Prosecutors

How Government Stifled Reason's Free Speech

Yes, the feds can compel magazines and websites to cough up user information about obviously non-threatening trolls, while barring them from even acknowledging it.

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For the past two weeks, Reason, a magazine dedicated to "Free Minds and Free Markets," has been barred by an order from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York from speaking publicly about a grand jury subpoena that court sent to Reason.com.

The subpoena demanded the records of six people who left hyperbolic comments at the website about the federal judge who oversaw the controversial conviction of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. Shortly after the subpoena was issued, the government issued a gag order prohibiting Reason not only from discussing the matter but even acknowledging the existence of the subpoena or the gag order itself. As a wide variety of media outlets have noted, such actions on the part of the government are not only fundamentally misguided and misdirected, they have a tangible chilling effect on free expression by commenters and publications alike.

Yesterday, after preparing an extensive legal brief, Reason asked the US Attorney's Office to join with it in asking that the gag order—now moot and clearly an unconstitutional prior restraint—be lifted. This morning, the US Attorney's Office asked the Court to vacate the order, which it did. We are free to tell the story for the first time.

On May 31, Nick Gillespie published a post at Reason.com's Hit & Run blog discussing Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht's "haunting sentencing letter" to District Court Judge Katherine Forrest, and the judge's harsh response. Gillespie noted that Forrest "more than threw the book" at Ulbricht by giving him a life sentence, which was a punishment "beyond even what prosecutors…asked for."

In the comments section of the post, six readers published reactions that drew the investigative ire of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. In a federal grand jury subpoena dated June 2, the U.S. District Court commanded Reason.com to turn over "any and all identifying information" we had about the individuals posting those comments.

This is the first time Reason.com has received such a subpoena from any arm of government.

From press accounts of similar actions at other news publications and social media sites, we know that it is increasingly common for the federal government to demand user information from publications and websites while also stifling their speech rights with gag orders and letters requesting "voluntary" confidentiality. Exactly how common is anyone's guess; we are currently investigating just how widespread the practice may be.

The federal government's command for information—and request for silence—ironically came just days after the Supreme Court, in Elonis v. United States, strongly limited the scope of what counts as a true "threat" online. In that case, the Court voided the conviction of Anthony Elonis, who had published on Facebook rap lyrics depicting violence against his estranged wife and as a result been sentenced to 44 months in prison for making threats. The Court ruled that context needs to be taken into account when evaluating the true nature of the threatening actions being described. "Federal criminal liability," the justices wrote, "generally does not turn solely on the results of an act without considering the defendant's mental state."

Unfortunately, that precedent is mostly irrelevant in our case. In America, grand juries have almost limitless ability to investigate whatever they want, regardless of whether that investigation has any chance of producing a constitutionally permissible conviction. Grand juries are widely regarded as playthings of ambitious prosecutors, who famously are able to indict "ham sandwiches"—at least, as long as those sandwiches aren't police officers accused of brutality.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara subpoenaed all of the identifying information we had about the authors of such comments as, "Its (sic) judges like these that should be taken out back and shot." And, "Why waste ammunition? Wood chippers get the message across clearly. Especially if you feed them in feet first." This last comment is a well-known Internet reference to the Coen brothers' movie Fargo.  

The subpoena also covered such obviously harmless comments as: "I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for that horrible woman," and "I'd prefer a hellish place on Earth be reserved for her as well."

The comments are hyperbolic, in questionable taste–and fully within the norms of Internet commentary.

It's worth stressing that, under established legal precedent, Reason.com (like any other website) is generally not legally responsible for reader comments posted at our site. Still, the chilling effect on Reason and our commenters is tangible. It takes time, money and resources to challenge, or even simply to comply with, such intrusive demands.

The original subpoena, received late on Tuesday, June 2, did not come with a gag order. However, it came with a letter from Bharara and Assistant U.S. Attorney Niketh Velamoor requesting that we refrain from informing any other parties about the subpoena so as to "preserve the confidentiality of the investigation," and that we notify his office in advance if we intended to do so, even though it also said that we were under "no obligation" to keep the subpoena confidential.

We had three options: We could 1) abide quietly with the subpoena, 2) attempt to quash it, and/or 3) alert the commenters named in the subpoena.

Option 1, quietly abiding, was a non-starter for us.

As for Option 2, our chances of prevailing in that sort of legal challenge—given the extremely wide-ranging authority of federal grand juries, and the precedents set in cases such as In re Grand Jury Subpoena No. 11116275, 846 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2012), involving an anonymous poster on Twitter—was in practical effect, virtually nil.  

In the Twitter case, an anonymous poster moved to quash a grand jury subpoena to Twitter that arose from online postings of a sexual nature about then-congresswoman Michele Bachmann. In that case, Twitter received the subpoena and notified the anonymous poster about it, letting him know that the company would comply with the subpoena unless he filed a motion to quash. The court denied his motion, holding that the poster's First Amendment right to comment anonymously must yield to the government's "compelling interest" in knowing his identity. 

So we decided, against the government's request but well within our legal rights, to choose Option 3: notify and share the full subpoena with the six targeted commenters so that they would have a chance to assert their First Amendment rights to anonymity and defend themselves legally against the order.

At about 10:30 am ET on Thursday, June 4, our attorney Gayle Sproul (of Levine, Sullivan, Koch, & Schulz) called Velamoor to discuss the subpoena. The call did not go well. Sproul asked Velamoor to consider scaling back the scope of the subpoena by omitting the more benign commenters. Velamoor said simply, "No." Then Sproul informed him that we would be notifying our commenters about the subpoena to give them the chance to defend their rights to remain anonymous, and that we would not comply with the subpoena as it related to any commenters who moved to quash the subpoena before our compliance deadline. Sproul explained to him that there is case law firmly establishing that these commenters have the right to speak anonymously, and that we would withhold the information of anyone fighting the subpoena. Velamoor disputed that any such free speech rights exist. He asked that we delay notifying the commenters so he could get a court order prohibiting us from disclosing the subpoena to them. We refused. Sproul pointed out that we were perfectly within our rights to share the subpoena given the law and the wording of his own letter. Velamoor then suggested that Reason was "coming close" to interfering with the grand jury investigation. The call ended abruptly.

Immediately following that conversation (at about 11:00 am ET on June 4), Reason Publisher Mike Alissi sent the subpoena to the six email addresses associated with the user accounts for the comments identified in the subpoena. The email stated:

I am unhappy to report that Reason has received the attached grand jury subpoena from the US District Court/Southern District of New York demanding that we provide all identifying information that we have for several commenters who posted comments in a recent Reason.com thread about the Silk Road case.  I am writing you because your email address is associated with one or more of the comments at issue. 

Please be aware that we must provide the information that is being demanded by June 9 at 10 am eastern.   Please let us know no later than Monday, June 8 at 5 pm eastern if you have filed any motion(s) with the Court opposing the grand jury subpoena. Our attorney has notified the US Attorney's Office that we are notifying you about this subpoena.

Later that day, at approximately 5:35 pm ET, Velamoor sent Reason a gag order he had later secured blocking us from discussing the subpoena or the order itself with anyone outside of Reason, other than our attorney.

The gag order was accompanied by this email:

Mr. Alissi,

Regarding this subpoena, I spoke to someone who said she was an attorney representing Reason in connection with this subpoena.  The attorney indicated that Reason intended to notify the individuals referenced therein about the subpoena.  The attorney further refused to provide me any time to take steps to protect the confidentiality of the investigation. 

I have obtained the attached Court Order prohibiting Reason from notifying any third party about the subpoena.

Please forward the Order to the attorney and any other individuals who should be aware of it.

Thank you

Niketh V. Velamoor
Assistant United States Attorney
Southern District of New York
One Saint Andrew's Plaza
New York, NY  10007

(Sproul had identified herself and provided contact information to him.)

Since receipt of the gag order on June 4, and until this moment, Reason has not spoken with any outside parties about the subpoena or the gag order. We originally intended to publish the subpoena as part of a Reason.com story about it after the reply deadline; unfortunately, the gag order put those plans on ice.

Having already suggested that Reason might have interfered with a grand jury investigation, Velamoor contacted Sproul on the afternoon of Friday, June 5, in response to a letter from her explaining the commenters' constitutional rights and laying out the timeline of Reason's notification to them. Velamoor told her that he now had "preliminary information" suggesting that Reason was in violation of the court order. Sproul said we were not and asked for further information. Velamoor refused to give any specifics, saying simply that he was "looking into it further."

So as of this point in the saga, Reason had been subpoenaed, we had been vaguely—and falsely—accused by a United States Attorney's office of actions verging on obstruction of justice and contempt of court, and we were now told that we were being investigated further.

None of the six commenters informed us that they would be filing motions to oppose the U.S. Attorney's subpoena. Therefore we complied with the subpoena on the deadline of June 9.

Providing the subpoena to the commenters before the gag order was issued is what presumably enabled it to become public. That has had the effect of bringing to light what these compulsory grabs for information look like, launching a wide number of conversations about a grand jury process in which the government can target individuals, platforms, and publications for data about users.

(For a relatively comprehensive list of coverage of the matter go to this post at the legal blog Popehat, which published the first article on the subpoena and its implications.)

Reason's experience needs to be understood in a larger context. Especially since the 9/11 attacks, there has been a mounting conflict between the values of free speech and constitutional due process, with government making increasing demands–often under threat of punishment–for all sorts of information from innocent citizens. Coupled with the rise of a secretive and pervasive surveillance state, this tension means that Americans have no way of knowing just how unfree their speech really is.

While it is impossible to fully ascertain the frequency of information requests from local, state, and federal law enforcement, there is every reason to believe websites are subjected to thousands of demands each year. It is also not clear how other websites interpret the type of letter requesting "voluntary" confidentiality that Reason received. How often is that letter sent along with subpoenas? And how often does it achieve its intended effect of securing silence? In other words, does it have the same effect as a gag order?

In 2013, for instance, Mother Jones reported that Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft have between them received "tens of thousands of requests for user data from the US government annually," covering hundreds of thousands of accounts. Using corporate transparency reports, the magazine estimated that the companies complied with the demands between 72 percent and 89 percent of the time, and that it's impossible to know how many of those requests were filled without the affected users ever knowing their information had been targeted.

Also confusing the discussion about these orders is that different categories of cases have different rules and procedures, with some granting more power to targets than others. "Unlike grand jury subpoenas, subpoenas for commenter information in civil cases and in public criminal prosecutions are easier for websites to deflect. The information sought there may be truly tangential and the parties may be willing to negotiate," Sproul told Reason. "But, as in this case, when a grand jury subpoena targets specific information that it contends is necessary to an investigation and can demonstrate the link, any fight is going to be a seriously uphill battle." 

Regardless of the legal details, the growing government demand for user data and our own experience with court-enforced silence on a self-evidently ridiculous investigation raise important questions about free speech and the abuse of power.

Reason's unmoderated comment space is rare among comparable publications and has, over the years, developed into a forum that is by turns exciting, intellectually advanced, outlandish, cringe-inducing, and more foul-mouthed than any locker room this side of the Crab Nebula. It is something to be celebrated as a voluntary community that can be engaged or ignored as the spirit moves you (we say that as writers whose work and physical shortcomings rarely escape unscathed from any thread). However trollish many of our commenters can be, they have created a sphere of free speech that delivers on one of the great promises of the Internet, which is unbridled expression, dialogue, and argument.

We took risks by creating an autonomous zone in which our readers are left to their own devices. Some of the risk is reputational—how many other serious outlets allow anonymous commenters to run riot as we do? Some of the risk is legal, as in the current situation.

One further note about anonymity in our comment threads. Commenting on our site requires registration using a working email address (which is hidden from public view unless a commenter chooses to have it displayed). We also log IP addresses. We do both of these things in order to fight spammers and trolls–people who have shown enormous determination in their efforts to disrupt the discussion. 

Our commenters are generally a tech-savvy bunch. It is likely that those who have a desire for a very high degree of anonymity are taking control of that themselves, using anonymous email addresses and tools to prevent us from logging IPs connected to them.

But Reason.com is not the dark web. Many of our regular commenters voluntarily display either personal website information or their email addresses. In fact, three of the six commenters subject to this very subpoena voluntarily displayed public links to personal blogs at Blogger as part of their comments, one of which further links to a Google+ page. Raising the question: How can the government view these so-called "threats" as so nefarious when people posted them in such a non-anonymous fashion? 

Due in part to the government's secrecy and possible gag orders or requests for "voluntary" confidentiality, we don't know whether Google or other media outlets have been subpoenaed in this particular case. Judge Forrest's sentencing and comments in the Silk Road trial have drawn widespread criticism in corners of the Internet that value privacy and oppose the ruinous drug war. The potential number of critical comments subject to the District Court's low bar for investigative compulsion is enormous. Now multiply that number by the number of controversial court cases, and you could quickly get to the point where federal courts were doing nothing but investigating online trolls. Surely there are more pressing tasks, ones that don't involve suppressing the speech of journalistic outlets known to be critical of government overreach.

Reason's guiding principle over 47 years has been to expand the legal and cultural space for free expression, as the bedrock value behind human flourishing. As libertarians who believe in "Free Minds and Free Markets," Reason takes seriously an obligation to our audience and to our critics not simply to hold on to what we've got but to increase the rights of everyone to speak openly and without figurative or literal prior restraint.

To live in a world where every stray, overheated Internet comment—however trollish and stupid it may be—can be interpreted as an actionable threat to be investigated by a federal grand jury is to live in a world where the government is telling the public and media to just shut up already. As we gather and publish more information on just how often this sort of thing happens, we pledge to always be on the side of more speech rather than less. 

NEXT: How Confederate-flag GOP Presidential Politics in South Carolina Have Changed…for the Better

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  1. First. Woodchippers.

    1. The Cohen brothers actually put the head in first and hammered on the feet with a 2×4. But an expert at delivering pain like Cheney would likely put the feet in first and hammer on the head, so let’s go with that image.

      1. Coen bothers.

        1. Ha! Brothers.

          1. And props to 7:01. And Popehat. And a hat tip to

            Fusion Hat which had nothing to do with it.

              1. 7:01 will be remembered in history as the unleashing of the Libertarian Moment….

      2. Cheney? Oh, I forgot, a lot of you are all twisted up because allowed the CIA to water on some foreign murdering Muslim’s face for a few minutes and didn’t let them sleep for awhile. Because that’s the same.

        1. Come now, these insidious comments posted on Reason were not mere “hyperbole,” any more than the criminally deceitful emails sent by a “satirist” in New York were mere poor efforts at parody or blustery expressions of anger. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal satire case at:

          http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

          And, lest the point of my remark be misunderstood, I believe it is worth reminding “freedom of speech” bloggers like Popehat and Volokh (and Gillespie and Welch and all the others) that when we don’t stand up for everyone’s rights, we should not be surprised when our own rights end up getting trampled on with big black boots.

          1. “First they came for the socialists . . .”

            Now the socialists are coming for the libertarians.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_

        2. Cheney is the most aggressive advocate for spying on Americans and for doing so in complete secrecy hidden even from members of Congress.

      3. For anyone just starting to read the comments, I suggest this:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LD57c1KuA8

        9 hours of industrial wood chipper sounds to set the mood.

        1. Lmfao

        2. Thanks, that really helped me get a good day’s sleep.

        3. Is this supposed to make us horny?

          1. It wasn’t not not supposed to make you horny.

      4. Nice alliteration, but I doubt if Dick Cheney has ever been within 100-yds of an industrial wood chipper. Or, were you referring to some other Cheney?

        1. I’d take that bet. Cheney was a working electrician for most of his life, not a soft fingered lawyer.

          1. Bullshit! He was never a lawyer as he majored in political science and draft dodging during college. He’s been a damn woodchipping bureaucrat his entire adult life.

    2. 600 comments to read? No need to get a newspaper for my flight home in 15 minutes. Hope it’s not just John and Bo arguing.

      1. Bo doesn’t argue, he educates!

        1. Boring Bo is a fucking shitstain on the underwear of civilized society. =)

  2. Should’ve saved this post for another hour and 53 minutes.

    This is all ridiculous and infuriating. It looks like you all handled this as best as you could. I would like to say some things about this Velamoor character, but I don’t want to get you in any more trouble.

    1. Just don’t come dangerously close to tarnishing Velamoor’s reputation.

      1. He’s doing a fine job all by himself.

        1. Indeed.

        2. He’s the AUSA version of Nickelback.

          1. That’s just mean.

            1. To Nickleback, and that is saying something.

        3. Definitely do not want to put him in a woodchipper. Having cement for brains it could prove harmful to the woodchipper.

          And woodchippers are valuable.

          Unlike pompous petty black robed tyrants.

        4. ++1, Kafka

        5. He’s in fine company with that poor excuse of a judge.

      2. his WHAT??!!??

    2. This mammal named Velamoor does exhibit the blatant overbearing control tendencies characteristic for Your Future Reptilian Overlords. However his lack of foresight in neglecting to obtain a gag order first marks him as a piddling amateur.

      1. Exactly. What a loser! (Hear that Vela-Less?)

      2. Oh, it is more than that. In addition to his blunders he clearly does not know the law.

        1. He is a bumbling idiot who can’t cut it in private practice and so got a government job where he can get by with hyperbole, bluster, and bullying.

        or

        2. He actually does know the law and how bad this action was and so deliberately sabotaged it.

        Y’all decide which you think is more likely.

        1. I’ll go with

          3. He’s a dishonest, dishonorable oathbreaker who counts on a corrupt system to further his evil.

    3. What if each of us sent a letter to the New York Bar Association asking him to be disbarred?

      1. He’d probably get a promotion.

      2. Proles asking for a prosecutor to be disbarred is,like fanfic to those people. They’d probably masturbate (furiously) to it.

        1. I mean, is there any other way to masturbate?

          1. You sir have no sense of style or decorum.

    4. I’m wondering why Reason logs IP addresses and email addresses in the clear? And maintains durable records?

      I might expect an organization that didn’t want to help the gestapo would hash everything – disposing of any information as soon as it had outlived its usefulness. So, for example, in this case, a log that gets wiped after 24 hours would have the Nazi prosecutor subpoenaing records that didn’t exist for email addresses you don’t have.

      If the logs of the May 31 postings had been wiped within 24 hours, there would have been nothing for the criminals in the Feral government to demand on June 2nd. And with nothing but a hashed email address to match to a screen name, the prosecutor could spend months and thousands of dollars chasing his tail only, as you’ve pointed out, to come up with further anonymity created by the users themselves.

      I love it when such frustration can be visited upon a dumbass federal functionary who is well beyond his Constitutional limits.

      1. because Reason never knows when their evil goons will be stacked up in the government and will want access to all of us libertarians that remain consistent when the Koch brothers try to take over the internet again.

        *hat tip*

        -FFM

    5. I’m wondering why Reason logs IP addresses and email addresses in the clear? And maintains durable records?

      I might expect an organization that didn’t want to help the gestapo would hash everything – disposing of any information as soon as it had outlived its usefulness. So, for example, in this case, a log that gets wiped after 24 hours would have the Nazi prosecutor subpoenaing records that didn’t exist for email addresses you don’t have.

      If the logs of the May 31 postings had been wiped within 24 hours, there would have been nothing for the criminals in the Feral government to demand on June 2nd. And with nothing but a hashed email address to match to a screen name, the prosecutor could spend months and thousands of dollars chasing his tail only, as you’ve pointed out, to come up with further anonymity created by the users themselves.

      I love it when Feral Government functionaries far beyond their Constitutional mandates spend weeks in frustration to come up with nothing.

      1. Because the place would be flooded with spam bots if they didn’t.

        1. Except for anonbot. I can’t decide whether it is a pet, mascot, food animal, or AI Overlord. =)

        2. For IP addresses, the problem is that IPv4 addresses are too small — brute force approaches could overcome the one-way hash quickly. It might work for IPv6 though.

          1. It might work for IPv6 though.

            In order to implement effective filtering of users based on IPv6 address, you would only use the most significant 64 bits of the address. That alone puts things back into the realm of brute force. Factor in some knowledge about the targets (e.g. US residential subscribers), and you could likely reduce the problem space considerably.

            And that’s assuming IPv6 deployment were universal, which it isn’t (hell, Reason doesn’t even have an IPv6 DNS record). Right now, it would probably be much easier to identify IPv6 users than IPv4 ones.

          2. Using IP addresses for spam filtering isn’t very effective (just look at all the spam postings), and it doesn’t require associating them with individual non-spam posts.

    6. I’m wondering why Reason logs IP addresses and email addresses in the clear? And maintains durable records?

      I might expect an organization that didn’t want to help the gestapo would hash everything – disposing of any information as soon as it had outlived its usefulness. So, for example, in this case, a log that gets wiped after 24 hours would have the Nazi prosecutor subpoenaing records that didn’t exist for email addresses you don’t have.

      If the logs of the May 31 postings had been wiped within 24 hours, there would have been nothing for the criminals in the Feral government to demand on June 2nd. And with nothing but a hashed email address to match to a screen name, the prosecutor could spend months and thousands of dollars chasing his tail only, as you’ve pointed out, to come up with further anonymity created by the users themselves.

      I love it when Feral Government functionaries far beyond their Constitutional mandates spend weeks in frustration to come up with nothing.

    7. I’m wondering why Reason logs IP addresses and email addresses in the clear? And maintains durable records?

      I might expect an organization that didn’t want to help the gestapo would hash everything – disposing of any information as soon as it had outlived its usefulness. So, for example, in this case, a log that gets wiped after 24 hours would have the Nazi prosecutor subpoenaing records that didn’t exist for email addresses you don’t have.

      If the logs of the May 31 postings had been wiped within 24 hours, there would have been nothing for the criminals in the Feral government to demand on June 2nd. And with nothing but a hashed email address to match to a screen name, the prosecutor could spend months and thousands of dollars chasing his tail only, as you’ve pointed out, to come up with further anonymity created by the users themselves.

      I love it when Feral Government functionaries far beyond their Constitutional mandates spend weeks in frustration to come up with nothing.

      1. Boy, the squirrels nailed you, HARD

        1. Are we not doing phrasing anymore?

  3. Velamoor sounds like a right cunt. That is all.

    1. You are now under investigation. So am I for telling you that you are under investigation.

      1. I’m sure that we’re all wired for sound by now. These guys are almost as dangerous as the phone cops.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cTPzTG1Lx60

    2. Just remember – shit flows downhill. If Preet Bharara, Velamoor’s boss didn’t accept such behavior, Valemoor would not have engaged in it.

      1. Voldemort has a boss? Is it Count Dooku? Palpatine? Davros? The Terrible Zodin?

        Maybe this prick should quit and go into private practice. I hear Wolfram & Hart are hiring.

        1. Is it bad that that’s exactly what I was thinking about Wolfram and Hart?

        2. Nah. I think even they have more integrity than these bastards are showing.

          Besides, when they push evil, they do it in a way that makes them look like something more than third rate shitweasels.

        3. He works for the feds. His boss is probably closer to Barney than any of the illustrious group you’ve named. I understand that those guys actually want their minions to be effective and useful.

      2. They are both slimy pieces of shit. Fuck them and fuck the government.

    3. A sandy one…

  4. Reason’s commitment to free expression and an open and unmoderated discussion is impressive and admirable. It really is. And that’s a major reason why a lot of us are here. That and NutraSweet’s slashfic. So keep it up, guys, and thanks.

    1. …aaaaaaaaaaand the technical discussions regarding wood chippers.

      And Lobster Girl.

      1. Don’t forget about your mom. I sure don’t.

        1. Your mother was quite accommodating in her day

      2. Also, fried chicken.

        1. I miss Wylie (or was that the Penguin?)

          1. Mmmmm.. Fried penguin.

            1. smells fishy to me…..

    2. I agree with Epi’s statement, except I would substitute “meet chicks” for “NutraSweet’s slashfic.”

      1. At a certain point, they are essentially the same thing. A horrible, profoundly demented point.

        1. Thanks for leaving the well-reasoned and succinct message that I was not able to formulate.

      2. How much fucking has happened because of H&R? At least two married couples and a bunch of other relationships. How many political blogs can claim that?

        1. a bunch of other relationships

          go on…

          1. TIWTANFL

          2. Well, there is my stalker-creepy obsession with Eddie.

            1. Keep reaching for that rainbow…

          3. mostly gay

          4. a bunch of other relationships

            In a rape dungeon?

        2. How much has been stopped by it? I write on sites like Facebook like I write here and everyone gets pissed off. It’s like cursing when you get out of the military.

        3. Shit, our third baby was born today. Without Reason that wouldn’t have happened.

          I bet the mongoloids at HuffPo can’t say that!

          1. Who would fuck any of the sad creatures at HuffPo?

            Also, congratulations to you and Banjos.

          2. Congrats.

          3. Congratulations to you both. Now remember to bring her something delicious. Birthing real brings on an appetite.

            1. There’s a semi-famous deli next to the hospital where my wife gave birth 3x.

              I assume they picked the location for good reason.

              1. Doesn’t the hospital get jealous about all the births at the deli?

                Reuben sammiches are famous for inducing labor – in my family.

          4. Congratulations.

          5. Wait, you didn’t name your kid Shit, did you?

            1. I didn’t name her Shit. Or Preet. Or Niketh. Or any other vile word.

              We named her Justice Forall Sloopy Spicer.

              1. Congratulations!!

          6. Congrats

            1. Awesome! Congrats!

          7. Did I miss the raffle to name your baby?

          8. Congratulations!

          9. “I bet the mongoloids at HuffPo can’t say that!”

            But.. Do you really want them to say that? Do you really want them to “breed”? Multiply? Have you seen Idiocracy?

            1. Why shouldn’t huffpo readers breed? Cross eyed toddlers with hooves are just adorable in a post apocalyptic nuclear wasteland kind of way.

          10. Congratulations!

          11. Congratulations! And remember there’s a nice cartoon version of Road to Serfdom (meant for GM workers during WWii) available online for free when she is that age.

          12. Woo hoo! Number three! Congratulations!

          13. Congrats

          14. Again, Congratulations!

        4. Do we have to count what goes on in your basement?

        5. I don’t think what goes on in your basement with random Reason H&R commenters counts as a “relationship”.

          1. Well, Stockholm Syndrome could be the Reason….

        6. That depends on whether Warren finally announces her candidacy….

        7. At least two married couples

          Feature or bug?

          1. Mmmmm…might I suggest as a libertarian woman, I can’t imagine a worse life than marrying a big government type. Wouldn’t have lasted for me.

    3. Yes. I know it’s not the donation webathon, but I’m going right now to donate again.

      1. I just got an unexpected bonus and was wondering what to do with some of it. Other than a little extra savings, Vegas, and a Minnesota Viking legacy brick, I’ll set aside some for a Reason donation (which I’ve sadly never done before).

        As Sidney Blumenthal would say: Brava, Reason! Brava!

        1. Take the kid to a waterpark. When it’s time.

          After you do it, you won’t want to do it again for awhile.

        2. ^This.

    4. And the “Bad Idea T-Shirt” girl who bends over ever so slightly so we can see her navel… from above..

    5. Agreed. Thanks Reason!

    6. And the fact that if Warty is posting here he’s probably not prowling my neighborhood.

      1. Reason has a mobile site. You know, just sayin’…

    7. “Reason’s commitment to free expression and an open and unmoderated discussion is impressive and admirable”

      Agreed. They are real Americans and true Patriots. Thank you Reason for your great contributions to freedom and liberty.

      1. Yes! Thank god Reason is standing up to the government! This is the scariest shit I’ve read in a while!! I’d like to see the mainstream media cover the shit out this story. With the names of our fine government attorneys who tell us that we don’t understand what out 1st amendment rights really are.

    8. Count me in on the “thanks, guys”. This is why, even when I don’t agree, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that the Reason is fighting the good fight.

  5. PS Good on ya, guys. This whole episode just pissed me off. I’ve decided to at least double last year’s contribution this year – PLUS start giving it IJ.

    Fuck the government at all levels*.

    *not meant literally, and in no way implying an actual threat to any individual, living or dead (Kinky!!)

    1. I’ve decided to at least double last year’s contribution this year

      Yes. Plus, I should have more money by the next begging season. Any place that tolerates me is a place that deserves support.

      1. So when are you going to send me money for tolerating you? Huh?

        1. Didn’t you get my dick pics? Them shits is money, dawg. Check your spam filter.

      2. I thought it went like this: “I would never join a club that would have me”.

    2. No, no, no. In the spirit of George Carlin and/or Lenny Bruce, unfuck the government at all levels!

      1. Is that a “Don’t think of an elephant “-type statement?

  6. Love the article, just wish the judge who signed off on this had also been named. Screw these people. All of them need to be removed from positions of authority where they can abuse their power. Vote them out, apply pressure. Launch public campaigns that reveal them for what they are.

    I love how they make ‘requests’ while saying please, but when asked for any courtesy back, they bluntly say no.

    1. That’s because they’re thugs. That’s why they got into the job.

      1. That’s because they’re thugs.

        Yup. The exact words that came to my mind while reading this were “schoolyard bully”.

      2. I’ve been informed that your use of this word means that you are a racist.

        1. It’s true. The T-word is just as bad as the N-word.

    2. And I love how the “voluntary” non-disclosure turns into a gag order the instant the targeted institution gets uppity. It’s a pretty effective way to reduce the number of official gag orders while maintaining nearly the same effectiveness.

      1. It’s instructive to see how much the government bullies people into compliance, regardless of the legality of what they’re trying to force people to do. The process is a very serious weapon, especially when it can be wielded without fear of consequence.

        1. Shut your whore mouth, ProLib. There are consequences. An appointed-for-life federal judge might get a stern warning and talking-to from his/her chief judge. Why, I understand that they are sometimes even remonstrated. Remonstrated, ProLib. What more do you want? They’re only human.

          1. We should fight for our liberties every single day. You can’t take a break, not with people like this who use their power for evil at every chance. Do you think they believed for one second that those comments were actual threats?

            1. I bet you one of the cocksuckers are given a speech about bullying tonight somewhere.

              It takes a bully to know one, right?

              1. The “best and brightest” was such a stupid thing to ever say about government. They’re never that, barring brief and rare instances like the founding of the U.S. “Worse and dimmest” would be much closer to the truth.

                1. “Ruthless and ambitious” is probably a more apt platitude for describing the caliber of sociopath drawn to positions of unaccountable authority in government, largely due to their inability to effective command and/or produce in the private sector at any level more impressive than head usher and a porn theater. Cream rises to the top, I’m told.. dregs sink to complacent rest in the unaccountable bowels of the federal command and control structure, I guess.. Unaccountable status given as a nuanced courtesy to those of dubious intellect, and “special needs”..

                  1. Where we go wrong, even some of us, some of the time, is ever thinking of the government as the “top.” It’s often legalized theft and violence at the best of times. Now, it seems like that’s virtually all it is.

                    1. Yes, I have been puzzled by the phrase ‘Top Men’ in its usage here. I have known gov employees and I have known top men, they are not the same people.

                  2. Shit floats. That’s all you need to know about government.

                    1. It does? The. Why are my turds always resting at the bottom of the bowl? Dear God! Are they plotting something down there?

                    2. The shit that sits in the bottom of rhe toliet are called prosecuters.

                    3. “It does? The. Why are my turds always resting at the bottom of the bowl? Dear God! Are they plotting something down there?”

                      That’s because your liver packs superior firepower, and the will to triumph.. over residual fats, and oils.. Walk proudly, with your head held high..

                  3. I guess you’ve never had to pull the top off a septic tank. It’s the big chunks that float to the top.

                2. “stupidest and faggiest” is probably more truer, but, natheless, come on, mans, they just doing their job. Yall is a twisker too hard on them, I think.

            2. “Do you think they believed for one second that those comments were actual threats?”

              It doesn’t matter to them.

          2. I was remonstrated once….the emotional scars will last…. about 10 minutes. Maybe I should carry around a seat cushion for those 10 minutes, as an art project.

    3. Yup. They say please, but their demands aren’t a request. Question, and they’ll get one of the robed stooges to sign off on any ridiculous order they want that will force compliance or a prison cell.

    4. The judge is a coward.

    5. No different than “requesting” you pay income tax.

    6. Judge Maas?

    7. I wonder if the judge who signed off on all this shit is Forrest, the one who probably initiated the complaint.
      I wonder if that is some kind of conflict or ethical violation.

      1. I knew some folks who was subject to an outrageous search on basis of an open no-knock warrant, one which didn’t even specify the places to be search nor what to be seized, signed not by the judge wielding a pen but by what was obviously a stamped signature. They afterwards filed a lawsuit against him, and the very same judge then issued an arrest warrant for them for intimidation of a federal judge (the lawsuit being the threatening act). What happened? They ended up in prison and I never heard of them again. So fuck conflict of interest, fuck legitimacy of threats, fuck it all to hell. They just doing their job. Don’t make too much of it.

  7. Niketh Velamoor: you and your boss are thin-skinned, tyrannical pieces of shit.

    1. And deserve to…… oh, never mind.

      1. …be forced to wear a jumper emblazoned with the words “Federal Prosecutor” and thrown into the general population at Riker’s?

        1. That’s too good for him. Put him in with the hard cases in SuperMax.

          1. Ok, they can put him in an assless prison suit, tattoo “child fucker” on his forehead, and toss him in with a couple dozen Aryan Brotherhood lifers.

            1. You say “tomato”…

              1. I say, “easy meat”.

        2. That would be appropriate. After jail is where you put legally innocent people before trial. And then Mr. Prosecutor should wait exactly as long as the longest any one else has waited for their trial. (I believe it’s seven years and counting).

    2. You forgot to add a big middle finger.

  8. Cue 1000+ comment thread.

    1. Luckily for me, it’s Saturday morning here. And, unbelievably, I’m not hung over.

      1. I find your lack of buzz disturbing

        1. I’m stepping awake from the whiskey…to drink rum. Ron Zacapa. Pretty good stuff.

          1. Yes rum is a better way to respect your buzz. Whiskey is for sipping assholes.

            BTW I had to ditch my ridalin to keep up with all the commenting here.

            1. Whiskey is for sipping assholes.

              Sipping assholes.

              We really don’t need to hear about your sex life.

  9. Don’t forget the other piece of scum:
    http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/meet-us-attorney

    1. What the fuck is wrong with his face? Is that why he has a chip on his shoulder?

      1. It’s kind of wooden, isn’t, what with the chip on his shoulder and everything.

        1. *it

          1. +1 hand-carved epaulette

        2. The plastic veneer masks the ageing, dysfunctional clockwork within..

      2. Chip on his shoulder?

        I see what you did there.

      3. He has hollow eyes like Odo on DS9. If only he turned into a bucket of goo every day, we could dump him in the sewer where he belongs.

        1. Septic tank. That way he has to ooze himself out through the tile field.

    2. Did you read this!?? Crap, what a statist prick. “Oh. What’s that? New York!? Never mind.”

      /Latella

  10. A disheartening look inside the petty, cowardly, small-mindedness endemic to the bureaucratic class.

    I hope there comes a point in each of these peoples’ lives where they are able to reflect on who they are and what they’ve spent their lives doing, and feel some modicum of regret.

    *note to you who seek to misread my statement as a threat. It’s not a threat, it’s a sincere hope you have a small amount of humanity, self-respect, and courage and are able to step back and see how horrible a person you are.

    1. Not bloody likely. These people are sociopaths.

    2. Who do you think you are nearly stealing my handle?

        1. Just kidding.

      1. Holy shit what a crappy thing to do. You’d think that after almost 20 years of lurking here I wouldn’t make a mistake like that.

        I’ll switch over to something nobody else would think of like Thoreau or Joe or something like that.

        1. Better?

          1. Kevin, you are kind of a dick, but that is okay. I respect it.*

            *My respect is actually a negative.

          2. Feet First made me chuckle, but honestly don’t feel like you need to change your handle. You clearly note that you’re Kevin. I was just giving you a hard time.

            1. No worries at all. I had changed it while half in the bag during the great handle-changing of last week.

              Feet First has a certain abruptness to it. I think I’ll keep it 🙂

            2. Get a room, girls.

              1. There’s room for one more 😉

                1. How open minded are you?

                2. In the chipper?

        1. Yea. Trials and Trippelations was just too easy to make into a pun.

          1. *to not make into a pun

            1. Things have gotten so confusing since the woodchipper incident.

              1. It takes a moment to sort out who is who, but I love the clever chipper handles

                1. All I had was a clever link.

                2. What we need is a handle history – like wot that Steam thing has.

              2. Some of us don’t let govt impact our commenting lives in any way whatsoever.

                1. Some of us. Others are just lazy.

                  1. It’s been an odd week.

                2. You can ignore government. But it damn sure isn’t ignoring you.

      2. Just your average juvenile internet commenter.

  11. Niketh V. Velamoor’s contempt for the Bill of Rights makes him unfit to practice law in the United States. Can Reason file a complaint with the relevant bar association to bounce this asshole out of the club and start him on the career in manual labor which he deserves?

    -jcr

    1. I wonder if any of those named in the subpoena could do likewise? Granted, the chances of him losing his license is somewhere between slim and none, but it would serve as a shot across the bow.

    2. “bounce this asshole” sounds like a threat to me.
      Prepare for your grand jury subpoena.

    3. Valdemoor works for dudes that wants to kidnap people for making internet comments….he probably already has his own special room in hell…I am not saying I wish it to be so….but I just have a feeling….and whoever his boss is…ya he is a power tripping maniac too ….Not that I, a peaceful person, would ever threaten anyone. I am peaceful. But if the masses get tired of having their civil rights abused and decide to revolt…I wouldn’t be surprised to see valdemoor and his bosses have bad stuff happen to him. I would be saddened by it and I don’t want it to happen, I love all fellow humans…but I am worried for these people, because they seem to be totally ignorant about what they are actually doing.

  12. Just disgusting. How much of the public’s time and money was wasted on this bullshit?

    1. It’s not over yet. They still have to waste FBI time sendind 12 agents oyt to chill the expression of free speech.

  13. Friday afternoon document dump comes to Reason!

    I don’t think many of us doubted you would do your best to defend your readers here (“trolls” probably included). Thanks for the thoughtful writing you put out here and for the space to comment on it.

    1. Nobody takes you seriously.

      1. I certainly hope not. BOOM. Instant reply.

  14. Now if only Reason would implement a system which notifies you that someone has replied to a post they would have the best comments on the Net.

    1. But abortion/immigration/trans-whatever/pizza threads would become 10x times as long, as everyone would seek to have the last word.

      1. It would be like a libertarian story on Salon or Alternet.

        1. You want to hang out with miserable people? Go read the Salon comments.

          The frustrations of the libertarian-leaning Reason commenters at the abuses of government power only pale in comparison to the outright rage, fury, misery, and despair of the left-leaning Salon commenter, who enjoys being ruled in part by the largest and most influential political party of the century, which ostensibly agrees with them on everything.

          They are a people surrounded by racist, religious fanatics, and are to be pitied, as they somehow carry on while they control half to three-quarters of the government at any given time, including the presidency.

          1. I can’t, they banned me three times. I gave up.

            1. Yeah, that happened to me at HuffPo years ago.

            2. Yeah, I have been banned at every lefty sight. I wear it like a badge of honor.

              But we are the echo chamber.

          2. I’d rather feed myself feet first into a woodchipper than read the comments at Salon.

            *Please don’t misconstrue my obvious hyperbole as a threat against myself or anyone who might share the same name either on the Internet or in real life. In particular I want to be clear that my use of hyperbole directed against the name “pogi” is not a threat to feed my dog (named Pogi) feet first into a woodchipper nor is it a threat against any Filipino who has been or may be referred to as “pogi”, which is a Tagalog word meaning handsome. Let me further state that I am in no way, by using the handle pogi, intimating that I am in any way more handsome or better looking than any given federal employee, judge, Filipino boxer/congressman, or Shih Tzu.

          3. Joan Walsh is a cunt, that much is certain.

    2. My kingdom (or a bottle of tequila, whichever happens to be worth more) for an edit button.

      1. I’m going guess the tequila’s worth more.

        Ole’!

  15. That’s a long way to convey that all involved in this sad and pathetic spectacle of bull shit
    are in fact cunts.

    Sorry. My mistake.

    Fascist cunts.

  16. You’re a noble bunch of writers at Reason. You have integrity and balls. You didn’t have tot give a fuck about the commentariat but you do. And though we may thrash some of your staff from time to time, rest assured, they deserved it. The commentariat thanks you.

    1. It’s the least they can do for all the times we’ve entertained them (without pay I might add) while donned in their flannel pajamas in bed sitting on top of a blanket littered with obscure Hanna-Barbera characters and a bowl of low fat yogurt in front of the TV as House of Payne plays on mute.

      /this is totally not how I sleep.

      1. “How do you sleep at night?!?!?”

        “Face down. Boxers around my ankles, like I always do.”

        1. Boxers around my ankles

          Boxers almost make me believe in God. Almost.

  17. Damn you. Second. Woodchippers.

    1. 25 comments in the time it took me to post that. I probably should have refreshed before posting. Shit.

  18. Velamoor for #2!

    Velamoor for #2!

    Velamoor for #2!

    Velamoor for #2!

    Velamoor for #2!

    1. Who is #1?

      1. That is never answered.

        1. It’s Patrick McGoohan. No, not Number 6, I mean the actor/showrunner.

          1. I knew you would get the reference. I was testing whether JBB did.

            Disappointingly few responses, though. Makes me feel old.

            1. I’ll send Rover over to roll you over.

        2. It’s answered in the opening credits:

          “Who is #1?”

          “You are, #6.”

      2. You are #6

        1. Prisoner reference, check.

          My first thought was that HRC had found her Biden.

          Of course if this shambolic pile of flesh and evil is a resident of New York stae, he can’t be on the same ticket as Yankee Fangirl #1. (Interestingly, Bronx Bomber worship is another reliable marker for eeeeevvviiiilllll.

          Kevin R

          Let’s Go, Mets!

      3. Questions are a burden to others.
        Answers are a prison for oneself.

  19. This is the best place on the internet, Nick & Matt. I can’t believe you tolerate us.

    1. Do you believe in markets or not? Someone else would pop up.

  20. Velamoor must have lots of (wood)chips on his shoulder.

  21. If you’re reading this, Preet Bharara and Niketh Velamoor: fuck you, you fascist shitlicking cunts.

    1. Amen, a thousand times

  22. If you listen very closely, you can hear the long overdue firing up of woodchippers in the distance.

    1. There’s some nice open fields near Nuremberg, PA where 20 woodchippers can be lined up alongside the Drug War Crimes Tribunal. But these folks will have to wait in line.

      At the head are the sick fucks who get off on throwing flash-bangs into baby cribs.

  23. Well, if other commenters are defending Reason’s actions, so will I.

    As for the public officials involved in this travesty, I hope they all change careers and take up a more honorable line of work, like begging for change on highway overpasses.

    I mean that they should *voluntarily,* without pressure of any kind, *choose* such a line of work, and otherwise I hope they live long and prosper for many, many years.

    1. I guarantee you that every one of the government people involved will get promoted within the next 5 years. Including the Judge, who will campaign as being “Tough on Crime.”

      1. tough on terrorist threats.

        1. Tough on terrorist threads.

          1. + infinity

            1. And beyond?

              1. always…

        2. Ban assault woodchippers with high capacity chutes

      2. Federal judges do not campaign, Aresen. The serious, lifetime appointed ones are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of Congress. There are some little fry that are directly appointed but they serve terms and have limited jurisdiction. Sometimes very limited (administrative law “judges,” lol).

        1. Yes they are.

          It’s just that the electorate is limited to 100.

        2. “Drones crashed thru my windshield” is a rather catchy tune, much nicer than listening to woodchippers

    2. + 1 tray of ice cubes

  24. Nick & Matt, I love you guys. Thank you for this article. Now go give the pigfuckers in FedGov hell. Never give in!

  25. Thanks Reason & Co, sounds like you’ve handled this as well as can be done. Makes me furious that this is what the US has become. However, it also make me proud to have been a donating member for last few years and I’ll remember this when I make my end of year donations again. Keep fighting the good fight.

    1. Maybe Reason will get a little Streisand Effect action from this.

  26. So. Have sales of woodchippers gone up or not since this whole fiasco began?

    1. Not since they instituted the background check and waiting period.

      1. In the Founders’ days there were no wood chippers….

        1. Non they had drawing and quartering.

      2. I’m still struggling with the paperwork on the pressure cooker I ordered last summer.

      3. There is still the woodchipper show loophole…

  27. After these actions by these tyrannical sheisser heads, how many new Libertarian anarchists do we have?

    1. Moving toward anarchist, still not at the ‘let’s burn this motherfucker down’ phase yet though. But they definitly seem to be trying their best.

  28. I don’t know what I’m more disappointed in:
    The government and their predictably bullying tactics, or…
    The lack of image the the missed opportunity for potentially the greatest alt text of all time!

  29. A line has opened up in front of the woodchipper.

  30. I’m glad Reason did the right thing.

    I knew I did the right thing joining the ranks.

  31. We’re really seeing how bad things have gotten. Government officials who care nothing for the rule of law or the rights of citizens and who fear no consequences for their actions, however egregious.

    It’s hard to view this ridiculous stunt as anything different than the kind of political persecutions we’re learning the IRS and other agencies have committed. Most of us have seen the kind of commentary on leftwing blogs, which, frankly, generally is more hate and (so-called) threat-filled than Hit & Run has ever been, yet a libertarian group gets targeted. Maybe I’m a paranoid libertarian or maybe this sort of thing is as politically motivated as it seems.

    The best response is what you’ve already said you’re going to do:

    From press accounts of similar actions at other news publications and social media sites, we know that it is increasingly common for the federal government to demand user information from publications and websites while also stifling their speech rights with gag orders and letters requesting “voluntary” confidentiality. Exactly how common is anyone’s guess; we are currently investigating just how widespread the practice may be.

    1. The Koch brothers are just civilians. We got mouthy about civil servants. Gotta teach the peons their place.

  32. The word is vastly overused, but this is truly outrageous. This is so far beyond the petty idiocy of that moron lawyer who sued you because we called him names. The US government is unbelievably disgusting from top to bottom.

    1. I know! We didn’t even accuse anyone of bestiality!

      1. Preet Bharara in no way looks like a guy who mo….CARRIER LOST

        1. He molests lost carrier pigeons? Sick!

        2. warty? Warty? WAAAAAARRRRRRTTTTTYYYY??!!!?!?!?!!! *lights go out*

          1. I heard that he lets them fly away when he’s done, with a lit firecracker in their assholes.

        3. You guys need to leave the comments about this guy fucking sheep off this thread. I mean, he’s a U.S. Attorney, for chrissakes. It’s highly unlikely, although possible, that he would have made it through the vetting process and confirmation process if he does, in fact, fuck sheep.

          So please, no comments about Velamoor fucking sheep. Or about Velamoor fucking any livestock. It even about Velamoor willingly sticking his dick into a woodchipper. Those are all out of bounds.

          1. As an addendum, there should be no comments made about Preet Pharara fuckjng sheep either. The same comments I made above about Velamoor not (likely) fuckjng sheep will equally apt to Bharara not (likely) being a sheepfucker.

            1. Oh, or about Bharara sticking his dick in a woodchipper. I’d be shocked if that happens.

          2. Damn. Great minds. Sick minds. Whatever.

          3. You’re right.

            Make it goats guys.

            He fucks goats.

            Albino goats. And he especially enjoys the rim job.

            1. Vaginas too big on sheeps and goats for their microscopic dicks. Rat fuckers more like it.

              1. “Rat fuckers”

                Ah, that takes me back…

        4. He may or may not be a pederast. Or a sheep fucker.

          I’m just saying.

          1. “What’s a pederast?”
            “Shut the fuck up Donny.”

        5. isn’t Preet the Punjabi word for goatfucker?

      2. “I know! We didn’t even accuse anyone of bestiality!”

        Of course not. We would never do that, but can you prove Preet is not a pig-fucker?

        I didn’t think so.

        1. He isn’t really. He has a mechanical pig.

        2. He doesn’t fuck that pig!

          No, he makes love to that pig. A world of difference my cynical friend.

  33. Are Bharara and Velamoor in this country legally? May we deport them back to whatever blighted land they come from and exchange them for some of their fellow countrymen (or women) who actually add value and worth to the world?

    1. Velemoor sounds an awful lot like Voldemort…

      1. And Niketh sounds a lot like Nikki, so he’s probably the worst AUSA.

    2. No, you can’t. They have already paid their bribes campaign contributions to Mocha Jesus. That gives them absolute immunity.

      1. Yes, I personally was shocked to see that this attorney fellow is an Obama appointee. Shocked! And that he was unanimously confirmed by 100 sheepfucking Replicrats US Senators. It boggles the mind.

    3. How’d all these foreigners get in the country anyway?

  34. Five days isn’t a lot of time to object to having your personal data spilled in the courtroom, but it seems the government didn’t even want the targets of their investigation to have even that long a time to act.

    If the feds had their way, the commenters wouldn’t have learned about the situation until after their info was handed over. Even though I had supposed anyone claiming his rights were violated has a right of access to the courts to vindicate those rights.

    Oh, if only Obama knew what his ministers were doing!

    1. Oh, if only Obama knew what his ministers were doing!

      That, Eddie, that. (I’m still going to wet-willy, wedgie and swirly you at every opportunity, but you get a 12-hour pass.)

    2. Funny how the feds act quickly in a case where expediency screws people over

      1. They act quickly in a case that personally benefits them…

  35. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara subpoenaed all of the identifying information we had about the authors of such comments as, “Its (sic) judges like these that should be taken out back and shot.” And, “Why waste ammunition? Wood chippers get the message across clearly. Especially if you feed them in feet first.” This last comment is a well-known Internet reference to the Coen brothers’ movie Fargo.

    You know, Rumble in the Bronx also had a wood-chipper scene and came out a year before Fargo. I’m just saying, let’s not jump to conclusions here.

    1. I just watched “Texas Chainsaw” and they have a scene with a car chipper. It’s in the floor with no railings or anything. Crazy dangerous. I’m sure it was not OSHA approved.

    2. The only movie to pit a Lamborghini vs a fucking hovercraft… It is legendary for that reason alone.

  36. So, hopefully the follow-up names the judge(s) who signed off on all of this nonsense, as well.

  37. We’re gonna need a bigger woodchipper.

    1. How about this one?

      1. That thing is cool.

  38. It’s interesting, being an eye-witness to this story unfolding as the threads of the plot come together. For example, this:

    Velamoor told her that he now had “preliminary information” suggesting that Reason was in violation of the court order. Sproul said we were not and asked for further information. Velamoor refused to give any specifics, saying simply that he was “looking into it further.”

    Must surely be a reference to this:

    On Friday, June 5th, the day after a source sent me the subpoena, I decided to call Niketh Velamoor, the Assistant U.S. Attorney who issued the subpoena…Mr. Velamoor ? who said he could not discuss grand jury investigations, which is the standard AUSA statement ? said that it was unreasonable to expect the government to be able to prove such a threat before it identified the commenters. That answered my question on the point.

    Mr. Velamoor was suspicious and defensive. At one point he told me that he “believed” that there was a gag order prohibiting this subpoena from being released by its recipients, and that whoever gave it to me must have violated that order, and that he would be “looking into it” and how I got it.

    1. said that it was unreasonable to expect the government to be able to prove such a threat before it identified the commenters.

      The irony.

    2. Good on reason rushing out the notifications when they noticed he was being a hardass.

  39. Proud of Reason in this case. Really frightening to think things have even come to this.

  40. Speaking of long comment threads, you guys should just run ads the whole way down the side instead of stopping at the start of the comments.

    I’m thinking you’re actually getting more eyeballs down here than on the actual articles, just due to sheer length.

  41. then-congresswoman Michele Bachman

    Bachmann. Two N’s, Nick, since she’s of German ancestry. Single N is Jewish.

            1. Well-played, lads, well-played.

            2. Dylann is an uber-Jewish name? Is that what you’re implying?

      1. Two Ns.

        Dr. Joseph Dolan: Right. Now, how long have you had these pains, Mr. Barber?

        Fletch: No, that’s “Babar”.

        Dr. Joseph Dolan: Two B’s?

        Fletch: One B. B-A-B-A-R.

        Dr. Joseph Dolan: That’s two.

        Fletch: Yeah, but not right next to each other. I thought that’s what you meant.

        Dr. Joseph Dolan: Arnold Babar. Isn’t there a children’s book about an elephant named Babar?

        Fletch: I don’t know. I don’t have any.

        Dr. Joseph Dolan: No children?

        Fletch: No elephant books.

        1. + 6’8″ with the Afro

            1. uh huh yeah

              1. Fletch: Can’t keep me here, chief.

                Chief Karlin: Maybe I’m not going to keep you here. Maybe I’m going to blow your brains out.

                Fletch: Well, now, I’m no lawyer, but I do believe that’s a violation of my rights.

                1. “Do you own rubber gloves?”
                  “I rent ’em… I have a lease with an option to buy.”

                  1. Can I borrow your towel for a sec…

                    1. Moo-o-o-n River…

  42. I am now a bit apprehensive about posting a comment and that, in and of itself, should be a clue as to how invasive this government has become.

    My apologies Thomas Jefferson, we have failed in our basic duties as Americans. Things are simply out of control now…

    1. Wait on your Jefferson apology. The Liberty Tree is withered, to be sure, but life giving water can work wonders.

    2. Jefferson believed the government would probably need to be thrown into the woodchipper every now and then.

  43. I don’t know if it is an optical illusion or just my natural antipathy toward the power-hungry; but I kept reading the name Voldemort instead of Velamoor.

    1. I think he’s more of the Dolores Umbridge type.

      1. More the type that would bottom to Dolores Umbridge.

        1. +1 Hogwarts Soap-on-a-Rope

    2. Voldermort was evil but not totally incompetent like dick breath.

  44. I don’t wish ill will on anyone, but I do wish that someone with the disposition of Velamoor would find a different line of work. Someone with the power to take away liberty and property should not have such thin skin or be so mendacious.

    1. More depressing thought: considering how extreme Velamoor’s actions were here (like trying to start a new witch hunt to figure out how Ken White knew about the subpoena), I’m wondering if perhaps he serves these sorts of requests on companies all the time, and sees such high rates of compliance with them that he’s just flabbergasted that anyone would try to resist or fight back.

      1. The article made it sound that way. Basically, most places cave in to government demands. And you look at their tactics, you can see why. Microsoft not cooperating with the Fed requests would probably result in some nice new regulation.

        1. Nice company you got there… be a shame if something… regulatory happened to it.

      2. Nothing to wonder about. The answer is yes. This is not an isolated incident.

      3. Of course the answer is yes. Government thugs aren’t used to people pushing back.

        1. Government thugs aren’t used to people pushing back.

          In this case, I believe the term “thugee” is more accurate.

          1. “thugee”, a warm, velour blanket with integral sleeves and a balaclava, for discerning thugs..

            1. Sounds like a J Peterman ad.

              1. I was thinking, Sharper Image, or.. SkyMall.

          2. I see what you did there, HM.

            ::Pulls flaming heart out of man’s chest while chanting::

            1. Kali-Ma!

              1. ohm num shivari (that’s the closest I remember the anti-chant chant to be…)

      4. Very much the same thought process as asset forfeiture. FYTW top to bottom.

  45. I can’t understand why these gag orders are so easy for the feds to slap on everybody. They seem incredibly anti-American. There must be some way to mount a constitutional challenge. I’m sure the usual defense is “but terrorism” and a few decades ago the defense was “but mafia”. But it’s time for reform.

    1. Judges are former prosecutors. Prosecutors think everyone’s a criminal.

      1. Close, they are both attorneys. Attorneys are the scum of the earth and the main source of governmental tyranny. Considering they produce exactly jack and shit, they are parasites pure and simple.

  46. Am I the only one shocked that they didn’t use my award winning political cartoon as a graphic for this article? Anyone? Anyone?… Anyhow this is my very last shameless plug for my soon to be classic artwork.[REDACTED]

    1. It needs more labels. And is that a generic weed or Weed weed?

    2. Such subtlety is only matched by the great poets of my race. Continue on with your work, Your Future Reptilian Overlords are pleased.

    3. I think they’re working up a proposal to hire you for the Friday Funnies and don’t want to seem too eager.

      1. As long as I retaiin complete artistic control, I’ll work for peanuts. Well, peanuts and a leather jacket, and invites to cocktail parties,.. and this lamp, oh and this.., I need this….

        1. +1 Opti-Grab

    4. Katherine Forrest has one big fucking doobie . . .stop, Katie! Stop the doobie chippin’!

  47. Pin this to the top. Every visitor to Reason.com should see this article first.

    1. ^this

  48. First. Reason, thank you for standing up for free speech and us apes.

    Second, Preet Bharara and Niketh Velamoor. So which of you can suck the most cock without tearing up? Preet looks like a wimpy piece of shit. So he probably cheats and uses some benzocaine.

  49. At about 10:30 am ET on Thursday, June 4, our attorney Gayle Sproul (of Levine, Sullivan, Koch, & Schulz) called Velamoor to discuss the subpoena.

    KOCH? I knew it!

    But seriously, good on Ms. Sproul. I know it’s her job, but still, good on her.

    1. (of Levine, Sullivan, Koch, & Schulz)

      Kochtopus!11!1

  50. So, was the gag order lifted?

    I’m not clear on that.

    1. Yes, earlier today they got the judge to lift it.

      1. okay.

        I skimmed quickly.

        Congratulations to Nick and Matt and the reason staff for keeping their cool and doing the right thing by informing the commenters of the subpoena.

  51. Thanks, Reason, for holding out. If it had come down to it, this would have been the hill to die on.

    I am retiring my “woodchipper” handle, for now.

    1. You mean the hill to kick ass on! Well done!

  52. Congrats to the brave folks at Reason! Sometimes, there are no really good choices, only less bad ones; especially so when dealing with those who are eager to use force. It was handled as best as can be expected.

    Thanks to Ken at Popehat as well. I believe his comments about the simian ancestry and poor hygiene of the Commentariat was a clever ruse, and that he really does love us.

    1. “I believe his comments about the simian ancestry and poor hygiene of the Commentariat was a clever ruse, and that he really does love us.”

      A back-handed compliment, is still a compliment.. I guess..

  53. It shocking how rapidly the US descended into totalitarianism under the neocons, but it’s even more shocking how this has continued even under the Obama administration. It gives credence to Russ Tice’s observation that Cheney was using the NSA to tap Obama’s phones from 2004 on, and the possibility that Cheney has turned him into a puppet. And why Bill “Cheney is the best Republican” Kristol congratulated Obama on his foreign policy and called him “a born again neocon.”

    1. Yea, that’s the reason Obama is a mendacious cunt.

    2. Before you get disappointed again: Hillary is going to do the same if elected. As will most Repubs.

      1. Hilary is already a neocon, but Cheney will have to blackmail her anyway to protect his dirt gathering machine. Can’t let the Dems have it, because whoever has it has ultimate power on this planet.

        1. Ok, so you basically personify my pet peeve about conspiracy theories: It’s a repackaging of Top Men syndrome.

          “Most people in government would do the right thing, but they’re being blackmailed!”

          So instead of addressing the structural problem, proponents just hope that someone EMPs a guy who’s been out of office for 7 years.

          1. You just think he’s out of office, but no one as power mad as Cheney, a man would could never be elected president, a man who rat-fucks his enemies–his term–would pass up the chance to get power, and having gotten it, will never give it up. Hoover showed the way by blackmailing several presidents and many Congressmen, keeping his job far longer than was usual, and Cheney is doing exactly the same thing, except he’s using a mechanism a hundred times more effective than Hoover’s gumshoes. Thus our real president is not Obama the rat. It’s Cheney the rat-fucker.

            1. Ah, the old story:

              Bad stuff under Republicans = fault of Republicans.

              Bad stuff under Democrats = fault of Republicans.

              1. The neocon criminals have infested both administrations. Look at the Cheney protegee Victoria Nuland, who got caught restarting the cold war and suffered no consequences. Some are ex-liberals, and Bill Kristol’s father is a ex-Marxist. They are attracted to power and have loyalty to no party (unlike so many of Obama’s supporters, who support Obama’s neocon policies and try to argue away his war crimes).

                1. So, I’m going to blow your mind with the truth.

                  Obama is not being blackmailed, he’s one of them.

                  From waaaayyyyyy back.

                  His momma worked for the CIA, and he was groomed early on. All the weird, spooky, stuff in his background was not driven by crypto terrorist – but the CIA.

                  1. Some years ago I considered if Obama was a Manchurian candidate, and his mysterious past does leave room for speculation. But Russ Tice’s assertion that Cheney was spying on him and his instantaneous conversion into a Cheney neocon settled the issue. If he was controlled by the CIA, his policies wouldn’t match Cheney’s as the CIA didn’t like Cheney at all. So the Obama-Cheney convergence didn’t happen by accident. He was ratfucked by Cheney and his co-conspirator, General Hayden.

            2. And just a happy co?ncidence that everyone in office happens to be highly blackmailable.

              1. You only need to blackmail the president, and he will get rid of anyone who doesn’t follow his lead. And this guy with his mysterious past was a godsend. If only one of the many claims made about him in the right wing websites were true, you have him completely.

  54. “It takes time, money and resources to challenge, or even simply to comply with, such intrusive demands.”

    Excellent reason for everyone who cares to make a donation to help offset such costs.

    There’s a “Donate” link right at the top of this page.

    The government must be really scared of what we say here at Hit & Run–and what Reason staff write.

    And that’s another excellent reason to make a donation.

    P.S. Fuck the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

    Everything they did and why will be a matter of public record and subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, will it not?

    They better have their ducks in a row because I think average Americans would be a lot more upset to find that the U.S. Attorney’s Office selectively gagged/chilled a news website because they were against the Drug War–than Americans were to find out that the IRS was selectively rejecting Tea Party groups for tax exemption because of their party affiliation.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office effectively targeted commenters on a libertarian website for engaging in political rhetoric against the Drug War?!

    That’s another excellent reason to make a donation to Reason.

    P.P.S. K-E-N S-H-U-L-T-Z

    1. I mean, I’m not sure you’re average American thinks that everyone has a right to tax exempt status, but I bet a lot fewer think it’s okay for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to target commenters for being libertarian and opposed to the Drug War.

      Americans may not think we have a right to tax exempt status, but I bet the overwhelming majority support my right to say that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is a fucking asswipe of a fascist loser.

      We should ask for ALL of his emails.

      Every single one of them.

  55. You guys are all beating around the bush, so I’ll stick out my VPNed neck and say it.

    I have heard that Niketh Velamoor and Preet Bharara have performed the airtight on goats. I have no proof that this unfortunate rumor is false, so I will assume that indeed, they have routinely committed acts of bestiality. of course, when they have sex with each other, that’s bestiality by definition.

    Fuck them with rusty barbed wire. And to Matt and Nick, ditto the nice things people say about you- this is the finest place on the internet, with the smartest and most personable writers and commenters anywhere. Except Richman, who is an antisemitic retard. Still, not a bad batting average.

    1. I heard that Preet always whines about being the catcher because it has caused him to prolapse in court. The only thing that saved him the last time he shit all over the floor is that the judge is in to that sort of thing and let it go.

    2. “I have no proof that this unfortunate rumor is false, so I will assume that indeed, they have routinely committed acts of bestiality.”

      I believe there’s a gag order on that “alleged” incident.. and you’re not supposed to talk about it..

      1. Come and get me, alleged goat fucker!

        1. Well done old man.

          1. Is this not the best fucking thread evaaaaaa?!

            1. Might be the record for replies? Or at least close?

  56. Assuming that the AUSA and USA for SDNY aren’t complete submorons, you can assume the subpoenas they are seeking for everyone else’s info will include gag orders prior to service, not after.

    Of course, when you assume…

    1. Assuming that the AUSA and USA for SDNY aren’t complete submorons

      See, there’s your problem.

  57. “Federal criminal liability,” the justices wrote, “generally does not turn solely on the results of an act without considering the defendant’s mental state.”

    They’re working on that.

    1. Mens Rea……pffft. Check your privilege, civilian.

  58. Just don’t know where to begin here. Where is the line that shall not be crossed?

    1. It’s arbitrary, citizen.. Take great care where you step, or else..

    2. The rules are arbitrary. That’s what fascism is.

  59. This Velamoor is a real piece of shit. I hope we eventually elect a president that will metaphorically shit him out of government…and into a woodchipper.

    Signed,
    Ken Spicer
    Kenspicer111@gmail.com
    Everybody on here knows where I live.

    1. Congratulations, dude. And best wishes to you and your family.

      1. All he did was bang Banjoes. She did the heavy lifting.

        1. Fecundity is our future.

    2. Yes sloop – you live with Liberty and Justice.

      Congratulations again.

    3. In CA? Or is it DC?

    4. Candy Mountain?

  60. In 2008, Niketh Velamoor donated 2,050 dollars to the campaign of a particular presidential candidate.

    In 2012, he donated 1,624 dollars to the campaign of the same candidate.

    With this in mind, it is clear that Velamoor is unable to dispassionately perform his duties as prosecutor in this case and should be removed at once.

    1. The other one, Preet, was appointed by Obama, as well. They are from NY. We all know where their bread has been buttered.

      1. What was the Mark Twain quote? Oh yeah:

        You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.

      2. It should also be noted that Mr. Bharara was a staffer for Chuck Schumer.

        1. Special assistant for clearing a path between the senator and a TV camera/radio microphone?

          Kevin R

      3. You mean “get their buns buttered”.

      4. We all know where their bread has been buttered.

        That means anal sex, right?

    2. Right. That’ll happen. Sure. Right after Racheal Price knocks on my door and offers me oral.

      1. You, sir, have excellent taste.

        1. I second this. I am a fan.

          1. I always have a warm glow when I find that two of my favorite commenters share my tastes.

            But I still want oral from her.

            1. two of my favorite commenters

              I love you, too.

        2. But does he taste excellent?

          I guess we’ll have to as Rachael Price?

          1. Ask. Ask Rachael Price.

            1. The singer in this group. The Old Man wants that. Hell yeah.

              1. Meh; she has a bit of a horse face. I’d prefer the cellist.

                1. You’re dead to me. DEAD TO ME.

                2. That’s it, the wasteland wanderer is going on my list.

                3. I’d prefer the cellist

                  But you’d probably be happy with the drummer…

                  /NTTAWWT

                  1. Not my style. I mean, dude looks like a low-rent Fonz. Jesus. I have standards, you know.

                    1. WFUV.org has LSD in their archives. Enjoy.

                      http://www.wfuv.org/content/la…..-hall-2014

                      Kevin R

      2. Just got done watching Alex Cross. Rachel Nicols not bad either.

  61. Reason’s unmoderated comment space is rare among comparable publications and has, over the years, developed into a forum that is by turns exciting, intellectually advanced, outlandish, cringe-inducing, and more foul-mouthed than any locker room this side of the Crab Nebula.

    Now, that is how to call us names. Are you listening, stuffed shirts of the movement?

    Nick & Matt, count me in for any needed fundraising to fight these assholes.

    1. Not only that, I may have to be even more vocal in my support of Paul. Someone has to end the madness.

        1. More Rand than Ron, and probably more money. I wore my Rand shirt yesterday.

          1. I got that one, and the NSA one as well.

            1. Is that Nick on the far right?

  62. When they say they are investigating the source of Popehat’s article today, that likely means that they’ve gotten subpoenas for a whole lot of personal info on the Reason staff. God knows what that might include to try and show communication between the two parties.

    And would Reason even know about it? It would be a separate investigation.

  63. Caesar had his Brutus, Charles I his Cromwell, and Assistant United States Attorney Niketh Velamoor his T. Woodrow McChipper.

  64. Woodchipper 2016

  65. Nice article picture, BTW.

    1. No alt-text. I take back everything nice that I said about Nick and Matt.

  66. Maybe if we’re pointing out your physical shortcomings, you guys should squat more.

    Warty has a weight room in his basement. I’m sure he’d be happy to help

    1. I think that’s just a trick used to lure unsuspecting victims into the basement.

    2. I get the feeling some of the Reason staff do plenty of squats, IYKWIMAITYD.

    3. None but a fool squats in front of Warty..

  67. I have had a theory for a long time that the reason clowns like Velamoor do these things is because they know they won’t face any sanctions. I propose that Reason take up a collection for legal fees, or find attorneys willing to work pro bono, and sue him into poverty. File several concurrent lawsuits, both in state and federal court. Heck, file in small claims too. Really make an example of him and publicize the hell out of it. Don’t sue his office or the state, just him. Make it plain that any asshole prosecutor that goes after you without true probable cause will get figuratively bitten. Go after the judge that issued the gag too, if he should have known better. Just spitballing here, but sue them for civil rights violations, fraud, perjury, and just generally being scummy human beings. Although that last one might be hard as it seems to be a job requirement to be an officer of the court these days.

    1. IANAL, but I believe it is difficult to impossible to sue government attorneys for their actions on the job.

      1. Sovereign immunity says FYTW.

    2. No cause of action here. Even when they are exceeding the legal bounds of their authority, you can’t get to them. Governmental immunity is strong.

      1. Some would say absolute. Like the U.S. Supreme Court.

        1. Only a Sith deals in absolutes…

  68. I swear I’ll block my Friday night out if it means reading 1000 comments pissing on these assholes ALL NIGHT LONG.

    1. Thanks for the ear worm, jerk 😉

    2. Well I’m gonna go pour me a vodka Collins, get my buzz going and piss on these assholes all night long.

      Also roast lemon chicken, make rice with olives, green onions and chopped parsley, and make a carrot and red cabbage slaw with a sweet tahini dressing.

      1. That sounds awesome.

  69. What the hell, squirrels?!?

    Despite the god damn squirrels that ate my first (and second) comment (oh do please let all three attempts land in a string of squirrely pearls), this is the most infuriating, horrifying, intelligent, and inspiring corner of the internet and I love it and all you sick bastards.

    Bharara and Velamoor should be stripped of power and publically humiliated in the strongest possible terms (permitted by law). May they rot in the hell I don’t believe in.

    1. (permitted by law)

      Fuck that. How about “permitted by justice”. Assholes like those two have percerted the law to the point where they enjoy near-complete immunity for deliberate malfeasance, for witness tampering and for malicious prosecution a do deprivation of civil rights. Doing to them the worst “permitted by law” would be to give them an extended vacation followed by a sweet pension on the taxpayer’s dime. Whereas the word “permitted by Justice would involve tar, feathers and and something a train rides on.

      1. I really was thinking more along the “tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail” scenario, honestly. Let’s go with that, then. I like it.

        1. I just like to remind people that “permitted by law” usually carries a different penalty for the King’s Men than it does for the plebes. And just because enough shitheads in the past gave up the right to equal protection under the law to these cretinous bastards, doesn’t mean exacting justice should be out of bounds.

          These men that would abuse their authority in order to stifle dissent need to have their heads examined…in a (metaphorically speaking, Mr Bharara) creative manner that Gallagher would be proud of.

          1. I was just adding the now-required “this is not a threat” threat caveat.

            I really am happy for you guys on the birth of Justice! Maybe someday we’ll have a get-together of wee Agitator/Reasonoids.

            1. Glad to see you still lurk Bronwyn. You should come around more often.

          2. Excellent. It’s Sledgomatic Time.

    2. No, Bronwyn, isn’t it bad karma that will get them in the end? Or maybe some bad korma at some NY Indian greasy-spoon?

  70. If they thought this would chill the comments on H&R they were mistaken.Ther’s been a lot of gold on here since the news broke.Oh and W O OD C H I P P E R!

  71. I’ll triple my contribution if you put a woodchipper on the reason shirt.

    1. chip semper tyrannis

      1. ^this is simple brilliant…also probably racist.

      2. I’ll take 5.

        1. Count me in.

      3. The tree of liberty must be mulched from time to time with the woodchips of patriots and tyrants.

        1. It prefers tyrants, but always ends up with patriots.

        2. DeflateGate again? Isn’t a four game suspension enough?

      4. Nice:)

  72. That Bharara guy, he’s really something.
    What, I’m not at liberty to say.

    1. He’s a chip off the old (wooden) block.

      1. Excuse the pun(jab).

  73. Nick and Matt, thanks so much for standing up for what you believe in. That really does take some of the sting out of every nut punch.

    1. Liberty is not an end but a process.

      1. Oh what would you know about liberty…

          1. I invented the question mark.

            1. What’s your opinion on chestnuts?

              1. “Why the hell would you have a bucket of chestnuts, bro?”

            2. Liar. Dr. Evil’s father did.

              You think we’re stupid and ignorant don’t you?

              Take your act to Huffington and Salon pal.

              1. “I’m starting to think his mania is not limited to the ring…”

  74. I don’t understand why there is no mention of this on his Wikipedia page:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preet_Bharara

    1. Maybe this is all about Preet’s butthurt over being called out in Jacob’s 2011 piece on Bharara’s hardon for online poker.

      1. If Preet’s been reading here since 2011, just waiting for the perfect chance to strike, would it really have taken 4 years to issue subpoenas to hem everyone up?

        1. Doubt it, but I’m not inclined to give him any credit.

        2. So he’s been a weaselly cheesdick for years?

          Color me surprised. I guess pulling the wings off of flies only goes so far.

    2. Apparently he was a candidate to replace Eric Holder.

      *gag*

      1. Well, he appears to have a similar level of respect for the constitution as Holder has demonstrated

  75. Congratulations stoooopid mammals you have agreived your own overlord class to the point of arriving at a determine location of notoriety

    1. ::grabs heat lamp bulb with towel and twists counterclockwise::

      1. I see you cannot take compliments well… I have mistaken you for a male of your species… Dick

        1. We’ll see how you feel whilst food festers in your stomach, with no heat to complete your digestion cycle… It is alleged to be excruciating..

          1. Florida Man installed a panic button that I have already activated. He will be here any second with a new bulb and a heating pad…

            1. You win this round, reptilian…

              1. Watch out for the racoons – they’ve already thrown in with the reptiles.

                http://travel.aol.co.uk/2015/0…..hotograph/

                The little bastards are no longer content with your garbage cans, they see the opportunity to seize the means of production.

                1. Slip the lizard some ginger.

                  {Emphatic cough!}

                  Kevin R

          2. I’m fucking dying

  76. Reason’s unmoderated comment space is rare among comparable publications and has, over the years, developed into a forum that is by turns exciting, intellectually advanced, outlandish, cringe-inducing, and more foul-mouthed than any locker room this side of the Crab Nebula.

    Thank you, Nick. It is always nice to feel appreciated. Free wood chippers and a mule, for all!

    1. Mule? I always knew you were a drug smuggler. Nothing wrong with that.

  77. If someone starts a Gofundme/ChipIn/etc. for Reason I’ll throw in. It would get a lot more exposure than a donate button on their website.

    1. I’ll donate, but only if it’s on a site called “Chip In”.

      1. Why don’t they have a Reason Fundraiser at $400 a plate featuring Fish ‘n’ Chips, instead?

  78. Lawyers, you dirtbags you, can you help explain this tweet? Is what he did serious? Is a bar complaint serious?

    1. The guy is a AUSA. He would need to be caught red handed with his dick covered in coke while a shemale prostitute did a line to get disbarred. He covered his ass, reading the tweets, by saying that he wasn’t sure who his representation was.

      1. Not even then. Government privilege.

    2. It can be if an attorney can be shown to have violated an ethics canon. What he’s talking about could be improper, though something like that by itself is unlikely to result in discipline. I mean, look at all of the totally unethical stuff lawyers do all of the time, and how many get disciplined?

      1. Thank you for providing some context.

        I hope he gets pestered by some process he has to deal with because of his actions.

        1. Unfortunately, prosecutors rarely see that process. Here’s hoping, at least.

          1. See:
            Nifong, Mike
            Clinton, Bill

  79. “At about 10:30 am ET on Thursday, June 4, our attorney Gayle Sproul (of Levine, Sullivan, Koch, & Schulz) called Velamoor to discuss the subpoena. The call did not go well. Sproul asked Velamoor to consider scaling back the scope of the subpoena by omitting the more benign commenters. Velamoor said simply, “No.” Then Sproul informed him that we would be notifying our commenters about the subpoena to give them the chance to defend their rights to remain anonymous, and that we would not comply with the subpoena as it related to any commenters who moved to quash the subpoena before our compliance deadline. Sproul explained to him that there is case law firmly establishing that these commenters have the right to speak anonymously, and that we would withhold the information of anyone fighting the subpoena. Velamoor disputed that any such free speech rights exist.”

    Apparently U.S. Attorney Niketh Velamoor doesn’t understand free speech rights, very well, and I think we should take it upon ourselves to educate him.

    I have a suggestion:

    Maybe Reason should hold an Everybody Draw Niketh Velamoor Contest.

    That’s what Reason has used to teach people about free speech rights in the past!

    We could send him all the entries and give him a vote on which one wins.

    1. Velamoor disputed that any such free speech rights exist.”

      Is New York’s bar exam multiple choice?

      1. You can’t expect a AUSA to know all the case law on insignificant things like free speech or anything else for that matter. Have you seen how many laws there are? It’s a lot.

        1. Yeah.. I’m told that “LAW” is a big book, with a bunch of words (many of them in a foreign tongue). Who has time to read all that shit..

          1. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. I’m shocked at how many of you fools don’t know the law.

    2. Almost every entry would include either bestiality or a woodchipper.

      1. Mine would have him running the First Amendment through a woodchipper.

        1. Costco is selling woodchippers now at an amazingly low price.

    3. 8=====) —

      What do I win?

      1. It’s a good one!

      2. 8====D~~~ ( :

        1. 8=====D~~~()*()

        2. 8====D~~~ 0-:

          I’m not saying he swallows…

          1. I think it is part of the gag order to not identify swallowers.

            1. I read this as a classy ‘brunch’. Hmmm…

          2. 8=========~~~~~ -(: (:

            Do the math bitches

          3. How do you know so much about swallows?

      3. So we are seeing competing…circumcised vs. not?

    4. “Maybe Reason should hold an Everybody Draw Niketh Velamoor Contest.”

      (_*_)

  80. I may be a puerile, foulmouthed internet troll, but I’m not an errand boy for a crazy person, dressed up as a government flunky.
    I hold my head high.

    1. Jejune. But me too.

  81. “Suppressing speech is just something we do together. GET OVER IT, LIBERTARIANS.”

    -Kevin Drum

  82. Reason folks: how about putting up the donation banner again so we can donate with pithy woodchipper sayings that show up in lights at the top of the page.

    1. Woodchipper of the month jam & jelly club?

  83. OH! And in case it wasn’t noted elsewhere above since I posted earlier,

    the first rule of gag order club is…….

    [REDACTED]

    1. The second rule of gag order club is… Get in the chipper.

      1. That’s third. Number two is number one.

        1. Who is number six?

        2. His name is Almanian Woodchipper.

          His name is Almanian Woodchipper.

          His name is Almanian Woodchipper.

          1. +1 Meat Loaf

  84. Guess who else is posting on the TweetrZ about you assholes! Well, OK – US assholes….

    Virginia Postrel ?@vpostrel 6m6 minutes ago
    Lawyer asked AUSA to omit “benign commenters” from subpoena. Velamoor said simply, “No.” http://buff.ly/1H444aF #DOJvReason #Reasonsubpoena

    DRINK! Just cause….no REASON.

    1. She is reading this! Class it up!

    2. /slaps forehead.

      I forgot Virginia *may* read this thread.

      Straighten up and please be fucken POLITE for the love of God. People MAY BE READING US.

      /twists tie out of collar.

      1. I think she is pretty cool, and her bloomberg column about this travesty was good (and she is sharing with her followers, which is also productive), but this tweet (as benign as it is) made me laugh.

        1. Warty’s fame knows no end.

          1. Warty-Epi-SugarFree-ProLib is the heart of the commentariat, (sorry, rest of us). It’s been the best free entertainment since internet porn.
            (I know I forgot someone! Dammit!)

            1. Baked-fucking-Penguin.

        2. Oh come on! Warty gets the placed sued and Virgina retweets him?!?
          *punches hole in wall*

    3. She secretly loves us.

      1. She loves the idea of a proper, buttoned up version of us.
        Emails were sent, emails were received, and progress was not made.

        This place is a locker room. A brilliant, hilarious locker room.

        1. “This place is a locker room. A brilliant, hilarious locker room.”

          Better than foul and fetid..

        2. And Jesse keeps showing under the faucet head immediately next to me.

        3. It takes a special kind of woman to hang here for sure.

  85. However trollish many of our commenters can be…

    I think he just called you fuckers trolls.

    And yeah, donations incoming.

    1. Who are you calling a fucker, pal?

      1. I’m not you pal, friend.

        1. I’m not your friend, guy.

          1. I’m not your guy, bitch.

      2. Every fucker on this board.

        Preet Bhrara and Velamoor, those TOILET FISH deserve to be flushed. I think I will send them each a card with only two words written on it. The words will consist of fuck and off.

        1. Are they Dem or Rep?

          1. Yes. They are both part of the two-party shuts how.

            1. Shitshow.

              Fuck, now they’ve got Apple helping censor my toilet mouth.

          2. Dem donors and appointees.

            1. Which is why there was no indignation from the left,-of-,center media. Where was HuffPo, Mother Jones, Salon (eeeeew)? Curiously, silent. Silently cheering Preet on. And blessing a Reuter’s hit piece by the esteemed Alan Wolfe

              1. Curiously Silent: great name for a…Metal band?

          3. Does it matter? Two sides of the Boot On Your Neck Party.

            1. Yeah, it matters . . Where’s that asshole Tony?. Tony, the Democrat-Socialist, ,”Government is Good for You”‘ central-planning snitch?

              Hiding? Ashamed?

    2. No, he just meant Pro Libertate and Florida Man..

  86. This is what happens when you outsource the DOJ to India. Amirite or amirite? Amirite?

    1. You ain’t right. (you’re a libertarian.) But puns are awesome, yes they are.

  87. Thank you Gayle Sproul (of Levine, Sullivan, Koch, & Schulz).

    Thank you Nick, Matt, et al.

    And thanks even unto you, ye of the unwashed masses who recently made wood chipper (or some variation) a part of your moniker or have over the months and years “shouted” against oppression here and elsewhere.

    May your monocles ever stay polished and, most importantly, may the flame of liberty never be extinguished from your hearts and minds.

    /Charles joining the shaking of the pillars, and all that….

    1. Oh, I will NEVER change my handle. I may come up with more, before the year is finished.

    2. My LASIC surgery rendered my monocle obsolete. Oh, to turn back the clocks of time.

  88. The best thing for this country that a President Paul could do would be to remove folks like Velamoor and replace them with attorneys like those at the Institute for Justice (or Ken White (or me!)).

    As much as I would like it, what’s written in the Constitution, or even the general laws and regulations of the federal government, doesn’t matter. It takes men and women of principle and integrity to enforce laws in a just way.

    In short, we need more Charlies and fewer Georges, Harry, Jimmys and Trents. /end Pacino rant.

    1. Judge Rayford: Mr. Kirkland you are out of order!

      Arthur Kirkland: You’re out of order! You’re out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They’re out of order! That man, that sick, crazy, depraved man, raped and beat that woman there, and he’d like to do it again! He *told* me so! It’s just a show! It’s a show! It’s “Let’s Make A Deal”! “Let’s Make A Deal”! Hey Frank, you wanna “Make A Deal”? I got an insane judge who likes to beat the shit out of women! Whaddya wanna gimme Frank, 3 weeks probation?

      Frank Bowers: *DAMMIT!*

      Arthur Kirkland: [to Judge Fleming] You, you sonofabitch, you! You’re supposed to *stand* for somethin’! You’re supposed to protect people! But instead you rape and murder them!

      [dragged out of court by bailiffs]

      Arthur Kirkland: You killed McCullough! You killed him! Hold it! Hold it! I just completed my opening statement!

      1. YOU’RE ALL OUT OF OOORDEEERRRRR!

    2. Ken White was a federal prosecutor at one point. Then he realized how fucked up it was, got out and became a defense attorney.

      Perhaps it would have been better if he’d stayed in…or perhaps it would have taken him over and destroyed his soul.

  89. But Reason complied. My heart is broken.

    1. They gave the commenters heads up with the option to challenge. They chose not to. I think reason did the best they could.

      1. Seems like you’re rationalizing to me. If one believes in free speech, you do not capitulate by ratting out your foul mouthed neighbor. IMHO

        1. What would you have them do? Arm up and surround the servers?

          1. I know, right? It’s not like they’re a Secretary Of State that can just delete shit on a whim. They’re little people. They have to comply with little fascists like these lest they bear the full wrath of the United States Department Of Justice.*

            *Unless their commentators threaten to hang or shoot George W Bush while he’s still in office. Then they get a speech in their honor by the same SoS listed above.

            1. I don’t expect Nick & Company to risk real jail so I can mock some stupid sheepfuckers.

              1. It’s not for you or me. It is bigger than any of us. It is really about liberty.

                This could be a watershed event in the libertarian era.

                1. A Pyrrhic victory more likely. The rest of the media (so basically all of it) would report the incident sympathetically to the DOJ; they get to hello get rid of some nascent competition. They manufacture the truth after all, and the masses aren’t going to erupt in protester over “extremist anti-government magazine refuses to cooperate with the good guys after commenters violently threatened esteemed public servants for putting murdering drug dealer in jail.”

          2. Interesting . . . Interesting option, Cupcake.

      2. Its fine that reason did not challenge the subpoena – case law pretty clearly shows that the courts are going to allow this abuse. It would have simply been a waste of resources that could be better deployed elsewhere.

        Personally – I explicitly gave Reason permission to turn over my info.

        1. Do you have a legal defense fund set up somewhere?

          1. I have a GoFundMe thing set up – but I’m not taking donations unless I end up needing them, thanks.

            Should I get subpoenaed to appear in NYC (or, worse, arrested) I may pull the trigger on it to help cover expenses.

            But as of now, my expenses have been some hours spent pouring over legal minutia and the Rules of Federal Procedure (along with the Sentencing Guidelines Manual) in my free time which, to be honest, has been more like a hobby than an imposition.

            1. Why is this happening to you? It’s just so much bullshit. And now you have to pay for an attorney to say you misspoke.

              It’s unreal.

    2. As explained above and by Ken White, there’s absolutely nothing Reason could have done to fight this. Under the circumstances, they did extraordinarily well.

    3. They stay on line. Nous sommes woodchipper. Tout a fait, raisonable!

  90. OK, but can we discuss Lucy yet?

    1. NO!

      1. Unless you say nice things. Lucy’s great.

    2. Fuck Lucy*, 2Chilly is leaving.

      *Make sure you have the consent forms signed in triplicate first.

      1. That sucks, 2chilly is awesome.

  91. Good work guys. You know I’ll show my love come donation time.

  92. On a serious note, I don’t necessarily agree with everything on the Reason/Libertarian agenda, but this is bar none the best forum on all of the Internet. Sure there are plenty of foul-mouthed assholes, but there are also a LOT of really brilliant people here.

    1. Foul-mouthed brilliance is a blessing and a curse.

      Damn freedom! God damn her all to hell!

    2. but there are also a LOT of really brilliant people here.

      Thank’s for noticing, buddy. Right back at you.

      1. Sure there are plenty of foul-mouthed assholes

        Thanks for noticing me too guys

    3. Edit: Except for Crusty Juggler, that dude’s a huge douche…

      1. Everybody already knows that.

    4. Oh, yeah. You’re all fucking geniusses.

  93. After years of anonymously reading the H&R blog and comments, I had decided to add my own inane comments, but it seems silence is the better approach in today’s America.

    1. Don’t let them shut you up. The commenters here are a great bunch. You just Can’t take them or yourself too seriously.

      1. You have it easy. Nobody’s ever taken Florida Man seriously.

        1. Back when I was Floridian I took myself and the commenters more seriously. Then I took up the FM mantle and life became much simpler.

          1. So it’s a sort of legacy title passed down from one Florida Man to a successor, kind of like being The Flash?

            1. Or like the Dread Pirate Ro…

              Oh. My. God.

              1. Good work. Rest well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning Sloopy.

              2. That’s what my predecessor told me.

            2. Or ‘The Ghost Who Walks’.

              http://joshreads.com/?cat=25

    2. I’m a new commenter too. You can come eat your lunch with me.

      1. We need a new commenter program to bring people along.

        So this doesn’t happen to you (not you, you – you’ve been here too long Moriah, our rot has already set in).

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exzhFo50f8A

        And for something *intentionally* funny.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r25QVBhZ0k4

  94. The more we fight for our freedoms, the more we have freedoms to fight for.

    Reason is to be commended for its handling of this injustice, and I very much look forward to their deep(er) investigation into prosecutorial misconduct like this.

    1. …for their Deepak investigation…(and NO, it’s not an Indian Sub-continent thing)…it’s about making stupid puns (all things aside).

  95. Apologies if someone already asked this question but am I to understand Velamoor contacted Reason directly after being informed they had legal representation?

    Also, goodonya Matt, Nick and Reason Foundation.

    1. That investigation has the potential to do more harm to our nuts than a Balko story, but it’s necessary, and I’m looking forward to it as well.

  96. Reason’s unfettered comment section has given me an incredible education, endless entertainment, an amazing husband, and three beautiful daughters. Thank you, Matt. You and Reason’s Dedication to freedom has given me the world.

    1. +1 million awwws.

      and congrats!

      1. Congrats from me too! So when’s the next one?

    2. an amazing husband

      Why’d you leave him for Ken?

      1. Ken came from a failed marriage, makes lousy money, and is a huge asshole. What’s not to love?

        1. Um, I make good money. I demand you retract that one part of your comment.

          1. *Redaction complete*

    3. So how are you doing? Are they giving you the good drugs?

      1. Oh yeah. I’m pushing the magic morphine button as many times as they allow me to.

        1. Nice! And congratulations to you and sloopy!

        2. Congrats Banjos. Glad you’re doing well. Morphine is the best.

    4. So you +stormy + the kitten+ the worst ever + Susan + your 3 hatchlings = 8 libertarian women?

      I’ll have to get more ear tags to keep track of y’all.

        1. ifh, riven, Lady Bertrum… We’re up to double digits!

          1. Hayeksplosives, MoriahJovan, RAHeinlein, BuSab Agent…

            1. Nicole, Kristen, Carol …

              1. Hamster of Doom, HazelMeade…

                1. Don’t forget Mary Stack.

                  /ducks

              2. The worst was already cited… Now get back to work on my airboat gunship! You’ll need a bigger generator for my heat lamp

                1. Sorry my clammy skinned friend.
                  *flips down welding mask*

                  1. And while you’re at it can you get me a new heat lamp bulb? Pathogen stole mine, and I’m starting to get a bit cold.

                    BTW I had to turn down owner’s suite tickets for the Coke 400. It’s really hard being the vanguard agent for an invading interstellar race.

                    1. You passed on NASCAR?!? I thought you were from Florida?!? Also here is your lamp.

                    2. Thank you helpful mammal

                      **crawls back on branch***

                      Yes world domination overrides my homeland instincts…and the Honey Cheetah I’m seeing has informed me that we have other plans.

              3. They are all one person, and that person is a dude. Everyone knows that.

                1. And he lives in his mom’s basement.

                  1. Which is inside PB’s head.. which is in his mom’s basement..

                    1. Mobile homes have basements?

      1. My wife is one!

        1. Mine as well.

      2. We need a [female] tag to be able to keep track of them all. Or at least a counter on the H & R page.

        Its like ladies’ night promotions. ‘C’mon in guys, its not a *complete* sausage fest in here.’

        1. Hmph. Some of us come just for the sausage fest. Although sometimes I feel like this is like the worst gay chat room ever.

          1. Like space docking is gay.

          2. Well, the tag would help then – you’d know where to be hunting.

        2. So we have enough for a calendar then?

      3. I still maintain that they’re all men playing make believe. Not that I ever do that or anything.

        1. *pulls dainty lace panties down, searches for dick*

          Nope. Not surgically removed, either. Also, two bouts of natural childbirth. I’m not forgetting that anytime soon.

          1. pulls dainty lace panties down

            Go on….

    5. Thanks to Nick as well.

      Jeez, woman.

    6. I haven’t commented here in months, but I just wanted to drop in and say good luck, we’re all counting on you.

      1. Be sure to order the fish while you’re at it.

        1. Don’t order the soup.

      2. I picked a bad week to stop drinking.

        1. Bottoms up

        2. I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

    7. Congrats, Banjos. Hopefully the kid looks like you and not Sloopy.

    8. Congratulations, mama!

    9. Congrats on the new addition!

  97. Come on you worthless warm-blooded feed stock. Do you want to live forever. Join us in digitally defecating on this bumbling no-talent ass clown of a beaurocrat. He lacks the granite phallic accessories to order his laser tag warriors to attack the offices of those who offend him prior to gagging said mammals. May he be remembered as a fornicator of wool producing mammals

  98. First, let me apologize (again) for putting Reason in this position in the first place. While this often feels like a public forum, I forgot that my actions can have harmful consequences for other people even if I escape unscathed.

    Secondly – “The comments are hyperbolic, in questionable taste?and fully within the norms of Internet commentary.”

    Here’s someone who’s willing to acknowledge the truth. Those comments were distasteful, but fully within the bounds of modern internet culture and not some weird, worrisome aberration.

    There’s a hashtag labelled #KillAllWhitePeople for feth’s sake.

    This vegan is calling for the extermination of people who eat meat.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.co…..at-eaters/

    This guy wants to set adrift in the sea people who demand graphical fidelity over gameplay in videogames

    We should just stick all these graphics kiddies on some ice, and float them out to see… as the eskimo’s before us.

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/…..446885/#p2

    The thing is, internet culture is vastly different from ‘face-to-face-‘ culture.

    Those of us who spend a lot of time talking to people in asymmetric conversations have come to understand what those of you who do all your conversations either one-way (article writing) or face to face haven’t internalized.

    1. “Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad”

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GIFT

      And quite frankly, Reason’s comment section is near the top of the heap in terms of politeness and quality of discourse – order’s of magnitude better than pretty much any one else’s un-moderated comment section while avoiding the pitfalls of group-think that heavily moderated forums have.

      1. Dude, the anonymity has nothing to do with people being total fuckwads. People are total fuckwads, the Internet just expands the audience they get to play to.

        1. Its not positing a *causation* of fuckwaddedness, its simply pointing out that when you have the trifecta the fuckwaddedness is *amplified*.

          There’s people that we yell and scream at and insult here that if we met in real life we’d probably be OK having a beer with.

          1. Or a fistfight, which is also fun.

      2. For the love o’ Pete, you don’t have anything to apologize for!

        1. FWIW, I won’t apologize for my perfectly anodyne comment.

          1. Is there a defense fund setup for the [redacted] 6?

          2. Of course you shouldn’t. But since your connection to the Dark Powers has been outed, can you be bribed to put in a bad word or two?

          3. Nor should you Rhywun. Fuck them.

            1. And by them I mean the piece of shit prosecutors.

      3. It’s a common fucking expression. See “pulp fiction” and the Malibu scene. Fuck!

      4. If I invited you to a party and you pissed in my bushes, I’d at least expect an apology – even if its totally legal, its simply impolite to do so.

        1. You did nothing wrong. NOTHING.

        2. If you wanted to piss in my bushes, I’d point out the correct ones to use. Human pee is excellent critter repellent.

      5. While an apology is thoughtful it’s not necessary.

        1. If anything those bozo-clowns owe YOU an apology.

          1. Who, Reason? Because that’s who he was apologizing to.

            1. No. The government.

    2. Ag, personally I don’t think you have one damn thing to apologize for. One of the understood benefits of the First Amendment is the ability to vent. Anyone with half a fucking frontal lobe could see that’s what you, Rhywun, et al were doing.

      Unfortunately the Southern District of NY apparently does not have the brain specs listed in my preceding sentence.

      1. Agreed. Now I’m heading over to the donation page to give them even more money. And I give them quite a bit already. Sorry you got caught in this shit. Hang in there–you and your co-victims.

      2. It’s not a lack of brains. It’s a lack of integrity. These people are intentionally evil, not stupid.

    3. STOP APOLOGIZING

      1. AMEN! Defense of liberty is NO FUCKING VICE.

        1. Not just defense of liberty but “Extremism in the defense of Liberty is no vice, and let me remind you also that moderation in pursuit of Justice is no virtue.”

    4. Those who know and love you best understand you’re a marshmallow and a goof. Kind but cranky. All talk, no bite. You’re the guy who’s afraid of spiders and mice, so much so you gently persuade them into a Ball mason jar and escort them out of doors.

      So, you owe us no apologies. It could have been anyone one of us ,”special place in hell”.

      1. Marshmallow? Are you calling him a fatty?

        1. Marshmallows are good. Multi-purpose. Great fish bait. Or Jello molders. Rocky road ice cream. S’mores.

          Marshmallows are very pliable.

      2. It could have been anyone one of us

        preach brother.

        1. It true and infuriating.

    5. Any one of us could have ended up on that subpoena.

      They refused to drop someone from consideration for saying there’s an especially hot place in hell for rotten judges.

      There was no set standard they were going by–certainly not by logic or law.

      “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

      http://www.brainyquote.com/quo…..WJquzAD.99

      Martin Luther King Jr could have been on that subpoena.

      TOBAS is a recognized acronym–and idiomatic. It can be used for anything–like crappy cars. My car should be TOBAS.

      When people say, “Heads should roll for this”, that isn’t a violent threat either, but people say it all the time–especially about government officials and their shitty choices.

      This prosecutor’s office has run off its rails. And someday we’ll find out why.

      1. This guy could be in trouble.

        http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n…..-and-shot/

        After all, sec 875 criminalizes threats in interstate and *international* commerce.

        And the law is pretty clear that a violation committed in multiple jurisdictions can be tried in the jurisdiction it was started in, finished in, or any of the intervening jurisdictions.

        So, is The Telegraph going to get a subpoena also?

    6. It is the Southern District of New York that should be apologizing to you and Reason magazine. Not the other way around.

      1. I’m not apologizing to the USA nor Judge Forrest, just to Reason Magazine for the inconvenience and expense caused.

    7. Holy crap, don’t you dare apologize.

      This had nothing to do with what you said. It had to do with to whom you said it. I think I speak on behalf of many, if not all, that you should never be in fear of exercising your 1A rights. That you are is a sign that our elected and appointed leaders have given up all pretext of defending our rights.

      We’ve reached the point where they’ve ignored the intent of the Constitution while simultaneously forgetting that it’s that very same document which grants them that power. If they can ignore it, we should ignore. No wonder they want to ignore the Second Amendement.

    8. Those comments were distasteful,

      Those comments reflected the only possible emotional response that any reasonable person could have in reaction to the whole fucking travesty.

      She is evil. The state which has put Ulbricht in prison for life is evil. It’s ok to wish mean and hateful things upon her.

      Hypothetically speaking of course.

      1. For example

        Every single time I read about judges and DEA and prosecutors putting people in jail for prescribing or possessing “too many painkillers” I truly do hope they end up writhing in pain from an awful cancer and can’t get pain meds for it. FUCK them they are evil. Truly evil.

        it’s ok to stand by offhand internet comments you made that condemn actual, real-life evil acts committed by our government and its agents.

      2. I don’t necessarily have to assign the word evil. Conflict of interest is enough. She’s the real pirate as I maintained all along.

    9. Bullcrap. I heard worse’n this as a boy at the card table or even at the oldster’s table at the inn in the morning. And much worse in just regular get togethers with folks. I can’t imagine what kind of silly culture you mus live in day-to-day where everyone’s always kindly, prim, and proper and cautious never to make any suggestions anyone might think of as extreme or outlandish. Though I have been frequently astounded by the reactions of a few select persons who seem to pretend to be flabbergasted and offended at any improper speech or strong sentiment, but these seem to be always members of a sort of superpretentious middle class, very class conscious and determined to prove themselves part of some enlightened and pussified elite. At the same time, I should disclose that I heard a lot less use of those half dozen words considered to be bad words by those who do such considering. In fact, I remember a lot of adults around when I was a child who never spoke those words, so far as I know, though some of those same folks put forth the most grisly and shocking suggestions about this or that thing that ought to come to pass for this or that badly behaving public servant, things far beyond the light shrimp cocktail party humour here, and which in many cases were clearly unhyperboly. F anything, I see more moderation and agonising over propriety and comportment in internet discussions than I see in most regular fleshly social intercourses amongst plain folk.

  99. Well, Matt – you DID want something more interesting when you got your jury summons last month.

    Seems like it was a thousand years ago . . .

  100. It’s worth stressing that, under established legal precedent, Reason.com (like any other website) is generally not legally responsible for reader comments posted at our site.

    Not for much longer.

    1. More ammunition for the “look at how Europe does things better” numbskulls.

    2. No shit, who needs the FCC to fuck up the interwebz…the EU is already on it.

  101. Is Gayle Sproul related to John C. Sproul?

    1. It is a European thing. Brussels.

  102. Excellent!

  103. I know you can’t sue prosecutors personally for malicious prosecution, but you can sue the government for that, can’t you?

    If so, the Reason Six might hope they get indicted. I’d expect the charges to be dismissed at arraignment on the basis of well established First Amendment case law, and that point, maybe it’s jackpot time.

    You’d think this would be a really fine line to walk for the prosecutors. If they don’t make something out of this, them they walk away with egg all over their faces, and if they take it to court, they’re likely to be laughed right out of the building.

    I should also point out that as trial balloons go, I was pretty impressed with the fair treatment our fellow commenters got. Even at places like NPR, where I expected the commenters to be nasty as hell to us, they were, I’d say, wholly sympathetic to the cause of the commenters rather than the government.

    This case appears to be a loser for the prosecutors in the court of public opinion, as well as in the Constitution and the case law.

    1. They did this for the nuisance “don’t fuck with us” effect. They have no plans to actually prosecute anyone. It was pure bullying.

      1. Well, they have no plans to prosecute anyone for this. But four felonies a day, and all that.

      2. A part of me thinks this is one reason why a prosecutor may be judged by the proportion (not number certainly) of convictions. A judge who grants or prosecutor who initiates a lot of subpoenas or indictments that don’t get followed through is a bad judge or prosecutor, as either they’re not doing their job well, or their using the threat of the process as a punishment in itself (even worse).

        Personally, trite as it may seem, a lot of this probably has to do with the pop culture love of prosecutors and judges; they’re ‘the good guys’ in all the movies and TV. They get cheered on when they violate people’s rights.And people eat it up. So they’ll let the justice system get away with anything. Oh, it’s only detective Stabler torturing some suspect to save the child he has hidden in a crate somewhere, or whatever. So it’s no surprise these ‘public servants’ view themselves as noble crusaders to whom rules don’t apply. Deep down, it’s a problem with the general public and its attitudes more than anything else I suspect.

    2. Charles Cooke, National Review. I love that English bloke defending the 1st amendment.

      Frankly, I think he’s a libertarian. A stealth libertarian.

      1. His best line – THIS SUBPOENA IS BLOODY UN-AMERICAN!!!!

      2. “Frankly, I think he’s a libertarian. A stealth libertarian.”

        Of course he’s a Cosmotarian.. There’s an “E” on the end of his “Cook”..

        Curved. Swords..

    3. I know you can’t sue prosecutors personally for malicious prosecution, but you can sue the government for that, can’t you?

      The bar for that is so high that you might as well ask a quadriplegic to polevault 19 feet.

  104. While at law school, District Court Judge Katherine Forrest, studied and admired the communist constitution.

    She believes that only centralized government with central planning can run a country and its once free citizens.

    1. She believes that only centralized government with central planning can run a country and its once free citizens.

      Unfortunately she’s got a lot of company.

  105. Woodchippers Unite!

    1. Woodchippers of the world
      Unite and take over.
      Woodchippers of the world
      Hand it over, hand it over, hand it over.

      -horribly effeminate Morrissey voice

  106. (we say that as writers whose work and physical shortcomings rarely escape unscathed from any thread)

    Nick, this is not the time or the place to talk about your unibrow.

    1. I think Nick just fired a shot at Rico’s hair.

  107. Gillespie noted that Forrest “more than threw the book” at Ulbricht by giving him a life sentence, which was a punishment “beyond even what prosecutors…asked for.”

    I hope that’s grounds for appeal based on the Eighth Amendment.

  108. Did threaded commenting ensnare Rhywun by placing his benign comment in the “context of a conspiracy”?

  109. Did threaded commenting ensnare Rhywun by placing his benign comment in the “context of a conspiracy”?

    1. The skewrlz need to be interrogated.

  110. Reason was “free” to tell the story all along, they simply chose not to bear the consequences. Is this not the very definition of fair-weather patriotism? As Ed Snowden adjusts to life in Russia, and Julian Assange starts his fifth year in detention without trial, and Chelsea Manning continues to rot away in Leavenworth, this story makes it easy to discern who are the real libertarian patriots.

    1. So, your position is that it would have been better if Nick and Matt had gone to jail than if they had waited a few days and then told the whole tale?

    2. Fuck off. I don’t exactly expect the Reason Foundation to emigrate over this, do you?

    3. Indeed, if only we could be as brave as the anonymous internet fuckstick, Stephen B., expects we should.

    4. Care to tell us YOUR efforts?

      1. Snuffing legal fires with courageous bluster..

        1. You’ll also notice that Assange is NOT confined as a result of his efforts to spread the word, but supposedly for his efforts to spread some legs.

      2. As a matter of fact, Stephen is an American hero, and he is typing these very comments from a cell at Guantanamo Bay where he sits for protesting the patriot act; he is typing it on an iphone he smuggled in in his asshole. I know because I’m his cellmate, and I sometimes spend time in his asshole as well.

    5. Stephen B. – I agree in a strictly logical sense with you: they could have said “fuck it” and just printed it all along. I wish they had – BUT, doing so might very well have landed them in jail. And gotten this site shut down. I wish Reason had taken that tack and forced the government to either sit the fuck down and shut up or to actually ask a federal judge to start throwing journalists in jail for contempt.

      OTOH, Stephen, it’s kinda douchey to talk about how someone else should have been courageous when you’re not the one in the crosshairs. You won’t find many guys in the military talking about how some other guy wasn’t brave enough to rush out in front of the machine-gun nest. We’ll all sing the praises of the guy that does – and acknowledge what an amazing act it was – but let’s not pretend like everyone is wiling to be martyred for their cause – or that their cowards if they don’t.

      If you haven’t had to face that choice (and I don’t know you from a hole in the ground), it’s a bit much to imply what you did. I get you’re entitled to your opinion, but talking about other people’s cowardice from behind the keyboard without some other context is too much.

      Yet I agree with the principle you’re stating. I wish they had. It won’t change until we start truly standing the fuck up to this stuff.

    6. BTW, over on Paul’s blog, we get:
      “Oh, those girly, gossipy libertarians!

      Irish Says Enough Woodchippers|6.13.15 @ 7:17PM
      So that Tulpa thread went to some dark places. I especially like this part where Tulpa starts blubbering about his many enemies, I call him out for sounding absurdly paranoid, and he claims that criticizing him for being insane makes me an ‘asshole.’…

      Francisco d’Anconia|6.13.15 @ 7:39PM
      Tulpa is a victim.

      Warty|6.13.15 @ 7:47PM
      Tulpa is a sad sad man. I wouldn’t punch him in the face if we ever met, out of pity for him. Probably.

      How embarrassing. Maybe it’s for the best after all that the outside world isn’t focusing on Reason in their time of crisis.”
      ————————————
      Perhaps one of our most pathetic wanna-bes is gloating?

  111. Jeeze, go away for a couple of hours and come back to find the assholes identified and their assholish behavior detailed!

    1. You’re surrounded by assholes

  112. Look, everybody, I have reliable reason to believe that this happened precisely because Phreet Bharara and Niketh Velamoor deeply, deeply love for libertairnas to shit in their wide open mouths.

    Bharara and Niketh totally cream for libertarian shit in their mouths. Bharara and Niketh feel so inferior to libertarians, for obvious reasons. So Bharara and Niketh both totally fucking explode from the taste of hot libertarian shit down their waiting, needing, pulsing statist throats.

    Bharara and Niketh were super angry that Barrett Brown refused to shit in their mouths, so now they hold a grudge against libertarians. Hot libertarian shit down his gullet makes Bharara dribble hot statist cum out of his very modest statist dick.

    So my only advice to the commenters who were subpoenaed, show up at Bharara’s office with a cheerful office, and drink lots of coffee beforehand.

  113. I hear this is a rowdy board? Does that mean I can say “winkle” and “tata” here?

    1. *gasp*

    2. Buddy, you can brandy my buck for all I care. It basically means space docking. Don’t look that up at work.

    3. I’m not sure. We recently approved sweater kittens, and almost had to redefine fun bags… So maybe.

      1. Call them sweater puppies.

        “Lizards is so stoopid.” /Yosemite Sam voice

        1. It was SusanM’s idea… And I’m assuming she has a little more authority on the subject

          1. *sigh*

            Now I find I am going to have to explain patriarchal white male cis-penile heterosexual privilege to an alien lizard that eats bugs while the wimminz do what they are told and make sandwiches barefoot in the kitchen.

            1. Alabama?

            2. Umm have you ever tried to order around a large female reptile?…

  114. I’m proud of Reason and their attorney for acting quickly to notify the affected commenters when I’m sure it would have been much less risky to just buckle to the intimidation.

    This site is loaded, every single day, with stories about government over-reach and abuse of power. So I know it’s real. Even so, it’s still more nauseating to see up close and personal.

    The very idea of a government-issued “gag order” is fucking un-American. It is disgusting that this is where we find ourselves.

  115. Thank you to Nick and Matt for your efforts. I know this all must have been a stressful event for you and the rest of the staff. Contrary to just a few voices here, I think you did the right things.

    I am pretty confident that the commenters involved will be vindicated, hopefully without too much trouble and expense. If they do have expenses at the end of all this, I’d suggested setting up a GoFundMe page. (Assuming GoFundMe isn’t politically opposed to helping libertarians.)

    And I’ll agree with those who say this is a great place. I wish some people would be a tad more polite when they disagree, and try to avoid mud-slinging at even our resident trolls (and especially at me, when I deviate from the party line), but you’re all a great gang, anyway.

    1. Yup. I’ll chip in for the [redacted] 6.

  116. Congratulations Stooopid mammals you have achieved half of your pathetic goal of 1000 comments. May your snark be etched in the future ruins of your cities

  117. Heh, I was just perusing popehat’s twitter feed and noticed that clarkhat used the tag #TeamWoodchipper

    1. Sounds a little gay… NTTATWWT

  118. I remember at some point in high school, we had to watch a Muppets video where Ms. Piggy tried to read Shakespeare without her glasses, completely mangled it to the point where it made no sense, and exclaimed “Whoever wrote this should be shot!” Are the Feds going to breathe down her neck next?

    1. Look if they haven’t arrested her for domestic violence, what makes you think they’re gonna pester her for that?

  119. Thank you for the notice Reason. It looks like the Bureaucrat Pigs win again. This is officially my last comment on ANY blog anywhere until such a time when my First Amendment rights are restored.

    FUCK YOU PIGS!

    1. “This is officially my last comment on ANY blog anywhere until such a time when my First Amendment rights are restored.”

      And the office of the U.S. Attorney, SDNY thanks you for seeing it their way, and voluntarily opting to rescind your First Amendment rights. They’ll get to work on restoring your rights.. sometime.. in the future..

      1. Pathogen — That’s better than them hauling me away to jail for speaking my mind. I refuse to harness my speech. Better just to move on, shut up and wait until the revolution comes. I’ll be ready. Will you?

        Ok, I lied before. But this really is my last comment.

        1. Who was it that used to always say it was their comment? I forget.

          1. Hitler?

          2. Edward, who also handle-hopped as Lefiti, Morris and numerous others.

            1. joe. It was joe.

  120. It’s not a victory, friends, so quit uncorking that champagne. Preet got exactly what he wanted in the end, didn’t he?

    1. They’ll never get what they want, but they’ll see Rome burn

      1. Nobody gets cake.. ever..

    2. Yes and no. They got the information and will get to harass the six commenters. Though, they will lose that case.

      In the long run, they wanted Reason to fold up and consent without raising a peep. This apparently is not some uncommon event, but something where other media outlets and corporations have just folded without going public. So, at the least, some attention has been brought to this issue and the internet is mocking them in most corners.

    3. They gained nothing. All they did was offer more proof to the world that the governments sole function is to oppress. We were not the only ones to notice this.

      1. Bharara fucked up any possibility of ever being a SCOTUS.

  121. All this and only 556 comments? Us Peanuts need to up our game. This thread should be 1000+ comments. And donations.

    Ok Welch and Gillespie I am going to donate now. You did the right thing and then some. You took the path of real no-shit heroes.

    *turns off woodchipper and wheels it back into the shed*

    “Reason’s unmoderated comment space is rare among comparable publications and has, over the years, developed into a forum that is by turns exciting, intellectually advanced, outlandish, cringe-inducing, and more foul-mouthed than any locker room this side of the Crab Nebula. It is something to be celebrated as a voluntary community that can be engaged or ignored as the spirit moves you (we say that as writers whose work and physical shortcomings rarely escape unscathed from any thread). However trollish many of our commenters can be, they have created a sphere of free speech that delivers on one of the great promises of the Internet, which is unbridled expression, dialogue, and argument.”

    For that I thank you very much.

    1. Your Future Reptilian Overlords have informed me that this intergalactic backwater of a website is in fact the most the most foul-mouthed location on this side of the Crab Nebula.

    2. I’m commenting just to help up the total toward 1000.

      I work for a company that works for the Fed, and yes, I’m one of the millions whose data was hacked from the Office of Personnel Management by the Chinese recently. Yay! Thank goodness for pre-emptive fraud alerts on credit reports.

      Anyhoo, I walked into my employment pretty much knowing that every communication I make is monitored by the govt, and in my case, fairly so.

      However, I don’t think that should be the case with American citizens who don’t enter into that voluntary agreement with the govt. We are free to choose.

      1. By the “Fed” i mean the federal gov’t in defense, not the Federal Bank.

      2. I don’t think you are the only commenter in that situation.

  122. As one of those targeted I would like to make a few statements:

    1 – my comments were in no way a threat. They were a prediction based on history. Water flows downhill, persons who commit crimes against humanity often pay a price for it. The Nuremberg Laws made genocide legal, but those who enabled genocide were prosecuted all the same at the Nuremberg Trials.

    2 – the prosecution of Ulbricht was not just one front in the Drug War, but an attack on vulnerable populations that use the Dark Web to protect themselves from persecution. Everyone should consider the implications of this most recent incident. Websites seriously interested in free discussion should automatically erase all IP logs instantly, and perhaps relocate to the Dark Web. It is now clear that acting lawfully is not sufficient in the eyes of the “authorities”.

    3 – my posts were not anonymous just because I didn’t include my full name and address. I had no need to be anonymous. All the same, I never received the email because that email address is no longer accessible. I do appreciate the staff of Reason for trying to do as best they were able under the circumstances.

    4 – I will now retire this account and no longer post here. I will see if I can move up my timetable to leave the United States. These recent actions have reconfirmed my impression that the United States does not operate under the Rule of Law, and sadly it appears that things will get much worse before they get better.

    Good Luck.

    1. Good luck upstart mammal. May you prevail in the fight against those amateur statist which you have offended.

    2. Sorry for the bullshit trouble you have been going through. I also commented a number of times on that same thread. Just really disgusting that anything there could have ever been considered a real threat. Where you heading to, if you don’t mind the question?

    3. All the best, Alan.

    4. Good luck.

      Thus we see the collateral damage caused by jerk offs who shouldn’t be anywhere near position of control and power.

      And what did they gain from it exactly? Are Americans safer by their insidious and their bullying tactics?

      This is the part of the story I can’t accept.

      And fuck that judge and may she find much unhappiness in her miserable life. If I haven’t made my feelings clear already.

      1. I don’t know about you, but I sleep safer knowing that the street gangs will get some business back now that their online competition has been dashed. It’s about time the government stepped in to right that wrong; poor street dealers getting put out of business by improving the technology of the business.

    5. Hate to see you go Alan, but good luck to you.

    6. Best of luck to you and yours.

    7. Best of luck to you Alan. Everyone knows those were not real threats. I agree the US does not operate under the rule of law and certainly pays no heed to the US constitution. I have to wonder if they even teach the Bill of Rights in law school anymore. Those assholes certainly feel free to shit all over it.

    8. The best of luck to you. Hopefully things will change here.

    9. Seriously, don’t give up. You could’ve been an ex-pat in Costa Rica, and the long arm of Yankee justice would still somehow fuck with you. Do it…for the children!

  123. We still don’t know why the comment section of a small magazine ended up on the desk of a government lawyer, do we?

    1. I’d say the ‘small’ mag is really a lot ‘bigger’ than it seems to us, and it seems to be hitting ’em where it hurts to get this sort of attention.
      But given the web attention, I’m betting that whoever was the trigger is not real proud of it right now.

      1. The most definite silver lining in all this is the increased exposure of this frickin awesome website and mag.

      2. “hitting ’em where it hurts”

        That’s exactly right. And if they thought we were assholes before….

    2. Tony is a spy. It’s the only possible explanation.

      1. They don’t pay him enough.

      2. They don’t pay him enough.

        1. They don’t pay him enough.

        2. They don’t pay him enough.

  124. Right on Reason! I will be sending in my donation this weekend. These comment boards have given me a lot of laughs and some great info to boot. Keep up the good work.

  125. I wood chip in for the [redacted] 6.

    I’m almost always the smartest person in the room. But not when I come to reason.com and read some of the comments here. I always laugh and I always learn something.

    1. Your handle brought to mind the late JsubD. I can only imagine him spinning in his grave at this.

      1. If you listen in the soft evening breeze, really closely, you can hear the immortal words –

        FUCK OFF, SLAVER!

      2. JsubD: another reason this site is great. What other site would recognize a regular contributor who died alone and commented from the public library?

  126. I found Reason.com because of this story. Thier evil plans are working against them. My up-most support and respect for this website.

    1. That’s awesome. Welcome!

  127. Personally, I don’t put anything on the internet I won’t take responsibility for. I understand “freedom of speech” however I also don’t necessarily people have freedom of speech to say things they won’t take responsibility for saying.

    I know there are people who will disagree with me on this, and that’s fine. I also commend Reason for taking the steps they did. No government agency should believe that getting this information is that easy, they should have to jump through hoops and comply with all existing law.

    Thank you Reason for doing the right thing and, to the commenters in question, have freedom of speech comes with responsibilities, think about that.

    1. “[…]have freedom of speech comes with responsibilities,[…]”

      Fail!
      Freedoms are unalienable, they are not bargained-for, they are not granted by the government, they in no way come with any ‘responsibilities’ at all.
      The are *freedoms*, not leashes.
      And the ability to post anonymously is the ability to say things slavers don’t like and not have the jack-boots kicking down your door in the middle of the night.

    2. “have freedom of speech comes with responsibilities,”

      I don’t think you quite grasp how freedom works.

      It’s okay. It took me a while too.

    3. “Thank you Reason for doing the right thing and, to the commenters in question, have freedom of speech comes with responsibilities, think about that.”

      Who defines the nature, and scope of those responsibilities?.. think about that..

    4. It is great that you congratulate Reason bflat879, but I don’t think some of those words you are using mean what you think they mean. Also, I love the condescending lecture. I will think about it.

      *I am guessing drive-by troll, probably that cowardly and reprehensible piece of shit Velamoor*

      1. Chipper Gore (Suthenboy)|6.19.15 @ 9:58PM|#
        “[…]but I don’t think some of those words you are using mean what you think they mean[…]”

        I’ll bet it was the “however” that gave it away, right? Sort of like the ‘libertybutts’ (Credit! Someone claim credit!); ‘I support free speech, but’.

        1. Everything after But, is shit..

          1. Yeah, but somebody claimed origination rights to “libertybutts”; they deserve credit!

          2. Oh, and everything BEFORE the But is shit.

    5. Consider the possibility that a less friendly government (either our own in the future or any number of currently existing foreign) would not stop at a subpoena and move straight to extended imprisonment or execution.

      The right to freedom of speech and the right to privacy/anonymity are two separate rights, but that does not mean you should not be able to exercise both simultaneously (or in conjunction with any of your other rights).

      In many regimes (including what existed in the US prior to and during some of the less savory parts of our history) anonymous speech was/is the only way to actually be able to get out speech critical of the governing class.

      A certain amount of anonymity is necessary in these situations to be able to safely gauge where you stand in relation to the rest of your society. If you’re sick of government overreach, maybe you’re the only one. Or maybe there are a lot, but if you rise up individually you’ll get stomped down individually and the government can claim that you’re all outliers. So you coordinate under the table so that multiple complaints can be registered simultaneously and its undeniable how large the opposition is.

      1. And keep in mind – just because I didn’t put my address and phone number in my user handle, that doesn’t mean that I was trying to *hide* from anyone (or that anyone who does is trying to).

        I simply compartmentalize different aspects of my life and do not wish an uncontrolled overlap between them. These handles aren’t to protect me from consequences, but are intended to limit those consequences to the appropriate sphere. What I do in online commenting politically is separate from what I do with gaming, which is separate from my work-life which is separate from my personal life. I simply do not wish someone who disagrees with me politically to come harass me while I’m relaxing.

        1. And the pieces of shit in the government want to harass you.

      2. What did publius ever publish?

    6. Publicly, I don’t say anything I’m not willing to be heard by anyone, and which I am not willing to defend or repudiate. Also, personally, whatever in hell the distinction between “personally” and “publicly” signifies, a something I can’t seem to wrap my fool head around. But it’s probably just a side-effect of growing up where as a child I saw TV ads warning about the dangers of talking to “strangers” and was confounded because I never knew anybody that could be truthfully called a “stranger”. On the other hand, there got to be some value in anonymous speech, and even if there ain’t, there is freedom of expression and freedom of association, which together guarantee that anonymous speech is going to happen, and there’s no way to prevent it without abrogating everybody’s motherfucking freedoms (and I mean EVERYBODY’s).

  128. OT: I watched Chris Matthews a hour ago, and once again, he proved that there’s regular stupidity and then there’s Chris Matthews stupidity.

    His rant went something like: Imagine if we gave everybody a gun before they went to college, or if we gave a gun to everybody when they turned 18, or we gave guns to everyone who walked into a bar. As crazy and dangerous as that sounds, that is exactly what the NRA and the gun lobby want to do. They want everyone to have guns no matter how dangerous or unqualified they might be. It’s time for common sense gun control!

    Whatever, Tingles. I really wish he appeared on Jeopardy! again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kccPhiblpkM

    1. Yeah, well, Tony has us figgered out:
      We want the elderly and chillunz starving on the streets, wymenz and monorities in the kitchen where they belong. And everybody dying since we won’t let the government give ’em free birth-control tabs. Or something along those lines.
      Dealing with half-wits like that comes with the territory.

      1. He isn’t a half-wit..er….ok, he might be, but what galls me about him is his dishonesty. He is a die-hard team player and a liar.
        I haven’t looked to see if he commented on Bailey’s excellent article today on AGW, but I will check later. I can’t wait to see how he hand-waives that all away and calls us deniers again.

        1. Well, his boss is Harvey Birdman – aka Obama.

          Why, Obama’s new fib is pimping the ‘no advanced nation’ perpetuates massacres which such ‘frequency’ while at the same politicizing the tragedy.

          If the boss acts a certain way so will his or her employees.

          I think we see a clear pattern.

          1. By the way, take a look-see at what Jon Stewart said.

            The emotional prevails over the rational.

            I’m afraid his views (vapid as they are) are the default position for most people on such issues. A senseless murder is so hard to rationalize it leaves you but vulnerable to an emotional response.

            And there’s no shortage of incredibly horrible commentary going on in the aftermath of this story almost exclusively from the left and progressives. Naturally.

            1. “A senseless murder is so hard to rationalize it leaves you but vulnerable to an emotional response.”

              Which is a wonderful reason for public figures to avoid opening their yaps beyond a statement of sympathy.

              1. I don’t get it. Why he went and said all those stupid things so soon after.

                Anyone with a sensible and healthy mind would do a simple research to learn his assertion is not just frivolous but wrong. Which makes me wonder. He has to know what he says is utter bull shit – unless he really is a clueless jackass. So what’s he angle? Is it really to ‘grab guns’?

                1. I dunno.
                  There is the presumption that celebs like him do have beliefs and what they say in public reflects those.
                  If you’re enough of a cynic, you could presume he’s just playing to the audience and has no principles at all.
                  I’m guessing it’s a mix; he would really like to say X, but that is beyond what his audience/employers will allow, so he spouts something that is acceptable and doesn’t make him avoid looking in the mirror in the morning.
                  But all of this is predicated on the presumption that he is somewhat intelligent, and that could be questioned also.

                  1. Some day, he will repent and join us under an anonymous handle.

            2. take a look-see at what Jon Stewart said.

              You mean the propagandist who thinks he is funny? I’ll pass.

          2. That is no shit. The captain does determine the atmosphere on the ship and they have one hell of a stinky turd for a captain.

          3. BHO is not yet Birdman.

            Right now, he is still Super President .

            After he leaves office, we’ll see.

            Kevin R

    2. “They want everyone to have guns no matter how dangerous or unqualified they might be.”

      Well.. many police academy cadets are qualified by NRA instructors..

    3. In a sane society, if 20% of women who go to college were being raped (yeah I know that’s bullshit but I digress), we would give them all guns and let them carry on campus.

      1. The raped 20% are minorities. That’s why they don’t care.

    4. F we gae everybody a gun when he turned eighteen (or sixteen, or twelve, or whatever), then this kind of crap would not be happening. I guarantee it. For what it’s worth, my father gae each of us a gun when we acheived some level of function. I don’t know his criteria, but it ranged between twelve and sixteen, depending upon the doofusness of each of us.

  129. I found this turn of events very chilling. Something you write off handedly can become the target of a secret government investigaton. I’ve said and written enough things by now, and, friends, somewhere in Washington, enshrined in some little folder, is a
    Study in black and white of my
    tweets and H&R comments. Nixon and Hoover would have blushed (and then pumped their fists) at this.
    I really should FOIA the DOJ and FBI for my file. With my luck, it would come back 99% redacted with only very intimidating words and phrases left to be read:
    ? [REDACTED] left for dead in a coop full of ravenous roosters and then [REDACTED]
    ? due to heavy fog and high winds [REDACTED] could not establish a clear shot [REDACTED] and target ‘Meriwether’ remains ambulatory
    ? subject shows a strong preference for [REDACTED] and egg salad sandwiches.

    Kudos to the Reason staff for handling this the best they could. Kudos to Ken White for shining light into the void. Best of luck to the H&R six and here’s hoping they suffer no further ill consequences.

  130. It would be asking too much for internet critics to stay on topic and keep comments relevant. I have to log in, and had hoped the venue was limited largely to subscribers, with non-subscribers at least not being cretins. One class of drugs–made from poppies–is arguably not recreational, genuinely addictive and when legal (as opposed to neither criminalized nor in any way protected by the justice system) has a way of leading to actual warfare because of the involvement of corporations in mixed economies competing over crowds of persons whose addictions amounted to duress. It is a mistake to blithely dismiss that particular fear as superstition just as it was a mistake to jail and shoot people for selling beer in the 1920s or nonaddictive hippie concoctions in later decades.

    1. OK, I’m nominating “Least Self-Aware” for 6/19/15:

      Hank Phillips|6.19.15 @ 9:55PM|#
      “It would be asking too much for internet critics to stay on topic and keep comments relevant. I have to log in, and had hoped the venue was limited largely to subscribers, with non-subscribers at least not being cretins.”
      ————————————–
      Well, yes, it is asking too much; if you’ve spent any time here, you’ll notice the notation OT (“off topic”), or sometimes folks just wandering off on some free-association, such as:
      ————————————-
      “One class of drugs–made from poppies–is arguably not recreational, genuinely addictive and when legal (as opposed to neither criminalized nor in any way protected by the justice system) has a way of leading to actual warfare because of the involvement of corporations in mixed economies competing over crowds of persons whose addictions amounted to duress. It is a mistake to blithely dismiss that particular fear as superstition just as it was a mistake to jail and shoot people for selling beer in the 1920s or nonaddictive hippie concoctions in later decades.”

      So in addition to your hypocrisy, we also have you justifying drug laws because governments fight over them?
      Do I have this right?

      1. Yeah. Stay. On. Topic. Sheesh.

        How’s the weather in SF?

        1. DELIGHTFUL today, R; had lunch looking out over the bay.
          How’s early summer there? Still cool enough for comfort?

          1. Actually it has been cool with more rain than usual. Wreaking havoc on my running/cycling schedule.

            Mediocre weather is a form of micro-aggression I say.

            1. As an old fart, I’ve used the chill and foggy weather here as an excuse to avoid my neighborhood walks. But then, sooner or later, I can’t keep excusing it…

              1. It’s rained every fucking day for a week. I’m sewing my own canvas tent and the only thing left is the waterproofing which cannot be done when it’s fucking raining all the time. Also floods. But I live on high ground, ‘never live on a flood plain or on the bank of a river’ my old man said. He was wise.

        2. Way to derail the thread, asshole.. The topic is “cretins”!
          Alright.. GO!

          1. I hear they’re going broke.

            1. Hey.. it happens..

          2. 1-2-3-4
            Cretins wanna hop some more
            4-5-6-7
            All good cretins go to heaven

      2. Hmmm. Opium and opium derivatives are the single most effective painkillers on the planet. We should therefore get rid of them, and condemn people with chronic and/or terminal pain management needs to unimaginable suffering because the British Empire was a douchebag. Gotcha.

        1. I thought that dude was just kidding.

        2. I KNEW someone was gonna peg his ‘argument’!

          1. Not sure he deserves getting pegged by BuSab.

            1. ‘deserves’ got nothing to do with it.

    2. I like turtles..

      1. “I like turtles..”

        But there’s so MANY of them! All the way down…

      2. So do I.

      3. Me too. It just pisses me off that people drive over them for sport.

        1. Yeah, those people suck..

        2. Some of the big snappers around here will seriously fuck up a small car’s shit.

          1. * the turtle does not survive the encounter, but he will leave a lasting impression.

            1. And if the remains aren’t too bad, they make a wonderful turtle soup!
              Turtle is a non-no in CA. I miss turtle soup like I miss thunder-bumpers from the mid west.

            2. [in the voice of the Halo announcer] Instant revenge!

    3. Agile Cyborg, if you’re going to change your handle for fun you’re supposed to put “woodchipper” in it.

      1. Uh, AC is ‘frolicking’ over on the conscription thread. A bit of AC tends to go a loooooong way in making the thread unreadable.
        I noticed Eddy was there when I looked; help yourself.

    4. If I read you correctly, we should factor in the Opium Wars in formulating modern American drug policy?

      1. Of course, because clearly our two options are:

        – Fighting other nations to force them to legalize drugs.
        – Fighting other nations to force them to ban drugs.

        And therefore we must weigh the pros and cons of each alternative.

        1. Wong Fei Hung…what more of a pro do you need?

    5. Wait, you’re asking people to stay on topic but . . .

      You veer off into some discussion about drugs made from poppy and how its legalization will lead to open warfare?

  131. I know I’m late to the discussion, but I’m not going to read 600+ comments. Apologies if I’m repeating something that’s already been said.

    1. The lesson (for us) seems to be that we should immediately ignore all requests to voluntarily gag ourselves when we receive a subpoena. It is important to spread the word far and wide before the gag order arrives.

    2. The lesson (for prosecutors) seems to be that they should obtain and send the gag order before the subpoena, if at all possible.

    3. Could Reason have refused to comply with the subpoena on 5th amendment grounds, asserting their right to not incriminate themselves? If not, why doesn’t such a defense work here?

    1. I suggest you read all 600+ comments. To set the mood, I recommend some ambient sound:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LD57c1KuA8

      1. 1. Yes. Unless its ordered, fuck’em.

        2. Yea, they kind of dropped the ball. Probably reflects that most usually comply with all of their ‘requests.’

        3. No, because Reason is not legally liable for comments. Reason was being subpoenaed for evidence in an ‘investigation.’ They are a third party in all of this and not incriminated.

      2. Huh. Have to admit, I would never have expected “woodchipper” to be a “rest and relaxation” soundtrack.

      3. I let out a spontaneous loud laugh. Coulda woken my kid.

    2. In response to question 3 – you’re 5th amendment rights only apply to *self-incrimination*. If you are not going to incriminate yourself (or have been given immunity, as websites have for comments left by others) then you have no right to withhold testimony.

      The only exceptions to this are the spousal/lawyer privilege and a very limited (and not observed in all jurisdictions) doctor/confessor privilege.

  132. So, watching Hannity now. Some pastor is arguing that whatshisface wouldn’t have killed anybody unless he’d gone to church.

    The pastor says more church. The gun grabbers say more gun control. The SPLC say take down the Confederate flag. Huh. It sure is fascinating that the incident nicely reinforces what they wanted to do beforehand.

    1. I think bowl cut just needed some pussy. No one who is neck deep in all the premium or even non-premium pussy they can handle goes on killing sprees. If some of the sleezier women in society would start sexing these misfits, this problem wouldn’t exist. At least, we need to legalize prostitution. For the children.

      1. Eh, Charles Whitman had a wife & kids, and he still went on a killing spree. Caligula could get whatever he wanted sexually and that did nothing to chill him out. Genghis Khan scored more than any man in history and well, just look at the bones! And then there are plenty of undersexed men who never hurt anybody.

        No, to paraphrase the zookeeper from Bart Gets an Elephant, some people are just jerks.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9aGIzMJPFw

        1. My bad- Whitman had a wife, but no children.

          1. A wife is hardly a guarantee of pussy. Do you want legalized prostitution or not? Stop questioning the narrative.

          2. I think he had a brain tumor.

            1. IT’S NOT A TUMOR

              1. GET TO THE CHIPPA!!!!

      2. Oh, and I was watching an episode of I Almost Got Away With It about this guy who roamed the country doing check fraud and identity theft. He managed to have two girlfriends at the same time, but the one left him after he shot her with a paintball gun when she was pregnant.

        1. Here’s the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh8okFCzqtM
          Guy’s name was Aurlieas Dante Mclarty.

    2. “Some pastor is arguing that whatshisface wouldn’t have killed anybody unless he’d gone to church.”

      But he DID go to church!

      1. For one hour!

      2. But Highlander taught us that nothing bad can happen in a church.

        1. Highlander was never an altar boy.

    3. They are animists. They believe in magic amulets and ritual behaviors.

      Ascribing the shooters behavior to the obvious and known mental illness he was suffering from would not advance their agendas. None of the people howling about it give two shits for the victims. They are just props for them.

    4. This is off topic. Did you clear it with Hank? Are you even a subscriber?

      1. We were talking about turtles, just before the wheels came off of this thread.. Hank’s right, keeping people on topic here is like wrangling cats..

        1. strangling cats?!
          What sort of a…………
          Oh…

  133. In the future when you get a subpoena asking for information about your commenters, publish it immediately on your website.

    1. In the future all subpoenas will be accompanied with gag orders. Why wouldn’t they be? In this instance they made a minor slip-up on timing and as a result a few proles got an accidental glimpse behind the curtain. Won’t happen again.

    2. Or, burn it into the surface of the moon with the Kochtopus Deathray hidden in Reasons nefarious arboretum…

      1. I’ve heard there are turtles in the Arboretum….

        1. Shh.. there’s a gag order on that..

          1. One of the Koch brothers is Chairface Chippendale?

            BTW, the devout know it is Turtles All The Way Down!

            Kevin R

  134. 1000th Post!

    1. Are you Canadian, Warren? I think you are using the metric post counter.

      1. I think he’s confusing the currency exchange with post counted in American. Even then we’re at 750 from 1000 which suggest a .75 dollar. But the $C is at around .81 cents.

        1. Maybe I identify as a woman and 750 posts is the same as 1000 posts to me.

          1. Yeah but do you identify as a CANADIAN woman?

            1. I like a good puck?

    2. …coming soon!

      1. This Way to the Great Egress!

        1. Gee, are you an ornathopter in your spare time?

          1. Watch your fucking language!

  135. It’s fine to sit and try to talk theory about how or why this or that is broken or unjust — but it’s never going to get people very worked up. Every once in awhile, though, you get a couple of true morons blundering onto the scene like this, and providing the perfect object lesson (how could they be so clueless as to what this site is all about?), when they really didn’t have to. It’s all just so perfect.

    1. Unfortunately the object lesson is going to be that even what it’s all out in the open, they have the ability to harass innocent citizens and suffer absolutely no consequences for it.

      1. “suffer absolutely no consequences for it.”

        Maybe. Maybe not.

        1. Ho ho, someone’s trying to get them to send another subpoena.

      2. In the short run, sure, but I’d argue that if that is to ever not be the case, it will only be due to a generally heightened awareness that this is how things really work. Put it this way: nothing will have changed, materially (i.e. with respect to your concerns), by this situation having occurred, so the fact that a couple of state thugs came along and ham-handedly, and very publicly, botched things up — that can be nothing but a net positive, right?

  136. Okay all, this has gotten out of hand. Please submit your comments to me before I allow them to be posted in the chatroom. We have rules here, people, and I am going to start enforcing them.

    1. “Crusty, it’s your doctor. The warts on your back are not warts. They seem to be growing arms. Please call at your earliest convenience.” Signed, Crusty’s Doctor.

      1. Not approved! Please delete!

    2. I thought Hank was in charge?

      1. Hank was not registered. I am registered.

        1. I think we should let Thunderdome decide

          1. But is the Thunderdome registered?

            1. It identifies as registered.

              1. I cede the authority I never had.

  137. Weird I never see Bo on the threads about this particular issue.

    1. There are several who are notably absent.
      And they were missing in the immediate aftermath of the subpoenas; perhaps for all the noise, they are just a bit more frightened of exposure than the rest of the commenters?
      As an example, Tony is an ass-licking statist; I can imagine him quivering in fear if anyone of ‘authority’ were to suspect him of ‘wrong thought’. Bo claims a certain courage, but it’s obvious from the dismantling of his grad/bar-exam claims that he’s an out-and-out liar.
      I think Tulpa showed up on Paul’s blog to do a victory lap about how Reason had been handed its hat, only to disappear thereafter. His only interest is revenge on those who properly despise the twit.
      Commie-kid? What do you expect? Any gripe about gov’t snooping will get tossed right back in his face.
      Turd? Hard telling. If there isn’t an angle leading to “I LUV OBO”, he hardly ever shows up

  138. Great news. Now, I don’t have to create a sockpuppet account named “Wood Chippers In Hell”.

    1. I was thinking pretty seriously about “Steven King’s Woodchipper from Hell” – probably too long.

  139. Was busy all day and just heard the news. A donation will be on its way when I sober up.

    Also, I’ve camouflaged my wood chipper as the ass end of a sheep.

  140. Guys, you all still have the right to say what you want…as long as it offends no one. Additionally as long as it doesn’t speak ill of the repugnant abuses by members of the government. So yes, you are free to say what you want. Just make it all about cat memes and thoughtful discussion about the smelliness of your own flatulence. USA! USA! USA!

    1. I don’t think Mr. Lizard appreciates cat related discussions.

  141. Sounds like Matt and Nick hide behind ‘anonymous’ commentators, throw them under the bus while kowtowing to the state (a piece of paper and a voice over a telephone), then congrat themselves for saving the day once a ballsy commentator doubles down and leaks the letter.

    A statist rag run by statist minds. Dance for your master.

    1. Jam|6.19.15 @ 10:59PM|#
      “Sounds like Matt and Nick hide behind ‘anonymous’ commentators, throw them under the bus while kowtowing to the state (a piece of paper and a voice over a telephone), then congrat themselves for saving the day once a ballsy commentator doubles down and leaks the letter.
      A statist rag run by statist minds. Dance for your master.”

      So tell us, Jam, what stand have you taken recently? I’m sure a brave warrior for freedom like you has a long history of brave opposition to the state.
      What might those be, Jam?

      1. Why bother. She is obviously off her meds again.

        1. If Matt and Nick used the email to the commentators as cover to just leak the letter to popehat themselves, props on a clean move and I’ll hop back on my meds. But I doubt those right wing boot lickers have the wits.

          I fight for liberty every year letting IRS letterhead accumulate on my desk. I don’t kowtow to words on paper or voices over a telephone. Call the states bluff. Especially with a publishing button and a 1000 commentators to back you.

          1. Jam|6.19.15 @ 11:47PM|#
            “[…]I fight for liberty every year letting IRS letterhead accumulate on my desk[…]”:

            Now, I, personally, command a company of freedom-fighters and we regularly sweep through the neighborhoods of San Francisco, dispatching all who propose the loss of freedom!
            So, now we’ve both made claims, but my claim is not required to be true for my question to you to be sincere.
            Hint: Put up or shut up.

            1. Sevo, damn it you’re not supposed to tell anybody about the ‘Fruity Fighting Fairy Militia. What if they come to steal our unicorns!?

          2. I’m betting you have enough voices in your head that you don’t need any over the telephone.

    2. But, how do you feel about turtles?

      1. I always like Donatello; I thought it was a good leader.

  142. Man mugged, breaks leg in London. NHS refuses to send ambulance:
    “That is the most disappointing thing. At the time I was incredulous. I’m always a defender of the NHS but I want to know why they didn’t listen to my call properly.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/n…..32223.html

    1. “I’m always a defender of the NHS but I want to know why they didn’t listen to my call properly.”

      Suucka!!
      You got what you wanted.

    2. “Even if you take them to the Soviet Union and show them the concentration camps, they will not believe it. They will believe it when the military boot is crushing their balls, but not before.” – Yuri Bezmenov on useful idiots.

      That is priceless. I love it.

  143. Surprised no one has made this joke yet:

    First, they came for the woodchippers…

    Anyone in need of a new handle, feel free to use that.

  144. Late as usual, but commenting from Australia while simultaneously driving a road train and reading 700+ comments.

    To wit –

    Thank you to Reason and it’s staff for all that you do. Thank you for this forum. It’s a great place to read and hang out, especially on this side of the Crab Nebula.

    Thank you also for being staunch defenders of liberty. It’s good to know that there are people like you doing the hard yards of defending a free society. In my 36 years on Spaceship Earth, I have come to find that the liberty loving tribe is a very small one indeed.

    ….. Donation coming your way.

    This whole issue is yet one more on the pile that is affecting the decision making process for my own life. My wife is from Ithaca NY, and she wants to have and raise children there. We are in the process of applying for a Green Card for me. Do I really want to go through with that? Do I want to raise children in a country where Fucksticks like Velamoor (and ALL the rest) are in positions of power and authority? Gives one thought to pause.

    Speaking of said fucksticks – fuck you all. You are petty tyrants who thrive on violence and abuse. You’re kind are an aberration to a civilized society.

    Thank you to the 6 and the rest of the commentariat. You’re all my kind of scum.

    Also – I patiently await Agile Cyborg’s commentary.

    Gordilocks

    1. First off..

      “commenting from Australia while simultaneously driving a road train and reading 700+ comments.”

      Multi-tasking.. Fuck yeah!

      Second off..

      ” Do I want to raise children in a country where Fucksticks like Velamoor (and ALL the rest) are in positions of power and authority? Gives one thought to pause.”

      Being foreign born, I can under stand that sentiment.. But, for those of us born here, harboring those thoughts as more than rhetoric, are to concede that this country belongs to its’ bureaucrats, rather than its’ citizens.. Besides, I can’t think of anywhere else in the “angloshpere” free of his sort..

      1. You are sadly correct, that where it regards free speech, USA is teh bestest.

        Given that I love my wife more than I hate the state, I’ll more than likely end up in Ithaca regardless. Ithaca being the Mos Eisley of Progressives.

        1. Christ man, Ithaca? Have you considered divorce?

            1. Have you read The Odyssey?

            2. It’s a very nice area. We drove there during our last visit to Allegheny County and it was pretty, the people were friendly, and the nearby Nelson Odeon is GREAT place to see a concert. I’d move there in a New York second.

    2. Please tell me this is your job.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/…..-explained

      1. Agammon – I drive something which is longer and heavier than Furiosa’s War Rig.

        I should put a photo on imgur …. Hold on.

        1. *Agammamon. Sorry.

        2. Similar to this? and/or this?

          1. Yes. Imgur doesn’t like my phone.

            My ride = 2007 T904 KW + 3 x 45′ flat decks.

            1. Trade it in for a Mack R-600 Coolpower , with improvised plow.. and articulated ballista emplacements on the trailers.. and spray-paint “EARTH” on one of the doors.. It’s the only sensible solution..

    3. Thank you for this forum. It’s a great place to read and hang out, especially on this side of the Crab Nebula.

      Agreed, but on the other side of the Crab Nebula lays Tattoine, and there are a few places there that are more exciting, intellectually advanced, outlandish, cringe-inducing, and foul-mouthed than here.

      1. A wretched hive of scum and villainy.

  145. I’ve been contemplating the economics of the common woodchipper, a device of supposed singular utility. Consider, what economic benefits might occur if a woodchipper was used for other materials, perhaps to chip mammals? Would the effects reverberate through an economy, positively impacting other tradesman? After all, a woodchipper may need special cleaning and the competition to create specialized mammal-chippers may create jobs and improved chippers for all manner of chipping. As I have always said, if chippers do not cross borders, armies will. What if the mammals they chipped were parasasitcal, providing no utility of their own while taking from producers both capital and liberty?

    Consider the simple woodchipper.

    1. We used to have the world’s best woodchipper near here at a pulp mill. This baby could chip a whole load of pulp logs, 50,000 lbs of wood at once. I saw it up close and personal. It was awesome.

      Could probably do the of whole of Preet’s gang of thieves in 30 seconds….(disclaimer, I am not advocating that this happen, besides they tore they thing down a few years ago).

  146. I move that a wood chipper be featured in the Reason logo. Also, the tag line should be changed to “Free Minds, Free Markets, and Woodchippers”. Also, I want a bowl of ice cream and nice hat. And the next Friday Funny should have something about woodchippers.

    PS I am NOT a crackpot!

  147. Reason has shown they won’t be hiding any commenters in the attic once the government-owned high speed rail starts running regular cattle car routes to the camps.

  148. Have we made it through this whole thread without making reference to the “physical shortcomings” Nick and Matt mentioned?

    #TeamWoodchipper

    1. Just one reference to Nick’s unibrow and Robby’s hair.

      1. Richmond’s lack of a dick?

  149. How much wood would a woodchipper chip if a woodchipper could chuck wood?

    Thanks, Reason, for fighting this fight on all our 1A-loving behalf. And to Popehat for giving it ink. And anybody else who gets off their ass to write about it (which *should* include pretty much every political and cultural commentator).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_t13-0Joyc

    Dear DOJ – BITE MY ASS, YOU TYRANNICAL PRICKS.

    Sorry, just seems poetically wrong to keep this comment too clean and cordial.

    1. Stick around more. You will very shortly stop apologizing for profanity. It is almost a requirement.

      1. Well, fanfuckingtastic, because I’m really fucking good at profanity.

        1. Yes, yes you are and hope you stick around, despite TIWTANFL.

  150. Just to be clear, nothing has been resolved vis-a-vis any pending indictments, right?

  151. Huh. I just heard Bill Mayer blame Fox News for the SC shooting and suggested that they be droned. He is suggesting terrorism on national television in exactly the same fashion as our own beloved six made suggestions about a certain forest.

    Looks like ‘ol Preet is gonna be a busy boy.

    1. He can’t see the forest for the trees?

  152. I know it’s late in the thread, but has anyone asked for Preet & Co. to die in an Ass Factory fire, smothered to death under a pile of burning asses? Because that sounds about right.

    1. There have been a few suggestions but that is the first I have heard that one.

      In all seriousness perhaps someone should contact the NY state BAR. The BAR’s sole job is to defend the credibility of the legal profession. Have these fuckin’ asshats done damage that needs to be addressed?

  153. “The potential number of critical comments subject to the District Court’s low bar for investigative compulsion is enormous. Now multiply that number by the number of controversial court cases, and you could quickly get to the point where federal courts were doing nothing but investigating online trolls”

    As a former troll, this is pretty much what trolling is about. If I were an Agorist this would be an effective, and acceptable method of fucking over the State.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_3TlrZLpQ0

  154. As a contribution to reaching 1000 comments I’d like to mention that I hope the folks who harassed Reason live long lives full of misery and bitterness. Also, they just guaranteed an increase in my donation.

    1. ^^^ Here Here !!!

  155. On-Topic: No one has bothered yet to name the douchebag magistrate who granted the government’s confidentiality/gag order, so I will: FRANK MAAS.

    The, ahem, “honorable” Magistrate Judge FRANK “I never met a gag order I wouldn’t fucking grant because I’m a fucking government hack” MAAS is the one who granted the gag order. Look at the papers submitted by those two douchebags from the US Atty’s office. Seriously, all it is are the six comments in isolation with the boilerplate language on the order.

    That. is. fucking. it. That’s all it took to get a judge to issue a prior restraint against a magazine, something the US Supreme Court has so loudly decried that it is considered black letter law that such a thing is presumptively unconstitutional. They teach it in first year of fucking law school, FFS, in Con Law I.

    1. Let me say this loudly so everyone hears it: The judiciary has absolutely abandoned any pretense of being a separate, independent branch of government – particularly the one that is supposed to hold the wall against any usurpation of individual rights by the other two groups of idiots. THAT WAS WHAT THEY WERE FOUNDED/DESIGNED/INTENDED TO FUCKING DO.

      The “independent judiciary” idea has become completely unhinged from what its whole raison d’etre was – FRANK MAAS is a piece of totalitarian shit and he is unworthy of that office.

      Judge Maas – you screwed the pooch on this one and any other time you’ve granted these kinds of orders on nothing more than flimsy shit like this. You are a fucking disgrace. If you had a fucking shred of honor you would (a) publicly resign, (b) write a letter explaining your failure, telling everyone the system is broken, and (c) go on TV and the lecture circuit for an extended mea culpa and exhort all sitting judges to start doing their fucking Constitutional duty protecting the inalienable rights of the people of this country.

      Short of that, go fuck yourself.

      1. “Short of that, go fuck yourself.”

        With a woodchipper? It has to be with a woodchipper.

        1. Suthenboy – Mais, bien sur! And if I wasn’t such a luddite – and still too new to the pack – I would have changed my handle to the appropriate “woodchipping” designation.

          1. Thanks for the outing.

      2. Thanx AF Slade. This is for FRANK MAAS.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je-M675ZTK4

        1. Now that’s some good shit.

      3. The two ass-clowns who asked for that, order, should also be the subject of public derision and scorn. Preet Bharara and Niketh Velamoor are both a disgrace to the legal profession. In a just world, your families will be embarrassed to share last names. I should hope that some day one of your children will read about this, understand the law, and tell all of their friends how ashamed they are to have you as a parent. Which they should be. Because you are both totalitarian fuckwads who get off on using the threat of violence over others. I know one thing: if I ever meet your kids, that’s going to be my story… because it happens to be perfectly true.

        Every one-fucking-L learns that prior restraints are presumptively unconstitutional. Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931).

        1. It is sad about Bharara. I have no problem with him fucking with Wall Street, I have no problem with him fucking with the Bush firings, I have no problem with him fucking with Bank of America..he’s not unintelligent by any means. His problem is his hubris. He’s pathetic because he hasn’t used his gifted intelligence in positive ways. How many times have we seen that. It’d been better that he’d become a junkie and wasted his life. He’d at least be a better judge had that happened.

    2. Thanks for this, Slade.

        1. +3

  156. how many other serious outlets allow anonymous commenters to run riot as we do? Some of the risk is legal, as in the current situation.

    Almost none, at least not a politics and culture news site. Youtube? Sure.

    But all the sniffy commentary by the Popehats and other blogs that have moderated comments were largely hypocritical in their criticism of Reason commentariat. The idea that their commenters are better is unadulterated bullshit. They’re not, they’re just getting deleted by a an intern, or roomful of interns.

    1. What self-respecting libertarian site would censor comments?

      Everyone mocks the romper room while creating sock puppets to post.

    2. It is ironic. It’s the nannystate that need to protect us from harmful commentary. I only consider Reason because it follows through with its credo. Hell, I didn’t even have a problem with Lone Wacko. That guy was unintentional entertainment.

  157. All-Seeing Woodchipper|6.19.15 @ 10:38PM|#
    “Unfortunately the object lesson is going to be that even what it’s all out in the open, they have the ability to harass innocent citizens and suffer absolutely no consequences for it.”

    Yes they do, and there is something we can do about it. Do not bail, continue to post even those things found obnoxious to the slavers.
    Tony Judt relates the story about the Yugoslav dissident; he could only advise you live your life *as if* you were free and accept the consequences.
    Whatever the Reason Six chose to do, I prefer to post here and make it clear that assholish prosecutors can lick Obo’s butt.

    1. ^ This is why I like you Sevo. =)

      1. Gracias, J, but no more than most of us do and claim.
        KEEP IT UP!

        1. Wil do. =D

  158. reading the names of the “attorneys” involved makes me think there is some sort of cultural disconect…. or possibly some significant factor wherein these guys are making a lot of nothing, maneouvreing for some sort of recognition. “Ain’t I wonderful, I got on the tail of three hudnred forty seven intrnet commenters who were conspiring to perpetrate evil against a federal judge.. ain’t I sumpin?” Nothing like padding the time logs, eh?
    And that does not even approach the issue of throwing one’s weight about, attempting to intimidate some corporate hooh hahs out there on the uncontrolled internet.

      1. I think he’s showing some hate for Indians.

        1. I’ll yield to your analysis; I can’t make heads nor tails of that.

          1. Bharara (can you get more Indian?), Velamoor, Maas… How all these foreigners get in the country anyway?

    1. Hi OTRTM !!! =D I have not seen you around for a while. =D

      1. Not enough “shit” or “ass” for Mandalay.

  159. “To live in a world where every stray, overheated Internet comment?however trollish and stupid it may be?can be interpreted as an actionable threat to be investigated by a federal grand jury is to live in a world where the government is telling the public and media to just shut up already. As we gather and publish more information on just how often this sort of thing happens, we pledge to always be on the side of more speech rather than less.”

    I was talking to people on the blog of one of the users who happens to post here, and one of them seemed convinced Reason had coughed up the information on users without a fight.

    I disagreed and argued that though I often disagree with the editorial stance of reason, Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch definitely would not do that and were probably precluded from discussing the issue due to a gag order.

    I am glad to see I was right and will be donating money to Reason immediately because I am proud to help out any magazine who will fight for free speech in court.

    1. I was talking to people on the blog of one of the users who happens to post here, and one of them seemed convinced Reason had coughed up the information on users without a fight.

      Ran into that several times myself. Got to the point I felt like I was being a pollyana, believing that Reason might just need some time to explain.

      I’m pleased with what Reason and their legal team did here.

      1. Actually, Paul, looking at that thread, I don’t think there was anyone legitimately making that argument. Crazy, mentally ill, desperately in need of medication Mary appears to have just shown up and started gibbering nonsensically.

        God, her husband needs to divorce her. It’s the only way to save himself!

    2. I doubled mine and added a monthly.

      The people foo-fooing those guys have no idea what it feels like to have an ADA set their sights on you. Fear. Even the bluster about ‘you are close to obstructing a federal grand jury’ is clearly a threat. Fear. It takes some balls not to cave (and good lawyers – thumbs up to Gayle) .

      Incidentally, if you do cave they just drag you in deeper.

      Matt and Nick did well.

      1. Was that you on Popehat?

        I’m donating tonight.

        1. Playa, you reckon that’s as good as Reason was gonna get?

          1. Hmm, maybe that was you. There was a salt and pepper (mostly salt) gentleman who was interested in donating on Popehat.

            I will be doing the same.

    3. I was talking to people on the blog of one of the users who happens to post here, and one of them seemed convinced Reason had coughed up the information on users without a fight.

      That is exactly what they did. Read the OP where Nick explains option #2 was not an option.
      Reason made no attempt to quash the subpoena. They had some flunky mouthpiece from their discount house counsel make a phone call, then they complied as ordered.

      I’m not holding it against them by any means. They could have thrown every cent and more at high-priced, top drawer counsel and almost certainly would have lost. I don’t get why people think they fought this. I’m sure Reason did not want to comply, and feel sick about doing so (to some extent) but they didn’t have much of a choice. Not if they wanted to keep their jobs and keep publishing the wonderful magazine and lame-o cosmotarian website with the best comments on teh web-o-net.

    4. Agree. I’m as critical of half measures as anyone, but if this isn’t a case that can rally the DiLorenzos together with the Welches, I don’t know what is.

    5. “I disagreed and argued that though I often disagree with the editorial stance of reason, Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch definitely would not do that and were probably precluded from discussing the issue due to a gag order.”

      Yeah. They are way too much arsehools to just submit.

  160. Good job, Reason. I appreciate that you guys did and are doing the best you can in response to a really fucked up situation. Thanks to the lawyers, too. I cant express how much I’ve learned since joining the commentariat, so thanks to everyone here. This place has been a sane refuge from the day to day insanity going on in this country. Endless laughs around here, the BEST forum I’ve ever hung around in. Even the heavy legal and history and science shit thats way over my head has at least CHALLENGED me to read more and think more.
    And its very much appreciated. Keep up the good fight. Free expression is the fundamental basis for the self.

    That being said, IMO, there’s a fucking RAT with a big mouth, there always is.

    1. Slammer. Ask Aggy for an invite if you are a gamer.

      http://steamcommunity.com/grou…..Commenters

      1. I dont think my computer is good enough for that kind of gaming, but will check it out. I used to spend a LOT of time on xbox 360 live when I was in to it. Much appreciated, man.

        1. No worries. I do not get to play as much as I used to. I’s getting to the point where you can plug a controller into a usb port. You are welcome. =)

    2. There is such a thing as search engines, which can scan these motherfucking fora for specific terms. Plus, the comments in qu?sti?ne were de hecho in discussion of an article specificly relevant to the case. So, a retarded child with an Etch-a-Sketch and an internet conexion could’ve easily alerted anybody to the comments. A rat is unnecessary. Also, it seems clear to me that the process was started with the foregone conclusion that SOME harrassing action needed doing, and they then just looked around to try to find an excuse. Like a time my brother got pulled over, told, “you’re going to jail, buddy!”, arrested, took to jail, where the peace officer then called the prosecutor and, in my brother’s presence, arsked, “What do I charge him with?” The attack was predetermined. The charges were an after the fact rationalisation. Some crap here, Bozo. Gosh! Can you be more stupid?

  161. If I weren’t so lazy, I would set up a website as a permanent memorial to the douchebagary of the AUSA’s involved here, and the judge(s) in question. It would feature random pictures of woodchippers, contact information for where ever they work, their districts, ambient woodchipping sounds, and random GIF’s like back in the old days of the internet before females started using computers.

  162. Well, I’m glad I got drunk and logged on and read all the comments. Very heartening. You guys can expect a bump in the donation for this year’s beg-a-thon.

    Thanks, reason. Fight the good fight. Y’all are alright by me, and that’s saying something, because I’m an asshole who generally hates people.

  163. I’m a little late to the thread but my thanks to Matt & Nick for explaining what happened, and thanks generally for reason allowing the commentariat to flourish. reason’s fund drive is getting my money (again).

    Fuck Brahara and his toady Velamoor. Those two bit government thugs were the sort that the Founders tossed on their ear. The sort that can’t even follow the literal words that they wrote but goddamn help anyone who doesn’t comply with whatever fantasy intent is floating through their heads.

    Finally, my appreciation to the reason 6. I’ve written similar comments, especially after yet another infuriating nut punch. When we have the reason meetup in the camps, I’ll buy a round of dirty water for you guys.

  164. Thanks for fighting the good fight Reason. Sadly all this crap proves is that Bin Laden won.

  165. I have a different objection to this subpoena. It’s coming from US Attorneys for the Southern District of New York. It’s coming from the same division of the DOJ that prosecuted the Silk Road case before Judge Forrest, and presumably on her behalf.

    Who alerted the DOJ to the comments section of the obscure Reason.com?

    Who made a complaint about these comments?

    Judges are exhorted to avoid even the appearance of partiality and impropriety.

    But what this appears to be is partiality and impropriety between the Judge and Prosecution in the Silk Road case.

    The Prosecution and the Judge appear now to be so buddy-buddy that they’d conspire to engage in a meritless prosecution of internet banter critical of them to undermine a law that is superior to all other laws. Some dude enabled the sale of drugs, etc., but you conspire to silence free speech.

    Dear DOJ for the Southern District of New York and the Honorable Katherine Forrest,
    Go ahead and subpoena my identity. I guess I’ll just have to ‘man up’ and say it to your faces: Y’ALL LOOK CORRUPT. DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I DO DOES NOT GARNER RESPECT.

    1. Who you callin’ ‘obscure’?

    2. “Judges are exhorted to avoid even the appearance of partiality and impropriety.”

      And there are those who presume judges are some sort of ‘special’ people, when in fact they are self-serving individuals just like every one else.
      Except they LIE.

  166. I suggest that Brahara, Velamoor, Judge Maas and Judge Forrest, be rounded up, and dropped by helicopter into ISIS controlled territory. They should be issued only a slab of bacon, and a pistol with four rounds, for their self defense.

    Rot in hell, the lot.

    1. What’s ironic about this as that all of them, so quick to use the threat of the King’s Violence on others, and not a fucking one of them knows what violence really looks like. I find something about that reprehensible. It’s why I loved this scene in GOT because he’s goddamn well right.

      “the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90oMLWDJ-C4

      You divorce yourself from what using the King’s Justice really means and it becomes so easy to “do unto [unseen] others.” I think every judge who issues a no-knock warrant should have to gear up and go and see what happens – the good and the fucking bad: go kick in some poor slob’s door in the middle of the night; get the wrong house once or twice; find out the intel was bullshit and these are low-level nobodies; flashbang some sleeping babies.

      That’s what should happen. Watch how quickly bullshit warrants dry up and cowards like these go pissing back where they fucking belong.

    2. I hope you are suggesting that they be dropped from a very low altitude (say 5 ft), so you can’t be accused of inciting people to harm them. You should also implore the IS fighters to go easy on them, as a CYA.

      1. And it goes without saying that they not be dropped over an operating woodchipper.

  167. Wow, 972 comments (928 with this) and still 2 hours to midnight in the only time-zone that matters.

    Not that I would post some pointless junk solely to increment the counter.

    1. Pointless junk.

    2. A, it ain’t like we got the click-bait of White Indian anymore (thank Zeus), but this ‘un is gonna go a while.

    3. Well.. Rufus derailed the whole thread a while back.. Soooo.. How do you feel about turtles?

      1. I like them. I also know how to tell boy turtles from girl turtles….all part of my duties as the Fount of Evil Esoteric Knowledge and Tooth Fairy (Mid Western Region).

        1. The chick has longer claws..

        2. Your turtle climbed Mount Everest, if I remember correctly.

          1. I wish, no only to the top of her cage. She then base jumped without a parachute. Did you know vets repair broken turtle shells with Bondo?

            1. “Did you know vets repair broken turtle shells with Bondo?”

              Strangely enough, I do.
              A co-worker had a desert tortoise as a pet when they were still legal, and it ‘required’ repair to the lower shell (for reasons I never asked about). Damn thing smelled like a replica Cobra for months.

      2. I have persistently called for a reopening of the treaties while providing Americans with a chance to reshape the US’ relations with turtles.

        I understand that Americans are not happy with the status quo and believe that the US needs to change in order to better address their concerns.

        I reiterate here that I want to find a fair deal for the US.

        God Bless.

        1. *golf clap for the Obama impersonation…unless it wasn’t and you have discovered AC’s secret stash…in which case kudos for finding Cyborg’s Plutonium Nyborg after he moved it from the Transmitter Compartment.

          1. Actually, David Cameron impersonation. A good chunk of that is simply his statements regarding the UK’s EU referendum cut and redone to fit the US.

            1. That’s a nice word salad he gots. It goes any where and means nothing.

        2. Well.. The Turtle Prioritization Act is an unbridled power grab. It smacks of potential impropriety, and it’s certainly a raw deal for our struggling private sector unions. I’m not comfortable with giving them “fast-track” authority over any legislation pending in their favor.. It just seems like a step backward for our national interests..

          1. Marriage between turtles must be a boy and girl, if a boy turtle marries another boy turtle, then God will punish Mr Lizard.

      3. Turtles can suck my balls.

        1. I have a turtle head poking out.

  168. Hello Streisand Effect. Nice to meet you.

    1. Can it be that it was so simple then?

  169. The obvious way to have an anonymous forum is to configure your code so that it does not store IP addresses. As Nick and Matt correctly mention, it is still possible to create email addresses without giving identifying information (Though demand for phone numbers seems to be on the rise). But then there is still the fact that email accounts might be storing the IP addresses where it was created.

    So why not give people the option of creating user names and passwords without the email addresses? Such users would have to complete a Captcha every time they posted (not just for every login). It seems like this would block all spam-bots, and slow down manual spamming efforts. Persistant manual spamers could just have their accounts deleted so they would need to create a new account just to resume spamming.

    As far as trolls go, I hardly see that most of the comments (911 including my own at the moment ) are any better than so-called trolls. Most of the time people call another user a “troll,” they just disagree with the person and are frustrated with their inability to change the persons mind.

    Note: I use my real name, so come and get me!

    1. “So why not give people the option of creating user names and passwords without the email addresses? Such users would have to complete a Captcha every time they posted (not just for every login). It seems like this would block all spam-bots, and slow down manual spamming efforts. Persistant manual spamers could just have their accounts deleted so they would need to create a new account just to resume spamming.”

      We have a crazy person who used to comment here and would literally go nuts for days on end spamming every comment thread. Reason has registration to stop the nutcase from engaging in nuttery and unfortunately I don’t know what they could do to deal with the problem without having potentially IP storing registration rules.

      1. The fact that you know it was the same “crazy person,” shows that he (or she) was able to keep the same account. I address that. being faced with a Capcha each time would slow him (or her) down too.

        1. You’re wrong, this particular person actually consistently switched commenting names specifically so people wouldn’t know it was her at first. People would then notice it was her and she’d change accounts again.

          She absolutely would have gone through a thousand capcha’s if it meant derailing conversations, because she was completely nuts. I know you’re not a regular commenter here, but this woman actually has websites devoted to her obsession with this comment section which she updates frequently.

          We’re talking about the kind of nut who might kill a bunch of people and then shoot herself at some point in the near future. Capcha’s will not slow her down.

          1. Someone with better search skills than me, sow Scotty a White Indian thread.

            1. White Indian was a national treasure.

              1. In which nation?

              2. I actually plagiarised a bunch of his commentary in my sociology courses, and received excellent marks and comments from the professor about my keen understanding of things.

              3. not so much.

          2. Also, Jesus Christ, I just read your website:

            “I am, Professor Scotty Boman. I teach mathematics and physics at Wayne County Community College District in Detroit, MI. At the time of the attack, I was a candidate for Detroit City Clerk. Since there was an on-site absentee voting place on campus, I decided to stop by there after teaching class. I took pictures of signs that were posted by the incumbent City Clerk; I thought they violated campaign rules that other candidates had to follow. Apparently, a campus police officer didn’t like this, so she started harassing me and called on a few other officers to join her. So I walked over to where volunteers for other candidates were handing out literature.

            As soon as I attempted to hand out some of my campaign literature the same officer tried to stop me by swatting my hand. When I complained, I was jumped by other officers who took me away in cuffs. Knowing I was scheduled to speak at a candidate forum, they held me prisoner until the forum was almost over. During my captivity, they cuffed me in a torturous position that caused long-term damage to my wrist. They decided to charge me with trespassing even though I was in a public area at my place of work.”

            🙁 I’m going to donate to your defense later today. The state is out of control.

            1. Glad he reached his goal though.

      1. I can’t violate the laws of physics Playa. I have no power.

    2. Scotty, we miss you.

      Detroit Red Wings

  170. No, no, you are all wrong about Niketh Velamoor’s character. According to this public web site, https://www.mylife.com/niketh-velamoor/ nikethvelamoor (I had to insert a space because Reason limits words to 50 characters), which just came up second in a simple Bing search of his name because I couldn’t find the dark web with a flashlight, Mr. Velamoor is “loyal,” “honest,” “fun,” a “good listener,” “optimistic,” and lives at 330 E. 75th St., New York, NY 10021-3087. He’s obviously an open and sensitive soul, and some of you have taken a woodchipper to his feelings. Why don’t you call or write to him and apologize.

    1. Don’t do that, you fucking idiot.

      I’m 90% sure you’re a federal agent anyway.

      1. Playa hates captchas!

      2. To be clear, this was in reply to a now deleted comment, not to Beam Me Up Scotty.

        1. It’s funny if you read it as you screaming at Nick.

  171. You know who else is a fucking idiot?

    1. Navin Johnson?

    2. Hitler?

      1. Bully! 91% of the commentors on here are bullies

        1. 8% are assholes..

      1. Forgot about MNG. Thanks for the memories.

  172. Your mistake was telling the assistant US attorney that you were going to notify the subpoena subjects. You should have just done it. Having a discussion about narrowing the subpoena was fine, but the call should have ended there.

  173. Your mistake was telling the assistant US attorney that you were going to notify the subpoena subjects. You should have just done it. Having a discussion about narrowing the subpoena was fine, but the call should have ended there.

  174. Your mistake was telling the assistant US attorney that you were going to notify the subpoena subjects. You should have just done it. Having a discussion about narrowing the subpoena was fine, but the call should have ended there.

  175. Your mistake was telling the assistant US attorney that you were going to notify the subpoena subjects. You should have just done it. Having a discussion about narrowing the subpoena was fine, but the call should have ended there.

    1. Sooo.. What you are saying, is that.. the mistake was telling the assistant US attorney that they were going to notify the subpoena subjects… and, they should have just done it?

      1. No, I think he was saying they didn’t need to notify the subjects and should have just done it.

    2. Behold the Quadruple Squirrel post as Foretold by the Prophecy!

      1. An army of woodchippers followed. And behind them, death.

      2. There are simple devices to keep squirrels from capitalizing on bird feeders. They keep squirrel populations down and fewer squirrels means less squirrel infiltration into the webz.

  176. I would encourage Reason to at least consider using Disqus (or something like it) for the comment section, which is becoming standard in commenting sections online. It’ll allow the commenter / community to down vote or edit comments. It’s not necessarily a solution, but it might help.

    I know many people will consider that as capitulating to the federal government, but Reason is a private company and they can set their own TOS for the comment section. Now that they’ve been targeted, I wouldn’t blame them for taking measures to protect their writers and the commenters.

    Who tipped off the feds about 6 random comments? I wouldn’t be surprised if some left leaning organization has labeled this site as some dangerous “right wing” patriot group and is monitoring the comment section. Reason is brash and PROLIFIC in its coverage on gun rights, free speech (hate speech!), ACA, and false campus rapes. More so than the National Review and some other prominent conservative sites.

    This is a dangerous time for free speech, and Hillary Clinton is the front runner on the Dem side. I wish you well.

    1. NONONONONONONONONONO Disqus sucks great horny toad testicles.

      1. No shit, Bu, Disqus is “Trix are for kids” moronic.

    2. I will [redacted] you if that comes to pass.

      1. OTOH, updating the current commenting software to allow up/downvoting along with notifying you of replies to your post and implementing the ability to search for your previous posts in a thread (rather than having to skim through, hoping to catch your username) would be great.

        Reason should have a Kickstarter for that.

        1. CTRL F your username, dude.

          1. Yeah, F your user name!

          1. Yup, reasonable already does most of that.

  177. “….of the One with the Name of a Legend of the Waves…”[!!!]

    What has been foretold has come to be!!

    (Okay, that’s all I’ve got. I’m going to bed.)

  178. 1000th Post!

  179. And we’re done!

    1. Well not quite done yet….Anonbot and ” my brother’s cousin’s best friend made $69,000 a week for just a few hours online” haven’t posted yet.

      1. They’re like cockroaches – they don’t come out to post until the rest of us leave.

    2. We’re not done until Postrel makes a handle to forgive us for saying naughty and undignified things on occasion.

      Maybe I can invoke her by referencing the genius of Kirkpatrick Sale and Wendell Berry. Or by writing her full name (“Virginia Postrel”) so she finds this post in her daily autoGoogle.

      1. You have to say her name 3 times in the mirror.

        1. Bloody Ginny, Bloody Ginny, Bloody Ginny.

  180. Page 2 snypa!..

  181. I hope to see Welch’s boyish visage and questionable sartorial stylings on television every night for the next month. The USA office delivered Reason and libertarianism a giant present without even realizing it. I bet Rand and Ron would love to say something about this as well.

    And from the accounts here and on Ken’s blog, the AUSA in question seems to be the sort of character who turns minarchists into anarchists. When you see the brute force of the state at the hands of vicious, driven student-council washouts, you begin to understand why this power can’t exist in a world that aspires to be just.

    1. In a perfect world, this would be true.

  182. The Wikipedia page for Preet Bharara has been modified by user Woodenchipper to add a section for the Reason subpoena. I expect it will be removed by his lackeys as soon as they are aware. Get ready for a Wiki fight!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preet_Bharara

    1. Thing is, though, is that there’s already stuff on there critical of him, such as that he is “targeting people of Indian origin.”

      1. And we all shine on. Like the moon and the stars up above.

  183. How many Reasoners use TOR?

    1. I have nothing to hide. What’s the big deal about Snowden anyway?

  184. So, in summary, you received a subpoena in response to someone making death threats in the comments section and you complied. Has the internet blown up yet in response because, while I’m probably with you on the particulars, this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal or a trampling of the 1st amendment. Maybe at worst these six commenters will get a visit one afternoon from the cops where it will probably be found that they are morons. Or maybe not… We’ve just had 8 people killed by some maniac inspired by the type of extremist rhetoric that sometimes shows up here.

    Whatever the case, I’m sure that nick gillespie is up to the job of playing martyr for the entire internet. It’s a job that his personality and temperament are suited–I say, uniquely so– for.

    1. AmSoc – you would really equate commentary here with an unhinged actual murderer?

      Fuck Off, You slaver fellating mendacious cunt.

      1. No… Is that what I did in my comment? I certainly doubt this case will get as far as a visit by the cops even if part of me would like to see these asshats defend their comments to a magistrate.

        This case is clearly overreach in response to commenters who are morons. Do you think we can move on by the end of the decade from this or will we need some more time than that?

        1. Why would I need to defend my comment to a magistrate?

          This case is clearly overreach . . . .

          Yeah, *that’s* the story. You’re OK with that overreach as long as its against people you find distasteful?

        2. “..in response to commenters who are morons..”

          Would you like some crayons?

          1. I’m not sure AmSoc should be allowed crayons. Last time he had them he pushed one into his brain, which explains a lot.

        3. The only moron I see here is a person with the handle ‘American socialist’.

        4. american socialist|6.20.15 @ 2:50AM|#
          “[…]I certainly doubt this […]”

          Shitbag, it’s always a pleasure to see you show up and prove once again how stupid the left is.

        5. Yes. That is exactly what you did through Sophistry.

    2. We already know you suck statist cock, commie kid, no need to convince us…we already know. So your post is redundant.

      Fuck off, stalin fellator.

    3. “So, in summary, you received a subpoena in response to someone making death threats in the comments section”

      What?

      ” this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal or a trampling of the 1st amendment.”

      To someone of limited mental capacity.

      “Maybe at worst these six commenters will get a visit one afternoon from the cops where it will probably be found that they are morons.”

      Sure.. a visit from the police is always welcome. I’m just bet you would stave them off with your keen intellect, and rapier wit..

      “We’ve just had 8 people killed by some maniac inspired by the type of extremist rhetoric that sometimes shows up here.”

      Awesome, the way you connected two unrelated issues with the mundane rhetoric of worn out talking points. Trot them out like Sundays best…

      “Whatever the case, I’m sure that nick gillespie is up to the job of playing martyr for the entire internet. It’s a job that his personality and temperament are suited–I say, uniquely so– for.”

      I like you.. your funny.

      1. “We’ve just had 8 people killed…”: non-sequitur to the rescue!

    4. There were no death threats, just comments that basically said we would all be better off if the judge was dead and burning in hell.

      There is no evidence that the church killer was inspired by “extremist rhetoric”, except in your mind.

      Suppression of discussion of the subpoena is a prior restraint that qualifies as “trampling of the 1st amendment”.

    5. We’ve just had 8 people killed by some maniac inspired by the type of extremist rhetoric that sometimes shows up here.

      You know how many federal judges have been murdered in the last 35 years?

      Four.

      And one, wasn’t assassinated, he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (John Roll, Arizona, 2011).

      And the sort of extremist rhetoric that shows up here?

      1. That rhetoric comes from basically *one* guy. And he gets called out on it immediately. And its nothing compared to the rhetoric on actual supremist sites (of any ethnicity, white, black , etc).

      2. You yourself, advocate an ideology that has been responsible for most of the human death and misery of the last half century.

      1. You waste valuable electrons responding to a mental deficient..

      2. Know what’s ‘extremist rhetoric’ to me?

        Anything that comes out of the mouth of a progressive and SJW across the continent.

        The only people calling for the death, imprisonment, censorship, removal and ultimate destruction of those they disagree with are PROGRESSIVES (and bureaucrats like the bunch who tried to bully Reason and six lousy commenters).

    6. Jeez, Hihn then AmSoc – is the the legendary ur-thread of trolldom?

    7. Jeez, Hihn then AmSoc – is the the legendary ur-thread of trolldom?

      1. No Buttplug and no Tony, so, no.

    8. Amsoc

      “We’ve just had eight people killed…”

      You and others were behind/ordered the killing of eight people? Sounds like you need the visit from the authorities.

  185. Actually, in FARGO, Steve Buscemi’s character gets put into the woodchipper HEAD first, not feet first.

    1. To be fair, no one is sure what part of me went in first. Just that one of my feet was last.

      I make nice deco on snow.

  186. It is important to note that in evaluating online threats, the government does not distinguish between threats, predictions, and warnings. Posting that you think someone is in danger of being harmed by an unknown or unidentified third party is considered just as much a threat as posting that you yourself intend to harm someone. I know this from personal experience.

    1. Proving that Toads, particularly you, aren’t very intelligent. Fuck off…

  187. In reading the subpoena and gag order, I note that the phone numbers of both Maxine Vales, Deputy US Marshall, and Niketh V. Velamoor, Assistant United States Attorney, were redacted in the published version. Given their lack of respect for privacy, I ask Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, and/or anyone else at Reason responsible for this decision, “Why?

    1. Because including that information might make it easy for some nutcase to actually threaten them? They are being considerate? Because including that information does not add any value to the story? The article makes its point very well without that information.

      1. Some nutcase could easily threaten them using the other contact information provided, such as email addresses that were listed.

        One wonders why they would (or should) be considerate to these thugs.

        Value would be added to the story by making it easier for readers to contact these people and petition them for a redress of their grievances over this activity directly, and without making it easy for that expression to be ignored (e.g., by having a lower-level employee simply delete the email after reading one or two lines).

  188. TO THE TRANSCRIPT!

    “It’s judges like these who should be taken out back and [slang to thank someone for something they have done – often used by South African youths].”

    “It’s judges like these who will be taken out back and [The slang to thank someone for something they have done – used by South African youths]. FTFY.”

    “Why waste [slang for weed]? [Slang for toothy fellatio] gets the message across clearly enough. Especially if you feed them in [identifying phrase for foot fetishists].”

    “Why do it out back? [slang to thank someone for something they have done – often used by South African youths] her out front, on the steps of the courthouse.”

    “I hope there is a special place in Hell, [California, 92239] reserved for that horrible woman.”

    “There is.”

    “I’d prefer a Hell-ish place on [slang for mostly harmless] be reserved for her as well.”

    “Fuck that. I don’t want to pay for that [Brit slang for everything, most comparable to the American slang term, “fuck”] food, housing and medical. Send her through the [slang for receiving toothy fellatio]”

    So, where’s the threat? If Preet retorts one needs CONTEXT to know that these commenters were not discussing whether and how best to thank the Judge (in pretty well-worn slang, that only might be lost on a Baby Boomer) then why doesn’t he pay attention TO THE CONTEXT, and quit with the assault?

    1. Why? Because they have no intention of securing a conviction and know they can’t get one if they tried. This is a ‘cant beat the ride’ attempt to frighten people into not criticizing government officials. Classic petty tyranny. These are the kinds of people referred to in this line – “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”

      1. Agreed. It’ll give them a chance to go on a fishing expedition through the Reason 6’s archives and they might come up with some petty offenses that might be aggrandized into more. I think they are hoping that the rest of us will hear about it and get scared, because if we had nothing to hide we would never be scared.Fuck. I thought this shit was settled back in John Wilkes era.

  189. The AUSA’s attempt to kiss Judge Forrest’s ass may have sounded good at first but they royally fucked up big time by not securing the gag order concurrently with the subpoena for personal information. Now Niketh Velamoor, his boss Preet Bharara, and judge Katherine Forrest are all very publicly associated with ham-fisted state intimidation antithetical to the First Amendment and settled case law. Well done.

    1. Love the handle.

      Yes, that was the first thing that struck me upon reading the article. Ham-fisted to say the least. I admit it gave me pleasure to know that Velamoor stepped on his own dick so badly. These fuckheads aren’t that sharp so they get govt goon jobs where they can substitute bullying for legal acumen. That is how they get by. I am sure 99% of the time intimidation works for them.

      1. Case closed. That’s how Mama Cass died.

  190. It was in Iraq that Saddam would send his most hated enemies through a woodchipper feet first. If he just really disliked you it was head first.

    In Fargo the woodchipper was used on a corpse, and it was so small the body had to be dismembered.

    Get your references straight.

    1. You seem to be well-versed about how woodchippers have been used for objects other than wood. Please do go on.

    2. Saddam supposedly used a plastic shredder, but it was never verified.

      1. I always heard it was a slow painful death carried out with a dull cheese grater.

  191. First: The Silk Road conviction and sentence proves that “the law” does not equal “justice.”

    Second: Welcome to the nearly complete police state that America is becoming. Expect more of the same in the future. North Korea is like this.

    Third: The so-called war on drugs was started by religious groups lobbying Congress to get their version of religion put into secular law. (The Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914: These drugs are immoral therefore they should be illegal.) That is Sharia Law American style and completely abrogates the fundamental concept of inalienable rights in which people can do what they want as long as they do not violate the rights of other in so doing. We do not have rights anymore, we have privileges granted to us by the government.

    dowehaverights.blogspot.com

  192. I registered just to post this:

    Assistant United States Attorneys like Velamoor should be taken out back and shot, but only if no wood-chippers are available.

    If Big Government wants to monitor and try to limit or control our speech, we should swamp them with more unacceptable comments than they can prosecute.

    I am Spartacus!

    1. You underestimate the powers of prosecution in a country at war. With whom, you ask? Everybody!

  193. There is a guy that knows how to roll with it. Wow.

    http://www.Goin-Anon.tk

  194. Messrs Gillespie and Welch,

    Many thanks for this honest, informative post. There can be no doubt that the biggest threat to our liberty comes not from terrorists or other foreign entities, but rather from our own government. We are all in your debt.

  195. Is there a waiting period or background checks on the purchase of wood-chippers?

    1. Word to woodchipper murderers: someone finally posted that woodchippers are handy tools for disposing of bodies already murdered, but less effective as initial dispatchers. The Coen Bros. of course taught the world this. Furthermore, there is never any need to murder anyone. They are always due a court trial before a fair and impartial judge. I would even wish this for an unfair and impartial judge who was convicted of crimes against humanity. That’s the essence of humanity.

  196. Leci n’est pas une threat.

  197. So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.

    When peaceful recourse is denied, violent redress becomes justified, it becomes manifold.

  198. a THOUSAND comments? Holy fuck that’s what I get for having a life on Friday night.

    Anyway, thanks Matt and Nick. And thanks for sticking by the commentariat even though we’re kinda assholes. You should make a guest apearance at the NE meetup next month and get free alcohol. I promise not to kick Nick in the balls because of his Brady joke.

    1. Dude, everyone knows you were knitting a sweater last night.

      1. It’s TATTING you cretin.

        1. That’s lacing.

        2. A tatted sweater would be terribly stiff and uncomfortable…unless you’re into that sort of thing, NTTAWWT.

      2. Would it be in poor taste to Bedazzle a 1980s Bryan Adams-esque jeans jacket with Fuck Off Slaver and send it to Preet?

  199. Last weekend, the long-awaited mid-century modern credenza my husband and I had purchased arrived at our home. But it wasn’t carried in by two heavy lifters in white gloves. Rather, a 60-some year old woman stood at the door and pointed us to the 35-foot moving truck that contained the seven-foot-long, solid teak beauty. “I have a bad shoulder”, she explained as she led us toward the truck. Uh oh.???? ????? ???? ???????

  200. They came for the trolls and I did not speak out because I was not a troll. Then they came for the woodchippers and I did not speak out because I did not chip wood. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

    1. Love it. Cheers

  201. Just scroll past the bold, people.

    1. You know, Mike and his enormous ego are only here to help, right?
      I mean, he’s only trying to explain how he knows exactly what should be done and how none of us here have any idea about his 50 YEARS OF MAKING THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY THE MOST WONDERFUL THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO MANKIND AND HE’S THE SAVIOR OF……..
      Wait a minute, where was I?

    2. +1000

  202. Preet Bharara

    That’s what parakeets say. What’s the guy’s real name?

  203. Niketh Velamoor

    Is that a floor wax, a new toothpaste or both?

    1. I think it’s a running shoe for Islamic bicyclists.

    2. Dessert topping.

  204. Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous. – Barry Ritholtz

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2…..grid-work/

  205. So we have criminal investigations for comments protected by the constitution but none for torturing detainees. Thought crimes are bad, real crimes are OK. Lesson over.

    1. The government’s end game: Govt. permits itself everything, the ruled nothing.

  206. They can take our woodchippers when they pry them from our dead, cold hands

  207. Lemonade stand little’uns and anarcho-woodchippers unite!

  208. My comments don’t get personal, as in personal threats, but they are blunt, honest in an extreme way, that many statists/collectivists would be offended, even perhaps embarrassed. I don’t hold back. I take fundamental issues seriously. I do this in person also, face to face. I always have. I have been told, “You can’t say that” or “You shouldn’t say that”. When I ask, “Why not, it’s the truth.?”, I get, “Yes, but people are not so confrontational.”

    I have gotten responses like: “Arn’t you worried you might be visited by the govt.?” Even my wife has expressed concern and wondered if I might be putting myself in danger. My reply: “The day I can no longer speak/write my thoughts without threats from govt. is the day I leave. That is my ‘line in the sand'”. That is why I don’t hide under “anonymous” or in any other way.

    I don’t believe “nefarious” trumps free speech or that the govt. really is worried by such remarks. Don’t believe them. Govt. is in the business of expanding its power. Suppressing speech does that. Of course, they are not going to come right out and admit it, hence the lame lies.

  209. Reason,
    How dare you use common sense arguing with the federal government. You darned, dirty common sensers. The only people that can get away with playin’ both sides is the federal government. They will not stand for civilian sites that cater to drug users. The federal government are the only people authorized to arrest people involved with drugs AND be the people that authorize the handout of clean needles used to inject those illegal drugs. Tsk, tsk, Reason.

  210. We need actions steps.
    1. Support Reason and the Constitution in whatever ways we can. 2 .Decide our recourse against Bharara and Velamoor. Can we start the process to get them removed/disbarred/sued/publicly shamed? Flagrantly shunning the constitution and this attempted cloak-and-dagger move has consequences! They want to work in the shadows and hush people? Make a very public example out of them! Another lesson for the history books, our current populace, and our kids. Big government is not our friend.

    1. Will someone do a interview with Valdemoor and Barrararaa?

      talk to them like humans? or will they hide?

  211. 1000th Post!

  212. This is just one the most obvious round one of the establishment political powers beginning to crack down on the libertarian movement.
    We are step three of the “ignore you, laugh at you, fight you” timeline. They will only step up their attacks, not on MOM fringe survivalists and tea party types, but rather on the extremely rational and reasonable libertarians, because that is where the true threat to their hegemony of power exists.
    Unlike the fringe emotionally driven politically fuzzy-minded outliers and extremists, the libertarian movement is eminently rational and axiomatically logic based in its political stances and conclusions.
    That serves as a deeper threat, because as more and more people recognize what libertarianism is really all about, it will become more influential both in higher intellectual realms and in man-in-the-street opinions and voting.

    I wrote about this potential concerted attack on libertarians back when it was laughable that the powers-that-be would even expend the effort to whisk away the gnat that they viewed libertarians to be. Now that has changed, and we really have to both watch our asses, and hunker down for political and ideological attacks that would have never happened before.

    Read my article from a few years ago:
    The Libertarian Freeman Revolution
    http://tinyurl.com/no26zmv

  213. I haven’t read any comments, yet, so this may have been covered, but this article has misidentified the issue. The government’s request for information is not anti-free speech. Anti-free speech is sending someone to the GULAG for 10 years for criticizing Stalin. Users’ information being targeted won’t hurt those users until they commit a crime. I don’t care what government agencies acquire what information about me. I assume they already know everything about me. No one has infringed on my right to speak.

    1. While it’s true that the request in and of itself does not infringe on the commenters’ rights, the request does not exist in and of itself. The request is an implicit threat by the government to harm the commenters if the government decides it doesn’t like their speech. So not only does it have the effect of suppressing speech, it also likely had the intent to do so.

      Anti-free speech is sending someone to the GULAG for 10 years for criticizing Stalin.

      A difference only in degree, not in kind.

    2. they infringed on Reasons ability to talk about it and they then threatened reason

  214. Sounds like Reason needs to go offshore to someplace with free speech.

    For real, stay in the USA and your credibility will always, to a degree, be in question because we never know if Reason is being threatened.

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  217. There is a chance that Velamoor violated the Rules of Professional Responsibility in contacting you directly, once he knew that you were represented by an attorney. Specifically Rule 4.2, which states: “In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order.”

    Clearly he knew that you were represented by an attorney, so the issue is whether he was authorized by law. Prosecutors generally can communicate with represented people during an undercover investigation, but they cannot do so once a formal proceeding has begun. The question is whether the grand jury subpoena constituted the start of a proceeding.
    Just something to maybe look into.

    Full disclosure: I am just a law school grad studying for the Bar, not yet an attorney, and this analysis and understanding of the law may not be fully accurate, as I have not thoroughly researched the issue.

    1. Want to bet they’re applying “or is authorized to do so by law or a court order”?

    2. Bo

      You care to elaborate on this?
      /sarc

  218. Been here a while as a reader, and I comment infrequently.

    I just want to pass along my thanks to Nick and Matt, but especially to the commenters. This place is the smartest, most intellectually honest place on the net. It’s also gritty and edgy, which is appropriate in a culture like this.

    I hope the flame that is Reason will burn strongly for many years to come. With all the extra wood laying around here, perhaps that flame will become a bonfire symbolizing liberty and justice for all.

    1. When all you have is a woodchipper…

  219. Reason,

    I’d like your opinion on something.

    Given that the nature of the comments that spurred this subpoena are so common one could find billions of examples all over the internet, probably from the last 24 hours alone, do you think the commenters were the target of Preet et al, or that you are the target?

    I’m inclined to think – as you noted – that because there were multiple ways to ascertain the identity of the commenters without asking you for their identities, that Reason was and is the target – probably because of your stories on the Silk Road case.

    There are some things that do not and did not smell right about the underlying case – the Baltimore agents, being just one part.

    I wonder what got under Team DOJ’s skin? Keep pushing. Where there’s smoke there’s fire.

    1. Merely a naked attempt to chill overall dissent of the omnipresent government, nothing more. Expect this from government and the left. Nothing new here at all.

      1. Yeah, except that it is new.

        They’ve never gotten a subpoena before.

        I think it would be less than factual to suppose that their ideological orientation is the problem.

        Let’s face it. This administration has gone after Aaron Schwartz, James Rosen, Wiki Leaks, Snowden (and Greenwald, etc), the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street…these are not exactly groups/persons whose ideologies are all peas in a pod.

        They (let me be specific, political prosecutors, the Obama Administration) goes after anyone who might present popular power and ideology that springs from spontaneous and genuine origin and seeks to persuade.

        But all they are really doing is making various factions realize we’re united in some common beliefs and values and against those who attack our common beliefs and values.

        We’re pluralists at bottom. Some people are not.

        1. “Let’s face it. This administration has gone after Aaron Schwartz, James Rosen, Wiki Leaks, Snowden (and Greenwald, etc), the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street…these are not exactly groups/persons whose ideologies are all peas in a pod.”

          Why, you may be on to something here!

  220. Good work Reason.

    A substantial donation is forthcoming.

    We are truly now at the stage right before we win where they are actually fighting us, on increasingly desperate terms, taking off the gloves, but then flailing about like a schoolyard bully that’s never had to fight and just assumed, incorrectly, that he could whip any other kid on the playground.

    Now they’ve taken their “best shot,” and their incompetence and mishandling have front-and-centered their exaggerated sense of their own power for the whole world to see.

    It’s First Blood, and we took it.

  221. Wanna hear a joke? The judge from his trial. You can’t tell me she doesn’t get legitimate threats mailed to her. The people posting comments are simply venting their frustration with our filthy legal system. The undercover investigators were caught trying to leave the country with bitcoins they acquired through Silk Road and fake passports. That f’d judge couldn’t let the jury hear any of that though. Might have cast a “shadow of doubt” as to Ul’s being the dread pirate roberts. But we are in america where you are guilty until proven innocent.

  222. Wanna hear a joke? The judge from his trial. You can’t tell me she doesn’t get legitimate threats mailed to her. The people posting comments are simply venting their frustration with our filthy legal system. The undercover investigators were caught trying to leave the country with bitcoins they acquired through Silk Road and fake passports. That f’d judge couldn’t let the jury hear any of that though. Might have cast a “shadow of doubt” as to Ul’s being the dread pirate roberts. But we are in america where you are guilty until proven innocent.

  223. You think “TOBAS” is bad?

    I saw a comment earlier today on another site, where someone wrote that so and so (a Republican politician) should be “raked over the coals”.

    But will anyone call the U.S. Attorney’s office?!

    I certainly hope not. And if anyone does, I hope the oafish U.S. Attorney’s Office doesn’t waste our tax dollars trying to scare the shit out of people for using standard idiomatic English online.

    But they do and we can prove it.

    And to think Nancy Pelosi says there’s nothing left to cut. I can think of a couple of jobs that are just begging to be eliminated at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York–right off the top of my head!

    P.S. My name is spelled K-E-N S-H-U-L-T-Z

  224. I just contacted Senator Rand Paul: http://www.paul.senate.gov/connect/email-rand
    Senator Mike Lee: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
    and let them know what is happening here. You guys may want to do the same because if they hear from a lot of us they’ll listen and do something about it.

  225. Know Im late to the party, but just wanted to add my “thanks” in there. I know the shit I spew isn’t worth reading, mostly, but they let me post my bullshit anyways, and even stand up for me to be able to post it. That takes balls. Reason has balls in a room full of bitches.

  226. This is the longest thing I have ever read online.

    1. This may be our longest thread ever–and it was posted on a Friday!

      Did you read the whole thing?

      1. I read the article. I don’t know that I’ll finish the thread.

  227. The thing is, the government cannot do this if the target is not compliant.

    These laws with inherent gag orders — like the one used to go after Scott Walker in Wisconsin, also — are inherently un-Constitutional, and the targets [especially an organization such as Reason, which not only has a significant international reach and reputation, but also very deep-pocketed friends] owe it to the rest of us to put together a full accounting of what is going on, and to release that information as far and as wide and as noisily as possible.

    If anything screams for civil disobedience, it is this kind of Gestapo-ish inquisition.

  228. I’m afraid to leave a comment, Brrrrr

  229. “We had three options: We could 1) abide quietly with the subpoena, 2) attempt to quash it, and/or 3) alert the commenters named in the subpoena.”

    The government is the servant of the people, ALL the people. If you ever get a communication from it that you don’t like, please remember option #4:

    4) Publish whatever you get from the government immediately.

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  231. 1300+ comments?

    Why am I seeing a sidebar ad for a Father’s Day sale on woodchippers?

  232. OMG I MADE IT TO THE BOTTOM OF THE COMMENTS…. on Sunday at 2PM.

  233. Are those ‘us attorneys’ h1-b beneficiaries? Or student visa overstaying absconders? Their modus operandi smacks of a 3rd world upbringing.

    1. I was thinking the same thing.

  234. “The original subpoena, received late on Tuesday, June 2, did not come with a gag order. However, it came with a letter from Bharara and Assistant U.S. Attorney Niketh Velamoor requesting that we refrain from informing any other parties about the subpoena so as to ‘preserve the confidentiality of the investigation,’ and that we notify his office in advance if we intended to do so, even though it also said that we were under ‘no obligation’ to keep the subpoena confidential.

    We had three options: We could 1) abide quietly with the subpoena, 2) attempt to quash it, and/or 3) alert the commenters named in the subpoena.”

    How about option four, mysteriously missing from your list, but better than any of the three you limited yourself to: immediately go public with the subpoena, and alert the world to the impending death of liberty in America. By your own reporting, and the original letter’s wording, nothing prevented Reason from immediately exposing this fascist action by the government. If you were unable to conceive of that option on your own, I am for hire as an advisor, and my first suggestion would be that you change the name of the publication to, “Lack of Reason”.

    1. They have a superb lawyer and law firm. They were given legal advice. They followed it.

      They write daily about the impending death (I might argue that we’re somewhat past “impending”) of liberty in America. They can now continue to do so. Not that anyone is listening, sadly.

    2. “immediately go public with the subpoena”

      Actually, they did. Wasn’t it on H&R briefly? I read about the subpoena more than a week ago, and not from Popehat. I had been pinging H&R daily for news of it and I presumed they were unable to quash it.

    3. And you’re suggesting actions that might well land them in jail.
      I might agree with you, but you’d have more cred if you had some history of taking such chances, since it’s mighty easy to stand on the sideline and cheer on those in danger.
      Do you have any such history?

    1. No I am last. =D

  235. Some 2,000 years ago the Chinese built the Great Wall. And at several times longer than the US-Mexico border it is astounding how our border was never secured. And because of the steadfast refusal of our brain fucked politicians we now have the very real threat of islamic terrorists living in America.

    And now because the FedGov is willingly and knowingly tying it’s own hands and “all” of it’s resources in chasing down the rude and boorish internet posters it will certainly make it much easier for any of the islamic terrorists already here in America to get away with death and mayhem.

    My very British (ex)wife told me repeatedly that Americans simply have no concept of irony. In the entire length of that marriage she has just now finally managed to make me feel stupid, thanks to the FedGov.

    1. GOD DAMNIT !!! =D

    2. Congratulations, you have snatched the prize out of Michael Hihn’s retarded claws.

  236. We are gonna need a big-ass woodchipper to recycle all the paperwork this pointless exercise will generate.

    They all need to work the snotty end of a fuck-stick.

    Power crazy, Nazi, tyrant, dingbats.

    Get a life and stop squandering the public’s tax money.

    The butt-hurt is strong on this and the judge needs to read the Bill of Rights a little closer.

    Yes, you are a stupid bitch, and vengeful as well. You are a disgrace to any person practicing law.

    You’re good – for a bad example.

    Actions like this will only fuel contempt for you and all those like you as it should.

    Threat my ass . . . read the case law, dumb ass.

    1. You don’t need 23 choices of wood chippers and 18 choices of fuck-sticks when children are going hungry.
      – Bernie Sanders

  237. Wow. I did it. Waded through the whole thread. and I might still be a pseudo-Libertarian if it hadn’t been for those genius posts by Michael Hihn, that I may have missed if it weren’t for the bold print that he knew it was his duty as a human being to use in order to separate his brilliant analysis from murderous tripe. Folks. In the end, the world has been saved. Thank you Michael. Please spend the rest of your life informing the rest of us because you are really really smart. I hope you take vitamins because we need you to live a long time. Have you considered running for office with all your amazing ideas! (swoons)

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  239. was here. Spoke. Did nothing.

    Hooray!

  240. 99% of internet boards are coarse, so I don’t see why this one, which some might even consider tame, is giving libertarianism a bad name any more than any other comment section is giving its site or cause a bad name. Then again, maybe this is why so many web sites have removed comment sections.

  241. Thank you Mr Gillespie for taking the stance of Freedom and Liberty! I may not always agree with your stance but I know with good faith that you will fight to defend my right to disagree with you just as much as to agree.

  242. “Velamoor then suggested that Reason was “coming close” to interfering with the grand jury investigation. The call ended abruptly”

    This is how the government is legally (not Constitutionally) allowed to bully/intimidate persons seeking to exercise Constitutionally protected rights. Make no mistake about it, if they could void the US Constitution and do so without enough of the population being angered by it, the Federal Government would do it in a heart beat. It is the fear of what the many may do to the few if they should do too much that restrains the government and its agencies from taking too large a step down the path to tyranny and make no mistake about it, they are walking that path as hard and fast as they can.

  243. Last!
    Thanks Reason for being there for the woodchippin’ 6 and the rest of the Reasonoids.

    My main take away from this thread- Michael Hihn is hated by 90% of the Libertarian party and 99% of the rest of humanity. Hopefully he will still be cared for by the nurses at the funny farm. Bless you Michael for the smelly pile of shit you are.

  244. I would love to know if anyone has any statistics on the people who make public threats and if they follow through with actions.

    Did Oswald threaten to kill Kennedy? Did Booth threaten to kill Lincoln? I would tend to think that those prone to violent action would keep their mouths shut and act.

    I was once threatened in a public forum by someone I was arguing with. I posted my address. Years passed. He never showed up.

  245. I would love to know if anyone has any statistics on the people who make public threats and if they follow through with actions.

    Did Oswald threaten to kill Kennedy? Did Booth threaten to kill Lincoln? I would tend to think that those prone to violent action would keep their mouths shut and act.

    I was once threatened in a public forum by someone I was arguing with. I posted my address. Years passed. He never showed up.

  246. @Niketh V. Velamoor

    i hope you are never tried for your crimes… the only punishment for which is death.

    that enough to get you to send me a letter, assbag? reminding you that the crimes you are committing are punishable by DEATH? and that if the government refuses to charge you with those crimes, that that government has become TYRANNICAL and BY THE LAW OF THE CONSTITUTION SHOULD BE OVERTHROWN and the violators should be summarily executed?

    @Niketh V. Velamoor, go fuck yourself, Shill. you are a traitor, a coward, and per the supreme law of the united states, you deserve to be hanged.

    *middle finger*

    -FFM

    1. valdemoor…I am not as brave as fat man….so I am only talking about the fictional harry potter guy…but valdemoor you do deserve to be in a wood chipper.

      PS I love harry potter

      1. pss I didn’t really even read harry potter and only saw one movie

        1. I really don’t see how it is free speech for a US government leg breaker to go around threatening political magazines that they can’t talk about who the stasi are investigating…any legal eagle folks here brainwashed enough to believe this bullshit is legitimate in some way?

  247. Good for you! Don’t be intimidated. THe whole idea of “National Security Letters” or any other excuse for the government telling you that you not only have to give them private information you have about somebody, but not even tell them so they can defend themselves in court, is against the principles that made America.

    Don’t be intimidated. Stand up for truth and openness.

  248. Hey Michael,

    You ever watch game of thrones?

    It is pretty popular in america

  249. Discuss is a horrible piece of crap forum tool….I immediately discount the reliability of any news organization that uses the spy-tool-kit forum software.

  250. Discuss is a horrible piece of crap forum tool….I immediately discount the reliability of any news organization that uses the spy-tool-kit forum software.

  251. Discuss is a horrible piece of crap forum tool….I immediately discount the reliability of any news organization that uses the spy-tool-kit forum software.

  252. Last-ish!!! The unmoderated nature of the comments section here is what gives H&R it’s vitality and keeps it from becoming the stale,stagnant echo chamber in a swamp that the vast majority of these places have become. It is what attracted me originally and has kept me coming back for years. I remember years ago jumping through all the hoops to comment on some other moderated sites on popular more MSM outlets back around 2011 during Ron Pauls last run (both NeoCon and Proggy). There were of course all manner of ridiculous and extreme commenters that were allowed to post and spew forth their opinions,and every time I would post a polite succinct, non profane refutation of whatever it was that being discussed it would be deleted or not even posted if the moderators thought it was too good a point or not in line with the group think. Contrary to Mr. Hihns longing for “moderated” comments I would never want to go to turn this into one of those pseudo-free speech zones. And the commenters here generally do an excellent job of tossing the more obnoxious trolls,sock puppets and idiots through the wood chipper in short order. It is not for everyone, like children and the easily offended but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank You for this forum. Don’t change a thing and keep up the good work Reason.

  253. Je Suis Broyeuse !! (Wood Chipper) Best handle evar, I would so steal this one if it hadn’t already been homesteaded. Talking to you Je Suis Wood Chipper.

    1. And props to 7:01. And Popehat. And a hat tip to

  254. The judge who ruled in this case, and her defenders, should all be rounded up, force fed the barbecued flesh of Ganesha smothered in garlic and onions, and marched onto a giant spaceship headed for the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. And their kids too. And that’s my real name, bitches…

  255. First the idiots who made the comments illustrate one of the most basic problems with the internet which is the anonymity leads people to make outrageous and insane comments. However, the much greater danger is the Court going after those people and attempting to punish them for what the SCOTUS has just recently ruled is protected speech. The left continues push a false narrative that “hate” speech is not protected when in fact they mean offensive speech. The 1st amendment was written to protect speech the government might find as offensive as a way for the people to maintain sovereignty over it. The fact a judge does not get that most basic truth is very scary.

  256. I am not surprised the court order was out of New York considering it is the epitome of progressive government overreach as is its sister state, California. When a representative of the Court attempts to silence or limit free speech, we as a nation, have a much bigger problem.

    1. Give it up Crusty my man, you’ll never be last.

  257. This is a grossly ill-advised action by the jack-booted thugs that we pay our good money to abuse us.

  258. The other side of the story is what happens to the commenters. There is a formal process for destroying these people. Essentially, the government uses high tech stalking and electronic harassment to make these people seem paranoid and crazy. These people are followed around, and groups will perform street theater to harass these folks. Their houses are broken into -although nothing of value is taken. All their communications are monitored and they are made aware of the fact. It’s a psychological warfare campaign waged by the government, domestically, against citizens. This is the sort of thing the 4th Amendment guarantees will not happen. Many tens of thousands of people know this is going on, but not enough people are stepping up to stop the crimes. These folks are called “Targeted Individuals,” and their claims are based in fact.

    1. Here is to hoping it will be as pleasant as all that.

      make these people seem paranoid and crazy.
      Check. Did that for them already.

      groups will perform street theater to harass these folks.
      I’m housebound, so I guess they could knock on windows and sing sonnets.

      All their communications are monitored and they are made aware of the fact.
      I’ve always assumed this was true. This is a know fact. Isn’t it?

      Their damage has already been done by causing me to censor myself a lot more and showing me I don’t really have the courage of my convictions.

      Garth Bigelow
      One of Six

      PS: Thanks to Reason for the actions they took. I never responded until now but it was and is appreciated.

  259. Should web sites be located outside the US in order to protect free speech?

  260. Option 3

    “The commenters are hiding in the attic”

  261. Another example of why we need to abolish the grand jury process and replace it with something more accountable.

  262. I can’t afford an attorney, so I guess I’ll watch what I say.

    Wait, I use a VPN. Into the wood-chipper!

  263. There needs to be a 4th branch of government or a separate “meta-government” or “counter-government” specifically tasked with prosecuting and imprisoning or executing government officials for their evil official actions.

    It should be elected separately from the regular government. To prevent usurpation by government, one would only have the right to vote or be an official in either the counter-government or regular government but not both. Those dissatisfied with government evil would vote or be officials in the meta-government. Those who support government evil would be officials in the regular government.

    One could file charges against any government official or officer. If a jury of 12 or even a majority of 8 found that the government officer’s or official’s official actions a violation of individual rights, an evil, then that official or officer would be imprisoned, or executed if the official action resulted in death.

    There would be no formal criminal code in the meta-government. Rather, ignorance of right reason and moral law would be no excuse for government evil. Doing one’s government “job” would be no excuse either. If a government official’s job involved evil, the official would be prosecuted for doing his or her job.

    That way evil people like Forrest could be legally prosecuted by the meta-government and imprisoned for her evil official actions. She certainly deserves to spend ten seconds in prison for every second the hero Ross Ulbricht spends in prison.

  264. Good to see that the comments on this article went for several weeks. This is the best place on the internet, despite the Tonies and Hihns who sully our ranks. I sincerely love the commentariat here.

    Also, Crusty: LAST (for now).

  265. thank you

    ……………………..
    algeria

    1. Nu-unh! I’m last! I shall have the last Trump of all!

      Trumpty Dumpty, He’s quite off-the-wall,
      Trumpty Dumpty won’t stay in His toilet stall
      He just goes ahead and takes His shits,
      Totally regardless of whereever He sits
      Whenever He simply, no way, can sleep,
      He Twits us His thoughts, they’re all SOOO deep!
      He simply must, He MUST, Twit us His bird,
      No matter the words, however absurd!
      He sits and snorts His coke with a spoon,
      Then He brazenly shoots us His moon!
      They say He’ll be impeached by June,
      Man, oh man, June cannot come too soon!
      So He sits and jiggles His balls,
      Then He Twitters upon the walls
      “Some come here to sit and think,
      Some come here to shit and stink
      But I come here to scratch my balls,
      And read the writings on the walls
      Here I sit, My cheeks a-flexin’
      Giving birth to another Texan!
      He who writes these lines of wit,
      Wraps His Trump in little balls,
      He who reads these lines of wit,
      Eats those loser’s balls of shit!”

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