Reason Roundup

Microsoft May Save TikTok From Trump's Clutches, After President Proposes Ban on Chinese Video App

Plus: U.S. small business relief checks went to Chinese companies, teen charged in massive Twitter hack, and more...


President Donald Trump said Friday that he would ban the popular video app TikTok in the U.S. Neither the technical or the legal means under which he could do so were clear, but Trump has a pen and some paper and told reporters he could write an executive order banning the Chinese-owned app.

The move comes as Trump and members of his administration accuse ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, of passing user data to the Chinese government.

Do Americans need better education about personal data security and how everyone can protect their own privacy? Undoubtedly. But banning communications apps outright from on high is the stuff of dictatorial regimes, not countries that respects free speech and free markets. China is fond of it. Russia, too.

The somewhat good news here is that Trump may be reversing course—if an American company buys TikTok for U.S. users.

Microsoft hopes to be the one. "Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020," the company said in a statement. Microsoft would also buy operation rights to TikTok in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

"Should the deal go through, Microsoft would gain instantaneous entry into the social media space dominated by Facebook and Google, as well as smaller services like Snapchat and Twitter," notes Dylan Byers at NBC News.

The deal would be less objectionable than an outright ban, of course. But it's not encouraging to see federal powers bullying a foreign company into selling off part of itself to a U.S. company, especially through the threat of an outright ban based on entirely hypothetical fears. The administration has offered no evidence that the Chinese government is harvesting U.S. user data through TikTok or to what plausible end people's TikTok data would be valuable to China's leaders.

Instead, we've got Secretary of State Mike Pompeo going on Fox News to fearmonger about Communist cybervillians.

"These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus," Pompeo told Fox's Sunday Morning Futures show early in the day on August 2. "Could be [users'] facial recognition pattern, it could be information about their residence, their phone numbers, their friends, who they're connected to. Those are the issues that President Trump's made clear we're going to take care of. These are true national security issues."

By Sunday evening, however, Reuters was reporting that Trump had "agreed to allow Microsoft Corp…to negotiate the acquisition of popular short-video app TikTok if it could secure a deal in 45 days, three people familiar with the matter said on Sunday."

"Trump changed his mind following pressure from some of his advisers and many in his Republican party," reports Reuters:

Banning TikTok would alienate many of its young users ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November, and would likely trigger a wave of legal challenges. Several prominent Republican lawmakers put out statements in the last two days urging Trump to back a sale of TikTok to Microsoft….

The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by CFIUS, a U.S. government panel that has the right to block any agreement, according to the sources, who requested anonymity ahead of a White House announcement. Microsoft cautioned in its statement that there is no certainty a deal will be reached.

New York Times tech writer Kara Swisher thinks that Trump "is directionally correct in his effort to thwart China's ambitions to establish internet hegemony." But—even putting aside principled qualms with Trump's heavy-handed meddling in private business and speech—there's a big flaw in plans to either ban TikTok or force a bad deal.

"The Trump administration…can block economic activity by TikTok in the U.S., but we fortunately don't have a Great Firewall in this country," Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, told Swisher. "If they push too hard, ByteDance can focus on providing TikTok as a side-loaded Android app and a mobile website, both of which would be impossible for Trump to block."


Federal financial relief for U.S. small businesses and their staff went to Chinese companies. "Millions of dollars of American taxpayer money have flowed to China from the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program that was created in March to be a lifeline for struggling small businesses in the United States," The New York Times reported on Sunday, based on a new analysis from consulting firm Horizon Advisory.

"Because the economic relief legislation allowed American subsidiaries of foreign firms to receive the loans, a substantial chunk of the money went to America's biggest economic rival," writes the Times' ASomewhere between $192 million and $419 million "has gone to more than 125 companies that Chinese entities own or invest in," with "at least 32 Chinese companies receiv[ing] loans worth more than $1 million" each.

Read the whole Horizon Advisory report here.


Florida kid masterminds Twitter hack? A teenager is accused of conducting the July 15 Twitter hack that affected Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kim Kardashian West, Elon Musk, and other hugely prominent people. Hacked accounts tweeted out a Bitcoin scam that allegedly earned the scammer $117,000 in the cryptocurrency.

Florida state prosecutors have charged Graham Clark, age 17, with one count of organized fraud for more than $5,000, one count of unauthorized access to a computer or electronic device, 11 counts of fraudulent use of personal info, and 17 counts of communications fraud. Over the weekend, Hillsborough County Judge Joelle Ann Ober set Clark's bail at $725,000.

"Under Florida law, it would take 10 percent of the bail set Saturday—$72,500—to free Clark pending trial," notes the Tampa Bay Times. "He faces state charges because he is a juvenile, federal authorities say, and was held without bail when he was arrested Friday. Two others involved in the scheme face federal charges in California."


• "What we're seeing today" with COVID-19 in the U.S. "is different from March and April," coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx told CNN on Sunday. "It is extraordinarily widespread—it's into the rural as equal urban areas."

• New Jersey lawmakers passed a bill last week "to allow immigrants, regardless of their status, to apply for professional and occupational licenses in the state if they meet all other requirements. The legislation was approved by the state Senate last week and is expected to be signed by Gov. Phil Murphy," reports.

• Protests—and clashes with law enforcement—continue in Portland as federal agents pull out.

• Ugh. From earlier this morning:

NEXT: The Weed Warriors Who Mistook Tea for Marijuana

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  1. President Donald Trump said Friday that he would ban the popular video app TikTok in the U.S.

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  2. The move comes as Trump and members of his administration accuse ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, of passing user data to the Chinese government.

    They might try to influence our elections.

    1. Do they make gifs?

      1. I bet you pronounce it “jiffs,” you philistine.

        1. correctly then.

          1. You are dead to me.

    2. If the Russians could supposedly steal the American election for the price of an old doublewide, I wonder what the ChiComs could steal for TikTok?

  3. Because the economic relief legislation allowed American subsidiaries of foreign firms to receive the loans, a substantial chunk of the money went to America’s biggest economic rival…

    In case you were wondering if China owns Congress, too.

    1. Gruesome Newsom beat Trump here, he is contracted for a billion to Chinese company and they haven’t even delivered on the first half billion Newsom already gave them for PPEs. but thats local news

    2. I cant keep up. The parargraph before that one, this would have been considered “fear mongering”.
      Probably is also racist, to be sure

  4. Over the weekend, Hillsborough County Judge Joelle Ann Ober set Clark’s bail at $725,000.

    I think Elon Musk and Barack Obama are about to make another offer to match Bitcoinage.

  5. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch current net worth: $53.3 billion

    Barely enough to get him in the global top 20. Which is completely unacceptable for someone who’s worked so hard his entire life. He deserves nothing less than a top 10 ranking.

    Open. The. Borders. NOW!


    1. So 2019.

  6. Microsoft hopes to be the one.

    Gee, that’s great, since Microsoft has such a fantastic record on security problems.

  7. Put this together with the C19 fear mongering, and the result is that the left thinks their ability to do whatever the hell they want is more important than your very life.

    D.C. Mayor Gives Politicians Coming Back from Lewis Funeral a Pass on Quarantine Restrictions

    1. I hope they all die from the coof so even more funerals take place, which will result in more of their associates catching the coof and dying.

      Sounds like a self-correcting problem.

      1. Yeah Herman Cain deserved to get sick and die going to that Trump rally.


        1. That’s actually what my progressive neighbors told me.

          1. I guess not all black lives matter.

    2. The Politburo was always special.

      1. 4 legs good, 2 legs better

    3. The cover alarmists, which have a huge overlap with climate alarmists, can go fuck themselves. Kids pre school was just canceled until January.

      Way to fuck over an entire generation of kids over politics.

      1. No, way for fuck over an entire generation FOR politics (and with politics).

      2. Progressives have to go for us to fix the country. Or it just gets worse.

      3. Remember way back, like 6 months ago, when the dumbest thing going on was all the kids walking out of school to protest climate change?

        The good old days.

      4. To be fair, there’s no conclusive evidence that preschool actually gets kids further ahead after 12 years of leftist indoctrination.

  8. Taxation is theft, and now theft is taxation:

    Minneapolis Police Advise: Surrender Your Property to the Criminals and Obey Them

    The letter includes the information that in addition to the increased robberies and carjackings, that some robbery victims have been “maced, dragged, assaulted” or threatened with a gun.

    So they counsel to “be prepared to give up your cell phone and purse/wallet” and “do as they [the criminals] say.” What’s odd about that is that it’s under “robbery prevention.” Doesn’t sound much like “prevention.”

    The police also give tips on how to deal with carjackings. But obviously, one of those points is going to get them in trouble with their leftist bosses. They advise keeping all the doors locked and “not stopping for strangers who are trying to approach you or stop your car.” What about when the radical leftist BLM folks stop and surround your car?

    1. Shakedown: BLM Demands Protection Fees from Louisville Business

      The posters include a stated commitment to be publicly visible as a public service announcement pending future “inspections” of restaurants and other businesses.

      1. It’s peaceful extortion.

      2. I love it, its not a threat but you better do what we say

      3. Never mind, you saw it lol

      4. What’s the difference between BLM collecting the taxes directly or outsourcing the work to the government? Either way, it’s the same people in charge carrying out the same policies. (I’m assuming that if you pay the BLM fees you’re no longer required to pay the government fees since it would be silly to pay protection money to a gang that can’t even protect you from the other gangs.)

        1. I was going to say it takes out the middle-man. However, I just realized there is no middle-man. This is just reversing the flow. Whether Democrat politicians are funding BLM or BLM is funding Democrat politicians, it all works out to be the same thing.

      5. “Mafia tactics”

        Does this business owner characterize the tactics of the city/county/state/federal governments, who make similar demands with much harsher “repercussions of non-compliance” the same way?

      6. I ate at La Bodeguita de Mima recently. Plenty of people of color work there, so they must not be the right people of color? The food there is really good. These gangsters can fuck off.

    2. Cool. New Minneapolis slogan:

      Defund the Police! Fund the Criminals Instead!

    3. Did you see BLMs Marie like demands?

      They are demanding 1.5% of all revenue.

      1. And 1.5% of all white women?

      2. About time for Michael Corleone’s response to the Senator’s demands.

      3. Black Folx

        *** facepalm ***

      4. Yikes. Assuming that’s for real, sounds like extortion to me.

  9. “It is extraordinarily widespread—it’s into the rural as equal urban areas.”

    It’s an election year so the New York City media will finally pay attention to what happens to the flyovers.

    1. But only in a condescending way.

    2. I didn’t see a single story in the news about devastating flooding in Nebraska and Iowa during the winter of 2018-2019. The only reasons I was aware was because I know people there.

      1. That’s because it happens every few years here. Just like Illinois governors going to prison. No one raises an eyebrow.

        1. Ha!

  10. There is no mention of hospitalizations or deaths.

    Means there weren’t enough to beat up the hicks over.

    1. I’m going to guess zero hospitalizations.

      1. This!

        You can go all-in on that omission being intentional because not a one went to the hospital or died.

        BUT NEW CASES!!!!

  11. Voting for Republicans isn’t just a bad idea. It literally gets people killed.

    Chicago saw a 75% increase in shooting incidents and 139% increase in murders for July 2020 compared to the same month a year ago, according to police data.

    If you’ve been to college, you should have learned that all violence in Chicago is the fault of nearby Republican-controlled areas and their insufficiently tough gun safety laws.


    1. Good to see you back on track.

    2. Better.

    3. That’s not in character, homey.

      1. .00000000022/10

        1. Tough room.

    4. #Hihnlivesmatter

  12. New Jersey lawmakers passed a bill last week “to allow immigrants, regardless of their status, to apply for professional and occupational licenses in the state if they meet all other requirements.

    Is it progress that rather than pare it back, they’re willing to expand the state of occupational regulation?

    1. Applications come with a fee.

      1. And tracking info. But not for ICE.

    2. It’s win-win.
      They don’t have to pay their nannies, gardeners and pool boys minimum wage, but they still get to collect licensing fees.
      The compassion of the political class is heartwarming.


    Left-wing activists bring a stack of Bibles to burn in front of the federal courthouse in Portland.

    1. Do you know who else burned books?

      1. Guy Montag?

      2. The Church Lady?

      3. Julius Caesar

      4. Trump’s accountant?

        1. TDS folks.

          1. Yes, you do have TDS.

            1. Yeah because Trump’s accountant has anything to do with book burning.

      5. Terry Jones?

      6. Are you saying “burned” or “Boo-urned” books?

        1. i was saying Boo-urned

      7. The Clinton Global foundation. Both sets.

    2. Left-wing activists burn bibles

      Well, we all knew that this was coming.
      Progressive political ideology today has a sacral and religious function to its acolytes, and they won’t tolerate any competing faith.

      In ten years the left will be killing people for their religious beliefs.

      1. What? Have you been asleep?

        Dallas Police ‘Ambush’: 12 Officers Shot, 5 Killed During Protest

        1. Being a cop is a religious belief?

          1. My point is that they are already killing people for just doing their jobs. It’s a short hop to any other reason.

    3. Other than pissing off religious folk, I wonder what the supposed goal of that is. Have these people ever submitted a list of grievances to the mayor or city council?

    4. Which is funny as modern Progressivism is basically the direct descendant of ecumenical mainline Protestantism of the early to mid 20th century.

  14. Protests—and clashes with law enforcement—continue in Portland as federal agents pull out.

    With the feds gone, who gets to be the bad guy now?

    1. Any white person that attempts to make eye contact with a POC?


    Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank boss Neel Kashkari: ‘Hard’ shutdown can save economy

    1. Like a helpful economic rape?

      1. If the economy hadn’t been wearing such a short skirt…

        1. The economy should just lie back and enjoy it.

    2. The delusions of these people. Vietnam apparently is now dealing with a strain that is three times more virulent than any others, despite being locked down for months. Spain and Italy are seeing rises in cases.

      It’s a fucking coronavirus. There isn’t shit that can be done to avoid something like that because they’re constantly mutating. We’re all going to get it eventually. Time to accept that.

      1. the sooner you get the weaker version the more likely you will survive the stronger ones. Note for years they told us to not over sanitize since it actually creates stronger strains. what have people been doing while hidden in their homes, over sanitizing.

        1. But peanuts are murder!

          1. Delicious murder

          2. Intentionally given to someone with a nut allergy, YES that would be murder.

    3. Is it weird that a guy running a fed bank is named cash-carry?

      1. WINNER

      2. 2009 wants its joke back.


    This thread is incredible and it went by mostly unnoticed by anyone on the right. “Cancel Rent” protesters blocked the courthouse to prevent people from entering it to file eviction notices against squatters.

    The replies are full of “kill landlords” comments.

    1. Every single person in that video with their hands up, and the repliers, deserves a shotgun blast to the face.

    2. Amusingly, the thread has been surgically purged of any comment including “kill”, “die”, “dead” as of 4pm cdt.


    Left-wing violence is rampant at the Portland protests. A masked Antifa militant sucker-punched a man who was attempting to put out fires they started.

    This happened a few hours ago on Monday past midnight.

    1. It was a mostly peaceful sucker punch

      1. In retaliation for the feds leaving?

    2. Yes, but it’s okay because they are fighting fascism or something.
      I heard that building was a nazi.

  18. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!

    Everyone knows only one side of the aisle ever uses pretexts for gaining electoral advantages AND IT’S NOT THE DEMS.

  19. Instead, we’ve got Secretary of State Mike Pompeo going on Fox News to fearmonger about Communist cybervillians.

    “These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus,”

    /face palm.

    So. It’s all in our heads Chinese spying?

    CSIS for the love of God felt it serious enough to warn the Canadian government about the CCP spying apparatus.

    1. When she posts shit this stupid I can’t help but wonder if it’s on purpose.

      1. It’s impressive.

      2. I’m convinced she’s not actually paying attention.

        1. Something something monkey typewriter.

    2. Software companies are probably all feeding info to all kinds of governments. Gotta play ball.

  20. The Trump administration…can block economic activity by TikTok in the U.S., but we fortunately don’t have a Great Firewall in this country…

    Only because Mexico refuses to pay for it.

  21. I decided to not read a word of this babble. I will assume I missed little.

    1. You would be correct.

    2. That’s not enough. You must eliminate all sources of information that challenge your worldview. Only then will you feel safe. Make your brain space a safe space.

      1. says the guy openly asking Reason to censor commenters. Lol

        1. Censor, lol. Do you “censor” salesmen from your living room, or do you believe in free speech and let everyone in to pitch their product or service whenever they desire?

          1. This isn’t your living room, fuckwit.

            1. Goddamn, he’s an idiot.

      2. It’s not challenging that is the issue.

        It’s that ENB tends to write like a not-too-bright moron. If I wanted to read idiotic commentary, I’d ask you where you write and follow that exclusively.

    It’s been almost a month since the New York primary election and we still don’t know who won.

    That’s what mail-in voting will look like this November, but on a much larger scale.

    1. The independent study on ballots through the mail showing a 3-10% mail failure rate was astounding when considering an election intended to be under 3% of a vote swing. And they didn’t even do wide scale mailers.

      1. The balls of the political class are amazing here. They just don’t give a shit, they know they’ll get away with it.


    Black Lives Matter protesters show up at Republican Senator Warren Limmer’s house in Minnesota demanding he address them.

    1. Someone like that tatted-up moron acts up on my property and doesn’t leave, he’s going to have an appointment with Mr. Mossberg.

  24. Would prefer a great firewall here to prevent lefties and libertarians from organizing.

    1. Libertarians…organizing.

    2. Yeah, the First Amendment is the worst.

  25. Surely illegal under Public Order Act 1936 against political uniforms, as used to prosecute the Blackshirts and, more recently, Britain First?
    Who are the ‘paramilitary-style force marching in the streets’? Anti-racism protesters wearing stab-vests are branded ‘terrifying’ by Nigel Farage as they demonstrate in Brixton – with one yelling ‘F*** the police’ as she confronts officers
    A coalition of demonstrators marched through Brixton to ‘make themselves heard’ by UK government
    Groups attending included Stop The Maangamizi and the Afrikan Emancipation Day reparations committee
    Groups urge Government to form Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice
    Nigel Farage criticised some of those on the march for wearing ‘paramilitary-style’ equipment
    The Metropolitan Police confirmed that three people were arrested during this afternoon’s demonstration

    1. We’re they wearing masks? That’s what’s important.

  26. ““We’re not sure if they are being given weapons by some of the guests who want to see them attack cars, or if they’re fishing them out of pick-up trucks and vans,” one worker said.”

    ““If you take a drive through our Baboon Jungle, we’re unable to return any car parts that our cheeky baboons may take,” the website noted, adding that a “car friendly route” is also an option.”

    1. BLM! Baboon Lives Matter!

      And the “car friendly route” sounds like white privilege.

      1. “Car friendly” = gentrification.


    Black Lives Matter protesters harassed restaurant goers in Austin tonight. These people need lives.

    1. Or at least lives that matter.

      1. All lives matter!

        1. I must say: I disagree

          1. Yes, Hihn’s life doesn’t matter.

            1. Agreed.

          2. As usual, missing context makes all the difference. Matters to whom? In what sense? I suppose most lives of any color don’t really matter to me except in some abstract sense where I value human life in general.

    2. Throw some Popeye’s chicken fingers at the guy with the megaphone, that will distract him long enough to finish your meal.

      1. Gee! That wasn’t racist at all.

        1. It’s an in-kind contribution.

    3. Austin deserves more shit like this.

      1. a Great Convening of Protesters in Austin would be lovely.

    4. Just watched the video. What, in this video, links the guy with the megaphone to Black Loves Matter, other than he is black?

      1. You can see his BLM membership card poking out of his back pocket.

        1. So, nothing.

          1. It’s not nothing, it’s right there.

        1. So, you have no answer.

      2. What is he protesting?

        1. I don’t know if you watched the video or not. Most likely racism, although just from the video, his megaphone-enhanced ranting is largely incomprehensible.

          1. You criticize Trump supporters for always giving him cover but you never do anything but give cover to BLM and Antifa. Self reflection is not your strong suit you hypocrite.

            1. Not giving cover. Pointing out that many here are playing fast and loose with guilt by association. And advancing a narrative by assuming facts not in evidence.

              It’s a video of a black guy yelling at people. That’s an accurate description.

              1. Now apply the same logic to any conservative or anyone to the right of you who questions your narrative, for instance Trump’s tweet the other day. I pointed out it didn’t actually say what you asserted it said and we can’t definitively know his motives. You turned around and labeled me a Trump supporter, right after I had said the tweet was fucking stupid. See, hypocrite like I stated.

                1. There’s a huge difference about determining the motives of hr President, someone whose pattern of behavior has been observed by me and millions of others every day for years, and determining that some black guy you’ve never seen before yelling at people in a video is affiliated with Black Lives Matter.

                  Trump supporters here act like he’s just some guy who we don’t know anything about. Sorry, built there’s a huge amount of context we have in evaluating his tweets.

                  1. Again your distinction is not as strong as you think. You state you are basing your description of his motives on his past behavior (at least your interpretation of those behaviors, again it is your interpretation, others disagree, I say we can’t know because I am not certain he knows). The people labeling these things as BLM are basing it on past behavior of BLM affiliated and even organized protests. So there is no difference between them using their interpretations based on past behavior and you doing the same. It is the exact same behavior, but you excuse your behavior and castigate their behavior. Hypocrisy. You are so worried about the speck in their eyes that you are ignoring the plank in your own eyes.

                    1. No, you are taking a person you know nothing about and claiming they have some kind of affiliation with BLM.

                      Past familiarity with BLM doesn’t justify that, because you are making an assumption about the person, not about BLM.

                    2. In other words, there are two entities you are claiming are associated, but you are only familiar with the history of one of them (BLM).

            2. And what have I said about antifa?

              1. More by extension when you run into defend ChemJeff when people are pointing out how fascist Antifa is. Which you do often.

                1. Don’t think I’ve done that even once.

                  I think antifa is a horrible organization, so I would not be defending them.

                  1. Not them, you defend ChemJeff (or attack those responding to him) when he is defending Antifa. You do it all the time. It is your version of tribalism.

                    1. I don’t think I have done that. Can you find an example?

          2. Gee! That wasn’t racist at all!

            1. I’ll bite. What did I say in that comment that was racist?

              1. I’m sorry, you’re right. I was looking too hard for a micro aggression.

                Nasty habit. Gotta watch that.

    1. Mostly peaceful extortion.


    forces business owners in Portland to follow strict COVID rules, those providing aid to rioters in downtown for weeks can operate under these conditions—just like how
    violates large gathering ban. Video by

  29. US mega-corporations donate almost $2 billion to BLM

    “In a sense, this shows the true regard corporate America has for black people and is, in actuality, why marches and demonstrations were required in the first place. The corporations in our BLM response database list earned over $400 billion in 2019. While we understand that the level of uncertainty in the economy warrants conservation of monetary resources, these institutions are the primary beneficiaries of the Fed’s corporate credit facility, a $6,7 trillion dollar expansion in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet specifically designed to help these corporations.”

    The Coronavirus bailout money from Washington thus went to these mega corporations while ordinary Americans are losing their jobs en masse and witnessing their small businesses being shut down and looted.

  30. “Could be [users’] facial recognition pattern, it could be information about their residence, their phone numbers, their friends, who they’re connected to.

    Pompeo’s an ignoramus if he doesn’t realize it’s all that and more – but it’s nothing that Google and Facebook and Twitter and the NSA don’t already do anyway. Maybe we could use end-to-end encryption to keep those dirty commies from getting their hands on our data, eh, Mikey? Does that sound safer to you? End-to-end encryption? What sort of security you got on your government-issued phone there Mikey? What sort of nefarious shenanigans are you up to that you don’t want anyone to see? That’s the only reason for end-to-end encryption, ain’t it? Because you’re an evil criminal motherfucker up to no good? SAY IT, MIKEY! “I’m an evil criminal motherfucker up to no good and that’s why I need end-to-end encryption.”

    1. But, “No Encryption for YOU!”

  31. Louisville, KY: Cuban Community Rallies In Support Of Cuban Restaurant After BLM Issues “List of Demands”

    The release states that La Bodeguita de Mima was forced to close July 24 during a demonstration that shut down East Market Street, at which several protesters presented Martinez with the list of demands and said he “better put the letter on the door so your business is not f*cked with.”

    The restaurant remained closed the next two days because “management and staff were concerned about safety,” according to the release. “30+ staff members (mostly immigrants) were unable to earn a paycheck.”

    On Thursday, a small group of protesters returned to the restaurant after seeing Martinez’s post about the demands on Facebook. While there, one protester smashed a flower pot outside the business, while the rest spoke with Martinez and other employees about why the demands are needed.

    1. Seems like a perfect opportunity for BLM to have a sit down with some people that have ACTUALLY experienced socialism and go over some of the pluses and minuses before fully committing to it.

    2. Yeah, how is that not criminal extortion?

  32. DC Police Reveal Why They Arrested Teens Writing Pro-Life Messages In Chalk

    The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department arrested two students Saturday morning for defacing property after they wrote pro-life messages in chalk, MPD told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

    …The DCNF asked MPD whether graffiti on the streets of D.C. done in the name of George Floyd or Black Lives Matter also counted as defacing of private/public property. MPD did not immediately respond to this question.

    1. Do black fetuses matter?

      1. Why was planned parenthood started again?

        1. Remove undesirables.

          Failed! The Progs are still here!

        2. Pretty sure it had something to do with your mom.

      2. They matter just as much, or as little as any other fetus.

  33. Statement 1: “Microsoft May Save TikTok From Trump’s Clutches, After President Proposes Ban on Chinese Video App”

    Statement 2: “President Donald Trump said Friday that he would ban the popular video app TikTok in the U.S. Neither the technical or the legal means under which he could do so were clear, but Trump has a pen and some paper and told reporters he could write an executive order banning the Chinese-owned app.”

    These two statements are in conflict.

    IF IF IF TikTok sells its U.S. operations to Microsoft, it will only be because President Trump threatened to ban the app in the United States, and he will campaign on having done so.

    It will not be that Microsoft bought TikTok to save it from President Trump. It will be that Donald Trump forced TikTok to sell its US operations to Microsoft.

    The only reason TikTok would sell itself to Microsoft is because President Trump threatened to ban it in the U.S. The appropriate argument for libertarians is about whether the government has business forcing the sale of companies like this–even on national security grounds. It is no appropriate to pretend that TikTok would sell itself to Microsoft if it weren’t for President Trump.

    1. I think it’s interesting that Trump’s thinking, here, appears to be driven by reelection considerations.

      Even after the CEO of TikTok assured President Trump that he would be completely selling his stake in TikTok entirely, President Trump still reiterated that he preferred to ban the app completely. Even after they threw in TikTok’s operations in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and even after Microsoft promised to hire 10,000 Americans over the next three years if President Trump approved the sale, President Trump still insisted that he would prefer to ban the app from the United States rather than approve of the sale.

      I think this is extraordinary because it underscores how Trump sees social media from the standpoint of his reelection campaign. It would appear that Trump thinks he do better for himself in the upcoming election by banning a social media app than he can by taking credit for having forced a Chinese social media app to sell itself to an American company and create 10,000 high paying jobs in the USA.

      Is social media really so unpopular in the United States that he can score more political points by banning it?

      1. No, he just hates tictok . I can’t blame him , it’s crap.

      2. “Is social media really so unpopular in the United States that he can score more political points by banning it?”

        You are thinking too deeply here. TikTok was the Social Media platform responsible for his Tulsa Rally debacle. He wants it to pay for his embarrassment.

      3. I and many other don’t trust Microsoft anymore than Chinese run TikTok and more than likely Microsoft will just turn around and sell or even give the information to China anyway because thats how TikTok makes its money

      4. If he did because MS promised to create 10000 jobs in the US great. Politicians have done more with less jobs promised for political gain and at least he didn’t spend tax dollars doing it. How many other of these supposed job creations can say that?

      5. In updated news, President Xi is apparently pissed off at TikTok for negotiating a sale to Microsoft.

        Xi, certainly, sees this as President Trump successfully flexing his influence muscles over a Chinese company, which is a sin against the CCP.

        If it pisses Emperor Xi off so much, maybe Trump will decide he’s in favor of the sale to Microsoft after all.

    2. National security grounds. TikTok is not a ‘private enterprise’ but rather has been linked directly to the Chinese government.

      a core reason for the Feds is national security and defense against foreign attack. There is a very strong case to be made that TikTok was furthering the Chinese governments espionage efforts in the US.

      Forcing the ‘sale’ isn’t the Feds getting involved in business transactions so much as it is the Feds getting involved in foreign espionage.

      1. A philosophical question: if we had a truly libertarian country, what methods and actions would be legal to protect it from another country that threatened its existence?

        1. The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights.

          We have police to protect our rights from criminals. We have criminal courts to protect our rights from the police.

          We have a military to protect our rights from foreign threats.

          That last statement is my philosophical basis for protecting our country from a libertarian perspective. It is the duty of libertarian government to protect our rights from foreign threats.

          1. So, seriously, what about banning something like TikTok that materially aids a foreign government in their efforts to disrupt a libertarian society?

            1. Reasonable libertarians can disagree on these questions. It is both true that people should be free to do as they please and true that the government has a legitimate role in protecting our rights from foreign threats.

              What Trump is demonstrating here is that leadership can make changes for the better without really doing much of anything. If TikTok sells itself to Microsoft on the basis of a threat that is never implemented, then what’s there for a libertarian to really complain about?

              The extent that the government can or should act to protect us from foreign threats is limited by the willingness of people to defend their rights from government intrusion and the willingness of the courts to protect our rights from the government’s efforts–on a case by case basis. And I suppose that is as it should be.

              1. If TikTok prefers to sell its U.S. operations to Microsoft rather than fight the Trump administration in court, who are libertarians to complain and what are we to complain about?

      2. “There is a very strong case to be made that TikTok was furthering the Chinese governments espionage efforts in the US.”

        I’m genuinely interested in whatever proof you have of this.

        1. There have been several deep dives into the amazing amount of info Tik Tok keeps on you at all times. It is appreciably worse than any other social media platform out there…and they are pretty bad in their own right.

        2. To what extent is Huawei owned by members of the CCP?

          Are you familiar with China’s social credit system? If you’re not, take a good, long, hard look at this:

          The opening paragraphs are too large to quote. Understand that they’re using data analytics to create a database on every individual based on some rather mundane behaviors. They use this database to deny the sale of airplane and train tickets, to deny people entry into universities, as well as to give other people better access to hospitals and to offer the latter better jobs.

          The question is why we should assume they would create these kinds of profiles on American citizens, and one answer might be that if they have a treasure trove of data on Americans, why wouldn’t they use that data to build the same kinds of profiles they build on their own people?

          If Americans want to subject themselves to that kind of surveillance and tracking, we should probably let them, but I see no reason to assume that the Chinese government wouldn’t avail themselves of whatever information they can collect on people–anywhere in the world. They’re doing it to their own people? Why wouldn’t they do it to us?

        3. “I’m genuinely interested in whatever proof you have of this.”

          me, personally? I have no proof or insider knowledge.

          But a search will pull up extensive discussions of this dating back to 2018, including NYT, Atlantic, and other lefty outlets. If TDS wasn’t so rampant, no one would think twice about this.
          Foreign governments, particularly Australia have been very vocal about TikTok’s disturbing links to the CCP.

      3. I posted below in regards to the legality of this.

        It appears to follow the same logic as Trump’s ban on Huawei, which the courts appear to have supported.

        Huawei’s lawsuit against the U.S. government was found in the U.S. government’s favor.

        I’m not saying what Trump is doing here should be legal, but I think it is.

        1. But doesn’t Google and Facebook and Twitter scrape all your data anyway and then just sell it to the Chinese? What difference does it make, except to Google, Facebook and Twitter?

          1. I’m not sure whether you’re trying to argue a tu quoque fallacy or whether you’re arguing the perfect solution fallacy, but I think you’re going for one or the other.

            I don’t know that Facebook and Twitter are selling our data en masse to the Chinese government, but even if they were, that doesn’t mean TikTok should be free to do so and it doesn’t mean that Microsoft collecting that data isn’t better from a national security perspective.

        2. Huawei, and ZTE both steal massive amounts of tech from other countries (mainly the US) use it them selves and sell it to nort Korea, Russia, Iran, etc. Both should be banned from doing business in the US, and all US companies that work with them should be under suspicion.

          1. Because you don’t like them and because they break the law isn’t a good enough reason for the government to do anything but build a case against them and prosecute.


              They do, constantly. That isn’t deterring the CCP from being the dispicable garbage they are.

    3. Trump is banning TikTok because so many Americans are debasing themselves in ridiculous 15 second videos that we are becoming the laughing stock of the world.

    “Let us all keep a cool head about Asian influenza as the statistics on the spread and the virulence of the disease begin to accumulate.” ~New York Times editorial, Sept. 17, 1957

    “So, what was it like to live through the Asian flu of 1957?” I recently asked my father.

    “What’s the Asian flu?” replied my father, who was in second grade at the time.

    “Well, do you remember the Hong Kong flu of 1968?” I followed up, thinking that surely he’d remember something that killed around 100,000 people (the equivalent of 160,000 today) when he was in college and very news-savvy.

    “I remember the riots in ’68 and the oil crisis in the ’70s, but don’t recall anything about flus.”

    Try this social experiment on anyone who lived through the 1950s and 1960s, or try it on yourself if you are a Baby Boomer or older. You likely don’t recall any disruption in your life nor any trauma-induced fear and panic. That is because there wasn’t any disruption.

    1. Because we were all evil monsters that didn’t care if grandma died.

      1. In the 50s and 60s grandma was already dead. Seriously.

        Life expectancy, 1950: 67 years
        Life expectancy, 2020: 79 years

        All those old people are messing things up.

        1. This is not correct. Those life expectancy numbers are almost completely driven by infant mortality. Back in 1957 nearly 3% of people died in infancy, which lowered the average expectancy significantly. Today it is closer to .5%. While we are getting improvements in the top end of life, it hasn’t been nearly as drastic as those numbers indicate.

          1. You make a valid point, but look at is this way:

            Percent of Americans over 65, 1950: 8%
            Percent of Americans over 65, 2020: 17%

            Our senior cohort has doubled, and so (deservedly) the attention they get, and the political power they wield, has at least doubled. Plus their cost to society has more than doubled, especially for health care. And now, if they truly are the justification for over-protective pandemic measures, their cost to society has become astronomical.

            1. That still is slanted, as we were experiencing a baby book and births per death ratio was much larger than 2, but currently we are under 2. It isn’t that people died younger, it was just that we had a much younger population as average family size was much larger than today. The percentage of young adults was much lower than today. Your statistic is simply the fact that people are having fewer children and or choosing not to have children. Also they are having children at a much later age than they did in the 50s and 60s. This all decreases the percentage of young people while increasing the percentage of older people. It is not evidence of people dying younger.

        2. Life expectancy is almost entirely driven by surviving birth childhoold. It’s a VERY misleading statistic.

          1. Also why European countries reveal “better” stats than the US. Because we record ALL births, period, while most countries won’t count births where the baby died very early after birth.

            1. i did not know this! Thanks for the good info.

    2. “I remember the riots in ’68 and the oil crisis in the ’70s, but don’t recall anything about flus.”

      Social distancing was so strict we sent 24 men to the moon.

    3. Yup, that’s true. I was a kid at the time and I only vaguely remember hearing the phrase, Hong Kong flu.

    4. Or ask yourself what it was like to live through the 2016-2017 flu season. 500k deaths, BTW.

    5. Who could be concerned with the flu when POLIO was still around. I remember closed pools and schools when a case of polio was found in the community.

  35. Mail-in balloting isn’t made to steal the election, it’s just meant to make it impossible to count the ballots. Sorting out the ballots is going to involve hundreds of lawsuits and several years at least – and in the meantime say hello to Acting President Nancy Pelosi, motherfuckers.

    1. That’s an exaggeration. It is indisputable that it will take longer to count everything, so we may not know the winner on election night, but that’s actually not important no matter how much Trump keeps trying to make it into an issue.

    2. Nevada has a paltry six electoral votes. There are at least half a dozen swing states higher than Nevada, several of which are not doing that much mail-in voting.

    3. I wanted to get an idea how much could mail-in ballot problems might affect Presidential election results. I looked at several sources to get a list of states that might end up being “battleground” or “swing” states. Listed in order of highest electoral votes to lowest:

      – Texas (38) – Mail-in ballots very restricted.
      – Florida (29) – No-reason mail-ins. Some counties sending applications to all voters.
      – Pennsylvania (20) – Recently adopted no-reason mail-ins. The Republican Party encouraged voters to mail in.
      – Michigan (16) – No-reason mail-ins. Sent/will send mail-in applications to everyone.
      – North Carolina (15) – No-reason mail-ins. Might take measures to make it easier to mail in, but haven’t done so yet.
      – Arizona (11) – Have been doing all mail-in for a long time.
      – Minnesota (10) – Might take measures to encourage mail-in.
      – Wisconsin (10) – Sending mail-in applications to everyone.
      – Nevada (6) – All mail-in.
      – New Hampshire (4) – Have to give a reason to get an absentee ballot.
      – Maine (4) – Anyone can request mail-in. Not doing anything to encourage mail-ins.

      I tried to fact check this as well as I could. I’m sure folks here will let me know if I got something wrong.

      1. In Ohio I have voted absentee (mail-in) for decades. You have to state a reason, but anything goes.

        1. I missed Ohio as a swing state, so I didn’t research them. Are they doing anything differently this year?

          1. “Ohio’s secretary of state plans to mail absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters beginning around Labor Day. Early in-person voting runs from Oct. 6 through Nov. 2, including some weekends, helping voters avoid crowded Election Day polling places.”

            1. Thanks. And, for the record, Ohio has 18 electoral votes.

    1. Uyghurs disagree for some reason.

    2. Somebody prefers little yellow dicks.

    3. didn’t a few people say the same thing about Germany in the 30’s

      1. Why, yes, I believe they did.

    4. needs a new driver.

    5. Good grief she’s a ghoul.

      Anyone not genuinely disgusted by the Chinese govt and sad for the Chinese people right now is either completely ignorant or a lefty ghoul.

    6. Guess their check cleared.

      1. Thread winner!!

  36. If we need to ban TikTok in order to protect the average American idiot, then we should also ban email (at least email attachments), and perhaps prohibit access to the internet. For the children. And the election.

    1. Yahoo stopped all commenting on articles . For “safety”.

      1. To be fair, if the Founding Fathers had ever seen Yahoo comments they wouldn’t have given us 1A.

      2. Yahoo’s answer to China was also to get out. After China forcibly entered the offices there and forced them to hand over dissident emails, they sold all their interests in the country to Alibaba and never looked back.

        1. Tech people with ethics? Unpossible.

    1. Who would have guessed?

      1. What’s “NBA”?

        1. Given their color bias, I can guess what the “N” stands for.

        2. That’s the league where the greatest forward of all time, Larry Bird, used to play.

          1. Philly called, said “gonna pretend we didn’t hear that.”

            1. San Antonio probably has thoughts on that too.

    2. I still have hope for baseball. The NBA has said that players are allowed to wear jerseys have one of three specifically-approved political messages on them, and they’re all variants on “Black Lives Matter.” They’re fully in the tank because the NBA needs LeBron James more than he needs than he needs the NBA.

      I’m watching my baseball games and am not hearing jack-shit about politics. COVID of course comes up because it’s been hugely disruptive to their season, but it’s been acceptable viewing.

      1. >>I’m watching my baseball games and am not hearing jack-shit about politics

        you watching the espn games? the crawl is brought to you by msnbc

      2. On the back of the pitcher’s mound in Cleveland there was a big BLM emblem for the first game. Gone after that.

      3. The fake audience noise is really fucking weird, though.

        1. I like it on the TV broadcasts. Do the players hear it as well?

          Some owner should sell the ‘rights’ to have your poster size photo sit in one of the seats for all the games. You send in a pic and $$ and they print it and put it in place. Then they could pan over these during the games. It would give the fans some connection and something to keep them interested.

          1. I forget which team but they have pics of, I think it was season ticket holders or something, and if a home run hits one that person gets a ball sent to them.

          2. I think it’s just on TV. I listened to one game on the radio and it was silent. Which was also fucking weird.

    3. The thing I don’t get is why the leagues allow this shit to go on and on and on and on. They don’t have to play the national anthem. People don’t care, it is mostly a distraction and you have to put down your beer. There would be complaints the year they stop and then it would be forgotten the next.

      1. They don’t have to play the national anthem. People don’t care

        They could have ditched the anthem 10 years ago and people would have noticed, but I don’t think it would have been a huge uproar. NOW? No way. Boomercons would be blowing out their knees protesting the removal of the anthem from ball games.

        1. Then fuck it. Let the leagues twist in the wind while the anthem plays.

          Maybe they can rename Washington’s NFL team the Protestors and the helmets can be emblazoned with a burning flag. Their mascot could be a man-sized orange baby in a diaper. That should get the locals out in droves for the games.

          1. Washington Parasites.

      2. It would probably be a bit of an uproar if they stopped playing the anthem altogether (at least when fans are present- maybe not so much right now, when no one is there). But they CAN not make it such a production and focal point that includes the players. I honestly am not sure what this history is with baseball, since they don’t really have that “coming out of the locker room” moment, but the NFL for sure has not always had all the players on the sideline for the anthem, where whatever they do or don’t do is on full display. That is, I believe, largely a post-9/11 thing. So go back to having the anthem pre-player introductions for the NFL, NBA, etc., and no one has to choose what statement they want to make- they will be in the locker room or tunnel (you also don’t need to show it on the broadcast if you don’t want to). And make no mistake, right now it is impossible to not make a statement during the anthem; if you DON’T kneel right now, you will almost certainly have a minor social media firestorm discussing your motives.

        And it’s not traditionally unpatriotic for a league to not have all participants be part of the anthem theatre either, nor for networks not to cover it. I watch parts of old (late-80s/early 90s) NASCAR races on YouTube sometimes, which obviously was as red-blooded USA as you could get, and am struck with how little attention was paid to the anthem. Though I haven’t watched much NASCAR since the early 2000s, it seems that these days all drivers, crew, officials, etc. now line up on pit road, hand over heart, etc.- any deviation from this would be very visible and probably controversial. 25-30 years ago, the drivers were strapped in their cars, and the broadcast rarely showed the anthem specifically (except perhaps for big races, like Daytona, with celebrity anthem singers, flyovers, and the like). Moreover, the pit road reporters would often be conducting interviews with the drivers strapped into their cars WHILE THE ANTHEM COULD BE HEARD BEING SUNG IN THE BACKGROUND. People of the conservative persuasion would blow a gasket if they did something like that today (and I’m sure it would bother liberals too, for some reason). Point is, in the not too distant past, everyone simply didn’t see the need to assign dramatic “for us or against us” motives to every single thing people did. There was a middle ground between being expected to mouth every word and shed a tear each time the anthem was played and giving a black power salute while shitting on an American flag. It sure would be nice to be able to go back to something like that.

        1. Is it OK to squat like you are taking a shit during the Anthem?

          1. Is he in the middle of his set, bro? I mean, c’mon. Gotta let a fella get his work in.

    4. get woke, go broke was never truer

  37. I’m sorry, but we just got off a multi-year fight about one of our foreign rivals spending trivial amounts on American social media platforms to influence our election. However, we are just fine with a foreign power OWNING a major social media platform that has been used for political purposes? Do you think the Chinese government isn’t influencing the trends? I don’t like the idea of banning it either, but the attempt to downplay just how much influence this is seems absurd coming from people who were screaming about Russian interference nonstop for the past four years.

    1. Yea but that was different

      Sarc off

    2. Senator Frankenstein thinks the ChiComs are OK! And that’s good enough for me.

  38. Or ransomeware used against GOP areas in swing states to throw the election to Gropey McGooeyBrain.

    Ransomware feared as possible saboteur for November election

    Federal authorities say one of the gravest threats to the November election is a well-timed ransomware attack that could paralyze voting operations. The threat isn’t just from foreign governments, but any fortune-seeking criminal.

    Ransomware attacks targeting state and local governments have been on the rise, with cyber criminals seeking quick money by seizing data and holding it hostage until they get paid. The fear is that such attacks could affect voting systems directly or even indirectly, by infecting broader government networks that include electoral databases.

    1. Nice election you have there. Be a shame if something happened to it.

  39. “Willie Brown: Why Democrats own the GOP in mail voting”
    “…“Harvesting” votes can be also be effective — that’s where the campaign actually delivers absentee ballots for people — but you have to be careful.
    Lee’s people got into hot water in his first election when they set up a booth at a Chinatown street fair and helped fill out and collect absentee ballots for elderly Chinese-speaking voters…”

    ‘Here, let me help you fill out that ballot. Is your wife here? Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but maybe we can fill out a ballot for her, also. How old is your daughter? Close enough….’
    Yeah, the Ds ‘own’ VBM, just like they own the cemetery vote.

    1. It’s why they react to Voter ID like a vampire to sunlight.

      1. Make the ID for AFDC, SNAP, etc… comply with Real ID requirements, and then require it for voting.

        Though I can hear the butthurt about that proposal, all the way over here.

  40. Even more bad economic news.

    Nearly 30 million Americans told the Census Bureau they didn’t have enough to eat last week

    You know the economy is bad when people can’t even afford food. Of course we Koch / Reason libertarians have the solution to every economic problem: unlimited, unrestricted immigration and no minimum wage.


    1. “Nearly 30 million Americans told the Census Bureau they didn’t have enough to eat last week”

      What percentage of those 30 million Americans are clinically obese?

      All the fat kids say they didn’t get enough to eat.

      1. We need to make larger portions at restaurants mandatory!

      2. Can attest. Source: Am a (dieting) fat kid.

      3. I probably didn’t have enough to eat last week. The masked hordes at the grocery store are making it very difficult for me to acquire food.

    2. But how many Americans did not get enough sex last week?

      1. Yeah, that too, I’m afraid.

    3. If I were being honest, I would have to admit that we didn’t have enough to eat last week and nearly every week – that’s why we go to the grocery store. When we’re low on milk or bread or cereal, we can stop off at the Dollar General on the way home and pick some up, but when you’re running low on most everything you gotta go into town and make the big grocery store shopping trip. But for a day or so, you gotta hear the kids complain about how “there’s nothing to eat” even though what they really mean is that we’re out of chicken nuggets and they’re too goddamn lazy to fix themselves anything else. “Look, there’s left-over meatloaf, there’s macaroni and cheese and hot dogs, there’s several kinds of canned soup, there’s sandwich meat, I’m making spaghetti for dinner….” There’s plenty of food, just not the shit they want to eat.

    4. Come on y’all. Food insecurity is measured by whether you have worried about having enough to eat. This is a problem for the extremely poor at the best of times, but given that we have a global crisis that has had multiple shortages as well as massive unemployment due to all these shutdowns, worrying about it seems perfectly reasonable.

      The problem is that the questions are worded so as to maximize the number of “yes” responses, to the point that the answers are more or less meaningless.

    5. Count me among the 30 million. I only had lobster once and filet twice! Practically starved!

    6. Not surprisingly, food insecurity is not an issue that self-proclaimed libertarians take seriously.

  41. New: John Podesta played Biden in an election war-game, and refused to concede in a scenario that looked a bit like 2016


    While 40 million Americans filed for unemployment during the #coronavirus pandemic, billionaires saw their net worth increase by half a trillion dollars

    1. The primary objective of Koch / Reason libertarianism is to make billionaires even richer. So on the surface this sounds like good news. That is, until you realize the most important billionaire of all,’s benefactor Charles Koch, is experiencing severe financial hardship during this #DrumpfDepression.

    2. i’m surprised it’s only half a trillion. The government printed 4 trillion to spray around and billionaires already set in position were only able to grab 1/8 of it? That’s surprising actually.

  43. “”Because the economic relief legislation allowed American subsidiaries of foreign firms to receive the loans, a substantial chunk of the money went to America’s biggest economic rival,” writes the Times’ Alan Rappeport. Somewhere between $192 million and $419 million “has gone to more than 125 companies that Chinese entities own or invest in,” with “at least 32 Chinese companies receiv[ing] loans worth more than $1 million” each.”

    But did they use that money to pay American employees? If so, what’s the problem?

  44. New Jersey lawmakers passed a bill last week “to allow immigrants, regardless of their status, to apply for professional and occupational licenses in the state if they meet all other requirements.

    By all means, whatever you do, don’t even think about reducing the number of occupations that require professional licenses. That would be crazy talk.

  45. “The administration has offered no evidence that the Chinese government is harvesting U.S. user data through TikTok or to what plausible end people’s TikTok data would be valuable to China’s leaders.”

    What could a communist dictatorship running the world’s largest machine-learning-powered surveillance system possibly do with practically unlimited quantities of imagery of people of all races and ethnicities from around the world? I can’t think of anything.

    1. Sell data about them to advertisers, just like all the other big Internet portals.

      1. Um…targeted assassinations of troublemakers comes to mind. Recall the Russians poisoning that turncoat in London. If it was someone a bit less ‘important’ no one would notice if he/she had a sudden heart attack or got run over by a cement truck (this actually happened to an Italian guy I knew who was in hock to the mob).

        1. They need Tik Tok to do this? If we ban Tik Tok China will stop assassinating American teenagers?

    2. The real concern over TikTok is not the content being produced.

      It’s that the app harvests damn-near everything on your phone, including cached data from other apps.

  46. “Millions of dollars of American taxpayer money have flowed to China from the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program that was created in March to be a lifeline for struggling small businesses in the United States,”

    Meanwhile, billions (trillions?) of dollars of American spending money have flowed to China, and the same Chinese government. Why begrudge a little skimming by the US feds by laundering some dollars through our tax system?

  47. “Young adults, tired of social distancing after spring lockdown, fuel Covid-19 surge across Continent”

    “Coronavirus Cases Rise in Europe as Youth Hit Beaches and Bars”

    You know your attempts at social engineering are futile and stupid when the “problem” you’re trying to solve is finding new and better way to stop young people from getting together and screwing.

    You want them to stop looking for each other in bars. You want them to stop looking for each other on the beaches. You want them to stop looking for each other? You might as well want them to stop wanting to screw.

    Might as well try to think up new and better ways to stop the sun from rising. Young people will look for each other, and they will screw–and there isn’t anything the government can do to stop it. . . . not in the name of social justice and not in the name of COVID-19. They’re gonna get together, and they’re gonna screw and screw and screw and screw.

    1. They’re literally trying to social engineer humans away from being social beings.

      Either they stick to it to maniacal levels or it’s going to die a natural death as proper.

      Somehow I doubt Dr. Fauci et al including mid-wit politicians are smart enough to defeat natural human biology and evolution. Man is a social being and that’s that.

      What a foolish attempt they’re making.

      1. You see the same thing with social justice warriors and all sorts of gender related stuff.

        No doubt, gender roles can be and are socially constructed. There’s also no doubt that some things related to sex are driven by evolutionary processes that remain in place whether social justice warriors like it or not.

        It’s like they’ve missed the central observations of evolution and atheism–even as they imagine they’re embracing them.

        The central point of atheism and evolution (not that I’m an atheist) is that the way we are sprang naturally from the forces that created us–without the need for a God to guide our development. Instead of embracing that, they’re trying to make themselves God and guide our development–oblivious to the forces that continue to make us the way we are.

        I once read that the closer you get to the equator, the more likely the culture is to have a taboo against women having sex before their last child’s first birthday. They said it had something to do with the scarcity of protein in the tropics and, hence, the importance of a sufficient lactation period to the survival of infants. And it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about Africa, South America, or the South Pacific, the closer you are to the equator, the more the culture trends towards having this taboo.

        And it doesn’t matter whether the social justice warriors like the taboo. Cultural evolution is adaptive anyway. Those social mores spring from the evolutionary forces that created them, and it’s those evolutionary forces that are driving the bus–not the opprobrium of social justice warriors or threats from the government.

    2. What’s the 21st century equivalent of nunnery?

      1. “social distancing”?

      2. Libertarian Party convention?

        Comic con?

        1. It’s like Comic Con only with more virgins.

    3. Good. It’s going to get around, only question is when. Sooner is better.

  48. “A teenager is accused of conducting the July 15 Twitter hack that affected Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kim Kardashian West, Elon Musk, and other hugely prominent people.”

    Who’s smarter than a 12th grader?

    1. The dark side of “learning to code”.

    2. It was obvious it was a teenager. Someone who knew what they were doing could have made untold millions, not 117K on some second rate cryptocurrency.

  49. I love how a known data harvesting app from a totalitarian state is now worthy of defense because “orange man bad”.

    Bravo, Elizabeth. And I encourage you to openly use TikTok and Zoom and make sure to upload all of your personal info to further the cause.

    1. It’s not even a very good app either. It takes a lot of guts to aspire to the failure that was vine. Considering I see ads for TikTok on TV, I can only assume it’s succeeding. Nothing says ‘hip, young, successful social media company’ like advertisements on television.

      1. thats how you get moms and dads and the grandparents on board with TukYTokbut thats also when the kids leave the app. Moms on it I’m out

      2. I’ve seen tv ads for fucking Crowdstrike, the company behind the Russia hoax

    2. …because “orange man bad”.

      Orange Man bad?!? He BAD, all right! He SOOO BAD, He be GOOD! He be GREAT! He Make America Great Again!

      We KNOW He can Make America Great Again, because, as a bad-ass businessman, He Made Himself and His Family Great Again! He Pussy Grabber in Chief!

      See The Atlantic article by using the below search-string in quotes:
      “The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet” or this one…

      He pussy-grab His creditors in 7 bankruptcies, His illegal sub-human workers ripped off of pay on His building projects, and His “students” in His fake Get-Rich-like-Me realty schools, and so on. So, He has a GREAT record of ripping others off! So SURELY He can rip off other nations, other ethnic groups, etc., in trade wars and border wars, for the benefit of ALL of us!!!

      All Hail to THE Pussy Grabber in Chief!!!

      Most of all, HAIL the Chief, for having revoked karma! What comes around, will no longer go around!!! The Donald has figured out that all of the un-Americans are SOOO stupid, that we can pussy-grab them all day, every day, and they will NEVER think of pussy-grabbing us right back!

      Orange Man Bad-Ass Pussy-Grabber all right!

      We CAN grab all the pussy, all the time, and NONE will be smart enough to EVER grab our pussies right back!

      These voters simply cannot or will not recognize the central illusion of politics… You can pussy-grab all of the people some of the time, and you can pussy-grab some of the people all of the time, but you cannot pussy-grab all of the people all of the time! Sooner or later, karma catches up, and the others will pussy-grab you right back!

      1. Everything is so terrible and unfair.

        1. “Everything Is So Terrible And Unfair”

          When they sentence you (in your next lifetime, since you’re probably a geezer right now?), for 10,000 years in the slammer, for “rape”, for consensual sex, with you as an 18.0001-year-old, and her as a 17.9999 year-old… Or he on he, or she on she, or human on goat, as the case may be… PLUS infinity-time on the “sexual predator” list… I hope and pray that your slogan will be of IMMENSE solace to you!

          1. Someone is easily triggered. Haha.

    3. You know what would help with China moving beyond being a totalitarian state: encouraging business and trade there. You know what doesn’t help? Turning our own country into a totalitarian state.

      1. They’ve had fifty years to make it happen. Like the Great Society, it’s time to MoveOn.

        1. Sure, China hasn’t changed at all in the last fifty years.

          1. Yeah, they’ve changed. They have literal concentration camps and harvest organs from political dissenters. Yep, they’ve changed. Just not for the better. Oh and let’s not mention what they’ve done to Hong Kong.

            1. I have relatives in Hong Kong and I’m worried for them.

              You know what. ByteDance is not oppressing the people in Hong Kong. ByteDance and other free marketers in China are a force against the authoritarianism.

              1. Bytedance is not a free market it is owned by the CcP and one of only a few social media networks allowed in China, all of whom have to sign an agreement to allow the Chinese government to spy on it’s citizens. Rather than making China freer, the CCP uses these sites as spy agencies to keep their citizens in line. Now if it was a true free social media network you may have a point but it isn’t. TikTok is used by the CCP to monitor it’s own citizens. They’ve used to it track down pro-democracy activist and other political dissentents.

                1. That’s not quite accurate. The Communist Party certainly does have its fingers in Bytedance, and no doubt has pressured it to do its bidding, but it is privately owned and legally a Cayman Islands corporation.

                  Your larger point stands, though. If you’re a Chinese company, the Chinese Communist Party is going to try to use you for their purposes.

                  Still, it’s worth keeping in perspective that Tik Tok is not a doing banking, nuclear power plant control, voting machine systems, or something. It’s a place where people post silly videos.

              2. You do know that TikTok was suppressing protest videos and other activist content, right?

          2. Now not only are you covering for BLM and Antifa, you are literally covering for a Maoist state that is running concentration camps.

            1. It’s his job.

            2. I’m covering for them by making the pretty standard libertarian argument that trading and openness to free market and entrepreneurial elements will encourage the growth of freedom in China. Whatever.

              1. No your covering for them by inferring 50 years of unencumbered trade has led to a better, freer China. This is demonstrably not true. If freer trade was going to make China better, we would not be seeing the abuses we are currently seeing.

                1. So, your answer is?

                  1. If a foreign owned business is owned by a government, and allows it resources to be used by the government to spy on it’s own citizens, admitting it is a possible/probable security threat is completely understandable. Sometimes, free trade with despotic governments just makes you complicit in their tyranny.

                    1. Sure, that makes sense.

                      In the case of Tik Tok, specifically, what information is at risk for some American posting videos of themselves skateboarding or something?

                  2. While free trade may have helped end the Cold War, it was only after Reagan found someone who actually wanted reform. It was only once the Soviet people demanded reforms. Unfortunately Xi is not Gorbachav but more like Stalin. We traded with Stalin and he just used it to secure his power and to expand that power into Eastern and Central Europe.

                  3. By the way, I was asking for more: your proposed American foreign policy on China.

          3. I’m sure another 50 years and they’ll be on their way.

            1. Change can come slowly or suddenly. The USSR fell apart in a few years.

              1. Any year now.

      2. When do we decide that THAT idea has not worked out?

        We’ve become FAR more like China than they have become like us.

        1. So what’s your answer?

          1. How about now? It’s been decades and they’re getting worse. All we’re doing is subsidizing the torture. There truly are things more important in the world than money.

            1. Let me clarify. What is your proposed American foreign policy toward China?

        2. That can go both ways. Allowing China to monitor our citizens unchecked through nearly unlimited access to their personal lives can be damaging, but so can allowing the executive branch to give itself the power to declare any software it deems dangerous to “national interest” to be illegal.

          This is a tough one. This should be a matter for congress to legislate (I still have huge fundamental reservations about letting them have a say either), but we don’t have a single trustworthy, tech savvy leader in the lot of them. It’s wall to wall corrupt corporatist technological troglodytes.

          1. They really are a sad lot when it comes to understanding technology.

    4. I wouldn’t cry if the Justice Department or whatever found a justification to ban Tik Tok in the US. And it’s not like it would be the first time either… they threatened the same to Grindr after it was bought-up by a Chinese company, and to stay in the US they had to resell it to someone else.

      So yeah, I’m kinda amused at all the folks that are up in arms of defending TikTok. The folks trying to compare it to Google, Facebook and other mainstream apps seem to not understand just how much data it vacuums up.

      That said, I do think that if Microsoft put their name to it, that they’d probably clean-up the data-harvesting. Say what you will about the quality of their products (and I’ve noticed that in the last few years, there are far fewer serious complaints) they have a reputation to uphold.

  50. > Trump has a pen and some paper and told reporters he could write an executive order banning the Chinese-owned app.

    The fact that no one is concerned about the ROOT of this statement is deeply disturbing. It’s not the TikTok, it’s not the specific product or service being banned. It’s the notion that the president can ban something just by writing his own order and signing it. And that the only thing wrong with it is that he’s not part of the correct tribe.

    This is fucked. Presidents do NOT have that power, but the system is such that they need to exercise that power before it can be judged by a court. And so far only the corners and edges of such cases have been examined. Because both tribes want to keep that unauthorized power in place for when their guy is in charge.

    1. “Pen and phone” , anyone?

      1. At least Trump was going to write on paper. What was Obama going to do – write on the phone? He dumb.

    2. The President absolutely has that power. TikTok is linked to a foreign government and on national security grounds, can be banned by the Feds.

      Not sure at what point people starting pretending that TikTok was anything but foreign espionage, but this has been opening discussed since 2018 by both left and right.

      1. and other nations who realize it foreign espionage and the military has already ordered it personel to stop using it

      2. Brandy isn’t a bright bulb

      3. Whats amazing to me is that when that auto-aging photo app was discovered to be owned by the Russians, everyone freaked out.

        But TikTok being owned by the Chinese? No big deal, it’s probably fine.

        China is a far larger threat now than Russia has been since the fall of the USSR, and yet everyone is worried about the Russian boogeyman.

      4. The President absolutely has that power.

        The funny thing is, he doesn’t even know what he’s railing against. He doesn’t have the ability or power to prevent American citizens from using the app. The President absolutely has the power to prevent employees of the Executive from using the app. The President (as well as several before him) absolutely has the ability to prevent the liquidation or acquisition of American companies/assets by a foreign power. It’s not a limitless power, but he does have it and is hardly the first to exercise it.

      5. Hey all you Trump-dick-suckers… The Chi-Coms can also steam open and secretly read, then re-seal, my pen-and-paper letters. So does that now justify the Trumptatorshit outlawing pens and papers?

        What happened to free speech? Does the USA Constitution have any uses left any more, other than to use copies of it, to wipe our asses with?

        1. A highly relevant read here…

          Donald Trump’s Strange and Dangerous ‘Absolute Rights’ Idea
          This is a profound misunderstanding of the American constitutional system.

        2. All this over a site where people post goofy videos. Exactly what vital national security information is the Chinese government supposedly going to get?

          1. The latest dance moves!

            Actually, they can use these videos to blackmail these idiots when they look for a job or apply for a security clearance.

            Closing TikTok will save millions of Americans from fatal embarrassment!

            1. Shall we go into what a few terrible memes on Facebook in 2016 led to?

              1. Convinced the American people, whom they all had adored, that they didn’t like her much?

                I feel left out because the Russians never posted a single meme on my Facebook.

        3. What happened to free speech? Does the USA Constitution have any uses left any more, other than to use copies of it, to wipe our asses with?

          Again, you assume more than what was written. The President has the authority and arguably has had the authority since the 1950s. That’s not the authority to arrest every user who side-loads TikTok app on their phone. It’s the authority to prevent defense department contractors and law enforcement personnel from doing business with companies that do business with foreign powers. Libertarians might prefer to see it’s use more severely limited, but the more pragmatic among them acknowledges that their libertopia doesn’t stand very long in the face of larger markets controlled by authoritarians.

          1. Do you have a cite or link that shows Trump wanting to keep it that limited?

            “That’s not the authority to arrest every user who side-loads TikTok app on their phone.”

            Do YOU trust Trump to NOT spend law enforcement resources to try to do the above? What if he prohibits USA servers to serve TikTok?I don’t trust Trump to limit his own powers!! Why?

            See this!
            Donald Trump’s Strange and Dangerous ‘Absolute Rights’ Idea
            This is a profound misunderstanding of the American constitutional system.

            1. Do you have a cite or link that shows Trump wanting to keep it that limited?

              Because people are guilty in vague assertion until proven innocent to your satisfaction?

              He said he would ban the app. He has that power. If you’d asked me 5 mos. ago if Governors across the nation could collude to shut down all the churches, I’d have told you they don’t because many of them don’t have that authority explicitly granted to them. Like it or not, Trump does have the power to do what he said.

              1. “Because people are guilty in vague assertion…”

                Trump has endlessly grabbed powers that are NOT his, by the constitution! For just ONE obvious case, Congress has the budgetary power, and Trump willy-nilly re-assigns money budgeted for military bases, to walls-with-Mexico building! These are NOT vague assertions!

                We are now in the process of transitioning yet further from constitutional democracy towards dictatorship! And SOME commenters here (JesseSPAZ especially), willy-nilly cheer it on, thinking (???) that the Trumptatorshit will live forever? NO dictator lives forever! Powers granted to the Trumptatorshit today, may quite likely show up in the hands of the Bidentatorshit tomorrow!

      6. It’s not espionage if you give your data away.
        And no, the President can’t stop you from sending your dorky dance video to another country. There is no relevant national security content, unless you’re StarLord.

    3. Actually much of the problem with our country is that we have ceded too much authority to the courts.

      The original founders debated constantly about the constitutionality of their laws. But at some point we went from “Is this constitutional?” to “Can our lawyers convince a judge this is constitutional?”

      1. Agreed… The constitution no longer says what the constitution says, it says whatever it is, that federal judges SAY that it says!

        1. Yep. If the Constitution says what the courts tell us that it says, it wouldn’t even exist. Any document would just say “Yep, government can do that too.”


    “You know what, he may have been an international s*x trafficker p*d*phile, but at least he wasn’t racist” pretty much encapsulates mainstream morality in 2020.

    1. As pointed out by several commenters in that tweet, the person who posted it was being sarcastic.

  52. Oh, and the legal means by which President Trump can ban TikTok from the United States may be the same legal means by which President Trump was able to ban Huawei from the United States.

    Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but the only court decision I’ve seen on Huawei’s suit against the United States for banning them from the U.S. was decided in the U.S. government’s favor.

    I’m not saying that what President Trump is doing in banning TikTok should be legal, but it may be legal regardless of whether it should be.

    And the ban is legal enough that Trump’s threats prompted TikTok to sell their U.S. operations short. They certainly aren’t doing that because they want to.

  53. “Trump has a pen and some paper”

    Not a pen and a phone?

    1. He definitely has a mobile phone. There is a lot of evidence of that.


    Democrats are waking up to the terrifying realization that if #HollowJoe debates, he’s done. And if he doesn’t debate, he’s done because he didn’t debate.

    Dems also suspect they really DID push Trump supporters to lie to pollsters.

    1. I’m not sure he’d take that big a hit if he didn’t debate. So far, not saying much while Trump keeps saying things to dig himself a deeper hole seems to be working.

    2. If Trump were smart (I know, a big leap) he would be goading Biden relentlessly to debate. Call him Chicken Joe. Yellow Joe. whatever. Hold a debate against an empty chair, or with canned statements from Biden’s past (that could be great).

      But, alas, Trump ain’t that bright.

      1. Says a random schmo on a faux-libertarian comment section about a man who branded himself to such an extent he became a household name, highlighted in dozens of movies, songs, etc, and then leveraged that same branding into a political juggernaut that displaced high profile politicians to secure the most powerful elected office in the world.

        Yah don’t have to like him, don’t have to agree with him, but this ridiculous and pathetic idea that Trump isn’t bright is laughable. As if convincing 62 million people to vote for him, when the entire political establishment was against him is just the sort of thing anyone can do.

        1. Maybe it’s the campaign staff. But if you’ve seen the campaign ads, the current ones, they are bloody awful. I don’t think he is particularly dumb, but I don’t think he knows what he is doing this time around. It’s a different task and he is starting from the same playbook. That’s stupid.

          For example, during the SOTU speech he famously bragged about the lowest ever black unemployment numbers and the Donkeys sat on their hands. Why isn’t that tape used as an ad?

          “President Trump delivered the lowest black unemployment ever as he promised. [clip of Trump] Were the Democrats happy about this? [show them sitting silently] Obviously not. They merely want your votes and for you all to shut up and stay on the Democrat plantation. President Trump will continue to deliver a better life for black Americans, because black jobs matter, black incomes matter, and yes, black lives matter!”

          He should be appealing to black voters in particular because they are the most likely to move over based on his track record.

          1. Any attempt he made to claim he cares about black people would be mocked with footage of him having the Secret Service attack peaceful protesters so that he could hold a bible upside down.

            I think you’re sorely underestimating how many of his wounds are self-inflicted.

  55. tik tok is the stupidest thing I have ever seen and I lived through the summer of pokemon go.

    1. ^This^

  56. Kansas Should Go F— Itself
    Author Thomas Frank predicted the modern culture war, and he was right about Donald Trump, but don’t expect political leaders to pay attention to his new book about populism

    That Democrats needed Thomas Frank to tell them what conservatives fifteen miles outside the cities were thinking was damning in itself. Even worse was the basically unbroken string of insults emanating from pop culture (including from magazines like Rolling Stone: I was very guilty of this) describing life between the cities as a prole horror peopled by obese, Bible-thumping dolts who couldn’t navigate a Thai menu and polished gun lockers instead of reading.

    Republicans may have controlled government at the time, but when they turned on TV sets or looked up at movie screens, their voters felt accused of something just for living in little towns, raising kids, and visiting church on Sundays. What’s the matter, they were asking, with that?

    1. At least Taibbi has enough self-awareness to realize that he was part of the problem. I think he’s basically doomed to be the Left’s Cassandra, however.

  57. Other than by lying about it, how has China seemingly managed to avoid having 300 million Covid-19 cases? You might think some Western news organizations would be investigating.

    1. >>Western news organizations

      any left not owned by China?

      1. Worldometer shows China had 4000 deaths from the wuflu! LOL

        Is worldometer owned by China? That’s the only explanation I can come up.

    2. The CCP doesn’t have to report cases for citizens who never existed.
      Why do you think TikTok collects all that data? They want to make sure they don’t miss any evidence.

  58. I had never heard of badge bending. Have you?

    An investigation has been launched into a group of California police officers accused bending their badges to mark how many people they’ve killed while on duty and then partying at backyard barbecues to commemorate the occasion.

    And apparently it’s a practice that’s not unique to this one police department.

    1. Jesse Walker would have a field day with this.

  59. New Jersey lawmakers passed a bill last week “to allow immigrants, regardless of their status, to apply for professional and occupational licenses in the state if they meet all other requirements. The legislation was approved by the state Senate last week and is expected to be signed by Gov. Phil Murphy,” reports.


    And if there’s someone who needs to be wearing a mask, it’s Phil Murphy.

    1. This is an anti-immigration bill. Once all those immigrants realize the amount of hoops they have to jump through to get a job license in NJ they’ll just go home.

      1. Yeah, it’s easier to just skip all the red tape and open up a food truck on the side of the 405 and hope the cops don’t harass you.

        1. The funny thing is, the politicians who passed this idiotic law probably actually believe that people who didn’t want to bother with the red tape required to legally immigrate here will voluntarily with the red tape required to obtain an occupational license to do a job that they were probably doing for years in their native country before they came here. They really do think laws are magic.

          1. Also, I don’t know what the law really means or how it reads. For instance, why aren’t immigrants allowed to apply now? Do you have to show proof of citizenship? Or do you just need a driver’s license? If you’re an illegal immigrant and you don’t have a driver’s license, then all they’ve really done is remove the driver’s license requirement. Just show up in the office and apply for a license, no ID required. Which, as a libertarian, I’m actually fine with that.

            But then in the story there’s this:

            Luis Chirino has spent long hours designing, drawing and building projects to earn a degree in architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, sometimes spending all night in a studio on the Newark campus.

            Umm, he’s an illegal immigrant attending the NJIT, taking classes in the full light of day, access to studios on the campus. This tells me that America really is a Gulag for illegal immigrants. Why any would ever want to come here, I know not.

            1. Well, you don’t see the white guys working all night, do you?

              1. No, they’re at the BLM protests.

          2. It’s also New Jersey, notorious for being wildly corrupt.

            Those same immigrants might have experience with bribing low-level law enforcement and government functionaries in their home countries. That’s exactly what will happen here; paying protection is easier/cheaper than actually complying with the law.

  60. Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, told Swisher. “If they push too hard, ByteDance can focus on providing TikTok as a side-loaded Android app and a mobile website, both of which would be impossible for Trump to block.”

    Yes, Stamos, it can be banned or blocked. And even if the efforts only result in squeezing the availability down into more and more narrow channels, that’s an effective ban.

  61. It’s not like the CIA and NSA don’t already have all the data TikTok is collecting.

    It’s not like TikTok has any more data and tracking than Google et. al. are already doing. And they are doing it FOR the US government.

    This TikTok thing is a joke.

    1. There are several companies in the US that will sell you the exact same information that TikTok has on anyone.

      1. The difference being that none of those companies are the Chinese Communist Party, and the terms of those sales are in the Terms of Service you agree to when you sign up.

        “We’re selling data to companies so they can advertise to you” and “we’re giving data to the Chinese Communist Party so they can do with it whatever they want” aren’t the same thing.

        I’m not saying banning TikTok was a good idea, but you’ve got quite a bit of false equivalence going on there.

        1. If the Chinese government is relying on Tik Tok to collect data on Americans they are doing it the hard way. There are a lot easier ways they can get information that is readily available.

          1. Why not use as many avenues as you have available to you? If you think intel agencies don’t comb social media you’re naive. Why bother doing spook shit when your target just gave away what you were looking for on Facebook?

            1. When did I say I think intel didn’t comb social media?

        2. And what is the CCP going to do with any of this data, knowing people like to watch videos of kids, dogs, and girls dancing in bikinis?

          We need to focus on the data rape going on in this country by the digital monopolies.

      2. I’m more afraid of Sundar Pichai than the CCP.

    2. It’s not a joke in an election year.

      If President Trump can manage to force a Chinese company to divest itself of its U.S. operations to an American company, that will play well in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

  62. Microsoft May Save TikTok From Trump’s Clutches

    Completely impartial headline.

    1. The headline is pure spin.

      President Trump pushed them to this. The libertarian criticism is to condemn President Trump for interfering.

      Pretending that this is all Microsoft’s idea is just ignorant or irrational.

      “In the eyes of Beijing’s leadership, Washington’s move to strong-arm one of its most valuable global tech companies into selling a lucrative overseas unit is further proof that the U.S. views any Chinese tech company with international success as a challenge to its technology primacy, regardless of the product or how it runs its business.

      On Monday, Beijing . . . slammed the U.S. move to force TikTok’s sale of its American unit as hypocritical, saying it reflected Washington’s double standards.

      “Stop politicizing economic and trade issues, stop abusing the concept of national security and stop pursuing policies of discrimination and exclusion,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular briefing, in words aimed at Washington.

      President Trump’s remark over the weekend that he was weighing an outright ban of TikTok in the U.S. sparked nationalist sentiments in China, where the Global Times, a Communist Party tabloid, derided the situation as “the hunting and looting of TikTok by the U.S. government in conjunction with U.S. high-tech companies.”

      Not even the Chinese are claiming that Trump isn’t doing this on purpose. It just doesn’t fit with ENB’s Trump-As-Insane-Idiot narrative, and she doesn’t want him to accidentally get any credit ahead of the election. In its own way, the headline is more biased against Trump than the Chinese Communist Party’s reaction.

    1. OBL would like a word.

  63. Media Silent As Christopher Steele ‘Hero’ ‘Spymaster’ Narrative Crumbles

    “It is a common trope for media who pushed the collusion hoax to fret that transparency about the Russia collusion hoax will harm the republic. Here are a few other times they did that.”

  64. Trump is saying some amazing things about TikTok (according to the media) right now–and I don’t know how literally to take any of them, but one fact has emerged:

    “Mr. Trump indicated a deadline of Sept. 15, after which TikTok would be banned in the U.S. Microsoft said Sunday that it would move quickly to pursue discussions with ByteDance and it aims to complete the negotiations by Sept. 15.”


    It would be great if YouTube had some serious competition rather than Trump doing the dirty work of taking out a competitor for them (purposely or otherwise), and it sounds like this will happen one way or another come September 15 if the owner of TikTok and Microsoft have anything to say about it. One statement that’s really bothersome:

    “I did say that ‘If you buy it…a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States, because we’re making it possible for this deal to happen.’ Right now they don’t have any rights unless we give it to them.”

    —-President Trump, Ibidem

    That statement is so fundamentally anti-libertarian capitalist, it’s hard to pretend otherwise. It’s a President Trump equivalent of an Obama, “You didn’t build that!” moment.

    I think what Trump is trying to do is make sure that he gets credit for making this happen. To some extent, it’s a response to journalists like ENB trying to word things in such a way as to rob him of whatever credit he deserves for making this happen. And the fact remains that the only reason TikTok is selling its American, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand operations to Microsoft is because President Trump put so much pressure on them with his threat.

    . . . whether we like that threat or not, the fact is that this wouldn’t be happening if Trump hadn’t done what he did, and so he wants the Treasury to get a chunk of the sale price–I think–because he wants credit for forcing the deal.

  65. Now why would Microsoft want to do that?

  66. I don’t use Tik-Tok, but I am MUCH more concerned about the data MY government is harvesting from me than what the CCP could harvest.

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