Merv's Politically Incorrect Audio Blog

Discussion in 'SBAF Blogs' started by purr1n, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    Let's set aside Twitter itself for a moment, because I have personally despised it from its inception and think the world would have been better off if it had never existed. I am, to use a popular neologism, triggered by Twitter.

    However, the thought experiment itself remains valuable. Suppose the United States federal government provided a one-to-many digital messaging service; a modern-day telegraph under the portfolio of a cabinet-level Secretary of Communication. Censorship of this platform would have been a clear violation of the First Amendment, and would end up decided over a series of Supreme Court cases. The Court would attempt to map existing jurisprudence to the medium and try to balance its usefulness against potential harm done by idiots. How exactly that would shake out, I cannot predict. It seems likely that, when run by the justices of the Court, it would be a more intelligent and nuanced debate than the one run by activists inside tech companies. Or by keyboard warriors on (soon-to-be-regulated) forum sites.

    From the legislative side, a repeal of the First Amendment is certainly not out of the question (in fact, I consider it fairly likely, along with a repeal of the Second and possibly the Fourth, within the next 10-20 years, provided the United States survives in recognizable form that long).
     
  2. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    This would require a supermajority of two thirds in both the house and senate which would then be sent to the states in which three fourths of states would have to ratify.

    In other words, good luck.
     
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  3. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    That’s not the question I asked though. I specifically asked about the government dictating to the private sector. A government run service like Twitter isn’t a useful hypothetical in this situation.
     
  4. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

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    For what it's worth, I'm a Democratic Socialist with Liberal tendencies who thinks that it's perfectly permissible (and probably a good thing) if the government interfered with social media to ensure that conservatives have free speech rights. So long as they're not inciting violence, everyone should be able to more or less freely voice their opinion on platforms like twitter and facebook insofar as they are public forums that increasingly dominate the exchange of information in our society. Suggesting that people can just "opt-out" of them is, I think, a little idealistic and unrealistic. And thinking that free speech doesn't apply to private corporations may be true in the most literal, exact "letter" of the law, but I think a society in which information is largely exchanged on a couple major social media outlets but where a significant amount of people fear to speak freely on those same outlets is one in which freedom of speech is severely degraded.

    In short: people may have De Jure freedom of speech without having De Facto freedom of speech, and we ought to be concerned just as much with the latter as the former. The goal of free speech law isn't merely to ensure government non-interference with free speech: if you think about the inspirations of the founders, their desire to protect individuals' speech from interference with the government isn't solely due to some unique antipathy toward the government, but is part of a larger project to craft a society in which ideas can be vigorously exchanged without fear of reprisal. That project can be threatened by private corporations just as much as an overweening government, and at times it is necessary to use public power to ensure freedom of speech is, as Hegel would say, "actualized" in the world rather than merely formally written in the law.
     
  5. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    One quote is from my original post, the second responding to Marv.
    US constitution is still the envy of the thinking world, that most of the world is not thinking that's another issue. Let me explain.
    I was in France where the former president of France Giscard d'Estaign (whatever the spelling is) published a draft of the EU constitution. It was 160 pages brick of that read like a power of attorney document that the people of the EU had to sign so the governing elites of EU would be able to do whatever they wanted to do, forever. At that time I was trying frantically to learn some English, so just for that purpose I found US constitution and read it. For an East European was a revelation that the constitution was created for the purpose of protecting citizens against overreach of government? Unthinkable.
    I think it still should be the model for the world.
    But responding to Marv's note I said that in the modern world, where 95% of politically significant speech happens on Internet, interpreting the 1st that it applies to only the restrictions by Congress makes the 1st useless. Because Congress outsourced policing of the speech to the owners of the Internet,
    So if the only place I would be able to speak freely is my walk-in closet, after scanning it for Google and Alexa devices and putting my phone in the bucket of water, then fuck the1st. Who needs it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 6:21 PM
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  6. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Excellent debate guys!

    As a conservative (which is not the same thing as libertarian) I can agree with @dematted whole post here in principal. The question I have is are there enough actual classical liberals, on either the left or the right, to make such a social contract and prudential and realistic governance policy? For example, modern "liberal" leftists such as the Democratic majority in the House are intolerantly regulating speech in the chamber to reflect their beliefs about human (binary) sexuality and language. Since they are the ones conservatives would have to deal with (and not reasonable classical liberals like @dematted) in such policy/regulation, it would appear I am safer aligning myself with the libertarians.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 12:35 PM
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  7. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    A direct answer, then: it's all fun and games as long as your ingroup has the upper hand and gets to tell the outgroup to shut the fuck up.
     
  8. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    If they, who have a soft power, currency, a medium of exchange, get entangled with people with , hard power, the control over the application of violence, they will find out who is boss very quickly in the grand scheme of things, that people with guns will take their stuff because they can take their stuff. The currency is the currency because it's declared legal tender by the people with guns. Counterfeiting or questioning their declared medium of material exchange historically got you hanged, drawn, and quartered. If the people with guns wanted to parcel out real resources, well that's what happened for most of human history.

    What do you think feudal and fascist states did? Look at how KGB connected oligarchs stole the means of production in post-Soviet Russia and state owned enterprises in the People's Republic of China, where the government lent them money, a currency that's pegged to the dollar, for shares and gets to press their buttons when they feel like it? Take the renmibi. The only reason the yuan is worth anything is because the CCP is backed by the PLA and security apparatus who don't let people question that it's really worth 1/8th of a US dollar or even that the Chinese economy and certain Chinese industries are growing at the rate they claim it's growing. Hint: It's not. That would be impossible. Why is the US dollar so safe? Because it's backed by the most powerful military force on the planet.

    Think about it, when new people with guns shoot the old people with guns, they don't give a shit about any of their bullshit. The French found that out in the Hundred Years War and before with Henry II. The French wrote that the English didn't speak French (or worse were dirty rednecks with shitty haircuts whose language mutated from Latin in an unintelligible way from Parisian French), didn't give two shits about French culture, French tradition, French titles of nobility, French food, and didn't care about how many French people they killed. They just parceled out the stuff and made the serfs listen to them or end up like their old bosses. The Normans, Mongols, and French themselves did the same shit.

    Sulla declared his enemies (and a bunch of rich people) to be enemies of the state and people, made them disappear forever, and took their stuff. It no surprise that of the thousands of people he is said to have killed, we only have hard evidence for him killing 500 or so wealthy people, aka people who count, and numerous dictators have copied his playbook and language for thousands of years. Including when he claimed to be democratic by getting some of his dudes together in a big room, calling them the "Assembly of the People" to have "The People" elect him dictator. New Roman emperors would find the rich political allies of old Roman emperors, kill them and the families, and take their stuff. When Octavian and Marc Anthony, needed money they just straight up went down the tax roll and killed the richest people who paid the most taxes and took their stuff. And they didn't just make them disappear. They dismembered Cicero and displayed his arms and head on the Rostra.

    China is trying to pull a lightweight version of the same shit with corruption and SOE themselves now. The CCP also likes the play the victim and yet the state still takes rich Chinese people's stuff, which is incredibly hypocritical because they were pulling the victim card in the 19th and 20th centuries claiming that it was morally wrong for the European powers to carve out trading outposts and take rich Chinese people's stuff and then that it was morally wrong before that for the Manchu to have conquered China to take rich Chinese people's stuff, become taller rich Chinese people, and make Chinese people dress like Manchu. Yet the PRC tries to tell Chinese people how to dress. The puffy jackets, Mao suits, and copy pasted dark sack suits? Same thing but they don't cut heads off anymore for not having a ridiculous haircut.

    Major US corporations try the same shit with changing the rules in Congress. Then cry like a bitch when their shit gets ripped off or people ctrl+c ctrl+v their trash content like Disney. Maybe DIsney should make movies people are willing to pay for and not ctrl+c, ctrl+v the Lion King and Jungle Book x 10? Maybe Metallica should have made another Master of Puppets instead of Reload?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 12:47 PM
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  9. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    W/ regards to speech and platforms - I'm starting to wonder if there should be a public version of some kind of social media or communication platform (aside from USPS for physical letters) as well as a national telecom OPTION (i.e. - not forced) with it's own infrastructure. Said platforms and options should also be open to anyone in the same way public utilities are open to anyone regardless of how we may personally feel about said person/s.

    I disagree and condemn the ideology of most left and right groups right now (won't name them individually to keep crawlers away from here) but given that 1) anyone can be banned for any or no reason on a private network and 2) gov (fed, state, or local) can seriously hamper your ability to develop your own infrastructure etc via whatever laws (try using a reserved FCC bandwidth or digging up public streets to lay your own cable and see how well that goes) - I don't think some kind of public "baseline" options would be a bad idea right now. Or is just being able to "talk and write" still enough for freedom of speech right now?

    For reference - I have no problem with any platform being able to kick anyone off for the same reason that you can kick anyone off of your own private property. I don't like that it can happen or that it does happen, but rights and stuff...

    EDIT: On a similar note, should there be a national airline as well? Or would the federal gov maintaining freeways be considered enough?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 5:47 PM
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  10. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    On a different note - I may get crapped on for this, and I haven't been following it that closely... but why are these "storm the white house people" getting what seems like a worse rap than the "protestors" we saw this spring / summer?

    Ideologies aside, what I see peeking in the window - it seems like the majority of both had some valid (to them) things they were concerned about, and about 10% (or some significant minority of the people) made these things go overboard via looting, violence, property destruction, etc. Yet I don't recall seeing earlier protestors who burned down buildings and businesses, blocked freeways and roads, endangered lives (ex: I hit a large rock thrown off the freeway...), beat up counter-protesters, etc. being prosecuted as hard (or at all) as some of the people who just walked around in the White House... especially if some of the guards OPENED (i.e. this implies permission no?) the gates for them.

    Just to be clear, I don't agree with the "storm the white house people" and do condemn them and do think the ones who caused property damage, violence, etc absolutely should be arrested + prosecuted - I'm only questioning what I see as a double standard.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 5:51 PM
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  11. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    https://www.newsweek.com/more-750-p...and-since-protests-began-100-days-ago-1529801

    More than 750 people arrested in the Portland protests, and that’s just one city. How many people have been arrested from the capitol assault?
     
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  12. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    ^ Arrested yes, but were they all charged or prosecuted though?

    Also, maybe it varies by state, but I haven't heard of many people in CA who were caught on and even spoke to media cameras breaking stuff + stealing being sought out for prosecution. Where as it seems like some of the people who were just present around the white house to protest when this happened (and as far as we know, didn't participate in the violence or property damage) have been sought out, have lost their gov jobs b/c of this (private sector different story), etc.

    to reply to rhythm below so i don't clog with more posts - I have no problem with charging the ones who actually stormed the white house or did disrupt the certification, etc. - but it seems like many who were only present but didn't do anything are also being aggressively sought out. This to me just seems like freedom of speech (i.e. saying I don't like how the election went) in the same way the majority of the summer protestors had freedom of speech to be there and protest (i.e. saying I don't like how the police behave)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 6:02 PM
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  13. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Storming the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the certification of a legitimate election (in other words a coup even if a really stupid one) is not even close to the same thing as destroying private property in a city.

    the Capitol rioters should be charged with insurrection or treason or sedition. The rioters in Portland and elsewhere damaging property at worst. Or maybe there is an armed riot charge that I don’t know about.
     
  14. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    A lot of the arrests were bullshit, basically just for being in a protest area and having the bad luck to have a cop catch you, so it would make sense there aren’t as many prosecutions. Most of the protestors weren’t actually violent so the number of arrests for violent crimes was low.

    And I agree that there is a major difference between trying to disrupt and upend a US election and private property damage.
     
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  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    In Santa Monica, the vast majority of people were peaceful. At worst, maybe civil disobedience for refusing to disperse, of which more than a few may have gotten hit by a rubber bullet or beanbag in the face or eye. The looters, you can bet the Santa Monica Police tracked those fuckers down.

    https://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2020/September-2020/09_28_2020_Santa_Monica_Police_Arrest_Two_Suspects_in_REI_Looting.html#:~:text=Los Angeles residents Marques Miles,said Police Captain Saul Rodriguez.

    https://ktla.com/news/local-news/wo...a-monica-businesses-in-connection-to-looting/
     
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  16. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Looks like I got at least partially tricked by the media machine then. Guess the media chose to not cover police "protestors" (or whatever you call those who actually caused violence and destruction) getting arrested and prosecuted and I haven't taken the time (nor do I see myself doing so in the near future if ever) to actually dig up arrest + prosecution records and compare them on a per capita basis (police "protesters" vs white house "protesters").

    In all seriousness though - I'm kind of annoyed that of all the things people choose to protest en masse last year (or I guess this year too) - that these were it. Not that I don't think both of the movements don't have some legitimate points. But IMO in the big picture there are some MUCH more serious issues and MUCH bigger fish to fry first. Or I guess maybe more disappointed in some of the people of America that this is as far as they choose to see, put faith in, comprehend, or protest en masse.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The Wuhan virus had a lot of do with it. No MMA, no sports, furlough from Starbucks or Nike store job, free check in the mail + unemployment = let's go out and have some fun. The key news media source of this demographic is Twitter, which makes people even more stupid.

    Gates Foundation can fix a lot of city issues. It's really about special economic zones and getting people to become entrepreneurs with appropriate mentorship - true investment in communities via private / public cooperation. But Bill cares a lot more about his pet projects, toilets in Africa, vaccines for folks across an ocean.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 8:44 PM
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  18. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    totslly agree with this Penguins. I think there is a dire need for a number of public institutions to create competition and alternatives in markets that are limited to one or a few large corporations. We should have a public cell phone service that we pay for with taxes (oh no!!) and winds up costing something like 6$/month instead of 45$/month. Cell phone service is a basic service now required by all.

    And many more markets desperately need public options.
     
  19. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    The USA likes to hand out trillions of dollars to be stolen by warlords in ungoverned places yet lets its own citizens live hand to mouth.

    Then liberals here shit on religious groups that clothe, feed, and educate people because they believe God told them to do so. The religious right does too when the wrong religion or sect does it. Yes there are still people mad that Catholics, Lutherans, and Jews pay for and run local AA groups that people are forced to attend by courts. There are right wingers mad when Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists feed the homeless.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 11:09 PM
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  20. dark_energy

    dark_energy Friend

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    On the social media... People who stormed your Capitol should be held accountable. If Trump likes populist statements like Go, fight be strong he is just a dummy, unfit to rule such a complex state.

    At the same time, last thing people want is more left wing labeling (I hate the far right as much, that's another story). Better yet label platforms. I think the agreeable like-minded will kill all intelligence on this planet with their uniform pissuars. Including creativity, because your art made me piss my pants. Or your brand or your designs arent up to our standards, or exceed them.

    Damn... I am thinking it would be better to own a Login only platform. It is your clubroom. Not everyone gets to run into your music listening sessions and making jokes with guys. Being in a smaller circle is cool and people actually might give a crap about each others opinions more.. Not what I "read" on the internet.

    Again, forum platforms are great, I just need the right ones to visit.

    Standard social media is drug form "Brave New World", that's just my POV. Too much of a "good", too confusing, no practical value for many. You could wear a ring with a big shiny stone and look at it every day. Only reason a lot of people are on there is everyone else is and might be able to share their stories and pictures. It is false that everyone wants to be popular, No, people just want to communicate.

    Btw, theAds do not make a lot of sense for the many. Most people can't go and spend their savings or dont have any do spend on your stuff. Not spending and building your own wealth, which is the opposite of loans and promises.

    Hypermarketing is spend, be presentable, you want this etc. Almost counterintuitive what the current generation needs.

    I don't need this. 90% of the good stuff I have got is without ads. Just visiting actual websites and review sites, critical thinking. YouTube is also somewhat useful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021 at 10:01 AM
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