The big ‘cancel’

by Judith Curry

We need to allow all voices to be heard.

Like everyone else on the planet, I have been riveted by the events of the past week.  And I have been suffering from a great deal of cognitive dissonance in interpreting these events – how to reconcile my staunch advocacy of freedom of speech and abhorrence of censorship, with my abhorrence of violence.

I was going to post on this on Sunday, then cancelled (do I really want to wrestle with this tar baby?).  I then decided again to post Monday night, then cancelled this morning.  This essay by Matt Nisbet that I just read has convinced me to post on this topic.

Election.  The results (and ensuing challenges) of the Presidential election are at the root of what has happened.  Were there irregularities in the voting process?  It would be astonishing if there weren’t (based on the thousands of texts I’ve received to my phone, it appears that I am still a registered voter in Fulton County, GA).  Were there some bad actors involved here?  Wouldn’t surprise me.  Is there anything here that would lead to overturning the result that Joe Biden won the election?  It doesn’t seem that there is.  This was not a close election, unlike the nail biter Bush vs Gore election.  Further, there is indirect evidence that Trump lost  in that Biden won the popular vote by large margin, and the down-ballot Republicans did quite well.  Are people within their rights to ask for audits and to complain?  Of course.  But the process has played itself out, and the meeting of Electoral College effectively put an end to this.  Do members of Congress have the right to raise issues about the electors at the Jan 6 Certification?  Well, in 2017 apparently there were 11 Representatives that raised issues challenging Trump’s win.  Joe Biden, who presided over this, knocked these challenges back since there hadn’t been any corresponding concerns raised by Senators.  Do losers of elections continue to complain about an ‘unfair’ election?  I certainly recall complaints from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi well into 2017 about illegitimate election, after Trump and the Republicans won in 2016.  Stacey Abrams never conceded her loss in the Georgia gubernatorial election.  Do U.S. election practices need improvement?  They certainly do, in some states.  But one of the safeguards in U.S. elections is that it is impossible to comprehensively rig what is essentially 50+ separate elections that are administered at the county level. Of course, in a close election rigging a few key counties can make a difference.  But this election was not that close.

Violence.  Many have argued that while Trump’s statements were reckless and wrong, his speech does not meet the definition of incitement under the U.S. criminal code and his statements would be considered protected speech by the Supreme Court.  Here is the concern.  My take on the incitement to violence can be illustrated by analogy with falsely crying ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater (the canonical example of speech that isn’t protected).  Person X spends  two months effectively talking about a theater that wasn’t safe, and could burn to the ground for a concert on a specific date that featured a rival.  He then effectively tried to coerce the theater owner (analogy to Pence) into cancelling the concert.  When this didn’t work, X organizes a rally to protest the concert, with an implicit wink and nod that fire would be ok.  Further, X arranged for the expected theater security not to be present.  Fire ensues.  IMO, while not as explicit, this is in many ways equivalent to someone spontaneously crying “Fire.”  But here is the problem with what Twitter did. They suspended Trump’s account permanently, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”  What role should the ‘precautionary principle’ play in terms of freedom of speech (in this instance, beyond Biden’s inauguration)? And why are the Antifa and BLM related twitter accounts allowed, which are more explicit about violence? So is this really about politics, and not ‘violence’?

Twitter.  Twitter’s decision to suspend Trump, is legally speaking, fairly clear cut.  The tweets that I found most objectionable were his insistence that Pence throw the election in his favor at the Jan 6 certification.  This was immediately followed by #HangPence, which actually trended on twitter for quite awhile, and seem more directly related to inciting violence than anything else that Trump said on Twitter. I would be more sympathetic to an apparently difficult decision by Twitter to de-platform Trump, if it weren’t for their cavalier de-platforming of: Covid physicians or other ‘experts’ that advocated for HXQ or against lockdowns (topics for which there is legitimate debate), scientists and others who inject too much biology into discussions of ‘gender,’ anyone mentioning Hunter Biden’s financial ‘difficulties’, and so on – issues that don’t in any conceivable way relate to violence, other than in a political  ‘woke’ sense, whereby violence is done unto me if anyone issues words that I disagree with or my feelings get hurt.

Parler.  The ‘cancelled’ people then went and formed their own platform (they had been told to ‘build their own’), Parler, which was for proponents of free speech and didn’t censor anything.  I was initially intrigued by the idea, signed up for an account.  The main thing that I spotted is that Willie Soon dominates climate Parler – sort of the Michael Mann of Parler (but minus the insults).  I subsequently forgot my password, and never bothered further.  Parler has been effectively cancelled, by the Amazon cloud declining to host Parler.  Building your own server cloud system is a non trivial undertaking.  Apparently the owner of Parler has been unable to find another U.S. host for their site (I suspect they will end up going with server provider in eastern Europe).  The host for Climate Etc. (wordpress.com) doesn’t seem to be de-platforming blogs (at least as far as I know).

Platform or publisher.  There has been a debate going on for years as to whether social media should be regarded as a platform or a publisher (Section 230).  Trump’s social media ban could very well create a host of problems for Big Tech and its social media platforms.  They will be hit from both sides:  Democrats angry at the role of social media in fomenting the challenge to Biden’s legitimacy as the President-elect; and Republicans angry at being censored.  Removing content that they thought was inciting violence in one specific instance is one thing, but preventing Trump from sharing anything further (indefinitely) on Twitter is arguably an editorial decision, which would define them as a publisher, with a whole host of different rules to abide by. Personally, I don’t trust the tech titans to have fair rules and enforce them fairly. To me, this looks like an anti-trust issue.  It is not a healthy situation for online discussion to take place only on a few platforms, and greater competition in the app and hosting space is needed.   Some are calling for social media to be regarded as a utility.

Broader consequences for Twitter.  Twitter’s stock is apparently tanking.  Twitter, unique among social media platforms, is widely used internationally.  This includes leaders of other countries, who had assumed  that a world leader should be able to speak to their citizens unfettered by decisions made by someone in Silicon Valley.  Some of these leaders say some very objectionable things on Twitter; thus far, few have been censored (and none to my knowledge de-platformed).  The more Twitter deletes, the more there is implicit de facto approval of what is allowed to remain on the platform. Many national leaders from other countries are voicing concerns, including Angela Merkel.  National level (or EU, Asia) versions of Twitter can be expected, diminishing the clientele and influence (and profitability) of Twitter.

You might be next.  While many are gleeful over the de-platforming of Trump, others are concerned that they could deplatformed at some point.  Such concerns have been raised internationally, but also within the U.S. by the ACLU and also by some on the left, including Bernie Sanders, who is concerned that left-wing groups could be banned in the future.  I can only wonder and worry about the fate of climate ‘deniers’ in the public discourse.

The chain reaction.  The de-platforming of Trump started with social media platforms.  This was then extended to anything related to Trump by mobile OS providers, cloud hosts, podcast carriers and email providers. The Twitter ban is one thing. Its the fact that all of these services were able to act in concert to instantly cancel someone from the online sphere, including the U.S. President, is rather terrifying.   But it gets worse.

Corporate cancelling.  In addition to social media, this has provided the impetus for Trump’s preferred banks to stop lending him further funds, the PGA has cut ties with Trump’s golf course in New Jersey, Shopify has terminated stores affiliated with Trump, Stripe has stopped processing payments for the Trump campaign website. I’m sure there will be others.  So where does this all lead?  And how can a ‘cancelled’ person work around this, even a billionaire?  Even for those people who detest Trump, surely they must be worried about whether this could happen to them?

Who is the greater threat to freedom and democracy?  So who is the greater threat – the clowns who stormed the Capitol, or the technocratic elites  and other corporations who are using the Trump situation as an opportunity to consolidate their cultural and political power?  Others define all this in moral terms, which really relate to their personal political preferences; they are all in favor of this if their current enemies are the ones being thwarted/cancelled.  A very dangerous situation.

JC reflections

Trump will be gone from the U.S. Presidency within days.  His recent behavior has arguably earned a ‘Censure’ from the U.S. Congress.  After the short-term catharsis of the big cancellation of Trump, the ability of Big Tech and corporations to ‘cancel’ somebody reflects a long-term danger to our society, much worse than whatever violence might be wrought by Antifa, Proud Boys, whoever.  Tyranny, or radicalization across the internet?  Hopefully this doesn’t need be either-or.  Politically motivated and precautionary censorship is arguably the biggest source of potential tyranny.  The control of speech by tech billionaires is a very dangerous place to be.

The giant scale of the social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has arguably transformed them into a public commons.  Facebook and Twitter have enriched my life – Facebook allowing me to stay in contact with old friends and distant relatives, and Twitter to communicate with interesting people that I otherwise wouldn’t have even heard of.

Unless Twitter et al. develop objective rules and enforce them consistently and uniformly, the regulators and lawmakers will do this for them. While these information monopolies are free enterprise success stories, they have also amassed enormous power, as evidenced by the events of the past week.

The problems that have brought the U.S. to this point are numerous and complex.  In the post-Trump era, hopefully we can focus on solutions, and bring the violent fringes under control.

1,204 responses to “The big ‘cancel’

  1. Yeah right, like that’s going to happen under Biden and company.

  2. “Even for those people who detest Trump, surely they must be worried about whether this could happen to them?”. You only have to look at Stalin’s Soviet Union to see how this sort of thing escalates. Even the most loyal and effective supporters of Stalin ended up dead or in prison.
    Power corrupts, …..

  3. > We need to limit the power of corporations to control public discourse and allow all voices to be heard, not just the ones you agree with

    Yes. Let’s have the government step in and tell these companies how to manage their terms of service and how to manage their bottom line and how to provide services to their customers.

    Works in China, why not here too?

    • Do you think that a company could get away with “de-platforming” a president in a country like China? No way!

      China would never allow a company to treat the president like an ordinary citizen.

      In China, they know how to make sure a president wouldn’t get “censored” like that!

      • Beware that “Joshua” is a Chinese bot. I suspected some time ago but I’m now convinced. He should be removed from the conversation (although I suspect some people will have the same opinion about myself).

      • > Beware that “Joshua” is a Chinese bot.

        Lol. What gave it away, Alan?. You’re such a genius I should have known I couldn’t fool you.

      • Have we forgotten the HORRORS of communism?:

      • David –

        > if you are not violating the moderation policies (which can be things like ‘stay on topic’ and ‘don’t repeatedly post the same content’) then yes, from a free speech point of view you should be able to remain

        These are subjective assessments. Made by Judith, or Twitter in the different contexts. It isn’t for you to decide. Or is it for the government to decide.

        > and no, I don’t want the government to enforce this. I just want to remove the blanket immunity that currently exists and instead say “if you are following your moderation policies evenly, you are immune” so that people who think that such policies are not being followed can take the normal action for enforcing contracts (lawsuit or arbitration)

        How do you propose removing the blanket immunity that Judith has to decide, subjectively, whether to ban me from her blog?

        > In the case of access to this blog comment section, good luck in defining what your damages are. But if Youtube is kicking you off with uneven application of their policies, it’s much easier to justify damages

        There are no damages. And even if there were, it is my right to not post in such a way as Judith might decide to ban me. If I were terribly concerned about being banned. I wouldn’t criticize her thinking or that of her commenters and I wouldn’t get banned. It’s silly for me to whine and comlain because my actions have easily predictable consequences.

      • I don’t propose to remove Judith’s ability to ban you. I am proposing removing her absolute immunity to do whatever she wants. She sets the ToS/moderation policies. They can say whatever she wants them to (including, “I will ban anyone I want”). If people post and accept the ToS a contract is formed. If the policy is not being enforced fairly and you suffer from it, you have the right to sue to get the contract enforced (either boot the other people, or let you back and fix the policy to allow what’s being allowed)

        I’m also open to setting a minimum size so that tiny sites like this are immune, but for the sake of discussion, let’s keep talking about this site.

        Just because it’s private property, it doesn’t mean the public has no rights there. I saw a posting in the last week or so talking about a situation where a developer purchased land and built what was essentially “main street” and leased out stores, etc. The courts ruled that since the general public was allowed in as if it was main street, the owner couldn’t prohibit speech there, just like a town could not prohibit speech on a real main street

      • Majura Wombat

        Are you suggesting that the US (or Twitter) should emulate China?

      • “I don’t propose to remove Judith’s ability to ban you. I am proposing removing her absolute immunity to do whatever she wants. ”

        And in the real world that would mean Judith will have to turn off comments because risking huge legal bills defending against lawsuits is simply not worth it.

        I understand why you are trying to find a way to ensure online space for ideas that may be offensive to some but any solution that allows courts and lawyers to arbitrators of subjective moderating policies would end up restricting speech even more. Another approach is needed.

      • When section 230 was passed, the intent was to give ebsites immunity from liability based on what users post, hile still allowing for some moderation, not to give companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube the ability to silence political opposition.

        Nobody at the time imagined that any company would have the power that these companies have, or that companies this large would be willing to declare large parts of the country verbotton.

        Unfortunantly there is not enough competition to keep the companies in check (and the situation with Parlor, with Google and Apple kicking it out of the app stores as well as Amazon kicking it off their hosting show how the established companies will work to kill competition), so the market is not free enough to correct for this problem.

        I don’t like the idea of involving lawyers either (I’ve seen enough patent trolls, ADA ‘enforcement’, and similar to hate the idea of turning them against websites) But I would far prefer to involve lawyers than to give the government the authority to define what is not allowed on websites. The current political situation is a perfect example of why the government should not have that power.

        any time you suggest that the government should be able to control something, imagine people who absolutly hate you with that power, what’s the worst they can do to you with it.

        so other than involving lawyers, what can be done?

      • Dr. Curry is and should continue to be free to do as she pleases with comments. I think you are just upset that free speech is the norm here and you can’t stand it, so are trying to find a back-handed way to get rid of it, which would be the case under the “remedy” you propose.

        Nice try though.

    • What simple minded thinking. There are other ways to accomplish this including breaking the tech tyrants into many smaller pieces that are independent. There are almost certainly specific antitrust violations involved in the cancellation of Parler.

      • If a legal case can be made that these companies should be broken up, then make it. If have no objection.

        That’s different than justifying breaking them up because they made business decisions you didn’t like.

        The sense of privilege and entitlement on display is impressive.

      • I mean, of course, as an antitrust issue.

        I don’t think the government should pursue legal action and regulating the private sector based on your feelings.

      • Parler hasn’t been “cancelled”. Amazon Web Services, a totally different entity from Twitter and the other organizations that have retaliated against Trump, chose to stop hosting Parler. We shall see if Amazon had a valid reason for abruptly terminating their contract with Parler, but they are probably clauses in the contract against inciting violence, hosting hackers, etc. So Parler can be in business on their own computers or computers almost anywhere in the world. (IIRC, Climategate files were placed on Russian computers and I’m sure Putin would be glad to assist.)

        In anti-trust law, whether someone has a monopoly depends on how the market is defined. If the market is defined as less than 280 character messaging platform for pushing messages to people who sign up to receive them, then Twitter may be a monopoly. However, if Facebook and even email are part of the same market, they Twitter isn’t a monopoly, just a company that has excelled in a modest corner of the market. Even if Twitter were a monopoly, it isn’t obvious that it has acted to suppress competitors like Parler. Twitter has contracts with all of its users (as does WordPress) including Trump, but he was banned for violating the terms of service he agreed to.

        If Twitter, Facebook and other internet platforms are ever determined to be public utilities (like railroads and electricity grids), the government can regulate the terms of service they offer their customers.

      • “Parler hasn’t been “cancelled”. Amazon Web Services, a totally different entity from Twitter and the other organizations that have retaliated against Trump, chose to stop hosting Parler. We shall see if Amazon had a valid reason for abruptly terminating their contract with Parler, but they are probably clauses in the contract against inciting violence, hosting hackers, etc.”

        Google and Apple and Amazon also banned their apps from their app stores, effectively driving them out of the mobile communications world – at the same time.

        That sounds like being “cancelled” to me. And it looks like a conspiracy or a concerted effort by giant monopolies.

        As for “they can get their own servers.” They will. But, there are few cloud hosting services with the kind of capabilities a social media company needs. It isn’t just a cabinet or two full of servers. AWS provides the ability to scale on demand. It provides huge economies of scale, since it has untold thousands or millions of servers, plus that scale affords it the best experts in the world. At that scale, it has vast networking connections and distribution to provide backup.

        Reproducing that is impossible. Reproducing much of it is impractical.

        Parler were cancelled in the mobile space, and greatly diminished in the server space.

      • Frank –

        Stop making sense. It’s much more fun to kvetch and wail about being a victim of libz.

      • Franktoo wrote, “We shall see if Amazon had a valid reason for abruptly terminating Parlor …

        From The Verge …

        Amazon’s decision to suspend Parler’s service has provoked ongoing debate about AWS’s power as a hosting provider and whether such suspensions pose a threat to free speech. But while many had seen the suspension as a knee-jerk response to the mob attack on the US Capitol, Amazon’s response makes clear that the service had lodged complaints with Parler long before the raid.

        “AWS reported to Parler, over many weeks, dozens of examples of content that encouraged violence,” the company argues in the filing, “including calls to hang public officials, kill Black and Jewish people, and shoot police officers in the head,”

        To drive home this point, the complaint includes 15 examples of such posts, which include graphic calls to violence against tech CEOs, school teachers, and professional athletes. In some cases, the comments also refer to specific dates and targets for violence, encouraging users to form militia groups and “acquire targets.”

        Amazon says it submitted more than 100 such comments to Parler in the weeks leading up to the suspension.

        Content warning: these threats are graphic, violent, and racist; use discretion.

        https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/13/22228675/amazon-parler-takedown-violent-threats-moderation-content-free-speech

      • Mesocyclone is right. Apple and Google did ban Parler from their stores. 8 Million iPhone users did install Parler in 2020 and I don’t think Apple can remove Parler from your personal iPhone. And Parler is presumably available via a computer web browser. AWS isn’t the only cloud hosting service capable of meeting Parler’s current needs. FWIW The Oath Keepers attack on our Nation’s Capitol apparently was planned using Parler. You can hardly blame these tech giants for not wanting to host a platform providing secure communications for what are arguably domestic terrorists.

        For what it is worth, I think Silicon Valley’s much-needed efforts to take back Trump’s megaphone since the election and especially since 1/6/21 will prompt legislation. I presume you read my long rant on this post about social media echo chambers becoming cults and advocating that we needed regulation that promotes a “marketplace of ideas” on which our current interpretation of Freedom of Speech was decided by the Supreme Court. Echo chambers are monopolies of speech that develop naturally in social media and often turn into cults. “Cancel culture” is another situation where freedom of speech doesn’t lead to better speech or a marketplace of ideas. Does anyone has the wisdom to find a way of doing what needs to be done?

      • “Mesocyclone is right. Apple and Google did ban Parler from their stores. 8 Million iPhone users did install Parler in 2020 and I don’t think Apple can remove Parler from your personal iPhone. And Parler is presumably available via a computer web browser. AWS isn’t the only cloud hosting service capable of meeting Parler’s current needs. FWIW The Oath Keepers attack on our Nation’s Capitol apparently was planned using Parler. You can hardly blame these tech giants for not wanting to host a platform providing secure communications for what are arguably domestic terrorists. ”

        I think Apple can remove any app they don’t like. Whether they have done so, I don’t know.

        Parler is not a secure communications platform, as far as I know. I have an account, the services of which have now been denied to me by monopolists, but I really haven’t spent a lot of time on it. But as far as I Know, if I posted something, anyone could see it.

        Lots of platforms have been used to further the communications of domestic terrorists, if that is what the Oath Keepers are (they didn’t used to be, so I don’t know). Twitter routinely hosts terroristic threats – such as a long running thread to kill Trump. Twitter didn’t delete that (unless they did it after dumping Trump just to appear fair)>

        AWS is not the only cloud hosting service. It is, however, the best. And which other would you suggest? I doubt the communists at Google would allow Parler to use theirs (if they were dumb enough to do so). Microsoft, who knows. Oracle, not my choice, and I don’t know.

        Besides, I Note you say “current needs.” That’s just marvelous, but it is also something you don’t know. I’d bet that their “current needs” are a lot higher as a result of the Big Censorship event.

        I can blame these tech giants, and I do, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the industry.

      • Quote: You can hardly blame these tech giants for not wanting to host a platform providing secure communications for what are arguably domestic terrorists

        so why haven’t they banned Twitter and Facebook?

        According to an Amazon filings in the lawsuit (Parlor vs Amazon), as of the time of filing, none of the people arrested even have Parlor accounts

        Quote: “Cancel culture” is another situation where freedom of speech doesn’t lead to better speech or a marketplace of ideas.

        Cancel Culture is the opposite of freedom of speech. The solution isn’t to regulate speech more, but instead to eliminate Cancel Culture and restore Freedom of Speech

      • Frank wrote: “Cancel culture” is another situation where freedom of speech doesn’t lead to better speech or a marketplace of ideas.

        David replied: Cancel Culture is the opposite of freedom of speech. The solution isn’t to regulate speech more, but instead to eliminate Cancel Culture and restore Freedom of Speech

        Frank rebuts: People use their freedom of speech to create cancel cultures. A mob of 500 students speaking freely drowns out other speech. Cancel culture wasn’t planned or enforced; it evolved spontaneously. Competitive free markets produce the best goods for the lowest price, but they spontaneously evolve into large monopolies without regulation.

      • “People use their freedom of speech to create cancel cultures. A mob of 500 students speaking freely drowns out other speech. Cancel culture wasn’t planned or enforced; it evolved spontaneously. Competitive free markets produce the best goods for the lowest price, but they spontaneously evolve into large monopolies without regulation.”

        Amazing sophistry!

        We don’t want free speech because someone can use it to stop free speech!

        And “cancel culture…evolved spontaneously.” No, ti didn’t It is a direct result of toxic ideologies, derived from Gramscian Marxism, that have infected the fact-free fields at institutes of “higher” learning. While it isn’t centrally directed, it is certainly a tactic chosen by the left, advocated by left wing people in positions of power, and used only to silence, through terrorism, any ideas not blessed – at that moment in time – by those ideologies.

        It is a tactic that was used by leftist totalitarians a number of times in history. It is used today by the Chinese dictatorship, in a more modern incarnation of the Cultural Revolution, which I expect you to next compare to the American Revolution.

        Comparing it to free markets, is just pathetic.

      • Mesocyclone strenuously objects to my drawing an analogy between freedom of speech evolving (without regulation) into cancel culture on college campuses and free market evolving in monopolies.

        The Supreme Court’s doctrine about free speech is based on the idea that the problem of bad speech is best addressed by more speech, not government regulation of speech. In a cancel culture, this principle doesn’t work because no one can hear the “more speech” (speech that potentially rebuts bad speech), because they are shouted down. Similarly, in today’s social media and regular media echo chambers, the opportunity for either side to new ideas from the other is not existent. There is no “more speech that can rebut bad ideas”, there is an echo chamber of the same ideas. The news is: “Trump said X”, not “Trump said X and Biden said Y and here is some additional information Z to help you understand their disagreement.” Jim2 is the perfect example, citing one (IMO biased and ridiculous) story after the other from the Gateway Pundit. He doesn’t want to discuss the merits and weaknesses of the story; he just shouts: Gateway Pundit says. Gateway Pundit says. Gateway Pundit says. Gateway Pundit says. Gateway Pundit says. And that is what cancel culture does on campus, try to shout down other ideas. And his noisiness has driven away most other thoughtful commentators with insightful ideas. And Trump is doing the same thing, averaging 36 tweets per day over the past six months. During his impeachment, there were more than 100 tweets per day shouting down whatever new ideas might be circulating due to the event. In today’s world of media and social media, free speech has evolved into echo chambers where “more speech” is not a viable solution to the problem of bad speech. Fortunately, in social media, a private company – not the all-powerful government – can regulate bad speech when it gets really really bad.

        And I think the analogy to the free market is very apt. The free market works great when there is competition, but history shows businesses often collude to prevent competition. Or merge. In social media and traditional media, there is no marketplace of competing ideas, there are several echo chambers with a single idea: Either Trump is evil or Trump is being persecuted. Or Blacks are being systematically killed by the police. And about 43% of the country lives in one of those echo chambers, explaining why Trump’s support has remained at that level for several years NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES. He can incite a crowd to attack the Capitol, but his support remains at 43% because none of them every hear the inflammatory language Trump used. VP Pence must be able to decide which Electoral Votes are read, because that is the only way to stop the election from being stolen. Since Pence failed Trump, Pence is evil. In the Trump echo chamber, no one hears that this would be the end of democracy as we have known it. Or that Gore could have elected himself president in 2000. Or Nixon in 1960. And Biden could have arranged for Hillary to win in 2016 by using the same trick.

        When companies don’t compete, the free market doesn’t work, no matter how much we believe in it. So we reluctantly regulate. When you have a system where bad speech is not addressed by more speech, freedom of speech isn’t going to work, no matter how much we believe in it. How can we regulate social media so it becomes a marketplace of ideas where free speech CAN function, not an echo chamber where it isn’t working. The stability of Trump’s support no matter what he does is great evidence that information about what he is really doing never gets through.

      • “When you have a system where bad speech is not addressed by more speech, freedom of speech isn’t going to work, no matter how much we believe in it.”

        The idea of free speech is that it doesn’t always have to work. It is a natural right. But, they did back up that right with the idea that people should be free to speak.

        “How can we regulate social media so it becomes a marketplace of ideas where free speech CAN function, not an echo chamber where it isn’t working. ”

        Why would we want to do that? How about letting free speech do its own thing. And if we don’t like the result, then we didn’t speak enough.

        “The stability of Trump’s support no matter what he does is great evidence that information about what he is really doing never gets through.”

        Speaking of misinformation – that statement is simply not true. Trump’s support is not stable.

        For example, I was strongly against Trump, until the only choice was him or Hillary. I was very pleasantly surprised at how well he did overall – but then, I look at his works rather than getting hung up on his words. I was a Trump supporter right up until after the election, when it was clear that the claims of a stolen election were unsupportable, and the claims of a vast conspiracy to steal it were too much to accept rationally. His words were too much at that point. I now would like him to fade away.

        And in spite of that, I also believe that the two impeachments were stains on our Democracy far worst than anything Trump has done or said – and that’s saying something regarding his speech, which after the election was pretty bad.

        And I also believe he did more for America than any President since Reagan, but threw away some of those accomplishments by his behavior – I think that behavior cost us one or both of the Georgia Senate seats.

        And I’d say that the media’s reporting, and Big Tech’s censorship, were appalling. It is clear that Freedom of the Press is not working, so by your standards, shouldn’t we do something to fix it – using government action?

        I am hardly alone in being someone whose support of Trump has varied depending on the circumstance.

      • Frank –

        > The stability of Trump’s support no matter what he does is great evidence that information about what he is really doing never gets through.

        There is some movement. Little bits around the edges. A Ben Sasse. A McConnell yesterday. The pubs who voted for impeachment. But they get shouted down as Rinos or turncoats or elites if the have the temerity to step out of line.

        Which underscores your larger point – which is very interesting. Thanks for outlining it.

        “Free speech” can be a politically expedient rallying cry. It’s a useful rhetorical device. It tiles people up because it focuses them on being victims. But those uses of “free speech” are cynical and they trivialize the issue.

        At some level shouting is a form of speech but does more shouting (with no listening and no real attempt to communicate) = more free speech?

        There is a complicated and partially symbiotic relationship between speech and listening. If no one is listening you don’t really have free speech in a meaningful sense. If no one is intending to be listened to, but only heard in the sense that you hear noise (without listening to noise), then to you really have free speech?

        You just have a lot of shouting. To the extent that we have a “free speech” problem in this county it isn’t merely function of social media. The problem is much bigger than social media. More (or less) social media won’t enhance or inhibit free speech to the extent that free speech means the meaningful exchange of ideas.

      • The fact that you have the right to speak does not mean you have the right to be listened to

        But there is a problem with allowing “heckler’s veto”, or mob intimidation to prevent you from speaking to those who want to listen to you.

        And yes, this problem does not originate and is not limited to online speech

      • David –

        > But there is a problem with allowing “heckler’s veto”, or mob intimidation to prevent you from speaking to those who want to listen to you.

        Sure, there is a problem if people shouting someone down limits that person’s audience. But there are related problems. It isn’t so simple.

        There is a problem when people who are speaking have no real intent to be listened to by anyone, but only to antagonize and provoke.

        And people have a right to determine who they want speaking in a community they created – in the sense that I have a right to tell you I don’t want you coming into my home and insulting me or provoking me. At some point have a right to determine if speech is causing me harm in some fashion. That’s why laws controlling pornography aren’t considered incompatible with free speech – but these are balancing acts.

        And a community saying you that you can’t speak in their midst has context. Can you speak elsewhere? Is the community unanimous in that opinion? How many people in that community are being denied an opportunity to listen to something they want to hear?

        These are not easy, or uncomplicated questions. Making them binary or black and white trivializes them. Saying that a private sector entity regulating the use of their product is “censorship” trivializes the issue of free speech. It’s leveraging free speech as a proxy political battle. Ths ISN’T to say that I thing the aren’t legitimate concerns in play. But they shouldn’t be cynically exploited.

      • you say that the community has the right to determine ho can speak. I disagree, that;s not Free Speech

        A property owner has the right to limit how their property is used (although the more they allow the public to use the property, the closer it becomes to the public square.

        the community does NOT have the right to determine who can speak in the public square. They have the right to not listen, but not the right to limit who can speak

        Free Speech guarantees are not needed for speech that people want to hear, they are needed for speech that is not popular (after all, who is trying to limit speech that is popular)

      • Dave –

        > the community does NOT have the right to determine who can speak in the public square. They have the right to not listen, but not the right to limit who can speak

        First of all, you added “public square.”

        Is Twitter a “public square?”. Is a college campus a “public square?” Is Judith’s blog a “public square (when she deletes my comments)?”

        2nd, you ignored my example of pornography.

        Reducing these discussions to facile binary black and whites trivializes the discussion.

        Evil people exist in “the left” and in “the right” who want to prevent any oppositional speech. But we don’t live in a cartoon world of an evil-doer world in “the left” or on “the right.”

        Stop ‘splaining reality to me. Stop shouting. Have a dialog. Ask questions.

      • what does any community control other than the public spaces? everything else is controlled by the owner, not the community.

        Or at least it should be. If the “community” starts prohibiting what can be said on private property, that’s even more of a problem than blocking disagreeable speech in public spaces (aka the public square)

      • David –

        Imagine a community of commenters at Judith’s blog didn’t like me commenting here. I know it’s hard to imagine but just try.

        For months many commenters ask Judith to ban me from her blog. They say that my only intent is to incite people and to distract them from their important workof exposing fraudulent computer science. They say I’m paid by “the team” or the Chinese Communist Parry. After some months of this, Judith bans me from her blog.

        Imagine a community of students and faculty don’t want a particular speaker to speak at their school. They ask the administration to siajncite a speaker. They say the speakers only intent is to incite people and to distract them from their important work in focusing on their studies. After a whole the administration disoncites the speaker.

        What is “public space?” do students and faculty have a right to lobby their schools administration to create the environment in which they want to study and teach? Does Judith have the right to ban me if a certain % of her commenters want me banned?

      • Judith has the right to ban you because it’s her site, but should not do so unless you are violating the moderation policies (small sites may not have as formal a set of policies)

        unless you are violating the moderation policies, it is not right for people to lobby for your removal

        In no case should people be calling for your expulsion based on what you MIGHT say, only on your actual actions.

        As for speakers at a college, if a set of students wants to invite a speaker to speak to their group, other students have no right to demand that the speaker to be disinvited. They are free to peacefully protest when the speaker. and They are free to ask the group to reconsider (the right to ask is their free speech rights)

        A speaker talking to a different set of students does not prevent them from studying.

      • Joshua

        I was one of those who asked Judith not to ban you. I see you as the Grit in the oyster and it was a shame when you disappeared, similarly I miss don Montfort. we need all viewpoints

        Tonyb

      • David –

        > Judith has the right to ban you because it’s her site, but should not do so unless you are violating the moderation policies (small sites may not have as formal a set of policies)

        I think I rarely violated her moderation policies, certainly in comparison to many others who never were banned. But it’s Judith’s right to make the call and she’s entitled to do so based on whatever standard she chooses to use. That life. And it’s absurd for me to claim “censorship” because of how she moderates her site

        > it is not right for people to lobby for your removal…

        But that’s a subjective assessment. Just as it is Twitter’s right to make a subjective assessment about their terms of service agreement with their customers.

        I fail to see how you’re creating any kind of uniform framework.

        > As for speakers at a college, if a set of students wants to invite a speaker to speak to their group, other students have no right to demand that the speaker to be disinvited.

        No right? Who arbitrates this? If the majority of people want me banned from this site but a few dopes want to read my comments, the majority don’t have a “right” to lobby for me to be banned? And Judith doesn’t have “right” to ban me based on her subjective assessments?

      • And you’d want government to step in and regulate this?

        Talk about big government.

      • if you are not violating the moderation policies (which can be things like ‘stay on topic’ and ‘don’t repeatedly post the same content’) then yes, from a free speech point of view you should be able to remain

        and no, I don’t want the government to enforce this. I just want to remove the blanket immunity that currently exists and instead say “if you are following your moderation policies evenly, you are immune” so that people who think that such policies are not being followed can take the normal action for enforcing contracts (lawsuit or arbitration)

        In the case of access to this blog comment section, good luck in defining what your damages are. But if Youtube is kicking you off with uneven application of their policies, it’s much easier to justify damages.

      • Mesocyclone: Thanks for the reply. Maybe I learn that I’m wrong. (Looks like the tide may be turning in AZ pandemic, as predicted.)

        Frank proposed: “When you have a system where bad speech is not addressed by more speech, freedom of speech isn’t going to work, no matter how much we believe in it.”

        Mesocyclone replied: The idea of free speech is that it doesn’t always have to work. It is a natural right. But, they did back up that right with the idea that people should be free to speak.

        Frank rebuts: Agreed, freedom of speech IS a natural right. But courts interpret that right and place limits on it: under oath, shout fire, incite violence, slander, treason, etc. And restrictions are more severe in countries with “freedom of speech”, but they don’t assume that more speech is the best solution to bad speech like Holocaust Denial. If “more speech” has stopped working for us because of cancel culture in social media and news echo chambers, the Supreme Court is free to change its mind, as they did with “separate, but equal”. We agree that freedom of speech is a natural right, but natural rights have limits. It is a really bad thing when Presidential lies destroy people’s faith in the most fundament institutions of their government: elections, courtrooms, and the FBI. When people lose faith in critical government institutions, they turn to a strongman or father figure. Perhaps their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the US should prevent just presidents from lying about these subjects. Finally, the natural right to free speech only limits the government. You don’t have the right to freedom of speech in my house or to incite violence in Jack Dorsey’s. Even if Congress were to try to regulate Twitter as a common carrier, the carrier could have more right to limit speech than the all-powerful government.

        Frank asked: “How can we regulate social media so it becomes a marketplace of ideas where free speech CAN function, not an echo chamber where it isn’t working. ”

        Meso replied: Why would we want to do that? How about letting free speech do its own thing. And if we don’t like the result, then we didn’t speak enough.

        Frank confidently replies: That’s easy. We want a marketplace of ideas because democracy is based on the fundamental idea that ordinary citizens have the ability to learn enough truth about candidates and the world to make good choices in elections. And a favorite author claims that the idea we could learn the truth about the world arose from Galileo and the Scientific Revolution. The author notes that there were a lot of “science geeks” among our founders.

        Frank wrote (without checking): “The stability of Trump’s support no matter what he does is great evidence that information about what he is really doing never gets through.”

        Mesocyclone replied: “Speaking of misinformation – that statement is simply not true. Trump’s support is not stable.”

        Frank rebuts: Judge for yourself at the link below. Sorry the data is from 538.com, but they provide confidence intervals so you can distinguish between signal and noise. Trump did have a pretty tough first year on the job: Dossier, Special Prosecutor, failing to repeal Obamacare, WH advisors who want him to behave like a normal president. After Trump fired Preibus and insisted that the staff let “Trump be Trump”, his support rose above, and remained at 43+/-3% for the next three years. Impeachment and trial? No change. The upward blip to 46% in the spring of 2020 was a minuscule version of rallying around the president in a crisis (the pandemic) perhaps followed by a very modest summer swoon as he failed to contain the pandemic and other countries succeed and Trump took a hard line on Floyd demonstrators. Neither the disastrous first debate In early October nor COVID caused caused a blip. The totally unprecedented attack on the nation’s capital finally caused a significant change.

        https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/?cid=rrpromo

    • Anti-trust legislation is central to good governance.

      “The Federal Trade Commission today sued Facebook, alleging that the company is illegally maintaining its personal social networking monopoly through a years-long course of anticompetitive conduct. Following a lengthy investigation in cooperation with a coalition of attorneys general of 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam, the complaint alleges that Facebook has engaged in a systematic strategy—including its 2012 acquisition of up-and-coming rival Instagram, its 2014 acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp, and the imposition of anticompetitive conditions on software developers—to eliminate threats to its monopoly. This course of conduct harms competition, leaves consumers with few choices for personal social networking, and deprives advertisers of the benefits of competition.” https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2020/12/ftc-sues-facebook-illegal-monopolization

    • Lol. What gave it away, Alan?

    • “Yes. Let’s have the government step in and tell these companies how to manage their terms of service and how to manage their bottom line and how to provide services to their customers.”

      Ahem.
      We already settled that question in the Civil Rights Era. Sorry Joshua, but you can’t go back to segregated lunch counters just because you have a new way to label and hate.

  4. Well said, Judith. I would add that shutting down Parler and other social media, and silencing the POTUS will feed the paranoia and violence of those on the fringe. The best outcome is to let him, and all, speak. The populace can judge for itself the validity of the message. And those who storm the capital and attack others should be arrested and charged. They are responsible for their own behavior.

    • > Well said, Judith. I would add that shutting down Parler and other social media, and silencing the POTUS will feed the paranoia and violence of those on the fringe.

      Good point, Kim. I mean it’s not like they got any profile while Parler was around!

    • The cancelling of Trump and Parler will anger anyone who values their Constitutional freedoms. I believe this generally was Dr. C’s bottom line.

      • I value constitutional freedoms. It doesn’t particularly anger me.

        I get that people who feel they’ve been silenced would feel that way. It’s like when people get outraged when their comments on blogs are deleted.

        It’s a bit ironic that people feel that way if Judith deletes people’s comments – and yet she continues to do so as is certainly her right as the person who puts the blog together and thus has the perfect right to do as she wishes with her product.

        It’s not that I feel there isn’t a valid issue at the core. It’s that I don’t think that hot takes are particularly useful. This will be resolved to the extent that people can come together to address the real issues at the core.

      • Errr .. could you supply a definition of “hot take?”

    • Everything has civilised limits.

  5. Chris Kurowski

    One thing a person has to ask themselves is why exactly would a crowd of people storm Capitol Hill because an elderly businessman was unhappy about losing an election. Were they also rich businessmen who were going to lose out on juicy government contracts? No, it seems they were a pretty ragged lot, many of whom had barely wore clothing adequate for the winter weather.
    The main concern here seems to be that these are stupid uneducated people who are easily led astray, so how shall they be managed by the great and the wise. What shall be the limits of their power and who are the wise who will be allowed to speak, and who will be silenced.
    If you’re all so wise, may I ask about the fact that these people are uneducated and poorly clothed? Why do so many not have confidence in practiced politicians.

    • Some of the folks arrested so far include small business owners and retired military officers. Way too simplistic to blame this on the “unwashed masses”. It’s a culture war more than a class war for these folks who feel their hegemonic grip on American cultural norms being eroded by a increasingly non-white population. They simply cannot tolerate seeing uppity blacks kneeling on football Sunday or an explicit acknowledgment that maybe cops shouldn’t be able to indiscriminately murder them.

      • “They simply cannot tolerate seeing uppity blacks kneeling on football Sunday or an explicit acknowledgment that maybe cops shouldn’t be able to indiscriminately murder them.”

        Could you be anymore condescending? Anymore superior?

        19 unarmed black people killed by cops in 2019.(unarmed does not necessarily mean not dangerous)

        Over 7000….well over…killed by other blacks.

        Yes, black lives matter, but only it seems if killed by cops, at least insofar as BLM, MSM. and our Socialist Overlords are concerned.

      • “They simply cannot tolerate seeing uppity blacks kneeling on football Sunday or an explicit acknowledgment that maybe cops shouldn’t be able to indiscriminately murder them.”

        Could you be anymore condescending? Anymore superior?

        19 unarmed black people killed by cops in 2019.(unarmed does not necessarily mean not dangerous)

        Over 7000….well over…killed by other blacks.

        Yes, black lives matter, but only it seems if killed by cops, at least insofar as BLM, MSM. and our Socialist Overlords are concerned.

        PG

  6. “Further, there is indirect evidence that Trump lost in that Biden won the popular vote by large margin, and the down-ballot Republicans did quite well. Are people within their rights to ask for audits and to complain? Of course. But the process has played itself out, and the meeting of Electoral College effectively put an end to this.”. But … not if the “large margin” was itself achieved dishonestly. It seems to me that the situation is crying out for a full indendent audit of the whole voting/counting system, and that it is very much in Joe Biden’s interest to have one (if he truly believes that he was fairly elected). By not calling for an audit, Joe Biden risks contempt for his presidency escalating. Politics is a pressure-cooker and democracy is its release valve. We all need to know that the release valve is working.

    • It very much demands on this the fundament of democracy itself a Commission of Enquiry.

    • There is zero chance, none, that even the most carefully and transparently conducted audit of the election results would reassure a single conspiracist who believes the election was stolen. All it would do was reaffirm their belief that the entire government system is conspiring against them.

      You cannot reason people out of a position they did not use reason to arrive at.

      • surveys have shown that something like 75% of Republicans, 44%of independents and 25% of Democrats think there was something fishy about this election.

        you don’t have to convince the conspirascists, but it would be useful to convince some of the rest of us that you care about elections being fairly managed as opposed to demonizing anyone who questions anything.

      • You’re partly right. The only real answer is to end this new practice of accepting votes after election day. Any election process where the outcome can be changed the day after the election is designed to encourage fraud.
        All mail-in, all early votes should be in and counted by the time polls close on election day. Period, end of story. That is safe, that is doable, that is reasonable. There is literally no reason to object to that other than it prevents fraud.

        The reason I say you’re partly right is that the country really does need to see an objective review of mail-in voting that happened in November. Did the dead and out of state residents vote? Did Bundling happen- ie did either Democratic or Republican party operatives “collect” big stacks of “votes” and turn them in?
        The argument that we cannot – must not – even look at this is completely unacceptable unless this is the one and only time we’ll allow mail-in voting on any scale – ie this was a covid thing.
        You can’t actually stop people from checking either. If there isn’t some sort of honorable, real objective review you will instead have thousands of selective reviews by partisan activists.

      • “There is zero chance, none, that even the most carefully and transparently conducted audit of the election results would reassure a single conspiracist who believes the election was stolen. ”

        That’s a big assumption and is no justification for refusing to audit the voting machines and the election irregularities. To say “they’re not going to believe it anyhow” is a cop-out. Do the audits, and let reasonable people decide.

        For example, what’s wrong with an outside forensic team auditing the voting machines, as happened in Michigan? Result: major problems with those machines. So I’d suggest that it’s not that “they won’t believe it anyhow,” it’s rather than they’d prefer that no one look too closely because according to Democratic senators (who’ve complained in prior years of voting machine problems), the state of Texas (which rejected the Dominion machines) and the Michigan Dominion audit, there really is something to see.

        And that’s just one area of investigation. There are numerous others.

      • Which surveys are those, davidelang? Do you think the fact that so many Republicans believe the election was fraudulent might have something to do with the fact that the president has been endlessly tweeting baseless conspiracy theories for months before the election even began?

      • “All mail-in, all early votes should be in and counted by the time polls close on election day.”

        Add most states do that. The exceptions are republican run states which explicitly prohibited early processing of mail in ballots and the result is the chaos we say.

  7. Dr. Curry
    What occurred to me while reading your comments, it is the people embedded within the structure of these Big Tech companies that are the vociferous cancel culture actors dictating to managers and corporate leaders that they should embrace their belief system. Cancel culture people feel self-righteous and entitled then go about organizing other like-minded people within the company,

    Many Big Tech companies encouraged their employees to publicly articulate their feelings with the belief that highly intelligent people would create an environment of innovation and corporate responsibility. Nothing could be further from the truth of course. When people believe they are entitled, it doesn’t matter how intelligent they are, they hold themselves to be elites, behaving snobbishly just like the monied “Robber Barons” of the late 19th Century: “Social Darwinism”. Instead of money, it is snobbish intellectualism.

    I am afraid that the “cancel culture” and “hurt feelings” social movement will take a while to play out until such people begin to devour their own kind.

  8. This is a serious problem. Although several years old this essay touches on some of the key issues JC highlighted in her post.
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/digital-imprimatur/

    I see the root of the problem begins with the privacy of the induvial. First off everyone’s data should be encrypted (with biological two factor authentication) by default and they should have several levels of access. (I didn’t say it would be cheap!)
    1) personal and biographical data,
    2) financial and medical data,
    3) Any user created data including text, audio & graphics.
    Multilevel access: Read, delete, modify and retroactively grant or revoke access.

  9. “Antifa and BLM related twitter accounts…are more explicit about violence?”

    Do you have any evidence to support this claim? Even if this were the case, do you think the mass incarceration and disproportional police violence faced by black folks are a more or less justified reason for civil disobedience than an anti-democratic lie?

    You mentioned Merkel, do you support Germany’s criminalization of certain kinds of speech?

    What we have here is conservatives who claim to hold free speech in high regard being hoisted with their own petard. Where were they when pro-Palestinian journalists were being silenced and de-platformed? When foreign leaders of socialist countries were kicked off of Twitter? Leftists have been silenced, banned, and criminalized throughout US history. Nary a peep from the free speech right. Well, now the chickens have come home to roost.

    • Civil disobedience must be nonviolent to be civil.

      • And the vast, vast, vast majority of summer BLM protests were nonviolent until the police or right-wing groups escalated.

      • “And the vast, vast, vast majority of summer BLM protests were nonviolent until the police or right-wing groups escalated.”

        That’s bilge. Yes, there were a number of non-violent protests. But the escalation was by participants, not police. “Right-wing” groups were rarely even present. One could argue that the Proud Boys in Portland might have escalated one or two, but more likely, Antifa attached the Proud Boys, which is far more numerous in Portland (Rose City Antifa is the oldest Antifa organization in the country). Did you see the video of the BLM leader rejoicing over the murder of a right wing protester? I did.

        Also, a lot of the escalation happened after dark – a time when Antifa knows it is easier to escape the police,, while wearing the black bloc clothing.

        And was it right wingers who looted and burned? Much of the violence consisted of arson and lotting.

        Then there is the fantasy of right wing provocateurs pretending to be left wing militants. That’s about as likely as the idea that left wing provocateurs were solely responsible for attacking the Capitol.

      • Indeed and, generally, it is…until the police get involved:

        “US police three times as likely to use force against leftwing protesters, data finds”

        “Overall, 94% of the leftwing demonstrations in the past ten months were peaceful, compared with 96% of the rightwing demonstrations…”

        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/13/us-police-use-of-force-protests-black-lives-matter-far-right

      • Can you distinguish between agitators like antifa whose purpose is illegality and others?

      • absent mind reading, purpose can never be absolutely known

        Simply judge them by their actions and what results they called for.

        The Capital rioters never called to overthrow the US government, at most they were calling for change to one election result, not trying to change the other ~470 federal election results, and not calling to change the structure of government.

        And while many have evaluated what they were calling to have happen as not being legal, others have evaluated it as legal (and pointed at times in the past where similar actions have taken place)

      • There was in fact one police officer who was killed during the BLM protests.

        It happened in Oakland, California. He was killed by a white supremacist hoping that BLM protesters would be blamed.

  10. At least the Big Tech bias is now a big issue. Their defense has been that there is no evidence. Not looking so good. The Democrats love it but the EU may do something.

    • “Their defense has been that there is no evidence. ”

      Of course…assuming you’re talking about the election…you’re right. Eyewitness testimony under penalty of perjury, is most certainly evidence. People go to jail on the basis of eyewitness testimony. Lots of eyewitness testimony…in this case sworn to by 100’s of brave souls…is by definition lots of evidence.

      But l’m beginning to lose confidence there will ever be an actual investigation. They’re pulling the same stunt they’ve been using to fend of fair and open debate on “climate change.” “Election deniers” will continue to be cancelled and castigated and scapegoated in the same way “climate deniers'” have been treated. (Just ask Judith.) Only now it’s far more wide spread. Honestly, l think they’ve got us… at least for the time being.

  11. Government prescriptive regulations are generally not very successful. It requires picking specific ways to go about doing things. A better approach is to lay out what you want to achieve – free speech but no incitements to physical violence or other illegal behavior – and then make the social media companies liable for not achieving them. The federal government has a vital interest in protecting free speech and the Constitutional duty to do so. “Hate speech” even though it may be disgusting should be allowed as long as it doesn’t violate the “fire in a crowded theater” stricture.

    In my youth, this was a principle the ACLU fought for – for example Nazis marching. It is encouraging to see that it may be returning to its roots, albeit reluctantly.

  12. The old adage is the best way to fight free speech is more speech.

    But what happens when a group of people are completely convinced of a lie and refuse to even acknowledge arguments that show why what they believe is a lie?

    There was a time after the election when it was fair to question the election systems. But when the Georgia hand count it failed put to rest any concerns about the ability of machines to count votes correctly it became clear that no fact or argument was going to change minds.

    At this point, agree to disagree is the normal way to deal with these problems but it metastasized into a cancer that leaves a lot of people thinking they are justified in using violence to “stop the (bogus) steal”. The capital riot was a direct result.

    • Like with climate you would like to determine just what is disinformation. Not really a thing.

      • “Like with climate you would like to determine just what is disinformation. Not really a thing.”

        Apples and oranges. The climate debate is about what could happen in the future which is, by definition, unknown. This makes it impossible to claim any outcome as a “fact”.

        The election is in the past. Whether something happened is a matter of fact. Claims can been explicitly disproven. e.g. the claim that the machines miscounted ballots has been categorically disproven with the hand count of paper ballots. This means people claiming that the machines miscount ballots are spreading a falsehood. There is no ambiguity. No debate.

        Some other points may have more merit because they have not been categorically disproven but there can be no rational discussion of the matter until the people claiming there are issues concede when they were wrong on claims like problems with machines.

    • “But what happens when a group of people are completely convinced of a lie and refuse to even acknowledge arguments that show why what they believe is a lie?”

      What happens is that you have humanity!

      I am sure that many of the people on the left believe a big lie, and cannot even perceive arguments showing they are wrong.

      But the way to deal with that is through dialog, not the opposite.

      The riot was a small minority of the people who believe that. Deal with them. It is already illegal to incite lawbreaking, violent or otherwise. That our law enforcement agencies failed at their jobs is no good reason to throw away dialog.

      And yet, while you don’t say it, you seem to imply that we need to do something about these people. I strongly disagree.

      Do something about the violent ones. Leave the education to the free exchange of dialog.

    • Tim –

      > But what happens when a group of people are completely convinced of a lie and refuse to even acknowledge arguments that show why what they believe is a lie?

      Here’s a challenge:

      Dilgo Khyentse:

      Especially if we are the victims of harm inflicted by humans or nonhuman beings, we should not think, “This being is harming me; therefore I will make him and his descendants pay”. No, we must not bear grudges. Instead we should think to ourselves: “This evildoer has for countless lies been my mother – my mother who, not caring for all the suffering she had to undergo for my sake, not listening to all the bad things people might say, took care of me and endured much suffering in samsara. For my sake, this being has accumulated many negative actions. Yet, in my delusion, I do not recognize him as a relation from the past. The harm that I suffer at the hands of others is provoked by my bad karma. Because, of my past negative actions, my enemy has hurt me and accumulated negative karma, which he in future will have to expiate. Because of me, this person has endured suffering in the past and will certainly do so in the future. Thus we should try to be very loving towards such beings, thinking “Until now, I have only harmed others. Henceforward, I will free them from all their ills and be of help to them. In this way, we should perform the practice of taking and giving very intensely.

      When bitten by a dog or attacked by someone, instead of reacting angrily, we should try to help our aggressor as much as possible. And even if we cannot help, we must not give up the wish to do so. When in the presence of sick people whom we cannot cure, we can visualize the Medicine.

      I”m sure that meso goes through something like that every day when he thinks about “the left.”

      • Joshua, I’ve addressed this challenge by practising Vipassana meditation as taught by the late S N Goenka since 1972. It is a non-sectarian technique taught in ten-day residential courses for which there is no charge. I recommend it to all.

      • Faustino –

        Although the karma part doesn’t work for me in a literal sense, I think it nonetheless goes to core truths that obviously require a loosening of ties to ego to embrace. We clearly aren’t separate as we like to delude ourselves, but inextricably connected. Like waves on an ocean. The passage captures that well.

        What a remarkable and glorious challenge. We talked about it in my meditation group tonight. Even for many of them who have practiced for over 20 years, it seems (to me to be) an jnsurmountable obstacle.

        Imagine a world where it was routinely accepted. In this time (at least in the US) it seems like a universe apart, or maybe dimension.

  13. What can be done? Doing nothing was making the problem worse. Censorship won’t help in the long term but it could cool things down in the short term. “Investigations in the election” won’t help because these people have already proven no investigation that does not tell them what they believe will be ignored.

    • This is your reason not to have a Commission of Enquiry? Or maybe you don’t want to risk what it may reveal?

      • As I explained:

        If a group of people are not willing to accept the hand count of 5 million paper ballots as proof that the machines counted votes correctly then these people are not interested in facts and evidence. This means any additional investigations are a waste of time since if they came back and said there were no major problems these people would simply move the goal posts again.

        If there are actually people that would actually accept the results of the inquiry when it established that there no major problems then they need to prove in advance by acknowledging the numerous audits that have already been done and how they have already increased the confidence that we have in the results.

      • You need to determine the outcome before holding an inquiry? Such convoluted ad hoc reasoning is ridiculous.

      • “You need to determine the outcome before holding an inquiry? Such convoluted ad hoc reasoning is ridiculous.”

        You miss the point. Plenty of things have already been done to verify the integrity of the elections, such as the hand recount in Georgia. The people calling for an inquiry refuse to acknowledge these things. This proves bad faith on their part. If they were acting in good faith they would acknowledge that the hand recounts prove that there is no major issue with the machine counts.

        Why hold a inquiry when the people calling for an inquiry are acting in bad faith and would likely never accept results that don’t say what they want?

      • The obvious lax procedures and evident irregularities need to be improved on.

      • TimG – Your political motivation is obvious. There is no good reason NOT to conduct forensic analysis of ballots and maybe some other investigations. Not doing so will maintain the current air of distrust of the elections.

        And the idea that election integrity already exists is patently absurd.

        You would be a more effective persuader if you could acknowledge the simple realities that everyone else can plainly see.

      • If a group of people are not willing to accept the hand count of 5 million paper ballots as proof that the machines counted votes correctly then these people are not interested in facts and evidence

        Counting the votes is not a main focus. The States that did not follow their specified procedures for elections, and additionally did not follow the process to modify the specified procedures, are an issue.

      • “And the idea that election integrity already exists is patently absurd. ”

        What i said is there have already been numerous efforts to verify election integrity. The most visible one is the 5 million ballot recount. While that particular effort does not address every issue that was raised it does prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the machines counted ballots correctly on election night.

        If the people calling for a inquiry refuse to even acknowledge those efforts then they are not asking for an inquiry in good faith and any inquiry is a waste of time because it will resolve nothing.

        As for the the “forensic” buzzword. That is a BS talking point. At best “forensic analysis” is a collection of statistical techniques that can’t prove anything even when the underlying theory is reasonable. At worst it is a pseudo-science scam that can be used to “prove” any assertion that the investigator wants to prove (it is not unlike paleo climate proxy reconstructions).

      • “The States that did not follow their specified procedures for elections, and additionally did not follow the process to modify the specified procedures, are an issue.”

        So what? This is nothing but legalistic nitpicking that have no relevance to the question of whether the elections were free and fair. Furthermore, raising these issue only in the states that Trump lost is shamelessly self serving and demonstrates that the argument is not being put forward in good faith. i.e. it is just an excuse to cast doubt on an election that produced a result not to your liking.

        This does not mean these issues should not be discussed and fixed before the NEXT election. But the only questions that matter when assessing the results of the last election are:

        1) was every eligible voter who wanted to vote able to vote?
        2) was every ballot cast counted cast by an eligible voter?
        3) Since perfection is not possible is there evidence that failures to meet 1) or 2) affected the outcome.

        IMO, it is ethically bankrupt to demand that ballots be tossed for pettiness such as a poll worker filling in a zip code on the ballot envelope.

      • so what violations of election law do you think should have consequences? and what should those consequences be?

        If violating the law has no consequences, why have the law?

      • Furthermore, raising these issue only in the states that Trump lost is shamelessly self serving and demonstrates that the argument is not being put forward in good faith.

        Kindly point out exactly where I said anything at all about ‘states that Trump lost’.

        On the other hand, if it is correct that the actions that I did mention occurred only in states that Trump lost, that in itself is interesting.

  14. I’m very sorry about the incursion into the Capitol. It was wrong and the people involved should be charged and tried.

    It also interrupted the challenge to the Electors. That process should have been allowed to play out even though it very likely would have failed.

    Trump was wrong about the VP’s powers. I would like to know why he thought that, or who told him that! However, I believe he truly thought the election was stolen. If you look at the percent difference in the swing states, it was razor thin in some of them. Therefore, Trump was justified in telling whoever would listen his beliefs. This is not the same as lying about a fire in the theater.

    The internet infrastructure, network and servers and perhaps other services, can by run by a private company, but as a Public Utility. The operators would have zero authority to regulate what when through there system. I think the ability to freely communicate is essential to our freedoms and pursuit of happiness.

    Businesses that provide the public with necessities, such as water, electricity, natural gas, and telephone and telegraph communication.

    A public utility is a business that furnishes an everyday necessity to the public at large. Public utilities provide water, electricity, natural gas, telephone service, and other essentials. Utilities may be publicly or privately owned, but most are operated as private businesses.

    https://law.jrank.org/pages/9561/Public-Utilities.html

    • “The internet infrastructure, network and servers and perhaps other services, can by run by a private company”

      We need to look at this from an anti-trust perspective. If a company has a monopoly or dominate market share that makes it an effective monopoly then governments can and should impose conditions on them as part of an anti-trust settlement.

      I do not think that a blanket rule is appropriate.

      • I see what you mean. Amazon and Microsoft probably have a duopoly on web services. There are other players.

        But I was addressing the problem of having tech companies decide what we can say and where. That is a much bigger problem than monopolies/duopolies or RICO-class collusion , although there is no reason we can address that also.

      • Making internet infrastructure wouldn’t stop Jack Dorsey from deleting tweets he doesn’t like, but it would have prevented Amazon from booting Parler from its servers. That is the benefit of a Public Utility idea.

      • When a company that has their corporate logo plastered on every page deserves to have a lot of control over what content appears on those pages. The only role for government is ensuring a competitive marketplace.

        Infrastructure companies don’t have monopolies. My understanding is Parler already has a new cloud provider and will likely get compensation from the courts for Amazon’s abrupt termination. So I am not sure there is a problem that needs to be fixed.

      • The current antitrust laws are narrow and focused only on direct economic harm. The situation with the monopolization of communications is different.

        In the past, we used common carrier laws to limit censorship. We may need some variant of that.

      • … does the US Post Office regulate what an individual posts in a letter?
        They do not, notwithstanding constitutional abuses by the Department of Justice and CIA.

        Seems to me big tech needs to be subject to massive lawsuits as well as unending Federal and Congressional investigations until such time they act more like platforms merely dutifully delivering the electronic “mail”. Maybe even “perp walk” a few of the CEO’s.

        Personally, I am all for completely breaking up “big tech” because of their tyrannical, anti-competitive and monopolistic tendencies that are by driven by absolute greed and arrogance. Replace them with numerous entities whose numbers will tend to maintain a more balanced marketplace.

      • Mike –

        > Seems to me big tech needs to be subject to massive lawsuits as well as unending Federal and Congressional investigations until such time they act more like platforms merely dutifully delivering the electronic “mail”. Maybe even “perp walk” a few of the CEO’s.

        YES!

        Get the government to determine how these companies are run. Throw them in jail if they don’t cooperate.

        China does it. Works for them. Why not us?

    • A more nuanced case would be Google. Google shapes the search results. In some cases it puts up front links favorable to Dimowits or leaves links out altogether. How does one interpret this in terms of free speech? It means we can’t intercept the speech of certain others – free speech must have a source and a sink to qualify as an exchange of ideas. I’m thinking the search engine should also be a public utility and rank the results by degree of interest.

  15. From Reason …

    How To Respond to the Great Deplatforming of 2021
    “We need an open digital commons, where individuals maintain ownership of their own identities and where speech is highly resistant to political pressure.”
    https://reason.com/video/2021/01/12/how-to-respond-to-the-great-deplatforming-of-2021/

    Millions of Users Are Flooding Encrypted Apps After Social Media Purges
    https://reason.com/2021/01/12/millions-of-users-are-flooding-encrypted-apps-after-social-media-purges/?

    • They are right, but how do you achieve that?

      But encrypted apps are for communication among a few individuals. Facebook and Twitter are publishing mechanisms, in addition to direct communications means. Political organizing requires the ability to publish for recruitment, and that ability does not exist in the encrypted app world. The whole point of that encryption is to hide content from all but those already invited, and perhaps to hide identity.

      So encrypted apps are great for terrorists, criminals and already formed groups of dissidents, but they are nowhere near as powerful as Facebook or Twitter. So if the right – or parts of it – move to those, they will be fragmented.

      Another major problem is that the encrypted apps are the opposite of a public commons. Reason is right that a public commons is important – it allows people to interact freely, to interact with strangers, to interact with those they agree with and importantly, those they don’t agree with.

      Technical note: Facebook and Twitter already use encryption. At this point, almost everything flowing across the Internet is encrypted.

      • I am not an expert on encryption but … I think this may be the sort of (potential) problem that needs attention.

        “The governments of seven countries are calling on Facebook and other tech firms to do the technically impossible – to weaken encryption by giving law enforcement access to messages, whilst not reducing user safety.”
        https://www.forbes.com/sites/barrycollins/2020/10/11/mission-impossible-7-countries-tell-facebook-to-break-encryption/?sh=645e0e043a5a

        They (Facebook et al) are trying to provide the same (or similar) protections that have historically been supplied by first class domestic mail.

        “Federal Register: February 28, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 40)
        First class domestic mail may be opened, and the contents inspected, only (1) with the authorization of the addressee, (2) pursuant to a valid search warrant authorized by law, or (3) by an officer or employee of the Postal Service for the sole purpose of determining an address at which the mail can be delivered.134”
        https://aspe.hhs.gov/report/options-promoting-privacy-national-information-infrastructure/7-laws-protecting-privacy-mail

        The point being, people should be able to have private communications whether provided by technological means or through legislation. It’s difficult but needs to be done.

      • “The point being, people should be able to have private communications whether provided by technological means or through legislation. It’s difficult but needs to be done.”

        I am not arguing against encryption being available – it is available and has been for decades. PGP was developed for that, and eluded NSA attempts to ban it.

        The point is that encryption is not enough to provide viable social networks.

      • It is not possible to provide a back door into encryption that only the good guys will ever use.

        It is possible to provide a back door into encryption, and this is mandated by various authoritarian governments around the world.

      • “It is not possible to provide a back door into encryption that only the good guys will ever use.

        It is possible to provide a back door into encryption, and this is mandated by various authoritarian governments around the world.”

        It is possible to provide a back door that only authorized people can use. For example, Visa used to secure its master encryption keys by passing out parts of the keys to different trusted individuals. All parts had to be presented to gain access.

        Now, imagine that authorized holders included members of left and right civil liberties groups, plus government officials. That would very much limit the government use of those back doors.

        No system is perfect. Look up “side-channel attacks” – not to mention common “social engineering” attacks.

      • but we aren’t asking the government to give parts of it’s keys to civil rights organizations, we’re asking that all law abiding entities give the government access to the backdoor that they can use without going to a public court and without involving any civil rights organization

        and like many other laws, it assumes that passing a law will prevent lawbreakers from not providing a backdoor to the keys they use (after all, the only way to know the backdoor works is to use it, you could provide a valid backdoor to one key and then use a different key for your actual communication)

  16. Paul Bleichner

    Thank you. Good thinking, clearly stated. Very useful to me, an old GT architect. But… (here it comes) I grew up in upstate NY and watched the Albany machine control elections (including the presidential elections) from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s. The history of Albany shows this power even when electing the “other” party. A nation-wide fraud wouldn’t be a big step from there.

  17. I am reminded of the Belgian Priest who broadcast on his radio show “Kill the Tutsis. And they did. Within a few months, over half a million people were murdered. Trump said fight like hell to take back our government and within 3 hours, some guy was parading across the house or senate floor with a confederate flag. They nearly succeeded! If the bombs had gone off too to distract the capitol police, American Carnage might have seen murders of congresswomen on social media. (And even now, what might happen in the next few months could make Rwanda look like utopia). Twitter have things backwards. The guys with millions of followers need way more rules and scrutiny than a crazy guy with 100 Followers. Politicians, (and anyone with many followers) probably need something like 8 hours of review by twitter lawyers before they post dumb or deadly stuff. So, make them publisher AND platform. Hate speech can stay on Hatechan and the dark internet where it should be monitored. Nobody should be allowed to run around with 6MWE on their jackets either. The USA has become a cesspool for crap that no country with decency of speech standards should allow. Freedom of speech, is it ok to say this stuff in front of children? If it isn’t, then don’t say it.

    • Sieg Heil !!!

    • We already have laws against breaking into the Capitol and inciting Sedition. If you watched the FBI presentation, you would see they will enforce the law to the hilt.

      A free society is messy, but not as messy as Stalin’s prisons.

      We don’t have to take away free speech.

    • 6 million wasn’t enough is abhorrent hate speech.

    • Brian:
      I just read Trump’s pre-riot speech and can’t find anything that could be construed to be “inciting a riot”. All of his phrases seemed to me to be political boilerplate where military/combat analogies are commonly used.
      “Fight like hell” is nowhere close to yelling ‘fire!’ in a theater. Trump’s speech would not have even lit a cigarette. At the end, after a rather dull recitation of multiple election misdeeds, he even says ‘walk down Pennsylvania Ave’ to support the Congressional Republicans (for the Electors vote).
      Having stated that, the rioters need to be prosecuted – all of them. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they found a few Antifa amongst them.
      But the only thing worse than Big Tech censoring speech would be the tasking the government to censor speech. Careful what you wish for.

      • Well, Bill, You really should put Trumps spoken words and how they were emphasized (not the transcript) in the context of all that came before to fire up the Crowd. The whole thing needs to be viewed. These people were called to Washington by Trump, and they were “worked” to a frenzy long before Trump sent them on their merry way. Rodger Stone fired them up, Rudy suggested “trial by combat” to them. Junior Trump wasn’t exactly a model of calm either. And there were more speakers who I didn’t recognize. I am astonished that people still suggest that the election was stolen. Trumps stellar legal team got quashed by trump judges among others, numerous times. Trump and trump fans produced enormous and extraordinary pressure on Georgia republican officials. I guess it was free speech for a Trump fan to threaten to rape a republican official’s wife? I didn’t see Trump suggest that threatening to rape a republican official’s wife was out of order. So, I guess intimidation of that nature is free speech too? Twitter labels claims that the election was stolen “disputed”. But after all the legal failures, it should have been labeled a “lie”, A flat out lie. You are the party of “law and order”, right? And yet,….. the moment you lose an election, Law and order is just another crutch you hurl through the window of the Capitol. All freedoms have limits. Trump knew exactly what he was doing, knew exactly who he was calling to Washington, and who they were hunting when they broke into a federal building. And apparently, on January 5th, individuals were given a tour of the building by some Republican congressmen. People were perplexed about how quickly offices were found by the invaders. And by how slowly reinforcements got called. I’m curious. Did the guy in the 6MWE shirt get called out at any stage? Did he attend the Trump rally? Or the Work brings freedom, Camp Auschwitz shirt guy? I wonder who has the higher moral ground, the people who march with those 2 gentlemen or black lives matters marchers?

      • The word moral appears twice in this – once as in the moral of the story and once just above asking who had the moral high ground – an appalling shirt or antifa. Is this the answer he was looking for?

  18. The looter kleptocracy will stoop to anything in each faction’s efforts to keep a hand in the till. Fortunately, they are nearly identical overall, so no big loss when voters strike down one or the other. I vote libertarian and am pleased to see that the party that copied some of our positions won, and the standpatters that struggled to ignore us and keep bullying women lost bigly. C’est la guerre. Pay it no mind.

  19. It’s a huge assumption that “X”– meaning Trump — arranged for light security during the “wild” rally, or was even involved in security planning for the event. Let’s see some evidence for this, please.

    Washington Post, Jan 10:
    “Two days before Congress was set to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund was growing increasingly worried about the size of the pro-Trump crowds expected to stream into Washington in protest.

    “To be on the safe side, Sund asked House and Senate security officials for permission to request that the D.C. National Guard be placed on standby in case he needed quick backup.

    “But, Sund said Sunday, they turned him down.”

    However, other evidence says that Sund refused help when it was offered: https://justthenews.com/government/security/pentagon-held-table-top-contingency-response-exercise-morning-capitol-breach#article

    In any case, we see no reference to the president’s involvement in security for this event, nor would we expect this to fall under his purview. I also heard on NPR this morning, from a Georgia Congresswoman, that Trump had refused to allow the National Guard to provide assistance.

    So Trump, calling for a rally to protest the election, intended or allowed violence (through, supposedly, his “wink and nod” code) and helped ensure that by arranging for light security? This is a narrative based on speculation and assumption, not fact. If there are facts to back up Trump’s involvement in security that day, let’s see them, and if there’s anything in Trump’s speech that day that said anything other than “peaceful” protest– which it did– then let’s see that, too.

    • WRT: National Guard delays.

      I think this is incompetence all the way to the top. Trump has been neglecting his duties for 2 months because he is obsessing about overturning the election. Decisions are not getting made. I read that Pence, while sheltering in the Capitol, was the one who gave the approval for Guard troops to deploy.

      So Trump is to blame but not because of any specific plan. Only incompetence .

      • No, it was Secretary of Defense Miller who finally gave the OK for the National Guard, after apparent dithering and concern about “optics.”

      • Good point. I’m sure that Trump was screaming to get the Guard out there*, being a law and order guy, but no one was listening to him.

        *in between posting Tweets attacking Pence and calling coach Tommy on his cell phone.

  20. Washington Post, January 10:

    “Just before 2 p.m. [on January 6], the pro-Trump mob entered the Capitol, sending lawmakers and staff scrambling for safety. D.C. police had quickly dispatched hundreds of officers to the scene. But it wasn’t enough. At 2:26 p.m., Sund said, he joined a conference call to the Pentagon to plead for additional backup. ‘I am making an urgent, urgent immediate request for National Guard assistance,’ Sund recalled saying. ‘I have got to get boots on the ground.’

    “On the call were several officials from the D.C. government, as well as officials from the Pentagon, including Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, director of the Army Staff. The D.C. contingent was flabbergasted to hear Piatt say that he could not recommend that his boss, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, approve the request.”

    “’I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background,’ Piatt said, according to Sund and others on the call.”
    ……
    “Unlike anywhere else in the country, the D.C. Guard does not report to a governor, but to the president, so Walker patched in the office of the Secretary of the Army, noting that he would need authorization from the Pentagon to order soldiers to the Capitol.”

    “According to a timeline the Defense Department published Friday, Miller [Secretary of Defense] verbally authorized the activation of the entire D.C. Guard at 3:04 p.m. It would take two more hours for most of the citizen soldiers to leave their jobs and homes, and pick up gear from the D.C. Armory.”

    It doesn’t sound like Trump had anything to do with this.

    • “ ’I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background,’ Piatt said, according to Sund and others on the call.”

      I would say that is above his pay grade.

      I hope in the coming weeks and months a full and objective inquiry is made into every single action by all individuals involved. We never quite get the full untarnished truth anymore.

      • Kid –

        > I hope in the coming weeks and months a full and objective inquiry is made into every single action by all individuals involved. We never quite get the full untarnished truth anymore.

        YES! WE MUST FIND OUT WHY, AFTER THE PRESIDENT ORDERED THAT TROOPS GET IN THERE AS SOON AS IT STARTED HAPPENING, IT TOOK SO LONG FOR THEM TO GET THERE!!

        THE PRESIDENT MUST HAVE BEEN SO FRUSTRATED (WHEN HE WASN’T MAKING PHONE CALLS AND WRITING TWEETS).

      • J

        I said all, including those who have a record of violence such as Antifa and BLM. See Jim’s comment at 9:06 pm below linking to a first hand account of events, which suggests agitators being involved, with possible ties to the aforementioned groups. Based on observing hundreds of videos over the last few years, the actions at the Capitol were inconsistent with behavior of Trump supporters and very typical of Antifa and BLM.

      • Kid –

        You set up an unfalsiable framework. You’re convinced that there’s some explanation that let’s Trump and his supporters off the hook and a way to deflect any evidence that would lead to any conclusion otherwise.

        If I can’t prove it wasn’t an Antifa conspiracy then you’ll remain convinced it was an Antifa conspiracy even if you don’t have actual evidence of such a conspiracy.

      • If the forensic analysis of the riot is as good at that of the ballots, you won’t know anything.

      • The TDS is out of control in this one (or maybe he just has a small mind):

        > House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy dismissed claims that supposed left-wing activists, namely Antifa, were responsible for the riots at the US Capitol.

        > > “Some say the riots were caused by Antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so. Conservatives also know that the only thing that stops mob violence is to meet it with force rooted in justice and backed by moral courage,” he said Wednesday.

    • Don –

      > it doesn’t sound like Trump had anything to do with this.

      Excellent point. I’m sure that Trump absolutely wanted to get the troops in there as soon as possible, as soon as he heaed a out what was going on. But al his underlings prevented him from being able to get the troops in there

      Must have been so frustrating for him – you know, being such a law and order guy. I’m aure that he was screaming that they need to get in there and start busting some heads asap.

      In between him sending tweets criticizing Pence and making phone calls to coach Tommy, of course.

      • Joshua, you’ll first have to establish that Trump had anything at all to do with Capitol security before you can put the blame for lax security on him.

        It’s highly unlikely that any president, with international relations and executive issues to concern himself with, and with zero experience in tactical security operations, would somehow be involved in security for the Capitol.

        It’s a very unfortunate situation that I’m sure no one, on either side, wanted to see happen when it degenerated into assaulting policemen and deaths. Yet the optics are absolutely perfect for those who wanted to poke Trump and his followers in the eye for daring to question the election process, and as justification for the subsequent crackdown on those who spread “misinformation.”

  21. Jim Eichstedt

    I miss Free Speech. Heck, I even miss Trump. Already.

  22. Wow! Just! Wow!!

    The Twitter Public Policy team criticized the government of Uganda for ordering internet service providers to block access to social media sites ahead of the country’s Jan. 14 election shortly after executing a large-scale purge of U.S. users, including President Donald Trump himself.

    The Ugandan Communications Commission ordered internet service providers in the country to “immediately suspend any access and use” of social media and online messaging websites, according to Al Jazeera. Twitter called for “access to information and freedom of expression, including the public conversation on Twitter” less than a week after the social media site permanently banned Trump due to a “risk of [his] further incitement of violence.”

    https://dailycaller.com/2021/01/12/twitter-uganda-elections-social-media-ban-donald-trump-communications/

  23. Bob Williamson

    If you haven’t read “Clinton Cash” by Peter Schweizer, I would suggest it. The introduction and the first three chapters offer great insight to what is at stake. Connect the dots to the Clinton servers, her exoneration and immediate initiation of Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller Investigation. The report Senator Johnson did on Hunter Biden (the Biden family) is another very significant read. HSGAC_Finance_Report_FINAL.pdf. Trump is an existential threat…to some very powerful, and very corrupt people. He is the messenger.

  24. Is it possible that a few dozen or more people are going to be prosecuted and convicted for sedition?

    And they’ll all be diehard Trump supporters.

    If so, more or less unprecedented in modern history. Sure, there have been some white supremacists and some Muslim extremists charged with sedition in modern history, but I’m going to guess that none of them idolized and American president and none dedicated themselves to advancing the political goals of the president to hold onto power after losing an election. Just a guess.

    But yeah, our much beloved friends here at Climate Etc. think that Trump has no accountability for that.

    I guess the thinking is that these people being aligned as fans of Trump’s every political wish is just a big coincidence.

    • From Fox News:

      Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., later tweeted a statement backing impeachment. “We are in unchartered waters here, and in history we have not experienced in modern times,” he said. He added that “there is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.”

      Amazing how so many conservatives and Republicans have Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      ‘Cause we know anyone who has substantive criticisms of Trump is deranged.

    • Yes, I think some will properly charged with sedition. They were very incompetent seditioners, but that’s not unprecedented. And yes, they are diehard Trump supporters.

      Where you fall off the logic train is when you blame Trump.

      Trump indeed pushed an invalid giant conspiracy theory. Trump did not call for sedition, not with words, not with a wink, not with a nod. Trump supporters at previous rallies were largely peaceful.

      Trump called for a peaceful demonstration.

      If you can show otherwise, post the quote. Otherwise, you too believe in a conspiracy theory.

    • meso –

      > Trump did not call for sedition, not with words, not with a wink, not with a nod. Trump supporters at previous rallies were largely peaceful.

      Trump often glorified violent actions as justified among his supporters. That’s irresponsible, and if a politician does that and violence ensues, s/he should be held accountable.

      Did Donald know that many of his supporters were going to go to the Capitol and riot? I highly doubt it. Should he have know that his words and actions would increase the likelihood of such an occurrence? Of course. Did he know that his words and actions would increase the likelihood of such an occurrence? Of course. Did he care? I can’t know for sure, but I’d say likely no.

      Maybe that seems over the top, but after the violence started he Tweeted out criticism of Pence and he made phone calls to coach Tommy and he clearly didn’t do everything he could do to get law enforcement to the Capitol to stop the violence in a timely fashion. That suggests he didn’t particularly care.

      > Trump called for a peaceful demonstration.

      For you to lift a few words from the full context in order to lay out an argument of plausible deniability seems to me, to be beneath you. It’s disappointing to watch.

      • meso –

        BTW, Trump clearly knew prior to giving his speech that were credible reports of threats or violence.

        In light of that knowledge, he chose to lie to the crowd with incendiary lies about having won he election in a landslide. He talked about wanting Pence to do something that Pence had told him would be in violation of his Constition al authority.

        And after the violence started, he Tweeted out criticism of Pence for NOT violating his Constitional responsibilities.

        You can excuse that till the cows come home but you won’t convince me that t’s remotely excusable.

      • And neither will you convince the former AG and a whole lot of conservatives who look beyond a convenient parsing of words.

      • KARL ROVE: Well, I think he’s [Trump is] going to leave office disgraced and discredited … I think one of the powerful points that Rep. Cheney [R-Wyo.] made was that the president sat there in the Oval Office as we watched in horror as this assault was made on the Capitol and did nothing. He did not go out and call upon his supporters to withdraw from the Capitol and to leave in peace [until] hours later. And even then, he couldn’t bring himself to condemn the violence.

      • are you aware that Trump put out multiple statements telling people to go home peacefully?

        Those are part of the tweets that Twitter removed before banning him (presumably for the ‘crime’ of still saying that the election was stolen)

  25. Michael Jaubert

    Enjoyed the read Dr. Curry but I do have to take issue with you on a couple of points. A) There are serious questions that need to be looked into to regarding how elections were carried out in the states of GA, PA, MI, WI, AZ and NV. There are over a thousand signed affidavits testifying to this. You essentially have two parts to this: 1. Election laws were not followed at all and governors, SOS, State AGs in some of these states used the covid 19 pandemic to weaken these laws or outright change them without consent of the state legislatures in direct violation of article 2 of the USC. Legislatures themselves are to blame in part for being asleep at the wheel so to speak, hence we have this train wreck.. 2. Due to these laws being violated set into place an environment where fraud may have been committed on a large scale; enough to affect the outcome. We need to conduct audits and both sides should support this, especially the Dems if they are so confident they won. Trump’s legal team did not serve him well on this either as their efforts were very disjointed, and lacked focus.

    B) I listened to Trump’s speech and I cannot find anything in it that encouraged or advocated rioting. Furthermore, both the Capitol Police and the DC mayor refused additional security help from both the FBI and the NG. There are also reports of the Capitol Police just letting in the rioters. IMHO, political violence begets more political violence. Where were the Pols when BLM and Antifa were burning down our cities and tearing down statues, blocking interstates, harassing drivers, and looting businesses this past summer? Nothing was done to put a stop to this as mayors, governors, and police chiefs just sat back and let these anarchists run wild. When our leaders allow this type of behavior to persist, you are only going to witness more of it. All of it is a disgrace, a major violation of our principles, and a very sad time in our history.

    • I watched a video of “There are also reports of the Capitol Police just letting in the rioters” – except the people were not rioters, just demonstrators – they were quite peaceful. A couple of Capitol Police members are in trouble for that.

      It is also true that at other entrances, rioters attacked the police and forced the entrances.

      I have been challenging people to show where Trump encouraged or advocated rioting. So far: crickets. It’s the usual leftists hearing dog whistles, but only dogs can hear dog whistles.

      • The left’s successful attack on the right is all political. Even Mitch McTurtle is for impeaching Trump now. Why? So the Milquetoast Republicans won’t have to run against him in 2024.

        Trump should form a third party with libertarian leanings.

      • But just a fringe group.

        But Trump didn’t explicitly say “Go out there and attack cops and call for Mike Pence and carry confederate flags.”

        But fact that the mob attacking cops and calling for legislators were all Trump supporters is all a big coincidence.

        But I have concrete evidence that none of them allowed in by the cops later it4d violent acts.

        But they were just peaceful people who (probably by accident) unlawfully went across crowd barriers and entered the Capitol joined with a rioting mob full of white supremacists who carried confederate flags.

      • There was a comment above were not marginal outsiders – they sure looked like it – but business owners and ex-military. Thus presumably the backbone of the Republicans. The unintentionally revealed bias – btw – is very telling. I doubt that the ragtag rioters at the Capitol are representative. That Joshua is representative of Democrats seems more certain.

      • It is the same as the “fine people hoax” peddled by the left. Presence of a full transcript did not deter one bit. Joe Biden still repeats the lie. He even said his campaign was inspired by that!

        It is amazing to watch from a step away through – how Goebbels was remarkably accurate and how the left uses the same tactics to great success.
        Now they put Stalin into work – it is the counter that matter not the voters!

        Modern billionaire funded left has combined the best of n*zi, communist and Russian-oligarchic strategies to good effect.

      • “It is the same as the “fine people hoax” peddled by the left. Presence of a full transcript did not deter one bit. Joe Biden still repeats the lie. He even said his campaign was inspired by that!

        It is amazing to watch from a step away through – how Goebbels was remarkably accurate and how the left uses the same tactics to great success.”

        I pointed out that there were ordinary people who were not rioting, who went into the Capitol with the acquiescence of the police. In the next sentence I pointed out that at other entrances people forced it. I have unequivocally and repeatedly condemned those who did so.

        To small minds it may be inconceivable that good people and bad can be mixed together, and that the same large group of people might involve reprehensible actions, unintentional (unaware) lawbreaking, and (for the majority), demonstrating without doing either.

      • > To small minds it may be inconceivable that good people and bad can be mixed together, and that the same large group of people might involve reprehensible actions, unintentional (unaware) lawbreaking, and (for the majority), demonstrating without doing either.

        Everyone in the building knew they were there illegally. They all knew that they were inextricably joined in a violent activity, with people who were fighting with cops, along with white supremacists, someone carrying a confederate flag, who were threatening the safety and welfare of innocent people/elected representatives, etc.

        Were there people on the outskirts, outside the grounds of the Capitol, who didn’t cross barriers and who did not want to be in any way associated with the violent lunatics? Of course. Were there people inside the Capitol who weren’t violent lunatics? Of course.

        There may well have been a few people who went onto the Capitol grounds who didn’t initially realize that they had crossed barriers to get there, or who thought that the cops had allowed them to enter, but it’s hard for me to believe that they were there very long w/o realizing that.

        But this hair-splitting as a part of an all out need to deflect from the overall meaning of what took place is unfortunate. It’s counterproductive. Downplaying accountability serves no benefit. Everyone who was on the Capitol grounds has some accountabiliry – in a legal sense and just in an ethical sense. Good people make mistakes. Deflecting does them no good. Stop deflecting.

      • Joshua attempts to obscure: “Everyone in the building knew they were there illegally. They all knew that they were inextricably joined in a violent activity, ”

        No, I don’t think they did. The ones I saw were literally let in by a cops, and one of the cops in the hallway said peacefully that he disagreed with their cause.

        Not everyone goes around with federal code in their head. Furthermore, if police yet you in, you could reasonably believe that were there legally.

        As for “inextricably joined in a violent activity.” Inextricably? Really?

        And they are not psychic. Did they even know that at *other* entrances, violence happened? Have you ever been in a large demonstration? Often you have very little situational awareness except of the people near you, and of the speakers (if you can even hear them).

        But you knew all of this. I am just writing for others how might read this.

      • Yes, the people who broke into the building were wrong

        people ho then damaged or stole things were wrong

        They should be punished

        But in all fairness, their punishment should weigh the damage they did with the damage that other rioters have been doing for the last year and the punishments that those rioters have received.

        This isn’t a whataboutism, but a ‘equal in the eyes of the law’ issue (and I would be very happy to see all rioters punished harshly)

      • I did think the videos of the people in the Rotunda who where walking in between the rope lines was pretty funny,,,

        But yeah, I think it’s highly implausible that anyone in the Capitol except maybe after the first few minutes didn’t know they were breaking the law and that rioting was going on. Not to say that all of them were rioting. Just as it’s highly unlikely to me that very many at all couldn’t have known they were aligning themselves with white supremacists.

        Perhaps in time with more info we’ll know more definitively.

      • meso –

        I link this clip not to outrage mine. Its easy to assemble a clip of loons and extremists that isn’t representative. It’s a practice that I think is wrong. I don’t have reason to believe the extremists in this clip are representative.

        I link it because I think it’s implausible that people who entered the Capitol didn’t know that they were inextricably linked to these kinds of extremists and that the risk of violence and mob behaviors from these kinds of extremists was high.

        I have little doubt that if you were in a group with thsr kinds of people you wouldn’t join with them in any type of group behavior, let alone crossing police barriers to enter the Capitol amidst a mob of thousands.

      • meso –

        > House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said that President Trump is responsible for the deadly Capitol attack last week but said impeaching him would be a “mistake.”

        “The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action of President Trump,” McCarthy said.

        Small mind? Or TDS?

    • Yes! It was just a coincidence that the mob that stormed the Capitol were all fanatical Trump supporters who hang on his every word.

    • “I listened to Trump’s speech and I cannot find anything in it that encouraged or advocated rioting.”

      Trump has spent the last 60 days screaming about a “stolen election” despite not having any credible evidence to support the claim. Telling a group of supporters that they need to fight to stop the election from stolen implicitly advocates violence since violence is well within the range of expected behaviors when one is stopping a “crime” is in progress.

      More importantly, impeachment does not require that the offense meet the requirements for a criminal conviction. It only requires that the president abused his authority in some way. Using his position to lie to protesters about the what congress can do at this point in the process is abuse of power.

      • Michael Jaubert

        Impeachment involves “high crimes and misdemeanors”, not this vague statement of abuse of power. You obvioisly understand nothing about the process. You couod impeach any past POTUS based on that assertion. And claiming election fraud is not inciting riots. If thats the case, let’s arrest Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Kamala Harris, and the entire cast of characters who spent the past 4 years claiming the 2016 election was fraudulent. While you’re at it, arrest Kamala Harris and Pelosi for encouraging rioting that took place this past summer. GMAB.

      • “Trump has spent the last 60 days screaming about a “stolen election” despite not having any credible evidence to support the claim. Telling a group of supporters that they need to fight to stop the election from stolen implicitly advocates violence ”

        And until last week, there was no violence. He had been giving that speech all over the place. Nobody rioted in Phoenix, or stormed the Capitol, even though Arizona was one of the states Trump condemned.

        So no, political complaints and urging people “to fight” is normal political speech, not incitement to riot.

        I am still waiting for someone to post a quote from his speech that is anything but what he had been saying before, or that could reasonably interpreted as a call for violence.

      • meso –

        > I am still waiting for someone to post a quote from his speech that is anything but what he had been saying before, or that could reasonably interpreted as a call for violence.

        Prior to his rally, there were credible reports of a threat of violence. There were reports in newspapers to thst effect and I’d guess that Trump had heard reports from the IC. There were reports that violent elements were going to be well in the crowds. IIRC, that was not the case in precious rallies since the election – which obviously were in an entirely different scale.

        So the comparison doesn’t seem apt.

        Why do you think people like Barr and other long-standing supporters of Trump are saying they think that Trump bears significant responsibility for the event where his supporters rooted at the Capitol?

        Do you think TDS explains it?

  26. I benefited quite a bit from listening to Dan Crenshaw’s, The Truth About January 6th, with Trey Gowdy, Rep. Chip Roy, and UT Law’s Steve Vladeck…

  27. “Covid-19 has emboldened American tech platforms to emerge from their defensive crouch. Before the pandemic, they were targets of public outrage over life under their dominion. Today, the platforms are proudly collaborating with one another, and following government guidance, to censor harmful information related to the coronavirus. And they are using their prodigious data-collection capacities, in coordination with federal and state governments, to improve contact tracing, quarantine enforcement, and other health measures. As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently boasted, “The world has faced pandemics before, but this time we have a new superpower: the ability to gather and share data for good.”

    Civil-rights groups are tolerating these measures—emergency times call for emergency measures—but are also urging a swift return to normal when the virus ebbs. We need “to make sure that, when we’ve made it past this crisis, our country isn’t transformed into a place we don’t want to live,” warns the American Civil Liberties Union’s Jay Stanley. “Any extraordinary measures used to manage a specific crisis must not become permanent fixtures in the landscape of government intrusions into daily life,” declares the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights group. These are real worries, since, as the foundation notes, “life-saving programs such as these, and their intrusions on digital liberties, [tend] to outlive their urgency.””

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/what-covid-revealed-about-internet/610549/

  28. The people who breached the Capitol were very wrong to do so. But the other half of the equation is a massive failure of law enforcement. I was watching the FBI spokesman looking fierce, determined, shaking and darting about … if only that much energy and exactitude had been applied before the fact.

  29. First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    — Martin Niemöller

  30. This is only the first volley in the free speech issue and the role of a brand new medium that can connect billions on such a personal level. I’m sure there are millions in China and North Korea who are not troubled at all that their government, who after all are looking out for their best interests, are suppressing their free speech. They believe the community’s interests outweigh the individual’s interest.

    Actually, that perspective isn’t limited to totalitarian countries.

    • Community? Community of the political elites maybe. For the rest of the community, any ole tank will do.

  31. I find it so strange that some people have not seen enough of the evidence to understand that this was the greatest election theft in history.
    But that is only a secondary point.
    The main point is, without that understanding, comprehending anything that is going on is completely impossible. It must be very confusing to anyone who tries to see beneath the propaganda.

    • That there were lax election procedures and irregularities is clear. What do you do then? January 6th was a fantasy solution. The states choose the electors – decentralization of power – who then elect the President. Republicans need to resist a Trump rerun in 2024 on that basis alone.

      Republicans have lost the popular vote in 7 out of the last 8 elections. That seems to be the bigger problem for them.

      • in 2016 there was an attempt to do a recount in Michigan (where Trump narrowly won) and in the Democrat stronghold of Detroit the recount was halted because Michigan law says that a recount can’t take place if the number of ballots they find in the ballot box differ too much from the number reported on election day (IIRC by 10% or more), and they found that 90%+ of the reported ballots were not there when they opened the ballot boxes

        IMHO that should mean throwing out the vote, but the law there says that in that case the initial reports stand

        There were a LOT of red flags about the 2020 election, but only in the critical swing states. Biden did MUCH better in the major cities in those states than he did in similar cities in other states (including the ones where the Democrats were a very large majority)

        The fact that there has been so much determination that there was absolutely zero fraud anywhere in the country just isn’t plausible. It may or may not have been enough to swing the election, but it’s clear that there was some amount of fraud and some amount of breaking the law.

        ‘but we don’t want to disenfranchise legitimate voters’, if there is no penalty for cheating at an election, why wouldn’t people cheat? 2020 has shown that there is no penalty for breaking election law.

      • “what do you do then?”

        We now live in a one party state. Back to the forever wars.
        Hope democrats are happy. They did not win what they thought they were winning.

      • The political life in America is finished.

      • > The fact that there has been so much determination that there was absolutely zero fraud anywhere in the country just isn’t plausible.

        Lol.

        Q: Do you have evidence of significant fraud – to a level even close enough to be determinative?

        A: No.

        Q: Then you accept the outcome?

        A: No.

        Q: Why not?

        A: It’s implausible that there was absolutely zero fraud anywhere in the country.

      • > The political life in America is finished.

        The funniest thing about Climate Etc. is when “skeptics” complain about the massive problem of “alarmism.”

  32. Petulant, sore loser democrats (not all of them) debased the office of the president just because they lost an election. They went at it 24/7 for 4 years.

    The consequences are far reaching and of course they will blame it on the far right.

  33. Meanwhile, back to the most serious challenge to the USA and it’s freedom …

    The inaugural committee for President-elect Joe Biden reportedly returned a $500 donation from former California Sen. Barbara Boxer after it was learned she registered as a foreign agent for a Chinese surveillance firm.

    Axios reported that the committee rejected Boxer’s donation since the Chinese firm — named Hikvision — has been “accused of abetting the country’s mass internment of Uighur Muslims.” According to Justice Department documents published Friday, Boxer provides “strategic consulting services” to Hikvision’s subsidiary in the United States.

    https://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Barbara-Boxer-China-foreign-agent-Uighur-Muslims-15865511.php

  34. “Like everyone else on the planet” Judith, a rare exaggeration! I suspect that the majority haven’t given it a thought, those around the world who find it worthwhile engaging with such issues are a distinct minority.

  35. During the protests at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, among the five people killed was Air Force veteran Ashli Babbit. The behavior of several individuals around the violence, however, suggests that there was coordinated action among the agitators. To learn more about this we’ve invited to speak with us independent Japanese journalist Masako Ganaha.

    • “5 people killed”????

      One shot in the neck by capitol police, undoubtedly killed
      One Heart Attack, killed??
      One Stroke, killed??
      One “Medical Emergency”, killed??
      One capitol police office, who’s family dispute that he was injured by the protestors/rioters, possibly killed, possibly another medical issue

      by this criteria, how many people have been ‘killed’ at the Women’s march protest every year? Any time you get hundreds of thousands of people together, you are going to have people die of various causes, that doesn’t mean they were ‘killed’

      • ” Any time you get hundreds of thousands of people together, you are going to have people die of various causes, that doesn’t mean they were ‘killed’”

        Nobody estimates a crowd size of in the hundreds of thousands but even if we assume 80-100,000 then your statement would suggest that even major football game ought to have 5 deaths.

      • In sorry, but it’s just a coincidence that the people who died were connected to the violent mob rioting in the Capitol building.

      • Joshua: “In sorry, but it’s just a coincidence that the people who died were connected to the violent mob rioting in the Capitol building.”

        If I thought you meant it, I’d say that it was amazing you would say something sensible on the topic.

        But yes, it was a coincidence that three of them died. The one shot by police was obviously killed in connection to the violent attack – she was a participant in the takeover, although whether she was violent or not, I don’t know. She was, sadly, a qAnon fool. The police person who died may or may not have been killed by the violence, as opposed to natural causes. I don’t yet know.

      • I don’t know the size of the crowd, I did see one estimate putting it at ~250k

        But yes, it is common to have Heart Attacks and Strokes, and other fatal medical emergencies at major football games

        or do you somehow contend that Trump personally took some action to trigger these issues?

      • Lol. Yeah. Looks like the WaPo agrees with you.

        -snip-
        Few of the deaths linked to recent protests are known to have been caused by demonstrators.
        -snip-

        https://tinyurl.com/yywefnul

      • Kevin D. Greeson, 55, of Athens, Ala., was standing in a throng of fellow Trump loyalists on the west side of the Capitol when he suffered a heart attack and fell to the sidewalk. He was talking on the phone with his wife at the time.

        In a statement to a local news channel, his family remembered Mr. Greeson as a good father and motorcycle enthusiast and said he “was not there to participate in violence or rioting, nor did he condone such actions.”

        But NBC News reported that Mr. Greeson appeared to have made several combative posts on Parler, a social-media haven for Trump supporters. An account featuring his name and picture urged the violent, far-right Proud Boys group to give “hell” to antifa, a loose confederation of far-left activists. A post in December urged direct action, NBC reported: “Load your guns and take to the streets!”

        Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Ga., posted fervently in support of President Trump on social media, followed the baseless conspiracy theories of QAnon and latched onto Mr. Trump’s false claims that he had won the election, family members told The Associated Press.

        How she died remained unclear on Monday. Family members and friends said they had heard from a friend who was with her that Ms. Boyland had been trampled inside the Capitol during clashes between rioters and the police. But a sister told the A.P. that she had been told by a police detective that Ms. Boyland had collapsed while standing in the Capitol Rotunda.

        […]

        Justin Cave, her brother-in-law, told Fox 5 Atlanta that Mr. Trump bore some responsibility for her death, saying that the president’s rhetoric incited a riot “that killed four of his biggest fans.”

        Benjamin Philips, 50, the founder of a pro-Trump website called Trumparoo, was chipper as he drove a van of fellow Trump supporters from their home state of Pennsylvania to Washington. He told The Philadelphia Inquirer that it felt like “the first day of the rest of our lives.”

        Mr. Philips died of a stroke in Washington, those who accompanied him to the Capitol told the newspaper. The exact circumstances of his death were still unclear, and his family could not be reached for comment.

  36. Senator Cruz’s communications director resigns.

  37. Judith- first: tarbaby was right, it takes a special kind of courage to wade into this mess, but wade you did.
    Second: i thought you did a fair and balanced evaluation of the issues, despite the best attempts at many readers to push the conversation this or that way.
    third: i have been a long time dis-liker of Trump (over 35 years)- he is a narcissistic bombastic loudmouth, and it was an embarrassment that our country elected him, but elect him it did. Having said that, from the minute he was elected, cries have rung out to impeach him (even prior to his taking office). I tend to judge people not by what they say, but what they do (by that bar, almost all politicians would fail that “what they do” test) and while Trump needed to keep his Twitter mouth shut more often than not, he has accomplished more than a few things despite being tormented by the never Trump crowd.
    fourth: free speech should be nearly completely inviolable, except where it inflames the potential for violence. Holocaust denial, and other antisemitic nostrums, like yelling fire, has resulted in ongoing violence against Jews, none of whom had anything to do with this ongoing political morass, and it is one of the few things where silencing should occur. Some hate speech likewise fomenting violent attacks on individuals warrants concern, but the problem is how do you determine that, and who gets to make the decision (e.g. are microaggressions really a form of violence?) Otherwise, having the press, and other utilities (what these conglomerations should be considered given their breadth and power) silence the sitting president of a major country because they believe he lies so much is so offensive as to be unspeakable. If we cannot listen to anyone without being able to evaluate and safely weigh what they say, then it is a sad day we have arrived at. I suspect, given the current level of critical thinking evident coming out of our institutions of higher learning, let alone our primary and secondary schools, that maybe this is no longer true. Without improving that ability for critical thinking we will never have racial, social, or any other justice, nor will we be deserving of the freedom that was granted to us by the original framers of the constitution (and the bill of rights).
    A republic, if you can keep it…

  38. Since you use analogies to make your point, I try one:

    “I’m curious…. If Verizon and AT&T and T-Mobile got together and decided that they would prohibit anyone who disagreed with the liberal/progressive political positions from using their communication networks, what would be the consequences?

    Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Twitter, and Facebook are all de facto communication networks. Apple Store and Google Play are access gates for communication points on Apple iOS and Google Android. If they decided that they would prohibit anyone who disagreed with the liberal/progressive political positions from using their de facto networks, what would be the consequences?”

    Sent that to my Democratic Party representative in the U.S. House.

    Now some would argue that people must pay to use Verizon and AT&T and T-Mobile while Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Twitter, and Facebook are free because they generate their revenues through advertising (indirect fees to users). I’d say the difference is between drinking from a glass with and without a straw.

    • > I’m curious…. If Verizon and AT&T and T-Mobile got together and decided that they would prohibit anyone who disagreed with the liberal/progressive political positions from using their communication networks, what would be the consequences?

      They would have to be listening in on private phone conversations. They wouldn’t be exercising their terms of service agreement regarding public statements inextricably linked to their products and their brands.

      Bad analogy.

  39. This is kind of loaded. I could go on for a while. Amazon, Apple, Youtube and Facebook have been flirting with anti-trust for a while. I’ve not been a fan for a while and when possible I have looked for alternatives. Recently, I ran into a Climate Change video by John Stossel talking about such things as he had been censored by Youtube (they farm their climate change issues out to a third party who seem to be pretty pro-alarmist. He had quoted a Climate Skeptic on their list apparently). Originally, I thought the fuss was about Fake News coming from Russia. It seems to me a no-brainer that we should be able to detect and block fake news coming from Russia. However, many of these companies must have thought we meant blocking anything they deemed non-factual which brings in all kinds of complications because facts can be clear as mud at times. Just read this blog and anyone can get a sense of that. Speaking of mud that’s what we are talking about when we talk about banning Trump. Storming the Capitol and risking the lives of our elected officials rises to a completely different level. We have not seen this before. In addition it was planned to not protect our representatives with the National Guard as we are now finding out. The FBI had warnings the day before of the coming attack. I also abhor the thugs that showed up at the Arizona election with guns and the ones who decided they would escort Biden’s campaign bus in Texas. I have never heard of anything like it. American democracy is an extension of ourselves, the Capitol represents that and our elected officials are also part of the equation. When comparing it to BLM and Antifa it’s like disciplining your children; you discipline them one at a time based on the facts. When one child says “will what about what they(sibling) did” you typically say we are dealing with you right now not them. When a thug is holding a gun at my speaker of the house it means my democracy is in jeopardy. The platform censorship can be worked out later. And the deal is with the person who yells “fire” in your theatre. You won’t be in a hurry to let them back in. Trump is definitely a threat to the social media platforms, they have a right to shut him down. At the least he represents a liability to them but he has been threatening them since his election. They may be actually doing the best thing for their stakeholders which anyone would expect. I am really excited for the day when we can get back to talking about real solutions to our current issues including climate change, balanced budget, affordable health care and better education instead of petty partisan bickering which aren’t really even based on liberal or conservative views.

    • A couple of comments..

      “I also abhor the thugs that showed up at the Arizona election with guns ”

      They were not thugs. Here in Arizona, open carry of firearms is not uncommon, and both open and concealed carry do not require permits. Some misguided 2nd Amendment supporters show their guns as a statement of 2nd Amendment support, and that’s what this was about. I find their actions misguided, but not “thuggish.” And they were not present at the polls, and the counting places were well guided.

      As will be demonstrated, 2nd Amendment rights were under threat in this election. That’s one reason the gun stores are sold out – no guns, no ammunition for the most part, nationwide. The firearms and ammunition manufacturers have record sales.

      I argue in conservative forums against open carry. If nothing else, it is rude, because makes some people uncomfortable. But it is also counter-productive – if people aren’t comfortable seeing people carrying guns, you hurt the pro-2nd Amendment argument.

      I am a strong 2nd Amendment supporter. Back when concealed carry was not possible in Arizona, and I had a young daughter, I would carry openly when out in the wilderness. I didn’t like doing that, because I don’t like making people uncomfortable.

      • I appreciate your comments regardless of whether I agree or disagree. You definitely paint a different picture but from my point of view I don’t think it is all that smart to assume that people who trying to run a fair election are going to view people who are protesting their accounting of that election are necessarily going to be viewed as only there to show their support for the Second Amendment. We all know what guns do. Secondly, the idea of Second Amendment support for many of these people is without limitation. I can’t think of a Bill of Rights Amendment that doesn’t have some limitations. I think it is ok to be a 2nd Amendment supporter in this sense is fine and that there might be varying differences of opinion on what that might be and still be a supporter. For me, I admit, I am not much of a supporter and would rather put my investment into other rights. Also your argument does not account for the storming of the Capitol or the incident escorting Biden’s campaign bus. So those people are thugs but the Arizona protesters not UNLESS they were involved with both?

  40. Rise up, as if you have a choice:

  41. Geoff Sherrington

    Judith,
    Because of time changes, midnight in Washington DC was 4 pm here in Melbourne Australia. It was easy in a working day here to follow the aftermath of the US election. I did this and I kept my notes. At 2 am Washington time, I was watching the election results, already focused on changes in WI, MI, PA , NC, GA and AK. Subsequently, at news sites that were not so mainstream, there were abundant descriptions of voting irregularities sufficient for abuse in those States to swing the Presidential election.
    Therefore, I enter this discussion here starting with acceptance that fraud could have been involved, on a scale large enough to matter. I have searched for evidence that fraud was not involved and found little of it, apart from statements from authority and inconclusive tests.
    IMO, the matter of alleged fraud could have been, should have been resolved by now, with Biden endorsing a proper bipartisan review to endorse his open honesty, his good name and reputation. Instead, … crickets.
    Personally, I conclude that part of the Capitol violence was caused by this lack of investigation. It is not hard to understand how POTUS felt about “a stolen election” and his frustration at being blocked from processes such as putting a case to the Supreme Court.
    One can hope that the FBI, Homeland Security, CIA or whomever will investigate just which people caused the violence and what motivated them. There is prima facie evidence of false flag tactics by agitators.
    Of course, the points I have made are debatable and need to be confirmed/denied as the case might be. My concern is that these processes will be conducted dishonestly or not at all.
    We in friendly countries have used the example of the USA as the best way for governments elsewhere to act, but that seems to have ended. As I watch, quantity replaces quality, terror replaces peaceful settlement, foul words replace conversation as in Hollywood shows, gross conduct replaces elegance, foul replaces nice, mob rule replaces orderly governance, greed replaces adequacy, dishonesty replaces honesty. Reality is for those who cannot face drugs.
    These are very worrying trends to me as a neutral, interested observer over many decades.
    The national moral fabric has been torn.
    Geoff S

    • So,
      You ‘accept’ that fraud could have been involved (albeit without any evidence – or do you have any?);
      You have found little evidence that fraud was not involved (how does that work? You read about the audits, recounts, court cases, etc. but didn’t believe them?);
      You have concluded that part of the Capitol violence was caused by this lack of investigation (even though there have been investigations, that you obviously don’t believe; so maybe the cause is more like a disbelief in anyone other than Trump);
      You find it hard not to understand how POTUS felt about “a stolen election” and his frustration at being blocked from processes (apart from the over 60 court cases, including a Supreme Court process);
      And you think there was prima facie evidence of false flag tactics by agitators (albeit there is no such evidence).

      Then you finish by stating:
      “My concern is that these processes will be conducted dishonestly or not at all me as a neutral, interested observer”
      Perhaps you could explain how you would determine their dishonesty? By a process of neutral observation? Hmm….

      • Geoff Sherrington

        JMurphy,
        Typical TDS response, no value, seen others, sorry.
        Geoff S

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Joshua | January 14, 2021 at 9:00 pm |
        “Good to see you stand by your practice of eschewing personal insults.”
        There is no personal insult here, Joshua. I sincerely feel sorry for those with the medical condition of TDS and would seek to do what I can if I could cure them. Calling them names would have no curative effect.
        Also, I use my name as a code to thwart the several triers who have posted using my name, pretending to be the genuine me. Despite the repetition of my name, you seem to be a slow learner because you failed to spell “Geoff” correctly, as in Geoff S

      • The cult is strong in you, Geoff S! Impressive.

      • Geoff –

        > There is no personal insult here, Joshua

        Apparently, bizarrely, Judith objected to me pointing it out to you previously, but calling people deluded for the mere offense of disagreeing with you is an insult. (But she saw no problem with leaving up your insults).

        Just as if I were to call you a “denier” would be an insult although some escuse the use of the term as merely an accurate description.

        You should consider re-thinking your double standard.

      • > Also, I use my name as a code to thwart the several triers who have posted using my name

        Lol. Yeah, ’cause they can’t see that you sign your name even though your name appears at the top of your comments.

  42. johnvonderlin

    Fellow Patriots,
    If you were at the January 6th Patriotic Assembly in Washington D.C. to liberate the Capitol Building you can be granted a pardon by President Donald Trump by replying to this Comment with your name, email address, telephone number, address and a list of the crimes you committed there.
    All you Parler denizens can skip this step, as thanks to the scraping of the website of everything posted after January 6th by a female hacktavist all of your data is already in the hands of those that want to recognize your contributions and reward them justly.
    This bit of humor is possible because of the lack of professionalism on numerous levels of the Parler website creators. Do a little research folks. If you want to look for a hidden conspiracy by Satanic Adrenochrome Junky Lizard People add this “Free Speech” fiasco to your fever dreams.

  43. “There has been a debate going on for years as to whether social media should be regarded as a platform or a publisher (Section 230). ”
    Donald Trump was pushing for the repeal of Section 230, effectively forcing social media hosts to act as publishers and edit their content.

    Twitter is doing exactly what the POTUS wanted. It is ironic that Twitter’s first editorial decision was to edit out Trump himself.

    • The other part of being a publisher is being responsible/liable for your editorial decisions.

      Section 230 was intended to support the digital ton square and encourage discussions of dissenting views, not provide immunity to those who want to suppress views they don’t agree with.

  44. A cynic might suspect that Trump’s intention in repealing Section 230 was to use the courts to suppress views he didn’t agree with.
    I have read prior Trump tweets and watched video of the January 6th rally, particularly the speakers which preceded Trump.
    It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Trump invited his most extreme supporters to Washington, filled them with rhetoric about fighting for freedom, and sent them off to the Hill to do their worst.
    Was it preplanned? They took pipe bombs and a gallows with them. Not the sort of thing you put together on the day.

    • “Trump invited his most extreme supporters to Washington”

      That’s a fact-free statement EM.

      • If Jacob Chansley was a moderate Trump supporter I would hate to think what an extreme Trump supporter would be like!

    • Trump didn’t send invitations to specific people. This isn’t a difficult concept.

    • like BLM carting around a guillotine to their protest.

      And we don’t know who brought the pipe bombs yet.

    • I think it is self-selection bias. Most Trump voters believe he lost the election, so they would not have gone to DC. Most who believe the election was rigged would not or could not travel to DC to protest the results…some for logistical reasons and some because they did not see the point of supporting a lost cause, or that this was not the proper method to oppose the results. What’s left is only the most extreme supporters.

    • I’ve been struggling with the same question as Prager has but for a longer time. My journey started over 60 years ago and I was looking at their entire society rather than just a segment. I’m no closer to an answer than I was then. I can’t imagine our society, regardless of the circumstances, will ever engage in or allow that kind of heinous behavior, though.

      This is a great quote and an accurate reflection of what millions of Americans are feeling.

      “ The last time people looked around and whispered things to me was when I used to visit the Soviet Union.”

      The other sentiment is that the country has gone insane. I think that often, as well as questioning whether anyone knows their history. I think not.

      • “Prior to the lockdowns, I flew almost every week of the year, so I was approached by people who recognized me on a regular basis. Increasingly, I noticed that people would look around to see if anyone was within earshot and then tell me in almost a whisper: “I support Trump” or, “I’m a conservative.” The last time people looked around and whispered things to me was when I used to visit the Soviet Union.”

        Exactly. And most on the left are also “good Germans” in that they don’t understand that they have already instituted totalitarian terror, and of course many on the right do recognize it but are afraid to voice their views.

        For example, very few professors – even those with tenure – are allowed to voice politically incorrect thoughts, even on climate change, and certainly not on the anti-science, and extremely damaging transgender ideology. Surveys show that over 70% of conservative college students are “in the closet” – they don’t let others know their views – because they will likely be ostracized, have their grades reduced by intolerant professors and teaching assistance, and be kicked out at the slightest provocation.

        This sort of thing can lead to a preference cascade under some circumstances – when people discover that enough others share their view. I think that is one reason for the anger shown by the demonstrators and rioters at the Capitol. They were among many others with political incorrect ideas, and that led to the psychology that they could share their anger with others, safely for a change, but they misjudged and will now pay. And, of course, in a large crowd, that can lead to mob psychology – more extreme actions than the individual would take on their own.

        America is not free any more. It is more free than state totalitarian nations, or we wouldn’t be able to have this conversation. But many would be very careful about posting even here, as they could lose their jobs if their posts could be attributed to them.

        That’s how totalitarianism works. It’s a social credit system.

        Those on the left should beware, but they won’t be – another feature of totalitarianism is unified propaganda, and that is what they consume. They won’t realize the problem until they become a target. And make no mistake, progressivism is just an early stage of Bolshevism, and Bolsheviks and the like always turn on their own.

        [Disclaimer: to avoid misinterpretation: none of this excuses violently storming the Capitol.]

      • > Exactly. And most on the left are also “good Germans” in that they don’t understand that they have already instituted totalitarian terror, and of course many on the right do recognize it but are afraid to voice their views.

        Godwin!

        But Hitler.

  45. John Sullivan, a prominent Antifa/BLM member, was in the Capitol building, supposedly to document the protest. Were other leftists there? https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2021/01/07/utah-man-with-a-history-of-organizing-blm-protests-was-inside-the-capitol-n2582766

    Is it plausible that Sullivan was the only Antifa member there?

    Is it at all plausible that Antifa would not launch a counter-rally against Trump’s rally? Where was it? Was it actually embedded within the Trump rally?

    It’s not implausible or impossible that Antifa was used to create the proper optics. Were there Trump supporters with a propensity to violence there? Likely, yes, but so far, even with a disputed election, we haven’t seen Trump supporters on the streets burning things to protest injustice. One could make an easy argument that the violence so far this year has overwhelmingly come from the left, not the right. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bIeKj7fZ8U

    Who gains when the optics are violence caused by the right? All summer we weren’t that terribly outraged by the violence; Twitter and FB banned no one on the left. Now, we’re going to do everything we can to stop these people from ever doing anything like this again. What a coincidence.

    We need to stop seeing things on a superficial level and understand that backroom deals and shadowy plots really do happen all the time. The mainstream news sorts these out for us and tells us what’s important; that’s how they control the narrative.

    So now we’re hearing the totally inaccurate story about the “plot” of Trump to relax security, aren’t we? What a coincidence.

  46. Thanks for putting it out there Dr. Curry, in spite of your initial hesitation. It helps.

  47. “Do losers of elections continue to complain about an ‘unfair’ election? I certainly recall complaints from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi well into 2017, after Trump and the Republicans won in 2016”.

    If Trump had complained about an unfair election, then conceded and left it alone then there wouldn’t be any issue. What he and Republicans have done is several orders of magnitude different – launching 70 court cases, fostering unfounded fraud theories, illegally trying to persuade legislators and officials to overturn results, and finally assembling a mob that attacked the Capitol.

    • So if he just complained, but made no moves to contest it (even if he was right), then it would be OK. But the fact that he took legal means to contest it isn’t acceptable.

      So Gore should not have contested the 2000 election, just complained and accepted the results?

      Stacy Abrams still hasn’t accepted her loss.

      • What kind of worldview thinks that what Gore did is comparable to what Trump has done. The original comment was about Hillary Clinton who launched no lawsuits and probably had no grounds for lawsuits. Gore was in an election decided by a few hundred hanging chads and even he gracefully conceded in the interest of national unity. Compare to Trump who is only interested in himself and national division.

      • Gore only conceded after multiple lawsuits and after the Supreme Court weighed in.

        Trump had more lawsuits, but he was contesting more states (and if you count 70 lawsuits, most of those were not filed by Trump, but by others)

        And Trump never did get a hearing at the Supreme Court. For that matter, the Court never settled the issue in PA about accepting ballots after the election that was filed well before.

        And I am not aware of any Trump lawsuits that were settled on the merits, everything was either stalled, or thrown out before any evidence was presented.

      • but your claim was that Trump should have complained and then conceded, not filed lawsuits or done anything else.

        If that’s the criteria for Trump, then it should apply to others.

        I’ll point out that there were a couple of Democrat congressional candidates who lost by a small number of votes who asked that Pelosi ignore the vote result and seat the Democrat instead of the Republican (and apparently the Democrats did this back in the 80’s), you don’t complain about this. It seems that one side can and should fight and encourage an uprising, while the other side should just complain and then concede

      • Nobody says you can’s have lawsuits but you have to have a basis for the lawsuits.

        Gore actually won his lawsuit before the Florida Supreme Court which ordered a manual recount of votes. That’s something Trump has requested and gotten without even needing a lawsuit. Unfortunately Gore didn’t get it because the Supreme Court stopped the recount.

        By all rights, Gore had more cause to feel an election stolen from him than Trump does. Trump hasn’t won any lawsuits and has gotten multiple recounts and audits and still has presented no evidence of fraud to a court, which is why the cases have been summarily dismissed.

        But, hey, Gore still conceded and didn’t incite a mob. And it was the assembly and incitement of the mob that are resulted in his removal from Twitter and Facebook.

  48. joe - the realist

    JC – Comment – “Who is the greater threat to freedom and democracy? So who is the greater threat – the clowns who stormed the Capitol, or the technocratic elites and other corporations who are using the Trump situation as an opportunity to consolidate their cultural and political power? Others define all this in moral terms, which really relate to their personal political preferences; they are all in favor of this if their current enemies are the ones being thwarted/cancelled. A very dangerous situation.”

    Well said

    • Fact is there would have been no Big Cancel without a mob attacking the Capitol. They assembled a mob to attack and kill people in an effort to stop a constitutional and legal process. Should they get Medals of Freedom? I can’t imagine any sort of governmental or legal arrangement between tech and government that would or should allow people to freely incite others to sedition.

      • “They assembled a mob to attack and kill people…”
        Nonsense based on the verifiable facts of the event. If their intention had been to kill people they would have been much more heavily armed and more people would be dead. I am still waiting to see evidence any of them brandished weapons. Frankly, I am surprised more of them didn’t considering the nature of the crowd. I wonder if the social media organizing said not to bring one, though I have seen no evidence of that either…but I haven’t looked.

      • “Fact is there would have been no Big Cancel without a mob attacking the Capitol.”

        That is a bad excuse, not a justification. Parler, for example, had a system for canceling people with a history of violent incitement. It did let a few posts remain, it isn’t perfect. They asked Amazon for help using a system Amazon has and were told that system was unable to do it.

        Meanwhile, Twitter lets autocrats around the world post routine line – such angels as Xi of China.

        “I can’t imagine any sort of governmental or legal arrangement between tech and government that would or should allow people to freely incite others to sedition.”

        Don’t bother – in spite of your implication, nobody is asking for such an arrangement. Nobody against the Big Cancels is for allowing incitement to violence or sedition. And you should know, such incitement is illegal and nobody is saying that illegal content should be allowed.

      • “They assembled a mob to attack and kill people ….” Who is “they”? Who were those people, mostly dressed in black to my view, who were beckoning people into the Capitol building, as if they were directing the mob? Why was the Antifa/BLM activist, Sullivan, in the Capitol building? How many other leftist activists were there? Where were the Antifa counter-protesters? Were they trying to block the mob, or what? Where were they? Where might you expect them to be if they were defending this country against fascism?

        Not saying that there weren’t violent right-wingers in the crowd, as any crowd will have a group of people who want to smash things, or worse.

        It just worked out so beautifully, that’s what stuns me. Here is Trump going to “stop the steal,” and what happens next? Complete disgrace and shunning of him and all of his followers. It was beautiful.

        And now the story isn’t: protesters swarm Washington to protest election irregularities. Now the story is: violent nutcases who believe the election was stolen are egged on by Trump who orchestrated a lowered police presence at the Capitol building, ensuring a desecration of the place of the people’s work in this attempted INSURRECTION against everything that’s good, kind, and decent n America. And, we have to take steps to ensure that this sort of thing never happens again (although leftist protests are still fine, and matches are OK.)

        It was beautiful, I tell ya.

    • dougbageroo wrote: “Frankly, I am surprised more of them didn’t [carry firearms] considering the nature of the crowd. I wonder if the social media organizing said not to bring one, ”

      I read that information on firearms laws was disseminated. That only a small number of people were charged on firearms statutes strongly suggests that most did not expect to break any law, or they’d have been carrying. Because given the nature of the crowd, I’m sure most carry firearms frequently when it is legal. DC has totalitarian level of firearms laws. It is almost impossible to get a permit there, unless, of course, you are well connected.

      • Thanks Meso,
        Good points, if I had thought for a minute I would have realized they would be breaking laws in DC. I am aware of the general nature of DC firearms laws. I agree, no one shows up to overthrow the government so lightly armed. Such accusations are politically motivated nonsense.

  49. https://greenwald.substack.com/p/how-silicon-valley-in-a-show-of-monopolistic
    Greenwald has an excellent review of what happened and the power grab by Big Tech to crush it’s competitors

  50. A Huawei patent has been brought to light for a system that identifies people who appear to be of Uighur origin among images of pedestrians.

    The filing is one of several of its kind involving leading Chinese technology companies, discovered by a US research company and shared with BBC News.

    Huawei had previously said none of its technologies was designed to identify ethnic groups.

    It now plans to alter the patent.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55634388

    • International patents* are meaningless jim2. They just stole the tech from our companies & government anyway right? Just copy them, modify them to target your enemies for elimination and you can save America.
      Question is… Are you looking ahead to where technology is taking us and setting yourself up to take advantage of it? I still can’t bring myself to buy bitcoin but I recognize it’s not going away soon either. What’s next? VR, Musk’s Mindlink, customize your DNA?
      * China is the world’s #1 patent issuer in 2019
      “Apr 7, 2020 — China in 2019 surpassed the United States of America as the top source of international patent applications filed with WIPO “

      • jack – the patent isn’t the issue. It’s that China set up technology to automatically identify a minority it didn’t like. Just sayin’.

  51. See:

    It’s Time to Stop Using The Fire In A Crowded Theater Quote

    Case in which that was declared was overturned 40 years ago.

  52. “While these information monopolies are free enterprise success stories, they have also amassed enormous power, as evidenced by the events of the past week.”

    I would suggest to anyone who thinks that Twitter has too much “power” if they can cancel the US president that maybe, juuuuuust maybe, a social media platform is not the appropriate platform for a US president to make his only official mode of communication with the American people. The problem was always with Trump’s tweeting. He gave Twitter the power to silence his presidency by making Twitter his only voice.

    • Trump used Twitter because it was a way for him to communicate without going through the mainstream media, which in case you hadn’t noticed hasn’t had one good thing to say about him in at the past four years. Most of our opinions of Trump are (deliberately) shaped by the mainstream media, and these are focused around the idea that it doesn’t matter if he worked for peace in the Middle East and with N. Korea, it doesn’t matter if he saw, and acted against, China’s attempt to subvert the US through its policy of stealth war, all that matters is that Trump is (supposedly) a racist, an idiot, prejudiced, dumb, a liar, and as dishonest as they come. This is the picture that the media has painted for us.

      • Trump could have communicated to America via live televised briefings or official Whitehouse statements. He was not faced with only the options of Twitter or MSNBC talking heads.

      • “Trump could have communicated to America via live televised briefings or official Whitehouse statements. He was not faced with only the options of Twitter or MSNBC talking heads.”

        In other words, limit him to old fashioned means, while his opposition could use newer ones.

        And, Trump has had live televised briefings cut short or ignored by the legacy media. It’s not like he could, in fact, communicate that way – especially political content.

        Twitter is important, even if it is very evil. It is a major means of communication of especially political information. It is also an important way of communicating with the press.

        There is no real excuse for Twitter’s actions. Dorsey is a partisan with a monopoly platform, and he used it to cut off Trump at a critical time.

      • Exactly how does Trump force live televised briefings?

        if you didn’t notice, the press stopped providing live coverage of the Wu Flu briefings, even when Trump was there and reported incorrectly on the briefing content.

      • Mesocyclone, none of Trump’s political opponents have relied exclusively on social media to communicate with the public. The Whitehouse can live stream all press briefings and post official statements from the president on its website. Twitter is a major way that people *do* communicate, but it should not be the primary way the leader of the free world issues official communications. It’s absurd to think it should be.

        The bottom line is that Trump, entirely of his own volition, chose twitter to be his sole platform for public communication. In so doing he shackled the ability of the public to receive official communications from the presidency to whether or not he could manage to abide by Twitter’s ToS.

      • “Mesocyclone, none of Trump’s political opponents have relied exclusively on social media to communicate with the public. The Whitehouse can live stream all press briefings and post official statements from the president on its website. Twitter is a major way that people *do* communicate, but it should not be the primary way the leader of the free world issues official communications. It’s absurd to think it should be.”

        Yeah, what the heck. Let’s just yank a service from a major figure just for the hell of it. They can find another way to communicate.

        Sorry, but they had no valid grounds for doing it. They jumped on the “trash Trump” parade after the riots – which he did not incite. My challenge on several forums for people to post the inciting language remains unanswered.”

        I remember when people didn’t like censorship. But then, I’m old. These days, if its in the right cause, way too many people just shrug their shoulders and say “well, they deserved it” or “they didn’t really need free speech, anyway.”

      • W_R –

        > The bottom line is that Trump, entirely of his own volition, chose twitter to be his sole platform for public communication. In so doing he shackled the ability of the public to receive official communications from the presidency to whether or not he could manage to abide by Twitter’s ToS.

        Stop. You obviously didn’t get the memo. Trump is not to be held accountable for the results of any of his actions. He can do whatever he wants, and any outcomes we don’t like can be blamed on other people. After all Trump is such a victim.

        Big Daddy is a victim of mean people with small minds on “THE LEFT.”

        Even when his policies are an obvious failure resulting in the loss of lives and riots on Capitol Hill, it’s someone else fault.

        Please get with the program.

      • > Let’s just yank a service from a major figure just for the hell of it. ‘

        They didn’t do it “just for the hell of it.”

        He leveraged social media to gain the presidency and used it for years. Maybe the timing of being just after a violent attack by a mob of his supporters on Capitol Hill might have had just a tiny bit to do with it?

  53. > Jim Jordan says Liz Cheney should be removed from GOP leadership position for supporting Trump’s impeachment

    The situation with libz and demz and this “cancel culture” is just out of control!!!!!!

    Oh. Wait.

  54. Trump is going to look like the great President he actually is after a couple years of the Harris Administration.

  55. The “Big Cancel” isn’t about Trump getting cancelled. It’s about the Dimowits taking totalitarian control of the country with the help of big tech and big business.

    • Well get rid of Trump and it would easier to attract moderates to support your cause. Trump poisons everything and will continue to poison the debate as long as he has any sway over Republicans.

      • Trump is the best President we’ve had in the last 100 years. This entire dog and pony show is pathetic.

      • I agree with both TimG and Jim2.. mostly.

        I hope Trump goes away, because he is now a liability, and his actions since the election have been poor.

        I agree is the best President in a long time, but I’d put Reagan ahead of him overall.

      • I wish people would separate the man from the policies he implemented.

        I can understand liking his policies but lets not pretend that Trump the human has any redeeming qualities. He is venal, corrupt and incompetent narcissist that acts more like a mob boss that president.

        On the global stage he is generally reviled and has done more to weaken the position of the US in the world than strengthen it. The recent EU and ASEAN trade deals with China is a big signal that other countries are preparing for a world where the US is no longer relevant. It did not have to be this way. A better leader could have forged an alliance of democratic nations but not Trump. Trump want the US to be alone and he may get his wish long after he is gone.

      • “I wish people would separate the man from the policies he implemented.

        I can understand liking his policies but lets not pretend that Trump the human has any redeeming qualities. He is venal, corrupt and incompetent narcissist that acts more like a mob boss that president.

        On the global stage he is generally reviled and has done more to weaken the position of the US in the world than strengthen it. ”

        I agree to some of this. But frankly, I don’t give a damn what the global elites think of him. One of the reasons Trump is popular is that he is not just a revolt against the internationalist foreign policy crowd in the US, but also because he has shaken up the international order. His foreign policy is more akin to Reagan’s than to any successor.

        Obama let the world know several bad things:

        1) The US can act as if it were a weak power

        2) The US can be gulled by dictators into making bad deals, such as the laughable Iran nuclear deal (complete with huge bribes paid in cash)

        3) The US will not protect people whom it gave guarantees for in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons or programs.

        Specifically, Ukraine gave up an extremely powerful nuclear arsenal on US guarantees of territorial integrity. Obama sent non-lethal aid only when Putin invaded with his “green men” stealth army. Trump sent lethal aid.

        The loathsome Gaddafi gave up his special weapons program on the guarantee that the US and UK would not target him. That give provided the intelligence needed to shut down the AQ Khan nuclear proliferation network. Hillary bragged “we came, we saw, we died” after the US was instrumental in Gaddafi overthrow and death.

        The message to tyrants: you need nukes, and you must never give them away.

        Trump, on the other hand, put together a coalition to combat Iranian imperialism, including historic alliances between Israel and formerly hostile Arab powers.

        China was robbing the US blind by stealing intellectual property and classified information, and using state-mercantilist trade policies. This started under Clinton and continued through the Obama Administration. Trump changed the calculus in that by hitting back hard at China, and by significantly increasing security measures such as banning dangerous Chinese entities.

        But most importantly, Trump hit back at the globalists in the US and around the world – the main reason he is “reviled” in certain capitols. He hit back because globalism was clearly becoming a danger and a detriment to the citizens of the US.

        Yeah, parts of his personality suck. I very much dislike his behavior since the election.

        But get a little balance.

        And now, for Joshua to respond with sneers, which I’ll ignore.

      • > And now, for Joshua to respond with sneers, which I’ll ignore.

        You gotta love the irony.

      • “The US will not protect people whom it gave guarantees for in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons or programs.”

        And under the “Trump doctrine” such guarantees are irrelevant because the US can’t get involved in “foreign wars”. I am not sure why you are criticizing Obama on these points because these are exactly the same policies that Trump wants.

        “But most importantly, Trump hit back at the globalists in the US and around the world”

        And what has that got the US? China signing trade deals with US allies? How is that in the interest of the US? What you fail to understand is that US power over the last 70 years was based on alliances. By undermining these alliances in the name of “sticking it to elitists” Trump has undermined US power. This damage is likely permanent. In the 5-10 years China will have set up a parallel financial system which will allow the rest of the world to function without US approval. When that happens the US will be nothing but a big regional power with no particular influence outside of North America.

      • “And under the “Trump doctrine” such guarantees are irrelevant because the US can’t get involved in “foreign wars”. I am not sure why you are criticizing Obama on these points because these are exactly the same policies that Trump wants.”

        Nonsense. The Trump doctrine is not as you say. Trump wants us to be in wars only if it is in our national interest. Furthermore, I didn’t criticize Obama on those pants. Please – reread.

        As for China signing deals – if that’s all you have, it isn’t much. Trump encouraged and furthered new alliances against China? He made the first serious effort to end the hemorrhaging of US secrets – government and private – to China. He reduced significantly Chinese ability to profit by mercantilist policies – using various tricks to make trade unfair, and to dominate entire industries? These include China’s forcing US companies to turn over secrets overtly (capitalists selling the rope…), China using tariffs and NTB’s to take over industries, etc.

        These significant actions were a result of Trump policies. They were not taken by his three predecessors.

        Trump also understands alliances, contrary to your assertion. He just rearranged them. He didn’t destroy NATO, but he reformed it, for example. That a trade deal was cut that goes against this merely shows that he didn’t stop all the hemorrhaging.

        You seem to be one of those who imagines that the hide bound US foreign policy establishment was actually protecting US interests. Too often, their out-of-date notions of how the world works led to them doing the opposite, unintentionally. Trump at a minimum shook that up. It’s one of the reason that the “deep state” hates him so much.

        I could go on, but it gets old re-iterating what should be well known.

      • “Trump also understands alliances, contrary to your assertion. He just rearranged them.”
        He basically told allies that they are on their own. They took the message to heart and are making plans that don’t include the US. If that means the EU signs a deal requiring them to allow Huawei into Europe then they will.

        There is an argument to be made that NATO needed a kick in the butt but there was no excuse for the shakedown Trump conducted with South Korea and Japan.

        The trouble with Trump is he does NOT understand alliances. He treats them as business deals and thinks it is good thing to use hardball tactics to squeeze a better deal. It can work in the short term but it destroys the trust and goodwill that are needed to keep an alliance going in the long run.

        “You seem to be one of those who imagines that the hide bound US foreign policy establishment was actually protecting US interests”

        To be frank, I agree that Trump was a useful disrupter. My complaint is he can only break stuff. He is incapable of building something new in its place. Whether the existing system of alliances served the US interest is a fair point to debate but the notion that the US is more powerful when it has a reliable network of alliances is not. Biden will need to rebuild what Trump broke.

    • In reality, its about setting 2/3 of the country free.
      Those who cancel over half of the country understand nothing about holding power.

  56. According to the survey, 60 percent of battleground voters view the Democrats’ second impeachment effort as a waste of time. Moreover, 80 percent of Trump voters and 76 percent of Republicans indicated that they are less likely to vote for a member of Congress who votes in favor of impeaching Trump — a finding that comes as the House gathers Wednesday to vote on impeaching him yet again, accusing him of inciting the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. More broadly, among all voters surveyed, 48 percent say they are “less likely” to vote for a member of Congress who votes to impeach Trump.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/01/13/poll-80-trump-voters-76-republicans-less-likely-vote-lawmaker-who-votes-impeachment/

    • My suspicion is that your posting polling numbers on Trump will come to an end very soon…

      Kind of like how you stopped posting about the COVID hospitalization rates….

  57. It’s not Cancel culture, its a Boycott. It began at least 4 years ago when a bunch of “Trump hotels” had to remove the name to attract customers. Twitter’s brand will suffer if they are forever known as trumps Megaphone and associated with a coup attempt. Besides, Trump fans have migrated to Parler anyways, and why risk the loss of middle of the road republicans too? Big Tech is late to the boycott but better late than never.

    • It is far more than a Boycott. Try being a university professor and casually mentioning that Trump did something right.

      Bye bye your job. If you have tenure, bye bye any new committee appointments or professional advancement.

  58. The vast majority of election cheats didn’t get caught.

    BREAKING: Texas Election Fraudster Caught in Project Veritas Undercover Sting Arrested For Widespread Vote Harvesting – Faces Up to 20 Years in Prison

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/breaking-texas-election-fraudster-caught-project-veritas-undercover-sting-arrested-widespread-vote-harvesting-faces-20-years-prison/

    • Indeed! Project Veritas is doing what the leftist mainstream media should be doing, if they were what they pretend to be – journalists.

  59. TWO MORE GOP LAWMAKERS Call on Liz Cheney to Step Down as House Conference Chair Before She Destroys Party — It May Be Too Late

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/two-gop-lawmakers-call-liz-cheney-step-house-conference-chair-destroys-party-may-late/

    • The smartest minds in tech will be doing their best to deplatform Gab, or block it, or get rid of it one way or another.

      “Smart” in tech, not smart in civics.

    • Wait. You mean Trump hasn’t lost his free speech rights? You mean he can actually use a different product? You mean that people can actually hear what his opinions are?

      Lol. But of course, don’t let that slow down the hand-wringing and pearl-clutching wailing up from the fainting couches of our much beloved entitled snowflakes.

  60. Trump lost because of his response to Covid19. Republicans down the ballet did well! “Its just the Flu”, even though he knew it was way worse. So, the flu kills up to 60,000 in a really bad year. That means that before the end of January 2021, 2021 will Already be the second worst flu year in the last 50 years, with at least 65,000 deaths. Meanwhile in China, there might be as many as 2 or 3 covid deaths in January 2021. Trumps response to Covid19 was far too crazy for many republicans in their 70″s and their immediate family to condone with a vote. They chose life over likely death in the stampede towards the fabled “herd immunity” by cull.

    • Trump’s response to COVID 19 was a brilliant combination of Government and the Private Sector. The vaccines were produced, tested, and distributed in record time. This is just one more awesome thing accomplished by Trump.

      If people were so worried about old people, Cuomo would have been run out of New York on a rail for killing so many in nursing homes by sending covid infected folk there.

      You pretty much have this upside-down, but I’ve seen so much of that here, it’s no longer surprising.

      • Claims that Trump’s WARP Speed program was a success is somewhat (or totally) misleading. It is based on the work of researchers going back several years looking at stabilizing the spike proteins from the MERS corona virus which was the defining feature of how this rapid vaccine development came about.

        In a nutshell, pioneering work enabled the rapid development of mRNA vaccines in months rather than years because it is essentially an adaption of basic research which had already been done with MERS CO-V on mice.

        See the Nature articles and associated literature
        https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03626-1
        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2622-0

        Its worth quoting the authors from the second reference:

        “Achieving an effective and rapid vaccine response to a newly emerging virus requires both the precision afforded by structure-based antigen design and a manufacturing platform to shorten time to product availability. Producing cell lines and clinical-grade subunit protein typically takes more than one year, whereas manufacturing nucleic acid vaccines can be achieved in a matter of weeks (ref.). In addition to advantages in manufacturing speed, mRNA vaccines are potently immunogenic and elicit both humoral and cellular immunity(ref.)” (see the original paper for references)

        Since Trump has been all over the place on COVID and an absolute disaster in (mis)managing the pandemic and disseminating all sorts of misinformation. Nonetheless one of his big public positions was the promotion of operation “Warp Speed” and the idea that we would have a vaccine before the end of the year (we know he was aiming for prior to the US election). Of course this is so that he could take the credit, with many of his boot lickers wanting to call it the Trump vaccine.

        Its easy to imagine that Trump would have been extensively briefed on all this at an early stage, meaning that he was aware it was feasible to have a vaccine in less than 12 months, and as he is wont to do , made dozens of public pronouncements, whereas experts and others were much more circumspect.

        One way to potentially fast track the research is to have a high rate of infection to demonstrate efficacy. One way to do this would be the easing of restrictions across the US (designed to slow the spread and flatten the curve) which could have shortened the time frame to achieve statistically significant results. This is exactly what Trump did, even promoting insurrection in States to ignore or resist State based policies.

        Not sure if Trump has the attention span and analytical ability to think this far ahead, but certainly his administration seemed to have been hell bent on pursuing a herd immunity strategy, which had the same effect.

        So would the roll out of the vaccine have been delayed by saving a large fraction of the 350,000 + lives by adopting more cautious public health measures? Surely not by much, and the human cost being so dreadful it is hard to do anything other than condemn the callousness and incompetence of the Trump administration.

        It also puts the lie to Trump and his enablers wanting to take credit for this development. This was vaccine technology that was well understood going back years. There was nothing Trump did that assisted this other than providing some additional funding for R & D, which did not even apply in the Pfizer case.

      • “Claims that Trump’s WARP Speed program was a success is somewhat (or totally) misleading. It is based on the work of researchers going back several years looking at stabilizing the spike proteins from the MERS corona virus ”

        So basically, greatly accelerating the production of a vaccine that was based on previous work (as all vaccines are other than Jenner’s) is meaningless.

        Trump’s Operation Warp speed has been credited by many, including his critics. The program used the military and civilian world, and did what few politicians are willing to do – risked failure with large expenditures. The military is still integrally involved, doing one of the most important functions: logistics. Military success always hinges on good logistics, and handling logistics in trying circumstances, so this makes a lot of sense.

        By guaranteeing payment to some companies, and subsidizing others, he certainly speeded up the process of doing what counts: actually producing and delivering vaccine. By taking on risk from companies, he allowed them to do things they might otherwise have not done.

        It is a substantial achievement, in spite of your sniping.

      • Remember a few months ago when Trumps critics were ridiculing his talk about the vaccines and saying it would take a miracle for a vaccine to be out by the end of the year, and mid-late 2021 was the earliest possible?

        Instead we have two vaccines out before the end of the year, and it looks like two more in February

        Remember when Trumps critics were ridiculing his travel ban and Pelosi was encouraging people to go out into the Chinatown crowds

    • I agree with both posters here.

      Trump’s messaging about COVID19 was terrible.

      But his policies, and the way he mobilized resources, were very good.

      We cannot know if someone else would have done better. Messaging is important in public health, but so is providing critical resources very quickly.

      The initial failure in the US was that of the FDA and CDC, who bungled and delayed early on when there was a chance – perhaps – to control the epidemic. It took Trump’s people stepping on those agencies to get testing rolling, but by then it was too late.

      He gets mocked for rapidly scaling up industry to produce ventilators, but the mockers are fools or liars – when the effort was undertaken, ventilator shortage was feared by all the experts.

      As for mitigation policies – those really are up to the states. The President doesn’t have the statutory or constitutional authority to order lockdowns or other intra-state mitigations.

      And it is interesting to see how little, in the long run, policy differences made. Lockdown crazy California, which had a number of mandates that were not sensible, is second in the nation right now in cases. Arizona, next door and where I live, is number one. The Los Angeles area has higher cases than Arizona, BTW. While we don’t have lockdowns in AZ now, we have the same mitigation measures that were put in place in late June that appeared to end our dramatic summer surge. And yet, things are worse now.

      Anyone who has followed my comments know that I am an advocate of stronger mitigations. But, at this point, I am a bit baffled at the CA/AZ situation.

      Meanwhile, Florida, which has been a constant target of the left for its COVID policies, is far better off than California.

      • > Meanwhile, Florida, which has been a constant target of the left for its COVID policies, is far better off than California.

        As of right now, cumulatively almost the same # of cases per capita while Florida has considerably fewer tests per capita and more deaths per capita. (currently has a significantly higher 7-day case rate average, a higher daily rate average and a higher positive test rate, but also has higher testing rate). As of October, roughly similar drops in GDP (no idea if that’s changed).

        But yeah, Florida is much better off. I see you apply the same standards for comparing states that you use for evaluating Trump’s policies.

      • Read the science – this was not a new technique but was not widely understood outside of the field. Development of an mRNA vaccine is faster. Trump’s intervention did not make it faster and China and Russia apparently were better at it.

        Stay home, avoid crowds, wear a mask, wash your hands. If this had been promoted from the very top, massive lock downs would not have been needed, and along with a coordinated National testing strategy, perhaps the US would have a mortality rate like Canada, and only 150,000 Americans would have died by now.

        Great job Trump, lie about everything from the outset, allow the States to go their own way, ignore the international testing modalities and waste months while the pandemic went out of control.

    • “Trump lost because of his response to Covid19.”

      In the spring I said on Medium that he could lose the election because of his pooh-poohing and foot-dragging.

  61. Big Tech censorship?! What garbage. So Trump gets deplatformed – he can always call a press conference and answer questions from journalists. According to the logic of Trump being censored by Twitter, I should have the right to go on Tucker Carlson’s show and counter all of his crap. Fox News is censoring me!

    • I know. And Judith deleted one of my comments.

      CENSORSHIP!!!!!!

    • Really? Like for example, when Trump had an interview and he told the journalist he’d been spied on during the transition, and the journalist said there’s no proof of that, yet the proof is abundant (anyone remember Carter Page)? Is that what you mean by just going on the mainstream and telling your side of the story?

      Or how about the BBC quoting a Congressperson as saying that Trump ordered the National Guard to stay away during the beginning of the January 6 protest, which is complete BS and wasn’t even challenged on the wonderful, objective, hard-hitting, and not-afraid-to-ask-questions BBC?

      Those in power don’t even want us to hear the other side of the story, even though there are plenty of dissidents who disagree that this election was the fairest in history. Several states, even, believe that the election was rigged, and I’m told that they even protested to the Supreme Court (there’s even talk of secession, imagine that!) But we’re not to hear any of this nonsense anymore, are we? Big Brother is watching out for misinformation.

      Tell me again, who gets to decide what’s “misinformation”? Is that what a free press means, the freedom to stop the other side from telling their story? Because people are too stupid to figure things out, so they have to be told?

    • The ACLU says your wrong. Precisely because you cant go on Fox News and counter all this crap…but Trump can.

  62. Interesting attempts to ridicule. Those worked for a time.
    Fact is, 100 million, probably more see the new administration as coming to power on the heels of a criminal conspiracy.
    What happens from here forward will not be anything America has seen before. You simply cannot ridicule such a large group of citizens into obscurity.
    In reality, they have been set free….

  63. Left-wing violence doesn’t shock anyone. This is par for the course. Most disturbing were his statements about Trump supporters’ children. “Even if Biden wins,” he said, “We go for all the Republican voters, Homeland Security will take their children away and we’ll put them into reeducation camps.”

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/megan-fox/2021/01/13/pbs-lawyer-fired-after-he-was-caught-on-tape-saying-trump-supporters-kids-should-be-taken-away-and-thrown-in-camps-n1335655

  64. President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on all Americans to not engage in any violent demonstrations, vandalism, or lawbreaking ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration.

    “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking, and NO vandalism of any kind,” Trump said. “That is not what I stand for and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”
    https://www.theepochtimes.com/trump-calls-on-americans-to-help-ensure-peaceful-transition-no-violence-and-no-lawbreaking_3655442.html?utm_source=news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2021-01-13-2

    Wait a minute … I thought this deranged person was supposed to be trying to set off a nuke somewhere?

  65. Because this was a survey by Trump friendly pollster John McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associate, the results are not surprising.

    My guess is regardless of a House vote to impeach, the Senate will not vote
    to convict (2/3’s needed), and Trump will not be barred from running for President again in four years. But who knows whether he will be nominated to run in 2024. The GOP may have better choices by then.

  66. WordPress deplatformed The Conservative Treehouse and probably others less prominent.

  67. > But his policies, and the way he mobilized resources, were very good.

    Lol.

    7th in cases per capita, and 20th in testing per capita.

    But yeah, his policies were great. Even though the results sucked. Even though he appointed a herd immunity guru to his task force. Even though he failed to mobilize the most powerful economy in the world to sufficiently produce tests or PPE. Even though he continually downplayed the severity of the virus. Even though he continually said it would just go away (by April). Even though he continually lied about testing. Even though he continually failed to live up to promises on testing.

    It was only his messaging that could have been just a scootch better. If his messaging were just a scootch better he could have convinced more people that his policies were great even though they failed to prevent infections and save lives.
    More owolw would have been convinced his policies were great even though the results sucked – as meso has been convinced.

  68. Everyone note:

    The president Tweeted out to cancel the vice-president, even as a violent mob was calling for Pence after attacking cops as they rioted in the Capitol, because the vice-president said he’d follow the Constition rather than succumb to the president’s personal wishes.

    Talk about the big cancel.

    • And let’s not forget that Jim Jordan wanted to cancel Liz Cheney for having the audacity to have an opinion he didn’t like:

      -snip-
      Jordan says Cheney should resign as House GOP Conference chair as removal petition circulates
      -snip-

      The somewhat less big cancel.

  69. Trump Praised for Accepting Election Results 4 Years Quicker than Hillary Clinton Did.

    https://babylonbee.com/news/trump-praised-for-accepting-election-results-4-years-quicker-than-hillary-clinton-did

  70. Wait! Is she still on twitter?

    Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, a leader in the resist-Trump movement, recently told a New York audience that she will “take out” the president, a video posted online last week shows.

    “Wow, what a moving evening this is,” Waters is heard saying in the video of an Oct. 13 event at the Ali Forney Center in New York City.

    “I’m sitting here listening, watching, absorbing, thinking about Ali even though I never met him. And with this kind of inspiration, I will go and take Trump out tonight,” the California lawmaker said as the crowd cheered.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rep-maxine-waters-says-she-wants-to-take-out-trump

  71. I’m sitting here reading a report from a director of national intelligence that states that China was involved with election interference.
    Fraud proven.
    Military trials incoming
    This entire election has been a military sting operation to take down the deep state.

  72. I tell you why the Trump half of the US is upset about the election results. They have been paying attention to all the flags, and they see that the recounts are lip stick on the pig, to borrow Sarah Palin’s words.

    The mail-in ballots, unlike the absentee ballots, have no verifiable signatures associated, which cannot correlate individual voter identification. That’s where the extraneous printing presses came to play.
    There are serious signals of vote switching, like in Michigan, where 6000 to 8000 Trump votes were switched to Biden. It was explained as ‘glitch’. What glitch? Where and why? Software? Purposely by someone, Surrepticiously by outsiders? Nothing has been explained, at least that I heard of.
    Voting machines were connected to the Internet during the day of voting. In Georgia in Morgan and Spaulding counties voters I.D. could not be cross-referenced and that stopped the vote count. Someone from Dominion remotely accessed the machines and fixed them within a few hours. I assume there was wifi access permitting. There was also a record of a software update after machines had been certified.
    Dominion software had undergone forensic examination and IT experts certified that software permits input via internet. The Dominion manual even tells how to switch votes: Dominion’s instruction manual explains how votes can be wiped away in an instant, with the capability of “dragging and dropping” votes to a separate folder, then deleting that folder entirely.
    Dominion machines, not just their components, were made in China. There is an image on the Internet showing ‘Made in China’ on the cartons, as recorded in a warehouse in Sacramento.
    There were forensic experts testifying before the Georgia legislatures that the vote tally results were ‘statistically impossible’. Gotta trust the scientists, don’t we?

    So, where would a skeptic person gain assurance that there was no serious election interference? The silent FBI stance does not help either, building confidence. After all, Mr. Wray calls Antifa ‘just an idea’. That’s why the Trump troops are not mollified.

    • The MSM did not attend the state hearings into election fraud. The MSM did not report Hunter Bidens financial dealings with China.
      The MSM are part of the conspiracy.
      The politicians bought by China are part of the conspiracy
      The US military will act against the Chinese insurgency as their oath demands.

      • I remember the MSM claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop story was fake news. Heck, the New York Post was suspended from Twitter for writing about it.

        But it is real. Yes, it’s a bizarre story about a bizarre, troubled, sleazy guy. But it’s real. The FBI has the laptop, and Biden is being investigated for tax fraud (at least). And, due to the weirdness of this episode – and Hunter’s carelessness – the contents of the laptop made it into the public domain.

        Now, I don’t know if the FBI will be able to be honest about this, given the way the left will pressure them. Maybe they will roll over, and say “nothing to see here.”

        But, a quite balanced article on this shows the, at a minimum, amazing sleaze of Hunter.

        “The most charitable reading of the sleazy saga is that Joe Biden, one of the most powerful men in the world, is an incredibly gullible idiot.”

        https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/hunter-bidens-guilty-laptop/

  73. “The Speaker said to us just moments ago ‘words matter,’ but apparently those words don’t matter when they’re uttered by Democrats,” Gaetz began his explosive tirade agains hypocrisy.

    “When the gentlelady from Massachusetts calls for ‘unrest in the streets.’ When the gentlelady from California brazenly brags that she called for people to get in the faces of those who serve and support the president.

    “I denounce political violence from all ends of the spectrum,” Gaetz said. “But make no mistake, the left in America has incited far more political violence than the right.
    ADs

    “For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered, and they said nothing, or they cheer-led for it, they fundraised for it, and they allowed it to happen in the greatest country in the world.

    “Now some have sighted the metaphor that the president lit the flame, but they lit actual flames, actual fires, and we had to put them out!”

    https://thepostmillennial.com/watch-matt-gaetz-calls-our-democrat-hypocrisy-on-incitement-of-violence

    • For some of those in the House pushing near round the bend, I see why they might have forgotten last summer. Some of the denizens here surely are much younger and have no excuse for a senior moment. I guess selective memory helps them get through their day.

      “ For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered, and they said nothing, or they cheer-led for it, they fundraised for it, and they allowed it to happen in the greatest country in the world.”

  74. The great regrouping of Global Social Media is just starting.

    Gab LogoIn the last four days 1.7 million new users have signed up to Gab — an alternative site to Twitter. The surge is so strong the site is swamped under the load. Gab are upgrading all the servers to deal with the growth. (The CEO is asking for patience).

    Gab has already been thrown off both the big Ap Stores and Amazon too, back in 2018. To ensure that wouldn’t happen again, they bought and set up their own private servers. (The internet really is hardware, after all).

    They not only set up their own servers, they even created their own web browser (called Dissenter). They also built a video platform (Gab.TV.) and an encrypted email chat messaging service (Chat.Gab.).I have used Dissenter for months. I like it. There are rumours they are working on a Gab Phone as well.

    https://joannenova.com.au/2021/01/gab-surging-has-copies-of-all-trumps-tweets/

  75. It’s hard to write logically about anything when goons are trying to overthrow your country. But let me add this to your stew.

    Let’s start with the Constitution:

    “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.”

    That applies to Congress. Not private citizens. Not companies. The constitution does not require you to turn over your home or businesses or any other property to allow anyone to communicate about anything.

    Especially businesses. (There is one exception that applies to company towns. See Marsh v State of Alabama.) Businesses, especially corporations, are persons (a legal construct). The general principle is that companies are free to do whatever they want to pursue their business, so long as it does not violate other laws. If you are a butcher, you don’t have to sell your meat to someone you dislike. However, your decision cannot violate other people’s fundamental rights. If you decide not to sell to people because they are black or Jewish, then your decision is discriminatory and therefor illegal.

    Said differently, while no one has the absolute right to buy their meat from any specific butcher, they do have the right not to be discriminated against because of their race or religion.

    So, too, goes the rights of social media platforms. They are not government actors, they are private companies trying to generate a profit. That gives them enormous latitude in how they manage their own business affairs. Courts have given corporate management broad rights to operate as they see fit via a principle known as “The Business Judgement Rule.”

    I’ll shorten this. If Fox News can report propaganda and lies (just one of many businesses who choose to make a profit via propaganda and lies), then surely Twitter, Facebook, AWS and any other business has the right not to tell lies, not let users into their “store” and not provide services to those who they, in their “business judgment.” do.

    Those who argue otherwise are arguing that businesses have the obligation to work against its own best interests.

    This is, of course, nonsense. The terms of service of these businesses is their’s to define and enforce as they see fit. If a private company has bad actors on its platform hurting its business or reputation, they are free to de-platform them.

    We can and should pressure businesses to try to do the right thing. We can vote with our dollars and take our business elsewhere. The Congress and the courts can write new laws and establish new standards. Hopefully those would extend to those who profit—at least via the airwaves and cable—through propaganda and lies. But stop trotting out intellectually dishonest arguments to say the Federal Government should take away liberty and freedom of private companies.

    • Chas – you are welcomed to your own opinion, but not your own facts …
      Robber baron, pejorative term for one of the powerful 19th-century American industrialists and financiers who made fortunes by monopolizing huge industries through the formation of trusts, engaging in unethical business practices, exploiting workers, and paying little heed to their customers or competition. Alternatively, those who credit the explosive growth of American capitalism during this period to the indefatigable pursuit of success and material wealth are likely to celebrate these entrepreneurial tycoons as “captains of industry.” Among the sectors in which they compiled their great wealth were the oil, steel, liquor, cotton, textile, and tobacco industries, railroads, and banks.

      It has been argued that these capitalist pioneers were the “antecedents” of the organized crime that emerged in the United States during the Prohibition era (1920–33). The robber barons transformed the wealth of the American frontier into vast financial empires, amassing their fortunes by monopolizing essential industries.

      https://www.britannica.com/topic/robber-baron

    • Chas – you are welcomed to your own opinion, but not your own facts …
      Rob-bber baron, pejorative term for one of the powerful 19th-century American industrialists and financiers who made fortunes by monopolizing huge industries through the formation of trusts, engaging in unnnethical business practices, exploiting workers, and paying little heed to their customers or competition. Alternatively, those who credit the explosive growth of American capitalism during this period to the indefatigable pursuit of success and material wealth are likely to celebrate these entrepreneurial tycoons as “captains of industry.” Among the sectors in which they compiled their great wealth were the oil, steel, liquor, cotton, textile, and tobacco industries, railroads, and banks.

      It has been argued that these capitalist pioneers were the “antecedents” of the organized k r i mmm e that emerged in the United States during the Prohibition era (1920–33). The rob-bbber barons transformed the wealth of the American frontier into vast financial empires, amassing their fortunes by monopolizing essential industries.

      https://www.britannica.com/topic/robber-baron

  76. Kamala Harris, June 2020, on the BLM/Antifa insurrections:
    “But they’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop. They’re not. This is a movement. I’m telling you. They’re not going to stop, and everyone, beware. Because they’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop before election day in November, and they are not going to stop after election day. And everyone should take note of that on both levels. That they’re not going to let up. And they should not, and we should not.”
    https://thenationalpulse.com/analysis/the-insurrection-lie/

    Inciting riot? Probably not, and neither was Trump. Only, now he is, supposedly, just by his mere nods and winks. Maybe the subtle color changes of his hair each day are a cue to those in the know?

    • “Inciting riot? Probably not, and neither was Trump. Only, now he is, supposedly, just by his mere nods and winks. Maybe the subtle color changes of his hair each day are a cue to those in the know?”

      Those who perceive dog whistles are dogs – as some wag pointed out. And that’s what these interpreters are doing with Trump’s words.

  77. Yet we already knew that Anitfa had been there, if from nothing else other than the video of the woman being shot to death which was taken by a known member of Antifa. And everyone on our side is perfectly aware that the so-called “riot” had not been instigated by the President, nor had been supported by him.

    The left nevertheless continue its relentless attack on truth, of which they care nothing about at all, to implant this memory, in the same way the have made Joe McCarthy their standard for political evil even though everything McCarthy said about communist infiltration into the American State Department turned out to be 100% true. So the riot at the Capitol will enter into that same kind of historical record where the lies that are being spread at every turn by the left and their allies becomes the only “truth” they will be willing to acknowledge.

    https://catallaxyfiles.com/

    • We need to be clear, though: there were instigators who were Trump supporters (or at least, qAnon nuts). Denying that is a mistake.

      Yes, the left is continuing its McCarthyite tactics. We must fight that with truth.

    • It seems most of us need to learn safe information hygiene.

      2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Reveals a Rampant Infodemic is Fueling Widespread Mistrust of Societal Leaders
      https://www.edelman.com/trust/2021-trust-barometer/press-release
      “A majority of respondents believe that government leaders (57 percent), business leaders (56 percent), and journalists (59 percent) are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false. The global infodemic has driven trust in all news sources to record lows with social media (35 percent) and owned media (41 percent) the least trusted; traditional media (53 percent) saw the largest drop in trust at eight points. A December Edelman Trust Barometer Post-U.S. Election Flash Poll found a stunning 39-point gap in trust in media between Biden voters (57 percent) and Trump voters (18 percent); a 15-point drop among Trump supporters since November.

      Only one in four respondents practice good information hygiene; news engagement; avoid echo chambers; verify information; and do not amplify unvetted information.
      Among those who practice poor information hygiene there is substantially less willingness to get the vaccine within the first year of its availability (59 percent versus 70 percent for people with good information hygiene). There is even greater hesitancy about the vaccine among Blacks in the U.S., based on past and present medical inequities and mistreatment.
      56 percent believe the pandemic will accelerate the rate at which companies replace human workers with AI and robots.
      52 percent of respondents that have a choice to work from home or their workplace choose to work at home and 58 percent of those cite the risk of contracting Covid-19 while commuting or being in the office as the reason.
      Academic experts (59 percent) and company technical experts (59 percent) remain the most credible spokespeople but experienced an 8-point and 10-point drop, respectively. The largest drop was among regular employees (down 14 points to 40 percent) and a person like yourself (down 7 points to 53 percent).”

  78. Judith’s current tweet on the home page is very relevant here. It by a Doctor who posted on Facebook some information on Vitamin D. Fakebook threatened to delete here account because the “information could cause physical harm.”

    Break them up into tiny pieces.

  79. The Left has has invested their intellectual property over the last 40 years on putting the big hate on free enterprise capitalism and this is their big payoff? That high-tech billionaires can be bought? The productive of our society is saying… meh?

  80. We abhor violent rhetoric … well, unless we are the ones doing it …

    But the level of vitriol and violent rhetoric against now-President Trump has increased substantially in recent weeks, from comedian Kathy Griffin’s now-famous shock “beheading” photograph to Shakespeare in the Park’s not-at-all-subtle “assassination” of Trump on a stage in New York City’s Central Park.

    Unfortunately, Griffin and the director of Julius Caesar are not anomalies in Hollywood; actors, writers, directors, and other celebrities have fantasized about using violence against Trump, his supporters, and other GOP lawmakers for at least the past 18 months.

    Below are 15 examples of celebrities who have used pointed, violent rhetoric to attack the president and other Republicans.

    https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2017/06/14/15-times-celebrities-envisioned-violence-against-trump-and-the-gop/

  81. On January 11, MI, Judge Elsenheimer once again overruled the far left Michigan Secretary Of State and ordered the release of large amounts of 2020 election data.

    According to the court documents provided by Constitutional Attorney Matthew DePerno, MI Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has been ordered to supply him with the following information by February 2, 2021.

    MI Secretary of State has been ordered to produce any correspondences, communications, and documents between the State of Michigan (including but not limited to the Secretary of State’s Office and/or Jocelyn Benson):

    – (a) Antrim County, (b) the Michigan House of Representatives (including but not limited to all members or offices), and (c) the Michigan Senate (including but not limited to members or offices) regarding the 2020 election.

    – (a) the Federal Government. (b) the US House of Representatives (including but not limited to all members or offices), and (c) the US Senate (including but not limited to members or offices) regarding the 2020 election.

    – Dominion Voting Systems regarding the 2020 election.

    – Amazon (or any employee, officer, or director) regarding the 2020 election.

    – Apple (or any employee, officer, or director) regarding the 2020 election.

    – Google (or any employee, officer, or director) regarding the 2020 election.

    – Facebook (or any employee, officer, or director) regarding the 2020 election.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/mi-judge-orders-dem-sec-state-release-communications-dominion-facebook-apple-amazon-google/

  82. Let the healing begin …
    Freshman Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) announced on Wednesday night she will introduce articles of impeachment against Joe Biden on January 21, 2021 over his abuse of power.

    Biden’s son Hunter Biden is currently under investigation over the krim i nal contents contained on his laptop computer that was turned over to federal investigators last year.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/breaking-gop-rep-marjorie-taylor-greene-introduce-articles-impeachment-joe-biden-january-21-abuse-power-video/

  83. Inventor and Stanford researcher Jovan Pulitzer on Tuesday, Jan. 12, released a report of evidence of foreign interference in the November election.

    “Copy of the Foreign Election interference for your review and sharing,” Pulitzer wrote on social media Mewe. “65 foreign countries participated in attacking 7 key states and over 600 county polling locations. This is vetted and factual.”

    In a 36-page report on foreign election interference, Pulitzer highlighted voting irregularities and election fraud in eight states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.

    Here are some points in the report:

    The Chinese systematically gained control over our election system constituting a national security emergency
    The electronic voting machines were compromised and cannot be trusted to provide an accurate vote count
    To restore confidence the “failsafe” of counting the paper ballots must be used to determine who won the election for President, Senators, Congressional Representatives
    Hand counts reported by the media are not really hand counts and easily subverted.

    The researcher said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has “leveraged financial, nongovernmental, and foreign allies including Venezuela to acquire INFLUENCE and CONTROL US Voting Infrastructure in at least 28 states.”

    Pulitzer went on to share that if the invalid ballots were removed from the election results and the remaining valid votes were counted, the current certified results of the 2020 election would be very different at all levels.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/huge-report-shows-numerous-countries-interfered-2020-election-resulting-millions-invalid-ballots-inserted-election/

  84. Ask yourself this – who owns the media ? Last time I checked it was almost completely owned by 5 companies. Social media is similar. Ever wondered why so much of both media is free ? You don’t get something for nothing and the cost is control of your information feed . Trump is not ideal but the rest of the swamp is arguably worse. For the USA the future will tell , but I am glad I can watch this from afar for now.

  85. Judith: Justice Brandeis famously wrote: “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not [government-]enforced silence”. Unfortunately, this ideal doesn’t always work in practice, and it certainly doesn’t apply to private companies like internet platforms. For example, consider the cancel culture on today’s public college campuses. All attempts to potentially education students about competing conservative ideas are shouted down and/or met with violence. “Bad speech” can not be countered by “good speech” under these circumstances. Since speech is an inherently public activity, I question whether freedom of speech should be protect for anonymous speakers (anonymity promotes irresponsibility) or speech funded by anonymous donors. It is clearly time to rethink what freedom of speech means when bad speech can not be remedied by more speech.

    Trump is a classic example of this problem. Trump has 80 million followers on Twitter. Trump tweeted or retweeted an average of 36 times per day in the second half of 2020. If most of your friends are Trump supporters, many of Trump’s tweets will be retweeted to you or forwarded via Facebook or email. It wouldn’t be surprising if a Trump supporter received messages originating from or selected by Trump one or even several hundred times a day. The same message in those tweets is reinforced for those who read Breitbart, the Daily Caller, the Gateway Pundit or a dozen other conservative “news” sites or watch Fox or OAN or listen to conservative talk radio. None of these organizations or their stars can afford to challenge or contradict Trump on ANY important subject. (For example, see Megan Kelly.) This is why Trump has called Twitter his “Megaphone”: Using it, he can drown out any “good” speech that might counter his “bad” speech. This “fire hose” of “Trump-Speak” is far more powerful than the “cancel culture” that dominates some college campuses, and the Trump “cancel culture” is working 24/7/365.

    https://www.statista.com/chart/19561/total-number-of-tweets-from-donald-trump/

    My hypothesis (please challenge it) is that Twitter and other social media have created a “Cult of Trump”. The most obvious “Cult of Trump” and the one most worthy of being characterized as a “cult” is Qanon. According to Wikipedia, Qanon is:

    “a far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against U.S. president Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal. QAnon also commonly asserts that Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as the “Storm”, when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested.”

    Of course, Qanon is not the only conspiracy theory embraced by the Cult of Trump. We have the conspiracy theories involving: Dominion Voting Machines (Sidney Powell has asserted that the vote-stealing code originated with the CIA and came to the US from Venezuela), the 2020 election (that was stolen by fraud in at least six states with thousands of precincts; despite Trump losing by 4.5% nationally and in the non-corrupt suburbs demographically), and “Deep State” that investigated collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign without any justification. (Read the DoJ IG’s report.) Various aspects of these conspiracy theories are religiously believed by those cut off from a variety of sources of information.

    Is our Jim2 trapped in the Cult of Trump? “And everyone on our side is perfectly aware that the so-called “riot” had not been instigated by the President, nor had been supported by him.” “So-called riot”???? Has he read or listened to what Trump said that day and earlier, especially promising a “Wild Time” on January 6. Has he read the legal definition of inciting violence? Has he listened to the argument that a president should be held to a higher standard than the legal definition of inciting violence? (FWIW, I have, and suspect Trump easily could be indicted, but I doubt I would vote to convict on the basis of what I know NOW.). Cut off from other sources of information, Jim2 can’t CONCEIVE that Trump incited violence. FWIW, by demanding that Pence ignore the legally cast Electoral Votes he received from the states, Trump failed to uphold the constitution of the US in the most fundamental and grossest way. Trump want Pence to prevent Congress from exercising its constitutional responsibility to decide which Electoral Votes should be counted.

    Perhaps I’m stretching the use of the term “cult”. For the record, BLM has some elements of a cult that believes the conspiracy theory that police are systematically killing blacks. If Derek Chauvin wanted to kill George Floyd, who in their right mind believes he would have done so in front of a dozen witnesses with video cameras in their phones? According to Fryer’s research, Blacks create a hostile environment for the police, and the police respond with more non-lethal force than would be used against whites under the same circumstances. (If I grew up in a poor black neighborhood, decades of experience with police who sometimes discriminate would probably induce me to believe the conspiracy theory about police killing blacks.) And I’d also say that there is a bit of a cult around Bernie Saunders and the conspiracy theory that the US can be governed accorded to a model of 1960’s Scandinavian socialism. (See link below explaining why even a liberal thinks Bernie’s vision is a fantasy.). The rise of social media has been a powerful factor in the development of the BLM and Bernie phenomena, whether or not you agree with me that they should be provocatively characterized cults or conspiracy theories.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bernie-sanderss-scandinavian-fantasy/2020/02/27/ee894d6e-599f-11ea-9b35-def5a027d470_story.html

    In summary, we need to recognize that “bad” speech is often not remedied by “more speech” in today’s world. What we really need to do is somehow insist that social media present diverse viewpoints or a “marketplace of ideas” to its customers, not echo chambers, and especially not an echo chamber encompassing 80 million Americans.
    https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/03/01/exp-gps-0301-fareeds-take.cnn

    • you say that bad speech cannot be countered by more speech and we need to restrict bad speech, but your justification is an environment where speech is already being restricted, so more speech is not allowed.

      The problem with restricting ‘bad speech’ is “who gets to decide what’s bad”

      The McCarthy era should have taught people this problem, but since history is no longer being taught, we have a generation of people who think that they are always going to be in control, and that history comes with an arrow.

      more speech is the answer, and the fact that you think it can’t work in today’s world points at the root cause that we need to address.

      We need to get back to the old Liberal mantra “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll fight for your right to say it”

      • David: I don’t believe I advocated for the government identifying and restricting bad speech. I explained that today’s social media echo chambers have promoted the development of conspiracy theories, cults, and one massive political “cult of personality” (a term that historians apply to Mao, Stalin and Hitler). I said we need to somehow make social media into a “marketplace of ideas” not a fire hose of speech from one individual that deafens to 80 million Americans to other speech. FWIW, two days ago, I was a devoted believer in the saying the “saying that more speech is the answer to bad speech”. Reviewing the reality of today’s situation caused me to change my mind,

        No, I won’t fight for the right for one person or idea to dominate the information flowing to such a large number of people. That is exactly how totalitarian leaders control their people. Like some other aspects of the free market, social media needs to be regulated so that it functions as a marketplace of competing ideas, not a monopoly that determines the information flowing to large numbers of individuals. (The media that still feels some weakening responsibility to perform the difficult job of researching and presenting multiple perspectives is behind paywalls, and many are being driven out of business by media that offers a single perspective.) You can certainly attract more eyeball and clicks on ads by entertaining readers with articles or videos that promote the biases your software has detected rather than articles or videos that test those biases. The free market on social media creates monopolies in the form of echo chambers and cults. I made the mistake of watching a video of Election Night 2016 to review the decisive moments when Trump was declared the winner; and YouTube is still bombarding me with Trump ads, surveys, and suggested videos. If Biden paid for any ads on Youtube, Youtube never sold my eyeballs to Biden. Watch a video promoting the Lost Cause and dozens of others will be suggested to you. For some reason, Victor Davis Hanson always has a prominent location in my Youtube suggestions. Keeping my eyeballs on their website by appealing to my prejudices is smart business, but destructive to the marketplace of ideas we need them to be.

        More speech IS a great answer to bad speech, if more speech contains “good speech” that can counter the bad speech. More speech is not an answer to bad speech, when there is so much allegedly bad speech that it crowds out all other speech.

        Certain kinds of bad speech are exceptionally powerful and Trump is a master. “Lyin’ Ted”, “Crooked Hillary”, and “Sleepy Joe” are powerful propaganda designed to prevent listeners from assimilating positive information about these Trump competitors. When you hear Cruz’s name, the epithet “Lyin” instantly competes with new information in your conscious. Positive information can only be retained if you consciously resolve the conflicting information; negative information is reinforced. After the election, a friend kept mentioning his fears that “Sleepy Joe” was owned by the Bernie/Liz/AOC wing of the party. I trolled him by calling Trump the “Lyin Loser”. Never before did my replies sound so convincing (self-delusion) and my correspondent quickly begged for a truce.

        McCarthy’s infamous excesses have allowed liberals to rewrite the real and appalling history of Communist penetration into the US government, news media, labor, and Hollywood. If you don’t believe me, I recommend the wartime movie, “Mission to Moscow”. (The screen writer of this movie was one of those blacklisted.) Deputy Secretary of State Alger Hiss and Deputy Secretary of Treasury Harry Dexter White were Communist spies. Four separate Communist networks succeeded in penetrating the Manhattan Project.

        https://www.tcm.com/video/116164/mission-to-moscow-original-trailer
        https://www.tcm.com/video/116164/mission-to-moscow-original-trailer

      • If you think about it, in an ironic twist, the fact that a private sector company can block the freakin’ president, the most powerful person in the world, from using its product is a fairly remarkable indication of how much free speech is respected in this country.

        Of course that could happen in quite a few other countries that take free speech seriously as well. But obviously it could not happen in a place like China, where the government excersises authoritarian control over such matters.

        How ironic that those who style themselves as champions of free speech and defenders against government over-reach, are the ones clamoring for our government to step in and regulate how social media companies can manage their terms of serve agreements regarding their products.

    • “ a far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against U.S. president Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal.”

      I’ve supported Trump for 4 years and until I read that I had no idea what Qanon was. Out of 80 million followers how many believe this lunacy? It’s easy to stereotype and exaggerate but what are the facts? It’s the same insanity with using a broad brush and saying Trump supporters are White Supremacists, which has been charged by Democratic politicians for years. But what are the facts. What percentage would themselves agree they meet that definition? And what is the definition of a White Supremacist? What is the definition of a white nationalist? It’s as subjective as the definition of beauty. Precisely what are a persons beliefs in order to qualify. Does the person who fits that description agree that they have those beliefs up and down the line? Did they check all the boxes to become what some people believe they are? Of course there are individuals who society would say meet those definition. But there are millions of Trump supporters who find that belief system and those actions repugnant and despicable and see it as aberrant behavior.

      For anyone with scientific training , they should know those kinds of over generalizations don’t meet the standards of science.

      • kid –

        > I’ve supported Trump for 4 years and until I read that I had no idea what Qanon was. Out of 80 million followers how many believe this lunacy?

        There are two open Qanon believers that were recently elected as Republican representives in the a House.

        Stop.

      • TWO!

    • Franktoo, it’s my understanding that Trump wasn’t calling for Pence to disregard electoral votes, but to request more time to examine allegations of irregularities before all electoral votes were admitted.

      Regarding the conspiracy against Dominion voting machines, if there’s nothing to see, then let’s see it: let’s have a forensic analysis of the machines. Yet despite the concerns of (Democratic) legislators going back several years regarding voting machines in general, and despite that Texas rejected the Dominion machines twice, now suddenly we’re supposed to believe that all the suspicions about these machine are baseless. The only investigation so far into the use of Dominion machines in 2020 found a whopping 68% adjudication rate.

      Regarding Q, I’m not sure what to say about that can of worms. I think I might sum it up as this: if you believe that Oswald killed JFK, then you wouldn’t believe the Q thing. However, if you believe that this was actually a an operation led by the CIA and assisted by the mafia, as mountains of evidence points to (“JFK and the Unspeakable” and many other books) then you’d believe that the deep state is real. So this is why I’ve said that the JFK affair is really the key to what’s happening today because the truth of that affair tells the truth about how our country, and indeed the world, is really run. If they could pull off the assassination and then cover it up, then what else would they be capable of? And, who was complicit in this cover-up? The mainstream media was, lock, stock and barrel. To believe that Oswald actually did it is just plain absurd, and even a little investigation will reveal the many absurdities with that theory.

      • Deep State as an organized conspiracy doesn’t exist, but Deep State as in long term government employees that think they know better than the Elected representatives of the people and who will try to ignore/modify directives very much exists.

        It’s been a well known joke for decades that the entrenched bureaucrats call themselves the B team, they were there Before you and will Be there After you, so they can slow walk orders until the next election.

        And we have seen this in spades over the last 4 years (for all the bad in Trump’s personality, the fact that he drives the Left even crazier and makes them start shouting their most extreme proposals, not even trying to pretend any more, is valuable service to the country)

      • “they know better than the Elected representatives of the people and who will try to ignore/modify directives very much exists.”

        The fact is long time government employees do have the experience and knowledge to know better than elected officials and the good ones do try to educate politicians and good politicians will adapt their orders to take into account the feedback.

        The question becomes what happens when a politician refuses to listen and pursues paths which the bureaucrats know are going to end in failure? Sometimes bureaucrats are right to block the moves because the politician is an ignorant buffoon, sometimes they are wrong be the politician can see things that they can’t see. The tension makes the job of a bureaucrat difficult but the last thing the country needs are career civil servants that blindly follow orders.

      • “The question becomes what happens when a politician refuses to listen and pursues paths which the bureaucrats know are going to end in failure? ”

        It’s simple: the people elected the politicians. The bureaucrats are supposed to do as the executive demands – within the legal authority.

        When they put their views – their self-perceived expertise – above the elected leaders, they are no better than the seditionists. They are violating the democratic process, and doing it with vast powers delegated to them, and with absurd job protections that the rest of us don’t enjoy.

      • Quote:

        Sometimes bureaucrats are right to block the moves because the politician is an ignorant buffoon, sometimes they are wrong be the politician can see things that they can’t see.

        NO, this is exactly wrong. (assuming that the directive is legal)

        The voters have selected the politician to exercise the judgement and set the policy, not the bureaucrat. The job of the bureaucrat is to implement the policy set forth by the politician. Arguing against it is fine, but substituting the bureaucrat’s judgement for the politician’s is not. Such substitution is precisely the “deep state”

        Yes, the politician may be wrong, but hen they are wrong, the voters can address the problem by replacing them. When the bureaucrat is wrong and ignores the directive of the politician, there is no recourse.

      • “Deep State as an organized conspiracy doesn’t exist.”

        You’ve have researched all the material on the JFK affair and you’ve concluded that the deep state doesn’t exist? Why did Dr. Crenshaw wait some 30 years before publishing his book on what he saw as he examined JFK’s body? Because, he said, if they can do that to a president then they’re not going to worry about taking care of a mere doctor.

        Why did Dylan release “Murder Most Foul” when he did, at the start of the pandemic? What was that about?

        The deep state can steal an election too, and it’s right in front of our eyes. But the deep state doesn’t exist, so therefore no one could have stolen anything. Now I understand.

        Why was voting stopped in key states, when Trump was ahead, in the middle of the night? It was just coincidence, I’m sure. No one has ever conspired to do anything, ever, and even if they did then it was just a conspiracy theory.

    • Franktoo – Fringe elements on both sides can be inspired by just about any speech to do something wrong. They may interpret “Good morning” as some sort of code to go blow up the post office. That does not mean we stop saying “Good morning.” You entire premise is ridiculous. Trump was pursuing a legitimate end regarding the election. You are wrong.

      Another thing, you don’t have a clue what sources of information I use, so your opinion of me is worth exactly zip. You are careless. In the paragraph containing “Is our Jim2 trapped in the Cult of Trump”, you attribute to me a quote from someone else. Sloppy Frank.

      • Jim2: For the record, a text search shows I said nothing about fringe elements. And it shows I correctly quoted you at this link:

        https://judithcurry.com/2021/01/12/the-big-cancel/#comment-940104

        Your repetitious linking to every absurd story about election fraud from the Gateway Pundit made me wonder if you are a bot, or paid to post, or even work for the Internet Research Agency. FWIW, while discussing Ukraine I’ve encountered grossly misleading comments from someone with a remarkable knowledge of Russian history. And seen the same plausible but fake news story posted to 60 different websites and four Youtube videos. There is no doubt that other countries are engaged in such activity.

        You correctly said that I “don’t have a clue what sources of information” you rely on. Then you passed the perfect opportunity to prove me wrong by discussing your sources of information. How many tweets and retweet originating from Trump were you getting every day in the Trump echo chamber? Did you read or view information from anywhere besides the online, TV and radio news I listed? Have you taken the Qanon pledge? (About 1% of the population has Facebook accounts linked to Qanon, apparently including at least one member of Congress.).

        Where is the evidence that proves you aren’t trapped in a “Cult of Trump”? It would make me happy to learn that my paranoia is unjustified.

    • In a system where people lose have jobs or education taken from them for ‘wrongthink’ – eg Suzanne Moore at the Guardian over gender identity – then anonymity allows issues to be raised and opinions to be voiced without repercussions. Think whistleblowers.

      To give an example, on the Russia collusion hoax. It was clearly lacking to anyone who looked at the underlying documents and transcripts. But to state this while Mueller was still investigating was a risk to losing a job for academics and journalists.

      Worse, it was promoted by serious journalists on the basis of a dodgy dossier, paid for by a political opponent – a manufactured conspiracy theory hitjob that led to a $40m investigation of a president, stymieing his ability to reform parts of the US intelligence agencies. ‘Russia-did-it’ was even used, in Congress in 2017, to attempt to overturn the 2016 election result. Was that the Democrats creating a conspiracy theory to foster an insurrection?

      Knowing what ‘conspiracy theories’ are right or wrong necessitates drilling down into the claims. What are the claims? Is there evidence? What are the documents? And then making a judgement – not true or false – but a judgement on the credibility of the claim. Russian collusion had minimal credibility to anyone who investigated the underlying materials – why would Putin back a donkey in a thoroughbred race? On the other hand election fraud has a limited basis with at least some witness statements. Credible? Don’t know – would like someone to look carefully at it and take it apart.

      But this drilling down to the claims requires people talking and debating, some will see more credibility than others. That means arguments about the evidence and its meaning – particularly where there is a political tribal element. So more speech, not less.

      Anyone stating a position without revealing the basis can be dismissed. We can then argue on the meaning and value of contributions based on documents and underpinning facts. Does Smartmatic’s heritage in Venezuela (see Wikileaks) mean that Dominion is unsafe as a system? Doubtful. Did Dominion accidentally record votes to the wrong candidate in one county – yes. Was this machine or human error? Don’t know. Did it affect the final outcome? Probably not. Should we check? Absolutely.

      Similarly, our lesson from the law is a need for consistency. Case law is based on that principle. So if Trump should be criticized for asking for violence (which he actually didn’t in words, but might have done in meaning, depending on how his hyperbole is interpreted), then Democrats need to face equal criticism, and journalists bear a responsibility for calling out actions and speech that support violence. However, MSM has promoted items that were clearly wrong, while burying stories that were clearly true and important creating a gaping hole for alternative narratives. Let’s have fair and due process and a continually skeptical press – not the narrative merchants we have now.

  86. None of the Trump cult can explain why “Trump Judges” (their words) rejected their allegations of substantive electoral fraud. Again and again and again and again and again. So they just ignore that gigantic in the room! They will NOT talk about this. It’s amazing, fact free logic. Brought to you by tens of millions of Americans. And even with that huge elephant lumbering around they persist in those allegations! What is wrong with those people? Can you call it mental illness at this stage? Its like a gambler pulling on the one armed bandit a thousand times because one time in the distant past it delivered something nice. Surely you know how it ends, it will take your money, and your dignity and spit you back out into the real world, and you will still be as incoherent as when you started. And how many of you (here reading this) believe that democrats eat babies? Or spread the rumor that they eat babies? It is just so weird and perverted (to believe such a horrible thing), and it reminds me of the Hitler films depicting Jews as rats. But that was a different time when education was not that well developed. How on earth, with all the internet has to offer, did people even find such crazy rabbit holes? And then to dive in and go completely Squirrelly. It seems to me to be a weird child produced when Stockholm Syndrome took some LSD before procreating with addictive personality disorder. Maybe it has a cool name? Fact is, Liz Chaney, Mike Pence, and dozens of Democrats were within minutes of being murdered by the mob a week ago, but Pence is so scared of Trump that he is cool with it. He has only another week of the nightmare and its probably over. But for the rest of the USA, the nightmare continues. And those squirrelly occupants of rabbit holes help make the nightmare recur over and over and over again. .

    • “Indeed, this Court has repeatedly emphasized the imperative of settling the governing rules in advance of the next election, in order to promote the public confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes that is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy.” Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1, 4 (2006). This case presents a vital and unique
      opportunity to do precisely that.”

      There were lax procedures and irregularities aplenty. To my knowledge – no evidence has been heard or tested. What came from Democrats was delaying tactics – and from the anti-Trump cult the fiction that there is nothing to see. This is working its way through to the Supreme Court and is listed to be mentioned again in February or March.

      Brian’s purple prose makes no sense at all and is just standard cancel culture rhetoric of the progressive brand. Tedious hypocrisy that is way beyond the pale.

    • No, the nightmare is not over for Pence, Cheney, Raffensperger and probably dozens of others. A usurper is about to take over the White House, and these traitors let it happen. The Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Michigan Wolverines, and a dozen other militias still exists – the good people Trump refused to denounce after Charlottesville. About a dozen groups have quietly signed consent agreements promising never to return to Charlottesville in return for avoiding prosecution and I encountered those documents. They actively recruit disgruntled police and former military. Some Capitol Police are being investigated for fraternizing with the invaders and possibly cooperating with them. Check out the Southern Poverty Law Center for a comprehensive list of US hate groups.

      (There were a few left-wing militias at Charlottesville too, including John Brown Gun Clubs, aka Redneck Revolt, which provided armed “security” at the Seattle Autonomous zone. However, the FBI says that Antifa is an ad hoc collection of protesters who claim to be opposing fascism, not a centrally organized group. Members of left-wing militia may participate.)

      • The fact that you consider the SPLC an authoritative source on hate groups completely destroys your credibility.

      • Actually, Trump has denounced right-wing violence numerous times, just as he is doing now. That he hadn’t is another fiction that the media continues to press upon us.

        And no, the facts haven’t been thoroughly looked at by the courts and dismissed, another fiction. One glaring fact is that even though we were warned for years by Democratic Senators Warren and Klobuchar (and others) about potential security problems with our voting machines, for the most part scrutiny of these has been avoided. The one exception is the machines in Michigan, which were found to be highly flawed as they had a 68% adjudication rate. Once in adjudication, it’s extremely easy for the adjudicator to change votes, and we know that there was no oversight with these Michigan adjudications and no audit trail. So again we have the fiction repeated over and over that we’ve looked at this election and everything is baseless. The bald fact is that we haven’t looked with any intent toward real due diligence.

      • > The bald fact is that we haven’t looked with any intent toward real due diligence.

        Yah. You know, you’d think that if just once someone could do a hand recount of the machine tallies as a kind of gross-validation, in one of the places where the honest yet concerned Trump loyalists claimed the machine counts were fraudulent….

        Maybe even have the recounts overseen by lifting Republicans as a king of bias-check…

        I mean it’s not like those claiming fraud want to change the results of the election, they just want to make sure the counts are right…

        I’m sure if there’s some cross-validation they’ll happily go along with the democratic process – because they’re true patriots and that’s what true patriots would obviously do. I mean they must be true ptriots, right. I mean the literally cover themselves with the flag sometimes, and say they want to take he country back from yhe commies.

        I mean their leader actually hugs flags on stage. It’s not like they could be fooled by a cheap sideshow-barker charlatan, rught?

      • > if cases keep getting thrown out for standing then the plaintiff needs to fire their lawyers. Lawyers are supposed to know when standing does not exist and should have told their client that they had no business wasting the courts time.

        That’s assuming that the real goal was to actually win the cases. In this situation, they’re prolly good enough lawyers to know they didn’t have a chance of winning the cases – but they had a different goal; to create enough of a smokescreen to advance the personal and political fortunes of Trump, in one way or another, irrespective of the legal merits of their case.

      • Davidlang: After the press didn’t inform me about the “good people” who came to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, I spent some time personally investigating who they might be and whether any other “good people” would be willing to be seen with them. The SPLC certainly wasn’t MY first choice of resources, but they turn out to have the most useful information (usually with quotes from news reports). For the record, they also cover Black Separarist Groups and Left Wing militias (but not Antifa or BLM) as well as a large list of “hate groups” on the right. Many have entries in Wikipedia, but that is a fairly liberal source of information too. However, I also went and you can go to their websites (which they use for recruiting) and see pictures or videos of them training in pseudo-military uniform. Or a list of first aid supplies to bring when fighting to prevent Hillary (aka Herr Hitlery) from confiscating their guns, or perhaps when invading the Capitol. To troll a friend, I sent him a link to the Oath Keepers website with information on their plans to come to Washington DC on January 6, and suggested he may want to join. That group was reported as being in military style uniforms inside the Capitol. Interestingly, the SPLC tells me that the Oath Keepers were serving as election observers for Trump in 2016. It hadn’t dawned on me that some affidavits alleging fraud in 2020 may have come from these groups. BTW: The Oath Keepers claims 10,000 members in Virginia and seek out former law enforcement and military.

        https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/groups?keyword=antifa

        So I repeat, those who have stood up to (or betrayed, if you prefer) Trump are in danger.

      • “The SPLC certainly wasn’t MY first choice of resources, but they turn out to have the most useful information (usually with quotes from news reports). ”

        Their information is only useful if you recognize that they are a propaganda outlet, one for the left. SPLC once was a fairly decent civil rights group. But it is now an anti-right group. Like the ACLU, the SPLC makes sure to show that they are unbiased by supposedly going after both sides.

        Don’t be fooled. And look up the history of their founder, and also ask why many of their near billion dollar funds are in the Caymans.

      • Joshua hasn’t been paying attention, again. He fails to recognize that the ballots were counted in Cobb county, which is of no consequence, and never in Fulton county, which is of huge consequence.

        Tell me, Josh, why doesn’t anyone want to look at those voting machines? Does it have anything to do with the fact that when they did look, they found massive problems?

        It’s very simple: you say there’s nothing to see. OK, I believe you, but I’m from the “trust but verify” school, so let’s have a look. But no, we’re not going to do that because we don’t want anyone verifying anything, do we?

    • Why judges refused to review evidence and instead dismissed cases on procedural grounds is something a lot of people would like to understand. We would like someone to make a fair judgement of the credibility of the witnesses. How can you have a fair election if justices refuse to review complaints? Is there an issue with the law itself that makes it hard to bring cases, or is there an institutional issue that judges want to keep out of elections?

      Your remark about “minutes of being murdered” is empty hyperbole with zero evidence to support it – tin rattling to make a scary noise. Those who entered the Capitol did minimal harm in the building. They left without a siege, took no hostages, fired no guns. It was an opportunistic entry by protesters who got lucky due to a lack of policing (deliberate lack?) who then didn’t know what to do. If it had been pre-meditated and directed towards a real coup weapons would have been drawn, and they would have caused much more bloodshed. In constrast, Antifa, on past performance, would have torched the building and destroyed the artworks and beaten the police officers to a pulp.

      • Nullis: Sometimes a judge is presented with evidence of irregularities he can’t do anything about. Suppose election officials have installed drop boxes for absentee ballots that Trump attorneys have alleged were insecure and presented enhanced opportunity for fraud. It’s too late to segregate the ballots from these drop boxes and check them for signs of fraud. No one knows how many such ballots contained votes for Trump and how many contained votes for Biden. The remedy proposed by Trump’s attorney was to discard ALL mail in ballots in a large area. No judge was going to do that based on the mere possibility of fraud, or even a few case of likely fraud. So the judge rules against Trump and says the Trump campaign should have brought the problem to the judge’s attention BEFORE the election, when a practical solution to the problem might have been available. It’s not totally satisfying. However, Biden could find minor flaws in procedures in districts with many Trump voters and try to eliminate their ballots. (Some of the local law firms retained by the RNC before the election eventually abandoned Trump as a client when they discovered the weakness of the allegations they were being asked to pursue.)

        IIRC, the recount in Florida in 2000 ran into problems when the Florida courts ruled that different standards of counting could be used in different counties. The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that this process was unconstitutional (and one of the two admitted the problem was real, but not serious enough to require correction given the limited time). The infamous 5-4 ruling ordered Florida to not restart recounting under a uniform standard, because it was too close to Save Harbor Day to finish a recount and properly review the results. Safe Harbor Day is the date by which results needed to be certified to protect the state from future lawsuits and guarantee Florida’s Electoral Votes would be cast. Some of Trump’s allegations emerged in December when it was too late for the courts to intervene. State legislatures could still intervene, but none chose to do so. Congress had a month to investigate before they voted to accept Electoral Votes on January 6, but they didn’t do so. At the last minute, Cruz and Holly proposed waiting for 10 days to investigate, but the law under which the new Congress was acting required Congress to deal with Electoral Votes on January 6. And we all know that whatever investigation was held, another Giuliani/Powell circus would further inflame the Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol and wouldn’t change any Democrat’s votes.

        Fortunately, in the decisive states in the Electoral College of PA and WI, the margin was a robust 1.2% (80,000 votes) and 0.6% (20,000 votes) -exactly the same as in 2016.

      • @Frank. You’re suggesting that failures of election procedures can take place, but judges can’t correct for it, and the result has to stand regardless.

        I also believe there were cases presented before the election about process, but these too were thrown out, including up to Supreme Court level. It leads to a feeling of “Can’t fixed it before. Can’t fix it afterwards.” Election oversight needs to be better than this.

    • “Why judges refused to review evidence and instead dismissed cases on procedural grounds is something a lot of people would like to understand.”

      60+ cases were filed. Some of them required the evidence to be reviewed and even Trump judges were scathing in their dismissal of the so called “evidence”. It is mostly hearsay and obviously false claims.

      Every Trump supporter needs to remember: when a judge reviews the evidence the judge looks at the counter arguments. The judge does not simply dismiss the counter arguments like they do on Fox News. i.e. when Powell claimed the machines were rigged Georgia pointed out they did an audit of a paper ballots. That response tells a judge that the claim of rigged machines is most likely false even without a hearing into the evidence.

      So it is wrong to say the evidence was not reviewed. The standing questions are a key aspect US legal system and if cases keep getting thrown out for standing then the plaintiff needs to fire their lawyers. Lawyers are supposed to know when standing does not exist and should have told their client that they had no business wasting the courts time.

      • ‘Mostly’. That’s the problem.

        The lawyers were experienced, so they must have thought there was standing, but apparently they were wrong – dozens of times. Even lawyers for the states.

        Justice, particularly around elections, has to be seen to be done – ie transparently and visibly. The process of an election must leave voters comfortable that the vote was carried out correctly and fairly. Currently, according to Yougov, 63% of the US population believes some level of fraud took place. Some level of review is absolutely needed in order to regain trust in the system.

      • “The lawyers were experienced, so they must have thought there was standing, but apparently they were wrong ”

        More likely they were bringing the suits for political purposes and never expected them to be accepted. They clearly served their purpose because now we have the “no court considered the evidence” talking point being repeated ad infinitum.

        “Justice, particularly around elections, has to be seen to be done – ie transparently and visibly.”

        This is literally the same as boy killing his parents and then asking for mercy because he is an orphan.

        The only reason Trump supporters think there was a problem is because Trump and his sycophants keep repeating false claims long after they be completely debunked by the various authorities. No “inquiry” will stop Trump from repeating lies so no inquiry can fix this. So why bother?

      • @TimG. “More likely they were bringing the suits for political purposes and never expected them to be accepted.” – what evidence do you base this statement on? It seems to be a dismissal by hand-waving.

        You’ve completely lost me on the ‘boy killing parent’ analogy. Justice is a process, and has to be seen to be done. 63% believing some fraud took place is a big institutional problem that can only be rectified with appropriate inquiries. It has nothing to do with post-event plea-bargaining.

        The issue is that there is a problem is because some of the claims look credible, yet have just been dismissed without apparent investigation – so, for them, no debunking ever happened. More hand-waving. Maybe I missed it. Where is the investigative work that has taken place to debunk the most credible claims?

      • “what evidence do you base this statement on? It seems to be a dismissal by hand-waving.”

        The Texas lawsuit is good example:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_v._Pennsylvania
        It was panned even by Trump friendly lawyers like Alan Dershowitz who said it was “far-fetched”.
        While I can’t read the minds of the AGs that signed on, but given the near universal belief among law experts that the suit had no merit the only reasonable conclusions are the AGs are completely incompetent or motivated by reasons other than legal considerations. I assume the latter.

        “The issue is that there is a problem is because some of the claims look credible, yet have just been dismissed without apparent investigation”

        The claims I have seen fall into two categories:

        1) claims that have been reasonably refuted by the authorities running the elections (e.g. problems with machine counting).
        2) claims that may have merit but the requested remedy was unacceptable due to the doctrine of laches.

        The question of the constitutionality of the mail in voting changes in Pennsylvania is a good example of 2). If a law is ruled unconstitutional then the law has no effect in the future. Up until the ruling was made the law was still valid and no one should expect that legal votes cast in past elections be tossed because of the court ruling. Nor can anyone argue that elections conducted under the old law are “fraudulent” because eligible voters cast ballots following the laws that were in force at the time. Yet this is what Trump supporters insisted on doing.

        While it would be a useful exercise for states to conduct reviews of procedures before the next election none of the issues that fall under 2) would invalidate the past election.

        Unfortunately, it is not in the political interest of Trump supporters to explain these finer points of law so we have the problem we have today. No inquiry will fix the problem for the same reason.

  87. UK-Weather Lass

    As Mark Twain wrote, ‘Whenever the human race assembles to a number exceeding four, it cannot stand free speech‘.

    I guess for some among us the ‘safe number’ is exceeded when it becomes greater than one (including the woke united voice).

  88. Tom Rice – who voted in favor of the Electoral College objections raised by Republicans in Arizona and Pennsylvania, and also voted in favor of impeaching dear leader.

    (Keep in mind, I think, he said this prior to Trump’s most recent “hostage video”)

    “Once the violence began, when the Capitol was under siege, when the Capitol Police were being beaten and killed, and when the Vice President and the Congress were being locked down, the President was watching and tweeted about the Vice President’s lack of courage.

    “For hours while the riot continued, the President communicated only on Twitter and offered only weak requests for restraint …

    “… It has been a week since so many were injured, the United States Capitol was ransacked, and six people were killed, including two police officers. Yet, the President has not addressed the nation to ask for calm. He has not visited the injured and grieving. He has not offered condolences. Yesterday in a press briefing at the border, he said his comments were ‘perfectly appropriate.'”

    Well, clearly Tom Rice has some combination of a “small mind” and TDS.

  89. My bar of expectations for Republicans has been pretty low but finally a few Republicans have managed to get above it.

    The Jolt: Election deniers in state Senate stripped of chairmanships

    It’s payback time. The Republican rift in the state Senate came to a head Tuesday when Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan demoted three Republican senators who have backed attempts to overturn the presidential vote in Georgia over baseless allegations of irregularities.

    When the bloodletting was over, state Sens. Brandon Beach of Alpharetta, Matt Brass of Newnan and Burt Jones of Jackson were sapped of their political influence on the second day of the winter session.

    As our AJC colleague Maya T. Prabhu reports, Duncan stripped Beach of his chairmanship of the Transportation Committee, while Jones will no longer lead the Insurance and Labor Committee. Neither will serve as even a rank-and-file member on the two panels they once led.

    https://www.ajc.com/politics/politics-blog/the-jolt-election-deniers-in-state-senate-stripped-of-chairmanships/KAWCPO4DDBAKLHIMQS3PJ2JKXM/

  90. es, Marjorie Taylor Greene is wearing a mask that says “CENSORED” as she speaks into a microphone on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to national TV.

  91. When I said Trump lost because of his response to the pandemic, I kind of forgot about the other stuff! “The Russia Hoax” Now, who came up with that catchphrase? Swooning over Putin made many good republicans physically ill. Forget about Hunter Biden for one second, what if he was just a cover? Who benefits if American weapons and aid is delayed when Ukraine and Russia are at war? And before Trump even became president, the republican party (actually Manafort) changed how they would interact with Ukraine, in their party policy documents. Many Republicans were stunned about that! And when he makes out with the American flag, I feel l am being forced to watch an indecent act on tv. Gross. I mean, you cannot let it touch the ground or burn it, but its ok to ogle it and fondle it? That’s just creepy. And what can you even do with a flag that has been desecrated like that? Dominion, why the hell are you still beating that dead chicken?. They hand counted the ballots from Georgia, and the numbers came up the same. And that means that the claims were BS, before, BS during, and BS after the election. “Your remark about “minutes of being murdered” is empty hyperbole with zero evidence to support it”, Really? So the guys with enough ziptie handcuffs to immobilize 50 people each were imaginary? And the gallows was imaginary? and “hang Mike Pence” chants was imaginary? Plus, not all of congress got out right away, some had a line of sight to the first protesters who broke onto the floor before they got evacuated. Plus, one of the Q congresswomen tweeted that Pelosi wasn’t on the floor while they were in hiding. Lets play clue, shall we? Why on earth would she do that? Perhaps the assassination squad had limited members and time for their search? I find it extraordinary that your Capitol building got breached and all you can do is shrug your shoulders. Apparently they were just fun loving guys ( with spears, Mace, bear spray, handcuffs, bombs, etc. Just day trippers looking for souvenirs. ).

  92. The truth is out there for anyone who wants to see it. Many do not.
    https://navarroreport.com/

  93. The Navarrone report, eh? Honestly, is that the best you can do? Propaganda directly from a high up Trump fan. Dig deeper into the rabbit hole. Lots of nuts to be found. Just keep digging.

  94. FLASHBACK: Hundreds Of Violent Left-Wing Rioters Smashed Windows, Set Limousine On Fire In Washington DC During President Trump’s Inauguration In 2017; Government Later Dropped ALL CHARGES Against The Rioters

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/flashback-hundreds-violent-left-wing-rioters-smashed-windows-set-limousine-fire-washington-dc-president-trumps-inauguration-2017-government-later-dropped-charges-aga/

  95. From the Wyoming Republican committee about Liz Cheney’s vote to impeach.

    “ There has not been a time during our tenure when we have seen this type of an outcry from our fellow Republicans, with the anger and frustration being palpable in the comments we have received. Our telephone has not stopped ringing, our email is filling up, and our website has seen more traffic than at any previous time,” the Wyoming GOP said in a statement. “The consensus is clear that those who are reaching out to the Party vehemently disagree with Representative Cheney’s decision and actions.”

    The GOP Elephant has a long memory.

  96. TRENDING: CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Antifa Protester John Sullivan Brags About Posing As Trump Supporter, Breaking Window At US Capitol Building During Riots

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/caught-video-antifa-protester-john-sullivan-brags-posing-trump-supporter-breaking-window-us-capitol-building-riots/

  97. Just random, I typed “the gateway pundit and snopes into my search bar and I got this back “Snopes then attacks The Gateway Pundit for calling for a Catholic and Christian prayer rally at the statue. Snopes– “this prayer event was organized by the proprietor of a far-right conspiracy website” You see, Jim2, you will never get a nourishing media diet if you just eat right wing lean Meat all the time. It just isn’t healthy. Comedy helps. Can you laugh at this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHv0RExQsPQ&fbclid=IwAR37oMRd1NNzZQvqs1IHb_sCjEL8Kdb2r_MmqJxc9LRAxeWJEJWo0nS1cNI

    • Nice try Brian. But the question is, are the above articles on Gateway Pundit the truth. Also, you have no clue what sources of information I have. I post some items because I know no one will ever see them on YSM outlets.

    • Also, for the record, Snopes is probably less reliable than GWP.

  98. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/mccabe-says-trumps-message-demanding-peace-denouncing-violence-actually-coded-language-dog-whistle-base-fight-video/

    OK, Trump called for non-violence, but really that was coded language and dog-whistles, according to Andrew McCabe. Now I get it! There’s a secret language Trump is using, and what he’s actually saying is: get out there and burn stuff and hit people!

    Sometimes I really am too dense. I’m so happy that the mainstream media is here to get my mind right.

  99. Another violent leftist was arrested on Wednesday for partaking in the US Capitol protest turned Antifa riot.
    Aaron Mostofsky, is a registered Democrat. He is the latest Antifa rioter who was identified at the Capitol on January 6th.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/another-leftist-arrested-capital-protest-identified-democrat-34-year-old-son-new-york-judge/

  100. From Reason …

    No, AOC, It’s Not the Government’s Job to ‘Rein in Our Media’
    The First Amendment doesn’t come with an exception for “disinformation.”

    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) told her social media followers earlier this week that Democrats in Congress might respond to the Capitol riot with some sort of “media literacy” initiative.

    The phrase media literacy ordinarily implies helping individuals make sense of the media landscape, but AOC seems to have more in mind than that: She suggested “we’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation.”

    It’s true that both traditional media and social media sometimes spread “disinformation and misinformation.” But the federal government has no formal role to play in suppressing its spread. The First Amendment explicitly bars Congress from infringing on freedom of the press or freedom of speech, and the Supreme Court has recognized no exceptions for disinformation.
    (My bold)

    https://reason.com/2021/01/14/aoc-rein-in-our-media-literacy-trump-capitol-rots/

    • However, those who used the public airwaves once had a responsibility to present opposing views – which used up some of the time they could exercise their freedom to speak. The idea was to provide a marketplace of ideas, not an echo chamber where one perspective was free to drown out all others.

      If Congress chooses to consider Internet Platforms to be public utilities (and the Supreme Court agrees), then Congress can try to regulate speech on them. The American system of government IS critically interested in the spread of information and disinformation, because democracy is based on the idea that ordinary Americans can learn enough truth to do a good job of choosing their leader and representatives. Democracy is no different from totalitarianism is all citizens have is disinformation. Current Supreme Court doctrine surrounding the Freedom of Speech is based on the idea that the best solution for bad speech is more speech, not silencing of bad speech by the government. Supreme Court doctrine can change when experience shows it is wrong. (See “separate, but equal”). On college campuses, conservatives know that cancel culture drowns out more/good speech, so it can’t be heard. In social media, people occupy loud echo chambers, where there is no opportunity for “more speech” to penetration. The result is obvious cults and conspiracy theories, like Qanon, and less obvious cult-like phenomena such as: 1) A belief in a Deep State, 2) A belief that the police systematically kill minorities, 3) A belief that failed 1960’s Scandinavian socialism is a viable program for America, 4) A belief that American has been irredeemably racist since 1619 and that minority races can never be equal without compensation for racism – except for the Japanese who were interned during WWII of course. 5) A belief that the FBI’s investigation into collusions with Russian interference in the 2016 election was not fully justified. 6) A belief that the FBI was out to get Trump, despite their failure to leak the existence of their investigation and the Dossier before the Election. (Instead they re-opened the HRC email investigation.) It is clear to me that more speech is failing to penetrate the cults and conspiracy theories that naturally grow like cancers in social media echo chambers. Four years ago, a single heroic conspiracy theorist drove hundreds of miles to the Cosmic Ping Pong Pizzeria to put an end to the mythical Podesta child sex ring. Today 3 million users connect with Qanon on Facebook and our Nation’s Capitol has been occupied by members of a Cult of Trump nurtured by Trump’s Twitter megaphone. That megaphone has been taken away by Silicon Valley oligarchs and their liberal army.

      • Franktoo wrote in part, “However, those who used the public airwaves once had a responsibility to present opposing views … ”

        And in 1987 that responsibility was removed …

        In August 5, 1987, under FCC Chairman Dennis R. Patrick, the FCC abolished the doctrine by a 4–0 vote, in the Syracuse Peace Council decision,[27] which was upheld by a panel of the Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit in February 1989 …

        The intrusion by government into the content of programming occasioned by the enforcement of [the Fairness Doctrine] restricts the journalistic freedom of broadcasters … [and] actually inhibits the presentation of controversial issues of public importance to the detriment of the public and the degradation of the editorial prerogative of broadcast journalists.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine

        While in the current era of the internet the fairness doctrine looks quaint, “fairness” is still important to many people … for some definition of “fairness.”

  101. Watching cable. Non-ending Trump obsession and fear-focus on terrorism.

    OK, but can’t we at meat have some mention of Biden’s stimulus package or Flint?

    Jesus.

    Meanwhile, speaking of Trump obsession:

    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/

  102. Why does Amazon AWS not kick off Twitter and Facebook???

    If Trump’s behavior on Twitter was grounds for a permanent ban, why are officials from autocratic governments allowed to continue using the site to spread propaganda, justify repressive violence, and promote conspiracy theories? Surely, justifying genocide is as egregious an offense as justifying an insurrection. Trump’s ban has led some Iranian activists to call for the Khamenei account to be banned as well. Outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai got in on the action, asking why Khamenei tweets calling for the destruction of the “Zionist regime” don’t also constitute “glorifying violence.”

    https://slate.com/technology/2021/01/twitter-trump-dictators-iran-china.html

    According to Intricately, the top ten AWS users based on EC2 monthly spend are:

    Netflix: $19 million
    Twitch: $15 million
    LinkedIn: $13 million
    Facebook: $11 million
    Turner Broadcasting: $10 million
    BBC: $9 million
    Baidu: $9 million
    ESPN: $8 million
    Adobe: $8 million
    Twitter: $7 million

    https://www.contino.io/insights/whos-using-aws

  103. From the WSJ …

    Jack Dorsey Has Second Thoughts
    The politicization of technology jeopardizes the ‘open internet’ itself.
    [ … ]
    In a series of Twitter posts on Wednesday, Mr. Dorsey commented on Twitter’s banning of President Trump, and the crushing of Parler, Twitter’s competitor, in the wake of the Capitol riot. The CEO maintained that his ban on Mr. Trump was necessary but expressed unease about “the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”

    That’s when it got interesting. “The check and accountability on this power,” Mr. Dorsey explained, had been that “if folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service.” But “this concept was challenged last week when a number of foundational internet providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/jack-dorsey-has-second-thoughts-11610667168

  104. “I’ve supported Trump for 4 years and until I read that I had no idea what Qanon was. Out of 80 million followers how many believe this lunacy? It’s easy to stereotype and exaggerate but what are the facts? It’s the same insanity with using a broad brush and saying Trump supporters are White Supremacists, which has been charged by Democratic politicians for years. ”

    Same here. I heard a little bit about it last summer, but nothing definitive until a few days ago. There are also some neo-Nazi’s out there, and I’ve never run into one. I’ve seen a bit of anti-semitic speech in comment sections on a couple of blogs, which is disgusting, but the anti-semites seem to be hiding somewhere else.

    At the same time, I knew little about Antifa until three years ago, when I observed and spoke to them at an anti-Trump rally, and the especially when they started harassing and threatening and obstructing a member of my family, a Republican nominee for office.

  105. Then at the 34:30 minute marker Rudy shares:

    Something very serious has gone wrong with us. Much more serious than we realize. The erosion of our rights. The attack on our rights. The oligarchs taking control of our country. Is very, very dangerous. And the way in which they change reality, turn it around completely. Take a situation that was orchestrated by rioters and attribute it to decent people who have a difference of opinion to prevailing wisdom that must prevail otherwise your rights are taken away. There’s a difference of opinion and a strong one. The difference of opinion is supported by many facts, many details, videos, scientific analysis, 1,000 affidavits. It’s not just a whim or a guess or a thought. Much of it is provable fact. If we can’t discuss that in this country. If we can’t discuss that without people being threatened by jail, without people losing their jobs, without people losing their ability to go about their lives normally, then this country has changed in a way that we have got to change back to what it used to be. A country in which we can freely express our opinions.”

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/oligarchs-taking-control-country-rudy-giuliani-capital-frame-last-week-big-tech-censorship/

    • The oligarchs are taking control of our country? Aren’t Trump and his original cabinet of billionaires and big donors part of the oligarchy in this country. And they, likely Putin (possibly the richest man in the world) and the Russian oligarchs know how to appeal to those who feel left behind. Trump even admits that he feels more comfortable dealing with totalaritarian leaders than democratically-elected ones.

      There may be a difference of opinion, but the courts have rendered their verdicts, Guiliani’s rejected and new allegations of fraud failed to induce the Republican state legislators to replace the legally-certified Electors the voters have chosen, the Republican-controlled Senate failed for six weeks to hold a timely hearings on Giuliani’s allegation, and Congress has accepted those Electoral Votes. It’s over. Stop the whining that gave the Democrats control of the Senate.

      You can only discuss your opinions only if you don’t incite your audience to violence or ally with domestic terrorists. At the moment, dozens of Republicans apparently fear retaliation if they prefer verdicts returned by real courts, not the kangaroo courts Giuliani has appeared in front of where only he gets to present evidence. Several dozen administration officials have resigned in protest.

      Clearly no one is stopping Giuliani from expressing his opinions – over and over and over and over. The only ones still listening belong to the Cult of Trump.

  106. Red Sox legend Curt Schilling is saying on Twitter that his insurance company, AIG, canceled his policy because of his online persona. Schilling is a vocal Donald Trump supporter, shares Trump’s view that the election result was fraudulent, and even tweeted support for last week’s riots at the Capitol.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/curt-schilling-says-insurance-canceled-due-to-social-media-profile/

    • Schilling is a divisive abuser, not a victim: “You cowards sat on your hands, did nothing while liberal trash looted rioted and burned for air Jordan’s and big screens,” Schilling tweeted in part at 11:52 p.m. Wednesday. “sit back [shut up] and watch folks start a confrontation for [expletive] that matters like rights, democracy and the end of [government] corruption. #itshappening.”

      https://www.providencejournal.com/story/news/politics/2021/01/08/curt-schilling-tweets-support-capitol-riot/6593304002/

      Schilling has deactivated his Twitter account, so we can’t read any other tweets that might have offended AIG. But there is plenty left on the Internet. Shilling’s offensive tweets have caused him to be suspended and then later fired by ESPN. He then had a show on Breitbart, then a podcast, and now apparently nothing – not even an insurance policy.

      Of course, Trump is a hero to guys like Shilling, because Trump has gotten away with being politically-incorrect, abusive and divisive all of his life: asserting that Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists, surviving Access Hollywood tape, saying there were good people on both sides in Charlottesville, etc. Trump’s behavior has energized right-wing extremists of all kinds, so that even Trump’s DHS says right-wing extremists (not BLM protesters) pose the greatest threat to our national security. Trump finally went too far on January 6: denouncing Pence for upholding the Constitution by submitting legally cast Electoral Votes for Congressional approval and tweeting that he “loved” the “very special” people who had attended his rally. After leading his outraged supporters to the Capitol, some invaded and occupied the building for hours, while Trump did nothing to stop them. (Now we know who the good people in Charlottesville were – anyone who supported Trump, no matter how ugly they may be.)

      Schilling obviously hasn’t learned his lesson, if you are abusive and divisive many decent people don’t want to have anything to do with you, even if they might agree with your complaints. The important question is whether the Republican Party has learned its lesson.

      • Frank is still pushing the hoaxes.
        “asserting that Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists, surviving Access Hollywood tape, saying there were good people on both sides in Charlottesville, etc. “

        Saying that criminals are coming from Mexico is not the same as saying all Mexicans are criminal. Pay attention to the precise language.

        You also apparently were not aware of or chose to ignore the transcript of Trump at Charlottesville. He clearly condemned the White Supremacists. He said it multiple times that day and days following. Some news outlets acknowledged such. Others including Beijing Biden perpetuated the hoax, just like the Russian collusion hoax.

      • cerescokid wrote: “Saying that criminals are coming from Mexico is not the same as saying all Mexicans are criminal. Pay attention to the precise language.

        But I actually said – after looking up exactly what Trump said – “asserting that Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists”. Like Trump, I never said that ALL Mexicans are criminals nor ALL Mexicans are rapists. It just sounds that way, as Trump’s remarks did. And neither of us discriminated between legal and illegal immigrants. His exact words announcing his candidacy were:

        [Mexico is] “sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs; they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

        “I assume”. He’s sure there are rapists and criminals. The best he can say is there MIGHT be some good people, but that is an assumption.

        I’ve read all of Trump’s statements on Charlottesville. There were four of them IIRC. One was written by his staff and he read that as written. It was the only one that unambiguously denounced the White Supremacists. The other three were Trump saying what he really felt. (And on January 6, Trump tweeted that he “loved” the “very special” people who had attended his rally. It took a week for him to say that any those who committed violence couldn’t have been true Trump supporters, because they are non-violent by definition. The truth is that some nasty and dangerous groups have been inspired by Trump and he refuses to acknowledge this fact.) The article below is from one of those liberal fact checkers, but it is accurate.

        https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/sep/10/ad-watch-what-donald-trump-said-about-charlottesvi/

        Finally the idea that good people would hang out with Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists wearing uniforms and carrying weapons is positively absurd. Americans don’t celebrate their great military leaders (except a few who became president). They certainly don’t celebrate those who lost wars. Those statues of Lee don’t honor him – they are political symbols of Southern victory over the Reconstruction governments imposed by the North and of the myth that Southerns were merely fighting to protect their homes, and not fighting to expand slavery. (Lincoln campaigned on stopping the spread of slavery to new territories and letting states with slavery decide what to do about it.)

  107. Here we go fellas. Here’s a good description of what you’re trying to diminish and deflect away from:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/01/14/dc-police-capitol-riot/?arc404=true

      • And from that aeticle:

        -snip-

        Through interviews with Sullivan, his brother, a video-journalist documenting his exploits, and Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists who have encountered him, a more unsettling portrait has emerged that stands at stark odds with the pro-Trump narrative. While Sullivan has attempted to brand himself as a BLM leader, he has been effectively locked out from activist communities across the country, where he is almost universally regarded as a dangerous provocateur.

        -snip-

        See. Not that hard, now is it? The guy who wrote the article is a lefty who wants to expose how dangerous thus guy is.

        Do you think Donald was talking to that guy when he told the violent rioters how much he loved them? Or was he only talking to the violent rioters that are in the Trump cult and not thst guy?

    • So by your lights if a conservative seeks the truth, it’s ” trying to diminish and deflect away from.”

      That’s rich.

      • No. It matters not whether it’s a “conservativec or not – people who are responding to the Capitol Hill Mob Riot with all this:

        but… they do it too/they did it first/they do it worse/but 1954/but just a fringe group/but he didn’t exactly say “go out there and kill people”/not everyone there was an out of control violent maniac/they just got caught up in the moment/they might not have known they were breaking the law/it wasn’t really that bad. etc. nonsense

        Are lamely diminishing and deflecting.

        There are PLENTY of conservatives who aren’t doing that. It has NOTHING to do with being a conservative.

        Don’t make yourself into such a victim all the time. You’ll be a happier person.

  108. The basic problem is that the media has been relentless in attacking Trump, unjustly. He may be gruff and off-the-cuff, but he’s basically a decent human being who tried to do the right thing for this country, and not nearly as stupid as the media portrays him. TDS is a complete and total fabrication of the media.

    Simply consider what would’ve happened if we’d been talking about Don Jr. instead of Hunter. Hunter gets a pass; Don Jr. would’ve been crucified relentlessly, and all of us know it. This is how it works.

    Did Trump ever say to drink bleach? No, he did not, not even close, and Dr. Birx was right there when he supposedly said it and confirmed the treatment potential when Trump turned to her and asked, “is that right?” You can watch the freaking video. But the media took that and fed us total BS. That’s what they’ve been feeding us for four years. People swallow this stuff uncritically.

    The news is here to tell us what to think.

    • > The basic problem is that the media has been relentless in attacking Trump

      Yeah. That’s the basic problem. It’s not like the violent Capitol Hill Riot Mob have any responsibility for being a rioting mob. It want their fault. The “basic problem” is that Trump is such a victim and he’s been treated so unfairly.

      It’s just that he’s “gruff.”. That’s all. He’s such a victim for being “gruff.” It’s not like he’s an adult with agency who has any responsibility for the outcomes of his actions.

    • > and confirmed the treatment potential

      Lol. Thanks for the laugh.

    • “but he’s basically a decent human being ”

      ROTFL. Trump is a self serving narcissist that cares only for himself. This is an assessment provided by almost everyone that has worked with him and even his own family. Trump is the anti-thesis of a “decent human being”. It is truly frightening that you could believe otherwise.

      If you don’t want to believe me then look at his actions. How many “decent human beings” routinely refuse to pay their bills and then use the courts to exhaust the financial resources of the people he screws over when they sue for breach of contract? This behavior is documented fact.

      • How many “decent human beings” tweet out an attack on the vice-president and don’t sent in law enforcement as he watches TV coverage of mob screaming for the VP’a blood?

      • “Trump is a self serving narcissist that cares only for himself.”

        That’s what you’re supposed to think.

    • Don132 says: “[Trump is] basically a decent human being who tried to do the right thing for this country, and not nearly as stupid as the media portrays him.”

      John Bolton (who knows Trump far better) says: “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations”. Bolton saw no sign that Trump was a great negotiator; his advisors trembled in fear every time Trump talked with a foreign leader, because they never knew what he might say or give away.

      Don: “Hunter gets a pass”

      TRUMP GOT A PASS FROM THE PRESS IN THE FALL OF 2016, when suspicious stories originating from Steele began circulating and none of the alleged Trump-haters in the FBI would confirm that they were investigating the Trump campaign. (Only Yahoo News and Mother Jones printed vague stories before the election.) The stories about Hunter were extremely dubious. Hunter lives in Los Angeles, but allegedly dropped off three laptop computers for repair in Dover, DE (an hour drive from the Biden home in Wilmington) and failed to pick them up. The computers were later turned over to the FBI – after copies of the hard drive were made and given to Giuliani and Bannon. Those two sat on this information for several months (after dropping hints that it existed) and released it about two weeks before the election. The FBI has had the laptops for a year, plenty of time for them to investigate and be forced to release their findings by an impatient Trump. If the information on the laptops were credible, we likely would have heard about it by now. Anyone who isn’t suspicious about the circumstances surrounding this story is simpleton. Surprisingly, however, we learned in 2020 that Steele actually was running a real intelligence operation in Russia using Danchenko as his agent and that Sources A-E were real people. His operation predated Steele’s hiring by Fusion GPS and was not inspired by the DNC! Like most raw intelligence, little has been confirmed and some could be disinformation. The Mueller Report never mentions the Steele Dossier, but did identify many contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians. If campaign officials hadn’t LIED to the FBI when questioned about those contacts and Trump hadn’t obstructed the investigation and fired Comey, there would have been no need for a special prosecutor.

      Unlike the laptop, stories about Hunter’s numerous personal problems have been widely publicized by the press, as have his efforts to makes big bucks from his access to his powerful father. K Street is loaded with lobbyists selling their access to those in power, but Hunter has a greater tolerance than most for working for the most unsavory people around the world. The pay better. Burisma also bought access by appointing the former President of Poland and former head of CIA Counter-terrorism to its Board. Manafort worked for some of Africa’s worst dictators before working for the main pro-Russian party in Ukrainian for a decade. Flynn lobbied for Erdogan and his pardon covered those activities. FWIW, Joe Biden never made big bucks. His financial disclosure form as VP showed modest assets and large mortgage remaining on the house he owned for decades. (He did make about $10M from books and speeches in the two years after he left office.) While Biden is notorious for putting his foot in his mouth, even he wouldn’t be stupid enough to publicly brag to the Council on Foreign Relations about withholding aid from Ukraine until they fired their Chief Prosecutor if Hunter had been the prosecutor’s target.

      As for drinking bleach to fight COVID, Trump actually said:

      “A question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. So, supposedly we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. (To Bryan) And I think you said you’re going to test that, too. Sounds interesting, right?”

      “And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that, so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see, but the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute. That’s pretty powerful.”

      Birx supported Trump’s version of this story, simply because she didn’t want to be fired. Loyalty, not expertise and integrity, is what Trump demands. Shortly after the Senate voted not to convict Trump, Vindman and his bother were fired and immediately escorted from the White House. Sondland was recalled. Comey was speaking in LA when he was fired and told not to return on the government plane that brought him there.

      Don concludes: “But the media took that and fed us total BS. That’s what they’ve been feeding us for four years. People swallow this stuff uncritically.”

      Yes, people do swallow stuff uncritically, especially when it comes from Twitter straight to 80 million Americans an average of 36 times a day over the last six months. Then it get uncritically retweeted or forwarded in social media echo chambers and uncritically repeated by FOX, OAN and a host of websites. When information used to come via the press, Don would get news with context, opposing views and analysis, often with a liberal bias. As a conservative, Don had a decent chance of finding out what was really going on because he was appropriately skeptical of what the liberal press was selling.

  109. Breaking.

    Exclusive: Large bitcoin payments to right-wing activists a month before Capitol riot linked to foreign account

    On Dec. 8, someone made a simultaneous transfer of 28.15 bitcoins — worth more than $500,000 at the time — to 22 different virtual wallets, most of them belonging to prominent right-wing organizations and personalities.

    Now cryptocurrency researchers believe they have identified who made the transfer, and suspect it was intended to bolster those far-right causes. U.S. law enforcement is investigating whether the donations were linked to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

    https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-large-bitcoin-payments-to-rightwing-activists-a-month-before-capitol-riot-linked-to-foreign-account-181954668.html

    • James –

      Maybe you should get together with Don132 and jim2 and Matt and the rest of the crew to work out all the details of the conspiracy?

  110. Mexican socialist President Andres Manuel Obrador vowed on Thursday to move against censorship by social media giants that have blocked US President Donald Trump from their platforms.

    Obrador is a committed socialist but sees the great danger in silencing free speech and is building an international coalition around the issue.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/wow-mexicos-socialist-president-leads-international-effort-rein-tech-giants-president-trump-silenced-online/

  111. Here you go James. I note it is not illegal to donate to right-wing groups, just like it isn’t illegal to donate to left-wing groups. Also, there is no evidence the donation was related to the Capitol riot.

    WASHINGTON — On Dec. 8, someone made a simultaneous transfer of 28.15 bitcoins — worth more than $500,000 at the time — to 22 different virtual wallets, most of them belonging to prominent right-wing organizations and personalities.

    Now cryptocurrency researchers believe they have identified who made the transfer, and suspect it was intended to bolster those far-right causes. U.S. law enforcement is investigating whether the donations were linked to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

    While the motivation is difficult to prove, the transfer came just a month before the violent riot in the Capitol, which took place after President Trump invited supporters to “walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” and “take back our country.”

    https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-large-bitcoin-payments-to-rightwing-activists-a-month-before-capitol-riot-linked-to-foreign-account-181954668.html


  112. New evidence shows potential election links to China and Pakistan
    Ad

    OAN Newsroom
    UPDATED 6:24 AM PT – Friday, January 15, 2021

    New details have become available showing internet links to China, Pakistan and other countries. Information warfare expert Phil Waldron said his team is studying the information packages received from overseas and noted those packages may have impacted the election.

    One America’s Christina Bobb has more from Washington.

    https://www.oann.com/new-evidence-shows-potential-election-links-to-china-and-pakistan/

    • If Phil Waldron were a credible source of information about Giuliani or Powell would have Waldron testifying in front of a courtroom where information about his expertise (or lack thereof) and sources of information and prior associations can be credibly examined. Attorneys and “witnesses/experts” can say amount anything as sham hearings like the ones you see online, but as “officers of the court” attorneys can’t knowingly bring such witnesses into a courtroom and provide a forum for committing perjury. When you provide information showing that Giuliani or Powell have had Waldron testify and be cross-examined in front of a judge, then his testimony may mean something,

      In the meantime, Dominion Voting Machines provided every Georgia voter with a paper copy of his ballot to review before submitting it. The in person and mail in ballots votes counted by Dominion machines were confirmed twice by two hand recounts. No significant inconsistencies were found in any of Georgia’s 2,652 precincts. Nor have inconsistencies been found in other states when they audit the performance of their equipment using hand recounts. Even the problems in Atrium County caused by a last minute local revision to the ballots were resolved and confirmed by a hand recount with the result being Trump winning with 61% of the vote in 2000 vs 62% in 2016.

      • one of the big problems is that the courts did not allow any testimony.

        In some cases there were lawsuits before the election that were dismissed because the people bringing the suits did not have standing (as they could not show that they had been harmed yet) and dismissed after the election because they waited too long to bring the suit.

        you should not ever have a case where it’s either too early or too late to bring a lawsuit, there needs to be some window when a lawsuit can be filed

      • “one of the big problems is that the courts did not allow any testimony.”

        If the initial submissions included claims which are obviously false or implausible then few judges will want to waste their time with hearings. What election deniers don’t seem to understand is most of their so-called “evidence” is hearsay and speculation as far as court is concerned and is easily refuted when state officials provide their initial response to the suit.

        IOW – the refusal of courts to allow testimony is simply an reflection of how little merit the cases had.

        “you should not ever have a case where it’s either too early or too late to bring a lawsuit, there needs to be some window when a lawsuit can be filed”

        There is a window for lawsuits contesting election procedures: before anyone has cast their ballot. The principle that one cannot ask for a remedy in a suit that harms an innocent third party is a well established feature of anglo-saxon legal tradition (it is the equivalent of the statue of limitations for civil matters).

        I am frankly disgusted at the lack of ethics shown by anyone who thinks that it would be acceptable to throw out ballots cast by eligible voters because of disagreements over how officials interpreted election laws.

      • quote: I am frankly disgusted at the lack of ethics shown by anyone who thinks that it would be acceptable to throw out ballots cast by eligible voters because of disagreements over how officials interpreted election laws.

        So if election officials run a crooked election and you have valid votes and invalid votes, what do you propose that the remedy should be?

        If you can’t know what the invalid votes were, you can’t just eliminate them (secret ballot remember)

        If you always must let the results stand, then the crooked election officials have the result that they wanted, what’s the penalty? If they get what they wanted, what’s to stop them from doing the same thing in the future?

        As I understand it, the normal legal standard is that if one party is suing over an election, any invalid votes they are able to identify are assumed to be for the other party, so if more invalid votes are identified than the margin of victory, either the winner flips, or a new election is ordered.

  113. The takedown of Parler, currently in progress, is one of most chilling and ominous signs that this country is heading to a very bad place, a lot worse than we have seen.

    Parler is the main alternative to Twitter for Trump supporters and conservatives, sometimes voluntarily, sometimes by force of being shut down by Twitter. Famous conservative media personalities have flocked there, and Parler apps were near or at the top of both the Google and Apple App Store downloads. That trend accelerated after Twitter permanently banned Trump.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/01/democrats-and-their-tech-oligopoly-friends-are-drunk-with-internet-power/

  114. Emergency Event: Surviving The Big Tech Purge (Sunday, January 17, 7 p.m. Eastern)
    Comments
    Permalink

    Posted by William A. Jacobson Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 5:30pm

    Join Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff, Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson, and Security Enthusiast Michelle Ray as they how discuss how to navigate the big tech purge and improve personal internet security.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/01/emergency-event-surviving-the-big-tech-purge-sunday-january-17-7-p-m-eastern/

  115. German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Twitter for banning President Donald Trump.

    The social media giant’s decision on Friday to permanently remove the U.S. president from the platform was “problematic,” Chancellor Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told reporters on Monday.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/01/germanys-merkel-slams-twitter-for-trump-ban/

  116. Trump approval at 29% in latest poll.

    As Joe Biden prepares to take office just days after a deadly riot inside the U.S. Capitol, 64% of voters express a positive opinion of his conduct since he won the November election. Majorities also approve of Biden’s Cabinet selections and how he has explained his plans and policies for the future.

    Donald Trump is leaving the White House with the lowest job approval of his presidency (29%) and increasingly negative ratings for his post-election conduct.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/01/15/biden-begins-presidency-with-positive-ratings-trump-departs-with-lowest-ever-job-mark/

  117. Amid a spate of early resignations — and “cancel culture” threats — President Donald Trump’s deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino assured administration officials that they should hold their heads high and “stay strong.”

    “I encourage all Trump administration officials to hold your heads up high, and be proud of what you have accomplished together, over the past four years, for the American People,” Scavino wrote on Facebook, The Epoch Times reported.

    “While cancel culture kicks into high gear, and blacklisting of our names for future employment is underway, stay strong, and we will all prevail!”

    The post comes after Trump was impeached by the House for a second time and reports circulate that Trump administration officials are being put on corporate blacklists to keep them from getting another job, a forceful rejection of the president and his staffers.

    https://www.newsmax.com/politics/cancel-culture-staff-white-house-dan-scavino/2021/01/15/id/1005760/

  118. After the Capitol was stormed John Sullivan appeared with CNN photojournalist Jade Sacker on CNN that night. CNN did not identify Sullivan as an Antifa-BLM protest leader. They mention Insurgence, USA but not that it is a radical leftist organization. They do not mention that Sullivan was arrested in Utah during unrest in 2020. CNN did not reveal that the two were working together inside the US Capitol. Jade Sacker has done work for NPR, CNN, NBC and other liberal outlets.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/huge-cnn-npr-reporter-jade-sacker-embedded-antifa-leader-john-sullivan-siege-us-capitol-cheered-inciting-riot-video/

  119. Trump was the best President EVER!

    The Rasmussen Reports Economic Index dropped by three points this month, the second consecutive monthly decline since Joe Biden was elected President. The index fell to 111.5 from 114.5 in December, continuing the decline from 126.4 just before Election Day, amid a climate of public concern about new lockdowns to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Enthusiasm about the economy started to grow immediately following Donald Trump’s election as president in November 2016 and had jumped to 147.8 by January 2020. Then it began its steep decline last February as the coronavirus lockdown threw Americans out of work and closed many businesses. Enthusiasm started working its way up again last summer and fall, but the past two months mark a significant drop. By comparison, in President Obama’s final years in office, this index reached a high of 121.5 in January 2015 and was at 108.1 his last month in the White House.

    https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/consumer_spending_update/consumer_spending_update_economic_confidence_continues_post_election_decline

  120. I challenge Dr. Curry’s statements: “But this election was not that close…Biden won the popular vote by large margin….But one of the safeguards in U.S. elections is that it is impossible to comprehensively rig what is essentially 50+ separate elections that are administered at the county level.”

    Prove these as facts? Or at least prove that targeting a few needed states for their electoral counts was so difficult in the 2020 election, in consideration that some of these states didn’t even require identification of their constituents who voted?

    I don’t state these questions flippantly. I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Curry. My charge here is rhetorical of course; I challenge anyone on this board to prove that it required a long shot of probability to rig the 2020 election. Nobody can prove it.

    Most of this boards “take” on this subject exhibits much in the way of partisan circumlocution posturing, yet there’s little quantifiable that supports the MSM election narrative.

    Essentially this argument boils down to trust, or lack of it in the prior election process. Someone’s trusted word, or a comforting trust from institutions one has built their life believing in. So why does anyone here trust the veracity of our contemporary institutions in this era of cancel culture? This is the core question.

    Transparency instills trust. Are our institutions so transparent?

    Dr. Curry states her views based on a trust coming from somewhere. Dr. Curry was basically forced out of academia. Were the reasons trustworthy? No.

    So cutting to the chase: does cancel culture exist? This is a partisan question that is indeed quantifiable; of course it exists, any informed individual knows it exists. So why would anyone trust what monolithic power brokers, whether media or institutional, say when it’s known that the party that practices cancel culture expresses an express desire for global hegemony?

    • t the risk of this becoming a minor rant.

      The US was not built on the principle of trust, it was built on the principal of pitting competing interests against each other with a system of checks and balances.

      In Elections, this means having multiple observers who have competing interest (in practice, both main parties) so that when (NOT IF) there is someone crooked involved, the odds are high that they will be caught.

      This is why seemingly small/technical details like “accept bad signature matches” “allow ballots with missing or unreadable postmarks” and “force observers to be so far away that they have to use binoculars to have a chance of seeing anything” are so damaging, they remove the checks on the election, and therefor give the appearance of impropriety even if nothing was actually crooked.

      Every election has some problems, it’s the wall-to-wall insistence that there were NO problems this election t(and the banning of any discussion on the topic) hat makes so many people incredibly suspicious.

      • Lang, do you believe checks and balances remain firmly in place? Or a better question; what’s the life expectancy of U.S. checks and balances in the face of cancel culture, can you answer? No you can’t answer; because it’s not something you’ve really contemplated much about. You’re still wearing the comfortable shoes of cultural familiarity by nature of your “every election has some problems” sensibly.

        Where do you think the concept of checks and balances goes if U.S. sovereignty fails by nature of the Lefts ambitions, as they trailblaze the global political singularity they desire? Have you heard about this?

      • Actually, checks and balances are something I think I lot about (once again proving that you are not a mind reader and should stop telling people who disagree with you what they think and mean)

        No, I do not think checks and balances are working right now, the failure of them is leading to the cancel culture.

        But the key thing is that I think the fix is to restore checks and balances (or engineer new ones for new environments) rather than throw away even the concept of checks and balances and replace them with an authoritative system.

        I don’t care who you put in charge, or how wonderful and ethical they are. They will not live forever and I don’t trust that their successors will meet the same high standards of the people you want to put in charge.

        I do have a set of changes that I propose (and have tried posting here a couple times, but hasn’t shown up, possibly too long, I’ll try posting it in a couple parts) that address the big tech problem without invoking government control.

        The issue of Congress delegating their responsibility to the unaccountable bureaucracy is a separate issue, and I think fixing that is going to require another Trump-like President to further appoint Origionalist Judges at all levels and who isn’t in government as a career and therefor isn’t stuck in the group mindset. It would help to get a congress who wants to claw their power back and is willing to do their job.

      • I think there is a solution to Big Tech, but it’s not going to happen during the next couple of years

        First, rewrite section 230

        Force companies to decide if they are a platform or a publisher.

        If they are a publisher, they have 100% control over what they publish, but are liable for anything they publish.

        If they are a platform, they are required to document their moderation policies and can be sued for uneven application of said policies. Note that the policies do not have be be neutral.

        If they use 3rd party ‘fact checkers’, they need to be optional (and the third parties liable for false statements)

        Second, there needs to be an update to Public Accommodations law (including anti-Discrimination law) to clarify the difference between routine commercial transactions where a company is required to do business with anyone who is willing to pay and commissions to create custom work, which nobody should be required to accept.

        Third, companies need to be shielded from lawsuits against them due to the way that people use their products. Once you cannot sue a company for selling it’s product to someone there is no longer a business justification for them to try and not sell it to some group.

        I think the change above and the non-government lawsuits that would result could result in an environment that would be reasonably self-policing based on private lawsuits from different watchdog organizations without giving the Government control over control over content

      • > If they are a platform, they are required to document their moderation policies and can be sued for uneven application of said policies. Note that the policies do not have be be neutral.

        What’s the legal basis on which this could be done? Looks to me like it would require judging intent in a way that can’t realistically be done except in possibly extremely obvious outliers.

      • @Joshua, the same legal basis as section 230. If they apply their policies evenly, then they are immune for any liability for the posting or for removing a post.

        but if an identical post that swaps “black” and “white” gets different treatment, then they are not immune from a lawsuit.

        now that I think of it, I don’t think they even need to select publisher vs platform. It can be like Open Source license and Copyright. The enforcement is not claiming that they violated the license, just that they copied the material without permission, the license is an affirmative defense that anyone complying can use to shield themselves from liability (and then the copyright owner can dispute their claim to be in compliance with the license)

        Similarly someone could sue for damages and the defense would be the new section 230 that the post in question violated the site policies and the plaintiff could make the case that the policies are not being enforced evenly, eliminating that defense.

        It would be up to the Jury to decide if they are in compliance or not.

        civil lawsuit, jury of your peers, not bureaucrats

        (and yes, just like current copyright law needs it, there is a need for some sort of penalty for people who abuse the system)

        is this foolproof? No,nothing is. But this eliminates any party having authority over published content.

        I would also say that any site is free to offer filters that block categories of content (similar to the current ‘Adult Content’ filters, but applying to any type of content), but they should be opt-in for users, and people who’s content is classified can dispute the classification (similar to PragerU disputing their ‘not safe for children’ rating for a video on the 10 Commandments)

      • Personally, I think that 3rd party “fact checkers” would be the least sub-optimal. As you say, there’s no perfect solution. If that’s part of a product’s policy, people can choose to use the product or not. If they choose to use the product that just have to suck it up if they don’t like the outcomes.

        Seems to me that the potential volume of legal activity and the difficulty and arbitrariness of judging cases would make a legal approach impractical.

        And go ahead and have the DOJ purse anti-trust litigation.

      • They are already using 3rd party fact checkers, but those fact checkers have no liability and there is no way to opt out (and now real evaluation of the fact checkers)

        There needs to be some way of slapping companies ho are doing bad things with the public square, and if we ule out Government action, what’s left? Lawsuits or Arbitration, right?

        I expect that initially there would be a flurry of lawsuits, because most of Big Tech is not playing fair (I worked at Google for a little bit, it’s not that they are trying to be unfair, they are just so encased in their bubble that they honestly don’t understand how anyone sane could disagree with them), but I think that they would quickly get their act together and accept raking in the money for providing services rather than bleeding it in lawsuits to keep favoring one side.

      • or the other thing they could do is change their terms of service to explicitly say what they are doing. At which point people who disagree with that can and will move elsewhere (and the Parlor fiasco would be prevented by the Public Accommodation section of my proposal)

      • Yah, well I think that having government step in to regulate how companies manage their terms of service with their customers is a bad way to go. There’s no free lunch, but that seems to me like a higher downside risk.

        It’s funny how conservatives are so interested in big government and government stepping on to tell private sector companies how to manage their relationships with their customers. Why not just move to China if that’s what you want? All because a company didn’t bow to dear leader’s wishes?

        Just let people choose which social media products to use based on terms of service. If a company like Parlor has no problem with their customers tweeting out deaths threats to the VP, customers can just use Parlor.

      • People engage in politics on social media. Which is a little different than buying soap. Everything but inciting violence or other criminality is – in the US – protected speech. Not related to the size of government or telling people what to do. It is matter of protecting free speech. The first duty of democracies. Does Joshua object to free speech and democracy?

        Joshua has made his silly argument on this dozens of times now in the same terms. It is a bit obsessively tedious.

      • I can understand why you do not want to have the government enforcing terms of service, which is why my proposal does not have the government doing any enforcement.

        Instead I am proposing that the government sets things up so that enforcement is done in the courts, just like all other contract disputes are currently enforced.

        Terms of Service should be viewed as part of the contract between a service and it’s users, not the whim of the company to set to anything they want and ignore/change at will.

      • “If they are a publisher, they have 100% control over what they publish, but are liable for anything they publish.”

        So you are demanding that Climate Etc shut down its comment section?
        You are basically asking for the end of the Internet as we know it and a return to the days of one way information flow from the publishers to the audience.

        “If they are a platform, they are required to document their moderation policies and can be sued for uneven application of said policies. Note that the policies do not have be be neutral.”

        A purely subjective standard that would make lawyers rich and ensure that user generated content is removed from almost every site. The only sites that could allow user generated content will be the few big players that can afford the lawyers to deal with all the litigation. If you have a problem with tech monopolies you are proposing rule changes that will only ensure those monopolies get worse.

      • note that I modified this a bit.Instead of selecting publisher or platform, change section 230 from being a blanket immunity to being an immunity if they take down posts/comments that violated their terms of service evenly.

        that is, if you take down posts/comments because they are racist, then flipping the color of the people in the post should still result in it being taken down.

        people ho think that their post/comment was taken down inappropriately can sue, and the company can claim that they were just following their ToS. the plaintiff can then claim that they are applying the ToS inconsistently, and if they can show that, the defense does not stand.

        I’m all for the idea that website owners are not liable for things posted by other people, but once the website owners start playing games with moderation to block one viewpoint (especially while claiming to be a platform for everybody), they are excercising editorial control and need to be liable for what they leave up

        note that I don’t say that there should be any restrictions on what the ToS are, so if you want to post ToS that say that conservative viewpoints are not welcome, you can do that. But you are no longer claiming to be a platform for everybody (this is what the Prager U lawsuit against Youtube was after, and the judge ruled that the Youtube claims to be a neutral platform were ‘mere puffery’, aka marketing exaggeration)

      • “people ho think that their post/comment was taken down inappropriately can sue, and the company can claim that they were just following their ToS.”

        You need to think about how these kinds of laws would work in the real world. In the real world, you are saying that people could sue companies based on a subjective interpretation of the ToS. This would be a goldmine for lawyers that would make it too expensive for most sites to even bother with user generated content because it is simply impossible to have a moderation policy that could be consistently applied according to everyone’s subjective interpretation of the ToS.

        The right solution to the problem is the free market. If a gay couple wants a wedding cake and a baker won’t sell them one then they need to find another baker but if every baker does the same then there is problem that needs addressing. For that reason, I am most concerned about Amazon’s blocking of Parler than I am with any moderation policies on Twitter.

      • I see the problems as related. As I understand it, Amazon’s excuse for ‘suspending’ the parlor account is that Parlor violated the ToS by not taking down calls for violence, while not shutting down twitter or facebook for having similar posts up (as it turns out, similar posts related to the capitol riot even, let alone all the left-wing threats)

        I propose the clarification to the Public Accommodations law because I think that the issue in forcing people to speak in favor of something is much broader than “sincerely held religious beliefs”, and we are seeing a spate of the mob pushing companies to not due business with ‘those evil people’, and it doesn’t matter if it’s Amazon refusing to sell server hosting, banks and credit card companies refusing to do business witht he gun industry or anything else the Cancel Culture is pushing, we need to recognize as a country that people with different viewpoints are allowed to have lives.

        This business of specifying specific ‘protected classes’ is a very poor way of doing things. Whatever protection is needed should apply to everybody without the need to maintain an ever growing list of special groups.

        you have the right of association to not be friends with them, but unless they have done something bad enough that you could get a restraining order against them, standard commercial transactions that do not involve putting the seller at risk (such as extending credit to someone who may not pay) should be open to everyone, regardless of their beliefs or body.

      • David Lange wrote: “Force companies to decide if they are a platform or a publisher.”

        Twitter is BOTH a publisher and a platform. Trump can sue them as publisher of the comments they attached to his tweets and their challenges to the credibility of Trump’s tweets. However, Trump can’t sue them as a platform because a user Tweeted something false about Trump.

        Before Section 230 was passed, internet platforms were deemed by courts to be publishers anytime they chosen to moderate content. Section 230 provided platforms protection from lawsuits based on material USERS post. When Twitter comments on Trump’s Tweet’s they are doing so as a publisher and could be sued. Thus Twitter said Trump’s tweets were “subject to dispute” and later the “Electoral College had determined Biden was the winner.

        The same thing can be true for newspapers published on line with a section for user comments. The newspaper is responsible as a publisher for the content they originate or solicit and edit. The newspaper isn’t responsible for what people say in the comments section, even if that section is moderated.

    • “I challenge anyone on this board to prove that it required a long shot of probability to rig the 2020 election.”
      Please. The onus is on people peddling conspiracy theories to provide credible evidence (i.e. more than innuendo and hearsay).
      In any case, the notion that hard core republican officials in Georgia and Arizona would conspire with democrats to dump Trump is simply ridiculous.

      “Transparency instills trust. Are our institutions so transparent?”

      Transparency is a lovely buzz word but is has been grossly misused by election deniers. When election officials explain all of their checks and balances and audits that show that the election was fair the election deniers scream for “transparency” because that is the only argument they have left. It is also a demand that is impossible to meet. How much transparency is enough? Who gets to decide? At what point is it reasonable to say that the election deniers are making excuses and no amount of “transparency” would convince them?

      • There are a lot of long-term Republican officials who would do anything to dump Trump. The swamp is real.

        That stated, there is no reliable evidence of substantial fraud impacting the outcome in any State. Imo Trump lost when mail in voting was greatly expanded.

      • Says the transparent partisan mud slinger who would have dutifully hung Trump for “Russian” collusion or any further ad hoc conspiracy that could have been, and was conjured via similar propaganda.

      • The prior to the “G” man.

      • The evidence of fraud was never allowed to see the light of day. No one can say there wasn’t fraud. There is certainly a lot of smoke, and I think it is due to the fire.

      • “That stated, there is no reliable evidence of substantial fraud impacting the outcome in any State.”

        There were significant statistical anomalies in Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, not investigated. There were illegal drop boxes in Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, not investigated. There were fundamental and previously documented voting machine security issues in every swing state, not investigated. There was relaxed voter ID verification in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Wisconsin, not investigated. Reduced poll watching in Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, not investigated. Blatant video of someone running same ballots through the counting machine in Georgia 3x, not investigated.

        We could all get on planes and sit next to each other but we weren’t supposed to vote in person for our own safety. We could stand in line in liquor stores, but we were discouraged from standing in line to vote. We were encourage to vote by mail to the extent that many states mailed ballots to every single registered voter. Voting by mail lends itself to fraud, as a bipartisan commission concluded.

        There may be nothing to see but it’s curious that so much is being dismissed outright as nothing to see.

        It’d be the easiest thing in the world to examine the voting machines. That way we could say to the public: look, we know that a group of (Democratic) Senators complained about voting machine security in the past, we know that Texas rejected Dominion machines, we know there are grave questions about Solarwinds association with Dominion, but our red team has found no problems with any of the machines it investigated.

        Instead we’re getting: no, you can’t look because there’s nothing to see.

        A massive conspiracy? I don’t know; maybe. Let’s take a closer look. Suspicion serves as an important check on real conspiracies, whereas lack of suspicion and disregarding “trust but verify” gives a green light to nefarious intentions.

        Mainstream news: there’s nothing suspicious so shut up. Big tech: there’s nothing suspicious so were going to make you shut up. What could go wrong?

      • “…Blatant video of someone running same ballots through the counting machine in Georgia 3x, not investigated.”

        This is perfect example of the intellectual dishonesty of Trump supporters. The video was most definitely investigated by election officials and law enforcement and they concluded that everything observed was the normal vote counting process. Yet Trump supporters repeat the claim that it was not investigated. Crap like this is why more “investigations” are a waste of time.Trump supporters would not accept the conclusions so why bother?

      • Don wrote: “There were significant statistical anomalies in Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, not investigated.”

        There are allegations of massive anomalies as votes were reported by the networks on Election night using information collected by Edison, but the states don’t use Edison’s data to determine the outcome of an election. Each state has their own data collection system which is checked and rechecked many time and scrutinized for anomalies before being certified as being correct. Trump’s attorneys had the opportunity to present these alleged anomalies to courts, where experts from both sides could be heard AND cross-examined. If these anomalies were ever presented to a judge, the judge found them unpersuasive or too small to change the outcome.

        Don wrote: “There were illegal drop boxes in Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, not investigated … We could all get on planes and sit next to each other but we weren’t supposed to vote in person for our own safety. We could stand in line in liquor stores, but we were discouraged from standing in line to vote. We were encourage to vote by mail to the extent that many states mailed ballots to every single registered voter. Voting by mail lends itself to fraud, as a bipartisan commission concluded … There was relaxed voter ID verification in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Wisconsin, not investigated. ”

        State legislature and election officials made changes because of the pandemic. No one is required to get on an airplane or shop in a liquor store, but most state constitutions contain affirmative “right to vote” clauses that state governments must follow. A state court might rule that a projected two-hour wait to vote would be a violation of a citizen’s right to vote and demand that the state provide more resources. In the case of COVID, state courts can rule that inadequate accommodations for safety during the pandemic violate the “right to vote” in the state constitution. Before the election, the Trump campaign complained about some of the accommodations being made by states and judges ruled on those complaints. Complaining about insecure drop boxes or insecure mail in ballots or insecure voter ID after the election is impractical because because no one knows how many dubious votes were cast for each candidate. The only remedy then would be to discard a huge number of votes without being sure they were fraudulent. That would violate a citizen’s right to vote. Discarding any ballot (say for a dubious signature) violates a citizen’s “right to vote” unless the state has substantial evidence of fraud. The geniuses in Georgia implemented electronic signature matching, which provided a uniform standard that could be applied to reject potentially fraudulent mail in ballots in both highly-Democrat and highly-Republican areas. If voter ID requirements are too stringent, too many citizens may be denied their right to vote. The experienced attorneys hired by the Republicans knew that all of these issues must be resolved BEFORE the election and fought to get the best possible terms.

        The pandemic prompted only Nevada to become the eight state that voted exclusively by mail (which is less secure and which Nevada had little time to make as secure as possible). However, Trump did surprisingly well in Nevada, losing by the same 2.4% as in 2016, while losing by 2.4% more in the national popular vote, and 3.9% more in demographically similar Arizona. The increase in Nevada turnout was average for battleground states and less than the 32% increase in Arizona. Based on this evidence, the obvious conclusion is that the increased possibility of fraud in Nevada was more likely to have HELPED TRUMP than hurt him.

        Don wrote: There were fundamental and previously documented voting machine security issues in every swing state, not investigated. Reduced poll watching in Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, not investigated. Blatant video of someone running same ballots through the counting machine in Georgia 3x, not investigated.

        Don ignores the fact that all post-2000 vote-counting systems create an auditable paper record. If you run the same ballots through the counter three times, then the number of voters signing the register won’t agree with the number of votes counted. Or the number of mail in ballots recorded as the envelops arrive won’t agree with the number of mail in ballots counted later. To commit fraud, someone needs to sneak in 1000 fraudulent printed ballots, and replace and sneak out 1000 real ballots. And your 1000 fraudulent ballots can’t be all cast for Biden because that would be trivial to detect. So you need a random assortment of Biden and Trump ballots that won’t appear suspicious or produce a suspicious shift compared with 2016. So fraud nets only 100 or 200 extra votes for Biden, not 1000. Then you need to arrange for the fraud to be committed in more than 50 other precincts to create Biden’s 12,000 vote victory in Georgia. Of course, you wouldn’t know ahead of time how many fraudulent votes would be needed to produce a Biden victory. And you would need to worry about getting all of the other races right too. If your 1000 fraudulent ballots had Don getting 70% of the votes for dog catcher and the rest of the precinct had 70% for Frank, that could lead to detection. IT IS REALLY HARD TO DEVELOP A PLAUSIBLE SCENARIO FOR FRAUDULENTLY BOOSTING BIDEN BY 10,000 OR 20,000 VOTES.

        When poll watchers are hindered, they are told to call the campaign’s attorney, who rushes to a friendly judge for an order which he presents to the election officials on site. If the problem persists, the judge issues an arrest order.

    • Lang: “The US was not built on the principle of trust, it was built on the principal of pitting competing interests against each other with a system of checks and balances.”

      I’m certainly not a mind reader, I heard what you stated; It’s hard to take your original post seriously with your casual dismissiveness of trust. Trust is an essential ingredient for successful governance. Checks and balances require trust that they’re working as they were intended to they break down when they’re not trusted. That’s my point.

      “Every election has some problems”; 2020 election issues far surpass “hanging chads” worries. The comment is tone deaf.

      But you also express ideas I share.

      Section 230 certainly needs work. The social media giants are running utilities because they facilitate most speech on the internet. I wouldn’t want to see phone companies begin dropping select customers because of their political views; and I don’t want to see social media companies controlling thought either. Too much of what the Left believes is fact, is in fact opinion built on the back of motivated reasoning/confirmation biases; these are held in check by massive institutional infrastructure who turn the screws a little tighter each day against all outliers of their respective thought. This must stop.

      Use FCC rules with some modification for social media, but the social media giants must be treated as utilities.

      • Unfortunately a lot of detail and nuance goes out the window when complex ideas are boiled down to fit posting limits, your criticism is correct and I mostly agree.

        The checks and balances work not because there is trust that other people are honorable, but because each self-interested group has the ability and motivation to limit the damage that other groups can do (courts, congress, executive branch for example)

        I thought for a long while that big tech as utilities could work, but the problem then becomes how to define what is big enough to be treated that way. You don’t want to burden a startup or a hobby website with regulations that are intended to reign in the current big companies, and you don’t want to prevent the next big idea from happening due to the regulations.

        For ISPs, I think the ‘common carrier’ status makes sense, but for websites I don’t think it’s that easy..

        I look at how the proposed rules could be abused to hurt me and my causes if when elections go against me for a while, so that’s why I am willing to let companies have any ToS that they want for posting, because I want to prevent others from jumping in and regulating what church groups are able to restrict.

        With section 230 the way it is, the FCC cannot do anything, and I really don’t want to have the FCC enforcing rules if there is any other way (they have a really bad track record in doing so)

        section 230 was created to deal with a real problem (if you did _any_ moderation you became liable for everything you left up) so I don’t think that a simple repeal is the best answer. So I’ve been looking for other options for a number of years (I work in tech and have been thinking about the Net Neutrality problems since before 2013)

        That’s what’s led me to my current approach of:

        1. Make sure ToS are enforced evenly (which therefor will make ToS mean something
        2. Public Accommodation for standard service, no requirement to accept commissions for custom/creative work
        3. limit lawsuits for bad use of a companies product.

        as a core set of ideas that I think, if implemented without extra strings, could address a lot of current problems, in tech and outside of tech.

      • Indeed it’s very complex. Maybe begin by designating server farms as utilities to facilitate competition.

      • so what is supposed to happen to my server farm after it’s declared a utility? does that mean I am required to provide access to other people rather than just using it myself?

        How many servers do you have to have to consider it a ‘farm’?

        What does it mean to be declred a utility?

        Who regulates these utilities?

        AFAIK, being a utility doesn’t have any specific legal meaning outside of the agency that’s regulating it.

      • common carrier has a meaning, and that’s appropriate for ISPs, but utility??

      • “common carrier has a meaning, and that’s appropriate for ISPs, but utility??”

        Agreed. I have used the utility argument only to highlight the fact that we regulate monopolies. But common carrier is a different form of regulation that is closer to what we need – it regulates communications platforms, and has done so for a very long time.

        I have considered another approach: break up the monopolies vertically. In other words, instead of a Facebook, have lots of Facebooks, and require them too interoperate. And allow any company that meets the interoperability requirement to connect to any or all of the others. And even allow a company to provide a hub for this (as long as it does no discrimination at all – it would be a common carrier).

        Such an approach, of course, would be tricky. But the interoperability requirement would end the natural monopoly nature of Facebook (or Twitter).

        On cloud platofrm services, simply disallow them from requiring any censorship from their clients. No censorship at all, period. Their business should not be to make their customers into good citizens, it should be to provide cloud services. In this context, by “cloud services” I mean platforms that provide generic computing services, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google’s cloud service, Oracle’s cloud service.

        As a site note: I don’t bother to remember the names of Google offerings. They keep changing them anyway.

      • Allow a developer to be the only one to use the farm they build for themselves, sure, but if they sell space on it then that farm is designated a common server?

        I’m not going to get in the weeds of trying to write legislation in a post, I don’t have the requisite qualifications to do so anyway. Minimizing absolute control is the objective. Smart people on this subject can work it out.

      • so what would it mean to be declared a utility?

      • To make the internet network and servers a utility would mean simply that anyone could use them. Of course they would have to pay for the service, just like people did for over-the-wire telephone service back before the internet. The price wouldn’t have to be regulated since any company could build a server farm and sell services. Competition, supply and demand would determine the price.

        But what the company could not do is have terms of service that regulate content.

        Content would be regulated by someone, a company like Twitter for example, that used the servers. The nature of that regulation could be determined by laws concerning publishers and those who supply only a platform for people to converse. That system appears to be broken as Twitter is supposed to be a platform, but this is a different legal problem.

      • It’s the nature of the service I’m concerned with.

        An entity can use a server farm entirely for their own use, no problem. However if the owner of a server farm chooses to lease space, then they become server service providers, similar to the model governing ISPs. Or call them something else. I’ve used the word utility figuratively; meaning to offer an unprejudiced public platform for a fee, hardware to facilitate free speech in this case. It’s the user of the platform who is liable if they break the law. Parlor would still be in business using this model.

      • Correct, Jim. We are essentially saying the same thing.

      • Ok, that sounds like you mean the same thing that I am talking about when I refer to Public Accommodation. If you sell standard product/service to the public, you have to sell it to anyone.

        I just apply it generally, not just to server farms, but to all services (online and otherwise)

        I want the solution to also apply to banks that say they won’t allow certain people or businesses to have accounts with them, or credit card companies that want to prevent certain people or businesses from being paid through them, etc. (did you notice that a credit card payment company declared that it was immoral to donate to the Trump Campaign fund and cancelled the service?)

        I also like to clarify that custom/creative services are not required to be sold to everyone. Nobody should be required to accept a custom contract to support a cause they disagree with (and it shouldn’t require Sincere Religious Beliefs either)

        I think that is an important step towards peacefully living together as opposed to devolving into one set of companies that support the left and bans the right with another set that supports the right and is boycotted by the left

        I don’t think that’s enough.

        One additional step would be that if you sell something to someone and they use it to commit a crime, you are not liable for the actions of the crook. This is similar to the law that shields gun manufacturers from liability in crimes where the crooks use guns (especially important when they didn’t legally obtain those guns)

        that leaves the moderation questions, and there I think that section 230 as it sits, giving big tech almost complete immunity for any action they take needs to be modified. But eliminating it entirely is not reasonable either. Which is why I have settled on the option of only giving them immunity if they follow their own ToS at least reasonably fairly.

      • meso

        > Their business should not be to make their customers into good citizens,…

        So I guess you, and by extension the politicians you favor, should get to decide what a companies “business” should be?

        Aside from the moral/political/ethical considerations, the logistics of this in themselves makes this vision impossible to manifest except in a tolitarian state like China.

      • This growing idea that companies can and should have authority/responsibility over how a product they sell is used after they sell it is a problem. A company/individual has full control over their actions and who they choose to buy from, but should not try to control the product after the sale (including a lease, except to the degree that use damages the item being leased)

        @mesocyclone “utility” doesn’t have a legal meaning, but “Public Accommodation” does, it’s the principal that if you serve the public, you must serve all of the public

        So rather than try to create a new category and regulate it, I think we ‘just’ need to clarify Public Accommodation laws, both to say that you sell to everyone, and to define their limits (they don’t mean that you have to accept custom work)

        @joshua I do not see why this would turn the US into China, if anything the growing push to only let those with ‘virtue’ (as defined by the left) do business seems more in line with Chin. This is an explicit counter to that movement

        If you sell something, that sale ends your rights and you cannot make decisions based on how the thing you sell is going to be used.

        leases are a complication because you retain interest in the well being of the thing as you will want to lease it again in the future, so the lessee is not allowed to do things that reduce the value of the thing being leased (other than normal wear and tear). In the networking/server world, this includes not using the computer/IP to generate spam or attacks on other systems, but outside of this type of thing, should not include any other restrictions on use.

      • A quibble, but since you addressed me: “@mesocyclone “utility” doesn’t have a legal meaning, but “Public Accommodation” does, it’s the principal that if you serve the public, you must serve all of the public”

        So rather than try to create a new category and regulate it, I think we ‘just’ need to clarify Public Accommodation laws, both to say that you sell to everyone, and to define their limits (they don’t mean that you have to accept custom work)”

        Of course “utility” has a legal meaning – state Public Utility Commissions (or whatever) are legal entities with legal power.

        But I agree that perhaps public accommodation needs revisiting. But that is also a dangerous road.

        I think that “common carrier” might be a better way to go. Common carriers also cannot discriminate or censor.

        Overall, it is clear that corporations have gotten two powerful, and worse, their leaders seem to be strongly motivated by ideology. I think that’s a combination of the far left orientation of our elite universities from which the CEO’s graduate, the increasing disconnect between executive motivation and profit and customer service.

      • We are looking for similar results for hosting, but I am looking for similar results across many industries.

        “Common Carrier” works for any industry that’s communications or transport, it doesn’t work as well for other industries

        Why do you think Public Accommodation is a dangerous road to go down?

        for comments/post, there’s a very blurry line between moderation and censorship (as much intent, which is hard to judge, as anything else), so I think it requires a different solution.

      • Good comments…

        ‘“Common Carrier” works for any industry that’s communications or transport, it doesn’t work as well for other industries’

        I think it works for Facebook, Twitter, and any company providing services to social media companies. They are, after all, communications companies.

        “Why do you think Public Accommodation is a dangerous road to go down?”

        It has been used to assault the religious rights of store owners, and no doubt private property rights as well.

        My view is this: a business should be able to deny services on pretty much any grounds (including those I find abhorrent), if there are reasonable alternatives. I think that as businesses get larger, or become dominate or party of oligopolies, those rights have to reduce, because their power increases. Also, I think public accommodation and the overriding of it makes more sense when protecting constitutionally delineated rights than others.

        As far as I know, the concept arose out of de-facto segregation against blacks in America. But like any useful concept, it can be taken to an extreme.

        “for comments/post, there’s a very blurry line between moderation and censorship (as much intent, which is hard to judge, as anything else), so I think it requires a different solution.”

        If you had a town square, how would you do it? I think our Internet spaces need to be equivalent to that. At the square, you may have a speaker on a dais and commenters, pro and con, and hecklers in the audience. There may be conversations between members of the audience.

        The fact that the founders of the country saw free speech as so critical that it became the second enumerated right (after 2 religious rights protections) suggests that in the private sphere it should also be protected as much as possible. Of course, it also brings up the correlate – right to not have compelled speech – also part of the First Amendment’s jurisprudence.

        BUT… all of these ideas are probably a bit simplistic. I offer them more as a starting point than an ending point.

      • Quote ‘“Common Carrier” works for any industry that’s communications or transport, it doesn’t work as well for other industries’

        Quote I think it works for Facebook, Twitter, and any company providing services to social media companies. They are, after all, communications companies.

        if your church wants to have a forum, is it a common carrier

        If you want to have a forum for 3rd grade kids, can you prohibit adults from posting inappropriate content to it?

        Common Carrier doesn’t allow much of any restrictions, and there are lots of good reasons to be able to moderate and boot off people

      • “if your church wants to have a forum, is it a common carrier

        If you want to have a forum for 3rd grade kids, can you prohibit adults from posting inappropriate content to it?

        Common Carrier doesn’t allow much of any restrictions, and there are lots of good reasons to be able to moderate and boot off people”

        I’ve posted before that while I don’t think Facebook et. al should be allowed to censor, I have no problem with subgroups being able to moderate. You can already do that on Facebook.

      • Quote: “Why do you think Public Accommodation is a dangerous road to go down?”

        Quote: It has been used to assault the religious rights of store owners, and no doubt private property rights as well.

        Quote: My view is this: a business should be able to deny services on pretty much any grounds (including those I find abhorrent), if there are reasonable alternatives. I think that as businesses get larger, or become dominate or party of oligopolies, those rights have to reduce, because their power increases. Also, I think public accommodation and the overriding of it makes more sense when protecting constitutionally delineated rights than others.

        I think trying to enumerate protected classes that cannot be discriminated against has caused more grief than it has solved.

        So rather than taking the viewpoint that you can refuse services to anyone for any reason, I take the opposite viewpoint (with a huge limitation), for standard goods and services you should be required to do business with anyone. Online, where goods and services are provided with no personal contact between people, this should be almost absolute. For services rendered in-person, something along the lines of ‘hostile work environment’ limitations are suitable to allow someone to refuse the service. For leasing something, there needs to be protection against the lessee damaging the thing

        I’ll point out that the Colorado Baker was perfectly willing to sell the gay couple anything on his shelves, and had been doing so for some time.

        The big limitation is when you want to contract someone for custom work, That is the point where I believe that you should be able to refuse anybody for any reason (being able to refuse for only some reasons leads people to give false reasons or just refuse to give a reason)

        In almost all cases of custom work, there is a creative component that is the equivalent of speech, and forcing someone to speak in favor of something they disagree with is evil. Proof of this is that almost every result of such a contract could be copyrighted (yes, even cakes and flower arrangements, as art)

      • “The big limitation is when you want to contract someone for custom work, That is the point where I believe that you should be able to refuse anybody for any reason (being able to refuse for only some reasons leads people to give false reasons or just refuse to give a reason)

        In almost all cases of custom work, there is a creative component that is the equivalent of speech, and forcing someone to speak in favor of something they disagree with is evil. Proof of this is that almost every result of such a contract could be copyrighted (yes, even cakes and flower arrangements, as art)”

        So how do you deal with the dangerous tech monopolies and duopolies?

        How do you deal with the fact that the Apple-Google duopoly over mobile phones both banned Parler at nearly the same time, leaving them with very little recourse? How do you deal with the coordinated (by wink and nod and shared worldview) attacks across the business sector against Parler? You have them being denied server service, being denied credit card acceptance, being denied app store presence by the oligopoly there (you can toss in Amazon, although they’re a fairly minor player)?

        Do we go after them on conspiracy charges? Do we let this continue, until people on the right have nowhere they can go?

        Don’t you see that this is an emergency for the right? It’s the first shot in a war on our very ability to be anything but second class citizens.

      • (answering in multiple posts as I’ve had trouble with large posts disappearing silently)

        quote: “for comments/post, there’s a very blurry line between moderation and censorship (as much intent, which is hard to judge, as anything else), so I think it requires a different solution.”

        quote: If you had a town square, how would you do it? I think our Internet spaces need to be equivalent to that. At the square, you may have a speaker on a dais and commenters, pro and con, and hecklers in the audience. There may be conversations between members of the audience.

        My solution is to allow for pretty much any moderation policy, but make sure the policy is enforced as written. If you are going to ban specific topics, that’s your choice, let people discuss them elsewhere. If you are going to ban specific behavior, make sure you are banning people on both sides of the argument

        I don’t want to give the government the power to evaluate this and enforce this, I want to give the affected people (via the courts) the power to enforce the contract that they enter in to with the service they are posting to.

        I’m even ok (but not happy) with the moderation policies banning specific viewpoints, because I can see cases where the lack of that ability can lead to harassment of a different viewpoint. you don’t want Trump people swarming a Biden forum or Biden people swarming a Trump forum, so it would make sense for each to ban people opposed to their candidate. If you are paying for the forum, you set the rules.

        with the rules clearly set, if twitter wants to be a forum for only half the country, they can limit their potential market and see how it settles out (part of this may be dealing with lawsuits about how they have squashed/purchased competition with the claim that they were a neutral platform, but now have decided to no longer be neutral, especially once they get large enough to attract the interest of the anti-trust regulators)

        (and with the public accommodations rules to prevent Parlor-like blocking of opposing forums, I think this can be workable)

      • I understand your motivations and don’t disagree with them on this topic.

        But it just doesn’t work for companies that are natural monopolies due to network effect. Just because MeWe exists doesn’t mean I can leave Facebook. I have way too many important connections there.

        That’s why I proposed breaking those natural monopolies into much smaller, competing monopolies, that are required to provide interconnectivity so their users can interact on all forums. I understand some of the issues doing that, as I have a lot of experience in designing interfaces between company IT systems.

      • @mesocyclone

        re: facebook vs groups filtering. I’m trying to find how you can legally differentiate between facebook and your local church hosting it’s own service.

        I don’t think that if facebook said that they didn’t want half the country on their platform explicitly that they would have the near monopoly that they currently have. And they sure wouldn’t pass anti-trust examination to buy up their competition with more lenient policies

        most solutions that I’ve seen proposed either overly burden small services (making it easier for Big Tech to keep their monopoly by killing competition) or they require specifying a list of companies (which will get out of date or be politically manipulated in the future)

        that’s why I came up with the idea of making them enforce their moderation policies evenly and not have the government do the enforcing.

        I think Facebook moderation policies would generally be ok if they enforced them evenly.

        As for breaking them into smaller, interoperable companies, I don’t see that happening. It would require freezing the technology to maintain interoperability (it’s not just the message passing, which is easy to do, it’s the history and recommendations that you can’t federate easily). Breaking up AT&T based on geography was easy. Breaking Microsoft, Google, or Amazon based on products is doable. But I don’t see what lines you can reasonably break Facebook on.

        I also don’t think that just breaking Facebook up would solve the problem. The problem isn’t a single policy set at the top, it’s that all the employees who have never held a job in the real world, and went straight from expensive private school to even more expensive college to high pay tech job have been well indoctrinated and they all ‘know’ what the right thing to do is, so they don’t need to coordinate or conspire to all do the same thing, even if they are at different companies.

        quote: How do you deal with the fact that the Apple-Google duopoly over mobile phones both banned Parler at nearly the same time, leaving them with very little recourse? How do you deal with the coordinated (by wink and nod and shared worldview) attacks across the business sector against Parler? You have them being denied server service, being denied credit card acceptance, being denied app store presence by the oligopoly there (you can toss in Amazon, although they’re a fairly minor player)?

        Most of this is handled by the Public Accommodations rule, if they sell to anyone they sell to Parler.

        A bit of it is handled by evenly enforcing their moderation terms (if they boot Parler off because there are a few posts calling for violence on it, then they boot Twitter and Facebook as well or they aren’t applying their terms evenly)

        I do see this an an Emergency for the Right, but two things

        1. there is nothing we can do in the net two years to change the laws
        2. I don’t want to make the problem worse by changing the law to something that the Left can then use even more directly to squash dissent the next time they are in power.

        So server hosting, credit card processing, etc are handled by the Public Accommodations rules.

        App store presence is handled by evenly applying ToS (and where the company only allows one app store, anti-trust can come into play I have multiple stores enabled on my android devices and the single app store is facing other problems, like the mandatory payments to Apple anyway)

      • “As for breaking them into smaller, interoperable companies, I don’t see that happening. It would require freezing the technology to maintain interoperability (it’s not just the message passing, which is easy to do, it’s the history and recommendations that you can’t federate easily)”

        It can be done, and BTW, messages exchanges aren’t necessarily easy, but they are sure doable.

        It would result in significant slowdown of new features. Such is the price for becoming a dominant, dangerous and frankly evil force. I will not cry about that.

        As for how you choose to split – you could use geography of the user base, or you could randomly select users. It doesn’t require an elegant solution.

        Good luck on the even enforcement of terms – the same indoctrinated people will be making those decisions. What is impermissible from one side will be seen by them as a different category than equally egregious contact by the other side. Etc.

        Public accommodation laws for server service, etc, would probably solve the problem there, as you say.

      • if you were to split the facebook user base, each new user base would need a different app/URL to access their service.

        what’s to stop people from re-converging by going to a different app/URL?

        when people move, are they going to be required to switch app/URLs?

        exchanging messages is the easy part (the Jabber protocol has supported federation for over a decade IIRC, Google even supported it for a while, but it’s died from lack of support and the lack of people caring enough to make the theoretical federation work in practice), how are you going to search across the message databases of the different companies, especially as they start diverging their internal implementations?

        I really don’t like it, but there is a network effect in play here, and that’s really hard to split for this sort of use

      • “if you were to split the facebook user base, each new user base would need a different app/URL to access their service.

        what’s to stop people from re-converging by going to a different app/URL?”

        As I said, my suggestion was a start. One way would be to have encouragement for stickiness. Another would be to have limits on how many could move to a particular site, based on its size. I’m sure you could think of other approaches. All of them sub-optimal, but the current situation is intolerable.

        “when people move, are they going to be required to switch app/URLs?”

        URL’s – yes, probably. Once could posit a uniform login system, but that might not be best. I don’t see that as a big problem.

        “exchanging messages is the easy part (the Jabber protocol has supported federation for over a decade IIRC, Google even supported it for a while, but it’s died from lack of support and the lack of people caring enough to make the theoretical federation work in practice),”

        As I say, I’ve done inter-corporate messaging a bunch. It is never as easy as it sounds, because nobody gets the protocol exactly right, at every level of the stack above TCP. But it is doable, and is not a huge problem.

        “how are you going to search across the message databases of the different companies, especially as they start diverging their internal implementations?”

        Part of the protocol would involve distributed search. The divergence issue affects more than search and is, I think, the only hard problem.

        “I really don’t like it, but there is a network effect in play here, and that’s really hard to split for this sort of use”

        The idea is to break the network effect’s lock, by allowing people to have the same access to others as they would in a unified system. Also, on initial break, you’d probably want to split the user bases randomly and make the original URL nothing but a notice that says it’s gone, folks, bye/.. That puts strong pressure on all the pieces to make the interconnections provide the benefits of the network effect.

        I’ve was involved from the start in a successful effort, in a very large industry where fierce competitors had to do this sort of cooperation, including the message standardization, which implies functional standardization (at least, a level of it necessary for the whole thing to function like one entity to the users). That cooperation still exists, over 30 years from the start, and with massive changes in the industry as a result of the Internet – which resulted in substantial changes to how the interoperability worked. The hardest part is matching functionality, or more often, translating it, in an appropriate manner.

      • An interesting WSJ article on the big cancel, quoting Richard Epstein of NYU Law School. Since it might be paywalled, I’ll dig out a few quotes, but the whole thing is worth reading. Note that Epstein is a Libertarian, and dislikes Trump.

        “The situation with Mr. Trump and the social-media giants is different. If they are monopolies—not “an easy question,” Mr. Epstein acknowledges—the common-law rule is that “no private monopoly has the right to turn away customers.” It must take them all on “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory” terms. This principle, which sometimes goes by the acronym Frand, dates back to the writings of Sir Matthew Hale (1609-76), an English jurist.

        “The question of media control,” Mr. Epstein says, “can only be understood by going back to the historical regulation of common carriers and public utilities.” Hale didn’t use the word “monopoly,” but instead wrote of a party “affected with the public interest,” such as a harbor with only one landing space. Its owners, he argued, had a duty to serve on terms that were fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory. ”

        ——

        “Unlike harbors, warehouses and railroads, social-media monopolies don’t raise an issue of rates. Their content is free. “But the nondiscrimination side of the formula is still with us,” Mr. Epstein says, “and it is that duty that’s at issue today with Trump and Twitter. And if the monopoly constraint applies, then it is not a defense to say that these companies are privately owned.”

        ——

        “Ultimately, Mr. Epstein says, those berating Twitter and Facebook for their abuse of “monopoly power” will lead the market to rebel, as happened when entrepreneurs responded to railroad monopolies by developing spur lines and other alternatives. “And that’s Parler,” he says, “and Gab,” another upstart that is kicking at Mr. Dorsey’s shins.

        Yet Parler is in a bind. Apple’s refusal to carry its app means that it can’t get onto an iPhone. “The iPhone is 40% of the market,” Mr. Epstein says. “So unless people with iPhones have two phones—which is a huge inconvenience—they’re going to be denied the service altogether.” Gab has “decided to build a fully integrated network, their own servers—to become completely self-sufficient.””

      • If iPhone has a browser, the Parler web site can be used. No?

      • “If iPhone has a browser, the Parler web site can be used. No?”

        Yes, it does, and there is nothing to keep Apple from banning access to certain URL’s. It controls the domain name access, along with the TCP/IP stack itself.

        But assume it doesn’t – are you arguing that it’s okay that some companies are denied the ability to provide mobile apps for their customers, while other customers can, even though they allow plenty of violence-promoting speech? Twitter routinely allows free posting of violence advocacy by enemies of the US – including the Ayatollah dictator of Iran and the dictator of China, who recently used the forum to deny the genocide he directs against the Uyghurs, not to mention left wing users in the US who have been advocating violence, including the assassination of President Trump for years.

      • Meso – apparently you haven’t read a word I’ve said. Let me be clear, if you own an iPhone, dispatch yourself immediately to the kitchen, drop the phone in the blender, then hit the Puree button!

      • “Meso – apparently you haven’t read a word I’ve said. Let me be clear, if you own an iPhone, dispatch yourself immediately to the kitchen, drop the phone in the blender, then hit the Puree button!”

        What prompted that outburst? And why would you do nuke your iPhone?

        For the record, I don’t own an iPhone, but that’s because I have business reasons for using an Android.

      • Meso – I don’t own an iPhone either. Apple dropped Parler’s app. So, I say, don’t buy their stuff. If you have their stuff, nuke it. Google’s more problematic. But I suppose there are at least some alternative phone OS’es.

  121. This hypocrisy must stop.

    Amazon terminated its contract with free speech platform Parler for “violent content on your website.” But Amazon itself deals with merchandise that advocates the death of all Republicans or specifically targets President Donald Trump.

    https://newsbusters.org/blogs/techwatch/corinne-weaver/2021/01/14/kill-all-republicans-amazon-sells-204-items-promoting

  122. As an outsider – I was surprised that Trump won in 2016. There was an even worse candidate. The merits or not of his Presidency cannot be objectively assessed at this stage. With Biden it seems you will get a chance to assess over the next 4 years. Even bigger government with a risky ‘modern monetary theory’ experiment seems inevitable. Creating money with a keystroke just like Obama.

    The actions of some at the Capitol are denounced by everyone. Yet the anarcho-syndicalist terrorist sympathisers – antifa is fine as long as it crushes capitalism – maintain a deceptive, obsessive, cancel culture narrative of blame. I’d suggest they move on to something practical and realistic but that’s all the game they have.

    • We have had 8 years of inept, corrupt Obama-Biden presidency, so we do know what to expect.
      Press will fawn over him and Kamala. MIC will start shooting in ME and Ukraine. (Fake) Woke mob will run crazy.
      One good thing is virus will be out almost immediately. It is amazing to watch stories of detrimental of effects of lockdown and how we need to open up are popping up in unison, in time for inauguration.

    • Trump won because he is a celebrity politician and being an outsider he decided to drain the swamp for no particular reason.

      The aim of the Impeachment process is to make sure Trump never runs again and is prevented from having a media outlet to rival Fox.

      The Biden team will bring back stability by offering the antifa mob some tidbits, like universal health care or universal basic income.

      In this way he will try to unify the nation and heal the wounds, but if its all too hard (even with both houses) then he could settle for electoral reform and gun law reform.

      • The nation is not going to be unified until the Left accepts that people who disagree with them have the right to exist.

      • joe - the realist

        davidelang | January 15, 2021 at 8:47 pm |
        “The nation is not going to be unified until the Left accepts that people who disagree with them have the right to exist.”

        concur

        Similarly – Bipartisinship is agreeing with the left and embracing progressive policies.

      • davidelang | January 15, 2021 at 8:47 pm
        The nation is not going to be unified until the Left accepts that people who disagree with them have the right to exist.

        Well until Nov 4th, conservatives could argue, from the moral high ground, that they were being unfairly targeted by leftist mobs. But after 2 months of delusional conspiracy theories, attempts to steal the election by threatening election officials and a deadly riot at the capitol, conservatives have provided compelling evidence that some of their ideas are “dangerous” and need to be censored for the good of society.

        So there can be no unity until conservatives admit they were wrong to spread lies about the election and were wrong to support Trump’s attempts to steal the election. If Trump supporters will not do this then cancel culture is going to get a lot worse because now moderates that used to be repelled by it now see that it is sometimes necessary.

      • Tim –

        > So there can be no unity until conservatives admit they were wrong to spread lies about the election and were wrong to support Trump’s attempts to steal the election.

        Don’t fall into their manner of tribalism with the facile generalizations.

        It wasn’t “conservatives” who did that. Plenty of conservatives hate those lies and don’t support Trump.

        It was Trump cultists who did that, and Trump cultists and conservatives are somewhat overlapping sets but they’re hardly congruent sets.

      • @ TimG
        yawn

        let me know when Hillary admits that she lost the 2016 election (as oppose to the Russians ‘stole it’

        remember “#notmypresident”?

        Let me know when Stacy Abrams admits she lost her election

        there is nothing evil with contesting an election result legally. There is evil in refusing to exit office,which has not happened and was never a realistic thing anyway

        But when one side says that the other should never be able to hold a job, and actively pushes for them to be fired and threatens any potential employer ho hires them, that is evil.

      • “let me know when Hillary admits that she lost the 2016 election”

        Hilary conceded on Nov 9th, 2016. Obama authorized the transition shortly afterwards. A few democrats tried to play games with the EC but got no support from the party establishment. Hilary, Obama and Biden attended Trump’s inauguration.

        IOW, there is absolutely no comparison between the abuses that were inflicted on America by Trump and the partisan sniping that has always been a feature of politics. If Trump had shown the professionalism and basic human decency that Hilary had shown after a heartbreaking loss then we would not be in a situation where moderates are now thinking that some voices do need to be “cancelled” for the good of the nation.

        Joshua is also right. It is necessary to distinguish between conservatives and Trump supporters. Trump is a cancer that has already caused a lot of damage to the nation and undermined the conservative project (which I support BTW). The damage will continue as long as Trump is able to bully Republicans into abandoning ethics and morally in the name of supporting an amoral thug.

    • Trump is a single term president who will be remembered for pussy grabbing, mobilising the vote against the Republican Party and the deaths of 400,000 and counting Americans.

    • I suppose that the author of that piece would have us believe that saying “the election was stolen” is Orwellian because no one stole anything. But the truth of the matter– if we stick with the author’s contention that Orwell was even more concerned with the truth than with preserving words and their meanings– is that no one has adequately investigated this election. We don’t know for certain if this election was stolen or not, but since the knee-jerk reaction is to deny that there’s anything to see and to censor people who say that there is, we suspect a conspiracy to silence.

      Is the mainstream media acting as the Ministry of Truth? I think the author of that essay missed a big one.

  123. Sullivan also organized an Antifa-Insurgence rally on January 6th at the Washingotn Monument at 11 AM before they stormed the US Capitol.
    The mainstream media refuses to report these facts.

    John Sullivan’s brother contacted the FBI and turned his brother in.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/huge-brother-arrested-antifa-blm-activist-john-sullivan-turned-brother-says-brother-somehow-charge-us-capitol-riots-video/

  124. It’s this rampant, unapologetic, hypocritical double standard that will do us in.
    More Double Standards: Antifa-BLM Organizer Who Stormed US Capitol Is Released from Jail Without Bail

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/double-standards-antifa-blm-organizer-stormed-us-capitol-released-jail-without-bail/

  125. According to a new filing by Parler’s lawyers, John Matze was forced to flee his home with his family and go into hiding after receiving “deaths threats” and “invasive personal security breaches.”

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/parler-ceo-flees-home-goes-hiding-receiving-death-threats/

    • not surprising. After all if Trump is literally Hitler (or as some have been claiming worse than Hitler), isn’t it moral to do anything to stop him and anyone who supports him?

      The fact that the liability laws have prevented and libel/slander lawsuits against all the people claiming that drives people to do insane things.

      The answer can’t be government control of speech, that has never worked, it needs to be some other way for people to fight these sorts of accusations

      This includes things like Don Lemon’s recent statement that all 74m people who voted for Trump are KKK and White Supremacists.

      There is political/marketing hype, and there is slander. Unfortunately the Left is devaluing Nazi/Racist to mean “I don’t like you”

  126. Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That oath, mandated by Article VI of the Constitution itself, is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and Oath Keepers declare that they will not obey unconstitutional orders, such as orders to disarm the American people, to conduct warrantless searches, or to detain Americans as “enemy combatants” in violation of their ancient right to jury trial.

    The Oath Keepers motto is “not on our watch!”

    Beware of false flags and traps that are now being set. Be careful who you listen to and what events you attend. Expect attempts to lure you onto enemy controlled ground where they have time to set up false flags.


    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/oathkeepers-issue-warning-american-patriots-beware-false-flags-traps-now-set/

    • Yes, Jim, but who decides what can be done in the name of defending the Constitution? Does defending the Constitution give an Oath Keeper the right to break in to consult with or intimidate their representative in the Nation’s Capitol Building? If a policeman says you don’t have a legal permit to carry a weapon in Washington DC, can an Oath Keeper resist arrest in the name of defending the Constitution? If you are in the military and believe you must defend the Constitution by refusing to obey an order to disperse a crowd of protesters (peaceful or violent), you will be court-marshalled for refusing an order. Your superior’s orders are valid until a court says your superior is wrong. The Oath-Keepers don’t get to decide whether an American has been improperly detained by the police, a judge does.

      The Oath-Keepers pledge is just a fancy way of say they are ready to break the law whenever THEY deem it appropriate. They constitute a higher authority than the local mayor, the local police, the governor, and the National Guard. They are reserving for themselves the right to be prosecutor, judge, and jury when THEY decide action necessary to defend the Constitution. They judged that the election was stolen and tried to keep Congress from voting for Biden. They will be going to jail for judging wrong – because that is insurrection. Those who seized the Seattle Autonomous Zone should have gone to jail for insurrection too. There is no fundamental difference

      • The people at large decide when to throw off an oppressive government.

        That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

        https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

      • “The Oath-Keepers pledge is just a fancy way of say they are ready to break the law whenever THEY deem it appropriate.”

        Do you have evidence that the Oath Keepers who invaded the capitol are representative of the organization?

      • Or maybe it’s:

        But just because I can’t prove it was a conspiracy doesn’t mean it wasn’t a conspiracy.

      • Curious George

        But just because I can’t prove that the world will burn in 12 years doesn’t mean it won’t burn then.

  127. Making the internet network proper and servers a public utility would fix part of the problem. Companies responsible for provisioning that infrastructure would have no say on who their customers are or what content was involved.

    In this case Parler would still have servers.

    Otherwise, break up the companies so they can’t slap down every competitor that comes down the pike like they are doing currently.

    Content could still be specified by Facebook, Twitter, etc.; but if they are going to do what they are doing now, they need to be liable.

  128. Utilities are typically heavily regulated, including the prices they charge, what they spend on R&D, etc. I think that is a bad idea (but not necessarily worse than the status quo)

    See my proposal above, I think simply defining Public Accommodations law so that non-custom services need to be sold to whoever will pay at the same price (including discounts for volume), but the prices set by the service provider is the right answer.

    But Public Accommodation does not mean doing custom work. Nobody should be required to write an Article, a screenplay, a song, paint a picture, design a building (or a cake) in support of a cause they disagree with.

    So using the examples I provided above:

    The Colorado Baker would be in the clear, he was willing to sell the gay couple anything in his store, he wasn’t willing to accept a commission to design a custom cake for them.

    A Black-owned Pizza Parlor would be required to sell pizza to the KKK (and even deliver it if it’s within their normal delivery area), but would not be required to do anything to imply that they support the KKK, including that they would not be required to cater the event and serve the food.

    AWS would be required to sell hosting to Parlor, just like they sell it to Twitter and Facebook (subject to volume discounts)

    • davidelang – While it is true Public Utilities of the past were highly regulated, that was partly due to the fact they were granted a monopoly. That grant was due to things like wires had to be strung for the service and having a hodgepodge of companies doing that would have invited chaos.

      But the internet is very flexible. It can, and does, handle a multitude of network service providers and server providers. We wouldn’t have to limit these services to one company and therefore benefits of competition would at least have a chance to operate.

      In short, I think it could work.

      • They were granted a monopoly because they were “natural monopolies.” In other words, the economics of the business inherently led to monopolies. For example, electric power distribution, or landline telephone distribution, require a lot of infrastructure spread across geography in a dense way. Any competition would be economically very inefficient, and one side would inevitable win out.

        So, they are regulated and granted a monopoly.

        Now, look at Facebook. Facebook is a natural monopoly due to network effect. In other words, what they own is the worlds largest network of people, by far. That means that many people have no choice but to be Facebook “customers” in order to keep or make connections that are important: distant family, interest groups, business groups, etc. Those are all on Facebook, and they are not all anywhere else.

        It would be very difficult for another company to acquire its own competing network. To do so would require it to acquire users who are already Facebook users. That’s why MeWe, for example, isn’t a useful alternative, except for special cases. The same applies to Twitter vs Parler.

        Another feature of Facebook and Twitter that is novel is that its “customers” are not actually customers, they are commodities whose data is sold. That’s the real business. So Facebook has a monopoly on those commodities, at least in the social network world. Twitter likewise, although its reach is narrower.

  129. If there was one industry that has had more influence over US foreign policy since the 1960s I would have put the members of American Petroleum Institute near the top of the list.
    Canceled!
    https://news.trust.org/item/20210115141250-c6iby
    “*BP, Shell already quit U.S. refining group
    By Ron Bousso
    LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – France’s Total SE on Friday became the first major global energy company to quit the main U.S. oil and gas lobby due to disagreements over its climate policies and support for easing drilling regulations.

    Total said it would not renew its 2021 membership with the American Petroleum Institute (API) following a review of the lobby’s climate positions, describing them as being only “partially aligned” with Total’s.

    Its withdrawal from the API, the most powerful U.S. oil and gas lobby, comes ahead of sweeping changes in policy direction in the United States, with incoming President Joe Biden promising to tackle climate change and bring the country to net-zero emissions by 2050.”

    • I find it difficult to believe that Total is doing other than advancing its commercial interests against a growing US natural gas export capacity. What absolute piffle reported by Jack in a gullible hope that energy fundamentals will change at the stroke of a pen in a new administration. He had 8 years to try not so long ago. There is a subtle reminder that government power has limits in the quote from the API below

      There is an active American 5th column. In their narrative America is a land of fascist rapine and pillage of the environment. And French Total is a better exemplar? It’s a mindset that wants to cancel America itself.

      “We believe that this administration is going to want our industry at the table to make sure that they can put forward the most effective regulation possible in this space that can actually survive judicial scrutiny,” he said. API already has met with transition team on the topic, he said. https://stateofamericanenergy.org/

  130. Roger Knights

    There formerly was a comment dismissing GOP analogies to antifa riots earlier this year as “whataboutism.” Here’s an article rebuting that dismissal:
    https://nypost.com/2021/01/15/crying-whataboutism-doesnt-make-lefts-support-for-rioting-go-away/?utm_campaign=applenews&utm_medium=inline&utm_source=applenews

  131. “Dear Robert –

    Are you jealous that beautiful women don’t let you do that to them?

    Only if you are a star, Robert. Then they will let you do anything to them. Note the words “let you”. That’s the reality Robert. That’s how gold diggers roll. They don’t care if you have a PhD in physics. In fact, that degree acts like a contraception most of the times!” Gotta love the misogamy. I suspect that nasty comments are often due to bruised ego’s. Chebyshev

    • Not at all Brian.

      Just letting Robert know that it is a well known fact that certain kind of women throw themselves at celebrities. I am sure anyone with a bit of real world experience outside an university campus knows that. That’s just the reality. In my experience ordinary folks are just plain jealous and hide behind fake outrage. They have no clue what it means to be a Tiger Woods, Mick Jagger, etc and to deal with women throwing themselves at them.

      This man does a better job of describing the phenomenon than me though.

      • Cheby I presume lives in his mother’s basement and in his experience men behave like dicks? He aspires to behaving like a dick – and says that those who don’t are jealous. Envy is a product of an unfulfilled life – he should get a life instead.

        I mentioned pussy grabbing in passing as a joke. Something less offensive than puzzling btw. No one can figure out how that’s a thing. I said that Trump is a one term President who will be remembered for pussy grabbing, mobilizing the vote against Republicans and 400,000 and counting American deaths. Yet Cheby takes a prurient interest solely in ‘locker room talk’. Imagining in his basement I suppose the hordes of women slavering after him if only he were rich and famous.

      • It’s alright Robert. Now it is apparent that you are one of them petulant, childish, fake woke mob.

        Happy raging!

  132. Now this is interesting:

  133. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y24-Gx0ZAEcmZbRkas6YMpihY7cDG0g-/view

    Who gains when the entire western world goes into lockdown? Just curious.

    Let’s see now: the virus originated in China … lockdowns originated in China … the WHO has praised China for its measures yet lockdowns of entire populations have no medical basis and are arguably worse than the disease … Trump, for all his supposed faults, was getting tough on China and working to block China’s threats to our electronic infrastructure … Biden has many times said that China isn’t competition and China is our friend … China mistreats millions of its own people and the Chinese people have no rights to speak of.

    Who gains when small businesses are destroyed across our country? Who gains when Americans are subjected to authoritarian measures? Who gains when protesters against an election are labelled as insurrectionists (insurrectionist against the state, that is, and not simply insurrectionists against social injustice)?

    Are the people made more powerful by all this, or is the state? Does China put people first or the state first? Is all of this disconnected and just coincidence?

    Why are we now imposing censorship of views that are against the legitimacy of the state (i.e., questions about the legitimacy of the election)?

    Asking for a friend.

    • Cui bono? is always an useful starting point!

    • “Who gains when the entire western world goes into lockdown?” Simple answer is “we do”. Every half assed lockdown that we do saves lives. Within 2 weeks the death rate drops off. And its an exponential save because almost everywhere, the virus is still in exponential growth. Once we stop our half assed lockdown, its back to exponential growth. And China still does lockdowns. Real ones with entire cities blocked off completely. Why are 22 million Chinese in lockdown right now? Well they are averaging about 110 cases a day, and that 110 too many. Plus, they just had their first death from covid19 in 8 months. Another reason for lockdowns and to ban air travel and all country to country travel (Unless there is 2 weeks isolation before traveling) is the new variants springing up all over the world. So far they all have adaptations allowing them to spread quicker. When 2 different variants infect one person, you get viral “sex” and survival of the fittest in the progeny. So, yet another new variant with even greater capability to spread, while natural selection will also select for duration of infectious period, latent infection and long term infection and relapsing infection. One of the few things I agreed with from Was the travel ban on China and on Europe. But his was half assed, His travel ban on China left out US nationals, and his ban on Europe was way way too late, and left out Ireland and the UK. (Trump has business interests in Ireland and in the UK). When there is a deadly virus, that spreads through the air, (Trump knew that), you don’t bring people home, instead, you pay the country where they got sick to treat them. You can check the growth of the virus by country on worldometers.
      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries They have an option to view total cases and total deaths over time on the log scale. If you click on the log scale, and there is a straight line sloping up to the right, its exponential growth. Most countries has exponential growth of cases and deaths. So the moral and economic choice is how many lives are worth saving? And also if we guess “long covid” rates to be about 3 times the death rate. (A guess) What is the economic cost of an extra 1.5 million disabled americans? in the future?

      • If lockdowns save lives, then you should be able to show a direct correlation between lockdowns and deaths, over time and between similar states/countries that have similar populations.

        note, this needs to be total deaths, remember that the initial lockdown rationale was ‘slow the spread’, not ‘eliminate all cases’. a lockdown was recognized as not eliminating cses, just delaying them to avoid overloading health care providers

        from what I’ve seen, the numbers don’t match the assertion, other than during very carefully selected windows

      • “If lockdowns save lives, then you should be able to show a direct correlation between lockdowns and deaths, over time and between similar states/countries that have similar populations.”

        You are making a common mistake: assume that peoples’ behavior depends only on government mandates. In fact, people act on other information, and alter their behavior as a result. That pretty well confounds any attempt to attribute changes in the curve to government actions, or to refute it, at least in countries like the US where people are very independent.

        Consider Arizona. We had a huge peak in late June and early July. Not long before the peak, the Governor finally gave localities the authority to issue mandates beyond the weak ones he had in force. Shortly afterwards, the curve peaked and then dropped so rapidly that we had the lowest Rt number in the country.

        I thought that the new mandates caused it. I’m sure they had an effect.

        But… Arizona now has the most cases per capita in the country. Those mandates *are still in effect*!

        So what changed? I’ve posted some ideas, but the point is that attribution is very difficult.

  134. UPDATE: Antifa Activist Daniel Alan Baker Arrested for Plotting to Murder Trump Supporters — Tells Supporters on YouTube He Received Soros Money

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/update-antifa-activist-daniel-alan-baker-arrested-plotting-murder-trump-supporters-says-received-soros-money/

  135. I hope Signal has a reliable server source …

    Signal Messaging App Crashes — After Massive Number of New Users — Tens of Millions New Users Just This Week!

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/signal-messaging-app-crashes-massive-number-new-users-tens-millions-new-users-just-week/

  136. QR code inventor and Stanford researcher, Jovan Pulitzer, released video evidence that shows the attack on the U.S. Capitol was planned in advance by radical far-left groups. Take a look.

    https://www.oann.com/jovan-pulitzer-u-s-capitol-takeover-planned-by-far-left-groups/

  137. “… years earlier, on October 21, 2015, General Secretary Xi personally visited Imperial College London for the announcement of ‘a series of new UK-China education and research collaborations’ including ‘nanotechnology, bioengineering… and public health.’ This was the
    only trip Xi ever made to the U.K. as General Secretary; the trip lasted just four days and involved just one university: Imperial College London.

    “In a speech welcoming General Secretary Xi and
    his wife, Peng Liyuan, a goodwill ambassador to the WHO, Imperial College President Alice Gast addressed the Chancellor of the Exchequer: ‘Chancellor, you have said that you aim to make the U.K. ‘China’s best partner in the west.’
    Imperial College London strives to be just that, China’s best academic partner in the west… As China’s top research partner in the U.K., Imperial’s academics and students benefit from collaboration on a daily basis.'”

    Who was making wildly exaggerated guesstimates of Covid fatality? Professor Ferguson. And which university was Ferguson from? Imperial College London.

    And General Secretary Xi’s wife is a goodwill ambassador to the WHO?

    All of this is, of course, coincidence. One other coincidence: who was (and is) the Director of the US Agency that gave millions to a Wuhan, China, bio-lab for gain-of-function research on bat viruses? None other than Dr. Anthony Fauci.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y24-Gx0ZAEcmZbRkas6YMpihY7cDG0g-/view

  138. This all gets curiouser and curiouser. https://breggin.com/dr-faucis-covid-19-treachery/

    “Overall, Fauci has been and continues to be an extraordinarily destructive force in the world. Most damaging to humanity, he enabled China to create SARS-CoV-2 and other deadly viruses for use as biological weapons. At the same time, he developed chilling ties to the Chinese Communist Party and its military, even financing their activities through NIAID and helping them to obtain valuable US patents. Then, in collaboration with China and WHO, he initially hid the origins and dangers of the pandemic, so that it spread more rapidly around the world. Then he became the go-to scientist and management czar for the very pandemic that he helped to create, enormously increasing his power and influence, and the wealth of his institute and his global collaborators, including Bill Gates and the international pharmaceutical industry.”

    Something to consider. Skimming through this document, I find many disturbing revelations.


  139. Federal prosecutors walk back sensational allegation of plot to kill lawmakers during Capitol siege

    Acting U.S. attorney in D.C. walks back charges filed in Arizona suggesting a plot to kill lawmakers.

    https://justthenews.com/government/courts-law/federal-prosecutors-walk-back-sensational-allegation-plot-kill-lawmakers

    • Stories of the so called threats to life and insurrection, etc etc, will become an infinite mushroom cloud. Over the next 50 years they will expand and expand and expand. Just like the Charlottesville and Russian Collusion Hoaxes, any relation to truth is irrelevant. The intellectual Siamese Twins, Dems and MSM, who can’t survive without supporting each other, will ensure the myths of that day endure in perpetuity.

      • “Over the next 50 years they will expand and expand and expand. Just like the Charlottesville and Russian Collusion Hoaxes, any relation to truth is irrelevant. ”

        Well said. Narratives are powerful weapons, especially if they seem true at first and later turn out to be false.

    • Justthenews cites Reuters which actually says:

      “Late on Thursday, [Arizona] federal prosecutors had made sweeping claims about the ongoing investigation in a filing as they asked a judge to detain Jacob Chansley, an Arizona man and QAnon conspiracy theorist photographed wearing horns as he stood at the desk of Vice President Mike Pence in the chamber of the U.S. Senate. In the filing, they said Chansley left a note for Pence warning that “it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming. Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government,” the memo said.”

      “The top federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. [Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin] said on Friday there is no “direct evidence” to suggest that rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol had formed “kill capture teams.”

      Jim2: What do you think? Was Chansley threatening to kill Pence or merely intending to terrorize him? In my amateur opinion, the guys in Arizona were justified in charging him with plans to assassinate, but I could see judge possibly throwing out that charge if it turns out there is no additional information in a few months. Perhaps Mr. Sherwin was ordered to make this statement by the Acting AG who was pressured by Trump. Or perhaps Sherwin fears Trump will fire him 3 Days, 15 Hours and 8 Minutes until sanity will be restored. What do you think? Will Trump pardon those who invaded the Capitol?

      • Frank – I think the note is too vague.

      • Don’t be ridiculous. Trump has no intention of pardoning those who invaded the Capitol. He’s stated that those who did this should be punished.

        The media is acting like all of the protesters were White Supremacists or their kin. The vast majority of Trump supporters don’t condone violence, and the vast majority of Trump supporters weren’t out in the streets this past summer burning things. Did you notice that? I’d bet good money that nothing will happen on January 20 because there’s absolutely nothing to gain by violence during the inauguration. What on earth would be the point? The media is just trying to convince us how dangerous “those people” are, and when nothing happens then that’ll be because of the extra security, not because “those people” are generally peaceful.

        It’s ridiculous to suggest that the intent of the protesters was to assassinate elected officials. What would that accomplish, how would that advance their cause of pushing for a thorough investigation of the election– not to overthrow the election, but to ensure that it was legitimate? Assassinating anyone would just turn the country violently against the Trump clan. How would that plan make any sense?

      • Don wrote: “Don’t be ridiculous. Trump has no intention of pardoning those who invaded the Capitol. He’s stated that those who did this should be punished.”

        Come on, Don. Everyone on your side knows that the Capitol was attacked by Antifa members disguised as Trump supporters. Many innocent Trump supporters – like the good people in Charlottesville – were lured into the Capitol.

        Jacob Chansley was a devoted follower who flew across the country to help keep Trump in office. He has been an entertaining mascot at numerous Trump rallies. Just like Trump himself, he didn’t intend to do any harm. Saying “it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming” is exactly what Trump is STILL telling his followers. If there is no proof of Jacob Chansley was involved in physical violence, why shouldn’t Trump pardon him? You simply don’t want him to pardon because you think it would hurt Trump’s cause. And you know that impulsive Trump will do whatever he wants for whatever “reason” he is offered.

        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/16/us-capitol-rioters-donald-trump-pardons

  140. It happened this week, when Amazon dropped Parler, a social network that gained traction from conservatives after Twitter banned President Donald Trump and housed content that encouraged violence. Parler filed suit against Amazon in federal district court in an attempt to stop Amazon from suspending Parler’s account, and Amazon pushed back, requesting that the court deny Parler’s motion.

    The incident demonstrates a type of power that Amazon wields almost uniquely because so many companies rely on it to deliver computing and data storage. Amazon controlled 45% of the cloud infrastructure in 2019, more than any other company, according to estimates from technology research company Gartner. The app survived without being listed in Apple and Google’s app stores, but getting sent away from Amazon’s cloud has left Parler absent from the internet for days.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/technologyinvesting/parler-s-de-platforming-shows-the-exceptional-power-of-cloud-providers-like-amazon/ar-BB1cOi6Z

  141. China’s military bioweapon division purposely exposed thousands of foreign althletes to covid-19 at World Military Games in Wuhan, Oct 2019. I personally deduced this at the outset and stated so in the Daily Mail comments section. I’m glad the aweful truth will now be known to the world:

  142. Tried to reply a few times but didn’t get through, Maybe I am blocked, so last attempt. Anyway, who gains when we have a lockdown? We do, A lockdown stops and resets the exponential growth of the virus, so lives are exponentially saved in the future. Plus, lockdowns slow the mixing of new variants so strains with faster transmission rates are less likely to combine to produce a faster spreading or vaccine resistant strain. China currently has about 22 million people under lockdown. They are getting about 110 cases per day (which is 110 to many) and they also had their first death in 8 months recently. Chinese Lockdown’s are more real than those in Western Europe and the USA of course, but their saving grace is the several million lives that they saved already in China.

    • It’s very short sighted to consider only deaths from the virus. Mental health and addiction issues have multiplied and suicide have increased as a result. Many small businesses will never recover. China is no role model for the US.

      ADVERTISEMENT

      The implications of treatment delays for situations other than COVID-19 result in 8,000 U.S. deaths per month of the shutdown, or about 120,000 years of remaining life. Missed strokes contribute an additional loss of 100,000 years of life for each month; late cancer diagnoses lose 250,000 years of remaining life for each month; missing living-donor transplants, another 5,000 years of life per month — and, if even 10 percent of vaccinations are not done, the result is an additional 24,000 years of life lost each month.

      These unintended consequences of missed health care amount to more than 500,000 lost years of life per month, not including all the other known skipped care.

      If we only consider unemployment-related fatalities from the economic shutdown, that would total at least an additional 7,200 lives per month. Assuming these deaths occur proportionally across the ages of current U.S. mortality data, and equally among men and women, this amounts to more than 200,000 lost years of life for each month of the economic shutdown.

      https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/499394-the-covid-19-shutdown-will-cost-americans-millions-of-years-of-life

    • That’s the Imperial College line of thinking.

      Lockdowns have come with huge costs, and it’s arguable that the cure is worse than the disease, especially in light of alternatives: focused protection, hydroxycloroquine, and ivermectin. The destruction of liberties isn’t the least of the harms caused by lockdowns.

      • “Lockdowns have come with huge costs, and it’s arguable that the cure is worse than the disease, especially in light of alternatives: focused protection, hydroxycloroquine, and ivermectin. The destruction of liberties isn’t the least of the harms caused by lockdown”

        Epidemics come with huge costs – lockdowns or not. And “lockdowns” is kind of a weak term anyway – because people use it for all sorts of different policies.

        We have not seen what the epidemic would have cost without lockdowns. But, we can infer from looking at a few countries that were unable to do much, that they are very high. The case fatality rate – around 1%, would go up by about a factor of five. But the complete overload of the health care system that caused that would also kill lots of non-COVID patients.

        Also, what do you think would happen to the economy with an epidemic allowed to run its course? Do you think that people would go about life as usual with deaths and serious illness all around them?

        As to the alternatives..

        Focused protection doesn’t work. If it did, we would long ago have been able to end the high infection rate in care homes. Obviously focused protection is better than no protection.

        HCQ has not been shown to be effective. I have not seen a single good trial that I found convincing, and believe me, I want it to be effective.

        The verdict is still out on ivermectin, as far as I know. If I had it, I’d take it if I got sick, since it’s pretty save. That said, I am not current on the literature on Ivermectin, and the fact that there may be a meaningful correlation between ivermectin use and lower case counts in countries where ivermectin is widely used.

        The best treatments I am aware of are monoclonal antibodies, if given early. But even there, the medical establishment disagrees. I have read that the system where I get my health care uses them.

        I am less concerned about “the destruction of liberties” – because I don’t think it is permanent. In the US, it would not be possible to make it permanent. Heck, we can’t even enforce common sense measures.

        None of this is to deny the real cost and pain of “lockdowns” or isolation bubbles. I hate it – I have immediate family three miles away that I don’t dare visit, for example. Many have been slammed economically (but I’d argue that they’d be slammed with a “let ‘er rip” approach too).

    • UK-Weather Lass

      SARS-Cov-2 is neither friend nor foe but simply another character in the evolutionary process we may call survival of the fittest. In that process some may perish, some may become ill and recover, and some will not be inconvenienced at all. However, all survivors eventually protect our offspring from subsequent attacks and we hope that protection is better than it would have been prior to the first transmissions that took place in this outbreak. That, surely, is the only way to frame any viral outbreak of this scale. With some certainty we can say that nobody alive today will still be alive in about one hundred and twenty odd years’ time but our legacy will survive.

      To shut down humanity at such unknown costs (which will take decades to quantify) is surely worse than the hit we would have taken in any event and we should never let it happen again.

  143. Who won the election? Big business and China.

    We will no longer have a President that helps the common man. This one and the other Dimowits will cater to China, Big Tech, Big Business, and anyone else with deep pockets.

    The big business lobby is cheerleading President-elect Joe Biden’s massive amnesty plan for the 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the United States, calling the initiative one of their many “priorities.”

    Biden floated the amnesty plan with a number of open borders and business lobbying groups during a meeting this week. Some executives with the groups are calling the amnesty “the most aggressive” plan they have seen while working on Capitol Hill, suggesting it includes not only legislation, but executive orders to legalize most of the illegal alien population.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/01/16/big-business-joe-bidens-amnesty-illegal-aliens-legislative-priority/

  144. Former Buzzfeed employee Tim Gionet, better known online as ‘Baked Alaska,’ was arrested Friday for illegally entering the US Capitol building on January 6th.

    Baked Alaska was charged by the FBI for “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority” and “violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds,” according to criminal complaint obtained by The Scoop.

    The former Buzzfeed video creator live-streamed himself inside the Capitol on DLive, a popular streaming platform.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/former-buzzfeed-employee-trump-hater-baked-alaska-endorsed-democrat-president-gets-arrested-storming-us-capitol/

  145. Gotta give those rich people some nice perks!

    Democrats are again considering legislation to provide their wealthy blue state donors with billions by ending the cap on a tax deduction.

    As President-elect Joe Biden has released his $1.9 trillion Chinese coronavirus relief package that offers $1,400 stimulus checks to working and middle class Americans, rather than the $2,000 checks that President Trump had requested, Democrats are resurrecting their goal of providing tax breaks to the wealthiest of Americans, mostly concentrated in coastal blue states.

    The plan once again being considered by Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee would end the cap on the SALT tax deduction that was strictly limited by Trump in 2017. Ending the cap over the next two years would give millionaires and billionaires a massive windfall while costing about $136 billion.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/01/16/democrats-again-consider-bailing-out-the-wealthy-with-billions-in-tax-cuts/

    • The SALT tax deduction just makes use common people pay for Blue State Follies. I don’t want to support New York or California. Let them support themselves!!!

    • Joe - Dallas CPA

      The pain of the limit of the SALT deduction has been greatly overstated.

      The 2017 tax act capped the SALT deduction at $10,000. The act also increased the income not subject to AMT from 150k to 1m for years 2018-2025. Prior to 2018, a large segment of those individuals paid alternative minimum tax and therefore received no benefit from their SALT deduction.
      The effect in 2018 through 2025 is that even though they lost the SALT deduction , they did not pay any AMT resulting in less overall tax on the same amount of income.

      As long as the AMT remains structured as it is today, the cap of $10,000 on the SALT deduction is moot.

    • Curious George

      Trump requested a $2,000 stimulus check. The Congress only provided $600. Now Biden is offering an additional $1,400. A subtraction is one of my strengths.

  146. Republicans R
    Conservatives,
    Constitutionalists –
    Change by debate
    And honest votes,
    Not Portland riots
    And Chicago violence,
    But law and order
    a la Ben Franklin,
    John Adams and
    First US President
    George Washington.
    Who could not tell a lie.
    M-A G-A!

    • > Republicans R
      Conservatives

      Republicans and conservatives are not congruent sets either. Much less so now than just 4 years ago.

      Trump cultists are the set wearing Trump-cultist-colored glasses.

      • Now Republicans and Trump-cultists,

        is another matter.

        Damn close to being congruent sets.

        Although some Republicans are Trump cultists for show and convenience,

        and some are died-in-the-wool.

        (as are some poets)

      • -snip-

        Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said the QAnon conspiracy theory is “destroying the GOP from within” and called out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and newly elected Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in an op-ed Saturday.

        “Until last week, many party leaders and consultants thought they could preach the Constitution while winking at QAnon,” Sasse wrote in The Atlantic. “They can’t. The GOP must reject conspiracy theories or be consumed by them.”

      • J

        How many Republicans believe the QAnon crap? Do you have actual data rather than leftwing cultists talking points?

      • how many republicans actually know what Qanon is and what they believe? it’s become the hipping boy / talking point of the left that everything is blamed one

      • “how many republicans actually know what Qanon is and what they believe? it’s become the hipping boy / talking point of the left that everything is blamed one”

        Exactly. I sure didn’t until very recently, and I read a fair number of conservative sites, and am a conservative. I knew it was nuts, and there was some conspiracy theory about a pizza place and paedophilia. But that’s it.

        Not all the data is in yet, but certainly qAnon nuts were part of the invasion of the Capitol. But there were other odd groups – reportedly neo-nazis and white supremacists. Neither of those groups are conservative. They have some views in common with conservatives, but so do libertarians.

        The Internet allows the creation of crazy groups in a way never before possible. The censorship we are now seeing will just skew the crazies on the visible internet to the extreme left – Antifa and their ilk. Those censored will just retreat to darker places.

        I will say this… the reaction to the Capitol invasion is so over the top and extreme that I am now far more upset at that than at the invasion itself. Both are attacks on Democracy, but the first was only symbolic – it had no staying power. The latter, being held by big business but with the left showing the way, represents a possibly long lasting form of something far worse: fascism of the left (fascism has always been partly congruent with the left, especially in its methods). I fear for my county. I fear that we have violence ahead, with people over-reacting to that suppression, the way they did at the capitol. I hope I’m wrong.

      • You don’t need to be a Qanon cultist to understand a few things:
        1. China is an authoritarian regime, and they’ve been conducting a stealth war against the US which includes infiltration of our government (Swallwell?), our press, and our electronic infrastructure. Trump was acting against this threat, which Director of National Intelligence Ratcliffe called the greatest threat to the US.
        2. The Covid craze has destroyed liberties and businesses in the US and treatments that could have mitigated this, such as hydroxychloroquine and vitamins C and D and zinc, have been suppressed.
        3. We’ve moved away from self-determination to state-determination, and this moves us closer to an authoritarian regime.
        4. The mainstream media is left-leaning and isn’t supporting individual self-determination, but is on the bandwagon of herding us all into a “stay safe” regime that justifies anything Big Doctor tells us. Many people (who aren’t cultists!) feel the Swedish model is the model of least overall harm.
        5. The sensible Great Barrington Declaration, which existed early on in other forms (such as Dr. David Katz’s recommendations) has been vilified in favor a lockdown strategy. Again, the Swedish example, and perhaps now the Florida example (what a relief to visit there!) seems to be hands-down the path of least harm. Throw in South Dakota, too.
        6. Many feel that there are too many election irregularities that haven’t been addressed.

        None of this involves Qanon cultism, or even Trump cultism for that matter. Yet now we’re hearing that all this is because of some cult and the defective thinking of Americans who are so mushy-minded that they fall for disinformation. Maybe people are just concerned about the liberties that our forefathers fought so hard to preserve, and that today we seem to be so quick to jettison?

      • “You don’t need to be a Qanon cultist to understand a few things:” – Don132

        Great post and totally agreed. China is also using the same stealth tactics to undermine Australia. There’s a likelihood of an invasion of Taiwan in the next few weeks, under the cover of the US inauguration. There’s fears that the CCP could intercept supply lines to the Australian mainland. It’s all very real.

      • Fifty years ago you got in trouble for what you did.

        Today you get in trouble for what you say.

        Fifty years from now, when they get the technology needed to read thoughts, you will get in trouble for what you think.

      • Kid –

        > Fifty years from now, when they get the technology needed to read thoughts, you will get in trouble for what you think.

        Well, I’m guessing you might be around in 50 years but even if you were you’d have a kid of immunity – given that you so rarely display any evidence of thinking.

      • Actually, the reason I provided all that information about taxes and budgets is because I know the left never has been able to think for themselves. It’s obvious every day on this blog. Just rote recitation of leftwing extremists talking points and myths and misinformation heard from the media.

        I’m doing my civic duty to educate the uneducable.

      • When I meet my maker I want to get redemption for helping the underprivileged.

      • Right Don132, Qanon is nonsense Leftists propagandistic drivel (backwater propaganda, twitter fodder for inept partisan quibbling). Qanon is relegated to the sycophantical Marxist mobster who plys it as inept gotcha fodder.

        Speaking of Marx, Democrat President wannabe Mike Bloomberg is adamant that Chairman Chi isn’t an authoritarian! He actually stated this. We’ve had CE posters defending China to the end (whatever happened to JCH here at CE?). Many on the Left quietly slobber over Chinese Marxism, as many in the U.S. Left did over the advent of Fascism; that is, before the axis powers became a global threat in the early 20th century (The NYT’s glowed about the promise of Fascism). So now Fascism is being repackaged, because, uh, it wasn’t done right the first go around.

        Where do we see Leftists condemning and railing against China’s concentration camps? Or China’s “transplant tourism”, among other draconian Chinese authoritarian policies? The U.S. Left quietly ignores these things. Re-education camps represent the new democracy for certain congress people like Bernie Sanders and AOC. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/01/14/sanders_campaign_organizer_free_education_gulags_needed_to_re-educate_you_not_to_be_a_fcking_nazi.html AOC believes conservatives too can be re-educated! https://lifeandlibertynews.com/2021/01/14/aoc-hopes-to-liberate-southern-states-through-reeducation/ Hard Left Marxists like AOC don’t believe American’s should believe in such passé tenets of individual liberty and freedom. Go collectivism, it’s all the rage!

      • kid –

        > How many Republicans believe the QAnon crap? Do you have actual data rather than leftwing cultists talking points?

        So by virtue of that logic you create a self-sealing logic. Since I haven’t gone out and personally researched in depth the background of everyone who identifies as Republican, any answer I give you that you don’t like can just be dismissed as left-wing propaganda. You have bought into the conspiracy ideation analytical.

        What I know is that Republican Qanon believers have been elected into Congress. I know that Qanon in inextricably linked to the Trump cult. Quanon seems to have been well-represented in the recent Capitol Hill Mob riot by Trump supporters (which, of course, you’ll deflect and diminish).

      • J

        A binary approach to a more nuanced question. Assuming they are supposedly linked by certain attitudes and beliefs, to what extent do they all share those same values and beliefs. I assume they can be put on a continuum of the extent to which they adhere to the conspiracy theories they supposedly have. More complex than just saying they are sharing the same thoughts. What are all the aspects of the shared norms and how much do they believe each one of them?

        Not any different from the extent to which all Muslims practice strict adherence to the many precepts of Sharia Law. In some Muslim communities the practices of other Muslims would be just as abhorrent as it is to those who share Judeo Christian ethics.

        Lumping Qanon members into a monolithic group just doesn’t cut it. Although it’s fun politics.

    • Jesus.

      > Assuming they are supposedly linked by certain attitudes and beliefs, to what extent do they all share those same values and beliefs

      I never said they “all share” (all values and beliefs. Of course they don’t.

      But plenty Qanon supporters were elected ad Republican congress critters. Not a trivial amount those rioting on Capitol Hill were both aren’t Trump supporters and highly active in Qanon. Displays of Qanon beliefs have been often seen in display at Trump rallies. The whole Qanon dogma ties into Trump support. He is a central future in the entire conspiracy theory.

      No, not all Trump supporters, by a long shot, are Qanon kooks… Probably most Qanon kooks (of which there seem to be many) are ardent Trump supporters. Deal with it.

  147. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.643369/abstract

    New paper coming out on ivermectin. Comments on the abstract are interesting– arguments over who should get credit!

    • “Comments on the abstract are interesting– arguments over who should get credit!”

      The authors should change saying that they “discovered” the benefits of ivermectin to saying that they “learned” of them.

      IMPORTANT:
      NEW YORK, N.Y. — JANUARY 15, 2021
      One week after Dr. Paul Marik and Dr. Pierre Kory—founding members of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC)— along with Dr. Andrew Hill, researcher and consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), presented their data before the NIH Treatment Guidelines Panel, the NIH has upgraded their recommendation on ivermectin, making it an option for use in COVID-19.
      [This] is the same recommendation given to monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma, both widely used across the nation.
      By no longer recommending against ivermectin use, doctors should feel more open in prescribing ivermectin as another therapeutic option for the treatment of COVID-19. This may clear its path towards FDA emergency use approval.
      “against” to neither for nor against”,
      Ivermectin is one of the world’ s safest, cheapest and most widely available drugs,” noted Dr. Kory,
      The studies we presented to the NIH revealed high levels of statistical significance showing large magnitude benefit in transmission rates, need for hospitalization, and death. What’s more, the totality of trials data supporting ivermectin is without precedent.”

      Click to access FLCCC-Ivermectin-in-the-prophylaxis-and-treatment-of-COVID-19.pdf

      See also https://covid19criticalcare.com for lots of links.

      • I think the comment to that abstract by Joyce C at 12:46, January 15, explains adequately that in the article itself, full credit is given to prior research on ivermectin, and in no way was the intent of the word “discover” in the abstract to mean that they pulled this out of the blue. It means something along the lines that they discovered the prior research. But you’re right, changing that word to “learned” would silence critics who believe the FLCCC group is trying to claim all the glory.

        No doubt Dr. Fauci will be announcing soon that we have another tool to fight the disease while vaccines are being rolled out, and which would be useful for those who are hesitant to be in the first group of Covid vaccine recipients. I can hardly wait.

      • Roger Knights

        I wonder if it would actually promote use of ivermectin if the NIH granted it an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). I think it might have the effect of damning with faint praise—of implying or insinuating that it is only justifiable as a last-ditch treatment in dire cases. (Whereas actually it is most beneficial at the onset of symptoms, or even preventably.)

    • The Ivermectin stuff is interesting.

      However, from my perspective the people promoting that treatment don’t do themselves any good by employing some of the research methods described in the following article:

      https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/942995

      • Thanks for the link. However, it takes one to a site that is only viewable by registered medicos. Here’s a link to the whole article. (It is presented in three parts, so one must click on the 2 & 3 boxes to view it all.) https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/942995?src=soc_tw_201223_mscpedt_news_mdscp_coronavirus&faf=1

        There are 17 comments (also by medicos) that one should click on too, 14 critical of the critical article, 1 pro, 2 neutral, per my estimate.

        The article is dated Dec. 21, so it doesn’t critique the Jan. 15 NIH get-out-of-jail decision for ivermectin. Nor is its focus mainly on ivermectin, which is mentioned only parenthetically, thus: “(Kory testified in front of the committee again earlier this month about the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. He told Medscape the MATH+ protocol has been updated to include ivermectin since the submission to JICM.)”

        Commenter Jim Jim observed: “this article comes out after Dr. Kory’s senate testimony for Ivermectin. Yet, there’s … nothing about Ivermectin usage.”

        The article criticizes the proponents’ MATH+ cocktail, writing, “The physicians have been promoting their MATH+ protocol as a way to improve survival from severe COVID-19 since the spring,”
        “MATH+ stands for methylprednisolone, ascorbic acid, thiamine, and heparin. The “+” includes additional therapies like vitamin D, zinc, melatonin, statins, and famotidine.”
        “In March, when Marik and his colleagues formalized the MATH+ protocol, healthcare organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) were advising against steroids for COVID-19 patients.”

        The article’s other objection is that the proponents didn’t conduct “a randomized, placebo-controlled trial,” a contention that is met with well-deserved mockery in the comments, and also in a (paywalled) WSJ op-ed article of Nov. 24, 2020 by Joseph A. Ladapo, “Too Much Caution Is Killing Covid Patients: Doctors should follow the evidence for promising therapies. Instead they demand certainty.”
        https://www.wsj.com/articles/too-much-caution-is-killing-covid-patients-11606238928?mod=itp_wsj&ru=yahoo

        Here’s a link to “Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19” at https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/FLCCC-Ivermectin-in-the-prophylaxis-and-treatment-of-COVID-19.pdf

        Here is a link to a Nov. 30 article about the success of ivermectin in the Dominican Republic, one of many places where success has been reported: https://dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2020/11/30/doctor-explains-99-3-of-covid-19-patients-treated-with-ivermectin-recovered-in-five-days/
        It is summarized by blogger Ron Clutz at https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/the-case-for-invermectin-covid-regimen/

      • A couple of things about the Medscape article that Roger Knights/Joshua linked to, which was critical of the FLCCC group.

        For one, the author seems to criticize the group for pushing their protocol when dexamethasone was shown to have benefit. But the FLCCC group uses methylprednisolone which, like dexamethasone, is a corticosteroid. Is the use of one corticosteroid over another really that significant? Dr. Kory states that methylprednisone has a longer history that dexamethasone.

        Then a quote by Dr. Wilson: “What I take issue with here is the authors’ implication that that’s where the scientific process stops.” Really? Is that really what the FLCCC group is saying?

        “This protocol should be abandoned,” we’re told. The protocol “is based on negative evidence,” such as the trials that showed no benefit from vitamin C in treating acute illness. I happen to know something about the trial that was likely referred to, which would be the VITAMINS trial testing the Marik protocol (using vitamin C) for the treatment of ARDS (Marik is the intellectual leader of the FLCCC group.) Marik rightly stated that the trial was designed to fail chiefly because time-to-treat, which is critical, was far too long and not explicitly spelled out in the data of that trial (even so, what was spelled out pointed to long delays in administration of the protocol.)

        As usual, comments are interesting, such as this observation by Dr. Grolig: “The problem with this logic [it hasn’t been tested with RCTs!] is that most expensive chemotherapy drugs were never tested with RCT using placebo – and a huge double standard exists.”

    • Since we’re looking at comments online to evaluate medical sxience:

      -snip-
      Cynthia Savage, MD

      January 7, 2021

      All I know, as an ER doc, is that people taking ivermectin are getting admitted to the ICU, too. In fact, I admitted someone taking the aforementioned combo my most recent shift. His doctor called me, saying he had monitored this guy and he had been “doing fine” with sats of 85% on 4L NC. That’s not “fine”, that’s a doctor with an anchoring bias and an unproven treatment.
      -snip-

      I’m not unsympathetic to the argument that the value of RCTs needs to be evaluated in the context of an active pandemic and the expertise of frontline clinicians. On the other hand, the expertise of frontline clinicians needs to be evaluated in the context of known mechanisms of bias.

      • Curious George

        Dear Dr. Joshua: What’s the best currently known prevention of the coronavirus? What’s the best treatment in the initial stages of the disease?

      • “… known mechanisms of bias.”

        Because only the FLCCC group has biases, and everyone else is perfectly objective? Well, blow me down!

      • Strawman yourself: I don’t claim to be a victim, nor do I base arguments on my supposed victimhood.

    • Don and Roger: The problem is that none of these reports are from placebo-controlled random assignment trials. And they are from non-developed countries where doctors may need to report good results simply to remain funded.

      Doctors who see patients who are dying every day need to believe that they are doing something to make their patients better. It is the worst possible situation for confirmation bias; to go back to work every day, you need to remember the victories and forget the failures. And the doctors most likely to publicize their “victories” are the 1% who are the most self-deluded. Two centuries ago, confirmation bias resulted in doctors bleeding their patients when they were ill. George Washington believed he had benefited from bleeding during several illnesses and died after bleedings totaling 5 pints.

      The only way you know if a drug is working is to do a random assignment study where half of the target treatment population gets placebo and the other half gets the real drug. After six months of “success” with ivermectin, why haven’t any of those getting good results done a placebo-controlled study to prove it? They must be aware of the long history of how doctors have been fooled in the past. However, when they deeply believe they are helping patients, it is difficult to stop treating some of your patients with a drug you believe does work. In fact, it is unethical to withhold a treatment when good evidence exists that a treatment is efficacious. The whole situation reeks of confirmation bias. It doesn’t mean they are wrong about ivermectin; it means they aren’t the right people to decide what was efficacious.

      Is Ivermectin a safe drug? Yes, when a single dose is administered once every six months. However, it is a neurotoxin that kills worms within minutes by binding to an ion channel. It would kill us too by the same mechanism, if P-glycoprotein didn’t interfere with its crossing the blood-brain barrier. It is mostly cleared in two days, so you’d really like to dose daily to provide continuous antiviral activity. Ivermectin has weak activity against malaria parasites, but no one has established a safe and effective dosing schedule for treating malaria.

      • Roger Knights

        Franktoo: “The problem is that none of these reports are from placebo-controlled random assignment trials.”

        But: below are comments to the contrary appended to “Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19”
        Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.643369
        at https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/FLCCC-Ivermectin-in-the-prophylaxis-and-treatment-of-COVID-19.pdf

        “The problem with this logic is that most expensive chemotherapy drugs were never tested with RCT using placebo – and a huge double standard exists.”
        —Dr. jeffrey grolig

        “There is a place for double blind peer reviewed hacked to death studies but in the middle of a pandemic treatment needs to be driven by patient response.”
        —Patricia Kuvik

        “Is it really wise to advocate another 6 months of RCT trials, rather than taking action during the Winter surge? If another 100K perish during the Winter surge and the fullness of time proves these therapies valid, would this be an acceptable outcome? … Or would you prefer a doctor who’s waiting for conclusive proof of effectiveness before taking any action?”
        ——————–

        Franktoo: “And they are from non-developed countries where doctors may need to report good results simply to remain funded. Doctors who see patients who are dying every day need to believe that they are doing something to make their patients better.”

        Those insinuations don’t seem to apply to the Dominican Republic report, linked to above—here’s the link again: https://dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2020/11/30/doctor-explains-99-3-of-covid-19-patients-treated-with-ivermectin-recovered-in-five-days/ (Read the appended comments too.) It was written by a high-level medico with an overview of 7000 patients at three hospitals and, I assume, good statistical tools. He’s not just a hopeful, underfunded Local MD. Here are extracts from it:

        “After eight months of active clinical observation and attending about 7 thousand patients of Covid-19 in three medical centers located in Puerto Plata, La Romana, and Punta Cana, Dr. José Natalio Redondo revealed that 99.3% of the symptomatic patients who received care in his emergency services, including the use of Ivermectin, managed to recover in the first five days of recorded symptoms.

        “The renowned cardiologist and health manager affirmed that Ivermectin’s use against the symptoms of Covid-19 is practically generalized in the country and attributed to this factor, among others, the fact that the risk of dying from this disease in the Dominican Republic is significantly lower than in the United States.

        “He added that “in a therapeutic format duly tested over the years, infections have always been cured faster and leave fewer sequelae if antimicrobial treatment is applied as early as possible since this allows the use of lower doses of the selected drugs.

        “We realized that the war was being lost because of the obsession of large groups, agencies, and companies linked to research and production of drugs, to focus their interest almost exclusively on the management of critical patients.

        “Our results were immediate; the use of Ivermectin, together with Azithromycin and Zinc (plus the usual vitamins that tend to increase the immune response of individuals) produced an impressive variation in the course of the disease; it was demonstrated that 99. 3% of the patients recovered quickly when the treatment was started in the first five days of proven symptoms ….”
        —————–

        Franktoo: “After six months of “success” with ivermectin, why haven’t any of those getting good results done a placebo-controlled study to prove it?”

        The Dominican Republic doesn’t have the resources for such a study, probably. (I read the interview with the guy in charge of the Minneapolis HCQ RCT study—he described the many challenges, lengthiness, and high expense of doing it.) The DR isn’t in a position to “prove” it to the world, which would likely dismiss it due to its tiny third-world status. The question should be, Why haven’t the Developed nations’ national health bureaucracies provided such funding?
        —————–

        Franktoo: “The whole situation reeks of confirmation bias.”

        Since you obviously haven’t read the article, you are not aware of what the “whole situation” is.
        ————–

        Franktoo: “Is Ivermectin a safe drug? Yes, when a single dose is administered once every six months.”

        Citation needed. IIRC, from what I’ve read in the past, dosage can be much more frequent than that.

      • Roger Knights wrote: “IIRC, from what I’ve read in the past, dosage [of ivermectin] can be much more frequent than that.”

        If the FDA had been presented with evidence showing that more frequent or higher doses of ivermectin are safe and effective for some purpose, they would have change the product’s label and/or the information provided to doctors. If malaria could be treated with more frequent or higher doses of ivermectin, that would be a major breakthrough, but so far a safe and effective dose of ivermectin has not been approved for this purpose. Lack of approval doesn’t mean a doctor can NOT choose more frequent or higher doses of ivermectin for a patient with malaria or COVID based on what the doctor has read in the literature. Doctors generally can do so when they think it best for a patient, but most stick close to what experts recommend.

        The other thing to remember about ivermectin is that it binds to an ion channel and acts like nerve gases like sarin. It kills worms rapidly. That same ion channel is in your brain, but your brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier, which isn’t always fully effective. Sure, a doctor can explore using unapproved doses of ivermectin to protect those potentially exposed to COVID or those who have tested positive but don’t need hospitalization, but the doctor will first ask himself what are the chances of his patient dying from COVID. If the patient is young and reasonably healthy, his chances of dying are small and intense treatment with ivermectin may not appreciably improve the patient’s chances of survival. If the patient is older and unhealthy, the risks of ivermectin causing harm are greater (and so are the risks of COVID.) My personal advice is to skip the ivermectin and ask for out-patient treated with the synthetic antibodies which circulate for more than a week after IV infusion. We know those antibodies are reasonably safe and effective for hospitalized COVID patients, but clinical trials with non-hospitalized patients haven’t been done.

        I have read a significant part of the ivermectin literature on treating COVID. And all of those papers from third-world countries without a placebo control group are dubious. One even claims a single dose of ivermectin provides protection for medical professionals that lasts for months! Ivermectin provides no protection against SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture experiments at concentrations more than one hundred times higher than the peak concentration achieved in the blood after oral dosing. It is easy to test to see if metabolites are active in the same assay. The one US paper is from uncontrolled experiences from patients getting a wide variety of treatments. Someday a proper random assignment placebo controlled trial will be run. Either of us may end up saying, “I told you so.” But today, we don’t know. In my experience (making and screening thousands of new compounds in hopes of optimizing one clinical candidate – nine out of ten of which fail to be safe and effective – the odds of ivermectin really working aren’t good. Others with different scientific experiences are entitled to their own opinions. Those whose options about medicines arise from politics or distrust of government organizations are really back in the Dark Aged when patients were bled when they were sick.

      • Roger –

        If they discovered a miracle drug in the DR, thst they’re using extensively, why do you think they’ve recently experienced a spike in deaths (and cases) and have overall outcomes more or less similar to many of their neighboring countries?

      • Oops. I should say similar countries, obviously, since it’s an island country (with one neighboring country).

      • Actually, I take that back. They seem to have generally done better than most of what might be considered similar countries – some by quite a lot (based on deaths per capita). Still, if they’ve found such a miraculous cure by such well-connected practitioners, the recent spike in deaths (and cases) seems a bit curious. It’s quite recent though, and not huge – so maybe it’s anomalous.

      • This is interesting –

        > Santo Domingo, Jan. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Dominican Government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Public Health, has announced new country-wide measures that it will begin offering free antigen testing to all international visitors staying at a hotel to meet the new Centers for Disease Control’s travel protocols requiring travelers as of January 26, 2021 returning to the U.S. to present proof of a negative COVID-19 or antigen test prior to departure.

        https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/01/20/2161777/0/en/Dominican-Republic-Announces-Complimentary-COVID-19-Antigen-Testing-to-Address-New-CDC-Protocols.html

  148. Some on the left and right mistakenly believe Trump support is a “cult of personality.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Trump’s policies coincided with those of his supporters. We aren’t going to support RINO’s or others in the Republican party whose policies result in our jobs being off-shored, or the importation of foreign workers to take our jobs here, or trade policies that put the US at a disadvantage, and the list goes on and is a long one.

    They will figure it out eventually.

  149. Trump’s Accomplishments:

    *Before the China Virus invaded our shores, we built the world’s most prosperous economy.
    *Delivered a future of greater promise and opportunity for citizens of all backgrounds.
    *Brought jobs, factories, and industries back to the USA.
    *Hit record stock market numbers and record 401ks.
    *Rebuilding and investing in rural America.
    *Achieved a record-setting economic comeback by rejecting blanket lockdowns.
    *Tax Relief for the Middle Class
    *Passed $3.2 trillion in historic tax relief and reformed the tax code.
    *Jobs and investments are pouring into Opportunity Zones.
    *Massive Deregulation
    *Ended the regulatory assault on American Businesses and Workers.
    *Successfully rolled back burdensome regulatory overreach.
    *Americans now have more money in their pockets.
    *Fair and Reciprocal Trade
    *Secured historic trade deals to defend American workers.
    *Took strong actions to confront unfair trade practices and put America First.
    *Historic support for American farmers.
    *American Energy Independence
    *Unleashed America’s oil and natural gas potential.
    *Increased access to our country’s abundant natural resources in order to achieve energy independence.
    *Investing in America’s Workers and Families
    *Affordable and high-quality Child Care for American workers and their families.
    *Advanced apprenticeship career pathways to good-paying jobs.
    *Advanced women’s economic empowerment.
    … That’s about half the list … more here:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments/

    • Jim2: Does it makes sense to believe what the White House tells you? Like very POLITICIAN before Trump, politicians claim things that aren’t true, only Trump’s lies are vastly bigger and better publicized than most.

      We built the world’s most prosperous countries (aka highest GDP/capita) over two centuries. On Trump’s watch, real GDP has grown 2%/yr, same as under the past 4 to 6 years of Obama and the same sluggish growth rate as the past two decades. The 2017 tax cuts were enacted to stimulate investment in economic growth, but businesses didn’t invest any more than they had been and sent their tax savings on to their shareholders, few of whom are the rabid Trump supporters you are thinking about. I suspect they are more interested in getting a larger share of whatever GDP growth we have. (One big reason that GDP growth has been lower than in the twentieth century is that the number of workers has been growing more slowly, leaving fewer workers to support more retirees and a coming crisis at the end of this decade. Our fabulous economy put a huge number of women to work in new good jobs in the last century adding about 0.5% to total GDP and probably would continue to do so if we permitted immigration for the right kind of foreign workers, who tend to be among the hardest working, optimistic, and entrepreneurial people in the country. Unfortunately, Trump has turned them into the enemy and many of his supporters don’t want the competition. They’ll be paying higher social security taxes.)

      https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/gdp-growth-rate

      The Opportunity Zones are tax breaks for investors that are intended to promote development in depressed areas where many Trump supporters live. However, the idea was initially proposed by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur (Napster and Facebook) with huge capital gains (and capital gains taxes to pay) and was driven by Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Tim Scott. IIRC, if one invests in these Opportunity Zones, one doesn’t need to pay capital gains taxes on the gains one already has made nor any gains one earned from the investments made in an Opportunity Zone – a massive tax break for the wealthy and especially for real estate investors like Trump. The critical questions are: How much are we paying in lost tax revenue for the economic stimulus in depressed areas? (May be impossible to tell.) Are investments really being made in depressed areas, since crony capitalists and politicians were involved in choosing where opportunity zones are located? Some projects are being built in economically thriving areas on the edge of poor districts and in thriving college towns where the average income is artificially low because of a high concentration of students. The one thing you can be sure of is that investors won’t be investing in the most depressed areas of the country, because they won’t be getting the best returns from investing there. Would non-wealthy Trump supporters be in favor of this program if they understood it? Probably not.

      Trump has been forced to provide historic support to Americans farmers because his trade war with China has devastated agricultural exports and the Chinese have not kept the purchase agreements made in Phase 1 negotiations. The rest of us will be paying interest on the additional national debt this “historic support for American farmers” (which includes large agricultural business). Many farmers and Trump supporters believe in Trump’s rhetoric about “winning” trade wars, but so far our trade deficit with China has continued to expand.

      Jim2: If you would get information from multiple sources, you might have a better idea of what is rally happening in the world outside the Cult of Trump. Then YOU can make up your mind what to believe. After all, even you are smart enough know that Mexico isn’t paying for that “big beautiful wall”, that Obama has a US birth certificate, and that Donald Trump never released his tax returns as promised (possibly because losses offset his gains on 11 of his last 15 tax returns, many of which are still being audited). Most politicians are deceptive about many things, but Trump always has been a master self-promoter and con man. The great real estate investor would be far wealthier today if he had simply invested the wealth he inherited from his father in an S&P500 index mutual fund.

      • So, it appears you agree Trump implemented these items. And just a note: You have no idea what are the sources I use to get information. You seem to make a lot of unwarranted assumptions and are obviously a Trump hater.

  150. Trump’s Accomplishments:

    *Before the China Virus invaded our shores, we built the world’s most prosperous economy.
    *Delivered a future of greater promise and opportunity for citizens of all backgrounds.
    *Brought jobs, factories, and industries back to the USA.
    *Hit record stock market numbers and record 401ks.
    *Rebuilding and investing in rural America.
    *Achieved a record-setting economic comeback by rejecting blanket lockdowns.
    *Tax Relief for the Middle Class
    *Passed $3.2 trillion in historic tax relief and reformed the tax code.
    *Jobs and investments are pouring into Opportunity Zones.
    *Massive Deregulation
    *Ended the regulatory *a salt* on American Businesses and Workers.
    *Successfully rolled back burdensome regulatory overreach.
    *Americans now have more money in their pockets.
    *Fair and Reciprocal Trade
    *Secured historic trade deals to defend American workers.
    *Took strong actions to confront unfair trade practices and put America First.
    *Historic support for American farmers.
    *American Energy Independence
    *Unleashed America’s oil and natural gas potential.
    *Increased access to our country’s abundant natural resources in order to achieve energy independence.
    *Investing in America’s Workers and Families
    *Affordable and high-quality Child Care for American workers and their families.
    *Advanced apprenticeship career pathways to good-paying jobs.
    *Advanced women’s economic empowerment.

    … That’s about half the list … more here:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments/

    • joe - the realist

      Obama’s accomplishments
      Longest time to recover from recession
      slowest economic growth
      paid a couple $B to facilitate Iran’s nuclear program.
      Set the stage to increase racial tensions & fake white guilt – the effect which was to hurt the very sector of the population the progressives claim to want to help

      Someone can Let me know if you can point to any positive accomplishments

  151. Trump is in negative territory for job growth but deficits are higher than anytime since WW II.

    • So if Trump and CONGRESS! don’t spend money to fight COVID he (and they) are evil. If they do spend it, they are evil anyway.

      Besides that, a lot of the economic problems were caused by the likes of Cuomo’s id e ot ic “response” to the virus.

      In other words, your comment is nothing more than political hackdivision.

      • Most of the deficit is the tax cuts. But since you mentioned COVID, I think we can attribute at least about 200,000 deaths to Trump’s mishandling.

        We might also add to accomplishments:

        – encouraging Iran to restart uranium refining
        – betraying the Kurds
        – total failure to stop any weapons construction in N. Korea who now can probably put a nuclear warhead in the US

      • James

        No, most of the deficit is NOT tax cuts. Obama raised taxes in 2013 and he passed on a $600 Billion deficit to Trump. Some of it is, but if you had been paying attention to my comments for the last several months, you would know that pre COVID19, the growth in income and specifically taxable income, had increased significantly more than Obama. If you want I can go through the numbers for the umpteenth time.

      • Don’t confuse James and Josh with facts, Kid. They might get triggered.

      • James Cross and others who don’t know the facts about the budget.

        Tax Revenue all sources
        2016. $3.27 T
        2019. $3.46 T After Tax Cut pre COVID19
        2020. $3.20 T After Tax Cut during COVID19

        Outlays All Programs
        2016. $3.85 T
        2019. $4.45 T
        2020. $6.55 T

        DEFICIT

        2016. $580 Billion
        2019. $990 Billion
        2020. $3.35 Trillion

        Of the Tax Revenue amounts above, Individual Income Taxes were

        2016. $1.546 T
        2019. $1.718 T
        2020. $1.609 T

        FY 2021 will have a deficit as least as big as 2020. The Biden Tax Package has estimates of $2.1 to $3 Trillion over a decade or $200 to $300 per year. An additional $300 Billion per year won’t significantly cut any of the above deficits. Spending is causing the deficit not a lack of tax revenue.

      • For those who want to demonize corporations and might want to blame the $3.35 Trillion Deficit on the tax cut for corporations, this might put all of it in perspective.

        In 2016 the corporations income tax revenue total was $300 Billion. In 2020, during COVID19, the tax was $212 Billion.

        So, out of the $3.35 Trillion deficit for 2020, one could attribute $88 Billion to the tax cut. That still leaves $3.25 Trillion to solve.

    • James Cross

      This Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Black Unemployment Rate for Black men 55-64 in 4th Quarter of 2019 was 2.2%. That is lower than any annual rate for whites under Carter, Clinton or Obama.

      If there is systemic racism, why is it that black men in that age group have unemployment rates in 4th Qtr 2019 lower than whites annual rates over the last 45 years? Does this mean that the systemic racism applies to all blacks except that cohort? It seems that systemic racism would apply to all blacks. Or are the leftists being scammed with disinformation by their leaders?

      https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpsee_e16.htm

      • What have you done for us recently, Trump?

        Funny that people keep wanting to talk about how great the record was before the pandemic. All of the accomplishments are qualified with “before”. But you are judged on your total record not a good year or two. You can get lucky if you inherit an expanding economy and fundamentally good global conditions like Trump did. You might even be able to get a few more jobs and a bump in the stock market by cutting taxes. But what happened when he actually got challenged with something difficult like the pandemic? Complete disaster. Not a clue how to handle it.

      • During the pandemic he kept calling for reasoned responses instead of panic, (modifying those responses as more data cme in)

        He was quick to limit travel from affected regions (remember Biden and Pelosi were objecting to the travel bans

        He did a good job of reforming the swamp (medical related portion) after they showed that the ‘experts’ really didn’t have a handle on it like they claimed to.

        this included organizing and coordinated a supply system nationwide that kept hospitals supplied.

        He organized and drove the vaccine development, cutting red tape to get vaccines developed in timeframes that hi critics claimed would require miracles.

        And he clled for re-opening to minimize the economic damage, but noted that he did not have the authority to override state governors. It is worth noting the different economic status of states based on the policies imposed, are areas following Trump’s recommendations doing better or worse than those hostile to Trump?

        but yes, due to the economic damage of the Wu Flu, there is a line between what happened during the first three years and during the last year (unless you believe that Trump created the virus, or could have utterly prevented it)

    • Dream on, James.

    • When Trump took office the national debt was 19.9 trillion. By February 2020 the national debt had increased to $23 trillion. The roughly $5 trillion added to the national debt since then is mostly attributable to COVID-19. Trump slowed the accrual of debt growth, because of his policies, the positive impact would have increased in 2021 and ensuing years if not for COVID-19.

      Trump’s tax cuts had nothing to do with the U.S. debt increasing. However the Leftist cult will play the tyranny by numbers game as they always do.

      Federal Revenues Hit All-Time Highs Under Trump Tax Cuts
      https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/trump-tax-cuts-federal-revenues-deficits/

      We would not have 3 vaccines for distribution today if there were a Democrat administration leading us through the COVID-19 crises at the beginning, it would likely have taken a year longer to get a vaccine using legacy industry standards. COVID-19 has been a gift for hard Left Marxists. The ramifications attributable to loss of employment and drop in global economic activity likely won’t be quantified for years. The lockdown argument is obtuse, and abused. Cuomo is now arguing to open restaurants again in NY, we get the charade.

      • Jungletrunks wrote: “When Trump took office the national debt was 19.9 trillion. By February 2020 the national debt had increased to $23 trillion. The roughly $5 trillion added to the national debt since then is mostly attributable to COVID-19.”

        Get some facts and stop drinking the Trump KoolAid. The annual federal deficit in 2018 and 2019 were $799 and $984B and was projected to be $1T IN 2020 without coronavirus, which totals $2.8T. And Trump will be responsible for another $1T in fiscal year 2021, since spending and taxation has already been decided for that year (except emergency spending for COVID). So Trump has added almost $4T to the national debt and COVID so far has added $2.1T.

        In the last four years of the Obama administration (FY 2014-2017) the increase was $2.2T.

        https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

    • Given the failure of most Western democracies to deal emulate South Korea and Taiwan and suppress the pandemic, I don’t think Trump deserves the blame for what has happened to the economy since March 2020. However, real GDP growth was barely above 2% during Trump’s term and projected to be 1.9% in 2020 – despite a $1T deficit and the Fed lowering interest rates to 1.5%. Our economy wasn’t healthy going into 2020. UNEMPLOYMENT was low and a tight labor market was driving up wages modestly, though not enough to cut into profit margins appreciably. The stock market was great, driven by low interest rates and rising P/E, and short-term factors that are no signs of long-term health

      • The president had limited influence over the economy – especially after just 3 years. The positive trends during his administration were continued trends from before he took office. It’s silly that people argue about whether he deserves “credit.”

        We’ll never know whether another president might have led to better outcomes with COVID. But we do know that he lied his a$$ off throughout the pandemic – about testing, about the seriousness of the virus, about how well we were doing, etc. It’s axiomatic that you can’t improve upon your efforts if you systematically refuse accountability. And he had no reason to do better because none of his base evey expected any accountability.

      • Trump shredded burdensome regulations and negotiated better trade deals. He limited H1B visas and encouraged companies to keep or build plants here. You guys can sing that song to yourselves.

      • Offshoring continued abd the trade deficit ballooned:

        -snip-
        But offshoring has in fact continued throughout this time, as reflected in changes in the total number of U.S. manufacturing plants, shown in Figure A. Overall, the U.S. has suffered a net loss of more than 91,000 manufacturing plants and nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs since 1997. Nearly 1,800 factories have disappeared during the Trump administration between 2016 and 2018 (BLS 2020; U.S. Census Bureau 2020a, 2020b). The U.S. has experienced a net loss of manufacturing plants (establishments) in every year from 1998 through 2018 (the most recent year for which data are available).
        -snip-

        -snip-
        Foreign investment in the United States grew at a slower annual pace in the first two years of Mr. Trump’s tenure than during Barack Obama’s presidency, according to Commerce Department data released in July. Growth in business investment from all sources, foreign and domestic, accelerated briefly after Mr. Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax-cut package in late 2017 but then slowed. Investment growth turned negative this spring, providing a drag on economic output.
        -snip-

        -snip-
        From the low point of the recession in 2010, the manufacturing sector added 916,000 jobs on Obama’s watch. That was roughly seven years, about twice the amount Trump’s been in office, so on an annual basis, the manufacturing employment gains per year were roughly similar between the two presidents. In fact, you can see in the chart that the pace of increase was fairly constant for Obama’s final seven years and Trump’s first three years.
        -snip-

        -snip-
        New figures out Tuesday show the U.S. trade gap is on track to exceed $600 billion this year. That would be the highest since 2008, just before the global financial crisis.

        The monthly deficit in U.S. goods trade with all other countries set a record high in August at more than $83 billion.
        -snip-

      • Offshoring continued abd the trade deficit ballooned:

        -snip-
        But offshoring has in fact continued throughout this time, as reflected in changes in the total number of U.S. manufacturing plants, shown in Figure A. Overall, the U.S. has suffered a net loss of more than 91,000 manufacturing plants and nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs since 1997. Nearly 1,800 factories have disappeared during the Trump administration between 2016 and 2018 (BLS 2020; U.S. Census Bureau 2020a, 2020b). The U.S. has experienced a net loss of manufacturing plants (establishments) in every year from 1998 through 2018 (the most recent year for which data are available).
        -snip-

        https://www.epi.org/publication/reshoring-manufacturing-jobs/

      • -snip-
        Foreign investment in the United States grew at a slower annual pace in the first two years of Mr. Trump’s tenure than during Barack Obama’s presidency, according to Commerce Department data released in July. Growth in business investment from all sources, foreign and domestic, accelerated briefly after Mr. Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax-cut package in late 2017 but then slowed. Investment growth turned negative this spring, providing a drag on economic output.
        -snip-

      • snip-
        From the low point of the recession in 2010, the manufacturing sector added 916,000 jobs on Obama’s watch. That was roughly seven years, about twice the amount Trump’s been in office, so on an annual basis, the manufacturing employment gains per year were roughly similar between the two presidents. In fact, you can see in the chart that the pace of increase was fairly constant for Obama’s final seven years and Trump’s first three years.

      • snip-
        New figures out Tuesday show the U.S. trade gap is on track to exceed $600 billion this year. That would be the highest since 2008, just before the global financial crisis.

      • the U.S. trade gap is on track to exceed $600 billion this year. That would be the highest since 2008

  152. Can they get the stench out too?

    “After three COVID-19 breakouts within the White House in recent months, the federal government is sparing no expense to clean and disinfect the building before President-elect Biden moves in Jan. 20.

    According to government contracts reviewed by ABC News, more than $200,000 has been spent for increased White House janitorial and housekeeping work, including $127,249 on “2021 Inaugural Cleaning” and another $44,038 on “Inaugural carpet cleaning.” There was $29,523 spent for “Inaugural curtains cleaning.”

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/ahead-inauguration-government-contracts-reveal-white-house-deep/story?id=75253472&cid=social_twitter_abcn

    • joe - the realist

      Cross – without comparison of costs with prior changes in administrations, you comment lacks context, in other words very non informative.

      • See the article. They never used to spend anything.

        “While the White House is always deep-cleaned during the transition between presidents, that work is usually handled by White House staff, including butlers, ushers and maintenance crews. Contracting out additional cleaning services is unprecedented in modern times, according to Kate Brower Andersen, presidential historian and former White House reporter.

  153. Despite the storming of the Capitol and a subsequent second impeachment, President Donald Trump’s approval ratings as he leaves office are relative unmoved by political unrest, according to the latest NBC News poll.

    Trump’s approval rating of 43% among registered voters remains within the margin of error of most of his term, as he had a 45% rating before the Nov. 3 election loss and 44% when he took office in January 2017, per the poll.

    The strength of his approval in the Republican Party is perhaps even more notably, considering 10 House GOP members voted for his impeachment this week without a hearing. Still, 87% of registered Republican voters approve of Trump’s job performance, which is just down 2 points since the 89% before the election.

    https://www.newsmax.com/politics/approval-capitol-protest-electoralcollege/2021/01/17/id/1005960/

  154. Edits are between **.

    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was not having it. The Georgia lawmaker BLASTED dirty Gabe Sterling in a number of tweets.

    This patriot is quickly becoming a rising star in Trump world.

    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene: *more ons* like you are responsible for losing GA’s 2 Republican Senate seats. You ran a Nov 3rd election that was stolen bc you *id e ots* at the SOS mailed out millions of absentee ballots to anyone and everyone while GA was an open state. Then you counted ballots on Dominion voting machines (payed for by GA taxpayers) that can be hacked bc they are hooked up to the internet. You ran an election like a third world country causing President Trump to lose GA, Senator Perdue to go into a run off, and Dr. Rich McCormick
    to lose in the 7th. Then you repeated the exact same dumb * a $ $ * moves for the senate run offs on Jan 5th. In spite of Republican voters ALL over Georgia screaming their heads off to FIX IT!
    The people rallied, called, emailed, went to the Governor’s mansion, the Capitol, Georgia Secretary of State’s offices all begging, demanding, pleading for Georgia state leaders to stop the mass mail-in ballots, do a forensic audit of the machines, and STOP THE STEAL! You arrogant jerks IGNORED THEM ALL even though it’s the Georgia tax payers that PAY FOR EVERYTHING!

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/brutal-marjorie-taylor-greene-destroys-nasty-ga-election-official-gabe-sterling-latest-attack-president-trump/

  155. New details have emerged about Democrat fundraising group ActBlue which allege it has partnered with a terrorist organization and is helping it raise money in the United States. One Americas Jack Posobiec has more from Washington.

    https://www.oann.com/report-democrat-fundraising-group-actblue-has-terrorist-ties/

  156. Join Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff, Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson, and Security Enthusiast Michelle Ray as they how discuss how to navigate the big tech purge and improve personal internet security.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/01/emergency-event-surviving-the-big-tech-purge-sunday-january-17-7-p-m-eastern/

  157. A talking head on a liberal network just asked a guest whether 2020 was a turning point in improving diversity since we have talked so much about it.

    Where has she been the last 60 years? Gender and racial diversity and improving opportunities those segments of our society have been constantly discussed for decades. Constitutional and legislative changes have been made to address our failings. How can anyone with half a brain ask such a stupid statement and be so ignorant of America’s history.

    • We no longer have an educational system, we have an indoctrination system. People come out of it believing that the US is a cess-pit of racism and sexism and other ‘isms’ (they’re still inventing new ones). They get no reasonable history lessons – these days it’s mostly about the accomplishments of members of minority groups, and the wrongs that the groups suffered.

      For those of us old enough to remember, the US made vast strides in civil rights. We went from a country with legalized segregation in some states (and de-facto in others, including one I lived in for a bit), to a country with a strong message that discrimination on the basis of color and sex was wrong, and a broad consensus believing that.

      And then… we became a country where that discrimination was right again – except called first “Affirmative Action” until the Supreme Court stepped on that, and now discriminatory actions that go under the banner of “diversity.”

      But those who came out of our educational institutions think we are actually where we were at in 1920. It is sad and terribly dangerous.

      • Mesocyclone: There is a lot of truth in what you say. On the other hand, we are a country dedicated to the principle that all men are created equal and endowed with certain rights. I think we do reasonably well with the rights, but when education is so important in today’s society, it is hard to claim that our K-12 school system produces young black men and women who are “created equal”. We can, at least in part, blame teacher’s unions and the Democrats for the gross failure of schools in poor minority neighborhoods. Affirmative action exists to correct for that gross failure in 40 states – 10 states have banned the practice, including California, where the ban was enacted by a referendum in 1996. After that ban, Blacks started graduating from UC Berkeley (the most competitive UC university) at the same rate as whites, proving the previous problem with low graduation rate wasn’t due to systematic racism. However, there weren’t many blacks admitted. Nevertheless, black students feel like whites students treat them as inferiors more often in states without affirmative action than with it. Despite Biden winning CA by 29%, the ban on affirmative action was retained by a 14% margin.

        To create more equality, Texas decided to admit the top 10% from every high school to the state university system and select the rest by merit. What they found was that so many poorly prepared black student had been admitted that surveys showed white students were being taught that blacks were inferior. This wasn’t true at all there were many Blacks from more affluent districts with decent educations who just missed being admitted by merit. So they started an affirmative action program to admit more of these decently-qualified black students and they needed a lot of them to counter the impression made by less qualified ones from poor districts. That resulted in a reverse discrimination lawsuit (Fisher) that won in the Supreme Court. The revised the system and the same party sued again. This time the scaled back plan wasn’t easily classified as a quota and passed as “diversity”.

        Having a society today where all men are created equal is a challenging proposition unworthy of over-simplification. Once white backlash becomes too strong, affirmative actions will hurt more than it helps. It’s time may be over, something the Supreme Court opinions anticipated several decades ago when allowing it to continue as diversity. The one thing I AM sure of is that teaching minorities that the US is so innately racist that minorities can never be equal is a sure way to destroy their drive to become equal – and the success of Asian Americans proves that they are wrong.

      • “Having a society today where all men are created equal is a challenging proposition unworthy of over-simplification.”

        Not at all, if you understand the meaning – created equal in their rights, their natural right. It doesn’t mean that they are equal in their abilities. The framers were smarter than that – people are not created equal (I’m talking individuals here, not races).

        And a big problem is that too many people think that equality of results is something to be forced. That has been enacted into laws, regulations, and corporate and government policies, to great detriment to all.

        “Once white backlash becomes too strong, affirmative actions will hurt more than it helps.”

        Measuring racist policies by the level of white backlash is hardly reasonable. I cannot fathom how anyone can favor racist policies. I think Affirmative Action was wrong from the start – I’d much rather have seen social pressure used to achieve justice, rather than literally racist mandates.

        ” It’s time may be over, something the Supreme Court opinions anticipated several decades ago when allowing it to continue as diversity.”

        I thought the opinion was horrible then and I still do. The damage continues apace.

        ” The one thing I AM sure of is that teaching minorities that the US is so innately racist that minorities can never be equal is a sure way to destroy their drive to become equal – and the success of Asian Americans proves that they are wrong.”

        We agree on that, for sure.

      • Mesocyclone: I’m not advocating to equality of outcome. I’m saying – IMO – that part of “being created equal” in this country should be a decent K-12 education for the vast majority of those growing up in disadvantaged minority neighborhoods. I’m not demanding equality of outcome, just Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” a minimum standard, though I would say “Few Children Left Behind”, because I don’t expect perfection.

        According to Scalia, affirmative action was unquestionably constitutional when it was helping those who had been directly harmed by Jim Crow and other discriminatory government behavior. Scalia question whether descendants of a group that had been harmed by Jim Crow were entitled to compensation/advantage for the harm their parents or grandparents experienced. That is a sensible position. The child of a middle or upper class black family doesn’t need affirmative action.

        However, affirmative action TODAY isn’t drive by [unconstitutional] racial quotas. It is practiced in limited form in the guise of diversity, which [allegedly] provides a better education for all students at a university. It is practiced in the form of helping those who grow up in disadvantaged neighborhoods with horrible schools – regardless of whether they are minority or white. The Supreme Court has been fairly strict in preventing reverse discrimination. (Affirmative action programs at private companies are based on the company’s needs, not law.)

        I mention white backlash as a practical concern, not a legal principle that affirmative action is legal until backlash developed. Several Supreme Court Justices have written that the programs they have approved over past decades, when there was a much tighter linkage Jim Crow and the people benefiting from affirmative active, probably won’t be suitable in future decades. And there is backlash today because of the PERCEPTION that reverse discrimination is still being blatantly practiced more than a half-century after Brown vs the Board of Education and civil rights legislation.  As best I can tell, reverse discrimination and equality of outcome are being blatantly advocated by the Dems, but seriously constrained by the courts.

        One thing that I’ve found from listening to National Constitution Center podcasts while walking is that both Federalist Society and liberal legal scholars agree on a lot of fundamental basics about controversial subjects like these and they are hemmed in by a thicket of earlier cases that appear to have been sensibly decided. The areas of disagreement and controversy are surprisingly narrow – unless the court decides to abandon an early precedent that has repeatedly interfered with earlier deliberations and appears inconsistent where a clear majority want to go. Supreme Court cases only appear black and white to amateurs and those interested in gaining political advantage from them.

      • “However, affirmative action TODAY …. It is practiced in the form of helping those who grow up in disadvantaged neighborhoods with horrible schools – regardless of whether they are minority or white. The Supreme Court has been fairly strict in preventing reverse discrimination. (Affirmative action programs at private companies are based on the company’s needs, not law.)”

        That’s simply not true. It’s the excuse used by the proponents of discrimination in the name of “diversity.” In the case of universities, it has been clearly shown what should be obvious: if you admit students whose educational performance has been well below that of other students, you do not do them a favor. You cannot correct the consequences of that poor education (and its causes) by putting them in college above their level of ability, and wishing them well. You can’t correct it with tutors, etc. All this has been tried.

        And, it is not “whether they are minority or white.” If it were, it wouldn’t be the blatant racial discrimination that it obviously is.

        As an experiment, a highly qualified relative of mine applied to Stanford, listing Native American ancestry (which was true, as it is for a surprisingly large percentage of Americans). A form came back from Stanford that the Nazis would have been proud of – asking all sorts of questions about genetic ancestry. That relative ended the application process, and instead attended an Ivy League university of choice, without mentioning the ancestry.

        A friend of that relative is of Asian ancestry. Her family changed their name to Hispanic, when they saw how things were going. The applicant got into a top university with early admission.

        Other friends – all of these went to the top prep school of their state – didn’t get into the Ivy’s. But a number of their minority friends did, with dramatically worse SAT scores and other school achievements,

        Corporations engage in “diversity” hires primarily to avoid lawsuits and government sanctions. They work very hard at this. Corporations prefer to hire people who are going to be the most productive, but they have no choice in this. And, their HR departments these days are staffed with social justice warrior college graduates who were indoctrinated in modern racialism.

        Take off the rose colored glasses. Racial discrimination is alive and well in the US. You don’t need numerical quotas for that to work. Plenty of people have provided evidence from internal decision making.

        Few people in America today object to genuine diversity – which is people being chosen on their abilities, including people of diverse backgrounds and ethnicity. Many of us object to it the way it is done today – it is evil and against fundamental American values, pure and simple.

        There are things that should be done for disadvantaged people, regardless of race or ethnicity. But Affirmative Action (which is what diversity pushes usually are) is not the way. The root causes need to be dealt with, and that means not only providing services to them as they grow up – good schools, preferably private ones – but also ending the paternalistic programs (“welfare” more or less) that act to create incentives counter to what is needed. I don’t mean ending support, but good grief, our current systems encourage fatherless families, in spite of the solid evidence of the destruction of character that causes. Our current systems encourage cheating and laziness – which is not to say that all beneficiaries cheat or are lazy, but rather that the incentives encourage it.

        Until we have the courage to deal with the real causes, and be called bad names even for mentioning it, America will continue in its social decline.

      • It’s not clear that getting students into a school that their grades would not qualify them for actually benefits them. Look at the dropout/failure rate of the groups receiving this ‘benefit’ and you will find that the dropout rate is far higher. Many of these students may have done quite well at a slightly less demanding school (one that their grades would have qualified them for)

        Asians are an example of a group that has been very heavily discriminated against in the recent past (far more recently than slavery has affected Blacks, Jim Crow laws… arguable), but they do so well in school that the top schools discriminate AGAINST them in admissions, otherwise there would be ‘too many’ in the school.

        Now, in the K-12 range, it’s important to realize that schools are controlled by the local community in the US, not the Federal Government, or even the State Government. It’s also not a matter of funding (many of the worst performing school districts re among the highest per-student funding)

        In fact, the per-student funding in most public schools is high enough that vouchers for 50% of the public budget would pay for the students to go to many private schools (not the ‘elite’ schools that the uber-rich send their kids to, but the solid private schools that almost half of public school teachers send their own kids to)

        It’s far more a matter of the culture that the kids are in (which isn’t race based, and isn’t entirely the neighborhood, how the parents treat school success is one of the biggest variables)

        There are a lot of teachers/parents/kids who care, but are stuck with horrid public schools. You see this in the huge turnout and waiting lists to get their kids into charter schools and the much greater success that the kids have there.

        But the public teachers union is utterly opposed to charter schools, private schools, and home schooling.

        IMHO, the fix for this is simply to make a law that students can opt out of public school and get a voucher for 50% of the per-student public school funding for the district to use for any education (passing standardized tests at the end of the school year required)

        Yes, there will be some bad schools that spring up that only teach to the test, but is that actually any worse than the public schools currently are?

        Since the private schools do not have to accept and retain students, they will act as a filter. Those who want an education will be able to get it without the direct distraction of those who don’t and the public schools will have more funding for each of the ones who don’t to try and turn them around (if half of the public school students move out, the remaining half of the students have 3/4 of the original budget, so the per-student money goes up 50%)

        Beyond that, it’s going to be up the the local community to fix their schools, no outsider can force them to improve (as we’ve seen over the last several decades)

        This will mean that we will have to accept that parents will opt to spend the money at religious schools, and that parents who currently pay for private school (in addition to paying their taxes towards public schools) will get a break.But I don’t see these as big problems.

      • Many times, the poor, black or white, have cultural issues that are not addressed by simply sticking them into a good school. Success depends on good habits that simply aren’t taught by some parents – they don’t possess those skills either, so therefore can’t teach their kids. Single mother families are also problematic, even though you can point to some whose children were successful. Drug and alcohol abuse also play a role in some cases.

        Changing culture isn’t a simple problem.

      • “Many times, the poor, black or white, have cultural issues that are not addressed by…”

        I’ve worked in rural and urban areas as a local journalist. For some reason, people are surprised to hear that all-white trailer parks in the rural areas have every single social issue (including “gun violence”) that urban public housing has. The only difference is that the urban poor are given much more access to services, but also complete exoneration for literally any fault for their situation.
        Double edged sword, politically. It means neither the “demand accountability and personal responsibility” nor the “the man is bringing you down” approaches work.

      • “I’ve worked in rural and urban areas as a local journalist. For some reason, people are surprised to hear that all-white trailer parks in the rural areas have every single social issue (including “gun violence”) that urban public housing has. The only difference is that the urban poor are given much more access to services, but also complete exoneration for literally any fault for their situation.”

        I am well aware of that phenomenon. My concerns are not just with the urban poor.

        “Double edged sword, politically. It means neither the “demand accountability and personal responsibility” nor the “the man is bringing you down” approaches work.”

        Why the sharp dichotomy. I don’t know of anyone thinking that your first quote is the solution. But it is something that should be done for everyone, and it is in business and the military, at least where the diversicrats don’t prevent it (which they do in business too often, these days). More important, though, is for children to grow up with those traits.

        It’s hard to hammer them into people when they’re older. But I’ve seen it done – in military boot camp where I was in the same lowly military status as people of all backgrounds and attitudes, including “white trash” – poor rural southerners. For some, that boot camp rescued them. For others, it was too late. And for others, they already had the traits. And even though this was in the ’60s, there was minimal racism.

        But really, it’s the circumstances and the culture that feed back on each other in these groups, and that hurt the kids, creating a vicious cycle.

      • Mesocyclone: Thanks for the long reply on affirmative action. You are correct about the blatant reverse discrimination going on in elite private universities. The constitutional protections against racial discrimination don’t apply to what private universities do. However, for the most part, elite private universities are admitting minorities from the upper and middle class who are getting good K-12 educations. With tutoring, many of them are doing OK despite the tough competition, And grading is pretty lax.

        Public universities are the ones that are trying to educate minorities with lousy K-12 educations that I assert are not being created equal. The Supreme Court’s limits on reverse discrimination limit the scope of affirmative action at public universities.

        Public K-12 schools can do much better than they do. In NYC, outsider Chancellor Joel Klein (appointed by Bloomberg) allegedly closed a large gap. See this link and skip over the first 20 minutes

  158. The feds are rapidly catching up with the gang of people who recorded themselves storming and occupying the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6th. The latest person arrested out of this Star Wars cantina scene cast of characters is the videographer who calls himself “Baked Alaska,” who began his political awakening at Black Lives Matter protests.

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/victoria-taft/2021/01/17/feds-arrest-baked-alaska-a-blm-turned-right-wing-activist-who-live-streamed-his-capitol-riot-antics-n1389932

    • https://wikiaboutworld.com/tim-gionet-biography-wiki-age/

      Tim Gionet is a white nationalist online personality, often known as Baked Alaska, who was among the insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol

      Gionet is known for holding Neo-Nazi and white supremacist views, supporting Trump, and promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories online. is YouTube channel was banned in October 2020 after he filmed himself committing crimes and harassing people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • It’s becoming clear that some of the folks who went into the Capitol, including some instigators, are publicity seeking nuts or other unstable personalities. But some looked organized and trained. We will learn more as time goes on.

      The horned Viking from here in Arizona strikes me as one of those. Ditto “Baked Alaska.”

      Note that most media doesn’t mention that “Backed Alaska” was a BLM guy first. Someone who switches from BLM to a “patriot” invading the Capitol is not a serious person. It took PJMedia to point that out. Good for them.

      • It is also worth mentioning that BLM wanted nothing to do with him but he found a home among extreme Trump supporters.
        PJMedia did not bother to highlight that point…

  159. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe releases a document alleging that China attempted to interfere with our elections, and the CIA attempted to gloss this over. There are also assessments of election security problems that the intelligence community is releasing. https://www.theepochtimes.com/china-sought-to-influence-2020-us-election-director-of-national-intelligence-assesses_3659981.html?utm_source=news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2021-01-17-3

    “In a Dec. 3 op-ed, Ratcliffe said the CCP ‘poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II.’”

    What has Joe Biden said during the campaign? China isn’t a threat. Biden recently stated that he’d “get tough on China” but it’s hard to imagine how tough that’d be, as China undoubtedly has more stuff on his son who had business dealings with China and has already been exposed as a drug-addled man obsessed with his private parts and young women– and with recording all this, even in hotel rooms, and most likely even in hotel rooms in China, and most likely China even provided him with the women (and drugs.) That the mainstream media told us there was nothing to see doesn’t mean that there wasn’t; I’ve seen it myself, and if this had been reported by the mainstream, Joe wouldn’t be president. But no investigative reporter would touch that with a ten-foot pole, would they?

    Really, that’s all we need to know, isn’t it? Hunter gets a pass; Don, Jr. never would have in a billion years. Everyone knows this is true.

  160. It appears China has infiltrated the Bay Area dimowits.

    Committee members of the Intelligence Committee “are only selected for the Intel Committee by the leaders of their party, meaning Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi is one of the Gang of Eight, along with myself,” McCarthy said.

    “Why did the Democrats pull out of the bipartisan China task force I had set up? Why did Speaker Pelosi pull out of that? he asked. “Why have they denied certain bills that would hold China accountable, that have passed the Senate, [but] not come to the floor? Why do they focus on Silicon Valley members of Congress,” McCarthy inquired. “Why is he still on the Intel. Committee? Why is he still a member of Congress? Did Adam Schiff know, as chairman of that committee, that he had this problem?”

    The CCP’s leaks into the U.S. government and power groups are becoming increasingly pressing, as a Chinese professor boasted at a Beijing conference last month.

    https://thebl.com/politics/richard-grenell-says-eric-swalwell-is-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-theres-a-variety-of-mayors-governors-senior-people.html

  161. My main problem with the election comes from what I witnessed in my home state of Nevada.

    I went to the polls to vote in person. Why, you may ask? Because I believe it is one of a citizen’s highest responsibilities to the country, to actively participate in elections of our leaders. I voted early because I didn’t want to stand in line. Why? Because I’m lazy…

    Anyway, Nevada doesn’t require an ID to vote. They do a “signature verification” process to verify your identity. My problem with that is that they had me sign with my index finger on a touchpad, and then told me to my face that it matched my signature on record. Not a chance, people – my recorded signature is more than 20 years old. Hell, my current handwritten signature doesn’t match it. I know that because 6 or 8 years ago, during an election, my written signature was challenged and I had to produce an ID to prove who I was.

    This leads to 2 immediate possibilities – that they either had no skill in signature verification, or no interest in truly verifying my identity. I tend to believe the latter, since the worker actually tried to say that the swoop on the first letter in my name was consistent with the recorded sig. One swoop out of 13 letters, including a middle initial? No way that is an adequate verification.

    As far as I’m concerned, three steps should be taken to better insure election integrity:
    1. Do not send out unsolicited mail-in ballots. If you want to vote by mail, you should have to request one yourself, and prove who you are. Unsolicited mail-in ballots can be used in many ways by unscrupulous operators, of which both parties have a whole bunch.
    2. Voters should have to provide some form of personal identification to vote in federal elections. The gold standard would be a Real ID, but there are others that should be acceptable.
    3. The federal government should be on the hook to provide voter IDs. If you’re gonna require them to vote, you should be making them readily available. Hell, if it’s done right, voting IDs could be used for all sorts of tasks or services provided by the Feds. Think applying for federal benefits, or using government services.

    For those of you who want to claim that this is disenfranchising voters, my retort is that IDs can be, and often are, required for quite a few everyday events, like buying alcohol or tobacco products, getting ammunition or buying weapons, signing for some types of mail, or picking up a good friend’s grandkids from school. Surely, if they can find a way to get an ID for that, they can find a way to get an ID to vote. I personally do not know of anybody who doesn’t have at least one ID in their possession. I suspect that a large majority of those who don’t have any ID, are doing it by choice, not because they can’t get one. If you know of any info to the contrary, feel free to share it with me.

    • “Surely, if they can find a way to get an ID for that, they can find a way to get an ID to vote.”

      The problem with ID requirements are 3 fold:
      1) The cost can be a challenge for lower income workers;
      2) The location of the offices that issue the ID which can be difficult to get to for someone who relies on public transportation.
      3) The time it takes for people working minimum wage jobs with little flexibility.

      Now you address the cost by making it free.
      But it is unlikely that 2) or 3) can be adequately addressed.

      In other countries they accept a reasonable selection of picture ID formats and provide the option of having another voter (with id) vouch for the identity of the voter. If the ID does not have an address then a utility bill can be provided with the ID to establish residency.

      That said, I agree ID should be a requirement but as so many things in a politics the democratic position has evolved in reaction to overly restrictive laws designed to suppress the vote passed by republicans and, as usual, democrats take a reasonable argument and push it ridiculous extremes.

      • “1) The cost can be a challenge for lower income workers.”

        Give me a break. You have been brainwashed. Do they have drivers licenses available. Is that cost prohibitive? What % of households have cell phones. What % have big screen TVs? If any household can afford either, they can afford a drivers license.

      • People who cannot afford a car have no need of a drivers license.
        Then it becomes a question of what to do with very limited resources. A cellphone may be deemed essential but a Driver’s license only needed to vote is not likely to make the cut. Which may be fine from a GOP perspective because the last thing they want is poor people voting but that only proves the point that the cost of getting ID is a tool that can be used for voter suppression.

        Other countries don’t have politicians installed that think they are entitled to use the law to prevent people from voting for their opponents so there is a lot less debate about either the need of ID (i.e. it is required with a few exceptions) or the need to be flexible with the types of ID accepted.

        Of course, you can always look to Estonia for an example where everyone is required to use hard to get government issued ID. OTOH, elections are conducted online which would make GOP heads explode.

      • apparently my earlier post was too long to appear, so I’ll try again.

        I lived (for about a decade) in Los Angeles without a car. It’s difficult, but possible. Three times during this period, I had to travel > 20 miles to school by bus (the shortest was an hour, other times it was > 2 hours)

        getting by a DMV to get an ID once every 5 years or so is a trivial matter compared to the routine efforts you have to go through.

      • I apparently can’t post a list of things that you require an ID for because it’s too long, so here’s a link to 24 things that require an ID
        https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/24-things-that-require-a-photo-id

        I find it hard to believe that many people can make it without either a job, welfare, or food stamps, all of which require an ID

  162. Wow, so many comments and so many worked up people. And so much misinformation…….. Why should “freedom of speech” allow people to completely diverge from the truth? What can we learn here? First off, Trump lost the election. If he had been a man and conceded, everyone would have been so much better off. And the crazies would have wandered off home to cry into their pillows instead of posting a thousand times on this thread.
    Second, brainwashed people marched on the Capitol, and for reasons unknown, they weren’t met with overwhelming force. I suspect an inside job.
    3rd, internet companies (worried about their future if the Coup succeeded) shut down communications so that the insurrection leaders couldn’t communicate instantly with their cult followers. However prior to acting in their self interest, all those companies allowed the lies and rumors and conspiracy theories to run riot on their platforms for years because it helped their bottom line. So, they didn’t do it for the public good, they did it for self preservation.
    Why are lies allowed on these platforms? And what is “freedom of speech” anyway? Musk called the British guy who rescued kids in a flooding cave in Thailand “pedoguy”. So the British guy sued…. and lost! And had to pay costs even though he isn’t a pedo. How is that even possible? I’m just saying, freedom of speech shouldn’t be absolute. And a guy I met told me that Biden is a pedo (Because he read it somewhere on the internet). Whoever wrote it on their webpage, needs to be charged with defamation. And yes, companies like facebook and youtube and twitter need to have a terms of service that is standardized by the government. They are collecting too much info, and using this info to harm us and change our behavior in negative ways. This must be curbed. And if they don’t like the terms, no problem, they can do business elsewhere. Why are internet companies not paying federal tax? They got an exemption at the start of the internet age so that American companies could become the world leaders. But they became world leaders a decade or more ago, why does the tax break remain?
    So, a few things need to be done to fix the situation. I think regulations for elections need to be standardized, requirements for voter id, and mail in voting needs to be standardized. Last time I voted, (in person) it took 35 minutes (including grocery shopping) and that was with pretty strict Covid19 protocols in place. I could have done mail in but I missed the time to request a ballot. I don’t think anyone should have to stand in line for an hour or 5.

    • quote: Why should “freedom of speech” allow people to completely diverge from the truth?

      for the simple reason that once you put someone in power to determine what is the “truth” it’s inevitable that their declaration starts to shade things in their favor.

      In the last 4 years we have watched story after story declared absolute Truth or absolute Lie by the media, only to find out that reality is a bit different.

      In the last several months we saw the Hunter Laptop declared a Lie and one of the oldest newspapers in the country was taken offline as a result. Now we know that the story has a lot of truth to it (i may or may not be as originally reported, but the more info that comes out, the closer the original story is to the truth than the claims by the rest of the media)

      Until you have someone who is both incorruptible and omniscient you do not have anyone who can decide what is true (allowed to be spoken) and what is false (and not allowed to be spoken).

      I’ll go further and say that there are things being said that in 100 years will be recognized as false, even though nobody alive today knows that they are false or what the truth actually is.

      Now, a good case can be made that it should be easier to sue someone for defamation/slander, but that’s something that all sides are guilty of abusing (or do you think that Elizabeth Warren’s slander of the Covington kids was really part of her congressional duties and she deserved absolute immunity for them)

      • Yes, and we’ve seen that with Trump. His “truth” about a stolen election is false but he has been allowed to fire-up his followers by constantly repeating this lie. Why should anyone be allowed to freely repeat a lie in such a public way and with such massive exposure? Allowing him the freedom to do that led directly to the violence in the Capitol and could lead to who-knows-what violence in the days leading up to the inauguration of Biden. How can that be justified by freedom of speech?

      • Truth is, we don’t know the truth about the election. I’d guess that many people who are protesting this election would be OK if Biden won fair and square, but since we’ve had to rely on insiders to tell us that everything was fair and square, a lot of people are suspicious of that and want to see real scrutiny in the form of a red team approach. Instead of that, we’re getting censorship, aren’t we? This only makes matters worse for those who believe that something is rotten. These people– a significant portion of Americans– are being told to shut up and/or are being punished for their views.

      • with any power that you want to give the government, think about what could be done if your worst opponent was in control of the government.

        would you want Trump to have the power to declare that something is not true and therefor could not be reported?

        There are a lot of people who don’t believe that this election was fully on the up and up, regardless of what Trump says.

        but moving away from politics, remember when China and the World Health Organization were claiming that the Wu Flu could not be transmitted between humans? would you want that “Truth” to be the only thing that could be said and any reports that contradict them be illegal to publish (like they were in China)?

        making it illegal to say something has never in world history succeeded in preventing people from thinking it.

        And giving the Government the power to outlaw saying something has always lead to the official line being in direct opposition with what people see with their own eyes before very long.

        The Founding Fathers were students of history and knew this (even without the ugly history of the 21st century authoritarian governments to point as as even better examples) and that is why Free Speech is so close to absolute in the US

      • It’s amazing how much Americans suffered to gain freedom from British rule. At Valley Forge, American soldiers were literally in rags and with no food because the locals preferred to sell to the British, who had money, whereas the US government (such as it was) had no money to support the militia. Suffering through cold and hunger, and here we are, we can’t stand to have one more old person miss a few more years of television. Sorry to be harsh, but dammit we really are cowards.

  163. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #439 – Watts Up With That?

  164. UK-Weather Lass

    This is Mark Levin on Life, Liberty & Levin, which as you will know is a Fox News Show but, in my humble viewing opinion, appears to be very even handed in analysis of the current problems in the USA.

    Dealing with the substance of this broadcast it is hard to see where this guy and his guests have gone wrong or are going wrong but the picture they dramatically paint should surely worry any and all American citizens.

    • Mark Levin on the radio and in interviews on Hannidy is a shrill shouting person, but on Life,Liberty and Levin he tones it down to a very mild tone.

      similarly, Ben Shapiro is sarcastic and talks a mile a minute on his radios show, but is a very mild interviewer for his sunday interview show.

      • Anyone ever hear of Judith Curry? She was on Mark Levin’s radio show a few years ago. No shrillness or shouting. I know Levin can do that, and I dislike it. But I was lucky to hear him speak with Dr Curry.

    • “My humble viewing opinion, appears to be very even handed in analysis of the current problems in the USA.”

      Of course, he ignores the elephant in the room: a president who continues to spread lies about the election and refuses to accept that he lost. These lies are what fueled the riot and anyone who claims that the president’s culpability is only determined from the words he used on that day is living in denial. The blood of the police officer killed is on Trump’s hands because of his endless lies.

      The only way for the country to move forward requires either that Trump acknowledge he lost and that the election was not “stolen” or that his republican enablers clearly rebuke him for his lies and call him out for his culpability in the riot and clearly say that the election was not “stolen”.

      Neither is likely to happen and the violence will get worse.

      • that will happen some time after the Democrats admit that Trump won the 2016 election and didn’t ‘steal’ it.

        why is it only one side that has to shut up and accept the results?

      • Only Dimowits are spreading lies about the election! IMPEACH BIDEN!!!

  165. I don’t believe every single thing I hear but look at these things as food for thought to be examined, mulled over, investigated, fact-checked (this last is most helpful.) Here is more food for thought: Covid and the fourth industrial revolution.
    https://www.bitchute.com/video/0nhfxCcr1zUr/

    Maybe this is all nothing to see. Maybe not.

    Notice how you can protest BLM but you can’t protest the destruction of your livehoods because, you see, BL matter, but you don’t?

  166. https://worldfreedomalliance.org/

    The antithesis of the great reset?

    • Both of the last two links have been cancelled unfortunately.

      • I’m still seeing them. Try a different browser? I opened in Firefox, but at jim2’s recommendation I’ve also used Dissenter, which seems to be quick and easy. https://dissenter.com/download

        I just opened both links again in Firefox, no problem.

        On the recent recommendation of my laptop geek fixer, I no longer use Chromium or Google Chrome. I run a Linux operating system so bypass a lot of the Microsoft stuff.

      • Here – another place where you can feed your paranoid conspiracy ideation:

      • Okay thanks, this link worked. Very interesting to see the same overall phenomenon of a ‘covid pass’ being implemented. It’s kinda inevitable I guess.

        Btw I’m on a smartphone only and so feel limited in my abilities to filter/direct outsider media.

        My parents (in their 80’s) have just got their first jab appointment this Fri. The second one is 3 months later. I walk 4hrs round trip to pick up my 4 pack of beers for the evening, every day. Covid has transformed everyone’s lives.

      • Joshua seems to think that defending freedom is just a silly conspiracy game because no one is trying to take anyone’s freedom away or censor anyone.

        Notice that the video is censored by YouTube? That doesn’t seem Orwellian to me, either.

      • Don312 – indeed. I’ve just heard that in Germany they have set up ‘detention camps’ for anyone not obeying the quarantine rules. They say history repeats itself.

      • > Joshua seems to think that defending freedom is just a silly conspiracy game

        No. I think that your silly conspiracy theories are silly conspiracy theories, and that confusing selfish whining about wearing a mask with fighting for freedom is about as hilarious as it gets.

      • “Joshua seems to think that defending freedom is just a silly conspiracy game because no one is trying to take anyone’s freedom away or censor anyone.” – Don132

        How old is he do you think? He comes across as a highly intellectual millennial beta male, with views indistinguishable from a Chinese communist party member.

        It’s the same definition of the censoring Big Tech oligarchs who were the nerds at school and whom the girls weren’t interested in. They now have too much power. It’s the state of the modern world. Evolution dictates that the selection process will revert back to a simpler more natural way for humans to live. A new world religion is coming.

      • @ Alan, I don’t know Joshua, so what I’m about to say may not apply to him. But I did spend a year working for Google (while in my 40’s after being outside of Silicon Valley before that) and my take is a bit different.

        The majority of the employees in these Big Tech companies were hired straight out of college and have never had another job (other than possibly at another Big Tech company) and are mostly single. They have been thoroughly indoctrinated in school and have no other experience. Most have little to no knowledge of history.

        Very few of them have hobbies that actually make/fix things, food, travel, cycling, climbing, camping (all of these with large budgets to buy the best equipment). Reading for fun is seldom on the list. Where they do have things like Burning Man that require making things, the things don’t have to work well, let alone be practical, looks matter most. When you do run into a maker, you find someone with a different mindset (and the more tools they can use, the more sane they tend to be)

        It’s a combination of this lack of experience, and a lifetime of people telling them that they are the smartest people in the room (and they are all very smart in technology, but assume that translates into every other field), and the fact that they have always lived in a self-reinforcing bubble that leads them into thinking they have the only truth and can solve everything if people wold only do what they are told.

        After a while this becomes a habit of thinking that is hard to break, even if they get exposed to the real world.

      • “But I did spend a year working for Google (while in my 40’s after being outside of Silicon Valley before that) and my take is a bit different.” – davidelang

        Thanks for the fascinating insight. Yes, that fits my general world view. It’s quite strange how humans can become detached from where our food comes from, how things are made and what the purpose of life is. It really is a turning point in the evolution of global human civilisation.

      • What part of the documentary does Joshua believe is a conspiracy theory, specifically? Remember, we’re not attacking me for my supposed beliefs, but rather the thing itself.

      • I’ll answer the question posed to Joshua about this video. The bit about the “666” vaccine of Gates is a bit much, but that patent is indeed about using the human body to mine cryptocurrency, which is a bit weird. But beyond that the video is largely about standing against the conditions being imposed throughout the world that no one voted on, for a virus that’s hardly worse than a bad flu, and for which we can counter with adequate supplies of vitamins C, D and zinc; not to mention hydroxychloroquine, which has been suppressed, and ivermectin, which isn’t exactly being promoted by people like Fauci. The “cure” has harmed a great many people and has done great damage to civil liberties around the world, and no one voted on this. This is going on despite protests and despite people saying they’ve had enough. People don’t want Covid but they don’t want authoritarianism either, and view authoritarianism as the greater and more pernicious threat. This idea of “the great reset” isn’t conspiracy theory: they’re quite open about it. They want to “build back better,” but I’d prefer the old ways where we can go into a restaurant or a concert and mingle without masks on, and to hell with the virus; those who are afraid can stay home. Maybe I’m irresponsible but those who’re so willing to jettison our freedoms, supposing that all this is just temporary (that is not what we’re told, is it? We’re told this is the “new normal”) are the real traitors to what so many brave souls have died to preserve for future generations.

      • Alan –

        Your conclusion that I might be somehow connected to the CCP is paranoid and delusional. If for no other reason than I’ve posted comments here that are highly critical of the CCP.

        There’s something seriously wrong with your reasoning process that might lead you towards a conclusion like that.

      • “Actually, I’m paid by the CCP to post comments.“

        J, you must be frothing with all the talk of increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Some advice.

        Don’t spend it in all one place.

  167. More news: Sweden is attempting to turn toward harsher, more restrictive laws, mimicking the rest of the western world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XM8S5kyJ6w

    This video is from the World Freedom Alliance.

  168. Just noting that right now, believe it or not, the “government” makes the rules that govern how internet companies treat the truth and liability, and freedom of speech and freedom to lie, etc. That will always be the case until guys preaching “free speech or death” are living in caves (along with the rest of us), and we will be wondering how roads were even possible. It’s ironic that Trump supporters are so keen on freedom of speech when Trump himself is gung ho to curtail it. Probably one of the things that he didn’t think through. In my opinion, if you post something on social media, you should be liable for what your posting causes and this liability should be somewhat shared by the platform. Maybe 1% maybe 10%. All I am asking is sane rules of engagement. The net is useful for everyone but its usefullness has been stolen away. Youtube used to be merit based, now it is dominated by flashy videos, and if you want views, you have to pay google. Otherwise nobody can find your stuff. Meanwhile, facebook, that allowed me to reconnect with old friends and workmates, won’t even tell me if a friend has died unless that friend happened to talk to me during this week. I have lost contact with friends because I no longer see their posts. Why? Because me talking the them is not commercially useful to facebook. Tweak the rules so that Trump and other world leaders get extra scrutiny and maybe a 6 hour cooling off period before their post on twitter or its replacement goes through. so Lawyers (his lawyers!) and media can check it for truth and suitability for public consumption. Because twitter is just a megaphone to a mob. And the mob has no context. And truth does have arbiters. The arbiters just need to be specified. For instance, People brought up truth about election results. The arbiter of truth when people disagree in that case are court cases. So its over, Trump judges declared that Biden won (by a lot) and anyone who fantasizes that he didn’t needs to grow up for the good of America. It’s more honest to just declare war on the USA than to keep saying that the election was stolen by the majority..

    • What exactly did Trump do to curtail freedom of speech?

      He is opposed to the immunity that section 230 provides, as are many people, because it is being used to silence people.

      He calls the mainstream media “fake news”, and the media has done it’s best to prove him correct, but he never tried to silence them, never spied on them (like Obama did)

      Like so many other people, you claim that Trump did things that you fear he would do, but he never actually did.

  169. Conservative publishing house Regnery Publishing announced Monday that it has picked up Senator Josh Hawley’s upcoming book The Tyranny of Big Tech after it was dropped by Simon & Schuster following the rioting at the Capitol earlier this month.

    Hawley (R., Mo.) came out as the first senator to support an effort to object to the Electoral College results and was later accused of helping to incite the mob of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6 as the vote count took place.

    “As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat,” said Simon & Schuster, which announced it would no longer publish Hawley’s book one day after the unrest.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/hawley-book-picked-up-by-regnery-publishing-after-being-dropped-by-simon-schuster/

    • Fossil fuel company employees in the US under Biden are in a similar position to Jews in 1930’s Germany. Their very existence will soon be criminalised. The sensible ones will leave the country. America has decided that it doesn’t need or want energy.

      I assume that Biden will also annul Trump’s recent directive on developing nuclear energy.

    • Curious George

      Does anybody know the size of the “mob of Trump supporters”? I guess it may be around 200 people, but could not find an official estimate.

    • Thankfully we still have a few conservative publishing houses. Of course, they don’t have the marketing clout of the big, leftist-loaded publishing houses.

      But unlike a lot of the cancel culture, this isn’t that new – it’s only a bit more nasty. Conservatives have had to go to Regency and a few others for lots of books. And a lot of conservative (and Christian) books are pretty much ignored by our public library.

      When Hillary’s boring book came out, a book that nobody bought except those doing so as back door campaign contributions, the library had tons of copies. Popular books by conservatives – popular on NY Times list even – were hardly present at all. We’ve had to get some by inter-library loan from Texas, or wait many months.

      The bias is everywhere. The current “days of rage” is just an explosive escalation.

    • “Simon & Schuster, Inc., announced today that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Regnery Publishing, a leading publisher of conservative books. Under the agreement, beginning July 1, 2018, Simon & Schuster will handle distribution for Regnery titles in all markets and territories around the world. Regnery will continue to be responsible for sales of its titles in the United States, while Simon & Schuster will handle sales in Canada and export markets.”
      http://about.simonandschuster.biz/news/regnery-publishing/

      Funny, huh?

    • Aaron
      I assume that Biden will also countermand Trump’s recent directive for the development of nuclear power technology.

      Not because it is right or wrong, but just because it was made by Trump.

  170. “The words “Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit” appear on a list of executive actions supposedly scheduled for Day 1 of Biden’s presidency. ”

    Yep, this is one of the clearest example of damaging Democrat insanity. On energy policy, they are worse than idiots, they are positively against prosperity and also harmful to US foreign policy.

    Putin will smile. US driving energy prices way down has been helpful in reducing Putin’s funds for causing trouble in the world. Ditto for Iran.

  171. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration is reaching out to other government to form a common front on the issue.

    “I can tell you that at the first G20 meeting we have, I am going to make a proposal on this issue,” López Obrador said. “Yes, social media should not be used to incite violence and all that, but this cannot be used as a pretext to suspend freedom of expression.”

    “How can a company act as if it was all powerful, omnipotent, as a sort of Spanish Inquisition on what is expressed?” he asked.

    Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico is starting to build an international campaign around the issue.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/01/launches-international-campaign-against-social-media-censorship/

  172. A new NBC News poll found that 43 percent of voters nationwide gave Trump a positive job approval rating, just barely down from 45 percent who said the same before the November election and the 44 percent who approved of his performance shortly after he took office in 2017.

    . . . . Almost 9 in 10 Republicans — 87 percent — give Trump a thumbs-up, compared with 89 percent who said the same before the November election.

    . . . . Among Republicans who say their primary loyalty is to Trump over the party, 98 percent approve of his performance. For those who say they prioritize the party over the president, his approval still stands at 81 percent — virtually unchanged from October. (The findings contrast with some other recent national polls showing Trump’s job rating lower. Unlike other surveys that sampled all U.S. adults, NBC News’ poll surveyed registered voters.)

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/01/nbc-poll-trump-retains-overwhelming-republican-support-overall-job-approval-steady-since-election/

    • Jim –

      Do you think it will peeve Trump how far underwater he is compared to Obama when he finished his term, or do you think he’ll just excuse it away by whining about how much a victim he is of unfair press?

      • 538 says Obama net approval at this point was +7.4, Trump’s is – 19.9.

        That’s gotta sting a little bit, doncha think? Down 27.3 points compared to Obama? Although it could be worse (e.g., down 45.1 compared to Clinton).

  173. Twitter is national treasure.
    It keeps the idiots busy.

  174. Geoff Sherrington

    It worries me that right-leaning people here often mention the number of leftists in various positions, like how they have taken over academia and the press.
    At some stage, leftist people might come to represent a majority and therefore legitimise as the dominant voice of the people, requiring official recognition.
    Question is, have we reached that point yet? Or passed it in 2021?
    Geoff S

  175. One thing that won’t be cancelled, one thing that will continue unchanged from Trump’s to Biden’s regime, is racist loathing of Russia. Already Hillary Clinton and Nanci Pelosi are publicly in agreement that all evils in the USA can be traced to Putin.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/512912-clinton-pelosi-putin-trump-capitol/

    Perhaps there’s a ray of hope here? Maybe this is the one thing that can unite Americans. The shared belief that Hit1er was right, that Russians are untermenschen. I don’t hear a single voice anywhere in the political landscape contradicting that view.