Culture War

'No Book Deals for Traitors'

Publishing in the post-Trump era is going to involve a lot of score-settling.

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President Donald Trump has left the building, and President Joe Biden is calling for unity, but not everyone is ready to kiss and make up. In some left-leaning spaces, resentment at having been subjected to four years of a Trump presidency is still running high, as is a desire to ensure that his cronies and enablers are hit with a karmic boomerang for their misdeeds. 

In media and publishing, this quest to hold members of the Trump administration accountable has resulted in a remarkable document that takes aim at Trump loyalists who might now seek to pivot away (or, God forbid, profit) from this period in their lives by writing a book. Organized by author Barry Lyga, who is best known for the young adult thriller series I Hunt Killers as well as several comic book novels featuring DC Comics character The Flash, the document opens with a confessional tone: "We all love book publishing, but we have to be honest—our country is where it is in part because publishing has chased the money and notoriety of some pretty sketchy people, and has granted those same people both the imprimatur of respectability and a lot of money through sweetheart book deals."

These book deals, the letter argues, should not be granted to any "participant in an administration that caged children, performed involuntary surgeries on captive women, and scoffed at science as millions were infected with a deadly virus," nor to those who supported the January 6 riot at the Capitol. To allow Trump's people to disseminate their ideas "through our beloved publishing houses" would be an affront; a comparison is even drawn to the "Son of Sam" laws that bar convicted felons from profiting off their crimes.

The letter originally had an amazing title, "No Book Deals for Traitors," which someone apparently thought better of in the days since it started garnering more mainstream attention (hosted on Lyga's website, its headline now reads, "THIS IS A LETTER OF INTENT FROM PUBLISHING PROFESSIONALS OF THE UNITED STATES.") But the McCarthy-esque sentiment invoked by the original title is apt: In substance, the letter is not unlike the famous 1947 Waldorf Statement by Hollywood executives promising not to employ communists or anyone who intended to overthrow the government. As of this writing, the letter has been signed by 547 people, although it's worth noting that they are mostly authors and publishing professionals in non-managerial roles; in other words, it's like the Waldorf Statement, only without any of the top-level institutional clout or government support. 

Either way, it's a fascinating document that raises many questions about the state of free expression both legally and culturally. One practical question is whether Trump's associates should be seen as traitors in not just a spiritual sense but a criminal one, such that it actually makes sense to invoke the Son of Sam laws in this conversation. (Incidentally, these laws have been frequently challenged on First Amendment grounds and were already overturned in New York in 1991, after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared them unconstitutional.) 

Trump was a distasteful president who flouted the norms of both the presidency and common decency, and who riled up his supporters to do the same—but distasteful and criminal are two different things. It would be very hard to prove that even the president's most aggressive rhetoric leading up to January 6 ran afoul of protected speech, let alone criminalize the politicians who nodded along with it. And with the exception of the rioters who stormed the Capitol (and who are currently being identified and arrested en masse), virtually everyone on Trump's side has stayed well within the bounds of what is not just legal, but normal—for politics, anyway. 

Contentious and contested elections are an unfortunate but not uncommon part of our political process; this wasn't the first time legislators questioned the validity of an election or even voted against certification. Even if we stipulate that it was ridiculous for them to do so this time around, it's hard to square the notion that this action, which was not a particularly big deal in 2005, 2009, and 2017, suddenly catapulted to the status of treason in 2021. 

More important is the cultural question—and the increasingly pervasive notion that book deals are a sort of reward for good citizenship, one that should therefore be withheld as punishment for bad behavior. The argument of "No Book Deals for Traitors" is the same one that plays out every time a writer or artist suffers professional consequences for personal misdeeds, as people invariably point out the accused is "not entitled to" whatever has been taken away. At its root is the idea that certain kinds of work are a privilege, not a livelihood, and that one's ability to write, think, or perform is less relevant than whether or not one deserves to do these things. 

The converse is also true: Consider the thoughtless assertion that the men who lost careers amid #MeToo should be shunted into menial jobs as ditch diggers or trash collectors. That sanitation is a profession requiring its own strengths and skills doesn't seem to matter; neither does the fact that the average garbage hauler gets better pay, benefits, and job security than many professionals in, say, publishing. Nobody talks about the need to keep loathsome people out of "our beloved waste treatment plants." But writing a book grants prestige to the author, and prestige, in this framework, is a privilege for the morally pure.

People in publishing will almost certainly pretend they never saw or signed on to the "No Book Deals for Traitors" letter the next time a profitable tell-all is on the table. Despite the provocative language about the danger to democracy posed by seditionists who put kids in cages (a standard which would ensnare Obama administration alumni as well), the main character in this case was still the elected president up until all of five minutes ago, and his various cabinet members were gainful employees of the U.S. government, most of them in positions with no influence at all over immigration policy or public health. 

Do all participants in Trump's administration—from Barron's tutors and Melania's hairstylist on up—deserve to be held accountable for their failings? What about the ones who explicitly took these jobs to try to mitigate the damage caused by Trump's bad judgment? If Anthony Fauci wanted to write a book about his experiences inside the White House, would the letter's signatories really agree that he should be blacklisted from publishing? 

What the letter does do, however, is send a message to everyone else about whose side holds the cultural power: Throw in your lot with the wrong guy, and you'll suffer the consequences. And what's genuinely dangerous, or at least foolish, is the notion that the former members of a loathed but legitimate presidential administration have nothing to say that might be worth disseminating in print—and that those who never want to see another Trump in the White House have nothing to learn from the people who tried, and failed, to make it work the first time.

NEXT: D.C.'s Unscientific Vaccination Plan Pits the Elderly Against the Obese

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  2. “At its root is the idea that certain kinds of work are a privilege, not a livelihood, and that one’s ability to write, think, or perform is less relevant than whether or not one deserves to do these things.”

    Authoritarian government is preceded always by a cultural embrace of authoritarianism. Always.

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    3. Euphemising this overt blacklisting as ‘score settling’ – as if it represents anything remotely in kind to prior acts – is certainly part of that cultural embrace,

    4. It’s fun to note just how close book authorship is with writing screenplays. People who opposed the communist blacklists always portrayed themselves as opposed on principle not because they supported communism. But now that we see the left does not oppose blacklists on principal we can conclude many of those people did oppose communist blacklists because of their support for communism.

      1. McCarthyism was only bad because it was directed at commies.

  3. What surprises me is that people actually read that shit.

    1. sarc, I didn’t follow your comment. Which shit are you referring to?

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          2. Flag and refresh, WH.

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              1. How come flag and refresh isn’t erasing this asshole?

                Come on, dude. I’d rather read Squirrely’s bullshit than this again.

            2. what is even going on here?

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                  1. Notice that “a  libertarian” has TWO “hair spaces” after the “A”… “a  libertarian” is ID-stealing from “a libertarian” with ONE space. Tulpa the ID-stealing asshole is at it AGAIN!!!

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                    2. Moron-brainless TURD sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-1st-grader has NOTHING better to do with its so-called “life”!

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                    4. You have ZERO reasons to believe that I post under multiple names here, other than, you are fearful that (OMG!) there might be MORE THAN ONE person out there, who is capable of writing eloquently enough to persuade other intelligent and flexible-minded (open-minded) people that individual freedom is a REALLY good idea! So you engage in wish fulfillment fantasy, telling yourself that they are all one and the same, so that you and your fellow authoritarians can out-number them more easily. Good luck with that, mind-reader who failed!

                      You believe crap that is totally false, w/o evidence to back yourself up! Just like Rob Misek and the other fantasy-addicted authoritarians around here!

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                    6. You have ZERO reasons to believe that I post under multiple names here…

                      By perpetuating the lie he diminishes the libertarian viewpoint, which is the entire goal.

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              2. Tulpa is having some immature fun. The usual.

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      2. The tell-all books former staffers write when the new administration takes over. That’s what the article is about right? Blacklisting potential authors who worked for a “traitor.”

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        2. Oh, got it.

          It does seem like all the interesting content in such books would usually fit in an article, maybe a long-form article if the person had an especially juicy stash of secrets to reveal.

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            1. Hey, libertarian, go play in traffic. Grownups would like to read substantive posts and are tired of having to scroll past your poo-flinging.

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  4. Treason is a word invented by the winners as an excuse to hang the losers.

    And, fuck right off, Reason.

    1. There is a category of behavior which is rightly categorized as treason. The Constitution defines it. But there’s a broader cultural definition (and in Olde England there was a broader legal definition) which took in a lot of stuff which shouldn’t be called treason.

    2. Reason writer posts article sticking up for free speech. Ra’s tells Reason to fuck off.

      Huh.

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      2. Reason could write an article about gravity and these losers would still find some excuse to tell them to fuck off.

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        2. Hanging out at a website you dislike for hours every day to gripe about the writers, who don’t even read the gripes, seems like a pathetic activity to dedicate so much of one’s life’s precious minutes to — but I guess everyone needs a hobby.

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          2. I guess.

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            2. God you two cry so much. You should go find another forum where you will cry less on.

      3. + True colors?

    3. I disagree with the notion that these calls to silence unsavory voices are unique to Trump. These authoritarians, ESPECIALLY those in the Young Adult crowd have been doing this for years. Perhaps the author doesn’t realize this, but they have been hounding people who fail to write about TG/Racial themes, or write about them while not being actual TG/Non-white (i.e. appropriating) since at least the beginning of the Obama administration.

      No, the unique bit is that they are emboldened. Much like the Intelligence Community used 9/11 as an excuse to pass all sorts of laws they had been coveting for years, Trump’s banishment and the Capitol Riot are the excuse these same people are using to take their crusades mainstream.

      1. Errr… You might do a little research into who the author is. She writes YA fiction. She’s had the kind of trouble you’re talking about. She certainly ‘realizes it’. Her most recent book was co-authored with Stan Lee (yes, THAT Stan Lee) just before, and then after he died.

    4. Treason is something progressives do with every breath.

      So let them breathe no more.

  5. This may nudge publishing into more unconventional channels for unconventional people. At least I’d hope so.

    1. Yup, just like the Twitter ban is leading to Parler being hosted on Epik. It will result in the growth of more right-leaning or truly politically neutral media, hosting companies, etc.

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      2. Which is a good thing in a free market.

        1. Agreed. In case I wasn’t clear, I think what I was describing is “a good thing in a free market.”

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      3. You mean like how Democrats are now asking FBI Director Wray to open an investigation into Parler? I like how you keep pretending there isn’t active coordination between SV and the DNC.

        1. You always attribute beliefs to me that I don’t have. I do see that there is some alliance between Democrats and Silicon Valley. Never said otherwise.

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  7. “participant in an administration that caged children, performed involuntary surgeries on captive women, and scoffed at science as millions were infected with a deadly virus,”

    This is really going to impact Obama’s book sales.

  8. This isn’t limited to people in or associated with the Trump administration. This is more or less the same thing at play in the deplatforming of Parler and Wimkin.

    We don’t even need to address the constitutionality of this kind of thing. We can discuss this from an objectives standpoint.

    And the worst effects aren’t on the writers, the publishers, or the app owners. It’s the readers, the commenters, and the consumers. 70% of Republicans believe the election was not free and fair.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/news/525388-poll-70-percent-of-republicans-dont-believe-election-was-free-and-fair

    70% of Republicans is not extremist. That’s the mainstream! The people engaging in this cancel culture garbage may imagine that they’re pushing extremists to the margins of society, but what they’re really doing is radicalizing the mainstream.

    Once you manage to convince populists that there is no place for them in democratic institutions or civil society, they will not abandon their beliefs. Instead, they will abandon their faith in democratic institutions and civil society.

    I shudder to think about the ultimate reaction to this.

    1. Ken, give it up.

      The election was not stolen, and no one cares that the left/right divide has become the grounded in reality/living in a comfortable fantasy divide.

      Secondly, your demented and deposed cult leader caused that belief. Seems circular to support a lying, psy-opping president, then point to the false belief he created as evidence of the legitimacy of that belief.

      You have admitted as much, but argued that it is moral to lie to the voters because Joe Biden is a secret communist and therefor nothing done to harm his presidency is immoral.

      Let’s just say that I disagree, and have taken note of your objectives-based, rather than principled reasoning

      1. The right may be deluded, but the left sure as hell isn’t tightly connected to reality either.

        1. That’s a matter of opinion, sure.

          But by Ken’s own oft-cited polling, a majority of Republicans still believe the Big Lie. That Big Lie may still result in the destruction of the US. Once we lose the consent of the governed, then that is it. The shared belief in the sanctity of our elections is central to that.

          My opinion is that that is far more consequential than the potentially false beliefs on the left, i.e. sex having no relationship to gender or whatever else.

          1. Agreed. I’m more worried about the destruction of faith in democracy and civil society than I am about progressive’s excess “wokeness”.

            The belief that sex and gender are independent directly contradicts with other progressive beliefs about feminism. It’s trendy right now, but it’s a line of thought that is destined to fall apart or continue to drive in-fighting within progressivism.

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            2. Such as AOC calling for a truth commission and re-education camps? Those kisses of freedom, or using domestic terrorism laws against political opponents? You are showing your full partisan colors.

              1. AOC is an outlier.

            3. The idea that the State should solve everything and be involved in everything is far more destructive than anything else.

          2. Yes because the left belief it is the party of freedom and antifascism while pushing cancel culture, censorship, punishment based upon political beliefs and even talking about re-education camp isn’t dangerously delusional at all. Fuck your partisan take. And BTW Ken wasn’t trying to convince anyone that the election was stolen, he was saying that belief isn’t extremist but mainstream. And the more you try and silence anyone who holds that (mistaken in my opinion) belief and or punish them, the more you decry it, the more they believe it and the more people who were on the fence start to believe it.

            1. Why are you all so defensive?

              I have linked where he says that it is moral to lie to americans to turn them against biden. He cites the amount of belief in that lie as evidence that it is a legitimate issue. That is circular reasoning, and motivated, outcomes-based reasoning.

              For instance, if I said, “Ken, is it moral to tell an outrageous lie to the american people to make them distrust half of all the other Americans and cause them to one day riot?” He would likely answer that that is not moral (I would hope.) But substitute the name “Biden” in for the unspecified politician, and suddenly Ken is warming up to this lying strategy. That is motivated, outcomes-based logic. The opposite of principle.

              1. No you misrepresented why he stated as overt and I both pointed out downthread. You aren’t being honest and no one is being defensive. We are calling 9ut your dishonesty.

              2. You representation is so wrong it must be called out. I believe it is on purpose, that you are purposely misrepresenting what he has stated to discredit his arguments. And your writing and style doesn’t indicate at all that you are anything above average intelligence or deductive abilities. Your conclusions are simplistic, often sophomoric and rote in nature. You attempt to sound intelligent and imply others are less intelligent but your style doesn’t demonstrate any great intelligence. At best you may be one deviation above the mean for intelligence.

                1. Is he, or is he not saying that it is ok to lie to americans if it hurts joe biden?

                  https://reason.com/2020/12/15/mitch-mcconnell-and-several-other-gop-senators-finally-acknowledge-bidens-victory/#comment-8641075

                  DebunkingConspiracies
                  December.15.2020 at 6:08 pm

                  That didn’t really answer my question.

                  Let me ask another in addition to the first, which I would still appreciate an answer to.

                  Do you, personally, think that fraud or other illegal actions were decisive in Biden’s victory?

                  Ken Shultz
                  December.15.2020 at 7:04 pm

                  That didn’t really answer my question.

                  The answer is that throwing shit on Biden’s legitimacy is entirely warranted, and defending Biden’s legitimacy is entirely unwarranted.

                  DebunkingConspiracies
                  December.15.2020 at 7:08 pm

                  Don’t dodge, Ken. You’re better than that. I never have with you.

                  And that is now two questions you haven’t answered.

                  1. That isn’t proof of anything except him not playing by your rules. He doesn’t owe you an answer and that he didn’t answer you is proof of nothing but him deciding that engaging someone who habitually misrepresents what others state wasn’t worth the time or effort.

                    1. Nice try. Again, talking like John Gotti isn’t enough cover for reasonable, halfway intelligent people. Ken has made it very clear that he knows that election fraud was not a real issue, but that it is useful to hurt Biden, who he regards as a double secret communist. That is his position.

                    2. You are funny. Keep it up the last couple of weeks have been personally stressful and I need the laugh. Keep trying to sound smarter than everyone realizes you are. And keep trying to imply I am not intelligent. Even WK, ChemJeff have acknowledged my intelligence multiple times. And Ken’s. Which is far more than anyone has ever done for you.

                    3. Ok, you are smart.

                      Sorry you have been having a stressful couple weeks. I can empathize.

                2. Additionally:

                  sarcasmic
                  December.15.2020 at 4:26 pm

                  “if Biden weren’t so awful on the issues, there wouldn’t be so many people who are so unwilling to accept his victory”

                  So you admit that “TEH ELESHUN WUZ STOLIN!!1!” has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with actual evidence of fraud?

                  Ken Shultz
                  December.15.2020 at 5:03 pm

                  Because Biden’s policies are so awful, it is perfectly rational to do everything we can to undermine Biden’s legitimacy and his ability to implement those policies.

                  https://reason.com/2020/12/15/mitch-mcconnell-and-several-other-gop-senators-finally-acknowledge-bidens-victory/#comment-8640647

                  you have to read the responses, because ken is being (understandably) circumspect about affirming his support for Big Lies. But he supports them, all the same.

                  1. You haven’t proved it is a total lie as opposed to a mistaken belief or possibly an undiscovered truth. Stating it is a lie implies people are being willful and dismissed the idea that they could honestly be mistaken. That is the first point.

                    1. Oh, ok. I understand now.

                      You are still a victim of the big lie. I thought you had had a realization on Jan. 6th, but perhaps I’m mistaken.

                      Regardless of that, Ken knows the big lie isn’t true. Ken still thinks it is a good thing because it hurts Biden. That is my point.

                    2. Are you Ken’s mom or something?

                    3. “Are you Ken’s mom or something?”

                      No, Its_Not_Inevitable, he’s not my mom.

                      But I really like the way your mom makes French toast.

          3. The big lie may have some truth to it. Do you really think there isn’t anything wrong with our election system? Especially this past year with all of the hurriedly implemented voting by mail? I see no reason to believe that Trump really won, but I do see a lot of things that should be investigated. Even if it all turns out to be nothing, when a large part of the electorate has little faith in the system, you need to address those concerns or you will lose the consent of the governed. Doesn’t matter if it’s nutzo or not. You can’t just say “fuck you” to 70 million voters.

            1. ” Even if it all turns out to be nothing, when a large part of the electorate has little faith in the system, you need to address those concerns or you will lose the consent of the governed.”

              Therein lies the problem. Where did that distrust originate from? It was Trump. It was a strategy that he purposefully pursued, in the open, for months. So no, I don’t think that that concern is legitimate, and I have seen, and no court has seen evidence that it is legitimate.

              1. Therein lies the problem. Where did that distrust originate from? It was Trump.

                Smells like a duck, mainly. When an interested party needs everything to break in just a certain way, and then it does, it’s natural to blame the process. Just look at the reaction in a big game when the ref makes a blunder that just-so-happens to benefit the home and/or seemingly league-favored team.

                You don’t get to that 70% figure just on the back of Trump’s die-hards. Distrust of elections run and/or won by the other party is extremely common, and this was exacerbated on the GOP side with all of the pandemic accommodations made to the voting process.

                A case can/should be made that Trump’s campaign should have done a better job of reading the field and rejiggering their strategy, but you have to follow the lead of the boss and he’s much better at complaining than he is at leading or doing.

                I’m also thinking that events of 1960/2000 left lasting cultural scars on the GOP/DNC but I prefer in the end to blame heist movies.

                1. “I’m also thinking that events of 1960/2000 left lasting cultural scars on the GOP/DNC but I prefer in the end to blame heist movies.”

                  they deserve some blame, for sure. Lazy writing and worn out double, no wait, triple twist endings will be the downfall of america.

              2. Hi, DoL. That mistrust did not start with Trump, at all. Cointelpro did not exactly make the feds look good. The idea of a conservative-dominated Deep State funding itself on untraceable money also predates Trump. The EPA and NAFTA have fueled the idea of a left-dominated globalist Deep State. It’s been years since it was cool to trust the government.

                Trump caught the wave and surfed it. But it’s an old wave.
                People have short memories though.

      2. “The election was not stolen, ”

        Ken didn’t say that it was. Please keep up.

        “and no one cares that the left/right divide has become the grounded in reality/living in a comfortable fantasy divide.”

        Hey look, there is more of that Good Faith discussion, ascribing motivations and beliefs to everyone under the sun. For the record, I actually do care that the elites of this country have created a climate where half the country is fearful that speaking their mind will ruin their lives. If you actually gave a damn about the “Good Faith” discussion you claim to want, this would concern you as well.

        “Let’s just say that I disagree, and have taken note of your objectives-based, rather than principled reasoning”

        Pot. Kettle. Black. Sheesh.

        1. Absolutely nothing I have written violates good faith.

          Ken cites the belief that the election was stolen. That is what I was addressing. “70% of Republicans believe the election was not free and fair.”

          Ken has also previously stated that he knows it is not true, but it is moral to lie to Americans to make them think that, because biden is a secret communist. Again, I’m restating his own arguments to point out how they are logically incompatible. That is not bad faith.

          If it seems like bad faith, then that is only because Ken’s positions are actually that inconsistent.

          Read this whole thread. I’m not ascribing bad motivations to my counterpart, I’m describing his actual positions:
          https://reason.com/2020/12/15/mitch-mcconnell-and-several-other-gop-senators-finally-acknowledge-bidens-victory/#comment-8640647

          1. The line you quote was proof oflthat the belief isn’t extremist not that the election was stolen. God you have the reading comprehension of a 8 you.

            1. An 8 yo with a reading iep at that.

              1. soldier, I’m trying to be polite in spite of your insults, but buddy, you are way out of your depth again.

                1. I have never been out of my depth with you. You are an amateur who thinks he can pay in the NBA. And not don’t be polite with me.bibwillbcompare CVs with you any day of the week.

                  1. You’re very touchy today.

                    1. Whatever? You don’t understand the difference between someone bitch slapping your argument and bring touchy yet claim I am out of my depth? Fuck are you a comedian? Because that shit is funny.

                2. Rather you believe it or not, doesn’t really matter, but I have been certified a genius, have been published in peer reviewed journals and am an university professor. Based upon normal distribution of IQ only 0.3% of people in the world are possibly smarter than I am.

                  1. mmk.

                    1. Yes, because your intellectual ability is stunning… One standard deviation at best, and I am being generous there. Your mommy lied to you when she told you how smart you are. And I have cited my publications in the past and several commenters have even read it. So believe what you want. I know the truth, but deny it if you want. We know you routinely deny anything that runs counter to your personal narrative.

                    2. I’ve never said that I was a genius, that was you.

                      Are we bringing mothers into this now?

                    3. Because I am. But I can’t hit a free throw to save my life. And have trouble relating to people. I have asperger’s (and if you know anything about asperger’s they tend to have above average to genius level IQs) being a genius doesn’t make you naturally successful. And if you are a veteran, bringing mom’s into it shouldn’t surprise you. Hell my battle bring momma’s into it even in fun.

                    4. And I only stated my intelligence level because you stated I was out of my depth. Since my IQ is above the genius cutoff you implied you are also a genius.

                    5. Ok, ok. I’m sorry I’ve implied you aren’t very smart.

          2. “Absolutely nothing I have written violates good faith.”

            Please. You are the one who posted a link to an treatise on good faith.

            Do you really think your response to Ken demonstrated that you are “…genuinely want to hear what the other person thinks and has to say?”

            Of course it wasn’t. You carefully characterized Ken’s argument in the most dismissive way possible, not to foster discussion but to kill it dead.

            1. And he thinks we are out of our depth. He is a poster child for the participation trophy generation, been told he is so smart for so long he believes it.

            2. By quoting his own words? How deceptive of me!

              1. Misrepresenting his quoted words and implying something that he didn’t actually written

        2. Here is Ken again, again stating that he know the investigations into hunter are bullshit, but anything, lies included, to hurt Joe Biden is moral.

          https://reason.com/2020/12/12/trump-lost-because-scotus-answers-to-the-constitution-not-to-him/#comment-8633949

          Clearly if anyone is violating good faith, it is Ken’s willingness to endorse stories he knows to be lies.

          1. The investigations supported by more evidence than ever surfaced during the Russian collusion? Are you still pushing the Russia paid bounties despite multiple investigations by the intelligence agencies, allied intelligence agencies, the DoD and numerous journalist stating no evidence that such a program ever existed? Why yes you were just a couple days ago, you dishonest fuck.

            1. All I can tell you is to read the second, bipartisan senate intel committee report on the matter. There is nothing left to argue about, as it is all documented, and so I won’t.

              1. Cherry pick one report while ignoring the majority that disagrees with your hypothesis? Yes not intellectually honest and not mature thinking.

                1. It’s not a cherry pick, I could also name the Mueller report and the first senate intel report. The second one is just the most complete. They all support the same matter of facts.

                  I would accuse you of cherry picking, except your basket is completely empty.

                  1. Okay now I am confused because you are all over the board. What does the Russia election interference have to do with the discredited Russia paying the Taliban bounties to kill our troops? Other than Russia being the bogeyman in both stories? Do you not know the difference?

                    1. You brought it up, genius.

                    2. And there was no evidence of collusion. And no evidence of bounties. There was evidence of Russian interference but no collusion even in your referenced report.

                    3. Yes I did I see that. My mistake.

                    4. Manafort hired and worked increasingly closely with a Russian national, Konstantin Kilimnik. Kilimnik is a Russian intelligence officer. Kilimnik became an integral part of Manafort’s operations in Ukraine and Russia, serving as Manafort’s primary liaison to Deripaska and eventually managing Manafort’s office in Kyiv. Kilimnik and Manafort formed a close and lasting relationship that endured to the 2016 U.S. elections. and beyond. (U) Prior to joining the Trump Campaign in March 2016 and continuing throughout his time 6n the Campaign, Manafort directly and indirectly communicated with Kilimnik, Deripaska, and the pro-Russian oligarchs in Ukraine. On numerous occasions, Manafort sought to secretly share internal Campaign information with Kilimnik. The Committee was unable to reliably determine why Manafort shared sensitive internal polling data or Campaign strategy with Kilimnik or with whom Kilimnik further shared that information. The Committee had limited insight into Kilimnik’s communications with Manafort and into Kilimnik’s communications with other individuals connected to Russian influence operations, all of whom used communications security practices. The Committee obtained some information suggesting Kilimnik may have been connected to the GRU’s hack and leak operation targeting the 2016 U.S. election. until Beginning while he was Campaign chairman and continuing sed with Kilimnik a eace lan for eastern Ukraine that After the election, Manafort continued to coordinate with Russian persons, particularly Kilimnik and other individuals close to Deripaska, in an effort to undertake activities on their behalf. Manafort worked with Kilimnik starting in 2016 on narratives that sou ht to undermine evidence that Russia interfered in .the 2016 U.S. election. vi COMMITTEE SENSITIVE-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION ONLY
                      COMMITTEE SENSITIVE -RUSSIA INVESTIGATION ONLY (U) The Committee found that Manafort’s presence on the Campaign at;td proximity to Trump created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on, the Trump Campaign. Taken as a whole, Manafort’s high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services, particularly Kilimnik and associates of Oleg Deripaska, represented a grave counterintelligence threat. Hack and Leak (U) The Committee found that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian effort to hack computer networks and accounts affiliated with the Democratic Party and leak information damaging to Hillary Clinton and her campaign for president. Moscow’s intent was to harm the Clinton Campaign, tarnish an expected Clinton presidential administration, help the Trump Campaign after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, and undermine the U.S. democratic process. -WikiLeaks actively sought, and played, a key role in the Russian influen~ery likely knew it was assistin a Russian intelli ence influence effort. The Committee found si nificant indications tha At the time of the first WikiLeaks releases, the U.S. Government had not yet declared WikiLeaks a hostile organization and many treated itas a journalistic entity. (U) While the GRU and WikiLeaks were releasing hacked documents, the Trump Campaign sought to maximize the impact of those leaks to aid Trump’s electoral prospects. Staff on the Trump Campaign sought advance notice about WikiLeaks releases, created messaging strategies to promote and share the materials in anticipation of and following thdr release, and encouraged further leaks. The Trump Campaign publicly undermined the attribution of the hack-and-leak campaign to Russia and was indifferent to whether it and WikiLeaks were furthering a Russian election interference effort. The Committee found no evidence that Campaign officials received an authoritative government notification that the hack was perpetrated by the Russian government before October 7, 2016, when the ODNI and DHS issued a joint statement to that effect. However, the Campaign was aware of the extensive media reporting and other private sector attribution of the hack to Russian actors prior to that point. (U) Trump and senior Campaign offici.als sought to obtain advance information about WikiLeaks’s planned releases through Roger Stone. At their direction, Stone took action to gain vii
                      COMMITTEE SENSITIVE~ RUSSIA INVESTIGATION ONLY inside knowledge for the Campaign and shared his purported knowledge directly with Trump and senior Campaign offictals on multiple occasions. Trump and the Campaign believed that Stone had inside information and expressed satisfaction that Stone’s information suggested more releases would be forthcoming. The Committee could not reliably determine the extent.of authentic, non-public knowledge about WikiLeaks that Stone obtained and shared with the Campaign.

                      Sorry for the formatting. It is a redacted pdf. I suggest you read the fact finding summaries, at least, starting on page 6.

                      https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/report_volume5.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,-454,792

                2. None of those reports concluded at all that Trump was involved. Talk about an empty basket. You knew I was or should have easily surmised that I was, referring to Trump actively colluding with Russia and all those reports found no evidence of that particular charge. Keep trying you’ll get there someday skippy.

                  1. The second report absolutely does show collusion between trump campaign and wikileaks and gru. On Trump himself, we have 11 counts of obstruction and a refusal to testify.

                    Why would any unbiased, reasonable person give Trump the benefit of the doubt in this situation?

                    1. Because innocent until proven guilty?
                      And wikileaks wasn:t and isn’t Russia and the report didn’t conclude that.
                      https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/aug/18/senate-intelligence-cmte-no-collusion-trump-russia/

                    2. Two seconds on Duck Duck Go disproved your narrative.

                    3. And yes other sources state differently, which means there was no conclusive evidence and no clear cut conclusion. So, no the second Senate intelligence report didn’t prove collusion.

                    4. I’m not arguing this again. I linked the report itself in a comment above.

                      At this point, it cannot be called a hoax. I suppose you can still argue about some small details, but the fact-finding portion of each report is very clear as to the chain of events, with actual emails, call records, and testimonies in support of.

                    5. and from your own source, dude:

                      Paul Manafort

                      Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian businessman who once worked for Manafort, was identified in the Senate report as “a Russian intelligence officer.”

                      In the Mueller report, Mr. Kilimnik is said only to have “ties to Russian intelligence.” He has repeatedly disputed that allegation.

                      The committee said it had obtained some information that Mr. Kilimnik was connected to a Russian hack-and-leak operation targeting the 2016 election.

                      The senators said Manafort’s top-level campaign access and willingness to share information with Mr. Kilimnik represented “a grave counterintelligence threat,” the report said.

                      The committee said it was “unable to determine why” Manafort shared sensitive internal polling data and campaign strategy with Mr. Kilimnik or whether Mr. Kilimnik passed along that information.

                      After the election, Manafort continued to work with Mr. Kilminik and others to undermine evidence of Russian interference, the report said.

                      “WikiLeaks

                      Another key finding in the report is that WikiLeaks “likely knew” it was aiding Russian efforts to influence the election when it published hacked emails from the DNC and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

                      U.S. intelligence agencies previously raised questions about whether the anti-secrecy group and its founder, Julian Assange, were aware that they were helping Russian efforts.

                      The report also said there is strong evidence that Mr. Trump kept close tabs on WikiLeaks’ releases through longtime friend Roger Stone.

                      Stone was convicted last year of lying to Congress about his efforts to connect with WikiLeaks to learn more about its upcoming releases.

                      The finding raises questions about Mr. Trump’s written responses to the Mueller team in which he said he did not recall any conversations about WikiLeaks.

                      “The committee assesses that Trump did, in fact, speak with Stone about WikiLeaks and with members of his campaign about Stone’s access to WikiLeaks on multiple occasions,” the report said.

                    6. None of that is proof but inferences. Do you understand the difference?

                    7. Soldier, there comes a point, especially when there is a substantial effort by the most powerful person in the room to obstruct, that you need to be reasonable, and be honest with yourself about what is most probable (and by a long shot).

                      Collusion happened. That is proven. That is not inference. Stone was the go between from the campaign to wikileaks. manafort was also communicating with at least 2 known russian agents, sharing private campaign plans and polling info on americans.

                      Call a spade a spade. They were communicating with the enemies of america for the purpose of getting DJT elected.

                    8. When they use the word likely knew it is inference not evidence. This is in reference to wikileaks. And additionally the conclusion that they likely should know was that intelligence sources wondered if they were aware that Russia was helping them. Then they tie Wikileaks to Stone and Stone to Trump. Not proof but induendo and inference
                      The evidence of Manaforts previous (not previous) co worker’s ties to Russia intelligence is circumstantial at best. And his ties to Russian intelligence is disputed and only based upon “some evidence” Manaforts was labeled a counterintelligence threat that could be exploited but didn’t state he was a willing threat or conspirator. And then they list a bunch of unexplained circumstances but don’t provide proof of malfeasance.
                      The evidence on wikileaks is conjecture and based upon charges by some politicians.
                      Your quoted evidence isn’t evidence but conjecture. So no proof and no real evidence. You don’t want to argue this because I suspect you are aware of this.

                    9. I’d think I’d call this circumstantial at best.

                      circumstantial:
                      “pointing indirectly toward someone’s guilt but not conclusively proving it.”

          2. “Here is Ken again, again stating that he know the investigations into hunter are bullshit, but anything, lies included, to hurt Joe Biden is moral.”

            This is not an accurate assessment of his point. He specifically says that this is suspicious activity (not bullshit), pointing out that independent of the Trump administration, banks and state authorities were already investigating. He specifically says there is enough suspicious information to justify the investigation and that the value of such an investigation is the damage it will do to the Biden agenda.

            So yes, you are putting words in his mouth.

            1. Am I?

              “the value of such an investigation is the damage it will do to the Biden agenda.”

              It seems you agree with me. This is a matter of wording.

              1. Did you or did you not say, “Here is Ken again, again stating that he know the investigations into hunter are bullshit,”

                Does Ken say such a thing in that thread, or does he say (paraphrasing) “I believe there is enough to investigate, and even *if* it doesn’t result in conviction, the investigation itself does enough good.”

                Those are different statements. Everyone reading this understands that, whether or not you deny it. So why do you continue to do so?

                1. “The reason to launch a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden isn’t to put either Biden in prison. It’s to undermine the Biden administration’s legitimacy and its ability to enact his horrible agenda.”

                  Seems pretty dishonest to me. And you are sidestepping his endorsement of the Big Election Lie as a moral and legitimate strategy.

                  1. “Seems pretty dishonest to me. ”

                    The way you characterized his statement? Yes. It was quite dishonest. Because Ken SPECIFICALLY writes in that thread, several times (including the first post) that he sees enough evidence to warrant an investigation.

                    Mind you, I think there is plenty to discuss about the role of using legitimate investigations as a tool against the political opponents. That is a discussion one cannot have when one side mischaracterizes the other side’s argument in bad faith.

                    And what is worse, we weren’t even discussing this specific issue. You brought it up as a way to shut down a totally different argument.

                    But please, tell me more about how those mean people on this site won’t engage you in a decent argument.

                    1. “that he sees enough evidence to warrant an investigation.”

                      Only because he is cynically justifying investigations by the harm they can do to the targets, not in the probability that the investigation will uncover wrongdoing or result in convictions.

                    2. …and you are still not addressing the Big Lie strategy that Ken thinks is hunkey-dorey.

              2. No, since he never called it bullshit and was stating the hiding of the investigation by the media or downplaying was done to protect Biden from the perceived harm the investigations would have on his campaign. You can’t even be honest can you,? Do you have to misrepresent everything anyone says that runs counter to your personal narrative?

                1. He was stating that the investigations would not result in convictions, first of all. Secondly he was stating that investigations that are not going to achieve the stated goal of investigations are still ok, because Biden is so, so evil.

                  1. “He was stating that the investigations would not result in convictions, first of all.”

                    He did not. He stated that even if they didn’t result in convictions, that was ok. The investigation itself had value (to him).

                    1. “The reason to launch a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden isn’t to put either Biden in prison. It’s to undermine the Biden administration’s legitimacy and its ability to enact his horrible agenda.”

      3. “Let’s just say that I disagree, and have taken note of your objectives-based, rather than principled reasoning”

        Better yet, let’s just say you’re an obvious troll and ignore you.

      4. Should be noted, also, that 70% of Republicans saying they think the election was not “free and fair” is not the same as 70% of Republicans saying they think “the election was stolen”.

        1. NU UH!!! DON’T HIDE BITCH!!!

          POST WITHOUT THE SPACES BITCH!!!

          YOU CAN’T BITCH!!!!

          YOU GOT BANNED!!!

          AHAHAHAHAH AND YOU KNOW I CAUGHT YOU AHAHAHAHAAH!!!!

        2. Hey, Trump hasn’t been president for 24 hours, you stated you would criticize the Democrats when they were in power as harshly as your criticize the Republicans. Yet here you are making excuses for Democratic authoritarianism by claiming the right is more dangerous. Yeah you are totally disproving your claim of not being a leftist.

      5. Man, Stolen Valor goes full defense of Biden. Weird.

        1. Go ahead and quote my defense of Biden, and while we’re at it, why don’t we settle a wager, coward?

    2. The reaction is that good people will want to dissolve their political connections to a government, and its institutions, and create their own. Right or wrong, this is nothing new.

      1. Nope, it’s not new, but if mainstream Republicans come to believe that there is no place for them in democratic institutions or civil society, they will become the enemies of both. If the left wanted a real threat of a right wing populist taking power on a wave of popular support and instituting his agenda without regard for democracy or any concern for civil society, they would do the same things they’re doing now.

        This is how you get ants. Nothing new about it. No mystery.

        1. You get ants by leaving sugar all over your counters.

          And you get disaffected, right wing seditionists by feeding them a steady diet of Big Lies.

          1. Calling people’s beliefs even when mistaken lies doesn’t make then believe any less. That is psyche 202 there.

            1. 101 not 202.

              1. Also the abbreviation for psychology is psych. Psyche is a separate word with distinct meanings.

          2. Also, you just implied that 52 million people (70% of 74 million) are ants and or liars.

            1. They are victims of a liar, not ants or liars themselves.

            2. What an odd complaint.

              Either the election was “stolen”, or it was not. There is a truth there, and everyone who claims otherwise is either an “ant” (meaning that they’ve been deceived) or a liar (meaning that they don’t believe the lie, but they willfully parrot it).

              So either that “52 million people”† are “ants and/or liars”, or 107 million people‡ are “ants and/or liars”.

              So if you’re going to take umbrage at suggesting 52 million people are “ants and/or liars”, doesn’t that make the inverse worse? Yes, it’s tragic that Trump and his associates deceived so many. But that doesn’t change reality. And reality is that Biden won both the popular and electoral college vote.
              ________
              †I’m guessing you’re basing this on voters, not all people.
              ‡159 million total voters in 2020 presidential election minus the 52 million that think Trump won (or at least say so publicly).

  9. Call me when either (A) the government is involved, or (B) Trump loyalists actually can’t fine book deals.

    But last I heard, Hawley already had another publisher. So I think, as always, your concerns are overblown.

    Which is to say… nobody is entitled to book deals from the publisher of their choosing. If they cannot find a publisher who is willing to publish them, then too bad: most people can’t get published.

    1. This issue is really useful as a libertarian litmus test. Especially if you can find and contrast their comments regarding a certain gay wedding cake.

      A lot of test failures around here.

      1. Not really. Soft pressure and threats to legislate are governemnt involvement, but your ilk ignore it because you’re not Libertarian.

        1. No they’re not. Politicians spewing hot air are not the same as a government edict. AOC and Ted Cruz can tweet whatever they feel like, none of it really matters.

          1. Yeah right, you didn’t say that about Trump’s tweets about reporters. Gee, interesting how tweets are just hot air now. Do you have any standards besides right bad, left better?

      2. There are many people here (myself included) who believe it is problematic to have a society that substitutes mob and oligarchic black lists for government intervention. Such people (including the author of this article) believe that freedom of expression is a good in and of itself, and that preventing the government from interfering is only one virtue among many that promote free expression.

        But given how often you retreat to caricaturing and straw men in order to dismiss expression that you don’t agree with, I can see why you might possibly miss the distinction.

        1. Perhaps one of the reasons that people like DOL delve into caricaturing and straw men is that so many conservatives who hang out here themselves act like caricatures and straw men: loveconstitution1789, JesseAz, Tulpa, Sevo, Nardz, on and on — none of them engage in mature or honest conversation.

          1. AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA POST WITHOUT THE SPACES LIAR AHAJAJAJ

            YOU CAN’T

            AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

          2. Perhaps DOL should stop engaging with those people then. For the most part, I do not engage with them because I have zero desire to engage in that form of discourse. It isn’t really hard at all to do.

            1. I wasn’t. I was talking to Escher, and then you got an itch to defend someone, I don’t know who.

              All I can tell you is that if you feel defensive when read my original comment in this thread, then maybe that indicates you need to examine your own positions for consistency. Or maybe you are misinterpreting or overly broadly applying my comment to the point that you feel I’m after you. I’m not.

          3. Given your actions for the past several weeks, and your made up stupid acronyms and your stupid jokes about Canada, I don’t think you should be deciding what is mature conversation either.

          4. LOL. I always love it when you lefties resort to calling others dishonest when that is all you roll around in. You have never had an honest conversation on this site. Ever.

        2. Where is my caricature or strawman? Do you really not believe that several regular commenters here took the position of free association and free markets when it came to a gay wedding cake, but then held the opposite position when it came to parler?

          1. That is exactly your strawman. The primary arguments is that a) you should denounce these violations even if they are done at the hands in private business, b) not ignore contractual violations such as the 30 day clause in the AWS/Parler contracts, c) not ignore the soft fascism of democrats working with these companies to silence people, d) not ignore the market collusion happening in silicon valley as an attempt to harm these companies.

            You ignore all of the above and simplify your strawman to an idiotic argument where you believe you have morality. You don’t. You ignore soft fascism because it is indirect fascism. It is still fascism. A political party is coordinating to harm free speech.

            https://lawandcrime.com/u-s-capitol-siege/house-democrats-demand-fbi-investigation-into-parlers-role-as-a-facilitator-in-assault-on-u-s-capitol/

            You bring up the baker, except you ignore the market collusion. Parler formed its own twitter, then Twitter colluded with the landlord and bakery suppliers to shut them out of business. That is collusion.

            You ignore these facts because you agree with shutting down speech you don’t like, just like WK does.

            You, WK, Sarcasmic, et al are just lefties who will rationalize unjust behaviors when you agree with them.

            1. ha ha ha.

              Jesse, forgive me if I find your worries of “soft fascism” to be less than genuine. After all, you were fine with Pence potentially overturning an election all on his own, or with Trump withholding payments to Ukraine with absolutely no legal ability to do so.

              So when people voluntarily work together (like libertarians are always encouraging, right?) that is fine, until they work together to exclude somebody you like?

              Jesse, you are so, so far from the principles of liberty, from the NAP, even from small government conservatism, that I’m not sure what your philosophical or principled position is supposed to be?

              At this point it just seems like whatever helps you and your preferences is good, and whatever hurts your preferences is bad. And that is typical thinking for most people, but it is nothing worth debating or proclaiming.

        3. There are many people here (myself included) who believe it is problematic to have a society that substitutes mob and oligarchic black lists for government intervention.

          So I can say “this guy’s an asshole, I won’t work with him” so long as I’m the only one? That’s what you’re going with?

          I’m not surprised, that’s a line libertarians often wind up at. They theoretically are fine with people quitting in protest, boycotting folks who they don’t like, and so-on. But when enough people do it such that there’s actual consequences, suddenly you all are screaming about tyranny and mobs.

          AKA, you’re fine with expression of Freedom of Speech and Association… so long as they don’t work.

          1. What is with the lefties here thinking libertarians are not against market collusion?

            1. What is “market collusion” and how is one person writing to other people less of a 1a issue than a president telling his supporters to demand trial by combat?

              Awaiting your rationally consistent response.

            2. I’m sorry, but I’m going to need some clarification here.

              It sure looks like here, and in other places, you are intentionally conflating effective boycotts with “market collusion”. But in the post you were responding to (and elsewhere) I was very up-front with how libertarians are against effective boycotts.

              So if you’re conflating effective boycotts with market collusion, why would you think that I think “libertarians are not against market collusion”?

              That statement only makes sense if when I talk about libertarian opposition to effective boycotts I’m not talking about libertarian opposition to market collusion, but in that case, I wouldn’t have said a word at all about libertarian feelings towards market collusion.

              So I have to ask, what are you talking about?

        4. Just as private citizens violating your 4th amendment rights is considered the police doing it by proxy, there’s a good case to be made that SV violating people’s first amendment rights is the government restricting speech by proxy.

      3. I have never claimed to be, or represented myself as, a libertarian.

        1. Regardless, it is still a nice check for consistency.

          1. Only if you see someone taking a hardcore stance. But actual non-discrimination law and philosophy sees a difference between public accommodations and publishers, so it’s only the hardcore folks that you’ll trip up.

    2. Good point. Blacks in the south should have just found another lunch counter according to you.

      1. This is an inappropriate distinction, as Jim Crowe laws forced businesses to segregate.

        1. So the effect of CRA is limited to legislation and does not affect the decisions of private businesses????

          Laughable if stupid and ahistorical.

      2. There’s a number of assumptions you are making.

        First-up: Libertarians/libertarians have long argued against the Civil Rights Act (1964) and all similar non-discrimination legislation. Which is to say… yes, actually, libertarians/Libertarians have no problem with segregation as long as it is not forced by the government, have no problem with “Irish need not apply”, have no problem with red-lining, and so-on.

        Second-up: Non-discrimination laws do not apply to publishers. Every case I can think of where someone tried to sue a publisher under a non-disrimination law, the publisher won. I see no conflict between that result and believing that non-discrimination in public accommodation laws are generally permissible.

        Which is to say… no, not according to me. You have made erroneous assumptions.

        1. First up: when applied to a single business entity, not a market where powerful brokers collude against other market actors.

        2. The problem is with the bake the cake ‘libertarians’ and the clown nose on – clone nose off approach to enforcement of the emanations and penumbras of the CRA.

          It’s a convenience of statists, that is all and that is obvious.

    3. Actually, anyone can get any book published – it’s called self-publishing. All it takes is a word processor.

      1. True. I’ve personally backed enough Kickstarter campaigns to publish books to have known better.

        An addendum then:
        Nobody is entitled to book deals from the publisher of their choosing. If they cannot find a publisher who is willing to take care of the lion’s hare of logistical work to publish them, then too bad: most people can’t get published by a third party without directly funding it.

        1. Kickstarter has kicked off many campaigns for arbitrary reasons.

          I’m guessing you would be all for payment processors colluding together to try to keep a despised group of people from monetary systems?

          1. Kickstarter has kicked off many campaigns for arbitrary reasons.

            Please see my response below regarding your upset with Terms of Service.

            I’m guessing you would be all for payment processors colluding together to try to keep a despised group of people from monetary systems?

            Largely ambivalent, actually. I think excluding companies and people –even disfavored ones– from our banking system is a mistake, but I don’t think that we as a nation are ready to move on a “Civil Right to Banking” or some-such that would forestall such actions.

            Further, any possible solution I can come up with does not sound like one I think a disciplined libertarian such as yourself would find acceptable.

            Which is to say… I am not “all for” such actions, but I am not as “all against” as you, and am doubtful that there is any solution you would find acceptable.

      2. And have no access to marketing or distribution. Self publishing is generally a practice in self indulgence. Rarely does it lead to any material success.

        1. “Rarely” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there.

          Suffice to say, there are a large number (not large rate, but raw number) of creative folks who make a living through independent publishing, commissions, Patreon, and so-on.

          I doubt any are in the “six figure salary-equivalent” level of “material success”, but the advent of the internet has let creatives connect directly with consumers, and has made room for successful independent operators.

          All that said, no one who worked in the Trump administration would consider a such a lifestyle (earning a respectable 5-figure income over the course of a year) and level of success acceptable, but I’m not sure we should say “if I can’t earn a wealthy lifestyle by dishing out on my colleagues, is this even a free country?” is a good standard.

      3. Anyone can create Twitter is what you said just a month ago. But due to collusion the new twitter was kicked off of multiple platforms causing massive harm as it gained market share.

        But you’re not a libertarian, so you don’t see why this is an issue of free markets.

        1. They can. They can host it themselves too, instead of relying on Amazon. I see that they have found a new sponsor in Russia. So the free market has prevailed. No one gets what they want, and no one is happy. A perfect compromise.

    4. Can I call you when it is a contractual issue like it is with parler? Or do you think libertarians don’t respect contracts? I mean, idiots like DoL continue to ignore those actual questions. I guess you can too.

      1. Parler is free to sue amazon over a supposed contract breach, and I understand that they have.

        So what? This is exactly what a free market looks like. All you are doing is telling us you are logically and philosophically inconsistent.

      2. Or do you think libertarians don’t respect contracts?

        I think libertarians broadly respect contracts (or at least like to think they do).

        But when it comes to Terms of Service (ToS), such as on Kickstarter, Twitter, Amazon Web Services, and so-on, y’all suddenly flip your lids and forget that the contracts explicitly allow the things you’re claiming are contract breaches.

        Or to put it another way… I think y’all think you respect contracts. But like everyone else, you don’t read the ToS, and you assume it reserves rights for you, when it does nothing of the sort. And then you see the lack of successful lawsuits as the courts being against you, and not you having signed away what few rights you had.

  10. Anyone calling for bans on press freedom should have their works banned.

    1. As represented, this “No book deals for traitors” is not a call for bans on press freedoms.

      It is a call for publishers to have a conscience.

      Or to put it another way… the government saying that Penguin House publishing cannot publish stuff written by Josh Hawley? Obviously bad, unconstitutional.

      Other writers –whose only power is the persuasive power of rhetoric and the ability to find a different publisher in the future– saying that Penguin House publishing should not publish stuff written by Josh Hawley? Perfectly acceptable, time-honored, constitutional.

      Confusing the second for the former –as it appears you have done– is obviously going to lead to erroneous conclusions.

      1. Confusing humor via circular logic – as it appears you have done – is obviously going to lead to you missing the joke.

        1. I apologize, and invoke Poe’s law as way of explanation: your mockery was indistinguishable from serious posts.

          1. Then I invoke the woke left’s law and say that mockery is serious.

      2. Not a horrible point. I guess African-Americans in the south should have just found another lunch counter to eat at.

      3. Circulating black lists based on peoples’ beliefs is absolutely constitutional. That doesn’t make it good. Further, it isn’t just about refusing to publish peoples’ books. The current culture is working to ensure that people guilty of “wrongthink” are unable to make a living. I don’t have to like the Trumpistas to understand how easily this jumps the moat to far, far worse outcomes- punishing spouses, kids and parents. (We already have several examples of this happening already).

        1. Right, here’s the problem though.

          There is a significant number of people who, every year, literally are “working to ensure that people guilty of ‘wrongthink’ are unable to make a living”. And every year, we all accept that as their right, and go on with our lives with nothing other then light mockery of these folks.

          I am talking, of course, about the annual boycotts of Starbucks for having insufficiently Christian coffee cups.

          If you are fine with that –people literally trying to put a business out of business for not being sufficiently overtly Christian– but not fine with this, then your problem is not the attempt, it is the fear that it will work.

          At which point, you are not defending people’s “freedom of expression”, as that is the same in both cases.

          What you are defending, is some people’s “freedom from consequences”.

          And that’s not something I can get behind.

          1. Justification of ones hatred is all you are doing here.

            1. Arguing that boycotts are acceptable expressions of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association, even when it has market consequences, is “hatred”?

              Strange flex, but okay.

      4. The solution to non-governmental censorship is not government censorship, but this is still a problem that should concern anyone who values intellectual diversity or freedom.

  11. So if publishing deals are precluded on the one looking for the deal wielding their government authority not for the benefit of those who voted for them or according to their morals but in a manner required by those offering the deals. Then wouldn’t that make it a bribe/blackmail of a government official? It appears government officials must refuse such deals or list them as campaign donations.

    1. Mind you, this is mostly me just being an asshole by pointing out how skeevy the publishers are acting with their book deals.

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  13. Pretty balanced analysis. Guess the Reason editors let this one slip past them somehow.

  14. Simply amazing.

    The right is in a bit of disarray. A group of its purported members recently took part in an extremely unpopular action.

    So let’s watch the left take advantage…..by doing everything possible to drive reasonable people away.

    Idiots have taken over both parties. We need new ones.

    1. Let’s be honest. Are we really one country? Is this still a “union”? Are we simply a nation because we have many shared values, languages and etc.? Is it really a “bad” thing if Trump had won and the west coast wanted to be come the United Soviet Socialists of America or Texas became the Republic of Texas once again?

      1. It might not be bad if there were a true regional separation. But the fact is that every state in the union is purple, and they only appear as red or blue because we have a winner-take-all two-party system.

        Most Americans are moderates, getting sucked into a culture war between two camps of extremists.

        We’d all be better off if antifa, Proud Boys, the Squad, the Trump family, the Clintons, and the rest of the extremist partisans were put on an island to fight out their stupid culture war, and the rest of us were left alone.

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        2. This. Exactly this. If they want to act like baboons flinging shit at each other it’s fine. Just leave us out of it. And don’t fucking govern that way. Their zeal to punish their opponents as we swing from extreme to extreme ends up mostly harming innocent folks who don’t want any part of this stupid shit.

          How dare they use our government to do this crap?

          If only there were some way for them to just go away.

  15. “Trump was a distasteful president who flouted the norms of both the presidency and common decency, and who riled up his supporters to do the same—but distasteful and criminal are two different things. ”

    Well, good thing this letter has nothing to do with criminality. It’s the free market at work- make something so unpopular that businesses won’t want the headache of it. Like a boycott. Are we libertarians now to see that as a bad thing?

    Not to mention, who gives a flying fuck about these seditious assholes anyway?

    No unity without justice. As yet, there has been none.

    1. Truth is treason in an empire of lies

    2. “make something so unpopular”

      by threatening legislation

      1. Sure don’t want to question the election. We can’t have that. Our founders aure would t have agreed that the individual should never question an election. I mean, throughout the history of nation states elections have always been fair and free.

    3. No unity without justice. As yet, there has been none.

      Yes!! That has worked for Africa making their countries stable, healthy environments to live in. Die Tutsi scum! Death to the Hutu!

    4. Like a boycott. Are we libertarians now to see that as a bad thing?

      Yes, if we’re talking about “boycotts” like this.

      Or maybe you think the Hollywood blacklist wasn’t a bad thing, either.

  16. “We all love book publishing, but we have to be honest—our country is where it is in part because publishing has chased the money and notoriety of some pretty sketchy people, and has granted those same people both the imprimatur of respectability and a lot of money through sweetheart book deals.”

    Bad news for the Clintons and Obamas – – – – – – – –
    (and a cast of hundreds from the FBI & DOJ)

  17. Truth is treason in an empire of lies.

  18. lol….refusing to publish a book at tech censorship. You can”t make this crap up. You statists are sheep.

  19. I admit that I am troubled by the idea of publishers being asked not to publish books. I would rather see the book published and then have critics address the book and its ideas. I also like to say I am troubled by the practice of groups to order large amounts of books to give the allusion the book has broader appeal than is actually true. Neither denying publication nor over inflating a book popularity are good practices.

  20. Free market. If you are a despicable person then you risk companies not wanting to do business with you. If you as a company does business with despicable people then the public has the freedom to choose not to buy your products. People also have the freedom to publicize what businesses or individuals they think others should not do business with. All as it should be.

    1. Another thing that should be: Society should stop being afraid of “bad messages”. If a message is bad, it should live or die based on the quality of that message. While people should be allowed to do stupid things like taking drugs, or calling for “bad thoughts” to be blacklisted, a healthy society should have many voices encouraging healthy lifestyles and free expression.

    2. Yeah I know Molly. If only those icky people on the right would just shut the fuck up. Amiright?

      Most of us wish y’all would take your stupid culture war and your hateful oppressive crap to Antarctica or whatever and leave us out of it.

    3. We should not wage economic war on individuals for disagreeing with us. We should explain why they are wrong. The solution to bad speech is more speech.

  21. A certain segment of the Left has always tried to control what gets published. They tried to stop the Ender’s Game movie because the author of the book was Mormon and thus against gay marriage.

    Which is quite ironic because the Left in the US has has the brunt of publishing censorship in the US. And not just McCarthyism.

    When the political party in power has the authority to decide what can or cannot get published, then you don’t get published when your party is not in power. Do they guys really believe, in 2021, that Obama is the permanent and immortal president? Really? What a grand and intoxicating innocence.

    1. Which is quite ironic because the Left in the US has has the brunt of publishing censorship in the US. And not just McCarthyism.

      Not so much. Despite the grumblings of a few grumpy conservatives, marxists and the left in general have historically enjoyed an outsized voice in the world of letters, both printed and broadcast. Most of what happened during the so-called Hollywood blacklist era was a lot of bluster and propaganda served up by the communist front groups themselves, and that includes the struggle sessions that occurred with any leftist Hollywood writer who dared step even slightly out of line.

      And it was Hollywood leftists that created the blacklist.

      Here’s the famous letter from Albert Maltz, “What Shall We Ask of Writers”, an open letter to the Hollywood left to maybe make the commie propaganda just a little less obvious

      If you want a pretty full accounting of just how badly the modern narrative has mangled the truth, I suggest you read The God that Failed. A book written by former disillusioned Hollywood commies who were hip-deep in the Hollywood left.

      1. I forgot to add, that letter by Maltz got him his own personal struggle session with the Hollywood front groups that forced him into a full-throated denunciation of what he had written, and even caused him to openly denounce anyone who had previously defended him on his original letter– so powerful was the struggle session initiated against Maltz.

        The left will always be fine in the publishing business. They just don’t want anyone else to be fine in it.

    2. Bottom line, the left has always been famous for that soccer move where when you get slightly bumped, they roll around on the field for 20 minutes, grimacing and holding their shin, while at the same time giving full-throated support of anything which crushes a dissenting voice.

      1. I won’t disagree with that, but it seems like that is exactly what these right wing pols getting their book deals cancelled are doing right now.

    3. … it’s very strange to read a complaint about a run-of-the-mill boycott and have it try to tie-in government censorship.

      There is nothing inconsistent about being okay with boycotts and thinking government censorship is a problem (and almost always unconstitutional).

    4. There is no “the Left.” You’re talking about a fantasy in Ben Shapiro’s mind. And we have Diane Paul here with his sneaky rewriting of history where he forgets to mention that it’s bad to persecute communists too.

      Cancel culture was a phenomenon of capitalism. You are whining about people doing what they want in their own culture. No one even contemplated a law, which would have been obviously unconstitutional. Politicians were, if anything, victims of cancel culture. You think Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer want to submit their every utterance to teenagers for approval?

      But everyone knows you’re not making a mistake by bitching about culture doing things you don’t like, it’s the whole point. People don’t get as emotional as you guys over economic policy. Only over tiny changes to your culture. What’s the matter? Don’t like sharing something that doesn’t belong to you?

  22. And let the digital book burning begin.

  23. Weird how they don’t have to bake that cake.

  24. It would be very hard to prove that even the president’s most aggressive rhetoric leading up to January 6 ran afoul of protected speech, let alone criminalize the politicians who nodded along with it.

    When I read these sentences in a vacuum, I can’t tell if you’re talking about BLM riots where more than 30 people were murdered and 700 officers were injured, and billions of dollars of damage done, not just to buildings owned by the government, but the livelihoods of their fellow citizens who were suffering with coronavirus lockdowns and barely hanging on by a thread as it is.

  25. These people really are deranged. They’ve had the same thing echoing around in their chambers so loudly and for so long it’s actually scrambled their brains.

  26. Proggie logic: Deride children in cages, pre-order Obama’s book.

  27. “These book deals, the letter argues, should not be granted to any “participant in an administration that caged children, performed involuntary surgeries on captive women, and scoffed at science as millions were infected with a deadly virus,””

    If that is the criteria why aren’t Democrats banned as well?

  28. Rightwing shithead traitors who have done nothing but hate America for their entire existence have gone from utter capitalist welfare (billionaire money) for their evil brainfarts to begging private companies to give them affirmative action.

    Ideas die because they are bad and cause harm. It’s okay for an idea to die. The only reason we’re still stuck listening to science-denying theocrats who think Trump made a good president is because they have already been given decades of extra deference by a society that should have known better.

    1. That was incoherent.

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  30. The Democratic National Socialist Party SWAMP doing what they do best —– HATING anyone who stalls their Revolutionary Plans of Government Dictation….

  31. One of the most magnificant aspects of American history is how forgiving the American people can be. Instead of seeking revenge against the Japanese, Germans, and Italians after WW II, they helped rebuild these countries and formed military and economic alliances with them. Americans weren’t interested in carrying a grudge. And it worked beautifully, helping to create peace and affluence throughout much of the world in the years since.

    That magnamity now seems to be missing, at least within certain elements of the Democratic Party.

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