September 16, 2016 Last Updated 8:56 am

Don’t look now, but I think the patients have been let out of the insane asylum

Morning Brief: It is Friday, which is a good thing because this week needs to come to an end, put out of its misery, boxed up and shipped to some foreign land

This week feels like it will never end. There has been so much news, much of it crazy, that it is hard to understand where all this insanity is coming from. It is almost enough to begin to have sympathy for someone like Peter Thiel who has given up on democracy and now wants a strong man to rule the nation and create the Libertarian utopia – except that Thiel’s idea are, of course, bat-shit crazy, too.

There seems to be only two schools of thought among politicians today: one says that a nanny state can protect us from all evils, and the other believes that government is the source of all evil and so laws and regulations should be thrown out the door.

But, hey, all this is fodder for the media, right? So, it should be the best of times of all of us.

Let the good times roll.

Scotland’s Culture Secretary seeks to restrict online pornography

online-scotlandThe Herald:

The Government’s Digital Economy Bill would require companies to introduce suitable age verification measures for online pornography with websites that fail to comply hit by financial penalties.

However, there are concerns about how the new rules would apply to websites that do not charge people for access to content and those based overseas…

…Do you have a clear idea how this Bill will deal with foreign sites and free sites?”

Ms Onwurah said there was “not a clear idea” about how the Bill would deal with such sites.

(Thank God that outside of Scotland pornography doesn’t exist, otherwise implementing this might be a problem.)

Trump campaign, but not Trump, says Obama was born in the US


Donald Trump’s campaign says the billionaire now believes President Barack Obama was born in the United States — but the Republican nominee still can’t bring himself to say it out loud and in public.


Donald Trump passed up yet another opportunity to say he accepts the fact that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, promising to make a “major statement” on Friday morning in front of his latest hotel project and telling Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, “We have to keep the suspense going, OK?

But he also blamed his opponent Hillary Clinton for raising doubts about Obama’s birthplace during the 2008 campaign, despite no evidence that she did so.

(The media want Trump to say something that he knows he shouldn’t. Why? Just last month, the NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll showed at 72 percent of Republicans “still doubt” that President Obama was born in the IS. Forty-one percent disagreed with the statement, “Barack Obama was born in the United States,” while only 27 percent of Republicans agreed with the statement.)

Missouri: The Shoot-Me State

king-of-hearts-400St. Louis Post Dispatch:

Gun rights in Missouri were expanded this week by a victorious Republican supermajority in the Legislature. Will we have more senseless mayhem or a greater sense of personal safety?…

…The marquee section generally allows gun owners to pack them concealed without the need of passing the special training and paying permit fees the state has required since 2004. The issue has divided Missouri politics, largely along urban-rural lines, much longer than that…

…Another key change is in the definition of “stand your ground,” which generally protects a person using deadly force to defend his or her home or vehicle. The new law no longer requires people to attempt to back away from trouble in public, as in a tavern parking lot, before using deadly force if there is fear of bodily harm.

Toelke said that part of the law “is going to have to be pinned down more” for deputies who are called to public disruptions.

The New York Times (editorial):

The measure has drawn no great national attention, but it certainly provides further evidence that gun safety cannot be left to state lawmakers beholden to the gun lobby. Democrats opposed to the Missouri bill called it a “perfect storm” of lowered standards for the use of deadly force and an invitation for people to be armed without responsible controls.

The measure was enacted by the Republicans, despite strong public opposition and warnings about the threat to public safety from the state Police Chiefs Association. Everytown for Gun Safety, one of the groups fighting the gun lobby, noted that stand-your-ground laws result in disproportionate harm to communities of color.

The Kansas City Star,

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander today joined the list of Missouri politicians clinging to the hope that their love of all guns will get them elected this fall.

Kander, currently the secretary of state and an Army veteran, released an ad showing that he can put together a rifle while blindfolded.

(Reminds me of ‘King of Hearts’ – in the insane asylum it is the sane person who appears out of place.)

Playboy sees sales soar despite no nudity in magazines

NY Post (picked up by Fox News):


Americans are liking what they are not seeing in Playboy.

The 63-year-old men’s magazine has seen newsstand sales jump 28.4 percent in the first six months of its dropping nude photos from its pages, industry statistics show.

Yes, no nudes is good news for Playboy, which gained wider newsstand distribution once it said no to nakedness — starting with the March issue — and that has sparked an increase in single-copy sales, to 47,203 a month, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

Paid subscriptions dropped 23.2 percent, to 582,765, in the same six-month period, revealing the title’s larger challenge of replacing older subscribers with a new generation of male readers.

(This must be all about New Math, something I struggled with. From the AAM statements this is what I see: single copy sales rose due to the first issue without nudity (Jan/Feb double issue), which sold 125K copies. The June issue, on the other hand, sold only 25K single copy, 5K fewer than the same issue the prior year. Meanwhile, print subscriptions have fallen from 734,035 last year to 558,300 this year. I guess that in the new world of magazine publishing this equates to soaring sales.)

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