Stephen T. Stone’s Techdirt Profile


About Stephen T. Stone

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  • Jul 20th, 2018 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    …[opposing reforms to] the criminal justice system to help reduce the mass incarceration problem…

    I went over that whole thing twice and missed that one mistake. I blame the weather.

  • Jul 20th, 2018 @ 7:55pm

    Re: Re:

    with a similar view as the founders of the US

    The majority of the Founding Fathers owned slaves and wrote a Constitution that screwed over women and people of color (both freed and enslaved). Get yourself some better heroes and stop letting governing philosophies that were en vogue more than two centuries ago influence your opinions. The Founding Fathers are long dead; while we should at least respect their intent in re: the Constitution, they should no longer have a say—or the final say—in how this country is run in the here and now.

    My worry is that the left envisions a perfection that will never be obtained, and in its pursuit, will destroy the benefits of the system that leads the world in freedom, self expression, the pursuit of happiness and gun ownership to preserve that happiness

    Conservatives destroy the system by envisioning a past that they thought was better—at least for them—and trying to reform government and society into the non-existent “good ol’ days”. They’re not so brazen as to call for the return of slavery, but I have seen conservatives support the re-criminalization of abortion, the resegregation of public schools, the denial of (and thus inaction toward) global climate change, the repeal of environmental protections, the sale of public lands to fossil fuel companies, the overturning of Obergefell v. Hodges (which would wreak havoc on same-sex marriages nationwide), the repeal of the Johnson Amendment (which would confer a special privilege unto religious groups that non-religious non-profit groups could not make use of), the legalization of religious-based anti-LGBT discrimination, the weakening of unions, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a plan in place to replace Obamacare, the separation of migrant families and their children, the blockage of and opposition to any new gun control laws (and any public health studies on gun violence), the elimination of what we generously call “welfare” (e.g., food stamps), partisan gerrymandering designed to give Republicans an advantage, making voting harder for all but the most privileged of people, repealing consumer financial protection laws and regulations, opposing comprehensive sex education (which is far more effective than “abstinence only” sex ed), reforming the criminal justice system to help reduce the mass incarceration problem (for starters), continuing the “war on terror” and all other various military excursions being fought by soldiers at this moment, opposing any raise to the minimum wage (if not opposing a minimum wage altogether), and giving tax breaks to the wealthy under the long-since-proven-to-be-bullshit idea of “trickle-down economics”.

    You want to talk about liberals “destroying the country” because they’re too idealistic about the future? Conservatives are currently destroying this country because they’re too idealistic about a past that existed only in their own minds.

  • Jul 20th, 2018 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re:

    How do we balance public health needs and simultaneously support a capitalist system?

    We socialize healthcare, duh.

  • Jul 20th, 2018 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: "Exists or doesn't"

    FYI, “shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” comes from a Supreme Court case that was used to prevent the expression of what would later be ruled legal speech. The quote from Schenck v. United States goes like this:

    The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. […] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.

    This may sound reasonable until you remember that the case involved socialists peacefully expressing their views on the U.S. military’s draft program. They had not called for violence or even civil disobedience; they had only expressed their views on the draft and talked about peaceful ways of repealing the draft. Brandenburg v. Ohio later overturned Schenck by limiting the scope of banned speech to speech that would be directed to inciting or producing, and would be likely to incite, imminent lawless action.

    Besides that, there are plenty of reasons one might shout “fire” in a crowded theatre—e.g., someone shouts “fire” as part of a play being put on inside the theatre. The test, then, is whether that shouting would be likely to create a riot or stampede that could result in violence.

    The phrase can be used to denounce any form of unpopular speech precisely because it was used to denounce a form of unpopular speech for no reason other than it was unpopular. We would all do well to banish the phrase from any discussion of free speech; it is a call for censorship that does not—and should not—stand the test of time.

  • Jul 20th, 2018 @ 11:31am


    As an American, I can only say this: Well, you’re not wrong…

  • Jul 19th, 2018 @ 4:01pm

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

    Nowadays, when large Internet platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have become our modern-day public square, they have that capability, and thus need to be restrained by the First Amendment.

    You know, you never did answer my questions: At what specific, detailed, and utterly arbitrary moment does a privately-owned service like Twitter become the de facto “public square”; why does it deserve to be taken over by the government at that exact moment; and how would you square your support for the First Amendment with a government takeover of a privately-owned platform for speech and expression?

  • Jul 19th, 2018 @ 3:56pm

    (untitled comment)

    Finally, some good news for a change!

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re:

    What makes them the de facto public square, then—number of users, amount of posts per day/hour/minute, traffic levels? Why does Twitter get the honor of being “the public square” instead of Tumblr, Facebook, and other similarly large services? How would you really feel about the government taking over a privately-owned Internet service at an arbitrary moment in that service’s lifetime just so it could force the service to host all kinds of speech/allow all kinds of people to use it because…freedom, apparently?

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 1:42pm

    (untitled comment)

    Oh, that’s not gonna please the anti-corporations-yet-also-anti-piracy contingent here.

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 1:25pm

    (untitled comment)

    Some people seem to have a religious belief in business owners' entitlement to run their businesses however they see fit.

    I am not one of those people. Twitter should have to abide by any law or regulation that governs a service such as Twitter, much like any other business should have to abide by laws and regulations that govern them. My point, which you are intentionally avoiding, is that Twitter is under no legal, moral, or ethical obligation to host speech that the owners/admins do not want on the service.

    At what point in its lifespan must a service like Twitter be forced by the government to allow everyone to use the service or host speech that the people in charge of the service do not want to host?

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re:

    If someone posts defamatory content, they can be sued. The service should have no liability for content it did not post, and the content should only be removed if a court orders the removal. How the hell is Twitter supposed to know, with the certainty of God, if a statement posted by any given user is defamatory?

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This might be a good comment if we were talking about the food service industry.

    We are not talking about the food service industry.

    But since you seem to take issue with the phrasing of my question by way of posting a completely unrelated comment, I shall rephrase: How big, in exact detail, must a company that runs a service like Twitter get before the people who own that company/run that service lose the right to run the service how they see fit?

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re:

    How big, in exact detail, must a company be before the people who own/run it lose the right to run it how they see fit?

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 10:01am

    (untitled comment)

    Question: Why should Twitter be forced to host speech which the platform’s owners/administrators do not want to host?

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 9:57am

    (untitled comment)

    It goes wild on single incidents, not bothering to check for an actual pattern.

    We only know about those incidents because they made it to the news. How many other such incidents might have happened in the past that were not reported by either the press or the general public because, y’know, cops?

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 9:55am

    (untitled comment)

    I have a liberal idea about health care

    What you have is dumbassery you want to paint as a “liberal idea” so you can both smear liberals and deflect from the discussion at hand, which has fuck-all to do with the healthcare system. If you are going to be an asshole, at least be an honest one, you brat.

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 9:52am

    (untitled comment)

    The criminal is a symptom. The state is the disease.

    The state does not actively converts people into criminals, but it can and often does create the conditions under which people become criminals. When the state refuses to do anything about the root causes of crime—e.g., poverty, lack of opportunity, high costs of living—people become desperate; in their desperation, they turn to committing crimes because they see no other options. The state puts them through the criminal justice system, and because the United States focuses more on punishment than rehabilitation and reintegration with society, the whole cycle can start all over because people with criminal records tend to have harder lives than everyone else, which leads to desperation, which…well, you get the point.

    This is not a partisan issue. The state has a responsibility toward the people it governs; that responsibility does not fall on only one party or one type of ideology. Incidentally, your remark about the difference between liberals and conservatives is telling—because it makes liberals sound as if they are trying to make things better, and conservatives sound as if they are trying to keep the status quo where it is for as long as they can. Maybe you did not intend for that interpretation, but I can only go with the execution that is given to me, and execution always overrides intent.

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 6:16am

    (untitled comment)

    LOL Hamilton.

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "lack of an erection"

    What is the state, and what could it be?

    The state, in political parlance, is the government. This can refer to any specific level—local, county, state, or federal—or to all levels of government at once. People have used it to refer to the justice system, the cops, and other agents and agencies of the government.

    As for what it could be? Well, “better” would be a good start.

    In a perfect state, would there be no crime, because there would be no reason for it?

    Yeah, and that is the point: In a perfect world, there would be no crime because there would be no reason for it. Our world, however, is not a perfect one.

    Oh, and one last thing:

    (Neo) Stephen

    I wish I was Neo. Dude was bad-fuckin’-ass.

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The fanboys aren’t the ones getting all their comments hidden, though.

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