What is the legal and ethical answer?

Let me see if I can put my point in reply this way.

Suppose I start up a blog on some platform and it runs for a few years.

Then suppose whoever runs the blog’s platform decides that they do not like the contents of the blog.

Is it permissible, either legally or ethically, for the platform host to close down the blog and trash all of the blog’s history?

Whether it is or isn’t, should it be?

And no sooner do I put this up, this is what I see at Instapundit.

CLOUDFLARE SHUTS DOWN SERVICE FOR 8CHAN AS A TERRORIST SITE. “We just sent notice that we are terminating 8chan as a customer effective at midnight tonight Pacific Time. The rationale is simple: they have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths. Even if 8chan may not have violated the letter of the law in refusing to moderate their hate-filled community, they have created an environment that revels in violating its spirit.”

Prediction: This will not help, and there will be a slippery slope as the usual woke idiots will be encouraged to demand bans of other sites they dislike. Will Cloudflare be strong enough to resist those? I doubt it, personally, but I’d love to be wrong.

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68 Responses to What is the legal and ethical answer?

  1. stackja

    I don’t know what law covers blogs.
    I know I own a strata unit.
    There are strata rules.
    There is strata legislation.

  2. stackja

    Blog owner might get tired of threatened legal suits.
    Freedom of speech in Australia is qualified.

  3. What were the terms of service you agreed to when you started posting? Did they promise you words in eternity and did you promise to agree to any particular codes?

    Are you suggesting that … having let you come into my (private) home to chat with my friends and others I let in, that there is some legal or ethical constraint on me keeping you out of my (private) home there after, then yes. It is possible.

    We can pretend all we like but private platforms are not public squares. Their property. Their rules. Don’t like them, leave or start your own.

  4. Every host has terms and conditions that apply to your contract with them (usually for a set period of time) and, unless you break any of those terms and conditions, your blog can’t legally be terminated without due cause.

    But on another note, everything in your blog should be regularly backed up, daily if it’s a very active blog, and the backup should be located on a different host. A backup is also important should your contract not be extended or in some way comes into dispute, as then you can easily transfer to another host and lose very little, if anything.

  5. Isn’t Catallaxy Files backed up in Canberra on little metal plates or summat?

  6. stackja

    bemused – Backup could be expensive. Will Cats need to pay?

  7. stackja

    Sinc rules are displayed at the top of the blog page.

  8. Dr Fred Lenin

    Maybe a completely neutral carrier financed by the taxpayer and run by a ggovernment minister would be better ? Oh Wait ! We already have two ,abc and sbs , right and they are neutral , just ask the minister .

  9. bemused – Backup could be expensive. Will Cats need to pay?

    AU$50/year is all it costs me and the entire blog is backed up daily to US servers: https://vaultpress.com/. It’s proved very useful a couple of times when things went awry.

  10. Iampeter

    Is it permissible, either legally or ethically, for the platform host to close down the blog and trash all of the blog’s history?

    If you’re a capitalist it should absolutely be permissible legally, even if it’s not’s ethical.
    Can’t believe I have to explain this to a classic economist but: you do not have a right to a service.

  11. Enoch Root

    Isn’t it in 8ch that Qanon used to post? Feeling a little conspiracy theorist…

  12. FelixKruell

    Is it permissible, either legally or ethically, for the platform host to close down the blog and trash all of the blog’s history?

    Private company can do what it likes, subject to it’s contractual terms with customers and the law more broadly. Neither of which seem to be an issue here.

    That said, you’d hope the relevant person had backed up their precious blog elsewhere, and not relied on just one host.

  13. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Iampeter
    #3123993, posted on August 5, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Is it permissible, either legally or ethically, for the platform host to close down the blog and trash all of the blog’s history?

    If you’re a capitalist it should absolutely be permissible legally, even if it’s not’s ethical.
    Can’t believe I have to explain this to a classic economist but: you do not have a right to a service.

    Oh petey you’re such a free marketer you know what’s best for people you won’t even let them bind themselves to contracts you don’t agree with.

    They might have an absolute right to terminate and they may have no right to terminate under these circumstances.

  14. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Enoch Root
    #3123999, posted on August 5, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Isn’t it in 8ch that Qanon used to post? Feeling a little conspiracy theorist…

    Please moderate your level of retardation. Q was revealed as a cruel hoax against boomers months ago.

  15. stackja

    Cloud Flare getting nervous?
    ‘Hate’? Only if upsets usual suspects?

  16. Howard Hill

    Should it be legal or ethical to throw someone off your front lawn for yelling obscenities at your neighbours?

    I can’t believe how low we’ve sunk. FMD, why is it so hard for people to know, understand and protect private property rights? Clown world indeed!

    But on another note, everything in your blog should be regularly backed up, daily if it’s a very active blog, and the backup should be located on a different host. A backup is also important should your contract not be extended or in some way comes into dispute, as then you can easily transfer to another host and lose very little, if anything.

    But apparently once your host provider shuts down your site, according to new EU privacy laws and I think they apply to Australian’s as well. You can’t transfer your site to another provider.
    A site that I use regularly, http://www.stm32duino.com was shutdown because it was taxing his hosts servers too much.

    rogerclarkmelbourne commented Jul 28, 2019
    Basically my hosting company pulled the plug, and told me it would not be possible to host this with them, even if I upgraded to their VPS package

    The forum was taking 100% of the entire CPU capacity on one of their VPS’s which is supposed to be shared by multiple users.

    Also the traffic was approaching 100Gb this month, possibly with people making backups of the entire site. But even under normal conditions the traffic is often 50Gb per month.

    I’ve been trying to transfer the site to ST since April, but GDPR and other privacy laws make that impossible.

    The cost of hosting the site somewhere else would be thousands of dollars a year, which I’d need to pay for myself.
    Adding advertising to pay for hosting is not a practical option, because I doubt it would cover the hosting costs.

    I suspect if ST funded or had any admin rights to the site that would also be in breach of GDPR.

    Also, my paid work commitments mean I can no longer spend the 1000+ hours a year administering the site (unpaid)

    So since GDPR and Australian privacy laws prevent the site site being transferred, they have effectively killed the site.

  17. roger

    Amazing to see the logical gymnastics on display here by the author. Started off, a few days ago, with asking: should Google be allowed to exclude content from its search engine results.
    Now, desperate to push his view that government should intervene and not allow Google etc. to have control over what it publishes, he comes up with some silly analogy in his desperation.
    Two points: 1. This analogy is a long, long way from Google being allowed to exclude content from its search results. 2. Even so, the answer to this silly analogy is: yes, a digital platform, to the degree that it’s not violating any written legal contracts/agreement, can kick someone out.
    A silly analogy anyway.

  18. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Howard, roger…you’re absolutely correct.

    Apparently property rights are a “eft wing meme” now.

    Or something.

  19. But apparently once your host provider shuts down your site, according to new EU privacy laws and I think they apply to Australian’s as well.

    GDPR laws do not directly apply in Australia, unless the site does business in the EU and thus holds identifying information about EU citizens.

    An Australian based blog has no reason to be concerned about GDPR, especially as they may have no idea where posters come from unless they identify themselves. If some idiot signs up and says they are an EU citizen and the blog must respect the EU laws, then they can simply be told to bugger off and don’t come back. Problem solved.

    And the transfer of site hosting from one host to another has nothing to do with GDPR or even Australian privacy laws. Sites both in the EU and Australia change hosts regularly for many reasons, just like businesses might relocate bricks and mortar stores for financial and other business reasons. The example you cited is very short on actual detail.

  20. Trax

    Is subliminal advertising okay?
    Is manipulating what people see and their emotions okay?
    Is tracking and building a profile on people okay?
    Is manipulating political information okay?
    Is it okay to be deceptive?

    Do people have any property rights to their profile and private information? What about the time and effort spent building a user base on good faith with the platform?

    Seems a lot of people think only big monopolies should have any rights.

  21. Karabar

    Back in the late fifties early sixties, in the Pine Pass through the Rockies, between Honeymoon Creek and Willow Flats on Hwy 97, a retired RCMP officer set up an eatery. He was not what you might call politically correct. It was the only diner between McLeod Lake and Dawson Creek. In those days it was not much more than a goat track wide enough for a truck.
    He had an armory in the kitchen, and hated hippies. Every morning he would feed a gang of truck drivers, Pipeline constructors, etc. and on one particular morning a long haired kid walked in, more than likely on his way to a remote hippy commune. Bacon and eggs being the only thing on the “menu” in the morning, and the kid order his “over easy”.
    When the cook threw the plate on the counter, the kid said “HEY! That’s not over easy!”
    The cop just picked up his 30-06, turned the plate over on the kid’s head, and said “Its all over for you , you long haired c**ksucker. Now F**K OFF!”
    Was it legal? In those days, anything the guy in the diner said was legal.
    Was it ethical? No, but there wasn’t any objection from the other customers.
    Was it good business practice? Certainly not now, but in those days, he had a monopoly and it didn’t matter. He was the owner, the cook, and for all intents and purposes THE LAW.
    Now, if you have been shopping in the same IGA for five years and it changes hands, and the new owner reserves service because she doesn’t like the way you part your hair, is it legal? Probably not. Is it ethical? No. Is it good business? Definitely not.
    Probably much the same with a web hosting service.

  22. 2dogs

    The legal question is fairly starightforward; Cloudflare is acting within its terms of service.

    Because Cloudflare’s services are bought by server operators, it should be fairly easy for a right wing alternative to establish itself. You don’t need a large market share to be profitable with this. Payment providers would have a hard time kicking an alternative off.

  23. 2dogs

    I think conservative web sites should start looking at, say, Reblaze as an alternative.

  24. Behind Enemy Lines

    I’d love to live in a country where philosopher kings ensured that property rights took precedence over politics.

    But I don’t.

    Legislation hasn’t yet caught up to the unforeseen political threat of big internet platforms.

    But it will.

    By way of comparison, anti-trust legislation was brought in to handle the unforeseen political threat of big oil and big railroads. RICO legislation was introduced to handle the unforeseen political threat of the mafia and unions. Sooner or later the political class will realise that they’re all at risk of being concurrently defunded and primaried unless they do the monkey dance demanded by internet billionaires. Then watch what happens.

    Meanwhile, a lot of the problems would come back to manageable levels overnight if these big players were treated consistently as either platforms or publishers. It would certainly go a long way to answering Steve’s question, above.

    Me, I’m agnostic. Be a publisher and publish what you like, or be a common carrier and carry what you’re given.

    The financial side’s a different matter. Any of these clowns who deny banking and allied services on political grounds need to get a kicking from the regulator tout suite.

  25. The Beer Whisperer

    Can’t believe I have to explain this to a classic economist but: you do not have a right to a service.

    So it’s cool then if Sydney Water cuts off your water because they think you’re a dick?

  26. Can’t believe I have to explain this to a classic economist but: you do not have a right to a service.
    So it’s cool then if Sydney Water cuts off your water because they think you’re a dick?

    Google is: 1. A free service; 2. A service which you can easily find many alternatives to; 3. A non essential service; 4. Not obliged to provide service by law as I imagine utuility companies are. 5.
    Has a very reasonable right to decide that some content is unacceptable for it to publish.
    Apart from that, your Google-Sydney Water works out beautifully, genius.

  27. roger

    Can’t believe I have to explain this to a classic economist but: you do not have a right to a service.
    So it’s cool then if Sydney Water cuts off your water because they think you’re a dick?

    Google is: 1. A free service; 2. A service which you can easily find many alternatives to; 3. A non essential service; 4. Not obliged to provide service by law as I imagine utility companies are. 5.
    Has a very reasonable right to decide that some content is unacceptable for it to publish.
    Apart from that, your Google-Sydney Water works out beautifully, genius.

  28. Roger

    We can pretend all we like but private platforms are not public squares.

    There are arguments that they are.

    That is the question.

  29. Tepid Revolutionary

    I would think it is both ethical and legal to cut off publishing support if the publisher seems it appropriate. People do it all the time. I assume Catallaxy does it. Because the publisher can choose what it publishes and because the publisher has liability for defamation and so on.
    Ethics are irrelevant to that decision.
    We used to have platforms where competing ideas were driven together and forced to acknowledge the other. Today we have a channel for every tiny ideology or puny argument to exist in its own blog world free if any debate.

  30. Oh come on

    The culture that 8chan fosters is demonstrably murderous. It is a breeding ground for spree killers.

    That being said, it may be a good idea to keep the site running so its users can be monitored.

  31. This thread is being right royally rogered. 🙂

  32. Tel

    Please moderate your level of retardation. Q was revealed as a cruel hoax against boomers months ago.

    Have any boomers yet noticed that Q exists?

  33. Have any boomers yet noticed that Q exists?

    Exists? I don’t even know what/who Q is, other than a letter of the alphabet (is that now a registered word associated with Google that we can no longer use?).

  34. #3124209, posted on August 5, 2019 at 7:55 pm
    Tel
    I can’t help but wonder if Frank Walker can explain the Q “proofs”, of which there are by now about three dozen. I wonder if he is aware of the difference between the research board and the patriots fight board.

  35. custard

    WTF is Q? (Other than a letter of alphabet)

  36. Oh come on

    Karabar’s on to it! Don’t give up the good fight!

  37. Iampeter

    So it’s cool then if Sydney Water cuts off your water because they think you’re a dick?

    Yes.
    What? Did you think the correct answer would be “no” and that they should be forced to provide you with a service?
    But you’re totally not a leftist right?

  38. Enoch Root

    Frank Walker from National Tiles
    #3124047, posted on August 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Please moderate your level of retardation.

    Sorry if my level of retardation isn’t close to yours.

    Q was revealed as a cruel hoax against boomers months ago.

    Was it so? Care to give any references?
    Then why bother? There are crueler hoaxes around, most of them pushed forward by our so called elected representatives, and no one gives a dime for them. Why bother with this relatively harmless LARP going on in the chans?

  39. W Hogg

    OK, so it’s the j-word they didn’t like. (Not Jooooooo – the other one)

  40. Joshua

    Okay, classical liberalism provides for well-regulated markets. It is not a free-for-all. Classical liberalism , in both its economic and political forms, has long grappled with instances of market failure.

    Well, here we have another instance of market failure. The big tech platforms are the means by which a great many of us participate in the public square. They grew big in a regulatory environment in which they held themselves out to be neutral platforms. Now that they exercise near-monopolistic power, they are acting like publishers. It’s time to regulate – and yes, we do need to keep a close eye on government. (Classical liberalism also provides for well-regulated governments.)

  41. roger

    The big tech platforms are the means by which a great many of us participate in the public square.

    “The means by which a great many of us participate in the public square” are *not* Google, FB and Twitter, anymore than our sky is Qantas or, for that matter, outer space is NASA.

  42. J.H.

    Behind Enemy Lines
    #3124121, posted on August 5, 2019 at 6:09 pm
    Me, I’m agnostic. Be a publisher and publish what you like, or be a common carrier and carry what you’re given.

    The financial side’s a different matter. Any of these clowns who deny banking and allied services on political grounds need to get a kicking from the regulator tout suite.

    …… and that is the crux of the matter for me too.

    Also there is the “Collective Punishment” angle to the argument. Even in the Geneva Convention it is illegal to “collectively punish”….. So when CLOUDSHARE shuts down 8CHAN, they are effectively collectively punishing every other site user for what one user has said or done. I’m sure there are other institutions/bodies or situations besides the Geneva Convention that also can’t collectively punish as a matter of law or convention.

  43. Joshua

    “The means by which a great many of us participate in the public square” are *not* Google, FB and Twitter, anymore than our sky is Qantas or, for that matter, outer space is NASA.

    roger, this is simply incorrect. Google is the no. 1 internet search engine by far. People use Google to search about politics and political figures. Facebook is a huge social media space in which politics and political issues are discussed. Twitter is by far the biggest microblogging platform, and one which offers ‘quick takes’ on political issues. All of these companies now form a big part of the public square, if public square now means (as it should) the digital public square.

    With respect, your comparisons to Qantas and NASA are poor. You appear to have overlooked my use of the word “means”. Qantas is not the means by which we access “air”, but “air travel”. (We access air all the time by breathing.) Granted, Qantas states in its contract that it can cancel flights at any time. However, if Qantas started telling customers they could not use its air travel services because of their political views then this would very much be an issue, especially given that there may few or (depending on destination) no alternative air travel providers. (And what if the alternative providers started doing the same as Qantas?)

    NASA, as you would be aware, is a public agency and not a for-profit corporation. However, let’s assume that Virgin Galactic (once it gets its commercial space flights up and running) started operating space flights out of Australia. Through Virgin Galactic we access not “space” but space travel. If Virgin Galactic and denied space travel because of political view, then this would (like Qantas) be an issue.

  44. I have come late to this thread – but is the shutdown of 8CHAN because another terrorist ( El Paso terrorist) has used it to publish his manifesto?

    From the point of view of historical records – it is annoying that such a piece of evidence is made unavailable for the public record.

  45. roger

    Geneva Convention

    The Nurenberg trials set an important legal precedent on how to deal with Google’s outrageous demand to control its search engine results.
    Nah, you guys haven’t like, completely lost the plot or anything.

  46. roger

    Qantas started telling customers they could not use its air travel services because of their political views then this would very much be an issue,

    Comparing Qantas refusing flight to a passenger based on, for argument’s sake, the passenger’s conservative views to Google refusing to publish some content from a poster with conservative views is wrong from many aspects, including the following two:
    1. The quality of Qantas’ service is not impacted by the views of its passengers, while the quality of what a website publishes is impacted if the poster publishes particular views which can be tasteless etc. Let me give you an opposite example: should Google refuse to publish my political views, considering for a moment that they are acceptable to them, because I have bad body odour/bad hygiene? No, that wouldn’t make sense. A public transport courier such as Qantas can, because my bad hygiene impacts the quality of their service to other users of their service.
    2. While I haven’t checked it for a fact, I assume that somewhere there is a legal obligation for Qantas to accept any passenger unless certain rules are violated. Google, I further assume, has a legal right to refuse any content it wishes to refuse (just like you can refuse to let me into your house, without you needing to explain that).
    Google is just a friggin’ website, just like, say, Catallaxy or your private blog if you have one. The fact that Google is a popular one doesn’t change the fact that it is a private website. They cannot force you to do anything, and you should not force them to do anything.
    It’s called “live and let live”, or, in one word, “freedom”.

  47. J.H.

    roger
    #3124916, posted on August 6, 2019 at 3:45 pm
    Geneva Convention
    The Nurenberg trials set an important legal precedent on how to deal with Google’s outrageous demand to control its search engine results.
    Nah, you guys haven’t like, completely lost the plot or anything.

    …. I’m pretty sure the Geneva convention predates the Nuremberg findings. Anyway, whether you like it or not, they are all related in law and convention. Western jurisprudence is defined by precedent. You might think it’s stupid, but past agreed upon principles protecting freedom or administering punishments are important to the legal arguments about what multinational companies can or can’t do in regards to how a company’s conduct affects other people, users or enterprises, etc. It’s more complicated than your simple world view.

  48. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    The chans are larping! Q is real! Chans and viyda games cause mass killers!

    Shut up, boomers.

    Time for your clonazepam and thorazine.

  49. Joshua

    Comparing Qantas refusing flight to a passenger based on, for argument’s sake, the passenger’s conservative views to Google refusing to publish some content from a poster with conservative views is wrong from many aspects…

    Er, roger, I was using the example (Qantas) that you provided!

    1. The quality of Qantas’ service is not impacted by the views of its passengers, while the quality of what a website publishes is impacted if the poster publishes particular views which can be tasteless etc.

    roger, according to your argument, Qantas, as a private corporation, can refuse service to whoever it likes. Qantas might not want to be seen to be associated with people whose political views it finds objectionable. (And, to illustrate, it appears that Chase Bank has terminated accounts with certain clients on this basis.) Qantas may well perceive that associating with such people affects its bottom line.

    In any event, Google/YouTube does not have to worry about the websites/views it promotes or publishes. Why? Because Google/YouTube (and Facebook, for that matter) are platforms, not publishers. That is, they host user product, but do not exercise editorial control over that user product. (By contrast, newspapers do exercise editorial control over the content it publishes from, eg, reporters and letters to the editor.) Google/Facebook’s protection from lawsuit under US laws is actually premised on them being platforms, not publishers. Were it otherwise, Google/YouTube could be sued for, eg, defamation, like newspapers. They can say (and have said) that they are not responsible for content on their platforms because they are just that: platforms.

    And then they turn around and make editorial decisions…

    Google is just a friggin’ website, just like, say, Catallaxy or your private blog if you have one. The fact that Google is a popular one doesn’t change the fact that it is a private website.

    No, Google/YouTube is not just a friggin’ website like Catallaxy. For the reasons I noted above, Google/YouTube are platforms. Its capacity to exercise editorial control is far more circumscribed than Catallaxy’s. It also forms a huge part of the digital public square and, in this regard, size does matter.

  50. roger

    Dear Joshua
    While on the substance of our debate we may have to, at this point in time, agree to disagree, I thank you for your comments and debating style. You stick to addressing the arguments, and refrain from ad hominem attacks. Quite a refreshing change in this blog.
    Have a nice day.

  51. Nob

    Catallaxy is a hosted blog. Its host could pull the plug.

    Google has its own servers, massive farms of them.

    That’s just one difference.

  52. Joshua

    Hi roger, I don’t actually agree to agreeing to disagree. That said, the debate has been fun, and thanks for your views.

  53. Iampeter

    So Joshua, given what you’ve said in this thread, do you understand that you are on the left wing side of politics?

  54. Kneel

    The big tech platforms are the means by which a great many of us participate in the public square.

    “The means by which a great many of us participate in the public square” are *not* Google, FB and Twitter, anymore than our sky is Qantas or, for that matter, outer space is NASA.
    The so-called “dark web” is a Google free zone – that’s why it’s “dark”. Ever seen or used it? Thought not.
    How many people will find your blog if it’s on a private server, but Google refuses to serve its URI in their results? What if Google decides to pre-filter results for engines like DuckDuckGo!? There goes your access to 98+% of your potential market. Monopolies are great if you have one, but not so great when you are beholden to one.

    Publisher or carrier – decide you motherless dogs!
    I really don’t care which one you are or want to be, but you can’t be both – simples!

    P.S. Fortunately for them, Google removed “don’t be evil” from its company policy – just in time too. Why, it’s almost like they knew….

  55. Paul

    ” That being said, it may be a good idea to keep the site running so its users can be monitored.”

    I was under the impression that the site was just that: a flypaper site for Security/intel services.

  56. Karabar

    DEAR ESTABLISHMENT………GFY’S

    As predicted in our statement to Buzzfeed: 8chan is indeed online. It’s on ZeroNet, a decentralized and open source peer-to-peer version of the internet.
    It literally can not be censored now. By anyone. At all.
    Not admins. Not governments. No one.
    Happy now, media elites? https://t.co/BC1vzmE89m pic.twitter.com/6x9R1EX857
    — Gab.com (@getongab) August 6, 2019

  57. Joshua

    So Joshua, given what you’ve said in this thread, do you understand that you are on the left wing side of politics?

    Not so, Iampeter.

    My political views are centre-right, specifically classically liberal. And (per my relevant comment earlier in this thread) classical liberalism is concerned with well-regulated markets and governments. What do I mean by well-regulated? Regulation should be limited but effective, and government should be limited but effective. One of the left’s problems is that it confuses a “a well regulated market” with “a market with lots of regulations”, and “a well-regulated government” as “a big government administering lots of laws”.

    As to well-regulated markets, classical liberalism has long-recognised that monopolies as one way a market can fail. The solution is to bust up the monopolies into a number of smaller (but still private) entities.

  58. Iampeter

    Hi Joshua, I can’t imagine given what you’ve posted how you can conclude you are, ” centre-right, specifically classically liberal.”
    At best you are center-left, but a lot of your talking points, e.g. fear of monopolies, are Marxist level in their leftism.
    Classic liberals do not believe in “well-regulated markets.” That’s not a thing. Just more leftist nonsense trying to disguise authoritarianism.
    Classic liberals believe in a rights protecting government which then makes it possible for a capitalist economic system to exist. A proper separation of state and economics, just like we have with state and church.

    This is why I wanted to clarify with you. Most posters at the cat, and really among conservatives in general today, have similar ideas to you and likewise don’t seem to realize this makes you all leftists.

    To be right wing is something none here seem to understand even theoretically and would likely oppose if they did understand it.

  59. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Classic liberals do not believe in “well-regulated markets.”

    Sure, but do you call contract enforcement and arbitration, “regulation”?

  60. Tel

    Sure, but do you call contract enforcement and arbitration, “regulation”?

    There used to be the notion of “well regulated” which applied to any aspect of human affairs and meant following rules, behaving in an orderly manner, and properly functioning. It didn’t have to be heavy regulation, nor even necessarily government regulation, but some kind of rules (possibly self imposed) that kept things operating. That description is somewhat archaic now … and most commonly only still refers to the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution describing a “well regulated militia”.

    I dug around and found a quote that illustrates typical usage:

    “There is a market held at Sabi every, fourth day,A also a weekly one in the province of Aplogua, which is so resorted to, that there are usually five or six thousand merchants. Their markets are so well regulated and governed, that seldom any disorder happens; each species of merchandize and merchants have a place allotted them by themselves. The buyers may haggle as much as they will, but it must be without noise or fraud. To keep order, the King appoints a judge, who, with four officers well armed, inspects the markets, hears all complaints, and, in a summary way, decides all differences; he has power to seize, and sell as slaves, all who are catched in stealing, or disturbing the peace. In these markets are to be sold men, women, children, oxen, sheep, goats, and fowls of all kinds; European cloths, linen and woollen; printed callicoes, silk, grocery ware, china, golddust, iron in bars, &c. in a word, most sorts of European goods, as well as the produce of Africa and Asia. They have other markets, resembling our fairs, once or twice a year, to which all the country repair; for they take care to order the day so in different governments, as not to interfere with each other.”

    https://www.gutenberg.org/files/11489/11489-h/11489-h.htm

    Joshua is correct in the historical usage. Iampeter understands these concepts about as well as he understands the Liberal Party website, or sarcasm, or Fed interest rates … which is to say he has demonstrated himself clueless on many occasions, and this has been another. He will probably start swearing soon and projecting is ignorance onto others … it’s the normal way these threads get derailed.

    Clearly trade must necessarily require private property rights, and thus there must be rules imposed as to how property is acquired, who is allowed to own what, and the appropriate procedures for buying and selling. How we arrive at those rules and who could be trusted to arbitrate is what political discussion is all about … but there’s really no question as to whether some rules should exist.

  61. Iampeter

    Sure, but do you call contract enforcement and arbitration, “regulation”?

    No. Why would you even ask that? Oh, because you want to use “contract” instead of “regulation” so you can pretend you’re not a commie. I said in another thread that if communism came to Australia and the mass expropriations and gulags started, all they had to do is use capitalist-sounding words and conservatives would support them.
    Hey they have a contract to steal all your stuff. The word “contract” is there. What, aren’t you a capitalist? Contract!
    As we see in thread after thread, issue after issue, there is simply zero understanding of the subject of politics or the terms associated with it. You guys don’t know what free speech, censorship, religious freedom, individual rights, contracts, or any other political term means, or how to use them correctly.

    Tel, the term “well regulated” was never used by people who know what they are talking about. I used the correct terms in my response to Joshua. Like Joshua, Frank, most people here, you want to use capitalist-sounding terms in order to advocate socialism, because you don’t understand, nor would you support the concepts that lead to capitalism.

    Iampeter understands these concepts about as well as he understands the Liberal Party website, or sarcasm, or Fed interest rates … which is to say he has demonstrated himself clueless on many occasions, and this has been another. He will probably start swearing soon and projecting is ignorance onto others … it’s the normal way these threads get derailed.

    LOL no. These threads get derailed by people like you. People whose total ignorance of the subject here is matched only by their ability to project.

  62. Tel

    From the idiot who told us the Fed rates are at zero … and the RBA is better because RBA rates are higher than the Fed. Why would anyone listen to that guy?

    Go demonstrate you understand the concept of contracts. Demonstrate you can read the words on the Liberal Party website and it means something to you. Come up with one thing that’s good and impresses somebody on this blog … doesn’t matter who. Just one single thing that makes a positive contribution.

  63. Iampeter

    From the idiot who told us the Fed rates are at zero … and the RBA is better because RBA rates are higher than the Fed. Why would anyone listen to that guy?

    Wow, do you really not understand the point that was being made in that thread that you need to keep carrying it over into every thread as if it’s some gotcha?
    What I was saying in that thread was that Australia’s interest rates are not the lowest in the world so our Central Bank is the least bad, based on that metric alone. As is so often the case at the cat, I can’t believe this needs to be clarified.
    This is why you shouldn’t be calling anyone else idiots.
    Also, take note of who it was that “started swearing” in order to derail a thread…hint: not me.

    Go demonstrate you understand the concept of contracts.

    You mean you need the fact that “contracts” cannot be used in place of “well-regulated” needs demonstrating? Will you also need me to explain that “socialism” is not “capitalism?”
    Sorry, but you are a politically illiterate leftist and I’m not here to help you pretend otherwise.

    If you think that you need to define “contracts,” something neither Joshua nor me were discussing, because you think that’s going to change something about any of the points we were making then YOU do so.

    You need to explain what point you disagree with and present your alternate position.

  64. mh

    Iampeter, what you wrote was this

    A central bank by definition is incompetence, but the Australian one is the only one still not at 0% or negative interest rates, so technically it’s the least incompetent.

    The US Fed had rates at 2.5%.

  65. Iampeter

    Iampeter, what you wrote was this

    A central bank by definition is incompetence, but the Australian one is the only one still not at 0% or negative interest rates, so technically it’s the least incompetent.

    The US Fed had rates at 2.5%.

    Yep. This doesn’t doesn’t change the point I was making in that sentence you quoted. A point which shouldn’t need to be clarified, but I did so anyway in the very post you’ve just responded to.

    There’s nothing more I can add. I can’t help you because there is no helping. You’re just derailing the thread at this point to avoid facing the fact that you are a clueless leftists who don’t know that “capitalsm” and “socialism” are opposites.

  66. Iampeter

    Bye Peter 👋

    Yes goodbye.

    Hope you enjoyed derailing a thread and making yourself look even stupider.
    Because that seems to be your only purpose at the Cat.

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