If It Isn't Subsidized, It Shall Be Prohibited

Last month, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) suggested the government give every school-age child his own iPad. According to The Hill, when he was subsequently mocked for the proposal by right-wing talk radio, he strangely defended his idea by arguing "that technology is a product of the First Amendment, and also necessary to help maintain First Amendment rights."

This month? Jackson has reversed course, and is now assailing the iPad as a job-killer, and—again, weirdly—as a foreign threat to the First Amendment.

I wish I were making this up.

A few short weeks ago I came to the House floor after having purchased an iPad and said that I happened to believe, Mr. Speaker, that at some point in time this new device, which is now probably responsible for eliminating thousands of American jobs … now Borders is closing stores because, why do you need to go to Borders anymore? Why do you need to go to Barnes & Noble? Buy an iPad and download your book, download your newspaper, download your magazine....

...what becomes of publishing companies and publishing company jobs? What becomes of book stores and librarians and all of the jobs associated with paper? Well, in the not-too-distant future such jobs simply will not exist.

Steve Jobs is doing pretty well. He’s created the iPad. Certainly it’s made life more efficient for Americans, but the iPad is produced in China. It’s not produced here in the United States. So the Chinese get to take advantage of our First Amendment values, that is, to provide freedom of speech through the iPad to the American people.

You really can't argue with that logic. Mostly because you really can't comprehend it.

Please, no one tell Jackson about what has happened to the typewriters

Reason.tv video on your iPad and your patriotism:

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  • ||

    ...what becomes of publishing companies and publishing company jobs? What becomes of book stores and librarians and all of the jobs associated with paper? Well, in the not-too-distant future such jobs simply will not exist.

    And all the scribes that were put out of work by Gutenberg!

  • WTF||

    what becomes of publishing carriage companies and publishing buggy whip company jobs? What becomes of book stores stables and librarians groomers and all of the jobs associated with paper horses? Well, in the not-too-distant future such jobs simply will not exist

  • ||

    As a horseman, I would like to mention the double irony in WTF's comment.

    The horse industry, as a recreational sport, is thriving. There are millions of horses in North America today and their owners support an immense number of veterinarians, feed suppiers, barn builders, saddlers, tack shops, clothing makers, boot makers and even carriage and buggy whip makers.

  • Nomic||

    Good idea, WTF! If he thinks jobs are more important than freedom, let's apply his prioritizing to history:
    what becomes of publishing companies plantations and publishing company masters? What becomes of book stores slave drivers and librarians fugitive slave trackers and all of the jobs associated with paper tracker dogs? Well, in the not-too-distant future such jobs simply will not exist
    Hell, I owned a print shop until two years ago. Why did I get out and start working by the hour? Yeah, people can increasingly do this stuff on their own, but mainly I was tired of dealing with all the government crap.
    Do a minimum of three kinds of taxes every month, five kinds of taxes every quarter, four kinds of taxes every year. Then you have to get at least DEQ and EPA permission to upgrade your machines (even if they're less polluting), and then sometimes you can't get an answer for three years? I might not be Atlas, but I Shrugged. I'd rather draw minimum wage in a convenience store. At least the robbers there are honest enough to hold their own guns.

  • Jason||

    Don't forget about the people who work in the slave hotels where you can keep your slaves while on vacation.

  • fish||

    Lets be honest...regardless of whichever position he stakes out....there will be the opportunity to shakedown somebody.

  • Paul||

    Is Jesse Jackson, Sr. the power behind this throne?

  • Spencer||

    Sounds like he's definitely the BRAINS of the operation... how sad is that!

  • The Reverend Jackson||

    That's my boy son!

    ** Head swells with pride, eyes get farther apart **

  • Octothorpe||

    No kidding about the eyes. I figure he's the first African Amoeban American about to split in two.

  • Tim||

    Probably what happened is that an aid told him that his damn i-phone has recorded all of his visits to strip clubs and the Illinois State Police downloaded it.

  • Rich||

    +i

  • fish||

    +i.....?? Complex numbers now used for ratings?

  • Spencer||

    That's plus imaginary points.

  • Rich||

    They have absolute value, although there's generally some argument.

  • Trespassers W||

    *groan*

  • yonemoto||

    +banach

  • ||

    Now if we could just get (i-1) more commenters to give him a +i, Tim will be up to -1 points!

  • robc||

    I hate the commenters in the upper left quadrant.

    2nd against the wall.

  • Doc S||

    And this is another example of why I hate the politicians in my home state.

  • ||

    I think you are being a little bit 'localist'.

    There is no reason that you can't hate politicians from elsewhere just as much.

  • ||

    Don't hate the home state, hate the politicians.

  • Sudden||

    And love the pizza

  • ||

    Deep dish sucks

  • ||

    What pizza? You mean those edible toilets?

  • waffles||

    Mmm...tastes like someone took a Chicago-sized dump in my mouth.

  • ||

    Sandi???

  • Zeb||

    Hey, as long as it is thoroughly cooked and tastes good, I have no problem eating shit.

  • ||

    There's a reason human waste makes poor fertilizer...our guts are super efficient. Eating bull shit, otoh, might make a nutritious, post apocalyptic snack for those so inclined.

  • ||

    Remember Mel Reynolds ?

  • cynical||

    I remember Mal Reynolds.

  • Federal Dog||

    Makes you wonder how people get to be so completely in cognitive disarray.

    To flip from one preposterous extreme to the other in one month flat signals a mind flummoxed by fact, logic, and low -- in fact, by anything except whatever emotion it feels from moment to moment.

  • cynical||

    Or just being a demagogue who knows his electorate doesn't pay attention.

  • Spencer||

    Look, according to this story, he wanted students to get I PODs, not I PADS. Can't you tell that one is a must have for all students and the other kills jobs and freedom?

    This is not that hard to understand people.

  • Tim||

    IPADS- that's a feminine hygiene product no?

  • Spencer||

    According to Mad TV, yes. Yes they are.

  • ||

    Jesse Jackson Jr.: Still trying for that elusive simultaneous gum chewing and farting bifecta.

  • ||

    Further proof that we will never reach Peak Retard.

  • ||

    Retards are made by bacteriological processes deep in the Earth.

  • ||

    We need a new word to replace "retard." Even if you don't give a shit about offending the mentally handicapped and their families, you have to recognize that it's unfair to the mentally handicapped on the grounds that they could never fuck over our society the way Jesse Jackson, Jr. can.

  • ||

    Nobody calls retards retards any longer, so I think a retard as someone not mentally deficient, but rather deliberately obtuse. I'm keeping retard.

  • ||

    That's actually a pretty good point... sorta like the "fag" episode of South Park.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The asteroid can't get here soon enough.

  • OO||

    what makes you feel that'll cause any improvement?

  • Otto||

    It's going to hit Ohio.

  • waffles||

    The surfing on lake erie will be epic, EPIC.

  • ||

    When my liberal friends argue for this that or the other needs to be done by the government, I try to get them to understand, they are saying, I want to cede more control of my life to people like this. Morons that wouldn't last a day in a real job. They just don't get it. Is JJ Jr one of those Top Men ?!

  • Your Favorite Queer||

    "Is JJ Jr one of those Top Men ?!"

    I hear tell he's a big, sissy bottom.

    Kiss kiss!
    YFQ

  • ||

    You aren't my favorite queer, but you are high on the list.

  • ||

    What SugarFree said, unless you're actually Scott Thompson.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Second.

  • Jerryskids||

    How can a politician from Illinois not know that you cannot force everybody to buy something on First Amendment grounds, but you can easily force everybody to buy something on Commerce Clause grounds? Jeez, what a doof!

  • ||

    So the Chinese get to take advantage of our First Amendment values, that is, to provide freedom of speech through the iPad to the American people.

    I can't stop laughing.

  • Spencer||

    They're takin' our (Steve) Jobs!

  • Tman||

    Think of the iPad as sorta like the constitution, except it's all metal 'n shiny 'n stuff.

    Our founding fathers clearly envisioned the right of all Americans to ruin their lives through an addiction to Angry Birds.

  • Sudden||

    Which isn't even that compelling of a game.

  • ||

    Jesse Jr is a frigging genius! For all these years, people have debated where our rights come from. Is it God, nature, our humanity, the government? Finally, Jesse Jr has given us the answer.

    The rights of man come from - The iPad.

  • ||

    So the Chinese get to take advantage of our First Amendment values, that is, to provide freedom of speech through the iPad to the American people.

    Huh? Teh evil Chinese are using free speech against us, in order to provide free speech to us? Is that close?

    This dude is dumber than some of our trolls.

  • Max||

    No. No he isn't.

  • cynical||

    She didn't say he was dumber than all of our trolls.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    That's got some win to it right there.

  • OO||

    jackson need not worry. electronic data storage decays MUCH faster than paper. decades v hundreds or thousands of years

  • fish||

    In a sane world the data would live just long enough to get him removed from office.

    Sigh.

  • ||

    It's incredible how someone with the reasoning ability of your average 4th grader can get elected to the U.S. Congress. This country is in a world of hurt. Shaka, when the walls fell,....America's best days are definitely behind her.

  • ||

    Ain't gerrymandering great.

  • lil w ||

    yup it is turdblossum

  • ||

    The average IQ of the American public is...average.

    The idiots are the most easily swayed too. Once someone locks down the dumbest 50%, he just need one more person to win a majority.

    If elections are mostly a means to try to legitimize idiots making choices for me on my behalf, then there's got to be a better way.

    It doesn't legitimize me having to suffer some stupid law--just because Jesse Jackson, Jr. joined a majority of idiot representatives and voted for it.

  • Average American voter||

    The average IQ of the American public is...average

    Really...you're too kind.

  • Zeb||

    Unfortunately, it's not just idiots. High IQ and sound political decision making do not seem to correlate too closely.

  • Coeus||

    The correlation would probably be a lot stronger if it weren't for the 15 straight years of government approved programming that the vast majority of us go through.

  • Pip||

    "It's incredible how someone with the reasoning ability of your average 4th grader can get elected to the U.S. Congress."

    The mirror image of his constituents.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    It's incredible how someone with the reasoning ability of your average 4th grader can get elected to the U.S. Congress.

    Hell, that's setting the bar high. What about the idiot who was afraid Guam (I think it was Guam) would tip over if we sent too many more troops over there? And what about the idiot whatsername who was wondering if they were going to send the Mars Rover to where we had planted the flag back in the 1960s?

    Just like a lot of main stream journos, a lot of politicians haven't the slightest, foggiest of a fuck of an idea about anything remotely involving science. If it requires a critical analysis of facts or empirical data, their eyes pretty quickly glaze over and they start to get sleepy.

  • ChrisO||

    JJ Jr. is a congressman from Chicago. I don't really see what "elections" have to do with it.

  • peachy||

    I live in his district, which is so blue that a dead marmot would take 80% of the vote if it had a (D) next to its name on the ballot.

  • ChrisO||

    The dead marmot would get 105% of the vote if he has the right friends at City Hall.

  • ulape||

    Can we organize a campaign to draft the dead marmot to primary him?

    Dead Marmot 2012!

  • Octothorpe||

    That's because he IS the smartest one in his district.

  • ||

    I don't know what's more disturbing, the suggestion that we need to be protected from technology or the suggestion that we need to be protected from our own choices.

    The latter, I suppose.

  • ||

    It’s not produced here in the United States. So the Chinese get to take advantage of our First Amendment values, that is, to provide freedom of speech through the iPad to the American people.

    You need exponential notation to measure this amount of stupid. If there was some way to turn this kind of stupid into energy, we'd be sailing to the stars.

  • ||

    Ad astra per stupiditas.

  • ||

    I'm getting that on a plaque for the bridge of my starship.

  • The Ghost of Frank Zappa||

    Stupidity is the basic building block of the universe.

  • OO||

    im stealing ur screen name

  • Zeb||

    I'm still trying to figure out how he managed to get the First Amendment involved in his idiotic statements.

  • ||

    That part stuck to his ass last time he wiped.

  • GILMORE||

    iPOD or iPAD? First line is confusing.

    There is/was a guy on Foreign Policy magazine's AfPak channel named 'Lal Qila' who is sort of a terrorism apologist, believing everything in Pakistan is the fault of conspiratorial mechanizations by Hindoos and Joos, and that the long-term solution to end islamic fundamentalist terrorism is to (not kidding), "give everyone in Pakistan an iPhone".

    Seriously though, the guy will rant about 'death to america' and 'crafty hindoo nazis', then calmly assert that Pakistanis deserve free iPhones. Its never clear exactly why, just that he seems to see them as some sort of magical-power-device that has the ability to bring clean water, lower infant mortality, improve literacy, etc. Who knew? Him and Jackson could probably carry on an interesting conversation.

  • A Witch||

    iOfNewt.

  • Jesse Jackson Sr.||

    How proud I am. My son is a chip off the old poverty pimping block.

  • kawliga||

    LMAO

  • Al Sharpton||

    His pimp hand is strong.

  • Tim||

    Are the Jacksons really that much different from the Assaads?

  • fish||

    They aren't gunning down the opposition......yet!

  • ||

    well, the Jackson's have more gold records.

  • Waggoneer||

    This guy can turn on a dime, because his only morality is the legitimacy of government force.

  • Sudden||

    Sounds like an ideal choice for car czar

  • ||

    You know what it kind of reminds me of?

    Cargo Cults!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cults

  • ||

    The Cargo Cults taught people that consumer electronics and other cargo was really meant for them! It's just that the people in charge won't let the good people it was intended for have it.

    So they make good people work for their cargo.

    But someday, someone is going to come and bring consumer electronics for all of us--regardless of whether we work for it!

    Apparently, Jesse Jackson, Jr wants to be that person.

    The man's trying to start a Cargo Cult, right in front of us!

  • omg||

    If I ever get rich, I'm going to pull off what I think will be the biggest IRL Troll ever by impersonating John Frum and bringing and airdropping a shitload of cargo to that island.

  • ||

    "In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behaviour that they had observed of the military personnel operating them."

    I've seen that behavior in the industrialized world so many times, it isn't even funny.

    If we dress like businessmen, go to the businessmen's schools, then we are entitled to the same money the businessmen are making!

    ...and if we don't get the same money the businessmen are making, then it isn't because we aren't doing anything profitable--it's because something is wrong.

    Can't they see our business suits? Didn't we go the business school? Why aren't we getting the business money?

    Where's my iPad cargo?!

  • cynical||

    Just remember -- when someone asks you if you're a god, you say "Yes!".

  • TheTruth||

    YOU FOOLS! SOON THE PEOPLES ARMY WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR RIGHT TO NOT SLEEP IN YOUR HOUSES!

  • U-233||

    T.H.White meets crony capitalism?

    (That which is not mandatory is forbidden)

  • Obama's Volt||

    I will insist on windmills made in China to power me.

  • ||

    I thought the Volt towed its own windmill around with it for "power on the go."

  • ||

    I hear they are going to experiment with roof mounted pin wheels.

  • WTF||

    And driving fast powers the windmill, so you never need any outside source of power!

  • Thermodynamics||

    If you'll allow me, I would like to comment on that proposal.

  • ||

    Shut up, nobody asked you. Jerk.

  • Devil Inchoate||

    Yeah, you and your "laws".

  • kawliga||

    The Luddite from the 2nd congressional district speaks. One wishes his incomprehensible hyperbole was unique.
    J.J. Jr. please take a seat between Rep. "Dummy" Waters and Rep. "Atlantis" Johnson.

  • ||

    Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.

  • ||

    So JJ Jr. is The Truth?

  • ||

    JJ Jr. needs to add smart phones, all the other tablets, and all PCs to this list. But then maybe someone might pick up on how stupid he is.

  • ||

    The Law of Comparative Advantage is hard to understand.....and it is a violation of the first amendment....or something.

  • ||

    ""Mr. Speaker, that at some point in time this new device, which is now probably responsible for eliminating thousands of American jobs … now Borders is closing stores because, why do you need to go to Borders anymore? Why do you need to go to Barnes & Noble? Buy an iPad and download your book, download your newspaper, download your magazine....""

    Ok, I get the idea that he might (cough, cough) be defending jobs at bookstores. But he doesn't seem familar with the E-book craze. Or perhaps he's heavly invested in Amazon.

  • Devil Inchoate||

    He realized that Borders was one of his campaign donors.

  • Almanian||

    Well, the good news is that we now have TWO idiots named "Jesse Jackson" from which we can select.

    Moar choys = gud!

  • mark Lipstein||

    This could be one of the dumbest mother fuckers in the world

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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