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2024-02-12 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 271 references Ignore this thread
Complexity Of The Underlying Question
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The Supremes have been asked to "peel back" content moderation by so-called "big tech":

Next month (ed: now "this month") the high court will hear a set of cases that question whether state laws that limit Big Tech companies’ ability to moderate content on their platforms curbs the companies’ First Amendment liberties.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey – one of the Republican AGs leading the lawsuit against the Biden administration, alleging it engaged in a "vast censorship enterprise" – on Monday filed an amicus brief along with 19 of his colleagues in the cases, asking the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the laws meant to limit internet platform’s ability to moderate content. 

At the core of the argument appears to be a fairly-easily-resolved circumstance: The evidence is quite-clear that the Biden Administration colluded to censor political speech it disagreed with.

Since the First Amendment forbids the government from doing this directly for it to go "around the door" via such a mechanism appears to be at its core a mere pretext and thus should fall.  The suing parties note that telephone and telegraph companies in fact have a "must-carry" requirement that was imposed on them Congressionally in the late 1800s and that has not been successfully challenged as unconstitutional.

There are several important differences here, however.  Among them are that it is not disputed that the government in fact colluded in these efforts, particularly when it came to the pandemic.  But any attempt to claim that this was "justified" due to a public health emergency falls flat when one looks at the broader view -- the government also did so in regard to the Hunter laptop data -- an event that had nothing to do with public health -- and which agencies claimed was "Russian disinformation" as justification yet at the time the claim was made there were agencies in the government that knew, factually, it was authentic because they were in possession of unaltered and authenticated copies of the data itself.

The context of political speech is quite-different than many others; free speech rights are at their highest protective level in that context, even if the speech turns out to be false or intentionally misleading.  You can't sue a candidate over making a political promise in the form of such speech they never intended to carry out and don't.  There are more examples can you can count in this regard with one of the most-egregious of modern times being the three planks of Trump's platform to put a stop to medical monopolists that disappeared without a trace on election night in 2016.  You have no cause of action in such a circumstance nor can you, even if you identify the falsity right up front, demand successfully that a media outlet or other conduit not run said speech.  You can speak in opposition and point out the lie, but you can't force said lie off the air -- even if you can objectively prove it is a lie.

On the other extreme commercial speech that is intentionally misleading and results in harm to consumers can in fact be enjoined.  The FTC, for example, has regulations on the books in this regard and those have been upheld as Constitutional.

But in this case the bigger problem, and one that I will find quite interesting when the decision is finally handed up, is whether or not the various brief-filing parties bring up the fact that these platforms all are driven not just by ideology as "charged" but also by commercial interest twisted around samein that they embed their fortunes into ad sales which they claim gives them a capacity to remain out of whatever they view as "wrong-think" because their advertisers want it that way.

That position, however, is also a Gordian Knot and you need look no further than Media Matters and "X" to see it.  Said pressure group, it is alleged, fabricated through deliberate manipulation a claim that X was advancing "abhorrent" viewpoints that advertisers would not want their ads displayed against and then turned that into a "news story" which led advertisers to actually pull back from the platform.  It appears, upon investigation (and this is yet to be proved through due process, but you can bet it will be as X has filed suit) that in fact Media Matters deliberately manufactured the circumstance under which the claim was made and it would not have otherwise occurred and in fact did not occur with any actual human person.  This is rather similar to a company that makes lawn mowers being sued because someone got their foot cut off -- but the entity bringing the suit first deliberately tampered with all the safety mechanisms on the mower so they would not work and then cut their own foot off on purpose, knowing they had defeated the safeties in advance and an actual human mowing an actual lawn would not have it happen to them.  That has occurred before -- NBC infamously admitted it rigged a crash to cause a fire that would not otherwise occur after they got caught and settled the resulting defamation lawsuit GM brought.

This leads to the bigger question, which hopefully the Supremes will digest and decide if they actually have the argument presented before them: The entire premise of "targeted advertising" is that the advertiser gets to pick and choose what content they wish to run ads against.  Does that in turn eviscerate the tech company argument of "reputational damage by association" in that to rule otherwise means a commercial entity or group of entities can in fact effectively ban distribution of viewpoints they disagree with even though there is no actual forced association with said speech as they can target around it; that is, the "forced association" isn't against specific speech it is the mere presence of it on the platform, not against their advertising specifically, that they claim a right of control.

That's a sticky question indeed as it gets into a balancing act.  It is clear that if I run a company and I do not wish to do business with, for example, the ACLU because I disagree with their political positions I can do that -- this is entirely legal in that I simply choose to refuse association with them.  MCSNet did this in a few instances where public positions were taken by the customer desiring service that were antithetical to our core mission: Provision of internet service to all with money to pay for it on non-discriminatory terms for buyers of like kind and quantity, irrespective of their political or social views, which flows from the protections of the US Constitution in its entirety.

Where the question arises is "where is the line" between freedom of association and effective cartel behaviorwhich implicates 15 USC Chapter 1 forbidding such conduct.

This is not as simple as it might appear at first and as such I'll be watching it closely.

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Manawa 10 posts, incept 2021-11-10
2024-02-12 08:42:03

KD wrote: one of the most-egregious of modern times being the three planks of Trump's platform to put a stop to medical monopolists that disappeared without a trace on election night in 2016.

I have never seen the actual three planks written of in detail in the Market Tickers and have looked online for them but haven't found them yet. Karl, can you go into a little more detail about what they actually were? Thanks!
Ronniemcghee 569 posts, incept 2012-07-28
2024-02-12 08:42:12

Does this suit affect the situation that Meta/Google has a near global monopoly on internet search engine results and its search algorithms are blatantly politically biased?

Free Speech..... Antitrust laws anyone?
Tickerguy 202k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2024-02-12 08:42:42

@Ronniemcghee as I pointed out in my podcast basically everything wrong in America today can be fixed by simply enforcing that ONE set of laws.

----------
"Perhaps you can keep things together and advance playing DIE games.
Or perhaps the truth is that white men w/IQs >= 115 or so built all of it and without us it will collapse."
Ocdawg 574 posts, incept 2019-03-14
2024-02-12 09:02:37

Karl, check me here if I ask this correctly- Is deciding not to do business with someone based on what they may represent (racism, govt overthrow, etc.) free speech or would that be denying them right to free trade?

It seems the govt rigging would include the same (don't do business with said entity) or am I reading it wrong?

----------
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."- George Carlin
GO DAWGS!!! Quietly reloading.....
smileysmiley
Tickerguy 202k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2024-02-12 09:05:08

@Ocdawg GOVERNMENT cannot be convicted of "anti-trust." BUT, as soon as that reaches into the private sector, yes it does and yes it is.
Quote:
Is deciding not to do business with someone based on what they may represent (racism, govt overthrow, etc.) free speech or would that be denying them right to free trade?

It's free speech and constitutionally protected UNTIL you collude with others to enforce it, no matter how you do that, because if the Government is involved its illegal under the 1st Amendment and if it is effectively a "Company town" sort of gambit then its a felony under 15 USC Ch 1 and myriad (but different) State laws.

In TN doing that is good for not only felony prison time BUT ALSO forfeiture of your corporate charter (!!!) per the statutes.

----------
"Perhaps you can keep things together and advance playing DIE games.
Or perhaps the truth is that white men w/IQs >= 115 or so built all of it and without us it will collapse."
Ocdawg 574 posts, incept 2019-03-14
2024-02-12 09:14:42

@KD
smileysmileysmiley

----------
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."- George Carlin
GO DAWGS!!! Quietly reloading.....
smileysmiley
Flappingeagle 5k posts, incept 2011-04-14
2024-02-12 09:30:05

That is a great Ticker.

Reading it made me think of the what I call "ministry of truth" disclaimers that I sometimes see on YouTube and Wikipedia when I look at anything related to climate change. The 'party line' of man-made global warming is prominently displayed before the content you want to see.

Also, supposedly YouTube began down-rating Keto diet videos a month or so ago in favor of the usual bullshit diet advice.

Flap

----------
2024. One of Trump or Biden will not be on the ballot in November.
A housing crash will occur.
Interest rates will NOT be lowered more than 1% in total unless a housing crash occurs.
Tickerguy 202k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2024-02-12 09:31:20

@Flappingeagle when I wrote the original Tickers on my low-carb decision Google/Adsense/Youtube did not have any sort of problem with them whatsoever. They were monetized just like everything else.

When Covid came to town suddenly ten plus year old articles got tagged by them with demands to remove them from monetization as "medical misinformation."

Like Hell it is, but is why its all over on the -NAD side.

----------
"Perhaps you can keep things together and advance playing DIE games.
Or perhaps the truth is that white men w/IQs >= 115 or so built all of it and without us it will collapse."
Ingar 762 posts, incept 2017-02-14
2024-02-12 09:47:24

It is telling that none of Trump's opposition used his dropping of the three planks regarding the medical monopolies as an issue against his administration. Could it be that none of TPTB want to raise the issue of the medical cartels because they're all on the take from the cartels?

Some so-called civil rights outfits like the defamation league and the southern poverty lawfare center have campaigned for decades to abrogate Americans' free speech. Wokesters have joined in this speech control effort in recent years. Some states have passed legislation that would prohibit free association and speech to organize a boycott against israel. I don't recall any states doing that to prohibit boycotts of the former apartheid regime of South Africa. That shows us who runs our country.

The individuals in government who have used their office to stifle free speech should have a close encounter with a rope and left dangling on the national mall.
Tickerguy 202k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2024-02-12 09:47:43

Well yes @Ingar. This is one of the prime points I raised in my last podcast.

----------
"Perhaps you can keep things together and advance playing DIE games.
Or perhaps the truth is that white men w/IQs >= 115 or so built all of it and without us it will collapse."
Ingar 762 posts, incept 2017-02-14
2024-02-12 11:00:18

@Tickerguy, yes as far as I recall, you're the only person I've known of who raised this issue. That neither the evil party or the stupid party raised the issue after Trump's quiet surrender tells me that both branches of the uniparty are on the take. Orangeman has been as quiet as a mouse on that issue this time around. The issue won't arise within the uniparty or the controlled media.
Tickerguy 202k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2024-02-12 11:01:25

And that is how you get an economic collapse just as occured in the late 1800s.

It's coming again for the same reason.

----------
"Perhaps you can keep things together and advance playing DIE games.
Or perhaps the truth is that white men w/IQs >= 115 or so built all of it and without us it will collapse."
Flappingeagle 5k posts, incept 2011-04-14
2024-02-12 12:08:07

I suspect strongly that a large element of our government, even those who rail against it, want socialized medicine. Letting CMS collapse under its own weight seems to be the method they are using to get what they want. When its an "emergency" both "sides" can really pull some shenanigans.

Flap

----------
2024. One of Trump or Biden will not be on the ballot in November.
A housing crash will occur.
Interest rates will NOT be lowered more than 1% in total unless a housing crash occurs.
Realist 360 posts, incept 2009-07-14
2024-02-12 12:35:15


They're doing something similar in the banking industry: closing accounts based upon whether they like your views that you present in public. Does that also apply to credit cards?


Where does the line between speech and obtaining service begin? What if the electric company doesn't like the statements you make in public? Is that reason enough for them to terminate your electric service? How about delivery services? Suppose UPS doesn't like the public statements you make. Does that give them the right to refuse deliveries to you?

----------
''Whenever law ends, tyranny begins'' -- John Locke, English Philosopher
The United States is a banana republic
Survivors use critical thinking, common sense and intuition
Ingar 762 posts, incept 2017-02-14
2024-02-12 13:11:48

My ancestors made it through the long depression and did it in the American South whose economy was destroyed by the Union army. Most were farmers or lived in small towns close to farms where food was available. From their photos, all were skinny. When we do have an economic collapse the easy life and many conveniences and luxuries Americans have will disappear. I doubt that woke corporations will then want to blacklist potential customers whose politics aren't congruent with their own. More likely they'll be begging for customers. That's the time for a long memory and keeping the money in your pocket.
Rangeishot 4k posts, incept 2021-11-18
2024-02-12 14:06:19

Quote:
Where does the line between speech and obtaining service begin? What if the electric company doesn't like the statements you make in public? Is that reason enough for them to terminate your electric service? How about delivery services? Suppose UPS doesn't like the public statements you make. Does that give them the right to refuse deliveries to you?


See: PayPal.

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"There are too many agencies with the attitude that the entire federal government is a giant intelligence service, entitled to secret budgets without oversight."
-- Matt Taibbi
Heartlander 3k posts, incept 2021-02-25
2024-02-12 15:11:35

@Flappingeagle
Quote:
Letting CMS collapse under its own weight seems to be the method they are using to get what they want. When its an "emergency" both "sides" can really pull some shenanigans.

This is why I am pessimistic about the chances of complete collapse of the U.S.A. being averted. Nobody wants to (or knows how to organize to) make the smaller sacrifices involved in gradual, common-sense change, so the runaway train will just keep going until it careers off the cliff, forcing huge, involuntary sacrifices on all of us.

I had cataract surgery last year and would have been perfectly happy to pay full price for what that service is actually worth (what the price would be if true market economics were at work, not the illegal collusion Karl described in his poscast). But no. Because I'm over 65 and thus, forced to be on Medicare, my grand total bill from the surgeon was... $15.00. I felt like a no-good THIEF. Like a piece of shit stealing from her own children and grandchildren. And not just stealing money, but security, opportunity, and maybe even life itself. For when the collapse comes -- as it no doubt will when such mathematical absurdities as $15 surgeries are happening -- it will take down a lot of people with it.

Sorry for getting off-topic from the free-speech discussion. But in my mind, it's all connected: the corruption, the collusion, the censorship, the cartels (Big Tech, Big Media, Big Education, Big Hollywood, Big Ag, Big Food, Big Military, Big Security, Big Pharma, Big Sickcare...).
Realist 360 posts, incept 2009-07-14
2024-02-12 15:11:57


@Ingar and @Rangeishot:

I agree. You are correct.

----------
''Whenever law ends, tyranny begins'' -- John Locke, English Philosopher
The United States is a banana republic
Survivors use critical thinking, common sense and intuition
Raven 17k posts, incept 2017-06-27
2024-02-12 15:26:48

A well considered article Karl, thank you.

MCSNet could have decided to ban as customers, users or advertisers people and entities involved in child pornography as the company did not have a monopoly, was not intending to form said or engaging in actions which would lead to such and did not collude with other entities in the same product and service space to do the same.

It is really interesting that the abuse of monetary policy and allowance of monopolist business practices must occur for the kind of universal control of speech, discourse and expression to occur. There is a reason.

The desire of some humans to lord over others never went away. In fact many of our political class, business leaders, old money, connected folk, etc. have ties to the old aristocracy and royalty of the Old World. Many others also aspired to join them over the years. So, how do they do it? They use their access and knowledge and connections to control the society by giving things away to the point where the society finds it hard to do without said.

Does anyone ever wonder why it was socialized medicine which would be rolled out in Europe after the old order fell after the two World Wars? The old power base integrated itself into the most basic of human need and could regulate it, control it and develop occupations for themselves in the administration of a growing government function. This has occurred in lots of venues in our daily lives. i.e. education.

Socialism is a soft kind of dictatorship. Now for how it is taken to the next level.

The political class following the above moves on to monetary policy and the regulation or not regulation of banking and selective enforcement of the law.

In the process of making money available, firstly through deficit spending and then later by not enforcing two key rules which are spending capital solely for the purpose of dominating a market by operating at a loss and violating antitrust laws, large corporate entities can control markets and engage in a form of Socialism known as Corporatism. In the latter those special folks in the political and influential classes described above find both control of the society to cement their positions and cross pollination income opportunity to essentially have their own aristocracy just like the good old days only better.

It is better because the people get accustomed to free or low cost and definitely the availability of goods and services by the function described in the above paragraphs. i.e. The ability to have near totally free access to something as comprehensive like YouTube as a user and definitely as a content producer is a direct result of the above. It is uneconomic without the free money games and would not have unfolded in the same manner in a true free market. Ditto for free phones every year when that was a thing. Most of the online shopping would have unfolded quite differently.

However, people like the above and things like them based in the free money model which cements their position, the aristocracy's position that is, which is a form of control, effective control, the best kind.

It is control as the entities which do what they do are beholden to the power structure and a part of it. They are going to do what the power structure wants without reservation and with enthusiasm.

In this those who were, who are and wish to be aristocracy create Socialist systems which later become open Corporatism to make the society live under the illusion that it overthrew the rulers of old when it actually lives under the control of their descendants and their familiars.

Since we like to import people from broken places oftentimes from places where the ruling classes ran roughshod or just did a shoddy job, these white groups know the deal and aspire to play in the same system described above and become familiars as direct, self-motivated participants, thus perpetuating the problem for all of our remaining time.

Oh, it gets better. During the Long Depression which is coming, these aristocrats will buy up everything while sucking as much as they can out of the marginally functioning society.

Identifying those who are a part is another discussion, HINT neighbors, family often are part of this system. It is driven as much by those who take as those who give.
Raven 17k posts, incept 2017-06-27
2024-02-12 15:40:29

@Heartlander -- curiously i have a longer comment post awaiting approval which relates to your recent one regarding your surgical cost and being a part of the system. Would value your opinion. I also have something for you and others to consider.

I am not near the age of Medicare and have decided not to take it when offered, if offered, to me at statute age.

Right now, today, i can go to other places and even countries for the same procedure which you discuss and pay a fair amount. Hopefully if i need said in the future and/or at Medicare age, this will be available as it is NOW. In fact, if i need something now, this is how i intend to do so as has been my routine for over thirty years. I do not use insurance.

You and anyone else can do this NOW. One does not have to be part of the problem. Yes, it hurts sometimes in a bunch of ways and is not without risk, however i have always been willing to DIE for my children and the future of their society. So, going broke, losing money and perhaps suffering are not so difficult if one is willing to DIE. And, if i DIE, was willing to do that anyway.

Best part is that in the process of dealing with a situation one can open debate, make a statement, all sorts of honest, ethical and effective and even lawful debate are owned by the person willing to risk it all. The worse the situation in this regard and what one might have to endure only makes a greater impression on everyone involved in the happenings. One could really make a big stink and make big med and its familiars look like shit in comparison...

So, my challenge to everyone is: cancel your Medicare and make it work, however you must and can. YOU DO NOT DESERVE IT BY MORAL argument OR MATH, anyway. Do the same with your health insurance.

If the system and your ability to rout it as i briefly describe above fails you and leads to ruin, then consistent with your conscience perhaps a few last statements would be in order which if implemented in a well thought out and effective manner, could cement your protest and logical arguments in people's minds, even if you do not do something immoral or illegal in the process. You could go either way regarding this last point for good or bad, right or wrong, effective or not.

It is time to fight like big boys and girls now, the consequences are real and not free. Talk is cheap.

Remember, you WOULD DIE for your children anyway? Would you not?

So, what do you have to lose?
Dritizni 32 posts, incept 2023-07-18
2024-02-12 18:11:23

If you want an example of how far political control of speech can go, consider the travails of the KiwiFarms forum. It is a place similar to 4chan, where pretty much anything goes, and it has been under a years long sustained attack by transexuals. One of these transexuals (Liz Fong Jones) has the ability to get Tier 1 ISPs to black hole network traffic bound to the IP addresses of KiwiFarms.

If the radical left gets the power to alter backbone level internet traffic, that is all she wrote for free speech in the US.

So, what I want the USSC to do is incorporate the 1st Amendment against corporations, which, as Karl reminds us often, are state created entities, and are thereby regulated by same. That would solve all of this wrangling over Section 230 of the CPA.
Emupaul 199 posts, incept 2013-04-17
2024-02-12 18:12:08

I am not near the age of Medicare and have decided not to take it when offered, if offered, to me at statute age.

Why not? Are you not going to take SS when eligible?

You have been paying for it. You get Part A. Part B is optional and deducted from your SS check. On my annual SS statement, it's $1978.80 a year.

Add on Part D for drugs, that's about $80 a year for me.

It's like having taxes withheld from your paycheck.

If you change your mind, they play games with the premium. Start at 65 or 66, I forget, it's currently $1978 a year out of your SS check. Wait until 72 or so and you will pay more per month. It's $x per month. $x changes, of course.

So, $165 a month for now. Don't pay for oh, six years. You are $11,868 behind. That's $165 a month added to the usual $165 a month.


And of course you can eff around with Advantage Plans. I don't know how that works exactly but I figure if I'm getting $80 a month on a debit card for shit like aspirin and band-aids from the drugstore it's a huge scam.

Band-aids? Shit, I have band-aids in metal cans. Date that.

I have Part A, everyone gets Part A. I'm paying extra for Part B and a cheap Part D plan. I haven't used any of it. But I have it.
The last time I went to the Doc for a check-up they were acted like I was wasting their time. Never went back.

Europeasant 58 posts, incept 2011-07-03
2024-02-12 18:18:27

Raven said "I am not near the age of Medicare and have decided not to take it when offered, if offered, to me at statute age"

You would be amazed at what the hospitals/doctors charge the insurance/Medicare systems. For instance a TAVR procedure (Trans Aortic Valve Replacement) will cost $250,000 but the insurance/Medicare systems will negotiate that down to about $50,000. $250,000 or $50,000 is still a shitload of money if you would have to pay this yourself. Your portion of that will might be $400.

Some procedures cannot wait and it would be ridiculous to travel out of country . For instance suppose you had to have your pleural cavity drained because every day you wait could mean death. I have had my pleural cavity drained 5 times already in the past two months.

If you are young and healthy then probably you don't have any problems but as you get into your 60's 70's and 80's you probably will be thankful for insurance /Medicare as it could mean the difference between death or Bankruptcy. I don't know of too many people who want to die except maybe for the severely depressed.

My father who had two years of formal schooling told me that in America if you get sick you might loose your life savings/house.
Tickerguy 202k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2024-02-12 18:21:29

Sounds like you're okay with the racketeering. How about if my call is that since I'm already dead.....

----------
"Perhaps you can keep things together and advance playing DIE games.
Or perhaps the truth is that white men w/IQs >= 115 or so built all of it and without us it will collapse."
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