Tagged: section 230

Law 20: The Biden Administration As Constitutional Problem

Mississippi was the last state in the U.S. to feature the Confederate emblem on its flag. The state adopted a new flag on June 2020.

Picture: Mississippi state flag 1894-2020 (credit: Walmart).

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A Glimpse into the Constitutional Problem

Biden answers: “They’re killing people,” when asked about “misinformation” on platforms like Facebook. (Reclaim the Net – confirmed by multiple sources)

For killing people the penalty may be death in 27 states and the federal government.

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“You have made a choice to allow them to continue to spread lethal lies.” (U.S. senator Schatz to Facebook on covid)

The “free flow of ideas” is in fact the vehicle of “lethal lies,” so it was a silly mistake to invent free speech and the First Amendment. To combat lethal lies you need consistent enforcement of speech repression.

Let me say it straight out: Lethal lies are lies that kill people (see Joe Biden: “They’re killing people.”) For killing people the penalty may be death (in 27 states and the federal government).

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Welcome on Board

Facebook oversight board member [Danish former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt] says free speech “is not an absolute human right.” (Reclaim the Net)

The irony of her statement (not “in” her statement as she seems completely devoid of a sense of irony) is that a private company such as Facebook does not under the First Amendment have to care about the status of speech as a right (of others). As its lawyers often stress, it is Facebook’s very free speech right to refuse some kinds of speech on their platform, so if free speech is “not an absolute human right,” then this is bad news for Facebook because it means they have been censoring thousands, perhaps millions of people based on what they think is an absolute human right (to do so) but is not.

In fact this former prime minister of Denmark (who sits at the oversight board of a Delaware, United States, incorporated company without knowing much of American law, obviously) only parrots and repeats the mantra of the European Court of Human Rights, which balances rights such as free speech on the one hand and personality rights on the other hand.

But the same holds true in U.S., as in its libel law: not all speech is protected. The First Amendment does not allow you to defame someone, that is, you cannot, in the case of public figures for instance, publish false defamatory statements about public figures (but the latter must prove the statements are false, not you that the statements are true, and public figures must also demonstrate that you acted knowingly or in reckless disregard of the truth, this is the rather stringent “actual malice standard”).

As Donald Trump’s lawsuit against big-tech platforms is mentioned in Reclaim the Net’s article, let me add that, although Trump is suing for civil liberties (breach of First Amendment, especially after recent admission by the Biden administration that it was “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation”), he may sue for libel as well. When Twitter flagged all his tweets and then banned him to the effect that people should think he is a compulsive liar†, that was an attack on his good name by statement of fact and therefore falls under the category of defamation. That he might win a libel suit is not granted though because 1/ he was one of the most prominent public figures at the time (actual malice standard) and 2/ the truth or falsity of the facts in question is still under scrutiny (forensic audits).

†Accusing someone of lying belongs among the eight “sensitive categories” that make statements defamatory on their face: “#3. Impugn another’s honesty or integrity.” (Neil J. Rosini, The Practical Guide to Libel Law, Praeger 1991, p. 9)

ii

By parroting the European Court of Human Rights, the former prime minister of Denmark proves how silly she really is. When the European Court says free speech is “not an absolute human right,” it means governments can limit free speech in consideration of other rights. But the thing is, Facebook is not a government, it’s a private business that is free to refuse some speech and accept other on its platform unless the law says otherwise or government entanglement in the business can be proven.

Parroting the European Court of Human Rights at and from the oversight board of a Delaware incorportared business is preposterous on so many grounds, I don’t know if you can imagine.

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Group Defamation Is Nonexistent in Law

Defamatory statements made about a large class of people cannot be interpreted to refer necessarily to any individual. And only individuals, not classes of people, can sue for damage to personal reputation. This principle has been established in a number of cases, including one in which a class action was brought on behalf of 600,000,000 Muslims to recover damages for airing the film Death of a princess. The group found the film, which depicted the public execution of a Saudi Arabian princess for adultery, insulting and defamatory to the Islamic religion. The claim was dismissed because the aim of defamation law is to protect individuals, and if a group is sufficiently large that a statement cannot reasonably be interpreted to defame individual group members, First Amendment rights would be impaired by permitting individuals to sue.

Neil J. Rosini, The Practical Guide to Libel Law, Praeger 1991, p. 32.

The case alluded to is Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour Faissal Fahd Al Talal v. Fanning, 506 F. Supp. 186, 187 (N.D. Cal. 1980)

In this decision the court stressed that such actionable group libel (as provided for by hate speech laws around the world) “would render meaningless the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment”:

“If plaintiffs were allowed to proceed with this claim, it could invite any number of vexatious lawsuits and seriously interfere with public discussion of issues, or groups, which are in the public eye. Statements about a religious, ethnic, or political group could invite thousands of lawsuits from disgruntled members of these groups claiming that the portrayal was inaccurate and thus libelous. … If the court were to permit an action to lie for the defamation of such a multitudinous group we would render meaningless the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to explore issues of public import.” (Source: Justia)

The consequences here laid down in the hypothetico-deductive mode are an accurate depiction of “Western democracies” such as Canada, France… In these countries (at least France, which I know best) hate speech laws make hate speech both a crime and a tort, and the authorities have allowed anti-defamation organizations to pocket damages from hate speech trials (beside their being subsidized by government).

Picture: A scene from drama-documentary Death of a Princess (by Antony Thomas, 1980, on the execution of Princess Mishaal bint Fahd Al Saud for adultery)

Nota Bena. The only groups that are taken into consideration in U.S. libel law are actual groups of few individuals, that is, not the group category as it is understood by hate speech laws around the world: “Calling a five-member task force ‘rife with corruption’ entitles each to sue. Asserting that a particular labor union is controlled by organized crime would certainly defame the officers of the union. Accusing all–or even most–of a 20 person night shift of using drugs on the job injures the reputation of each.” (Rosini, p. 32)

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My Hate Speech Your Problem

“In a Supreme Court case on the issue, Matal v. Tam (2017), the justices unanimously reaffirmed that there is effectively no ‘hate speech’ exception to the free speech rights protected by the First Amendment and that the U.S. government may not discriminate against speech on the basis of the speaker’s viewpoint.” (Wikipedia) (Emphasis mine)

Previous major Supreme Court decisions include R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul (1992) and Snyder v. Phelps (2011).

Societal Impletation. In the 1980s and 1990s, more than 350 public universities adopted ‘speech codes’ regulating discriminatory speech by faculty and students. These codes have not fared well in the courts, where they are frequently overturned as violations of the First Amendment.”

Private regulation. In 1992, Congress directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to examine the role of telecommunications, including broadcast radio and television, cable television, public access television, and computer bulletin boards, in advocating or encouraging violent acts and the commission of hate crimes against designated persons and groups. The NTIA study investigated speech that fostered a climate of hatred and prejudice in which hate crimes may occur. The study failed to link telecommunication to hate crimes, but did find that “individuals have used telecommunications to disseminate messages of hate and bigotry to a wide audience.” Its recommendation was that the best way to fight hate speech was through additional speech promoting tolerance, as opposed to government regulation.” (Wikipedia: Hate Speech in the United States)

It is since the advent of a big-tech cartel that the issue of hate speech has become a cause of concern, for this cartel has unprecedented means of censoring people and is censoring perhaps millions of people at this juncture, based on terms of service where hate speech allegedly has a prominent place among the things these TOS do not allow. (The figures of human beings subjected to the cartel’s arbitrary censorship around the world are probably unknown even to the most invasive spy agencies, of which the cartel might be, by the way, only a scion, given the U.S. military origins of the internet.)

Besides, it is the most amazing story in the world that a thing –hate speech– so consistently protected by the Constitution should be the principal yardstick by which people in America think they are judged, as if hate speech were worse than crime. But something the Constitution protects cannot be worse than crime. (You would have to change the Constitution to allow government repression of hate speech, and then you could say, all right, hate speech is not desirable, but so long as the Constitution protects it, believe it or not, hate speech is desirable – at least it is preferable to its ban, which is to say that it is desirable to the extent that its ban, which is also in your power, would be harmful.)

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It’s not enough to defend free speech, you must defend hate speech.

In Canada and other Western democracies politicians (politicos) defend free speech too – yet they are always passing new hate speech laws as one man.

It’s in your power to ban hate speech in the United States. It’s in your power to align the United States with Western democracies. It’s in your power to align the New World with the Old World. Therefore it’s not enough to defend free speech, you must defend hate speech.

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You can’t be leader of the free world when you’re the free world.

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It pains me to see how Americans are not thankful for, are not even appreciative of the relentless combat led by Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts to uphold freedom of hate speech –against the whole world– and of how they are thus opening the eyes of those who have eyes to the despicable hypocrisy of all politicians, all public officials, all public figures engaged in public controversies within so-called Western democracies.

A heartfelt thanks to the Supreme Court of the United States who consistently defends the freedom of hate speech guaranteed by the Constitution whereas courts in Western democracies have agreed that governments can ban hate speech and the countries still parade as free speech lands in front of their distorting mirrors with all their swag.

When the U.S. Supreme Court consistently defends hate speech as a constitutionally protected freedom (Brandenburg v. Ohio 1969; R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul 1992; Snyder v. Phelps 2011; Matal v. Tam 2017), the Justices are talking to the world. They are telling Western democracies: You are apes, aping political freedoms with nauseating swag.

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Yes, hate speech is under attack.

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Hate Crime Laws Are Unconstitutional

It’s time the courts declare hate crime laws unconstitutional. This is long overdue.

How can hate speech be protected as the U.S. Supreme Court intends (R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul [1992], Snyder v. Phelps [2011], Matal v. Tam [2017]) when public figures known for taking positions some call hate speech must always fear being provoked to offenses, even minor, that would lead to aggravated punishment, while the opponents who would provoke the incidents have no such Damocles sword hanging over their heads?

Let’s take an example. If a public figure vilified by LGBT groups as a hater gets entangled in a brawl with LGBT hecklers, he may face hate crime charges while the others will face unruly behavior charges or such like (they are not known for being haters because they’re the ones who call people haters and the media follow that stance).

Generally speaking, the “haters” (who have a constitutional right to hate speech) are at greater risk of frame-up because for them even the slightest charges can be greatly detrimental due to the aggravated penalties with which so-called hate crimes are dealt with.

Due to hate crime legislation whole classes of people are deprived of their full rights to political participation. This is GOVERNMENT REPRESSION OF POLITICAL OPPONENTS.

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It’s political-police legislation, under which hecklers from minorities have a license to disrupt political speech in order to create incidents with political figures where the latter risk facing hate crime charges and the hecklers unruly behavior charges if anything.

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Mister Chow Goes to Court,
or The Limits of Political Correctness (and Libel Law)

Mr Chow, owner of a Chinese restaurant in New York City, was humiliated by a culinary critique and sued. In turn the court that dismissed his claim (in appeal) humiliated him by the terms of the judgment and the author who deals with the case in a treatise on libel law (a kind of textbook) adds still another layer to the humilitation.

Restaurant reviews (like aesthetic criticism) seem to generate hyperbole of particular piquancy. For example, a food critic declared that the “green peppers…remained still frozen on the plate,” the rice was “soaking…in oil” and the pancakes were “the thickness of a finger” in a review of a Chinese restaurant. Though the restaurant owner had no tolerance for literary license and sued for defamation, the judge applauded the critic’s “attempt to interject style into the review rather than…convey with technical precision literal facts about the restaurant.” The judge refused to limit the author and others like him to pedestrian observations like “the peppers were too cold, the rice was too oily and the pancakes were too thick,” and also observed that the statements were incapable of being proved false. “What is too oily for one person may be perfect for some other person. The same can be said for the temperature of the vegetables, [and] the thickness of pancakes.” In another review, a sauce was described as “yellow death on duck” and the poached trout renamed “trout ala green plague.” For essentially the same reasons, the statements were deemed too hyperbolic expressions of pure opinion and not statements of fact.

Neil J. Rosini, The Practical Guide to Libel Law, Praeger 1991, p. 146.

The case described is Mr Chow of New York v. Ste. Jour Azur S.A. (2d Cir. 1985). The last two quotes are from Mashburn v. Collin (La. 1977) (cited in Mr Chow of New York v. Ste. [it should be Sté., for Société] Jour Azur). The culinary critique in Mr Chow appeared in the Gault & Millau Guide to New York.

It was not enough that Mr Chow had been humiliated by the hyperbolic acid of the critique, the judge had to applaud the critic’s “attempt to interject style into the review” and in turn Rosini derides Mr Chow for lacking “tolerance for literary license,” scorns him for attempting to limit culinary critique to “pedestrian observations.” So much for political correctness.

It seems that PC has not encroached on public discussions in the legal and judicial field. I believe, although these facts are some forty years old, this is still the case because, as in other more or less specialized fields (in no way less important as to public controversies), the discussions are somewhat beyond the grasp of the general public. However, I am not sure Gault & Millau has maintained its piquancy with respect to ethnic cuisine, no matter how piquant the dishes are.

In Rosini’s book, the case illustrates the judicial difference between statements of fact and expressions of opinion. I find the distinction specious because opinions by Gault & Millau and other influential critics oftentimes are meant by those who claim participation in the set of connoisseurs as true statements of fact. When a master critic writes the rice is too oily, make no mistake, it is too oily. If you care about your social life, dare you not say you like the rice at Mr Chow’s when Gault & Millau wrote it is “soaking in oil.” In fact you do not even go to Mr Chow’s after reading that from Gault & Millau. In other words it is the critic’s opinion that is harmful (when negative), one cannot distinguish the critic’s opinion from statements of fact.

Only in the abstract “what is too oily for one person may be perfect for some other person,” because, as soon as the critic, who by definition knows what is good, speaks, his opinion is law – a law of taste. Just like juries are judge of facts and magistrates judge of law (sometimes judge of law and fact together), critics are judge of taste.

Therefore I am not too surprised that the trial court had found the defendant, the critic, guilty, because the distinction between expression of opinion and statement of fact is a specious one; a critic’s opinion is as likely as statements of fact to ruin one’s reputation and business, and Mr Chow probably could provide evidence of pecuniary loss (if he lost customers because of the critic’s “literary license”). – But what’s the point of critique if it either must be positive or face lawsuits? There is no critique, then, only réclame. Yet one needs critique, for instance when traveling to places where one has no acquaintances (the importance of culinary critique has increased with tourism).

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The Biden Administration As Constitutional Problem

[White House press secretary] Psaki: No options are “off the table” regarding regulating online speech. (Reclaim the Net)

All options unconstitutional. “The White House isn’t toning down its rhetoric.” At some point in a continual, legally unrealistic discourse, it becomes something else, something like the announcement of a coup in broad daylight.

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“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” (First Amendment)

This administration is always talking of solutions to regulate –read ABRIDGE– speech. They ought to understand once and for all that they must leave people and their freedom of speech alone because if this legally unrealistic discourse goes on it should be clear that they are not going to find solutions as they are a constitutional problem in its own right.

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The only available solution is to amend or repeal Section 230, which Donald Trump already contemplated. They don’t want to say they are walking on his footprints.

But this comes along the same kind of discourse on “online extremism.” It it is their obsession: to abridge freedom of speech. On the present issue they basically want to abridge the freedom of speech of opponents to the administration’s health policy. All solutions are off the table except tinkering with Section 230 and that would only allow for tort litigations (“to hold platforms accountable”) where the subject is in fact the government’s health policy.

To “hold platforms accountable” for spreading misinformation. (Reclaim the Net)

You’ve got to ask the question: “accountable for what?” (One needs to name a specific crime or tort there, not the vague “spreading misinformation.”) Does this administration want to explode Section 230 so that a couple of pharmaceutical companies, which the government commanded to develop covid vaccines, can sue for product disparagement? The government is trying to conflate opposition to its health policy with libelous attacks on private businesses. In that case all opposition to health policy choices would be stifled because:

“Pharmaceutical companies can be seen as ‘agents’ who work for the government (or society), developing new drugs. … They do not receive an amount of dollars for each successful drug discovery. Instead, they receive a patent.” (Gerrit De Geest, Rents, 2018) (The words “or society” are irrelevant: pharmaceutical companies work for the society as represented by the government.)

When Facebook, YouTube etc censor content that departs from an official narrative about the Covid, how is this not “state action” (allowing First Amendment suits)? As a matter of fact, what they are censoring is disagreement with a public policy. This choice, though private, is commanded by the government’s narrative. The platforms are making themselves (even if no state entanglement could be proven) enforcers of said public policy by not allowing opponents to the policy to share their opinions, that is, by not allowing anything through their private channels except the message buttressing the government’s policy, except government’s speech.

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Surgeon General says “equity” is the reason COVID “misinformation” needs to be censored online. (Reclaim the Net)

“Misinformation is a threat to our health, and the speed, scale and sophistication with which it is spreading is unprecedented.” (Surgeon General)

Opposition by speech to government’s public health policies is an absolute constitutional right. Governement’s talking of “misinformation” is ominous enough, its ceaseless repetition a threat not only to political opponents but also to the Constitution. Government has no constitutional power, while enforcing its public policies, to enforce the justificatory discourse underlying them.

Law 17: The American-Algerian War

English (I) and French (II).

For the title section you must scroll down to the French part of this post, sorry, but you can also google the phrase to know more about this little-known event (from 1815 AD).

I

Meet the Reactionaries

Texas is First US State to Adopt IHRA Definition of Antisemitism. (i24news June 16, 2021)

This comes after Amawi v. Pflugerville Independent School District (April 2019), “a case in Texas where the plaintiffs had all faced potential or real loss of employment with the State of Texas for being unwilling to sign contracts promising not to participate in boycott activities against Israel.”

The Texan District Court held that “content based laws…are presumptively unconstitutional” and that “viewpoint-based regulations impermissibly ‘license one side of a debate’ and ‘create the possibility that the [government] is seeking to handicap the expression of particular ideas.’ It further asserted that the law the State had relied on, HB 89, was unconstitutional under the First Amendment.” (Wikipedia)

Governor Greg Abbott couldn’t have “his” anti-BDS law stand the judicial test (it was eviscerated) so he “adopts” a new definition of antisemitism. So what? As far as legal value is concerned his adopted definition is nonexistent. He could have repainted the state capitol instead and that would have been exactly as relevant in terms of positive law (with the difference that it would be something useful as buildings need new paint once in a while). Any attempt to give a positive legal value to the definition will be a major infringement on First Amendment rights, just like his anti-BDS law.

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As far as the American Jewish Congress’s remarks on … [a social platform beside Twitter and Facebook] in a Newsweek opinion called We need to stop Marjorie Taylor Greene’s online extremism before it gets violent are concerned, the authors examine two solutions.

One –the second discussed by them– is transparency about online fundraising. Why not? Yet do the authors really believe that transparency would be of any use against what they claim is their concern, namely that online speech incite violence? I fail to see how this would work (to be sure I only read the first two paragraphs, which were screenshot, of their paper).

Before looking at their second proposal, let us remember that under the American Constitution even speech that incites violence is protected if it is not “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action” (Brandenburg v. Ohio 1969). In my opinion that excludes all online speech to begin with, since then the people get the message through electronic devices, mostly sitting in a room with a computer, so the imminence criterion is lacking altogether (although with smartphones things could change in the future, if for instance we could see such a thing as a mob where individuals are both absorbed in their smartphones’ content and committing violence at the same time, which would be peculiar still).

The authors’ second proposal is to ban the platform. They write: “There are precedents in law where exceptions to the First Amendment regarding hate speech exist. ” I have no idea what precedents they have in mind (they do not name them here, if at all) but I know the current state of the law is Brandenburg v. Ohio, which does not support the idea of a ban. In fact there are no currently valid precedents at all. They would have to resort to the Espionage Act, as has been done with Julian Assange, but this is not even credible.

What they call for, then, is reviving precedents long fallen into disuse, in the spirit of the Sedition Act. I can see no other alternative. This is the most reactionary stuff I have read in a long time.

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As to the Anti Defamation League’s call to investigate … [same platform as above] “for possible criminal liability in Capitol attack,” it is preposterous. A platform cannot be held responsible for the content its users publish: this is SECTION 230 (as if people had not been talking at length about it recently!) (the section “provides immunity for website platforms from third-party content”: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”). So even if some people on … had posted content that was “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action” (the Brandenburg v. Ohio requirement for prosecuting speech), which must be what ADL has in mind, with the “lawless action” being the Capitol attack, Section 230 prevents the Justice Department from even considering to investigate … The slightest step in that direction would be a civil liberties case against the state.

This being said besides the fact that platform content cannot even be fancied to be “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action.” The Justice Department would have to prove that an internet post was likely to produce the Capitol attack by a crowd of people gathered on the spot. In any world with stable judicial rules of evidence this is not conceivable.

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Coloradans Not Wanted

Many Companies Want Remote Workers—Except From Colorado. After a new state law that requires employers to disclose salaries for open positions, some are advertising jobs available anywhere in the U.S. but Colorado. (Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2021)

Companies must reveal salary information in job ads if Coloradans are eligible, so they now advertise their job positions in this way:

“This position may be done in NYC or Remote (but not in CO due to local CO job posting requirements” (DigitalOcean’s online post)

Yet seven states (unnamed in my source below) have laws that prohibit advertising discrimination based on “race, color, or creed”:

“Jews were denied welcome at hotels, resorts, public accommodations, and schools. In 1907 a hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, declined accommodations to an American Jewish woman. She complained to Louis Marshall, a lawyer and president of the American Jewish Committee. Marshall drafted a law that barred the printed advertising of discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of race, color, or creed. Enacted in 1913, this statute did not require hoteliers to rent rooms to all comers but prohibited the publication and dissemination of statements that advocated discriminatory exclusion. By 1930 seven states had adopted versions of the New York statute, making group rights a nascent category [nascent or rather stillborn] in First Amendment law.” (mtsu.edu First Amendment Encyclopedia: Group Libel [nonexistent])

This means in all other states you can advertise your business’s discriminatory choices legally. How common is this? And, in fact, why is this not more common? Is it ignorance of the law? Do people mistakenly believe they cannot make such advertisements?

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What about the constitutionality of these laws?

Here the author is quite obscure. She says: “Throughout the 1930s the laws remained untested in the courts. Marshall apparently preferred to field inquiries from resort owners about the legalities of their advertisements than to file lawsuits.”

In her first sentence “throughout the 1930s” seems to be saying that the laws were tested by courts but later, otherwise why limit the talk to the thirties? However the author says nothing about results of later constitutional challenges.

The second sentence seems to be saying, correct me if I’m wrong, that there never was any lawsuit based on one of these 7 (or 8, actually, the New York state law plus seven copycats, I’m not sure how to read “By 1930 seven states had adopted versions of the New York statute,” if that means 7 or 8 in total) and notwithstanding the fact there was not a single challenge in courts this man managed to have all such advertisements removed forever. Quite a feat indeed…

At that time commercial speech was not protected by the First Amendment, so constitutional challenges were bound to fail, the laws would have stood the test. This could explain why the hoteliers etc did not care to go to courts to defend their advertising and instead complied with the “inquiries” fielded by said lawyer. Today it is different: commercial speech is protected speech (at least it receives partial protection, not as broad as political speech but still) so, assuming these laws are still around (and this is more likely than the reverse, isn’t it?), challenging their constitutionality is more open-ended today.

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American Child Labor

Conservatives would legalize child labor again if they could.

Child labor is legal in the U.S. at the date of this post.

“These regulations do not apply to agricultural labor because of outdated exemptions”: “Estimates by the Association of Farmworker Opportunity programs, based on figures gathered by the Department of Labor, suggest that there are approximately 500,000 child farmworkers in the United States. Many of these children start working as young as age 8, and 72-hour work weeks (more than 10 hours per day) are not uncommon. … Today’s farmworker children are largely migrant workers” (American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO)

Besides, “Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), workers under the age of 16 cannot work between 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., except during the summer. From June 1 to Labor Day, the prohibited hours are from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Once you’re 16, federal law no longer restricts what hours you can work.” Only the night shift is illegal for child workers.

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“Today’s farmworker children [estimated 500,000] are largely migrant workers.” Conservatives don’t have to legalize child labor again, they’ll keep crying about the border crisis while overworking Mexican children on their farms.

They legally work children below 14 in farms, family businesses, private homes for “minor chores,” newspaper delivery, and more sectors undisclosed in the sources I quoted.

A 14-year old is not a child according to U.S. labor law, while the International Labour Organization (ILO) has a 15-year old threshold.

While the federal minimum wage for adults is $7.25 per hour, for children it is $4.25 per hour. (See also prison inmates work, given the rates of inmates in the states: “By law, incarcerated workers do not have to be paid. Some states take this to heart. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas do not pay incarcerated workers for most regular jobs performed within the prison. Inmates in other states are not much better off, as most state prisoners earn between $0.12 and $0.40 per hour of work. Even if an inmate secures a higher-paying correctional industries job – which about 6% of people incarcerated in state prisons do – they still only earn between $0.33 and $1.41 per hour.” (Corporate Accountability Lab, Aug 2020)

American companies outsource a large part of their industrial activity to China where “About 7.74 percent of children between the ages of 10-15 are laborers.” (The Borgen Project, Aug 2019) American law prevents Americans from knowing the figures of American companies’ job outsourcing.

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Erasure of History Forum

Who remembers the Anti-Masonic Party?

The Wikipedia page lists more than 40 Congress members, including earlier President of the United States John Quincy Adams (MA)†, 2 state governors, William Palmer (VT) and Joseph Ritner (PA), and a host of other officials such as lieutenant governors.

†John Quincy Adams belonged to the Anti-Masonic Party from 1830 to 1834, he was a member of the Congress’s House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1831 to 1848, and President of the United States from 1825 to 1829.

II

Collectivisation : L’exemple de la santé

L’État français a un argument en béton pour rendre la vaccination contre le covid obligatoire : c’est que la sécurité sociale est collectivisée. En admettant (par hypothèse) que le vaccin est efficace, ce sont ceux qui refusent de se vacciner qui continueront de tomber malades. Ils représentent un coût pour le système collectivisé.

L’individu dont les dépenses de santé sont prises en charge par un régime collectivisé n’est pas libre de refuser un vaccin. La pandémie pourrait donc ouvrir le débat sur le démantèlement intégral de la sécurité sociale.

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Dans un État libéral, quand quelqu’un tombe malade, il n’attend rien de l’État. S’il est assuré, c’est auprès d’une compagnie privée, et s’il ne l’est pas (et n’a donc rien prélevé sur ses revenus entre deux dépenses de santé nécessitées par la situation), il a intérêt à avoir des économies ou bien il faut qu’il s’endette (comme quand il a acheté une voiture et un écran plasma).

Dès lors, on ne comprendrait pas qu’il y ait des obligations vaccinales dans un tel pays, les dépenses de santé étant privées. En effet, quand les dépenses de santé sont privées, les choix sont forcément individuels et on ne voit pas de quel droit l’État imposerait le vaccin puisque ceux qui le refusent en seront pour leurs seuls frais s’ils tombent malades tandis que ceux qui sont vaccinés sont immunisés par hypothèse. Si mon voisin est vacciné, il ne peut pas moralement me demander de l’être aussi puisqu’il ne risque plus rien et que mon refus n’emporte aucune conséquence pour lui.

L’obligation vaccinale est un pur produit de l’étatisation. Je souhaite que l’on reconsidère de manière très approfondie le principe même de la sécurité sociale au regard de cette collectivisation rampante.

(Je ne parle pas spécifiquement ici des vaccins anti-covid, dont certains dénoncent la supposée nocivité, mais de la question de l’obligation vaccinale en général, et ma conclusion est que, même en admettant que tous les vaccins sont toujours efficaces, l’obligation ne peut se justifier que dans des systèmes étatisés de sécurité sociale collectivisée.)

iii

Objection : Les caisses primaires d’assurance maladie (CPAM) ne sont pas des organismes d’État.

Réponse : Les CPAM remplissent « une mission de service public définie par l’État, telle que par exemple les services d’immatriculation et d’affiliation. » Ce qui est défini par l’État est étatisé.

O. Le droit des contrats est défini par l’État. Donc, selon cette logique, les contrats entre personnes privées seraient étatisés?

R. Le droit des contrats repose aussi sur la coutume commerciale et la définition de mon interlocuteur (« le droit des contrats est défini par l’État ») est en soi de l’étatisme pur.

« Le projet de loi de financement de la Sécurité sociale (LFSS) est déposé par le gouvernement au plus tard le 15 octobre à l’Assemblée nationale. » La question ici porte sur les raisons qui font qu’un régime « paritaire » a son centre opérationnel dans un texte de loi (la LFSS annuelle). La réponse ne peut être que la suivante : c’est parce que le régime est étatisé.

D’ailleurs, la Caisse nationale qui chapeaute les CPAM est un établissement public administratif (« définissant au niveau national la politique de l’assurance maladie en France »).

Mais je pourrais en réalité me passer d’introduire la moindre considération sur la LFSS. La comparaison de mon interlocuteur avec le droit des contrats est tout simplement fautive car ce droit a bien des origines tandis qu’une mission de service public est entièrement définie par l’État.

Que les CPAM aient une certaine latitude de gestion va de soi, de même qu’un particulier chasseur mandaté par la préfecture pour exterminer des renards et autres « nuisibles » (mission de service public) s’y prend comme bon lui semble (dans le cadre des lois). Cela ne change rien à la question.

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Un délit réservé aux Arabes et aux Noirs

Le délit d’incitation à la consommation de stupéfiants continue d’être poursuivi et condamné en justice. Mais seulement pour les rappeurs (Mister You, affaire de Villeurbanne 2020, affaire de Grenoble 2020, etc).

On pensait que ça n’existait plus, au moins depuis le non-lieu dans les années 90 pour le groupe (blanc) Billy Ze Kick et les Gamins en Folie, dénoncé pour sa chanson Mangez-moi ! (2e place du Top 50, explicitement sur les champignons hallucinogènes : « la chanson du psylo »). Mais non.

Montrez-moi un seul Blanc puni de ce crime ! –

Inspiré par l’achat du recueil Déplacements Dégagements du grand poète Henri Michaux, dont la présentation se lit : « Ses livres, proches du surréalisme, et cependant tout à fait singuliers, sont des poèmes, des descriptions de mondes imaginaires, des inventaires de rêves, une exploration des infinis créés par les substances hallucinogènes » (Présentation anonyme, Collection L’Imaginaire/Gallimard).

Qui d’entre nous, marchant au crépuscule sur la Colline du Crack et ressentant la mélancolie de sa finitude humaine, peut dire qu’il n’a jamais rêvé d’explorer les infinis ?

ii

La référence à la Colline du Crack doit être comprise à la lumière des précédents billets, où j’en ai déjà parlé (Law 9 et suivantes, en anglais).

Alors que la justice condamne l’incitation à la consommation, condamne des artistes, devant le problème de la Colline du Crack à Stalingrad (Paris 19), les autorités ne trouvent rien de mieux que de distribuer des pipes à crack et de payer des chambres d’hôtel.

iii

Un interlocuteur me transmet un jugement de la Cour d’appel de Niort.

À supposer que ce Nicolas R., condamné pour avoir mis à la vente à Niort des tee-shirts Cannabis Legalize It (c’est-à-dire un message reprenant l’un des points du programme d’au moins un parti politique représenté à l’Assemblée nationale et dans divers exécutifs locaux, cette condamnation signifiant en réalité qu’il n’est pas permis de demander de changer la loi, car c’est le sens des mots Legalize It, or aucune loi ne peut comporter une clause prévoyant l’impossibilité de son abrogation et par conséquent le jugement doit être cassé car c’est de l’instrumentalisation politique de la justice), soit Blanc, mon interlocuteur apporterait un démenti au titre de cette section. – Je répondrais que c’est l’exception qui confirme la règle. (Il faudrait demander à l’expert judiciaire Gabriel Matzneff ce qu’il en pense. Mais Nicolas R. ayant en fait été relaxé en appel, mon titre reste sans démenti pour ce qui est des condamnations.)

Mon interlocuteur évoquant par la même occasion le climat actuel, il m’offre l’opportunité d’évoquer une certaine affaire, pour un autre abus de procédure, bien que ce climat soit précisément opposé à toute forme d’expression telle que celle que je vais à présent oser.

Il s’agit de la condamnation d’un rappeur noir, Maka, à 15 mois de prison pour apologie de terrorisme, pour une chanson appelée Samuel Paty.

Le journal La Marne du 27 nov. 2020 (x) indique que la chanson « cherche selon eux [selon les juges] à ‘surfer sur la vague pour faire du buzz’ ». Il est donc totalement incompréhensible que cette personne soit condamnée pour apologie de terrorisme, les juges faisant eux-mêmes remarquer que la finalité de la chanson est tout autre, à savoir « faire du buzz ». L’incohérence est redoutable.

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Or demander de légaliser le cannabis, ce qui est forcément légal comme je l’ai souligné et comme la Cour d’appel l’a reconnu (la condamnation en première instance reste très choquante, tout comme l’étaient les poursuites), est une façon indirecte de promouvoir sa consommation. Car il n’y a eu que l’Église nationale danoise pour promouvoir en 1969 la légalisation de la pornographie (premier pays au monde) au prétexte que c’est parce qu’elle était interdite qu’elle attirait les gens et que donc ceux qui étaient contre la pornographie devaient demander sa légalisation.

Ainsi, la promotion de la légalisation ne pouvant s’exclure d’une forme de promotion de la consommation, la loi est d’une abominable stupidité car elle interdit et autorise en même temps la même chose. À bas toutes ces lois.

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Au temps des manifestations #GiletsJaunes, le gouvernement cherchait à lancer des débats sur qui est journaliste. Je propose la définition suivante, d’une imparable logique interne :

Est journaliste toute personne condamnée en droit de la presse.

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Histoire d’un mariole

Je reproche à Victor Hugo d’avoir écrit Napoléon-le-Petit. Je veux dire ce titre qui, en appelant Napoléon III le petit, laisse entendre que Napoléon Ier était grand. Non.

Il est certain que vous n’avez jamais entendu parler des guerres américano-barbaresques. Elles furent au nombre de deux : la première de 1801 à 1805 et la seconde, également appelée guerre américano-algérienne, en 1815. Dans la première les États-Unis d’Amérique et la Suède et dans la seconde les États-Unis seuls combattirent les États barbaresques d’Afrique du Nord (nos futures ex-colonies).

Les États-Unis d’Amérique et la Suède luttaient ainsi contre la piraterie en Méditerranée pendant que l’autre fou, qui avait causé la perte de notre flotte à Aboukir (1798), courait dans tous les sens en Europe et cherchait à faire un « blocus continental » pour empêcher les navires anglais d’aborder sur le continent.

Les États-Unis d’Amérique (!) – et la Suède (!) – devaient lutter contre des pirates maghrébins en Méditerranée, la mer qui borde nos côtes (!), pendant que nous avions un EMPIRE.

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Si demain la France et les États-Unis se faisaient la guerre, je pense que l’on pourrait dire à l’avance en combien de minutes l’armée française serait anéantie. C’est pareil pour le droit. #FirstAmendment