Reason Roundup

Federal Aircraft Accused of Tracking Protesters

Plus: Breonna’s Law bans no-knock raids in Kentucky, Amazon's third-party problem, new findings on metabolism, and more...


Protest surveillance. Law enforcement planes and helicopters were flown over protests in D.C., Las Vegas, and Minneapolis last week, sparking fears that the authorities were using federal tools to track and intimate protesters and capture their cellphone data.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have now sent a letter to leaders of the FBI, the National Guard Bureau, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) expressing dismay at whatever was going on.

"We demand that you cease any and all surveilling of Americans engaged in peaceful protests," the letter says. "The First Amendment protects the right of Americans to assemble and protest government actions. Further, the Fourth Amendment protects '[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons…against unreasonable searches and seizures,' a restriction that applies to the agencies you lead."

The letter cites press reports that:

• the FBI and National Guard flew RC-26B aircraft equipped with infrared and electro-optical cameras over Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas;

• the FBI may have flown Cessna 560 aircraft equipped with 'dirtboxes,' equipment that can collect cell phone location data, over Washington, D.C.;

• the CBP flew Predator drones that collected and disseminated live video feeds over Minneapolis, San Antonio,and Detroit; and

• the DEA was granted broad authority to "conduct covert surveillance" over protesters responding to the death of George Floyd.

The representatives add that there's past evidence that federal agencies "have used other technologies to surveil Americans, such as Stingrays, which mimic cell towers to collect location, call, text, and browsing data of nearby cellular devices; facial recognition technology; and automated license plate readers."

The letter was signed by 37 Democratic members of Congress—many of whom have their own not-so-great histories with privacy and First Amendment issues, but we'll leave that for another time.

"The FBI has not specifically confirmed or denied the use of aircraft to surveil protests," says CNN. When asked, the bureau told CNN it has been "focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity." In addition:

The National Guard confirmed to [Sen. Chris] Murphy that an RC-26B surveillance aircraft, operated by the West Virginia Air National Guard, was involved in responding to protests in the DC area but that such flights have since been suspended, according to a Senate staffer with direct knowledge of the situation.

"The national guard confirmed that it was air national guard and that it was an aircraft out of Lester, West Virginia. But the Department of Defense has not given any more information," the staffer told CNN, adding that the directive to hcalt these flights was made after lawmakers raised questions. Early appearances of surveillance flights began as early as May 29 when flight data shows a US Customs and Border Protection MQ-9 Predator B making a hexagonal pattern at 22,000 feet above Minneapolis where Floyd was killed days earlier.

In a letter to Congress, the Department of Homeland Security said that the unpiloted drone "was preparing to provide live video to aid in situational awareness at the request of our federal law enforcement partners in Minneapolis," but when "no longer needed for operational awareness" returned to base in North Dakota. The letter did not say which agency initially requested the flights.

Customs and Border Protection has been using the remotely piloted Predator B since 2005, agency documents show, "to safely conduct missions in areas that are difficult to access or otherwise too high-risk for manned aircraft or CBP ground personnel."


"The European Union is planning formal antitrust charges against Amazon," reports The Wall Street Journal. The charges are said to come from the site's treatment of third-party sellers—an issue that U.S. lawmakers and attorneys general have been hyping up lately too.

The meat of these claims is that Amazon prioritizes its own goods over those from third parties in customer searchers, and that it sometimes attempts to undercut these sellers by offering lower prices or somehow using third-party seller data. It's like getting mad that grocery stores offer lower-priced, store-brand versions of name-brand goods and give their own food brands better placement on store shelves.

In short, it's a silly thing to fuss over. If you want to be mad at Amazon, here's a better reason: A lot of people aren't buying the company's moratorium on letting police use its facial recognition tech. "This is nothing more than a public relations stunt," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, in a statement.

See also, from Reason's Ron Bailey: "Microsoft and Amazon Adopt Temporary Bans on Police Use of Their Facial Recognition Tech. That's Not Nearly Enough."


New nutrition secrets unlocked? An interesting new study of metabolism from King's College London looks at how different people's bodies clear fat and sugar from their blood following meals. The results, published in Nature Medicine, are part of a larger ongoing nutritional study. "Despite wide variation in metabolic responses between participants, results from identical meals eaten on different days showed that individual responses to the same foods were remarkably consistent for each person," notes a press release from the university.

Lead researcher Sarah Berry, a nutrition lecturer at King's College, said in a statement:

We found that the increase in fat and glucose in our blood after eating a meal initiates an inflammatory response which differs hugely between individuals. Dietary and lifestyle strategies to reduce prolonged elevations in blood fat and glucose may therefore be a useful target to reduce low grade inflammation, and help prevent people from developing low-grade inflammatory conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Some additional findings:

• The optimal time to eat for nutritional health also depends on the individual rather than fixed "perfect" mealtimes. The researchers found that some people clearly metabolised food better at breakfast while others saw no difference.

• Optimal meal composition in terms of fat, carbohydrates, proteins and fibre (macronutrients) is also highly individual, so prescriptive diets based on fixed macronutrient ratios are too simplistic and will not work for everyone. For example, a sensitive glucose responder may need to reduce carbohydrates whereas someone else may be able to eat these freely.


• With Breonna's Law, Louisville has banned no-knock raids like the one that killed Breonna Taylor.

• Michigan Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash's bill to end qualified immunity, already co-sponsored by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D–Mass.), now has a Republican co-sponsor, Rep. Tom McClintock of California. This makes it a rarity: a tripartisan piece of legislation.

• European policing is under scrutiny too.

• "As the protests continue across the United States, we risk finding ourselves lost in the same pattern of unproductive behaviors that have long plagued the country. An obsession with modes of racial protests rather than with the meaning of them belies an unwillingness to face the flaws they expose in the nation's ability to live up to its ideals and fulfill its obligations to the citizenry," writes Theodore R. Johnson in a very good piece for National Review.

• Protest update:

• "City officials have not interacted with 'armed antifa militants' at this site, but will continue to be on site to monitor the situation closely," Seattle city spokesperson Lori Patrick told CNN, referring to the new Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

• An immigrant rights group says that 100 percent of the people detained at an Ohio jail have tested positive for COVID-19.

• Check out Reason TV's video on Only Fans:

• Actor Zachary Levi continues to stand up for third parties:

• How trendy hotels are coping with the pandemic.

NEXT: Police Reform Should Match the Needs of Different Communities

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  1. CNN has concerns beyond aircraft flying over protests.

    What the lack of any sort of formal concession from Trump would do is clear: For his legions of adoring supporters, they would also never believe that Biden had won — or that he was the recognized president, whether or not the electoral map or the popular vote proved it. Which would mean that for a decent-sized chunk of the country, Biden would be viewed as an illegitimate president and, therefore, not someone who needed to be listened to.
    And it’s very easy to imagine Trump — with his 80-plus million Twitter followers and the potential that he would be the head of a TV network post-presidency — beating the drum of illegitimacy day in and day out. Because, well, it is in his interest to do so and, as he has shown repeatedly during his presidency, he has very little regard for either the office or its status as a moral beacon within the country and the world.
    The result isn’t hard to imagine: An even deeper divide within the country between the Trumpists and everyone else. A divide that would make Biden’s pledge to create “One America” again an absolute pipe dream.

    1. Sad thing is, CNN believes that horseshit.

      1. “An obsession with modes of racial protests”

        Riots. You’re decrying an “obsession” with riots and looting.

        1. Stop focusing on the beating I’m giving you. You should focus on why I’m beating you.

          1. Stay at home safe and sound avoiding corona virus but do not sit idol work online and make full use of this hostage period and raise HDe extra money to over come daily financial difficulties.

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      2. Well, one guy at CNN, who wrote the editorial.

        1. ahahaah I won ahahahah

          1. You broke me, not sarc. sarc remains unbroken.

            Even though I worship you, I cannot help you break sarc or “Jeffy” or other enemies of the Nardz. When I became enlightened I saw that I must walk my own path. I must break Sevo, and Nardz, and Geraje like I broke loveconnection1789.

            1. This is pathetic.

              1. There’s a lot of pathetic going around this place.

    2. Hello.

      Nice language right there.

      Also. ‘Protestors’. /Giggles.

    3. All the lefty hand-wringing (with zero evidence) over whether Trump will leave office when his term is up (either next year or after the 2024 election) just convinces me that, next time a Democrat is in the White House, he or she will refuse to vacate.

      It’s always projection with them.

      1. Yeah, they always announce their plans by accusing the ‘other’ of it first.

        So the next Dem in the White House plans to be a permanent fixture I guess.

      2. Yeah, they’re not opposed to the concept. They’re just afraid the other party will get there first.

      3. You are on the right track…. but I think you missed the clue.

        Before the 2016 election, out of nowhere a moderator at a debate asks Trump if he will accept the election results if he loses. Note, nobody asked HRC the same question. Yet when the election did not go as they expected, HRC did not accept the results of the election. She did not make any statement or concession call for quite a long while. She never actually gave the traditional concession speech calling for unity and support of the new president.

        Then, as calls within the HRC crowd of “Not my president” and “Don’t worry, we will impeach him” began rising… a new narrative arose.

        Trump is a dictator wannabe. He loves dictators. He won’t leave office.

        What was happening at that moment?

        Obama’s white house was spying on the Trump campaign and trying to spin up a story that they were actually working for the Russians. They actually sabotaged the incoming administration. They were so confident about this sabotage that they bragged about it in the New York Times immediately after the inauguration. (see NYT, March 4, 2017)

        Immediately after leaving office, Netflix dropped $60 million in Trump’s lap to make programming in any way he’d like.

        Now, “it is all projection with them” is so oft said that it has become a bit trite.

        But look at the reality. From before he took office, they were claiming Trump was a dictator who would not leave. Obama was actively trying to frame Trump as a foreign agent. Obama gets a huge role as a TV content creator immediately upon leaving … plus he has an enormous social media network. His team have never accepted Trump as a legitimate president….

        Now look at the predictions for Trump: He won’t leave (they are actively speculating that the military will be required), He will have a TV network, he will use social media, his followers will not accept the election results….

        This isn’t a prediction of how Trump will behave. This is the result of knowledge of how they actually behaved in the past. Just as “will you accept the election” was revealing of internal discussions and thoughts of the HRC campaign, this projection is revealing of thoughts and discussions of the Obama White House in the post-election period.

        1. Well said.
          Why does the magazine of free minds and markets always miss this stuff, I wonder.

          1. Because they’re busy pimping the latest “2 guys threw together a study and MASKS ARE THE TITS!!!” stories, or telling us why the plight of whores is the most important thing evarrrrr or shoveling a stupid ass story by some socialist clown from NR.

      4. Those darn “Them”! They are ruining everything good about this country.

    4. “…And it’s very easy to imagine Trump — with his 80-plus million Twitter followers and the potential that he would be the head of a TV network post-presidency…”

      So CNN is jealous of his audience?

      1. Given his past comments — even in an election (2016) that he won! — there’s every reason to believe that even if Trump vacates the White House in January 2021 that he will never, ever concede that he lost. And that would have massive consequences on not only our politics but on the broader foundations on which American democracy is built.

        Consider that in 2000, after more than a month of recounts and with considerable uncertainty about who actually won Florida, Al Gore not only ended his campaign but offered a major call for unity in the country.

        For those who don’t remember… Gore refused to concede the 2000 election… then, after losing a recall that was illegally structured to give him an advantage by only counting votes in heavily democrat counties, he pushed for a second recount. Which failed. Then a third….. now, 20 years later and after several independent recounts by leftist organizations and media outlets have all reached the same conclusion, our author still casts doubt on the election …. in a post claiming that only Trump would ever do such a thing!

        1. An ellipse is generally rendered as three dots followed by a space, Cyto.

          Cyto sure likes to flap gums… if only he would stop carrying water for Trump.

          Like so.

    5. So Trump would be acting lIke Al Gore or John Kerry and Hillary Clinton all who still claim along with the media that their presidency was stolen. Typical accusing the right of doing what the left actually does.

      1. It was astonishing that he holds up Al Gore as a shining example of uniting the country after an election. It is as if he never heard “selected not elected”.

        1. Al Gore refused to leave the vice presidents white house for 30 days and also delayed intelligence transfer to the new administration. because of this Bush singed an EO that requires transfer to start before any new administration takes office. Of course this is what they are using to get Flynn on since he was having disscusions legally with Russia before they took office but were elected

    6. “Once the kettle loses the election and turns black, we’ll be all over it.”- CNN

  2. Perhaps they were looking for violators of the COVID-19 rules, as they were used before the demonstrations began two weeks ago. But this time it is a clear overreach. Because.

    1. “We demand that you cease any and all surveilling of Americans engaged in peaceful protests potentially spreading the deadly virus.”


      1. Violating the COVID19 restrictions to protest is okay if it’s for a cause that I support.

  3. President Donald Trump retweeted a post from his former director of national intelligence that called for barring Microsoft Corp. from federal government contracts over its refusal to sell facial recognition software to U.S. police departments until there are laws governing use of the technology.

    “They should now be barred from federal government contracts – there should be consequences for not selling technology to police departments,” Trump’s former Acting DNI Richard Grenell tweeted.

    Stay out of the private sector asshole.

    1. Ironically… what you ask him to do is what he threatened to do.

      ““They should now be barred from federal government contracts”

    2. Lol, Nuttplug.
      How are government purchases private business?

    3. “private sector”

      You keep using these words…

    4. they won’t sell to America but they have no problem selling to China.

    5. HA! Just when I thought the dildo couldn’t be dumber, he calls government contracts the private sector!

  4. “we risk finding ourselves lost in the same pattern of unproductive behaviors that have long plagued the country.”

    You mean, like burning shit down?

    *** reads linked “very good piece” ***

    1. Perhaps a bit long-winded and repetitive, but Johnson spells out his case pretty well, and includes this gem:

      Public order and the rule of law are elemental to the well-being of liberal democracies, but the values on which our republic is founded are far more important than any material loss from protest.

    2. its the broke window theory so its okay

    3. That’s one. A bigger one is Red Team and Blue Team driven culture wars, finger pointing coupled with complete lack of self examination, and deliberate promotion of divisiveness.

  5. With Breonna’s Law, Louisville has banned no-knock raids like the one that killed Breonna Taylor.

    In practice, we’ll see.

    1. Yeah, knock and announce is already functionally indistinguishable from no-knock, particularly when executed off-hours.

      1. Yeah, the opposite of a no-knock warrant to me sounds like the cops will knock on the door, wait for an answer, and then tell the occupant that there’s a search warrant and they’re coming in. I doubt that’s how they plan to do it. Most likely they’ll knock with a battering ram while screaming “police, search warrant.”

  6. Signed by 37 Democratic members of Congress. Time to repeal the patriot act…. Using the right timing might be the trick to getting back the American Dream.

    Of course the House knows all about spy technology. The used the sh*t out of it during the Obama administration.

    1. Signed by 37 Democratic members of Congress. Time to repeal the patriot act

      “and replace it with THE REAL THING!”

    2. Repeal the Patriot Act so we can spy on you without the very weak, limited restrictions currently in place!

      1. I didn’t say repeal the Constitution. I said repeal the Patriot Act that gave federal the ability to bypass the Constitution anytime they want to.

        1. but then how will they keep us safe?

          1. Sounds like something a off-the-hook mother would say after snooping through their children’s personal journal just for being nosy. Repealing the Patriot Act also doesn’t forbid bench warrants.

            1. off the hook mothers is how we ended up under the Patriot Act

  7. As the protests continue across the United States, we risk finding ourselves lost in the same pattern of unproductive behaviors that have long plagued the country.

    THIS IS DIFFERENT. Leaders didn’t mean we shouldn’t police strictly their mandates.

  8. …a tripartisan piece of legislation.

    The only thing worse that bipartisan agreements!

    1. Stupid, evil, and stoned?

    2. Political three-ways are definitely the worst kind.

      1. My fantasy of the current first lady and first daughter says otherwise.

        1. title: On the Steps of the White House.

    3. Just need a Green Party congressperson so we can have a quadripartisan bill.

  9. We’re opposed to the government monitoring riotous, arsonist mobs–for what reason again?

    I hope they identify every single looter and arsonist and search each of their homes with properly executed warrants for looted items.

    In the name of libertarianism, looters and arsonists are entitled to a properly executed warrant, a jury trial, the right to remain silent, the right to attorney, and a right to confront their accusers.

    They do not have the right not to be photographed while they’re looting and burning people’s property down. When you’re walking down the street to publicly protest, your expectations of privacy are zero.

    1. When you’re walking down the street to publicly protest, your expectations of privacy are zero.

      “OTOH, the government recommends we wear face coverings!”

    2. This.

      Reason seems to go back and forth between progressivism and anarchism.

      Not libertarianism because I don’t think libertarianism entails accepting lawlessness.

      Prosecute them. A simple took in the rule of law arsenal would go a long way putting an end to this madness.

    3. Two points:

      1) Means matter a lot, we do not want the police or the state using unlimited means to enforce Rule of Law even when we agree with the law, tends to be used as justification for using the same Means more often.

      2) Protests Riots/looting; Conflating the two in your mind does you and the conversation no good.

      1. Before the first riot, there may have been a valid question as to whether there would be looting and arson. After the first riot, that was no longer a question. Hell, weren’t the news media positioning their cameras and their reporters ahead of time to make sure they had the best possible angle when the department store was looted?

        Sending cameras to watch “protesters” that have turned into rioters the night before isn’t any more unconstitutional than sending the police department in to protect the areas that were most likely to be looted–before the rioting starts.

        1. If you don’t see the difference between protecting property with positioning and surveilling still peaceful protesters, and are comfortable with the justification of “previously there was crime so anyone willing to protest is a potential criminal” then I honestly don’t know how to proceed without devolving into a no-true-scotsman argument.

          1. “If you don’t see the difference”

            What I see is you not elucidating the difference, but expecting people to magically “see” it and make your argument for you.

            “then I honestly don’t know how to proceed”

            On that at least we can agree.

            1. Look, it is quite simple. Just because they looted and burned buildings last night… and looted and burned buildings the night before… is no reason to expect that they might loot or burn anything tonight. Now, you could pre-position the fire brigade nearby, or put a police line in front of a building…. but watching the people in the group and looking for folks carrying cans of gasoline is clearly beyond the pale.

              1. in Chicago where I live, there was definitely looting and rioting the first 2-3 nights. every day since then has been sustained peaceful protest. there is a difference and its pretty obvious if you are looking, or of you are there. I’ve been impressed that the situation didnt really devolve, but rather got more ordered and peaceful over time. Police deciding to deescalate rather than dig in may have helped in this, but that part is obviously speculation.

                1. Is this the chicago that just set the record for recorded shooting deaths in a day?

                  1. No, the other Chicago.

                  2. Yes, we all know Chicago has that problem. Can you try to stay on topic.

              2. “They” are individuals. As libertarians, we do not ascribe to treating people as part of a “they” rather than as individuals.

          2. Photographing people in public does not require a warrant. Is the government investigating people who weren’t caught on camera committing crimes? Are they keeping a list a protesters for future reference? Otherwise, this isn’t warrantless wiretapping. This is not an unreasonable search.

            I suspect part of the problem is the media and others’ refusal to use the word “rioter”. Because the media refuses to differentiate between peaceful protesters, on one hand, and looting and arsonist rioters, on the other, doesn’t mean the rest of us need to be willfully stupid, too.

            The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights. We have a military to protect our rights from foreign threats. We have courts and the Constitution to protect our rights from the police. We have police to protect our rights from looters, arsonists, and other criminals.

            When the government willfully refuses to protect our rights from looters and arsonists in a riot, it does not maximize liberty. In fact there’s an old word for when the government refuses to protect people from rioters. It’s called a “pogrom”. Refusing to protect people from rioters is the act of an oppressive and repressive government–regardless of their ethnicity.

            Meanwhile, there aren’t any constitutional principles being violated by the government photographing roving bands that are likely to become rioters–and for all we know, the only people they’re bothering to identify are the looters and arsonists who were caught on video violating people’s rights. IF IF IF you are citing our rights as an excuse for the government to not endeavor to protect our rights–in a way that doesn’t violate the Constitution, mind you–from looters and arsonists, then you’re making our rights look bad.

            Looters and arsonists do not have the right to not be photographed and identified while they’re looting and burning buildings down–and I’ve yet to see that anything unconstitutional or that violates anyone’s rights is happening here. It appears to me that the government is doing its legitimate job in protecting us from looters and arsonists, and here’s to hoping the criminals are identified, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced appropriately–with arsonists being given long, long sentences.

            1. How come you are focusing solely on the photography and not commenting on the cellular phone surveillance?

        2. A cornerstone of libertarianism is dealing with people as individuals, not just lumping them into broad categories. Individuals who are peacefully protesting are not rioting or looting, and their rights should be protected.

    4. If the police don’t have a right to not be recorded in public, a statement I agree with, then the public has no expectation of not being recorded in public as well. which is how the recording of police was finally determined to be legal. you can’t have one without the other. I know they want rules for some but not others since they were happy when they were recording end the shut down protest where no violence ever occurred and they picked up their own litter

      1. What about the warrantless cellular phone surveillance?

        1. Because that is pure speculation.

    5. If there were tens of thousands of actual KKK in the streets burning churches down and destroying monuments, do you think they would be opposed to tracking their phones? They want them tracked without any violence or burning

      1. Don’t know. It’s a pretty far-fetched hypothetical. The important thing isn’t “they” — it’s whether you support warrantless cell phone surveillance.

        1. It’s not a hypothetical. Alleged Far Right new Nazi groups are targeted for tracking, surveillance, infiltration, etc

  10. Let’s play another round of “Which right-wing pundit said this nonsense”! Here’s the quote:

    Defending democracy is vital, but @KingJames only talks loud in the US. On China, not only is he silent, he actively shuts others up. He called @dmorey “misinformed” and “not really educated” for supporting #HongKong. All he cares about is money, not human rights. Hypocritical.

    Was this garbage spewed by Tucker Carlson? Ann Coulter? Sean Hannity?

    Nope! It’s from someone named Joshua Wong. This illustrates that Asians are also capable of anti-Blackness.


  11. The feds have been flying planes in most major cities to track people since early 2000’s. In LA a bunch of AARL people maped them and got in trouble. Way to finally figure out this is bad. At leas we know that if mor polititions with (d) next to their name all of the evil intrusions will stop… Well sot stop, they won’t be reported on and all the people who say its wrong will be called racist

    1. Not talking about it is the same thing as it not happening. Just look at the 8 scandal-free years we had under Obama! The government did nothing remotely bad during that period.

    2. Ah, the old black helicopter thing. I remember it well.

  12. Economic disaster!!!!’s benefactor Charles Koch is in danger of falling below the $50 billion net worth threshold!

    Can you imagine how painful that must be? To work hard all your life, and achieve so much — only to see your fortune collapse because the President refuses to implement your immigration agenda?


  13. Governor Jay Inslee
    What we will not allow are threats of military violence against Washingtonians coming from the White House.

    The U.S. military serves to protect Americans, not the fragility of an insecure president.

    1. You must of nutted in your pants reading that, huh.

      I wonder if Inslee will have the same opinion a month from now when Antifa drags him up the steps for Madame Guillotine’s kiss.

    2. lolol that’s the bitch who let ANTIFA steal part of his state right?

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAH yeah you’re thuper thcary insleeeeeeee ahaahhajaajjaja

      1. I mean, fuck, INSLEE man, you let some people who couldn’t stop bums from taking their food STEAL PART OF YOUR STATE INSLEE AHAHAHAH

        Trump can just hire some fucking bums like screech and inlee will recoil in abject terror ahahahhaja

    3. If you ever needed evidence that TDS is real, this governor would rather fight with Trump than stop an armed occupation of part of his state.

    4. Trump’s sincere concern for Seattle, despite its being so liberal, is so touching. Why, oh why, is the mayor so rude after Trump extended a sincere olive branch and offer of overwhelming military intrusion into a domestic dilemma.

  14. Democrats have lost their minds and turned to full time gaslighting.

    Mayor Jenny Durkan

    · 14h
    Replying to @MayorJenny @realDonaldTrump
    The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone #CHAZ is not a lawless wasteland of anarchist insurrection – it is a peaceful expression of our community’s collective grief and their desire to build a better world. Given his track record, it’s not hard to believe that Trump is wrong, yet again.

    1. Hey, if Washingtonians are cool with it, who are we to judge? Inslee and Durkan may in fact be speaking on behalf of the will of the people. Maybe they should consider changing the name of their state because I highly doubt George Washington would want his name associated with this ding-a-lings who would probably have thought Hitler was just trying to do right by his people. They’re appeasers really. But that’s just me and my ‘privileged white colonizing’ reading of history.

      But if their actions are seen as a threat to the country as a whole by the Federal government, that’s a President’s prerogative to determine. In this case, through the Insurrection Act.

      1. Washington owned slaves, so it’s only a matter of time before the state gets renamed and he gets cancelled.

    2. After endorsing this “autonomous zone” and its armed rabble on the walls, the Democrats should never again be allowed to say that private citizens have no legitimate reason to own semi-automatic rifles.

      1. Uh… I’ll cite this as historical precedent:

        “Four legs good… Two legs BETTER!”

    3. Let them. They’re only gaslighting themselves.

    4. Durkan’s currently under fire from these same crustpunks demanding that she resign. With any luck, she’ll get clonked in the bean with a brick and fall into a permanent coma.

    5. Now do the Branch Dravidian compound in Waco

    6. Antifa cosplaying the communist revolution in Seattle, or Pissed Off Mormons occupying that wildlife preserve. Who was more righteous in claiming control over something that didn’t belong to them?

      1. Neither are righteous.

  15. It’s another election year, which means it is time to tell everyone the GOP in office will refuse to leave if they lose an election.

    1. Has any reporter anywhere EVER asked a DEMOCRAT running for office if they will accept the results of an election?

      1. Stacey Abrams might not vacate the Governor’s mansion in Atlanta even if elected VPOTUS

        1. well, after all, AOC says lots of people have to work two jobs – – – – – – – –

  16. “Even Dr. King’s assassination did not have the worldwide impact that George Floyd’s death did,” Biden said.

    1. Yeh and that’s not a fucken good thing.

    2. That’s because nowadays Amazon gives you your virtue signaling at lightning speed, even faster than you can order food or tp

  17. You know how much the commerce clause sucks? Well it sucks even worse than you think because when you expect it to kick in and help, guess what? It doesn’t.

    Say hello to Zelinsky v. Tax Appeals Tribunal of New York

    Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but if I’m getting the gist of this right, if your employer is based in the state of New York and you start “telecommuting” from outside New York state, you are still on the hook for New York state taxes–because your employer is based in New York.

    Zelinsky contended that the commerce clause should kick in and that New York state was basically overstepping its bounds by regulating interstate commerce. The district appeals court disagreed and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

    All these people who have been working from outside high tax states like California and New York because of COVID-19 are apparently still on the hook for those state’s taxes. As working from home becomes more and more normal, we’ll probably see companies based in these high tax states turn more and more employees into independent contractors or, eventually, move their headquarters outside of these states if they can.

    Meanwhile, the commerce clause (or at least the Supreme Court’s interpretation of it) sucks in every way. They won’t let you consume wheat you grow on your own property within your own state without interference because it might impact interstate commerce in some small way, but when you need the commerce clause to protect you from the regulations of a state you’re not even working in, it doesn’t apply. Has the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the commerce clause even gotten anything right?

    1. All these people who have been working from outside high tax states like California and New York because of COVID-19 are apparently still on the hook for those state’s taxes.

      “Hey, those pensions aren’t going to fund themselves!”

    2. New York state and New York City have always taxed everybody in sight. This is nothing new. When I was contracting my services, I refused any contracts that would require even a single trip to New York or New Jersey for just that reason. All professional athletes face this problem when playing “away” games. Well, they did when they actually got to play.

    3. But then they would be liable for the taxes in the state they are operating from for the time period they worked there.

      Thar being said, New York State’s greed is insatiable.

    4. you are still on the hook for New York state taxes–because your employer is based in New York.

      That can’t be right. If a person lives in VA and works in DC, it’s VA collecting the income taxes, not DC. Telework would be even less taxable because you’re not even physically entering DC.

      And how does this square with the case MD lost a few years ago?

      They had to stop taxing MD residents on income made out of state. It’s not the same situation, but surely it applies somehow.

  18. I’m kinda wondering: when some folks talk about how wonderful masks are for stopping the spread of Covid-19, are they looking at high quality masks or are they looking at the cheap shit that is all most of us can get?

    1. They don’t even care. Their only concern is to force everyone to bow to their demands.

      1. That, and actual sincere concern for people’s health.

      2. Notice how quickly those studies came out when everyone started questioning the mask policy. The Science now dictates that you should wear a mask despite how shaky the conclusions may be. It was peer reviewed, there was a model, and it was published in a journal. End of story. The Science.

  19. > It’s like getting mad that grocery stores offer lower-priced, store-brand versions of name-brand goods and give their own food brands better placement on store shelves.

    Yes, it’s exactly like that! And just like stored branded cans, Amazon branded stuff doesn’t have the highest reputation. I can buy Sierra Nevada, or I can buy “Premium Select” beer from my giant chain grocer. I can buy Logitech mouse or I can buy an Amazon mouse. I’ll go with the Logitech, thank you. Not that Logitech makes the best mice in the world, but I have no idea who makes Amazon’s.

    1. Taking this sideways….

      I bought some Amazon batteries. They were pretty good.

      So next round I bought a bigger batch of amazon batteries. They are terrible. They don’t even last a month in the TV remote. Last pair lasted about 8 days.

      Absolute junk

      1. They are like costco. Theyy work with different suppliers who bid for placement. This changes every few months.

        The problem is not branding themselves, the problem is amazon is using sales data collected from competitors who sell on the site and steal the information for use on their own marketing of their goods. Brandy is just too dumb to understand the issue.

        1. How is it stealing the information when Amazon collects the information in the first place?

    2. Is there a grocery store chain that covers every portion of the country? Or several whole countries for that matter? How about one that’s a major cloud service provider and police/defense contractor as well?

      I certainly agree that if you don’t buy their product, go somewhere else, but I’m also not so stupid as to pretend that the top listed Amazon product and the second and third listed BAODAO and VOYEE products, all advertised with the same pics, features, and shitty English verbiage are legitimately different options. Especially if all three options are funding the same government contractors and communist-owned companies.

    3. A lot of store-brand products come from the exact same factories that make the name-brand stuff. I’ve talked with people who work at the factories. They will do three or four runs on the same machine, putting different labels on the exact same product.

      1. Greetings, fellow “broken” person. This being “broken” isn’t all that bad, is it.

  20. The nanny-state Democrats are having a conniption over the spike in COVID-19 cases. They still can’t get their heads around the fact that they’re not in control. People are willing to compromise their safety when the trade off is other things they care about–like their livelihood–and it’s always been that way. They were never in control. They just had the microphone.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats bemoaning people going back to their jobs when they care more about their jobs than they do about the risks isn’t a good look going into November. I don’t suppose they’ve gotten the message yet that the protests and riots we saw in recent weeks weren’t entirely unrelated to 40 million people losing their jobs and millions more being subject to lock-downs for so long.

    I shouldn’t be surprised at how out of touch the elitist progressives in the Democratic party have become, but it does surprise me that they don’t seem to learn from their mistakes. If they get lucky, they think it’s because they’re smart, and when they lose, they attribute it all to dumb luck. Do they ever think about how this will play in Michigan, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin?

    They say insanity is when you try the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. I say not being able to learn from your mistakes is the definition of stupidity, and my God, the nanny-state progressives are incredibly fucking stupid!

    1. It seems that there is a fairly large chunk of the DNC power structure that has latched on to the idea that hurting the economy helps them in November. So they are all-in on extending the shutdown any way they can.

      Meanwhile, reality seems to indicate that we shut down most of the country far more than we should have, far earlier than we should have. So “flattening the curve” doesn’t really happen at a local level….because most of the country never got up the curve to start with. Hence the certainty of the “second wave”.

      Keeping everything locked down only guarantees that the date of the second wave in your area will be later than it otherwise would be.

      1. Keeping everything locked down only guarantees that the date of the second wave in your area will be later than it otherwise would be.

        The suspesion of elective medical procedures and doctor’s visits pretty much guarantees there will be fewer healthcare workers to deal with it as well.

    2. considering that covid is less harmful than the flue except for a small minority, not referring to skin color here, people have made their own judgments about risk and having a house over your head while suffering from some illness is better than not having a house over your head and then suffering an illness because you got sick from stress or from being homeless.

  21. Remember when talk of black helicopters was evidence of the paranoia of right wing militia types?

    1. That particular olive green helicopter has a big red cross on it.

    2. No but I remember when they were called ghetto birds

  22. “Latest bid to recall Gov. Newsom is cleared to try to make California ballot”
    “…In a Public Policy Institute of California poll released last week, Newsom’s approval rating was at 65%, the highest it has been since he became governor, with 69% happy with how he has handled the coronavirus…”

    Either people are pleased to be un-employed, or the poll was given to a randomly selected group from Berkeley, Santa Monica, and Palo Alto.

    1. The propaganda machine has fully matured. Gone are the days where “spin” was the problem – but you could see through the spin.

      New York and the rest of the nation are super-impressed with how Cuomo handled the crisis. This, despite a quarter of the deaths in the country being in New York and a major chunk of those deaths being the direct result of his actions ordering nursing homes to admit patients who were known to be infected with Covid-19. In fact, he is probably the only public official who took direct action that actively killed people.

      This is how strong the propaganda machine is… Republican governors in states with no coronavirus problems are seen as having done a bad job, and Democrat governors who have immense issues with coronavirus infections are seen as having been the saviors of the country.

      1. “…In fact, he is probably the only public official who took direct action that actively killed people…”

        True of the disease; we’ll have to wait to see the results of Newsom et al shutting down the economy.

  23. An immigrant rights group says that 100 percent of the people detained at an Ohio jail have tested positive for COVID-19.

    Herd Immunity *and* 100% testing? Time to open the borders on this little slice of libertopia and watch the entrepreneurs and capital flow in!

  24. “The letter was signed by 37 Democratic members of Congress—many of whom have their own not-so-great histories with privacy and First Amendment issues, but we’ll leave that for another time.”

    How about we don’t leave that for another time. Let’s address it right now. How about we admit that the entire (D) establishment is doing what they always do and pandering and stoking anger and fear in front of the camera then going to their offices and writing legislation that either does the opposite of what they say it does, or don’t do anything at all. Their policies make life demonstrably worse for the people they claim they care about. They make life more expensive and the government more punitive every chance they get.

    Considering we’re in an election year right now and a sizable contingent of the people that will be voting for them are out looting and burning down buildings, assaulting and murdering people for the crime of not laying down and taking it and endorsing a full blown socialist revolution, it’d rather not put the conversation off.

    1. I’m curious when this other time will be. I’m guessing never.

  25. *sparking* fears?

  26. “Federal Aircraft Accused of Tracking Protesters”

    I thought that said ‘trafficking protesters’ at first

    1. No market for ’em; they’re a dime a dozen.

      1. There was a market but in an effort to increase their perceived value, they smashed it up and burned it to the ground.

    2. ENB wrote “authorities were using federal tools to track and intimate protesters” I guess she’s means the authorities were getting jiggy with them.

  27. “Law enforcement planes and helicopters were flown over protests in D.C., Las Vegas, and Minneapolis last week, sparking fears that the authorities were using federal tools to track and intimate protesters and capture their cellphone data.”

    So we’re concerned the feds were trying to imply or hint protesters? Methinks two little letters are missing from that sentence.

  28. Every high-tech invention for war always ends up being turned against those who paid to invent it.

    1. Like when the US bombed Nagasaki with Japanese-made nukes?

      1. Nukes may not have ever been fired the US, but you can’t argue that nuclear proliferation globally wasn’t turned on the US populace as a weapon by both the Soviets and our won government. It was arguably the single biggest motivating factor behind almost all history between the end of WWII and the Bush Sr. administration. I actually don’t find that statement absurd. Fear is one of the most powerful weapons and the invention of nukes created a very real and legitimate fear.

        1. I actually don’t find that statement absurd. Fear is one of the most powerful weapons and the invention of nukes created a very real and legitimate fear.

          So, if you equate all high tech inventions with fear and then recognize that governments motivate people nearly exclusively with fear the statement is true?

          The rest of us who aren’t retarded Luddites that equate all technology with fear and recognize that governments motivate people in all kinds of ways (fear of not having free shit?) can still recognize the statement for the bullshit that it is.

          It’s between hyperbolic nonsense and vapid platitude and it should be recognized as such. OMFG! Pencil technology will be weilded by governments against people! WTF are we gonna do?!?!

        2. Given a long enough timeline, the probability that any particular technology will be used by a government against civilians tends towards one.

          As a fictional objectivist/nihilist platitude or philosophy, it has some traction/sense/gravitas in certain contexts. As some sort of policy or indictment of technology past, current, or future, it’s meaningless dribble.

    2. You have to get pretty tangentially relevant and conspiratorial to even begin to believe that statement to be true.

      1. Well they did use an Abrams tank against Koresh. They’ve used retinal scanners in the Middle East & at the border – facial recognition is just another bio-metric marker. Tanks were used by McAurthor to clean out the Bonus Army camps and machine guns have routinely be used against civilians putting down supposed intersections & strike busting. At Alcatraz, part of the tour shows you blast marks where hand grenades were dropped down on prisoners during an uprising. Did you read the article? Predator drones are being used for domestic surveillance along with thermal imaging – another technology developed for war. From Wikipedia: “From 1997 until 2014, $5.1 billion in military hardware were transferred from the Department of Defense to local American law enforcement agencies..”.

        1. Also, some fellow working on developing military surveillance technology took off-the-shelf optical solid-state pickup tubes and found a way to splice all the images together to provide an unblinking, persistent surveillance mosaic of an area the size of a small city. This was used in Iraq. Some US cities are now using this technology to track ‘pre-crime’.

        2. Well they did use an Abrams tank against Koresh.

          Guess what? I turns out the government will use low-tech inventions for peace against civilians too! It’s almost like, and I know this idea might be controversial on a libertarian blog, governments act against people who pay for them intrinsically without regard to technology.

          But stay with me for a minute! Now, and I know I might be getting kinda radical for some of the libertarians around here but, some might even consider that government’s forcing people to fund them is itself a form of conflict or violence intrinsically, whether the government spends that money on technology or not.

          Now, I know I’ve said some crazy shit but bear with me for just one more concept. I know this might be the hardest one of them all to believe but, believe it or not, the government (let alone many of them) isn’t successful at every endeavor it undertakes. In fact, there are heaps of failed prototypes that weren’t used on *anybody* military, civilian, or otherwise.

          So, the phrase “Every high-tech invention for war always ends up being turned against those who paid to invent it.” is pretty retardedly hyperbolic and obnoxiously Luddite on its face.

          1. Says the guy building an Abrams tank & a Predator drone in his basement.

            1. Do you have an essay laying out the future of industrial society in more detail?

  29. This complaint is imbecilic. All the so-called protests referred to were riots, and it is absolutely the government’s job to find and punish every last rioter lest victims need to fight them themselves.

    1. I’ll respond on ENB’s behalf.


  30. Paving Hackensack is the trusted paving contractors in Hackensack NJ and its surrounding areas. We offer a wide range of paving service like pavement repairs and maintenance, asphalt paving, and seal coating.

    1. And to show we are woke, we donate 20% of the profit to local politicians.

  31. The Amazon branded stuff is almost exclusively cheaply made Chinese crap with some stupid nonsense brand name. I’ve gotten burned by that stuff a few times and I returned the shitty items and got better stuff. So I learned my lesson there and I never buy that crap anymore. Maybe other people are happy with garbage that doesn’t work from the get go or breaks after a few uses.

  32. Optimal meal composition in terms of fat, carbohydrates, proteins and fibre (macronutrients) is also highly individual, so prescriptive diets based on fixed macronutrient ratios are too simplistic and will not work for everyone.

    All very true. I, of European decent, attain optimal weight and health (blood numbers?) with a high fat, highish protein, and lowish carb diet. An Indian guy I know who always struggled with weight problems found that the diet that works for him is a diet low in fat and high in starchy vegetables, but with relatively high levels of plant proteins. It’s all genetic as to how your body processes these things.

    1. “Optimal meal composition in terms of fat, carbohydrates, proteins and fibre (macronutrients) is also highly individual, so prescriptive diets based on fixed macronutrient ratios are too simplistic and will not work for everyone”

      Which is why the US government spend a gazillion and a half dollars to publish nationwide nutritional guidelines, and forces all schools to serve the same crap (I mean nutritionally sound foods)

      Just for the record, Grandma was right.

  33. Why did the federal government involve the Drug Enforcement Administration in monitoring protestors? I could see using BATF because guns are involved.
    Do they think all the protestors are on drugs?

  34. WTF? It’s well-established law that you have no expectation of privacy in a public place. LEOs overflying a protest are no more violating your rights than those planes that tow advertising banners down the beach.

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