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Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Joe Lonsdale warns that Lindsey Graham’s and Elizabeth Warren’s “proposed federal agency would entrench Big Tech and imperil the right to freedom of speech.” Three slices:

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Elizabeth Warren are teaming up to try to build something called the Digital Consumer Protection Commission—a new federal agency with the power to sue, write rules and even shut down internet platforms.

I’ve spent my life building technology companies—not in Big Tech, but taking on Big Tech through entrepreneurship and innovation. I invest in and engage in partnerships with hundreds of other entrepreneurs to build technology for America. The DCPC is a terrible idea.

Congress has considered such notions before, and both sides of the aisle have plenty of populist energy to go after Big Tech. As Americans know, Big Tech has flaws. Social-media platforms have policed speech based on viewpoint. Some large platforms’ power also is a concern. Apple uses its App Store to charge a 30% fee on app revenue while deciding which apps are available to the majority of U.S. consumers. But a Digital Consumer Protection Commission would be a disaster for tens of thousands of small and medium-size technology businesses—the beating heart of our innovation ecosystem.


American citizens benefit from an open internet, as well as the jobs and tax dollars generated by the world’s most vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. Technology is one of the rare industries in which products and services continue to become cheaper and better—unlike education and healthcare, which government controls through bureaucratic commissions and licensing bodies. It’s ludicrous to assess what is working in our country and what isn’t and conclude that we need more unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of technology.

The U.S. leads the world in innovation, which is why the best builders want to work here. China and Europe aren’t close, and won’t be if our tech sector remains free and dynamic.


Recent leaks from Meta show that executives there worried that if they didn’t censor accurate information that the Biden administration didn’t like, the company could face severe consequences. Given this scandal, is another organ of government censorship advisable?

We don’t need more politically correct nonsense, more censorship mandated by the swamp. A Digital Consumer Protection Commission wouldn’t help and Congress should reject this proposal.

Wall Street Journal columnist Allysia Finley is correct: “Climate Change Obsession Is a Real Mental Disorder.” Two slices:

“First and foremost, it is imperative that adults understand that youth climate anxiety (also referred to as eco-anxiety, solastalgia, eco-guilt or ecological grief) is an emotionally and cognitively functional response to real existential threats,” a May 10 editorial in the journal Nature explained. “Although feelings of powerlessness, grief and fear can be profoundly disruptive—particularly for young people unaccustomed to the depth and complexity of such feelings—it is important to acknowledge that this response is a rational one.”

These anxieties are no more rational than the threats from climate change are existential. A more apt term for such fear is climate hypochondria.


Climate hypochondriacs deserve to be treated with compassion, much like anyone who suffers from mental illness. They shouldn’t, however, expect everyone else to enable their neuroses.

(DBx: I spent the first 22 years of my life – 1958-1980 – in or very near the city of New Orleans. The subtropical climate of that city is, during the summer months, most unpleasant. I hate heat and hate humidity even more. I hate them now, and I hated them as a child and young man living in that gulf-coast mosquito-muggy swampiness. But such heat and humidity are not close to being existential threats. Never did I think that I was going to die because of them. Never did I – fortunately never to have known what life was like before air conditioning – have any trouble escaping the oppressively high Summer temperatures, which seemed always to be accompanied by 100-percent humidity. Our homes and most other indoor spaces, and – by the time I was a teenager – nearly all of our automobiles, were air-conditioned. We lived with that climate as a matter of course. Extremely uncomfortable when outdoors? Yes. Existentially threatening? No. As dangerous as the government interventions peddled as ‘cures’ for climate change? Not remotely so.)

Andrew Farrant reviews, in Reason, Sebastián Edwards’s The Chile Project. A slice:

The economy generally fared well in this period, but the Achilles’ heel of the Chilean model lay in the increasingly widespread perception that it was systematically rigged in favor of the self-anointed Chilean elite. Edwards offers a nuanced and insightful analysis of a sequence of corruption scandals that ultimately culminated in the 2019 protests, the 2021 election of Gabriel Boric to the presidency, the ill-fated (and ongoing) efforts to draft a new social democratic constitution, and what Edwards views as the inexorable demise of the neoliberal model.

This 2017 podcast in which Julia Galef interviews UC-Davis economic historian Gregory Clark about the industrial revolution is quite good and thought-provoking.

Allister Heath decries the “mutation of big firms into quasi-activist groups.” A slice:

Going woke is easier than actually being good at business: why bother with what Elon Musk calls “a hardcore work culture” if playing politics is all it takes to be lauded as a great leader? Why bother working long hours, obsessing about operational detail and customer satisfaction, labouring day and night to produce better products at a lower cost? The woke corporation, it turns out, is in fact the lazy, decadent corporation; social activism is a cover for managerial inadequacy.

Robby Soave reports on the Biden White House putting pressure on Facebook to censor posts about covid. Two slices:

President Joe Biden’s White House pushed Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to censor contrarian COVID-19 content, including speculation about the virus having escaped from a lab, vaccine skepticism, and even jokes.

“Can someone quickly remind me why we were removing—rather than demoting/labeling—claims that Covid is man made,” asked Nick Clegg, president for global affairs at the company, in a July 2021 email to his coworkers.

A content moderator replied, “We were under pressure from the administration and others to do more. We shouldn’t have done it.”

These and other emails obtained by Rep. Jim Jordan (R–Ohio) and The Wall Street Journal provide further evidence of the federal government’s vast efforts to curb dissent online. As I reported in Reason‘s March 2023 issue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) communicated frequently with Facebook content moderators and pushed them to take down posts that contradicted the guidance of federal health advisers.

All of these disclosures show that it’s pointless to be angry with social media companies—they were put in a very difficult position. Supporters of free speech must direct their ire toward the federal government and demand that government officials stop engaging in this behavior.

Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) has proposed a bill along these lines. I interviewed him about it here.

No College Mandates tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

Only 3 colleges dropped mandates from last week to this week leaving us with 101 colleges still mandating COVID vaccines for fall. They are likely operating with limited summer staff but each passing day that students are mandated to take these shots is one day too many.