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Messages - Seriati

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1
General Comments / Re: Election Results
« on: July 21, 2022, 07:04:36 PM »
By "shenanigans," you mean election fraud that disqualified two primary candidates? I mean, yeah, I'm concerned by it, and glad they were disqualified as a consequence.

In Michigan it was five candidates.  There's absolutely no indication that anyone involved thinks the Republican candidates were anything but unsuspecting victims.   

The best case for the disqualification being a miscarriage was probably Perry Johnson.  Michigan requires 15k signatures.  Perry turned in over 23k, generally well beyond the margin for signatures that are likely to be disqualified.  The Board determined that 13.8k were valid, and threw out 9.4k (of which 6.9k were from the fraudulent actors). That's clearly a candidate that had groundswell support and likely only stopped collecting legitimate signatures because of the deliberate actions of the fraudster.  The fraudsters (in each case) made sure that they "collected" more than enough signatures to completely blow through the standard safety margins - that's quite literally an intentional and deliberate decision that's designed for no other purpose than to ensure the signature verification process will fail if challenged.

The DNC did challenge the signatures.  The four member Board split on party lines 2:2 on whether to allow the candidates (who no one legitimately questioned were the victims, unlike your snarky and baseless inferences) onto the ballot.  With the tie the candidates were off the ballot.  So literally, the Democrats on the board eliminated these candidates from the ballot.  It's hard to me to see the justice, at least in Perry's case, of that decision where you had actual knowledge of the campaign being defrauded and clear evidence they had received significant groundswell support (to the tune of 13.8k signatures) and that "but for" the fraud they would have continued to collect signatures and likely hit the goal prior to the submission deadline. 

James Craig was the front runner, and he ended up with 10.2k accepted signatures and 11.1k that were rejected (of his 21.3k submitted, 9.8k were from the fraudulent actors).

The MI courts (at the lower levels) effectively ruled that the Board didn't have to verify each signatures before it was rejected and in fact, part of the complaint was that the Board threw out entire sheets based on who the canvasser's were.  The case was appealed to the MI Supreme Court and the relief requested was an order putting the candidate's name on the ballot.  The MI SC rejected the case on technical grounds, effectively saying that the relief was the "wrong" relief - he couldn't require the court to require the Board to put his name on the ballot, but they also said that he may have been entitled to have required the board to comply with the law on specific verification of the names.  In any event, it was too late for him to do so (because the hard coded ballot submission timeline would lapse).

So you have a candidate that any reasonable observer would believe that "but for" being defrauded would have gotten the signatures, who very likely could have gotten replacement signatures if the Board had communicated that it was considering rejecting the signatures in a timely manner, kept off a ballot for election based on the decision of 2 members of the opposite political party.  Does that really serve the interests of the electorate?  Remember getting on the ballot does not mean that you win the nomination, and if the candidate did win the nomination, wouldn't that mean that it was the correct answer?  It's been the historical practice of the federal courts to err on the side of including such a candidate on the ballot rather than excluding them, since the election itself would cure any possible risk on this issue.

What interest does excluding a defrauded candidate on a technicality serve, where the electorate could have directly weighed-in? 

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Let's charitably ignore your attempt to draw a false equivalence between actual forgery and technical inconsistency, and instead focus on your assertion that we should be angry at Democrats because some Republicans were caught engaging in shenanigans, which of course they would not have done. I mean, no one's asking for signed confessions, here; they were actually asking William for any evidence at all to suggest that the firms paid by piece to collect signatures did not, for their own benefit or the benefit of their client, generate fake signatures.

Why?  Seriously, why on earth would we presume guilt of the victims?  Do you not seriously understand how messed up that demand is?

Not to mention there is no serious account of this that's consistent with your spurious insinuations.  The former police chief withdrew as soon as he found out - he wanted no association with the fraudsters.  Yet here you are demanding "proof" before you'll actually consider fairness?

It's literally the truth that the DNC filed the challenges (no evidence that this was coordinated, but also none that it wasn't - based on your theory can you "prove" that they did so in good faith - discounting any statements they or apparently any neutral observers made on the situation).  It's literally the truth that decision of the 2 Democrats on the Board kept them off the ballot and it's hard to see how that serves the interests of a fair election absent a demonstration that the candidates caused the fraud (all neutral accounts seem to agree they were not aware of the fraud - not least in part because they would have had the opportunity and incentive to correct it if they had been). 

Instead, we should jump at the contra-logical interpretation that the candidates themselves went out of their way to make sure that they had enough obviously fraudulent petitions to eliminate the standard safety margins in their signature collection efforts.

These are suspicious times and WM hasn't carried the burden that the DNC or any material chunk of Democrats caused this as part of a deliberate plan, but there is zero question that the bad actors in fact did engage in a deliberate strategy that ensured each of these candidates  would both belief they had an adequate safety margin and also not in fact have an adequate safety margin. 

2
General Comments / Re: Election Results
« on: July 21, 2022, 04:13:28 PM »
So let me get this straight, you guys have been arguing "with a straight face" that ballots that are received and that don't comply with the technical election laws must be counted because "every vote must count" and also "with a straight face" are somehow not concerned by Shenigans that literally disqualify candidates from the election.  Candidates, given their front runner status, that would have no trouble meeting the signature requirements legitimately but who fail to do so solely because of bad actors.

And then, despite that such actions are expressly targeted only at certain candidates, who "coincidentally" are the candidates most likely to be able to defeat the Democrats in a general election, demand extraordinary proof (that you know will not exist) of their specific intentions before you'll believe that the whole thing is a deliberate and targeted strategy? 

Aren't you the same people that claim voter IDs (a policy favored by virtually every demographic) that are available to all citizens are somehow a nefarious plot to discriminate based on race?  Notwithstanding you've never actually found the kind of evidence you seem to be demanding of the same?

Honestly, what would your reaction be if "bad actors" were out there "registering voters for voter IDs" and it was all a scam to cause said voters to miss the actual registration?  You'd flip your lids and demand that the "ineligible" voters be made eligible because it was not their fault they were deliberately mislead.  You could have a signed confession in your hands from the persons that did it that they had some economic motivation and not a political one and NOTHING ON EARTH would actually cause you to believe that there was no political motivation.

This country can not function if partisans insist on such ridiculously one sided views of how things should work and stick their fingers in their ears whenever evidence of something that is clearly wrong is presented to them.  The fact that this was even possible should have every citizen outraged, both the bad actors and the state's insistence on not allowing a cure of the problem, have taken away the voting rights of people in an entire state, and you're quibbling with WM about whether he can produce signed confessions?

3
General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 20, 2022, 04:03:11 PM »
By the way LetterRip, excellent find on the Ars Technica link.  The fact that McCormick has ordered specific performance in a merger before is definitely relevant to the probability she'd do so again. 

I note though, in the article, it points out how this is uncommon ("one of the few judges..") and that the order also resolved all factual questions in favor of the seller.  I suspect that Musk's efforts on the side of getting access to the information and basis for terminating the deal are far less easily shown to be pre-textual than was the case in the prior deal.  I don't think anyone following this, honestly believes that Musk wasn't concerned with SpamBots.  And while a reasonable case can be made that Musk knew (or should have known) that Spambots were more prevalent than Twitter claimed, that doesn't resolve that getting the actual number would be material to the lending, nor that such a finding would cause Twitter to have breached it's representations on the point.

There's also a general concept that prohibits specific performance where the party requesting it has "unclean hands."  If Twitter did make an erroneous claim to the SEC and particularly if that can be demonstrated to have been willful or a result of willful blindness its very hard to see how they would have the clean hands necessary to get that remedy.  Take a look at the article, its hard to imagine that the seller in that case had done anything wrong.

4
General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 20, 2022, 03:34:54 PM »
My laymans (and possibly flawed) understanding is that normally you write an offer letter that goes something along the line of "we offer X billion $ for the company subject to due diligence not showing anything unexpected", Musk wrote one that went "I offer Y billion $ for the company and I want it so much/quickly that I'll skip due diligence". The due diligence process does entitle you to poke through the books at a deeper level that the public normally gets to see and would have got him to the current point where he could pull out without having made any unfortunate commitments.

I think in this case, it's more like Musk understood that the Board was actively hostile to his acquisition of the Company and that they would never have provided him with the due diligence in advance of the agreement.  So instead, he signed a deal saying that he would close on the transaction - if Twitter's public statements were accurate - and that provided him with certain rights to Twitter's information to verify those statements.  His lawyers repeatedly cited the relevant provisions in their letters demanding the information from Twitter.

So instead of saying, I want to see the merchandise before we sign the deal.  Signing the deal saying that payment of the purchase price is subject to your claims about the merchandise being demonstrated. 

Granted, I'm stating that in the light most favorable to Musk, and that may not be the way it actually is drafted or plays out in court.  Certainly Twitter's Board disputes that its a condition of closing the deal, but they may not be correct in how they are interpreting it. 

But there's no reason to believe that either form of that agreement is less effect or to disparage the rights provided in the second form (contract, then verify to close) over the first (verify then contract).  In fact, generally speaking, there is almost always a continuing due diligence component after the signing of an agreement and prior to the closing (though sometimes it just impacts the price ultimately paid).

5
General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 20, 2022, 03:24:58 PM »
My layperson take on this is this.

This is why rational investors perform due diligence. By waiving it, Musk was basically saying "I trust the numbers you've given me."

It's really not clear that this is correct, or rather that its the whole story.  Read the termination notice that LetterRip linked to.  Musk's team is arguing that they included a right to rely on the accuracy of Twitter's public filings for the execution (which is in lieu of conducting diligence before hand, but is premised on those filings being accurate), and that they included information rights in the merger contract to allow them to verify those filings.  Musk claimed - before Twitter brought suit - that Twitter had breached the agreement, if that's true, then this is a breach of contract action and the Board's argument about due diligence is an irrelevant red herring.

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Now he's trying to run an audit to prove it was a stolen acquisition. But he has no proof that the bot count isn't exactly what they said it was.

It's also not clear that the latter statement is true.  Again, in Musk's public filing on the termination, they pretty much state that even though Twitter has delayed at every turn and failed to turn over complete data sets, that the initial indications of Musk's data scientists are that Twitter's bot count could be "wildly" erroneous.

6
General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 20, 2022, 02:51:29 PM »
The WSJ opinion is from individuals without expertise in the relevant law, neither of them practice in M&A, nor does Professor M. Todd Henderson teach law that overlaps with M&A (either presently or in the past).

I' wouldn't give their opinions any more weight than any other lawyer talking outside their area of expertise and in this case they are both way outside their areas of expertise.

I didn't ask you to give their opinions weight.  I said they make a convincing case, and notwithstanding your dismissal of their credentials, I'm perfectly capable of evaluating what they said based on the merits.  Reality is that a court has a lot of discretion in how they apply remedies, but it would be unlikely to successfully order this deal competed by specific performance (unless that's what Musk secretly wants). 

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I don't think it is particularly complex, as deals and contracts go this one doesn't seem that high on the complexity - just lots of money.

Lol.  Honestly, I'm really laughing about this.  There is no such thing as a "non-complex" acquisition of a multi-billion dollar company.  There are thousands of points to still be negotiated and agreed, and thousands (if not millions) of relationships and contracts that have to be evaluated and assigned.  Is the court going to sit in and order resolution of every single thing that's outstanding?  There is almost certainly thousands of hours of legal work to be done here, and at least 3-5 times as much non-legal work.  For context, the last M&A I saw the details on (a fairly friendly one), had more than 15 attorneys on one side (with 2 different firms), plus in-house attorneys and the "othersides" inhouse and outside counsel.     Of those 15 at least 8 had over 200 hours billed on the deal, and for the 3 primary in-house attorneys it was effective their full time job for more than a month and part time for several other months.

All of that work is guided by the business judgements of the parties.

Is the court going to babysit that and put a thumb on the scale?  How exactly are they going to do it?

Nope, specific performance is for discrete actions that the court can manage, not for an order to work on a transaction of this magnitude.  The correct answer here is breach of contract, and Twitter's recovery will be limited to damages.  Unless they can establish a harm (which is debatable), and that the harm can not be made whole with money but only by the acquisition of the company, they really have no chance of specific performance.  Even if they could establish such a harm, the inclusion of a liquidated damages provision undercuts the argument that only specific performance will cure that harm (that provision is a literal admission of the parties both that the contract can be breached and that money damages can be adequate recompense).

I personally think the WSJ's argument on the non-enforcement of the liquidated damages' clause was too dismissive.  While it's arguable that Twitter can't show material damages, there are enough nebulous things outstanding that could be damage that there will be a hook to defend the liquidated damages.

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Musk's statements are strongly indicative that he is looking for a pretextual way to exit the deal and he suddenly developed cold feet after his Tesla stock valuation crashed.

Are they really "strongly indicative"?  I think that's your own view.  Musk's comments also seem to reflect his honest opinion that spam bots comprise a much higher percentage of the accounts in question than Twitter reports.  Or do you somehow disbelieve him on that point?

Maybe phrase it another way, what percentage of Spambots would allow Musk out of the deal?  It can't be that it's immaterial where there is a representation made by Twitter in it's Securities Law filings (which are public) and that representation (along with all others) was incorporated by reference into the agreements.  Honestly, if you can't set that point you're not being rational, and if you can set it, you're admitting that Musk could have a valid objection.

Now it could be that Musk is wrong about the rate of Spambots, but neither you nor I are remotely in a position to make that conclusion.

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My point is you missed the point.  Corporate compliance is not designed to be an academic study.  There's virtually no chance that it doesn't have material issues in design and implementation that make the conclusions suspect and that invalidate the degree of certainty.

Sure, but material adverse effect in Delaware courts is an absurdly high bar.  I don't think it will be possible for him to clear that bar.

That's a cogent argument and you probably have a point.  Though the most likely remedy is still damages not specific performance.

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I get the basic principal there but the devil is in the details.  If it's a daily sample, then it's really a sample size of 100 repeated 90 times.

No it is an aggregated sample.  As I described to Tom they could get the exact same sample all at once.  If they are using 9000 samples for the analysis, then the sample size is 9000.  The fact that they have stratified them over time is immaterial to the analysis.  There isn't a good reason to not do uniform sampling over time, and may well be a benefit.  The other major benefit to doing it daily is that they appear to use labor intensive analysis for each sample, so they can assign one or two analysts and have them work daily; rather than putting 180 analysts on it at the end of each quarter; or do the pull on the last quarters data and have each report be lagged by an additional quarter.

I'm bored with arguing this irrelevancy.  Whether you agree or not, do you understand that Twitter could have in fact presented this to Musk in their meetings as a sample of roughly 100 accounts pulled each day?

It literally doesn't matter if you're 100% correct about how the study is run, a court is not going punish Musk for citing to samples of 100 if that's approximately the size of the daily sample.  They'd have to argue in court that he didn't provide enough context to make it clear that the 9000 samples were run quarterly (which by the way is almost certainly not the way it actually occurs - I guarantee you there is a daily statistic generated, whether just for that day or on some kind of rolling basis, is immaterial) for the 5% reporting threshold.  But then, Musk could point out that they didn't in fact disclose this in their 10Q.   

Here's what they said in the most recent 10Q:

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We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5% of our mDAU during the quarter. The false or spam accounts for a period represents the average of false or spam accounts in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter. In making this determination, we applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated.

So just looking at what they said, is it still absolutely certain in your mind that it's a 9000 data point sample run quarterly?  They flat out say that the 5% number is based on the "average ... in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter."  That implies not only that each quarter is actually 3 monthly periods, but also based on the reference to the average in a monthly period that each month is actually an aggregation of some sub-unit being tested.  So quite literally, what Musk said could actually be true and this language would not be inconsistent with that, however, what you think the Twitter board is saying about a quarterly study would actually be inconsistent with the claims they made here.

7
General Comments / Re: The Biden Economy
« on: July 20, 2022, 01:57:04 PM »
I think it's funny how when you guys are faced with fact based arguments that you don't like, you resort to platitudes and progressive alter calls rather than rebuttals.

How about you explain in detail the principles of the economy that are going to work differently?

It's amazing how after progressive policies generate the exact terrible results that you're told they will in advance, you are all shocked by the totally "unpredictable" outcomes and go out looking to pin the blame on something else.  Failing to learn from reality dooms, in this case, all of the rest of us to have it repeated upon us.

And Wayward, there's exactly zero reason to believe that wages agreed between consenting adults are not reasonable.  Government interference in that -absent an abusive situation, which doesn't exist here- literally by definition results in excessive wages.  With 100% certainty that causes transactions that both parties would find mutually beneficial not to occur and that is a net loss to society.

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General Comments / Re: The Biden Economy
« on: July 14, 2022, 04:53:36 PM »
You haven't seen a single study that shows how the poor have been priced out of affordable childcare?  Seriously, where did you look?

Or did you just mean that you didn't see a study that attributes this to having to pay excess wages to childcare providers?

9
General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 14, 2022, 04:51:52 PM »
He agreed to specific performance, which is what they are asking for.  Rumors are that it will be the head judge of chancery court, a judge which previously has enforced specific performance.

There's a good treatment of this in the WSJ.  I have no dog in the fight, but they make a convincing argument that it's unlikely the court will order specific performance.  It's effectively unenforceable if they do order it (assuming this isn't want Musk actually wants).  Courts never want to issue orders that can be ignored.

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They aren't asking for damages, they are asking for specific performance, which Musk agreed to as a term of the deal.

So what?  Specific performance appears in the vast majority of deals, still an extremely rare remedy and almost never provided for something this complex. 

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Did you read the contract?

Yes, and I've read expert opinions on it.  I wouldn't count on my personal interpretation since I'm well aware I can overlook things.

That's helpful to know, thanks.

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Lol, you ignored the point.  There's no way that its a "winner" to claim that Musk misrepresented what they are doing if they are in fact randomly sampling 100 accounts a day.  They may have more success pushing that it was a violation of the NDA to disclose it.

It is a material misrepresentation and a breach of contract.

Not sure what you mean.  There's no way its material under any legal theory of materiality.  It could be a breach of an NDA obligation or a non-disparagement clause (but not both at once), but that's about it.

It's also funny to argue that it's a material misrepresentation in a case that may turn on whether Twitter's 5% claim is a material misrepresentation.  The claim about 100 accounts is light years away in magnitude from the 5% claim, and it's very likely the court would hold that the 5% isn't material even if it turns out to be very wrong (and possibly even if the Twitter board had reason to know it was wrong).

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They do if this was a simple and well constructed study.  They may or may not in reality have anything with any real validity at all (even assuming they get good data out of the reviews).  The fact that you express so much certainty means you're either repeating their claims (which have not been independently verified) or misrepresenting your own knowledge.  Can you confirm which it is that you're doing?

I'm assuming they have competent people.  It may be they have incompetent or corrupt individuals.  My point was mostly that 100 per day is plenty to get accurate and meaningful results, when they are aggregating the 100 daily samples  into a 9000 sample for a quarterly result.

My point is you missed the point.  Corporate compliance is not designed to be an academic study.  There's virtually no chance that it doesn't have material issues in design and implementation that make the conclusions suspect and that invalidate the degree of certainty.

I wasn't even including the risks associated with corruption.  In reality though there's a real possibility that the "manual process," which this part is (as opposed to the automatic process that Twitter claims scrubs over a million accounts a day), generates bad date before it even feeds into the model.  Please don't forget how often individuals falsify results (sometimes for nefarious reasons, sometimes because they don't want to do the work), misinterpret conclusions or just do a poor job.  These compliance officers are paid to generate a confirmation of the 5% claim, not to rock the boat, and there are certainly strong incentives on them to get the "right" answer.

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It isn't sophistry - it is a very important distinction.  Sample size of 100 would have a large variance, sample size of 9000 has very little variance.

I get the basic principal there but the devil is in the details.  If it's a daily sample, then it's really a sample size of 100 repeated 90 times.  Depending on how the sample is drawn, like for example from all active accounts versus newly created accounts, it could introduce or hide a whole lot issues.  If it's pulling all 9000 at once (which seems unlikely) then how it's doing it is still a question.

It really doesn't matter though, the point is not whether there's enough of a sample being taken (the sample size is adequate for a study - the real questions are more likely to be about whether the data is valid), the point is whether referring to the sample as 100 - assuming for the moment that they actually take 90 samples of 100 - is incorrect.  There's no way that it would be and honestly there's no way that a judge would conclude it was.

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General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 14, 2022, 04:21:25 PM »
He had a complete month of firehose data (every tweet, like, share, etc. for every user for a particular month),by default the query number is limited for all users, and he was given the standard enterprise limit.  When he complained they immediately raised the limit.  Musk's team must have been doing something weird though because the basic enterprise query limit is quite high.

High for an advertiser, low for a buyer.  In a standard deal he would have had unlimited "Twitter" insider, type access.  Not third party client access.

11
General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 14, 2022, 04:19:40 PM »
Wouldn't this skew the argument in Musk's favor? If he agreed with Twitter to look at a random sampling to satisfy his demand to know the % of bots, a mere 100 accounts in a given day could be way off the statistical average if that day's sampling is all they showed him in detail.

Musk's claim was that he'd look at 100 because that was what Twitter did when it calculated it's statistics.  It wouldn't shock me at all to find that in explaining how they grabbed their "9000 per quarter" for study if they didn't actually take 100 per day and if they didn't tell him that during the meeting where they explained it to him.  Honestly, if the process is ongoing, and it has to be for compliance purposes, it almost certainly has been run as investigations of 100 (or so) samples a day and then the results are aggregated at the end of the quarter (and probably real time on a weekly or monthly basis as well).

My point is that it was presented in the complaint in a manner that's not going to hold up in court.  It's a sign of the document focusing on the public rather than the lawsuit.

His accessing of the firehouse data has nothing to do with this issue.  That was a different part of the complaint.  Effectively, Twitter didn't send him the data, they set him up as an advertiser and let him run the queries that an advertiser would have been able to run (by the way, that's either completely scary that anyone paying for access can get this data or completely undercuts the claim that they granted him detailed access).  Advertisers are capped on the queries they can run, which makes sense because the queries are for them to better develop targeted ads and better engagement, not for them to do compliance checks or diligence checks on Twitter.

Again though, that's the kind of thing that will not fool a court.  They'll actually hear arguments about whether the data access was really open or had material limits that impaired the ability to use it for the purpose it was purported to be shared.


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General Comments / Re: The Biden Economy
« on: July 14, 2022, 04:09:52 PM »
Um, Seriait, there's a reason I asked for one or two, as I can't vet all that. It'd take me weeks or months to investigate each of those arenas to my satisfaction to be able to tell you 'authoritatively' whether I think your invididual points have merit.

I don't think you should go point by point.  Instead, pick an agency that you've heard of and do some investigation about what policies and procedures they've changed since Biden took over and consider the impact they've had.  Some like those involved in border enforcement have had dramatic policy shifts on hundreds of individual rules and actions, but have less to do with the economy than with politics, others like the DoL are a mixed economic/policy puzzle, others like those dealing with COVID relief have issued policies of massive economic disruption sometimes justifiable but sometimes with barely a fig leaf for respecting their authority.  I went with the EPA first because of how extreme their rule was and how much of an impact even pre-compliance has directly had on energy costs.

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But are you seriously meaning to say that instances of systemic money shifting in the form of legal settlements and voter registration activities are why bread in stores would go up 50% in cost over the last two years?

Lol.  The change in settlement practice is going forward, and the change in agency directives to spend time on voter registration is against a backdrop where the Biden admin has used the defense in court that they can not comply with the law because the agency is underfunded (in their defense of catch and release) and where that's been a frequent refrain calling for additional funds for agencies (e.g., its' also been used to argue for expansion of the IRS's budget).

But the answer, long and short, in respect of any one specific item, such as the price of bread, is yes they contribute, but not in such a direct and clear and material way that it's obvious.  That's exactly why I listed (off the top of my head) so many things, the Biden (and before him Obama) "whole of government" approach is deliberately designed implementation of the death by a thousand cuts strategy.  The administrative agencies can promulgated thousands of rules, change millions of enforcement decisions and undermine the intent of law on hundreds of millions of interactions with the government, every one of which has an economic impact (not all bad), but the fighting of which imposes grossly disproportionate costs on industry, companies and individuals.

And then they can point to any one thing (the only way to fight in court is generally little thing by little thing) and say honestly that this tiny thing isn't responsible for everything bad.

So yes, Biden is directly responsible for that.  He's literally made no secret about it.  He's trumpeted his overturning of Trump era policies that were designed to control these costs, he's announced publicly his plan to "reverse" Supreme Court decisions or act when Congress won't through abuse of regulatory process and he's openly directed the agencies to search through their implementing statutes to "find" new ways to achieve political results. 

The fact that Democrats have embedded something like 95% Democratic partisans into those agencies and made "worker protection" laws making it impossible to remove them, means that we have a permanent and non-accountable Democrat controlled administrative law.

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And likewise these things are the cause of the stock market soaring starting Aug 2021...

Inflation caused some of this, but mostly this was the post-pandemic boost that Dems planned on covering their bad policies and that somehow Biden managed to undermine.

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...of the high price of crude oil coming into 2022

Direct Biden policies caused that and are still causing that.  Anyone with any exposure to the oil industry can walk you through a thousand regulatory changes and actions that have caused it to be grossly unwise to invest in new oil and pipeline capacity.  It's not obvious from the outside, but pipelines have to be constantly invested in to maintain a steady capacity.  Not for repairs, literally they have to be constantly being constructed to adjust to the development of new wells.  Without constant investment you create a situation where no one can drill or extract profitably.  Biden has deliberately undermined every part of the oil extraction process, they've refused to sell leases (despite being required by law), they've refused to renew (wasting massive previous investments), they've openly told the industry not to invest because they're going to close them down.

If we had a real media, you'd already know this.

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I'll focus on two of your points that I see as being more directly related to soaring inflation. Even if some of your other points have merit as being administrative bloat or mismanagement, that happens now and then in policits but doesn't generate 9%+ inflation.

Actually it does.  Inflation is a combination of everything.

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Or how about the express new directives in the housing industry that they have to consider "equity" in mortgages going forward?  Do you remember the whole friggin' sub-prime crisis?  This is literally the same type of action that underpinned the entire subprime mortgage crisis.  It's directly adding to the costs of housing, as the every loan made that isn't justified by the actual financials increases the incurrence of losses that have be made up through the rates on everyone else.

Can you be more explicit about which directives you mean? I do read and hear a lot about the mortgage market, so I'd like to know which policies you mean and where they're coming from so I can see if we're seeing the same thing.

There are a whole series of changes and directives on this.  Here's the White House's own "only the good" announcement of the grand plan.  Note the sheer number of agencies involved and the "redirection" of funds appropriated for things like COVID relief to force changes in zoning laws to allow high density buildings to be built any where.  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/05/16/president-biden-announces-new-actions-to-ease-the-burden-of-housing-costs/

When you really get down to it, they've already announced things like race based mortgage guarantees, and payment relief (i.e., favored races will get handed federal down payments and the federal government will forgive mortgage defaults) and a return to approval of mortgages without evidence of an ability to repay (why's that needed if the government is going to pay for it?).

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Or how about the changes to the minimum wage?

Well, how about it? This is the prices of commodities and finished goods are going up? Even for commodities and raw materials not exctracted in the U.S.? Even from countries which have had no change in their minimum wage lately?

How quaint, you think that the only labor inputs in an international market are those of the foreign workers.  What about the shippers, the transhippers, the port authorities, the truckers, the stockers, the workers at the store?  What about the workers that service all those people and whose wages they have to pay?  Not to mention the higher taxes owed on the additional dollars made - even though real wages declined - the numbers move people up in the tax brackets.

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As a side point, perhaps tangential to the issue of inflation, people have become very fed up during the pandemic at working crap jobs for crap money, and to the extent that the 'great resignation' is a real thing, an increase in the minimum wage would be just the government doing by fiat what sensible businesses do on their own if they actually want to retain staff.

Nope.  If "sensible businesses" would do it, it would have already happened.  In fact, most people made far more than minimum wage directly because of that reality.  What the government did is "close the gap" devaluing the work of everyone whose work was more valuable than the minimum wage by pretending the minimum wage work has more value than it does.  The second big impact that this had (in addition to inflation destroying a chunk of the value of the change) is caused a direct reduction in worker hours - even of those above minimum wage.  That's magnified the real wages loss.  It was just in the WSJ today (granted in an opinion piece but easily verifiable) that real wages have declined in 10 out of the last 13 months of the Biden Admin and they've now fallen more during Biden's Presidency than during the recession from the financial crisis.  Compare to Trump where he set several records for growth in real wages (at least pre-pandemic).

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I've been to grossly understaffed restaurants during the pandemic, with employees there griping about "no one wants to work" and blaming it on a paltry few covid relief payments. It's much more likely those payments gave people the breathing space (per the UBI argument) to be able to leave the job they didn't want to be at, but that 'not wanting to work' had to do with the conditions at that job.

"Grossly more likely" based on what?  Your feelings or opinion?  Why express either, the stats are out there.  Even though we added millions of working age workers during the pandemic on a net basis, and we still haven't broken even on jobs from before the pandemic, and we still have massive help wanted problems, and yet somehow unemployment rate is low?  The stats are there and they're obvious, the difference is not that people left poor jobs for better, they left to not have jobs or they never even started looking for jobs. Labor force participation is way down, in fact its so far down it's at a level that hasn't been seen since the late 70's.  And that's ALL on Biden, he's lost a full point on the participation rate since he took office.  Jan and Feb 2020 the rate stayed stable from where Trump had gotten it (Trump had it trending up to 63.4%).  Dems passed the party-line America Rescue Act (i.e. the pretend COVID relief law) on March 10th.  By April labor force participation dropped to 60.2%.  It's currently at 62.2% (over a full point off of where Biden inherited it, and again last seen in the 70s).

When you look at all of that together, that's a tremendous amount of people that are no longer looking for work.

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I'll note that Costco for instance has a reputation for paying well and having happy employees. I suppose this practice, which they undertook of their own volition, is responsible for 9.1% inflation as well?

In the aggregate yes, though Costco's wages being at a premium in a stable market have little effect.  Where the government has an intentional inflationary (like we do) or deflationary strategy, then the deltas caused by wage premiums have a bigger effect.  But at the end of the day, most of the commercial effects of a business decision are a wash.  If Costco pays too much it has to charge too much. 

Governmental fiats on the other hand distort the process and has a massive effect.  Before you even think about arguing the point, remember that if it isn't true, then there is no reasonable reason to engage them.  Fiats are an intentional and knowing action taken specifically to distort the market because the government has decided as a matter of policy that a distortion is required.

Declaring that all jobs should be paid a living wage, for example, means anyone working at the bottom end of the wage scale is priced out of many services.  How can someone barely able to support their own family pay their baby sitter enough  to support the baby sitters family?  They can't.  Instead, today we pay people who don't need a living wage to baby sit.  Government fiats help neither of those persons as they eliminate the ability to get a baby sitter (possibly eliminating the parents ability to hold a job) and eliminate the baby sitters ability to earn some money doing a job they found convenient.

And the knock-on-effects from that are hugely punitive to the poor.  Once again, a promise that sounds good - I'm going to make your boss pay you more - actually harms the very people who think they're going to benefit.

UBI is just communism.  There is no money to hand out that isn't stolen from some one else.  Literally transferring from the productive to the unproductive solely for the purpose of generating governmental power.

13
General Comments / Re: The Biden Economy
« on: July 14, 2022, 12:49:36 PM »
Could I, sure.  I still think you should look where I suggested and discover for yourself.

So let's talk about energy.  Did you look at the EPA's rule that was the subject of West Virginian versus the EPA?  If you dig through back and forth and the briefing on the case it exposes an entire history of activist regulation attempts that have directly led to higher energy costs (which the EPA acknowledges).  The original rule was Obama's, Trump's replacement rule was overturned by a Court that agreed not to reinstate (at Biden's request) the Obama rule and instead directed the EPA to make a new rule that on an even more expansive interpretation of agency authority.  Biden's EPA was in that process and did everything possible at his direction to try and moot the case so that the SC wouldn't rule on it - thereby "preserving" their expansive interpretation of their authority and allowing them to start a reset on the fight to over turn at the cost of millions and millions of dollars in direct litigation costs and billions or even trillions to the economy.  The EPA admitted in their filings that just passing the unConstitutional rule during the Obama administration caused billions of dollars of compliance costs to be incurred in the industry as a "preventative" and in preparation of the possibility that the rule would come into force.  Literally, every energy bill in the country is higher today because of it's un-Constitutional actions, and Biden's decisions since taking office were designed to continue and increase that effect with a future rule.  Every part of his posture on that case and the related rule making discouraged investment in energy resources that are disfavored and directly increased the costs.

Or how about the SECs proposal to regulate carbon through disclosure requirements.  Way outside the lines of their actual authority, already triggering hundreds of millions in pre-compliance efforts and expected to have tens of billions of dollars in compliance costs (for no actual gain to investors, which is the SECs mandate). 

Or how about Biden directing all 300 federal agencies to divert their resources to voter registration activities?  That's a "small" misdirection that reduces available resources used for legitimate purposes and increases the tax burden on Americans.  Heck, the SC allowed Biden to release illegal immigrants that they are required to detain by law on the theory that there are not enough resources to detain them, and just today I read how he granted a leftist organization near a billion dollars to provide legal services to unaccompanied minors in respect of their illegal immigration.  We're literally, funding the undermining of our border laws by amounts that would be more than adequate to enforce them.

Or how about how the DOJ announced they're reinstituting the practice of slush fund settlements where they enforce a law to trigger a payment to a favored third party entity.  Those settlements increase everyone's expenses, and reinstituting the practice of sue and settle, where they groom a plaintiff to sue an agency so the agency can implement an illegally adopted policy change as a settlement in front of a friendly (i.e., corrupt) judge.  Everything about those practices leads to higher costs for you.

Or how about the express new directives in the housing industry that they have to consider "equity" in mortgages going forward?  Do you remember the whole friggin' sub-prime crisis?  This is literally the same type of action that underpinned the entire subprime mortgage crisis.  It's directly adding to the costs of housing, as the every loan made that isn't justified by the actual financials increases the incurrence of losses that have be made up through the rates on everyone else.

Or how about the changes to the minimum wage?  Or the literal transfer payments to non-workers?  Or if you want to look long term, how about the direction of "COVID" emergency funds passed in the first major legislation of his adminstration to implement diversity, equity and inclusion programs in public schools that despite having lofty sounding goals are little more than hard core America hating socialist indoctrination programs designed to eliminate dissent and hard wire the next generation not to be able to evaluate things logically?  The opporunity costs of this training are being felt in literally every company in the country.

Or how about Biden reinstituting the false Obama standards for economic analysis that allow agencies to effectively weight environmental impacts as infinite and justifying any level of economic destruction?

Or heck, take a look at practically anything coming out of the DoL with its ridiculously pro union bias swept in by Biden.  I mean they've ordered re-elections when the original elections were fair but didn't get the results they wanted, they've insisted that the rules be changed to favor the union, they've pretty much expressed direct hostility to any non-union groups.  All of which increases costs.  I mean my goodness, Biden excluded Tesla from meetings on which they are the dominant environmental player solely because they are non-union.

Seriously though, pick an agency and evaluate what they're doing.  Compare and contrast to how they operated under Trump.  Tell me if you can actually reach a contrary conclusion.

14
General Comments / Re: The Biden Economy
« on: July 14, 2022, 11:16:02 AM »
Economists wouldn't know how to turn around the current situation even if you let any one of them do anything they wanted to make it happen. It is a complex issue, and I doubt Biden had that much to do with it.

Why do you doubt that he did?  Is it just because he's senile?  His authority was used to cause much of the harm.  He's every day issuing "government-wide" directives, agency directives and even executive orders that are the root cause of virtually all of the issues in the economy.

Our citizens spend too much time looking at what Congress gets done or doesn't get done, and completely ignore that 99% of the rules we live by are generated by the administrative state.  That same administrative state that spent 4 years trying to undermine Trump's authority has spent the last 18 months on overdrive trying to implement "Biden's" fascist vision.  You can go to virtually any agency, look at their current rule making efforts, and find multiple, massive, agency proposals many of which are completely outside their own authority, virtually all of which implement hard left wish list items and most of which are completely anti-economic.  And that's just the parts that are easy to see.  Most of those agencies have completely changed their response to taking actions that they are required or permitted to take, whether they are enforcement actions or other kinds (e.g., refusing to facilitate the legally required oil lease sales), and virtually all of that has been pro-leftist and anti-economic.

All of that agency action is the direct result of Biden's election, choices, directives and open encouragement.

I said it before the election, the left was in a panic about winning this Presidential election because they knew that the post-pandemic economic boost was going to be stellar.  With Trump in office everyone would be richer and we'd have the best economy in history, cementing the public's view of Republican economic guidance.  However, if a Democrat were to be elected, then they could implement whatever socialist mess of policies they wanted, knowing that they'd suppress economic growth but relying on the post-pandemic boost to still make it look like an economic success and thereby claiming that their policies "saved" the terrible economy.  Whether Biden just was too incompetent or their policies are just too terrible the plan has failed.  Only the complete sell out of the media is allowing the progressive left to even pretend they are not a walking disaster in governance.

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Anyone who takes sound bites about "who" is responsible for this is just looking for a way to stop thinking about it.

No, we're trying to get you to stop voting for it.  A failure to analyze the situation and pretend its unavoidable, ensures that you'll keep voting for the very people that cause it.

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General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 14, 2022, 10:43:21 AM »
He got into the deal when his Tesla stock price around it's ultimate peak, it has since declined about 40% in value.

So what?  Honestly, even if the Board wins, the Court may not grant them relief.  Accordingly to several sources (I haven't verified), the parties to the contract are 2 companies that Musk controls.  It would be extraordinary for the Court to order them to close the deal, and if came to damages, it may be that Twitter doesn't actually have any (Twitter's stock price is damage to the shareholders not Twitter, and it may be the case that the contract doesn't include the clause that would allow Shareholder damages to be considered), it may be that they don't even get the billion if the deal fails.

The rest of your "economic" arguments are not really relevant.

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Twitter's obligations are very narrow under the contract.

Did you read the contract?

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The reason is because they publish quarterly estimates, not annual estimates.  So 9000 is correct for the quarterly estimate.  They aren't doing 'daily estimates' the 100 is a daily sample, but they don't do their estimates based on a single sample.  So Musk's statement is a misrepresentation.  Also you can calculate their margin of error using a sample size of 9000

Lol, you ignored the point.  There's no way that its a "winner" to claim that Musk misrepresented what they are doing if they are in fact randomly sampling 100 accounts a day.  They may have more success pushing that it was a violation of the NDA to disclose it.

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For a sample of 9000, with a 99% confidence, and an actual rate of 5%, they have a margin of error of .59%.

They do if this was a simple and well constructed study.  They may or may not in reality have anything with any real validity at all (even assuming they get good data out of the reviews).  The fact that you express so much certainty means you're either repeating their claims (which have not been independently verified) or misrepresenting your own knowledge.  Can you confirm which it is that you're doing?

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Assuming the Judge takes any effort at all to understand statistics, Twitter should be entirely in the clear.  (Note that Twitter is using monetized users in their SEC filings, which is the number relevant to advertisers - what percentage of ads are being served to bots).

This is one of those unwavering (and unjustified) faith in academic expert situations for you isn't it?  Reality is that in court they do usually take the time to understand the statistics, but they also take the time to understand the study and the good or bad decisions that went into it.  That's exactly why I pointed out that 100 per day versus 9000 a quarter is sophistry.

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General Comments / Re: Musk and Twitter
« on: July 13, 2022, 12:13:15 PM »
It's hard to reach conclusions from just the complaint, and I don't have time to really dig in.  One thing I've thought for a while is that Musk may have wanted to be sued to be forced to finish the deal.  It's a weird backwards - purely speculative - idea that I have, but given the left's hostility to this deal it always seemed probable to me that a regulator would try and step in to prevent the takeover (or at least to delay it until after the election).  Causing the Board to sue Musk to finish the deal undercuts any rationale to do so, and would result in a regulatory intervention being to "save" Musk.  Pretty much, everyone on the left is now screaming that Musk should be forced to close - instead of doing everything in their power to stop the close.

The complaint alone though isn't super helpful, you have to see the answer to see what the Board didn't include.  I was just flipping through it and it's already apparent that it was drafted more as a public disclosure than a legal complaint at places (or the lawyers involved are not very smart).  I mean look at paragraphs 71 and 72, where the Board is expressing that it can't understand why after a meeting with the bankers additional items on the estimation of accounts showed up.  Any lawyer that's ever done any deal knows why that happened.  The bank is lending against the value of the assets, the bank will conduct its own diligence on what those assets really are, fake accounts being greater than disclosed impairs the lending base value (and reduces the loan).  Interestingly, while the Board asserts repeatedly that there is a lack of a diligence condition, they brush over Twitters obligations in respect of facilitating the lending.  What they avoid detailing there, honestly could undercut their case completely.  You can see that Musk was making these arguments throughout - take a look at paragraph 103 where the Board acts like it was out of the blue.

If you want to see open stupidity or misrepresentations take a look 74 and 75 and the following sections.  The Board disputes Musk's claim that Twitter based it's estimate of Spam bots on a random sample of 100 accounts.  They clearly point out that they use a random sample of 9,000 accounts per quarter.  Wait for it...  How many days in a quarter?  Right 90, 9000 accounts over 90 days, equals 100 accounts per day.  Hmm...  Given this is a manual process, it very well could be around (or even exactly) 100 accounts a day.  Whose correct?  If its the Board, why not 36,000 accounts for the "whole year"?  Even later at 78, when Agrawal defended Twitter note the language used: "“multiple human reviews (in replicate) for thousands of accounts, that are sampled at random, consistently over time..."  Isn't that literally admitting that it's going to equate to around 100 a day (if not, it wouldn't be "consistently over time").

Remember though, Delaware is a very tough court to unwind a deal for many of the "publicly" stated reasons so far.  If the answer doesn't show something powerful, it may be that Musk loses and is forced to buy Twitter (or does he win when that happens?).

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General Comments / Re: The Jan 6 Commission
« on: July 05, 2022, 02:03:05 PM »
Seriati, I'm curious: which if any of the Benghazi investigative committees do you believe were primarily propaganda?

You mean the report into the bold faced lie that Obama made about what happened, and that the media did its best to cover up?  Funny, I read the report of the Republican led committee that actually looked at the decisions that were made, and as I recall it expressly supported the President's actual decisions that were made about what actions to take.  Imagine that, a Republican led committee that didn't take an opportunity to lie about what happened.

But why did you bring it up?  Just to pretend "we all do it," even if that's just a lie in and of itself?  If this committee had been run like the Benghazi ones I really wouldn't have had much to complain about now would I?

I’m curious if you think every police and grand jury investigation is propaganda because the defense and the accused aren’t part of the police investigation and questioning of witnesses?

Interesting that you conflate the executive branch's enforcement of law and investigation of violations (which are part of its constitutional responsibility) with this show trial conducted by the legislative branch.  In order for the police to investigate they have to have evidence of a crime and a reasonable articulable basis to believe a person committed it, in order for them to subpeona records and witnesses they have to have probable cause and to be able articulate what they are looking for.

Congress?  They are not legally authorized to investigate crime, ergo, when they subpeona records they can't establish probable cause.  When they subpeona records to "investigate" crime they are ignoring the fourth amendment, not just the fifth.  Everything about their efforts is designed to side step the Constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.  Or put another way, as they interpret it, the branch legally required and entitled to investigate a crime must show probable cause, but the branch that is prohibited from doing so can investigate a crime without showing anything other than a nebulous possibility that they could use the records to make some kind of law in the field.  This is completely a judge made problem, as the SC established a subpoena power for Congress (not found in the Constitution) and then didn't incorporate the Bill of Rights that applies to the entire US government.

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No one was denied due process, courts reviewed subpoenas, people were allowed to plead the 5th.

Congress is not legally entitled to your testimony or records for a fishing expedition, only to the extent the information is necessary for the passage of a relevant law.  There's not even a colorable claim that the extent of their investigation is plausibly material to proposed legislation. 

Congress has also taken the express position that if they subpeona your private files, they can then leak them publicly or privately or use them for any purpose they want and that they and their entire staff are immune from any consequence for how they treat those records based on the speech clause.  No court can order them or enjoin them from abusing the privacy of the records they possess.  Effectively, they claim the unreviewable authority to misuse those records.

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Just because Trump’s coconspirators weren’t in on the investigation it’s propaganda?

It's propaganda because the people pushing it had a narrative to push and no desire to do an honest investigation.  The exclusion of contrary voices is just evidence - because so excluding is inconsistent with a legitimate investigation and completely inline with a propaganda operation.

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I think it might be intimidating to testify to Jim Jordan’s crimes if he’s the investigator.

So what?  You don't think it's intimidating to be an innocent person forced to testify under oath to your political opponents whose goal is to entrap you?  Who you know will comb through hours of testimony, most of which was unreasonably and therefore illegally obtained, with the goal of pulling snippets out of context to make you look guilty or to undermine your deeply held political beliefs?  The point of justice is to try and be neutral and apply the law, the point of this committee is to destroy political opposition.

I would suspect that Jim Jordan's participation would have been welcomed by the vast majority of the witnesses, as it would have allowed them to clarify the false narrative been structured.

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Republicans rejected the concept of a full bipartisan commission.

Because the proposed structure was still a propaganda effort with a window dressing.

You already know the proper and legal way to investigate this was through the Justice department, yet you keep trying to "set up" the argument that Congress had no other choice.  They had lots of choices, and very little of what they spent time on is actually useful to any plausible legislation that would prevent this in the future. 

Unless you think that investigating how your political opponents communicate and grabbing their records could lead to a valid relevant law?

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And I see no signs that the two Republicans have been muffled or relegated to insignificant roles.

So what?  This theme keeps repeating.  We each pick our political party, what we pick and what we stand for are not always the same thing.  Liz Cheney is doing here level best to destroy the party she claims to be part of.  Her self-labelling as a Republican is useful for the propaganda effort but has no real meaning when she doesn't represent any actual Republican interests.

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General Comments / Re: The Jan 6 Commission
« on: July 04, 2022, 04:03:05 PM »
Serati

Again, the Republicans had a chance to put people on the commission (there are 2 Republicans on it) If McCarthy had just not picked 2 people who would be investigated. There wee hundreds of other congress people he could have chosen, but he wanted a reason to not have members on the commission.

And?  You think that not participating in a propaganda vehicle somehow reflects on the reality of it being a propaganda vehicle?  It would have been even more screamingly obvious if they had set it up to exclude the Republicans.  Instead they just insured that Republican participation would be for nothing but show, no authority to get to the truth.

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As we have said before this is not a court (other than court of public opinion). Trump and McCarthy had their chance and threw it away.

Don't lie to yourself.  This is a court, specifically a banana court.  There is no legitimate Congressional purpose to this committee.

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It is not propaganda. I think all of the witnesses (or at least a vast majority) have been life long Republicans who have been disgusted by the actions of Trump and his cronies.

It's complete and total propaganda.  That you can think a curated, one-side presentation without cross examination is anything but propaganda is incredibly disturbing.

Flip it around, if Trump supporters had put together a congressional committee with no meaningful Democratic buy in, would you be on here claiming that it was somehow not propaganda?  The reality is you would "know" it was propaganda from the start, there is no difference here.

There were disallowed because they spread the very lies that sparked the violent acts in the first place.

Sure, nothing like assuming guilt.  Great place to start your "searching for the truth" committee.

Even if that were the case, wouldn't including Jim Jordan, for example, if you believed that, have added credibility to the results?  No one could have argued that he didn't have a chance to cross examine the witnesses or to defend himself if he had been there, and then the committee's conclusions would have been the result of a process that gave the "guilty" the chance to participate. 

But no, that didn't happen, because the real reason he was excluded is simple.  He has absolutely owned the Democrats and their witnesses in every televised hearing at getting to the truth and exposing the lies of the witnesses.  Not for any other reason.  The fact that you think him asking such questions would "confuse" people rather than expose the truth is just a fundamental rejection of the American justice process. 

Not to mention that if your reasoning held water, the entire committee would be invalidated because Nancy Pelosi - who has a direct personal liability involved - appointed every member.  How better for her to avoid taking responsibility for her own culpability than to appoint every member - who then promptly ruled out investigating her role.

The point of the committee is propaganda, they've told you openly that they had to exclude people to ensure they couldn't "confuse the narrative," and you still debate it?  As I said, consuming propaganda works.  It causes your ability to critically think through an issue to become compromised. 

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What contrary point of view did you want on the commission? A parade of inaccurate and unverified allegations about the "stolen election" because that's all McCarthy and company had to offer.

How about people with an honest interest in understanding what happened?  There's not one member of that committee that was interested in finding where the facts led, everyone of them was interested in finding the facts that led (no matter how strained the interpretation) to the place they wanted to go in the first place.  How about people that question statements such as what we heard to date that expose the obvious falseness before they are broadcast on tv. 

Why exactly are you okay with a witness spreading disinformation in a nationally televised hearing, when it's debunked within hours?  That kind of thing wouldn't have happened with an honest effort to cross examine a witness, or even a basic concept of not relying on hearsay.  Any body interested in the truth would have brought in those directly involved to testify and confronted them with the hearsay rather than putting the hearsay up as if it were proof of the substance.

We both know why they didn't.  The media amplified and broadcast the disinformation as if it were true, solely for the purpose of injecting it as true into the masses.  They couldn't care less about any debunking or walkback because they already know that won't get the same level of distribution.  This is the essence of a banana court's work.

I mean heck, any plausible argument that the committee is more interested in the truth fails when you consider the timing of the committee (always intentionally targeted at the election), the targets of the committee (political enemies, they literally subpeonad the RNC's donor lists and demanded all records of engagement with those private citizens, and then went into court and argued the fourth amendment didn't apply and that once they have the records they can do whatever they want with them without legal consequences) and its strategies (designed to undermine the truth in favor of their narrative). 

Raw uses of power established as new rights are dangerous.  No chance you're going to apply the same rules when the Republicans have the power.

Also what does a "stolen election" have to do with the security failure?  Again, you're repeating a propaganda narrative.  Anyone protesting in DC had every right to do so, they had every right to conclude the election was stolen based on the level of impropriety involved, and most significantly, whether they believed that or not had NOTHING to do with the security breach at the capital.  There is NO left wing riot from the last 2 years that would not have been able to breach the in place security at the Capital that day.  Why was that?

An investigation of "how this could happen" that excludes looking at "how this did happen" seems to be a fail as far as a legitimate investigation.  The committee's focus is on nothing but politics.

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And when the actual justice department starts investigating more deeply and more publicly, McCarthy will call it a witch hunt, spying, violation of rights.

Everything presented by the Committee was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment and the separation of powers.  What kind of fools see their actual rights being eliminated real time and say nothing?  Oh yeah, the partisan kind.

Honestly, how can you not understand or care that this process violates every principal of justice upon which this country rests.  The right to confront your accusers, the right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to a trial before a jury of your peers, all thrown in the trash in pursuit of the personal bogey man of the left.

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Corrupt people always hate being investigated and try to delegitimize the efforts to reveal their malfeasance.

Agreed, so why are you on here supporting those corrupt people and their committee?  If you were really the good guys, you wouldn't have needed to pursue your goals corruptly.  You're literally backing the team that's breaking the country and have bought into their propaganda.  I mean heck, it's just a deeper more sophisticated version of Hillary's claims about the vast right wing conspiracy to pretend that Jan 6 was more than it was.

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The committee has to start with the premise that attempts to disrupt and circumvent the rule of law is, well, bad.

No, they should have started with that premise, instead they've actually disrupted and circumvented the rule of law in pursuit of their purely partisan goals.  In no way is this committee supporting the rule of law when they intentionally violate every principal of America justice.

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The law said Pence had no right to stop the certification, so instead they fomented an illegal attempt to stop the proceedings.

The law in question is stupid, and it doesn't say what you think it says.  It does purport to give Pence an authority, but inherent in that grant is that it is likely un-Constitutional to use it.  But citing to a law that probably is un-Constitutional and isn't as clear as you pretend is part of the problem.  Nothing about the ceremony on the capital, whether or not it actually occurs, changes the reality of who becomes the President on Jan. 20th. 

Biden got away with "the steal" because our legal processes have no way to actually change a result, even it if was fraudulent, if it has been certified.  This is in part because the integrity of a secret ballot prevents after the fact verification, and partly because our courts generally want no part of the controversy that would ensue. 

Would Biden have won without the manipulation and improprieties?  I doubt it, but no one can really know for sure.  We should have spent the last 2 years ensuring the integrity of our elections to ensure that they would be trusted in the future, but one party has spent every minute trying to ensure the opposite and why wouldn't they, they were able to win by introducing all those improprieties and see a future to cheat democracy in the future so long as those improprieties remain.   

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General Comments / Re: The Jan 6 Commission
« on: July 04, 2022, 12:39:11 AM »
What's unfortunate is that we have 12 pages of comments on a banana republic show trial thread.  No one should have paid any attention to this propaganda vehicle.  If they were serious they would have honored our American legal process, they would have included defense counsel or contrary voices to cross examine witnesses (and nothing at all stopped them from hiring someone to do this), they would have honored probable cause in their subpoenas (instead of claiming they have no restrictions at all on what they demand notwithstanding the blatant 4th Amendment violations), and in fact, they would not have conducted this through Congress (Congress has no legal authority to investigate crimes).  There is no conceivable legislation to which this is relevant other than possible an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder and they've made it express that everything they are doing is designed to trigger an investigation by the DOJ. 

No one who believes in the principals behind this country should even tolerate this abuse, let alone pretend that its bringing out the truth (rather than obscuring it).

Reading and watching propaganda will have an effect on you.  For example, denying the wide spread voting irregularities is a sign that you've lost touch with reality.  Given this is a specific intent of the election based propaganda that has been relentlessly pushed ever since the election, it's a sign that you've been over exposed to propaganda.  Either that or you know its false and nonetheless continue to spread it.

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General Comments / Re: Why I hate the Chinese Room Argument
« on: July 03, 2022, 05:09:17 PM »
\Now, you might believe that it is impossible to create a book that can supply coherent responses in Chinese consistent with the imaginary life of our fictional "John Lee." And that's fine. But that's not the thought experiment here. The thought experiment is that such a book already exists, but clearly demonstrates that artificial intelligence cannot have a "mind." My own response, and one that I find frustratingly elusive among certain philosophers, is that this clearly demonstrates the flawed definition of "mind" used in the previous case.

It's a thought experiment that isn't really an experiment in thought.  Why make the book in Chinese?  It's to pretend there's a distinction between the operator and the data set.  That's not how human minds work, why would it be how an AI mind works?

So reformulate it as a human responding "from the book" in a language they did understand.  What would actually happen?  Even if they iterated around the book response, they'd almost without fail, introduce both harmless and non-harmless error.  They'd misspell words, they'd forget punctuation, they'd change the meaning.  But because they understood the language they'd get something "close" or at least not clearly crazy.  What happens in Chinese when such a mistake is made?  It's generally immediately obvious to the person that understands Chinese that such a response makes no sense, because the errors are completely random, it's not replacing "their," with "there" or "they're" it could be replacing it with "banana."  And we see that all the time with Chatbots.

What about other likely responses?  For example that you may hear the other person spontaneously speak in another language, or bang on the door or tear the note up and slip it back under the door.  Again, all of which could be in the book as responses, but then what exactly are we testing?

In this case, we'd be looking for a response that isn't in the book, or better yet, a complete yet sensible deviation from the book.  Ah but we posited a complete book did we not, for which no response can exist outside its pages?  But in that case, the operator alone isn't the AI, the book is.  If it can contain spontaneous responses to every spontaneous response, and every derivation of an original thought that could ever occur, then the book itself is the mind and pretending that it's a real book, with a separate person "operating" it is the delusion.  It's playing a trick with ordered time, effectively, it's a "written" copy of the future possibilities of a mind, along with all the rules that operate it, and it would have to be far more complex than the originator pretended.

But the test cheats itself by turning the human operator into a mindless operator - the human must take the notes and must give back the books response because that "looks" like the AI for the test, but it's a misdirection.  The human in the Chinese Room is just a mail delivery service, its the book that's the AI.  The observer on the other side was never having a conversation with the mail service.

21
General Comments / Re: Cryptocurrencies
« on: May 18, 2022, 05:53:37 PM »
...
What your grasping at is that value is still vapor-like.  While crypto is different than any other currencies, you can still ask yourself why people accept dollars in exchange for real goods.  It's not because the dollar itself has a value, its because of a long confidence that the dollar means something.  Is it really different if its a government that represents 300m people that says it has value, or 300 million people not represented by a government that say something has value?
...

Taxes. Taxes make dollars valuable. Everyone has to pay taxes, property, income, etc. Therefore dollars are a needed commodity for people and businesses.

Your argument is that government issued currency's value is that the government accepts it back in satisfaction of tax payments.  That's so circular that it's scary. 

Honestly, if that were the basis for value the dollar would have died a long time ago.  People would hold and trade other assets and only convert to dollars when they had to for tax purposes.  In fact if that were the sole basis of value of the dollar it would be virtually impossible to calculate the value of the assets you actually receive and trade. 

You're literally asserting that taxes should be calculated as a percentage of the amount of the pre-paid tax credits you get paid for doing them.

While I get the logic on your position, being logical in this case doesn't make it real.  It's also not historical.  When dollars were created, they had to be backed by gold and other precious metals to establish a value.  They were not then (nor are they now) simply pre-paid tax credit vouchers.

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However because it lacks that fundamental aspect of being the accepted tender by governments no business or individual needs to acquire bitcoin, tera coin, etc. Thus each individual currency has only the value that the confidence it inspires.

By this measure Bitcoin would pass.  You can pay taxes in El Salvador with them.  The difference is that's paying with gold bullion, the country can't mint more Bitcoin, it can only transact in them.

I'll try to go point by point later today for Seriati's replies, as I get where they are coming from but I strongly disagree. However part of my reply will be found in what yossarian wrote here. The fact that money is "legitimate" isn't just some ploy by 'the man' to 'control everything' but it's actually a necessary system of confidence in which actual life can be assured of some level of stability.

I've never argued against confidence in currency being vital.  Go back and look at those long, long arguments I had with Pyrtolin where he argued the modern monetary position that a government could print virtually unlimited dollars to pay any bill and it would have no harmful effects (Biden apparently believed him, so now we have more inflation than we would otherwise have). 

But confidence in the US government's value is not the exclusive way to generate value.  I actually agree that crypto as currency (even as investment) is inherently flawed and that most of the gains you see today are illusory.

However, where I diverge is the seeming belief that its all vapor.  The future is probably not thousands of competing tokens that each do next to nothing, but rather a handful of dominant virtual eco-systems that are exchanged at varying rates based on the value of the tech that's actually inside of them.  I mean a "global dollar" can only arise if the stranglehold of individual countries over currency is broken.  More likely than not some group of countries or a international organization is going to get behind its own digital currency at some point (to allow them to maintain some form of control over currency) and then you'll have both factors pushing for that currency to become dominant. 

Either that or some crypto team will figure out a way to irrevocably tie real assets into crypto (i.e., a gold standard) and that will be a game changer.  Terra-Nova was close with it's tie in to the more robust Bitcoin eco-system, but it's not going to be full proof until they can tie into the real world.

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You can tax it, you can track and control the money supply, and most importantly, you can mandate its use and acceptance. Anyone in the U.S. who refused to accept U.S. dollars for a transaction would risk having their business shut down or even possibly going to jail.

There are multiple places in NYC that refuse to accept hard currency.

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And you can bet that despite the fake claims that crypto will end up being a real parallel currency (which so far it never really has been except in rare cases), if there was ever a real move for crypto to compete with the U.S. dollar in the U.S. it would be shut down immediately. There is no way the government would allow a competing currency they don't control; it would practically be a literal declaration of war against the government.

More likely the digital dollar will move out of the control of the middle men - the banks - and into direct digital interactions between the federal government and individuals.  Once that happens, there's no reason the US gov't can effectively acquire other digital assets at will just by issuing more currency, of course that puts the dollars into random hands, which isn't what they want.

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This is another hugely important point I would touch on for a more detailed reply. Looking back people are astonished that no one went to jail for the mortgage market scams going on leading to 2008.

Because generally speaking there were no crimes committed.  In most cases, such a trial would have just exposed that it was government policy that caused the problems.  For example, it was illegal in certain circumstances to ask about a borrower's ability to repay the loan.  The government did that on purpose.  It was illegal to not make loans to certain borrowers regardless of whether they were qualified - the government required demographic approvals that forced lending to people who were going to default.  That was good for the situation or for the borrowers.

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More later about why long-form zero sum can look like two-way growth in the short term (although my teaser is self-explanatory).

You can talk about it all you want, but this isn't a zero sum system.  There is no finite resource to allocate - its questionable whether there is any resource.

22
General Comments / Re: Cryptocurrencies
« on: May 18, 2022, 12:07:08 PM »
Seriati,

I know I was painting right-wing opinion on markets in broad strokes, but my main point was to point out the irony in someone coming out on top in an otherwise kill or be killed market.

Fen, honestly, painting in "broad strokes" means advocating positions that are generally true but in a vague way without going into the details.  Your description of the "Republican position" is not painting with a broad stroke, it's painting with green paint and calling it orange.  Republicans favor the rule of law, and taking the view that they should support a "winner" without regards to the means used to win is actually reversing their views.  The Democrats are the party that favors an outcome without regard to the process used to achieve it.

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The crypto market can literally only have winners if there are losers; it is zero sum. Your value can only go up if new customers enter the market who will pay more.

Except this is contradicted by reality.  Crypto is at a fundamental level not zero sum.  For zero sum to exist your gain in value has to come at my expense.  I have to lose something real.  Crypto is fundamentally just confidence.  Confidence is not a finite resource and it's absolutely not zero sum.  Two crypto traders can trade crypto assets and cause both assets to increase in value.

What your grasping at is that value is still vapor-like.  While crypto is different than any other currencies, you can still ask yourself why people accept dollars in exchange for real goods.  It's not because the dollar itself has a value, its because of a long confidence that the dollar means something.  Is it really different if its a government that represents 300m people that says it has value, or 300 million people not represented by a government that say something has value?

Or maybe to explain it in tangible terms.  Why is the Mona Lisa considered to be such a valuable piece of art?  I wouldn't hang it on my wall.  And while a lot of people probably have a poster of it, is that because it's really something they enjoy or is it because they've been told they should enjoy it?  Is the Mona Lisa objectively more pleasing than pop art that people hang in their homes in generally far more prominent places?  The Mona Lisa's value is not inherent it's purely a matter of agreement of the masses.

There are lots of ways to ascribe value, and I'm struggling to grasp how crypto could ever be viewed as zero sum, when everyone could lose or everyone could gain based solely on confidence.

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From that standpoint you can't regulate it because there is nothing to regulate. You can ask for SEC declarations because there is really nothing to declare.

There are people to regulate.  That's pretty much how the SEC got control of the stock market.  Issuance of stock was completely private in most of history.  It probably was impossible to imagine the kinds of controls we think are second nature.  Crypto (at least past basic things like bitcoin) is heavily exposed because to have value it has to have hype and leaders and spokespersons.  All of those people could be directly regulated. 

Not to mention, crypto that can't move into the real world is pretty weak, and those are additional points of contact.

Not being able to identify an account holder on a platform is only a tiny, tiny, tiny piece of what is relevant to regulation (and only applies to some - not all - of these assets).

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No earnings. No subscribers. No growth. It's not even a product.

Terra-Luna - the example at hand - was paying 20% interest on deposits.  I grant you those earnings were not based on cash streams but rather based on rising confidence in all crypto assets.  But you could buy and sell them and take the profits in other currencies. 

As to subscribers, not sure what you even mean, there were hundreds of thousands of people holding the tokens.

Growth?  Actually a ton and not just in value.  The point of the Terra-Luna model was to create ever more linking utilities to the platform.  To add material features.  That happened and there were constantly more things available in their eco system.

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Yes, the valuations can continue going up until kingdom come, in theory, so the claim that they have 'no value' has to be qualified to include the 'no intrinsic value' disclaimer. The technology behind it has value, and the hype is at least partially related to that, but the value is not related to that. You do not actually have a share in blockchain by buying crypto.

You're getting closer, but I think you're basing this on how blockchain interacts with bitcoin and not so much on how other crypto assets operate.  There is a lot of hype, but the value inherent is in being able to buy and achieve things that you could not buy or achieve previously.  There's lots of evidence that's actually happening.  Take a look at the DAOs that are out there.  Some are just implementing exiting paper mechanics, but others are truly innovate in allowing a group to make collective decisions that are implementable in real time.

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You are right that manipulating regulated stock prices would be illegal, but that is not just because there happens to be a rulebook, but more specifically because there are real value-calculations people need to make about an actual company, which include its future and so forth.

In a perfect world sure.  However, a lot of a stock's value is tied into the same kind of confidence metrics.  They don't always reflect real changes in the underlying prospects or value.

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The entire market is based on speculator sentiment, so if you can affect speculator sentiment in an advantageous way that is literally you making a 'real effect' in its 'real value'.

And the market for years of Tesla wasn't?  The company had billion dollar valuations when it was producing hundreds of cars (total in a year).  Facebook had billions in valuation when its revenue stream was tiny.  Granted, there was a lot of potential there, but you're kidding yourself if you discount the potential that's currently in the crypto space.

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The closest analogy in stocks would be if you caused an actual material loss to a company, like blowing up their factory, causing a cascading reduction in stock price. That's only illegal because arson is illegal; but it's not a 'stock manipulation' per se.

Or you could just looked at what happened with Gamestop.  No factories blown, just a total meta-game strategy to catch out short sellers that had to close positions.

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To summarize, I agree with you about contracts, and how the law should be designed to make sure contracts are transparent and honest. However in crypto the stated contract is basically "you buy this and pray someone later on wants to buy it for more." That's the actual contract in terms of transparency.

Now that is painting with broad strokes.  Lol.

There so many kinds of digital assets, with so many different sets of statistics that a claim like that is kind of nonsense.  There are digital assets that are effectively no different that a pre-paid expense with a right to claim a good or service in the real world.  Absent the related operating company going toes up that's a real value. 

For others, the value they add is the ability to enter into things like smart contracts, where you effectively post the details of what you want and when it's objectively satisfied the payment is made and the contract closes.  Effectively a giant auction house of nearly unlimited scope and range.

Others are pure junk.  There's a lot of range.

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What they may tell you is "guaranteed returns!" which is the actual thing that would be illegal if it was translated into regulated securities, since it would be an illegal ponzi scheme. So I personally view the malfeasance, if any, to be on the side of those distributing the coins, not those who mess around with them.

It's only a ponzi scheme if it's not generating value and the primary source of returns is from new contributors.  The primary source of returns on digital assets is not from the redistribution of new contributions, but from the speculative swelling in the price.

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General Comments / Re: Campaign Finance
« on: May 17, 2022, 04:27:06 PM »
If the law is a benefit to an incumbent, why did one of the most incumbent guys of all - Ted Cruz - decide to make this challenge? Didn't he know he'd be screwing himself?

My guess is that Cruz wants to make sure people like Donald Trump can get into politics.  Plus Cruz is pretty solid on his support of the Constitution and this agency rule and the law that was behind it were blatantly anti-first amendment.

That would be quite the coincidence.  Of course it would be completely irrelevant as the lobbyist is still subject to the cap of $2900 per election cycle. 
...

I bet that coincidence happens in the next election cycle. Assuming we can learn about it. The SC may remove many financial disclosures. Or allow groups that don't have financial disclosures to donate to candidates.

Why would they?  Neither of those rules touches on anything remotely to do with their opinion on this matter.  Why not pick more nonsense out of the air and ascribe it to potential future decisions?

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Wealthy guy A can donate $2900, and all the 501c3 he donates to anonymously can give another $2900. And if you are like postmaster general Louis DeJoy you can direct and give bonuses to your employees to give money to the right candidates. Hey its against the law, but if his profile hadn't been raised quite so high and hadn't given up direct control of his companies maybe no one ever decides to speak out. At will employment makes ratting on the boss a dicey proposition. And the difference between pre and post election is that giving after the election means you are giving money essentially directly to the candidate (to repay their loans) to someone who has already won the election. Its like spending your campaign dollars on a sure bet.

Well except that you're quite wrong about what actually happened, and your position completely ignores that the rule also applied to the loser of the election.  There's absolutely no legitimate anti-corruption purpose served by preventing the loser recovering the loan amount.

It's also stunning that you give as "examples" situations that are illegal (boss ordering employees to donate).  You literally already have a law against that, this law had nothing to do with addressing that situation. 

So if your concern is that a single person can abuse the campaign finance limits by using charities fix that loophole (of course, it's not the 501c3's generally that should concern you as they can't make a campaign contribution in the first place).

Again, the constraint here is not an abstract.  Fundamentally allowing repayment of the loans from pre-victory proceeds and from $250k of post victory proceeds already more than opened the door you seem to be concerned about.  If a candidate has an outstanding loan to themselves prior to the election and they look like a shoe-in, there's pretty much the same incentive you're concerned about to donate prior to the victory.  The same gratitude and all. 

The reality here is that incumbents start with an advantage of hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars of carry over.  They can role extra money from the last election, and every dollar that comes in late into the next election.  They generally have access to mega donors, party mechanisms and their own networks.  The idea that they are less corrupt than a rich person loaning their campaign money is kind of insane.  And when you have a rule that barely slows an avenue of corruption, but does so in a way that protects incumbents, it's not legit.

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General Comments / Re: Cryptocurrencies
« on: May 17, 2022, 03:28:22 PM »
I still have no idea what you're complaining about. I've never before heard a Republican, of all people, complaining that a winner figured out a way to best the competition. Shouldn't they be applauded for their ingenuity?

Not really.  I think you're confused about what being a Republican means.  As the transaction was described above, if Terra and Luna were securities the entire scheme would be illegal and the people behind most likely facing prison.  I don't think it's ethical to look at what's been made illegal for the stock markets, reverse engineer the circumstances the law was designed to protect against and then apply them to a "market" that is unregulated.  I don't think any major group of Republicans thinks that's okay.

Most of the traders at those big groups are hard core Democrats, not Republicans.  Which is why you see things that comply with the letter of the law while killing its spirit.

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And more importantly, for the success that their efforts yielded?

What success?  The reason we have the stock markets is to generate capital for operating businesses.  The entire financial overlay of "winning" in the market has almost nothing to do with the purpose of the markets, it's more of a consequence of creating a system that allows investment.  The only real benefit provided is that the trading market is supposed to cause the prices of the stocks to stay at their true value (as traders will buy below value and sell above).  When "techniques" distort the market to create fake divergences from the true value solely to benefit a clever person that's generally something that is promptly corrected and frequently made illegal.

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We're talking about the de-regulation party, after all. Winner takes all, stop holding back those who are more effective. That sort of thing.

De-regulation is about removing unnecessary, instrusive and contra-beneficial regulation.  It's never been about removing all regulation.

Honestly, take a look at the list of rules the SEC is currently proposing.  https://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed.shtml  Many of these proposals are over 500 pages.  They're proposing to fundamentally reorder the entire stock market (and all the rules are grossly pro nanny state).  Many of the rules seek to reorder society and have little to do with the markets themselves.  For example, https://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/2022/33-11042.pdf, which is 490 pages on proposed climate change "reporting" rules that attempt to force the private non-securities market to comply with climate change reporting via forcing the public companies to report on their private counterparty's compliance - climate change is not in the SEC's mandate and has next to nothing to do with its mandate.

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Now I don't want to pidgeonhole you in with a blanket group label, but...well the party lines on this issue seem to be so well-defined (to my constant amazement) that I honestly do just assume you're generally in line with the right-wing ethos. So please correct me if I'm wrong about this. But so far it sounds like you're upset that something was not fair, which is a total reversal of the typical right-wing attitude about markets.

I don't have a clue what you've been reading.  But the idea that right does not support free and fair markets says it wasn't remotely objective.  A lot of communist propaganda promotes the idea that free markets are completely unrestricted where only the victor survives.  That's never been the position of any major political party, honestly, I don't even think the libertarians get that far.

There is a major difference between the parties on what regulation level is appropriate.  I would characterize is that the Republicans are looking for regulation that honors the deals made by the parties and promotes things like disclosure to allow both parties to understand the deal so they can reach a fair deal representing their agreement on the topic.  Cheats are not acceptable.  The Democrats want even more, they want to control the actual deals that parties are allowed to make and to completely eliminate transactions that they view as unfair (whether or not the parties agree).  Disclosure is not just for balancing the information available to the parties, it's also for the government to monitor the deals and override them where it doesn't agree that the deal should have been entered into.

But that said it's not hard and fast between the parties.  For example, we have rules like the bar on enforcement of contracts with minors that are more consistent with the Democrat position and both parties support.  Or things like the tip based compensation rules that are more Republican style and still have significant support among Democrats (particularly Democrats earning tips). 

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And like I mentioned before, and without trying to be mean about it, anyone purchasing a 100% speculative financial instrument that has no value other than the potential to offload it to someone else, should know the game they are getting into. I could make moral value judgements on this topic, but I'll avoid that and stick to the facts.

I think there's some truth to what you said here, but there's also some "not truth" and I don't mean in a bad way necessarily.  There's currently two realities on this.  The first is that digital assets are inherently valueless hype-generated assets.  The second is that they actually do have value and that value is increasing and becoming more real as they layer more and more technologies on top of them.  At some point there will be virtual currency, and already things like smart contracts are a huge value add.  There's never been such an "open" system that let transactions for so many things occur without any kind of active broker.  While that doesn't dictate that any one digital asset has a value, it does mean that digital assets at a broad level have value.  How to ascribe it to one piece of the eco system or another is the question.

25
General Comments / Re: Campaign Finance
« on: May 17, 2022, 01:53:20 PM »
That would be quite the coincidence.  Of course it would be completely irrelevant as the lobbyist is still subject to the cap of $2900 per election cycle. 

It's funny, that allowing them to be repaid $250k from contributions made after the election is clearly okay, but $500k (really just the extra $250k) is going to cause a massive and different level of corruption.  I mean heck, they can be repaid $100m so long as its from contributions made before the election. 

There is substantial evidence - including in the Congressional record - that the primary purpose of this law was to protect incumbents (who generally start with a cash and a fund raising advantage) from challenge.  That's never been a permitted purpose for such a law.

26
General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: May 10, 2022, 05:58:39 PM »
Are you claiming that the Republican administrations in Georgia and Arizona were in deep with the Democrats to rig the election against Trump?

It doesn't take deep, it takes just little bits.  GA settled a suit by DNC activists prior to the election by agreeing to override multiple legislature approved controls on the election.   There were direct, measurable impacts of that settlement on how votes were counted, what was deemed a legal vote and the measures taken to validate they were cast by legal voters.  All those settlements were in favor of counting illegal and fraudulent votes rather than risking excluding a vote.  Raffensberger signed that settlement in a suit led by none other than Marc Elias of Perkins Coie.  Based on that action alone, Raffensberger had a self-interest in ensuring that the results of the election not be overturned - which would review his own participation in fraud and in illegally modifying the vote rules to permit that fraud.  Big surprise he also rigidly controlled and prevented any outside review of the underlying election materials. 

Don't know as much about AZ.

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Our election has good fraud controls, not perfect fraud controls. States are getting better about auditing standards and verification. They aren't perfect, but they aren't is no way to prove any fraud. See Mark Meadows. See the idiot Republican in Pennsylvania who got caught voting for his dead mother. Clearly there are controls in place that flag this issues and allow them to be detected.

Yep, you can - in some circumstances - catch a dead voter, if they vote by mail and if the envelope is post marked and retained.  There are very few controls on the actual kinds of mail voter fraud that most likely influenced the election.  Voting stolen or abondoned ballots - particularly in the jurisdictions controlled by Dems that mailed unsolicited live ballots, manipulating the votes of the elderly - even when caught difficult to prove, heck stuffing extra ballots held in trunks under tables into the official tally after the observers leave (but forgetting about a security camera).  Even with witnesses, avadavits and other circumstantial evidence impossible catch or undo once the ballots are actually tallied (which de-links them from any security measures entirely). 

Heck, multiple Dem controlled jurisdictions not only used Covid as an excuse to ban effective poll watchers by forcing them to be at a distance, some went further and actually erected visual barricades to prevent poll watchers from seeing.  Cause that's the "hallmark of free and fair elections," literally preventing poll watchers from being able to watch the ballots be tallied.

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Did we catch every individual who double voted? No. Was there potentially some small time ballet harvester out there? Probably. Are the controls and investigations good enough to detect something on the order of 10,000 votes? Yes. So quit equating I no one can verify that 100% of votes are valid with we can say with a very high degree of confidence that 99.99% of votes are valid.

Except nothing you just claimed is based on anything but speculation.  There is no confidence of 99.99%, there is no confidence at all.  There were massive ballot harvesting operations, that's just a fact.  They involved thousands of politically active and even radical collectors that collected hundreds of thousands if not millions of votes.  In many locations more than enough to tip the election.  And there's no reason more reason to believe that more than a tiny fraction are legitimate than to believe that virtually all were.  There is no verifiable evidence, and there are numerous accounts of what appeared to be fraud.

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For the BLM lets take it one step farther than the war language. If there was an account that was doxing police officers and making repeated claims that the doxed officers were part of a secret death squad that was running around killing black people. Maybe they mix some real police violence video in with some selectively edited and doctored up. Does that cross the line for you? It does for me.

I would be more than happy for Congress to pass a law that criminalizes the intentional doxxing of a person.  Maybe ask yourself why they haven't before you clamor for business to censor people at the behest of political insiders - which is exactly what they are doing.

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I don't want that community building up to the size of millions the way Alex Jones did. Its dangerous. So do you support taking something like that off twitter and twitter has taken down things on the left that are much milder than that. You just don't hear much about it because none of the absolutely disconnected from reality people on the left rise to reach an audience of millions before they get de-platformed.

Again, Alex Jones spread conspiracy theories and was known for that.  You have liberals that spread hate and conspiracy theories, like say Joy Reid with her 2.1 million twitter followers and television hosting gig that are not only completely unhinged but also not taken down and in fact repeatedly amplified.  Or people like Adam Schiff, with his 3 million followers, who've used their seat in the House to spread outright lies and disinformation free from any risk of punishment at law, and have faced absolutely no consequences on twitter for their role in spreading dangerous disinformation.  Many of his lies have been amplified by twitter statements and no response.

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General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: May 10, 2022, 05:02:35 PM »
So I should be free to create an anonymous twitter account post non stop that someone is a Nazi child abuser.

Nope, you should be free to do that from your personal account and to own the consequences of that decision, including that your victim would likely win a defamation case against you.  Anonymous trolls are part of the problem.  But should you be banned, and silenced?

What if it turns out that the person is question really is a Nazi that escaped justice that is abusing children?

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Create deep fakes that purport to show them doing those things, publish their address and then be completely free of responsibility if someone gets violent against that person?

Free of responsibility?  Nope.  And I don't read Elon as claiming that he's going to support the creation of completely anonymous attack accounts.  In fact, he's commitment to trying to end the use of bot accounts, which I interpret to mean that he's looking to make you responsible for your own posted content.

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Even if all that crap is false? Most of it is defamation but that's what you are arguing for, twitter can't stop me.

Nope.  Never argued for your strawman, neither did Elon.  Defamation is illegal, it would get pulled down if you couldn't adequately defend it and you'd be liable for it.

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What if my account is anonymous or located in Russia? Can't sue then, it just gets to stay up and continue defaming and ruining peoples lives? Free speech right?

Still illegal, per Musk's statements it would come down.

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Twitter just has to host and broadcast to the world the most despicable content that damages reputations and lives because ... freedom?

Because strawman.  Honestly, even if what you claimed were the case, if you have solid filters you never have to see that content - nor does anyone else.  If you have control of the nanny filters, you could downgrade that type of content.  And heck, nothing stops them from developing even better tech.  Maybe you'll be able to follow the filters of others, or contribute a group filter, or even opt into the exact nanny filters you'd prefer to impose on everyone else.

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No one is arguing that these people go to jail for their lies and disinformation.

No one is arguing that today.  Yesterday no one was arguing that it was okay to strip away peoples speech rights, or okay to get people fired for stating fairly mainstream politic views, or for contributing to campaigns, no one was doxing private donors to charities, or claiming that Congress has the right to demand phone records of their oppponents without a warrant.

I have no doubt that the next obvious step will be to jail people for disinformation.  After all you've already made the case that medical disinformation could cause a harm, just like Trump's "practically responsible," so to would be the person that spread such disapproved information.  There is no question that's where this is headed.

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Just that we let platforms have some standards as to what is acceptable and help prevent radicalization and extremism. Should twitter have kept ISIS accounts active? Help them broadcast their message of hate to the world and recruit more followers?

Twitter still has active accounts from terrorists, and leaders of terrorist nations, they have zero problem spreading racist messages so long as they say they're anti-racist.  Why is that okay and only the opinions of your political opponents are labelled as dangerous?

You're not advocating for standards, you're advocating for censorship.

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General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: May 10, 2022, 02:26:59 PM »
A protest that went too far killing police at the capital?

And this is why your team should never be in charge of the levers of censorship.  It's a bold and repeated lie that a police officer was killed.  Of the seven deaths "connected" to the Jan. 6 riot only Ashley Babbit was actually killed by an intentional act.  2 other civilians died of natural causes - heart attack and stroke that were most likely aggravated by the events, and 1 civilian died of a drug overdose and may have been trampled.

3 officers died. 2 killed themselves after that day and the only one actually reported as killed during the protest died from a series of strokes.  It was never the case that any of them were killed during the riot.

So no, it's active disinformation on your part to push that angle.

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A protest that went too far erecting gallows and saying they were going to hang the vice president and speaker of the house?

Symbolism.  Do I need to go back and find old posts made on this board about such classic "legitimate" protests as Kathy Griffith with Trump's severed head?   Or how about all the times Trump or another Republican have been hung in effigy?  What makes one thing political speech and the other your form of a nightmare?  Heck, it only takes a second to pull up hundreds of such images on google.  Yet, I've NEVER ONCE heard you call for banning anyone who has shared them on social media.  Seems to me that the only difference in content you don't have a problem with and that which is terrifying demonstrates a clear need to erase the rights of the people is which team generated it.

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A protest that lowered the American flag to raise a Trump flag over the capital?

That's an obscure reference.  I find one article on it that says a flag was torn down from a balcony and that an attempt to replace it occurred.  I'm not struck by any particular feeling that this was even remotely the most egregious thing that's happened to a flag at a legitimate protest let alone a riot.  In fact there are thousands of images of worse happening to flags at left wing protests that you've never condemned.

Sounds like this is just part of a laundry list compiled by someone else.

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A protest fueled by rage generated by lies that the President told?

I agree, but Biden wasn't yet the President at that time, so I'd rephrase it as lies a candidate told.  Maybe that's a little too generous, Biden's senile, its really the lies of his handlers.

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Yes all those things concern me.

No they don't, if they did, you'd have a consistent position when they occur based on the events themselves, but that's not the case.  You have no problem with worse acts being ignored, endorsed or even amplified if they come from the proper team.

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Impeaching Trump was the least that should be done to that demagogue.

Impeachment was an abuse of political power by Pelosi and her gang.  It's diminished us all to impeach a President twice without a basis in a high crime or misdemeanor.  In fact, it was beyond an abuse to impeach Trump for the high crimes of Biden and his son.

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There is a direct logical chain from his lies, his rally, his call to march to the capital, to fight to keep from losing your country to the violence at the capital that day.

There's a direct logical chain from creating a system of voting that is susceptible to fraud, impossible to verify, impossible to challenge and impossible to overturn, to creating distrust in the results of the elections held by those votes.  There's a direct logical chain extending from efforts of one party to maximize the opportunities to commit fraud and eliminate any ability to catch fraud and people in the other party determining the elections are suspect.

There's no logic at all for anyone that claims they want to have fair elections to oppose efforts to make it verifiable that they were fair.  Yet that's where we find ourselves, the party that claims its impossible for cheating to influence an election will fight to the death to make it impossible to catch cheating.

In any event, Trump had and has every right to claim he was cheated.  He'll never be able to prove it because there is no way to verify the fraud.  There's also NO WAY to verify that the results were legitimate but this all about burden shifting.  There's more than enough evidence of illegal influence on the election, of illegal voting and even of systematic activities that would be capable of generating a fraudulent result, but there will never be any proof and in our system the, generally, impossible burden is on the person that loses the official election.

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McConnel and Graham saw it that day calling Trump morally and practically responsible for what happened.

"Practically responsible" I love that part of the criminal code.  You've found guilty beyond the shadow of.. oh wait.. I mean you're "practically responsible," so we'll roast you alive.  Nothing Trump said even remotely approaches the legal standards for incitement, which is the only even barely plausible basis such a claim.

And McConnel and Graham, and really most all politicians, are in the same boat.  They know the elections are not secure, but their own power is only created by those elections.  In admitting the truth they'd be admitted to the risk that none of them are exercising legitimate authority.  Don't get me wrong, most would still be in power with a verified legitimate election, but none of them are really sure they'd be part of the "most" and I'm sure many of them already know they wouldn't be.

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Prison for incitement would be reasonable. I know incitement is almost impossible to prove in America but he caused death with his words that day.

His words weren't even close to incitement.  This is just you calling for the imprisonment of political prisoners.  Congrats on advocating openly for becoming a banana republic.

It's also a lie that his words caused death.  Even if you wanted to run with such a crazy theory, there are many many people more directly responsible, including Pelosi - without whose decisions the riot never gets passed being a protest; the media - whose lies and manipulations tilted the election and without which it was probably Trump being inaugerated that day - granted more people may have died in that circumstance because the left would have openly advocated for violence (and you'd have been on here telling us how it was justified and not how its so scary that your own opinions as a member of the left need to be permanently banned from social media).

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What scares me is that when you let people form their own information bubbles online all the crazies can find each other and form self reinforcing groups.

Given some of the nonsense you repeated above, you may be more unaware of when an information bubble has formed than you think.  A lot of your claims are contrary to reality or even known to be debunked, yet they keep re-appearing from the those bubbles.

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Getting those 10,000 most extreme people together on one day with the most extreme of those having planned for breaching the capital led to the violence we saw.

Lol.  Seriously, most of the people involved were less extreme than the average left wing protestor.  Some were very extreme, but even they are far less extreme than the molotov cocktail and rock throwing anit-fas that are a constant hallmark of the riots endorsed by the left, let alone the actual insurrectionists that set up the CHAZ-CHOP in Seattle.

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Without those self reinforcing extremist bubbles most of those people would have never shown up or if they had would have never thought to storm the capital. The same thing is possible on the left if they start going all out on misinformation.

The delusion here is amazing.  The left is the party of propaganda, misinformation and disinformation.  I mean honestly, the left immediately and falsely labelled this an "insurrection."  That's an active disinformation claim - it was obvious from the start that it was a rally that turned into a generally low energy riot.  Nothing but inadequate security kept it from getting out of hand as there was absolutely no evidence of planning to invade the capital by the crowd as a whole.  The left - including the media - has repeatedly labelled Trump's claims about the election as a Big Lie - they're not, they're an opinion that is more reasonable than they'd like to admit.  What is a Big Lie is the medias false claims about the election itself.  They didn't verify it's legitimacy, because the truth is they CAN'T do it either.  No one can.  Leftists are right now passing around intentional disinformation about what's in the SC opinion overturning Roe, what it means if Roe is overturned (i.e., telling people that abortion becomes illegal rather than a decision of the state) and literally calling for direct action against and even violence targeting the SC to try and illegally interfere with their judgement. 

The left is literally doing exactly what they claimed Trump was doing, but that Trump didn't do.

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Imagine a hypothetical super extremist wing of BLM, ones that say the police are at war with people and they need to respond with a war on the police.

That's actually just mainstream BLM for the most part.  Did you want to create something even more extreme?

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Parts of BLM have been suspended on twitter for walking too close to that line and its a good thing.

And yet the Southern Poverty Law Center is still used as a trusted source for moderation decisions. 

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Having those self reinforcing information hate bubbles is dangerous on the right and the left.

True, but this isn't a both sides do it problem for the most part.  Its a problem of the left that's magnified by their overwhelming control of the media and social media.  Being a Democrat is the ultimate in "priviledge" when it comes to expressing opinions and hearing opinions you want to hear.  If we had balance in the market place of ideas the ideas of the left would have to have merit to win the day, instead they just look to clear the field so they're all that's left.

29
General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: May 09, 2022, 09:00:58 PM »
Or disinformation attacked as disinformation, like when Alex Jones got the boot for saying the Sandy Hook Massacre was not real. Which was doing real harm, as proven by a court judgement. Musk's "all things legal standard" would have ignored his dangerous disinformation. Note that what he did wasn't illegal, as in criminal, at least no one has tried to charge him criminally.

What was dangerous about it?  Seriously, that's like arguing that the crazies who claim the moon landing was fake were dangerous.  Almost as crazy as not banning any talk of COVID escaping from a lab... oh wait, we did do that for no reason that's actually articulable.

Letting Alex Jones speak on this discredited him to virtually everyone that heard him.  Suppressing it would have discredited him to virtually no one.

The moon landing hoaxers don't inspire people to make death threats to rocket scientists and people working at SpaceX. If they did, I'd fully expect people to start removing that bull as well.

So see my prior post.  Remove all left wing politicians for their inspiring of anti-fa violence.  And no disputing that their responsible, the standard you're articulating is unproven and barely sourced responsibility.   It should apply both ways.

In fact, the people who make death threats should be the ones in trouble, not the people who make the "inspiring" posts (which really aren't inspiring of the conduct).  If real people are connected to the accounts that should be easy to do.  Those death threats are coming electronically, why not dox those people.  Won't take long to week out such illegal content and then there's no more "harm."

So pretty much it's a ridiculous strawman to argue that you have to ban people from stating their opinions because "other people" make death threats.  It's a stupid standard if it's actually applied, but its not actually applied, its just an excuse to ban opinions that you disagree with.  Classic motte and bailey.

30
General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: May 09, 2022, 08:55:49 PM »
Letting Alex Jones speak got the affected families doxed and death threats. Because crazy to 99.9% of people still leads to a lot of badly misinformed people when your audience is in the millions. I’m not arguing locking him up. Just taking away his megaphone and ability to reach millions.

Making fun of AOC got mini-AOC's family doxed and death threats, Libs of Tiktok?  Doxed and death threats.  Any number of doxed people receive death threats.  Should that be the standard?  Should anyone that's been doxed and threatened have the right to remove the speakers that create the circumstances?

I know you love taking Trump down for Jan 6, but how about taking AOC down for the threats of her followers?  I suspect you believe its "completely different" but it's not.  Its actually exactly the same thing.  Crazy crap AOC says is actually more directly linkable to the harms and threats of her followers than what Trump said.  That's before you even consider, the deliberate calls for dangerous situations and violence from people like Maxine Walters or dozens of others on the left.

I mean heck, Psaki and the Biden administration failed to even pretend to discourage the promotion of dangerous situations for SC justices.  If your Jan 6 fears are even remotely good faith, you should be screaming your head off about their complete disregard for the operations of a entire branch of our government.  Mobs are never supposed to influence the courts (and attempting to influence the decision of a judicial officer is a crime - not sure why people are fixating on the irrelevant classification of documents laws).

31
General Comments / Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« on: May 09, 2022, 08:48:55 PM »
This is an extraordinarily long thread on a SC case for such limited discussion of the merits of the actual case.  Roe was always poorly reasoned, and that's never been a secret.  It's always been a pure judicial power play to usurp the democratic process for deciding whether any restrictions at all can be placed on abortions.  It's never been just about the right to an abortion, but always has also been about the entire made up framework that was opposed by fiat by the decision of the SC.  It was judicial authoritarianism at it's peak, and that's why it's settled virtually nothing over the years.  This opinion does correctly recognize that the SC never had the legal authority to declare that abortions could not be controlled by the people if they so chose.

The SC has no moral authority to dictate to a country whether or not it can make laws where the Constitution is silent.

The reality is that most states will not ban abortions out right, but many will restrict them in ways that overwhleming majorities of their own populations support.  I saw an article on how this is handled in Europe and many of them developed laws on the topic that look like what will probably end up applying here in the US (surprisingly to me, most European countries are actually a bit more restrictive timing-wise than the law that the SC was reviewing), but that allow abortions but also place restrictions on when and how they can occur.  There's always been a majority of the country that favors access to abortion, with limitations on abortions.  The SC's interference has previously prevented that situation from occurring.  I'm hard pressed to understand why laws reached that a majority would support on this issue are "clearly" wrong in a country with our system of government, and protecting Roe from being overturned has compromised legal principals over and over again impacting other rights.

It's also bizarre that so many are taking the position that states are automatically going to go to the extremes on this.  First, it would have to be what the majority of their populace actually wants to stick.  But second, it's not like we don't already rely on the states to make critical life and death decisions on what are laws are.  How for example, self defense operates, or when a killing is a murder, or when an assault becomes a felony, are all already in control of the states.  Third, it won't last.  Most of the hard line politicians on both sides were elected against a back drop where they couldn't achieve their goals.  Now that goals can be achieved, I suspect voters will place a premium on people with the reasonable positions that the voters hold themselves.  Honestly, I didn't care before, but I'll be looking at this going forward because it could matter.

And its beyond stunning that any cares what progressives think on this.  They have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM electing prosecutors to act as mini-dictators and completely ignore the laws of a community, but have a problem with the SC undoing its own theft of authority.  So it's okay for a single person to overrule democracy, but not for the SC to put something back into the hands of democracy?  What  exactly, other than pure political power, is the guiding principal here?

While I get the appeal of claiming that Roe threatens other rights, it's active disinformation to claim that the opinion provides that basis.  First, it expressly disclaims that it means those other rights are in danger.  It literally distinguishes abortion from those rights.  Second, most of them actually rest on (and have always rested on) much stronger legal grounds.  For example, you won't find a right to marriage in the Constitution either, but you will find any number of promises of equality under the law, which means if a state establishes ANY right to marriage it has to do so in a manner consistent with that Constitutional promise.  Virtually none of the list of "in danger" rights actually involve a balancing of conflicting rights that could even plausibly be analogous to Roe.

I don't love the Court digging into this now, and quite probably saving the worst President in history or his party, which gives them even more time to damage our country.  But Roe was never a good decision and it should not have stood this long.  It may also be the case that this court will rule on some of the more extreme laws that are imposed by some states.  There are still other basis to do so, even if they aren't implicated by a proposed 15 week ban.

32
General Comments / Re: The Book Banning Begins
« on: May 09, 2022, 07:56:09 PM »
The American Library Association has issued it's yearly report for National Library Week.

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ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.

“The 729 challenges tracked by ALA represent the highest number of attempted book bans since we began compiling these lists 20 years ago,” said ALA President Patricia “Patty” Wong.

The Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021 are:

A lie.  Honestly, its a lie.  Not yours, its a lie of the librarians.  Challenged by whom?   They tracked "tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals."  Notice "challenged" or "removed," in fact, the ALA has repeatedly had to admit that virtually none of these outside challenges result in any of the books actually being removed.  Whereas, the librarians themselves are constantly removing volumes - of their own choice - to clear space for new books.  They systematically and without fanfare remove volumes they determine are offensive - based on their own standards. 

How many librarians, members of the ALA, refused to acquire books they disapproved of or even refused donations of those books?  How many passed over books that were totally appropriate for a library because they personally disagreed with the content or depictions of people in those books?  I guaranty that it was far more than 729 librarians and impacted far more than 1600 books and I guaranty that they didn't count those in their list of "most challenged." 

This is nothing but a list of how often "outsiders" disagree with the librarians as to what should be in the library.  But librarians have no special insight or validity on this matter when it comes to substance.  They do have more time and focus and access to professional resources, but that can be used to cover deliberate bias as easily as to reduce it.  As the list demonstrates, they've overwhelmingly selected certain books that offend many communities morals solely on the basis that they serve certain political goals (of the librarians) in overwhelming enough numbers to cause those complaints.  They are literal activists that are whining that their activist choices are not respected.  They don't tend to donate much to politics, but when they do its usually at a ratio of several hundred to 1 in favor of the Democrats.

In fact, they spent half of the press release you cited just tooting their own horns about how trusted they are by communities and how trusted they should be.  But when you use trust to act in ways that those relying on you oppose, it's really an abuse of trust and over time it will cost that trust.  As a group they strongly deviate from the opinions of the population at large, and the more they exploit trust to push their own agendas to the exclusion of the agendas of the communities they serve the less they should be trusted.

The list could just as easily been called the list of volumes that we have tried to push on the communities that we work for because of our own political purposes but to which they have objected.  Less catchy.

33
General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: May 09, 2022, 07:22:34 PM »
Or disinformation attacked as disinformation, like when Alex Jones got the boot for saying the Sandy Hook Massacre was not real. Which was doing real harm, as proven by a court judgement. Musk's "all things legal standard" would have ignored his dangerous disinformation. Note that what he did wasn't illegal, as in criminal, at least no one has tried to charge him criminally.

What was dangerous about it?  Seriously, that's like arguing that the crazies who claim the moon landing was fake were dangerous.  Almost as crazy as not banning any talk of COVID escaping from a lab... oh wait, we did do that for no reason that's actually articulable.

Letting Alex Jones speak on this discredited him to virtually everyone that heard him.  Suppressing it would have discredited him to virtually no one.

34
General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: May 09, 2022, 07:19:46 PM »
Why are you so scared of letting others make their own decisions on this?

January 6th.

You're scared of a protest that went too far?  Or are you scared of the active disinformation campaign pretending that it was an insurrection?  Or are you scared of the abuse of power that involved impeaching a sitting President in connection with it?  Or is it something else?

My guess is that you're not scared at all.  It's just convenient to pretend that something about a protest by a small number of people that didn't go as far as countless other protests that you agree with, somehow is a justification to overrule the right to free speech as too dangerous.  That's the argument of an autocrat.

I mean honestly, the leaking of the draft SC opinion and the targeting of the Justices by protesters seeking to influence their opinions is far more an attack on the operations of our government, than temporarily delaying a ceremonial "counting" of the vote that isn't required under Constitution at all? 

If Jan 6 had been investigated by reasonable people, rather than radical partisans, you might be able to make a persuasive case.  But the world we got is a bunch of known liars who announced their conclusions before they investigated and have done little but grossly abuse their authorities since have controlled the investigation.  So you got nothing persuasive.

35
General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: May 06, 2022, 11:14:22 PM »
He’s very likely buying Twitter with the desire to shape politics and the world with it. He will let free speech fly then shape the narrative with algorithms. If you don’t understand how this is done you’re already playing out of your league.

To what end? His own. What might those be? Magic 8 ball says…

So my choice is between letting an overwhelmingly woke group control every major communication tool or taking a risk on what Musk will do?  You have to be kidding if you think that the better option is not take the guaranteed loss rather than taking a chance that Musk may be better.

How often do you troll around on 8chan? I don't, its not a good section of internet. Forcing everyone to block every internet troll is harmful to user experience and society. Forget being a public woman on twitter with no content standards.

So your "argument" is that someone would have to filter millions of people by name?  Sounds like a complete garbage argument on your point.  If you'd listened you'd know the goal is to give smart filters.  They'll get better over time.  Heck it'd be surprising if you don't start seeing validation filters that let groups certify their adherents.

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How many lude remarks and harassing messages are okay per day?

Okay for what?  How many suppressed voices are okay per day?  Is it okay if only a million legitimate and true opinions are suppressed?  It's just a flat lie that harassment is stopped, those on the left are free to spew hate pretty much at will.  Heck they're free to reverse bully people and have the moderators take their side.

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How many people would walk right up to violent threats?

Which are still illegal.  Ergo complete bad faith argument on your part.

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You manage to participate as a civil member of society on this forum despite our moderation rules. Smaller scale but same idea.

And?  Would this forum be what it is and was if the moderators just banned everyone who has wrong thoughts?  Cause that's what you're advocating.  No more debate, no more arguments, no more convincing anyone, just shutting down voices that you don't want heard. 

Pretending it's about stopping abuse is a lie.  Its the motte and bailey argument.  there's no true conflict between stopping illegal threats and not interfering with legitimate opinions.  But we already know how the left twists things.  It's now violence if you don't speak up about something.  Ergo a violent threat and you can be silenced if you don't use the approved forms and pump up the "right" themes.

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To foster civil discussion we have some standards. Some members walk fine lines around those standards but generally it works to allow people to largely discuss ideas without threatening each other or devolving into trading insults.

Sure.  But if the standards are that no one can make any arguments on topics that the left declares off limits then you don't have a civil discussion, you don't have a discussion of ideas at all.  You have an echo chamber pretending to be something more.

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Saying twitter shouldn't have any standards because people should be free to express hate as much as they want is crazy.

Well it's also a strawman.  Musk told you the standards.  People are aloud to express hate.  You seem to think that's all about an unwilling audience, an attack on someone.  That's what filters are for, to stop anyone from being able to force hate on you. 

I'm struck by your unconsidered opinion that two people who want to discuss something hateful between themselves should not be able to do so.  That somehow its adding merit to society to interfere in that interpersonal communication.  That what people say among themselves, even on twitter, is anyone elses business.

What's next, can they come to your house because Alexa is listening to the hate you spew at home? 

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Why can't twitter try to have a reasonable user experience without every Jew on twitter having to block every white nationalist neo nazi bone head who wants to say horrible things to them constantly.

False narrative, if the filters are intelligent, they never have to see those tweets.  If the person is real, "Nazi boneheads" will be identified pretty quickly and their reach - decided on a purely voluntary basis - will be practically non-existent.

Why do you insist on pretending that these filters are being used to go after Nazis, when they've actually been used for such things as to ban the New York Post for publishing true information about the Presidents son?  To bar politicians - which directly goes to political speech - for violations of woke preferences?  When they've ignored black nationalists broadcasting actual intent to kill white people?

Your standards and claims are false.

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If someone is harming the user experience for the majority of users by expressing hate and being hurtful constantly, twitter (as a private entity) has the right to kick them off. The government can't put them in jail for their speech but getting kicked off twitter isn't a government action, first amendment doesn't apply.

Its a lie.  When the government is behind the content decisions, when they signal who they want banned, when they threaten to regulate if things are done, it's absolutely the government behind content decisions. 

But to the bigger point, your argument for a woke nanny is no counter argument to letting the twitter users control their own filters.  In what way is managing your own filters creating harm?

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The problem with your solution of just block them is that for many people (women, Jews, black people, probably everyone else) their whole twitter experience would end up being consumed by blocking the worst million online trolls before they could actually engage with whatever community they wanted to in the first place.

Only if you believe in the most basic and stupid form of user controls.  Reality is that most of the content moderation is generated by the algorythms as influenced by the woke writers and the woke nannys who can force a decision.  There's nothing stopping twitter from putting control of those decisions in their users hands.  Heck, there's nothing stopping them from keeping the woke nannys and letting you opt in.  The goal is that others should be able to opt out.

Why are you so scared of letting others make their own decisions on this?

36
General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: May 05, 2022, 03:45:01 PM »
]Electoral-vote.com has an interesting article outlining the major problems with such a simple standard.
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Election misinformation: It is legal to say that Donald Trump won the 2020 election. It is also legal to announce that due to technical problems, the election has been postponed from Nov. 8 to Nov. 9, so don't waste your time trying to vote on Nov. 8 because the polls will be closed then. But be sure to vote on Nov. 9.

Of course, there was far more consequence in recent elections in the suppression of true information that would have swayed voters.  In throttling one party's communications more aggressively than the other.  Of removing politicians from one party on dubious grounds while applying no consequences to those of the other party for active disinformation. 

At the end of the day, you can check the official website to determine voting day, you'll also be exposed to numerous advocates and print sources exposing the false date.  But if the media censors relevant data then the right to vote is a sham.

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Medical Misinformation: Tweets saying that COVID-19 and polio and measles vaccines cause autism and sterility and ED are legal. Tweets saying that no public health authority at any level can tell you what you can do or cannot do are legal. There is a very long list here.

Most of which is within the legitimate realm of opinion.  The fact is there is an enormously long list of long term side effects and consequences in the field of medicine for treatments that were once considered the cutting edge of medical technology.  Real harms that were only determined over time.  A proposal to ban "medical misinformation" is a proposal to hide anecdotal accounts that frequently are the only basis for generating interest in a study, the only way survivors connect. 

It's just a fact that our bureaucratic processes on medicine and medical facts are NOT designed to, and NEVER will generate certainty, and arrogant as all get out to raise them to the level of justifying suppression of contrary accounts.  It's not that difficult for someone to get a reputation as a crackpot if its warranted.

And Musk's strongest statement is to end bots.  If a real human has to live with their reputation that problem takes care of itself.

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Deepfakes: The technology for making extremely convincing fake videos is getting better by the day. ...

True, and the media spreads them as easily as twitter.  Having politically motivated suppression of what "must be" a deep fake isn't helpful, nor is suppressing real videos because they've been "denied" and no one can prove them to be true.

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In a few years, almost anything will be possible. Currently Twitter bans misleading videos. That would end if Musk allows everything that is legal. It will lead to a proliferation of deepfakes like the one above.

This is going to happen regardless.  Having twitter open means they will be capable of being directly countered.  Having it censored just means the left's deepfakes will stay up and real videos critical of the left will be removed as "deepfakes."

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Impersonating others: Currently you can't pretend on Twitter to be someone you aren't. If you are impersonating someone else for the purpose of fraud, it is illegal. Otherwise, it generally isn't. If you later claim it was satire, it is very likely protected speech and legal.

Except Musk directly addressed this.

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Spam: Spam that simply advertises some product or service is certainly legal. Expect vast amounts of spam on Twitter if "legality" is the only test.

Or expect you'll have the switch to ban spam at your control.  And added bonus no more spam bots, only a real person permanently blacklisted.

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Hateful content: Twitter currently has a policy against hateful content. You can't compare Black people to monkeys, fat women to pigs, Jews to Nazis, and a whole range of other outrageous parallels that are perfectly legal to say. Once the Musk rules take over, expect tons of this, aimed at many different groups.

This policy was always wrong headed.  People have a right to hate and express hate.  You should have a right to filter it out.  You don't need a woke censor to choose to suppress this or note.

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Porn: Pornography is legal is the U.S. Expect large amounts of it in the New Twitter. Some of the acts might be very gross. Revenge porn (naked photos or videos of your ex posted with the intent to humiliate that person) are legal in some places and illegal in others. Expect lots of it from people who live in states that don't have laws against it.

Again, filters take care of this.  If the system is permissive you can have extremely harsh punishments for publishing porn outside of the filtered area.

Why do you need Woke Parent to control this for you?

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Graphic violence: Twitter currently bans violence that is excessively gory or depicts sexual violence. Some of it might be illegal, but a lot of it is not illegal. Expect loads of it.

If it's illegal its bannable.  Otherwise, in what way does a filter not resolve this?

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Terrorist manifestos: People who commit mass murder or terrorist acts often have some ideological story to tell. These people don't suddenly lose their First Amendment rights to tell their story if they are convicted of a crime. Twitter currently bans this kind of stuff. The new policy would allow it.

If it's incitement its illegal.  Twitter does not currently ban this.  They selectively ban it.  Multiple examples recently of mass killers who have long social media histories of spewing hate, terrorist threats and threats of violence, but since it's against "white people" its never been removed, restricted or throttled. 

The list really doesn't go "on and on" and most of it is imagined.  Nothing you said is not resolvable by barring illegal content, removing bots and providing access to good filters.  No need for Woke Parent to make the content decisions for you.

37
General Comments / Re: A Victory for France
« on: April 29, 2022, 02:11:29 PM »
How long before Trump calls her a weak woman for not claiming election fraud, which has plenty of evidence of.

Given that France requires id to vote, limits voting to registered French citizens, requires votes to be cast in person on a single day, requires paper ballots that remain the official record, and only permits absentee ballots through a process that requires the individual appear at a police station to name a voting proxy (who can only serve as a proxy for one person), where would fraud enter the picture?

That's what a voting process looks like if you're serious about eliminating fraud.  Everyone of those measures has been broken in the US and in the 2020 election the controls around even the already expand mechanics were smashed.

Or were you actually thinking you made a good faith argument?

38
General Comments / Re: The Ministry of Truth Created
« on: April 29, 2022, 02:01:08 PM »
Trump and Russia colluded, it wasn't a hoax.

Let this lie go.  It's a lie, it's always been a lie.  Repeating it is spreading disinformation deliberately.

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However there wasn't prosecutable criminal conspiracy - because Mueller felt that mens rea could not be sufficiently established (they engaged in the behaviour but he felt he couldn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they knew the behavior they engaged in was illegal).

Which is a false paraphrase of what Mueller said on a specific issue.  Mueller flat out and directly said that there was no evidence that any American colluded with Russia, only evidence (which was spotty and scant) that Russia tried to influence the election.

Meanwhile, what happened in the last election is hundreds of thousands of times greater magnitude than what happened in 2016.  The sheer amount of money and corrupt influencing of truth literally had hundreds of thousands of more touch points than everything Mueller verified from the Russians.

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The alleged Biden laptop has all of the hallmarks of being planted.

Really?  What are the "hallmarks"?  This was a false narrative from the first second - and obviously so.

It's also a standard that has never appeared before, thousands of articles against Trump have blatant hallmarks of being planted, many of which the media actually knew were nonsense and they still promoted and spread them.

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There is certainly legitimate emails on it, as would be expected of any planted laptop (Standard procedure for intelligence agencies is you have the vast majority of the material be legitimate to give plausibility to whatever disinformation you plant).  There is nothing to date to suggest that it was in fact a laptop dropped off by Hunter Biden.

Except for the fact that it is Hunter's laptop.  I'm stunned that you think you can credibly assert false information on this at this point.  For your story to even have a reasonable basis, the masterminds actually have to have had a laptop of Hunter Biden's.  The information, photos and communications on the laptop were in many cases verified on the recipient's end and in others not practically falsifiable (actual pictures of Hunter in various situations).

Is your argument really that someone had Hunter's actual laptop but that this particular laptop is a fake?  That's ridiculous and far fetched assertion that requires extraordinary proof.  Do you actually have any?  No, you just have that there "could" be made up stuff included.

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We will have to wait for the long process of the FBI going through and determining what material if any, is legitimate.  To date, a number of emails have been validated.  That doesn't in anyway suggest that the laptop itself is Hunter's or that he dropped it off - contrary to what has widely been reported in low quality media sources.

Or you could quit rejecting reality out of misplaced loyalty to a bunch of liars and accept the truth.  The laptop is real, was always real and the very people that generated the false narrative you're clinging to always knew it was real.  The entire purpose of the spoon fed narrative you're regurgitating now is to just pretend there's an open question for as long as possible and to defer any action until its too late to correct it.

Posts like the one you made, that just repeat disinformation that's been debunked are why I've been taking a break for so long.  It's a literal waste of time to have discussions when posters can not even accept basic reality as a premise.

39
General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: April 29, 2022, 01:28:41 PM »
The ethical consideration is maybe they don't want their platform to be used as an insurrection planning meetup group. Even if it does cost them eyeball share and money. Stockholder interests aren't always motivated entirely by dollars and cents.

Emphasis added, whose platform?  It's not even remotely the Board's platform.  If the Shareholders choose not to sell your point would have merit, for the Board to decide against selling based on the reasons you suggest would be a failure of their fiduciary duties to the shareholders.

40
General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: April 29, 2022, 12:09:57 PM »
Simple. A board member with a controlling interest, let's say for simplicity 51%, can basically appoint replacements for the existing board members. I don't know why you want to portray that as naked self-interest. Why can't they be protecting the investor's long term interest because they believe Musk will run twitter into the ground? Or that they believe Musk will not uphold the ethical values that they've stood for? Isn't a truly independent board something that stockholders want in order to be able to vote out board members who don't live up to their expectations?

If Musk was seeking control, you'd have a point.  The Board's first duty is to the Company and considering the interests of the 49% of Shareholders that would be powerless in that scenario is valid. 

However, Musk is offering to buy 100% and honestly, that should eliminate the Board completely as it's up to the Shareholder's to decide whether or not to accept the offer.  The Board can and should make a recommendation about whether it's in their interest to accept the offer.
 While ethically the Board has to tell the shareholders if the offer is for a fair price (which it almost certainly is), there's nothing that stops them from also ethically appealing to the shareholders on the other tenants that you describe.  But it's not the Board's decision if the owners of the company sell.


41
General Comments / Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: April 29, 2022, 12:03:25 PM »
Or someone buying stock to run the company in a way they think will destroy the value of the company or harm society. Because using twitter to rapidly and easily spread lies and disinformation does harm society.

Which of course is why Elon is buying it, to stop that practice.

42
General Comments / Re: The Ministry of Truth Created
« on: April 29, 2022, 11:04:53 AM »
There's nothing legal or good this board will do.  And here I thought the lesson was learned with the House Committee on Un-American Activities, but I guess government driven thought policing is just too juicy an idea to keep down when those in power feel threatened.

If your team not only believes in thought police but actually sets up a Ministry of Truth, are you really so sure you're the right side?  I mean there were a lot of death eaters but not a team that I'd want to play for.

43
General Comments / Re: Pro-life hypocrisy
« on: March 14, 2022, 08:28:57 PM »
A point was brought up in the Roe vs Wade thread about hypocrisy on the right, and this is a perennial observation by liberals about the one-sidedness of the pro-life position. Arguments of this type appear to range from being pro-life in certain social contexts (abortion) but arguably anti-life in others (military), to the fact of conservatives opposing social safety nets and even at times vilifying young mothers and even the poor in general for being failures.

That's a quite a mess of strawmen tied together.  Are you suggesting that each of those "correllated" ideas is necessary to be pro life?  Would you hold the same for pro-choice for example?  Are they all required to be man-hating lesbians that demonize men and believe that all sex is rape?  Or should we not tar one position with the completely unrelated views of those who's only view in common is the single point? 

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So I would like to propose a discussion about what we all think are things that would need to be put in place in a society to make the pro-life position consistent and not hypocritical.

I'm tempted to propose a discussion about what would have to be put in society to make falsely defining a position and then asking for comments on how to resolve the false definitions not hypocritical, but instead I'll just try to answer.

It takes nothing from a society to make a pro-life position "not hypocritical."  Hypocrisy is defined by each person's view point and whether its consistent with their internal justifications.  Disagreeing with their justifications doesn't turn them into a hypocrite, and calling them hypocrites actually comes off as pompous and arrogant.  Now don't get me wrong plenty of people are in fact hypocrites on both sides, on all sides really.

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So let's propose an axiomatic premise for the thread:

From the moment of conception the unborn are human beings with the full dignity of humanity, requiring the same protections and duty of care that other humans have.

Putting aside whether you think this is a reasonable proposition, just imagine it's true and go from there. Which steps in society would need to be taken to deal with this?

In society?  None. 

The problem is that your premise has a hidden assumption, that society has an agreed standard for the protection of the "full dignity" of adult humans.  There's no evidence that you live in such a society.  Our society is a cancel society that believes a single "wrong" view is enough to cast a person out to the pits of oblivion, to end long standing relationships, to disenfranchise, to silence, to dis-employ, effectively to cast into unredeemable shame.  We're barely a step from condoning imprisonment or even murder.  What exactly would that level of dignity grant to an unborn child?

Now if you're positing that society has some agreed standard of life what is it?  Is self defense permitted or not?  Cause if self defense is permitted, then based on the exact arguments you've seen me make before, abortion of a child pre-viability could still be the just result.  Certainly abortion where the life of the mother is endangered would be permitted.  Now if you're positing a society where you are not entitled to self defense, what exactly is the complaint regarding elimination of abortion?  You already are obligated to take any punishment or go to jail for defending yourself.

The question is based on a faulty premise, the idea that we can treat a fetus like anyone else and then evaluate the rules against a society that doesn't treat anyone else in the manner you seem to want to find required.  So don't be lazy, define your society if you want to play a game, cause in our society there is nothing required to make a pro-life position non-hypocritical, as there's nothing inherently hypocritical about it.

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If, for instance, abortion was banned, what social, political, or even moral changes would need to be undertaken to create what we might call a conscientious and caring society that does not run roughshod on the downtrodden and burden people who need help?

If completely irrelevant condition A is to occur, what steps do we have to take to form a utopia?  What does pro life have to with the beyond a wish list level of speculation you're calling for? 

This lack of focus is exactly what led to a nonsense thread where every horror under the sun got fed back into a hypothetical by people who are completely opposed to even the concept of a pro-life position rather than any kind of good faith analysis and response.

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In other words, if we take the above premise seriously, what would need to go along with it so that the pro-life position at minimum makes sense on a human level and doesn't come across as either disingenuous or contradictory?

If we take the premise of utopia seriously what has to happen to make pro life make sense?  Well literally nothing, because in Utopia there would be no unwanted pregnancies and every baby would be loved and welcome from the start.  I mean maybe take a look at Star Trek, they didn't seem to have major abortion issues, presumably because they had completely effective birth control and wanted the children they had.

We still have an awful lot of unwanted pregnancies for a society where birth control is so readily available.  Maybe ask yourself what a people that have unplanned pregnancies at a rate that far far exceeds the failure rate of commonly available birth control are really wiling to do.

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What is the best-case scenario we can come up with for a society where abortion is understood to be the killing of people? Note that this does not have to include a banning of abortion, but that any instantiation of abortion would have to come with the understanding that all involved recognize that a person is being killed.

I think there's a quote on this point, something about them being rare, safe and tragic.

44
General Comments / Re: Pro-life hypocrisy
« on: March 14, 2022, 07:58:22 PM »
The prize for "pro-life" hypocrisy goes to Missouri House Representative Brian Seitz (R) who introduced HB 128, which (among other things) would make it a Class A felony when:

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(2) The abortion was performed or induced, or attempted, on a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy.

I can't think of a more stupid, bone-headed, hypocritical and murderous example of "pro-life" hypocrisy, can you?  Making it a felony to try to save a mother in order to allow an embryo to never be born.

Reading comprehension is important.  The bill you cite to doesn't make it a felony to try and save a mother.  There is a period before the list of things that bump it to a Class A.  The point of the law is that it's illegal to import tools and medicines to facilitate illegal abortions.

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This bill establishes the offense of trafficking abortion-inducing devices or drugs if a person or entity knowingly imports, exports, distributes, delivers, manufactures, produces, prescribes, administers, or dispenses, or attempts to do so, any instrument, device, medicine, drug, or other means or substance to be used to
perform or induce an abortion on another person in violation of state or federal law.

Whether or not it's a good idea it's targeted at things like delivering abortion supplies to unlicensed providers, or home delivery of abortion supplies where the abortion itself would be illegal.

The reason for the some of "enhancements" should be obvious.  If you deliver abortion supplies to someone with an ectopic pregnancy you may kill them.  That's a situation that has to be resolved by a real doctor.  There is no safe "at home" treatment of an ectopic pregnancy.

I would suspect the sex trafficking provision is directly correlated to the ongoing abuse of trafficked women, who are forced to have abortions by their pimps.  Taking those abortions offline and removing any exposure or risk to medical or other authorities reduces the margin for saving them even more.

I can't say this bill is a good idea, but the reactions on here just reinforce my impression that people react before they read and analyze. 

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Charitably, he is at least lazy and criminally stupid for not checking what he put in his own bill.  Uncharitably, he is a heartless monster who knows what he wrote and wants to see mothers suffer and die, just so he can proudly say he is against all abortions.

And what is the charitable and uncharitable interpretation of not even reading a bill that's less than a page before going off on a rant about someone that doesn't even apply?

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Now that ectopic pregnancies are also on the list, can anyone still argue that abortions not will always be necessary? ;)

Now that you've gone on record as calling someone a monster for trying to pass a law banning sending abortion supplies for do it yourself home abortions on ectopic pregnancies - which is going to kill people - can you still argue that you're able to fairly evaluate what kind of reasonable controls may or may not be needed?

45
General Comments / Re: Biden's appeal on misinformation & disinformation
« on: February 02, 2022, 04:03:48 PM »
Fenring, I agree with your second point.  Facebook's model is to be open for the public and it should be treated that way, its inconsistent with their after the fact claim that they can moderate based on their own opinions.  Publishers do the later, not the former, and 230 should be open only for the former.

On top of that, despite what the Drake implies, it's no longer the case that people are "free to leave" FB.  Any number of official functions only convey or disclose information through FB pages or other social media, including, off the top of my head, some public schools, police departments, and town officials.  De listing yourself excludes you from information that is intended to be available to the public.  Those official functions are there because FB lied about what it was going to do and it lied about its role in the public space.  FB should either be held to being a public forum or liable for the consequences of those lies. 

It's market share is directly tied to its misrepresentations about it's moderation decisions.  It never would have become a platform of choice if had openly announced it's intent to discriminate for political purposes, or we'd already have major competitors and those official functions would announce across multiple platforms or no platforms at all.  TheDrake knows it's too late to put the genie back in the bottle, in fact that's what he wants, he'd be decidedly unhappy if there were social media companies of that size spreading the very content he thinks should be censored to 1.4 billion users (half of FB's announced accounts) without any oversight.

46
General Comments / Re: Biden's appeal on misinformation & disinformation
« on: February 02, 2022, 10:03:33 AM »
Section 230, is to protect corporations from lawsuits for other peoples content.  It doesn't disallow content moderation or content standards.  This is well established.  It was never intended to prevent companies from being able to moderate or have content standards.

I *think* Seriati acknowledges that, he just wants 230 amended so that if you do any content moderation you are responsible for everything posted in real time? I'll let him clarify, but I didn't see him make any "except for" carve outs.

I made several except for carve outs.  Moderation tied to illegality for example.  I suggested that moderation decisions (including prioritizing and de prioritizing) be required to be documented, along with the specific basis for the moderation.  Protection from liability should not be present if that latter type is not neutrally applied, and much the same way that one can demonstrate racist intent with statistical data, one should be able to demonstrate anti-conservative (or anti-anything) intent with statistical data.  I also said that the soft discretionary parts of the standard should be eliminated from the host's discretion.  The intent of the law was to grant users more control, and to protect hosts against suits for user generated content.  It was never to endorse and protect censorship by hosts.

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What this would essentially do is cause every content distributor to moderator approve every message, it seems. They'd have to perform fact checks, making sure they weren't going to be sued. Instead of having live debates, discussion on the internet would look more like letters to the editor.

Or more likely to stay out of the moderation business.

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Because what the result is not going to be, is having companies stripped of 230 protections suddenly say, "whelp, I guess we have to allow hate speech now." "I guess we just can't do anything to limit the spread of dangerous disinformation. Oh well."

There's a difference between banning people from having a discussion with each other that you think is "hate speech" and the way their alogorithms magnify speech.  You could easily have a filter option as a user that asks that "hate speech" be removed from your feed, and I have no problem with that idea, even if the moderators decisions are wrong.  I have a problem when you can't choose and only the moderator has a say.

47
General Comments / Re: Biden's appeal on misinformation & disinformation
« on: February 01, 2022, 03:49:18 PM »
But private companies do not have to let them speak on their site. Let them get their own site.

If the government is protecting the private companies from their decisions, and now encouraging them and directing them to remove "misinformation," they are not private companies in respect of the speech.  They are agents of the government.  Censorship of views directly contradicts the express purposes of Section 230 and the protections it provides should be eliminated for those that are curtailing the free exchange of ideas.

Again, the reality is that social media has become the forum for speech.  Allowing it to be treated as "private" with governmental protection from the consequences of being private to facilitate government favored censorship (or really DNC favored censorship, since it's only applied by the government when they are in power) is a gross violation of our rights.  Most social media companies engaged in express fraud about their censorship policies to grow their market share, based on their current barely disclosed censorship practices.  Many are still committing active fraud in respect of the disclosure of their censorship practices.  Only the government's protection prevents them from that liability.

You can sue other media companies for their decisions.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that you don't believe that "private" companies can engage in this conduct in other contexts.  The left has filed endless suits against private companies to force them to give up such controls and discriminatory practices.  There is zero chance you would even remotely tolerate it if social media had the opposite bias.  It would never be enough to found your own companies and to leave the existing ones in place, they'd have to be destroyed by government, and the suits for fraud would be endless.  I mean heck, Parler was formed for pretty much exactly that reason, and the left was relentless in trying to destroy it.  It was never going to be the case that the left would tolerate an alternative open forum to exist.

48
General Comments / Re: Biden's choice for the SC
« on: February 01, 2022, 03:26:41 PM »
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Biden pick Pan confirmed as first Asian American woman on D.C. federal court

Just the sort of thing you'd expect a racist to do, make a groundbreaking nomination.

Actually its exactly what I expect a woke racist to do.  There are tons of them in my community and they are all fans of giant virtue signaling gestures and standing up for minority rights, while referring to their lawn people by racial terms in private, setting "neutral" town policies to exclude people of color from nearby communities and flipping out when their kids come out.  Virtue signaling is the safe way to "prove" you're not a racist without actually walking the walk.

If Biden picked a nominee because of their skin color he's a racist.

Asian Americans make up ~ 4% of the population.

African Americans make up 14%.

Currently 12.7% of Federal judges are African American and only 2.7 Asian American.

Per the ABA, in 2020 5% of all lawyers are African American and 2% Asian.  When you consider that the number of lawyers of color has generally been on a sharp incline for a while, it means that lawyers of color are generally under-represented, even against those low percentages, in the population of older lawyers, which is the population from which most judges are selected.   https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/news/2020/07/potlp2020.pdf

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It certainly looks like we need to look at adding Asian American Federal judges and eventually add representative members to the Supreme Court. 

Selecting qualified individuals who represent various ethnicities and schools of thought is critical for interpreting the law.  Nine members is probably too small to be truly representative.

The point of having 9 members is not to have token representatives from all races, it's to have 9 members who are capable of applying the law without regard to race and ethnicity.  Skin color is  not critical for interpreting the law, to imply that it is, is also racist thinking.  I agree that having people of different backgrounds is something that is useful, but skin color is only a poor (and offensive) proxy for the actual relevant characteristics.

Statistically, it is interesting that Biden promised to appoint a black woman.  The court's current make up, is 1 of 9 members are black (or about 11% versus 14% of the population, but only 5% of the nation's attorneys).  The court currently has 3 women out of 9 (or about 33% versus about 51% of the population, but only 37% of nation's attorneys).  Having two black members "over represents" the population percentage and is more than 4 times the percentage versus the actual practicing attorneys.  But again, other than Biden's racist thinking, there's no reason we shouldn't have 2, 3, 4 or 9 black or female justices, or Asian justices, for that matter.

49
General Comments / Re: Biden's appeal on misinformation & disinformation
« on: February 01, 2022, 02:00:26 PM »
Not sure way a commitment to free speech would mean that platforms shouldn't be treated as publishers... does free speech = free from consequence?
Freedom being defined as everyone saying and doing as they will or desire regardless of any concept of a social contract?

My understanding of freedom is that when exercised it is also a exercise of setting boundaries? What you experience as freedom I might experience as oppression?
I guess another implication of the 'Either Or' 'All or Nothing' world view is that the person with the biggest stick gets to define freedom for everyone else...

So to answer your first question, by not actively moderating otherwise legal content the platform is divorcing it's endorsement from the user generated speech on the platform.  By moderating otherwise legal speech, the platform is choosing which speech to publish and should be responsible as a publisher.  If I were to edit the second paragraph of yours as follows, should it be you rather than me that is now responsible for the sentence? 

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My understanding of freedom is ... oppression ... I ... get to define freedom for everyone.

When the public conversation is only that bits a service provider chooses to allow, we don't have a public discussion we just have that service provider's view point.

Whether you believe you experience oppression is not the measure of whether someone else has the right to have a voice.  Effectively that thinking means you believe that your "oppression" entitles you to oppress others.  It's an impossible quandry for any objective standard and it only seems resolvable because those taking your view define their own view as correct and therefore other views as incorrect and okay to suppress.  It's effectively the opposite of having individual rights (or even collective rights), it's pure authoritarian belief that the select few are not only entitled to oppress dissent but morally justified in doing so, and that it would not be morally acceptable not to do so.

"Hate speech" was always little more than a Trojan Horse to break the sanctity of the Freedom of Speech by pretending the underlying speech was something less than speech.  People are entitled to believe and say hateful things.

50
General Comments / Re: Biden's appeal on misinformation & disinformation
« on: February 01, 2022, 01:42:55 PM »
So all of the internet should look like 8chan/8kun.   Anything goes unless it is illegal?

Only those parts purporting to be open forums - and therefore receiving mandated protections from Congress for the content that appears on their forums.  You skipped the part where I expressly allowed for user selected content filtering even in those forums.  Is there any reason that a user shouldn't be able to select whether they see bad language or a string of astericks?  I have no objection to forums being dedicated to specific topics and strictly eliminating other content.  Or to providing user controls that eliminate content the user objects to receiving.

Honestly, the only way that content gets pushed to you on social media is by the choice of the social media provider.  There should be no constraints on content you choose to pull, and there is no reason that your own decisions should not govern what is pushed to you rather than the social media provider's decisions.

230 currently allows for removal of content that "that the provider or user considers"  to be "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected" content.  I would eliminate the ability of the provider to overrule the users own content decisions.  The provider should not be able to remove content based on an "otherwise objectionable" standard and still receive the benefits of 230.  The other standards are also subject to abuse, for example, are breast feeding pictures removable or not?  I would say they should not be, but this standard completely protects if they are.  Provider's should be restricted to moderation for legality, user controls could allow elimination on these or other standards from the user's own feed.

People forget that 230 established as the policy of the US, 5 goals, of which 3 are relevant here:

"(3)to encourage the development of technologies which maximize user control over what information is received by individuals, families, and schools who use the Internet and other interactive computer services;

(4)to remove disincentives for the development and utilization of blocking and filtering technologies that empower parents to restrict their children’s access to objectionable or inappropriate online material; and

(5)to ensure vigorous enforcement of Federal criminal laws to deter and punish trafficking in obscenity, stalking, and harassment by means of computer."

The deliberate decision involved in creating 230 was not to empower censorship, but rather to encourage user selected content filtering, while also seeking to eliminate criminal content from the internet.  The latter was important as well because of the argument that such content was protected by free speech (which it's not) and that platforms should be liable if a user posts such content (which was technologically impossible - at that time - for them to ensure didn't get and remain posted).

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Is that what you would want for our forum here?

Not at all, nothing prevents a forum from being a limited forum or a sub-forum with agreed upon rules.  People have a right to free association on the internet as well as in public.  But nothing on this forum is pushed to you, nor is anything screened from you, and you're able to interact with those making moderation decisions are you not?

I just disagree that something like FB is legitimately a limited forum.  It's operated as a public forum and in fact is monetized specifically because of it's access to the public.  It's moderation decisions can interfere with the associational rights of its members and have no place being protected by a rule that was intended to maximize a user's ability to choose content when the content was not illegal.

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There shouldn't be an effort on the part of private companies to ban hate speech, Seriati?

Depends on what you mean.  Most companies have no business "banning" speech.  But for social media companies the question is whether they should be allowed to interfere with speech between consenting adults where that speech is Constitutionally protected and not illegal.  That's a simpler question and the answer is no.  If they want to do so, then they should not be protected from the results of their decisions.

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