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Muskmania: the Twitter Takeover and the Consequences of Free Speech

April 30, 2022

“Everyone is entitled to be wrong about their opinions, but no one has the right to be wrong about their facts.” – Bernard Baruch

As the world’s richest human swooped in to take control of the world’s loudest opinion forum, he triggered a wave of hand-wringing among our sober intellectual elite. “He’s making the world safe for racists, homophobes, transphobes, neo-Nazis, misogynists and Texans,” the progressives moaned.

Others, of a more conservative bent, responded that Twitter had overstepped its bounds in policing speech on its site – not just the ravings of Trump and his alt-right minions, but even reasonable suggestions that the Covid-19 pandemic was the result of a Wuhan lab leak. (After all, sometimes there are actual conspiracies behind those wild conspiracy theories.)

Elon Musk, the South African-born mastermind behind Tesla, SpaceX and other cutting-edge enterprises, describes himself as a First Amendment “absolutist.” That makes him a throwback to the 18th-century Classical Liberal believers in “the free marketplace of ideas.” This noble relic of the Enlightenment promoted the uncensored exchange of opinions, based on the assumption that the literate public would have the good sense to reject unsound ideas and embrace sound ones. At least that was the plan.

Of course, we don’t live in sensible times. To the left of us stand the wokesters, endlessly preaching collective guilt, automatic white complicity in systemic racism, perpetual black victimhood, toxic masculinity, heteronormative oppression of sexual minorities, and (via the Pulitzer-winning 1619 Project) the addled notion that we fought the American Revolution primarily to preserve the institution of slavery.

To the right of us gathers an angry tribe of mostly white Trumpsters, Evangelicals, chronic Fox viewers, conspiracy theorists and working-class residents of flyover country – many of them fitting all of the above categories. Are they all irredeemable racists? Of course not, but we’ll find plenty of racial anxiety within their ranks. They tend to live in fear of the great demographic “replacement” – along with an abiding distrust of the so-called Deep State, international bankers, mainstream media, state election officials, scientific authorities, vaccination and mask mandates, climate change activists, and anyone who makes them feel like dummies. The late William F. Buckley would hardly recognize these latter-day conservatives as kindred spirits, and respectable contemporary conservatives like George Will have distanced themselves from their tribe.

How do the extremists promote their brand of extremism? The woke left has spread its influence through the conduits of academia, the old-guard media and corporate mission statements. Wherever you see the ubiquitous catchphrase “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” you know the wokesters have left their calling card. They’ve used social media like Twitter primarily to promote agenda-driven “hashtag” movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo.

The New Right, on the other hand, tends to use social media as a freewheeling alternative to the reviled left-leaning news outlets and websites that never give them a voice. Here, beyond the watchful eye of Big Brother, they felt free to swap resentments and conspiracy theories with their like-minded brethren.

But Big Brother did start watching them – especially after their unhinged reaction to the dumping of Trump in the 2020 election. Twitter permanently banned Trump for his inflammatory rhetoric, and other right-wingers have felt the tightening grip of censorship. They’ve already been censored throughout the academic world; muffling their voices in the social media would effectively silence them as a movement.

In steps Mr. Musk with his quarter of a trillion net worth. He outmaneuvered the honchos at Twitter by offering stockholders a hefty premium over the current share price, and Twitter had no choice but to capitulate.

At this point it’s still uncertain how much “absolute” free speech Twitter will be allowing under the Musk regime. After all, it’s illegal to promote acts of violence against individuals and groups, and European codes are more restrictive than ours. But it’s safe to predict that the Trumpsters and their ilk will be tweeting loud and often.

Is there anything wrong with that? Well, yes and no. (What other response would you expect from The New Moderate?) I’ve been appalled by the forced groupthink in left-leaning environments ranging from college campuses to the editorial pages of vintage newspapers. Nobody should have to risk career destruction and personal defamation for voicing an opinion.

On the other hand, the New Right’s knee-jerk opposition to vaccinations and mask mandates helped prolong the pandemic and indirectly contributed to countless thousands of needless deaths – mostly among their anti-vax peers. Should anti-factual conspiracy theories be given a free pass despite the damage they can inflict on believers and nonbelievers alike? What about hate-mongering toward blacks, Jews, Muslims, gays and Latinos – or, for that matter, whites, Christians and men?

I confess that I don’t entirely trust the wisdom of the public to weed out bad ideas and embrace the good ones. In fact, our politically polarized social media have raised the loudest and most extreme opinions well above the more rational centrist voices. After all, drama sells; reason doesn’t. In the end, hysteria wins out.

You want to believe that the moon landings were staged… that Trump was a Russian puppet… that the 2020 election was stolen… that the Sandy Hook grade school massacre was fake news… that police are conducting a genocidal campaign against “black bodies”… that Washington liberals are patronizing a pedophile ring through a local pizzeria? Go ahead – you’ll find plenty of company online.

But should Twitter and other online forums tolerate the spreading of flaky disinformation? Granted, some of it (like the moon landing skepticism) is relatively harmless, while other disinformation (the stolen election, for example) can lead us to the brink of civil war. When does free speech become an imminent menace? When it makes up its own facts in an attempt to incite violence. As Bernard Baruch said, we’re entitled to wrong opinions but not wrong facts.

The Biden administration has created a Disinformation Governance Board in the wake of Musk’s Twitter takeover. Voices on the right are already comparing the new “ministry of truth” to Orwell’s Big Brother – even to Hitler’s propaganda machine headed by the infamous hatemonger Joseph Goebbels.

That reaction is to be expected. The larger questions we need to ask are 1) whether the new Disinformation Governance Board will be an equal-opportunity censor — or simply a tool for the left to muzzle the right; and 2) whether it will try to censor wayward opinions along with wayward facts.

Even those of us who aren’t First Amendment “absolutists” should be on guard against attempts to discredit opinions that the people in power don’t like. We’ve already seen the damaging effects of intolerant ideological zeal at colleges and in the mainstream media.

On the other hand, it’s vital for the future of our stressed-out republic that we check the kinds of overwrought disinformation that, coupled with seething anger, can propel us toward open civil conflict. It takes a wise and balanced mind to separate controversial ideas from actual threats. Let’s hope that both our social media and our government are up to the task of protecting the former and blocking the latter.

 

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three collections of appealingly dark-humored essays are available on Amazon (or wherever else e-books are sold) for the absurdly low price of $2.99 each. That’s less than a mocha java at Starbucks, and even more fortifying.

All material in The New Moderate is copyright 2007-2022 by Rick Bayan, but feel free to quote from this blog as long as you credit me as the author.

95 Comments leave one →
  1. Ron P permalink
    May 1, 2022 12:10 am

    Rick you comment “I confess that I don’t entirely trust the wisdom of the public to weed out bad ideas and embrace the good ones. In fact, our politically polarized social media have raised the loudest and most extreme opinions well above the more rational centrist voices. After all, drama sells; reason doesn’t. In the end, hysteria wins out.”

    Well you should also point out that not only are the things that are said on social media suspect and politically motivated to form opinions from fact or fiction, you should also point out that main stream media, from Fox New to MSNBC forms opinions from facts left out of information, allowing for partial facts to be manipulated to form opinions. Both are wrong, but how do we maintain the freedom of speech while controlling how speech is formed.

    Heartland Institute wrote an article that I provided a link, but copied a paragraph. “A recent academic study examined how major media outlets Fox News and CNN bias their news and how it affects viewers. The two outlets present quite different views of the world to their audiences. For example, in September 2020, CNN spent 21,244 words asserting that then-President Donald Trump had failed to protect the U.S. from COVID-19. At the same time, Fox News spent 2,086 words on the topic. And Fox News spent 15,236 words talking about Democrats’ support for “extreme racial ideology/protests,” while CNN spent 1,300 words on the topic.”

    https://heartlanddailynews.com/2022/04/obama-is-wrong-about-regulating-disinformation

    Social media are private companies, they have the right to censor any information they so desire. Musk started an internet “yellow pages” with maps in the 90’s when he was young, sold that for $300+ million and started multiple companies well before they were a twinkle in anyones eye. Early 2000 for Tesla and Space X before EV’s were considered by only a handful and who thought NASA would ever go private. He sells $8B in Tesla stock and buys Twitter (with additional funding).He also owns Solar City, a company that installs solar panels for homes and business, thus completing the environmental loop between EV’s and home/business charging for free.

    Now he owns Twitter. The public will determine if his policies are right or wrong. Advertisers will determine if he is doing right or wrong. If he does right, he will make more money and create more jobs. If not, Twitter will join My Space in social media purgatory.

    But what should be known by everyone is the fact that social media companies are private and as long as they do not allow illegal information such as child pornography, in the USA they have the right to censor anything they so desire and allow anything they desire. In fact, just like cable news companies, they can accept or reject political ads based on parties or political action committees. too many think the freedom of speech covers their speech they want to post on social media. That freedom does not exist.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      May 2, 2022 10:49 pm

      Reasonable take on the subject, Ron. You’re right, of course, that even the main cable news stations present distorted views of the truth (“What is truth?”)… but their content usually isn’t as incendiary as the more reckless tweets on Twitter or some of the fringe political websites.

      My concern is that reckless extremist posts from influential individuals — especially in the form of threats and/or willful disinformation — have the potential to rouse millions of impressionable, uncritical fans to violence. (Case in point: BLM propaganda, or Trump’s ravings after losing the 2020 election.)

      Yes, we’re talking about private companies, and I don’t think the government should be tying their hands — but it’s not unreasonable to hold these companies to certain standards of responsibility.

      I believe in absolute freedom to express opinions — even hate speech, as long as it doesn’t promote violence. What I object to is loud voices directly provoking dangerous behavior, especially when those provocations are based on false or distorted information.

      We’ve devolved into an angry tribal nation, ready to explode at any moment. I think social media companies need to be aware of their power and take measures to control the consequences — not by censoring, but by posting corrections to the disinformation that pops up from those extremist voices. The crux of the matter is whether those corrections will be applied equally to left-wing and right-wing disinformation.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 3, 2022 1:57 am

        You cases in point are exactly why you are wrong.

        I would eliminate incitement to violence as an exception to the first amendment.

        It is perfectly clear from the actual incitement that was never prosecuted, and from the fact that Trump’s (or anyone else’s) rhetoric never came close to incitement, and that there are plenty of examples of much more violent speech from democratic politicians that most people are clueless regarding what incitement to violence is.

        I would do the same with threats – the only threats that are actually criminal are threats to commit crimes. But even those should be treated like conspiracy – they should REQUIRE an overt act to impliment the threat.

        You are under the delusion that people are seduced by Trump (or BLM).

        Each of us is responsible for our own actions.
        Several J6 protesters have blamed Trump in the idiotic hope of obtaining lenience.
        It has not worked. The left needs to make examples.
        Meanwhile the two people who actually died at J6 – turns out Both were likely killed by the police. The woman who died in the Tunnels – which the City corner claimed was a reaction to prescription drugs or such nonsense, has a reputable private forensic expert who claims she was suffocated after being beaten by the police. There is BTW video of her being beaten to the ground, Her and then other pleading for help, and being ignored until she was dead.

        more than 100m people in theis country beleive the 2020 election was stolen.
        These are the people whose judgement was right about Russian collusion in the 2016 election.
        These are people whose judgement was right that the Biden laptop was not Russian disinformation.
        These are people who have been right repeatedly that the press the left, big tech. … have actively worked – often together to promulagate lies and to disempower and silence them.

        What reason do they have for beleiving that the same people who engaged in a wide assortment of immoral nefarious and sometime illegal conduct in the 2016 election.
        Who actively participated in a government investigation into private citizens, a political campaign and a sitting president premised on what those investigating KNEW was a HOAX at the time,
        Who in 2020 have openly admitted to an assortment of immoral, quasi legal sometimes illegal, activities to win in 2020,
        Who lied about and actively supressed a story they knew to be true in order to win an election.

        So why is it that you expect anyone to beleive these peopel would not engage in election fraud ?

        Do you understand the significance of What Durham was dug up ?
        First the Steele Dossier and the Alpha Bank claims were not merely false – they were made up – and not by Russians, But by people in the DNC, then they were sold to the FBI as a fraudulent criminal complaint – that the FBI and later Special Counsel used to conduct an unpredicated and therefore illegal investigation.

        The CIA (Brennan) reported in person to Obama in June 2016 that the Russians KNEW Hillary was trying to implicate Trump in some Russian collusion Scheme.
        The CIA told the FBI that the Apha Bank claim – which had been shopped to them was a HOAX – the data was inconsistent and obviously manipulated by humans.

        So very early the FBI KNEW they were chasing a likely HOAX – and instead of investigating the Hoaxsters, as Durham is doing, they investigated the victim of the Hoax.
        Just so you are clear – nearly everyone involved in Crossfire Huricane or the later Special Counsel investigation – as well as then President Obama – and likely the NSA all KNEW either from the start or very shortly thereafter they were dealing with a HOAX.

        You can pretend this was not criminal. You can pretend this was not an attempted coup,
        But you can not pretend it was moral or ethical or that anyone – starting with Hillary and the DNC through the FBI, DOJ Obama, and Special Counsel should EVER be trusted about anything again.

        So again – why is it that we should trust democrats to behave morally ethically or legally ?
        Further we are dealing with Mostly the same people – from the Collusion delusion to the Biden laptop hoax to the election fraud.

        Finally, though you probably will not see it on the MSM, there is ample evidence now of a massive ballot harvesting operation in all six of the cities that flipped the election.
        Ballot harvesting is illegal in most of the country, as in it is a Crime – it should be illegal everywhere. In NC in 2018 a Republican Representatives victory was overturned over far weaker evidence of Ballot harvesting. It has taken a while for this to come forward – because no law enforcement todate has bothered to investigate. The evidence had to all be gathered privately, from security cameras, public and private, as well as by buying geofence data for tens of thousands of ballot boxes and looking for boxes that were visited repeatedly often within minutes by someone with the same cellphone and then finding surveilance video to capture them.

        There is actually alot more – further this also occured during the GA special election for the Senate. And even Raffensberger is now admitting there was ORGANIZED fraud in the 2020 elections and has opened an investigation.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 3, 2022 2:31 am

        It is not the duty nor wise for Social media companies to correct purported miss-information.

        The problem is NOT left wing or right wing bias.
        It is that Social media companies do not and can not have the expertise to know actual disinformation. And they tend to rely on “experts” – especially those that provide the answers that confirm their own biases while ignoring those who do not.
        They also rely on government – where the “experts” have no skin in the game, rather than people who make their living proving demonstrable results outside of government where failure has consequences.

        There are means of establishing many things objectively.
        But those on the left today quite literally do not believe there is such a thing as objective truth.

  2. Priscilla permalink
    May 1, 2022 8:13 am

    Rick, I was hoping that you would write a piece on Musk and his Twitter acquisition. And, as always, it’s an excellent one, balanced and thoughful.

    It’s absolutely critical that free speech be protected from those who fear or despise “wrongthink.” And, unfortunately, Twitter, as its been been utilized over the past few years, has become a tool for suppressing “disinformation,” much of which has been simply fact and/or opinion that challenges woke ideological shibboleths.

    Does that make me a “free -speech absolutist?” That term seems to be the latest label that woke folks slap on anyone whom they consider wrongthinkers. So , yes, I guess I am, to the extent that I agree that even hateful and inaccurate speech should be protected.. You don’t like what I have to say? Argue with me, ignore me, tell me I’m an idiot, an extremist, a conspiracy theorist, show facts that prove me wrong….whatever. I’ve certainly experienced being called all of those things, even as a relatively circumspect member of the center right. Fine with me, as long as I can do the same.

    Contrary to the wokeists who are freaking out over Musk taking control of a social media platform that has essentially functioned as the public square, especially during the covid lockdowns, most people believe that those with whom they disagree have the exact same right as they do to be wrong.

    Child pornography? Sadly, Twitter has become an important forum for human trafficking of many types: “Twitter refused to take down widely shared pornographic images and videos of a teenage sex trafficking victim because “didn’t find a violation” of the company’s “policies,” a scathing lawsuit alleges.” https://nypost.com/2021/01/21/twitter-sued-for-allegedly-refusing-to-remove-child-porn/ It’s immoral, illegal and should not be permitted on the platform.

    But, happen to tweet that biological males should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports, and you may find yourself in Twitter jail.

    My belief is that Musk simply became fed up with the hypocrisy of left-wing political bullying. It’s classic “I can say what I want because I have the right opinions, but you must shut up because you’re a: racist, transphobe, Russophile, anti-vaxxer (fill in the blank).”

    As far as the new “Ministry of Truth” in the DHS? Unconstitutional, and should be shut down. It’s entire purpose is to censor political speech. I spent a few years as a content moderator for the Newark Star Ledger forums, back in the early 2000’s. The idea was to delete comments that used profanity, racist language (that was not quite as broadly defined back then) advertising, personal attacks, etc. I was not permitted to delete comments that I found asinine or offensive, as long as they did not violate the rules.

    Somehow, I don’t think that a domestic, highly politicized agency of the government is going to be so moderate. Put simply, the government should not be policing speech.

    • Ron P permalink
      May 1, 2022 11:51 am

      Priscilla, “My belief is that Musk simply became fed up with the hypocrisy of left-wing political bullying”

      I agree. This business does not fit any of his other strategies of his other companies. Tesla (EV’s to reduce CO2), Space X (Space exploration), Neuralink (Research to treat brain disease and develop links from AI to the brain) Boring Co. (creating tunnels for rapid transit and other uses while preserving land above for natural uses as well as development) and Solar city (Home and Business Solar panels linking the EVs for home and business to free electricity). All of these have some ties to humanitarian preservation, while Twitter seems to be a brain fart and a waste of pocket change for him.

      And all of his other businesses provide 100,000+ high paying jobs, while Twitter only employees 7,500.

      So, somewhat like you, I think this is a personal decision by Musk to put some of his money into a company where he believes he can do some good. Hopefully that will be putting some of the employees into roles like you had monitoring comments and not allowing some algorithm to flag anything or cover anything that has a word that may suggest it is related to something Twitter does not like. Too many times Twitter puts a warning or a banner over a comment and once read, it had nothing to do with their warning just because a word met the criteria.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      May 3, 2022 12:25 am

      Thanks, Priscilla. You and I are definitely on the same page when it comes to the censorship of “wrongthink” — not to mention the real-life punishments heaped upon those who dare to challenge woke orthodoxy.

      I don’t know where you stand on speech that actively promotes violence or harm. I’m not even sure exactly where I stand. For me, there’s a gray zone between opinions we don’t like (always to be protected) and incendiary incitements to illegal, harmful or violent actions, especially when based on falsehoods.

      It’s tricky to navigate that zone. We could say that Patrick Henry’s famous “Liberty or Death” speech was a direct incitement to violence and the overthrow of a legitimate government. Should he have been “censored”? How about Trump’s incitement to overturn the 2020 election?

      The difference between the two is that there was nothing false or misleading about the “Liberty or Death” speech. It was incendiary, it was melodramatic, but it was based on the facts: the British government and military had put Massachusetts in a chokehold, and it was reasonable fight back. Trump’s incitement was different: he kept at it despite numerous election boards — even in the red states — supporting the original results favoring Biden.

      Of course, sometimes we have to circle back to that great rhetorical question: “What is truth?” In the case of the pandemic, it was hard to know — although I trusted the scientists more than I did the anti-vaxxers. Facebook probably had the right idea when it would post brief auto-generated rebuttals to what it considered spurious information. I don’t think it censored that information; it simply balanced it with what it believed to be more accurate information.

      The catch, of course, is that nearly all media outlets and their management are biased one way or another. So is the current administration. I suspect that Biden’s “Ministry of Truth” will clamp down harder on right-wing disinformation than on the distortions of the woke left.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 3, 2022 3:23 am

        With respect to the “ministry of Truth”
        When your enemy is shooting themselves – let them.

      • Priscilla permalink
        May 3, 2022 10:52 am

        Here is my take on the more thorny free speech questions:

        I think that certain people and groups hold repugnant, vile opinions. NAMBLA, for example. The Nazi Party, as another. Nevertheless, I believe that they should be shown for who they are and what they believe. Let them speak about their disgusting views. Racists and misogynists are exposed this way too. These people can be dealt with more forthrightly when they have shown us who they are.

        Incitement to violence is trickier. Right now, on Twitter, many, many left wing abortion activists are literally calling for violent revolution, as well as the destruction of the Supreme Court, because someone leaked a draft of Samuel Alito’s allegedly majority opinion, overturning Roe v. Wade. Most on the left are very “ho-hum” about this rhetoric, although, they are not at all sanguine about Trump having encouraged his supporters to protest the certification of the 2020 electoral vote. In my opinion, this protest, which turned into a riot, was ill-advised, but it was not an attempt to topple the government. Are those calling for packing the court insurrectionists? How about if they storm the SCOTUS building, as they did during the Kavanaugh hearings? Insurrection? Nah. Bad, possibly illegal behavior, but “give me abortion or give me death” happens to be their opinion, I suppose.

        I guess my problem here is that, even if one personally believes that Trump was wrong to call the election stolen, so what? He had the right to say so, as did his supporters. Hillary Clinton, to this day, claims that the 2016 election was stolen. Stacey Abrams, to this day, says that her loss to Brian Kemp was illegitimate, and that she actually won. Why is it ok for them, but not Trump, who did not at any point call for revolution or violence? Again, it’s possible to believe that Trump was wrong, bad, even manipulative, and still believe that he had the “right to speak his truth,” as some call it.

        If we accept that speech is clarifying and illuminating, rather than that it is “violence,” I think we get closer to understanding why the founders believed that freedom of speech was the most important freedom of all. And that the loss of free speech would quickly put an end to democracy.

        Or as George Washington said, ““If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 3, 2022 2:19 pm

        Several noted scholars have noted that the fight against racism – atleast in the US was virtually over a decade ago. The gap between blacks and whites was closing, to a very large extent all existing differences had more to do with class than race.
        Poor whites had as few or even less oportunities that poor blacks, and slowly blacks were class stratifying to match the demographics of the country.

        I would note that nearly every single racial or ethnic groups that has come to the US has gone through the same process but not at the same speed.

        The claims that demographics would ensure a permanent democratic majority in the US did not start with blacks and hispanics. It started with the Irish, and Italians, For a century the Democratic party was openly hostile to racial minorities – to protect its base – white ethnic minority labor.

        Currently hispanics and to a lessor extent blacks are migrating away from the Democratic party for one very simple reason – their standard of living is rising.

        And Democrats are in the midst of self destruction beyond beleif at the moment – they are actively destroying the standard of living of the working class in a way that is inarguably the fault of democrats.

        I beleive the democratic party today is self destructing in front of our eyes in a very stupid and dangerous way.

        We are actually in the midst of a very dangerous race – they are seeking to excercise power they have not been given to the greatest extent possible before and in order to prevent it from being taken from them. That is inherently authoritarian.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 3, 2022 3:24 pm

        With respect to the 2020 election – I do not know that there was sufficient Voting Fraud to “steal the election”.

        We have not conduct the inquiry necescary to know that. The courts abdicated their responsibility in 2020 because they were well aware the election was conducted lawlessly – and they allowed that and it was NOT a fixable problem.

        I would be perfectly happy if SCOTUS had taken the TX case and found that States had violated their own laws and constitutions and that in the future Federal courts can step in, but that in 2020 there is no remedy. Scotus should have further clarifed that the US constitution gives specific election powers to the STATE LEGISLATURE – not the State as a whole and therefore though the legislature can deligate implimentation of election rules.
        That the election is fundimentally a state legislature only problem.
        The Bush v Gore court came close to this.

        I would note that contra the left – Many of the rulings against Trump by the courts essentially said “there is no remedy for what you allege, so we are not coning to inquire”

        All this said – Fraud, no fraud, some but not enough – it does not matter.
        Anyone is free to slander the outcome of an election – Clinton most certainly did in spades.

        Just as we are free to bitch about the outcome of a sporting event.
        When someone bitches about the outcome and they are clearly wrong – we call them a sore loser. But regardless of how we feel – we do not preclude them every possible legal avenue to challenge the result – even when we think they are wrong.

        The left is free to rant “sore losser” at Trump all they please. They are NOT free to deny him or those who share his views every avenue to reverse the outcome.

        The effort to stop the certification of the vote was a “hail mary” – it was highly unlikely to work.
        BUT it was perfectly constitutional Trump asked Pence to conduct the certification process in a fashion that was more likely to produce the outcome he wanted – that was a perfectly constitutional request – despite Pence’s statements and refusal. But it was also perfectly constitutional for Pence to refuse.

        The entire Certification was NOT proforma as democrats have claimed – election results have been challenged in every election a republican won in my entire lifetime, and most democrats won. Those challenges are a CHOICE the constitution gives to legislators – and if the conditions are met they require a VOTE – which is actually very rarely met. There is no such thing as a pro forma vote in congress. When congress can vote no, they can also vote yes.

        I would note what Trump and protestors wanted – had occured once befor in nearly identical circumstances – in 1876 in Tilden v Harris. Tilden had more electoral Votes than Harris, but was 1 vote short of the required number. Several states had credible allegations of fraud – pretty much the same kind of fraud that is common place in mailin elections. Claims that voters were coerced or induced to vote for Tilden.
        Congress delayed certificantion of the election. appointed a commission – I beleive of 5 justices, 5 senators, and 5 representatives and they came back recommending Harris as the winner. There was actually a backroom deal involved – Democrats ceded the presidency in return for Republicans ending Reconstruction – and Jim Crow followed.

        Regardless what Trump wanted was OBVIOUSLY constitutional it had happened before.

        The illegal and arguably unconstitutional act was locking down the Capital.
        I am not aware of the capital EVER locking down while Congress is in session – Congress acts as a PUBLIC body. Its votes are NOT secret they are taken in public.
        The 1st amendment guarantees the right to petition govenrment and protest.
        Sessions of congress are the pinnacle of that right.

        Maintaining order was trivial – we have actually learned that Trump had ASKED the National Guard be called in days in advance. Trump did not trust Pelosi of the Capital Police.

        With near certainty the NJational Guard was not necescary – but they still should have been called in.

        Regardless, it was possible to allow protestors into the capital in an orderly fashion searching them for weapons if necescary, possible limiting the numbers allowed in to a few hundred at a time and removing any whose went beyond protest into disorderly conduct.

        Many things are missing from the inquiry in to J6 – and a strongly suspect you will find those explored in 2023. No one has looked at what Pelosi directed the capital police or others.

        When republicans retake the house I think it is highly likely that all the J6 video will get released. As well as the capital police records and those of Pelosi’s office.

        We have been fed a narative about J6 – many of those who were there and some video contradicts that narrative – but we will not know without all the video and all the records.
        These should have been made public 2 years ago.

        Defendents and Trump supporters could have culled the video looking for support for their claims and innocence. The video has already exhonerated one person – but only becuase one defendents counsel realized the video that was being used to prosecute his client exonerated another J6 defendant. The prosecution FAILED at their Brady responsibility.
        Just as Republican could seek to use the public video – so could democrats – if there is more violence – lets see it. If there are more unidentified people who acted illegally – lets see them.

        The Final J6 issue – which is independent of the above – is a place where Actual parity is required. Over 100 Kavanaugh protestors were charged with crimes – many violence, atleast one used an Axe on a senators door.
        All were granted bail. Ultimate all charges were dropped.

        Except MAYBE scale – there is no fundimental difference between the kavanaugh protests and the J6 protests. They were both legitimate protests that got out of hand.

        The Kavanaugh protestors who were violent should not have gotten away scott free. The J6 protestors should not be facing 30 years. The only murders at J6 were by police.
        A gruesome double murder in LA recently received a 30 year sentence.
        This is not blind justice. The Kavanaugh protestor who went after a Senators door with an Axe – asked for and recieved his Axe back.

        The J6 protest did shock the country – mostly because the left media mostly successful sold a narrative that is increasingly proving false.

        The collapse of the Whitmer Kidnapping case is a huge deal. It clearly demonstrates massive illegal involvement of the FBI in trying to CAUSE right wing Voilence.
        We thought we had shutdown the FBI as a political tool after the Church Commission 60 years ago.

        There are indications that there MIGHT be very large scale FBI involvement in inciting the violence at J6. That MUST be investigatied.

        We do know that many many actors who were ACTUALLY inciting Violence have never been caught even though most are trivially found. The Whitmer Kidnapping case PROVES there is huge reason to be suspicious of the FBI.

        Regardless I could prove wrong about all of my remarks above – though I doubt it.
        But that is determined – not be selling naratives – but by investigating.

        It should also be clear from the past 6 years that government agencies are not trustworthy and highly political, and that will will not find out the truth about them without enduring force.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 3, 2022 3:38 pm

        We are 6 years from the 2016 election – and we are Still only barely learning the truth.

        We are 7 years away from the first reports of VP Biden corruption in Ukraine – and we may still be years away from the truth.

        What we have seen in the past leaves excellent reasons to distrust the media naratives of everything related to the 2020 election

        It is unlikely we will come close to knowing the actual truth without significant pressure by congress – which is not happening before 2023.

        The narratives we are being sold – may ultimately prove true.
        But there is good reason to doubt them – the people claiming the election was “perfect” are the same people who lied to us about 2016, and about the Biden’s.
        We have no good reason to trust the press, social media, the left, the DOJ, the FBI, democrats in congress.

        And even more importantly – we are not just dealing with do we trust these to tell us the truth.
        We have no good reason to trust them to behave morally or legally.

        The Collusion delusion was not merely false – it was a HOAX – it was morally, ethically and legally WRONG.

        The supression of the Biden laptop was immoral and unethical, and it was an actual conspiracy for the purpose of winning the election.

        The left is currently debating whether it actually effected the outcome.
        That does not matter. It is indesputable that Big Tech. Social Media, the Deep State the Biden Campaign, the Democratic Party and many others all conspired to “Steal the election”
        Maybe they succeeded, Maybe as they are essentially claiming now – we behaved immorally but would have won anyway. What actually matters is that they behaved immorally.

        Why should we beleive these same people – when they say they did not commit fraud ?

        Are we to beleive they would engage in a criminal HOAX in 2016, self evidently and now admitted immoral conduct in 2020 – but not the tiny next step to election fraud ?

  3. Milton Freidman permalink
    May 2, 2022 3:58 pm

    Test

  4. Milton Freidman permalink
    May 2, 2022 5:27 pm

    Rick

    I made several posts today on my normal accounts and after several hours none should up.

    I am inclined to follow the adage never to attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

    So I am asking you Rick – after an article on Free speech – have you finally decided to ban me from The New Moderate ?

    If so I am gone, while I am perfectly capable of making it difficult to impossible to stop my posts. I am not interested in games.

    I have plenty of places I can post aside from TNM

    I honestly hope there is some other explanation. Though your post on Free Speech is just one more in an ever growing list where you are increasingly willing to compromise on fundamental freedoms.

    As Goldwater said
    “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

    Or as Franklin said
    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    I am increasing optimistic about the future.
    Because those who can not learn from past mistakes are doom to repeat them.
    And most of us do learn from failure.

    Despite your constant efforts to balance the evils of the left and the right with every post – there is no consequential threat from the right today.

    If the right took over the country today – through elections or through force, the world would not end and individual liberty would suffer very little. The worst policies of the right are not especially harmful.

    Further the left’s polarization of the country is destroying conservatism – by making it more libertarian.

    There is no parity between the left and right.

    I have no idea what Musk will do with twitter – I do not see him as a villain or a hero.
    I do not expect he will allow Der Sturmer on Twitter. That would be free speech.

    I am optomistic – because for all its flaws – most of the country – the right in particular is being driven more libertarian by the left.

    I was greatly disappointed by your article on Free speech.

    No one is seeking to allow child porn on twitter, or anywhere
    Or actual threats of violence.

    As for “misinformation” – right and left accusations fly all the time. Lying in politics is as old as politics. Only the far left wants to censor alleged misinformation. And the far left includes the Biden administration.

    When I look for examples of consequential misinformation
    Right wing misinformation is claims such as that the Pope endorsed Trump – both false and I never heard it.
    Left wing Misinformation is Hunter Biden’s laptop is Russian disinformation.
    I heard that from the now president of the united states on national TV during the presidential debate. Something that was not only false, but that Joe Biden KNEW was false at the time.

    My point is AGAIN – there is no parity. We can go to other examples if you want ?
    The most harmful widest spread lies ALL came from the left and were all parroted by the media.

    But you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

    Trust in government, trust in our institutions is at an all time low.
    That is a good thing.

    I am surprised at the extent that you – as well as so many others here will defend the conduct of the left

    You can fool some of the people all of the time.

    Regardless, things are very bad for this country right now – and that is paradoxically good.

    Crime is rising, Inflation is rising. Growth is declining, With near certainty a recession is coming. The world is unarguably less safe with Biden as president. Much of the country – the world even – though apparently not here at TNM, is angry because it is increasingly self evident that the public health experts FAILED with Covid – and they did so at great cost – both in liberty and in safety, and mental and physical health.

    There are videos of passengers AND flight attendants celebrating the court ended mask mandates – I expected the passengers, I did not expect the crew.

    Rick – you claim to be “moderate” – but more and more you are defending those who have harmed all of us.

    You were OK with shaming people for not wearing masks – yet todate there is no REAL evidence that masks were effective. A recent large scale Danish study said that masks on school children made things worse.

    I do not know if HCQ or Ivarmectin would have helped. What I do know is they could not have done worse than lock-downs, masks, and vaccine mandates.

    I am tired of being forced into debating obvious facts with clueless people – because you are prepared to use FORCE to do things to ME that will not work, and having failed, you neither apologize nor admit error.

    A recent study of actual changes in the numbers of deaths in countries accross the world found that Sweden alone among western nations had ZERO excess deaths beyond precovid trends among people under 65.

    Whatever the issue – free speech, Covid, economics – all are really just questions of individual liberty, and ultimately with a very narrow set of exceptions, such as the freedom to murder you neighbor, individual liberty wins – because anything else is expensive and inefficient.

    I am optimistic because the bad things that have happened and that are increasing likely are another chance to learn from our mistakes and choose freedom.

    Right now we can look to Ukraine and see that when pushed enough – people will fight, and die and kill for freedom.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      May 2, 2022 7:41 pm

      I definitely didn’t ban you, so I can’t explain why your other comments disappeared.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 2, 2022 9:16 pm

        I am glad that is the case.

        I said what I wanted in the post above.
        I could flesh out each paragraph with a dozen sentences of further evidence.
        But why bother – I am increasingly disappointed by TNM.

        Free speech is the one issue today that there is unequivocally no parity between the left and right. It is not 1950 and Joe MacCarthy is long dead.
        As I noted just as liberals are being red-pilled by the left – conservatives are being pushed into libertarianism.

        To the extent that free speech is not absolute – the entire history of free speech in the US has been a movement TOWARDS absolute free speech – until very recently. The argument against free speech has always been rooted in harm. whether on the right or the left those arguments have always proved wrong.

        The entire debate over free speech is centuries old – neither of us have anything new to add. Every argument has been made and resolved – before I was born. There is nothing the left or you are saying now that Joe Macarthy did not say 60 years ago. Brandeis famous disent in Whitney V California is almost 100 years old. Brandenburg v. Ohio is more than 50 years old.
        On liberty is nearly 200 years old.

        You do not need to hear from me or anyone else now living. Look for wisdom in the past, it is not likely that the product of modern woke law schools can make arguments that refute arguments that have prevailed for 200 years.

        Right now, the far left has through lies and deceit gained control of nearly all the institutions of power.
        And yet they are failing.

        The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

        The left is not failing because of right wing misinformation or Russian disinformation. It is failing because it does not work.

      • May 2, 2022 9:52 pm

        Rick, most likely Word Press screwing up. About 25% of anything I post from anything other than my desktop will appear to post, but it does not show, when I try to repost the exact comment, I get “duplicate, you have said this already” and it still does not show.

        So I guess I will blame you the next time that happens because it certainly cant be technology😈.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 3, 2022 12:36 am

        I accept that because though I do not always agree with you, I do trust you.

        That is not something that either you or the left have figured out.
        Trust has little to do with our views.
        It comes from our choices, our actions and their consequences.

        I do not like Trump. I share many of your issues with him.
        He has done most of what he said he would do – often against great odds.
        And he has been successful at most of it.
        I trust him.

        I like Biden more than Trump. But I do not trust him.
        He promised all things to all people – moderate who voted for him believed he was moderate.
        Progressives either believed he was progressive or at-least that he would do what they demanded – and they were right – and he has failed. It is not even two years since his inauguration, the wind was at his back – all future predictions were good and for good reason.
        The US economy was ready to recover from Covid. Today Biden and the american people face into a gale, and they know how they got there.
        I do not trust him.

        Even in those few things I beleive he has done right – I still do not trust him.
        I have said before – since the start of the Ukraine war he has done nearly everything in a very difficult situation about as well as could be expected – aside from frequently stupid remarks.
        But I do not trust him. This is a very dangerous game. Robby has pointed out how evil Putin is – is it wise to poke evil people who half the worlds control nukes ?
        I hope to god that Putin is less evil that Robby thinks – because otherwise one slip and we have nuclear war. There is a simulation of a nuclear war with Russia on youtube.
        Within 48hrs about 300,000 people are dead. about 100,000, in the US 50,000 in europe and 150,000 in Russia. That sounds bad – but is much less than I would have guessed.
        In a little over a month the number is more than double that – from radiation and fallout.
        I about a year the number is almost a billion people accross the world – primarily from starvation. There is no quick fix for the irradiation of more than half the farm land in the world, or for steep if temporary drops in global temperatures that radically drop drop yields in what is left.

        Right now alot of people including me, wish Trump was president – because if he had been Putin would not have done this, and even if he did Putin was more scared of Trump than he is of Biden. We are learning the cost of a weak president.

        The US government is now openly talking about Ukraine as a proxy war in which the US uses Ukraine to mortally wound the Russian army.
        That can be an unintended side effect.
        It can not be an openly spoken goal.
        The goal can be no more than to restore the greatest Ukrainian sovereignty at the least human cost. Anything more is dangerous and immoral.
        Given how evil Robby and others think Putin is, I question why they think he will not escalate to nuclear war ?

    • savannah jordan permalink
      May 2, 2022 8:52 pm

      My comments frequently don’t appear.

  5. savannah jordan permalink
    May 2, 2022 8:56 pm

    My comments frequently don’t appear.

    • Milton Freidman permalink
      May 2, 2022 9:25 pm

      I made 5 posts as jbsay, and two as adam smith when those did not appear,
      none have appeared yet.
      I created a new alias and the very first post by that alias appeared instantly.

      Rick says he is not blocking me, and I am glad to hear that.
      But I am not likely to waste time creating a new email account every time he creates a new post.

      I would blame it on wordpress – but I have no problem posting on other wordpress sites.

      Independent of politics, TNM is the most difficult site I post on,
      It is harder to comment here than anywhere else.

      Others hear have blamed me for clogging everything up with numerous posts.

      There are not even 10 posts in this topic and things are messed up.

      • May 2, 2022 10:02 pm

        Accept it or not, it is wordpress!!! I have problems just like you and have to use a different device many times to get comments to post, even though when I make the exact same comment, word press rejects it as a duplicate. Very different problem than what I get when there are 500+ comments

      • Priscilla permalink
        May 2, 2022 10:10 pm

        Yeah, WordPress is the problem I think, Dave. I’ve been able to post, but it requires a bit of a workaround. I’m pretty sure that Rick wouldn’t block you.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 3, 2022 1:16 am

        He said he did not and I trust what he says.

        That it occured for his topic on Free speech was almost funny

        I am increasingly suspicious it has to do with gravatars, or maybe wordpress logins.

        I am not having any difficulty if I do not try to login.
        Posting is near instantaneous.
        Makes me wonder why I have an account.

  6. May 2, 2022 9:26 pm

    My last comment appeared twice. This is my third attempt to post this comment. Milton Friedman, I feel your pain. Rick, as always very well written. I am very uncertain of Musk’s objectives. I worry when the richest man in the world controls one of the most influential social platforms, but then Bezos bought the Washington Post. True the Post isn’t as big a mouthpiece as Twitter, but I do wonder what Bezos’ objectives were. With regards to the extremes, our democracy has always been a bunch of noisy extremists, but what is concerning is that the extremes don’t just bitterly disagree, but the ideas which each side professes are so bizarre. I thought Priscilla’s comments about Twitter refusing to censor the sex trafficking of a teenage girl, but at the same time censoring someone who says that transgenders should not compete in women’s sports was a very pointed example of the insanity of our times. By the way, what the hell is a Ministry of Truth? It sounds like something out of an Orwellian dystopia.

    • Milton Freidman permalink
      May 3, 2022 12:56 am

      You have not been here long.
      My name is Dave.
      My posts are all under the names of famous economists.
      J. B. Say (says law, the law of supply and demand)
      Adam Smith
      Ronald Coase
      and recently Milton Friedman when the others quit working.

      There is no reason to worry that Musk owns Twitter.
      He also owns the largest car company in the world – are you afraid to drive ?
      He owns the largest space company in the world – he has launched more rockets last year than everyone else combined – he could take out congress and the whitehouse if he actually wanted to.
      Regardless, as Adam Smith noted over 250 years ago – real wealth ends at a very low (relatively) level of income. Everything after that is money and that always benefits others.
      Musk can have all the yachts and GulfStreams and houses and fancy dinners he wants – untold creature comforts and not spend what he makes in a day. Everything else he does for the rest of his life – whether he chooses to or not is for others. Doubling his income will not allow him to live any better. But doubling his income will create more jobs and real wealth for others.

      The Post is a much bigger mouthpeice that Twitter – the Post speaks with close to one voice.
      Twitter is a billion voices speaking as unharmouniously as possible, and Musk has vowed to reduce what little harmony their is.

      What is the worst you expect ? The left is very good at inducing large unspecified fears.
      But put a name to them and they vaporize.

      The worst Musk could do would be turn Twitter into a bigger version of Gab.
      It would serve the left right
      but is Highly unlikely, and the world would not end.

      Those on the right who think Musk is their savior are mistaken.
      It is probable that Twitter will be a less hostile playing field.
      But they still must win the war of ideas because their ideas are better.
      I would note that there is not a conservative that I know that wants Trump to do to the left what the left has done to them.

    • Milton Freidman permalink
      May 3, 2022 1:07 am

      Ministry of Truth is literally out of 1984.
      I believe DHS is calling it the disinformation board.

      It is being headed up by a woman who was heavily involved in the collusion delusion nonsense and the claims that the Biden laptop was russian disinformation – she actually said it was a product of the Trump campaign.

      It is hillariiously appropriate that such a font of disinformation heads this board.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministries_of_Nineteen_Eighty-Four#Ministry_of_Truth

      For most of my life Democrats have been 100 times more effective at messaging than Republicans.

      Today, Joe Biden’s dementia explains his gaffe’s, it does not explain the rest of this nonsense.

      In the midst of disaster democrats are busily self inflicting wounds.

      You note that both sides are stupid and then cite two examples from twitter that are both failures of the left.

  7. Priscilla permalink
    May 2, 2022 10:03 pm

    A rare 9-0 Supreme Court decision today on a First Amendment case!

    The SCOTUS decision overturned a lower court which had ruled in favor of the city of Boston, when it asserted that allowing a flag representing a Christian group to fly on a flagpost outside the City Hall represented “government speech.”

    (Apparently, even many judges who should know better, don’t understand the Establishment Clause, and believe that, at least when it comes to Christianity, there must be a “separation of church and state,” when that term never appears in the Constitution.)

    In this case, private groups were allowed to apply to have their group’s flag flown, as part of a 12-year program, under which no group had ever been denied, until Camp Constitution, a group that said it promoted our shared Judeo-Christian moral heritage, and wanted to fly its flag in honor of Constitution Day, was rejected.

    Justice Breyer wrote the opinion, in which he said that the flagpole program was not government speech, but part of the creation of a public forum, or public square.

    “Breyer noted that, from two of the three flag poles, Boston flies the flags for the United States and Massachusetts and typically flies the city’s flag from the third. But by allowing some groups to occasionally fly their flags from the third pole, the court said Boston created a public forum and flew other banners, such as the Pride Flag for other civic groups.”
    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/05/02/supreme-court-boston-christian-flag/4371651514094/

    So, according to the government of Boston, the Pride Flag was A-ok, but the Camp Constitution flag was unconstitutional. Any doubt that our new Ministry of Truth will have similar biases?

    • Milton Freidman permalink
      May 3, 2022 1:12 am

      The public forum argument is correct.

      The moment Government creates a public forum – separation of church and state is no longer and issue, nor is religious freedom. In a public forum the only issue is free speech.

      If they do not wish to occasionally fly christian flags – they can terminate the public forum.

  8. Milton Freidman permalink
    May 3, 2022 12:02 am

    The fixation – by both the left and right on Musk’s purchase of twitter is unfounded.

    I do not know What musk will do – not one but Elon and possibly not even him does.

    I doubt that he will be the savior the right is wishing for, or the villian the left fears.

    I believe Musk when he says he did not buy Twitter to make money.
    But I have no doubt he will.

    Frankly Musk’s purchase of twitter has already had a huge effect that will likely grow.
    Several prominent conservatives on twitter gained hundreds of thousands of followers over night. Several prominent leftists lost tens of thousands at the same time.

    Maybe that is conservatives returning, and progressives leaving. Or maybe it is twitter quietly undoing some of the harm they have done before Musk exposes them.

    The twitter board ultimately agreed to sell twitter to Musk for only one reason. They had to.
    Public companies first duty is to shareholders.

    The next ripple towards greater free speech in social media will occur when it is evident that releasing Twitter from the control of the left has made it more valuable. Once that it evident ever single public woke company serving a general market will be forced to follow.

    Rick did not address Disney but they are in far more serious trouble than losing their special powers in Florida. They are alienated their core audience. There may be a shareholder suit in the works.

    Regardless, public or private – companies are NOT owned or controlled by their employees.
    Business values are owners first, customers second, and employees last. That is immutable.

    I wrestled briefly with the possibility that the left take over of many of out institutions undermined my faith in free markets.

    I have argued that these censorious companies must honor the promises they made to consumers when they signed up, that unilateral coerced changes to terms of service have no legal effect, that publicly banning someone or censoring their posts is defamation, and is actionable if not justified, and that section 230 of the DMCA (or the whole DMCA) must be repealed.

    But ultimately I decided none of that mattered – that the censorious left would fail. Just as Sen. MacCarthy did – probably when the right person stood up to them. If not then, when it became self evident that censorship is bad business.

    The left, the democratic party, the big business interests that support them are all extremely fragile right now.
    I have been repeatedly wrong about my predictions that the left was about to implode,
    but when you are cooking pasta – eventually the noodles will stick.

    Rick seems to think disinformation is something primarily from the right.

    “I did not have sex with that woman”

    “You can keep your doctor if you want”

    “Benghazi was a spontaeous response to an internet video”

    Joe Biden later attacked and derided Mitt Romney for his statement, calling him a “Cold War holdover.” Biden claimed that Romney was living in the past and that Russia is “no longer our enemy.”

    “Trump colluded with Russia to win the election”

    “I have seen more than circumstantial evidence of russian collusion”

    “Trump’s reckless threats to other countries, could set the nation on the path to World War III.”

    “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

    “220,000 Americans dead, You hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this. Anyone who … is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America.”

    “Look, there are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what this, he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan. They have said that this has all the characteristics — four– five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except him and his good friend Rudy Giuliani.”

    “President Joe Biden says that inflation is being caused by Putin”

    This is just a sampling of decades of “big lies” – misinformation.

    I do not care that these people lied. that is free speech. I care that over and over people beleived them.

    But you can not fool all of the people all the time.

    Democrats and the left are in the midst of a perfect storm almost entirely of their own making.

    Biden has been a disaster as president – and the worst is yet to come.
    It does not matter if he is senile or not. Nor can the democratic party avoid being dragged down with him. You may not beleive the election was stolen – but EVERYONE knows damn well that the left, the media, big business, big tech, all did absolutely everything in their power including lie, cover up for lies and corruption, bend and break laws.
    If they did not commit election fraud in 2020 – that is the only illegal and immoral thing they did not do.

    But it does not matter – you need not believe me.
    What matters is that little by little the trust of the american people – including democrats is slowly ebbing away.

    Trump was able to recover from very low approval numbers – the claims about him all ultimately proved lies, and he grew the economy.

    Biden and democrats can not recover. You can persuade a person someone is a liar – until evidence refutes that – then you are the liar. But once you have been proven to be a liar, trust rarely returns.

    Democrats are starting to run from Biden, but they are stuck to him like a tar baby.

    Biden has said alot of stupid things as a candidate and as president – because he is senile.

    But ultimately his problem is not what he has said so much as what he has done, and his actions had the support of nearly the entire democratic party – and they have failed.

  9. Milton Freidman permalink
    May 3, 2022 3:35 am

    Hopefully a youtube link will post as I can not find this elsewhere

    If not search for
    “Ask Any BLM Supporter This & Watch What Happens”

    But the important point is NOT about BLM – it is about how ridiculously wrong things that people beleive to be true can be.

    • Milton Freidman permalink
      May 3, 2022 3:38 am

      Different try

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 3, 2022 3:38 am

        NOw I know how to successfully post youtube links that work.

      • May 3, 2022 1:14 pm

        Wonder if the ministry of truth will suppress this discussion? When Heather MacDonald said almost identical things, youtube temporarily blocked the video.. After a furor of protests, they allowed it but with a cautionary note to viewers that the topic may not be appropriate to all audiences.

  10. May 3, 2022 10:35 am

    Two comments.
    1) If people want misinformation curtailed, they need to start with attack ads during elections. We have a senatorial primary going on that our local T.V. Station is fact checking ads. They have rated the ones reviewed “mostly false”. So when we are elected those that shape policy, from the armed forces involvement in wars to welfare, how much truth is required before it is unacceptible. 75%—50%—30%—10%—1%? Right now it seems to be between 1% to 10%.

    2) “SOCIAL media. It is what its name us. Social.! It is not NEWS media. There are laws regulating certain things like child pornography. Anything that should be controlled but is not, should be covered by law and let SCOTUS decide if it passes constitutional review.

    Anything else is “social”. Fact or fiction, govt should not be involved, period.

  11. May 3, 2022 7:52 pm

    Just a thought. Never has a draft document been leaked from SCOTUS.

    What better way to deflect attention from prices, interest rates, economy and declining purchasing power than to leak the abortion draft to get maximum exposure of media coverage and continuing coverage of the impact of the decision as well as civerage of the investigation on how it happened.

    • Priscilla permalink
      May 4, 2022 8:53 am

      Yep.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 4, 2022 1:44 pm

        We do not know who leaked this, much less why.
        Though more people seem to beleive it was a clerk on the left.

        Regardless, it makes no sense to leak this for election impact.
        Overturning Rowe will have more impact the closer it is to the election.

        Leaking it now allows the impact to fade before the election.
        It also makes the actual decision in june or july anticlimactic.

        There is only one viable purpose for this leak – to attempt to change the decision.

        Regardless, I do not think this decision will have significant impact on the midterms.

        Women will continue to get abortions with as much ease as ever in blue states.

        There are 20 states with trigger laws that will take effect banning abortion if Rowe is overruled.

        Expecting an election impact benefiting democrats is wishful thinking

        Glenn Greenwald has an excellent article
        https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-irrational-misguided-discourse?s=r

        There is an important an protected right involved – not to abortion, but to ones own body, that the conservative court is wrongly blind to.

        Fundimentally the draft decision is more consistent with the LEFT understanding of the constitution as Greenwald notes.

        SCOTUS is not banning abortion, it is saying it is up to the people. It is saying abortion is not a right protected by the constitution, but something subject to the direction of voters.

        There are large majorities of people who do not want Rowe overturned.
        But there are larger majorities who support stronger restrictions on abortion.

        Oddly there is a majority of people who BOTH want Rowe to endure AND want abortion to be nearly always illegal ?

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 4, 2022 4:13 pm

        Dave, I have always said this should be at the state level. I just w

      • Ron P permalink
        May 4, 2022 5:13 pm

        Dave. I have always said this should be at the state level. But with the current states doing what they are doing, i am beginning to believe a federal regulation might be best.

        for instance, I believe it is Missouri with a law that makes it a crime for anyone to go to another state and obtain RU486 and take that to end a pregnancy. There is not way in hell that Ms should be able to control the actions of individuals if they take a medication in another state.

        And will they make the prescribing and administering of this drug a crime? If the doctor prescribes it, what happens about patient doctor confidentiality?

        It will never happen, but it is time for everyone to get the f out of everyone eases business, Mask, vaccines, abortions, they should all be individual responsibilities. I am fine if a state decides at some point an abortion should be illegal, but what the extremeist right plan to do with anything like Ms is planning to do is gone way to far.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 5, 2022 4:51 am

        The reasoning of Rowe was wrong.

        But each persons body is their own property – and control of it is outside the domain of government.

        There is an absolutel constitutional and other right for a woman to remove a pregnancy from her body if she so chooses – even it that kills the pregnancy.
        There is not however an independent right to kill the pregancy.

        This is a rights issue, it is NOT a state issue

        RU486, HCQ, Heroin – if you are an adult – it is your body and your right to consume whatever you want.

        There is no point at which the state can deprive the woman of the right to remove the pregnancy from her body.

        But the state is free from conception through birth to attempt to secure the survival of the removed pregnancy.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 5, 2022 5:06 am

        You keep saying “the extremist right” – as if that is a thing.

        There are only a handful of nations in the world where abortion is permitted after 15 weeks.
        Most do not permit it at all.

        I expect as we start to see more world populations go into negative population growth that we will see more bans of abortion, as well as sexuality that does not result in procreation.

        The right will not be driving that – the survival of the species will.

        Regardless americans are weird – something like 72% want Rowe to remain.
        Yet in the same polls a plurality supports an absolute ban on abortion.

        Is nearly half the country “the extreme right” ?

        Is the catholic clergy “the extreme right” ? They are also opposed to the death penalty – is that “extreme right” ?

        When rowe occured – a significant portion of the democratic party was pro-life.

        Rowe itself is not actually in effect right now – Casey is Casey replaced Rowe trimester system with actual viabilty. Regardless, Casey is named after the pro-life Democratic Governor of PA that signed the PA abortion law that the left challenged in court.

        I am sorry Ron – I have no problem qualifying a view that many democrats and now only republicans hold as WRONG. But it is NOT extreme right.

        To call something extreme – it MUST be views that are held by at most 10% of the population. Further it must be views that have been unique to the right for a long time.
        And last it must be a position that does not work.

        I can not think of a single political position or value that fits that quite rational definition of “extreme right”

      • Ron P permalink
        May 5, 2022 12:00 pm

        Dave, second try. WordPress would not let me comment from hand held device again. If 1st one shows up, this is duplicate from desktop.

        Extreme. Those who desire to control the life of others , such as total ban on abortions for any reason or banning medical treatment. Those who attempt to control others through actions that harm one segment of society while attempting to right previous wrongs that harmed other segments of society previously. Those who attempt to remain in power using any means including actions opposing constitutional power, or consolidate power to achieve a position to control the action of people without regards to constitutional rights. Those who support changing laws and rules that have proven effective for decades in order to achieve powers to control select segments of society. Those who change laws or rules to achieve short term gains, while creating situations that result in long term harm. Those who attempt to take god given rights (or for non-believers, human rights individuals are born with) from one segment through laws, regulations and.policies that give those powers to unrelated individuals or government agencies.

        Included in these groups: Example, but many more are available.
        Educators, K- universities
        Speech control advocates
        Gun control advocates who desire almost complete control or arms
        Supporters of the Patriot Act
        Abortion ban supporters or almost any abortions
        Anti police activist
        Affirmative action admissions and employment advocates harming one segment to right wrongs to others.

        There are actions any politician can take to improve much in society today. The difference between my accepting those actions is the impact those actions have on individual rights (abortion)or the indirect harm to individuals (defunding police).

        Under my definition I put: (Just a few)
        AOC
        Sanders
        Warren
        Trump
        Cruz
        John Neely Kennedy
        Former senator Reid

        If it harms anyone or results in rights being reduced, then it is extreme. Laws should only reduce or punish for harm to others, such as murder. And what makes extremist even worse is the inconsistencies of their argument. For instance, Texas has basically banned abortions to protect the right of the unborn human, but on the other hand advocates for the taking of a life through capital punishment. Born or unborn, a life is a life no matter if it has not sinned or has brought harm to others. To be somewhat religious, Jesus did not buy into an “eye for an eye” nor do I

        So what is your definition of extreme in both political alignments.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 3:29 am

        I am not looking to define what extreme is – only what it isn’t.

        Views that are withing 1 std dev of the mean are NOT extreme.

        You can slice abortion anyway you want – the ONLY abortion position that is extreme i.e. that has only a small support is that of fully legal abortion anytime right up to birth.

        Nearly every other position on abortion including an absolute ban has sufficient support that it is not extreme.

        The fact that a position is extreme does not make it wrong.
        The fact that it is not extreme does not make it right.

        I have expressed my position on abortion before, I should not need to repeat it.

        Alito and the 4 justices that are joining him are WRONG – there is no right to an abortion – there is a right to control of your own body.

        Alito is also FALSELY applying original-ism.

        It is a fundimental principle of statutory construction that ALL parts of a law or constitution means something.

        The 9th amendment must have meaning – and the only possible meaning is there are alot of rights not “enumerated” in the constitution.

        BTW the fight over unenumated rights is literally as old as the constitution.

        There is a priviledges and immunities clause in the main text of the constitution.
        When the constitutions was drafter that was deliberately intended to do MORE that the 9th amendment – it was intended to mean that things that were not even rights were protected.

        When the bill of rights was drafted – one of the arguments against it was that enumerating rights would create the impression those were the only rights we have.
        Hence the addition of the 9th amendment. But the 9th amendment was ignored from nearly day one. Hence the addition of the even stronger priviledges and immunities clause of the 14th amendment. I would note that “incorporation” – applyng the bill of rights to the states is done through the 14th amendment Immunities and priviledges clause.
        I would further not that the purported 2nd amendment Heller and McDonald cases hinge on the 14th not the 2nd amendment. The reconstruction congress in drafting the 14th amendment in their deliberations noted that ONE reason for the immunities and priviledges clause was to guarantee that Southern states could not infringe on the right of blacks to own guns.

        The POINT I am making is that the Alito claim – which is based on a permutation of originalism that runs through Bork and rests on only enumerated rights and otherwise democratic processes – i.e. anything thaty does not infringe on an enumerated right can be infringe on unenumerated rights if democraticly enacted.

        That is PRECISED the argument Alito is making and it is not merely wrong – but it is NOT actually originalist. it is ANTI-Originalist.

        Randy Barnet addresses this in

        An excellent and readable book on the constitution – REAL original intent, and the history of our founders and the driving forces behind the constitution, the bill of rights, ….

        I would note that it is the scholarship of Barnett – and some others like him – John Lott who is a statistician and a gun rights historian, that lead to Heller.

        More recently there was a Federalist paper on the history of abortion in the late 18th and early 18th century. This SHOULD have assisted Alito in getting this RIGHT.

        Only a few colonies/states had an outright ban on abortion in that era. Generally restrictions on abortion started arround 1840 – with the rise of doctors as a proffession.

        Regardless several states had no restrictions and most states only restricted abortion after “quickening” which is somewhere between 15 and 24 weeks.

        Anyway Alito is WRONG. Both as a matter of US history and as a matter of the originalist meaning of the constitution.

        But Wrong and extreme are not the same thing.

        As to laws to all the rumors of laws that might be passed such as reversing Griswald or Loving or Obergefell or ….

        Let me remind you that Bostock was written by Gorsuch and joined by roberts, and was 6-3.

        If there is not a majority willing to reverse Bostock (trans rights) – dop you really thing you can reverse gay right, civil rights, and birth control ?

        This is just fear mongering.

        With respect to purportedly emerging laws that criminalize travel to a state where abortion is legal for the purposes of getting an abortion – those too will be found unconstitutional.
        There is a right to travel between states that is well established.
        It is a FEDERAL crime to travel between states for some specifica actually criminal purpose – such are kidnapping, bank robbery or prostitution. I am note aware of a state law that has survived – states can not regulate interstate activity.

        Regardless again – this is all fear mongering.

        Ultimately I suspect that overruling Rowe – will cause the left to throw a hissy fit, But will not result in much more. I do not think it will have a large backlash at the ballot.
        But could be wrong.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 4:27 am

        “If it harms anyone or results in rights being reduced, then it is extreme.”

        False, You are badly paraphrasing me.

        What I say that is NEARLY the same is
        The use of force to infringe on liberty must be justified.
        It is NEARLY ALWAYS true that the use of force to infringe on liberty is wrong and extreme.

        But it is not always – YOU have argued that traffic controls are great – they certainly result in rights be reduced – and sometimes they result in actual have -they also might sometimes result in benefits, a PROVEABLE net benefits test is a requirement for justification – it is necescary – but not sufficient.

        Words are important. Despite the volume of what I write – I try to be care with words – especially those about force.

        It is important not to be unclear with making claims about rights or force.

        “Laws should only reduce or punish for harm to others, such as murder.”
        Yes,

        “Texas has basically banned abortions to protect the right of the unborn human, but on the other hand advocates for the taking of a life through capital punishment. Born or unborn, a life is a life no matter if it has not sinned or has brought harm to others.”

        I MOSTLY do not agree with the death penalty – but some of the crimes I have known as a result of my wife’s 20 years as a public defender make it hard for me to be absolute.

        Regardless, all killing is not criminal – we allow self defense. Some states kill people for heinous crimes.
        It is not inherently hypocracy to fight killing the unborn – unless they have committed a heinous crime.

        Regardless, the catholic church is ABSOLUTELY pro-life and opposes the death penalty
        And they are probably the largest single pro-life group.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 4:45 am

        “So what is your definition of extreme in both political alignments.”

        I do not accept your response as providing a reliable means of identifying “extreme”.

        With few exceptions you provided platitudes
        You have defined things in ways that sound good – but has enormous wiggle room, and is highly subjective.

        A person of group is “extreme” if a significant portion of their polices are held by less than 10% of voters.

        Having one rare policy is only rarely sufficient to label someone extreme – it would have to be a fundimental policy – like free speech, and the position would have to be significantly outside the norm.

        Trying to ignore the ambiguity of some of your proposals – none of those fit.
        An absolute ban on abortion has plurality support according to recent polls.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 4:23 pm

        “Those who desire to control the life of others , such as total ban on abortions for any reason or banning medical treatment. ”

        I was specifically challenging your “extreme right” claim – and asking for policies that identify “extreme right”.

        Polls are showing super majority support for keeping Rowe.
        BUT they are also showing plurality support for a 100% ban of abortion.

        Plurality positions can be WRONG, but they are by definition NOT extreme.

        “Those who ….”
        Again I asked for examples of extreme right POLICIES – not people,
        and you have not provided me with either.

        “Those who attempt to remain in power using any means including actions opposing constitutional power”

        Presuming you are talking about 2020 – there is absolutely nothing Trump or his supporters did that was un or anti-constutitonal. The left has successfully brainwashed you on this.

        What Trump sought – actually happened in tilden/harris 1876.
        What Trump tried has happened in every US presidential election in my lifetime.

        Regardless, you are literally suffering from Trump derangement syndrome – trying to blame everything bad on Trump.

        You analyze bad events – until you hit Trump and stop – Trump was involved he must be the cause.

        The mess that was the 2020 election has very simple root causes – ends justifies the means election lawlessness by DEMOCRATS.

        We can debate if Trump was correct about the problems with the election.
        There is no debate there were problems.
        But more importantly yet, there is no debate that even if there were no problems with the election – even if that was obvious to every person on earth but one – that person is Still free to believe and to say there were problems.

        “If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”

        ― John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

      • Priscilla permalink
        May 5, 2022 9:09 am

        “It will never happen, but it is time for everyone to get the f out of everyone eases business>

        Amen. I also think that the imbalance of power in this country right now is causing everything to be out of whack. The Democrats have gone too far left, because the left is where the power is right now. And, if we look back in history, at nations who have lost control of their government to far left (or far right, but that’s not our situation) leaders who are more concerned with consolidating power, and controlling the masses than with passing and enforcing common sense laws, we always see bad outcomes. We’re on this road, I’m afraid.

        I blame a lot of this on Republicans, who have been all talk and no action for a very long time. And, when I say Republicans, I don’t mean the voters, but the politicians who they’ve elected to try and make things right. Most of them would rather go along to get along, talk a good game, and do…..well, not much.

      • Ron P permalink
        May 5, 2022 12:21 pm

        Priscilla, this is one time you and i will have to disagree.”And, if we look back in history, at nations who have lost control of their government to far left (or far right, but that’s not our situation)”

        I see many things supported in the country on the right that is extreme. For one, there are many who still support the Patriot Act, even though it was not extended. That act violates many rights such as the 4th Amendment which harms everyones protection from unwarranted search and seizures in the guise of protection. Another example is the total ban on abortions in many states, including 13 states with proposed laws that allows criminal proceeding for traveling for an abortion, How much more extreme can one get?

        https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/abortion-travel-bans-emerge-as-next-frontier-after-roes-end

        I can foresee that same law being proposed in N.C. especially after the 2024 election if a case is not before SCOTUS since I think N.C. democrats will nominate someone very far left this time and a GOP governor will prevail.

      • Priscilla permalink
        May 5, 2022 1:43 pm

        Ron, I think that our disagreement, to the extent that we do disagree, may have to do with you being more to the libertarian side of the argument, and me more to the conservative side.

        It’s not that I’m anti-abortion ( I’m also not pro-abortion) , but I do believe that Roe v. Wade was a badly decided case, which found a “right” to abortion that doesn’t exist, and took away the constitutional right of the states to regulate or not regulate it. And, I think that it has to be regulated, for a few reasons: 1) it is not just between a woman and her doctor. There is father involved, and he should have some say in the decision. There have been cases in which the father has gone to court to prevent the abortion of his biological child, and I think that there should be some legal and moral acknowledgement that at least some fathers deserve to be part of the decision, especially if we’re talking about aborting a 2nd or 3rd trimester viable baby. 2. I don’t think that women who wait until their babies are viable in this age of easy access to early abortion, should be legally allowed to kill that baby without. Granted, there will always be exceptions, and I would support some of them, but my view is not particularly rare, and, in a democracy, voters like me should be able to elect leaders who will legislate abortion regulations that do not ignore the many prenatal and neonatal advances that have come about since 1973. Finally, I did read Alito’s draft, and in no way does he indicate that he believes in an abortion ban, just a return to the constitutional process. He also makes clear that he differentiates between Roe and Obergefell in a way that might predispose him to uphold gay marriage, despite the left currently claiming that overturning Roe guarantees that this court would overturn Obergefell.

        If the federal government were able to legislate a bipartisan law, codifying abortion regulations, I could accept that, although I strongly prefer letting the states do it, as they have been legalizing marijuana.

        Extremists on the right have very little political power these days, and although Biden claimed yesterday that Trump supporters are the most extreme radical group that have ever existed in recent American history, I would beg to differ.

        That said, I have enough libertarian leanings to understand where you’re coming from, and I think that the right bears a lot of blame and responsibility for enacting partisan bans, just as the left does for ignoring the rights of biological fathers and viable but unborn babies.

      • Ron P permalink
        May 5, 2022 2:21 pm

        Priscilla, so we may be closer on this issue than apart, My thoughts was based on your comment that the left had moved to far left, but did not believe the right had moved too far right. On this, I think both parties are out to lunch on issues and that is due to the fact that too few participate in primary elections and when any kind of analysis is conducted, a small minority of active voters are going to the polls and nominating candidates for the general elections for both parties. Just Tuesday, not much more than 10% in either party that voted in the 2020 election participated and voted for the eventual nominees in the Ohio senatorial primary. That leaves many who either decide not to vote or have to keep from vomiting when they do in the general election.. As for myself, I have never voted against someone if I do not have a good reason to vote for someone else. That was the reason I voted for Johnson in 2016 and then 2020 for Trump since I supported most everything he was doing. Today, that same vote would not occur due to his actions leading up to and after the 2020 election, nor can I support anyone that he is supporting to build his coalition to possibly consolidate power and try to circumvent the constitution should he get reelected and want to run again.Yes, that sounds nuts, but he is nuts!! .

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 5:06 am

        Ron,

        I want elections to have the lowest possible voter participation.

        That means one of two things – none of the candidates is sufficiently threatening to warrant voting, or the constitution is sufficiently adhered to that even a nutjob can do no harm.

        As a rule – nations with high voter turnout are unstable – it is a BAD sign not a good one.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 5:15 am

        “Today, that same vote would not occur due to his actions leading up to and after the 2020 election, nor can I support anyone that he is supporting to build his coalition”
        That is fine – you can always vote as you please.

        “to possibly consolidate power and try to circumvent the constitution should he get reelected and want to run again.Yes, that sounds nuts, but he is nuts!! .”

        There is close to universal agreement on what Trump DID,
        There is NOT agreement on whether it was moral, ethical, legal, or constitutional.

        But the absence of agreement – does not change the fact that is was constitutional.
        What Trump attempted – and even how he attempted it – actually happened in this country before. Tilden/Harris. Congress refused to certify the electoral college vote because of allegations of fraud. They appointed a commission and then accepted the commissions decision.

        This is not some delusion in Trump’s brain – it happened over 100 years ago.

        It is inarguable that Trumps actions – were legal and constitutional.

        I can not force you to agree, just as I can not force you to agree that the sun will rise tomorow.

        I would further note that Clinton and Democrats tried something that has NOT happened before in 2016 – they tried to get electors to vote independently of what voters had chosen.

        That too is arguably constitutional, though it is illegal in most states.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 5:28 am

        Aside from your inaccurate view of the election challenge objectives – what is your evidence that Trump intends to circumvent the constitution ?

        I did not vote for Trump in 2020 – I voted for Jo Jo Johnson.

        But that does not change the fact that the election was lawless, fraud ridden, and your favorite word – unfair.

        There is no doubt that Mark Zuckerburg spent almost 1/2B dollars – about 97% of that in the 6 cities that tipped the election. Had he done that as a campaign contribution that would be OK. But he did not – he spent the money to convert local election aparatus into an arm of the democratic party.

        Something like 70% of people want Zuckerbucks banned.

        Mark Elias – you know the guy tied up in all the collusion delusion nonsense in 2016, also lead the democratic effort to force courts to mangle the election laws of their states or to defend democratic governors and sec states who violated the election laws of their states.
        Funded by alot of Sorros money.

        Or what about the massive conspiracy to burry the Hunter Biden laptop story ?

        You do not want to trust me – fine – but why is it that you think that the very same people who broke the law in 2016 to try to win an election, would not do so in 2020 ?

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 4:58 am

        Rowe was badly decided.
        But Alito’s draft Dobbs is actually worse.

        Alito is channelling Borkean democratic originalism – and I am surprised that Gorsuch would join this draft.

        Borkean originalism does not recognize enumerated rights, and kicks everything that is not an enumerated right back to the democratic process.

        There is a fundimental right to ownership and therefore control of our own bodies.
        Whether the issue is abortion or vaccines or mask mandates or lockdowns or our choice of drugs.
        Governments power to infringe on our right to choices about our body MUST be very very narrow.

        BUT while there is a right to control YOUR body – a fetus is not your body – it is IN your body.
        You have the right to remove it – even if death will result.
        You do not have the right to kill it.
        Government does have the power to require it be removed in a way most likely to result in its survival – so long as it does not increase the risk to you.

        I do not agree with those saying Alito will overrule loving or obergefell.
        That is not happening.

        But Alito’s draft is WRONG in fundimental ways that are the death knell to any rights that are not clearly enumerated in the constitution.
        Despite the constitution and founders making it clear than all rights are not in the constitution and that those rights belong to the people.

        Put simply – despite claims to the contrary – Alito’s draft is NOT consistent with the constitution, or any logically sound version of originalism.

        Absolutely our founders intended the power to regulate health to belong to the state not federal government. But that did NOT mean that states were free to pretend that the right to control of ones body does not exist.

        SCOTUS exists fundimentally to protect actual rights.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 5:02 am

        I would note that the constitutional framework I provided for abortion, would treat men and women close to equally.

        A women could have an abortion at any time in her pregnancy, but the longer she waits the more risk she runs of having the fetus removed, but not dying and ending up with the legal and financial responsibility for it – much like men.

        I also find it interesting that Both Lawrence Tribe and Walter block came up with this independently.

        Walter is an important anarcho-capitalist. And once upon a time Tribe was the lefts most brilliant constitutional scholar.

      • Priscilla permalink
        May 6, 2022 9:21 am

        It’s an interesting take, although I think it has the potential of creating more problems than it solves.

        Common sense and compassion should be the goal here, within the rules and guardrails provided in the Constitution.

        Even if the Constitution is flawed.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 1:47 pm

        The goal is not to solve problems, but to set the law on a foundation proper foundation with the correct relationship to actual rights.
        Republicans should not be celebrating Alito’s destruction of unenumerated rights.

        Federalism – which most of us are to some degree proponents of is about government powers – NOT rights.

        Every court in the land – particularly the supreme court is obligated to protect our rights.

        Alito’s ruling is an anti-originalist full throated embrace of near pure majoritarian democracy.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 2:57 pm

        “Common sense and compassion should be the goal here”
        As an individual you can have whatever goals you want.

        Everyone thinks that they have common sense and very few do.
        Like “fairness” – it means something different to each of us.
        That is OK, but that is also why it can never be used to justify FORCE.

        Compassion is actually worse. Compassion is the difference between a positive and negative moral duty.

        Every act of charity I perform is driven by compassion. It is a moral obligation, but it CAN NOT be a legal obligation.

        We can use force to thwart people from doing evil.
        We may not use force to compel people to do good.

        Government is not and never should be a force for positive Good.
        It is always and only a force against evil.

        Government is good – only in that it constrains evil.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 3:11 pm

        “within the rules and guardrails provided in the Constitution.
        Even if the Constitution is flawed.”

        That is a pretty good definition of “the rule of law”.

        Ron does not accept that the 2020 election was lawless.

        That is surprising – increasingly government is lawless.

        The most glaringly obvious example is the southern border.

        We have immigration laws in this country. Every person who takes federal office SWEARS to uphold those – whether they like them or not.

        Yet, right now those laws are being egregiously violated because the current government refused to keep that oath.

        They do not like the law as it is, and so they simply ignore it rather than change it.

        And this approach – at the moment mostly unique to the left is spreading.

        Prosecutors who do not like shoplifting laws – refuse to prosecute.

        Kavanaugh protestors did not even get a slap of the wrist – they actually got their Axe back.
        Few of the violent rioters throughout the country in 2020 were prosecuted – those got a slap on the wrist. While hundreds – many of whom were not violent have been in solitary confinement in DC hell holes for 18 months, and face sentences harsher than for people who commit heinous murders for crimes that are essentially made up.

        This is the collapse of the rule of law. This is star chamber justice.

        And AGAIN – it is nearly all driven by only one side.

        I support changing most of the laws they left seeks to change. I do not support the destruction of the rule of law as the method to accomplish that.

        I do not care about Title 43 or Remain in Mexico – those are Trump policies to accomplish the objectives of existing immigration law. Biden is free to find his own polices. He is NOT free to ignore the law. The law says that people who enter the US illegally must be caught and deported.

      • Ron P permalink
        May 6, 2022 11:49 pm

        I dont think I ever said the 2020 election was without errors or problems. What I think my position stated was after the election was certified, Trump should have shut his ____ mouth.

        And on January 6th Trump Tweeted “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”

        Then he went into a shell and was not heard for for 3-4 days when leadership was required of the leader of the country. He could not accept people not loving him.

        He did not win a “landslide victory”. He was not stripped of his victory.

        Just like 2000 when the Democrats could never accept 43’s election, so too will the Trump cultist never accept Trumps defeat.

        So youi continue blaming the left for all our problems. I will continue blaming all elected officials because they dont want the problems solved. Period.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 7, 2022 3:13 am

        “What I think my position stated was after the election was certified, Trump should have shut his ____ mouth.”

        Why ?
        First you are atleast accepting that the 2020 election was error ridden – which it was.
        That was inevitable implimenting a mailin election in most of the country overnight.

        Regardless the high frequency of errors alone is a reason to NOT rush certification.
        It is a reason to accept that there MUST be transparency, audits, and challenges and these will take time.

        It is also a reason why every single court decision was WRONG.
        If you want people to accept the results you MUST engage in meaningful scrutiny.
        Failure to do so undermines trust.

        Before the election took place it was already Obvious that unless the election was a blow out – beyond any possibility of fraud that the high rate of error REQUIRED thorough scrutiny.

        I have no doubt at all there was large scale fraud in the CA recall election. There is lots of evidence of that. BUT the election was not even close. we should still investigate the fraud.
        But no one was inpired – because ti was not changing the results.

        Had Trump lost be 200K votes in AZ, NV, MI, WI, and GA there would be no reason to take complaints of fraud seriously. Sure there was fraud – there always is and we should investigate. But it will not change the outcome.

        Instead the difference between Biden and Trump was 42,000 votes.

        The difference between a GOP sweep – house, senate and President and a democrat sweep was only 100K votes.

        It is very hard to pull off fraud on the scale of several hundred thousand votes in small states – and not get caught.
        Though fraud on that scale in Philadelphia alone is common place.
        I beleive Newark NJ had 70,000 fraudulent votes in a recent primary.

        Fraud is easiest in big cities in big states with long traditions of political machines and political corruption.

      • May 7, 2022 10:37 am

        Dave, I accept your thoughts on audits.

        However, you say you want the feds out of elections.

        I say few politicians want the problem solved.

        Now add to those the fact on the almost certain situation that convincing state leaders to admit there might be problems and agree there is a need for audits and getting any state to agree would be very hard. And, if your party benefits from the fraud, why support it.

        Remember, my party, my career, my country. (Politicians order of priorities,IMO)

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 7, 2022 3:32 am

        “And on January 6th Trump Tweeted “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.””

        So ? I think it is highly likely that if we could ever get to the bottom of things Trump won every swing state except MAYBE Michigan. And he near certainly would have won Michigan but for the political chicanery of he FBI in the government orchestrated whitmer kidnapping plot.

        I also think that without mailin voting – Trump would likely have won a significant popular vote victory.

        Trump is not nearly as unpopular as he is painted.
        And the democrats – particualrly after the summer of riots were much more unpopular than perceived.

        There are MANY things that had to go perfect for Biden to win – and most of those are not moral, and atleast some are illegal.

        Without the Whitmer Kidnapping – Trump wins Michigan.
        Without the Hunter Biden laptop supression Trump wins – probably even the popular vote.
        Without mailin voting Trump wins a landslide.
        Without Zuckerbucks – Trump wins.
        Without essentially tossing election laws accross the country – Trump wins.
        And on and on.

        “Then he went into a shell and was not heard for for 3-4 days when leadership was required of the leader of the country. ”
        Nope – J6 was not that big a deal. Frankly it was a deliberate setup by Pelosi. She locked the Capital and hoped that would result in a mess. I think she hoped for worse than she actually got, but it did not matter because the press painted iot worse than it was.

        “He could not accept people not loving him.”
        Do we have to keep this mind reading stuff up.

        “He did not win a “landslide victory”. He was not stripped of his victory.”

        You are free to beleive what you wish as am I.

        Some apsects of elections are out of control of the candidates.
        I did not mention covid above. The single largest factor effecting the election was Covid.

        But nature does what it does and the rest of us are stuck with that.

        If it rains on the day of a football game – both teams play in the mud.
        If one is better in the mud – so be it.

        But Covid provided democrats the opportunity for unparalled malfeasance.

        “Just like 2000 when the Democrats could never accept 43’s election, so too will the Trump cultist never accept Trumps defeat.”

        If you wanted Trump supporters to accep the outcome – you needed to have real transparency and real scrutiny – you did not.
        The results are predictable – especially after 4 years of constant lies by the left the press the media, social media.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 7, 2022 3:49 am

        “So you continue blaming the left for all our problems.”

        We are in the midst of an extremely serious problem – that goes far beyond Trump and predates him significantly.

        I am very optomistic at the moment that we have past peak woke, and I am hoping it will collapse catastrophically and be gone.

        But we have been int he midst of an exponentially growing threat from the left for more than a decade. Something far beyond the right left conflicts of the 20th and early 21st century.

        We are facing a very serious attack on western principles and values, by the most nihilistic ideology ever.

        Post modernism make communism look like amateurs.

        I would further note this disaster is almost entirely in the US and Canada.
        Most of the rest of the west – despite being more socialist overall is far more immune to this woke nonsense.

        “I will continue blaming all elected officials because they dont want the problems solved.”
        Is that a problem ? Yes, but it is not a new one, and it is no larger than ever before.
        Further the vast majority of our “problems” would be better if not solved if government would just do nothing – and the inaction of politicians is a form of doing nothing.

        You tripped and broke you leg, and someone shot you in the chest and you are bleeding out.

        Which problem do you solve First ?

        Post modernism is a mind virus that is worse than anything we have ever seen in the world before. It has the potential to be worse than maxism, worse than actual fascism, naziism worse than the cultural revolution.

        Biden has failed so spectacularly as president that we may be past the peak.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 5, 2022 2:13 pm

        State travel bans will be found unconstitutional.

        The Patriot act was evil – and there are too many republicans supporting a powerful national security state spying on citizens.

        Those are primarily neo-cons and they are leaving the GOP.

        The is is another issue that parties are resorting on – Democrats used to be the party seeking protection from state intrusions. Today that is more Republicans. And more importantly tomorrow the polarization on this issue will be more complete.

        Republicans used to be the party of speech restrictions – now they are unequivocally the free speech party.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 5, 2022 2:01 pm

        While I agree that democrats have gone too far left.
        The more important problem is that they have failed.

        Further those failures are not limited to Biden.

        It is increasingly self evident that democratically lead cities and states are mostly underperforming republican lead ones by enough to matter to people.
        Almost regardless of the issue – crime, prosperity, …

        This is true at the local level, it is true at the state level and the federal level.

        Some democrats are now distancing themselves from Biden. Biden is A problem – he is not THE Problem. Democrats have failed at the national level because their policies have failed.

        The Fed is agressively raising interest rates to fight inflation – which should cause anyone who still does not grasp that inflation is ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE A MONETARY PHENOMENA to rethink that. Even now Inflation is technically the FED’s fault – not Bidens.
        The Fed bought the US debt that had to explode because of massive spending increases.

        Aggressive interest rate increases are going to cause a recession – Only the blind do not know that. We have already had 1 qtr of negative growth – and inflation is Still rising.
        I doubt we will see a quick collapse of inflation and a return to growth before Biden leaves office.

        The Biden polices that have caused the mess we are in are NOT “Biden” Policies – they are democratic policies. Most of the current disastrous mistakes are not Biden’s mistakes – they are democrats mistakes.

        Further they are inextricable from current democratic ideology.

        I am personally very upset about this because democrats have likely killed for years many reforms that were possible but massive and stupid overreach.

        We should NOT be “defunding the police” – but we should be reforming criminal justice.
        End the drug war, demilitarize the police, end civil asset forfeiture, reduce sentences for non-violent offences. Even for some violent offences.
        Focus policing on crime – that is called racial profiling.
        We actually need MORE police not less.

        There are many many reforms that are unlikely to happen anytime soon – because democrats overreach.

        Regardless, the democratic party is in serious danger.

        The historical policital norm post 2016 would have been to move right.

        That is what Bill Clinton did in 1992. Effectively ending a decade long Republican trend.

        But after 2016 Democrats decided to go to war against Trump – and that drug them LEFT at a time they needed to shift right.

        As a result they are losing large segments of what used to be their base. Worse those losses are growing, and are unlikely to reverse.

        Republican gains among hispanics have been enormous. It is likely that within the next 4 years Republicans will get more hispanic votes than democrats.

        This is a disaster for democrats – and for the country. The periods of “one party rule” in this country have not been good periods.

        My hatred for progressives does not mean I want to see or trust republicans with uncontested power.

      • Ron P permalink
        May 5, 2022 2:32 pm

        Dave, agree mostly. But there is one additional item concerning the fed and inflation.

        How can the fed really fight inflation without causing a recession when they are fighting a multi-headed monster.

        Supply chain problems causing shortages, thus prices rise (Supply and demand)
        Ukraine war causing supply shortages of commodities, (again supply and demand)
        Economic stimulus given to every Tom, Dick and Mary during the pandemic, regardless if they needed it or not. (After lockdowns eased, demand increased)

        All of these by themselves may not have caused the worlds inflationary problems, but together they are all different.

        But add into that problem the money that is just now making its way into the economy from the American rescue plan. Over the past month, we have had numerious articels about the federal moneys coming to the local countries and how they are trying to find ways to “waste” those funds. From allocating millions to renovate an old race track in rural northwest that closed in 1995 to other projects, these are funds that will continue to create supply issues, increase demand for goods and services and do what those funds were meant to do. Stimulate the economy.

        When stimulation is the last thing that is needed!

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 5:30 am

        The Fed fights inflation by raising interest rates – that has the effect of reducing the velocity of money and therefore the money supply.

        This works – it worked in the 80’s.

        And it will cause a recession. We are already headed into a recession – we will be in one by November for certain.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 5:38 am

        The laws of supply and demand LITTERALY make inflation impossible – without increasing money supply.

        Given a fixed money supply if the price of A rises – the price of something else MUST decline.

        Individual prices can increase – but average prices can not without more money.

        The problems you note may all be real problems, and they may even be bad problems.
        But they are not causes for inflation, though they may be caused BY inflation.

        Supply chain issues are fundamentally a government failure.

        Just like supply/demand price rises, supply chin issues are always temporary in an actual free market.

        We have all noted a wide variety of issues in Port of Los Angeles
        Every single one of those would be solved by the laws of supply and demand – but for government.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 6, 2022 5:43 am

        We do actually need economic stimulus.

        But government is absymal at stimulus – for all the reasons you note.

        BTW the reason that this Covid Spending was inflationary is not because it is wasteful,
        nor that it is flooding counties.

        But because the Fed BOUGHT the debt – therefore the money is magic money.

        Had the government had to depend on lenders to borrow money – they would have had to pay much higher rates and therefor not been able to borrow nearly as much.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 5, 2022 2:07 pm

        I greately prefer it when those in power are all talk and no action.

        The ease with which the policies I want can be accomplished is the ease with which those I hate can be accomplished.

        I am not a constitutionalist – I like the constitution and firmly believe it should be read and followed very litterally. But we have found many short comings over the years and we have damaged many of its important checks on power.

        Regardless, I would change the constitution significantly – but that is hard – as it should be.

        The constitution is not “the word of god” – but it is something we should strive to improve.
        And mostly that means making it more ANTI-DEMOCRATIC.

        One of the reasons the coming Rowe decision is so wrong is that it is a PRO democratic decision.

    • Milton Freidman permalink
      May 6, 2022 2:50 pm

      We should ALWAYS distrust government.

      Brazil like much of South america has vacillated between bad leftist government and bad right wing government.

      I have no view on the Brazilian election.

      But everything Bolsonara says is true of ALL elections everywhere.

      Further pre-election reveiws as well as post elections audits should be the NORM everywhere.

      If you were actually familiar with what little examination of the 2020 election has taken place – you would realize how bad our elections are run.

      And absolutely the “process” should be distrusted.

      Every single place that even the least amount of sunlight has been allowed, we have found that laws and election processes were NOT followed.

      As one example – I recall a great deal of discussion by potential auditors of the processes by which they would detect many forged and fraudulent ballots. They were going to use the same methods that banks use to detect forged checks or currency.

      But all of this depended on following the law regarding handling of ballots.
      In most – probably all states – Ballots are printed according to rules – often literally written into the law by the legislature, typically by a single state selected contractor. They are printed in much the same way that money is. Carefully registered, serialized with an assortment of anti-fraud features.

      The AZ audit fund that Maricopa county precincts – starting with early voting just photocopied ballots rather than asking for more official ballots.
      By failing to follow the process these precincts made all the antifraud measures in useless.

      I beleive that there were over 100,000 photocopied ballots found in the AZ audit. But because precincts did not follow the process, it is impossible to know if they are fraudulent.

      In NH we discovered that all the vote scanners in NH would predictably cast an overvote if there was a fold in the ballot. Dominion had known this for years. It is also likely true – though to a smaller extent of newer scanners. It never mattered before – because only mailin and absentee ballots are folded. In 2020 nearly half of all ballots were folded.

      One of the reasons that we are having this bitter holy war over 2020 is because election observers were effectively excluded in every one off the six swing stat metropolitan areas that tipped the election.

      We have grainy video of what appears to be very serious election fraud in several places.
      These claims are purportedly debunked – because some alternative explanation has been produced for what we are seeing. Had observers been present – this could have been addressed trivially. Where there are claims that the same ballots were scanned repeatedly – the scanner images could have been checked for the machine in question at the time of the alleged infraction. I would note in the GA private court order audit that was stopped about 5% in – dozens of batches of identical ballot scans were found.
      Where it appears ballot boxes were pulled from under the table from suitcases rather than ballot boxes – observers and objections could have addressed that in the moment.

      The AZ audit proved that many forms of Election Fraud did NOT happen.
      Elections computers were not hacked. Ballot scanners counted ballots to a very very high degree of accuracy.
      But even where the AZ audit found that some form of Fraud did NOT occur, it found that processes were NOT followed and that even though that particular form of fraud did not occur that the failure to follow processes made the fraud those processes were there to protect easy. On one side – voting machines had not had their system software updated for more than 2 years and were highly vulnerable to a long long list of well known exploits.
      The auditors were able to take control of every peice of equipment in less than 2 minutes, even script kiddies would not have taken more than 10 minutes to hack a system.
      At the other end – the vendor software – rather that the system software was updated AFTER the systems had been certified – which is illegal.

      Regardless, the election process MATTERS.

      Every single thing that is being fought over
      Voter ID
      Voter registration errors.
      Signature verification
      Observers.
      Ballot handling
      Ballot harvesting laws
      ….

      All of these are the processes designed to prevent, detect, and be able to prosecute election fraud.

      You can continue to rant that the election was not stolen – if that makes you happy.
      But if you are claiming the election was not corrupt – you are a blind fool.

      From top to bottom from start to finish. State election officials, the courts, those conducting the election altered or ignored election integrity laws and processes on a MASSIVE scale.

      The 2020 election should not be trusted, and more importantly we must never repeat it.

      I expect that the almost certainly COORDINATED effort to sabotage the 2020 election is not repeatable. There will be more scrutiny in 2022.

      But the single most important factor limiting future efforts at election fraud is what happened on Jan. 6th.

      Election officials are on notice they are being scrutinized and the more corrupt or inept they are the more likely they are to face violence as a result.

      Read the declaration of independence.

      The last firewall against bad or corrupt government is violence – insurrection.

      The problem with BLM violence is that they are Wrong, that it is not justified.
      The average democrat beleives that about 4000 unarmed black males are killed by the police each year. The actual number is 10. Conversely 137 police officers were shot trying to apprehend a criminal.

      If 4000 unarmed black males were essentially being murdered by police each year – the BLM riots this summer would be justified.

      Our founders resorted to violence against government. They were either traitors and murders or patriots – depending on the conduct of the government.

      “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it”

      The rule of law, transparency, conformance to process matters, because when it fails the final firewall is Violence.

      • Ron P permalink
        May 6, 2022 11:35 pm

        There should be one day for voting, on site, using a machine that is not connect to anything that records a vote on a removable device, gives a printout of the vote with as assigned number signed by the voter, the removable device is then recorded on a central processor in the voting precinct and that is physically transported to the registrars office or where ever the vote is tallied. The paper copy is also taken to the same location and any questions can be traced from the electronic count to the paper copy.

        BUT…everyone knows this will never happen. Stop early voting, that disenfranchises minority voters. Stop mail in ballots, this disenfranchises minority and elderly voters. Stop same day registration/voting, it disenfranchises minority voters, Do anything to make voting like it was before all this “make it easier to vote so more will vote” hysteria and it disenfranchises someone.

        And both parties are never going to even try to fix it. Utah was one of the first to start mail in voting by mailing ballots to everyone. Utah is run by the right wing. 20+ states have registration/voting on the same day. 1/2 are left, 1/2 are right.

        And, as with any other problems, it makes good election year issues to drum up votes.

        How boring would an election be if we had to decide a vote on the person running and their positions on issues actually impacting life instead of election year political crap.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 7, 2022 2:59 am

        Personally I would completely eliminate voter registration – it is far to much of a problem.
        The rolls are fundimentally garbage and voter registration only serves the political parties.

        There is only one place voter registration matters and that is for primaries.
        Stats should not run primaries, political parties should run their own primaries and have their own rules for voter eligibility for the primary.

        I would substitute voter ID.

        I would eliminate mailin voting.
        I would instead have absentee voting.
        I would let any notary in the state do absentee voting.
        You come to a notary, or district magistrate or courthouse, you provide ID you are provided a ballot, you vote you seal the ballot. You can not leave with the ballot.

        The next problem becomes whether you allow people who voted absentee to change their minds, and vote in person. Doing so greatly complicates vote counting.

        I would say that if you wish to “cancel” your absentee ballot – you must come to the court house – again provide ID and be verified, and they must go find your prior ballot and destroy it and you must signoff on that before you can revote.

        But almost all the above are my recomendations. Aside from an absolute ban on mailin voting, everything else is just how do we keep the process as easy AND simple AND secure as possible.

        neither of us have addressed this but there MUST be regular random audits. Further, after the election is over and certified, all ballots must be available for public inspection.

        I would prefer to see them all scanned and posted on line, Regardless, it must all be made public so that the press or third parties can on their own check everything.

        Transparency is key to securtity.

  12. Savannah Jordan permalink
    May 7, 2022 10:16 am

    This is Savannah Jordan. I had to create a new email to post this. I would like to hear the arguments for the idea that the constitution does not contain any basis for a woman’s right to an abortion. One could equally argue that the constitution does not specify the right of an individual not to be enslaved. In fact, it basically justifies slavery with its three-fifths rule. The amendments which later ended slavery are not in accordance with the original document. Instead of creating the amendments which altered the original intent of the constitution, should we have acquiesced to the demands of the South that slavery was a state issue? Surely, no one would agree to that. In the Armistead case, John Q. Adams pointed to the Declaration of Independence as a more profound document for delineating the rights of a human being in our society. We cannot leave this issue to the states. The Texas law does not even allow women who have been raped to have an abortion. There is a law being proposed in Tennessee that would allow a rapist’s family or friends to sue the victim if she gets an abortion. If this isn’t a violation of human rights, I don’t know what is. Does that mean that I am pro-abortion. In a sense yes, I believe that a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy in the first 15 weeks no matter what her reasons. At that point the fetus has developed to much of human qualities to dismiss its humanity and its right to life. After that time period, the only exception is when the life of the mother is in danger. It is amazing to me how those most adamantly against abortion or also those who are most adamantly against programs to help in the care of these unwanted children.

    • Ron P permalink
      May 7, 2022 12:29 pm

      Savannah. Second try. First one did not post, but saying it did. WordPress is just the best.

      First, I personally lean to pro-life, but support Abortion through the privacy of a woman and her physician. I think this ruling is going to create multiple cases such as criminalizing travel top other states fro and abortion. making the morning after pills illegal within banned abortion states and other idiotic laws where legislators write and pass laws trying to control human behaviors.

      I am not a constitution expert, so take this with a grain of salt.

      The constitution does not guarantee rights other than those in the bill of rights, but does extend those federal rights to individuals in all states through the 14th amendment. (for those that nit pick words, this might not be 100% correct, but is what the outcome ends up)

      Reading some of the draft that was leaked, I can understand how this decision was made. From what I can understand, most everything that it seems to be based on was the lack if specific information that previous rulings were based on. First it was a given number of weeks, then it was viability. Now Mississippi determined 15 weeks.

      So the MS case is reviewed and from my understanding, the decision basically says all the previous decisions are based on flawed data, ie. we can’t determine viability, therefore, we support the MS law and return control of abortion to the state representatives to determine laws to cover their control of abortion.

      And some might read between the lines. “Congress, get off your dead ass and pass legislation to place the right to abortion under federal control with clear specific requirements for enforcement”

      • Savannah Jordan permalink
        May 7, 2022 8:18 pm

        I have not read the draft but I find that many legal documents are written using nebulous terminology and that interpretation varies with the biases of those reading it. It is strange that all other opinions by the Supreme Court did not view the law in the manner in which this current court is viewing it. As I said interpretation varies with the biases of those reading it.

        As far as abortion is concerned, as I said, I believe it should be totally allowed up to 15 weeks. I guess I am in accordance with the Mississippi law. I do not believe that a woman has the right to abort beyond that period, except in the case where her physical life is in danger or where the child will be born with severe abnormalities. Of course severe abnormalities will have to be defined. I think a lot of abortions would be unnecessary if our schools would be allowed to teach sex education that includes birth control methods. Unfortunately, many of those adamantly opposed to abortion are also adamantly opposed to sex execution. Teaching birth control methods emphasizes to the young that bringing a child into the world is a grave responsibility. This teaches them more about the sanctity of life than does forcing a woman to have the child of her rapist.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 8, 2022 12:00 am

        The FIRST question before the court is:

        Is there a constitutional right to an abortion (no),
        or is there a right that is being infringed by state restrictions on abortion(yes).

        If there is a rights issue, then it is the obligation of the court to define the extent and requirements for government infringement on that right, and those constraints will apply to every state.

        If there is no rights issues – then each state is free to do as it pleases.

        One of the fundimental problems both the left and the right have on this issue is that it is NOT scotus’s business to decide whether 15weeks is the right line between when a person can abort and when not.

        It is their job to decide IF the states is allowed to restrict abortion at all, and if so what justification is needed to do so.

        Rowe was wrongly decided – But Draft Alito is no better.

        Rowe got the right wrong, and fixated(badly) on science – NOT Law.

        Aliton is wrong specifically because he is pretending to be originalist, but he is actually borkean democratic anti-originalist – to an extent so was scalia.

        It is impossible to be an originalist and not accept the priviledges and immunities clause of the constitution, the 9th amendment and the priviledges and immunities clause of the 14th amendment. Each of these was back by full throated assertions that are rights are MORE than those enumerated in the constitution. It is arguably conservative to limit constitutional construction to enumerated rights, but it is NOT originalist.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 8, 2022 12:15 am

        Where in this country are they NOT teaching birth control ?

        I went to HS almost 50 years ago and we thoroughly covered birth control, and sex education.

        My HS was in the midst of a conservative community. I grew up in “amish country” – the Amish have their own schools but other Mennonites do not. 30% of my classmates were Mennonite. Probably 60% were “born again”, and My School had a good Sex Education program 50 Years ago.

        The only places in this country today that are likely failing to provide decent sex education are either:
        So woke they are wasting all their time discussing transsexuals, and homosexuality – which we covered, or so broken they can not teach kids to read much less to use a condom.

        I would note separately that I was a pretty typical inquisitive child and I read everything there was in Encyclopedia Britanica on Sex. Everything I could find in the school library, and anything I could find hidden in my parents closets.
        Some of my peers were less inclinded to decipher the “dirty parts” of Encyclopedia Britanica.
        But every book covering any aspect of sex in anyway in the library was dog eared and well read by the entire school.

        Even AFTER sex ed. – there were a few students spouting old wives tales about sex that had been debunked in sex ed – such as “you can not get pregnant first time”.
        But I have little doubt that is any different today.

        What I did NOT have 50 years ago was the internet. My Daughter knew more about sex from the internet than I did when I got married – not that I was sexually ignorant at marraige, but I did not know about BDSM or the panopoly of fetishes that she was able to learn about on her own – in addition to learning all about birth control.

        I have no doubt that there are plenty of kids today who are ignorant of birth control – the same ones who can not give change for a $1.

      • Milton Freidman permalink
        May 8, 2022 12:23 am

        Ron, the Constitution most definitely protects rights not listed in the bill of rights.

        Just the start

        Amendment IX
        The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

        For far more information, and damning evidence that Alito’s draft is ANTI=Originalist try

        I would note that Barnett is possibly the pre-eminent “federalist” constitutional scholar in the US today.

        I do not beleive Barnett has covered Abortion specifically – but MOST of what he writes is that both the constitution itself, the federalist papers and much of what the founders – and later the authors of the 14th amendment said was that individual rights are essentially unlimited and the constitution protects them ALL.

  13. Milton Freidman permalink
    May 7, 2022 2:51 pm

    Why I hate the left
    Why the left is far more dangerous.

    There are myriads of editorials and videos – and these are not from “right wing nuts” but serious modern thinkers about the problems with
    The left.
    post modernism.
    Social justice

    Whatever catchphrase for the nihilism of the modern left.

    This is a short clip from Douglas Murray. It only touches a small portion of the issues, and only the edges of why the left is so dangerous.

    First and foremost we are ALWAYS in a battle of ideas – big ideas.

    The west is built on a number of important ideas centered on individual liberty.

    All the assorted acronym’s of leftist ideology are focused on the destruction of the west and the destruction of the central idea of individual liberty.

    It has taken more than 2000 years to get where we are today.
    The battle over what is taught in schools is more important than most involved realize.
    It is not about racism – fundimentally. The core issue is whether the West is at its core basically good, or basically evil. The entire purpose of the left takeover of educational curicula is to destroy the reality that the west is far more good than bad.

    The left wants to talk ONLY about racism, exploitation, colonialism. Slavery.
    It wants you to ignore that all these occurred everywhere in the world when they were possible. It also wants you to ignore that fundimentally these are all fringe failures NOT central to “the west”.

    This is important because it took 150,000 years to increase life expectance from 20-40 years.
    There is no doubt there have been advancements of intellect and culture throughout the world at various times.

    But none of these – anywhere and at anytime have matched what happened first in the west – and ultimately the entire world as a result of the IDEAS of the west.

    We went from standard of living doubling over thousands of years to standard of living doubling every 15 years in the late 19th early 20th century.

    And this STARTED in the west and it happened BECAUSE of the core ideas of the WEST.

    Communism was actually less dangerous that post modernism.
    Comunism sold itself as better. Marx postulated a natural evolution through to communism as a goal.

    Post modernism aims at the destruction of all western ideas.
    I keep saying that the left is nihilist – you should never lose that.
    It is fundamentally important.
    The left seeks to bring about anarchy and rebuild the world as they wish from the ashes.
    Worse still – they do not have a clue what it really is they wish to build.

    They believe that you can destroy the core ideas of the west – and still have the incredibly good lives that resulted from it.

    Does every democratic politician beleive this ? Certainly not. But that does not matter.
    They are NOT confronting the evil core of the left.

    Pelosi thinks she is using those on the left – and maybe she is. But they are using her.

    Except for the probability that on acheiving real power the post modern left would be worse – this resembles revolutionary russia. Marx and Lenin provided the ideas that drove the russian revolution. I doubt most russians thought deeply about those ideas. What they heard was our lives are miserable and communism promises to make them better (and to punish those who have more).
    Only a few percent of the country is infected with the mind virus of post modernism. But they are incredibly close to pulling of their nihilistic destruction of western ideas.
    Regardless, this ideolgoy is WORSE than marxism and will likely produce worse than lenin or later even stalin given the chance.

    I am hopeful that we have hit “peak woke”. A substantial part of me beleives that actual western valuse and principles are too deeply ingrained for this rot to succeed.

    But I could be wrong and if I am we are headed for some modern permutation of an orwellian dystopia.

  14. Milton Freidman permalink
    May 7, 2022 3:05 pm

    Here is an interesting analysis of what is currently occuring – starting with how it relates to China and then looking at what is postulated Russia is after in Ukraine.

    I do not know that this is true – particularly the later view of Russias actual objectives – but it ids certainly worth consideration.

    Th accuracy of this analysis is important – because if the thesis is correct that Putin/Russia are primarily seeking defensible western borders – that sounds innocuous, But the geographically defensible line involves invading more countries that just Ukraine and eventually means direct conflict with NATO.

    The extent to which the west should risk nuclear confrontation with Russia is directly determined by the ultimate goals of Russia.

    Absolutely no sane person wants to risk nuclear war with Russia.
    But if direct conflict between Russian and NATO is inevitable unless Russia is stopped now – the risk – no matter how high is LOWER now than it will be later.

    Ultimately I think this video is wrong – or more accurately presents a Putin wish as a Putin objective.

    I think the video is very right about things like that China is many orders of magnitude more important that Russia and a much bigger threat, and that Russian failure so far and the response of the west has surprised Russia.

    Of particular note was that western sanctions – particularly the sanctions by western individuals and businesses while not nearly as damaging as we hoped, would be several orders of magnitude more damaging to China – China is far more economically entangled with the West and would likely see its economy collapse and face regime change with as little as 2 months of current russian sanctions.

    You need not agree with this – but it is a viewpoint worth becoming familiar with.

  15. Milton Freidman permalink
    May 7, 2022 11:36 pm

    Ron,
    You should find this interesting.

    • May 8, 2022 2:43 pm

      Dave, thanks. I wonder if the companies would not be coming back to America without the incentives given what they experienced with government controls during the pandemic, but even though I question the need for govt money, the need to return manufacturing of most everything to America is worth it.

      And I can at least see something positive with the funding. If it is not going back into the economy through the local supply chain or wages, it is creating profits that provide.income to investment funds, which now are a huge part of people building retirement funds.

      There will be those on the left calling it corporate welfare, but if one tracks one of those dollars and what it benefits, it does not all get in a billionaires picket like Buffett.

  16. Savannah Jordan permalink
    May 8, 2022 10:45 am

    Milton Friedman, quite a number of states do not require high schoolers to be educated in birth control methods other than abstinence. A lot of those stressing abstinence are the same as those wanting to ban abortion. https://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/73/09/7309.pdf

    • Milton Freidman permalink
      May 8, 2022 10:54 pm

      I do not read your chart/PDF as you do.

      I really have no problems with requiring parental permission.
      Given that EVERY state should be teaching absintance as an option – I have with some states requiring that.

      Nothing in your chart suggested to me that students anywhere were not getting atleast the sex education I got 50 years ago. My state did not REQUIRE sex education 50 years ago.

      Frankly I would bar ALL school districts from teaching anything beyond a 3R core if their student body does not meet minimum standards for those basics.

      AGAIN – why do we expect that kids who can not read, will learn anything in Sex Ed ?

      The current rate of Teen pregnancy is 1/6 of what it was in 1950.

      The current abortion rate is 30% lower than when Rowe was decided and less than 1/2 what it was in 1980, and has been steadily declining for years.
      Further even PPP has had to admit that abortion declines are not connected to strict abortion laws – the lowest rates are mostly in states with the least restrictions.

      Rowe was badly decided – but Dobbs appears to be no better.

      But the good news is that despite the frothing by groups on both sides – mostly abortion is a non-issue today.

    • Milton Freidman permalink
      May 8, 2022 10:59 pm

      For reference my name is Dave. I rarely post anywhere under my own name – though sometimes here.

      I post under the names of famous economists,
      Adam Smith
      Jean Batiste Say
      Ronald Coase
      Milton Freidman.

      I have been using Milton on TNM recently, rather than my default jbsay because something is blocking jbsay from posting here.

      This is the only place I have problems, and I have constant problems here.

      Everyone likes to blame WordPress here – but I post extensively on johnathanturley.org which is another wordpress site with no problems at all.

      JT handles 1000 times the traffic of TNM with no hiccups.

    • Milton Freidman permalink
      May 8, 2022 11:16 pm

      The US peak teen pregnancy rate was the peak of the Baby boom, teen pregnancies started dropping in 1956 and have done so gradually through to the present.

      There is no evidence at all that trends in teen pregnancy have anything to do with sex education.

      The decline in teen pregnancies matches an overall decline in the pregnancy rate. I have no problem with Sex education – in HS. At the same time – I really do not care about the curriculum – as there is no evidence that Sex education has any effect.

      I do not expect education to be driven by ideology.

      I would have no problem ending sex education in schools – because there is not much evidence it has any benefit.

      I have major problems with every single government program that does not demonstrate a proven benefit.

      Frankly we have quintuppled education spending in real dollars since the 60’s and we are more poorly educating kids.

      Pretty much everything we have done in education in the past 60 years has failed to produce noticable benefits.

      It is past time to end public education as it has been for much of the past 100+ years.

      If we must pay for education from taxes – lets eliminate public schools entirely and provide each student with uniform funding, and let private schools compete to deliver to PARENTS the education they want for their kids.

      Both of my children were cyber chartered – that is NOT a one size fits all soluton.
      But it worked very well for them and for my wife and I as parents. Both of my kids have performed better in school, and in life than kids with similar IQ’s.

      I would further note that education is one place where leftists effort at manipulating guilt do not work.

      Parents do not want their children to be treated equally. Every parent wants the BEST for THEIR kids. Every parent wants their kids to have ADVANTAGES over other kids.

      • Priscilla permalink
        May 12, 2022 2:54 pm

        Until the 1970’s and the advent of 1) the all-powerful teachers unions and 2) “values” education, public schools in almost all of the states were pretty good.

        I remember being trained, as a HS history teacher, in the new values education system that was being touted as more important than teaching “boring” dates and events, and, although, back then, I was quite the hippie, I can recall thinking that this was not the way history should be taught. There was clearly a bias to the “values” that we were told to teach the kids. One, in particular, was to make sure that we were NOT teaching that the US was, in any way, superior to any other country, because it was racist and imperialist (the racist part made some sense to me, but I was always perplexed by how we were supposed to say that America was imperialist).

        The unionization of teachers was more damaging, I think. Although it led to teachers making more money, it also led to the degradation of teaching as a profession. I left the field in the early 80’s, because I was frustrated by the lack of incentives for good teachers. We all made the exact same salaries, based entirely on our # of years in the district, with small bonuses for having a masters or doctorate. Problem is, a PhD in history got the same bonus as an EdD, which was absurdly easy to get. So, why spend 4-5 years taking advanced history seminars and writing and defending a dissertation, when you could get an EdD in 1-2 years, taking ridiculously easy classes and writing a 10 page term paper at the end.

  17. Ron P permalink
    May 20, 2022 5:16 pm

    This comment cover a few of Ricks last articles. Musk, Twitter, Surreal Times and anything else in the past few months.

    First, I wonder what Musk’s real reason was in getting involved with Twitter. He does not do anything unless he knows what the outcome will be before he does it. I do not believe with his knowledge of technology that he went into buying Twitter without a very good idea that they have been lying to stockholders and advertisers concerning the real number of fake accounts that are now being estimated. In their SEC filing, they have told the world that somewhere around 8.5% of their accounts are fake or inactive. Current forensic analysis indicates that over 20% of their accounts are fake. Even Bidens followers are 50% fake given that analysis.. Advertisers have bought services to post ads based on 97.5% of the accounts being true accounts, not 80%. And that can actually be lower once more analysis is completed.

    Now for the other “surreal item”. How can the United States be in almost the same class of third world countries where mothers are scrambling to find baby food for their infants. Those that choose formula over breastfeeding before the shortage can not magically begin producing breast milk. Other have problems naturally producing breast milk even if they chose to.

    So everyone is going to disagree with this statement because it blames someones icon for some wrong.

    Trump was blamed for the extend of the pandemic. He was blamed for not reacting quick enough when that started. He was blamed for not providing adequate information or supplies to fight the pandemic. And he was blamed for shortages of items in various parts of the country when they occurred. And yes he also convinced people to use voodoo medicine to try to fight the decease.

    If you believe all of this, then you must consider Biden being to blame for the problems for the formula shortage. His FDA closed a factory that produced over 40% of the formula in the country. They said nothing to doctors, they said nothing to retailers, and they said nothing to mothers. There were reports of the factory closing, but no warning that shortages could occur. So doctors were not prepared to talk with mothers giving birth in february and after that this shortage may occur and to consider breast feeding. They did not warn retailers that this could occur so they could limit the number of cans being purchased at one time ( and we just had the run on toilet paper, so they knew what panic buying can do). In limiting of cans early on, the supply could have been extended They did nothing to work out logistics so if shortages occurred in some area, they could quickly have formula moved to that area to stop the panic that was about to happen. But the worst issue is the lack of action to insure that plant was reopened in a timely manner. Why? Why has it been 3 months before any news came out of any actions to clean the plant, retrain the employees and get that plant reopened. Yes, there was bacteria in the plant, but does it take over 3 months to get something cleaned and employees retrained? And why did it take three months for the president to make the PR announcement that the defense production act has been activated to address that issue. If one looks at what that really means, that will have very little impact for the mothers trying to feed their infants today.

    And if they had communicated the possibility of formula shortages shortly after the plant was closed, would there have been more customer pressure on Abbott to get that plant reopened and producing a safe product again?

    So if one blames Trump for the inaction and the result of that for the pandemic, then the same holds true for Biden and inaction leading to a third world situation of babies being feed diluted formula, cows milk and baby food months before they should be.

    • Milton Freidman permalink
      May 21, 2022 11:41 am

      There have been US supply chain problems that are tied to problems with transport from China or now and for periods in the past do to China’s zero covid policies that shutdown entire cities

      But those are only PART of the supply chain problem – though they have received much of the blame todate.

      The fundimental problems is that we shifted from a Trump regulatory Federal role to a Biden uber regulatory one. This is having varying scale impacts EVERYWHERE.

      Trump bumped real economic by about 1% – it is likely that nearly all of that was just through reduced regulatory friction.

      Biden has reversed nearly all that. 1% seems small – but it is the economy difference between Trump’s booming economy and Obama’s weak one.

      Biden is worse than Obama. The Biden executive is demonstrably filled with idiots who are pushing agenda’s and do not care what the impact.

      Gas is the perfect example – most of the country is angry about skyrocketing gas prices – but a large segment of the far left is HAPPY about this – it increases the move away from fossil fuels. That would be fine if the cause was natural. When Government is deciding what we should prefer – we get very angry.

      With respect to the details on the baby formula shortage – my understanding is that a major US producer was shutdown by FDA. US baby formula is produced in the US and shutting down even several percent of a tight market causes skyroketing prices and shortages.

      The more tightly regulated the market is the harder it will be to adjust.

      There is as an example plenty of excess capacity to produce baby formula in the EU.

      But the FDA does not allow EU baby forumla to be sold in the US as even though it must conform to higher quality standards, it does not conform to US labeling standards.

      And the FDA is unwilling to wave this – even temporarily.

      Further my understanding is the downed plants problems have been corrected – but they essentially have to be recertified by FDA before they can sell anything.

      I would note that a 1% regulatory impact on the economy would be harmful but tolerable if Growth was 7% a year or 3%. But the weaker the economy is the worse the impact of Government.

      Biden’s regulatory burden may only be 1% of the economy – but it is 100% of growth

      And the difference between a boom and a recession is only a few percent growth.

      Biden inherited an economy in recovery – strong and growing. He should have had the wind at his back.

      He has flipped things such that even problems of his own creation that would have been small, loom large. Problems are cascading. building on each other.

      Aside from the specific issue of Baby Formula with specific causes.

      Inflation generally causes shortages and surpluses, and market crashes, and ….

      disrupt the relationship between supply and demand and you have carry on effects all over the place

      It is near certain we are already in a recession. That is likely to get worse.
      There will be LOTS of problems like this for a long time, until inflation is cleared from the economy.

      When you throw sand in the gears – it is usually not possible to know exactly where the gears will bind. But you know that they will nonetheless.

  18. Ron P permalink
    May 20, 2022 5:18 pm

    Typo. 91.5% active accounts not 97.5%

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