Freedom of Speech

New York Times Opposes Corporate Speech in Citizens United, Cheers Corporate Speech Against Indiana RFRA

Corporate speech is problematic for the Times, except when it's not.

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Credit: Library of Congress

Five years ago, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, the editorial board of The New York Times denounced the very idea of allowing for-profit corporations to engage in robust political speech. If we the people allow corporations to use "their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding," the Times declared, democracy itself will be imperiled.

I was reminded of that anti-corporate editorial today when I read the latest editorial from The New York Times' editorial board:

Big corporations like Walmart, Apple, Salesforce.com and General Electric and their executives have done the right thing by calling on officials in Indiana and Arkansas to reject "religious freedom" laws designed to give businesses and religious groups legal cover should they deny service to gay couples.

The Times then urged those big corporations to use their vast treasuries to help elect candidates who support gay rights, gay marriage, and the expansion of anti-discrimination laws.

In other words, according to the Times, it is a threat to democracy when corporate power is used to "intimidate elected officials," but it is both beneficial and applaudable when several of America's most powerful corporations throw their weight around in the hopes of influencing elected officials to take a particular side in a contentious political dispute.

Got it? Me neither.

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218 responses to “New York Times Opposes Corporate Speech in Citizens United, Cheers Corporate Speech Against Indiana RFRA

  1. It’s a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.

    1. You stole from my kin!

    2. All those dead hookers for nothing

    3. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing

      http://www.work-mill.com

      1. Your fancy corporate speech will not work on me.

  2. Principles? Principals?

    Whatever.

  3. Those corporations should just have bigots killed wherever they find them.

  4. “intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding,”

    Just like these douchebags (politicians) intimidate individuals into being extorted (taxed), force individuals to work for the benefit of others against their will, and shower these very corporations with subsidies all by the threat of violence.

    If the folks in fancy robes were held accountable for their decisions, they would damn well be heavily incentivised to judge in favor of liberty. They would be held personally liable for their decisions, as happened in ancient Ireland, and would happen through private justice.

  5. Bookmark this one. I predict endless lulz during the coming campaign season, when the NYT will run screed after screed lambasting corporate speech.

    1. Aren’t they a foreign owned corporation to boot?

      1. I hear that their primary product is almost completely unregulated, due to some corporate handout in the constitution, or something. Who knows how many people they’re killing?

        CLOSE THE LOOPWHOLES!

    2. To be specific, corporate speech that criticizes Hilbama.

  6. The arguments against corporate free speech rights and religious freedom have always been disingenuous.

    The truth is, progressives just can’t say “we’re opposed to letting corporations have conservative opinions”, because that would be too obviously an attempt to suppress opposing speech. So instead they say “corporations shouldn’t be allowed have opinions at all, because they aren’t people” (they seem to think that corporations are always conservative, and therefore evil).

    This was ALWAYS just a rationalization for being against free speech rights for conservative groups. An elaborate rationalization designed to convince themselves they were right, but still just a rationalization.

    1. They will also never understand that popular speech doesn’t need protection. Every time they want to silence people, they forget when what they were saying was unpopular. Bunch of blind bullies.

    2. In fairness, McCain Feingold did apply to unions as well.

      1. It only applied to Unions because it never would have passed had that been absent in the bill, and Democrats knew it.

    3. They seem to forget that unions are labor corporations, churches are religious corporations, and political parties are political corporations?

      1. I’m pretty sure the ACLU is incorporated…

      2. And newspapers are corporations.

        1. Don’t forget television networks and new media, too!

          1. That doesn’t count, because they are “the press”.

          2. Krispy Kreme… Krispy Kreme is a corporation.

    4. “So instead they say “corporations shouldn’t be allowed have opinions at all, because they aren’t people” (they seem to think that corporations are always conservative, and therefore evil).”

      They also seem to think the First Amendment says something that it does not.

      It says Congress shall make no law restricting freedom of speech. There is nothing in there about that prohibition only relating to speech uttered by people. Congress cannot regulate speech period – no matter who or what is doing the speaking. It has no authority to restrict the speech of African grey parrots. If we ever develop self aware artificial intelligence machines, Congress would have no authority to restrict the speech of those machines either.

      1. Not to mention that corporations are made up of people.
        What rights are retained by the individuals, should not be lost just because they combine into a group collective.

  7. The old grey lady? Hypocritical?

    Never.

  8. This never gets old –

    New York Times Company – Certificate of Incorporation

    http://investors.nytco.com/fil…..on2007.pdf

    1. I’m not sure there’s something hypocritical there unless they have something in there about wanting to engage in campaign speech.

      1. The NYT Editorial Board has never issued candidate endorsement, right Bo?

        1. It’s a pretty tiny part of what they do.

          A corporation putting up a big vote for Sudden sign wouldn’t run afoul of most campaign finance laws either I’d imagine.

          1. It would however run afoul of good taste, sanity, and basic human decency

            1. We’ll played sir, I chuckled.

              1. Just so you know, I will be a dick to you often. But rest assured that no one is a bigger dick to me than me.

          2. A corporation putting up a big vote for Sudden sign wouldn’t run afoul of most campaign finance laws either I’d imagine.

            You’d imagine wrong, then. Many states have specific prohibitions on corporations spending money on campaigns. No tax-exempt charitable corporation could put that sign up, anywhere.

            And even a for-profit in a state that allowed it would be courting a rectal exam from the FEC, to determine whether it was in in-kind contribution, coordinated with the campaign, etc.

            In other words, according to the Times, it is a threat to democracy when corporate power is used to “intimidate elected officials,”

            Nothing in there about campaigns or elections. And you’d be hard-pressed to find many corporations with the power to intimidate elected officials that even approaches that of the NYT.

            1. Your first point, cite?

              Your second:

              “”The Times then urged those big corporations to use their vast treasuries to help elect candidates who support gay rights, gay marriage, and the expansion of anti-discrimination laws.”

              1. Cite?

                Do your own fucking legal research.

                Your second point does not address my second point in any way. Read the threats those CEOs are making on behalf of their companies if these elected officials don’t do as the CEOs demand. As clean an example of what the NYT said it opposed corporate power is used to “intimidate elected officials”.

                But, if you really want to be stupidly, pedantically, wrong, go right ahead and keep insisting that campaign contributions are the only conceivable things a corporation can do to muscle elected officials.

                1. Sorry, you made the claim, you provide the cite.

                  Second point: ah, so you concede it’s not about campaign spending. Thanks.

                  1. And you continue to pretend this is only about campaign spending.

                    Because I feel sorry for you, here’s a start in your research on corporate campaign contributions:

                    Although corporations and labor organizations may not make contributions or expenditures in connection with federal elections,

                    http://www.fec.gov/pages/broch…..rate_Union

                    Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.

                    Google result for “non-profit charity campaign contributions”, from the IRS website. Link more than 50 characters, not allowed.

                    1. And, one more:

                      Corporations (both nonprofit and for-profit) and limited liability companies are prohibited by chapter 11 from contributing to candidates and other political committees (political action committees (PACs) and political party committees,

                      http://www.wisbar.org/newspubl…..leID=23576

                    2. Your citing requirements for certain tax status. I guess I don’t think of those as paradigmatic of campaign speech restrictions.

                      Corporations can put up signs and contribute money as long as they aren’t seeking certain exempt status.

          3. Political speech is a tiny part of what most corporations do.

            Most of what they do is make money selling products.

          4. A corporation putting up a big vote for Sudden sign wouldn’t run afoul of most campaign finance laws either I’d imagine.

            It absolutely would if that sign cost enough money and was high profile enough to get noticed… and close enough to an election.

            Again, we ignore one of the most important and least talked about aspects of McCain Feingold. Not that money was equated to speech, but that speech was equated to money.

            If you spoke in a particular platform that a group felt gave you undue influence, that speech was considered an in-kind contribution and your speech, not your money but your speech could be shut down.

  9. “The Times then urged those big corporations to use their vast treasuries to help elect candidates who support gay rights, gay marriage, and the expansion of anti-discrimination laws.”

    Do they say that? I thought they said corporate leaders should not fund anti gay candidates. Not funding doesn’t equal ‘us[ing] their vast treasuries to help elect candidates who support gay rights’

    1. RTFA

      Another thing businesses can do is to make clear that they want lawmakers in all states to pass anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people.

      Seems like corporatey speech to me, but pedant away there ole buddy ole pal

      1. That could just mean issuing statements or saying they won’t do business in those states.

        1. Would it be pedantic to note you left out the immediately following sentence “More than three dozen chief executives of technology companies did just that in a statement released on Wednesday” which refers to and links not to an announcement of supporting candidates but a joint statement only?

          1. It nevertheless seems like refusal to continue financing an incumbent because he thinks a small town bakery owned by a friendly muslim chap in Deerborn, MI should have the right to politely decline a cake with dildos on it is a means of “using their vast treasuries to help elect candidates who support” mandating someone be complicit in a sin according to their respective skydaddy, if only by denying the support they once gave to the icky thoughtcriminal supporter.

            It should also be noted that they G(r)ay Lady also opposed the Citizen’s United decision. That wasn’t even about corporate money or donations to pols (which was previously allowed) but was about ACTUAL FUCKING SPEECH via a video about then inevitable POTUS Hillary.

            1. I don’t think refusal to fund someone is the same as using your treasury to get someone elected…

          2. Would it be pedantic

            Yes, it would be. If their titles or corporate names were used in that statement, it is a statement made in their capacity as CEO, and thus is a statement made by or on behalf of the corporation.

            And looky there. That’s exactly what they did:

            http://www.hrc.org/press-relea…..bt-non-dis

            So not only were you being pedantic, you were being wrong. Dead wrong. Embarrassingly wrong.

            1. It’s pedantic to note the difference between a CEO making a statement at a press conference and a CEO spending a million dollars to buy a political ad?

              1. Its pedantic to pretend that there is any difference between that joint statement and a political ad.

                The fact that they don’t have to pay for their eager lackies to distribute the statement really makes no difference.

                1. Really?

                  So when a big name holds a press conference it’s the same as writing a check?

                  Wow

                  1. So when a big name holds a press conference it’s the same as writing a check?

                    Both are speech. The effectiveness of a presser vs. a donation is situational. For example, I bet Bill Maher gave Obama more votes in 2012 by announcing on his show with a novelty oversized check for a million dollars than the money actually managed to buy.

                    1. So if I hold a press conference saying I like Sudden that’s the same as if I wrote you a check?
                      If the roles were reversed I’d prefer the check.

                    2. Dude, if you want me to know that you like me, just find me on Grindr*

                      *editor’s note: not gay, but i get so much validation on grindr that i cant stop

                  2. So when a big name holds a press conference it’s the same as writing a check?

                    How handy of those goal posts to shift from “spending a million dollars to buy a political ad” to “writing a check.”

                    Wow.

                    There is no functional difference between using your position to get your message wide distribution as a press release, and paying for wide distribution of your message as an ad.

                    So if I hold a press conference saying I like Sudden that’s the same as if I wrote you a check to buy an ad?

                    Once you move the goalposts back, then I think I can pretty safely say no, not in principle. How effective each strategy is will vary depending on who you are and how much you spend, but that’s the only difference.

                    1. I’m glad you concede there’s a difference, just not a ‘functional’ one. Do you think laws should always be centered in functional equivalency?

                    2. I’m glad you concede there’s a difference,

                      I did? Where?

                      If there’s no functional difference, then is there a difference than makes a difference? If so, please explain.

                    3. Jesus guys stop arguing

                      Bo, it’s clear there’s only one way to settle this. Make a youtube video saying you like me and listing all the reasons I’m super fucking awesome (minimum of 10 minutes, no maximum. In theory, I expect it should take an entire youtube playlist of 12 different hour long videos to expound upon all my greatness).

                      Immediately afterwards, wire $30,000 into my bank account. When I return from my month in Maldives, I’ll tell you which one is better.

                    4. Jesus guys stop arguing

                      Sure. Its just that I’ve a living humiliating pedantic little shits who aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are, so I kinda can’t help myself.

                    5. Why even include the qualifier ‘functional’ then RC?

              2. The CEO doesn’t have to spend a million dollars. If he speaks in a manner deemed “not available” to the average person because that speech may be prohibitively expensive, it’s an in-kind contribution and under McCain Feingold was verboten.

                1. Good point there.

  10. And notice that the paper has not denounced the Disciples of Christ for the blatant politicking of its leaders in this matter. Imagine if it had been Catholic bishops or the Southern Baptist Convention on the other side — we would be hearing all about the danger to separation of church and state.

    And nobody among the Gaystapo have mentioned that the Disciples allow their congregation and clergy to decide for themselves whether to host or perform gay marriages, since the leaders have allowed themselves to be co-opted by the forces of statist coercion. http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu/archives/355840.php

    1. GAYSTAPOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

      1. We should see how many of these we can get. I’ve got the following so far:

        Gaystapo
        K Gay B
        CIAnus
        Einsatz-groping
        MI6 inches

        1. None of them are as stupid as the Barack Yo Mama thing but I guess we shouldn’t expect much creativity from such types.

          1. I thought Gaystapo clever enough and appropriate given the frothing rageboner that teh ghey rites zealots get for anyone who maintains a conventional religious belief that sodomy is sinful. The tactics of the self-proclaimed toleranti here show them to be cast from the same mold as previous thoughtcrime enforcers.

            But seriously, I want more clever gay fascist names. Get to work!

            1. Adolph Popper.

            2. How bout something that makes it clear that it isn’t gay people out to get you rather than progressives, some of whom are gay but most of whom are not?

              1. So that rules out “Analverkehr macht frei”?

              2. No, no I’d rather not. Fuck’em. After all the ‘straight/white/male’ bullshit I have to hear day in day out on campus, not even the slightest decency to occasionally add a ‘some,’ I just don’t care anymore. Progressives have taught me the value of reciprocity. ‘Let God sort out those that are his’ and such.

                1. @ Apatheist; I should’ve clarified.

              3. Nice cover. You would have me think most gay men are libertarian, no? But your narrow subset of gay reason commenters is hardly representative of the entirety of gay men in the USA. You should get out more.

            3. Probably a dead thread this late, but one of the Ace of Spades podcasters, himself a gay man, was alleged to support “Jim Rainbow” because he opposes coercing business owners to render services they oppose philosophically.

              See, it’s like Jim Crow but for the gays.

              Doesn’t get very much dumber.

              1. When someone says ‘hey, I don’t really want to give a cake to your wedding’ it’s totally the same thing as blasting black people with firehoses.

                I don’t think there’s any difference.

  11. I’m so sick and tired of this totally unprincipled culture existing in the middle of American society today.

  12. On this topic, I read an interesting thing in The Atlantic (queue laughter). The article was actually against witch-hunting mobs shutting down businesses, but was careful to state that some forced association is fine, because slavery.

    …The “purist” libertarian position that condemns all anti-discrimination laws, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as a priori unjust violations of sacrosanct property rights is profoundly misguided and historically blinkered. We were not starting from Year Zero in a Lockean state of nature, but dealing with the aftermath of centuries of government-enforced slavery and segregation?which had not only hopelessly tainted property distributions but created deficits in economic and social capital transmitted across generations to the descendants of slaves. The legacy of state-supported white supremacism, combined with the very real threat of violence against businesses that wished to integrate, created a racist structure so pervasive that unregulated “private” discrimination would have and did effectively deprive black citizens of civic equality and a fair opportunity to participate in American public life.

    1. Hmm, that second paragraph was supposed to be block quoted. Now I hate gay people.

    2. Fine. Whatever damage was done that could be corrected by committing mass injustice has been corrected. How about we return to a freer society and try that again? This time, without laws requiring discrimination.

      1. Nonono. You see, freedom only works if everyone starts off exactly the same. Even if we could return to such a state of nature, the instant someone was born with a genetic defect which rendered them less competitive than some of their fellows, then you’d have to throw all the freedom out the window, because it isn’t fair.

        1. Since equality is impossible, let’s try freedom.

          1. Since equality is impossible, expand the government at every turn and murder hordes of people in camps until it becomes possible.

            -the prog manifesto

        2. I will say if there’s a historical point in US history that challenges my laissez faire beliefs it’s Reconstruction. The idea that government could intervene to help millions of people held in actual slavery is the apogee of that side.

          My proposed solution would have been to fund a Freedmans Bureau entirely from the proceeds of confiscated and auctioned lands of proven slaveowners. Anything beyond that runs afoul of the NAP IMO

          1. Except reconstruction was kind of a dismal failure …

            1. …And that whole “Ex Post Facto” thing in the Constitution.

              1. And that whole “Ex Post Facto” thing in the Constitution.

                What, you expect someone who plans on torturing the law as a career to let a little thing like the Constitution stand in the way? That thing is like, over 100 years old!

      2. Exactly. Just like how the solution to racism and sexism is more racism and sexism.

    3. Personally, I think we should leave the general objections against anti-discrimination laws out of this. It confuses the issue, because it makes the businesses involved look like they are objecting to serving gays at all, as opposed to just providing services to gay weddings. There is no need to argue that anyone should be permitted to discriminate against anyone. The actual cases we are dealing with involve people with moral objections to same sex marriage, not to gay people in general. And it’s much easier to make the argument that people shouldn’t be compelled to participate (even tangentially) in specific activities they morally object to, than it is to argue they should be able to turn away anyone from a group they dislike.
      In one case, the discrimination is directed only at the specific activity (gay marriages), in the other it is directed at a class of people (gay people in general). We don’t need to argue B to make the case that A ought to be legally permissible.

      1. I can see that from a tactical perspective, but it’s not something that would occur naturally to me, or that I think I’d be able to successfully argue. I have about 0 utilitarian units in my mindset, and tend to always argue from principles. So I should probably keep my mouth shut and let other folks who are better at that aspect of it than I am do the talking.

        1. Well, the principle here is freedom of conscience, not freedom of association. Argue from that.

          1. Freedom of association is just acting on your freedom of conscience. What if you conscience prohibits you from serving black people? Once you allow restriction of freedom of association for one reason, applying that to other groups and actions just becomes a political argument for what types of discrimination in what instances are legitimate. Which is putting rights up for a vote.

            1. That’s been water under the bridge for 50 years.

              If you want a hook to hang something on, freedom of religion is one of the few hooks left.

            2. I take the Rand Paul circa 2010 on Rachel Maddow’s show stance:

              And?

              I frankly think a person should be able to refuse business to anyone they damn well please for any reason they damn well please regardless of the merits informing their denial of commerce. I don’t care if its skydaddy not wanting you to sanctify teh ghey wedding, you dont want black folk in your store cuz “theyre all a bunch of thieves”, or no white cishet men because they’re like tre oppressive.

              Your fucking store your fucking rules.

              1. “Your fucking store your fucking rules”

                You would think so. Government doesn’t take that stance. In all sorts of ways.

              2. Your fucking store your fucking rules.

                Your store? You didn’t build that.

    4. but created deficits in economic and social capital transmitted across generations to the descendants of slaves.

      The only economic capital most slaves couldn’t legally acquire was real estate (and this was not true in all areas), they absolutely could and did save money.Despite all the brainwashing we get, the fact is less than a third of Americans to this day own full and clear title to any real estate.

      The only way “social” capital is transmitted “across generations” is via a formal or informal aristocracy. Since my opinion is that aristocracies are an affront to liberty, I would certainly not give a shit that slaves didn’t have an aristocracy, in fact I would consider it something to be proud of.

      Slavery didn’t prevent southern blacks from civic equality in commerce as much as believed, it was Jim Crow laws that did that, which came after slavery was abolished. During slavery, slaves were able to buy and sell goods in the market (often as a proxy for their master who likely took a cut) – what they could not do was mix with white people after the work day was over unless given written permission by their master. I’m not going to get worked up over the miniscule social capital lost by not being allowed to get drunk with Seamus McHillbilly.

      Today the master’s cut is called “income tax” in which theft by elites is given bullshit justification for “the price of civilization”, roughly the same bullshit reasoning that slavemasters used in justifying their theft.

  13. intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding

    Corporations shouldn’t intimidate elected officials! That’s what Twitter mobs are for!

  14. Just a few thoughts from various people (because I know our Proggie friends didn’t read one page of the 183 page Citizens United opinion, because historical analysis is icky. And patriarchal. And othering. And jurisprudence is racist):

    “If ordinary business corporations lack First Amendment rights, so do those business corporations that we call media corporations.”
    – Eugene Volokh

    There is no precedent supporting laws that attempt to distinguish between corporations which are deemed to be exempt as media corporations and those which are not…”
    -Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, Citizens United v. FEC

    …to interpret the phrase ‘the freedom of speech, or of the press’ to mean, not everyone’s right to speak or publish, but rather everyone’s right to speak or the institutional press’s right to publish. No one thought that is what it meant.”
    -Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Citizens United v. FEC (concur)

    So when giant media KKKORPORASHUNS like the New York Times Company beat their chests and cry to the heavens against “corporate speech,” they really mean “please limit the speech of those other corporations, but not ours, because we’re special.”

    1. Of course. And there’s really no way of treating them differently, because that’s a path towards “licensing” the press. Which, of course, would mean credentials the government can take away.

      A bigger issue is that freedom of the press is really not a right that only the press has. Individuals have it, too. Pretty hard not to see that the same right goes for businesses and rich people. This is a constitutionally protected right, too, so laws Congress passes are totally irrelevant.

      1. There is no conflict here. This is exactly what the NYT editorial board is hinting at. The “speech” that is to be condemned is the speech of the wrong sort. As in Citizens United which was speech opposing Hillary Clinton. This is the wrong sort of speech and is to be opposed.

        The current case is speech of the right sort, and is to be supported. This is speech in opposition to conservatives and christians who wish to exercise freedom of association to avoid participating in events that violate their principles, such as gay weddings.

        You just have the wrong compass in hand. Once you measure your heading by “which way are the progressive winds blowing?” you’ll understand their wisdom.

        1. I think the distinction might rather be speech as campaign spending as speech as ‘I’m not going to do business with you if you keep doing x.’

          1. Ugh, dunno how many times I gotta mention this:

            Citizens United wasn’t about money, it was about actual fucking speech. The dissemenation of a movie critical of Hiltery Clinton. Corporations had previously donated to political campaigns and continued to be able to donate to political campaigns.

            1. Yes and no, right? It was about corporations spending money on political speech which aired in the 60 day window iirc.

              1. So, when the NYT publishes its ritual editorial endorsing candidates, that’s a corporation spending money on political speech within the 60 day window, is it not?

                What’s pedantic is pretending that the right to free speech and a free press does not encompass spending money to distribute your message.

                1. How much does that paragraph cost the Times?

                  1. To write, edit, print, and distribute?

                    I couldn’t say. But its not nothing.

                    1. Would it fall under the limits? Iirc the law in question allowed expenditures as long as they didn’t surpass a certain number

                    2. How much money does the NYT have to spend annually to employ a legion of progressive writers who are almost perpetually campaigning for their party if not a particular candidate?

                      And another big issue: define political speech. If the Citizen’s United video were to be a violation, then why would it not be a violation to criticize any politician for any policy within the specified time frame? Criticizing a person who happens to be a candidate can be classified as campaigning. If interpreted as such, it’s a tremendous restriction on freedom of speech.

                    3. Using Botards logic team red could go after a cbs show on sunday night. I only saw it once out of curiousity and it’s pretty vapid but it portrays a female secretary of state as a superhero of diplomacy with a couple cute kids and a hunky, sensitive, hubby. Remind you of any proggie icon.

                      Using botard logic they should not be able to air it within the election period SCOTUS threw out. The episode I watched was a shrillary infomercial, but the right kind.

                      It shows how ridiculous prog logic is wrt this issue.

                    4. I imagine you see all kinds of bias in most television shows.

                    5. Would it fall under the limits?

                      Who cares? and, if anyone does, why?

                    6. If Bo is a lawyer, he should have to show all prospective clients his efforts to persuade people in these comments. Especially on legal matters. It’s fucking nauseating to read.

                    7. Bo’s obviously not a lawyer as I have a better grasp of the law after reading our resident legal scholars dissect his bullshit arguements EVERY SINGLE TIME.

                      I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express a couple years ago.

                    8. “If Bo is a lawyer, he should have to show all prospective clients his efforts to persuade people in these comments”

                      Thankfully even excellent lawyers aren’t expected to convince people who lean right that the NYT is anything less than awful.

                    9. ” It’s fucking nauseating to read.”

                      Wow, what a strong statement. If coming across someone politely arguing something you find foolish and unpersuasive makes you physically ill you must live a tough life.

                    10. Not one person in this thread has accused the NYT of not being…lawful. Whatever that even means.

                      And saying that you ‘politely’ argue is absurd in itself. I did notice you ask for a citation earlier in this thread on something that if you followed the Citizen’s United ruling, you would have already known about. I also recall asking you to provide a citation and there being crickets.

                      You argue in bad faith and you do it poorly. I have nothing against pedantic contrarians, but I expect people who take up that role to have a modicum of skill at it.

                    11. Would it fall under the limits? Iirc the law in question allowed expenditures as long as they didn’t surpass a certain number

                      Limits? You mean like an abridgment or something?

              2. I love how you have spent so much time trying to persuade people that the handle you use reflects strong jurisprudential analytic skills, but the comments you post reveal the opposite. It’s almost like you’re a self-satire, or something.

                1. 11:56pm — that’s aimed at Beau Care-Bear, Mesquite-Fire.

            2. Citizens United wasn’t about money, it was about actual fucking speech. The dissemenation of a movie critical of Hiltery Clinton.

              You really believe this?

              It’s about whether money is speech, not about the specific dissemination of a particular piece of fluff. It’s always been about money-as-speech, nimrod. Learn some con law. Speech doesn’t need extra decisions, it’s always been protected. Movies/polifluff don’t need a new decision.

              Are you stupider than Beau Care-Bear?

        2. Exactly. Once certain newspapers amassed a certain amount of, shall we say, “social capital” every damn one of them wanted to license the press. They couldn’t wait to be first in line to get FCC licenses for radio.

        3. The “speech” that is to be condemned is the speech of the wrong sort.

          Precisely my point upthread. But they can’t say that, hence the hypocrisy on whether corporations have free speech rights. It’s much easier to pretending that corporations should never be allowed to make speech, and then ignore that rule when it is speech you like, than it is to say that corporations shouldn’t be allowed to be make speech you dislike.

      2. The Courts are thankfully coming to the conclusion that some legal minds and political historians have noted, that “the Press” does not refer to a class of people (the self-appointed Fourth Estate), but to the act of disseminating information to reach multiple people without directly speaking to them.

        The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story. As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: “With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media ? the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.” Citizens United, 558 U.S. at 352. In defamation cases, the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue ? not the identity of the speaker ? provide the First Amendment touchstones.
        – Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox (9th Cir. Jan. 17, 2014)

        Citizens United was decided correctly and the only reason the Progs don’t like it is because it allows people they perceive as not on their TEAM to engage in mass communication, which is still controlled largely by TEAM Blue.

        1. What do you mean, “decided correctly”? There is no correct/wrong in appellate decisionmaking. There is only what is decided.

          As to the pwoggies, they don’t know constitutional law, they’re just following the script written for them by Daily Kos, HuffPo, Maddow, Stewart, Gawker, Salon, etc. They’re robots, chirping as they were told to. CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP Citizens United is CORPORATE CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP corporations evil CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

          Ask a pwog what will happen if corporations are outlawed. They seem to think corporations are self-executing evil. I don’t know if you can prove idiocy any clearer than by holding such a position,

    2. It’s possible to interpret the first amendment as applying the freedom of the press to corporations but not the freedom of speech.

      1. It’s possible, but would be rather stupid. What textual evidence of that is there? Certainly none in the constitution. Or none in any of the Founders’ texts, as far as I know.

    3. There is no precedent supporting laws that attempt to distinguish between corporations which are deemed to be exempt as media corporations and those which are not…”
      -Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, Citizens United v. FEC

      To be fair to the progs, they knew this deep down. Which is why they’ve been demanding licensing for journalists and journalist “shield laws”.

  15. Does this count too?

    http://thinkprogress.org/justi…..ts-debate/

    1. Supposed to be reply to PapayaSF

      1. Only one person’s full address was released on the Gunfree app, and it belonged to Brett Stalbaum, an associate visual arts professor for the University of California, San Diego, who specializes in digital aesthetics. It appears the main reason the app surfaced was retribution for one that he made.
        Stalbaum, whose work address and phone number were listed, created a gun safety app called “Gun Geo Marker,” which was released in the Google Play Store in 2013, lets local communities anonymously note places where guns are at risk of being misused, such as where one can openly carry a firearm.

        So it was a tit-for-tat thing. I don’t approve of either half, but the second half is understandable.

        1. Two wrongs makes the second understandable…

          1. Sometimes they do, yes.

    2. I dunno. What happened next? Were those people threatened by anyone? Were their houses picketed?

      I see claims of harassment by anti-human rights, pardon me, anti-gun activists, but on a quick scan none resulting from the app.

      If there wasn’t any threats or harassment due to the app, I don’t see how its an example of threats or harassment like what we saw in Indiana.

      1. So whether a mob intimated someone rests on what medium of communication they used to do so?

        1. You replied to this:


          Corporations shouldn’t intimidate elected officials! That’s what Twitter mobs are for!

          With this:

          Does this count too?

          Although the antecedent is unclear (does “this” refer to corporations or Twitter mobs), I took it to mean Twitter mobs.

          So, leaving aside the pedantic option of pointing out that you were asking if an app counts as a Twitter mob, or pointing out that the app wasn’t doxing to elected officials but was aimed at unelected activists, I went to the meat, which was whether this app had any resulted in any intimidation.

          Apparently it hasn’t.

          So in no way, shape or form does your link to a story about an app doxing anti-gun activists provide an example of a Twitter mob (or a corporation, for that matter) intimidating an elected official.

          Is that clear enough?

          1. I meant ‘intimidating mobs.’

            Every cause can cite instances of social media campaigns that include SOME intimidating communications. Are they all thus ‘intimidating mobs?’

            1. So your reference “this” was a reference to intimidating mobs? Good to know. Even though you were referring to a post about Twitter mobs intimidating elected officials, if you want to go a little more general in your reply, that’s good by me.

              Provided you do others the courtesy of not pedantically objecting when they do the same, that is.

              Regardless, in no way, shape or form does your link to a story about an app doxing anti-gun activists provide an example of an intimidating mob.

              1. “Regardless, in no way, shape or form does your link to a story about an app doxing anti-gun activists provide an example of an intimidating mob.”

                Even the part about them receiving numerous threats and abusive communications? You know, the exact same things that got labeled a twitter mob in the Indiana situation.

            2. Parsing,parsing, parsing….keep those doggies parsing…Bohide. You are disingenuous twat, Bo, but I reckon we already knew that.

              1. This is the Gamergate juvenile psychopath thing I talk about, when, because someone you don’t know wrote something you disagree with or find pedantic you respond by cursing the person.

    1. Something tells me you could probably get the same results with 1/3rd the absurd effort they’re putting in there. Cooking a steak isn’t some voodoo magic.

      1. ya.

        1) make grill hot.
        2) put salt and pepper on steak
        3) grill steak

        1. rare to med rare. little herb butter on top while its resting never hurt anything either. or just plain butter.

      2. I put a lot of effort into my prime rib tonight. Totally worth it. 60 minutes in the smoker with applewood at 275F, 180 minutes in the sous vide at 131F, and then 3 minutes under the blow torch. I don’t know if my food boner will ever go down.

        1. Almost makes me wish I liked prime rib

          1. No human doesn’t like prime rib. I think it’s time you came clean about being a lizard person.

            1. I wonder what species I am….prime rib is sort of “meh” to me…

              1. I don’t really understand why they always say it’s the most “flavorful” cut of meat. I just taste fat.

              2. Probably because the original recipe is British. You have to kick it up a few notches to make it worthwhile.

        2. Prime rib is different.

          I’m just saying, these motherfuckers were saying “freeze it then fry it”, when “marinate in the fridge, then sear” is basically the same shit with 1/3 the labor.

    2. Specifically, what i’m saying is = if there were a better way to make a porterhouse than Peter Lugar’s method (“cook in butter”), then god bless them.

      but I’m calling bullshit

  16. I should also note that I am once again thankful I never got into using Twitter.
    It is so peaceful out here in non-twitter land. I would never even know about how horrible it was on Twitter if not for the constant reports of enraged twitter mobs attacking people with death treats and doxxings.

    1. The battle for the soul of North America will be fought in the Twitter arena — the Twitterdrome.

      1. Two Twits enter, one Twit leaves?

        1. If only it were so twitterpated.

    2. Sadly, I think those of outside of Twitter are the ones living in blissful ignorance, and Twitter is ‘the real world.’ By that I mean, it’s on Twitter that you see how people really are, what they really think. To think of all the people you interact with throughout the day who are polite for social reasons, but in reality are crazy mentally deficient jackasses just barely able to keep the foam from oozing out their mouths. Depressing.

      Which is why I like to imagine that 90% of internet or twitter commenters aren’t actually regular people, but are in fact just a few hundred thousand full-time trolls in Iceland or somewhere.

  17. Fwiw
    I think CU was rightly decided. My position is the old one, if Congress can make no law that means no law. The end.

    Having said that, I think the argument of many opponents of CU is not as simplistic as many of the attacks here suggest. The only good it does to attack a simplistic version of your opponents argument is to make you feel better, safer and more superior.

    Have to run, but appreciate the mostly civil discussion.

  18. I see Bo is here to show us how libertarian he is by pedantically coming up with bizarre justifications for the obvious hypocrisy of a leftist news organization.

    All the New York Times wants to do, of course, is deprive people they don’t like of their free speech rights, so at least they’re not as deserving of criticism as those dastardly Gamergate Psychopaths, 99% of whom did nothing but bitch on twitter.

    1. Viscount Irish, Slayer of Huns|4.3.15 @ 7:17PM|#
      “I see Bo is here to show us how libertarian he is by pedantically coming up with bizarre justifications for the obvious hypocrisy of a leftist news organization.”

      Pretty sure that simply refusing to engage him leaves him whining but not screwing up threads. It seems to work, and I’m not sure why folks engage him and expect a different outcome.

      1. Look Sevo, my karma is basically shit because I’m constantly doing really fucked up things IRL. So in order to earn cosmic karma points with that crazy multilimbed elephant or whatever I sometimes have to entertain special needs kids and make them feel socially calibrated and included.

        I only correspond with Bo so I don’t come back as a cockroach in the next life.

        1. “I only correspond with Bo so I don’t come back as a cockroach in the next life.”

          Hey, if that works, I’m not gonna gripe.

        2. You’re a roach now.

    2. “99% of whom did nothing but bitch on twitter.”

      An intimidating Twitter mob? Irish, you make the perfect ‘set up’ man for me here, thanks!

  19. Memories Pizza truthers are the greatest truthers.

    Alix Bryan ? @alixbryan
    Follow
    I have reported the GoFundMe for Memories Pizza for fraud. Just in case. http://www.gofundme.com/contac…..oriesPizza ?

    Socratease @Socratease1
    Follow
    Good con idea: Tell conservatives you wont serve gays for religious purposes, then set up a gofundme page! #BoycottIndiana #MemoriesPizza

    Dave Holmes ? @DaveHolmes
    Follow
    To review: they publicly withheld a service nobody asked for, closed down due to threats they won’t specify, and are raking in donations.

    It was quite the cunning plan – convince Indiana to pass an RFRA law, wait in your own store, minding your own business until a reporter just happened to wander in, then say something relatively innocuous about a hypothetical question regarding gay marriage, spark a hissy fit from leftists complete with death threats, get someone else to open up a Go Fund Me account, and rake in the dough.

    Wheels with wheels, man.

    1. I’ve reported Alix Bryan for terrorist activities. Just in case.

      1. And as we speak an agent in the FBI is figuring out innovative new ways to recruit a terrorist, mastermind an immense plan to destroy Indiana, and then arrest Alix Bryan (Alix? Sounds like a tranny ahem, “gender fluid” name to me).

    2. There was some of that crap on salon and Jezebel yesterday

    3. It’s like that plumber who forced Obama to come to his street just so he could lie about the future-President’s tax plan. Turns out he wasn’t even a real plumber, no union card.

  20. No one out-Ickes David Ickes!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQVVOAyu3vs

    The Moon Is An Illusion & No One Goes Above Low Earth Orbit

    1. I spent 5 minutes of my life wondering if anyone could be that stupid, even on YouTube I want those 5 minutes back..

    2. Buzz Aldrin clenches fist, reconsiders, pats retard on the head.

  21. “It is a threat to democracy when corporate power is used to “intimidate elected officials,” but it is both beneficial and applaudable when several of America’s most powerful corporations throw their weight around in the hopes of influencing elected officials to take a particular side in a contentious political dispute.”

    As liberals turned into progressives, they jettisoned their concern for individual rights in the process, and it left them with group identities instead of guiding principles.

    People without guiding principles are capable of thinking anything.

  22. The left has no principle. News at 11.

    I am outta here. Time to consume vodka.

    1. Putin-sympathizer!

  23. So jesse- I don’t think I heard about the recent meet up till the day of, on here. Should I shoot you my email again? I probably should be able to make more of them, given I now live right near lax.

    1. Was just at LAX today. Yes, email him again.

    1. And a Good Friday to you Eddie!

          1. Raw and uncensored – too strong even for Reason!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsQHutE9CNA

          2. *narrows gaze*

            I loved that song when I was a kid.

  24. Ugh, Bo Friday

    Netflix it is.

    1. Watch Dragnet.

    2. I’m beginning to think that this was the whole point.

  25. Speaking of celebrating Good Friday, dripping blood or it doesn’t count.

    1. Those Scientologists are CRAZY!

    2. I do enjoy the circus.

    3. The article says “Church leaders have spoken against the annual practice,” which, if true, should indicate it’s not OK, since penitential practices by the laity need to be under the supervision of their spiritual superiors.

      Yet what we do today is continue to practice mortification, but without connection to the original objectives. We see people adopting the weirdest diets, cutting themselves, or (if recent novels are to be believed) fantasizing about or practicing masochistic sexual practices.

      So there seems to be a natural instinct (in some people) toward mortifying the flesh, except now that impulse has been released from spiritual context and supervision by spiritual guides.

      1. “Mortification, viewed thus as a means of curing bad habits and implanting good ones, has its recognized place in the methods even of those who are engaged in pursuing purely natural ends. What is peculiar to Christian mortification is, that it relies for the attainment of its spiritual objects, not merely on this natural efficacy of its methods, but still more on the aids of divine grace, for which, by its earnestness in self-discipline and the Christian motive which inspires it, it can plead so powerfully with God. And here, as further contributing to increase it spiritual efficacy, another motive for which it is practiced comes in. It is practiced likewise as an expiation for past sins and shortcomings, for it is the belief of the Catholic Church, that, although only the Atonement of Christ can offer adequate expiation for the sins of men, men ought not to make that an excuse for doing nothing themselves, but should rather take it as an incentive to add their own expiations to the extent of their power, and should regard such personal expiations as very pleasing to God….”

        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10578b.htm

        1. To use a comparison which is often found in the Bible and spiritual literature – we don’t condemn an athlete, or a person on a diet, for watching their food intake and undergoing special exercise regimens, even if in the short term they would rather be eating donuts and watching the playoffs on TV. We know that these people are making sacrifices to make their body healthier.

          But what about making one’s *spiritual* being healthier? What about developing habits of moderation and restraint, of setting aside one’s own wishes in favor of higher goals? And what if, instead of nodding in a general way and making a verbal acknowledgement of one’s sins, a person (under proper spiritual supervision) undertakes ascetic practices to bring to mind one’s past sins?

          1. Nothing wrong with asceticism, as long as it follows the Middle Way.

            1. That sounds familiar…as if both traditions were drawing from a common well…

          2. I have no problem with that provided they do not attempt to force any of their preferences upon the rest of the public.

            1. Heh, heh, Catholics don’t even enforce asceticism upon *each other,* indeed, they discourage those ascetics who go off the rails.

              1. And I didn’t say Catholics do. I’m making a general point about religion – I don’t care provided you don’t try to make me adhere to any of your religious practices.

              2. Notorious G.K.C.|4.4.15 @ 12:04AM|#
                “Heh, heh, Catholics don’t even enforce asceticism upon *each other,* indeed, they discourage those ascetics who go off the rails.”

                Eddie, I presume the whacko Catholic mucky-muck in SF is therefore not a real Scotsman? Or, he was ‘discouraged’ after he was busted?
                “SF archbishop is re-wording his strict morality code”
                http://www.cruxnow.com/church/…..lity-code/

                1. What a highly interesting interpretation of my comment, and of the article you linked.

  26. For you earlier risers on the left coast:
    “Sky spectacle: Lunar eclipse to feature ‘blood moon'”
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/…..1253045a73

    1. https://reason.com/blog/2015/04…..nt_5205194

      Pshaw, the Moon is an illusion!

      1. But a really good one during an eclipse!
        “Darkness at Noon”; I saw the 1990 (?) solar eclipse in N. Cal. Happened to be at Sears Point working on a car; watched it through an arc-welding helmet.
        The view of the sun was strange, but taking off the helmet and looking around was pretty much like looking at the landscape with a 10/10th cover at 5,000′

  27. And if you were wondering about Greeks bearing gifts, why:
    “Greece preparing for Grexit, own currency – media”
    http://rt.com/business/246513-…..y-drachma/
    Iceland bailed and made it work, but the Greeks are pretty much wedded to free shit. I dunno; seems sort of like Obo’s ‘agreement’ with Iran to kind of talk about things; the comments so far are noise.
    I don’t think the Krauts give a shit about Greece, except that the collapse of the Greek economy (and it will collapse) could be contagious. But the Krauts are certainly cautious of rewarding slimy tactics.
    So do the Greeks hold the cards of ‘I owe you billions and you can’t afford to kick me out’, or do the Germans hold the cards of ‘we all need a dose of reality’?
    I’m hoping for the Germans, since the alternative is to kick it down the road, and we know what that cost the world when the Soviets finally admitted failure. You’d think the Germans of all the Euros would understand that.

  28. A bit off-topic, but seems than Steven Crowder did a job then the NY Times should had done. http://www.thegatewaypundit.co…..ies-video/

  29. Make extra profit every week… This is a great part-time job for everyone… Best part about it is that you can work from your home and earn from $100-$2000 each week … Start today and have your

    First payment at the end of the week…,
    pop over here…,
    ??????? http://www.work-reviews.com

  30. “… If we the people allow corporations ”

    ” …overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding,”

    A funny thing happened on the way to transparency, those corporations do it openly and publicly.
    Eventually, (fingers crossed) there will be no need for lobbyist.

  31. The Times then urged those big corporations to use their vast treasuries to help elect candidates who support gay rights, gay marriage, and the expansion of anti-discrimination laws.

    SJW acceptable corporate speech can be the only corporate speech.

  32. Fucking A. I go out drinking tonight and I meet a guy who claims he was part of an AnCap cult based on the writings of Ayn Rand. Where to start with such bullshit?

    1. Which bullshit? The drinking? Meeting a guy? AnCap? Ayn Rand?

      It’s really hard to know from your very interesting anecdote.

  33. Speech in support of causes the Left favors and in opposition to causes the Left opposes is not political – it’s just plain ordinary decent common sense. Therefore it’s acceptable and even laudable for corporations to engage in that sort of speech.

    But Speech in opposition to causes the Left favors and in support of causes the Left opposes is political speech, and may even shade over into “hate speech” that ought not be protected by the 1st Amendment. So corporations need to be strictly prohibited from engaging in that sort of speech.

    (Likewise with activities by various tax-exempt groups: Those that support left-wing causes and oppose right-wing ones are non-political and the IRS should let them be, while those that do the opposite are political hate groups that the IRS needs to crack down against.)

    It’s really quite easy to understand, if you look at it in the politically correct way.

  34. My friend’s step-aunt makes $70 every hour on the computer . She has been out of a job for seven months but last month her pay was $17651 just working on the computer for a few hours. website link.
    ? ? ? ? LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY ? ? ? ? ?

    ??????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  35. I say rollem up and smoke em good.

    http://www.AnonGO.tk

  36. I say rollem up and smoke em good.

    http://www.AnonGO.tk

  37. Citizens United was no watershed decision, it’s the same damned theme as Buckley v Valeo, and I’m nearly certain that the liberalsphere and progtopia don’t give half or even a quarter hoot about Buckley or its precedential value.

    CU = hot potato for lib/pwog vituperation. I guess there aren’t any half-talented lawyers among the lib/pwog commentariat, since they all seem to think CU arose out of nowhere and created a brand-new theme.

    Uninformed rages of other-blaming, I really appreciate that shit. It’s very persuasive.

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