The 1st Amendment and Social Media

Still more reason to read Ace everyday: True Con Corporate Class Silent on Censorship of PragerU and the MasterCard-Ordered Banning of Robert Spencer from Patreon.

A reference is made a tweet thread from Melissa Mackenzie in which one of the responses is:

The first amendment does not apply to private companies. If they didn’t teach you that at pragerU I’d ask for a refund.

This is addressed nu Ace in a long-ish quote below:

Meanwhile, while the idiot FakeNews Conservatives continue to insist that “Private Business social media companies can do anything they want,” that’s not true — at least, they can’t do anything they want without serious legal jeopardy.

As Lee Smith again reminds us, social media companies only have a special exemption to the normal laws about liability for libel, conspiracy, facilitating the sale of contraband, etc., that most publications are subject to only because it is assumed that they are not acting as editorial overseeers of the content, picking and choosing what gets put into print.

If a newspaper publishes a defamatory letter to the editor, that newspaper is liable for that defamation. The newspaper picks and chooses what to print, after all; it is responsible for trumpeting that libel out to thousands.

But if libel is published on a social media, the social media company is not legally responsible for it by a special exception of the law.

But that law requires that the social media company act as a neutral platform and not act as newspaper would, exercising editorial judgment about what news is fit to print.

An similar article by Instapundit is linked and quoted on his blog from yesterday.

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The Untenable Tension Between Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association

A Weird Dave ONT Post – making me aware, yet again, of how I have neglected the job of redoing my list of links that I like to read, so howaboutit, you lazy bum… um, ah, yes, well, anyway… Being an ONT, it’s a bunch of fun links; the leading one a reference to a “[t]he untenable tension between freedom of speech and freedom of association”.

There’s the nice, journalist way of putting it:

These are dark times for those who believe in unfettered freedom of expression. These are amazing times for those who believe in unfettered freedom of association. And these are untenable times for those who hope to balance both.

and WD’s way (with which I happen to agree):

See, my position on this is simple: Both should be near absolute (Can’t start a riot, etc…usual caveats). You want to shout the N-word in a crowded theater? Go ahead. Refuse to serve white people (or black people, or Democrats, or Christians, or anybody) at your restaurant? Knock yourself out. The market will take care of the latter and societal opprobrium (or a punch in the snoot) the former. But that’s not the world we live in.

The whole sub-post is really quite good and well argued and I just can’t help myself. So, here’s the journalist who (still) doesn’t get it:

If you create a world in which you appeal to principles and then weaponize these principles in such a way that only one side of the fight is hurt — a world in which Kevin D. Williamson is canned from the Atlantic while Sarah Jeong maintains her position at the New York Times; a world in which right-wing YouTubers are demonetized while left-wing videos skate by; a world in which conservative voices see their tweets disappear while liberal voices flourish — you encourage people to abandon their principles altogether. (That’s why conservative provocateurs tweet about following “new rules”: They see principles as a weakness, and in a total cultural war, they might not be wrong.)

And the response:

This is where I disagree. I’m not abandoning my principles, My principles are fine, as long as they apply to everybody. When they don’t, when as he says they are weaponized against one side and not the other, then we are no longer talking about a principled society. Now we’re talking game theory, specifically The Prisoner’s Dilemma.

And after a discussion of the Prisoner’s Dilemma

I’ve stated my principles above, however, if I do nothing in the name of “principle” when the other side violates them to my detriment, then pretty soon I’ll be removed from the board. The ONLY* way to move back to the principles that I want is to make the other side suffer as much as I do until they cry “Uncle”. Then we can discuss a world where we both have the freedoms that we should.

*This is the part of the argument that I never see the “Muh principles!” crowd making. OK, fine, what is your suggested course of action to bring society back to equilibrium? Seriously, game theory is nasty and dirty and no fun for anyone. Give me an alternative. I’ve never seen any of them suggest anything other than martyrdom. Martyrdom’s great-except martyrs never encourage the other side to do anything, they usually function as the butt of a joke. They only function to encourage the losing side to finally fight back. If you don’t like what I’ve proposed, suggest another course of action, one with a chance of working. I’m waiting.

And the rest of the post is very good too. I hate that I neglect to visit Ace as much as I should.

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Why We Hate Experts

Very nice piece that explains and documents a whole lot of the meta-problems we have nowadays.

[Some argue that] the chasm between the experts and the populace is based on two factors: One, that the experts live apart from and don’t understand the rest of us, and, two, that the experts believe they are smarter than the rest of us, so don’t feel a need to account for our views.

While true, these two factors are the least of the reasons the population is fed up with the experts. The biggest reason is that the experts (the educated elite) are always wrong in their prescriptions for the country — always.

And the article only deals with health case issues.

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Good Thread

I don’t normally follow this guy, Ron Coleman; I’m not even sure who he is (lawyer?), but from the comments I’ve seen him make over time, he seems honest and credible. He had a nice twitter thread this morning:

The problem isn’t the massive gap in political views between a third of the country and another third of it any more.

It’s the yawning massive chasm between even the remotest shared universe of empirical fact.

Most Dems actually consume the unsourced and, amazingly, *quickly debunked* propaganda from the @nytimes @cnn and @washingtonpost with *total credulity.* They regard these outfits’ ignoring the FISA scandal etc. as proof that there is no there there.

They see no problem with Comey’s conspicuous failure to do his job (let’s leave it at that) and actually believe Hillary Clinton has been completely “cleared” of wrongdoing.

Yes. I am sure they believe this.

They are still mentally at Trump /Putin 1.0. Nothing has changed for them on this. They truly believe impeachment is imminent and that there is a crime called “collusion.”

They *sincerely* regard Barack Obama as an idealistic, highly skilled and effectual POTUS, arguably the greatest ever, whose policies resulted in vast improvement in America’s standing in the world and its domestic condition.

And they are absolutely convinced that, in the face of all contrary proof, Donald Trump is a man of very low intelligence who is a vicious racist.

Because THEY MUST BELIEVE THESE THINGS to continue living.

That’s not to say that many among their many radical tropes, there is much they – as individuals – don’t believe for a *second.*

But they believe, accurately, they’ll never be called on any of that.

Saddest of all – tragic for our country – is that *they cannot conceive of good faith opposition to their views.*

Literally unthinkable to them as an empirical possibility.

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Or the Cops

This is really a continuation of the previous post. The fact is, the members of the media are assholes who would hang you to dry if given a chance, but they do this for personal reasons using tricks of their trade that they’ve found to work over the years. They are not law enforcement who (often) have a specific goal on mind and are trained to interview people in ways that can achieve that goal.

So, from somewhere in Twitter-land I ended up reading some (blog) posts by Popehat about not talking to the [FBI|law enforcement|the government in general]. Here’s the conclusion from a good one and it has the additional benefit of being from before Trump:

Some people are sociopaths and would try to fast-talk God Almighty. Some people talk compulsively under any pressure. And some people have somehow picked up a foolish notion that if they don’t talk, if they don’t cooperate, if they don’t show the cops that they’re good citizens, they’ll be hustled off to a cell even if they’ve done nothing, or that they will lose a chance to divert the cops from the something they have done. Here’s the truth: maybe, possibly, there could be a scenario where your long-term interests will be hurt if you refuse to talk to law enforcement. Maybe, possibly, in some extremely unlikely scenario, you could do actual harm to your fortunes by asking to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the cops. But those remote and hypothetical scenarios are vastly outweighed by the strong likelihood that you will make your situation much worse by talking. The “I better talk to the cops right now or things might get worse” approach is like deciding to jump off a bridge because you might get struck by lightening if you keep standing on it.

Shut up. For the love of all that is holy just shut up.

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Never Talk to the Media

I thought, but am apparently wrong, that I had squirreled away something about how one shouldn’t talk to the police in almost any situation without a lawyer present. Examples of this advice abound on YouTube and I assume written versions can be found using a general web search.

Today, however, an interesting addition to this advice was presented at Vox Populi called Media training which covers talking to the media.

This is an excerpt from a member of a very large organization that is often the subject of media attention and has the need to train all its members on how to deal with the media.

1. Always be polite and smile.
2. Simply don’t return calls, or if they get your number, say no thank you and hang up.
3. If you are rude, shout at them, be a smart ass, or are anything but polite, they now have their story about you.
4. Their final attempt may be an ambush where walking out of your home where you are harrassed with a microphone in your face. If this happens, ask who they are, where they work, and what they want. Then repeat while smiling, “You seem very nice, but I can’t talk right now as I have to get to an appointment. I have your number and will call you later. Thank you. You seem nice.” Walk backwards a little, keep saying how nice the journalist is. Then leave and never speak to them again.

NEVER say “No Comment”. No Comment = guilty.

NEVER yell at them. They will play that clip 1000 times a day.

NEVER be rude. They will let the world know.

Tell them how nice and wonderful they are and they have NO STORY. The goal is for them to have NO STORY.

They will simply make up a story anyhow, but they will have to do so without any quotes or an interview. It will therefore be limited in its effectiveness.

Man, journalists.

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20 Diversion Tactics

That is, 20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You (or this? Does this have meaning beyond merely another link?). Also note, the author is Shahida Arabi, the author of the book “POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse“.

I have copied-and-pasted the entire post because I don’t know anything about the host site and how long it will be around; this post is really only for me. The original article include many links not included here, so the original is much better. Since I’ve copied the entire thing, I won’t use blockquote markers. The following is the first couple of paragraphs and gives a flavor of the following article.


A deep dive into understanding the narcissistic sociopath, psychopath, and other anti-social personalities.

Toxic people such as malignant narcissists, psychopaths and those with antisocial traits engage in maladaptive behaviors in relationships that ultimately exploit, demean and hurt their intimate partners, family members and friends. They use a plethora of diversionary tactics that distort the reality of their victims and deflect responsibility. Although those who are not narcissistic can employ these tactics as well, abusive narcissists use these to an excessive extent in an effort to escape accountability for their actions.
Continue reading

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Two Tweets

From the NY Times (the publisher of which was just in to talk with Trump):

Mike Pence mirrors Donald Trump more than you think, according to a thoroughly researched, damning new book about him. He’s also self-infatuated. Also a bigot. Also a liar. Also cruel.

To which Julie Kelly responds:

The publisher of the NYT just called Trump’s rhetoric “divisive” and “dangerous.” This is just one of a million reasons why Trump shouldn’t back down on his war with the media. Total hypocrites

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“Caddy Shack” Remake

From a comment here:

The Trump presidency is a real-life Caddyshack, with Trump as Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight as every liberal.

I suppose many liberals grew up watching Caddy Shack and idnetifying as the Rodney Dangerfield character. When they see how closely the Current Occupant resembles Rodney Dangerfield, and that the part they are playing is the snooty, uncool president of the golf & yacht club, they will demand the movie be remade, with the Ted Knight character the hero and with the rodney Dangerfield character as the villian. The real Bill Clinton will play the part of Carl.

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Peaceful multicultural societies don’t exist

[says Dutch FM] in explosive leaked speech. Post contains link to original story from Russia Today.

The minister went further and said it might be all fun and games to go to a “Turkish bakery on Sunday” if you live in a well-off part of a city, but a “number of side effects” promptly become tangible if one lives in a migrant-packed neighborhood.

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