Author Archives: Chris Byrne

Bias, Moral Relativism, and Hipocrisy

A commentor at The Other Side of Kim Forums calling himself Raucous recently posted this tolerably well written, but I think ultimately blind post, positing the question what do we want out of our reporters with regard to bias, and support of the American (or any other) war effort.

“As an aspiring journalist I note with some dismay the frustration, animosity and anger with which the media is seen by many on this board and others. Which leads me to the question, what do the people want from their press?

Much of the frustration, it seems, stems from reporting of controversial issues. For example, should the enemy in Iraq be referred to as insurgents or terrorists? This, I supposit , is not as easy as people may think. There are, certainly, clear cut examples – car bombings in public markets are easily labeled as terrorist acts. But, how should we refer to the man who takes up arms against what he perceives as an illegitimate invader? If he is shooting at U.S. soldiers engaged in military operation on his homeland is he a terrorist, a militant, an insurgent, a fundamentalist?

Our own empathy with the men and women of our armed forces will steer us to the conclusion that anyone who stands against them must do so for nefarious reasons, but we must look beyond emotion. We can note that words such as terrorist have been used throughout history to illicit ill feelings toward a group. The Czech and Ukrainian partisans of World War II, even the Minutemen of the American Revolution were cast in a similar light. The projection is effective, because we KNOW what a terrorist is – and castigating someone in the light of “terrorist” brings us, for a moment, to the images of September 11th . It is easy to hate someone when we associate them with men and women jumping to their death to avoid flames, it is easy to despise them we recall the grieving widows of the FDNY.

But do we want the media to assume a role that validates our emotions, and if so which ones?

As journalists we are, by necessity, careful as to what we write. Printing a quote incorrectly or forgetting to put “alleged” in front of murderer means that we can have our asses hauled write to court. It could be an honest mistake, that doesn’t mean it won’t cost us lots and lots of money. This care spills over into choosing between such terms as “migrant worker” and “illegal alien.” I shall admit that print journalists worry too much about political correctness and semantics, but as I’ve said one word can make the difference in our increasingly litigative society.

So, from what I gather “insurgent” and “militant” are not a strong enough words because they somehow lend validity to the act and the personcommitting it. “Terrorist,” however, labels both the person and the event in a negative light, and should be the standard.

Imagine then, this imaginary headline. “Terrorists open fire on U.S. military killing four.” This, we would say, is accurate regardless of who the “terrorist” are or what their motives might be. Our affinity for our fellow Americans rallies us to their side.

Imagine now, this imaginary headline from a different perspective. “U.S. terrorists open fire on Iraqi fighters killing four.” This, we would say, IS TOTAL @#$%ING HORSE#(&^ WHERE DO THOSE &!@#SUCKERS GET OFF CALLING US TERRORIST?!

The editorialising is exactly the same – simply from a different perspective. If we are to say that one is desirable then we should also accept the other as fair. Do we?

To reach further back in time to Oklahoma City, and even Ruby Ridge, we may recall when these mantras worked to the distinct disadvantage of members of the gun culture. Suddenly, everyone who owned a gun became a McVeigh – we all became “militants,” “extremists,” “fanatics,” “gun-nuts.” Randy Weaver was a “racist,” and a “white supremacist .” Poor reporting and more poor reporting. But reporting in the same vein as what many seem to want – biased towards their own perspective.”

Some good points there, but I think some basic misunderstandings.. perhaps even a moral blindness that I wish to address.

First, my thought on bias is simple. The U.S. press should be as biased as it wants to be, and stop pretending to be objective or neutral.

The fact is people are biased. While it is possible to be objective about some things, once you have formed an opinion that you are confident and justified in, you WILL NOT BE unbiased about things which either strongly support, or strongly contracdict your opinion.

You may force yourself to appear unbiased, but even then, the bias will still be there. It will color what you think, and what you write, no matter how much you think it does not. Subtle elements such as word order, punctuation, basic elements of tone and style will be different when you are writing about things you have strong opinions on… at least if you are any good as a writer.

Unbiased reporting is either unifnormed, or passionless. It is inhuman in nature… Human nature is passionate, and it is baised.

In times past here, and in most other countries today, reporters dont even pretend to be unbiased. They acknowledged they are biased gleefully and dove into their bias with gusto. So long as they do not lie, alter, or distort FACTS, and seperate FACT from their own OPINIONS, then I think that is just fine.


The U.S. press is in a situation today where not only are they radically biased, but they continue to lie about, and deny that bias exists; or worse, pretend that the bias is exactly opposite of what we all kow to be true. Read Bernie Goldbergs “Bias” and “Arrogance” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

I am an informed, passionate reader; and I want a passionate, informed writer writing my news, and just as important, I want him to admit what his opinions are about what he is writing, rather than pretend they aren’t there, when so clearly they are. Then I can judge if he is being reliable or not, just as I do with any man talking with me on the street.

Now, I wanted to address the main illustrative thrust in the piece, and that is the editorial judgement of writers as described in this sentence discussing calling Iraqi bombers terrorists, vs. calling U.S. soldiers terrorists:

But do we want the media to assume a role that validates our emotions, and if so which ones?”

“The editorialising is exactly the same – simply from a different perspective. If we are to say that one is desirable then we should also accept the other as fair. Do we?”

Only if one assumes moral equivalency, and moral relevancy are valid philosophies.

It is my (and many Americans) explicit rejection of these philosophies that is the genesis of our dislike of such politically correct usages as calling terrorists anything but that.

A terrorist is one who uses forcible terror without legitimate authority for the use of force, and without hope of military or political victory through legitimate means; to effect a social or political change that they desire.

This is the very definition of the so called “insurgency” in Iraq. It does not, never has, and never will apply to conventional military forces.

Though there are certain circumstances when special operations use terrorist tactics, it would be unfair to call those executing them terrorists. They are using those tactics because they are appropriate to the situation, and as part of a larger overall plan and goal WHICH THEY ARE CAPABLE OF ACHIEVING, through legitimate means.

If however it would not be possible for a group to do so, or that group was not acting under the color of legitimate authority (either in just rebellion, or as agents of a legitimate government) then it is plainly fair to call them terrorists.

The Israeli spcial operations forces, and intelligence services, are well known for using terrorist tactics against terrorist groups. This doesn’t make them terrorists. There is a very clear definitional difference, in that they are operating under the color of legitimate authority, and in concert with the principles by which that authority is derived.

Now as to whether one is using terrorist tactics, there can be no question. As to whether one using force outside of the color of recognized legitimate authority is a terrorist, there is only one moral question, “what is a just rebellion”.

It may be morally acceptable to promulgate terrorist acts in support of a just rebellion (or other just war), but what is a just rebellion?

At this point it is necessary to make a moral judgement. Morally, a rebellion is just if it is against a government which does not recognize or protect the basic rights of the sovreign man; or if it is against no government at all but against those who would abrogate those basic rights; and if that rebellion is dedicated to instituting a government which does. There is no other legitimate moral justification for either a government to base itself on, or for a rebellion to base it’s opposition.

Of course moral relativisms core principle is that all moral judgements are invalid; thus a writer who cannot make a moral judgement cannot call someone a terrorist, and someone else a freedom fighter.

I make the moral judgement that the so called insurgents in Iraq are not in legitimate rebellion, and therefore they are terrorists. They are not insurgents, freedom fighters, militas, minutemen, or anything but terrorists. As terrorists they are unlawful enemy combatants, and subject to summary execution upon capture, and to unlimited prosecution of conventional force to effect that capture.

If you cannot make a moral judgement, then you also cannot condemn me for making a moral judgement against a terrorist, or against you for that matter. Of course it seems that moral relativsts principles do not extend that far. They will remain free of judgement until they come up against someone who disagrees with them, and then their judgement is applied with great force.

This is the grossest form of hipocrisy; which coincidentally is the most frequent accusation of the moral relativist against those who do not share their views.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

What Justifies the Constitution

A commenter over at Kims blog left this comment:

— What justifies the Constitution in the first place? — John T. Kennedy

It is a very important question, and one that people don’t ofetn think about. Even constitutionally minded folks who should know better havent really thought this one through.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The constitution is justified, because that, was ratified by the folks referred to, and contructed by the principles laid out in this:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Importantly, these documents, and the structure they create, are valid only because they re-affirm and limit what governments instituted among man can do to abrogate or limit those rights inherently posessed by the sovreign man.

The constituion is imperfect; any document is, any government is. Imperfect as it is however, it is the single greatest, and most important political document in modern history. It has established the form and structure of governance, for the greatest nation that has ever existed.

If we the people should ever decide that necessary change cannot be accomplished from within the structure defined by the constitution; it is our right as men to change it from without.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

That is the safety valve. That’s what says “Ok, if this doesnt work, we get a do-over”.

But how does one fight against a government? How do you abolish the entrenched powers, and institute a new form of government as shall seem most likely to effect your safety and happiness?

Well the folks who wrote those documents above thought about that two, so they wrote this as well:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

As so many have said before me, the reason we have the second ammendment to the constitution is in case the government should ever decide to ignore the rest of the document.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Why we DON’T want to vote for Democrats, even if we don’t vote for Republicans

Warbs asks “Why did I vote for you?” to the president and the republican party in general.

Why indeed, when they seem to be busily engaging in an orgy of self congratulation, cluelessness and fiscal excess not seen since Roman times.

an extended quotation:

“Let’s run down the laundry list of what Bush has done to screw up so far:

* Signed a blatantly unconstitutional campaign finance bill
* Increased federal government intrusion into education— without corresponding improvements like vouchers
* Created a bloated new medicare drug entitlement— all the while hiding its true estimated costs
* Threatened veto after veto, without following through on a single one
* Comported his entire administration as if it were a monarchy
* Supported the Patriot Act & domestic wiretapping— dramatically increasing the police power of the state
* Failed to respond to Katrina, one of the greatest natural disasters in recent history
* Imprisoned Americans without trial, counsel, judicial oversight, or even a hearing

That’s not even addressing Iraq, which is a whole different debate.

As Bartlett points out, Bush is the “conservative” president who said “We have a responsibility that when somebody hurts, government has got to move.”

Contrast that with Ronald Reagan: “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

George W. Bush has been described as a “big-government conservative”. Bush’s idea of government is that it doesn’t work, except when he’s holding the reins. His presidency, however, is better described by PJ O’Rourke: “The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.”

Bush could have been defeated in 2004. In many ways, I wish he would have. Not by Kerry, of course. I don’t see how the Democrats could have their fingers so far from the pulse that they nominated so uncharismatic and vacillating that he couldn’t beat a weak Bush. If the Democrats had nominated someone who had come out with an understanding of at least finishing the job in Iraq, I would have voted for him.

With a pro-war Democrat in office, we might have had a chance at Bush’s only redeeming quality, coupled with the best feature of Clinton’s final 6 years: gridlock. We might have seen the Republican Congress start acting like Republicans, fighting spending. Instead, we’ve been stuck with a Congress who wants to send pork back home, coupled with a president too scared to rebuke members of his own party. Republicans have all three branches of government locked up, and they spend their time trying to act like Democrats. What’s worse? They have such little experience administering and creating welfare programs, that they’ve screwed up every attempt at doing so (i.e. Medicare Part D). It’s gotten so bad, that I DON’T EVEN WANT Social Security privatization if it comes from this batch of Republicans, because I know they’ll be serving the needs of investment bankers, not me.

The last several years have seen complete mismanagement of government. Just as PJ O’Rourke predicted. 2006 and 2008 are going to be a big wake-up call for the Republican party, and I, for one, think it’s about damn time.”

So why did Bush get re-elected then?

Well, how about the fact that Kerry was nearly the worst possible candidate? How about the fact that the democrats didn’t particularly WANT Kerry (or any other dem candidate who presented themselves) to win?

I’m not saying they deliberately threw the election, it’s just that the dems didnt particularly want to win in 2004; much like the republicans in nominating Bob Dole in ‘96. Sure they knew Dole was going to lose, hell they knew ANY republican was going to lose; so why not give Dole his last shot, and lets make sure that Clinton is around to boner up everything and increase the republican majority.

The Dems wanted the same thing, and it looks like they may get it. What they wanted, was to improve their congressional position, because it is the house of representatives contingent that actually controls the democratic party (along with their “fringe” donor element). The best thing for the democratic congressional contingent has been the hostile to republicans press, and G.W.B. as president.

The congresscritters knew Kerry was a loser, after all they worked with the guy (he was one of my senators much of my life and I certainly knew). They also knew that he would be horrible for them in the mid terms if he won.

Did they throw it? No, they just picked the worst candidate from the field (welllll, other than Dean or Kucinich) , counted on him to lose, and counted on GW to make a huge ass of himself after the election (which he did like clockwork); thus improve their position for the midterms, and making it easier to put someone they actually want to get behind with full effort in for ‘08.

That said, honestly, I think if the republicans put up any halfway acceptable candidate, the “I will not vote for a democrat for president until this war is won” demographic will be enough to keep the presidency in Republican hands.

I’m a dedicated libertarian minarchist, and I’ll be voting with that demographic, because giving the reins to ANY democrat is even worse than if we were to have another GWB in office next term.

Not only that, I think congress is going to get spanked; but the reps will still hold a (thin) majority in both houses this midterm. If that happens, I’m willing to bet that a lot of congresscritters will newly descover the religion of restraint.

And no, I will never vote for a democratic president again, so long as the democratic party remotely resembles what it does today; because not only do you get a president, but you get a whole administration and executive branch.

What do I mean by that? Well the damage Bill Clinton did in his 8 years is utterly phenomenal if you’ve seen it from the inside. Because its all “inside baseball” stuff the general public doesnt see it, but I think a democratic president and republican congress would do more FAR more damage than a democratic congress would do with a republican president.

The problem isn’t the president, it’s the folks the President and his party appoint to the administration who truly believe in statism, socialism, and democratic political opportunism.

Although people always think of executive power, they don’t really understand what it means.

In legislative matters the president in not very much more than a figurehead; but when it comes to executive matters; basically the execution and enforcement of that legislation, and of the beurocracy of running the country; the president, and more improtantly the presidents party, is supreme.

I mean that literally in that the supreme court and congress can’t easily strike down what are called “adminsitrative procedures”; basically the means by which the executive departments choose to go about their business; even if those procedures might violate the law, or in some ways the constitution. Nor can they interefere with most appointments and promotions.

It’s a separation of powers issue, and it has been a HUGE sticking point recently for the ATF and congress, as well as the IRS.

Whether Clinton did anything or not due to gridlock, the damage his adminsitration did to the country as a whole through the civil service and executive beurocracy was ENORMOUS.

I myself was a junior officer in the Air Force, and I decided it was better that I take a buyout package, than continue serving under that president while he was so busy dismantling my service. I personally know of hundreds just like me who made the same choice, and there were literaly thousands more. In fact well over a hundred thousand more. People with 2 to 10 years of service who simply gave up on serving while under Clinton, because he made it that bad.

Those men would now be Majors through Colonels (promotable to general), and Sergeants first class through master sergeants (promotable to sergeants major).

These are the ranks within the military that truly get things done. They are also the ranks that have slots unfilled across the board in the combat arms fields (the loggies and supply guys are as always filled with career minded folks clogging up the middle ranks, but they dont have enough good people either).

You can’t build a sergeant major in less than 15 years. You can’t have a regiment or a brigade function well without a good sergeant major, and some good first sergeants. You can’t build a general in less than 20 years, or a colonel in less than 15 (and 15 is really pushing it); and you damn well can’t have a good brigade without a good brigade commander.

So there are literally thousands of men who would be Colonels, Generals, Sergeants Major, and Master Sergeants (not to mention the mid grades) right now if it weren’t for Clinton.

Eric is one of them in fact. So is Combat Controller (a frequent commenter). So are a whole hell of a lot of my friends, commentors, and co-bloggers. Heck I’d be right on the edge of Major myself (I made it to Captain in the reserves).

We can’t get those men back; they are needed, and we can’t replace them. That is only one small portion of the damage Clinton did to this country.

Then there’s all those decisions made in the executive departments by appointed functionaries. Every day they were building our government up, and tearing our citizens down.

Right now, 14 years later, these people appointed to low and mid level positions during Clinton, are taking that ideological view, and uing it to run our country into the ground. In particualr they are using it to push the government into near open war against it’s elected masters.

No, I will never again vote for another democrat.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Isms – part 1

Let’s talk about -isms, in particular political -isms

Oh and we’re working with a bit of obscure and boring stuff here, so if you aren’t into theoretical underpinnings of political systems, go ahead to the next post.

Let’s begin,

There are several over-arching political -isms that you can use to categorize most of the other isms; and they can be arranged into two axes, the axis of rach, and the axis of force.

At a fundemantal level all systems come down to the structure and limits of governmental reach, and governmental force. In other words, how many areas the government has a legitimate interest in controlling, and how much control they have over it.

The first measure, reach; is bounded on the extreme low end by true anarchism: The belief that there is no legitmate role for government of any kind.

On the extreme high end of reach, we have the totalitarians, who believe that there is no limit to the legitimate reach of government. Government can and SHOULD be involved in all aspects of life.

The other axis is force; delineating how much authority government should have over it’s legitimate areas of reach, and how much force can be used to execute that authority.

At the extreme low end of the force scale are anti-coerciveism (also called anti-intialism) and pacifism. The first is a philosophy of rule that declares no coercive force of any kind can be initiated against any other for any reason. Pacifism is somewhat different, in that it rejects all force, whether it be coercive, neutral, or defensive in nature as illegitimate; whereas the anti-coercives allow for defensive force, and the response to an initiation of force.

At the other end of the axis are the authoritarians, who believe that government has the legitimate authority to use all force it deems necessary within it’s legitmate reach.

You can see that all political philosophies will have a position on these axes, even if they are somewhat fuzzy, and may actually need to be plotted as a curve (most systems would be); but you can loosley classify the major political-isms handily.

It would seem clear that the most harmful systems to liberty would be the authoritarian totalitarian systems:

Democratism (yes, this is without question harmful to liberty because it submits the will of the majority as the absolute authority)
Hierarchicalism (these include meritism, oligopolism, monopolism etc..)
Islamism (and other political theisms)

Conversely one would assume that the systems most conducive to liberty would be the opposite, true anarchy. Unfortunately, this is not the case; because without any form of government, or the ability to initiate force against others, a society will inevitably collapse into crime, and the rule of the strong over the week will assuredly prevail.

The systems that tend towards maximising human liberty are the ones more to the middle, that limit the reach of government, and strictly limit it’s authority within that reach; but which allow for an effective defense against both external attack, and internal parasitism and criminalism:

Limited Republicanism (which is NOT democratism)
Liberal Constitutionalism

You might note that democracy, republics, even purely constitutional states aren’t necessarily good for liberty; because they allow for the tyranny of the majority. These systems can easily become authoritarian at the whim of an angry populace.

It is necessary to have a strictly, and structurally limited form of government in order to prevent both the rise of strongment, and the tyranny of the majority.

One might also note that collectivism isn’t necesarrily harmful to liberty, so long as that collectivism isn’t involuntary (as in communism, marxism etc…). For example, in syndicalsim, the participation in the collective is voluntary ; and it is entirely acceptable that one may perform actions in competition with syndicates, or in co-operation with them, without being a member. I generally dont consider syndicalism the best system for maximizing liberty, but it CAN be an effective way for anti-coercive individuals to provide for collective action without the initiation of force.

Most people who call themselves anarchists, are in fact anarcho capitalists, or anarcho syndicalists, who believe that there should be no government, and no governmental authority, but that markets or voluntary collective action can provide all the functions necessary for a government.

I think both of these philoshophies are a bit off; both simplistic in ways, overly dependent on uncertainties in others; and in both cases unreasonably optimistic about the purity of their systems. Only if the systems are kept rigorously pure can they properly function; and the mechanisms for assuring this purity are explicitlty disallowed by the nature of the systems.

To my mind, the best systems for human liberty are minarchist systems (of any structure); which specifically limit the government to the most basic functions:

  • We need a neutral arbiter for disputes. This function is served by civil courts.
  • We need to keep people from commiting crimes (the strong harming the weak). This function is served by police.
  • We need to catch people who do commit crimes, to ensure they can be punished, and that restitution can be made. This function is also served by the police.
  • We need to have a system for determining who is punished, how they are punished etc.. This function is served by criminal courts.
  • We must prevent those from outside our society who would harm us, and our vital interests, from doing so. This function is served by the military, and to an extent by diplomats as part of the executive office.
  • There must be an agency for negotiating and concluding agreeements with other nation states in support of our vital interests. This function is served by the executive office.
  • In the united states, or any other federal entity, there must be an agency for settling disputes between the states. This function is served by the federal courts and particularly the supreme court
  • There must be a system for creating and defining legislation. A written code of laws is essential to a free society. This function is served by the legislature.
  • There must be an agency for selecting those who are given authority by the government, whether in police, military, court, legislative, or executive roles. In our society this is served through the franchise, as adminsitered by the states, counties, and precincts.
  • There must be the systems and infrastructure in place to enable and support these functions. This function is served by the bureaucracy of civil service.
  • There are some functions which are best served through collective action, such as public works. Though much of these can be privatized, there is a legitmate claim for functions such as roads to be provided by the government, as it is not possible to perform the basic functions of government without them. When not served through private contract, these functions would also be provided through the civil service.

This would allow for far more government reach and authority than anarchists, and even most libertarians would allow for; however it is very difficult to have a functioning society containing more than a few thousand individuals without those enumerated functions.

In a minarchist systems, the absolute minimal rach, and authority of government are strictly defined, and then strictly enforced, through a consitution, and code of laws to enforce it, which CANNOT be overridden; except by the overthrow of the government.

In these systems, it is not necessary to change the constitution; because the constitution only specifies that which as absolutely necessary to the function of government. All else is either left to the individual, or codified in law. This prevents a supermajority from forming to change the constitution to the detriment of individual liberty (a common argument anarchists use against constitutional systems).

If such a supermajority DOES form, it can simply overthrow the government and form another one; which is the ultimate recourse of any population. Of coruse in this they may forma new government harmful to liberty, but so long as they do not coerce others into that form of government, they are wlcome to do so. If they DO coerce others, than there is ample justification for resistance with force.

Of course if the force is 1/3 vs 2/3 and no chance of outside support… well then you’re screwed. Go read “The Moon is a harsh mistress”.

In part two we’ll go into a lot more detail about the systems themselves.

Crossposted from The Anarchangel

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Don’t be evil? Ok, how about Politcially Biased?

I recieved this email a few hours back:

From: Google AdSense
to: me

Hello Christopher,

Our specialists have found that your account is not in compliance with
AdSense program policies. As a result, we have disabled your account.

We continually review all publishers according to our Terms and
Conditions and program policies, and we reserve the right to disable
publishers or sites that are not in compliance with our policies.


The Google AdSense Team

Obviously I was somewhat puzzeled… but only somewhat. After all, others around the blogosphere have had problems with google inexplicably cutting them off, apparently for political reasons, and I’m generally more offensive to the lef tthan they are.

But I kept an open mind. I sent back a one line question:

From: Me
To: Google AdSense support


Can you tell me how my account is not in compliance with your policies?

And I recieved no response.

And I got kinda irritated, and then I got kinda mad; so a few minutes ago, I sent this out:

From: Chris Byrne Mailed-By:
To: Google AdSense
Cc: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
Date: Feb 8, 2006 12:25 PM
Subject: Re: Google AdSense Account Disabled


Can you tell me how my account is not in compliance with your policies?

I sent that one question to you initially, and recieved no response. Now I am expanding my question.

I have reviewed your ad-sense policies, and I cannot find any point at which I am in violation, unless a subjective reviewer of the site found my content disagreeable politically.

If my account has been suspended because I present a different political view point than the reviewer of my site… well then you might have a small problem.

If you say that I am a hate site, a violent site, or a racist site, I can refute that conclusively; and will do so for anyone who asks. If you say that I have inappropriate content, I can refute that and will do so as well.

I will also point to many sites that present anti-semitic, anti-american, and in general vile and disgusting propaganda; and yet they have ad-sense ads. I can show you sites that depict burning of american flags, and bibles, that have ad-sense ads. I can show you sites that are unapologetically pronographic, and have ad-sense ads.

I can only conclude that this action is motivated by political bias. It is my hope that suspending accounts that are politically opposed to a reviewers viewpoint is the action of a single employee and not general corporate policy.

You are of course a private company, and you may choose to allow your political biases to determine who you do business with; but if you do, be prepared to have all of your conservative and libertarian customers do the same.

If you cannot provide me with a legitimate reason for this account suspension, that is not motivated by a bias against my libertarian politics, my staunch advocacy of free speech regardless of it’s potential for offensiveness, or the right to keep and bear arms, then I will be going to the blogosphere and the media with this.

Finally, if you insist on closing my account, please forward the remaining outstanding balance due me. As I cannot log in to my account I can’t confirm how much it is, but when I checked yesterday it was only about $40.

Thank you,

Christopher J. Byrne IV

I wonder what the response will be.

Crossposted from The Anarchangel

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

1 33 34 35 36 37 38