Reason Roundup

Trump's Executive Order on Twitter Is a Total Mess

Plus: the weird new battle lines on warrantless surveillance, more CDC incompetence, Minneapolis on fire, and more…


Disrespected by Twitter, President Donald Trump is throwing a tantrum in the form of an executive order that declares Twitter and Facebook are the "functional equivalent of a traditional public forum" and should "not infringe on protected speech." The president seems to have bypassed the typical interagency review process in issuing his new rule. This means the insanely overreaching order (read the leaked draft here) wasn't written with an eye toward conforming to federal law or constitutional protections of speech and commerce. And make no mistake: the draft order, when it manages to be coherent, is insanely unconstitutional.

But maybe the order having teeth isn't the point here. Trump's mandate might not hold up in court, but just by issuing it, Trump sends a not-so-subtle threat to Twitter, Facebook, and other internet companies. Remember, the apparent impetus for this order was Twitter posting a fact check after one of Trump's tweets.

Should social media companies be getting into the fact-checking game? It's a bad idea, if you ask me. But it's a perfectly legal thing for them to do.

The standard Republican talking point on this right now is that affixing fact-checking links to some tweets makes Twitter a "publisher" instead of a "platform" or "forum." It might make for an interesting semantic distinction, but the legally significant issue is whether Twitter is the speaker or creator of Donald Trump's tweets. If not, it is not legally liable for them. (The same goes for every other user of Twitter, too.)

If you're thinking, "But, but, what about when Twitter creates a fact-check link and presents it after a user's posts?" Courts have routinely ruled that a digital company's decisions about how to present content (or what content to present at all) do not transform it into the speaker of user content.

But back to Trump's new order: It's an Orwellian document, defining federal government regulation of Americans' speech as "free speech" and private questioning of government authority as "censorship." In Trump's formulation, private companies can censor the most powerful person in the country but not the other way around.

Interestingly, after years of downplaying the idea that foreign actors used social media in an attempt to influence the 2016 election, Trump now opportunistically claims that the U.S. government must have power over these platforms to stop the scourge of "disinformation from foreign governments."

But his biggest complaint is about alleged ideological bias by private companies. Despite previously rallying around the rights of conservative businesses to choose who they do business with and decline to display liberal messages (think florists and bakers), Trump now says that private businesses should have to be totally content-neutral conduits of whatever messages that customers want to broadcast.

To justify his position that the feds can compel companies to display messages from private citizens and government officials alike, Trump turns to a mangled conception of the federal law known as Section 230. This is the 1990s statute stipulating that online platforms and publishers are not to be treated as the speaker of user-generated content (i.e., if I defame someone on Facebook, Facebook isn't on the hook for defamation).

The order erroneously suggests that Section 230 only applies if online companies moderate content in ways that are explicitly laid out in their terms of service, though nothing in Section 230 comes close to saying this.

It complains that Twitter has been "restricting online content" for reasons other than those laid out as permissible reasons in Section 230(c)(2). This is the part of the statute saying companies don't become liable for all user content by virtue of moderating content that is "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable."

But "otherwise objectionable" is a completely discretionary standard and can encompass just about anything.

The order relies heavily on conservatives' victimhood conspiracy du jour: that social media companies are colluding to suppress conservative voices. It's an objectively untrue viewpoint, as countless booted and suspended liberal, libertarian, and apolitical accounts can tell you. But even if it were true that Twitter or Facebook only takes action against conservatives—or if we take the more believable assertion that current content moderation policies tend to hit some political viewpoints harder than others—it would still not fall outside the bounds of Section 230(c)(2) moderation, which requires only that the moderator find some speech to be "objectionable."

Somehow, out of Trump's several paragraphs of paraphrasing Section 230 with random erroneous asides, federal officials are supposed to intuit a new paradigm and "apply section 230(c) according to the interpretation set out in this section."

The document also instructs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to define concepts that Trump just made up for this order and then propose ways to tell if companies are running afoul of them. Trump wants the FCC to determine the conditions under which content moderation will be considered "deceptive, pretextual, or inconsistent with a provider's terms of service"—but then what? Nothing in Section 230 says a company can't moderate in ways "inconsistent with" their terms of service. And it's laughable to think that bureaucrats will be able to tell whether thousands of individual content moderators are making decisions based on the right reasons or on secretly "deceptive" grounds.

The FCC is also tasked with defining this bit of Trumpian gobbledygook: the conditions under which content moderation will be considered "the result of inadequate notice, the product of unreasoned explanation, or having been undertaking without a meaningful opportunity to be heard."

One of the most concrete parts of the executive order, and perhaps the only feasible part, is a bit saying that all federal agencies must review and submit (within 30 days) a report on the amount of money they spend on social media advertising. It comes in a section titled "Prohibition on Spending Federal Taxpayer Dollars on Advertising with Online Platforms That Violate Free Speech Principles."

Insofar as this order helps keep stupid government propaganda campaigns off social media and reduces what the public pays for those campaigns, great! Alas, Trump doesn't really have any clue what the criteria for preventing these ads might be and didn't bother finding out whether he has the statutory authority to require this before writing the order. It actually asks the heads of each executive department and agency to independently review "the viewpoint-based speech restrictions imposed by each online platform" and then tell Trump "the statutory authorities available to restrict advertising dollars to online platforms."

The second-to-last part of the order is another bit that sounds vaguely weighty but is actually just a bunch of big words sort of strung together in the way that might fool random Trump fans into thinking he's taking action. He declares that Facebook and Twitter are "the functional equivalent of a traditional public forum"—which would essentially mean that they are the "functional equivalent" of government property.

But of course, Trump has no authority to simply seize these private companies via executive order. And even if he could just declare that Twitter and Facebook were the digital equivalent of the National Mall, this would mean that government actors would face serious hurdles to restricting speech on them. Bottom line: Unless government officials are going to completely take over Twitter and Facebook content moderation, invoking public forums here is just bluster.

Ultimately, the order's lack of standard review very much shows.

It seems the White House apparently didn't consult with the Federal Communications Commission about the order, which would mean it did not go through the standard interagency review process.

"Worth remembering that with prior WH attempts to draft an executive order targeting social media companies, the FCC and FTC (which are led by Republican chairmen) privately pushed back on being deputized to police political speech on social platforms," noted CNN tech reporter Brian Fung on Twitter.

"Much of the order could quickly get bogged down in a thicket of legal and constitutional questions," Fung added. "Just for example, the FTC reports to Congress, not the WH."


Some positive signs on secret surveillance:


Americans still wary of many outside-the-home activities: 


  • Less than half of tests that show positives for COVID-19 antibodies are correct in some areas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
  • One person was killed and several buildings were set on fire in Minneapolis last night following protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

  • This doesn't seem like it will end well for the state:

  • "The average millennial has experienced slower economic growth since entering the workforce than any other generation in U.S. history," writes Andrew Van Dam at The Washington Post.
  • On the rise of One America News.

NEXT: Do You Feel $9,000 Richer, Punk?

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  1. This means the insanely overreaching order (read the leaked draft here) wasn’t written with an eye toward conforming to federal law or constitutional protections of speech and commerce.

    What do those deep state eggheads know?

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    2. How often are drafts the final product?

      1. Trump did imply he is going to issue the order today, so it doesn’t leave much time for revision.

        1. Hyperbole must never have existed prior to him.

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        2. The big statist technocrats who created the concept of “public utility” so they could seize private companies in all but name are to blame here. If you think ATT and the power company can be partially owned by the people, then you dont have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to Facebook et. al.

          Fuck off slavers.

      2. You always defend his unlibertarian acts, Jess. Lol.

        Why hasn’t Trump ended the wars?

    3. I’m amazed. The president takes a clear swing at the principles of our Constitution, private property, free markets, and personal liberty, and a veritable army of blackshirts comes out to mangle any hope of having a reasoned discussion in the comment section. I don’t know if you people are actual libertarians or just a few actual fascists with lots of alternate accounts, but either way, I think it demonstrates only the lows you have sunk to.

      1. Why be amazed, this is exactly what we elected him for, but all those categories like the “principles of the Constitution” should be in quote marks. This “personal liberty” and “free speech” baloney we keep hearing about has gone too far. What’s really needed is strong action by law enforcement and our national leader. Hopefully soon he will go after the outrageous “ironical” material being tweeted out on a daily basis. There’s ample precedent, all we need to do is extend the limitations we already have on illegal “parody” emails to apply to outrageous platforms like Twitter. See the documentation of our great nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

        1. I guess if you are headed in that direction might as well have the GOV shut down SNL and CNN since they are the route of all evil according to Doc Trump.

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      2. Not sure how you or the author are coming to these conclusions. The order seems pretty clear that it’s directed at companies that violate the basic elements of their exemption from being considered a publisher. They are allowed to remove dangerous or lewd content, but anything further brings them into violation of the terms of that agreement. Once they become editors of their content, then they are subject to the same oversight as other media companies.

        As such, I would expect those who are in favor of freedom of speech and transparency to be happy about this move. For those who object to all oversight of all media companies as a general principle, that’s simply a different issue.

        My personal take is that Trump is using the threat of oversight in order to get these companies to stop editing content. That would be the easiest move for them.

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  2. Joe Biden might have just shit his pants on a livestream

      1. had me at Kristy Swanson.

    1. Try to stay on topic, moron. The topic is that Trump is trying to restrict free speech by American citizens.

      1. There’s multiple topics, moron, and if you don’t like the linx, don’t click on them.

      2. This article says bad things about Trump, therefore the Trump-lovers must try to distract from it.

        1. Lester the Molester apparently doesn’t know how to scroll through a thread.

      3. I disagree. Race realist Jared Taylor sued Twitter when they kicked him off the platform. Whatever you think about him and his views, he was always careful to stay within the ToS, and Twitter couldn’t point to a clear violation.

        Twitter filed a motion to dismiss the suit. The judge denied it, saying, “surely if you banned someone just for being black, or a woman, that would be illegal.”

        Twitter’s counsel replied, “Your honor, while we would of course never want to do something like that, it would perfectly within our rights.”

        The appeal court agreed with Twitter. They could ban someone for being black, or a woman, and even Unruh doesn’t apply.

        We need something like Section 230 to have a functional internet. But the kind of blanket immunity from liability social media platforms enjoy, even when they become de facto publishers, needs to end.

        If Twitter wanted to, they could leave an actionable defamatory tweet up (even actively draw attention to it) and then delete every tweet made by the defamed party in response to it, no matter how much evidence they might have to defend themselves, and no one can sue them because they enjoy blanket immunity.

      4. “” The topic is that Trump is trying to restrict free speech by American citizens.””

        Do you think turning Twitter into a public utility is restricting free speech?

        Net neutrality?

      5. No the topic is that Twitter et al are currently shielded from libel laws but with their latest stunt and refusing to apply the same standard to other high profile accounts(they have zero excuse about not having the resources to police Biden’s account similarly or their actions only occurring when something comes to their attention) they are very clearly not protected under 230’s good faith exemption.

  3. 2.1m first-time unemployed + 21m continuing < 40.8m
    Did the missing 17.7m already go back to work? That sounds like great news. Or are they stuck in broken state UI systems that can't count them as continuing because they are unable to send out checks? That sounds horrible.
    Where did the 17.7m go?

    1. They died of the ‘rona.

    2. They double counted people with two jobs

    3. They learned to code?

    4. My wife’s company laid a bunch of people off almost 2 months ago. None of them have gotten any unemployment yet.

      1. That’s horrible. I truly wonder if they are being left out of the continuing unemployment count now. 17.7 million is a pretty big gap. Somebody’s got some splainin to do

      2. In the People’s Republic of NJ, Phailing Phil Murphy has been trying to address the state’s UI system for two months. He has failed miserably. This guy is just a complete waste of space.

        1. I’m in Michigan. It doesn’t appear our governor even gives a shit about such trivial issues.

    Drawing on data from the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies, the Center for Immigration Studies found that foreign-educated immigrants with a college or advanced degree perform poorly in both literacy and computer operations, scoring at the level of Americans with only a high-school diploma. One in six foreign degree holders score “below basic” in numeracy—so much for STEM supremacy. Skill disparities persist even after foreign degree holders have had at least five years in the United States to learn English. Underpaid, overworked, and in over their heads, some foreign workers crack. On September 19, 2019, reportedly after a bad performance review and driven to the edge by the corporate bullwhip, Qin Chen, an H-1B worker, jumped to his death from the fourth story of Facebook’s Menlo Park office in California. The Silicon Valley masters of the universe gazed on Chen’s body, lying 45 miles from where Flanagan ended his life nearly two decades before, and put a bloody finger to their lips.

  5. Local story

    First, the document is oddly constructed. In a normal, legitimate FBI Electronic Communication, or EC, there would be a “To” and a “From” line. The Crossfire Hurricane EC has only a “From” line; it is from a part of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division whose contact is listed as Peter Strzok. The EC was drafted also by Peter Strzok. And, finally, it was approved by Peter Strzok. Essentially, it is a document created by Peter Strzok, approved by Peter Strzok, and sent from Peter Strzok to Peter Strzok.

    1. So, four guys had the same name. Big deal…..

      1. A name with 4 consonants in a row and 1 vowel that can’t be pronounced without clearing your throat. Eastern Euro-trash, making use of his papa’s KGB training to promulgate the deep state in America.

        1. That well known KGB strong hold of Michigan.

          Also it’s a Polish name, not a German one, you’ll have better luck liquored up rather than trying to do the throat clear.

          1. Why are you ruining his fantasy?

            1. I was simply mocking someone I know nothing about with generalizations that may or may not have any relevance. Isn’t that how the kids are doing it these days?

              1. If not, they should be.

              2. I thought they were down with the rumor mill = truth program.
                Or are they past that since the last attempt to remove Trump failed.

              3. Christ, that’s why I come here.

    2. I’m sure tomorrow’s roundup will discuss how bad those draft documents were like was done today for a non finalized EO.

      1. Another incoherent sentence from JesseAz.

      2. Idiot.

    3. I would be straight up fired if I tried to propose, review and authorize a capital expenditure in my company. How Strzock is not currently in prison is a mystery to me.

      1. Mystery? FYTW, mystery solved.

  6. We’re tracking when people think they’ll feel comfortable doing a whole slew of leisure activities, from going to the movies to traveling abroad…

    America: The Land of Shut-Ins.

    1. Are they asking the same people the same questions ?

    2. To lazy to click on the link, but I don’t go to the movies anyway.

      1. Video at home on prime is cheaper than going to the movies. Why go back?

        1. So your talkative spouse can’t pause it every minute to add his own commentary and critique, turning a 90 minute pleasure into a 3 1/2 hour ordeal?

          At least, that’s what I’ve heard from other people…

    1. Gotta survive somehow without federal funds.

    2. There’s no such thing as an “aborted baby.” The technically accurate term is “aborted clump of cells.”


      1. Cops are making the same argument in Minnesota.

    3. The lack of coverage here on the lawsuit in california where this came from is awful.

      1. jUst StArT yOUr oWn PubLicAtioN

      2. Seriously, though, start your own fucking publication.

    4. Try to stay on topic, moron. The topic is that Trump is trying to restrict free speech by American citizens.

      1. There’s multiple topics, moron, and if you don’t like the linx, don’t click on them.

  7. Less than half of tests that show positives for COVID-19 antibodies are correct in some areas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

    That’s “the ventilator is half empty” thinking, not half full.

    1. He actually had the “ Let cops kill again” hat.

    2. It’s the entire gym full of kids at Covington giving the Nazi salute all over again. Who could have possibly seen this coming?

      1. Or the “white guy” who shot that kid in Houston that Talcum X identified, only the shooter turned out to be black.

    3. Hmm, no fact check by Twitter. The person falsely accused should sue them.

      Don’t whine that you cannot police everybody, Dorsey. You are the one who is trying to do so. Nobody made you.

  8. “The president seems to have bypassed the typical interagency review process ”


    LOL ENB, when her ox is gored

    1. Her complaint is thatiterally a draft version of a document hasnt completed all the processes a finalized form has gone through. The process that requires an initial draft document to begin.

      Her logic, or lack thereof, is mesmerizing.

      1. I am impressed in a sort of sick way at the gymnastics her logic is doing. It’s like watching someone making pretzels out of an argument.

      2. She’s as useless as teats on a boar

      3. Journowhores don’t use logic.

    2. Fin is a “libertarian” for DICTATORSHIP!


    A reminder that COVID-19 is NOT like the flu in one important way… if it were:
    – 1000 kids would now be dead
    – 200 infants would be deceased

    As it is – we have fewer than 20 deaths across those brackets.



      Two months ago Team Apocalypse said we needed a million ventilators.
      Six weeks ago we were running out of PPE.
      Four weeks ago we had to wait two weeks.
      Two weeks ago we needed a million tests – a day.
      Now everyone has to wear a mask.

      The joke isn’t funny anymore.

      1. Just got my covid reopening schedule at work for the non essentials… we now have to wear masks until a vaccine is created. It is insane. We went 3 months on site with no mask requirement.

        1. “We went 3 months on site with no mask”


        2. We got our reopening instructions and I promptly emailed all of my staff that they are not required to be in the office at all until we have gone back to normal. If they want to do the Plague Theatre, they are welcome to go in, but I am not interested in working with people forced to deal with masks all day.

    2. 100,000 dead in three months, with non-stupid people wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

      The flu would have killed less than 5,000 under those conditions.

      covid is 20x more lethal, if not 100x.

      1. And at least 40 percent of those deaths, if not higher (because some states aren’t reporting the numbers) are nursing home residents, with “estimated” deaths included in the count–unlike you, at least Colorado was honest enough to ramp their numbers back by taking out the “corona-adjacent” deaths.

        You’re welcome to your claims, considering the flu kills anywhere between 25,000-60,000 a year.

        Considering the New England Journal of Medicine released an article confirming that “the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic” rather than an actual medical benefit, your claims of their efficacy in reducing coof transmission in the population are equally spurious.

      2. Median age of death from COVID is higher than life expectancy at birth for babies born today. It’s 20-25 years older than life expectancy at birth when these people were born.

        As of May 13, 3.96% of all COVID deaths in New York occurred in people under 45. Just 0.82% of all deaths have occurred in people under 45 with no comorbidity.

        In Canada, 80% of all our deaths are linked to long term care facilities.

        Gee, I sure am glad we decided to tank our economy rather than improve infection protocols at those long term care facilities!

  10. One person was killed and several buildings were set on fire in Minneapolis last night following protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

    I was afraid police and the city wouldn’t be able to make themselves look the victim in all of this, but protestors came through for me.

    1. FOE,
      Never change.

    2. Meh. 40 people were shot, 10 dead in Chicago just celebrating Memorial Day.

    3. The city deserves worse. I hope they burn down some fucking starbucks and whole foods too.

    4. To continue my focus on “media narratives”….

      Did you notice all of the coverage of the protesters not wearing masks?

      How about the characterization of them as carrying “propaganda” of some kind?

      Or how about characterizing them as being violent and threatening?

      The main CNN article I read spent 2/3 of the text explaining that these were peaceful protests for justice and “violent acts broke out” later in the article but were minimized…. kinda like “the weapon discharged”.

      I really don’t understand how the media keeps getting a pass on stuff like this. Even when they accidentally happen to be on the right side of an issue, they are just crazy propaganda machines.

      1. “the weapon discharged”.

        As weapons do, often spontaneously and when politically convenient.


    You would not have seen conservatives defending the cops who were involved in that incident, but you would’ve seen conservatives explaining that they don’t represent all cops. Sadly, after the shameful performance during this pandemic, many people are no longer so sure.

    1. At this point can’t we just admit that all cops are bad cops?

      1. I know some good cops, so no. But it’s not just a few, and probably is a majority that are bad.

        1. ^ This. I’ve definitely known some good cops, which sucks for them because I’m also not at all confident that they’re in the majority. It’s a pretty shitty job, actually, if you’re not in it to indulge your sociopathic tendencies.

        2. I once saw something from a criminologist that said 15% of cops are good, 15% are bad, the other 70% depend on which one of those groups their partner belongs.

      2. Remember, there have been many county sheriffs who have said they would not enforce these executive orders.

        It seems to me, just in my experience, that cops in more rural areas tend to act more like actual civil servants, whereas city cops tend to be pretty terrible.

        1. Cops in urbanized areas of the US inherently coarsened by the job. If you’re regularly dealing with violent thugs as part of an institution of people regularly dealing with violent thugs, you will be conditioned to expect that everyone’s a criminal and that violence is necessary and appropriate to retain control of encounters with those criminals. Even a moral paragon under such circumstances is going to be coarsened by the environment.

          Rural environments don’t ingrain such habits, while the smaller community size means stronger social ties. Even an authoritarian asshole is going to soften under such circumstances, because their supervisor is going to learn of inappropriate behavior not exclusively as filed complaints, but also in conversation from the people the supervisor socializes with.

          That’s not to say the cops in each case aren’t morally responsible for their actions, and that we should let blues be blues. But an urban police force in the US will be inherently prone to assuming guilt and using violence, because policing in urban areas in the US trains that response.

          1. If you’re regularly dealing with violent thugs as part of an institution of people regularly dealing with violent thugs, you will be conditioned to expect that everyone’s a criminal and that violence is necessary and appropriate to retain control of encounters with those criminals.

            In the early ’90s I worked security in a fairly scuzzy part of East Oakland, and this was exactly the attitude of the cops in that part of town. One cop told me (a black cop, btw) that everyone in the neighborhood was a criminal and that they really could just pick up people at random and be 100% certain that they belonged in jail. I strongly doubted that that was true, but I understood why it seemed that way to him.

            1. “criminal” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad person”. It just means in violation of some jackass law in most cases. Pot growers were “criminals” back then. Failure to register your car? Criminal. Unregistered handgun? Criminal. it’s all bullshit.

              Actual violent criminals in East Oakland? Very few.

              Take out the “violent crimes” that are between gang members? now you’re left with close to zero.

              1. Yeah – I was going to add a caveat that “given the drug war and various just stupid laws originally conceived to keep black people from working or forming their own businesses, it’s probably technically true that they are all criminals.”

                But if you do the math, even at about 1,700 violent crimes a year, spread out among about 400k people, that’s really not many violent criminals at all (especially if you assume violent criminals commit more than one violent crime apiece).

          2. Good point.

      3. No, most cops are people. Put people in a situation where they are shielded from most consequences and face reprisals for calling out bad behavior and the bad will be very bad while the most of the rest will ignore and excuse the bad behavior.

    2. I hope the flynn fiasco has opened some eyes on the police being on your side. Theyre on their own side, their bitch ass thin blue flair make it pretty obvious. And they’ll follow orders from whoever is guaranteeing them full pension benefits after 10 years of work.

    3. Well, Floyd died in respiratory distress. Chalk it up to COVID.

  12. I see that Trump said/did some crazy shit on Twitter with his left hand. Makes me wonder.. is there something else he’s getting done with his right hand while all of the “journalists” are distracted?

    1. Yes. He knows full well this executive order will get challenged and almost certainly struck down in court. Meanwhile, the hounds will have been off his heels long enough for him to accomplish what’s actually important to him.

      Speaking of which, how is Ruth Bader Ginsburg doing these days?

      1. Sadly the cancer cunt is still alive

        1. Are you sure?


    Sean T at RCP
    Every time I read stuff like this I can’t help but think of the South Park episode where the Broflovski’s buy a Prius and move to San Francisco and everyone captures their farts in glasses and sniffs them because they’ve convinced themselves they smell good. 1/
    Quote Tweet

    Marc Ambinder
    · 9h
    Journalists do have a agenda. The quicker we admit it, the more crisply we can shape it. (Truth, participation, evidence, democracy, science, curiosity, anti-corruption, anti-authoritarian.). That’s our side.

    1. anti-authoritarian.). That’s our side.

      Sure 😉

    2. Notice the original tweet doesn’t show the comment count. Is that another way to defeat getting “ratioed”?

    3. Fuckin’ LOL–I hope Ambinder didn’t tear a rotator cuff from the repeated stress of patting himself on the back.

  14. Autozone and Target are on fire…

    Target’s logo invited it, but what did Autozone do to deserve this?

    1. Dude, they were in the zone.

      1. the danger zone

        1. You leave K-Log out of this!

    2. five employees four customers and still a 20 minute line.

      1. LOL! And that was before the ‘rona.


    “Looters, who declined to be identified by their full names, told the Star Tribune that they didn’t care whether people agreed with their methods. “We have to get their attention somehow”.
    So many buildings were burning that smoke plumes became visible on weather radars

    1. I believe you should not be allowed to loot if you don’t provide your name and an I.D. Call me racist.

      1. “You got a permit for that looting?”

      2. Maybe there should be a loot-by-mail option for those unable to appear in person

        1. Then you’ll just have nonresidents looting where they used to live and many looting in multiple jurisdictions

      3. Because I’m totally tolerant of all…I think expecting dark skinned folks to do much of anything is unfair and racist.

        1. Ya know, now that you mention it, from what I saw on tv last night, it did look like they farmed out a lot of the protesting to white folks.

          Not the looting tho. Haha.

  16. A Maryland county has banned “consumption of food or beverage of any kind before, during, or after religious services, including food or beverage that would typically be consumed as part of a religious service

    Close the transubstantiation loophole.

    1. What if they use contactless delivery?

      1. Is that like throwing popcorn in someone’s mouth from across the room?

    2. This is where Uber Eats comes in handy.

    3. Well, those trans-activists are kind of a pain.

  17. Economic disaster!!!!!’s benefactor Charles Koch is now only the 17th richest person on the planet.

    I’m literally shaking at the idea that he might fall out of the top 20. Someone who’s worked as hard and accomplished as much as he has deserves to be in the top 10 at least. Maybe top 5.

    But that’s what happens when you have a President who literally does the opposite of what billionaires want. Drumpf’s high-tariff / low-immigration policies have effectively stolen over $10 billion from Mr. Koch this year.


  18. And make no mistake: the draft order, when it manages to be coherent, is insanely unconstitutional.

    And I would take the word of the prog they put on the prosty beat at face value because…?

    1. She’s never lied before.

      1. #believeallkarens

  19. The average millennial has experienced slower economic growth since entering the workforce than any other generation in U.S. history…

    Federal minimum wage hikes and college tuition subsidies should take care of that little situation.

    1. I’ve heard they only make $0.77 on the dollar.

      1. It’s $0.56 if you can cherry pick and manipulate the data correctly.

    2. It’s been an argument I’ve had with my dad that he doesn’t seem to get. Paying for college is a lot different then it was back in the day, because dollar for dollar, you got more while paying for less. It doesn’t help that bachelor degrees these days are turning into high school diplomas, and that a lot of jobs that require them don’t actually need degrees. (Sales, police, etc). And those helpful wage hikes and college subsidies are only making it worse. Of course, courses on economics & constitutional government are “extracurricular” more and more often.

      1. An engineering degree still has value.

        However, there has been a frenzy of degree invention that isn’t paying off.

      2. My first semester of undergrad, I paid $1,000 a semester; this was the mid-90s, so I was right in the middle of that transition as college admissions became far more democratized, which resulted in easier admission standards, but rapidly increasing tuition rates. That $1,000 tuition should be $1,716 today–the actual charges are over $4,000, and that’s at a university considered to be “affordable.”

        As you mentioned, undergrad is basically 13th-17th grade now, and even grad programs are starting to get watered down, especially in the humanities as increasingly esoteric fields of study are created. I’d be just fine with seeing the whole enterprise burn to the ground.

        1. Doctorate in Medieval French Lesbian Poetry.

          1. I wish this was just a joke, but I’ve known people who seriously get their PhDs in that kind of obscure bullshit.

      3. I agree with you. I’ve been predicting for 20 years or more that in the foreseeable future you’ll need a $30k 2 year diploma to dish-pig at a truck stop.

        I had a friend who was a grader operator on Vancouver Island. In the summer he essentially built logging roads. In the winter, he cleared them. Did it for 35 years for 3 different multinational logging companies, with not a blot on his record. Safety exam every two years, as mandated, passed with flying colors every time.

        So then he thinks, “Hey, there’s a lot of money to be made in the oil patch in northern Alberta. I’ll apply for a job there.”

        They told him that 1) he’d have to get his high school diploma, and 2) he’d have to sign up for and pass a $60,000 heavy equipment certification course.

        Total joke. He literally pushes a giant blade along a surface to spread gravel or clear snow.

        The kicker? Here in Canada, you don’t need grade 12 math to graduate. But you DO need grade 12 social studies.

    3. Slower emotional growth too.

  20. “read the leaked draft here”

    Would it be asking to much for people wait for an official published order before we all go batshit crazy over it?

    1. People, or the writer?

      1. The writer isn’t a person?

        1. one person is “people”?

          1. “We” the people.

          2. Since when is one person not part of people?

            1. Not all persons are part of the people, but all people are persons.
              This could all be solved with a Venn diagram.

        2. that depends on whether you consider a member of the lizard people a “person”

    2. Thank you.

      People are losing their mind over a “draft” whose origins are …. nobody fucking knows.

    3. I’ve come to trust everything leaked to the press these days.

  21. For anyone who supports the EO, why do you think the same deep state that has done everything else it has in the last couple decades would faithfully enforce it as intended? I mean, why do you think they wouldn’t pervert it somehow to attack opponents of the federal bureaucracy?

    1. ^^This

      If the Left has proven anything, it is their ability to infect institutions with their version of the Truth.

      FISA and the mass surveillance of Americans was created by the GOP during the post 9/11 security ramp. In less than 2 decades, it is already being used by the Democrats to target the fucking president of the US. The EPA has been infected with Climate Change crazies. The SPLC has been turned from Civil Rights to Anti-Conservative watchdog. The ACLU is essentially a pro Left littigant. Universities are leftist strongholds.

      Yeah, YouTube has been infiltrated by these same leftists. But they can Get Woke, Go Broke only if the market is free. As soon as you put some organization in charge of policing them, those infiltrators will move to that governing body and it will be game over. The left will be in charge of determining what is ALLOWED to be published anywhere.

  22. Twitters fact check on trump got it’s own fact check, forcing Dorsey to clarify last night. It has also led to repeated inferences of non fact checked tweets being endorsed by twitter. What a tangled web they’ve woven.

    1. It seems like the fabric of reality is starting to tear. If Twitter’s fact checking can’t determine truth, does truth really exists?

      1. The truth is just software, so no, it does not exist.

        1. Sounds like someone chose the blue pill, man.

    2. If these tranny spergs had just stayed out of the “fact-checking” and “content management” business, and let these communications stand on their own, they’d have avoided printing a big fat bullseye on their back.

      Millions of people have already shown that they’ll delete their own tweets due to regrets or embarrassment; Twitter admins didn’t need to get involved in this stuff at all. They crossed that Rubicon by mass-deleting a bunch of “alt-right” accounts the week after the 2016 election, and now they’re going to reap the whirlwind of their own partisanship.

      No fucks given.

  23. Pew research attempted to poke at red states for not declining in new covid as quickly as blue states. Failed to notice that this was due to blue states having completely mismanaged their initial responses especially in nursing homes. Research shows covid basically hit blue areas.

    1. You weren’t supposed to notice that the STARTING point for red states was still HALF of what the “much improved” blue states are doing NOW after they started off at more than triple the red states.

    2. Grandma got run over by the reign*, dear.

      noun: royal authority; the dominion of a monarch
      noun: the period during which a monarch is sovereign

  24. Wapo urges the USSC to continue turning a blind eye to circuit courts open defying Heller.

    1. Circuit split means it’ll have to be settled

      1. Wapo claimed there were no splits.

        1. That may be the case right now (I’m not sure) but what they are arguing for means it won’t be the case forever.

          1. A) there are splits. The article from wapo hinted at ignoring it. B) splits arent the only way for reviews to happen. Wapo is basically condoning ignoring constitutional abuse by lower courts.

  25. The rioters need to find Mayor Frey and string him up from a lamppost.
    You wanted race riots?
    You got em.
    Great leadership there

    1. Black man gotta lotta problems
      But they don’t mind throwing a brick

      White Riot, by The Clash

  26. The Biden Center at UPenn accidentally forgot to report 70 million in gifts and contributions from China as required by law.

    1. “accidentally”

      1. The Biden Center accidentally sharted too.

  27. Know how I often say that when Democrats criticize “the 1%,” they don’t really mean it? Because Democrats are now objectively the pro-billionaire party? Here’s more evidence of that.

    Tech billionaires are plotting sweeping, secret plans to boost Joe Biden


  28. “Should social media companies be getting into the fact-checking game? It’s a bad idea, if you ask me. But it’s a perfectly legal thing for them to do.”

    Who is claiming it is illegal?

    1. Oddly it took almost a full day for Twitter to add their misinformation label to the Ice Cube tweet. It took them 2 months to label chinese propaganda.

      The issue shouldnt be settled worh more regulation, twitter should simply lose their extra legal protections. The ones that have been used to dismiss contractual issues such as in Megan Murphys lawsuit. 230 was stretched to encompass more than civil liability for defamation and slander, mostly by bay area courts.

      Twitter should lose the protections they enjoy that other entities like NRO do not, see Mann vs NRO.

      Nunes lawsuit based on negligence for unequal policy enforcement is also still working its way through.

    2. LOL. You can always count on JesseAz to gaslight for Trump.

      1. Looks like Jesse took over lc1789’s rental space in your head.

        1. That is one weak-ass rejoinder. If we use the same lame-ass meme, ENB, Schiff, Hillary Clinton, and Obama are taking up space rent free in many Trump fans’ heads.

  29. Great.

    Now all we need is a Democrat who loves free speech to go on the attack.

    1. Good luck finding one.

    1. I’ll never understand that.

    2. Some people are known to be lazy.

    3. These alt-right radicals are out of control. The rhetoric of the far-right radio and podcast hosts is leading to violence against innocents in our streets.
      I haven’t watched CNN lately, but I do remember them warning me that this was going to happen. This is what they were talking about right?

        1. Thanks for that. It was…..enlightening?

          This is a real excerpt:
          It is not some unfortunate anomaly towards which we should cast “thoughts and prayers.” Floyd’s slaughter is the natural and intended consequence of the Republican Party choosing to rally around a sense of exalted white grievance and victimization. Because that victimization is always weaponized and turned against people of color.

          And this:
          But in a larger sense, Trump’s statement is true. There are people, such as the president and his core supporters, for whom white supremacy acts as a kind of overpowering dream, one with the force to undo reality. It grants them permanent immunity from moral oversight, and silences the biddings of their consciences.

          The best part is when you get to the end and see who wrote it. Spoiler alert, he’s white! Can we ask him why he’s not being a good ally and letting someone with the lived experience write this article. Sounds like someone might have missed a spot when they were checking for their privilege.

          They should come by our comments board more often. We will happily call that a state-sanctioned execution no matter the color of their skin. Equality!


            Trump wants fewer immigrants from “shithole countries” and more from places like Norway
            He reportedly made the racist remarks during a meeting Thursday.

            Trump gets his blue-eyed and blonde-haired hookers and serial model “trophy wives” from Aryan nations… Dark-skinned folks need not apply! But Trump’s not racist! No Sir-ee!!!

  30. Trump should just declare government control of Twitter to be in the public interest and eminent domain the thing. I’ve heard Trump is a big fan of eminent domain.

    1. Something something net neutrality and title 2.

    2. Just ask Vera Coking.

  31. “And make no mistake: the draft order, when it manages to be coherent, is insanely unconstitutional.” Oh, no! Insanely unconstitutional? When did the federal government start doing that kind of thing? Up until now they’ve been really good about sticking to the enumerated powers. We’d better get on this funny business ASAP before it gets out of hand, or before you know it the country won’t resemble the one envisioned by its founders.

    1. Thank god someone has the foresight to get out in front of this problem. Thank you for your service!

    1. That’s Zuckerberg understanding that with their actions Twitter has fully removed the fig leaf of automation and good faith which will fuck things over for his platform in the long run.


    Democratic governors keep breaking their own lock down rules.

    This is to be expected. Part of the attraction of modern leftism is the privilege it confers on it’s adherents. A lot of people call leftists hypocrites for this kind of stuff. I think that is an insult to hypocrites. Leftists are worse. A hypocrite knows what he is doing is wrong and does it anyway out of a moral failing. Leftists don’t see them breaking their own rules as being wrong. They see it as a privilege of being part of the right side of history. You need to stop traveling and flying to save the world from global warming. I can take private jets whenever I travel because I am part of a special elite that is saving people like you through my leftist politics.

    Strictly speaking this sort of thinking is not hypocritical because it doesn’t see the action as something that is wrong or counter to their principles. It sees their actions as something their principles entitle them to.

    That is why these lockdowns are going to be hard to end. This is a fantasy world for leftist politicians and elites. You will be arriving five hours before your flight, telling the police everyone you have spoken to in the last three weeks, having your temperature checked, wearing a mask at all times and be subject to ticketing and or arrest for coming within six feet of anyone not designated as your “family “, and wearing a mask at all times for your own good. They will take private planes and do none of that because they are special. Nothing is more addictive than privilege

    1. John, you can’t let some insignificant law get in the way of progressives Doing Good. 1A, 2A, laws about classified emails, etc, all are just inferiors getting in the way of Our Betters. Earth can handle a tiny minority consuming what they want.

      They don’t even like the milk and apples.

      1. The entire ideology is based on envy and bile.

        1. They represent the 99% whether the 99% like it or not. They will never get 99% support (nobody will, nobody can). The 99% are too stupid and selfish to decide who represents them. The left decides who represents them. The left is therefore not too stupid and/or selfish to make that decision. Obvious conclusion, anyone on the left is smarter and more moral than 99% of the human race. They are the top 1% morally and intellectually. (That also makes 99% of the human race a bunch of interchangeable drones, which dehumanizes all of them).

          They are the “listen to the experts” crowd. They also chime in on every issue. Obvious conclusion, they are experts on all topics.

          Venezuela isn’t socialism, its dictatorship. Socialism is defined as successful (Venezuela was socialist until it went to hell). Obvious conclusion, if you put the moral and intellectual top 1% in charge, the people who are experts on all topics, then of course that can only succeed. Failure just proves those other people really weren’t top 1% experts – you can’t hold those that are the top 1% responsible for the failures of those that aren’t.

          Not only can they not fail, but all opposition is illegitimate. You are too stupid and selfish to have a legitimate say. Everything (healthcare, education, etc) is phrased in terms of fundamental human rights, so all opposition is denying fundamental human rights, thus illegitimate. Legitimate government represents the people. They and only they represent the people, the 99%, thus anyone else is illegitimate.

          Only they are legitimate. They cannot fail by definition. Their moral superiority isn’t just the only protection you need; it is the only protection you are allowed. Any other protection is an illegitimate saying ‘no’ to the left.

        2. I thought it was just from a severe misreading of who the antagonists were in Animal Farm.

        3. And guilt and grievance. And exploiting it, using it to divide people.

    2. It is good to be a member of the nomenklatura.

  33. I remember, just last week, when it was the Democrats who wanted to erase section 230. Now it’s the Republicans.

    Yes, the SAME PARTY that tells everyone to read the plain words of the Second Amendment, that it means what it says, are twisting things around so much that it makes an Eagle Scout Knotmaster blush.

    If Trump does nto like Twitter, then here is what Trump can do: Not use Twitter. It’s simple really.

    1. The Republicans have been wanting to get rid of 230 for a long time. I am unaware of any Democrats wanting to get rid of it.

      1. No, the Ds want Twitter to retain its immunity while it does their bidding.
        Leftist politicians instruct social media companies to censor for them?
        Totes cool with Reason

      2. Here’s a Reason on article explains both the Democrat and Republican desire for regulation:

        You commented on this article …. so I’m not sure what you claim you are unaware of the situation.

        1. I mean seriously. The Democrats have been trying to drown 230 for a long time, accelerated when the Russian Bot conspiracy arose to explain how Hillary lost. Whenever some Dem started arguing that 230 needed to go, there was some Rep arguing it needed to stay. Perhaps not out of principle, just being contrarian, but at least there was some modicum of respect for 230 on the right side of the aisle.

          Now suddenly with this tweet the entire right side of the spectrum pivots and wants to erase speech they don’t like from the internet. Fuck off.

          1. I have a totally different perception of that. My memory is that the Democrats love 230 and the Republicans hate it. Show me a link of the Democrats wanting to get rid of 230. I am not trying to be a jerk here, I just don’t remember it that way.

    2. It would be the easiest way to do real damage to Twitter.

      1. It wouldn’t necessarily do them damage. Any revision of 230 would leave them an out whereby they would get immunity in return for operating like a real common carrier in return for that treatment.

        Twitter is more like the phone company than anything else. If phone companies started refusing service to people because they didn’t like the content of their phone calls, people would have a stroke. But, all of the “meh principles” “start your own phone company” arguments would apply equally as well to a cell phone company as it does to Twitter.

        IF I plan a bank robbery using my cell phone, we don’t hold Verizon responsible as an accessory. But, Verizon also can’t cancel my service because they don’t like my politics. Twitter wants the protection from liability but the freedom to do things no other common carrier can do.

        1. Twitter is nothing like a phone company at all. Your phone company (or internet provider) connects you to a public network. Twitter is a proprietary platform using proprietary technology and a proprietary product design.

          If there were companies you had to go through to connect you to the twitter platform, those would be like the phone company.

          You suck at making tech analogies.

          1. Cell phones connect to cell towers that were built by the companies you half wit. They are only public because they use the public radio spectrum which is regulated.

            If anything, the internet is actually more public than cell phones. The internet travels over fiber optic cables that were built on top of and in some cases within the old phone network which was entirely public when it was built.

            So, there is absolutely no meaningful difference between Twitter and the phone company. They are both common carriers of communications.

            1. I’m not talking about the physical infrastructure you dumbass. This conversation is clearly over your level of understanding.

              1. So you are talking about the “public network” that exists in the ether, then?

                1. The Internet has nothing to do with physical infrastructure. The Internet is an interconnected network of networks that all use the TCP/IP stack. Parts of the network can use whatever physical infrastructure they want. The network layer does not care.

                  1. Oh god seriously stop digging please

                  2. How do you think phone networks work?

                  3. //The Internet has nothing to do with physical infrastructure.//

                    //Parts of the network can use whatever physical infrastructure they want.//

                    You can’t be serious.

                    1. I am serious. The internet is software and does not depend upon any specific hardware implementation. That is the entire point of it.

                    2. //I am serious. The internet is software and does not depend upon any specific hardware implementation. That is the entire point of it.//

                      I know you are serious — that’s the disturbing part.

                    3. He is serious. Learn about how the Internet works. It does NOT require governments or government mandated monopolies. It doesn’t care if it goes over wifi or fibre or copper wire or carrier pigeons. Doesn’t care if it’s phone lines or cellular towers or peer-to-peer wifi routers.

                  4. A network of networks?

                    Good God, It’s networks all the way down!

                    1. No, there is a turtle in there somewhere. It’s why my damn connection is so slow.

                  5. You do realize that the same is true of modern phone networks right?

              2. Yeesh, stop digging

            2. Except for your (as is typical, shitty) analogy to work, Twitter would have had to actually shut down, remove or otherwise prevent Trump’s tweet. Which they did and have and will not.

          2. //Your phone company (or internet provider) connects you to a public network.//

            I guess all those privately owned fiber optic lines and cell towers are actually public property ….

            1. Usage of those privately owned lines are what you pay the ISP or phone company for. Twitter does not provide you access to any physical infrastructure. It is software. That is why they are fundamentally different. Do you understand now?

              1. So… twitter doesnt have a physical server…


                  1. I’m sorry you don’t understand. Rage typing in all caps won’t help.

                    1. IT’S SOFTWARE I’M SUPER CEREAL !!!!!111ELEVENTY111

                    2. He didn’t type in all caps. It’s software and doesn’t really exist.

              2. We understand that you keep desperately struggling tocfind an argument that isn’t retarded and keep making a fool of yourself.

              3. Do you think software is some kind of magic that just exists in the air?

                1. lol what do you think it is? It is information, which doesn’t physically exist. So sure, you can call it magic that exists in the air.

                  1. //It is information, which doesn’t physically exist.//

                    I guess I don’t need a computer then. Does Twitter has an ESP division?

                    1. Do you really need me to explain what the words software and hardware mean?

                    2. Sure. I would love to hear you explain how software exists entirely without hardware, in the ether.

                    3. You don’t even know what analogy means lol

                    4. I can create software with a pencil and piece of paper. By the way, you have taken us down this pedantic rabbit hole, not me.

                    5. “I can create software with a pencil and piece of paper.”

                      So you DO need hardware.

                      Glad you realized you were wrong.

                    6. Touche

                  2. This is how magical information is generated and stored.


                  3. You sir, are stupid.

                2. Isn’t that what makes it “soft”?

          3. Not sure you are too great at it either. Once upon a time, Bell invented the phone, owned the lines, and paid operators to connect you to the party on the other end of the call. And then things changed due to regulations.

            If there were companies you had to go through to connect you to the twitter platform, those would be like the phone company.

            Do you connect to Twitter by magic?

            1. You are right that was a horribly tortured analogy. Because they are fundamentally different and there is no real anology to be made.

              1. Or, you’re just a moron.

                1. Please, tell me how a phone company that sells you access to their physical infrastructure is exactly the same as a company that publishes software.

                  1. Please tell me where I made that claim moron.

                    1. When you called me a moron for saying that a company that sells access to their physical infrastructure is different than a company that publishes software

                    2. So now you’ve decided to lie because you know I never claimed anything was exactly the same.

                      How fucking sad, you lose and then have to lie to save face.

                    3. I might have gotten you confused with one of the other dummies inexplicably arguing about basic software concepts with a software engineer

                    4. Or, you lied and I caught you.

                    5. “a software engineer”


                      I love you trying to argument from authority your way out of this

                    6. //with a software engineer//

                      Who the fuck do you think you’re kidding?

                    7. Meh. I argued with John that a company that sells access to their physical network infrastructure is not comparable to a company that makes software, from a regulatory perspective. I will stand by that.

                    8. “Who the fuck do you think you’re kidding?”

                      To a guy who didn’t know what software means and is frantically looking up networking 101 on wikipedia, we may seem like a mythical unicorn I suppose. But there are a lot of us and it’s not something anyone needs to lie about.

                    9. If you genuinely believe software just “exists” somewhere “out there” without any connection to hardware, there is absolutely no way you are a software engineer of any kind.

                    10. I was trying to explain to you that the internet, by its fundamental design, is decoupled from any hardware concerns. In your confused state you seem to have interpreted that as meaning software doesn’t exist…or something. Maybe stick to medicine?

                    11. I understand what you were trying to explain … and what you were trying to explain is complete nonsense. The internet depends on hardware, fiber optics, and countless networks, servers, and routers around the world. Without those physical pieces of hardware, there is no internet, there is no software, there is no Twitter.

                    12. No, you don’t understand. But I wouldn’t expect you to, any more than I understand whatever shit you do for a living. And this argument is about 5 tangents away from the original argument, which was that its asinine to compare an ISP to a software company.

                    13. //No, you don’t understand//

                      No …. **you** clearly don’t understand. The internet is not magic. Pretending to be a software engineer doesn’t make your delusions true.

                    14. This is too good.

                      “…the internet, by its fundamental design, is decoupled from any hardware concerns”

                      What part of this is implying any sort of magic?

                    15. The magic of the internet existing, on its own, without hardware.

                    16. In all fairness to Mag, my CSC degree didn’t require computer engineering courses, either.

                    17. “The magic of the internet existing, on its own, without hardware.”

                      That sentence does not mean that the internet exists without hardware.

                    18. It only required one

                    19. Magnitogorsk
                      May.28.2020 at 11:38 am

                      The Internet has nothing to do with physical infrastructure. The Internet is an interconnected network of networks that all use the TCP/IP stack. Parts of the network can use whatever physical infrastructure they want. The network layer does not care.


                      Okay. Genius.

                    20. The internet was specifically designed to not require any specific underlying hardware architecture or design. That is a fact. It originated out of research to create a totally decentralized network that eliminates the brittleness and single points of failure that originate from trying to micromanage the underlying hardware (among lots of other motivations of course). That does not mean it doesn’t run on hardware. You are just being a pedantic douche, and have dragged me into your pedantic douchery.

                    21. //That does not mean it doesn’t run on hardware. You are just being a pedantic douche, and have dragged me into your pedantic douchery.//

                      Now that you have admitted, after a whole lot of arm twisting, that the internet runs on hardware, and that platforms like Twitter operate their own servers and facilities — and, in doing so, grant people the right to use their digital platform, which they created — comparing Twitter to a phone company is not so crazy. There are a lot of physical nuts and bolts required to do what Twitter does.

                      In fact, it is an eminently sensible comparison. Twitter is not just some software program, floating in the internet. It is a megalith of hardware, joined together in a very complicated network, to create the digital platform you take for granted.


                      That was the entire point. Twitter is not just a simple piece of software. The logistics required to allow Twitter to function for even one hour are beyond the comprehension of most people.

                    22. “and, in doing so, grant people the right to use their digital platform, which they created ”

                      Good job, you’ve finally circled back to the actual argument. That is exactly correct, that is exactly what they do. But that is NOT what an ISP does. You know, exactly what I stated in my original post before you derailed us into philosophical discussions of what software is.

                      And yes, I know in your flawed understanding of things they seem like they are the same thing. You don’t need to tell me that for the 100th time.

                    23. //Please, tell me how a phone company that sells you access to their physical infrastructure is exactly the same as a company that publishes software.//

                      This was your argument. Not the bullshit you’ve now shifted to about ISP’s.

                      In any event:

                      1. Twitter doesn’t publish software, but permits access to a platform it hosts on its physical servers. (You have conceded this)

                      2. So do ISP’s.

                      As such, Twitter functions very much like a common carrier.

                    24. Twitter’s product is software. Verizon’s product is the physical lines to connect you to the internet, and the service of coming to your house and hooking it up. Twitter’s software product is one of 1 million things I can access using the Internet. Verizon is how I access the Internet itself. These are very different things. I can’t believe I’m still trying to explain this to you.

                      My product uses a variety of AWS services and some in house deployments like Vault and stuff. That does not mean we sell access to a hardware platform. We sell software. Only a stubborn idiot trying desperately to win a pointless Internet argument would suggest otherwise.

                    25. //Twitter’s product is software. Verizon’s product is the physical lines to connect you to the internet, and the service of coming to your house and hooking it up.//

                      Shit. I just went to Verizon’s website. And sent a text message, on some weird platform where I can blast words at people hundreds of miles away. Sounds familiar.

                      Keep digging, moron.

                    26. Oh. my. GOD.

                      Verizon offers software!


                      And here I thought, like the rube that I am, that they are were selling me access to their physical lines … so I can walk over, and stare at them.

                    27. Damn dude, just give it up. You didn’t know what you were talking about. Life will go on.

                    28. You literally just linked to a list of bloatware that only tech-illiterate dinosaurs like you install. LMAO.

                  2. exactly the same

                    Learn to pronounce
                    See definitions in:
                    a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
                    “an analogy between the workings of nature and those of human societies”
                    a correspondence or partial similarity.
                    “the syndrome is called deep dysgraphia because of its analogy to deep dyslexia”
                    a thing which is comparable to something else in significant respects

                    As you can see, an anlogy does not require anything to be “exactly the same” so asking for such a thing is silly

                  3. So Twitter publishes Software that I can install and use however I like, much like Microsoft Word? Or\creedthoughts

                    1. Ready to have your mind blown? This comment section is software! And no, you can’t install it on your computer.

          4. Wow. What an utter fail.

          5. “Twitter is nothing like a phone company at all. Your phone company (or internet provider) connects you to a public network.”

            You think the government produced the cell networks, not the individual cell carrier? Explains Verizon spending a few billion per year on their network. And why the feds aren’t putting money in the coffer as cell providers are laying out 5G networks.

            Explains why prepaid services have to LEASE access on cell carrier’s towers.

          6. This may be the worst example or analogy in the history of examples and or analogies. People connect to twitter via their ISP, over Al Gore’s internet, you buffoon

            1. ISP stands for “Internet Service Provider”, the same thing as “internet provider”. You are learning a lot today NashTiger.

              1. How do they manage to connect all those wires to the ether?

        2. No, I meant Trump leaving Twitter would damage them. Probably generates half of their traffic.

        3. Twitter is NOT a common carrier! Just because your lord and savior, Trump, is unable to do anything without it does nto mean the rest of us are beholden to it. Twitter is just another social media site. That is all.

          Twitter does NOT meet the definition of a common carrier under either the law, or the FCC interpretation of the law. In fact, it was TRUMP’S FCC that got rid of common carrier status for internet providers! That’s right, Trump’s appointee, Ajit Pai, got rid of net neutrality. And not Trump wants to bring it all back because he’s in a snit. Petty.

          1. They are not a common carrier under the technical legal definition. But they function just like one. Legal definition can be changed to better reflect reality.

            1. Cool story bro. Now make an analogy that’s actually applicable in the case that spawned this “discussion.” You know, like maybe a situation where Twitter had actually for example shut down his account, or deleted the Tweet, or changed it, or, you know, like, actually censored, or as he likes to put it (on the still-viewable Tweet) “completely silenced” his “conservative voice” (which he used to complain about mail-in voting which he himself uses.

              1. Twitter has done that to thousands of people. That was true long before this. So, it doesn’t matter what they did or did not do to Trump.

                My God you are fucking stupid.

                1. As you like to say “links or it didn’t happen.”

                  Furthermore, am I supposed to believe that this is true yet it is just a pure coincidence that the only times you seem to pipe up about it are when Trump is being (not actually in any way but OK) “completely silenced” as he claims? Or when you wanted to prattle on about the (not actually true at all) “censorship” of PragerU? Where were your crusader pants then, John?

                  1. Laura Loomer?

    3. As we can see, Twitter is fully capable of destroying itself without the government’s help

      1. And you would know about destroying yourself too Mr. ITS EXACTLY THE SAME AND SOFTWARE!!!!$


    4. The Congressional Democrats have been unsubtly threatening the social media companies for their relative lack of censorship in favor of the Left’s narratives. Twitter’s current policy almost certainly flows from these threats. We have the odd occurrence of social media being bullied into censoring the Democrat’s opponent while Trump is proposing legally dubious executive orders in order to get his opinions out without editorial comment.

  34. This is a bad joke. To put out something like this EO and disingenuously wrap it in the rhetoric of “public health” is obscene.

    Something that could be written about every Governor that shut locked down healthy people in their state? Why do so many people only bitch that authoritarian edicts are unconstitutional when they don’t support the cause. Yes, what Trump has written is stupid, petty, and unconstitutional. But FFS, it doesn’t tank the economy and set the police on people just trying to live their lives without interference from the nanny state. Get some perspective, assholes.

    1. It is a stupid EO, but in the grand scheme of things EO’s have been used for it seems kinda minor. At least he’s not murder droning a wedding.

      1. Executive Orders of the Obama Administration, courtesy of SNL.

    2. “what Trump has written is stupid, petty, and unconstitutional. ”
      If he keeps up this trifecta of alienating voters who aren’t his red meat base, then Trump may be looking at Goldwater ’64 results.
      For FSM sake, do we really want the next president to be Michelle or Elizabeth??

  35. Twitter is a publisher you dumb cunt. They get no protection now.

    1. Please don’t throw your pearls in the pigsty.

  36. Trump’s order on Twitter is terrible, but if you don’t do a better job of crying wolf, no one will bother to come running.

    Am I to understand that Twitter and The Washington Post are using partisans as fact-checkers on questions of whether to label the president’s tweets as lies or unsubstantiated?!

    Go look at the front page of The Washington Post right now. The headline reads, “100,0000 DEATHS”, and the ALL-CAPS are theirs. Guess who’s to blame for those deaths? I’ll give you a hint: “A numbers-obsessed Trump is uncharacteristically quiet on this bleak milestone”.

    I’m as principled about distinguishing between the public and private sphere as any libertarian here, and President Trump is absolutely wrong on this executive order.

    However, if you want to make the case for defending the private sphere from the government to average people, you could hardly find a worse poster child than The Washington Post fact-fact checking the president along with Twitter in an election year.

    Does the press really still have no clue as to why President Trump continues to target them in an election year?! I’ll give them a hint: it’s not because the news media is popular. In fact, I can’t think of a more unpopular institution in the American mainstream. If you wanted to find a group of people more unpopular with average Americans than journalists, you might have to go so far down the list as neo-nazis or anti-fa. Central American street gangs may be more popular than the press!

    If the distinction between the public and private sphere depends on the average person’s opinion of the news media right now, then free speech in this country is doomed. And if President Trump takes advantage of the average American’s deep hostility to the news media and treats their free press rights like his campaign whipping boy, then there’s more than enough blame to go around for that. For instance, it isn’t President Trump’s fault that the news media has run their reputation into the ground with average people in the way they cover him.

    If your atrocious behavior goes on for so long that abusing freedom of the press moves into the Overton window as a legitimate policy objective–worthy of discussion among average people in polite society–then there’s an easy way to avoid that. Don’t let your atrocious behavior go on so long that abusing the press moves into the Overton window.

    When unions and the government moved in to regulate capitalism and working conditions under the Roosevelts, libertarian capitalists have traditionally blamed both bad management and the courts for that–for failing to protect the legitimate rights of workers. If the government moves in to regulate the press, then a hundred years from now, libertarian capitalists will look back and correctly blame both the bad actors in government and mismanagement by the media of their own news organizations. It never should have come to this.

    1. When the NYT and WaPo came out against the second amendment, they lost my sympathy. Want protection from tyranny? Better be willing to fight for it, assholes.

      1. Even convicted child murderers have an Eighth Amendment right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishments, but even I start to think, after a while, that the defendant could have avoided being subjected to cruel and unusual punishments if he’d, you know, refrained from murdering children. If you’re subjected to a cruel and unusual punishment because you murdered a child, that’s wrong, but it isn’t the government’s fault that you murdered a child.

        That’s the way I feel about the press right now. Violating their constitutional rights is wrong, but for goodness’ sake, don’t expect us to feel sorry for them. They’ve been practically begging to have their rights violated! The press certainly hasn’t shown any hint that they’re capable for controlling themselves. Their misbehavior is never ending, and they show no signs of shame.

        Yesterday, I linked to an opinion piece by a progressive insider who was also the former head of CBS News, in which he was begging the news media to stop their misbehavior because it was likely to end up with something like this. He pointed out that they can’t stop being hideously biased against the president because their audiences now only tune in because of the hideous bias–so he suggested they stop pretending to be unbiased. Regardless, it’s clear that somebody stole the handle, and they can’t or won’t stop this train wreck from happening.

        If obnoxious misbehavior by the press is wrong, they don’t want to be right.

        1. I think you’re absolutely on the right side of this issue. Unfortunately the entire press just has their eyes so completely filled with white hot righteous fury, that they seem beyond incapable of the sort of reflection that could prevent this. At this point they might as well be strapping dynamite to their chests and running straight at secret service agents. If they get their way and Biden’s cadaver gets propped up in the oval office, they will think they’ve been completely vindicated and all their dreams of the worker’s paradise can finally be realized. If they lose they’re just going to quintuple down on righteous indignation and doing and saying literally anything that will stop the clingers from turning the momentum their way.

          At this point I don’t see a way for them to turn the ship around. They completely pulled of the steering wheel and rammed the rudders against the rocks. Hating him (even if for some of them it’s just rhetorical) has literally become the most important part of their identity.

          I think Trump is an embarrassment, but they a bunch of educated professionals who are 4 years straight into a public temper tantrum. They can’t just stop now, stand up and wipe themselves off and pretend like they’re serious adults again.

        2. You know, you almost had me. Then I remembered that you confuse literally reporting what the President himself voluntarily puts out there on Twitter(which exposes his utter stupidity) with “attacking” him. He Tweets (voluntarily) stupid shit. People report on it. You (and he) call that attacking. He and his lovers then claim the victim role they so desperately wish for. The cycle continues.

          This is similar to John’s twisted logic that “freddom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences” but reliably crying every time the “consequences for putting out dumb Tweets and/or lies is to have people call you out on it or complain, which then feeds the victim cycle.

    2. “”The Washington Post fact-fact checking the president along with Twitter in an election year. “”

      In all fairness it’s hard to fact check things like lying dog face pony soldier

  37. I’ve seen 3 year olds with better self control than this president. What an embarrassment.

    1. He’s right about you guys though.

    2. I’ve seen 3 year olds with better self control

      You spend a lot of time watching 3 year olds, pervert?

      1. Filed under “pieces of shit for breakfast.”

  38. the death of journalism can be tied to twitter and the roundup is constantly riddled with tweets.

  39. “Plus: the weird new battle lines on warrantless surveillance”

    I wonder if anything interesting along these lines has happened in the last 4 years? Let’s say starting around 2016/2017

    1. Yeah, if the abuse of the FISA courts by the FBI isn’t the main reason why President Trump has come out so forcefully against FISA courts, I don’t what the explanation could possibly be.

      Exhibit 1:

      “In a statement, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the vote, which had been postponed late Wednesday, was being pulled entirely amid widespread Republican opposition. Some progressive Democrats, frustrated that more privacy amendments wouldn’t be included, had also expressed a lack of support.

      “The two-thirds of the Republican party that voted for this bill in March have indicated they are going to vote against it now,” Mr. Hoyer said. “I am told they are doing so at the request of the President. I believe this to be against the security interest of the United States and the safety of the American people.”

      If you told me in 2015 that our next president would make a deal with the Taliban to get us out of Afghanistan, repeatedly fight to slash spending on Medicaid, a socialist entitlement policy, and was dead set against renewing the bill that authorized FISA courts to perpetrate surveillance on American citizens, I’d have thought this was just libertarian pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. Yeah, sure, we’ll get all that stuff–and maybe he’ll be better on recreational cannabis and deregulate ObamaCare out of existence, too! “Whose ass is that unicorn about to fly out of?”, I’d have said.

      1. The mental hoops REASON must jump through to not connect the dots.

        1. They decided to ignore those dots long ago.

          Every “journalist” is always writing for their next job. They’ll never get that job if they don’t stick to the Party’s narrative.

  40. Government Regulation! Ohhhh sooo much winning!

  41. but the legally significant issue is whether Twitter is the speaker or creator of Donald Trump’s tweets. If not, it is not legally liable for them.

    That’s your opinion, not fact. And it doesn’t follow logically either. If Twitter receives 1 billion tweets and manipulates the display that only 1 million confirming to its own views are visible to many people, it is equivalent to Twitter expressing its own views.

    In any case, it’s irrelevant. There is no libertarian or liberal justification for why Twitter shouldn’t be liable for everything it publishes, just like other publishers. Let’s get rid of Section 230, it was pure regulatory capture.

    1. The point is that twitter is the ‘speaker’ of the alleged so-called possible fact check.

      1. By analogy, you would then have to conclude that cell phone companies should be free to interrupt your phone calls with their politician advertising.

    2. This. They are either the NY Times or Verizon. They can’t be either/or based on what is best for them in any given set of circumstances.

      1. It’s like someone eating a cake while continuing to have it. (Unless it’s a software cake, see argument above).

        1. Wouldn’t that be the recipe/ instructions on the side of the box

    3. Nah. If you post something illegal here, Reason should not be held accountable.

      1. They should, if they start removing all posts they don’t like, but conspicuously leave an “illegal”one up

        1. Yes if you knowingly leave illegal content up you should be and currently are held liable.

    4. The libertarian case is that I’m responsible for my actions. You’re responsible for your actions. Neither of us are responsible for anyone else’s actions.

      1. Twitter and Facebook are not functioning like private companies.

    5. That protection from liability is what keeps ISPs, email providers and online venues such as Twitter from doing far MORE censoring of content transmitted.

      If your ISP or Twitter could be held liable for anything you say, they’d do far more than they already do to track and control what you say.

      1. ISP’s don’t alter or annotate content. Twitter does. That’s why Twitter is not behaving like an ISP and that’s why Twitter should be held liable for any content they publish.

        1. Twitter is held liable for content they publish. They are not held liable for content you or I publish. I’d love to hear the principled libertarian stance on why Twitter should be responsible for things that I say.

          1. “I’d love to hear the principled libertarian stance on why Twitter should be responsible for things that I say.”

            You say it, they distribute it. That makes them a publisher. That you do not understand the meaning of that term is your fundamental problem. Not anything to do with libertarianism

            1. Distributing it makes them a distributor you dumbass lmao

  42. Man how far can Howard County fall. Beginning of this year they rammed through a school busing redistricting proposal, illegally subverting open meeting laws. And now no Eucharist. Glad I moved further west out of there but damn I’m worried it wasn’t far enough.

    1. If you’re still in Maryland you didn’t go far enough west.

      1. Yeah but the commute would be a bitch. Have too many ties here to just flee. Holding out hope that peek derp is just around the corner. For example the entire HC regime will be voted out after this. People were already pissed.

        1. Abandon all hope, we will never reach peak derp

    2. Not just no Eucharist — if you read the provision literally, no fellowship hour or potluck dinner afterward either.

      1. First they came for the 3-bean casserole, and I said nothing, because I don’t like 3-bean casserole……

        1. How about the donuts?

          1. Health dept took those.

      2. Yes but the Eucharist is the most important part of Catholicism. Kind of the entire point, Jesus dying for our sins and granting everlasting life. You take away the sacrament of the Eucharist and that’s a guarantee to piss off 100% of Catholics and I’d wager same goes for other denominations even if they don’t believe in the transubstantiation.

        1. The Lutheran doctrine of consubstantiation holds that the bread are wine are truly transformed into the body and blood of Christ, even as they retain the “elements” of bread and wine. They will be assuredly just as offended as Catholics, despite the fact that Romans 13 is one of the favorite passages for Lutheran pastors to expound upon.

        2. Yup, transubstantiationalist or symbolismist, Eucharist is the only rite that all the sects of Christianity practice, as well as the single most important one.

          As it’s the only unifying practice, this is essentially banning Christianity itself.

          1. Christianity is just software and does not require a physical network.

            *This might be in the wrong thread.

      3. Taking away the Eucharist is one thing, but taking away Friday Night Fish Fry is going to cause riots.

  43. Bad EO. Not cool. But are we still cool with not allowing Trump to block anyone on Twitter?

    1. That’s different cuz reasons.

  44. All Trump is planning is some common sense speech control, clearly patterned after the constitutional infringements on the second amendment.

    1. This is cleverer than you’ll get credit for.

      1. He’d have my upvote, if Reason ever got off its ass and gave us a commenting system that had evolved past the Cretaceous.

        1. My TRex arms are too short to reach the arrow. Icons

  45. But maybe the order having teeth isn’t the point here. Trump’s mandate might not hold up in court, but just by issuing it, Trump sends a not-so-subtle threat to Twitter, Facebook, and other internet companies.

    Congratulations, you have now spent more time thinking about Trump’s Executive Order than Trump himself has spent thinking about it. Sad to think that once Trump is gone, half the “journalists” in the country will have nothing to write about.

    1. The next Republican presidential candidate will not be as bad as Trump, but he’ll still be as bad as Hitler.

  46. It’s a bad idea, if you ask me. But it’s a perfectly legal thing for them to do.”

    Pretend libertarians seem to (deliberately?) misunderstand that libertarian beliefs aren’t just about interactions with government. Whether it is illegal or not is irrelevant, it’s whether it’s morally right or not. Should one person censor or interfere with another’s speech.

    Libertarianism doesn’t start or end with your fucking constitution.

  47. On the one hand, the rebel in me says, “Fuck the police. Maybe next time they’ll think twice.” It’s hard not to laugh seeing them look like scared little pussies lined up across the road in their riot gear. On the other hand, there’s surer way to make the cops look like victims than to trash their station and go on a looting spree. Any public sympathy and good will you might have gained evaporates instantly. Not to mention, destroying the businesses that have managed to stay open during the shutdown is simply cutting off your nose to spite your face. Contrary to what someone scrawled on the wall of the Target, it isn’t necessarily true that merchandise can be replaced. Some of these businesses were on the ropes as it is. They might well decided not to reopen their doors. If I were a business owner who’d just seen his property go up in smoke, I’d be inclined to say “fuck it” and take my insurance money elsewhere.

    1. I sometimes expect to see Soros in the background, hunched over in a hover chair while stroking a fat Persian cat and laughing maniacally.

      1. Dr Claw is Soros? Brilliant.

        1. I was more picturing Baron Harkonnen here.

    2. Everything you’re saying makes sense. However, the people you’d be saying it to have been hearing it for a long long time and they’re still seeing cops get away with murder.

      That doesn’t make them right, but doing it your way, in their minds, hasn’t fixed anything.

      1. I don’t like the looting and I don’t think it’s justified, but I do see the angle they’re coming from. I’m sure some people are in it for the free shit, but there’s also the element that those business owners might have more influence than the protestors.

        Those business owners pay taxes, a lot of them, and they’re probably pretty pissed off that some dipshit cop caused a riot and cost them a bunch of money, especially during a pandemic when business wasn’t booming in the first place. The rioters are forcing the business owners to have some skin in the game too.

        Trying to resolve this problem peacefully hasn’t really gotten anywhere, cops are still out there murdering people with reckless abandon and they virtually never face any actual consequences for it. I don’t think the rioting is justified, but I do see why it is tempting.

        1. I can understand something and even explain it without agreeing with it or condoning it. I think that’s part of having an open mind and being intellectually curious. Like I said, I can’t help sympathizing with the riots, even as I see how counterproductive they are likely to be. Unless, as you mention, the business owners actually band together and apply credible pressure for meaningful police reforms.

          1. “I can understand something and even explain it without agreeing with it or condoning it. I think that’s part of having an open mind and being intellectually curious”

            Get a load of the mother trucker.

        2. The rioters are forcing the business owners to have some skin in the game too.

          The law is a social contract. Adhering to or violating the contract should lead to predictable outcomes. When law enforcement leads to arbitrary outcomes then the contract is broken. Why should any citizen respect property rights when the right to life is not being respected by those empowered to enforce the law? Contrary to what fearful relativists like Hihn and Jeffy say, there is no conflict between natural rights. Law enforcement must respect all natural rights or lose the moral authority to enforce any of them.

          As for the riots, the police are the arms of the public. They are paid from public coffers. Someone is elected by the public to manage that process. When the police breach the social contract, by killing a defenseless suspect or attacking protesters in military fashion, the public is in breach of the social contract and individual citizens are under no moral obligation to continue to honor their part.

          If the public doesn’t like the outcome, its elected officials should fire those police officers immediately and hire ones that understand civil rights. The businesses have a lot of pull with the people who can do that. If they don’t exercise that pull, then they have no moral ground to complain when citizens don’t respect their property rights.

          1. What the four cops did is morally repugnant. The “kneeler” should spend the rest of his life in prison, and the three who stood by and watched should spend at least the next decade in prison.

            But, if the store owners can’t count on the “social contract”, then in turn they are perfectly within their rights to protect their stores by whatever means is necessary, including shooting looters and arsonists on sight.

            And thus the downward spiral begins.

            Your whole post is based on an immoral and broken concept of collective guilt and collective punishment.

            1. The social contract has nothing to do with whether the store owner is justified in using deadly force or not. Just because I COULD call the cops doesn’t mean I HAVE to.

              I fully support any store owner who shoots the looters entering their store. A lot of the post you’re responding to is collectivist nonsense, the store owners are individuals just like the looters. The NAP still applies, and while I see why the looters might try to leverage the store owners (and their political pull) to their advantage, the store owners have committed no aggression towards the looters to warrant the violence. If you try to rob someone, especially while showing a willingness to use violence, you should consider the reality that they are well within their rights to respond with deadly force.

              1. A lot of the post you’re responding to is collectivist nonsense

                Killjoy is an obvious sockpuppet not worth responding to.

                But I didn’t write what I wrote based on any ‘collectivist nonsense’. Quite the opposite, I would assert that there are no ‘collective’ natural rights. Rights ‘endowed by their Creator’ are inherently each individual’s rights. That being stated, U.S. citizens participate in government through what Lincoln recognized as ‘a government of the people, by the people, for the people’ which was established by the Constitution.

                When only one party (or some subset of the multiple parties involved) is held to the terms of a contract, the result is morally repugnant and akin to slavery. Rejection of the entire contract is the moral remedy. From the strong language he used in the Declaration of Independence, I would assert that Jefferson agreed. When unconstitutional force is brought to bear against U.S. citizens by any unit of government, the correct result should be (and is) immediate loss of that unit’s governmental authority.

                Is it anarchy? Yes, and such a state will remain until the government demonstrates compliance, not the people. I would suggest that store owners plan to defend their own goods until such time as the police are held accountable. If they can expedite that, they had better get about the business of doing so.

                1. A sockpuppet for who?

                  What you’re basically saying in your posts is “Unless I get what I want from the system, I can randomly destroy other people’s stuff and threaten their lives”.

            2. Exactly.

              How is Autozone liable for the actions of a cop anyway?

            3. Now do the sons of liberty

          2. “The rioters are forcing the business owners to have some skin in the game too.”
            And how is that skin not ‘screw these rioters, where are the police?’

            1. I’m sure some of them feel that way, and it’s a reasonable reaction. But some of them might realize that the police caused all these problems in the first place, and asking them to try to fix it now is just going to result in them killing more people and causing more riots.

              Those viewpoints also aren’t mutually exclusive. They might want police assistance in the short term to deal with the immediate threat of the riots, while also wanting police reform to make sure the police don’t cause more riots in the future.

      2. Problem is they defined the wrong battle lines.

        Do I agree police are out of control and need reform? Yup.

        Do I think they are racist? Nope.

        Do I think cops only kill blacks unjustifiably? Nope.

        Do I think they are stupid and self defeating for arguing against basic fact? Yup.

      3. Oh, so we are supposed to hold groups to account whose members commit murder now? I thought That was “racism”

    3. All that being said, I’m not sure why I experienced such a pang seeing videos of stores where I used to shop going up in flames. I haven’t lived in the Twin Cities in four years.

  48. “This means the insanely overreaching order (read the leaked draft here) wasn’t written with an eye toward conforming to federal law or constitutional protections of speech and commerce.”

    Your publication had a cover page story calling for sanctions against a nuclear power because of Facebook memes. Not one of your writers wrote an opposing point.

    Do you think, maybe, you have no leg to stand on here and that your sudden concern seems disingenuous at best?

    1. Your publication had a cover page story calling for sanctions against a nuclear power because of Facebook memes. Not one of your writers wrote an opposing point.

      can you point me to what you’re talking about? I’d love to bookmark it.

  49. The order relies heavily on conservatives’ victimhood conspiracy du jour: that social media companies are colluding to suppress conservative voices. It’s an objectively untrue viewpoint, as countless booted and suspended liberal, libertarian, and apolitical accounts can tell you.

    Yale Admissions Committee, 1935:
    “It is claimed by many Jews that we are trying to suppress their admissions to this university. It’s an objectively untrue viewpoint, as large numbers of the WASPs refused admission can tell you.”

    (In 1935, Yale admitted 76 students from a pool of 501, so of course there were several WASPs refused entry for every WASP admitted. However, there was also an explicit quota, in the words of the Dean of Admissions: “Never admit more than five Jews, take only two Italian Catholics, and take no blacks at all.” The fact that a bunch of WASPs were denied entry did not, in fact, serve as any kind of evidence that Jews, Italians, and blacks weren’t being discriminated against.)

    1. To pretend as if social media companies are not biased in the year 2020 takes a lot of mental gymnastics.

      1. You can oppose the order and still stop pushing fantasies. But, I suppose it’s too much to ask from writers who view the NYT as un-biased

        1. You can oppose the order and still stop pushing fantasies.

          Remember when Russians used Facebook to steal the election and Congress subjected Zuckerberg to the old ‘Kavanaugh Job Interview’?

          Reason did their best ‘to be sure’ two-step to pretend like they weren’t fucking that horse as they rode it into the ground.

    2. Stop that. We can’t use patterns of discrimination of other people groups and apply them to any group that includes white males.

    3. “The order relies heavily on conservatives’ victimhood conspiracy du jour: that social media companies are colluding to suppress conservative voices. It’s an objectively untrue viewpoint, as countless booted and suspended liberal, libertarian, and apolitical accounts can tell you.”

      I’d love for someone to put a chart together showing those 4 categories and the percentage of banned/censored accounts. I’m willing to bet money that it isn’t exactly even. To call it “objectively untrue” is more than a stretch. Still, fair enough. They are censoring people other than just conservatives. This seems like yet another issue where the victims (using this term loosely considering how stupid I think Twitter participation is) are being pitted against each other. Just like a post I made yesterday about BLM being counterproductive because of they’re focused on being targeted disproportionately rather than just focusing on the fact that the cops are murdering people and we should all be pissed.

      Twitter is censoring conservatives, libertarians, socialists and possibly even an establishment Democrat or two. Censorship is bullshit in a free society and we should all be pissed. Twitter may own the platform and we can argue all day about whether or not legal action should be taken to prevent them from being able to use it to discriminate. That doesn’t mean we’re not able to use constant criticism & pressure to make them behave more how we would prefer them to.

      Or we could stop caring about what happens on Twitter because its not the real world and it’s a stupid fucking place to try win arguments.

  50. //It’s an Orwellian document, defining federal government regulation of Americans’ speech as “free speech” and private questioning of government authority as “censorship.”//

    Is it any less Orwellian than defining private companies regulating Americans’ speech as “free speech” and government questioning of private companies’ manipulation of speech as “censorship”?

    “Orwellian” is not a constitutional standard. There is nothing in the constitution that prohibits the government from acting in an “Orwellian” manner.

    The government granted protections to internet “platforms” and it can take that protection away.

    If it is “Orwellian” to take that protection away, it was “Orwellian” to grant it in the first place.

    1. Specifically targeting one person or entity to strip them of their inherent rights or granted privileges without due process is probably a violation of the Bill of Attainder ban (article 1 section 9 and section 10) of the Constitution in fact if done by legislation, and in effect if done via executive order.

      1. Okay …..

        Is that what you genuinely think is happening here?

        1. Twitter made poor little Trumpiepoo feel sad inside by calling his blithering spade a blithering spade, he threatens to go after Twitter, and now this comes out. It’s clearly targeting Twitter even if it never once uses the name of the company.

          And yes, such an act clearly targeting a single person or company would risk violating the Constitution’s ban on Bills of Attainder.

    2. Look at this boot licker twist and bend!

      1. Hey look Lying Jeffy’s $10 check from Media Matters cleared.

      2. Show me the Orwell clause in the Constitution.

        And, when you can’t find it, fuck off. Quora is waiting for you.

  51. Trump is just a tween girl having a hormonal, high-pitched, screaming, hissy-fit, because she feels like someone was mean to her on Twitter.

    Those who sent tea bags to Obama should send tampons to Trump:

    The least macho president

    He wears bronzer, loves gold and gossip, is obsessed with his physical appearance, whines constantly, can’t control his emotions, watches daytime television, enjoys parades and interior decorating, and used to sell perfume.

    He uses Twitter to ponder about his hair (“Re my hair-Should I change it? What do you think?”), to confide about his hair (“I will not have to wash my hair this morning!”), and to defend his hair when under attack. After Bette Midler made fun of it, he said she had an “ugly face.”

    This is the way Trump writes — like a parody of a 12-year-old girl. His favorite words are “sooo,” “soooo,” and “sooooo.” His favorite TV show is “soooo much better” than the other ones. “The Emmys are sooooo boring,” but he’s watching them anyway. “Sooooo important, get out and VOTE for Brian!” Trump tweets. “In war, the elememt [sic] of surprise is sooooo [sic] important,” he says.

    1. You don’t have to ask if someone is a victim of TDS, just open any conversation, and, like a vegan, they’ll immediately tell you they hate Trump, and you should, too!!!!
      The assholes wake up in the morning consumed by their disease, and go to bed at night the same way; it is their LIFE!

      1. High fever induced delirium being a Covid-19 symptom; if I ever go more than 24 hours without a Trump nut squealing TDS at me, I’m reaching for a thermometer and calling my doc.

      2. A significant portion of people, from Trump supporters to agnostic bystanders, since he announced his candidacy, have pointed out that if he’s an angsty teen girl waiving a shotgun that still makes him preferable to bitter ex-wives who’ve got the guns leveled at you.

        Chaotic evil is better than neutral evil or lawful evil that is principally working against you. BigGiveNotBigGov may as well be whining that bronze hand grenades are contradictory and not macho enough. Nobody gives a shit. Not the grenade, not the person who threw it, not the person receiving it… nobody.

    2. Indeed, someone who tries that desperately to show how manly and hardcore and tough they are, who can’t exercise power without shoving it everyone’s face, is the worst kind of coward and weakling at the core.

      1. “”who can’t exercise power without shoving it everyone’s face, is the worst kind of coward and weakling at the core.””

        Like Cuomo or DeBlasio?

        1. I won’t argue, they’re both repugnant authoritarians and Wall Street lackies.

    3. Is that what makes for stories over at the Week theses days? A president’s macho?

  52. Why doesn’t Trump just use Gab? Isn’t that the Orange equivalent of Twitter?

  53. Funny how over half the comments spammed here don’t have anything to do with the article’s topics.

    1. This comment section has articles too?

    2. It’s the roundup. That’s how it works here. No go cry somewhere else.

    3. The irony escapes killjoy.

  54. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    I see where Congress shall make no law. I don’t see where the President shall issue no orders. The 1996 CDA would seem to violate this Ammendment prima facia.

    1. The First Amendment doesn’t mention executive orders, because the idea of the legislature ceding massive amounts of its power to the executive by passing a bunch of laws that tell the executive “we kinda want this vague thing done now you set the rules” — thus making the interpretation and enforcement of those rules subject to presidential whim — was entirely outside of the intent of the people who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

      Between Obama and Trump, the founders spinning in their graves could be used to power the entire eastern seaboard of the US.

  55. Hurr durr, just build your own Twitter! Don’t like Facebook, just get billions in VC and build your own!

  56. The tone of this article is infected with TDS.
    Forget Trump, the simple fact is, either these social meeting platforms are neutral and protected from suit, or they are editorial and moderating, and are not protected by lawsuit.
    They have been having it both ways, with no clear TOS or ways of determining, or correcting, how they are allegedly violated when the sites censor speech.
    The danger here is real; the social networking platforms are the new townsquare, it is how people communicate en mass with eachother — for them to have the ability to put a thumb on the scale of common social communication regarding national and election speech is to influence said elections artificially.
    And given the circumstance that should be illegal.
    And this is said from a full blown Libertarian official.

    1. “And this is said from a full blown Libertarian official.”

      Perhaps the reason that I hate and despise “libertarians” now is because “libertarians” don’t have a problem with quasi-government regulation. Quasi-government is worse than regular government because quasi-government is beyond the influence of regular people even more so than regular government.
      If Twitter and Facebook and Google were “government,” then at least the scumbags running them could be voted out. But the way it is now, they can’t.
      If this is the way “anarcho-capitalism” works, I will oppose it almost as strenuously as I oppose communism and fascism.

      1. The whole problem starts with the Communications Decency Act. These companies were granted license not afforded to everyone else – an authority to avoid liability in exchange for non-interference.

        They, and their lackeys (like ENB) have twisted that into an heads I win, tails you lose situation that simply cannot last.

        Trumps EO is a symptom, not the disease.

    2. Hold companies like Twitter, or your ISP, responsible for speech of their users, and prepare to have your speech monitored and *actually* censored (as opposed to fact-checked) far far more tightly than anything those companies are doing now.

  57. By mid-May 1864, Lincoln’s patience with the oppositional Copperhead press had begun to fray. What triggered Lincoln’s wrath was a bogus item that appeared in two Copperhead newspapers out of New York — the Journal of Commerce and the World. The papers ran a fake story that reported a presidential proclamation to the effect that the Lincoln administration was about to draft 400,000 men. According to Tedford and Herbeck, “Lincoln ordered the two newspapers closed and their owners arrested and imprisoned. The Independent Telegraph System, which had transmitted the story, was seized by the military and its transmissions stopped.”

    Additionally, and as my colleague David L. Hudson Jr. has noted: Sometimes “people were arrested for wearing Confederate buttons and for singing Confederate songs. Editors were arrested, papers closed and correspondents were banned from the fields of battle. A military governor, with the approval of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, destroyed the office of the Washington, D.C., newspaper, the Sunday Chronicle.”

    Lincoln’s governing principle — that a nation must be able to protect itself in wartime against expression that causes insubordination or actually obstructs the raising of armies — was “absolutely opposed,” said Chafee, to the continuation of such practices once “the emergency had passed.” However problematic the actions of the president and his subordinates, at least Lincoln had the good sense to cease censorship once the underlying danger had abated.

    While President Lincoln’s wartime First Amendment record is certainly controversial, it is nonetheless remarkable how much restraint he exercised in the face of truly nation-threatening challenges. Admittedly, there were sporadic instances when the president, or more often his subordinates, censored anti-administration criticism. But far more often, Lincoln’s critics were allowed to publicly express calumnious sentiments and hurl epithets such as “despot,” “tyrant,” “butcher,” “fiend,” “monster,” “liar,” “pirate,” “swindler” and “ignoramus.”

    “Surely, Lincoln did not enjoy such criticism,” Professor Geoffrey Stone has written, “but he kept it in perspective and did not [always] overreact.”

    Somebody check my math:
    Wars started:
    Lincoln – 1
    Trump – 0

    Pro-peace journalists jailed:
    Lincoln – ~100 – 10000
    Trump – 0

    Pro-peace news outlets shuttered:
    Lincoln – 300+
    Trump – 0 (maybe, but not likely, 2-3)

    Commemorative National Holidays:
    Lincoln – 1
    Trump – 0

    Likenesses carved into moutaintops:
    Lincoln – 1
    Trump – 0

    Call me back when a Colonel in the Union Army is forcibly removing a flag from private property and kills the owner in the process.

    1. Can you imagine if the phone company broke in on your private conversation and said, “We think your speech in this call is objectionable and therefore we are cutting your connection and also banning you from ever having a telephone ever again as long as live.”

      That is what Twitter and Facebook are doing, and it is beyond creepy and disturbing. They are able to hide behind the law only because it is interpreted stupidly and inconsistently.

      1. Can you imagine if the phone company broke in on your private conversation and said, “We think your speech in this call is objectionable and therefore we are cutting your connection and also banning you from ever having a telephone ever again as long as live…” and then continued to provide phone service to no-shit terrorists and Louis Farrakhan’s calls for violence.

      2. Or imagine mall management interrupting your conversation with other patrons at the food court – telling you what you can and cannot say, or ‘correcting’ what they deem to be your misrepresentation.

    2. To be fair, Lincoln didn’t technically start the war. The Confederates did that by firing on Sumter, although I will concede that he simply could have told the forces there to withdraw and let the South secede.

      1. It’s easy to consider that point of view as selective(ly favorable) narration especially in light of the current discussion.

        Shots were fired before Sumter. Nobody died (of aggression) at Sumter. The first conspicuous deaths were Jackson, a civilian hotel owner who was flying a Confederate flag, and Ellsworth, a Colonel hand-picked by Lincoln to regain control of Alexandria (by occupying the telegraph office).

        Not saying your facts are wrong. I’m just saying that if we viewed Lincoln as the anti-free speech tyrant we view Trump, the latter story is readily conceivable as “how the war started.”

  58. SO when the people are required to wear a mask that’s OK but when Trump threatens to require private companies that control the digital equivalent of the public space to not suppress legal speech they disagree with that is him being an emotional tyrant?

    WTF happened to Reason? Is ELIZABETH NOLAN BROWN really the kind of journalist you want to represent you? She wears her bias as openly and blatantly as the more aggressive progressives. What you don;t seem to get is that by acting like this, putting out this kind of biased trash, you are driving more to Trump not away. I don’t like the idea of Trump using an Executive Order to do anything including this but I know better then to paint it as Trump acting like an angry child.

    Reason – You need to get your shift together and stop letting clearly biased journalists like ELIZABETH NOLAN BROWN make things worse. .

    1. Whoa! Do I hear a sockpuppet yapping from behind a mask of anonymity?

      1. Sorry, that was far too coherent. Therefore you cannot be the real Hank Phillips.

        Making you the black sock calling the shoe black.

    2. Trump is plainly and obviously deranged. She doesn’t need to pretend he isn’t.

    3. Twitter isn’t a public space, it’s a business that provides a service.

      1. No different than a publisher who provides a service or a radio or television broadcaster who provides a service or even a cake decorator who provides a service. Except there is no section 230 for publishers, no section 230 for radio and TV broadcasters (matter of fact, they get the FCC), and no section 230 for cake decorators.

  59. I missed this discussion earlier, but I’ll drop this thought here just in case, because I’d like someone competent to find the legal analysis on this issue.

    Trump’s foray into unconstitutional executive orders notwithstanding, the underlying issue remains, and I have yet to hear it addressed here.

    It seems to me that Twitter is clearly in violation of federal election laws. They are pushing a political point of view in a federal election directly publishing propaganda attacking one candidate.

    Now, as libertarians we’d like for every form of speech to be just hunkey-dorey. But it isn’t. Not by FEC rules.

    There are campaign finance laws about this sort of thing, and it is abundantly clear that facebook is closely coordinating with the DNC and its operatives. They have “fact check” groups that are funded by MoveOn and associated groups. They are tied in directly with DNC contractors like “The Groundwork” that were created explicitly for this purpose.

    We’ve read on this site about people who’ve run afoul of campaign finance laws because a group of neighbors chipped in to buy a sign espousing their views on the issue.

    So how can Facebook make overtly partisan political speech a part of a federal election without running afoul of federal election laws. This isn’t “non-partisan issues advocacy”. This is a system that is entirely created in order to silence conservative voices, and targeting Donald Trump quite explicitly.

    The fact that they picked an issue where their “fact check” is quite obviously factually wrong is just a side issue that underlines the question….. but the real question is about the violation of campaign finance laws.

    How does facebook avoid having to report this as a multi-million dollar “in kind” contribution? Biden would have had to pay through the nose to get anything remotely close to this sort of penetration. What loophole are they driving this through? Or are we just playing the same old “it is only a violation if the little guy does it” game?

    1. So now fact-checking is politically biased?

      1. If it weren’t biased, it would be called ‘assertion checking’.

  60. ENB makes good points, but what I see is a pissing match between two brands of force initiating looters jockeying for positions from which to rob and coerce us all the more. Clearly neither kleptocracy faction will stoop to anything, including helping to saddle the LP with a communist anarchist for VP who admittedly does not support the platform as the LDC regulations require. Observe, and learn.

    1. Draft text:

      Huh, whadyaknow, very similar, except actual text has more whining. Pretty sure “hoax” is not a legal term, and doesn’t belong in an official government order.

    2. “we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand pick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet”

      Huh, not sure why he cannot take’s repeated invitations to move to their website, or use his own campaign website. Or, if he wants, I’ll pay for a domain and hosting for him, if I can have a cut of the ad revenue.

      1. Somehow, Trump thinks being fact-checked is the same as having his speech silenced or his access denied.

        Pretty sure he’s violated the Twitter TOS at least once a week since he started running for president, he’s lucky he still has an account. Any of us would have been perma-banned years ago for a fraction of his nonsense.

  61. “As recently as last week, Representative Adam Schiff was continuing to mislead his followers by peddling the long-disproved Russian Collusion Hoax, and Twitter did not flag those tweets.”

    How in the hell does this whiny sentence belong in an official government order.

  62. “We must seek transparency and accountability from online platforms, and encourage standards and tools to protect and preserve the integrity and openness of American discourse and freedom of expression.”

    Gosh, that sounds like lawmaking. Don’t we have a branch of government that does that.

    1. We do. They’re barred from passing laws regulating speech one way or the other. Except on the internet, then they can pass laws protecting it on the internet. But don’t worry, they didn’t violate the principle that bars them from regulating speech because the law they passed was mostly repealed and doesn’t offer any actual protection.

      If this all sounds contradictory and convoluted, don’t worry, there’s no founding principal that says the President can’t do what he did. So it’s even less double unkosher than what Congress did/does.

  63. In particular, subparagraph (c)(2) expressly addresses protections from “civil liability” and specifies that an interactive computer service provider may not be made liable “on account of” its decision in “good faith” to restrict access to content that it considers to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable.”

    Harassing, like repeatedly tweeting insinuations that an accidental death was actually a murder?

    1. Or retweeting calls for democrats to be killed…

  64. On this very site Stewart Baker has an article breaking down the EO and has a different take than Ms. Brown.

    1. He states: The order calls on social media platforms to explain their speech suppression policies and then to apply them honestly. It asks them to provide notice, a fair hearing, and an explanation to users who think they’ve been treated unfairly or worse by particular moderators.

      1. (a) They are private companies, and we are libertarians. They don’t have to explain a damn thing about their actions.
        (b) How is this the realm of an executive order and not Congress. How is this not legislating from the Oval Office.

  65. (iv) reliance on third-party entities, including contractors, media
    organizations, and individuals, with indicia of bias to review content; and

    Ah, there’s the money shot. How dare Twitter use CNN to fact check Trump. Fake news is against the First Amendment!

    1. Volokh article: “In fact, that’s pretty much all it’s aimed at. The order really only has two and a half substantive provisions, and they’re all designed to increase the transparency of takedown decisions.”

      Not true. See above new rule Trump is trying to make about who can do fact checking.

    2. That would still require them to prove that CNN is biased, as opposed to just reporting things that make poor little Trumpiepoo feel sad inside.

  66. “If you have any poo, fling it now.”


    “The working group will also monitor or create watch-lists of users based on their interactions with content or other users.”

    Pretty much an order to create watch lists of Trump opponents on social media. It never even has to go through or stand up in court, just the attempt to create watch lists will have a chilling effect on opposition speach.

  68. What should be done is to add consequences for social media for incorrectly sanctioning a user and the bogus sources used as justification for the sanctions. An incorrect sanction should result in a permanent ban for the social media operatives who issue the ban and their collaborative sources.

    1. What should be done is nothing, except the private website operator being subject to the traditional laws against slander and libel. What should be done is allowing anyone to register their own website and compete with the big, successful social media sites.

  69. Censorship Confusion

    There are two opposite confusions about “censorship” that crop up over and over. Both are as predictable as B following A. On the one hand, some people mistakenly think they have a right to express an opinion without pushback and complain about “censorship” when others express an opposing opinion, which is just silly. Hollywood vedettes are particularly bad about this. But by the same token, not every complaint about “censorship” constitutes a claim that First Amendment rights have been violated. I can legitimately object that I have been censored by YouTube when they delete a video I upload by a doctor who dissents from the views of Anthony Fauci. My accusation in no way implies that I believe my rights have been violated. I’m just an unhappy customer. How else is a customer supposed to communicate discontent? This is a perfectly legitimate use of the word “censorship”. It is the correct choice of words in this case, and as customers of YouTube and as citizens who value the freeflow of information we should complain loudly about YouTube’s behavior during the pandemic. We are complaining about crappy service, not violations of legal rights. But YouTube’s behavior does constitute a betrayal of a private covenant with the public to *enhance* the freeflow of information. They have gained huge market share as a result of that covenant, and we have a right to feel betrayed and complain very loudly about their CENSORSHIP.

  70. Yeah, right, whatever. what I have come to expect from beltway libertarians – as opposed to real ones.

    The social media platforms should never have been given special rights under law. This executive order removes that if they act like publishers.

    I actual read the law. I also was actually living when the internet was opened up by the government which built it to public access and was no someone that had yet to be conceived in the womb or paid by lobbyists to come up with faux arguments to wrap up MORE government, MORE special privileges, MORE law as libertarian.

    1. You’re a fucking idiot, and Section 230 doesn’t give Trump the power to do this. He is a God damn retard.

      Being a platform does NOT mean you can’t fact check, edit after the fact, or ban users.

    2. It is NOT logical or fair to hold Twitter liable for stuff its users say on the site since Twitter does NOT review tweets before allowing them to be posted like a publisher would do.

      1. It is NOT logical or fair to hold Twitter liable for stuff its users say on the site since Twitter does NOT review tweets before allowing them to be posted like a publisher would do.

        First, it’s not legal or logical for Congress to say so a priori.

        Second, yes, Twitter does do this. Certainly not to the degree that a paper publisher would (because the paper publisher is more obligated to their contract and is going to commit more time and resources to publishing) but they absolutely ban people and accounts and filter keywords as a method to reject future posts even before they’re generated. Even if they didn’t do this, the idea that they don’t review Tweets before posting is stupid, pre-internet automagical thinking.

        1. Do they read every comment before posting? No.
          They have every right to ban users and not allow key words yet still be a platform. They can fact check Trump too. Trump’s EO is illegal as it creates new law which he cannot do without Congress. His interpretation of Section 230 in enacting the EO is ridiculous. He’s just throwing a temper tantrum because Twitter fact checked his false statement. Lol. Trumpkins hate private property rights.

  71. Trump is clearly a fucking moron.

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  73. You have built too many straw man arguments with which to object, so I won’t. This has become standard fare for several writers at Reason and it flies in the face of true reasoning. Beyond those failures, you just equated free speech with forced slavery in your comparison to bakers and florists. If you don’t understand that, then you don’t deserve to be a journalist, much less writing for Reason. Your comparison is both a straw man and illogical, making it doubly insulting to intelligent readers. AND, you have bought into the absurd belief that the phrase “otherwise objectionable” under platform community standards means the same as “anything we deem as disagreeable”. How you continue to be of value to Reason is laughable, but more and more understandable. Just my opinion.

  74. As it was said… wow, the next black mirror season offers a really immersing experience with people being literally tracked and trapped by the government like that.

  75. So apparently this is the new order: It’s an Orwellian document, defining federal government regulation of Americans’ speech as “free speech” and private questioning of government authority as “censorship.” electrician temple tx

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