Two columns. Links embedded in headlines.

No excuse for protest at home of Michigan Secretary of State (Dec. 7): A Dec. 5 incident in Michigan shows again that it is past time for a simple rule to apply to protesters of any kind: Stay away from private houses. Period.

If this rule is broken, police should strictly enforce any and all relevant laws against harassment, incitement, trespassing, and disturbing the peace. More importantly, even when laws aren’t broken, social norms should apply. The legal right to free speech should bow, by custom if not by state force, to standards of civility and decency. The topic of improper “protesting” arises again because several dozen protesters, some of them reportedly carrying weapons, gathered last Saturday night outside the private home of Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state….

Freedom caucus risks key defense bill for a terrible reason (Dec. 8): The House Freedom Caucus began the Trump administration by saving Obamacare and now threatens to end the administration by harming national defense while trampling internet freedom. Few U.S. political groups have ever been so misnamed, and rarely have so-called conservatives so badly retarded conservative aims.

Freedom Caucus members say they plan to vote to uphold President Trump’s threatened veto of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which is one of the few bills each year that is seen as bipartisan, “must-pass” legislation. Trump has said he will veto the NDAA if it does not contain a provision to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a part of that act that provides certain liability protections for internet platforms.

Trump’s threat is massively wrongheaded for numerous reasons. First, Section 230 is a good provision that in the next four years especially would protect conservative platforms from censorship. Second, Section 230 has precisely nothing to do with national defense and has no business being within light-years of discussions concerning the defense bill….


Tags: , ,