Free Speech

Are Newsletters the Future of Free Speech?

Substack's Hamish McKenzie on censorship, discourse, and Joe Rogan.


"Society has a trust problem," Substack co-founders Hamish McKenzie, Chris Best, and Jairaj Sethi declared in a joint statement late January. "More censorship will only make it worse."

Substack, a leading online newsletter company that publishes the likes of polarizing journalist Bari Weiss, Brown University economist Emily Oster, COVID-19 contrarian Alex Berenson, and lefty iconoclast Glenn Greenwald, was reaffirming its hands-off approach to content moderation at a moment of intense pressure to "deplatform" controversial voices. That same week, rocker Neil Young accused Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan of spreading pandemic misinformation and demanded that the platform remove his songs if it continued to offer Rogan's show; days later, the White House urged Spotify and all other media companies to be more "vigilant" in policing public health news and commentary.

"As we face growing pressure to censor content published on Substack that to some seems dubious or objectionable," McKenzie and his partners wrote, "our answer remains the same: we make decisions based on principles not PR, we will defend free expression."

Those principles have been good for business thus far. Since launching in 2017, Substack has grown to more than a million paying subscribers, boasts a valuation of $650 million, and has drawn venture capital funding from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz. The company's pitch to writers is seductive: You set a couple of subscription tiers (the most common price points are $5 a month and free), you let Substack facilitate the payment processing in return for a 10 percent cut, and then all the customer information and content is owned not by the platform but by the creators, who can leave at any time. In 2021, flush with investment money, Substack began a "Substack Pro" program of cash enticements to lure name writers away from imploding media organizations or their own unpaid blogs, including Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone and Matthew Yglesias from Vox. Of late, the company has taken an interest in breaking into the lucrative podcasting biz, poaching Jesse Singal and Katie Herzog's Blocked and Reported from the market-leading Patreon payments service. (It may soon also sign a deal with The Fifth Column, which Reason's Matt Welch co-hosts with Kmele Foster and Michael Moynihan.)

McKenzie, Substack's chief operating officer, is a technology journalist by training, having worked for PandoDaily and written the 2018 book Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution To End the Age of Oil. Like his co-founders, McKenzie believes fervently that the independent-operator newsletter and podcasting model, as opposed to the cheap conflicts of social media and industrial neuroses of legacy journalism outlets, is the way out of a news and political conversation that has become distrustful and coarse. "We started Substack to improve discourse and help restore financial dignity to writers and help readers take back their minds," he says.

Welch spoke with McKenzie in San Francisco this February.

Reason: When journalists dream of making a new startup—newspaper, website, whatever—there's always this special idea that this will be the one where all our favorite writers will actually all get rich, too. Did you find the secret code of being a journalist who started a company that actually makes journalists money?

McKenzie: I'm relieved that there is something that can work. I feel like writers in the last couple of decades especially, but maybe forever, have been undervalued by the economy, considering how much value they give to the world. So it's nice to see some momentum on that front.

Substack is very open about being anti-algorithm. Is there something fundamental to the advertising model that impels the algorithm?

We're not strictly anti-algorithm. Algorithms are like equations, right? They appear all over the place and do different things. But we're very skeptical about the consequences of organizing the media ecosystem around engagement.

You guys have said that algorithms as used by Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter produce and incentivize cheap conflicts.

I don't think it's the algorithms that do that; it's their business models. These artificial intelligences arise to maximally serve the business model. The thing that the business model needs is total monopolization of your attention. Then the way that they do that is by creating these addictive experiences that amplify the most engaging stuff.

Often the most engaging stuff is not the stuff that's necessarily conducive to sharing a common understanding of the world or encouraging good faith discussion or sharing factual material. It's what's provocative, what's contentious, what divides us. That is a thing that's broken in the world.  We want to provide an alternative.

But most of your largest and certainly most controversial signups are people who came from conflict-world on Twitter and other places. And they're still there, as a matter of fact: Glenn Greenwald, Bari Weiss.

There's an overlap between the people who are doing well on Substack and those who know how to play the game on Twitter and Facebook. If that becomes a long-term thing where the only people who can succeed on Substack are the people who are good at playing that game, we would not feel like we've done our job.

But even for those who are the good brawlers in the social media world, the quality of discussion and argument that you see on Substack is very different to what you see on Twitter. There's reward on Twitter for these performative arguments and outrage—instant reactions, pithy retorts, one-liners, takedowns. Whereas in Substack, you are forced to defend your positions more. You're held to account by readers who are willing to argue with you at length in comment sections or writers who are willing to take you on, but not in a tweet in front of the whole world, in a different post, where the heat was taken out of the conversation a little bit.

Substacks are in these quieter spaces. You are reading in an environment where there's not a whole lot of gunfire going on around your ears, and in the background you as the reader are having this more focused reading experience where you have more time to stop and think. I'm not pretending that Substack is completely insulated from the drama of social media. But I do think that the discourse that is happening on Substack is a massive improvement from the discourse that's happening on social media.

Your profile, whether it's intentional or not, is that you're champions of free speech within the world of online media. You state a lot of foundational liberal values, including in that statement about censorship you made in January. How did those shared values shape the way the company was formed?

We started Substack to improve discourse and help restore financial dignity to writers and help readers take back their minds—an alternative to the attention economy. For those things to all be true, you need to create a space that is accommodating for a broad range of views and for genuine discussion, and to not have a company sitting at the top that appoints itself as the referee of what's acceptable.

So we do hold those values. They're reflected in the design of the system, which is that writers are in charge. They make money through subscriptions, which are trust relationships. They have to live up to the contracts they have with their readers. They have to respect and reward the attention and trust of their readers.

Substack in turn has to respect and reward the attention and trust of the writers. Writers own everything on Substack. They own their mailing lists. They own their content. They own their [intellectual property]. They could take all of that with them at any time. It's not like Twitter, where you can't leave Twitter and take all your Twitter followers with you.

That puts us in a good position. It's a difficult position, because we can't just lock the doors and keep everyone locked inside the house—we have to keep people by proving that we are worthy of their trust, that we add a lot of value.

There's tons of internal pressure at Spotify, at least among the lower-ranking employees, to do something about Joe Rogan. How do you design a corporate culture so that you're not faced with revolts from 25-year-olds who have different points of view about this than some of us old fogies?

Yeah, that's…a unique challenge of this time.

Very delicately said.

Well, we're very careful with hiring. We want to make clear what our values are, which is why we write things and publish them, explaining our stances and positions, and then hire people who are on board with that philosophy. So being careful of the hiring on that front to make sure that people know what they're joining here, what they're signing up for, and what they're speaking for as well—that's the place to do it.

We take a hands-off stance on content moderation, not because we are free speech absolutists to the death but because we genuinely think that is the best way to foster a healthy discourse.

The alternatives—the positions that are being argued by people who advocate for a more interventionist approach—in our view seem to be making the problem worse. If your only focus is misinformation, we don't think it should be. We think your focus should be actually more about trust in society and what can be done to restore and bolster trust.

But even if your only position was that misinformation is the problem, then the things that you are currently doing to fix misinformation are having the opposite effect. Because you're eroding trust, you're creating more of a misinformation problem.

Speaking of the erosion of trust, COVID-19 has been a big inflection point for the media. How has that affected what you've done?

COVID has brought a lot of madness into the world, which has meant that some of the pressures from online chatter are more intense and difficult to deal with. But it is also like a steel rod in your back, when you can see that there is madness. It's only more important, then, to stay as levelheaded as you can, and as cleareyed as you can, and stick to your principles.

COVID also introduced a lot more financial precarity into the world, especially in media. People who might have previously felt secure in their media jobs are more interested in looking at the alternatives, other ways of making money, other ways of connecting with their audiences, more aware that their newspaper or magazine might close at any moment.

We've certainly seen a ton of demand for COVID-related content. Your Local Epidemiologist, by Katelyn Jetelina, has been one of the rocketship success stories of Substack. Eric Topol has been doing his work on Ground Truths on Substack. All these voices who are being thoughtful and smart about COVID writing—they're getting a ton of attention and a ton of play.

It felt like the media business was suffering a self-inflicted nervous breakdown after the George Floyd protests came up in 2020. A whole bunch of people, including people who are now on Substack, lost their jobs or felt pressured out by the conformity at big preexisting media institutions. Those moments seem to be made for you.

It's not just COVID. It's not just the Floyd protests. It's this moment in the culture—and the moment has now been quite extended—where in certain institutions there's more conformity of viewpoint. Whenever there's that kind of culture, there's an opportunity for the counterculture. Substack is where the counterculture is happening right now.

How do you then prevent yourself from being reactionary or anti-conformist?

We've been lucky. Since the early days of Substack, people from all walks of the political spectrum have seen value in the Substack model. It's not a model that says you can only succeed if you're from the left wing or the right wing. It's agnostic in that sense.

You're not agnostic in picking people. Surely you're picking people, especially in the Pro program, who can be worth the investment. You're putting a bit of a gamble on them, and not just a gamble of "Will they earn it back?" but "Will they stay?" after you've given them a nice year. That's a conscious decision; you're choosing that person. To what extent are you thinking in terms of balancing a diverse array of voices?

It's much more a question of what is smart business-wise. Does this person have a devoted audience? Are they writing about something that people want? Are they writing about issues that are not well-covered elsewhere? Do they have a certain voice?

In the early days—this was true as well before Pro came into it, before we had any money to spend to help writers make the leap—I was on the phone and emailing people every day from all walks of life to just encourage them to think about Substack. We consider that seeding the ecosystem and getting people to learn about and fall in love with Substack, and we want that to not just be a group that represents one ideology or represents one particular position in the world. It's not totally purist agnostic, but I would argue it's not an editorial effort.

I was involved in the second wave of blogging. After 9/11, Henry Copeland started the Blogads company and said, "Can we try to monetize this?" People were always talking about micropayments, but it wasn't quite congealing. In fact, a lot of people that you have got their starts in that era. Greenwald was a semi-early blogger. Andrew Sullivan too.

My intellectual upbringing is in that era. We are big fans of that era of blogging, which is why I love this. I think it's not much of a coincidence that a lot of the voices who were prominent in those days are now prominent on Substack.

So what is the thing that finally unlocked that model? What made it physically possible to suddenly get into almost an affinity economy, where readers and podcast listeners want to declare their affection for a voice and have a mechanism to do it?

We're a beneficiary of timing. When Greenwald was in his Salon and pre-Salon days and Yglesias was blogging in college, people weren't going to pay for content.

When Spotify came along, people were wondering, "Are people going to pay for music?" And Netflix before that. I think people getting comfortable paying for content online just became clear and obvious at a certain point, probably not long after Netflix switched from DVDs to streaming. And then people supporting creative people who they love became a proven thing largely, I think, because of Patreon. That was not something that was really happening before. You weren't paying individual writers you love and artists you love and podcasters you love. Patreon proved that people are willing to support creators they love or trust.

Then people started losing faith in media, and many smart people became turned off by the experience of social media—feeling bad after spending all their time reading a news feed or reading a stream of tweets, and longing for something better.

An old-media criticism of you is: "Is it really so great for the media industry to have a bunch of people in their silos doing their little thing here, and there's no common experience?" That this isn't good for journalism.

There are already newsrooms on Substack succeeding: The DispatchThe Bulwark, and Persuasion. They use editors and have art departments and legal support and that kind of thing. There's no reason that newsrooms can't succeed on Substack. It's easier than ever to start a media company because of Substack. I encourage more people to think about trying it.

The other thing is: We recognize that once you're independent, you're a sole operator and you don't automatically get some of those benefits that you might have gotten before. Substack wants to provide some of the infrastructure and support structure and help make you less alone. So we've introduced programs like Substack Defender, which is a legal support program to help you get pre-publication review on touchy stories, or respond to a cease-and-desist letter from someone who's trying to intimidate you, or gain access to Getty Images or access to designers. We have a health insurance program. These are mostly in the pilot phase, but as we learn more, we scale them out to more writers. So we are getting better at making it work for more people.

I think we're going through a rebuilding phase here. Substack simplifies things. It breaks things down to the atomic relationship between reader and writer. You can call it "unbundling," and lots of people do. It doesn't mean that's its forever state. This ecosystem has been around only four years, barely that. I'm confident that there is going to be an economy that develops around platforms like Substack and that there will be rebundling that gives rise to new types of media organizations that are better than anything that came before. There's nothing in physics that says that's not possible, but there's limited imaginations that might stop people seeing that.

You've already been under some pressure about stuff that you run or people that you have. What is that pressure, where's it coming from, and what is a worry about that going forward?

The perpetrators of that pressure come from all aspects of society, all over the political spectrum. I think that's a sign of the time we live in. We're quite determined to not let that become a distraction.

We are seeing society coming apart at the seams a little bit. We are seeing tensions being high. We're seeing people cease to understand each other. I think a large part of this nervousness is because people look at Substack and think "Here's the next Facebook thing or the next Twitter thing. We know that those systems have all these problems and we're not going to let those mistakes happen again." But that take misses that Substack is actually not very much like Facebook or Twitter at all. We're the antithesis.

You still have guidelines that you presumably enforce. Have you ever taken a creator and said, "You've consistently violated our guidelines against promoting illegal activity"? What's the amount of hands-on moderation that you've done?

We do have content guidelines that protect us and protect the platform at the extremes. You can't threaten to kill people or encourage others to go out and kill people. You can't do porn either, actually. If you're looking for Substack to be the total hands-off purists, we're going to disappoint you on the porn question. We stick closely to those narrowly defined things in the content guidelines, and it's not a culture that we want to let seep beyond those.

Why no porn? Why do you hate freedom?

If Substack was a place for porn, then very quickly it could become known as just the place for porn. That's not the kind of ecosystem we're trying to build. We're trying to build something more focused on discourse than whatever porn achieves.

If you're successful enough, you're going to be hauled in front of Congress to explain why you have Alex Berenson or whomever on your site. It's going to be a constant pressure. Do you think you'll be immune to that? Do you think architecturally somehow you've protected yourself?

Those problems are going to increase and intensify as we get bigger, as more things of consequence happen on Substack. It's unavoidable. But I do think that the flavor of problems that we experience will be qualitatively different to the ones we've seen on the giant social media platforms. This is a system where the discourse and temperature are a lot calmer and lower heat. And it might take some time for people to come to that understanding. Once people get around to realizing that, it'll be clear that this is a much better architecture. It doesn't mean that we're not going to have any of those problems, but it's going to be different than social media because we consciously designed Substack to be an alternative to the attention economy.

We talked about Joe Rogan. What is the lesson of the Spotify kerfuffle? What is he teaching old-media people who are freaking out about him, new-media people who are creating their own things, Substack, etc.?

I think one really important lesson is that you should own your audience, have a direct relationship with your listeners or your readers, have them on a mailing list. That makes you indestructible.

This interview has been condensed and edited for style and clarity.

NEXT: SCOTUS Could (and Should) Strike Down California's Animal-Rights Law

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  1. I guarantee that Team D will come after substack. Team D hates the idea of free minds, unfettered discourse and human autonomy.

    1. They threw Charles Schenk in jail back in 1919 for a newsletter. What's old will become new again.

      1. Unicorn, you're right.

        Phuck Phil Murphy! Now the guy wants to teachers to 'groom' children through second grade with his gender identity bullshit. Un-fucking-real.

        1. Yeah, saw that. There's been a lot of coverage of the school districts in Vermont over this. They actually have livestreams online that show them practically admitting to grooming students. Karlyn Borysenko has been reviewing them in their entirety on her Youtube page.

          Things moved from from the Gay Men's Chorus singing "We'll convert your children" last year.

          1. Karlyn Borysenko

            HAH! That sounds like a fuckin' Russkie name to me! Clearly this whole "groomer" thing is just more Putinese Maldismisinformation!

            (Just in case it was somehow unclear... that was sarcasm, although I am specifying because I wouldn't be surprised at all to see that statement advanced unironically.)

            1. Sounds Ukrainian actually…though there are plenty of Russians with Ukrainian names thanks to Catherine the Great’s deportations.

              1. Her husband is from Ukraine.

          2. practically admitting to grooming students

            Sure. They're all pedophiles.

            This is ridiculous.

            1. Refute it then!

              If it's as ridiculous as you say, it ought to be easy. Otherwise you acquiesce in the charge by refusing to counter it. Idiots like me who don't care enough to research it myself will see the lack of rebuttal as a good indication that maybe it's correct.

              1. That elementary school teachers are all pedophiles? Seriously?

                1. At least sympathetic to it.

                2. “all”

                  Low effort dishonesty today Lying Jeffy.

                  1. I caught that too. He's not called Lying Jeffy for nothing.

                3. Know many pedophobic gradeschool teachers?


                    "Liking kids" =/= "Wanting to have sex with kids"

                    1. How is saying that "pedophilia is a problem in education", equivocation? It's not.

                      You're really just phoning in your fifty-centing today, huh.

                    2. If you want to talk to a three year old about sex, you have a problem.

                    3. Who wants to talk to a three-year-old about sexual intercourse? Who are these people?

                    4. You know exactly who, Jeffy. You're far too gone to play dumb.


                    5. "Liking kids" =/= "Wanting to have sex with kids"

                      Good that you learned how to use Wikipedia. Now learn English/Greek.

                      I didn't equate pedophilia with sex with kids. You didn't say sex, you said pedophile. 'ped' being greek for 'child' and 'phile' actually meaning a platonic or fraternal love rather than agape or eros. All of them are philes, except the phobes (if any).

                      It's entirely possible to be a pedophile without having sex with children. If you think I equated philia with sex, that's on you.

                4. All was never the claim. You continue to not refute it. Be serious. Show examples of lies. Don't just assert that your strawmen are not serious.

                  1. Lying Jeffy is inherently dishonest. He’s not interested in using actual facts to demonize the enemies of the left. All while claiming he’s not a leftist.

                  2. You're totally right. The entirety of the Burlington, Vermont school district is composed of pedophiles.

                    Maybe you could ask Unicorn Abbatoir what *precisely* he meant with his claim that they "practically admitted" they were pedophiles.

                    What I found is this link, which is I think the one that UA is referring to:


                    (If that isn't the link, then blame UA for not providing any citation whatsoever and making me have to hunt for it.)

                    In this link, you have the horrifying admissions that:

                    * a middle school student revealed that he came out in 5th grade with the assistance of their school guidance counselor

                    * middle school students were asked to introduce themselves along with their preferred pronouns

                    * the Gender Unicorn was introduced as a teaching device for issues of gender identity

                    none of which constitutes "a desire to have sex with children".

                    The "grooming" accusation is just yet another childish and offensive way for the online activist right to insult the people they don't like, this time by accusing them of a horrible crime like child abuse.

                    By the way, what I found the creepiest of this entire thing was that Karlyn is publishing these unredacted school Zoom lessons, including the complete names of children as they appear in the Zoom session, and in some cases their faces, and weaponizing these school lessons for her "Unwoke Army" activism. It's bad enough that kids had to suffer through Zoom lessons through the pandemic, now their *required* participation in them is being published all over the Internet without their permission and in the service of this lady's agenda. If I were one of these children's parents I would be furious at Karlyn for doing this.

                    1. Nobody: All teachers are pedophiles.

                      Lying Jeffy: All teachers?

                      Alphabet: Nobody said all.

                      Lying Jeffy: You're totally right. The entirety of the Burlington, Vermont school district is composed of pedophiles.

                      Fucking psychopath shit right there.

                    2. It's because he's got nothing else, so he goes to Appeal to Ridicule.

                      Person A: At one time in prehistory, the continents were fused together into a single supercontinent, which we call Pangaea.

                      Lying Jeffy: So you believe that hundreds of millions of years ago, some giant alien laser cut through the Earth and broke it apart.

                5. All elementary school teachers are actually secretly Satanists who torture and kill the Christian babies, and then drink their blood, in secret rituals! Now that I (and the MAGA-hat-wearing mouse in my pocket) have made this accusation... It is up to the dis-believers (of my obviously True Statement of course) to disprove our accusations!!!

                  1. NEEDS MOAR LIZARD PEOPLE!

            2. Did you see the video he’s talking about, or are you just criticizing this because you don’t want it to be true?

              1. Jeff doesn’t click on just some random links, he’s far too superior to us for that.

                1. I don't click on anything that R Mac or Jesse or Mother's Lament provide that is for sure. I muted them long ago. They are not worth the effort or time. I refuse to click on their links not because I disagree with them politically, but because they have demonstrated by their character that they are just garbage people. Just look up and down this discussion. Those three trolls have responded to almost every single comment that I wrote. It is because they exist to stalk and troll people. I'm not going to feed the trolls and I don't care how meticulously researched whatever links that they provide, I am not going to read it.

                  1. I don't click on anything that R Mac or Jesse or Mother's Lament provide that is for sure.

                    You're actually boasting about this.? Everything I've posted has been from a research paper or mainstream source. Your only reason for refusing to click is because they expose your dishonesty and it makes you angry.

                    "I muted them long ago"

                    You've actually responded to me here in this very thread. You certainly like to think you're tricking people, huh?

            3. Sure. They're all pedophiles.

              Apparently, it takes a village to raise a Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, Jeff Epstein, or Hunter Biden...

            4. You’ve picked a weird hill to die on jeff.

              1. I am absolutely opposed to falsely smearing a large number of people with horrible crimes like child abuse, for no reason other than to play childish games. It is evil and wrong.

                1. No. You're carrying water for pedophiles because you believe it helps the Democratic Party somehow.
                  Time and time again, whether Disney or the Biden administration you've been given proof of culpability.

          3. By the way, I also found this on Karlyn Borysenko's substack:


            When you play psychological games with people, you make them angry. When you make them angry, they make mistakes. They show their true colors and reveal their true intentions.

            That could describe half the commenters here. Only wanting to play psychological games on people in order to make them mad. I believe the Internet term for that tactic is called "trolling".

            1. Agreed. Lying constantly is a form of trolling. You should stop.

            2. Only half: Not all? My, your standards are slipping.

              1. There are some who make good-faith arguments.

                And then there's Mother's Lament, R Mac, Jesse, Nardz, and the rest of the trolls.

                1. Ohh, I’m on another list!

                2. I'm number 1!
                  Suck it Jesse.

                  Anyways, we're all "trolls" now for refuting chemleft's ActBlue talking points. How pathetic.

                  1. Color me green with envy.

                  2. No fair. I wasn't even on today.

            3. So people refuting your bullshit stories and accusations is now "trolling" according to you?

              You're so pathetic, Jeff.

            4. Like when the Mean Girls all gang up and call a commenter fat, even though they’ve never met said commenter, and would have no way to know his BMI.

              Just childish, mean-spirited games. Curiosly, all coming from Trump apologists.

              1. Everyone who lays waste to your partisan idiocy is just being "mean", huh.

              2. Ok, fatty.

              3. I asked Jeffy if he was fat and he said he was.

              4. Jeff mentioned in a comment years ago that he was overweight you dumb motherfucker.

                1. I did? Can you provide said comment? Because I never did.

                  1. I asked you if you were fat and you said yes.

            5. Only wanting to play psychological games on people in order to make them mad. I believe the Internet term for that tactic is called "trolling".

              If you do the exact same thing on a non-psychological entity or with non-psychological motives, it's called stress or failure-mode testing.

              1. Or, if you're John Money, the patron saint of transgenderism, it makes you a legend in a field in spite of being a horrifyingly terrible man.

      2. What's old will become new again.

        Welcome to web 3.0; newsletters.

        Marvel at our unprecedented freedom of speech. Gone are the pages-long, Holocaust-denying Neo-Nazi manifestos written by the socially inept on the not-so-hidden corners of Usenet, the lurking explicit photos that had to be prevented in order to save K-3 internet denizens from inadvertent sexualization. Now reputable journalists are mostly free to talk about edgy topics like "Women are women." and "We shouldn't teach kindergarden-age girls they're boys." to a narrow and secluded community of subscribers. You can practically feel the freedom and tolerance radiating through the keyboard. Thank God we've got S230 to make the internet ever more free. If only we'd been able to pass NN along with it, true social unification as equals could've been achieved.

        1. "Thank God we've got S230 to make the internet ever more free."

          Casually Mad has come around, and sees the truth! Hoo-Ray for Casually Mad!

          (I'd say a minor tweak is needed... Thank GOVERNMENT ALMIGHTY that we've got S230 to make the internet ever more free" is more accurate in today's day and time! But not to quibble too much here...)

          1. "Thank GOVERNMENT ALMIGHTY that we've got S230 to make the internet ever more free"

            "War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength."

            1. EXACTLY in THIS spirit, MarxistMammaryFuhrer says "freedom of owning your own property (to include your own web site) is slavery"!

              1. Who owns Google and Facebook, Sqrlsy?

                Obama: ‘Google, Facebook Would Not Exist’ Without Government Funding

                1. MarxistMammaryFuhrer owns Google and FacePoooo (in Her Own Perfect Mind) 'cause SHE wants to boss them around, WITHOUT owning 51% (or more) of their stock! HONEST (non-Marxist) power pigs know and acknowledge that the HONEST way to boss companies around, is to OWN THE FUCKING STOCK, Power-Pig Bitch! (Obama making Marxist noises does NOT justify YOUR Marxist noises, Perfect Power Pig! Two wrongs don't make a right! Never has, never will!)

                  1. The shiteater brought up poo again. How predictable.

                    1. Some folks are intelligent, well-informed, and benevolent enough to competently discus ethics, morality, and politics. Others? They literally know how to talk shit, and little if anything else!

                  2. Who owns a majority of Google and Facebook stock through banks and mutuals, Sqrlsy. I'll give you a hint, it rhymes with RackBlock and it's run by DNC actors.

                    If you were honest you'd be alarmed.

                    1. Banks and mutual funds are owned by INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEINGS, and it is Evil and Marxist for Perfect Power Pigs like YOU to PRETEND to speak for them, without their permission, Perfect Power Pig! Now go ye and BUY YE THE STOCKS before bossing them around!

                      WHY is this SOOOO hard for ye to understand?

                    2. Those particular banks and mutual funds are owned by Blackrock you fucking moron. Go ahead and try to tell me that it's owned "by INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEINGS".

                      I can't tell if you're ignorant of what Blackrock is, or just being retarded.

                    3. "Who is BlackRock owned by?
                      Laurence D. Fink is Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock. He and seven partners founded BlackRock in 1988, and under his leadership, the firm has grown into a global leader in investment and technology solutions."

                      Says The Google... a "FIRM" is owned by (and consists of) INDIVIDUAL... HUMAN... BEINGS... Can YOU say "INDIVIDUAL... HUMAN... BEINGS..."? What are YOU stoned on today, self-righteous Perfection maybe? Do you want to accuse these folks of NOT being "INDIVIDUAL... HUMAN... BEINGS..."? Of being... WITCHES, maybe? Or vote-stealing Demon-Craps who need to be BURNED? You want to kill them and steal their properties, EVIL ass ass usual, Evil Property-stealing Marxist?

                    4. Fink is the CEO you fucking moron. If you don't know the difference between an administrator and an owner then you're part of the problem.

                    5. Also note that "...the firm has grown into a global leader in investment and technology solutions."

                      They help to invest OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY, self-righteous greedy Marxist! If YOU think that Blackrock is evil, PERSUADE THEIR CUSTOMERS of this, and come up with BETTER services for them! Otherwise, shut Your Perfect Trap and shut DOWN Your Perfect Attempts to goad the crowds of rabble into using Government Almighty to implement Marxism and control of ALL of our shit, via self-righteous snits of the "Right People" (Which ALWAYS seems to include MarxistMammaryFuhrer).

                      Smart people like me (and even half-smart people) SEE what You are trying to do here, Marxist rabble-rouser!

                    6. "Fink is the CEO you fucking moron."

                      So does this PROVE that Fink owns ZERO stock in Blackrock? If so, citation please! Stockowners own the company, ya know! Or are Marxists not aware of this?

                    7. "SQRLSY One
                      April.10.2022 at 3:05 pm
                      'cause SHE wants to boss them around, WITHOUT owning 51% (or more) of their stock!"

                      By your own argument he has to own 51%. And if Fink owned half of BlackRock he'd have $5 trillion of its $10 trillion in assets, making him richer than most countries. The United States Gross Domestic Product for 2012 was $15.68 trillion.
                      Elon, Bezos and Gates don't even own 1% of that.

                    8. "PERSUADE THEIR CUSTOMERS of this"

                      It doesn't have customers you stupid fuck. It's not like a bank, butcher shop, insurance company or bicycle manufacturer.

                      It has partners, like the World Economic Forum, the United Nations and the World Bank. It's part of your government almighty.

                    9. Blackrock has stock and investors, stupid liar!


                      Fink is CEO so Fink gets to make decisions on behalf of the stockholders, and YOU (Marxist) want to make the decisions WITHOUT having been picked by ANYONE besides Your Perfect Self, and your gullible gangsters, as You might be able to hornswoggle!

            2. I can't/won't read the post but the quote "Thank GOVERNMENT ALMIGHTY that we've got S230 to make the internet ever more free" indicates to me A) it's probably SqrlsyOne and B) he's growing progressively more enfeebled.

              To the point that when I say "Thank God S230 makes the internet better than it ever was." he doesn't refute the satire that the internet is better than it ever was, he refutes the source as though, in my satire, I was being earnest that God was the source of S230.

              Whatever narrative he had, he's completely lost it.

      3. "They threw Charles Schenk in jail back in 1919 for a newsletter. What's old will become new again."
        The spirits of John Adams and Abraham Lincoln agree and applaud.

        1. Thanks! But I MUCH prefer the spirits of Jack Daniels!

          1. We know sarc.

            1. The spirits of Jack Daniels are roiling over in my tummy! Yummy in my tummy!

              1. I had Jack Daniels in a bottle….Why’d ya let him out?!

    2. In McKenzie's shoes, I'd be pretty excited at the prospect of Congress insisting that I be given the opportunity to come insult them directly to their faces live on C-Span.

      "I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, which is that every member of this body is in violation of their oaths of office, guilty of treason, and should be hanged for their crimes, so help me God."

    3. Maybe, but I export my subscriber list multiple times a week. If Substack disappeared tomorrow I could still write to my readers and simply pop up somewhere else. There's nothing about Substack from a technological point that makes it unique.

      1. You just described what makes it unique.

        1. It's an e-mail list. That was one of the first internet 'inventions'.

          1. Dee’s not very bright.

    4. The minute they take an PE or VC money it is over. These hedge funds are all run by NYC Ivy League types who will mandate giving their NYC and/or Ivy League woke far leftie buddies VP jobs there. That is how FB and Twitter are run by authoritarian censors today. Not a fing penny from the Fed's commie little children. Fund yourself with your clients not with Wall Street scum bags.

      1. While I'd like to disagree... well, that OTHER site was trying to go public and suddenly all the sex workers, the ones everyone goes there for, were going to be banned.

        Seriously, if only fans considered banning the only fans that are paying anyone any money because of investors, I could definitely see substack's investors trying to kill their goose, too.

    5. I think Team D hates the idea of idiots being misled and conned by grifters. But go on.

      1. Hahahahahahahahahahaha

      2. Can you point out to us where this has happened? Why do you support censorship?

  2. "Well, we're very careful with hiring. We want to make clear what our values are, which is why we write things and publish them, explaining our stances and positions, and then hire people who are on board with that philosophy."

    If only we could do this with citizenship.

    1. Hey, you can't say that!

      1. But what if he gets a Substack account?

    2. Are you talking about being more selective of immigrants or people who are citizens by birth right? Seems like the latter are the ones most likely to have “un-American” ideologies.

      1. Cite?

      2. I've long wondered, if they are so interested in only "importing" the "right" people into the country, why not mandate birthing licenses?

        1. That’s not normal thinking.

        2. Wow you're creepy.

        3. Do you think a nation should have fundamental moral and political values? If so, do you think that citizens, and even residents, should respect those values?

          1. People have moral and political values, not political entities.

            1. Political entity’s tend to reflect the values of the people, if they don’t, things get spicy.

              1. That's why there are democratic elections, so that the governing body reflects the will of the people.

            2. Political entities don’t have political values? Are you retarded?

          2. Borders only matter if Russianis trying to invade. Do you even Risk bro?

            1. Ukraine is weak!

        4. Well certain areas did seem to import a ton of socialists and who later became cultural marxists who run academia, media and grifter non-profits you know? You have to be very careful when deciding who to let in. Northern and Southern Europe seem to not be importers of marxists..eastern europe was..

  3. That same week, rocker Neil Young accused Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan of spreading pandemic misinformation and demanded that the platform remove his songs if it continued to offer Rogan's show;

    Joe Rogan sings songs? How Shatner-esque of him! 😉

    1. I laughed.

    2. Probably as well as Neil Young sings songs.

  4. Why no porn? Why do you hate freedom?

    If Substack was a place for porn, then very quickly it could become known as just the place for porn.

    Ahh, so they DO censor content. I was wondering about that.

    1. See Only Fans. They tried to ditch porn and then realized it was the main reason they were still in business.

    2. Did you know IMDB allows Porn entries. Titles, casts, reviews, trivia, the works.
      Here's an example (maybe NSFW)

      The funny thing is IMDB deleted their user forums some years back as a sop to the movie industry. It was soon after Femo-Ghostbusters was scorched by people critical of it. The kabosh on Substack and others is probably coming from Corporations primarily and surreptitiously from government .

    3. And I was wondering why ENB didn’t do this interview!

    4. "Why no porn? Why do you hate freedom?"

      If ENB had been conducting the interview, this question would've been asked in all seriousness.

  5. Newsletters the future? Maybe if this article had been written 50 years ago.

    1. Have you heard about blogs? I think it’s gonna be a thing.

      1. I miss mimeograph fluid.

        1. The smell that made you dizzy.

    1. Was hoping that was the link to the red wedding tweet. Was not disappointed.

    2. That's not censorship, he just wants them all to die for saying things he doesn't agree with. Totally a libertarian position.

  6. The problem here is the problem that the media largely is facing: going to a subscription-based model instead of an advertising-based model for revenue means that the content provider is even more beholden to delivering the product that the subscribers demand, which may or may not - and, usually in this day and age, generally doesn't - correspond to the truth. Back when newspapers were funded mostly through advertisements, they could afford to publish "uncomfortable truths" and if some subscribers or even a few advertisers got upset and quit the paper, the business model ensured that the paper overall could continue to function. But with this new business model, delivering "what the readers want to read" becomes far more important. So people like Glenn Greenwald and Alex Berenson are selling a product that their subscribers want, and they have to keep delivering that product even if reality disagrees with them. It wouldn't be so bad if subscription-based newsletters (and magazines before them, etc.) were just one small part in a larger media ecosystem, but the entire media landscape is shifting in this direction. What this means, then, is that individual media consumers now have the power to "choose their own truth" - by their subscriptions, they are delivered exactly the content they want to hear. It is great for empowering consumers, but it is terrible from the point of view of collective decision-making and having a shared understanding of reality that this decision-making relies upon. It's not just hyperbole - we really are entering a type of post-modernist phase where the idea of constructing an objective reality, that is true for all people at all times, becomes less and less likely.

    1. “and, usually in this day and age, generally doesn't - correspond to the truth.”

      I look forward to the many examples of untrue things posted on substack that you have up your sleeve. Because we all know you wouldn’t just demonize anyone outside mainstream corporate press without concrete examples. Like when you sarcastically call Joe Rogan a Dr.

      1. He's just being a retard so that people will laugh and point and cheer at him. Whether they're cheering "Go chemjeff!" or "Go retard!", he cares not.

        He proposes a dichotomy, "advertising-based model" and the "subscription/consumer-model" in 2022. Like advertisers haven't been chasing user eyeballs, literally and overtly, for 20 yrs.

        I'd be more entertained if he beat himself over the head with a hammer until he passed out.

        1. You're just a giant pretentious windbag. You seem to have the goal of saying as little as possible with as many words as possible. On a per-word basis you make Ken Schultz seem succinct. Maybe you should go to elementary school forums where they might think you are smart.

          1. Sez the idiot who just posted 281 words saying nothing.

            1. Says the guy who demanded I "refute" a claim that I never made, and then when I put a good-faith effort into constructing an argument to address your concern, you decided to completely ignore it. Because you didn't really give a shit at all about the claim, you were just trolling.

              1. No, you decided to attack a strawman that alphabet claimed all teachers were groomers instead of trying to present any evidence that the link he shared was somehow wrong.

                Your words:

                1. Alphabet didn't provide a link.

                  Did you even read the links that *I* provided?

                  WTF is wrong with you people?

                  Unicorn Abbatoir made a vague claim, I responded sarcastically to his vague claim, and you all jump down my throat, not reading the comment in the spirit that it was offered, and instead pretending that I was presenting some formal logical argument with citations and references. Am I supposed to provide citations for offhand sarcastic remarks now?

                  How about this instead: don't be a Tulpa.

                  1. You’re right, it was UA.

                    I’m not sure how your link to her post about psychological games refutes anything. I will say, I think much of what is being shown of what teachers have been doing is ridiculous and doesn’t really have a place in school (especially when they’re doing a shit job of teaching these kids anything of value in the first place.) But Karlyn posting interacted zoom videos is way over the line.

                  2. Also, I’m sorry I didn’t read it as sarcasm, though that might have something to do with you claiming the worst motives for anyone to the right of Tony for several years.

                    1. Well thank you for that.

                      You are one of the decent ones around here.

                    2. I fully admit I have a tendency to fly off the handle. That’s mostly from years of dealing with Tony and shrike.

          2. Elementary school is where you like to hang out, Jeff.

            1. Classy.

          3. You're just a giant pretentious windbag.

            OK, I was windbagging at R Mac. If it's too much for you, you're entirely free to fuck off and not read it.

        2. I’d pay to watch that.

          1. It has to be a smaller hammer, though. I don't want it to end too quickly.

            1. Agreed. Wouldn’t want it to be like one of those Mike Tyson fights.

              1. Though I wouldn't object to him trying to Holyfeld himself.

    2. Mr. individualist, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      1. I was able to save myself some brain damage by not reading all of it.

        1. The good thing about Lying Jeffy is he usually says something dishonest pretty quickly, so you don’t need to read his whole posts to point out his dishonesty.

      2. Says the guy who makes cheap semantic arguments in order to score points.

        1. How so, Jeffy?

          1. Imagine nobody's keep score except you... and you're losing. That's where Jeffy's at right now.

    3. Wrong wrong wrong. Advertiser-based newspapers were as censorious as they had to be. If a major advertiser threatened to pull ads for a week, that lost revenue was felt immediately. That is where rags like The Berkeley Barb came from.

      The switch from advertisers to subscriptions is a decentralization. It is much more freedom-centric; advertisers can't threaten the entire system because of one content creator they don't like. It is also much more accountable: each content creator is held accountable by their own specific audience, not some overall advertiser who threatens everybody collectively.

      Your favoring advertising over subscriptions shows you are a collectivist, not an individualist. Your handle is shown to be a lie.

      1. The switch from advertisers to subscriptions is a decentralization. It is much more freedom-centric; advertisers can't threaten the entire system because of one content creator they don't like. It is also much more accountable: each content creator is held accountable by their own specific audience, not some overall advertiser who threatens everybody collectively.

        I don't disagree with any of that.

        But it also comes with a cost: a loss of a shared understanding of reality. If we cannot even agree on the basic facts, how can we have effective collective decision-making in the form of public policy?

        1. LOL

          1. Substantive as always.

            1. That’s all you deserve Jeff.

              1. Why is that? Because you've met me?

                1. LOL

        2. Human beings shared the reality that the world was flat for thousands of years. Who exactly determines this shared understanding of reality you're so jazzed up about? The tribal elders? Dan Rather? Gary Johnson? The CDC? The armies of internet fact checkers? Believe me. I have no interest in sharing your understanding of reality and I don't give a shit what you think the basic facts are.

          1. So, full post-modernism then?

            Do you think there is an objective reality?

            1. Classic Jeffy today.

        3. Jeff's shared understanding of reality includes 2+2=5, your racist based in the race you were born into, men can become women, trump collided with Russia, biden is a moderate, hunters laptop was fake, Capitol officers were killed by rioters and fire extinguishers, that he's not an idiot, that mask science changed overnight in 2020, etc.

          1. “that he's not an idiot”

            To be fair, I’ve never seen him make that claim.

    4. Our local gannet paper has dropped editorials and letters to the editor and has gone all woke..every day the front page is some woke insanity. Getting rid of letters to the editor eliminated the need to be fair. I mean you HAD to publish a few conservative or libertarian letters or you were obviously biased. Now w/o having to do it , everything you publish is fact because no one can write to you and disagree. And you have an unlimited ability to be as political as you want while denying it.

  7. I wonder how revolutionary this really is. Seems their biggest change is payment via subscription rather than ads. But does substack allow content creators to create ads along with everything else? If the substack pages themselves don't have any place for ads, creators can still manually endorse products; is that verboten?

    See my comment close above, concerning banning porn: the answer implies they do censor content, which presumably means they may also prohibit ads. In both cases, there's a huge gray area. If someone reviews a book and includes an amazon link, is that a commercial endorsement? What if they include multiple links for the same book but different sellers? What if they include one amazon link for multiple related books which they review together? And so on.

    At any rate, there seems to be a big opening for blogging n+1, truly uncensored except for actual illegal content as determined by a court.

    I've looked at a few substack authors. Too many of them have no free content, or have that "Let me see a preview first" button. Well, sorry, Charlie, but one free preview is not enough for me to sign up for a paying subscription. I have discovered it takes 10 or more good blog posts to get me hooked. If the first post I see is interesting, I read a couple of others. If they also are interesting, I'll check back a few times, daily or weekly or whatever frequency matches that blog. If it continues to be mostly interesting for a dozen posts, I'll keep it on my list of places to check daily or weekly. If a blog has a subscription signup, it will take a few more posts. I have several subscriptions now via Patreon, but they seem to be geared for videos more than writing, and they have kicked some creators off, making me wary of them.

    1. > At any rate, there seems to be a big opening for blogging n+1, truly uncensored except for actual illegal content as determined by a court.

      If that were true, OnlyFans wouldn't be trying to get out of it.

      Also, as for whether the individual authors can place ads, I don't see that it would matter to Substack themselves, because of the siloed model. Even if a given blogger starts getting threats from their advertisers, that's no skin off Substack's nose.

      As for Substack, for blogs with free content, you can click that "Let me take a look" button as many times as you want. They just want to get you to sign up for email notifications. I've clicked that button probably two dozen times over at ElvisIsReal's place.

      1. I want to point out that all my actual content is 100% free and the paid subscription is a totally voluntary thing for people who value the 'stack. The only 'benefit' to my paid sub is the once-monthly post regarding the future of the 'stack and what paid subs would like to see. All the actual content is completely free.

        This is the way.

        1. Thanks -- maybe I'll pay a little more attention.

        2. This is the way.

    2. Oddly some substack columns are free to read but you have to be a paid subscriber to read the comments. I've seen this pop up at other sites. Maybe some of the commenters should share in the revenue.

      1. This is up to the writer. My guess these people are simply fishing for more paid subs by removing the ability to read and comment without paying.

        1. Seems like there'd be more draw in letting people see that the commentary was worth paying to join in on. *shrug*

          1. You can do that too, if you want. I think that's what most people do.


    What the?? This video taken yesterday in Shanghai, China, by the father of a close friend of mine. She verified its authenticity: People screaming out of their windows after a week of total lockdown, no leaving your apartment for any reason.

    The translation she gave me: “It’s Shanghai, everyone is screaming, started with a couple now everyone is screaming, after a week of lockdown, something is going to happen, no one knows when this is going to end.”

    He says they can’t even step outside their apartments.


    1. Saw a video of a guy ranting on the street yesterday claiming they were giving ordinary people no choice but to revolt.

      I don't see what the point of the lockdown is. I don't think the CCP is going to be able to scare the rest of the world back into lockdown like they did in 2020. The only thing I can think it that it's some sort of retaliation for recent western sanctions?

      1. I think Xi got a boner for all the real power Mao had, and doesn't want to be limited to just one or two terms like everyone after Mao. Like all dictators, he wants it his way. Thus flexing over the None Dash Line, building aircraft carriers, building overseas bases, and so on.

        FWIW, I think it's a waste of time, actually conterproductive. China is a territorial nation, land borders more important than the coast, and navies and merchant fleets breed the kind of independent thought that dictators don't like. What exactly does Xi think aircraft carriers will do for China? All it will take is one argument with Putin, or Putin's Russia's economy going to pieces, and that long ;land border is going to be a lot more important than pissing off his South China Sea neighbors and scaring American chicken hawks. France had the same problem throughout its history: whenever they had peace, they'd build up their navy; as soon as a land war threatened, the navy got mothballed and downsized.

      2. I tried to find this with Chinese subtitles, no luck.

    2. I am sure people are screaming in support of the state and first responders, like in the US. Even if the responders are first going to beat you and kill your dog.


    Note the enormous gap between (a) media coverage devoted to the FBI's pre-election announcement that it broke up a right-wing plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer and (b) the jury's refusal to convict the key defendants following evidence that the plot was actually driven by the FBI.

    They're both newsworthy. But FBI's repeated concoction of its own terror plots which it directs and funds, then praises itself for heroically disrupting, seems very important.

    Yet this week's acquittals received a fraction of the attention given to the FBI's 2020 press release.


      Try to remember the mood in the country back when the FBI was staging that kidnapping of Whitmer

      They were trying to paint any lockdown opponent as some deranged radical, remember?

      Yea I remember. Fuck the FBI & fuck every journalist/politician that reported the lies as facts


        1. And replace it with what?

          1. Nothing. Just like before.
            A federal system doesn't need a national police force.

          2. Odd question for the most libertarian poster here.

            1. Chemjeff is misnamed. I have made this point before. He is anything but a radical individualist.

              An appropriate name would be: #chemjeffwannabestatist

              1. #chemjeffracistcollectivist

                1. #letsnotforgetfat

                2. I might tweak that one, #chemjeffthecollectivist

              2. #assholetroll will suffice

                1. LOL I'm not the troll around here.

                  1. I’ve polled all the bears riding around in trunks and 73% of them disagree with you.

          3. I'm 100% positive that we have enough alphabet agencies that ALREADY overlap with the FBI that we won't miss it.

          4. how about the CIA? We have very good military intell orgs (Naval Intelligence, Air Force..Army-ok the Army isn't as good) but honestly why do we need a CIA..the cold war is over man

            1. How can you run a country without secret police?

          5. Nothing is the individualist, libertarian response. You’re welcome.

            1. No, that is the anarchist response.

              If there are just laws that are to be enforced, then there ought to be a law enforcement agency to enforce them.

              1. There are several, possibly dozens, of layers of law enforcement between your local beat cop and the US Marshals. Never mind the 100+ years we existed as a non-anarchist country without an FBI or a CIA.

                1. Well, the federal government has grown a bit since then.

                  Is it your position that the FBI should be disbanded and all of the laws that they are tasked with enforcing should be repealed?

                  1. All of the many victimless crimes, absolutely. In a federalist system, I’m not sure there should be many “federal” crimes. At least not that couldn’t be handled by their respective departments (Treasury, Interior, Defense, what have you).

                    If you murder someone, that should be local jurisdiction, unless it was a foreign dignitary or something. For example.

                    1. I can largely agree with that.

      1. The fact that the FBI is still organizing marches where whole groups of agents pretend to be racists, shows that their role in the color revolution isn't over yet.

        Disband the FBI and publicly fire all agents who were responsible for our participated in anti-democratic activities.

    1. False accusations of horrible crimes like pedophilia tend to provoke responses like that.

      1. Ok, groomer

        1. If you all keep this up, you're going to crash headlong into a defamation lawsuit, as false accusations of pedophilia can absolutely damage one's reputation monetarily.

          1. You really want your hard drive open to discovery?

          2. Except that they're not false. Disney has had a pedophile problem for decades, including amongst its executive.

            This article documenting some of them is from 2018, so you can't handwave it away as being created for this issue.

          3. Kill yourself, groomer.

            1. Why should I? You keep threatening to do it but you never seem to get around to it.

              1. Point out a single instance where Nardz has threatened to kill you.

                1. Nardz should sue him for defamation.

            2. "Kill yourself, groomer."

              Nadless Nardless the Nasty, Necrophiliac NAZI wants to groom us for authoritarianism and totalitarianism! All who oppose Nadless Nardless the Nasty, Necrophiliac NAZI need to DIE-DIE-DIE!!!

              EvilBahnFuhrer, drinking EvilBahnFuhrer Kool-Aid in a spiraling vortex of darkness, cannot or will not see the Light… It’s a VERY sad song! Kinda like this…

              He’s a real Kool-Aid Man,
              Sitting in his Kool-Aid Land,
              Playing with his Kool-Aid Gland,
              His Hero is Jimmy Jones,
              Loves death and the dying moans,
              Then he likes to munch their bones!
              Has no thoughts that help the people,
              He wants to turn them all to sheeple!
              On the sheeple, his Master would feast,
              Master? A disaster! Just the nastiest Beast!
              Kool-Aid man, please listen,
              You don’t know, what you’re missin’,
              Kool-Aid man, better thoughts are at hand,
              The Beast, to LEAVE, you must COMMAND!

              A helpful book is to be found here: M. Scott Peck, Glimpses of the Devil

              Hey EvilBahnFuhrer …
              If EVERYONE who makes you look bad, by being smarter and better-looking than you, killed themselves, per your wishes, then there would be NO ONE left!
              Who would feed you? Who’s tits would you suck at, to make a living? WHO would change your perpetually-smelly DIAPERS?!!?
              You’d better come up with a better plan, Stan!

      2. Twitter is now judge and jury.

        1. And by suspending accounts, executioner--for those addicted to life online.

      3. Somebody hasn’t seen the leaked zoom meeting of Disney execs.

    1. And that's MSNBC so you know that they softballed it a bit.
      The lack of movement on the third line shows the wealthy, privileged, university-educated women are pretty much the only demographic that hasn't been significantly hurt by the Democrats policies.

      1. What, the price of boxed wine hasn't gone up?

        1. In this house wine comes in bottles with twist off caps

          1. #DrunkButClassy

            1. Thanks, I’ll add that to the lawn sign!

        2. Specifically the boxed wine.

          Wine bottles themselves are getting expensive, though, so the good stuff that costs you $6.99 a the Costco and you bring out when company is over (so you can pop a cork and be fancy) is going to go up this year.


    Former President Barack Obama is urgently throwing himself into the fight against disinformation, taking a yearslong private fascination into the open as he makes addressing the issue a key pillar of his post-presidency.

    1. He's spent a lot of years covering up that 'misinformation' and doesn't want it to leak out now.

    2. It's still weird to see the media and a former president taking up the banner of societal control through censorship and being so blatant about it.

      15 years ago I would have thought something like that would still be at least a half century away in the West. And yet here we are. The fascism isn't even incipient anymore.

    3. Or maybe its an election year and the DNC is getting desperate.

    4. Lol, birtherism started with the publishers of his first book when they implied he was born in Africa. Where would they get that from? Also African Granny Obama stated she remembered the day when he was born (in Africa). Unfortunately Granny Dunham died reluctantly but conveniently a few days before the presidential election. I wonder if the last thing she saw was a Mike Lindell pillow?

      1. And it was fed by the Clinton campaign. Come to think of it, they paid for some other disinformation campaign, just can’t seem to remember….

  11. The average Republican trusts Fox News less than the average democrat trusts nearly any news outlet.

    1. But I was assured that it’s a cult.

      1. By those in a cult.

    2. Because Fox is generally the loyal opposition.

    3. Fox is the Bush wing of the republican party.

    4. Well then I guess there is a huge untapped market out there for a right-wing media entrepreneur. What would this new network be like that Fox doesn't already provide? Do they want a network that's basically like their Facebook feed - ignore everything outside the conservative bubble?

      1. What a weird takeaway from that. You really hate conservatives with a passion, don’t you!


    The Sunday Times on Le Pen: “Her opponents seized on her assertion last week that the West would always have to find a way of dealing with whoever is in the Kremlin. ‘Russia will not be wiped off the map,’ she said.”

    Is this really considered a controversial assertion in France?

    1. Not as controversial as UA coastal elites feel about living with people in flyover country (and letting them vote).


    Coming to a Western nation near you if we don't stop their revolution, which is probably more than 80% complete already.


    1. The cops already shoot the family dog at every house raid ever.

    2. Pets or Food?

      1. Some people don't get to make that choice.


  14. " the White House urged Spotify and all other media companies to be more "vigilant" in policing public health news and commentary."

    This isn't anything other than a blatant violation of the first amendment. As with all the other times that the administration has pulled the same stunt.
    That's why anyone mumbling "230" and "muh private company" is full of shit.

    1. Not a lefty.

    2. ???

      1. It's a terrible endorsement, but Trump's made several of those.

        Ultimately it doesn't really matter because congress is just window dressing for the totalitarian bureaucratic state.

    3. Seeing as many we known conservatives have disagreed with Trump on this endorsement, are you going to stop calling everyone a cultist? Naaaah.

  15. Free speech isn’t about an author and an audience, it’s about discourse, two way communication.

    The future of free speech is websites like this one where topics are discussed by those with something to say, to add to the truth, reality.

    The lowest form of participant, the fool, will be as always, the liar who can’t prove what they claim or refute what they deny.

    1. Says the neo-NAZI who worships Shitler-Hitler and denies that the Holocaust ever happened!

      (Those 6 million Jews aren't DEAD... They are SLEEPING!)

      1. I’m demonstrating that you’re a holocaust denier,

        Does that make you a Nazi?

        I mean unless you believe the Jewish leaders and media who claimed no less than 166 times between 1900 and 1945 that there were so many holocausts of 6 million Jews…YOU ARE DENYING JEWISH CLAIMS OF HOLOCAUSTS OF 6 MILLION JEWS.

        It’s you. You probably do believe that.


        1. Yeah, sure! And I'm a ham sandwich and You are the Returned Savior of the Human Disgrace, disguised as an enchanted newt!

          1. Don’t you feel strange that you are the sane one in this exchange?

            1. Not being able to refute what you deny demonstrates irrational bigotry, not sanity.

            2. I welcome the free speech that enables fools like yourselves to demonstrate your irrational bigotry.

              I blame the system that allows you obvious cowards to post anonymously in public.

              If you’re too ashamed of yourself to be recognized for behaving like you do, common sense dictates that you shouldn’t be doing it.

              Maybe you’re only speaking as irrational bigots because you’re anonymous, irresponsible and unaccountable wastes of skin.

          2. I deny the holocaust because I have observed and shared evidence that soundly refutes it. I demonstrate that I refute what I deny.

            If it wasn’t literally a crime to refute the holocaust in every nation where it allegedly occurred there would be no massive delusional conspiracy of that cherished Jewish, and others, lie.

          3. If you fools are advocating,through your behaviour, denying what you can’t refute, what’s your argument against holocaust denial?

  16. The future of free speech depends on the next election.

    1. You still think that they're going to let midterms happen?
      Wagging the dog in the Ukraine hasn't panned out like they hoped on the domestic side yet.

      1. And the DNC said, Let us make Biden according to our image and likeness, and let them have dominion machines over the fish in the voting booth.

    2. …if there is a next election.

      1. Postponed due to Covid.

    3. This statement is never not true.

  17. Well well, Alabama bans transgender treatment for minors, even if the child and parents and doctors all consent.

    I just love the Governor's quotation on this part:

    “There are very real challenges facing our young people, especially with today’s societal pressures and modern culture. I believe very strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl. We should especially protect our children from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life.

    Are the children the Governor's children then? No? Oh okay.

    1. "even if the child and parents and doctors all consent"

      Even if the child "consents"?
      "Daddy's just going to put in the tip, that's okay, right?"
      "But I got consent!"

      Son of a bitch you're a freak, Jeff. The whole reason that the age of consent exists and why parents and doctors have no say in it baffles you, huh.

      "and doctors"

      And how the fuck does that even matter?

      1. If Marxist MammaryFuhrer the Perfect Necrophiliac says it does't matter... Then IT DOESN'T MATTER, dammit, ye sub-peons!!!

        ALL HAIL Marxist MammaryFuhrer the Perfect Necrophiliac, sub-peons!!! Bow LOW NOW, peons!!!

        1. Struck a nerve with the old Sqrlsy I see. He can't even argue against it, just calls names and tries to redirect.

          I'll ask you specifically, Sqrlsy. Is the age of consent wrong? Is it a bad thing?

          1. "It depends." 5-year-olds shouldn't drive cars, period! SOME 12-year-olds should be allowed to drive a tractor on their home farm. TOTALLY BLIND people should be allowed to drive at age NEVER!

            Un-involved and un-invited folks should make decisions on sex hormones and dresses v/s pants, and more, for children that they are NOT raising, and are NOT paying mandated insurance payments for coverage for treatments that they don't want or need... I will admit that this is a valid sticking point... If you are NOT involved (other than being "offended" by people NOT obeying YOU and YOUR tastes)... Then the proper age for legitimizing your Buttinsky and Nosenheimer ways is... Age NEVER!

            1. We were talking about sex with adults and castration, Sqrlsy. Of prepubescents. Not those other things.

              Again, is the age of consent wrong? Is it a bad thing?

              1. Again, the answer is "it depends". If you are (for example) going to stick Your Big Fat Face in the affairs of a giant nuclear-armed nation, and tell their DicktatorShit... Call them "VladISmear Snootin Incorporated" for example... What "VladISmear Snootin Incorporated" may be allowed to do with a consenting 17.95-year-old and some CHEMICAL castrating agents, as supervised by a qualified doctor... AND IT AIN'T YOUR FUCKIN' BUSINESS AND IT AI'T YOUR FUCKIN' SOCIETY OR NATION, to tell them that it should be 18 years instead... Then it is NOT a good idea to start an all-out nuclear war over it!!! Stick YOUR moralistic clit back into YOUR pants!!!

                This is just ONE example of "putting things in context", and settling "merely" for the best wild guess (compromise) that you can come up with, and NOT always running and crying for Government Almighty to fix EVERYTHING with MORE FORCE!!! For shit that is NOT your business!

                1. No it doesn't "depend".

                  I was crystal clear and said "prepubescent" yet you're babbling about 17.5 year olds.

                  Answer the question I asked. Can a prepubescent child consent to sex with adults and castration, Sqrlsy? Is the age of consent wrong in that regard? Is it a bad thing?

                  1. A prepubescent child can be prepubescent because he or she consented to take drugs that postpone normal adolescent sex changes, till they sort out what gender they want to be... And they may now be 15 or 16. If a qualified doctor, parent(s), and so-called "child" consent at, say, 16, for surgery, I'd NOT want to mind THEIR business! (And don't make MY health insurance policies pay for it either!) But yes... It is a squishy question... Doing these kinds of things below age... ??? 14, I would find troublesome. But these kinds of questions should NOT be willy-nilly fought over by rabble-rousing, mud-wresting, culture-war politicians and their pet troglodytes! Give as much (as is practical) power over bodies, to those who own the bodies, and their doctors and families, and get scummy politicians (and other grand-standing Nosenheimers) to butt OUT!!!

                    1. The only way for a child of 15 to be pre-pubescent would be because of serious illness/treatment (chemo, etc) or because they were given inhibitors at an even younger age.

                      The fact that you can’t come out and say that is wrong says a lot about you. And it’s not good.

                    2. Again, I didn't ask about medical anomalies.

                      Wow, you just really don't want to say "No, prepubescent children shouldn't have sex with adults or be castrated", so I guess it's safe to say you're in favor of both.
                      Is that correct, Sqrlsy?

                    3. "But these kinds of questions should NOT be willy-nilly fought over by rabble-rousing, mud-wresting, culture-war politicians and their pet troglodytes!"

                      But YOU authoritarians DO believe EXACTLY what I have written above! YOUR will (and NOT the will of parents and children who you're never met) is ALL that matters to YOU! There is ZERO "neighborly Love" in Your Perfect Hearts! Try growing your hearts by 3 sizes!

                    4. @SQRLSY One

                      What an odd hill you're choosing to die on.

        2. “Mammaryfurer” sounds like an interesting flick.

          1. I think that was the subtitle to Ilsa 6.

            1. Did she tittie-fuck people to death in that one?

    2. The governor mentioned god? Well, then whatever the Democrats are pushing must be 100% Kosher!

      1. Imagine if slavery were legal today. Because the anti-slavery movement was almost entirely driven by Christians and Christian ideology, (Slavery was a way to internationalize the labor market, you provincial backwater god-boy!) one has to wonder if Democrats would have come out in favor of slavery, because where a Christian goes, no Democrat will follow. Or something.

        1. Slavery wasn’t the only issue leading up to the war, but it did give it moral focus.

          Kind of like sexual exploitation of children by the state.

      2. Actually, what I was most objecting to was the governor's collectivization of all the kids in her state as if they were all her own.

        The God talk just makes her sound ignorant on the subject.

        1. No, you were saying that the age of consent is irrelevant and that kids can consent to castration.

        2. The God talk just makes her sound ignorant on the subject.

          Why? Because she doesn't believe your view of the world and has her own take on the subject? She is pretty clear about where she stands. It may sound ignorant to her, or your take on the subject of gender and human sexuality may sound equally as ignorant to her.

          I believe very strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl.

          1. *ignorant to you.

    3. Unless you accept criminal and civil liability for how these "treated" kids react in 20 years, STFU.

    4. If a parent beats their agree the State has a right to protect the child right? What if the kid is bullied and confused and has a woke mom who pushes having him castrated to be a girl (and the mom becomes a media star and gets all sorts of attention by the woke community)? Life altering surgery for a sex change is best left to the youngster when they reach adulthood not when they are going through or before reaching their teen years.

      1. What if the kid is consistent and clear in wanting to change genders, the parents are supportive, the doctors are supportive, the counselors are supportive, the psychologists are supportive, and everyone is supportive, EXCEPT the state?

        1. Now do suicide.

        2. You can tell Jeff is a groomer because he has never reacted normally with children. Kids under 10 aren't talking about sex and gender theology unless trained by people.

        3. What if he wants to be a fireman?

        4. Now do gay kids who want to be straight.

          1. And just so we’re crystal clear, both kinds of conversions are fucking horrible when pushed on children (even if they “consent”).

          2. Or, you could stick to the subject at hand instead of trying to derail it with some whataboutism.

            Under the circumstances that I mentioned, do you think gender-affirming care should be banned by the state?

            1. Yes.
              Because children, as a matter of law (if not practicality), can’t consent.

              1. Nobody could properly consent in that instance. It is an insoluble problem with the current state of technology and medical knowledge.

                Sure, maybe most transgender adults knew they were transgender as kids. But most people who know they are transgender as kids do not turn out that way as adults.

                Puberty is a real biological process. And the brain after puberty barely resembles the brain before puberty. A prepubescent mind has no way of comprehending what will be driving it's thought processes after puberty.

                So sure, adult transgender (women in particular) will wish that they had avoided all the body changes that go with puberty. It should be obvious as to why.

                But setting the musings of a 12 year old kid in stone by blocking puberty is also a bad idea.. because in most cases those musings are subject to change.

                I know. My kids are in this age group now. My daughter's friends have taken turns "coming out" as lesbians. It seems to be a fad. The only one who the grownups look at and say "probably gay" has not joined that fad as of yet. All the others seem to drop the pretense after a few months.

                I don't know of any of them playing around with the idea of being trans, so I don't know how much that has hit their group.

                But what I do know from this experience is that prepubescent kids are highly suggestible and could easily be pushed into such a belief by group pressure.

                Unless they can come up with a brain scan for transgenderism, I don't see how there can be a correct response here that gets it right every time. And skipping puberty and turning a young boy into an asexual woman seems to be the wrong answer all the way around, even if many grown transgender women think it would have made their lives so much easier.

                1. There is no validity to transgenderism.

  18. I'm sure the refugees will fit in nicely...

    I think someone has lost the plot.

    This is a “patriotic” video that is making the rounds on Ukrainian social media.

    Slicing the neck of a defenseless prisoner reminds me of somebody, I can’t quite remember who, some Middle Eastern fellow I seem to recall . . .


    1. It would have been a truly excellent propaganda video if they would have stopped before the sickle came out.


    Trans non-binary elementary teacher says 3 year olds are old enough to learn about gender identity, sexual orientation, and pronouns. These are the people teaching your kids.


    1. The Republicans should just run these videos as their own advertising.

      "Democrats support this:"

      1. The Republicans should just run these videos as their own advertising.

        "Democrats support this:"

        Even if the republicans weren't such craven cowards do you seriously think the media would allow that?

        1. It'd at least rip the mask all the way off...

    2. 3 year olds are old enough to learn about gender identity, sexual orientation, and pronouns.

      Well, most of them are. Most of them can understand the concept of princes and princesses, that they can fall in love, and that they are referred to by different pronouns. That is after all the basic idea of about 90% of the Disney movies marketed to young kids.

      But for some reason, showing Snow White to young kids, where they can watch Prince Charming and Snow White kiss and fall in love, is not considered "learning about sexual orientation or gender identity" because that is the normative standard in our society. No one has to consciously learn about those gender roles because we simply all pick it up from childhood onwards.

      What you all seem to be objecting to, is teaching kids that there are gender identities and sexual orientations OTHER THAN the normative traditional heterosexual male & female ones. Well I hate to break it to you, but at some point, kids are going to have to learn that not every man is a Prince Charming and not every woman is a Snow White. When do you think is the most appropriate age to teach kids the REALITY that, sometimes, a man falls in love with another man, or a woman falls in love with another woman?

      And no I am not talking about discussions about genitals or graphic sex acts or any of that.

      1. Do you understand the key difference between heterosexual reproduction and paraphilias like homosexuality, beastiality, pederasty, object fetishes, etc?

        It's not same-same no matter how hard creepers like you argue differently. Prince Charming wanting to be a girl and pursue a sexual relationship with a 1975 Datsun, isn't the same thing as Cinderella marrying him.

      2. And no I am not talking about discussions about genitals or graphic sex acts or any of that.

        No not yet, that will come later.

        1. Chemleft might not be today, but the people he's trying to run cover for certainly are.

        2. By who? Who wants to teach graphic sex or genitals to elementary school kids? I mean I suppose there are some NAMBLA weirdos who do, but that's it.

          1. Go look at the primary sources from people like rufo you autistic fuck.

      3. “because that is the normative standard in our society.”

        And every other society in the history of mankind. Maybe there’s a reason for that.

    3. It sounds to me like this person is very very confused and unhappy with life...which is fine but don't bring it to work

  20. Who's their backbone provider and payment processor? I've got a left-wing fist that needs to squeeze, something...

    1. That's the same most fascist thing I've read in a while. The judge should be disbarred just for considering the possibility.

      Imagine if Democrats who supported Black Lives Matters during the attack on the Whitehouse had activist judges fucking around with their campaigns, Jeff.

      You don't seem to be able to comprehend that this fascism may come back to bite you.

      1. He’ll be here bitching as soon as a Trump appointed judge makes a decision like that. It’s only a matter of time.

    2. Totally, not a Lefty. You're sad.

  21. If Republicans win this fall, Biden will be pushed to the center

    It would be pretty nice actually if there could be some areas of compromise between the two teams which led to something getting accomplished. What sucks the most about DC nowadays is that either (a) nothing gets done, or (b) if something does get done, it is in the form of 2000-page bills that no one has read that must be passed within 24 hours. Neither one of those are terribly responsible ways to govern in general. If some area of bipartisan compromise could be reached - again that would depend on the topic, of course - that would at least be progress to fixing the brokenness of DC.

    1. If the republicans were smart (Ha!)
      They’d give him everything he wants.
      Then you losers would be radioactive forever.

    2. “Getting something done” is not always desirable.

      1. It is for an “individualist”.
        Or maybe he’s just a radical.

      2. Not always, no. But there are some desirable things that could get done with enough bipartisan energy. For example, marijuana legalization.

        1. With prohibitive taxes that make it de facto illegal?

          1. No, that is the Team Blue way to make it legal.

            I am hopeful that the bipartisan way to make it legal is to drop most of the taxes and the social program stuff and focus instead on just making it legal.

    3. They’ll make small potatoes pushes, just like they did with Obama. Because most of them completely agree with the expansion of the state.

      1. Yes, most of them do. I do hope that they accomplish something worthwhile and bipartisan.

        1. Republicans (or libertarians for that matter) have to present a vision for the freedom that they desire. They have to make the concept more concrete. It is not enough to simply say "let's have more freedom". That is too vague. Freedom, justice, liberty - they are concepts that we can all agree on *very broadly* but we all will differ a great deal on their specifics. So, what does "freedom" mean for, say, health care? Don't just say "get government out of the way". Again, too vague. What specifically? How would poor and sick people receive care under a "freedom-enriched" health care system? If Republicans or anyone don't have good answers to these questions then it is no wonder people will instead choose the status quo - because, as broken as it is, at least in the status quo people do more or less receive some semblance of care. Same with education. Same with all of the other issues that people care about. Make the concept concrete and you will get more followers. But you can't expect votes on just slogans and platitudes.

          1. You really enjoy talking to yourself. Do you sit in front of a mirror when you do it?

            1. Collectivistjeff is so absurdly stupid, he thinks what he types sounds smart.

  22. (a) nothing gets done

    If you were remotely libertarian you'd understand why.

    1. He’s not really an individualist?
      I’m shocked!


    I don't know about you
    But if I'd just witnessed dead bodies and horrific War crimes.. I wouldn't look like this 1 hour later


    1. That’s bizarre.

  24. Everybody's a fucking expert. Especially on free spech.

    1. Is spech some German kink?

      1. Not that I mind.

        1. Spech the Lech?

    1. Idiocracy is real!

    2. I am talking an online history course (which isn't actually about history, apparently history is now about the perspectives you don't hear about in the history books) and most my classmates think inflation was caused by the war

      Even though it started right after Biden took office...

  25. So basically Substack invented the blog? It's great that they've managed to rebrand and monetize it, but it's not exactly a new thing.

  26. Is there a Hogg Blog? (Sorry, I forgot to mention that the category is: Questions I Do NOT Want To Know The Answer To)


    France and Hungary just had elections where the people found out the winners in the same day.

    Why can’t we do this in America?

    1. Good question. We could, but it would require more effort than has been expended thus far to make it happen.

      1. Yea, your fat ass would have to leave the house and bring an ID with you.
        The horror!

      2. Less.

        You misspelled less.

        In states where elections were not successfully fortified, electronic ballot counting meant that most results were usually tabulated within two to three hours of the close of the polls. And that delay is mostly about doing the paperwork, not counting.

        In Florida we have scantron type ballots. You bubble in your votes and scan them on the spot. They are in the computer immediately.

        If we did not have this massive push for everyone to vote by absentee ballot, they could close the polls and print out the results instantly, including the exact number of provisional ballots.

        Democrats expended a lot of energy between 2016 and 2020 to ensure that this did not happen in the swing states.

        So your notion is backwards. At this point it takes a lot of effort to avoid reporting the results the same day.

        1. And it started (IMO) in Washington during the 2004 governor's race. Hold the election, find out how many mail-in ballots you need to win, then just print 'em up.

        2. How else can you fortify election results if you don't give yourself time to "find" the votes you need for candidate (D) to win?

          And news flash Jeffy, it's the Dems pushing for mail/absentee ballots for everybody and ballot harvesting. No surprise it takes longer and has been riddled with error/fraud.

  28. Book India vs South Africa T20 tickets 2022 - Buy South Africa tour of India 2022 ticket booking Cuttack, Visakhapatnam, Delhi, Rajkot and Chennai. -

  29. I always find it funny that reason argues against "censorship" and would rather strip free speech from the companies themselves.

    Twitter, facebook, etc. all have their own platforms that do as they wish. They've decided it's in their best interest to remove certain people, etc. from their platforms.

    Why is that wrong? Should we be arguing that Reason publish nazi manifestos now all in the name of free speech? Why are you so hard up on censorship reason? Why can the grandmaster of the KKK not post monthly rants on here?

    1. "They've decided it's in their best interest to remove certain people, etc. from their platforms."

      Did they? Or did they get orders from government? How exactly does it benefit FB to ban a Gold Star Mother who is badmouthing Joe Biden?

  30. What stops substacks host from deplatforming them? Or ISPs from blocking bits to and from them? Even substack censors speech themselves. It is not truly 'free'

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