Politics

The War on Free Speech Is About To Get a Lot Uglier

The awful events of January 6 accelerated trends in left-of-center circles, particularly within media and technology companies.

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One week after being trapped inside the United States Capitol as thousands of pro–Donald Trump marauders attempted to forcibly "stop the steal" of the presidential election, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) suggested one possible federal government response: convening a national commission on media literacy.

"We're going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can't just spew disinformation and misinformation," Ocasio-Cortez told her followers in a video message. "It's one thing to have differing opinions, but it's another thing entirely to just say things that are false."

The road to speech restrictionism is paved with political rhetoric about protecting the proletariat from falsehoods. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán last year cited the potentially deadly dangers of "fake news" while ramming through a law punishing coronavirus misinformation with up to five years in prison. Holocaust denial is illegal in more than a dozen European countries, in the name of safeguarding Jewish minorities. Donald Trump, before he was elected president, vowed to "open up our libel laws" as a remedy for "negative and horrible and false articles."

Thankfully, Trump's implausible threat—there are no federal laws governing libel, for starters—foundered on the same rocks that will thwart any Ocasio-Cortez attempt to have the feds arbitrate falsehoods and "rein in" free expression. America's legal and cultural speech traditions are the strongest on the planet, and the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has been vigorous in defending the First Amendment.

Add to that legal roadblock a more temporal impediment to Ocasio-Cortez's policy agenda: Legislation in the 117th Congress will be shaped much more by the most conservative Democrats in the 50–50 Senate than it will by the loudest socialists in the House.

But that doesn't mean AOC-style censorship will be cauterized in the post-Trump era. To the contrary.

The awful events of January 6 accelerated trends in left-of-center circles, particularly within media and technology companies. Shocked at the sight of a violent mob lending street muscle to a lame-duck president's conspiracy theory, journalists, academics, and social media companies seemed at once to agree on a two-pronged strategy: using the most maximally negative adjectives to describe the country's still sizable Trump rump and banishing that bloc's most deplorable figures from every platform within reach.

First it was the sitting president who was sent to social-media Siberia. Soon, the Twitter-for-right-wingers site Parler found itself without web hosting services after Amazon, Apple, and Google severed all business ties within a 48-hour span. The day after the House impeached Trump for a second time, the journalistic chattering classes redirected their outrage toward Politico inviting conservative commentator Ben Shapiro to be a single-day guest editor of its flagship email newsletter.

The deplatforming mania was almost awesome to behold. "You need to be shut down!" MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski ranted in the general direction of Facebook. "Nobody needs what you have to offer. You've destroyed this country." Neoconservative NeverTrumper and Washington Post columnist Max Boot thundered that President Joe Biden "needs to reinvigorate the [Federal Communications Commission] to slow the lies and sedition from Fox and other right-wing broadcasters." Otherwise, Boot warned, "the terrorism we saw on Jan. 6 may be only the beginning, rather than the end, of the plot against America." The Associated Press sent out this scare headline to its 1,300-plus media-industry subscribers: "Extremists exploit a loophole in social moderation: Podcasts."

Among the trial balloons taking flight in this fraught moment was a national commission. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch suggested a South African–style Truth and Reconciliation process "to address the lies and the anti-democratic policies of the Trump years." It would be "a chance for finding a common national story, for amnesty and a new beginning," Bunch argued, adding ominously, "I'd be shocked if this happened, but I don't know any other peaceful path forward."

This is not the first time the nation's intellectual and political gatekeepers have found themselves mobilized to collective action after a traumatic outburst of right-wing violence. In 1995, when Timothy McVeigh murdered 168 people with a fertilizer bomb at a federal building in Oklahoma City, President Bill Clinton affixed partial blame to "loud and angry voices" who "spread hate" on conservative talk radio, plus anyone else who believes that the greatest threat to their liberty comes from the U.S. government. "There have been lawbreakers among those who espouse your philosophy," he scolded the latter group.

But a more interesting antecedent to 2021's journalistic consensus began in 1944, when, as part of elite soul searching over America's initially sluggish response to the worldwide threat of fascism, Time Publisher Henry Luce tabbed University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins to convene a blue-ribbon Commission on Freedom of the Press. The Hutchins Commission, featuring more than a dozen academics and revolving-door government employees including Reinhold Niebuhr, Arthur Schlesinger, and Archibald MacLeish, produced in 1947 one of the most enduringly influential documents in the history of modern media theory, titled A Free and Responsible Press.

Vibrating with revulsion at the lurid, corrupting excesses of tabloid newspaper journalism, the report denounced sensationalism, warned against "'hate' speech" (hilariously, the word bureaucratic was cited as an example), and called for the creation of a national news council to establish and enforce professional standards. As the media scholar Stephen Bates dryly noted in a 2018 paper, "Although it might seem difficult to take the new out of news, the commission tried."

At the heart of the project was a paternalistic disgust that consumers were choosing media wrong, that press barons were building fortunes by pandering to base tastes, and that, as a result, the American experiment of self-government was being undermined from within. The media "can spread lies faster and farther than our forefathers dreamed when they enshrined the freedom of the press in the First Amendment to our Constitution," the report's authors lamented. "The press can be inflammatory, sensational, and irresponsible. If it is, it and its freedom will go down in the universal catastrophe."

Unsurprisingly, that elitist message landed like a stink bomb in smoke-filled 1940s newsrooms. "'A Free Press' (Hitler Style) Sought for U.S.," ran the unsubtle headline in Col. Robert McCormack's Chicago Tribune.

But then a funny thing happened. As radio and television killed off afternoon papers and newspaper wars reduced the options in most big cities to a single broadsheet monopoly, owners found the Hutchins professionalization model useful for attracting readership from all political persuasions and for building up their own personal prestige. Newsrooms fattened to a historic degree. Until technology enabled their captive audiences to flee.

It turns out people, now as then, still want to read about local crime, absorb different political viewpoints, and otherwise consume media in ways that journalistic elites find skeevy. And unlike in 1947, those attempting to shape the discourse in 2021 are not bothering to try to shove a national polity into a common public square. Instead, like bouncers working the velvet rope, they're policing who gets to be in the club and how they should behave once inside. This development, in our era of extreme and sporadically violent polarization, threatens to make both journalism and politics worse, assuming that's possible.

Consumers of political delusion have nobody but themselves to blame for their behavior on January 6. But by expelling rather than interacting with them, elite journalism threatens to make itself more susceptible to confirmation bias and hyperbolic error. Who shall first be virtuous enough to break this vicious cycle?

NEXT: Brickbat: Drivers Ed

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  1. “America’s legal and cultural speech traditions are the strongest on the planet”

    You been asleep for a while? Our “cultural” speech traditions are dead and buried. There is ZERO cultural respect for free speech.

    1. Hey free-speech respecter!

      Hey Damiksec, damiskec, and damikesc, and ALL of your other socks…
      How is your totalitarian scheme to FORCE people to buy Reason magazines coming along?

      Free speech (freedom from “Cancel Culture”) comes from Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok, and Google, right? THAT is why we need to pass laws to prohibit these DANGEROUS companies (which, ugh!, the BASTARDS, put profits above people!)!!! We must pass new laws to retract “Section 230” and FORCE the evil corporations to provide us all (EXCEPT for my political enemies, of course!) with a “UBIFS”, a Universal Basic Income of Free Speech!

      So leftist “false flag” commenters will inundate Reason-dot-com with shitloads of PROTECTED racist comments, and then pissed-off readers and advertisers and buyers (of Reason magazine) will all BOYCOTT Reason! And right-wing idiots like Damikesc will then FORCE people to support Reason, so as to nullify the attempts at boycotts! THAT is your ultimate authoritarian “fix” here!!!

      “Now, to “protect” Reason from this meddling here, are we going to REQUIRE readers and advertisers to support Reason, to protect Reason from boycotts?”
      Yup. Basically. Sounds rough. (Quote damikesc)

      (Etc.)

      See https://reason.com/2020/06/24/the-new-censors/#comment-8316852

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    4. So I definitely find myself conflicted on this very important, very center-stage issue. As an individual I want to begin distancing myself from political issues so that my daily life has the joy and calmness that I felt like I had to some degree just 5 or 6 years ago, before things like Treyvon Martin took over our media cycles. Getting away from politics is incredibly important for psychological health and I think it has become evident that folks that live online using Facebook and Twitter as their pulpit to speak from has supercharged the echo chamber activity and built up false truths for individuals to work from as a group entity. This obviously trends alongside the “identitarian politics” theme of many years/decades really that has become ever-present, with major institutions (Democrat and Republican parties) calling the shots for people who may not even fit well within the group.

      Now, we have a barrage of bad-instincts from social media and news media outlets that control the narrative in some way for a large number of people, and those institutions are leveraging their power to dole out their brand of justice. Except, justice is not meant to be something we use against the people in every facet of life, right? Justice is meant for those who have been wronged in a way that violates their rights – whether to property, bodily autonomy, or otherwise, and yet social media has spurred this cancel culture problem that is ravaging the entertainment and private spaces. It’s no longer OK to have an opinion unless your opinion fits a narrative. Sound vaguely familiar to anyone who knows their 1900s history? It sure sounds familiar to me.

      Yet, here I am, wanting companies to be left alone and to practice their business freely yet we have two horrific allies – mainstream media and social media, crafting a significant portion of our worldview by people that are almost never one of the following: educated, experts in their field, informed by a credible source. Folks are almost always using a vague source that cannot be identified. Why? Because the source doesn’t have credibility and the mention of their name would collapse the story? Seems likely, right? I mean, Donald Trump allegedly violated campaign laws according to the Democrats in the HOR and they impeached him for it, but was there any ethics or law violations? Based on the reports made apparent to us: no. Yet the story violated our collective headspace for years despite it having little credible merit. The only reason the story survived was because Twitter, Facebook, and our mainstream media sources fed off of the ratings it generated and pushed it for as long and as hard as they could. In the end, the story really died out fast and it was onto the next inconceivable thing that offended someone or something.

      I want there to be autonomy for businesses in the USA but I’m at the point now where the companies aren’t going to do anything that is right and follows the laws our Bill of Rights were made to protect. I think, when it comes to speech and private information holding/sharing, companies need to be held at the same level of accountability that any individual would be captive to. It’s one thing to censor a comment because it’s profane and might violate the first amendment and potentially invite harm to someone or some call to action. It’s a whole different can of worms to censor comments because you don’t agree with them personally and as a result you feel that the world shouldn’t be subject to them. You’re playing the role of a deity at that point and that’s not your job, not your responsibility, not your problem. If tech giants would just let it go, we’d be fine. Let the left complain! If that’s all they wanna do, let it go, but never punish the opposing viewpoints by taking away the platform that the other person was afforded. That’s not natural selection and our entire society is based off the premise of sink or swim when it comes to success and freedom. Go and earn it. Don’t sit back and cater to a mob that in reality isn’t going to do anything. And if they do, they can go to prison if their alternative is burning down houses and murdering people in the streets. Don’t turn this into Munich in 1940 – we don’t need censorship. The Nazi regime took over newspapers, radio shows, and more to control the stories and made villains of people that were peaceful neighbors and claimed that Nazi rule was the one true rule and all others should be made to live under Nazi rule. Look how that turned out. Anyone see the parallel for the left vs right issue in America and how the mainstream media is about 93% to the left and not pushing back against discrepancies and just running whatever sells online or during a taped broadcast? Social media is doing the same thing. Yes, sometimes the left get their pushback but a majority of the issues seem to crop up against right-leaning folks. The whole Dr Seuss cancellation and banning by eBay was outright stupid. We can’t let that kind of behavior become the norm. We’ll have no society left to uphold.

      1. “Let the left complain!”

        Haha. Yeah, they’ll do that.

        Everything Is So Terrible And Unfair! ™

        1. Wait….you read that?

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  2. You people are so fucking stupid.

    You use information as a weapon while trying to scheme how to disarm others.

    Knowledge is power.

    The panacea that you are oblivious to, intentionally disregarding, is to criminalize the coercion of lying, period.

    That covers ALL the bases.

    But you still want to lie, your weapon. Fucking stupid.

    1. How’s your Holocaust-denial lies coming along, evil liar? Making lots of NAZI friends with those lies?

      1. Do you have all that written down in your patented Notebook of Sin?

        1. The likes of YOU, Goldilicks Gorillashit, killed Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc., for being BETTER than you, and making YOU look bad in comparison! If THAT isn’t a sin, I don’t know what is!

          One the 1 in 1 billion chance that you’d like to better understand this particular sin (of yours, and of many more self-righteous assholes), read this! http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Do_Gooders_Bad/

          1. Die.

            Seriously.

            1. On cue, another Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc., killer shows up, lusting after the death of those who make the evil ones look bad!

              1. Do you think you are Jesus?

                1. More like the thief who mocked him during the Crucifixion.

              2. “Do you think you are Jesus?”

                No, but we REAL libertarians are MUCH better (more rational and benevolent) people than extreme conservaturds like Goldilicks Gorillashit are… And THAT is PRECISELY why conservaturds give endless, empty-headed, hateful grief to REAL libertarians, right here!

                (Power-pig assholes left, right, and middle DESERVE to be called the self-righteous assholes that they are!)

                1. When you say “we” do you mean all of your socks, sarc?

                  1. I think he’s speaking for all the fecophiliacs.

                2. “conservaturds!” What a brilliant portmanteau! Surely your mind-blowingly clever use of this utterly unpredictable zinger alone has proven the superiority to your fellow man that is so clearly your raison d’etre.

                  I do hope you took a victory lap in front of a full-length mirror after conjuring this wondrous neologism, remembering to flex every muscle fiber of your scant being for the duration.

                  It is eloquent and informed discourse such as yours, elevating immeasurably the exchange of ideas populating high-brow forums such as this one, that makes us all just a little more intelligent, if only so that we may pay sufficient obeisance to our betters, such as yourself. Bravo, sir!

                  I must write that non bon mot down lest my inferior mind forget it. Conservaturds! I still can’t stop quaking with an admixture of envy and glee.

                  You sir, may be a pathetic eccentric, but nobody can say you’re not a thought leader among your highly selective coterie and a TRUE, capital “L” libertarian. I do hope things go well for you, and that the cargo vessel bearing utopian manna arrives someday.

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                3. Lol. God damn that’s funny. Nobldy whose primary source is The Atlantic is a libertarian sarcasmic.

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    2. For the record, I do better than holocaust denial, I refute it.

      If we do criminalize lying, as I advocate, Jews will need to find a new religion.

      The holiest Jewish prayer on the holiest Jewish day, the Kol Nidre, is a plan to lie and a demand for acceptance.

      “All vows, obligations, oaths, and anathemas [curses]which we may vow, or swear, or pledge, or whereby we may be bound, from this Day of Atonement until the next we do repent. May they be deemed absolved, forgiven, annulled, and void, and made of no effect: they shall not bind us nor have any power over us. The vows shall not be reckoned vows; the obligations shall not be obligations; nor the oaths be oaths.”

      Rabbidiots say that it’s between Jews and God, not other people. Doesn’t the fuckwits God know everything, including what you’re going to do before you do it? Lies don’t work on God.

      People have persecuted those who lie throughout history for good reason. Let’s put it into law.

      1. For the record, I do better than holocaust denial, I refute support</b it.

        FTFY

      2. (In your opinion) has your kind of “logic” been tried (applied) before? If so, what were the results?

      3. Once again our noted rabinnical scholar, Mizek von Sturmfag, has deliberately misinterpreted the Kol Nidre.

        Aside from its acknowledgement man can not bind God to a contract, it no more demands acceptance (My we be) than the Lord’s Prayer does (Forgive us our trespasses).

        But what can you expect from a holocaust denying stormfag who has publicly called of the abrogation of the First Amendment?

        1. Nowhere is forgiveness asked for.

          The faithful just “deem” it.

          It is very clearly an unabashed plan to lie for the coming year and the expectation of forgiveness, in advance.

          Read it.

          1. “May We Be” is a request. Stop misreading it.

            1. May “they”, not we.

              “they shall not bind us nor have any power over us. The vows shall not be reckoned vows; the obligations shall not be obligations; nor the oaths be oaths.”

              That’s pretty specific about lying for the coming year, not the previous one.

              1. Still a request. And again, man cannot bind God to a contract.

                1. “May the lies be forgiven” indicates no personal responsibility for the damage they cause. There is no acknowledgement of wrongdoing or a desire to do better.

                  I say persecute the lying fuckwits.

                  God may forgive you, but the courts won’t.

                  1. I say persecute the lying fuckwits.

                    Maybe you can send them off to the gas chambers. Again.

                    1. I wouldn’t use shower houses with windows and inward opening doors and an insecticide that must be heated through shower heads as you fuckwits believe was done.

                      Or have bare handed and bare chested men drag out bodies coated with cyanide which is absorbed through the skin as the lying fuckwitnesses testified many years later while collecting reparations in their old age instead of dying the first day as they would have necessarily done.

                    2. So Misek, if I understand you correctly, you don’t believe the Jews were exterminated by the Nazis. Yo just WISH they were.

                      That about sum it up?

                2. Not a request but an expectation as per the definition of “may”

                  2 —used in auxiliary function expressing purpose or expectation
                  I laugh that I may not weep

                  1. Appeal to consequence
                    Affirming the consequent
                    Strawman
                    oh, and one more – Lie.

                    1a – used to indicate possibility or probability
                    1b – have permission to
                    1c – archaic : have the ability to
                    3 – used in auxiliary function to express a wish or desire especially in prayer, imprecation, or benediction

                    Idiot.

                    1. People can recognize the context used in the Kol Nidre.

                      May they be less stupid than you.

                    2. You lost, stormfag. You lost in ’45, and you lost here.

                    3. You pathetic retard.

                      You argued that “may” was used as a wish or a desire

                      “3 – used in auxiliary function to express a wish or desire especially in prayer, imprecation, or benediction”

                      A wish or a desire is not a request.

                      I’m sure Jews wish and desire to get away with all kinds of lying as is readily apparent in the Kol Nidre.

                      They just haven’t requested forgiveness from God.

                      They only wish and desire forgiveness for lying. They expect it. They obviously don’t wish or desire to stop lying or they certainly would have mentioned it.

                      Haha.

                    4. Something along the lines of “lead us not into temptation”.

                      Jews are gonna need a new religion.

                    5. You lost in ’45, and you lost here.

                    6. Unicorn there is no point in arguing with an anti semite Nazi.

                    7. “Unicorn there is no point in arguing with an anti semite Nazi.”

                      Correct, but there’s plenty of reason to heap scorn upon him.

                    8. Cant argue with that Sevo.

      4. There is only one answer for you.

        Am Chai Yisyael!

        You will be rotting in a grave: dead, alone, unloved and forgotten. Yet our people shall live, and thrive. Indeed, we will live the good life. With luck, one our tribe will piss on your grave.

        1. When the holocaust lie is demonstrated with free speech you will get what you deserve.

          1. You have free speech (despite your own best efforts).

            1. Why are all of you even talking to this lunatic? Is it some morbid fascination with insanity, or worse, do you think you’re going to change the mind of a mad man?

              1. What’s worse would be being unable to refute anything that someone you think is a madman says.

                What’s that like?

                1. It’s like dealing with someone who thinks hate, unfalsifiability and circular logic are “science”.

                  1. Sucks to be you.

                  2. It’s not like that; Misek is a fucking scumbag guilty of every one of those. And more.

                    1. The perfect democrat.

        2. XY

          Don’t give him ground.

          לעולם אל תשכח

          Forever we will not forget.

          1. I will never yield to the likes of that asshole Misek. Never.

            We have dealt with Amalek for a long time now, Echospinner.

            You are right, of course. We will never forget.

            1. You are a bigot.

              You have to ignore irrefutable evidence that demonstrates your perception is false.

              1. “You have to ignore irrefutable evidence that demonstrates your perception is false.”

                That would be one Brit radio intercept which was interpreted as a claim that the Nazis were trying to save some people in one death camp from typhus? And therefore all those millions dead were just a problem setting the dosage?
                These are rhetorical questions; as an anti-semetic piece of lying shit, it’s assumed you’ll spin the facts to suit your idiocy and mendacity.
                No, I’m not Jewish, I’m just tired of anti-semetic pieces of shit like you lying about history, and it is fortunate that your bullshit is accepted by you and two or three other ignoramuses.

                1. Here are some actual enigma decrypts from Bletchley park in 1942 when deaths were at their highest.

                  The link is to many more that share all kinds of Aushwitz details, absolutely no hint of any “extermination plan”.

                  Firstly the number of dead for the month are nowhere near what is necessary to support the holocaust narrative.

                  Secondly, notable is the concern over typhus deaths and the requests for medical supplies to treat.

                  Here

                  GPDD No’s.:- 194/199, 201/203, 205, 218, 219, 222/3, 226,
                  233, 236, 239, 240/2, 247.
                  ================================================================

                  Covering the period 3rd Aug. 1942 – 25th Sept. 1942

                  A
                  further examination is made of Concentration Camp figures;
                  deaths from typhus have reached a very high figure in
                  AUSCHWITZ.

                  A suspected case of typhus is reported from
                  AUSCHWITZ (223b/42). It is probable that on the 6th August
                  Nachschubkdtr. Russland Mitte requests typhus vaccine for
                  50 men and spottenfever serum for 20

                  For the first time returns are given for deaths of
                  prisoners (223b/14,24,43,50): the figures for August are:
                  NIEDERHAGEN 21, AUSCHWITZ 6829 (or 6889) men, 1525 women;

                  http://www.whatreallyhappened.info/decrypts/hw16_65_zip_os2_27.9.42.html

      5. “For the record, I do better than holocaust denial, I refute it.”

        Yeah, you found one Brit intercept where the nazis were supposedly trying to save some people from Typhus in one camp, therefore no Holocaust.
        We’re well familiar with lying pieces of anti-semetic shit like you.

        1. You seem to have recognized the futility of your feeble mental gymnastics.

          The numbers of people being transferred and dying in the prison camps as revealed by all the decrypts from Bletchley park completely refute the holocaust narrative.

          Your cherished narrative is false.

          1. “The numbers of people being transferred and dying in the prison camps as revealed by all the decrypts from Bletchley park completely refute the holocaust narrative.”

            There are well over 300 books on the shelves regarding WWII, probably at least 10-to-20 dealing with Bletchley Park, and not a single one of them mentions your lies.
            Perhaps that’s because you’re a lying anti-semite piece of shit

            1. The decrypts relating to prison camps weren’t released to the public until 1996.

              It is still a crime to present factual evidence that refutes the holocaust in every nation where it allegedly occurred.

              That cancel culture censorship is what this article is about.

              How many books refuting the holocaust have you read, any of you?

              Read this one. If your brainwashed bigotry allows. Then you’ll be ready to comment on the holocaust.

              Breaking the Spell: The Holocaust, Myth & Reality.

              http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23629458-breaking-the-spell

      6. What kind of a moron decides he wants to join the losing side of world war two?

        Fuck off, Adolf.

        -jcr

        1. The only thing the bullshit holocaust narrative has in common with WW2 is that they were both the creation of Jews.

          These Jewish leaders are admitting it..

          “We Jews are going to bring a war on Germany”.
          David A Brown, national chairman, united Jewish campaign, 1934.

          “The Israeli people around the world declare economic and financial war against Germany …holy war against Hitlers people”

          Chaim Weismann, the Zionist leader, 8 September 1939, Jewish chronicle.

          The Toronto evening telegram of 26 February 1940 quoted rabbi Maurice l. Perlzweig of the world Jewish Congress as telling a Canadian audience that” The world Jewish Congress has been at war with Germany for seven years”.

        2. It could be a moron who puts demonstrable truth above blind loyalty.

          Or do you count it stupidity just to pick a side on the basis of who won?

      7. Anti-Semites squabbling with anti-Semites! Never thought I’d see it. Reason gets better and better.
        You do know about the Hebrews’ jubilee law, don’t you? Mistranslation (a booming business) aside, it was a pretty cool thing. You, on the other hand, won’t be let loose until you’ve paid the very last farthing.

        1. I’m not an anti semite.

          Arabs, not Jews, make up 75% of Semitic peoples.

    3. The difficulty with saying ‘Make lies illegal’ is that lies are not easily quantifiable. There are plenty of statements that are objectively false but don’t qualify as lies. There are plenty of things that qualify as lies but are not harmful. There are plenty of truths that are more harmful than the lie. And there are plenty of unknowns that still need to be discussed that will produce statements that will turn out to be false. Plenty of others are statements that are true in all but scope.

      That is why the standards of Libel are raised as high as they are to be prosecutable.

      If we want, we can go over your statements and discuss if they could be treated as a lie.

      “You people are so fucking stupid.” Baseless assertion with no purpose but to hurt and demean people. Without giving citations as to why this sort of language is warranted, it should not have been used. $5 fine.

      “Knowledge is power.” Power is defined as work overtime. You are undermining the understanding of science $15 fine

      “That covers ALL the bases.” The Dodgers lost the world series because they thought this would cover first base. $100,000 fine due to loss of ad revenue.

      And yes I’m being an obtuse pain in the ass. But when you give someone the power to define what is and is not a lie, don’t be surprised when they define themselves as true, and anything inconvenient to them as false :/

      1. What makes you believe that to be true?

        1. Well, since you lie constantly, maybe that might have an effect.

          1. Rob Misek
            March.16.2021 at 8:51 pm

            What makes you believe that to be true?

            Sevo
            March.17.2021 at 12:51 am

            Well, since you lie constantly, maybe that might have an effect.

            1. Rob Misek
              March.16.2021 at 8:51 pm

              What makes you believe that to be true?

              Sevo
              March.17.2021 at 12:51 am

              Well, since you lie constantly, maybe that might have an effect.

              Gene Poole
              March.17.2021 at 4:15 pm

              Rob Misek
              March.16.2021 at 8:51 pm

              What makes you believe that to be true?

              Sevo
              March.17.2021 at 12:51 am

              Well, since you lie constantly, maybe that might have an effect.

              Jeff L.

              1. You could end the loop by refuting what I say, proving that I lied.

                Or you can admit that you cannot and that your denial of my truth is simply bigotry.

                Fill your boots,

      2. “don’t be surprised when they define themselves as true, and anything inconvenient to them as false”

        Pretty much what we have going right now with the dominant political faction. Note that while we hear how awful a small number of right wing “terrorist” yahoos were on Jan 6… over and over and over… everyone has conveniently forgotten that left-wing terrorists actually burned down cities, looted, and forcibly commandeered parts of two large United States cities in 2020, resulting in around 20 deaths. They’ve also forgotten how those terrorist acts were predicated on the lie that cops were deliberately killing unarmed black people in obscene numbers just because they could.

        BTW: So far in Chicago there have been 107 shooting deaths, mostly black. In 2020, in the whole of the US, there were 9 shooting deaths of unarmed blacks. BLM doesn’t really believe that black lives matter.

        1. So this: Are we ready to shut down the BLM because it’s based on a big lie?

      3. Not to mention that many false statements can be reified into true statements by adding context like “Some people say that [some totally false thing].” As long as somemone has actually said [the totally false thing], the reified state is true, permitting the [totally false thing] to be propagated.

    4. “…The panacea that you are oblivious to, intentionally disregarding, is to criminalize the coercion of lying, period…”

      I’m pretty sure Misek’s limited mental capacity allows him to believe such a pile of shit. I mean, he’s convinced himself that Hitler was just trying to de-louse the entire European Jewish population and just couldn’t find the right dosage.
      Hint, you pathetic piece of Nazi shit: What do you say when your wife asks if that dress ‘makes her look fat?’.

    5. “The panacea that you are oblivious to, intentionally disregarding, is to criminalize the coercion of lying, period.”

      So basically you want a Ministry of Truth.

      Ok, there is a Nation that have something like that, it’s called China, and based on their Regulated Media everything is ok and nothing bad is happening in Hong Kong, Wuhan, and Xinjiang….

      1. China doesn’t have free speech. They have propaganda to brainwash the likes of you.

        Our courts ostensibly exist in an environment of the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It is the only environment that enables justice. Do our courts emulate communist China?

      2. …or in the US?

  3. The awful events of January 6 accelerated trends in left-of-center circles, particularly within media and technology companies.

    Surely you meant to say “accelerated trends in both left- and right-wing circles”, right? You have to have both-sidism and what-aboutism in the article if we’re to take it cereally.

  4. “The awful events of January 6 accelerated trends in left-of-center circles, particularly within media and technology companies.”

    January 6 was to the Democrats’ war on speech what 9/11 was to the invasion of Iraq. The neocons were already looking for an excuse to invade Iraq when 9/11 came along, and the Democrats were openly threatening to break up and regulate social media companies for failing to scrub their services of “hate speech” and “conspiracy theories” since long before the election of 2020.

    If it hadn’t been for January 6, they would have used some other excuse. The real threat to free speech (and the acceleration of events) came from the antitrust case. Now that the Democrats control the investigation and remedies in the antitrust cases, they can write our speech codes going forward through consent decrees, much like the government did when they forced the tobacco companies to forfeit their free speech rights.

    The Democrats in the Senate will be powerless to stop that from happening, especially considering that the large social media companies want speech codes to placate advertisers. They just don’t want to be broken up or for the government to interfere with future acquisitions.

    1. Fascism, like most authoritarian systems, looks pretty good from the top.

    2. Hello, still on about Obama causing the herion crisis? Did you call1/6 a sit in? So sad

      1. Sadder still, your attempt to troll.
        And spell.

      2. I thought you died, Hihn?

        1. It’s a shame SQRLSY and Misek haven’t followed his example.

        2. ohlookMarketthugs outed himself as De Oppresso Loser yesterday.

            1. The George Floyd settlement article. Same words/arguments under different names.

              1. Thanks. I’ll definitely have some fun with this.

    3. we had already invaded Iraq in 1991, long before the neocons showed up

      that was where all the problems started, including 9/11

      in 2003 the options were between just leaving the Kurds and Shia to be slaughtered yet again, bombing the shit out of Iraq forever, or removing Saddam and giving Iraqis some marginal semblance of representative gov’t

      1. ….or we could have done none of that and left. Just sayin’.

        1. already listed at option one

          what, you think everyone would break out in chants of Kum Bay Yah because we left? we were only there after 1991 to keep the Sunni gov’t from openly slaughtering civilians from helicopters

          1. But you fail to explain how that is OUR job to handle that.

            We are not the world’s cops. We are not obligated to prevent groups from killing one another en masse. That belief has led to a ton of problems.

            If we left…then the problems are not our problems.

      2. we had already invaded Iraq in 1991, long before the neocons showed up

        No, the neocons already had their claws in the GOP as early as the 80s. They didn’t come to fully dominate until after the 94 midterms, but they were definitely influencing policy. A lot of them were ex-Trotskyites that were disgusted with the New Left’s sucking up to the Soviet Union, and latched on to the GOP because Reagan was one of the few politicians who wasn’t interested in a détente with them.

        Staying in the Middle East after winning Desert Storm is a neocon-style policy. No way in hell would Reagan and Weinberger been stupid enough to stay there.

        1. “Staying in the Middle East after winning Desert Storm is a neocon-style policy. No way in hell would Reagan and Weinberger been stupid enough to stay there.”

          An interesting question is whether they’d have gone to Iraq/Kuwait in the first place. Though we did have this giant war machine built up to fuck up the Warsaw Pact, and it was a wasting asset.

          Getting involved in Saddam’s novel attempt to workout his debt obligations to the al-Sabah and Saud families wasn’t necessarily a fait accompli. Hussein needed cash, and the only thing he had to sell was oil. His or Kuwait/KSA’s. Why should we care, if hypothetically, he offered to open the taps all the way, and drive the price to sub 10 bucks a barrel?

          1. Why should we care, if hypothetically, he offered to open the taps all the way, and drive the price to sub 10 bucks a barrel?

            If he had done that right away, things might have been different, but I don’t know. We became pretty tight with the Saudis after Iran was taken over by the mullahs, and I believe Reagan made a deal with them to turn the taps on full-blast, which was why gas became so dirt-cheap during most of the 80s. That war ultimately really wasn’t to save Kuwait, it was to keep Saddam from marching into Riyadh–they just needed to extract him from Kuwait to restore the status quo.

            And yeah, it’s certainly an interesting question as to whether Reagan and Weinberger would have actually done a full-scale invasion force if it had happened on their watch. The part with the Saudis is what makes me think they would have sent forces in.

            1. “If he had done that right away, things might have been different, but I don’t know. We became pretty tight with the Saudis after Iran was taken over by the mullahs…”

              Really requires the sort of Metternich-esque diplomacy needed to keep Nazi Germany afloat, in all of those counterfactuals. Nobody was covering themselves in diplomatic glory in that period, in that area, though Baker et al keeping the Arab coalition together and keeping Israel overtly out, deserves a bit of praise. And certainly we were starting to get in deep with the Saudis—I vaguely remember they getting to be one of the first to buy E-3 AWACS, when those were the new shiny. Really makes you wonder just how much they were contributing to Pappy Bush’s campaigns, like I suspect they heavily bankrolled W’s.

              April Glaspie in particular should’ve been exiled to the nastiest, coldest, most boring post State could find. How in the fuck do you not make it abundantly clear to Saddam that invading Kuwait, and threatening Riyadh, would be absolutely unacceptable? Jeez, tell him we’d get the Saudis, and everyone else whose ass he’d been saving by bleeding the fuck out of the Islamic Republic over the prior 8 years, into a room with him, and work out some sort of regional credit agreement to allow him to amortize his, at-the-time, giant indebtedness. Back when 120 billion USD was real money: https://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Another-enemy-looms-Iraq-debt-120-billion-2756930.php

              Anything would have been better for him than how the whole thing turned out. Hell, it didn’t even save Pappy’s political career. 91% approval rating, April 1991, IIRC to losing the Presidency not 18 months later. Weird.

              1. “How in the fuck do you not make it abundantly clear to Saddam that invading Kuwait, and threatening Riyadh, would be absolutely unacceptable?”

                pretty hollow threat, considering

                Hindsight is 20/20, but at the time everyone involved was pretty sure the US definitely wasn’t going to get involved in another Vietnam, particularly with a country hostile to Iran

                it was only well after the rest of the region freaked out over whether they might be next that anyone started taking the idea of US intervention seriously

                1. Dude, considering what we ended up doing, it wouldn’t have been a hollow threat, would it? Maybe at the time, we should have leveled the Iraqi base that Mirage that attacked the Stark took off from? Then maybe our threats wouldn’t sound hollow.

                  Nobody gets to hold hostage 40-50 of the world’s crude production, and potentially repeat 1973. If Saddam was that stupid, he deserved to hang.

          2. Ironic, given that Kuwait was slant drilling for Iraq’s oil…

            1. That’s not why Saddam invaded–Kuwait had been among the nations that financed him during the Iran-Iraq War, and started calling in those debts after the war ended. The oil was just a pretext to give him casus belli and invade so he could get them off his back AND take over their oil supplies as well.

              Desert Storm was actually a proxy conflict between Iraq and the most of the Middle East, except WE were the ones being used in that instance. The balance of power in that region is very delicate, and anyone who starts acting like they’re fixing to throw that off tends to get ganged up on (see Qatar). Hell, the only reason Syria was in on that coalition was because they were allied with Iran, and wanted the chance to thump their biggest rival in the ERV.

              1. “Desert Storm was actually a proxy conflict between Iraq and the most of the Middle East, except WE were the ones being used in that instance.”

                Also a proxy fight between an NTC-honed and Reagan Administration bankrolled United States conventional force and an ersatz Warsaw Pact large mechanized army. A lot of people in D.C. and Arlington had axes to grind over how Vietnam turned out, and wanted to show that we would’ve kicked the living shit out of the Soviets if they ever tried for the Rhine.

                (It helps when your enemy sits there, lets you build local and total supremacy of air and ground forces, doesn’t attack you, and especially doesn’t break out the slime, bugs, or mushrooms. Oh, and is using monkey-model WP stuff, with the added bonus of using their own—complete shit—locally manufactured ordnance.)

                1. yep Gulf War was more about the Cold War than about enforcing Westphalian norms that never had much foothold in Arabia anyway

                  the lesson is never touch the tar baby

        2. lol if we’d left after 1991 why wouldn’t Saddam have just take Kuwait back again?

          there is no option that makes any sense other than just letting Saddam have Kuwait in the first place

          1. Fully agreed. If we won’t send a million troops to deal with the problem, then perhaps the problem is not big enough for us to deal with at all.

            We should only be involved in legitimately “We do it or we die” affairs. Not “We shouldn’t let people be mean” affairs.

      3. “…and giving Iraqis some marginal semblance of representative gov’t”

        Sounds a lot like “nation building.” Not with my sons or daughters, or money, thank you. The US needs to get out of the business of trying to remediate all of the world’s problems, good intentions often being the road to hell.

        1. it wasn’t a good idea

          it was just the least awful one

      4. Maybe all the problems really started in 1953.

        1. or the fall of the Abbasids, really

          everything is always the Mongols’ fault in the end

      5. Another option was leaving the region and the world the fuck alone in the first place and concentrating on sports.

    4. If they deny them speech then some of them will start speaking with 5.56mm and 7.62mm. It is the American way!

    5. I didn’t know Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, .and lots of other Democrats were neocons.

      Just to insert a point of order…the Iraq War was a fully bi-partisan deal and duly authorized by Congress. May have been wrong, but it was not an executive war, nor was it some idea Bush made up and sold to the country. Contemporaneous quotes from many prominent Democrats said Saddam needed to be addressed and that it was feared that he had WMD.

      CNN: “The lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq contradicts years of intelligence indicating Saddam had such weapons, which also was the conclusion of officials in the Clinton administration. “The consensus was the same, from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration,” she [Sen. Hillary Clinton] said. “It was the same intelligence belief that our allies and friends around the world shared.

      Check out the House and Senate roll calls for the votes on the Iraq War. Pretty much every prominent Democrat voted in favor of the actions, including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Harry Reid, and Joe Biden.

      In the House, 82 (39.2%) of 209 Democratic Representatives voted for the resolution.

      Indeed, in the Senate Democrats could have stymied the whole thing if they had not gone over to the other side on the vote. It passed 77-23, but 29 (58%) of 50 Democratic senators voted for the resolution. If Democrats had voted as a bloc against the war, it would not have passed (i.e., resolution fails 48-52).

      Senate Democrats voting for the resolution were:

      Sens. Baucus (D-MT), Bayh (D-IN), Biden (D-DE), Breaux (D-LA), Cantwell (D-WA), Carnahan (D-MO), Carper (D-DE), Cleland (D-GA), Clinton (D-NY), Daschle (D-SD), Dodd (D-CT), Dorgan (D-ND), Edwards (D-NC), Feinstein (D-CA), Harkin (D-IA), Hollings (D-SC), Johnson (D-SD), Kerry (D-MA), Kohl (D-WI), Landrieu (D-LA), Lieberman (D-CT), Lincoln (D-AR), Miller (D-GA), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Reid (D-NV), Rockefeller (D-WV), Schumer (D-NY), and Torricelli (D-NJ).

      To the disappointment of some antiwar liberals in her Democratic base, Clinton, the former first lady, voted in favor of the Iraq war resolution in October 2002.

      “Obviously, I’ve thought about that a lot in the months since,” she said. “No, I don’t regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade.”

  5. You know what Welsh, you’re a part of that same brainless mob trying to destroy our 1-A rights. How many snarky articles did you subject us to? From my perspective, you are as much a useless piece of shit as Mika, Joy, AOC or the other collectivists.

    I have no interest in accommodation with collectivists. They want me dead. Guess what? It is a mutual feeling. So fuck off, Welsh.

    1. Yes, Welchie has been abetting the anti-Libertarians for a long while. Fvck him indeed

  6. “Consumers of political delusion have nobody but themselves to blame for their behavior on January 6.

    When we’re talking about the behavior of the people who invaded the Capitol building itself, my understanding is that we’re talking about 800 people. Let’s be sure to keep things in proportion.

    1. No, no, no! Matt and all other righteous people (perhaps with a touch of TDS) know that millions of alt-right, far right, white supremacists were in the Capitol, at least in spirit.

      Besides, keeping things in proportion, i.e. using objective numbers and reason instead of emotion, is so last century (aka white patriarchy).

      1. Yeah, they really should change the name of the magazine to Emote.

        1. Even though they cannot get jobs at HuffPo/WaPo/Politico they are going to act as if they did.

          This article could have been something if it were willing to shine the same illumination on – wait for it – both sides.

          But nowhere in this article is there any mention of left wing political violence, or left wing invalidating of election results and how those actions contributed to the state we are in.

          Not that Matt Welch is capable of gleaning anything from such evenhanded considerations, but at least it would have been an effort.

          This is just phoning it in.

        2. Brilliant! I am stealing that (Reason = Emote). I will credit you R Mac.

      2. in 25 years every lefty millennial will claim to have been brutally oppressed by heavily armed white supremacists on Jan 6

        it’s their Woodstock

        1. Ashli Babbit will not get the Jeffrey Miller treatment.

          1. or George Floyd

            try to imagine a world in which the Ashli Babbit riots have entered their third month behind enthusiastic encouragement from mass media

    2. 800 people spurred on by the same stolen election lies you, and others here, still promote.

      1. “800 people spurred on by the same stolen election lies you, and others here, still promote.”

        How about the millions ‘spurred on by’ the lies the media told about Trump, TDS-addled shit?

        “No, President Trump Did Not Pardon Himself – The New York …”
        “No, Trump Did Not Commit A Crime In Threatening To …”
        “No, the Trump administration has not failed in securing …”
        “FACT CHECK: No, Trump Did Not Tell People To ‘Inject …”
        “No, Trump didn’t tell Americans infected with the …”
        “Fauci Contradicts Pelosi Claim Trump ‘Didn’t Even Have a …”
        https://www.bing.com/search?q=No%2C+trump+did+not&form=QBLH&sp=-1&pq=no%2C+trump+did+not&sc=2-17&qs=n&sk=&cvid=A5394939657E4E46BC04AC4F75D575AC

        Page 1 – 2,160,000 items.
        No, Trump did not say/do half of what the legacy media had him saying or doing and even the very few retractions offered tended to buried below the fold on Pg 10.

    3. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Black-clad activists among hundreds of demonstrators protesting Donald Trump’s swearing-in on Friday clashed with police a few blocks from the White House, in an outburst of violence rare for an inauguration.

      At least 217 people were arrested in the melees, police said.

      The burst of civil disorder followed a fierce presidential campaign that ended in a stunning victory for Republican Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8 and left the country divided.

      Many of Trump’s supporters traveled to Washington to cheer their new president on Inauguration Day. Tens of thousands of detractors are expected to march peacefully on Saturday.

      In the violence, knots of activists in black clothes and masks threw rocks and bottles at officers wearing riot gear, who responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades as a helicopter hovered low overhead.

      At one flash point, a protester hurled an object through the passenger window of a police van, which sped away in reverse as demonstrators cheered. Earlier, activists used chunks of pavement and baseball bats to shatter the windows of a Bank of America branch and a McDonald’s outlet, all symbols of American capitalism.

      Multiple vehicles were set on fire, including a black limousine. A knot of people dragged garbage cans into a street a few blocks from the White House and set them ablaze, later throwing a red cap bearing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan into the flames.

      Police said six officers were injured in scuffles with protesters. The people arrested would be held overnight before making court appearances on Saturday, Peter Newsham, interim chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, told a news conference. Newsham added that police would continue to monitor security around the night’s celebrations.

      Friday’s protests played out just blocks from Pennsylvania Avenue.

    4. [October, 2011]

      Protesters gained entrance to the Hart Senate office building’s atrium and dropped two banners, one reading “End War Now” and the other “People for the People.”

      NBC News reports as soon as demonstrators unfurled their signs, Capitol Police placed them under arrest. At least six have been arrested for unlawful conduct – demonstrating. Dozens of other demonstrators ran through the building’s upper levels chanting and waving smaller signs.

      The offices of Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein and Harry Reid are located inside the Hart building, as well as Republican Marco Rubio.

      The political protests rumble into a second week in the nation’s capital. The demonstrations, smaller in size than the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City, have for the most part been restrained and peaceful. On Saturday, one demonstrator was arrested after a group attempted to enter the Smithsonian Air and Space museum. Guards repelled the demonstrators with pepper spray, and the museum shut down early.

      [October, 2018]

      More than 300 people were taken into custody by police on Capitol Hill after descending on a pair of Senate office buildings Thursday afternoon to protest the confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

      The vast majority of the arrests, 293, were a result of protests in the Hart Senate Office Building, where protesters crowded in the atrium. Loud chants could be heard throughout the building, which is structured so the hallways of each floor open up and look out onto the first floor.

      Those arrested in Hart were charged with crowding, obstructing or incommoding, according to Capitol Police. Another nine people were arrested on the fourth floor of Dirksen Senate Office Building and charged with unlawful demonstrations.

      [June, 2018 ]

      An afternoon of protests ended in many arrests in the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday as a group of mostly female protesters flooded the atrium of the work space to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

      United States Capitol Police charged nearly 575 individuals with “unlawfully demonstrating,” according to a Capitol Police statement Thursday.

      [Photo of Sen. Warren goading the protesters into action as she “cheers on demonstrators”…]

      [January, 2020]

      Demonstrators protesting President Donald Trump and the prospect of war in Iran occupied the Hart Senate Office building Monday. Active protests are prohibited in the Senate office buildings, but demonstrators maintained that they would work within those limitations by not chanting or waving signs, occasionally invoking the ire of Capitol Police but not the handcuffs.

    5. No, it’s not an excuse, but neither is it “whataboutism”. Violence by protesters in the seat of government (these buildings are essentially extensions of the Capitol building), occupying those buildings, protesting that government, entering the private workspaces of the House and Senate, accosting Congressfolk, none of that is cool.

      The point it is was always a non-event, a big “meh” over the years, until Trump folks did it. The double standard applied is immeasurable. Protesters in Portland, Seattle, etc. have set fire to multiple federal buildings, including courthouses, and the media *defended* them. Do we not remember the CHOP, which seceded from the country and formed its own government, run by a rapper turned veritable warlord?

      I’m not saying “It’s OK what the Trump folks did because looks what other folks did” What they did was inexcusable, and I hope every single one of the people who broke into the Capitol are prosecuted fully (meanwhile leaving alone the several tens of thousands who had nothing to do with the chaos, despite having been “incited”).

      I’m saying “It’s not ok what they did, but there should not be a double standard, relative to say, BLM protests that burned down cities, murdered a number of cops, injured hundreds of cops, murdered a score of civilians, burned and looted businesses to the tune of $2B or so in damages, with violent riots nightly for weeks. Hollywood actors literally paid the bail of people arrested during those riots. The media gave us the term “mostly peaceful protests” while the were literally standing in front of burning buildings. Liberals donated millions to the cause. Chants like “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon!” and “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now.” were not uncommon.

      Do you even remember this? Barely covered: “Last week, a gunman in Dallas opened fire on police at the end of a Black Lives Matter demonstration, killing five officers and wounding several others. Micah Johnson, the shooter, told a hostage negotiator that he was angry on behalf of Black Lives Matter and “wanted to kill white people, especially police officers.” Johnson’s Facebook page revealed an affinity for black nationalism, and he followed a Facebook group called the “African American Defense League,” which encouraged followers to “ATTACK EVERYTHING IN BLUE EXCEPT THE MAIL MAN” and “sprinkle Pigs Blood.”

      And in Castile’s St. Paul, Minn., more than 100 protesters were arrested when protesters used an overpass over Interstate 94 to throw rocks and rebar at police, injuring 21 officers, including one who suffered broken vertebrae when a concrete block was dropped on him from above. When one officer was injured, protesters cheered: “One piggly-wiggly down!”

      The Capitol riot involved maybe 400-500 people out of multiple thousands there, involved a few broken windows, and relatively little damage or theft and was over in about 4 hours. As I said, 5 people died (including one officer, with claims that he was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher demonstrably not true). 14 officers were injured. In a Kafkaesque media twist, one officer who was present that day committed suicide some days later, but is now being included in the death toll (needs a Facebook warning on that claim, as there is as far as I can tell *zero* evidence that his suicide was related to the “coup” as the media calls it).

      Time Magazine tells us that “93% of Black Lives Matter Protests Have Been Peaceful”. What percentage of Trump rallies have had violence, how many protesters in D.C engaged in the riot? What percent were they that day?

      If you’re disgusted and angry ONLY at the Capitol riot and not equally so about all of these violent events, or ONLY about the BLM protests and not upset about the Capitol riot, then I don’t know what to say.

      1. 5 people died…one cop who died later NOT from the cause still commonly cited, one unarmed woman shot by cops, and 3 medical emergencies (heart attacks, falls, no one seems to know?).

      2. “”The point it is was always a non-event, a big “meh” over the years, until Trump folks did it””

        I disagree. It was not because of who did it, it was about who it was done too. You can riot when you tear up the peasants’ property. That’s allowed to pass. But it becomes an issue when you do it against the ruling class.

  7. “One week after being trapped inside the United States Capitol as thousands of pro–Donald Trump marauders attempted to forcibly “stop the steal” of the presidential election, ”

    Can you actually establish that “thousands” engaged in forcible behavior? So far as I can tell, maybe “dozens”, maybe, did anything “forcible”, and the rest were just peacefully milling around.

    1. And, I believe, AOC was across the street in another building at the time.

      1. But in her ideological/biological rape fantasy, she was right in the center, surrounded by testosterone-fueled savages.

        1. That wouldn’t shock me. Her boyfriend looks like a limp little beta male. Typical of progressive men.

        2. I’m her huckleberry.

        3. The person who terrified her the most was a Capitol police officer helping her to evacuate.

  8. “In 1995, when Timothy McVeigh murdered 168 people with a fertilizer bomb at a federal building in Oklahoma City”

    I often wonder why Terry Nichols is being airbrushed out of this. Because he only got 160 or so consecutive life sentences, instead of being executed?

    1. Great Man theory of journalism.

    2. They certainly put McVeigh down quickly. Shockingly so.

      1. It helps when the condemned waived all his appeals.

        I still want to know why Ramzi Yusef and Terry Nichols were in Cebu City, Philippines, at the same time.

        1. What happens in Cebu City stays in Cebu City.

          1. Well, they’ve both been in the same building in Florence, Colorado, for a really long time now. That’s something.

  9. “It’s one thing to have differing opinions, but it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false.”

    “Well, that’s your opinion.”

    1. And some people have the opinion that government can just hand out endless supplies of free money, that there are more than two sexes, that 2+2 can equal 5, and that Ted Cruz attempted to murder them as they huddled in the basement of the Capitol Building listening to the sounds of gunfire from an enraged mob.

    2. Such as the blatant lies the Washington Post had to retract when the audio file was found and the real conversation with the GA Sec of State was revealed?

      Or the dozens of retractions from the NYT and CNN for the lies and misrepresentations about Trump?

      Will the AOC Commission admonish them as well? Nah!

  10. The new test for anything. If AOC likes it, it’s bad.

  11. There it is again: delusion. Keep pathologizing political differences and see where that gets you. It certainly will not be more free speech. And, let’s be perfectly clear about something. What people believe about the election, even at the extremes, is still more plausible than every bit of bullshit in the Russia fever that everyone parroted like a robot for the past five years, including the people here at Reason.

    Free speech is dead in this country. Nobody in the media knows shit about it. They could not care less that it is dead because writing propaganda does not require any freedom of thought, thus rendering free speech irrelevant. Free speech is dead because egoism, being heard, is more important to “journalists” than saying anything of substance or consequence. We are fast approaching the days when writers in dissident journals and other underground publications, operating under psuedonyms, are the only ones that create work worth reading. And, like the days of the Soviet Union, we’ll have to purchase their work, hard copy, from bootleggers in the park.

    1. I remember feeling shocked about a decade ago when I read that a majority of high school students thought that the government had to approve the content of newspapers and TV, like it was an expected norm.

      1. Over 60% of College students feel it is okay to shout down the opinion of a speaker, a guest speaker paid to speak on a subject, if the students don’t agree with the subject.
        It is the equivalent of sticking fingers in one’s ears and going ‘nah, nah, nah, nah,’ as loud as possible until the other person stops talking.

        1. The course is irreversible, at this point, I am afraid. It is over. People will discover free speech again, far in the future, but not until they suffer. And, they will suffer. We are all going to suffer.

          1. Sounds like many G. Washington opposers urging him to give up…just before Trenton and Princeton victories. Paine had it right back then; it is time to say goodbye to the sunshine patriots and buck up and fight back.

            1. I am not suggesting giving up. But, you have to understand the state of things at present. Free speech is dead in this country. You can pretend it has not happened, or you can work to create a more robust conception of what free speech should be. Understand that if you choose the latter course, it will be like digging yourself out of a grave. The dirt is piled on thick.

              1. Are we sure the concept of “Free Speech” is useful or beneficial? It seems to have created a pusillanimous culture of fear if we do get punished for speech.

                And the nature of free speech only existing when the counter culture reaches parity with the mainstream culture (and speech being oppressed when the counter gains ground) seems to indicate the natural state is not free speech.

                But pretending it is creates weak willed people who aren’t willing to accept risk to say provocative things. It’s like constantly watering a tree for a year and then hitting a drought. The tree dies real quick.

        2. I think that most of that behavior is based in Ivy league campuses, plus a few in California and Chicago. I saw a podcast about this the other day and they made some good points. I know it has trickled to the Woke in many other colleges but I don’t think it is overwhelming. I have to think that is part of their propaganda. “We are strong, you must submit”. I don’t think all or most college kids are readily accepting this nonsense. They are bombarded with it but do they really believe it?

          1. We’re beyond worrying about how prevalent it is on campus now though. It’s already spread to HR departments, tech companies, most of the media, etc.

      2. High school students are really dumb.

        So, obviously they should get to vote.

    2. What the media knows and/or cares about is less and less relevant. At this rate they’re well on the path to just being replaced by bots.

      Unfortunately algorithm-based reporting is about 150 years older than Twitter or Facebook. If it bleeds, it leads. Play up the local angle. Exaggerate the importance of whatever is being reported. It feels good to feel bad—so accentuate the negative.

      The bad news is that artificial intelligence can do these algorithms better than we can. To survive, we in the media might have to become what we’ve always pretended to be—factual and analytical.

      1. I have no problem with the government deploying spam-bots to propagandize on their behalf. The human “journalists” can go suck on their UBI’s, like the rest of the plebs.

    3. Free speech is largely dead because a very few number of people own the means of communication and are actively using that control to promote that which they want heard and to suppress things they do not want heard.

      There are no free minds at Reason, this is all bought and paid for agitprop.

    4. Agree with most of this, but it is russia’s duty to try to interfere in our elections. Its also chinas, as well as making it look like it was russia the whole. If they arent trying to destabilize the US, they arent serving their countries best interests very well.
      What really offends me about the whole russian collusion thing, is that it wasnt china’s intelligence services trying to sow division amongst us, it was our own. (Im also fairly certain they had plan to go after hillary as well should she have won, and that hedging may have made the trump victory possible).
      I guess I’m getting more conspiratorial in my old age, but I also think the whole coronavirus saga is a little too perfect at achieving our elites policy goals.

  12. “.. so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” Ocasio-Cortez told her followers in a video message. “It’s one thing to have differing opinions, but it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false.”

    I’m glad to see that AOC is upset with Dr. Fauci and 60 Minutes for broadcasting blatantly false statements about masks last year.

    1. Ocasio-Cortez told her followers in a video message. “It’s one thing to have differing opinions, but it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false.”

      Reminds me of another Leftist gem of a quote: “[La Prensa] accused us of supressing freedom of expression. That was a lie and we could not allow them to publish it.”

      Is it that AOC is really that stupid, or is her bald faced repudiation of American Constitutional norms intentional? (For the reasons Orwell stated, in his discussion of the purpose of Communist propaganda. )

      1. She is decidedly not stupid. She may not be a powerhouse intellect, but she is not a blithering idiot. She knows how to manipulate people, especially a generation of people whose attention span bandwidth is somewhere around ten seconds and three or four sentences. The people to whom she genuinely appeals, they are the stupid ones. But I suspect, as is the case with most politicians, that there are layers to her support. Those that gravitate toward her inner circle are power hungry manipulators, just like her. As you get further and further away from the inner circle, you get people that are true believers, the useful idiots.

        1. Using half truths and shame to manipulate people and maintain plausible deniability about your intentions….

          The zoroastrians (and socrates) were right.

        2. It’s always important to differentiate between stupid and ignorant. AOC is clearly quite ignorant of history, economics, etc., but I don’t think she’s nearly as stupid as people like Eric Swallwell.

          1. She is also not an island. Her political persona is a carefully curated creation brought to life by Cenk Uygur, Zack Exley, and Saikat Chakrabarti. She is a socialist Frankenstein created by power men behind the scenes. She says and does what she is told to say and do. She is a good actress. I do not think she believes her own bullshit, but that is just my opinion. She very well may.

            1. She probably believes it in the superficial, shallow way that fashionable leftists tend to believe their bullshit.

        3. Right. She is smart in a very Kardashian way. Which appeals to the vapid, non critical thinking masses.

        4. She knows how to manipulate people

          Nah, she’s a moron. Her handlers know the lines to feed her.

          -jcr

    2. Check out the video of her describing January 6th. You will not believe that girl’s acting ability. She is absolutely convinced that a mob was coming. She is the queen of omitting key facts.

  13. “Legislation in the 117th Congress will be shaped much more by the most conservative Democrats in the 50–50 Senate than it will by the loudest socialists in the House.”

    This isn’t aging well.

    1. LOL! Thread winner.

    2. Just what passes for a “conservative Democrat” nowadays?

      Not being quite ready for internment camps? It’s all relative, right?

      1. Considering trump defines conservative now, and romney and bush mocked as moderate democrats by most on the right, it could probably be worse.

      2. I think in his actual political beliefs, Joe Manchin is a moderate. But he’s also interested in self preservation, so when it comes time to vote, he’s going to do what every other democrat does, and do what Nancy and Chuck tell him to do.

        All the Democrats that aren’t from far left states do not represent their constituents anymore, they represent The Party. I would have said “repeal the 17th Amendment” at this point in the past, but it might be to late for even that to matter.

        1. “But [Manchin’s] also interested in self preservation, so when it comes time to vote, he’s going to do what every other democrat does, and do what Nancy and Chuck tell him to do.”

          Exactly this.

        2. Is that really going to help him get reelected in West Virginia?

          1. For the Nth time, after what happened in 2020, especially after what happened in the GA Senate runoffs, and especially^2 if HR 1 passes: why do you think that Presidential or Senate candidates fear not being re-elected?

            Elections aren’t fair anymore. They’re not even ‘fair’, within historical norms. If Manchin does what he’s told, he keeps his seat. All he’s doing now is some razzle-dazzle to entertain people who think he’s not merely negotiating a higher price for his vote. OTOH, I guess we can really start being afraid when pols stop doing even that

            1. “All he’s doing now is some razzle-dazzle to entertain people who think he’s not merely negotiating a higher price for his vote.”

              +1000²

          2. His next election isn’t until 2024. The Party will have thoroughly destroyed him by then if he doesn’t behave. You did read the Time article that’s been cited here several times, right?

            Or are you someone that still thinks the voters still have the power in this country?

              1. What would you suggest his best strategy to getting re-elected actually is then, follow directions, or vote on behalf of his voters?

                Because as far as I can tell, his first big decision shows that he thinks it’s the former.

      3. These days a conservative Democrat is for “the beef” — redistribution and organized labor &mdash but against transsexualism and defunding local police.

    3. I suppose we can hope.

  14. “It’s one thing to have differing opinions, but it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false.”

    The ‘Democratic Socialist’ was immediately crushed to death by the weight of the irony in that statement, yes?

    1. A metaphorical fire extinguisher?

  15. The cancel culture in America believes we have to destroy free speech in order to save it.
    Somewhere, Stalin, Mao and Hitler are smiling.

    1. No, they believe we have to destroy free speech in order to save their sensitive feelings.

  16. Reading through some of these comments, I found myself wondering if the posters had read the same article as had I. So I re-read it. Still wondering.

    1. So, Jefferson’s Ghost, why don’t you regale us with YOUR thoughts?

      1. I thought I just did. Okay, then I will try this:

        Too many of the comments seem to either seize on one tiny point of the article, or in a couple of examples, seem completely devoid of any sense of what the author was attempting to say. Maybe it’s a case of some kind of “derangement syndrome?” Nah, that would be too toss out there…

        1. “too easy”

        2. “Too many of the comments” seems like far too broad of a stroke for someone as firmly dedicated to exploring nuances and details as you are. We are all sitting on the edges of our seats in anticipation of your forthcoming analysis.

          1. Geiger: You will be a long-time waiting, my friend. I really prefer not to get into the mud-slinging. All I am saying is that quite a few commentors here seem to see only what they want to see, in any given article. This is not limited to any particular political persuasion. Nor is it uncommon. In fact, one might call it the “norm.”

            1. Ok JG, let’s start with the title and subheading:

              The War on Free Speech Is About To Get a Lot Uglier

              The awful events of January 6 accelerated trends in left-of-center circles, particularly within media and technology companies.

              Did you read this part? The article seems fairly consistent with the premise.

              1. Then it goes on to say:

                “The road to speech restrictionism is paved with political rhetoric about protecting the proletariat from falsehoods.”

                Still with me on this?

                1. Then it goes on to state the the idiots who stormed the Capitol and put their feet on desks have given credence to persons of a leftward persuasion to mandate deplatforming of conservatives on social media, and even a call for a truth and reconciliation commission to root out purveyors of falsehoods. While the 1A may constrain the government from taking such actions, the activities of those in journalism and social media exerts a significant level of defacto censorship.

            2. It is not about mud-slinging; and, it should not be. However, when you open the conversation by insinuating that posters here have problems with reading comprehension and that you, to the contrary, understand the situation perfectly — but then refuse to provide any insight whatsoever to justify your evaluation — the impression is that you had nothing in your reservoir other than a desire to express your contemptuousness.

              In these comments, you do have some serious posters, but also trolls of every variety; sometimes, even, genuinely curious people that want to learn and are open to changing their mind. If you want to engage with anyone other than the trolls, you might consider expounding upon your positions. At the end of the day, an imperfect explanation is infinitely better than an empty insult.

              1. That is a very intelligent reply. And I generally agree with it. And I apologize if I insulted anyone. Note: I am just smart enough to realize that I, too, have to consider my opinion on any article (or comment) based on what point it attempts to make, rather than rejecting it because I happen to disagree with the author on other, or even most, issues.

                1. Thank you too, Jefferson’s Ghost… It’s good when a person recognizes their impact in discussions like this. Cheers.

              2. Very well said, Geiger. I do read articles and the comments and I know how to sift out the wheat from the chaff. I learn from others, not just the article authors. People like yourself who contribute are helpful to people like me who likes to better understand different views about everything that goes on around us. After all, we are the community that must live with what our “betters” decide for us; the more we understand, the better we vote. Snark in threads is so distasteful. So, thanks.

                1. I appreciate the kind words.

                  Keep an eye out for poster Ken Shultz. In my view, his posts are the cream of the crop and, unlike myself, he avoids tangling with the trolls. If you are looking for insightful discussions on the nature of libertarianism and what it means in today’s world, he is definitely someone you should follow and try to engage with.

                  1. redskins fan. ick. otherwise smart tho’ idk what’s up with the redskins thing

                  2. Add Cyto to that list, albeit he posts a lot less than he did.

                    I’d leave this site now, if there was an alternative place to read and discuss these issues with people like Ken, Cyto, and John (assuming he returns.)

                    I disagree with Ken on quite a few things. But you can have a conversation with him, and not totally waste your time.

                    1. Cyto is by far the best commenter here.
                      Ken’s commentary is good, but he gets fixated on the one idea he has in mind and is too rigid to expand into implications or admit when it’s wrong.
                      This gets him into the tough spot of supporting US participation in the overthrow of Gaddafi and condemning the bombing of Suleimani – because he gets caught up on one tiny tree and is completely blind to the forest.
                      But his analysis of a particular tree can be quite well done.

                  3. Agree 100 percent about Ken.

    2. Welch: progressives fear free speech and want to impose limits, presumably to fit their agenda.

      Commenters: Censorship is bullshit.

      Did that help?

      1. That would seem to be the general consensus, with which I agree.

        1. See, we did in fact read the same article.

        2. +10 virtue signal points. Happy?

          1. You must SURELY recognize that, as a minarchist, I am NEVER happy. Well, almost never. Have great day!

            1. As a fellow minarchist, you might be doing it wrong. I recommend marijuana.

              1. I will take that under advisement.

                1. An natural approach to a complex problem. Jefferson would approve.

                2. fuck if you’re not tall right now hurry up

  17. The assumption appears to be that readers cannot discern for themselves what is worth reading, or believing. Perhaps most, or many cannot. But I cannot abide people like AOC, in her more subtle but nevertheless narcissistic arrogance, who want to eliminate the First Amendment has appointed herself the arbiter and determiner of Truth.

    In Biden’s last speech he says Covid-19 was “met with silence” which is patently and provably false, yet no left wing media has pointed that out. This is but one example of the left wing media–most media is left–telling us what is false or true and there’s almost no one to call them out on it. All the left-wing media copy each other effectively determining what is “The Truth.”

    False reporting by mainstream media is rampant as evidenced by the recent outing of them by WSJ’s release of the actual tape of Trump’s phone call re Georgia voter fraud claims. We can keep talking about the mainstream media’s bias, and Big Tech’s suppression of free speech, but what does Reason and the Libertarian leaders recommend doing about it?

    1. “We can keep talking about the mainstream media’s bias, and Big Tech’s suppression of free speech, but what does Reason and the Libertarian leaders recommend doing about it?”

      Not being a part of Reason, or in any way a Libertarian leader, I will answer anyway. What to do about it? Well, outside of running a “better media outlet,” I can’t think of any legal or political actions taken against “big media” or “big tech” where the outcome wouldn’t, eventually, be far worse than had nothing at all “been done.”

      1. So as a compromise, how about we doing nothing at all other than abolishing past legislative, judicial and executive interference?

        1. Now, that is action I would, at least in theory, definitely support. To me, the only tolerable censorship would be that involving actual, personal defamation. And while I bemoan much of the media’s left-wing bias, as it is sometimes reflected in social media, I would rather put up with it knowing that at least all opinions are out there than worry that they are being “filtered.”

          The sad par is, of course, that corporate censorship, whether it be the NYT, Facebook, book-publishers and sellers, etc, has always been with us, It always will be.

      2. Sorry to be so late replying…was away for a chunk of the day. I appreciate your response. I have a vague idea that somehow unwinding how we got to where we are is the answer. A primary goal to me would be to rid our universities and schools of Marxist ideology, or at least vastly increase education through charter schools, for starters. I really fear that in a generation or so, concepts the country was founded upon will be like a foreign language to the youngsters growing up.

        I like American Mongrel’s idea as long as it is done other than by executive orders that dissolve like tissue paper when a new mop sloshes through D.C.

  18. uglier than this?

    “According to Representatives Ron DeSantis and Jeff Duncan, they were approached before the shooting at the practice by a man who asked whether Republicans or Democrats were practicing on the field. Duncan reportedly replied that it was the Republican team.”

  19. “Shocked at the sight of a violent mob lending street muscle to a lame-duck president’s conspiracy theory”

    Oh yeah, they’re so shocked by mob violence and conspiracy theories… no, wait, they’ve been promoting both all year.

    Reason still doesn’t get it. The hysterics over the Reichstag Riot are an entirely partisan exercise. The far left is openly embracing violence, not the far right.

    1. mind you, the center-left’s own data has reflected this for a long while, they know full well what they’re doing:

      Of Democrats who identify as “very liberal,” 26 percent said there would be “a great deal” of justification for violence if their candidate loses the presidency

      Of Republicans who identify as “very conservative,” 16 percent said they believe there would be “a great deal” of justification for violence if the GOP candidate loses

      https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/10/01/political-violence-424157

      1. Let’s not forget the other aspect of this–that white liberals are the only ethno-political group with a negative in-race bias. Every single other demographic, from Black conservatives to centrist Whites to liberal Asians, does not hate themselves for their race.

        Only white liberals hate themselves for being born the way they are, and what’s more, they encourage other races to hate white people, too–as long as they don’t target liberal whites in the political arena.

        There’s a reason Bill Burr’s been dragging liberal white women in particular on the racial justice front, and that’s because they’ve anointed themselves as the new White Saviors for Oppressed Minorities. “Yes, white people are evil; let us help you hurt them! No, not us, we’re the ‘good whites.’ We acknowledge our privilege!”

        Pathetic.

    2. Reason gets it. Dippy Matt Welch gets it. This is an exercise in placing the blame anywhere other than where it squarely belongs.

      The (post) modern left.

  20. This article practically supposes that January 6th, whatever you think of it, happened in a vacuum.

    Which is an absolute joke of an attitude. To ignore all the political violence of the prior year, or all the prior years efforts by Democrats over multiple recent years to delegitimize elections that didn’t go their way is beyond ahistorical. It makes this entire essay a half-truth,

    This is a lame effort even by Welch ‘standards.’

  21. Name one time in recorded history where the people censoring speech and burning books turned out to be the good guys.

    1. Correct. The left knew Trump was holding a rally across from the Capitol building, it had been announced far ahead of time. The left ignored warnings and refused additional help. We know Pelosi was warned. Pelosi’s bs about optics is a lie. The left place political activist in the crowd to incite riot and scaled the building to start the breach of the capitol. Liberal activist were known to be in town, liberal activist were arrested and released. Capitol police at some door removed barriers and took selfies with invaders. It was obviously a set up.

      Now liberals chose to use it a justification. The same liberals that had to retract that the Capitol policeman died of being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.The same liberals that had to retract Trump said to find fraud in Georgia.The same liberals that edited the Impeachment videos to change the context of everything Trump said. If truth is on your side, why do you have to hide part of the truth?
      Yes, these liberals want to be the only purveyors of truth, yet they prove over and over they are habitual liars.

      1. “…Yes, these liberals want to be the only purveyors of truth, yet they prove over and over they are habitual liars.”

        “No, President Trump Did Not Pardon Himself – The New York …”
        “No, Trump Did Not Commit A Crime In Threatening To …”
        “No, the Trump administration has not failed in securing …”
        “FACT CHECK: No, Trump Did Not Tell People To ‘Inject …”
        “No, Trump didn’t tell Americans infected with the …”
        “Fauci Contradicts Pelosi Claim Trump ‘Didn’t Even Have a …”
        https://www.bing.com/search?q=No%2C+trump+did+not&form=QBLH&sp=-1&pq=no%2C+trump+did+not&sc=2-17&qs=n&sk=&cvid=A5394939657E4E46BC04AC4F75D575AC

        Page 1 – 2,160,000 items.
        No, Trump did not say/do half of what the legacy media had him saying or doing and even the very few retractions offered tended to buried below the fold on Pg 10.

    2. Germany in the 1930s when Magnus Hirschfeld’s tranny “research” went up in flames is the only time I can think of.

    3. “Name one time in recorded history where the people censoring speech and burning books turned out to be the good guys”.

      Now, if you listen to suburban white women and leftist Ivy league Professors.

  22. President Bill Clinton affixed partial blame to “loud and angry voices” who “spread hate” on conservative talk radio

    A Marxist bombs a building and conservatives get blamed. I’m so glad we evolved beyond that since 1995…oh wait

    1. everyone’s still upset that Hollywood fired a few Marxists 70 years ago

      but no one minds Hollywood Marxists firing Republicans today

  23. ‘”We’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” Ocasio-Cortez told her followers in a video message. “It’s one thing to have differing opinions, but it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false.”’

    You could start by telling Cuomo and Newsom to shut up.

    1. And it’s not like AOC’s never had to delete a tweet.

  24. “The awful events of January 6 accelerated trends in left-of-center circles, particularly within media and technology companies.”

    The trends accelerated were lying to Americans, and falsely blaming Trump and his supporters about:

    – Nancy Pelosi’s and DC Mayor Bowser’s rejection of Trump’s request for thousands of more national guard troops at the Capitol on Jan 6, which everyone now agrees were clearly needed.

    – Falsely claiming Trump insurrectionists killed Brian Sicknick with a fire hydrant, including during Trump’s impeachment, and during Pelosi’s disgraceful theatrical display of Sicknick’s ashes in the Capitol a month after his death, the truth of which she’ still hiding for political gain (and the so-called new media won’t even inquire).

    – Failing to reveal or identify the Capitol police officer who killed unarmed peaceful protester Ashli Babbit, and allowing his/her violent and illegal conduct go unpunished (and not even criticized by so called social justice warriors who rioted and burned down dozens of cities after/because police shot and killed unarmed blacks).

    – Falsely referring to the event on Jan 6 as a violent insurrection by Trump (or his supporters) even though all five people who died were Trump supporters, the only violent death was caused by a Capitol police officer who violated procedure (and the law).

    1. “killed Brian Sicknick with a fire hydrant”

      Now that would have been a sight to see.

      1. They have already pivoted. Sicknick, you see, was actually pepper sprayed to death. The pepper spray made his brain melt, but it was a delayed reaction. Personally, I do not understand why the coroner is having such a hard time. A melted brain is easy to spot, especially with a dash of dry rub cayenne.

          1. Oh god LMAO

  25. “It’s one thing to have differing opinions, but it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false.”

    Does that mean when a congressperson says the world is going to end in 12 years they can and should be sanctioned? What about the ones who outright lie about how often AR-15s are used in crime?

    1. The question is do politicians ever tell the truth?

      1. They prefer truth over fac… shit, how’s that go again?

  26. A free speech article that starts with a lie about AOC being trapped in the Capitol building. Pathetic.

  27. The awful events of January 6 accelerated trends in left-of-center circles, particularly within media and technology companies.

    If by “accelerated” you mean went from Mach 5 to Mach 5.1, I agree.

  28. “Traumatic outburst of right-wing violence”? Jan 6? Seriously?

    1. If you pretend 2020 didn’t happen, then yes.

  29. Government punishing private citizens for government’s crimes.

    Trump was the incumbent President when he attempted his coup. He and his staff planned, incited, and facilitated it, aided by sitting legislators. Direct leading participants in the attack were largely assorted government goons, ranging from Trump’s own direct appointees to aligned elected officials to cops from across the country linked to Trump by federal funds, perks, and and union ties. The January 6 coup attempt was government’s own crime.

    1. Protecting government power, “profit,” and privilege is so important to those in and affiliated with government that they refuse to blame and punish even a rival faction of government that threatened their lives, albeit with somewhat debatable credibility. Not ones to let a crises go to waste, they are using it to blame and punish private citizens.

    2. “Trump was the incumbent President when he attempted his coup.”

      You’re posting here while doing little but lying, TDS-addled shit.

    3. Huh? In the Mental Gymnastics competition you’ve just scored a 0.0.

      1. Let’s be clear, the asshole posting under the handle: BigGiveNotBigGov
        Is a fucking TDS-addled shit

    4. If he was already in power how could he seize power?

  30. >>The awful events of January 6 accelerated trends in left-of-center circles

    the histrionics and lies of January 6 accelerated (D) power grab. words matter, author.

    1. ^”LIES” — Exactly! January 6th was definitely a demonstration of how much News influence has on the sheeple. First it was 8-People dies, then 6-People, then 4-People, then when all the facts came in it turned out ONLY 1-Protestor died as a direct result and was the only death the left cared NOTHING about.

      Oh but it was so, so, so, so “awful” they continue to spout their deceitful narrative FULL OF LIES! It’s gangster-affiliation mentality for Democrats; nothing to do with truth or justice. They are the very platform of hate-crimes through and through and with everything else their party touts is 100% PROJECTION of their own faults.

  31. Oh dear, those “left-of-center circles” and the “war on free speech.”

  32. [ We’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” Ocasio-Cortez told her followers ]

    You mean like the lies about Trump’s phone call that they finally issued a retraction for?

  33. When people like AOC are calling the shots and running the show completely, we’ll all be happier and better off — just like North Korea!

  34. The Left despises anything it cannot control or subdue. Democrats have always been the party of slavery. They’ve changed the definition of enslavement over the decades but they all end in violence or subservience for the opposition.

  35. “One week after being trapped inside the United States Capitol as thousands of pro–Donald Trump marauders attempted to forcibly “stop the steal” of the presidential election, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.)…”

    Uh, purple prose, anyone?
    If you are to claim someone id attempting to do something, there must be some reasonable possibility of them doing so; there was no way those protesters could have affected the outcome of the election in any way, other than delaying the count for a short period of time.
    Welch, you’re full of shit.

    1. for some reason that logic never applies to antifa literally burning down federal courthouses with everyone inside

    2. So treason is OK as long as you’re a retard.

      1. So 20 or so unarmed people breaking door windows out of 20,000 protesters is “treason”? What do you call the armed “exiting the USA” CHAZ of Seattle or the fleeing of police departments or the burning of city buildings and vandalizing state statues? Business as usual?

        There is something ‘retarded’ about it alright – it’s your extremely bias prejudice of the events you compulsively claim and pretending it isn’t retarded.

        1. “”What do you call the armed “exiting the USA” CHAZ of Seattle “”

          Insurrection?

          But that was peasants attacking a peasant neighborhood. So why should The Party care?

          Notice not much was done until the riots moved closer the ruling class.

  36. Welch is just an F-ing idiot.
    We could all of the stupid shit but no need

  37. Don’t like Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, Instagram’s self-censorship, start your own social website. Stop trying to control what others have created. Build a better mousetrap.

  38. Freedom of speech is definitely an indicator of human life !
    https://www.ku-168.net/

  39. Tolerance that won’t tolerate intolerance … is no tolerance at all.

  40. I am curious to see how long it takes people to quit being snowflakes and remember that the 1st Amendment protects “hate speech”. Not only is there no specificity included in the wording of the 1st (which means it is not included in the very narrow exceptions that discuss incitement, obscenity, fraud, true threats and speech integral to already criminal conduct & defamation. All the people yelling about ‘racist remarks’ are basically saying that the person they’re aiming at is responsible for hurting their feelings because they can’t seem to hear a regular response without swearing the comment, private conversation, or a comment somebody made 40+ years ago had racially derogatory connotations.
    People saying ‘white people’ are the ones furthering racism, but that’s not exactly true. THEY keep it alive and well all by themselves because they seem to be in love with being victims.

    1. snowflakes/demowokes don’t need no stinking facts………

    2. What law punishing speech are you implying is on the table?

  41. I don’t know what is like to be so stupid that the concept of discerning the truth is terrifying.

    It’s easy to discern truth and easy to expose lies. One simply has to value it.

    The courts have successfully implemented laws against perjury for centuries to maintain the only environment of justice, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    The default has to be the freedom to speak. If a law is perceived to be broken, I don’t want big tech vigilantes invoking their punishment. I want due process in court.

  42. MATT WELCH OF REASON CONTINUES THE PEARL CLUTCHING ABOUT JANUARY 6.

    * Note his opening: “…the awful events of January 6…”

    * Note his mind-reading and adjectives: “…thousands of pro–Donald Trump marauders attempted to forcibly “stop the steal” …”

    All of this pearl-clutching as Matt wrings his hands aghast that a few hundred protesters walked through the Capitol — not a single one of them armed. And they killed nobody, on contrast to the NY Times lie about officer Brian Sicknick. There are supposedly some good folks left at Reason, but this constant bending-over backward makes you wonder who they are trying to please. And to think that 15 years ago, I also thought that the left was not as dangerous as the neo-con warmongers. They are. Will someone tell Matt that he doesn’t have to keep bending over to please them?

  43. Good reading skills and basic logic will help you stay on the fairway and out of the sandtrap of literature.

  44. as thousands of pro–Donald Trump marauders”

    the hyperbole is not supported by the facts. Yes people entered the capital and walked around and a couple disturbed some papers and put their feet on a desk. If only Portland and other cities had only seen such Marauding.

    1. We’re they there to admire the statuary, or were they there to violently cancel the constitutional process of the United States?

      1. Well it must be the first. Because they had no ability to cancel the process, just merely delay it. That was also the intent of a bunch of protestors did during the Kavanaugh hearings. Granted the prior rioted in a way the latter did not. For those who do not accept rioting should condemn the actions of those who did riot. Those who have accepted rioting across the US during 2020 have no moral ground to condemn those who rioted on Jan 6th.

  45. Has Congress written a single sentence threatening Tucker Carlson’s treasonous neo-Nazi propaganda on national cable TV every single day? No?

    Nobody’s constitutional rights are being threatened you shameless jackasses.

    Stop whining hysterically about people criticizing your terrible ideas, and get better ideas.

  46. I’ll try to kick off this very headliner notion, after this article …

    Bad ideas should be met with accommodation not censorship.

    For example, this meets someone’s criteria for “morale nags”:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n5zK1hUyqFg

    If this was a bad game, for example, it could make a good example of anti-authority games. Other games like it could probably be classified as anti-patriotic. (I had personally never seen this sort of game trend before.)

    But thing to pick up on were that the game engine has been designed & customized by a “totally unknown party,” and the game engine administrates all perceptions and all control options, which makes it an invaluable example of that very sort of game. This game was solicited by advertisement to me recently during freegaming, yet I could not find it online other than this walk-through video.

    Now imagine if your precinct’s electronic voting machine had been designed by an hostile party or assembled in a foreign land. It should rightly give anyone the creeps who votes in America, that!

  47. Anyone with an aptitude and desire to root out the truth in almost any socially significant content can see clearly that our MSM news is carefully groomed to support the Progressive Agenda du Jour. A thug is killed in yet another police encounter – presto out come pictures of the fine young man when he was say 12. A recent female drug dealer killed in a shoot out between her police and her boyfriend/dealer and almost every MSM story says she was “sleeping” (wow, Ambien?) and an EMT – yes BEFORE she found an easier buck in drug dealing. I do wonder sometimes why the police can’t use less lethal force BUT when being shot at??? And I recall a fine young man “murdered by police” that just before the police encounter had physically assaulted / robbed a store owner, and was trying to grab the policeman’s weapon (OK, probably just because he wanted to admire it) – in the news it becomes all about “hands-up don’t shoot”. And on and on, misleading MSM story lines to pander to their Progressive comrades.

    Yes, journalism is STONE COLD DEAD and that’s a very dangerous thing for our future. The new Ministry of Truth push seems redundant since the MSM already serves that purpose BUT they are trying to snuff out the residual ways their infidels can hope to learn the whole story. The simple truth is like Kryptonite to a Progressive. Mao’s Red Guard knew how to stamp that out – our Blue Guard is just warming up.

  48. What can we do with Wikipedia betraying us so much, then? Check this out: tinyurl.com/ygxjtw8c

    What can we do with FOX of the immoral-scoundrel-foreign-Aussie-Rupert Murdoch brainwashing the feeble minds of 50% of Americans?
    Simply swallow it?

    Of course I am all in for freedom of opinion but since it is being proven inevitable the wicked hijack of media, poisoning good chunks of Americans’ minds, it should some measure been taken. Because it is taking lives. What if we ask the mother of officer Sicknick what to do about it? I bet she would agree.

    A live, one live is too many to let senseless individuals smolder it, because that is what FOX is doing, deliberately doing it as nobody can deny that they understand the consequences of their shrillness. Facebook banned me myself!… what can we expect? Google do not show you political matters with which they do not jibe since… 2004 that I noticed it.

    I think the real matter is the American society loss of moral values.
    It is as immoral to go and kill a million Iraqis just-because-we-can, as it is for the 1-Percenters to refuse to fairly contribute with taxes for the environment that made possible for them to be unnecessarily ultra wealthy, as to kick a septuagenarian on the head; and I see all of them related.
    The immoral trick of electing a total brick as Trump to disbalance America for years is a brutal deformation of society.
    Surely with algorithms of Artificial Intelligence we can easily identify immorality inside phrases, articles and media; the problem is that if Trump was elected, is a huge humongous indicative of immense subterraneous forces of evil in our society… controlling Artificial Intelligence ! @ #
    That should be the first thing to do: to unmask those forces, and fight against them. But how can we go to fight if we need to work, to eat? You see? The 1-Percenters caught us by the 22. It’s a catch-22.

  49. ut thing to get on were that the game motor has been planned and redone by a “absolutely obscure gathering,” and the game motor administrates all discernments and all control choices, which makes it a priceless illustration of such a game. This game was requested by commercial to me as of late during freegaming, yet I was unable to think that its online other than this stroll through video. https://listoffullforms.com/
    Presently envision if your area’s electronic democratic machine hosted been planned by an unfriendly gathering or collected in an unfamiliar land. It ought to appropriately give anybody the jerks who votes in America, that!

  50. It’s astonishing how a magazine called “Reason”, as in evaluating the evidence to come to logical conclusions, would participate in spreading or accept the fabricated events from January 6. We KNOW that the scenario that Welch presents is absolutely wrong. We know that from clear evidence that requires that you come to a different conclusion than he wants people to believe.
    It’s just incredible how this magazine has devolved over the years into just another mouthpiece for the DNC. I can’t even understand why I still read it but it probably has something to do with Reason pet causes like the war on drugs etc.

  51. It’s interesting that some libertarians take “free speech” to mean one can say whatever they want, whenever they want, no matter how false or libelous it may be.

    But let’s put some “reason” into our positions.

    Libertarianism, with even a modicum of civility, means enjoying as much liberty as possible without infringing upon the liberties of others. Intentionally defaming others does not fit that definition. Using monopolistic media to broadcast intentional lies in order to indoctrinate the public does not fit that definition, at least not when such media is claimed to be an honest, non-partisan news broadcaster.

    The purpose of legitimate news media should not be to indoctrinate a gullible public (and unfortunately, much of the public is gullible). I have no problem with tabloid and satirical media (“The Onion” comes to mind), which clearly presents itself as such, making spurious claims (short of intentional defamation).

    Obviously, legitimate news media will inevitably make mistakes in their reporting. But in a civil society which values truth over indoctrination, we must demand certain standards, such as no intentional lies to promote ideology, and sincere apology and correction when unintentional mistakes are made. Perpetrators of proven/intentional libel must be subject to civil penalty, particularly if they refuse to apologize and make corrections/retractions. In that matter, Trump was correct.

    The vast majority of honest, intelligent, reasonable and fair-minded citizens would support this, just as they support prohibiting screaming “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

    It would be ludicrous to claim that intentional partisan lies do not significantly affect the outcomes of elections, the very basis of our democratic republic. These standards should apply to our politicians just as strongly (if not more so). I’m not a Romney fan, but who can forget the intentional lie that former Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, made from the floor of the US Senate when he said “So, the word is out, Mitt Romney has not paid his taxes in 10 years.”?

    This was during the Obama-Romney presidential campaign, and was obviously meant to deceitfully sway voters away from Romney.

    Even the Huffington Post was appalled: “The bogus claim created a media firestorm at the time, and earned Reid a ‘pants on fire’ rating from PolitiFact and ‘four Pinocchios’ from Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler, who wrote that Reid ‘has no basis to make his incendiary claim’ and should ‘hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.’

    But our politicians are allowed to say whatever they want from the floors of Congress with complete immunity from libel/slander laws. It’s pernicious and reprehensible (like other exemptions that lawmakers make for themselves).

    Not surprisingly Reid never apologized, but instead revealed his partisan depravity even more egregiously: “I don’t regret that at all,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash. “Romney didn’t win did he?”

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/harry-reid-gives-shameful-response-to-his-attack-on-mitt-romneys-taxes_b_6999996

    Freedom of speech is one of our most crucial Constitutional rights. But truth and honesty are also crucial to the survival of a civil society. They are not mutually exclusive.

    1. Free speech is an inalienable right, your feelings aren’t.

      Why are we allowing traitors to violate our constitutional rights to favour their feelings?

      Lies though, are coercion. They compel people under the false authority of truth to act in the liars interest instead of their own.

      Lying can be criminalized in an environment of 1a just like irresponsible gun use is criminalized in an environment of 2a.

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