Reason Roundup

The FTC Fails To Prove Facebook Is a Monopoly

Plus: Retaliatory action in Syria, developments with the delta variant, Clarence Thomas on marijuana, and more...

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Judge says FTC failed to show that Facebook has a social media monopoly. A federal district court has dismissed the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) antitrust complaint against Facebook.

The complaint—and a similar action filed by state attorneys general—argued that Facebook has a monopoly in "personal social networking services" and illegally maintained that monopoly in violation of federal antitrust laws. Specifically, the feds objected to Facebook's acquisition of smaller companies, including Instagram and WhatsApp, and to it blocking interoperability between Facebook and some other apps. Among other remedies, the FTC sought to force the breakup or reconstruction of Facebook.

The case is part of a major, misguided, and bipartisan anti-tech antitrust effort spanning congressional committees, the Department of Justice, the FTC, state prosecutors' offices, and—recently—a flurry of legislation. (See my story from yesterday on six new antitrust bills moving forward in Congress.)

Opponents of these efforts often point out that the new antitrust crusaders' definition of monopoly is lacking, considering that consumers and businesses have plenty of options when it comes to social media and other tech services in question. Now, on the Facebook front, a federal judge has agreed.

"The FTC has failed to plead enough facts to plausibly establish … that Facebook has monopoly power in the market for Personal Social Networking (PSN) Services," wrote Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in a June 28 opinion, granting Facebook's motion to dismiss the FTC and the states' complaints.

"Although the Court does not agree with all of Facebook's contentions here, it ultimately concurs that the agency's Complaint is legally insufficient and must therefore be dismissed," ruled Boasbert. "The Complaint contains nothing on that score save the naked allegation that the company has had and still has a 'dominant share of th[at] market (in excess of 60%).'" The ruling continues:

Such an unsupported assertion might (barely) suffice in a Section 2 [of the Sherman Antitrust Act] case involving a more traditional goods market, in which the Court could reasonably infer that market share was measured by revenue, units sold, or some other typical metric. But this case involves no ordinary or intuitive market. Rather, PSN services are free to use, and the exact metes and bounds of what even constitutes a PSN service i.e., which features of a company's mobile app or website are included in that definition and which are excluded are hardly crystal clear. In this unusual context, the FTC's inability to offer any indication of the metric(s) or method(s) it used to calculate Facebook's market share renders its vague "60%plus" assertion too speculative and conclusory to go forward. Because this defect could conceivably be overcome by repleading, however, the Court will dismiss only the Complaint, not the case, and will do so without prejudice to allow Plaintiff to file an amended Complaint.

While the FTC is free to file an amended complaint, it would have significant hurdles to overcome. The agency's failure to show a Facebook monopoly wasn't the lawsuit's only problem, the court ruled.

"Even if the FTC had sufficiently pleaded market power, its challenge to Facebook's policy of refusing interoperability permissions with competing apps" was lacking, since "there is nothing unlawful about having such a policy in general," noted Boasberg.

While it is possible that Facebook's implementation of that policy as to certain specific competitor apps may have violated Section 2, such finding would not change the outcome here: all such revocations of access occurred in 2013, seven years before this suit was filed, and the FTC lacks statutory authority to seek an injunction 'based on [such] longpast conduct.' Regardless of whether the FTC can amend its Complaint to plausibly allege market power and advance this litigation, then, the conduct it has alleged regarding Facebook's interoperability policies cannot form the basis for Section 2 liability.

Boasberg added that "the agency is on firmer ground in scrutinizing the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, as the Court rejects Facebook's argument that the FTC lacks authority to seek injunctive relief against those purchases. Whether other issues arise in a subsequent phase of litigation is dependent on how the Government wishes to proceed."

Boasberg didn't invite state attorneys general to refile their complaint.

Since the court issued its ruling, Facebook's stock value has jumped. "Facebook Inc. vaulted into trillion-dollar territory Monday as a late-afternoon stock rally helped power the company past the milestone valuation mark," reports MarketWatch. "Facebook closed the trading day with a market cap of $1,008,404.77, according to Dow Jones Market Data, becoming just the fifth U.S. company to cross the $1 trillion valuation threshold."

The others that have crossed this threshold include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. "It's been a momentous past few days for Big Tech market-cap milestones, as Microsoft broke through the $2 trillion barrier last week," notes MarketWatch.

Yesterday's decision is a win for Facebook, certainly, but also potentially good news for Google, Apple, Amazon, and other tech companies at whom authorities have been slinging dubious monopoly labels.

But new blows keep on cropping up for these companies. Yesterday, Politico reported that a new executive action on antitrust may be coming soon. It's unclear what direction that order would take specifically. Nonetheless, it would "mark a big shift in the government's approach to the concerns about monopolies that have swelled during the 21st century: No longer content to just enforce antitrust laws, the Biden administration would use federal power to actively spark competition in a vast array of businesses," Politico says. However, "the order isn't final and hasn't yet been presented to Biden," and "the White House said Monday that the president has made no decisions about signing such an order."

So far, the Biden administration has been taking a radical approach to competition and tech policy, appointing activist scholars like Tim Wu (now part of the White House economic council) and Lina Khan (now chair of the FTC) known for their anti-corporate and anti-tech company sentiments and far-left reformist approach to regulatory policy.


FOLLOWUP

Swift retaliatory action following U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. "U.S. troops based at an oil field in northeastern Syria came under rocket attack Monday," reports CBS News. "There are no injuries and damage is being assessed" and "it was not immediately clear the specific source of the attacks against U.S. forces in Syria." The rocket attack comes one day after the U.S. launched multiple airstrikes near the Iraq-Syria border.


FREE MINDS

Marijuana prohibition may be unconstitutional, says Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. "Once comprehensive, the Federal Government's current approach is a half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana," Thomas writes. "This contradictory and unstable state of affairs strains basic principles of federalism and conceals traps for the unwary." More from Reason's Damon Root:

Thomas' statement came in response to the Supreme Court declining to hear arguments in the case of Standing Akimbo v. United States. Standing Akimbo is a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver that operates legally under Colorado law. Yet, as Thomas points out, the company is still acting illegally under federal law, which means, among other things, that the company is at odds with the Internal Revenue Service over whether or not "their intrastate marijuana operations will be treated like any other enterprise that is legal under state law."

Thomas also describes other problems that similar enterprises still face thanks to the federal marijuana ban remaining on the books, even if the ban itself is rarely enforced


FREE MARKETS

The delta variant of COVID-19 is giving public health authorities a new reason to ramp up recommendations. For instance, "the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is recommending that all residents wear masks in public indoor spaces — regardless of whether they've been vaccinated for COVID-19," the Los Angeles Timesreports. This comes despite the fact that "officials have said the available vaccines appear to offer strong protection" against the delta variant. For now, the recommendations remain voluntary.


QUICK HITS

• Scientists say they've developed a blood test that can detect Alzheimer's disease with over 96 percent accuracy.

• The Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear two high-profile cases. One was a Virginia school board appeal of a ruling against its transgender bathroom ban. The other involved a teleworker tax dispute between New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

• A border update:

The Biden administration is preparing to close some emergency shelters for unaccompanied migrant children just weeks after considering expanding one of the sites. The move comes in the wake of testimonials from kids that shed light on the subpar conditions at some of the sites and that have opened up the administration to criticism from immigration advocates and attorneys.

• Today in content moderation mishaps:

• Kat Rosenfield tackles the Victoria's Secret rebrand and "a culture that flattens everything from personal relationships to aesthetic taste into a political framing."

• "Texas Republicans and antiabortion leaders who cheered when [Gov. Greg] Abbott signed" new anti-abortion legislation "know that scores of volunteer detectives and antiabortion lawyers are hungry to do the work that typically belongs to police and prosecutors," writes University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign professor Leslie J. Reagan in a Washington Post op-ed. The new Texas law not only bans abortion at six weeks but lets third parties sue if they think abortion has happened in violation of this rule.

• California has added five more states (Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia) to those "which it is restricting government-financed travel because of laws deemed to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity," reports Reuters. That brings the total number of states on California's travel ban list to 17.

• How the critical race theory debate misses the mark.

NEXT: Camping Liberates Kids and Parents

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  1. Judge says FTC failed to show that Facebook has a social media monopoly.

    He made his ruling known on Twitter.

    1. OR SHE MADE HER RULING. It’s possible Facebook was her son not her daughter, as the riddle goes.

    2. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, drop these measures that will go nowhere and do the one thing they have the power to do. Firstly, mandate all government agencies must have presence on the competitor’s sites, and if Facebook then blocks or shadow ban’s someone based on political opinion then drop them. I don’t use Facebook but my wife created an account simply because my daughters school has a presence there and they don’t really give you a choice of sites (remember back 10 years ago when there would be a list of sites they would have a presence on and now it is just Facebook). Second the federal government should implement the same tax scheme I have to deal with, namely as I make more money the percentage of taxes I have to pay goes up. So implement a progressive tax based not on the amount of money they make but on the percentage of any market they control. So if Alphabet controls 80% of the advertisement market then they pay 80% tax. This will give them incentive to break up themselves, no government action needed.

      1. Taxes for social engineering, what could go wrong. Taxes should only be used to fund the government and we should have less of both.

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      2. Percentage of precisely what market?

        “But this case involves no ordinary or intuitive market. Rather, PSN services are free to use, and the exact metes and bounds of what even constitutes a PSN service —i.e., which features of a company’s mobile app or website are included in that definition and which are excluded —are hardly crystal clear. In this unusual context, the FTC’s inability to offer any indication of the metric(s) or method(s) it used to calculate Facebook’s market share renders its vague “60%–plus” assertion too speculative and conclusory to go forward.”

        1. Percentage of precisely what market?

          Web advertising. That’s the market that Facebook actually trades in. You, like the idiotic judge you are quoting, are (deliberately) mistaking the product for the customer so that you can invent an impossibility. It’s no more or less impossible to calculate Facebook’s share of the web advertising market than it is to calculate MSNBC’s share of the television advertising market or iHeartMedia Inc’s share of radio advertising market. You can further break it down into subcategories if you wish, like web-based text advertising vs web-based visual advertising; or web-based search advertising vs web-based mobile advertising, although it would actually make the case for your oligopolist buddies worse instead of better since the more specific you get with the segment of the web advertising space the more saturated it is by one company. Google for example owns close to 90% market share in web search advertising; Facebook owns over 80% market share in mobile web advertising.

          1. For a bit of perspective: Standard Oil owned about 65% market share when it was split up and there were around 150 competing oil refineries.

          2. The advantage of doing it this way is they have the incentive to split themselves without the government attempting to figure out how to carve them up. I could see Facebook splitting their respective subsidiaries (Instagram etc. ) off into separate companies and then splitting Facebook itself into US, Europe, Asia etc. The Federal government would make a mess of it if they tried.

            1. And what makes you think all these “separate” entities still wouldn’t collide with Democrats to control speech on their behalf?

          3. “You, like the idiotic judge you are quoting, are (deliberately) mistaking the product for the customer so that you can invent an impossibility.”

            I just asked a question. And your answer makes some sense to me.

            1. Bullshit. You’ve been given a similar answer numerous times you twat.

    3. “Since the court issued its ruling, Facebook’s stock value has jumped.”

      Did anybody check the judge’s portfolio?

  2. Marijuana prohibition may be unconstitutional, says Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

    HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

    1. Yes, but he’s Conservative so he must be wrong. Stroozle? chemleft? White Mike?

      1. On the other hand, to be sure, he is Black, so he can’t be wrong.
        What a dilemma.
        It could only be worse if he was Jewish.

        1. Do we even know his sexuality?!

          1. Anita hill is pretty sure she knows.

        2. But he is conservative, therefore he can’t be black.

          1. Whiteness is a construct that inhabits the soul of everyone who disagrees with me politically.

            1. Needs more “evil”.

  3. The delta variant of COVID-19 is giving public health authorities a new reason to ramp up recommendations.

    The limelight is shifting back to race baiters and we can’t have that.

    1. Did we all already forget that covid is systemically racist?

    2. 1) Let’s just call it COVID-21.
      2) Is their any actual evidence that this strain is any more dangerous than COVID-19, especially to people who have gotten the vax? And why aren’t we hearing anymore about people dropping dead in the streets in India, after the news reporting hysterics on it this past spring? If this strain was really that more lethal, shouldn’t it still be killing Indians at an exponential rate?
      3) There’s a lot of people who have clearly turned fear into a virtue over the past year, and will do whatever they can to keep themselves and other people afraid to increase their virtue.
      4) Public health officials decided last year that they were going to take on evolution, and evolution is kicking their asses.

      1. From what I’ve seen it’s no more lethal and possibly less so.

        India, like everywhere else that had a significant epidemic, had lots of people dying at the beginning of their outbreak as the most vulnerable got it.

        1. Which was still at a rate of deaths less than the us (A question I did ask about in the threads when they started freaking out on India). I’m still trying to understand the hysteria on this variant.

          1. Is there hysteria?

            1. What do you think, White Mike? Is there hysteria surrounding the “variant”?

      2. Would anyone notice more dead bodies in the street im India?

      3. There is no evidence that this variant is any more dangerous to people who have gotten the pfizer or moderna vaccines. Once again, masks should not be required since there is another solution available, for free, to all who want it.

          1. Thanks for the link.

            From what I read it is more transmissible, and that might be more problematic for unvaccinated, not immune communities. But not really more dangerous to vaccinated folks. This is another data point that says the same.

            I really do wonder why the handwringers keep worrying about this. At least where I’m at, hospitalizations are almost nothing and numbers have crashed to super low. There’s no danger of overwhelming anything.

            1. It’s a big deal in other countries where vaccination is low. And control freaks are gonna freak out, natch.

  4. Scientists say they’ve developed a blood test that can detect Alzheimer’s disease with over 96 percent accuracy.

    Bureaucrats here in the US will approve that some time after there is a cure developed… which they will also go back to dragging their feet on approving as a choice for people.

    1. Does it involve asking the patient whether or not they just had a blood test?

    2. Would you say they are biden their time on Alzheimer’s?

    3. Its a simple test they ask you who is president

      1. Not sure Joe is up to the task.

    4. A test that can tell you you have Alzheimer’s long before the symptoms appear is terrifying.

      I once chatted with a woman whose doctor had accidentally discovered that she had Alzheimer’s developing in her brain, although she didn’t have any symptoms yet. It was devastating news.

      1. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to know. Unless someone comes up with effective treatment.

        1. I’d prefer to know. Get my affairs in order before my mind starts slipping.

  5. The Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear two high-profile cases.

    Summer break, motherfuckers.

    1. The Robert’s court will be historically famous for dodging even the faintest whiff of controversy.
      I you evade hearing a case, then you don’t have to worry about applying the principles of the constitution and making your pals at the club mad at you.

  6. Scientists say they’ve developed a blood test that can detect Alzheimer’s disease with over 96 percent accuracy.
    Give the test to SleepyJoe.

    1. Would anyone notice more dead bodies in the street in India?

      1. Someone needs the test.

  7. When will Fauci answer for his crimes.

    1. Never. He is a Democrat. Won’t even be charged for fringe benefits.

  8. The move comes in the wake of testimonials from kids that shed light on the subpar conditions at some of the sites and that have opened up the administration to criticism from immigration advocates and attorneys.

    Biden knows officials would need F-15’s and nukes to renovate their hellholes.

  9. Swift retaliatory action following U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

    Swift yet feckless.

    1. At least Biden didn’t start WWIII like that other guy did.

      1. World War 5. We are up to 5.

      2. the correct answer is Biden had to do it because of Trump’s lazy attitude towards war. Its Trumps fault for now and forever

  10. YouTube banned Right Wing Watch, a progressive anti-extremist watchdog channel, earlier today…

    Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

    1. So now just having the word Right in a title can get you banned. Only left hand stories allowed now

  11. Specifically, the feds objected to Facebook’s acquisition of smaller companies,

    Feds enabled all of acquisitions. Tech doesn’t acquire using cash (US dollars created by banks). They acquire using equity. Those shares are currency. And they are in fact subsidized by our tax code. Course you can bet that big tech will shit a ton of bricks if the govt goes after stock options issued as a form of compensation – another use of a derivative of equity used as currency.

    1. Poor Jeffy. Never had a good job that offered stock options.

    2. “…Course you can bet that big tech will shit a ton of bricks if the govt goes after stock options issued as a form of compensation – another use of a derivative of equity used as currency…”

      The gov’t already does, as soon as you turn them into currency.
      Wave them arms, cowardly piece of lefty shit!

      1. Stock options themselves have value, contrary to what the big boys argue, that stock options have no value unless and until they’re exercised. If you don’t believe me, just go down to your nearest stock broker and ask for a big ol’ bag of stock options, see how many he’s willing to give you for free.

        1. Yes, but the value is indeterminate, and if the company fails, believe me, they’ll be more than happy to give you bushels of options.
          I’m sure you’d be happy yo tax ‘wealth’, too, right?

          1. What’s important in that situation is not how many shares of stock you have but rather how much copper wiring you can strip from the offices before the landlord gives you the boot.

    3. “…cash (US dollars created by banks)…”

      Oh, and BTW:
      You.
      Are.
      Full
      Of.
      Shit.

  12. Kat Rosenfield tackles the Victoria’s Secret rebrand and “a culture that flattens everything from personal relationships to aesthetic taste into a political framing.”

    I’m getting a woodrow already.

    1. This message is for women, malleable and impressionable creatures that they are, who are expected to follow the latest identity directives just like they’re expected to follow fashion trends: heterosexuality is boring, heterosexual desire is embarrassing, and dressing with any thought of appealing to men is a gross offence against feminism.

      It’s a pretty spot-on diagnosis.

      1. As Camille Paglia said, modern, western feminism (as practiced by the current generation) is the feminism of soft, upper-middle class, Victorian sensibilities. It spends all its time on the fainting couch, offended that someone might be looking at your ankles.

  13. “The FTC has failed to plead enough facts to plausibly establish … that Facebook has monopoly power in the market for Personal Social Networking (PSN) Services,”

    What happened to Chevron? I thought judges weren’t supposed to be second-guessing agency decisions.

  14. General who fired Lt. General Whiting for publicly discussing marxism going through the military is dressed down by military judge.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/general-fired-space-force-commander-rebuked-unconstitutional-actions

    1. Damn, that is fucked up what those women did and the Lt General’s actions afterwards are indefensible. Feel bad for anyone who has to serve under him, to say the least. A court martial would be warranted in a just world.

      1. It is the general under fire, not the Lt. General.

        1. LTGEN Whiting was the one doing the firing, and was the one castigated by the judge.

      2. Damn, that is fucked up what those women did

        No kidding:

        Additional court evidence showed that CP and two other women were jealous that Snyder did not date them exclusively, and they colluded on social media to file rape reports with the military. The plot was spearheaded by CP, who became enraged after Snyder broke up with her. She went through his social media profiles and contacted dozens of women to vilify Snyder with claims of cheating and in the hope that his children would be taken away from him, evidence showed

        Mike Pence’s rule about not being alone with a woman who isn’t his wife looks better and better every day.

    2. lol at the rage porn you consume.

      The rape case sounds like a messy one, and judged poorly. But what does that have to do with firing a general for making completely nutso, McCarthy-esque public statements and spending his time promoting a nutso, McCarthy-esque book for personal profit?

      Especially ironic are the quotes toward the end from Bolduc about generals protecting their jobs rather than their people. This coming from the guy who ran CJSOTF and heavily restricted the use of indirect fires and air dropped ordnance with layers upon layers of bureaucratic, cover-your-ass approval steps. His command decision to attempt to limit bad PR in Afghanistan directly led to Special Operations Forces deaths.

      1. What should be concerning here is Whiting directly stepping in on cases like this in the first place. Getting involved in a rape case, or firing a squadron commander, are things that are WAY below his paygrade. They should be handled by the Garrison or Delta commanders at the Space Force bases, not the head of SpOc.

      2. for making completely nutso, McCarthy-esque public statements and spending his time promoting a nutso, McCarthy-esque book for personal profit?

        When Big Blue is sending out Peggy McIntosh’s essay on “white privilege” as recommended reading material in the wake of the Floyd riots, and the Chairmain of the Joint Chiefs is parroting their shibboleths on “white rage, (a narrative that hasn’t changed in nearly 30 years, if not longer, whenever the left-liberal consensus is vigorously challenged)” I’d say the cultural Marxism train has already left the station.

        1. This is late, but you deserve a response.

          Whitting’s intervention in the rape case is awful, but is also pretty standard awful for the military. Commanders can and do get involved in military justice cases. In the past it has typically been to shield the accused from their accuser. What you are seeing now is the result of that pendulum swinging back and over the mark. Let these things normalize a little.

          Whitting firing a Space Force officer is also pretty typical, especially when that officer is drawing public attention for writing a for-profit, political book. The military is meant to be apolitical, especially flag and general officers, and the military is still dealing with the fallout of Trump making statements about using the military for martial law in relation to the election, so any breach of that apolitical standard is going to be cracked down upon pretty hard. It’s not that his politics are wrong, it’s that any politics coming from the military is wrong.

          On cultural marxism in the military, all I can tell you, from someone who left the service within the last decade and talks to currently serving close friends daily, that that is not the perception from within. The biggest gripes on the politics side within the military is the forcing of women into infantry roles and the general lack of toughness in younger generation.

      3. Whenever a Democrat is caught doing something wrong, DOL considers any outrage to be “rAgE pRon”.

        But remember, he definitely isn’t a Party salesman.

  15. Texas Republicans and antiabortion leaders who cheered when [Gov. Greg] Abbott signed” new anti-abortion legislation “know that scores of volunteer detectives and antiabortion lawyers are hungry to do the work that typically belongs to police and prosecutors…

    Second only to the Hells Angels at Altamont as the libertarian moment of privatizations.

    1. I saw things getting out of hand
      I guess they always will

  16. California has added five more states (Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia) to those “which it is restricting government-financed travel because of laws deemed to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity…”

    California is serious on getting its government spending under control.

    1. We’re fine if Cali people stay home. Don’t come here.

    2. California. We have the gall to tell you what your laws should be.

      1. Not just California. Remember this blast from the recent past:

        https://www.texastribune.org/2020/12/08/texas-ken-paxton-election-georgia/

        1. That’s not even remotely the same thing. Who are you trying to fool?

          1. No one. She’s just squawking like a bird.

    3. “We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country” says the California AG.

      What a fucking idiotic thing to say. When DeSantis sets the dogs on transgender kids, or gays have their own water fountains, then maybe we can talk. He clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of “unprecedented”.

    4. Can they extend that ban to California residents in general, including one against travel, relocation, and post hoc property and business transactions? That might actually apply some political chemotherapy to most of the Mountain West, Southwest, and Texas.

    5. We should stop the hydroelectric to California based on their policies

    6. Yeah. Kind of like using mayo instead of ketchup on your fries to reduce your carb intake.

  17. That brings the total number of states on California’s travel ban list to 17.

    I’m glad we’re still using our loose definition of travel ban.

    1. Just more folks that can enjoy a Cali staycation blackout.

  18. https://twitter.com/MythinformedMKE/status/1409539548762316805?s=19

    A New York k-12 educator suggests black students DO NOT think analytically. She states this is why “education is not working for students of color” in the US.

    This was part of an “anti-racist” discussion between NY educators. Critical Race Theory/ “anti-racism” is neo-racism. [Link]

    1. No racism like liberal racism. Jeff the racist is pushing this shit as valid.

    2. There is no person more hateful, more focused on skin color, and more racist than current hardcore left wingers.

      1. I was expecting her to start explaining the extra muscle blacks have in their legs for why they are so good at sports. You know the subject that got Jimmy the Greek fired.

    3. CRT – The New Klux Klan

      1. They are version 2.0. The have races accepting segregation willingly now.

    4. Jesus fucking christ. I clicked on the link, seriously believing that there would be some context, some mitigating context to how what she said wasn’t what she said.

      But hey, CRT, it’s just the acknowledgement that racism exists in America. That’s it. Nothing more.

  19. Democrats seem pot committed on their latest gaslighting attempt that the GOP was the ones defending police since they voted against a 2 Trillion dollar spending bill.

    https://justthenews.com/government/congress/after-oakland-received-more-190-million-stimulus-funds-city-cut-police-budget

  20. How the critical race theory debate misses the mark.

    Not enough skin color shades.

  21. “the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is recommending that all residents wear masks in public indoor spaces — regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19,” the Los Angeles Times reports. This comes despite the fact that “officials have said the available vaccines appear to offer strong protection” against the delta variant.

    Fuck these people.

    1. Now that is some real science there.

      1. Details variant has one third the CFR as covid last year… but democrats need the fear to go through 2022. Wisconsin election board is using the new variant to justify the continued use of ballot boxes and ballot harvesting that goes directly against their state law which explicitly states voters have to US mail or hand their ballots to an official. They are extending the rules placed under covid last year despite state law.

  22. “That brings the total number of states on California’s travel ban list to 17.”
    “Other states previously added to the list include Alabama, Kansas, Idaho and Kentucky.”

    Travel bans, not trade bans. CA is still clamoring for Idaho lumber.

    1. Not just lumber, CA has no problem buying your electricity (along with Montana’s and Wyoming’s too). Imagine their brownouts if they were really serious about social justice.

      https://www.westerneim.com/Pages/About/default.aspx

  23. https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1409569850603753478?s=19

    After a black teen died in Massachusetts, BLM activists spread rumors she was lynched by a white mob. Her family started a GoFundMe, & celebrity attorney Benjamin Crump is representing them. But what really happened to Mikayla? Read my @Newsweek report: [link]

    1. The Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a suicide last month

      She was depressed due to her mother mad she had a girlfriend. Her mother is scum for profiting off of it.

    2. Family gets rich, Crump gets more fame and money, BLM gets a reason to protest whitey.

      Everyone wins! Oh except that dead girl.

    3. Surely there are plenty of real lynchings to report on, right? Why do they have to make one up? Weird.

  24. Kat Rosenfield tackles the Victoria’s Secret rebrand and “a culture that flattens everything from personal relationships to aesthetic taste into a political framing.”

    You mean fattens, not flattens.

  25. “Opponents of these efforts often point out that the new antitrust crusaders’ definition of monopoly is lacking, considering that consumers and businesses have plenty of options when it comes to social media and other tech services in question. Now, on the Facebook front, a federal judge has agreed.”

    The lack of predatory pricing is a serious defect. How do you argue that Facebook is abusing its monopoly power by giving its customers free services in perpetuity? The judge gave the FTC 30 days to come back with further evidence, but there isn’t anything they’re about to become aware of in 30 days that they haven’t presented already.

    The FTC wants to prosecute Facebook for a crime without any evidence that a crime was committed! There’s no dead body and no missing merchandise, so proving murder or theft is stretch.

    From a purely strategic and libertarian standpoint, if this ruling is upheld, it should be celebrated by libertarians everywhere–because it means there won’t be a consent decree in this case, and the consent decree was the Democrats’ end around the First Amendment.

    If Facebook (and other social media companies) agreed to forgo their freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of association rights in a consent decree, then the First Amendment would no longer have been a barrier to the progressives writing whatever speech codes they wanted Facebook and others to implement. Now, if Biden, the Democrats, and the FTC want to write speech codes for Facebook, they’ll need to do so under the auspices of interstate commerce–and that is not an end around the First Amendment.

    “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”

    —-First Amendment

    The courts may have found that the commerce clause has precious few limits to its scope, but if anything limits the scope of the commerce clause, surely it’s a First Amendment prohibition against Congress making laws that abridge the freedom of speech.

    Celebrate this. If the courts decline the FTC (and the Justice Department) a consent decree, they may not be able to force social media’s hand on speech by any way other than rank intimidation–and the Democrats will not be in charge of Congress forever.

    1. Social media is a market. This is proven by their market valuations.

      Facebook and Google have both been predatory on said market with buy and kills and stealing ideas from sales pitches. This is common predatory behavior.

      Just because most of these companies were predatory for investment dollars instead of sales does not mean they weren’t predatory.

      It is a bad standard issued by the judge.

      1. “Facebook and Google have both been predatory on said market with buy and kills and stealing ideas from sales pitches. This is common predatory behavior.”

        If they’ve stolen intellectual property, they should be sued by the aggrieved parties.

        That doesn’t prove they’re colluding to raise prices on consumers.

        If they’re guilty of drunk driving, murder, arson, and extortion, they should be prosecuted for those crimes, but if they aren’t raising prices on consumers, you’re going to have a hard time proving that they’re raising prices on consumers.

        This doesn’t mean Facebook isn’t an awful piece of shit, isn’t a menace to society, and isn’t the enemy of the American people. I think they’re all three of those things! However, they are not raising prices on consumers, which is apparently the bar that the FTC needed to clear.

        Hitler was a genocidal maniac who murdered millions of people on the basis of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, political affiliations, and physical handicaps. If the FTC wanted to prosecute him for raising prices on consumers, however, they would need to prove that he raised prices on consumers.

        1. That doesn’t prove they’re colluding to raise prices on consumers.

          Prices are not the only markets, only in a strict definition are prices the sole factor of markets. You can reference a market of ideas for an example.

          Likewise prices on ad buys have fluctuated wildly with them having so much market dominance.

          I just think isolating it to prices is a bad metric as these markets are a trade, information for goods. Information does have value, as these companies have proven.

          Since information can and is priced, their behaviors effect the consumer from which information they collect and sale.

          When they do things like track a user who has opted out, they are reducing the value of that person’s personal information as it is already collected without their consent. This in theory could effect the value of a person’s information at a later date. It is kind of a walk around, but describing markets solely based on price is too specific a metric.

        2. “This doesn’t mean Facebook isn’t an awful piece of shit, isn’t a menace to society, and isn’t the enemy of the American people. I think they’re all three of those things!”

          Oh, please. Facebook is primarily a site for sharing pictures of one’s kids, pets, and what one ate for dinner. There is no reason anybody NEEDS to discuss politics on Facebook.

          1. …But they do and it’s disseminated out far and wide.

            1. So, it needs to be controlled because someone might see or not see info we want them to see or not see?

              1. That’s not what he said.

          2. I haven’t muted you yet because I keep wondering if some day you will ever say something that isn’t stupid.

            Today is clearly not that day.

            Seriously. The last six years, at a minimum, have featured the federal government in a clamor about how Facebook has been a massive influence on the leadership of said government. Claiming it’s “primarily about cat pictures” at this point is either delusional or mendacious.

      2. I’ve pointed out a number of bad things I expected to come from this case–including speech codes that are bad for Republicans.

        The newly confirmed commissioner of the FTC authored the House Democrats’ report that accused Facebook of tolerating “misinformation” on their platform–as a justification for breaking them up. I believe this was the primary reason why Facebook, for instance, banned discussion of Hunter Biden’s emails and the origin of covid-19 before the election. They were planning to use this case to prevent Facebook from tolerating that kind of speech on their platform in perpetuity Seeing this judge pull the rug out from under their evil plans is a good thing for that reason alone.

        What good thing did you expect to come from the FTC suing Facebook for antitrust?

        1. I believe in two concepts here, contract theory and I’ve now deferred to Prof Volokh and his ideas of common carrier.

          The main issue I’ve ran for a year is that contracts by these companies are not honored and silicon valley judges have wrapped contract issues into Section 230, see the Meagan Murphy lawsuit. I think these companies should be liable under standard contract law. They should not have one sided ability to change terms of services on a whim. They should not be allowed to have vague terms that are undefined. And users should be able to sue them, especially the companies like YouTube that promised revenue sharing.

          Common carrier makes sense on things like Amazon’s AWS as they kicked off Parlor for a violation they allow other companies to commit. It was collusion plain and simple. Yet Parlor was unable to sue.

          Those are the main actions I endorse.

          But I also don’t endorse the vague theory that Silicon Valley is not a market.

          1. I made the case for common carrier yesterday, but I do not believe that the antitrust suits will result in that outcome.

            “Common carriers are typically required to allow open access to their services without restricting supply or discriminating among customers and in return are allowed to operate as monopolies and given protection from liability for potential misuse by customers.”

            —-Investopedia, “Natural Monopoly”

            https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/natural_monopoly.asp

            That was written about railroads and utilities, but if a social media platform is like a natural monopoly, then allowing them to operate as a monopoly–for the benefit of their customers–and protecting them from liability (for the libelous statements of its users) should be offered in exchange for them taking all comers without discriminating against any of them.

            The route to that can be through Congress, and that route has more or less introduced in “The Access Act” yesterday. The worst part about The Access Act is that they want to give rule writing and enforcement to the FTC, but unaccountable bureaucrats aren’t the solution to these or any other problems, especially when we’re talking about free speech, which should only be overseen by the users, the platforms, and the courts.

            Regardless, the way to get to what you want is not through antitrust. It’s through Congress and their power to regulate interstate commerce. The gallows they were building through antitrust was not meant to hang Facebook. It was meant to hang you.

            1. If it is so damn necessary to have a place that accepts any and all political discussion, and does no fact checking, have the Federal government set up unmoderatedchat.gov, and leave private parties alone.

              1. Facebook isn’t a private company.

                1. That is one icy slope, Senator Warren.

                  This is a tough needle to thread. The conduct of Big Tech in general and the Socials in particular is clearly pushing the bounds of acceptable behavior, and the Parler fiasco is a giant warning that the typically optimal solution simply won’t work. But just about every solution I’ve heard proposed has severe unintended consequences associated with it.

                  Applying loose public accommodation rules for all internet infrastructure companies (hosting, CDNs, etc) while specifically prohibiting the often-attendant price regulation is one idea I could get behind. Common carrier rules for Socials above a certain size might make sense as well. Both would require Congress to actually do some hard work instead of just deferring to the FTC/FCC, and they’ve been loathe to do that for at least 25 years now.

      3. Did the judge say it was not a market? Let’s look at the article shall we?

        “The FTC has failed to plead enough facts to plausibly establish … that Facebook has monopoly power in the market for Personal Social Networking (PSN) Services,” wrote Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in a June 28 opinion

    2. “because it means there won’t be a consent decree in this case, and the consent decree was the Democrats’ end around the First Amendment.”

      This is already happening though.

      1. If you’re referring to what they’re doing in Congress, what they do in Congress is repealable and unconstitutional–which means it can be declared unconstitutional in the courts.

        If you’re referring to rank intimidation by the Democrats because they control the White House, the House, the Senate, the FTC, and the Justice Department, that won’t be an issue two years from now–when the Republican retake the House and the antitrust cases are history.

        There’s a way out of this tunnel sans a consent decree. Once they enter a consent decree, it’s game over. You can’t even overturn that with the Supreme Court–if the consent decree has been entered into voluntarily.

        1. I’m referring to those examples, and also that high level employees at Facebook and Twitter are also members of this administration, and other areas of the Democrat party, depending on the day. They are colluding together to control speech for the benefit of one party.

          Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you on the consent decree, and don’t think that breaking them up using monopoly laws is going to fix anything. But it is important to acknowledge that social media giants are already suppressing speech on the behalf of the Democrats.

  26. “The FTC Fails To Prove Facebook Is a Monopoly”

    The FTC failed to convince a judge, which is not the logical equivalent of failing to prove.

    1. No, but it is the legal equivalent. Which is what matters here.

  27. reason koch gets orgasmic that one judge says something.

    1. I hope the point is coming across that the purpose of almost every antitrust action is a consent decree, and without a consent decree, the progressive will have a very hard time regulating our speech online.

      There are good reasons to celebrate this.

      It’s isn’t that we’re glad that the courts decided to protect Mark Zuckerberg’s Second Amendment rights. It’s that we care about our own Second Amendment rights, so we want the courts to protect them–even if it helps Mark fucking Zuckerberg.

      This judge is ruining the progressives’ plans to write speech codes in a consent decree for the social media industry–to include prohibitions against “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories”.
      And the judge appears to have done it on purpose, too. If he hadn’t dismissed the case before hearing it, Facebook could have signed onto a consent decree during proceedings.

      Once the hearing was underway, a consent decree was pretty much a foregone conclusion. By dismissing the case before the hearing is underway, there is no basis for a consent decree–not even if Facebook wants one.

      1. This judge is ruining the progressives’ plans to write speech codes in a consent decree for the social media industry–to include prohibitions against “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories”.

        Spot on again on this topic Ken.

        Your failure to convince the Conservatarians here is due to their own plans to write property and speech codes for the social media industry to require them to publish “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories.”

        Both sides are using anti-trust and S230 as a cudgel to get what they want. Both.

        1. I don’t think so.

          I think they’ve been treated with derision by the social media companies, and so they want to see the social media companies suffer.

          If you treat conservatives like shit, being surprised if they hate you for it is stupid.

          1. Hating someone and using the force of government to go after them are too different things. The conservatives have every right to complain publicly about being mistreated by social media. If they were to boycott it for such behaviors they would probably even get what they wanted.

            However, the line needs to be drawn at the point that they would use government force to go after them. Anti-trust laws are being used as a cudgel in that regards. S230 is being used much like a protection racket. Comply, or we’ll make your business model untenable by opening you up to countless litigation.

            1. “Hating someone and using the force of government to go after them are too different things.”

              I didn’t say it was justified.

              I said provoking someone to hate you and then pretending you’re surprised that they hate you is stupid.

              I was once waiting for a train in the subway in New York. A bum bends down to this little girl standing there with her father and says to her, “Give me some money!”. The guy hauls of and decks the bum. A cop was standing right next to me–saw the whole thing. The bum gets up and says, “Officer, did you see that? I want to press charges”. The cop looked at the bum and said, “Were you messing with his daughter?”

              The law is the law. No question about that.

              If you want a lot of sympathy, on the other hand, don’t mess with some stranger’s daughter–or you might get socked in the mouth instead of sympathy. Somebody might threaten to throw you in jail for attempting a strongarm robbery on somebody’s daughter.

              The ultimate consequences of our choices are sometimes a mystery, but this isn’t one of those occasions. If social media didn’t think treating conservatives like shit would result in them being hated by conservatives, then I don’t have much sympathy for them–regardless of what the law should be.

        2. It is amazing how you consistently misrepresent your opponents arguments Leo.

          Asking for 230 to be removed or altered to only extend to companies that use general 1A principles isn’t writing speech codes. That is a dishonest misrepresentation you’ve created because your arguments are generally puerile.

          1. No. Forcing social media companies to host speech that they don’t approve of is compelling speech. That goes against the free exercise. Compelling speech is no better, really, than restricting it.

            Forcing Facebook to host speech that they don’t like is no different than forcing a baker to make a cake that they don’t like. That Facebook is a “big guy” and the baker is a “little guy” is a distinction without a difference.

            1. 230 was created by government. If it didn’t exist, and Facebook and Twitter were honest about what was actually acceptable on their platforms and kicked off certain points of views based off that, I wouldn’t care what they did. But they didn’t. They market themselves as one thing, get millions of people to hand over personal information, then sell that information.

              That’s how they make money, through fraud. And section 230 protects them.

            2. Forcing social media companies to host speech that they don’t approve of is compelling speech.

              Again with the dishonesty. The trade would be for respecting 1A speech regulations in exchange for 230 protections. Nobody is forcing someone to take on a liability waiver if they do not wish to do so.

              If they choose to edit, let them open themselves up to lawsuits like every other industry.

              Why are you being intentionally dishonest here?

              1. There seems to be a weird belief among some here that section 230 is some sort of free market principle and not a creation of government.

              2. And specifically, a creation of government that includes the words “good faith”. Anybody that thinks Facebook and Twitter are acting in good faith are either very dumb, or very dishonest.

              3. You see it only from the side of the user. Why doesn’t Facebook specifically have a right to not be required to host speech that they deem offensive? You’ve never answered that question.

                And Section 230 simplify codifies what is common sense. Namely, that I’m responsible for the words in this post, not Reason. Reason deletes posts all the time from either banned users or known spam bots, but that in no way means that they are publishing my musings in this post. It’s ridiculous to think so and all S230 does is codify it so that Reason doesn’t have to defend that position against every idiot with an agenda to sue them.

                1. “Why doesn’t Facebook specifically have a right to not be required to host speech that they deem offensive? You’ve never answered that question.”

                  Are you being intentionally obtuse? They do have that right. They don’t have a right to lie about what is offensive in return for personal information that they sell to make money, then arbitrarily change what they deem offensive after they’ve made a profit from that information.

                  “And Section 230 simplify codifies what is common sense. Namely, that I’m responsible for the words in this post, not Reason.”

                  Section 230 specifically mentions “good faith” for moderating speech as part of this legal protection. Your examples regarding Reason fall under “good faith”. The examples regarding Facebook and Twitter are clearly not in good faith. They are partisan in favor of one political party. They should not be protected by 230.

                  1. Interesting. Leo made several posts arguing against what nobody in this thread said, then when cornered to respond to an actual argument, ran away.

      2. I hope the point is coming across that the purpose of almost every antitrust action is a consent decree

        And, unlike a plea bargain, it’s quite often a consent decree that both sides really want. The EPA is a master at financing friendly lawsuits that “force” them to do exactly what they want to do, without all that troublesome APA nonsense and questions about whether or not they actually have the authority to do what they’ve just agreed to do.

        1. The top five tobacco companies were begging for a consent decree to forgo their First Amendment right to advertise in exchange for limiting their liability. They only insisted that the consent decree be opened up to all their competitors–because they didn’t want to be the only ones who weren’t allowed to advertise.

          Zuckerberg has been openly begging regulation of speech for a very long time.

          Please don’t throw me in that briar patch!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9oWq9zIXTY

      3. “…and without a consent decree, the progressive will have a very hard time regulating our speech online.”

        The progressives are aready having a very easy time regulating speech online. Where you been?

        1. Through rank intimidation–because of the threat of antitrust among other things. That intimidation became especially intense after January 6, 2021, when the results of the runoffs in Georgia became public, and it became clear that the Democratic party and the U.S. government were one in the same thing. The social media companies were acting like any media outlet under a one party government–just like a newspaper under Putin.

          That’s why Amazon was so quick to deplatform Parler, why Twitter was so keen to deplatform Trump, why Facebook was so keen to ban “misinformation”, etc., etc. Because not only were the Democrats openly threatening to break their companies up over their tolerance of “misinformation”–before the election–but also now had the absolute power to do so. Biden appointed the author of the report break up Facebook over misinformation to commissioner of the FTC.

          Why wouldn’t that be Facebook’s primary motivation on speech once the Democratic party controlled the House, the Senate, the White House, the antitrust division of the Justice Department, and the commission that runs antitrust at the FTC?

          Come November of 2022, the Democrats will probably no longer be in control of the both the House and the Senate, and the antitrust case proceeding against Facebook and Google will be resolved one way or the other. The question is, what do you want the governing concern of social media to be on content moderation then–if it’s not intimidation by the Democratic party and fear of antitrust anymore?

          You don’t want it to be the result of a consent decree that settles the antitrust suits because the Justice Department, the FTC, Zuckerberg, and Google will write speech codes that will make it impossible to discuss things like Hunter Biden and the origin of covid-19 on social media in perpetuity. Once intimidation is no longer the driving factor, you want the regulation to be repealable in Congress and unconstitutional–so it can be struck down by the courts.

          Social media will still be around in January of 2023, and the question is what will the regulation look like? If they can’t get to a consent decree, it will look a whole lot better than it does now. If they get a consent decree, free speech as we knew it can never again be as good as it was circa 2019.

          1. “That’s why Amazon was so quick to deplatform Parler, why Twitter was so keen to deplatform Trump, why Facebook was so keen to ban “misinformation”, etc., etc.”

            It’s one theory, or one possible source of pressure. Unless you have been listening in on board rooms and hallways at Facebook, etc. you don’t actually know what you think you know.

            What you are not considering is that the leadership of these companies are known to have liberal sentiments, and may be making choices they would make in the absence of any government coercion. (And that is their right, by the way, as private companies.)

            1. Not to mention pressures they have from advertisers.

            2. Mikes usual justification of his views… his own ignorance.

              He ignores the stories of the revolving doors between SV and the DNC. Ignores the leaked emails between Biden/DNC/California and SV. He just needs more proof.

              1. And yet she was certain of so many facts on January 7th about what happened the day before. And Kyle Rittenhouse. And BLM.

                Wonder why the differences? (checks notes) Oh yeah, she’s a lefty.

          2. Did anyone else hear a squawking bird?

  28. How the critical race theory debate misses the mark.

    You’re the mark and you’re treating this garbage as if it were a serious theory, ain’t ya? I’d say it scored a bullseye.

    1. I’m starting to think of Critical Race Theory as another manifestation of busing. They introduced busing because boomer, white flight parents fled to the suburbs so their kids wouldn’t be forced into integrated schools.

      Millennial parents are fleeing to the lily white suburbs when they have kids, too, and the progressives don’t want them escaping their integration program.

      CRT and busing are both about forcing integration onto the children of parents who don’t want it, and in both cases, most of the parents who oppose it seem to be too afraid to stand up and really say why.

      1. the suburbs were created at the start of the industrial revolution when trains brought easy transportation to out side of the city. Predates school integration so it had little to do racism.

        1. White flight was to some extent the result of white people fleeing integration, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_flight

          It wasn’t just the schools being integrated either. It was the whole inner city neighborhoods, that used to be blue collar whites. Zoning decided where blacks were allowed to live, and when that went out the window, and black people started moving into areas they hadn’t been in before, lots of white people fled to the suburbs.

          Some people are extremely reluctant to maintain that people should be free to make choices for themselves if what they want to do is ugly, awful, offensive, or stupid. I have no such problems. Being tolerant means people should be free to do as they please–even if the reasons they’re doing it are awful.

          If the reason you don’t want to send your kids to a school in a certain part of town is because the reading and math scores are low on college prep tests, there’s a lot of crime in the neighborhood, and there aren’t many opportunities for gifted students, you should be free to do that. And a lot of people will cite those kinds of statistics because they’re too ashamed to say what they really think.

          If you don’t want to send your kids to a Catholic school with excellent college prep scores, no crime in the neighborhood, and excellent opportunities for your gifted kid–because you’re prejudiced against Catholics? Well, being prejudiced against Catholics is nothing to be proud of. You should be ashamed of yourself for your bigotry. But you should be free to send your kids to whatever school you want for whatever stupid reasons are important to you.

          It is unnecessary to approve of people’s motives in order to support their freedom to make choices for themselves, and I refuse to pretend that things are other than they way they are just to make progressives feel powerful, influential, and important.

          1. I thought White Flight was White Mike ignoring inconvenient facts like the fact the officer died of a stroke and not a fire extinguisher.

          2. Actually the white flight in the 60s and 70s were much more a reaction to forced busing than to voluntary housing integration. A working class couple buys a working class house 4 blocks from the local elementary and 8 blocks from the local high school. In those days most kids walked to school. I know I did. Then a federal judge decides their kids can’t walk to their neighborhood school but instead must spend an hour on the bus riding to an unfamiliar neighborhood across town. The public schools and the federal courts broke the social contract with these parents and those that could got out. And not all were white. Property values fell and people who didn’t have kids or didn’t give a shit one way or another reacted to their dismal economic prospects and got out before their property value went to zero. In the end you get Detroit.

        2. Yes, the suburbs had existed for decades and white flight had already been going on to some extent before then, but it really kicked in to overdrive in the late 60s when busing became a threat or was enacted in to law entirely. In Denver, for example, Lakewood and Wheat Ridge incorporated specifically so that they wouldn’t get absorbed into Denver Public Schools, and the Poundstone Amendment was passed in the early 70s for the same reason.

      2. Iirc they fled the urban areas after the race riots of 1968 where (1) they were demonized due to their skin color and (2) their property value was plummeting. New houses, malls, lower taxes, less crime and a better looking neighborhood all contributing factors.

      3. They introduced busing because boomer, white flight parents fled to the suburbs so their kids wouldn’t be forced into integrated schools.

        Busing ended up being a complete fucking failure, too, and for a multitude of reasons that were unique to the location where it was implemented.

        Instead of lifting up all students, the curriculums inevitably devolved to the lowest common denominator. It hollowed out neighborhoods and degraded community ties through increased distrust. It accelerated white flight to the suburbs. It allowed city and school officials to brag that they were “doing something,” hyping up the most irrelevant data sets while ignoring the general malaise that set in. Busing was, in the end, just another “Great Society”-type of social program that promised the moon and delivered a bag of flaming dog shit.

        1. It also provoke huge public reactions–sort of like the reaction we saw in Loudon County over CRT last week.

          Between 1974 and 1976, thousands of white people rioted and protested against busing in Boston alone.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_desegregation_busing_crisis#Violence

          CRT is more or less the same thing. You cannot escape our schools and our attempts to destroy racism, and if we can’t bus your kids to our schools, we’ll take over the curriculum and teach your kids what we want.

      4. CRT ain’t about integration. It’s a regressive, racist ideology that masquerades as a serious fact-based area of study.

        1. I know that’s true, but, per my comment above in response to Red Rocks, it’s being used like busing.

          Busing wouldn’t let you escape the political agenda by running to the suburbs, and CRT won’t let you hide in the suburbs either.

          We’re antiracist, and we’re coming for your children. You can’t run, and you can’t hide. California uber alles!

          1. I understand, but busing, for all its faults, was an attempt to integrate the races. CRT literally does the opposite. Literally… the opposite.

            1. Per the links to the riots associated with bussing, I don’t think that necessarily served to integrate the races either, and regardless of whether CRT actually integrates the races, I think the people who are pushing it think that’s what it’s supposed to do.

              We libertarians know that forcing people to do what we want generally fails in making them do what we want or getting the results we want. Jazz, blues, rock and roll, soul, disco, funk, and rap did more to integrate the races than forcing parents to do things against their will.

              If you want to make people resist integration, by all means force them. Teach their children shit over their objections and against their will, bus them to the shittiest part of town, and use the courts and the coercive power of government.

              We’ve done all this before. This has all happened before.

              1. All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.

  29. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gwen-berry-olympics-national-anthem-flag/

    “They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there,” Berry said. “But I don’t really want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”

    Get ready for a lot more people like this. The indoctrination from the left is directly responsible for this. Chosen to represent our country then blatantly disrespects it, and has the nerve to be offended herself that she even had to hear the anthem.

    This is what happens when you teach entitled little brats that they are owed everything, the system is racist, the system is against you, the country is evil, your skin color is everything, you are black/brown/trans whatever before you are an American. They are grooming people for a revolution in broad daylight.

    1. There’s nothing more American than speaking out. The anthem isn’t a pledge of allegiance. It’s specifically designed to elict an opinion on the state of things. If you’re not feeling it and you have integrity then you’re not going to fake it. And where is this outrage for all the rightwingers who openly flirt with secession?

      1. “…And where is this outrage for all the rightwingers who openly flirt with secession?”

        Uh, up your ass, where your head is?

      2. Then speak out with some actual balls and don’t represent the United States in the Olympics. Immigrate to Canada and try out for their team.

        This is also wildly disrespectful to the other athletes on the podium. She made the podium about her, and stole their crowning achievement. It was unsportsmanlike, selfish, and childish. I wouldn’t want her on my team.

        1. The entire thing is a spectacle. Americans have opinions. Get over it. Not only is it unamerican to demand that we all react uniformly to a pep rally song, you rightwingers are the last people to demand it because your side is chalk full of people who would like to destroy America.

          1. “The entire thing is a spectacle. Americans have opinions. Get over it…”

            Typical lefty tactic; called on bullshit so now it really doesn’t matter, right?
            You’re full of shit.

            1. Strazele (Jacob) has a little trick. He’s a stalwart defender of free speech here at Reason as long as it comports with his own.
              The second it veers into disagreement with the left, it becomes “hate” and nobody has a right to force others to listen to that using a public platform.

          2. It’s not about her disagreement. I don’t really care what she thinks.

            She’s a piss poor team mate who made the entire event about her. You know what I do when my kid is being unsportsmanlike or a piss poor team player? I pull her off the ice, because she doesn’t get to play if she can’t be a good team mate.

            The same principal should apply to Olympic athletes, and moreso, because she’s a role model.

          3. Leftists who hate the US shouldn’t be allowed to represent the US on the national stage. Like Cronut said, if the country’s anthem or its flag “doesn’t speak for you,” then you don’t have the right to speak for the country or anyone else.

            Anyway, the dumb bitch is nothing more than a bog-standard black supremacist that hates white people, and calls it that hate “love” like a typical abusive spouse.

        2. This is also wildly disrespectful to the other athletes on the podium. She made the podium about her, and stole their crowning achievement.
          ——-
          Yep. The winner actually broke the American record! Yet it’s all about 3rd place……

          1. Thord place is second loser.

      3. There’s nothing more American than speaking out.

        Agreed…

      4. Hey shit for brains, the right are not the ones setting up autonomous zones in multiple cities across the country. If you’re looking for succession, there it is.

      5. or not wanting to bake a cake right?!!!!

      6. Unless it occurs on January 6th?

    2. The whole thing is, the Olympics are supposed to be a time to set aside our differences and come together in a spirit of sportsmanship, friendly competition and unity, to show that deep inside we’re all the same. These people want a showcase to make it all about them which, being the exact opposite of the spirit of the games, seems to me would be a sufficient reason for banning them from the games. Of course, I’m pretty sure the Olympics, far from barring such displays of selfishness, actually encourages them, not being familiar with the phrase “get woke, go broke”. If the Olympics are now promoting divisiveness rather than unity, what purpose do they serve? Fuck ’em.

      1. She’s a bronze medalist. I don’t know what the rest of the Olympic competition looks like, but as a bronze medalist, she probably doesn’t have a good shot at the podium in the Olympics. She got beat by two white girls, it looks like.

        She pulling a Kaepernick, and looking for attention because she came in third, and knows no one would ever know her name otherwise. Nike will probably give her a multimillion dollar endorsement, and ignore the gold medalist.

        1. “She pulling a Kaepernick, and looking for attention because she came in third, and knows no one would ever know her name otherwise. ”

          Exactly this. She just went from essentially remaining in obscurity, to worldwide news, and I would bet money on at least 1 big endorsement.

          1. And yet, I still don’t know her name. So even in this, she failed, just like she failed at winning.

        2. You’re giving her too much credit. She’s a crazy person who thinks they played the anthem specifically to antagonize her. Everyone defending her right to this action is just enabling her.

      2. Ok dude. You’re full of shit.

        1. This from an asshole with brown eyes.

        2. How is he full of shit, Stroozle?

    3. Chosen to represent our country then blatantly disrespects it, and has the nerve to be offended herself that she even had to hear the anthem.

      I’d say that she perfectly captured the nature of our country: individualist, free… The flag that she turned her back on represents exactly her right to do so.

      1. it may be her right but there is also a right time and place for everything and it is our right to now think she is a terrible person

        1. She’s being honest. You want her to lie instead?

          1. No. She can be honest all she likes. But if she so disapproves of the US, she should not represent the US in the Olympics.

            She is also a poor athlete. She’s unsportsmanlike, childish, selfish, and unprofessional.

            Children, and adults who behave like children, need to be taught that tantrums won’t be rewarded.

          2. No. If she was honest she would admit she is being childish.

            If she doesn’t care about the anthem, then why make a stink when they played it. She thinks she was disrespected. She thinks it was done on purpose to spite her. That’s bullshit. Things didn’t happen the way SHE wanted them to so she is throwing a fit.

          3. A lot of the gangbangers I went to school with acted they were entitled to be a bunch of short-sighted, stupid shits, too. Doesn’t mean that behavior should be celebrated.

          4. She was granted the ability to compete nationally for the country and uses that as proof of racism. Yeah, not quite honesty there Jeff.

        2. Correct, you can think what you want about her. But it would be wrong for someone to be excluded from the US Olympic Team because of her political speech. Cancel culture cuts both directions. Dan Crenshaw (and any other person calling for her ouster) is wrong for trying cancel her.

          1. It’s what we do now.

          2. Stop making about her political beliefs. It’s about her demostrated behavior, which poor and unsportsmanlike.

            1. She doesn’t have a right to be on the US Olympic team, especially if she so disapproves on the US. -Cronut at 11:09 am

              Stop making about her political beliefs. -Cronut at 12:06 pm

              1. You’re pathetic, Leo.
                Your execution at the hands of leftists will be well deserved.

              2. Yeah, if it’s one thing a country deserves, it’s having someone who hates it representing it on the national stage.

                Furthermore, the USOC is a private organization–it’s not run by the government. As a principled libertarian, would you be fine with them kicking her off the team if they decided they didn’t want someone who openly hated the US and its anthem to represent the team at the Olympics?

                1. I suppose if the USOC made that part of qualifying for the Olympics then it would be ok, assuming that they truly don’t receive federal funds (I’m not sure, but skeptical of that claim).

                  It doesn’t seem any different to me in principle, though, than cancel culture, which I as a libertarian despise even though it is a free expression of association. I would like to be in a place as a country that holding and expressing any political belief doesn’t disqualify you from some tangentially related thing like your career.

                  1. Leo I think he point is why is she representing the us if she doesn’t like it. Not the bit about cancel culture – the point of the games is to represent the country you want to win. She doesn’t want that so why is she representing the us?

                    1. I don’t know why her motives matter. She wants to go to the Olympics. She is a US citizen. She was 3rd best in the hammer throw. Seems like she is uniquely qualified to represent the US in the Olympics.

                      There are a lot of things I don’t like about the US. If the pinnacle of my career was to compete in the Olympics, I would probably take any opportunity to do so.

                  2. assuming that they truly don’t receive federal funds

                    Facebook and Amazon both receive Federal Funds… odd how your views changed.

                    1. Not sure what all funding they receive, but it’s primarily incentives to build their facilities in certain localities. Either way, corporate welfare should be stopped.

                      And no, corporate welfare doesn’t mean that the government should have control of businesses. Governments give money away all the time, even to individuals. That doesn’t make us government entities or agents.

                      By the way, I looked up the USOPC funding and they aren’t federally funded at all as far as I can tell. I stand by my earlier comments… The USOPC surely should have the right to disallow this person from representing them, but that makes them no better than any other cancel culture complicit organizations. And it doesn’t make you any better than the online mob for calling on them to cancel her.

                  3. I would like to be in a place as a country that holding and expressing any political belief doesn’t disqualify you from some tangentially related thing like your career.

                    Too late.

          3. A person that explicitly rejects everything it is to be an American should not be representing the USA. Sorry, but she can vocally hate the country that gives her the freedom to be a crazy cunt in relative safety on her own time.

            1. What if she were vocal against gun laws in the US? Abortion?

              Should all Olympic athletes be drones without their own potlitical beliefs? That’s the kind of thing you would expect from the USSR or China.

              1. No they don’t have to be drones that’s not what they are saying. They are saying she can represent someone else if she doesn’t like the us not that she should compete. I know you’ll need to respond to this but that’s the jist of this and really we aren’t going to get much more out of this back and forth.

      2. She has every right to turn her back on the flag. She doesn’t have a right to be on the US Olympic team, especially if she so disapproves on the US.

        1. I didn’t know political purity was a part of the determination of who qualifies for the olympic team.

          1. Are you patholigically incapable of making an honest argument, or are you just willfully obtuse?

            People like her- and you- use these kinds of bullshit arguments to excuse bad behavior, because they- and you- think it’s okay to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and to hell with everyone else.

            1. No, snowflakes like you decide that something is “bad behavior” because it hurts your precious patriotic feelings. I don’t care if this person stands on her head during the national anthem because it’s not that important.

              you- think it’s okay to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and to hell with everyone else.

              As long as I’m not infringing on someone’s rights… um… yeah I do actually. If only there were a word for that type of thinking.

          2. If it is for the military, why not the US olympic team?

          3. Oh, is “freedom from speech but not freedom from consequences” not supposed to be a thing when it hurts left-wingers?

            1. As far as I can tell the only requirement the USOC set forth for making the hammer throw team was to finish this event in the top X number of places. It is, after all, an athletic event.

              I can imagine that if she were anti-abortion (for instance) and didn’t want to stand for a flag that represented a nation that systematically allows for murdering babies that the outrage roles would be completely reversed. That would be just as stupid to punish her for those political beliefs.

              1. Did you even bother to get past the “as far as I can tell” like with actual research?

                https://www.dailywire.com/news/us-olympic-committee-releases-protest-guidelines-clears-athletes-to-raise-fists-kneel-during-national-anthem

                “will not be sanctioned for ‘peacefully and respectfully’ demonstrating in support of social justice causes,”

                Now about that word respectfully and her media protestations afterwards accusing the USOC of essentially coordinated racism….

                1. What’s your point? Her act of not facing the flag seems to fit the bill.

                  I’ve made my position pretty clear. The USOPC of course can associate with whomever they want, just like any other private entity. Just because they legally can do something doesn’t mean they should. I think it’s stupid to simply advocate for canceling everyone over political perspectives. That goes both ways. That goes with every other private entity. Just because Google can legally deplatform people doesn’t mean they should. It also doesn’t mean I’m willing to send government in to break them up or open them up to ridiculous lawsuits because I don’t agree with their decisions.

              2. I can imagine that if she were anti-abortion (for instance) and didn’t want to stand for a flag that represented a nation that systematically allows for murdering babies

                LOL, when in actual reality has anything like this happened?

                1. Does it matter? What if it did happen?

                  1. Try living in the real world instead of fantasy-land, goofy.

      3. Def her right to do what she did. But there is a certain level of respect that is warranted when you are competing on behalf of a country.

        She theoretically has the right to burn the flag if she wants too. Does that mean if she chose to do so we should celebrate her right to protest? At the olympics, where she is representing the US.

        She can GTFO the country and go compete for someone else if she hates the US so much. She chose to act like a child, offended that she even had to hear the anthem. It’s pathetic, entitled behavior that is a mix of attention grabbing and indoctrinated hatred of the country that has given her the opportunity to compete. She deserves to be removed and nothing more.

        She didnt have to put her hand over her heart and tear up at the flag, but she should have acted like a fucking adult.

      4. “I’d say that she perfectly captured the nature of our country: individualist, free… The flag that she turned her back on represents exactly her right to do so.”

        And the team has every right to toss her off.

        1. Agreed.

          Just like Twitter and Trump I suppose… would you agree with that?

      5. I’m not actually shocked Leo thinks Americanism is victimhood and vitriol.

    4. Maybe, instead of berating her for not participating in a civic ritual, we should be asking her why she thinks the anthem does not speak for her, and how things might change to rectify that situation.

      1. they want to change the anthem f*** that BS we ain’t changing, that how you destroy history.

        1. Who is “they”? Gwen? She wants to change the anthem? Where does she say this?

          She said that the anthem “doesn’t speak for” her. Why is that? Maybe that would be a better question.

          1. No, the better question is:
            Since you do not see the US via the anthem to your liking, why are you representing the country?

            1. Why are you willing to represent systemic racism at the Olympics?

          2. It’s a song about a piece of cloth illuminated by the fires of war.

            Who doesn’t that speak for? Everyone can relate to that!

          3. The “they” is the trend of activists that behave in this way, hate the country, and want history rewritten, traditions remade, such that the whites are constantly living in a state of shame and apology for their ancestors.

            The push for Juneteenth to be “Juneteenth National Independence Day”, the coincidentally timed renewed calls for a new flag (as the old one certainly doesn’t represent Black people), the push to have the Black national anthem played at sporting events. This sort of behavior she is displaying such that even hearing the anthem is an assault on her being and she has to have a tantrum.

            The 1619 project. Revisionist fiction to reframe America as the racist pieces of shit we are.

            There is a theme. They arent hiding it.

        2. Let’s take the line “Land of the free and the home of the brave.”

          ‘Brave’ is obviously cultural appropriation from the natives who called their warriors braves. So that’s gotta go.

          ‘Land of the free’ is abhorrent if you believe people should be controlled. Freedom is anarchy. You never know what will happen. But when everyone asks permission and obeys commands we have an orderly society. So that’s gotta go.

          Could probably tear the entire poem apart.

      2. Sure. We can ask her that, while she’s riding the pine because she behaved in an unprofessional and unsportsmanlike way on the podium, and therefore is unfit to be on the US Olympic team.

      3. Because she’s a petulant child. Seriously she would not be treated better in many other places around the world but she hates this country for some minor slights or not having utopia handed to her. Fuck the entitled bitch.

      4. I don’t care about her subjective interpretation of her own failures.

    5. “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

      — Mark Twain

      1. Forcing patriotism onto people really defeats the point, doesn’t it?

        1. What the fuck do you think binds a nation together, you moron?

          1. Why should I want to be bound?

            1. Oh, I’m dealing with a “sovereign citizen” here. All your arguments can be summarily dismissed, then.

          2. Geography and economic interest?

            I’d like to say some kind of common pride in being free and independent. But I don’t think that’s working at the moment to bind the nation together.

            1. Geography and economic interest?

              That’s a strictly materialistic thesis that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny in any complex society or civilization.

      2. “Lefty shits pull irrelevant quotes out of their asses.”
        —Sevo

        1. “Anyone who doesn’t worship Trump is a lefty shit.”
          –Sevo

          1. “Anyone who doesn’t worship Trump is a lefty shit.”
            –Sevo

            Bullshit from TDS-addled lefty assholes is expected

            1. Other than not worshiping Trump, what have I ever said that makes me a leftist? Seriously. And try to come up with something that I actually said, instead of making stuff up like JesseAz.

              1. LOL. Nothing I have said about you is made up. You’re sad. Glad you can’t stop lying though.

              2. And you want an exact example?

                Go look at the 4 threads regarding Biden’s spending and guns from less than a week ago. You were here during those threads. Not one negative word about Biden or the Democrats. But you did have one comment blaming republicans.

                A few weeks ago you blamed current schooling failures on GWB and NCLB despite it being replaced a decade ago with Common Core and the schools basically being run by democrats.

                You can claim you’re neutral all you want, but your actions say differently. You couldn’t even attack Biden in a thread about him wanting to take guns. It was amazing to see.

                Sorry you are in denial.

        2. By the way, what’s irrelevant about someone proudly representing their country while not being proud their government?

          1. Does teh anthem represent the government? One think I like about the US national anthem is that it doesn’t describe the country or what it’s supposed to be beyond free and brave.
            I have long thought that reverence for flags is a bit weird, as is the patriotic ritual that accompanies every sporting event. But if you are on a national team, it seems appropriate and it’s hardly as if the Star Spangled Banner is challenging politically (unless you are against freedom, bravery and fighting the British).

            1. Good point. Didn’t think of it that way. As an Olympian you do represent the flag. I stand corrected.

    6. I recall the Czech gymnast that held her head in shame while on the podium when the Soviet anthem was played. This was just after Soviet tanks rolled into Prague. Today’s snowflakes have it so bad. /sarc

    7. Update:

      Puma sponsorship and new commercial:

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-2448237/Video-Activist-Athlete-Olympic-thrower-Gwen-Berry-partners-Puma.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490

      At least affirmative action is alive and well. The two white people better than her got no fame or notoriety, she got national attention, TV commercial, new sponsorship. Im sure more commercials, late night TV circuit, talk shows and the works are next.

      Feel sorry for those two who had the audacity to be better than her with white skin.

      1. Also the Kaep playbook at its finest. Cant perform? Cry racism and social justice. You might not get to play, but youll make bank

  30. Scientists say they’ve developed a blood test that can detect Alzheimer’s disease with over 96 percent accuracy.

    Call it the Biden Rule.

  31. California has added five more states (Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia)to those “which it is restricting government-financed travel because of laws deemed to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity,”

    Can those states send their invasive Californians back?

    1. I am so glad FL finally made the list. Things should calm down here now.

  32. The delta variant of COVID-19 is giving public health authorities a new reason excuse to ramp up recommendations.

    FTFY.

    1. Guess they don’t know SleepyJoe is planning on celebrating our “independence from the China virus”.

  33. Today in content moderation mishaps:

    Content moderation mishaps are the first amendment of the Internet. Oh, and “mishap”… lol.

    That reminds me, in other content moderation “mishaps”, Facebook denied section 230 protections in sex-trafficking lawsuit.

    Facebook moved to dismiss all claims against it contending that they were barred by section 230 of the “Communications Decency Act,” which protects interactive computer service providers such as Facebook from being held liable for any information provided by its users.

    However, the Texas Supreme Court denied Facebook’s motion saying that section 230 does not “create a lawless no-man’s-land on the Internet.” The court further explained that section 230 protects internet platforms from being held accountable for their users’ words or actions, but “[h]olding internet platforms accountable for their own misdeeds is quite another thing.” Thus, the court held that section 230 did not bar the plaintiffs’ statutory claims against Facebook.

  34. The delta variant of COVID-19 is giving public health authorities a new reason to ramp up recommendations. For instance, “the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is recommending that all residents wear masks in public indoor spaces — regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19,” the Los Angeles Timesreports. This comes despite the fact that “officials have said the available vaccines appear to offer strong protection” against the delta variant. For now, the recommendations remain voluntary.

    Remember when this was warned about and the people warning about it were called conspiracy theorists? Two weeks to flatten the country.

  35. “Facebook closed the trading day with a market cap of $1,008,404.77, according to Dow Jones Market Data, becoming just the fifth U.S. company to cross the $1 trillion valuation threshold.”

    That’s not a trillion.

  36. None of this shit matters anymore.
    We have a parasitic ruling class who wields total institutional power and is actively subjugating or eliminating the entire population so that even the tiniest threat to their dominion will be rendered impotent.
    This is early 20s Russia, 30s Germany, 60s China, etc.
    It will require physically fighting, or all is lost.

    1. Like it or leave it?

      1. Or just stand and turn your back, am i right?????

      2. “Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

  37. Who wants California bureaucrats traveling 5o their state any how?

    Also, why does California’s political class think it has the right to dictate the legislation of other states? The California Democrat Party does not buy into federalism.

  38. Isn’t it obvious who rules the political class in California?

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