Prediction Update; now with even more predictions!

I want a do-over!

In my 2020 Predictions post, one of the predictions was that President Trump would face a second impeachment.  Well, I counted that as a missed prediction since there was no second impeachment …in 2020, but almost immediately into the New Year, guess what?

We had a second impeachment.

Now technically, it didn’t happen within the 2020 calendar year, but it was so close, mid-January; how can this not be an accurate prediction?  And therefore I have declared it so!  My 2020 prediction score is now 6 out of 8 predictions, giving me a grade of 75%.  That’s a solid gentleman’s C, so I’ll take that.

So while I’m updating my predictions, I thought I would gift a few bonus predictions.  These are just off the top of my head but let’s see..

 

The Derek Chauvin trial begins this week.  Chauvin, is charged with killing the sainted George Floyd (PBUH).  Watching the video, I came to the same conclusion that the rest of the country did, Chauvin murdered Floyd.  But then the autopsy was released showing a fatal amount of fentanyl in his system, and I had to reconsider my priors. Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.  I don’t know which charge is going to stick, but in spite of the autopsy results, I’m confidently predicting that Chauvin will be convicted on one of those three charges.  If you were on that jury, would you want to put you and your family’s life in danger by adhering strictly to the evidence?  Would you want to be responsible for setting off new rioting?  Chauvin is getting the shaft on this one.

In economic news, I think we are facing a future stock market crash and real estate market crash, within the next 18 months.  I do have a criteria that I use to determine this, which I’m keeping close to the vest for now, but handle your investments with this in mind.

Also a little far afield, but I’m predicting that the Republicans, as hopelessly messed up as they are, take back a majority in the House of Representatives in 2022.  I know it’s a little early for that, and if HR 1 passes, all bets are off, but right now it’s about the only national level place the GOP can win.

The National Guard Becomes the Praetorian Guard

Sometimes the speed at which the Republic is collapsing surprises even me, and I’ve been an American Declinist from way back.  In Part 3,468 of American Decline:

Guam National Guard marches to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s office after blunder referring to territory as foreign country

Members of the Guam National Guard marched to the office of Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene after the Republican referred to the United States territory as a foreign country during the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“Guam Rep. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas and members of the Guam National Guard visited the office of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene after she falsely called the U.S. territory a foreign land,” the Hill tweeted.

Now on one level, this is a political stunt against an ignorant congress critter.  On that level, ha ha, very snarky.  But the level of it that bothers me is that the Guam Representative could request from military commanders troops to participate in a partisan political exercise, and they acquiesced for the purposes of marching troops down to a Congresswoman’s office in order to intimidate her.  Maybe the next time someone from Congress criticizes the military they may find a platoon of troops lounging on their car, or bivouacked on their front lawn.

Just a stunt ha ha.

Nothing against the Guam National Guard soldiers who participated in this; I’ve trained with some Guard guys from Guam, and came away impressed.  But the idea that their commanders would look at this as an OK thing for their troops to participate in is troubling.

Taken in isolation, this could just be a one off situation that slipped through the cracks, but it’s not; it’s part of a pattern.  Last week the military, which can’t seem to win a 20 year war in Afghanistan, decided to pick an easier target by going after Fox host Tucker Carlson.  Tucker was mocking the new gender and identity initiatives, as well as policies to place pregnant female military members in combat situations, all for the purpose of either equality or equity (I can’t recall which- Maybe both?).  But like the Taliban, Tucker was able to land a few punches on the military which ended up embarrassed and had to apologize for using official twitter accounts to criticize Tucker Carlson.  Maybe I’m wrong on this, but I cannot recall if the military, through official channels, has ever criticized a member of the media before.

But this is all new territory and this is not nearly the worst of it.  This was reported just a few months ago.

Retiring diplomat says defense officials misled Trump on troop count in Syria

US defense officials routinely misled President Trump into believing the American troop count in Syria was a lot lower than it actually is, a retiring US diplomat said in a bombshell interview this week.

“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” James Jeffrey, US special representative for Syria engagement, said in an interview with Defense One.

In October 2019, Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria — a decision controversial among lawmakers, defense officials and diplomats.

Pentagon officials convinced the president to leave approximately 200 troops behind to protect oil fields in the country’s east that were at risk of falling under ISIS control, Jeffrey said.

However, the real number of troops in northeast Syria is “a lot more than” the 200 Trump agreed to leave behind, Jeffrey said, with some officials putting the number as high as 900.

“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey told the publication.

So senior military leaders not only disobeyed an order from the Commander in Chief, but worked at deceiving him as to what they were doing, so they could conduct a secret foreign and military policy totally unmoored from its constitutional leadership.

What to make of all this?  The military is, for all practical purposes, working for and part of, the “Deep State.”  That’s not a term I’m comfortable using, but it’s hard to draw any other conclusion than that the military no longer considers itself bound to any sort of constitutional authority.  They are only obeying a Commander in Chief if it’s their Commander in Chief, one whose goals already align with theirs.  This makes me sadder than I can express, since I spent many years of my life in service to my country; a path I can no longer recommend to anyone in this age we’re living in.

W.E.B. Du Bois vs Barrack Obama

Last year for Black History month I wrote a post that was a bit more entertainment related, but promised I would do something serious later.

Now is later (whut?).  Anyway…

W.E.B. Du Bois was born shortly after the Civil War to free Blacks and for the times, lived a fairly integrated middle class life in Massachusetts.  Needless to say, going to an integrated school and playing with white friends growing up wasn’t common for young Black kids at the time.  He coined the term “talented tenth” and was a very early voice in pushing for full integration and equal rights.  Naturally enough, things didn’t work out for him and became a socialist and moved to Ghana.

But before that he, as someone who was about as “privileged” as an African American could be at that time, fully accepted the culture he was raised and educated in; a Western one.

I sit with Shakespeare, and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm and arm with Balzac and Dumas, where smiling men and welcoming women glide in gilded halls. From out of the caves of evening that swing between the strong-limbed Earth and the tracery of [the] stars, I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension. 

-W. E. B. Du Bois’s 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk

Du Bois clearly saw himself as a Western man.  He had a BA in History from Harvard, did post graduate work at the University of Berlin where he traveled Europe extensively, an returned to the US to get a PhD from Harvard.  He saw no incompatibility between being a Black man and embracing the Western canon.

Compare that to another prominent and privileged African American who many decades later, came to a different conclusion.

For three weeks I had traveled alone, down one side of the continent and up the other, by bus and by train mostly, a guidebook in hand. I took tea by the Thames and watched children chase each other through the chestnut groves of Luxembourg Garden. I crossed the Plaza Mejor at high noon, with its De Chirico shadows and sparrows swirling across cobalt skies; and watched night fall over the Palatine, waiting for the first stars to appear, listening to the wind and its whispers of mortality.

And by the end of the first week or so, I realized that I’d made a mistake. It wasn’t that Europe wasn’t beautiful; everything was just as I’d imagined it. It just wasn’t mine.

-Barrack Obama, Dreams From My Father 1995

Class, compare and contrast the differing views of Western culture by two prominent African Americans.  Du Bois, who spent his adult life during probably the most racist period in American history, regarded himself as part of Western civilization.  While Obama, who spent his adult life in an America in which Du Bois’ wildest dreams had been realized, saw himself as an outsider to Western Civilization.

What to make of this?

First of all, in 2021, is there even a single African American public intellectual who would say, “I sit with Shakespeare?”  Is there one who would say, “I summon Aristotle and Aurelius?”

I would say that’s unlikely.

I’ve always felt that the Western canon was open to all races if they chose to accept it.  That doesn’t seem to the trend however.  As noted in The New York Times Magazine, Princeton classicist Dan-el Padilla Peralta, wants to cancel the classics because “Systemic racism is foundational to those institutions that incubate classics and classics as a field itself.” 

This idea of burning down the idea of Western culture doesn’t even make sense in its own terms.  It’s not like African-American scholars are rushing off to Africa to sup at the table of African language, history, art, or culture.  No, they want their own victimization studies that do nothing but demonize what is actually their very own culture.

None of this is sustainable, and it gets loonier as time goes on.

Progressives in 2021: Stop Critically Thinking!

I almost couldn’t believe this article when I read it. From (you guessed it) The New York Times:

Don’t Go Down the Rabbit Hole

For an academic, Michael Caulfield has an odd request: Stop overthinking what you see online.

“We’re taught that, in order to protect ourselves from bad information, we need to deeply engage with the stuff that washes up in front of us,” Mr. Caulfield told me recently. He suggested that the dominant mode of media literacy (if kids get taught any at all) is that “you’ll get imperfect information and then use reasoning to fix that somehow. But in reality, that strategy can completely backfire.”

So what does he want us to do instead?

Influenced by the research of Sam Wineburg, a professor at Stanford, and Sarah McGrew, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Mr. Caulfield argued that the best way to learn about a source of information is to leave it and look elsewhere, a concept called lateral reading.

So what does this mean? He uses the example of investigating claims by anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy…

He probed deeper into the method to find better coverage by copying the main claim in Mr. Kennedy’s post and pasting that into a Google search. The first two results came from Agence France-Presse’s fact-check website and the National Institutes of Health. His quick searches showed a pattern: Mr. Kennedy’s claims were outside the consensus — a sign they were motivated by something other than science.

In other words, DON’T CRITICALLY THINK! Simply go to the nearest establishment consensus, and sign up with that; no thinking required.

I think in previous years progressives might have strenuously argued against believing what you’re told simply because that’s what you’re told, which is why I titled this as about “Progressives in 2021.”  Progressivism, liberalism, leftism, whatever you want to call it, has changed pretty radically over the past few years.  Wokeism being the biggest change, which made race and identity primary over every other societal aspect.

Instead of critical thinking, the author recommends an alternative, SIFT:

  1. Stop.
  2. Investigate the source.
  3. Find better coverage.
  4. Trace claims, quotes and media to the original context.

That’s fine as far as it goes, but notice in the article, in the author didn’t do any of that.  They simply went to number three, “find better coverage.”  In other words, simply accept the word of the mainstream sites.  In this case Agence France-Presse and the NIH.  I’m sure The New York Times will always work as a substitute.

Progressives have jumped off the critical thinking train and on to the accept establishment sources train because they are the establishment.  That’s actually been true for a while but I’m not sure your average progressive understood that until the Trump era.  As we saw the term “fake news” come into flower and went from 2016:  The election is stolen-fact!  to 2020: The election is stolen…deplatform anyone saying that!

I think we’re all clear where the establishment is now.

And we’re clear that they don’t want any critical thinking going on around here.  The establishment will do your thinking for you.

There will be no Replacement for Rush

The opening of the Rush Limbaugh Show started with an unfamiliar voice that when she identified herself as Rush’s wife, immediately told me that Rush had died.

In short, end of an era.

There has not been a single radio broadcaster who so dominated his medium in the way that Rush has.  In our atomizing society it’s hard to imagine there being another one.  Rush had been a singular voice defining the right for over 30 years and that may well be the last one.  Of course, there is no equivalent to a Rush on the left because they dominate each and every institution in the country; they don’t need a Rush. But conservatives did.

Rush Limbaugh’s last show before the Christmas break on December 23rd sounded like a farewell episode, as if he wasn’t sure he had many, or any shows left in him.

The day’s gonna come, folks, where I’m not gonna be able to do this. I don’t know when that is. I want to be able to do it for as long as I want to do it.

I want to, but the day will come where I’m not going to be able to, and I want you to understand that even when the day comes, I’d like to be here. ‘Cause I have this sense of needing to constantly show my appreciation for all that you have done and meant to me.

Is that good bye or what?

He also ruminated on the scope of his over 30 year career, and not in a good way.

You know, I’ve for 30 whatever number of years… Folks, I consider… (groans) How to talk about this? I consider… (sigh) Oh, how to say this? On one hand, looking at me from outside you think, “Wow, overwhelming success. Successful radio program, most-listened-to show in history.” AM radio? People thought it was dead. “Limbaugh comes along and it’s saved,” they say.

You know, I’m not gonna sit here and deny that. But, folks, I gotta tell you, there’s a large part of me that feels like I have failed in such a major way, in a political sense. I’ve had 30 years here to try to convince people, to try to persuade people, to try to encourage people to think — critically think — on their own, to realize the difference between conservatism and liberalism, the difference between the Republican Party and the Democrat Party as it relates to conservative versus liberal.

I know there’s RINOs, and I know that the Republican Party in the establishment wing of Washington, it’s not that different from the Democrats. But conservatism versus liberalism.

He was both right and wrong on that.

I recently wrote about his legacy noting that for all his efforts, he failed to key in on the major issues that has ended up killing traditional conservatism, how to handle immigration and how to handle the left’s conquest of every American institution, most importantly the education system.  A Rush Limbaugh who had taken those issues seriously in the early nineties might have helped form a conservatism that could have defended itself.

Or not.

I suspect that a version of Rush that could have altered the course of the country also probably wouldn’t be the major AM broadcaster in the country with the opportunity to introduce millions to conservatism, at least the acceptable version he actually talked about 3 hours a day.  A paleo-conservative version of Rush may have found himself isolated to a few, or one radio station, with no real national presence.  Rush offered an optimistic, Reaganesque version of conservatism that was attractive, but ultimately not sustainable in a post-cold war environment where the biggest enemies to the country were not in Tank Divisions on the Fulda Gap but in your own universities, government agencies, and magazine and newspaper publishers.

Rush leaves a country far more left leaning, and more open to left leaning ideas and policies than when he started his career,  but that’s not a personal failure on his part, that’s the tides of history.

As for who can replace him…I’m of the opinion that he’s not replaceable.  He was a unique presence and broadcaster who won’t have a real successor, no matter who takes over his spot on the radio.

The Harris-Biden Era isn’t going to be good for Free Speech

I’ve been concerned about the decline in interest by the left in free speech issues for quite a while.  One of my early posts on this blog a decade ago was about the First Amendment and the left’s abandonment of it. It’s only gotten worse since then.  We’ve come a long way from the 1970’s, when the ACLU defended Nazi’s (actual Nazi’s, not simply Republicans walking too close to an antifa riot) and their right to march.

Nothing like that would happen today.  The heart and soul of the left now belongs to the book burners and the censors.  Antifa protested a bookstore selling a book that..exposed Antifa.  Squad member Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bugeyes) suggested some version of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to “figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation…”  Well that’s just what we need, the government determining what disinformation and misinformation is.

But now that the Harris but also Biden administration is in place, the fight against the First Amendment can really get started.  From The Washington Post National Security section (yes really!):

Trump supporter charged in 2016 Twitter scheme to undermine Hillary Clinton

NEW YORK — A far-right social media influencer was arrested Wednesday and accused of interfering in the 2016 election through an organized campaign to boost Donald Trump’s candidacy by conning supporters of his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, into voting through illegitimate means such as text message or online.

Prosecutors allege that Douglass Mackey, 31, used an alias, reportedly derived from actor Charlie Sheen’s character Ricky Vaughn in the 1989 film “Major League,” to circulate messages on Twitter that encouraged Clinton’s supporters to “Avoid the line. Vote from home,” according to charging documents. Nearly 5,000 people fell for the ploy, according to the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office, which announced the arrest.

William Sweeney, assistant director in charge the FBI’s New York field office, called Mackey’s alleged efforts “nothing short of vote theft.”

This is, of course, insanity.  “Ricky Vaughn” was a meme maker during the 2016 Great Meme War, not a conspirator in vote stealing or election fraud.  I don’t want to minimize how important memes were to winning the 2016 election.  In fact I think memes were vitally important in turning a tiny bit of online culture into the Trump camp.  I couldn’t guess how many votes that actually translated into, but the 2016 campaign was a brilliant, creative time for clever funny memes. Several passed my view via Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis during the election, and they did a good job mocking the left in general and Hillary and the Democrats in particular.

Now comes payback time.

From the criminal complaint:

“In or about and between September 2016 and November 2016, both dates being approximate and inclusive, in the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere, the defendant DOUGLASS MACKEY (“MACKEY”), also known as “Ricky Vaughn,” together with others, conspired to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate persons in the free exercise and enjoyment of a right and privilege secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States, to wit, the right to vote, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 241.”

And how exactly did Ricky Vaughn “injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate” Hillary voters?  With this:

 

 

Besides the obvious absurdity that these memes could have moved Hillary voters one way or another, it’s highly unlikely that any Hillary voter ever saw these memes.  These were shared on right leaning sites, chats, and forums, not posted to liberal sites.

The Washington Post reported that “nearly 5,000 people fell for the ploy.”  I’ve no doubt 5,000 people actually texted the number on the meme, but was even one of them a Hillary voter thinking that they were “voting?”  The answer will obviously be no and if this goes to trial, the failure to present a tricked Hillary voter as victim will become obvious.

But this doesn’t even need to go to trial.  Mackey was arrested by the FBI, bonded out for $50,000, and now faces months or years of legal wrangling and costs.  Even if this whole thing is dismissed two or three years from now, Mackey will have been ruined.  It makes you wonder exactly who is being injured, oppressed, threatened and intimidated here.

Another thing to consider is that this entire case had been sitting in the bowels of the Justice Department for 4 years, and mere days after the inauguration, the FBI arrests Mackey.  I guess it just goes to show that the Justice Department was never Trump’s. It was biding its time, waiting to get its revenge on its perceived enemies.

This is a useful reminder that in our new era, we don’t really have any rights.  Exercising enlightenment concepts like “rights” is simply staying below the notice of the Permanent government’s eye of Sauron. Being too clever, funny, or effective might get yourself a visit from the FBI.

 

 

Closing out the Election and bringing in the new Administration

A few days after Election Day, I jotted down a few of my thoughts on what just happened. So I have just a few final thoughts on the election and the next administration.

There is no equivalent to how Republicans handled election defeat this year compared to Democrats in 2016.  In 2016 Democrats did this:

And then, after “literally shaking,” cried foul and proceeded to entertain the most ludicrous conspiracy theories of Russians stealing the election that would dominate nearly the entire 4 years of Trump’s presidency.  Trump supporters in 2020 dispensed with the hysterics and immediately dove right into a Chavez-Dominion-foreign server’s conspiracy.  That’s not to say that the idea of election fraud is a baseless conspiracy; it isn’t.  I absolutely believe that there was massive cheating.  That belief isn’t based on a silly hope, but on raw data that can easily be checked at the Here is the Evidence website, as well as multiple other available sources on the massive statistical anomalies.

What I don’t know if it was enough to turn the tide of the election.  The Powerline Blog put it well:

“… major questions remain unanswered. In several key swing states, there were midnight dumps of 100,000 or more votes, virtually all of which were for Joe Biden, something that can’t normally happen. Those dumps may have made the difference in the election. I have seen no attempt by any Democrat to explain or justify them. Maybe I’ve missed it, and maybe they somehow reflected actual ballots cast, but the burden of proof is on those who seek to justify such anomalies.

Even greater doubts about the election arise from the deliberately loose procedures that governed voting. Something like 69 million mail-in votes were cast, and until two months ago, everyone agreed that mail-in voting is highly susceptible to fraud. But the laxity in 2020 went far beyond the risks inherent in mail-in votes. I put it this way: I don’t know whether the Democrats stole the 2020 election, but I do know that they tried hard to steal it.”

Of course, I think everyone knew ahead of time there would be massive election fraud in this election.  I sure knew and President Trump, with his constant remarks about the election being rigged knew as well.   But if you know in advance there are going to be massive hijinks (I nice way to say felonies) what do you do about it?  I frankly assumed that Trump was preparing for that eventuality and there would be marshals and Justice Department lawyers on site at the known bad actor cities.  I was wrong about that.  Instead, Trump’s real plan turned out to be first, lose the election, and then second, go to court.

There have been few plans as dumb as that one.

So after it turned out Sydney Powell didn’t actually have a Kraken to release, I gave up.  Biden would be the next President.

Joe Biden is a great metaphor for a declining America vis-à-vis a rising China to replace us.  A doddering, mentally declining senior, preoccupied with minutiae like transgender bathrooms and identity politics headcounts rather than the serious business of being a great power, he symbolizes everything that the United States is right now.  Not that he knows it of course.  He’s a pre-Boomer.  Born in 1942, all he’s known is an America is a great power and doesn’t think anything he does will make it weaker because I doubt he believes America can be weak. So opening the borders and granting millions amnesty isn’t a fatal blow to the country, it’s just being neighborly.  We can handle them!  Reversing Trump’s trade policies on China?  Rather than a death blow to American manufacturing, Biden thinks he’s leading our good friends the Chinese into Democracy.  And as a bonus, they pay well too!

At least to connected people like the Biden’s.

For those hoping for a return to normality, they are going to be cruelly disappointed.  2021 is already starting to look like some dystopian movie.

The government and the media has already picked out 74 million Americans as the next Emmanuel Goldsteins.  Whether they lose interest in their jihad is up in the air, but I’m hopeful that our new government-media-woke corporate rulers will forget about how much they hate us and stay busy congratulating themselves on their multiple 5 year plans.  Hey it could happen!

But of course, I’m an optimist.

 

Deplatforming on all Fronts

The draft of this post had been sitting in a folder for quite a while.  I had been thinking that I had plenty of time to work out a detailed look at what I thought was a long term problem but “events dear boy, events” once again rears its ugly head and time’s up.

And honestly I should have known that I didn’t have much time.  When putting together my yearly predictions for 2020, I had toyed with the idea of putting in a prediction that social media would stomp down on prominent conservative sites and users hard during the run up to the election and that certainly happened, with Twitter and Facebook joining forces to stop the spread of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden story, mere weeks before Election Day.  But this story is bigger than me missing what turned out to be a sure fire prediction.

Although the left is gleeful that Trump is banned from Twitter (and Facebook, Instagram, Shopify, Snapchat, Twitch, and so on…), the idea that multiple monopoly online platforms can coordinate to render the most powerful man in the world effectively a nonperson should be worrying to those of us with far less power and influence.

We’re in new territory.  After half a century of civil society expanding access and opportunity, we’re now in an era in which instead of people boycotting companies, companies are boycotting people.

The sixty years since the start of the civil rights movement has resulted in civil rights and a reduced freedom of association. No longer could you have a public establishment and restrict it; if you owned a lunch counter, just because you owned it didn’t mean you could keep black people from your lunch counter. That has been the trend in law for decades, and accepted by all liberals and conservatives until social media platforms began banning conservative sites, personalities, and accounts. Then suddenly, liberals began saying, “build your own damn Facebook (or Twitter ect…)! They’re private companies! They can have whoever they want and ban whoever they want!”

Is it OK if the local grocery store bans me buying groceries because they don’t like the cut of my twitter jib? My bank or credit union? Or the local gas station?  How about my power company and water & sewage?

Currently the answer is yes.

I honestly didn’t see the rise of woke capitalism and the use of its economic power to go after individuals that it disagreed with politically.  For the entire history of capitalism, companies have followed the almighty dollar. That was the central critique of capitalism from the left, the relentless pursuit of maximizing profitability.  All of our understanding of how economics works is based on the idea that companies seek profit.  In fact for corporations, profit is their legal fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. How does capitalism work when the reward a corporation seeks is likes, re-tweeting, and some vague moral superiority at the expense of a broad customer base?

The frog has been boiling for several years, slowly so as to not cause much fuss, and it started with targets that virtually everyone could agree were nuts.  So yes, I’m talking about Alex Jones. Jones is a conspiracy theorist who’s entertained the conspiracy of whatever nut job guest he had.  Peak Alex Jones was probably the conspiracy that NASA was running a child slave camp on Mars. Jones was a good tryout for this sort of banning because Jones was not only unpopular on the left; he was unpopular on the right for promoting baseless and ridiculous conspiracy theories simply as a business model. He was one of the first ones to be banned and no one really stood up for him because his promotion of the Sandy Hook conspiracy was genuinely hurtful. Anyone can put themselves in the place of a mourning parent who then gets attacked by some nutjob claiming their child’s death was a fraud.

So what happened?

“For the first time, the major online platforms coordinated their efforts. Within a few days in early August 2018, Alex Jones “Infowars” was expelled from Apple podcasts, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube. On September 6th, Twitter followed suit. On September 8th, Apple banned Alex Jones InfoWars app from its App Store. Jones was virtually erased. He had 2.4 million YouTube subscribers, all gone; 830,000 Twitter followers, purged; his Apple podcast archives were deleted; his Facebook page, with 2.5 million followers, wiped out.”

And with apologies to Bertolt Brecht, First they came for the conspiracy nuts, and I did not speak out, because I was not a conspiracy nut…

Well we know how that ends.  We’re close enough to see it on the horizon now.

That deplatforming went so well that the social media giants tried a few more test cases.  Next up, “Sargon of Akkad.”

Sargon of Akkad, whose YouTube channel has over a million subscribers and has delivered 270 million views. “Sargon” (not the Mesopotamian King) is actually Carl Benjamin, a 40-year-old British political commentator and former UK Independence Party candidate who has been building his YouTube audience since 2010. In 2014, at the height of the Gamergate controversy, he attracted publicity for exposing efforts by progressive feminists to influence video game development.

Controversy has been currency for Sargon of Akkad, like it has for everyone on the IDW. But when it comes to big tech censorship, some controversies are more controversial than others. Benjamin criticized sacred leftist pieties surrounding, among others, feminism, white privilege, and fundamentalist Islam. With his provocative style, exasperating commitment to logic, and uninhibited use of his right to free speech, he’d made a lot of enemies.

Apparently, Patreon agreed, and on December 6, 2018, it banned Benjamin’s account. Overnight, the $12,000 per month he was making from subscribers supporting him through Patreon was gone. His offense was that Patreon had uncovered a video “off-platform,” meaning it wasn’t even on his own YouTube channel, where in a discussion, Benjamin used the “N-word.” It didn’t matter that he was only using the word in an abstract way to make a point—or that examples have been found of that word being used on other YouTube channels that are served by Patreon.

As reported by Tim Pool, when Benjamin went to an alternative member services provider, SubscribeStar, that competes with Patreon, leftist activists hounded PayPal to sever their relationship with it. In turn, that not only stymied Benjamin’s attempt to offer his supporters a new platform, it abruptly ended the cash flow for every preexisting client of SubscribeStar, and sent that service provider into a tailspin from which it has yet to recover.

I’m old enough to remember when companies banding together like that was considered collusion and was bad (and illegal).  Now it’s considered a positive social good.

But Woke Capital is just getting started.

Laura Loomer, a controversial  former GOP Congressional candidate, is an admitted Islamophobe,  and conspiracy theorist, has been banned from just about everything.  Her lists of bans include the (almost normal now) bans from social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to more specialized bans, such as Uber, Lyft, PayPal, and Venmo. But wait, there is more!  She’s also banned from Chase Bank.

As I said, the typical leftist/libertarian response to this is usually along the lines of “go start your own Facebook” or some such.  However as this continues to expand, it’s going to have to include “go start your own ridesharing service, internet payment system and Banking system.”

Loomer might as well be told to go start her own planet.

Well that all seems very small potatoes now, when Twitter and Facebook have banned Donald Trump, the sitting President of the United States.  Why did they wait until this week?  My guess is that once it became clear that the Democrats would control the Senate, and would lead the committees, they no longer had any fears of future regulation, particularly with Section 230.  For the social media giants, happy days really were here again.

So what’s to be done?  It’s a bit too late for that. Section 230 is the legislation that provides liability protection for internet companies over content on their site.  Facebook and Twitter are treated as bulletin boards and are not really responsible for their content since it’s not “their” content.  This is unlike actual publishers like newspapers who are legally liable for their content.  However if Twitter and Facebook are banning their ideological enemies, they are really acting as publishers and not bulletin boards and should be legally liable.  Trump wanted to make that change, but it’s unlikely anything like that could have gotten through the democratically controlled House.  The Democrats like things just the way they are.

Another idea that might help conservatives fight woke capital:

The Office of Comptroller of the Currency is considering a new rule that would bar banks from denying service for non-financial reasons, such as a customer’s political views. The idea has a solid legal basis. It simply implements the language in Title III of the Dodd-Frank Act, which directs the OCC to “assure the safety and soundness of, and compliance with laws and regulations, fair access to financial services, and fair treatment of customers.”

The rule states that a financial institution may not “deny any person a financial service the bank offers except to the extent justified by such person’s quantified and documented failure to meet quantitative, impartial risk-based standards established in advance by the covered bank.”

This is certainly a positive move that would be beneficial…oh yeah we’re out of time for that.  Biden will take office in less than two weeks and nothing like this will ever be allowed to slip by the Harris-but-also Biden administration.

From Poland comes a fairly genius idea:

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced a legal initiative on Thursday aimed at enabling internet users to file complaints against the removal of online posts as well as the creation of a special court for freedom of speech.

Under its provisions, social media services will not be allowed to remove content or block accounts if the content on them does not break Polish law. In the event of removal or blockage, a complaint can be sent to the platform, which will have 24 hours to consider it. Within 48 hours of the decision, the user will be able to file a petition to the court for the return of access. The court will consider complaints within seven days of receipt and the entire process is to be electronic.

If a special court rules in favour of the plaintiff and the internet service does not obey the ruling it can subject the internet service to a fine of up to PLN 8 million (EUR 1.8 million) imposed by the Office of Electronic Communications.

Again, not an idea that would ever get past a Democratic Congress and Administration, but it shows that there were options to have stopped this Woke Capital-tatorship we’ve found ourselves living under. Well it’s too late for the US but maybe not for the Poles so I wish them well.

You know, it really is the perfect dictatorship; no emergency decrees, and no dissolution of Congress. “The last remnants of the Old Republic” doesn’t need to be swept away.  They can stay right where they are.  We can continue to vote and none of it will matter.  Our ideological compliance will be enforced not by a governmental Big Brother, but by a woke capital that will police the customer base, making sure we all parrot the right opinions and don’t get out of line if we want to continue to bank,  get a job, shop, get a mortgage, use credit, or conduct any business whatsoever.

I would like to think there is some think tank or institution that is working on this, trying to come up with policies and plans to handle this seemingly intractable situation, but what is Conservative Inc concerning itself with?  From National Review, The Cure for Trumpism? Reaganism.

We’re doomed.

 

 

 

 

 

Rioting for Me, But not for Thee

For the first time in years, the media is outraged at a riot.  Specifically the “Capitol Hill Riot” in which Trump supporters rushed the capital building breaking into the floor and offices.

So who had in their bingo card Trump Supporting Vikings attack US Capitol?

Not to make too much light of it since 5 people died and scores were injured, and it should go without saying that I oppose this rioting and think the perpetrators should be caught and charged.  But that’s par for the course for me, I’m a law and order type of guy.  What’s new is that the news media and progressives in general have suddenly become law in order types themselves…at least in this one instance.

The hypocrisy has been fairly hilarious for me as the media has rushed to cover up prominent progressive’s previous praise of rioting, arson, and violence.  Of course I’m not the only one who noticed the irony and twitter is replete with examples:

I had a little fun at one of my online hangouts and asked some progressive types to square that circle on rioting.  As it turns out, they couldn’t.  I wasn’t simply trolling, I really wanted to know the thought process of opposing this riot, but being not merely tolerant but supportive of rioting that went on all summer resulting in scores of injuries and deaths, and cost upwards of 2 billion dollars in damages.  And of course history tells us that effects of urban rioting last for years; Detroit still hasn’t recovered from it’s 1960’s race riots.

Ah but the “thought process” boiled down to this:  George Floyd was brutally murdered by racist cops so it’s nothing like privileged white racists attacking the Capitol.  And also there was no rioting; it was only “peaceful protest.”

Huh?

It’s why the left never acknowledges its own hypocrisy.  They are genuinely blind to it.  It’s not a matter of “pics or it didn’t happen,

…its pics and it still didn’t happen.

This of course is beyond merely scoring points in an internet argument; it’s an inability to have even the same language to describe an event.  I’ve no doubt that Ali Veshi, standing in front of a burning building, really did think it was “mostly peaceful” protesting.

It definitely changes the perspective on MSN reporting. As the Babylon Bee humorously addresses:

 

But seriously folks…This has chilling implications for our politics going forward, no common language, no common worldview, and one side has all the societal institutions on their side.

Ga Runoff-Pence-Electoral College-Trump Speech-Occupy DC…Oh My!

We are not even a full week into the New Year and one of my predictions has come into play.

Ossoff projected to win in Georgia, delivering Senate control to Democrats

CBS News projects that Jon Ossoff has defeated incumbent Senator David Perdue in Tuesday’s Senate runoff election in Georgia, handing Democrats control of the Senate in a dramatic shift that upends the balance of power in Washington. Democrat Raphael Warnock is also projected to win the state’s other runoff election against GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler.

We went right from that to the Electoral College certification taking place in Congress today meanwhile a Trump rally in Washington DC degenerated into a march on the capital and an occupation of the capital building by Trump supporters.

Luckily it was mostly peaceful.

Just to be clear, I’m a law and order guy and think they that what those protestors/rioters did was wrong and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but I admit it was a bit disconcerting to hear Democrats suddenly agreeing with me. After spending all summer ignoring nationwide riots, arson, and violence, suddenly the Democrats have found a law and order spine. Of course in the current year’s sensibilities, applied law and order is only for Trump supporters; all others have a free pass.

Sometimes history drags, and sometimes it does an info dump in a day’s time.  January 6th 2021 is one of those days. This little temper tantrum will have long reaching effects as the Democrats exert their newfound political control.  Vengeance may not be swift, but it will coming.