Man Sues Twitter For $1 Billion Claiming His Account's Suspension Violated His Right To Worship President Trump As A Demigod

from the suing-Twitter-to-own-the-liberal-construing-of-his-complaint dept

Several stupid lawsuits have been brought against social media companies. Some feature actual lawyers (but mostly from the same law firms) helping clients throw money away on allegations that Twitter and Facebook are at least indirectly responsible for terrorist attacks.

Others also use real lawyers, but lawyers willing to misread precedent to declare large social media platforms "public squares" and advance some very questionable arguments about First Amendment violations.

Then there's everyone else: the kind of people who think being temporarily suspended from a platform is a billion dollar Constitutional violation. (h/t Eric Goldman)

In this lawsuit, Adrian Rangel alleges his brief suspension violated the Constitution harder than it's ever been violated before. Rangel's Twitter account is no longer suspended and it's not because he emerged victorious from this lawsuit. It has already been tossed by the federal court.

Rangel's short-lived lawsuit [PDF] asked for $1 billion in damages for his brief suspension, which he alleges violated his First Amendment right to yell "HANG THEM ALL" in a crowded platform. While we can agree Rangel's heated response to "topics from the mundane to the comical" probably should not have resulted in a suspension, we can also agree Twitter's moderation call did none of the following:

Plaintiff contends that by suspending Plaintiff's account religiouserpico Defendants Twitter Foundation and Vijaya Gadde violated Adrian Rangel's constitutional rights to ( (1) freedom of speech, (2) freedom of expression, (3) freedom of religion, (4) freedom of assembly, (5) freedom against unlawful seizure, (6) due process, (7) substantive due process and (8) equal protection of the United States Constitution.

This despite Rangel's claim on his own Twitter feed that he is a "CONSTITUTIONALIST."

Rangel logically points out his "HANG THEM ALL" tweet was not a threat. It targeted no one and was a hyperbolic expression of Rangel's general exasperation with the status quo. (I'm construing his complaint liberally. Rangel doesn't actually reference the tweet his responded to, but judging the rest of the complaint, it probably had something to do with liberal politicians.)

Now, while you might be familiar with misguided assertions that moderation by private platforms violates First Amendment rights (including freedom of assembly), you're probably unaware that account suspensions also violate religious rights.

Before the Defendants suspended Plaintiff's account, Plaintiff used Twitter to proclaim his religious beliefs to the public of being a Born Again King James Bible Only Christian. Plaintiff included the being Born Again King James Bible Only Christian in his Twitter profile. ln addition, Plaintiff followed and was followed by a number of people on Twitter - one group being people of like-minded religious beliefs.

Tangentially, Plaintiff contends that President Donald J Trump was nothing short of miraculously elected by God into the Presidency; most specifically because of Donald Trump's victory in light of the tremendous media, political and social resistance to his election to the Presidency of the United States. Plaintiff used Twitter to support what Plaintiff contends is Donald J Trump's nothing short of miraculous election to the Presidency. As such, Plaintiff's religious beliefs are intertwined with Plaintiff's support of Donald J Trump as President of the United States of America.

Recourse options are limited for those who feel their cult-like admiration of elected leaders has been harmed by moderation efforts. "Limited" as in "zero." There are no options available to someone who has managed to "intertwine" their belief in God with their worship of a president.

Going from that surprising tangent, Rangel alleges the appeals process provided by Twitter doesn't approach the standards of due process provided by the Constitution. Of course they don't. They never will. Only the government has this obligation, much like the government's monopoly on First Amendment rights violations. The same goes for the Equal Protection clause, which is invoked in Rangel's lawsuit to make a perfectly valid point.

Plaintiff further contends that Defendants Twitter Foundation and Vijaya Gadde have illegally embarked upon an illegal circumvention of the United States Constitution in attempting to impose on United States citizens the legal cultures of foreign countries i.e. India, China, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom etc. Many of these foreign countries were once or still are considered third world countries because of their former or present totalitarian subjugation or colonizing regimes.

Unfortunately, valid points aren't the same thing as cognizable claims and the court has no jurisdiction or duty to prevent Twitter from aligning moderation efforts with foreign laws. I agree with Rangel that Twitter should not be humoring authoritarian regimes by complying with removal notices and/or suspending accounts, but a billion dollar lawsuit claiming a private company violated Constitutional rights isn't the place to make this argument.

Since there's no moving forward with the case, there will be no discussion of Section 230 immunity, which would have seen this case dismissed if Twitter (a "California nonprofit," according to the plaintiff) had needed to file a response. Love it or hate it, social media platforms can moderate as they please without violating Constitutional rights. Understanding this simple concept would save a lot of people time and money.

Filed Under: 1st amendment, account suspension, adrian rangel, content moderation, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, lawsuits, pro se, section 230
Companies: twitter


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 3:44am

    Soo he's claiming Trump was not actually lawfully elected (claiming a lawful election as a miracle is... a bit of a tough sell )?

    Also that a god of justice (one of the aspects christianity portraits god as) would violate human law, and have their agent unlawfully obtain power?

    That seems to cast both Trump and some christians in a ... poor light.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 4:10am

      That seems to cast both Trump and some christians in a ... poor light.

      Oh, don’t worry. They don’t need his help to do that.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:11am

      Re:

      In my younger years I hated Christians (and other religions, but Christians were pretty much everywhere down South)

      So petty, so idiotic

      Then I learned I need to be compassionate. Stop assuming the worst of someone because of their religious leaning.

      Then in my 40s I realized "No, wait... I had it right the first time. They are a cult of morons that worship bullshit cause they can't be bothered to think for themselves."

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      • icon
        Ben (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 6:09am

        Re: Re:

        And how's that bigoted and prejudicial attitude helped you to get along with the rest of humanity?

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        • icon
          Gary (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 6:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well per his post, it's worked out pretty well.

          He tried to turn the other cheek but realized that it isn't inaccurate to discover that bible thumps are hypocritical jerks.

          And any fundamentalist has been brain washed to value "belief" over rational thought.

          Is it bigoted? They could stop being fundies any time they want but choose to stay in their cult of hate so....

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 7:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And any fundamentalist has been brain washed to value "belief" over rational thought.

            The irony is the thing those very people claim to believe in does endorse critical thinking (not that it particularly matters to some of them).

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            • identicon
              TDR, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Fundamentalist and Christian are not always the same thing, you know. Many Christians would not describe themselves as fundamentalists, and describing them all as such merely shows your lack of awareness of that fact. Lumping people together makes it easier to make fun of them and dismiss them, but it also shows your unwillingness to look at context and see that groups of people are not always as solid and homogeneous as you seem to think. But I guess anything goes in order to avoid letting your worldview be questioned. But if it's that weak that you're afraid to let it be challenged, then how reliable is it to begin with?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:50am

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

                It's easy to lump all religious people together because they all suffer the same lack of critical thinking skills. What flavor of religion they practice is irrelevant.

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                • icon
                  bhull242 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:07pm

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

                  If you take the discussion outside of “Does God [or whatever] exist?” or “Which religion is ‘correct’?”, then you’ll find that many religious people are capable of critical thinking. You’re right that the precise religion is immaterial, but that doesn’t justify lumping them all together like that.

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                • identicon
                  David, 2 Nov 2019 @ 9:40am

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

                  For example, this guy.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 5:38am

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

                    The way he talked about religion was more spiritual than actual religion.

                    In his adulthood he was not a "practicing" religious person and referred to God in a spiritual sense. He didn't believe God had a plan or listened to prayers. It was a concept of an unknowable book of laws that governed the universe that he was trying to discover through math.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 12:21pm

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

                Or alternately: I had not heard fundamentalist uses as a grouping, and mistakenly thought he was trying to use descritptive term.

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          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            “Christian” is not the same as “fundies” or “bible thump[er]s”. Many Christians are hypocrites, hateful, and/or jerks, but many are not. Many are, at worst, misguided.

            I have no problem with people who criticize Christian fundamentalists, the Bible, or Christian beliefs. However, it’s another thing to lump all Christians into one group like that.

            There are many who, outside of nonmaterial issues or—to some extent—morality, do favor rational thought over belief. They don’t dispute the Big Band, evolution, relativity, etc., have nuanced opinions on abortion, and are in favor of equal rights for women, non-whites, and the LGBT community.

            Saying that all Christian are incapable of having nuanced, rational thoughts or discussion is no different from saying than all atheists have no morals. It’s just as bigoted.

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            • icon
              Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 6 Nov 2019 @ 6:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Thank you, bhull242. Everyone who knows me knows I'm a Christian, and that I think Trump is an epic prat.

              You've all seen evidence of my ability to think critically over and over again. It's not fair to declare that every Bible-believing Christian is incapable of critical thinking if one's own belief that all Christians are incapable of critical thinking is based on a raft of logical fallacies.

              Some believers are downright awful. Others are thoroughly decent people, and there's a plethora of shades of grey in between, and all of these are subjective, so let's can the blanket statements.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And how's that bigoted and prejudicial attitude helped you to get along with the rest of humanity?

          One could ask the same of the cult of religious morons who as a whole have been holding society back with their bullshit for centuries.

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          • identicon
            TDR, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And what have people who believe in nothing done? You don't see atheists founding charities. And actually, many of the greatest scientific minds in history have believed in God. Here are just a few:

            Nicholas Copernicus - Copernicus was the Polish astronomer who put forward the first mathematically based system of planets going around the sun. Copernicus referred sometimes to God in his works, and did not see his system as in conflict with the Bible.

            Sir Francis Bacon - He established the scientific method. Although his work was based upon experimentation and reasoning, he rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy, stating, "It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity."

            Johannes Kepler - He was a brilliant mathematician and astronomer. Kepler suffered no persecution for his open avowal of the sun-centered system, and, indeed, was allowed as a Protestant to stay in Catholic Graz as a Professor (1595-1600) when other Protestants had been expelled!

            Galileo Galilei - Galileo is often remembered for his conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. His controversial work on the solar system was published in 1633. After the "trial" and being forbidden to teach the sun-centered system, Galileo did his most useful theoretical work, which was on dynamics. Galileo expressly said that the Bible cannot err, and saw his system as an alternate interpretation of the biblical texts.

            Sir Isaac Newton - In his system of physics, God was essential to the nature and absoluteness of space. In Principia he stated, "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."

            Albert Einstein - Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. He once told a young scientist, "I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." And another famous saying of his was "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

            http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html

            I think I'll go with what these learned minds have to say, thank you.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And what have people who believe in nothing done?

              So you've met every single Atheist and supposed Atheist in existence, then?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Naming scientists from an era where non-belief was heresy and could even get you killed by religious fanatics is a rather useless addition to this conversation. Though I lack documentation to cite for this claim, I'm confident that the vast majority of scientists today are non-religious.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ..and did not see his system as in conflict with the Bible.
              Galileo expressly said that the Bible cannot err...

              Deuteronomy 22:28-29
              28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

              Are you sure about agreeing with someone who contends that this is not an error?

              Kepler suffered no persecution for his open avowal of the sun-centered system, and, indeed, was allowed as a Protestant to stay in Catholic Graz

              Well, how nice of them considering what a bunch of fuckups they would have been had they persecuted them for it.

              Well as far as Einstein, as long as you'd like to quote him, let me also do so:

              "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can change this for me."

              Princeton, 1954 to Gutkind

              Got anything else?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I call bullshit on 'atheists don't start charities'. I know an entire community of people predisposed to atheism who do charity work.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 12:34pm

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

                Reality challenged people will not listen.

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              • identicon
                Rocky, 1 Nov 2019 @ 2:27pm

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

                It's a fallacy and circular logic some exhort. Many religious people think that not believing in god is the same as not having morals and ethics because non-believers are destined for hell, and if you are destined for hell you can't have morals and ethics.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You don't see atheists founding charities

              Say what now? Nearly every charity I'm familiar with was founded by atheists.

              This single line alone raises significant credibility questions about the rest of your comment.

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            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Look, I don’t think you’re entirely wrong about most of that, but I do take issue with this statement:

              And what have people who believe in nothing done? You don't see atheists founding charities.

              That was just flat out wrong. Clearly you’re unfamiliar with humanism, an atheist philosophy that advocates helping out those in need to make humanity as a whole prosper. Atheists do found charities, and they have contributed a lot to humanity.

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      • identicon
        TDR, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:11am

        Re: Re:

        So you've met every single Christian and supposed Christian in existence, then? Because that's the only way you would have the right to say anything about them as a group and hope to be in any way accurate. Maybe instead, you should try realizing that not everyone falls into the convenient little categories you put them in and that not everyone who says they are a Christian actually is one. And that those who do honestly try to live that path don't approve of actions like this. And no, don't bother with the "no true Scotsman" bit, either. There are people who follow their beliefs and people who don't, it's as simple as that. And try to realize what you're doing by lumping them all into one category. It just makes it easier for you to ridicule and dismiss them and not think about what some of them might have to say because you might be uncomfortable hearing it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So you've met every single Christian and supposed Christian in existence, then?

          You're often judged by the company you keep. I haven't met every single Nazi (supposed or otherwise) in existence, but that doesn't change my view of them as a bigoted pile of retardation.

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          • icon
            Gary (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I have heard tell that many Nazi's are "Very Fine People."

            All christian faith is based on the premise that an invisible man is watching you.
            I'm sure some of them are very nice. But basing your life around the tooth fairy or santa is no way to win points with me.

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            • identicon
              TDR, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And that is the kind of dismissive attitude I'm talking about. All you have to look forward to with atheism is the heat death of the universe. There is no hope. And God isn't comparable to Santa, either. You just put him in that box to make him easier to dismiss because you're uncomfortable with actually thinking too much about him. And your statement shows you don't know very much about the faith if you think it's what you say it is.

              Oh, AC, you think every Christian knows each other, then? You can't say they keep company with each other when most have never met each other and thus, keep no company with each other. I would ask you to actually investigate the faith, openly and allowing the possibility that you could be wrong about it. Don't judge the faith by the followers, but the followers by the faith. Or better yet, don't judge at all.

              Here's something to think about. Jesus said that you know a tree by its fruit. What he meant was that you can tell what a person is like by what they do, their actions. And if their actions don't, for the most part, line up with what he taught and God's own character - the principles of mercy, grace, compassion, love, charity, self-control, and selflessness - then they are not Christians.

              And here's something else you might not have realized. Every atheist violates his or her own beliefs. This is because atheists depends on only accepting what can be directly observed. However, the cause of the universe cannot be directly observed and there is no directly observable evidence for either explanation of that cause. So, by denying the possible existence of God and claiming a naturalistic origin for the universe, atheists are making a claim not based on direct observation and as such, have violated their own beliefs and worldview.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:03am

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

                "All you have to look forward to with atheism is the heat death of the universe."

                Nah, we'll all be dead long before then. We just don't lie to ourselves about there being some magical fairyland to wait out the time until then.

                "This is because atheists depends on only accepting what can be directly observed."

                You can say all sorts of things if you lie about the people who disagree with you.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:06am

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

                • And God isn't comparable to Santa, either.*

                Are you sure?

                He sees you when you're sleeping.
                He knows when you're awake.
                He knows when you've been bad or good.

                This is because atheists depends on only accepting what can be directly observed. However, the cause of the universe cannot be directly observed and there is no directly observable evidence for either explanation of that cause. So, by denying the possible existence of God and claiming a naturalistic origin for the universe, atheists are making a claim not based on direct observation and as such, have violated their own beliefs and worldview.

                That's a funny circular argument you've got going there. Listen, if you're OK with explaining what you clearly don't have a clue about by making shit up, that's fine. But don't expect me to take your bullshit seriously.

                Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
                Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
                Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
                Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:21am

                God's own character - the principles of mercy, grace, compassion, love, charity, self-control, and selflessness

                The Bible says God flooded the world essentially because She was sick and tired of all the sinners and wanted to recreate the world. That sounds like the actions of vindictive, graceless, incompassionate, hateful, selfish, and impulsive deity to me.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 11:39am

                  Re:

                  The idea of a loving god didn't come about until the historical vengeful god started repulsing new congregation members. It was a play for more money; People are more attracted to a loving god than a vengeful one that should be feared.

                  How convenient.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 12:40pm

                    Re: Re:

                    They also made exceptions for things that were obviously wrong in the bible, like the earth centric universe. They quit making people commit suicide for their scientific research that contradicted the bible. These things were changed not because the church wanted to tell the truth and encourage further knowledge, in fact the church wanted the opposite and I still do not know why.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 1:02pm

                      the church wanted the opposite and I still do not know why

                      Because people are easier to control when they’re discouraged from thinking critically and questioning authority.

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                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 1:11pm

                  Re:

                  Flooded the world, killed two people who tried to prevent the ark of the covenant from falling to the ground, put two entirely innocent people(children essentially) in a garden with a creature that god knew would lie to them and then blamed them(and all their descendants) for said people believing the creature, overwrote a pharaoh's will in order to show off more and make an entire country suffer, ordered a human sacrifice, accepted a (different) human sacrifice(twice), punishes a man who impregnated(potentially raped) a married woman and sent her husband out to die by... killing the kid, admits to being jealous and orders just so. much. killing....

                  Honestly the list could go on for ages, but you have to ignore a lot of that book and twist a lot of definitions to get to any of the descriptions they used for the biblical god.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 3:27pm

                    Re: Re:

                    "put two entirely innocent people(children essentially) in a garden with a creature that god knew would lie to them and then blamed them(and all their descendants) for said people believing the creature"

                    Wow - all this time God has been gaslighting us - LOL!

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 3:53pm

                      Think about it: God is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent deity that sees all and knows all. Of course She knew the snake would lie to Adam and Eve. Of course She knew they would eat from the Tree of Knowledge. To think otherwise is to imply an imperfection in God — you know, the same deity that plopped the first two people ever in a garden with a talking snake and blamed them for eating from a tree She created in the first place.

                      (Side note: Ain’t it funny how Eve is the person who created original sin by eating from the apple? Additionally: Ain’t it funny how “knowledge” is categorized as the original sin?)

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                      • icon
                        Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 4:26pm

                        Knowledge as original sin

                        It makes a good evolutionary parable. Our hypertrophied cerebellum (and necessity of a 10cm dilation during childbirth, thus the pain of childbirth) comes from the development of a social brain, id est knowledge of good and evil or right and wrong

                        There isn't any absolute deontological morality, so we need the ability to reason to determine socially appropriate behavior and avoid antisocial behavior. We have to compute what is right and wrong based on circumstances.

                        The same mechanisms that allow us to determine right and wrong also allow us to recognize suffering and empathize with those who suffer. So the departure from Eden and facing death may be about recognizing our morality, also that nature is cold and cruel and we should shape our environment so that the community suffers less (huts, hearths, barns, storehouses, etc).

                        Not sure where the serpent fits in.

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              • icon
                Gary (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 11:13am

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

                And here's something else you might not have realized. Every atheist violates his or her own beliefs.

                Yeah, about that. "Invisible man/bunny/fairy" is a belief. "The big bang" is a scientific theory based on observation, math, and experiment. (And is far from settled.

                Love it that you feel it bigotry to lump all christians together, but jump at the chance to sweep all atheists together.

                I really don't know how I can go thru the rest of my day with the false hope you promise! I'm sure if you quote more of your tracts I'll have more.

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                • icon
                  bhull242 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:29pm

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

                  For the record, I don’t lump all Christians or all atheists into a single basket. I believe that atheists are just as capable of having consistent morals that they consistently follow as theists or deists, and that some Christians are capable of critical thinking and rational thought in most areas.

                  I distinguish between beliefs, knowledge, hypotheses, and rational assumptions or conclusions. Evolution and the Big Bang are not beliefs. In particular, evolution is pretty well settled. By contrast, faith in God or the Bible (or some other deity or holy book) is a belief. If something challenges my beliefs, I am open to modifying them to fit within reality as I know it. I don’t believe that accepting the theory of evolution as true is comparable to belief in God, or that the Bible is infallible. In fact, I don’t actually believe most of the book of Genesis (really, any part outside the story of Abraham), Leviticus, Deuteronomy, or Revelations are accurate or should be followed today, and that Paul’s letters and much of the Old Testament should be taken with a grain of salt.

                  Can we at least agree that some Christians are more capable of rational, critical thought and/or less prone to hypocrisy than others, and that the same can be said of some atheists?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 11:47am

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

                One of the biggest differences between the religious and atheists is that one bases everything on faith, the other trust. There is no faith in science, only some degree of trust in the scientists.

                You have faith that there is a magical resort where you'll get to spend the rest of your existence after death, a place created by a loving mystical entity. You have faith that this same mystical entity created everything in existence. You have faith that this entity also created man and gave him free will as a way to explain why, if god created man, we don't worship him by default.

                Atheists expect that when life ends, it ends. We trust that the preponderance of studies and science explaining the origins of the universe are correct... right up until we learn that they're not. We trust that the theories thus far are the most apt explanation, based on direct observation and empirical testing, of how the universe works. We also trust that we will, in the future, learn more and those theories will be revised or replaced based on the sum of knowledge at that time.

                Trust and faith are not at all the same thing. You cannot compare science to religion despite your best efforts to do so.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 12:46pm

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

                  Not sure why one "system" or another is supposed to answer all questions about all things, this way of thinking is silly.

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

                  • identicon
                    Rocky, 1 Nov 2019 @ 2:39pm

                    System...

                    One system repeatedly question our existence and our place in the cosmos, the other don't because it thinks it already have all the answers of our existence.

                    A lot of religious people are in essence a kind of lotophagi whose sustenance is 2000 years old fairy-tales.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 5:32am

                      Re: System...

                      If one is searching for the answer to Live, the Universe, and Everything I save you a lot of time ....
                      the answer is 42.

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

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 12:56pm

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

                And try to realize what you're doing by lumping them all into one category. It just makes it easier for you to ridicule and dismiss them and not think about what some of them might have to say because you might be uncomfortable hearing it.

                You, literally 7 minutes after posting that:

                Lumping people together makes it easier to make fun of them and dismiss them, but it also shows your unwillingness to look at context and see that groups of people are not always as solid and homogeneous as you seem to think. But I guess anything goes in order to avoid letting your worldview be questioned. But if it's that weak that you're afraid to let it be challenged, then how reliable is it to begin with?

                For someone who objects to someone lumping religious people into the same bucket and making claims about them you sure are eager to do the same in turn. Maybe try not being a gross hypocrite some time?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 1:55pm

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

                All you have to look forward to with atheism is the heat death of the universe.

                Why do you need to have something to look forward to after death? What is so terrible about the idea of it just being over when your bio-processes finally stop?

                Or better yet, don't judge at all.

                Your entire comment sounds pretty judgy. Hypocrisy much?

                This is because atheists depends on only accepting what can be directly observed.

                That's incorrect. Atheists can accept what isn't directly observed if there's evidence to support it. For example, we've never directly observed that Earth's core is molten as opposed to solid, but there's plenty of evidence to support that conclusion.

                However, if it can't be directly observed AND there's no evidence to support it, an atheist will not claim that it exists, nor accept someone else's claim that it does.

                So, by denying the possible existence of God and claiming a naturalistic origin for the universe

                No atheist I've met has made any claims regarding the origin of the universe. They simply reject the claim of the God-based origin due to lack of supporting evidence. If asked "how did the universe begin," there's nothing wrong with answering "I don't know."

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

              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 2:32pm

                The heat death of the universe

                All we have to look forward to is death and oblivion whether we're Christian or Pagan or Naturalist. You may have faith that there's an afterlife and even a specific one, but it doesn't make that outcome any more likely. All we really have to go on is what we can detect, and human souls are conspicuously silent. (So much so, they conflict with quantum dynamics.) So I'd rather face the truth now that I'm very likely to cease existing as the neurons in my brain cease to fire rather than pretend that I get to respawn and try again.

                As for naturalist beliefs, what we recognize is that beliefs don't matter. Nature works whether you believe in it or not. For most things we have mathematical models which can predict what nature will do really well, to the point that we have air travel, smart phones, the internet and have even touched the moon. But in all of this none of it gives us certainty, just enough probability to be able to reliably stand on solid ground, or take an airplane flight and probably survive.

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

              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 2:57pm

                Criticism of Christians

                I think my favorite Christians are Universalists who believe that Jesus assured salvation for everyone whether or not they believe it or swear fealty to Jesus. Indeed of the pre-Constantine factions four of them were universalist. One did the heaven / Hell thing and one disregarded afterlife. Constantine was Apollonian and added his own bent on Christianity. Then he annihilated all those who disagreed.

                Giving churches the benefit of the doubt, I think the threat of Hellfire is popular more because parishioners want to belong to an exclusive club rather than taking glee in crimes by God against humanity.

                I won't criticize people for being Christian. I will, however, criticize them for appealing to tradition, biblical authority, Church authority or divine command to suggest that some people should be treated differently than others (gays, women, blacks, non-Christians, Muslims, whatever.) I also criticize Muslims, Hindus any anyone else who pulls the same bullshit.

                I will also criticize Christians (or anyone, really) who find it within their mores to torture, to massacre Pakistani civilians, to fail to feed the hungry or enrich the poor, or those who argue that war for any reason other than humanitarian concerns is Jus Bellum. (All of these are common among Christians in office in the United States)

                I will also criticize anyone who pushes policy to quell sexual agency and deny reproductive healthcare. All that is bullshit too, and justifying it with by appeals to faith is a bad look for having faith. (Also commonplace among Christians in office in the United States.)

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 5:25am

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

                "And that is the kind of dismissive attitude I'm talking about."

                I thought the comment was a response to a prior dismissive attitude.

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 6:39am

        Re: Re:

        It's extremely likely there are people you like and respect and just have no idea that they are Christians.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 12:16pm

      Legal elections as miracles

      As Sir David Attenborough expressed regarding global warming, climate change and our failing global ecology what we do now, and in the next few years, will profoundly affect the next few thousand years

      At this point, for the US to make the drastic changes we'd need to make to preserve the ecology for future generations would take a probabilistic miracle, or a sociological miracle. But I can't say whether either miracle would be divinely influenced.

      Trump's election was a black swan event. We haven't determined that its mechanisms were entirely naturalistic, or if there were supernatural influences, where they asserted themselves.

      As for adhering to rule of law, we have so many natural factors that violate the spirit of equality and the rule of law that we need not appeal to divinity. The GOP's nationwide gerrymandering efforts and voter suppression efforts pretty much assure that the public has scant influence on who gets elected.

      I think it's much more frightening that someone has the self-awareness to realize he believes Trump is a demi-god. Many of his followers act as if they believed he was, but would be resistant to admitting it.

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

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 6 Nov 2019 @ 6:26am

        Re: Legal elections as miracles

        I think it's much more frightening that someone has the self-awareness to realize he believes Trump is a demi-god. Many of his followers act as if they believed he was, but would be resistant to admitting it.

        Actually, I'm just glad that one of them admitted it. I've been calling them out for their idolatry for some time.

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

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 3:44am

    Love it or hate it, social media platforms can moderate as they please without violating Constitutional rights. Understanding this simple concept would save a lot of people time and money.

    Yeah, but then they wouldn’t get to play victim, and complain about political biases, and grift money from unsuspecting idi—oh wait you’re not supposed to say that part out loud and give away the game.

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

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 4:21am

    Wait, has one of our regulars outed himself?

    Seriously, though, this is another great example of why protections are necessary for these services. Whether a genuine loon, a performance artist or grifter, this guy was ready and willing to spend his money on this ridiculous waste of time. I'm sure that many many others would join him is there was even a hint that such a case might be able to have some merit.

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

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 4:36am

      Re:

      The Republicans have spent the past few years pumping untreated sewage into the judiciary, appointing unqualified ideologs who'll side with conservative causes, no matter what. It may not be too long before cases like this start plodding through the system and being won regardless of whether or not they have any merit.

      The ABA has been utterly damning in their assessment of these people, and the republican response has been to push ahead anyway, even as these blubbering nincompoops fall apart under the slightest pressure. https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-nominee-cries-american-bar-association-letter

      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, 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:03am

    A small number of internet bloggers and others have an extremely odd fixation on people who file internet lawsuits, often commenting on the cases, ridiculing the plaintiffs, etc. in what seems to occur almost every time one files suit.

    One has to wonder what's really going on.

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

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:41am

      Re:

      One has to wonder what's really going on.

      Well a KJB Only lunatic filled a silly lawsuit. Is that a conspiracy in your world?
      It seems like you want the courts to run this thru a thorough battery of cases but the truth is it was tossed at the onset because even if everything he claims is factually true, no laws were broken.

      And yes, we are going to make fun of him for filling the lawsuit, and you for defending him.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:42am

      One has to wonder what's really going on.

      It’s because such lawsuits, if allowed to continue past a certain point, become threats to Internet platforms and the speech contained therein. No one has an inalienable human right to use someone else’s platform. By trying to force it into being by using the courts, an asshole who thinks they’re entitled to use Twitter because it exists risks inadvertendly shutting down Twitter—because I can all but guarantee Twitter will not risk having legal liability over third-party speech.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:13am

      Re:

      "One has to wonder what's really going on."

      Stupid lawsuits act as entertainment, and it can be fun to mock someone as batshit as this guy in the public arena he placed himself into.

      Also, the US has a litigious society where people often turn to lawsuits instead of other methods of resolving issues. As a result, it's ways worth keeping an eye on even the silliest lawsuits as the resulting judgements can have knock-on effects for less stupid but more malicious lawsuits.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:21am

      Re:

      One has to wonder what's really going on.

      We're laughing at stupid people (predictably) acting stupid. There's no need to read into it. It's exactly what it sounds/looks like.

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 6:00pm

      Re:

      I don’t see what’s so strange about it. Some people enjoy cat videos. Some enjoy videos of people getting hit the in the crotch. Some people enjoy watching people play video games amazingly well. Some people enjoy watching people fail spectacularly at video games. Some people enjoy reading about/watching purely fictional events. Some people enjoy watching/reading satirical takes on real-world events. Some enjoy writing stupid things online just to provoke a reaction. Some enjoy watching people get their just desserts. Some people enjoy watching people perform spectacular stunts. Some people like to watch people do really stupid things. And some enjoy reading about stupid lawsuits.

      One could also wonder why you seem to like ridiculing people who enjoy ridiculing dumb lawsuits.

      And for the record, if someone is filing a really smart or boring but not dumb lawsuit that is unlikely to have any effect on anything, it probably wouldn’t get much attention anywhere and likely wouldn’t get reported here at all. It’s a case of selection bias; sure, it seems like every internet lawsuit gets ridiculed here, but that’s because the internet lawsuits worth ridiculing are the most likely to get reported on. Sensible lawsuits that accomplish something important are relatively rare in a litigious society like ours. Anything else is just not worth reporting on.

      So it’s not so much that there’s an agenda here; this is just a site that likes to report on dumb internet lawsuits because they provide the most entertainment. Furthermore, in such a litigious society, dumb lawsuits tend to be the most common outside of boring, unimportant lawsuits. Plus, the relative newness of the internet and wireless electronic devices means that more people are ignorant about them and how they intersect with the law. Combine that with their ubiquity, the amount of information and communications they handle, and their reach, and it makes sense that a lot of dumb lawsuits are about the internet or internet-capable devices, and that a lot of internet and technology-related lawsuits will be dumb.

      And it’s worth noting that some lawsuits reported on here are not, in fact, ridiculed (or at least the plaintiffs aren’t being ridiculed). For example, the lawsuits over the FCC’s repeal of the Title II classification and net neutrality rule were supported here. There were also lawsuits where both sides seemed to be dumb, or at least the lawsuit wasn’t that absurd.

      Then there are times where the lawsuit itself may not be that dumb, but something else involved is dumb, like the defense’s argument, a request for a TRO or preliminary injunction, or a judge’s ruling.

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

    • icon
      Tim Cushing (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 6:55pm

      Re:

      really makes you think

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:04am

    Time to let the judges in all of these cases see all these articles with a full explanation of possible motivations.

    Ten years of evidence might sway them. It definitely gives probable cause. If THAT kicks in, everyone becomes a threat to the others because anyone might snitch.

    No honor among thieves.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:39am

    The guy obviously doesn't have a constitutional claim, but he might have a statutory claim for religious discrimination in a public accommodation.

    Which, by the way, would not be rescued by Section 230, since it has zero to do with content.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:46am

      He could go forward with that claim, sure. But the bar to proving it sits way above anything he can likely prove.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 7:12am

      Re:

      "statutory claim for religious discrimination in a public accommodation"

      Which statute might that be?
      Your religious discrimination claim lacks the required supporting evidence.
      Public accommodation? What, not this silliness again. Were you one of those Hare Krishnas that the government tossed out of airports years ago? Yeah, that crapola did not work back then and it does not work today.

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 6:47am

        Re: Re:

        Public accommodation? What, not this silliness again.

        Some courts are considering web sites as places of public accommodation in the context of the ADA.

        https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/publications/litigation-news/featured-articles/2019/w ebsites-may-be-places-public-accommodation-subject-the-ada/

        "The entire United States is covered by the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination by privately owned places of public accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin."

        https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/the-right-to-refuse-service-can-a-business-refuse-s ervice-to-someone-because-of-appearance

        So it doesn't seem implausible to me that a business such as Twitter could be prohibited from religious discrimination. Of course, that isn't what happened in this case.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 7:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Some courts are considering web sites as places of public accommodation in the context of the ADA."

          Which I'd say is right, but which is dangerous in terms of making "public accommodation" too wooly and applicable to anything you want it to be. Any resolution should be as narrow as possible to avoid having a ruling intended to give equal web access to the blind accidentally preventing them from blocking racist abuse or Nazi propaganda if they don't want it on their property.

          "So it doesn't seem implausible to me that a business such as Twitter could be prohibited from religious discrimination"

          Which does open up a certain can of worms that would be fun seeing these people try to squirm their way out from. For example - if Twitter is not able to discriminate according to religion, then by definition "Christian" dating sites and services would be equally unable to discriminate.

          There's a something of a cottage industry where self-proclaimed satanists try to get their imagery installed on public property where they seem to be trying to get Christian dogma on to public platforms. It's largely calling out hypocrisy where they pretend it's all about religious freedom then give different treatment to other religions, but they're clearly having some fun at the same time. I dare say they'd have a field day if they could do the same with websites.

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

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 8:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            For example - if Twitter is not able to discriminate according to religion, then by definition "Christian" dating sites and services would be equally unable to discriminate.

            My first reaction is that would be fine. It's totally OK to have a web site intended for a Christian audience of course, but if it's open to the public, it seems OK to me that it could be required to admit people of all religions, or none. Also fine that it could moderate as desired, so for example take down profiles mocking Christianity and so on. Perhaps there are nuances I haven't considered, but that's my first take. As you say, it would be interesting to hear a Christian conservative reaction.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 8:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "if it's open to the public, it seems OK to me that it could be required to admit people of all religions, or none. Also fine that it could moderate as desired, so for example take down profiles mocking Christianity and so on"

              That really depends on the implementation, I think. I can think of various ways it could go badly wrong on either side is it's not perfectly defined (and these things rarely are).

              At the very least, all the people currently whining that major platforms don't accept their racism will try suing to pretend they were kicked off for their religious beliefs instead of them just being assholes. Similarly, trolls will be harder to deal with if they just add a religious identity and some platforms are scared to deal with the in case the troll is on a fishing expedition for a payout.

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 6:02pm

      Re:

      I’m not so sure about that. I think that that’s covered by subsection 2(a), which concerns moderation.

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

  • identicon
    ryuugami, 1 Nov 2019 @ 5:40am

    (a "California nonprofit," according to the plaintiff)

    Dammit, I wanted to make a "technically correct" quip, but a quick search to check my facts told me that Twitter's been in the black since 2018.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 7:03am

    The guy is obviously out of his mind and is, via outburst, asking for help. He really should consider seeking assistance with his mental issues.

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

    • identicon
      Christenson, 1 Nov 2019 @ 8:54am

      Re:

      You sure about our filer needing help???

      Seems to me he's spent about one $400 filing fee for some national publicity for himself and a chuckle at Twitter's silliness. Not half bad!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 8:17am

    Guys, I think we found out of the blue!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:06am

      Re:

      Nah, this article would be about "Man Sues Twitter, Submits Total Gibberish On Toilet Paper, Court Laughs" if it was him.

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

  • identicon
    Chris Brand, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:16am

    Apparently I need a new bible

    My copy of the King James bible doesn't seem to have the parts about Donald Trump in it!

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

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:34am

    "President Donald J Trump was nothing short of miraculously elected by God into the Presidency"

    I found an illegal voter!!

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:47am

    Anyone...

    Get the idea that 90% of this BS posturing, will go away once trump is gone??
    Really wonder how much of this is being paid for..and Who is buying it..

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

  • identicon
    bob, 1 Nov 2019 @ 1:59pm

    trolling.

    If this case was made 4 years ago I would have said that twitter user was going for the long-term troll.

    Today however, I just pity the guy.

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

  • identicon
    Glenn, 1 Nov 2019 @ 8:26pm

    Best proof ever that there's no god on high... nor, of course, in the Electoral College.

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

  • identicon
    A Perfect Citizen, 2 Nov 2019 @ 3:04am

    In a perfect world, what should the punishment for "fake news" be?

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


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