they a huge number of classes, activities, and services, and even sponsor a yearly writer-in-residence.

    This is great stuff. I think the central library is doing well, but a couple of branch libraries I’ve visited were like ghost towns. I don’t know what all the problems might be.

    One little tangential thing. The branch libraries close at 5pm. There is a McDonald’s in the area that is full in the evening with kids and their families doing homework, groups of seniors, teens. A little social center doing some of the things that the library does.

  120. 120
    Ruckus says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    They believe that if you are poor enough that you don’t have the full boat cable package, including intertubes then you are too poor to exist. If you don’t have enough money you aren’t entitled to live.

    Survival of the entitled is what it’s called. And as you well know there are entire irrational groups who are not entitled.

  121. 121
    NotMax says:


    Question about OverDrive and Libby. Can those be installed directly onto the Kindle?

    I’m in the dark about this.

  122. 122

  123. 123
  124. 124
    Darkrose says:

    I don’t know if the for-profit diploma mill that asshat teaches at actually has a library; if so he probably hasn’t been there recently, or he’d know how to actually cite his fucking sources instead of speaking completely ex rectum. But hey, he gave librarians to do something besides screaming at our professional organization this week.

  125. 125
    Ruckus says:

    No one flips over the rocks. Remember that half the people are dumber than the median. Some of them are dumb enough to play on the median. During rush hour.

  126. 126

    On my timeline, people are mostly mocking Trump for this. It’s the boy who cried wolf. He did the same thing with North Korea. Now nobody believes him, except probably his groupies.

    That’s dangerous. But it’s the way sane people respond. Too bad the tweet isn’t.

  127. 127
    B.B.A. says:

    Oh boy, another nuclear war scare. Now he just needs to get a snippy text from the president of Pakistan and we’ll really be in business.

  128. 128
    Ruckus says:

    I do understand fully.
    I was being sarcastic. Apparently I either I pulled it off perfectly or failed miserably.

  129. 129
    jl says:

    @Barbara: Internet access and digital media have made public libraries very popular and necessary for a lot people, especially working class and poor who cannot afford good access at home.

    I don’t remember ever having to deal with long waiting lines and sign-in sheets and time limits when I was a little kid when it was paper and microfilm.
    From here in SF down through Central Valley the libraries get really crowded at times.

  130. 130
    Darkrose says:

    @NotMax: I’ve never used OverDrive myself, but I think you can–when you access a book on the library website, it should have a link that takes you to your Amazon account. More info here; their knowledge base seems to be pretty decent, though I’m not sure how much variation there is between libraries.

  131. 131
    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Now that is sarcastic. That mouse is an murcan icon. The world would stop spinning if they didn’t hold the copyright forever. You know that…..

  132. 132
    NotMax says:


    Thank you. Shall check it out.

    Mom and I are going to waltz along the Kindle learning curve together. I expect she’ll get to the finish line first.

  133. 133
    Ruckus says:

    My bill wasn’t that big. Or even close. But in a small business (average 6 employees) every penny counts. What I really learned was to understand that it’s what’s left after ALL the costs are deducted that counts. Or as a customer, who had started the same way my dad had, a family business, said “Sure there are a lot more zeros in the gross numbers of our business now but there are a lot more zeros in all the things you have to pay for as well.”

  134. 134
    WarMunchkin says:


    So yeah, he’s getting the kind of feedback he deserves.

    I’m never going to forget this article after the Comey hearings, titled “James Comey is the Sex Symbol America Needs Right Now“. I’m still pretty much aghast at the whole situation. I mean, I don’t need to tell this to anyone here, since I’ve been in this haze of terror and self-loathing and feeling of general betrayal since, let’s say, July 2016.

  135. 135
    sukabi says:

    The dumbest thing this week? Are we at the end of the week or the beginning? The rage monkey in the WH wants you to hold his beer


    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018

  136. 136
    Ruckus says:

    One of the newest freeways in southern CA was opened the year I graduated HS, 51 yrs ago. It’s been lengthened but most of it was built then. A lot of infrastructure is like that, and people get used to it, don’t realize that it really wasn’t that long ago, like during my lifetime that we really didn’t have the amount of infrastructure that we now do. People expect homes and malls to be built and rebuilt, they don’t think about roads, unless it affects them personally. Like the new bridge in SF, finished just a few yrs back. It was a major pain in the ass that was, so it was noticed.

  137. 137
    sukabi says:

    @sukabi: so obviously I should have read the entire comment thread..😵😵😕

  138. 138

    I adore libraries. As a child they were a place of safety, a retreat to silence and order, and a launch pad for my imagination. They gave me access to a wealth of information I could never have achieved via my family’s scarce resources. After having read everything I could at home including the Encyclopedia Brittanica, I tried to trick my mom into buying some books thru school. I got my butt whipped for that. It was at that point I finally received permission to go to the local library on my own. And thank goodness because I don’t think I’d be where I am today without them. The free market will have to pry them out of the public sphere over my dead body.

  139. 139
    sukabi says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: civics education is seriously lacking.

  140. 140
    Ruckus says:

    There’s more of us now than when you were a kid. How many more libraries are there? (There’s a fucking lot more of us than when I was a kid)

  141. 141
    Brachiator says:


    I don’t need this kind of crap late in the evening before bedtime. I worry that somebody will do something stupid and I won’t awake seeing rosy fingered dawn, but the hot orange of nuclear fireballs.

    And once again I’m shaking my head and thinking, “this goofball is president?”

  142. 142
    Ruckus says:

    @Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ:
    I’ve told this story here before but when I was a kid I read all the books other than the nursery aged ones in the kids section and wanted an adult library card. No go. Told mom and she dragged me down to the library and told them to give me an adult card. She was told I was not old enough. The only time I’ve heard my mom use this word. “You have a kid that wants to read, wants to learn and you won’t let him? What the fuck kind of library are you running?” I had my adult card before mom could get out another word. I just smiled at the woman as she handed me the card. Mom could be a pistol at times.
    BTW I think I was 8.

  143. 143
    efgoldman says:


    I don’t need this kind of crap late in the evening before bedtime.

    No matter how much Weasel Face yammers, we’re not going to war with Iran. We don’t have the resources (nobody does, really) the Iranians know it and the Pentagon knows it.
    If it comes to that, some general will duct tape Weasel Face in a closet.

  144. 144
    NotMax says:


    There’s more of us now than when you were a kid.

    The hair pulled back into a bun (with a pencil stuck though it), sensible shoes and eyeglass lanyard look only worked for a select percentage of people.


  145. 145
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m not sure if they gave up on the “kid card” thing by the 1980s, but I could check out any book I wanted from our public library. There may have been an age-based limit on the number of books you could check out at a time, but I don’t remember being told I couldn’t check out adult books.

  146. 146
    GregB says:

    Sad I just realized I will be tweeting stupid shit instead of finding a fallout shelter.

  147. 147
    Ruckus says:

    It’s possible that the Monrovia city library had it’s own rules, and the town government was actually rather conservative in a lot of ways but I suspect you are right, there is after all a 40 yr span in our ages, you being 29 and all.

  148. 148
    workworkwork says:


    “Let’s just close every possible means for people who are not wealthy to educate themselves and potentially move up in the world.”

    The problem is, that doesn’t work. We have all sorts of examples of wealthy people who have the best educations that money can buy (Bill Kristol, et al.) and they are stone stick stupid.

  149. 149
    Ruckus says:

    It sounds like we had the same librarian. When I was young I thought it was the uniform they were made to wear. Then I realized that was just who they were.

  150. 150
    Brachiator says:


    No matter how much Weasel Face yammers, we’re not going to war with Iran.

    Oh, I figure that we won’t go to war with Iran because Putin, Trump’s boss, won’t allow it.

    Still, I would sleep more comfortably if we had a president in the White House who was smarter and more stable.

  151. 151
    Ruckus says:

    I’ll repeat myself tonight.
    Remember that half the people are stupider, or less capable than the median.
    Also remember that if common sense was so common, more people would have some.
    ETA I like your name.

  152. 152
    Mayim says:


    Librarian here.

    Most libraries are thriving ~ even with quite limited budgets. The library I am at would love to add meeting space is we had room to expand.
    Lots does happen on-line ~ we have several patrons a day who come in to pick up several books they had requested from hime instead of browsing shelves.
    Children’s department is almost always full. Two story times a week ditto. Last week, one of our summer reading special events had to turn people away because we’d reached the room capacity of 100 {in a town of 6000 people}.
    I spend mu h of my time as the reference librarian helping people apply for jobs, access social services, and do lots of other things that general society things everyone knows how to do and/or has Internet access at home to do.
    Libraries are generally very adaptable ~ we spend lots of time behind the scenes working on that ;-)

  153. 153
    Mayim says:

    Overdrive works on Kindles, tablets, and smartphones.

    If your library uses CloudLibrary, that only works on Kindle Fire {and requires some finagling for that}, not the e-ink/Paperwhite versions
    . CloudLibrary also works on any other device that uses apps.

  154. 154
    NotMax says:


    I do seem to vaguely recall that only the head librarian had a (coveted? honorific?) red pencil piercing her bun.

  155. 155
    NotMax says:


    Mucho mahalo. Plan is to go with her to the library to ask someone on staff (Mom is on a first name basis with everyone there) walk us through the basics.

  156. 156
    Mel says:

    @Brachiator: Here’s a really wonderful thing that some of our branch libraries did last year for several weeks in the summertime: a kids’ activity and reading lunchtime program for young elementary grade students who are on summer break,

    They read together and do guided fun activities related to a current or very popular age appropriate book, and they also create pieces of original writing and art.

    While this is going on, an easy to transport and less perishable health-ish lunch is served (like a pbj, an apple or some grapes, a bag of sunchips or low fat popcorn, some individually wrapped cheese sticks, snd a couple of drinks (a juicebox and a milk, etc.)

    There is no cost to the kids or parents. It is a great way to keep kids reading and writing over a good chunk of the break, but it also provides a nutritious lunch for kids who would normally count on their free or reduced cost lunch program for some of their primary nutrition. Since everybody’s lunch is free and is just casuslly integrated into the activity, no kiddo feels singled out or hesitant to participate.

    Using easy to transport foods ensures that kids csn take home and nibble later on any food items that they don’t finish during the hour to 2 hour long fun program.

  157. 157
    Mel says:

    @NotMax: When I was a kid, my favorite children’s librarian told me that the fancy hairsticks that she wore in her bun were really miniature swords that she used while fighting pirates and scallywags on the weekend. “Now you know why some pirates wear eyepatches. But don’t tell anyone! It’s a top secret job!”

    I adored that woman.

  158. 158
    PJ says:

    @Brachiator: What country do you live in? Library usage is up in the US:

  159. 159
    Origuy says:


    Question about OverDrive and Libby. Can those be installed directly onto the Kindle?

    Kindle Fire, maybe. Not the Paperwhite. To get books to my Paperwhite, I have OverDrive email them to my Kindle email address. That puts them in my account and I can download them from there. I have to use my iPhone, PC, or Android tablet to use OverDrive or Libby. Note that when the library book expires, the Kindle won’t let you access it any longer.

  160. 160
    opiejeanne says:

    @efgoldman: I was hoping that Roger or whatever his name is would lock himself and the football in a bathroom and refuse to come out until a tranquilizer had been administered to the barking yam.

  161. 161
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mnemosyne: In the 50s I had a library card but was limited to three books. There was no age limit on what I could check out.

  162. 162
    Kathleen says:

    @VOR: The Campbell County (Northern Kentucky) Tea Party used to hold its meetings in the (wait for it) Campbell County Public Library.

  163. 163
    David Evans says:

    @opiejeanne: In the UK in the 50’s I could borrow up to 2 fiction books or up to 5 non-fiction. LIbraries were for instruction more than for entertainment.

  164. 164
    Barney says:

    The worrying thing is that this glibertarian teaches people, despite posting an opinion that sounds like a troll on a local politics board.

    I’m Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at LIU Post in New York. I also teach at Columbia University. I’ve published several articles in professional journals and magazines, including Barron’s, The New York Times, Japan Times, Newsday, Plain Dealer, Edge Singapore, European Management Review, Management International Review, and Journal of Risk and Insurance. I’ve have also published several books, including …

    (it seems that, despite working at a university and publishing several books, he hasn’t learned about checking your resume for grammar mistakes)

    His argument is that “Amazon stores have coffee too”. Really, it doesn’t go beyond that. He doesn’t even attempt to wonder about what fees are charged, who can afford them, or anything you might think an “economist” writing in Forbes would try and argue. He points out that Amazon stores have books and online searches, like libraries, but they also sell coffee. So they’d be great, and they will make money for the richest man in the world. Result!

    Why is Columbia University employing a troll? LIU Post may not have a decent reputation (alumnus: Brian Kilmeade), but Columbia used to.

  165. 165
    Jeff says:

    I not only pay taxes for my local library I make a yearly contribution to it because I use it so frequently.

  166. 166
    opiejeanne says:

    @Barney: Amazon has coffee? How does that work? B & N has coffee and they’re a brick and mortar.

  167. 167
    SWMBO says:

    @Schlemazel: There was a dust up when it became known that Chiles took an antidepressant. Did he run from it? Oh hell no! He had bumper stickers made that said “Would you rather have a Governor that has depression or causes it?” He won.

  168. 168
    Barney says:

    @opiejeanne: It’s bricks and mortar Amazon stores that he’s pushing.

  169. 169
    PIGL says:

    @FlyingToaster: It’s not mindless stupidity, it’s more smug malice. As I wrote about some Canadian RWNJ: a visage where malice vies with self-satisfaction for control of the smirk,

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