Regulatory Czar wants to use copyright protection mechanisms to shut down rumors and conspiracy theories

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Guest Post by Alec Rawls

As Congress considers vastly expanding the power of copyright holders to shut down fair use of their intellectual property, this is a good time to remember the other activities that Obama’s “regulatory czar” Cass Sunstein wants to shut down using the tools of copyright protection. For a couple of years now, Sunstein has been advocating that the “notice and take down” model from copyright law should be used against rumors and conspiracy theories, “to achieve the optimal chilling effect.”

What kinds of conspiracy theories does Sunstein want to suppress by law? Here’s one:

… that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud. [From page 4 of Sunstein's 2008 "Conspiracy Theories" paper.]

Freedom of speech requires scope for error

At present, limits on speech are governed by libel law. For statements about public figures, libel requires not just that an accusation must be false, but that it must have been:

… made with ‘actual malice’—that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard to whether it was false or not. [New York Times v. Sullivan, 1964]

The purpose of the “actual malice” standard is to leave wide latitude for errant statements, which free public debate obviously requires. Sunstein thinks that room-for error stuff is given too much weight. He’d like it to see errant statements expunged. From Sunstein’s 2009 book On Rumors (page 78):

On the Internet in particular, people might have a right to ‘notice and take down.’ [T]hose who run websites would be obliged to take down falsehoods upon notice.

Further, “propagators” would face a “liability to establish what is actually true” (ibid).

Suppose you are a simple public-spirited blogger, trying to expose how Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Tom Wigley, and other Team members conspire to suppress the research and destroy the careers of those who challenge their consensus views. If Sunstein gets his way, Team members will only have to issue you a takedown notice, and if you want your post to stay up, you’ll have to go to court and win a judgment that your version of events is correct.

Today that should be doable, at great expense. But before the first and second batches of climategate emails were released there were only tales of retaliation, with one person’s word against another’s. Thus at the most critical juncture, when documentary proofs of The Team’s vendettas were not yet public, even a person who was willing to run Sunstein’s legal gauntlet might well have been held by a judge to be in error.

Escalation

The path from Sunstein’s 2008 “Conspiracy Theories” article to his 2009 On Rumors book is straightforward. According to Sunstein’s 2008 definition, a conspiracy theory is very close to a potentially libelous rumor:

… a conspiracy theory can generally be counted as such if it is an effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role. [Abstract]

At this time, Sunstein’s “main policy idea” was that:

government should engage in cognitive infiltration of the groups that produce conspiracy theories….

… government agents or their allies (acting either virtually or in real space, and either openly or anonymously) will undermine the crippled epistemology of those who subscribe to such theories. ["Conspiracy Theories," pages 14-15]

Government funding of trolls? Sounds like a bad joke, but Sunstein quickly upped the ante. In On Rumors he followed the conspiracy theory as slanderous rumor angle as a way to justify adopting the “notice and take down” artillery from copyright law. So Sunstein already has a history of escalation in his legal crusade against ideas he does not like. If SOPA and PIPA are enacted and the machinery of copyright protection becomes vastly more censorious, its pretty much a certainty that Sunstein will want to use these more powerful tools against rumors and conspiracy theories as well.

Sunstein’s target has always been the very core of the First Amendment: the most protected political speech

In On Rumors, the rumor that Sunstein seems most intent on suppressing is the accusation, leveled during the 2008 election campaign, that Barack Obama “pals around with terrorists.” (“Look Inside” page 3.) Sunstein fails to note that the “palling around with terrorists” language was introduced by the opposing vice presidential candidate, Governor Sarah Palin (who was implicating Obama’s relationship with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers). Instead Sunstein focuses his ire on “right wing websites” that make “hateful remarks about the alleged relationship between Barack Obama and the former radical Bill Ayers,” singling out Sean Hannity for making hay out of Obama’s “alleged associations” (pages 13-14).

What could possibly be more important than whether a candidate for president does indeed “pal around with terrorists”? Of all the subjects to declare off limits, this one is right up there with whether the anti-CO2 alarmists who are trying to unplug the modern world are telling the truth. And Sunstein’s own bias on the matter could hardly be more blatant. Bill Ayers is a “former” radical? Bill “I don’t regret setting bombs” Ayers? Bill “we didn’t do enough” Ayers?

For the facts of the Obama-Ayers relationship, Sunstein apparently accepts Obama’s campaign dismissal of Ayers as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.” In fact their relationship was long and deep. Obama’s political career was launched via a fundraiser in Bill Ayers’ living room; Obama was appointed the first chairman of the Ayers-founded Annenberg Challenge, almost certainly at Ayers’ request; Ayers and Obama served together on the board of the Woods Foundation, distributing money to radical left-wing causes; and it has now been reported by full-access White House biographer Christopher Andersen (and confirmed by Bill Ayers) that Ayers actually ghost wrote Obama’s first book Dreams of My Father.

Whenever free speech is attacked, the real purpose is to cover up the truth. Not that Sunstein himself knows the truth about anything. He just knows what he wants to suppress, which is exactly why government must never have this power.

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Soulmates (cue music)

You, on the other hand, are the enemy

In climate science, there is no avoiding “reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.” The Team has always been sloppy about concealing its machinations, but that doesn’t stop Sunstein from using climate skepticism as an exemplar of pernicious conspiracy theorizing, and his goal is perfectly explicit: he wants the state to take aggressive action to make it easier for our powerful government funded scientists to conceal their machinations.

Cass Sunstein may be the most illiberal man ever to present himself as a liberal. He also holds the most powerful regulatory position in existence, overseeing every federal regulation. For a sample of his handiwork, realize that he oversaw the EPA’s recently issued transport and MACT rules, which will shut down 8% of current U.S. electricity generation.

Maybe you don’t think it’s a good idea to unplug critical energy infrastructure just to achieve marginal further reductions in micro-particulates that have already fallen to well below half of their 1980 levels:

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Sorry but there is no place in Sunstein’s EPA for such doubts and, as far as he is concerned, no place for them in the realm of public debate either. The environmental bureaucracy has everyone’s best interest at heart. To question that is the very definition of conspiracy mongering.

Next people will be claiming that Obama actually intends for energy prices to “necessarily skyrocket.” Such vile rumors need to be silenced, and this can easily be done. Once the SOPA/PIPA machinery is in place, it will only take one line in some future omnibus bill to extend it from copyright to criticism.

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256 thoughts on “Regulatory Czar wants to use copyright protection mechanisms to shut down rumors and conspiracy theories

  1. I am often confused by old liberals who don’t realize that the current generation is 100% about control of nearly every aspect of the population. Calling this guy unliberal, is a perfect example of the cognitive dissonance which has pervaded our society. Listen to what they are all saying not what you hope they are saying. This guy fits right in.

  2. Presumably unless you make it illegal to view – the answer is just to use servers outside the US?
    Politicians in all countries still don’t get the internets do they?
    They either have to shut the whole thing down or clean their own acts up and stop being self serving chisellers. You can’t get this toothpaste back in the tube.

  3. Shutting down critical opposition is always the aim of scoundrels with something to hide.

    They must really be scared of the truth. But still, out it will come.

  4. You do a good job of building up Mr. Sunnstein’s political views and wants, but do little to show any evidence of his want to use copyright law to stop anything. Copyright law cannot stop the type of speech you discuss in any case.

    Anthony’s allowance of other posters without review is really dropping the quality here at WUWT.

  5. Such partisan regulation needs to be opposed on every level. The use of unelected “Czars” also needs to be opposed. Bureaucracy throughout the western world needs to be pruned.

  6. I’ve passed the link to Mr. Rawls guest post to L. Neil Smith’s online magazine The Libertarian Enterprise with a recommendation that the editor contact Mr. Rawls and Anthony Watts for permission to reproduce it in the next edition therein.

    This needs as much exposure as can possibly be managed.

    Considering our “Liberal” fascist-in-chief’s obvious plans to obliterate the First Amendment, the dire necessity to get Barry Soebarkah and his little ACORN elves out of public office and into a federal penitentiary for the rest of their worthless lives is now ramped up to top priority.

    And we need to extract from Willard Mittney – the Republican Party establishment’s anointed nominee, the voters’ real preferences be damned – a drop-dead pledge to oppose and, if necessary, repeal SOPA and PIPA if they get enacted.

  7. I sometimes wonder how Obama was elected given the way that he now wants America to be controlled. Liberal policies so often become overbearing and nannying to the point of total socialist doctrine. Who do these people think they are to think that their way is any better than the one that we desire for ourselves? This is the way of total oppression and the sooner Obama goes the better for America.

    The ‘1984’ scenario looms.

  8. You had me on your side until you claimed that Bill Ayers actually ghost-wrote Obama’s book, and that Ayers himself admitted it. You must know that Ayers said that in total mocking sarcasm at the absurdity of the notion. It’s one thing to allow nutcase ideas to proliferate, it’s another to actually believe in them, and your belief in this makes me doubt everything else you’ve written. I can’t therefore take your word for anything you’ve written here, even though if true, I’d be on your side.

  9. Maybe we should do a trial on political and federal websites and take them down when they are wrong. At least it would shut them up for a bit – given 50% of what they claim is exaggeration and the rest is just plain naive.

  10. Duncan says:
    January 20, 2012 at 4:10 am
    “Presumably unless you make it illegal to view – the answer is just to use servers outside the US?”
    ————————————————————————-
    If the gutless toadies we have pretending to be in power in the UK (courtesy of the EU), are in any way typical then they will bend over for any extradition before the US even asks.

    Also, a website owner can host a site wherever they like, but unless they relish spending their days on the run in, living in whatever dusty corner of the world will temporarily shelter them, then they aren’t going to want the long arm of US law after them personally.

    I know I wouldn’t want that threat and that’s all it needs to shut down most people’s “free speech”.

  11. I assume all religious sites will be shut down.

    There may be an interesting when the gubmint requires someone to prove that the Koran is true.

  12. All will change in November. Remember, a vote for Barack Obama and the liberal Democrats at any level of government is a vote for dangerous people like Cass Sunstein.

    In a related story – from “The Hill”:

    Dems propose ‘Reasonable Profits Board’ to regulate oil company profits
    By Pete Kasperowicz – 01/19/12 10:20 AM ET

    Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a “Reasonable Profits Board” to control gas profits.

    First it’s the rejection of the Keystone pipeline project, and now they want to regulate oil company “profits”. Just imagine if the government doesn’t like you, your politics, your business, your industry…they will find a way to “regulate” you for “the common good”.

    Please remember all of this in November!

  13. Unfortunately the current crop of politicians read Orwell as a guide to “good government” rather than as a warning against creeping totalitarianism. So everyone repeat after me …” I love big brother…”

  14. John Marshall says: January 20, 2012 at 4:25 am
    ” Who do these people think they are to think that their way is any better than the one that we desire for ourselves? ”

    Liberals assume two things. They think everybody is good (does not have to be taught to be good), takes orders and complies (no crime because everybody is good, right?) and thus compliant. Therefore, we do not need guns in the hands of private citizens = strict gun control.

    Second, they assume everybody (except themselves) is stupid and need the liberals to run their lives for them. After all the liberals are so intelligent that no one can understand how wise and smart they can be about what you should be doing.

    Pelosi is pushing for a Obamachildcare, which would mandate toddlers to school age children be enrolled in government childcare—private childcare companies having been forced out of business, by massive regulations, no doubt. This way the liberals/socialists would have cradle to adult time to indoctrinate the next generation to be compliant and even support the Chairman of the United Socialists of America.

  15. At 4:41 AM on 20 January, conradg had written:

    You had me on your side until you claimed that Bill Ayers actually ghost-wrote Obama’s book, and that Ayers himself admitted it. You must know that Ayers said that in total mocking sarcasm at the absurdity of the notion. It’s one thing to allow nutcase ideas to proliferate, it’s another to actually believe in them, and your belief in this makes me doubt everything else you’ve written. I can’t therefore take your word for anything you’ve written here, even though if true, I’d be on your side.

    Tsk. If nothing more than the reliably inferred conclusion that “Liberal” fascist (and admitted terrorist) Bill Ayers had ghosted one of the bits of writing attributed to Barry Soebarkah gives you to huff and maunder and spew fake indignation, then you were never “on [our] side” – the side of scientific integrity and the defense of individual human rights – to begin with, and therefore your yammer about there having been even the remotest possibility of engaging your sympathies is a clumsy lie on your part.

    As is doubtless the case among all honest examiners of the subject of our Mombasa Messiah’s alleged academic achievements (note, please, that to this day he and his controllers hold under lock-and-key all of his educational records), I find it damned peculiar that a person who had been appointed editor of Harvard’s law review could have gotten through four years of undergraduate education and three years of law school without leaving behind any evidence of having written more than a solitary letter published in The Harvard Law Review, an independent Harvard Law School newspaper.

    I dunno about you, conradg, but in the process of getting a baccalaureate degree in Biology and a doctorate in medical school – not to mention the residency training years – I wrote a hellulva lot of stuff, including a regular column in my university newspaper, articles and letters published in general-distribution magazines and newspapers, coursework-related essays and reviews, diagnostic and treatment protocols, and so damned many consultation reports, H&P’s, discharge summaries, and letters related to the care of patients that I’ve more than sufficient reason to have lost count.

    So how the hell did “Harrison J. Bounel” (or “Jean Paul Ludwig,” or whatever alias the bastich is currently using) not only get appointed editor of a prestigious postgraduate school’s law review but also manage to practice the profession of law without leaving behind even a remotely comparable residue of written work?

    [SNIP: That is too far over the top. -REP]

  16. MarkW says: January 20, 2012 at 4:56 am:
    “Scratch a liberal, and almost always, you will find a totalitarian.”

    Well, somebody has to impose the equal poverty and desperation for all on the people. There is no such thing as democratic socialism; that would work even worse than socialism, which does not work at all.

    The USSR was run by the Communist Party (emphasis on “party,” which is what they did on the people’s dime). In retrospect we find that the Soviet people hated communism/socialism (the commune part disappeared quite quickly), which was socialism run by a gang. One analyst said that, to make socialism work, you need a generation or two of creeping socialism and indoctrination to get the people used to and accepting of it, in a fatalistic way, as simply the way life is.

    Why are there people out there who cannot see that socialism cannot work in any form as it does not generate wealth and prosperity?

    Only free market capitalism can generate wealth and prosperity, lifting people out of poverty and improving the lot of all mankind. They refuse to realize that as the rich get richer, so do the poor. A rising tide floats all boats. The libs assume that, if the rich get richer, the poor have less, but that assumes a limited supply of wealth—this would be true in a socialist environment. But, as capitalism creates wealth, there is more to go around. The poor in our country are a lot better off than the poor in many other countries. That so cool!

  17. Also, bureaucrats NEVER accrue data or powers that they do not ever expect to use. If they have it, they will use it.

    This is why the Small Arms Treaty Act, which would hand information about all of our small arms over to the UN, is a clear signal that the UN has the future intention of disarm all US citizens. They would have to if they ever get to create the one-world government that they seek. There is no tother reason to seek this information. It has nothing to do with controlling the movement of small arms to world hot spots.

  18. John Marshall says:
    January 20, 2012 at 4:25 am
    I sometimes wonder how Obama was elected …

    Overwhelming support from the main stream media underplaying anything that might be considered negative.

  19. I am afraid on this I must disagree in part.

    When there is repeated, venal, slanderous bile spouted day after day, month after month, against a duly elected Representative; when the attacks are personal, not professional; when they get to the point that these people say that ‘the only thing XXX can do is masturbate, count to 99, then change hands’, then free speech has got to stop. This is currently going on the the Daily Telegraph in England (www.telegraph.co.uk) targeting the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK and no doubt cheered on by the bloggist James Delingpole, to whom you have a link…….

    I want you to accept that if you challenge this, that every member of your family can be brutally impugned for the rest of their life and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Nothing you should be ALLOWED to do to stop it. Sauce for the goose, after all………

    When the rumours are not rumours but plain lies, when they are part of campaigns waged by mentally ill psychopaths aimed at destroying genuine democratic plurality, then free speech has got to stop.

    Free speech does not mean saying that ‘Barack Obama’s wife is a frigid cow who spawned two vile pot smoking heroin-injecting nignogs’ is acceptable. It means that someone writing that should be incarcerated into a lunatic asylum.

    Free speech must stop when it is playing the man/woman, not the ball.

    That’s where the line must be drawn, because if you don’t you are saying you want vile thugs ruling over you and bugger that they’re pig ignorant about what matters.

    Nothing I have said has anything to do with who wins in 2012 in the USA, it has to do with where the lines should be drawn in a civilised society.

    I wonder whether the USA understands what one of those is and, if it does, why it tolerates what it does from its out of control, destructively anti-democratic media…………

    I suggest you think hard about that, just as you think hard about what the term ‘playing the man, not the ball’ means in real life……….

    Because trust me, there are no really competent people whose lives are so blameless that they could be US President and STILL satisfy the blood lusts of the media.

    None.

    And you want to ask why you think the media are the right people to pick your Presidents.

    Because they do……….

  20. Nothing new about it. FBI, CIA and No Such Agency have been infiltrating groups with unpopular views for about 80 years. Sometimes they do the Agent Provocateur thing, steering the group into crazier and crazier theories; sometimes they make the group look untrustworthy to its potential followers. The techniques are old, only the primary unpopular target changes over the years. Before 1989 it was mainly Communist groups; since 1989 it’s been mainly Christian or Nationalist groups.

    Wouldn’t be a bit surprised if some of the skeptics are agents. (Remember too that the AGW movement was first proposed by the CIA in 1974.)

  21. Obama and the EPA are going to freeze us all to death in the dark. Don’t dare complain though when your your family dies. It would be unpatriotic !

    I can hardly wait for the day when they start proposing Canada be invaded so they can shut down the oil sands by force. Those Canucks are destroying the planet you know. Make em wear yellow stars !

  22. Correction. Obama’s book is Dreams from My Father. A minor detail, but it “from” does have a different meaning than “of.”

  23. Fortunately, there is a remedy for the unconstitutional plague of statist ‘czars’ that The Puppet President and his Marxist handlers have inflicted upon us: it’s called an election.

    Short of concocting some kind of ‘national emergency’ and getting the election called off, I think it is very unlikely this gang can prevail upon the American public to give them another term. Of course, the Republicans are always good at pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. But as long as Obambi and company keep trying to assuage the radical left, with decisions like nixing the XL pipeline, and as long as the economy stays in the doldrums, a year from today we should be able to clean house—the White House.

    /Mr Lynn

  24. Tattoo this across your chest. Burn it into your souls. You will need it to keep you warm in the coming years.
    =================================================================
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  25. These people want to rewrite the Constitution. Why? They claim that we have our heads in the “echo chamber,” and so are not fit/informed to carry out the Founding Fathers’ ideal of “participative democracy.”

    They belive that now, with vastly more media than the Colonial days, we can avoid a range of views, and so we are not fit to vote or have einput on legislative initiatives, etc.

    The solution? REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION.

  26. conradg says:
    January 20, 2012 at 4:41 am
    You had me on your side until you claimed that Bill Ayers actually ghost-wrote Obama’s book, and that Ayers himself admitted it. You must know that Ayers said that in total mocking sarcasm at the absurdity of the notion…………………………….

    _______________________________________________________________-

    Are you saying Christopher Anderson is incorrectly understood by Rawls?

    Rawls: “……………..and it has now been reported by full-access White House biographer Christopher Andersen (and confirmed by Bill Ayers) that Ayers actually ghost wrote Obama’s first book Dreams of My Father.”

  27. I have a feeling the electorate will reverse the mistake they made in electing Big O. I know of nobody that voted for the guy that’s willing to admit it now, or that plans on doing it again. Still, many union hacks out there will support him again as a brainless reaction to their boss’s request since they have received largess for their support of Barry–GM stock being ripped from rightful owners and given to undeserving GM union members is a prime example. And that’s one “conspiracy” Cass Sunstein undoubtedly wants to quash, among many others.

    Please, send Sunstein to N. Korea where his ideology is a much better fit and throw his boss in for the (one-way) ride, too.

  28. At 5:59 AM on 20 January, Donna Laframboise had written:

    How does someone with views so antithetical to free speech get anywhere near the Whitehouse? Honestly.

    Well, to paraphrase Mae West, “honesty had nothing to do with it.”

    Freedom of speech has been considered by incumbent and aspiring politicians as something to be violated whenever and wherever it is expedient to do so. Consider the Alien and Sedition Acts (1798) perpetrated by the Federalists.

    Critters like this Sunstein specimen have been warmly embraced by the occupants of the White House – no matter what their party or faction – for close to two centuries, and unless the man taking the presidential oath of office on 20 January next year is an elderly obstetrician named Ron Paul, you can reliably expect vicious thugs “with views so antithetical to free speech” to be continuing fixtures in and around the federal executive branch.

  29. Beliefs and ideas can and do turn into laws. We must be all over the beliefs and ideas of those who wish to serve in government positions. We must also be all over the behavior of those who wish such positions (and if they can’t stand the heat, it is a telling comment on their ability to serve). We may end up with the opposite of what we voted for without such challenges.

    The U.S. and its states came into being by such challenges and accusations against the monarchy and our own Constitution. It was even written into our Declaration. But according to this idiot, the Declaration would have to be “taken down”.

  30. A couple places to start reading: 1 Sunstein’ essay noted here. 2 Sunstein’s book, “The Partial Constitution.” This is the info-diet equivalent of his health behavior-focused book “Nudge:” the govt is a series of sticks and carrots to guide our life for the overall societal good. Exactly like “Walden II.”

    3. Visit website: http://www.constitutionin2020.org

    You can take it from there. The goal is to change media. No longer will it be a free speech ideal. The ideal will be an ‘impartial’ govt board that ensures that a proper mix of viewpoints is present in all media. Yes, an updated ‘fairness doctrine,’

    Sunstein sounds educated and reasonable. I have figured out his trick: he states off with an “obvious” given that is wrong. Then, he follows that with good argument and reasoning and examples. He then arrives at his conclusions. [of course, the conclusions are all a world where he and other elitists guide society fromthe top-down, since we rabble don't know better.] So, if you read ‘the lpartial constitution,’ ‘democracy and the problem of free speech,,’ etc., realize that his trick is to have a slightly wrong premise, with a following argument that is fairly reasonble, or logical.

    These rewrite-the-Constitution peopel have another propaganda point: the Declaration of Independence and Constitution fits “extreme right-wing views,”such as pro-life ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” gun ownership, home-schooling choice, state power versus fed, etc.

    Since these founding docs, and founding fathers, no longer represent the general public, but only “far right extremists,” they need to be modified, lest our lead governing principles be unfairly biased to favor ‘right-wing extremism.’

    You can believe me or not. You should not trust me, but should go get yourself edumacated. Go explore this for yourself.

  31. Rhys Jaggar says:
    January 20, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I am afraid on this I must disagree in part.

    When there is repeated, venal, slanderous bile spouted day after day, month after month, against a duly elected Representative; when the attacks are personal, not professional; when they get to the point that these people say that ‘the only thing XXX can do is masturbate, count to 99, then change hands’, then free speech has got to stop. This is currently going on the the Daily Telegraph in England (www.telegraph.co.uk) targeting the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK and no doubt cheered on by the bloggist James Delingpole, to whom you have a link…….

    But you do the same thing you rant about. For example, do you have a citation (link, whatever) that James Delingpole is cheering on this targeting of the Deputy Prime Minister?

    If you don’t you are slitting your own throat on this one.

    See how you’ve castigated yourself as unlawful and justified the judge’s sentence of guilty?

  32. “Further, “propagators” would face a “liability to establish what is actually true””

    I say there are no unicorns. Under Sunstein’s standards, I could be forced to prove a negative. That’s logically impossible.

  33. Further, “propagators” would face a “liability to establish what is actually true” (ibid).

    With every threat there is opportunity!

  34. Regarding sites being shut down, I’ve just read that one of the leading filesharing sites, Megaupload, has been closed by the US DOJ, and a number of arrests made. What ever your views on sharing of copyright material, this is a clear warning that governments can and will use all their powers to stifle free speech. IIRC Megaupload hosted one of the many copies of the original UEA leak…

    It should also be a warning NOT to rely on “Cloud” hosting of your important files/documents etc.

  35. @Rhys Jagger

    “Free speech does not mean saying that ‘Barack Obama’s wife is a frigid cow who spawned two vile pot smoking heroin-injecting nignogs’ is acceptable. It means that someone writing that should be incarcerated into a lunatic asylum.”

    What purpose would it serve to put such a person in prison, Rhys? Why would you want to do such a thing? Do you think imprisoning such a person would make such a person moderate their views, or actually give them reason to make them far more extreme? Does preventing them from putting such views in writing mean the views cease to exist? Do the people that read such views not have the ability to determine their own opinion of such matters and thus you desire to impose a ban on the expression of such views to protect these delicate souls?

    It seems to me that your only plausible reason for wanting to supress free speech in this way is because you personally don’t like the views that are expressed. Personally I don’t like the views of pro-abortionists, Islamic fundamentalists, Marxists, people that support Manchester City and fans of Justin Bieber. Let’s be fair and ban them ALL from ever saying anything and then maybe we can all live in peace? Or maybe we should be grown up and admit that free-speech is a fundamental human right of exceptional value that should NEVER be challenged or eroded by ill-thought out caveats that are only ever exploited to widen their scope until they become all-encompassing.

  36. Duncan says:
    January 20, 2012 at 4:10 am

    “Presumably unless you make it illegal to view – the answer is just to use servers outside the US?
    Politicians in all countries still don’t get the internets do they?
    They either have to shut the whole thing down or clean their own acts up and stop being self serving chisellers. You can’t get this toothpaste back in the tube.”

    Well said sir

  37. Tucci78, as I understand it, he was elected PRESIDENT, not Editor, of Harvard Law Review, a campus club producing a journal of the same name, and never had anything to do with the journal. Also, while in prior years only students with exception grades were permitted to run for this office, Harvard conveniently changed the rules at some point prior to his election so that members of minority groups, regardless of their grades, could also run.

    Did the other club members REALLY vote for Obama? Has anybody canvassed them to find out? So far, only one person at Harvard has even admitted knowing him. She, a real editor of the Law Review, said that he did not contribute to the journal, did not edit a single article, and rarely even showed up at the Review meetings. The lone example we have of his writing is illiterate, and we’re supposed to believe that someone who doesn’t know how to match noun and verb cases suddenly, with no prior experience, churned out an award-winning masterpiece? Everything about him, from his admission to Harvard to the present is suspect, dubious, weird, illogical, and inexplicable WITHOUT invoking conspiracy theories. He is a wholesale fabrication, but who is the fabricator?

  38. thelastdemocrat says:
    January 20, 2012 at 6:09 am

    These people want to rewrite the Constitution. Why? They claim that we have our heads in the “echo chamber,” and so are not fit/informed to carry out the Founding Fathers’ ideal of “participative democracy.”

    They belive that now, with vastly more media than the Colonial days, we can avoid a range of views, and so we are not fit to vote or have einput on legislative initiatives, etc.

    The solution? REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION.

    Actually, a lot of people, because we have the Internet, are more supportive of and participating in this “participative democracy” of which you speak than ever before. Obviously, those that don’t have our freedoms at heart but their own power in mind would love to change the status quo.

    But one thing I learned recently was a revelation to me–the amount of time in public discourse that led up to the writing of the US Constitution, all the while these ideas were discussed in the editorial columns of every newspaper in the land; a number of thought-provoking pamphlets extolling the virtues of independence coupled with responsibility were best sellers; with the Black Robe Brigade preaching the same ideals from every church pulpit and street corner where crowds could be gathered. It wasn’t just a few months or a few seasons or even decades. It was roughly 60 years!–the time it took back then to have 3 generations. And yet the basic principles apply then as they do now.

    (By the way, the vitriol was no less then than it is now, and we’ve all survived to this point just fine. Don’t let anti-freedom forces destroy such an amazing investment in our freedoms. Those that would police freedom of speech are not proponents but are truly antithetical opponents.)

  39. Moving the web site off shore doesn’t necessarily work. The US of A is currently trying to extradite Richard O’Dwyer from the UK for running a website that contravened copyright laws. He broke no UK law, he never left the UK. All very odd.

  40. “When the rumours are not rumours but plain lies, when they are part of campaigns waged by mentally ill psychopaths aimed at destroying genuine democratic plurality, then free speech has got to stop.”

    Ugh, no. The answer is more free speech, and the exercise of libel laws.

    “unless the man taking the presidential oath of office on 20 January next year is an elderly obstetrician named Ron Paul, you can reliably expect vicious thugs “with views so antithetical to free speech” to be continuing fixtures in and around the federal executive branch”

    Seriously? Have you watched how the Ronulans behave? They have thinner skins than the Obamadrones.

  41. Like Jeff Wiita says, Glenn Beck was right on this one. Yes, the man can be over the top on some subjects but, if I treated his pronouncements like I would stock picks, I’d be a very wealthy man.
    Just sayin’.

  42. conradg says:
    January 20, 2012 at 4:41 am
    You had me on your side until you claimed that Bill Ayers actually ghost-wrote Obama’s book, and that Ayers himself admitted it. You must know that Ayers said that in total mocking sarcasm at the absurdity of the notion. It’s one thing to allow nutcase ideas to proliferate, it’s another to actually believe in them, and your belief in this makes me doubt everything else you’ve written. I can’t therefore take your word for anything you’ve written here, even though if true, I’d be on your side.

    Whether Ayers was being sarcastic or not is of no matter. The evidence is overwhelming that he wrote Dreams. Read these articles from The American Thinker:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/who_wrote_dreams_from_my_fathe_1.html

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/evidence_mounts_ayers_cowrote.html

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/06/breakthrough_on_the_authorship_1.html

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/the_mathematics_of_dreams_from.html

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/simon_schusters_revenge.html

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/who_wrote_audacity_of_hope_1.html

    /Mr Lynn

  43. Anton says:
    January 20, 2012 at 6:41 am

    … He is a wholesale fabrication, but who is the fabricator?

    NOW you’re getting into conspiracy theories! But enquiring minds still want to know! (And unless we (repeatedly) ask the question, we’ll never get a truthful answer.)

  44. The simple point is, what people belief in, is not a matter of governments.

    Looking for the basics of science, philosophy, it is to be recognized as true, that something cannot be true and in the same time be untrue. Physicians respect this recognition, timeless and alocal, in
    one order of nature. There is no difference in CO2 molecules from Iran or Israel.

    Looking for the basics of science, philosophy, it can be recognized that morality is different to ethics. Morality is a non timeless and local social convention of old man. Ethics is the science of the inalienable dignity of all living substance

    From this, morality law is simple incompatible to the timeless and alocal one order of nature; it is in contradiction to the one order of nature.

    Democracy is not alienable, because it is the inseparable yourself.
    He, she, who gives his, her voice to politicians, have no voice anymore.
    Ethics (and science) is linear and not corruptible. Politics is nonlinear and corruptible.
    Good news: Times are changing. Bad news: Times are changing.
    Good news: Politics cannot change the (one) nature of ethics.

    V.

  45. Rhys Jaggar says:
    “Free speech does not mean saying that ‘Barack Obama’s wife is a frigid cow who spawned two vile pot smoking heroin-injecting nignogs’ is acceptable.”

    Ummm yes it does…

    You have two massive logical fails in your argument.

    First being that the truth should be secondary to treating the elite as sacred. If indeed obama wife is a frigid cow who spawned two vile pot smoking heroin-injecting nignogs then it should be said far and wide for all to hear and see. The truth, reality, facts should never take a back seat to a government or personal agenda… YOU argue it should.

    Your second logical failure is that you assume the government is the only group that know “good” speech from “bad” speech and that it should be the only one to control said “speech”.

    If a jew wrote in 1936 that hitler was a mass murdering, jew hating, dictator who was bent on controlling the world… YOU would demand he be put in jail for libel(or lunatic asylum). YOU would of course gotten your way and did.

    If a jew wrote in 1920s that stalin was a mass murdering, jew hating, dictator who was bent on controlling the world and would send 30 million people to they’re deaths. YOU would demand he be put in jail for libel(or lunatic asylum). YOU would of course gotten your way and did.

    If a chinese farm wrote in the 1950s that mao was a mass murdering, dictator who was bent on controlling the world and would send 50 million people to they’re deaths. YOU would demand he be put in jail for libel(or lunatic asylum). YOU would of course gotten your way and did.

    If you want to see your version of “free speech” you need only look at china, russia, iran and many other places. THEY AGREE WITH YOU.

  46. We’ve dealt with dangerous propagators of tyranny like Sunstein before. Who does Sunstein imagine will fight for him in his bid to move us toward his North Korean political utopia?

  47. We should change the text on the image to “Free Speech Free Zone”

    ~More Soylent Green!

  48. I can easily see how this could be used to suppress skepticism.

    Since [supposedly] 97 % of scientists agree on CAGW any questioning of CAGW must be based on their being a conspiracy to hide the truth.

    Calling CAGW a fraud could get your website shut down.

  49. Given what the AP fact checkers said about Obama’s last speech, you could use this to shut down everything coming out of the White House. But that ain’t gonna happen, so you know what the intent of this proposal really is.

    ~More Soylent Green!

  50. At 6:41 AM on 20 January, Anton observes that Barry Soebarkah (because, let’s all remember, he was legally adopted under that name when he was adopted by Lolo Soetoro to become a citizen of the Republic of Indonesia and neither naturalized as a U.S. citizen or changed his legal name back to “Barack Hussein Obama II” when he was shipped to Hawaii to grow up in the care of his maternal grandparents):

    …was elected PRESIDENT, not Editor, of Harvard Law Review, a campus club producing a journal of the same name, and never had anything to do with the journal. Also, while in prior years only students with exception grades were permitted to run for this office, Harvard conveniently changed the rules at some point prior to his election so that members of minority groups, regardless of their grades, could also run.

    Did the other club members REALLY vote for Obama? Has anybody canvassed them to find out? So far, only one person at Harvard has even admitted knowing him. She, a real editor of the Law Review, said that he did not contribute to the journal, did not edit a single article, and rarely even showed up at the Review meetings. The lone example we have of his writing is illiterate, and we’re supposed to believe that someone who doesn’t know how to match noun and verb cases suddenly, with no prior experience, churned out an award-winning masterpiece? Everything about him, from his admission to Harvard to the present is suspect, dubious, weird, illogical, and inexplicable WITHOUT invoking conspiracy theories. He is a wholesale fabrication, but who is the fabricator?

    Well, I’m shocked, simply shocked, to see that moderator “REP” allowed you to observe that our Mombasa Messiah “…is a wholesale fabrication” after this moderator had twice stricken my own observation that:

    Barry Soebarkah is a frelkin’ ghost. That southpaw son of a bigamous union [let us all please note that Barack Hussein Obama the First was still married in Kenya when he entered into the pretense of a marriage to Stanley Ann Dunham] has slimed through his life – public and private – leaving behind nothing much more than the equivalent of a snail-trail of snot, and as regards “his” pretty obviously ghostwritten book under discussion, not even his own snot.

    As I’d mentioned before, observation of a plain fact of reality – endorsed by “Wiki-bloody-pedia,” no less in the obtaining article on Stanley Ann Dunham where it can be read:

    At the age of 23, Obama Sr. had come to Hawaii to pursue his education, leaving behind a pregnant wife and infant son in his home town of Nyang’oma Kogelo in Kenya. Dunham and Obama Sr. were married on the Hawaiian island of Maui on February 2, 1961, despite parental opposition from both families. Dunham was three months pregnant. Obama Sr. eventually informed Dunham about his first marriage in Kenya but claimed he was divorced. Years later, she would discover this was false.

    – can hardly be considered “over the top” and therefore subject to censorship.

    I find it altogether delightful that in the comments of an article pertinent to our Mombasa Messiah’s Ministry of Truth czar’s determination to use SOPA and PIPA to obliterate freedom of speech in our republic, the appointed monitor should be deleting my posts’ contents when what I’m posting is well-supported fact.

    Tsk. How Joe-Romm-ish.

    [REPLY: Tucci, you are snipped for defamatory language, not "facts". -REP]

  51. We are an exceptional and accepting people. We tolerate and allow liars as government leaders and often re-elect them. If we start clamping down to censor purveyors of untruths, we would have no government as we would have to censor and shut down Washington D.C.

  52. Who has the power to determine “truth” ?

    If lies can’t be published that power would be awesome !

    Here comes 1984 the society not the book.

  53. I gather that insofar as copyright and SOPA are concerned, the current leadership wouldn’t mind using them – if they could – to enable Mann, the author, to give notice to McIntyre, the planet killer (/s).
    Any thought to giving the same rights to governmental and nonovernmental organizations? Tempting to many who would have control, no?
    These “what ifs” seem farfetched. Then again, it would have seem farfetched for a Canadian writer to be taken before a Canadian council on grounds that his use of Islamic quotes were slanderous to Islam and punishable. Maybe folks like Sunstein should be asking themselves (hypothetically), “If I implement this, what would would this law do for Dick Cheney when he becomes President?” There are many things that we would have the law and government do for us that the law and government cannot and should not do.

  54. Duncan says:

    Presumably unless you make it illegal to view – the answer is just to use servers outside the US?
    Politicians in all countries still don’t get the internets do they?
    They either have to shut the whole thing down or clean their own acts up and stop being self serving chisellers.

    The whole SOPA/IPIPA issue is over the method proposed to negate what you just said.

    SOPA is principally about shutting down the access of US citizens to foreign internet servers – though it is not limited to that. It accomplishes this by forcing ISPs to selectively block their customers web access. It is not necessary to “shut down the whole thing” to shut down the parts that someone desn’t like.

  55. Robin Hewitt says:
    January 20, 2012 at 6:43 am
    ” He broke no UK law, he never left the UK. All very odd.

    No, extremely sinister is how I would describe it…

  56. I had recommended this guest post to a number of correspondents in an e-mail special interest group, and one of them just announced that he had seeded it to NewsVine.com (at this location).

    In addition, I’m informed by the operator of the International Society for Individual Liberty’s Freedom News Daily that this “Watts Up With That?” page will be cited in the Monday distribution.

    “You can’t stop the signal….”

  57. Didn’t a Mr A. Hitler once say somwhere, that you first control the language, then you control the debate, when you control the debate, you control the information, when you control the information, you control the people? Simples!

    HAGWE everyone! :-)

  58. “I want you to accept that if you challenge this, that every member of your family can be brutally impugned for the rest of their life and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Nothing you should be ALLOWED to do to stop it. Sauce for the goose, after all………”

    There are libel laws, where you can sue for this sort of malicious intent. This is different from the suggestion being discussed which is that anyone can claim something a lie and it must be immediately removed, under penalty of law. Maybe you can spend a fortune to get a court to agree that something isn’t a lie and you should be allowed to put it back up, but you’ve basically put all of the power in the hands of the target.

    Someone posts an annecdote about their car blowing up when they backed into a tree. GM immediately issues a takedown notice. It goes away. It may or may not be true, but the world will never know.

    Matt Drudge posts his information about Monica Lewinsky. Takedown notice. It all goes away.

    This is all about control of information for people in power or with deep pockets. The little guy can’t afford to fight for their right to say things. The only entity immune would be “the press” because they can claim a constitutional right is being infringed and have deep enough pockets to take it to the surpreme court.

    That said, a wishlist by this guy doesn’t make it happen. He has no authority to impliment it, and there’s no way that Congress would give him that authority. If you thought SOPA generated some outrage, that’d be nothing compared to the backlash that something like this would engender. So, while illustrative of who he is, and what Barak must believe to hire him, it doesn’t fortell of a future in which it happens.

  59. There is also the madcap conspiracy theories regarding issues such as “the new world order” and racist allegations against Barack Obama which start in the bar with some deluded half wit and end up with Tomothy McViegh and the massacre of hundreds of innocents. Right wing conspiracies are every bit as damaging as left wing ones. How far should people be allowed to spread hate information which can end up with people being killed?

  60. @Who has the power to determine “truth” ?

    The model already exists. Cass could create the Sunstein Squad or SS for short, comprised of a group of people committed to Sunsteins political views which could be condensed in a little red book for easy reference, who would infiltrate and identify those who disagree with Sunstein’s views. This has worked very well on many occasions in the past. Tens of millions of potential fabricators of truth were identified and dealt with to make way for utopian society.

  61. Or, as Wittgenstein said, “the limits of our language are the limits of our thought”. Limit what people can say or discuss, and you gain control over their thought – a popular political project in most of the West these days, it seems (pace George Orwell). It’s bad enough that the “wrong sort” control all the means of mass communication as it is, without added censorship.

  62. At 7:14 AM on 20 January, Climategate 2.0 had observed:

    We are an exceptional and accepting people. We tolerate and allow liars as government leaders and often re-elect them. If we start clamping down to censor purveyors of untruths, we would have no government as we would have to censor and shut down Washington D.C.

    Probably not. We’d simply have the federal government run by men like Ron Paul, who is considered “unelectable” because he does tell the truth instead of retailing the politically expedient lies upon which our “bipartisan” Boot On Your Neck Party incumbency relies for its continued ascendancy.

    Bear in mind that SOPA and PIPA are not intended to “…start clamping down to censor purveyors of untruths,” but instead to prevent the dissemination of argument contrary to official prevarications, and emphatically to prevent the promulgation of truthful information supporting such contentions against the actions and pronouncements of our grasping jacks in public office.

    To quote H.L. Mencken:

    “Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner. The typical lawmaker of today is a man wholly devoid of principle — a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him, he would be cheerfully in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism.

    “It is the aim of the Bill of Rights, if it has any remaining aim at all, to curb such prehensile gentry. Its function is to set a limitation upon their power to harry and oppress us to their own private profit. The Fathers, in framing it, did not have powerful minorities in mind; what they sought to hobble was simply the majority. But that is a detail. The important thing is that the Bill of Rights sets forth, in the plainest of plain language, the limits beyond which even legislatures may not go. “

  63. As a Canadian I say: Serves you right. You morons in the US voted for Obama. You are getting what you deserve.

  64. higley7 says:
    January 20, 2012 at 5:50 am

    “Why are there people out there who cannot see that socialism cannot work in any form as it does not generate wealth and prosperity?”

    But it always work, that’s the problem. Look at Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Ceausescu, Franco, Chavez, and all the other socialist and religious totalitarians. They, and their cohorts, always become rich beyond decent people’s wildest dreams…Of course it’s always by stealing from and cheating honest people, but still they do get rich. :p

  65. Sunstein is just another old Lefty whose thinking is locked in old Lefty-ism. Lefties, who are invincibly convinced of their own rightness, get puzzled, put out and hurt when it turns out the broad masses don;t share their ideas (which after all are designed only for the benefit of said masses, whom the Lefties so love). They design clever words for proletarian contempt of their nostrums, like ‘false consciousness’. And they have a two pronged response: one, ramp up their own propaganda efforts (“communicating climate science”) and two, shut down the evil organs, (bank-rolled by Big Oil, for example) which put bad ideas into the heads of the people.
    So, try it Sunshine: carry on ‘communicating’, carry on censoring. People do have this horrid tendency to think for themselves, even quite unschooled people can do it as a matter of fact, and in the end, no amount of communicating and censoring stops the State’s lies being scoffed at. And once the mob is laughing at their masters, then the masters day is up. Sunstein might win a round, but he won’t win the fight.

  66. So much for the government listening to the peoples will.
    At the USA’s request, Megaupload has been S/D and the operators arrested and charged.

    Hackers have targeted the US government and copyright organisations following the shutdown of the Megaupload file-sharing website.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16646023

    We have seen the results of an Arab spring. Is it time for a western spring?? GK

  67. At 7:59 AM on 20 January, bill writes:

    Sunstein is just another old Lefty whose thinking is locked in old Lefty-ism.

    Er, by “old Lefty” you’re not intending the word “Stalinist” by any chance, are you?

  68. @ bill says:
    January 20, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Sunstein might win a round, but he won’t win the fight.
    ==================================================
    The fight is never over and it is never won. It is an infinite series of ’rounds’, going back many thousands of years, and it will continue into the far future. There is even a childhood game that embodies this; King of the Hill.

  69. Donna Laframboise says:
    January 20, 2012 at 5:59 am

    “How does someone with views so antithetical to free speech get anywhere near the Whitehouse? Honestly.”

    Read ‘Radical-In-Chief’ by Kurtz. Obama was at the meetings in the early 80’s when the socialists devised their ‘underground’ strategy to achieve their goal of upending the System. He has followed that route since, with covering assists from a sympathetic media. Sunstein is one of many now ‘just down the hall’ from the Oval Office.

  70. Sunstein’s view of the purpose of the U.S. Constitution is the justification for his views. He believes that speech is constitutionally protected by the 1st Amendment if it promotes “democratic self government” (Sunstein’s term). What he means by promoting “democratic self government” is, as far as I can tell, allowing the federal government to regulate more and more things. So if some activity, like expressing doubt about the implications of AGW, makes it more difficult for the government to pass laws designed to regulate AGW, then expressing such doubt does not promote democratic self government and therefore, deserves no 1st Amendment protection.
    Sunstein rejects the idea that the validity of any point of view should be determined in the market place of ideas. He rejects that individuals can assess a point of view and either accept or discard it. Sunstein, and others who want a centralized, efficient and elite decision-making center, dislike the market place of ideas because it is not fast — it is amorphous and wavers back and forth as it constantly reassesses discarded ideas and questions accepted positions (sounds a little like science is supposed to be, doesn’t it?). That slow process doesn’t lend itself to centralized regulation by elites and neither does the Constitution.
    That’s because the Constitution’s purpose is not to facilitate governmental regulation as Sunstein seems to believe; its purpose is to create a structure that delineates the relationship between the federal government, the state governments and individuals. It does this, in large part, by restraining government encroachment on individual liberty. That’s an inconvenient truth Sunstein wants to ignore.

  71. Duncan says:
    January 20, 2012 at 4:10 am
    “Presumably unless you make it illegal to view – the answer is just to use servers outside the US?”
    ==========
    Wont work. It would be seen in the US as an attempt to circumvent the law, allowing those involved to be arrested once they set foot on US soil. The Martha Stewart solution. No crime committed, except the crime of saying you didn’t commit a crime.

  72. Donna Laframboise says:
    January 20, 2012 at 5:59 am
    How does someone with views so antithetical to free speech get anywhere near the Whitehouse? Honestly.

    Cass Sunstein, like most other Czars, serves as a presidential adviser. This is a position that does not require a Senate confirmation hearing. That’s how.

    It’s just another example of how this administration does everything it can to ignore the constraints put upon it by the Constitution. We have cabinet secretaries who are little more than figureheads who were appointed by reason of being able to pass a public confirmation hearing while the real power belongs to these “Czars,” who have no accountability.

    The rule of law is but an inconvenience to this gang.

    ~More Soylent Green!

  73. Freedom lovers must be willing to forego their love of personal freedom to make way for the utopian vision of the learned elite that eminate from our top institutions and that have come to a consensus as to the best way for humans to live their lives. It is important to condemn those that put their selfish needs, personal freedoms and self-value ahead of the utopian vision, as immoral and a threat to society and social justice. Just imagine how beautiful this world could be if we could just all be stripped of our selfish nature and assimilated into a society where truth is determined by consensus and self-interest and all forms of disagreement would be eliminated.

  74. Mike Ozanne says:
    January 20, 2012 at 7:21 am

    “… That’s where most of the defamatory bile comes from. Stop the Cheney’s and Rove’s getting those resources and their principals might actually have to campaign properly…”

    Oh, sort of like the micro bundling from anonymous and overseas locations…

  75. I assume this is the way it would work: all across the internet and in literally hundreds of physical publications, there is the accusation that skeptic climate scientists are on the payroll of ‘big coal & oil’, which is supposedly a sinister conspiracy not unlike the tactics used by the old tobacco industry to downplay the hazards of smoking. When a guy like me points out how this accusation against skeptics is literally unsupportable and appears to be nothing more than a rumor / conspiracy theory created by a small group of enviro-activists in the early- mid-’90s ( http://tinyurl.com/354jzga ), I’m the one who ends up hit with with Cass Sunstein’s “notice and take down”.

    Then there is the very idea of AGW being “settled science”, arguably a rumor / conspiracy theory itself. Who receives the “notice and take down” here?, Why, no less than Anthony Watts and every skeptic scientist or skeptic speaker on the planet.

  76. Hi Guys this is bloody dangerous, remeber if it passes in the USA, the politicians all over the world will want the same control, good bye free speech (already on the decline in UK), If it isn’t PC you cannot write it? speak it? how long before it is illegal to think it. Politicos have been trying long and hard to contol the WEB and they will not stop.

  77. The use of regulations and obscure laws to shut down your opposition has been used before. It is the hallmark not of the Communists (who just used special writs of the politburo) but of the other kind of Socialist: a Socialism that is elitist, very leftist, and extremely Statist. A form of Socialism that requires emergencies and an enemy in order to secure and maintain it’s extra legal grip on society. This form of Socialism will seize businesses in order to Nationalize them, indeed, everything that it does is done in the name, not of the people, but of the effort, National Security, the National Trust, the Great Effort, etc.Everything that power does is done in increments, gradually seizing for itself individual formerly noncentralised government functions under one department, or literally a department of departments. The term Czar could easily be replaced by the title “leader”. That power is National Socialism. The thugs used to wear brown, now they wear green.

  78. Rhys Jaggar says:
    January 20, 2012 at 5:59 am
    I am afraid on this I must disagree in part.

    “When there is repeated, venal, slanderous bile spouted day after day, month after month, against a duly elected Representative; when the attacks are personal, not professional; when they get to the point that these people say that ‘the only thing XXX can do is masturbate, count to 99, then change hands’, then free speech has got to stop. This is currently going on the the Daily Telegraph in England (www.telegraph.co.uk) targeting the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK and no doubt cheered on by the bloggist James Delingpole, to whom you have a link…….”

    “The woman drove the car” Huhne?

  79. Ever the same problem. Please click on this, 57 seconds to see, in a delighfully provocative way, why the US const was written to purposefully keep Govt. power very limited.

    “When first the Tyrant appeared, he was a protector.”
    Plato

  80. Climategate 2.0 says:
    January 20, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Freedom lovers must be willing to forego their love of personal freedom to make way for the utopian vision of the learned elite that eminate from our top institutions and that have come to a consensus as to the best way for humans to live their lives. It is important to condemn those that put their selfish needs, personal freedoms and self-value ahead of the utopian vision, as immoral and a threat to society and social justice. Just imagine how beautiful this world could be if we could just all be stripped of our selfish nature and assimilated into a society where truth is determined by consensus and self-interest and all forms of disagreement would be eliminated.

    You forgot to add the “/sarc” at the end.

    But let’s offer an example of Sunstein’s nefarious ploy: Suppose somebody comes up with and publishes a conspiracy theory about Barry’s college days and find they immediately they have to retract it. The conspiracist must now prove his conspiracy is indeed factual but since all college records regarding Barry are hidden, there’s no way to prove any theory. This method suppresses investigation and Sunstein knows it (but he doesn’t want you to know it or understand it). It isn’t sufficient to have hidden the information–now they don’t even want you to look in that direction. And that’s why he’s pushing, nudging, pushing, nudging. It’s all part of the Saul Alinsky method.

    Indeed, Glenn Beck was right after all.

  81. I am sure this all is supported by the entertainment industry which everyone knows is populated by very leftwing big money egomaniacs. What these types never seem to realize, like in Russia after the revolution, once the left gets in power they are not so kind to those who put them there. Many in Russia were taken out and shot since the last thing a new regime wants around is revolutionaries. Though that may be less likely here, they will certainly at the very least be muzzeled by the laws they support.

  82. To paraphrase the old saw about paranoids, the fact that most conspiratorialists are off-base does not mean that there are no conspiracies. Vigorous exercise of free speech and press, and yes that includes the internet, is our best defense against the occasional conspiracies that are real.

    Governments, like all institutions, seek to ensure their security and expand their power. They will use secrecy to do so, if they can, and must be opposed by the citizenry.

  83. The tolerant left is only tolerant of speech they like, Comrade. They’ll defend your right to say what they like, but no more.

  84. I clicked on the “optimal chilling effect” hyperlink in this post. The Harvard article it leads to strangely contains no date it was written, and the URL gives no clues either. Does anyone know how old this article is? Last couple of day? Last couple of years? What?

  85. Brad says:
    January 20, 2012 at 4:15 am
    You do a good job of building up Mr. Sunnstein’s political views and wants, but do little to show any evidence of his want to use copyright law to stop anything. Copyright law cannot stop the type of speech you discuss in any case.

    Anthony’s allowance of other posters without review is really dropping the quality here at WUWT.

    Ah, it is not enough then to demonstrate intent of actions and powers bestowed on someone to demonstrate how scary a situation might be? Would you likewise complain about someone suggesting that McCarthy should not have been elected or given power to investigate people based on his intent to ruinously witch hunt otherwise normal American citizens?

  86. Jim G: Right on!
    Read Alexander Solzhenytsin’s “200 years together”… Oh, yes, it is still not yet translated into English… case in point.

  87. As appalling as this idiocy is, it neatly illustrates one of the major delusions of the left, namely that they always believe that laws are only to be used by them against their enemies.
    So, “If Sunstein gets his way, Team members will only have to issue you a takedown notice, and if you want your post to stay up, you’ll have to go to court and win a judgment that your version of events is correct,” what is to stop us issuing a takedown notice to RealClimate and THEM having to go to court to PROVE that their version of events is correct? You know, evidence and all that?Courts have juries, and juries have a horrible tendency to bite delusional autocrats in the ass.

  88. Climategate 2.0 says:
    January 20, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Freedom lovers must be willing to forego their love of personal freedom to make way for the utopian vision of the learned elite that eminate from our top institutions and that have come to a consensus as to the best way for humans to live their lives. It is important to condemn those that put their selfish needs, personal freedoms and self-value ahead of the utopian vision, as immoral and a threat to society and social justice. Just imagine how beautiful this world could be if we could just all be stripped of our selfish nature and assimilated into a society where truth is determined by consensus and self-interest and all forms of disagreement would be eliminated.
    ###

    WOW, you sure know how to write.

    #####################

    dtbronzich
    January 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Everything that power does is done in increments, gradually seizing for itself individual formerly noncentralised government functions under one department, or literally a department of departments. The term Czar could easily be replaced by the title “leader”. That power is National Socialism. The thugs used to wear brown, now they wear green.
    ###

    You summed up things perfectly, you deserve 2 gold starts, but because of our schools non-compete policy, everyone gets a gold star!

  89. The history of Barack Obama is a subject in which I’m quite fluent. Ayers, while I would not be surprised if he ghostwrote Obama’s first autobiography, did not “confirm” that he did nor did the biographer do anything other than imply it.

    Also, Palin’s statement likely wasn’t simply a reference to Ayers, but also his wife Bernadine Dohrn, Rashid Khalidi and possibly a hint at some of his church’s activities (printing articles from Hamas members, traveling to visit Moammar Qaddafi, etc).

    Obama surrounds himself with radicals, but it is essential to get your facts correct or you’ll turn people off.

  90. Jeremy,

    History has shown conclusively that McCarthy was right about Soviet agents in the State Department. What caused his downfall was claiming that he had a list in his hand. It turned out to be a list of something else. McCarthy was caught, and he never recovered ffrom it. But anyone who still believes there were no Soviet agents in State is simply naive.

    • • •

    Ossqss,

    Interesting link. Under that judge’s ruling, Tom Paine’s pamphlets on freedom would be unacceptable.

  91. I think I predicted this on the shutdown protest thread a few days ago. If this law passes I fully expect that the next time Nature publishes some claptrap Nature will use this law to shut down WUWT and cliamteaudit for calling out their bad science.

  92. At the very beginning of the nation, Thomas Jefferson said it best. “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

  93. Smokey says:

    “History has shown conclusively that McCarthy was right about Soviet agents in the State Department.”

    I agree lot of hate of McCarthy because he rightfully went after communist who are dangerous genocidal nuts. He like many others vilified by leftwing(aka communist) media and historians who wish to rewrite history to make people forget reality. McCarthy was right the vast majority of the time, proven by history and by Russia/KGB documents.

    Whining about McCarthy is like when hitler whined about being jailed after the first time he tried to take control of the government. He should be praised for doing the hard things he did in a time when pro-genocide belief was running amok. If there had been “mccarthys” in the 1800s the KKK never would have gotten as powerful as it did.

  94. I’m quite sure that the government (including the president and legislature) would be immune to this kind of law. Heaven forbid they tell the truth.

  95. bill says:
    January 20, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I fully agree with your points! However what we in the PDREU are facing is the subtle shutting down of freedom of information, & free speech. They cannot stop one thinking about it, but they can enforce not being allowed to voice such opinions. Be very wary of the EPA, if the Republicans get back in one of the first thing to do would be to weaken its powers & I tell you for why! It’s a back door to anti-democratic processes & socialism. Here in the UK we are ruled by the EU Commission – unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable, & unsackable!!!! Most Commissioners are paid huge somes of money, have huge expense accounts all taxpayer funded, (as indeed are the Members of European Paliament), & are mostly ex or failed socialist politicians of various shades of pink! Most of our regulation (Directives) & boy do we have some comes direct from the EU, the mother of all parliaments is nothing more than a rubber stamping office for EU legislation! The EU pays WWF/Greenpeace/FoE to provide reports that criticise the EU & countries within it so that they can point to this or that “evidence” to use to enact laws to oppress/suppress/change human activty. When you hear the trendy neo-lefties like self-enriched at taxpayers expense Lord Mandelson (made his squillions as a COmmissioner) say “we are living in a post-democratic world”, you know your’re finished long-term! The EPA is your EU, look how it blanket banned (instead of controlling it’s use with laws) DDT & all sorts of other useful chemicals & materials on the flimsiest of scientific information, it’s agenda was already set, the decisions made, they just needed justification! In the EU it’s all about integration & “harmonisation”, let me give you a simple example:- within the EU, most but not all states have a drink drive limit of 50mg/100ml of alcohol/breath ratio. The UK has 80mg/100ml. The Commission wants harmonisation, so the Socialist UK goverment knew this would be a step too far back in 2004, but postponed it, however last year saw some recently enobled Lord do a study that showed that it “could save up to 145 (I will recheck that fig) lives” each year by adopting the new reduced level. Clearly & just as equally it “could not” save those lives – the Precautionary Principle lives on!

  96. Smokey says:
    January 20, 2012 at 9:35 am

    History has shown conclusively that McCarthy was right about Soviet agents in the State Department.

    The point I was making was not about who was right. I was demonstrating hypocrisy. McCarthy (right or not) sought to create a witch-hunt from real fears and the left cried foul. In the case of this thread, we have people with confessed intent to quash dissent about to receive legislated powers and someone defending the administration wants to say, “well you didn’t connect the dots, so you have nothing.”

    That’s the point. McCarthy had fear, but nothing like the powers of PIPA/SOPA to go after those he feared. To suggest this is all nonsense because someone in the executive branch has never stated that they would misuse a law is about as naive as you can possibly get.

  97. Jeremy says:
    “McCarthy (right or not) sought to create a witch-hunt from real fears and the left cried foul. ”

    Mccarthy never started or intended to start a witch hunt thats pure commie propaganda.

  98. The international take-down and seizure (without due process) of the off-shore cloud storage site (and of all the private family photos, school work, etc on it) Megaupload shows that off-shoring servers is no safety.

    Further, IIRC, SOPA would give government power to intervene at the DNS level.

    Then the Supreme Court strangely ruled that the government can put into copyright things that have been in the Common Domain. “I’m sorry sir, no copies of the Constitution or Declaration of Indepenedence are available, due to copyright restrictions.”

  99. Jeremy,

    What did I write that you believe is inaccurate? There was not a ‘witch hunt’ [implying that there were no Soviet agents]. McCarthy’s problem was self-inflicted. But it was a fact that there were Soviet agents in the government [just as there are PRC Chinese agents working in U.S. Defense contractors' production facilities today].

    McCarthy shouldn’t have lied. He didn’t need to. We see the result today, when any suggestion of self-serving collusion between individuals is promptly dismissed as a “conspiracy theory”. But the fact is that there are always conspiracies. As Adam Smith wrote in 1776: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

    Conspiracies abound. Witness Ottmar Edenhofer, the UN/IPCC 3rd WG Co-Chair’s candid statement: “One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.” That is clearly a UN conspiracy to use an environmental cover story to confiscate the wealth of the West.

    Finally, McCarthy was not powerless. He had enormous power at the time. He was a U.S. Senator, and the country listened intently to what he was saying. Fortunately for the Soviets, the Army hearings were McCarthy’s downfall, and their agents remained in place.

  100. Meanwhile back in the UK, three Islamic fundamentalists have been found guilty of a hate crime for distributing leaflets stating that gay people deserved to be executed. While I know many of the right wing libertarians will applaud their initiative, I thank the good Lord I live in a country where we have laws which understand that even freedom of speech has the same limitations as freedom of action. I’d like to see them receive a sanction which required them to work in a Gay community to see for themselves that these are real people who are entitled to protection from the promotion of hate crimes in the same way as everyone else.

  101. temp says:
    January 20, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Smokey says:
    January 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Neither one of you is reading what I wrote. You’re both reading in argument and insinuation where there is none.

  102. I clicked on the “optimal chilling effect” hyperlink in this post. The Harvard article it leads to strangely contains no date it was written, and the URL gives no clues either. Does anyone know how old this article is?

    The audo link to the Sunstein talk that the article summarizes is dated 12/3/2008. That’s right between the “Conspiracy Theories” and On Rumors publication dates, so Sunstein would have been working on the Rumors book at the time.

    The full quote at the end is worth noting because it shows the kind of non-sequitur that Sunstein, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard, is willing to use to get around the clear language of the Constitution. First he claims to know what end the authors of our Constitution were pursuing when they established freedom of speech as their means, then he claims to have a better means to that end, as if his opinion of what is the better means could in any way alter the means that is framed in the Constitution:

    Sunstein quoted Felix Frankfurter as saying, “Freedom of the press is not an end in itself, but a means to the end of achieving a free society.” After offering some examples in which uninhibited press freedom leads to the destruction of other freedoms, he proposed a reconsideration of the idea of the ‘chilling effect’”:

    “Many First Amendment questions in this domain are resolved by reference to the ‘chilling effect’ concern. Indeed, it has become quite clear that references to the ‘chilling effect’ have had a very serious ‘chilling effect’ on engagement with the constitutional question …The question shouldn’t be whether there’s a chilling effect and how to avoid it, but how to achieve the optimal chilling effect.”

    Sunstein wants to chill those views (rumors, theories, etcetera) that the courts judge to be wrong. Instead of letting the contest of information and argument reveal where truth lies, Sunstein wants to let these government overseers decide. But the Constitution establishes the exact opposite answer to the problems that speech can create. The founders didn’t want government deciding what is true and what is false. They knew that free exchange advantages truth, while censorship is the handmaiden of falsehood, so they laid down that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.”

    Sunstein thinks by divining the objective of this constitutional requirement, and claiming to have a better way to achieve it, he is thereby justified in replacing that constitutional requirement with its opposite: Congress shall make laws abridging the freedom of speech. His On Rumors book is short on details of how his system would work, but it is clear from these remarks that he does not consider Supreme Court precedent to be any kind of fixed barrier. He thinks the Constitution should be interpretted differently, in a way that gives people like him a free hand to establish what they think are better means than those actually written in the Constitution.

  103. Anthony, I have aways enjoyed your site and have posted honestly and in the spirit of debate, though generally from an unpopular left wing perspective. I note one of my comments has been deleted and I have been accused of anti-semitism. I have posted no such nonsense, Who on earth is moderating at the moment? I would appreciate you reading my post. If you think it is inappropriate, fair cop, but I have never posted anti-semitic comments and I am appalled I should be accused of it. Anyone who knows me will point out that it would be very difficult for to be anti-semitic ! (Hint, Gareth late of Elat, and Hevel Elot) Just in case this is deleted without you seeing it I will also email you.

    REPLY: I have no way to read it now, but I’ll stand by my moderators decision whether it was anti-semitic, over the top, or both. You are welcome to resubmit without problematic wording – Anthony

  104. Any sane person would realize that Sunstein’s views are dangerous to everyone, since no Party has ever held a monopoly on Government for more than a few years. Once the other side gets in, THEY would be determining the ‘truth’. The Koch Brothers founded the Tea Party? Off to prison! The 1% are responsible for the disasterous economy? Off with your head!

    I’m sure Sunstein realizes that. I can only conclude that he intends for his cabal to stay in power permanently, and will do whatever is required to keep that power. That makes him and others of his ilk very dangerous.

  105. To Jeremy

    You claim there was a witch hunt there was none… you claim that somehow being right or wrong doesn’t matter… it does alot in the topic your talking about. You talk about innocent people when in fact it was proven they were guilty by historic fact.

    If you want to argue along a different line to prove whatever point your trying to make do so… but you are wrong… very very wrong in your posts.

    As to Garethman

    I find great irony in your post more so this statement…

    “Gay community to see for themselves that these are real people who are entitled to protection from the promotion of hate crimes in the same way as everyone else.”

    Thats very close to this statement

    “German community to see for themselves that these are real people who are entitled to protection from the promotion of hate crimes in the same way as everyone else.”

    About how when a jew was put in jail in 1941… no “community deserves special treatement either for or against but you leftist nuts pick and choose who is “special” and who deserves protection(gays but not jews).

    Keep posting the propaganda though its nice to see you trying so very hard to troll and failing so badly.

  106. I think Sunstein’s sense of what is “wrong” with facts in an informational cascade dovetails into the discussion of information, facts, knowledge and wisdom in the book “Too Big to Know”. Weinberger laments that what is known or can be known is being torn down by the internet or networked knowledge and the way out of the conundrum is some form “expert” vetting. Weinberger also extensively quotes Sunstein on issues related to informational cascades in shaping opinion. Sunstein quotes studies that point to the importance of first adopters of ideas as thought leaders. But a recent study calls that into question. http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-facebook-patterns-music-movies-friends.html

    ““Much of Facebook’s business model is based on the assumption that Facebook users ‘influence’ one another through displays of things they ‘like’,” said Kaufman. “If you say you like a band, product, movie, etc., Facebook purports an ‘influence’ effect whereby your friends become more likely to adopt that preference in turn.

    “What we found is that only in very specific instances does anything like ‘influence’ occur,” he continued. “This stands in contrast to an active research literature on the ‘contagiousness’ of various behaviors, such as obesity, smoking, and happiness, and gives pause at the millions, if not billions, of dollars spent every year on so-called ‘social media’ advertising campaigns.””

    If peer group members can’t even influence friends’ music or movie choices how the heck are they going to shape opinion on weightier topics. This calls into question Sunstein’s entire premise of knowledge overseers.

  107. Thank you to the writer Alec Rawls for this important research.

    In my reading, the SOPA bill is designed in plain language to give the Attorney General “immunity” in shutting down offending sites in areas of “public health” and “US property.” The definition for public health was concerning pharmaceuticals, but remember that co2 was recently ruled by the EPA to be a danger to public health. And remember that the Obamacare bill was openly advertised as built for add-ons later.

    The definitions for “US property” were defined in the bill by other laws already on the books. And it does not say “propery of US citizens.” If they were so interested in the property of US citizens, there would not be any rampant use of expired patent numbers to kill small businesses ($500 fine per physical item bearing old patent number, not per design).

    So SOPA is simply a bill to exponentially expand the role of the Attorney General to King of the Internet, Emporer of Expression, Keiser of Secret Threats, Lord Attorney General of All.

  108. —–Alan the Brit says:
    January 20, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Didn’t a Mr A. Hitler once say somwhere, that you first control the language, then you control the debate, when you control the debate, you control the information, when you control the information, you control the people? Simples!

    HAGWE everyone! :-)
    ————————
    Yes, and where’d he get that from? The Wilson administration, now currently the third most destructive administration this country has seen, after Obama and FDR. Thankfully I think Americans as a whole are smarter than to give our resident FDR-wannabe another 4 minutes, nevermind another 4 years.

  109. Odd Canada’s relationship with the United States, is it not?

    In the 70’s we took your draft dodgers.

    In the 2010’s, looks like we’ll be taking your copywrite dodgers.

  110. I thought that even the FBI was enjoined from “infiltrating” suspected potential criminal activity groups; even groups which the government itself listed as “terrorist” groups.
    Now I am not sure that it is a good idea to have the FBI be hamstrung, in their efforts to protect the people and the country from such threats, but I don’t see how that expands to
    “infiltrating” free exchange of ideas, in open public forums.

    The end aim is clearly not to ensure accuracy of free speech ideas; but to ensure government control of the means of conveying open discussion. The government has already infiltrated to the point of control, the standard print, and TV media (the MSM); and it irks them that the internet, and talk radio, still give free people access to the truth. The government of communist red China has already demonstrated the effectiveness of controlling access to the truth, in enslaving the people of China.

  111. President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, 17 Jan 1961, is more famous for the “military industrial complex”, perhaps because anti-military filtered thru the culture; but the neglected portion is the most relevent and on point for our time and this site. This could qualify as a warning of the ‘scientific industrial complex':

    “Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    As for the article itself, this tactic has been done before. If you aren’t familiar with the Alien and Sedition Acts, specifically Sedition Act, you have something to look up. Persons were imprisoned and fined. Fortunately Jefferson was able to correct the misdeeds of the Adams Administration and Congress. The states, and the people, were willing to fight against the dominance. It was a fragile time for the infant Republic. I know when the time comes, if it does, who will win. Let’s just say that liberty will live on, no matter who else enters the MBA.

    As a tidbit, the American left-wing puppetmasters, a vast majority have gone thru Law School, with Economics coming in second. Take from that what you will, but its a self-reinforcing circle. They are not all the same, and they will conflict from time to time. No one label does the left justice. Just hold on to your convictions, and build your resolve. Truth will win out.

  112. Steven Hales says: 11:03 am
    I think Sunstein’s sense of what is “wrong” with facts in an informational cascade dovetails into the discussion of information, facts, knowledge and wisdom in the book “Too Big to Know”. Weinberger laments that what is known or can be known is being torn down by the internet or networked knowledge and the way out of the conundrum is some form “expert” vetting.

    And it dovetails with Hillary Clinton’s views on internet freedom as well:

    “Information freedom supports the peace and security that provides a foundation for global progress. Historically, asymmetrical access to information is one of the leading causes of interstate conflict. When we face serious disputes or dangerous incidents, it’s critical that people on both sides of the problem have access to the same set of facts and opinions.” ~Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton

    In summary she doesn’t think any asymmetrical information is good for you, or for world peace.

  113. “Are you saying Christopher Anderson is incorrectly understood by Rawls?”

    I’m saying that since Rawls puts forward the absurd claim that Ayers admits to having written Obama’s autobio, I don’t trust what he has to say about Anderson or anything else. It’s obvious that he’s either knowingly lying, or a total dupe. He might be right about Anderson, but I wouldn’t trust his point of view, which clearly will distort the facts to achieve the ends he desires. I would want independent corroboration for every single fact he puts forward, because to me he’s not a trustworthy source.

    And let’s be clear, science, truth, God, whatever you believe is “good”, takes no sides, especially not in politics. I am not on any “side”. That’s the whole problem with the climate debate, isn’t it? Even most of the public who is skeptical out there is only that way because their “side” is. Same with the enviros and the left. Damn little critical thinking going on, especially once your thinking becomes a function of which “side” you are on.l

  114. More from the Sec. of State on internet freedom: “We are also supporting the development of new tools that enable citizens to exercise their rights of free expression by circumventing politically motivated censorship. We are providing funds to groups around the world to make sure that those tools get to the people who need them in local languages, and with the training they need to access the internet safely.

    The United States has been assisting in these efforts for some time, with a focus on implementing these programs as efficiently and effectively as possible. Both the American people and nations that censor the internet should understand that our government is committed to helping promote internet freedom.

    We want to put these tools in the hands of people who will use them to advance democracy and human rights, to fight climate change and epidemics, to build global support for President Obama’s goal of a world without nuclear weapons, to encourage sustainable economic development that lifts the people at the bottom up.
    ~Sec of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

  115. “”””” Frank K. says:

    January 20, 2012 at 5:21 am

    All will change in November. Remember, a vote for Barack Obama and the liberal Democrats at any level of government is a vote for dangerous people like Cass Sunstein.

    In a related story – from “The Hill”:

    Dems propose ‘Reasonable Profits Board’ to regulate oil company profits
    By Pete Kasperowicz – 01/19/12 10:20 AM ET

    Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a “Reasonable Profits Board” to control gas profits. “””””

    I must say that I fully support the idea of controlling the Oil Business profits reaped by the US Federal Government, from oil company activities; which I believe dwarf the profits enjoyed by those oil companies shareholder owners.

    Nothing like restricting profits, either by royal decree, or punitive taxation, to encourage getting less of that activity or commodity

  116. The only way we are going to get our society back is for these people to stay in power another term and really wreck the place. The population wont do it again for another couple of generations.

    I’ll be hoping for a return of our Green/Labour government here in Oz.

    This will get them all out of the word work, so we can what and who we’re up against.

    All this needs to be brought to a head, and we’re not going to do that without a unique strategy.

    Arguing, and asking, nicely, for people “to think again”is not working.

    I say give ém more rope and they’ll hang émselves with it.

    They’ll wreck the place, and it will expose them completely. Then we can see what we’re dealing with.

  117. Lynn,

    That’s the problem with crackpot thinkers. They imagine the evidence is always overwhelming that their idiotic ideas are true. That’s the problem with being a fanatical partisan. It completely distorts the cognitive process which normally helps us self-edit our own crazy thinking. The other guy is always some form of Hitler or the Manchurian Candidate, and some vast conspiracy is trying to hide this. I think it’s great that we have the free speech to be able to examine this pathology in all its illogical manifestations. I would never want to stop such people from putting forth these ideas. As Napoleon said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

  118. Thanks for your response Temp, I’m not really sure what you are getting at, ( I suspect you misread my post, your quote starts at the wrong word which alters the meaning) All I am saying is that everyone deserves protection from hate crimes, regardless of their race, creed, religion or whatever. Sometimes freedom of speech has to take that into account, especially when such could result in harm to someone just for belonging to one of the targeted groups. This is why racist, anti-semitic and similar literature designed to stir up hatred is illegal in the UK and most of Europe. Something I agree with, even though it is a limit to free speech. I’m unsure why that is acting as a Troll, or even trying so badly, (seems to be a very overused term of late) but there we are, it would not be much of a debate if you agreed! By the way, the play “The Crucible” is a great depiction of how McCarthyism took off in the States, also where the term “witch hunt” originates. Well worth seeing or reading.

  119. George E. Smith; says on January 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I thought that even the FBI was enjoined from “infiltrating” suspected potential criminal activity groups; even groups which the government itself listed as “terrorist” groups.
    ..

    However, this does not enjoin them from enlisting the aid of informants ..

    .

  120. @conradg
    Read “Deconstructing Obama” by Jack Cashill. He lays out the extensive evidence that Bill Ayers did indeed write “Dreams from my Father”. Read it.

  121. And how many “conspiracy theories” have turned out to be true?

    How about the Gulf of Tonkin incident which left 2-3 million Vietnamese and close to 60,000 Americans dead. Proven by FOIA and released documents to be a phony pretext for war. They lied.

    How about the attack on the USS Liberty by Israel? Wrong identification? Ya right.

    So now we will have the “Ministry of Truth” deciding which web sites can be shut down. Don’t think you can get away with having the server in another country. They are improving their ability to block the flow of information all the time. Currently we could get around it but in 5-10 years with serious effort and unlimited dollars for their project? Doubtful.

    The day after they get this type of power I fear our beloved Mr Watts will get a visit so lets stop it before it happens!

  122. I don’t remember who stated the thing about McCarthy, but I have always found it amazing that people are always attributing to Sen McCarthy the activities of the US House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee. The Senator had nothing to do with those infamous hearings that had all the Hollywood types before the cameras – that was the house. The senator was interested in those who had infiltrated the US Federal Government as Agent Provocateurs of the Union of Soviet Socialists Republic. After the wall fell, there was a brief period of openness in the eastern block intelligence services and in their records was the proof that the number of paid communist agents of the eastern block was actually higher than the senator had predicted.

    The cultural and academia stuff was all in the US House of Representatives under Representative Hart.

  123. To Garethman

    No i understand you post prefectly you believe some people are special and deserve protection and some aren’t. You try to pretend that it should apply equally but in your mind it should only apply equally to who you believe it should apply equally too. You are much like every leftists who believe their collect is as they define it is the only thing that should exist and be protected.

  124. Mike M says:
    January 20, 2012 at 7:33 am

    What do you call a thousand Marxists at the bottom of the ocean….

    A good Start!

  125. I think the important point for folks to focus on, is that any law that requires “good intent” by the enforcement authority to avoid being a bad law is inherently a bad law.

    A good law is structured so that even when those with malicious intent cannot easily misuse it. If they try to subvert the intent of the law it must built in checks and balances that make that perversion apparent and preventable by the public at large by some mechanism (for example the FOI requests).

    We have seen that even those checks (FOI) can be perverted and bypassed, but that action itself leaves a trail pointing back at the folks trying to game the system.

    The more an advocate of a law shouts “but we would never do that!” the more concerned I am that for certain there is some person or group that would, could and will if given the opportunity.

    Larry

  126. Not that I’m a conspiracy theorist or anything, but I wanted to post something I’ve just watched on democracy.org – and the site is down, “the site has been temporarily disabled due to a problem If you are the owner of the site please click here to correct the problem”

    And then I saw I’d typoed, it should have been democracynow.org… :)

    Here’s Jimmy Wales vs. Copyright Alliance’s Sandra Aistars

    He was good, CLAY SHIRKY was even better. Sandra Aistars at one point began lauding that Europe had already put some of this into place, Shirky reminded of the difference between the US Constitution and what Europe has, [Napoleonic law] where you’re guilty until proved innocent and where nothing is permitted except with permission granted. She was visibly shocked, recovered well and said she wouldn’t support something that meant that, but I don’t she she knows what’s actually being said because she doesn’t know the differences, wouldn’t know what to look out for, but I hope she now goes on to find them.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/1/19/sopa_anti_piracy_or_censorship_wikipedias

    Perhaps there should be a penalty of some kind for anyone even thinking to introduce a law which attacks the fundamental rights under the American Constitution… ?

    Just musing. In looking for something on the judge who said the Consitution was anything he said it was, I thought this was a good reminder of what you still have:

    http://familyrightsassociation.com/bin/white_papers-articles/gov_not_protecting_rights.html


    “Nevertheless, that self-promotion has effectively conditioned most Americans to believe our Constitutional Rights are respected and vigorously protected by government and public servants. Unfortunately, only a few people realize that government does not automatically protect our Rights, that our inclination to trust government is dangerously misguided, and that our ignorance of our Rights encourages government to abuse those Rights.

    The relationship between any government and its citizens is, and has always been, at best, ADVERSARIAL: individual Rights are inversely proportional to government power. The more power the government has, the fewer Rights you have. Government can’t grow in size or power except at the cost of our individual Rights and freedom.

    The founding fathers also realized that all governments seek to expand their powers and are therefore driven to diminish their citizen’s Rights. Hence, the Constitution was written to both limit government and maximize our individual Rights.

    In truth, the American Constitution is essentially an anti-government document.

    The Constitution’s principle purpose is not simply to specify our individual Rights, but to shield us from the single organization that will always pose the greatest threat to those Rights: our own government.”

    And here comes the judge: – http://bibowen.hubpages.com/hub/Hughes-Hubris

    Interesting that the ‘new science’, post modern, paradigm is being applied to the Constitution by some:

    “Well, is Hughes right? Is the Constitution whatever the judges say it is? Does the Constitution have no meaning independent of the jurists who interpret it? …

    “How did we get to where the Constitution, that document Prime Minister Gladstone called the “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man,” is subordinate to judges and lawyers rather than the law of the land? I can’t offer a comprehensive analysis, but I can point to two beliefs that have undermined the Constitution’s status as the “law of the land.”

    “Legal Positivism – …

    “Deconstructionism—More recently there has been a movement in academia called deconstructionism in which interpreters of text ignore the intent of the author and the meaning he might have wished to impart through the text. Instead, the deconstructionist emphasizes the reader’s subjective interpretation. The implication for the Constitution is that it has no intrinsic meaning, but only that meaning given to it by the reader.

    The Results

    “Today, law school students are taught Hughes’ philosophy that “we are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is…” Imagine if this hubris were applied to other academic disciplines: …”

    Good luck folks, we all need you to win.

  127. What I think ‘they’ really want to stop are online discussions and blog sites. Why? Because we often get information from them that we wouldn’t normally get from the DNC promotional and marketing teams (ABS, CBS, NBC, CNN, etc…).

  128. conradg writes:

    I’m saying that since Rawls puts forward the absurd claim that Ayers admits to having written Obama’s autobio, I don’t trust what he has to say about Anderson or anything else. It’s obvious that he’s either knowingly lying, or a total dupe. … I would want independent corroboration for every single fact he puts forward, because to me he’s not a trustworthy source.

    Did you follow the link? It’s right there on the video: Ayers claims he wrote Dreams, and he claimed it once before as well, with no hint of joking either time. Andersen says he had a couple of sources for this and textual analysis proves that Ayers wrote at least SOME of Dreams (like the misquote in Dreams that is identical to a misquote in an earlier Ayers’ book).

    Why does conrad think any of this is implausible, given the long and well documented relationship between Ayers and Obama? Add that Ayers was a prolific writer, while Obama had never written anything and was having well documented problems making headway on Dreams, and what could be more natural than for him to get help from his neighbor and long-time benefactor? conrad seems to think that the very idea is somehow outlandish. What is outlandish about it? Because it would imply a close relationship? But that is already established on other grounds. Because it would mean the Obama campaign lied about the relationship? We already know they were willing to lie about the relationship because they denied that Ayers hosted Obama’s first fundraiser. So what reason is there to doubt Ayers and Anderson? One can imagine scenarios in which they are giving us bad information, but it is these alternative scenarios that are unlikely given the evidence.

  129. Garethman says: How far should people be allowed to spread hate information which can end up with people being killed?

    As far as they wish because someone having the power over you to DICTATE what is ‘hate speech’ and ‘how far’ it can go is a FAR greater danger to everyone. Stalin and Hitler had that very power and 10’s of millions of lives were snuffed out as a result.

  130. Free speech is the foundation of democracy. Free speech is not a right vs left issue.

    The debate concerning the extreme dangerous world ending AGW paradigm vs observations and the facts is a prime example of why free speech needs to be a fundamental right, something that cannot be removed by the opposing side in the debate.

    Trillions of dollars are being advocated for boondoogles associated with AGW. The conversion of food to biofuel for example, is justified by and is occurring due to the extreme world ending AGW paradigm.

    The next step after calling those who criticize the extreme world ending AGW paradigm “deniers” is to ban discussion by closing down internet sites using the premise of protecting copyright or protecting the public from dangerous miss-truths.

  131. Nick says: (January 20, 2012 at 11:43 am)
    … All this needs to be brought to a head …

    Nick, I (and millions of others) share that feeling, but when it does come to a head, the average government has an awful lot more armament than the average populace. History has a lot of examples of how that one plays out: ultimately, there’s a very final way of shutting people up pour décourager les autres. Be very careful what you wish for.

  132. Rawls, you are just digging a deeper and deeper hole for yourself. Keep digging, is my recommendation, until we can no longer see you underneath all the bs. You find these kinds of videos in the least bit convincing? My God, you have no business posting on a scientific website. What next, birtherism? Can’t wait to see that post.

  133. What happened after WWII? A bunch of evil people felt left over and did their best to get incorporated into any system that would have ‘em.

    What happened after the wall naturally crumbled? A bunch of evil people left over did their best to get incorporated into what ever new system would have ‘em.

    Definition of the left over: Evil people who worked as bureaucrats all for the bureaucracy, the system be damned, as if it would’ve ever mattered, as long as there is a system to tell ‘em what to do…they do it.

    Socialism it the essence of bureaucracy, the idea that an autistic system is supposed to decide for everyone else on everything from color of socks to how many minutes to work every day… welcome to EU and China and pretty soon USA, and g’d’ay suckers.

  134. Brad said: “… a good job of building up Mr. Sunnstein’s political views and wants, but do little to show any evidence of his want to use copyright law to stop anything. Copyright law cannot stop the type of speech you discuss in any case.

    “Anthony’s allowance of other posters without review is really dropping the quality here at WUWT.”

    I love it! Anthony, please immediately censor all controversial posts. After all, we can’t let Brad’s opinion of WUWT drop any farther..

  135. Hi Temp, apparently my posts are not displaying for you so I will repeat the essence of my message.

    “All I am saying is that everyone deserves protection from hate crimes, regardless of their race, creed, religion or whatever”.

    No one is special, no-one should be excepted. This is a constant, it is not related to left or right wing politics. It is related to human rights. Apologies if this message still does not come across, but there is little else I can do to clarify things.

  136. @ Steve C says:
    January 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Nick, I (and millions of others) share that feeling, but when it does come to a head, the average government has an awful lot more armament than the average populace. History has a lot of examples of how that one plays out: ultimately, there’s a very final way of shutting people up pour décourager les autres. Be very careful what you wish for.
    ==========================================================

    Armament is not the issue. Surveillance and communications capability (intel) available to all sides are a far more important issue. If you don’t know where the target is, the biggest bomb on the planet is worthless. Haven’t you learned anything from Afganistan and other 3rd world crap holes?

  137. 1DandyTroll says:
    January 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    What happened after WWII? A bunch of evil people felt left over and did their best to get incorporated into any system that would have ‘em.

    What happened after the wall naturally crumbled? A bunch of evil people left over did their best to get incorporated into what ever new system would have ‘em.
    =========================================================
    Well, let’s not pretend those scumbags weren’t already here infiltrating our educational system (and unions among other places). This is why we’re having the climate discussion today……. a bunch of ignorant delusional Marxist Malthusian misanthropists (MMMs) who have indoctrinated our children rather than educating them.

    My daughter is graduating from a university in May, she will go on and work towards her doctorate. By the time she’s done she will have had zero hours in economics. …….. none. zilch.. nade. (Thank God, I was able to expose her to some basic thoughts and principles before she went out into the world.)

    I’m wondering, if this can be true for her, how many ignorant delusional MMMs running around calling themselves scientists, insisting we alter our entire socioeconomic system of this earth, have the same omission from their educational experience? What else have they not learned? Certainly, the basic concepts of individual liberties and freedoms are not taught any longer and any moral instruction is most certainly accompanied by relativism.(Likely a few divinity colleges prove to be an exception…. I hope.) Critical thinking is, obviously, highly discouraged. And, we’re churning these people out at record paces.

    Nothing but the argument changes until we root these people out.

  138. Mr. Cass R. Sunstein et al (= President Obama, Science Czar John Holdren, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, former Energy/Climate Czar Carol M. Browner, former “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones, et cetera.), climate is a nonlinear, cyclic, and chaotic system, as well as, climate change is a natural fluctuation. (My remark: “THE MANCHURIAN PRESIDENT, Barack Obama´s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists,” by Aaron Klein with Brenda J. Elliott, WND Books, 2010, has an in-depth analyse in chapter 10, pp. 152-186, “Obama´s Top Guns Exposed,” of Global Warming Hoax politicians in the President Obama administration, Sunstein, Holdren, Browner, and Jones included.)

    SAY NO TO GLOBAL WARMING HOAX
    SAY NO TO JUNK SCIENCE
    SAY NO TO GLOBAL GOVERNANCE

  139. Inre Hales 12:27 – Ha! :)

    I don’t think Chris Mattews is able to enjoy the thrill on his leg any more, and Sunstein needs a bigger chill, and the Attorney General has to get is bill, because they know…someone might be out there commenting on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news!

  140. Steve C. –

    Americans are hardly an “average populace” and you assume that the Armed Forces will fall in line with the idea of firing on the populace.

    This is why the Bill of Rights ranks you freedoms, with the 1st and 2nd Amendments being the most important.

  141. Steve C says:
    January 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Nick says: (January 20, 2012 at 11:43 am)
    … All this needs to be brought to a head …

    Nick, I (and millions of others) share that feeling, but when it does come to a head, the average government has an awful lot more armament than the average populace.
    ______________________
    Remington has sold over 5 million Model 700 high- powered rifles. That’s 1 model from 1 firearms maker. The last estimate I saw was that there were 300+ million firearms in private hands in the US. Over 14 million were sold in 2009, alone.
    These statistics are the reason that there won’t be any sort of draconian gov’t implementation of totalitarianism here in the US, at least not any time soon.
    The unimaginable carnage on day 1 would shut the whole scheme down.

  142. Garethman –

    ALL crimes are hate crimes. I never beat the cr^p out of anyone I liked,…

    Hate crime legislation sounds great, but you elevate some groups over others thereby destoying the “equal under law” provision (btw – no where does it say we are all equal – it says we are all equal IN THE EYES OF THE LAW, ie, a rich man gets the same day in court a poor man does)… Gay bashing is a hate crime in your eyes, but what of Christian bashing? That seems to be going on in droves, but no outcry. Why? Gays have a right to more protection that Christians? I think not – you accidentally tread too heavily on the law in trying to be “fair”,…

  143. We are in a ‘post-constitution’ phase of the brief American experiment (US is about 1/2 as old as my mother-in-law’s house!). So far so good. Then it got strangled by the Lawyer-cum-Politicians,

  144. Brad says:
    January 20, 2012 at 4:15 am

    You do a good job of building up Mr. Sunnstein’s political views and wants, but do little to show any evidence of his want to use copyright law to stop anything. Copyright law cannot stop the type of speech you discuss in any case.

    Anthony’s allowance of other posters without review is really dropping the quality here at WUWT.

    ———————————————————

    THIS IS PRECISELY THE PROBLEM WITH ELITISTS..

    they all think because your “not educated like Me” or “you dont have the knowledge” are reasons to kill discussion or limit access… i know people who never finished high school who have more brains that many PHD’s… Only a Fool thinks people should be discarded simply because “you” think they shouldn’t have access… keep thinking this way… you’ll make a good slave..

  145. In May of 2010, Obama gave a commencement speech, at Hampton University in VA, in which he said: ~~~
    “And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — (laughter) — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy,”

    “With so many voices clamoring for attention on blogs, and on cable, on talk radio, it can be difficult, at times, to sift through it all — to know what to believe, to figure out who’s telling the truth and who’s not. Let’s face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I’ve had some experience in that regard.”

    Obama echoed what Sunstein has written since 2000 and maybe earlier.
    He has written that unrestrained individual choice is dangerous and must be checked or countered in the interests of citizenship and democracy. In his own words: A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government. See: http://techliberation.com/2009/01/08/what-impact-will-cass-sunstein-have-on-obamas-internet-policy.
    ______________________
    It scares the begeebers out of me when I hear the most powerful man in the USA give oxygen to such things and it is only a little more time before they get inacted or regulated. The principle here is “due process”, if we let that go then what is next? Throwing out bankruptcy laws? The Constitution? Oh, wait… he did.
    Also, don’t people have a right to their image, maybe even to their voice? MLK’s image is protected, so if you sneak into a private party with a video or audio recording device and capture someone talking about people clinging to their guns and religion and then post it for every one to see and hear, maybe Sotomayer will rule that is copyright infringement. This comes in conjunction with the proposal of a unique and identifiable internet ID.

    We need him gone.

    A very good book about who the 60’s radicals were, what organizations they started, where they went and where they are now (mostly in the admin and govt) is: Radical in Chief by Stanley Kutrtz.

  146. I read most of the posts, scanned some: hope this isn’t a dupe…

    Have you seen Contagion? It is a really solid movie about an influenza pandemic. Doesn’t have the usual collection of military idiots who oppose civilian control or dopey scientists whose errors are corrected by young upstarts that REALLY save the world. It’s chilling and fast-paced.

    But the new villain was introduced. Not the NSA, who can see us all from satellites and shoot us with space-based lasers. Not the evil defense contractor. Not even the ever-reliable rougue Russian.

    It’s Jude Law as… the conspiracist blogger. Yup, at one point an exasperated government official tells him (as I best remember) “if I could put your computer in jail, I would”. So Hollywood is already on the bandwagon.

    Isn’t it curious that the group with the largest apparent financial interest at stake in SOPA and PIPA was…. Hollywood? But, best be careful: that’s wild conspiracy theory…..

  147. Luther Wu says:
    January 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm
    ……….
    The unimaginable carnage on day 1 would shut the whole scheme down.
    ========================================================
    Oh, it’s even more than that. Recall the 60s and 70s. In spite of Kent state, the fact is, the reservists and National Guard were ineffectual to quell riots because they were reluctant to aggressively act.

    Today, our citizen soldiers are the veterans. Any weird, strange scenario involving our govt’s military acting against its citizens can’t happen. An armed experienced person(with the rifles), familiar with the opponents capabilities, equipment and routines?

    But, even when the Army’s regular corps were the veterans (for the most part) , they wouldn’t. I was regular Army, my father retired regular Army. There is no group of people more concerned with the welfare of their citizens than a serviceman. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force….. they took an oath to obey the orders of their superiors. But, they won’t aggressively act against their countrymen. They are the sentinels. They are our sentinels. Duty, Honor, and Country.

  148. No politician likes free speech. It presents two challenging problems: 1) rumours that may be libelous, and 2) the truth.

    Ideally, words like “fraud” ought to be avoided in scientific discussions. Yeah, an AGW theorist may very well be wasting one’s tax dollars, but that doesn’t make him or her necessarily a fraud. Potentially they were really only a purveyor of ham-handed crap science, sincere, but performing to their Peter Principle max.

  149. James Sexton says:
    January 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm
    “”””
    _______
    James, I couldn’t agree more.
    There are far too many true patriots in and out of uniform for the would- be tyrants to ever prevail.
    That doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of statists out there, many in plain sight, chipping away at the edifice of freedom.

    Someone mentioned up- thread that it might even be in the nation’s best interest for the current administration to win in 2012 and take all the rope they need…
    Maybe in the long view, as the platitudes and ideas of the left are now choking our culture at every turn and should be uncloaked and exposed for what they truly are.
    However, who wants to suffer through another 4 years of this?

  150. James Sexton says:
    January 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    But, even when the Army’s regular corps were the veterans (for the most part) , they wouldn’t. I was regular Army, my father retired regular Army. There is no group of people more concerned with the welfare of their citizens than a serviceman. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force….. they took an oath to obey the orders of their superiors. But, they won’t aggressively act against their countrymen. They are the sentinels. They are our sentinels. Duty, Honor, and Country.

    ——————————————————————-

    The very first oath I took when signing on with the US Army was to “protect and defend the US Constitution and obey lawful orders” most of the men I served with know what a lawful order is and how the Constitution defines them…

    what concerns me are those youngsters today who haven’t been taught our founding document and how to apply it. this is by design… liberalism is a disease.. social justice a lie… its time we got back to basics…

    Bill


  151. William says:
    January 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm
    ….
    The debate concerning the extreme dangerous world ending AGW paradigm vs observations and the facts is a prime example of why free speech needs to be a fundamental right, something that cannot be removed by the opposing side in the debate.
    ….

    The whole point of the Bill of Rights was to make these rights unimpeachable.
    And the point of the 2nd amendment was to ensure the 1st amendment was not abridged.

    Sadly, I’m seeing some stuff in the press that the Constitution is outdated. Very scary.

  152. Luther Wu says:
    January 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    James Sexton says:
    January 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm
    “”””
    Maybe in the long view, as the platitudes and ideas of the left are now choking our culture at every turn and should be uncloaked and exposed for what they truly are.
    However, who wants to suffer through another 4 years of this?
    ==================================================
    More than that, we need to ensure that our children are taught that the last 4 years isn’t the way it is suppose to be! Another 4 years of this and more people will accept the defeatism so prevalent in our current administration. Just listening to hopey changey must send Prozac sales through the roof!

    Isn’t that something? The only market they’ve stimulated was the anti-depressant market. Scumbags…….

  153. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10779996

    Megauploads.com closed down in New Zealand

    Expensive cars, cash, shotguns and artworks are among items seized by police today when they raided 10 Auckland properties connected to allegations of international copyright infringement being investigated by the FBI.

    Four people were arrested as part of an operation led by the US Department of Justice targeting large-scale criminal copyright infringement and money laundering around the world, police said.

    A US indictment accuses New Zealand resident Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload.com website of costing copyright holders more than US$500 million in lost revenue from pirated films and other content, and generating more than US$175m in criminal proceeds.

  154. Bill H says:
    January 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    what concerns me are those youngsters today who haven’t been taught our founding document and how to apply it. this is by design… liberalism is a disease ……..
    ===========================================================
    Bill, I couldn’t agree more. But, from here, we should acknowledge the international flavor of this blog. The word “liberal” carries a different meaning around the globe. I take the current U.S. term for liberalism to mean Marxist Malthusian misanthropists, while in other parts of the globe, being a liberal may actually mean liberally applying the concept of individual rights and freedoms. ….. (well, it could be….)

    But, yes, it’s time. It is past time. We need to start teaching our children what it means to be a citizen; the obligation to stay informed, and the heritage which mandated such.

    The difficulty is that while we’re busy providing and doing our best to raise our children, there’s little time for much else. The continuing burden our government puts upon us mandates more and more of our time. Or we can become some of those who simply give up and become wards of the state. In which case, we would have taught our children to be slugs.

  155. DSW, I agree entirely, legislation can and is unfairly weighted in favour of some groups, Christians especially across the world sometimes get a raw deal. I still though will fight for equal rights for all peoples regardless of background. As a Christian lefty it’s in the blood!

  156. higley7 says:
    January 20, 2012 at 5:50 am

    The USSR was run by the Communist Party (emphasis on “party,” which is what they did on the people’s dime). In retrospect we find that the Soviet people hated communism/socialism (the commune part disappeared quite quickly), which was socialism run by a gang. One analyst said that, to make socialism work, you need a generation or two of creeping socialism and indoctrination to get the people used to and accepting of it, in a fatalistic way, as simply the way life is.

    While I agree with the gist of what you are saying, there is, unfortunately, a huge additional problem. Everyone who lived in the Soviet society knows that a very large part of the population there not only accepted socialism and indoctrination as some unavoidable evil that has become a norm — that alone wouldn’t hold the Soviet society together — but was actively seeking a master, an owner, a dictator, an absolute authority that would tell them what to do and how to do it, what to think and how to say it. In different countries a share of these “naturally born slaves” (a.k.a “conformists”, “sheeple”, “something-for-nothings” — call them what you like) in the general population can vary but they are always painfully present, in the US as well.

    Obvious paradox of the scientific and technological progress is that it allowed a majority of hereditary slaves — products of thousands of years of selection who constituted an economic base in traditional, non-technological societies — to live off a thinking and working minority. This has already happened in Europe and in the US; the point of no return has been passed, and democratic institutions are now instruments of totalitarian brainwashing and oppression.

    We’ve arrived. It’s not a jungle any more, it’s animal farm out there. Americans are fond of their history and their traditions, and tend to underestimate the tragedy of what has happened to their country. They still hope that their hallowed laws and institutions somehow, miraculously, would bring back freedoms and common sense. But these very laws and institutions already betrayed them, they have been deliberately modified to serve very different purposes. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we stop relying on institutions and laws that serve our enemies, the sooner we will start talking about practical ways of separating free and self-sufficient people from those who cannot live without a master and a host.

    New segregation of the Western society is inevitable. How exactly it will happen, and when, I dare not predict. As a rule, though, social mutations of this kind tend to stagnate first, and then to explode in abrupt and bloody ways.

    My favorite American writer, Jack Vance, noted: “If the study of human interactions could become a science, I suspect that an inviolate axiom might be discovered to this effect: Every social disposition creates a disparity of advantages. Further: Every innovation designed to correct the disparities, no matter how altruistic in concept, works only to create a new and different set of disparities.”

  157. America, under the veil of being the land of the free, is actually becoming the most controlling, liberty-eroded country in the world. And they don’t just stop at their borders, they want to control the world. Americans need to wake the f up.

  158. Here’s freedom to him that would speak,
    Here’s freedom to him that would write,
    For none ever feared that the truth should be heard,
    Save him whom the truth would indite.

    Robert Burns ( 25 Jan 1759 – 21 Jul 1796 )

  159. Ferd Berple at 11.34.
    Megaupload is no more !!

    So:
    “However, Silicon Valley’s problem – and one activists have – is that they’ve never thought about it like this. They’ve never seen a voluntary copyright enforcement backstop they liked: they were all problematic. Campaigners instinctively oppose everything – leading to ever more bonkers legislation.

    Like Spencer, Silicon Valley doesn’t seem to want worry about it, it doesn’t want too many wrinkles in old age. This is why I call SOPA “what goes around, comes around” legislation. It isn’t nice, and it isn’t necessary, but we’re all here because Silicon Valley’s web companies refuse to grow up. The White House just told them they should. ®”

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/17/beyond_sopa/

  160. Rhys Jaggar says:
    January 20, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I’m sure you’re right Jaggar. But your tea break must be over, so isn’t it time you got back to Room 101 to prepare the rats for the next occupant?

  161. I like Robbie’s freedom of speech poem, lets hope Haggis becomes legal in the USA and the magic of Tatties, neeps and a good malt is shared with our American cousins.. Hopefully with regard to Robbies words, they do not apply to the mad Mullahs who preach Jihad against the Christians of Iraq, Pakistan and other Islamic countries, and encourage their constituents to go and murder anyone who does not fit their view of the world. Or Christians who tell their flock that the only politician they should vote for is Evangelical Christians who fit their idea of who is a decent person and sod the rest of the electorate, or people who protest and encourage aggression against Israel while conveniently ignoring extreme violations of human rights in other countries. Sadly, freedom of speech includes all these things, but it is a bitter pill to swallow and to paraphrase Robbie, one mans sweet speech is another mans bitter diatribe.

  162. I’m reminded of discussions in my student days of two notions of freedom, the positive notion, ‘freedom to’ and the negative notion, ‘freedom from’. The problem with the latter notion is that freedom ‘paradoxically’ becomes linked to limits on freedom and increasing government intervention. While few would advocate that we should live in a lawless state of nature, what needs to be retained in political debate is the notion that when we introduce restraints they are limits on freedom. Once we allow, as leftist ‘liberals’ argue, that freedom means some kind of constraint, we open the door to zealous bureaucrats and tyrants imposing more and more controls, censorship of the press for example, all in the name of freedom.

  163. The SOPA debate shows

    1. We really do need revisions in the copyright laws but in finding ways to reduce the duration. For illustrative consideration: all copyright laws are personal to the creator and expire within (a) four years of creation or (b) four years after the work is sold for profit or (c) at the death of the creator. Having life plus 70 years or 95 years or 120 years or whatever the current treaties and laws state is simply way, way too long.
    2. Plagarism should be reported but only reported. Take Sunstein office’s budget and create a web site where folks can list, in data warehouse searchable form, plagarized works that fail to credit the original creators. But leave it about reputation along with whatever consequences folks like PhD’s are subject to if found to have plagarized. The parties can debate, at that site and on a thread, the truth of the matter.
    3. We need to end all legal constraint of free speech other than the earliest ones of doing things like shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. Even then, leave it as a tort and not crime. And that goes for the defense of “he was disrespecting me”. Mostly it means reverting to the old saying of sticks and stones but never words.

    Generally, we should fire our would be Guardians (ref. Plato). It’s about growing up, being responsible and taking one’s place as an adult.

  164. This is exactly what happens when you give people with small temperament great notice and power. It does not occur to these fools that tides shift and what might seem like a bludgeon, they invent is always faced outwards but the opposing actors change sides.

  165. “Free speech does not mean saying that ‘Barack Obama’s wife is a frigid cow who spawned two vile pot smoking heroin-injecting nignogs’ is acceptable. It means that someone writing that should be incarcerated into a lunatic asylum.”

    Are you serious? Sorry, but I believe the exact opposite, and in the extreme! I should be able to go to the street corner and YELL what you wrote, at the top of my lungs and fear no repercussions. That is what it means to be an American. If I make an utter fool of myself it is my own business. No one has to agree with me and I have the right to make myself look like an arse. Hateful speech, stupid speech, idiotic speech is just as protected as intelligent, logical and reasonable speech. Anyone suggesting otherwise really ought to rethink their intellectual premises.

    Spawning and believing in conspiracy theories is our American birthright. As a nation we are quite good at it. Not being a conspiracy theorist, I have the right to reject such ideas and I do. However I happen to believe that such thinking is integral to our American exceptionalism. :)

    What Sunstein proposes actually is his own conspiracy. A conspiracy against free speech. It is breathtaking to think a person like this has gotten anywhere near power, and frightening to realize he is in the one single position best fitted to realize his agenda – a regulation czar. Just incredible.

    My guess is that this BLOG post has triggered Mr Sunstein’s minions and all of us are now under active surveillance. /sarc.

    I do agree that Ron Paul is the only candidate who would actually effect any change. The problem I have with him is some of his views and positions on things are not tempered by reality. He is uncompromising with his libertarian ideology. I have found that in the real world you cannot stick like glue to ideology. You do need to compromise. It is a trait that a leader of a diverse peoples needs to have and I do not see it in Ron Paul. Beyond that, if he were to end up the nominee I would vote for him.

    ABO…

  166. Beth Cooper says:
    January 21, 2012 at 3:41 am
    I’m reminded of discussions in my student days of two notions of freedom, the positive notion, ‘freedom to’ and the negative notion, ‘freedom from’. The problem with the latter notion is that freedom ‘paradoxically’ becomes linked to limits on freedom and increasing government intervention. While few would advocate that we should live in a lawless state of nature, what needs to be retained in political debate is the notion that when we introduce restraints they are limits on freedom. Once we allow, as leftist ‘liberals’ argue, that freedom means some kind of constraint, we open the door to zealous bureaucrats and tyrants imposing more and more controls, censorship of the press for example, all in the name of freedom.

    Freedom is neither a freedom with a pointer (to), nor can freedom defined as a ‘freedom from xyz’, because if there is any target (to) the consciousness, it is slaved to the target, and a consciousness, that is aware on something xyz, slaves the always busy mind. Freedom is practise of freedom. This practise has no idea, no target, no enemy, no acting, but (timeless) being.
    I think it is no secret that this world and all its living beings are not perfect, but a good place to learn the principles of ethics vs the challenges of evolution to breath, to eat, to drink, other fresh fish, clean water or the fruits from free trees. And because one can learn that you have to pay for all you get, because of the principle of ‘balanced balance’ or ‘balanced justice’ it seems not impossible to each individual, to know the ethical part of nature. Alike for that what is true, the reference is timeless and only the very own consciousness in every present, and cannot be aliened, in general the individual acting balance cannot be aliened, not to a church, not to a judge, not to a president. The practice of freedom only can lead to the timeless ethical principles in the inner consciousness of every individual.

    V.

  167. Some posters here have defended laws restricting speech by prohibiting scurrilous attacks.
    When only inoffensive speech is allowed, that’s not free speech. You only have freedom of speech when you have the right to make the nastiest, most insulting comments you can think of to point out your opponents’ flawed logic and policies. Here are a few quotes from some prominent Americans:

    “The theory of the free press is not that the truth will be presented completely or perfectly in any one instance, but that the truth will emerge from free discussion”
    Walter Lippman (American Editor and Writer, 1889-1974)
    =
    “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” –Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823. ME 15:491

    And Jefferson got plenty of agitation- from James Callendar’s scurrilous- but likely true-
    allegatons of Jefferson’s lifelong affair with his slave, Sally Hemmings.

    “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1786

    There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press”: Mark Twain

  168. Excellent article, Alec Rawls and thanks to both you and Anthony Watts for bringing this subject to our attention.

    What amazes me is the sheer hypocrisy of the so-called ‘liberals’ who propose this.

    Take the example of John Mashey who is happy to write numerous articles around the web accusing Wegman of plagiarism (falsely in my opinion) but then tries to censor others from speaking out against CAGW accusing them of ‘misusing a civil platform’.
    In his words “People should be free to express their opinions, but not all opinions are equal”

    http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/guest-post-bottling-nonsense-mis-using-a-civil-platform

    Isn’t that exactly the sort of world that George Orwell warned us against in ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’!

  169. So I guess that in the pursuit of free speech and being able to say anything, however scurrilous, there is no longer a need for moderation? If the need remains, is that not contradictory to the idea of complete freedom to say anything you want, as long as you are prepared to accept the consequences?

  170. conradg says:
    January 20, 2012 at 11:35 am
    “Are you saying Christopher Anderson is incorrectly understood by Rawls?”

    I’m saying that since Rawls puts forward the absurd claim that Ayers admits to having written Obama’s autobio, I don’t trust what he has to say about Anderson or anything else. It’s obvious that he’s either knowingly lying, or a total dupe. He might be right about Anderson, but I wouldn’t trust his point of view, which clearly will distort the facts to achieve the ends he desires. I would want independent corroboration for every single fact he puts forward, because to me he’s not a trustworthy source.

    And let’s be clear, science, truth, God, whatever you believe is “good”, takes no sides, especially not in politics. I am not on any “side”. That’s the whole problem with the climate debate, isn’t it? Even most of the public who is skeptical out there is only that way because their “side” is. Same with the enviros and the left. Damn little critical thinking going on, especially once your thinking becomes a function of which “side” you are on.
    _____________________________________________________

    Apparently it’s not just a White House Biographer who believes it.

    So, if you think Ayers is not clever enough to “admit” he ghost wrote for O, with a chuckle, in order to ridicule the suggestion, perhaps the reasons given in this video series are more compelling.

  171. Smokey says:
    January 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Witness Ottmar Edenhofer, the UN/IPCC 3rd WG Co-Chair’s candid statement: “One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.” That is clearly a UN conspiracy to use an environmental cover story to confiscate the wealth of the West.

    A link to the source would be helpful!

  172. When the constitution was written, libertarianism was the mainstream underpinning of all parties. There was a basic line in the sand that was drawn regarding the long arm of government, likely fueled by the backlash against imperial rule forced upon the colonies and that fell hard on the individual citizen.

    When imperial rule ended your business was your business, and your property was your property. You were king and queen in these domains with very little interference from government regulations. Now, small communities are bereft of small cottage, produce, and manufacturing industries and are prevented from doing all kinds of activities on their own land and in their own homes. Why? Regulations. Want to put in a country restaurant or store to sell your wares in your home or next to your home on your property? Want to bottle your well water and sell it? No can do unless you adhere to expensive profit killing regulations.

    A case in point. I spent over $10,000 of ranch and personal funds on a new well on the ranch. As soon as it started pumping water, I was sent a letter telling me all the regulations and restriction regarding said well on my property.

    That is just the tip of the iceberg related to ranching. Industry of any kind now comes with books and books of regulations and limitations. Add CO2 regulations.

    I will vote for the person who will work toward undoing all that. A politician with libertarian views who is uncompromising on those views is the only way forward out of this regulatory mess. All others are too far away from the constitution, and therefore open to special interest persuasion, to be relied upon to get us there.

  173. Please let me tell something about of my experience with copyright laws. In 2009 I have published my first book (poetry). The publishing house has given some background to the public. Google books has copied about 30% of my book and has published that pages, and the pulishing house has given an approval. A big online book (A.) company has done the same with a minor part of pages. I do not know the laws about this; I’m only the author and/or the translator and the editor.
    I do run a private little web page on a U.S. server without any advertising, nothing to bye, only a source of information about special things and persons of the history of philosophy. Two years ago I got 16 pages as FAX on my old FAX from 1980 from the most popular lawyer chancellery of the town, specialised in copyright law, with the conclusion, I have to pay several thousand Euro to a copyright holder of a text about a short biography of Epictetus, because I have added the text of some lines at the bottom of a page with the full text of the handbook of ethics after Epictetus. Poooh. OK. We have a new law here for peanuts cases if a girl add a copy of a part of a city map, which is under copyright, on her page, and in such cases the payment to the copyright holder is limited to maximum 100,- Euro. So I have paid that money to the layer chancellery because the client has agreed to the deal and have deleted the biography text. Next day the promoted (female) lawyer claims again by phone on the case and several thousand Euro, and I have said ‘Sorry, we have a contract, do you know what a contract is?’. Then I have told that Dr. Lady, that the biography text, her client claims a copyright to, is a straight German language translation of a text of the 11th Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica published 1911, and that the text is not under copyright any more. I gave her the links and there were silence then.
    Some of my pages are translated to other languages by people, who I do not know. No problem if there is a link to the source. Some years ago I noticed that there was a commercial event with songs and poems, and the German translations – I have translated – were taken from pages of my website. The leader of the group has said then, that he has downloaded the songs ‘somewhere from the Internet … ’.
    I think in general it is a good practice to give credits to other workers work (if it is possible) and as long as there are no money or no commercial things involved, it is wasted time to pursue people who spread text or copyright material, not spoken on the money lawyers take if you give him a mandate.
    Mostly strange final is the copyright case about the claim of commandments were the sage Moses was involved. The broken stone with the text ‘An eye for an eye’ is now owned by the Louvre in France and it is only a cover version of the codex of the ‘copyright holder’ Hammurabi (No. 196.)

    Strange world.

    V.

  174. To Volker Doormann

    The euros have gone copyright crazy. In europe you can pretty much copy right anything if your the first to file for a copy right on said word/phase/etc. Case in point a gaming company copyrighted “blitzkrieg”. Yeah no shat single common word. Well needless to say this word has been used in countless books, movies, games and this euro gaming company went around suing people using the term even games and books that had existed before the gaming company even existed. Thats socialism for you though… laying claim to everyone stuff even common use stuff. Which is the big problem with the MPAA/RIAA they want all fair use/common use stuff banned to where they hold forever the copyrights on anything and everything. I used to care that people would download music and such however the way they have attacked people over doing nothing more then what has been law for over 200 years in the US is insane. That combined with the crap they shove out at the theaters nowadays… not paying for a shotty product from tyrants.

  175. No of course Moses did not infringe on Hammurabi’s Law Code copyright. :)

    The two similar phrases, “If a man’s ox gores a man…” and “an eye for an eye” are only superficial similarities in the ancient texts. Hammurabi had different penalties for the same crime, depending on the class of the violator. The penalty received for a crime, in Babalonian law (as well as Assyrian and Egyptian) was determined by one’s class, weather wealthy, poor, or a slave.

    Moses had the same penalty for all people, except in a few very exceptional instances.

    [SNIP: Please, this sort of comment, while perhaps valid, never turns out well. Please. -REP]

  176. Volker, your last line cracked me up. I wish all bible-thumpers had to read the Code of Hammurabi daily till lightbulbs finally clicked on in their heads.

  177. @zeke
    Not important here in this thread, but Moses? The bigraphical character of Moses is a cover version in an old tale taken from the bio of Sargon the Akkad. They have copied his biography into the torah, but nobody who knows it, was/is allowed to talk about. There never was a real Moses. Sorry.

    V.

  178. @Mr Lynn
    I think you need to wake up to the fact that your elections are nothing more than hoax these days to make you think you have actual influence.
    There is really little to no difference between republicans and democrats these days and they are both funded by the same groups.
    They are nothing but puppies with exception of maybe Ron Paul which of course will never be nominated.

  179. Gallovidian says at 9:37 am

    “That’s why your constitution wisely gives you the right to bear arms.”

    Nope. Our rights are intrinsic, and are not dependent upon the whims of bureaucratic busy-bodies granting them via this or that document, law or regulation.

    The U.S. Federal Government’s power is on loan from “We, the People”.

    If the time comes to recall that power, it will not be a pretty sight for those few thousands of folks who believe they, and only they, should wield that power over the millions of us.

    The Second Amendment does not function as the grant of a right. Its function is that of an enumerated limitation on Federal power and a warning that if Fed.gov busy-bodies push too far, they will be met with deadly resistance. The military cannot and will not save them, and they will not be half a world away from the carnage. It will come to where they live. We surround them and vastly outnumber them. (And many of us are armed to the teeth.)

    Like a large number of folks in this country, I have no intent to go quietly into authoritarian slavery. I will resist to my dying breath.

    “If heaven I cannot bend, then hell I’ll stir.” ~James Otis

  180. [SNIP: This comment is way off topic and I apologize to all readers for having approved it. Please do not respond to it. Ed, if there is a thread where this is not off-topic, feel free to re-post. -REP]

  181. The takedown of Megaupload is a perfect example of what I was trying to mention in the “blackout” thread earlier this week. There are now thousands, perhaps millions of people who have now lost legitimate content such as research data, personal artistic content, home videos, corporate information that was shared out with employees or customers, etc. So this draconian response has punished thousands of people who were not using the site illegally but their materials have now vanished. That is the problem with these regulations, they throw the baby out with the bathwater. In the process of taking out some illegal activity, a lot of legitimate activity is taken out as well.

  182. To REP:
    At least my comment, which is in the spam, was on topic and responding to another post (copyright infringement). Ed Mertin has not shown even that much consideration to your readers.

    [REPLY: Your comment was snipped for advancing an opinion about a religious tradition that was likely to cause some serious diversion from the thread. You are correct about the Mertin comment, however. -REP]

  183. To the Mod REP. Agreed, it was a good call on your part. I have no complaint at all.

    I should have simply added that ancient near eastern law codes often had penalties involving the disfigurement of the human body, such as cutting off a nose or a hand for theft. This is forbidden in Mosaic law and was yet another substantial difference. No need to bring up certain modern examples, which prescribe amputation of the hands or feet for theft.

    [REPLY: Skirting the edge, but OK.... this time. -REP]

  184. Warren @ 9.45pm
    Now reported in The Australian press more fully

    The lavish life of file sharing kingpin Kim Dotcom
    .’…Dotcom was charged with criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit racketeering. The FBI shut down his Hong Kong-based website, which it claims was used to pirate half a billion dollars worth of entertainment content.

    The husky Dotcom is a kingpin in a little-exposed side of the internet economy, who profited by tapping changes in technology, roiling the entertainment industry….’

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/the-avish-life-of-file-sharing-kingpin-kim-dotcom/story-fn3dxity-1226250461590

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news

  185. tommy says:
    January 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm
    @Mr Lynn
    I think you need to wake up to the fact that your elections are nothing more than hoax these days to make you think you have actual influence.
    There is really little to no difference between republicans and democrats these days and they are both funded by the same groups.
    They are nothing but puppies with exception of maybe Ron Paul which of course will never be nominated.

    This is both true and not true. There are establishments and political classes whose interest in preserving their own prerogatives overrides any others. But there are also very considerable differences between, say, a Sen. Jim Demint and the current occupant of the White House, and in the directions they would take policy. To ignore those is folly. We can greatly improve things by supporting those who believe in the principles of America’s founding documents and working to defeat those who would abandon them. It is a never-ending battle.

    /Mr Lynn

  186. Actually Volker, there are several myths and legends from pagan cultures far older than Judaism with characters closely matching the alleged biography of Moses, and different archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians have attributed the origins of Moses myth to all of them at some point. Determining the oldest is probably impossible.

    I think it’s great that people can believe whatever they want, but I think it would be even greater if they investigated the history and validity, or at least the value, of their beliefs before latching onto them. A single intelligent class in comparative religion is really all it takes to remove religious blinkers, but I don’t know what it would take to remove pseudo-scientific ones.

  187. So if you say that the AGW theory is a result of incompetance and greed that will pass as OK?

    No conspiracy required and AGW is still wrong.

  188. @Anton
    To come back to On Topic, it seems to me that a free speech – also in classrooms – about critical analysed text in books, which are claimed be holy by ~80% of the Americans, and who are claimed to be democratic, can result also in closing web pages (like mine), because the power tower never would be hurt by painful truth.
    I agree with your last paragraph. But as a guest here I think it’s not the right place to go deeper in this matter of religion science and myths.

    V.

  189. What we have to bear in mind with free speech is that it has it’s downsides. It can start with rumour and conspiracy, and end with Timothy McViegh killing hundreds of innocent people. It can be seen in the paradoxical ideas of libertarians who wish to control how people live their lives (banning gay marriage,withdrawing choice for women, giving people the right to die from poverty) and in the ideas that the US is under threat from the left, when it appears far right groups such as the Ku Klux Klowns and skinhead groups can also kill many citizens from no other reason but hate. It could even be said that the threat to the well being of US citizens comes not from ideas of limitations on free speech or actions, but the racist, anti-semitic half wit in the bar after a few pints who convinces others to do bad things.
    We know however how critical to the good governance of society is a free press, however should they be subject to the laws of libel? Apparently Newt has serious concerns about how they behave. My feeling is that it is not a black and white issue, it is neither right or wrong, as with most things in life it is how appropriately the right to free speech is used, and as many others have pointed out, that depends on your subjective view[point. Maybe our views on free speech say more about ourselves than the subject in question?
    ( This post has many elements of the post that was moderated as an anti-semitic rant. I don’t have an exact copy. Many thanks Anthony for allowing me to clarify the situation, I salute your fairness)

    [Reply: Thank you for deleting the previous comments about jews. ~dbs, mod.]

  190. ScottyM says:
    January 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm
    Gallovidian says at 9:37 am

    “That’s why your constitution wisely gives you the right to bear arms.”

    Nope. Our rights are intrinsic, and are not dependent upon the whims of bureaucratic busy-bodies granting them via this or that document, law or regulation.

    The U.S. Federal Government’s power is on loan from “We, the People”.

    ===================

    ScottyM – what the Americans did was to build on the Common Law, Natural Law, concept – fleshing it out as it were into a working system able to be referred to cogently, any problems with ‘interpretation’ must always revert to Common Law principle. From my earlier post:

    “How did we get to where the Constitution, that document Prime Minister Gladstone called “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man,” is subordinate to judges and lawyers rather than the law of the land?”

    The Law of your land is Common Law.

    There’s been a lot of investigating Common Law in Britain recently, an important point to bear in mind is that all legislation is subservient to this which in Britain means no act of parliament is Law, in the US this would be congress role, regardless how some may wish to present these as if ‘legal’, they are in themselves not Lawful, they are acts.

    Very good pages on the background history here as a start: http://www.britsattheirbest.com/freedom/f_british_constitution.htm

    What we have in common, compare with European ‘Napoleonic Law’, :

    “The British Constitution embodies the natural rights and freedoms of the people, which are theirs by birthright. The British Constitution and British liberties will only survive if the people defend them.”

    Natural Law is intrinsic to birthright, it not something that can be given one by another.

    As someone once put it, we don’t tolerate bullies at school, but somewhere along the line we lose that understanding..

  191. Code of Hammurabi daily till lightbulbs finally clicked on in their heads.

    Volker Doormann says:
    January 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    @zeke
    Not important here in this thread, but Moses? The bigraphical character of Moses is a cover version in an old tale taken from the bio of Sargon the Akkad. They have copied his biography into the torah, but nobody who knows it, was/is allowed to talk about. There never was a real Moses. Sorry.

    V.

    ========

    You may be throwing the baby out with the basket here, using what might well have been a well known tale at the time to further one’s own interests by copying the means, could be more logical than turning Moses into a gardener.

    Anyway, re eye for an eye and tooth for tooth, compensatory judgements were standard in Ireland, the Brehon Laws, but these didn’t give the offended the right of life for a life iirc, I think it was financial compensation and exile for murder. Some trace that ‘Celtic’ line back to an Egypt connection around that time when it had an extensive empire, the cosmopolitan power wielders of the day and for a considerable time, (and education to very high standard – Pythagoras and the other Greeks of reknown got their education there, see Thales http://www.philipcoppens.com/egyptgreece.html).

    Something on law in ancient Egypt where men and women had equal rights, note that Solon adapted some for Greece: http://history-world.org/egyptian_law.htm

  192. [Once something is deleted it is gone. Deleted comments are not saved. My apologies if you didn't mean it like it sounded. ~dbs, mod.]

  193. To Garethman says
    January 22, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Thank you for confirming again you are a complete idiot who knows nothing but propaganda racism, hate, ignorant and basis his world view solely on propaganda.

  194. But Temp we all know you a re a right wing moron who’s knuckles are sore from dragging them on the ground. Who wrote your post? Last time I heard you were still finger painting. You would not recognise hate crime if it bit you on the arse.
    DW thanks for the explanation of what a Troll is, thanks to Temp for elegantly displaying the process in action.

  195. [Once something is deleted it is gone. Deleted comments are not saved. My apologies if you didn't mean it like it sounded. ~dbs, mod.]

    Thank you moderator. But just to confirm, as someone with Jewish parentage, who worked in Israel for quite a while, who is a classic Christian left wing European, lets face it, I’d be pretty unlikely to write anything anti-semitic! Having noted the blind anger on from the recent post by Temp, I do wonder whether my name is being hijacked in some way, is it possible ? I must admit I have had to write to Anthony previously to point out that someone was using my name to post information which I found extremely offensive. Is this possible?

  196. Garethman says: So I guess that in the pursuit of free speech and being able to say anything, however scurrilous….. to say anything you want, as long as you are prepared to accept the consequences?

    The only consequences that need to be considered are the very direct and narrow ones that have been hashed over by the Supreme Court long ago and remain standing as reasonable with regard to any person’s immediate physical safety such as falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater. You seem intent on broadening the concept to risks that are neither immediate nor necessarily even involve physical harm. Anyone can claim that another ‘s person’s expression of political position has to be muzzled because it is ‘hate speech’. When you give the muzzling power to the one making the claim they will, as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, use it to silence their political opponents – beginning hopefully with those very apparatchiks who first advocated such limitations on our 1st Amendment rights to ‘protect’ people from ‘hate speech’. Isn’t that similar to what Lenin did with the intellectuals who complained about his power after they helped him grab it or to what Hitler did with workers who helped him thinking they would later share power as members of one big happy union?

    So yes! “However scurrilous” it is, like I already stated to you before, my words are no threat to your LIBERTY nor yours to mine no matter how ugly or scurrilous they may be. Such is far safer than the consequence of trying to ‘do’ anything about it which can only involve trusting someone else to have your best interest at heart concerning who is allowed to speak ‘freely’. No thanks, I’m the only person I can trust to keep my best interest at heart so I’d rather keep mt 1st Amendment right to free speech – warts and all.

  197. Garethman says:… banning gay marriage,withdrawing choice for women, giving people the right to die from poverty

    Typical radical leftist drivel. *Homosexuals are just as free to marry someone of complimentary gender as a heterosexual – ask Jim McGreevey, nobody stopped him. *What ‘choice’ should new lives in the womb be afforded and give me ONE reason why I should not advocate for them considering I was adopted at birth in the 50’s? *The poverty that kills is in the socialist hell holes of third world dictatorships where everyone is poor because free market capitalism is forbidden. No capitalism means that there is no profit in creating a surplus and therefore no surplus to share with those who are truly unable to carry their own weight such as sick, disabled and elderly people.

  198. Myrrh says:
    January 22, 2012 at 4:29 am
    Anton says:
    January 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    ===

    Anton – do you mean Noah?

    __________

    No, I mean Moses. The Noah story is pagan rehash too. Almost everything in the OT and NT is. By the way, posting such observations on some sites can incite fury, though I don’t know why.

    As for the point of this entire thread, there has to be some way of balancing copyright interests with those of Web site publishers, without trampling either. Some Web sites engage in terrible libel, or reprint defamations without attribution, and deserve to be shut down. But, what can be done about those that reprint defamations and do give their sources? How many “facts” these days are fallacies that have acquired the appearance of fact by repetition, with those quoting them citing each other as references?

    Plagiarism is always bad. There is a wonderful skeptical site devoted to exposing the plagiarisms in AGW literature. I can’t think of any branch of science other than “climate science” where plagiarism is not only tolerated, but the norm.

    Anton

  199. Thanks Mike M.

    I may not agree with all your sentiments, but yours a well thought out and interesting post, far removed from the many ad hominem attacks some posters use instead of informed debate.
    For the record, I believe in freedom of expression, as long as that expression does not harm others. Same for expressions of religion, sexuality or any of the other factors that identify us as humans. So if someone is targeted for derogatory comments because they are black, I believe that is wrong because a persons colour is not their decision. But when I get hate-mail and obnoxious allegations because of my left wing European views, well I have to take that on the chin, I may not like it, but that is the price I have to pay for being honest about my political stance. I get the same from other people for my view of the undermining of climate change science, But I think I can live with that!

  200. Mike M.
    Bit more leftist drivel for supplied by the CIA on infant mortality. The USA is 47th in the world in terms of infant mortality, 10 place behind Cuba and many other apparently socialist countries.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html

    Good to know however that there are people in the USA trying to do something about that, it would be great if the effort was also invested in maintaining that life after people were born. I was also was adopted in the 50s! and are grateful for that most valuable of left wing ideas, the NHS. I can highly recommend it. Views on free speech, as I mentioned owe more to our own views of life than the subject in hand.

  201. The farther to the Left a person or a government is, the more intent they are on restricting free speech. Hitler, Stalin, Venezuela, Cuba, Obama, China and North Korea all want to restrict free speech. Some more than others perhaps, but the mindset is the same: they want to censor dissenting views.

  202. If I had my way, I would be giving a take-down notice to all states or state bar associations that oversee Mr. Sunstein’s license, directing them to “take down” his license to practice law. A thoroughly and insidiously evil man.

  203. To expand upon my earlier remarks, the reason I propose to strip Cass Sunstein of his license to practice law is that the very fact that he would implement a system that would leave it in the hands of one or a few individuals to decide what is true and what is false for the purpose of “chilling” either a rumor or a dissenting view is in itself flagrantly anti-constitutional and anti-First Amendment. As such, Sunstein violates an oath I know he took (as well as one I took) when he first received his law license to “uphold” the Constitution of the United States (along with upholding whatever state constitutions he received his law license from). Therefore, I would strip him of his license to practice law. Implementation of such a system would also, in my mind, justify a revolution against any government that was responsible for the deed.

  204. Garethman says:
    January 22, 2012 at 9:02 am

    You are targeted for “derogatory” posts because you thoughtlessly repeat the ill-conceived mantras and principles of a mindless, tired ideology that has been shown by history to be thoroughly disreputable and a failure when actually tried. It is why folks like Cass Sunstein suggest the form of censorship described in this post. They are actually afraid to confront the historical reality they always like to delude themselves into thinking they are attuned to; instead, they cling to the phony history they think of as a “law.”

    Try a better line of reasoning for your posts sometime. We don’t have to always agree or think alike, mind you. Just try a better way of thinking.

  205. Garethman says:
    January 22, 2012 at 9:15 am

    One more thing. Your CIA information on infant mortality is both informative and useless. First, the U.S. is currently 41st, at 6.37 deaths per 1,000 live births. Being 41st in the world in that category is, as Bill Buckley once pointed out, like finishing 41st in a ski race. The differences at that level are generally so small as to be inconclusive and can be affected by many factors, such as when you define a live birth as occurring in that country (it is also true, by the way, that many of the unwed mother births in this country result in mortality, for many reasons having little to do with socialism or the lack thereof). Especially since Cuba’s statistics are so tainted by the way such births can be categorized in the propaganda world (we are aware of evidence that Cuba overstates its accomplishments in the health care field; check Google on the various responses to Michael Moore’s film on health care and you will see what Cuban doctors who left there really have to say about their health care system).

  206. Hi Larry, you make an interesting point :
    Try a better line of reasoning for your posts sometime. We don’t have to always agree or think alike, mind you. Just try a better way of thinking.

    Does that mean thinking more like a right wing republican and less like a left wing European?
    Dont worry to much about the insults, I’ve got used to classic right wing tactics over the years! I do like reasonable debate however. Apologies for my “incorrect” thinking.

    Larry, good to read your post.
    With regard to infant mortality rates, I know figures can be manipulated, and some socialist countries are not famed for their honesty. But lets compare that hotbed of socialism, the UK NHS and the stats from the USA. For every thousand live births in our countries, two more children per thousand will die in the USA than the UK. I hold a senior position within the NHS so I can vouch for our stats, and yours are supplied by an American government agency, so they are probably reliable. Now we could say, it’s like a Ski race, it does not matter, they are pretty close. Pretty logical. But if you are a parent of one of those thousands of children who needlessly die the comparison is rather less useful. I think free speech allows me to suggest it’s a strange paradox that right wing proponents in the US fight against abortion, but also fight against health care for all, free at the point of delivery and funded through taxes. An idea which reduced our mortality and improved the health of our population dramatically when we needed it. So if the right wing crew are really pro life, why are they so supportive of issues like the death penalty and the right to die due to not being able to afford decent healthcare?
    To many Europeans this is perplexing and part of the great paradox that is the USA. No doubt the same question on differing subjects puzzle Americans regarding our cultures, but hopefully you understand that you and I are not evil or bad, we are just different. Life, like free speech is a constant.
    A strange thing does occur, Americans who emigrate to the UK, and some settle in our village, change in a subtle ways. When I ask them these questions they tell me that they used to understand, but a couple of years living in a UK village has changed them, and they are now as perplexed as the rest of us over these things. One of them, an ex-republican voter (whisper it closely) even voted for the UK Labour party. Weird or what?

  207. Garethman says:
    January 22, 2012 at 9:15 am

    “Bit more leftist drivel for supplied by the CIA on infant mortality. The USA is 47th in the world in terms of infant mortality, 10 place behind Cuba and many other apparently socialist countries.”

    This is absolutely not true. The United States is one of the only countries in the world that counts the deaths of premature babies in its infant mortality figures. Many countries don’t even count as infant mortalities the deaths of babies before a certain number of days, and in Third World countries, such as Cuba, most births are at home, and most infant deaths are not recorded. The United States is one of the few places on Earth where heroic efforts and vast amounts of money are used to save the lives of premature babies. In most places, they are left to die.

    In the United States, the deaths of pregnant women from all causes (including accidents, murders, diseases, and botched abortions) are counted as maternity-related deaths (which also gives us seemingly bad maternal mortality statistics), and the deaths of WANTED unborn babies, from all causes, are counted as infant mortalities. No other country in the world counts such deaths as maternal mortalities or infant mortalities.

    Many countries, especially China, Russia, Cuba, North Korea, etc., blatantly falsify their mortality statistics. The U.N. knows this, but keeps the myth going. Physicians in the United States have been yelling about this for years.

    When apples are compared to apples and oranges to oranges, the maternal and infant mortality rates in the United States are among, if not the, lowest in the world.

  208. Nick sez:
    The only way we are going to get our society back is for these people to stay in power another term and really wreck the place. The population wont do it again for another couple of generations.

    I have been considering, lately, myself, whether it would be better in the long run to get Obama the Elitist Totalitarian out of office now, or whether his reign for 4 more years would finally illuminate to everyone how this little commuinist utopia fantasy is very lousy, very dangerous, and nothing near a Constitutional United States.
    It may be better in the long run for these marxists to steer us into an even more lousy place. So many right now simply feel like things are going great. Huge swaths of the populace believe that we need to follow Sunstein ideas like censoring climate skeptics, and cannot tolerate a discussion. The polarizing politics of racist “liberals” continues, and we have not yet all genreally grasped how bad it is for Holder to excuse baton-wielding Black Panthers at the polls.

    Emboldened, those ppl under the name of my former party are going to be mor extreme than ever.
    In all of this, I don’t believe any of them should be censored. Sunstein should publish as much as he can. That way, we can know exactly what he, and his elitsit totalitarian colleagues, like science czar Holdren, truly have in mind for us once the laws innocuously get moved into place.

  209. the problem is that these clowns(bureaucrats + politicians) like sunstein, obama, genachowski, the mayors claiming sanctuary cities, the governors shoving thru 80-mph “high speed” rail to pay off union cronies, etc aren’t held accountable for their actions while in office or they wouldn’t even consider floating ideas like this. Until there are consequences (jail) they will keep on with the power grab. But the anger is building again. Nov 2010 was nothing compared to what’s gonna happen in 2012. Its coming.

  210. Smokey says:
    January 22, 2012 at 9:42 am
    The farther to the Left a person or a government is, the more intent they are on restricting free speech. Hitler, Stalin, Venezuela, Cuba, Obama, China and North Korea all want to restrict free speech. Some more than others perhaps, but the mindset is the same: they want to censor dissenting views.

    Who brought in the Patriot Act to its conclusion? Left or Right makes no difference, Italian Fascism was lauded by Hitler as good interpretation of Marxist ideology. Left or right two sides of the same coin, that’s why the US wasn’t set up as a democracy..

    http://www.peacetakescourage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=162

    “Later that same day, Hindenburg signed two decrees put before him by Hitler. The first offered full pardons to all Nazis currently in prison. The prison doors sprang open and out came an assortment of Nazi thugs and murderers.

    The second decree signed by the befuddled old man allowed for the arrest of anyone suspected of maliciously criticizing the government and the Nazi party. (Sound familiar?!)”

    http://www.nolanchart.com/article3260-the-importance-of-the-patriot-act.html

    I think all our governments are under the one centralist control or another – the forced second Lisbon referendum in Ireland was set up to fiddle the results, no longer a republic as sovereignty given up to the unelected EU and in a worse position now than when Britain’s fiefdom, at least then the dictator overlords were known.

    I do hope you can reclaim your Constitution, now hidden by sleight of hand in the idea of spreading ‘western democracy and elections’.. We really need you to educate the rest of us on just how brilliant it is.

  211. Hi Anton, thanks for that, maybe your post shows how stats can be manipulated. I used figures supplied by an American government agency so I’d assumed they were reasonably accurate, can you reference any other figures which support your point? Interestingly while American physicians are annoyed, are they not opposing someone right to free speech in producing figures which they feel reflect the reality of the situation?

  212. ======================
    Curiousgeorge says:
    January 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    @ Steve C says:
    January 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Nick, I (and millions of others) share that feeling, but when it does come to a head, the average government has an awful lot more armament than the average populace. History has a lot of examples of how that one plays out: ultimately, there’s a very final way of shutting people up pour décourager les autres. Be very careful what you wish for.
    ================================================
    I have held and have been arguing for the set of principals, of freedom of choice, speech, press. media, financial and political since I realised as a Teenager that collectivism and dictatorship of thought and/or actrion is against human nature. Which, by the way, is a while :)

    I understand the extrapolation and ultimate end game of what I’m thinking leads to. I’m prepared to deal with all the consequences.

    The question is not, will it get there? But will the rest of the population be able to deal with it.

    Mind you, there is an argument for it happening so slowly that the population is being assimulated into relinquishing their freedoms will without much fight.

  213. In Mr. Rawls’ excellent article, and in this whole thread, I never noticed the 1st Amendment’s explicit language. So here it is, short and sweet:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. [My emphasis]

    See how very far away from our founding legal document we’ve come? Down is Up, War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Evil is Good, and Congress can Censor Free Speech.

  214. Hello Garethman,

    It’s been several years since I was involved in comparing mortality statistics, so I can’t give you any links; at least not tonight. The U.N. and WHO do not have a free speech right to fabricate or falsify statistics.

    You can check with your own government to see what does and does not count as a live birth over there. You may be shocked. The U.S. has the most meticulous and accurate infant mortality statistics of any country in the world. Any premature baby born here, even if only takes one breath and dies, is counted as a live birth. Hence, the seemingly bad statistics. I don’t know of any other country that does this.

    Keep in mind also that many countries sterilize felons and drug addicts, while here, even suggesting sterilization meets with screams of indignation from feminists claiming that reproductive rights include the right for drug addicts and criminals to reproduce or abort to their hearts’ content.

    I believe in socialized medicine for everyone, animals included. It really bothers me to think about all the suffering pets in this country who don’t get needed medical or dental care because their humans can’t afford it. I don’t worry about humans so much because in the United States no human in need of medical care can be turned away from a hospital for lack of funds.

    Most Americans don’t realize that “private” insurance itself is a form of socialized medicine, albeit on a small scale, with all insurance pool members paying in, but only a fraction getting medical care each year. This is no different from paying into a government pool, though it does cut out the middle man (the insurance company), and theoretically, at least, should be far more cost-effective. Of course, if government bureaucrats take all the money for themselves, then any savings will be immediately wiped out.

  215. Thanks Anton, I’ll check out the stats. It could be very useful information, I shall certainly work on some of these stats this week.. With ref to the health insurance, cutting out the middle man does indeed produce more efficient health funding, the downside is that when health care is privatised or commercialised the provider undertakes the service to make a profit, it has to to rationalise it’s existence, governments don’t have to do this, at least most of them.
    The most efficient system of healthcare in the developed world is the UK NHS, although we never stop trying to improve it’s efficiency further. We spend about 8% of our GDP on funding it through compulsory taxes. Some people though still take extra insurance for private care for an even better service.( single rooms, better catering etc) The USA spends about 13.9 but does not provide universal healthcare free at the point of delivery. It is thought that much of the extra cash spent by the USA goes to paying shareholders and investors, as well as the administration costs of a complex system. I’m not sure the NHS model would work in the USA any more than it would work on a European wide basis, however I certainly think it would be worth looking at on a state by state and not dismissing it on socialist grounds without seriously weighing up the economic advantages of such a service. It’s worth thinking of it in terms of how education is provided, free at the point of delivery, at least as far as University.
    ps, we don’t have socialised medicine for pets, while I respect your worries about animals, we differentiate the right of humans and animals with no change in sight at the time of writing.

  216. Anton says:
    January 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm
    I believe in socialized medicine for everyone, animals included.

    IIRC the origins of the National Health Service in Britain began from a working example among mining communities in Wales. Everyone working put a certain amount of money every week into the pot from which anyone working or not in the community, the families, could dip into when need arose to pay the doctor.

    On a larger scale to create the NHS this necessitated including paying doctors to be available to treat, to get them on board from their private practices they were offered an amount of money for each patient on their books whatever the level of use of them by patients. The rest of the money went in running the hospitals, paying nurses and so on. This wasn’t ‘free’ health care, most of those using it paid for it for themselves and for their families through direct contributions, no different to paying for private health care.

    The structure of this has been tampered with a lot, central buying and so on rather than being a money saver ended up costing more as the infrastructure of management layers grew and suppliers played the cartel card. Recently more of the money from contributions has been hived off by government legislation to pay more outside private practitioners leaving less money for those doctors and nurses paid as direct employees. This is now in the process of even greater change, the idea to put all the resources from the contributions into back door privatisation by putting it into the hands only of the doctors..

    The original concept, workable and fair, will then finally be destroyed by being taken out of the hands of those who pay for it, the patients.

  217. From the Harvard Law School article linked to in the article:

    “The spread of false information and rumors poses growing risks to society and the economy.

    That was the message delivered by Harvard Law School Professor Cass Sunstein ’78 in a major lecture—titled “He Said THAT?? She Did WHAT?? On False Rumors and Free Speech”—marking his appointment as the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at HLS.”

    ===============================

    He may already be a wiener.

  218. “Since [supposedly] 97 % of scientists agree on CAGW any questioning of CAGW must be based on their being a conspiracy to hide the truth.”

    Slightly OT, but I can’t find the old post from here that addressed the methodology of that “poll” – how it went from 10,000 to 79. Does anyone have that bookmarked?

  219. Luther Wu says:
    Someone mentioned up- thread that it might even be in the nation’s best interest for the current administration to win in 2012 and take all the rope they need…
Maybe in the long view, as the platitudes and ideas of the left are now choking our culture at every turn and should be uncloaked and exposed for what they truly are.
However, who wants to suffer through another 4 years of this?

    I do, and happily so, if it can prevent my kids from having to live an entire lifetime of it. It’s too late to put on the brakes.

    Kozlowski says:
    You do need to compromise. It is a trait that a leader of a diverse peoples needs to have and I do not see it in Ron Paul.

    I disagree – I think that “compromise” is exactly the reason we’ve ended up where we are.

    thelastdemocrat says:
    I have been considering, lately, myself, whether it would be better in the long run to get Obama the Elitist Totalitarian out of office now, or whether his reign for 4 more years would finally illuminate to everyone how this little commuinist utopia fantasy is very lousy, very dangerous, and nothing near a Constitutional United States.
    It may be better in the long run for these marxists to steer us into an even more lousy place. So many right now simply feel like things are going great.

    Someone wrote a book where that happened. I believe it was called Atlas Shrugged

  220. One must always keep in mind that Sunstein’s proposition emanates from the same genius who also proposed that your dog should be appointed its own lawyer.

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