Internet

Rage Over Social-Media 'Censorship' Spurred YouTube Shooting Spree, Trump Proposes 1,300 Chinese Tariffs, Burning Rubber Not Free Speech: Reason Roundup

Meanwhile, corruption scandals dog Scott Pruitt at EPA.

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www.nasimesabz.com

Woman who opened fire at YouTube was mad over video demonetization. A 39-year-old woman opened fire at YouTube's San Bruno, California, headquarters Tuesday, shooting three people (nonfatally) before killing herself. The shooter, Nasim Aghdam, was apparently enraged by YouTube's decision to demonetize her video channels. In the steady stream of widely publicized shootings in this country, this one stands out for several reasons.

  • It's exceptionally rare for public shootings like this to be carried out by women. According to a Mother Jones analysis of incidents that meet the criteria to be called "mass shootings"—73 in total since 1982—only three of the perpetrators were women. And a New York Police Department analysis found that between 1966 and 2012, just eight of 230 "active shooter" cases involved female shooters.
  • This is the first mass shooting publicly motivated by social-media company policies. We're used to shooters being animated by things like bigotry, misogyny, anti-government sentiment, religion, fringe politics or beliefs, or perhaps no discernible reason at all. In this case, Aghdam said she "hated" YouTube because of its platform policies with regard to her videos. From Aghdam's purported website:

There is no free speech in real world & you will be suppressed for telling the truth that is not supported by the system. Videos of targeted users are filtered & merely relegated, so that people can hardly see their videos! There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!

Aghdam was particularly insenced that her videos had been demonetized—that is, not eligible for ad-sharing profits from the platform. Videos may be demonetized if a creator has fewer than 1,000 subscribers or if YouTube deems their videos inappropriate. Aghdam's dad told NBC that YouTube "stopped everything and now she has no income."

This has been a major complaint among YouTube creators for a while, as it seems the company is increasingly clamping down on what kind of content it will favor or allow. As with "shadowbanning" on Twitter and Facebook's mysterious algorythms, YouTube's promotion (or lack thereof) and demonetization policies have been heralded as inscrutable, inconsistent, and biased.

YouTube has since removed all of Aghdam's content, so it's impossible to say how many subscribers she had or whether her videos were actually inappropriate. From the titles of now-removed vidoes, they seemed to span a wide array of topics, from animal rights activism and veganism to comedy, commentary, and exercise videos. Aghdam complained that one of her exercise videos had been rated age-restricted by YouTube, while "many singers like Nicki Minaj, Miley [Cyrus] and many others … are so inappropriate for children to watch [but] don't get age-restricted."

In San Bruno yesterday, eyewitness Jesse Pineda told the San Francisco Chronicle he heard shots while across the street from the YouTube offices and ran over to find a woman shot in the leg. After helping her to safety, he saw another woman on the ground in the doorway.

She was dead, I'm sure of it. Those 10 shots were rapid fire—it was no mercy. There were four more shots after that. I wish I had had a gun but I didn't. I had to be smart and get out of there.

The three victims who were shot are now hospitalized, with one in critical condition.

The motivation here is, of course, secondary to the victims and the crime. But it may be a sign of things to come. As government pressure and policies lead to the continued cracking down on social-media content, users and content creators are becoming increasingly upset. Most will find more peaceful ways to express their anger than Aghdam did, thank goodness. Hopefully some will start building viable and attractive alternatives to these platforms.

FREE MINDS

Burning rubber not protected by the First Amendment. After a satirical website declared that the Maine Supreme Court had ruled rubber marks constitutionally protected speech, a student in August, Maine, decided to exert his rights:

Sergeant Tracey Frost, a school resource officer in the town just outside of Augusta, said he was on duty in his cruiser last Wednesday near Messalonskee High School when he made eye contact with a student who was driving a "souped-up" truck. As the student held the officer's gaze, he proceeded to "chirp" his tires right in front of Frost, causing the wheels to spin while the vehicle remained in place.Frost said he pulled the student over and asked him point-blank: "Really? Have you lost your mind?!"

The student, confident he did nothing wrong, told Frost, "You can't do anything about it anymore," Frost said, and then pulled out his smartphone to show the officer a news article that claimed Maine's Supreme Court had ruled recently that burning rubber is "now protected free speech."

The cop gave the kid a talking to about media literacy but let him off without a ticket, according to The Boston Globe. He also posted to the department's Facebook page:

Just so I"m clear, No Judge in Maine has stated ""What good is a huge truck? What good are fat tires, a screaming exhaust set up, and a killer big block if all that power can't be used to make a statement?"

FREE MARKETS

EPA chief Scott Pruitt doesn't play by own rules. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt has been playing up his small-government cred by touting his rollback of Obama-administration fuel efficiency standards and other regulations. But the image is tainted by Pruitt's personal scandals, which don't exactly suggest that he's a paragon of fiscal restraint. Pruitt has been outed for frequent first-class travel on the taxpayer dime, the discounted condo he rented from the wife of an energy lobbyist, and huge raises given to two EPA staffers who he works closely with.

"On Tuesday, two Republican lawmakers joined a chorus of Democrats and environmental groups calling for Pruitt's ouster," reported The Washington Post. "But Trump appeared to stand by his EPA chief, voicing support for a man who has also proven adept at delivering on the president's campaign promise to aggressively roll back environmental regulations."

QUICK HITS

  • There's no such thing as an opioid-addicted newborn.
  • China is now promising tariffs on U.S.-made airplanes, soybeans, and cars, among other things.
  • Here are the 1,300 Chinese goods Trump is proposing tariffs on. The list includes things like aluminum, stainless steel, and iron but also everything from epinephrine, vaccines, and malaria diagnostic kits to dishwasher parts, snowblowers, phonograph records, TV parts, and lasers.
  • Homeland Security says there's a mysterious technology surveilling people's cellphones in D.C.
  • The new "sex-trafficking bill" is already having devastating effects for sex workers.
  • "Teachers want more. But it's kind of like a teenager wanting a better car," Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin told CBS News about the state's current teacher strike.
  • An internal Facebook paper that Bloomberg News obtained said that both Clinton and Trump's campaigns "spent heavily on Facebook between June and November of 2016," but "Trump's FB campaigns were more complex than Clinton's and better leveraged Facebook's ability to optimize for outcomes."

NEXT: Brickbat: That Sucks

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  1. The shooter, Nasim Aghdam, was apparently enraged by YouTube’s decision to demonetize her video channels. In the steady stream of widely publicized shootings in this country, this one stands out for several reasons.

    Yeah, this story won’t survive another news cycle.

    1. That’s the strangest way to say “human trafficking.”

    2. But will it gain traction on YouTube?

    3. Non-white vegan animal rights activist? Yep, no way this stays in the news.

      1. You must really be colorblind. She looks pretty white to me.

        1. Persians are the o.g. Aryans. In fact, they renamed their country in the middle ages after the Persian pronunciation of “Aryan” – Iran.

        2. Dude, she’s a Derka-Derkastani

        3. Iranian would be considered a person of color.

          At least according to a cultural competency meeting I had to attend.

          1. We switch them as it suits the narrative appartently.

            1. Of course!!

          2. Iranian would be considered a person of color.

            Which is pretty hilarious considering how white a lot of them actually are. Hell, I’m mixed-race and have darker skin than most Iranians.

            1. Mixed race would have you listed as a person of color too.

              One guy at the meeting was Chinese and he said he was surprised to learn he too was a person of color.

              Basically the way it was being categorized made me want to ask if people not of color were the true minority.

          3. I think what CBK meant by “non-white” is that she had a funny-sounding name.

            1. No, as in she would 100% be considered a “person of color” by the media and in the news if she was the victim instead of the perpetrator, just like with Hispanics, many of which have basically 100% European blood.

  2. There’s no such thing as an opioid-addicted newborn.

    Only an opioid-pushing newborn. GET HIM.

    1. There’s no such thing as an opioid-addicted newborn…yet

  3. …YouTube’s promotion (or lack thereof) and demonetization [policies] have been heralded as inscrutable, inconsistent, and biased.

    No one likes to be unpersoned, especially be a big corporation like Google.

  4. Homeland Security says there’s a mysterious technology surveilling people’s cellphones in D.C.

    They would know, since it’s probably theirs and they just forgot about it.

    1. Maybe the Watchers’ algorithm has finally decided to watch the Watchers.

    2. I’m not sure if DHS is worried about the competition, or just interested in benchmarking competitive technologies.

    3. Is not a thing to which you should be paying of the attention, da?

  5. The motivation here is, of course, secondary to the victims and the crime.

    Especially since almost none of it is usable to make political hay.

  6. YouTube “stopped everything and now she has no income.”

    Much like Uber, I find it ridiculous that anyone expects to make a living off Youtube, except in extremely rare circumstances. Not everyone gets to be Poppy or Pooty-Pie.

    1. My impression from Nasim Aghda’s social media messages is that she did make some money off her Youtube posts.

      1. “Now she has no income.”

        That tells me that she expected to live off Youtube videos. “Some money”? Sure. But if she didn’t have a day job to make an actual living off of, then she was being extremely unrealistic.

        1. I don’t run a Youtube channel and so I don’t know the details.

          Here is a screen shot she posted a little while ago.

          https://tinyurl.com/y987g9b7

          It seems like she was getting pretty good traction, but was demonetized and so was making pennies on around 300,000 views. I know Sargon of Akkad scratches a pretty good living on around the same number of viewers, and others like Tim Pool and Dave Rubin seem to do well with far fewer. But again I don’t know details.

          Your point about getting a day job to make ends meet is true and I agree. I do think she was more upset about feeling silenced by Youtube and not so much that she had to go out and get a job.

          1. She’s a woman so she was getting 70 cents while the men were getting a dollar.

        2. I know someone that makes money making youtube videos reviewing video games. When he told me how much time goes into making a video, I realized it is a full time job. So yes, making money off youtube is indeed a real job and many people do it.

          1. #1 thing I learned from my film class:

            Filming is the easy part.

          2. But apparently many YouTubers don’t really understand the specifics of what basis YouTube pays them and YouTube is not very transparent about their practices. It seems incredible to me that people would make their livelihoods something they do not have a good understanding of the terms they are being paid for.

    2. This is what happens without Net Neutrality. Am I right?

      1. I may be wrong, but this seems like what happens when Youtube stops acting like a messaging platform and starts acting like gate keepers curating content.

        1. I’m sure Youtube has curated content from day one.

          1. You mean through algorithms to demonetize popular voices on the right?

            You’d be wrong. This is relatively new.

            1. No, I mean by making you agree to terms that specify certain categories of videos they won’t host. That is also called curating content and they have done it from the very beginning. Every freaking website on the planet does the same.

    3. PS. It seems like she was a bit of a crackpot. There was probably more going on in her head than getting stiffed by Youtube.

      1. This is always the case. People who don’t have something broken in their heads don’t go on shooting rampages. Everything else is post-facto rationalization.

        1. Doubly true when it’s dogs they’re shooting. Not that I’m minimizing the shooting of kids with toy guns and people with cellphones or game controllers in their hands and people running toward them for help and hand-cuffed suspects pinned on the ground.

          1. Murdering pets is a strong indicator of psychopathy. This is known.

        2. Have you considered that she might have been a crisis actress?

          1. No, because i’m relatively sane myself.

    4. People do make a half-decent amount of scratch from monetizing their YouTube channels.

    5. when you still live in your parents home it doesn’t take much income to survive. a little gas money and movies is all thats needed

  7. The new “sex-trafficking bill” is already having devastating effects for sex workers.

    Feature, not bug.

    1. Finally that Feminist-Bible Thumper team up we’ve all been clamoring for.

      1. Puritanism continues to be a dominant strain in American political thought, and it hasn’t been necessarily religious since the Social Gospel.

      2. You would think, this being a rape culture and all, feminists would want prostitution legal as a sexual outlet for men, instead of redirecting repressed male sexuality into ‘legitimate’ society; want more barcrawling date rapists? Getting rid of hookers and porn may be one way to do it.

  8. Wow, you managed to find and post the one picture of Nasim Aghdam I’m aware of that doesn’t make her appear like a raging lunatic leftist that she turned out to be.

    1. The camouflage leotard, while holding the Fruit of Knowledge, with the lesbian haircut, looks sane and balanced.

      1. …especially compared to some of the other pictures of her that are just plain freaky.

        1. Is it me or she more than a little Tran looking? If she could handle a piece better I’d be sure of it.

          1. Nah, she definitely doesn’t look Vietnamese to me.

    2. Definitely the best rack among recent gun violence perpetrators.

      1. She had a gun rack in her truck?

        1. And her gun rack had a gun rack on it.

  9. This is why we need government to have a monopoly on regulating speech.

    1. Mmm. May be a false flag, to support the Zucker’s upcoming testimony in Congress along for regulation.

  10. We’re used to shooters being animated by things like bigotry, misogyny, anti-government sentiment, religion, fringe politics or beliefs, or perhaps no discernible reason at all. In this case,

    True.

    Or as the idiot LoveCons call all of them, “leftists”.

    1. We’re used to leftist shooters trying to assassinate their political opponents, like the 2017 Congressional basketball shooting.

      1. It does happen. But statistics show that the large majority of unhinged lunatic politically motivated shooters are conservative/right wing types.

        LoveCons is the type idiot who won’t look at data except through his political prism.

        1. Citation needed.

          The last major assassination attempt was left wing, which implies that left-wing violence is rising.

          What will we do about this alarming trend, as left-wing radicals assault our democracy?

          1. Everybody hates Congress so whats the problem?

          2. Laugh and point seems appropriate.

          3. Since the assassin wasn’t a Russian, it doesn’t count. Nothing to see there; move along.

        2. But statistics show that the large majority of unhinged lunatic politically motivated shooters are conservative/right wing types.

          Other than the Charleston church shooter kid (whose conservatism is highly questionable) I don’t think any of the ones in the past 10 years or so were conservative. Unless you count radical Islam as right-wing, which would be very dishonest but par for the course.

          1. In my recollection must of them like most of us have been somewhere outside a binary left/right ideology. Which is to say they’ve all been libertarians.

            1. Just glad we are getting news time.

        3. Citation? Seriously, I’d love to see the details behind your claim.

          1. Shreek is not going to respond because he had to go to “work.” Which, if you ask me, is a pretty weird way to describe sneaking into the ladies’ room at the public library he posts from and jackin’ it.

            1. I’m starting to notice a real hard, anti-blue collar worker streak from you.

              1. I’m just saying, what shreek considers work, most of the rest of us think of as a hobby.

      2. Not to mention that Paddock dude in Vegas and his mysterious “me know nothing” Asian girlfriend.

  11. …Trump’s FB campaigns were more complex than Clinton’s and better leveraged Facebook’s ability to optimize for outcomes.

    And therefore: ILLEGAL

    1. And this is the ONLY reason people don’t just LOVE our true commander-in-chief, Ms. Clinton.

  12. Homeland Security says there’s a mysterious technology surveilling people’s cellphones in D.C.

    And they wish to procure this technology for themselves.

    1. The headline is misleading from I read. The technology is known it’s the operator who is unknown.

      1. “”The technology is known it’s the operator who is unknown.”‘

        I bet it’s known. They are just not saying.

  13. YouTube has since removed all of Aghdam’s content, so it’s impossible to say how many subscribers she had or whether her videos were actually inappropriate.

    YouTube just wants to get the rampant conspiracy theories out of the way already.

  14. The new “sex-trafficking bill” is already having devastating effects for sex workers.

    Homes will no longer be wrecked!

  15. Partitioning a bunch of closely-supervised walled gardens out of the wide open, anarchic Internet turns out to be limiting? Who knew?

  16. “Teachers want more. But it’s kind of like a teenager wanting a better car,” Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin told CBS News about the state’s current teacher strike.

    Damn. Someone took New Jersey Democrat Chris Christie’s shtick and upped it to a whole other level.

  17. How about all of those swamp creatures appointed by the Donald who are vying to outdo the Obama administration officials for corruption and pooping in the cesspool?

    Yet, there are those who will continue to defend Trump no matter what.

    1. Which ones are you talking about? Name names and acts and I will happily condemn them or defend them. Trump’s problem is that he doesn’t understand the importance of filling all of his appointments. He thinks if he doesn’t fill them, it will shrink the government. Not filling them just ensures that the career bureaucracy is free to ignore his agenda. I am really not seeing much corruption in the people he has appointed. Small shit like taking the odd private plan or Ben Carson’s wife buying china or whatever it was. I guess that is bad, but taken in the context of the cesspool of corruption and theft that is Washington, I am having a hard time getting angry enough about it to think I would rather not have Trump as President.

      1. It’s pretty clear that if Clinton had won you wouldn’t be hearing about this level of corruption occurring in her administration.

        1. I wouldn’t like it then either. But it wouldn’t be the only or even one of the more important reasons I wouldn’t want her as President. At best you can say that Trump shares some of Hillary Clinton’s faults. Well, so what? He doesn’t share a lot of her faults and certainly the most important ones.

        2. Indeed. We would be hearing about much more egregious corruption than “OMG someone’s wife picked out the table and cabinets for their office!”

          1. Sure you would be hearing about it, as long as you’re getting your news from somewhere other than CNN and the NYT. Most people, however, wouldn’t be hearing a peep about any Hillary scandals other than in the context of “the latest baseless right-wing attacks on Hillary”.

          2. Let’s name the names and plead the facts:

            Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Treasury Secretary:

            1.According to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Mnuchin racked up more than a million dollars in extra costs for flying on a military jet instead of flying commercial between March and October of last year. That is just seven months.

            2.Ryan Zinke, Trump’s Interior Secretary:

            Although Zinke denies that he authorized the expenditure, the Interior Department spent $139,000.00 to renovate three sets of office doors in need of repair.

            Zinke also spent $53,000.00 on three unnecessary helicopter trips last year. Why should he be flying on a helicopter instead of flying coach on a commercial flight? Same with Mnuchin.

            3. Scott Pruitt:

            Pruitt spent $1,600.00 on first class airfare from Washington to NY in order to appear on two television programs. According to CREW, he has habitually flown first class and sojourned at high price luxury hotels on personal business that he has tried to justify as official business.

            There is a big problem with having your wife getting a sweet hear deal from a party dealing with EPA. Just don’t go there hypocrite.

            4. Tom Price:

            Let’s not forget how gouged the taxpayers by insisting upon chartered private jets instead of commercial flights. This swamp creature cost taxpayers more than a million bucks because he thought he was special.

            1. How does that compare to prior cabinet officlals?

              Yeah, spending is always bad. But it seems odd that we never heard a word about any Obama’s cabinet members spending money. I’m guessing they were quite frugal….

            2. LM, I’m not defending the wastefulness that goes on in DC. I’m pointing out that as bad as this is, we know from experience how much worse the corruption would be if things had ended up differently.

              And Jerryskids is right, the media would be running interference to defend every instance of it if HRC had won.

              We should be frustrated with the waste, while keeping perspective. There’s a lot to be thankful for and a lot of room for improvement.

              1. Although the NYT, WAPO, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC et al certainly carried a lot of water for the Obama administration and did for Hillary, please don’t mistake my criticism of Trump as doing the same.

                Yes, I agree that the MSM would not be covering the corruption of a HRC administration.

              2. We should always and everywhere white knight for Trump and equivocate at any criticism of him, right.

            3. lets not forget the time Hillary took a government jet to go 20 miles and she still had to wait for her caravan of government cars to arrive once she got there.

  18. The list includes things like aluminum, stainless steel, and iron but also everything from epinephrine, vaccines, and malaria diagnostic kits to dishwasher parts, snowblowers, phonograph records, TV parts, and lasers.

    ALL THINGS THAT SHOULD BE MADE IN AMERICA AND FOR AMERICAN WAGES. (But for Chinese prices.) (maga)

    1. This is why we got rid of the Articles of Confederation, people: what’s the point of even having a government, if we can’t wage trade war with China?

    2. predictable: DOW tumbles nearly 500 points due to stupid trade war with China.

      https://tinyurl.com/yaypgzdg

      1. Right, we should just keep financing the PLA and PRC navy to protect our 401k’s.

        1. You do have a valid point. We should be a totally self-sufficient country that trades with no one. Like North Korea.

          1. Holy false dichotomy.

            We shouldn’t be trading with hostile nations which have demonstrated hostile intent, and whose government owns every entity we’re trading with.

            1. What better way to make friends than to engage in trade? Economies that are mutually dependent are less likely to go to war.

              Or as a quote attributed to Bastiat goes: “When goods do not cross borders, soldiers will.”

              1. Yeah, that’s the logic that was pushed back in the 1980s when the push to “make friends with China through trade” began. Now 30+ years later they’re threatening us and our allies all over the world. They have no interest in integrating into the world economy, all they seek is dominance. Shouldn’t be surprising behavior for a totalitarian dictatorship, but we’ve been morons on this issue for a long time.

                You’re mistaking correlation for causation in your interpretation of Bastiat’s statement. Sometimes goods stop crossing because both sides realize soldiers are about to start crossing and they don’t want to help their enemy with trade.

                1. You’re mistaking correlation for causation in your interpretation of Bastiat’s statement.

                  No, I’m not.

            2. “”We shouldn’t be trading with hostile nations which have demonstrated hostile intent”‘

              That concept would mean no one would trade with us.

            3. Of course, we ignore all the intellectual property and technology theft by the Chinese government because…well their labor policies are just so tempting for our corporate entities and their lack of environmental protection make them competitive.

              Is anyone shocked when the Chinese then use that great leap in technology to funnel into their military and weapons programs?

              I’m sure there will be no consequences for that.

              1. They’re stealing our steel and washing machine recipes?

                Nice to see the protectionists out in force spilling their shit for brains all over the comments section.

            4. Feel free to not trade with them if you don’t want to. Let everyone else trade with them though.

          2. Considering the Norks have gotten most of their ICBM tech from China, which was given to them thanks to deals with the Clinton administration, the idea that free trade is always beneficial is pretty much begging the question. As is the notion that our increasingly service/tech employment class structure is only beneficial from a political and social standpoint.

        2. Right. We should harm the American worker through higher prices for goods and services, higher unemployment, and lower standards of living.

          #notwinning

          1. or put them back to work making the products we no longer get from China. Wether it happens or not is the question

  19. China is now promising tariffs on U.S.-made airplanes, soybeans, and cars, among other things.

    We have them over a barrel. No China-man in his right mind would fly on an airplane made in China.

    1. I presume after the cheap Chinese steel is tariffed and finished Boeing products are tariffed Airbus would have a distinct advantage.

      Well done, you idiot “bidnessman” Dotard.

      1. Nothing says “free market” like Boeing.

        1. lol, indeed. Boeing gets the lions share of all sorts of Federal policies and loans. There’s very little that’s ‘free market’ about them.

          1. Which i guess means the government way as well nationalize the plane industry.

            Seriously, stop with this moronic line of argument. “Well it’s not a free market so no harm fucking it up even more.” Right. I’m already drunk, so I may as well blindfold myself too for the drive home.

    2. They’d be killed riding the escalator before they could even get to the plane.

    3. China didn’t have tariffs on those things already? Or perhaps Reason is mangling the truth again?

      1. Perhaps a qualifier like “additional” was left out?

        1. Kind of an important quantifier!

          1. Kind of obvious to everyone except you.

            1. Baloney. People are going to read that sentence and think China is imposing tariffs on items that didn’t have them previously, which is the point of phrasing it that misleading way.

              1. Baloney. Most people understand that governments already have tariffs on just about everything, and we’re talking about new tariffs in response to Trump’s protectionist policies.

                1. It would be nice to know how much the increases are supposed to be as opposed to the way it’s phrased where there were zero tariffs before and unbridled free trade reigned.

                  But that would actually be news instead of propaganda.

    4. If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

      1. How hard would I have to pedal?

    5. Its worse than that. It means flying on a Scarebus. Have fun flying on a plane made by communists in France.

      1. Their safety record looks good to me.

        http://www.fearofflying.com/re…..fety.shtml

        1. To be sure, if John stopped making shit up right out of thin air he wouldn’t have much to say at all.

      2. Aren’t they made in Alabama now?

  20. The cop gave the kid a talking to about media literacy but let him off without a ticket, according to the Boston Globe.

    The LEO is a sucker for donuts of any kind.

  21. Pruitt has been outed for frequent first-class travel on the taxpayer dime, the discounted condo he rented from the wife of an energy lobbyist, and huge raises given to two EPA staffers who he works closely with.

    Unfortunately this is still the best trade-off the country can expect.

    1. I hear the condo has a lovely view of the recently refurbished swamp.

  22. Pruitt has been playing up his small-government cred by touting his rollback of Obama-administration fuel efficiency standards and other regulations. But the image is tainted by Pruitt’s personal scandals, which don’t exactly suggest that he’s a paragon of fiscal restraint.

    The rollback of Obama’s idiocy saved the economy thousands of times more money than he allegedly wasted on first class. And the condo leasing arrangement didn’t cost taxpayers a dime, as well as being cleared by the inspector general as not an ethics violation.

    This “scandal” is due to the envirowackos pouncing on anything they can find to try to save truly scandal-ridden Obama’s ridiculous environmental policies.

    1. Not only does it save money, it will also save many lives. These unrealistic fuel efficiency standards force car makers to cut back on weight. The result is vehicles that crumple like a tin can when t-boned by a bicycle. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

      1. THIS

        The best way to make a vehicle more fuel efficient is to make it lighter. And lightness and safety are nearly always mutually exclusive to some degree or another. Those fuel standards have killed tens of thousands of Americans. That is not only because car companies had to make lighter and less safe cars to meet them. It is also because it forced car makers to spend R&D money on fuel efficiency at the expense of other things like reliability and safety. We will never know how much safer cars would be today if automakers had been free to pursue R&D based on the market rather than forced by the government to spend so much of their resources researching the single problem of fuel efficiency.

        1. All true, and there is very little “pollution” left to clean-up via automobile exhaustion reduction.

          A great source and read on this stuff is Eric Peters at EricPetersAutos.com. And, yes, he is a libertarian.

      2. I don’t know, the smart car seems pretty sturdy.

        Not!

      3. “vehicles that crumple like a tin can when t-boned by a bicycle”

        thats not an exaggeration. My friend was out riding his bike when a van pulled out in front of him. the van was totaled while my friend walked away.

    2. You need to cite where it states Pruitt was “cleared by the inspector general”. I don’t believe it because I couldnt find it but I did find where the IG didnt have the money to investigate some of Pruitt’s stuff from last year.

    3. First, Trump promised to drain the swamp.

      Draining the swamp necessarily means appointing principled men and women who would not, under any circumstances, stick the taxpayers with the tab for first class airfare, particularly for personal business. It also means not appointing anybody from Goldman Sachs who go on to insist upon sticking the taxpayers with the tab for personal business, including honeymoon travel.

      Draining the swamp necessarily means appointing people who want to terminate the EPA, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the IRS, the TSA, the FCC et al.

      Second, Trump has not drained the swamp; to the contrary, he has filled with odious and filthy and nasty swamp creatures.

      Third, l’ll be impressed if Pruitt immediately pushes for the abrogation of the EPA and follows through with refusing to take a salary.

      Fourth, scaling back the CAFE regulations is a no-brainer. Why should we give him atta-boys? That is what a rational, sane person should do.

      1. The CAFE regulations are a nobrainer. But I seriously doubt any other Republican Administration would have undone them. The last Republican Administration who undid any environmental regulations was Reagan and that was only during the first couple of years of his term. He eventually got rid of Ann Burford and brought in William Ruckelshouse at EPA and EPA went right back to what it was when Reagan got there.

        So, it deserves an attaboy because it is so much better than the alternatives. Yes, that is a relative complement. But, it is what it is.

        1. You must be really old to have those Reagan stats on the tip of your tongue.

        2. Good that you included the relative qualifier. On that score, I agree.

        3. Ann Burford: There’s a blast from the past

      2. You’re making the perfect the enemy of the good.

        And the rational and sane is very unusual to see in DC, as evidenced by the lack of any CAFE rollbacks since it came into force 25 years ago.

        1. EOA, in some cases, some of us, me included, do make the perfect the enemy of the good. Guilty as charged.

          In daily life, however, it is a bit different. Whether it is work related, or relating happily to my wife, I have learned that good is a far better option than bad, notwithstanding that I might have preferred the perfect.

  23. Why are the French RR workers striking?

    ” Unions are opposed to Macron’s plans to overhaul the debt-ridden state rail network as part of his presidential campaign pledge to shake up France’s economy.
    Government plans for railway workers include removing benefits such as a job for life and an early retirement system for new workers, though it would remain for existing workers.”
    http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-
    france-railway-strike-20180403-story.html

    1. Why are the French RR workers striking?

      Because their communist fantasyland is crumbling. The article mentions that surrounding countries have privatized their railroads and by all accounts that I have read have better service and happier customers because of it. But France being France, they will sail on to the bitter, ugly end I guess.

    2. I thought French workers were striking generally as a matter of course. What would surprise me if they actually got any work done.

  24. Today is the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination, and honestly I’m a bit shocked at how little play this fact has gotten in the media and in the country generally.

    1. WCR –

      MSNBC devoted nearly a half-hour to it this morning. I watched some of it before and after showering and getting dressed.

    2. Well, some washed-up pols are getting camera time:
      Eric, know thyself!

      “Eric Holder at MLK event: Age of bullies, bigots not fully over”
      https://www.sfgate.com/nation/article
      /Eric-Holder-at-MLK-event-Age
      -of-bullies-bigots-12803260.php

      1. Who would understand being a bully and a bigot better than Eric Holder? Game recognize game.

        You can’t help but laugh at him just a little though given that he apparently thinks he can get elected president.

      2. Holder, the guy who specifically attacked the ideal of judging people according to character rather than color?

    3. The left considers him racist at this point, with all that talk of judging by the content of one’s character and the descendants of slaveholders and slaves living together in harmony.

      1. Not to mention he owned guns. Problematic!

        1. You know who else was problematic, owned guns, and was a gun death…

          1. Gary Gilmore?

      2. “”The left considers him racist at this point, with all that talk of judging by the content of one’s character “‘

        No kidding. I have had a couple of people call me racist after I said people should be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

  25. “Tesla hits bumpy road in troubled week; believers undeterred”
    […]
    “Tesla investors, more than most, function on belief ? a shared vision that electric cars are the future and whoever makes them best will eventually reap big rewards.”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article
    /Tesla-believers-undeterred-by-string-of-
    mishaps-12802765.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    Bullshit. Tesla stockholders share a vision of Musk picking the taxpayers’ pockets. The hardware used is irrelevant.

  26. This has been a major complaint among YouTube creators for a while, as it seems the company is increasingly clamping down on what kind of content it will favor or allow. As with “shadowbanning” on Twitter and Facebook’s mysterious algorythms, YouTube’s promotion (or lack thereof) and demonetization policies have been heralded as inscrutable, inconsistent, and biased.

    I subscribe to one of those fast-food review channels where the guy involved has dealt with the same thing, even though he has well over 800K subscribers and his video views often number in the millions. It’s apparently a common issue across the platform and YouTube’s been completely arbitrary in how they’ve executed it. I suspect a lot of it is just because their board of directors has cheaped out and doesn’t want to pay people for the clicks.

    1. ideally, the market should solve for that by someone creating a new platform that is freer. The problem is that is really hard to do. Something like Youtube has an enormous amount of market momentum. People go there out of habit and the fact that so many people go there makes it more likely for them to do so because that is where the action is. A new platform would have to overcome that momentum. And that is hardly certain. And it is doubly hard when you consider that Google owns Youtube and would likely just buy any competing platform and absorb it before it got large enough to compete with it.

    2. I don’t think there is an easy solution to this problem. Eventually, the tech companies are going to get so in love with the power of censorship that their content is going to become so uniform and unappealing that people will stop using it altogether. People managed just fine before youtube. The problem with censorship is that once you start it is hard to stop. We got rid of this channel we didn’t like, why not this other one. And the people you hire to censor the content need to justify their jobs. So, what starts with getting rid of really over the top offensive content fairly quickly degrades into getting rid of virtually anything that deviates from a very narrow range of opinions as the censors get more fanatical in search of a reason to exist.

      I am starting to think that what is going to happen over the next few years is people will get bored with the internet and stop using it at the levels they do today. The internet has been around for 20 years. The novelty of it has worn off. It now has to compete with content. And its content is going south as a few giant companies dominate and censer all of the content to the point of complete blandness.

      1. Youtube has been a convient starting point for people but with the censorship people will start their own channels however they may not get payed unless they really take off

      2. So, what starts with getting rid of really over the top offensive content fairly quickly degrades into getting rid of virtually anything that deviates from a very narrow range of opinions as the censors get more fanatical in search of a reason to exist…And its content is going south as a few giant companies dominate and censer all of the content to the point of complete blandness.

        This tends to be a problem with corporate culture and managerialism in general. I’m not so sure that the use of the internet is going to decrease, however, based on the push for things like municipal fiber and rural internet access projects. It might evolve into something different, but in terms of use I expect it to be pretty ubiquitous for a good long while unless someone comes up with something radically different, or society as a whole becomes less disconnected. We have a whole generation of teenagers and young adults who have grown up with their faces perpetually buried in their smartphones, and I don’t see those habits changing as they get older.

    3. I suspect a lot of it is just because their board of directors has cheaped out and doesn’t want to pay people for the clicks.

      I think this was the plan from the start. YT always posts significant losses for Google. Targeting their political enemies at the start was a good way to test the waters, and see if people freak out, and also to get people used to the idea of being demonetized, with the goal being that they would stop monetization for the vast majority of channels to cut on costs.

    4. We may as well just call this what it really is: fraud.

      If these behemoths keep this sort of behavior up, Trump should give serious consideration to pulling out the old antitrust tool and using it on some of their asses.

  27. “Aghdam was particularly insenced that her videos had been demonetized?that is, not eligible for ad-sharing profits from the platform. Videos may be demonetized if a creator has fewer than 1,000 subscribers or if YouTube deems their videos inappropriate.”

    To be deemed inappropriate, it only needs to be reported by one person as such–in this case it was probably by a feminist, many of whom go after videos that they think promote an unhealthy body image. Once that happens, to make things simple and easy for YouTube, they typically require the YouTuber to age restrict the video in question. The shooter, apparently, never heard the saying, “Never ascribe to malice what can just as easily be explained by simple incompetence”.

    The shooter was also PO’d at Instagram for blocking her horrific photos of animals being slaughtered.

    No doubt, YouTube, and Instagram are private entities, and they probably have every right to police content on their site within whatever parameters they set within their user agreement–although YouTube changing the rules after someone has invested the time, money, and effort to provide YouTube with free content means that isn’t a question with a simple answer.

    1. For a normal person, YouTube banning their videos means they can’t distribute online video to a wide audience. That’s the problem with market consolidation in today’s tech industry, and why the mantra of “private so they can do what they want” rings hollow in this case.

      1. they can’t distribute online video to a wide audience

        BS. It just means they can’t get the free publicity or hosting that Youtube offers.

      2. “…why the mantra of “private so they can do what they want” rings hollow in this case.”
        Bull
        .
        .
        .
        shit.

        1. #libertariansagainstprivateproperty!

          1. In reference to EOA’s insipid comment

    2. YouTube changing the rules after someone has invested the time, money, and effort to provide YouTube with free content

      This is one of my major complaints about what happens regularly with ToS in the tech world. “Oh, we can change this contract at any time, without you agreeing to it.” In what world is that reasonable? That kind of BS would be thrown out in most cases if it were adjudicated.

      1. Exactly.

        It’s at best highly questionable.

      2. I get more money when one of my band’s songs is played on YouTube than I do Spotify. Assuming you play the official release version.

        Well, if we call factions of a penny money.

      3. That kind of BS would be thrown out in most cases if it were adjudicated.

        Except (A) Arbitration clauses mean it will never be adjudicated by a disinterested third party, and (B) when you agreed to the initial ToS, you also agreed that they can change it whenever and however they want.

      4. This is like complaining about the bank changing the interest rate on your adjustable rate mortgage: it’s an*adjustable* rate mortgage. The contract clearly stipulates they reserve the right to change it. Don’t like it, don’t sign it.

  28. If there’s anything to fear from this incident, it isn’t about gun rights. It’s that the government will step in with regulation and standards for social media.

    If there’s anything to learn from this incident, it’s that people’s rights cannot be trifled with without consequences.

    The consequences associated with violating people’s property rights are easier to quantify, which is why Smith turned to trade to express his ideas after “Theory of Moral Sentiments”, but make no mistake–there are consistent consequences associated with violating people’s other rights, too. Our rights are not a fiction to be revised or ignored based on some utilitarian’s preferred outcomes.

    Because the consequences of ignoring people’s rights tend to be consistent, cross culturally and throughout history, is why we know they’re real–whether we’re talking about economics and property rights or justice and civil rights. It’s such a basic idea that we tend to take it for granted–but it’s a foundational libertarian principle that not everyone shares. No, you cannot violate people’s rights without negative consequences.

    1. The whole thing can be solved by a rule that once you have 2/3 market share you have to split in half. It would not entail any govt regulation of actual business activity and would be the rare regulation that impacts small business less than big.

      1. Or let time run its course. Fifty years ago the department store was king. Now they are on life support. Big box stores rules for a while, but now they are declining. Walmart is alive and kicking for now. Amazon is currently king, until something else comes along.
        No need to split companies. Just let markets work.

        1. “The department store” wasn’t one company, so not comparable. Department stores were not really king anyway; they filled an (admittedly large) niche in a world of more specialized stores (bookstores, electronics stores, toy stores, grocery stores, etc) whereas Amazon is trying to dominate all those areas.

          Further, in 1980, if you asked a person in the retail business what would be the impact of people being able to browse an instantly updated mail-order catalogue with hundreds of thousands of items in it, and get ordered items in two days without having to pay for shipping, they would have said it would destroy brick and mortar retailers. It was NOT an unpredictable phenomenon even back then.

          So tell me, what imaginable technological advance would destroy Amazon in its current form?

          1. So tell me, what imaginable technological advance would destroy Amazon in its current form?

            Fuck if I know. If I did I’d be rich. But someone will figure something out. Someone always does.

          2. Alibaba is a threat to Amazon.

            Walmart is a threat to Amazon.

            Purpose built sites are threats to Amazon.

            I’d still rather buy computer components from New Egg.

            I’ll use any excuse to go to Bass Pro

            Women I know would rather buy shoes and clothes from Zappos.

      2. i think there is a place for anti-trust law. Like I said above about Youtube. The market is supposed to solve for Youtube’s censorship through the creation of competing platforms. That is good in theory but in reality, Google has the money to purchase and absorb any platform that got large enough to be a threat to Youtube. So, I can’t see any real alternative platforms ever developing. To stop this nonsense you either have to hope Google magically comes to its senses and stops censoring content or some platform owner acts against his own economic interests and refuses to sell out to Google. Neither of those things seem like very good bets.

        1. That is good in theory but in reality, Google Montgomery Ward has the money to purchase and absorb any platform store that got large enough to be a threat to Youtube their mail-order business. So, I can’t see any real alternative platforms retailers ever developing.

          1. The past isn’t present. “but it didn’t work that way in the past” is a stupid argument that just begs the question of how will it work now. So either explain how you think the market can solve for this or stop wasting my time.

            1. “”but it didn’t work that way in the past” is a stupid argument that just begs the question of how will it work now. So either explain how you think the market can solve for this or stop wasting my time.”

              Quit wasting bandwidth making up “problems” that don’t exist.
              Fuck off, slaver.

              1. You’ve nearly perfected the ostrich-sand maneuver.

                1. The 10:44 comment directed at Sevo

                2. Emotional Opposition Animal|4.4.18 @ 10:44AM|#
                  “You’ve nearly perfected the ostrich-sand maneuver.”

                  Says one who HAS perfected the head-up-ass maneuver
                  Fuck off, slaver.

              2. Fuck off and stop lying. you are the slaver. You are the one who is fine with slavery just as long as a corporation is doing it. Sorry, but go fuck yourself and your slavery in the name of free enterprise. Google has no more right to determine what I see and read than the government. And while google has a right to their own platform and to put whatever they like on it, they do not have a right to buy all other platforms such as theirs is the only one and they effectively get to determine who gets to say what just as certainly as any oppressive government would. If you can’t understand that, you are either a naive idiot or a lying slaver who just wants Google to be your master. Fuck off. You are not my master anymore than Google

                1. You are the one who is fine with slavery just as long as a corporation is doing it.

                  Yeah. Those damn corporations. Enslaving us with their goods, services, and jobs. I mean, they like force us to buy their stuff and work for them under pain of death. They are indeed our masters, and we are their slaves.

                  And you wonder why I call you Red Tony.

                  1. What makes you think corporations are any better than governments? They are not. They just can’t shoot people. But what they can do is use their political power to get governments to shoot people for them. It is called regulatory capture. How in the fuck do you manage to live with the kind of cognitive dissonance it must take to on the one hand rail against the evils of cronyism and government but then on the other see no problem with the creation of enormous corporations that control entire areas of the economy and life? Don’t you think that a company that is worth a $100 billion dollars and has effective control over large sections of the internet is likely to use its influence on government to all sorts of bad ends? How do plan to stop that from happening?

                    1. How in the fuck do you manage to live with the kind of cognitive dissonance it must take to on the one hand rail against the evils of cronyism and government but then on the other see no problem with the creation of enormous corporations that control entire areas of the economy and life?

                      Those corporations don’t use force. Nobody is forced to buy their stuff. Nobody is force to work for them. They can’t compel you to do anything. They exist only because people voluntarily work for them and use their services.

                      Whereas government is force.

                      They are not even remotely comparable.

                    2. “Those corporations don’t use force. Nobody is forced to buy their stuff.”

                      It’s about choice, and we can still choose not to use them.

                      I’ve made an experiment of dumping the lot of them. I avoid using anything by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, . . .

                      I’ve been successful with the following exceptions:

                      1) Needs Windows for AutoCAD Civil 3D
                      2) Love me some YouTube
                      3) Smartphones
                      4) Friends and family on Skype

                      That’s about it.

                      Smarphones are an area of concern. Being free to choose between getting screwed by Apple or getting screwed by Google isn’t much of a choice.

                      Eelo can’t come soon enough.

                      Anyway, point is that I can avoid using their products, but it isn’t easy–and it’s getting harder. If you think it’s easy to avoid using those four companies’ products, go ahead and try it. At some point, maybe in the near future, it might become incredibly difficult to communicate without using their products. With Google’s automated car technology, it may become difficult in the future to get anything shipped or use transportation without using Google.

                      If and when the time comes that you can’t travel or communicate without Google, will you start seeing a place for antitrust?

                      Go a week without Google starting next Monday. See how it goes and report back. I bet it has an impact.

                    3. “Go a week without Google starting next Monday. See how it goes and report back. I bet it has an impact.”

                      I mostly agree that the mega-corps pose a philosophical problem, chiefly if government can stick their fingers in and start puppeting them.

                      I use Firefox with Startpage as my default search engine. Less than 5% of the time I need to use Google to find something obscure. I’ve never owned an Android or an iPhone, chiefly because I’m attached to Blackberry’s keyboards, although now those are running Android, too. I do have a Windows partition for games and other specific applications, but I usually use Linux. My primary email is from my ISP (popped to a local client as backup), my second is my school e-mail which I need for occasional professional contacts, and it’s of course Google. I’m investigating paid e-mail services to use in the future, and I like Tutanota okay for now. My family would shoot me if I got rid of Facebook, but I haven’t used it in years, and I’m thinking I’ll use all this C.A. hysteria to quietly “delete” it, and fortunately I don’t need to use Skype. I’ve been running my own blogs and websites since I was 10 (using my ISPs free 25MB), so I don’t need to use wordpress or anything.

                      For videos, LiveLeak. Duh. Where else can you get see the truly good shit?

                      I don’t like dealing with the surveillance state’s service corps, either, and for now I can get by with a minimal impact to my daily life. I encourage folks to try some of these things.

                    4. Those corporations don’t use force.

                      Sure they do, in an indirect manner–they do it by buying favor with politicians, either through lobbying or common cause, to enact policies that are beneficial to them and harmful to their competitors.

                      You really think it’s an accident that Netflix was pimping so hard for “net neutrality”? Their CEO is a heavy Democrat/Obama donor.

                2. John|4.4.18 @ 10:46AM|#
                  “Fuck off and stop lying. you are the slaver. You are the one who is fine with slavery just as long as a corporation is doing it.”

                  You manage to invent new meanings for words when you get called on your bullshit.
                  BEAT that strawman, and fuck off, slaver

            2. So either explain how you think the market can solve for this or stop wasting my time.

              That’s a very ignorant statement.

              How the fuck would someone fifty years ago be able to tell you that Walmart and Amazon would put the department store out of business?

              The market is not static. I don’t know what the future holds. But I do know it won’t be the same as today.

              1. Google buys up any competitor and ensures that there is never any competition with it on the internet. So, tell me how there will ever be an alternative platform to Youtube? Explain this situation and these facts. Don’t give me a bunch of bullshit magical thinking about how the market is magic and always solves every problem. Sorry but I don’t do magic. I do facts.

                1. John, you sound just like a central planner who demands a solution to a problem, and rejects any answer that doesn’t involve central planning.

                  1. You are just engaging in more question begging and magical thinking. The facts are what they are. Google controls Youtube and most of the video content on the web with it and can ensure that no alternative platform develops. My or your opinion about central planning doesn’t change that. If you hate central planning so much, why are you so in love with the idea of one company controlling so much of the economy?

                    1. If you hate central planning so much, why are you so in love with the idea of one company controlling so much of the economy?

                      Their “control” is only because people voluntarily use their services. They aren’t putting a gun to anyone’s head. AOL was the shit once, now they’re a joke. Same with MySpace. Things change, John. People come up with new ideas. People get sick of the old and want something new. It’s called life.

                2. Don’t give me a bunch of bullshit magical thinking about how the market is magic and always solves every problem.

                  That straw man won’t be bothering anyone anymore.

                  What you describe as a “problem” is something that could barely be imagined thirty years ago. Whatever the solution is to this imagined problem of yours is likely something we can barely imagine today. It’s not magic. It’s just billions of different people with different ideas figuring out how to accomplish things. I’m sure one of them will come up with something. Someone always does.

                3. Google buys up any competitor and ensures that there is never any competition with it on the internet.

                  Google forces the competitors to sell? They go in there with guns and give the competition a choice between selling or being killed?

                  I didn’t know that. Thanks for telling me.

              2. How the fuck would someone fifty years ago be able to tell you that Walmart and Amazon would put the department store out of business?

                As stated above, any retail business person back then would have recognized the destructive power of a mail order company with a catalogue of tens of thousands of items that could deliver nearly anything in two days with free shipping. They wouldn’t know exactly which technology would make this possible, but that’s not the point — they knew it costs less to operate a mail-order company than a chain of stores, with the only disadvantage being shipping costs and delays, and limits on how big the catalogue could be.

                1. Emotional Opposition Animal|4.4.18 @ 10:48AM|#
                  “As stated above, any retail business person back then would have recognized the destructive power of a mail order company with a catalogue of tens of thousands of items that could deliver nearly anything in two days with free shipping. They wouldn’t know exactly which technology would make this possible, but that’s not the point — they knew it costs less to operate a mail-order company than a chain of stores, with the only disadvantage being shipping costs and delays, and limits on how big the catalogue could be.”

                  So
                  .
                  .
                  .
                  .
                  what?

                  1. So
                    .
                    .
                    .
                    .
                    what?

                    I believe EOA and John are asking for a specific business model that will wipe out Google, Youtube and Amazon, and if we can’t come up with a detailed answer with footnotes that means those companies will be monopolies until the sun explodes.

                    1. If you think Google and Amazon don’t engage in monopolistic behavior, you’re kidding yourself.

                      As I’ve pointed out repeatedly, the James Damore incident is proof enough alone that Google wants to act like a quasi-government entity.

        2. Under the 2/3 rule trying to corner the market would be futile.

          1. Yes. That is why I don’t think your rule is a bad idea. It would prevent Google from just absorbing all its competition.

            1. Good. Let’s lobby.

            2. It’s only the monopoly people don’t like that’s a problem.

              1. It is only a problem if you don’t like google determining what you can see and read on the internet. If you think slavery with Google as your master is no big deal, then this is no big deal.

                1. It is only a problem if you don’t like google determining what you can see and read on the internet.

                  There are other search engines, John. Google is not a monopoly.

                2. John|4.4.18 @ 10:48AM|#
                  “If you think slavery with Google as your master is no big deal, then this is no big deal.”

                  You’re smart enough to know full well that’s total and complete bullshit.

                  1. No. you are delusional and stupid enough to believe the government is the only threat to your freedom.

                    1. No. you are delusional and stupid enough to believe the government is the only threat to your freedom.

                      I could live the rest of my life without ever having contact with Google or Youtube again. They can’t force me to use their services.

                      How is that a threat to my freedom?

                  2. I disagree. John is indeed dumb enough to believe the things he says.

        3. It’s especially problematic when you see various companies colluding to deprive customers of business.

          I know it’s a controversial issue with guns and gun accessories, but PayPal, Facebook, Google (via YouTube), Twitter, Instagram, et. al, put out joint statements saying they wouldn’t list guns or gun accessories or facilitate sales, etc.

          How can they collude like that to choke a market off and then turn around and claim their practices are not monopolistic?

          Don’t worry about refusing to list gun sales, Facebook, we over here at Twitter won’t try to steal your gun business away–we’ll even sign onto a join statement refusing to facilitate gun sales or the sale of gun accessories, too. Love, Twitter.

          Some will say that’s a special case, but for all we know, that’s only a special case because it was made public knowledge. What else are they colluding on?

          1. The implication that a massive, bloated government is detrimental to society while a massive, bloated corporation is not is one of the great question-begging premises. In reality, if you want to avoid the dysfunctions and pathologies that inevitably emerge when they reach a certain level of scale, you have to ensure that they don’t reach that point to begin with. That goes for communities, governments, and corporations alike.

      3. Emotional Opposition Animal|4.4.18 @ 10:13AM|#
        “The whole thing can be solved by a rule that once you have 2/3 market share you have to split in half.”
        Fuck off, slaver.

      4. Haha, the government forcing you to split isn’t regulation?

  29. By the way, the word is incensed, not “insenced”, dear.

    I know you’re lazy as fuck, but you might want to at least let the Microsoft dictionary check your work so it appears as though you’re educated.

  30. Oh, someone should probably pipe up, too . . .

    There’s something to be said for the restraint of the gun enthusiast community in regards to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, PayPal, and others going after them–if only because it goes against the straw man gun enthusiast lurking in every progressive’s imagination.

    It was just last week that YouTube said it would start getting rid of videos that promote gun shops or gun accessories.

    Of all the gun enthusiasts out there, you only needed one to go off the cliff first, but of all the millions of gun enthusiasts out there, it was a vegan, animal rights activist that shook loose and fell off the cliff first with YouTube–not a gun enthusiast.

    I guess sheep dogs don’t want to be wolves. Even after getting treated like shit by the sheep for years, they want to protect the sheep–not target them. It takes a different kind of person to want to do that.

    1. I’m thankful everyday that this hasn’t happened. As you point out, it only takes 1 loon out of the millions of normal folks out there. And amazingly, that just hasn’t been the case. I pray this continues to be the case.

      1. It is not hard to figure out who in these companies are doing this stuff. And there are not that many real vocal SJWs in power and they are very public about who they are and what they are doing. It wouldn’t take many lunatics to get these companies to decide that censoring content wasn’t such a good idea.

        Terror works. If you don’t believe that, look around and see how often these companies screw with Muslims.

  31. While I am thrilled the media is now concerned about how badly the government spends money…I notice no comparison on Pruitt’s spending as opposed to his predecessors, who also used false email accounts and the like to avoid oversight.

  32. Aghdam was particularly insenced

    insenced

    *insenced*

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!

  33. So this female vegetarian vegan immigrant from an Ottoman upbringing in California turns out to be the second gun-wielding Saracen berserker to run amok in CA in as many years. Oh well, Californians voted for the initiation of force and they certainly got their wish.

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