Gary Johnson hits reddit, reddit hits back with tough questions

Republican turned Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson announced that he will respond to President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address via a reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything).

Here’s the announcement on facebook:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 3 p.m. PST / 6 p.m EST, Gov. Gary Johnson will host a Reddit AMA or “Ask Me Anything.”

The 60-minute on-line event will give participants a chance to ask the former New Mexico Governor and Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative questions via the popular website, Reddit.com.

Reddit is a source for what’s new and popular on the web. Users like you provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk.

Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and (hopefully) filled with fresh, interesting links.

To ask a question, visit www.reddit.com at 3 p.m. PST / 6 p.m EST, Tuesday, and just search “Gov. Gary Johnson”. Governor Johnson is anxious to hear from you!

Please join us!

Sincerely,

Our America Team

When: Tuesday Feb 12, 2013
Time: 3 p.m. PST | 4 p.m. MST | 5 p.m CST | 6 p.m EST
Where: Online www.reddit.com just search “Gov. Gary Johnson.”

You can easily track Johnson through his account GovGaryJohnson.

One of the questions we expect will be asked is whether he is formally announcing his candidacy for 2016. Considering the official Johnson store has been selling 2016 merchandise for several weeks now, that answer will undoubtedly be “yes”.

Another issue sure to come up is Johnson’s enormous $1.1 million campaign debt that looms over a future bid. It could easily be problematic for Johnson’s finger-wagging at Obama’s loose spending habits.

Oddly enough, when checking out Johnson’s pre 2016/post 2012 campaign site ouramericaninitiative.com, we discovered (using NoScript) that there was a serious technical issue with spam. We hope Governor Johnson’s web team will quickly patch that glaring exploit.

UPDATE: Johnson has finished the AMA, answering 29 of the more than 300 questions. It was a far smaller turnout than the IAmA during the 2012 presidential campaign, which had over 9000 responses.

On the 2016 question he responds, “Yes, 2016 is far off, and we will see what it brings. Right now, I am determined to be a voice of sanity re spending, civil liberties, and putting an end to unnecessary and costly foreign interventions.”

Sounds like the politician way of saying “yes” to me.

For the question of “Where did the money go?” (to paraphrase), Johnson seemed to deflect the issue by drawing distinct comparisons to the millions thrown around by Obama and Romney.

“There are several questions along this line. Let me be clear. We raised and spend 1/1000th of the amount spent by Obama and Romney, and financed substantial travel, grassroots development, social media presence and an aggressive email campaign. We put as many resources as possible on the air in advertising, but appropriately spent much on developing the base that will be able to go forward.”

Unfortunately, the AMA was not so much a SOTU response as just another chance for Johnson to stay relevant to the hivemind of reddit. And Johnson picked probably the worst timing, because all eyes for the past few hours have been focused on the Chris Dorner situation. That’s not to say there weren’t plenty of questions on the subject of Dorner, Johnson simply elected to answer none of them.

UPDATE II: It seems Governor Johnson might have missed out on reaching a lot more redditors when he unwittingly posted in r/AMA (36 thousand subscribers) instead of r/IAmA (2.7 million subscribers).

Johnson’s media folks ought to be slapping themselves on the forehead over this.

UPDATE III: A pointed question about the campaign finance (using the same link to ParaPolitical cited in this post) has hit the most upvoted spot in after-hours discussions. Libertarians have a tendency to publicly piss all over each other for sport, so this AMA derailing certainly won’t bode well for Johnson putting the issue to bed.

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HoT migration wonkiness, explained

Hey Hammer of Truth fans, I’ve been busily moving the site away from our hosting provider we loved for seven years over to Amazon Web Services EC2. As you might have noticed, this has caused a few hiccups, which has led to a temporary slowdown in post frequency (because yay distractions and uncertainty).

We’ve gone from a managed hosting environment where I put in support tickets and was told to spend lots of money buying better servers, to a self-serve model where we spend less money but the tradeoff is having to know a lot of technical stuff.

Luckily I know a few things. Enough to break things, and enough to fix them again.

Well, I’m about 98% sure that all these odd little bugs that came up during the migration from one server environment to another have now been worked out now (like the caching issue that displayed a weak, ugly mobile theme instead of our usual kickass design). Frabjous day!

I want to ask all of you to drop a comment here if you notice any problems with the site. Or just to high five us for the success.

Yes, we’re doing regular backups.

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Drones Across America

Drones cast a shadow over Constitutional rights

Senator Lindsey Graham recently told reporters today that his colleagues in Congress need to get behind Obama’s targeted killing program, and protect the president from “libertarians and the left.”

Graham said, “Every member of Congress needs to get on board. It’s not fair to the president to let him, leave him out there alone quite frankly. He’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.
I think the middle of America understands why you would want a drone program…
The process of being targeted I think is legal, quite frankly laborious and should reside in the commander in chief to determine who an enemy combatant is and what kind of force to use.”

A leaked Department Of Justice white paper explicitly says, “[T]here exists no appropriate judicial forum to evaluate these constitutional questions.”

Davi Barker reported on SilverUnderground.com, “The Drone memo lays out three vague, easily-met conditions that allegedly justify the murder of Americans without a trial.

  • The target must be an ‘imminent threat’ in the broadest sense requiring no evidence or intelligence.
  • Capture of the target must be ‘unfeasible’ meaning U.S. officials consider attempted capture an ‘undue risk.’
  • The strike must be conducted according to ‘law of war principles’ which are not defined.

The Drone Memo redefines ‘imminent’ to mean its opposite. The ACLU calls it ‘vague,’ ‘elastic,’ and ‘easy to manipulate.’ According to the memo ‘the condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.’ In other words, classifying a threat as ‘imminent’ does not require any indication that it is actually ‘imminent.’”

We already know that several government officials think liberty-activists and other peaceful people are “potential terrorists” or some other kind of threat. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer called activists from Food Not Bombs “dangerous food terrorists.” NH State Representative Cynthia Chase said “Free Staters are the single biggest threat the state is facing today.” And just one year ago, Congress authorized government use of unmanned spy planes in U.S. Airspace. The FAA projects there will be as many as 30,000 unmanned drones in American airspace by 2020.

Andrew Napolitano asked, “Would we live in a safer society if the government could cut down every law and abrogate every freedom and break down every door and arrest everybody it wanted? We’d be safe from the bad guys, but we wouldn’t be safe from the government. Who would want to live in such a society?” I certainly don’t want to live in that society!

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College students thwart 70 agencies, sneak in Super Bowl XLVII

This year, New Orleans’ Superdome had the distinction of being protected not just by the Department of Homeland Security and 4,000 private security guards. More than 70 federal agencies working out of the Joint Operations Center at the New Orleans FBI office, ostensibly with the goal of stopping anyone who didn’t belong inside the “National Special Security Event”.

Included in the clusterfuck of alphabet security soup is one that should probably be an expert in the matter, but is somehow the exact opposite — Customs and Border Patrol. CPB posted a self-congratulatory release on their website this week:

When the San Francisco 49ers faced the Baltimore Ravens, fans in the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome probably did not realize the level of security that covered them long before they made their way into the stadium. They may have been unaware of the nearly invisible protected air space that blanketed the venue hours before the kick-off and well after they left the stadium.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) once again was part of the super security team supporting New Orleans in their efforts to host a safe and secure Super Bowl XLVII experience. As part of the team, CBP brings its operational experience and assets to support their federal, state and local law enforcement partners, the National Football League (NFL) and the community.

The rub? Two students from Savannah State snuck their way past the army of security and into the event sans tickets. Their technique was simple enough — wearing matching hoodies and exuding extreme confidence. They even video-recorded the whole exploit, Savannah Now has posted portions.

Priceless reaction after the duo waltzed by security: “They should have stopped us.”

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ONION: American Citizens Split On DOJ Memo Authorizing Government To Kill Them…

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…but I repeat myself

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned that the Drone Strikes were going to be an issue and “[Obama]’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.” Well IMAGINE THAT. You’d almost think that big-L Libertarians were SOCIALLY LIBERAL.

“Every member of Congress needs to get on board,” Graham said. “It’s not fair to the president to let him, leave him out there alone quite frankly. He’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.

“I think the middle of America understands why you would want a drone program to go after a person like Anwar al-Awlaki,” Graham added.

“The process of being targeted I think is legal, quite frankly laborious and should reside in the commander in chief to determine who an enemy combatant is and what kind of force to use.”

“If this ever goes to court I guarantee you it will be a slam dunk support of what the administration is doing. I think one of the highlights of President Obama’s first time and the beginning of his second term is the way he’s been able to use drones against terrorists.”

So, basically, Obama’s in the unique position of being supported by the people who he never once promised anything to and pretty much hate him, and being opposed by every one that had even a small chance of supporting him (once Bob-freaking-Barr was the LP nominee, a LOT of the LP jumped to supporting Obama, as Paul was a non-issue before the LP convention, and there were many hurt feelings about the treatment of Paul by the GOP that year).

If this shouldn’t be a wake up call to Obama, I really don’t know what will be, get rid of the freaking drones already!

Lindsey Graham Urges Colleagues to Support Targeted Killing, Protect Obama From “Libertarians and the Left” [reason.com]

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Kim Kardashian takes heat for posting gun pic to twitter…
Weeks after signing ‘Sandy Hook Promise’…

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Anonymous exploits Federal Reserve website, exposes data of 4000+ bank execs…
Data published…

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3 wounded, 3 dead after ex-LAPD cop, Navy Lt. begins targeting ‘corrupt’ officers…
Supports Piers Morgan, Obama and gun control…

Fearful police shooting up trucks matching description…
Truck belonging to Dorner found burned at Big Bear…
UNREDACTED: Christopher Dorner’s 20-page manifesto…

Hopefully you analyst have done your homework. You are aware that I have always been the top shot, highest score, an expert in rifle qualifications in every unit I’ve been in. I will utilize every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordnance, and survival training I’ve been given.

Do you know why we are unsuccessful in asymmetrical and guerrilla warfare in CENTCOM theatre of operations? I’ll tell you. It’s not the inefficiency of our combatant commanders, planning, readiness or training of troops. Much like the Vietnam war, ACM, AAF, foreign fighters, Jihadist, and JAM have nothing to lose. They embrace death as it is a way of life. I simply don’t fear it. I am the walking exigent circumstance you created.

Facebook profile created just weeks before spree shows dozens of photos…
Top 10 facts…
Dorner gets a Wikipedia page…
TIMELINE…

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Not being drone murdered is an individual right

We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

Statement of Principles, Libertarian Party

That line, especially the bit about the “cult of the omnipotent state,” has been the subject of many internal battles within the party at conventions. There is a group within the party and the broader libertarian movement that believe that language prevents us from growing as a party. After all, the two legacy parties don’t have that kind of language and they win elections.

I come from the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party. I’ve been a Libertarian since I was 10 or 11 years old and my father would take me to meetings of the Maricopa County Libertarian Party. I vote for Ernie Hancock when he runs for Chair because I’ve known him longer than anyone else in the party. I’ve never been anything other than a big-L Libertarian.

You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Lee Wrights once said, “We can make a difference by being different.” I believe that. The Libertarian Party is still much smaller than the two legacy parties. We cannot beat them by playing the game on their terms and by their rules.

This is not to say that our candidates should not be professional in appearance, nor that we can ignore the mechanics of running political campaigns. But it is to say that we can’t just be “Republicans who mean it,” or “Democrats who really believe in civil liberties.” If all we offer is a slightly better version of a legacy party, most voters won’t risk their vote for something slightly better when the legacy party candidate could, you know, win.

We can win by being the only party that supports actual freedom. Social freedom. Economic freedom. All of your freedoms. All of the time. Without exception.

These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise.

White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney

According to a memo (PDF) obtained by NBC, the Obama Administration has decided that they can kill anyone overseas with a drone strike, including American citizens, with no trial, charge, or any due process protections at all. The Democrats don’t have a problem with this, since it’s a Democrat making this unilateral decision to kill people. Oddly, the Republicans don’t have a problem with it either, possibly because they want to have that power in 2016.

Libertarians are the only ones who have a problem with it. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution clearly states, “nor shall any person be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” There is no more stark and frightening example of “the cult of the omnipotent state,” than the idea that it’s okay to murder people drone missiles as long as it’s the President doing it and he’s pretty sure you’re a bad guy.

I’m a Libertarian and I challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual, and that most certainly includes the right to not be murdered by the government with no due process at all.

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Former ‘Iran/Contra pilot’ and 9/11 conspiracy theorist shoots and kills 2 teen children, then himself…
CIA RESPONDS: “We’re unaware of any information that would substantiate Mr. Marshall’s claims.”

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TWO YEARS: Virginia passes first law restricting drones…
11 states consider bans: CA, FL, ME, MO, MT, OK, OR, NE, ND, TX, VI…
Congress mulls national restrictions…
Obama kills another American, 16-yo born in Denver…
LINDSEY GRAHAM: Protect Obama from “libertarians and the left”…
WHITE HOUSE: ‘LEGAL’, ‘ETHICAL’, ‘WISE’…
DOJ KILL MEMO LEAKED: U.S. Citizenship won’t ‘immunize him from lethal operation’…
64 Drone Bases on US Soil (and counting)…

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Manufacturing leaving China, returns to ROBOTS in U.S…

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Ron Paul crosses line with Chris Kyle death tweet

On Monday February 4th, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul tweeted the following:

Understandably, a shitstorm ensued as people inferred that Ron Paul was saying Chris Kyle had it coming because of his past history as a Navy SEAL sniper. In fact, the writers at ronpaul.com said just that in a tactless post titled “Ron Paul: Chris Kyle Had It Coming“.

TheWeek jumped on the story:

And just like that, the three-time Republican presidential candidate’s tenuous coalition of pro-gun libertarians, anti–Federal Reserve goldbugs, and foreign policy non-interventionists crumbled. Paul is an opponent of gun control — saying after December’s Newtown, Conn., grade school massacre that “more guns equals less crime” and that “private gun ownership prevents many shootings” — but also of U.S. military adventurism. Kyle, also an outspoken gun-rights advocate, earned a reputation in Iraq as one of the deadliest snipers in U.S. military history.

Hours later, after a lot of backlash on social media and the conserva-sphere, Ron Paul meekly put out a follow-up tweet pointing to a short facebook post:

As much as it pains me to say it, Ron Paul simply doesn’t look good here.

Hopefully Paul will come out and say it was an intern posting tasteless drivel his accounts, but don’t count on it.

UPDATE: Lt. William J. Lawler II, M.Ed posted the following praise of Ron Paul’s tweet at LibertyCrier which hit my inbox along with a lot of negativity from military veterans:

When I first heard about the shooting I felt bad.

As soon as I learned who Chris Kyle was and how proud he was of how many people he had murdered, I felt less bad.

What goes around comes around.

In this case it was on an individual level. Soon it will be on a national level.

Unfortunately, those of us who fought against the tyranny of the American Empire are going to have to pay the price for all of the scumbags and idiots that supported American Imperialism.

Oh well, life’s not fair.

There’s definitely a schism growing in the Ron Paul revolution over this tweet. It’s unfair to veterans, many who have fought in wars and killed people, to suddenly claim that for them to die would be no great tragedy.

I reiterate that the Iraq war was misguided and a terrible spilling of blood on both sides, but that’s no excuse to start flinging insults and derision at the soldiers. The blame lies squarely on the politicians who fabricated evidence and ordered aggression.

As libertarians, we ought to be taking the moral high road and insist that all deaths are tragic, even those of our soldiers.

Let’s not forget that many allies in the Ron Paul revolution have fought in previous wars under a draft. Those troops are going to view any slights against the rank and file soldier as a severe affront to their patriotic duty to protect those who can’t or won’t fight from those who would.

UPDATE II: Someone from Liberty Crier dropped by and rudely commented. I have responded.

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Newtown, CT parent Bill Stevens delivers gun rights testimony

On Monday, January 28th, Bill Stevens gave a short three minute testimony to a special Connecticut Congress hearings called the “Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety”.

Here’s a transcript of his powerful testimony:

My name is Bill Stevens, I live in Newtown.

My fifth grade daughter was in “lock down” on December 14th, 2012. Unfortunately, her classmate’s little sister… was murdered in Sandy Hook that day when “lock down” and 911 weren’t enough to protect her from an evil person. Not protect her from an assault rifle or some type of inanimate object, but from an evil person.

Quite different, from the elaborate security you all enjoy here at the capitol. It was fun getting frisked on the way in. [Some laughter]

I’m not here to cite the crime statistics: lives saved with a gun, or the economic impact of the proposed asinine legislation (some of these gun control bills you have proposed). I will however read from the Connecticut state constitution. Section 15 reads very clearly… We all know what the Second Amendment says… But section 15 in the state constitution says very clearly: “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.” [Applause]

There’s no registration, there’s no permitting, there’s no background check. It’s quite clear.

I’m frankly shocked by some of the testimonies today.

In case some here failed American history, there’s something called the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and a process by which to amend it. The same goes for the state constitution. These rights are inalienable and endowed by our creator — not you politicians — to all citizens regardless of gender, race or creed. In order to limit the rights of citizens, there is something called “due process”. And, “legislation” is not “due process”.

You wanna take my rights away, let’s go to court.

And with regard to due process, the final report with all the facts on Sandy Hook will not likely be issued until this Summer. It was stated clearly in the newspapers. How can any legislation be passed in good faith or good conscience without all the facts?

Again, gun ownership is a constitutional right, but it’s not for everyone. That’s okay, and shouldn’t make gun owners suspects regardless of how many guns they have or how much ammunition they may have.

My guns are not dangerous. They are at home, locked up, collecting dust and cat hair. [Laughter]

But criminals and tyrants — tyrants, especially — BEWARE! “Lock down” is not an option at the Stevens residence. And 911 will be dialed after the security of my home has been established.

Why is that same security my daughter enjoys at home with her dad not available at school in Newtown? That is what you should be considering, not making her dad a criminal.

Charlton Heston made the phrase “from my cold dead hands” famous. And I will tell you this today: You will take my ability to protect my Victoria from my cold dead hands. [Applause]

Mr. Stevens then pounded his fist on the table, closed his laptop and strutted out of the hearing like a boss. And America applauded his audacity to stand up to tyrants and criminals.

UPDATE 2/7: We have been informed that Bill Stevens is not actually a Sandy Hook parent, in fact he has gone out of his way to disabuse several media outlets of this notion. From an update at the bottom of an article at Examiner.com:

Thank you for the nice article about my testimony in Hartford. Unlike the Liberal media who don’t let facts get in the way, I just wanted to let you know that my daughter does not attend Sandy Hook Elementary, but was in “lock down” nonetheless on December 14, 2012 at Reed Intermediate School (5th & 6th grade) about a mile away with her classmates, one of whom lost his little sister that day.

As you’ll note in his testimony, at no time does he claim to be a Sandy Hook parent, instead saying simply that he is from Newtown and had a daughter in a school that was in lockdown.

We have edited the title of the post to reflect this revelation and regret the error. We were just as snookered as everyone else by the wishful thinking of the YouTube video description.

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Big city military drills becoming “normal” across America

Police and military are conducting scary drills that involve firing blanks in schools and downtown areas. ThinkProgress.com reports, “Students at a high school in Illinois experienced a uniquely terrifying school shooting drill on [January 30]. Instead of conducting a regular school lockdown, Cary-Grove High School administrators simulated gunfire by shooting off blanks in the hallways while students locked their classroom doors, pulled the curtains, and hid.” TV stations in Houston & Miami are reporting of military drills that involved military helicopters and gunfire.

In Miami, “a Black Hawk helicopter flew over the [downtown] area. According to Miami Police, it was part of a military drill, simulating an attack in an urban community. Miami was specifically chosen for the simulation.” WSVN-TV in Miami reported, “Police were unable to disclose specifics about what agencies were involved, but they said the drills were done at night for the public’s safety.” Miami Police Commander Delrish Moss said, “the reason they were done at night, and the reason they were done in the later hours is because we are trying to minimize disruption to traffic, minimize safety concerns.” He also said the drills will continue and cites security concerns as the reason for the secrecy.

The drill in Houston involved several agencies taking over an old high school building. KTRK-TV reported (full video), “There were armed men in fatigues, plenty of weapons and what many thought were real live rounds.” Frances Jerrals who lives near the area said, “When you see this, you think the worst. When you hear this, you think the worst. I felt like I was in a warzone.”

Parents of students from the Cary-Grove High School in suburban Chicago received a letter that read, “These drills help our students and staff to be prepared should a crisis occur, but it may cause some students to have an emotional reaction.” Protecting children was viewed as a reason for the drills in Houston as well. Glenn DeWitt from Houston said, “If it’s to protect our kids, I’m all for it.”

I’m reminded of the quote from Benjamin Franklin, “those who would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

I certainly don’t like the idea of military and police conducting drills in populated areas and it disturbs me that more people aren’t outraged!

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ATF/FBI can’t comply with Obama gun control orders due to outdated software…

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4 arrested at San Francisco nudity ban protest…
VIDEO…

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CBS bans SodaStream SuperBowl ads in favor of soda duopoly

It’s not just politics that the mainstream media has a duopoly problem with. CBS has decreed that the only fizzy sugar drink ads it will be airing during the Super Bowl are Coke or Pepsi:

CBS banned SodaStream’s Super Bowl spot because, apparently, it was too much of a direct hit to two of its biggest sponsors, Coke and Pepsi.

Please pause and read that sentence again.

I am shocked that CBS would ban a spot for being too competitive. But I’m even more shocked that the advertising world isn’t up in arms about it.

The media’s job isn’t to judge.
SodaStream has a product that could be wildly disruptive to the soda industry, if successful. As in, the “automobile” to the soda industry’s “buggy whip.” If SodaStream takes off, Coke and Pepsi would have a lot to worry about, for sure. But isn’t that what progress is all about?

CBS is protecting its relationship with Coke and Pepsi. Those two brands spend big bucks on the Super Bowl and on the network, in general. I get it. But all CBS would have to do, if Coke and Pepsi put the pressure on, is say, “Hey, we’re just the unbiased middle man here. It’s not up to us what competitors of yours say about you.” There’s no need for the medium to have a say in the message. […]

No more ‘Davids’ allowed.
I also called veteran creative director, David Baldwin, of Baldwin&, to get his take with CBS’s move. He nailed it. “That’s a disturbing turn of events. No more Davids allowed I guess at CBS.”

And it’s so unnecessary. If CBS had simply played the “unbiased middleman” card in this case, there’s very little Coke and Pepsi could have done. They certainly would not have pulled their Super Bowl ads. Instead, Coke and Pepsi would have been forced to retrench and figure out a marketing way to solve this SodaStream problem and not a mafia way (I mean that metaphorically, of course).

Now, CBS has essentially opened the door for its biggest advertisers to forever complain about those “annoying little competitors” that are trying to steal share. “Take them off the air. Make them stop!” is what they will scream. “You did it for Coke and Pepsi.”

And it won’t only be CBS. All media will have to bear the burden of this biased, un-capitalistic, anti-progress, move. But, guess what? This isn’t the first time in recent months CBS has overplayed its hand.

Libertarians have long complained of their blackout in the media, yet we’ve seen a more and more blatant bias towards Democrats and Republicans in news coverage at outlets such as CBS. “We told you so” has become the standard refrain from libertarians when it comes to voting for the lesser of two evils presented as the only viable choices.

Thankfully, corporations like SodaStream won’t take the affront lying down, and I expect a major campaign is in the works similar to when UK broadcaster ClearCast also banned them:

Clearcast said in a statement that the ad “denigrated other soft drinks.” In response, SodaStream U.K.’s managing director Fiona Hope called the move “absurd” and said that Clearcast clearly gives priority to soft drink giants.

But it seems SodaStream will have the last laugh. Bloomberg reports that the company is enjoying considerable levels of success on the stock market this year. In the U.K., the video has been viewed more than a millon times online. Jim Chartier, an analyst from research firm Monness Crespi Hardt & Co., explains the obvious — that “SodaStream got a ton of free advertising and publicity because the ad was banned.”

Regardless of whether or not SodaStream portrayed big soda companies unfairly in this ad, it can’t be denied that it has baited big outfits in the past. This past summer, SodaStream erected a caged display of used soft drink and water bottles in South Africa — including Coca-Cola products — to illustrate the wastefulness of bottled drinks. Similar SodaStream exhibits have popped up across the globe in the last two years, with stops in Times Square and Union Square in New York City.

Coca-Cola responded with a cease and desist letter — after which SodaStream announced plans to build a used bottle display not far from Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

Score for the little(r) guy, I hope they are planning to stick it to CBS as well.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: This ban is actually a little stale (over a week old), but SodaStream has capitalized on this in the best way possible, splashing the ad (over 2.2M views as of this update) on the front page of their website.

And no, it’s not low quality stuff that makes Ronco look good.

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Samsung makes commercial mocking first amendment limits

How does a company get around copyright and trademark over-zealotry? By being bitter about intellectual property rights.

In Samsung’s commercial about making a SuperBowl commercial (so meta, you guys), Bob Odenkirk — best known as the lawyer Saul “better call Saul” Goodman from AMC’s Breaking Bad — asks comedians Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd to pitch ideas for some new product (flashed at us for only a mere three seconds).

The trio then spend the next minute hashing out how exactly to even make a commercial when they are muffled by legal precedent and unable to speak any of the trademarked names (they are constantly shushed by Odenkirk before they can finish them, but it’s clear what’s been unsaid). The Super Bowl becomes “the big game” and ultimately “el plato supremo”, while the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are re-nicknamed the “black birds” and the “fifty minus one-ers”. At which point they all laugh and embrace “hashtags” because twitter hasn’t been smart enough to trademark that term yet.

Samsung doesn’t deserve a free pass on intellectual property abuse themselves. Ironically, and rather hypocritically, Samsung has previously partnered with the International Olympic Committee — one of the most notorious trademark enforcers around the world.

And consider the following: If anyone made a widely broadcasted commercial without clearance (“hey guys, go download the new Hammer of Truth’s message notification buddy app widget thingie, which works awesome on my Samsung Android” *holds up $40 flip phone from 2004 for camera*), Samsung’s legal department would certainly be sending out cease and desist letters. For a company that has spent millions of dollars on litigating against the little guy, for them to hire three multi-millionaire actors to play the roles of potential chilling effect victims is only convincing… because they hired convincing actors.

Regardless, for a commercial focused on the inanity of legal hurdles involved in making commercials, it’s a well deserved poke in the eye of copyright laws.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what they’re selling.

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ROBO SAPIEN: Scientists create complete bionic prototype…
“It’s exciting and a bit scary. We might be at a point in science and technology where we see first glimpses of the possibilities to go beyond the limits of evolution.”

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Finally, majority of Americans realize government is threat to individual rights and freedoms…

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Justin Amash trashes “No Budget, No Pay” as unconstitutional

Earlier this week Darryl Perry wrote here at Hammer of Truth that the No Budget, No Pay Act (H.R. 325) was an unconstitutional measure, and a sure sign of Republican weakness to boot:

The 27th Amendment reads, in part, “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of the Representatives shall have intervened.”

Despite the fact that the compensation is not changing, the bill could still be unconstitutional as it alters the scheduled dates of pay, which would be “varying the compensation.” It is unlikely any of the Republicans will challenge the bill, and the Democrats reportedly see “the legislation as a white flag on the part of the GOP, something that allows Congress to skirt the debt limit issue and move on to other fiscal arguments.”

On Tuesday, Justin Amash — a second-term, libertarian-leaning, Republican Congressman from Michigan — posted his take on facebook:

I voted no on H R 325, No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill has two parts.

First, the bill suspends the debt ceiling through May 18, 2013. In other words, it allows the government to operate as though there is no debt ceiling. On May 19, the debt ceiling will automatically increase by the amount borrowed during the suspension. Because the government borrows about $4 billion per day, this bill will likely increase the debt ceiling by $400 billion or more, without any cuts or reforms to reduce future spending. see more…

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