Pornography

State Kills Anti-Porn Bill After Discovering More About Its Backer, Free Speech Win for FX's Feud, FISA Warrants Under Scrutiny: Reason Roundup

And President Trump is mad at Amazon for...ruining the postal service?

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Yui Mok/ZUMA Press/Newscom

State porn bills suffer a blow: New revelations about the man who authored trendy anti-porn and digital censorship legislation has killed its chances in at least one state, Rhode Island, and may doom its chances in the 17 other states with similar proposals. Thank goodness.

The Rhode Island measure—which we covered here earlier this monthwould have required people to pay a $20-per-device fee for the opportunity to access porn sites and any other content that might "affront current standards of decency" from phones, laptops, or other digitally enabled devices. Tech companies themselves were supposed to figure out how to make these filters ironclad or face serious liability.

The man behind the idea, Chris Sevier, was lobbying around the country for similar legislation, which he sometimes called the "Elizabeth Smart Law," in reference to the Utah woman who was famously abducted from her home as a teenager in 2002.

Smart recently demanded that Sevier stop using her name to sell his porn proposal, which she was not associated with and had not endorsed. Sevier told AP that "Elizabeth Smart Law" was just an "offhand name" and the measure was officially called the "Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Act."

It's a bad legal month all around for Sevier, who had sued in federal court for the right to marry his laptop since same-sex couples can now wed. A federal judge in Utah threw out the case in mid-March.

After an AP story on all of this Monday, Republican state Sen. Frank Ciccone, who had introduced the porn-fee bill in the Rhode Island Senate, withdrew his proposal from consideration. He told AP he felt "misled" by the people pushing the bill.

"But not only me. I assume there's quite a few other people," [Ciccone] said, adding he assumes lawmakers in other states also will pull their bills. "A lot of us had misinformation."

Dave Maass, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said he's not sure "whether legislators really fully understand the nanny state this bill would create." He also commented that it's "fascinating" how Sevier "is pulling this off, like how he's convincing so many people to introduce this bill."

The whole fiasco isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of how a lot of state officials approach the lawmaking process. At minimum, you'd think someone in these legislators' offices would put a smidge of effort into finding out basic background about the people whose whims they're attempting to enable into law. That Sevier is a laptop-spouse-coveting zealot has long been public record.

FREE MINDS

FX wins First Amendment feud with centenarian star. Hollywood golden-age actress Olivia de Havilland didn't like her portrayal in last year's FX miniseries Feud, a Ryan Murphy vehicle that, like American Horror Story, will feature a different iconic feud each season. Last year's focused on Bette Davis and Joan Crawford; de Havilland (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) shows up recurring as a friend of Davis. The 101-year-old actress sued FX and Murphy over the portrayal, on false light and right of publicity claims.

This week, a panel of Los Angeles Court of Appeal judges ruled against de Havilland in what EFF calls "a big win" for free speech. "If the lower court's interpretation of the law were correct, it would threaten a huge range of expression about real people, ranging from dramas, to documentaries, to fan websites," according to EFF. The appeals-court judges agreed:

The [lower] court concluded that, because Feud tried to portray de Havilland as realistically as possible, the program was not "transformative" … and therefore not entitled to First Amendment protection. As appellants and numerous amici point out, this reasoning would render actionable all books, films, plays, and television programs that accurately portray real people. Indeed, the more realistic the portrayal, the more actionable the expressive work would be. The First Amendment does not permit this result."

FREE MARKETS

Trump slams Amazon for … ruining the Postal Service? Sigh.

As an article in Vox pointed out last year, even if Amazon gets a really good deal on shipping, "the Postal Service's problems are deeper than just delivering packages. Larger institutional problems in the age of email and two-hour delivery are really to blame."

QUICK HITS

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320 responses to “State Kills Anti-Porn Bill After Discovering More About Its Backer, Free Speech Win for FX's Feud, FISA Warrants Under Scrutiny: Reason Roundup

    1. Hello.

      Links are now quick hits!

      Quickies!

      1. Yes, and I would like to be the first to commend Ms. Nolan Brown on the effort put into this content. Why the organization is doing anything to placate a small and insignificant group of ingrate commenters is beyond me, but kudos.

        1. Damn right.

          ENB is a credit to the Reason staff.

          (and fuck you Mikey.)

          1. Exactly. (Although, obviously, a certain couple/three days each month they’ll have to schedule a man to take over those duties.)

            1. Inappropriate comment. Period.

              1. “”Inappropriate comment”‘

                The best kind of comment!

              2. There has been a heavy flow of these all week.

  1. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy…

    Is that racist? I’m going to assume yes.

    1. Sounds like Trump is saying that using the USPS costs the USPS money. Let’s all stop using them immediately!

      1. It means that Amazon is not paying the actual cost of USPS delivery services. This is true but the USPS is so subsidized that nobody pays the actual costs of USPS delivery services.

        1. They make up for it in volume. Does Trump not even finance or economicize?

          1. No they don’t. Congress has to give the USPS money every year to cover losses.

            1. whoooosh

    2. The postal service is losing money on every delivery, but making up for it in volume?

      1. Amtrak and the USPS should merge. Win/win. Also, the cool factor of getting letters via train cannot be beat.

        1. Meanwhile over in Euroland the rail and postal systems are largely privatized now. Why can’t we be more like Europe?

          1. Some silly phrases in the constitution – – – –

            1. The government can “establish Post Offices and post Roads”. That doesn’t mean they have to run them. Or that that mistake can’t be corrected with an Amendment.

  2. …and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!

    Our president is for the little guy!

  3. The U.S. Office of the Inspector General says it will look into the Justice Department’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants…

    …to give official cover for the abuse of authority. #hashtag:deepstate

  4. (August 3, 2016) Page to Strzok: “Make sure you can lawfully protect what you sign. Just thinking about congress, foia, etc. You probably know better than me.”

    (August 8, 2016) Srtzok to Page: “Internal joint cyber cd intel piece for D [Comey], scenesetter for McDonough brief, Trainor [head of FBI cyber division] directed all cyber info be pulled. I’d let Bill and Jim hammer it out first, though it would be best for D to have it before the Wed WH session.”

    1. Weeks later, CNN personality and former CIA director John Brennan headed over to the hill to chat with that dusty old bat Harry Reid, who was Senate minority leader at the time. After the meeting, Reid wrote a letter pressuring Comey:

      “The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount and has led Michael Morrell, the former Acting Central Intelligence Director, to call Trump an ‘unwitting agent’ of Russia and the Kremlin,” Reid, a Nevada Democrat, wrote. “The prospect of a hostile government actively seeking to undermine our free and fair elections represents one of the gravest threats to our democracy since the Cold War and it is critical for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use every resource available to investigate this matter thoroughly and in a timely fashion.”

      Here’s the kicker, on August 30, 2016 Strzok texted Page:

      “Here we go,” sending a link to the Times report titled, “Harry Reid Cites Evidence of Russian Tampering in U.S. Vote and seeks FBI inquiry.”

      Strzok replied: “D [Comey] said at am brief that Reid called him and told him he would be sending a letter.”
      http://pjmedia.com/blog/livebl…../comments/

      Damn

      1. Damn what? Reid was right. At that time you could not distinguish a Trump statement on Russian meddling from a Kremlin statement on the matter. The most generous interpretation was that Trump was an unwitting agent. Dude you should read your comments from that time period. The big question then was whether there were even “contacts” between Trump and the Russian govt. Trump was swearing at every turn that he had no contacts whatsoever which we now was a complete lie. So while Trump was parroting Putin propaganda and lying through his teeth about his and his associates connections to Russia you were running around here making arguments to discredit any inquiry into Russian using Trump’s and Putin’s lies.

        1. Evidence of Russia tampering with votes? No? So, you’ve got nothing.

          1. Stealing the secret communications of a candidate’s campaign chairman and her political party’s leaders and releasing them sprinkled with a few alterations designed to maximize the damage on the eve of an election comes pretty damn close to tampering with votes.

            1. sprinkled with a few alterations designed to maximize the damage

              LOL you’re unhinged

              1. Stating facts is so crazy!!

                1. No, you’re making shit up. This must be Tony, right?

                2. Facts are crazy.

                  You missing the fact that the damaging information was self inflicted. It exposed the dirty workings of the DNC. If the DNC was being honest and fair, there would be no damaging information.

                  1. I dare say the outing of the DNC emails did the democrats a favor by adding sunlight to the shitshow the DNC had become. Democrats should care about corruption in their party.

                    1. Democrats should care about corruption in their party.

                      They don’t really have to. They got retards like Tony to believe that Benghazi was caused by a Youtube video. Spinning a fantasy about Putin stuffing ballot boxes seems like it might be a harder sell but the true believers really, really don’t want to see what’s right in front of their noses.

                    2. They should does not mean they will or care to. Generally speaking partisan politics says you ignore your own transgressions because it makes you look weak. Point out the other team’s instead.

            2. Except there were no alterations. There was no *need* to alter anything to maximize the damage. All they did is release what the Clinton campaign *was actually, really, in real life, saying to each other*.

              Which is why her campaign couldn’t come out with any rebuttal other than ‘oooooh, Russian hackers!’

          2. That a sitting Senator can just phone up the FBI and open an investigation on a (opposition) Presidential candidate’s staff is getting a bit in the OMG!, WTF? side of things. I mean, I can only assume the brief was awful compelling and full of damning evidence that Mueller has yet to find.

        2. “The prospect of a hostile government actively seeking to undermine our free and fair elections represents one of the gravest threats to our democracy. . .

          What’s the difference between Russia and our own government?

    2. John has been reading Wingnut.com again. He’s got some new material. What about that Uranium One prosecutor John? Where does that fake scandal stand?

      1. “I got a fever and the only cure is more neoconservative bullshit about Russia”

        – totally not crazy mainstream media outlets

  5. Big tech companies are becoming proud to be censors.

    Sometimes you gotta say “[REDACTED] it” and just lean into it.

  6. It’s a bad legal month all around for Sevier, who had sued in federal court for the right to marry his laptop since same-sex couples can now wed.

    So he wants to marry his laptop but he also wants the government to prevent him from fucking it?

    1. Everyone has the right to marry the one they love. Justice Kennedy said so. If the man loves his laptop, he should be able to marry it.

      1. Now you’re making some sense!

        1. ^married his laptop in 2011

          1. laptop filed for divorce in 2012

            1. laptop filed for divorce in 2012

              We all kinda knew that the laptop was only in it for its citizenship.

            2. No one can say the ol’ girl didn’t give PB a fair go.

              1. In all fairness to PB, there was a TI calculator willing to give him a go.

                1. They still make them!

      2. “But…but…that’s not…what?”

        – Mormons

      3. I now pronouce you, husband and wifi

        1. *nods approvingly*

        2. “Hey, can I use your wifi?”

          [face punch]

      4. Nope. Kennedy just said that, as far as the state was concerned, a marriage was just a partnership – and so there’s no way to keep people from forming them just because their naughty bits don’t match up.

        But laptops can’t consent – so even absent any other rationale a laptop can’t get married.

    2. The Republicans in Louisiana once again refused to amend state law to bring it into compliance with federal constitutional law because they hope to overturn Supreme Court rulings that legalized gay sex and marriage. If Republicans had their way in Louisiana gays would be imprisoned.

      1. “If Republicans had their way in Louisiana gays would be imprisoned.”

        Thank God the Supreme Court paroled all those gays jailed in Louisiana.

        1. I am thankful.

      2. Your logic doesn’t follow. Being against gay marriage does not imply you want to see people arrested just for being gay.

        1. Shhhhhh…his comment was “lit”

        2. Being against the repeal of a criminal statute that criminalizes gay sex while working to overturn the judicial ruling that invalidated that criminal law means you would like to see the pre Lawrence v. Texas gays go to prison when they’re caught having sex order restored.

          1. If I’m not mistaken ‘gay sex’ is probably still criminal in some area’s but getting married as two men is not, but I honestly don’t know if all the 50 states revisited their sodomy laws after legalization. I suspect they did not.

            1. No; I think 12 states have not changed their sodomy laws.

      3. This observation is definitely relevant to a story about a crazy dude who wants to keep other people from looking at porn ever while also marrying an inanimate object.

        1. It’s in the same ballpark. Crazy conservatives. Sex. Go to jail.

          1. It’s in a different ballpark in a different city, but i’ll allow that balls are involved in both cases.

      4. Is this the article you’re referring to?

        “Louisiana Senators Won’t Remove Gender From Marriage Laws

        “Louisiana senators have refused to remove gender-specific terms from state marriage laws, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage….

        “(Louisiana Family Forum) president Gene Mills said current language referencing a husband and wife and describing marriage as a “between a man and a woman” reflects the view of a majority of Louisiana’s citizens and offers an “educational and historical perspective.” He said Louisiana has followed the Supreme Court ruling and didn’t need Morrell’s bill.

        “”Compliance is dramatically different than redefining marriage in order to align with a fallible opinion of a court,” Mills said.

        “Mills suggested a future Supreme Court could change the same-sex marriage ruling.

        “Morrell (a Democratic senator) replied that people who wanted to keep state bans on interracial marriage (wank wank wank)…

        “”You cannot selectively decide which Supreme Court cases you like and you don’t”” (unless it’s Citizens United, I suppose)

        1. Yep that’s it and the laws that criminalize gay sex were also kept on the books in the hope that Lawrence v. TX was overturned.

          1. I don’t see that in the article, though I recall Virginia using its sodomy law against behavior which the Supreme Court said can be constitutionally regulated (eg, propositioning a 17 yo girl for sodomy).

            1. It’s not in the article. There was no effort this year to amend the sodomy laws. It was attempted before but defeated by the same people who refuse to amend the marriage laws. The sodomy laws as written don’t make the distinction that the Supreme Court recognizes.

              1. I found some stories from 2014 where they voted to keep the sodomy statute.

                1. I want to see how long it takes before “Get lit” compares your average American Christian to the Taliban. That’s always my favorite hot take and totally not crazy at all

                  1. Damn it’s like you know me.

      5. Californians still have not amended state law to bring it into compliance with federal constitutional law. This clause is still in the California Constitution:

        Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

    3. He has a USB dongle and knows how to use it.

  7. The Ecuadoran Embassy in London where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been camped out just cut off his internet access.

    Hint, hint.

  8. North Carolina has agreed to stop shackling pregnant inmates while they give birth.

    The newborns still get tasered until they calm down and comply.

    1. I wonder how many of the women who give birth in jail are drug offenders. I bet a lot. If enforcing your law requires sending pregnant women to jail and separating them from their children once born, your law better have a pretty compelling reason behind it. And “but someone might sell my little Jimmy drugs” doesn’t cut it.

      1. Well said.

      2. I’m going to guess it’s a majority.

        1. Well, its 51% of the 35% who bother to vote.

          I guess that’s considered good enough to cage people though.

      3. I don’t think “but someone might sell little Jimmy drugs” is the reasoning behind it. I could be wrong. It’s more likely “She wasn’t willing to stop doing drugs long enough to have her baby. These things cause damage to children by the time their born, and this is a serious display of extreme negligence on the part of a parent, showing she is truly unfit to raise her child.”

        This is actually where the pro-drugs people end up losing the logical argument, and all they can do is appeal to the emotional state of their audience.

        1. all they can do is appeal to the emotional state of their audience.

          What a bunch of shitlords.

          1. We all are sparky.

            There’s plenty of good arguments regarding ending the Drug War. But a lot of the legalization arguments really fail around the issue of parents doing drugs, or worse pregnant mothers doing them.

            1. But the drug war is clearly ineffective at deterring these mothers from using drugs. And there is plenty of other stuff a pregnant woman can do to harm her child that is perfectly legal. So not much of an argument for prohibition there either.

              Of course there is no way to know for sure, but I like to think that if drugs were legalized, people would be more likely to seek and get support they need to clean up while pregnant.

              1. Laws focusing on guardianship proceedings for addicts who can’t take care of themselves…restrictions on pregnant women imposing long-term harm on their children…I would hope that a “libertopia” would have room for laws like these, if administered with due process.

                1. No Eddie. It’s all or nothing to them. I am Non-Aggression therefore parents can neglect their duties.

              2. Zeb, I agree that the drug war is ineffective, and that is part of why I am in favor of drastic curtailment or outright abandonment of the whole enterprise. Moreover, in its current iteration we completely violate the rights of citizens in order to wage the WoD.

                As to “Well they can do other bad things that are legal so they should be able to do this too” that seems pretty weak to me. It’s just “but some people get away with X so I should be able to get away with Z”. X and Z aren’t the same. “Some people beat their kids so we shouldn’t make it illegal to starve them to death… Some people refuse to take care of their parents in their old age, so we shouldn’t make them take care of their children either.” etc…

            2. If those stupid assholes can’t see reason then fuck ’em.

        2. So sending her to jail helps? Sending people to jail is nasty business. WE shouldn’t do it unless we have a very good reason.

          1. Maybe. If she can’t do any further harm to the human inside her, that she chose to make, who can’t object to what she does to it, then perhaps temporary incarceration is the appropriate prescription.

            Certainly it seems like termination of parental rights is arguable in these situations as well. Or at least putting it on the table if she can’t help but neglect her duties.

          2. To be clear, John, I’m not arguing for stepping up the WoD. I think it is handled horribly as it is. I’m pointing out that if there were a case for arresting someone for drug use, it is cases like these. Especially from a libertarian perspective, because these people are directly violating the NAP.

            1. Do you believe parents who spank their children are also in violation of NAP?

              1. It seems a logical conclusion, unless the kid did something violent first, no? Or do you not hold yourself to the NAP when dealing with people to weak to fight back?

                1. I’m trying to determine where the line is.

                  If the kid is not fed, and is instead told to feed itself. Does this violate NAP?

                  1. I would argue yes. But I’m not a libertarian. I understand that there is more than myself, that I am not an island, and that by creating human life, I have in fact created a duty to care for it and nurture it.

                    Where do you think it falls in relation to the NAP?

                    1. Is the very act of creating that life a violent act? They have no input into the scenario, and they come into this life semi-enslaved.

                      I don’t know as far as NAP goes. Children are in many ways excluded from the rights of adults. And the fact that they are enslaved to their parents to some extent shows this. I think I tend to defer quite heavily to the rights of the parent to decide what to do with them. The question I’m curious from you is how much. Because you’ve already created a system where the children also belongs to the government, and that they should have the right to enforce their beliefs as well. I’m trying to figure out what is the ratio that you believe is right.

                      I have in fact created a duty to care for it and nurture it.

                      We’re not talking about duty here though, we’re talking about law.

                    2. Is the very act of creating that life a violent act? They have no input into the scenario, and they come into this life semi-enslaved.

                      Oo, a dash of antinatalism here. The ultimate in libertarian non-aggression.

                    3. I’m truly just spitballing, as it’s an interesting question and I don’t have a perfect answer. So it’s fun to discuss.

                      Because children are not adults, and so they are treated differently in almost all systems.

                      If we do a strict application of NAP, then letting your child fend for themselves does not violate NAP. Kivlor believes this is not correct, and I’m sure most people believe this. But why is that okay?

                      For instance, say a child is neglected and the government takes them away. The child does not want to be taken away, but they are anyway. There will is ignored, they do not have rights. The opposite is true, imagine a “good parent” however you wish to define it, and the child runs away from home. They want to leave, but they will likely be returned to the parents by the government. In both cases, NAP has been violated against the child. Why is this okay?

                      Another weird quibble. If the duty comes from having brought the child into the world, that is you made it so you owe is something or have duty, does that duty ever end. If so, why? So if you are responsible to feed your 5 year old, and are legally culpable if you do not, why does that change once the child is adult? What grounding for your duty is suddenly erased, so that refusing to take in your 20 year-old child is suddenly completely okay.

                      There is a tremendous amount of unexamined assumptions here, I’m sure examined by others. I am not, and so am curious as to other’s opinions.

                    4. does that duty ever end. If so, why?

                      My opinion is that the duty ends the moment the child is able to care for itself. Some children, through no fault of their own (horrible parents, for example), reach that moment much sooner than others.

                      So if you are responsible to feed your 5 year old, and are legally culpable if you do not, why does that change once the child is adult?

                      This is the problem with tying laws to one particular moral code. I take care of my children because I care for them absent any legal reason to do so. That’s just based on a personal value judgement.

                    5. I think I’m with Sparky; the duty ends when the child can sustain its own life. Once a child can do this, in my opinion they are essentially an autonomous adult with all its responsibilities and privileges.

                      From my moral perspective, which should not be policy, the whole of society has a distributed duty to care for the young. This is also a biological drive, and it even transcends species when a mother “adopts” a baby animal of some other type. It’s probably related to oxytocin. The duty is concentrated on the parents who have made the decision to, essentially, burden society with the child, but as adults I believe we should try to voluntarily pick up the slack for ineffective parents. Helping lost children, fostering parentless children, things like that. Fortunately we’re basically wired to do this, although we all know our performance is far from great.

                      Until the child gets to the point where it can make the fundamental choice to keep living or die, we should keep it alive. A good life would be ideal, but that’s an impossible promise, so we have to use discretion in our pursuit of a quality life for our children.

                      Something like that. Like you said, it’s a tough issue to form a solid opinion on.

                    6. Re: legal culpability: failing to feeding a child who cannot feed itself is loosely analogous to harm, and deprives the child of the core right to life. I’m skeptical of whether it should be illegal because it is not always willful. While I don’t think it’s intrinsically morally reprehensible to unable to feed your child (depending on circumstances), it is a massive problem to a society, and it should be appropriately scorned. The biggest consequence is that, even in societies with compulsory interventions like ours, the child may die. I think as a society we should try our best with good-faith efforts, but should be aware that it will never be 100% successful, and should not let care of another’s child impede our abilities to care for ourselves and our own children. Since taxation for the purposes of the care of a community’s children detracts from the quality of life we give our own, it violates this principle. I personally have 0 problems contributing resources to help kids, and I feel that most people are the same.

                    7. Is the very act of creating that life a violent act?

                      In my opinion, no. But anti-natalists would disagree with me. I think creating life is a good thing. But with that creation comes responsibility.

                      Children are in many ways excluded from the rights of adults. And the fact that they are enslaved to their parents to some extent shows this.

                      Custodianship =/= slavery inherently.

                      I would take issue with this, and I would argue that children–or wards of any sort–have all of the same natural rights adults have at birth (or earlier). The difference between a ward and a custodian is that many of the rights of the child are held in trust by their custodian until such point that the ward has matured beyond needing a custodian.

                      I think I tend to defer quite heavily to the rights of the parent to decide what to do with them.

                      Note that I actually agree. Just because I recognize spanking your kid is an overt violation of the NAP doesn’t mean I’m advocating it be made illegal.

                      You’ve already created a system where the children also belongs to the government, and that they should have the right to enforce their beliefs as well.

                      I’ve made no such argument, nor have I constructed any such system. I’ve recognized that A) Humans have rights; B) children are human.

        3. The reason its illegal in the first place is because it will ruin your life.

          And if it doesn’t then the state will make sure it does.

    2. ‘North Carolina has agreed to stop shackling pregnant inmates while they give birth.’

      But they haven’t stopped shackling us with the cost of raising those babies.

    3. North Carolina has agreed to stop shackling pregnant inmates while they give birth.

      The guards will never agree to stop shackling them during conception though.

    4. North Carolina has agreed to stop shackling pregnant inmates while they give birth.

      When I read this, I imagine some woman shackled to a wall in a jail, going through labor without genuine medical assistance. I know that’s not what it actually says, but that is exactly the image it conjures up.

      Apparently they shackle women to their bed/table at the hospital during labor. And the new law still allows them to if the woman is deemed a flight risk or a risk to herself or others. I wonder how many women would attempt to flee in the middle of giving birth. Or right after. Seems like this has to be an incredibly rare occurrence.

  9. “Libertarians measure as being the most analytical political group.”

    What else would you expect from a political movement consisting entirely of basement-dwelling neckbearded spergs?

    1. Seriously.

    2. I’m waiting to see the dataset and the methodology and the peer-reviews on this study before I decide whether or not it’s a valid conclusion.

    3. It would be hilarious to see pictures of everyone who comments here. Obviously I’m the sexiest.

      1. Tall, fat, white, engineer here.

        1. You’re really smart, clever and articulate.

          1. I’ve been meaning to say that but now i feel like I just weirded the place up.

        2. I am tall, white, and svelte engineer.

        3. Me too, let’s bang

      2. White dude with beard and glasses, and i’m way sexier than you.

        1. Gee, that narrows it down.

          1. I’m just a zebra amongst the herd.

            1. So you never get ulcers?

        2. Red hair here. The best red hair you’ve every seen. In fact someone compliments me on my hair probably once a week usually old women and black chicks. Lets just say I could fuck anyone’s grandmother if I wanted to.

          1. …if the funeral home regulations permitted it

          2. We are very welcoming to the soul-less here.

      3. Now that we’re having a “roundup” instead of links, maybe we can get avatars too?

        1. But I’m not 10′ tall and blue.

          1. Megamind wants you to go fuck yourself.

  10. The ACLU is suing to get stop-and-frisk data from D.C. police.

    DC authorities are, in turn, stopping and frisking the ACLU to get lawsuit data.

  11. The Ecuadoran Embassy in London where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been camped out just cut off his internet access.

    My parents did the same thing to my brother when he wouldn’t move out.

  12. Toledo Police Sergeant Mack Collins?who will mark 25 years with the agency in October and directs its youth athletic league?was arrested in prostitution sting in Columbus after police there posted undercover ads on Backpage.

    A police officer human trafficking???

    1. Police Officer Sexual Trafficking – what did you think POST actually stood for?

  13. “Libertarians measure as being the most analytical political group.”

    I’m still holding out for most political analytics group.

    1. Mostly anal political tics group?

      1. Is that better or worse than the political anal tics group?

        1. You don’t ever want an anal tick. Trust me.

        2. Anything’s better than the political analytics group.

  14. Big tech companies are becoming proud to be censors.

    “Big” probably gives that away.

  15. Big tech companies are becoming proud to be censors.

    As a left-libertarian, as long as the “censorship” isn’t done by the government, I’m fine with it. For example if Facebook and Google detected people were using their services to organize a demonstration for gun fetishists or white nationalists, those companies would be well within their rights to suspend service by locking people out of their accounts.

    1. There’s no such thing as a “left libertarian”. There arr Marxians, of many colours, and then there are libertarians who say “Fuck you, Marxian/Trumpista/Fascist/Socialist/Statist asshole!”

      1. “Marxian”? That’s weird, I knew plenty of Marx fans in college but they tended to call themselves Marxists.

        But as long as we’re discussing labels, there’s no contradiction in being a left-libertarian. It means that the freedom I value most is the right of anyone on the planet to move to the United States and get immediate citizenship. It also means I agree with progressives that we need common sense gun safety legislation because the NRA has been too influential for too long.

        1. They’re Marxians because their minds are out there orbiting red planet Marx.

        2. Apologies to go all True Scotsman, but the base idea for libertarians is liberty. & if you don’t agree that allowing citizens the unencumbered ability to provide means for self defense, you’re not truly supporting individual freedom.

          As other freedoms such as freedom of speech or association are worthless if one isn’t allowed the right of self defense.

    2. See now this is a better parody, because it’s a more realistic. Well done, OBL.

    3. Likewise, if Reason.com decides to lock out open borders liberal tariansists, we are all fine with it.

  16. “Libertarians measure as being the most analytical political group.”

    AKA HEARTLESS MONSTERS

  17. North Carolina has agreed to stop shackling pregnant inmates while they give birth.

    They have the next 18 years to be shackled.
    Just kidding, kids, you’re all aces.

  18. The U.S. entered into “the largest arms procurement deal in history” Wednesday, selling Poland a $4.75 million missile defense system from the well-connected weapons company Raytheon.

    It took so long because they told them to pick it up in the corner of the oval office.

    1. ^ wins the thread

    2. $4.75 million is the largest arms deal in history?
      Is this some kind of Polish joke?

      1. It’s $4.75 billion, in fact.

        Approx. $125 for every Pole (except North and South Poles).

        1. Those damn south Poles ruined Poland.

        2. And the largest in POLISH history, not all history as the bullet claimed. Just reinforces how analytical all those libertarians are.

  19. The U.S. Office of the Inspector General says it will look into the Justice Department’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants obtained in order to survey Carter Page and others connected to the Trump campaign or administration and investigations into Russian election meddling.

    Can we at least have a few days to let everyone adjust their previously held opinions on FISA warrants?


  20. State porn bills suffer a blow

    And loved it.

    1. Yeah, but I’m surprised that they originally swallowed the argument in favor of the bill

      1. Supporters of the bill were just spitting nonsense

        1. Do they still respect Chris this morning?

    2. They were made for it.

    3. Porn Bill was my nickname in college.

      1. Was your roommate named Bill by chance?

        1. I’ve said too much already.

          1. You’re ducking the issue.

        2. His roommate’s nickname was Torn Bill.

  21. “FX wins First Amendment feud with centenarian star.”

    Oh my God, my fear that the First Amendment is in danger has totally been assuaged!

  22. Sevier, who had sued in federal court for the right to marry his laptop since same-sex couples can now wed

    If you like it so much, why don’t you marry it?

    /Pee Wee

  23. It’s a bad legal month all around for Sevier, who had sued in federal court for the right to marry his laptop since same-sex couples can now wed. A federal judge in Utah threw out the case in mid-March.

    Every time he gives its keyboard a pearl necklace sans a marriage license, Jesus cries.

    1. I believe the Bible has something to say about putting pearls before command-lines.

      1. The Bible advises against Perl in all cases.

  24. This morning, during a conversation that anchor Chris Cuomo was having with Cory Lewandowski and later during another conversation with some other token 2nd Amendment guy, Chris asks each why are you scaring people about repealing the 2nd Amendment if you very well know that that’s a practical impossibility?

    I was waiting for any of the two dum-dums to tell him “You know, you’re right Chris. Why don’t you go out at tell judge Stevens that he’s an idiot?”

    But, no. Trumpistas are, after all, incapable of arguing.

    1. “Chris Cuomo was having with Cory Lewandowski”

      What a brain trust.

    2. I would imagine not mentioning that and being a token and ineffective opposition was a condition of getting on the show. Maybe he is that stupid, but even if he were smart, expressing it would have meant not being on TV and getting a paycheck.

    3. You can go to YouTube and watch endless footage of CNN and MSNBC cutting off the feed whenever a conservative makes a point they don’t like. Sure, they could have argued this. And then they’d be off the air.

      1. But I thought Trump won the election by being a moron? Would you not instead put really smart conservatives on TV to repel Trump’s base?

        1. Trump won because no one wanted to instill a side of beef as POTUS.

  25. “But not only me. I assume there’s quite a few other people,” [Ciccone] said, adding he assumes lawmakers in other states also will pull their bills. “A lot of us had misinformation.”

    Bad information? WTF? You either think the idea behind your bill is a good one or you don’t.

    1. It’s sort of nice to have confirmation that elected officials tend to possess both principles and the capacity for independent thought in roughly equal quantities.

      1. Well, yes, zero = zero.

        1. No. Just no.

          Left – Right = Zero

          /Hihn

        2. Thanks for explaining the joke to all the slow’uns out there, Matthew.

          1. Not all of the commentariat is libertarian.

    2. No, see, bills are worthy of support based on the legitimacy of their connection to a pretty white girl who was the victim of a horrible crime. That’s all that matters.

      1. +Patty Hearst

      2. Chicago’s South Side nods in agreement

    3. This.

      Seriously, WTF? This asshat introduced a bill in his state’s senate. And then, he withdraws it because he learns the person behind it is a nutbag and he feels misled.

      Is he saying that he’s no longer anti-porn? Or is he just saying that he’ll be back later with some anti-porn legislation that wasn’t written by someone quite so weird?

  26. This week, a panel of Los Angeles Court of Appeal judges ruled against de Havilland in what EFF calls “a big win” for free speech.

    Watch out, FX. Katy Perry killed that elderly nun in court and got pilloried for it.

  27. Survey? not “surveil”? Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations, and thank you!

    1. +1 for million vice billion.

  28. It’s easy to get politicians to pass an anti-porn bill, because most politicians and reporters do not respect porn artists. Who does a porn star have to fuck around here to get some respect from the mainstream media?

    1. I see what you did there.

      1. …Kleio Valentien?
        James Deen?
        John Travolta?

    2. Having lost all respect, the mainstream media has none left to give.

  29. The U.S. entered into “the largest arms procurement deal in history” Wednesday, selling Poland a $4.75 million missile defense system from the well-connected weapons company Raytheon.

    I think you mean billion.

    Trump sure is doing exactly what Putin wants by selling Russia’s enemies weapons to defend themselves with from Russia.

    1. No, “million” is correct. It’s a shit-ton of cardboard tubes hooked up to a Speak’n’Spell.

      1. “It’s just a series of tubes” is a common refrain in the US Senate.

    2. No, they meant million. It’s just a flat-out lie that this is the biggest arms procurement deal in history. The most recent Israeli arms procurement deal with us was 38 Billion.

      But, gotta make it out to be a bigger thing than it is because Poland is in Russia’s front yard, and we need to hate us some Russians.

    3. Russia has those super fast nukes impervious to defense according to their Dear Leader so it’s all good.

  30. I tried typing “Transliterations help me avoid Google censors” with Hebrew characters, but Reason’s website would not let me post that comment. WTF?

    Il n’y a rien de mal a poster dans une langue etrangere.

    1. Be careful. You might get some Jewish porn.

    2. I tried to post emojis from my cell phone but it vanished into the CIA computers.

  31. Republican state Sen. Frank Ciccone, who had introduced the porn-fee bill in the Rhode Island Senate, withdrew his proposal from consideration. He told AP he felt “misled” by the people pushing the bill.

    We can all relate to that, we get misled by a comment on a link we haven’t bothered to read and next thing you know you find out you just agreed with Michael Hihn. It could happen to any legislator that doesn’t read the bill he’s introduced and instead relies on somebody to tell him what it says.

    1. It’s possible to agree with what Michael Hihn thinks, but nobody agrees with how he phrases it.

      1. It’s possible to agree that Michael Hihn thinks, but no one does.

  32. There might be some other group of less rationalistic libertarians, snorting up dirt and pounding their fists against the wall while cursing the state, too caught up in the rage of the moment to take an online survey.

    Welcome to Hit.

    1. and Run.

      I see someone has run away with the ampersands again.

      1. Don’t worry, I got his license plate number

  33. Hmmmm hmmmmm! Give me some a dat protectionist bullshit!

  34. The Elizabeth Smart Law is known as the Little Oral Annie Veto.

    1. I am laughing but feel very guilty about it.

      1. I don’t get it. What’s the joke?

        1. Little Oral Annie was a 70s porn superstar….I thought she was tha bomb.

  35. “Dining out is bad for your health, according to a new study”
    […]
    “…According to the report, the phthalate levels of those who dined out often were nearly 35 percent higher than those of people who reported eating food purchased at the grocery store,
    […]
    Phthalates can pose risks to pregnant women and children and disrupt male hormones like testosterone. They have also been linked to learning and behavior problems in older children, as well as birth defects in boys.”
    https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/
    Dining-out-is-bad-for-your-health
    -according-to-a-12789378.php

    First, this is a kemikul used in PLASTICS!!!!!, so it is BAD, period.
    And note that it “can pose risks”, which is the worst the liars who wrote this fake news can come up with.
    I’m sure one of them will figure out that it’s Bush’s fault. Ooops: Trump’s fault.

    1. At the time, Kraft responded to the report by saying the trace amounts found in its products were “more than 1,000 times lower than levels that scientific authorities have identified as acceptable.”

      Those heartless kkkorporate bastards want everyone who eats 1,000 boxes of Kraft Dinner a day to DIE.

      1. Poor Rufus.

    2. “Hey kids, let’s all march on Washington to demand Congress close the restaurant industry!”

    3. People in pubs consume more dihydrogen monoxide than anything else.

    4. First, this is a kemikul used in PLASTICS!!!!!, so it is BAD, period.
      And note that it “can pose risks”, which is the worst the liars who wrote this fake news can come up with.

      Third, not to polish my own monocle but when I dine out, only the orphans eat off plastic. Not that I force them to eat off of it, they could eat fresh, organic foods from the far reaches of the globe for all I care, it’s not like I’m paying for it. It just seems that the most abundant and best preserved stuff they’re able to wrestle out of the garbage is usually wrapped in plastic.

    5. Phthalates are sexists!

  36. “Right now, we’re looking very actively at could we bring e-cigarettes into the over-the-counter regulatory pathway, which would give us many more tools to look at both safety and benefit, and study whether or not an e-cigarette actually does promote smoking cessation and also give us many more tools to actually study the toxicology associated with it and see what effects it might have on the lung.”

    Sheesh, Gottlieb. Has that statement been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration?

    1. All I think when I hear “many more tools” is a progressive taxing the shit out of it and eventual ban.

      1. When I hear “many more tools” I think of the Reason comments section.

  37. The [lower] court concluded that, because Feud tried to portray de Havilland as realistically as possible, the program was not “transformative” ? and therefore not entitled to First Amendment protection.

    They’re not called “lower courts” for nothing.

    A modest proposal: If your ruling gets overturned, you get defrocked, or whatever it’s called when a judge loses xir job.

    1. defrocked, or whatever it’s called when a judge loses xir job.

      Buried?

  38. Off-topic: Worst Reason troll, semifinals:

    Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot vs. Hihmitators

    1. I’ll Imitate your Hihn!

      Left minus right equals SHIT FUCK BALLz!

      1. So is this a vote, or no? I can’t tell.

        1. Ask the Russians – – – – –

    2. Why should I vote on these candidates, when this is an election year and I’ll be obliged to choose among candidates of equal quality in real life?

    3. Did you already do DanO?

    4. +1 RJSP

      The Hihnmitators can be funny. The only thing that other guy is good at is failing.

    5. Frankly, i’m not sure how either option made it to the semis. RJSP, nee american socialist, doesn’t show up that often, and when he does it’s just to exercise a little bit of dumb, lazy sarcasm before his smoke break at Costco ends. Hihmitators are largely limited to threads that have already been Hihnfested.

      I submit in their place that low-functioning sperg Reality (or whatever alphabet soup he’s calling himself now) and ENB for taking away our Links threads.

      1. RJSP won over Palin’s Buttplug unanimously. He was the only one to win unanimously and got a first round bye.

        Hihmitators beat Michael Hihn on a coin flip when they ended up tied 1-1 (I know, my reaction to Michael not even winning his division was WTF?) and then beat out SIV for more annoying troll (WTF?!?).

        ENB wasn’t in the staff edition of the worst trolls. Had I done this a month later, she’d definitely have be in the running for worst staff troll.

        1. Russians must have hacked the vote, because those results make no sense to me.

          1. The weirder thing is that SIV lost 3-1.

    6. I don’t play in the night games, did I miss my chance to vote for myself?

        1. Well, shit.

    7. Polls close. Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot wins, 1-0.

  39. Profiles in tolerance:

    Antisemitism has been big news in France as of late–especially after the grisly murder of Mireille Knoll, an 85 year-old holocaust survivor who was stabbed to death and set on fire for being Jewish. This comes on the heels of a national day of mourning after a French police officer offered himself up to an Islamic State terrorist last week to be used as a human shield in place of a woman who was already being used for that purpose.

    That police officer was subsequently murdered.

    That act of bravery and the murder of the holocaust survivor seems to have brought the whole country together. The holocaust survivor’s funeral procession was turned into a silent march to call for tolerance, with the French parliament being shut down so that everyone could participate in the march. And it looks like practically everyone did participate–including Marine Le Pen. Unfortunately for her, the tolerance being called for doesn’t seem to have included tolerance for people with her views on immigration.

    1. “Party leaders Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon were reported to have left the procession as it moved from the Place de la Nation to Knoll’s former home in the 11th arrondissement. Both were reported to have been booed and told to leave by a number of people taking part in the procession.

      Francis Kalifat of the Crif umbrella group of French Jewish organizations said their presence was “not wanted”

      http://www.dw.com/en/funeral-m…..a-43164051

      How many times do we see this, where tolerance is called for–but not tolerance for the kinds of people we don’t like?

      1. Well, admittedly, why would you want Nazis marching in a murdered Holocaust survivor’s funeral procession.

        /sarc

        1. I think she’s soft-pedaling some of her dad’s weirder positions.

          1. “Soft pedaling”?

            She excoriated him and drove him out of the party for his antisemitism!

            http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34009901

            1. That’s better than I thought.

              Literally not her father’s party.

        2. I know that was tongue-in-cheek, and I’m not sticking up for Le Pen, her party, or her views. But just for the record, Le Pen has done pretty much everything she could to purge antisemites from what used to be called the National Front (they recently changed their name). She threw her own father out of the party he founded, in part, because he wouldn’t shut up about Jews.

          One of my criticisms of French hate speech laws is that it makes it hard to tell whether the people in Le Pen’s party really are no longer antisemites or whether they’re simply keeping their mouths shut for fear of being prosecuted for what they say. I suspect one of the reasons we don’t have a big anti-immigrant party like they do in France, Germany, the UK, and elsewhere is because we don’t have hate speech laws.

          Our racists are free to say the stupidest shit imaginable, and they use that freedom to reveal themselves as the idiots they are. You can say some remarkably ignorant shit about the way the economy works and still get elected (see Trump and Obama), but holocaust denial, racism, etc. is so profoundly stupid, the way to combat it isn’t to shut those idiots up. The way to combat it is to give them a microphone and put them on camera.

          1. It’s really been horrifying to watch what has been done to Marine Le Pen, when she has done everything she can to combat extremism from antisemitism to Islamism in both her party and her country.

          2. I think Europe feels Europeans are too stupid to resist really stupid statements.
            That, or they don’t want to have to reveal the continent’s and their own widespread antisemitism. Israel is in the middle east for a reason.

      2. Police arrested two young men in their 20s: a neighbor and another suspect.

        LePen supporters, to be sure.

        1. Definitely white nationalist Frenchmen. There’s zero chance that this was an act committed by some other group, like Muslims, who we all know love and get along with the Jews like peas in a pod.

    2. Antisemitism has been big news in France as of late–especially after the grisly murder of Mireille Knoll, an 85 year-old holocaust survivor who was stabbed to death and set on fire for being Jewish.

      Well, the left did warn us that the Nazis were going to take over if we didn’t repeal free speech and impeach Trump.

    3. …a silent march to call for tolerance…

      I can respect an individual that practices non-violence as a form of protest, specifically against the State. I can’t respect cowardice in the face of an aggressor.

      A ‘march for tolerance’ seems to be a denial of reality.

      1. Yeah, could they give detailed suggestions on how to protect the community with tolerance?

        Maybe tolerating self-defense?

  40. Re: Julian Assange being silenced.

    The fact these governments are so terrified of a guy holed up in an embassy tweeting his political opinions tells you how weak and insecure these governments really are. The first word that popped into my mind when I heard the news wasn’t outrageous, although it is outrageous. The very first word that came to mind was pathetic.

    1. Naturally, we must ask what Assange has been tweeting about lately that prompted some bigger country, or countries, to force Ecuador’s hand. The answer is Catalonia.

      Yikes, I didn’t see that coming. Wonder if there’s any truth to this.

      1. Was he doing an homage?

      2. Maybe *Trump* will tweet about Catalonia.

        1. I’d like to see what Ecuador could do about THAT. Stop using USD as their currency? Come on.

      3. More generally, he was complaining about the EU warrants and the encroachment on national sovereignty, applauding the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU. You don’t talk shit about the UK government when you’re being hosted at a diplomatic mission in London. And applauding Brexit is talking shit about the government – none of those people wanted Brexit, it’s those mouth-breathing knuckle-walking deplorables too stupid to know what’s for their own good that voted for Brexit.

        So Spain doesn’t like the idea of independence for Catalonia and demands Germany extradite the Catalonian leader and Germany, being good little Germans, agree to hand him right over because that’s what their masters in Brussels demand. Just following orders! Assange has the temerity to point out how awful this petty authoritarianism is and that’s as bad as disrespecting an Alabama sheriff’s authority.

  41. The ACLU is suing to get stop-and-frisk data from D.C. police.

    fta:

    “This is the law. And the D.C. Police Department is not above the law,” said ACLU D.C. executive director Monica Hopkins.

    Actually, the police are above the law because the law does not apply to them. All that matters is department policy. And if department policy is to say “fuck you” to anyone who demands that they follow the law, “fuck you” is all you’re gonna get.

  42. I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!

    *Yawn* Greedy corporations not paying their fair share of taxes. Why do these leftists keep pushing this same line when we all know corporations don’t pay taxes, their customers pay taxes. (And this should be the most glaringly obvious in the case of sales taxes, which are a line item right on the bottom of the receipt.) Amazon does pay property taxes on their bricks-and-mortar office and warehouse space – or would if the local government hadn’t specifically exempted them, which isn’t Amazon’s fault that they’re so good at making such great deals. And this bullshit about them being subsidized because they use the roads for free – roads are paid for with motor fuels taxes and until Amazon uses all-electric vehicles and drones they’re paying for the roads. The idea that Amazon is harming people by giving them irresistibly attractive deals is insane, but there’s a leftist for you.

    1. Amazon customers don’t pay sales taxes. This gives them a significant competitive advantage over brick and mortar retailers whose customers do. It is not that Amazon doesn’t pay taxes. It is that they can get away with not collecting taxes from their customers while their brick and mortar competitors cannot.

      1. On the philosophical level this seems discriminatory, but any legislative “solution” may well end up making things worse.

      2. Well those brick and mortar businesses are still making a profit. If they wanted to stay competitive, they would lower their prices. If you’re making a profit then you can afford to lower your prices.

        1. But the government is forcing them to collect taxes that raise their prices as much as 8% in some states. Meanwhile, Amazon doesn’t have to do that. Why should brick and mortar businesses have to lower their prices to overcome a disadvantage that the government has forced on them but not Amazon? The government punishing some business but not others is not the free market.

          1. I end up paying anyway at the end of the year. My state charges a “use tax” on stuff purchased out of state. I opt into paying some standard amount that is based upon what the average person buys.

            1. Really? My state tries to do this but AFAIK everyone just ignores it. It’s complete BS or half the residents would be doing time by now.

              1. Everyone ignores it. The only way it is collected is if the businesses are forced to do it. So the question remains, why should businesses selling goods in a state over the internet be exempt from the burden of collecting sales taxes when businesses selling in person are not? I don’t see a good answer to that question other than “we like the internet”, which is not something that a government should be saying.

          2. Why should Amazon collect state and local taxes where they don’t have a presence? These brick and mortar stores should be petitioning the government to lower taxes instead of petitioning the government to punish customers for not shopping there.

            1. Because they are selling goods there. They do have a presence. Why should I pay sales taxes if I buy it down the street but not if I have it shipped to me? I still live in the state. I still am buying the product. There is no difference there. The store down the street has to collect sales tax as a condition of doing business in the state. Why should Amazon be able to do business in the state but not have to do the same thing?

              1. The answer has already been given. If your business has a phyisical presence (i.e. uses state and local resources) it has to charge the tax. Amazon is not exempt from that AFAIK.

                1. That is an answer but it is not a convincing one. In the day and age of digital commerce, what is special about having a physical presence in the state? Nothing. it is a totally arbitrary distinction.

                  1. Any distinction is going to be arbitrary. Do you tax where the purchaser is? Why? What is special about having a physical presence in the state? Nothing. It is a totally arbitrary distinction.

                    What is a non-arbitrary way to perform this tax?

                  2. Instead of listening to people in the Reason comment section, just read the court case that decided this standard: Quill Corp. v. North Dakota.

                    In short, there was a precedent based on interstate commerce and due process violations that they extended to internet companies. The original case had to do with mail-order companies in a similar situation to Amazon. Because their only involvement within certain states was through a common carrier or US government mail services. Prior to this case, states weren’t taxing these companies even if they advertised within the state. Illinois tried and failed. The Supreme Court saw fit to apply the same standards to Internet companies.

              2. The answer has already been given. If your business has a phyisical presence (i.e. uses state and local resources) it has to charge the tax. Amazon is not exempt from that AFAIK.

          3. You know what, I’m gonna keep trying. I’ll never let go of the hope that one day you’ll recognize humorous intent. This I swear.

            Why should brick and mortar businesses have to lower their prices to overcome a disadvantage that the government has forced on them but not Amazon?

            Because that’s the cost of doing business in a civilized society. Why should bakers be forced to bake cakes? Why should photographers be forced to take pictures? Why should florists be forced to arrange flowers?

            1. That is funny. I am hopelessly earnest sometimes. It is a vice.

      3. The fact that Amazon provides an opportunity to avoid paying taxes is something to be celebrated, not lamented.

        1. Okay, then why not celebrate crony tax breaks states give businesses to relocate there? Last I looked most libertarians thought that was bad. But if it should be celebrated anytime someone avoids paying taxes, then those deals are great.

          1. Apples and oranges.

            1. How so? In both cases, one business is exempt from paying taxes and the other is not. I don’t see any difference at all. Understand that the reason the internet was exempted from local sales tax was that Congress wanted internet commerce to grow. It was a flat out payoff to internet commerce and Congress favoring one form of business over another. I don’t see how you can defend that and then still object to other instances where favored businesses are given tax breaks.

              1. Because the commenters here personally benefit from the fact that ecommerce is given an exemption. It’s pretty simple. Principles > Principals.

              2. Businesses don’t pay sales tax. They collect it.

                I’m not going to bitch about companies not being forced into the role of tax collector. Sorry, John. You might think it’s grand, but I don’t.

                And no, I don’t see a comparison between Amazon not collecting sales taxes and some company being given exclusive tax breaks to set up shop in a certain location. I just don’t see it.

                1. Yes. The business down the street has to collect the sales tax but the business selling things to me over the internet does not. Both businesses are selling products in the state. Why should one have the burden of collecting sales tax but the other not? Who is the state to decide that my buying something over the internet should be preferred to my buying it in person? The state should treat everyone who does business in the state equally.

                  1. Where is the internet business physically located? Why should a business in one state collect taxes for every state?

          2. Most of us do celebrate tax breaks, John. It’s tax subsidies we object to. If a business wants to move to your town and provide a shitload of jobs, you have to consider what those jobs are worth compared to the costs of infrastructure and externalities and charge accordingly. If a town wants jobs more than revenues, it’ll forgo the taxes. But when the town starts offering actual money as an inducement to bring in the business, well, fuck you, that’s *my* money you’re offering them.

            1. So if a town decides that those related to the mayor and city council no longer have to pay taxes, you are okay with that because it is not a “tax subsidy”? Your position seems to be that the government is under no obligation to treat similarly situated people equally just so long as they are only stealing money from one and not giving money to either one. Sorry, but I don’t agree and I do not see how supporting such a position is in any way Libertarian.

        2. John’s not libertarian. He still thinks of “fairness” in taxes the way crabs in a pot of water think of the fairness of one of them escaping.

          1. Since when is equal protection under the law and the government not giving favored businesses special treatment at the expense of disfavored ones something Libertarians object to? Is cronyism and denial of equal protection under the law okay as long as it is only taxes?

            1. I’m not aware of any legislative carve-out for Amazon, which kind of ruins your comparison.

              1. Part of the digital millennium copyright act said all internet commerce was exempt from state sales tax.

                1. OK. I still don’t see a comparison between “all internet commerce” and a break for a specific company in a specific location.

                  Seems to me like you want me to either defend crony capitalism or demand that Amazon collect sales taxes.

                  Sorry to disappoint. I choose none of the above.

            2. Personally, I stopped caring about equal protection when I was about six and I pitched such a fit about the unfairness of my brother getting a bigger piece of cake than me that my mother finally took my piece of cake away and gave it to my brother and said “There you go, now you don’t get any cake at all you whiny little shit.” See, my mother knew damn well it wasn’t just that I wanted more cake, she knew I would be just as happy if my brother had gotten less cake and that’s a fucked-up attitude.

              Amazon doesn’t not pay taxes, it’s Amazon’s customers that don’t pay taxes. Why you gotta whine because Amazon’s customers aren’t being fucked as hard as you think they deserve to be fucked?

              1. Personally, I stopped caring about equal protection when I was about six

                Libertarians don’t care about equal protection. That is why they didn’t go all in on a constitutional right to gay marriage. Give me a fucking break.

              2. And Jerry, if you don’t care about equal protection, why do you care if the government fucks Amazon? Bezos wants to buy the Post and shoot his mouth off, well I guess the people who don’t like him who are in power can do a few things too. If equal protection doesn’t matter, then thems the breaks.

                1. Libertarians don’t care about equal protection. That is why they didn’t go all in on a constitutional right to gay marriage.

                  You might be mistaken on the reasoning here. Then again, I might be mistaken on the reasoning here.

                  If equal protection doesn’t matter, then thems the breaks.

                  Now you’re getting it. Sometimes life sucks and you don’t get everything you want.

      4. It is that they can get away with not collecting taxes from their customers while their brick and mortar competitors cannot.

        Actually, it’s nuanced but in the opposite direction. Amazon has, for a couple of years in most places, paid/charged sales taxes in the states where warehousing and/or sales has required it. It’s the smaller, private affiliates that sell through Amazon that *may* be cheating the tax code and/or Amazon.

        In any event, it’s not really anything new and, ultimately, there’s just as much if not more barring Amazon from entering the brick and mortar business than there is barring the brick and mortar business from entering the online retail space. I think Amazon may’ve gotten an unfair head start, but I don’t see how you would fix it without putting your thumb on the scale in the opposite direction. In any event, most of Amazon’s revenue these days comes from computing anyway.

      5. That’s not entirely true. Several states have enacted internet sales tax laws requiring online retailers charge sales tax for the state where the customer resides.

        Also, people who live in the state where Amazon has a “presence” have to pay sales tax.

        Also, catalog sales long before the internet was a thing also avoided sales tax so the idea that ordering something from another state and avoiding sales tax isn’t new.

        I’m not disagreeing that an online (or catalog) retailer does enjoy that advantage, but it’s not like this started with Jeff Bezos.

        1. Amazon is one of the beneficiaries of internet commerce, that is fully interstate, meaning they don’t have a presence there, being exempt from collecting sales tax. It is an exemption that really doesn’t make any sense unless you just like internet commerce more than regular commerce for some reason. I don’t think the government should be deciding which forms of commerce it prefers.

          1. It is an exemption that really doesn’t make any sense unless you just like internet commerce more than regular commerce for some reason.

            Actually it does make sense. A brick and mortar shop collects the same sales tax from everyone and passes it on to one government.

            For an internet company to collect sales tax they have to navigate 50 states’ worth of laws, collect based upon the location of the customer, and pass the money on to a host of governments.

            It’s enough to eat the profit margin of some small businesses.

            1. For an internet company to collect sales tax they have to navigate 50 states’ worth of laws, collect based upon the location of the customer, and pass the money on to a host of governments.

              For small businesses, sure. But for Amazon, give me a break. If you want to change the exemption to make it for a business that does under a certain amount of business, sure. I think you raise a valid concern. But for large corporations like Amazon, navigating tax laws is what they do. The economies of scale are such that that is not a significant burden such that they deserve special treatment.

              1. For small businesses, sure. But for Amazon, give me a break.

                Why are you so willing to fuck over Amazon but not small businesses now?

          2. It is an exemption that really doesn’t make any sense unless you just like internet commerce more than regular commerce for some reason.

            Again, catalog sales had the same exemption, this is nothing new. The only difference is, internet commerce has grown in size enough for regulators to “get interested”.

            This has been discussed and ruled on by the Supreme Court as far back as 1967.

            1. Dear Senior Fellow Michael Mazerov:

              Fuck you, cut spending.

              Tootles,
              Rhywun

        2. “”That’s not entirely true. Several states have enacted internet sales tax laws requiring online retailers charge sales tax for the state where the customer resides.””

          Yep, NY state requires you to pay sales tax on anything you mail ordered from out of state if tax was not already paid. There’s a line on the state tax form for you to declare.

          1. There’s a line on the state tax form for you to declare.

            And it gets about as much compliance as gun-grabbing laws.

          2. I’m fairly certain MA does as well.

      6. Amazon does not “get away” with not collecting taxes. The laws are clear. If you are not int the state, you have no obligation to act as a financial agent of the state. Just exactly what services does a state provide Amazon where there is no Amazon presence in that state?

        I once, a long long, time ago, when facts were facts, read about an entire nation in rebellion over something they called ‘taxation without representation’.

        It is the responsibility of the state’s citizen to pay sales taxes on all purchases. The convenience of a store with in-state presence doing it at the register is irrelevant in discussing the citizen and any out of state purchase. We already had this discussion about sales taxes on mail order, and on people traveling from sales tax states to non sales tax states for big ticket items like furnature.

  43. Quick hits: 4.75 Billion not million. Prob a bunch of other ppl caught it. Sorry for not reading the other comments

  44. It’s a bad legal month all around for Sevier, who had sued in federal court for the right to marry his laptop since same-sex couples can now wed. A federal judge in Utah threw out the case in mid-March.

    After an AP story on all of this Monday, Republican state Sen. Frank Ciccone, who had introduced the porn-fee bill in the Rhode Island Senate, withdrew his proposal from consideration. He told AP he felt “misled” by the people pushing the bill.

    So… wait a minute. The Rhode Island legislature was perfectly fine with this until they found out the guy lobbying for the law was iffy on gay marriage? So the content of the law itself didn’t raise concerns?

    1. Wait until they find out that Hitler firmly believed that 2 plus 2 equals 4. There’ll be a major re-vamping of the textbooks and the curriculum in Rhode Island then, believe me.

      1. It’s only a matter of time, as math is both patriarchal and racist. You’ve just proven it to be antisemitic as well.
        3 strikes!

  45. http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10689

    Students call Jefferson, the drafter of the Declaration of Independence and the main inspiration for France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man a “symbol of white supremacy”. Generation retard continues to retard.

    1. Oh, yeah, I forgot his fanboy attitude to the French Revolution.

      Well, that’s not they’re criticizing him for anyway.

  46. Wow, this Sevier guy sounds like a real jerk!

    1. Yeah. The only reason you shouldn’t be able to marry your laptop is because laptop’s can’t consent.

      YET.

      1. ESC key = safe word

      2. Knowing the password = having consent.

  47. “” even if Amazon gets a really good deal on shipping, “”‘

    Perhaps they read “The Art of the Deal”.

  48. So let me get this straight.
    A really, really, bad law is actually OK, unless you happen to dislike something about the guy who suggested it?
    Whiskey
    Tango
    Foxtrot

  49. . . . use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.) . . .

    Does he not understand that if one of the largest users of the USPS is causing tremendous loss to the US – its because the use of the USPS is an economic drain?

    That he’s basically just come out and said that the USPS provides less value than we pay for.

  50. Who do I have to piss off to get Ecuador to pay my rent for 6 years? Sounds like a cushy gig.

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