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Thursday, 28 May 2020


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You can officially give the whole of the UK a medal now too ...

(Apparently that's free to read, not behind the FT paywall).

Worst excess death toll in the world.

And it's got the linear relationship between lateness in lockdown and excess death toll that I never got around to producing.

Makes ya praaaad to be British, don't it?


David, a smart looking soldier his batman is doing a fine job.

"Worst excess death toll in the world."

Don't you mean the most fabricated unscientific death toll?

The medals belong to his father in law who jumped into Normandy just before D day. They also include the GSM with clasps for Palestine and SE Asia (Malaya)

David/Eric, is the medal on the right the Malaya Medal? My brother served with the Scottish Cameronian Rifles (the poisoned dwarfs) in Malaya 1951-1953. He used to say he fought in a war and was not just fed.

The General Service Medal was awarded for Campaign Service with the bar
showing which campaign the medal was awarded for

Your brother would have been awarded the GSM with the Malaya bar
This site gives more information about the awards together with hours of entertainment

You're shocked David? Well, I expect Bob and his buddies'll be even more shocked (outraged?) in the (our) morning than you ever could be!


Don't you mean the most fabricated unscientific death toll?

No, Jannie, I don't mean the most fabricated unscientific death toll.

The nationalist, populist fraternity are now reduced to denialism when it comes to the realisation of the truth that Blighty has the least competent state in the developed world.

Democracy isn't going to change that because there's no better alternative on offer on the ballot paper.

Blighty's operational constitution is broken by design and failed in practice, not once, not twice, but three times: the 1970's, the financial crisis of 2008, and the post-Brexit period to now. The only adjunct to Blighty's operational constitution that provided a corrective mechanism - and thereby flattered to deceive a less than bright populace that Blighty's state was functional and competent - has now been severed by that populace.

And so everything I said would happen 4 years ago is coming true, if anything, to an even greater extent than I foresaw.

And your only response is denialism.


"And so everything I said would happen 4 years ago is coming true"

Only on the planet Zog!

I wonder what he would have said or done if it was a group of squaddies instead of officers and gentlemen?
He is also wearing his beret incorrectly. The be he should be over the left eye. Apparently, some years ago, during a joint exercise with the French paras, the Brits noticed that Les Frogs wore their cap badge 2 inches to the left of the left eye, they thought that this was rather cool and adopted the same mode of dress, though new recruits and trainees had to 'earn' that privilege.
After a while, soldiers from other units started doing the same and I even saw an I Corps LCpl in West Berlin, who only wore his green beret to go from his office to his billet, similarly attired.
Tankies, however, wore/still wear their badge over the bridge of the nose because of having to wear headphones.
Funny how 'traditions start.

"beret" not "be he". Bloody auto correct!


No shock at all. Political distraction that's par for the course. I'm sure all Trumpateers love it. He has no legal authority over social media's policies. Twitter put another warning on one of his tweets late last night.

Y'all Brits,

Your boy Dom has mentioned making HongKongers citizens:

I was visiting friends in Vancouver in 1998 after hordes of them moved in and raised housing prices about 40%. Are you triggered yet?

As someone on the arrse site said, "Looks like he's used his beret to wash his car".


By George and all the Saints, there are people who think like me ...

Where's BoJo and all those Freeport's he said he wanted then, eh?

Effing bullshitter, blue socialist to his bones.


Great minds think alike Bob - your comment crossed over with mine.

The country-bumpkin and Captain Mainwaring brigades will go bonkers if BoJo and Gollum open the door to 7m Chinkies.

If they've had it with Long-Legged, Pert-Breasted, high Cheek-boned, inky-blinky dahlinkies serving them lattes and wiping their arses in care homes, what hope Ping-a-Ling's escapees?

Have you noticed that BoJo and Gollum haven't actually proactively done anything yet? "What has it got in its pocketsies?" - duck all.

That is a good thing of course, "Don't do something, just stand there" and all that. Plus bearing in mind when they have responsively done something it's been a clusterfk every action along the way - 0 out of 10 on the Covid action list being the prime example.


If the Don is on the ball he should consider carving out a slice of Ozark and doing Hong Kong 2.0 there.

Be a great post-prez project for him too - think of all that real estate needing thrown up.

JK could do the security and supply the moonshine for all those thirsty construction workers. Cries of "I love you long time" would be a pleasant reminiscence for all the vet retirees in the region into the bargain.

And nicking the gem of the Orient out from under Ping-a-Ling's nose would be just too delicious. Might encourage him to put a wall up and drive Cold War II forward.


Don't know what you lot are seeing or bleating about. Get straight and stop the hysteria. That is the face of a man who makes you glad he is on our side. Give him a job and it will be done.

More of him, less of you please.


The more I think about it the more there is: 7m more Rep voters in the bag.

The list is endless.

As endless as all the qualities and value of mankind unfettered by authoritarianism.

Ah, but what's the point on telling you lot? If ain't got string holding up its trousers and a straw in the corner of its mouth it's not coming in.


Actually, SoD, rural boys over here love them some Vietnamese refugee women. They are, or were in the '70's at least, subservient and none too prissy. They're probably the only reason more bumpkins aren't born with only one eyebrow.

The HongKongers who moved to Canada after you Brits gave the island back were mostly rich. You probably stand to gain some entrepreneurial skill that couldn't hurt.


"He has no legal authority over social media's policies."

True enough but then, the Courts do (I'm of the opinion).

You familiar with - to the point, points 10 through 12?

Ain't had time to do a real deep dig in on the thing but "I think" the preceding caselaw [ie precedent] was to do with entities (cable companies) before there was 'social media companies' but I think that's scalable - at least I'm 'pretty sure' some smarty-pants (and smarty pantsuited) working 'on our dimes' lawyers of the DoJ with 'all the time in the world' can make it fit for the purpose.

But I suppose I ought add, my suspicion is some sort of case like that will have had to be before SCOTUS prior - or, that decision will have to work its way up to there.

But as AG Barr was present at the announcement I bet he'd say "It's a can-do"!

It just occurs to me Bob ... there probably already is a guiding precedent[s] and that's ironically owing to what FDR era judges managed with the caselaw surrounding the Interstate Commerce clauses.

Those things are twistier than who hit John.


I've noticed BoJo and crew haven't done much, probably as a matter of self-preservation. It seems every time Boris opens his mouth his popularity drops a few more points.

With our countries' covid snafus, economic crashes, ubiquitous partisanship and populism, and now race riots over here, it's starting to look like we've become ungovernable. You may yet get to experience 1960's "Rome, rebellion and rum".


Here's some recent case law and more context:

This is just another shiny object. Trump doesn't want to talk about covid or the economy, so he's following his standard practice of picking a fight. Sources inside Twitter say anyone else probably would have been banned a long time ago, but the president gets special treatment.

Bob the SOP is simply to get the media unhinged.

And the media's remarkably consistent.

Bob, it looks like Trump will have to deal with the IMPERIALIST China and its ambitions. I doubt the Democrats have the ability. They are so desperate for power that Bernie the socialist stood down for Biden. Madeline Albright is doing the rounds on UK TV to support Biden. This is the time for the USA to militarily confront China. If the USA and it's so called allies do not then we have China.

Oh and Bob, I'd suggest you might be better served by reading the court's actual product:

Than to depend on how Politico's *journalist characterizes it.

First off the Complainant Ms. Loomer alleges a conspiracy [collusion] which, as *recent (well three + years in the making) history makes clear it is more often the case the complainers themselves are doing the colluding than the accused parties.

Plus the fact that the district court simply dismissed the original complaint which the circuit court simply affirms in the issue to which Politico seems to be stating [undue] relevance.

Worse, toward the end phase of the Complainant's pleading Ms. Loomer's counsel descends toward farce in that counsel having employed such caselaw as s/he has finally reaches the stage that there's nothing left to throw up in the court's face except the claim that somehow the Americans with Disabilities Act is applicable.

Somehow I don't think AG Barr will be so silly.


The press is pretty much what it's always been except for cable news, which is much, much worse. Believing anything on social media is strictly for mugs.


Where to begin? ...
You win.

I suppose we have an agreement Bob.

Uhm Bob?

As I'm not a social media user I really had no particular motivation to bother reading the EO now in play however, owing to 'a gut feeling' I rather figured the Executive branch using its Constitutional authority re 'Interstate Commerce' could, very likely, fire for effect.

We read:

"In addition, within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), in consultation with the Attorney General, and acting through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), shall file a petition for rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting that the FCC expeditiously propose regulations to clarify:"

Looks to be a civil claims gold mine for torts lawyers to me.

I rather figure Bob you ain't one for reading statute but follows (in a rather longish paste) is the relevant law:


Sec. 2. Protections Against Online Censorship. (a) It is the policy of the United States to foster clear ground rules promoting free and open debate on the internet. Prominent among the ground rules governing that debate is the immunity from liability created by section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act (section 230(c)). 47 U.S.C. 230(c). It is the policy of the United States that the scope of that immunity should be clarified: the immunity should not extend beyond its text and purpose to provide protection for those who purport to provide users a forum for free and open speech, but in reality use their power over a vital means of communication to engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints.

Section 230(c) was designed to address early court decisions holding that, if an online platform restricted access to some content posted by others, it would thereby become a “publisher” of all the content posted on its site for purposes of torts such as defamation. As the title of section 230(c) makes clear, the provision provides limited liability “protection” to a provider of an interactive computer service (such as an online platform) that engages in “‘Good Samaritan’ blocking” of harmful content. In particular, the Congress sought to provide protections for online platforms that attempted to protect minors from harmful content and intended to ensure that such providers would not be discouraged from taking down harmful material. The provision was also intended to further the express vision of the Congress that the internet is a “forum for a true diversity of political discourse.” 47 U.S.C. 230(a)(3). The limited protections provided by the statute should be construed with these purposes in mind.

In particular, subparagraph (c)(2) expressly addresses protections from “civil liability” and specifies that an interactive computer service provider may not be made liable “on account of” its decision in “good faith” to restrict access to content that it considers to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable.” It is the policy of the United States to ensure that, to the maximum extent permissible under the law, this provision is not distorted to provide liability protection for online platforms that — far from acting in “good faith” to remove objectionable content — instead engage in deceptive or pretextual actions (often contrary to their stated terms of service) to stifle viewpoints with which they disagree. Section 230 was not intended to allow a handful of companies to grow into titans controlling vital avenues for our national discourse under the guise of promoting open forums for debate, and then to provide those behemoths blanket immunity when they use their power to censor content and silence viewpoints that they dislike. When an interactive computer service provider removes or restricts access to content and its actions do not meet the criteria of subparagraph (c)(2)(A), it is engaged in editorial conduct. It is the policy of the United States that such a provider should properly lose the limited liability shield of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) and be exposed to liability like any traditional editor and publisher that is not an online provider.


And here's the EO itself:

It would appear Bob this weren't no simpleton thing Trump just riffed off because only owing to the one tweet getting fact-checked no indeedy no.

There's been some serious work by serious DoJ lawyers going on for some time.


I'm sure there's plenty of government interest in how social media operate, but an EO rates below the constitution. The first amendment doesn't allow the government to infringe on citizen speech.

Bob,my favourite quote from Winston, Democracy is the worst system devised by wit of man, except for all the others.

You familiar Bob with Executive Order 12333 signed by President Reagan?

At any rate Bob the point of that longish paste was to call your attention to 47 U.S.C. 230 - it's been challenged incidentally, taken all the way up to the tippy-topmost of our courts system Bob - that means SCOTUS - and it was affirmed as constitutional.

Ergo - there's firm, well established precedent girding this most recent EO. It'll take awhile to shake out Bob but I reckon its here to stay. Social media platforms can be equated to publishers.

Mark Twain is reputed to've said, "Don't get into arguments with people who buy their ink by the barrel" but I'm tempted to extend that out to, don't get your company into an argument with a government buying its ink by the supertanker.


It would be better if they put Zuckerberg in jail, but holding the ratf***** up to publisher legal standards is better than nothing.

Had to look him up Bob, I'd heard the name but wasn't sure which of the social things he runs.

Can't see where though he's been even investigated for any crime though, at least under US Code - why should he be jailed? Well I am seeing now a bunch of Congressional testimonies so I guess best call it a night for D&N and go see if I can find a riot to join.

Pretty quiet though where I am.


Zuckerberg hasn't done anything strictly illegal as far as I know, but he still belongs in jail. He relies on a business model based on harvesting information from his users, which a lot of Silicon Valley companies do, but he's probably gone farthest in cooperating with foreign interests and misusing both the means for gathering and selling information.

The crime is in what's legal. Politicians either don't understand what he's up to or are using his services to social engineer in various ways. His kind are dangers to democracy until law catches up.

Good points Bob.

You probably not read the transcript (recently released) of the Cambridge Analytica guy Alex Nix was explaining to Schiff and Swalwell (mostly, the Rs and the majority of Ds axes [apparently already sharpened enough] not bothering to question largely)

Anyway the Nix fellow patiently tried to explain to [mostly] Schiff CA's "access" to Facebook data was largely due to just one thing, Zuckerberg's interest in using data he "owned." Nix also trying to explain CA's quandary that, having previously worked the 2012 campaign after which the NYT heaped praise on 'em for being "Obama's digital masterminds" now [at the hearing] criminal charges were being discussed for precisely the same conduct. Nix providing documentation that it was Zuckerberg personally involved in transferring the data.

Cambridge Analytica as if you can't have already surmised is a British (thus foreign as you point out) company.

Have to admit Bob I overlooked the wider ramifications of what you've pointed to. Thanks, sincerely, something I'll have to give some thought to. ... Can, do you think, the law "catch up"?

Perhaps the better question would be, do you think there's any appetite in DC to try to catch up or probably better, get ahead of the problem?


Just listened to to the NRO podcast featuring McCarthy and Lowry and by coincidence they discuss what we've been on lately here. You might be interested. The pertinent part begins at the 19 minute and 57 second mark:

Mr. McCarthy thinks the EO is a big boo boo.


A few comments about the podcast: A point of view that's not right wing is not necessarily left wing. And the idea the whole of the left has an agenda to shut down free speech is just paranoid or manipulative. It's like saying right wing religious fanatics who want to outlaw blasphemy against their favorite deity (some really do) want to shut down free speech.

What the Obama campaign did was not exactly the same. If you want a detailed account of what happened with CA read the book Mindf*ck by Christopher Wylie. For some reason it's not listed on his wiki.

"What the Obama campaign did was not exactly the same."

How so Bob?

You reckon an author might have a certain point of view? For whatever reason, and just my opinion, whatever the contracts (and that's what in both instances were, same language if you'll look at 'em) contracted to do in both instances.

'Contracts' is law school 101. Generally the first lesson taught.


Argue with MIT:

"In each US election cycle, the technology used has advanced and morphed; the tools that gave Barack Obama the edge in 2008 and 2012 are very different from the ones that nudged Donald Trump to victory in 2016."

'MIT' uh ... what do those initials spell out Bob ...




Oh yeah right, the swots that's got their fingers on the 'pulse of America.'

Gimme a break Bob.

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