Publisher Not At All Impressed By Trump's Defamation Threat Letter; Promises To Defend The First Amendment

from the good-luck-with-that dept

Last week we wrote about Donald Trump having a lawyer send out threatening letters to former top advisor Steve Bannon, author Michael Wolff and publisher Henry Holt & Co. over the publication of Wolff's new book, Fire and Fury about the Trump administration. The letter to Wolff and the publisher were notable for lacking a single statement that was actually claimed to be defamatory. As we've noted, that's often the hallmark of a completely bullshit defamation threat letter.

Late yesterday, the publisher responded. John Sargent, the CEO of Macmillan -- the publishing giant that owns Henry Holt & Co. -- first sent a strong letter to employees noting that the company would not back down, and then lawyer Elizabeth McNamara, representing Macmillan, from legal powerhouse Davis Wright Tremaine sent quite the impressive letter responding to Trump's demand. It's worth reading in full. The summary:

My clients do not intend to cease publication, no such retraction will occur, and no apology is warranted.

There's so much more worth quoting in the letter. It points out that Trump has the largest platform in the world to respond to anything he actually believes is false in the book. While the letter does not directly state this, the point is pretty clear. The point of defamation law is to be able to protect the powerless from having no recourse should they be defamed -- yet the President has plenty of power and can respond to anything that's actually wrong. But, tellingly, he has not done so.

As President Trump knows, Mr. Wolff was permitted extraordinary access to the Trump administration and campaign from May 2016 to this past October, and he conducted more than 200 interviews with President Trump, most members of his senior staff, and with many people they in turn talked to. These interviews served as the basis for the reporting in Mr. Wolff's book. We have no reason to doubt -- and your letter provides no reason to change this conclusion -- that Mr. Wolff's book is an accurate report on events of vital public importance. Mr. Trump is the President of the United States, with the "bully pulpit" at his disposal. To the extent he disputes any statement in the book, he has the largest platform in the world to challenge it. Generalized and abstract threats of libel do not provide any basis for President Trump's demand that Henry Holt and Mr. Wolff withdraw the book from public discourse. Though your letter provides a basic summary of New York libel law, tellingly, it stops short of identifying a single statement in the book that is factually false or defamatory. Instead, the letter appears to be designed to silence legitimate criticism. This is the antithesis of an actionable libel claim.

The response also points out that the letter misrepresents what Wolff claimed in order to suggest actual malice (kind of funny to see a misrepresentation being used to argue a defamatory misrepresentation...). Oh and also this:

To briefly address a few of the additional substantive claims identified in your letter, we note that you understandably cite to New York as the governing law, yet we were surprised to see that President Trump plans on asserting a claim for "false light invasion of privacy." As you are no doubt aware, New York does not recognize such a cause of action. Messenger ex rel. Messenger v. Gruner Jahr Printing and Pub., 94 436, 448 (2000); Hurwitz v. US, 884 F.2d 684, 685 (2d Cir. 1989). Not only is this claim meritless; it is non-existent. In any event, it is patently ridiculous to claim that the privacy of the President of the United States has been violated by a book reporting on his campaign and his actions in office.

As for the claims that Wolff was "inducing" Steve Bannon and others to breach their contract:

Next, your letter focuses on alleged claims for tortious interference with contractual relations and inducement of breach of contract. Yet, as your client will no doubt appreciate, timing is everything when it comes to these claims. And there is no dispute that Mr. Bannon had already communicated with Mr. Wolff freely and voluntarily well before the "notice" you have provided. Mr. Bannon plainly needed no cajoling or inducement to speak candidly with Mr. Wolff. And an after-the-fact lawyer's letter putting my clients "on notice" does not put the genie back in the bottle, much less subject Henry Holt or Mr. Wolff to liability. The law treats sources like Mr. Bannon as adults, and it is Mr. Bannon's responsibility -- not Henry Holt's or Mr. Wolff's -- to honor any contractual obligations. Indeed, your attempt to use private contracts to act as a blanket restriction on members of the government speaking to the press is a perversion of contract law and a gross violation of the First Amendment. No court would support such an attempt to silence public servants and the press.

The letter to employees is also worth reading as it talks up the importance of the First Amendment -- with citations and quotes from key important cases having to do with free speech and the First Amendment. As the letter concludes:

There is no ambiguity here. This is an underlying principle of our democracy. We cannot stand silent. We will not allow any president to achieve by intimidation what our Constitution precludes him or her from achieving in court. We need to respond strongly for Michael Wolff and his book, but also for all authors and all their books, now and in the future. And as citizens we must demand that President Trump understand and abide by the First Amendment of our Constitution.

Your move, Trump.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 8:36am

    "Your move, Trump."

    Trump: *heavy breathing*

    BUT WHAT ABOUT HILLARY?! WHAT ABOUT OBAMA'S BIRTH CERIFICATE?!?! I WANT MOMMY! COFVEFEFE!

    Seems like this will be close to the most coherent thing we'll get from cheeto.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 9:47am

    This whole affair is a waste of time

    Of course Trump issued demands, because he's stupid that way. Of course Sargent screamed "no capitulation" from the top of his soap box, because there's no better way to sell books than a cat fight.

    All this because our reality show president wishes he were a Kardashian.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 9:52am

      Re: This whole affair is a waste of time

      Of course Sargent screamed "no capitulation" from the top of his soap box, because there's no better way to sell books than a cat fight.

      Even if this is just for “show”, and I doubt that, the response is still worthwhile for being a pushback against any possible erosion of the First Amendment under a president who thinks every news network but Fox News should be tossed off the air because they do not continuously kiss his flabby orange ass.

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      • identicon
        OGquaker, 10 Jan 2018 @ 2:55am

        Re: Re: do not continuously kiss his flabby orange ass

        A flabby orange ass is normal for crested black Macaque;
        PETA Will defend Naruto.

        Remember Sambo's Restaurants? Ronnie Reagan lamented that his neighbor Sam Battistone needed a federal bailout but Chapter 11 is more profitable; 'Sambo's' became 'Season's' became 'Bakers Square' became 'Godfather's pizza'.
        Ultimately, 1,200 restaurants were reduced to one, over the use of a word.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:36am

      Re: This whole affair is a waste of time

      "All this because our reality show president wishes he were a Kardashian."

      He has the cheeks for it.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 9:51am

    "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

    It's a WORK OF FICTION. Good for distracting you weenies from what Trump is doing, besides that any charge based on it is easily brushed aside.

    To Drudge for headline just because YOU prompt: "WOLFF ADMITS: DIDN'T INTERVIEW ANY WH CABINET OFFICIALS FOR BOOK..."

    So you think Trump is actually worried about people writing FICTION?

    Sheesh. You kids don't even suspect nothin'.

    The only part of a "there" with this is the "T" and that stands for TRUMP, which rhymes with BUMP!

    Now, please stop interrupting me with trivia. I've got to tweak, er, I mean fine-tune this pole-dancing robot stripper in time for CES.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 9:53am

      Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

      So you think Trump is actually worried about people writing FICTION?

      Yes.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

        Agree, the problem is that Trump does not mind writing a bit of fiction himself.

        But I do notice that the more people hate someone, the more alike them they are to them than they realize.

        Trump is an idiot, but so are a lot of folks here at TD.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 9:59am

          Re: Re: Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

          Trump is an idiot, but so are a lot of folks here at TD.

          Hey now, don’t be so hard on yourself.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 9:56am

      Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

      Ah yes, Drudge, that paragon of credibility.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 9:59am

        Re: Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

        Isn't Drudge just an aggregator? Meaning they don't write the stories just provide links to them?

        So tell me... how is Drudge responsible for the "credibility" of a story that CNN, Washington Post, or Fox News writes?

        If you want to be thought of as a biased idiot... congrats!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:39am

          Re: Re: Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

          or Breitbart or Infowars or Stormfront or Fox News or ......

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:48am

          Re: Re: Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

          A biased idiot? No, we have you around for that.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 2:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

          Drudge is very selecive in what gets featured. It is not afraid of running conspiracies and giving talking time to character assassinations as is the populist thing to do nowadays. Facts seem like a lower priority.

          I would be very sceptical about some of the sources they are giving lip-service to and I certainly wouldn't rely solely on sir Hurt and sir Drudge to select my news.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:01am

      Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

      "So you think Trump is actually worried about people writing FICTION?"

      Considering Trump himself seems to have originated from a bad cartoon. Yes?

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      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:44am

        Re: Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

        The difference is that Trump thinks of fiction as 'fake news' and cannot discern what might differentiate between the two. So yes, Trump is worried about 'fake news' and fiction and satire and parody because they are all the same to him. They aren't 'his' truth, which is apparently exists only in his mind (except when he cajoles his cronies to support 'his' truth).

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:53am

      Re: "Your move, Trump"? -- Trump already MOVED! Intentionally DREW attention to RIDICULOUS charges!

      To Drudge for headline just because YOU prompt: "WOLFF ADMITS: DIDN'T INTERVIEW ANY WH CABINET OFFICIALS FOR BOOK..."

      That link points to InfoWars.

      Lemme guess, they gave you a free bottle of "Super Duper Conservative Taint Wash" as incentive for this shitpost?

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 9:55am

    "This is an underlying principle of our democracy."

    It's NOT a democracy, if it was, Hillary would be president. Of course these fucking idiots are too stupid to know that.
    The founding fathers intentionally setup the government to prevent Democracy from having a strong influence in our government. It's the reason citizens were not even originally allowed to even vote for the fucking president to begin with.

    Next up... some fucking twat saying well we are "democratic" while the fact that district gerrymandering is still a thing.

    I tell you what, go ahead and believe ignorant and stupid things, I can't stop you, just call you an idiot while you whine about being called one for being one!

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      You must be fun at the antifa meet-ups.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:05am

        Re: Re:

        Disagree with facts do ya? Shame you need lies to get to sleep at night. Like I said... act like an idiot be called an idiot!

        Here is the CIA world factbook for your edification. You may notice that the word "democracy" is not mentioned anywhere in what type of government we are. But hey, whatever your political religion tells you to believe in, it's not like anyone will call you an idiot for it.

        https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

        Government :: UNITED STATES
        Country name:
        conventional long form: United States of America
        conventional short form: United States
        abbreviation: US or USA
        etymology: the name America is derived from that of Amerigo VESPUCCI (1454-1512) - Italian explorer, navigator, and cartographer - using the Latin form of his name, Americus, feminized to America
        Government type:
        constitutional federal republic

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        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The US is a democracy. That you can find someone doesn't happen to mention this (nor does it contradict the fact), does not make it untrue.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No "FACTS" and the dictionary are what makes the statement untrue.

            Look, I know you guys "emotionally need" to call things what they are not to sate your weird little politics but it makes it easy to keep you idiots fooled. If you don't like something your first trick is to try to change the definition of something. It makes you all looking like idiots.

            If you don't like something you call it a name. If you need it to be something that it is not you start calling it that so people will think it IS that even when it isn't.

            You see... you WANT America to be a democracy, and that is fine. You can want anything, you are just an idiot to think it is true despite, you know, pesky FACTS saying otherwise.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If you don't like something you call it a name. If you need it to be something that it is not you start calling it that so people will think it IS that even when it isn't.

              This explains why you like to call everyone “idiots”, at least.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:37am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                because I like facts, and idiot seems to be the best label for many of you.

                I you have a better one, I am willing to listen.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:29am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Yes, you are like really smart. A genius, really.

                  You also use CAPS and exclamation points!

                  Just like Trump.

                  There is no need for you to swear and frequently call others idiots. It undermines your argument and distracts from your key points – which I mostly agree with BTW.

                  But your delivery style is annoying and unconvincing. Have faith in your arguments. There is no need for the other BS.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:54am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  How about "human"?

                  It seems to work for a large number of the posters here.

                  The US is a constitutional republic, and many democratic values are enshrined in the constitution. The US is a democratic state, which, as you've pointed out, different than having a democracy.

                  However, just like the word "hacker," the word "democracy" has shifted meaning over time such that the democratic system with all its non-democratic checks and balances is commonly referred to as a democracy, to the ire and chagrin of pedants everywhere.

                  The US believes in the will of the people; it also believes that the people can be wrong, and so has things built into the constitutional framework to protect against fascism and the like.

                  Recently, with the help of computers, politicians have discovered ways to manipulate the existing system to avoid having to bow to the will of the people. Before computers, they did this through ignorance.

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            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No "FACTS" and the dictionary are what makes the statement untrue.

              The facts, er, "FACTS" say that the US is a democracy. The dictionary says that the US is a democracy.

              Wikipedia: United States: Government and politics: The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation. It is a representative democracy, "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law".

              As for the rest, as I said, it's not a perfect democracy.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "It is a representative democracy"

                A nice play on words but still not correct.

                You can call it what you want, it will not make it true. The citizens in no capacity affect the laws, either directly through vote or indirectly through election, of the federal government.

                This is what makes you an idiot, letting someone trick you into thinking you have something you don't.

                If we have a democracy of any kind, why do we have asset forfeiture, police murdering citizens, a Constitution preventing you from turning people in slaves?

                We do not have a system of government where ANY majority ANYWHERE makes a decision at the federal level. You guys are so fucking deluded its a fucking joke.

                If Congress votes to make all Rogers slaves, SCOTUS can over turn it, or the Executive can refuse to enforce the law.

                the idea that America is a Democracy is a fabrication of your delusions. And yes mass delusions are in fact quite real, just look up the Mandela Effect.

                You are part of a massive delusion, and you are are a willful particpant.

                No amount of YOUR delusions of democracy will ever change it!

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:51am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Oh, now I get why you’re such a gigantic asshole to everyone here.

                  YOU’RE FROM THE BERENSTEIN UNIVERSE!

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:07am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    yea i know... there just exactly ZERO chance you guys are assholes too.

                    I developed this attitude because you all were assholes first.

                    My first posts way back when were not this hostile, but being called an idiot by a bunch of fucking idiots kinda sets the stage does it not?

                    So instead of bitching about my attitude you should have fixed yours first. Funny how that works? You start the problem and then get bent about it when you get it back. Turn about not fair play for ya? Awh come on big guy... I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I just wanted to let you know that you were ignorant.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:01am

      Re:

      The US is indeed a democracy. No, the founding fathers did not intend to prevent democracy.

      It is not however a flawless, perfect democracy.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re:

        Well I know you are an ignorant idiot but it does help my case when you prove it.

        https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

        Government :: UNITED STATES
        Country name:
        conventional long form: United States of America
        conventional short form: United States
        abbreviation: US or USA
        etymology: the name America is derived from that of Amerigo VESPUCCI (1454-1512) - Italian explorer, navigator, and cartographer - using the Latin form of his name, Americus, feminized to America
        Government type:
        constitutional federal republic


        Notice that the word Democracy does not appear here? Notice that Hillary lost the election? Notice that you do not vote on laws and notice that elected representatives can tell you to fuck off after you vote them in?

        Notice how you have ZERO democratic control of the government? You GET TOLD what you get! You don't vote for it, you don't get a single fucking say.

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        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The US is a democracy. That you can find someone doesn't happen to mention this (nor does it contradict the fact), does not make it untrue.

          Few if any democracies involve the citizens directly voting on laws. Instead they vote in representatives (city councilors, congressmen, members of parliament, etc.) to do the job for them. If you don't like their decisions, you vote them out in the next election.

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          • icon
            Killercool (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            He's right, though. Just not the way he seems to think.

            Direct democracy: citizens vote on everything.

            Representative democracy: Citizens elect representatives to vote for them, with their continued tenure dependent on voting as the citizens wish.

            Republic: Citizens vote on everything, but a charter or constitution keeps some rights from being infringed, even by a vote.

            Representative republic: constitution + representatives.

            So... the US is definitely not a democracy. We are a representative republic.

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            • icon
              Killercool (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's actually on purpose, too. Back during the era of the Founding Fathers, "democracy" was synonymous with "mob rule."

              Since educating every voter on every issue, then somehow assembling for a vote is still impossible, they preferred to have people elect someone they trust to parse the laws and regulations, then vote with their constituent's best interests at heart.

              It works pretty well, most of the time

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            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Incorrect.

              The US is a republic. The US is a democracy. The two are not mutually exclusive. Republic means "no monarch."

              Which is why your definition of representative republic and representative democracy are effectively the same. (Non-republic democracies have constitutions too.)

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "The two are not mutually exclusive."

                They kinda are... you are just to stupid to realize that.

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                • icon
                  XcOM987 (profile), 10 Jan 2018 @ 8:10am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I am curious, why do you keep resorting to name calling, insults and accusing anyone that has a differing opinion to yourself stupid/idiotic or variation thereof?

                  Can people not have differing views of things and not be stupid, surely the best way is education rather than name calling?

                  All you are doing is undermining any credibility you may have in your views and statements.

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                  • identicon
                    Thad, 10 Jan 2018 @ 8:50am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    That would require him to have any credibility to undermine.

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                    • icon
                      The Wanderer (profile), 10 Jan 2018 @ 8:59am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      That depends on who's listening.

                      The point of that argument as I understand it is that even if there are some people observing with whom he has not already destroyed any semblance of credibility, the practice described would tend to undermine his credibility with even those people.

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                      • identicon
                        Thad, 10 Jan 2018 @ 11:17am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I would think that all the other stupid shit he says would take care of that.

                        Also, his unusual views on the usage of quotation marks and capital letters.

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I am open to what you believe I am incorrect about but I appreciate the assist.

              We don't control anything the federal government does at all. Not a single thing about it do we control. If we at least could force our elected representatives to do what we tell them, then these folks would have a case for claims of democracy, but like you said. There are rules in place and the proper definition is a "Constitutional Republic"

              And as Benjamin Franklin is attributed as saying when someone asking him what we had.

              A republic, if you can keep it.
              http://www.bartleby.com/73/1593.html

              He did not say "democracy" he said "republic".

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              • icon
                Killercool (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:38am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                So... if you know the US is a republic, why do you keep screaming about "democracy?"

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:50am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I don't scream about it they are, hence the reason I am trying to correct it.

                  If we were a democracy, I would agree, but we are not one. There are loads of controls in place to directly prevent a democracy.

                  Remember Prop 8 in California? How all those people voted to block gay marriage "democratically"? Remember how it got overturned by a court "un-democratically"?

                  That's right... you don't have a democracy if your democratic votes can be overturned in a court by a person or few like this, no matter how much you want it to be one!

                  You at best, have some democratic processes. But you sure as fuck have not a democracy.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:16am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                We don't control anything the federal government does at all.

                Nonsense. You have elections. You can force those you disagree with out of power (and use the threat of that to change laws) to the extent that ANY democracy can.

                And as Benjamin Franklin is attributed as saying when someone asking him what we had.

                You might want to actually READ the page you link to.

                The choice was republic vs. monarchy, not republic vs. democracy. "Republic" means no monarch. A democracy can be a republic, or it can have a monarch.

                Again, the US is a republic AND a democracy. The two terms are not mutually exclusive. Your Franklin quote does not contradict this.

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            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Instead they vote in representatives"

            That would be called a republic, not a democracy.

            Facts are such a bitch are they not?

            In a democracy the people have control over government either directly or indirectly by voting on laws or by voting in people that enact they laws we want.

            Our representatives are not required to vote on anything the way we want them. They can do what they want and all we can do is vote them back out. We cannot prosecute them, or criminally charge them, or force them to do anything.

            We are not a democracy, we neither directly or indirectly control the Federal government. We control the Federal government as much as we can control it if it was a Monarchy!

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            • icon
              An Onymous Coward (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Why is this such a big issue for you? Who gives a flying f#@k what we call our form of government? It doesn't change a thing.

              Or is this the only thing you could latch onto to start an internet argument?

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                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                So trying to stop ignorance is a bad thing in your book?

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                • icon
                  Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:14am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You're not "trying to stop ignorance", you're obsessing over a symbolic issue.

                  There is no disagreement here about the components of the US government or how they function. There isn't any debate either. Everyone is on the same page, with the same knowledge. You are just engaging in a gigantic argument over whether it's appropriate to apply one specific term to that government in any context - a term, I might add, that has no single monolithic consensus definition (hint: literally nobody who is seriously studying any field other than lexicography gets so obsessed with what the dictionary says about their specialty terms).

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                    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:23am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "You're not "trying to stop ignorance", you're obsessing over a symbolic issue."

                    you are the group of clowns trying to turn "Constitutional Republic" into a symbolic gesture of "democracy".

                    I am trying to stop the symbolic bullshit but you guys are so entrenched in your ignorance that you have successfully altered the meanings of a few words.

                    I can say congratulations to you for that success, but you still don't have a democracy no matter how much you need to lie about it.

                    Stop trying to engineer a win here, we just are not a fucking democracy no matter how you slice the fucking pie.

                    Just like with Prop 8 in California, Democracy can be stopped in its fucking tracks on a whim... and if that is possible, you just do not have one.

                    I can take a chevy and put a ford badge on it but it still won't be a chevy.

                    You folks for reasons I cannot comprehend keep trying to put a Democracy badge on a Constitutional Republic. It just does not work.

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                    • icon
                      Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:26am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Settle down man. We get it, you're a brilliant revolutionary, tearing down our illusions and blah blah blah.

                      Guess what: nobody here is oblivious to the huge problems that exist in America's systems of government, or to the fact that democratic principles are frequently compromised by those problems.

                      They just aren't interested in your little narcissistic crusade about whether to use the word democracy or not. But sure dude, if it makes you happy: you sound *super* cool and smart and insightful and edgy everything, great job.

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                        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:31am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "We get it, you're a brilliant revolutionary, tearing down our illusions and blah blah blah."

                        No, I am just not an idiot and can call a spade a spade.

                        If someone tells me something is this, but I observe it doing something else, then I am going to call bullshit.

                        You can call America a democracy, but it's actions prove it is not one, so I am just calling your bullshit! People don't have to be brilliant to figure that out!

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                        • icon
                          Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:32am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Fuck that's so DEEP! Can I read your poetry?

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                            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:38am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            So mockery then?

                            I guess that is the natural outcome around here.

                            I am just trying to help people to be less ignorant, fuck me for fighting a one sided war on ignorance right?

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                              Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:39am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Yes, when I've decided I have nothing but contempt for someone's intellectual dishonesty or closed-mindedness, I make my mockery explicit and obvious. I guess other people prefer to say things like "I am just trying to help people to be less ignorant"

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                                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:50am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                The intellectual dishonesty if all on your side of the aisle.

                                You can levy the closed-minded accusation because it is true, my mind is closed to your style of bullshit, but I am by no means wrong or dishonest. You had to first lie to yourself to believe this load of horseshit.

                                You are facilitating the ignorance of your readers and performing a disservice to your readers by perpetuating a delusion.

                                Leigh, I am truly sad you lack the intellectual capacity to discuss this without relying on your corrupt dogma.

                                As someone that serves the news, it is important for you to have facts straight, and you just don't! Which is why you feel the need to resort to the mockery.

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                                • icon
                                  Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:55am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  There is a fundamental issue with the core of everything you say here:

                                  You think it is a simple "fact" whether something is a democracy.

                                  Sorry, democracy is a subjective term, and there's plenty of debate over what it actually means. And honestly, I don't even give much of a shit about that debate. You're the only one who does. You want to talk about the many many problems with the US government? You want to talk about the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, the prison industrial complex, the war on drugs, government surveillance? Great! I think all of those are extremely serious issues too. (Not so sure about listing "having a Constitution" alongside those things, but hey, to each his own I guess. You must *really* hate America, which is fine - I'm not even American, and not a fan of mindless patriotism.)

                                  But, you don't want to talk about those issues, do you? You wan't to berate people for even using the word "democracy" when talking about a government that, whether you like it or not, does indeed have many democratic components and has certain key principles of democracy ensconced in its supreme laws (i.e. that Constitution thing that you hate).

                                  So make your little snide remarks about my intellectual capacity all you want. I know you think you're making brilliant, intelligent observations about the US, but I don't think very many people see it that way.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 2:54pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "I can take a chevy and put a ford badge on it but it still won't be a chevy."

                      Ummm, yes, it would still be a chevy. It would be a chevy with a ford badge on it.

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 10 Jan 2018 @ 12:42am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "So trying to stop ignorance is a bad thing in your book?"

                  If you were interested in "stopping ignorance", you'd be calmly laying down facts, linking evidence and explaining why people are wrong. Instead, you've chosen name calling and whining about other people not knowing what you know.

                  That tells most people all they need to know about how honest you are, even if you are actually correct about your claims.

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            • icon
              Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Since you're so obsessed with the dictionary, it's weird you never looked up the dictionary definition of "democracy":

              a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

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                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:05am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives."

                And we DON'T HAVE THAT HERE!

                We have an executive and a court with VETO powers over what the "elected representatives" make law, which means NO DEMOCRACY! You are not very bright are you?

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                  Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:08am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Almost every single political scientist in the world agrees that the rule of law, and a court system for administering it, is in fact **a critical part** of a democracy. In fact it's one of the few widespread items of consensus on what the definition of democracy even is.

                  You don't read much, do you?

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                    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:17am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Leigh, you are posing a strawman argument here.

                    If it not the fact that the court SCOTUS in this case exists that breaks the democracy, it is the fact that it has VETO POWER over law itself through the power to declare it unconstitutional! That is what breaks the democracy potential, and they are not elected by the people either, further removing democracy from the equation.

                    They don't have to do anything we tell them too, they only have to obey the Constitution and the Law. Neither Congress or the President can do shit to them until they break the law!

                    If you can remove the "veto power" of SCOTUS and the VETO power of the Executive branch then you will have some ground to stand on. As long as we have 3 equal branches of government Democracy can be overturned, meaning we do not have a democracy, no matter how much your delusions demand it!

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                    • icon
                      Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:19am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      it is the fact that it has VETO POWER over law itself through the power to declare it unconstitutional

                      Get ready, I'm about to blow your mind:

                      The constitution is a legal document - a part of "the law". The "supreme law" in fact.

                      And who has the power to change the constitution?

                      Oh right: elected representatives

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                        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:29am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        And the states through a convention as well.

                        Let me blow your mind.

                        Do they have to obey a single fucking desire of the American people to do that? No they don't!

                        They could hold a convention of states and turn entire classes of people in slaves again, can't they? Additionally it requires a 3/4 vote too... which guess what... is more that just a Democratic majority. Some even call it a "Super Majority".


                        do you want to know what else? not a single fucking citizen has to be involved either! If all the states wanted to get together make all elected officials into Dukes and Kings you can't stop them, they have the constitutional fucking power and democracy will not have a fucking thing to stop it.

                        You are so lost and deluded that you can't see straight.

                        News flash, the government is not beholden do you... all you can do is vote them in and hope they do what you want because you do not control them!

                        You don't have a democracy, you don't even have a representative democracy as you like to put it!

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                        • icon
                          Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:32am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Yeah! Rage against the machine, brother! Man this guy is so fucking COOL!

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                            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:37am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            If I am not mistaken would that not mean that I am raging against the government? I am not raging against the government I am raging against a bunch of ignorant that think we have something we do not.

                            I am raging against my fellow ignorant citizens... not the government.

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                              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 1:23pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              No what you are doing is projecting your intellectual insecurities at us like a champ. You are just too pig ignorant to realise that, even when we lead you by the nose right to it. What’s truely funny is you think you are ohh so brilliant, instead of having the intellectual capacity of a snot nosed 13 year old.

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                          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 12:21pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Allow me to re-blow your mind. I assume given your statements, you are a rabid fan and supporter of the Constitution. As such you must be aware of the 2nd Amendment and why it exists.

                          The 2nd Amendment was put in there as a direct check and balance against such a convention taking place and the people being enslaved. The threat of an armed citizen revolt is what keeps the government from doing just such a thing. And given the very active social justice movement, do you really think that if they changed our government to a monarchy and re-instituted slavery that there wouldn't be a revolt? If you do you are delusional and no can help you.

                          So yes, the government is beholden to the people, we have just allowed them to get away with their shenanigans for too long.

                          You want proof of democracy? The 2nd Amendment is about the strongest proof you can get. However, you are correct in that we are also a republic. I believe it was one of my grade school text books that called our system of government "a democracy within a republic". I find that to be an accurate description.

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                            Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 9 Jan 2018 @ 2:42pm

                            Re: The 2nd Amendment was put in there as a direct check and balance against such a convention taking place and the people being enslaved.

                            Ironic excuse, indeed, for a nation founded by slave-owners, seceding just at the point where the mother country was taking its first steps towards abolishing slavery.

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                            Wendy Cockcroft, 10 Jan 2018 @ 6:02am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Again with this! http://on-t-internet.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/come-revolution-good-luck-with-that.html

                            I've been waiting for that citizens' insurrection over mass surveillance since Snowden. Ain't. Gonna. Happen.

                            One presumes this will continue for as long as "the important rights" remain. It seems to me that gun nuts would allow themselves to suffer the most awful tyrannies as long as a) they can keep their guns and b) they're being run from a corporation, not the government.

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                              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2018 @ 8:55am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              First of all, I don't own a gun and am not a 'gun nut'.

                              Second of all, you're right. As long as our democratic process remains intact and the chance of changing the erosion of our rights by peaceful means is available, there will not be an insurrection. As screwed up and corrupt as our government is, the people still have the power to vote in different representatives who would actually change things.

                              But your statement is twisting my words to something I never said. I was referring to a dramatic change in government and treatment of people, not the selective abuse of our rights by the government when it suits their purposes.

                              We're talking about the government shredding the Constitution and instituting a total dictatorship with no representation of the people. THAT is what the 2nd Amendment is there to guard against and THAT is the point I was making to the resident idiot because THAT is what he was talking about. If the government had nothing in the way of retaliation to fear from the populace, then they could completely change our system of government as they wish, but because the people are armed, they do have something to fear in making such a drastic change.

                              So rest assured, you've made your point, you are correct, there will be no insurrection in my lifetime or likely in my children's or grandchildren's lifetimes. Because as long as we have a democratic process, there is hope of peaceful change. The moment peaceful change is no longer an option (and as I pointed out, that's a really high bar to clear) that is when the insurrection is likely to happen.

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                                Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 10 Jan 2018 @ 3:03pm

                                Re: not the selective abuse of our rights by the government when it suits their purposes.

                                So the Second Amendment is really only a safeguard against overt and up-front attempts at Government oppression, not the creeping little-by-little kind?

                                Which in fact is far more common? And in the end, far more effective?

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2018 @ 3:14pm

                                  Re: Re: not the selective abuse of our rights by the government when it suits their purposes.

                                  Essentially, yes.

                                  There are other, more effective ways to deal with creeping little-by-little oppression than starting an armed conflict with the government every time they start to abuse our rights.

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                                    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 11 Jan 2018 @ 12:07am

                                    Re: Essentially, yes.

                                    Is that how you gun nuts spend your time, dreaming up excuses for why you were so pathetically ineffective against the Vegas shooter?

                                    Just wait until the Government turns up on your doorstep with some of these little items, and we’ll see how helpful at preserving your “freedoms” your little civilian pea-shooters are.

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                                      Wendy Cockcroft, 11 Jan 2018 @ 2:29am

                                      Re: Re: Essentially, yes.

                                      Lawrence, he doesn't own a gun.

                                      AC, the 2nd Amendment's "insurrection" purpose is void; your rights have been eroded to the point where there's a 100 MILE Constitution-free zone in your country and the police can nick your stuff at badgepoint or shoot you for sport.

                                      There's no earthly point in using that argument because people aren't even using peaceful means to combat this crap on account of being far to the right of Kubla Khan. The reason? These tyrannies are used on the poor and the better off or the hoping to be better off don't give a rat's.

                                      There will be no insurrection, and we'd be lucky if people even contact their Congresscritters over the problems we are facing now.

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                                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 6:28am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Essentially, yes.

                                        Wendy, yes, I'm aware of the 100 mile Constitution-free zone, I happen to live in it.

                                        Yet I don't see daily oppression or have my stuff nicked, nor have I ever been shot at. (nor have I even heard of any of those things happening within 50 to 100 miles of where I live) Does that stuff happen? Yes. But, I have to ask, are those incidents the rule, or the exception? Are they deplorable and horrendous and does something need to be done about it immediately? Yes! But just because some abuses occur, doesn't mean that is the status quo.

                                        If your view of the US is that we are already living under a tyrannical government with all of our rights abused and oppressed on a constant, daily basis, I pity you. Is our country perfect? No, but it's damn well not the dumpster fire you make it out to be.

                                        As for your assertion that people aren't even doing anything to change things, well then I think you're living in a nice little bubble of your own. There were over 22 million comments submitted to the FCC for net neutrality, yes some were fake bots but there were a whole lot that weren't. There were approximately 1 million unique comments and millions of other legitimate comments submitted via form letter. I'm sure a good portion of those people also contacted their congressmen.

                                        All you have to do is look at the news for reports of people protesting or organizing marches or information campaigns for issues they care about. And you have the audacity to imply that these same people aren't using every means at their disposal to effect change, including contacting their representatives? Again, I pity you.

                                        Does everyone contact their representatives? No. But I think it's a far cry from people simply sitting back and being apathetic about their rights being trampled on.

                                        I'm sorry you have given up on our country but I and many other Americans have not.

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                                        • identicon
                                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 7:02am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Essentially, yes.

                                          Correction: I realized after posting that the wording of your post indicates you are not from the US. My apologies for assuming you were.

                                          Given that you are not from our country, I submit that you are basing your opinions solely on what you hear in the news. And while many incidents of such behavior do get media attention, they are by no means the rule, nor do they even account for a majority of peoples' experiences in that 100 mile zone. They just happen to get the most attention because of how bad they are.

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                                            Wendy Cockcroft, 12 Jan 2018 @ 2:29am

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Essentially, yes.

                                            Fair dues, AC. I realise you are correct that you're not all living under tyranny, etc. However, bad things do happen and if we all cared more about each other more would be done about those things.

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                                              Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2018 @ 1:24pm

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Essentially, yes.

                                              I agree with you completely. People need to be more compassionate to their fellow man and that would solve a good many issues.

                                              That does not, however, invalidate any of my points about the purpose of the 2nd Amendment, or its validity. Even if people cared more about each other, it would still be a good thing to have around. It only takes one, or a few, people to make life miserable for everyone.

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                • icon
                  Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:10am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  See, if the courts couldn't overturn the decisions of the elected representatives, then that would mean that elected representatives are above the law - and that would disqualify a government from being called a democracy.

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                    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:19am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    that is a bullshit argument and you know it.

                    nice try!

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                    • icon
                      Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:20am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Um no, it's an extremely basic political science 101 argument. I'm starting to get an idea of what your knowledge level is on these topics, that's for sure...

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                        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:35am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Let me ask you this, if the teacher is wrong, what are the chances they will produce an educated student?

                        You can receive and education, but it does not mean that you are actually educated.

                        I had a teacher once tell me that the revolution of the earth was responsible for gravity. It's a good think I was not stupid enough to believe that bullshit! Can't say the same for you.

                        Did your profession also tell you that you can redefine words when you need them to mean something else?

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                        • icon
                          Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:38am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Let me ask you this, wtf are you babbling about now?

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                            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:46am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Let me spell it out for you.

                            Your class was wrong, and you are apparently able to believe a bunch of bullshit despite facts and evidence to the contrary.

                            for you, America is a democracy despite having a Constitution, a history of slavery, Jim Crow laws, largest number of prisoners, innocents in jail, a war on recreational drugs, full spying, secrete laws, and a court that can rules laws voted in by representatives as unconstitutional.

                            That is not being smart, that is excepting a delusion for political expediency!

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                            • icon
                              Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 12:13pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Bush II & Friends turned the country into a torture state. Nevertheless he was democratically re-elected, by a greater margin than before.

                              During the 2012 election Republican candidates Bachmann, Cain, Perry and Santorum each called for torture to resume. Mr. Romney's advisers privately urged him to call for a resumption of torture. (Presumably Ron Paul thought that torture is an issue that should be left to the states.) Not only did this not cause a scandal or hurt their chances within the Republican Party, but there wasn't a hint of a scandal about it by the Democrats or the general public.

                              Democracy doesn't fix everything. Sociopaths and demagogues can still be democratically elected. When the majority democratically elects a torturer, they don't cease to be a democracy.

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                                discordian_eris (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:24pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

                                ― Winston S. Churchill

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                            • identicon
                              Phalen, 9 Jan 2018 @ 1:00pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              That is not being smart, that is excepting a delusion for political expediency!

                              Come on, man. I'm not usually a pedant for this stuff, but if you're going to proclaim your intellectual superiority, at least use the correct words when you condescend.

                              That sort of attention to detail shows that you are in fact "smart" and not just "like, really smart." As it stands now, you seem to be a "very stable genius" and we are all laughing at you.

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 2:59pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            You do realize you are being trolled, right?

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Instead they vote in representatives"

              That would be called a republic, not a democracy.

              Nope. Canada for example, a Parliamentary Democracy, votes in representatives. "Members or Parliament" (MPs) at the federal level, and others at the provincial and municipal level. Canadians don't get a direct vote for a Prime Minister; their representatives, the MPs, do.

              Not having a monarch is what makes a country a Republic.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Thad, 9 Jan 2018 @ 3:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I really wish you guys wouldn't feed him.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          In New Jersey we vote on laws. In California, they vote on propositions (which are laws.)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Wait, since when does NJ and Cali = USA?

            Those states may have some democratic activity, but not the USA which is what we are talking about here.

            So pack your strawman back up and go home, we are not talking about the states, we are talking about the Central government.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:23am

        Re: Re:

        A democracy is "one man, one vote", not "one state, $x electors". Sparsely populated areas get more presidential voting influence per voter than crowded areas. A voter in Little Rock counts more than a voter in Los Angeles.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:26am

      Re: The founding fathers intentionally setup the government to prevent Democracy from having a strong influence in our government

      So G W Bush was lying when he famously proclaimed “they hate us for our freedoms”?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:31am

        Re: Re: The founding fathers intentionally setup the government to prevent Democracy from having a strong influence in our government

        non sequitur.

        the word "Freedom" != the word "Democracy"

        You can be a slave in a democracy with zero freedoms.
        You can be free in a despotism if the despot says you are free!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 9 Jan 2018 @ 11:42am

          Re: the word "Freedom" != the word "Democracy"

          So you can be “free” without having a say in your Government?

          Remind me again, why did the American colonies fight their war of independence?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 12:23pm

            Re: Re: the word "Freedom" != the word "Democracy"

            Don't mix up Freedom with Government Granted Rights.

            "Remind me again, why did the American colonies fight their war of independence?"

            Because of Taxation without representation.

            So in the grand scheme of things, the colonies went to war because of tax avoidance.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 12:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: the word "Freedom" != the word "Democracy"

              10:31am - "You can be free in a despotism if the despot says you are free!"

              12:23pm - "Don't mix up Freedom with Government Granted Rights."

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 12:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: the word "Freedom" != the word "Democracy"

              That wasn't the only reason. It wasn't even the biggest one. What it was was the proverbial 'straw that broke the camel's back'.

              England had been trampling on the colonies' rights and freedoms for years prior to that.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re: The founding fathers intentionally setup the government to prevent Democracy from having a strong influence in our government

        Not sure if it was a lie, it is interesting in a weird way.

        Was he referring to the freedoms we have that they do not ... like freedom from religion - something that some of our politicians also hate and want to remove? But they do not want sharia law do they.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:48am

      Re:

      She lost, get over it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:17am

    Re: "Fire and Fury"

    More like "The clap, and dribbles".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 10:43am

    Have you noticed? Trump NEVER sues

    He's threatened lawsuits many times over the past few years, and -- to date -- he's filed none.

    It's not because he lacks belligerence: that's on display every day. It's not because he lacks legal counsel: he has attorneys. It's not because he can't afford it: even though most of his wealth is fake, he has enough to pay legal costs.

    It's because he's scared as hell about discovery.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 3:34pm

    'Bow to my demands, or I'll send you more angry letters!'

    That's the thing about bluffs and empty threats, when your target knows you won't follow through they're about as effective as shaking your fist at them.

    He doesn't dare sue, they know it, he knows it, so the best he can do is whine about how mean they're being and issue angry statements about how unspecific things that they said aren't true(without, of course, stating what specifically they got wrong)

    All he's really doing is giving the publisher and book the kind of PR boost money simply cannot buy, such that he would have been much better off keeping his mouth shut and just ignoring it. Since he's incapable of doing that however, free PR it is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 3:56pm

    Are they going after WikiLeaks for posting a pirated PDF of the book?
    First time I'd be supporting a DMCA takedown!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2018 @ 4:38pm

    Going by the comment count I was honestly expecting Hamilton to be back, singing the praises of the president he writes fanfiction about.

    Instead it's Paint Chip Anarchist. Gotta say, I'm mildly disappointed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 10 Jan 2018 @ 1:05pm

    Mr. Harder,

    Thank you for your submission, but there seems to have been a misunderstanding. While we are indeed a publisher, we are currently not seeking works of amateur creative fiction at this time. Better luck elsewhere.

    Sincerely, Henry Holt & Co.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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