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Absence of Propaganda Is Not Censorship

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Over at Medium, Chris Castiglione decries what he calls "censorship," by the EPA, whose Trump-appointed head has seen that it no longer uses the term "climate change" on its website. Castiglione's grasp of which he pontificates is slippery beyond the obvious point that presidents choose some of their employees: He never questions the conventional wisdom about climate change (né global warming), his grasp of the history of the EPA lacks full context, and he would do well to consider what censorship is, and why it is wrong.

Regarding the scientific issue of climate change, even Nature recently published an article admitting that models predicting catastrophic warming were wrong -- not that catastrophic warming would justify the political measures the left touts as a solution, anyway. Similarly, although Castiglione understandably credits the EPA with improving air and water quality over the past few decades, this improvement is largely to whatever degree its regulations mimicked the private property protections that were removed to cause these problems in the first place.

And regarding censorship? I'll defer to Ayn Rand:
This was said to government employees, not forced onto private citizens. (Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash.)
"Censorship" is a term pertaining only to governmental action. No private action is censorship. No private individual or agency can silence a man or suppress a publication; only the government can do so. The freedom of speech of private individuals includes the right not to agree, not to listen and not to finance one's own antagonists. [bold added]
The functionaries of the EPA are government employees, not private individuals. I would add that, among the many violations of my individual rights the EPA represents, has been its bullhorning specific answers to and interpretations regarding the scientific questions about climate change, for political purposes. I think Trump should be working on abolishing the EPA, but I'll give one cheer for him ending its improper use of my money to spread views I disagree with. (That said, I think this way of doing it is ham-fisted and looks cowardly. But telling a subordinate employee what he can and cannot say is part of an employer's purview.) As even Castiglione admits, this does not stop him or any other private citizen from continuing his "climate change" advocacy, or from pointing out the existence of the Internet Archive. Whatever you think of him, Trump is not guilty of stopping private citizens from speaking their minds: He has only deprived a vocal political faction of a tax-financed forum for their views. That is not the same thing. In fact, had he done this on principle, it would have been a win for property rights.

-- CAV
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gangsterofboats
1 hour ago
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Altruism on Parade: Unity in the “March for Life” and the Women’s March

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Both the “March for Life” and the Women’s March are driven by altruism—the notion that morality requires sacrifice by (or of) some for others.

The post Altruism on Parade: Unity in the “March for Life” and the Women’s March appeared first on The Objective Standard.

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gangsterofboats
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Takeaway from the Peterson Interview: The Anti-Conceptual Left

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James Delingpole of Breitbart writes: If you loathe the cant, self-righteousness, and stupidity of the regressive left, then you’ll love this train wreck of an interview. It’s the most satisfying piece of poetic justice since the Comet came unstuck in that tunnel in Atlas Shrugged. I couldn't agree more.  This interview is truly a work of art, and while one could probably write a treatise
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gangsterofboats
21 hours ago
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“Get Out of Jail Free” Cards

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In the movies I’ve seen people who try to get out of a traffic ticket by telling the police officer they made a donation to the policeman’s ball, but those were comedies. I had no idea that not only does this exist there are official cards. In fact, the police in New York are livid that the number of cards is being limited:

The city’s police-officers union is cracking down on the number of “get out of jail free” courtesy cards distributed to cops to give to family and friends.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association boss Pat Lynch slashed the maximum number of cards that could be issued to current cops from 30 to 20, and to retirees from 20 to 10, sources told The Post.

The cards are often used to wiggle out of minor trouble such as speeding tickets, the theory being that presenting one suggests you know someone in the NYPD.

The rank and file is livid.

“They are treating active members like s–t, and retired members even worse than s–t,” griped an NYPD cop who retired on disability. “All the cops I spoke to were . . . very disappointed they couldn’t hand them out as Christmas gifts.”

A Christmas gift of institutionalized corruption.

Here’s another article on these cards which just gets all the more stunning.

First, there are tiers of cards. Silver cards are the highest honor given to citizens. It’s almost universally honored by officers, and can also help save money on insurance. Gold PBA cards are only given to police officers and their families. You’d be hard-pressed finding a cop who won’t honor a gold card.

Gold and silver cards! It gets better. You can buy these cards on eBay. Here’s a gold New Jersey card on sale for $114. A silver “family member” shield goes for $299. Some of these are probably fake. The gold and silver are rare but remember, cops get 20 to 30 regular cards so you can see why they might be upset at losing them.

The regular cards have become more common as NYC hires more police. The union may in fact be trying to bump up its monopoly profit by restricting supply.

The cards don’t just go to family members. The rot is deep:

Union officials say the cards are also public relations tools and tokens of appreciation handed out to politicians, judges, lawyers, businessmen, civil service workers and members of the news media.

A retired police officer on Quora explains how the privilege is enforced:

The officer who is presented with one of these cards will normally tell the violator to be more careful, give the card back, and send them on their way.

…The other option is potentially more perilous. The enforcement officer can issue the ticket or make the arrest in spite of the courtesy card. This is called “writing over the card.” There is a chance that the officer who issued the card will understand why the enforcement officer did what he did, and nothing will come of it. However, it is equally possible that the enforcement officer’s zeal will not be appreciated, and the enforcement officer will come to work one day to find his locker has been moved to the parking lot and filled with dog excrement.

He’s not kidding. Here is what seems like a real police officer on a cop chat room (from Mimesis law)

It’s important for me to get in touch with shield [omitted] and ask him why he felt it necessary to say “I’m not even going to look at that” to my PBA card and proceed [sic] to write a speeding ticket on the Bronx River Parkway yesterday afternoon to my fukking WIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ll show him the courtesy he so sorely lacks by not posting his name on a public forum.

Any help would be appreciated.  Please inbox me.

I will find you.

I find these cards especially odious as more and more police are funding themselves through fines and forfeitures. Discriminatory taxation increases the tax rate. It’s one rule for the ruler and another for the ruled.

The cards are not a secret but I agree with my colleague Mark Koyama who remarked:

Sometimes you find out something about the country you live in that makes it appear little better than a corrupt, tinpot, banana republic.

The post “Get Out of Jail Free” Cards appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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gangsterofboats
23 hours ago
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4 public comments
skorgu
20 hours ago
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What surprises me is that this surprises people. PBA cards have been well known in my circles since the 80s.
karmakaze
5 hours ago
Someone in my circles has had one of the gold ones since the 80's (though he no longer lives in state).
StunGod
21 hours ago
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Of course this is a thing. We don't have equal justice, we have discretionary justice for sale.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth
JimB
21 hours ago
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You have to hope that this is fake news. Corruption is bad news.
wmorrell
22 hours ago
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Police are just another gang, part 8179.
duerig
22 hours ago
Too often, people in power are held to a lower standard than others. But in a just society, they must be held to a higher standard instead. Whether it is cops and traffic tickets or bosses and workplace romance. The price of power should be increased scrutiny and decreased freedom of action.

QUESTION ASKED: If Democrats think Trump is an authoritarian, why don’t they treat him like one? …

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QUESTION ASKED: If Democrats think Trump is an authoritarian, why don’t they treat him like one?

What, and start wildly over-praising the president Kim Jong-un-style on magazine covers?

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gangsterofboats
23 hours ago
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The Morning Rant

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"Isn't the 'Women's March just a big temper tantrum thrown by a 3-year old? Their preferred candidate did not win the election last year, and they've never gotten over it. Look at the photo below. That's just nuts. I wouldn't...
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gangsterofboats
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