First Amendment

Government is Still the Biggest Threat to Free Speech

When Amazon won't sell your book, you can head to Barnes & Noble. When government cancels your expression, there's nowhere left to go.

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Almost a year to the day that Louisville police officers killed Breonna Taylor during a no-knock raid, the Kentucky Senate passed a bill which makes it a crime to insult and taunt cops. If S.B. 211 becomes law, you could get up to three months in jail and a $250 fine if you flip off the fuzz in a way "that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response from the perspective of a reasonable and prudent person."

It's just one example of a slew of proposed new laws that are chilling free speech. While freethinkers are rightly worried that private online platforms such as Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook are increasingly—and often arbitrarily—cracking down on speech for political reasons, the much graver threat comes from governments at all levels seeking to compel or ban speech.

In Texas, conservative Republicans want to stop social media platforms from running their businesses the way they see fit. A bill poised to pass the state Senate, S.B. 12, "would create a state law prohibiting business censorship, defined as actions that block, ban, remove, deplatform, demonetize, de-boost, restrict, deny equal access or visibility to, or otherwise discriminate against expression." This law is backed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who says, without citing actual evidence, that conservative speakers are systematically silenced. "Pretty soon," he brags, such supposed censorship is "going to be against the law in the state of Texas." 

Back in the pre-internet days, you could count on right-wingers to scream about the need to regulate sex and drugs on TV but these days, they seem to want social media companies to do no moderating of content. So maybe that's progress.

At the same time, liberal Democrats, who themselves used to scream about violent video games, are pushing for more regulation of speech they don't like. In Colorado, a proposed law would create a "digital communications commission" that would investigate platforms to make sure they don't allow "hate speech," "undermine election integrity," or "disseminate intentional disinformation, conspiracy theories, or fake news"—all exceptionally vague terms that aren't even defined in the legislation. The commission would have the ability to order changes in the way platforms operate.

At the national level, two congressional Democrats—Rep. Anna Eshoo (D–Calif.) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D–Calif.)—have sent letters to the heads of Comcast, Verizon, Dish, and other cable and satellite companies demanding to know why such private services carry Fox News, Newsmax, and other supposed purveyors of "misinformation." As Reason's Robby Soave put it, the demand "was an act of intimidation." It's a rare week when high-wattage politicians such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) or Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) don't threaten Big Tech with some sort of reprimand because they don't like what's popular on Facebook or Twitter.

The good news is that laws seeking to control individuals and platforms are blatantly unconstitutional because they compel the speech of private actors and because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act allows broad discretion in running websites and platforms. When challenged in court, they'll almost certainly be struck down. 

The bad news is that the laws just keep coming, because politicians of all stripes want to control speech in a way that favors their agendas and they don't care about whether a law respects the First Amendment.

We should loudly criticize platforms for kicking people off in arbitrary ways that diminish our ability to freely argue and disagree about politics and culture. We want more participation, not less. But it's even more important to recognize private citizens' and businesses' right to freely associate with whomever they want. Far worse than such private cancel culture is when politicians tell us we don't have a right to insult cops, or when they're the ones setting the rules about what we must prohibit—or allow.

Narrated by Nick Gillespie. Edited by John Osterhoudt.

Photo: RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/TNS/Newscom; Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS/Newscom; Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MEGA/Newscom; Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MEGA/Newscom; Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom; Andrew Kelly/REUTERS/Newscom; SHAWN THEW/UPI/Newscom; Ron Sachs/ZUMA Press/Newscom; John C. Clark/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Mandel Ngan—Pool via CNP/Newscom; Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

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  1. Lol. Like Barnes and noble are gonna help you out.

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  2. In before all the “constitutional conservatives” and “limited government” types come piling in demanding government regulation and censorship of Big Tech.

    1. And all those pieces of proposed legislation will fail as soon as they reach the courts.

    2. In? In with what? You have not said a damn thing, nor made a point.

      1. So he’s par for the course.

      2. one of those penumbra points. read the words not typed.

    3. It is amazing how you continue to get the arguments of those you argue with wrong. It is that braindead consistent strawman capability second only to sarcasmic that makes you special.

      The arguments isn’t to demand speech, it is to remove legal protections for those who don’t extend the same protections to their users.

      1. See https://reason.com/2020/01/01/trumps-inartful-dodges/#comment-8068520 , where
        Der JesseBahnFuhrer says, of Trump, “He is not constitutionally bound on any actions he performed.”

        Hey JesseBahnFuhrer! Is this statement of yours, above, now applicable to Biden? Or is only Dear Leader Der TrumpfenFuhrer qualified to be our dictator? If so, why?

        (As a warning to others, to NOT waste their time arguing with JesseBahnFuhrer… If you argue JesseBahnFuhrer into a corner, to the point where JesseBahnFuhrer is left with ONLY absurdities, JesseBahnFuhrer will NEVER admit error, being already a Perfect Being, Who Makes No Errors, Ever!)

        1. Hey sarcasmic, knew I made a mistake summoning you.

          And yes. Biden can fire any political appointee he wants without reason or consultation with Congress.

          Amazing how after a year you still don’t get this.

          1. Wow, it took you a LOOOOOONG time before acknowledging that what applies to Der TrumpfenFuhrer, applies to Der BidenFuhrer as well!

            Now when it comes to IMPEACHING Trump for EXTREMELY shitty judgment exercised in doing the above, you will argue against it till the end of time! But NOT for Der BidenFuhrer, in like circumstances!

            We all (well, the mentally balanced ones, at least) know an EXTREME partisan when we see one!

            1. Lol. No it didn’t you fucking drunk retard. I’ve never conditioned powers of the office based on occupant dummy.

              God damn. Your entire life is strawman.

              1. So then, WHY did it take you a LOOOOOONG time before acknowledging that what applies to Der TrumpfenFuhrer, applies to Der BidenFuhrer as well?!

                https://reason.com/2020/02/07/michael-bloomberg-and-the-imperious-presidency-2/#comment-8120658

                JesseSPAZ comment: “He can fire political appointees for any fucking reason he wants.” With Respect to Der TrumpfenFuhrer, of course!
                Jesse’s over-archingly lusting after the super-powers of the Trumptatorshit YET AGAIN!!!

                Trump can fire them for not assigning their entire paychecks to Trump… For not licking Trump’s balls as much as JesseSPAZ does… For turning down Trump’s requests for then to perform personal murder-for-hire… For having fucked Stormy Daniels out of turn, when it was Trump’s turn… For Air Force Captain-Sir-Dude-Sir-Pilot-Sir refusing orders to go and bomb Nancy Pelosi’s house…

                “Der BidenFuhrer can fire political appointees for any fucking reason he wants.”

                Send the above back to me… The above sentence… With your approval, that you sign on to it… And THEN I will believe that you FINALLY understand the “what is good for the goose, is good for the gander” principle!

                1. Wow. You truly are an idiot. My argument remains consistent you fucking idiot. The powers of the executive to fire a political appointee are unbound.

                  Are you truly this fucking stupid?

                  No argument has been changed dumbass.

                2. “Der BidenFuhrer can fire political appointees for any fucking reason he wants.”

                  Please send that back to me, and I will believe you, liar!

  3. But it’s even more important to recognize private citizens’ and businesses’ right to freely associate with whomever they want.

    Yup.

      1. Serve them lunch!

        1. Descendants of Ham aren’t allowed in my Kosher deli.

        2. Hey now, WK said you aren’t allowed to bring in civil rights issues in regards to other businesses to these discussions. He was totes serious about this.

  4. Should libertarians start criticizing private businesses when they receive bailouts during a financial crisis and provide customer information to federal agencies during “insurrections”? Or is Bank of America beyond reproach because of they operate according to the invisible hand of the free market, in addition to a few helping hands from the American taxpayers?

    1. Bank of America free market? Banks are the most regulated industry. They got bailed out because they bought and paid for Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters, Chuck Schumer and others. Anyone on the banking committee or influence there of garnered lots of donations from the financial industry.

  5. “Far worse than such private cancel culture is when politicians tell us we don’t have a right to insult cops, or when they’re the ones setting the rules about what we must prohibit—or allow.”

    Do Americans have the freedom to post memes? Or, are we relegated to expressing ourselves only at our own peril, to be ever fearful of retributive government prosecutions on the theory that our speech is inherently dangerous or disruptive?

    The implications of the Douglass Mackey case should give everyone pause. An excellent discussion of the issue by Professor Volokh can be accessed here:

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/douglass-mackey-ricky-vaughn-memes-first-amendment

    We should be extremely wary of any government attempt to criminalize speech by relying upon an increasingly attenuated class of societal “consequences” purportedly “caused” by the speech in question, especially when the mechanisms to effectuate the doling out of punishment for such “bad” speech are codified within vague and arbitrary statutes that, with little effort, can be deployed against anyone, for any reason. We should likewise be wary of any restrictions upon speech that turn upon the identity of the speaker, as well those restrictions which, by their very terms, negate the freedom or agency of listeners and readers to grapple with speech on their own terms.

    “If we do not believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we do not believe in it at all.”

    ― Noam Chomsky

    1. If you want to argue that speech that is a part of a conspiracy to deprive people of their rights should be protected speech, then have at it.

      1. Racist speech is arguably speech which attempts to deprive people of their rights, or that offers a position that certain people’s rights are subordinate to a racial hierarchy. Racist speech is protected speech.

        Reason posted an article this weekend in which there was an argument proffered that the first amendment should be greatly curtailed– that is speech that is part of a conspiracy to deprive people of their rights. It never even occurs to me– let alone is attractive– to suggest that this person’s speech should be curtailed.

        I think what you probably meant to argue is that speech which is a direct attempt to defraud someone should not be allowed.

        1. He does not understand the definition of “fraud.”

          1. >>the definition of “fraud.”

            lack of due diligence.

        2. Racist speech is arguably speech which attempts to deprive people of their rights, or that offers a position that certain people’s rights are subordinate to a racial hierarchy. Racist speech is protected speech.

          Which rights do you think are violated by racist speech?

          Reason posted an article this weekend in which there was an argument proffered that the first amendment should be greatly curtailed– that is speech that is part of a conspiracy to deprive people of their rights. It never even occurs to me– let alone is attractive– to suggest that this person’s speech should be curtailed.

          I disagree with the government trying to censor people due to “misinformation”. And it’s currently legal to spread misinformation, and should be IMO.

          I think what you probably meant to argue is that speech which is a direct attempt to defraud someone should not be allowed.

          Fraud is a subset of what I’m referring to, yes.

          1. I disagree with the government trying to censor people due to “misinformation”. And it’s currently legal to spread misinformation, and should be IMO.M

            Except for the meme maker, right? Or Trump, his speech is incitement, right?

            1. I can already see Jeff’s response:

              Um, I clearly said “censor” not “arrest.” Arresting a person for their speech is, by definition, not censorship. Do you need me to provide you with a dictionary.com comparison so that you can see that the definition of “censor” is literally different from the definition of “arrest”? Why do you support Team Red fascists?”

        3. Except. Who should be the arbiter of truth?
          Do you believe for one second that this arbitership will not be exploited to silence critics or political opponents? If so, then I have some ocean-view homes in Tuscon you may be interested in.

          Not 100 years ago, if someone said that there was no biological superiority between the races with whites on top, they would be labeled a science-denying fool. Or in different parts, saying that animals evolved would get you labeled a heretic.

          Of course, Nixon didn’t have a cabal of henchmen lying, cheating, and stealing to win an election. He most certainly wouldn’t call it “CREEP”. What is this, a spy movie?

          Of course Hoover, the head of the FBI doesn’t have files on everyone for ready blackmail. Claiming so is ridiculous.

          We know every statement listed above is true, and I could go on for hours. We know it because people were free and able to question them.

          As for racist remarks, I’ve heard clearly true statements labeled as racist for purposes of saying “shut up”. Many of these have had articles on this very site. How are you going to address and fix these issues if discussing the existence is banned?

          Now, do you really want someone able to quash speech by declaring it “hateful” or “disinformation”?

          1. “Who should be the arbiter of truth?”

            The people that believe truth is arbitrable never fail to envision themselves as anything but the arbitrators. They believe they, and they alone, are entitled to make the call. It never occurs to them that their speech can be targeted just as easily as the speech of people with whom they disagree.

      2. Are you capable of actually reading anything? And, when I use the term “reading” I mean reading the actual written words on the page. Are you capable of reading the actual written words on a page?

        Frankly, I have yet to see you read a comment or observation or third-party citation, on any subject, without immediately replacing all of the words therein with other words entirely of your own choosing.

        You are deluding yourself, but fooling nobody. I hope the juice is worth the squeeze, because you are making your employers look silly.

      3. LOL. The fact you still think he stole votes because a prosecutor says he did is all the proof that you’re a partisan authoritarian we need.

        Weird how you keep ignoring the dozens of other examples of comics, democrats, and others making similar memes.

        Or you ignore major newspapers pushing published lies the day before an election to sway votes.

        Just such consistency from you.

    2. And by the way, for those who aren’t aware:

      What Douglass Mackey did, was conspire with a bunch of his loser buddies in 2016 to post memes, targeted at certain demographics that he thought would vote for Hillary, that encouraged them to “vote by text” or “vote by hashtag”, so that they would not cast a legal vote, thereby depressing voter turnout. Those that were tricked into thinking they had cast a legitimate “vote by text” would therefore not show up on Election Day and were therefore robbed of their right to vote.

      They were not just ordinary memes either, some slapdash editing of some well known picture, they were deliberately constructed to look like they came from the Hillary campaign. Here’s one of them:

      https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/tasneemnashrulla/ricky-vaughn-twitter-troll-arrested-election-interference

      So he posed as an agent of Hillary’s campaign encouraging her supporters to “vote” via an invalid method.

      Mackey’s defenders here, like GG above, want to pretend that this is some authoritarian impulse by the Evil Democrats to throw someone in jail who merely said mean things about Hillary. No, no it wasn’t. It was about robbing people of their right to vote and that’s wrong.

      1. This is copy pasta — the same copy pasta that chemjeff posts every time Douglass Mackey is mentioned.

        Ignore chemjeff’s dishonest recitation of the facts and the law, neither of which he understands.

        He is a paid troll and consistently lies about the facts of the case.

        Professor Volokh’s analysis can be found here:

        https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/douglass-mackey-ricky-vaughn-memes-first-amendment

      2. Yes, we know, you are deferring to the prosecution to rationalize your disbelief in free speech. That’s fine.

        What you are saying is utter nonsense. When a paper publishes lies, it is done to sway voters. When a politician publishes an ad it can be to sway votes. This is how politics work.

        You just want to rationalize why the government is good for charging someone for 10 years for a meme. That’s fine, just admit what you are doing. You have no principles.

      3. I’m kind of OK with people that stupid not voting for real.

        1. The lawyers like fancy words… “Egregious” comes to mind. “Egregious” = utterly over-the-top outrageous (theft by deception, theft of the right to vote in this case).

          Hey perlhaqr… I go up to your senile elderly mother, tell her that I am a doctor, and give her some cyanide pills, and tell her that her taking the pills will help her health troubles, and she dies after taking the pills BECAUSE I LIED TO HER (I stole her life by deception), ya gonna excuse it because in your mind, you’re kind of OK with stupid people not living? HOW DEEP does your evil go?

          1. “I go up to your senile elderly mother, tell her that I am a doctor, and give her some cyanide pills, and tell her that her taking the pills will help her health troubles, and she dies after ….”

            LOL

            Murdering a woman is the same as posting a meme.

            Lefty “logic” on full display ladies and gentlemen.

            1. In my example, I never touched the old lady… All I did was steal her life through deception. If I did my lying by “posting a meme” to steal her life, would it then be OK with you, words-mangler?

              Stealing your vote isn’t quite the same as stealing your life, granted, but “consent of the governed” is VERY important to those of us who abhor authoritarianism! Do you treasure honest votes and freedom from authoritarianism? Or do you justify stealing votes from people, in the name of “well, if we can steal their votes, it’s OK, because they’re stupid”? How deep is YOUR evil?

              AUTHORITARIANISM KILLS, every bit as much as poison pills do!!! 120,000,000 or so people killed by authoritarianism in the 20th century is NOT yet enough for you?

              1. “In my example, I never touched the old lady ….”

                And if you had shot her in the face, you would never have “touched” her either.

                Is this really the level of reasoning we are dealing with here? This is absurd.

                1. Stealing votes and thwarting democracy leads to authoritarianism.

                  AUTHORITARIANISM KILLS, every bit as much as poison pills do!!! 120,000,000 or so people killed by authoritarianism in the 20th century is NOT yet enough for you?

                  Jailing vote-thieves to prevent yet ANOTHER 120,000,000 or so people killed by authoritarianism sounds like a damned fine idea to me! How many millions dead do YOU need?

                  1. “Stealing votes …”

                    Mackey is not being accused or charged with “stealing votes.”

                    1. Well OK then, the demise of democracy, and replacing it with authoritarianism (which has killed more than 100 million in the last century alone)… Because we can’t be bothered to defend it from people who would deliberately thwart and defeat democracy and voting… That’s totes OK! Because let’s fight, instead, about what exact LABLE we’ll apply to the power-grabbing, authoritarian democracy-haters!

                    2. If you do not care about the facts, or the law, just say so. People that do not care about the facts or the law make for exceedingly poor guardians of democracy; indeed, they are often the destroyers of democracy.

                    3. https://chrisguillebeau.com/nothing-hitler-did-was-illegal/#:~:text=Martin%20Luther%20King%2C%20Jr.,always%20on%20the%20same%20side.

                      Martin Luther King Jr. quote:

                      “NOTHING HITLER DID WAS ILLEGAL”

                      Keep on worshipping the Sacred Written Laws, ye authoritarian ye… But only when it suits YOUR side, if we are honest!

                      I side with Martin Luther King Jr. on this issue!

                      This list is endless… Slavery in the USA, no votes for women, concentration camps for Japanese-American parents whose sons meanwhile served the USA armed forces in WW II, and on and on… All “legal”!!!

                      My violence LEGAL, your violence ILLEGAL, will justify it all!

                    4. Like I said, if you do not care about the facts and do not care about the law, just say so. In fact, it seems you are saying exactly that all in order to justify the government imprisoning someone because your personal moral compass tells you that is the right thing to do.

                      At least we have your stance on the record, loud and clear. We will proceed accordingly.

                    5. When you proceed accordingly, just PLEASE make sure NOT to do ANY new versions of… Slavery in the USA, no votes for women, concentration camps for Japanese-American parents whose sons and-or daughters meanwhile serve the USA armed forces, and on and on… Evil power pigs are evil, whether their evil is “legal” or not!

                    6. When you proceed accordingly …

                      Flagged. Refresh. That is how we proceed accordingly.

                    7. Lol. Saecaamoc is back to calling trump an authoritarian while defending biden and the lefts open calls for such.

                      God damn.

          2. Except pushing false medical instruction is not protected anywhere.

            On the other hand, political satire is sacrosanct.
            That’s what this is. A political satire. While it’s no Modest Proposal, and certainly doesn’t approach anything by Twain, it is still mockery of a political opponent.

            Political criticism is the most important point of the first amendment. Any attack on this right is an attack on the foundation of democracy.

            1. It is not satire. Mackey himself didn’t think it was satire. It was a serious attempt to suppress the vote by tricking people into voting in an invalid way, so that they would not vote in a valid way.

              And pushing false medical instruction is absolutely an example of unprotected speech, because it is a part of a fraudulent scheme. That is exactly what Mackey was pushing. A fraudulent scheme to deprive people of their right to vote.

              1. “It is not satire.”

                Geiger Goldstaedt
                March.22.2021 at 12:12 pm

                “Who should be the arbiter of truth?”

                The people that believe truth is arbitrable never fail to envision themselves as anything but the arbitrators. They believe they, and they alone, are entitled to make the call. It never occurs to them that their speech can be targeted just as easily as the speech of people with whom they disagree.

                It never ceases to amaze me how eager stupid people are to display to the entire world their myopia on matters of freedom.

                1. Yeah, I laughed pretty hard at this irony.

              2. A serious attempt by reaching a dozen voters. Much less serious than the Post publishing lies before the run off election. LOL

                What a clown. An obese clown.

              3. Except he didn’t deprive anyone of anything. It would take two minutes to check on whether voting by text is a real thing. These are obviously all people with phones and internet access. If anyone fell for that shit they have no one to blame but themselves. And I’m pretty OK with anyone who would fall for that shit not voting.

                1. So the victims of lies “…have no one to blame but themselves. ”

                  Are you sure that this is a hill you’d care to die on?

                  1. So, you think it is okay to imprison people for lying?

                    1. Yes, it is, when their lying involves theft by deception, or slander, or libel (well more so civil penalties not jail for the latter 2), or illegal commands to military subordinates, forged checks, false testimony in court, verbally offering up murder for hire, and on and on… And civil penalties (not jail) for contractually offering benefits for money from the other party, and not delivering. SOME speech IS punishable by law, and needs to remain that way!

                      HOW do you propose running a safe and sane society WITHOUT the above, traditional kinds of provisions? Suppose you are a business owners… Are you OK with me running you out of business by me telling lies about your products and services? With you have ZERO legal recourse?

                    2. How do you steal a vote? Not a ballot, but a vote.

                      Explain.

                    3. See…

                      SQRLSY One
                      March.22.2021 at 5:42 pm

                      below, for your answer.

                    4. An authoritarian sarcasmic doubles down. Lol.

                      Now do the Posts lies the day before the election shit eater.

            2. “My Aunt is silly enough to believe that pushing an on-line button is the same as voting”, or writing fiction to the same effect (labelled and-or sold as fiction) is satire. FOOLING PEOPLE, deliberately, into believing such things, goes beyond satire! If it is “legal” today, doesn’t make it right!

              “Political criticism” label fixes nothing, any more than labeling my theft-of-life, by deception, as “medical criticism”.

              1. So because your aunt is demented, people have to be jailed for their speech?

                1. “Theft by deception” has, for a LOOOONG time, been recognized as an exception to free speech “rights”. What benefits do you see, in tearing down this particular exception? Do you and yours lust endlessly after being ripped off by liars? If so, why? What particular lies is it that YOU want to be ripped off by? I am QUITE sure that you can find, or make for yourself, SOME echo chamber, somewhere, that will tell you those lies that you want! But not here, on a libertarian web site, without me disputing your lusts for your lies!

                  1. Do you understand the meaning of the word “theft”?

                    1. noun
                      the action or crime of stealing.

                      I noticed you answered NONE of my questions! Now what lies do YOU want to hear, so that we can steal (??what??) from you?

                  2. Explain, in detail, how a vote is stolen. Pay attention. When I say vote, I mean vote — I do not mean ballot.

                    How do you “steal” someone’s vote?

                    1. Hey Geiger, I am here from the election bureau, and press these buttons here, and I PROMISE that your votes will be duly recorded and counted! And here is my (fake) badge to PROVE that I am from the election bureau!

                      Then I discard your votes, done!

                      I just stole your vote! It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? But my vote-stealing “free speech” is OK, because my victim is stupid, right? What do you want, I as a voter I need to do DNA analysis on everyone in the chains of officials who record my votes, so that I can be SURE that they are who they say they are? Otherwise, for lack of me doing my “due diligence”, it is MY fault for being stupid?

                      Ya ever hear of “social capital”, AKA, our ability to trust one another, and to also trust the Powers that Be? Do you give ONE single damn about defending “social capital”, from liars that erode said “social capital”?

                    2. Wow. We get youre an idiot sarcasmic. You can stop now. I posted current USSC interpretation of fraud the first time team retard tried this. But keep going lol.

                    3. Der JesseBahnFuhrer wants to ENDLESSLY keep right on eroding said “social capital”… Der JesseBahnFuhrer thrives on all of us mistrusting each other, and being at each other’s throats, all day, every day! Over the LIES we tell each other, to steal shit (including votes) from one another! Evil Ones obey the Will of the Evil One! More news at 11:00!

                    4. Let’s try again:

                      Explain, in detail, how a vote is stolen. Pay attention. When I say vote, I mean vote — I do not mean ballot.

                      How do you “steal” someone’s vote?

                      Ok, give it a shot.

    3. Here is the FBI complaint against Mackey:

      https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1360816/download

      So read it for yourself and judge whether you think what Mackey did was protected speech or not.

      Note that gaslighters like GG above will never tell you truthfully about what Mackey actually did, they instead construct a narrative of unjust oppression and demand that you accept it at face value.

      1. This is copy pasta — the same copy pasta that chemjeff posts every time Douglass Mackey is mentioned.

        Ignore chemjeff’s dishonest recitation of the facts and the law, neither of which he understands.

        He is a paid troll and consistently lies about the facts of the case.

        Professor Volokh’s analysis can be found here:

        https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/douglass-mackey-ricky-vaughn-memes-first-amendment

      2. Actually, read the FBI complaint.

        If I changed the party of the politicians involved, would your view change? Would you still view this as a federal election crime?

        If the honest answer is yes, then you have your moment of clarity. Partisan blinders are actually very hard to detect when you are the one wearing them.

        And if the honest answer is no… You don’t really belong on a libertarian site. Even taking the FBI at face value, there is no case here and the violation of the 1st amendment is obvious.

        Even the Volohk analysis doesn’t apply in this case when you really read the facts about the scope of the memes. With little reach, and almost exclusively “inside the group” reach, even the theoretical possibility harm is absent.

        1. Of course the party doesn’t matter. Trying to steal votes is wrong, regardless.

          What Mackey did was no different than attempting to steal completed absentee ballots from mailboxes, by fraudulently posing as a secure means to have those votes counted. This would be wrong by any standard. Saying “oh there were only a couple of purported victims” doesn’t make it any less wrong.

          1. “What Mackey did was no different than attempting to steal completed absentee ballots from mailboxes …”

            Odd, in that case, that he was not charging with stealing absentee ballots. If you have to invent facts to justify your analysis — and, to ne clear, you are inventing facts — your analysis is bunk.

            1. It’s called an analogy. This is obvious to anyone with knowledge of English grammar, by the use of the construction “no different than”.

              If you have a problem with the analogy, then say so.

              But here again all you are doing is obfuscating and obscuring, rather than revealing and discussing.

              1. It’s called an analogy.

                If you have to pivot to an analogy to make your argument while ignoring the actual facts of the case at hand, your argument is bunk.

                1. Translation: You don’t like the validity of the analogy.

                  1. “Translation: You don’t like the validity of the analogy.”

                    Translation: Jeff does not want to be constrained by facts, and is comfortable inventing facts of his own.

              2. And if he was going around killing people he would be guilty of murder, but he wasn’t doing any of those things

          2. Then why do you refuse to call out the democrats, comics, and others who have posted similar memes? Why do you not call out papers for publishing lies?

          3. So everyone who spread lies about Trump/ Russia, etc should be jailed? Im starting to come around….

      3. Appeal to prosecutor is my favorite type of appeal.

        1. Yesterday, chemjeff the libertarian was arguing that we should take unproven government allegations against people at “face value” because we have no reason to disbelieve the government and that refusing to do so is just a trick to “manufacture doubt.”

          https://reason.com/2021/03/21/why-we-still-shouldnt-censor-misinformation/#comment-8818282

          I don’t know if I have ever heard anything more transparently authoritarian from any poster here. Ever. Not even Tony, who seems to be a parody account.

          1. Let’s try this again, but this time, a correct recount of recent history.

            Yesterday, I posted evidence in favor of a claim. GG, who didn’t want the claim to be true, attacked the source instead of providing evidence against the claim. He threw metaphorical sand in the air to obscure and obfuscate rather than to provide clarity and shine light on what actually occurred. In short he acted like a defense lawyer for a client, where the object isn’t to discover what did or didn’t happen, but instead the object is to manufacture just enough doubt so that the jury (here the readers) acquits his client.

            To say the government is lying just because it’s the government, is no more valid than to say that Sean Hannity is lying just because he’s Sean Hannity, or Rachel Maddow is lying just because she’s Rachel Maddow.

            Glad I could clear that up for you.

            1. “Yesterday, I posted evidence in favor of a claim. GG, who didn’t want the claim to be true, attacked the source instead of providing evidence against the claim.”

              The “evidence” was a charging instrument by the government containing unproven allegations. A charging instrument is not “evidence.” Further, pointing out that a charging instrument by the government contains unproven allegations is not “attacking the source,” either, but stating a fact.

              But, by all means, please explain again how we honest libertarians need to take unproven government allegations in a charging instrument at face value and are required to presume everything stated therein is true.

              I made a point yesterday that the goal of engaging with you at all is to make you expose yourself as an idiot to everybody reading your comments. Today, you seem to be more than eager to oblige.

              Good job, Jeff.

              1. Honest libertarians should use facts and logic and reason, not conspiratorial paranoid twaddle.

                And by the way, wasn’t the subject about Douglass Mackey, not what these Proud Boys did? Hmm, perhaps you are changing the subject.

                https://lazyperfectionist1.blogspot.com/2012/12/logical-fallacies-changing-subject.html

                And here you are yet again with more of your defense lawyer crap by trying to attack my character. Why?

                Why are you attempting to serve as the defense lawyer of the Proud Boys? Why are you attempting to serve as the defense lawyer of Douglass Mackey?

              2. “Why are you attempting to serve as the defense lawyer of the Proud Boys? Why are you attempting to serve as the defense lawyer of Douglass Mackey?”

                Now that Jeff has run out of arguments, he will eagerly display his idiocy for hours to come.

                So, Jeff, why are you attempting to serve as a government prosecutor? Is it because you are a bootlicking dimwit without the slightest idea about what it means to be a libertarian?

                1. I’m not trying to *prove* anyone is legally guilty of anything. You, however, are the one nobly serving as Defense Counsel for sketchy right-wingers here in the Reason Court Room. If this were some ACLU act where you would proclaim “I stand up for the presumption of innocence for everyone accused of a crime regardless!” then it would be one thing, but we all know it is not. It’s always sketchy right-wingers, and it’s always a narrative of Unjust Oppression that Douglass Mackey is going to be held to account for conspiring to deprive people of their constitutional right to vote, or that Proud Boys are going to be held to account for conspiring to invade the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. It’s just more right-wing victim culture crap.

                  Well you get the last word, as I have actual tasks to do today. Evidently your lawyer business must be very slow since you seem to have unlimited amounts of time to comment here at Reason.

                2. “I’m not trying to *prove* anyone is legally guilty of anything.”

                  Why would you ever need to prove anything? The government said it, therefore it must be true.

                  We all get it, Jeff.

                  1. The problem is he doesn’t.

          2. no, WK is using the prosecutors brief against Rittenhouse as proof that Rittenhouse is guilty. The authoritarian left often appeals to prosecutions instead of the law.

  6. When Amazon won’t sell your book, you can head to Barnes & Noble.

    My Barnes and Noble closed.

    Also, someone recently made an excellent and chilling point: That if Amazon, for example, refused to sell a book from a given author or a book that covered a specific subject, no publisher would probably even attempt to publish said author/book/subject because of the risk associated with one of the most major sellers being a non-starter for them.

    1. First no one is allowed by the mob or govt to publish the book and then the burning starts. And then they move on to the people who complain and burn them. A no Allies to come over and say: Hey, stop that or else.

    2. Somehow, somwhere there’s an publishing company still churning out The Turner Diaries. I’m sure you could get them to publish your work cost/consequence free.

      Nothing says libertarianism like one private press outlet. Remember when libertarianism was about the government not thumbing the scales *at all*?

    3. This is true. Most publishers will immediately refuse to publish a book that Amazon will not carry. It’s not worth their time or effort.

    4. This is how completely out of touch Fonzie is. Therenare no more brick amd mortar bookstores, and the problem with Amazon is they also own Amazon Web Services, and can just about keep anything they want off of the internet enriry by dehosting any non-compliers
      See: Parler

  7. The bad news is that the laws just keep coming, because politicians of all stripes want to control speech in a way that favors their agendas and they don’t care about whether a law respects the First Amendment.

    They don’t much care for the rest of the Constitution, either, why should the First Amendment be treated any different? The Rule of Law and Equal Protection have been dead letters for years so why should I continue to honor the social contract when our Lords and Masters in Washington clearly operate under a different set of rules?

  8. As per the definition of inalienable, such a right cannot be given or taken away from the possessor.

    It doesn’t matter who wants to do it, privately or state. It’s an attack on the constitution. Either must be met with the most stringent opposition.

    If a law is broken, the constitution requires due process not private or state vigilantism.

    What do we do with governments that attack the constitution?

    1. Roll up the second amendment and whack them with it?

  9. Apparently, it is no big deal that Amazon regards transgender ideology as something that it is beyond the pale to question at all. And as other people have pointed out, Amazon market share is so big that a book even mildly controversial about a subject on its dogmatic list probably is going to find it difficult to be published at all, because the market reach is going to be so limited. Amazon may have put itself into the realm of public accommodation.

    1. To properly evaluate what is happening with groupthink at the moment, it is really instructive to listen to the latest 5th column. They had Jeffrey Sachs and Matt Welch on talking about the problem with these terrible anti-anti-racists.

      They played a clip from Sachs at a Soho debate on cancel culture on campus and it was telling. Just a couple of years ago he was still saying that there really is no such thing. He had surveys that said so.

      Today? Same thing. Although he is personally growing more concerned, he sees the real threat as people of the right succumbing to hysteria and attempting to fight cancel culture. Worse, he doesn’t really think there is much of a one sided nature to it.

      It really is astonishing. Much of the media are surprised at the firing (resignation) of the teen Vogue editor. They view it as perhaps the first instance and an outlier.

      Somehow the left-libertarian crowd has been able to look at the last decade and only see a bunch of whiny right-wingers complaint about an imaginary boogie man and then suddenly over the last year there has been a massive shift and out of nowhere they came for a couple of liberals.

      It really is insane. They still think that the conservative complaints of deplatforming are hysteria over a tiny number of anecdotes.

      1. “Somehow the left-libertarian crowd has been able to look at the last decade and only see a bunch of whiny right-wingers complaint about an imaginary boogie man and then suddenly over the last year there has been a massive shift and out of nowhere they came for a couple of liberals.”

        “We are not worried; it will never happen to us.”

      2. Fvck Welchie with a rusty chainsaw

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  11. You guys are just completely wrong on this one. Matt was on 5th column the other day largely agreeing with the assertion of the guest that the real threat to free speech is only on the right.

    Woke is not a problem… It probably doesn’t really exist to any great degree. There is only the beginning of a concern because they are starting to come after liberal professors and editors of teen vogue.

    The real threat, they say, is people who are opposed to anti-racism and critical race theory. Because stopping schools from teaching kids that white people are inherently racist and dangerous and that all of western society is inherently evil and racist is totally a threat to free speech and that is what we must fight.

    You stand with the Bolsheviks, Nick.

    The solution to the missteps of those who are fighting this attack on freedom and the society crested by the enlightenment is to stand up and help ensure that they win. Then you can shape the form that the win takes.

    Your solution is akin to telling the guy who is getting mugged that he should watch his language and that violence is never the solution. So instead of helping to stop the mugging you seek to prevent him from lashing out to protect himself.

    You are on the wrong side of this one. This is not a place for handwringing unless you are grabbing a pitchfork and leading the charge in a better way. Reason should be the vanguard of this charge, but because it has been so deeply entangled in Trump mania, the supposed light of liberty has completely lost the thread.

    1. Today in libertarian news and commentary.

      The free-speech crisis is not a right-wing myth
      Those denying the existence of cancel culture are often in its vanguard.

      Too many on what passes for the left today are keen to dismiss the free-speech crisis in universities as a ‘right-wing myth’. They brush off the countless examples of censorship as overhyped. And they ignore concerns about the moral policing of dissenting views.

      In short, they effectively deny that a free-speech crisis exists. And they do so by attacking those who are sounding the alarm. As far as these deniers are concerned, the problem is not cancel culture; it is those dishonest myth-makers who are drawing attention to it.

      Just listen to them. In a piece entitled ‘The myth of the free-speech crisis’ Guardian journalist Nesrine Malik waves away people’s ‘overblown fears of censorship’, and argues that those defending the principle of free speech are only doing so because they want to normalise ‘hate speech or shut down legitimate responses to it’. As she sees it, her attack on free speech is really an attack on the ‘racism and prejudice’ that is supposedly advanced in its name.

    2. The problem is with anti-racism and critical race theory is that it’s an exceedingly poor disguise for racism and anti-critical race theory.

      However, it’s not the fault of racism or anti-critical race theory that there are mountains of rubes willing to buy in because it’s donned grandma’s bed clothes.

    3. Cyto, you have to distinguish between government action and private action.

      If a private company hires a private firm to teach its private employees that all the white employees are racist because they are white – no matter how much any of us might disagree with this practice, it is their business to do so. No government coercion is involved there. If that’s what they want to do, why should any of us speak otherwise?

      I think we can all agree that firing someone over 10-year-old stupid tweener tweets is rather dumb. But again why should any of us, let alone the government, insert ourselves into the employer-employee relationship, when it’s a private company and a private employee? Their money, their property, their rules.

      Schools are a little trickier because a lot of them are publicly funded. But even there the entire point of a school is to teach different ideas and expose students to different viewpoints. So sure a local school board that really didn’t like CRT or some left-wing idea could vote to forbid its schools from teaching something not on a list of ‘approved ideas’. But that is not furthering the cause of education. That really is a type of indoctrination – only teach the ‘correct things’ – that Team Red rails against in schools when they think Team Blue is doing it.

      The threat to liberty here is from an overreaction from a reactionary government that is willing to use the power of the state to stop people from learning ‘bad’ ideas.

      1. “If a private company hires a private firm to teach its private employees that all the white black employees are racist because they are white black – no matter how much any of us might disagree with this practice, it is their business to do so.”

        The EEOC would like to have a word with you.

      2. If a private company hires a private firm to teach its private employees that all the white employees are racist because they are white

        Oh. So corporate harassment laws don’t apply to whites. Got it.

      3. This is the distraction.

        If you want to prevent government overreach, you need to stop the wrong that is driving the impetus to overreach.

        The massive move by the left to turn everything into leftist propaganda and push racist ideologies designed to get people to hate each other is guaranteed to provoke a response.

        If you do not fight the initial wrong, you guarantee the negative consequences of the response.

        This is why we have police to fight crime… So that vigilante mobs won’t handle it themselves.

  12. Folk, a little bit of perspective here: Over 100 years before there was an Amazon.com, Sears and Roebuck was the one who offered “Earth’s Biggest Selection.”

    In fact, Sears and Roebuck sold more types of items back then than Amazon.com did today because Sears and Roebuck also sold handguns, rifles, shotguns, and Tommy Guns without licences or registration (pre-1934.)

    And Sears and Roebuck even shipped the kits of entire livable housesby rail..and some are still standing and occupied today!

    Despite this, over the years, Sears and Roebuck did all that it did to get where it got today, which is to say, it is almost completely no longer a going concern…an ex-retail empire.

    Hell, I remember working at Sear and Roebuck when they discontinued sewing machines and fabric, even though these were wildly popular with local ladies who did their own designing, costuming, and quilting. They earlier discontinuesd sporting goods whith a local population that loved hunting and fishing. And the clothing just got chintzier while remaining high-priced. Sears and Roebuck may have been a bargain in the days of company towns and company stores, but no more!

    To sum up, nothing exempts Amazon.com from going the way of Sears and Roebuck and in fact, nowadays, it can happen way faster. Please keep all this in mind before dragging government into Culture War fracases.

    1. In fact, Sears and Roebuck sold more types of items back then than Amazon.com did today because Sears and Roebuck also sold handguns, rifles, shotguns, and Tommy Guns without licences or registration (pre-1934.)

      Oh really? Lots of iPhones sold via the Sears catalog back in the day?

      Holy fuck are you stupid.

      1. More types of items, not the same items. Crucial detail.

        And I’d rather rely on the sturdy rail-shipped houses and Tommy Guns against the Woke rabble than an iPhone.

        The point of my story was that nothing human-created has to be and can always be otherwise and that goes for Amazon.com too.

        1. What was the handheld computing device sold by Sears 100 years ago?

          1. Skipping past massive, broad categories of 3D printer parts, sex toys, electronics components that Amazon sells, what handheld computer device, internet hosting service, software marketplace app, electronic ink device, voice-activated home assitant devices did Sears sell?

            Exactly how many newspapers did Sears’ various CEOs own?

            1. Sears did own the WLS (world’s largest store) radio station with a massive reach in the Midwest. There was an old saying, if you want to become a thousandaire sell something a customer buys once a year, If you want to become a millionaire sell something the customer buys everyday. Even though Sears sold billions of dollars worth of merchandise, Walmart and Kmart superseded Sears rapidly by marketing household items. BTW Sears also had an extremely large data network back in the day, large enough to merge it with IBM to create the short lived Advantis corporation, eventually taken over by IBM.

    2. Sears didnt collude with other like thinking companies and the gov’t [or party of the govt in power] to actively subvert the values that made the constitution possible

  13. Just build your own bookstore and publishing company and sell your illicit extremist propaganda out of the back of your van in full disguise, taking care not to be noticed by the closest white supremacy police who is on patrol

  14. I thought “Section 230” protected on-line platforms from being sued for content because they were not editors and were therefore not responsible for content. They just provided the forum.

    Now they want to decide what can and cannot be posted on their forums but still bear no responsibility for content.

    That sounds like having their cake and eating it too. Would it not make more sense to abolish the special protections of “Section 230” and let the free market do the rest?

    1. Not only their forums, but the forums of others as well, see Parlor and the various SV companies.

  15. Oh, and here’s another good place to share my own own encounter with Cancel Culture…from a source you would think would be very unlikely.

    Years ago, I participated in Survivalist and Prepper Forums to get insights from others about techniques and devices for use in preparing for natural and human-created natural disasters. I still have an interest in the subjects, but use Web Sites and books to get that knowledge instead because the cultures of those Forums are just too toxic.

    Too often you get nuzzled up too close for comfort against Apocalyptic Bible Thumpers jonesing for J.C.’s big comeback, White Supremacists/Neo-Nazis wanting their exclusive gated Ethno-State in the Pacific Northwest, and Conspiracy-ologists of every freaky flavor. You also have these damn creeps who talk about staking-out, casing, and looting places when we are Without Rule Of Law (WROL) and The Shit Hits The Fan (TSHTF.) Some even talked about the nutritional benefits of “long pork.”

    When any of them got too far off the deep end, I had to sagely counsel them that implementing their utopian dreams and sick fantasies in the real world is a very good way to get shot by upright freedom-loving people. They would never approach me in the Forums after that.

    Anyway, while they allow all of this shit to take place, The Frugal Squirrels Forum very shabbily treated and eventually expelled a fine member who was filled with insights on many subjects, a guy who went by the name M-1 Garand, all because M-1 Garand was an Atheist and didn’t roll over for the Fundamentalist Christian nonsense of the owners of the Forum.

    Another Forum, SurvivalistBoards.com has all the above pathologies and is kinda like the Hotel California…You can checkout anytime you like, but your data and content never leave. They mastered that little trick even before Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

    Finally, there was my time on The Rock which was Jack Spirko’s Survival Podcast Forum. Once I got put in the corner with a warning for innocently saying: “You can make book on that.” The Moderator of the moment accused me of advocating gambling by saying that and threatened me with The Ban-Hammer if I continued such talk.

    The real fun happened when someone posted a news story about an Amish woman who got burned to death by an oil lantern accident and left 6 children as orphans.

    I expressed sorrow that this woman died and left her children behind senselessly because of a worldview that renounces modern technology. For this, the Moderator known a Bad Quaker banned me from the Forum for expressing so-called “religious bigotry.” I appealed this to the main Moderator Sister Wolf and she upheld Bad Quaker’s decision. Jack Spirko was right out as a final appeal. Jack delegated all moderation to his stoolies while we devoted his podcast to talking about making raw-meat biltong and cussing out “ass-clown drivers” while he made his podcast on the road.

    The whole experience at the time was bewildering and angering to me, but you know what?

    After all of this drama and trauma of dealing with all the shit that goes on in Survivalist/Prepper Forums…I lived!

    And not only that, I eliminated a source of deadly stress in my life! And I lived to warn others to stay the Hell away from these camo-covered hen parties.

    Also, parenthetically, Jack Spirko’s Survival Podcast Forum is no longer active for participation and Bad Quaker died of brain cancer. Apropo of something, someone on one of those Forums once summed it up: “It’s not who’s right, it’s who’s left.”

    1. Why it’s almost as if “cancel culture” has been around ever since human beings started forming exclusive groups for their own benefit and didn’t want to deal with those from the outside whom they thought would disrupt the group’s harmony.

      1. I would not object if it was limited to simply banning people from speaking on specific, private forums, but a recent trend is to both attempt to get people fired and to petition their bank to cancel their accounts.

        The most extreme situation is when companies have gotten blocked from Visa and Mastercard, which essentially cripples their ability to conduct business in this country.

        Secondly, a coordinated blockade of all ability to speak on multiple platforms amounts to near-total silencing of people on almost every widespread medium of discussion.

        1. Look, the point is, the Right aren’t the only victims here. I hesitate to use The Encogitationer’s name alongside MLK and Salman Rushdie, but they’ve all had their free speech rights infringed too.

          1. Now, now. Take it easy, Mad.

            Speaking for mself, I don’t think my individual right to free expression was violated by Jack Spirko’s Survival Podcast Forum Moderators.

            I was there as member at the discretion of their broadly-defined Terms and conditions. I just got dealt with very unfairly and shittily by assholes behind servers and keyboards.

            Again, it was very angering, but I wasn’t stalked, harrassed, or threatened, no bounty was placed on my head for fanatics to claim, and I certainly wasn’t assassinated.

            I just chalked it up to experience, moved on, eventually found the Hit and Run Comment section for Reason.com, told my story as a precaution to others, and I’m content to have some kind of wall for bouncing ideas around with others. For that, I am grateful.

            If anyone of you are ever deplatformed or otherwise done dirty online, by all means spread the word to whomever will listen, shun the rotten spots, and keep looking for and creating the place that’s a good fit.

            Freedom of association is the pin-spotter of society’s bowling alley that helps each of us get where we need to be…and no government is required to exercise it.

      2. As long as there is no force or fraud in play, I just think of cancel culture as freedom of association that doesn’t go as well as you planned.

        I heard Ben Shapiro saying the other day that if the “Woke” culture keeps cancelling people over triffling crap, they will simply deprive themselves of competant, productive, good people and create a business counter-culture of people who aren’t “Woke” and who will accept such people. It makes sense.

        Sun Tzu observed in <iThe Art of War that you should never get in the way of your enemy when the enemy is making a mistake. Maybe this is the time to step back, brace for impact, let it come, and watch fun commence!

    2. All I hear is that you’ve consistently been enough of a dick to get kicked off of multiple forums that typically tolerate even Nazis and cannibals, without any collusion whatsoever on their part.

      Mind giving us a timeline, or even just a pre-96/post-96 on when you got kicked off of these forums?

      1. I was only kicked off of Jack Spirko’s Survival Podcast Forum in 2011.

        I willfully and gladly left The Frugal Squirrels Forum after the crappy treatment of M-1 Garand circa 2002.

        I also stopped using SurvivalistBoards.com in 2012, but my alter ego and content are stuck there until the Forum is shut down or the servers are pulverized in “The Big Crunch” billions of years from now. Fortunately, my email for that Forum is dead, so any spambots will get the same response as promoters of The Watchtower.

        My only real problem was tone-deafness to social signals when I was younger. Now, I try to make that a Spidey-Sense.

    3. “People on obscure niche internet forums were mean to me, so leftist post-modern nazism with complete control over all major institutions is totes ok”

      Yikes.

      1. Never said that. I just pointed out that cancel culture isn’t confined to the Post-Modern Left, that it existed even before there was a term “cancel culture” in our lexicon, and that it is possible to survive cancel culture and prevail without government help.

    4. Ive read enough to understand you are a loon who likes to hang out with other loons.

      1. I’ll take that as a compliment. I’ve survived and relished far worse appelations. 🙂

  16. Government is not the biggest threat. People are the biggest threat. The Constitution is worthless if we the people don’t use it or follow it’s principles. How long does freedom of speech last when the ruling class believes speech they disagree with is violence?

    1. I wonder how Welchie and Fonzie would have reacted to Bloody Harlan and the Miner Wars out West.
      Or living under the Hudson Bay Company.

      Since those labor agitators seemingly voluntarily walked up the hill with the armed Pinkerton Men, its their own fault they never came back down.

      Since the Hudson Bay Co and East India Co were private companies operating without direct Crown (governmemt) oversite, there were no real rights violations of either settlers or indigenous tribes.

      I supsect Fonzie and Welchies lefty asshole buddies would straighten them out real quick about how rights violations can be carries out by the Private Sector in those cases.

  17. Yeah, the Government is most frequently the largest, furthest-reaching, and longest-lasting threat, but to pretend that it is always and will always be distinctly defined as *the* only one is pretty wilfully stupid.

  18. I’m not sure I follow the equivalency between Republicans not wanting social media platforms to limit speech and Democrats seeking to silence positions they don’t like. I would have thought the former, as a position, was much more preferable.

    1. BOOOOOOOOTTHHHHH SSSSSSSIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDDDEEESSSSSS

      It is the defining Mantra of Reasonism whenever Lefty scum show their true colors

  19. It may be the standard Libertarian line that government is always the primary threat to all types of freedoms, but it is just that, a political line.
    In reality, in this country, over the past 50 years the entity responsible for the greatest share of our practical loss of freedom of expression is ourselves.

  20. While it’s great to note there are some who wield power willing to limit 1A rights, none of these bills will survive SCOTUS review. What you should be alarmed about are the politicians willing to spend time on this kind of political theater. Your alarming headline borders on clickbait.

  21. In a stateless society there is no possibility that socialism can be imposed, there is no possibility that mass migration can be imposed, there is no possibility that national debts can be imposed, there is no possibility that the “war on drugs” can be imposed, there is no possibility that invasive and destructive foreign wars can be imposed, there is no possibility that nation building or empire building can be imposed, there is no possibility that government “education” can be imposed. A free society is a society without a state. A state is the violation of the non-aggression principle. When you universalize the non-aggression principle it’s the greatest quantum leap forward in human society, flourishing, and morality that could possibly be conceived of. It would be even greater than the end of slavery which would be the closest equivalent that happened in history. As long as you have a government, the government will buy votes by promising the “citizenry” security in exchange for liberty. So people will get liberty and security at the same time by passing the debt for their security on to the next generation, in the same way that the first woman to get an old age “pension” paid around 45 cents in taxes and got 10s of thousands of dollars in return. She didn’t pay for that, illustrating the government’s promise of security and liberty while not raising taxes enough to fund the security. That’s where the national debt comes from. The national debt is there to create the illusion that you can have security and liberty at the same time. By security I mean the government paying for accidents or mistakes that you didn’t plan for, get insurance for, or deal with. Unfortunately mankind hasn’t learned the lesson of a quarter billion people slaughtered by governments outside of war in the 20th century. Now it looks like we’re going to have to learn that lesson the hard way.

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