Thursday Open Thread

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  1. Why are the liberal justices wedded to Kelo? I get the concept of having the integrity to follow Stare Decisis, even with a decision you dislike. But it has to be more than that, right? I mean, if most of the super-conservative justices would like to revisit Kelo, then I don’t see the moral argument against the super-liberal justices also supporting that. No one on the court ever has said that the Sup. Ct always gets and got things right. Is there a true liberal position that supports Kelo’s reasoning? (I’m not asking for a conservative’s opinion of liberals, a la, “Liberals love it when Big Government comes in and swipes your stuff.” Asking for a bedrock liberal position that supports keeping Kelo’s precedent.)

    1. I don’t know what’s confusing you. “A bedrock liberal position” is that people’s individual interests can be sacrificed to “the common good.” The State can take your property, your freedom, your life — if it decides it’s “for the greater good.” A truly wonderful, humane ideology!

      1. George Wu Bush successfully used eminent domain to acquire land to build his obsolete MLB ballpark with taxpayer funds and Trump attempted to use eminent domain to build a parking lot for his mafia money laundering operation, aka AC casino. 😉

          1. His point is that for all the conservative wailing about Kelo plenty of Republicans are happy to use eminent domain for their own purposes.

            Indeed, Ed Grinberg’s ravings not withstanding, there is plenty of disdain for Kelo on the left, and liberals probably dislike the use of eminent domain for developers as much as conservatives do, possibly more.

            1. [F]or all the conservative wailing about Kelo plenty of Republicans are happy to use eminent domain for their own purposes.

              Could it be that not all Republicans are truly conservative? Hmmm…

      2. I’m a liberal and that bears no relationship any position, bedrock or otherwise, that I actually hold.

      3. “be sacrificed to “the common good.””
        even when the “common good” is the economic benefit of your political buddies.

    2. Seriously, it’s hard to keep up with all the labels. I know we’re *often* better-informed when we know a person fits a particular label than if we knew *nothing* else about him, but at the same time we’re going through one of those times when the meanings of the various labels evolves. And, in particular, there are subcategories among the different labels.

      Presumably, the pro-government, pro-Kelo position would be that it’s better to have a government with broad authority than, out of a misplaced sympathy in specific cases, to hamstring government operations.

      1. I hope that passed the ideological Turing test.

        1. “To stay experimentation in things social and economic is a grave responsibility. Denial of the right to experiment may be fraught with serious consequences to the nation. It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country. This Court has the power to prevent an experiment. We may strike down the statute which embodies it on the ground that, in our opinion, the measure is arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable. We have power to do this, because the due process clause has been held by the Court applicable to matters of substantive law as well as to matters of procedure. But, in the exercise of this high power, we must be ever on our guard lest we erect our prejudices into legal principles. If we would guide by the light of reason, we must let our minds be bold.”

          /Justice Brandeis dissenting in New State Ice Company v. Liebmann, 285 U. S. 262, 311 (1932)

          I’d call that the mad-scientist theory of governing, but that would violate the Turing test.

          1. Brandeis’ paen to central planning.

            1. …Are you calling Brandeis a Communist?

      2. Yeah, that’s pretty much it, where any limitation that could get in the way of ANYTHING you want done is “hamstringing”.

        But they don’t say that part.

        1. Just as “conservatives” feign fealty to some overarching principle that they willingly abandon when it gets in the way of an ideologically favored action. Up with federalism, unless a state or locality wants to not cooperate with federal measures against immigrants. Eminent domain is theft, unless Trump wants to build a wall.

    3. SM811….I do not see the moral argument either. But perhaps the question you posed: Asking for a bedrock liberal position that supports keeping Kelo’s precedent. What came to mind was Munn v IL and the Granger cases more generally. Not quite a perfect fit.

      Agree 100%: No one on the court ever has said that the Sup. Ct always gets and got things right.

    4. I’m not asking for a conservative’s opinion of liberals, a la, “Liberals love it when Big Government comes in and swipes your stuff.”

      Good luck with that.

      I honestly don’t know. It is a pretty fresh precedent, and the Court generally doesn’t like immediately going back on things.

    5. The truth is, modern American liberals view expansive government, especially an expansive federal government, as a good thing and a way to solve perceived problems with society. They endorse increased public spending as the answer to most problems…Health care, or education, or welfare. An expansive federal government needs the power to exert its will, and part of that is eminent domain for a variety of reasons that aren’t necessarily limited.

      Common liberal positions include.
      1. Universal Health Care
      2. Restriction of gun rights
      3. Increased regulation to prevent climate change
      4. Higher federal minimum wages
      5. Increased federal standards on Education
      6. Universal Preschool
      7. Increased federal regulations on elections

      What these all involve is an increase in federal power, regulations, and expansion of the federal state. It’s simply how they view things. “Government” is the answer.

      1. Other common liberal positions:

        1. Don’t make social media common carriers
        2. No forced prayer in public schools
        3. Decriminalize drugs
        4. Same sex marriage equity
        5. A less authoritarian border policy
        6. A less militarized police

        Trying to find a single idological throughline in our political parties is a recipe for madness – they’ve both evolved over the years with an eye towards a coalition of political practicality.

        1. I believe you are confusing your own position (don’t make social media common carriers) for the dominant liberal position.

          True, there are liberals who embrace the power of Big Tech because they think that Big Tech is targeting conservatives (and the enemy of my enemy is my friend) sort of thinking. But I don’t think you have identified the dominant or a principled liberal position on this issue.

          1. I don’t think there are any liberals who embrace the power of big tech because they think that big tech is targeting conservatives. I think there are liberals who embrace big tech because we live in a flashy techbro world and they think tech is cool and utopian. I think other liberals have been warning about the dangers and drawbacks of big tech for decades now, the same way they’ve been warning about climate change, but now suddenly conservatives who claim to value free speech are attacking big tech companies that are basically exercising their free speech rights, whereas liberals are pointing out that, eg, the big tech algorithmically driven gig economy is turning jobs and employment into a serfish hellscape, and allowing Trump to tell you to suck down ultra-violet light to cure your diabetes or whatever on three different social media platforms simultaneously isn’t going to solve it, it’s not even going to solve the problem of big tech monopolies of media and comunication.

          2. I’m all for some trust-busting (and recognize that would require a change to the current criteria) but common carriers is not a liberal idea at all.

            1. “But common carriers is not a liberal idea at all.”

              Have you heard about “Net Neutrality?” Do you know what this actually is? It’s about the FTC regulating ISPs as….”Common Carriers”.

              1. Don’t dissemble. Common carriers for *social media* is the new thing from the right.

                I wasn’t talking about the concept of common carriers generally. But you knew that.

                1. Common carriers for ISPs is a liberal idea, but somehow common carriers for the closely related social media is concievable?

                  You’re splitting hairs real close here….

                  1. Yes.

                    They are very different things.

                    As, again, you know – this is a distinction brought up over and over again in the recent threads about the regulations.

        2. S_0,
          “evolved over the years with an eye towards a coalition of political practicality”
          If only that were true.
          The politics in the US Congress of the 1980s was nowhere as divisive or less attuned to practicality than that of the past 20 years. Certainly we I worked there all doors of either party were open to explore practical compromise. I just do not see that now.

          1. The divisiveness is demanded by the coalition. It’s the party following the voters.

      2. Actually, I would say government is not always the answer, but it is more often than conservatives will acknowledge.

        1. For liberals, government is almost always the answer.

          Especially government organizations and agencies made up of bureaucrats and experts who can use their judgement to best solve a societal problem, ideally from as far away from the actual problem as possible. Police and Legislators are viewed with skepticism at best.

          For conservatives, government is viewed as a necessary evil. Needed at points, but to be reigned in when possible, to avoid it overstepping on more rights.

      3. Common themes:
        – jobs for bureaucrats and union members who funnel money to the party
        – traditional Americanism is bad
        – popular indoctrination (to counter American-like thinking) and dependency
        – no one is responsible for anything that happens to them, good or bad, and all should live their lives circumscribed by what elites allow them to achieve

        1. I’m a liberal and none of those relate to any themes that I actually hold.

          1. So what? Internet trolls can say anything and anyone can define “liberal” any way they want.

            1. So you just think he (and other liberals) are all liars because you’d rather believe your strawman.

              1. No, I think but I don’t agree with that indicates exactly nothing and is a completely meaningless statement.

              2. Also, if you poll leftist positions and explain them in detail, they poll very badly, even with Democrats.

                The people who keep voting for destructive policies don’t actually agree with them once they are explained in full. So even if he is who/what he claims, it doesn’t determine what the people he supports actually do. Whatever (he claims) he supports and doesn’t support is irrelevant to what the people he elects actually do.

                1. OK, you’re defining “liberal” as someone who holds to those four positions. What would you call someone who disputes all of those positions but holds other traditionally liberal positions, such as a graduated income tax, national health care, free public education, abolition of the death penalty, abortion rights, and gay marriage? It strikes me that someone who subscribes to that list is clearly liberal, yet most of the liberals I know would subscribe to none of the things on your list.

                  1. I never mentioned “liberal” except as a reference to your use of the term.

                    Talk about what labels apply to whom is the world’s most tedious and pointless subject. I will leave it to you and Sarcastr0.

                    1. OK, now you’re being disingenuous. Armchair Lawyer made reference to liberals, and you responded “common themes”, which obviously refers then to liberals since it relates back to AL’s comment. Otherwise, whose “common themes” did you have in mind?

                      I agree with you that labels are pretty much useless these days, but if you’re going to talk about common themes, you need to tell us whom you are referring to.

                    2. I was referring to the common themes of the items in Armchair’s list

                    3. Ben believes labels are useless, which is why downthread he’s devoting so much time to arguing why political movements should be labeled as religions.

                      The least self aware person in the world.

      4. “The truth is, modern American liberals view expansive government, especially…” blah blah blah


    6. In addition to what Armchair Lawyer wrote, there is also a differing theory of value. You or I look at Kelo and see that the woman was displaced against her will, and that she placed a high value on being able to finish her life in the home she loved. If you read a pro-Kelo person, they focus on the fact that she got paid “fair market value”. Implicit in the pro-Kelo argument is the idea that things have an objective value that is the same for everyone.

      You see this in a lot of arguments about trade. Libertarians will view a voluntary trade as win-win with gain of value on both sides. Liberals (broadly speaking of course) tend to see it as zero sum and look for winners and losers. In their view, the “best” trade is one where the objective values exactly balance.

      1. ” Implicit in the pro-Kelo argument” is ignoring that the taking was in the economic interest of a politically connected private party not the public at large.

        1. That’s completely true but I don’t think it addresses SantaMonica’s questions about liberals specifically. I have to believe liberals would like the taking even better if had been for some legitimate public benefit.

    7. I think they think precedent is quite controlling here. I mean, look at Midkiff, that was unanimous and it involved a quite dramatic taking. It’s the conservative shift by Kelo that need’s understanding.

  2. Don’t worry about all the increased gun violence. New York has the answer. We should have known this was the solution all this time. Can’t believe it took this long to figure it out. All we had to do was LET VICTIMS SUE GUN MANUFACTURERS. Boom! Gun violence SOLVED! Can you believe we could have enacted this public policy decades ago and just fixed the problem, but for some reason it wasn’t until just yesterday that the governor of New York (in between sexually harassing staff and making sure old people got Covid and died) thought up of the fix. We are lucky to have leaders like that Cuomo guy!

  3. Trump filed lawsuits against Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube) on Wednesday, and those lawsuits are dumber than the dumbest comments we’ve seen here over the past few days regarding § 230. I mean, random commenters here with no legal training make better legal arguments than Trump’s lawyers did.

    1. Purely a fundraising ploy, and most of his supporters are stupid enough to donate. The emails asking for money went out less than an hour after filing, sent by both his cronies and the RNC.

      Almost looks completely coordinated and a naked ploy for money!

      Trump will never stop grifting until he is either dead, or in prison.

      1. I stopped donating to Trump after the election last year, and lost a great deal of sympathy for him after December 14th, when the EC met.

        It’s great that he’s willing to fight, and too many establishment Republicans lack that trait, except if they’re fighting fellow Republicans. (When they can be very cutthroat.) But you need to know when to stop.

        1. The former President is willing to fight but for what. He never seemed to really have any real philosophy. It appeared to be fighting for fighting sake, usually with anyone other than himself being the loser.

          1. It’s fighting for his own self-aggrandizement. He loves attention and adulation. That’s it. If he could get the same attention by strangling puppies and kittens in front of a video camera, he would do that.

      2. Agreed here.

    2. Cannot wait for Discovery and the former President’s deposition under oath.

      1. Well, you better get used to waiting, because my bet is that the claims are dismissed before they ever get to that point.

        1. If I were representing the defendants, I might be tempted to answer rather than move to dismiss just so I could take Trump’s deposition. That would be the deposition of the century, and I can always file for summary judgment later.

          1. That sounds great until you go tell the companies that they’ll have to foot the bill for that. And all the other lawsuits that will follow if people think this is a successful strategy.

            Because getting to depose Trump may sound cool, but you’re inviting ten thousand Joe Six-packs to joint some class action alleging they too were censored. And those depositions aren’t nearly as fun.

    3. One thing I noticed about the complaints is that they emphasize in both the caption and opening paragraph that Donald J. Trump is the “46th president of the United States.” Like we would think it is some OTHER Donald J. Trump. The man has an ego the size of Manhattan.

      The district judge should issue an Order to Show Cause why the complaint should not be dismissed and the lawyers sanctioned. But he won’t do it.

      1. My take on this is quite different — Trump is making the point that if the POTUS can be silenced, *anyone* can.

        I don’t know how he makes it from there to his legal filings, but he does have a point….

        1. Indeed. Violate the AUP of those companies and you too can find yourself removed from their services, as is their right.

          Other than that, he has no point and the only purpose here is to fundraise off of his idiot supporters.

    4. “those lawsuits are dumber than the dumbest comments we’ve seen here over the past few days ”
      Why is that surprising?

  4. Is the constitutional right to hunt located somewhere within the penumbras of the 2nd amendment?

    1. Why is continued liberal defense of Kelo surprising? Their priorities are:

      1. Increasing revenue for voracious government.
      2. Enabling lawsuit-happy culture as business model.
      3. Everything else including lip service to incidentals like poor, minorities, women.

      1. You are making the mistake of assuming there is broad liberal support for the decision. There isn’t.

        The NAACP, for example, filed an amicus brief in the case supporting Ms. Kelo.

    2. Depends who you ask — the hunters or the critters.

    3. I would think there’s a powerful argument it can be found in substantive due process (“deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition”).

  5. We’re not living in a post religion world, we’re living in the rise of a new religious movement. Its fascinating to watch these new postmodern religions take shape and how eerie the parallels are. social justice and communism for example are distilled versions of some of the particularly potent aspects of Christianity. Plus they check all the boxes for the usual aspects of a religion, sin, heretics etc. Slight derivations here and there but basically a religion just the same. In some ways we’re reliving a modern version of the conflicts between the pagans and the newly minted christians as they gradually extended their influence. Like the christians of yore these modern crusaders also believe fervently that their system is distinct from and above the petty superstitions of yesteryear.

    1. Ideology is not religion, even if both have elements of the nonrational to them.

      1. So, what’s the distinction you’d draw? Some element of the supernatural?

        Ideologies can certainly be functionally equivalent to religions, to the point of acting as competitors.

        1. Belief in the supernatural and the embrace of non-phenomenological methods as proof thereof.

          Amos may think liberalism doesn’t have the direct evidence to back up it’s beliefs, but liberals think they do.

          Hence, not a religion.

          1. These new belief systems fit into the same niche and for all intents and purposes havethe same sociologically important aspects in very strong institutionalized forms (fellowship, faith, heresy, proselytism etc etc) albeit in a more destructive form. Aspects such as Belief in a specific god or the ‘supernatural’ is not really relevant to this question.

            And what is your definition of supernatural anyway? Because progs have both beliefs that are empirically and/or logically impossible in spades. Men are identical to women down to the last atom, black men are statistically treated more unjustly overall compared to whites in police stops, Matthew Shephard is a martyr for gay rights, communism just hasn’t been done right etc etc. The most salient difference between a prog and a flat earther is that a progs beliefs are disproven simply by looking around you constantly every day.

            1. Ideology is the superset – religion is the subset.

              You’re trying to force a member of the superset into the subset in order to delegitimize their reliance on evidence you don’t like.

              It’s a rhetorical method I think you’ve convinced yourself of, but it doesn’t really hold water. To wit: your definition of supernatural appears to be things you think are clearly not true. Any argument leaning so hard on such subjectivity is going to fail to convince anyone but the maker.

              1. I agree with you that religion isn’t exactly the right word, if used literally.

                But it’s convenient shorthand, a quick way to say “a craving for easy moral certainty and a simple theory that explains the world”. What Amos is describing isn’t religion but it’s addressing the same need and has many of the same problems.

                1. I disagree with your premise – Amos is not using shorthand, he’s trying to delegitimize the evidence the other side uses though labeling. It’s not about moral certainty, he’s making a claim about ignoring reality.

                  If he wants to attack the factual underpinnings of his political opposition, he needs to do more work than that.

              2. Patriarchy and Systemic Racism both fit the definition of a deity. They are classic gods of the gaps.

                1. “God of the gaps” is a theological perspective in which gaps in scientific knowledge are taken to be evidence or proof of God’s existence.

                  This does not seem to apply to either of your proposed supernatural causes.

                  1. Why not. They say they explain that which cannot be provably explained by something else, just like a god of the gaps argument. “The Spaghetti monster made Assad gas his own people” has just as much predictive power.

                    1. Saying something has explanatory value that isn’t empirically verified as yet is not the same as it engaging in religion.

                    2. 1) They do not claim to be gods
                      2) They do not claim to explain that which cannot be provably explained by something else.

                    3. Re: 2) I Think they do.

              3. “Ideology is the superset – religion is the subset.”
                Not really. Your proposition does not stand up to historical or philosophical analysis. The two are overlapping sets.

                1. What religions are not ideologies?

          2. ‘Embrace of non-phenomenological methods,’ yet, there is much of this, isn’t there? ‘I’m not religious, but I’m deeply spiritual.’ And the acceptance of ridiculous concepts, because, Science. Or, more commonly simply divining the intent and mindset of the out-group, then attributing reasons for actions, and assigning guilt. This, if guilt hasn’t been assigned based on merest ethnic basis, sex, or creed. You cool kids are absolutely neoreligious, yet you try to baffle the outsiders with bullshit; circular arguments, cascading denials, gaslighting, and jargon will only carry you so far.

            1. acceptance of ridiculous concepts, because, Science

              The difference is in the internal methodology. You don’t get to decide externally what counts as an article of faith, or else the definition is no longer descriptive of anything but your own point of view.

              I could as easily argue your strawman liberal is not based on real evidence, but assigned generalization, and as such you’re making a religious argument. But that’d be silly – making bad arguments based on bad observations does not a religion make.

              1. Yeah, you get to decide externally what counts as [anything]. Opinions are like that.

                Considering something an article of faith is one of the more generous guesses.

                1. Post-modernist Ben.

                  1. Trotskyite, really.

          3. The “arc of history” isn’t supernatural?

            1. You mean the statement by MLK, the Reverend?

              But also, it’s a helluva thing to argue there is no evidence our world is more just now than a century ago.

              1. The idea that leftists will always magically turn out to be right about [whatever] because … they just will. (So rules don’t apply to them and the ends justify the means.)

                1. Funny, I don’t see it as a partisan statement at all. Nor does it say anything about ends justifying the means (which I see a lot more from the Bob from Ohios of this site than the liberals).

                  Regardless of how your and my definitions of justice differ, do you think the world is more just now than it was 100 years ago?

                  1. “Bob from Ohios”

                    There is only one Ohio.

                    Correct grammar is “Bobs from Ohio”.

                    1. Read once about someone on a train telling his seatmate he was from Iowa, only to have the seatmate respond, “I thought it was pronounced Ohio.”

                    2. Grammar Nazi from Ohio!

                    3. Krychek_2, I lived for years in Idaho. A giant fraction of Americans are murky on distinctions between Iowa, Idaho, and Ohio. Few indeed know that Idaho is a Rocky Mountain state, and not mid-western. The whole potato thing may figure in the confusion.

          4. I think your association of the supernatural with the non-phenomenological is a problem. I don’t think a deep dive into the history of phenomenology would result in one thinking that a phenomenological approach leads one to a strict materialism.

            But what even constitutes “evidence” here? Plus, if the threshold for evidence is merely that a believer THINKS they have it, as you seem to suggest, then surely a Christian would be on footing as firm as a liberal would.

            1. That’s why I used phenomenological – spectral evidence, or intuition, or revelation – all of these are evidence, but not phenomenological.

              1. Possibly. I take your point. But if the phenomenological is an interrogation of being through experience, you cannot escape the problem of consciousness. And if philosophy of mind has established anything, it’s that the irreducibility of consciousness to material causes, if not true, is on some level the proper sort of default mode from which to approach everything else. And at that point, experiences like intuition and revelation, while admittedly nebulous, nonetheless are on the table in a non-trivial way.

                Even so, intuition and revelation are, in their own way, as important in the formation of political paradigms as they are in the formation of religious ones.

                Which is to say: if our only recourse here is to say that ideology proceeds from “natural” propositions and while religion proceeds from “supernatural” propositions, I think the argument is lost. What it is to appeal to the “natural” is very slippery.

                1. I’m not saying one must be free from intuition and revelation, only that religion is distinguished by allowing one to embrace them alone as sources of truth, whereas other ideologies require at least some real-world observation.

                  The supernatural/natural distinction is in order to distinguish purely moral ideological systems from religious ideological systems the political ideology distinction that started this is solved with only the subjective facts/faith distinction.
                  But Kantianism or utilitarianism are not faith-based, despite the fact that they proceed from purely moral principles. Hence the need for the additional distinction.

        2. It’s the usual Sarcastr0 pedantics. It’s technically not a religion even though all the behaviors are the same and the thought processes are the same.

          Did you know Climate Change caused the violence last summer? Climate Change zealots will tell you it did.

          1. It’s slightly dressed up partisan trash-talk to call something a religion because you really really really think it’s wrong.

            All you and Amos and Hank have had as proof the ideology you don’t like is a religion are appeals to incredulity.

            Which should tell you something about your own ideology and how much it relies on evidence versus credence.

            1. Because the people act exactly like religious zealots and can’t offer a rational explanation for any of their beliefs.

              And they can’t articulate a concrete end goal. And they can’t draw a cause-and-effect relationship between most past, present, or (predicted or desired) future events. And they can’t explain the reasons their actions will supposedly bring about anything they want. And there’s never any limiting principle to any of their efforts — everything is self-justifying [because it just is].

              1. You’ve described literally all political parties and indeed all policymakers generally – No end goal, no concrete predictive outcome to desired policies, just risks and tendencies. And everything they want is justified.

                In your bile, you also contradict yourself about no end goals and also no connection between actions and stated end-goals.

                What are your end goals? What concrete predictive cause and effect do you cite? What are your limits?

                1. Whataboutism.

                  Saying it’s the same as other belief patterns hardly makes the point that it’s different from religious belief patterns.

                  1. If a concept applies to everything it loses it’s value.

                    This is an uncommonly silly debate anyways. You can take any group/movement/subculture and say ‘it has the same sort of elements as this other broad phenomena therefore they are totes the same!’

                    I mean, take comic book fandom and religion. Both have stories about supernatural powers and events. With both the members of the culture contribute money to organizations that give them the stories. Comic book fans even have a special day (Wednesdays when the comics come out) just like religions often have special days! See, comics and religion is the same thing!

                    It’s a silly rhetorical play, and rather pointless (I mean, I don’t think those invoking it would like for things like CRT to be protected as a religion under the 1st Amendment).

          2. Even if it was a religion, so what? Right wingers advocate policies by appealing to religion all the time. Is relying on religious belief bad now, or isn’t it?

            1. Always entertaining: it’s not a religion but so what if it’s a religion?

              1. I could have sworn the comment said ‘Even if it was a religion, so what’ instead of what you wrote: ‘it’s not a religion but so what if it’s a religion.’ The former is a different (and valid) question, that is what’s the ultimate point this argument, even if true, is supposed to supply?

    2. Religion is, in this context, an organism, and like any other organisms it is subject to evolutionary constraints like survival of the fittest and natural selection. There is a reason no religion looks like what it did 500 years ago and, if we survive another 500 years, none of the major religions then will look like anything we have now.

    3. If these aspects make “social justice” and “communism” (lol) religions, what major ideology *wouldn’t* also qualify? All have their own sins, heretics, cravings for certainty, and articles of faith to fill in the gaps. Are we to believe that Trumpism, nationalism, capitalism, etc. rest solely on pure reason and are uninterested in punishing heretics?

      1. Teefah,
        I suggest that you examine the long philosophical literature that describes in detail how communism is in fact an ersatz religion. Your “lol” convinces no one of anything.

        1. You misunderstand my comment. It was not to say that communism wouldn’t qualify as a religion under the parameters the commenter laid out, it is to say that *every* ideology would. In other words, it proves too much. Can you name an ideology that doesn’t have sins, heretics, apostates, saints, and articles of faith?

          And the lol had nothing to do with whether communism is a religion, I just think it’s funny when right wingers call everything they don’t like “communism”, including social justice stuff that has basically no relation to it.

  6. With all the back-and-forth over social media platforms, it is surprising that arguments remain so tangled and diffuse. Boiled down, there is a policy choice fairly simple to describe, but complicated to evaluate. The nation practices two competing systems of publishing, which deliver dissimilar results. The choice ought to focus on which system delivers better results, considered along three distinct axes—(1) private experience of would-be authors; (2) private experience of would-be publishers; (3) the costs and benefits to the public life of the nation delivered by each system.

    The first system is online publishing with no shared liability among publishers and contributors, and hence, little or no editing prior to publication. The second system features shared liability, where both publishers and contributors are subject to civil damages for libel, and hence, it is a system in which editing prior to publication is not mandatory, but approaches being a practical necessity for the publisher.

    In most ongoing discussions, what has been bypassed is systematic comparison of the public and private effects of each system. Commenters tend to pick the one or two points they prioritize most highly, and try to make a case that those alone ought to resolve the discussion. I would like to challenge commenters here to consider the two systems more broadly, and say what they suppose the advantages and disadvantages for each system are for authors, for publishers, and for the public life of the nation.

    Obviously, the subject invites book-length treatment which no one will give it here. So maybe the right approach would be to ask commenters to set aside their most cherished arguments for later re-iteration, and instead for now to take up some question or other they have not previously discussed.

    For instance, do you suppose a no-editing publishing system will better serve would-be publishers, or would an editing-prior-to-publication system do that? And does it matter to the public life of the nation whether policy choices serve or dis-serve would-be publishers? Is it reasonable to suppose a decision to serve interests of authors ought to drive the conclusion, if interests of publishers are thereby disregarded, or, in other words, do interests of publishers compete with or support interests of authors, or is it some of each, and if it is, what should we make of that?

    Or, should libel be practiced with practical impunity, and the laws enabling civil damages abandoned? Whatever you suppose, how do you think it affects all three axes—the would-be authors, the would-be publishers, and the public life of the nation?

    Or, in the innovation of publishing without prior editing, is there an inevitable tendency toward publishing giantism? If so, should that be troubling to would-be authors, to would-be publishers, or to the public life of the nation? If publishing giantism is inevitable with unedited publishing, does that invite government intervention to protect interests that publishing diversity no longer has the power to serve, and is there any troubling side to that, for authors, for publishers, or for the public life of the nation?

    No need to try to answer those questions, they are just examples to show what I am getting at. It is a complicated issue, and an unusually important one, that has been served badly by too many over-simplified arguments. Pose your own questions, and see how nuanced you can make the discussion. Or, go ahead and continue as a hammerhead, and see how far that gets you. That is what I expect from most, but I am hoping for better.

    1. This has already been debated and largely resolved — it’s what section 230 was all about. This was the conversation 20 years ago.

      Editing is time-consuming and expensive. It doesn’t scale, as they say. The internet is very large-scale. Internet publishers allow anyone to be an author, and the only way that’s practical is to skip editing the vast bulk of the content.

      The large-scale, largely-unedited publishing platforms of the Internet had a problem in the beginning: shared liability. So Congress decided to indemnify Internet publishers who chose scale over curation. Section 230. In other words, the giantism inspired the no-editing model, not the other way around.

      So I think your questions have already been answered. Although it’s become fashionable to rail against section 230 for various reasons, no one is seriously proposing to just repeal it and return to shared liability. The consensus was, and remains, that large-scale, generally-unedited Internet publishing platforms (aka social media) are desirable.

      The current questions aren’t about that. Really, they’re the opposite. Today’s concern is that the tiny amount of editing and moderation performed by social media owners is still too much, in that it allows them to inject bias into the discourse.

      1. Its not just about editing. Its about whether content creators should have reasonable expectations of legible and fair treatment.

        1. “Its about whether content creators should have reasonable expectations of legible and fair treatment”

          When right-wingers are taking this position publicly — let alone in response to the clipping of Trump’s wings — you know victory in the culture war has been secured by the liberal mainstream.

          Good game, clingers. But it’s over.

          1. Yes, protecting right wingers like esports commentators and game reviewers. What an extreme right wing position.

        2. It is about editing. Anyone getting edited will always whine about it being unfair.

          So the options are:

          1. Allow editing and ignore the whining

          2. Disallow editing and let everything through

          3. Transfer the editing function to the government

          4. End the open Internet (such as by simply repealing section 230)

          5. Declare media monopolies and break them up so that the editing function is less concentrated and more susceptible to market forces

          What’s your preference?

          1. A: Keep the form of the current internet provided that companies who wish to keep 230 shields abide by standard contractual/property law legal interpretations, and recognizing content creators have a property interest in their accounts/handles/uploads.

            So, basically you can’t have a 1-sided unclear EULA, and you can’t constantly and arbitrarily adjust your EULA without it being clear to the average user what the new language means, and your decisions can be reviewed by the courts under similar legal interpretation rules that they use in contract law and property law.

            1. Uh… I think that’s already how it works.

              1. No. 230 gives them carte blanche to remove content regardless of a EULA, and EULAs are generally non-enforceable against social media companies because they retain the right to unilaterally amend, and put in various clauses that make getting to court nearly impossible regarding a content decision.

                Think of that weird bald guy Moleneaux. He had like a million person youtube channel or something, and his ban was totally not explained by YT and was not appealable outside of YT.

                1. Yeah. That’s the point. You acknowledge, by using _their_ platform and agreeing to their EULA, that they get to make all the rules.

                  You seem to agree that they get to make all the rules, but then are upset by the rules…? It doesn’t make sense.

                  If you don’t want to use a platform with a EULA that allows for unilateral amendments… then don’t.

      2. “Editing is time-consuming and expensive. ”
        It is also the only way to produce quality writing.

      3. Randal, if the conversation was conducted 20 years ago, then it was conducted in the absence of all the evidence about what Section 230 would actually do. Now the returns are in, and I asked commenters, including you, to consider the evidence more broadly than they customarily do here. You decline to do it. I am not surprised. Most commenters about big social media platforms are ready with self-serving takes in support of what they want, pro or con. Avoiding mention of contrary evidence is strategy number one among commonplace internet commenters.

        1. Yeah, that’s pretty much right. I’m confident, even without a detailed re-analysis, that the consensus remains the same as it was 20 years ago: the open Internet is desirable. We should keep it.

    2. I think you are the one over-complicating things.

      The argument is mostly whether to do something. Either you want to do something about tech censorship. Or you want to do nothing because you are a lifelong prog who is suddenly a hardcore laissez faire capitalist on this and only this issue while vociferously promoting far greater government interference for more trivial matters in virtually every other area.

      That is the core of the argument actually going on. the shape of the actual solution is besides the point.

      1. Or. . . .

        You’re an ignorant Business-knows-Best con who’s hardcore laissez faire attitude constantly resisted regulation and who now is vociferously promoting far greater government interference.

        1. Point out where I’ve been hypocritical about this as compared to the left which even now simultaneously supports crack downs on cake shops as they want to let big tech run hog wild.

          1. Have you considered that maybe both you and the “progs” are both wrong, and in more or less exactly the same way?

          2. Well, do you support the crackdowns on cake shops?

  7. Ashli Babbitt yesterday picked up another huge fan, Donald Trump. That makes it Trump and Putin on her side.

    1. Apparently there were/are other Ashli fans too but now, sadly, they’re going to have to buy their t-shirts elsewhere.

      “Sears and Kmart took down a listing for a T-shirt reading “Ashli Babbitt American Patriot” in response to online backlash. Babbitt has been cast as a right-wing martyr in the months since she was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer as she tried to enter the building with a crowd of rioters on January 6.”

      1. Time to declare the Sears and Kmart t-shirt departments to be common carriers.

        1. That should be installment 72 of the current series offered by Prof. Volokh.

          He will say a few vague words about how he doesn’t necessarily endorse Ashlii Babbit’s conduct, although I never understand why he tries that.

    2. Until someone produces evidence that her shooting was justified, that puts Trump and Putin on the right side, and Kirkland and the rest of the progressive left on the wrong side.


      1. Pretty sure the fact it happened in the midst of an armed attempted insurrection explicitly out for elected official blood makes this a tragedy, but not unjustified.

        It makes a great bloody shirt only for the violent coward side of the right that is trying to whitewash Jan 6 as just an enthusiastic sit-in in contrary to videos, explicit social media posts, reporting, and now some pretty explicit guilty pleas and indictment documents.

        1. the fact

          The fact, which isn’t a fact, but your opinion.

          Cool story bro.

          1. Naw, it’s a fact. As proven by “videos, explicit social media posts, reporting, and now some pretty explicit guilty pleas and indictment documents.”

            Just saying nuh-uh doesn’t negate what the evidence directly shows.

            1. Sarcastr0….There has not been a single weapon introduced into evidence in the ~500 cases. What ‘armed’ attempted insurrection? Don’t you think the charging documents would state ‘attempted insurrection’ as a charge? None of the charging documents allege attempted insurrection, or even armed attempted insurrection. No one, to my knowledge, has plead guilty to attempted insurrection, or armed attempted insurrection.

              The trials should be interesting, assuming they ever occur.

              1. “January 6 rioter charged with bringing gun to Capitol grounds, undercutting GOP claims that the pro-Trump mob was unarmed”

                On tape there are knives, brass knuckles, flag poles, the famous hockey stick, and all sorts of other things being used to full-on assault police.

                Then there are the charges of the explosives and guns seized in and around the Capitol.

                Not everyone who came to DC on the 6th was armed and violent – nor hardly. But if you don’t think officers were right to fear for the lives of Congressmembers, you need to look at the tapes again

                  1. Anyone calling the event an “insurrection” can be immediately dismissed as unserious.

                1. Stop with the lies already.

                  The guy who was caught with a gun had it in his car and it was after the whole event was already over. No one had a gun at the actual happenings. if they did, that person would have been charged to high heaven and the media would constantly refer to that case as public enemy number one.

                  The only people who had guns during the entire incident were the police who shot an unarmed protester for what appears to be no good reason.

                  1. Jimmy, the question on the table is whether it was justified to use deadly force to repel the insurrection.

                    You don’t think this crowd bringing guns onto the Capitol grounds is relevant to that question?

                    1. “Jimmy, the question on the table is whether it was justified to use deadly force to repel the insurrection.”

                      The question on the table is whether it was justified to use deadly force in this particular instance.

                      You keep deflecting this question. I assume that this is because you don’t have any evidence that it was justified.

                    2. A gun secured in a car, parked far away from the Captiol, never brought into the area is a non-event. Period.

                    3. “You don’t think this crowd bringing guns onto the Capitol grounds is relevant to that question?”

                      No, there is no evidence that a single firearm was shown or brandished during the riot. Finding a few guns afterwards does not mean they had them in the capitol. Even if a few had them concealed, no one saw one DURING the riot so it is no justification in any event.

                      Did the dead woman have a gun? Did she brandish one?

                    4. The question on the table is whether it was justified to use deadly force in this particular instance.

                      This instance being in the midst of a violent attempted insurrection.

                      Look at your goalposts.

                      “They were Unarmed!”
                      “Well, there no firearms!”
                      “Well, there were no firearms you can show were brought into the Capitol building.”

                      Not to mention,
                      “They were unarmed!”
                      “Well, she was unarmed.”

                    5. “This instance being in the midst of a violent attempted insurrection.

                      Look at your goalposts.”

                      Focus, Sarcastro. You are claiming that her shooting was justified. Unless you are proposing a different standard, that means that you have to show that she posed an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm, and that shooting her was necessary to alleviate that threat.

                      The fact that she was in the midst of what you call a violent attempted insurrection doesn’t get you there.
                      The fact that other people at an unspecified proximity to the incident were armed doesn’t get you there.

                      And from what I see, that’s all you’ve got.

                    6. TiP, you’re a lawyer, and you don’t appear to know the relevant standard.

                    7. Look at Sarcastr0 complain about moving goalposts, as he completely disregards the goalposts and claims a touchdown on the basketball court with a baseball.

                    8. “Jimmy, the question on the table is whether it was justified to use deadly force to repel the insurrection.

                      You don’t think this crowd bringing guns onto the Capitol grounds is relevant to that question?”

                      So in assessing whether a killing was justified, its relevant that some person unrelated to the victim had a gun in his car, at some other point in time, somewhere in the same city?

                      You can’t be serious.

                    9. “TiP, you’re a lawyer, and you don’t appear to know the relevant standard.”

                      1. Stop calling me that.

                      2. The relevant standard is not, “Did somebody else have a gun nearby?”

                    10. Focusing on an individual fact (she doesn’t have a weapon) and ignoring the violent mob part of what was going on, is ridiculous.

                2. Sarcastr0….I said the charging documents issued by prosecutors. Maybe you’d like to point me to an actual charging document that has ‘arms’ incorporated into the charges. Media reports do not count; evidence counts.

                  I’ll wait.

                  I am not the guy moving the goalpost here.

                    1. Charging document, Sarcastr0. I said charging document issued by a prosecutor. I’ll give you a hint….no one has been charged with attempted insurrection, and no charging document alleges armed insurrection.

                      Yes Sarcastr0, my statement was quite specific – by design. That is because it is objectively true.

                    2. Seemed to me more like you were talking about the armed part.

                      As to why no insurrection charges were filed, that’s prosecution 101 – if you can get them on the easier more common stuff go for that. It’s not probative of anything.

                3. Sorry Sarcastro, you’re gaslighting again.

                  There’s a huge difference between shooting a person who actively has a gun in their hand….and saying because there’s a gun in their trunk, while they are 1000 yards away from it, you were justified in shooting them.

                  1. Sorry, AL, you don’t know what gaslighting means.

                    And I go over the relevant standard below, not your false analogy.

                    A reasonable officer at the moment of a violent attempt to get at Congresspeople without 20-20 hindsight is justified.

                    People saying differently don’t seem to have much of an argument other than there was no violence (untrue), the standard is different (untrue), or just whattabouting/pounding on the table.

            2. “videos”…..the same old tired, overplayed, over edited few second bites designed to support a false narrative….
              “explicit social media posts”…..people do a lot of hand wringing on the internet, including anti-fa that announce they are going to shoot police and then actually do it a few hours later. Funny how the media never uses convenient pull quotes from those folk….
              “reporting”…..I don’t think there are enough “””””””””” that can be used to qualify that joke…..
              “guilty pleas”……so far it is like one grandma who was stumbling around the capitol grounds. And as the left likes to note, when the full weight of the government is pressed against you, being held without bail in federal prisons, with only a public defender between you and a judge with a political vendetta, yeah some people will plead “guilty” but if you don’t think those are compelled (and meant to be) then you are a joke.
              “indictments”……hey look here is a ham sandwich….

              1. You’ve not bothered to watch the videos,
                read the posts highlighted in the indictments,
                look up whether Antifa has ever forced their way into the US capitol outside your imagination,
                read any of the exhaustive reporting on the series of events on Jan 06,
                Checked out the Oath Keepers guilty plea allocutions, (not the mere fact of the plea),
                Or read the indictment evidentiary statements. These are not pro-forma indictments.

                And the reason why is that you very much feel tribe is too important to bother checking sources.

                [I will note that you have a factual narrative in your head though, so you’re not acting religiously]

                1. I’ve seen the videos ad nauseum just like everyone else because they had to be so over edited to reinforce the narrative. The total content that plays on the national “news” is a reel that is about 70 seconds long….

                  “Exhaustive reporting”….by the same brave press that just put up a story about how they are too scared to come back to their jobs? Yeah I’m going to believe the people that outright lied for the last five years over and over again to get the facts right this one time…

                  “Indictments”….one sided government written propaganda designed to justify political arrests and political detentions without bail. I think I will give them all the credibility such an instrument is due.

                  Try again…..

                  1. I just linked you to new videos.

                    Here’s some long-form reporting:

                    Your ad hominems just show how many fallacies you’re willing to commit to maintain your narrative.

                    When you cite evidence in an indictment, you don’t get to just assert it.

              2. Jimmy,

                People were breaking in to the Capitol with the explicit purpose of harming Members of Congress, and even killing the VP, to get them to overturn the election results. Some Members were only a few feet away from where the insurrectionists were breaking in.

                Anyone who pretends that this was not a violent assault is deranged. It’s too bad Babbitt was shot, but look at the video. The traitors were breaking in, and they saw the gun, and kept going.

                It’s fucking ridiculous to pretend this was some peaceful demonstration, tourists, etc, and all the other crap you and A.L and Bellmore and others spew.

                1. It was mostly a party like atmosphere with tourists milling around taking pictures. And you know what happened when they were asked to leave, nicely??? THEY LEFT. Even cleaned up after themselves.

                  Your frame of the events of that day are pure fiction. A story. Nothing more. There was no coup attempt. There was no insurrection. Simple as that.

                  1. It was mostly a party like atmosphere with tourists milling around taking pictures. And you know what happened when they were asked to leave, nicely??? THEY LEFT.

                    All of this is explicitly untrue. You were lied to, Jimmy. Luckily for the liars, you work very hard not to ignore all evidence they are lying.

                    1. So the video of the cop asking people to leave the Senate chambers and then they did is some sort of deepfake? Same with the other videos of the tourists leaving in an orderly manner? All fake?

                    2. Check your timeline, Jimmy.

                      Once the dumb battle was done, quitting the field is not some act of amazing law following.

                  2. You’re lying.

                  3. “It was mostly a party like atmosphere…”

                    Sure. Like the autonomous zone in Seattle. Or was it festival-like?

                2. “even killing the VP”

                  A totally fact free statement.


                  When “insurrectionist” is not sufficient hyperbole.

                3. “the explicit purpose of harming Members of Congress, and even killing the VP, to get them to overturn the election results”

                  LOL. Where do you get this fan fiction fantasy material? Just amazing.

                4. “The traitors were breaking in, and they saw the gun, and kept going.”
                  By the standards of BLM, that is no excuse for using deadly force in this instance. Under the rules for 5 years ago, it was.
                  Take your pick and be consistent.

                  1. Here’s the distinction you miss: at neither the BLM protests, nor at the riots, you have no one threatening lives.

                    Also I never saw anyone at a BLM protest or the summer riots break past an armed police cordon, but I may be missing some example there – the relevant distinction is the lives being in danger.

                    1. “Here’s the distinction you miss: at neither the BLM protests, nor at the riots, you have no one threatening lives.”

                      The arson didn’t threaten lives? The people killed at BLM protests didn’t have their lives threatened?

                    2. Arson of an empty building after hours is not the same as battering past police intent on violence against Congresspeople who are currently in the building.

                      You’re being ridiculous.

        2. “Pretty sure the fact it happened in the midst of an armed attempted insurrection explicitly out for elected official blood makes this a tragedy, but not unjustified.”

          Oh come on, Sarcastro. What makes it justified or not is whether or not she posed an imminent threat of grate bodily harm to anybody. All the evidence I’ve seen is that she should have been arrested, not shot.

          You know this, and the fact that you don’t have an argument to make and resort to BS rhetoric about the sanctity of elected official blood shows you know it.

          1. When exactly was she supposed to be arrested? She was part of a violent mob threatening serious bodily harm to individuals inside the Capitol.

            Amazing how all the people who love their Stand Your Ground laws suddenly fall all over themselves here defending a violent attack on the Capitol.

            1. The extent the left will go here is absolutely astounding. To pretend they are not complicit with violence of all types is nothing but a joke. You have nightly attempts to burn down federal buildings taking place all summer long and it is crickets. But, for some reason, they decided to turn the propaganda machine into overdrive in an attempt to turn what was mostly some tourists having a good time into something like 9/11. Do you really think pushing this Big Lie is going to help your cause any?

              1. To pretend they are not complicit with violence of all types is nothing but a joke.

                what was mostly some tourists having a good time into something like 9/11

                “It was you fault, and also not actually a big deal!”

                You’re so lame, dude.

                1. “you’re so lame dude”

                  I guess that is the best argument you have got, so might as well go with it. Any time you try to post the same old tired trope that there was some kind of violent coup on the 6th you get absolutely destroyed every single time. And today was no exception….

                  1. I was reacting to the fact that you posted mutually inconsistent arguments in the same post.

            2. So no evidence that she posed an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to anyone?

              Because I’m pretty sure the left soundly rejects the “part of a violent mob” standard.

              She was a protestor and a trespasser. I’m pretty sure the left usually isn’t in favor of shooting those.

              1. Trying to burn down a federal courthouse though is legitimate first amendment kind of activity though. And police protecting that building are “federal troops” suppressing free speech. Using less than lethal force on those crowds was nazi style stuff though….

                1. Trying to burn down a federal courthouse though is legitimate first amendment kind of activity though

                  No one argued that, and also no one was inside.

                  Federal property is not the same as members of Congress.

                  1. *Sarcastro – let me get out my hair splitter here…..*

                    1. Not splitting hairs to notice that lives are not the same as property.

              2. So no evidence that she posed an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to anyone?

                What was happening in the Capitol at the time was manifestly an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to the people in the chamber she was trying to get into.

                1. “manifestly”

                  Like “clearly”, a word that shows how weak an argument is.

                  Even if the riot as a whole was such a threat, an LEO cannot just start shooting. The particular person has to be a threat.

            3. When exactly was she supposed to be arrested? She was part of a violent mob threatening serious bodily harm to individuals inside the Capitol.

              You misspelled “mostly peaceful protest”.

              1. Inside the Capitol, it was not mostly peaceful. Don’t conflate the general people in DC on the 6th with the violent yahoos who broke into the Capitol, bettering through the police cordon.

                Weird how with BLM, such conflation makes everyone violent, whereas with this crowd the conflation makes everyone nonviolent.

                1. Inside the capitol, it was mostly peaceful.

                  Not only that, it was infinitely more peaceful than dozens of other “mostly peaceful protests” in 2020. So we may need a new descriptor, perhaps “overwhelmingly peaceful.”

                  1. Of course those other protests were about something real that genuinely threatened entrenched and corrupt power.

                  2. Weird how with BLM, some violence makes everyone violent, whereas with this crowd the some nonviolents makes everyone nonviolent.

                    I’d call it racism, but it’s not even that; just tribalism.

                    1. Oh lordy, it’s totally racism, especially since the most violent people at BLM protests were the cops.

              2. Aren’t you cute.

                Ever get tired of parroting that RW crap?

              3. bernard11 and Sarcastro and other liberal commenters arguing this, I think we should just stop disagreeing and see if the others will join us in a few hearty rounds of DEFUND THE POLICE.

        3. For all the work y’all have done justifying police shootings at traffic stops, you surely know the broad standard for police use of lethal force, right?

          Graham v. Connor:
          officers often must make “split-second judgments” concerning the use of force under “circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving …” In assessing the constitutionality of an officer’s use of deadly force, the Supreme Court in the same case set the standard of “objective reasonableness.” This means that the reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a “reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.” In assessing the reasonableness of an officer’s use of deadly force, only the perceptions of the officer are relevant to the standard of reasonableness.

          1. I thought police shootings were never morally justified to the left. Especially when you are dealing with protesters. You do know the difference between a “moral” argument and a “legal” argument, right?

            I understand you have to do a lot of heavy lifting for your handlers here to keep the frame that left wing violence is OK, just property, and activism by people with a verified grievance, whereas right wing activism is racist, violence, trying to overthrow the government.

            It is a tough lift for sure, but you are trying your darndest to impress your fellow travelers that it can be done.

            1. Let’s not forget our roles here, Jimmy.

              Guys like me shove progress down your whimpering, whining, bigoted throat.

              You comply, taking whimper breaks when you can.

              1. “Guys like me shove progress down your whimpering, whining, bigoted throat.”

                Is that what you were doing at the spa in LA?

                1. You know, Arthur, many people are concern that Progressives like yourselves are threatening American traditions.

                  But thanks to people like you, at least the tradition of white men showing their dicks to unwilling black women is alive and well.

                  1. My lifetime experience in Los Angeles has involved LAX, switching planes to get to Hawaii or San Francisco.

                    You are a lying bigot who deserves everything that is coming to you.

                    My children will probably be telling your children what to do, too. Your children should blame you, not me or my children, for this.

                    1. “My children will probably be telling your children what to do, too.”

                      Any my children will be happy to enjoy their burgers and have a nice day.

                    2. And I’m sure my son will be happy to fuck your daughter harder.

                  2. Too funny. One of the apologists for the indecent exposer/exhibitionist called the exposed dick a “lady penis.” (That’s a first impression for me at my youthful age of 76.) Meanwhile the articulate black lady kept coming on strong with her argument. I don’t think the indecent exposure violated “her” sensibilities so much as it aroused her mother’s instincts for “young little girls under-aged” viewing the male unit.

                    That would never fly at a spa in my neck of the woods here in WNC. Somebody would get killed…or amputated.

            2. your handlers

              Nice pivot to strawmanning. Looks like you know you’ve lost this one.

              1. ” Looks like you know you’ve lost this one.”

                Given that you’ve been deflecting the whole time, you know you’ve lost this one.

                1. Deflecting from what? I’ve been engaging your argument, I think.

                  Beyond the evidence of the insurrection being a threat, you’ve been quoting an incomplete, if not completely incorrect legal standard.

                  What is your response to Graham? And to what apedad posted about the state of evidence in the case?

                  1. “Deflecting from what? I’ve been engaging your argument, I think.”

                    You’ve been asked to support you claim that the Babbit shooting was justified. You’ve responded by discussing what other people were doing, without discussing Babbit.

                    You haven’t provided any facts that show that the cop, whoever he was, met the standard under Graham.

                    I responded to apedad’s post about an investigation asserting that it found no evidence that the cop didn’t act in self defense. That’s not evidence.

                    1. I do think that whenever there is a police shooting there needs to be a thorough investigation and that ideally it shouldn’t just be an internal one and it’s findings should be as public as possible.

                    2. Really? In the midst of an violent attempted insurrection, where cops had been assaulted and overrun, you don’t see how a reasonable officer might thing lethal force was justified?

                      Your standards for evidence have become unfalsifiable high.

                    3. “Really? In the midst of an violent attempted insurrection, where cops had been assaulted and overrun, you don’t see how a reasonable officer might thing lethal force was justified?”

                      I certainly do see how a reasonable officer might think using lethal force in some situations was justified. But when asked to provide evidence that it was justified in this situation, all you do is pound the table.

                    4. The evidence is the *event that was currently happening*.

                      You seem to be intent on leaving that out of the scope of facts every time you make an evaluation, and you can’t do that.

          2. Graham is only conclusive if her shooting was “reasonable” from his point of view. No judge or jury has determined that.

            Small woman, not close to him, nothing in her hands that could be considered a weapon.

            I say no reasonable cop shoots. No other LEO on site fired a shot, so a reasonable LEO under those circumstances would not shoot.

            1. This is the legal standard; don’t need a jury.

              Small woman, not close to him, nothing in her hands that could be considered a weapon.
              The context you are required to elide is massive, and telling.

              I say no reasonable cop shoots.
              Well, you’ve admitted to lying to further your cause, so who knows what you think.

              No other LEO on site fired a shot, so a reasonable LEO under those circumstances would not shoot.
              You KNOW that’s not evidence, quit dissembling.

              1. “This is the legal standard; don’t need a jury.”

                No judge has decided that issue either, as I said.

                Your opinion on this issue is no more conclusive than mine.

                1. If you want to play it like that, then innocent until proven guilty is the order of the hour.

                  Funny to hear you, Bob, champion of Due Process is soft on criminals, suddenly championing process.

                  Actually, it’s not that surprising. Because you don’t believe in principle, and she’s on Your Side.

          3. “For all the work y’all have done justifying police shootings at traffic stops”
            But S_0, you know that you don’t accept that standard. (i don’t.) Be consistent.

            1. That argument was about hypocrisy.

              But the standard of justification – the standard police are trained under – is clearly and easily met here.

              Maybe there should be new standards (I think so), but that does not change how to evaluate this incident.

              Anything otherwise is special pleading.

      2. “Awkward.”

        With Trump and Putin, against me and the victorious American mainstream? Sounds like your life story.

        That officer appeared to be trying to defend legislators from a mob that was saying things like ‘seal them in and gas them.’ He did his job. If clingers want to cry about that . . . I am not bothered by the sound of clingers whining, crying, or whimpering.

        1. “That officer appeared to be trying to defend legislators from a mob that was saying things like ‘seal them in and gas them.’ ”

          Again, what is the evidence that the officer believed that it was necessary to shoot Ms. Babbit? Who was saying things like ‘seal them in and gas them.’?

          1. How should he have stopped her from chasing members of Congress, you bigoted, mouth-breathing, right-wing rube?

            You should read the charging documents, most of which are remarkably detailed, concerning those arrested for the events of Jan. 6. Or get someone to read them for you. Go to the next town, if necessary, to try to find someone who can read them for you.

      3. TIP, the investigation in April revealed the officer did not commit a violation of federal law.

        “The investigation revealed no evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer willfully committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242. Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”

        1. “Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.””

          So you’re not aware of any evidence that the officer believed that it was necessary to shoot an unarmed woman?

          1. So you’re not aware of any evidence that the officer believed that it was necessary to shoot an unarmed woman?

            I’d venture the officer may have provided some evidence of their belief.

            1. “I’d venture the officer may have provided some evidence of their belief.”

              Great! What was the evidence?

              1. Testimony, you yutz.

                1. What was the testmony?

                  1. Oh, you think all testimony is public, now?

                    Don’t play the fool.

          2. Yes I’m sure there was an “investigation” here (Dr. Evil air quotes kind of operation). Conducted by the same government that is now keeping political prisoners without bail….

        2. Unilateral determinations that a cop acted properly are now conclusive.

          Welcome to Back the Blue!

          1. That…happens all the time, Bob. Do you think every cop in a shooting goes to trial?

            1. I though your side hated that it “happens all the time”?

              1. Every accusation is a confession

              2. We don’t hate prosecutorial discretion.

                And neither do you. But it is convenient to hate it for a little while to push your dumbass martyrdom narrative.

      4. Trump and Putin and right-wing Volokh commenters caring with such naked cyncism about exactly one (1) LEO shooting and one (1) LEO shooting only and NO OTHERS is definitely a side.

    One of the lawyers in the “Kraken” lawsuit says they can’t be sanctioned for their failed effort to overturn Michigan’s election, citing as authority “cases too numerous to mention and any attempt to string cite them here would be insulting to all involved.”

    Bold legal strategy.

    1. Similar rhetoric works when you ask someone to back up the assertion that we live in a white supremacist society… why not here….just sayin’…..

      1. Just because someone isn’t willing to engage with you, Jimmy, doesn’t mean that’s the argument they’d make in court.

        1. But it is the argument they make in court (and everywhere else), all the time, lots of hand waving and bold, empty statements that we live in some white supremacist fairy tale land.

          1. Give examples. Which arguments in court about white supremacy cite, “cases too numerous to mention and any attempt to string cite them here would be insulting to all involved”

            1. The cases are too numerous to even cite….

              1. Congrats on being as dumb as the Kraken idiots in your attempt to whattabout the Kraken idiots.

                1. So broad-based appeals to authority are only legitimate rhetoric if you agree with the underlying statement. Got it.

                  1. The only two making those appeals are you and the Kraken idiots.

                    Well done, again.

                    1. Your argument fails under the sheer weight of reality.

                    2. Wow…Are you sure you’re not one of the Kraken idiots?

  9. “On Oct. 22, 2020, the (U.S Treasury) Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated IRTVU as a Specially Designated National (SDN) for being owned or controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC). SDNs are prohibited from obtaining services, including website and domain services, in the United States without an OFAC license. OFAC’s announcement explained that components of the government of Iran, to include IRTVU and others like it, disguised as news organizations or media outlets, targeted the United States with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations. Thirty-three of the websites seized today were operated by IRTVU. The 33 domains are owned by a United States company. IRTVU did not obtain a license from OFAC prior to utilizing the domain names.”

    Disregarding the Iran connection for a moment, I’m wondering about this statement, “. . . disguised as news organizations or media outlets, targeted the United States with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations. . . .”

    How is this different than The Onion and why is “disinformation” illegal?

    Also, the announcement states the media outlets are actually US companies, so shouldn’t they be afforded full constitutional protections?

    Obviously this is a short announcement and not all info is presented, but it does raise constitutional questions.

    1. How is a parody site “disguised as” a new site, if everyone and their pet fish knows it’s a parody site?

      But, agreed, ‘disinformation’ should not be illegal. That doesn’t mean the government can’t respond if foreign governments target us with it.

      “Also, the announcement states the media outlets are actually US companies, so shouldn’t they be afforded full constitutional protections?”

      I think the argument would be that the US company is just a front for the Iranian government. But, yes, I’m not terribly fond of legal actions that start with the punishment, and then go to court to justify it.

      1. I used read (one of the seized domains) now and then. Of course it has its biases and its spin, but overall it didn’t seem a whole lot worse in that respect than the new CNN, the Jerusalem Post, or the Washington Free Beacon. This action doesn’t just hit some Iranian mouthpieces, it hits Americans who wanted to read it.

        “I think the argument would be that the US company is just a front for the Iranian government.”

        Not relevant. The First Amendment doesn’t start with “citizens have freedom of …”. It starts “Congress shall make no law…”. Our government should not be in the business of policing (dis)information, it doesn’t matter what the source is.

    2. Disinformation isn’t generally illegal but might be if it were defamatory or constituted foreign election interference.
      Neither situation is alleged in the OFAC announcement, the websites were seized for violations of sanctions against Iran not for spreading disinformation.

  10. Hmmmm….

    I posted a comment: ‘Kent State “gun girl” Kaitlin Bennett — too extreme even for the Trump campaign – yet QAnon influencers receive press passes for Florida rally,’ and added two internet addresses but see a “Your comment is awaiting moderation,” statement.


    1. You’re allowed one link per post, otherwise it goes to automatic moderation.

      That’s neutrally, and consistently enforced.

      1. Got it.

        Kent State “gun girl” Kaitlin Bennett — too extreme even for the Trump campaign – yet QAnon influencers receive press passes for Florida rally.–too-extreme-even-for-the-trump-campaign/

        Sigh. . . it’s tough drawing lines.

  11. Say Brett, didn’t you mention yesterday that you left Facebook because of their blocking (i.e., “censorship”) policies and their ties to Communist China, and now you use WeChat?

    WeChat deletes dozens of university LGBT accounts in China.

    So, what are you going to do now?

    1. No, I use MeWe. Never heard of wechat before.

  12. There are currently stories coming out of California, where biological men are being transferred to women’s prisons, and then sexually assulting the female prisoners there.

    Why are biological men being transferred to women’s prisons? Because they identify as transgender.

    In one outtake.

    “A transgender woman inmate who had sexually assaulted two young boys was transferred to a women’s prison and stopped taking estrogen, “and he’s already been sexually active with multiple women” within the three weeks he’s been there, Adams said.

    Should there be federal protections put into place to protect biological female prisoners?

    1. Do you have a source for these reports that doesn’t come from a publication that is so obviously politically driven? When the other stories on the website downplay Covid/vaccination, report republican complaints about social-media posts being deleted, and other red meat for Trumpalo republicans, it casts serious doubt on the veracity and strength of the reporting.

      Let me know when you have a similar story coming out of something not as fringe, even if from a right-leaning media outlet like Fox News. Or one that at least links to source documents, like government reports on this issue.

      1. “Do you have a source for these reports that doesn’t come from a publication that is so obviously politically driven?”

        How about the LA Times?

        1. Where in the article are sexual assaults by trans inmates mentioned? Or trans inmates being ‘sexually active’ with several women inmates?

        2. What Queen said. That article (which I believe was linked in the story you linked) talks about concerns something may go on, but does not cite any examples of it actually happening. Where’s the actual proof for the claim that assaults have occurred?

          1. David,

            The source is named, not anonymous. This already puts it on a higher footing than most hot-button media reports, regardless of how “politically driven” or not you deem the journalist or outlet in question (they all are).

            The named source is an attorney representing (actual) female inmates, so it’s one of very few people with occasion to be speaking with a lot of inmates and learning these things (though the attorney has an interest/stake in the matters as well).

            Also, note that the quote provided just says “sexually active with multiple women” and says nothing about assault.

            I assume you do not find it incredible that sexual assault happens in prison, a lot. And if sexual assault is extremely prevalent in all-male prisons, it is reasonable to suppose that if you put both males and females in the same kind of environment, the propensity for a sexual assault problem would be at least as strong and more likely much higher by orders of magnitude. This seems like a peculiar thing for you to latch onto unless you have a particular ideological or other concern (politically driven, if you will). With hundreds and thousands of males being flooded into the female prisons under this bizarre new push, there will probably be thousands of male-on-female sexual assaults in the short term, the vast majority of which will of course go unreported.

            1. That’s a lot of words to say ‘I don’t have such a source, no.’

            2. ‘With hundreds and thousands of males being flooded into the female prisons under this bizarre new push,’

              Sexual assault in prison is an incredibly serious issue, but it’s depressing to see it being hijacked through fakery like this as a new transphobic front on the culture war.

              1. ‘With hundreds and thousands of males being flooded into the female prisons under this bizarre new push,’

                Now contrast that with the very story you linked earlier:

                “The demand has been high, with 261 requests for transfers since SB 132 took effect Jan. 1, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.” And according to the original story on the questionable site, “At least 26 men have been transferred, but it may be more, Adams told the John Solomon Reports podcast Wednesday.”

                And while 261 is quite a few, 26 is a lot less. And the LA Times story talks about how staff are working to screen out which of those are not legitimate requests. So even the link you provided contradicts the claim that this is widespread, let alone that it has led to the alleged activity.

                Also, believe this or not, attorneys have been known to make unsupported claims or exaggerate stories in their favor from time to time. Presenting evidence to support them is another matter.

      2. Just the News is the vanity site of John Solomon, the Russian propagandist who got fired from The Hill for being a Russian propagandist.

  13. Is anyone else listening to the Originalism Deep Dive from Will Baude in Dissenting Opinions?

    Guys, it’s really good. It’s really good at being a non-ideological discussion about judicial ideologies.
    It’s highlighting my ideological differences with Prof. Baude, but as much by elucidating my own beliefs as his.

    I probably won’t, but I almost want to do an episode-by-episode discussion on these weekly open threats. Not this week, though!

    1. Start one next week = episode by episode discussion

      What is the first episode you’re going to discuss?

      1. Episode 1: Arguments for Originalism pre-2013:

        In Episode 1 of Deep Dive Into Originalism, Will and Adam discuss the rise of originalism up to about 2013, including the three main arguments for originalism: the linguistic argument, two consequentialist arguments, and they ponder: What’s the difference between a fried chicken recipe and a Constitution? How important are state constitutions compared to the US Constitution, and how easy or difficult should it be to create constitutional amendments? What should the amendment process look like? Spoiler alert: the movie plot of Lincoln is discussed.

        1. I’ll be listening for sure. I find the discussions on originalism pretty interesting.

    2. I’m not much for listening to podcasts.

      1) I can read a lot faster than I can listen.

      2) I’m getting hard of hearing, though the tinnitus is pretty clear.

      IMO, the invention of print was right up there with agriculture, money, and capitalism for hugely beneficial inventions. Why turn our backs on it?

  14. Are the “Rise of the Moors” guys just getting railroaded by law enforcement?

    Charges against them:
    – unlawful possession of a firearm – a 2nd Amendment rights violation?
    – unlawful possession of ammo – same
    – possession of a high-capacity magazine – same
    – improper storage of guns in a vehicle – same
    – use of body armor in commission of a crime – not a crime if the others aren’t a crime, plus self-defense is a fundamental human right
    – conspiracy to commit a crime – a real crime, or one of the above?
    – telling police a false name – a misdemeanor

    Note how it’s not middle-aged white guys facing firearms charges. It almost never is. The gun hysteria turns out to be directly counter to the social justice goals the left talks about. But it doesn’t matter because they’re all about finger-pointing and shallow self-congratulation and not actually helping anyone.

    1. Note how it’s not middle-aged white guys facing firearms charges

      [citation needed]

      1. Black males make up 13% of the population and 43% of the gun arrests:

        Gun laws hurt black folks the most.

        1. Correction: Obviously black males are only about half of the 13% of the black population. So about 6% of the total population.

          1. OK, fine numbers. Thanks for the cite. You should do that more often!

            I’ll take issue with your idea that social justice must myopically include only disparate impact of each individual policy, and not anything else.

            It’s not hypocritical to think the benefit of a policy outweighs it’s drawbacks, especially if you add in attempts to deal with class and race disparities in enforcement.

            1. Why? Citing it doesn’t change anything. Anyone who cares can do a Google search just as easily as I can.

              Saying you want “equity” for black folks and then pushing policies that disproportionately destroy the future of black men may only be dumb instead of “hypocritical” (a favorite barb of people who talk and argue instead of actually doing anything).

              Or it could be a double-secret plan to push unlimited government that never satisfies goals (and thus can never be scaled back) because it sabotages it’s own efforts — while delivering paychecks to bureaucrats.

              But it’s clearly not part of a sincere, well considered, holistic, goal-oriented policy.

              1. Not a fan of these laws but given black men are disproportionately the victims of gun homicides one could reasonably hold that the gun laws are warranted via equity to save black lives even though they, like many laws, also have the effect of falling disproportionately on that same group.

  15. It was briefly the leading story on state and national news and it boils down to “some people drove through Massachusetts with guns.”

    But this is not the case courts will use to revive the Second Amendment.

  16. I see very little functional difference between these belief systems and religions. No one in all of this has provided a simple definition of a religion that to use a lawyer word that distinguishes religions from other belief systems.

    Some religious belief systems people think of lack many elements of common Abrahamic religions most people are familiar with. What about Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Scientology and Jainism to name a few.

    How are these different for Communism, Atheism, Progressivism as belief systems?

    1. I do not see much of a psychological difference either, rsteinmetz, when it comes to religion and belief systems.

      1. If you 1) care about an evidentiary tether to the physical world, and 2) don’t include about a supernatural aspect, it’s not religion.

        IOW, if you admit and embrace that it’s faith-based, thus not amenable to physically observable evidence for or against, and it includes some aspect of the world beyond the understandable laws of nature, then it’s religion.

        2 examples:
        Objectivism: not a religion, because it claims to be based on physically observable evidence of human interaction. I think it’s bunk, but it does not require it should be taken on faith.

        Utilitarianism, as a moral structure, does not include a supernatural aspect. It is not religion even though it is not evidence-based.

        1. Sarcastr0….your second condition poses a problem. What to do about non-theistic religions, that are already recognized as ‘religions’ (in the tax code, for instance)?

          1. Realize that the tax code is not an epistemological taxonomy, I suppose.

            But even like the Jedi code has a supernatural element. What are you thinking of?

            1. Perhaps we judge them by their fruits, to see if it is a ‘religion’ or not.

              1. Cute, but the fruits of most of our religions show up largely after death.

                My issue is Amos is using religion to denigrate the other side as not relying of facts, unlike his rational and fact-based side.

                Which is obviously wrong.

    2. So you seriously think ‘Progressivism’ should be protected under the Free Exercise Clause?

      Also, it’s quite common for someone to be involved in Progressivism and a traditional religion. Are they adherents in two ‘religions?’

      It’s a silly rhetorical device. You might as well say a person’s love dogs is a religion (just like religion it gives meaning to their life, just like religion it orders their day around routine rituals, just like religion they put a lot of money into it, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah).

      1. Love of dogs that is (a ‘love dog’ is kind of redundant)

    3. ? I did –

      Belief in the supernatural and the embrace of non-phenomenological methods as proof thereof.

      1. I was replying to stein and commenter xy

        1. Threading sucks – I was replying to rsteinmetz.

  17. Any other normal person out there the least bit concerned that Biden is increasingly having to read off notecards, is getting off camera prompting, and is generally insulated from the media (who go along with it) by his staff?

    Seems to be if during the Trump years he read off one single notecard to answer a reporter question in a coffeeshop we wouldn’t hear the end of how he had to be immediately 25th Amendment-ed.

    1. That’s funny, hearing him talk the other day at the gym on tv I had an extra laugh about all the RWNs who were saying he was clearly demented a few months ago.

      1. You do know that people with dementia tend to fade in and out, right? “Good days” and “bad days”….

        It is also possible to juice someone up for a short period of time on various forms of “uppers” if the need exists and you have a compliant physician (or drug dealer) cranking out the proper substances.

        1. “It is also possible to juice someone up for a short period of time on various forms of “uppers” if the need exists and you have a compliant physician (or drug dealer) cranking out the proper substances.”

          The thing about motivated thinking conspiracy theories is you can just keep adding more on top to support them, like conspiracy Jenga!

          1. You are aware of the dictionary definition of both “conspiracy” and “theory” are, right? (Hint – I don’t think you do).

            In non-woke speak some call it a hypothesis….

            1. Your OP is not a hypothesis, it’s clearly a factual a conclusion.

              Though your backpeddaling when confronted is typical.

              1. Fact: Biden stumbles over basic phrases, is shielded constantly from the press, has prompts on notecards he consults in casual conversation, and has almost no contact outside of managed press engagements.

                Hypothesis: Gees…..looks like Biden is losing it

                1. Don’t forget the doctors are giving him super-serum!

                2. You don’t know what a hypothesis is if you start with observations. Also, how would you falsify it?

                  Humans stumble over basic phrases regularly, they’re just not all broadcast and then supercut by right-wing people working a narrative.

                  Notecards or teleprompters are legit if you care what you’re going to say and speak multiple times a day.

            2. It has it’s own dictionary definition

              theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators

              a theory asserting that a secret of great importance is being kept from the public
              And you’re, as usual, soaking in it. I’m not sure there is much of a Right that isn’t in recent times.

    2. Three Points :

      (1) You’ve been peddling this crap well over a year now. I recall when Biden was supposedly “afraid” to face Trump in a debate. How’d that prediction work out for you? How many more times are you going to look foolish with this bullshit?

      (2) When he speaks, Biden is more rational & coherent than his predecessor. He uses words well above a third-grade level, often in whole sentences. If notecards help with this improvement over Trump, then more power to’em.

      (3) Now if you wanna claim Trump provides much better pro wrestling-style entertainment than Biden, I concede your point. After all, isn’t that why the Cult voted for him?

      1. He is worse than a year ago.

        Its not a straight line but the trend is bad for him.

        1. As grb says a year ago you were saying he was droolingly demented, now he’s gone to, what, super droolingly demented? I’ve never thought Biden a smart guy but people like yourself have forfeited even a suggestion of respectability on this.

          1. “year ago you were saying he was droolingly demented”

            Bull. Never said anything like that.

            My position has never changed, he has gradually increasing signs of decline, but some days better than others.

      2. 1. Biden has continued to hide behind his staff and political handlers. The media has been complacent in this even failing to cover when he fell down the stairs to Air Force One. From the outside, it doesn’t look very good, which makes me really wonder what reality is like in the White House on a day to day basis.

        2. No response necessary. Typical #orangemanbad.

        3. More #orangemanbad.


        1. “The media has been complacent in this even failing to cover when he fell down the stairs ”

          My God, we’re through the looking glass here people!

          1. So if they weren’t failing to report on it, why were the only articles for the first 24 hours found in the European press?

            1. Well, the European Press is led by a different cabal of Reptilians wearing human skin, duh!

              1. You do a brilliant job discrediting yourself, please keep it up!

                1. Sure conspiracy theorists, it’s the guy mocking your Jenga tower of conspiracy theories that’s discreding themselves here.

                  Or is that just what our Reptilian overlords want, amirite Jimmy? Wink, wink.

          2. Queen Amalthea : My God, we’re through the looking glass here people!

            I think we blew-thru the looking glass months ago, when much of a Thursday Open Thread was occupied with our Jimmys, Bobs, and Bretts discussing their “theory” Biden used CGI special effects to stage a ten-minute presser at the end of the White House drive. When people pointed out two dozen-plus people attended this event in the flesh, it did no good. Talk about mental deterioration! Our Right-wing friends provided it in abundance on that day. There’s been no observable improvement since.

            What we have here is pretty simple: The last two GOP presidents (GWB & DJT) were pretty much dumb as a box of rocks. That has led to a right-wing obsession with denigrating the mental abilities of their Democratic successors. Remember their fixation with Obama and teleprompters?!? The man hosted a free-for-all six hour summit on healthcare and ran rings around a roomful of hostile Republican congressmen – yet we were supposed to believe he couldn’t function without a teleprompter. Why? Because George W. Bush was an idiot. No other reason.

            For four-plus years, Trump embarrassed his supporters with child-level imbecility. Oh, they put on a brave face, but humiliation is humiliation all the same. A fixation on Biden’s mental acuity is their compulsive response. Just think of it as sublimated guilt.

            1. Obvious Biden can’t be losing it because Trump and GWB were dumb! That is some logic free argumentation only a liberal could contrive.

              1. It’s interesting you got that instead of people like Jimmy have discredited themselves with their regular gullible invocations of wild conspiracy theories.

    3. Seems to be if during the Trump years he read off one single notecard to answer a reporter question in a coffeeshop we wouldn’t hear the end of how he had to be immediately 25th Amendment-ed.

      Actually, we’d hear amazement that he had learned to read.

  18. Here is your reminder that an actual insurrection that set up a real autonomous “no go” zone actually did happen on Capitol Hill. To date, there have been ZERO prosecutions for those who were responsible for this lawless action.

    1. “on Capitol Hill”

      Wow, the dishonesty of the equivocation here speaks volumes as to the paucity of your overall argument.

      1. What is dishonest about my post? I even included a link to (what most would consider an unbiased or at least fair) source….

        1. Compounding your dishonesty only adds to the pile.

          1. So you read something, have a knee-jerk response, then yell that it was “misleading” because of your failure to engage in a modicum of independent thinking. Yeah……

            1. No, I read a massively dishonest equivocation on your part and called it out.

              1. Not dishonest at all. I called the event by its standard accepted name. You just don’t like the fact it makes the lefties look really bad and two sided.

                1. What is context and how does it work?

                  1. So is your assertion that because of the commonly accepted name of the event is closely related to other geographical locations in our country that it must have some sort of disclaimer or rider? Or is it that you are concerned those with feeble minds, lacking any type of ability to think independently, will be duped by the mere mention of “Capitol Hill” which will result in sheer anarchy?

                    1. Jimmy, you clearly were engaging in an equivocation, to be cute, in ignorance, I don’t know, but clearly. You’re just making it look sadder to continue to dig here.

                    2. That is a pretty bold statement coming from someone who can’t differentiate “Capitol Hill”……

                    3. I can differentiate and did right away, that’s why I called you out immediately on your sad equivocation.

            2. A question for you, Jimmy:

              What do you think is the top-end of public approval for this fantasy of yours anyway? Sure, the Cult will come to believe the 06Jan insurrectionists were flower-power peaceniks who wandered into the Capitol by accident. No problem there; gullibility and an addiction to lies is the very definition of the hardcore Trump supporter.

              But it’s not the sort of thing likely to translate into broader support, is it? You see this a lot with the Right today. You folk are so obsessed with the phantasmagoric freak show playing out in your mind that all thought of outside appearance is forgotten.

              So further and further down the rabbit hole you go. When the jokey “audit” is released in Arizona, will you care that most people don’t take it seriously? Does it bother you that Trump’s lawsuit against the tech companies is more childishly stupid than Nunes suing a cow? When does reality become important to you again?!?

              1. You are screaming that I need to accept reality, while you stay nicely situated in your false narrative. Unplug from CNN. Turn off the social media. Pick up a book that was printed before 1945. Talk to some real people who do real things. The world is a bright and open place where an open mind can still thrive. Don’t waste yours drinking the kool-aid in the echo chamber.

                1. 1. I don’t watch any TV news.
                  2. This is the closest I get to social media.
                  3. It’s a sure-fire guarantee I’ve read more pre-45 books than you.

                  Trust me on this, Jimmy. The face you see in the mirror isn’t me.

                2. ” Unplug from CNN. Turn off the social media. ”

                  Don’t you know that’s all run by our Reptilian overlords to fool us into giving them our precious bodily fluids!

  19. Who killed Ashli Babbit?

    1. I think it is fair to say that her death is blood on the hands of the entire cultural marxist left. Much like George Floyd served as a rallying point for some who believe that police engage in systemic behavior, the Babbit Assassination is the equivalent for exposing the violence of the socialist, marxist left.

      1. What do the ‘socialist marxist left,’ whoever they are, have to do with a mob of Trump supporters trying to get Pence to overturn the Electoral College?

        1. Not that nuances really matter, but the call wasn’t even for Pence (or Congress for that matter) to “overturn” the Electoral College results. The movement was to essential remand it back to the various states to be considered again in light of the shady election results.

          And, sure, there is the off chance that even when the results came back it could still go to the House of Representatives to select the President and Vice President. But don’t act like that is some form of overthrowing the government. It is an eventuality provided for in the constitution, which has happened more than once in the history of the Republic.

          Now, just to be completely transparent, I’m not suggesting that this would have been the preferred route or that I would have even supported throwing it to the House to select the President. But let’s not act like something was going on which simply was not the case. I know it sounds a lot more dubious construct the narrative using the false light that has been cast, but it just simply isn’t the truth.

          1. There were no fucking “shady election results,” you gullible fool.

            1. So says the guy who believes the media when they just say without any support “election fraud does not happen.”

              1. So let’s talk facts instead of beliefs :

                (1) For thirty or forty years the Right has been parading their pretend bullshit on “election fraud”. How much of it have they produced?

                Fact : Next to zero.

                (2) Trump appoints the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to find election fraud. He stocks it with true believers. He appoints an über election fraud fanatic, Kris Kobach, as commission head. How much fraud did they discover?

                Fact : Next to zero.

                (3) Trump loses an election. Being a petulant child leading a cult of petulant children, this has to be someone else fault. So the weeks after the election and months following Biden’s inauguration have been devoted to a frantic search for “election fraud”. How much has been found?

                Fact : Next to zero.

                How much credibility does JtD have on this topic?
                Less than zero.

                You’re underwater, Jimmy. Hope you have some choice diving gear….

          2. Nuance or not, it’s still nothing whatsoever to do with the ‘socialist marxist left,’ it was to do with reversing an election result they didn’t like. I don’t know if that counts as an insurrection, but it was definitely an attempt to thwart the democratic process and install an unelected figure in the position of president. Whatever the name for that is.

            1. What you describe is also the end result of election fraud “thwart democratic process, install unelected figure.” But according to the media, that invited Big Lie (TM), that could never happen because of…..reasons…..and it is obviously the other guy who is doing the whole thwarting thing!

              If you aren’t naturally skeptical of the trademarking of a slogan being part of a media driven convenient cover up, well…….

              1. What I’m skeptical of is claims of election fraud without the tniest scrap of evidence.

          3. . It is an eventuality provided for in the constitution, which has happened more than once in the history of the Republic.

            It is not provided for in the constitution, and has not happened more than once in the history of the Republic. The Constitution provides that if no candidate gets a majority in the Electoral College, that the House picks the president. The Constitution does not provide that if one candidate gets majority but a the loser is a crybaby who has a temper tantrum and demands a do-over, that the House picks the president.

            There is no “remanding” an election to a state. The constitution says that the electors must vote on the same day across the country. The electors had already voted on that day. That’s it. No takebacksies.

      2. LOL, whichever officer shot her I bet the odds they were a ‘socialist, marxist’ is so small you’d need a microscope to see it.

    2. Indirectly, Donald Trump.

      1. Don’t answer ML’s weekly attempt to turn a tragedy into a bloody shirt to try and distract from the antidemocratic right being laid bare on Jan 06 and scurrying for cover ever since.

        Shades of Unite the Right.

        This just keeps happening.

        1. Sarcastro – “these are not the droids you are looking for….”

          1. Jimmy: Sarcastro is trying to trick you, take the red pill and come with me!

            1. I’m more of a half red/hall black pill kind of guy….

    3. Unsurprising to see you hopping on the latest insane RW outrage.

      1. I’ve been asking this question for many months now.

      2. Remember when you thought the rioters killed a police officer?

        The media makes up lies, and you eagerly accept them and repeat them.

        1. To the dedicated conspiracy theorist, there can be no ‘reported something based on information that turned out wrong in trying to suss out an incredibly complex situation’ is always ‘made up lies.’ Because there is always a nefarious ‘they’ that have tricked most people except themselves.

          The real question people like ML and Jimmy present is: is there a Right today in this country that is not soaking in conspiracy theories? Can there just be people who think right wing policies are correct and good for the country but who don’t believe in many conspiracy theories? The answer isn’t looking good lately…

          1. Ah yes more woke speak. Let’s bandy about the phrase “conspiracy theory” more because that will make us sound smart….

            1. It’s not woke speak, you’re literally soaking in plain dictionary conspiracy theories.

              But thanks for letting us know that you don’t have a coherent idea of what ‘woke’ is all about.

        2. They still continue the lie by saying “and five people died that day” which is technically true because they fail to mention that none of those deaths had any direct correlation, but conveniently draw the connection through disingenuous silence.

          1. Yes, just saw this again the other day. “Five people died in the riots.” It’s all day every day.

        3. M L : Remember when you thought the rioters killed a police officer?

          That would be U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Some of Trump’s rioters rushed and assaulted him, then shot bear spray right into his eyes. The next day he died from a stroke, but the medical examiner found insufficient evidence the attack was a contributing cause of death by the strictest letter of the law.

          You’re right, ML; it’s sounds so much better for the insurrectionists when you put it that way……

          1. Finally managed to find a copy you like?

            The left spent last summer absolutely trashing law enforcement, so forgive the public if they are the least bit skeptical that you really care here. I know all the “federal troops” protecting people in Portland might like a word of encouragement from the libs after that you put them through last summer.

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