Reason Roundup

House Moves To Give Homeland Security More Power To Snoop

Plus: Santa Cruz decriminalizes shrooms, the feds target medical marijuana in Michigan, "the growing threat to free speech online," and more...

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Some unsettling new legislation has been quietly advancing in Congress. Called the Cybersecurity and Vulnerability Identification and Notification Act of 2020, the bill passed out of the House Committee on Homeland Security yesterday and will now go to the full House for a vote.

The legislation—like its companion in the Senate—gives the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) more power to subpoena information from internet and telecommunications companies, including subscriber names, addresses, and telephone numbers.

Rep. James Langevin (D–R.I.), one of the bill's sponsors, describes it as giving the new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)—created by President Donald Trump in 2018—"the ability to say something when they see something."

That's the first sign that something might be off, since "see something, say something" is more or less the motto for DHS-enabled snooping and security theater.

A press release from Langevin's office insists that subpoenaed data will "only to be used for notification about a risk, not for surveillance or investigation purposes." Why do I not feel reassured?

The legislation grants that "the director of Homeland Security may issue a subpoena for the production of information necessary to identify" suspected security vulnerabilities in an "information system connected to the internet," so long as DHS says the potential risk is connected "to critical infrastructure."

Compelling private information when it involves risks to "critical infrastructure" might sound smart. But it's important to keep in mind that it doesn't take much for CISA to deem something critical infrastructure. The agency's 16 sectors of critical infrastructure extend to such places as casinos, hotels, motels, campgrounds, zoos, shopping malls, self-storage facilities, condominiums, banks, insurance companies, and motion picture studios.

Also relevant: just how loose Homeland Security's definition of "risk" is. This month, for instance, the agency has been warning about the purportedly high risk of sex traffickers at the Super Bowl—an urban legend that has been thoroughly, repeatedly debunked.

Langevin claims that in the past, potential risks have been identified but "CISA has not been able to identify the owner of a vulnerable system and warn them of their exposure." The new policy would force "telecommunications companies that may have relevant subscriber information that could make it easier to identify the subscriber assigned an IP address" to share that information with Homeland Security.

That sounds like a good way for DHS to demand identifying information on any systems, services, or subscribers it wants.

The bill was sponsored by Reps. Langevin, Sheila Jackson Lee (D–Texas), Cedric Richmond (D–La.), Bennie Thompson (D–Miss.), John Katko (R–N.Y.), and John Ratcliffe (R–Texas). Its companion bill in the Senate was introduced in December by Homeland Security Committee Chair Ron Johnson (R–Wisc.) and Sen. Maggie Hassan (D–N.H.).

Thompson has said the bill will likely be part of a bigger package of "DHS authorization legislation."


FREE MARKETS

Another California city is effectively decriminalizing hallucinogenic mushrooms. A new ordinance adopted this week in Santa Cruz says "the investigation and arrest of individuals involved with the adult possession, use, or cultivation of psychoactive plants and fungi listed on the Federal Schedule 1 list for personal adult use and clinical research be among the lowest priorities for the city of Santa Cruz."

Meanwhile, the feds are still going after marijuana sellers in states where the drug is legal. Michigan resident Danny Trevino was just sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for running medical marijuana dispensaries in a state that allows medical marijuana. "He was not allowed to use the state's medical-marijuana law as a defense to the federal charges," MLive.com reports.


FREE MINDS

David French on "the growing threat to free speech online": attempts to overhaul or abolish Section 230. "Hostility against Big Tech may cause our nation to blunder into changing the nature of the internet to enhance the power of the elite at the expense of ordinary Americans," French writes at Time.

One frightening development on this front has been Attorney General Bill Barr jumping on the anti–Section 230 bandwagon. Section 230 doesn't apply to federal criminal investigations of the sort Barr is supposed to be worrying over.

For a 101 on Section 230 and its foes, see this ReasonTV video:


QUICK HITS

  • Good news: U.S. life expectancy is on the upswing again, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Clearview has been marketing its facial recognition technology to law enforcement, promising to find matches in 75 percent of all searches. "That doesn't actually mean it finds the right person 75% of the time," notes Tim Cushing. "It only means the software finds someone that matches submitted photos three-quarters of the time." Meanwhile, BuzzFeed finds that Clearview has been lying about the police agencies it has worked with.
  • Elizabeth Warren wants "criminal penalties for spreading disinformation online," CNBC tweeted yesterday. Read Scott Shackford here for what Warren actually proposed.

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  1. U.S. life expectancy is on the upswing again, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    We can’t afford this.

  2. Biden acknowledges he might die in office: ‘I’m an old guy’

    HAHA. And Sanders had a heart attack on the campaign trail.

    old. Old. OLD. White racist men.

    1. And yet, young people want to be like us – – – – – –

    2. Biden has to be going senile if he’s openly acknowledging that the party leaders will probably have him killed off in favor his his VP if he wins the election.

      1. So, Hillary will be is running mate?

        1. So after the election she just calls Suicide Hotline to place an order?

        2. Anyone that stupid deserves to commit suicide in a national park with two shots to the back of the head.

    1. He always wanted to be the top in the Obama-Biden ticket.

    2. “I sure would like Michelle [Obama] to be the vice president,” Biden said Tuesday at a campaign stop in Muscatine, Iowa.

      “I mean, just get a load of those gams!”

  3. Elizabeth Warren wants “criminal penalties for spreading disinformation online…”

    The gullible voters are the ones she relies on most.

    1. Whatever. Under Hillary Clinton it would have grown like 12.1% last quarter.

      #StillWithHer

      1. You mean runaway inflation?

    2. You may remember that 1.9% growth is a signal of deep trouble.

      Donald J. Trump

      @realDonaldTrump
      Q1 GDP has just been revised down to 1.9% http://1.usa.gov/3hAL The economy is in deep trouble.
      994
      2:24 PM – May 31, 2012

      1. Link broken.

        Q1 of what year?

        1. Is that Twatter leo?

          Who follows Twatter? HAHAHA

          1. Your hero?

            1. An Italian meat hero?

        2. 2012. One of those years when the other party was in charge.

          1. It looks like it being revised down is the problem sock.

            Maybe learn to read.

            1. Incoming sock “splutter splutter, you ruined my stupid attempt at a gotcha by pointing out that there were several points in that tweet splutter splutter”

      2. Remember, Leo, you can’t take things Trump posts on Twitter literally.

        1. HAHA. Lefties hardest hit!

        2. Sure you can, but Leo and you have a different problem relating to what was written, and reading it.

  4. Another California city is effectively decriminalizing hallucinogenic mushrooms.
    That way nobody will notice the forthcoming tax increase.

  5. Sanders Plans to Sign Dozens of Executive Orders Upon Taking Office: ‘We Cannot Accept Delays from Congress’

    Hillary also tried to sign Executive Orders after losing to Trump. We call those “Orders” something else when you don’t win the Presdential election.

    1. But Trump is the authoritarian nazi king.

      1. Well, he is outpacing Obama on the use of executive orders, and everyone around had their heads exploding about the “phone and a pen” comment.

        https://apnews.com/25ca8d3b39024f9e828df7ebeb718274

        1. That you don’t understand why that comment was a problem is a large part of the reason you’re so consistently ridiculed, LeaveTrumpAloneLibertarian.

          Cry more now widdle baby

          1. Sure thing. You guys are soooooo logical and fair. I’m sure the total lack of criticism for Trump’s use of more EO’s than Obama is due to some deeply held principle of yours.

    2. I think a President Sanders could freely issue executive orders under a declaration of a national emergency and if Sanders getting elected president wouldn’t constitute a national emergency I don’t know what would.

    3. Somehow, I doubt Hawaii Judge will find it in her heart to enjoin Sanders’s orders.

  6. Jennifer Rubin, one of the few conservatives who have managed to stay sane during the Drumpf era, has an insightful analysis of the current situation.

    The GOP is now the pro-totalitarian party. It is a clear and present danger

    Clear. And. Present. Danger.

    #ImpeachAndRemove

    1. Sounds sane alright.

      1. Serious thinkers like Rubin, David Frum, Bill Kristol, and Max Boot really need to regain control of the party.

        #LibertariansForABetterGOP
        #PutTheNeoconsBackInCharge

    2. Yeah, right. Because the only source more reliable than Twitter is the NYT.

    3. She’s right. You guys keep complaining about being compared to nazis, people looking down on you as morally inferior, people calling you anti science, etc.. When you smell shit everywhere you go, check your shoe. History will not look kindly on Trump and his base.

      The GOP is a criminal enterprise that seeks to thwart the fundamentals of the US constitution. Unitary power of the executive. Russian money funneled through the NRA into numerous GOP campaigns. Subverting the system of checks and balances by blanket ignoring subpoenas. You guys are really down for that? You guys really don’t see the danger and harm to the foundation of our republic? Wait until a dem president is ignoring all subpoenas, ordering all executive employees to ignore subpoenas, has his family running his international business, has the government spend money at the businesses he owns, makes thinly veiled comments about the inferiority of white people, etc.. How would you react then.

      I remember how skeptical this forum was when a black democrat was president. Now you want everyone to trust Trump (lol fucking suckers). The hypocrisy is jaw dropping.

      1. ^totes not psychotic

        1. Supporting an obvious conman is insane. Pointing that out is rational.

          1. Not a leftist huh jeff.

      2. You have no clue how “history will look on” this time period, drama queen. That’s the fallacy of thinking that history has a side to begin with.

        1. I have a pretty good idea. Where are all the Nixon supporters now? Just Barr and Stone lol.

          1. I have a pretty good idea.

            No, you don’t, Kreskin.

            Where are all the Nixon supporters now? Just Barr and Stone lol.

            Of course, ignoring the fact that the portrayal of Nixon’s career and legacy was revised in a more respectful direction even in his own lifetime, by the very press with whom he had a hostile relationship, no less.

      3. I love watching you cry, knowing that no one, not even history, cares.

        “You’re on the wrong side of history” is just an admission that you care about appearances and not people. It was one of the Soviet Union’s favorites for just that reason.

        1. Like Nixon supporters but worse.

      4. Wait until a dem president is ignoring all subpoenas, ordering all executive employees to ignore subpoenas, has his family running his international business, has the government spend money at the businesses he owns, makes thinly veiled comments about the inferiority of white people, etc..

        So, doing what Dem presidents and supporters have done already? This is why you shouldn’t shoot your mouth off about “history”–you can’t even fucking remember anything that happened before 2016.

        1. Go ahead and cite examples for each of those, then.

          1. Fast and Furious and Lois Lerner don’t ring any bells? The Clinton Foundation? Hell, the Democrats destroying equipment that was under subpeona for an investigation?

            Incidentally, the former, when the IG got repeatedly stonewalled in its investigation, played a big role in Horowitz working behind the scenes with Congress to end the Holder DoJ’s habit of obstructing IG investigations, and ultimately getting the Inspector General Empowerment Act passed.

            1. Crickets

              1. In all fairness, this is the first time he is hearing about any of those things.

            2. None of those are comparative. First, fast and furious isn’t comparable at all. That was a law enforcement fuck up, not personal corruption by a president. Lois Lerner’s evasiveness, as outrageous as it was, was to save her own skin, there was never any evidence of Obama involvement. The Clinton Foundation stinks as a conflict of interest, yet there is no evidence or even accusation that the Clintons funneled US gov money into it or personally profited from it.

      5. The Obama administration oversaw a mission by a federal agency to deliberately allow hundreds of firearms to go to Mexico to some of the most awful human beings on earth. As far as I know, not a single individual in the federal government was prosecuted for this behavior. I’m glad that someone else brought this up as well.

  7. Murdoch start new website- Knewz

    Uh-oh unreason. You have your work cut out for you.

    1. I like the late 90’s layout.

    2. The site looks like they gave a 4th-grader a “Web Programming for Dummies” box and 2 weeks to make it. Yech.

    3. I didn’t know anyone still used FrontPage. Very retro.

      1. It’s all Backpage here

    4. Evidently Murdoch is trying to unseat this as the World’s Worst Website.

      1. +100

      2. Aparently everyone forgot that the movie space jam still has an active website from 1996

        https://www.spacejam.com/

        Truely the worst

  8. Hostility against Big Tech may cause our nation to blunder into changing the nature of the internet to enhance the power of the elite at the expense of ordinary Americans…

    Lose speech protections to own the Valley.

  9. Stop spreading the news; Warren Buffett throws in the towel on newspaper business

    Sugar Daddy Buffet is getting out of the newspaper business.

  10. Trump could be acquitted in impeachment trial as early as Friday-U.S. Senator

    Poor unreason. Trump acquitted AND wins reelection.

    DEF-CON 5 unreason. Def-Con 5!

    1. LOL

      The #BoltonBombshell is the tipping point. The walls are closing in. It’s the beginning of the end.

      1. Can we at least pretend it is the middle of the end?

        1. New conspiracy: Trump is working with the Russians to freeze the time-space continuum at the beginning of the end to prevent having to reach the actual end of the end.

      2. Reason loves warmonger Bolton now. Anything to take down Orange Hitler.

    2. he’s not going to just win re-election. He’s going to steamroll this election in a Reaganesque manner. The D clown show has no chance and everyone knows. Even my die-hard lefty friends are depressed.

  11. Two points on the Michigan marijuana case.

    1) The government is claiming that the defendant was acting outside of Michigan law. Whether he was breaking the law in Michigan is in dispute, but the federal government is still at least claiming to abide by the provision that they won’t go after dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal–so long as the dispensary abides by state laws.

    2) They article brings up the point that although mandatory minimums have been abolished by the federal government in regards to crack cocaine, they are still in place for marijuana. If true, this is absurd. The federal government should abolish mandatory minimums for marijuana just like they have for crack cocaine.

    1. Thanks Ken — Reason’s summary sounded nuts.

    2. Marijuana mandatory minimums were not made into a racial cause celebre. The law here is not rational, it is emotion driven.

    3. This is still the action of a despotic federal government.

  12. A new ordinance adopted this week in Santa Cruz says “the investigation and arrest of individuals involved with the adult possession, use, or cultivation of psychoactive plants and fungi listed on the Federal Schedule 1 list for personal adult use and clinical research be among the lowest priorities for the city of Santa Cruz.”

    Luckily Santa Cruz law enforcement will have regularly solved every other crime that day.

    1. Yeah there’s not much crime in Santa Cruz unless you count mis-gendering and such.

        1. I
          I?
          I!
          I is phallic, thus oppressive

  13. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch has already lost $1.81 billion this year.

    So please don’t complain about Reason’s frequent anti-tariff articles. Policies that cause such misery need to be denounced as often as possible.

    #HowLongMustCharlesKochSuffer?

    1. You’re boring me. Go away.

      1. He bores everyone except his own sockpuppets.

        1. I am neither a sock puppet nor bored.

  14. Trump could and should pardon that guy in Michigan.

    1. ^This +1000
      Every four years I think of running for president with one plank in my platform: Pardon all non-violent drug offenders and re-prioritize drug enforcement in the justice department to one step below curse words and mis-gendering someone in class…

  15. He was not allowed to use the state’s medical-marijuana law as a defense to the federal charges…

    You okay with that, Michigan?

  16. The bill was sponsored by Reps. Langevin, Sheila Jackson Lee (D–Texas), Cedric Richmond (D–La.), Bennie Thompson (D–Miss.), John Katko (R–N.Y.), and John Ratcliffe (R–Texas). Its companion bill in the Senate was introduced in December by Homeland Security Committee Chair Ron Johnson (R–Wisc.) and Sen. Maggie Hassan (D–N.H.).

    BRAIN TRUST.

    1. BIPARTISAN BRAIN TRUST.

      1. *shudders*

    2. How do these idiots keep getting elected?

  17. Giving the government more power to snoop? Is infinity+2 any more an imaginary number than infinity+1?

  18. At least those DHS bills are not subject to partisan acrimony, they are working together well on this issue.

    /sarcasm

  19. Donald Trump continues to be the best president we’ve had on entitlement reform since Lyndon Johnson initiated his Great Society programs.

    The Trump administration on Thursday released details for how states can apply to convert Medicaid to block grants that would let them impose changes such as eligibility requirements and prescription drug limits for millions of adults in the program.

    The instructions, outlined in a letter to states, show the administration is accelerating its push to give states unprecedented leeway in revamping parts of Medicaid. First-ever work requirements have already been approved and plans are under way to stiffen eligibility verifications. The administration says the shift would grant states autonomy to design programs that save money while safeguarding coverage.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-to-give-states-wide-berth-to-make-changes-to-medicaid-under-block-grant-plan-11580392873?

    I’m sure these rules will be called racist and xenophobic if it means states can set up a policy that provisionally requires work but in reality keeps illegal aliens off the program (if their employer won’t verify having hired them) or if it means that African-Americans are disproportionately impacted if they’re in a state where African-Americans are disproportionately unemployed.

    On its face, however, discriminating against people who don’t work for a living isn’t racist or xenophobic. It’s a bit like McDonalds or the electric company discriminating against people who don’t have any money to buy hamburgers or pay their electricity bill.

    Regardless, between Trump’s promise to sign a bill that would have cut $772 billion from Medicaid to this kind of move designed to shrink Medicaid eligibility, Donald Trump is the best president on slashing socialist entitlement programs we’ve ever had. Has there ever been a president, since Lyndon Johnson, who actually worked to cut eligibility for an entitlement program?

    Anyone who damns President Trump for deficit spending and doesn’t give him credit for trying to cut eligibility for socialist entitlement programs should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Oh, for God’s sake! Giving choices to a state?
      Has Trump been reading that pesky US Constitution again?
      Next thing you know he will be asking the DOJ why a substance with proven medical benefit is still on schedule 1.

      1. Next thing you know he will be asking the DOJ why a substance with proven medical benefit ANY SUBSTANCE is still on schedule 1.

        Fixed

  20. Thompson has said the bill will likely be part of a bigger package of “DHS authorization legislation.”

    “DHS’s package is so big it has its own package. And even DHS’s package’s package is bigger than yours.”

    (Apologies to Drew Carey.)

  21. Wrong message, but hey, Mike, piss it away any way you’d like:

    “Michael Bloomberg’s $10 million Super Bowl ad will focus on his efforts to combat gun violence”
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/elections/ct-nw-michael-bloomberg-super-bowl-ad-20200130-75exwec5mbb6tnhkesegm4fyjm-story.html

    1. Combat gun violence with shootouts!

      1. He’s shooting himself in the foot.

        1. Both he and Steyer seem to be running on the “White billionaire can beat Trump” ticket, but neither of them seem to be doing anything which would take votes from Trump. In fact, it seems they’re purposely pushing quite a few toward Trump.

    2. So basically, Bloomberg is all,Ching a $10 million dollar ad to sell guns.

    1. That was excellent. Start at 3:00 in the video. Only about 3 years too late.

    1. THEY ALL HAVE THE FLU!

        1. Lasist!

    2. China sure has the means to destroy Taiwan, though.

    3. It wouldn’t be fun for anyone. I imagine it would go nuclear.

      There will be a no-shit shooting war between the US and China within the next twenty years. If the trade deal doesn’t go through, then within the next five.

      It would be stupid, but then most wars are.

      1. Not if the Chinese economy collapses before then. Xi Jinping is ridiculously pursuing even more central planning, which as we know is pretty much doomed to failure.

        1. Betcha they push the war button when they see economic collapse is going to happen soon.

          I agree that China’s economy, and their society, is far more fragile than the popular perception of them of a rampaging dragon will admit. They still haven’t grown a middle class, and their economy is still primed on rapacious expansion. Any contraction is going to cause serious problems, as we might see with the effects of this ‘Wuhan Flu’.

          The Dean of Medicine for Hong Kong University gave a talk yesterday about the bug. He thought that the epidemic was growing exponentially, the rate of growth was increasing, and he didn’t think the bug would reach its peak in major cities in China until April or May.

          Companies in the States are already starting to get ‘hey, we might not be back to work after Lunar New Year right away…’ messages from their vendors in China. Bumping slowdowns to May is going to have a really bad effect on their economy and ours.

          1. China is completely fucked when it comes to oil.

            The import nearly all of their oil and without Russia’s help it all has to come via ships (from Indonesia, Africa, ME, Venezuela). China needs the oil for military vehicles and ships.

            That and I think actually wants to take Taiwan over not just destroy it. This involves much more work because you have to be careful not kill everyone and destroy everything.

            The US Navy and Indian Navy subs would make quick work of oil tankers.

  22. http://pjmedia.com/trending/above-the-law-hillary-clinton-refuses-to-get-served-tulsi-gabbards-50m-lawsuit/

    Hillary Clinton uses Secret Service to prevent her being served in Gabbard’s slander suit against her. Laws are for the little people I guess.

    1. Bet she deducts her panties on her tax return, ala Leona Helmsley.

      1. She doesn’t deduct them, she sells them for a good profit to Rev. Artie. He pays extra for the ones with the clingers.

    2. She should put it in a box with a note that says “incriminating evidence against Bernie Sanders” then mail it anonymously.

    3. That’s hilarious when put up against her “nobody is above the law” tweet.

    4. The agents directed the server to the Clintons’ lawyer, David Kendall. Yet when the server reached Kendall’s offices at the Washington, D.C. firm Williams & Connolly, the lawyer said he was unable to accept service on Clinton’s behalf.

      *** rising intonation ***

      I smell another lawsuit!

      1. Jesus, that woman gets trashier and trashier with each year.

        Dodging process servers…and this woman was almost President.

    5. If the First Amendment doesn’t mean you can say pretty much whatever you want about a political candidate, especially when they’re running for office, then I’m not sure it means anything.

      I’ve based pretty much everything I’ve said about Hillary Clinton on fact, and I can dig up legitimate references for all of it–from the charge that she accepted donations from foreign countries while she was the Secretary of State to the charge that she physically abused her husband in the wake of finding out about Monica Lewinsky.

      All that being said, Hillary Clinton being sued for the things she said about somebody else is pretty rich. If anyone has had more terrible things said about them in public than Hillary Clinton since 1992, it can only be Donald Trump.

      Suing Hillary for saying something bad about another candidate is like going after Donald Trump for not doing something that Joe Biden actually did.

      1. “In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records.”

        https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/hillary-clinton-foundation-state-arms-deals/

    6. Tulsi should serve Hillary via Twitter.

      Democrats want it to be official communications, then fine “You are officially served Hillary Clinton”.

  23. Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces last week shot down missiles aimed at Saudi Aramco oil facilities, kingdom officials said Wednesday, after Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen said they had targeted the world’s most valuable company and other sites in Saudi Arabia.

    . . . .

    Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks. Saudi Arabia and the U.S. blamed Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels, for the attacks. Iran has denied involvement.

    . . . .

    Saudi officials with the matter said all strikes on Saudi Arabia last week were foiled. Aramco declined to comment.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-air-defenses-thwarted-attack-on-aramco-11580320697

    1. Is there any area on the planet that has more hatred than the ME?

      1. Tumblr?

      2. Harvard?

      3. Falkland Islands?

        Fuck you Falkland Islands!

    2. It was in the best interests of the United States and American security to go through with the sale of military equipment to the Saudis–regardless of whether the Crown Prince did a terrible thing to Jamal Khashoggi.

      “On May 20, 2017, U.S. President Trump and Saudi Arabia’s Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud signed a series of letters of intent for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to purchase arms from the United States totaling US$110 billion immediately,[1][2] and $350 billion over 10 years.[3][4] The intended purchases include tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, as well as radar, communications and cybersecurity technology.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_United_States%E2%80%93Saudi_Arabia_arms_deal

      The WSJ article above speaks to the reason why certain groups among the Houthi rebels probably attacked Aramco, which may have to do with ongoing peace talks between the Iranians and the Saudis and the Houthi rebels desire to throw a monkey wrench into those talks. Those rebels don’t want peace.

      This speaks to a couple of points.

      1) Cancel culture has no place in foreign policy.

      Regardless of whether another country’s leader uses racial slurs, isn’t supportive of LGBTQI+, or murders journalists, if it’s in the best interests of American security to sell them missile defense and other weapons systems, then that’s what we should do.

      See our alliance with Stalin for another example.

      2) Not only does arming the Saudis against the Iranians and their proxies mean that we don’t need to attack another country to defend the world’s oil supply because they can. In this case, it also means that the Saudi Arabia can move forward beyond someone attempting to ruin their peace talks.

      How many of Trump’s neo-neocon critics on the left have the balls to argue that we shouldn’t supply Saudi Arabia with the tools necessary to advance peace–because the Crown Prince is an evil man?

      1. 110 billion!? Holy shit. That’ll make people at LockMart and Raytheon happy. Who says Christmas only comes once a year?

        I guess it’s better than giving the foreign country aid money to buy our toys with. Although, good luck getting any human rights pressure on KSA or attempts to stop Wahhabist proselytization now.

        1. Yeah, it’s better for Saudi Arabia to spend its own money on U.S. manufactured equipment than it is for U.S. taxpayers to fund the Iraq adventure in order to protect Saudi oil fields.

          1. Or to ensure that everybody uses dollars when they pay for oil. US taxpayers are still going to fund the Saudi military buildup, as there’s no way in hell the Saudis are going to use their own guys to use all of that new hardware. Not if they actually want it to work or be effective. Think of it as prepositioned equipment for the US personnel who’ll be using it, a la REFORGER.

            Or as tools for the foreign contractors who will do yet another job the Saudis won’t lower themselves to work at. At least the Sauds will pay for that part too.

            That said, on the Iraq adventure, no way the Saudis invade Iraq. Either GW1 or 2. Or fight to take back Kuwait. Without the US, they probably get a lot more serious about a workout for all of those loans Hussein took out from them to mostly blow on shooting Iranians. Instead of continuing to insist to Hussein the loans were due when called.

          2. Funny that the USA can get some of that oil money back that we spent with Saudi Arabia over those 35 years.

  24. Does Reason care that Chief Justice Roberts is blocking all of Rand Paul’s questions about Eric Ciaramella? Quick perusal of today’s articles suggests Reason does not care.

    1. I don’t think they plug into the same news channels you do.

      If they hear about some of the stuff you bring up here in comments, it may only be because you brought it up in comments.

      1. True. I’m not exclusively plugged into Slate while awaiting my daily email from Ezra Klein on how we are all going to spin this story in exactly the same way, using the exact same words.

        Man, i used to spend hours a day on this site, but since the Trump era began, it’s just a shitty imitation of Slate. At least the commenters (who didn’t leave) are still reasonably intelligent.

        1. Well thank you.

        2. The opinion of commenters here seems to mimic national trends.

          https://news.gallup.com/poll/1663/media-use-evaluation.aspx

          Go to the low point in the poll, when Americans’ trust in the media dropped to 32% just ahead of when Trump was elected, and that’s when we had our latest schism, with a huge chunk of our commenters going off to start their own site.

          I suspect it’ll be even worse this election. We’re gonna test those new lows, and we’ll see it here at Reason, too. They’re on a different planet.

          Even at the time, the only group of people in America that Americans disliked more than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump was the news, and that’s a really harsh statement. The journalists go on like they’re oblivious to how much they’re despised by average people, too. Never mind Gallup’s opinion polls. The whole model of journalism and the industry continues to collapse under the disgust of their customers, and they still don’t get it.

          At this point, the reason they don’t get it is probably because they can’t.

          1. Ever read the last book of Gulliver’s Travels?

            He meets the Houyhnhnms, a race of talking horses. They are the rulers while the deformed creatures that resemble human beings are called Yahoos.

            Gulliver becomes a member of a horse’s household and comes to both admire and emulate the Houyhnhnms and their way of life, rejecting his fellow humans as merely Yahoos endowed with some semblance of reason which they only use to exacerbate and add to the vices Nature gave them. However, an Assembly of the Houyhnhnms rules that Gulliver, a Yahoo with some semblance of reason, is a danger to their civilization and commands him to swim back to the land that he came from. Gulliver’s “Master,” the Houyhnhnm who took him into his household, buys him time to create a canoe to make his departure easier. After another disastrous voyage, he is rescued against his will by a Portuguese ship. He is disgusted to see that Captain Pedro de Mendez, whom he considers a Yahoo, is a wise, courteous, and generous person.

            He returns to his home in England, but is unable to reconcile himself to living among “Yahoos” and becomes a recluse, remaining in his house, avoiding his family and his wife, and spending several hours a day speaking with the horses in his stables.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulliver%27s_Travels#Part_IV:_A_Voyage_to_the_Land_of_the_Houyhnhnms

            On the canoe Gulliver makes to get home, he makes a sail out of human skin, he’s come to be disgusted by humans so thoroughly, he can’t see them as useful for anything more valuable than sail cloth.

            Swift was mocking the elitists of his day. This is nothing new, but it comes in waves. Journalists today don’t understand real people because they’re so far gone they can’t anymore. They go into the barn and mutter with others like themselves–because it makes them feel normal.

            I’ve often said of progressives that when you ask them why think the white, blue collar, middle class think progressives hate them so much, they quickly turn the conversation into why the white, blue collar, middle class of Midwest should be hated.

            If you ever want to see them get truly angry, suggest to them that in order to get their policies across, they must persuade average people to support them with their votes.

            Persuade average people?!

            Wouldn’t that involve talking to them? Wouldn’t that involve caring about their opinions? How can you expect us to do that?!

            They’d rather eat out of a garbage can.

          2. Go to the low point in the poll, when Americans’ trust in the media dropped to 32% just ahead of when Trump was elected, and that’s when we had our latest schism, with a huge chunk of our commenters going off to start their own site.

            Yeah, but that didn’t have anything to do with the 2016 election, it was because sloopy’s mom was beat up by a cop at a basketball game and Reason declined to even mention it, despite the fact they had highlighted him and Banjos naming their first child after the magazine.

            1. That was one or two people.

              The flock didn’t go over there because of sloopy’s mom.

              They were disgusted with the coverage.

              It’s hard to remember when this stuff was new–because since 2016, TDS has become the new normal, but it wasn’t always this way.

              The reason so many of them went from a close knit community of support for the site in the aftermath of Woodchipper-gate to a schism was because of the coverage. From Michelle Fields and likening Trump rallies to Nuremberg to “pussy grabbing” gate to the parade of women alleging sexual assault against candidate Trump, the commentariat became increasingly hostile to the staff as the coverage increasingly showed symptoms of what came to be known as TDS.

              If sloopy’s mom was the straw that broke the camel’s back for some of them that started the new site, it wasn’t the reason so many of the commenters went over there–never to return.

              Don’t tell me RC Dean is the kind of guy who commented intelligently every day for 13 years and then decided to disappear forever because of sloopy’s mom. The content simply became intolerable, and when there was another libertarian site that wasn’t entirely hostile to the truth if and when the truth suggested Trump might not be the anti-christ, he went there instead and saw no reason to come back.

              1. That pretty much sums it up. I’d add that the site got really squirrelsy around that time, too, and comments were regularly getting lost in the tubes.

                I changed jobs around that time, and my new position was a lot more demanding. Couple that with the terrible content and the exodus of like 80% of the people i regularly communicated with, i just stopped coming around regularly. Still drop in on occasion, such as the last few days.

                But goddamn, the TDS among the writers here is rampant.

              2. Nailed it.

              3. I missed the whole thing about sloopy’s Mom. I always thought it was more about the trolls and poor website quality than about the coverage. I mean, the trolls were really ramping up in 2016 (and have only gotten worse since). Not having an edit button or the ability to ignore the trolls made the experience much worse than it had been. Not everyone was willing / able to use reasonable. I though the server issues were the straw that sent most people away.

                My memory may be poor, but I thought Reason held off the tendency to TDS longer than most news organizations and didn’t really give into it until after the election.

                1. BTW, it’s good to see some quality commenters are still around. I found the lack of content over at the exodus destination to be a non-starter. I don’t come here for a random chat room. I actually want to hear intelligent conversation about current events with a libertarian perspective and the articles are key conversation starters. So, I’m glad some of the old regulars stuck it out with me.

                  1. Glibs is pretty good for what it is. It’s never going to be a content website because the commenters have full time lives and jobs. It’s mostly interest links and that’s fine because the commenters spend the time goofing with each other; that’s really where the appeal lies.

                2. It’s also my believe that unreason stepped up sock trolling themselves to boost web traffic that fell off with the Glibbening.

                  unreason also allows all of <i<Hihn‘s obvious socks to blow up comments even when they have banned his main account. Whatever, it’s their website but don’t have a report button for spammers if you are not going to clear spammers in a timely manner. Plus, their autostart videos are ridiculous.

    2. Is it because Eric Ciaramella is a fine not a tax?

  25. If you agree with Bill Barr about controlling speech online or , heck, anything, you might not be a libertarian.

    1. I agree with Bill Barr that it’s a big deal for the sitting president to use the national security apparatus to monitor the campaign of the opposing party, perhaps under false pretenses with fraudulently obtained warrants.

      I thought that was a pretty libertarian position but Reason appears to believe otherwise.

      1. fair point lol

  26. But what if homeland security really needs more snooping powers overseen by star chambers because they need to get Bad Orange Man again? Naturally you’ll be dangling off their nuts.

  27. I trust Calvin Broadus to do the right thing with his new power. Perhaps we’ll finally have legal marijuana.

  28. I am making 7 to 6 dollar par hour at home on laptop ,, This is make happy But now i am Working 4 hour Dailly and make 40 dollar Easily .. This is enough for me to happy my family..how ?? i am making this so u can do it Easily…. Read more  

  29. Fauxcahontas wants to criminalize spreading false information.
    I guess like whether your kids attend Private school, or whether you get fired for being pregnant, etc

  30. Elizabeth Warren wants “criminal penalties for spreading disinformation online,” CNBC tweeted yesterday. Read Scott Shackford here for what Warren actually proposed.

    Wanna stop “disinformation”? Repeal Congressional Immunity to Lie with Impunity. That’ll stop a lot of disinformation online, offline too.

    1. Warren: “[Trump]’s currently facing impeachment for putting his own political interests over the national interests of the United States – and there is every indication that if he is not removed from office, he will continue to do so.”

      The Democrat National Party has put its own political interests over interests of good government and the rights of the American people – and there is every indication that if they are not removed from office, they will continue to do so.

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