Free Speech

Zuck’s Big Lies


cjones11062019

Let’s get something straight at the start. Expressing yourself on social media isn’t about free speech. When a platform deletes your comment, you have every right to be upset (that’s freedom), but they did not censor you or deny your First Amendment rights.

Facebook is not a government platform. You don’t have a right to Facebook any more than you have a right to free time on the stage of the Republican National Convention to espouse your views. It’s not your stage. Nobody is required to provide you a stage or a platform.

But again, you have every right to get upset when they delete your comment. Out of fairness, when Facebook deletes your comment, they owe you an explanation that’s consistent with their policies and practices. They don’t do that. So, go ahead and get upset.

When one of your friends lands in “Facebook jail,” you hear about it. They let everyone know. I don’t really know how it works because it’s never happened to me. But from the way I’ve seen people operate, it seems they can’t post for a few days but they can still scroll through Facebook. I’ve had people comment on cartoons of mine that they can’t comment because they’re in Facebook jail. So, yeah…I’m having trouble understanding it.

But Facebook has these community guidelines. They have people on staff who analyze posts to make sure they’re accurate and not conspiracy theories. Of course, Republicans scream about their right to free speech when their conspiracy theory is deleted.

Another thing Facebook does is remove bullying, which is nice if it only applied to bullying. I’ve heard of them deleting posts like, “Donald Trump is a Russian asset.” That’s more along the lines of an opinion than bullying. So again, I don’t understand what Facebook is doing.

Russia manipulated Facebook in a big way during the 2016 presidential campaign. They used the platform to build troll farms to spread chaos in this nation. While they created posts with lies and conspiracy theories to divide this nation, they mostly worked to benefit Donald Trump. Do you know who has never complained about that? Donald Trump.

A platform like Facebook sets its rules and you have to live by them if you want to play. But Facebook isn’t consistent with their rules and they’re downright hypocrites. Facebook has decided it will police your post for facts, but if you pay for it as a political ad, then you’re free to lie as much as you want. Facebook has decided not to fact-check political ads.

Fact-checking political ads completely would be impossible for Facebook. They have over 2.8 billion users operating in over 100 languages. There’s more going on out there than our presidential election. But instead of being pompous about “free speech,” Facebook should just admit it’s given up and are now encouraging lies and conspiracy theories in political ads.

This week, Twitter announced they won’t accept any political advertisements. I think that’s great (if they actually do it). Republicans, as usual, started screaming and complaining that Twitter was infringing upon conservative speech. Never mind the fact Twitter is banning ALL political ads, not just those supporting Donald Trump.

Facebook’s head honcho Mark Zuckerberg also complained about it and said, “In a democracy, I don’t think it’s right for private companies to censor politicians or the news.” Once again, Facebook fails the consistency test as they censor posts to comply with “democracies” like Turkey, India, Pakistan, and Israel while deleting accounts and posts in nations with more speech freedom under mysterious circumstances.

Donald Trump spent over $70 million on Facebook ads in 2016. Other big consumers of Facebook ads are right-wing parties in Britain, India, Brazil, and the Philippines. And according to the Mueller Report, Russia spends $1.25 million on social media political ads a month.

There is social responsibility. News networks will fact-check ads (though lies and dubious claims still get through). Facebook is refusing to enact any responsibility and that’s not sitting well with many within the company. Over 250 of its employees signed an open letter decrying the decision to allow lying ads. The employees wrote, “Free speech and paid speech are not the same thing.”

They argue that lying ads “doesn’t protect voices, but instead allows politicians to weaponize our platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is trustworthy.” Basically, lying ads work on gullible people, which can be any one of us who accepts what we want to believe, but they mostly work on the people who are the least informed. Or to be more blunt, stupid Trump voters. These are the people who believe Donald Trump is trustworthy.

You don’t see liberals trying to shoot up pizza parlors because they thought a candidate was operating a child sex ring out of the basement, do you?

It’s not about free speech on Facebook. It’s about paid speech, and Zuckerberg is literally arguing it’s about “free” speech when he’s taking money for it. He’s more than happy to allow Facebook to be weaponized by the worst people if he makes a profit from it. What this does is put more responsibility on us, the customers of Facebook, to be wary and do our own fact-checking. Most of us won’t don’t that.

Free speech and paid speech are not the same thing and most Facebook users don’t know that. And neither does Mark Zuckerberg.

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Devin Has A Cow


cjones03242019

In 1983, Hustler Magazine published a parody mimicking a Campari advertising campaign that conducted interviews with celebrities about “their first time,” a double-entendre about their first time drinking the alcohol. In the parody, the subject was the famous televangelist Jerry Falwell who misunderstood the “first-time” question and said his first time was with his mother in an outhouse. At the bottom of the ad was fine print which said, “ad parody—not to be taken seriously,” which was for readers who took Hustler seriously. Jerry Falwell took it seriously.

Falwell sued the owner of Hustler, Larry Flynt. Falwell won in a U.S. district court in Virginia, and then he won an appeal by Flynt. On the claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress, the jury ruled in favor of Falwell and awarded him $150,000 in damages. Flynt didn’t take it lying down and took it all the way to the Supreme Court where he won a unanimous decision by all eight judges (there was a vacancy at the time), even the freaky conservative ones like William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia.

They ruled that the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution prohibit public figures from recovering damages from emotional distress caused by a caricature, parody, or satire. Larry Flynt, a porn publisher, spent millions protecting our freedom of speech. Every editorial cartoonist in this nation owes Flynt a big thank you, which I gave in person several years ago.

So, if Flynt can get away with saying Jerry Falwell had drunken outhouse sex with his mom then a parody Twitter account can impersonate Congressman Devin Nunes’ mom and his cow. Right? Yes, they can, but Nunes doesn’t think so and has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter, his fake mom, and the imaginary cow. Seriously.

Maybe Nunes believes he has a case if the cow’s followers believe it’s an actual tweeting cow. Only if they’re Republicans. Does the cow need a disclaimer that it’s not actual Devin Nunes’ cow?

Nunes, like Donald Trump, has very thin skin. These guys who consider themselves “Constitutionalists” want to destroy First Amendment protections. Trump wants the FCC to regulate humor so it’s not one-sided and Nunes wants laws preventing people from making fun of him. Trump and Nunes are also arguing that social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook are restricting conservatives’ accounts on their platforms. They’re really worried it’ll hamper Russian trolls in 2020.

To argue about these platforms that don’t allow diversity of viewpoints, he went on Fox News and talked to Sean Hannity. Seriously.

The person you need to help sell that saying untrue stuff should be illegal is…Sean Hannity? Seriously?

In the lawsuit, Nunes argues that being called a “presidential fluffer” and “swamp rat” (seriously) interfere with his important investigation of “corruption by the Clinton campaign and alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential Election.” He also argues that people on Twitter making fun of him were trying to influence the outcome of the 2018 Congressional election. Seriously.

I’m going to make a public statement now and I want to be clear. The cartoon above was drawn with malice with the intention of defaming and injuring Devin Nunes’ name and reputation. I would say “good name,” but Nunes doesn’t have one…like his face. I really want Nunes to feel bad about this.

Here’s the thing, Devin (may I call you “Devin” or do you prefer “Mr. Fluffer?”)…I’m not afraid of Donald Trump. I’m not afraid of his supporters. After three years of them threatening and trying to intimidate me on SOCIAL MEDIA LIKE TWITTER, I’m still not afraid of them. Granted, none of them has started a cow Twitter account against me, but if they had, I think I could handle it. My point is if I’m not afraid of the president of the United States, who has hired fixers in the past to bully people and has the largest bully pulpit in the world in which to bully, then I’m not ever going to be afraid of a whiny, little, thin-skinned, presidential fluffer, treasonous pissant like you or any lawyers stupid enough to help you sue without understanding how the First Amendment works.

I don’t know your mom, and I’m sure she’s a nice person, but she should be more ashamed of you than of the account parodying her. And if you did actually own a cow, it would have jumped a fence by now to avoid being associated with you. The only cow dumb enough to be seen with you in public is orange with a bad combover.

Save yourself the trouble of suing me, Congressman and I’ll just go ahead and write you a check for a pair of big boy pants. Try not to shit in them next time someone calls you “fluffer.”

Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

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Dilly Dilly


cjones11252017

The Federal Communications Commission has decided to repeal Net Neutrality. What is that? Net Neutrality is a set of rules put in place by the Obama administration that prohibit high-speed internet service providers, or I.S.P.s, from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites. They also prevent the companies from charging customers extra fees for high-quality streaming and other services. Sounds like a good thing, right? Well, say bye-bye.

Now, internet service providers can charge more to see certain content and even limit access to certain websites. If a provider doesn’t like some content, like it may contain facts it doesn’t want too many people to see, it can slow down the speed of that site. How many times have you ever visited a slow website burdened by stupid videos and pop-ups and decided the wait wasn’t worth your time? Oh, every day? Me too. Hopefully, you don’t have that problem with this site and the new video ads WordPress has chosen to display here (though it does give me a few bucks occasionally).

Now, why would the Trump administration want this? It’s not like Donald Trump understands a damn thing about Net Neutrality, or anything that actually exists. For Trump, it’s getting rid of another Obama policy. For the rich jerks that Trump works for, it gives them another opportunity to get richer. For right-wingers who may control internet access, it allows them to control what you can and can’t see. You’re never going to see the pee tape.

Breitbart loves this shit as it could limit access to not just liberal sites, but legitimate news outlets. They hate facts. But, as a column at Boing Boing (love that name) points out, Breitbart is too dumb to survive the Net Neutrality Apocalypse. For conservatives who love this ruling, they have to believe Republicans will control all three branches of government forever.

Google and Facebook are going to fight this and it will end up in court. If we’re lucky, it’ll turn out like most rulings do for Trump. He’ll lose. You may need to yell at some congressmen and senators though.

And, if you don’t…..DILLY DILLY!

Creative notes: I’m trying to get a little ahead for Thanksgiving. There’s food to eat and a couple of invites for me and I’d like to do something tomorrow other than sit in my room watching CNN all day with a cat on my lap. I will be drawing again tonight. I also need to draw a cartoon for Costa Rica, which should I should be doing by tomorrow morning but, I might be working on it tomorrow night. I am in the pit of deadline misery.

I’ve been wanting to use the “dilly dilly” thing ever since I saw that commercial. Another cartoonist actually beat me to it a couple weeks ago, but he used it for a sports cartoon. Dilly dilly is just so stupid, how can I not love it?

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.

Pucker Up For Free Speech


cjones05042017

With freedom of speech being perhaps our strongest guarantee you have to take the good with the bad.

While we celebrate Martin Luther King telling us that he had a dream, we have to stomach Ann Coulter vomiting up such filth as “It would be a much better country if women did not vote,” and “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”

A lot has been made of Ann Coulter’s speech being cancelled at Berkeley. Did they cancel her to shut her up or was it because of concerns for her safety? I don’t think anyone should ever protest Coulter just for the simple reason that she likes it. I get that because I love my hate mail. When you protest Coulter that gives her more to cry about, more press coverage, and bigger paychecks and book deals. She’s already written 12. Do you want to help her publish another?

I support the likes of Ann Coulter speaking freely but don’t make a mistake about her. She’s not a champion of freedom of speech. First off, she has to get paid and she’s more of a brand than anything. Second, she’s an opponent of facts and information.

It’s fair to criticize and question the press. We should always question where information comes from. That’s how the press gets their information. But anyone targeting the press, such as Donald Trump and Ann Coulter, are not champions of freedom of the press or freedom of speech. They’re only champions for their speech which is what they accuse liberals of.

The other day I saw a comment from a conservative friend who wrote “the trust is gone with any print or media. I do think that Carlson and Hannity speak the most truth. Maybe because I want to believe in something on the air.” All she needs to believe in something, like our president, is the desire to believe it. She doesn’t need facts. She needs confirmation bias. And if anything is contradictory to what this person wants to believe, then it’s fake news.

Any person who paints the media as having a liberal agenda, including your parents who you can’t discuss politics with anymore, is an opponent of free speech. They’re an opponent because they’re telling a lie, or in most cases, repeating a lie. They want to shut down what they disagree with. A poll came out Thursday that revealed 52% of Republicans believe Obama spied on Trump. That’s some serious bullshit to be consuming there. It’s like all the Republicans who choose to believe Obama is a Kenyan-Muslim coming to take your guns. Any newspaper or network which tells you the facts about each of those will be labeled “fake news” by conservatives. Isn’t it funny that information now has opponents?

While I wouldn’t cry if Rush Limbaugh, Breitbart, and Infowars all went out of business, I support their right to exist and feed the ignorant dumbasses of our nation. But they’re not champions of free speech either since it’s not as much conservative opinion they’re dishing out (which is fine), but false information. I also want Fox News to stick around just so conservatives can have their media and not get the irony when they complain about the “lame-stream media,” that Fox News has the most viewers.

That’s the price of free speech. Sometimes when you kiss the toad you don’t get a prince or MLK. What you get is some “God-Hates-Fags” fucker from Westboro or Ann Coulter.

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Sunshine Week 2017


cjones03132017

Sunshine Week is a national initiative by the America Society of News Editors. It started in Florida and went national in 2005 and is recognized for a week every March. It coincides with James Madison’s birthday.

Freedom of information and access to open government is crucial to have a free nation. It’s a constant fight for the press from your hometown weekly to The New York Times. Politicians from each party attempt to conceal information from the public. These perpetrators are on city councils, county supervisors, legislatures (general assembly in Virginia), to the United States Congress to presidents. There are a lot of people in government who don’t want you knowing what they’re doing.

We’re at a point where it’s more crucial and threatened than ever. We have a president who can’t tell the truth. He is a man who promised to reveal his tax returns before the election and has yet to do so. Releasing tax returns is not a requirement, but it sure would be nice to know who he’s in debt to.

This president has also referred to the press as “fake news” and an enemy of the American people. Donald Trump wants you to believe lies and deny the truth.

If you’re fine with Trump’s attacks on the media and his attempts to destroy a free press, ask yourself these questions: How are you informed? Do you like facts and information? Maybe you’re fine with the press shutting down because you don’t believe them anyway, which usually just means you don’t like what you’re hearing. Do you trust politicians to be the only source of everything you need to know?

If you get all your information from sources like Breitbart and InfoWars, then you’re not informed. You’re choosing ignorance and dumbing down. Those are not news organizations. They’re propaganda.

A free press isn’t just important to people like me, who make fun of politicians, and it’s not just important to those who report on politicians. It’s important to you whether you like it or not.

To quote Hannah Arendt, a German-American theorist, who said in 1974 “The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer.” Gee, that sounds like she’s describing someone we all know today.

If she’s not smart enough for you then maybe you should listen to Thomas Jefferson. He’s smarter than all of us. He said “The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

I’ll stand with Tom over Donald. How about you?

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, etc.. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!