Fake News

Fake News Freakout

Are internet conspiracy theories ruining America?


Weekly World News

Anyone with a Facebook account this year likely witnessed a barrage of false, conspiracy-laden headlines. My news feed informed me that Hillary Clinton was gravely ill, was already dead, had a body double, and murdered dozens of people. (It's amazing what you can learn when you have the right friends.) I also found out that President Barack Obama had worked his way through college as a gay prostitute. (Who could blame him? Columbia is very expensive!)

Reeling after November's unexpected loss to Donald Trump, Democrats have taken to blaming such "fake news" for that outcome. Trump won, the argument goes, because Americans were exposed to inaccurate information; if only they'd had the right info from the right people, voters would have made better choices. A Washington Post piece took the idea further, claiming that fake news stems from a "sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy." In response to such heated calls, Facebook has started looking for ways to rid itself of the fakeries.

Whether or not it's to blame for Trump's victory, fake news can be a problem. People who absorb inaccuracies will sometimes believe them and, worse, act on them. And once an inaccuracy gets lodged in a person's head, it can be difficult to dislodge. The political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler have shown that even when presented with authoritative facts, people will not merely refuse to change their incorrect beliefs; in some instances they'll double down on them. This is called the "backfire" effect.

But it is far from clear that fake news has the sweeping effects that its critics charge. People have always put stock in dubious ideas, and the latest deluge of suspect headlines traversing the Internet smells more of continuity than it does of change.

I have been studying political communication for more than a decade. Much of that time has been spent looking at conspiracy theories, why people believe them, and how they spread. What we know about how people interact with information—and misinformation—suggests that fake political news doesn't affect people's opinions nearly as much as is being insinuated.

Where Political Beliefs Come From In the 1940s, the sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld and his colleagues explored how the media affects political views by comparing people's opinions (as measured by surveys) to the news and advertisements they were exposed to. The investigators expected to find evidence that media messages had immediate, powerful, and intuitive effects on people's political views. Instead, they found that opinions were largely stable and invariant to media messages. You could face a barrage of the Madison Avenue pitches proclaiming the virtues of either President Franklin Roosevelt or his Republican challenger, but if six months in advance you were inclined to vote for one of those men, in November that was who you'd probably vote for. Very few people changed their preferences over the course of the campaign.

The same finding held throughout the broadcast era: There was very little relationship between people's intended choices and the messaging they encountered. Whatever change did occur usually took the form of people aligning their candidate preferences with their underlying party affiliation. External events and economic conditions mattered, of course, but they tended to make their impact regardless of messaging. This is not to say that news, advertisements, and campaigns have no effects. But those effects tend to be less direct and of lower magnitude than people assume.

Over the last few decades, as media markets segmented, the ratings for the three traditional broadcast news programs have declined and people have sought out other entertainment options. For those who enjoy and seek out political news, market segmentation allowed them to gravitate toward messages that gratified their beliefs. Republicans tuned in to Fox News; Democrats preferred MSNBC. People tended to avoid news they disagreed with—and when they nonetheless did encounter a message that they rejected a priori, they found ways to discount it or to interpret it in a manner that made it congruent with their pre-existing opinions. Political scientists Katherine Einstein and David Glick recently published the results of an experiment showing that Republicans were far more likely than Democrats to believe the Bureau of Labor Statistics' unemployment numbers were faked or misleading. The experiment took place during the Obama administration, so it was no surprise that Democrats resisted the idea that the numbers were false while Republicans could not accept that unemployment was going down. People hear what they want to hear.

This is consistent with broader findings on partisanship. The first major statement of these data was The American Voter, a 1960 book by a team of scholars at the University of Michigan. During their formative years, the authors concluded, people are socialized into their ideologies and partisan loyalties by their parents, family, schools, friends, religion, media, and many other sources. Their views may evolve as they mature, but by the time a person hits her 30s, her political identity has usually solidified. Candidates, elections, and issues will come and go, but people's political identities will probably not change.

These underlying attitudes determine how people vote. Thus, despite the remarkably low favorability numbers that both major-party candidates enjoyed in 2016, about 90 percent of Democrats voted for Hillary Clinton and about 90 percent of Republicans voted for Donald Trump. There were few defectors.

Partisanship and ideology color how people interpret information. Democrats look at the current unemployment rate of 4.9 percent and conclude that Barack Obama has done a great job on the economy. Republicans see that same number and conclude it is either improperly calculated or, worse, a hoax. Same information, different interpretations.

Perhaps my favorite example of this occurred when Herman Cain ran for the Republican presidential nomination. His successful tenure as CEO of Godfather's Pizza was a primary talking point on the campaign trail. Coincidentally, YouGov's BrandIndex already happened to be surveying the public about the restaurant's brand favorability. When Cain's campaign began, Republicans and Democrats viewed the pizza chain similarly, but as the country learned about Cain, opinions of Godfather's polarized: Democrats began to view the chain more negatively while Republicans did the opposite. By the height of Cain's popularity in late 2011, Republicans and Democrats differed by 25 points (on a scale ranging from -100 to 100) in their view of the company. It was the same pizza, but suddenly people's political loyalties played a major role in determining how much they liked it.

What does this mean for fake news? When my father-in-law read on Facebook that Barack Obama once worked as a gay prostitute, it did not change his view of the president. He was already convinced that Obama had a shrouded past and that the president did not share his values. The prostitution story reinforced my father-in-law's views, but it did not create them. Fake political news tends to preach to the choir.

Has the Internet Really Made the Problem Worse? Aha, you might object, but the internet has changed all that. The old gatekeepers have been wiped away, and we are flooded like never before by misinformation, disinformation, and dubious claims of all kinds. Surely that poses an unprecedented threat. As the New York Daily News breathlessly declared a few years ago, "It's official: America is becoming a conspiratocracy. The tendency for a small slice of the population to believe in devious plots has always been with us. But conspiracies have never spread this swiftly across the country. They have never lodged this deeply in the American psyche. And they have never found as receptive an audience."

My research into conspiracy theories suggests we should be suspicious of such claims. "Fake news" and "conspiracy theories" are not precisely the same thing—not all fake news stories involve conspiracies, and for that matter not all conspiracy claims are fake—but they overlap enough that what we've learned about one can inform how we react to the other. Much fake news is sold and consumed on the premise that mainstream outlets cover up important information that is only available through alternative sources.

Contrary to many people's expectations, the internet does not appear to have made conspiracy thinking more common. In a study of letters to the editor of The New York Times, my coauthor Joseph Parent and I found that over time, conspiracy theorizing has in fact declined. There have been spikes in the past—in the 1890s, when fear was focused on corporate trusts, and in the 1950s, during the Red Scare—but there does not seem to be such a surge now. Yes, thanks to Trump (and to some extent Bernie Sanders) our political and media elites are discussing conspiracy theories much more frequently. But that doesn't mean people are believing them more than they did in, say, 2012. If anything, Trump's conspiracy theories follow trends that already existed: His conspiracy theories about foreigners and foreign governments play to fears that people already had. (Our data show that Americans have always possessed a fondness for scapegoating foreigners.)

Furthermore, conspiracy theories may feature more prominently in societies that are less connected to the internet. While survey data is hard to collect in closed societies, political scientist Scott Radnitz's research into post-communist countries suggests that conspiracy theorizing is very common there and used as a political tool for coalition formation, particularly in times of uncertainty. Political scientists Stephanie Ortmann and John Heathershaw have also noted "that anyone recently doing social science or humanities research on the [post-Soviet space] will have come across conspiracy theories," and that in Russia and other post-communist countries conspiracy theories function as the "official discourses of state power." In Africa, where levels of internet connectivity are much lower than in the U.S., conspiracy theories about disease, western medicine, and genetically modified crops abound. Economist Nicoli Nattrass' research shows both the prominence and terrible consequences of AIDS conspiracy theories: With government policy reflecting popular conspiracy beliefs, hundreds of thousands of South Africans either were needlessly infected or died prematurely from the virus.

The idea that fake news from social media is radically transforming Americans' political attitudes relies on several dubious assumptions about people, the internet, and people's behavior on the internet.

Dubious assumption No. 1: In the past, false ideas did not travel far or fast, but social media allow such ideas to be adopted by many more people today.

The internet does allow news, real or fake, to travel faster than ever before. But false rumors traveled widely long before networked personal computers were a significant part of our media landscape. What Gen Xer didn't hear about Richard Gere and the gerbil, or how Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen in EPCOT? Conspiracy theories about the assassination of John F. Kennedy circulated long before social media, hitting their apex just as the internet was starting to reach a mass audience in the 1990s. Since social media emerged, belief in JFK conspiracy theories has gone down about 20 percentage points.

Furthermore, search patterns suggest that the most popular conspiracy theories of the internet era owe their popularity not to the net itself but to more familiar influences. Instead of the herding patterns you'd expect if people were just indiscriminately transmitting ideas from one person to the next, we see patterns that suggest people are following the ideas of elites they trust. Searches for "Obama birth certificate," for example, show three spikes in interest: in 2008, 2011, and 2016. The jump in 2008 was largely due to the mainstream attention given to the theory during and after the election, and those in 2011 and 2016 were due to discussions by Donald Trump. Compare that to nonpolitical but equally dubious ideas, such as the New Age concept of "mindfulness." They show an almost linear pattern: A few people like the idea, then other people think the idea is worthwhile, then more people, and so forth.

Dubious assumption No. 2: People's views are easily pliable, and can be altered by nothing more than reading a webpage or receiving a communication on social media.

People are not easily convinced by new information. Casey Klofstad, Matthew Atkinson, and I learned this when we attempted, in a study published in 2016, to convince experimental subjects of a conspiracy theory involving the media. We found that people who already believed that the media was conspiring against them were not affected by the new information: They already believed it, and new info would not do much to convince them more. The people not inclined to buy into the conspiracy were not affected either. In fact, the only people we could get to believe in our media conspiracy were those who had no inclination to believe or not believe it in the first place—which were very few people.

This helps explain why most conspiracy theories run into a ceiling. In the U.S., most partisan conspiracies can't seem to convince more than 25 percent of the population, because in order to buy into such a theory, you need to be inclined to believe in conspiracy theories and you need to have partisan inclinations that match this particular theory's logic. (Birther theories could not convince the fans of Barack Obama, while 9/11 truther theories had a tough time with the fans of George W. Bush.) Even if the internet allows fake news to reach larger audiences than ever before, that doesn't mean most people will be inclined to accept it.

Dubious assumption No. 3: Most people actively access conspiracy theories and fake news on the web.

It is often assumed that because dubious web pages are available in the dark corners of the net, people will automatically seek them out. In fact, most people don't. The web is largely a reflection of the real world, and just because something is posted somewhere doesn't mean anyone cares. There are almost half a million recipes for duck confit on the internet; hardly anyone is racing home to cook duck confit tonight.

People don't seek out conspiratorial or other dubious information on the web nearly as much as they do more mainstream news sources. The New York Times is currently ranked 21st in the U.S. for website traffic, according to the analytics company Alexa. InfoWars, the most popular conspiracy website in the rankings, is at No. 318. People go to the internet to do all sorts of things; getting fake news is at the bottom of the list.

It's true, of course, that people don't necessarily need to go looking for fake news to find it. All sorts of headlines can be dumped into your Facebook or Twitter feed, whether you read the story or not, and these headlines may impact your views. At the same time, people have much more control over their information environment than ever before. They choose who they friend or follow—in some cases because of their politics—and this affects which advertisers try to reach them. So even the fake news you passively receive is at least somewhat shaped by what messages you are already likely to agree with.

Dubious assumption No. 4: The Internet largely serves to propagate misinformation.

At the same time that the internet has given voice to peddlers of misinformation, it has also given larger voices to authoritative sources of information as well. Fact-checking outlets have multiplied in recent years, and there are many websites—such as Snopes.com—that seek out and debunk popular rumors. Rather than relying on village wisdom, you can get expert information directly from doctors, lawyers, government officials, and others on thousands of sites. Google "sunburn," and you'll find out quickly that rubbing butter on it, like my grandmother used to do to me, is not a good idea.

Steve Clarke of Charles Sturt University in Australia has even made the case that the "hyper-critical atmosphere of the internet" has actually "slowed down the development of conspiracy theories, discouraging conspiracy theorists from articulating explicit versions of their favoured theories." Clarke used the "controlled demolition" theory that explosives were used to help bring down the twin towers on 9/11 to demonstrate that while the internet has "aided in the dissemination" of that story, it also appears "to have retarded its development." Since the internet emerged, the empirical claims that conspiracy theorists make can be disputed right away. The internet can quickly put claims to the test and see if there's any truth to them, and it allows experts to quickly weigh in on debates. If conspiracy theorists' claims are debunked, that news also travels fast. And that wouldn't have been the case in the past. The internet acts as an incubator for fake news, but it also acts as the antidote.

First Do No Harm So while fake news is a problem, it is neither new nor bigger than ever before. And some of the solutions being suggested to combat it may be worse than the disease. Cracking down on fake news runs the risk of restricting true news as well.

Some sites' contents are fully fake: They traffic in outright hoaxes and nothing else. But there are also outlets that have some tether to truth but serve as little more than ideological propaganda. Still other places are widely considered legitimate news sources but occasionally report biased, distorted, or flatly inaccurate information. In the time since Election Day, all of the above have been lumped together as "fake news." How can Facebook or any other platform decide which outlets, headlines, and stories are true and which ones are not?

There is no guarantee that anyone (or any algorithm) could effectively differentiate true from false, and attempts to do so would likely remove some real news, even if only unintentionally. If we ban new and controversial ideas without allowing them to be poked and prodded in the open marketplace, how can society fully test the veracity of what we currently hold to be true?

Take an example from the recent campaign. In the lead-up to November 8, several right-wing websites reported that Donald Trump was winning the electoral map. Since those claims did not match with the predictions made by the professional pollsters, those sites' claims were deemed fake. But after the vote, those "fake" predictions turned out to be no less wrong than the predictions made by the pros—and at least they called the winner correctly.

The point isn't that we should put more stock in fringe websites than in, say, Nate Silver. It's just that deciding what is true or false can be more tricky than it at first appears. If someone tells you otherwise, watch out: He just might be a fake.

NEXT: How Pennsylvania Taxpayers are Forced to Pay for Hollywood Hits Like Split (And Misses Like The Last Airbender)

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  1. Another angle on this was put succinctly by William Blake:
    A Truth thats told with bad intent
    Beats all the Lies you can invent

    1. This blog needs more Blake quotes.

      “Prisons are build with stones of law, brothels with bricks of religion.”

      1. “She’s a brick house, mighty mighty.”

        /early draft

        1. Yeah, we hate all fake news pesan jasa seo

  2. If Hillary had won, the media would have called for a government agency to censor ‘fake news’. Even Hillary & Obama to their eternal shame blamed ‘Fox News in restaurants’ and ‘Russian interference’. The fact is, people believe what they want to believe and censoring things only makes them more appealing. The founders of our country understood this. The irony is that as much as Trump would have loved to shut down the media (and tried!) he couldn’t because the Dems are dumb but not that dumb. The American people are realizing they can’t rely on the federal government to tell them what’s true – this is a very good thing. As to the appeal of conspiracy theories, it is rooted in our failed education system that doesn’t teach critical analysis (and yes this is intentional – call it a ‘conspiracy’) and beyond that people believe the lies because (1) it shows adherence to a group, e.g. “I believe in God” or “I’m not sure who I’m voting for, maybe Hillary” and (2) because it’s their only revenge against the people who studied longer and worked harder and ended up with a little more than them – i.e. the Trumpocalypse.

    1. News or MSM is nothing more than a political propaganda Machine for the elites. Sprinkled with very little truth and a lot of psyop terminology. For example like emotional nouns to illicit an emontioal response. Liberals seem to react emotionally so they eat it up. Conspiracy is another psyop term to dismiss ppl and say they are nuts for believing in things that might actually be real given enough factual evidence to back it up. Like Hillary for instance there’s a lot of data facts that proves she’s a criminal and your wonderful elite controlled gov covers it up! One example which is 100% proven is how her and bubba helped free the Americans in Haiti who were kiddnapping children. They went way above their legal athourty to help them and the question is why? Then when a journalist went there to find out why, they were kidnapping children she ended up dead. The thing is you dumbasses think your gov is incapable of doing and covering up crimes of political elites. Therefore you dismiss it as conspiracy BS. Rather than using your brain to say hey there might be something criminal really going on let’s investigate. My opinion the gov has got u liberals so dumbed down and brainwashed you are no longer capable of rational or logical thought so they get away with being criminals. The only thing I’ve really seen liberals really good at, for some odd reason, is your English and grammar abilities. Good 4 you as I’d much rather have critical thinking skills.

      1. I think there’s a tear in your tinfoil.

        1. This coming from the guy who thinks the Department of Defense is personally threatening him.

          1. This coming from the guy who insists the CIA didn’t issue visas to the 9/11 attackers.

            1. Morpheus is fighting Neo!! nah, jus a retard fight

              1. Hellen Keller is fighting Stephen Hawking.

            2. when did the CIA get into the visa-issuing business?

          2. This coming from the guy who thinks the Defartment of Suspense is personally threatening him.

            1. Your tenacity amazes me. I applaud you my man!

      2. Media stories are fictions written with a few factual props to provide a patina of plausibility.

      3. “you liberals”

        I think you may be on the wrong site.

        1. He should know better from the comments.

          But lately, I wouldn’t blame someone if they thought Reason was some kind of proggy site if they only looked at the articles.

        2. He just forgot the word ‘classical.’

    2. Our eduction system is little more than a method of engraining deference to authority in students via operant conditioning.

      Think about it, how much information that you learned in your years in school can you consciously recall? But you probably do remember the punishments for defying authority and the petty rewards for parroting back what you were “taught”.

      1. A2 + B2 = C2

        1. One formula after 16 years of instruction?

          1. Kings Play Chess On Fat Girls Stomachs

            1. OK, I don’t know that mnemonic. What are you supposed to remember using that?

              1. Kingdom phylum class order family genus species.

              2. I learned it as Karen, Please Close Our Front Gate Soon:

                Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

            2. King Philip Cried Oh For Goodness’ Sake!

          2. I do agree with your post, for the record. I’m just regurgitating crap that is of no actual is to me (and many others) in the real world.

    3. Observe the mystical approach: 1. Assume reality is not what it is. 2. Make predictions based on that assumption. 3. Act as though the predictions are a valid guide for planning choices and actions. All antiabortion and prohibitionist rants use the technique to clothe themselves in the violence of law.

  3. The internet make it far easier to check fake news. (as an aside, we don’t really see all that much fake news about libertarians…unless their Presidential candidate starts making inroads!) If I see something that tickles my fancy, I can do a quick search and if that story is carried by a preponderance of sources that lean one way or another, I can rest fairly assured that it, while not completely fake, may be tilted to the favor of the prescribed political bent.

    It is funny, however, that many politicians forget that everything is on the web. It is all recorded for posterity. There is no more claiming ‘I never said that’ or ‘it was taken out of context.’ This works against knowing a candidate because the new generation realize that they must craft every statement throughout their lives so we don’t truly know where they stand!

    Fake news becomes a problem when it mutates into common knowledge.

    1. “The internet make it far easier to check fake news.”

      There’s a give and take, there.

      Certainly, before everybody carried around access to Google in their pockets, fact checking on the fly wasn’t possible. The loudest guy with the most apparent authority or the most confidence often won the argument over the facts.

      On the other hand, before everybody had quick access to Google, being knowledgeable was more important–and that situation lent itself to critical thinking and intellectual independence, AKA “thinking for yourself”.

      Not knowing what you think until you’ve googled it isn’t necessarily better in every way. Facts should inform our opinions, but there are too many people today who treat opinions as if they were facts that should be googled.

      1. On the other hand, before everybody had quick access to Google, being knowledgeable was more important–and that situation lent itself to critical thinking and intellectual independence, AKA “thinking for yourself”.

        In my experience, most people never think for themselves, pre-Google or post-Google.

    2. “Unless their presidential candidate starts making inroads”

      Did you do what I saw there?

      1. Somalia doesn’t have inroads.

    3. Fake news becomes a problem when it mutates into common knowledge.

      There are lots of problems in this world, most of which don’t require government intervention or even notice from politicians.

  4. I refer to the last election as the Great Inoculation. Because regardless of political ideology, people saw clearly that (1) the opposing party would censor and lie and therefore was not a reliable source of truth and (2) the nation could swing either way by forces outside their control. Therefore, they started to appreciate the importance of a free press. This was the real Constitutional Crisis, and it has been averted. Even if there is another ‘terrorist attack’, Trump will probably not get the bump he hopes for to instigate and incite violence and shut down the media. A year ago the trolls were extremely aggressive and offensive, but now they are quite docile – at this point their tactics will backfire. It’s actually pretty funny.

  5. It’s actually pretty easy to spot fake news as it is usually a variation of a witchcraft or demon possession narrative. E.g. “Russia hacked our election” = “They was putting codes on our servas!” = “They was castin spells at us – I seen it!” Also if you challenge fake news on what you think is a pretty obvious and mild point, and you are met with a furious spewage of insults then you are likely on to something. One thing I’d long wondered is whether the attackers actually believe their own nonsense – and the answer is: wouldn’t you like to know. 🙂

  6. “Fake News” is the prog beachead

    1. Damn fat fingers…

      “Fake News” is a new prog beachead supporting their ongoing assualt on the 1A. Left to run its own course we end up with something akin the Russian news “media”

  7. The biggest fake story is the outbreak of fake news. This shit has been going on forever. Anyone who falls for it is incurious or a sucker because it’s easier than ever to check validity.

    1. Good read. Let’s see if anyone listens to him

      1. If he meant double down on identity politics and move further left, then yes, they’re going to listen.

    2. Just another old white dude that doesn’t understand what’s important to the bottom line.

    3. I think he just outed himself as a Nazi.

    4. Faultimore Bun writer tells his fellow members of the FornoPist to calm down a little and stop acting like a bunch of crazy lunatics.

      1. Hey, it was a good link and definitely relevant to our commentariat. Do you have to nail him on every post? Why not just the comments that seem worthy of scorn?

        The great thing about H&R has been anyone can join in the discussion unfiltered without having to use Facebook or other such means of access. And when people say off-the-wall things, our crew will take it to them quickly and decisively, no need to plead your case to an online editor. But everyone can have their say, and especially when they are contributing to the conversation, we don’t need to attack them just for being here.

    5. Thanks for posting Zurawik’s article. It’s nice to read words of sanity from a mainstream media outlet. I’ve never heard of Zurawik until today. It’s sad when the apparent sole voice of sanity from the MSM is a media reporter.

  8. “What we know about how people interact with information?and misinformation?suggests that fake political news doesn’t affect people’s opinions nearly as much as is being insinuated.”

    Well, anything that doesn’t confirm our preexisting biases obviously can’t be true.

    1. And taxing both profits and dividends is double-theft.


        1. Taxing profits, dividends, and property are triple dog dare theft.

  9. ” The political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler have shown that even when presented with authoritative facts, people will not merely refuse to change their incorrect beliefs; in some instances they’ll double down on them. This is called the “backfire” effect.”

    See also; the history of the Political Left’s romance with Communism.

  10. OT: Has Reason posted anything on the judicial overreach of the TRO issued by the federal court in the Western District of Washington State? A brief discussion of the TRO and the latest from the Ninth Circus may be found at Legal Insurrection: http://tinyurl.com/jy7357d

    “The District Court temporary restraining order, which did not even address the merits of the case other than a single conclusory sentence, is a legal abomination in which the judiciary usurped immigration control even as to people who have not yet entered the U.S. and hold no permanent residency. That TRO is so legally improper on its face it should have been stayed immediately by the 9th Circuit.”

    1. They’ve only put up this one post since the ruling, and this post comes from the magazine–it may have been written a month ago.

      I’m sure Dalmia, or somebody, will get around to telling us what shitheads we are for being afraid of big-eyed, Somali bunny rabbits soon enough.

    2. That’s not a good fit for Reason as it doesn’t advance the poggy pant shitting agenda. – KMdW

    3. Dalmia has already responded to Trump’s tweet about the ruling:

      Trump: “What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.?”

      Dalmia: “It shows that America’s commitment to protect individuals against powerful men and dark forces that you represent is still alive!”


      1. If you think the President represents “dark forces” because he’s trying to prevent ISIS from infiltrating the asylum seeker program, then you might have Trump Derangement Syndrome.


          1. whoa, dude, Storm Front is that way—–>

        2. She does seem to have completely lost her mind

        3. I wonder what Shreeka’s hot take is on the campus violence against the likes of Milo? More commitment to protecting individuals against dark forces, etc.?

          1. FBI infiltration/instigation.

          2. Sarc? Or did you miss her tweets about that?

            1. Nope, I missed her tweets, since I have imposed a temporary restriction on myself from traveling to various social media platforms. Facebook and the Twitter are exploding with derp.

              1. This little gem:

                “When facts are always “alternative,” brute force is all that’s left in settling with intellectual opponents!”

                1. WTF? This was her reaction to the Milo BS at Berkeley? So, she is justifying initiating force against Milo because Conway said a stupid?

                2. Fuck that. Shikha has got to go.

                  Libertarians do NOT advocate violence as political argument.

                  Go read about the non aggression principle you bitch….

              1. She said that you have to also confirm conservatives for inviting milo in the first place

                1. *condemn, not confirm

                  And that’s pretty much a quote. I don’t have the link to the tweet, but someone else will. She died down later.

                  1. Doubled down, not died down

                    Stupid mobile must be controlled by the government to keep me from posting correctly.

                    1. Here is her double-down:

                      Violence is never cool so Berkley rioters deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But Trump threatens to start Muslim registries, suspend refugee program, possibly invade Mexico, restore torture, end criminal justice reform, truncate travel rights, and shrink press freedoms. And what do conservative groups in Berkley do? Invite Milo because their free speech rights are the most pressing issue in Trump’s America. Congratulations, kids, you have now become more self-indulgent than your leftist peers.

                    2. Reason needs to get rid of that lady. What a stain on Reason, and humanity.

                    3. Shitka is a good fit for reason. – KMdW

                    4. apparently, the free speech of the campus conservatives as the “freedoms” of others, and they should be chastised on twitter for thinking otherwise.

                    5. Fucken Jews. If you weren’t so educated and became doctors, lawyers and businessmen there wouldn’t have been a need for pogroms and Hitler.

                    6. Ok Reason, the table is set. Next year run half of your fundraising campaign before firing Shikha, and half after and see how you do.

                      Or you could keep her on and shutter the magazine as fundraising craters. Again.

                    7. Berkley rioters

                      Yeah, those music students have made a real mess of the Back Bay of Boston.

                      #petpeeves #berkEley

          3. Shikha’s take is the same as Radley Balko’s. Journolist lives!

            1. Ugh, I saw your comment and delved into his Twitter. I’m not even sure that’s what you were talking about, but I’d had enough by that point.

              1. I’m talking about the “blame the college Republican assholes” for giving Milo a platform
                It’s a popular talking point and Balko was in the vanguard of puting it out. It seems that inviting a provocative speaker IS violence when there are other provocative speakers who would also offend but who are less odious in doing so. Apparently, “an invitation to speak” is considered a whole-hearted endorsement of anything the speaker has said, might say, or be perceived as saying

          4. shikha sood dalmia ?@shikhadalmia Feb 3

            When facts are always “alternative,” brute force is all that’s left in settling with intellectual opponents!

            ?shikha sood dalmia @shikhadalmia Feb 3
            No matter what the moral rot on the left, the right always manages to outdo it! Sad!

            shikha sood dalmia ?@shikhadalmia Feb 2
            Honest condemnation of #Berkley violence must also condemn those who invited him.What’s point except baiting n inciting in Trump’s America?

            1. Shes retweeting the banned one now.

            2. NO PLATFORM

              Radley Balko ?@radleybalko Feb 2

              So who are the assholes who keep inviting Yiannopoulos to speak?

              Radley Balko Verified account

              He has the right to speak. He doesn’t have the right to be invited to speak.

    4. It was OK when their venerated Obamessiah did basically the same thing, but Reason is in full-fledged Trump Derangement Syndrome mode.

      Nick Gillespie just basically tweeted yesterday that he’s hoping Trump dies. Personally, I suspect that he probably agrees with Dipshit Dalmia in her call for violence against their political enemies.

      1. The libertarian moment = defending the status quo with violence.

        Who woulda thunk?

        1. Honestly, I’m not that surprised by this general turn of events around here, but they’re gone even more nuts than I was expecting them to.

          One of the few great thing about Twitter is that morons like Dalmia, Brown, and Gillespie will say what they really believe on there. Apparently they think nobody besides their JournoList friends is paying any attention there.

          1. I used to think Nick did a lot of good for libertarianism, and perhaps he still does to a degree. These days I’m pretty much convinced he is only a libertarian because he thinks he is too punk to be a Democrat.

      2. It was OK when their venerated Yomommessiah did basically the same thing, but Treason is in full-fledged Ctrump Defartment Palendrome mode.

        Pick Spillespie just basically tweeted yesterday that he’s hoping Hump dies. Personally, I suspect that he probably agrees with Skipshit Foulmia in her call for violence against their political enemies.

      3. Link? Coming from Mikey I’d like to see evidence before freaking out.

        1. shikha sood dalmia ?@shikhadalmia Feb 3

          When facts are always “alternative,” brute force is all that’s left in settling with intellectual opponents!

          shikha sood dalmia ?@shikhadalmia Feb 3

          No matter what the moral rot on the left, the right always manages to outdo it! Sad!

          shikha sood dalmia ?@shikhadalmia Feb 2

          Honest condemnation of #Berkley violence must also condemn those who invited him.What’s point except baiting n inciting in Trump’s America?

          Dalmia is a hack’s hack. The lowest of the low to ever write for reason or even pass herself off as a libertarian.

          1. I was talking about Nick, I know shikha’s an idiot (hence the handle)

            1. I have noted that nobody has provided the link you requested.

              1. Yeah. I just didn’t see something like that from Nick, let alone from Mickey

      4. Nick Gillespie just basically tweeted yesterday that he’s hoping Trump dies.

        You’re going to need to provide a link. I just went through Nick’s twitter feed back thru Jan 31 and found nothing close to that.

    5. William A. Jacobson is Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic at Cornell Law School. Prof. Jacobson is a 1981 graduate of Hamilton College and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School. At Harvard he was Senior Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal and Director of Litigation for the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project.

      Prior to joining the Cornell law faculty in 2007, Prof. Jacobson had a highly successful civil litigation and arbitration practice in Providence, Rhode Island, concentrating in investment, employment, and business disputes in the securities industry, including many high profile cases reported in leading newspapers and magazines.

      1. IANAL, but then again I’m not a law professor with a background in securities law opining on federal procedure, but I think the idea that the TRO is a legal abomination because it didn’t address the merits of the case is at least a little shaky, TRO’s are T for a reason. It’s not far removed from arguing that a grand jury indictment is an abomination because the defense wasn’t allowed to present its case. We’re not ruling on the merits of the case, we’re simply ruling that there may be merits to the case and we need a little time to take a closer look at it before we do things we can’t undo.

        He’s on firmer ground arguing that the 9th should have issued a stay – that’s exactly how the process is supposed to work. So why didn’t the 9th immediately issue a stay? Maybe because, unlike this legal eagle, the 9th isn’t quite so convinced that the case is a slam-dunk?

        1. The courts are thoroughly politicized. The TRO was issued because a vile republican president tried to change policy in a small way. The exact thing done by the sainted Obama produced crickets in response, btw.

        2. Thanks for your take. Are you a lawyer and if so what is your area of practice? I am not trolling. I ask because as a frequent reader of the commentariat and a far less frequent commentator, I am just curious about from where your opinion on this issue is derived. I am not a lawyer, but I am trying to gain perspective on what’s going on.

          “Maybe because, unlike this legal eagle, the 9th isn’t quite so convinced that the case is a slam-dunk?”

          Perhaps, it may also be that the 9th is far and above the farthest left of the entire national bench. It seems to me that if opponents were trying to stop the EO, this court would be a the best place to do so.

          1. Wizard, “IANAL” is short for “I am not a lawyer”

            1. sounds like something a lawyer would come up with. /jk.

              Thanks, Baked.

        3. “IANAL”

          We don’t need to know the details of your personal life, dude.

          1. Zing!

  11. It’s 50 and sunny here by the Ohio. . I’m grilling a NY strip with onions and mushrooms and having garlic roasted potatoes wedges . A large salad with many veggies and some cheeses and smoked salmon pate’ and pita chips for the game.. Need to go to the carry out for some stout,or porter. Have a good day folks.

    1. Just had my bacon and eggs. Working on a pot of ham and bean soup, have some potato skins in feezer will fry up then broil with cheese and leftover bacon crumpled. Have sour cream, scallions and fresh jalapeno to top. Go Falcs.

      1. Go Team Anyone-But-New-England

  12. Banning free speech/press/fake news leads to violence in several ways:

    – forces people to resort to violence as the only option to express themselves
    – causes doubling-down on violent ideologies
    – provides an excuse for ‘extra-judicial enforcement’
    – parodies that discredit violent doctrines are quickly swept up in the witch hunt

    All these things can lead to war as we are seeing in Europe. One of the most effective tools against ‘fake news’ is satire – showing how ridiculous it is. Yet it will be prohibited as well – keep in mind that government agents are just about the last people to ‘get’ it. This is why Charlie Hebdo is not funny – it must avoid real satire that could be prosecuted (and sometimes is).

    Thus the real danger of ‘fake news’ is not that it will cause the ‘stupid’ people to vote for Hitler. The danger is that it will be used as a pretext for the next Hitler to shut down free speech/press. E.g. “The news is FAKE! The press are LIARS! We need to SHUT THEM DOWN!”

    1. The press, or at least a decent portion of them, ARE proven liars.

    2. Good luck explaining that to “progressives”, most of whom are still under this perception that the government IS the people.

  13. “Whether or not it’s to blame for Trump’s victory, fake news can be a problem. People who absorb inaccuracies will sometimes believe them and, worse, act on them.”

    1) rape epidemic
    2) human trafficking
    3) dead grandma, ’cause Trump
    4) vaccinations cause bad
    5) fracking causes bad
    6) catastrophic AGW
    7) guns bad
    8) …………………………..

    1. “People who absorb inaccuracies will sometimes believe them and, worse, act on them.”

      People still believe that socialism will work, so you have a good point.

      1. People belove that there is a plot to put minorities in camps.

        1. You know who else beloves the idea of putting people in camps?

            1. we’ll take it. I was looking for “FEMA”, “Mothers of Fat Children”, ‘Gay Musical-Theatre Directors’ etc

              1. As you can see, I went with the “typo” (john-o) angle.

                1. ah. nice. i didn’t even catch that.

                  1. Gosh I hate my mobile phone. And my lack of ability to proofread before hitting submit.

          1. The sainted FDR?

          2. Boy Scouts
            Jason from the Friday the 13th movies
            Coleman and Sterno
            The Park Service
            Yogi Bear
            The US Army
            Wisconsin Badgers

        2. Those people get hired at this outfit.

  14. can I get an invite to the steam group? if there is anyone still here. My handle is AZ_Floyd. Thnks

  15. Well the whining and the complaining just does not seem to stop. This week it has gotten even worse than ever. So many just can’t fathom what he has done and it pisses them off that he keeps winning. The fact that he has a hot foreign model as his wife certainly makes them more jealous. They say he lies, they say he cheated. But it really is not going to change a thing, no matter how much they might cry about it. Brady is going back to the Super Bowl and they can’t do a damn thing about it.

    1. I see what you did there. Very clever.

    2. Brady is going back to the Super Bowl and they can’t do a damn thing about it.

      Its like Hitler invading Poland over and over and over again.

      1. I’m torn as I have taken to calling Goodell the Fuhrer. The Patriots really are more like the Soviets to me.

    3. Lol’d. Also, go pats! Red White and Brady will Make the Super Bowl Great Again

      1. I will be saying “Go Pats”, not because I like them, but I have learned not to bet against Brady. My money is on him and the under.

        Also, Lady Gaga’s hair is definitely going to be blonde. That is a safe bet.

    4. Very well done sir! This comment is so good, the Pats hater in me can’t even call it the posting equivalent of an illegal pick.

      1. Very well done sir! This comment is so good, the Fats hater in me can’t even call it the posting equivalent of an illegal pick.

    5. Ha, I might have to steal this.

  16. I’ve also seen Europeans say things like, “This commenter made a threat against the writer – they must be banned!” In fact, banning the ‘trolls’ only serves to radicalize them and confirm their ideology, and to make it more appealing to others. Far better to expose, condemn and ridicule it. I’ve been threatened online and never once did I think that banning the commenter would make me safer. Quite the opposite – I posted and publicized the threats. Even better than that would be if other commenters condemned the trolls. E.g. the Leslie Jones fiasco. But this was hard to do because she is too self-deprecating. It’s a fascinating case and actually I suspect she was set up for the purpose of inflaming “Ban the trolls” hysteria. Which it did though it quickly fizzled, fortunately.

    1. “I’ve been threatened online”

      It doesn’t count when one of your socks threatens one of your other socks, shreek. BLOOP BOP BOINK DERP!

      1. Discrediting threats is another form of threat. Like I was saying earlier – this makes it easy to spot the liars. Thanks at least for demonstrating that.

        1. I hope you get raped by a homeless drifter.

          1. Who has the AIDS.

            1. Insults, threats and curses in response to the truth – thanks again!

              1. Far better to expose, condemn and ridicule it.

                Are you self-aware enough to see the irony?

                1. To be fair, though, I mostly agree with the stuff you are saying in this thread.

                  1. Blind skwerrlze

  17. It’s all about the mainstream media pretending that they’re still relevant.

  18. I found an Easter egg!

    Compare that to nonpolitical but equally dubious ideas, such as the New Age concept of “mindfulness.”

    1. You ain’t woke, homey.

  19. P.S. Go Atlanta. Fuck Brady and Belicheat. Play tight man to man, NOT a loose zone, and just smash right through all those illegal picks they set.

    1. P.S. Go Hotlanta. Fuck Gaydy and Belifeet. Play tight man to man, NOT a loose zone, and just smash right through all those illegal picks they set.

    2. Needz more excuses.

    3. I’m going to make the same bold prediction I made in another article: I think the team that scores the most points is going to win.

      1. I hate how we interview sports players. Especially during a game. “What would you like to do?”
        “Well, id like to outscore the other team.”
        “Play better than them?”

      2. I couldn’t care less who wins but I do have a passing interest in what the final digit of each team’s score is at the end of each quarter.

        1. I’m kind of hoping the losing team gains more yards than the winning team. That way I can argue gaining more yards should be the metric that decides who wins the game.

        2. What a coincidence; I have the same passing interest!

  20. Looks like Milo will be returning to Berkeley to give that speech after all.


    1. How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data

      *Politician laughs nervously, adjusts collar* Duped, yea…we were duped. That’s the story.

    2. I will say statistics is hard and more subjective then most think. I would not attribute malice to what could possibly be a mistake or difference in opinion on how something should be done.

      1. They had reliable buoys specifically designed for accurate measurements. When those showed the wrong answer they decided to use temperatures taken by ships to adjust good data up to the bad.

        Middle schoolers aren’t that stupid.

        1. I’ve honestly had better luck and significantly warmer reception advocating for the repeal of restrictions on machineguns than trying to point out things like this and the HADCRU hilarity.

          1. I wonder why that is?

            1. Because people are convinced that all life on earth will literally end if sacrifices in the name of Gaia don’t massively increase. Furthermore, they feel better about themselves and that they’re doing the right thing by supporting such causes, and reevaluation of that support would also mean a personal reevaluation.

      2. NOAA refused to comply with a subpoena for internal emails from the House Science Committee, and lied to Congress about there being no internal dissent.

  21. The fake news thing is completely disingenuous. It’s about old guard media losing control of the narrative, but also struggling to survive as their business model is being forced to change.

    People aren’t really connecting this to the months and months of bitching about Facebook’s news feed formula. How many stories were written about how Facebook was, despite its claims otherwise, adopting an editorial position with it? How many employees of old media have bitterly complained about having to change their approach to get social media attention?

    Well, what better way to kill two birds with one stone – delegitimize Trump and get control over the main traffic drivers in the market – than incessant whining and hysteria about fake news?

  22. People think that the damage from bullying is caused by bullies. It’s not. The damage is caused by others not sticking up for the victim. If people stood up for the victim then the problem would go away. Thus, bullying is often a proxy fight between parents, which is why it’s so difficult for a school to address – and why any attempt to prohibit it will backfire. In the same way, the threat from ‘fake news’ isn’t that people might believe it, but that their trusted authorities ignore it, even though they know better. It’s a symptom of a larger problem, and any attempt to censor it will backfire.

  23. 1) “The point isn’t that we should put more stock in fringe websites than in, say, Nate Silver.” I don’t get the fascination with Silver anyway and don’t see the point of that sentence. He’s a media darling; not the world’s greatest statistician.

    2) Snopes is a joke. Aren’t they a couple out of Toronto where one of its workers admitted they were liberal? Evenfact checking sites should be viewed critically.

    3) Scapegoating foreigners is not unique to America. It’s a feature; not a bug in human history.

    4) RE. 4.9% unemployment. Not sure what the author’s point. Taking the figure at face value doesn’t tell the full picture. E.g. labor participation and non-farm payrolls help to conceptualize and clarify what ‘4.9%’ is telling you. And in the case of Obama it’s pretty clear it wasn’t what it appeared to be. Sorta like the ‘stock markets were up!’. Yeah, no shit. Interest rates are at an all-time low; people have to put their money somewhere. Bill James taught us in sports to look behind cherished metrics and stats. Hence, he showed the shortcomings in ERA and introduced WHIP. In hockey, GAA is nothing without Save% and other stats. Same in economics now.

    5) Facebook can’t solve fake news because it’s not about that. It’s about condensing their world view into their pages; virtue signalling if you will. It’s not about truth and it’s bound to fail.

    6) Whatever became of Gere’s gerbil and is Godfather Pizza any good?

    1. FWIW, I like ‘The Straight Dope’. Good community too, even though I’m not part of it. You learn stuff there.

    2. Even fact checking sites should be viewed critically.

      Yeah; e.g. most of the “fact-checking” I saw during the debates was nothing of the sort.

      1. It’s really magical how prevalent “fact checking” and “live fact checking” has become starting with Inauguration Day. Wonder what’s up with that.

    3. 6) No idea about Gere’s gerbil; it’s possible that he changed his name to “Lemmiwinks”

      But Godfather’s Pizza I do know. It is excellent.

      1. “But Godfather’s Pizza I do know. It is excellent.”

        I can attest to this. Give it a try.

    4. To Silver’s credit, he did recently Tweet some excellent advice to the TDS-afflicted: before reacting to any piece of news, give yourself a waiting period of 4-48 hours, so you can be reasonably sure it’s accurate. Otherwise, it’s fair to say that he’s more a popularizer of stats rather than a particularly brilliant practitioner of them. And he clearly didn’t think through launching his own site: even if you think he’s a sharp guy, FiveThirtyEight.com is pretty awful.

    5. Point the Third:

      Yeah. I’ve learned enough about statistics that I don’t take any numbers at face value. I won’t accept any statistic without being directed to the methodology and criteria used to reach it, and without having read it myself.

  24. The greatest benefiter to TDS is Trump. Everytime the media engages in it they add another layer of armor and inoculate him against current and future criticism. You have your bold face lies which further degrades their already shitty credibility. Then you have the hyperbole, particularly the comparisons to Hitler and the Holocaust. Compared to your average Joe, Trump is a narcissistic, two year old, asshole. Compared to Hitler, he’s a pretty nice guy. Thanks media. Additionally, I think some people who don’t like him, avoid criticizing him because they don’t want to be confused with the pants shitting two year olds suffering from TDS.

    1. If they came out and said Trump is trying to keep terrorist out of our country but his action’s are misguided and here’s why, they may get people to pay attention. But when they say he’s just a racist exploiting the dark recesses of the American mind (Nick), most people’s reaction is is fuck off. They never question the Democrats motives even in the rare cases they disagree with them. Use your words, not your whining.


      2. And the local news is wall-to-wall sob stories out of Iran and OUTRAGE at home. I can’t fucking stand it anymore; I don’t how much longer they think people are going to put up with it.

    2. It really is incredible how fools are making the premier Birther look super pro and on point.

      1. What are they saying about Hillary?

  25. There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think ? our country’s so innocent?

    Relieved he admitted it – that’s the first step.

  26. TDS hits new low: Irish Magazine Considers: Is It Moral To Assassinate Trump? http://tinyurl.com/gt8v9bf

    The magazine even placed a target on his head. According to the left, putting a politician in the crosshairs was an incitement to violence? Or maybe that’s the point?

    1. He needs to get in line behind Madonna.

      1. Madonna was a big reason Trump won.

        I bet a lot of people refused to vote for Hillary after Madonna threatened to give blow jobs to anyone who voted for Hillary.

    2. According to the left, putting a politician in the crosshairs was an incitement to violence? Or maybe that’s the point?

      Oh, yes, I remember that particular spate of idiocy very well, with the usual suspects shrieking about “eliminationist rhetoric” practically pulling the trigger on Gabby Giffords.

      And then they revealed their usual commitment to principle shortly thereafter with an absolute deluge of bawling in regards to the debt ceiling about “Tea Party Taliban hostage-taking terrorists literally holding a gun to children’s heads.”

    3. Nonsense. That is a standard freshman philosophy question regarding Utilitarianism – “Would it have been justified to kill baby Hitler?”

      1. So Trump is as innocent as a baby? And he’s innocent at an age when Hitler had already done lots of horrible crimes? Thank you for the concession!

      2. *disclosure = Buttplug attended Apex Technical School of Philosophy, and didn’t even get to keep the toolbox when he graduated

    4. Look, it’s obviously all talk.

      I mean, they’re Irish, for goodness’ sake, when was the last time they assassinated a public figure or politician?


  27. “His selfie went viral for all the wrong reasons; now this refugee is suing Facebook”
    “Snapping himself alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to his Berlin shelter, he captured an image that became a symbol of her momentous decision to allow more than 1 million asylum seekers into Germany.”

    Now, he’s trying to become a symbol of abysmal stupidity.

    1. the latest attempt to hold Facebook more accountable for an upsurge in fake news

      Goddammit I’m sick of this BS. There is no “upsurge” in “fake news”. Where have these people been since… the beginning of time?! No, let’s jump on the latest meme and pretend that the rest of history never happened. Also, let’s pretend that existing law doesn’t already cover actual instances of, say, libel.

    2. That story has some serious implications.

      Its basically using the European “right to be forgot” to hand power to courts to ‘censor the internet’ and scrub it of facts later decided to be politically inconvenient/unpopular.

      All you need is to present standing and claim you’re being misrepresented in a single instance, and you can insist Facebook conduct a complete erasure of any reference to you (*at least that’s what he’s demanding)

      Mass Inauguration Day arrests a challenge for prosecutors
      Eric Trump’s trip to Uruguay cost taxpayers $97,830 in hotel bills

      In the Modamani case, the suit is seeking to force Facebook not only to delete specific false or illegal posts reported by users, but also to adopt special filters that search the network and remove all other references to that content. Jun said that although Facebook claims to have deleted fake posts attacking his client, he found reposts of the images as recently as last week.

      The claims center largely around three images, which were widely spread and which Jun claims could still be circulating on Facebook. One shows the selfie of Modamani and Merkel next to security footage of a group of young men suspected of trying to set a homeless man on fire at a Berlin subway station on Christmas Eve. The face of one of the suspects is circled and falsely identified as Modamani.

      The Meme-Industry would be wiped out overnight.

      1. I don’t think this sort of case would get far in the US because of fair-use protections, expectations of privacy and so on. But if Europe can assert jurisdiction over the internet (*they’ve done so w/ google, unless i’m mistaken, more than once, and others), I think it could be come an international venue for “libel tourism/forum shopping”

        1. “…I think it could be come an international venue for “libel tourism/forum shopping””

          In China several years back, every time the word “Tibet” hit the CNN Asia broadcast, there were ‘technical difficulties’ and the screen went blank.
          If this guy wins, I would bet there will be a LOT of blank screens in Europe in the not too distant future.

          1. Yeah, basically its the same idea. I think China is an exceptional case because Google/MS voluntarily censor there based on requests by the govt…. which is scummy, but its not pretending to be a legal venue, if you understand my point – 3rd parties can’t then exploit china’s manhandling of those companies to their own purposes, whereas European law is gradually creating a forum for censoring social-media via their whole “Right to be Forgotten” legislation

            1. *maybe ‘legislation’ is the wrong term. “Framework”. I think different EU countries implement the idea with greater/lesser degrees of severity, but the way it works is whichever is the lowest-bar to cross has the most global influence

              this bit makes the point

              . There is no global framework to allow individuals control over their online image. However, Professor Viktor Mayer-Sch?nberger, an expert from Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, said that Google can not escape compliance with the law of France implementing the decision of the European Court of Justice in 2014 on the right to be forgotten. Mayer-Sch?nberger said nations, including the US, had long maintained that their local laws have “extra-territorial effects”.[15]

              basically, re: the jurisdictional effect – even if Google decided to stop operating IN France to try and evade their oversight, the mere fact that anyone could choose to access them FROM France would mean French law would apply. something like that.

              Of course, international law is ‘whatever people agree to enforce’, but i can still see problems here when internet companies start deciding to comply with whatever the lowest-common denominator is to avoid liability.

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  29. More Reason fake news.
    Come on, there are like 2 million ways to make Duck Confit.

  30. The three most frightening words the media will ever hear; “cite your source”
    Fake news has no definition, it is generally used to mean news I don’t agree with, often due to lack of sourcing.
    Real news on the other hand, cites named sources that will verify without “clarification” what was reported. There is no one named “a white house source” or “an administration official”, or “a reputable scientist”. If names are named, and statistics sourced back to a verifiable document, then it is news. And you are able to determine for yourself it is relevant to your life or not.

    1. Many in the media are more interested in “protecting their sources” rather then “cite your source”.

      Look at Judith Miller of Iraq WMD fame. I don’t think she ever revealed who was feeding the fake news too her. The the rest of the MSM did not seem interested enough to investigate.

      1. Well, there’s also the itsy bitsy issue that there have been quite a lot of stories recently where the anonymous insider who’s supposedly the source is probably as real as Santa Claus.

        1. ‘We have documented evidence that the Russian government interfered in the election to the benefit of Donald Trump. We will release it Thursday’

          That’s not quite a lie yet, since we have quite a few more Thursdays coming…

          1. One a week for the foreseeable future.

    2. The three most frightening words the media will ever hear; “cite your source”

      Robby cites sources. They just happen to not support the claims he’s making in citing them.

      That’s actually worse, if you ask me.

      1. Robby cites sources. They just happen to not support the claims he’s making in citing them.

        Everybody does that lately.

        1. Well, yeah, but I had grown to expect better of Reason.

      2. I honestly don’t get a lot of the vitriol directed toward Robby around these parts.

        1. Its sort of a ‘death by 1000 cuts’ sort of thing. Gradual accumulation of endlessly repeated weaksauce non-arguments, equivocations, insertion of nannyish-value judgements, rank hypocrisy, internal contradictions, etc.

          the case-study for me is the way he covered the Memories Pizza story. The headline by itself is like a microcosm of his M.O. (e.g. calling the place “anti-gay”, then pretending he’s not actually part of the same witch-hunt he’s bemoaning, etc.)

          if you read that and don’t get it, i can’t help you. this guy here actually does a pretty good job summarizing issues, although there’s also 700 other complaints.

          basically, he seems to try to occasionally advocate libertarian conclusions? but seems completely incapable of making an actual libertarian argument that supports them.

          e.g. see: his repeated rationale why leftist-violence is wrong? is that it *doesn’t achieve their aims efficiently enough*. because god knows we all agree with their aims.

          1. Not to corpse-fuck this thread, but my personal limit was hit when he conflated self-defense with violence.

            He’s either:
            1) Saying that self-defense (or perhaps the mere act of carrying a gun) is violent
            2) He was so fucking desperate to show that “CONSERVATIVES ARE REALLY VIOLENT TOO GUYS” that he intentionally misrepresented a source to get his point across.

            Both of those absolutely disgust me and nobody that isn’t at least 80% SJW would have done either in the context that he did. ‘Free Minds and Free Markets’ is broad enough to include a lot of ideologies. Not SJWs.

            1. I guess I should also include the weasel explanation:
              3) He’s just so sloppy that he didn’t ‘realize what he was doing,’ which a) would’ve been an unacceptable excuse in my high school comp class and b) still shows that he was just trying to ram home the point in (2) without any intellectual discipline whatsoever.

  31. “As the New York Daily News breathlessly declared a few years ago, “It’s official: America is becoming a conspiratocracy. The tendency for a small slice of the population to believe in devious plots has always been with us. But conspiracies have never spread this swiftly across the country. They have never lodged this deeply in the American psyche. And they have never found as receptive an audience.””

    Translation: “Waaaaah! Internet news is supplanting traditional media organizations, and that’s bad for our market share! Waaaaaaaaaaah!”

    1. I’m less worried about anyone’s tendency to believe in devious plots than in their willingness to ignore obvious malfeasance like, say, a sitting SoS taking money from foreign govts, or an attack blamed on some video no one ever saw, or the continued insistence that O-care has been a net benefit.

      1. Quit lying. Hil-dog sucked, but she took no money from foreign governments. Redneck AM radio (Praise be unto Fat Rush though) is the source of most CT and fake news.

        1. “..but she took no money from foreign governments.”

          Sophistry or stupidity?
          Post by steaming pile of shit, so probably both.

        2. http://www.motherjones.com/pol…..arms-deals

          Even the far-left Mother Jones reported that she had some very crooked dealings going on with foreign governments. It’s not just “redneck AM radio”.

          1. Then produce evidence that someone like Lockheed Martin actually paid Hil-Dog (not a goddamn charity with a similar name) and you will have something.

            Really, you wingnecks are so fuckiing gullible.

            1. “Then produce evidence that someone like Lockheed Martin actually paid Hil-Dog (not a goddamn charity with a similar name) and you will have something.”

              Lefty assholes are only good at mendacity.
              Move those goal posts, turd!

            2. Keep slurping that team blue cock demfag. It’s literally the only thing you’re good at.

  32. Why the Super Bowl is Donald Trump vs. the city of Atlanta


    1. Why lunatics insert politics into everything.

    1. I’m still not clear on whether his ‘voting for hillary’ thing a few months ago was a joke or not. Or, “what percentage” of it was a joke.

      i think there was an H&R post about it, but i forgot the conclusion, there was a lot of stupid flying around at the time.

      1. I really enjoyed this essay. I also think it’s very easy to get caught up in a moment with regard to politics. Donald John Trump has said a lot of things that could set someone off, which could easily result in an overreaction.

        1. I’ve liked PJ since the 1980s. he was the first article i read in Rolling Stone that made me go, “this guy actually has a point”.

          that said, i’ve been skeptical about the recent-rediscovery of the term “populism”.

          Basically – what does it really mean except “popularity i don’t like“?

          At a certain level ALL politics is populism. We didn’t call Obama sweeping into power “populism” because we felt it was rational that there should be a widespread political backlash to Bush. But we DO call the widespread political backlash against Obama “populism” because…. well, as far as i can tell, for no better reason than “the extras have taken over the movie set”

          I think the most interesting points about the 2016 election have mostly been ignored by otherwise-smart political commentators (and i include most of reason – but not the 5th column – in that).

          Namely = 1) it proved “big money in politics” doesn’t mean shit.

          Notice how not a single lefty has breathed a word about how “the Koch Brothers are taking over America” are lately? When THEY were still public enemy #1 as recently as 2015?

          2) both parties are experiencing generational-transformation. its not about “populism” (imo) so much as cyclical-evolution. The boomers are done running things. The big political questions now aren’t really about “Trump”, but the political-dynamic between parties that comes next.

          and more. but whatever. I just think the William Jennings Bryan comparisons are overdone.

          1. He framed it as anti-elites, which I tend to agree with.

          2. Re your 2nd point, perhaps the dumbest thing about the people who want Trump to fail (or worse) is their unstated assumption that he’ll be replaced in that scenario by a CNN-approved Beltway tool like Hillary. That he might be followed by someone much worse (and I’m not a Trump supporters) doesn’t seem to be a possibility any of them have considered. And honestly, it’s quite likely if Trump’s economic plans fail.

            1. Considering the leftist hysteria over Pence when he was selected, it’s pretty hilarious that he’s now some kind of savior.

              Or at least he would be for the approximately three seconds it took for the first blog post about “President Pence is an Even Worse Hitler than Trump!” to appear

        2. When are voters in both political parties going to realize that politics is a two-way street? The politician creates a powerful, huge, heavy, and unstoppable Monster Truck of a government. Then supporters of that politician become shocked and weepy when another politician, whom they detest, gets behind the wheel, turns the truck around, and runs them over.

          Yeah, O’Rourke is good.

          1. Not that this is an un-noted idea, but he has a way with words.

    2. Define populism in a way that *doesn’t* include Obama defeating establishment candidates in the primary *and* general elections in 2008, based on denunciation of politics as usual, criticism of bipartisan policies like the Iraq War, and an appeal to bread-and-butter interests with his health-care plan.

      Trump voters were behaving quite rationally given the options they were offered – they weren’t all doe-eyed over their “daddy” hero like some people, they just found him preferable to his opponents.

    3. The elites fail and don’t suffer any consequences from their failures. As it is with elite carelessness about refugees, so it is with elite carelessness about immigration. To elites immigration means nannies, household staff, and fun new ethnic restaurants. Elites don’t see any similarity between Trump’s border wall and the gated communities where they live.


    4. His writing style is too cutesy for me, but he makes a lot of strong points. Thanks for linking

  33. So, it seems that someone named Padma Lakshmi hosts a cooking show.

    She recently did a video where she said: “Think protesting doesn’t change anything? In the last 48 hours the resistance has won major victories.”

    One of these victories was: “Berkeley protesters forced the cancellation of a hate speech by Neo-Nazi Milo.”

    1. She can say whatever she wants.

    2. the resistance has won major victories.” …. One of these victories was: “Berkeley protesters forced the cancellation of a hate speech by Neo-Nazi Milo.”

      yeah, it was pretty much the same as blowing up the death star.

      1. Seriously though, what would you have given to have been Salman Rushdie’s fingertips?

        1. not sure what that’s a reference to?

          1. She was married to Salman Rushdie, therefore I assume his fingertips have been inside of her, I was asking what you would give to have been inside of her, because she is a pretty lady. I’m going to leave Reason if my perverted remarks need to be explained.

            Where my Reason gone? Justice for Crusty!

            1. She was married to Salman Rushdie,

              i had no idea. I did know that he seemed to bang a lot of hot broads for a guy that looks like a sleazy turkish tailor.

            2. Lowball your expectations and beg KMW for a brickbat.

    3. I’m pretty sure that political analysis from a co-host of a cable-TV reality cooking show qualifies as fake news.

    4. It’s been very helpful to me seeing where all the enemies are. TDS has caused them to say/do anything.
      For example, I personally don’t believe Nordstrom’s stated reason for dropping Ivanka. I think it’s signaling and a calculated decision that it will help more than hurt…and they are probably correct.
      I wish the businesses that I support with my cash would just STFU. Once they get political and insult me, I won’t go there anymore.

    1. I understand that my opponent is wrong and smells bad, like that?

    2. When on earth did Democrats lose this skill? I don’t mean progs in general, but professional politicians.

      Is it that the schools stopped teaching rhetoric? Isn’t that the usual place where future politicians and/or lawyers honed their ability to persuade people?

      I mean, Dem politicians have literally *one job* – to get elected and re-elected. You’d think that a lifetime of being a professional politician would get them to at least hone this skill, so they could preach up “the conservative case for trans rights” or “the patriotic case for Muslim immigration.”

      I think there are two problems –

      (a) Dem politicians are living more and more in the prog bubble, or at least they have to pretend they do if they want to keep their base happy. They either don’t know what appeals would work with “the other side,” or they know they’ll be accused of selling out if they use such arguments.

      (b) This factor involves the *substance* of the issues. You can use all the rhetorical (“framing”) tactics you want, but getting the non-prog side to accept large-scale Muslim immigration and civil rights for chicks with dicks. Lots of people are sufficiently skeptical of such things that taking a bath, putting on a tie, and using “conservative” frames won’t automatically convert them.

      1. Perhaps recently, what’s partially going on is the whole hazard of complacency breeding laziness.

        1. Also, “they’re not buying what you’re selling.”

          Do you think that if Democrats like Jefferson Davis had only been more eloquent and more skillful at using frames, they could have persuaded Republicans to think slavery was a good thing?

          1. Abortion good, guns bad, they’re mean only works for so long, especially after Obamacare. “Give me more, racist meanie” is not a winning strategy.

            1. Yeah, using “frames” to persuade pissed-upon people that they’re enjoying a gentle summer shower can only get you so far.

              1. Yeah, they can stop calling it an “equity and fairness” summer shower and instead call it an “all-American patriotic salute our troops summer shower,” but piss is piss.

                1. The PJ O’Rourke link I published above goes into this a little, but he frames the issue as elites vs. anti-elites. The Democrats have belittled their opponents, and in some ways we are seeing the culmination of the pushback.

        2. Obama the demagogue begat Trump the demagogue.

      2. Living in a prog bubble is basically the problem. The big reason that Trump’s election was such a huge shock to liberal America, and why they’ve struggled so much to come to terms with it, is that they literally had no idea that there are huge numbers of Americans in desperate financial shape, who were receptive to Trump’s message that the economic system is rigged against them and the business and political elites running the country don’t give a shit about them.

        Partly this is a consequence of the MSM cheerleading so intently for the Obama Presidency that they didn’t pay attention to these people. But it’s also a consequence of Obama being an incurable elitist. Had he spent time in communities with this people and brought out Bill Clinton’s “I feel your pain” shtick, maybe these folks end up feeling differently about the Democratic party. But it’s hard to imagine that ever occurring to Obama; the “bitter clingers” remark is probably closer to his true feelings.

        1. they literally had no idea that there are huge numbers of Americans in desperate financial shape, who were receptive to Trump’s message that the economic system is rigged against them and the business and political elites running the country don’t give a shit about them.

          I think this is a misunderstanding, partly aided by the MSM’s own narrative-pumping about the “why” Trump won.

          Trump won large swaths of people who are economically better-off. and many of those were also former Obama voters. I think in many ways it was not a case of “Trump winning” so much as everyone else (both the Dem candidates as well as the GOP menu) losing because all they were offering was ‘more of the same’.

          The idea that the election was entirely about people who were ‘left out by the modern economy’ is misleading. the disagreements are wider and deeper than that, and reducing it to that sort of over-simplified narrow case i think doesn’t help anyone.

          1. Sort of. Obviously, the exit polling suggested that the people who generally vote Republican turned out and voted for Trump. And it didn’t suggest a particularly high level of enthusiasm for Trump as a candidate. “Populism” was arguably less a pro-Trump phenomenon than an anti-Hillary one: she basically ran on continuing the status quo, and as an avatar of Beltway elites, and a large number of people were OK voting for Trump to keep her out of power.

            I see your point, and I’d agree that it’s overly reductive to boil the election down to one subset of the population: Trump benefited a lot from being able to run against Hillary. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the only candidates to generate real excitement among voters (Trump and Sanders) ran as economic populists. IOW, the economics might not explain everything, but they’re a lot more important than many people appreciated prior to the election.

            1. IOW, the economics might not explain everything, but they’re a lot more important than many people appreciated prior to the election.


              they also say that every single election. (e.g. “its the economy, stupid”)

              I think over-emphasizing that there were some people “left out”/marginalized is the part i was disagreeing with.

              I think a very wide segment of the population was simply unconvinced by Obama/the MSM’s pumping Obama’s “economic recovery” story, and the claims that everything is just unbelievably great and the ACA is working and crime is down! and the heavens sing in unified chorus of praise to his name… etc.

              meaning i think the MSM basically pumped bullshit for so long, covering for what was obvious weakness in hiring/capital investment/higher-out-of-pocket health costs, etc. that they actually began to believe that story.

              Anyone who *didn’t* believe that story must therefore have come from some obscure ‘forgotten’ lower-middle-class rust-belt voters rather than the general population.

              See what i mean? I agree it was fundamentally an economic story that drove trump victory – but not the MSM’s version of it, which is that it was only a narrow, disaffected band of white-working-class folk who ‘rebelled’ against an otherwise Wunderbar status quo.

              1. This is fair. On rereading my original comment, it came across as overly reductive.

          2. I think on both the democratic and republican side there was a fairly large revolt against the elites of the party. Sanders did far better than anyone expected and if Hillary hadn’t built up such a large lead with the super-delegates (and had the party leaders interfere) she might not have won. Trump probably benefited from the large republican field that allowed him to get a foothold.

            I think there is a fairly large segment of the public feels the elites of the country pays lip-service to the average citizen at best. In many cases it feels like the elites actually have contempt for the average citizen. And it also seems to the average citizen if an elite screws up, nothing really happens — they may change jobs or move from one ritzy part of the country to another but they still will make far, far more than your average citizen. They will still get invited to all the “hip” parties.

        2. I’d say that it’s less of a bubble and more of a complete separation of the two parties. Neither side wants to do with the other and speaking well or allowing the other side to have a chance to voice the opinion is seen as caving in to them or “allowing oppression”.

          Really it feels like both parties have been taken over by a small extremist minority. The case is especially apparent with the left because they are out of power is and thus have to use the hammer of ‘morality’ to amplify their little political power they have.

          1. The reason I say minority is that I think that most Americans don’t care about SJW bullshit, and would be happy for it to go, but then again most Americans don’t participate in politics.

            At the same time the hammering of the supposed SJW ‘morality’ has been effective in getting a larger (or at least vocal) minority behind it.

        3. …Obama being an incurable elitist.

          An incurable asshole, too. I was almost physically ill when he made his ‘you didn’t build that’ crack. Infrastructure built by tax financing from the businesses he was shitting upon meant they didn’t own their businesses? FOAD. Of cancer. Asshole.

          1. I was being charitable. I definitely don’t think anyone should excuse Obama’s attitudes due to poor information (ie, “He would’ve cared about all those poor people had the media not buried their stories.”) I think he genuinely didn’t give a shit about anyone whose experiences were inconvenient to the “Obama as great man of history” narrative.

  34. Sanders demonstrates his inability to understand the First Amendment.

    Also, while I read that gem the other day and went to his Twitter page to properly link it, I also just learned that Wal-Mart pays workers “starvation wages.”

    1. He doesn’t understand economics either.

    2. Yeah, definitely Walmart workers are starving. I saw one yesterday that weighed less than 400 pounds.

      1. Americans are all 400 lbs when we’re being compared to Europe but only 40 lbs when employed by kkkorporations

        1. It works like this: the 400lbs land whales have the soul of a starving 40 lbs concentration camp survivor. See?

    3. In fairness, only the tweets that end in -B are from him. The rest are from a staffer. It says so in a blurb under his twitter pic.

      What Sanders would write would be far more idiotic.

      1. Well, using Ron Paul newsletters logic…

    4. “American taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize companies like WalMart, owned by a billionaire family, who pay workers starvation wages.”

      Yes, I agree with the part about subsidies. That’s what we mean when we say that the government should stop meddling with the economy.

      Whenever I try to make the libertarian case to leftists, I always emphasize that even if they don’t like the anti-regulation approach, they should be able to agree with the other side of the philosophy, which is the end of special favors for big businesses. I try to mention that regulation basically IS a favor for big business since it makes it hard for new competition to spring up.

      A lot of leftists concede on a point or two, but they eventually go back to their idea that this regulation is SO important, and that if we didn’t have it, restaurants would sell pathogenic food, bankers would ruin the country with subprime loans, and factories would dump barrels of cyanide into every river.

      1. I’m sure the people who think regulation is important are also extremely angry about how expensive new medicines are. I mean, the ingredients of one of those pills costs 2 cents!!

        The true remedy to business malpractice is a civil suit. Fear of civil suits will be sufficient to make businesses avoid spreading undue harm. That’s the trick to getting prices way down.

        Of course, a related problem that hurts small businesses and drives up costs is trivial lawsuits. The Mom grocer may not have profit margins sufficient to fight a lawsuit that someone got salmonella from eating chicken they purchased there and did not cook, where bigger companies can deal with the legal expenses. If we’re getting government into business, point A needs to be protection from frivolous lawsuits.

        1. “The true remedy to business malpractice is a civil suit. Fear of civil suits will be sufficient to make businesses avoid spreading undue harm. That’s the trick to getting prices way down.”

          I’ve made this case before. Here’s what I got in response: “Well that’s not really workable because some restaurant could just form an LLC and then fold, and the harmed person would have no way to get any damages because the corporation no longer exists.”

          1. So in the future, do this: “You do not understand how limited liability works. For example, the limited liability of a company does not protect a company officer from criminal charges, negligent or otherwise. Words mean things, and “limited liability” is a phrase you know fuck all about.” Fuck, these people are painfully stupid.

            1. Exactly. And even if there’s a grain of truth to what they’re saying, I don’t see why the massive regulatory state would be the solution. It seems like an easier solution to this problem (if it existed) would be greater frequency in piercing the corporate veil in cases where LLCs are obviously used as a front to protect an individual bad actor.

              They don’t seem to understand that limited liability is important for a functional economy… Investing in a company is technically becoming part owner, and who would ever do that if it meant that they could be made to pay damages even though they had no say whatsoever in the day-to-day decisions of the business?

              1. greater frequency in piercing the corporate veil in cases where LLCs are obviously used as a front to protect an individual bad actor.

                That is already the case. The corporate veil actually can’t protect a bad actor. Full stop.

                1. Let’s roll with this. The General Manager of a company is driving drunk whilst delivering goods to his company’s client in a company asset car. The GM runs down a line of school children on a sidewalk, and blows over the legal limit. The jurisdictional prosecutor charges the GM personally for a host of criminal charges. The families of the dead school children sue the company in civil court and have the GM named personally in the lawsuit. This is basic shit, and works for all kinds of things down to fraud and negligent food poisoning of clients.

      2. Big business and big government are best friends. That needs to be shouted from the rooftops, as it obliterates the worldview of both left- and right-wing statists.

        It’s a symbiotic relationship where BG provides direct financial support to BB such as tax breaks, subsidies, and taxpayer-backed loans, as well as creating a byzantine regulatory environment that makes starting up a viable competitor to existing big corporations nearly impossible.

        BB returns the favor by providing massive campaign contributions and sweet sinecure lobbying/consulting jobs for the politicians and bureaucrats as well as their family and friends. Plus there are some activities that would be illegal for government to do, but are perfectly legal for “private” corporations with monopoly or near-monopoly power (Facebook, Twitter, etc) to perform.

        1. 100% true.

          They think that big government is on the side of “The People” and that business (of any size) is on the other side, diametrically opposed at all times.

          It’s also kind of weird how they think that big businesses love war. Maybe war is good for defense contractors, but it’s very bad for every other kind of business.

    5. People need to get through their head that allowing something to exist doesn’t mean we sanction it. Gosh the other day I said these people were zealots in the same sense that I was when I was a missionary, but that’s not true. When I was a missionary if someone didn’t want to listen I says OK and went on my way. These people won’t be satisfied until everyone is in line with their religion.

  35. So, the way I figure it, if the Patriots win the Superbowl, they can be disqualified because they’re the whitest team in the history of the foozball. So the white privilege rule shall be invoked. And if it isn’t, the left will riot. I say we just give it to Atlanta as a sort of invocation of affirmative action. Or we could just give both teams a participation trophy and ban actual scoring. Who needs more than one basket or base hit in a foozball game? Ban scoring as it’s a form of racism and Islamaphobia. Scoring or calling anyone on the opposing team, a poopy head.

    1. You’re still resentful that you are nothing but a white working class stiff and America has been mean to you?

    2. A workable compromise: declare the winner of the Puppy Bowl to be this year’s NFL champion.

      1. What’s the line on the Puppy Bowl?

        1. Team Ruff -7

  36. “The week I spent in Cuba was humbling, and highlighted the benefits and challenges of communism far more than any textbook could. Free health care and education are a plus, but the minuses are considerable”

    -A Salon writer on Cuba

    Other gems:

    “In Havana, there is not much choice of food and people are very poor, yet no one seems to be starving.”

    “After all, in a communist nation that relies upon monthly food rations and limited salaries of about $18 USD per month, a bad year is terrible.”

    1. Ah, ye olde “access” free health care/education drum being unceasingly beaten. Never once does quality ever seem to cross these people’s minds. I guess that article could be worse, though.

      Also, the listing of the author’s racial bona fides at the end, sigh. Very relevant.

  37. OT: Is there any kind of ratings metric for streaming services like Hulu and NetFlix? The Handmaiden’s Tale is coming out on Hulu in a couple of months and I’d like to see that thing fall on its face.

    1. Oh, god, really? I can’t wait for the endless navel-gazing wankpieces about “THIS IS THE FUTURE OF THE TRUMPENREICH” that that’ll generate.

      1. Well, we already got a taste of that when season 2 of Man in the High Castle was released after the election. I honestly couldn’t judge whether reviewers thought the show was good or not, because all the reviews seemed to boil down to “Aaaaagh! I can’t watch this because we live under real Nazis now!”

    2. Not a whole lot.

      This author needs some cheese with their whine too:

      “The producers of a show like Black Mirror are at a disadvantage in price negotiations with Amazon or Netflix. “The price paid by a distributor to a program source is less, based on the assumption that the audience is smaller,” Harvey says.

    3. It’s funny, had that been written about Muslims than Christians, it would be widely attacked.

      Yet which religion is that hat currently makes sex slaves out of non-members?

  38. Radley Balko blames Islamic knife attack at the Louvre on… Trump.

    These cocktail parties gotta be something else, I’m telling you.

    1. “If we don’t vote the way they want, they’ll want to kill us!”

      is an adaptation of the worst immigration argument:

      “If we don’t let them in here, they’ll try to come over here and kill us!”

    2. A friend of mine is friends with a sommelier who used to work in a very high-end restaurant in Boston. A few years ago, the sommelier invited my friend to a private Charles Krug tasting event at the restaurant that featured a bunch of super-rare wines and vintages. My friend, who doesn’t even like sparkling wine, was completely blown away by how amazing they were.

      If the cocktail parties are like that, this whole thing gets easier to understand.

    3. Seems more like “if we wig out the terrorist win, and Trump is wigging out” not “Trump made/caused/inspired this guy to do it.”

    4. “Trump’s amplification got this guy to his goal.”

      I don’t even understand what that means.

      Boo, Radley.

      1. If the goal of terrorism is inducing terror, i.e. freaking people out, then slightly injuring a soldier while getting gut shot isn’t all that effective. Trump “amplifying”, making it out to be a bigger deal than it was*, might make folks freak out and therefore helps the terrorist be more effective at inducing terror, his goal as a terrorist.

        *My assessment of Balko’s assessment, not a statement on how big or little a deal the attack was.

    5. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  39. Twitter Watch: Shikha Dalmia

    The outrage by Christian America will be bubbling up anytime now!

    Shkiha, you’re an idiot. Please go away.

    1. You know I used to think my disagreements with reason was about libertarianisim infighting/inside disagreements. By keeping dolt named shikha on, I now realize that reason is not a libertarian publication anymore.

      1. I now realize that reason is not a libertarian publication anymore.

        1) i don’t think any publication is ideologically orthodox by definition. its a group effort, and the spectrum it covers will always ebb and flow depending on who is contributing and what the issues of the day happen to be.

        2) i think ‘free minds and free markets’ is big enough to include more than just strictly ‘libertarian’.

        i’ve honestly never been hung up on the L term for its mere-label-value … as much as they integrity of certain arguments. Making excuses for violence is outside the pale; but then again, people’s twitter feeds aren’t exactly approved by an editorial board.

        1. Her posts identify her affiliation with Reason and she should be fired for that alone. People see her tweets and associate that with libertarianism and I suspect she’s still around because the decision makers agree with her. It shouldn’t be tolerated.

        2. To both your points I’d say ‘fair enough’ I realize I wasn’t being fair to the more reasonable types like Nick. I was mostly just venting my frustration with shikha and her ties to an organization that at least a deference to libertarianisim and non aggression.

          1. *has

    2. With Kazone Kiprow retweeting as a bonus.

    3. “White man kills six Muslims” is kind of like “White man kills six German-Americans”; Muslims are in group for “white”.

  40. OT: Fascistic behavior knows few age-limits: middle school age student is victim of bullying because he was wearing a Trump hat.


    I wonder if the usual spokespeople championing anti-bullying policies at schools will be speaking up for this guy?

  41. file under: I am woman, hear me roar

    Everyday Feminism

    Why Women’s Clothing Sizes Make Zero Sense

    (Content Warning: discussion of clothing sizes)

    fun fact: “I am woman, hear me roar” was written by a man

    1. True story*: Naomi Wolf started life as a male football player named Biff.

      *No, not really.

  42. Stop the presses and shit your pants! Trump Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch started a fascist club in college!



    1. I wonder if Gorsuch is related to Edward Gorsuch from this story?

    2. “Lousy Spanish Student.”

      Figures. He’s racist against the Spanish.

    3. Expect: foaming at the mouth fake (and manufactured) outrage over a teenager’s tongue-in-cheek mockery.

  43. O’Reilly pressed on, declaring to the president that “Putin is a killer.”

    Unfazed, Trump didn’t back away, but rather compared Putin’s reputation for extrajudicial killings with the United States’.

    “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers,” Trump said. “Well, you think our country is so innocent?”

    Yet another libertarian statement from Trump. I am amused that the left is acting all aghast after they have been saing the same sort of thing for decades. It would be fascistic if Trump claimed that the US was innocent and always in the right.

    1. Now that Shihka and Gillespie have revealed their true colors can we get some apologies from the commenters that were accusing the yokels of being too sensitive and hyperbolic in our criticism of Reason?

      1. They’re just being “pragmatic,” like Johnson and Weld.

      2. I’m not quite willing to put Gillespie in that camp, but if I ever dogged you about Dalmia, I apologize. Someone needs to tweet her the text of the 1st Amendment.

    2. My bio/pharma stocks keep taking a beating every time the Con Man says “they are getting away with murder” and are “charging too much money” for their goods.

      Imagine if Obama said that – the wingnuts would be going ballistic. Hell, they (and the Peanuts here) went ballistic when Obama told private industry that they did not build the public roads and bridges they use.

      1. Reforming patent and intellectual property laws would do a lot to lower prices. The elimination of the FDA would lower prices as well. Trump is wrong and an idiot if he ends up proposing more regulation of pharmacuticals then less.

      2. Because Obama would come up with the stupidest idea possible to address it. Trump may come up with something stupid too, we’ll see.

      3. “My bio/pharma stocks keep taking a beating every time the Con Man says “they are getting away with murder” and are “charging too much money” for their goods.”

        Your lies take a beating every time you show up here, turd.
        Go whine to your daddy about the $3.00 you lost on that share you bought last year.
        Oh, and fuck off.

  44. In the space of about 5 minutes there were 3 pieces of fake news on my local station:

    1) While reporting on a protest by Yemenis, a protester was complaining about how citizens and green card holders were not being allowed in. No further questioning or pushback by the reporter on this claim.

    2) The camera focused on a sign that read “No Muslim Ban” even though the EO is not a Muslim ban.

    3) There was a clip of Diane Feinstein referring to the EO as a Muslim ban. Granted, she used air quotes in the clip, but when someone reads the transcripts, the air quotes will be missing. It’s also possible that the questioner led her into the Muslim Ban phrase and the clip was edited to omit the question, but that edit would create fake news too.

    1. Doesn’t help that candidate Trump called it a “Muslim ban”, does it?

      Granted, he is worming out of it now. This is why people hate politicians. He said he would ban Muslims and deport the wetbacks, dammit. Wingnuts believed him.

      1. Trump lets out a fart and thanks to the liberal media everyone now thinks it’s the Muslim ban fart. Mission accomplished.

      2. Are you referring to the interview with Giuliani where he said Trump wanted a Muslim ban? If so, just because Trump wanted a Muslim ban doesn’t mean that an EO that specifies only 7 countries is a Muslim ban.

        1. No.

          (CNN)Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called Monday for barring all Muslims from entering the United States.

          “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” a campaign press release said.


          1. That’s still it what it is. Saying Trump suggested a Muslim ban, therefore everything he does is a Muslim ban makes as much sense as saying Trump said he’d make America great again therefore he’s making America great again.

            I agree that progressives are so stupid they are unable to figure out what the EO said and just repeat what is spoon fed to them. We are just suggesting they should be less stupid because they are making fools of themselves.

            1. Keep defending Trump, loser. From his own words, even.

              1. Haha his words in the past changed the future so words don’t mean things.

      3. Let’s see how that logic works:

        Candidate Obama said he wanted an assault weapons ban, therefore the ban on green tip 5.56×45 ammo was an assault weapons ban.

        1. This was the best Muslim ban he could get.

      4. The Dems promised to make electricity illegal. Like the Go-Pee their platform called for preserving asset forfeiture, shooting kids over weed, forcing you to pee in a Dixie cup, raising taxes and sending men with guns to spy on and regulate your every breath. The one difference in the platforms was the ban on energy. Bob Barr could have gotten elected; hell, Howard Stern could have won with the power companies rallying the Klan, Tea, Prohibition and Consta2shun whackjobs into the serried ranks.
        Ask yourself who expects the truth from looter parties.

  45. For no reason – from the music files of Breaking Bad: Left Lane Cruiser – Waynedale

    1. thats’ good. does that sort of thing get lumped in as “stoner rock”? i dont know how rock is categorized these days.

      1. i dont know how rock is categorized these days

        Considering NWA, Beastie Boys, Grand Master Flash,The Bee Jees, Maddona, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, etc., etc. are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’d say that nobody knows anymore.

        1. good point

          my question had more to do with how every ‘contemporary’ rock scene always has a new name for the same old stuff. Last i checked anyone who used a fuzz pedal was calling themselves “Stoner rock/doom”

      2. It could, but it’s a bit aggressive compared to most of what I’ve heard from stoner bands. To me, it sounds like metal/blues. They have a lot of other songs that fit more neatly into that (those?) category, but IMO this is their best track.

      3. Rock expired sometime shortly before the turn of the century (94-’97 or so). It’s all “retro”-rock” now

  46. People don’t seek out conspiratorial or other dubious information on the web nearly as much as they do more mainstream news sources. The New York Times is currently ranked 21st in the U.S. for website traffic, according to the analytics company Alexa. InfoWars, the most popular conspiracy website in the rankings, is at No. 318. People go to the internet to do all sorts of things; getting fake news is at the bottom of the list.

    Non sequitur. Rankings do not reflect the purposes for which people use the web — if purpose A is primarily served by only a few websites, while purpose B is served by hundreds, the individual sites for purpose A may be higher-ranked than those for purpose B even if purpose B is far more sought after.

    Note that not a single porn site cracks the top 100 of that list, despite the fact that a huge fraction of net users at any given time are looking for porn.

    1. “Note that not a single porn site cracks the top 100 of that list, despite the fact that a huge fraction of net users at any given time are looking for porn.”

      If all porn was on a single site, it would be as if one person wrote all the books about Abraham Lincoln – the porn site, like the Abraham Lincoln author, would be filthy rich and would have no competitors as for popularity.

  47. The writer evidently confuses a GO-Pee Court nominee with the Kenyan (as reported online). As a survivor of the FCC I can assure all and sundry that things were WAY worse when all info came from the Communist Broadcasting Station, the Altruist Broadcasting Corporation and Nationalsocialist Broadcasting Commune. Turn off the teevee, go to Google News and search the archives for LSD if you want to see pseudoscience writing the laws.

  48. Hillary Clinton murdered dozens of people

    To be fair, she did approve numerous drone killings, didn’t she?

  49. If anything, Trump’s conspiracy theories follow trends that already existed: His conspiracy theories about foreigners and foreign governments play to fears that people already had.

    You mean “conspiracy theories” like that refugees lack education and can’t find jobs?

    I’m not even going to list all the ways in which foreign governments, both individually and in cooperation, are trying to screw over Americans; the idea that foreign governments have US interests at heart in negotiations with the US is absolutely ludicrous, whether we are talking about trade deals, protectionism, fighting terrorism, refugees, the Middle East peace process, international standards, military operations, funding for NATO, etc. European and Asian governments face their own voters, and they expect that their governments bring home the absolutely best deals, in particular from a country like the US that is generally portrayed as a rich bully.

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  55. Fake news isn’t a problem. If the main stream media says something you know it’s a lie. What is ruining America is politically correct speech. The First Amendment covers the most rude, vile, and hateful speech their is. How can i make such a claim. Simple, popular speech needs no such protection. Enter the PC police to ensure censoship of anything not in line with left wing group think.These people who claim to be tolerant and diverse are the biggest group of racist haters on earth. True the don’t care what you look like. But if you have different ideas they want to destroy you. They have no diversity in thought.

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