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January 15, 2021

Comments

WV is not a model of good public health service. so something else must be going on.

Purely speculation, but WV has a relatively high percentage of people in some of the first wave categories: elderly, diabetic, compromised respiratory system, etc. It may be easier to find qualified arms to inject.

One of the providers here has been running, at least as I understand it, a small lottery on the side. People who would be in the second wave who can get to a vaccination site on short notice sign up. If the provider hits a point where there's a half-dozen doses left near the end of the day that will expire overnight, and no first wave arms available, they call the lottery people.

Rudy is saying that Trump's impeachment trial defense will be . . . that there was election fraud.
https://abcnews.go.com/US/giuliani-working-trumps-impeachment-defense-argue-voter-fraud/story?id=75302032
Even though the courts have repeatedly ruled otherwise.

This
https://twitter.com/kaitlancollins/status/1350815512926842881

I'd thought we were through with the "cool" discussion, but lo and behold:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday expressed outrage over the deadly Capitol riot, pointing a finger at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for not doing more to secure the building instead of at President Donald Trump, whose rhetoric inspired the violence.

If this isn't some cool fucking nerve, I don't know what is.

Graham is a toady's toady. we might not be impressed by his game, but other sycophants look to him in awe.

i assume.

sun's going down here on the East coast, looks like we may get through the day without anybody else getting shot or killed.

yay us!

on to Wednesday.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/17/2009906/-Trump-s-allies-have-been-marketing-themselves-to-wealthy-felons-seeking-last-minute-pardons

Trump wants $2 billion for his Presidential Library.

Also, from this in the WaPo:


I think he’s going to like being post-president more than he liked being president, because you have a lot of the perks without as many of the restrictions.

Ya think?

The ultimate grift.

Re the Presidential Library... My guess is that Trump will withhold on the order of a million pages of presidential records for this library and the National Archives won't be allowed anywhere close to it. Which leads to the question, how much of the Presidential Records Act will this SCOTUS overturn when the lawsuit gets to that point?

I can't vouch for this report on MyPillow promo codes but it does raise an issue that's been on my mind for years.

Would YOU buy so much as a pillow from Mike Lindell?

Or would you stick to the separation of "real life" from "politics"?

--TP

Trump wants $2 billion for his Presidential Library.

Makes an interesting image. A grandiose (and utterly tasteless, not even counting the enormous, gold-plated TRUMP splashed across the front) building. Holding nothing, except a couple dozen 1 page intelligence briefs -- all just 3 bullet points and a couple pictures. But otherwise? A vast, echoing, emptiness.

Or would you stick to the separation of "real life" from "politics"?

Well, no, I wouldn't buy a pillow from him, but not because of politics. 30-odd years ago I was waking up in the mornings with my neck killing me. I tried more kinds of pillows than I even knew existed. Finally I got a Japanese-style buckwheat-husk pillow. It weighed a ton. It felt absolutely unyielding. The first night I tried it I wiggled my head around so it conformed to my shape, and got as far as thinking, "Yeah, this is so hard that..." before I fell asleep. I'm still sleeping on a buckwheat-husk pillow. My neck never bothers me when I wake up.

I see that "despite fears of a repeat of the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, protests in America yesterday were more muted than expected. Just a smattering of armed demonstrators showed up in state capitals."

So now we know how to keep protests small: flood the crazies' preferred social media with warnings that the proposed rallies/riots are a trap. That infiltrators will start trouble in order to discredit them.

It would be better, of course, to reconnect these folks to the real world. But until and unless an effective way is found to do that, using their extreme paranoia, and their belief in conspiracies everywhere, against them seems like a viable workaround.

That infiltrators will start trouble in order to discredit them.

The perfidy of the Deep State knows no bounds. Only through the ceaseless struggle of the freedom loving masses can we lift this veil of secrecy.

Although if the required report doesn't show what readers already believe (without credible evidence), that will just prove how powerful the Deep State is.

that will just prove how powerful the Deep State is.

Indeed. Therefore, giving it even more power does not appear warranted.

It's awfully late to be posting on this, and I haven't saved the references, but still - It seems the the decision to extend distribution of secret stuff to ex-presidents is not in any statute, but is purely a courtesy matter decided by the actual President. Mr Biden has a long list of first-day actions, but this should be given precedence. Or maybe closing access would be the default in case of inaction.

It seems the the decision to extend distribution of secret stuff to ex-presidents is not in any statute, but is purely a courtesy matter decided by the actual President.

My understanding is that the same courtesy is extended to many of the top people in the former administration. The usual reason given is that, eg, the new Secretary of Energy may want to bounce ideas about a classified topic off someone who knows the background but before the new Secretary's team is really on board. Letting the previous Secretary retain their clearance for a few months makes it legal for the new Secretary to share classified information for that purpose.

I suspect there won't be many occasions where Biden's people want to talk to Trump's people about anything.

I suspect there won't be many occasions where Biden's people want to talk to Trump's people about anything.

There's no perceptible benefit to "bouncing ideas off" of someone who was, after all, merely an incompetent toady for an incompetent President.

I have a suggestion for the War on Error. Sure, let the FBI and whatever other alphabet agencies continue to monitor traffic and gather intel to keep people safe. But whenever you discover a cluster of people involved in paranoia and disinformation, don't send in the troops or federal law enforcement, send in the librarians armed with media literacy and critical questions.

There's no perceptible benefit to "bouncing ideas off" of someone who was, after all, merely an incompetent toady for an incompetent President.

I'm cool with that.

send in the librarians armed with media literacy and critical questions.

But, but.... Librarians are, almost by definition, elitists! And so must be ignored.
/sarcasm (even though I expect it will be seriously said by the recipients)

It seems the the decision to extend distribution of secret stuff to ex-presidents is not in any statute, but is purely a courtesy matter decided by the actual President.

Sending disinformation that that CIA wants routed to Putin? Put Trump on the distribution list!

I have a suggestion for the War on Error. Sure, let the FBI and whatever other alphabet agencies continue to monitor traffic and gather intel to keep people safe. But whenever you discover a cluster of people involved in paranoia and disinformation, don't send in the troops or federal law enforcement, send in the librarians armed with media literacy and critical questions.

I hope we give this a lot of thought. On MLK Day, it's good to remember that domestic surveillance has a checkered past. It's also good to keep in mind that defining "people involved in paranoia and disinformation" can be problematic too. Muslim extremists, Black Nationalists, Republicans? Which of these does or does not belong on the PIPD list? Antifa? No one to the left is PIPD?

Some suggestions:

1. No open carry within 500 yards of any Federal facility (effective range for most higher end rifles), specifically including Post Offices. Since the right to bear is in the US Constitution, reasonable limits of time, manner and place may be applied.

2. Encourage Twitter et al not to deplatform extremist rhetoric.

3. Monitor extremist rhetoric carefully. With probable cause, wiretap and surveil. Arrest when a prosecutable crime has been committed.

4. Bend over backward to avoid the appearance of criminalizing political disagreement. If you want to turn a moderate into an exremist, threaten him/her with jail for disagreeing with you.

Clarifying/probing question: in what way is Twitter not hosting Trump's noxious speech fundamentally different from a bakery refusing to produce a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage?

Is the Supreme Court's justification compromised if it decides for the baker but not for Twitter?

nous, that's just icing on the big 'ol hypocrisy cake.

Clarifying/probing question: in what way is Twitter not hosting Trump's noxious speech fundamentally different from a bakery refusing to produce a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage?

Is the Supreme Court's justification compromised if it decides for the baker but not for Twitter?

Fair question. There are a lot of distinctions, and they go both ways. Legally, I think both have the right--for different reasons--to refuse service. But that isn't my point. I think, as a matter of public safety, letting extremists out themselves, identify themselves, etc. makes it a lot easier to keep track of them. Driving them underground and feeding their sense of grievance seems counterproductive to me. Also, I used the word "suggestions" with its specific meaning.

I think, as a matter of public safety, letting extremists out themselves, identify themselves, etc. makes it a lot easier to keep track of them. Driving them underground and feeding their sense of grievance seems counterproductive to me.

I totally get this, and half believe it myself. But on the other hand, the untrammelled dissemination of this stuff, and the concomitant growth and spread of conspiracy theories (QAnon etc) throughout the population at large, gives me serious pause. It begins to seem more like a public health crisis, a viral spread if you like, and there's an argument for limiting that spread. Was it hsh, cleek or nous who recently linked that game designer's analysis of how some of this has worked on people, like an immersive game that is actually changing people? It is possible that we are dealing with a phenomenon so different from anything before, in speed and effectiveness of spread, that we need to consider new ways to deal with it.

Is the Supreme Court's justification compromised if it decides for the baker but not for Twitter?

Not unless Twitter argues that its terms of service are based on their religion. The Hobby Lobby decision said corporations could have religious beliefs, but only if the corporate ownership was tightly held, eg, Hobby Lobby is a privately owned company.

IANAL, but if I were making up legal theories to force Twitter to carry my noxious tweets regardless, I would approach it from the point of view that their business model depends on the Section 230 protections provided by the government, so this is a 1st Amendment case.

Was it hsh, cleek or nous who recently linked that game designer's analysis of how some of this has worked on people, like an immersive game that is actually changing people?

I missed the link, but it makes sense to me that gaming beyond a certain point may affect an individual's connection with reality (reality itself being subjective in any number of ways), including in some instances causing an individual to stop seeing others as human. But, I think that's true for porn and other sensory overload phenomena, but you'll get a lot of pushback from various quarters on that notion.

It is possible that we are dealing with a phenomenon so different from anything before, in speed and effectiveness of spread, that we need to consider new ways to deal with it.

Maybe. Depending on viewpoint, the same could/can be said about Christianity, Islam, communism, national socialism, states rights, libertarianism and so on. So, who has the objective evaluative chops to draw the fine line between your discomfort zone and mine? I'm not a big fan of thought policing. I'd say that if our government ever gets in that business, a lot of people like me are not going along peacefully with that bit of dictatorship. Believe what you want, act in accordance with the law. And keep an eye on the fringes. In a free society, that's about the best you can do. Heavy emphasis on "free", as in traditional constitutional liberties including freedom of speech, thought, conscience etc. Take away the 'free' piece of it, and all bets are off. I would think that goes without saying, but who knows these days?

The QAnon Game Design article in question: https://medium.com/curiouserinstitute/a-game-designers-analysis-of-qanon-580972548be5

IANAL, but if I were making up legal theories to force Twitter to carry my noxious tweets regardless, I would approach it from the point of view that their business model depends on the Section 230 protections provided by the government, so this is a 1st Amendment case.

Interesting point. I'm pig ignorant of "internet law." Torts, contracts and reasonable extensions thereof are my comfort zone; however, I can follow the logic up to a point. A lot of businesses depend on federal or state protections of some kind (rule of law, ordered liberties and so on). I'm not of the school that thinks benefiting by some gov't involvement waives the right to object to further gov't involvement.

It's thorny stuff, sorting out the lines and what /whether private interests can become so ubiquitous, they then assume certain obligations/limitations of the state.

Depending on viewpoint, the same could/can be said about Christianity, Islam, communism, national socialism, states rights, libertarianism and so on.

I'm also very uncomfortable with censorship, or thought control. But you can hardly say that any of these have been similar in speed and effectiveness of spread. It seems to me likely that, however you decide to cope with it, the phenomenon we are dealing with is different qualitatively and quantitatively from what has gone before.

the phenomenon we are dealing with is different qualitatively and quantitatively from what has gone before.

How so? Christianity v Islam, The Russian Revolution, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War. I'm going to say that the secessionists who invaded the capital do not appear to be of like kind and quality.

A previous advent of technology created a great deal of upheaval and its impact continues to this day. The printing press.

How so?

Precisely, in speed and effectiveness of spread. I'm not talking about the content, I'm talking about how the Internet and social media's instant, mass transmission of these ideas, and their subsequent spread and mutation, renders their effect quantitatively and qualitatively different.

I think there’s a difference between baselessly accusing a large group of people of being Satan-worshipping pedophiles worthy of violent attack and simply disagreeing those people.

Qualitatively different because so enormously quantitatively different.

At what point should Radio Rwanda be drone-struck?

I'm on the record being in favor of nuking Twit/Face from orbit, but that's me.

If a company can be held accountable for the stuff it carries, then it must also have the right to refuse to carry.
So, if Republicans want to strip Twitter & Co. of immunity, they can't reasonably complain when said companies ban users whose postings could be used to go after the companies.
And I see no inherent difference between propganda for/from Muslim extremism, certain Kristian(TM) hate groups, neonazis calling for finishing Hitler's work or other groups calling for a civil war with the intent to murder about half the country (or at least public officials and their supporters on the other side of the aisle).
Certain media personalities and politicians (elected or hoping to become so) are A-OK with all but the first (and define that so widely that anything but constant outright condemnation of Islam or what they mistake for it should be criminalized).

And right on cue, my friend texts me a photo from his brother in DC of a pick-up with a large sign reading:

TRUMP IS PRESIDENT
DEMS LIE, STEAL, KILL
BABIES, LIKE THEIR
FATHER THE DEVIL

GftNC It seems to me likely that, however you decide to cope with it, the phenomenon we are dealing with is different qualitatively and quantitatively from what has gone before.

CharlesWT A previous advent of technology created a great deal of upheaval and its impact continues to this day. The printing press.

The differences between this moment and the historical moment of the printing press - the revolutionary force of the printing press for the spread of ideas was profound and it led to the Christian religious wars all through Europe that followed. But printing presses were large and expensive, and paper was not trivial to acquire and store and transport, and transportation between places was time intensive. I shudder to think what the European wars of religion might have been like if they had had even the telegraph around for coordination and the spread of information.

Copyright exists in the form it does because the copying of a document was not a trivial thing. It was enforceable because presses were large and expensive and hard to hide. Piracy was impractical.

What we have today is everyone with their own printing press, and infinite supply of paper, and a wireless telegraph, and an automated spymaster who can encrypt whatever we want to keep from prying eyes. That is a radically different potential for the dissemination and coordination of rebellion.

This is why our age is the age of conspiracy theories, stochastic terrorism, and lone actor mass murder.

It's thorny stuff...

Don't get me started, it's not good for my blood pressure. When Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, they didn't listen to those of us who understood IP protocols and where the internet would be going, and they got the basics wrong. When the FCC set out the rules for internet service providers a year or so later, based on the law, they made the choice that inflicted minimum immediate damage (but was still going to be a disaster). Under Obama the FCC tried to correct the mistake by ignoring large parts of the law and was correctly slapped down. Now we're at another critical place based on content distribution where the law says there are things like newspapers that are responsible for the content (including comments) on their site, and internet media that has no responsibilities.

We've had 25 years to get it right and we still haven't. And all of this is on Congress.

nous: What we have today is everyone with their own printing press, and infinite supply of paper, and a wireless telegraph, and an automated spymaster who can encrypt whatever we want to keep from prying eyes.

Absolutely agree.

And yet, even today, "free" speech costs money to disseminate. Any self-respecting capitalist must agree that capital investment by profit-seeking free-market entrepreneurs is required for speech to get widely disseminated "for free".

That raises a question for self-respecting capitalists to answer: should capital-risking, job-creating entrepreneurs be required by The Guvmint to disseminate speech they disagree with?

It's not a rhetorical question. As a left'ish Democrat, I don't take the answer for granted. So I would appreciate any answer that people who use terms like "left'ish" care to expound.

I've been saying for a while that the Constitutionally mandated "post offices and post roads" should, in the 21st century, be interpreted as last-mile connectivity and ISP hosting provided by the USPS to every address in the country. Among other things, this would allow every RWNJ in the US to "speak" to all the other RWNJ's in the US without having to print flyers and buy stamps. Maybe that would be good for democracy, maybe not.

I'd like to know whether "conservatives" and Libertarians(TM) would object to such a scheme on either (d)emocratic or Free Market principles.

--TP

in what way is Twitter not hosting Trump's noxious speech fundamentally different from a bakery refusing to produce a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage?

Terms of service.

To that point, I'm reminded of Areala's suggestion about the great wedding cake controversy - if you don't want to make cakes (or take picture, or whatever) for gays (or whoever), advertise that fact.

That, in turn, might hurt your business, or might help it. Who knows? But it saves folks you don't want to serve the demeaning experience of being told that you will serve everybody in the world, except them.

As far as the feds monitoring people's social media stuff, two thoughts:

1. Social media is the public statement par excellence. I'm not sure privacy can be assumed.
2. I'm absolutely against policing or suppression or persecution of people based on what they say or think. Responding to what people *do* is a different story.

The power wielded by actors like Facebook or Google is a natural consequence of their status as monopoly or near-monopoly enterprises. We used to frown on monopolies, now we're kind of OK with them.

They're convenient. Right? Everybody's on FB, you can buy anything on Amazon and it will show up in a day or two.

There's a flip side. The flip side is that it's their way or the highway.

If we don't want that, we need to return to a public posture of not allowing monopolies. That will result in a loss of some efficiencies and convenience.

Pay your money, and take your choice.

I've been saying for a while that the Constitutionally mandated "post offices and post roads" should, in the 21st century, be interpreted as last-mile connectivity and ISP hosting provided by the USPS to every address in the country.
. . .

I'd like to know whether "conservatives" and Libertarians(TM) would object to such a scheme on either (d)emocratic or Free Market principles.

For this (mild) conservative, treating "last mile" (which, in practice, might be significantly longer -- especially in lightly populated areas) connectivity as the 21st century equivalent of post offices just makes sense. In fact, I'd be inclined to mandate fiber connections to every house. Giving people access to accurate information (even if they choose to ignore it) and educational opportunities is just that important to the economy and the health of the nation.

I'm absolutely against policing or suppression or persecution of people based on what they say or think. Responding to what people *do* is a different story.

I'd say rather that I oppose suppression or persecution of people based on what they think or advocate peacefully doing. Responding to what they *do*, or advocate doing by non-peaceful means, is a different story.

In short, I think advocating violence should count as doing something, and thus is susceptible to government in the interests of keeping the peace.

1. No open carry within 500 yards of any Federal facility (effective range for most higher end rifles), specifically including Post Offices. Since the right to bear is in the US Constitution, reasonable limits of time, manner and place may be applied.

Apart from the courts striking that down, I guess that could be impractical in some areas, e.g. by creating barriers through facilities being less than a 1000 yards apart. And how would one get a reading that one is approaching one too closely?
I fully agree with the general idea but the details would have to be carefully worked out (before the courts strike it down anyway).

Was it hsh, cleek or nous who recently linked that game designer's analysis of how some of this has worked on people, like an immersive game that is actually changing people?

twas i.

the item.

the gist is: Q isn't just a collection of conspiracy theories. rather, there's someone ('Q') driving it, who is deliberately setting up little vague puzzles that steer people into thinking they're uncovering deep mysteries (when in fact it's usually just conformation bias and apophenia at work). the cult is lead to believe there's a truth out there that looks something like XYZ, when the world is absolutely full of XYZs so it's easy to spot, once people start looking. this convinces people that they're onto something big.

FTA:

QAnon grows on the wild misinterpretation of random data, presented in a suggestive fashion in a milieu designed to help the users come to the intended misunderstanding. Maybe “guided apophenia” is a better phrase. Guided because the puppet masters are directly involved in hinting about the desired conclusions. They have pre-seeded the conclusions. They are constantly getting the player lost by pointing out unrelated random events and creating a meaning for them that fits the propaganda message Q is delivering.

There is no reality here. No actual solution in the real world. Instead, this is a breadcrumb trail AWAY from reality. Away from actual solutions and towards a dangerous psychological rush. It works very well because when you “figure it out yourself” you own it. You experience the thrill of discovery, the excitement of the rabbit hole, the acceptance of a community that loves and respects you. Because you were convinced to “connect the dots yourself” you can see the absolute logic of it. This is the conclusion you arrived at. More about this later.

Everyone on the board agrees with you because it’s highly likely they were the ones that pointed it out to you just for that purpose. (more on this later)

...

Every cloud has a shape that can look like something else. Everything that flickers is also a jumble of Morse code. The more information that is out there, the easier it is to allow apophenia to guide us into anything. This is about looking up at the sky and someone pointing out constellations.

Q has led a lot of people, by making them think they're smart, into believing nonsense.

Q isn't just a collection of conspiracy theories. rather, there's someone ('Q') driving it

If Putin's boys aren't Q, they damn well should be paying him big bucks.

Family values in Trump's partycult
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/01/19/capitol-rioter-reffitt-threaten-children/

“If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors … traitors get shot,” Reffitt, 48, said to his son and daughter

If Putin's boys aren't Q, they damn well should be paying him big bucks.

i keep wanting to think that.

but after reading that article, i realize that theorizing about the grand game based on 'things that kindof make sense' is exactly what Q is all about. so, you can't win.

nous - This is why our age is the age of conspiracy theories, stochastic terrorism, and lone actor mass murder.

Ours is the times of marvelous technology coupled with the capitalist ethos....(they are still the real radicals), or one could be disconcerted by the thought that evolution has not suitably prepared us for the internet age.

Michael Cain - We've had 25 years to get it right and we still haven't.

As I do not know an IP protocol from a mashie-niblick, I'd like to see more on this.

For years now, the Republican Party has been radicalizing at a furious rate, moving rightward at a far faster clip than the Democrats have moved to the left. Political scientists even have a term for it: “asymmetrical polarization.” How we got to this frightening pass is complicated, but chief among the reasons is that the G.O.P. has been on a decades-long campaign to delegitimize government. Run against it long enough, and eventually you have a party that wants to burn the system to the ground.

From an article in today's NYT on McConnell.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/19/opinion/good-riddance-leader-mcconnell.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Wait, I thought "Q" worked for MI6?

Brilliant intel op, if so.

I thought "Q" worked for MI6?

Brilliant intel op, if so.

Brilliant, and brilliantly successful -- IF it is an intel op. It may be just a lone nut case, glorying in how much attention he's getting. But my thought is: Who benefits?

But my thought is: Who benefits?

the people running Q YouTube channels benefit.

My thinking on Q and Russia is that Russia, and maybe others, are almost certainly leveraging the BS that comes out of QAnon's conspiracy machine. Set up fake accounts and share. You don't have to be the one to create the virus to be the one to spread it.

I can't help noticing how likely it is that any given opponent of deplatforming has not themselves been subjected to right-wing harassment and (attempted or successful) violence, and is not intimately connected to someone who has.

This isn't always the case, but it's a very good rule of thumb at the outset. And it is wearying to once again see (among others) people I love and care about being held up as acceptable sacrifices for a bloodless notion of freedom.

I am not being snarky when I say that I would like to see every deplatforming opponent live for a month, or a year, with the routine harassment dished out against those who run afoul of the right-wing machine - the efforts to mass-report them with false allegations, the filling up of DMs and e-mail with gore and porn, the doxxing and stalking, the whole deal. And short of that, I would like each of them to feel a real burden to produce an actually viable plan for what such targets might possibly do.

I know a double-digit number of folks who have had to give up all public use of the Internet because of this stuff. A few have successfully (so far) built up handles that haven't been connected to their prior identities. Others have just given it up and only ever use mail and messaging. They and other people who have managed with less total but still drastic sacrifices need something, and if the answer is never to constrain their abusers, what the hell is it?

I will no longer accept vague good attentions. People who are comfortable sacrificing my friends need to deal with this shit, already.

walk into a restaurant, draw a dick on their menu board, they kick you out.

have you been deplatformed, or are you just a dick?

William O. Douglas was THE SCOTUS liberal back in the day. Here is what he said about the topic at hand:

Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea. That is why freedom of speech, though not absolute, (Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire supra, 315 U.S. at pages 571-572, 62 S.Ct. at page 769) is nevertheless protected against censorship or punishment, unless shown likely to produce a clear and present danger of a serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvenience, annoyance, or unrest. . . . There is no room under our Constitution for a more restrictive view. For the alternative would lead to standardization of ideas either by legislatures, courts, or dominant political or community groups.

As an aside, I'm pretty sure the FCC has no meaningful right to control cable news, only broadcast news and even then, the ability to regulate is heavily circumscribed.

ISTM, the real issue is "no social media or darwinist/fantasist social media with no middle ground." But I could be wrong.

Ben Sasse has a message for the (R) party.

Speech is often provocative and challenging.

I agree with this, and also agree that the 1st A guarantees the right to hold, espouse, and articulate pretty much any point of view short of deliberately and obviously inciting people to acts of violence.

The question regarding platforms like FB and the providers of underlying technical services like AWS is:

Are they obliged to provide their services to any and all takers? Or do they have the discretion to define terms of service that their customers have to abide by, even if that constrains the speech that those people can engage in *on that platform or using those services*?

The fact that being banned from FB or AWS effectively bans you from the vast majority of social media and cloud services is a function of the near-monopoly status of those providers.

Do we want to introduce additional obligations on private vendors of online services because they happen to own an overwhelming share of their markets?

Congress is obliged to make no law restricting freedom of speech. FB ain't Congress. So where do they fit?

Do we want to introduce additional obligations on private vendors of online services because they happen to own an overwhelming share of their markets?

Congress is obliged to make no law restricting freedom of speech. FB ain't Congress. So where do they fit?

I think this is where the conversation got started. My personal opinion is that, until the law changes, the various social media platforms have the right to set their own terms of service. Whether, bigger picture, that is a *good* or a *bad* thing societally is anyone's guess and will likely vary over time and circumstance.

From a law enforcement perspective, balancing upside and downside, I favor open access to all FB/Twitter type platforms so that the crazies can out themselves (I'm now repeating myself, so sorry for that) and be monitored.

A constitutional lawyer would have more insight than me, but another twist is that politicians use FB and Twitter like oxygen. I smell some First Amendment smoke if politicians can hold forth at a "public" forum yet be theoretically protected from competing views, criticism, etc.

Ben Sasse has a message for the (R) party.

I think McConnell is going to try to get enough votes to convict. I know MM is reviled here as the worst of the worst, but he really is less awful than DT and he knows DT is bad long term for the Repub brand.

The fact that being banned from FB or AWS effectively bans you from the vast majority of social media and cloud services is a function of the near-monopoly status of those providers.

AWS holds less than a 40% market share for cloud services. The problem is that all of AWS, Microsoft (Azure), Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, RackSpace and the rest have terms of service that preclude Parler. If the service providers choose to enforce them. I mention that last point because Trump and several of his advisors clearly violated Twitter's terms of service for most of his time in office, but were held to a different standard. AWS allowed Parler to operate until there was lots of publicity about people being banned by Twitter and flocking to Parler.

Congress is obliged to make no law restricting freedom of speech. FB ain't Congress. So where do they fit?

FB's business model depends entirely on Section 230 protections. If they have liability for what their users post, they're done -- they simply can't police it adequately. I don't know if it would stand up in court, but there's at least an arguable legal theory that because FB's business is only possible because of Congress's actions, they are subject to the same rules about free speech as Congress.

I think that the real problem here is not a technology problem, it's an ease-of-use problem. FB and Twitter make adding people to a social group easy. They encourage users to do so. (Why else is FB constantly suggesting new friends for me? Especially the skimpily dressed Russian women when there's nothing in any of my posts suggesting that I have an interest in such.) Parler's users could accomplish their aims with 20-year-old peer-to-peer technology. But it's not easy.

I think McConnell is going to try to get enough votes to convict.

Yes, looks like he's throwing him under the bus.

Trump's usefulness to McConnell has come to an end.

I know MM is reviled here as the worst of the worst, but he really is less awful than DT and he knows DT is bad long term for the Repub brand.

I completely agree that Trump's usefulness to McConnell is ended. So throwing him under the bus makes sense.

But I'm not so sure that McConnell is that much less awful than Trump. He does less overt damage than Trump. But whether the (somewhat)-behind-the-scenes damage he does outweighs that is, I think, an open question.

there's at least an arguable legal theory that because FB's business is only possible because of Congress's actions, they are subject to the same rules about free speech as Congress.

But the same could be said of a large number of businesses. For example, an enormous chunk of our agricultural industry is only viable because Congress has enacted subsidies and price support payments. Without it, those businesses couldn't survive in their current configuration (or maybe at all).

Without it, those businesses couldn't survive in their current configuration (or maybe at all).

Perhaps. When New Zealand did away with its agricultural subsidies and price supports, the sector grew much larger. Of course, its configurations changed a lot too.

The Turtle is a cold-blooded tactician and strategist, the one who does the real job (of evil from our POV) in the background and thinking medium to longterm. The Newt was (actually still is) a despicable grifter whose grand schemes fell (at least partly) through because he overplayed his hand and tried to harvest too early out of personal greed. Jabbabonk is a walking ID only in it for himself and his personal ego. The Newt systematically poisoned the well handing The Turtle the playing field. Jabbabonk is just the loudest donkey cavity. If you ask me, The Turtle is the most dangerous, the Newt the most despicable and Jabbabonk the most obnoxious. Without the work of the former two he would have never reached the position to get a mob to storm the Capitol.

Why else is FB constantly suggesting new friends for me? Especially the skimpily dressed Russian women when there's nothing in any of my posts suggesting that I have an interest in such.

Don't know whether they were Russian or not but I use to get a lot of those. But not any in recent months. My impression was that the friend requests were initiated by the women themselves. Perhaps as a way to recruit customers. In any case, it was ladies one-third my age with two-thirds of their clothes missing.

My FB feed apparently thinks I need a pair of thigh-high crocheted leggings.

So much for algorithms.

You guys make me SOOOOO glad that, while I do have a FB ID, I don't actually have any presence there. (I just have it for those occasions when I want to read something which requires me to log in.)

For the alternative would lead to standardization of ideas either by legislatures, courts, or dominant political or community groups.

This does not follow. It's illegal to lie for financial gain. Why should it be legal to lie for political gain?

One should be permitted to argue for any idea. One should not be permitted to base one's case on lies.

Who decides what is a lie? The courts. We have no problem in letting them decide what's a lie in fraud trials. Why should politics be different?

"Speech is often provocative and challenging."

Limbaugh (substitute any name conservative bomb thrower you like) claims to be an entertainer, as did John Wilkes Booth, though the Booth was a superior actor to the former lout.

Limbaugh's an arsonist who yells "Fire" in crowded theaters. It's a lucrative gig. Then, after the theater burns down, he bleats that he was merely yelling "Theater" in a crowded fire.

Here's some free speech: Limbaugh will be dead soon from natural causes. That is merely a reflection of the turtle's pace of real, deserved justice.

These insurrectionist conservative movement traitors and killers are nowhere near done with us.

Not one of them from top to bottom of the barrel of deplorables believe they've done anything unlawful, if even wrong.

Much, much worse is ahead as we go through the civilized motions yet again and expect the their next gambit to reflect our civilized behavior.

"In a break with past protocol, the federal government that Biden is set to lead tomorrow did not provide an airplane for the president-elect to travel to Washington, CNN reports.

It’s not clear what led to the decision. Biden will be flying private."

That it is somehow still "not clear" is clearly the sort of willful stupidity of the sort the subjects of Mafia hits practice after receiving the kiss of death and then going out to eat at the corner restaurant. It is the kind of willful ignorant hopefulness practiced by minorities throughout history who procrastinated escaping across frontiers and borders as genocide darkened their doors.

Whether they have their free speech curbed or not, and whether those curbs meet our constitutional standards (whatever those moving targets can be guessed to be through time) or not are pointless questions.

This malign conservative movement will not take "yes", "no", or "maybe" for an answer.

Because their question is: "We are going to kill all of you, whether you give us the free speech platforms to tell you that beforehand, or not, so did you want "yes", "no", or "maybe" to be your last word?"

Charles wrote:

"In any case, it was ladies one-third my age with two-thirds of their clothes missing."

Several dozen jokes come to mind. It seemed when we were one third the age we are now, despite the so-called sexual revolution Rod Dreher regrets he missed, considering how much raucous fun he has been misled to believe it was, that the ladies our own age were wearing two full sets of clothes at all times.

"My FB feed apparently thinks I need a pair of thigh-high crocheted leggings."

Did you order your man bag online?

%-)

I've never been on Facebook or any similar social media.

You lucky duckies get the all of me.

All y'all have been living wrong. My FB ad feed is mostly DnD dice, craft mead, drinking horns, heavy metal bands with demos, and guitar ads.

I know MM is reviled here as the worst of the worst, but he really is less awful than DT and he knows DT is bad long term for the Repub brand.

And yet, you know, he really is MORE awful than DT because he knows (and has always known) what the constitution said, and how his oath to protect it was supposed to work, and not only did he not give a damn, he moreover played everything he did purely for advantage and with no consideration to the serious harm he was enabling to your republic and its democracy, let alone to the "Repub brand". He is the apotheosis of KNOWING ambition, corruption, cynicism and lack of principle, writ not just large but gigantic. Whereas DT is an ignorant, lying, grifting, corrupt piece of sh*t who knew nothing, did nothing, and thought he could wing one of the hardest jobs in the world like he winged and lied his way through everything else in his worthless life.

Reviled? I guess.

I'm not on any social media either. Just as well, as under recent circs I'd probably be on various watch lists!

"It's illegal to lie for financial gain."

If that statement was true, we could make a prison of the entire country.

Small print could go the way of the dodo bird.

Mark Twain's definition of a gold mine as "a hole in the ground with a liar standing next to it," could be retired.

We elected Donald Trump despite this imaginary illegality of lying for financial gain. Full stop.

Lying for financial gain is an American form, like quilting.

Opioids, penny stocks, NRA guns and accounting, boner pills, the health food supplement industry.

The Republican Party works overtime vanquishing the regulatory apparatus guaranteeing some semblance of probity.

I've eaten most of the "largest, world-renowned hamburgers" in the country and not ten miles down the road, there's yet another one.

I have a few worthless stock certificates, from when there were such things, that were officially printed lies.

American "art" form.

FB wants to sell me sneakers, snarky t-shirts and cat toys.

https://digbysblog.net/2021/01/ftr-it-wasnt-a-hoax/

Did you order your man bag online?

Dunno. Maybe it was the hacking knot?

And lest we forget, further to the rightly reviled Mitch McConnell, from JDT's digbys link:

Because Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, was insisting there was no Kremlin operation, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got in line. He refused President Barack Obama’s request to join the White House in issuing a bipartisan response to Putin’s assault. McConnell sided with party—that is, Trump—over country.

And he sided with party - that is, Trump - over country again and again. Which makes his current apparent concern about what McKinney calls "the Repub brand" purely laughable.

It's illegal to lie for financial gain. Why should it be legal to lie for political gain?

One should be permitted to argue for any idea. One should not be permitted to base one's case on lies.

That is also the standard to which, I believe, lawyers are held. They can argue for their clients, and present whatever evidence they wish to that end. But if the lie to a judge in court, they are in big, big trouble. (Which is why Trump's lawyers were so extremely careful to make clear to the judges they were in front of that they were NOT saying that there was election fraud, and that they were not claiming to have evidence of same.)

You're talking about holding politicians to the same standard. Although I would hope that lobbyists would get held to that as well.

And he sided with party - that is, Trump - over country again and again.


yep.

McConnell is only willing to step up when there's nothing to lose. now that Trump is fatally wounded, he's comfortable stepping up to take his turn twisting the knife. but when Trump was ascendant, McConnell wouldn't lift a finger if it meant giving the Dems even the slightest win.

a man of principles.

Looks like Melania doesn't want any of that stink on herself, either.

She can never evade the stink of having participated in the birther lie, however.

The outgoing Third Lady of the United States, nee Melania Knauss, turned a bigger profit on her sexuality than Stephanie Clifford, d.b.a. Stormy Daniels, by any accounting except perhaps an Evangelical Christian one. It remains to be seen how that "family values" crowd will view her when she tries to cash out while He, Trump still has a penny to his name.

--TP

End of support for war in Yemen.
https://twitter.com/RodgerShanahan/status/1351664151093891074

Looks like Melania doesn't want any of that stink on herself, either.

She was pretty obviously in it for the money. With Trump's finances looking like crashing this year, there's no reason to stay. It's Trump-style loyalty, after all.

She was pretty obviously in it for the money.

It's way beyond me to figure out what these people have been in it for. They're so far from anything I can understand - and I certainly hope it stays that way. I have no interest in figuring out Melania, Donald, or any of his kids.

What's the Money Honey in it for?

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/bartiromo-keeps-up-trumpy-lie-dems-dressed-up-in-maga-gear-and-attacked-congress

Money first, but I wouldn't discount honey.

I'm betting that Bartiromo was talking about the dude that went to record it all on video, who claimed in Rolling Stone that he was a BLM supporter but that the capitol police had no reason to shoot Babbit. That's enough of a truth on which to float the larger lie.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2021/01/fox-news-decides-its-not-right-wing-enough


Well, the Fox brand is pretty poisonous outside their bubble. So, no real opportunity to pick up viewers from outside. But at the same time, their audience is getting poached from the right. So, the only way to hold on to viewer numbers is to move right. Not really a surprise they are doing so.

End of support for war in Yemen.

Sounds good, let's hope they follow through. It's ironic (or depressing) that Blinken would make that statement, as he was a leading hawk on Yemen in the Obama administration.

Here is Blinken on Yemen 6 years ago:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security/u-s-expedites-arms-shipments-to-coalition-bombing-yemen-idUSKBN0MY1TL20150407

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