Reason Roundup

How the Internet Is Now Making Us Less Free: Reason Roundup

Plus: FDA greenlights new 23andMe test, Kamala Harris gets the Onion treatment, and nobody likes Trump's new shutdown salve.


John Lund Blend Images/Newscom

"Context collapse" could explain more than just recent culture wars. The early days of the internet were full of anonymity and walled-off digital estates—an array of forums, blogs, and niche networks where one was free to be fully themselves or someone else entirely. Each platform had its own context. But the past decade or so has seen a steady decrease in that aesthetic, by both design (in some cases, as on Facebook) and happenstance.

And that, in turn, has brought increasing levels of what's sometimes called context collapse—defined by Norwegian researcher Petter Bae Brandtzæg as "the flattening of multiple audiences into a single context [that] has been an important notion in research on privacy experiences, self-performance, and changing user practices in social media."

Conor Friedersdorf explores this concept this week at The Atlantic, as it relates to recent social media-driven controversies. He notes an answer University of Michigan Professor Elizabeth Anderson recently gave about the historic thawing of tensions between European Catholics and Protestants:

People now have the freedom to have crosscutting identities in different domains. At church, I'm one thing. At work, I'm something else. I'm something else at home or with my friends. The ability not to have an identity that one carries from sphere to sphere but, rather, to be able to slip in and adopt whatever values and norms are appropriate while retaining one's identities in other domains? That is what it is to be free.

Industrialization and urbanization took us in this direction, too. And "if humans lost something when most of us ceased to live our whole lives in small tribes," writes Friedersdorf, "if American life is no longer organized around small towns with all that they offer their residents, at the very least we made these countervailing gains. And this freedom to be different things in different spaces was enhanced by the early internet."

But under Anderson's freedom rubric, the internet in its most recent dominant incarnation is making most of us a lot less free.

Pick any recent Twitter outrage turned days-long national controversy and you can see context collapse at play. But it goes beyond this. Look at a lot of the problems sex workers run into with banking, social platforms, web services, etc. and you can see context collapse at play. Look at the lust to get people fired from positions completely unrelated to their supposed years-old transgressions. Look at the mixups and privacy fears spawned by "People You May Know" features and browser/phone data that follows you everywhere. Look at the federal courts and Justice Department parsing emojis.

Friedersdorf wonders "whether ongoing debates about matters as varied as Facebook user-data practices, 'the right to be forgotten,' NSA data collection, and any number of public-shaming controversies are usefully considered under the umbrella framework of How is new technology affecting our ability to keep our various worlds from colliding when we don't want them to, and what, if anything, should we do about that?"

Read the whole piece here.


The more you know:


At-home genetic testing for colorectal cancer gets greenlight.


Of course Kamala Harris' history as a prosecutor is fair game…

… and The Onion takes aim: "Kamala Harris Assembles Campaign Staff Of Unpaid California Prison Laborers"


  • "A new immigration idea has been circulating over the past 24 hours at senior levels inside the White House and on Capitol Hill: Give a path to green cards to the 700,000 current DACA recipients," reports Jonathan Swan at Axios. But "nobody involved thinks that Trump's current offer has a prayer of getting the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate."
  • After being released from Russian jail yesterday, Nastya Rybka failed to show up today at a press conference scheduled and publicized by her lawyer.
  • Not among Reason readers, at least:

NEXT: Shutdown-Induced Bottlenecks at Nation's Airports Shows Folly of Letting the Federal Government Run Things

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  1. Harris was, in terms of number of lives affected, one of the 5 or so most important figures in criminal justice in America. That she might have to reckon with her record?and that people might not buy her reckoning?is a pretty reasonable price of entry into the race, no?
    ? Dad (@fivefifths) January 22, 2019

    Please let her losing the chance the Democrats have of toppling Donald Trump be her reckoning.

    1. Hello.

      So will Nanny Ma’am Bloomberg look to ban Starbucks?

      Doubt it. Rich people love their coffee, amirite?

      1. Nanny Ma’am Bloomberg

        We really have to work on this nicknames, people.

        1. Lead by example, Citizen Crusty.

        2. I nominate Mike M to lead the team.


    2. Reason has been bashing Harris pretty hard for a few days.

      Which means Harris is not the chosen one. Bear in mind, there will be a Democrat favored by REASON. It will be the one treated with kid gloves. I wonder how exactly word comes down from on high to all the woke publications about who to push forward.

      1. Harris is so bad that I think even Reason would have a hard time treating her with kid gloves.

      2. Maybe it’ll be Michelle Obama. Shilling for an Obama worked so well last time

  2. ? Elizabeth Nolan Brown (@ENBrown) January 23, 2019

    redirecting readers to your twitter feed is EXACTLY the same thing as kasich using a cnn job to help fundraising.

    1. She doesn’t have much of a chance as a Trump primary challenger though. Or does she?

  3. “Kamala Harris Assembles Campaign Staff Of Unpaid California Prison Laborers”
    ? Elizabeth Nolan Brown (@ENBrown) January 23, 2019

    Sometimes it’s a good thing that Hillary Clinton’s backer now owns The Onion.

    1. Didn’t know that.

      The Onion is owned by Univision, which is owned by a conglomerate Broadcasting Media Partners Inc., which is owned by various big media companies that you would recognize.

      The Onion is less edgy because of it.

  4. The ability not to have an identity that one carries from sphere to sphere but, rather, to be able to slip in and adopt whatever values and norms are appropriate while retaining one’s identities in other domains? That is what it is to be free.

    all that appropriating must get exhausting

    1. Means to be free? I would say it is the definition of hypocrisy,

      1. “Hypocrisy is like alcohol: it’s a social lubricant and it’s hard to live without it.”

    2. +1 Mance Rayder

      1. Pete Raymond- not nearly as cool of a name

      2. Winter is coming?

      3. Remember, he is still alive in the books.

    3. This is the libertarianism I’ve been looking for. All this time I’ve been looking down on other cultures that accept slavery as a normal thing, thinking it’s because I have a moral compass. But it must be because I live in America. Really, all I need to do is go to India, buy some slaves, and it will only be part of my new identity. Then, when I come back to America, I’m still just as good of a person who doesn’t own slaves, because that’s a different me. I totally understand the leftism that goes on around here now.

      That’s why left libertarians are so accepting of awful cultures, because we’re all just chameleons with flexible morals.

      Ahh, freedom

      1. We’ve all updated to a moral GPS. Way more accurate.

        1. Who is we?

  5. …as it relates to recent social media-driven controversies.

    Speaking of which…

      1. “”When school reopens, I encourage the #CovCath HS to invite Nathan Phillips to come speak, as part of a new speakers series, aimed at understanding one another’s realities”

        “One another’s realities?”

        Is that like “alternative facts?”

        1. Facts don’t matter if you’re morally correct. According to ACO

          1. They definitely don’t matter if you’re cute.

      2. What a piece of shit Sittenfeld is. Proud to replace Columbus Day?

        Go fuck yourself your virtue signalling asshole.

    1. The WaPo original false story is available to read, but the “correction” is behind the paywall, at least it is for me. (I was still able to view it.)

  6. SNL Writer Offers Oral Sex For Anyone Who Punches MAGA Kid
    “I will blow whoever manages to punch that MAGA kid in the face,” tweeted Sarah Beattie.

    One the MAGA kids should punch the other MAGA kid in the face to get a BJ from this chick and then turn her into police for molesting a minor.

    1. The fact that no one in the media or public figures will face any consequence for attempting to dox kids and incite violence against them really speaks to the fact that Trump’s remarks on the media are more true than not.

      1. They are who he said they are!

        1. And we let em off the hook!!!

    2. Wow: someone’s a cunt.

        1. She is pretty smokin hawt!

          1. Problem: Prone to biting.

            1. you say that like it’s a bad thing

              1. Depends on how sharp the teeth are.

                1. Any man who can’t handle the occasional raking during a BJ is a pussy.

        2. From the pictures I have seen she is very hot.

            1. I’ll punch him he can get blown and i’ll film?

              1. for his 18th birthday of course…

            2. Hell, I would let that kid punch me if it got him a blowjob from her. It would be a very nice thing to do. She definitely would do nicely, I don’t care how crazy and stupid she is.

          1. Meh. Plus she’s dumb.

            Lorne Michaels. I hope you’re enjoying your shitty Medal of Freedom.

            What a joke of a show now.

            1. It’s very possible that SNL is just a good place for Lorne to get blowjobs nowadays.

    3. Sylvia Plath ironic suicidal chick comedy writer with beautiful tatas – she’ll get some takers to rearrange that kid’s nose.

    4. The MAGA kid should punch himself in the face and score a blowjob.

      1. Sadly, she would never pay up. But if she would, that is absolutely what he should do.

      2. Headline: “Perverted MAGA kid propositions Sarah Beattie for oral sex”

    5. One guess how she got her writing gig.

  7. >>>People now have the freedom to have crosscutting identities in different domains.

    handle aside, always just been me in any forum

  8. 23andMe says it got the green light from the FDA to offer consumers a test for a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome
    ? Bloomberg Law (@blaw) January 23, 2019

    This could end up being a pain in the ass for everyone involved.

    1. don’t get all butthurt about it.

    2. What a shitty pun.

      1. I just did.

    3. What a shitty story.

      I would never pay 23andMe for anything. They helped the cops using DNA information that they promise to keep confidential.

      Anyone who trusts these companies to keep your personal stuff from the government is a fool. The government is using private companies to backdoor the Constitution, in particular the 4th Amendment.

      1. IIRC, they used DNA information with consent. The problem is that your cousin can consent to DNA searches that implicate *you*.

        Not sure there is a way around that.

        1. 1. Nobody give them DNA samples.

          2. Gorsuch has a great idea that information sent through 3rd parties be under contract for disclosure.

      2. Those are the implications of sharing your personal effects with 3rd parties under current jurisprudence.

    4. I hear that “24 and More” has been approved for testing Down’s syndrome.

      1. love it.

      2. I feel like I’ve heard this joke before, but it’s a good one.

  9. But “nobody involved thinks that Trump’s current offer has a prayer of getting the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.”

    I’m guessing it’s not the property rights issue that is turning anyone away from voting for it.

  10. Is there anyone so stupid that they still don’t recognize that “human trafficking” is now basically just a dysphemism for “sex work”?
    ? Maggie McNeill (@Maggie_McNeill) January 23, 2019

    Plenty, I’d guess. Who is exposing them to the truth? NBC Nightly News?

    1. Plenty, I’d guess.

      What’s a dysphemism?

      1. dys is the opposite of eu

        1. Cool, Thanks! Listen, when Old Lady Brown gives us a human trafficking/sex work quiz, do you think I could copy off of you?

        2. And “eu dys” is the opposite of “true dat”.

  11. Cond? Nast to Put All Titles Behind Paywalls by Year-End

    Haha. Lefties are losing the war. They needed non-Lefties after all to view their propaganda, to sustain operations.

    1. Who in the hell is going to pay for that dreck?

    2. Get woke go broke

    3. From the WSJ, which has been behind a paywall since forever.

      1. That’s the point. It’s been a part of WSJ’s business model the whole time. It wasn’t a desperate shift caused by hatred of half the population

      2. WSJ is owned by NewsCorps which also owns FOX.

    4. I read that as:

      Put all Titties behind Paywalls.

  12. Does “context collapse” explain why you and your journo friends continued to cling to a debunked story even after the facts disproved the narrative?

    1. She has?

  13. The financial shock for 800,000 federal workers is about to get much worse as the shutdown drags on

    Wait until the furloughs turn into layoffs. Agency chiefs restructuring as we speak to cut federal positions.

    1. “Drain that swamp!”

  14. Any fans of John Kerry here?

    Kerry, at Davos, sends Trump a one-word message: Resign

    Kerry also offers a devastating critique of Drumpf’s cowardly, irresponsible foreign policy:

    “Pulls out of Iran. He pulls out of Afghanistan. Pulls the rug out from his own negotiator, who is about to sit down and negotiate with the Taliban. Pulls out of Syria without leveraging out of Syria an agreement, something for the Kurds, something with respect to Russia and Iran, in order to have an agreement as to the future of Syria and Iraq and the region. None of these things take place. This is the pullout, walk-away presidency, and it is not enhancing the interests of the United States of America.”

    But we know whose interests Drumpf is advancing ? Russia’s.

    1. Do you know who else pulled out while in the Oval Office?

      1. Bill Clinton?

      2. JFK?

        1. Never.

    1. Improved border security was never an extreme “over my dead body” issue for the mainstream Dems until about a few months ago or so, and even some of the left-wing scumbags in the JournoList are finally beginning to call on Jokerface to come to the table and negotiate in good faith.

      1. Most of the federal workers not getting paid are Democratic voters. The next significant thing that is going to happen if the government isn’t re-opened is food stamp recipients are going to be cut off in March I think. Again, largely Democratic voters who will be affected. At some point, at least a few Democrats are going to get tired of telling their supporters that it is their job to suffer to keep the border wall from being built. It will only take a few of them to combine with the Republicans to create a majority in the House and overcome the filibuster in the Senate.

        You tell me. Who breaks first; the Democrats whose supporters are being harmed by this and are unlikely to vote Republican no matter what happens or Trump whose supporters are largely unaffected and will turn on him in droves if he caves and doesn’t fund the wall? My money is on the Democrats folding.

        1. Love him or hate him, this really is a make or break moment. Do we see “The Art of the Deal” or will we see him fold?

          Greatest show on earth

        2. I’m actually stunned at how resilient the Reps in the Senate has been with this. I figured Pelosi would take a hard line because she can’t take a “loss” right out of the gate, or the freshmen Idiot Diversity Brigade will revolt, but Trump’s played this surprisingly well by offering actual compromises that don’t give the Dems what they want, but make them look like petty bitches for not at least providing a counter-offer. Cocaine Mitch in particular has done really well in keeping the party in line and not caving.

  15. You know things are fucked up when Ann Coulter makes a good point.

    Ann Coulter
    Verified account


    Journalists (August 2018): Alex Jones caused the families of Sandy Hook victims to be harassed. He must be BANNED from all social media!

    Journalists (January 2019): Please kill these children and their families.

    1. Steven Colbert is trying to play the equivelency game by comparing this to the treatment of David Hogg. Maybe I missed it, but while plenty of people on the right ridiculted the hell out of Hogg and attacked his positions, I don’t recall a single person of any public profile saying Hogg deserved to be punched in the face or beaten or called for, celebrated, or fantasized about any violence being committed against him. Do you?

      Unsurprisingly, Colbert scores an own goal. Yeah, let’s talk about how the right treated David Hogg, a guy who put himself into the public debate versus how the left is treating some kid from Kenntucky who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

      1. I don’t know what the equivalence gets him anyway. It’s not like jackasses online saying Hogg should be beaten have any particular moral ground either. They got on people for attacking Hogg, and so by making the equivalence all they’re saying is they’re the same level of those they hate the most.

        It’s a weird argument in the best light.

        1. I don’t recall anyone ever saying that about Hogg. I am sure some jackass did. But whoever did, it wans’t anyone on the right with any kind of public profile or following. In contrast all kinds of reporters and activists and celebrities on the Left have talked openly about their desire to see the Covington kid harmed. Worse still, none of them have been condemned or so much as criticized for it by anyone on the Left. So, I guess everyone on the left thinks threatening and condoning violence is okay when their side does it. Whatever conclusion can you draw from that?

          1. I definitely saw randos online saying stuff, but that’s not really the point I’m making.

            My point is, assume the worst happened to Hogg, I’m sure Colbert believes the worst did happen to Hogg from the Right. By drawing an equivalence Colbert is, at best, saying that he and his are as bad as the people they hate the most in the world, the right.

            What is the point of this equivalence? The only reading that doesn’t lead to a weird conclusion like that is yours, which is they believe it’s okay when they do it. It’s a shitty rhetorical device regardless.

            1. My point is, assume the worst happened to Hogg, I’m sure Colbert believes the worst did happen to Hogg from the Right. By drawing an equivalence Colbert is, at best, saying that he and his are as bad as the people they hate the most in the world, the right.

              Yeah, combine it with the swatting allegation below. It was widely regarded as an “attempted murder” by Hogg and his leftist supporters. Colbert’s equivocation would essentially be, “Attempting to murder children is OK as long as the kids are engaged in wrongthink.” The sort of thing that would make you seem like a blathering idiot the next time you quoted Ghandi or repeated, “They go low, we go high.”

      2. Maybe I missed it, but while plenty of people on the right ridiculted the hell out of Hogg and attacked his positions, I don’t recall a single person of any public profile saying Hogg deserved to be punched in the face or beaten or called for, celebrated, or fantasized about any violence being committed against him. Do you?

        “Somebody” swatted his home, well, his Dad the former FBI agent’s home, while they were on vacation or at a speaking event or some such situation. It smelled like fake news from the get go and I don’t recall they ever apprehended the perpetrator. I presume the police and/or his insurer comped the front door.

        1. Whoever that someone was, it was no doubt some random jackass not a reporter for a major newspaper or anyone with any position or stature in the Republican Party. If it were just random jackasses calling for this kid to be harmed, it would mean nothing. But, it is not random jackasses. It is people who are well known and active on the left. That makes it something.

      3. It’s also worth noting that David Hogg is a publicity Hog. Not the case for this unfortunate catholic kid.

    2. I’m afraid to read anything not by Robby Soave (or Ann Coulter, apparently) on the subject. That’s what the world’s come to.

      1. Never read Ann Coulter. A broken clock can be right, but that doesn’t mean you should buy the clock

  16. ‘Nobody Is Going to Believe You’

    The accusations against Singer cover a spectrum. Some of the alleged victims say they were seduced by the director while underage; others say they were raped. The victims we interviewed told us these experiences left them psychologically damaged, with substance-abuse problems, depression, and PTSD.

    The portrait of Singer that emerges is of a troubled man who surrounded himself with vulnerable teenage boys, many of them estranged from their families. Their accounts suggest that Singer didn’t act alone; he was aided by friends and associates who brought him young men. And he was abetted, in a less direct way, by an industry in which a record of producing hits confers immense power: Many of the sources we interviewed insisted, out of fear of damaging their own career, that we withhold their name, even as they expressed dismay at the behavior they’d witnessed.

    We’re finally taking down the Gay Mafia!

    1. This, along with the R. Kelly, Cosby, and the Weinstein stuff (amongst many others) is why people in the entertainment industry are in no position to lecture anyone on moral or ethical behavior. At least Jimmy Swaggart had the balls to go on national TV and confess his sins on his own show. Meanwhile, pedophilia, drug addictions, and sexual predation run rampant amongst the proud Democrats of the mass media complex, who either play the “see no evil” game or actively make excuses for these people. Hell, Dave Chappelle did a “what would it take for you to believe that he’s guilty” skit that mocked black people who carried on a front that Kelly wasn’t a pedophile and a piss-fetishist, even though they knew he did that shit.

      The entertainment industry is a toxic, self-righteous, degenerate cesspool populate by toxic, self-righteous, degenerate drug addicts, prostitutes, and pimps. That these people are the modern equivalent of nobility instead of the social equivalent of beggars, as they were for centuries prior to the 1900s, is a telling feature of today’s society.

    1. The Lefties are losing this battle. They needed to make exceptions to #MeToo in order to get Never-Trump humor out there.

      1. They’re also sort of winning, since C.K. is not exactly Right Wing himself.

      2. It’s usually a mistake to think of “the left” (or the right or any political category) as one thing. There are all kinds of opposing and contradictory things in there.

    2. Good for him. I like the guy.

    3. His new set was pretty funny. One of the best comics working today.

      Jfc, this site is shit today. The squirrels are drinking on the job.

  17. SNL Writer Offers Blowjobs To Anyone Who Will Punch The ‘MAGA Kid In The Face’

    “I will blow whoever manages to punch that maga kid in the face,” she said in the now-deleted Tweet.

    Fuck yeah!

    1. Some quick photoshop work should score someone a hummer.

    2. I already posted that but its worth posting twice.

    3. Maybe the kid should just send her a picture of him punching himself in the face?

      1. That would be awesome.

        1. Would she do A2M if I knocked him to the ground and kicked him?

    4. SNL Writer Offers Blowjobs To Anyone Who Will Punch The ‘MAGA Kid In The Face’

      It’s a win-win. As a current writer for SNL a flaccid dick will be the funniest thing to have ever come out of her mouth.

  18. The internet was totallly better until all you assholes showed up.

    1. “Assholes” is just the online persona we’ve adopted here, in other places we’re all paragons of virtue and rectitude.

  19. People who like spicy food are having more sex

    In fact, those who listed their spice preference as hot have almost double the amount of sex than those who said they don’t like any spice at all on their food (5.3 times per month to 3.2 times per month frolicking under the sheets.)

    The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of hot sauce brand El Yucateco, asked Americans a series of questions about their personality and then split the results by how spicy they prefer their food (none, mild, medium, and hot) and found it’s not just in the bedroom that spicier palates are more active.

    Results showed spicy palates could arguably correlate to a sense of adventure with those marking themselves as hot on the spice range more likely to say they love roller coasters, listen to loud music, and even drive fast down a winding road

    This is how you get Mexico, people. Ban hot sauce!

    1. Spicy food cleans the poop shoot for more buttsex!

      Reason staff rejoice!

    2. Racist “hot-blooded Hispanics” stereotype detected.

    3. El Yucateco is a pretty solid hot sauce. That being said, I eat very hot food. This is still translating to 0 times a month.

    4. Hmm. Doesn’t seem to work for me.

  20. Someone told me this was a good conservative chat room. I think I will hang around today to see.

    1. Who told you that?

      Hihn is wrong every time.

    2. “yOU gUYs DoN’T fOlLOw THe dEBuNked nARrAtTive, sO YOu’Re cONsErVAtIve”

    3. Prayer group is at noon – I hope to see you there!

      1. Who’s turn is it to set up the Baal idol?

      2. Who is bringing the biscuit this time?

    4. This is a land of wolves

        1. Awww thanks you guys. That means a lot to me.

    5. In truth, the commenters lean strongly to the paleolibertarian point of view, but heavy on the paleo and rather light on the libertarian.

      They tend to favor liberty, but only in the context of strong social pressure to conform to a national identity of “American-ness”, which is, more or less, defined as supporting a conservative point of view, and voting for Republicans more often than not.

      1. Man that’s peak retardation. And you just reshuffle status quo opinions like half the writers. You represent an alternative that isn’t.

        1. What is this the 90’s? Are there even paleolibertarian people left outside of Justin Raimondo (who is not long for this world) and Ilya Mercer?

          1. Anything other than “bake the cake” is paleo to cosmos

          2. Isn’t that a diet?

          3. The whole Mises crew. Walter Bloch is the only pure libertarian that hangs out with that bunch, and even he has been bamboozled by Trump.

            1. Yeah, it’s the Mises and Rockwell crowd. They are the “Libertarians For Trump” crowd.

              1. The only Mises person who was for Trump was Walter Block. You don’t even know what you’re talking about. And Block debated Gillespie on the topic saying that Trump was more likely to reduce military intervention abroad more so than Clinton or Johnson and he’s looking to be right.

                Anyone who thinks that the Mises people are paleolibertarian suffers from a supreme case of stupidity. The only thing that defines those people is their strident anti-interventionist foreign policy, something that cosmos could care less about

                1. Huh? Name one LRC writer that wasn’t for Trump. Also, the are pro-government when it comes to immigration, abortion, gay or transgender rights, at least.

                  1. You obviously have never read Mises. I know you’re desperately trying to push a wacky narrative, but Lew Rockwell does not equal Mises.

                    Who expresses pro-government positions on transgender, immigration, abortion, or whatever social issue that are the only thing that cosmos care about? It’s the cosmos who actively supports government mandated pee pee laws and shrugs when pronoun laws are introduced.

                    1. The cosmo loves to declare that he’s “fiscally conservative and socially tolerant”, but in reality he is “fiscally incoherent and socially totalitarian”.

                      I’m looking forward to your defenses for Bill Weld when he gets glowing articles praising him.

                2. Lew Rockwell calls himself a paleolibertarian, for christ’s sake.

                  1. So you’re really a “chipper morning baculum?”

        2. What? Chemjeff is one of the most consistently individualist commenters on here. I am not sure how close he is to a pure ancap position, but you can’t have one without the other. There are very few pure libertarian commenters left.

        3. Look at the commenters who insist that the US must have restrictive border control because “we can’t have liberty with all of those foreigners coming here”.

          1. I’m not denying that there are a lot of conservative commentators here. What I’m disputing is the notion that there are a lot of paleolibertarian commentators which I think is bunk. I never see people linking to Chronicles

          2. Exactly. If you don’t support free trade (which includes labor), you are not a libertarian.

            1. Now do war

              1. Playing footsie with neocons because “muh, trade” is pretty telling about one’s priorities.


                  So weird that you can support free trade without writing apologies for Mitch Daniels or giving Bari Weiss an award. It’s possible to promote free trade with holding a conference with Frum and Max Boot? Crazy

                2. Wtf, seriously. When have I ever failed to criticize war? I always say that is the most important issue from a libertarian perspective.

                  1. Did I mention you? What places do you think I was referencing when I mention apologias for Mitch Daniels and awarding Bari Weiss an award? What place do you think I was referencing when I discussed holding a conference with Frum and Max Boot?

                    1. While Mises has Scott Horton talk about foreign policy, some places have Brink Lindsey defend the latest war and then backtrack and oppose a war when it is no longer popular.

            2. If you don’t support free trade (which includes labor), you are not a libertarian.

              So new NAFTA better than old NAFTA better than no NAFTA, right?

          3. Open borders are a chicken and egg problem.

            “Libertarianism isn’t a suicide pact” to butcher a quote.

            1. “Libertarianism isn’t a suicide pact”

              Yeah it kinda is, to an extent. What I mean is:

              What I have always believed is that libertarianism is about free people making free choices. Sometimes those choices lead to undesirable results, but that is their choice to make.

              If libertarianism means “we want liberty but only if we have some assurance ahead of time that the results will be positive”, then that’s not really true liberty. That is the “liberty” of a child playing on a playground. The child may be “free” to enjoy all the equipment on the playground, but there are still chaperones and overseers to make sure everyone is “safe”.

          4. “we can’t have liberty with all of those foreigners coming here”.

            Name and quote the people who said this.

            1. Many people here frequently make the argument that poor immigrants come here, change the culture and have kids that grow up to vote Democrat. I’m pretty sure that’s what he’s talking about. And that might be a reasonable pragmatic argument to make. But it’s not a libertarian argument. Rather it is a utilitarian one.

      2. chemjeff radical individualist|1.23.19 @ 10:32AM|#
        ‘In truth, the commenters lean strongly to blaah, blaah, blaah…’

        Translated from proggy-speak:
        Chemjeff doesn’t get to bullshit here and get away with it.

        1. Okay Sevo. What is the unlibertarian “bullshit” that you think I am trying to “get away with”?

          1. You think a free market of labor can exist while also under a welfare state. The existence of one negates the existence of the other. You then ignore the negative ramifications of having both and instead try to shame other people for trying to formulate ideas on how to limit the welfare state

            You engage in arguments for libertopia rather than a better reality

            1. That’s libertarian bullshit, not unlibertarian bullshit. Some people seem to be criticizing chemjeff for not being a libertarian and some criticize him for actually being libertarian. Which is kind of weird.

              1. I don’t think libertarians have to believe in libertopia, but I suppose others would disagree. Everyone here gets attacked, which is why this is a great place to put ideas to the test

  21. “US aid cuts hit Palestinians, dimming hope for peace”
    “Tens of thousands of Palestinians are no longer getting food aid or basic health services from America, U.S.-funded infrastructure projects have been halted, and an innovative peace-building program in Jerusalem is scaling back its activities.
    The Trump administration’s decision last year to cut more than $200 million in development aid to the Palestinians is forcing NGOs to slash programs and lay off staff as the effects ripple through a community that has spent more than two decades promoting peace in the Middle East.”

    You and me have been feeding 10s of thousands of Palestinians for how long? And an ‘innovative’ program has spent two decades promoting peace?
    Pull the plug; got better use for that money.

    1. But it’s been so peaceful there! It must be working!

      1. God, I hope they don’t get violent.

  22. Kamala Harris is an interesting test of just how loyal the black community remains to the Democratic Party. A black candidate should command huge enthusiasm from the black community. What makes Harris interesting is that she is the daughter of West Indian immigrants, a community that doesn’t really get along with the native black community very well and she made her bones as one of the most fanatical prosecutors in the country. So, here we have a black woman who is from a side community within the larger black community who made her political carreer throwing mostly black people in prison. I don’t think her candidacy will generate anything like the enthusiasm among blacks and black men in particular that Obama’s did. You can never under estimate the party loyalty of blacks to the Democrats and to black candidates. So, maybe it will. But I think there is a good possibility it won’t.

    1. Obama wasn’t exactly from “the larger black community.”

      And black voters have historically supported heavy policing, I think.

      1. No he wasn’t. But he was a community organizer and locked in with people like Jeremiah Wright and connected to the black community politically in a way that Harris isn’t. Also, he had the advantage of being the first black person to ever have a real shot at being President. Harris or anyone else won’t have that luxury.

        And the black community is enormous and plenty of them are hard core law and order types. But a significant number of them are not. It is not that Harris wouldn’t command a huge share of the black vote if she were nominated. She would. It is that I don’t think she would command the share or generate the turnout Obama did. And anything less than that and it starts to get a lot harder for a Democrat to win.

    2. Is she considered black?

      1. She’s as black as Obama.

  23. Boeing’s Flying Car Has Taken Off

    A Boeing Co. flying car designed to whisk passengers over congested city streets and dodge skyscrapers completed its first test flight on Tuesday, offering a peek into the future of urban transportation the aerospace giant and others are seeking to reshape.

    A prototype of its autonomous passenger air vehicle completed a controlled takeoff, hover and landing during the test conducted in Manassas, Virginia, the maker of military and commercial jets said in a statement Wednesday. Propelled by electricity, the model is designed for fully autonomous flight, with a range of as much as 50 miles, Boeing said

    1. It looks like a small airplane to me. That is not a bad thing. But, I don’t think it qualifies as a “flying car” the way most people define the term.

      1. Check the picture closely. It has 4 horizontal rotors. So, it’s more like a helicopter with wings for better fuel economy.

      2. If it flies and can also be driven on roadz, it qualifies as a flying car. I don’t know anything about this particular vehicle, I’m just making definitions.

        1. I agree. And from what I can see, I don’t see how that vehicle would function as a car on regular roads. That is what makes me skeptical.

      3. An electric airplane with a 50 mile range. Not sure what that’s going to be good for. Helicopters are already a thing.

  24. “How the internet is making us less free”

    LOL. Wow.

    1. I’m curious to see if ENB continue this thread. I’d like to see where she goes with this thread.

      1. Swing Loooow! Sweeet Charrriot!

  25. “Poll: Disasters influence thinking on climate change”
    “When it comes to their views on climate change, Americans are looking at natural disasters and their local weather, according to a new poll.
    Lately, that means record deadly wildfires in California, rainfall by the foot in Houston when Hurricane Harvey hit and the dome of smog over Salt Lake City that engineer Caleb Gregg steps into when he walks out his door in winter.”

    The “party of science” is only interested in real data, right? Never waste a crisis.
    Tell that to moonbeam, lying about his choo-choo and how the fires in those mis-managed forests are the result of ‘climate change’.

  26. Poll: Shutdown, Russia drive Trump to all-time high disapproval

    You mean the same polls that said Hillary would win?

    *awaits high fives*

    1. His disaproval numbers were bad when he won the election. I think Trump is the yin to Obama’s yang. People generally didn’t like Obama’s policies but felt tremendous social pressure to approve of the first black President. This is why his approval numbers were always high yet Democrats spent 8 years getting slaughtered at every level. People didn’t feel they could register their disaproval of Obama’s policies by objecting to him, so they took it out on every other Democrat.

      Trump is just the opposite. People largely approve of his policies but feel a tremendous social pressure to disapprove of him personally. This is why Trump’s disapproval ratings remain high but the Republicans faired slightly above average in the midterms for a party in power. So, I doubt those disaproval numbers will ever translate very well into actual votes.

  27. Hebrew Israelites See Divine Intervention in Lincoln Memorial Confrontation

    “God helps those who help themselves, if you catch my drift.”

    1. God helps those who hurl racist slurs at people in public.

  28. Anybody else having bad squirrel problems today?

    1. I kept getting an Error 404 – Page not found message when I tried logging into the comments here, but I just assumed it was the Jews.

    2. It’s been bad this week. I think all the excitement of Robby’s Covington post just tuckered the poor little guys out.

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  32. Here’s President Trump’s stock-market scorecard after 2 years in office


    Second year in office (-5.24%):

    5th worst percentage loss for a Republican president (out of 17)
    9th worst percentage loss for any president (out of 31)
    The worst second year in office (regardless of term) for a president since Bush from 2002 – 2003
    First two years (+25.21%):

    6th best percentage gain for a Republican president (out of 17)
    11th best percentage gain for any president (out of 31)
    The best first two years in office (regardless of term) for a Republican president since Reagan from 1985 – 1987
    The best first two years in office (regardless of term) for a president since Obama from 2013 – 2015
    S&P 500

    Second year in office (-4.97%):

    4th worst percentage loss for a Republican president (out of 11)
    8th worst percentage loss for any president (out of 23)
    The worst second year in office (regardless of term) for a president since Bush from 2002-2003
    First two years (+17.98%):

    5th best percentage gain for a Republican president (out of 11)
    10th best percentage gain for any president (out of 23)
    The best first two years in office (regardless of term) for a Republican president since Bush from 2005 – 2007
    The best first two years in office (regardless of term) for a president since Obama from 2013 – 2015

    1. We should threaten kids’ lives in response.

      1. Well, the market’s down again. Somebody get the big wigs at Halliburton on the phone, time to go back to war in the ME juice up the economy!

    2. Thanks for this.

      Until recently, Reason had an insightful, economically savvy commenter named (Sarah) Palin’s Buttplug who gave frequent updates on the economic devastation caused by the Drumpf regime. Now that Mr. Buttplug is gone the rest of us need to continue that important work.


      1. That’s why I made sure that only conservatives were allowed to post here. Liberal dissenters need to be silenced quickly.

        1. Oh, you’re that guy. What name were you posting under here before?

    3. “Here’s President Trump’s stock-market scorecard after 2 years in office”

      How much for a basket of those cherries you picked?

      1. Seems like what we’re mostly seeing is a huge rebound and then a correction. Though I’m still not totally convinced of how much of this has to do with internal politics. I think the idea that the President is the sole, or even major, definer of the economy is a bit much.

        1. Reducing regs is gonna help; getting in trade wars is gonna hurt, so while the POTUS certainly isn’t the sole determinant, it seems his actions are a non-trivial driver.

  33. And this freedom to be different things in different spaces was enhanced by the early internet.

    Well that’s not freedom by any meaningful definition of the word. It’s acting.

    And no surprise that because it was so shallow an experience, the real power devolved from you as a user of the internet to the intermediary who enables the switching back-and-forth between those acting gigs.

    Which also killed off those different spaces which did back then have a chance of developing capabilities over time which might have moved those spaces beyond acting towards something resembling actual freedom. Because turns out that advertisers only want your eyeballs tethered 24/7 to the lizard brain that confuses the shiny lights of acting for actual freedom.

    1. I really don’t think that the big tech companies are going to be as successful controling people as they think. Ultimately, censorship only works if people don’t know it is happening. Once people realize something is being censored, they discount it accordingly and the desired effect of censorship, to convince people reality is something other than what it is by depriving them information, doesn’t occur. Time and again some person gets kicked off of Twitter or Youtube or some other platform only to have it result in more attention and awareness of their message. It takes more than just depriving people of convienent and accessible outlets like Twitter and Youtube to stop a message from spreading.

      The other thing is that once a platform starts censoring it becomes hard to know where to stop. So, I think what will happen is things like Youtube and Twitter and other social media platfforms will become very boring causing more and more people to just stop using them and look for their information elswhere.

      1. I think they will be far more successful than you think.

        There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies. That’s from a pamphlet Walter Lippmann wrote 100 years – when ‘mass media’ had just barely begun and used techniques/knowledge that was no more advanced than Gutenberg or ancient sociopaths used. In many ways, Lippmann barely two years later started creating the monster he first criticized.

        But we have changed also in response to those who can now manipulate us from on-high. We may think we are trying to ‘detect lies’ when we praise ourselves for our ability to see ‘fake news’. But all we are actually talking about is ‘differences’. We can detect differences – just as a cockroach can tell when the lights go on – but we can no longer detect lies because we no longer even know what truth is. There are opinions/facts/etc we are comfortable with – and those that are different/uncomfortable. Ultimately we want comfort far more than we want liberty or truth. And that’s easy for others to arrange for us.

        1. They only prevent us from detecting lies if we trust what they tell us. And it seems pretty clear to me that very few people if anyone trusts what the tech companies are saying. Once they lose that trust, they can no longer control anyone. They can just tell lies no one beleives.

          1. I think trust and truth are very different things. I agree that the tech platform companies have screwed the pooch a bit re trust. But imo that is almost entirely about their failures re data privacy not about the breadth/censorship of their platform.

        2. Did we ever know what the truth is?


    Chief Lies A Lot tries to disrupt mass at Catholic cathedral during services

    1. Video footage showed one supporter saying that the group had gathered at the shrine to listen to Phillips, and to hold the Catholic Church “accountable” for the alleged actions of the Covington Catholic students and for the “colonial violence that the Catholic Church reproduces every day.”

      Shit, they should be so lucky as to be a tribe from a place colonized by a Catholic nation. Shit, have you seen Mexico? They got so many Natives still they’re just walking around in cities and shit.

      1. That may be true, but the Catholics still took a pretty scorched earth approach to the indigenous culture.

        While the natives may be walking around in cities, they’re definitely doing so with rosary beads on the way to their chapels instead of feathered capes on their way to human-sacrificial altars…

        How much indigenous wisdom was obliterated by the Catholic missionaries?

    2. That racist shrine surrounded him, smirking.

      1. Creepy!

  35. Unnamed sources say the democrat party is readying legislation to make wearing a MAGA hat a hate crime.

    1. Why not a HAT CRIME *and* a HATE CRIME? Then they can prosecute twice.

  36. The Onion Treatment was a pro wrestling submission hold eventually banned by the WWE.

    1. What’s the Onion Treatment?

      20 bucks, same as downtown.

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  38. “The ability not to have an identity that one carries from sphere to sphere but, rather, to be able to slip in and adopt whatever values and norms are appropriate while retaining one’s identities in other domains? That is what it is to be free.”

    This is not what it is to be free. This is not what makes us less or more free.

    Freedom has almost nothing to do with your progressive ideas about identity, Elizabeth.

    Rights are choices.

    Property rights are the right to choose who uses something, how it’s used, when it’s used, to choose to transfer ownership, etc.

    Religious freedom is the right to choose your own religion.

    Etc., etc.

    Freedom is when people respect and the government protects your right to make choices for yourself.

    Your weird ideas about freedom and trying to change its meaning and associate it with identity is even less effective than referring to prostitutes as “sex workers”. Freedom is what it is regardless of how Elizabeth Nolan Brown arbitrarily defines it or what words she uses to describe it.

    1. I really don’t understand what she is saying. What does it even mean to have an identity that you carry from sphere to sphere? That sentence makes no sense to me. Freedom means the ability to pursue whatever version of happiness you see fit provided it doesn’t harm other people. I can’t understand what she is doing here or why she would take such a simple thing and make it so obtuse.

      1. What does it even mean to have an identity that you carry from sphere to sphere?

        Imagine that you are a conservative vegan. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to associate with your conservative friends without having to endure their criticism of your vegan lifestyle as “hanging out with those librul hippies”, and also be able to associate with your vegan friends without having to endure their criticism of your conservative associates as “anti-environment planet rapists”? That is the idea.

        1. Sure. But your ability to do that is something different than freedom. I might be the only person in the whole country who believes the things that I do. And everyone else might think I am a nut for thinking the way I do. But, as long as no one punishes me for thinking as I do or the government doesn’t punish me with the force of law, I am free to believe the things I do. My freedom to believe and act is in no way dependent upon the approval or support of others.

          I think you are right that that is what she means. And it shows she has a very strange view of freedom. She seems to think that freedom necessily implies some degree of acceptance. It doesn’t. It only requires tolerance.

        2. That’s comfort, not freedom.

        3. That phenomenon though is more about tolerance (of others – towards you) than freedom (of you). And structurally that is more about having a lot of different ‘spaces’ than it is about being able to flit from one to another

      2. I really don’t understand what she is saying. What does it even mean to have an identity that you carry from sphere to sphere?

        When I think about freedom and identity, I can’t pretend there aren’t any implications about things like the freedom to be a woman, the freedom to be gay, the freedom to be black, etc.

        In the given examples, they were talking about the freedom to be Catholic and the freedom to be Protestant.

        We cannot talk about freedom and identity without talking about collective rights.

        Fuck that noise!

        1. Being what identity grants you the freedom to trample on my individual rights?

          My rights arise naturally as an aspect of my agency.

          Not as a function of my identification with any group.

          Other people’s rights arise as an aspect of their agency, too. Their ability to make choices for themselves is the origin of my obligation to respect their rights. It has nothing to do with their identification with any group.

    2. I think this idea that we can have separate spaces for living is more an issue of civic behavior breaking down rather than Freedom. It’s orthogonal to Freedom.

      Like Doxing. It has gotten much bigger over time (or maybe not, maybe it’s selection bias that I think it has). Regardless, this idea that someone’s political opinion online should lead to significant action in their professional life is bad. Or that your professional life has much to do with your religious life.

      This is a simplification, but I think the real problem is the urge to target people’s entire lives for disagreements in specific spheres. I don’t think this is the internet’s problem though. I think this is a larger cultural shift. The internet just makes it easy.

    3. So what if it is my choice to have different noninteracting spheres of my life that I present as my identity? As described in the Frieserdorf article:

      A 28-year-old woman might attend a march of radical feminists on Saturday, be a deferential caregiver to her ailing conservative grandfather on Sunday, teach high-school sophomores virtue ethics on Monday, perform open-mic comedy that no 15-year-old should hear on Tuesday, indulge a guilty pleasure for Disney musical numbers in the privacy of her car on the way to work on Wednesday morning, and meet up on Thursday night with the pierced, tattooed punk rocker she is dating.

      What if it is this woman’s desire that her association with her radical feminist group remain separate from her association with her conservative relatives? Sure the government protects those associations, but social media applications like Facebook make it difficult to separate those associations. The default for Facebook is “make my entire identity open for the entire world to see”. Some people are uncomfortable with that and would make a different choice if they could. So Facebook, and social media in general, are doing a poor job of respecting this hypothetical woman’s choices for how she expresses her identity. That is kind of the point here. No one will be thrown in jail as a result, no. But it is a limitation that we have to endure.

      1. No person can ever be defined entirely by any one thing. This is especially true of their politics. The reason why we are able to have a free and pluralistic society is that we are able to separate different facets of our life. The guy the woman in your example takes care of doesn’t care that she is a radical feminist. He only cares that she is a good caregiver. In the same way, she doesn’t care that he thinks women should have never been given the right to vote. She only cares about her duty to take care of him. Her conservative family may not like her politics but sees the other things about her character and love her as one of their own regardless.

        If the day ever comes where we stop being able to make these sorts of distinctions and the personal really does become the political, we will no longer have a free and pluralistic society. We will either have a society that is at war with itself and unable to function or a society that can function and is not at war with itself but it utterly uniform and conformist. That would be a nightmare in either case.

      2. This is one big reason why I am not very active on Facebook at all. Because my workplace colleagues don’t need to know about my antics with my college buddies, and vice-versa. Facebook makes it such a big pain to separate all of one’s separate spheres of life.

      3. It’s interesting that this is viewed as Facebook’s fault so much. Facebook is really just providing a service. That Facebook implies a very open space is not something Facebook particularly denies or hides.

        Why is it so frequently seen as non-viable to simply remove yourself from social media. I think many people are. And I think what we’re really in right now is adaption to this new novelty of social media. I think if left to its own devices more people will learn to avoid it, or at least use it in a restricted way. We’re in the middle of a that weird distortion caused by its rise and so we think it’s the beginning and end, but people will adapt to living with it. That is, as long as it’s allowed to naturally develop.

        1. Why is it so frequently seen as non-viable to simply remove yourself from social media.

          How can a journalist do their job without Twitter? Oh yeah, the old fashioned way. Carry on.

      4. Are you suggesting she doesn’t need to choose a lane and stay in it? Apocalypse Now!

      5. So what if it is my choice to have different noninteracting spheres of my life that I present as my identity?

        That’s entirely reasonable. But it does require that each one of those non-interacting spheres be able to sustain itself ABSENT you. And the second the internet bought into the ad-based model, it pretty much eliminated the ability for those different spheres to do that. Because the reality is that everything that advertisers have to sell is a mass product. They may want to target ads to different groups of people – but that is merely for the purpose of using different images/words to use re those different people to sell the same mass product.

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  40. Dave Weigel’s cousin Pete Buttplug throws his big floppy shoes into the 2020 democratic party presidential clown car.

    Oh wait, sorry, it’s actually Pete Buttigieg, not Buttplug. And if you’re thinking to yourself “Who the fuck is Pete Buttigieg?”, you’re probably one of approximately 310 million Americans thinking that same thing.


  41. If you aren’t anonymous, you aren’t free.

  42. Time to pull your head out of your ass.

    How difficult is it to corrupt government when there are only two options and they are focussed on fighting each other.

    All you partisans are part of the problem.

    If you were capable of independent thought, you might insist on a less vulnerable system. The Swiss have referendums for all the big ticket issues. The people of the democracy decide making politicians less attractive to corrupt special interest lobby groups who stand to gain at your expense.

    With internet technology referendums on a great many issues are a possibility.

    For that we need security. There is no security in anonymity except for the corrupt. Shit or get off the pot. If you want security and democracy, you’ll need to come out of hiding.

    If you want to hide like an anonymous coward, you will find as in this article, you can run but you can’t hide.

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