Reason Roundup

Cops Can't Take a Joke? The First Amendment Doesn't Care

Plus: Behind the bipartisan war on internet speech, New York "decriminalizes" pot (but you'll still get fined), and more...

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"The First Amendment does not depend on whether everyone is in on the joke." So ruled a federal appeals court this week in another case of someone arrested over his Facebook speech.

The ruling stems from a parody police page created by Anthony Novak of Ohio. He set it up to poke fun at and criticize cops in his local Parma Police Department.

"Novak's page delighted, disgusted, and confused," notes the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in its recent ruling. "Not everyone understood it. But when it comes to parody, the law requires a reasonable reader standard, not a 'most gullible person on Facebook' standard."

The court ruled in favor of Novak, who had been investigated and arrested by the actual Parma Police Department. After going to trial and getting acquitted, Novak sued the City of Parma and sevearl Parma PD officers. The city argued that qualified immunity for police prevented Novak from bringing the suit.

The 6th Circuit court's ruling this week says that Novak does indeed have a right to sue.

"Apple pie, baseball, and the right to ridicule the government" all hold "an important place in American history and tradition," states the court's opinion.

Whether Novak's page was "a protected parody in the great American tradition of ridiculing the government or a disruptive violation of state law" is still undetermined, noted 6th Circuit Judge Amul Thapar. But what was clear to the court is that Parma cops aren't entitled to a blanket qualified immunity here.


FREE MINDS

Regressive right and illiberal left unite to quash online speech. Section 230 is "just about the most libertarian, free speech law on the books," in the words of its original sponsor, Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.). Is it any wonder that many politicians are trying to kill it?

From Tucker Carlson and Ted Cruz to Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris, both the right and the left have been blasting this foundational internet law for allegedly enabling "big tech" bias and a host of horrific crimes. But what it actually enables is for all of us plebes to talk without Washington having the final say.

See my new article—"Section 230 Is the Internet's First Amendment. Now Both Republicans and Democrats Want To Take It Away"for more details on how this law came to be, why it's so important, who is trying to destroy it, and what that would mean for all of us.


FREE MARKETS

New York just decriminalized marijuana—sort of. Yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law that removes criminal penalties for possessing smaller amounts of marijuana and also expunges some pot possession convictions.

Under the new measure, set to take effect in 30 days, possessing under two ounces of pot will no longer be an offense that can get you thrown in jail or give you a permanent criminal record. But it's still a ticketable offense that comes with a fine of $50 to $100.

"The bill does not change the charges or penalties for possession of larger amounts of marijuana," nor does it "legalize or decriminalize marijuana dealing or sales," points out NYUp.com. "It does add marijuana to the definition of 'smoking' under state health laws—meaning that smoking marijuana will be prohibited in any circumstances where smoking tobacco is also prohibited (like bars and restaurants)."


ELECTION 2020

The second round of Democratic presidential debates takes place tonight and tomorrow night. This time, the ruckus starts at 8 p.m. and will be televised by CNN (and streamed on CNN.com). The candidate roster this time around is basically the same, but with Montana Gov. Steve Bullock swapped for Rep. Eric Swalwell (D–Calif.), who dropped out of the running earlier this month.

Tonight's debate will feature Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Marianne Williamson.

Wednesday night's debate will feature Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Jay Inslee, and Andrew Yang.


QUICK HITS

  • Stationing U.S. troops as migrant detention center guards may breach federal law, said Rep. John Garamendi (D–Calif.), and it is "certainly mission creep," since it's "not the role of the U.S. military to be a prison guard."
  • Once again blending the big-goverment zeal of his Democratic counterparts and the panicky howls of 1980s church ladies, Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) is introducing a bill to ban "addictive" features on social media.
  • Sanders takes aim at Harris' "Medicare for All" plan:

NEXT: Anti-Tech Wave Grows with New Justice Department Antitrust Efforts

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  1. The First Amendment does not depend on whether everyone is in on the joke.

    Isn’t it time for a feelz clause to 1A?

    1. Hello.

      Cummings and Baltimore. Paging David Simon.

      https://mobile.twitter.com/bennyjohnson/status/1155933972754395137

  2. But what was clear to the court is that Parma cops aren’t entitled to a blanket qualified immunity here.

    Individually they will, nonetheless, manage in effect to retain it.

    1. Once again, the taxpayers will take it in the rear for police misconduct, while the cops responsible suffer no consequences.

  3. http://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/3020560/donald-trumps-spy-chief-pick-john-ratcliffe-attempt

    This is remarkable.

    US President Donald Trump’s nomination of an inexperienced but loyal partisan to become the director of national intelligence (DNI) is an attempt to “neutralise” US spy agencies as an independent and objective voice on global affairs, former intelligence officials warned.

    They are not an independent voice in global affairs. They employees of the taxpayers and accountable to the President and ultimately the public who pay their salaries. These assholes are not even trying to hide the fact that they consider themselves a shadow government.

    There needs to be a lot of people going to prison to debase them of this notion.

    1. This is one of the downsides of globalism. Prior to the US becoming a world superpower that needed to cultivate multinational defense and trade agreements to maintain its position, the closest thing we had to an actual spy agency was the Pinkertons. Like most bureaucracies, the FBI and CIA have succumbed to the inevitable mission creep, and are acting as if they’re entitled to be a power unto themselves. They’ve also spent far too much time “reading their own press clippings,” especially with all the knob-slobbering movies and prime-time TV shows that have glorified their activities the last 20 years or so.

      “Die Hard” remains a far more accurate portrayal of government agencies and how they operate.

      1. I like how they always claim to be doing all of this great stuff that the public can’t know about because it is “classified”. Yeah, the same fuckers who leak classified information to the press every single day don’t leak information that makes them look good and could silence their critics out of kindness or something.

        1. Remember, for the Nobility, when they do a thing, it is privilege. When we do the same thing, it is crime.

      2. Special Agent Johnson. No relation.

    2. I believe this position is one of the attempts to coordinate the various intelligence agencies but has no real authority over any of them.

      On the other hand, as the adage goes: if you shoot at the king, you better not miss him.

      1. The fact that they are having such a fit is pretty strong evidence he is going to do something positive.

        1. If Trump was nominating Robespierre to the position and setting up a guillotine on the Mall, people would be freaking out about that too.

          Doesn’t mean it would be a good idea.

          1. But he’s not, so what are you trying to pull off?

    3. +100

  4. who had been investigated and arrested by the actual Parma Police Department

    Parma is well known for its salty pork.

    1. Ha Ha Ha. I saw that what you did.

    2. Salty pork was my nick name in collage.

      1. My nickname in collage was Braque.

  5. Regressive right and illiberal left unite to quash online speech.

    As long as it ends with Hillary retroactively being made president and Alex Jones tweeting updates to the Clinton Kill List with impunity.

    1. Nothing says freedom like enormous, monopolistic corporations in bed with some of the most repressive governments in the world deciding what can and cannot be said on line.

  6. New York just decriminalized marijuana—sort of.

    New York doesn’t decriminalize anything.

    1. Just better ways to monetize criminality.

  7. The second round of Democratic presidential debates takes place tonight and tomorrow night.

    Who cares. It’s like Twatter. Nobody but the media and Lefties follow these Party of slavery Democrats running for President.

  8. This time, the ruckus starts at 8 p.m. and will be televised by CNN (and streamed on CNN.com).

    Circle jerks usually get streamed on Porhhub. I’m told.

    1. I have no faith in any of the Dems to bring da muthafuckin ruckus.

  9. Stationing U.S. troops as migrant detention center guards may breach federal law…

    On the other hand, how can they be worse than federal law enforcement.

    1. “not the role of the U.S. military to be a prison guard.”
      News to the guys at Gitmo.

    2. It’s not the job of US troops to guard captured invaders?

  10. …Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) is introducing a bill to ban “addictive” features on social media.

    He’s running.

    1. So that means no porn?

      1. There can still be porn, but every video will be only 30 seconds long, and they’ll kill the auto-repeat and slow-mo options.

        1. “no one needs more than 30 second” Bernie Sanders
          and
          “no one need more than one porn video approved by the government” also Bernie Sanders

          1. “no one need more than one porn video approved by the government” also Bernie Sanders

            Woke Porn. *barf*

            1. So a split screen where the continuing and affirmative consent is broadcast?

              1. Nothing says sexy like notarizing a consent contract.

                1. Clearly you haven’t watched the lawyer porn channel.

                  “Initial here, here, and here”

  11. Stationing U.S. troops as migrant detention center guards may breach federal law, said Rep. John Garamendi (D–Calif.), and it is “certainly mission creep,” since it’s “not the role of the U.S. military to be a prison guard.”

    This Democrat is about 65 years too late. Remember those federal troops used to desegregate schools.

    Remember when certain federal prisoners, federal witnesses, and mafioso were held on military bases guarded by the US Military?

    1. The US military is there to fight useless wars to make Democrats feel good about themselves not defend the border silly.

    2. “Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require.”

      – George Washington

      So yeah Rep Garamendi needs to build a time machine and go back and explain that to General Washington. Soldiers have always been used as guards unless the army in question has a take no prisoners policy.

    3. Woodrow Wilson Mann, the mayor of Little Rock, asked President Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce integration and protect the nine students. On September 24, the President ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army—without its black soldiers, who rejoined the division a month later—to Little Rock and federalized the entire 10,000-member Arkansas National Guard, taking it out of Faubus’s control.
      (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock_Nine)

      For reference:
      The original provision was enacted as Section 15 of chapter 263, of the Acts of the 2nd session of the 45th Congress.
      Sec. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section and any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment.

      Note: This was President Eisenhower, a republican.

    4. Federal or National Guard?

  12. Sanders takes aim at Harris’ “Medicare for All” plan…

    “Where are the mandated bread lines?”

  13. Putting a leash on Google and Facebook won’t do much to save the traditional news model…

    Phew.

    1. Hashtag, answers to questions no one was asking.

      1. No one outside those employed by traditional news outlets.

    2. In defense of ol’ timey network news, the people who watched that had the smallest perception gap of political bias, and the only group that showed less bias than those who consume no media.

      https://perceptiongap.us

  14. LOL! Discredited #TrumpRussia denialist and phony progressive Glenn Greenwald continues to embarrass himself.

    Isn’t [Mueller] the man that made Joe Biden seem energetic, alert, cognitively robust and vibrant?

    Mueller’s fantastic performance last week has some people living in denial.

    #LibertariansAgainstGreenwald
    #ItsMuellerTime

    1. OBL, I find myself agreeing with you fairly often on here, but damn your hashtag shtick is corny as hell and played out.

      1. ” I find myself agreeing with you fairly often on here,”

        AHAHAHAAHAHHA OF COURSE YOU DO SHREEK YOU FUCKING IDIOT AHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHA

  15. New York just decriminalized marijuana—sort of.

    Drug laws are violations of the US Constitution and state constitutions. There are no enumerated powers to ban products or services.

    1. Something something Commerce Clause something General Welfare

  16. A new measure passed in California “bans the use of condoms…

    The Vatican applauds.

    …as evidence of sex work, a police practice sex workers have long said compromises their health and safety.”

    Scumbag collectors hardest hit.

  17. Suburban women recoil as Trump dives into racial politics

    Yet reality TV shows are more popular than ever. Hmm….must be that this claim is typical propaganda bullshit. Large populations of Women watch reality shows, where squabbles are part of the appeal.

    1. The media hates suburban women, except when they’re trying to convince everyone that they are a monolithic Dem voting bloc.

      1. The meat of that article doesn’t quite live up to the headline. The assertion is based on interviews of 36 women from five states. That is hardly a statistically significant sample. And the article doesn’t give any kind of statistical evaluation of the group as a whole. It just gives three anecdotes, one of whom didn’t even vote for Trump in 2016

      2. You really do have to read the mainstream media like Pravda in that it is what they don’t say that is the most informative. What does that article not say? It doesn’t say how many of the 36 women interviewed plan to vote for Trump. They interviewed all of them and certainly know that number. But it is mysteriously not given. Instead, three anecdotes about women who say they won’t are given. That tells you all you need to know .

        1. +100

          Lying through omission is also a tactic of the Propagandists.

    2. “Donald Trump made racist comments about Congresswomen of color. Would you vote for him in 2020?”

      After all, push-polling worked so well in 2016.

      1. even that question is a lie in itself that if the responder believed was accurate would of course then say they wouldn’t vote

  18. Trump aide submitted drafts of 2016 “America First” energy speech to senior United Arab Emirates officials for edits, according to emails and text messages uncovered by a House Oversight Committee investigation.

    Look, do you want globalization or not?

  19. But what it actually enables is for all of us plebes to talk without Washington having the final say.

    So it was section 230 that allowed Anthony Novak of Ohio to make a parody page of his local police department? Oh, wait, never mind, it was the 1st amendment.

    Let me guess, section 230 protects Facebook from getting sued by the PD department? I’d wager that the 1st amendment probably protects Facebook on this one too.

    1. +100. The argument seems to be that if tech companies are not immune from the laws that everyone else is subject to, the First Amendment dies. It is amazing what handing out some money to Washington think tanks and journalists can get people to say.

      1. Living in DC ain’t cheap.

        1. AOC, is that you?

    2. Section 230 would protect Facebook even in the event that Novak’s postings were deemed defamation or some other type of speech that isn’t protected by 1A. Even if the speech itself were criminal, the crime would be Novak’s and not Facebook’s.

      1. Shit, man, Facebook could plaster your face on every page calling you a nazi until some dumbfuck believed it and killed you and Facebook still wouldn’t have any responsibility. I love this new responsibility-free America we’re building.

        1. Had Joseph Goebbels not killed himself and his family, the Allies likely would have hanged him following WWII.

          He was the propagandist for the Nazi regime. His main function was to disseminate Propaganda and giving speeches for the National Socialist’s cause.

          Somehow Propagandists in the USA avoid public ridicule.

      2. Why wouldn’t it be Facebook’s speech? They gave Novak the platfomr. They claim to have the right to censor anything that goes on their platform for any reason. If Facebook wants to have a policy that says “you can post anything you like and we won’t take it down unless it is criminal or defamatory”, I am fine with your logic. But if Facebook wants to get into the business of censoring the content that goes on their platforms for other reasons, then they are a publisher and should have to accept the responsibility for what is posted there.

        1. I think there’s a difference between moderation and publishing in a public forum. To use a physical analogy, a sporting venue can place guards and metal detectors at the gate to try and keep weapons out. That doesn’t make the venue responsible if some sick bastard sneaks a gun inside and shoots people. The crime was committed by the shooter, not the venue.

          1. This isn’t a venue. It is a publication. That is not the same as letting someone into a big venue. You are giving someone a platform to broadcast their views. It is no different than a newspaper publishing letters to the editor. Newspapers are responsible if their letters to the editor slander someone. That is fair since the newspaper makes the decision to publish the letter and doesn’t publish every letter.

            If one of these platforms wants to exercise its authority over what goes on their platforms and kick people off for having views the platform doesn’t like, that is fine. But when they do that they become like the newspaper publishing letters and ought to be held accountable for what is there since they are exercising control over it.

          2. To use a physical analogy, a sporting venue can place guards and metal detectors at the gate to try and keep weapons out. That doesn’t make the venue responsible if some sick bastard sneaks a gun inside and shoots people. The crime was committed by the shooter, not the venue.

            The country I live in a judge/jury decides whether a crime was committed after the fact on a roughly case by case basis, not Congress a priori.

            If the venue were hosting a free handgun day, served alcohol in excess, and knowingly hired Former Deputy Scot Peterson as their head of security (none of which are crimes individually) I might have some pretty considerable grounds to sue.

  20. Joe Biden still isn’t my first choice, but it’s encouraging to see him take on the gun fetishists.

    This violence is not normal. How many more families will have to lose a loved one before we fix our broken gun laws? We must take action, starting with real reform. Our thoughts are with everyone in Gilroy this evening. Enough is enough.

    As longtime libertarian activist Michael Hihn has explained, supporting common sense gun safety is actually the libertarian position. A ban on deadly military style assault weapons would be perfectly Constitutional, since those killing machines weren’t available in the late 1700s.

    #BanAssaultWeapons
    #UnbanMichaelHihn

    1. These people.

      All talk and all bull shit.

  21. Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter

    If only more Americans in Commifornia were authorized to have weapons on them to protect themselves. This venue was a weapon exclusion zone.

    1. If only California had enacted Common Sense Gun Laws (TM) they could have prevented this tragedy? What’s that? They outlawed “assault weapons” in the late 80’s? Law must need more time to work. Or need to ban more things.

  22. A$AP Rocky to tell assault trial he used violence ‘within limits of law’

    Super speedy trial in Sweden. At least by not giving A$AP bail, the criminal case is adjudicated within a month.

  23. Under the new measure, set to take effect in 30 days, possessing under two ounces of pot will no longer be an offense that can get you thrown in jail or give you a permanent criminal record. But it’s still a ticketable offense that comes with a fine of $50 to $100.

    What happens if you don’t pay the fine? Does Reason even libertarian any more?

    1. The fines never go away. All non-violent, non-fraud crimes are revenue generators, pure and simple.
      Even more so since the supremes said the government can just take stuff without the bother of due process and arrests and convictions and all that bother.

      1. If they fine you for it, it is still illegal to do it. Speeding is illegal isn’t it? No difference here.

        1. +100

          Democrats are trying to act like they are the saviors of drug culture. Like Democrats ‘desegregating’ what they segregated in the first place, all Lefties do is shift the definitions and burdens onto someone/something else.

          Small amounts of Drugs now dont get you jail or prison time but get you fines. If you dont pay your fines, you go to jail. “Large” amounts of drugs still get you jail or prison.

        2. And if a person doesn’t pay the fine, the state puts out a warrant. If they ignore the warrant, the state will send armed agents to find and arrest them and throw them in jail. If they resist the agents they will have force used against them. If they resist the force used against them they will be killed.

          But no, you will no longer be thrown in jail over a small amount of pot.

          1. You just have to pay the state it’s extortion money. How comforting.

        3. Speeding is illegal but not a criminal offense, within certain limits. For example in Virginia if you’re caught exceeding the posted speed limit by 10 MPH or more, it’s an actual criminal misdemeanor offense as opposed to a civil fine.

          NY has put weed in the same category. Within certain limits, it’s no longer a criminal offense even though yes, it is still illegal.

          1. Which is a distinction without difference, because if you don’t pay the fine you go to jail.

            1. See also Moynihan’s recent arrest experience in NYC. Described on the 5th column (6/24, ep 143)

              1. I can’t see Moynihan doing well in jail.

            2. Get straight-up arrested for driving 75 in a 65 zone, and then tell me there’s no difference. Degrees matter, it’s not a binary question.

              1. Degrees sometimes matter. They matter very little in this case. Yes, you are allowed to get out of it by paying the extortion money. Is that better? In some ways sure if you have the money to pay the fine.

              2. All making it a fine does is allow people with enough money to buy their way out of the offense. I fail to see how that is an improvement.

          2. Speeding IS a criminal offense in Georgia.

            Every “public offense” in Georgia is a misdemeanor or felony. There are not infraction offenses.

            You can also demand a jury trial for a speeding ticket, in Superior Court.

            1. Have a friend, fast Eddie, who did that.
              He researched the radar gun used, called the manufacturer, and grilled the ticketing officer on how exactly it works and some instances of malfunctioning the model had.
              The cop was flummoxed.
              Ed still had to pay the ticket.

              1. That was likely a “bench trial” which is the trial by Magistrate Judge in Magistrate Court.

                The only reason to fight a ticket there is to possibly get a lower fine. My experience is that judges try and look long-term and punish those that fight by giving them higher fines.

                You have to demand a jury trial and your speeding ticket goes to the county Superior Court for jury trial. Judges REALLY hate this but a jury decides your fate. If you are found guilty, expect a judge to sentence you to jail time and a fine for not cooperating with the revenue collecting scheme that is most speeding tickets.

                When “improper backing” citations get you $35 fine and “super speeder” citations get your fines above $300, you can see how traffic infractions have huge disparities in actual dangerousness to the driving public.

  24. “But what it actually enables is for all of us plebes to talk without Washington having the final say.”

    Correct. The final say rests with corporate bureaucrats and low to mid level flunkies with a delete button.
    Better that the ‘simple platforms’ do no curating at all, and truly violent speech is pursued by law enforcement just as in real life. In actuality, criminal speech on the web is easier to identify and prosecute because it leaves a trail; no ‘but I never said that’.

    1. It is one thing to say that these companies by virtue of owning the platform should have a right to censor speech and thus the censorship that inevitably results is just the price one pays for property rights. That is at least a rational and consistent argument. But to claim allowing them the power to censor is necessary to free speech is a bit rich. These people have no shame.

  25. Trump aide submitted drafts of 2016 “America First” energy speech to senior United Arab Emirates officials for edits, according to emails and text messages uncovered by a House Oversight Committee investigation.

    Trump has speech writers? I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you!

    1. He told the UAE he would have more “flexibility” after he was reelected.

  26. “Apple pie, baseball, and the right to ridicule the government” all hold “an important place in American history and tradition,” states the court’s opinion.”

    People lose their minds over Trump’s tweets because they lose sight of this fact. Yeah, they also can’t distinguish between Trump as a private person and Trump as “the government”. When Trump makes fun of government officials on Twitter, however, I’ve always thought he’s pretty much commenting from the perspective of a private individual. Whether he should be doing that is an open question, but I think that’s what he’s doing.

    So, when Trump is savaging some government official he doesn’t like on Twitter, in his own mind and in the minds of plenty of average Americans, he might as well be eating apple pie on camera or throwing the ceremonial first pitch in a baseball game, it’s so typically American. And when the press goes after him for doing something so typically American, they might as well be going after the rest of us for being so typically American, too.

    1. The same people who claim to be horrified about Trump saying mean things to celebrities and politicians who have the power and platform to fight back were totally okay with Obama saying the cop in Cambridge acted “stupid” and that Trayvon Martin could have been his son. The second one is particularly egregious since it interfered with Zimmerman’s right to a fair trial by attempting to poison the jury pool.

      1. Presidents, like everyone else, have freedom of speech, and they can say what they want. It’s just that every time the president says something, it isn’t necessarily a policy pronouncement. Maybe he’s just expressing his opinion!

        1. The thing about Obama is he’s portrayed as an orator and wise man only to say insipid, petty things.

          Those comments were sophomoric and not helpful.

          Unifier my butt.

  27. “But it’s still a ticketable offense that comes with a fine of $50 to $100.” Yea, it’s expensive not arresting people!

  28. “Stationing U.S. troops as migrant detention center guards may breach federal law, said Rep. John Garamendi (D–Calif.), and it is “certainly mission creep,” since it’s “not the role of the U.S. military to be a prison guard.”

    From a libertarian perspective, if government has any legitimate purpose at all, it’s to protect our rights. The legitimate purpose of the military is to protect our rights from foreign threats. If the president is using our military to defend our borders, that may be the most libertarian thing the president has done with our troops since before the William McKinley administration and the Spanish-American War.

    From a Constitutional perspective, I suspect you’ll have a hard time convincing the Supreme Court that the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t have the discretion to use federal troops to defend our borders. They’ve deferred to the discretion of the Commander-in-Chief on so much more than this.

    1. It is Reason Ken, nothing else matters except open borders. There is no principle or policy concern reason will not compromise in pursuit of open borders. To paraphrase Goldwater, extremism in the pursuit of open borders is no vice.

      1. +10

      2. It is Reason Ken, nothing else matters except open borders.

        We need to stop calling it an open borders policy. They don’t want open borders and ultimately the borders are just a stepping stone, tool, or detail. They don’t want guns in Mexico or Canada. They don’t want Trump voters in the streets of NYC or LA. They don’t want to get punched in the face or recognized for participating in felonious activity. They don’t want <$15/hr. wages anywhere. They want *their* borders. It's a Their Borders policy.

  29. “A new measure passed in California “bans the use of condoms as evidence of sex work, a police practice sex workers have long said compromises their health and safety.”

    I’m all for the legalization of prostitution if it means keeping children out of the industry, but living in a fantasy world isn’t a legitimate solution to any problem. A used condom is evidence of something–whether or not the law is delusional. I’m also in favor of the Second Amendment, but I’d draw the line if someone were to introduce a law stating that a smoking gun can’t be used as evidence in a murder case. Please, if we want to legalize prostitution, can’t we do so without making the laws even more delusional? The last thing we need in California is more “noble” lies written into law.

  30. Today Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced legislation to curb addictive and deceptive techniques that tech giants use to exploit users. The Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act would ban certain features that are designed to be addictive, would require choice parity for consent, and would give users the power to monitor their time spent on social media.
    Free clocks for everyone!

    1. I am instinctively opposed to any law that has a title made up just to have an acronym.

      1. Agreed. I would further add that there were, IMO, two legitimate rebuttals to Hawley’s proposed legislation to neutrify the internet:
        1. Self-licking. More rent seekers treating a law that should be amputated.
        2. Supporting it would’ve only lent credit to Hawley that he’s good at this sort of bullshit and/or that we need more of it.

        Reason, somehow, manage to largely, if not entirely, avoid these two stances.

  31. “Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) is introducing a bill to ban “addictive” features on social media.”

    So that stupid commenter… Fuck I don’t know his name, the guy who constantly bitches about things that aren’t addictive being addictive, the one with the stupid repeatedly debunked heroin analogy, that guy is ACTUALLY Hawley?

      1. Naw, the one guy, he’s been doing his stupid “I could sell your kids heroin and it’s the same as loot boxes” shit for a few months, and is big on Hawley supposedly.

  32. Section 230 is “just about the most libertarian, free speech law on the books,” in the words of its original sponsor, Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.).

    Mr. Wyden is aware that the 1A is a law, right? Has Mr. Wyden even used the word ‘libertarian’ before today? Are we sure he knows what it means? Because everything else he sponsored right alongside Section 230 of the CDA has been struck down.

    1. Didn’t you know that section 230 is the 1st amendment of the internet? Before section 230, the internet was entirely run by the government and all forum posts had to be vetted by bureaucrats in D.C.

      1. If you didn’t feel like shooting yourself yet; Section 230 is the 14A of the internet. Google, FB, and Twitter’s preferred religion-classes are protected. We aren’t going to get less of it. It’s just not going to happen.

    2. When quoting Wyden, it’s helpful to replace all instances of “s” with “th”

  33. Yesterday, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that he hoped “the Chinese will do the right thing” in regards to the protesters in Hong Kong. In response, Hua Chunying, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said this:

    “It’s clear that Mr. Pompeo has put himself in the wrong position and still regards himself as the head of the CIA . . . . He might think that violent activities in Hong Kong are reasonable because after all, this is the creation of the U.S.”

    —-Bloomberg

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-30/china-says-hong-kong-protest-violence-is-creation-of-u-s?

    Just for review:

    If it wasn’t for the Koch Brothers, I wouldn’t have cared about the president squandering my future paychecks on bailing out Wall Street.

    If it wasn’t for Russians and Facebook, average Americans in the rust belt wouldn’t care that elitist progressives hold them in utter contempt.

    If it wasn’t for the U.S., a million protesters in Hong Kong wouldn’t care if they could be extradited to mainland China for prosecution under different laws.

    I don’t care if the Koch brothers were involved in the Tea Party, if the Russians were on Facebook, or if the CIA really is involved in the protests against China, the underlying issues in each of those situations were all much greater than whatever the people who allegedly exploited them could have contributed.

    In regards to Hong Kong, certainly, regardless of whomever it was that lit the match, it was the Chinese who soaked the place with kerosene. If you don’t want the CIA to exploit a combustible situation you created by introducing a law to circumvent protections for human rights in Hong Kong, there’s an easy way to avoid that. For instance, you could choose not to introduce a law to circumvent protections for human rights in Hong Kong.

    1. Ken,

      I don’t know what you do for a living, but I do know you could quite capably replace half the “libertarian” writers/bloggers working for “Reason”.

      – a fan (and not at all a stalker)

      1. Ken does write articulate and captivating discussion material most of the time.

      2. Second.

        Overwhelming avoids batshit crazy and even when disagreed he usually manages to portray both sides without the snide/glib ‘to be sure’-ness.

    2. In regard to

      Just sayin’.

  34. Under the new measure, set to take effect in 30 days, possessing under two ounces of pot will no longer be an offense that can get you thrown in jail or give you a permanent criminal record. But it’s still a ticketable offense that comes with a fine of $50 to $100.

    Now refuse to pay the fine.

    1. If everything’s in italics, nothing is in italics.

      1. Deep.

        1. Balls?

      2. Sounds like a socialist.
        The truth is that if everything is in italics, then everything is in italics.

    2. Also . . .

      They say it doesn’t go on your criminal record, but the fine itself is a matter of public record, isn’t it?

      When you do a background search on a potential employee, I believe that stuff shows up in the public record–just like a DUI.

    1. Identity politics is poison.

      Trump is nothing compared to this destructive virus.

  35. Moon over Parma send your cops to me tonight…

    1. +1 Buzz Beer

  36. You finally got Trump. He submitted a copy of a speech on energy to an ally while still just candidate. I hope Just Amash weighs in on this.

    #tds

  37. Under the new measure, set to take effect in 30 days, possessing under two ounces of pot will no longer be an offense that can get you thrown in jail or give you a permanent criminal record. But it’s still a ticketable offense that comes with a fine of $50 to $100.

    I’m confused. Wasn’t this already the case? Because a couple years ago you guys were posting stories of how, in ‘stop and frisk’ searches, cops would get people to turn out their pockets and then bust them for public display – even though possession was just a 50-100 fine.

    Or does this mean you can walk around with it publicly and the only thing the cops can do is fine you now?

  38. Trump’s tax returns required under new California election law

    These poor Lefty states need to read the US Constitution again. States select/elect Electors and those Electors vote for anyone they want. States have different rules for whether the Electors have to vote for the person on a ballot where that person was selected by a majority of voters in the state.

    This will end badly for Blue states because there is nothing in Article I or the 12th Amendment that says Electors can be forced to vote for a certain person.

    1. In other words, Trump doe snot have to be on the Commifornia ballot and still be elected President. Especially with their National Popular Vote Compact.

      Taxifornia’s EC votes got to the winner of the National Popular vote. Which will be Trump!

      Hahaha!

  39. hot topic that has never stopped being discussed.

    Poker7club

  40. The punchline to the titular punchline is the cops don’t care…

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