Category Archives: SOCIAL MEDIA

Project Veritas’s latest Facebook exposé and Scott Adams’s Slaughtermeter

Project Veritas’s new exposé by political bias at Facebook reminded me that Scott Adams said a year ago that Big Tech would make a Trump loss a 100% certainty.

Last year, Scott Adams created something called the “Slaughtermeter,” which was his mental tally of how badly Trump would be slaughtered in the upcoming 2020 election. It’s a straight-line meter that looks at events on a given day and, using that day as a metric, determines where Trump is on a sliding scale of election success. A zero on the Slaughtermeter would mean that Trump’s chances of winning in 2020 are zero, while a one-hundred would mean he is certain to win.

On May 24, 2020, Adams was very pessimistic about Trump’s chances of winning the election. His pessimism was because social media and other tech companies, all of which are leftist from the top down, were already showing that they were determined to use their massive power to prevent Trump from winning again.

I have downgraded the slaughter meter from a hundred and forty percent, where I said to myself the competition for presidency is so weak that I couldn’t imagine any situation other than Trump dominating the election. I’ve reset that to zero. My current thinking is that the president has no chance of reelection now.

Adams’s starting point was the way in which YouTube routinely blocks entirely or demonetizes videos that say things that support Trump or challenge his opponents:

There is a topic that I can’t mention that is removed from YouTube whenever an individual is mentioned in the positive. I can’t even say the name of the person because these videos will be removed from the internet. Now I don’t have much interest in that actual topic, I don’t even have an opinion on it and I’m not really informed, but it is true that we now live in the world in which a major platform can completely stop a topic and it’s okay. . . it’s okay. It’s legal apparently you can make an entire topic leave the news and it’s okay. Now in what world can you ever expect a fair election where the social media people do not put their finger on the thumb? Well, I would say that’s pretty unusual, we see people like Dave Rubin being demonetized . . . I’d say a hundred of my videos were demonetized, if I ask the reasons for it — and I haven’t — I’m sure there would be some reason that didn’t sound very convincing to me, but the things demonetized coincidentally are the same things that would be the most damaging to the Democrats. Might be a coincidence but I don’t know.

Adams explained that the shield behind which the social media giants operate is so impenetrable that even he, with his fame, wealth, and connections, cannot prove if he’s being deliberately censored. All he can do is suspect that something’s going on.

As an example of the way in which YouTube puts its thumb on the scale, Adams discussed what was then a hot topic: The video of Pelosi slurring her words, and therefore appearing drunk or demented, which YouTube removed because it was “doctored.” Adams pointed out the innumerable other doctored videos that stay on the platform. Also, there there are readily available examples of the original video so that people can draw their own conclusions about whether Pelosi was actually slurring or not. YouTube’s/Google’s problem with the video, obviously, wasn’t the doctoring; it was that it made Nancy Pelosi look bad.

To step away from Adams’s 2019 discussion for a moment, think back just a few days. Carpe Donktum created a funny little video pointing out CNN’s massive bias. The starting point was an adorable viral video showing a black toddler and a white toddler hugging each other on the street, at which point, as part of their play, the black child ran down the street with the white child in happy pursuit. Carpe Donktum clipped just the running portion and imagined a fake CNN chyron that would claim a racist toddler was terrorizing a terrified black toddler. The Carpe Donktum video then resets to reveals the original video. Only a moron, or a Twitter content controller, would be incapable of understanding that this is a satirical political commentary.

President Trump retweeted the video — and Twitter responded by pulling the video on the ground that it was “manipulated.” This power to pull manipulated videos is ideally intended to protect the public from true, Stalin-esque propaganda that erases true images to replace them with skillful and indistinguishable fakes. (A good example of Deep Fake, Stalin-esque propaganda is the way the mainstream media promulgated the “fine people” hoax to make it appear that Trump was praising white supremacists.) Twitter’s attack on Carpe Donktum’s obvious political satire has nothing to do with protecting the public from deep fakes. It’s pure political censorship.

It was only thanks to serious pushback resulting from Trump’s and Carpe Donktum’s high profiles that Twitter reinstated the video:

But back to Adams’s 2019 disquisition about the social media giants and the upcoming election. After explaining that he routinely finds himself shadowbanned or demonetized, Adams got to the point about Big Tech’s ultimate goal, which is to prevent Trump’s re-election (starting at 12:39 in the above video; emphasis mine):

So, if you go back to pre-2016 the social media companies didn’t see what was happening. In other words, they may have been trying to you know put their finger on the scale a little bit. But the thing that these social media companies didn’t see coming is what I call the “Island of Misfit Toys” Trump supporters. All over were this weird collection of . . . I’ve just weirdos yeah and oddballs, and I would put myself squarely in the center of that population because nobody really saw me coming, right? No, nobody really saw that a cartoonist would start spending all this time talking about Trump’s persuasion abilities which would probably change thousands of votes.

[snip]

Now, multiply me by all of the other misfits — and I say this with love because I’m putting myself in this category — there was this weird spontaneous outgrowth of misfits who were unusually effective. The thing about all the misfits — and, again, I’m including myself in this group — is that many of the misfits were super influential.

[snip]

I think it caught everybody by surprise. Everybody thought Hillary would, you know, just waltz into the office. But that surprise factor doesn’t exist for this next election. Consider, if you will, Silicon Valley. They’re all about a/b testing, and releasing the new version, and continuous improvement. Do you think that they’re gonna get caught off guard again? There isn’t any way that the platform owners will be caught off guard again. They won’t be caught off guard again this time. They’re going to be prepared and they’ve had a lot of time to prepare. Four years of the smartest people in the world trying to figure out how to hide behavior. Then, nobody can find you. Keep in mind it’s not too hard to hide because there’s no access. Even I, with a tremendous amount of pull and resources — I have no visibility on whether my social media traffic is real or manipulated.

[snip]

So, here’s the bottom line: I’ve moved the Slaughtermeter to zero because the current situation is that the social media platforms do absolutely have enough influence to change an election. Is there anybody who doesn’t think that’s true? Is there anybody who doesn’t think social media can determine the election if they were determined to do so? I don’t think anybody believes that, right? It’s clear what they want to happen, which is Trump losing. It’s clear they’ve had four years to fix their systems so that there are less obvious, more subtle, more effective. . . . Four years of technical development, the smartest people in the world. Do you think they’re gonna lose this time? Maybe. I mean, anything’s possible.

Well, I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I think you give the smartest people in the world, who are super motivated. . . . How motivated are the social media platforms? Not a little bit motivated. Super, super motivated. Smartest people in the world, [they] know exactly the problem, they know exactly the levers to move. Four years to figure it out.

You think you’re gonna beat that? You’re not, so the current situation is the social media has the levers. We can’t see them. They can push them. It’s clear which way they’re going to pull the lever.

No chance of the president winning this election under the current conditions. So, a lot of things would have to change for him to have be really any shot because the whole democratic process is broken down.

When Scott Adams made the above statements, he was assuming, based upon what little evidence he had available, that things were happening behind the scenes at social media outlets to game the election.

Today, Project Veritas released a whistleblower video showing that, at least within Facebook, Adams’s suspicions were correct. Between biased algorithms and fanatic anti-Trump employees (all of whom quite obviously graduated within the last decade or so from America’s entirely Marxist colleges and universities), Facebook is deliberately and systematically censoring pro-Trump, anti-Democrat content, while promoting anti-Trump, pro-Democrat content:

(And yes, it’s ironic that I’m using YouTube’s platform to link the video. I was unable to find an embed code for the video on Project Veritas’s website. However, if YouTube yanks this video, you can find it here.)

The Department of Justice recently announced that it intends to interpret Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act to allow the social media giants (which were little babies, not big monsters, when the act was passed) to be sued for anti-trust violations. The DOJ is also opening the way to suits for defamation and libel. Currently, tech giants cannot be subject to civil actions because, in 1996, Congress assumed these sites were bulletin boards, and therefore not responsible for content. Twenty-four years later, though, to the extent they’re controlling almost all conversation in America, they’ve become publishers and should not be able to hide behind the Communications Decency Act.

I’m worried that the DOJ’s action is too little, too late. Unless Attorney General Barr has antitrust cases already in the pipeline, this is just a future threat. My sense is that a future threat is meaningless to the Big Tech/Social Medica companies. Indeed, if anything, it will cause them to double down on getting Biden elected because that will protect them completely. And if their gamble fails . . . well, they’ve already committed past antitrust violations, so future conduct won’t change their risk.

We are at a very dangerous time in American history, with the threat of a totalitarian technocracy working to support a fascist American government. And I use the word “fascist” deliberate. The leftists who’ve been spat out of academia for the last 50 years don’t intend to give up their money and do not want a communist-style takeover of the means of production. Instead, they want a purely fascist situation, which envisions government and big business working together to control the American population — and to make sure that Americans buy products from those crony businesses. Obamacare, which forced Americans to buy insurance from private companies, was a trial run, and Justice Roberts’ Supreme Court gave that kind of unconstitutional government force a complete pass.

In November, vote as if your life and freedom depend on it because they do. This election isn’t about “a little bit left of center versus a little bit right of center.” This election is truly about a constitutional, small government/individual liberty America versus true fascism.

As an added incentive for taking the election seriously consider that, while the current batch of American fascists aren’t interested in world domination, as Hitler was, they’re certainly race-obsessed. That should frighten us too. And any minorities who think, “Well, serves those white people right,” should think again. World War II ended almost as badly for the race persecutors as it did for the persecuted races.

Ravelry, a fiber arts social network, silences Trump supporters as “white supremacists”

Ravelry, one of the biggest fiber art social media networks, identifies Trump supporters as “white supremacists” and asks its community to help police them.

If you do any type of fiber crafts — knitting, quilting, crocheting, etc. — you’re familiar with Ravelry. It’s a very well-organized social network dedicated to allowing fiber crafters meet in cyberspace, whether to teach or learn, talk about projects, find patterns, etc.

Ravelry is also a marketplace allowing for individual crafters to sell instructions and patterns. Only recently, I bought two excellent PDF project instructions from a gal whom I later discovered, looking at my credit card statement, markets through Ravelry. The site also gets a small percentage of these PDF sales. It also makes money selling logo wear.

Ravelry is very popular. While it’s unlikely that all its members, or even most of its members, are active on the site at any given time, and many sign up never to return, as of February 2019, 8,000,000 people had signed up for Ravelry.

Unfortunately, Ravelry has decided to wade into politics and to do so in the most ugly way possible. In an announcement today to its membership, one with a Pride flag proudly displayed in the upper left hand corner, Ravelry said that from now on Trump supporters will be silenced.

Please note that the site is not silencing all political discussions on the ground that they are disruptive to a site dedicated to fiber hand crafts. No, no. It is only silencing Trump supporters because they are “white supremacists” — and it’s asking its other members to go full Stasi and police the site for any incipient Trumpista break-outs.

The following is the full text of the Ravelry announcement (bold-italicized emphasis mine):

Ravelry bans Trump

We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry.

This includes support in the form of forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles, and all other content. Note that your project data will never be deleted. We will never delete your Ravelry project data for any reason and if a project needs to be removed from the site, we will make sure that you have access to your data. If you are permanently banned from Ravelry, you will still be able to access any patterns that you purchased. Also, we will make sure that you receive a copy of your data.

We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy.

Policy notes:

  • You can still participate if you do in fact support the administration, you just can’t talk about it here.
  • We are not endorsing the Democrats nor banning Republicans.
  • We are definitely not banning conservative politics. Hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions.
  • We are not banning people for past support.
  • Do not try to weaponize this policy by entrapping people who do support the Trump administration into voicing their support.
  • Similarly, antagonizing conservative members for their unstated positions is not acceptable.

You can help by flagging any of the following items if they constitute support for Trump or his administration:

  • Projects: Unacceptable projects will be provided to the member or made invisible to others.
  • Patterns: Unacceptable patterns will be returned to drafts.
  • Forum posts: right now, only posts written after Sunday, June 23rd at 8 AM Eastern
  • Profiles: Please do not flag profiles yet if the only banned content is an avatar or avatars. There is not yet a flagging system for those.

Much of this policy was first written by a roleplaying game site, not unlike Ravelry but for RPGs, named RPG.net. We thank them for their thoughtful work. For citations/references, see this post on RPG.net: https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/new-ban-do-not-po…


Update history

  • Sunday, June 23rd @ 8:00 AM Eastern: First version
  • Sunday, June 23rd @ 8:12 AM Eastern: Clarify that if you are permanently banned from Ravelry you will receive a copy of your data including any purchased patterns.

Meanwhile, even as Trump supporters are banned as “white supremacists” because they support legal, rather than mass illegal, immigration, Ravelry is all in for the LGBTQ++++ spectrum. Indeed, just as silencing Trump supporters merited an announcement, so did Pride Month:

Ravelry on Pride month

Casey it should be noted, is one of the site’s founders. He also proudly boasts on the “about” page that his pronouns are “he/him” and that he’s married with children. Oh, and he’s white (seen in his photo). In other words, He’s a heteronormative, cisgendered, toxic, white male who’s reinforcing the patriarchy and damaging the environment by being a breeder. Ick.

(By the way, I don’t give a flying whatsit about an individual’s sexuality. I give a lot of flying whatsits about the gay mafia — or, as I call it — the QueerBorg attempting to use sexuality to impose a hard Left social and political agenda on America.)

Significantly, Revelry got its inspiration for silencing Trump supporters from the gamer community. You may remember GamerGate, which occurred when the gamer community was suddenly taken over by Social Justice Warriors as anxious as the Ravelry people are to silence any non-woke, hard-Left social justice voices.

Sadly, while Ravelry is the most dramatic outbreak of social justice warrior-ism turning a non-political activity into a toxic soup, this trend has been breaking out for some months in the knitting world. Just three months ago, Vox ran a story entitled “The knitting community is reckoning with racism : Fiber artists of color are taking to Instagram stories to call out instances of prejudice — and to try to shape a more inclusive future.

The article opens with the author and others taking offense that a knitter was exited about a trip to India. I’m going to have to quote the first few paragraphs so that (a) you can see how little it takes to offend people nowadays and (b) you can see how aggressive the social justice workers are when it comes to imposing their views on others and demanding full submission:

Karen Templer’s Fringe Association Co. is kind of like Goop for knitting. There are tips and how-tos for navigating knitting’s trickier maneuvers. There are knit-alongs for chunky cowls and cute fingerless gloves. There’s an online store that sells the Fringe bag, which has come to be known in some circles as the Birkin of knitting bags. And there’s the blog where Templer puts her personal thoughts.

On January 7, she blogged excitedly about her upcoming trip to India. She wrote that 2019 would be her “year of color.” She said that as a child, India had fascinated her, and that when an Indian friend’s parents offered to take her with them on a trip, it was “like being offered a seat on a flight to Mars.” She spoke of her trip as if it were the biggest hurdle anyone could jump: “If I can go to India, I can do anything — I’m pretty sure.” Templer, it should be noted, is white.

As someone who is mixed-race Indian, to me, her post (though seemingly well-meaning) was like bingo for every conversation a white person has ever had with me about their “fascination” with my dad’s home country; it was just so colorful and complex and inspiring. It’s not that they were wrong, per se, just that the tone felt like they thought India only existed to be all those things for them.

The initial comments on Templer’s blog post were supportive, but quickly, knitters and fans began to criticize her tone. “Karen, I’d ask you to re-read what you wrote and think about how your words feed into a colonial/imperialist mindset toward India and other non-Western countries,” wrote commenter Alex. “Multiple times you compare the idea of going to India to the idea of going to another planet — how do you think a person from India would feel to hear that?”

Templer, rather than giving these Social Justice Warriors a polite or impolite “eff you,” instead apologized:

Templer has since apologized for her post, writing, “It took women of color pointing this out for me to see it … which is not their responsibility, and I am thankful to them for taking the time,” and that she’d be continuing to raise visibility of people of color (and specifically black/indigenous POC) knitters and their work. (Templer declined to comment for this piece.) But her post triggered a wave of conversations about racism and prejudice in the fiber arts world, which thus far shows no signs of slowing down.

You can imagine how the rest of the article goes. That article was my first indication that the SJWs are trying to destroy fiber crafts. Just a couple of weeks ago, in something that relates to Ravelry’s revelry about LGBTQBYOB, the New York Times ran an exultant article about gay men knitting: “Trading the Noisy Gay Bar Scene for the Knitting Circle : Many gay men in New York are looking for alternative ways to socialize. A look at the surprising revival of the knitting circle.” Could there be anything more woke?

(I wonder if any of those gay knitting warriors know that they’re not breaking any ground here. In medieval Europe, knitting craft guilds belonged exclusively to men. Just as women traditionally cooked in the home, while male chefs cooked in the professional world, women might knit the socks at home, but the big time, big money knitting was a male preserve.)

To any of my readers, or anyone else who sees this, I urge you to resist this effort to politicize the craft world. GamerGate came to an ignominious end because the male Gamers fought back against the effort to silence them. I’m worried that knitters, who tend to be female, may yield to this crude political censorship in order to be nice and polite.

If a craft site wants to ban politics entirely, fine. It’s great to focus on the crafts without distractions. But for a social media site openly to silence half of the American public on the ground that they’re “white supremacists” because they support a president who believes that open borders will destroy America goes beyond the pale. This kind of thing needs to be squashed instantly.

I’ve signed out of Ravelry for good and I urge you to do the same.

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Jack Phillips, Public Accommodation, Monopolies, and Social Media

Thinking about Jack Phillips’ martyrdom at the hands of the QueerBorg leads me to a proposal for ending Leftist social media and search engine monopolies.

Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker, is rapidly being forced into martyrdom thanks to rabid Leftists intent upon making him an example of the need to bow down before the LGBTQIYKWIMAITYD+ monolith that has, in merely eleven years, come to dominate America’s politics. Indeed, for those of you familiar with Star Trek : The Next Generation, the LGBTQWYSIWUG+ monolith is the Borg: It’s a collectivist hive that has as its motto “We are the QueerBorg. Lower your shields and surrender your rights. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

To me, it’s patently clear that Phillips, one of many bakers in his community, has a First Amendment right to exercise his religion freely and to choose those with whom he wants to associate. Anyone is welcome to come into his store and buy his products without discrimination. The Colorado government, though, is trying to coerce him into hanging with people whose values are antithetical to his (and that’s true even if we’re not talking about religious values) and to force him to use his artistic talents in the service of those same people.

The QueerBorg, to advance its demand that all surrender before it, is trying to frame its battle as a civil rights battle and to liken Phillips’ refusal to bake a cake to the closed doors a black man would face in the Jim Crow South when he tried to rent a room for the night or dine in a restaurant. The way in which Congress broke that monopoly of closed doors was through the notion of “public accommodation,” something it enshrined in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The relevant language states as follows:

(a) Equal access All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.

(b) Establishments affecting interstate commerce or supported in their activities by State action as places of public accommodation; lodgings; facilities principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises; gasoline stations; places of exhibition or entertainment; other covered establishments Each of the following establishments which serves the public is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of this subchapter if its operations affect commerce, or if discrimination or segregation by it is supported by State action:

(1) any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests, other than an establishment located within a building which contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and which is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as his residence;

(2) any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or other facility principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises, including, but not limited to, any such facility located on the premises of any retail establishment; or any gasoline station;

(3) any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment; and

(4) any establishment (A)(i) which is physically located within the premises of any establishment otherwise covered by this subsection, or (ii) within the premises of which is physically located any such covered establishment, and (B) which holds itself out as serving patrons of such covered establishment. (42 U.S.C. § 2000a.)

The most obvious distinction between the LGBYOB+ and African-American situations, of course, is that the statute is directed at “race, color, religion, or national origin.” That’s why there’s such a big push on the Left to enact The Equality Act, which would raise sexual orientation and claims about gender to the same legal level of protection afforded race, color, religion, or national origin. The Equality Act, though, is another post entirely, and not a subject I wish to explore here. Instead, I’m interested in the monopoly of closed doors.

Keep in mind that, as I noted in passing above, the Civil Rights Act did not arise in a vacuum. It was a direct response to a very specific problem: The fact that Jim Crow laws in the South, backed by the personal preferences of bigoted people all over America, meant that places ostensibly held open for walk-in customers could arbitrarily refuse customers based upon the customers’ race (or color, or religion, or national origin). Under this all-encompassing regime, blacks theoretically could travel throughout the South without ever being able to obtain either food or lodging. (As the recent movie Green Book shows, blacks responded to this monopolistic denial of service by identifying hotels, restaurants, and other “open to the public” establishments that would serve them, but it was an imperfect solution and one that was both deeply offensive to human dignity and antithetical to the promise of our Declaration of Independence.)

In other words, that portion of the Civil Rights Act relating to Public Accommodations was intended to break a monopoly that was driven by culture and backed by legislation. The legislation, of course, was the real kicker. As Milton Friedman famously noted, had Jim Crow not been legislated, it likely would have died away as hoteliers, restaurateurs, and the owners of entertainment establishments ended up competing for the only color that mattered: the lovely green of dollar bills. However, legislation, backed by societal prejudice, created an insupportable hurdle to free market sources, and created a monolithic wall that blacks could not breach.

Jack Phillips clearly does not fall into the category of a monolithic monopoly on all institutions open to the public. First, no one can deny that he held his doors open to all customers who walked into his store and sought to buy any of the products on display. He reserved only the right to withhold his services from specific ceremonies (not customers, but ceremonies) that offended his religious sensibilities. Second, Phillips was/is anything but a monopoly. The LGBTQLMAO+ community in Colorado has a lot of choices when it comes to custom baked goods prepared for QueerBorg ceremonies.

While Jack Phillips’ little bakery is manifestly not comparable to the type of public accommodation contemplated under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, once I started thinking about public accommodations, the principles driving the legislation fit today’s social media giants. Within a very short time, these giants have come to monopolize the way in which Americans communicate with each other. They have become the tech equivalent of the old time public square. If you want to get a message out today. You don’t stand in the forum in ancient Rome.  You don’t go to the Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. You don’t stand on a platform on the Boston Commons. You don’t pin a notice to the board outside the General Store.

Instead, in the modern marketplace of ideas, unless you’re a media outlet yourself with control over the means of information dissemination, you place your message on Facebook, on Twitter, and even on Pinterest. In 2019, it should not be open to question that these outlets have a virtual monopoly on the dissemination of information and ideas.

And if people want to find you or your message, they don’t look in the Yellow Pages. They don’t go and gaze on the notice board at the general store. They don’t step over the sleeping homeless people in and around the public library to check dusty volumes and arcane publications. Instead, they conduct their search on Google or Bing or Yahoo. These outlets have a virtual monopoly on locating information and ideas.

That there are several different entities in the world of social media and search engines — Facebook, Twitter, Bing, Google, etc. — does not change their monopolistic nature, because they all pull in the same harness. They are guided by and employ people who have identical cultural and political values, among which is the belief that all ideas that do not harmonize with theirs must be stifled. They are ideological bigots, every bit as hate-filled and narrow-minded as the old-time Jim Crow Southerners who closed their businesses to people because of their skin color.

Think of it this way: Today’s censorious tech giants, rather than being in the business of selling food or lodging, are in the business of selling and re-selling ideas. If they close their doors to classes of people, their monopolistic status means that the targeted class is out in the ideological cold.

The Constitution did not talk about sodas and beds, or movies and bars, although its underlying promises and premises were enough to make legitimate legislation ensuring that all Americans had equal access to sodas and beds, movies and bars. Instead, it was obsessed with the world of ideas. After all, that’s what the First — the very first — Amendment is all about: Ideas. Let me remind you:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Perhaps the most basic premise of the United States is that the free exchange of ideas is essential to a free country. If the government can break up monopolies in oil, in transport, in lodging, and in dining, it’s inconceivable that it cannot break up a monopoly on the most important thing that matters: the free exchange of ideas and information.

Indeed, I would go further and argue that there is no need to create special legislation, as was necessary to break Jim Crow. Because the Constitution is about the spread of ideas, and because the tech giants are impairing the 21st century method of spreading ideas, their behavior is a prima facie violation of the Constitution that can be barred without any legislative acts.

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Bookworm Beat 5/7/19 — the Vanishing Conservatives on Social Media edition

There are reasons for you to be very afraid of the social media crackdown on conservatives (even fringe ones), plus other scary stuff in today’s world.

Democrats prepare for 2020 by silencing conservatives.  If I had to identify the scariest news today, it would be Twitter’s purge of conservatives, which follows closely on the heels of Facebook’s purge of conservatives. These social media outlets, which hold power unimagined at any past time, are using that power to silence non-Progressive dissent.

When it came to Facebook’s most recent purge, I won’t argue that Alex Jones is an unpleasant, possibly slightly demented character. Others, though, are merely vocal not-Leftists, such as Paul Joseph Watson, whose platform is Alex Jones’s InfoWars, or provocateurs, such as Milo Yiannopoulos. As a sop to “equality,” Facebook also finally shutdown arch anti-Semite (and Democrat friend) Louis Farrakhan, whom two major Leftist media outlets promptly identified as “right wing.”

Other than Farrakhan, both Twitter and Facebook do not appear to have gone after Left wingers. Most conspicuously, they continued to ignore Left wing “news” sites that, for two years, promoted the biggest hoax in American political history or blue-checked Lefties who revel in fantasies of murdering Trump or slapping around conservatives, including the innocent Covington School boys, whose only crime was to wear MAGA hats. These same social media behemoths have also left alone Hamas sites that advocate for Israel’s destruction and the genocide of her people; and unhinged Leftists sites that screech hysterically about toxic whites, masculinity, straight people, etc., all in the most vile and violent terms.

Moreover, currently both Facebook and Twitter seem comfortable providing a platform for Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims, who proudly posted video of himself verbally harassing an old lady praying outside a Planned Parenthood clinic and then went on to promise to pay anyone who would dox three pro-life teenage girls.

When called on his behavior, the out-and-proud Sims doubled down on the hateful rhetoric, all of which seems to have escaped Twitter’s eagle eye for “hate speech”:

Speaking of Pennsylvania, do you recall Facebook closing down the social media account showing a school recital in which darling little American Muslim children joyously recited lines about becoming martyrs to take back the Al Aqsa mosque, all while beheading perfidious Jews in showers of blood? If you recall that, you recall more than I do. Of course, the Muslim American Society Islamic Center in Philadelphia (MAS Philly), the group that posted the video, did say that it erred in posting it, so I guess that was enough. Neither Facebook nor MAS Philly seemed troubled by the video’s genocidally anti-Semitic content, never mind the child abuse it displayed.

Given the prominence social media has in American communication, it’s fairly obvious that Twitter and Facebook both want to prevent a repeat of 2016. Their silencing of conservative voices, while doing nothing about the vile content emanating from those affiliated with the political Left, is their way of achieving that goal.

I’ve already harped on the fact that California’s open primary silences conservatives completely during November elections. This happens because California’s Leftist majority means that only Democrats show up on the ballot for state and federal offices. In other words, when voters are paying attention, the only voices they hear are Leftist ones.

My preference is for these social media outlets to be declared publishers. After all, they clearly exercise control over content. If these social media sites are identified as publishers, they can be sued over content. Then, sue them into oblivion or into even-handedness, one or the other. Failing that, the government is going to have to step in . . . and that’s never a good thing.

Why are gays and lesbians so stridently anti-abortion? One of the things Brian Sims’s behavior highlights is that, when it comes to abortion, gays and lesbians are on the front lines. On my real-me Facebook page, the most vicious posts attacking pro-Life people are from gay men, with lesbians following at a close second. (I grew up and lived for decades in the Bay Area, so I have/had a lot of lesbian and gay friends and acquaintances.)

I find peculiar the fact that people whose preferred form of sexual congress cannot result in pregnancy are the ones loudest and most aggressive in their loyalty to abortion on demand up to and including the moment a baby is born.

Is it hostility to procreators?

Is it the fact that they live in essentially child free worlds and therefore have no empathy for babies?

Is it that, when gays and lesbians are politically Left, they hew to the extremes of that ideology?

Honestly, I don’t know. What do you think?

Jews, Israel, and the Democrat presidential candidates Here are two stories, that are definitely related. The first is that 42% of American Jews, when polled, complained that Trump is too pro-Israel:

Roughly four-in-ten (42%) say they think Trump is favoring the Israelis too much, while a similar share (47%) say he is striking the right balance between the Israelis and Palestinians. The rest either say he is favoring the Palestinians too much (6%) or they don’t know (4%).

Daniel Greenfield, who brought this poll to my attention, sees a bright side:

On the bright side, this means that about 53% of American Jews are pro-Israel.

He makes another, even more important, point about those anti-Israel Jews (all of whom, I guarantee you, are products of American institutions of higher indoctrination and anti-Semitism):

Many don’t like the Jewish State and their idea of being Jewish is watching Woody Allen movies or, for millennials, Broad City.

In other words, these are Jews in name only (“My last name is Goldberg, I vote Democrat, I fast on Yom Kippur, I hate Trump, and Israel is a Nazi nation.”).

The other, related, story is that, after Hamas in Gaza (territory without any Israeli control or oversight) rained over 600 rockets down on Israel, killing four Israelis, not a single Democrat party presidential candidate spoke up.

Indeed, the only Dems who seemed willing to mention the issue were Representative Ilhan Omar (D. Somalia) and Representative Rashida Tlaib (D. Palestine). Ilhan Omar bemoaned that “cycle of violence” as if the facts weren’t that Israel did nothing until she’d been hit by hundreds of missiles. Tlaib, meanwhile, who is ostensibly an American politician, mourned what was happening to “our Palestinian people.” Not “the Palestinian people” or “our allies {as if!) in Palestine,” but “our Palestinian people.” I honestly can’t decide whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing that these two women are in Congress. On the one hand, they’re way too close to the levers of power. On the other hand, ordinary Americans can finally see what conservatives have been worrying about for years.

One of my Democrat Facebook friends, who is deeply concerned about Israel’s well-being and about rising anti-Semitism around the world, noted the Democrat primary candidates’ silence. He urged people following his Facebook feed to contact these candidates to complain. Because I don’t believe people can be harangued into agreeing with you, I confined myself to pointing out that, even if pressure caused these Dem pols to issue a belated pro-Israel statement, it was worth remembering that their initial instinct was to remain silent. I hope that thought fell on fertile soil.

I think we will see some Jewish migration to Republicans and even more Jewish migration away from Democrats. (That is, the latter group won’t be able to bring itself to conservativism, but will no longer be able to tolerate both open and covert anti-Semitism in the Democrat party.) The numbers will be small, but every vote — or lack of a vote — counts.

I’m personally ambivalent about Jews joining the Republican party. If their only reason for being there is to support Israel, but they remain Leftist in all their other values, they will do to the Democrat Party what Leftists did to red states when they fled high tax states for low tax states — they turned those states blue and promptly imposed in those states the same policies that had them fleeing their states of origin in the first place. Rush describes those people as locusts, and he’s right to do so.

My real preference is for disaffected Jewish Democrats just to sit out the 2020 election — or, even better, to cast a single protest vote for Trump and then do nothing.

Trump may have China’s number. To my great surprise, the New York Times published an opinion piece that says, not that Trump is an idiot in his dealings with China, but that Xi Jinping may have been the one who let the glory days of the Obama years go to his head. Yi-Zheng Lian argues that, while former Chinese premiers made nice with American presidents, Xi Jinping got increasingly aggressive in his policies, whether in trade, intellectual property theft, or attempts to expand China’s military and economic reach.

Lian says that Xi’s overreach happened because he became president in 2012 when China was still enjoying a great “economic miracle,” as compared to America’s ongoing recession. What Lian tactfully ignores is that Xi became Chinese’s president when Obama was America’s president — and the latter was always willing to back down and sell out.

Now, not only are China’s economic chickens coming home to roost because of its over-extension, Xi is facing a president who rightly views China as an economic and military threat. Additionally, rather than backing down, Trump is slowly but surely pushing China into a corner.

No wonder then that Steve Bannon, who may be unpleasant but is nobody’s fool, thinks that yesterday (Monday) was the most important day in Trump’s presidency:

“I happen to think that today [Monday] was the most important day of Donald Trump’s presidency,” Bannon told Dobbs. “He’s president of the United States because of the rejection of working-class people and middle-class people, about the managed decline of our country at the hands of people like Hillary Clinton. The Clinton global initiative, the whole Clinton apparatus. These globalists and elitists were very comfortable with the managed decline, particularly vis-a-vis the rise of China. And Donald Trump confronted that, particularly in the upper Midwest. This is the reason he won states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio. People understand […] the factories went to China, the jobs went to China, and the opioids came in. So I think that Trump understands that tariffs are more than taxes. They’re more about self-empowerment of the working class.”

Not only does Trump understand this, Bannon said, but he also explained it very well. “Today he said that […] ‘I’m not going to do this, you’re not gonna come back and retrade us. I’m going to hit you with the tariffs.’ And I think this is a very big week in American economic history,” he added.

In this regard, Bannon explained, it’s important to keep in mind that the pressure on Trump to be soft on China has been enormous. “The IR department of the Chinese Communist Party, the Investors Relations department, is Wall Street, the lobbyists of corporate America. The pressure on President Trump has been relentless, and it’s all the Fear Project.”

If you like seeing Leftists viciously attacked in the media, then you must read Kyle Smith’s preemptive strike against New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is apparently planning to run for president:

Like an insecure college student trying on various personalities in an effort to capture the attention of the cutest girl in Postcolonial Gender Politics — now a preppy tennis player, now a tortured Goth guitarist, now an angry male feminist — de Blasio keeps trying to repackage himself, unable to perceive that it is the contents that people don’t like.

[snip]

De Blasio is not just a snoozy, groundhog-murdering buffoon who causes the city embarrassment on a par with the New York Knicks or JFK Airport. He’s also a skeezy money grubber who borrows tricks from his former boss Hillary Clinton (for whom he served as campaign manager in 2000). He has a tendency to set up noble-sounding activist groups that by miraculous coincidence attract dollars from entities wishing to grease the wheels with City Hall.

[snip]

What’s most salient about de Blasio is the sheer scale of his incompetence: Without even an “Oops,” he just shuttered his disastrous “Renewal” program, which torched three-quarters of a billion dollars on failed educators who were happy to cash the checks and delivered approximately zero results. De Blasio’s New York City Housing Authority — the outfit that runs all those charming housing projects — is so unspeakable (mold, rats, lead paint, unsafe elevators, leaky pipes, etc.) that the city was forced to accept oversight from a monitor appointed by Ben Carson’s Department of Housing and Urban Development. That’s right: The mayor bungled one of his central duties so badly that it’s now under the control of the administration of . . . Donald J. Trump.

What should really shake up the few sane people still loyal to a Democrat party is that de Blasio, with all his faults and failures, fits perfectly into the current Democrat party presidential candidate line-up.

Not all children’s deaths are equal. I sometimes get the sense the Progressives’ “compassion” is circumscribed by political need. For example, think of Democrats on the border issue: They’re all about “the children, the children, the children,” except that they don’t seem to care at all that, with the flood of people crossing our southern border, children are being rented out to create temporary families for asylum claims. These children are merchandise and, I suspect, get handed over to sex traffickers when their utility is over.

Moreover, many of the complaints about “the children, the children, the children,” don’t seem to be rooted in fact. For example, Sheriff David Clarke (ret.) wrote an article pointing out that three “cause célèbre” dead children all died from illnesses unrelated to the U.S. border. Each death was a tragedy, but none had political weight, so the media and their pro-immigrant fellow travelers had to lie about or obscure the reasons these poor children died.

Reading Sheriff Clarke’s article made me realize that I’ve seen almost nothing in the American media about Anders Holch Povlsen’s children. If you’re saying “Anders Holch who? And why his children?” you’ve made my point for me.

Asos is a huge British online fashion and beauty retailer. Its founder, however, is a Danish billionaire, Anders Holch Povlsen. He and his family — Povlsen, his wife, and his four young children — were in Sri Lanka for a vacation a little while ago. They stayed at a very nice hotel. Well, it was a very nice hotel until Muslim terrorists blew it up, along with several churches on an ill-fated Easter Sunday.

That explosion killed three out of the four Povlsen children: Alfred, Alma, and Agnes. Only little Astrid remains. You can see the surviving Povlsens’ overwhelming grief in this photo essay about the funeral, where they had to watch three of their children get carried away in little, white, flower-covered coffins.

Normally, you’d think the media would be all over a story about the deaths of three out of four children in a billionaire’s family. Imagine if they had died in a car accident or while marching in a pink pussy hat parade. We would have seen non-stop coverage, along with hand-wringing, about unsafe cars (a green world without cars would be better) or about the incredible evil of alt-right people.

But that’s not how these children died. Instead, they died quite politically incorrectly at the hands of Muslim terrorists. Their deaths, not being politically useful, have been ignored as much as possible.

Remember, if it doesn’t fit the narrative, it doesn’t exist.

If the only thing Trump did was change the federal judicial bench, he will have been the most important, consequential president in our lifetimes.

I say this because an Obama appointee just couldn’t bear to imprison for an extended period a young man who, at age 18, decided he wanted to blow up a whole bunch of people in the name of Allah. Fortunately, Adel Daoud confided, in between happy giggles, his plan to an undercover FBI agent, rather than a real terrorist. That’s why, when Daoud pushed the detonator on a car bomb outside a crowded Chicago bar, nothing happened.

But for Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, an Obama appointee, Daoud’s utterly evil intent didn’t matter. What mattered was that he was a poor, lost little boy:

Coleman said Daoud was uniquely immature at the time, when he was 18, noting how Daoud is heard giggling almost constantly as he brainstorms attacks to avenge what he saw as the West’s war on Muslims.

At an impressionable age, the judge said the “awkward young man with few friends” was immediately drawn to the 38-year-old FBI agent who first met with Daoud. Daoud promptly began tossing out ideas to impress the agent posing as a terrorist, once suggesting they mount an attack with “flying cars” packed with explosives.

“He continued to do what teenage boys do … talk big,” Coleman said.

Somehow that “big talk” translated into big action, because Daoud actually pushing what he thought was a detonator button. Coleman, though, was moved most by his giggles. Seeking to make things better for this poor little baby, Coleman gave Daoud the lightest sentence possible.

Thomas Lifson, who wrote about this story, explains:

All of that happened on 2012, and after years of incarceration while the case was prosecuted and he was tried, yesterday Daoud was sentenced to 16 years in federal prison, not the 40 years the prosecution asked for, with the six-plus years he has spent in jail credited against the sentence. In addition, he will concurrently serve (in other words, no extra prison time) for two other crimes: hiring an assassin to kill the informant who turned him in and the attempted murder of an inmate who he thought had insulted the Prophet Mohammed.

Next time you look at Trump in despair because he tweeted something that offended your sensibilities, think of Judge Coleman and ask yourself if you want more of her or fewer of her on the federal court. If you think her judicial sensibilities are too Progressive, just be grateful for Trump. Imagine what the federal bench, all the way up to the Supreme Court, would have looked like with four years of Hillary.

(Speaking of the Supreme Court, who believes that Justice Ginsburg is effectively fulfilling her responsibilities on that body? I’m not arguing that she’s dead; I just wonder if she’s functional.)

Helping out a friend. I just learned that Garry Hamilton, husband of master blogger Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, is being treated for cancer. And as is the case with cancer treatments, the experience is awful and expensive. Our thoughts and prayers can help the personal awfulness of it all and your donation to their GoFundMe campaign can help the expense. So, if you’ve got any spare change lying around, please send it their way.

The post Bookworm Beat 5/7/19 — the Vanishing Conservatives on Social Media edition appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

THE CARE AND CLEANING OF THE TWITTER ACCOUNT

Vassar Bushmills

The Grand Game

Almost everyone has a opinion about Twitter and Facebook. Conservatives consider them capricious in the way they handle “political speech” on their sites, rewarding Leftist views while punishing flag-waving Love-America attitudes.

Both are hostile to American-style democracy and values.

But as long as the American political class, including Republicans, is in the grip of elitists who want to permanently disenfranchise Americans who are below their standard for full citizenship, (approximately 92%), we simply have to learn to make-do with this circumstance until we can show these people the door. That’s already a work in progress.

Either way, there will be an eventual reckoning.

Along with Google, I believe Facebook to be a world-class malevolence on a totally different level than Twitter. G&F engage in the dark arts of blending mass mind-control and subliminal messaging with the general idea that humankind can be molded into any living, breathing shape they would want us to be.

Heavy stuff.

World thinkers began seeing the dark possibilities of this futuristic world as early as the 1920s, even before movies had become talkies. By the 1950s television had hypnotized America’s children, proving the power of free commercial advertising to sell sugar-coated cereal to kids who hadn’t two dimes in their pockets. Vance Packard called these “hidden persuaders”, pointing his finger at Madison Avenue in our golden age of mass media in the 1950s. But in the 1930s it was called “propaganda” when the only tools the state could employ were radio and the superman film imagery of Leni Riefenstahl. Leave it to American admen to transform those tools to a free market.

It was only a matter of time before newer and more subtle technologies would get out in front of this desire to manipulate and control the masses for both profit and control.

As for the skin ordinary Americans have in this game of thrones, Individual Liberty is a very recent insertion into human history. And since it was so commonplace in America, Americans generally lost sight of just how precious jewel it is. So, we stopped teaching this to our children 1-2 generations ago. The absence of that teaching partly explains the kinds of people we see today on Twitter.

The general idea has been than with the magic of technology super-men can control other men without the jack-boot thuggery once required to subjugate them. Just watch people walk around like Zombies today, looking at their cell phones while tripping over sidewalks and, if old enough, you will be reminded of children being sold Lucky Charms on Saturday morning TV.

In this state leftists believe they can avoid having to send all but the religious off to re-education camps.

It’s believed that once we lose this taste for individual liberty it will be lost forever, since there is already  diminishing knowledge as to how human freedom came into being in the first place. And no known academic discipline to inquire how or when it might arise again[…]

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