Our Country Is Changing Very Quickly

Newsmax reported yesterday that Amazon is removing Parler from its web servers.

The article reports:

Amazon is removing the Parler social media service from its web servicers, BuzzFeed News reported Saturday night.

If Parler cannot find another hosting service once the ban takes effect Sunday, Parler will go offline, Buzzfeed reported.

The news comes after Apple and Google Play removed the app from their stores.

Parler has been used increasingly by conservatives amid what they see as increasing censorship by Twitter. Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump on Friday for tweets it said violated its rules of inciting violence.

Conservatives have said the ban is a stifling of free speech.

Amazon has suspended Parler from its Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit, for violating AWS’s terms of services by failing to effectively deal with a steady increase in violent content on the social networking service.

I am old enough to remember the 1977 march by the National Socialist Party of America (Nazi Party) in Skokie, Illinois. Most Americans hated the idea that they were allowed to march. There were lawsuits filed, but it was decided that they had a First Amendment right to march. Amazon and Twitter are private corporations, but it seems to me that they are infringing on Americans’ First Amendment rights.

The article concludes:

In addition to Parler, right-leaning social media users in the United States have flocked to messaging app Telegram and hands-off social site Gab, citing the more aggressive policing of political comments on mainstream platforms such as Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc.

Google, in its announcement Friday that it was suspending Parler, said that Parler must demonstrate “robust” content moderation if it wants to get back in the store.

This is a blatant attempt to shut down conservative speech. I have been on Parler for a while, and I have not seen any hate speech or anything encouraging violence. If encouraging violence is a problem, why has no one dealt with some of the comments members of Congress have made about harassing members of the Trump administration if you see them in public?

What Are We Teaching Our Children In School?

According to Business Insider, the median age of an Apple employee is 31 years old. That really doesn’t tell us much except to imply that half of the employees are under 31 and half are over 31. A much more interesting number comes from an internal survey of Apple employees.

On September 1, InfoWars reported that 71.98% Of Apple Employees Say Repeal The First Amendment. It is ironic that the First Amendment protects their right to say that. I would venture to say that the number who also want to repeal the Second Amendment is probably comparable.

This is what happens when you do not teach history to American students. Our republic is always a generation away from disappearing. If we are to maintain our freedoms, we need to teach the value of those freedoms to our children. If they don’t value those freedoms, they will not preserve them.

This is a warning to young parents. If your children are not in a school that teaches the founding documents of America, the principles behind them, and why they are important, find another school. It’s that important.

Common Sense From Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell posted an article at National Review today about the recent Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearings. First of all, I would like to state that I was not even aware that there was a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Secondly, I would like to state that I suspect they are much more active when the Senate and the White House are held by different parties. Since that is not currently the case, I was a bit surprised by one of their recent hearings.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was called before the Committee and publicly chastised for the fact that Apple ‘does not pay enough taxes.’ According to Mr. Sowell, Apple pays $16 million a day in taxes. It seems to me that would be enough for anyone.

The article points out that Apple is not doing anything illegal–they are simply following the tax code and taking advantage of the tax breaks they are entitled to in the tax code. At this point it might be a good idea to remember who writes the tax code–Congress!

The article notes:

Apple CEO Tim Cook was denounced for contributing to “a worrisome federal deficit,” according to Senator Carl Levin (D., Mich.) – one of the big-spending liberals in Congress who has had a lot more to do with creating that deficit than any private citizen has.

Therein lies the problem–it is easier to blame a successful businessman for the deficit than to take actual steps to correct the spending addiction of Congress and the current President.

The article points out:

What is a tax “loophole”? It is a provision in the law that allows an individual or an organization to pay less in taxes than they would be required to pay otherwise. Since Congress puts these provisions in the law, it is a little much when members of Congress denounce people who use those provisions to reduce their taxes.

If such provisions are bad, then members of Congress should blame themselves and repeal the provisions. Words like “gimmicks” and “loopholes” suggest that people are doing something wrong when they don’t pay any more in taxes than the law requires.

Are people who buy homes and deduct the interest they pay on their mortgages when filing their tax returns using a “gimmick” or a “loophole”? Or are only other people’s deductions to be depicted as somehow wrong, while our own are OK?

Next year when you fill out your tax return, think about your own ‘loopholes’? Is your home mortgage deduction a ‘loophole’? If you live in a state with a substantial personal income tax that you deduct, is that a ‘loophole’?

What happened in the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations was a example of the government publicly  bullying a law-abiding citizen. That is not a good direction for the country to be heading.

The article concludes:

No American government can take away all our freedoms at one time. But a slow and steady erosion of freedom can accomplish the same thing on the installment plan. We have already gone too far down that road. F. A. Hayek called it “the road to serfdom.” How far we continue down that road depends on whether we keep our eye on the ball — freedom — or allow ourselves to be distracted by predatory demagogues like Senator Carl Levin.

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Why The Mainstream Media Is Losing Its Grip On America

This story is a few days old, but I think it is important. Big Journalism at Breitbart.com reported recently on the lies told about Apple Computer on an episode of This American Life. The episode has since been retracted, as the charges he made against Apple have been proved false. Unfortunately, his lies were picked up by The New York Times, The Associated Press, MSNBC and HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” I am not sure if the truth has been picked up since the lies were exposed.

The article at Big Journalism reports:

Daisey painted a vivid and dramatic picture of horrific work conditions in slave-labor factories designed to exploit workers for the benefit of Apple and you: the selfish, greedy American who demands your iProducts at a reasonable price point.  The lies were exposed, ironically, by a reporter for another public-radio program, Rob Schmitz.  

At this point, the interesting part of the story is not Daisey’s lies, but who bought his lies and why.  

The media outlets were all too willing to publish and broadcast Daisey’s lies, because it fit perfectly into their narrative of evil American corporations (even one headed by liberal champion Steve Jobs) exploiting the downtrodden and vulnerable of the world (especially people of a non-caucasian race) for the benefit of Wall Street and Wal-Mart.  Daisey’s story had everything the American media is looking for.  So fact-checking was left on the back-burner.  

Compare that lazy attitude with the scrutiny and skepticism heaped on conservative news outlets when stories break about a liberal congressman’s Twitter activity or a liberal President’s law school hero.  There is a stunning double standard that is revealed by the Daisey story that can’t be overlooked.  If a report matches with the template, the dogmatic narrative instilled in year one in Journalism School, it receives the benefit of the doubt.  If a story challenges what “everyone knows to be true” from the Left’s perspective, it is held up to the highest level of scrutiny, if acknowledged at all.  

Apple Computers is an American company doing a fantastic job. Thank God they were able to get the truth out and the lies exposed. It is sad that the mainstream media was so easily fooled.

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Steve Jobs, Rest In Peace

Steve Jobs had a tremendous impact on America with his vision, his work ethic, and his success. You can read about his life pretty much anywhere on the internet today. I just want to post a quote he cited during one of his press conferences when he was releasing a new product. Behind him, on a screen, were the words:

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”  

                                       —Wayne Gretzky

To me, this sums up the life of Steve Jobs. America and American technology will truly miss this man. Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.