Free Press

Global Press Freedom Looks Pretty Shaky, Says Freedom House

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Freedom of the Press 2013
Freedom House

Over the past year, Britain has debated, and is on the verge of implementing, a scheme for state control of the press, even as media outlets put up fierce resistance. South Africa's parliament passed a bill putting journalists in danger of espionage charges. The European Union pushed for state regulators to ensure the press upholds "European values" and "the public function of the media." The EU also funneled funds to local advocates of the same. Other generally open countries, including Australia and New Zealand, either narrowly averted state domination of the press or else continue to mull the idea. So, it's with trepidation that we peek through our fingers at Freedom House's 2013 report on the state of press freedom around the globe and … oh. That's not good.

As Freedom of the Press 2013 puts it:

Ongoing political turmoil produced uneven conditions for press freedom in the Middle East in 2012, with Tunisia and Libya largely retaining their gains from 2011 even as Egypt slid backward into the Not Free category. The region as a whole experienced a net decline for the year, in keeping with a broader global pattern in which the percentage of people worldwide who enjoy a free media environment fell to its lowest point in more than a decade. Among the more disturbing developments in 2012 were dramatic declines for Mali, significant deterioration in Greece, and a further tightening of controls on press freedom in Latin America, punctuated by the decline of two countries, Ecuador and Paraguay, from Partly Free to Not Free status.

I think the key phrase here is, "the percentage of people worldwide who enjoy a free media environment fell to its lowest point in more than a decade." That's not a good development, even allowing for those lucky places that swam against the current and either gained or retained a little more liberty to cover and criticize the doings of the powers that be.

Note, however, that some countries get dinged not because (or, at least, not just because) of increasingly unfriendly legal environments for press outlets, but also because traditional media companies may be under economic pressures that cause, for example, established newspapers to cease publication. It's unfortunate when a media outlet can't continue to operate, but it doesn't necessarily follow that the market once served by that newspaper is now less free. It doesn't even follow, in the world of blogs, Twitter and Facebook, that the market is now less informed. Greece is rightly taken to account for "heightened legal and physical harassment of journalists," but also for "closures of, or cutbacks at, numerous print and broadcast outlets." Those closures are sad, but not surprising, in a country suffering an economic implosion, and they don't represent the same sort of phenomenon as legal targeting of journalists. Likewise, Israel's "indictment of journalist Uri Blau for possession of state secrets, the first time this law had been used against the press in several decades," seems a much more legitimate complaint than the closure of the newspaper, Maariv, because it couldn't compete with Israel Hayom, a popular free daily.

What's interesting is that we live in an age of exploding outlets for information. The Internet, social media, Twitter and a range of new technological means for sharing text, images, audio and video reports about what is going on as it's going on have empowered individuals and organizations as never before to spread information far and wide. These new capabilities also frighten government officials. Notes Freedom House:

The trend of overall decline occurred, paradoxically, in a context of increasingly diverse news sources and ever-expanding means of political communication. The growth of these new media has triggered a repressive backlash by authoritarian regimes that have carefully controlled television and other mass media and are now alert to the dangers of unfettered political commentary online.

While bloggers and tweeters can be (and have been) arrested just like old media journalists, new media tends to be more elusive and harder to control than newspapers and broadcasters with their brick-and-mortar locations. The result may well be governments that step up their efforts at control even as information slips through their fingers as never before. That's not an ideal situation, with less than 14 percent of the world's inhabitants living in countries where press freedoms are respected, but it's certainly better to live in a world in which technology makes control of the media exceedingly difficult than to live in one where the repression detailed in this report is as effective as it might have been in the past.

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  1. Great J.D. You’d probably let the Kochs buy a printing press.

    1. There’s a problem with the Kochs having a printing press?

      1. In Los Angeles there is.
        https://reason.com/blog/2013/05…..st-pension

  2. But remember, there is no greater threat to freedom of the press than the evil Kochtopus!

  3. Libertopia!!!11!

    But serially, isn’t this precisely the direction that the media wants the industry to go?

    Or do I misinterpret journalists calls for licensing, more 1st amendment restraint, and government oversight of their own industry as asking for more freedumbs?

      1. Exactly. Is there anything more liberating than not having to think for yourself?

    1. I think they think that they will be exempt because they are “professional journalists”. So what they think they are asking for–muzzling of the proles and their blogs–is not what they will end up with, but they’re not known for their critical thinking skills.

      1. Every industry that calls for regulation operates under the assumption that they will be protected due to the political power they have due to already existing.

        Businesses which don’t exist yet and won’t be allowed to exist due to over regulation are notably unlikely to lobby. At least until we invent a time machine and allow inter-temporal lobbying.

        Which is why scum bag journalists are in favor of certain free speech restrictions. It restricts those who would dare steal the prestige, privilege and power that comes with being a ‘real’ journalist.

        1. I had the unfortunate experience of listening to Pat O’Brien on the radio yesterday. He was concern trolling that “bloggers”, and Twitter wouldn’t cover the Jason Collins story with the dignity and political correctness that “real” sports journalists and media could. He implied that blogs, websites, etc. should not be able to operate.

    2. We need “reasonable” and “common sense” regulation.
      People could be killed (by government goon squads).

    3. The pen is mightier than the sword. If it’s dangerous to allow mere peasants to own the tools of war, then clearly they should not be allowed to possess the press.

  4. “As Freedom of Press in 2013” link leeds to an error for me.

    1. “Uncaught exception thrown in shutdown function!”

      God dammit if that doesn’t sound like the future of baseball than I don’t know what does!

      1. “I don’t get this. Is Blernsball the exact same as Baseball?”

        “Baseball? God forbid”

        “Face it Fry: Baseball was as boring as Mom and apple pie. That’s why they jazzed it up.”

        “Boring! Baseball wasn’t.. Hm. So they finally jazzed it up?”

    2. Awesome. Their Website crashed.

      1. Like a slashdotting? A reasoning?

        “I’m sure they’ll listen to Reason.”

      2. Awesome. Their Website crashed.

        Oh my God! We’ve contributed to a decline in internet free speech!

  5. The lights are going out, and the potential for a new Dark Age is real. Freedom of speech, one might say, is essential for the functioning of a free state. It is antithetical to the establishment of a tyranny.

    1. It also means less pr0n.

      1. It’s worse than I thought!

      2. Nah, got to let the capite censi have their circenses to go with their EBT panem

      3. They can have my porn when they pry it from my…

        Never mind.

        1. …cramped, lube-covered fingers? Yeah, good luck holding on to that.

  6. Ok serious question (on Reason, I know right?).

    Being an optimist, in the LONG view, of humanity’s freedom, seeing steps backwards in the last few decades is a little unsettling. BUT I pose the following hypothesis for the commentariat to address (not Warty):

    If we view the modern world as an analogue to the old individual territories and countries (rome, gaul, britain), due to more frequent travel, better planet wide communication, and higher standards of living, then can we assume that we will follow the same path of Fragmentation, Unification, Tyranny, Revolution on a planetary scale?

    If so, what does that look like in the modern context and what is the end result?

    Show your work, and no Tulpa baiting.

    1. In a system that lacks an incentive to repeal crappy rules, but instead has an incentive to respond to the consequences of crappy rules with more crappy rules, the logical conclusion it totalitarianism, an the only escape is collapse or revolution. Unfortunately the new system will likely lack an incentive to repeal shitty rules, and the process repeats itself.
      That’s my take on history.

      1. But as with Steven Pinker’s argument on the historical decline in violence I too see a historical decline on totalitarianism. Some simple and broad examples are the path from “Deities walk among us” to “Deities appointed me the king” to “I am king but only cause you people let me” to “Ok, no king but a more inclusive form of rule”

        That has been a broad progression (with ups and downs) for most individual countries/populations. Now with a “smaller world” are we going to start over and go through this again but as a whole planet?

        1. Considering the damage done to the BoR in the last 30 years, I am less optimistic.

          1. hard to argue.

          2. But consider all of the terrible Wilson-era decisions that are gone.

        2. I mean totalitarianism under the sheer weight and volume of laws as the reaction to the consequences of a law is five more laws, which generate twentyfive with generate a hundred and twentyfive and so on…

          1. *which, not with*

            1. Ohh, I am with you, but the revolution step takes care of that. one way or the other.

              1. Revolutions often fail and result in worse tyranny than what they sought to overthrow. I believe that’s what will happen in the US. Failed revolution resulting in a police state with curfews and checkpoints. A cop in body armor with a machine gun on every busy corner. Random searches of homes. People being hauled out at gunpoint. Oh, wait. That was the manhunt in Boston.

                1. again, i agree in the short term but that never lasts. And with greater communication and mobility I think it will drive such times to historic lows (granted that could still be 30-50 years at a time).

                  1. The end will come by collapse, not revolution.

                    Government consumes increasing amounts of wealth while actively preventing the creation of new wealth. The logical conclusion is economic collapse. You think it’s bad now? You ain’t seen nothing yet. It’s going to get worse before it gets really bad, and then worse after that.

                    1. does collapse = forced revolution?

                      Check Republic/Slovakia? Rome?

                    2. fyi, slow day at working for da man…so I gots me some time.

                    3. I don’t know details. I’m not prescient.

                      Just looking at the logical conclusions of certain polities.

                    4. I’m not prescient.

                      MARKET FAILURE!!!

        3. But as with Steven Pinker’s argument on the historical decline in violence I too see a historical decline on totalitarianism.

          Huh? Totalitarianism was virtually unknown in the world until the late 1800s.

          1. I should clarify: divine-right monarchies/God-emperors/etc are not the same thing as totalitarianism. Totalitarianism requires state control of every aspect of life, which Louis XIV and Nero couldn’t have imagined in their wettest of wet dreams with the level of technology they had then.

            1. divine-right monarchies/God-emperors

              These are the epitome of totalitarianism. The King is the only owner and the only one with rights. Simply because their technology prevented them from imposing on large swaths of their population doesn’t mean they weren’t totalitarian regimes.

              1. Looking at the wikipedia article on “totalitarianism”, I think what you’re describing is more “authoritarianism” (though I’m not entirely comfortable with that term for most monarchies either, which had a complex power structure vis a vis the lords etc):

                The term ‘an authoritarian regime’ denotes a state in which the single power holder – an individual ‘dictator’, a committee or a junta or an otherwise small group of political elite – monopolizes political power. However, a totalitarian regime attempts to control virtually all aspects of the social life including economy, education, art, science, private life and morals of citizens. “The officially proclaimed ideology penetrates into the deepest reaches of societal structure and the totalitarian government seeks to completely control the thoughts and actions of its citizens .”
                Totalitarianism is an extreme version of authoritarianism. Authoritarianism primarily differs from totalitarianism in that social and economic institutions exist that are not under governmental control. Building on the work of Yale political scientist Juan Linz, Paul C. Sondrol of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has examined the characteristics of authoritarian and totalitarian dictators and organized them in a chart:

                1. Oh look, Tulpy-Poo is going to go off into the weeds of pedantry and semantics instead of actually saying anything. Remember, folks, this is what’s called substantive contribution, unlike you glib fucks who actually make real points or at least make funny jokes.

                  1. UNSERIOUS COMMENT DETECTED. TULPABOT3000 WHINE SUBROUTINES ENGAGED. WHINE WHINE WHINE WHINE WHINE

                    1. Not really. I agree with Sir Tolkien about medieval England, for example, being more free in some ways than postwar England, despite the former’s formal autocracy compared to the putative democracy of the latter.

                  2. unlike you glib fucks who actually make real points or at least make funny jokes.

                    Yeah, like anyone here has ever made a real point or told a funny joke. Get your head out of your ass, glibertarian.

            2. When the government can take your property and kill you basically at its discretion, you are living in a totalitarian regime.

              Claiming anything else is just word play.

              1. Don’t disagree with him too strongly… you’ll get your comment deleted.

              2. That’s not what the word originally meant, and blurring the definition in that manner renders it less useful. The word was intended to distinguish War Socialism, Communism, and Fascism from previous kinds of autocracy. There are very very important ways that Louis XIV’s regime was different from Hitler’s.

            3. If the monarch didn’t take your property, the Church would.

              And if you dissented, the Church burn you for heresy if the monarch didn’t have you disembowled for treason or lese majeste.

              1. True, though people could and often did play the Church and state against each other.

                1. Only among the aristocracy.

                  For the peasants – 95% of the population – it was oppression all the way down. Read Barbara Tuchmann’s A Distant Mirror; the treatment of the peasants is comparable to the Holodomor.

    2. It is getting through the “Unification, Tyranny, and Revolution” phases of that that is tricky.

      Most “revolutions” are exchanges of one tyrant for another (or worse, exchange of a relatively open regime for a outright tyrannical one – cf. October 1917).

      I’d rather put the whole thing off for a few centuries. Give me time to emigrate to Galt continent on Nova Terra.

    3. In my more optimistic moods, I foresee cheaper travel, commerce, and communications undermining the very notion of borders and nations. The world will become simultaneously more provincial and more interconnected.

      But the states will not go gently into that good night.

    4. I go with Entropy.

      1. Entropy is freedom from the oppression of gravity…awesome.

        1. (and the strong, weak, and em forces as well i guess)

      2. Not sure what you mean by that. While in pop physics it’s considered a synonym for disorder, at a macroscopic level, entropy destroys diversity and promotes boring uniformity.

        1. So you voted for Bloomberg?

    5. Despite globalization, I don’t see a successful global hegemony any time soon. While the “neo-liberal” Western civilization is still strong, the Muslim world is increasing in both power and influence. Likewise with the greater Sinosphere.

      1. It doesn’t have to be a hegemony. It simply (as I am suggesting) may ACT like one with regards to liberty. Several countries going through freedom and liberty movements in different way around the same time sort of thing.

        1. Several countries going through freedom and liberty movements in different way around the same time sort of thing.

          I’m not sure if that’s possible. I believe liberty is a result of specific cultural values in a specific historical context. I am skeptical of that occurring in a multicultural world, that is, a world without any sort of cultural hegemon.

          Though, it would be nice if it did happen.

          1. interesting. I have made the assumption that freedom is the “natural” state of humanity (yes, yes, i know…throw poo) and thus all cultures would eventually arrive but if their separation is to disparate then it may take much longer to reach full dilution on a planetary scale.

            1. I have made the assumption that freedom is the “natural” state of humanity

              I would say freedom is the natural desire of the individual, but the natural state of humanity is people with weapons lording over as many others as they can.

              1. It’s probably closer to “freedom for me but not for thee” is the natural desire of the individual.

              2. I would say freedom is the natural desire of the individual, but the natural state of humanity is people with weapons lording over as many others as they can.

                Depends on what you mean by “natural state.” If you are the only person on the planet would you be crippled, or somehow lessened by not having someone to restrict your desires? Would you require someone to tell you what to do?

                Let’s say there is another person introduced… Is there no avenue for peaceful interaction? One must lead and the other follow for anything to happen?

                1. One must lead and the other follow for anything to happen?

                  Course not, but on a macro scale, unfortunately it by far the most typical, although not mandatory, outcome.

                2. Dude, you just stole my argument from three years ago against Warren and the definition of government…well played sir, well played. But can you do THIS???

                  *performs rudimentary somersault

                  On point though, I am saying that fundamentally human beings tend toward liberty more than subservience. That we voluntarily organize does not conflict, what happens is a few opportunists take advantage of a larger tenancy towards naivety.

                  1. That we voluntarily organize does not conflict, what happens is a few opportunists take advantage of a larger tenancy towards naivety.

                    I also look at the concept of “social grooming,” among other things, for trouble here. There’s a finite (though statistically flexible) number of people that any individual can be intimately involved with at any given time. As a tribe experiences success it hits a point where more and more individuals stop having the same emotional impact on other individuals. Societies develop elaborate mechanisms to cope with the resulting “othering” as it were, but it eventually runs up against the inherent struggle over scarce resources existing in any society. At that point coalitions tend to form and one comes out on top. I think the problem starts, from a libertarian perspective with the social grooming problem.

      2. HM,

        I don’t really see the Muslim world getting more powerful. [Insert remarks about Portugal publishing more book, number of patents, etc here]. The only thing that the are from the West Coast of Africa to Mindoro has is petroleum and a lot of people in not so good circumstances.
        Now, I would agree that the Sinosphere is in better shape – assuming China does not pull one of its periodic spectacular implosions (or demographically turn themselves into Japan writ larger).

        1. As a point too I would argue the entire Eastern Region is MUCH more free in the last 200-300 years than ever before…even red china is getting on board.

        2. …assuming China does not pull one of its periodic spectacular implosions…

          China will pull one of it’s periodic implosions. Bank on it.

        3. Petroleum is power, puns aside. Fortunately for us, the Muslim world hasn’t been very prudent with its economic power, electing to spend it on vainglorious super-projects (like building island resorts that no one invests in) instead of investing in their infrastructure or building up their military power.

          Culturally, they are increasing in power. As the Arab Spring has shown, Islamism is increasingly attractive to the large population of male youth looking for an identity. While t-shirts and jeans can be found in the Middle East, they still haven’t replaced the ubiquitous thobe, while in the Sinosphere, someone walking down the street in tradition clothing (hanfu) would get strange looks, to say the least.

          1. Petroleum is power, puns aside.

            Well, petroleum is power if you allow it to exist in a free market system. If the government takes over oil production and uses it to pay off cronies and hold down the serfs, it tends to actually stifle economic growth and results in stagnation.

            Compare the impact of oil in Texas to Saudi Arabia. Texas has seen an economic explosion which has spread across every sector of the economy. Saudi Arabia is nothing but an oil fiefdom. That’s despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has much more oil and has been pumping it for longer.

            Something like 75% of government revenues is oil related in Saudi Arabia. That’s fucking stupid.

            1. Correct, plus if we wanted to take SA’s oil by force we could easily do so, with the only possible problem being going to war with some other power that wanted it for themselves. No way anyone in the Muslim world could hope to stop us once we take the Iraq/Afghanistan kid gloves off.

          2. Culturally, they are increasing in power. As the Arab Spring has shown, Islamism is increasingly attractive to the large population of male youth looking for an identity.

            How does that equate to an increase in power? You’re talking about young men who would have been Muslim regardless. And fundamentalism is a gigantic drag on the Muslim world’s ability to gain power, of course. You can’t dominate the world with suicide bombings.

            Imagine if fundamentalism had triumphed in Europe during the 1600s and 1700s; would that have made Christianity more powerful in the world for having squelched the scientific revolution?

            1. And fundamentalism is a gigantic drag on the Muslim world’s ability to gain power, of course.

              Yeah, the Muslim world used to be far more powerful than European states, and was basically destroyed by its adherence to doctrine and inability to evolve.

              I don’t think becoming more doctrinaire and unable to evolve will somehow fix the problem.

              1. Agreed on the larger point, though the decline of the Caliphate was more complex than just adherence to doctrine, and of course it had a much, much longer period of dominance of its part of the world than the West has had.

                Of course, the West’s ability to evolve came at the expense of essentially dumping its religious foundations into the trashcan. A Christian time traveler from the year 1700 would not consider the United States, for example, a Christian society.

          3. HM, if you had to walk down the street in July in Baghdad when it was 122, you would shun jeans too! 🙂

            I would argue that Islamism is exactly what will keep the Muslim world from increasing its power. If the world can only be correct by following the strictures of the Koran and the Haddith, then any attempt at “progress” is viewed as anathema.

            Even if the Saudis/UAE/Kuwaitis would spend a crapload of money of their militaries – could they do anything with them? Go ghazi and try to reconquer the Balkans? What is their base of maintaining such – people or industry or science? Places like Egypt (the cultural center of the Arab world, at least) cannot feed themselves, much less project power.

            With fracking, nuclear power, etc, petroleum is handy and can bring in some wealth, but it seems to have frozen most of the Arab or Muslim countries that have it into the famous “welfare families n a lake of oil”. Just think how tough the original people of the House of Saud were – now….meh.

            1. The biggest thing that is holding the Islamic world back is its attitude towards women. Beyond just depriving it of half its human capital, the oppression of women does terrible things to their society. Men who grow up totally segregated from women tend to grow into angry and alienated adults. It is also hard to attract foreign investment when you tell foreign companies to leave their women at the border.

              The other problem is tribalism. In the Gulf and Saudi at least, if you are from the wrong tribe you are going nowhere. Meanwhile, anyone who is successful is expected hire all of his deadbeat fellow tribe members and relatives and give them a free living. Imagine trying to run a business when you were expected to keep five deadbeat cousins on the payroll and could not promote or give a pay raise to one of your best workers because he was from the wrong tribe.

              1. “Meanwhile, anyone who is successful is expected hire all of his deadbeat fellow tribe members and relatives and give them a free living. Imagine trying to run a business when you were expected to keep five deadbeat cousins on the payroll and could not promote or give a pay raise to one of your best workers because he was from the wrong tribe.”

                I don’t have to imagine, I live near Cook County/Chicago.

                1. Also, I’m pretty sure that’s how journalism works.

                  Just substitute ‘tribe’ for ‘political party’ and it’s the same thing.

              2. Imagine trying to run a business when you were expected to keep five deadbeat cousins on the payroll and could not promote or give a pay raise to one of your best workers because he was from the wrong tribe.

                Ford Motor Company and Dupont do fairly well. So did the Rothschilds.

    6. What I think is new to the situation is the degree to which technology is a force multiplier for authoritarianism. Technology has become a vehicle for freedom, particularly information technologies, but the authoritarians have been adapting to this with increasing alacrity. Coupled with scientific propaganda (marketing psychology) I think it’s far more likely that authoritarians become soft tyrannies. I think that the flavors it takes will vary with location, but unfortunately I’m not seeing any huge push for real freedom basically anywhere. Groups will petition for license for this or that, but control from on high might actually become easier in coming decades as the population grows more reliant on new technologies, and the people with the guns write themselves into their functioning.

      1. This would be the antithesis of my opinion on technology as a force multiplier. Bruce Schneirer has covered this with regards to online privacy. 1984 has not come to pass as abs as Orwell foretold and I think the very fact that book is well known is one reason that surveillance states won’t reach quite that level (this is not to say they don’t exist now nor that they wont get much worse). I want to stay focused on the LONG view…is it feasible to have a soft tyranny for centuries in today’s world? I don’t believe so.

        1. Frog in a pot.

          Plenty of pro-liberty books were well known in the 1984 world when the Oceania tyranny began; the tyranny worked hard to erode knowledge of them. And TBH you wouldn’t have to go very far to accomplish that starting with what we have in America in 2013. I bet if you asked random people on the street to name a specific bad thing about the government in the book, most people wouldn’t be able to do it.

        2. ..is it feasible to have a soft tyranny for centuries in today’s world? I don’t believe so.

          Not yet, but the main difficulty in maintaining an authoritarian government is the ability to be omnipresent. “Big Brother is watching you” has mostly been in people’s heads, with limited tech assistance and a large multi-layered police force, but how about when big brother is actually watching you?

          What would happen if attacks like we saw in Boston became semi-regular occurrences? Given the tech already available, and what might be coming down the pike? I think it’s altogether possible for a frightened citizenry to vote authoritarianism into power, and then for that power to grow and perpetuate itself for a long time. In that circumstance I believe it would take people a lot longer, perhaps quite a lot longer, to throw off its yoke, and achieving the critical mass for a revolt would be very difficult in a society where the means of communication and public spaces were constantly monitored “for the children” and the data systematically analyzed.

        3. Speaking of which, I found it ironic when watching BBC World News the other night that no one has brought up 1984 in the context of this poster campaign. Looks like literary memories are short even in Orwell’s homeland.

          1. I went to the University of Wisconsin. Look at this shit. It’s the most 1984 style poster I have ever seen.

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/docguess/7292272582/

            1. And if you steal something, we will put an angry badger down your pants!

              1. Some people, like I don’t know WARTY, would consider that a reward.

              2. “Nice marmot.”

            2. Well, that sign’s also creepy (and repetitive) but a little bit less offensive since it implies the watching is being done by other members of the community, rather than the government. I’m all for a watchful-citizen-state as opposed to a police-state.

              1. So it’s more of a Borg thing than a totalitarian thing? Not sure that’s much better.

                ‘We see all, know all. We look through the eyes of our fellow Badgers. We are but a hive mind, ever watchful, ever vigilant. None shall escape our Badger gaze.’

                1. Freedom is irrelevant. Fur and claws are all!

                  1. In the days before the Badger, we were driftless beings, afflicted by the disease of freedom and the individual. Yet the Badger spoke to us from across the void of millenia and uncounted miles. The Badger loved us, for all our faults, despite our unwillingness to obey the Badgers dictates.

                    We did stumble, and we did fall. Yet the Badger picked us up, nestled us in its coat of fur.

                    Now we are all the Badger. Now we are free.

                2. I don’t think looking out for crimes against your fellow man is such a bad thing. Though it’s better to look out for crimes against women because doing so might get you laid.

        4. I think technology allows tyranny to keep their people entertained and thus content easier. It is the pink police state.

          Look at this country. We are so much less free than we were thirty years ago. But we all have free porn and a hundred channels on the satellite and endless video games and butt sex is legal and accepted now. Who has time to notice that the government is monitoring our bank accounts and telephones?

          Think about it. How much shit does the government get away with simply because most people too fucking busy watching the Kardasians to even know they are doing it?

          1. I’m totally stealing “pink police state”. Though it would be better if Pink were a judge on American Idol.

          2. Think about it. How much shit does the government get away with simply because most people too fucking busy watching the Kardasians to even know they are doing it?

            While every society has sought it’s diversion from the rude truth of government power, what interests me is the accelerating manner in which those entertainments are being co-opted by progressive propagandists. More to the point, being that Hollyweird has always basically been Hollyweird, is the systematic, scientific approach to these efforts.

            1. That is the trick. The government has to co-opt the circuses for its own purposes. In most cases, it has to do that through crude means like censorship and intimidation. In this country’s case, they didn’t have to do that. Thanks to the complete infestation of mindless progtards in the entertainment industry, the media happily does the government’s bidding, no intimidation or censorship needed.

          3. Brave New World meets Idiocracy.

    7. The end result looks like rape. OF YOU.

      1. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!!!

        No metal for you today.

          1. Dirty badger pants libertarian.

            1. Stop being so glib. Some of us are trying to have a serious discussion about serious semantic minutia seriously.

              1. Are you SERIOUS?!?!?

              2. Have you even seen the wikipedia page for “serious” Warty? Well, I have.

                1. Coffee out nose asshole…

                  1. Did you want a comma or an “and” there, Bandit?

                    1. Typing accurately with Guatemalan roast nostrils is difficult for me.

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