Reason Roundup

Ohio Seeks To Declare Google a Public Utility

Plus: How Facebook killed blogging, the trouble with so-called common good originalism, and more...

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Ohio is suing in an attempt to get Google declared a public utility or common carrier. A new lawsuit filed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost asks the Ohio Court of Common Pleas to order stricter regulation of the internet conglomerate, in the name of allegedly preventing discriminatory search results.

"Ohio has an interest in ensuring that Google, its users, and the entities whose information Google carries are aware that Google Search is a common carrier under Ohio law. Ohio also has an interest in ensuring that as a common carrier Google Search does not unfairly discriminate against third party websites; that Google carries all responsive search results on an equal basis; and that it provides the public with ready access to organic search results that the Google Search algorithms produce," states the lawsuit.

Yost's premise is absurd on many levels—not the least of which being that discrimination is literally the business of search engines. Their whole point is to sift through the vast expanses of internet content and determine which web pages most closely match what consumers are searching for and which offer the highest quality content, all while eschewing spam and scams.

Yost acts as if "organic search results" just happen. But the term simply means results that are the products of algorithms and not paid placement. Google and other search engines still have to develop the algorithms that deliver those non-paid results, and this still requires making decisions that will prioritize certain types of content over others. Without such algorithmic discrimination—if we were left to peruse web pages say, randomly or alphabetically—we would be left with much worse search results. Users would have to spend much more time finding worse and less relevant information.

Yost also argues that Google needs to be more highly regulated because search results sometimes steer Google users to the company's own products. "Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google's own products—that's discriminatory and anti-competitive," he said in a statement.

But there's nothing illegal or nefarious about platforms—virtual or physical—promoting their own goods, or giving more prominent placement to others' goods for a fee. Grocery stores give prominent placement to their own brands and to brands that pay for better placement. Newspapers and magazines lay out their own content more prominently than that of advertisers, and also prioritize ad placement based on who pays more. And so on.

This isn't some uniquely dangerous Google phenomenon, it's a common business practice. Yet no one's declaring that grocery stores and magazines are public utilities.

"If someone searches for a flight and Google returns its own presentation of search results to steer the person to Google Flights, the person doesn't see offers from competitors such as Orbitz and Travelocity," complains Yost. Not only is this false—Orbitz and Travelocity results are still there, just not at the very top of the page—but it's also no different than the situation we see in supermarkets. And yet Yost isn't complaining that Kroger relegating certain cereal brands to a lower shelf somehow renders these brands invisible, nor is he saying that government must start micromanaging cereal product placement.

Besides, if Google's search results start seeming too biased or irrelevant to consumers, there are other (free) search engines (such as Microsoft's Bing or the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo) that they can switch to. In other words, there are market solutions to any potential problems here—no massive new regulatory schemes required.

In a statement, Google contended that "Ohioans simply don't want the government to run Google like a gas or electric company. This lawsuit has no basis in fact or law and we'll defend ourselves against it in court."

Unfortunately, the idea that popular search engines and social media companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter should be treated as public utilities/common carriers has been gaining ground among both Democrats and Republicans as their bipartisan crusade against big technology companies heats up.

Conservatives—including Tucker Carlson of Fox News—have glommed onto the idea of regulating tech companies like public utilities to punish them for perceived political bias. But not only does this idea fly in the face of professed GOP attitudes toward free markets, deregulation, free speech, and freedom of association, it also wouldn't work to solve the supposed problem in question (political bias). Instead, it would simply give more power to whatever partisan regulators were appointed by a particular political administration to punish companies for not biasing things in the way that they prefer.

"The idea that we correct for private corporate political bias by imposing a public utility model is simply foolish," wrote Cameron Smith in The Hill back in 2017:

Google isn't a monopoly and it isn't offering a commodity good, like water or electricity. Treating it like a utility won't remove political bias, but it will stifle innovation and create a powerful political tool, which can be up for grabs to the highest-paid lobbying firm. … I don't want a federal regulator of political viewpoint bias for Google any more than I do for Fox News or MSNBC.

Meanwhile, in New York, Senate Democrats recently voted to broaden the state's antitrust parameters. Under current law, a company is deemed a monopoly if it has a two-thirds share of the market; the new standard would say that cornering less than half of a particular market—40 percent—makes a company a "monopoly."

It would also change the standard for illegally anti-competitive behavior. Under current state law, it turns on whether business conduct harms consumers. The new measure would deem conduct off-limits if it harms a business' competitors—a standard that could bar practically any attempts by a popular company to improve products or attract new customers.

"We are essentially punishing success and we are prohibiting all kinds of ordinary pro-competitive conduct," Lev Ginsburg of The Business Council of New York State told the Wall Street Journal.

The bill—which has yet to clear the New York Assembly—would make it easier for smaller business competitors to sue big companies, said lawyer Lauren Weinstein. She pointed out to the Journal that "certain aspects of Amazon's business like lowering prices aren't harmful to the consumer, but they can be pretty harmful to competitors."

Yes, making products more affordable is now being sold as an evil monopolist behavior, while using government force to give more expensive rivals a leg up has somehow become a progressive position. This is how topsy-turvy the rhetoric around antitrust, competition, and monopoly has become.


FREE MINDS

The trouble with so-called common good originalism. "As far back as I can remember, conservatives have attacked liberal judges for substituting their policy preferences for the text of the Constitution, and for trying to cram the entire progressive agenda onto a handful of provisions (the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause) that were never meant to carry such weight," writes Reason's Damon Root. "But the times are changing. Now, a new conservative faction is aiming to beat the results-oriented liberal judges at their own game."

Some, like lawyer and Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer, have dubbed this common good originalism. "But there is not so much that is recognizably originalist about it," notes Root. At every turn, it ignores the meaning of the U.S. Constitution and individual rights in favor of expanding government control and power. "In short, Hammer seeks conservative results by reading his preferred conservative agenda ('our substantive goals') into the constitutional text," notes Root. "Hammer may call it 'originalism,' but it sure operates more like right-wing living constitutionalism."


FREE MARKETS

"How Facebook killed blogging." Timothy B. Lee's new newsletter has been providing an interesting look at shifting media and technology landscapes. In one recent post, he explores how paywalls—once thought to be a non-starter—have turned out to work for big newspapers. Meanwhile, crowdfunding options (like Substack) have helped out independent and small publishers. But medium-sized news and publishing outlets that rely on advertising are stuck in a sort of purgatory.

In another recent post, Lee looks at "how Facebook killed blogging—and Twitter reinvented it":

The online news landscape has been transformed in the last 15 years. Today, the blogging community that helped launch my journalism career barely exists. The 2000s-style blogs that still exist are nowhere near as central to the online conversation as they were in the George W. Bush years.

Social media plays a central role in this story. In the early 2010s, big tech platforms—especially Facebook, but also Google, Reddit, and Twitter—became the most common way many readers found news stories. That profoundly shaped the incentives of an emerging class of web-first professional journalists—many of whom were former bloggers.

One big consequence: blogging became less social. It became much less common for writers to recommend and critique one another's work. Twitter picked up much of the resulting slack; the kind of intellectual discussion that once happened on blogs now largely happens on Twitter."

Lee's post mostly explores how this has shaped media. But it's also interesting to consider how it's shaped online and/or political discourse overall. As Lee points out:

Most blogs were written primarily for a core group of loyal readers. The goal wasn't necessarily to maximize the number of clicks on any given post. Rather, bloggers were trying to maximize the number of people who liked the blog enough to come back to the site regularly.

On social sites like Twitter, the incentives changed, from trying to get a loyal audience to trying to go viral on a post-by-post basis. In addition, the segmented communities that existed in the "blogosphere" got all jumbled together, leading to both context collapse (wherein conventions, jokes, memes, and concepts familiar to one community are taken out of context by another) and the sense that relatively small or niche groups of prolific but fringe opinion havers are more influential and numerous than they are. Both have had big ramifications for perceptions of politics and culture more generally.


QUICK HITS

• A new Gallup poll finds record support for same-sex marriage:

• Global herd immunity isn't happening, says Foreign Affairs magazine. "Rather than die out, the [COVID-19] virus will likely ping-pong back and forth across the globe for years to come."

• Senate Republicans blocked a Democrat-backed effort to make companies justify pay gaps between employees, ban employers from inquiring about salary history, and "require public education regarding wage discrimination, among other things," reports Politico.

• Illiberalism from both major parties—not partisanship—is fueling political divides, suggests Jay Caruso at the Washington Examiner.

• "Spermageddon" has been canceled, says a new study.

• How FOSTA made things harder for survival-level sex workers and why decriminalization is the only way out.

• Why the FBI is afraid of bitcoin.

• Former President Donald Trump comments on Nigeria banning Twitter:

NEXT: The Pandemic Is a Case for Policy Humility

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  1. “I… and I haven’t been to Europe.”

    It’s a sh*t hole continent?

    1. Too many foreigners.

      1. As president, she’ll have no problem dictating policy for them also.

        1. Because dipshits like you demand higher income tax rates

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    2. Everything’s all really old there.

      1. So Biden would be right at home there?

        1. Yup. And Donald Trump, Diane Feinstein, Chuck Grassley, James Inhofe, Pat Leahy, and on and on.

          In fact, WTF is with our geriatric Federal government? If any demographic should be storming the Capitol building demanding change, it should be young people.

          1. So they can also get shot in the face?

          2. Insurrection!

          3. With fire extinguishers full of hydrogen dioxide?

            1. I thought it was fire extinguishers filled with magic bear spray?

          4. Going by age on inauguration day, Donald Trump was the oldest president ever, until Biden who is 4 years older than Trump and inaugurated 4 years later, breaking Trump’s age record by 8 years.

            1. So, like 70/7h, which put Trump’s age at inauguration 90% of Biden’s.

    3. But she wasn’t assigned to handle the Europe crisis like she was assigned to handle the border crisis.

      Which makes me think Biden is consolidating power to go for a second term, or some other 2024 Dem contender is trying to sideline Harris.

      1. They definitely seem to be throwing her out there to take all the arrows.

    4. Between this blurb & her ‘don’t come to the border’ speech….well, let’s just pray for Sleepy Joe’s health.

  2. A new Gallup poll finds record support for same-sex marriage…

    Should be easy to just find another cake maker then.

    1. A new Gallup poll finds that after a year of lockdowns and riots fewer people openly disagree with even trivial parts of the socialist agenda. The science is settled.

  3. A new lawsuit filed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost asks the Ohio Court of Common Pleas to order stricter regulation of the internet conglomerate, in the name of allegedly preventing discriminatory search results.

    Republican AG, ladies and gentlemen. No matter the party, any top attorney is going to be terrible.

  4. … the kind of intellectual discussion that once happened on blogs now largely happens on Twitter.
    Blogs must have really sucked.

    1. I don’t know what your talking about. My xanga blog was amazing

    2. That’s a first. They used “intellectual discussion” and “Twitter” in the same sentence.

    3. I literally LOLed at “intellectual discussion on Twitter”.

      Thats right up there with Gas Station Cuisine and Trailer Park Symphony

  5. Senate Republicans blocked a Democrat-backed effort to make companies justify pay gaps between employees, ban employers from inquiring about salary history, and “require public education regarding wage discrimination, among other things…”

    Fascists.

    1. Are you calling the democrats that want to control company’s speech fascists, or the republicans who oppose the government control?

      Asking for a friend.

      1. Asking for a friend.

        Clearly your friend doesn’t read Reason. Otherwise, they’d know that republicans and democrats are equally bad.

        1. Yeah, this needed a “pounced” for better effect.

  6. https://thenationalpulse.com/exclusive/daszak-reveals-chinese-colleagues-manipulating-coronaviruses/

    EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak – who collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology on research funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease – appears to boast about the manipulation of “killer” SARS-like coronaviruses carried out by his “colleagues in China” in a clip unearthed by The National Pulse.
    Daszak made the admission at a 2016 forum discussing “emerging infectious diseases and the next pandemic,” which appears to be at odds with Fauci’s repeated denial of funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    While describing how his organization sequences deadly viruses, Daszak describes the process of “insert[ing] spike proteins” into viruses to see if they can “bind to human cells” as being carried out by his “colleagues in China”:

    “Then when you get a sequence of a virus, and it looks like a relative of a known nasty pathogen, just like we did with SARS. We found other coronaviruses in bats, a whole host of them, some of them looked very similar to SARS. So we sequenced the spike protein: the protein that attaches to cells. Then we… Well I didn’t do this work, but my colleagues in China did the work. You create pseudo particles, you insert the spike proteins from those viruses, see if they bind to human cells. At each step of this you move closer and closer to this virus could really become pathogenic in people.

    “You end up with a small number of viruses that really do look like killers,” he adds.

    The comments follow growing evidence that Fauci’s NIAID has deep financial and personnel ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology – and that Daszak’s EcoHealth alliance was one of the primary proxies funneling the money to the Chinese Communist Party lab.

    1. Fauci is personally responsible for the pandemic.

    2. Trevor Noah (ugh) addressed the lab leak theory on his show last night. Basically said “well yeah, there’s a lab right there where it all started, so of course it’s possible. Duh! But we may never know. Movin on….” (I’m guessing that up until very recently he had a different take on this. Probably something along the lines of “why won’t you white people STOP HATING ASIANS?!!!!”

      You watch, in a few months media douchebags like Noah will be saying “hey, we were trying to run an election in the middle of a pandemic! Of course it’s possible…….but we may never know. Movin on…” Haha.

      This is how they roll. Kens right. Progressives are America’s most horrible people.

      1. You really shouldn’t be looking to Noah for hard hitting political commentary. He’s a comedian(not a very funny one imo).

        Jon Stewart and Colbert(in character) were hilarious.

        Do you live east of the Cascades? If you live west of the mountains I’d guess shithole Clackamas county or shithole Clark county. The two crappiest places in the Portland area.

    3. 60 Minutes interviewed Daszak about his role as the head of the WHO whitewash team that “investigated” Wuhan – without ever mentioming his role in funding the research in the first place, or his role in orchestrating a supposed “debunking” of Lab Leak Hypothesis as outlined in the Fauci emails

      1. 60 minutes is another left wing propaganda outlet.

  7. Baltimore Tea Party? Businesses Refuse to Pay Taxes as Public Safety Crashes
    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/bryan-preston/2021/06/08/baltimore-tea-party-business-refuse-to-pay-taxes-as-public-safety-crashes-n1453121

    “What is happening in our front yard — the chaos and lawlessness that escalated this weekend into another night of tragic, unspeakable gun violence — has been going on for far too long,” a portion of the letter says.

    The letter demands that city leaders restore “basic and essential municipal services” including trach pickup, enforcement of traffic and parking laws through tickets and towing, stopping illegal open-air alcohol and drug sales and empowerment of police to responsibly do their jobs.

    The business owners threaten to withhold tax and permit payments, placing those funds into an escrow account, if the city doesn’t respond to their request.

    1. The Baltimore city council needs to visit Minneapolis to see how it’s done. First let the city burn, then require the business owners pay back taxes before giving them a permit to rebuild. Imagine the business sector thinking the city government works for them!

  8. “Spermageddon” has been canceled, says a new study.

    UNLESS YOU GOT THE JAB.

    1. If that’s so, could you have the jab and bareback with Octomom with no bundles of joy?

  9. https://twitter.com/politicalmath/status/1402498104692133891

    People who went silent when state gov’ts shut down entire sectors, shuttering hundreds of thousands of small businesses, are suddenly like “how dare a gov’t tell a business what to do” and it drives me fucking crazy

    1. https://twitter.com/back_ttys/status/1402310917157761029

      I kinda wish we’d make up our minds between “businesses can do whatever they want” and “your business will have to shut down/operate at reduced capacity for over a year for the greater good”, not to mention governments telling us how many people we can have in our own homes.

      1. “our” minds have been made up for years. If it advances individual freedom it is not in the interest of the greater good. If it advances the government’s control over any aspect of an individual’s life, it is for the common good.

        Please try to keep up.

      2. It is simple, business can operate however they want when they want things the marxists want like vaccine passports. They must listen to the governmnet when they want wrong things like to remain open and keep working, or not to bake a wedding cake. For their own good of course.

    2. How about a compromise–the businesses who told the state governments to fuck off with their public health shutdown/restriction orders get to determine whether to require “vaccination passports” from customers to patronize their business.

      The ones who slavishly followed those orders can shut up and deal, since that’s what they do best.

  10. How FOSTA made things harder for survival-level sex workers and why decriminalization is the only way out.

    When has prohibition ever failed us?

  11. “2024?”

    Everyone secretly wants it.

    1. We yearn for the old days after only 5 months.

  12. https://twitter.com/redsteeze/status/1402368544306696194

    We’re suddenly going to be told that the son of a President dropping the n-word doesn’t matter and it’s going to be like watching a carnival ride spin off its axis and into a crowd in real time. It’s going to be amazing.

    1. https://twitter.com/redsteeze/status/1402368173555404802

      Yeah sorry. You guys don’t get to go all-in on the “we must separate whiteness from America” act and then get to write off the President’s son spitting racial epithets
      Quote Tweet
      Fred C. Dobbs
      @terrifyinglogic
      · 17h
      Replying to @SaysSimonson and @redsteeze
      Remind me again, what public office Hunter Biden holds?

      1. Chief drug tester and money grabber for the “office of the president elect”?

    2. Not the N word.
      You can call it racism if you want, but its a completely benign form of it that doesnt represent anything more about crackhead’s mindset than he thinks talking like that is funny. By the broad definition, imitating dialects is racism…. We really need to get over that shit. If you arent stopping me from getting a job or lynching me, I dont give a fuck what you think of black people. We may even hold some of the same stereotypes. Furthermore, racism is part of human nature, and if one isnt hurting anybody it really shouldnt be considered immoral by default. Everyone is a little bit racist. As the left likes to say, “its on a spectrum”.

      He didnt say nigger. Conservatives really need to stop being hypocritical shitbirds on this topic.

      1. “As the left likes to say, “its on a spectrum”

        Pretty sure that the left has a “one-drop” rule when it comes to racism, unless you’re politically advantageous to them.
        Which is why Ralph Northam isn’t a racist, but somehow, magically, Trump is.

        1. Some Black Virginia candidate ran a commercial with Northam giving him his endorsement, again showing that previous racism is easily forgotten/forgiven if you have the correct political ideals.

      2. Also it’s less hypocrisy and more adoption of rule number four in Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

        1. I’d say the guy that’s sticking to principles and punching above the waist in a street fight is being insufficiently critical of his situation.

      3. By the broad definition, imitating dialects is racism…. We really need to get over that shit.

        Not that you’re wrong about this, but it’s the double standard that’s being pointed out here. If the prevailing ruling class, particularly the media, didn’t make these exceptions for people based on who they were related to and their association with their preferred political party, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But we all know that if a Republican or conservative started acting like a wigger instead of Biden’s crackhead son, they’d get crucified.

        It’s not conservatives that are being hypocrites about this. It’s the nation’s Optimate degenerates.

      4. Perhaps we could send out an Instagram to all high-school age white females that using the ‘affectionate’ term is now ok?

      5. All true, but we currently exist in a climate where teenaged girls are being spotlighted by the NYT and being bullied out of college over using the same word in the same context, and major news networks are making excuses and running cover for the adult son of the president of the United States using it.

        It’s not so much that he used a particular word which may or may not be racist. It’s the fact that the Woke Brigade attacked a no-name kid on the pages of the NYT and ruined her life over the same thing. They deserve to be called out for it and hopefully humiliated over it. It’s time to fight by their rules on this shit. They have zero problems attacking, threatening, doxxing, and harrassing nobodies- who have no means to defend themselves- for way less.

        1. The MSM isn’t the watchdog for certain people in power, it’s their propaganda arm.

  13. Not a crime when the left does it

    https://twitter.com/charlescwcooke/status/1402353194848686085

    What did you make of that big ProPublica story on the intimate tax information of America’s richest men? Personally, I concluded that I can’t trust the IRS.

    1. Wait, you trusted them before this?

      1. Or on the fence?

  14. “ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years. The data provides an unprecedented look inside the financial lives of America’s titans, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg. It shows not just their income and taxes, but also their investments, stock trades, gambling winnings and even the results of audits.”

    —-ProPublica

    https://www.propublica.org/article/the-secret-irs-files-trove-of-never-before-seen-records-reveal-how-the-wealthiest-avoid-income-tax

    There are a couple of interesting things to note about this story at ProPublica

    1) The celebrity billionaires they list don’t make their money through a salary, so sometimes they don’t pay much in income taxes. Why would they pay income taxes if they don’t have income? They make most of their money through the appreciation of the stock they own. That’s taxed as capital gains when they liquidate the stock. Incidentally, Tesla didn’t turn a profit for years. If they didn’t pay any corporate taxes, why would they when they didn’t make a profit?

    2) This is almost certainly an official leak by the Biden administration to a progressive news outlet–in an attempt to put pressure on Republicans to pass Joe Biden’s tax hike. That is, of course, illegal. Releasing people’s confidential tax information is against the law. This isn’t Snowden alerting the American people to a massive violation of our Fourth Amendment rights. This is the Biden administration electing to leak confidential and private information about individuals for political gain–in violation of the law.

    1. Not illegal when they do it. Laws exist to empower the left and control everyone else.

      1. https://twitter.com/hale_razor/status/1402612566552027139

        There is no deep state, but the IRS can leak tax returns for liberal politics just as the Dem president pushes for new tax policy, and instead of punishing the agency there’s talk of tripling its funding.

        Somewhere Lois Lerner laughs into her mimosa.

    2. In related news, Biden just ended negotiations with the Republican over the infrastructure deal–with Biden’s tax hikes to pay for it being one of the reasons the Republicans refused to budge.

      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-infrastructure-bill-ends-negotiations-republican-senators/

      The Justice Department should be investigating this leak, but the Justice Department investigating the IRS is the Biden administration investigating itself–with the investigation overseen by the Democrats in the House and the Democrats in the Senate.

      When you’re living under a one-party government, this is what happens.

      1. Weird; vote for fascists, get fascism. Whodathunkit?

        1. And somehow, the Republicans are still equally to blame because . . . i dunno, bothsideism?

          The Republicans should be commended for refusing to give in to Biden’s demands.

          This isn’t even about Joe Manchin standing firm on the filibuster–because they don’t need to worry about the filibuster for spending bills.

          1. “And somehow, the Republicans are still equally to blame because…”

            Trump.

    3. Class warfare. Plain and simple.
      Funny thing is, it might backfire. If the rich guys aren’t paying taxes, why should I?

    4. Probably because capital gains is not taxed near enough.

      I’ll never understand how someone can defend capital gains being taxed in the teens yet the plumber, who is out there actually doing real work, pays like 27% of his income in taxes. It’s absolutely absurd.

      1. Yeah, parasites always have a problem understanding why they aren’t entitled to suck the blood out of their hosts.

        Socialism isn’t only stupid. It’s also destructive. And the reason to keep the capital gains tax as low as possible is to keep it from being even dumber and more destructive than it already is.

        P.S. What, do you work for the government or something?

        1. So then WHY is parasitism of the hard-working plumber and his labors more desirable than parasitism of the investor class? Why is taxing labor less “dumb and destructive” than taxing investment gains?

          Can you please get back to contributing thoughts, facts, and links? Rather than just insults, and questions that have NOTHING to do with the issues raised?

          P.S. What, do you work for the Evil One or something?

          P.P.S., here is a link describing WHY it is, in detail, that dishonest an unethical people often feel compelled to attack those who are more ethical and honest.

          http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Do_Gooders_Bad/

          1. “Why is taxing labor less “dumb and destructive” than taxing investment gains?”

            Taxing labor would be incredibly stupid. We don’t do that.

            Taxing income is probably the dumbest thing we tax, for a number of reasons, because it artificially increases the cost of hiring unemployed people or keeping people employed among them. If you need to pay a worker 20% more than their take-home pay, just so they can pay their income taxes, then you have artificially increased the cost hiring them and keeping them on the payroll.

            And the effect is much greater on unskilled laborer, which are a commodity and can only differentiate themselves on price. Some programmers are more experienced in a skill with high demand while other programmers don’t have that skill. Programmers, thus, can differentiate themselves based on their skills. A warehouse laborer or a guy that mows lawns, on the other hand, is pretty much like any other warehouse laborer or lawn mower. The only thing they have to compete on is price–I’ll work for less than the other guy.

            In other words, your income tax, as low as it might be for relatively low wage jobs, can have an outsized impact on the employability of the chronically unemployed–much like the minimum wage and ObamaCare. Anything that artificially increases the cost of hiring the chronically unemployed is not only stupid but mean and nasty.

            Actively discouraging investment by lowering the payoff of investments is stupid and nasty, too. Instead of harming the economy by enabling people to parasite off of others, why don’t we lay off hundreds of thousands of parasitic government bureaucrats instead? God knows, if people weren’t under the threat of violence if they didn’t pay their taxes, no one would pay those government bureaucrats willingly. A middling programmer could replace half the federal government with a very short shell script. They’re mostly worse than useless.

            1. I agree with you on all the above. SHRINK Government Almighty!

              “Taxing labor would be incredibly stupid. We don’t do that.”

              OK then we tax INCOME generated BY labor! That is a nit-pick! And income generated by labor is taxed at a higher rate than income generated by interest income! Money is power and the rich have more power. That’s just the way things are, and GOOD LUCK changing it! So (as others have remarked here) trying to raise taxes on interest-income very quickly backfires. We are better off trying to reduce the plumber’s (labor-created) INCOME tax, then!

              1. The adverse effects or taxing income are minimized by lowering the income tax.

                The ultimate objective is to limit the amount of money and resources squandered by government spending.

                Do you not understand that?

                Perfect communism is when the government assumes and spends 100% of the resources. If you think the economy would be better off if only everything was taxed at the same rate, whatever benefit you think you’re getting from that is dwarfed by the government when it’s consuming more of the economy and squandering more of it on things that don’t generate a return. If people can’t get around their stupidity in wanting more in any particular kind of tax, that’s not a good reason to pretend that the economy isn’t better off when all taxes are as low as possible and take as little out of the private sector as possible.

                Take a look at this piece by Gillespie and De Rugy:

                “Any plan that relies on significantly raising average annual federal revenue is based on fantasy. Since 1950 annual federal revenue has averaged 17.8 percent of GDP, fluctuating within a relatively narrow range (see Figure 1). Despite endlessly creative attempts to squeeze more dollars out of taxpayers, the feds haven’t been able to pull in much more than that on a regular basis.”

                —-Gillespie and De Rugy

                https://reason.com/2011/02/14/the-19-percent-solution/

                Look at the chart, “Federal Outlays and Revenues, 1950-2010”, which shows both federal spending and federal tax revenues as a percentage of GDP.

                Stare at it.

                The important thing to note there is that the top income tax rate was as high as 90% during some of that period. The top rate was as low as 30%, too, during other periods. Only for a very brief period of time did revenue from taxes ever go above 20% of GDP. If you think cranking tax rates up–income, capital gains, or any other tax–will get you more than 19% of GDP for long, you’re living in a fantasy world without reference to reality.

                The fact is that what you get in government revenue is mostly a function of GDP growth, rather than the tax rate, and a lot of GDP growth is about minimizing the percentage of the economy that the government confiscates and squanders on things that don’t produce more than they cost.

                Are you aware of the kinds of entrepreneurial activities that make economies grow? Well, confiscating people’s discretionary income through income taxes isn’t conducive to that and neither is confiscating their return on investment through capital gains taxes.

                Feel it.

                Know it.

                Live it.

        2. Ken, are you an anarchist? No? Then you must believe that *some* taxation is justified. At that point, it is just a discussion over which type of taxation is to be preferred. So raspberrydinners’ criticism is quite valid.

          I personally favor consumption taxes over income taxes or capital gains taxes, but just calling people ‘parasites’ for having a discussion over tax policy among people who ALL AGREE that there OUGHT to be SOME tax policy is just bad faith.

          1. Not when you’re dealing with parasites.

          2. >>bad faith

            subjective.

            1. If you don’t agree with Lying Jeffy, it’s bad faith.

      2. So you should be championing the idea of wages being taxed in the teens.
        Envious dumbass.

      3. “Probably because capital gains is not taxed near enough.”

        No, because lefty assholes like you are parasites.

      4. There are a few reasons — here is one: Reinvestment of capital gains are the foundation of nearly all pensions, public and private, which make up around 30% of the stock market. Higher capital gains taxes reduce the value of reinvesting, which, when reduced, affects every industry out there. A few years ago, then-president Clinton raised the rate of taxes on capital gains, the the market immediately went into a tail-spin. He corrected it. The market responded.

        As far as your question regarding the plumber: NOBODY should be paying 27% of their livelihood to the government. Let’s lower the plumber’s taxes.

        1. First, let’s determine if that plumber is a wage slave to a company, or a brave self employed entrepreneur.
          Oh wait, that shouldn’t matter in a fair tax plan.

        2. “Let’s lower the plumber’s taxes.”

          Agreed! Ideally by vastly shrinking the size of Government Almighty! But good luck to us REAL libertarians on getting THAT done!

            1. Sevo clearly wants to RAISE the plumber’s taxes and GROW Government Almighty, then!

              1. No, you just come across as a spaz.

                1. No, he IS a spaz. A spaz that admitted he eats shit during on of his spaz-outs.

        3. Onama admitted in his Bret Baeir interview that raising cap gains rates didnt raise any revenue, still wanted to do it for “fairness”

      5. And, BTW, this is all you need to read to understand the depths of this lefty asshole’s (and many others’) understanding of taxes:

        “…I’ll never understand how someone can defend capital gains being taxed in the teens yet the plumber, who is out there actually doing real work, pays like 27% of his income in taxes. It’s absolutely absurd.”

        Hint, you worthless pile of shit: That money has already been taxed.

        1. It’s the mindset of a leech sucking the blood out of our backs.

          I don’t understand why they don’t just let me suck all the blood I want out of them. I guess they’re just selfish!

        2. “That money has already been taxed.”

          What does capital GAINS mean, moron? Do you not understand the difference between principle (which has already been taxed) and interest (gains, which has NOT yet been taxed)? PLEASE provide us an example of Government Almighty in the USA, today, taxing your PRINCIPLE money (post-taxed-labor-earnings, as it sits in the bank, stocks, bonds, etc.), as opposed to gains?

          How many more lies do you have for us, liar, liar, pants-on-fire?

            1. Lazy-ass liar can NOT address liar’s lies!

              If you ever decide to stop being a lazy-assed liar, and want to LEARN some FACTS, here is a link describing WHY it is, in detail, that dishonest an unethical people often feel compelled to attack those who are more ethical and honest.

              http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Do_Gooders_Bad/

              1. ???
                But people address your lies all the time, you dishonest and unethical nutbag.

                1. So MammaryBahnFuhrer…
                  I recall a HIGHLY persuasive recruiting poem for the USMC…

                  The sky is blue,
                  The grass is green,
                  Get off of your ass,
                  And join the Marines!

                  So you have CLEARLY read or at least noticed my missives from time to time… Not to be TOOOO delicate about it… Butt…
                  WHEN are you gonna GET OFF OF YOUR ASS and send a sample of your uber-persuasive writings to ReasonNeedsBrilliantlyPersuasiveWriters@Reason.com ?!?!
                  Jesus H. Christ; with you and your writings, ye are sitting on a veritable frickin’ GOLD MINE!!! Get going, get off’n yer ass, and write that email!!!

                  1. He’s lapsed into idiotese again. Can someone translate?

                    1. Sadly, no.

                    2. Spaz is not a coherent language; no translation possible.

                    3. Only Hihn had that power, and he dead.

              2. Spaz getting lots of flags; off his meds?

                1. I always assume that once in awhile, the shit he eats has shrooms growing in it.

      6. I’ll never understand how someone can defend capital gains being taxed in the teens yet the plumber, who is out there actually doing real work, pays like 27% of his income in taxes

        Because that plumber, who invests his money (some people do that, shitlunches), probably wouldn’t if it meant an additional 40% tax.

        1. Shitlunches has no retirement fund.

          1. He’s probably never had a job.

            1. Disability checks for being retarded.

      7. I agree. Drop the top income tax rate to 20% so it doesn’t exceed the capital gains tax rate.

      8. Because dipshits like you demand higher income tax rates

      9. Got that bass ackwards. Income taxes need to be lowered, if not eliminated.

      10. Nobody thinks the plumber should pay 27%. There is no contradiction here.

        Idiot.

      11. That’s because you’re a moron who cannot fathom you’re looking at two different things. Payroll taxes are pre-tax so 27% is 27% while capital gains are out of post tax value so you need to include the corporate taxes in the total (roughly add 25% to the capital gains tax to get comparables).

    5. It does feel pretty wrong that these guys live off of income from loans that they dont only not pay taxes on, but pay less taxes because of the loan interest.

      I agree that taxing wealth is a moronic idea, same with taxing appreciation of assets, but come on.

      “The IRS records provide glimpses of other massive loans. In both 2016 and 2017, investor Carl Icahn, who ranks as the 40th-wealthiest American on the Forbes list, paid no federal income taxes despite reporting a total of $544 million in adjusted gross income (which the IRS defines as earnings minus items like student loan interest payments or alimony). Icahn had an outstanding loan of $1.2 billion with Bank of America among other loans, according to the IRS data. It was technically a mortgage because it was secured, at least in part, by Manhattan penthouse apartments and other properties.

      Borrowing offers multiple benefits to Icahn: He gets huge tranches of cash to turbocharge his investment returns. Then he gets to deduct the interest from his taxes. In an interview, Icahn explained that he reports the profits and losses of his business empire on his personal taxes.

      Icahn acknowledged that he is a “big borrower. I do borrow a lot of money.” Asked if he takes out loans also to lower his tax bill, Icahn said: “No, not at all. My borrowing is to win. I enjoy the competition. I enjoy winning.””

      I think the only way to possibly address it is to get rid of income taxes altogether and increase sales taxes. I dont care that its regressive, because lower middle class people need to start paying more taxes too. (Assuming that reducing welfare spending is a nonstarter for 80% of voters)

      1. The only thing Icahn owes me is the obligation to respect my rights.

        I owe that to Icahn, too.

        Does Carl Icahn owe you something more for some reason?

        1. Socialists are greedy, always eyeing other people’s money.

      2. You are finally making some sense.

        The axiom is: Tax something, you get less of it. Subsidize something, you get more of it.

        Want to encourage work, investment, and savings? Tax them less.
        Want to discourage consumption? tax it more.

        Lefties try to deny these truths, while simultaneously calling for higher cigarette and carbon taxes

  15. Now, a new conservative faction is aiming to beat the results-oriented liberal judges at their own game.

    Of course if it’s works for one party, the other is going to eventually use it.

  16. https://www.startribune.com/st-cloud-law-firm-targeted-pro-trump-employees-for-firing-lawsuit-alleges/600066259/

    According to the complaint, Scott was disturbed by the Capitol riot and sent an e-mail in April to all the firm’s lawyers, saying that the “traitors on Jan. 6” should have been shot.

    He then told the firm’s operations manager to fire two employees he labeled “racist” because they had pro-Trump and pro-police posts on their social media accounts.

    When she refused to fire the employees, Scott fired her, according to the complaint. Scott then fired an additional employee and threatened to fire another.

  17. https://twitter.com/laurenboebert/status/1402599583360991233

    The Harris “root causes” tour is very interesting.

    She’s basically running around Guatemala & Mexico saying that their socialistic systems of government are bad and causing people to flee, as she tries to implement socialism here in America.

    1. But her plan would work. Make the USA as bad as the countries the refugees come from, and they have no incentive to show up.

      1. Canada better start on that wall.

  18. https://twitter.com/Doc_0/status/1402609860353695744

    You will then be told that Hunter Biden’s use of the N-word is actually YOUR fault, Mr. and Mrs. White America. He’s just a helpless pawn of Systemic Racism. YOU made him do it. YOU made him think using that word is acceptable. He’s up on the cross to atone for YOUR sins.

    This phase of the story will come with a surge in photos of Joe Biden with a halo around his head, or looking penitent and thoughtful. He’ll be presented as a shining example of a White who rose above some dubious history and found absolution by embracing progressive politics.

    The media’s grudging coverage of the story will conclude with confident reminders that no Biden is racist in any way, but Hunter’s careless use of problematic language illustrates the Deeper Truth that America is systemically racist and needs more punitive left-wing policies.

    During the brief lifespan of this coverage, the media and operatives from the Democrat Party will be searching frantically for some other racism story that can be made to look bad for Republicans or middle-class white America. That will be christened as the REAL story.

    Helpful left-wing activists will manufacture a “hate crime” story if nothing that can be spun that way is readily available. You will then be told that all mentions of Hunter Biden are just attempts to distract from that REAL story and the Deeper Truth About America it reveals.

    The final result will be firmer establishment of the principle that only left-wingers can initiate cancel culture attacks, and left-wing royalty is immune to cancellation. Every criticism of someone like Joe Biden’s son is, by definition, “bad faith” and should be ignored. /end

    1. https://twitter.com/Doc_0/status/1402605793153851401

      The Hunter Biden N-word story will be an important milestone in the Left’s effort to write itself an exception from cancel culture. A massive effort is underway to establish that only left-wingers can launch cancel attacks, and lefty royalty is completely protected from them.

      …In the very unlikely event the waters of this controversy begin lapping at Joe Biden’s door – as would have happened within an hour of the revelations if he was Republican – Kamala will be deployed as a shield to dismiss racism allegations with a great deal of robotic laughter.

      1. The Hunter Biden N-word story will be an important milestone in the Left’s effort to write itself an exception from cancel culture.

        Oh good Lord. So much whining.

        Here is a news flash. There has been so-called ‘cancel culture’ in every society since FOREVER. If you were a communist in the 1950’s, you were canceled. If you were a civil rights supporter in the 1950’s South, you were canceled. If you were gay in most places in most times, you were canceled. The only thing that is different NOW is that there is an actual term for this type of cancellation, and that some right-wing sacred cows are the ones being gored.

        1. Not a lefty, just defending lefties dropping N bombs and being hypocrites about racism.

        2. Like the Jews were cancelled? Jesus you’re stupid AND evil.

        3. GFY. Bad faith indeed

    2. And, he spells it **gga , you know like the cool rapper guys, so it’s really ok.

      1. And he was just using it referentially or topically, not cached in actual assertions about hard work for no/less pay or stereotypical racist racist rhetorics about liquor or penis size.

        Totally plucked out of an “I found Dr. Dre’s use of the word ‘nigga’ in his last album to be tired and unstimulating.” context rather than explicitly used in a “‘Niggas’ get Schlitz malt liquor wages because I’m the biggest, blackest dick in the room.” context.

    3. The tabloids you get your “news” from have rotten your mind.

      1. Rotted, fuck I’m not far behind apparently. Phone typing sucks. You desktop mfers probably use grammerly.

        1. You desktop mfers probably use grammerly.
          No, just brains.

          1. “Alexa, Google ‘pod’ brains’.”

            1. “No results found”.

        2. You desktop mfers probably use grammerly.

          ROFLMAO! You mean Grammarly? *clutches ribs*

          1. spellingly next.

        3. Still no shame for getting caught being the dumbest troll on the site, Jacob?

          1. Wait actually ? I missed that, I’m rarely here anymore. If true that is awesome and unsurprising.

              1. Holy fuck that is unreal

        4. Go back to writing bad articles.

      2. Shush, Jacob.

      3. Well, I’m certainly not at this worthless shell of a has been rag for News, just in the comments for my Ra’s AG aggregating and Ken Schultz encylopedia volumes

        1. Don’t forget laughing at Dee.

          1. Cyto’s posts are worth your time too.

      4. What Reason writer are you?

  19. Yost also argues that Google needs to be more highly regulated because search results sometimes steer Google users to the company’s own products.

    “Alexa, Google ‘Non-Google products’.”

    1. “No results found”.

  20. Just another day in the clown car that is the GOP.

    I can easily hear the argument for breaking up Google, Amazon, etc. etc. etc. to foster competition. But as a utility? It’s stupid and I’m pretty sure he knows it but it plays to the crowd of idiots who put these assholes in charge.

    1. So do you favor breaking up Google and Amazon to foster competition?

    2. When you have to use something to conduct business with government then it is a utility. And yes sometime you have to use Google to work with the government in many instances therefore it is a utility

      1. Get bent

  21. How often does AP get to print this bullshit before they get de-platformed?

    “Many of the U.S. uber-rich pay next to no income tax, ProPublica reports”
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/propublica-rich-americans-tax-1.6058757

    1. A story written with illegally obtained material.

      1. Mr. Soave has been duct taped into his chair, but is yelling “To be sure, no one has fact checked that assertion!”

      2. Look for Twitter to block ProPublica and ban any sharers

  22. https://pjmedia.com/columns/stephen-kruiser/2021/06/09/the-morning-briefing-lets-play-a-game-of-if-hunters-last-name-were-trump-n1453024

    Hunter Biden used the n-word several times in text message conversations with his lawyer, according to the Daily Mail, which has reviewed the text messages that were discovered on his laptop.

    The shocking text messages come in the wake of Joe Biden’s speech on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre, during which he vowed to end systemic racism.

    According to the report, Hunter “joked in a January 2019 text to corporate attorney George Mesires about a ‘big penis’, and said to the lawyer: ‘I only love you because you’re black’ and ‘true dat n***a’.”

    George Mesires, Hunter’s lawyer, is white.

    In another text, Hunter tells Mesires, “how much money do I owe you. Becaause (sic) n***a you better not be charging me Hennessy rates.”

    “That made me snarf my coffee,” Mesires replied.

    “That’s what im saying ni…” Hunter responded, leaving the racial slur only partially written.

    After that, Hunter texted a photo to Mesires, which was not described by the Daily Mail.

    “Why are you so tan?”

    “I’m sorry for sexting you accidentally that was meant for another friend named Georgia,” Hunter replied.

    More accomplished people than Hunter Biden have had their lives ruined by the cancel crowd over much smaller transgressions, but he seems to have been granted a lifelong immunity pass.

    1. “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”

    2. It’s pretty obvious that the real culprit here is Mesires. He heard it, but didn’t call it out. He didn’t try to correct it. And he even laughed at it. Poor Hunter never stood a chance with no one to guide him to correctness and his white privilege was just overwhelming him. Having his father as President has just made him a lonely victim.

  23. Ranked choice voting working as it should:
    “Heading into the instant runoff, Nasreen Sheikh-Yousef, a progressive Democrat, led with 22.4 percent of the vote, followed by Steven Dimillo, a Republican businessman who had 21.1 percent. They were followed by Marpheen Chann (17 percent), Benjamin Grant (12.4 percent) and Catherine Buxton (11.2 percent).

    But, after a series of runoffs in which a computer redistributed votes based on voters’ rankings, City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said that final winners were Chann, Sheikh-Yousef, Buxton and Washburn. Washburn had only 4.2 percent, or 367, first-place votes heading into the runoff, but ended up beating DiMillo, who had 1,873 first-place votes.”

    1. But, after a series of runoffs in which a computer redistributed votes based on voters’ rankings,
      I’m sure it did.

    2. Exactly. Indicating that a large proportion of the votes cast for the dominant Team Red or Team Blue candidates don’t necessarily represent firm commitments of support, but instead are defensive votes against the other team. When those more or less cancel out, the candidates that have the broadest affirmative support will win.

      1. Ranked voting quickest way to get the least liked candidate to win. I guess having no one happy is better than having one side winning and then destroying the other with new laws like the democrats ar trying to do

  24. The reports circulating of Hunter Biden’s use of the “n-word” from his laptop should be taken with a grain of salt. I’m not on the #RacistHunter bandwagon yet.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9661781/Hunter-Biden-used-n-word-multiple-times-casual-conversation-text-messages-show.html

    I’m as happy to talk about the evidence of Hunter Biden selling influence on behalf of his father as I am about Fauci’s funding of research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but these reports about Hunter Biden aren’t passing the stink test for me–at least not yet.

    Why are they only telling us about this now?

    Our critical thinking skills shouldn’t disappear when we’re talking about people we hate. If Joseph Stalin was good to his grandmother, we can honest enough to admit that. There are plenty of other things we can condemn him for doing–regardless.

    I think Hunter Biden is a crook based on publicly available evidence from multiple incidents that are independently verified.

    So far, we’ve got a tabloid newspaper sitting on a story that could have gone gangbusters a long time ago, for no apparent reason, and it appears to be the only source of the story–and hasn’t been independently verified. For all I know, the racist text messages could be a hoax. For all I know, the racist text messages could be legit.

    I’m saying we should have a very low level of confidence in the veracity of these reports. Don’t base your condemnation of Hunter Biden on something that may not turn out to be true–not when there are so many legitimate and verified sources suggesting that he peddled influence for his father.

    1. Ask yourself, would the man we all know Hunter Biden to be, call his lawyer “my nigga”?

      1. Yes, he would!

        Which is part of what makes me skeptical.

        If you wanted to manufacture a series of texts to make Hunter Biden look stupid and evil, these texts are exactly what you’d write.

        . . . and you’d start it off with Hunter thanking Michael Coehn for stupidly distracting the media away from a story that makes Hunter Biden look bad. Isn’t that what he’s saying there?

        It’s too perfect. It isn’t independently verified. It was withheld up until now for no apparent reason.

        Do not go out on that limb with your friends and family. It might break, and then they’ll wonder about everything else you’ve said about Hunter Biden–based on publicly available and independently verifiable evidence.

      2. I particularly enjoyed the, ‘Don’t charge me your Courvoisier rates,’ line.

    2. Could you cc this to Christine Blasey-Ford? Or were you a backer for her?

    3. It’s definitely questionable, but the problem is, Ken, it no longer matters if he actually said it. What matters is the rank hypocrisy of the media and Woke establishment. If this were some no-name white teenaged cheerleader, they’d send brave correspondents to her house, and troll everything she’s ever posted on social media just to make an example of her. CNN and every major news outlet went after the Covington kid based on a complete and total fiction that was shown to be a lie hours after they published it. Truth wasn’t even a consideration for them. They wanted to find something evil coming out He ended up making out well because he’s smarter than them, but it doesn’t always end up that way for people. How many people have been doxxed, harassed, fired from jobs, kicked off teams, deplatformed, etc, based on leftist lies?

      This is a war of ideas, and the other side fights dirty. They set the rules and they have to be forced to play by them.

        1. No, like there’s a difference how the msm handles unsubstantiated claims against Republicans, vs how they handle them involving your team.

          1. Cronut: “it no longer matters if he actually said it”

            Yeah I think I’m right on this one.

            1. “What matters is the rank hypocrisy of the media and Woke establishment.”

              Very next sentence from cronut Lying Jeffy.

            2. I mean ffs Lying Jeffy, it’s right there for everyone to see, just a few comments up thread! Why do you even think you can get away with suck ridiculous lies?

              1. Such ridiculous lies

    4. Racial talk between two people really isn’t a big deal and maybe not racist but childish stupidity talk which I’m sure Hunter is capable of. why is it out there now maybe so that they can hang him for being racist and get him out of the way and ignore all his real criminal acts.

  25. “We are essentially punishing success and we are prohibiting all kinds of ordinary pro-competitive conduct,” Lev Ginsburg of The Business Council of New York State told the Wall Street Journal.

    Exactly. So what’s the problem? That’s what democrats do.

  26. Politicians just don’t understand how Google works. Or they do and are just pandering to their base who don;t understand how Google works.

    It’s 90% algorithm. That much most people know, even the dolts, even if they aren’t quite sure what the algorithm is even doing. But that other 10% is how Google makes its billions without any ads on the search engine. People pay to buy keywords.

    To the anti-wealth people, like Democrats and Josh Hawley, that sounds nefarious. But it’s not, and it’s pretty simple. My old employer, basically a tiny mom-n-pop, would buy relevant keywords. Fifty at a time. The more common the word the more expensive it was. So you buy uncommon words that lead to your business. Don’t buy “janitorial services”, buy “water damage restoration”. Stuff like that. It’s like targeted ads, but for the advertisers. And you don’t buy them for all time, but for a given number of searches.

    Is this nefarious? Well consider that if you’re a local business, you can get your link out to people who are local to you, rather than blasting across the entire globe.

    Is it nefarious? Only if you hate commerce and advertisements.

    It’s also why Google can’t be a common carrier. Because what it provides is advertising, not search results.

    1. “It’s 90% algorithm. That much most people know, even the dolts, even if they aren’t quite sure what the algorithm is even doing. But that other 10% is how Google makes its billions without any ads on the search engine. People pay to buy keywords.”

      Search “Hunter Biden’s Laptop”, “climate change” or “election fraud” on both Google and Duckduckgo, and marvel at the totally not politically motivated “algorithming” going on at Google.

      1. I just did. So what? Did you think something weird would happen?

        I just googled “climate change”. Number one hit was NASA climate change page. A couple of hits down was the wikipedia entry on climate change. I did the same search on Duck-Duck-Go (my configured search engine): Same first link to NASA. No wikipedia link on first page but there was a Brittanica.com link. Plus a NOAA link.

        From observation, duckduckgo is clearly not using the algorithm, which is THE WHOLE POINT of Duck Duck Go. Every time you search you are searching anonymously with no cookies or history for any algorithm to use. I did notice on Google that some of the hits were sites I had been to before. Like Wikipedia. Or the IPCC report, which is a report I have gone to and read. So the Google results are tailored in some small way to me. Which is THE WHOLE POINT of the Google search algorithm.

        So for privacy use Duck Duck Go. I do most of the time. But there is nothing evil or nefarious about an algorithm that tries to tailor search results to a user’s profile.

        If you thought the results would be partisan biased, then you were clearly wrong.

        So is your thesis here?

        1. I have no local data for Google to pump into its algorithm. Yet the search results are biased for certain topics, i.e. I can’t get a good sample of opposing viewpoints on political topics or scientific hypothesis. Its almost like you’re being disingenuous.

    2. As I mentioned yesterday, I attended a lecture at Google by the team that maintains the search algorithms. Every day they are presented with some new threat by someone trying to bring down the system or game the search results. There is no way they can just simply “be neutral” about what they present in each search result without it being complete garbage.

      1. They did back in the early days.

        1. Yeah, it’s funny how people forget their search engine functioned quite differently during the early-mid 2000s.

      2. Google’s search results are abysmal and always have been. They became the search monopolists they are today thanks to tens of millions of dollars in DoD grants followed by hundreds of millions of dollars in angel capital from DoD-connected financiers and the generous gift of 10 billion dollars worth of geomapping technology from an In-Q-Tel-funded satellite imaging firm. You will get far more relevant search results from searx. Even back when Google was novel search engines like Altavista and Dogpile had a better interface and better search algos. It’s actually not that hard to write a web crawler and correlate search terms with website keywords. Google just likes to tell that to morons like you who are technologically illiterate and don’t know any better.

        1. the generous gift of 10 billion dollars worth of geomapping technology from an In-Q-Tel-funded satellite imaging firm.

          For those who aren’t familiar, this was the Keyhole Earth Viewer, which Google obtained when it bought Keyhole in 2004. In-Q-Tel is the CIA’s venture capital arm.

      3. Google said it, so I believe them.

        — Dee

    3. It’s 90% algorithm.

      Google Fiber is an algorithm? Google Nest is an algorithm? They purchase of YouTube was an algorithm? The emergency corporate meetings to deal with the outcome of Trump’s election was an algorithm? The defense department contracts were an algorithm? The attempt to retool and rebrand to penetrate the Chinese market was an algorithm? The collusion to deplatform people from Twitter, FB, Youtube, Visa, and Patreon simultaneously was an algorithm?

      You sound about as well informed on the distinction between a business and an algorithm as Hawley.

      1. Brandybuck is a retard who couldn’t even give you a working definition of “algorithm” without frantically searching the executive summary at wikipedia. He starts off his idiotic diatribe with the verifiably false contention that Google doesn’t run ads on its search results pages. Like… Jesus fucking Christ dude. Do you honestly think nobody in your audience has ever used Google before and seen 20 pages of Google Shopping links totally unrelated to the search term they entered? Or the links that are literally fucking labeled ADVERTISEMENT that appear above the organic search results? What the fuck do you think ADVERTISERS are bidding on you stupid fucking cunt? HURRRRRRRRRRRR GOOGLE IS AN ADVERTISING COMPANY THAT DOESN’T RUN ADS! I AM VERY INTELLIGENT!!!!!!!!

      1. Looks like it was algorithm. It appears that someone surreptitiously edited a Wikipedia page, and then Google’s algorithm pulled from that Wikipedia page to generate its search results. That actually supports what Brandybuck was saying – people out there will try to game the algorithms and game the system in order to push lies via Google.

        1. Honest mistake I’m sure.

        2. They absolutely try to game the Google algorithms. As I was saying above, I attended a lecture by the team who deals with it. Every day there is some new attempt at manipulating Google’s search results and ad keywords.

    4. Delta, Hampton Inn, and Amtrak provide advertising…..

  27. “A new Gallup poll finds record support for same-sex marriage”

    Heavy sampling from San Francisco and Middle American dhimmitude will do that.

    1. I learned a new word today.

  28. I would love it if google would just start returning search results in random order, completely fair to any page that had the words or phrases contained.

    “Here you go: fairness and equality, come and get it, good and hard!”

    1. LOL, you just described Alta Vista. Endless scrolling through pages of irrelevant search results. 🙂

      A problem that Google page rank fixed.

      1. Altavista returned way better results than Google ever has. And also took boolean arguments. Since you’re a fucking retarded piece of shit you probably never took advantage of those advanced features. For fucking retarded pieces of shit like you Google was a godsend. Just type in “politics” and get an entire feed of vetted, radical left wing sources delivered right to your screen instead of having to actually enter a search term relevant to the results you want.

      2. His point flew right over your head moron.

      3. Haha Dee. You’re dumb.

      4. Facepalm.jpg

  29. The reason koch position is always that there is nothing nefarious about trillion dollar companies run by amoral billionaires. It’s always the governments fault.

    1. The new Orange Conservatives: More class warfare than you can shake your Marx Stick at!

      1. Probably because of all the class warfare going on. That might have something to do with it.

      2. “You know, I don’t think I’m actually a racist subhuman piece of shit just because of my skin color. You shouldn’t be able to take away my livelihood and threaten my life because of my private thoughts and opinions”

        OMG CLASS WARFARE!

        The best part about pieces of bootlicking shit like you is that you’re the first ones up against the wall when you finally get the results you’re after. It’s going to be fucking glorious. I’ll be greasing my wood with your blood and entrails as I rub one out while the life drains out of your eyes. The schadenfreude will be more than worth the pile of bodies.

    2. Reason never said the companies and billionaires can’t be nefarious. The difference is the government has the threat of force behind every action. No one requires me to use Facebook or Twitter, and I don’t, and my life is fine.

      1. Reason never said the companies and billionaires can’t be nefarious.

        Yeah, they did. They did when they defended every bit of totalitarian censorship, abuse, restraint of trade, collusion, price fixing, market manipulation and political coordination by every company and billionaire, their sole benefactor among them.

        The difference is the government has the threat of force behind every action. No one requires me to use Facebook or Twitter, and I don’t, and my life is fine.

        Certainly no threat of force behind taking away access to internet service, web hosting, domain registration, payment processing, banking and education for people who say things you don’t like. Certainly no threat of force behind siccing mobs of racist psychopaths on their homes and places of business, vandalizing and destroying their property, threatening their lives and the lives of their family.

        Since you’re an obsequious bootlicking Marxist piece of shit, of course your life is fine. When you get the war you’re itching for I’ll bet you fucking pray to the god you don’t believe in for the days when you were a useful idiot instead of just an idiot.

        1. “Since you’re an obsequious bootlicking Marxist piece of shit…”

          “Alfred The Evil” “Cardoni The Spam-Boney”, elevating rational, data-driven discourse, ever since never!

          1. I think this is Sqrlsy speak for he finds you hot, Alfred.

  30. https://twitter.com/ConceptualJames/status/1402642753679466501?s=19

    Critical Race Theory begins with the belief that race is imposed upon “people of color” (by “white supremacy,” thus whites), says this is bad to the point of requiring a revolution to unmake it, and then intentionally imposes white racial identity on whites, as a negative only.
    When Robin DiAngelo says there’s no such thing as a “positive white identity” after spending 150 pages explaining why whites need to be aware of their racial identity because that’s what Critical Whiteness Studies, as a subdivision of Critical Race Theory, exists to do, it’s this
    Robin DiAngelo has an earlier, less famous book called “What Does It Mean to Be White?” It’s not just her. This is the raison d’etat for Critical Whiteness Studies (part of Critical Race Theory). Barbara Applebaum explores it in Being White, Being Good (2010), before DiAngelo.
    Kimberlé Crenshaw and other Black Feminists were writing about the “imposition” of racial categories as an exercise of power in the 1980s and 1990s. THEY KNOW IT’S WRONG; THEY KNOW IT’S RACISM. They do it willfully and maliciously anyway. Not to build up anything but to tear down
    The “justification” for this malice in Critical Race Theory is that white people already racialized the system, and that can’t be escaped without a total revolution, therefore leveling the playing field is only possible by imposing racism on whites. No uplift. Only tearing down.
    “Equity” proceeds along this same destructive line (because it’s the same thing, being the name given to the “solution” to this invented problem). It only tears down. It cannot build. It’s this way because Critical Race Theory fundamentally believes the system is terrible.

  31. Team Red: We stand firmly against socialism!
    Also Team Red: Let’s nationalize Google!

    1. cytotoxic: ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS!

      Also cytotoxic: THE UNARMED CUNT DESERVED IT! SHOOT HER IN THE FACE!

    2. cytotoxic: WE NEED NET NEUTRALITY! WHY SHOULD NETFLIX HAVE TO PAY EXTRA FOR USING 70% OF THE BANDWIDTH CAPACITY IN NORTH AMERICA?

      Also cytotoxic: HANDS OFF MUH GOOGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. cytotoxic: STATES CAN SET THEIR OWN ELECTION RULES! YES, EVEN BY JUDICIAL DECREE!

      Also cytotoxic: FLORIDA IS FASCIST! MUH GOOOOOOOOOOOGGGGGGGGGGGLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4. cytotoxic: WHO SAID PROTEST HAS TO PEACEFUL? RIOTS ARE THE VOICE OF THE UNHEARD!

      Also cytotoxic: 200 UNARMED PEOPLE LOITERING IN THE CAPITOL BUILDING WAS AN INSURRECTION THAT NEARLY TOPPLED WESTERN DEMOCRACY! TRUMP SUPPORTERS SHOULD BE GUNNED DOWN BY APACHE HELICOPTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5. cytotoxic: TRUMP IS A NAZI! NO CHILDREN IN CAGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Also cytotoxic: BIDEN IS JUST CONTINUING TRUMP’S POLICIES, IT’S NOT HIS FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    6. cytotoxic: BAKERIES ARE PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS! FROSTING ISN’T SPEECH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Also cytotoxic: MUH PRIVATE COMPANIES! THEY CAN DO ANYTHING THEY WANT! REGULATION IS FASCISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    7. cytotoxic: MUH BODY MUH CHOICE!!!!!!!!!!!

      Also cytotoxic: VACCINES SHOULD BE MANDATORY! WEAR THE MASK YOU SELFISH PRICKS! CAN’T YOU SEE I’M AN OBESE DISGUSTING LARDASS?!?!?!?!?!?! YOU MUST PROTECT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Now add today’s gem that it’s cool for Hunter Biden to drop N bombs.

        1. Oh look who’s lying again. I never said any such thing.

          1. chemjeff radical individualist
            June.9.2021 at 11:24 am
            Flag Comment Mute User
            The Hunter Biden N-word story will be an important milestone in the Left’s effort to write itself an exception from cancel culture.

            Oh good Lord. So much whining.

            1. Which does not say what you claim it says. I never said “it’s cool for Hunter Biden to drop N bombs”. So fess up to your lie and apologize.

              1. Calling people that are criticizing your boos whiners is defending them.

                1. Nice try. I’m criticizing this obsession on Team Red to focus on trivial shit, not defending whatever Hunter Biden may or may not have said. Again, I did not say, as you claimed, that “it’s cool for Hunter Biden to drop N bombs.” Just be an adult for a change and admit that you lied, and apologize.

                  1. “Team Red”

                    That’s your obsession. You said to stop whining in defense of your guy. If he wasn’t your guy, why even respond to the thread?

                    1. “High, my names Lying Jeffy, and I jumped into a thread about Hunter Biden using the n word, and called the people being mean to him whiners. But I wasn’t defending Hunter, I was just going after the other team because it’s important to me. But I’m not a lefty or a liar.”

      2. The hypocrisy defines Jeff. It’s what he is.

  32. Team Blue: Let’s talk about infrastructure, taxes, immigration, climate change, education, health care, ‘equity’, etc…
    Team Red: Cancel culture! Dr. Seuss! Demand absolute fealty to the Orange God! Hunter Biden said the n-word! GET OUTRAGED, PEOPLE!

    It’s no wonder we see the results that we see.

    1. chemtard radical deathfat simping for his lefty boos again.

      1. One more for the mute user button.

        1. Tell us some more about how history classes are fonts of mindless jingoism, fat boy.

          1. To be fair, cytotoxic is completely historically illiterate and probably never attended a history class, so he kind of had to guess as to what they entailed. Also he attended school in Canada as he lives in the Greater Toronto Area.

        2. “One more for the mute user button.”

          I’m sure this asshole will reach ‘talking to myself’ stage in not too long, and deserve it.

        3. Oh no! Poor Red Rocks!

      2. How dare you. Quit arguing in bad faith.

    2. Lol. Yes, it is team red that is outrage mongering. Not team blue who wants to “talk” about racism, racism, racism, RACISM, RACISM, RACISM, EVERYONE IS A WHITE SUPREMACIST! YES EVEN BLACK PEOPLE! CLARENCE THOMAS IS A WHITE SUPREMACIST HOUSE NIGGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    3. To be fair, Team Blue does try to attach shame to expressing certain viewpoints on those topics. On the other hand, to be fair, Team Red does a piss poor job of calmly, rationally explaining viewpoints that disagree with Team Blue.

      1. Why won’t these damn conservatives play the role of graceful loser while we demagogue every possible issue and histrionically scream RACIST? Who the fuck do they think they are?

        1. and have that message amplified by a complicit media which at the same time minimizes rebuttals

          1. Conservatives have plenty of their own media outlets.

      2. “Team Red does a piss poor job of calmly, rationally explaining viewpoints that disagree with Team Blue”

        Kind of like the guy who sees some suicidal idiots fucking around with the detonation mechanism for a live nuke, has problems calmly, rationally explaining why they shouldn’t do that.

      3. Team Red is all outrage theater, all culture war, all the time.

        The reason is because Team Red now agrees with Team Blue on a large number of substantive policy matters. They both agree with entitlement spending. They both agree with border enforcement. They both agree with tariffs and trade wars. They both agree with government-run health care (witness their pathetic attempt to try to ‘repeal’ ObamaCare). So the only way for Team Red to differentiate itself from Team Blue is with this inflammatory culture war bullshit.

        1. There really is no party that represents grown up, responsible, civil people.

          1. It’s just sad. I have to wonder if things are this bad in other countries.

        2. “(witness their pathetic attempt to try to ‘repeal’ ObamaCare)”

          John McCain had something to do with this.

          1. Even if McCain had voted yes, the repeal would have kept in place the core of ObamaCare, minus the mandate, just with less money. They had no real idea on what to replace ObamaCare with even while running on it as a campaign promise for 6+ years.

            1. Why would “libertarians” expect Republicans to have a plan to replace Obamacare with ANYTHING?

              I know it was Reason’s demand…but is “How about we just turf it and don’t replace it with anything” really that unfathomable?

              1. Lying Jeffy doesn’t think McCain had any influence on Obamacare repeal until he voted.

              2. Because we currently have a weird system that is about 50/50 private/government. If you just yank the plug on the government half, there will be widespread disaster. Lots of people will literally die.

      4. As calmly as you can, GFY

  33. https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1402603356045127683?s=19

    One of the most popular MSNBC stars is (needless to say) a former FBI Assistant Director: @FrankFigliuzzi1. Here he is casually arguing for the arrest and imprisonment of sitting members of Congress, something @MeetThePress promotes as if it’s normal.

    This. Is. Not. Normal. [Link]

    1. Funny how Reason never seems to notice this stuff.

      1. They will, as soon as a Republican pounces

    2. Member when McCarthyism was a terrible slur?

  34. jfc Ohio just use duckduckgo.

  35. “Global herd immunity isn’t happening, says Foreign Affairs magazine. “Rather than die out, the [COVID-19] virus will likely ping-pong back and forth across the globe for years to come.”

    Perhaps part of the problem is trying to apply a lesson from the beef industry to human socio-biology.

    Unless you’re a resident of an island with secure borders (ie: New Zealand) that mimics corral fencing, international transportation ensures that your regional “herd” is a dynamic entity.

    1. New Zealand will be sorry they put up that corral fence.

    2. Perhaps part of the problem is trying to apply a lesson from the beef industry to human socio-biology.

      Like the cargo-cult religions trying to summon supply drops by clear cutting forests into landing strips and lighting rows of tiki torches, the problem is much more fundamental than the (mis)application.

    3. Or, more people could agree to be vaccinated.

      1. 2/3 of America is vaccinated. Of the remaining 1/3 some substantial portion are children, who do not appear to become infected or transmit the virus at any statistically relevant level, or people who have already had the virus and have natural immunity. We were probably at “herd immunity” levels 2 months ago when the case rate started cratering. Also, who gives a flying fuck since this disease only kills fat fucks over the age of 70?

        1. Radical statist cares, that’s his demographic

      2. can I agree to be vaccinated and not be vaccinated?

        1. I identify as vaccinated.

          1. lol everywhere I go …

            1. Trigger warning: individuals without earworm vaccinations should not be exposed to this video.

              I’m vaccinated. If I weren’t I would die,
              if I were not I would die, if I were not I would die,
              if I were not I would die, if I were not I would die,
              if I were not I would die, if I were not I would die
              I have a vaccinated house with a vaccinated window
              Vaccinated is the color of all that I wear
              Vaccinated are the streets and all the trees are too
              I have a girlfriend and she is vaccinated to
              Vaccinated are the people here that walk around
              Vaccinated like my Corvette, it’s in and outside
              Vaccinated are the words I say and what I think
              Vaccinated are the feelings that live inside me

      3. “Or, more people could agree to be vaccinated.”

        Or you could fuck off and mind your own business.

      4. Schrodinger did …. or at least, would have

    4. Half of that article contained some interesting information. The other half was just more TDS which they attempted to smokescreen to not make it seem so obvious.

      So Trump didn’t take it seriously (before anyone knew whether to take is seriously).
      Some unnamed persons suggested it might go away when summer hit (obfuscated Trump reference that no one knew whether it would or wouldn’t happen until in fact warm weather did indeed arrive).
      The US government (i.e. Trump) banned some but not all travel from China (wasn’t racist or xenophobic soon enough or hard enough?).
      Trump, listed along with a smokescreen group of other disfavored world leaders, “…evinced some combination of parochialism and political insecurity, which caused them to downplay the crisis, ignore the science, and reject international cooperation.” (pathology laden Trump again).
      “Emboldened by Trump, self-interested leaders elsewhere followed suit, pursuing disease-denying policies that further amplified the death toll and suffering.” (Trump is now responsible for what other countries did?)

      It goes on and on and on with fully half of the article consumed with veiled and not so veiled Trump Derangement references. It finally determines that the US is **EQUALLY** responsible for the outbreak as is China. What a crock of shit.

  36. On social sites like Twitter, the incentives changed, from trying to get a loyal audience to trying to go viral on a post-by-post basis.

    And sometimes its just a vehicle for extremely stupid, uneducated cunts who are an embarrassment to their family and still living through their angsty teen rebellion phase in their mid 40s to doxx people and try to get them fired from their jobs for making sardonic jokes.

    1. >> trying to get a loyal audience to trying to go viral on a post-by-post basis

      both a total fucking waste of human existence.

  37. Trump wants to ban Facebook and Twitter.

    Most. Libertarian. President. Evah.

    1. possible both true.

      1. Economic protectionism, hostility towards immigration, banning speech platforms…. Oh yeah baby! Sooo libertarian!

        1. They wouldn’t let him mean tweet. Someone needs to let Trump know that the Reason comments section has no moderation.

          1. That just kills you, doesn’t it?
            That one post from Ken, John, Paul or Jesse can instantly destroy an entire column of establishment orthodoxy hiding in a libertarian skin-suit.

            How you must long to silence them permanently.

            1. Dee just want Trump to start posting here so she can masterbate to muting him.

        2. new list notwithstanding I’m still correct above.

          1. Then that’s really sad if true.

            1. yes. short list of libertarianesque presidents.

            2. That TDS-addled assholes like you can’t understand is even more sad

        3. What did Trump ban again?

    2. Trump wants to ban Facebook and Twitter.

      No, he doesn’t. You on the other hand want to ban anyone to the right of Trotsky from participating in society and force people to inject themselves with a non-FDA approved drug as a condition for going out of their house. Also you fucked your underage daughter and you’re a self-confessed unemployed drug addict and alcoholic. You wouldn’t know liberty if it took behind a dumpster in a dark alley to sell you Mexican skunk weed and fucked you up the ass at gunpoint instead.

      1. Poor sarc, he’s broken.

    3. sarcasmic. most. idiotic. commenter. ever.

      1. He started drinking at the crack of dawn, so he was already mostly in the bag when he wrote it.

    4. Just in case anyone was wondering if sarc still suffers from TDS.

  38. the trouble with so-called common good originalism

    Wow, this really made a splash. I guess it’s good to nip these nascent ideas in the bud before your HR department makes them required training. Good on you, Reason.

    1. Lol

  39. Their whole point is to sift through the vast expanses of internet content and determine which web pages most closely match what consumers are searching for and which offer the highest quality content, all while eschewing spam and scams.

    I wonder if Google will go back to doing this.

    1. How will that ever get them in the good graces of the CCP again after Project Dragonfly?

  40. Global herd immunity isn’t happening, says Foreign Affairs magazine. “Rather than die out, the [COVID-19] virus will likely ping-pong back and forth across the globe for years to come.”

    Masks today, masks tomorrow, masks forever.

    1. Two masks tomorrow. Its the progressive agenda after all.

  41. A new Gallup poll finds record support for same-sex marriage:

    Twenty Three Skidoo! You’re gettin’ Chicagoed! The idea’s a Lally Cooler!

  42. New Watchdog Report Shatters The Left’s ‘Photo Op’ Lie About Trump Clearing Rioters In Lafayette Park

    If you can believe the commies in the MSM got caught in another lie.

    Commies at unreason will never apologize for lying.

    1. I bet Reason will mention that tomorrow. I mean, they were apoplectic about it last year….

  43. Reason commentaries today look like they were written in the 70s. The idea that Google isn’t using it’s dominance of the internet, (along with it’s pals at FB etc,) to censor opposing voices and control the public’s ability to have a voice, is so ludicrous that it’s hard to believe any sane person would believe it.
    And the idea that private businesses must be protected at all costs, even at the cost of civil rights, is not only wrong but pretty vile.
    Get your heads out of the 70s (and maybe other places while you’re at it) and use the reality of today in your analysis.

  44. In a statement, Google contended that “Ohioans simply don’t want the government to run Google like a gas or electric company. This lawsuit has no basis in fact or law and we’ll defend ourselves against it in court.”

    Hell, why should a gas or electric company be treated like a gas or electric company, let alone Big Tech companies? I guess even the idea of competing gas and electricity companies is alien to even libertarians anymore.

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