• Ban Trump, Twitter and Free Speech

    December 30, 2016

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Post-Constitution America, Trump

    In the through-the-mirror world we now live in, people who once unambiguously supported free speech now are finding plenty of things they want censored.

    Chief among those opposing ideas they want silenced are Donald Trump’s. His remarks — from the silly, labeled unpresidential, to the more extreme labeled racist/sexist/misogynist/hateful — have attracted a surprising group of otherwise intelligent people demanding he be shut up.



    Salon to Les Barricades!

    An article on Salon made the case, specifically demanding Twitter ban Trump. Here’s one representative paragraph:

    Republicans may not be willing to hold him [Trump] accountable for his dreadful behavior, but the rest of us don’t have to fall in line. Trump has repeatedly signaled his enthusiasm for dictators, which gives us serious reason to fear he may be eyeballing such powers for himself. Banning his Twitter account would be an important act of resistance.

    (Of course American presidents have supported a long line dictators — pick your faves, from Stalin in WWII to Somoza to the Assads to Saddam –without themselves becoming dictators, but no matter, we’re beyond history here.)

     

    But Twitter Has Terms of Service!

    Twitter, Facebook, etc., are private businesses and thus not subject to the First Amendment (which only restricts the government from crushing speech) and can make any usage rules they like. But in reality social media outlets have in our age become the public squares of the day, and must be seen and treated as such. For example, when they actually had the guts, good newspapers would go out of their way to print opposing viewpoints, recognizing their status as a public forum.

    So yes, yes, Twitter can ban redheaded users (sorry, gingers!) if they want to, but it would be detrimental to our broader national commitment to hearing each other out, including hearing from people we don’t agree with. No, ESPECIALLY hearing from people we don’t agree with. Of course there are also the problems that come up once you start banning people, given how opinions of what should be “allowed” can change as quickly as overnight election evening.

    So the fact that an entity can ban speech doesn’t mean it should.

    In a broader context, it is also always helpful to remember there are no laws against “hate speech” that prevent people from making rough political statements, or even stupid ones. There are laws against inciting violence “Kill all the redheads” but not against saying they suck or are monkeys.



    “You Can’t Yell Fire in a Crowded Theater”

    That paraphrase of a paragraph from a 1919 U.S. Supreme Court case, Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919), written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, is often cited as justification for limiting free speech. Here’s what Holmes wrote:

    The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger.

    The statement says the First Amendment doesn’t protect false speech that is likely to cause immediate harm to others, three conditions. The speech must be demonstrably false, and it must be likely to cause real harm (not just offense or hurt feelings, a “clear and present danger”), and do so immediately.

    The interpretation of the First Amendment has been understood and adjudicated to impose a pretty high barrier to restrictions on what can be blocked or banned, and over the years has allowed flags to be burned, the KKK and Nazis to march, artists to make sculptures from their own body waste, and all sorts of political statements, at least a handful of which you would strongly disagree with and be deeply offended by.

    And so expression whose ban has been upheld over the long run has been narrow, things the vast majority society agrees are truly dangerous, such as child pornography.

    That’s the whole point — with as few limitation as necessary, protect expression people may or may not want to hear. The First Amendment is not there to protect Dancing with the Stars (though it does) but to protect the hard stuff, the hard calls.


    Schenck is Actually Evil

    And yes, Schenck itself was a crappy case that sought to use the Espionage Act against a Socialist pamphleteer, to stop free speech, not protect it, and the case was overturned. In fact, Holmes’ statement was a dictum that the First Amendment is not absolute, that restriction is lawful, along with the developing idea that restriction on speech should be narrow and limited.

    It was the later case of Brandenburg v. Ohio that refined the modern standard for restricting speech to that “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” But we talk about Holmes’ “fire in a crowded theatre” line as a kind of shorthand for all that.



    Let Him Speak — Loudly

    Justice Holmes, perhaps as an act of contrition, later wrote in another landmark case:

    The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.

    So following the broad values enshrined in the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, even though it can, Twitter should not ban Trump. Let him tweet, hell, give him 20 extra characters. And let us know, judge, agree, oppose, and argue about what he says.


    PERSONAL BONUS: Writing in a mainstream publication that the president shouldn’t be allowed on Twitter? Jesus Christ, pull your shit together and get a freaking grip on yourselves. If you can’t do that, go hide under your bed and hug your stuffed animal Bobo. You want to worry about authoritarianism? It always includes shutting up people you don’t want to listen to.




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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • teri said...

      1

      Salon article, huh? I quit reading them years ago precisely because they hired a bunch of silly vapid fools like Amanda Marcotte (who wrote the article you quote from), called them “journalists” and let them have at it.

      12/30/16 9:43 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      2

      Funny that you use Trump as an example. Trump will make it his mission to ban those bloggers, tweeters etc he deems offensive. All he has to do is declare his cult a religion and say any offensive comment made against him is an affront to his religious rights and should be banned. The TRUMP Supreme Court will obey the wishes of their dark lord and savior.

      12/30/16 10:02 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      3

      Peter,

      Here,here.!!!

      And……

      Fucking A….

      M

      12/30/16 10:20 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      4

      Bauer,

      Peter said,

      “Writing in a mainstream publication that the president shouldn’t be allowed on Twitter? Jesus Christ, pull your shit together and get a freaking grip on yourselves. If you can’t do that, go hide under your bed and hug your stuffed animal Bobo. You want to worry about authoritarianism? It always includes shutting up people you don’t want to listen to. ”

      How’s that family of stuffed animals you have living under your bed….. With your crack pipe…. Your blankie,…. And your alternative ego…. Does it have a name?

      And…. How is it living in your parents basement…. And calling it a “command center”.?

      M

      12/30/16 10:24 AM | Comment Link

    • traven said...

      5

      Peter.. Have good cheer. We are with you. Don’t get your knickers all knotted up. This too will pass
      (we hope).
      It took Pearl Harbor to get the fascists off the street in 1941. Lets hope and work that it doesn’t take something like that in 2017. Just a little citizen action is needed.

      12/30/16 11:07 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      6

      Ban Presidente elect Summer Squash from twitter????

      No no no. I mean, he’s the laughing stock of the planet!! People need to laugh!! I say let this buffoon entertain the entire planet! He just might say something that will send the planet into hysterics!! And we all know that’s exactly what this planet needs. Hell, let him ride the New Year’s Midnight ball while tweeting to the crowd below. He’ll make history!!..

      On the other hand, slowly but surely, like boiling frogs, we might miss his hints of his future intents, which already anyone with one neuron between their ears can figure out which way the Trump hurricane is heading….

      http://qz.com/874872/fascism-under-donald-trump-the-warning-signs-of-fascism-that-americans-should-watch-for-in-2017/?google_editors_picks=true

      As for the person who said “it can’t happen here”.. I suggest he start reading Herr Summer Squash’s twitter feed hourly. Between the laughs I’m sure you’ll find some warning signs.

      12/30/16 1:20 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      7

      Pitch- Trump can only become a Hitler if the American public wants a Hitler. If he promises to “disappear” lots of undesireables, deplorables and deviants and keep them innocent of knowing how he has done it they’ll be thriled.

      Possible JFK moment from Trump: “Ask not what your country can do for you- ask only to be kept in the dark about what it does in your name.”

      12/30/16 1:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      8

      Pitchfork,

      What John said.

      M

      12/30/16 4:08 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      9

      Mitch,As a redhead (before the grey) I second that.

      12/30/16 4:12 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      10

      I was worried I was banned. Happy New Year to ll. Glad Trump just tweeted. MSM Panties are twisting.

      12/30/16 4:14 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      11

      What a year. I am glad Killery was not elected, and the Bush and Clinton family DYnasty’s were taken down. (Now, the DNC cheating for Hill was not happy)

      12/30/16 4:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      12

      Pitchfork,

      Question….

      Would you prefer Trump….. Or….. Some guy who does this?????

      http://foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?page=22995&external=3850104.proteus.fma#quickPage_html_page_22995_content_118570717_pageNum_1

      Keep in mind…. The ground troops need these for the little things….. Like…. Support…. Re-supply….. Evac….

      M

      12/30/16 4:52 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      13

      The Commission on Presidential Debates meets the first week of Jan.. Many have resigned. Will we be banned from what they say?! Did CNN and MSNBC ban reporting of what was in the DNC emails released by Assange? Yes we scan.

      12/30/16 5:55 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      14

      Mitch said…

      “Pitchfork,

      Question….

      Would you prefer Trump….. Or….. Some guy who does this?????”

      Excuse me? I looked at that link. MItch, get a grip. I don’t know what you think you are pulling here, but that link was fucking bullshit. Now, either you are a MilPropaGANDA asshat, or you are real. I haven’t decided yet. BUT, I’ll tell you one thing.. every time you post a link to FOX “news”, your relevance here drops point by point.

      12/30/16 7:51 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      15

      Pitchfork,

      If you don’t believe it, fine….. But….. Search it yourself….

      That info is now Everywhere…..

      ALL of the carriers and their fleets are back in their home ports, or dry docks….. For at least the next week…. More likely….. Several weeks….

      The timing in itself is….. Scary…..

      That it has even happened….. Scary as hell….

      Not to mention….. Hanging several thousand US military personnel, in what…. 7 different wars now…. Un-supportted, other than the oh so wonderful drones….un-equipped, … No resupply….. And no way to evacuate then….. When they are under-manned already.

      So…. Attack the source all you want…. Between my wife and I, we have 7 languages…..we have both searched it…

      They all say the same thing….. Including…. Al Jazzera….(wonderfully scary thought there, NOT)

      And…. Let’s add in…. They are already back in port…. ALL of them…..

      Which means…. The carriers and their fleets…. Were pulled back…. At least 2 FUCKING WEEKS AGO!!!!!

      That US military personnel are being placed in this kind of risk…. Just plain Bullshit!!!!

      M

      12/30/16 9:33 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      16

      PS.

      Pitchfork,

      I figured you out…..

      Your just pissed off because Hillary got trounced.

      M

      12/30/16 9:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      17

      Trump is all for free trade of ideas. He is open to listening to foreign intelligence agencies instead of the lies from his CIA.

      12/31/16 6:30 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      18

      Good point Rich. A source in Langlet says the people in the u.s. are not watched or listened to on cell phones, computers, etc. . Also we are execptional lemmings, and the best Demockracy in the universe!

      12/31/16 8:28 AM | Comment Link

    • Andrei said...

      19

      “From Stalin in WWII”? Really? Well, putting aside the whole ‘Soviet dictator’ issue (I know, the whole USSR collective leadership thing tends to elude Western scholars), it’s good to know that apparently back then Americans were simply helping one dictator defeat another.

      12/31/16 8:50 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      20

      Andrei,

      2 points.

      And you are aware, Putin is far more popular in the US, than Obama EVER was?

      Me, I like him because he takes no shit from anyone…. Places Russia first (Ummm….. That’s what a leader is supposed to do)…. And…. Most importantly……. He’s into horses.

      Not to mention… He is clearly popular in Russia…. He’s been re-elected…. What???… 10 times now???… Not even the DNC could rig that many elections…

      Personally, I’m grateful Trump and Putin get along so well.
      First, because it takes WW111 off the menu.

      Second, because….. I think the US ground troops in the desert are going to be grateful to see Russian planes flying in to help them.

      M

      12/31/16 9:06 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      21

      Adrei and all…Is sarcasm allowed here? How come this comment was not posted after I tried a million times!

      12/31/16 9:32 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      22

      Obama just jumped the shark. The Ministry of Truth is his last gift to US.

      The center was originally proposed in separate legislation introduced by U.S. senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) before being inserted into the NDAA. “The purpose of the Center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests,” the NDAA states.

      Non-State? Well, I don’t think that we meant well.

      America is sooooooooooooooooo fuckkkkkkkkkkkked.

      12/31/16 10:42 AM | Comment Link

    • Chuck said...

      23

      LATE NEWS ALERT . . .
      Burlington, Vermont . . . Burlington Electric finds malware in system. US state media reports on Russian malware, Fancy Bear (Grateful Dead) or some name like that that connects the Russkies. FOIA lawsuit against many three and four letter agencies could bring the truth about the so-called Bears. Bears are scary. I have faced them. The US state media is scary. Happy New Year. Will the electric grids be shut off for five seconds or so tonight to scare all? Is “fear” the word for 2017? Will Trump have a Kennedy moment because the Empire disapproves and the powers that be have been disrupted? Will Bernie talk about Russians hacking Burlington Electric because he loves his grandchildren and others? Happy New Year again. Enjoy. Dog is God spelled backwards. A big thank you to Peter VanBuren who works for the people, not the MSM. Truth/2017! Thank you all. Don’t lie to me. I work for the people. If you don’t join u.s., beware and be safe. Once again, work for the people in 2017 and beyond and enjoy! Have a happy.

      12/31/16 10:44 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      24

      Turns out the lying Wa Po lied about the malware story too. There was One laptop Infected but it was not connected to the grid. Shit, we will need an entire division to monitor the disinformation from that fake news source alone.

      12/31/16 10:51 AM | Comment Link

    • Chuck said...

      25

      Pardon Assange.

      12/31/16 10:53 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      26

      Kudos to Peter for another great year. He was the difference the WarWitch couldn’t get away with her lies to US.

      Special WMW award goes to Pitch for keeping the peanut gallery- thats us-coming back for more.

      12/31/16 10:56 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      27

      TY all. Later…

      12/31/16 11:21 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      28

      Petr, I m glad to see you on Common Dreams. I have not clicked on them for weeks. Has Soros donated to them?

      12/31/16 11:24 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      29

      They banned me.

      12/31/16 11:25 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      30

      Happy New Year.

      12/31/16 11:25 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      31

      (deleted till next year)! Enjoy!

      12/31/16 11:26 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      32

      12/31/16 12:47 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      33

      Mitch said..
      “Pitch
      Your just pissed off because Hillary got trounced.”

      Mit, your just pissed off because you can’t peg me. Piss on you. I despised BOTH. That’s why I didn’t vote. If you were correct, which you aren’t, I would have voted for Clinton. However, I’m not pissed period. I’m scared. Scared of what this latest psychopath in the White House is going to do to people like me. They already cut my SNAP last week to $116 per month. YOU try to feed two fucking people on that, pal. Now with a GOP Congress, and President who’s already lined the swamp with alligators, it’s only a matter of time till they sell out the retired people on SS. All I know is..if that day comes before I die, I’ll redefine the word postal.

      btw, I don’t even bother with your “FoxBullshit” links anymore.

      Now..fuck off.

      12/31/16 2:33 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      34

      Pitchfork,

      If I didn’t have you pegged before….. I do now.

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      You have a fine new year in Trump-nation.

      Btw…. What ya going to do…. If your wrong??

      M

      12/31/16 5:37 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      35

      Hey Pitchfork,

      Forgot to point something out to you….

      Trump has Not taken office yet…. He won’t for a few weeks yet…..

      Which means…..

      Your SNAP payments…… They were cut by hillary’s guy…. Obama….

      Not Trump.

      Got to love that last minute, Lame Duck administration tasks….. Huh?

      M

      12/31/16 6:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      36

      Pitchfork,

      This one is for you….

      Didn’t want to have to trouble you to open a link.

      So,….. What’s the saying about if the shoe fits….?????

      “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!
      — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016 ”

      I think DJ was talking directly to you.

      M

      12/31/16 6:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      37

      Peter….. Seems someone hijacked you again…..

      16 numbers that explain politics in 2016

      Dec 31, 2016

      From start to finish 2016 was defined by one story Who Will Be the Next President of the United States? While the search for Number 45 might have dominated most news cycles, it was not the only political story of interest to make headlines. Below is a look at the top 16 numbers that dominated the political news over the last year.

      0: Number of times Hillary Clinton visited Wisconsin during the general election. This was a very poor strategy on the part of the Clinton team. In the end, Wisconsin proved to be one of three key blue wall, Rust belt battleground states. Wisconsin, along with Michigan and Pennsylvania, cost the Democratic party the 2016 election.  

      5: Number of times in American history that the winner of the popular vote has lost the Electoral College. It happened this year when Clinton was awarded 2.8 million votes more than Trump, but lost the Electoral College (304-227). Prior to that it had only happened four times in U.S. history: 1824 (Jackson v. Adams), 1876 (Tilden v. Hayes), 1888 (Cleveland v. Harrison), and 2000 (Gore v. Bush).

      8: Number of justices on the Supreme Court since Associate Justice Antonin Scalia passed away earlier this year. President Obama swiftly appointed Merrick Garland to fill the vacant seat, however Republicans resisted taking up his confirmation choosing instead to wait until after the election. This now gives President-elect Trump an opportunity to name Scalias replacement, almost immediately, on taking office. Additionally, considering the ages of the more liberal members of the bench, opens up the prospect for Trump in the coming four-year term to shift the ideological balance on the Supreme Court in a dramatic way.

      33: Number of governorships that Republicans control. This is a record and indicative of how dominant the GOP is, not only at the federal level, but across the country as well where they control 4,171 of 7383 state legislative seats. Republicans now control both the state legislature and governorships in 25 of 50 states, while Democrats have just 12.

      49: Number of people killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando when a gunman opened fire in late June. There were also 53 people who were wounded in the attack, making it the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, and the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since September 11th, 2001. During the three-hour standoff the gunman pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, sparking tremendous debate about ways to combat terrorism, homegrown terrorism, gun control, mental illness, mental health funding, and open borders. 

      51.9: Percent of Britons who voted in June to leave the European Union. The inexorable outcome of the Brexit vote which resulted in the resignation of a British Prime Minister, and astounded pundits and prognosticators who, up until the results were announced, were convinced that stay would win the day.

      85: Percent chance, according to the New York Times that Clinton would defeat Trump. The Times was not alone in their miscalculation, the Huffington Post gave Clinton a 98 percent chance of winning, Princeton Election Consortiums forecast gave her 99 percent and Nate Silvers FiveThirtyEight website predicted an approximately 71 percent chance of a Clinton win.

      88: Number of years since a U.S. president had visited Cuba. President Obamas promise to re-establish ties with the nation culminated in a historic visit this year. One which garnered praise from some quarters and denunciations from others, particularly those of Cuban descent who are opposed to relations with the Castro regime. In late November, several months after his visit, the 90-year old former dictator Fidel Castro passed away.

      309: Number of people arrested for protesting against police shootings of black men in late August. The protests erupted in cities across the country in response to the killings, one day apart, of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Days later, a gunman killed five police officers at a Black Lives Matter rally. Officers were also subject to attack at rallies in Tennessee, Missouri, and Georgia. These incidents renewed the debate across the nation over police-community relations, policing practices, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

      1,000: Number of Democratic seats lost during President Obamas eight years in office. Yet Obama himself remains popular with approval ratings similar to those of Clinton and Reagan when they left office. Either way he leaves the Democratic Party weakened at the local, state, and national levels. The strength of their bench matters when it comes to potentially recapturing the White House, Senate or House. Another mark of their bench challenge? Governors make good candidates for the presidency, right now Democrats have only 16, which means Republicans have almost double the amount of talent to draw on.

      6,500: Number of Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podestas hacked emails were released by WikiLeaks as of mid-October. The emails revealed some embarrassing information about the party and led to the resignation of its Chairwoman, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The CIA and Obama administration claim that Russia, in an attempt to throw the election to Trump, was behind the hacking. As of late December some key Republicans in the Senate have joined Democrats in calling for an investigation and the Obama administration has vowed to retaliate.

      16,000: Number of casualties estimated to have died as a result of violent ideological extremism worldwide. This includes approximately 1,800 separate terrorist attacks around the globe including in Nice, Kabul, Pakistan, Brussels and Yemen. Various groups have claimed responsibility for these attacks including Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaeda, Boko-Haram, Jamiat-i-Islamiyah, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Al-Shabaab, and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

      33,000: Number of emails Clinton was accused of having destroyed (by Trump and others) after receiving a subpoena. The FBI investigated Clintons use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. Director James Comey was critical of Clintons use of the server but during the summer said he would not recommend pursuing criminal charges. Months later and just 12 days before the election, Comey sent a letter to Congress stating they had discovered more emails that were potentially relevant to the investigation. Despite later clearing her once again, after the election many Democrats saw this as critical to her loss.

      400,000: Number of casualties in the Syrian War as estimated by the United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria. Other estimates range from as low as 312,000 to as high as 470,000 this includes civilians, women, children, rebels, and government forces. As of late December the Syrian government had recaptured all of Aleppo from the rebels, their biggest victory of the almost 6 year civil war. Days later Syria agreed to a cease fire brokered by Russia and Turkey, the first since a cease fire in September which collapsed after a week.

      18.1 Million: Number of people who follow @realDonaldTrump on Twitter. As both, a candidate and now president-elect, over the last year, Trump has redefined what it means to go over the head of the press and to reach people directly. After the election he credited Twitter with helping lead him to victory and described it as tremendous, its a modern form of communication. There should be nothing we should be ashamed of.

      $6.9 Billion: Estimated total cost of the 2016 election for both Congress and the presidency. This makes it the most expensive race in American history. In the race for the Presidency alone, the election cost approximately $2,651 billion. However money didnt rule the day, Clinton outspent Trump almost two-to-one only to go on to lose the election.

      And…. Pitchfork….. How are you going to blame Trump for all of that???

      M

      12/31/16 7:05 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      38

      “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!
      — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016 ”

      Amerika is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo fuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkked.

      12/31/16 7:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      39

      Bauer,

      What do you care?….. Your not even here.

      M

      12/31/16 7:56 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      40

      Oh for God’s sake, Mitch.

      You weren’t talking to me, but since this isn’t a private email between you and Pitchfork, but a public comment section, I’m going to respond to you.

      First, in your comment about the US military being at risk because the fleets and carriers are in dry dock: it is Christmas season. Traditionally, this is the time of year when the most servicemen are on leave and where there is little military action anywhere globally. It is the best time for the carriers to be overhauled and re-fitted.

      Also, you mention that our military is involved in 7 different arenas right now (and they have no support! the fleets are docked! they are at risk with no way to resupply! they have no support systems! they are at risk with no support! say it ten times with me!). However, these US military troops are involved in no legal war in any of those 7 arenas. They are simply operating outside the law, both US and international. Maybe you forgot to mention that part. Now, I know we are supposed to worship the warrior class, and hate everyone else on the planet, but I will say this to you (and to the NSA): fuck the US military, the weapons’ manufacturers and oligarchy that actually run it, its plans to dominate the entire globe, the volunteers who knowingly sign on to commit murder on its behalf and the mercenaries who kill anyone for money and who also serve the US military.

      So they will be “at risk” for a couple of weeks while their weapons and attack ships are re-tooled. So the fuck what? Considering that our troops are mainly attacking extremely poor and defenseless countries and deliberately turning them into cesspools and ruined desolate ghettos that can no longer support modern human life, I wonder why, exactly, you spend one minute giving a flying fuck if “our troops” face a minuscule “risk” for a week or two.

      You seem to understand that 9/11 was an inside job, that we were lied to in order to invade Iraq (and Afghanistan and Libya and Syria), that the US created al Qaeda and ISIS, and yet you reflexively fuss over the safety of the very troops that are wreaking havoc on and destroying multiple countries in response to those lies. I frankly find that puzzling, dude.

      In regards Trump vs Clinton, it is possible for someone to hate Trump and yet still be glad Clinton didn’t win the election. I wouldn’t vote for either one, since I hate them both and know that this whole election was a false choice presented to the public. The plutocracy is going to take it all – our social security/medicare/safety nets, our commons, our property, our liberty, our jobs, our money, our future. Either one would serve the same masters and I suspect that Trump was finally chosen (whether he knows it or not) as the fall guy who will eventually be blamed for the final nail in America’s coffin. He’ll be blamed once Americans figure out what is really in store for us. It’s going to be bad. And I can say that I am happy Clinton lost and at the same fucking time say that I am sorry Trump won. Can you grasp that? Both were forced on the public as our “choices”. And the election was rigged from the very first announcements of who was running, all the way to election day, when millions of people found that they couldn’t vote for either one because both were so hated. Tens of thousands – hundreds of thousands – literally couldn’t vote, since their names were erased from the voter rolls or their polling place had been moved to a place they couldn’t find transportation to.

      Last thing – about Trump’s tweet that you quote:“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”

      I don’t know what you see when you read that. What I see is a man who has a serious emotional problem. Trump may be an accidental fascist or perhaps an incidental fascist; i.e., he will exhibit and use fascist methods to get what he and his rich buddies and the military he so adores want, or he will let them use him to install such fascist powers as they need to get what they want because he is basically stupid and won’t know he is being used that way. Whichever. Some of his choices for administrative positions put the military in charge of civilian agencies (and in other countries, the military has to run a coup to gain control of the government – here they just get named into office), and his other choices put the oligarchy in positions where they can simply strip the population of all assets and protections of law. But getting back to this tweet you so gleefully share, it isn’t about fascism; what it shows is a man who is seriously retarded in his emotional makeup. He has the maturity of a six-year-old. There is something wrong with him, beyond narcissism or egotism or fascist tendencies – all words his critics like to use. I suspect that in a court of law, he would be found to be incapable of aiding in his own defense, because he is so severely stunted in his emotional capabilities and maturity level. Lucky for him, he has a cadre of attorneys on retainer so he has never had to be tested on this.

      It’s going to be a serious problem. I found it unreal that Sarah the Stupid Palin had so many admirers. She spoke in gibberish and couldn’t even put together a grammatically correct sentence. Now I realize just how dumbed down the population has become, even more so since the ’08 election. Ever see the movie “Idiocracy”? That’s where we are, as a nation. Trump supporters are going to be surprised, to whatever extent they are capable of comprehending what is happening to them, at how fast things they took for granted will be destroyed and laid waste.

      Saying that doesn’t make me a pissed off Clinton fan, because in truth I loathe her above almost all other humans, it just makes me a realist. Neither of them deserves support from anyone who is aware, alert, or who has any tendencies toward empathy for other people. They are both lethal and unacceptable. Both deserve all the free-range distain, distaste, and alarm that a thinking person can muster.

      Pitchfork – and I – made it clear for months how much he disliked Clinton. That he dislikes Trump is not a change in that opinion on her. It is so simple I don’t see why you have trouble getting it: he doesn’t like Trump either, with good reason. It’s possible to hate both of them at the same time. I sure do.

      01/1/17 6:25 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      41

      Teri, all your insights are eye openers, but we have been blind to the evil that has possessed US for so long we can’t see the truth anymore. Trump is necessary for his blatant stupidity that there can be no doubt in the rest of the world what the Hell is wrong with US. The US is a pariah state that should be condemned by the world. Every country should tell the US to remove its troops, stop spying on its people and go home.

      01/1/17 7:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      42

      We never meant well.

      01/1/17 8:42 AM | Comment Link

    • arch stanton said...

      43

      Yeah, well, you got what you wanted. A Trump presidency. He’s a fucking nightmare about to happen, and you all are complicent. Thanks very much assholes.

      01/1/17 9:33 AM | Comment Link

    • Catman said...

      44

      There’s plenty of safe space the snowflakes can hide in and cry with other flakes about how mean and nasty the world is, a world that doesn’t always offer ‘trigger warnings’ so you flakes can run and hide from reality, but that’s life, so either man up and get a real life or hide with your fav teddy bear. Maybe Mommie will bring you some cookies and milk!

      01/1/17 9:47 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      45

      Arch, when you talk about the good, the bad and the ugly, it’s US. WE are only in it for the money and will kill anyone to get it.

      CLINT EASTWOOD 2021

      01/1/17 9:59 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      46

      Past is prologue: Demented Trump aka Mr. AC. “Even as his companies did poorly, Mr. Trump did well. He put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments. The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who had bet on his business acumen. He repeatedly emphasized that what really mattered about his time in Atlantic City was that he had made a lot of money there.”

      Doesn’t matter who he fucked. Security, Medicare, watch out. It is his art of the steal.

      01/1/17 10:22 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      47

      Teri,

      First,
      I’m guessing you don’t have or know anyone in the military???
      Bet you would feel different if you did.

      Second,
      The military personnel don’t have a choice in where to go. If they don’t do as ordered, they go to prison.
      And, jobs are hard to find, which is why a lot of them are there.
      And, yes… 9/11 was an inside job. So that makes it ok to leave several thousand to die?
      If so… That is a fine example of emotional issues.
      A damn fine example of some serious issues.

      Don’t like what a government does…. Leave several thousand in multiple war zones… With people trying to kill them, anyway they can…. To make your point, and protest that we should be there.

      See the respect meter going way down????

      And your scared of Trump???….. Who has not really done anything yet…..because he has not taken office yet.

      Third.
      Trump is still an unknown. We don’t know what he is going to do. We won’t for a few more weeks. Something to do with… Ummm… He hasn’t taken office yet.

      Fourth.
      Hillary is a known factor. And she’s just plain bad news.
      So, unless you prefer the known corruption????

      Fifth.
      Pitchfork said he would prefer Hillary. Which would mean, he wanted his SNAP cut.

      He said months ago…. He didn’t like Hillary.
      Yesterday…..he did.
      To quote Pitchfork, yesterday…
      “I would have voted for clinton”

      Sixth.
      Trump’s tweet.

      Your saying, after your really long typing ….. That you wouldn’t rub someones face in it….
      After all the incredibly immature, really twisted games, with all the battered, all powerful, god like attitudes, keep trying everything from recounts and riots, to false stories of hacking, to risking a war…..

      Your saying you would not take a cheap shot?????

      After all rhe effort you just put in to this.. You wouldn’t???

      Damn…. Proud to know you.

      Seventh,

      Personally…..

      What I KNOW Trump HAS done…..at this point….. Is caused a jump in business….. To the point where we had to hire 4 new employees last week…. And at least 6 more next week…..

      That’s 10 families….. With high end payroll.

      Unless you would prefer they starve as well ????

      M

      01/1/17 10:31 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      48

      “I’ve never seen so many men wasted so badly.”
      —The Good, the Bad, the Ugly”

      Of course, Arch knows the real story. Oil was the main reason for military action against Iraq, a leading White House hawk has claimed, confirming the worst fears of those opposed to the US-led war. Paul Wolfowitz – who has already undermined Tony Blair’s position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a “bureaucratic” excuse for war – has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is “swimming” in oil.

      Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defence minister said: “Let’s look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil.”

      Mr. Wolfowitz went on to tell journalists at the conference that the US was set on a path of negotiation to help defuse tensions between North Korea and its neighbors – in contrast to the more belligerent attitude the Bush administration displayed in its dealings with Iraq.

      His latest comments follow his widely reported statement from an interview in Vanity Fair last month, in which he said that “for reasons that have a lot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on: weapons of mass destruction.”

      01/1/17 10:32 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      49

      Catman,

      You left out the “micro- aggressions”.

      M

      01/1/17 10:34 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      50

      01/1/17 10:35 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      51

      “The military personnel don’t have a choice in where to go. If they don’t do as ordered, they go to prison.”

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Defense

      01/1/17 10:41 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      52

      Bauer,

      So the psycho speaks.

      Ummmm. This is not nazi Germany.

      Time to evolve.

      Unless your willing to let thousands die to try and make a point too….???…!!!

      How does that make it better. ?????????

      M

      01/1/17 1:12 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      53

      Mitch,

      So let’s see. Trump announces, PUBLICLY, his choices for the heads of various agencies and governmental positions, and we can all go look at their public records. We know that, for instance, his choice to head the EPA is someone who has actively worked to eliminate the EPA from existence. We know his choice for the Sec Treasury wants zero regulations on banks, and the person he wants to head the Dept of Education doesn’t believe in public education. We have heard the Republicans crow about how, now that Trump will be in charge and working with them, they can go ahead and privatize SS, make Medicare a voucher system and turn Medicaid into block grants. He is nominating military men to head up public agencies, overturning the very idea in the constitution that civilians control the military, not the other way around. He is nominating or assigning wealthy CEOs to head areas that will profit their own businesses the most, and all of them believe in deregulation and the lowest taxes possible on the wealthy and big business. None of these people believe in the common good or programs of social uplift. But if I take Trump at his word and believe he will follow through on these nominations and assignments, if I look at these choices and investigate the backgrounds and records of these people, and think, “holy shit, this doesn’t bode well” because, obviously, it doesn’t, unless you are already Bill Gates, Carl Icahn, or Donald Trump, you say I can’t make any judgement calls on a guy who isn’t in office yet and who hasn’t actually done anything yet.

      But since your company is doing well in the past couple of weeks, you feel comfortable giving all the credit to a guy who….. isn’t in office yet and who hasn’t actually done anything yet.

      Life is a wonderment.

      01/1/17 3:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      54

      Teri,

      Nice to see you condone the killing of thousands of American service personnel, to justify appointments that have not occured yet.

      M

      01/1/17 4:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Should We Punch Nazis in the Head? said...

      55

      […] There are no laws against hate speech. Details here. […]

      01/23/17 3:59 PM | Comment Link

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