From my friends at Power Line Blog:
This was posted on my Facebook feed by Sivan Rahav Meir:
“Shalom, Sivan. I must tell you about something that we experienced during the last few days. The White House invited my mother to a Hanukkah party with Trump. My mom, the Holocaust survivor Zehava Unger, 88 years old, refused to go. She had long scheduled on that day an annual Hanukkah party with the entire family, and this was supposed to be her chance to meet her more than 90 descendants! For her, this is the biggest victory over the Nazis. Only after heavy pressure from the family, did she agree to change her priorities and said ‘yes’ to the White House. It was an amazing party. I’m surprised that it wasn’t covered in the Israeli Media. Trump decided to invite 8 Holocaust survivors, one for every Hanukkah candle. It was moving to see him call the seven female survivors and one male survivor to the stage, one by one, by name, and among them – my mom. He spoke about the heroism of the Maccabees and about them continuing that heroism, since they fought against the worst kind of evil in our time, and prevailed. He turned to them and said: ‘For you I moved the embassy to Jerusalem. I did it for you.” My mother handed Trump a personal letter, and this is what she wrote there:
‘On Hanukkah of 1944 I was languishing in Auschwitz; alone, freezing and hungry; not knowing how many more seconds the Nazi beasts would allow me to live. I was only 14 years old at the time. Ironically, a delegation of Jewish Rabbis couldn’t even make their way into the White House to plead for us… Miraculously, I survived, without anyone helping me and I had no family and no home to return to. Seventy-four years later it is again Hanukkah, and the pages of history have fortunately turned. Today, I am a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to scores of lovely children. I am privileged to be invited to the White House, which is now occupied by the greatest friend the Jewish people has ever had among the leaders of the free world'”.
There are some legal aspects of the charges against Judge Kavanaugh that are being left out of the discussion. A lawyer friend of mine posted a few comments on the subject on Facebook:CNS News posted an article about the attempts to give the accused a chance to face his accuser.
The article reports:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told a news conference Tuesday that Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser “certainly does deserve a right to be heard,” but at the same time, he called it “disturbing” that Democrats decided to withhold her accusation until the last minute.
Later, an attorney for the accuser, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper her client “is prepared to cooperate with the committee” — but not on Monday, and not until the FBI does a full investigation. “There shouldn’t be a rush to a hearing,” attorney Lisa Banks said.
The FBI has already done extensive background checks on Judge Kavanaugh for his previous positions. None of these charges have ever surfaced. Now, when the Committee was ready to vote, the accuser comes forward, not remembering the year, the place, or how she got home. There is also a discrepancy between what she told her therapist and what she is saying now (four boys in the room instead of two boys in the room). The whole thing looks like a delay tactic. It is also really scummy to bring forth a thirty-five-year-old charge that cannot be proven one way or the other. The accuser has also refused to appear before Congress to confront Judge Kavanaugh until an FBI investigation has been conducted. There is no way the FBI can investigate a thirty-five-year-old charge where the accuser doesn’t know what year it was, where it was, and is fuzzy on the details. That is ridiculous.
This is a portion of Senator Grassley’s letter to Professor Ford’s attorney:
Ranking Member Feinstein first received a letter with allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh from Dr. Ford in July. However, Feinstein neglected to notify Committee Republicans of the letter until the day of the first Committee markup, six weeks after receiving the letter and well after the vetting and hearing process had concluded. Feinstein referred the letter to the FBI, which added it to Kavanaugh’s background investigation file. She should have treated these allegations seriously, as Grassley has done, in immediately acting upon hearing of them.
The FBI has indicated to the committee and in public statements that it considers the matter closed. The FBI does not make credibility determinations. The FBI provides information on a confidential basis in order for decision makers to determine an individual’s suitability. The Senate has the information it needs to follow up with witnesses and gather and assess the relevant evidence.
Grassley’s staff has sought to work with the Democratic staff to reach out to relevant witnesses. The Democratic staff declined to participate in a follow-up call with Judge Kavanaugh Monday regarding these allegations. And they have declined to join efforts to conduct a bipartisan investigation of the allegations.
I have a few observations. I know the Republicans are afraid that if they move forward, they will lose the women’s vote in the mid-terms. I have a word for the Republicans. As many women can identify with the idea of a woman coming forward with a career-destroying accusation against their husband thirty-five years later as can identify with the accuser. If the Republicans do not move forward with the vote immediately, they will lose more votes in the mid-term than they gain. Radical feminists are not going to vote Republican anyway, and they are the only women who ascribe any credibility to this charade. Republicans, this is your moment–either you have a spine or you don’t. If you don’t, you will lose more votes than you will gain.
One of the really positive aspects of the Internet is that it allows voters to bypass the mainstream media and find their own news sources. That is a serious threat to the mainstream media and those who control it.
In 2012, the following charts appeared at Business Insider:
I have no reason to believe that things have changed significantly since then.
It is an open secret that Google and Facebook largely support the political left. Google tracks your searches. That is one of many reasons I use ‘DuckDuckGo.com.’
The Gateway Pundit is reporting today:
On Monday Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify banned Infowars and Alex Jones from their platforms in a coordinated attack.
Meanwhile, actual hate groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter freely post on Facebook. This is called censorship. It is happening because the political left is losing control of the dialog and is trying to regain control. Whether or not you support Alex Jones, he has the right to voice his views.
Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported:
The InfoWars official app surged in popularity Monday evening, and surpassed CNN, following the Orwellian deplatforming of the outlet by multiple tech giants.
The app was already beating the New York Times, ABC, BBC, WSJ, NPR, CNBC, CBS, USA Today, Reuters, Bloomberg, MSNBC, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post before they bounded ahead of CNN on Tuesday evening.
Losing a monopoly is hard. Gaining freedom of the press for the American people through the Internet is wonderful.
It is becoming obvious that Facebook is doing what it can to limit conservative speech. Their labeling of Diamond and Silk as “unsafe to the community” would have been hilarious if it wasn’t a threat to free speech. Facebook is a private company and has the right to post what they want. We as consumers have the right to use Facebook or not use Facebook. I won’t be boycotting Facebook–it keeps me up to date as to what my grandchildren are up to, but I do understand that the information playing field on Facebook is not level. Please follow the link to The Gateway Pundit to see the actual numbers on the censorship that has already taken place–it is stunning.
The article included the following:
Top conservative websites have seen a stunning drop in their Facebook traffic. This was no accident. This was the plan.
In January 2017, Facebook began making algorithm changes to make sure conservative news was no longer so influential. The Gateway Pundit Facebook traffic has consistently decreased with each algorithm change.
In March 2018 Western Journal also published a study that found conservative publishers were hit the hardest by the recent Facebook algorithm changes. The report found that liberal publishers actually saw a 2 percent increase in traffic. Conservative publishers lost an average of 14 percent in traffic.
Facebook official Campbell Brown, a former anchor on NBC and CNN, told attendees at a recent technology and publishing conference that Facebook would be censoring news publishers based on its own internal biases. And they did.
The best way to counter this is to form a conservative Facebook. I am sure some entrepreneur somewhere is already working on that!
The editorial states:
In 2012, the Obama campaign encouraged supporters to download an Obama 2012 Facebook app that, when activated, let the campaign collect Facebook data both on users and their friends.
According to a July 2012 MIT Technology Review article, when you installed the app, “it said it would grab information about my friends: their birth dates, locations, and ‘likes.’ “
The campaign boasted that more than a million people downloaded the app, which, given an average friend-list size of 190, means that as many as 190 million had at least some of their Facebook data vacuumed up by the Obama campaign — without their knowledge or consent.
If anything, Facebook made it easy for Obama to do so. A former campaign director, Carol Davidsen, tweeted that “Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realized that was what we were doing.”
This Facebook treasure trove gave Obama an unprecedented ability to reach out to nonsupporters. More important, the campaign could deliver carefully targeted campaign messages disguised as messages from friends to millions of Facebook users.
The campaign readily admitted that this subtle deception was key to their Facebook strategy.
“People don’t trust campaigns. They don’t even trust media organizations,” Teddy Goff, the Obama campaign’s digital director, said at the time. “Who do they trust? Their friends.”
According to a Time magazine account just after Obama won re-election, “the team blitzed the supporters who had signed up for the app with requests to share specific online content with specific friends simply by clicking a button.”
The effort was called a “game-changer” in the 2012 election, and the Obama campaign boasted that it was “the most groundbreaking piece of technology developed for the campaign.”
First of all, if you have any expectation of privacy on Facebook, you need to get rid of that expectation immediately. Privacy on Facebook does not exist. Do not write anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of The New York Times. Other than than there’s no problem.
The editorial concludes with an observation about the double standard:
More important, the vast majority of people involved in these data-mining operations had no idea they were participating. And in the case of Obama, they had no way of knowing that the Obama campaign material cluttering their feed wasn’t really just political urgings from their friends.
There is one other big difference: how these revelations were received by pundits and the press. In 2012, Obama was wildly celebrated in news stories for his mastery of Big Data, and his genius at mining it to get out the vote.
We were told then about how the campaign “won the race for voter data,” and how it “connected with young voters.” His data analytics gurus were treated as heroes.
This is not to say that Facebo0k doesn’t deserve criticism. Clearly, its data-protection policies have been slipshod.
But the recent fury exposes a massive double standard on the part of those now raising hell.
When Obama was exploiting Facebook users to help win re-election, it was an act of political genius. When Trump attempted something similar, with unclear results, it’s a travesty of democracy and further evidence that somehow he stole the election.
Welcome to the new world of elections–candidates will gather information anywhere they can. It is up to the public to guard their own privacy.
The alternative media has had an impact on the politics of America. Facebook and Twitter have been a place where conservatives could share information and ideas. Well, that is changing. According to an article posted at The Gateway Pundit yesterday, google and Facebook are purging conservative content from Facebook and YouTube. That is not a surprise, it is simply an unfortunate truth. Because many arguments by the political left are based on emotion rather than fact, they do not like engaging in rational debate. Thus, if they can, they shut down the conservative side of the debate.
The article lists the websites that have been blacklisted or targeted by Facebook and google:
Young Cons: Extremely popular conservative news site and received millions of daily readers during the election. The website received nearly all of its traffic from Facebook. Since 2016 Facebook shut down stories to Young Cons. Each algorithm change meant less traffic for the popular website. YoungCons was blacklisted by Facebook and struggles to maintain readers. The site regularly switches domains to save traffic.
SarahPalin.com: With over 4 million fans one of the popular conservative pages on Facebook until Facebook blocked all traffic to the website. The page was forced to change the domain to save traffic numbers.
Right Wing News: Right Wing News grew to an enormous website in the past few years thanks its popularity on Facebook. In July of 2015, in just a week, the Right Wing News Facebook page reached 133 million people. Because conservatives were sharing content they were interested in, Right Wing News (with 3.6 million Facebook likes ) was driving the same amount of web traffic as some of the biggest newspapers in America. Since the 2016 election Facebook blocked traffic to the website. Owner John Hawkins announced he was shutting down the website in January.
Western Journalism: Newsweek reported that the site has grown from receiving 1,000 page views a day in 2009 to more than 1 million during 2016. The website was averaging around 6 million page views a day according to Quantcast during the election. Today it is down to around 500,000 a day. Western Journalism was blacklisted by Facebook.
The Gateway Pundit: TGP was ranked as the 4th most influential conservative news source during the 2016 election. The site in 2016 received nearly a third of its traffic from Facebook. This past weekend Facebook blocked all traffic from recent stories to the website. TGP advertised with Facebook and is another top conservative website blacklisted by the company. TGP is also shadow-banned by Google and frequently attacked and smeared by the liberal media.
President Trump Facebook page: A recent algorithm change has caused President Donald Trump’s engagement on Facebook posts to plummet a whopping 45%. In contrast, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) do not appear to have suffered a comparable decline in Facebook engagement, reported Breitbart’s Alum Bokhari.
Independent Journal Review: A massive conservative website based on Facebook audience. The Independent Journal Review (IJR) terminated a number of its employees on Thursday, leaving an unclear future for the millennial-focused conservative website that has recently faced a declining audience. IDF was also shadow-banned and blacklisted.
Breitbart.com: Breitbart was the most influential conservative news source in 2016 with a massive audience. Since the election Breitbart is constantly targeted and smeared by far left operations. Breitbart advertising was targeted by Sleeping Giants and other Soros sites.
InfoWars: Infowars is another dominant conservative site with enormous traffic. After several years of video production and tens of thousands of video YouTube gave Infowars its third strike this week and threatens to shut the YouTube Channel down.
Rightside Broadcasting: This YouTube Channel had millions of views before the election. Since 2016 YouTube has shadow-banned all of their videos. YouTube has classified its videos of President Trump at a rally as hate speech. YouTube has demonetized hundreds of its videos. YouTube hides its videos. Income for the site is down 95% since the election.
Natural News: A very prominent health website and the world’s top source on natural health. The site receives tens of thousands of readers every day. YouTube wiped out over 1,700 videos covering everything from nutrition, natural medicine, history, science and current events.
Prager Report: PragerU, a conservative educational site, is suing Google and its subsidiary YouTube, accusing the video site of censoring its online videos because of their political leanings. YouTube has banned several of its videos including segments on abortion and Islam. Prager U has a massive conservative audience in the millions.
Pamela Geller.com: Pamela is well-known for speaking out against radical Islam. ISIS has threatened to behead her several times. During the election PG had over 100,000 daily views from Facebook. Today Facebook has shut down most of her traffic. Her website suffered serious losses in revenue since the election.
Diamond and Silk: Pro-Trump YouTube sensations have a suit against YouTube. The Trump supporters announced in August 2017 that 95% of their videos have been demonetized on YouTube.
I will admit that I do not have 100% confidence in all of these websites, but it is troubling that they are being taken down. We may actually have to fight for the First Amendment rights many of us took for granted for so long.
On March 1st, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology posted the following Press Release:
SST Committee Staff Report Reveals Russia’s Social Media Meddling in U.S. Energy Markets
WASHINGTON – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released a staff report uncovering Russia’s extensive efforts to influence U.S. energy markets through divisive and inflammatory posts on social media platforms. The report details Russia’s motives in interfering with U.S. energy markets and influencing domestic energy policy and its manipulation of Americans via social media propaganda. The report includes examples of Russian-propagated social media posts.
Chairman Smith: “This report reveals that Russian agents created and spread propaganda on U.S. social media platforms in an obvious attempt to influence the U.S. energy market. Russia benefits from stirring up controversy about U.S. energy production. U.S. energy exports to European countries are increasing, which means they will have less reason to rely upon Russia for their energy needs. This, in turn, will reduce Russia’s influence on Europe to Russia’s detriment and Europe’s benefit. That’s why Russian agents attempted to manipulate Americans’ opinions about pipelines, fossil fuels, fracking and climate change. The American people deserve to know if what they see on social media is the creation of a foreign power seeking to undermine our domestic energy policy.”
The report’s key findings:
- Between 2015 and 2017, there were an estimated 9,097 Russian posts or tweets regarding U.S. energy policy or a current energy event on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- Between 2015 and 2017, there were an estimated 4,334 IRA accounts across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- According to information provided by Twitter, more than four percent of all IRA tweets were related to energy or environmental issues, a significant portion of content when compared to the eight percent of IRA tweets that were related to the election in the U.S.
- Russia exploited American social media as part of its concerted effort to disrupt U.S. energy markets and influence domestic energy policy.
- The IRA targeted pipelines, fossil fuels, climate change and other divisive issues to influence public policy in the U.S.
The report can be found here.
On October 31, 2017, Chairman Smith sent letters to Twitter and Facebook to continue its probe into Russian attempts to influence U.S. energy markets via social media platforms. The letters cited additional evidence that Russian agents engaged in anti-U.S. energy activities on the platforms, including Facebook-owned Instagram, and reiterated Chairman Smith’s September request for information from the companies.
On September 26, 2017, Chairman Smith requested documents and information from Twitter and Facebook related to Russian entities purchasing anti-U.S. energy advertisements on social media platforms operated by the companies, including Facebook-owned Instagram.
On July 7, 2017, Chairman Smith and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting that the Treasury Department investigate allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. energy market through covertly funding radical environmental groups opposed to fossil fuels.
The article reports:
Fire officials say the fire spread from the mattress to several flags and curtains inside the man’s bedroom. It also torched a bedroom closet but did not spread to any other apartments in the complex.
Firefighters put out the blaze and no injuries were reported. However, the fire caused $11,000 in damage to the resident’s apartment and forced residents to find another place to live after fire officials deemed the apartment “uninhabitable.”
I can totally relate to this story and I believe that I have family members who can also relate. Enough said.
Today Breitbart posted an article listing nine recent news stories that were blatantly false yet made it into the mainstream media. Please follow the link to the article to see the details on why each story is false, but here is the list of the stories:
- CNN caught lying about Donald Trump, Jr.
- ABC News spreads lie about Mike Flynn proving Trump colluded with Russia.
- Reuters, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal spread lie about Trump bank subpoenas.
- MSNBC‘s Brzezinski questions accuser with photograph of Franken groping her.
- CNN’s Alisyn Camerota says anti-Trump Russian Dossier is ‘corroborated’.
- PolitiFact spreads lies about Breitbart, Roy Moore accuser’s forgery.
- Facebook flags Breitbart’s 100 percent accurate story, does not flag CNN’s fake news.
- Washington Post handwriting expert debunked by Moore accuser.
- New York Times falsely claims Secretary of State Tillerson will be forced to resign.
None of these stories are true, yet all were reported by the mainstream media and theoretically believed by the Americans who depend on the mainstream media for their news. We have reached the point where you are more likely to read accurate news on the Internet than on the major networks. That is sad.
Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about three of the latest mainstream media’s attempts to accuse President Trump and Russia of conspiring together in the 2016 election. Unfortunately, the facts keep getting in the way of the accusations.
The first attempt the article reports is as follows:
Here’s the headline CNN put on its “exclusive” story: “Even Pokemon Go used by extensive Russian-linked meddling effort.”
It begins: “Russian efforts to meddle in American politics did not end at Facebook and Twitter. A CNN investigation of a Russian-linked account shows its tentacles extended to YouTube, Tumblr and even Pokemon Go.”
By “meddle,” of course, they mean “helped elect Trump president.”
It turns out none of this had anything to do with electing Trump.
In this case, the Russians apparently developed a campaign — called “Don’t Shoot Me” — that was designed to “exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans.”
The YouTube page contained news reports, amateur footage and the like that the Black Lives Matter crowd were parading all over the web.
If that constitutes “meddling” in the election, then Black Lives Matter, Hillary Clinton and the mainstream press are guiltier than these Kremlin trolls. They ceaselessly pushed the racist police story because they thought it would help energize the Democratic base.
So what was Russia’s intent? “It’s unclear,” is all CNN could muster.
The second attempt also fell flat:
…another CNN “exclusive” about how “Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin.”
This story began: “A number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump‘s victory last November, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the situation.”
It went on: “Some of the Russian ads appeared highly sophisticated in their targeting of key demographic groups in areas of the states that turned out to be pivotal.”
Had CNN finally found evidence that Russia tried, and might have succeeded, in swinging the election for Trump?
It was up to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York to provide the relevant facts and context.
He found that of the 3,000 Russian ads that Facebook turned over to Congress, most of them ran after the election and so could hardly be part of any “meddling.” The vast majority didn’t mention the election or any candidate. A quarter of them weren’t seen by anybody.
What’s more, out of those 3,000 ads, only a tiny handful targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, nearly all of them ran in 2015 — well before Trump was nominated — and most had fewer than 1,000 impressions.
Well, maybe the third time will be the charm:
…the infamous “smoking gun” meeting between Donald Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer is turning out to be another nothingburger.
Newly released emails showed that the meeting was entirely focused on U.S. sanctions and adoption rules involving Russia, and had nothing to do with dishing dirt on Hillary Clinton.
What about that promise of a meeting in a separate email from British publicist Rob Goldstone, who said the Russian lawyer had damaging evidence on Clinton? It’s likely that was a way to lure Trump people to a meeting they’d otherwise not bother with.
The article reaches the obvious conclusion:
For nearly a year now, we’ve seen this same pattern. A headline-grabbing story about Russia “meddling” and Trump “collusion” that ends up fizzling out when the facts come in.
If Russia’s motivation in all of this wasn’t to elect Trump, but to sow discord and hostility within the U.S. — which increasingly looks like the point — then Russia’s leaders succeeded beyond their wildest imagination. And for that, they have the liberal media, not their own efforts, to thank.
Imagine what the media could do if they investigated the uranium transfer to Russia that followed a large Kremlin donation to the Clinton Foundation?
President Obama has often accused the conservative media of fake news. I wonder if he will speak out against the latest example of fake news by the liberal media.
The article reports:
The problem, according to a Facebook executive, is that when Obama reached out to the social media giant in 2016 to discuss political disinformation spreading on the site, he didn’t actually call out Russia – essentially making the Post’s headline misleading and inaccurate. Or, as President Trump would call it, “fake news.”
As first reported by Axios, the Post added significant information to the digital version of the story with the disclaimer, “This story has been updated with an additional response from Facebook.” The response from Facebook that didn’t make the paper’s print edition is vital and changed the story enough that the word “Russia” was removed from the updated headline.
The story detailed how then-President Obama gave Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a “wake-up call” regarding fake news spreading on his social media platform. After reporting that Obama “made a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously,” the paper has added that Obama “did not single out Russia specifically.”
The story reported that Obama and his top aides “quietly agonized on how to respond to Russia’s brazen intervention on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign without making matters worse.”
Well, not quite.
This is the important paragraph in the article:
The paper also added a statement from Facebook’s vice president of communications, Elliot Schrage, which it received after the front-page story was published. Schrage told the Post that Obama’s talk with Zuckerberg was about “misinformation and false news” and “did not include any references to possible foreign interference or suggestions about confronting threats to Facebook.”
The Russian connection has been fizzling out for some time. What we can expect is to see Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller charge Paul Manafort with some sort of process crime or questionable act totally unrelated to the original reasons for a special prosecutor. The thing to remember here is that despite the fact that James Comey stated numerous times that President Trump was not under investigation to the Senate, some senators chose to mislead the American people into believing that President Trump was under investigation. What Robert Mueller is doing is conducting a very expensive witch hunt based on a story which has been proved questionable at best. The mainstream media is attempting to relive their glory days of bringing down Richard Nixon, and there is a group of people in America with little regard for the U.S. Constitution that is willing to use violence to bring about the change they want. We have a choice here. Either we believe in the U.S. Constitution, the elected government, and the rule of law, or we do not. If we want our country to stand, the rule of law has to stand. The media does not understand that if the government is brought down, they will also be destroyed in the chaos that follows.
First of all, I need to say that I support freedom of speech. I also support organizations creating behavior guidelines and enforcing them.
The NFL Handbook includes the following rule:
During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.
I am not sure what the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem were trying to prove, but actions have consequences.
The Wall Street Journal posted an article today about some of the consequences of kneeling during the National Anthem.
The article reports:
DirecTV is letting at least some customers cancel subscriptions to its Sunday Ticket package of NFL games and obtain refunds if they cite players’ national anthem protests as the reason, customer service representatives said Tuesday.
Sunday Ticket’s regular policy doesn’t allow refunds once the season is under way. But the representatives said they are making exceptions this season—which began in September—in response to the protests, in which players kneel or link arms during the national anthem.
…It isn’t just the political stakes that are high. Football draws the biggest TV audiences of American sports and is a vital income source for a host of major media companies. Sunday Ticket is a major customer draw for DirecTV and one of the NFL’s premier franchises, earning it $1.5 billion a year in licensing revenue.
A substantial number of cancellations risks further damage as the league tries to rebound in ratings. Viewership fell last year and continues to do so this year. Network executives and league officials attributed last year’s declines in part to viewing competition from the presidential election, consumer distaste with the pace and quality of games, and the anthem protests.
The revenue of the NFL comes from the fans–tickets, team merchandise, and advertising. If the income stream from the fans dries up and the fan base dries up, the advertisers may go elsewhere. The actions of the players may have bigger negative consequences than they planned on.
On another note, one of my Facebook friends suggested that if the players are concerned about the treatment of black Americans, they should be willing to go into the black schools and teach the students what they need to know to be successful.
The Daily Caller posted an article today about someone protesting a Hobby Lobby decoration. The decoration had nothing to do with the Christian faith of the owners or their views on marriage–it was a piece of cotton!
The objection was posted on Facebook:
The post received close to 15,000 shares and 160,000 comments. The user, Daniell Rider, then received backlash for her sensitivity and responded to her critics:
All those who are offended by cotton being a decoration need to quit buying any product made of cotton!
And other users quickly came to her defense, one adding:
What difference does it make if it’s a decoration or part of a product. You’re being hypocritical if your offended by cotton being a decoration and not offended by any product made of cotton.
Brutal grammar aside, these people are actually serious. They legitimately want consumers everywhere to stop buying cotton products because cotton “racist.”
Many Americans have lost their ability to reason and replaced it with a giant ability to be offended!
On Friday, The Washington Examiner reported on efforts by Democrats on the Federal Election Commission to limit political speech on the internet. The latest effort by these Democrats was triggered by the fact that unnamed Russians spent $100,000 for politically themed ads on Facebook. Somehow no Democrats on any committees were concerned when Saudi Arabia was funding anti-fracking movies.
The article reports:
Facebook’s involvement and proof of Russian spending on political ads could give Democratic FEC critics of the freewheeling Internet the case they’ve needed.
Republicans on the FEC have claimed for years that the Democrats have been focused on the Internet in part because they want to silence conservative outlets like the Drudge Report, conservative videos, and even movies.
But the Facebook revelation and huge amount of money involved should give the Democrats a new weapon in their fight to regulate spending on Internet sites beyond paid advocacy. Under current rules, paid online ads that say, for example, “Vote For” or “Vote Against,” are regulated. The so-called Internet freedom rule, however, exempts free Internet posts and advocacy by third parties.
This sort of government intervention into free speech never ends well. I have no problem with anyone posting anything on Facebook as long as the source of the post is obvious. Where were these people when conservative groups were being denied tax-exempt status? This is a political move partially caused by the fact that Democratic election and fund-raising efforts are not going well. This is an attempt to slant the playing field to the Democrats advantage. It needs to be stopped.
Breitbart posted an article today about a study done by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s open borders organization. The study was initiated to show the hardships that would be caused by ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.This is the program that affects people who were brought to America illegally as children and have no relationship or association with the countries they came from. In many cases they don’t even speak the language of the country they were born in. Obviously these people do need some sort of special consideration, but whatever consideration they are given has to be done in a way that limits fraud and does not interfere with those seeking to come to America legally.
Meanwhile, back at the study.
The article reports:
The study claims that on average, if Trump were to repeal DACA, 30,000 American job opportunities would open up each month. FWD.us President Todd Schulte touted the results of the study as a loss for America’s business community, saying it would have “severe consequences” on the economy.
“Eliminating DACA would have immediate and severe consequences for not only the 800,000 Dreamers enrolled in the program, but for the millions of Americans who live, work, and study with these young people every single day,” Schulte said in a statement.
Immigration hawks have long argued the booming illegal alien population–estimated between 12 to 30 million–and high levels of legal immigration, where the U.S. admits more than one million a year, contribute to the displacement of American workers and wage stagnation.
The situation with DACA is a mess. We need to find a way to help these people become citizens without penalizing American workers and people who come here legally. However, legal Americans need to be given priority in finding employment.
This was posted by a friend on Facebook:
This seemed like a reasonable question, so I did some research. On December 2016, CNN Money posted the following:
Nearly 6.4 million Americans have selected Obamacare policies through the federal exchange for coverage starting Jan. 1, federal officials announced Wednesday. That’s 400,000 more than had selected policies a year ago.
Under the proposed repeal and replace ObamaCare bill, the rate of growth of Medicaid will be cut–Medicaid will still grow, but more slowly. The goal is to create a program that will create a rate structure that allows more Americans to pay for their own health insurance. I am not thrilled with the current bill in the Senate, but passing it may be a necessary evil if we are to avoid single-payer or socialized medicine (which would be the result of the total collapse of ObamaCare which is rapidly approaching).
This is not a news article—this is a rant from an old person who is concerned about the activities of the current younger generations. There is no source for this article although it is the result of the news we have recently seen about the scandal in the Marine Corps regarding nude pictures and videos. Admittedly, I come from a generation that was more accustomed to privacy—we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. to post pictures of our lunch and other activities. The older generation had a different concept of privacy than the current generations.
I don’t find it odd that men would look at pictures of naked women. I don’t find it odd that a man would look at an explicit video. I do question the wisdom of the women posting these pictures or videos. A good rule of thumb is to never put anything on the internet that you wouldn’t mind seeing on the front page of The New York Times or on the evening news. Even if the pictures of videos were not intended for the internet, there is no guarantee when you give a person a picture or a video that the picture or video will never be seen by anyone else. Again, wisdom is called for. Never put anything on film or in your phone or laptop that you don’t want to go public. These pictures and videos could create a serious problem if a future employer were to see them.
I don’t know what the eventual punishment of the people involved in this scandal will be. It is my hope that the people who created the pictures and videos will be disciplined as well as those who set up the Facebook page to view them. There are no victims here—the women who created the pictures and videos are not victims—the pictures and videos were created with their consent. They are guilty of bad judgement, just as the men who set up the Facebook page are guilty of bad judgement.
As I have previously stated, I am part of a generation that believed in privacy. These pictures and videos devalue the women that made them. They are the result of the lies that many women are told about their value and about their role as women. My advice to a woman whose boyfriend or husband asks for such a picture or video is to find another boyfriend of husband. You are worth more than that.
I am sure there will be some serious consequences for the people involved in this scandal. It is my hope that they will learn from their mistakes and be more prudent in their actions in the future. I also hope that the women involved begin to realize their true worth and that the men involved begin to respect the women in their lives rather than viewing them as sex objects.
I am about to get into the weeds here, but I want to explain what is happening to our freedom of speech in America and where the threat to the First Amendment is coming from.
In his book Catastrophic Failure, Stephen Coughlin explains, “In the United States, the initial amendment of the Constitution indicates the primacy of free expression. The framers of the Universal Declaration of Human RIghts–understanding that free expression is linked with freedom of though and conscience–mirrored the First Amendment’s intent in Article 19:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
“The Cairo Declaration addresses free expression in its Article 22, using language that parallels that of the Universal Declaration:
(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.
(b) Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah.”
The Cairo Declaration embodies the Islamic definition of free speech. As you can see, it differs from the American definition of free speech. Unfortunately, there are those in America (some of whom have a great influence on public opinion) who are moving toward the Islamic definition of free speech.
The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) has released a press release stating the the AFLC has filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under the First Amendment.
The press release states:
Section 230 provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.
As alleged in the lawsuit, Geller and Spencer, along with the organizations they run, are often subject to censorship and discrimination by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because of Geller’s and Spencer’s beliefs and views, which Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube consider expression that is offensive to Muslims.
Such discrimination, which is largely religion-based in that these California businesses are favoring adherents of Islam over those who are not, is prohibited in many states, but particularly in California by the state’s anti-discrimination law, which is broadly construed to prohibit all forms of discrimination. However, because of the immunity granted by the federal government, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are free to engage in their otherwise unlawful, discriminatory practices.
As set forth in the lawsuit, Section 230 of the CDA immunizes businesses such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from civil liability for any action taken to “restrict access to or availability of material that” that they “consider to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”
…David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, added:
“Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have notoriously censored speech that they deem critical of Islam, thereby effectively enforcing blasphemy laws here in the United States with the assistance of the federal government.”
“It has been the top agenda item of Islamic supremacists to impose such standards on the West. Its leading proponents are the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of Islamist activist groups in the West and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which co-sponsored, with support from Obama and then-Secretary of State Clinton, a U.N. resolution which called on all nations to ban speech that could promote mere hostility to Islam. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are falling in line, and we seek to stop this assault on our First Amendment freedoms.”
Unfortunately, there is an implied threat to those speaking out against Islam. Islam in its end game is about political control. One part of gaining political control is to silence any opposition. Although I can understand the reasons for censoring speech critical of Islam (protecting assets, employees, avoiding terrorist attacks), it is folly to believe that anyone benefits from being ignorant of the goals of Islam. Some Americans have done their own research into the Muslim Brotherhood Plan for America (laid out in government exhibit 3-85 from the Holy Land Foundation Trial– the first part is in a language other than English, the second part is in English) and realized what civilization jihad is. If this is a new concept for you, please check out the centerforsecuritypolicy.org for more information. There is a move to take away Americans First Amendment rights. We need to stop that move.
MSNBC is reporting today on the protests that forced the cancellation of the rally to support Donald Trump in Chicago last night. This is a story that needs to be looked at carefully. America has a First Amendment. Donald Trump has as much right as anyone to speak out. Protesters also have the right to speak out. They don’t, however, have the right to destroy property or prevent anyone else from speaking. For a number of years we have seen conservative speakers shut down at college campuses; now we are seeing a Presidential candidate prevented from speaking. That does not bode well for the future of our country. We need to take a look at these ‘protests’ and see who organized them (they were organized) and what they are actually about.
Yesterday Gateway Pundit posted an article about the Chicago protesters.
The Gateway Pundit article reported:
Obama buddy and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers was seen protesting Donald Trump in Chicago today.
Thousands of leftwing protesters were expected today to protest Donald Trump at the University of Chicago Illinois campus.
5,000-7,000 people were already inside the pavilion at 5 PM Central. Thousands more were still in a line that stretched several blocks.
I guess some leopards just don’t change their spots.
When Ja’Mal Green, a prominent black activist and Bernie Sanders supporter in Chicago, saw that Donald Trump was coming to the University of Illinois Chicago, he knew what he had to do. “Everyone, get your tickets to this. We’re all going in!!!! #SHUTITDOWN,” he posted on Facebook last week.
Little did he know they actually would shut it down.
Friday night, hundreds of protesters invaded Trump’s rally while thousands more marched outside, leading the candidate to abruptly cancel the event due to safety concerns. The night spun out from there, as angry Trump fans clashed with protesters, who saw the shutdown as a victory.
This sort of political activity does not belong in the American political system.
The article further reports:
A Facebook page was started to promote the protest. By the night of Trump rally, more than 11,600 people had RSVP’d on the page saying they would attend the event. Another 19,000 said they were “interested.” Organizers were shocked when Facebook’s analytics said the page reached more than 1.5 million users.
The page explained how to acquire tickets to the Trump rally, complete with links, instructions on where and when to meet, and exhortations to remain peaceful.
Jorge Mena, a undocumented graduate student at UIC, started a petition on MoveOn.org calling on the school’s administration to cancel the event. The petition garnered more than 50,000 signatures, and once brass at MoveOn, which has endorsed Sanders, caught wind of the UIC backlash, they wanted to help. MoveOn chipped in money to get signs and a banner printed and blasted out an email to members in the Chicago area encouraging them to join the protest.
With just four days to plan, organizers said more than 1,000 students turned out for the march, along with thousands of community members.
It’s a shame that this sort of organization and energy could not have been directed toward something more constructive. Again, protests are allowed; shutting down speech is not.
On November 10, the Greensboro Police Department make the following announcement on Facebook:
Greensboro police are asking at least 1,000 residents of the Gate City to show their commitment to safety by signing a “Pledge of Nonviolence” this Saturday, Nov. 14 at Destiny Christian Center, 2401 Randleman Rd. from 9 am to 3 pm. At the same event, gun owners can safely turn in unwanted firearms from their homes. Police employees will be accepting handguns, rifles, shotguns, and ammunition at the event. This is not a buy-back program. No cash will be given in exchange for weapons voluntarily surrendered to police.
The pledge and the opportunity to turn in weapons are spurred, in part, by an increase in gun violence. This year compared to last, gun violence has increased 68%. The term ‘gun violence’ includes any crimes against people in which weapons were used, and shootings into occupied dwellings. An incident can be classified as gun violence even if no one was injured.
One knife and a BB gun pistol that resembled a real gun were turned in. Also, almost 1,000 people did sign the “Pledge of Nonviolence” which was made available to be signed during the event.
Remember, France has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, yet the bad guys were able to buy guns. The good guys followed the law and were unarmed. A few good marksmen carrying guns in the theater might have made a big difference.
This was posted on Facebook by a friend. She states that an eastern North Carolina middle school was recently given an assignment through the Jr Scholastic Magazine.
Look at the cartoon carefully. It illustrates instructions given to children going outside to play. The instructions given to the white child are basic ‘kid-type’ instructions. The instructions given to the black child are simply wrong. To put this cartoon in front of Middle School children is to tell them that Americans are racists and policemen are not friendly to black children. Neither of these things is true.
I am sure that this cartoon and the accompanying questions were in response to the death of Michael Brown. I would like to point out that even though it is very unfortunate that Michael Brown is dead, he would still be alive had he not attacked a police officer and tried to steal his gun. It would be more instructive to teach all of the children in the school to respect the police and listen when the police speak to them. If Michael Brown had been white and attacked a police officer, I suspect he would still be dead. If Michael Brown had not been killed, I suspect the police officer would be dead. There is no way that story has a happy ending, and it is a shame that Junior Scholastic magazine chose to teach racism rather than teach respect for the law.
Yesterday Breitbart.com posted a story about two students at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School who have been suspended from school because of a picture taken in their living room. The picture shows Tito Velez and Jamie Pereira dressed for the school’s homecoming dance and holding Airsoft rifles. The caption below the picture, which was posted on Facebook by their father is “Homecoming 2014.”
The article reports:
School district superintendent Dr. Richard Gross said he didn’t have a problem with the Airsoft guns, and he understands free speech. However, he “takes issue with the caption below the photo that reads ‘Homecoming 2014.'” He added: “When you tie that to a school event, that’s something to be concerned about.”
Velez defended the couple’s photograph on CBS Boston, explaining that the guns are toys that shoot plastic pellets. Yet Dr. Gross said the entire homecoming dance would have been canceled had police discovered the photo prior to the start of the event.
The article further reports:
According to NECN.com, Pereira said, “We took [the pictures] with the Airsoft guns because that’s our hobby, and we wanted to include them.” But school officials argue that the photo caused “a disruption at the school.”
I’m sorry, but this just seems really ridiculous to me. I can understand other students asking the couple questions about the guns and about their hobby, but how did this picture cause “a disruption at the school.” I think this is just another example of the basic Massachusetts hysteria regarding guns.
This was posted on Facebook by the Republican Liberty Caucus of North Carolina. When you vote in North Carolina, please keep in mind that a trial by jury is a right guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution.
Waive Right to Trial by Jury
As you may or may not have heard by now, on Election Day, November 4th 2014 there will be an amendment on the ballot left for North Carolina Voters to decide on. The Amendment, if passed, would amend the Constitution regarding jury trials in non death penalty cases. Instead of having a jury trial as mandated in the current form of the constitution, this would allow a defendant to waive his right to a jury trial and opt instead for a bench trial (with judicial allowance) and the case would then go before the NC Superior Court.
While the legislatively referred amendment may seem to lack fanfare or immediate consequence, there always remains the lingering possible negative consequences of “tinkering” with defendant rights and the judicial system. I would recommend folks look into this issue by referring to it’s Senate Bill # SB 399; which was sponsored by Peter Brunstetter. (This passed in the house overwhelmingly, with only one hold out vote cast by Michael Speciale.)
Consider the careful and thoughtful intent our Founding Fathers placed into writing the US Constitution, their foresight into matters such as these is absolutely relevant still today. In the Declaration of Independence a major grievance was the deprivation or jury trials in matter dealing with Great Britain, and detainment without trial. (We know the rest of the story so I will spare you the political history soapbox) However, fast forward to our modern system of criminal justice and even our Federal system has now adopted the right to waive a jury (in certain cases) to opt for a bench trial. In fact 49/50 states have this option (though statutes and limitations on this vary by state) so North Carolina is the last hold out; and to be perfectly honest and to inject my personal thoughts here, I truly think it is something to be proud of. We have maintained over the years that the right to jury trial is the best form of justice for defendants.
Some of the issues which have been raised to counter this Amendment include cases such as White Collar crimes and Fraud, bankers, political boosters, lobbyists, Insurance and Securities fraud etc. because of potential close relationships these types of defendants may have with certain judges or prosecutors. One case Nicole Revels brought up was the one in which the heir to the DuPont fortune was accused (and supposedly later admitted) to child molestation of one of his own children (he was accused of molesting two of his own children) he was granted a bench trial and sentenced to serve time, which was quickly after repealed by the judge with the explanation or excuse that he would not “fare well” in prison.
The other side of the rich and wealthy are the indigent, and low IQ defendants who already often admit to crimes they have not committed. If this option (to waive a jury) were to be taken away, perhaps a more sympathetic jury would not get to consider circumstances in which would either influence a lighter sentence (or even give the jury the option to nullify the case) I have been trying to find an old case I studied while in Criminal Law class at Campbell. I recall that there was a case in which an African American man with a fairly low IQ (and possibly some learning disorder) had seen a class where you could order away for information to become a private detective (he also at a certain point obtained a handgun) at some point later he went to the police station (possibly to talk to someone about being a “detective”) and either he disclosed that he had the gun, or it was found. It went to trial and he was facing a lengthy sentence. The case ended up being Nullified as the sympathetic jury decided he was not intending harm, and in fact was not able to even comprehend properly the laws and regulations. (No one was hurt and no violent crime happened here) I fear this man would have had the book thrown at him if he had gone in front of a judge.
Our prisons are already overpopulated with minority youths, many of which are serving very lengthy sentences because of possession charges or other non-violent crimes. Many of these defendants plea out, but for the ones who do not, I believe the Founding Fathers had the vision and capacity to understand that a jury of one’s own peers would be best fit to decide a sentence (if any at all) or find them not guilty. This amendment, in a perfect world, may just give defendants a fair option to make their own decision. However, the possibility to persuade or sway defendant’s in an intended direction remains a great risk to liberty. Most voters will not have even heard about this amendment when they go vote on November 4th, and they may just pick a quick answer, move on and never think twice about it. I think our Voters deserve more information, and more transparency. No matter what stance you take, I believe we need to educate and get the word out about SB 399, before it slips past us.