Reason Roundup

Too Much 'Cybersecurity' Is the Real Menace to the Internet: Reason Roundup

Plus: Parsing Kavanaugh's past work and how the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands may make weed history

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EDUARDO MUNOZ/REUTERS/Newscom

Too many cybercooks. The federal government can't stop creating new task forces to tackle the same problems. Right now, the hot issue is "cybersecurity" and social-media control. "Federal agencies have launched several offices and programs since the 2016 election that are intended to secure cyberspace, but some are warning that this is only creating more confusion among the private sector," reports the Washington Examiner. The result has been "a dozen independent cybersecurity operations with overlapping agendas" and "only sporadic information-sharing between agencies."

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new National Risk Management Center initiative. This comes in addition to the Justice Department's recently launched Cyber-Digital Task Force, the Commerce Department's Cybersecurity Office, the Department of Health and Human Services' Cybersecurity Collaboration and Education Center, the Director of National Intelligence's Cyber Threat Framework, and the FBI's Foreign Influence Task Force, National Crime Information Center, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, among others.

April Doss, chair of the cybersecurity and privacy practice at the law firm Saul Ewing Arnstein and Lehr, told the paper it's overwhelming for anyone trying to actually keep up with and report threats. "I think there is a need for somebody whose job it is to look across the government," said Doss. "We don't seem to have that position existing anywhere in the administration."

But while no one is watching the watchers, folks in Congress want to give just about everyone more power (and mandates) to watch us. Two weeks ago, a leaked draft paper from the office of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) showed that Warner—vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee—was at least mulling over a massive range of incredibly invasive tech regulations.

The paper described these plans as a response to Russian propaganda campaigns, online harassment, and the overall entrenched and secretive nature of Facebook, Google, and other major technology companies. But as Andy Kessler notes in the The Wall Street Journal, "most of his proposals would end up locking the big guys in place while freezing innovation." Surely, folks could see the danger? Nope:

The shallow-analysis pundit class jubilated. Mr. Warner and Democrats could "crack down on Big Tech," "tame social media," and "knock Silicon Valley into shape." Woo-hoo. The cheerleaders' only complaint is the lack of a 21st proposal: breaking up the tech giants. Still, Mr. Warner wants to show that techland has gotten too big for its breeches and that the center of power radiates from the Hill—not the Valley. But he forgets that there's one market to rule them all. […] If even a handful of these proposals become law, faceless bureaucrats would control the internet instead of energetic entrepreneurs. No one would win under this new internet. And compliance costs would be so massive that no new startups would emerge.

Kessler takes particular issue with Warner's suggestion of (further) meddling with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and his reverence for the European Union's disastrous General Data Protection Regulation.

An American GDPR would turn the U.S. into Europe, making America's technology industry french toast. But that's one of Mr. Warner's goals.

Consider the sop to lawyers. One of the magical characteristics of the online world is that anyone can post anything. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides immunity to the Facebooks, Googles and Twitter s of the world with one simple sentence: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." This allows platforms to host almost anything, as well as block content based on community standards, without being sued.

Mr. Warner proposes to change all that and "make platforms liable for state-law torts." Specifically, "a revision to Section 230 could provide the ability for users who have successfully proved that sharing of particular content by another user constitutes a dignitary tort." I can imagine campaign contribution manna and

Mr. Warner proposes to change all that and "make platforms liable for state-law torts." Specifically, "a revision to Section 230 could provide the ability for users who have successfully proved that sharing of particular content by another user constitutes a dignitary tort." I can imagine campaign contribution manna and long lines to file class-action suits in the plaintiff paradise known as the Eastern District of Texas. But no one would ever create an online platform again.

Of course, maybe the internet is about to wash into the sea in 15 years anyway. But until then, we've got a lot of things to sort out, and it would help if we could keep a little perspective.

Pushing back on Adrienne LaFrance's recent condemnation of Twitter, journalism professor Jeff Jarvis writes: "We are often doomed to see the future as the analog of the past. Journalists see screens that contain familiar text and images, and that serve what used to be their ads—and they call that media. Such a mediacentric and egocentric worldview brings too many presumptions and misses too many opportunities."

"To call these platforms publishers," as LaFrance did, "is to presume that their task is merely to produce content," suggests Jarvis.

It is to presume, then, that the internet should be produced, packaged, and polished, and that when someone says something bad anywhere on it then the entire internet is beschmutzed. In Europe, it also means that the internet should be regulated, and in a growing list of authoritarian nations—China, Russia, Iran, Turkey—it means that the internet and the public's speech on it should be controlled.

The larger question, of course, is what the internet is and how it fits into society and society into it. We are just beginning to see what it can be. The essential value of the internet is conversation, not content. The larger question, of course, is what the internet is and how it fits into society and society into it. We are just beginning to see what it can be. The essential value of the internet is conversation, not content. The internet connects more than 3 billion people and enables a grand diversity among them to speak, if not yet to be heard. "Republics," said the late Columbia University professor James Carey, "require conversation, often cacophonous conversation, for they should be noisy places." That sound you hear, which sometimes grates, is the racket of society negotiating its norms and standards, its future. It is the messy sound of democracy.

Jarvis does not think the mass banning of Infowars from the platforms is a bad thing—quite the opposite. "The banning of Infowars from most major platforms is a sign of that process beginning to work," he writes. But he also warns that "it is prudent that we ban what we see rather than everything we might fear…. [W]e need to understand the problem we are trying to address: not technology, but human behavior using technology, the bad acts of some small—yes, small—number of propagandists, trolls, misogynists, bigots, thieves, and jerks."

FREE MINDS

Kavanaugh doc dump presages September hearings. Over the weekend, the Senate Judiciary Committee "released more than 87,000 records from Brett Kavanaugh's tenure in the George W. Bush White House," notes USA Today.

To date, more than 103,000 pages of materials from the Supreme Court nominee's past work have been made public. They are part of a record million-plus pages of legal opinions and emails from his career as a federal judge, White House lawyer and assistant to the prosecutor who investigated President Bill Clinton.

The Kavanaugh confirmation hearings are now scheduled to start September 4.

FREE MARKETS

Island territory could become first legislative OK for legal weed. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory of about 54,000 people, is preparing to legalize recreational marijuana. "In May, CNMI's Senate voted in favor…of drafted legislation that would end the prohibition of cannabis and allow adults over age of 21 to grow, possess, and use marijuana," as well as for stores to sell it, reports the Motley Fool.

What makes this legalization even more unique is that it's being done entirely through the legislative process. In other words, residents of the CNMI aren't voting on whether they want recreational weed to be legal—it's being done entirely by lawmakers in the House and Senate. If you recall, Vermont became the first U.S. state to OK the use of recreational pot in January through the legislative process. The previous eight states to green light adult-use weed had their measures approved by voters via state ballot. However, Vermont doesn't allow the retail sale of marijuana. That means the CNMI's legislative approval of recreational marijuana would represent the first of any U.S. state or territory to allow the retail sale of adult-use cannabis.

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  1. Counter protesters far, far outnumbered white nationalists of the “alt right” at a much-hyped Sunday protest in front of the White House.

    Unite the indifference.

  2. MIT professor Sherry Turkle on robots and why “there will never be an age of artificial intimacy.”

    instagram has taught me that intimate artificiality is alive and well, though

  3. How Rand Paul wooed Trump.

    Simple praise instead of preening hostility?

    1. I thought Trump was into urination?

      1. Its Golden Showers all the way down.

        1. Golden Showers fill your eyes
          Smiles await you when you rise
          Sleep pretty darling do not cry
          And I will sing a lullaby

        2. No, not QUITE all the way down…

          Near the bottom of your golden shower, you will find a brown mudbath!

          Angrily: I’m tired of yer shit!!!

          Slyly: Now I’d like to have some of yer piss!

      2. Maybe that’s what he’ll tell California: “Urination!”

    2. Rand and Trump have many, many common enemies. The quality of those enemies are a big part of the reason I overall support both of them.

  4. Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Michael Soliman said “his crew has seen trashed scooters in a 10-foot-high pile.”

    I saw the best scooters of my generation destroyed by madness,
    starving hysterical naked

  5. Russia is dealing with an epidemic of public park copulation that might be some sort of secret viral marketing campaign.

    In Russia you ruin ants’ picnic.

  6. Hey, Webmaster — It’s not possible to comment in the Naipaul post.

      1. Bob Arctor, as webmaster.

  7. Over the weekend, the Senate Judiciary Committee “released more than 87,000 records from Brett Kavanaugh’s tenure in the George W. Bush White House,” notes USA Today.

    how much of it is just this over and over: ?n?-kl?-?r

  8. Over the weekend, the Senate Judiciary Committee “released more than 87,000 records from Brett Kavanaugh’s tenure in the George W. Bush White House,” notes USA Today.

    Bottom line: you’re doing a heckuva job, Kavvie.

  9. The result has been “a dozen independent cybersecurity operations with overlapping agendas” and “only sporadic information-sharing between agencies.”

    That last part is probably a good thing

  10. An American GDPR would turn the U.S. into Europe, making America’s technology industry french toast.

    tip: don’t use the most delicious thing in the world as a twist on a phrase meaning “ruined”

    1. Our innovation would flake away like the layers of a scrumptious croissant.

    2. You really brisketed that attempt at analysis, Tagger.

      1. French toast? Freedom toast!

    3. Shit taste detected!

    4. tip: don’t use the most delicious thing in the world as a twist on a phrase meaning “ruined”

      ^Has clearly never tried to download anything using french toast.

  11. “Counter protesters”

    Chanted “no border, no wall, no USA at all” and physically attacked cops and media. Nada from the press.

    Tell y’all what, defenders of deplatforming the Alex Jones’ of the world, because the government is working thru entities with listings on a stock exchange *: they have the right to deplatform anyone they want, and they have total, 100% responsibility for anyone they allow a platform. Antifa is on Twitter, so Twitter is deliberately enabling their violence, so they are at risk of criminal charges. Same for any foreign terrorist group on Twitter.

    Total power means total responsibility. Also, if you libel me or I libel you on Twitter or Facebook, we get to sue their deep pockets. They are responsible for what goes out on their platforms.

    * the government gives tech companies the legal power of publishers and the legal protection of common carriers, and this special protection hinges on tech companies playing ball with the government. A Cass Sunstein ‘nudge’ is still government activity.

    1. The press also continues its silence on the Muslim school shooter training facility run by the family of the spiritual mentor of a Womens’ March organizer.

      1. The press also continues its silence on the Muslim school shooter training facility

        Right. Apparently you learned of it via carrier pigeon.

        1. Cathy pried herself off a 4 year old long enough to respond.

          If these had been Evangelicals who organized Tea Party rallies, this would be the only thing the media is talking about.

          1. This is how pathetic your comment is — one of Vox’s top stories right now is headlined “Antifa clashes with police and journalists in Charlottesville and DC.” It includes footage shot by an NPR reporter.

            1. And you are a pedophile.

    2. Senator Mark Warner, (D):

      “a revision to Section 230 could provide the ability for users who have successfully proved that sharing of particular content by another user constitutes a dignitary tort.”

      Good to see that Johnny Longstorso and Democrat Senator Warner can agree on to something! Maybe there is hope for bipartisanship after all.

      1. Don’t care if a Dem agrees or not. Twitter and Facebook want the power; they get the responsibility.

        Do you have an argument against that, or do you just want to be the last person outside the hard left to be silenced?

        1. Don’t care if a Dem agrees or not.

          Huh. This might be the first time you’ve made an argument where you are happy to agree with a Democrat. I thought they were the enemy?

          Just noting that the censors on the left and the right can both agree on something. And, surprise surprise, it’s more censorship.

          No one here believes you are making a principled argument. You just want to stick it to Big Tech, which evidently you hate even more than Democrats.

          You haven’t thought through about how your proposal would affect the environment of free expression generally, or how it might affect small-time bloggers, or how you would be giving judges the power to effectively regulate ‘hate speech’ even when various legislatures have rightfully declined to do so.

          Nope, it’s all about just sticking it to Big Tech. So it’s par for the course for the modern right. Come up with a half-baked idea that is more about punishing enemies than about advancing any positive good.

          1. Chemjeff progressive internationalist,

            You’re not arguing in good faith, or making much of an argument at all, other than “I don’t like your team”.
            The question of social media companies acting as publishers while avoiding the responsibility that comes with such a role has been much discussed here.
            Longtorso, iirc, makes the point above that government/oligarchs are effectively using this liability exemption as an end around to the US constitution’s free speech protections.
            My guess is that you don’t really object to this because you like the people doing the censoring and hate the censored, nor do you really believe in the constitution as you don’t believe in the US because you believe there are only citizens of the world, not distinct nations or polities.
            Your beliefs are purely emotional, if rationalized to your own mind, and that emotion is hatred. I don’t know where your hatred comes from, but can only guess that it’s a combination of self-loathing and bitter resentment arising from your misanthropic view of real people you know, contrasted against imaginary people you idealize.
            Know thyself, chemjeff progressive internationalist.

            1. I am perfectly happy to discuss my views. And I have, many times, here at Reason. Hint: They are not on the same page as the ‘ban hate speech’ crowd on the progressive left.

              But JLT and his cohort of Reason Republicans get a lot of unjustified mileage by just whining and complaining, and not offering anything of substance. And in those rare cases when they do offer something of substance – like what JLT posted above – they are half-baked ideas in the vein of “owning the libs” rather than rigorously based on *any* principle, let alone a libertarian principle.

              So I’m a little tired of always being asked to defend my ideas. It’s time for JLT, John, etc., to start defending theirs. Less whining, more reasoning.

              1. My position is that if Twitter wants the power, they should have the responsibility for what they publish. You only call that half baked because the people being deplatformed today are people you want silenced.

                1. They’re responsible for what they publish.
                  They’re not responsible for what other people publish.

                  I think Section 230 is a little overbroad. There may be an argument about putting defamatory links into a promoted area (ie Twitter Moments) or when websites republish articles (ie Blumenthal’s case against AOL). But to say that YouTube is responsible for the 300 hours of video uploaded every minute would strangle the internet.

                  1. But to say that YouTube is responsible for the 300 hours of video uploaded every minute would strangle the internet.

                    And, so YouTube would naturally respond, if not by closing down completely, then by severely limiting what could be uploaded and what couldn’t be. So if JLT is right and YouTube is run by a bunch of Progressive SJW Weirdos, they will permit videos that toe the progressive line, because they’ll go to the mat to defend that point of view. But they will not hesitate to take down videos that are even a little conservative, fearing lawsuits.

                2. So that goes for Gab and Breitbart too, right?

                  So if your rule gets passed, and some random commenter on Breitbart calls George Soros a “Nazi”, then Soros sues Breitbart out of existence for defamation. That is how you want it to work, right? So that sends a message to everyone on the Internet that it’s just legally safer not to have public comment boards or comment systems at all. So a lot of what made the Internet great, the free and open exchange of ideas, is now gone, replaced by a bunch of gatekeeping news web sites run by big companies with big pockets who can afford big legal departments to handle all of the frivolous lawsuits about every single article that they publish. We will be back to the days of having the Big Three networks telling us all what was news and what wasn’t.

                  This is the solution that you envision. But, you will have totally pwned the libs on Twitter! Hooray!

                  1. If Gab doesn’t ban people for wrongthink, they aren’t acting as a publisher and are OK.

                    You want the power, you get the responsibility.

                    You don’t want the responsibility, don’t assert the power.

                    1. Come up with a precise definition of “wrongthink” then.

                    2. Would a forum catering to Christians be required to accept comments promoting Islam?

                    3. Why stop at Islam? What about pornography? Spam? Those are both free speech.

                    4. Just as I predicted. Even the smallest amount of pushback on your half-baked idea causes it to crumble. You haven’t thought this thing through; moreover, it doesn’t matter to you, because all you want to do is “pwn the libs”.

                    5. “Even the smallest amount of pushback on your half-baked idea causes it to crumble”

                      Jesus Christ, just scream “I am trying to bait you” you fucking clown.

          2. You haven’t thought through about how your proposal would affect the environment of free expression generally

            And you’re quite happy to see free expressions suppressed as long as the government’s not doing it.

            1. The government is doing it, by giving Twitter and Facebook a special protected position in return for them playing ball.

            2. And you’re quite happy to see free expressions suppressed as long as the government’s not doing it.

              I am completely on board with you having the power to suppress free speech on your property.

              If you’re not, then I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if Tony came over to your place and went on and on about the virtues of Hillary Clinton, and you had no power to shut him up.

              1. If Tony came onto my property to coordinate a terrorist activity, I couldn’t complain if he got arrested.

              2. If you’re not, then I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if Tony came over to your place and went on and on about the virtues of Hillary Clinton, and you had no power to shut him up.

                My house is a lot different than a massive tech corporation with billions of dollars and national influence. That you’re incapable of seeing that says a lot about the anarcho-tyrannic mindset.

                1. No different in principle.

                  If you think there is a difference, then please tell us what amount of money and influence justifies nationalizing someone’s private property for the sake of the ‘common good’.

                  You want the state to effectively nationalize the property of Big Tech, because you believe they are on Team Blue, and you’ll reason backwards to come up with whatever rationalizations are necessary in order to support that conclusion.

      2. Good to see you are still an idiot who can’t make rational arguments. The problem with Warner’s proposal is that it recognizes “dignity torts” whatever the fuck that is. That is not the same thing as saying to a platform that if they are going to assume control over all of the content on it and someone then uses their platform to engage in a conspiracy to commit a crime, the platform is going to be held responsible for it.

        1. It depends on if the company took any steps to further the crime.

          Facebook, Twitter, Google cannot exert control over all content. There is just too much to imply that they can and should see it all.

          Even fully moderated comments (ie they only get published after someone looks at it) are protected by Section 230, except copyright claims and federal crimes.

          1. They can exert control over whether Hamas and Antifa get to use their services.

          2. No it doesn’t. We are talking about civil liability not criminal liability.

            1. Read Section 230. The meat of it is one sentence.

              They are not publishers. Period. No matter if they moderate. No matter if they aggregate. They could select posts, gather them together, and put them on a website. As long as it’s not their words, they are not publishers and they are not liable.

              1. You don’t need 230 for a state law tort action. If you think a platform that knowingly allowed a murder to be planned by its users and not be liable, you are dumber than you seem to be. And my God do you seem to be stupid.

                1. Section 230 preempts state criminal law. That was why FOSTA was passed. Backpage was held not liable for promoting prostitution.

                  If they were complicit, sure. But not by merely using the service. They are not required to be the police. That’s like holding AT&T responsible for someone using text messages to commit a crime.

                  Name one case where a company was held liable for the crime based on people using it. If it was so obvious, why was FOSTA passed to allow it in the specific case of Human Trafficking?

    3. “no border, no wall, no USA at all”
      Whoever came up with this not only sucks at making catchy chants but also didn’t think this one through.

    4. Anarchists were present in DC?

      I wonder if Zeb, Sarasmic, Jesse Walker, Chemjeff… got all dressed up.

    5. Tech companies are not common carriers.
      They have absolute immunity for other people’s words. It doesn’t matter if they choose it. Check out Blumenstein vs AOL. AOL republished Drudge articles. They specifically chose his articles and republished them. Since they didn’t add any words, they got immunity for libel.

      1. “It doesn’t matter if they choose it. ”

        That’s actually wrong in totality, choosing content based on ideology is editorial control, and they lose their immunity.

        All you ever seem to do is get things wrong, why do you bother posting?

        1. There is no prohibition against editorial control.

          If you publish other people’s words on the Internet, you are not liable for what the words say. Find any case law. It’s never happened.

          Sidney Blumenthal sued AOL because they had a deal to republish Drudge columns. They chose Drudge. They said we’ll republish your columns and pay you for the privilege. They were still not counted as a publisher. They received Section 230 relief and the lawsuit was dismissed.

    6. “Tell y’all what, defenders of deplatforming the Alex Jones’ of the world, because the government is working thru entities with listings on a stock exchange”

      The glaring hole in current cosmotarian philosophy exposed.

  12. Federal agencies have launched several offices and programs since the 2016 election that are intended to secure cyberspace…

    Ironic that the person whose unsecure server was part of her downfall would have been president if not for poor American firewall design!

  13. The paper described these plans as a response to Russian propaganda campaigns, online harassment, and the overall entrenched and secretive nature of Facebook, Google, and other major technology companies.

    In typical fashion, we will accomplish on our own the thing we feared some scary group of foreigners would do to us

  14. They Are Not Never Trump ? They Are Never You
    But we are never going back. Those of us who could care less about our cool kid status in the high school that is Washington, D.C., and more about actually getting results, have permanently screwed everything up for them. We rejected them, and they hate us for it. We ruined their little arrangement with the liberals ? be non-threatening and you get some scraps. Their treacherous embrace of the liberal establishment’s war on dissent is a desperate attempt to turn back the clock to the era when the Bow Tie Brigade was not accountable to normal people like us.

    How did our supposed betters get the idea they were better anyway? Have they done anything but go to college and write stuff they didn’t really believe? Have they started businesses? Served in the military? Done a push-up?

    1. do you even lift bro as think piece

    2. If you put Brett Stephens, Kevin D. Williamson, Bill Kristol and Sarah Jeong in a room and had them talk about the white middle class, they wouldn’t disagree on much. They might have different reasons for thinking what they do, but they would speak the same language and be in general agreement about most things.

      1. I think Williamson’s bio piece revealed he came from a family that’s basically the opposite of the storybook salt-of-the-earth hardworking virtuous poor; they were perpetual fuckups with loser habits and not especially poor and disadvantaged in circumstance in any way–kind of like the Malcolm in the Middle family. So that may explain a lot.

        But, in an era of the comprehensive bougiefication of the entire left two-thirds of the spectrum–we live in a time when even the formerly “radical” working-class “left wing” is now just engaged in an intra-upper-middle-class struggle with the “moderates” (themselves no longer “liberals” in remote semblance of course); note that Bernie Sanders was once vanguard crunchy-hippie “New Left” as opposed to the lunchpail economics-only stiffs left over from the previous generation, whereas now he looks comically out of his league trying to keep up with the wokeness–I have never been so fascinated with the Jeremy Corbyns and trustafarians turned Park Slopers of the world as I am with the folks from real minority or working-class white backgrounds who have come fully on board with the new bougie-virtue-signal-driven program…

        1. …Like, what makes a kid from Brownsville (Texas, Brooklyn, or West Virginia; take your pick) go off and then come back to be a leader to his neighborhood and start proudly passing bills burdening his community with the duty to protect transgender rainforest dolphins from secondhand smoke and so forth? I am fascinated by the sudden ability of the universal urge for people of all backgrounds to send social signals distinguishing themselves from “those people” (seemingly like me but so so not), to all of a sudden completely become the dominant social force in much of the world’s political culture–completely killing any remnants of traditional working-class leftism, for example, after a centuries-long run.

          1. They do it because virtue signaling, as opposed to living virtuously is an easy way to personal affirmation.

            1. Yes of course. I just always am extra intrigued by the pull of the virtue signal on those who had what it takes to bust their ass and lift themselves up out of those circumstances, and then turn around and engage in that behavior. The rich suburban kids, and the prog-diaper babies from Park Slope, I am less mystified by as virtue signaling adults.

              Perhaps it’s just a turbocharged version of the age-old phenomenon of the poor kid who made it making extra sure to always have the largest sneer in the salon at the revoltingness of the proles–make sure everyone knows what class you are a part of. But now that the official class social marker is feigning compassion for the have-nots in principle (even while in practice fucking them over at every opportunity, and with the other side of your mouth curled into a bigger sneer than ever), the lure has become irresistable. No poor kid who managed to “make it” wants to revert to being a leader of working-class leftism; bougie leftism, on the other hand, has proved irresistible. Hence that has totally taken over as it has become available.

        2. the folks from real minority or working-class white backgrounds who have come fully on board with the new bougie-virtue-signal-driven program…

          Genuinely curious where/whether you see this happening, because I do not. What I see of this phenomenon is so middle-class it hurts.

          1. You are both right Cathy. It is very middle class. It is a middle-class person signaling his superiority to his peers and his arrival as one of the elite. This sort of thing is a brand. You signal your membership in the elite brand by saying and doing certain things.

            Obama perfected this brand form of politics. Most people who voted for Obama had no idea what he actually thought or planned to do. Hell, I am not sure Obama had any idea. Obama’s great genius was that he figured out at an early age that if he was cagey enough white people would project onto him whatever they wanted him to be. Voting for Obama, especially in 08 was a way of showing you were a part of the tolerant elite.

            What the Democrats never counted on was that the backlash could produce a competing brand. Trump in many ways was the yin to the Obama yang. Voting for Trump in 2016 became the same kind of brand that voting for Obama was only it was people’s way of giving the finger to the elite.

            1. …it was people’s way of giving the finger to the elite.

              Yes. I’ve made this argument to many people who can’t understand how Trump got elected and I almost always get blank stares back. I do live in an area of the country where people don’t have much contact with ‘fly-over’ country, nor do they want to, so I guess that explains the blank stares.

              1. Trump played the media so perfectly. Had the media and his GOP opponents ever reached out to his voters and tried to co-opt Trump, his campaign would have lost its reason for being. Trump understands how to manipulate the media like no other candidate I have ever seen. Trump turned the elite brand to his advantage. By constantly baiting the media and the political elite into attacking him and his supporters, he made hating Trump and his supporters part of the elite brand. This made it impossible for his opponents to reach out to his supporters or really do anything but insult them without losing their status in the elite.

                It was absolutely brilliant and showed an understanding of the media and political elite that no other candidate has ever had.

                1. This made it impossible for his opponents to reach out to his supporters or really do anything but insult them without losing their status in the elite.

                  As I’ve pointed out before, if you listen to Hillary’s whole “basket of deplorables” speech you’ll see that she wasn’t dismissing all of Trump supporters, she had 3 baskets. The first is the hard-core (R) voters who wouldn’t vote Democrat if Jesus Christ himself were running on the ticket, then there’s the deplorables, then there’s the disillusioned and the disaffected, the ones who felt government and the economy and society had let them down and were now ignored and forgotten. I suspect Bill “It’s The Economy, Stupid” Clinton was telling her this same thing, and Hillary was trying to grasp it, that a lot of Trump’s supporters were the traditional blue-collar, working-class, unionized schlubs that used to be a core constituency of the Democratic Party but now felt abandoned by their party.

                  1. This “outreach” didn’t go far and I have a strong suspicion Hillary didn’t actually give a shit about these people except as a source of votes accessible by the simple expedient of pretending to give a shit as the Dems have been doing for at least the last 50 years. But there was at least some lip service paid by Clinton to the idea that at least some of Trump’s supporters could be wooed. (Pardon me for using “lip service” and “Clinton” in the same sentence.) Really, what she said was little different than Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remark, just an acknowledgement that some votes aren’t worth pursuing because you aren’t going to get them no matter what so let’s focus on the votes we can get.

                    And then she proceeded to ignore the voters in the rust belt states she identified as voters tired of being ignored, because she’s really, really horribly incompetent.

                    1. I think Hillary’s ability to reach out to these voters was greatly inhibited by the media and cultural environment that saw loathing such people as a badge of enlightenment. I think Hillary and her staff thought they didn’t need these people to win and therefore saw no reason to go against the prevailing upper-class brand to reach out to them. I think the belief that the Democrats were destined to control the White House forever based on the Obama coalition is why Hillary ignored Bill’s advice.

                      Trump’s manipulation of the media was a bigger factor in him getting the nomination. His GOP opponents never once tried to co-opt him or reach out to his supporters because he managed to make hating him and his supporters a necessary part of being in the GOP establishment.

                    2. They may not yet need them. They have been committing further and further to the coalition of college-educated whites, government employees, and various identity-politics demographics. They hoped to hold on to at least a respectable number of poor whites outside the “voting their economic interest.” That hope is probably lost but they may not need it because of their unanticipated amount of success in share of their core coalition (and its booming size).

                      With the shockingly successful retaming of our urban cores, the suburban bougie has been partially displaced by something even more Democrat friendly–the urban bougie. And corporate America has proven far more amenable to thorough and extreme social progressification than ever thought possible–I can’t even imagine what a kid today thinks when he sees a movie about ’80s slicked-hair yuppies; it must be like seeing a movie about medieval samurais. I think the very upper-class-skewing gay rights may have been the “gateway drug” to thoroughgoing cultural wokeness here.

                      Anyway we see this shift to a bougie/minority vs. right-populist political spectrum happening all over the First World now. And I think the time for the former to be the “naturally governing party” may have finally arrived. Just because it’s been a false alarm for ages doesn’t mean it won’t happen. The numbers are better than ever. Look for a purple Georgia soon, followed by the rest of the coastal Southeast and surely Texas too.

                    3. *poor whites outside the South voting their economic interest…

                    4. The only way that works Diago is if they can continue to convince Hispanics and blacks to vote for the elite regardless of their actual interests. I do not believe they can do that.

                      The other problem is that the left has become so polarizing that more and more college educated whites are being kicked out of the movement in the name of identity politics. Whites are still the majority of the electorate and you can’t win if you lose 70% or more of them, which is what the Democrats are looking at.

                    5. Waiting for blacks to “wake up” is the Right’s version of waiting for Kansas to rise up and lead the Emerging Democratic Majority to the promised land on the backs of their “economic interests.” Where is there sign that it is any tiny bit closer to occurring than it has been for the past fifty years? And Latinos (like Asians and Muslims, but they are not very important) actually got far further away than before during the previous decade! The new MAGA order is not particularly alienating to these or any other of the demographic-minority groups, but neither does it seem to have turned the tide significantly for any of them or show much promise for doing so. Maybe there is some long-term hope as racism recedes so much, and perhaps interbreeding advances so much, that these groups will simply succeed to have much sense of demographic identity (as most white ethnic groups have, with the secular Jews–the ones at once with the strongest “minority” status and greatest material success–differing only in assimilating to being generic leftist wypipo instead of rightist) at all…

                    6. …It will all come down to whether pseudoacademic “woke” culture and far-leftism is able to build a socially stable bougie-virtue-signaling-based simulacrum of itself in general society, or whether it will inherently lead to spectacular collapse. (A bit like how health care has apparently been able to enjoy decades of sustained stability as a socialized sector attached to societies that are otherwise economically healthy enough.) If so it may be able to keep minorities on the reservation; if it loses control of its “victimhood Olympics” and begins throwing the plain-Jane old minorities out like yesterday’s trash in favor of the newest sexy super-oppressed group, it will not.

                      One of the only sources for hope for me–since the Right can always ultimately match the Left stupidity for stupidity–is that Jordan Peterson. He is not inherently interesting, and is not actually driving anything, but his popularity does look like a symptom. Mostly it just looks like the woke, statist-authoritarian insanity is perversely escalating among the young, with no end in sight. But this is certainly a sign of hope that they have overreached, and a backlash is quietly bubbling away, festering and growing–and nowhere more powerfully than with the young. I hope, mostly because I need to.

                    7. *simply cease to have any demographic identity…

                    8. If so it may be able to keep minorities on the reservation; if it loses control of its “victimhood Olympics” and begins throwing the plain-Jane old minorities out like yesterday’s trash in favor of the newest sexy super-oppressed group, it will not.

                      It is already doing that. Women are being thrown over the side for the trannies. Jews have been thrown over the side for Muslims. Blacks have been told to go to the back of the bus for immigrants. The coalition is totally unsustainable and falling apart.

                    9. Yet, somehow, women are backing Democrats in unprecedented numbers in this election. Blacks and Jews are still solidly Democratic.

                      Progressives don’t believe that it’s pitting people against each other. It’s protecting all people, white, black, asian, straight, gay, religious, nonreligious, etc.

                      For example, the cake issue. The conservative framing is that it’s about religious rights, that the baker’s right is infringed. The liberal framing is that it’s discrimination, and using religion to justify discrimination is wrong and certain religions shouldn’t be exempt from the law, just like almost all society decided that the religious backing for discriminating against racial intermarriage was bullshit.

                    10. Yet, somehow, women are backing Democrats in unprecedented numbers in this election. Blacks and Jews are still solidly Democratic.

                      No they are not. Stop shitting all over the threads. No one gives a shit what you have to say.

              2. The people you mention dont want to know about the rest of American.

                They think the ONLY reason for Trump being president is Roooskies.

                It is unfathomable to them that there is a Silent Majority and those ‘silent’ Americans dont want America to go the direction it was.

            2. You nailed it, John.

    3. One of the most insidious parts of the modern right is their deliberate conflations of patriotism and Republicanism. That the demands of patriotism necessitates voting for Republicans, and that those who don’t vote for Republicans should have their patriotism questioned. It is offensive and wrong, but completely par for the course for a group of people led around by shameless demagogues.

      1. It is terrible. it is like when Republicans accuse Democrats of working with the Russians and of treason based on no evidence at all.

      2. Normal people usually define “patriotism” as loving, or at least having general good feelings towards one’s country, in spite of its flaws. Of course it has nothing to do with who you vote for, and many patriotic Americans don’t vote at all.

        What’s insidious about modern leftists like you is you’re constantly seeking to turn this definition on its head. You want to redefine patriotism from loving one’s country to attacking it and hating it.

        1. What’s insidious about modern leftists like you is you’re constantly seeking to turn this definition on its head. You want to redefine patriotism from loving one’s country to attacking it and hating it.

          Uhh…”lefties” usually just say that patriotism is bad.

          1. Sometimes. Other times, they use “patriotism” as a cudgel in the manner demonstrated by chemjeff progressive internationalist above.
            Consistency is anathema to mofern progressivism/leftism.
            Necessarily so, psychologically.

          2. Lefties are fine with patriotism as long as its to a Socialist nation not a free nation like the USA.

            The Lefty Nazis and Russian Communists were very patriotic.

    4. How did our supposed betters get the idea they were better anyway? Have they done anything but go to college and write stuff they didn’t really believe?

      They learned not to act like Eric Cartman all the time, mostly.

      Also, “serving” in the military is bad.

      1. The Smug has starved Lefty brains of necessary oxygen to think critically and form logical comments.

  15. “there will never be an age of artificial intimacy.”

    Perhaps she means “an age of artificial intimacy consent”?

    1. But officer, she was 10000 in binary!

      1. 10010 is the age of consent in most states.

        1. Yes but in hex you can date a 12 year old.

  16. “No border, no wall, no USA at all”
    Protesters now chanting and marching west on I street

    I keep telling you these protesters are our natural allies. Just listen to their eloquent critique of Drumpf’s white nationalist immigration policies.

    #OpenBorders
    #NoBanNoWall

  17. Did Nellie Ohr of Fusion GPS/Spygate infamy become a ham radio operator during the 2016 election campaign because she thought it would help her evade possible surveillance of her ongoing skulduggery?

    I must say that the timing sure seems rather odd, and I don’t know too many middle aged women who suddenly develop a fetish for ham radio. The last time I used one myself was as a teenager in the early 80s.

    1. Maybe she really did like Ham radio. Odd coincidences happen. On the other hand, that would be one hell of an odd coincidence.

    2. So, while supposedly trying to avoid surveillance, she goes ahead and takes the test to get a license? If she were being surreptitious, she wouldn’t have gotten the license. It’s not like there are people out there busting Ham’s for Hamming unlicensed.

      The tech license is for VHF/UHF bands. These are generally around town, she wasn’t exactly talking with Russia.

      This isn’t the stupidest conspiracy theory I’ve seen this week, but it’s close.

      1. Yes, but you’re an idiot, so your judgement is totally worthless.

        1. That was witty. Was there anything wrong with what I said?
          How would a 2 meter radio help her at all?

  18. If you engage in hate speech you lose your Twitter account, unless of course it is directed at those Satanic Jews.

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/304681/

    1. Hamas is on Twitter. Twitter is taking 100% responsibility for what goes out on their platform. Twitter is now deliberately cooperating with terrorists and we are now free to arrest them on that basis.

      Total power means total responsibility. Twitter is actively saying they want terrorists by saying you can or can not be on their platform based on whether you support their ‘values’.

      1. Twitter has free speech rights. Twitter does not have the right to deliberately help coordinate terrorism.

    2. PJ media is weird AF; I can’t figure them out. Like usually they have pretty high-quality stuff by the standards of their normal tier of clickbait shortform sites, but here they are writing one of several weird defenses of Vox Day’s creepy (and somewhat bum in quality from what I hear, at least at first) alt-right hero comic series.

      Day is one of the godfathers of the much-maligned Alt-Right. But those who try to call him a white nationalist or supremacist fail miserably because he is only part white, claiming Native American and Mexican heritage and speaking out vocally against any form of racial supremacism.

      …they say, which is so unfathomably misleading as to either be deliberately so or at near-mental-retardation levels of journalistic sloppiness.

      Maybe they just have shitty quality control after all.

      1. They have shit quality control. And Day is a complete tribalist moron. Day is a fascist in the real sense. He rejects classical liberalism and claims that people are driven by tribal instincts overall. He is also not a capitalist in that he believes that every tribe should set up their own parallel economies and businesses.

        Day is a dangerous idiot. He is the kind of dangerous idiot that is given a platform and allowed to be a truth teller because the mainstream right is so neutered and refuses to tell truths that might get them branded racists by the left. Day is a perfect example of the kind of unreasonable voice that will be heard when reasonable voices are not.

        1. Mmm, you seem very well informed. If you don’t mind, how about a quick rundown of the following marginal characters: Derbyshire; Sailer; Gavin McInnes; Molyneux; Curtis Yarvin (“Moldbug”). I don’t read much of any of them, but everyone is always talking about them.

          People don’t always stay in one place. I am fascinated by how people like Ron Unz and Paul Craig Roberts started as harmless eccentric deviants from libertarianism and are now full-on Jew hating lunatics. Is anti-semitism the libertarianism of fools as well?

          I will admit that it’s a distinct sociological and perhaps even psychological possibility that thinking too far outside the mainstream of your society unmoors from the sanity-checking social mechanisms of mass thought (wherever it happens to be). There’s a fine line, and not always a clear one to the outside-the-box, “open-minded” thinker, between extreme skepticism and extreme credulity, between “wake up sheeple” in a good and a bad way. Perhaps I’m seeing mostly selection effect. But perhaps it really is a bit psychologically “dangerous” to be an adventurous thinker, just as it is physically dangerous to explore physically uncharted territory.

          1. I don’t know anything about the others you ask about but I am familiar with Derbyshire. Derbyshire is a crotchety old guy more than anything. His sins such as they were were stating generalized things about the various races that powers that be did not want to hear. He never said every person of a particular race was this way or that way, only that as a group they were, which is more or less true. Derbyshire said nothing worse about ethnic groups than Williamson said about the white working class. Derbyshire became a pariah and Williamson became a hero because insulting the white working class is a badge of honor among the ilk who run our media.

            Derbyshire is a smart guy and a serious mathematician. He is worth listening to but is a bit of a crank sometimes. He is one of those types of cranks that actually is good in that he makes you defend and think about your PC assumptions.

          2. “perhaps it really is a bit psychologically “dangerous” to be an adventurous thinker, just as it is physically dangerous to explore physically uncharted territory.”

            Yes. Yes it is.

            I like Gavin McInnes. Funny guy, unique but real take on things. He was one of the founders of Vice News, but was booted when he wouldn’t get aboard the transgender-worship train.

            1. http://www.cjnews.com/news/can…..jews-video

              He seems nice.

    3. (((satanic Joos)))

  19. residents of the CNMI aren’t voting on whether they want recreational weed to be legal?it’s being done entirely by lawmakers in the House and Senate.

    Unlike any of the other laws foist upon the residents.

  20. But he said people aren’t reporting the vandalism, and his team prioritizes protecting people over protecting scooters.

    If they were police scooters, on the other hand…

  21. A growing body of evidence, however, indicates that the meeting may have been a setup — part of a broad effort to tarnish the Trump campaign involving Hillary Clinton operatives employed by Kremlin-linked figures and Department of Justice officials. This view, that the real collusion may have taken place among those who arranged the meeting rather than the Trump officials who agreed to attend it, is supported by two disparate lines of evidence pulled together for the first time here: newly released records and a pattern of efforts to connect the Trump campaign to Russia.

    http://www.realclearinvestigat…..setup.html

    1. Fuckin’ LOL at his apologists trying to stick up for him. “That was done years ago, he’s grown, he’s changed!!”

      1) All those tweets were done when Gunn was in his 40s. Are we extending adolescence to the mid-life crisis years now? Granted, the Boomers have been the dominant demographic group for several decades now, so this might be more accurate than we realize, but should we really be emulating a generation that have been in denial for 50 years that it’s not 1968 anymore?

      2) Pedophilia is the probably the second-most well-known open secret in Hollywood other than the casting couch. Should it really surprise anyone that a well-connected director seems to have a fetish for kids?

      1. Yeah, you don’t change much after your 40s. The other thing is that an obsession with this kind of stuff is just deeply weird. Joking about screwing children is just not something normal people do.

  22. In the past, I was skeptical of sexbots mostly because I thought that a human companion has more to offer than just sex. There is a reason why, for most people, being with another person is more exciting and satisfying than masturbation. No matter how sophisticated or realistic-looking a future real doll might be, it’s not going make anyone forget it’s not a person.

    But technology like Siri could start to change that. If the doll can actually hold an intelligent conversation, even providing citations for assertions it makes, and expounding on topics you care about, it may start giving real people a run for their money. I’ve had more than one relationship sparked because a woman brought up some conversational topic like art history or mythology or 19th-century architecture or epigenetics. Nothing is sexier than a good-looking bespectacled lady with huge…brains. If your “brain” is the entire internet (mostly the non-dumb parts), that can be formidable attribute.

    1. If the doll can actually hold an intelligent conversation,

      Spoken like someone innocent of Tinder.

    2. “You … you’ve found another app!”

    3. Passing the Turing test is going to be harder than that. Beyond that, rubber is not skin. I cannot see how they can ever get a doll that has the same touch and feel of a real person.

      1. Well, if they can make artificial meat ….

        1. Yeah, it would have to be some kind of Terminator like biological creation.

          1. Yeah, it would have to be some kind of Terminator like biological creation.

            Again, written by someone innocent of Tinder…..

            1. I heard Tinder was like the dog pound, full of strays and misfits that can’t get laid the normal way.

              1. I think you are out of date. That was certainly true of personals and matchmaking services (outside of expat communities like Indians, where it obviously fit with very longstanding tradition) in the past. And even computer dating as late as the Lavalife (ie pre-smartphone) era. But nowadays technology and virtual spaces have so profoundly saturated our lives that I think it is “getting laid the ‘normal’ way,” or will soon become so. Therefore you’ll not be getting a B-team to choose from on those sites.

                Singles bars, sex clubs, and gay bars are becoming an endangered species as adult theaters and then porn shops before them. The NBA homecourt advantage has shrunk to nearly nil because nowadays the visiting guys simply “order in” in their hotels and are asleep after an hour or two rather than going out into the city and getting plastered all night. (The smartphone has been both carrot and stick in this case, given the cameras that will be on them.) People simply find this kind of thing vastly more convenient.

                I say this as a guy who has never tried online dating. I probably should–I’d be best at Tinder–but I care more about not adding any of that shit to my online footprint than getting laid. (Faggot.)

                1. I am definitely out of date Diego.

        2. You don’t even have to use artificial meat. Instead of cremating people, we could recycle their flesh! I already do that with my cats.

          1. TMI!

          2. “Solyent Green is made out of people.”

            Seriously, though, one of the barn cats was named “Satan” because she ate her first litter of kittens.

            1. Aw that is actually kind of cute!

    4. If the doll can actually hold an intelligent conversation, even providing citations for assertions it makes

      Nothing gets me in the mood like some well-cited assertions.

      1. “…extensive research has confirmed that streptomycin resistance in pathogenic Salmonella species is mediated by interspecies plasmid transfer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume 35, pages 431-433.”

        “Ohh babe! Yeah! Ohhhhh! Keep going!”

    5. VR will be more desirable and cheaper for that kind of shit.

    6. *rolls the doll over*

      “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that

      1. Dave’ll just have to pull the plug himself.

      2. Humorous as it may seem now, if dolls get realistic enough to threaten the female monopoly on sex there will be a serious effort in Congress to pass a federal law requiring a “consent app” in every doll.

        And the software for it will be written by the angriest university Title IX administrator they can find.

        1. How exactly could a sex doll consent to anything?

          1. I see it as more of a net nanny type program where certain acts, or certain acts applied too vigorously or abruptly, would elicit a verbal “no” response from the doll. Continued attempts after the “no” response would cause the doll to send a message to the manufacturer via built in cell phone.

            The feminist left have already made their disgust known about these dolls. They won’t allow realistic sex dolls designed to cater to male sexual fantasies to proliferate without a fight.

    7. But technology like Siri could start to change that. If the doll can actually hold an intelligent conversation

      So…nothing like Siri, then.

  23. Too Much ‘Cybersecurity’ Is the Real Menace to the Internet

    If ‘Cybersecurity’ is a real thing, why so many successful data breaches and malware attacks?

  24. So where do our collective free marketeers stand on banks/credit card companies using govt regulations as a barrier to entry for competitors, then refusing to work with gun retailers and manufacturers to disarm us, totally voluntarily on the part of those totally free market businesses?

    1. Sorry, are you suggesting the banking industry is a free market?

      1. No, JLT just wants to bait people.

        1. No, I just believe that the combination of government protection and ‘private’ entities pushing what the left wants qualifies as the government acting. If that combination infringes on my right to buy a gun, it violates the 2nd amendment.

  25. A vid by someone who has obviously spent time considering the causes of the CA wild-fires. Hint: The fires seem to be growing in direct relationship to state regs:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajPpP3vbD5c

    1. You mean making it illegal to cut down underbrush might contribute to brush fires? Who knew?

    2. CA fire conservation years back started tiny fires to burn underbrush and reduce the fuel when big fires hit. They also had fire breaks all over the place.

      The CA environmentalists fought against these two measures because animals, forests and dirt are more important than trying to mitigate a raging fire. Plus, if society burns to the ground Anarchy-Land will be much more good to Mother Earth.

      1. Which is dumb since the animals, forests and dirt of CA all evolved and adapted to periodic fire. Too many people get their environmental understanding from Bambi, it would appear.

    3. Indian tribes in California are starting to fire manage their own lands, again. Turns out they have a long tradition of using ? controlled burns to decrease risk of major fires.

      1. And with any luck, the damned spotted owls got roasted in the process!

  26. If you’re going to cover contemporary events in your music, please abstract it a bit more because the song will quickly feel dated otherwise. Because this (At least listen to the beginning.) is a bit too obvious. Also, while I’m not a fan of the Trumpster, to imply that he’s going to rape this country and the world is ridiculous. The instrumentation is great, but the lyrics make me roll my eyes sometimes.

    1. You can’t do good art unless you understand the subject. Leftists have lost the ability to understand their opponents. So, anytime they try to do art to satirize and criticize them it falls flat. Without a grain of truth, art is just dull.

  27. Google tracks your movements, like it or not

    leaving “Web & App Activity” on and turning “Location History” off only prevents Google from adding your movements to the “timeline,” its visualization of your daily travels. It does not stop Google’s collection of other location markers.

    We’re dealing with computers here. You must be *specific*.

  28. Trump Called Kellyanne Conway’s Filipino Husband a ‘F?king FLIP’ and ‘Goo-goo,’

    Trump has faced a lot of allegations that he is a racist. Whether it is from individuals who believe he gave preferential treatment to white people when renting out apartments, or the fact that he used derogatory language toward blacks and jews on the set of his famous TV show The Apprentice, there is certainly a lot of question as to Trump’s true feeling toward minorities in America.

    George Conway has oftentimes spoken his mind about President Trump and his policies, in an open and unbiased manner. Unlike his wife Kellyanne, who defends Trump’s every last action, George Conway has frequently mocked the President as well as stood up against his policies and actions.

    Hill Reporter

    Trouble in the Family!

  29. Speaking of the tech companies spying on you, a couple of weeks ago my wife and I met a friend of hers and her husband and their four year old daughter. We do not have children nor any nieces or nephews that young. So, we hang out and have dinner and play with and talk to the daughter for the evening. They leave and I am looking at Facebook on my phone and what do you know but all of the ads on my facebook feed are for young children’s toys. I had not done any internet searches for toys any time that I can remember.

    How is it that Facebook suddenly is sending me ads for toys for under 7 year old children unless my phone was spying on me? I hate to be a conspiracy theorist but I don’t see any other explanation for it.

    1. If you’re friends with your wife’s friend on FB, FB could be smart enough to connect your location data together and then push ads on the basis of your connection with the friend, even if you never explicitly posted about the connection.

      1. That is probably what happened. I have to give them credit, that is one hell of an algorithm.

        1. Not quite.
          Was having a conversation with a friend one time and it wandered into a discussion about some random product (don’t remember what specifically). Hadn’t ever searched for it or anything related. Next day I open up my Google app and the first thing I see are adds for this product.
          I never go on Facebook, so don’t know for sure, but I assume they have a contract with Google for sharing data, including voice recordings.
          Yes, were under constant surveillance.

      2. As John said, the phones and the app are jointly spying on him and his friend.

        Creepy stories like this one are almost enough to make me want to go back to communicating by ham radio.

        1. Buttplugger and Tony would still find us and troll us via wireless radio.

    2. Pro-tip: Don’t use Facebook.

      1. I don’t give a shit. They can run whatever ads they want at me. They never get any money out of me. They can waste their time and money all they like.

        1. Pro-tip: Don’t be so vulgar.

          1. Fuck off.,

            1. Don’t be mean to me, Ken Doll. I’m fragile.

          2. Pro-tip, don’t use the term Pro tip. It just makes you sound like a feminine hygiene product and the bag it came in.

            1. Well, what if I am? On the internet, anybody can be anything.

    3. It’s probably GPS services.

      I have a GPS device on a motorcycle in case its stolen. They say it’s accurate to within 8 feet. When I use the map on their website before I put it on the motorcycle, it was so accurate, I could look at Google Maps and tell which room I was in in my house.

      That GPS device updates every 20 seconds and passes the GPS coordinates via local cell phone towers.

      Of course they can track where you are and whom you’re with.

      Incidentally, this is an excellent time to bring up what used to be “Eelo” and is now being called “/e/”.

      https://e.foundation/mobile-phone-os/

      Simplified, it’s a version of Android that’s been stripped of all Google services, including GPS, where the user can choose other services (including GPS) that don’t share your information.

      The first version is scheduled to be released over the upcoming couple of months.

    4. That kind of shit happens all the time to me, but not with Facebook since I don’t use it and have never installed the app. It happens with Google. I just have to be talking about something, then I go to Google it, I type one letter and it suggests exactly what I was just talking about. And it’ll be some random, non-obvious thing. Your Android phone is definitely listening to you at all times.

      1. I have never had that happen with my iphone. But you are not the only one I have heard say this about androids.

        1. My point was that you generate that data with the GPS on your phone, and it doesn’t cost them anything to obtain that location data. Meanwhile, that information is valuable to serve ads. Why wouldn’t they use it?

          It’s true that Google (via Android) is more evil than Apple this way, but that’s because of the nature of their businesses and how far along they are in their development cycles. Apple is mostly a hardware company. Google is an advertising platform. So, of course Google is exploiting its technology to serve you ads where Apple is mostly just trying to sell you hardware.

          As Apple’s ad technology catches up to Google’s, they’ll become more evil the way Google is. It’s easy to be better than Google when you don’t have the technology necessary to be as evil as Google. That will change.

          Eventually, you’ll need to take responsibility for your own privacy.

          There is no way the government won’t eventually exploit this technology for its own purposes. Again, the significant barrier to the NSA tracking our phone calls wasn’t the Fourth Amendment. Once it became technologically viable to track our phone calls and was no longer prohibitively expensive, they did what they wanted to do in spite of the Fourth Amendment.

          The good news is that it’s soon to become technologically viable and no longer prohibitively expensive to use web services and smart phones that don’t track and share your location and other private information.

    5. Where did you hang out?

      I have this suspicion that you’re on to something. If you went to a kid-centric location like Chuck-E-Cheese, it makes sense that the social media platforms would want to get you to support their advertisers.

      If the media would investigate what is really going on with our social media lives, Americans would be shocked.

      Did you read the Las Vegas shooter police report? Its 81 pages long. In it are some revealing social media and search engine details that most people dont know. Page 45 is where the digital inquiry starts.

      Police were able to go back and find out what the date time and some of the searches were. The report does not say if he just forgot to clear his browser completely or he was a security literate person but police cracked the hard drive anyway. There is a chance that Google keeps all searches, etc tied to IPs for a year or more. It would not matter if you deleted your browser history.

      1. It was at my inlaws home. So it wasn’t at a chuckecheese or something.

        1. It was near your inlaws who were also broadcasting their GPS information.

        2. Hm. I also suspect that the social media companies can link multiple cell phones to a location, assume you are together, and see what the other people in your ‘group’ are in to. If one of the cell phones in your ‘group’ is used to buy kid stuff or the user is linked to what parents do, you might get advertising to buy kid stuff.

          I have had some suspicious stuff that is similar to what happened to you. Its targeted advertising at its scariest.

    6. This is less creepy and more just annoying, but I remember the last time I was on a job hunt I got ads for one of the employers I was rejected from for at least 6 months after they rejected me (I wasn’t in their customer demographic, so I guess it was just based on the correspondence with them and possibly the job interview) It was extremely irritating not an effective advertisement at all, obviously

      1. One thing that strikes me about these supposedly sophisticated, machine learning-based upwelling systems is how bad they are at making recommendations. I guess they are only expected to generate an occasional successful sale.

    7. It is possible to get the AI very confused, though. Somehow, Amazon thinks I’m interested in recommendations for grub worms, DJ equipment, luthier supplies, and hot rod auto parts all because, as far as I can tell, I started pinning pictures of guitars and Mustangs on Pinterest, and bought some really random items while fixing up my camper van.

      1. Anyway, my point is you can totally throw them off by just going online and pinning random stuff in Pinterest, etc. Wonder if it would be possible to generate fake GPS coordinates to inject a punch of false positional data into the personal infor,action tracking databases, too.

    1. He still looks like he is 15 years old and just tried to date rape his girlfriend.

    2. Weigel parted ways with Reason after the 2008 election because he “wasn’t fully on board with the magazine’s upcoming, wonky focus on picking apart the [Obama] administration.”

      Pretty much says it all right there, doesn’t it? Probably explains Balko’s migration to HuffPo and WaPo as well.

      1. And Jullian Sanchez as well, who left around the same time as I remember. There were a lot of people who pretended to be Libertarians during the Bush years because it provided a convenient way to go after Bush without looking like a total leftist hack. Once Obama became President, they were not going to hang around and see Libertarian principles used to go after one of their own.

        1. Some are doing the same thing to go after Trump.

          Trump has messed up but any ‘Libertarian’ who cannot admit that Trump has done some really great Libertarian-ish things, is suspect in my book.

        2. Sanchez went freelance for a while, and I believe he ended up at Cato.

          Different writers have different issues that they care about–that make them libertarian. Sanchez may have cared about, say, electronic privacy more than, say, gun rights, but I never questioned his commitment to libertarianism.

          We all sensed that Weigel wasn’t one of us, and when we saw what he wrote about the Tea Party, et. al., it just confirmed what we already suspected–that he held us in contempt. That’s different.

          Robby writes about free speech, but the mask slips all the time. When he’s writing about “free speech”, he writing about something average libertarians wouldn’t recognize as such. He’s so bad, he’s half the staff reason why half the libertarian commenters on this site left to start their own site. Robby could publish the same stories over at Salon (for a progressive, anti-free speech readership), and they wouldn’t complain about his libertarianism.

          That’s different!

          1. Different writers have different issues that they care about–that make them libertarian. Sanchez may have cared about, say, electronic privacy more than, say, gun rights, but I never questioned his commitment to libertarianism.

            Read Sanchez’s twitter feed and his utter Trump Derrangement and defense of the FBI and intel communities and you might reconsider that assessment.

            1. He may have disappeared into the TDS bubble since, but I never questioned Sanchez’s commitment to libertarianism when he was at Reason.

              The commenters here sensed The Weigel to be faking it–when he was writing here.

              With Robby and Dalmia, it’s so bad, it’s a big part of the reason why half the commentariat left.

              That’s what I was trying to say.

          2. Great point Ken. If ‘Libertarians’ are writing Libertarian stuff that does not get them banned from Salon and Vox, I would bet that the article was not very Libertarian.

          3. He’s so bad, he’s half the staff reason why half the libertarian commenters on this site left to start their own site.

            To be fair, that was completely unrelated to Robby’s output. They may not have been all that fond his stuff, but the Glibbening was due to sloopy reporting a pretty clear-cut case of police brutality against a member of his own family and the magazine editors ignoring it.

            I don’t comment over there, but I’ve never bothered to try to create an account, either.

            1. Mrs. Sloopy was a big deal to a few people.

              The apparent betrayal of libertarianism itself from staff was a big part of it.

              Some of it was due to TDS–especially coming from Dalmia. Robby was also a big focus of attention.

              Why wouldn’t he be?

              1. The downside to the ongoing slow death of the old legacy left-liberal fake news media is there are nowhere near the number of jobs at those place for assholes like Soave, Brown, Suderman, and Dalmia as there used to be.

                But at a certain point it stopped being just an unfortunate coincidence that Welch and Gillespie hires all these lefties. If it only happened a couple of times, that would be one thing. But when it happens over and over and over and over and over again, that’s something else.

                A couple of times in the last couple of years I saw a piece from someone I never saw before who you could tell was a real libertarian. In both cases, I never saw anything here again after the initial appearance.

    3. The best comment on there:

      “Dang, dude. You need a dermatologist to help you with that rosacea.”
      -Angela Edwards

      I may just start quoting that one.

  30. http://lawandcrime.com/the-gre…..-violence/

    Keith Ellison accused of domestic violence. This is different than most of these cases because it was the victim’s son who made the accusation. And the victim is a Democratic activist. There seems to be no doubt that she and Ellison had a relationship. She never reported the abuse to the cops. But, both she and her son are pretty firm in their story and it seems believable.

    I don’t think something that isn’t reported to the cops should matter. If you are the victim of something like this and you want something done about it, call the cops and call them then. If you do nothing, that is your business. But you shouldn’t be able to then come back and make the accusation years later. Make it then or let it go.

    Democrats tend to have a different opinion, however. So, Ellison may be in trouble.

    1. Ellison may be in trouble

      Unlikely. At most a slap on the wrist. The press will dutifully ignore it.

      1. Probably so. But like the Times hiring the new face of racism to its editorial board, the media ignoring it and making excuses for Ellison will not keep people from believing their lying eyes. Ellison will likely win the nomination for state AG and then either lose in the general over this or win and be an open embarrassment to the metoo Democrats.

        1. The son claims to have found a video of the alleged abuse on his mother’s computer. If he shows that video, it has to be game over. I have a hard time believing that anyone could be so cynical as to sabotage an entire cause over one politician.

    2. I blame racism and rape culture.

    3. It might have been an Honor Thing.

      1. What I don’t get is that the son was an adult when he says it happened. Who lets some dirtbag beat up their mom with you in the house? Why didn’t the son kick Ellison’s ass or at least get his own ass kicked trying?

        What a wuss. Really, who could stand by and watch their mother get beat up?

        1. Ellison is a sitting Congressman. How does the son even get to Ellison? If he beats Ellison up, he faces assault charges from a very powerful person. How does that help anything?

  31. Section 230 is no longer a safe harbor for Facebook et al. Their recent actions place them squarely in the category of “content provider”, not “common carrier” and they are only one court decision away from a world of hurt.

    1. I do not see how they are not. Happy Chandler was on here sitting to the provision on immunity for copyrighted materials so long as the provider doesn’t have actual knowledge and takes it down as soon as they are notified. That is all well and good but you can only avail yourself of that provision if you are not a content provider. If you are providing the content, copyright is strict liability. It doesn’t matter if my song accidentally sounds like “Got to Give it Up”, Marvin Gaye’s heirs can sue my ass off regardless. If these services are held strictly liable for copyright violations as content providers, they no longer have a viable business model.

      1. They would have to prove that the company specifically knew of that violation. Viacom had much more evidence of that in the YouTube case, and they could not win. The MDCA was written to provide a way for YouTube to exist, to be able to enforce standards, and not be 100% liable for copyright violations.

        If the law meant what you assert, YouTube would have been Napster’d a long time ago. There’s 20 years of caselaw saying you’re wrong.

        1. They would have to prove that the company specifically knew of that violation.

          Youtube isn’t considered a content creator. You totally miss the point.

          I understand you are stupid, but do you have to be tiresome as well?

          1. So are you saying that if you don’t automatically republish everything that comes along, you become a content creator?

            Where is that in the law, caselaw, or ever happened since the MDCA?

            YouTube exerted standards before the Viacom case. Zero has changed since then. Are you saying that if they ever delete something, they are responsible for 300 hours of video a minute?

          2. I guess I didn’t read carefully…you are saying that they’re not liable? I’m just so used to Reason Commentworld, where Section 230 means the exact opposite of the text and the caselaw.

    2. I don’t understand the details of what you two are talking about, but Facebook (and other interested parties) are big enough that the courts, the regulatory bodies, and congress will rewrite the rules for them. And once that happens?

      Once doesn’t simply overturn Wickard v. Filburn.

      1. Technically State governments and Congress cannot created ex post facto laws to protect these companies.

        The laws could be changed for future company conduct but the incidents that already happened would open up liability since they are managing their content.

        This is just going to end badly for companies that have picked the Lefty side. One good concerted effort by a funded anti-Lefty group will tear a new asshole into Facebook, Google….

        Discovery alone would cause Zuckerburg to shit a brick. He would be forced to answer questions about his business operations that he managed to keep quiet.

        1. Ex post facto only applies to criminal law. Calder v Bull.

          It’s unlikely any suit would make it to discovery without summary judgement.

          1. Unfortunately for you, the Constitution does not say only criminal law.

            The courts need to be set straight.

      2. The details are this Ken. Copyright violations have statutory damages to them. They are strict liability. If I create something that uses your copyrighted material, you can sue me and get statutory damages for each violation. You don’t have to show any kind of actual damage. This is how copyright trolls make a living.

        The social media providers like Twitter and Facebook get around this by claiming to be platforms and not content creators. If you just run a platform and have no control what goes on it, you are not liable for copyrighted material that is misused on it provided that you didn’t know it was being used and ensured it was taken down when you were made aware of it. The problem is that if Facebook and Twitter are going to claim to monitor all of the posts that go on their platform and control what is put on their platforms, they become content providers and can no longer claim immunity from statutory damages for copyrighted material that is put on their platforms.

        1. “The problem is that if Facebook and Twitter are going to claim to monitor all of the posts that go on their platform and control what is put on their platforms, they become content providers and can no longer claim immunity from statutory damages for copyrighted material that is put on their platforms.”

          They’ll rewrite the rules for them before they do something to destroy their business like that.

          “In Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore v. National League (1922), written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., [the Supreme Court’s decision] stated that neither baseball games nor the “personal effort” of players fell under the definition of commerce, and therefore, the business of baseball was not subject to the Sherman Antitrust Act. Baseball, even at the professional level, was recreation and entertainment. It was only a game.”

          http://theweek.com/articles/77…..l-monopoly

          1. It’s a penaltax.

            1. Maybe. But that is a pretty shaky bet.

            2. Maybe. But that is a pretty shaky bet.

              1. It’s like what we were talking about with the NSA and the Fourth Amendment, too.

                When they’re “too big to fail”, the law changes.

                Nothing is absolutely certain, but if I had to bet on anything, it’d be on the rent seekers and the courts to reinterpret whatever needs to be reinterpreted.

    3. Here’s section 230:

      “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”

      There is nothing about common carrier. There is no requirement for anything except being the provider or user of an interactive computer service.

      Is Facebook an interactive computer service? Yes.
      Therefore, they are not the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another provider.

      Can you point to any law or caselaw that is different?

      1. Hi, I’m Happy Chandler and I don’t understand tests.

        1. What’s the test? Explain.

          As I see it, here’s the test:

          The defendant must be a “provider or user” of an “interactive computer service.”

          The cause of action asserted by the plaintiff must treat the defendant as the “publisher or speaker” of the harmful information at issue.

          The information must be “provided by another information content provider,” i.e., the defendant must not be the “information content provider” of the harmful information at issue.

          Is Facebook/YT/etc an interactive computer service? Yes.
          Does libel treat it as publisher or speaker? Yes.
          Is the information provided by another content provider? Yes, the user.

          They all pass the test. Find one example.

          Elementary school insults do not count. I’m rubber, you’re glue. Hahaha, I win.

  32. A little old, but I just found out about it yesterday, so it’s news to me.

    http://www.buzzfeednews.com/ar…..-alt-right

    1. Well I think that’s an important story for everyone to understand. When someone associated with a movement does something awful, it taints the entire movement–no matter what they believe.

      It works that way with libertarianism, too. If a murdering mass shooter were a libertarian, there wouldn’t be any way for the rest of us to continue in what we believe anymore. We’d have to abandon everything.

      I guess the only safe thing for us to do is all become progressives and vote for Bernie Sanders.

      Is that what we’re supposed to think? Why do you find that story interesting?

      1. A little touchy, are we?

        No, I don’t think this man’s actions means everyone on the right, or even everyone on the alt-right, is a closet murderer.

        I found it interesting and sad to see the depths of radicalization that some will sink into.

        1. No, you’re just a leftist troll looking for a gotcha.

        2. So, I guess Buzzfeed is like the Lifetime Network then, except instead of telling lurid tales of women being victimized by the men in their lives, Buzzfeed writse stories about other sensationalist crap that no one should take too seriously?

          Thanks, I guess.

  33. I just saw a story that the FBI has shitcanned Peter Strzok. So, which member of the Hollywood Brain Trust will be the first to screech that this means the death of democracy and is proof that Trump is Hitler reincarnated?

    Alyssa Milano?
    Cher?
    Rosie O’Donnell?

    1. Good riddance to that smirking, perjuring little asswipe.

      Of course naturally Reason will ignore this as if it never even happened.

  34. The result has been “a dozen independent cybersecurity operations with overlapping agendas” and “only sporadic information-sharing between agencies the typical bureaucratic clusterfuck that anyone with half a brain should expect from the federal government.”

    FTFY

  35. the internet is about to wash into the sea in 15 years anyway

    I feel dumber for having clicked on the link. The premise is that when sea levels rise due to global warming (taken as a given, regardless of the uncertainty around if/when/how much they will actually rise) a large amount of internet infrastructure will be under water. It’s as if the author believes that the predicted change in sea levels will occur overnight, and the companies managing the infrastructure will have no time to react unless they do it now.

  36. Jarvis does not Jasa SEO think the mass prohibiting of Infowars from the stages is an awful thing?an incredible inverse. “The forbidding of Infowars from most real stages is an indication of that procedure starting to work,” he composes Jasa SEO

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