Watercooler 01/05/2017; Judge Rules Citizens Do Have A Right To Criticize Govt.; Finland Starts Universal Income Experiment; University Course In How Not To Be A Man


That 1st Amendment Does Actually Mean Citizens Can Criticize Elected Officials

In 2014, Maple Heights, Ohio, Mayor Jeffrey Lansky filed a $25,000 lawsuit against Bill and Lynde Brownlee for emotional distress, claiming they used false statements to defame him on their blog, the widely read Maple Heights News. However, the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge that tried the case, Jose Villanueva, concluded otherwise. In his court order, the judge determined the mayor did not prove he was hurt by the blog article criticizing some of his decisions.

If we stopped here in the “As Maple Heights Churns” soap opera, it wouldn’t be much of a tale, except some of the back story details are interesting. Mayor Lansky, a Democrat, and Brownlee, a Republican, are longtime political foes, and this was not the first time they met in court. Brownlee filed a federal civil rights suit against Lansky earlier in the year. Brownlee claims in his lawsuit that the mayor obtained Brownlee’s tax information from the city and used it in a flier against Brownlee related to an initiative to ban traffic cameras.



Hard to tell which way these tactics are spreading in the Democratic Party, top down or bottom up. Either way it’s obvious there isn’t enough being done to discourage them weaponizing their office and bureaucracy to attack political opponents. We saw it with the Obama DOJ and IRS now, here we see it in small town America, when it shouldn’t be happening anywhere.

Finland Begins It’s Grand Experiment In Universal Income.

 Finland’s experimental scheme to provide its citizens with a basic income, regardless of employment, launched earlier this week.

The two-year pilot scheme will provide 2,000 unemployed Finnish citizens, aged between 25 and 58, with a monthly basic income of 560 euros ($581.48) that will replace their other social benefits.

These citizens will continue to receive the basic income even if they find work.

Kela, the organization which runs Finland’s social security systems and is running the pilot scheme, hopes the basic income experiment will boost employment, because the current system can potentially discourage the unemployed to find work as their earnings reduce the benefits they may receive.

“For someone receiving a basic income, there are no repercussions if they work a few days or a couple of weeks,” said Marjukka Turunen, head of Kela’s Legal Affairs Unit, in a press release.

“Incidental earnings do not reduce the basic income, so working and self-employment are worthwhile no matter what.”



Things to note about this, the idea goes at least as far back as Thomas Paine’s Citizen’s Dividend proposal was taken up again by Milton Friedman who’s advocacy for this is credited as an inspiration for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Not to argue against Milton Friedman or William F. Buckley in the linked interview but there’s a definite moral hazard in play with this idea. I don’t see how having significant portions of the population rendered idle at a subsistence standard of living is going to work out well in any way shape or form.

University Of Wisconsin To Begin It’s Men’s Project To Rid Men Of Toxic Masculinity

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will soon launch its “Men’s Project,” a six-week program that promises to tackle harmful definitions of masculinity and the violence they allegedly cause.

“Men-identified students” can apply to join the program, where participants enter a space for “critical self-reflection” so that they can both challenge traditional views of masculinity and promote gender equity, The College Fix reports.

“The program operates on a transformative model of social justice allyship,” explains a news release from UW-Madison. “First, facilitators ask students to consider how the students’ opinions about masculinity affect their own perceptions every day. Second, they consider how those opinions affect the people around them.”

One goal of the project, said Sam Johnson, a violence prevention specialist at the University Health Services, is to “prevent future violence” by analyzing “unhealthy interactions” caused by traditional perceptions of masculinity and their role in gender-based violence, alcohol, and relationships.

—Campus Reform


The thing that kills me about this is that in a few years the alumni of this course are going to be demanding forgiveness of their college loans.

Quote of the Day:

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. –Thomas Paine


Seeing as we just had a TV Star run for president this weeks quiz, How Much Do You Know About Political Advertising ?

My score was 17 out of 20 some rather surprising answers in this one.

Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread


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