May 21, 2010

Web webs

David Harsanyi, Denver Post:

As there is no real problem with the Internet, it’s not surprising that some of our top minds have been diligently working on a solution.

In a 2001 interview (one that’s only recently gone viral and caused a brouhaha), Cass Sunstein, now the nation’s regulatory czar, is overheard advocating for government to insist all websites offer opposing viewpoints — or, in other words, a Fairness Doctrine for the Web. This was necessary because, as hundreds of millions of Internet users can attest, ferreting out competing perspectives online is all but impossible. (A search for “Cass Sunstein” on Google, for instance, barely generated 303,000 results in 0.19 seconds.)

What if websites refused to acquiesce to this intrusion on free speech? “If we could get voluntary arrangements in that direction it would be great,” said Sunstein at the time, “and if we can’t get voluntary arrangements maybe Congress should hold hearings about mandates.” After all, Sunstein went on to say, “the word voluntary is a little complicated. And sometimes people don’t do what’s best for our society.” Mandates, he said, were the “ultimate weapon designed to encourage people to do better.”

Actually, the word “voluntary” isn’t complicated at all. And mandates do not “encourage” people to do better; mandates “force” people to do what those writing regulations happen to think is better. We’re intimately familiar with the distinction.

In truth, I’ve enjoyed many of Sunstein’s counterintuitive arguments and read his idealistic notions about “nudging” (and sometimes a bit more, apparently — I guess it’s complicated) irrational people into “rational” choices. Sunstein is an intellectual who thinks aloud. Obviously that can come back to cause you some problems.

Then again, would an impulsive intellectual who wondered aloud about coercing universities to offer more right-wing professors, or casually entertained the idea of dispensing with the First Amendment, be tasked with the job of overseeing the health of the nation’s entire regulatory system, which holds so many real-world consequences? Doubtful.

Sunstein, it must be noted, later backed off his dictatorial approach to dealing with the non-crisis of our narrow online reading habits by claiming that the Internet was “too difficult to regulate in a way that would respond to these concerns.” In other words, he concluded that the Internet is too complex to allow for the types of regulatory intrusions we insist on in other areas of everyday life.

Others have not backed off, though. The Federal Communications Commission has been working diligently to find a way to act on the same control impulses that Sunstein had in mind with something called net neutrality.

[...]

The FCC promises it doesn’t have any intention of controlling Internet content, only making access fair. But empowered with the ability to regulate the flow of online traffic, they offer a semantic, not substantive, excuse for a power grab.

Like Sunstein, the FCC should acknowledge that the complexities of the Internet are beyond the ability of control. Not to mention unnecessary.

Part of the charm of progressivism is its cynical appeal to cherished notions of individualism that it adopts and then totally subverts — from “tolerance” to “freedom” to (in this instance) “voluntary.”

“Encouraging” by way of coercion is slipping a velvet glove over an iron fist. Which, not only is it dishonest, but it speaks to the kinds of people doing the coercing: self-appointed elites who are all for applying force, so long as they don’t get the dirt under their own nails.

CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!

Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:46pm
161 comments | Trackback

Comments (161)

  1. advocating for government to insist all websites offer opposing viewpoints

    Here’s how that would look on my site:

    Opposing Views

  2. Ferguson on nudging/encouraging.

    h/t sdferr

  3. CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!

    IN BELIEF YOU CAN CHANGE!

    words, just words

  4. the complexities of the Internet are beyond the ability of control.

    The complexities of money are beyond the ability of control. Progg: “So?”

  5. Didn’t the courts just recvently whack this idea? I see the resident SFAG is in favor. SHOCKA

  6. We have to be shut up. It’s for our own good.

  7. Why do I suspect that meya’s legal opinion pretty much flies in the face of reality?

    How many names do you plan on using meya?

  8. We have to be shut up.

    I think those who want others to shut up should go first. Setting good examples and all that.

  9. soupy doesn’t care how the government takes control. soupy doesn’t care why the government takes control. soupy just cares that the government takes control. The idea that anybody, anywhere, is capable of running a business without government interference is the sort of thing that gives soupy night terrors.

  10. The important thing is that we fix things that aren’t broken by giving the government control of the non-broken things.

    ak4mc, my link would go here.

  11. I love how the trollie thingies think saying the name of a case, or even reading it somehow gives them some kind of credibility, when it is abundantly clear that they understand very little, if any, of the subject matter.

  12. I wonder if the trollish thingie has a random name generator, kind of like the Turing machine.

  13. I love how the trollie thingies think saying the name of a case, or even reading it somehow gives them some kind of credibility, when it is abundantly clear that they understand very little, if any, of the subject matter.

    Sounds like a Progressive.

  14. So if I write on my website, “The fucking Reds blew a 6 run lead in the 9th inning. Also Dusty Baker is a mongoloid,” would I have to link to a page written by someone who didn’t see the 9th inning saying something along the lines of “Yay! The Reds won! Dusty Baker is a genius!”

    Because I have a policy to only link to people with certain kinds of developmental disorders. It’s standard operating procedure.

  15. all websites offer opposing viewpoints

    They do. Called other websites

  16. Not only that, LMC, but the whole commenting dealo that can be found at some blogs …

  17. When the Star & Sickle advocates that the state should build a new stadium for the Vikings (completely coincidentally on land that the newspaper owns), would they be obligated to provide me with space to explain what a phenomenally bad idea it is?

  18. “We” did nothing. You argued with yourself, lied, and were otherwise mendoucheous. We are up to, at least, 7 names so far. How many more?

  19. Squid,

    Until the fucking Vikes manage to win a Super Bowl, they don’t DESERVE anything better than the Humpty-Dumpty Dome!

  20. I see the Vikings would have to sign a 40-year lease. How many stadiums last that long before someone bitches about needing a new one?

  21. Maybe the gophers will let the Vikings play at their new outdoor football stadium.

  22. Carin – the Reds failed to notice that even the Cubs thought Baker was horrible. Do you know how hard it is to be considered bad by the worst organization in professional sports?!

  23. In other words, he concluded that the Internet is too complex to allow for the types of regulatory intrusions we insist on in other areas of everyday life.

    That’s so 2001. Now with China showing the way and with the gentle persuasion, that only Obama can apply, this unfortunate lack of regulatory control will soon vanish, poof, like freedom, it’s gone.

  24. advocating for government to insist all websites offer opposing viewpoints

    Finally, a purpose for trolls. Government mandated idiocy. Will the fun never end?

  25. Isn’t government mandated idiocy redundant on several levels?

  26. You know throughout the 20th century we’ve watched this slow dissolution of rights occur time and time again. We saw it in the run-up to the Third Reich. We saw it when they dragged the Cambodians out to be The killing fields. We saw it when the Iron Curtain dropped over Eastern Europe.

    Now I don’t know about you, but each time I watch it on the History Channel I wonder why they didn’t stop it, why they didn’t fight back, why they just sat there and took it, why they didn’t see where it was all going.

    Well now I know. It’s because it all all happens in slow motion. It’s because we all want to think the best of the people in charge. We don’t want to imagine that the people in power would prefer to put us in the Gulag. We would like to think that the people in power think just like us.

    It’s a comfort to us to think that the people in Obama’s administration are just a little misguided, and really don’t want to actually harm us.

    I regret to inform you that the people currently in charge of your government are completely insane and want very much to eliminate their opposition.

    They have hundreds of billions of dollars at their disposal, and they intend to spend every bit of it in the service of negating your ability to have an impact on them via your vote. Imagine ACORN with $4 billion in walking around money and you start to get an idea of the magnitude of the problem.

    In the upcoming they are going to buy votes, real and imaginary, votes of both the dead and the living, on a scale that has never been seen before outside of a couple of Third World cesspools. This has the potential to be our last election.

    If you think this is over the top, then you haven’t been paying attention. Every single move, the Obama administration makes is designed specifically to consolidate power in their hands. Every. Single. One.

    Take any element of their policy, any bill, any idea they’ve floated, any policy, and they all have two thing in common; they are destructive to the fabric of America, and they place more power in the hands of the executive branch.

    By guns and water. 2011 is going to be a very long year.

  27. I thought that Cass Sunstein choked to death on a ham sandwich years ago.

  28. Because I know that you all are anxious to know when The Cheezburger Network is going to launch their next site, I bring you this entry from Overkill 9000.

    And this one from Very Demotivational.

  29. Oh, and for those who believe that nothing really matters…

  30. May I ask like a thousand questions? Although I understand every damned word of the post, what I do NOT understand fully is WTF is going on? Politically, I’m very up to date, but this issue…WHOOSH…there it goes above my head.

  31. I’m depressed that I can’t refute Mr. W.

  32. As far as I can tell, they’re going to attempt to force internet provider such as RCN or Comcast to open their bandwith to everything and everybody. Now THAT is just fucking wrong, as the feds have no business telling a private company what to do, but I cannot SEE the tie in to political speech.

  33. A liitle help for a moron?

  34. Self-appointed?

    No.

    Elected officials. Business tycoons. Entertainment czars. Moguls. Successful Ivy League people, by their own efforts, have worked hard to be in a position to change America.

  35. Also, if elitism is as Rush describes it (an attitude), then isn’t “self-appointed elitist” redundant?

  36. Dicentra,

    It’s not “nothing really matress,” it’s “nothing really Matres.” Clearly this was a failed attempt to execute some sort of perfidious Beni Gesserit hypno-mnemonic command. Moreover, it would seem that they have as much trouble recruiting competent agents as does Al Qaeda and the Taliban. So, at least we can take comfort: the system still works.

  37. Oh, and for those who believe that nothing really matters…

    How did you know my wife had me spend half today looking at mattresses?

  38. Thaaaat’s not a velvet glove in the Demotivational and it for damned sure isn’t an iron fist, dicentra, therefore we’ll be issuing you an engraved Silver Whistle Wrong Plaque.

  39. Comment by JHo on 5/21 @ 6:49 pm

    I’m depressed that I can’t refute Mr. W.

    Word.  And the sad thing is, there is no opposition party.

    I think at this point all we can do is point out that the Progressives have taken over, and that includes both parties.  This is now a full blown Progressive system, it has been for several decades, these fuckers need to own it.

     All we can do is hope and pray for a bloodless revolution.

  40. Also, if elitism is as Rush describes it (an attitude), then isn’t “self-appointed elitist” redundant?

    I find this whole matter confusing. I have a different reaction when contemplating Buckley’s famous quote about the Cambridge phone book than I do when the general sentiment is expressed by the dimmer lights of conservatism.

  41. You really think the regulars at the Harvard faculty club could do a better job, Abe?

  42. do we get to tell what kind of window dressings we have in the gulag?

  43. then isn’t “self-appointed elitist” redundant?

    oh seiu will get you appointed self is progg delusion

  44. go youtube reagan ’64 speech. this idiotic leftism is falling apart. toga toga!

  45. 1993: The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.

    2010: The internet interprets Congress as a computer virus and shares counter-measures.

  46. A full-blown Progressive system, eh, B Moe? You, young man, win the thread. That’s a perfect descriptor. Because the Republican party and the Democrat party are joined together forever by the same bureaucrats, cycle after cycle. There’s an inertia in politics; while there is that touted pendulum effect every 4 or 8 years or so, a short swing between party ideologies, that short-stroker pendulum is bolted on a flatbed freight train that’s been headed due Left for nearly a century now. We slowed it down a bit during the Reagan years, but it picked up steam during Bush I and Clinton I and II and Bush II. Obama has thrown the throttle wide open.

    There’s only one way this ends, and it ain’t in Spencer.

  47. #44 Abe

    There you have unwittingly put your finger on our objection to the liberal project. Maybe many of us don’t know which fork is for the salad. But we resent the implication that we therefore don’t have the brains or goodwill to manage our own affairs.

  48. “Talk conservative, vote liberal” has been a winning strategy for the Republicans for too many decades.

  49. I’m depressed that I can’t refute Mr. W.

    One of my friends said such depression is why he stopped watching Beck.

    No one ever refutes him; they just call him names, make fun of how he presents the information (crying, etc.) The Red Phone has rung once since he put it in. No, they’d rather vaguely imply that he’s guilty of commodities manipulation or some other unspecified shennanigans.

  50. It really hit me last week when I heard this:

    Matthews even took aim at the entire capitalist system, as over video of the oil slick, he sarcastically mocked: “Everybody says ‘Capitalism is great. Unbridled free enterprise is great.’ Look at it! This is great, isn’t it?!”

    When you have a situation where someone can refer to an industry has heavily regulated and government controlled as off shore oil as “unbridled free enterprise” and not get hooted off the stage under a hail of rotten fruit then things have gotten way beyond fucked.

  51. You really think the regulars at the Harvard faculty club could do a better job, Abe?

    I know they couldn’t. I agree with Buckley’s sentiment entirely, but I’m not particularly thrilled when an epic moron like, say, Sarah Palin, takes comfort in it. I’d still take the instinctual, anti-intellectual strain of the Republican party over the brightest lights of the left, but I don’t have to particularly enjoy sharing a bed with them. Which is to say that elitism doesn’t mean the same thing to all people who rail against it.

  52. So now Matthews is siding with Maxine “Nationalize” Waters.

  53. Which is to say that elitism doesn’t mean the same thing to all people who rail against it.

    Fair enough Abe. I prefer terms like excellence and merit, since “Elitism” has tainted the idea of being an “elite,” but I think I understand where you’re coming from, being as I am a self-decribed history über-geek. And just to show my relief at not having to pull quotes from Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society, I’m going to take a pass on objecting to your characterization of Sarah Palin as an epic moron.

    Thanks for your reply.

  54. OT, but this is just sad. Sad but equal.

  55. Fuck this malaise, I’m donating to Jeff’s brake job. If the ‘Dillo can’t operate the brake pedals of the Land Cruiser with an empty bottle of Mescal tied to his webbed foot while he performs Hazzardous-Dukeish jumps across the Colorado River during the last throbs of his peyote high, then we simply aren’t Americans.

    Figger out how to get an opposing viewpoint to that sentence, Cass-Sunstein-Web-Filter.

  56. And now, here’s one for the ladies.

    A bit of a palate cleanser after enduring the Cannes fuglies.

  57. Pingback: Cold Fury » What a Tangled Web We Weave, When First We Created the Federal Dept. of Tangled Web Fairness

  58. ak4mc, my link would go here..

    Excellent.

  59. Pingback: Opposing views – My 2¢: McGehee?s Overpriced Opinions

  60. Pingback: Opposing views – My 2¢: McGehee?s Overpriced Opinions

  61. Somewhat OT, but worthy I think, nevertheless: a good short piece of criticism titled Liberalism and Zionism. h/t Michael Totten at Insty

  62. Comment by serr8d on 5/21 @ 8:49 pm

    OT, but this is just sad. Sad but equal.

    Perfect.

    Using women to sell products is exploitation.

    Not using women to sell products is oppression.  Or something.

  63. Oh, sdferr, the engraved Silver Whistle Wrong plaque goes to dicentra’s demented Ms Muz – but at least she doesn’t have to worry about wearing a clean pair of knickers in case she has an accident and has to go to hospital. American Beauty shower curtain indeed.

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  66. Speaking of terrible movies at Cannes, it seems the .Valerie Plame movie was booed (or is it boo’d?).

    Oh, did Darleen take a sneak vacation and not tell anyone ? I’d hate to think she feels responsible for ‘feet’s latest meltdown.

  67. Again, a government power grabbing solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.

    But meya will tell you it’s yummy chocolate pudding.

  68. inyoursoup,

    I sure hope you’re right. Time will tell.

    First, the camel gets his nose in the tent, the rest of the camel soon follows.

    The left needs to innocently establish that they have the RIGHT to regulate the internet, and then censorship is a foregone conclusion.

    The first amendment was written to restrain men such as these.

  69. Hey, superfly, why don’t you get Daddy Government to micro-manage every aspect of your miserable life? Or is there a point where you might feel personally capable of handling the big, bad world yourself ?

    Necessary governmental hand-holding for grown men and women was once considered a weakness in this country. Now, it’s expected, because of the likes of sissified weaklings who have no sense of personal responsibility. Like you and other dead-end progressives.

  70. It is not that liberals want THEIR hands held, it’s that they see the need to hold OURS.

    If we exercised choice, we might not make the correct (socialist approved) choices.

    The Bad Nanny: Hand hold to arm lock to chokehold to chokeout. Because you just wouldn’t listen.

  71. sissified weaklings who have no sense of personal responsibility. Like you and other dead-end progressives.

    Oh come on now. meya is studying for a real job.

    In professional mendacity.

  72. The first amendment was written to restrain men such as these.

    meya will tell you what constitutionality means. Assuming it’s worth the bother, what with the very notion of such a thing going out of fashion faster than ethics at the bar.

  73. #70
    Giving a bureaucracy more power is never a good thing. Nothing good and lasting will come of it.

  74. JHo – meya and its band of multiple personalities already exhibits professional mendoucheity. It just hasn’t figured out how to get paid. It apparently has no problem telling private business what they must do with their products.

  75. There’s plenty of “regulate the internet” that already goes on. Plenty of ways that content gets shut down.

    By other than the government? Do detail these horrors for us. Plenty of them.

  76. Pablo – meya is just concerned that the bittorrentz folks have unbridled access to somebody else’s resources.

  77. Pablo – meya is just concerned that the bittorrentz folks have unbridled access to somebody else’s resources.

    Despite the fact that Bittorrent and Comcast settled their issues 2 years ago. WE NEED A LAW! And another regulatory authority. Just in case.

  78. The left must regulate speech because their ‘great’ works never pass the smell test, and they know it.

    It’s about free speech. The left just don’t like it much.

    Or were Trotsky, Stalin, Pol Pot, Che, Fidel, Mugabe, Hitler, Mussolini, and all the other idols of statism big advocates for a free press and I missed it?

  79. I’m not up on all the details of the “Net Neutrality” plans being floated, and there could be some poison pills buried in the actual legislation, but I think here IYS actually has a valid point. The idea is that an Internet Service Provider cannot filter or restrict data passing through its networks based on content, as an internet service is a public carrier like an old landline phone company. While I certainly respect the slippery slope arguments on regulation (unlike IYS) there is a point that just saying that “data is data” is probably the least restrictive and least regulatory way of dealing with the situation until we reach the point where ISPs no longer have virtual monopolies on data flow. “Net Neutrality” is by definition content neutral; it is not a Fairness Doctrine.

    This is, of course, unrelated to the proposals put forward by Mr. Sunstein. Fairness Doctrines fail, first in that they restrict freedom of speech even if executed fairly, which should be a deal breaker in and of themselves. They also fail in that the enforcement of the laws will always be in the hands of the government and hence subject to politics.

  80. Civilis, the phone company was a monopoly. Not so with ISP’s. If your ISP is misbehaving, you can lose them and get another. ISP’s that don’t deliver to their customers will fail. It ain’t broke, and it doesn’t need the government to fix it.

  81. It’s not as much of a monopoly, but here I have two real residential choices, the cable company (Cable) and the phone company (DSL). Both of which are ‘too big to fail’. If customer satisfaction was a criteria for cable or phone companies staying in business, neither would still be around.

    Yes, there are a handful of small, limited-access ‘high-speed’ providers and even still dial-up ISPs, but they are useless if you are trying to run a web-enabled business, and most of them sublet their bandwidth from bigger ISPs, which means you eventually get back to a too big to fail provider.

  82. A protocol can’t complain either, let alone file suit.

    Civilis, add cellular broadband and satellite and you’ve got at least 4. Again, is there an actual problem or just a potential one?

  83. Oh, and Comcast is not “the world”, meya.

  84. Again, is this an actual problem, let alone one that requires federal intervention?

  85. Again, is this an actual problem, let alone one that requires federal intervention?

    I don’t know, and I’m willing to admit that I don’t know. I have opinions on the subject because my job is related to network communications, and I see potential problems for which any solution is likely to be imperfect, but for now they are still potential problems. I would wager that if it becomes an issue, the solution that comes from the government is likely to be more cumbersome, more prone to abuse, and more regulatory, and would specifically benefit the government and the companies most politically tied to the government. However, we could get lucky and never have a problem.

    Likewise, I don’t know that a Fairness Doctrine would be an actual problem, but I’m willing to do whatever I can to put a stop to it (the proposed Fairness Doctrine) right now. The fact that the subject has switched to Net Neutrality is distraction from the real threat, that people currently in power in the government could even consider a return to the Fairness Doctrine.

  86. Then what needs to happen is to let the market, ie: another software developer, write another progrma that will compete with bit torrent, not involve the government in their dissatisfaction with the product.

    I dont use bit torrent for my own reasons, but I sure dont advocate getting the idiots in government involved as they most likely know less about it than I do.

    But, unfortunately, alot of people in the software world are also progg friendly (political idiots) and see the government as the big daddy enforcer of their wishes and desires over other peoples property. Much like Apple suing MS because people prefer MS to Apple for their own reasons.

  87. The last time we regulated the internet like this was with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. We set our internet infrastructure back a decade; I don’t think we’ve caught back up with Libya yet. The LECs simply let their networks go to shit when they had to provide connectivity to their competitors.

    When in doubt, we should always err on the side of freedom. Yes, a monolithic internet model would be more elegant and easier to understand and use. In many ways a single standard might be better, or might be worse, it’s hard to say. But even if the outcome is less optimal for internet consumers, we’re still generally better off without the government forcing the owners of these networks to adopt a particular business model.

  88. What did I tell you, Pablo? ;-)

  89. Another lefty that doesn’t know what “is” means.

  90. And the right of the people offering the connectivity to contract what services that they will provide, be damned.

  91. Heh. OT, but William is crying, crying about his ‘treatment’ here. Poor baby.

    Haha, I see my my comment from last Monday about Willie the cat serenader has gone viral! I love it.

  92. Mike LaRoche, I liked your comment so much I snagged it Wednesday morning. And gave you the credit for it as well!

    (When can I expect that new monitor and keyboard ?? )

  93. The stoopid, it burns.

  94. (When can I expect that new monitor and keyboard ?? )

    Oops, sorry about that. ;)

  95. It’s because it all all happens in slow motion. It’s because we all want to think the best of the people in charge. We don’t want to imagine that the people in power would prefer to put us in the Gulag. We would like to think that the people in power think just like us.

    That’s part of it, and it’s all very true when you’re talking about the Bad Mother tyrant who only wants what’s best for you. I would maintain that the Bad Father tyrants—Nazis, fascists, Maoists, Stalinists, etc.—scared the spit out of the rest of the populace.

    Stop them? With what? They had all the guns, all the soldiers, all the strong men, all the fanaticism behind them. Only way to survive that after things got scary was keep your head down and pray you don’t get noticed.

  96. Slow motion is still motion.

    South Korea, for instance, took a few weeks to determine the cause of the loss of their corvette and with it 46 sailor’s lives. They might now be saying aloud (though they seem not to be), “The torpedoing of our ship by the North was an act of war and therefore a state of war is what we have, whether we like it or not.” They might also, without saying as much, have begun the development of their own nuclear weapons capability. And then, once again in slow motion, make the fact known to the world only after they have their weapons in hand.

    Iran, undeterred by any action of other states and spurred by the actions of one, at least, has been developing a nuclear weapons capability for a couple of decades now, also an apparent slow motion process. What happens when they have the weapons in hand will likely be anything but slow.

  97. This cannot be stated often enough: the people who seek to control the Internet are always on the left.

    They are not the slightest bit interested in anything to do with optimal net function.

    They liberals are exclusively interested in net control. They want to tax it and control the content. Everything else is a diversion.

    There will be judgments made on political content by the same people who think MSNBC reporting represents the mainstream of American thought.

    Websites like the he Huffington Post will get a pass from the Democrats/liberals/socialists/anarchists/communists that are put in positions of authority over the net since the Huffington Post appears to them to be a news service. Remember, these are the people who think the New York Times is a tool of the right.

    Meanwhile, Jeff will not have to worry about his brakes anymore since you don’t get to drive in Shawshank.

  98. This cannot be stated often enough: the people who seek to control the Internet are always on the left.

    then call them what they are: control freaks

  99. Nobody ever refutes Glenn Beck.

    you’re welcome to give it a try.

  100. By god gentlemen! We have to regulate this internet thing! We have to do something to save our phonybalony jobs!

  101. Nobody ever refutes Glenn Beck.

    That red phone still hasn’t rung, and his mole in the White House says that the peeps in the Oministration do indeed have its number.

    They don’t have to call it, either, which would be a bit undignified (and Glenn knows it), but they could release statements on their own site or in press conferences or in communications to Glenn’s staff asking for corrections and retractions.

    They HAVE asked for one retraction, when Glenn misidentified someone’s official title, and Glenn corrected himself on the air, at the top of the program.

    The rest of their response has been to sic three WH officials and a congressman after Glenn’s sponsors: organizing boycotts, threatening investigations…

    Tell me, meya, is that proper behavior for a president and his staff? What possible motive could they have for doing that? If Glenn is saying things that are patently untrue–that person X is involved with organization A, which sponsors event B, which has as its goal outcome C–and those statements and linkages are untrue, then the Oministration has a moral obligation (and the means at its disposal) to correct the record, because Glenn is finding these things out from public records (and from informants in the WH and congress).

    Also, please explain why Glenn needs a bodyguard and a security staff? Why has he needed to wear a flak jacket in public various times (by order of the FBI)? Why is the FBI investigating threats against him and his family?

    These aren’t the garden-variety death threats that every public person gets: they’re real. Ann Coulter and David Horowitz and other conservatives need bodyguards to speak on college campuses. Do Bill Ayers? Van Jones? Anita Dunn?

    Glenn is exposing the Chicago-style corruption that has taken over the White House. If he weren’t telling the truth, they wouldn’t be trying to shut him up through intimidation, would they?

  102. “Do[es] Bill Ayers?”

    Well, there was that occasion when Bill Ayres had to call the Chicago Police to escort him from his front door to his car in an attempt to avoid speaking with the Fox reporter camped out on the sidewalk. So, yeah, bodyguards in a manner of speaking, sure.

  103. Nobody ever refutes Glenn Beck.

    Yeah, you’d think somebody would. But mostly people just go with ad hom.

  104. They don’t have to call it, either, which would be a bit undignified (and Glenn knows it), but they could release statements on their own site or in press conferences or in communications to Glenn’s staff asking for corrections and retractions.

    They did that once.

    That they chose the things they chose to refute speaks volumes, mostly about what wasn’t refuted.

  105. goldline is evil
    /sarc

  106. also weinerfacts.com

  107. The blog, Gibbs, a press release, or the red phone. Whatever.

    Be vewwwy quiet. And call him a racist.

  108. The red phone huh?

    waiting for a commie to call

  109. Looks like we were right to give Bob Bennett the heave-ho. Listen to this drivel:

    …the Tea Party is made up of people who are fed up with Washington profligacy. … To a large extent, they’re right.

    Their two strongest slogans are “Send a message to Washington” and “Take back America.” I know both very well because they were the main tools used to defeat me in Utah’s Republican convention two weeks ago. They also worked in Kentucky on Tuesday. They are more powerful than most pundits inside the Beltway realize.

    As president, Carter was downright depressing. His famous “malaise” speech warned us that America’s best days were behind us and suggested that we are a country in irreversible decline. Too many Tea Party speeches sound the same note, even as they invoke Ronald Reagan’s name. They are wrong to do so, in my view, because Reagan never lost his optimism and his hope for the future. He was elected because he was good at slogans, but he succeeded as president because he focused on solutions.

    I urge all of the Tea Partyers to follow Reagan, not Carter. If they want their movement to be more than a wave that crashes on the beach and then recedes back into the ocean, leaving nothing behind but empty sand, they should stop the “gloom talk.” These are not the worst times we have ever faced, nor is the Constitution under serious threat.

    Our economy is still the strongest and most resilient in the world. Our government is still capable of responding to the leadership of men and women who believe our problems can be solved. We must not follow the siren song of those who are in a frenzy of despair.

    After all, we survived Jimmy Carter, didn’t we?

    What a maroon. What an ignoranimus.

  110. Where is everybody?

    I’m tempted to start up an argument over fiat currency with JHo just to shit stir.

  111. You know what’s kick ass? The Fed, that’s what.

    Best thing about fiat currency? The way it won the Cold War, cured polio and smote disco.

  112. Before it slips from my memory, I wanted to link a site D. Thompson linked in his friday-ephemera dealy this week. It’s a collection of photos circa 1900 – 19teens of humanity and their doings, in color. ‘Specially beautiful, I thought, the Iraqi girls with amphorae and the Irish girl right after them. Also, many the barefooted.

  113. What’s all this crap about net neutrality and controlling the internet? Nobody can do it; it’s a renegade technology by now. It’s like air or water neutrality. People will find a way to subvert conventional means of communication control because they will never acquiesce to central command. Ten-four, anyone?

  114. Good god, if he can’t realize Obama is Carter on “Joe Canseco’s steroids’ he really is quite useless, which he has just proven, that old line about ‘removing all doubt’

  115. Watching the #18 slam into a wall brings me a great amount of joy.

  116. It appears that in olden times a man needed a hat or a mustache, sdferr. I much prefer our enlightened age where you only need an ironic t-shirt or smartphone.

  117. Green – white – checkers or wreckers !!! Let’s go racing !!!!

  118. Lost the bet last night, JD. She didn’t puke.

    (No, I won’t explain that.)

  119. The young Chinese guy leaning on the column would fit right in today, don’t you think?

  120. I would have thought that was a gimme, bh.

  121. Where is everybody?

    To quote a famous commenter, “Slow motion is still motion.”

    For myself got up early and went to a local Tea Party this morning. Then spent the rest of the day continuing to clean out the basement. Now worn out, tired and going to bed soon.

    “Have mustache, will travel” Paladin.

  122. I would pay to be in the #11 hauler right now.

    I was working with some of the expanding foam earlier today and got it all over my hands. It is worse than superglue. I had to soak in acetone to get it off.

  123. I was committing capitalism. And not terribly successfully, I might add. I long for the good old days.

  124. Nobody can do it; it’s a renegade technology by now.

    No, it’s not. The actual Internet relies on huge fiber-optic trunks, all of which have been put in place by major telecoms such as AT&T, MCI, and Sprint. The cabling and the routers needed to handle the kind of traffic the Internet now generates is too expensive for anyone BUT a major telecom to pull it off.

    Yes, it’s a distributed model, but it’s not 100% distributed. Do some traceroutes, look up the IP of the routers, and at least one of them will be owned by a major telecom.

    So yeah, the gubmint will do what the gubmint always does: get the cooperation of Behemoth Business to enact necessary regulations or reforms (either BB benefits mightily by it or they’re being coerced by the gubmint). All it will take is the cooperation of a handful of companies to regulate touch all of the traffic in the county.

  125. So we have capitalists, political activists and acetone huffers around here.

    Cesspool. Total cesspool.

  126. Acetone on an open fresh cut is not the least bit fun. As a matter of fact, it hurt something fierce.

    I wonder if the 11 is done beating the snot out of the 18 yet, or if he is taking his time.

  127. I sorta feel like you’re not talking about hockey this time, JD. Fencing?

    My afternoon involved talking with a landscaper. He had rapey eyes and thought plants can be worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars each. A dangerous lunatic, all in all.

    And I sparred with a shit-talking juicehead. He had over one billion back zits, arms like my legs and was tired in about a minute. When he left his front leg was all bruises and he was still breathing heavy like he might die. Juiceheads 0, Skinny Men 1.

  128. Bh – NASCAR all star shooutout @ Charolette. 11 Hamlin and the 18 ShitHead GoatFucking Busch got tangled up late and 18 thought the 11 wrecked him, when in reality, the 18 fucked up and got himself run into the wall. A couple laps later he hit the wall, but hard, and proceeded to go to the 11 trailer and wait for him to come back after the race.

  129. Hard news on Vickers JD. I had one of those PE experiences and hope not to have another.

  130. Horrible about Vickers. Weird too, it seems, for a young fit guy, no?

  131. Yes it seems so I guess, though my best friend died at 39 from one, his being generated in a DVT. Mine, fortunately I think, wasn’t due to DVT, but the result of a rambunctious dog banging his noggin into a varicose vein on the front of my shin.

  132. Deep vein thrombosis?

  133. Si.

  134. I’ve heard tell DVT is a hazard of sitting alot, so maybe there’s a driver’s connection there? Dunno.

  135. Btw, the dollar hasn’t diminished in value by 96%… it’s gained by over 1000%.

    Fact.

  136. Worst shit-stirring ever.

    Oh well.

  137. Is that *don’t start nothing won’t be nothing* in upside down reverse: there ain’t nothing better start something?

  138. Well, sdferr, at some point, Austria v. Chicago is going to happen, whether here in these comments or as a big budget prequel in 1700s Amsterdam.

    It may as well be here during a commenting lull. When it’s hot and there is no wind in the sails, we can at least fight on deck and gamble vigorously.

  139. Btw, sdferr, I find you opaque and entirely too philosophical.

    And, if you have a dog or cat, it is surely gay or three-legged.

  140. What’s all this crap about net neutrality and controlling the internet? Nobody can do it; it’s a renegade technology by now. It’s like air or water neutrality. People will find a way to subvert conventional means of communication control because they will never acquiesce to central command. Ten-four, anyone?

    It can’t happen here, cynn.  Just keep telling yourself that.

    It can’t happen here.

  141. Kyle Busch probably has more raw talent that anybody driving a race car today.

    Unfortunately, he is dumber than a sack of lugnuts, as Hamlin will show him if he really did go looking for a fight.

  142. “…opaque and entirely too philosophical.”

    I’ll take that as code for “you’re a practitioner of incest…” you’ve got me dead to rights. And I haven’t either a dog or a cat but keep a small menagerie of rats and mice (free running) I feed jalapeno peppers to. Or whatever else they can find lying around.

    Oh, and “Kyle Busch probably has more raw talent that anybody driving a race car today.” that’s the way to start a fight (with JD).

  143. Republicans win in Hawaii, taking the state’s 1st congressional district in a special election.

    Who knew that Hawaii was so full of racist teatards fighting the inevitability of demography?

  144. Rat-pepperer! I knew it, sdferr. I surely did.

    That’s odd, Mike, isn’t it? I was quite sure the massive influx of Polynesian canoers (yes, that sounds like a real word) would tilt the scales against us.

  145. Even if the final legislation only amounts to a requirement that providers not discriminate on the basis of content this could still be part of a big government gotcha scheme. If this passes then the next piece of internet legislation will require that certain types of content for instance pirated material or child porn not be carried. Then the government will have the opportunity to selectively enforce it’s impossible to comply with requirements.

  146. Pingback: Good Returns: Making Money by Morally Responsible Investing | business marketing

  147. Trying to regulate pirated material on the innertubes would be incredibly difficult if not impossible. It may be that piracy will kill content providers of all stripes, porn and non-porn alike, but the government can kill all traffic or none of it. They could, for instance, require all traffic to pass through government servers. That would end the internet as we know it.

  148. Best thing about fiat currency? The way it won the Cold War, cured polio and smote disco.

    Smote disco? Then what the hell am I going to do with this polyster leisure suit?

  149. Next time you have all this fun on a Saturday nite, call me.

  150. #126
    Can’t do it?
    Cynn, all they have to do is tax it and all the fun is over.

    a small prayer

    Please god save us from the meddling shitheads who would have things done for our own good.

  151. Oh, and “Kyle Busch probably has more raw talent that anybody driving a race car today.” that’s the way to start a fight (with JD).

    Just to be clear, I loath the smarmy little retard, he is one of the reasons I rarely watch NASCAR, but the kid can drive the wheels off a race car.

  152. Was Diebold involved?

  153. I still can’t get over meya being a sockpuppet-addicted mendacious loser.

  154. Habitually lying anonysockmouspuppetly makes it cool, Pablo. meya’s points stick like crazy that way.

  155. BMoe – it is a shame that he is such a whiny bitch because I agree with you that he has as much raw talent as anyone. Much of his success comes from his willingness to wreck anyone else in his pursuit of a win, but cries like a baby when someone drives aggressive around him. Last night was a perfect example.

    Dale Sr and Jr Johnson are getting inducted into the Hall of Fame today. They were drivers.

  156. Meya/RD/bdam/pfra/soa/bloopy/inyoursoup thinks being a dishonest twatwaffle on the Lord’s day is a good idea.

  157. It’s still not gonna happen. You guys have made an industry of fear out of the spooky Obamaschism. Good luck with that.

  158. …And it’s nearly funny that you all are invested in NASCAR. Guess it’s OK for me to be all up Glee.

  159. For cynn,

    When I wrote about the schlemiel in the 1960s, I had in mind the culture of Jews, but nowadays, we Americans similarly confront enemies who intend to destroy our way of life. Like the Jews of Europe, we are tempted to ignore them. We enjoy getting along with the rest of the world. We have no passion for war, favoring peace and prosperity. Like the schlemiel, some among us think that warfare is a ridiculous pursuit. So we may be tickled when an NCO asks: “Men, why do we soldier for our country?” and Private Katsenstein responds, “You’re right, Sergeant, why do we?”

  160. If you go to the bookstore you must also purchase a book that you do not like on a subject that does not interest you and read it. For instance, if you buy a book on WWII then you must also buy a book on teenage vampires.

    Cass Sunstein said so.

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