Censorship-Industrial Complex

Great article by Matt Taibbi today:

“The Democrats’ Disastrous Miscalculation on Civil Liberties”

As he notes at the end…

Instead of facing the boiling-ever-hotter problem underneath, the managerial types decided — in the short term only, of course — to mechanically deamplify the discontent, papering things over with an expanding new bureaucracy of ‘polarization mitigation,’ what Michael calls the Censorship-Industrial Complex. Instead of opening society’s doors and giving people roles and a voice, those doors are being closed more tightly, creating an endless cycle of anger and reaction.

Making a furious public less visible doesn’t make it go away. Moreover, as we saw at the hearing, clamping down on civil liberties makes obnoxious leaders more conspicuous, not less. Democrats used to understand this, but now they’re betting everything on the blinders they refuse to take off, a plan everyone but them can see won’t end well.

Of course, even if it did “end well,” it would be wrong…and regardless of whether their intent is noble.

This. Is. Unconstitutional.

You can hear one of the authors, Lee Fang, discuss the article with Tucker Carlson here:

More commentary here:

There are few terms more calculated to cause a political ruckus than “deep state.” Since the start of Donald Trump’s presidency almost six years ago, “deep state” has been a catchphrase for anything connected with the U.S. government that is opposed to Republicans .

For a few reasons, I broadly oppose the use of the term. But now we have incontrovertible evidence that, since President Joe Biden took office almost two years ago, powerful federal agencies have acted in exactly the manner that many Republicans feared. They’ve colluded with Democrats and Big Tech companies against free speech and conservative interests.

UPDATE: This is a worthwhile read: Read More


There Is Hope

Why censorship is…

I saw a meme that a disconcerting Google search autocomplete, so I figured I’d try it myself. On my iPad Pro, this is what I got:

Google autocomplete screenshot

The was the meme (from here):


My results weren’t as bad, but are still concerning. Do you agree?

Is this the Current “Third Rail”?

Is this the current “third rail”?:

I think a white conservative person using the n-word (which nobody should use), is probably more of an instant pariah-making incident, but I am not sure refusing to treat a trans woman as completely a woman is very far behind nowadays.

My thoughts?

On censorship, “private company” or not: 99.9% against it (and this does not fall within the 0.1%). Also, given much of social media censorship is, at best, in alignment with governments and, at worst, at government request…I believe it is a civil rights infringement of the 1st Amendment.

On the controversy around how trans people must be treated and what should be done to those who refuse to acquiesce: I’ll have to save that for another time. Given the caustic and career-ending nature of this latest battle in the culture wars, I’ll want to make sure I have my thoughts entirely together, and that I take time to word it so as not to give needless offense to either side. Whether I agree with you or not, I care about you, your opinions, and…yes…your feelings.

Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren, and…

Album cover
Image from Amazon.com

I am of two minds with this, “You have to choose, Joe Rogan or me” that Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Nils Logrin (and more?) are doing with Spotify.

First, I abhor people trying to get other people deplatformed. (I abhor the action, not the people.)

However, I respect individuals willing to personally sacrifice for their beliefs. I don’t know who owns whose catalogues, but I am going to assume that it’s not in Young’s, Mitchell’s, or Logrin’s best monetary interest to reduce the reach of their music.

At a minimum, I think the three are misguided, and probably lean on the side that what they are doing wrong, but I don’t think that the answer is to attack them back, try to get others to stop listening to their music (itself a form of deplatforming), etc.

And I hope that Joe Rogan tries to get them on his program to discuss their differences of opinion (and that they accept).

In the end, we are all trying to navigate difficult waters in a fog, and we are all guaranteed to hit some rocks here-and-there. That should lead to compassion, not judgment.

Trust in the Modern Age

As we consider whether it is appropriate for the government to flag misinformation for social media companies to censor/etc., this is an important thread from Glenn Greenwald (you have to click through to Twitter):

Although I am not a fan of some of the commentary in it, this article brings all (most?) of the thread together.

This is an especially important point for people who say the First Amendment only applies to the government, not to private companies. That is true, but…

If it is done under government pressure (even if the private businesses agree), then it is unconstitutional.

And, in the modern age, there is no reason to trust the government, Big Tech social media, nor the media with the power to censor. (Greenwald’s thread speaks to this too.)

Kudos LinkedIn!

Since I wrote about my disappointment in LinkedIn suspending mRNA vaccine inventor Dr. Malone’s account, I am very happy to send them kudos for reinstating it and apologizing:

Malone, the self-proclaimed inventor of the mRNA vaccine, medical doctor and CEO of a biotech and government consulting business, tweeted out a message he received from a senior LinkedIn executive on Monday apologizing for his personal account being removed from the platform for a short time. Malone said he was “truly grateful for his kind gesture.”

“Dr. Malone’s account has been fixed as of this morning,” the message from a senior executive from LinkedIn read. “I’d like to apologize on behalf of LinkedIn — we’re just not good enough at detangling complicated, subtle scientific claims concurrent with similar [but different] misinformation coming from others.

Although it would have been best if it never had happened, compared to other social media companies, LinkedIn is a star after this.

Listen to Sean Penn and Conan O’Brien

Perhaps my favorite quote:

“Empathy is a very important word and also forgiveness,” said O’Brien. “We found that someone did something in 1979 that is now not appropriate. They’re dead to us.” O’Brien went on to describe cancel culture as “very Soviet,” saying, “People can also be forgiven. If they even need forgiving. What happened to that?”

We all need forgiveness.

This Should Concern Everyone

I do not care whether you think former President Trump is great or just short of satan, this should concern you (it includes the fact that Facebook and Instagram wouldn’t allow an interview of him to be posted):

And please do not start with the “they are private companies” stuff. At best, they are so in alignment with liberal governments they are essentially an arm of it, second-best they are doing it to stay in good graces (which still would be government censorship), and at worst they are in cahoots.

Regardless, Big Tech (and Big Business) are so aligned together that they act as a de facto utility for communication; one that should not be allowed to censor views they don’t like.

In case you actually want to see the interview…

Buy DVDs of Any Shows You Truly Care About

So, I saw this article:

“KERMIT CANCELED? Disney Slaps ‘Offensive Content’ Label On The Muppet Show”

Since I hadn’t cancelled my Disney+ subscription yet, I checked and…

Disney disclaimer on The Muppet Show

I’ll give them credit for not just zapping (or editing) the episodes (yet). But, at what point do we all just admit bubble-wrapping eyes, ears, and minds had gone too far?

P.S. I already own the DVDs. 🙂