Secrecy

Big Corporations Band Together to Fight the Government's Secrecy in Collecting Citizen Data

The Justice Dept. doesn't think we need to know when they're looking at info about us.

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Cyberpunk
R. Talsorian Games

What does it mean for the state of sci-fi dystopias when Americans have to rely upon those allegedly nasty, self-interested international megacorporations to fight on their behalf against a government that refuses to respect citizens' rights to data privacy?

So it goes with the frequent attempts by government officials and law enforcement agencies to collect our personal information without us knowing they're doing so. We've had Google fighting against a gag that forbid them to even tell its customers how many data requests it has gotten from the National Security Agency (NSA), let alone who it was targeting. We've had Apple's extremely high-profile fight against the Department of Justice over a push to force the company to weaken or bypass its own encryption in a way that could subject everybody to additional secret surveillance.

And we have Microsoft suing to strike down a law that allows the government to gag companies and not let them inform customers when officials demand and collect data about them.

As has been thoroughly established by this point, Supreme Court precedents dating back to the 1970s have determined that information about ourselves and information or data that we ourselves have created don't have full Fourth Amendment protections when they are kept or stored by a third party. Often a full warrant served against the citizen is not needed. A subpoena directed to the company that holds the data is often all that is required. Despite the massive amount of data about citizens held by third-parties now (pretty much everything about us) as compared to what was available then, the precedent still holds for now.

Microsoft filed suit against the Department of Justice in April, arguing that gags prohibiting them from telling customers they've had their data taken by government officials are unconstitutional, violating both the Fourth Amendment rights of their customers and the First Amendment rights of Microsoft. But they're not fighting alone. A whole bunch of corporations from across the spectrum have just announced their support. It's not just tech companies and tech privacy activists, as we've seen in some cases (like the Apple encryption fight). As Reuters notes, we're talking about a wide-ranging group of companies that includes the Washington Post, Delta Air Lines, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Fox News. There are even five former federal law enforcement officials supporting Microsoft's position.

Read more about the case here.

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  1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,
    ——————>>> http://www.works76.com

    1. Spambot, you do not get first because your comment is off topic.

      1. No true Scotsman would point that out.

        1. He’s a true Scottsman, not a true Scotsman.

          It means he has a great lawn — and therefore can criticize spammers who do not have nice turf.

  2. What does it mean for the state of sci-fi dystopias when Americans have to rely upon those allegedly nasty, self-interested international megacorporations to fight on their behalf against a government that refuses to respect citizens’ rights to data privacy?

    It means we’re in the middle of a gang war, obviously.

  3. Privacy will be forced underground like everything else bureaucrats, outraged victims, and morality stumpers are convinced stalls societal evolution toward a safe and comatose civilization.

  4. The guys who produced the Witcher series are making a Cyberpunk 2020 game for PC. Just sayin’.

    1. 2020 is also the release date, given how little I’ve seen on it over the past couple years.

      1. As much as I enjoyed the Shadowrun games, I would love a cyberpunk game in a universe as fleshed out as Temeria.

    2. Are you talking about the isometric ARPG they’ve been working on for a while?

      1. As far as games like that are concerned, I’m looking a lot more forward to DOS2.

  5. What about information held by your doctor?. Roe v Wade = right to privacy.

    1. Apparently that gets a special exemption from Third Party Doctrine.

      Don’t really expect it to last much longer – especially with the push to force care providers into using electronic records.

    2. You’re thinking Griswold v Connecticut… Roe v. Wade just holds that the state can’t interfere in what medical care you get from your doctor unless there’s a legitimate medical reason to intercede. Since abortions were medically safe at the time and the court was “unprepared to recognize the rights of the unborn”, they said the state had to butt out

      1. It may well hold that but the constitutional basis as I’ve always understood it was that it was based on a woman’s “right to privacy” via “due process”. Something conservatives say doesn’t exist. And one could concluded based on this article that the Obama administration also agrees no such right exists.

        http://www.heritage.org/initia…..roe-v-wade

    3. Congress banned medical privacy in 1996.

  6. When the revolution begins corporate America wants to keep their heads attached to their shoulders

  7. It’s very odd to find myself cheering Microsoft.

    1. I just wish they were consistent in their ethics. Standing up to the US government doesn’t stop them from knuckling under to China, as evidenced by the fact that Bing works without a VPN.

  8. I’m voting for Gary Rodham Trump! He’ll fix this problem!

    1. Oh yeah?

      Well I’m voting Donald Weld Clinton!

    2. “It’s time someone had the courage to stand up and say…I’m against all those things that everybody hates!”

      “Now I respect my opponent, I think he’s a good man, but frankly I agree with everything he just said!”

    3. Gary Rodham Trump?

      http://vignette2.wikia.nocooki…..0211231241

      1. +1 I… am… VERY… DISAPPOINTED!

  9. It means the profit motive is more ethically grounded than the “for the greater good” motive.

    1. “For him mercy is a passion. With me, it is merely good manners. You may judge which motive is the more reliable.’

  10. As has been thoroughly established by this point, Supreme Court precedents dating back to the 1970s have determined that information about ourselves and information or data that we ourselves have created don’t have full Fourth Amendment protections when they are kept or stored by a third party.

    Could someone provide a short explanation of the logic behind the precedent-setting decisions? Also, why it took all the time between 1789 and the 1970s for the Court to figure this out.

    1. The basic logic is that once you’ve already told someone something, you no longer have control over what that person does with the information.

      And since the information can not implicate *them* in a crime, they have no other standing to challenge an order compelling them to release it.

      Its all bullshit – you’d think basic freedom of contract (which can control what someone you sell something to can do with that property, including how they can dispose of it) would allow people to protect their info.

    2. Thank you to those who provided answers to my question.

  11. Fantasy:
    Corporations refuse to do business with a government that abuses the constitution.
    Say Microsoft refuses to sell software to a certain rights abusing national government. Or Google refuses search requests originating from any domain ending in dot gov. Or Apple refuses to sell phones to a government that insists on back door access to all other customers.
    end fantasy:
    from Wikipedia – “In response to California’s ban of civilian ownership of .50 BMG rifles, Barrett suspended sales and service to all law enforcement agencies in California.” So it can be done.

    1. Microsoft won’t refuse to do business with China. Neither will Google nor Apple. In fact, these companies bend over backwards to work within the restrictions those governments impose.

      That these companies are fighting this sort of thing *here* is only because the fighting does not effect their bottom line.

      Its pretty much exactly like cops/prosecutors/judges that see the light on the WoD – as soon as opposing it would have no negative repercussions to them.

  12. RE: Big Corporations Band Together to Fight the Government’s Secrecy in Collecting Citizen Data

    This is just another example of how corporations are ruining our country. This criminal conspiracy among the evil and vile corporations goes against the grain of totalitarianism our beloved ruling elitist turds have been so gracious to give us. Spying on the little people is a key element in State security. How else are the doubters and counter-revolutionaries be identified if not by watching, listening and monitoring their every move? This is how the Soviet Union collapsed as did Eastern Europe in the early 1990’s, lack of consistent spying on the unwashed masses. One only has to look at what happened to all those workers paradises to recognize the necessity of allowing our obvious betters in the Politburo to ensure the secret police watch and control our every move, statement and act. So let us once and for all eliminate the corporate structure, capitalism and free enterprise if we are to have a safe, secure and wonderful place for our beneficent ruling elitist turds.

    1. our beneficent ruling elitist turds

      You seem conflicted.

  13. Big Corporations Band Together to Fight the Government’s Secrecy in Collecting Citizen Data

    If I were in Salon’s rabbit/Bernie hole, the above title has exact ring I would expect from a bunch of Randians.

  14. OT: The freedom lover’s case for the welfare state

    There are three main reasons big welfare states don’t hurt growth as much as you might think. First, as Lindert has emphasized, they tend to have efficient consumption-based tax systems that minimize market distortions.

    Second, some transfer programs have relatively direct pro-growth effects.

    Third, there are lots of regulatory state policies that hurt growth by, say, impeding healthy competition or closing off foreign trade, and if you like high levels of redistribution better than you like those policies, you’ll eventually consider getting rid of some of them. If you do get rid of them, your economic freedom score from the Heritage Foundation and the Fraser Institute goes up.

    1. This sort of compensatory economic liberalization is how big welfare states can indirectly promote growth, and more or less explains why countries like Canada, Denmark, and Sweden have become more robustly capitalist over the past several decades. They needed to be better capitalists to afford their socialism. And it works pretty well.

      If you bundle together fiscal efficiency, some offsetting pro-growth effects, and compensatory liberalization, you can wind up with a very big government, with very high levels of social welfare spending and very little negative consequences for growth. Call it “big-government laissez-faire.”

      1. The only problem being that even if all of those things are true, you still have to hold a gun to one person’s head and steal from them to enrich another who didn’t earn it. But…greater good, am I right, comrades?

        1. even if all of those things are true

          But they’re not.

          Will insists that ‘lower taxes and less-spending’ is a “Stale idea” and – a very common proggy appeal with zero basis in fact – something “Already tried” and demonstrated to be no good for the average moe*….

          (*during the market-driven boom from 1995-2007 or so, most of the wealth gains were accrued by a small slice of the demographic – and “inequality” happened!; as though that process occurred in an environment where there weren’t actually fairly high-taxes and huge-increases in govt spending… and had more to do w/ federal monkeying which inflated property-values and asset prices than it did *fiscal* policy)

          Will actually has no fucking idea what he’s talking about. His reliance on that “economic index” is a crutch for the fact that he’s basically economically illiterate in most other respects. He simply uses headline data and mythical generalizations about Europe to pump this much repeated idea that the US can only ‘maximize its capitalism’ when it becomes a cradle-grave welfare state.

          The fact is that no one does the welfare-state as well as he imagines, and no one can actually “afford” it the way he thinks others people manage to. And his belief that the US could do it effectively runs counter to everything in how our national political system works; a giant welfare state requires a more-powerful Federal Govt. The US by definition has a (rightfully) hamstrung one.

          1. “Even if…” Taking on the author’s economic illiteracy is like tripping a one legged man when you could execute a rear naked choke just for fun.

          2. Without clicking the link I already know that must be Winkinson.

            He’s on his “be smarter socialists” bandwagon again.

            1. yeah, basically. i think he’d spin it as “be less-ideological capitalists”.

              he thinks capitalism and freedom is actually not just “compatible” with a welfare state, he’s suggesting its *amplified* and would be improved by one.

              Its a fusionism which allows him to pretend he’s preserving his libertarian ethos, but being ‘pragmatic’ about the means by which to achieve libertarian ends.

              It requires a lot of ….semantic-flexibility, to put it kindly …. to suggest that you can get ‘more freedom’ by giving a Super-State more power to re-allocate resources.

          3. And not only is his concept of “liberating capitalism by capitulating to the welfare state” impossible because of the inherent weakness of our federal structure…. but he’s completely deluded in believing that there’s ever going to be some compensatory “economic deregulation” which would be permitted once the progressive set had been granted their wish-list of Social-Welfare guarantees.

            he pointed this out himself re: Bernie Sanders, who always said, “We should be like Denmark!”, but actually advocated policies that closer resembled Venezuela.

            basically, his entire conception relies on multiple overlapping myths –

            1) that European Welfare states actually “work” particularly well even in their current form – and that that (inherently flawed) form would actually be portable over to a less-centralized political structure like the US

            and

            2) that American leftists actually *want* the Denmark-ish system they pretend to admire; they don’t understand that the Scandinavian model is far more economically-liberalized than they imagine, and there is actually zero appetite for any grand- political-bargain by which they’d stop wanting centralized economic controls if only they were granted luxurious benefits in education, heathcare, and welfare, etc.

            his “solution” is appealing to the Vox-set only because they love bullshit-economic-fantasies. And he’s like their ‘token blacklibertarian friend’, “one of the good ones”

            1. a phrase bouncing around in my head… is that his entire envisioned framework?

              Is like a Conceptual “Potemkin Village”.

              Everything about it relies on “What people believe” about european welfare states, rather than the underlying *reality*. Which is why he tends to prefer polling data about things like “Global Well Being” rather than more tangible things like household wealth or purchasing power, economic mobility, the speed of capital turnover, measures of economic dynamism, etc.

            2. 1) that European Welfare states actually “work” particularly well even in their current form

              I know, it’s a day later and you won’t read my reply, but it’s important to point this out to anyone coming across this in the future:

              An MRI in the US: A few hundred bucks, instant service.

              An MRI in Denmark: A lifetime of taxes, you get to wait weeks or months, and then only if you have a qualifying disease. Good luck surviving the waiting time for diagnostics (and then treatment) if you have something really bad.

              Comparing the expected level of healthcare in the US to that of Denmark is like apples to oranges. Healthcare is not a binary thing, it can be better or worse, and costs can be hidden.

              Sincerely,
              A Dane

      2. They needed to be better capitalists to afford their socialism. And it works pretty well.

        Being raped makes you really appreciate a thoughtful lover.

        1. The better capitalists he’s referring to are full out socialists.

      3. So why be socialist at all? They just admitted capitalism is the way to go in order to pay for shit. They have it exactly backwards.

  15. I saw Harambe at a grocery store in Cincinnati shortly before he died. I told him how cool it was to meet him in person, but I didn’t want to be a douche and bother him and ask him for photos or anything.
    He said, “Oh, like you’re doing now?”
    I was taken aback, and all I could say was “Huh?” but he kept cutting me off and going “huh? huh? huh?” and closing his hand shut in front of my face. I walked away and continued with my shopping, and I heard him chuckle as I walked off. When I came to pay for my stuff up front I saw him trying to walk out the doors with like fifteen bunches of bananas in his hands without paying.
    The girl at the counter was very nice about it and professional, and was like “Sir, you need to pay for those first.” At first he kept pretending to be a lower primate and not hear her, but eventually turned back around and brought them to the counter.
    When she took one of the bunches and started scanning it multiple times, he stopped her and told her to scan them each individually “to prevent any electrical infetterence,” and then turned around and winked at me. I don’t even think that’s a word. After she scanned each banana and put them in a bag and started to say the price, he kept interrupting her by yawning really loudly.

    1. Fake story – everyone knows you don’t scan produce.

      1. But would Harambe know this enough to keep from trying? I think not.

        1. The *clerk* would – she’s the one who started scanning one of the bunches.

          Its like you don’t spend all your free time looking for mistakes in others.

          1. Yeah, but on second reading it appears the clerk’s attempts to scan bananas were successful. Indeed, Harambe had expectation of a positive outcome as he yawned through the entire interaction.

            If the bananas had not been scanned successfully, I’d surmise an incident would’ve arisen leading to Harambe being gunned down much, much sooner.

            1. ‘The bananas were scanned successfully’ – that’s how we know he made it all up.

              1. These euphemisms!!

    2. I detest thievery. I would have shot him.

    3. I saw him drinking a Pina Colada at Trader Vic’s. Perfect hair.

      1. Did he like getting caught in the rain, too?

        1. He just wanted a big dish of beef chow mein.

    4. These SugarFree stories are getting abstract.

      1. Yeah, I’m not projectile vomiting at all. Sad!

  16. There is nothing wrong with some common-sense control. Sure, it hurts corporate profits. But not one more child.

  17. But what happens when our third party data holders become nationalized? Has any dystopian authors considered writing that? If not then I get all the royalties when they do.

    1. Oh that you could claim royalties based on internet comments. Lena Dunham would owe me some cash.

  18. I’ve heard rumors Venezuela might soon be in the market for a new government – maybe Apple and Google and Microsoft could go in together and make them an offer. Not a hostile take-over, mind you, just a regular ol’ buy-out. I suspect I’m not the only one who’d seriously look at selling off my holdings in my current nation-state and invest in such a start-up.

    1. I’ve heard rumors Venezuela might soon be in the market for a new government – maybe Apple and Google and Microsoft could go in together and make them an offer…

      Those companies could issue a composite equity product of of their individual shares – one share of each company for each Venezuelan; this would be 30 million shares each from Apple, Alphabet and the Microsoft.

      It would be an easy almost painless buyout for the corporations, and the entire population of Venezuela would be much richer for the transaction. Just a win-win all around.

      1. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this.

          1. Today’s US is depleted of oil?

            May want to check the accuracy of that prediction once more.

    2. I was talking to my nephew this morning about the post about the cashless society idea where all your money is just bits of information on an electronic card – ostensibly because of turrists! and drugs! when we all know the real reason is because the government wants to know where all your money is at all times just in case they need to get their hands on it or, more importantly, to keep you from getting your hands on it in case you suddenly decided you and your money would like to be somewhere else and it’s a lot easier if they can seize everything you got with a single click of a mouse – and first thing that popped in his head was the Mexican phone cards they use as an alternative currency. (I don’t know exactly how they work, I’m assuming the phone card company is only a phone card company for legal purposes, they’re really a money transfer service for all practical purposes.) But couldn’t Walmart gift cards work the same way and isn’t Walmart big enough that if they decided Walmart gift cards were going to be an alternative currency, who’s going to stop them? Throw Apple and Microsoft and Google and maybe a few others into the mix and you’ve got an organization that’s every bit as big and powerful as most national governments.

      I’m not saying Pepsi Presents Libertopia, Inc. is necessarily going to be a better place to live than here – but I think their presidents have a better track record of keeping their customers interests first than ours do.

      1. I’ve said for a long time that a wak-mart card was as good as money. You can use it to buy anything.

      2. How many legions has the pope ?

        /some old dead guy

      1. They have experience in Nigeria. The occasional kidnapping for ransom to deal with.

        1. Given gay-friendly trends of late, I could see United Fruit Corp. getting back into the sovereign game.

  19. Actual government experts

    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure…..tcmp=hpff1

    1. I’d slow down for that.

  20. The revolution has not begun

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..uch-money/

    1. Some of the HnR commentariat write often of the coming shitshow and welcome it.

      I think it’s coming, too, but I think it’s going to be more like this.

      Anyone with an ‘extravagant lifestyle’ is going to be wiped out and paraded around with their heads on pikes.

      Keep talking about ‘the rich’, whatever it is that you Berniebots become. It may be 1917 again soon…..

      1. I’m not sure what a punch of pussies who are scared of guns are supposed to pull off outside of vandalism though.

  21. I see the Louse is in Laos.

    1. Giving away our money cause that’s fun.

  22. My dog just farted.

    1. You sure it wasn’t a political ad you heard?

      1. *rimshot*

  23. OT. Emotional argument. Some logic required. Charity through Capitalism is a product of guilt. Charity through Socialism is a product of Envy. Which emotion has the better outcome for the individual, and for society ???

    1. This argument is not for the commenters, but for those who might be reading this Blog.

      Snarky comments from you assholes welcome.

      Love you Guys/Gals =D

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TehFZ38kt6o

    2. You can’t have charity through naked self-interest? Like offering to fund a homeless shelter but only if it’s located at a certain location, that is, far from the property you’re developing?

      1. I don’t know ?

        Do you have an emotion about your position ?

        1. Listen we are always accusing the Progressives, and Conservatives of basing their life decisions upon emotions instead of Logic, and Reason. In order to defeat your enemy, sometimes you need to understand your enemy.

      2. Or better yet, close to where your competitor is trying to take a subdivision upscale.

    3. Charity through Capitalism is a product of guilt.

      I dispute this. If a Carnegie or a Rockefeller donates his fortune at the end of his life to build libraries and endow universities, is it because he feels guilty that he got rich? Guilty? Snort.

      Or is he starting a new venture, with the exact same entrepreneurial spirit that got him rich in the first place, to ensure his name lives on in posterity?

  24. By the time I reach the last comment, I forget what the article is about.

    This is what ADHD looks like on the Internet.

      1. I forgot Rufus is Canadian.

        For you my Canadian, Pirate Brother. =D

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndl10rOpOu4

        1. I think I’ve been typecast.

  25. It looks like this little piece of shit scofflaw motherfucker got what was coming to her.

    1. Listen, it’s quite simple. Don’t want to get a ticket like a thug? Don’t be 2 years old like a thug.

    2. The kid is innocent but the NLRB employed parasite mom deserves to find out what government is like for mundanes.

    3. JFC… they send bureaucrats out to fine any addressees they find on random scraps of paper lying around? I don’t care if it’s some cute little white girl – it’s fucking Orwellian.


    4. Gator

      Ignorance of the law is no excuse. They must throw the book at this criminal. The next thing you know she will be selling lemonade from a card table in front of her house without a license.

      odds that is is someone here? pretty much guaranteed.

    5. Interesting that they fine the person the mail is addressed to rather than the sender. You’ve got no proof the addressee ever had possession of the mail but you know the sender did, send them the ticket. Kinda like how NYC (IIRC) had the red-light camera tickets that went to the owner of the vehicle and some wise guy figured out that, technically, leased vehicles were owned by the auto company and started sending the tickets to Detroit.

    6. Honestly this sounds like a naked cash grab by the local city/county.

  26. Etymology Corner

    Harambe is usually spelled Harambee in Swahili. It means “teamwork” basically. It is often mistranslated as “unity” The word for unity in Swahili is umoja. Moja means one, putting a u in front makes it an abstract noun. Swahili is systematic like that. Anyway, when I was there, harambee was used to refer to a kind of party at the beginning of a project. The Harambee Stars are Kenya’s national soccer team.

    Zoo animals are often given Swahili names. A giraffe at the Dallas zoo is named Kipenzi, which means “lover” or “loved one”. I guess it’s because it’s the most widely-known African language and zookeepers think it’s suitable to give Swahili names to animals from Africa. I kind of wish I talked about it with people in Tanzania while I was there. My guess their response would be something like mbona mnafanya hivyo?! (why the hell do you do that?!)

    In Tanzania, they often name beer after animals. Ndovu (elephant) and Tusker (a Kenyan elephant famous for his size) are popular brands. Tusker was known as Satao in Kenya. That’s not a Swahili name I’ve heard. It might mean something in Luo or Kikuyu.

    1. I bet they don’t call their North American zoo animals “Zack” or “Tiffany”, that’s for damn sure.

    2. In Tanzania, they often name beer after animals.

      Thailand too.

      Singha – “Lion”
      Leo – “Well, lion too. But that’s OK because it’s owned by Singha but there’s a picture of a tiger on it”
      Chang – “Elephant”
      They even import Tiger Beer from Singapore. The only other beer you can really get there is Heineken.

      1. Not a tiger on Leo…a leopard…which makes more sense.

      2. Other popular brands are Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, and Safari.

      3. They even import Tiger Beer from Singapore. The only other beer you can really get there is Heineken.

        Which is German for Hitler’s Vagina Juice.

  27. Spot the Not: recently from Hillary Clinton

    1. The FBI resolved all of this, their report answered all the questions, the findings included debunking his latest conspiracy theories.

    2. I believe I have created so many jobs in the conspiracy theory machine factory, because honestly, they never quit. They keep coming back. And here’s another one.

    3. It’s been debunked, if that’s how they want to spend their time instead of looking to address the problems of the American people, that’s their choice.

    4. But when I’m president, we’re going get down to business and we’re going to get results.

    5. I know how to work with republicans and I believe we can get results if I am president. But I have no doubt they would prefer not to have another Democratic president in the White House.

    6. I’ve been cleared of all wrongdoing, despite all the sound and fury from Republicans just trying to distract the American people.

    1. #4 – unless Hillary was quoting Trump and left off the “believe me, it’s gonna be great” at the beginning and end of the quote.

    2. 6 is the Not. Jimmy wins this anti-Trump ad, which appears to have been made by Trump supporters.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR4L6rJ-MV0

      1. Her complete statement:

        I know how to work with republicans and I believe we can get results if I am president. But I have no doubt they would prefer not to have another Democratic president in the White House.

        So I’m running nor job. I believe I’m the best person for this job and they’re going to keep coming after me, and the example about the Congressman calling for more hearings is just a perfect segue.

        The FBI resolved all of this, their report answered all the questions, the findings included debunking his latest conspiracy theories.

        I believe I have created so many jobs in the conspiracy theory machine factory, because honestly, they never quit. They keep coming back. And here’s another one.

        It’s been debunked, if that’s how they want to spend their time instead of looking to address the problems of the American people, that’s their choice. But when I’m president, we’re going get down to business and we’re going to get results.

        You know what, I can’t speak for what they want to do. I think they should have learned a lesson from that this campaign. Why did someone come from the outside and seize their nomination? Who’s never been in public service before. Clearly Republicans were not producing results for people who support them.

        And I think that’s what one of the results of this election will be — we don’t keep doing the same thing in politics over and over again, and it is clearly not working.

        1. That’s some quality authentic-frontier-gibberish.

          1. That reminded me that the Big Lebowski has passed on. Sad.

  28. # 6

    Reublicans are the EVUL 111111111

  29. I’d personally be a lot more excited about mega corporations protecting us against the government if they weren’t in bed with them and haven’t even wiped the cum off their faces yet before waking up.

    1. You’d think people would have learned their lesson after the Interstate Commerce Commission co-opted the railroads in the 19th century. But no.

      “Regulatory capture? What’s that?”
      -most people

      1. I’ve seen people argue that regulatory capture isn’t a real thing.

        1. I tried to teach a prog about the concept of perverse incentives. His comments became a chapter in the Derponomicon. Basically his answer was “well, with just a few changes, those programs would have worked perfectly!”

          1. There’s some political weekly I used to read where a full-color full-page advertisement for some cause or other had a drawing of two common-men-of-the-electorate, portrayed as giants, lifting up the rotunda of the Capitol Building and having inserted screwdrivers were “fixing” what ails the democracy.

            I thought it was hilarious. As if us simple folks, by keeping up on the issues and staying involved, can change things in such a precise manner as a tightening or loosing of a screw here or there.

            Your prog, if he saw it, would nod sagely at the image and probably experience a frisson of joy I’m sure.

      2. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame corporations for this, like a brainless Bernie Bot would do. I 100% blame the government. Corporations are in no way responsible for protecting citizens. Cronyism is a disease which must be wiped out.

        1. I forget who said it, but the gist is whenever 2 businessmen meet, they immediately begin conspiring to limit competition. Mencken had a great essay about dipshit cotton farmers who conspired to limit their crop so they could charge more. Unfortunately for them, they all grew extra expecting to cheat, and cotton prices actually fell. Then they whined to the govt to rescue them and the govt did.

          1. I have to read more Mencken. I’ve listened to several programs about him on my commute home from work on the local radio station. He lived for several years as a child just down the road from where I live, I can walk down there from here in about 10 minutes. I liked what I heard but have yet to read much of his writings. He definitely struck me as sort of a libertarian type, or at least an anti-authority type.

            1. The cotton thing is on pages 361 and 362 here.

              On a side note: US Cotton farmers to get $300 million in federal aid- June 6 2016, Houston Chronicle

              1. Well, I did hear they gots a shahtag of niggahs for the pickin, but I heared there’s this thing… Cotton gin! That’s what it were. I wonder if the government can give them all one of them cotten gins and then they don’t need moar niggahs or welfare?

                1. I got this crazy idea. Afghanistan’s really poor right? But they can grow cotton there. So maybe we let them grow the cotton and just buy from them. Then we have cheap cotton and Afghanistan won’t be so poor.

                  And maybe, like if another country can do something cheaper, we should just let them do it and buy it from them instead of trying to tax it and keep it out. Sure, some Americans will lose their jobs, but so many other people will be better off. Why should Americans waste time and money doing something that foreigners can do for less?

                  Trade freely- that’s the ticket. We can call it free trade or something. And maybe when other countries see how well we do from free trade, they’ll want to copy us. Then everything will be cheaper and poor countries won’t be so poor.

                  1. Afghanistan’s really poor right? But they can grow cotton there. So maybe we let them grow the cotton and just buy from them. Then we have cheap cotton and Afghanistan won’t be so poor.

                    Someone actually proposed back in like 2002 that the US should fund a program to buy 100% of the opium out of Afghanistan while offering aid to help them diversify & modernize their agricultural output. It was part of some ‘big plan’ to deny the taliban & al q their influence there.

                    it was of course rejected and instead the DEA started (i think around 2005) destroying their opium crops (at the same time there were often troops building wells for villages) Awk-werds.
                    Basically, one group is trying to win-hearts, and the other is destroying their progress.

                    it was around that point that i think the smart people who’d suggested buying all their dope then said, “uh, we should actually just leave now”. i think they were looking to do that when shit really started going downhill around 2007-2008, and they couldn’t.

            2. Hyperion: Mencken is a treat. While it’s not his typical sort of book, I highly recommend the first volume of his autobiography, Happy Days, about growing up in Baltimore in the 1880s. Fascinating and often laugh-out-loud funny.

          2. I think it was a mental patient named Adam Smith who was always going on about some phantom extremity.

            1. I can’t see it; it’s “invisible”.

  30. In case anyone missed it, “Al Gore” wrote a ballad for the late Cecil the Lion. He should do one for Harambe.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHUctJf1JJ8

  31. Pricks out for Mugabe!

  32. Really!

    “SF official suggests taking slaveholders’ names off schools”
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/…..206217.php

    Shame the Dalai Lama doesn’t have a school named after him.

    1. I made some comments on that story that got upvoted. It’s remarkable that the SFGate website comments are far more libertarian and conservative than one would expect.

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