Reason Roundup

Dangerous Precedent Looms in Espionage Indictment Against Julian Assange

Plus: Naomi Wolf has no clue (again), gun site wins Section 230 case, and more...

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An unprecedented attack on free speech and the free press is afoot, as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charges Julian Assange with espionage over leaked documents published on WikiLeaks. This is "the first time in the history of our country [that] the government has brought criminal charges under the Espionage Act against a publisher for the publication of truthful information," warns the American Civil Liberties Union.

"The Espionage Act is typically used to punish the leakers themselves, people like Edward Snowden, Reality Winner, and most recently Daniel Hale," noted Reason's Scott Shackford last night. This prosecution extends the law's reach.

Some have expressed a little schadenfreude to see Assange, an alleged Trump supporter, get screwed over by Trump's administration. But as journalist Adam Serwer points out, this isn't necessarily about Assange so much as "establishing a precedent that can be used to prosecute journalists for doing their jobs and publishing information that embarrasses the government or exposes wrongdoing."

Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, calls the prosecution a "threat to all journalists everywhere who publish information that governments would like to keep secret."

Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) says he is "extremely concerned about the precedent this may set and potential dangers to the work of journalists and the First Amendment."

The New York Times editorial board is aghast, saying the Assange prosecution "is aimed straight at the heart of the First Amendment."

The authorities are attempting to justify this egregious abuse of power by declaring that "Assange is no journalist," as DOJ National Security Chief John Demers put it yesterday. But receiving and disseminating information from a government whistleblower, as WikiLeaks did, is of course what many undeniably real journalists have done and exactly the kind of activity the First Amendment is there to protect.

The new 18-count indictment from a federal grand jury concerns classified documents Assange received in 2010 from Chelsea Manning, who was then an army intelligence analyst. The documents revealed damning details about U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manning—who is currently being held in a federal detention center in Virginia because she is refusing to testify before a grand jury about Assange—says she continues "to accept full and sole responsibility for those disclosures."

"It's telling that the government appears to have already obtained this indictment before my contempt hearing last week," Manning adds in her statement:

This administration describes the press as the opposition party and an enemy of the people. Today, they use the law as a sword.

The spy charges come in addition to the "hacking" charges against Assange that were revealed last month. Assange supposedly violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by suggesting Manning try different passwords on government computers. "We should all be worried about such abuses of 'hacking' laws to crush ideological enemies," Andrea O'Sullivan noted at the time.

The new charges seem even more worrying.

The latest indictment alleges that Assange conspired with Manning, "was complicit…in unlawfully obtaining and disclosing classified documents related to the national defense," and "aided and abetted Manning in communicating classified documents." These are all activities that journalists do regularly in the course of communicating with whistleblowers and other confidential sources.

"Put simply, these unprecedented charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century," says Freedom of the Press Foundation co-founder Trevor Timm.

"As a practical matter, I suspect that very few reporters actively help their sources crack passwords (even just to hide the sources' own tracks), just as very few reporters provide sources with lock picks or instructions on breaking into safes," argues law professor Eugene Volokh. He can even see some merit in the theory that Assange solicited Manning to commit a crime. But "the most striking counts are counts 15-17, which allege, in relevant part:"

From in or about July 2010…, [Assange], having unauthorized possession of, access to, and control over documents relating to the national defense [such as leaked Afghanistan and Iraq war activity reports and State Department cables], willfully and unlawfully caused and attempted to cause such materials to be communicated, delivered, and transmitted to persons not entitled to receive them.

Volokh notes that

nothing in this count turns on Assange's having helped or solicited Manning's leaks. Rather, it relies simply on Assange having published…material that he knew was improperly leaked and was related to the national defense within the meaning of the statute. To convict on these counts, a jury wouldn't have to find any complicity by Assange in the initial leak.

And reporters do routinely publish information that they know was illegally leaked by someone.


FREE MINDS

Oof. On Radio 3's most recent Arts & Ideas podcast, author Naomi Wolf realizes she got a big thing wrong in her upcoming book on the criminalization of homosexuality:

This is far from the first time a major error can be found in Wolf's writing:


FREE MARKETS

Gun classified ad site Armslist wins on Section 230 grounds. Law professor Eric Goldman writes:

The case involves Armslist, an online classified ads service for guns. A shooter, Haughton, bought a gun via Armslist from a private seller, which bypassed any legally required background checks. The shooter was subject to a restraining order that prohibited him from owning guns. He used the Armslist-acquired gun to kill four people, including himself and the person protected by the restraining order, and injure four others.

The estate sued Armslist for negligence and more. Everyone agrees that the gun seller created the ad in question. The plaintiff argued that Armslist partially developed the ad….Armslist defended on Section 230 grounds. The circuit court agreed with Armslist. The appeals court reversed. The Supreme Court ruled for Armslist in a straightforward, but highly defense-favorable, opinion.

More here.

In its decision, the court explicitly states that "whether or not Armslist knew illegal content was being posted on its site, it did not materially contribute to the content's illegality," and that's what matters.

Goldman comments that "this case adds to the growing precedent that plaintiffs can't get around [Section 230 protections] by alleging defective website design. The First Circuit and Second Circuit emphatically rejected such workarounds in the Doe v. Backpage and Herrick v. Grindr rulings, respectively. This court extends that jurisprudence."


QUICK HITS

  • Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) has another Twitter thread on the president and impeachment. Start here:

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May will resign, effective June 7.
  • Uh-oh: Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) wants to "give prosecutors important new tools."
  • Uh-oh again: Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) and colleagues have a new anti-video game bill:

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309 responses to “Dangerous Precedent Looms in Espionage Indictment Against Julian Assange

  1. Everyone listen to Naomi Wolf realize on live radio that the historical thesis of the book she’s there to promote is based on her misunderstanding a legal term

    Ouch.

    1. Hello.

      But Wolf is credentialed and has all the appropriate abbreviations!

      Also. Careful about Trump and Assange. The previous administration would have done the exact same thing.

        1. In this thread, an idiot says loot boxes are literally the same as heroin and then wonders why he gets treated like he’s retarded.

          1. And by the way, he sounded very much like the original, real, very stupid Tulpa.

          2. I dunno, dude. That video game dopamine hit is a pretty addictive feeling. There are types of addiction that you’ve never experienced, but that doesn’t make them less valid.

            What are the warning signs of video game addiction?
            •Preoccupation with the Game. (Thoughts about previous on-line activity or anticipation of the next on-line session.)
            •Use of the Game in increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction.
            •Repeated, unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop Game use.
            •Feelings of restlessness, moodiness, depression, or irritability when attempting to cut down use of the Game.
            •Gaming longer than originally intended.
            •Jeopardized or risked loss of significant relationships, job, educational or career opportunities because of Game use.
            •Lies to family members, friends, therapists, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Game.
            •Use of the Game is a way to escape from problems or to relieve
            I mean, anything that makes you happy is potentially addictive, but with drugs being evil and all, we gotta get that high from a dysphoric mood. (e.g. feelings of hopelessness, guilt, anxiety, depression.)

            With drugs being “evil” and therefore verboten, young folks gotta get that high from somewhere.

          3. Also in this thread; Tulpoopy burns a sock (no Obstruction, no collusion) and makes a general ass of himself.

      1. Wut. The previous administration ain’t there, man. Face it and accept it. Trump is attacking the First Amendment.

        1. That’s just the TDS talking.

        2. Maybe the point is that government power is and will always be at odds with 1A

        3. Yeah, I don’t think “not worse than Obama” should be the standard by which we judge everything. That’s a pretty weak standard to hold a president to.

    2. What time does it occur in the podcast?
      I’m not going to listen to the whole thing, but I would like to hear that moment

      1. The Twitter link from ENB includes just that two minute segment.

        1. How about a reporter actually write it out the transcript?

          1. No…. no transcript can do it justice.

            You simply have to listen to her get slowly and carefully taken completely apart. The weight of the conversation can’t be conveyed in text.

            Plus, there are pregnant pauses that not only speak volumes, but give you time to ponder just how many hours she put into compiling her information and crafting it into a book, only to have this guy do a quick search and find out that she got literally every detail of the case wrong, right down to the fact that the guy wasn’t guilty of simply being gay, but of assaulting a 6 year old boy. There literally is not one shred left when he’s done.

            1. “That’s an important thing to be investigated”

              If only someone were writing a book about it…

              1. Exactly…. you have to hear that line as spoken to really get the full weight. She’s speaking in those NPR “I’m really smart and an expert” tones, and saying “That’s an important thing to be investigated” about something that invalidates her entire work.

                1. I really want to know what she said in response to the fact that that person on trial in the 1800s was answering for his rape of a 6-year old boy (the 2 minute clip cuts off right as the interviewer reveals that). As an author, how do you miss THAT?

                  How do you not even bother to look up who the accused committed sodomy with? Sodomy has more meaning than just “gay butt sex”, especially back in the 1800s, and that’s just my basic uneducated, unwashed, layman understanding.

                  1. Yeah… the way it was edited, there were many long pauses as she gathered her thoughts. Then when that bombshell drops and the audio ends, it just goes silent. I wasn’t looking at the screen, so it felt like a long, long, long moment as she contemplated the magnitude of her error. It actually worked out to be a pretty powerful moment the way I listened to it.

                    I wonder if it played out that way in real life.

    3. Oof, yeah, now I have to find that part in the podcast and listen to the rest of it – how do you even continue to discuss the book at all after this? The entire book is now called into question, as well as her professional abilities as a non-fiction writer. I imagine the only way to go is to stand up, say “the book is cancelled” and walk out. But, I’m sure this won’t stop her.

      1. I take back the last sentence of my comment, I said that without knowing that Naomi Wolf has turned a page on that kind of behavior. She seems quite willing to revisit her research. After listening to more of the complete podcast, I have to admire her for not getting defensive and being open to the discussion and correction.

        Such piss poor research does make me question her product though. No matter how well she took the news, this still makes all of her work look suspect simply because it was so easy to debunk for this interviewer – he used the same primary sources!

  2. Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) has another Twitter thread on the president and impeachment.

    Twitter is to the congressman what a golf course is to the president. Also what Twitter is to the president, come to think of it.

    1. Also what a golf ball flying at you head is to one of the President’s tweets.

      1. So Trump’s tweets are violence after all?

    2. What is this, an SAT exam?

  3. Mueller’s report describes a consistent effort by the president to use his office to obstruct or otherwise corruptly impede the Russian election interference investigation because it put his interests at risk.

    His interest being his finances or his ability to govern? Although I am sure the House makes no distinction.

    1. It is pretty clear that it does not describe a consistent effort to obstruct or impede the Russian interference investigation. It describes a consistent effort on his part to have them wrap it up already and announce the conclusion that he already knows is coming – that his campaign did not work with Russia to illegally interfere with the election.

      Those are not the same thing. Giving them a $30 million budget and directing everyone he knows to fully cooperate with the investigation is incompatible with “used his office to corruptly impede”. This whole thing hinges on a lack of leadership at the DOJ and a chief executive complaining to his underlings about that lack of leadership. Those complaints are what they claim is “obstruction of justice”. One could make those inferences, but his “actions”, such as they were, are much more easily explained by impatience with an investigation that had long since passed its sell-by date and yet continued dragging things out.

      We don’t know how long Mueller held on to his conclusions after the team had arrived at the understanding that there was no coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia – but we do know that it was quite a long time. Trump began asking Comey to wrap things up after a few months. Maybe that was too soon? But they had wiretaps, so they had to have at least an inkling that there was no “there” there. What about a year after that? Still too soon? At some point his impatience has to cross over from wishful thinking to mismanagement by those who let it continue.

      There has never been a chief executive worth his salt who didn’t push for results. More results, better results, and sooner results. That’s what they do. Claiming that this amounts to criminal conduct is asinine.

      1. This entire fiasco, in regards to the “obstruction” charge, feels like Mueller trying his level best to get Trump on the same procedural crimes he caught Manafort and the others with.

        When there’s no crime, you make a crime.

        “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

  4. British Prime Minister Theresa May will resign, effective June 7.

    I wish I may, I wish I might, resign my office in a fortnight.

    1. Suddenly reason finds that government transparency is not such a good thing.

      1. It has been 24 hours now and yet reason still has no mention of the transparency.

  5. Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) wants to “give prosecutors important new tools.”

    They don’t yet have enough power to fuck your shit right up.

    1. Which I’m sure will be used disproportionally against people of color.

  6. Unpaid prison labor “continues to power Florida.”

    The south shall rise again, but even souther.

    1. What did Russia say to America?

      “You’ve got a purty South.”

  7. “Feminist scholarship”

  8. #Resistance grifter brothers Brian and Ed Krassenstein have been banned from Twitter for running bot accounts.

    Twitter should really make an exception for accounts no one takes seriously.

  9. The man reason has called “the most interesting Democratic Candidate” has set forth his agenda.

    Freedom
    Health care: “Medicare for All Who Want It” as a pathway to Medicare for All
    Racial equality: Create a commission to propose reparations policies for Black Americans and close the racial wealth gap
    LGBTQ rights: Pass the Equality Act; reverse the ban on transgender military service; enforce the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act and key federal civil rights laws
    Security
    Climate change: Implement a Green New Deal with all available tools including a carbon tax-and-dividend for Americans, and major direct investment to build a 100% clean energy society
    Gun control: Raise the standard of gun protection and ownership to make all Americans safer
    Extremism: Increase federal resources for countering domestic terrorism and white supremacist violence
    Democracy
    Gerrymandering: Establish independent, statewide redistricting commissions
    Electoral college: A national popular vote to replace the Electoral College
    Political representation: True political representation for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico

    http://www.axios.com/pete-buttigieg-2020-policy-proposals-90d48307-12bc-4bb1-873e-c6a6c670deac.html

    Those people whose rights are violated or whose way of life is destroyed by these proposals will be, much like those homeowners in South Bend whose homes fell to the gay affirming wrecking ball, just eggs in Pete’s big gay omelet.

    #Libertarian moment
    #I have always wanted to vote for a gay man for President

    1. “Racial equality: Create a commission to propose reparations policies for Black Americans and close the racial wealth gap”

      This is excellent. I’m thrilled with how quickly reparations for slavery is becoming a mainstream Democratic Party idea.

      Hopefully Reason’s primary racial justice advocate Shikha Dalmia will present “The Libertarian Case for Reparations” soon.

      1. I’m all for reparations. Anyone who was personally a slave should receive them immediately

        1. Mr. Slave: “Jethus Christ”

      2. So…when do we give the land back to the Native Americans?

        1. Which land? The land that was purchased from Indians, the land acquired by treaty with Indians, the land given as reparations in a peace settlement with Indians, the land we purchased from Spain, France, and Russia, or the land given as reparations in wars with England, France, and Mexico, you ignorant piece of shit?

          A lot of social groups have been fucked over in the course of human history, especially those that were at a severe technological or numerical disadvantage. Many groups of Indians have had the opportunity to negotiate as sovereign nations. Some did well, and some, suffering from those disadvantages, their political fragmentation, and wars with all the nations of Europe as well as the U.S. left them unable to enforce the terms of treaties.

          Plus, maybe you should read the Constitution. It says a few things about Indians.

    2. Oh, my sides.

      Gerrymandering: Establish independent, statewide redistricting commissions

      Anyone who thinks these commissions won’t end up being creatures of the state party in power is a retard.

      Electoral college: A national popular vote to replace the Electoral College

      Apparently this fuckhead doesn’t understand that the Constitution can’t be altered by a popular vote. Typical Millennial ignorance.

      1. I don’t understand.

        They’ll abide by the constitution?

        The only time the constitution is used by politicians is as a hammer with which to beat their enemies. It has no other use.

  10. So Robby Soave just called Laura Loomer, a radical zionist Jew, a member of the “Alt Right”. I guess at some point everyone is part of the “Alt Right”.

    1. Apparently everyone is supposedly either “woke” or “Alt Right” nowadays.

  11. Radley Balko explores the effects of New York’s “crushing parole system.”

    Summed up by the prison industrial complex rubbing its thumb together with its forefingers.

  12. Regarding the bill that targets games that manipulate children: isn’t it morally bankrupt to target children for monetary gain? These gaming companies really do create casino like scenarios and kids then buy useless in-game content.

    I’m all for freedom but if you’re going to use your freedom to manipulate children then I have no sympathy for you. And I don’t think this is a hill to die on for libertarians.

    1. While I don’t entirely disagree, or do I – haven’t really thought about it – what kind of parent is giving their kids unlimited access to their credit cards?

      1. I imagine it’s not unlimited. I’m sure plenty of parents will load like $50 onto the account to make their kids happy, having no idea they’re funding this gambling system. Some kids are clever enough to get credit card info without consent.

        Either way, I have a problem with targeting kids. Target adults all you want, but creating a world where parents have to helicopter over everything their children do isn’t good for anyone.

        1. 1980s Arcades ran on the same business model though. And we seem to have survived that. And it is hard to tell on paper which models are manipulating children and which are fine giving them good value for their money. All those 80s arcade games cost a quarter or fifty cents but what you got for that quarter depended on the game. And that isn’t easily quantified by legislation.

          1. I get the point that it isn’t easily quantified by legislation, lets put that aside just for now (I do really think its a good point).

            BUT, I will draw a distinction between blind lootboxes, which are essentially slot machines, and 1980s arcades. The arcades were designed to be punishing to the player to get them to cough up more coins for more lives, but you knew what you were getting. You knew what experience you were signing up for – if you were unsure, you could watch other people play.

            Blind loot boxes don’t tell the player what they’re getting, its almost exactly like a slot machine. I don’t think 80s arcades were filled with slot machines. Although the argument was made very many times. They even thought pinball was a game of chance, not a game of skill, and was therefore gambling (it wasn’t, and that’s an interesting story you should look up).

            1. Yeah I remember the pinball argument generally speaking.

              So is just blind loot boxes or all loot boxes? See the devil’s in details and I have little faith Congress wouldn’t fuck up the industry in order to protect children. It’s easy to point to the worst cases of abuse but it is middle ones that I fear will harmed even when they aren’t harming anyone.

              1. My problem is with a very specific system, outside of regular game play, which imitates slot machines that are programmed to psychologically manipulate you.

                1. Except you’re totally ignorant of the actual psychology, so you just achieve looking stupid instead.

              2. See the devil’s in details and I have little faith Congress wouldn’t fuck up the industry in order to protect children.

                I hear you and I have the same fear. I think its more likely that congress fucks this up rather than getting it right. It might be best if they don’t touch it at all for that simple fact.

                Yes, I think that blind loot boxes for real-world currency are different than (1) blind loot boxes that cannot be purchased for real-world currency or (2) non-blind loot boxes that tell you what you’re getting for your money.

                Fortnite just eliminated all blind loot boxes from its game this year, in favor of non-blind loot boxes. This seems like a perfectly satisfactory solution. The threat of regulation seems to be pushing some of the high-profile companies to drop the practice altogether, and their business models are just fine without the gambling mechanics.

      2. I agree that its at best morally questionable, but I also question the wisdom of letting the government legislate morality

        1. once it’s legal to sell heroin, my company is going to make bank targeting children

          1. So you admit you would specifically target children. That is something you can’t prove or even cite that the websites in question are actually doing.

            1. Ryan’s Heroin Company won’t say that either, but the packaging will be pokemon and hello kitty. So it’s totally fine

              1. You heroin analogy has been destroyed, ignoring that won’t change anything.

      3. Exactly. And what parent isn’t monitoring how the money from their account is spent? My kid buys these things out of his allowance or does extra chores to earn more and, if he spends it all on in-game stuff, then it means he can’t buy other things.

        The only libertarian response to a market trying to exploit kid’s pin money is – good, better to learn now.

    2. wat? Every product and service that targets children is somehow morally bankrupt? I’m confused. Have you ever taken your kids to Disneyland?

      1. Please detail the gambling that goes on at Disneyland.

        You hyperbole is cute tho

        1. They sell sealed packs with a random character toy in them. If you want to collect all the characters you have to keep buying random ones until you get them all. They are literally real life loot boxes

          1. CAn you re-sell the more valuable ones to other people online? No, you’re talking about plastic crap. Read up on the gamer skins for games like cs:go. You pay to spin, and if you hit big you can MAKE MONEY.

            Now try again, where does that happen at Disneyland

            1. Yes, the rare ones can be sold for more money, and complete sets often sell for more than an equivalent number of randoms

              1. I don’t think you understand the difference between physical goods, loot box like or not, and the instantaneous turn-around that happens in the gaming world. I can’t even compare the two. What children are going to buy physical goods at disneyland then auction them online then do the shipping and handling?

                1. “I don’t think you understand the difference between physical goods, loot box like or not, and the instantaneous turn-around that happens in the gaming world. I can’t even compare the two. ”

                  No one is surprised about that, you don’t appear very smart.

                  They are exactly the same.

                  1. One takes weeks of turnaround time and shipping and handling, the other happens many times in a matter of minutes.

                    Yea, I’m the dumb one.

                    1. The reward/response curve is the same. The idea of getting paid is enough to trigger the response.

                      I thought you said you knew about this?

                      “Yea, I’m the dumb one”

                      On this we agree.

        2. Did you ever collect baseball cards as a kid or something similar? I think you’re the one hyperventilating about save the children here.

          1. Show me the gambling simulations related to baseball cards.

            These websites created a system based on casino slot machines. The sounds, the lights, the dopamine hits, all patterned off casinos. The same system to create addiction in the casino is used on these games. Games that mostly kids play.

            1. We get it, you buy the extremely stupid anti-game rhetoric because you’re fucking dumb.

              You know how we know?

              “the dopamine hits, ”

              You talk about shit you barely understand, that’s how.

              1. I know that gambling and heroin react similarly in the brain. I know that in-game gambling and actual game play are totally different. I know that your kids are going to love my heroin cookies and I’ll be rich while you’re funding your kids rehab.

                1. “I know that gambling and heroin react similarly in the brain”

                  No actually, you don’t.

                  1. Oh good you’re now a science denier. Great day for you Tulpa. Be proud

                    1. Ahahaah saying you don’t actually understand the resesrch is “denyong science”” ahahaaj

                      How fucking stupid ARE you?

                2. I know that gambling and heroin react similarly in the brain.

                  They don’t. Not at all.

                  Whoever said that is an idiot of massive proportions.

                  Heroin gets you high. And you stay that way until the heroin is gone.

                  Gambling may make you feel good if you win. And awful if you lose.

                  But heroin, well, it gets you high.

            2. @Ryan: “Show me the gambling simulations related to baseball cards.”

              The last time I noticed baseball cards was about 55 years ago, when the most desired card was Mickey Mantle. It may have changed, but I remember baseball cards in packages of candy, cereal, or kids toys. You had to buy the product to find out whether you got a Mickey Mantle or Roger Maris card, or some guy you’d never heard of. There were also packs of 5 cards for sale alone, but you still didn’t know what was in it until you’d bought it. One Mickey Mantle would trade for ten or more of the typical cards in these packages – and the only reason kids weren’t paying directly for the card they sought was that none of us was getting enough allowance to pay for that.

              If a blind loot box is gambling, so was this.

    3. “”Regarding the bill that targets games that manipulate children””

      Games manipulate whoever plays them. Not children per se. This reeks of the attacks against cartoons like the Simpsons, and Family Guy a while ago.

      1. Not talking about game play, talking about the virtual economy that includes gambling simulations that target children

      2. playerauctions.com

        You pay in-game to spin wheels to win prizes to buy/ sell/ trade online. Kids have no idea they’re gambling, parents have no idea they’re funding gambling habits.

        I hate government involvement as most everyone here, but if libertarians refuse to draw reasonable lines to protect children then we’ll never be taken seriously

        1. If the parents of these kids refuse to draw reasonable lines, why is it my job as a libertarian to draw them for the parents?

          1. Your kid is going to love the heroin I sell him

            1. Your kid is going to love the all powerful government you create to raise them because you can’t be bothered to keep track of your credit card

              1. I’m assuming you want to legalize drugs? Well my company will have the best heroin, and a business model that targets kids.

                That’s cool by you, right?

                1. You mean like the liquor industry does?

            2. Do you think that helps move your argument?
              Heroin is illegal. A more apt analogy might be more about selling my kid weed in a legal weed store with money I gave them. As most people would point out, why would I let me kid in the weed store when it’s for people of age?

              1. None of these are apt comparisons. The real comparison is dropping your kid off at a casino every day after school.

                1. Consodering every person who walks into a casino doesn’t become addicted, you appear to be looking at the effect instead of the cause.

          2. And your promotion of helicopter parenting is noted.

            1. I love how there is apparently no margin between “helicopter parenting” and putting the government in charge

              Like maybe parents just not giving their kids credit cards

              1. Kids are clever, they can get a lot of things without permission. Like the future legal heroin that I sell your kids. God, you’re such a bad parent, letting your kid get addicted like that. And now I’m rich!

                What a great world you want to create. Thank you, libertarians, for allowing me to manipulate children

                1. You do realize how poor your argument for heroin is right? I could buy heroin and it was illegal from my drug dealer; I didn’t I stuck to the weed but I could have easily. Government making it illegal only made that more dangerous. I am sympathetic to your position too, I just think argument needs more work. And I really don’t know how you legislate this without ruining some business models that don’t manipulate children, not all loot boxes are equal and they can allow a poorer kid to download a free to play game and just skip buying the cosmetics. Why do you hate poor children?

                  1. The illegal drug issue aside. There is still the problem in believing that just because kids have access to it, means it’s being marketed specifically to.

                  2. And I really don’t know how you legislate this without ruining some business models that don’t manipulate children

                    The games industry was just fine before loot boxes, they will be just fine after they are classified as gambling. The business model of creating quality games and selling them to customers for a profit will survive just fine without augmenting a casino business model on top of it.

                    1. Ok so you’re Ryan socking. How fucking boring.

                    2. Um, what? Are you trying to call me a sock again while you are literally operating a sock account right now? Are you going to call me liar too?

                      Then, you have the gall turn around and act like me calling you a child is an insult. It’s not an insult if you are a teenager, Tulpa.

                      I know you’re fond of calling people dumb, saying how stupid they look, that they’re liars, etc… but honestly, I think you’ve made a real fool of yourself on this forum today. You don’t have to engage in this type of behavior, you know. You could join the rest of us as a respectable participant in a discussion. You could even disagree with us and many of us won’t insult you or call you out based on your age – but only if you agree not to be a jerk. Otherwise, no one will take you seriously, and that is your loss, no matter how hard you yell, scream and throw insults at people.

        2. It’s the parents’ job, not yours and not government’s. That’s the libertarian position.

          1. Helicopter parenting FTW

            1. I’m surprised you didn’t resort to your stupid fucking reductio ad heroin line again.

              1. No one has a comeback for it. Weird

                1. We’re simply trying to let you realize how stupid you sound making the case that something people literally sell their bodies for, ruin themselves for, and routinely and easily die from using is the same as a fucking game.

                  1. So people don’t ruin their lives from gambling?

                    1. Show me the epidemic of kids sucking dick for tokens.

                    2. Gross, dude, wtf.

              2. It’s almost like everyone knows that gambling and heroin create similar reactions in the brain

                1. And every libertarian knows it’s not the government’s job to stop you from gambling or using heroin. If there was a class it would be like day one of libertarianism 101.

                  1. Adults can do what they want. I am talking about kids

                2. “A game is the same as heroin”

                  You, now, looking dumb as fuck.

                  But sure I guess you have those many examples of kids sucking dick for tokens to fall back on.

        3. “”that includes gambling simulations that target children””

          Gambling usually has a requirement of being 18 years or older.

          How is this website specifically targeting children?

          1. why an age requirement? Is gambling addicting or something? Sounds like big government is getting in the way of children’s good time.

            Kids don’t know any better. When your product is used mostly by people under 18, and you introduce a gambling scenario with real money to play, you’re targeting kids.

            1. “why an age requirement?”

              Control freak statist idiots like you.

            2. “”When your product is used mostly by people under 18,””

              Please cite where the website playerauctions.com is used mostly by people under 18.

        4. If your objection is the gambling aspect, I can’t get on board there.
          There’s nothing wrong with gambling and learning to do it early.
          When I was 5 or 6 I used to gamble a dollar on RC car races with my friend (I won every time, to my memory, because we raced around a culdesac and I figured out that being on the inside track = victory).
          Gambling is an important skill.
          Now, if you object to the type of gambling – casino slot style – I can get with you there. Slots are trash.
          Don’t know what you do about it, though, other than not giving your kids unlimited and unsupervised credit.

          1. “Now, if you object to the type of gambling – casino slot style – I can get with you there. Slots are trash.”

            Agreed.

            There are literally thousands of studies on the topic, the simplified version would be “don’t target children using the psychological techniques we know creates gambling addiction”

            1. But you want to sell them heroin.

              1. You do realize that I don’t actually want to do that, right? I’m comparing two addicting things, and trying to make someone defend both. Libertarians want to legalize drugs. Libertarians don’t want the government to limit slot-style gambling that targets kids online. So why have I not heard an argument that we should let adults sell heroin to kids?

                1. “You do realize that I don’t actually want to do that, right? I’m comparing two addicting things, and trying to make someone defend both. ”

                  We’re well aware that you’re both disingenuous and stupid.

                2. “” I’m comparing two addicting things, and trying to make someone defend both. “”

                  No one is going to fall for that. Hard core drug use is not the same and gaming. This has been the argument of control freaks for decades and fails.

                  1. So weird, because people in this conversation want to legalize all drugs, but here you are talking poorly of hard core drug use, like it’s worth government involvement

                    1. “”like it’s worth government involvement””

                      No I didn’t. You keep making shit up.

      1. Kids are going to love my heroin

        1. But gambling is bad.

        2. I don’t care. That’s their parents job to keep them away from it.

          Oh wait this is the part where you liken keeping heroin away from their children to helicopter parenting because you’re an idiot.

          1. Thank you for stating that it should be legal to sell heroin to kids.

            I appreciate ya

            I just don’t see why libertarianism isn’t taken seriously…

            1. “Thank you for stating that it should be legal to sell heroin to kids.”

              It’s weird how that doesn’t appear anywhere in my post, and you’re just salty because I pointed out how fucking dumb you sound calling parents “helicopter parents” for keeping heroin away from their kids.

              It’s almost like you don’t mind lying about what I actually said because you feel foolish because of your exposed zealotry.

              1. SLAVER!

                1. I guess incoherently yelling at me is the best you have, having been caught lying.

              2. The North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help reports that approximately 2.6% of the U.S. population has some type of gambling issue

                You people keep telling me gambling isn’t an issue like drugs, reality keeps getting in your way.

                1. Because a “gambling issue” which is their phrasing to make it seem like a problem they need to solve, means anything.

                  I have a gambling issue, shoes are too big and the edge on house games make them unwinnable.

                  Jesus you don’t seem to realize how stupid you look.

    4. I posted this below but it was actually meant as a reply to this thread:

      The folks that made the game Warframe made this little in-game machine to change the look of your pet character.

      The machine went like this: Put real money into the machine -> get a randomized new look for your pet.

      The developers turned it on and someone spent something like thousands on it within a 30 minute period, just sitting there pulling the lever on the slot machine over and over again. I realize that personal responsibility comes into this – who knows who the person was? Maybe they have billions and thousands is chump change. Maybe it was a kid that had parent’s credit card? Maybe it was someone with a severe gambling addiction trying to stay away from the stuff but was suddenly presented such a system in game, was not warned that this is very similar to gambling (the same centers of the brain are activated from what I’ve heard), and now relapsed because of it?

      I don’t know. Anyway, the developers immediately turned off the feature, because they realized that vulnerable customers could be susceptible to it as a gambling system, and that did not sit right with them morally. They felt that if they provide that system to players, they are complicit in the potential problems it could cause for their customers. It was the blindness of the feature that was the problem, not the addictive nature of the game. Warframe is free to play, and they don’t have any paid blind loot features anymore, its all “here’s an item, you pay us and you know what you’re getting.”

      Loot boxes should be legal. No doubt about it. They should also be restricted to 18+ and should be classified as containing gambling. Then let the adults make their choice.

      1. Considering we can’t even settle on what gambling is, that’s an idiotic suggestion.

        1. Actually, we can. The research applied five established characteristics common to most gambling activities, and that distinguish gambling from other risk-taking behaviour, and found that almost half of games that contained loot-boxes met these criteria:

          The exchange of money or valuable goods.
          An unknown future event determines the exchange.
          Chance at least partly determines the outcome.
          Non-participation can avoid incurring losses.
          Winners gain at the sole expense of losers.

          1. Using this criteria, we can actually determine which lootboxes are not similar to gambling and which ones are. For instance, some games contain lootboxes that are not available for purchase via real world money. Those would not constitute gambling.

            1. Actually, nothing in there defined “gambling” , exactly as I stated.

              “Actually, we can. The research applied five established characteristics common to most gambling”

              In other words, assumed the defintion. Who decided these were “common to most gambling? “. And that where they appeared was in fact in cases of gambling?

              So no, ACTUALLY, we CAN’T. You’re wrong.

            2. To be clear, you think a definition concocted by researchers to make their paper appear successful is in fact definitive, super omnia.

              That’s moronic and you’re a moron for suggesting it.

              1. Haha, okay Tulpa, you continue to go cry in your corner “we can’t define gambling!”

                Meanwhile, the adults in the room will define gambling. This is because adults recognize the need to come to a common definition on things to have a discussion. Feel free to continue excluding yourself from the discussion by plugging your ears and saying “la la la! I don’t know what gambling is!” Then feel free to turn around and play victim when legislation gets passed.

                1. “Haha, okay Tulpa, you continue to go cry in your corner “we can’t define gambling!””

                  That sounds like the whining of a sockpuppet who realizes it was wrong.

                  “Meanwhile, the adults in the room will define gambling.”

                  As long as the only people in that room are researchers with marked self-interest tho, right? Lolol

                2. “This is because adults recognize the need to come to a common definition on things to have a discussion”

                  I AM the one trying to come to a defintion.

                  YOU are the one insisting I use yours, concocted by researchers for their own gain. So by YOUR OWN WORDS, I am the adult here.

                  That’s gotta hurt.

                    1. So, you’re going around changing your name and responding to posts, while calling me a sock? Alright then.

                      My answer, No Obstruction, No Collusion but definitely Tulpa, is that yes I think that we should come to common definitions of gambling and we should use research to determine what that definition is.

                      You could have argued with the researcher’s definition and told me why that definition is wrong. You could have said that you’re trying to define gambling in this thread and suggested a definition (I’m not obligated to go hunt down your other posts not in this thread). Instead you’re insulting me, trying to score cheap points, switching socks around, etc. I’m just trying to have a discussion with you but you’re acting like a kid.

                    2. “So, you’re going around changing your name and responding to posts”

                      So are you bro, it’s obvious you’re just a sockpuppet.

                    3. “My answer, No Obstruction, No Collusion but definitely Tulpa, is that yes I think that we should come to common definitions”

                      And we haven’t, but you insist we have because you hate that youre wrong and I’m right.

                      You can go now.

                    4. “You could have argued with the researcher’s definition and told me why that definition is wrong. You could have said that you’re trying to define gambling in this thread and suggested a definition”

                      Or I could have just pointed out the futility of attempting to define it.

                      Like I did.

                      I’m sorry that you’re sockhurt because you were wrong and are looking for any thin reed to hide your shame.

                      NOW you can go.

                    5. Gambling isn’t that hard to dedine.
                      It’s wagering a sum (x) that will return either a lesser (x) sum based on determined outcome(s).

                    6. Hmm.
                      Doesn’t like lesser or greater than signs.
                      Ok.
                      Wager X to either win 2X or 0X

      2. Somebody gets it

      3. Unlike whoever is running the Tulpa puppet, I am not a complete dick, but he has a point. Freedom and responsibility and all that, parents who give their kids a credit card for these kinds of games are behaving foolishly.

        That being said, the counterpoint is not gambling. It is contract law. For a purchase contract to be valid (and the credit card charges honored) there must be agreement on what is being purchased. This is certain to be contained within the lengthy and unintelligible legal jargon in the terms of service that everyone skips when loading their fun new game. A person under the age of 18 cannot legally contract, in which case the terms of service are void, as if no contract exists at all. If the terms of service can be agreed to without proof of age, then it is not an enforceable contract and any charges to a credit card arising out of those terms of service are not authorized. Your credit card company should honor a request to reverse the charges.

        The game company is going to say a lot of things and point at the ToS, but it will all be bullshit. A kid cannot legally obligate their parent for a debt, even if they lie about their age and certainly not in a case when age was not verified. Sprint tried this crap on me 15 years ago and when I confronted them they immediately folded. Giving your kid a phone is not a blanket authorization even if you don’t opt out of additional charges. Phone companies and game companies know this, they just don’t care. They also know that people will pay instead of fight the majority of the time.

        1. I appreciate you treating me with common respect that we all owe each other, unlike some people here.

          This is actually an argument that I can get behind. You and Ken both illustrated this point well. I have issue with the idea that the government should be going around telling people what activities they can or cannot engage in, but I really find some of these business practices to be reprehensible.

          I think I simultaneously agree with your contract law argument while also making some room for the argument that its justified to require businesses to label their games as gambling if they contain gambling, and to prohibit the marketing of gambling targeting kids. I really think there is a general public interest in regulating what kind of interaction businesses have with children, given that the adults that run businesses are at quite an advantage due to the underdeveloped cognitive abilities of the child.

          I think it would be better to allow businesses to market the gambling to the parents of the kids, and try to get the parents on board with it to purchase it for their kids, rather than letting the businesses market the stuff directly to the kids. I don’t know, this is a really messy issue and I generally see myself as a somewhat average person, so I do not have the proper training from a legal perspective.

    5. >>>isn’t it morally bankrupt to target children for monetary gain?

      F.A.O. Schwartz on line 1 …

      1. Fuck, indict the entire education supplement industry.

        I’m looking at you Hooked on Phonics.

        And fucking Lego is gonna get some too.

  13. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/05/trump-signs-declassification-memo.php

    Trump gives Barr the power to declassify any information necessary during his investigation into the Russia hoax. Reason seems oddly uninterested in this piece of government transparency.

    1. A true popcorn moment.

      1. I can’t help but wonder if Amash knew this was coming and it explains his temper tantrum on Twitter this week.

        1. I doubt it. Amash’s actions aren’t exactly a surprise considering his long-time criticism of Trump and the media recently buttering him up as a potential Presidential candidate (that the reason they’re probably doing so is to play divide-and-conquer against the Republicans likely never occurred to him). If anything, Amash is the kind of guy who’d want to see more transparency on stuff like this, not less.

          What it does do is show that no Republican can trust the mass media industrial complex to act in good faith. Hell, even Reagan knew these people were vipers, which is why he always treated them like patrons at a comedy club.

          1. http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/22/devos-family-ends-longtime-amash-support/3768422002/?sfns=mo

            This probably has more to do with Amash doing this than anything. The Devos family had pulled their support. That means he is virtually guaranteed to get primaried. Amash is just looking for a place to land as an MSNBC and CNN guest or as the new less stoned Gary Johnson or both.

            1. It’s a shame, too, because the one thing I really liked about Amash, irrespective of what’s going on now, is that he’s one of the few Congressmen to actually make an effort to explain his positions and the intellectual reasoning behind them. He’s been a far better example, on the whole, of how a Congressman should act, especially on social media, than the vast majority of his colleagues. Too many of these retards think they have to imitate Trump to be relevant, and he treated social media like a virtual townhall instead of a burn book. That put him miles ahead of dumbshits like Ted Lieu, Eric Swalwell, or Ocasio-Cortez.

              If he went rogue just because his biggest donor pulled their funding, it doesn’t speak well to his principles.

    2. Damn I can’t wait

    3. And Horowitz’ report on Operation Crossfire Hurricane is coming soon.

      The fake libertarians at Reason fell for the “Steele Dossier” hook line and sinker, and they’re going to just continue to look more and more like the idiots that they are.

    4. Biggest story of the morning, and Reason isn’t interested. I guess transparency is only a big deal when state secrets are stolen rather than declassified.

      1. State secrets are only a big deal when it gives Reason ammunition to re-program money to the welfare state.

      2. And, I would add that what is likely to come from this investigation certainly won’t reflect well on Reason’s own #RUSSIA hysteria. There’s going to be a lot of memory holing here for a long time to come.

    5. Reason also has no care for when Team Blue raids the homes of journalists who aren’t even using stolen information. Care to talk about a “dangerous precedent?”

      But that’s different because abortion or equality or social norms or something.

      Reason is pissing its pants because its sinecure may be under threat. This has nothing to do with principle and everything to do with self-interest.

  14. More bad economic news.

    Almost 40% of Americans Would Struggle to Cover a $400 Emergency

    As anyone who pays attention to Mr. Buttplug or Rev. Kirkland knows, people with little or no money are the Republican Party’s base. So on some level maybe Drumpf voters deserve to feel the effects of the #DrumpfRecession.

    Still, this is yet another sign of a terrible economy. It’s not fair that I, as a Clinton voter, have to suffer the consequences of other people’s bad voting decisions. We desperately need a Democrat back in the White House to repair the damage Putin’s Puppet has done to the global economy.

    1. That number is down from 63% under Obama.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2016/01/06/63-of-americans-dont-have-enough-savings-to-cover-a-500-emergency/

      Remarkable improvement in just two and a half years. Wouldn’t you agree?

      1. But that figure is for a $500 emergency, not a $400 emergency.

        Apples and oranges.

        1. Yeah, a hundred dollars makes so much difference. LOL

        2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/25/the-shocking-number-of-americans-who-cant-cover-a-400-expense/?utm_term=.bf70596a75e4

          It was 46%. So it is a six percent drop in two and a half years. You really do a great job making the case for Trump.

    2. This stat is utter nonsense and everyone knows it. It’s not hard to scrape up $400 at a moment’s notice. Let’s take just one option: credit card.
      For these 40% of all americans to be unable to get $400, they would ALL have to have maxed out credit cards. They would ALL have to have no friends or family who can lend them $400 if they need it. They would ALL have to have no jewelry, collectibles, TVs or anything else they could pawn or sell to raise the money.

      This is not a reasonable thing to believe. To see this “journalist” breathlessly repeating this nonsense stat is sad.

      1. And what % of those 40% never had the chance to put away $400 by, say, not purchasing a large TV? We know what the problem is with people not saving – they find it difficult to put off gratification. Americans are wealthier than they’ve ever been. And their desire to consume NOW is greater than it has ever been.

      2. They only looked at ‘cash on hand’ or ability to pay off a credit card by the end of the month. Not a completely unreasonable stat, but I’m curious as to how the question was worded and understood. It doesn’t seem to map to the fact that the median savings account is around $4K, more than enough to pay for a $400 emergency expense.

        I wonder if the question dealt with elasticity in a monthly budget and not funds currently on hand. I could see how many people, even wealthy, would say they don’t have an extra $400 lying around after they’ve paid their usual bills and expenses (assuming that ‘transferring money to savings’ is also an expense).

      3. I think that maxing out a credit card, asking on friends or family to lend you money, selling personal items, etc. all count as “struggling” to come up with $400.

        I think we should note that our government has deliberately been incentivising people to spend instead of save. Interest rates have been so low for so long, there’s virtually no reason to have cash in the bank. Also, we don’t even have an required personal finance courses in our school system, so I’d be willing to bet most people don’t understand interest on debt and compound interest.

  15. http://www.thecollegefix.com/yale-womens-studies-professor-gay-white-men-are-symbols-of-heterosexuality/

    Yale womens’ studies professor says gay, white men are sympols of heterosexuality. At first I thought this was some strange way to demean straight people. But then I realized it was an intersectionality attack on gay men. She basically says Buttigieg might as well be one of the guys from Duck Dynasty.

    Looks like white gay men are the next group the woke mob is sending off to the camps.

    1. Now that they have gay marriage, there’s no issue to keep them on the plantation.
      Off to the gulags!

      1. And transgender is the new gay. Of course transgender has nothing to do with sexual preference. Indeed, nearly all transgender are either striaght men who like to pretend they are women or lesbian women who like to pretend they are men. Gay men need not apply.

        It looks like gay men, especially gay, white men are the next ones off of Woke Island.

    2. I clicked on through to the original post “Heterosexuality Without Women By Greta LaFleur”. That is an act that I deeply regret.

      1. Watching the woke mob turn on their own is a real guilty pleasure of mine.

    3. The argument appears to be that because Buttigieg and his husband aren’t flashing their dicks and wearing assless chaps in a Pride Parade to scandalize Amerikkka, they aren’t actually gay.

      1. The left has always hated marriage and the family. Destroying the family is one of the main ways they get people dependent on government. It was inevitable that they would turn on married gays after gay marriage was no longer useful as a way to destroy their enemies.

        1. And the irony is that, if he was straight, no one in the press would give two shits about him. He’d just be another young professional politician thirsty for attention, who thinks that running a small city is the same as running the entire fucking country, and everyone would admit that he was acting too big for his britches and needed more seasoning before presuming he could run things.

          This guy lost a state run for Treasurer and as head of the DNC; he had nothing to recommend him as a leader for anyone other than white college students. His whole image right now is clearly the product of a media that’s desperate to push Woke Politics, considering that the clear front-runner for their party’s nomination is everyone’s favorite hair-sniffing uncle.

  16. Goldman comments that “this case adds to the growing precedent that plaintiffs can’t get around [Section 230 protections] by alleging defective website design…”

    That means I can keep my GeoCities firearm trading site going.

  17. Some have expressed a little schadenfreude to see Assange, an alleged Trump supporter, get screwed over by Trump’s administration.

    Hillary’s Justice Department would have let him skate.

  18. Articles 22 and 23 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (which the U.S. Senate ratified as required by the Constitution), prohibits the U.S. government from treating asylum seeks differently from native born Americans in regards to both “elementary education” and “public relief and assistance”.

    The Trump administration seems to have found a way to get around that–in a way that is constitutional.

    “A presidential memorandum published late Thursday instructed cabinet secretaries to seek repayment in cases where legal immigrants access means-tested services such as Medicaid, food stamps and cash payments in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

    The repayment, the memo said, would come from the immigrants’ sponsors at the time they legally arrived in the U.S., in cases where the sponsors vouched for their willingness to support the newcomers if necessary.”

    —-WSJ, May 24, 2019

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-moves-to-curb-immigrants-use-of-public-services-11558656550?

    If the U.S. releases an asylum seeker based on the promise that you will care for the asylum seeker yourself–and then you fail to do so to the point that they need to go on welfare and Medicaid–then the taxpayers will come after you for the costs.

    In other words, they’re not going after the asylum seekers themselves. They’re going after the families of people who tell their relatives in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and elsewhere to present themselves at the U.S. border and claim asylum, circumventing the legitimate immigration system and abusing the asylum system in the process.

    The obvious intention is to deter bogus asylum claims (last I did the math, 80% of asylums seekers either don’t show up to their court date and become illegal aliens or are denied asylum). Of course, if you don’t want the IRS (or whomever else in the government) to come after you for the costs of caring for an asylum seeker you’re sponsoring, there’s an easy way to avoid that. Can you guess what it is?

    Hint: It has to do with not promising to care for an asylum seeker when you can’t afford to do that and have no intention of doing so.

      1. Maybe I should have added that people who choose to sponsor asylum seekers are still free to do so?

        I would oppose Trump trying to stop people from doing that.

        The article mentions that Trump isn’t doing this as an EO. He isn’t adding anything to the law or its interpretation. These laws are already on the books. They’ve been passed by Congress and signed by presidents. It’s just that certain agencies within the Department of Homeland Security haven’t been enforcing these laws in the past. Trump is pushing them to do what’s already in the law.

        It may not be effective from a collections standpoint. The families who are sponsoring these folks may be poor themselves, and you can’t get blood from a stone. I think the Trump administration is just looking to set some examples and deter this kind of behavior. They’re effectively defrauding the taxpayers, and, moreover, they’re adding to this mass asylum wave that’s overwhelming DHS.

        I think it’s a smart move, and I suspect that Obama or Hillary might have done the same.

        1. Oh, I’m 100% on board with this. In fact, it’s something I’ve suggested for years. Was thinking about writing to my senator a out it, but never ended up doing so.
          But apparently it’s already a law.
          Unfortunately, it doesn’t jibe with Reason’s libertarian “no personal responsibility” position

    1. Wow that is really incredible stuff. Good on them, I fully support this. The abuse of the asylum system is making it impossible to identify and protect actual asylum seekers.

  19. Put simply, these unprecedented charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century…

    If he wanted First Amendment protections he should have been born in this country but instead he’s a foreign traitor to it!

    1. We’ll see just how great of a threat this is to freedom of the press when they announce what they are going to do about Glenn Greenwald.

      On the “possession of classified documents” stuff that is “most worrying”, he’s equally as guilty as Assange. In fact, I think his London offices had the entire hard drive dump in safekeeping.

      So we’ll see where this goes.

      We clearly have a prosecutor who is doing what federal prosecutors do: comb the statutes for any and every possible charge that they think they can justify in court and applying it as broadly as they think they can get away with.

      I don’t see how they have a case against Assange – but then I didn’t see how they could have a case against Kim Dotcom either. The guy is a foreign citizen acting in a foreign country and acted as a publisher – or perhaps an information broker. That should fall under the first amendment.

      But Greenwald is the real test. Because Assange was running an unabashed stateless intelligence operation. They were very clear that this was what they were doing. So it can easily be argued that Wikileaks hold similar guilt to a foreign intelligence agent. Greenwald is the one sitting in the traditional journalist’s chair…. the same seat that Woodward and Bernstein sat in, receiving leaks.

      1. I don’t see how they have a case against him either. Assange is not a foreign agent. And he didn’t actually steal the information. Moreover, he has never been subject to the jurisdiction of the US. By the logic of this indictment, the US can extradict and prosecute anyone in the world who publishes classified information for any reason. And that is both dangerous and clearly contrary to the law.

        1. I believe that is known as the FYTY clause…

          1. Prosecutor’s favorite clause.

  20. Despite being batshit crazy, Wolf remains very doable.

    1. “Don’t stick your dick in crazy” — advice from a friend of mine

      1. There is nothing sexy like crazy sexy.

      2. your friend is incorrect.

  21. http://althouse.blogspot.com/2019/05/natalie-portman-is-surprised-that-moby.html

    Natalie Portman is such a nasty, bitch she makes Moby, one of the most annoying people in public life, seem sympathetic. It is pretty rich for a woman who made her career playing a 12 year old girl in The Professional, a movie that is to pedophiles what Citizen Kane is to film snobs, to claim a 34 year old guy hitting on an 18 year old and perfectly legal woman who hit on him first is “creepy”.

    1. Portman’s clearly compensating for the fact that she owes her entire career to being made a loli for virgin film nerds. Besides The Professional, she was also a pedophile fantasy figure in Beautiful Girls, and when she was first cast as Padme in the Star Wars prequels, the press materials described her character as “sensual,” when she was all of 16 years old.

      I’m not going to hate on her too much for what she said, because she’s clearly traumatized to a certain extent by being sexualized at such an early age. What’s obnoxious about it is that she continues to wallow in the same cesspit that objectified her in the first place, instead of telling everyone in the industry to fuck off and finding a less degenerate line of work.

      1. all women are sexualized at an early age. boys and men will begin trying to seduce a young girl as soon as she’s even remotely close to puberty. all women have had to go through life learning how to say no to men very early on. it’s not unusual.

        1. Stop making excuses for these people.

        2. But Portman is a rich white girl who was told she was special and that all of her problems were special.

          No it is not unusual at all for people who live in reality.

      2. Finding a less degerate line of work would mean giving up being famous. And that is something she just couldn’t do.

        She is for all of her faults fucking gorgeous. I have little doubt she could find some nice rich guy to spend her life with counting millions and enjoying herself in anonymity.

        1. Finding a less degerate line of work would mean giving up being famous. And that is something she just couldn’t do.

          Fame is clearly an endorphin-producer just like any other drug. You hear famous people in the industry complain all the time that they can’t do simple shit for themselves anymore like buy a gallon of milk at the store, and I’m sure they’re sincere about that, but it also demonstrates that they’re too addicted to being celebrated in the press to give that up and live a quieter life. I have a lot more respect for someone like Greta Garbo, who literally told everyone “leave me alone” and left the spotlight at the height of her fame.

          She is for all of her faults fucking gorgeous. I have little doubt she could find some nice rich guy to spend her life with counting millions and enjoying herself in anonymity.

          To each his own, but I never got the fuss over her in that regard. She’s attractive, but I always found the genuflecting over her looks to be off-putting, especially when she was a kid. I see a lot of the same shit going on with Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things, and it’s disturbing.

          1. I have a thing for semetic women. So, she is definitely my type. I think she has beautful features. And she manages to be really thin without looking like a skeleton, which is rare. I think Anna Kennidrick, for example, is very attractive until you see her bare legs and arms. Then she just looks like a Holocaust victim. Portman doesn’t seem to have that problem despite being very thin.

            1. >>>I have a thing for semetic women

              oh my yes.

        2. I think I’m the only one in the world that finds Natalie Portman to be unattractive.

          But that might be because she bears an uncanny resemblance to my sister.

          1. So… your sister
            What’s her deal?

    2. I have to wonder if she read what he wrote, or simply had someone tell her that “he said you were dating when you were 20”. She speaks with enough authority to sound like she read the whole thing – and if that is the case, she’s just plain mean.

      It wouldn’t be that unusual for someone in her position. Attractive women can often be casually mean to people who desire their attentions. In fact, they often need to be mean – so perhaps that immunizes them against empathy. A guy telling her she’s nice and attractive isn’t deserving of a kind “that’s so sweet, but I’m not interested”. No, he’s creepy. And deserves scorn for daring to ever think that she could be interested in him.

      If she read the whole thing… if she read him write: “And sane people didn’t find themselves panicking in hotel rooms because they’d gone on a few pleasant dates with a kind, beautiful, vegetarian movie star…” and reacted with that level of public scorn… she’s just mean. Her take is cruel, and people shouldn’t hear that sort of reaction without thinking “that was really cruel”.

      1. Moby is annoying as hell but he is also an awkward nerd. Portman comes across as a victous middle school girl going after the nerdy boy who dared have a crush on her.

        Portman is over 30 years old, married and has a kid. Yet, she seems to have all of the maturity and empathy of a mean 8th grade girl.

        1. I had this exact discussion a few years back. This skeptic from The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe told a story about how she’d been approached at a skeptic meeting.

          Her story – the guy comes up to her after a meet and greet when they are all around talking and says hi. As everyone is starting to leave, he tells her that he finds her attractive and interesting and invites her to have a coffee. She declines and they walk toward the elevators – leaving everyone behind. He asks again – and she declines again…. so he says thanks and leaves.

          So far, so good. (And in her defense she says he was perfectly kind – she is telling the story to talk about how his actions make her, and by extension other women similarly situated, feel.)

          But then she feels compelled to go “on air” and tell everyone just how creepy this is. The guy actually hit on her at a convention! She found it totally creepy – and even went so far as to say that the fact that they were alone near the elevators (in a huge hotel where a convention was being held at that very moment) made her worry that he might be about to rape her. It really creeped her out.

          Discussing this story with friends, it was clear that in this area, men and women live very, very different lives. Every dude knew instinctively what she meant by saying his asking her for coffee being “creepy”. It means “you are not attractive”. Same exact conversation happens with Chris Hemsworth and she’s giggling on her way to have coffee. The only variable is that she thinks he’s unattractive… so unattractive that he should *know* that he has absolutely no shot at her. And therefore: a creep.

          Not one woman got this. They were all incapable of seeing how mean and insulting it was – this guy takes the huge risk of going up to talk to someone and asking her for a date, and because he’s so obviously not attractive, it is creepy. None of the women felt empathy for that moment – they all talked about how guys are always hitting on you and it gets annoying. And how they have to worry about being assaulted.

          It was a very stark conversation.

          1. I remember that story. And all of those women you talked to will at some point pass their sell by date and men will stop hitting on them. When that happens, they will realize how much of a privilige being a young attractive woman actually is. I can’t tell you the number of woman I know who were just like the women you describe in their 20s and 30s and are now in the mid to late 40s and would give their left breast to have a random guy flirt or hit on them.

            The old comentator Fluffy used to say that modern feminism is just an adult version of an 8th grade girl telling her boyfriend “that nerd talked to me”. And like a lot of things, Fluffy got that one exactly right.

  22. British Prime Minister Theresa May will resign, effective June 7.

    ———

    Good riddance loser.

  23. http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/thats-different-because-shut-up/

    Turns out Democrats have a proud tradition of dumping milkshakes on people they don’t like.

    1. That is some really good twitter snark. I’m stealing that.

  24. Evidence doesn’t need to be convincing in order to be evidence. I can show you evidence that the sun orbits the earth. The fact is that the sun has risen in the east and set in the west every day in recorded history. That evidence may be contradicted by other stronger evidence, but there is evidence that the sun is orbiting the earth.

    Here’s some evidence that Google is getting into antitrust territory:

    https://www.cnet.com/news/huawei-could-survive-without-android-but-not-very-well/

    Simplified version: Trump’s technology transfer ban to Huawei means that (long story short) Huawei is effectively getting locked out of the smartphone market. 80% of smartphones are Android. Most of the other 19.9% is Apple. Not being plugged into either system relegates you to compete for a tiny sliver of the smartphone market in the United States.

    My observation is this: If it effectively destroys a smartphone competitor’s chances in the American market when Donald Trump cuts a company off from Google’s support, isn’t Google’s position in the smartphone market in a state where antitrust is already applicable–without Donald Trump?

    You might argue that Google isn’t abusing their position, but watching Huawei’s smartphone business wither and die when it’s cut off from the vine is clear evidence that Google is in a position to abuse their market dominance.

    1. Evidence doesn’t have to be conclusive to be convincing or persuasive. Claiming that evidence isn’t persusasive because it isn’t conclusive is one of the most common logical fallacies people commit.

      1. I agree.

        And I see plenty of evidence that Google is in a position where antitrust questions should be raised.

        I’m not 100% clear on the answers to those questions yet–although I’m generally skeptical of government interference.

        Certainly, Microsoft was more dominant circa Windows 95 than Google is in various markets today, and kneecapping Microsoft would have been a big mistake. Of course, most people didn’t know anything about the internet before 1994 or so, and I’m not sure the next internet is what we should count on to keep Google from being the source of the problem–if there’s a problem.

        1. Wasn’t Microsoft kneecapped by anti-trust because they included IE with their operating system?

          1. Yes it was. And it never dawned on the central planners of the Clinton DOJ that the money in computers was in advertising and content not in software. They went after microsoft right before Google came along and set up the monopoly of all monopolies.

          2. Well, they weren’t kneecapped, but the argument was that, yeah, bundling IE with Windows gave them so much of an advantage with IE that nobody would be able to compete with them on the internet.

            Fast forward, and IE got so trounced by the competition, Microsoft doesn’t even call it IE anymore–and nobody that was of any consequence, including Netscape and Google, make their money from proprietary browsers. Even the central components of Chrome are free and open source by way of Chromium.

            I remember when Apple’s price was so pathetic that Gates made a mercy investment in Apple go keep it alive–primarily so they could use its continued existence as an argument against antitrust, particularly in the EU.

            All this is excellent evidence for the argument that the government should stay the fuck out of Google’s business–even if Google is in a position to abuse its dominance in certain markets.

            1. Just because microsoft got trounced doesn’t mean google will. Microsoft got trounced because the internet and connection speeds exploded rendering their “monopoly” such as it was obsolete.

              Will events overtake Google the same way? Perhaps and certainly eventually. Nothing lasts forever. The problem is that it doesn’t appear that it is going to happen anytime soon or before Google does a lot of damage.

              1. I’m open to arguments from both sides.

                I certainly despise Google, and I do my best to avoid using their products–which isn’t always easy.

                1. I avoid it the best I can too. I’m a believer of voting with your feet/dollars/ect.

                2. Btw, what annoys me is people that vote for Google or Amazon via their dollars or whatnot, and then complain about Google or Amazon being so big.

                  1. I appreciate that. I wish more people would try to avoid using their services and see how hard it is. It’s also tough to complain about other people who want to break up Google but won’t acknowledge the lack of other options.

                    Certainly, the libertarian option is voting with your feet, but when leaving is unduly difficult, that’s where there might be a legitimate argument for antitrust. And leaving Google behind is difficult. Try it!

                    Without googling it, are you aware of the name of another video sharing site like YouTube?

                    If you want to use smartphone apps but don’t want to sacrifice your privacy, what are your options?

                    I would prefer people use Google’s competitors rather than go the government antitrust route, but that probably requires libertarians to get downright evangelical about technologies like /e/. When people complain about the lack of alternatives to Google, we libertarians should probably know what the alternatives are. Few of us do. Most of us aren’t even using these alternatives ourselves because even knowing about them requires effort.

                    1. Minds is another video sharing site. In my repeated attempts to get away from google (including YouTube), I tried to use Minds. Basically no one is on Minds except conservatives that were censored on YouTube. Beyond 1 or 2 channels, I don’t use Minds anymore because YouTube is the only real game in town.

                    2. What should bother you is the revolving door between google and the Barry administration. Nominal libertarians concerned only about government interference in their lives would take note of the fact that google is no longer just a private entity because of that. And then there’s Reason.

            2. “Even the central components of Chrome are free and open source by way of Chromium.”

              Just by way of explanation to anyone who’s interested in deplatforming Google, just because you like Chrome doesn’t mean you have to use Google’s flavor of it. Chromium is (oversimplified) Chrome without any of Google’s branding. Whatever information Google is getting about your browsing through Chrome, it generally isn’t getting through Chromium–unless you’re using Google’s services within Chromium.

              This is that “nudging” or “libertarian paternalism” we were discussing a few weeks ago. It may take us an extra two minutes to download and install Chromium, but if we’d rather keep Chrome our default because that extra two minutes is too much of a hassle, then we have no business demanding that the government break up Google–not because we’re too lazy to exercise our freedom of choice.

              1. And there is a similarly open-sourced version of Android that can be used by any smart phone (or other computing device) manufacturer.

                But Samsung probably isn’t going to roll out a flagship without google’s support.

                But many of those big, cheap phones from China that you see in flea markets and downtown electronics shops are running open-source versions of android, sans google support.

                1. I can’t help but think that Silicon Valley might be like Detroit in the 1960s. They are on top of the world but arrogant and complacent and ripe to take a big fall in the future.

                2. There is one open sourced version of Android that just came out, that I’ve been trying calld “e” by the “/e/ foundation. They only started selling refurbished phones preloaded with their OS this week. I got an account and installed it as part of their beta testing program a while ago. Google’s services are generally better because they use your personal data to tailor your experience for you. Hell, nobody gets the same exact web results from a Google search. Everybody gets the same results with Duck Duck Go. I’m happy with the trade off so far.

                  /e/ is a fork of LineageOS (itself a fork of an earlier project), which is like an independent version of Android. However, it still used Google Play, among other things, so although the originators are “independent” of Google, it couldn’t really exist without Google and depends on Google for all sorts of things. /e/ foundation’s version of Android is (almost entirely) not associated with Google in any way. And that is new.

                  Check this out:

                  https://hackernoon.com/leaving-apple-google-e-first-beta-is-here-89e39f492c6f

                  That’s old press describing what they’re doing and why. The app store is now up and running–in Beta–since about a week ago.

                  Making an alternative smart phone system is so daunting that Microsoft even failed. That being said, Microsoft was touting integration with Microsoft products and corporate security. That’s been tried before, notably by Blackberry, and they failed in the market, too. There hasn’t really been an option for consumers who care about privacy so much.

                  I think for a lot of people it’s an all or nothing kind of idea. They figure that since they’re already using Facebook or some other form of social media, it’s all out there anyway, so why bother trying to keep their privacy from Google? /e/ foundation is giving people that option. You don’t need to use apps that are selling your information anymore or an app store from Google anymore in order to use apps on a smartphone to do the things you want to do. I think that’s pretty new.

              2. Libertarians should look at Brave as a Chrome/Chromium alternative. Has ad-blocking built in as well as other built-in privacy features (the latest builds use Tor in private tabs). Also has a built in torrent client.

                For video, bitchute is another platform to look at.

  25. Take a long at the photo – talk about a jam.
    ——

    Three more dead on Everest amid concerns about congestion near summit

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/three-more-dead-everest-amid-concerns-about-congestion-near-summit-n1009586?yptr=yahoo

    1. I used to have a real fascination with mountaineering. Always wanted to try it. But now I don’t think I ever will. It is no longer adventurous. Mountineers have become like a plague of locusts on these big peaks. They are bad for the environment and just generally a nuisannce.

      That picture is one of the saddest things I have ever seen.

      1. Can that possibly be real? That looks like a bunch of kids lined up at Disney to get a photo with Mickey Mouse.

        OK, you’ve reached the summit! Smile… OK, one more…. OK, you’re all set… head down that way….

  26. Assange is pissing on the american people.

  27. Here’s how to not go hyper over Brexit: Look at the market signals.

    British Pound to Euro

    https://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=GBP&to=EUR&view=5Y

    The GBP took a pounding (no pun intended) right after Brexit but over the past couple of years, despite all the political ups and downs in parliament, it’s traded within a fairly narrow range.

    Don’t get too excited about the headlines. If it doesn’t move the markets, it probably isn’t important.

  28. “Some have expressed a little schadenfreude to see Assange, an alleged Trump supporter, get screwed over by Trump’s administration.”

    It is probably the biggest disappointment I have with Trump so far.

    1. Me too. There is really no defending going after Assange.

      1. It makes me wonder if there is any defending *not* going after Assange if you work in the government. There has to be a lot of inertia behind this. Obama didn’t put a stop to it, even after he eventually released Manning. If you recall, the conviction was 2 years into Obama’s term – so he gets both the prosecution and the pardon on his watch.

        And the push to extradite Assange happened on his watch too. Which might explain his lack of public support for the HRC for President campaign – since he felt that this was an attempt to put him in front of a firing squad.

        1. The President has less direct control over this stuff than you think. Sure, he can directly order it to stop. But doing that takes time and political capital that could be used elsewhere. It is entirely possible that if it were up to Trump they wouldn’t go after Assange. But, it started long before Trump got there and Trump doesn’t object to it strongly enough to want to spend the political capital to stop it.

          That doesn’t totally excuse Trump. Maybe he should want to expend the political capital. But, the truth is likely more complex than Trump deciding that the US government must get Assange.

    2. T should throw him a parade instead.

  29. >>>Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.)

    dang i didn’t see that name in any of the headlines and thought maybe you knuckleheads gave up on the moron before the week was over … guess not

  30. The folks that made the game Warframe made this little in-game machine to change the look of your pet character.

    The machine went like this: Put real money into the machine -> get a randomized new look for your pet.

    The developers turned it on and someone spent something like thousands on it within a 30 minute period, just sitting there pulling the lever on the slot machine over and over again. I realize that personal responsibility comes into this – who knows who the person was? Maybe they have billions and thousands is chump change. Maybe it was a kid that had parent’s credit card? Maybe it was someone with a severe gambling addiction trying to stay away from the stuff but was suddenly presented such a system in game, was not warned that this is very similar to gambling (the same centers of the brain are activated from what I’ve heard), and now relapsed because of it?

    I don’t know. Anyway, the developers immediately turned off the feature, because they realized that vulnerable customers could be susceptible to it as a gambling system, and that did not sit right with them morally. They felt that if they provide that system to players, they are complicit in the potential problems it could cause for their customers. It was the blindness of the feature that was the problem, not the addictive nature of the game. Warframe is free to play, and they don’t have any paid blind loot features anymore, its all “here’s an item, you pay us and you know what you’re getting.”

    Loot boxes should be legal. No doubt about it. They should also be restricted to 18+ and should be classified as containing gambling. Then let the adults make their choice.

    1. That’s probably an important change. I recall from my college psychology class that the intermittent rewards of random chance are more reinforcing than predictable, consistent rewards – even if they are bigger rewards.

      So a $3.00 random loot box could be a pretty powerful draw.

      1. It’s called “variable ratio” reinforcement and yes, it is the most powerful type of reinforcement. However, it cannot usually be successfully implemented until a behavior has been reinforced though continuous schedule.

        Gambling addicts are interesting because they don’t need a continuous reinforcement schedule in order to be successfully trained.

      2. It is funny that that is true in humans because it is very true in dogs. You get better results training a dog giving him treats randomly after completing a task, once they have learned it, than every time. The randomness greatly reenforces the behavior.

    2. sorry still not libertarian

      1. No, certainly not libertarian at all. After all, I am not a libertarian, and neither is this website.

        1. fair enough.

        2. No, you’re an idiot who thinks a defintion developed by researchers to make their paper successful is in fact of any value whatsoever and not nonsense for morons.

          1. Yes, I think definitions are important and research can help us find acceptable definitions. Its telling that you think that makes me a moron.

            1. No, uncritically accepting a single biased defintion makes you a moron. As does not understanding what youre being criticized for.

              Also, you lie.

              1. I’m a liar says the sock calling people socks.

        3. neither is this website

          ZING!

  31. Mueller’s report describes a consistent effort by the president to use his office to obstruct or otherwise corruptly impede the Russian election interference investigation because it put his interests at risk.

    People keep repeating this, yet the investigation was able to wrap up unimpeded, with hundreds of hours of testimony from everyone in the President’s circle and millions of documents handed over in response to subpoenas….

    1. The report also notes that there were many alternatives Trump could have used to impede but did not. People that push the narrative you quoted do their best to ignore that.

      1. Worst. Obstructor. Ever.

  32. Putting loot boxes aside for a minute – I am curious, what is the official Libertarian position on gambling? Should gambling be available and marketed to everyone, kids included (at the discretion of parents)? No obligation to label gambling as such for the benefit of adults that could use a warning? No need to restrict access or marketing gambling to kids?

    I am legitimately curious because the general gist I get is that many libertarians feel there should be zero regulation at all on it. If that is true, my guess is that the justification is NAP?

    1. Define gambling. You still haven’t done that, you just pointed at the defintion some researchers used for their own purposes and then you uncritically accepted it.

      1. Adults are talking, Tulpa.

        1. Yes, we are. And you still failed to define “gambling. ”

          Do you honestly think hiding behind insults changes that?

          1. This is the first time I’ve insulted you, but I’d like to note that I’m just responding to you calling me a sock, calling me moron, etc. for daring to have a discussion with you in which we disagree.

            Maybe I should have been the bigger person? I don’t know. Anyway, I’m done with you.

            1. “TripK
              May.24.2019 at 1:23 pm
              This is the first time I’ve insulted you”

              Oh really? The timestamp says you’re a liar.

              “TripK
              May.24.2019 at 1:02 pm
              Adults are talking, Tulpa”

              “TripK
              May.24.2019 at 12:59 pm
              Haha, okay Tulpa, you continue to go cry in your corner “we can’t define gambling!”

              Meanwhile, the adults in the room ”

              In case you weren’t aware, 1:02 is after 12:59.

              An adult would know that.

              “but I’d like to note that I’m just responding to you calling me a sock”

              You’re an obvious sock, and you’re yelping because I was right about it liar.

    2. Letting someone’s kids gamble without their consent is a violation of a parents’ rights. I’m fully supportive of the idea that children aren’t bound by contractual obligations like adults. Generally speaking, if you sell anything but necessities (things like food) to children, they can bring it back to you and demand their money back in whatever condition. Don’t sell an off-road motorcycle to someone who’s under 18. They are not legally bound by the contracts they sign (not to mention opening yourself to liability). If you want to sell a motorcycle to someone under 18, sell it to their parents instead. They can sell it to their kid if they want.

      Gambling is essentially a contract, and the obligations in that contract can only be entered into by willing adults. Children should not be able to take on those kinds of contractual obligations without their parents’ knowledge and consent. By allowing children to gamble, you’re effectively letting children obligate their parents to contractual obligations that may not even have known about–much less consented to the terms.

      1. I might buy this argument if the age of 18 wasn’t so arbitrary.

        1. Having a common age so that everyone know where the line is isn’t arbitrary.

          If it were different ages in the same jurisdiction for the same thing, that would be arbitrary.

          If you want to raise or lower the age, i can understand that. But there should be one age for the enforcement of contracts like that, and gambling is a contract.

          If Party A pays X and this happens, Party B pays Party A.

          If Party A pays X and that happens, Party B keeps Party B’s money.

          Both Party A and Party B agree. Party A puts his money down.

          That’s a contract.

          1. No Ken, it is entirely arbitrary.

            If it were different ages in the same jurisdiction for the same thing, that would be arbitrary

            So is simply choosing a number. Two things can be true.

            1. If you’re not Tulpa, you might as well be.

            2. I don’t think he read your response correctly, because it is true. Ken is usually reasonable when presented with a valid counterargument, but calling him out by name is something that a few regular trolls do.

              Picking an age in order to establish a legal definition can still be arbitrary because age has poor correlation to the ability to handle responsibility. Instead of age they could use a different criteria like a year of employment or passing a civics exam. I have never understood how a drivers license can be obtained with a score of 80 on the written exam. Which 20% of the rules of the road is ignorance an excuse not to know? (Trick question – it is clearly the rules for merging)

              Driving a lot through Utah and Idaho where the freeway speed is 80 into Oregon where the speed is 65 you can’t help but feel that 65, while clearly defined, is also arbitrary.

        2. Any age is going to be arbitrary, but the point at which an individual gains legal capacity has to be a bright line rule or else it will be subject to massive abuse.

          We went with 18 because that’s when Uncle Sam can ship you off to die. I’m comfortable with higher but I also support full age of majority or nothing. None of this “you can go to war and vote but not buy cigarettes” bullshit.

          1. To me, it’s all about parental consent.

            When I was kid, you couldn’t drink unless you were 21.

            You could buy cigarettes at 16. (See the smoking lounge in the public high school) for upperclassmen in Sixteen Candles circa 1985.

            You could join the military at 18.

            They could give you an abortion without your parents knowledge or consent at 14?

            The only question that’s pertinent to me is when we decide that children can make these choices for themselves over their parents’ objections. As soon as we decide that someone is old enough to do that, that’s the age it should be for all of them.

            You’re now responsible for your own choices. That should be the end of it.

      2. That’s an interesting perspective and one I might be able to get on board with. If I’m understanding this correctly — Your reasoning would justify the restriction of gambling to persons over 18, correct?

        What about mandating that businesses inform adults that their establishment provides gambling services, with gambling defined based on research into the commonalities of gambling systems?

        1. Well yes in the sense that the adult age distinction is arbitrary. And of course I’m not endorsing gambling. But many regulations are passed with the “good intentions” of protecting children. I don’t think that this is the responsibility of the government in most cases, and, while I don’t think it’s good for kids to be gambling in video games, I don’t think the government is justified in regulating away the responsibility of parents and game makers.

          1. Okay, I think I understand your position. It seems like libertarians are kind of split on what the libertarian position should be on gambling. Some justify restrictions based on contract law arguments, others seem to think the government has no legitimate interest in regulating gambling for kids and that the adult should be aware of what their kids are doing at all times and regulate it themselves.

    3. The government shouldn’t be responsible for protecting and raising children; that’s what parents are for.

      1. It isn’t about protecting and raising children. It’s about protecting the right of parents to protect and raise their children.

        1. But is it only a violation of parents rights when the risk the child takes involves the exchange of money? Or is it only in the case of a “contract”, a term which, in my opinion, is broadly used?

          1. Yeah, children shoudn’t be free to get married or join the military without their parents’ consent either. Or, they should need to go to court and get emancipated first, anyway. This is all as it should be.

            And I don’t see why “contract” is being too broadly defined. A contract is when people become legally obligated by way of their consent. Contracts are an amazing innovation–a way for individuals to write their own laws. The contract says that if you give me $50,000, I will give you ’57 Chevy VIN# XYXPDQ200K. If I give you the money, and you don’t give me the Chevy, you broke the contract–and the government gets involved. Contracts give the full force of the law to an individual’s consensual obligations–no matter how powerful one person is relative to another.

            These arrangements are integral to a free society.

            Generally speaking, children can’t give their consent to be legally obligated to anything. Parents have rights over their children. There are limitations on what parents can legally obligate their children to do, too. If you don’t want to get burned by that, there’s an easy way to avoid it. Don’t depend on contractual obligations made by children.

            The question of whether someone who tried to enforce a contract against a child, an Alzheimer’s victim, a retarded person, an insane person, etc. should be locked in a cage to protect other potential victims is a separate question for criminal court, but if you don’t want to get burned because you made a contract with a child, that’s really easy to avoid. Just ask for ID, and you’re good to go.

      2. Okay, so in your perspective, libertarianism provides no justification for any governmental regulation on gambling what-so-ever, including the marketing of slot machines to children?

        1. In my opinion, the best way to protect children is to promote proper parenting, not regulation. “Protecting children” is an abused argument in government.

          1. Okay, gotcha, I appreciate you giving me your perspective.

    4. In my case, the NAP is irrelevant here. Government would need unprecedented power over parental choices in order to accomplish anything, and that’s not acceptable.

      1. I’m not sure if I’m following you. What unprecedented power to accomplish what, exactly?

        1. The power to intervene in these parental choices would be vast.

          I’m not sure what you’re having trouble with.

          1. I think you knew what you were saying in your head, but it wasn’t entirely clear to the reader, so I didn’t want to assume without asking.

            So, if I understand you correctly – the government’s current actions in prohibiting the marketing of gamboling to kids is both (1) unprecedented and (2) a vast intervention in parental choice?

            1. the government’s current actions in prohibiting the marketing of gamboling

              Gambling. And no. In order to have an appreciable effect, the government would need vast, unprecedented, and very intrusive new powers.

              1. And no. In order to have an appreciable effect, the government would need vast, unprecedented, and very intrusive new powers.

                So you’re saying that the government’s prohibition on marketing gambling (sorry for the accidental misspell above) is not unprecedented? That would be my position – because an action cannot be unprecedented while it is currently being enforced.

                I am not understanding your point because I don’t think you’re fully articulating it. I think you DO have a point to make, but your elaborations are one sentence long and you are assuming I have knowledge that I do not have.

      2. Civil court isn’t unprecedented power.

        Individuals should be free to sue whomever violates their rights, and they should be free to defend themselves against such suits.

        That’s what we’re talking about here.

        Civil court should have laws governing when a contract is entered into, whether the parties agreed to the obligations, etc.

        This is basic stuff.

        1. Why are you naively limiting this to civil court?

          You don’t even appear to be responding to me, you’re just pontificating.

          1. Gambling is a contract.

            Contracts are disputed in civil court.

            That casino took thousands of dollars in saved money from my child, and we’re suing.

            My child had no right to gamble against the college fund I’d saved for him, so we’re not paying–and you can take me to court.

            That’s what we’re talking about.

            I’m not ignoring what you wrote. I’m responding to it directly.

            Civil court has nothing to do with unprecedented power and everything thing to do with protecting the rights of individuals to make choices for themselves.

            Children are not obligated by the contracts they sign, and if you try to collect from them, and show that their parents had no clue this was happening and never consented to the bet, then you don’t have a leg to stand on in morality or law–and this is all exactly as it should be in Libertopia.

            1. Contracts are disputed in civil court.

              Again, why are you naively limiting this to civil court.

              Repeating the same error doesn’t enlgihten the discussion.

              That’s what we’re talking about.

              No, it is what you are talking about. But I wasn’t. And you responded to me. So if you would like to have a conversation with me, please, stop demanding I do so based on a, subject I never broached.

              My post references the inevitable government bureaucracy that follows and initiative to control behavior.

              If you don’t want to discuss it, that is fine, but please, stop responding to me as though you set the terms of discussion.

              1. Are you Tulpa?

              2. “”Contracts are disputed in civil court.

                Again, why are you naively limiting this to civil court. “”

                What other court do you suggest?

                1. Looking at the patern here, if goody-goody is not our resident teenager/Tulpa/No Obstruction, No Collusion, than he might as well be. He deliberately only responds to half sentences and is ignoring the actual arguments Ken made.

  33. The NY Times is just looking out for its own interest as a publisher. I don’t think they really care about the First Amendment. They don’t seem to care about the Second. And isn’t a part of leftist belief that the Constitution isn’t really a Constitution, that it “evolves”? Maybe they should just look at this as part of the “evolution”.

    1. The NY Times Reason is just looking out for its own interest as a publisher.

      FTFY

      Was Reason similarly concerned over the PP videos? Were they issuing dire warnings about “dangerous precedents” then?

  34. If Assange/Wikileaks was simply the recipient of classified materials stolen by Manning, that would seem to leave Assange himself off the hook. But if Assange was actively working with Manning, providing suggestions on how to get to the classified materials, that means he probably has more exposure to criminal charges. Not sure why American law would extend to actions in another country.

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