ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "The Bill of Rights" Category

You Are Not Facebook's Customer, You Are Their Product

[ Posted Monday, April 9th, 2018 – 16:19 PDT ]

There's an important distinction to make before Mark Zuckerberg sits down in front of Congress to answer questions about what Facebook is, what they do, and what they've been up to recently (that they really shouldn't have been). As more and more political scandals swirl around Facebook, and as Zuckerberg prepares to answer for his company's actions, both the congressmen who will be questioning him and the public at large need to understand something that has long been somewhat of a rule of thumb in Silicon Valley. Because anyone who uses an online service that is free should stop to consider this fact. You sign up for Facebook (or whatever other service or webpage) and you are not asked for any money. What this means is that you are not their customer, in the traditional sense, instead you are merely their product. You and your data are a commodity which the company monetizes and sells to whomever is willing to pony up some money to see it.

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Friday Talking Points [478] -- Seeking Lead Lawyer For Difficult Client

[ Posted Friday, March 30th, 2018 – 17:22 PDT ]

By Trumpian standards, this has been a relatively quiet week. After all, the president only fired a single cabinet secretary, and zero high-ranking aides! Plus, Trump hasn't attacked Stormy Daniels on Twitter even once, after her bombshell interview on 60 Minutes last Sunday. For Trump, this shows some newfound restraint.

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The March For Our Lives Could Change The Politics Of Gun Control

[ Posted Monday, March 26th, 2018 – 18:06 PDT ]

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School staged an incredibly successful rally in Washington this weekend, as hundreds of thousands of students, parents, teachers, and other concerned citizens marched to demand stricter gun control laws. It was an impressive feat, since in general high school students are not normally expected to organize anything more complicated than the school yearbook or the prom. I personally could not imagine my former self (at that age) joining together with other students to create such a massive event in a little over one month's time. So the students deserve a whole lot of credit for pulling it off in such spectacular fashion. But the biggest question overhanging the success of the march was whether it will actually change anything or not in the politics of gun control legislation.

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Will The N.R.A. Attack Trump?

[ Posted Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 – 17:21 PST ]

The word "mercurial" is an elegant one, perhaps overly so. When used to describe President Donald Trump -- as it often is -- it lends him a certain majesty that he doesn't really deserve. Mercurial conjures up an image of quicksilver, liquid and shiny but impossible to pin down. Which is why so many in the media use the word to describe Trump, after all. But a more honest assessment would be that Trump just says whatever pops into his head at that particular moment, even if it blatantly contradicts something else he might have said minutes earlier.

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Friday Talking Points [473] -- Mueller's Busy Week

[ Posted Friday, February 23rd, 2018 – 18:28 PST ]

Bob Mueller has had a busy and productive week. His investigation is intensifying quickly, as it gains speed and moves closer and closer to the inner Trump circle. Just a week ago, Mueller's team dropped an indictment on 13 Russians for meddling in the 2016 election. By Tuesday, a previously-unmentioned lawyer reached a plea deal with Mueller. Yesterday, Mueller filed an indictment with 32 counts against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Today, Gates officially flipped, and pled guilty to two counts against him, conspiracy and lying to federal agents. Not just another #MuellerFriday, in other words, but a full-on #MuellerWeek. No word from President Trump's Twitter account yet (as of this writing), but if last weekend was any preview, it sure ought to be fun to see him flail around for the next few days as the noose gets tighter and tighter around his innermost circle.

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From The Archives -- No Silver Bullet

[ Posted Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 – 17:08 PST ]

The article below was written a few weeks after the Sandy Hook massacre of innocents in Newtown, Connecticut. I'm running it again today both because nothing much has changed since then, but also because I think it is a fairly realistic examination of what gun control laws can be expected to do, and what they cannot.

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Advice For The Florida Teen Activists

[ Posted Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 – 18:56 PST ]

In the aftermath of the horrific slaughter at a Florida high school, the survivors of the massacre have moved onto center stage in the American political debate in a big way. This has happened with astonishing swiftness and with astonishing breadth. Television news producers are falling all over themselves to book the spokespeople for the teens, they've already tried their hand at lobbying (on the state legislator level), they've staged protests, they've come up with a plan for nationwide events to take place next month, and their nascent movement has already attracted millions of dollars of pledges from liberal celebrities. That is an immensely impressive list, especially considering it all took place in the time span of a single week. These kids have achieved more in one week's time than many advocacy groups have ever achieved from years of effort.

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Two Presidents, On Treason

[ Posted Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 – 17:42 PST ]

Senator Tammy Duckworth, a woman who lost her legs in service to her country (as a military helicopter pilot, in Iraq), just taught everyone an important history lesson.

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Friday Talking Points [470] -- No Smoke, No Gun

[ Posted Friday, February 2nd, 2018 – 17:25 PST ]

Happy Nunes Memo Day, everyone!

Today, of course, was supposed to be the day when the memo from House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes caused the skies to split and the F.B.I. building to spontaneously implode in upon itself, leaving nothing left but a mysterious rift to some dark and deep otherworld. Bob Mueller was also supposed to make a public announcement that his entire investigation was nothing short of a sham (secretly directed by Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros), and that he would be shutting down his office just as soon as all the documents could be shredded and the hard drives erased.

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

[ Posted Monday, January 15th, 2018 – 18:26 PST ]

I accept the Nobel Prize for Peace at a moment when twenty-two million Negroes of the United States of America are engaged in a creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice. I accept this award in behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice.

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