The Rich And Powerful Take What They Want (Open Thread)

John Rogers is a Friend of the Blog, co-originator of the “27%” crazification factor, and creator of (among other things) the show Leverage (2008-2012). For those who don’t know, Leverage is about a team of grifters and thieves who turn their considerable talents to defrauding corporate criminals. (It’s fun, good-hearted, and a bit silly; you should watch it!).

Leverage first aired when I was twenty-three and fresh off working for the first Obama campaign. Well, being young and jobless in that era, I had lots of free time to read about politics and watch television. I can’t remember if the plots seemed ridiculous to me at first or not. Soon enough, though, I knew that only half the show was unrealistic. White-collar crime really is as widespread and banally-accepted as the show portrays. But, of course, there’s no strike-team of good guys stealing the money back.

Anyway, I saw this and figured I would share:

Leverage is off Netflix and Hulu right now, or I’d fire it up… There is also a tabletop RPG version I’ve always wanted to try.

Open thread!

235 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Fun show.

  2. 2
    WaterGirl says:

    I had no idea the 27% guy created Leverage. It was a fun show. We could use more of that right now.

  3. 3
    RepubAnon says:

    This was one of the recurring themes in Leslie Charteris’ “The Saint” books. I recall one where the head of a trucking company was forcing drivers to work insane hours – until Simon Templar gave him an object lesson.

    A revival of The Saint might go well in these white collar criminal days…

  4. 4
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    Fun fact, according to Rationalwiki the Crazification factor is example of the Texas sharpshooter fallacy

  5. 5

    Never watched Leverage, but my friend, who will be become a citizen next week says, that corruption is America is dressed in a suit.
    सूटबूट वाली करप्शन

  6. 6

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Only if you’ve decided to take it as, like, an actual claim of a universal population statistic.

  7. 7

    @schrodingers_cat: *corruption in.
    Does the edit box show up for everyone else? I has no edit box or formatting buttons.

  8. 8
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    That’s what the article authors meant, I think.

  9. 9
    Jr says:

    Long live the Ancien Regime!

  10. 10
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Two questions:

    1. computer or mobile device?

    2. if mobile, desktop version of BJ or mobile version of BJ?

  11. 11

    Computer, so I am using the desktop version on Firefox, Windows box, Windows 10.

  12. 12

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: The authors at RationalWiki? Because at the original blog post it’s pretty clearly just two people shooting the shit over lunch.

  13. 13
    Jay says:

    This John Rogers?


    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

  14. 14
    Yarrow says:

    The epidemic of white collar crime gets its own thread! Is Kay here?

  15. 15

    My older daughter and I are fighting about monkeys. You know the song, 62 monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head. Mother called the doctor and the doctor said, “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”? Well, she says all the monkeys died. That makes me sad. I don’t believe the monkeys did die. The song only says they bumped their heads, and besides, the mother called the doctor, not the undertaker. She’s trying to psychologically scar me by making me sad for the dead monkeys, who, I stress, did not die. She is indeed a cruel daughter.

  16. 16
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Mac computer, browser is Safari.

    I get the edit box and the formatting tools.

    It saves my nym, email & checked checkbox for about 30 minutes.
    It stays if I open a new tab or a new window or a new BJ thread.
    It says if I refresh a page.
    If I haven’t posted a comment in the past 30 minutes or so, when I refresh a page, the nym, email and check all disappear.

  17. 17
    Brachiator says:

    @RepubAnon:

    This was one of the recurring themes in Leslie Charteris’ “The Saint” books.

    Yes! Templar regularly went after the “ungodly,” who could be industrialists or organized crime figures.

    Some digital broadcast channel (MeTv????) showed an entire season’s worth of episodes. Also think you can find many of them on YouTube.

    I didn’t know about the creator of Leverage. Only saw a few episodes of the show, but what I saw was pretty good.

    And yeah, astute observation about modern politics.

  18. 18
    Ruckus says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    I knew there was a reason I didn’t like suits. The clothing or the people in them.

  19. 19

    @WaterGirl: @schrodingers_cat: Just double-checked, and Firefox works for me on Mac.

  20. 20
    Tarragon says:

    @Jay:
    Same one.

  21. 21
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: When you say it works for you, are you referring to the edit ox and formatting tools?

  22. 22
    HinTN says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Attempting edit now. Stand by.

    ETA: Yes, I can edit. Yes, it’s different (not the old “box” just the same message).

  23. 23

    While I have you here, would anybody be interested in helping plot/script a Monkey-Island-esque computer game? I’m brushing up on GUI programming and will be making one. Failing that, if you’ve ever had a passing idea for one, now’s the time to share it!

    @WaterGirl: And ‘remember me’.

  24. 24
    Brachiator says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    You know the song, 62 monkeys jumping on the bed,

    The monkey hoarding makes me sad. Where did they get all those monkeys?

    Why did they call a doctor instead of animal control? Is this the same doctor who advises you to put da lime in da coconut?

  25. 25

    @Major Major Major Major: As long as none of the monkeys die. I can’t take much more monkey sadness after this monkey spat with my daughter.

  26. 26
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Have you tried walking away for 30 minutes or an hour, and then refreshing without posting a comment?

    I would be interested to know if that is reproducible on other desktop computers besides mine.

    But don’t stop posting now! :-)

  27. 27

    @Brachiator: Well, most versions of the song only begin with five monkeys. I was singing it beginning with 62 because I like to live life on the edge.

  28. 28
    Ruckus says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I see you saw the comment I left on Alan’s post.
    This may be an unfixable issue with, well basically all the internet from here on out.
    I’m on mac, latest safari and the blog works pretty good now, with the 30 min time limit on the name remaining. I noticed that it’s 30 min after my last input, which is what triggered my EU thought.

  29. 29
    HinTN says:

    @WaterGirl:

    the nym and email disappear

    Yes, but they live in cache and a couple of letters (Hi to be exact) resurrects my nym and my email appears as a selectable first choice…

  30. 30
    SWMBO says:

    I was having a personal issue over men with earrings back when it first started. I thought that pirates were the only men that should have earrings. It didn’t seem right to have regular guys or guys in suits with them. My husband pointed out that some of the biggest pirates wore suits nowadays and that made the adjustment easier.

  31. 31
    Brachiator says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    Well, most versions of the song only begin with five monkeys.

    Do you realize how much poo 5 monkeys can fling????

  32. 32
    HinTN says:

    @SWMBO:

    some of the biggest pirates [wear] suits nowadays

    Boom

  33. 33

    I brought up this underprosecution of white collar crime with my FBI friend, who agreed. Apparently, Sessions has told the agency to set violent crime as its priority. Traditionally, they have a list of issues they see as their responsibility, including white collar crime, public corruption, etc. Those are actual areas people are assigned too. At the moment, the powers that be at the agency are trying to negotiate a way not to continue all those other areas too.

  34. 34
    RepubAnon says:

    @Brachiator: Is there a sequel to The Walking Dead, involving all those monkeys?

  35. 35

    @WaterGirl: @Ruckus: I’m sure WordPress uses an expiring cookie, I don’t know what it’s set to, and I don’t know if it can be easily changed.

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    @SWMBO:
    You could see the pirates coming. You could fight back. Of course you might lose but then was a bit more of a kill or be killed game then. Now of course it’s a lot more than a bit of a have money, suits will carry it away for you. And from you.
    I did have a suit problem once. Did a big job for a company in Indiana. They paid to test the job in LA and it was perfect so it got airfreighted to IN. I recall that was 1200 lb airfreighted. Then they said fuck you about your money. We had to sue the broker who brought us the job. More suits with now suspect law degrees got in the way and we ended up taking a $33,000 bath. Yes I have a bad taste in my mouth for suits, why do you ask?

  37. 37

    @HinTN: @Major Major Major Major: @WaterGirl: I think my either the Javascript blocker or adblocker that I have on Firefox, does not like the edit window and the format buttons, because they seem to be working on Chrome.

  38. 38
    MobileForkbeard says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Not sure what kind if help I could provide, but that sounds fun.

  39. 39
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @schrodingers_cat: And carrying a bible.

  40. 40
    Jay says:

    @SWMBO:

    Earrings started as overt signalling in the LBGTQ community, became over used in the Punk community, ( I only wear two now), then went “mainstream” for guys who wanted to seem “edgier” than their normal conformity in dress and manners.

  41. 41

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’m sure WordPress uses an expiring cookie

    If that’s true, would individual users be able to find that cookie and extend the expiration date manually?

  42. 42
    Kay says:

    “Crackdown on white collar crime” is a great campaign slogan. There are endless examples. You could have a lot of fun with it, too. Imagine a revolving-prison-door type ad but with Wilbur Ross instead of Willie Horton.

    Jump on it before the Russians figure it out :)

  43. 43
    MobileForkbeard says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I’ve always liked the idea of a game that answers the question of “Who puts the treasure chests in RPG dungeons?”

    I like this idea: the answer is that theres some other shadowy organization that deliberately plants weapons and armor and so forth so that the Chosen Heroes are strong enough to survive but not strong enough to steamroll the enemy without personal growth and/or levelling.

    You could build a story off of that (as in. why are they doing it? Are they ‘growing’ heroes for some reason?) but in terms of a Monkey Island game, figuring out what an adventuring party needs and how to plant it for them might make for interesting puzzles.

  44. 44
    Steeplejack says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Also, I have read that white-collar enforcement took a big hit when the FBI moved a lot of resources to anti-terrorism after 9/11.

  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    @HinTN:
    That doesn’t work for me. Have to type the whole thing. But I do need the practice.
    I should do one of these comments without correcting any typing errors. You might all believe me about the Parkinson’s thing then. I used to type about 60 wpm with good accuracy. If you want good accuracy, I’m about 10 wpm now. If you don’t mind reading what looks like a 5 yr old typed out my comment, with his eyes closed, I can still do about 60.

  46. 46

    @Roger Moore: not if the cookie is signed correctly, but I don’t know the WordPress implementation.

    @schrodingers_cat: yep those are both javascript.

    @MobileForkbeard: can you get in touch? I don’t think I’m on the contact me form but my nym has my Twitter. Or the contact form at https://againststupiditycomic.wordpress.com/contact/

  47. 47
    Jay says:

    @Ruckus:

    Standard Pirate tactic was false flags until in close. Sailors at the time would wear a single earring for crossing the equator. So, you couldn’t tell if the ship in distress or close hauling you was a Pirate or Privateer, until they were close enough to run out the guns and hoist their pennant.

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    A suit AND a bible? Just walking down the street?
    Damn that’s brazen.

  49. 49
    efgoldman says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I had no idea the 27% guy created Leverage. It was a fun show.

    Leverage is a takeoff on the 1968 ABC series It takes a Thief, Robert Wagner’s first TV series.
    I find Leverage demands closer attention than I can give it.

  50. 50
    Platonailedit says:

    The usual projection from this lowlife asshole.

    If Trump thinks that Omarosa is a "lowlife," then why was she hired in the first place?— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 11, 2018

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @Jay:
    And everyone on the high seas just assumed that everyone else was honest.
    Yeah I’ll believe that. Sure………

  52. 52
    lamh36 says:

    Alright, just like I did with Australia…I’m putting it out into the universe and claiming it! I’m going to Fiji…

    Yup…don’t know when yet, don’t know how…but it’s out there and I’m claiming it!

  53. 53
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Mama called the doctor and the doctor said, “ No more jumping on the bed “ presumably, one by one, the monkeys learned their lesson and stopped jumping. A cautionary tale, not a horror story! Why would the doctor tell dead monkeys to stop jumping? Your daughter is incorrect.

  54. 54
    Ruckus says:

    @Platonailedit:
    It wasn’t that she’s a low life or not, it’s if she’s his kind of low life. His character intuition isn’t the greatest. Look at what he thinks of himself…….

  55. 55
    Platonailedit says:

    The firefox blue circle goes on and on

    Fuck you “Waiting for g7a7f2f5.stackpathcdn.com”

  56. 56
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I have AdBlock Plus on Safari, and it makes no difference. For what it’s worth.

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Roger Moore: I’m one of those with an expiring nym, and I’ve reviewed all the cookies issued by B-J, none of which have an expiration that matches my symptom. They are all either very long-lived, or they expire at the end of the browsing session.

  58. 58
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roger Moore: Surely that would be a setting for the server or the website.

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    @Platonailedit:

    She was probably hired because they were afraid she’d blab if they didn’t. Good plan! They can’t even pull off a make-work job.

    God knows what kind of elaborate cons go on in that White House daily. They’re all spying and scheming and blackmailing one another.

  60. 60

    @MobileForkbeard: humm, I’ve been exploring something similar (but more sinister) for an urban fantasy story idea…

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    I’m thinking that this is a WP timeout. That originates with the EU law change. Which would mean that it’s not an expiration that your computer/software sets. I’m sticking with this till I’m proven wrong. Or the wolves eat me, whichever comes first.

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: My theory is that we all have expiring nyms, but because of our BJ or web browsing habits, we experience it differently.

    If my theory is correct, and you have to post a comment every 30 minutes to keep your nym, if you always close a BJ thread when you leave BJ for awhile, you would think your nym stays, at least once you type it all in once. I believe that it’s refreshing without having made a comment in 30 minutes that makes it appear to go away. Because if you comment then the 30-minute clock starts all over again.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    I can be a little slow. It wasn’t until the latter part of the GH Bush administration I started asking myself what, just exactly, was the difference between the GOP and a white collar crime ring. By that time I was back very firmly in the paelo-liberal Democratic fold and very down on Reagan (though to be clear I was never for Reagan enough to not vote against him and his allies every chance I got. I did vote for a few moderate GOPers though, I was young and made mistakes).

    Anyway, it’s been downhill since then. One of Reagan’s secrets of political success is he knew you had to spread the grift around just barely enough to keep critical mass of voters on board without bald-face lying to them. I guess that’s another part of Zombie Atman Reagan-God the GOP has forgotten about. But, as I said, I can be slow on the uptake, and I had no clue how out of control the GOP would go.

  64. 64
    Kay says:

    Norman Ornstein

    Verified account

    @NormOrnstein
    11h11 hours ago
    More
    It is not underscored often enough: insider trading is not just about greed. There are victims. Chris Collins and family avoided $760,000 in losses—by foisting the losses off on unsuspecting buyers of the stock who lacked the insider info. This was a mugging.

    Have to start using the right language. “Mugging” is good.

  65. 65
    Ruckus says:

    @Steeplejack:
    That may be very true but this level of suit crime has been going on for a very long time, I’m thinking since at least most men stopped wearing suits to work, but probably a hell of a lot longer.

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kay: Completely agree.

  67. 67
    James E Powell says:

    @efgoldman:

    Leverage is a takeoff on the 1968 ABC series It takes a Thief, Robert Wagner’s first TV series.

    I loved that show. Dreamed of growing to be as smooth as Alexander Mundy. T.H.E. Cat also too.

  68. 68
    Platonailedit says:

    @Kay: Yup, it’s a perfect framing for dems.

  69. 69
    WaterGirl says:

    @James E Powell: I have often thought about T.H.E. Cat – I really liked that show and have liked the actor ever since. I wonder if that’s on Netflix or any of the channels that show the old shows.

  70. 70

    @Kay:

    She was probably hired because they were afraid she’d blab if they didn’t. Good plan! They can’t even pull off a make-work job.

    Buying somebody’s silence only works as long as you’re willing to pay them more than your competitors. That’s expensive but workable when there are only a handful of people whose silence you need to buy, and your competitors are similarly situated. It starts breaking down when there are lots of them and the people interested in buying their stories have deep pockets.

  71. 71
    FlyingToaster says:

    @WaterGirl: You may be right; I don’t currently have a cookie editor installed in Firefox to check (as the one I like was Legacy and never replaced for Quantum).

    I’m able to type the first letter in each box, the the down arrow to select and return to “choose” both the nym and e-mail, however. So I can live with it.

  72. 72
    jl says:

    @Kay: I see on Josh Marshall’s twitter McArdle wrote some twaddle about how insider trading is a victimless crime, which apparently is one of her assigned job duties every time a high profile GOPer gets tagged for it. Economic theory tends to be very down on insider trading, since it says social welfare and mutually beneficial trades have to assume both parties have full information about the risk/reward profile.

    So, yeah, basic arguments that fraud is bad lead to conclusion that insider trading is bad, and less informed buyer is defrauded.

    To wonk out on it, there are arguments in financial economics that for some kinds of insider trading, the benefits can outweigh the obvious problems that one party is defrauded. But honest arguments admit they have a high hurdle to overcome. So, expect GOP hacks spewing BS at high volume over poor little rich GOP grifters while the story is in the news.

  73. 73
    WaterGirl says:

    @FlyingToaster: When something annoying appears often, and randomly, it’s totally maddening. It’s crazy making.

    But if this theory is correct, you just have to make sure that you NEVER refresh without having posted a comment within the last 30 minutes or so. That’s a kludge and it’s a pain in the ass, and should be fixable, but it’s no longer maddening, at least not for me.

    We’ll see if the theory holds up for the next couple of days. If someone well versed in cookies can confirm, or can figure out how to tell FYWP to keep the cookie longer, yippee!

  74. 74
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    Calling it mugging is better than nothing. But mugging suggests someone stole your wallet, with your lunch money in it. This goes a lot deeper than lunch money level. This is people’s homes, jobs, healthcare, future.
    This is Grand Theft. On far more than any ordinary grand scale. This is stealing everything not bolted down and a lot that is. This is seeing the general population being starved. It doesn’t look that bad on the surface right now, but scratch that surface, ask how many have a secure retirement in the next 20 yrs or even worse a secure job. How many of you think you will be doing the same thing in 20 yrs? I’ve had 2 jobs and owned a business since I turned 49 yrs old. I’m 69 and still working, like it or not. BTW I grew that business 400% in the second year. Without the recession I would have still been in that business. And I’m no where near alone in this, hell I’m better off than a lot of people, I had a skill that I could sell, without a dramatic amount of competition or any retraining.
    And that recession, that was grand theft as well. We had to keep the banks open or the whole thing would have collapsed but they stole everything and got paid to do it. That’s suits with nuclear weapons.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    hueyplong says:

    McArdle has never let her total ignorance of a subject cause her to hesitate to weigh in with an idiotic policy take.

    The fact that she has such a prominent platform borders on a crime against nature.

  77. 77
    joel hanes says:

    @Ruckus:

    suits

    I still feel good about wearing a proper suit as a signifier at weddings and funerals.

  78. 78
    James E Powell says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I have never seen it available. It only ran one season.

  79. 79
    MobileForkbeard says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Will do later tonight. As always, free time constrained by young kids. ;)

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Buying somebody’s silence only works as long as you’re willing to pay them more than your competitors.

    A credible threat is often far more effective than simply buying someone’s silence.

  81. 81

    @Kay: Insider trading is cheating, because you are using information that only you have and the rest of the market doesn’t to make a profit (or avoid a loss). Its like taking an exam where you have some have obtained the exact questions on test, that other students don’t have access to. What it does is erodes the faith other investors have in the market.

  82. 82
    Ruckus says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    It’s been a long, long time since I did my WP blog editing but that doesn’t look familiar. It says something 2 yrs ago towards the bottom, so I’m wondering if there is a controlling section that is part of the underlying code of WP itself?

  83. 83
    Platonailedit says:

    Too little, too late, assholes. You mofos enabled this traitorous thug knowingly and wantonly.

    The Boston Globe is proposing a coordinated editorial response from newspapers across the U.S. to Trump's attacks on the news media.

    "We are not the enemy of the people," said Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of The Globe. https://t.co/QUnTTf2CfG— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 12, 2018

  84. 84
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The cookie referenced by that function does not exist on my system.

  85. 85

    @Platonailedit: How much ink did the Globe spill on her emailz? He is a media created monster, and now he wants to eat them.

  86. 86

    @Gin & Tonic: then that is the source of your problem. I don’t know why it’s being created on my systems and not yours.

  87. 87
    Darkrose says:

    The Giants retired Barry Bonds’ number 25 today. The organization always does ceremonies well, but this was something special, especially when Willie Mays got up and said “Put him in the Hall of Fame.” The Greatest Of All Time has spoken; make it so, BBWAA.

  88. 88
    Ruckus says:

    @joel hanes:
    I posted the other day, my “current” suit is at least 15 yrs old (I’m thinking actually probably closer to 20 now), I haven’t worn it in probably 14 yrs and the last time was the funeral of a woman who worked for me. There were 3 people wearing suits at the funeral, her husband, who also worked for me, the funeral director and me. Funerals and weddings were the only time I wore it. I’ve been to a bunch of funerals since, no suit. And had I worn it, I would have been the only one wearing one. And BTW I also owned a tux for a number of years. Wore that to banquets when I worked in pro sports. Gave it away when I left. I was right, I’ll never have to wear that again.
    ETA I think the suit thing says more about our age than anything else. I remember when a lot of men wore suits to work, even if they worked in a factory or in construction.

  89. 89
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    What it does is erodes the faith other investors have in the market.

    In the age of Trump, only suckers have faith in markets, or anything else.

    Unfortunately, Trump supporters don’t realize how corrosive and self-defeating this way of thinking can be.

    It’s gonna take a lot of work to repair the damage Trump has caused.

  90. 90
    Lapassionara says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): its a song that repeats. Starts with however little monkeys, then goes again with one less. We always started with 10 and worked our way done to none. Not 62! No more monkeys on the bed. But no monkeys died!

  91. 91
    Jay says:

    @Ruckus:

    Nope. War’s would break out that would make “you” safe game with out notice, Privateers would turn Pirate on a dime, Warships crews would mutiny, then turn pirate.

    Still, most ships in distress, were in distress, most ships ( commercial) flew their proper nations flags, signalled correctly. Keep in mind, the peak of piracy, operating out of the Caribbean, was a mere 31 Captains, preying on the Dutch, the British, the Spanish and Colonial ships from the Coasts of Africa to the Coasts of the Americas. At that time, 482 British East Indiamen operated out of Liverpool alone.

    99.9% of the time, a passing ship was perfectly harmless, and was the Captains only source of weather, news, the stock market, road reports, customs and corruption for up to weeks at a time.

    In a period where a child could be hung, after a brief trial, for stealing a loaf of bread, even being suspected of the piracy that was effecting international trade, colonial expansion, etc, could earn you the noose at a masthead trial. Naval Captains would hold the trial at the mast head, the noose would already be around your neck, a Midshipman would prosecute you, you would get three or four sentences out in your defence, the Captain would pronounce sentence, and the crew, already on the ropes, would hoist you to the yard arm.

    Based in the WarmWater ports, the cheaply built merchantmen piracy was built on, would rot out/get eaten very quickly. One of the most common acts of piracy was “cutting out”. Having already seized a merchantman, offloaded it’s cargo, used it for raids, they would sail it into a busy port under a false flag in early evening, lay anchor. At night, they’d load their carronades, arms and any long gun they might or might not have, row quietly over to a fat merchantman, kill her crew and sail away, leaving a rotting hulk behind.

    Gun ranges at the time were 1500 feet at best, for a long gun, 100 feet for a short gun or carronade, 50 feet for a musket. Fog, night, stealth, deception were a Pirates best friend.

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @WaterGirl: I remember THE Cat. It was a cool show. Not sure why it never clicked with tv viewers.

  93. 93
    dimmsdale says:

    Just nodding in to mention that most of Leverage’s depictions of major corporate malefactors (whose victims the Leverage ‘team’ sought to recompense by stealing BACK what the corporate crooks had taken) were/are based on real-life corporate crime, be it knowingly selling harmful drugs (and suppressing negative research), or operating dangerous mining operations (partly by buying off local pols), or operating home-renovation scams that allow the scammers to steal your home legally…..Rogers writes elsewhere about being forced by the network to tone down some of the plots (‘No one would believe a corporation would ever do that,’ he was told). Now that we live in a time of Grand Theft (pace Ruckus) on a grand scale, and completely out in the open, the show’s more relevant than ever, I think.

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): I think your daughter is doing a mashup between “Five Little Monkeys” and “Ten Little Indians.”

  95. 95
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    I had no idea the creator of Leverage was a friend of the blog. I love Leverage and don’t understand why it ended. I still watch the reruns.
    I think the Obama administration made a huge mistake not going after the people who created the housing market crash. Even if they lost the cases in court,these people should have had to go through the hassle of going to court etc. If you’re going to ruin an 18 year old black guys life for pot smoking then some 60 year old white executive who should have. known better should not get off scott free or with a slap on the wrist. Fuck that shit.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay:

    Gun ranges at the time were 1500 feet at best, for a long gun, 100 feet for a short gun or carronade, 50 feet for a musket.

    Source please.

  97. 97
    Brachiator says:

    @Jay: Piracy has often been a long-standing and profitable profession. Folks ranging from Julius Caesar to Cervantes have been captured by pirates. And during the period you focus on, governments used pirates to help accomplish their goals.

  98. 98
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:

    Unfortunately, Trump supporters don’t realize how corrosive and self-defeating this way of thinking can be.

    Even if they realized it, would they give a fuck? No, because it’s good for them, today. They don’t care about tomorrow, they think they can buy their way out of any thing, any time. They’ve been doing this for a long time. Take the DeVos family. Please, take them away…. Amway, her brother is Erik Prince, these people have money, most would say from grifting, which is right next to stealing. Even the shitgibbon thinks he can buy his way out of anything. Of course at some point the shitgibbon was going to get caught, because he always tried to buy his way out at 5 cents on the dollar in place of the normal 10 cents on the dollar. He’s not only an asshole, he’s a cheap fucking asshole. Do you think he sent someone out to the dollar store to buy the gold spray paint by the carton when it was on discount?

  99. 99
    Jeffro says:

    @Steeplejack: that’s totally correct. EVERYTHING has taken a backseat to anti-terrorist efforts since 9/11, despite the extremely low incidence (which hasn’t gotten any lower even with al those resources thrown at it)

  100. 100
  101. 101
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @SWMBO: goes back to the first Gilded Age. Listen to Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirate king song “away to the cheating world go you, where pirates all are well to do”

  102. 102
    Jeffro says:

    @Platonailedit: not all media outlets are one and the same. Trumpov got most of his assistance from the cable news channels and the NYT

  103. 103
    Another Scott says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Heh. I poked around there a little while. This page says:

    Commenters

    When visitors comment on your blog, they too get cookies stored on their computer. This is purely a convenience, so that the visitor won’t need to re-type all their information again when they want to leave another comment. Three cookies are set for commenters:

    comment_author_{HASH}
    comment_author_email_{HASH}
    comment_author_url_{HASH}

    The commenter cookies are set to expire a little under one year from the time they’re set.

    (Emphasis added.)

    The GDPR is causing some sort of weird FYWP time dilation that is making a year pass in 30 minutes.

    Or something.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (“Who loves documentation that is outdated.”)

  104. 104
    HinTN says:

    @WaterGirl: Walked away, refreshed, nym be gone. But available as before. Desktop view on android with Chrome

  105. 105

    @Brachiator: Including Queen Vicki whose airbrushed biography aired on PBS.

  106. 106
    Zelma says:

    @Kay:

    She was hired because he thought he should have at least one black face in the White House and she was the only non-athlete black he knew.

  107. 107
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Brachiator: The government of Newport, Rhode Island was for some time in the late 17th Century quite friendly to pirates.

  108. 108
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: I like wearing a good suit on appropriate occasions.

  109. 109
    Ruckus says:

    @Mai Naem mobile:
    Really if you look at how a modern economy works, we had to rescue the banks. If we hadn’t we would have gone through a far worse depression than the last one. Right or not we all depend on those banks for everything. And they are leveraged pretty far out there. They never could have paid off everyone and all of us would have been standing at the teller window screaming and tearing off heads with our bare hands. Yes we should have gone after at least the most egregious executives, but that would have been all of them. And it’s all intertwined, this economy and who holds the real money and who holds the paper that says you have real money. That part isn’t really a scam, it works as long as everyone plays along. But the super wealthy aren’t playing along right now. They are trying to steal everything not tied down and most that is. They call it control but stealing is a more appropriate word for what they are doing. And it’s not just the money, it’s control of the entire economy. A government normally controls the money but this government is losing that control to the super wealthy. And if the government loses control of the economy to the super wealthy, that will be the end of the government, at least as we know it. It will become an arm of the super wealthy to insure that we all work for nothing and turn over all our wealth to them. Look what is happening to immigration right now. Think about that as you go about your normal day, that could be you, a citizen or not. Grand Theft? What comes after Grand Theft? Humongous Theft? Not so Grand Theft? Grand Theft is like calling the depression, The Great Depression. What was so fucking great about it? It was that the super rich of the time came out the other side, still super rich, that’s what.

  110. 110
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Shakespeare’s history plays aren’t accurate, but they are good art.

  111. 111
    Another Scott says:

    @Ruckus: +1

    86 days to go. We have to win elections to start turning these things around.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  112. 112
    Steeplejack says:

    @Brachiator:

    And during the period you focus on, governments used pirates to help accomplish their goals.

    Ahem, “privateers,” please. And I’ve got my letter of marque to prove my bona fides.

  113. 113
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: You know that nobody will read something that densely written on a Saturday night, right?

  114. 114
    No One You Know says:

    I always loved Parker.

  115. 115

    @Omnes Omnibus: Shakespeare wrote about Victoria? How? Time travel?

  116. 116
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @No One You Know: She and Sophie were the best.

  117. 117
    EBT says:

    Wow, my porn account on Twitter mushroomed up 20 followers in like a day and a half. A nice round 250 total currently.

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Really? You don’t see the analogy?

  119. 119
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I never understand why someone writes more than 5 or so sentences. This isn’t SCOTUS blog.

  120. 120
    CapnMubbers says:

    @Ruckus: Suits with Nukes!

  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Agreed.

  122. 122
  123. 123
    Brachiator says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The government of Newport, Rhode Island was for some time in the late 17th Century quite friendly to pirates.

    Yep. It was a good source of revenue and offered employment to residents. Later, when Rhode Island had a good sized merchant fleet, they went after the pirates and hanged them.

  124. 124
    Steeplejack says:

    @EBT:

    Well, this blog’s not working, so people are looking for other outlets. You should probably put something in the tip jar.

  125. 125
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I wonder how many other ways we differ?
    In those 14 or so years, I’ve taken my suit, which is actually a rather nice one, out of the suit bag and tried it on, once. Took it off and back in the bag. Been there ever since. I just have no place I want to go to wear it. And for a long time I had no place to wear it I could afford to go. Living in CA does that for you. And besides if I wear the suit, I have to wear a tie. Fuck that. Most useless piece of clothing ever.

  126. 126
    CapnMubbers says:

    @Ruckus: Not just “losing control of the economy to the super wealthy”, more like actively handing it over to them.

  127. 127
    EBT says:

    @Steeplejack: It’s my birthday Tuesday, and I recently moved 1200 miles to live with my partners. Cash is tight right now actually :V That said folks should go to if they are adventurous. https://twitter.com/ADirtyTrans/status/1024705024138600448

    [helpful note by M^4 that this is NSFW!]

  128. 128
    Bill Arnold says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    That’s what the article authors meant, I think.

    Well, sure. But it is more fun to think of it as a mysterious constant of human nature. There are such things, e.g. Dunbar’s Number
    (I see that RIM Dunbar is still publishing a lot. Just put this one on my to-ponder queue Primate social group sizes exhibit a regular scaling pattern with natural attractors, 17 Jan 2018)

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: Okay. You have a good idea of how many ways we differ. The everyone who wears suits comment rankled a bit. Don’t worry about it.

  130. 130
  131. 131
    Jeffro says:

    @Ruckus: Paragraph breaks are your friend ;)

  132. 132

    @Bill Arnold: rationalwiki doesn’t do fun.

    That said, the mysterious-constant-ness of Dunbar’s Number is not without controversy.

  133. 133
    Jeffro says:

    @Kay: wait…did Norm Ornstein run that interpretation by Megan McCardle first? ‘Cause she still wants to know who, exactly, is hurt by these Randian Wonderlords executing insider trades and all that.

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Ahem, “privateers,” please. And I’ve got my letter of marque to prove my bona fides.

    New privateer is but old pirate writ large.

  135. 135
    Jeffro says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    What [insider trading] does is erodes the faith other investors have in the market.

    Right! Which is why you’d think Randian ditz McCardle would not excuse it, but would go all full-bore righteous on this…anything that dims peoples’ faith in The Precious ‘Market’ must be smacked down (and possibly burnt at the stake)

    Instead she blows it off. Wonder why other people potentially taking advantage of others (like imagined welfare cheats) irritate her so?

  136. 136
    OldDave says:

    @Kayla Rudbek: She’s more likely to listen to Mark Knopfler’s song on the subject…

  137. 137

    @Jeffro: she doesn’t just blow it off, she actually claims that Collins was *helping* the people he sold to!

  138. 138
    Platonailedit says:

    Fucking karen tumulty.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michigans-all-female-ticket-may-mark-the-start-of-something-different/2018/08/10/4a740708-9cab-11e8-8d5e-c6c594024954_story.html?utm_term=.dcfe8ef92407

    Women running for office are naturally presumed to be an antidote to the status quo, but they face lingering doubts, including whether they are temperamentally suited for executive office and whether they are as competent as men at handling the economy.

    My fav reply (adreed) to this msm tool.

    Really, Ms. Tumulty, if you and other women reporters were treated by the public the same way you and other women reporters treat women as candidates, you wouldn’t have a job. You’d be too worried about whether penis-wielding male reporters would make you jump over extra hurdles to sit at your keyboard and write.

    No wonder people don’t bother reading mainstream media these days. If you’d simply report the news without the endless (and phony) both-sides baloney, we’d all be much better off.

  139. 139
    Jeffro says:

    Btw I’m a little late to catching on to this, but you blues fans should check out Fantastic Negrito’s The Last Days of Oakland and Please Don’t Be Dead. Rocking, soothing, creative, surprising.

    It’ll cover half of that “I Miss Prince” feeling, is what I’m saying. Give it a whirl!

  140. 140
    Platonailedit says:

    html codes for link, bold, etc. gone.

    So, put in a link and it goes into moderation.

    Fuck this shit.

  141. 141
    Corner Stone says:

    I, uh…enjoy a good suit. I also really like a good tie that is well knotted for the outfit. I can’t afford *really* nice suits but I have had a few tailored. IMO, it can make all the difference.

  142. 142
    Fair Economist says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    Fun fact, according to Rationalwiki the Crazification factor is example of the Texas sharpshooter fallacy

    Which it is, or rather would be, if it weren’t basically a joke.

    But, there is an underlying truth to it. In a polarized 2-party system, you can control the country if you can control the slightly larger party. Controlling the party slightly over 50% requires somewhat over 25% of the population, i.e. 27%. So as long as the Republican propaganda machine can keep 27% in its thrall, it can control the country. If they fall below that, they either have to adjust their positions or intensify their propaganda. They usually do the latter. If it rises above that, they can afford to either go more extreme, or relax their propaganda, and in that case they usually do the first.

    So when you’re looking at the fraction of the population support one of the many reprehensible Republican doctrines, it tends to be around 27%. It’s their support goal.

  143. 143
    Jeffro says:

    @Major Major Major Major: From “providing liquidity” to “requiring lubrication”, eh? I never get tired of watching Randian nut jobs twist themselves into pretzels justifying whatever pops into their feeble brains.

    Just be consistent, “libertarians”, that’s all I’m asking. Have some principles and stick to them. The first principle of which should always be, “Would I be okay if someone else did this to me?

  144. 144
    Jay says:

    @Brachiator:

    Sort of.

    In the Classic Age of Pirates, ( not medieval or classical), Privateers had letters of marque to raid on behalf of the Crowns, pirates didn’t,

    Unless, by the time the Privateer got home with the booty, politics had changed. eg. Sir Francis Drake.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIwzRkjn86w

  145. 145

    @Jeffro: I know exactly one consistent libertarian. The rest truly are pot-smoking Republicans.

  146. 146
    Fair Economist says:

    @Jeffro:

    ‘Cause she [Megan McArdle} still wants to know who, exactly, is hurt by these Randian Wonderlords executing insider trades and all that.

    For starters, the people they’re selling to! They are being explicitly defrauded. There are indirect effects too, but that one is very straightforward.

    Is McArdle enough of a tool or an idiot that she doesn’t realize this? (Rhetorical question, since the answer is demonstrably “yes”.)

  147. 147
    Timurid says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The Mughal Empire did NOT approve.

  148. 148
    Yarrow says:

    @Jeffro: They’ll never do that. It would require empathy. They don’t have any.

    Also, such things would never happen to them because reasons. So why should they even consider those things happening to them?

  149. 149
    Brachiator says:

    @Jay:

    Unless, by the time the Privateer got home with the booty, politics had changed. eg. Sir Francis Drake.

    Exactly.

    Pirates! We originated the Booty Call!

  150. 150

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Insider trading is cheating, because you are using information that only you have and the rest of the market doesn’t to make a profit (or avoid a loss).

    It’s also a breach of fiduciary duty, because the people you’re cheating are shareholders. The idea behind fiduciary duty is that corporate officers are given a special degree of trust because they are necessarily acting on information that ordinary shareholders don’t have access to (yet). Because of that position of trust, they have a duty to put the interests of the shareholders ahead of their own personal interests. Taking advantage of insider information to make a profit or avoid a loss at the expense of ordinary shareholders goes directly against that responsibility.

    This is especially important because fiduciary duty is the lame excuse corporate officers use for their companies’ rapaciousness. They’re legally required to do any legal thing they can think of to make a buck; to do otherwise is to let down the shareholders’ interests. They can’t both rely on fiduciary duty as an excuse for acting like a bunch of sociopaths but claim they have no duty to look after the shareholders when it comes to padding their own wallets.

  151. 151
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Not worried a bit. I think it’s almost hilarious. It’s a piece of cloth, it signifies that you know how to dress yourself. If it makes you feel good, super. If you like wearing them super. I don’t, we were discussing them I opined.
    @Omnes Omnibus:
    You won’t, others have. To each his own. You may notice that I’m not suited for twitter either.

  152. 152
    burnspbesq says:

    A couple of things that are worth remembering.

    (1) A lot of behavior that we all think is egregious, Congress has never gotten around to criminalizing. Perfect example: Don Blankenship. His company’s horrific safety practices were, amazingly enough, not Federal crimes; the Federal crime was lying about them on SEC filings.

    (2) White-collar cases are hard to win. The statutes are complicated, the evidence is hard to follow, the jury instructions are often gibberish. I know that the evidence against Manafort on the tax and FBAR charges is overwhelming, but that’s because I do international tax for a living. Does the guy who installs air conditioners for a living get it? Hell if I know.

  153. 153
    Ruckus says:

    @Jeffro:
    Your own words – Randian ditz
    Concise, to the point, doesn’t need paragraph breaks.

    I’ll put on my writers hat when I think they are required.

  154. 154
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jeffro:

    Agreed. Fantastic Negrito es la bomba. The best thing to come out of Oakland since Tower of Power.

  155. 155
    SWMBO says:

    @OldDave:
    @Jay:
    I do like Knopfler’s Privateering. It gives enough of the swagger that someone with a letter from the King would have.

  156. 156
    Jay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Properly laid out, yup, the AC Installer knows it.

    The problem is there are a lot of highly paid people out there arguing it isn’t “really” a crime. The 2008 Collapse is really easy to follow, identify the crimes, the should be crimes, if it’s properly laid out.

    Unfortunately, for every article/news story that clearly laid it out, there were 9,899 hat could only have been crafted to introduce doubt, deflect blame, scapegoat convenient “others” and otherwise muddy the waters.

  157. 157

    @Fair Economist:

    But, there is an underlying truth to it. In a polarized 2-party system, you can control the country if you can control the slightly larger party. Controlling the party slightly over 50% requires somewhat over 25% of the population, i.e. 27%. So as long as the Republican propaganda machine can keep 27% in its thrall, it can control the country.

    This isn’t quite right. That “just over 25%” is the bare minimum assuming you’re working with a straight majoritarian system. In practice, the Republicans can win a governing majority without needing a majority of the electorate; that’s what gerrymandering, overrepresentation of small states in the Senate, and the electoral college get them. And as the Free Dumb Caucasians have proved time and again, even a small minority can hold their party hostage for some outrageous demands if they’re sufficiently dedicated.

  158. 158
    Jay says:

    @SWMBO:

    Barrett’s Privateer’s however, is historically much closer to the marque.

  159. 159
    Steeplejack says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I was listening to Soul Town on SiriusXM the other day, and they mentioned that Tower of Power had just celebrated their 50th anniversary. How time flies.

    “You’re Still a Young Man.”

  160. 160
    jl says:

    @Ruckus: ” Really if you look at how a modern economy works, we had to rescue the banks. ”

    We had to rescue the financial system, in particular, protect the wealth of ordinary workers and businesses that had deposits and were not responsible for the financial crimes and malfeasance that led to the financial crisis. Then, get as much value back to the bond holders as possible to maintain as much confidence in debt contracts as possible. What happened to individual banks is a matter of complete indifference. If protecting the real economy and real people who depend on it meant liquidating large banks and financial institutions, we should have done that.

    One of the real costs, and a huge cost, of saving the individual banks was not the actual dollars and cents of the loans and bailouts given to the banks and that in financial accounting terms, were all paid back, and TV news actors and pundits like to say. I was the foregone income and productive real investment due to shoveling money around for no productive purpose other than saving the worthless and very dispensable hides of the likes of Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other banks. One of the reasons the last two expansions have been so weak is the country wasted so much money saving individual companies that should have been liquidated in an orderly way. If that could not have been done due to laws and regs at the the time, I guess it was an unavoidable loss, but good to remember when a corrupt GOP Congress wants to roll back financial reform.

    Edit: if you are sentimental about old symbols, we could still have Wells Fargo and the olde tymey stage coach. Whatever new company wanted the name could have gotten it in the liquidation of the crooked old bank.

  161. 161
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jay:

    Properly laid out,

    There’s the rub.

    Everybody should read The Chickenshit Club.

  162. 162
    Corner Stone says:

    @jl: This may be excellent info. I’m just going to scroll past it.

  163. 163
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    What is it about some atheists that fancy themselves liberals that make them parrot back right wing talking points? The author even thinks (in a separate post) Bari Weis was a useful voice against the Regressive Left! Ooga booga!

    By the way, I barely skimmed the linked post and I barely know anything about the Sarah Jeong episode. Could someone give me a rundown?

  164. 164
    Doug R says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m sure WordPress uses an expiring cookie

    If that’s true, would individual users be able to find that cookie and extend the expiration date manually?

    Why would anyone want to extend cookies? Aren’t y’all creeped out by ads following you around? Doesn’t Facebook know enough about us already? Do you want to read more than 4 articles a month?
    I set cookies to expire every time I close my browser, don’t need a checkbox. It takes 7 mouseclicks to dig up my nym and post in Firefox, 3 clicks in Chrome.

  165. 165
    jl says:

    @Corner Stone: people can get a little scroll crazy on a Saturday night. I understand.

  166. 166
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @efgoldman: The team dynamics always reminded me of Mission: Impossible, the original TV show (rather than the Tom Cruise movies). And of course they made the theme music very Lalo Schifrin-esque.

  167. 167
    Doug R says:

    @Another Scott:

    The GDPR is causing some sort of weird FYWP time dilation that is making a year pass in 30 minutes.

    Or something.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    So, just move the server AWAY from a supercolossal black hole, or slow it down from near lightspeed, wherever it’s going.

  168. 168
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    In practice, the Republicans can win a governing majority without needing a majority of the electorate; that’s what gerrymandering, overrepresentation of small states in the Senate, and the electoral college get them.

    Why isn’t this an outrage? That a quarter of electorate get to dictate policy to the rest of the country is insane and flies in the face of what it means to be a modern liberal democracy.

  169. 169
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: The organized skeptic/rationalist/New Atheist movement has been shot through with asshole libertarian politics at least since I was following those guys on Usenet in the 1990s, and it affects even many of the members who think they lean liberal.

  170. 170
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    One of the Papers of Record hired Jeong of “GamerGate” “fame” to write for them.

    Trolls mined her twitter feed for texts out of context to try to get her fired for racism.

    The Paper stood up for her,

    Sully wrote an excretablebnon-defense,

    She used his own words against him.

    This front of the Culture Wars quickly became “all quiet”.

  171. 171
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    The US was created as a Republic to protect Slavery. Not much in that regard has changed.

  172. 172
    Corner Stone says:

    @jl: That is sweet of you. I appreciate that. If we were on a forum discussing changing an FJ40 to BJ40 then I would most certainly read every word. But here I just can’t muster the give a shit it takes to read more than a few sentences.

  173. 173
    Fair Economist says:

    @Roger Moore: Sure the exact number can be a little lower with Republican electoral manipulation. With the current gerrymandering of the house they could get by with 25% or 26% – but that’s not enough of a difference to matter with creating an underlying reality to a tongue in cheek rule.

  174. 174
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @Fair Economist: McArdles rationalisation is similar to the insurance fraud rationalisation, “it is only pennies to the people paying for insurance so it is not serous theft.”

  175. 175
    Fair Economist says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    Why isn’t this an outrage? That a quarter of electorate get to dictate policy to the rest of the country is insane and flies in the face of what it means to be a modern liberal democracy.

    Because the people who own the media are friendly to, or actually are, the people manipulating that just-over-a-quarter to get their policy goals. So they aren’t going to report it as a negative thing. Social media can raise a ruckus over something concrete but not over something more abstract or indirect like this, at least currently.

  176. 176
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    It’s a damn shame too. So many of them like to think they’re “logical”. To this individual’s credit, they did criticize Laurence Krauss when several credible reports of sexual harassment came out against him. But yeah, reactionary politics seem to run through these guys (and most of them are guys).

    The author behind Why Evolution is True even uses the term “SJW” unironically. I mean, what serious person does these days?

  177. 177
    Jay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You need to start either with a donor vehicle, right hand drive grey market from South America or Ozzieland, or find a ’56 -’90 Hino Refridgerated Unit from a semi or shipping container.

    Or explore old Canadian Mine sites.

  178. 178
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Fair Economist:
    But it blatantly flies in the face of every myth we’ve ever told about ourselves, against our very self-identity. Y’know, “land of the free, home of the brave”, shining city on the hill, leaders of the free world? All that stuff about freedom and liberty? How can that be abstract?

  179. 179
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jay: I’ve been looking for 10 years. Most are either fancy pants or rust buckets, no in between. I’m also thinking maybe a 1968 Ford Bronco convert.

  180. 180
    rikyrah says:

    They are evil

    Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) Tweeted:
    Trump admin is trying to deport a toddler from Peru who was adopted by Americans as an infant. Yes, you read that correctly. https://t.co/QPTl62MtWw https://twitter.com/studentactivism/status/1028273380242481152?s=17

  181. 181
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    Because 13 Colonies with wildly divergent make ups, goals, economies, ideas and dreams had to be stitched into one united group.

  182. 182
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    You may be on the verge of a very important understanding about national myths: that they are just that, myths.

  183. 183
    jl says:

    @Corner Stone: I do examine the bills you send me for unwanted scrolling effort in minute detail, but you have to admit I pay on time!

  184. 184
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Jay: That doesn’t really answer what I said?

  185. 185
    Jay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Grey market’s offshore now. Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Australia, but only the desert parts.

    The same diesel engine models that make the difference between an FJ and a BJ, power the Hino Reefers, of which there are about 32,000 in junkyards.

    A better course is find a 350 Chevy powered FJ that’s not butchered too bad, get a grey market Turbo Diesel Hilux or Surf or Landcruiser from Vancouver, and an Advance Adaptor kit to move the cleaner, more powerful motor over, ideally with the 5 speed.

    They make aluminum and glass bits for the tub, hood, lid, fenders, they just don’t make doors.

  186. 186
    jl says:

    If this is true, I’m going over to ‘abolish ICE’ whether it’s good politics or not (thought I’m not in the news, so who cares?). And if it’s true seems like an investigation and probably some prosecutions are needed,but IANAL.

    ICE Withheld Deported Parents’ Phone Numbers From Lawyers, ACLU Says
    Immigration attorneys say the government agency deliberately slowed down attempts to reunify migrant families.
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ice-withheld-deported-parents-numbers-from-lawyers-and-advocates-aclu-says_us_5b6cd9c7e4b0ae32af96b27d?ncid=engmodushpmg0000000

    found via Josh Marshall’s twitter.

  187. 187

    Man I feel like somebody should put up a new thread.

  188. 188
    rikyrah says:

    Andre Leon Talley drags Paul Manafort’s clothes. I was in tears by the end.😅😅

    (@MikelleStreet) Tweeted:
    Andre Leon Talley is DRAGGING.

    This is what I want to see. https://t.co/8YT4SpSuo4 https://twitter.com/MikelleStreet/status/1027603258657923072?s=17

  189. 189
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: But you can do that now, right?

  190. 190
    Bill Arnold says:

    Major Major Major Major,
    if you’re looking for a sharp amusing short sci-fi/fantasy story, The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat, by Brooke Bolander
    It can be read as an origin story for the Baba Yaga of Slavic folklore (I assume intentionally):

    “YES,” she said in a loud, croaking voice. “FRUIT FOR THE SHINY APE KING’S FLAT TEETH.”
    “MAMMALS LOVE FRUIT,” her sister added, nodding emphatically.
    The elderly were often saying such things, so the guard took no mind.

    (I identify with the princess, FWIW.)

  191. 191
    Corner Stone says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Why? We’re just now talking about beautiful bodies for sale. Is that a problem?

  192. 192
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    They had to hammer out a deal, that was 50% entrenchment and 50% idealism, in a format that was/is very hard to change.

    Basically, the ability to not agree on governance was built into the compact, and exists to this day.

    In Canada, a Federal Civil Service sets the rules, registration, redistricting and regulations around voteing, set by Federal Laws and the Cencus, to ensure all Canadians get to vote, and the system is fair to all. Provinces follow suit.

    In the US, States decide all this, mostly decided by political appointees dominated by the majority party.

    Rigged system vs. democracy.

  193. 193

    @Bill Arnold: Why thank you, I’ll take a look.

    @jl: AL is editing a couple right now, but I don’t know her shorthand and can’t tell if she’s getting one ready to publish.

  194. 194
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: You seem to have situational awareness and self control, and are conscientious about maintianing orderly operation of the blog. Are you sure you are ready to be a front pager?

    If you put up a pet pic, no one can criticize you (well, Cole might, but that goes without saying…)

  195. 195
    Seanly says:

    I didn’t watch Leverage in its original run but since watched it on Netflix. All in all, it was a fun show. My one complaint would be that it sometimes had an over-reliance on tech that’s not at the level shown. I love good heist & con movies, so Leverage was a good spin on those.

  196. 196
    Corner Stone says:

    Leverage was a garbage show with cheese writing, plots and dialog. It sucked.

  197. 197
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    But here’s the thing: I want them them to be true. And I’m pissed at the people (Republicans) who want to pretend that’s true while doing the exact opposite and undermine that image. I’m also pissed at those who don’t even care, living privileged lives. Because they hurt millions of real people almost every day.

    I think I despise Putin most of all. A fascist, playing god with the world, with hundreds of millions of lives. And he doesn’t care. He doesn’t give one fuck what will happen to them so long as he maintains his grip on power. A man such as this doesn’t deserve to live; to even exist.

    In my darkest moments I wish I was an all-powerful God that could punish these people for the evil that they do.

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  200. 200
    joel hanes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I read Ruckus’s rant, and thought it the best thing in the thread.

  201. 201
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Can’t be bigfooted by Mr. Cole without a fresh thread to stomp upon.

    :)

  202. 202
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Corner Stone:
    In my writing, sometimes I do. What’s your point? Or do you have one besides insulting the OP’s tastes in shows?

  203. 203
    Corner Stone says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    A man such as this

    Put this line in one of your books/stories and no one reads past it.

  204. 204

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I don’t really care what corner stone thinks about Leverage fwiw

  205. 205
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    “But here’s the thing: I want them them to be true. ”

    So work hard for the rest of your life, knowing how the system is rigged, to try to make that true.

  206. 206
    Corner Stone says:

    “A man such as this grew carrots the size of ponies.”
    “A man such as this wiped out Native American villages with a single blow.”
    “A man such as this married women by the dozens and raised a cult like following.”

  207. 207
    joel hanes says:

    @Ruckus:

    Most useless piece of clothing ever.

    Can be among the most comfortable and useful in some of its incarnations.
    Roomy trousers with suspenders are a blessing for some of us,
    and it’s nice to have an assortment of good pockets.
    There’s a reason rich old men in clubs wear suits,
    and it’s not to make them look like Italian menswear models.

    OTOH, the only reason to wear a tie is to demonstrate
    that you never engage in the slightest bit of manual labor,
    because a tie makes working with your hands nearly impossible.

  208. 208
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    Of course you want your national myth to be true. That is how any myth comes by its power: people want it to be true.

  209. 209
    NotMax says:

    Site is back to super slo-mo, apparently.

  210. 210

    @NotMax: I think round about now is when the scheduled backup starts? Which really ought to be incremental if it isn’t already.

  211. 211
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I didn’t think it did. I was just lashing out at CS’ pathetic passive-aggressive bullshit, trying to be snide.

    What kind of asshole talks about a person in such a sneering, detached way in a reply?

  212. 212
    Platonailedit says:

    @joel hanes:

    Yup. Much better than the blog’s resident assholes’ standard gibberish.

  213. 213
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Platonailedit: Got anyone in mind? Like Corner Stone?

  214. 214
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Really, how many more nails will it take to seal up and bury the coffin this theme and the various plug-ins have become? Place hasn’t worked right for going on 3 months now.

    Not casting blame upon you – sometimes even one as mild-mannered as I needs to rant.

  215. 215
    jl says:

    @joel hanes: If the tie is long enough, you can throw it over your shoulder and stuff the pointy ends up your ass. Then it’s out of the way.

  216. 216

    @NotMax: please direct your complaints at Cole.

  217. 217
    jl says:

    @NotMax: The blog has always been on the verge of blowing itself to bits and bytes as long as I’ve read it. For me, one of its charms. Tunch crawled up into the computer one day, and his spirit abides there forever, is the best scientific explanation I can think of.

  218. 218
    opiejeanne says:

    I was wrong last night about the whole island being set on fire, but the early video of it made it seem that way. The whole island is only 221 acres, and they don’t have a fire department. They must have brought that big fire truck across on one of the ferries.
    There is a little more that has come out about the would-be aviator, Rich Russell, but not a lot. His friends and family are in shock and in mourning. The last I saw his body hadn’t been found so he hasn’t been declared dead yet, but that was a couple of hours ago.

  219. 219
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    You’re misreading. It’s an observation, not a complaint. Mr. Cole is well aware of what’s going on within his lair, he doesn’t need additional agita from me.

  220. 220
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    @Jay:
    I just want the world to be a better place where people don’t have to be afraid or struggle in vain their entire lives. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for. History never stops for anyone and I’m just going to have to work harder for the world I want.

  221. 221
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @James E Powell: I particularly loved the episodes with Fred Astaire as Al’s dad, Alastair Mindy. “I’ve heard of stealing from the Government, but stealing for the Government?”

  222. 222
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Mundy, damn it, not Mindy.

  223. 223
    Corner Stone says:

    stackpath!!

  224. 224
  225. 225
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Except that 27% of the voters are hard right, won’t change their minds no matter what the situation is has been noted since Nixon. And let us,

  226. 226
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @jl: Personally, I blame most of the current nonsense in the GOP on them out sourcing their get out to vote to the Evangelicals and Right Wing Media. That just turned the Republicans from a sometimes corrupt party with some vague policy goals into a freak show of crazys out trying to out crazy each other or grifters.

    Historically the Republicans have had a real blind spot for white collar crime since the Civil War. Basically to finance the war the Lincoln administration had to be bend the rules selling bonds on Wall Street and that started the whole “those aren’t criminals, those are American heroes” mentality. And the height of Gilded Age coincided with the Republican control of the government after the Civil War,..

  227. 227
    ThresherK says:

    My favorite little bit was when the squad had to infiltrate a costume party and Tim Hutton went as The World’s Greatest Detective. His late dad, Jim, was a great Ellery Queen for the one season of that show (that shoulda run for 8 years).

  228. 228
    WaterGirl says:

    @James E Powell: Good to know, even if it’s not the answer I would have preferred. thanks!

  229. 229
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: True on Sunday morning, also. I love Ruckus, but you are right – too densely written, I passed right on by. I need white space! :-)

  230. 230
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I never understand

    You could have stopped there in the interest of accuracy.

  231. 231

    @Omnes Omnibus: I thought you were being literal. It may be fiction but its always from the British POV, be it Victoria or Downton Abbey or Indian Summers. Gone With the Wind was fiction too, and a whitewashing of the slave owning south. Yet I have never heard these excuses trotted out in its defense.

  232. 232
    WaterGirl says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: That’s pretty harsh for 9:59 in the morning. What, you couldn’t wait until 10:00? :-)

  233. 233
  234. 234
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Coroner’s Tone: Shoulda stuck with “I never understand,” boychik.

  235. 235
    Lee says:

    I’m also a fan of Leverage. My wife is a huge fan. I remember an article during its run where either John Rogers or Dean Devlin said they actually had to dial the corporate greed/crime back a bit from reality as it would make it too unbelievable.

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